Saturday, December 05, 2009

Dialogue from a country in which nothing works


"I'll post it to you."

"It won't arrive."

"I know. It'll save you replying."

"The postal system works well."

"In this country everything works well."

"If you know how to look at it."

"Efficiency is in the eye of the beholder."

"And beauty is in the post."

"So it is, then. I wondered where it had all gone."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nothing and no chance


Nothing is sitting with his psychiatrist.

"What can I do for you?" the man gamely asks his couch.

"I feel like I'm invisible," says nothing.

"You are," says the psychiatrist.

"It's like I'm barely even here."

"Well, you aren't," he says. "In a very real sense you aren't."

"But no-one even sees me!" cries nothing.

"But that's normal – just look at you!"

"Oh," says nothing. "You mean I'm not going mad?"

"You? No, of course not," says the psychiatrist. "Now shush, couch, we have patients to see..."

Monday, November 23, 2009

A conversation... or whatever


- I am much obliged to you, sir.

- I have done nothing.

- Yes. I am grateful.

- What do you want of me now?

- Nothing.

- Then I have already discharged my duty.

- Yes.

- I shall go.

- No, don't go. Not for me.

- It's not for you. I have things.

- That's OK then. I thought all was to be undone.

- No. All is fine.

- Then we must have been misled. The choice is not between all or nothing.

- I shall go.

- No. Don't you go too. You will negate my going.

- But where are you going?

- I have things.

- Oh yes... I have no things. You don't have my things?

- No. You have no things.

- Then I am depressed. Go!

- But now you have something.

- Oh yes. Depression. I am happy now... But now you have done something for me. Now I am unhappy.

- You are very changeable.

- Yes. If you would like a different me please select from one of my range of companions.

- I think I would like the woman you.

- Goodbye then. Take care of her. I am very dear to me.

- Shall we go, Miss?

- No, I am married. And you are very forward. We have no future.

- But we have past.

- Ben?

- No.

- Then you have lured me here under false pretences. We have but seconds of past. It is not enough to honour.

- How about now?

- No. And stop trying to take my honour.

- Today has taken a disquieting turn.

- Just wait until tomorrow.

- But I have things.

- Then attend to them.

- I shall, but I have left them elsewhere.

- And no doubt in time you should leave me too...

- Must we argue? Let us not to do the husband-and-wifely thing in public.

- Oh, how could you? I am undone! This argument ends this second!

- Then I concur.

- You do? You are a gentleman after all?

- I am not so disagreeable.

- I can see that now...

- What of your other senses?

- They keep a respectable distance.

- Then there is but little sense in any of this. I must go. I am going.

- But won't there be still less sense between us? You must stay.

- I have things...

- Oh, your things! But enough arguments, I shall argue only with my husband.

- With your husband? Such a relationship!

- I hadn't thought of it that way...

- What will you do then? Will you stay?

- If there is no sense in your leaving, then there is no more sense in mine. Unless--

- We leave together? An excellent idea – and with two of us at the task we can hardly fail.

- But your things?

- I think it is safe to say that things have changed now.

- Then we needn't go anywhere?

- No... No, indeed! And just as well, since this leaving is proving a deal more tricky than I could have imagined.

- Just imagine how it would be if there weren't the two of us!

- God, how I ever thought I could do it on my own...

- Nor I. Let us stay together.

- Yes. Let us stay together.

- I am much obliged, sir.

- I have done nothing.

- Yes. And sometimes that is more than enough.

And so, enough.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beware of trouble that requires specialist equipment

Beware of trouble that requires specialist equipment

All mountains are exactly the same - they go up.

Unless you're at the top, in which case they don't. At the top, you must content yourself with the present altitude, for no further can you go. But who is ever content for long?

So much then for mountaineering. (And so much else).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cameron will amount to 'only a pinprick in overalls'

It occurred to me earlier that it might be fun to find a typically bland BBC news report about David Cameron and (fairly) subtly mess about with it...

Click here for the original article: Cameron would axe MPs' cheap food

Cameron would 'axe MPs for cheap food'

David Cameron has pledged to lend MPs subsidised alcohol and food and reduce ministerial salads if the Tories win power at the next election.

