Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Stuff Wot I Wish I Had Wrote

How about the following brilliantly vituperative sequence of words in The Spectator of 8 January (behind with my reading again) - it's Taki of course and yes I do know that he's indefensible so I won't even try,
The coarseness, greed, avariciousness and ruthlessness of such people make the crude social climbers of yesterday seem to possess plenipotential dignity by comparison. Underneath the flashy jewels there is a moral and intellectual sewer the size of the Serengeti Plain. I've never met the woman and I hope I never will, but one thing that's sure is that after her arrival the deluge.
It's that final sentence which is so delicious. In the same edition there is a goodish little piece by Toby Young which predates the most recent arrest in  the lamentable Joanna Yeates murder case (for current detail see Murder Charge ). At an earlier stage Yeates' landlord had been arrested and promptly demonised in the press, only to be released without charge. He was condemned in the court of public opinion for the crime of being a bit of a middle-class weirdo, rather like Camus' L'Etranger who was executed for failing to cry at his mother's funeral. I've banged on before about the rule of law, due process and other liberal inconveniences. These things bloody well matter. They're complicated, they're abstract, they are definingly humane. All of which goes rather further than Young's column, but it is what he meant - Toby Young Column

Shakespeare Rocks

I wrote a little while ago about the gory fun to be had in Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, but now I've found something even better. Watched Julie Taymor's film Titus as part of my education yesterday. Even at his very worst this is why Shakespeare is incomparable. Forget Hanniabal Lecter, this is Anthony Hopkins really acting - brave, loyal, demented, vengeful, fearful and fearsome. You can catch it on YouTube but this really deserves as close to the full cinematic blast as you can get. At the very least turn the volume up for the opening - Titus Opening .

Friday, 21 January 2011

As You Sow

Another proud day for the British body politic. Blair appears before the Iraq Commission and makes a spirited defence of his conduct which amounts to what we all suspected in the first place, that he knew best, that he still knows best, that there are times when men of destiny such as he have to act for the global good. He's not bullshitting you know - he genuinely believes this stuff. Blow by blow account at Iraq Enquiry

Meanwhile back on earth the Downing Street Director of Communications resigns because the publicity about what he might have known when he was editor of The Geriatric Wankers' Weekly is preventing him from giving the required '110%' to his job - Coulson Goes - Leaving aside the puerile drivel involved in stating that any job can require more than 100% effort (one had rather hoped that only footballers went in for this sort of crap) we have the distasteful sight of a man losing his job for something he denies he did (with Ed Milliband lobbing in some sanctimonious tripe from the sidelines) because of the malign hold our gutter press has over public sensibilities. Irony of ironies, this is the lynch-mob mentality which Coulson and his tribe have created in the first place. In a development you really couldn't make up I read that one of the celebrities taking legal action against Coulson's former organ is the parasite's parasite Max Clifford. If ever a legal action deserved to be ruled a nil-nil draw with each side bearing its own huge costs, this must be it.

And yet there is more. Alan Johnson comes across as a thoroughly decent sort of bloke, so of course he has lasted about three minutes as shadow chancellor and retreats to the back benches to rescue what is left of his dignity. Johnson Quits In his place comes the snarling Ed Balls to take on the oleaginous George Osborne. Another scoreless draw would seem the best one can hope for. Just to top it all Coulson's resignation is cynically timed to coincide with Blair giving evidence. These knob heads never learn do they.

Still, look on the bright side. I signed my tax return today and according to that I am due a small refund. Let joy be unconfined as I prepare to kick-start the economy with my £330.  I bet I'll make a better fist of it than successive governments. 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Back On The Chain Gang

I've been away too long. All that December blogging wore me out, but now I'm back and the Beast remains untamed. He has a new tune ringing in his ears which he wants to share with you. He heard it on Radio 2 (alright, calm down at the back it's not that bloody funny) in the small hours of a wakeful night and here it is:



New year resolutions - I usually keep these to myself and casually ignore them but this time around I'm going to share them cryptically and you can try to guess what they are. If I actually manage to complete some of these tasks I will reveal all and we can have a jolly old vitual party on the interweb thing. All of my resolutions have numbers attached to them. The numbers are

one
four
eight
twenty
thirty-seven
one half

Ok folks step away from the enlarged colourful font please, nothing to see here. Yet.

To be quite honest 2011 has not got off to a great start. All has been well with me but the world is still going to hell in a handcart. Vince Cable is still in government. Some Americans apparently take Sarah Palin seriously. Even worse they like Piers Morgan. Biffo ('Big Ignorant F***** From Offaly) is still running what is left of the show once known as Ireland. Alex Salmond has been on Desert Island Discs. The producers of The Archers blew a perfectly good opportunity to kill the tiresome Helen and her poor benighted infant and instead pushed good old Nigel off the roof at Lower Loxley. Lewis Moody is injured and will miss the start of the Six Nations. I have quite unjustly put on weight and strained my hamstring. Vince Cable is ... sorry already said that.

Predictions for the year, O wise one, I hear you cry. Well since you goaded me here goes: myriad Liberal Democrats will continue to suffer political altitude sickness, some will ignore advice, look down and promptly fall off and land on Simon Hughes; England will win the Six Nations; New Zealand will finally win RWC again and Richie McCaw will go to heaven where he will immediately be sin-binned by St Peter for entering from the wrong side; I will pull my hamstring again; the Euro will implode/contract; The asset bubble in China will burst and my investment in India (which I keep meaning to make but never get round to) will look wise; Obama and Cameron will continue to refine the art of the platitude whilst doing very little of any import; finally and justifiably I will still be just as bloody cynical by the year end.

But you know what? My wife still loves me (at least she said she did this morning) and that is quite sufficient to last me several lifetimes. May you be as lucky.