All entries for November 2004

November 26, 2004

Dan's Guide to Voting in the Union

Writing about web page http://www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/portal/voting/

I voted in the union elections and referenda yesterday. Don't believe them when they tell you that it's sexy. It's not. It's not even fun…unless you turn it into a little game, like what I did.

My approach to voting was based upon a number of factors: my democratic principles, pragmatism and superficiality.

First of all, I had to read the terms and conditions. Or, at least, I had to tick a box saying I agreed to them. The fun part to this was that there were a couple of other boxes that you could tick if you want to define yourself as a female and black. Needless to say, as I type this, I am, in the Union's democratic eyes, a black woman. You can call it making a mockery of the system; I call it upholding my democratic principles – I'm just exercising my rights albeit for the sake of a cheap laugh.

Next came the referenda. There are two motions: the one about reforming democracy, and another about banning racists and fascists. To be honest, I couldn't give a flying monkey's about either one, but as they want to be quorate I thought I'd be nice and vote in them. Without any personal preference, I was going to base my judgement on the strength of the two cases for each. There was a problem in that no one opposing the motion had submitted a case against. Obviously, to vote based on the strength of the cases, my vote should have gone for the motions, but surely I needed to make an informed decision? What were the cons of the motion? I felt betrayed as a voter by the Union. So I expressed my 'boo's to the Union in the form of Abstain.

Lastly were the elections. My strategy here was simple: first, I wouldn't vote for anyone without a manifesto. Second, I would vote for anyone who was running alone (no matter if they're a psycho – surely it would be way more fun if they were?). Third, I would vote for people I knew and vaguely liked. Fourth, for the postions I was still stuck on, I voted for the candidate who conveyed some sense of humour in their manifesto.

There you go: my guide to voting. Perhaps a little politics-geeky for some tastes, I admit. Now go and vote! Vote like the wind!

A message to Union hacks: if this contravenes your democratic code of conduct, let me know in the form of a comment and I'll take it off. Only to put it back on after voting has ended. Ta!


November 22, 2004

Prof. Brad Jockowitz's Guide to Limey Love

"Howdy there, London! Many thanks to my good buddy Daniel for letting me post on his blog! Who am I, you ask? Well, here's my full title:

Professor Brad Jockowitz (disgraced), Department of Relationship Studies, Jesse Helms Memorial Girls' Dorm, Duke University, NC.

That's right folks, the good old US of A! Now, I've gotten you lucky Limeys a sneak peek at my new paper, to be published in Relationships Quarterly next month (also syndicated to GQ and New Woman). It's entitled "A Definitive Guide to the Approaches of British Men and Women to the Opposite Sex". And here it is (abridged)...

After months and months of extensive research, these are my findings: basically, everybody has four different attitudes towards members of the opposite sex.

How men see women
'Fancy' = in love with.
'Would' = wouldn't say 'no', after a few, like.
'Like' = a cool girl – to have a pint with – you know. No chance.
'Who?' = lacks looks and personality, ergo he will never talk to her.

How women see men
'Like' = in love with.
'Fancy' = wouldn't say 'no', after a few, like.
'Sweet' = harmless. No chance.
'Psycho' = scares her.

Well, that's how it seems to me (and Daniel concurs). As you can see, there is potential for enormous amounts of confusion – often with hilarious consequences! But usually without.

Now, you may be wondering why I, a superior and insular American, can be fagged to study this type of behaviour over in England? Well, to be honest, the behaviour on our side of the Pond is damned boring. You've seen shows like the O.C., right? Well, by watching that you'll know that Americans are all too hot to consider anything but fucking everyone else, excepting family of course. Although…

'Til next time, brush those teeth!
Brad xx"

[editor's note: apologies – I can't sleep.]


November 20, 2004

The Student Radio Awards!

So, about thirty RaW types, past and present, made it down to Shepherd's Bush last night for the 2004 SRA Awards. We were up for three - I say we: Chris Carter was up for Best Specialist Show, the Sports Team was up for Best, erm, Sports, and we were all up for Best Station (having won it last year).

Sport got Bronze in their category, which was a bit gutting as there were only three nominations; Chris got Silver; and RaW as a whole got nowt. Which was fair enough as we swept the board last year. Shame that we can't say we're the UK's Best Student Radio Station any more.

But that's not important, for after the awards were given out, came the Lig-O-Rama. I made the most of the free Bud (shit as it is) and went and schmoozed with as many Radio 1 types as I could find. So, I met:

  • Colin Murray, who I asked "What age are you?" His answer: 27. I also got my photo taken with him (see below) and he recorded a ident for RaW. What a legend.
  • Steve Lamacq, who was trashed, shook my hand and adjusted my tie because it wasn't "rakish" enough.
  • Nemone, who I took the piss out of for doing the graveyard shift on R1, which I then realised was quite a harsh thing to do. So I'm actually going to listen at some point.
  • Comedy Dave who, let's just say, was more "Dave" than "Comedy".
  • James King, who's back at Warwick doing a PhD, and – you heard it here first – will be on RaW in January/February with his own show!

A fun night was had by all, especially young Adam Westbrook who ought to blog all the mucky details before I do. ;)


November 17, 2004

My turn for a Stagecoach rant

Bald Stagecoach bus driver, if you're out there…

Is it too much to ask that before you pull away from the Railway bridge, you check your wing mirror to see if any hapless students are sprinting to get the bus, and that you don't make an issue of their hitting of the bus's window in a last act of desperation to make you let them on?

Ta.


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 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/comment/story/0,14259,1345385,00.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.


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