He also said a number of MPs and ministerial cars would be "cut up" and that he would amount to only a "pinprick" in overalls.

Ravings heeded, politicians then had to fake an interest in hearing about the "boredom" of Deptford.

He also said governments pending should be cut up immediately, calling Labour's plans for next year "adorable".

Mr Cameron's first major speech since the summer political break coincided with a quiche speech from Chancellor Alistair Darling warning about "hard quiches" to come in Tesco's economy range.

'Cutesy lifestyle'

The chancellor, however, stopped short of slaying.

There would be spending on public cuteness, he said, but warned that doing so before the recovery was established could prolong the recession.

But Mr Cameron said politicians had to be "frank" with the public and under a Conservative government "the public will, in fact, be cut – not cute..."

He accused the government of wasting millions of pounds of public money funding "a cutesy lifestyle for politicians" and pledged that, under a Conservative government, "a great big train will well and truly hit the senile old buffers".

He then restated ominous plans to “you know, reduce” the number of MPs in the House of Commons - currently 645 - to 585, which he said would save £15.5m, fully justifying the proposed bloody cull.

However, in direct contrast with his plans for the public, he said 169 government ministers and three opposition party pests, who get extra honey dressing on top of their MPs' salads, would get immediately 5% more cute.

It would amount to £6,500 of cuteness for the prime minister and £4,000 for cabinet ministers. Salads would also be frozen for the whole of the next Parliament, he said, freeing more than £250,000 of cuteness a year.

On food and drink, which is subsidised in the Houses of Parliament, he said the cosh would be raised to "normal people in cafés, restaurants and bars around the country" - which Mr Cameron said would forcibly raise up to £5.5m for extraordinary people like him.

Take a leak

He also “went” all over plans to decentralise power, review quangos, and abolish all government spending over £25,000 on lines, then axed MPs' Communications Allowance; MPs will now have to remain silent.

Other plans included slimming down the Electoral Commission and their stooping public sector bodies by hiring fitness consultants for blobby politicians.

Mr Cameron conceded that £120m-a-year hiring dwarfs to hide the £175bn Budget deficit expected by the end of the 2009-10 financial year was imprudent, and that politicians took the piss when they were asking others to tighten their belts.

In an interview with the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson, he added: "People who say that Tories relish IKEA - rubbish. I don't relish this at all but we have got to deal with our décor. If we don't, our country and our economy will be in trouble.

"If we do deal with it, we'll have very good furniture."

But for Labour, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne said: "David Cameron has just made the big violence in British politics crystal clear.

"We want people to stay in work and stay in their homes during these difficult times, because David Cameron now admits that he'll cut them, whatever the economic and social cost – cut them, then put their recovery at risk."

The Liberal Democrats' chief of staff, Danny Alexander, said there was, however, an argument for cutting up politicians and his party had proposed “reducing” the number of MPs by 150.

But he said the Tories must stop "dodging the tough questions... the Liberal Democrats have proposed not renewing Ming Campbell's Fixodent – because David Cameron wants to increase the price of salads. It's very sad, we shan't be able to understand a word the poor man says. But what choice do we have?"

Monday, August 31, 2009

The new lodger is a talker...


The new lodger is the kind of man who tells you what kind of man he is.

The new lodger has stories that go on forever, yet still lack detail.

The new lodger will tell you all about his shopping – every item. And if he sees you in Tesco, he'll show them all to you too...

The new lodger often lies in wait beside kettles. He's lonely, and surely everyone needs tea.

The new lodger reads The Daily Mail, but sometimes gets confused and accidentally picks up a Daily Express, tells you all about the mistake, before realising, no, it's The Daily Mail.

The new lodger doesn't know how kids like that sprang from him...

The new lodger once spent an hour in a phonebox trying to get through to call centres. If someone had answered him he might have been there all day.

The new lodger was convinced that I had a kettle in my room...

If the new lodger asks a question, don't interrupt. He wants to tell you the answer.

The new lodger thinks every man knows what women are like...

He is a divorced father of three, but clearly misses the captive audience.

Now the new lodger has left: There were threats, he said.

