November 15, 2004

Student PI – The Rival

Two weeks later than is ideal, I've finished the brand – and frankly spanking – new episode of RaW's premier comedy drama series: Student PI.

This episode, entitled 'The Rival', tells the story of the time our protagonist, Jack Truman, takes on a new member, who promptly steals all his cases, and what's more, the girl that he loves! What can Jack do but embark on a harsh but ultimately fair Iago-style crusade to sort this problem out.

If you're into your Othello pastiches, or you merely want to hear some top quality radio, tune in to RaW 1251am (see also the webstream) tomorrow – that's Tuesday – at 3.30pm. Better yet, hear me play some records in the half hour beforehand. I have the 'new' one from Fresh Meat and you really aren't gonna wanna miss that!

November 14, 2004

Boris Johnson

Follow-up to Dick and Dom in da Bungalow from Esprit de l'escalier

Again! It happened again! I was checking today's news on the Guardian website to see that Boris Johnson had been sacked by the Tories. As I clicked on the link to see what my old mucker David Aaronovitch had to say about this whole kerfuffle, I thought, "what a bunch of cretins – don't the Tory leaders realise that the lovable tow-headed buffoon is the only thing they have going for them? I, a raging liberal, would even vote for him! They've really done it this time…"

And once the page had loaded, what was the headline? "Sacking could backfire on Howard [subtitle] Voters liked Boris. My guess is they will now like his party less." Exactly my thoughts – I won't even bother reading the rest of it now. As I say, me and the Guardian – we're like that [crosses fingers]. If that's not a reason for them to employ me, I don't know what is.

November 13, 2004

Dick and Dom in da Bungalow

The Guardian and I must have some kind of telepathic link. As soon as I discover/come up with something which I intend to blog about, the woolly liberal rag gets in there first. It happened a lot around the US election – see previous blogs – and today it happened again.

I first saw Dick and Dom in da Bungalow about a year ago, and thought it was a pile of wank, so I watched Ministry of Mayhem on the other side, which, despite being of much the same quality, at least had a comely female co-presenting. However, after spending a completely innocent night over at my ex's last Friday night, I was encouraged to give it another chance. And I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, rather than explain what is so good about it, I'll just refer you to the article in today's Guide section (it's the cover story – you can't miss it) of the Guardian because it basically sums up my argument. The piece's only shortcoming is that it fails to mention the brilliantly so-bad-it's-good Batfink double bill which they have at roughly 10.30, after the famous – and needless to say, utter genius – Bogeys game.

What can I say? Next Saturday, set your alarms and check it out.

November 12, 2004

There's a first time (this term) for everything

Weird day.

Okay, it probably began last night when I smoked my first [certain decriminalised substance deleted] for a good while, seeing how I was bored. Incidentally, this happened just at the point at which Trading Places became ten times funnier.

Overslept, then actually got some work done before I headed up to north Leam to collect my deposit (huzzah!) from my ex-housemate. For the record, it is over four months since I vacated my Tara & Co property.

But before I left on my bike (which I hadn't ridden since June), our doorbell, which hasn't worked all term, randomly started going off every couple of minutes, despite the actual thing you press having been disconnected, and no one being at the door. Not only was it very weird hearing the bell for the first time, it was trebly weird as there was no possibility of anyone setting it off. I blamed it on the gremlins and set off.

I got the cheque (£100!) and as it was quite – though not unrefreshingly – parky outside today, I accepted Rosie's invitation into the house and accepted her offer of a cup of tea/coffee. I chose tea (which, as those of you who know me will know, except my mum, I take white with sugar). Rosie didn't have any milk so borrowed some from the fridge – but whose? She didn't know – I thought she would; this turned out to be a rather significant issue. So I sat down with my cup of tea. I was quite disconcerted as it smelled not unlike fish. However, I didn't want to be rude so took a sip. Not only did it smell like fish, it tasted of it too. I wasn't drinking this. I told Rosie, who thankfully wasn't offended. Neither of us understood, so I took a look at the bottle. The use by date? The 16th of…September. I'd just drunk 2 month old milk. Fuck! It wasn't lumpy or anything – it merely smelled of fish.

At which point I started feeling a bit [effect of smoking aforementioned decriminalised substance deleted] again. It made cycling back to south Leam in the school rush a lot of fun (mind, it's always fun). But I'm still feeling very weird. Was it the milk? Was it merely my crazy lightweight metabolism? Who knows.

