All entries for October 2004

October 26, 2004

John Peel and the Delays

Aw man, I can't believe John Peel's dead! I've just been listening to the coverage on Radio 1 and I've actually been feeling rather emotional. The guy was such a legend – discovering bands like the Smiths and the White Stripes; Home Truths…

I found out at 2 o'clock today, just as I was about to start what was probably my most exciting radio show in all my time at RaW. So when the news bulletin on the hour said that the great man had just died, it put a real downer on everything. The Delays were coming on for 3 and I didn't really have a plan for the first hour (except play the new episode of Student P.I. at some point) so I made it a John Peel memorial show. I played a bit of the White Stripes and Joy Division, but I couldn't find any Teenage Kicks in the record library, the bastards. Then I decided to have a minute's silence. I played a bit of vinyl which turned out to be dodgy so I thought it would be a great idea to do a John Peel-style "Uh, whoops, the vinyl went a bit wrong, there, uh…", but my on-air impression was didn't sound anything like his voice – it sounded great off-air. Either way, Tom, my guest, decided I'd be going to Hell.

Later, both a Minidisc and a CD fucked up while they were going out on air, so I can only attribute that to either karma, or JP's ghost messing with the studio's machines.

At 3, the Delays made an appearance! They were supposed to be on at 2, which inspired many a Delays-related joke. But it was well cool. It was such a good interview and Aaron and Rowly are really sound guys. They put me and anyone who was hanging around in the studio on the guestlist for tonight's gig at the Union. Shame I've got an essay in for tomorrow. I should probably get cracking with that actually, if I want to go…

October 23, 2004

Charv (pl. charves)

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

Apologies for the following rant; I think I've made it to most people, including Mr Carter. But for the benefit of everyone else…

I hate the word 'chav'. It's a southern bastardisation of a well-loved geordie term.

Let me take you on a journey back to the halcyon days of 1996, Longbenton Community College…

(flashback music)
Yes, that's me in the shit specs and the big coat, getting called 'swot' by the big kids. And look! One of the very first 'chavs', bedecked in Kappa behind the sports hall having a crafty tab. Oh look, there's Mr Priestley going over to give him a bollocking. And he retorts with some kind of 'child molester' jibe. Typical 'chav' behaviour, no? Except at this point they're called 'radgie charvers'.

As the 'movement' mushroomed over the next couple of years, and more and more 'radgie charvers' were recruited to the Kappa cause, their name required some shortening as we were calling more and more people it. So it became simply 'charver' and later – as the twats moved away from GLC-style leisurewear and into Berghaus and Rocky Ps – 'charve'/'charv'. In fact the word 'chava' pre-empted 'chav' by 6 years, when in 1998, it was voted word of the year by the Benton Bugle. You may probably note that us northern monkeys failed to sort the spelling of 'charv' out, which is probably why the southern fairies got in there with their rubbish yet consistent word and how it rapidly become the norm this year.

When I got here, to Warwick, two years ago, there was no 'chav'. I attempted to get people saying charv, but to no avail. It was all 'townie' and 'scally'. For a period in the summer of 2003, 'pikey' held hegemony in the nomenclature, and, I'm ashamed to say, I used it a few times. Suddenly, this year, out of nowhere, came 'chav'. I'd never heard it before February. It first came to my attention in a link to that chavscum website. I was impressed, assuming that it was pronouced the same way as 'charv' – you know these southerners, with their grarss and barth. But then I heard people saying it and my ears just wept. I went to the doctors to get it sorted out and upon my return it had turned into a phenomenon, thanks in no small part to the rise of the Goldie Lookin' Chain (funny as f*ck, by the way. You knows it). Now it's word of the year.

So there you have it. It's charv damnit. I had a nightmare last night: I went back to Newcastle in December and all my paisani were saying chav. Needless to say, I went on a killing spree.

October 20, 2004

Georgie B vs Johnny K

Well, now I've got that out of my system, a regular post (not 'regular' in the Spanish sense you understand, 'regular' as in not being about me and my trials and tribulations with angst; a rant, if you will)...