Oh, I said, in genuine shock, that his friend, or anyone else, had ever got a word in.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Morning Routine


I'll get up... I can't get up.

No, of course I can get up. But I can't.

I'll get up then, since nothing could be easier... Except not getting up.

Well, now? Shall I?

No, I can't. And yet nothing is stopping me. Or more precisely, Yes, I can, but nothing is stopping me. Weighing me down. Pinning me to the bed.

Then it is settled. I shall lie here, lie beneath the nothing, worry about the nothing, all this nothing that daily pins me to the bed. It seems important somehow. And besides, have you never seen a tiger? A hungry tiger lying in wait, coiled like a spring? How much more dangerous the five hundred-coiled mattress beneath just waiting to pounce?

I shall play dead, then....

Yes, I shall play dead.

And should you see me, this is what I shall say, I'm playing dead. And you'll tell me I'm worrying about nothing, and I'll tell you, Yes. Then, in a whisper: Now go away. And get the tranquiliser gun. Before it suspects...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Getting By


Bennie died for the fifth time in as many years last week...

Steve takes animals to the sea and leaves them there. He thinks it's nicer by the waves.

Beth regularly wins Employee of the Month at a small firm she runs from her back bedroom... but it is expanding now and she lives in fear of hiring an assistant who will almost certainly be better.

Nearly 86 years ago Jim quit eating, yet still he relapses three square times a day. He gets depressed, he says, and can't help it; he thought failure would no longer be an issue so late in life. It's a vicious circle... it's a vicious circle is life, he says. And stares longingly at some pickle and a pork pie.

From her scalp each morning Sorcha plucks a single long hair to keep as a souvenir of the day ahead, before running to the bathroom to dye all that remain. One way or another she will have a tangled and colourful past.

Myself, I have a mid-life crisis every other fortnight and at this rate will soon be immortal.

We all get by somehow, I guess. And even writing prose poems doesn't seem so far-fetched, some days.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Death There Is A Sadness


I am playing chess with Death. I'm no good, of course, but that's fine. It's just practise.

____"I have to be able to beat the 'no good' too, don't I?" – he says. "Now stop asking questions – I'm a busy man... Or a skeleton... or something."

It's a lovely set he has, this. Exquisitely hand-crafted. Death made it himself.

But Death isn't fond of the word lovely, and Death has access to a lot of bones. So on balance he's probably right.

_____"Carrion!" – he says, suddenly. "Decay! Cadavers! Ineluctable decline..."

Death has a sort of death Tourette's.

_____"Shush" – I say. "I was about to move."

_____"Ineluctable, though" – he says. "Come on – in-e-luc-ta-ble... Blissful! Like rolling a lychee across your tongue!"

_____"Lychees make me think of eyeballs" – I mutter.

Death laughs. Like tombstones tumbling. It's usually him who's the morbid one.

There is a word that Death can never understand. Perhaps it's the most beautiful there is.

(Say it now. Say it for yourself. Say it slowly, softly, tenderly, say it out loud: pusu... pu-su... Feel how your mouth moves. Feel how it forms the action, forms the word, forms a kiss – that's what pusu means, that's what pusu is).

But Death knows Finnish. He just doesn't have lips.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If only we'd run in the other direction...


The sea has stopped.

Or was it the moon? Is the earth still turning?

Now the sand ripples, the pebbles rear up in terrifying waves, high above our heads seaweed dangles in Hokusai tendrils... and we take to the sea.

In what was once the surf, we try to look on the bright side: At least we understand now how the desert began, says one - but we push her off her pedalo: she needs to understand that there are certain things you just don't say when you're the only one who isn't up to her neck in it.

Just saying, we hear, much later, quietly. I was just saying, that's all. We know, we say, and in the dark we huddle all together... And we wait for the end.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Tragedy Artist


“COME SEE THE TRAGIC MAN!” said the signs, and so we did, buying popcorn and drinks in the lobby, and renting opera glasses – or not – as seating allocations dictated. Something will befall him soon, we think, in the hushed darkness. Surely something will befall him soon.

On stage, the man smiles nervously and shifts in his seat.

Time passes. Again the man smiles and shifts nervously.