What I do know is the moral of this tale: it really was about time all these things happened: smoking [certain decriminalised substance deleted], taking my fixed bike out for a spin, the doorbell to work and that milk to be drunk (then poured down the sink). I should've gone for the coffee (which I take black without sugar, Mum).

November 08, 2004

Fat But…

While rooting around My Documents, trying to avoid work, I unearthed this from earlier this year, and felt it warranted not only a blog entry, but a brand new category. Enjoy!

See I reckon you're about 14 or 16
Maybe even 17 and a half in four pies time
That blue Topshop top you've got on is too small
Too much fake tan but itís no distraction at all
See thereís one little thing that you might be
Really, really, really, really sensitive about
What Iím trying to say is you are really fat
But my gosh you donít even know that

I'm not trying to pull you
Even though youíd like me to
I think you are really fat
You're fat but my gosh you donít know that

So when I noticed you standing there with your hoard
Salivating over what was on the board
I wondered how many burgers and chips
The shrapnel in your little purse could afford
When I noticed out the corner of my eye
Peeking out of your skirt
The most hideous cellulite
I left because Ė now I donít want to sound rude
But the sight of it really put me off my food

I'm not trying to pull you
Even though youíd like me to
I think you are really fat
You're fat but my gosh you donít know that

Whoa! Leave it out
Are you eating something?
Leave it out
We cannot have you eating out this establishment
S'not worth it love, just leave it
Donít want one – keep your chips
Donít want one, look Iím alright I donít want one

For a while there I was thinking yeah but what if?
You kept on stuffing your face with all those chips
Would there come a point where youíd just explode?
Wait a minute I am being way too childish
Donít know why Iím so concerned about your health but
You should really cut down on your porklife, love
Cos look, yeah, you are fat
And I certainly donít want it,
But I canít stop you queuing to get chips and more chips

I'm not trying to pull you
Even though youíd like me to
I think you are really fat
You're fat but my gosh you donít know that

Oi, just as you started on your third and final course
Guzzling away your little doughnuts like a horse
I was planning my swift exit from this place
But your chunky frame was blocking the gates
Forcing me to engage you in conversation once again
How come you couldnít pick on any other men?
Thereís guys out there who think a holeís a goal
Just say youíre up for it and then youíre sold

I'm not trying to pull you
Even though youíd like me to
I think you are really fat
You're fat but my gosh you donít know that

What did I tell you loveÖ I've got a girlfriend anyway
We're all a bit drunk, yeah you've had a few full plates
I really got to go and catch up with my mates
Finally! Iíve escaped! Yes, yes, oh yay!

I didnít fancy you at all you know, I really must say
I would rather Iíd been mugged than see you on display
But this is just another case of female stopping play
On an otherwise total result of a holiday

I'm not trying to pull you
Even though youíd like me to
I think you are really fat
You're fat but my gosh you donít know that

Words: Daniel Wilson Craw. Music: Mike Skinner

November 07, 2004

More analysis of the Presidential Election

Writing about web page,14259,1345385,00.html

As ever, Observer columnist Mr David Aaronovitch has a point. I admit that in the midst of the election aftermath, I and many liberal types set about proclaiming the US a theocracy, acting almost as blindly as Republican policymakers. But all that time, in the back of my mind, the statistics didn't really add up. So 21% of the electorate voted based on moral issues, and 80% of that gave their vote to Bush, which is like 17%: only 17% of the American population can be described as religious nutjobs. This is the main thrust of Aaronovitch's argument, an important point to raise. He goes on to say that there are many reasons why people voted for Bush. Fair enough, but that doesn't make the Bush adminstration a non-theocracy. My problem with Aaronovitch's argument is that he claims the American voters weren't misled by an ideology; rather the Democrats campaign was just a bit shit. But don't you see? Bush is an extremist but he wasn't going to be elected running on a fundamentalist platform, so he tailored his campaign to appeal to the secular majority. Of course, now that he's in power, without seeking re-election, he can do whatever the fuck he likes, especially with all that Republican support in Congress. So the American people aren't theocrats, the government is, and the 'secular' 34% who voted for Bush on reasons other than moral values were just misled by the Bush campaign/uninspired by the Kerry campaign (or want more tax cuts, or hate Arabs).

Democracy doesn't work.

November 06, 2004

Who are the Warriors?

It's funny you should ask, cos I was watching said fillum this afternoon. My brother Jake has been pestering me for the best part of a year to see it so I went and did. And it rocks.