Is there a topic hotter at the moment than the American presidential elections? I think not. (What was that? The new series of Little Britain? Maybe later.) Now, like every rational person with an ounce of integrity on this planet, I want to see Mr Bush defeated in a fortnight's time. And here's why:

*George is a Christian fundamentalist – people are going to vote for him because he's more religious than the other guy! Sorry, secularists can be as honest and morally upstanding, if not more, than Bible-bashers. Plus, they aren't as blinded by the teachings of one book and can be reasonable. The religious fanaticism on both sides of the War on Terror aggravates and will not solve the conflict. Plus, any aid given by the US to starving and disease-ridden Africa is on the condition that it is not used to promote abortion or AIDS-preventing contraception. How sick is that?

*George is a bit thick. He sees things only in black and white – the whole with us or against us thing. I guess that's got to do with the above point (not wanting to imply religious people are thick, mind – my beef is with organised religion's influence in politics). George's reason for the terrorists fighting is because they're evil. Yes, maybe a little – they did murder a load of people after all; however, so did the US government – but they do have reason for it: the States' neo-imperialism in the Middle East. So begins a tangent with unlimited potential, which I'll cut of at its source and save for a later date…

*Okay, George's religion is the source of much of my resentment towards him. Just one more point: he's so homophobic, he wants to change the Constitution to prevent them 'marrying'. Fair enough, marriage is supposed to be about family, but surely give the gayers some rights? Let the individual states decide.

*He's also a corporate cocksucker (apologies for the lowering of the tone, I'm just a big fan of alliteration). His tax cuts are merely letting the rich get richer, while the poorest get nowt. If he gets re-elected he says he'll make this state of affairs Permanent! He also let the bosses of Enron get away with shafting their employees. I won't get bogged down on this issue either; I simply refer you to Stupid White Men by Michael Moore.

*I've heard it said that if Kerry gets elected, terrorism will step up and it'll all get worse. Why's that? Surely if Bush is in office for another four years, he'll continue to piss the Middle East off and terrorists will recruit more suicide bombers. Conversely, Kerry will most likely try and contain the threat, be reasonable with the Middle East and the Islamic fundamentalist cause will cease to have a valid case. What pro-Bushies do in this situation is to equate this weak-kneed liberal approach to appeasement. Oi! This isn't another Hitler we're dealing with. This is a new type of warfare, something that we cannot apply lessons learned in the past to to solve it. Give peace a chance.

Rant over, I think. Kerry for President. I'm not going to go down the road the Guardian did last week, which was the stupidest thing I've seen this side of the Atlantic. They got their readers to write to voters in Ohio to tell them why they should vote for Kerry. Of course, Fox News picked up on this and claimed that those homosexual communists in the UK were infringing international law by seeking to influence the election and there's been a big backlash. Normally a damn fine publication, the Guardian should've seen this coming but no, they've put a bit of a dent in our special relationship. Patronising a few hicks in the midwest is not going to swing the election to the side of all that is good and right. No, all we can do now is pray.

FREE SEX (subject to terms and conditions)

It's about time I satiated your, my loyal readers', appetites with another missive from my fingertips. It feels like it's been a while – except for my shameless plug on Monday evening. It pains me, as I've been contemplating the past week a multitude of issues, but have never found the time, or the creative instinct, to sit down and let the prose flow. That is, until now.

In the meantime, I have become addicted to warwick blogs. Dominated as it is by crashing Computer Science bores and Arts students who imply through their obtuse witterings that they are far cleverer than you, I persist relentlessly to eke a nugget of decent bloggery out from the vast array of like-minded souls craving attention the website has to offer.

Don't get me wrong, I fully realise I am in the same loserish, attention-seeking position as every other blogger; I'm just very comfortable with my insecurity. What makes me different is knowing that I'm better than everyone else. (Don't get me wrong, I realise that I'm probably not, but whatever gets me through the day…) If I seem hypocritical to you, I don't care: there are worse things to be. Plus, I'm a third year politics student so it's only to be expected that some of it has rubbed off on me.

Thinking about it, I'm even more of a loser than most of you, as this blog is now syndicated, on Again, I don't care: I've always wanted to be syndicated.

October 19, 2004

Student PI – a new episode!

'Ey up, kids.