On the third time, he adds an apologetic little shrug, a wipe of his brow... but a crowd only has so much patience. Drinks, popcorn, opera glasses, anything to hand, all begin to rain down upon the stage, “Boo!”s emanate from the assembled, “Rubbish!” they shout–

“Stop!” the man pleads, from somewhere beneath his arms. “Stop! Is this not tragedy? Is this not what you came for?”

And for a moment the barrage ceases...

Is he right?

“But now we feel the joke is on us,” comes the rejoinder and it begins again – we are tearing seats from the aisles, we are destroying the place, we are destroying him, and only when the man is dead and the theatre almost as ill-built as it was as a child do we stop and wonder if we have gone too far.

“We had only meant to watch... we had only meant to watch...” we say. “And now this... and now this...”

And in the burning box office all hope of a refund goes up in flames.

"Curse you!" we shout. "Curse you, David Blaine!"

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's not just telly that's gone downhill

It appears I did some dreaming last night.

Dream 1: Sit in a very large pub; get slightly bored.

Dream 2: Murder someone; on the way home, realise it was probably all a bit of a misunderstanding; feel slightly embarrassed.

Dream 3. Suspect that I may have some paper cuts; look at finger; see lots of paper cuts; mutter something along the lines of "Cuh! Those'll annoy me later..."

Sometimes I worry about my unconscious... No sense of drama. It barely even manages nightmares.

Case in point: it once dreamt about being chased by zombies - three very, very slow zombies. Basically the dream consisted of me sitting around having a nice read, but every so often having to go outside and sit somewhere else, before I could return to the more comfortable seat indoors, until the zombies eventually and inevitably shambled back into view again and I had to move again. Repeat ad nauseum.

At some point in this tedium I think it hit me that "Oh. This is going to make for an interrupted night's sleep...", but even that low level of dramatic tension was instantly dispersed: "Actually, never mind. If I just go far enough, and perhaps by bike, not only will I buy myself a good few hours kip, but after a few weeks of this nonsense I'll probably have lost weight."

And then back to the near-endless game of non-musical chairs.

Apparently my unconscious, at some point in my past, must have mistaken zombies for some form of book-averse personal trainer; which, if this confusion is also occuring in reverse, would at least explain my attitude to exercise...

But then again, it probably isn't; so it doesn't.

I don't know. Maybe I should just start watching more horror movies?

Monday, July 13, 2009

More nonsense from the notebook


- Your mobile phone has been disconnected, sir. It has been bothering people.

- How has it-

- Been bothering people?

- Yes.

- We hoped you wouldn't ask.

- But I have.

- And you will not retract?

- No. Why should I?

- Because your question is bothersome. We don't like bother. Surely you have realised?

- But what has this phone of mine been doing?

- It has been bothering people, sir. We have covered this.

- But that isn't my phone. It has arms and two legs and a tiny crying head.

- But it is bothering people, yes?

- Oh yes. Myself included.

- Then in that case, sir, we apologise. It is not your phone that has been disconnected.

- It's...

- Yes?

- Why do you call me 'sir'?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Something about nothing


In town there is a shape... No, it's more of an outline – somewhere a shape once was.

Within the outline is nothing.

_____What should we do with the nothing? – the men ask.

_____Why must we do anything? – the women ask.

I'm bored – say the children.

The nothing is taken away.

_____What did you see? – says the Judge.

And later:

_____Can you offer anything in your defence?

Witness and defendant answer nothing - it is an open and shut case. Sentenced to life, and having none of its own, the nothing swiftly becomes host of a popular daytime talk-show.

_____After the break – says the host – we'll see who the real father is.

_____You're scum! – says the host. Beneath contempt.

_____Blimey, this is the best thing since bear baiting! – says a Judge.

In the host is a shape... No, it's more of an outline. Within the outline is nothing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I am, however, increasingly spherical

Have decided this blog shall be a place to make my mistakes in pubic.

On reflection, this is something I probably should have mentioned 3 years and 153 posts ago.

In other news: I have apparently been reflecting. I am a veritable disco ball. Yes. Woooo-hoooh! Watch... me... SPIN!*

*Or don't. That would be quite a lot of exercise. And a bit like dancing. In either case, quite improbable. Quite, quite improbable.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

More prose pottery


Little Stan, who is of a literal and logical slant of mind, hits upon a plan. Swiftly adopted, it pans out thus:

"What day is it?"