The Warriors was made in 1979 and is set in New York, and follows a street gang called the Warriors, who have crazy hair and wear brown leather waistcoats. They get framed for the murder of a gang leader and find themselves wanted by all the other gangs in New York – or maybe just Brooklyn. Anyway, they ride the subway a lot to evade a random assortment of gangs: the rozzers, blacks, Latinos, orphans and face-painted baseball players. The evasion doesn't last too long and inevitably they get into massive brawls. Which are by turns surreal, amusing, lame and cool.

The film's pretty good – some cool lines and that (fucking hell, I'm not terribly articulate today, am I?). It's a bit futuristic and surreal, helped by the ace synthy-rocky score. It has no one you've ever heard of in, but there're guys who look like Sean Penn and Dennis Hopper.

Check it out: free to rent from the SRC - possibly the best thing about videos from there is that you get to see adverts from Way Back When (my, they were shit in 1995). And it'll be available to rent from 11am Monday.

November 05, 2004

A Strangely Noisy Evening

It seems that the charv pub next door (The Jet, in case you were wondering) has decided to celebrate the sterling work our boys are currently doing over in Iraq by recreating the Battle of Fallujah right here in South Leam. It's very loud, and quite pretty. I'm not sure if it's like this in Iraq, but they've also got mini-charves going door-to-door 'carol' singing* in the hope of receiving some sort of payment – I believe they demanded either "sweets or money or else we'll [sound of front door slamming] your house". I'm quaking.

*along the lines of "we wish you a merry bonfire night

A Manifesto

You are witnessing the first entry in a new category I have entitled The Evils of Organised Religion. I'm not a big fan of it you see and this week I've been thinking about it way too much – so much so I'm devoting a segment of my blog to it.

Basically, this is my (so far) one-man crusade against those fundamentalist evil-doers who threaten all that is good and holy. And though much of my fury is directed at 'Christians', don't think you're off the hook, Islamists. I might get round to writing something properly at some point…

Incidentally, I appear to be barred from commenting on that "Thank God for Bush's re-election" blog. Is that because I called him irrational, or has he done it to everyone else?

November 04, 2004

Travel First Class for Free!

Well not quite, but I thought that after my enormously fun extended weekend, that I ought to divulge some advice that will vastly improve your experiences on this here country's delapidated and frequently frustrating rail network.

It all started when, for some reason, sold out of economy-class advance tickets for the trains to and from Glasgow on the 29th of October and 2nd of November respectively. This would have transported me to bonnie Scotland and back for less than £30. But over a month prior to travel, they'd inexplicably sold out of them. I could've waited 'til the day of travel and purchased a Saver Return for the staggering sum of £60-odd. Then, my eyes espied on my laptop screen that there were still some advance tickets available, ah! but they were first class. Lucky I didn't dismiss this offer as unaffordable bourgeois decadence there and then, and actually checked the price, for if my eyes didn't deceive me, I could get to the Naples of the North for a mere £40, and travel in considerable style!

And travel I did, First-motherfucking-Class! Well, Club Class 'til Carlisle, where I got free and unlimited tea, coffee and cold food, and from Carlisle, free and unlimited tea, coffee, BEER! and HOT food! And there was great legroom, and a free Times! Yes, all this for only forty of your Queen's pounds!

The curious thing is, my friends, that over the five hour journey no one ever checked my ticket to see if I was supposed to be there. I was blatantly the youngest person in the carriage, and didn't look particularly smart, yet they had no qualms about feeding me copious refreshments. In first class I was twice asked if I was first class, to which, despite feeling entirely out of place, I had to reply yes, but they didn't require the production of a ticket. I thought, fuck economy class (not quite 'fuck buying a ticket' – I'm not a thief), I'm going to travel like this every time.

But before you leave your desk, dear readers, and embark on the next Virgin Train service home, travelling in all manner of luxury for free, pay heed. On the return leg, I was asked for my ticket not once, not twice but thrice. It seems it's a bit of a gamble this whole riding in first class for free lark, so watch out. Perhaps the safest thing you can do is buy a regular ticket (unless trainline have still gone completely nuts over their prices), grab a seat amongst all the businessmen and consume all the free stuff you can until the ticket inspector rumbles you and insists that you rejoin the plebs at the back of the train (they can't chuck you off/extort money from you, can they?).

So there you have it, my first nugget of travel advice. Cor, I do go on don't I? It may work better if goat class is chocka, so you have an excuse, and if you're travelling north (it occurs to me that Virgin Trains may like to reward brave folks heading to Glasgow such as I with casting a blind eye towards our class status).

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