I could write a full entry this fine evening, but I've just finished a arseload of work and need to get up for a lecture at ten tomorrow – no mean feat. But I thought I'd probably do a wee bit of publicity for the new episode of Student PI I've just finished.

"What's Student PI?" I hear you cry. Well, it's only RaW's premier comedy drama series, which follows the adventures of Warwick campus's very own gumshoe, Jack Truman.

And you can catch it tomorrow, Tuesday, at the prime time slot of 3pm. It's gonna be bloody brilliant. 1251am, or listen online. Cheers!

October 16, 2004

Layer Cake

Follow-up to A Bad Day from Esprit de l'escalier

My housemates managed to convince me to make the journey to Birmingham so we went, and turned my bad day into an alright evening. I bought some clothes, we ate in McDonalds (sorry), and we went to see Layer Cake (or should that be L4y3r C4k3? Or something?). I'd heard mixed reviews of it and wasn't too eager to see it, but 'twas the only thing on, so why not.

Before I launch into my review, I'll sum up what the film's about, for those of you not in the know: it's a Brit Gangster flick. Nuff said, really. It's a bit knob, on the whole – though not as knob as Croupier, of which it reminded me a lot. It had the same trying-to-be-gritty intentions, pulled the same 'stylish' camera effects out of the film industry's box of cliches, and had similar lead characters: the rugged, posh, cool-when-he's-not-talking, wooden-when-he-is hard man. The plot may appear quite complicated but when you realise it is essentially a combination of the plots of Lock, Stock…, Snatch and the Long Good Friday, but with drugs taking the place of guns/boxing/micks, it makes perfect sense. It's not as funny as Lock, Stock… (I'm not sure how funny it was wanting to be) and has only a handful of genuinely cool lines/events. I wouldn't recommend this – the only reason to see it I can give is if you want to see an uncanny young Willem Defoe lookalike with a Cockney accent. There are few well-known actors in it: only Dexter Fletcher (he of Lock, Stock… and Press Gang (remember that, kids?!) fame) and Michael Gambon, sporting a rather unsettling David Dickinson-style tan.

A Bad Day

Had one of those days where everything goes wrong, yet is pretty harmless so therefore nothing to fret about. It all started with a hangover, which an emergency cup of tea temporarily remedied. I checked my emails to discover that after a month of regular t'internet use, the pesky pop-ups which were the bane of second year, were back, with something of a vengeance. Despite valiant efforts on the part of Nick to rid my 'puter of this evil, they refused to leave, so now every website I go on tells me I'm their millionth visitor and I win a prize. That, or some horny sluts want me to call them.

The bad day continued on campus, got myself a beautiful Rootes breakfast before going to a meeting to sort out Tuesday's group seminar presentation. Except as none of us had a clue what to do, it didn't really get sorted out as such. So that was a bit crap.

Went to RaW to record some final bits of dialogue for the second episode of Student P.I. only to find I hadn't brought an essential part of the script. I thought I had the script on floppy, but it didn't work in the station's 'puter, and the resources room was packed. So I had to rewrite the scene; it's very complicated and now, having returned home, I found that what I did end up recording isn't going to work. Also one of the guys didn't turn up so I had to read his part. Which is going to sound dodgy, cos as the main character, I'm in the episode way too much as it is. Not only did the recording go a wee bit pants, I managed to lose my floppy disk somewhere between RaW and Union North. That had loads of stuff on it! Shite.

I was supposed to meet up with Shall at some point so we could go to Brum in the afternoon.The last time I'd seen her having been yesterday, just before I proceeded to get drunk, I'd forgotten what the plan was. So I called her and when she didn't answer I figured she was in lectures and figured I'd wait on campus til she returned my call. She returned my call an hour and a half later, informing me she'd just finished work – in Leamington. But of course! So I'd wasted time waiting about on campus, then it took an hour to get back to Leam, thanks to Stagecoach so I was pretty pissed off. And still hungover. And no longer wished to go to Brum…

(Mind, there is a silver lining to all this cloud: we have a new shower! For the past month we've had to use the bath attachment so it's quite a novelty to have it hands-free. What luxury!)

October 2004

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