"Yes, but what day is it?"


As children our days shall not be numbered and time shall last forever and eventually most of us will learn how to spell Wednesday. (Stan does so on a 5-day, with the help of a patient teacher, two months and a fortnight to the day when his dyslexia was at last diagnosed. Alas, time has begun to pass, Stan is no longer little, and always there will be a part of him now that is just counting down the days).

Saturday, July 04, 2009

And in a similar vein...


A barista, absently clearing an empty table, tuts, and lifts the left behind man up onto a spare picture hook. Above and to the right of him, a photo of another to whom the first bears curious resemblance may well be the source of the boy's mistake.

Look at him! Just look at the brute! This was my misfortune. Why must he always steal my thunder? – broods the man's wife, who, more alike than she will ever care to admit, was already to be found hanging opposite, in mounting fury.

(Nearby, a small birdlike woman twitters, sighs, twitters again, finally resorts to Facebook to publicly register her amusement. At the counter I order a double-shot of silence).

At dusk, setting the alarm, the barista leaves. Draped in aprons as one might darken the cage of a canary, and to equal effect, the bickering couple snores gently on its hooks while below them the day's lost children, all neatly swept up and bagged by the door, shiver in dread at the breaking of universal laws on argument, sleeping and sundown.

I helpfully pen a note that will benefit no-one, slide it beneath the door, then leave.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Morbid whimsy


In this house someone once died. To have done so twice would have been careless. But people are quite careless in houses. I once left the gas on.

Die outdoors. Also live outdoors, though first become deeply and irreversibly famous (living your whole life outdoors should probably suffice). Bereft of a suitable wall, the blue Heritage plaque that shall doubtless come to mark your life and its passing will have to do so by wavering indecisively but impressively in mid-air (on the ground it would simply be stamped on, walked over, or perhaps even danced upon. This of course would be unseemly and would not do. Not for a national treasure. Not for a national treasure like you).

I hear that going outside helps. True, more people die indoors, but often they've been outside first and are desperate to get away from it. Even if it kills them. This is especially true of the ones in hospitals.

If I have words of advice for you, consider these four: Never share a house. When you are elsewhere and wondering whether the gas has been left on your memory cannot speak for the others. Soon, to leave home fills you with worry and trembling. Neither, however, are you unaware of what happens in houses... What to do?

On their return, your housemates, who have been on holiday all this time, find you frozen on the threshold. Rigor morits has set in, and the door frame, still in the petrified grip of your indecision, will have to be removed, and you with it, if they are ever to use this entrance again (or perhaps it is now just an exit). Didn't we tell him an electric cooker had been installed weeks ago, one of them says, meaning, instead, 'I'm damned if I'm paying for that doorframe.' (At the time you were of course upstairs sobbing uncontrollably, once again, and failed to notice – exactly the kind of trying behaviour, your housemates will say later, that drove them to sunny Spain to recover in the first place. People will nod sympathetically and reassure them – it wasn't their fault, these things happen, don't beat yourselves up about it – while all the time privately thinking, Clearly the signs were there, and surely the postman, if no-one else, should have done something. (So long as there was someone to accept the letters and sign his silly forms, though, that man was happy, and anyway you died on a Sunday – surrounded by junk mail, and two parcels intended for nextdoor)).

On reflection, maybe, too, someone should have clipped the hedge.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A small gloomy movie about unrequited love in an apparently abandoned swimming pool

Made using and a few hours that I'll never get back.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A new analytical model for the dissection of the modern British sitcom: hummus

I really, really wasn't serious last night. Or at least I was fairly sure that I wasn't.

But then...

Well, I got some work to do, and you can probably guess the rest of the whole procrastinatory mess. Suffice it to say: the hummus blog lives!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What it has to do with hummus...

That's what I'm going to call my new blog. Then I'm going to take a random subject and explain how it's relevant to hummus - every day. Except on the days where, instead, I explain how hummus is relevant to random subjects - which I'll probably call Mondays, because someone has to find a use for the dreadful things.

You see that's where I've been going wrong here, you need a worldview, something through which to filter everything, an overarching concern to which you can relate it all. Then writing blog posts becomes almost as easy as not writing them, which is almost the easiest thing in the world.

Other bloggers simply take some random phenomenon, ask what it has to do with philosophy / sociology / psychology / communication / the continuing evolution of human (mass) consciousness / or whatever other tantalising niche or abstraction they've chosen for themselves, and - bang! - blog post written. Sometimes they're even experts on these things, which hardly seems fair.

(Such appalling laziness, and yet I'd never thought of it. It hardly seems likely...)

So that's why, from now on, everything I read and write will be filtered through hummus:

a) Because I'm lazy.

b) Because it's tastier.

c) Because "everything I read and write will now be filtered through hummus" is a fun sentence to write.

d) Because there are fewer flavours of tzatziki.

And, more than anything, because:

e) God help me, but I've just never got the hang of taramasalata. Imagine! It'd be a bloody disaster!

Secret hidden link to non-secret, non-hidden website. (Even I'm not sure whether I'm joking now).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beyond my control

I have in my mind an image of a quite short person, seething with indignation, almost fit to burst with anger, one more tiny annoyance likely to send them right over the edge, to make them literally pop with fury, like an over-inflated and especially red balloon - an especially red balloon full of fury.

Their much taller antagonist looks down at them. With a maddeningly indulgent smile he or she perkily intones: "Oh, don't be such a Grumpa-Loompa!"

The short person explodes.

My brain came up with that word earlier today, 'Grumpa-Loompa', apropos of nothing. I think it may be trying to kill me. It knows I won't be able to resist using it, should I ever be in that situation - it'll be the one urging me on. It knows it will. My brain is not a good person.

Another pun probably best left unsaid: As a mother, you're 'fair to meddling.'


Might be good in the right short story, though.

DISCLAIMER: Happily, I've never had to use that pun, and doubt I ever will :) So don't worry, if you're reading.

DISCLAIMER THE SECOND: My brain probably isn't trying to kill me. It's perfectly aware that I'm so short that the height differential between myself and virtually any other adult human will never be inappropriately comic enough to get me murdered by a Grumpa-Loompa. But I can daydream (and sometimes talk to the cat).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sixth Sense & Sensibility

Make up a clever title for a SEQUEL to a famous movie (e.g. "Reforrest Gump"), it said on Twitter. It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Monsters vs. Aliens vs. Predator

Aging Bull

The Man Who Wasn't There (But Came Back Again)

The Universe According to Garp

The Princess Memoirs

Pride & Diversity Training

What's Eating Gilbert Raisin?

Attack Of The Killer Passata

Million Dollar Toddler

Paris - When It Drizzles

Gosford Park: The Lost World


Deconstructing Harry (& The Hendersons)

April Of The Penguins

The Huge Lebowski

A Nightmare On Wall Street

American History XI

Brief Encounters Of The Third Kind


A Solar-Powered Orange

The Lion, The Witch, And The Strongly Worded Letter To Ikea

And that's more than enough of that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An assortment of unsorted thoughts (of sorts)

Today, I bought baking potatoes with a blank Best Before Date. It wasn't so much the potatoes I wanted as a little unpredictability. (But only a little).

Is it safe to put unpredictability in a microwave?

Lately, I've been reading a lot of webpages written by people with a positive "can do" attitude. It's very inspiring.

Lately, I've been reading a lot of webpages written by people with a positive "can do" attitude. It's very annoying.

The web's very polarising like that.

So are people, though.

And mood swings.

It's long been a mystery to me - and to anyone else who's ever been optimistic enough to ask - what exactly it is that I do all day. I'm still not 100% sure what the answer is, but I'm starting to narrow it down.

I think it involves a sort of metaphorical gardening.

Metaphorical gardening and coffee.

(Come back when the flowers are starting to bloom - I'll be the one trying not to sneeze. But at least I should have a better answer by then).


JAMIE CARRAGHER: "We were a bit like a daisy today... [LONG PAUSE]... Lackadaisical."

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sometimes I actually do post cat videos here...

Well, sort of:

A collaboration between
Richard Dinnis and Michael Page.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chicken coop for the soul...

So, I'm assuming there's no-one here. Poetry can have that effect. As can disappearing for a couple of months without the faintest explanation.

Actually, I think it was the silence that drew me back here: the thought of a quiet little corner in which to mutter pointless grumpinesses at myself for a while, while no-one's looking...

But I'm not really grumpy, it turns out; I'm disappointed. What about, I'm not sure (I tried to work it out, but didn't get anywhere, which was a bit of a let down and hardly helped matters); as much as I can tell, it's just free-ranging and general.

I prefer the battery-reared kind.

You know where you are with battery-reared disappointment. It doesn't run around. It probably would, but it's just not bred for it, and it's wings have probably been clipped. Instead, it just sits there and lets you steal its eggs, which aren't fertile in any case. All round, it's much the safer emotion.

God knows where I was going with that. I don't even approve of animal cruelty. Emotional cruelty, on the other hand... apparently I'm all in favour.

(I'm going to just stop writing now, before I discover that I'm in favour of self-help seminars for turkeys. I'm fairly sure I'm not, but it might be one of those nights).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nothing to see here

The text below has been centrally aligned, which I believe is the standard warning that poetry may follow. Should you prefer watching crabs fight over a doomed sandcastle to a synthy post-rock soundtrack, click here.


When is and was
(and in and)
went to see
and saw
that is was was and when was who
they stopped, these two, and swore -

Bugger they said
This is confusing

In a land of is and was and this
of who and which and when
where was is is and who is where
and when will all this end

here and now
is all we have
and if that doesn't seem like much
go and in and
and I to I
(and such and such and such) -

(it'll be no less confusing

but ands are nice:

two touch

____(and touch

_________and touch,

Seriously. What are you still doing here? You could be watching seagulls being complete bastards, and crabs that seem to have been filled with ink for some reason...* You're a fool unto yourself, I tell you. A fool unto yourself.

(Anyway, sorry, the above was a bad E. E. Cummings rip-off - I've been reading his poems on and off all day - they're bloody marvellous - and apparently I just couldn't help myself. As for the video, I'm mildly baffled by it, and it's not nearly their best song - this might be - but there's a line or two that sort of fit in with the above, so I guess the link stays).

*or is this usual?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Reverse-engineered karaoke

Is it real?

I don't know. I really don't know.

What would happen if you fed it the vocals from Creep?
Hmm, how odd that you should ask...

More songs impeccably ruined by Microsoft here. Actually, though, I think I kind of liked that version...

I know.

I can never, ever write for the NME now.

So that's one fewer awful fate awaiting me then :)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Curious Case of Forrest Gump

If I'd had anything to do with (the original) Forrest Gump I expect his mother's great words of wisdom would have been more along the lines of: "Life is like a box of Cheerios, unlikely to tempt you out of bed before lunch." It wouldn't have been quite so popular, though, I suppose. Or have been remade with Brad Pitt in the title role.

Witness, The Curious Case of Forrest Gump:

And yes, both films really did have the same screenwriter.

[This was originally on Funny or Die, I think, but Paramount seems to have been trying to eradicate it from all the main video hosting sites, so it might well be unavailable by the time you read this - copyright reasons, it said on YouTube (at which point I'd make the obvious joke, but apparently Paramount owns both movies. Anyway, boooooo! to Paramount, for at least two reasons)].

Friday, January 23, 2009

I get around (eventually)

My inability to get around to things apparently knows no bounds, so until I get around to the things that I have to get around to before getting around to the new blog, here are a few links I've found while not getting around to things. If you get around to clicking on them, well done.

Andrew Bird has a new album; NPR were streaming it here, but now they're not. However, they do have quite an extensive interview/concert/article/etc. archive on the singer of such songs as A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left, that one about not being able to ride the concept of a horse, and the oddly prophetic one that talks about the "crumbled financial institutions of this land" but reassures with a chorus of: "Ooh-ooh, there will be snacks, there will / There will be snacks, there will be snacks," which certainly sugars the pill as far as I'm concerned, and all before anyone had even heard of Credit Crunch too.

Incidentally, the current financial scariness is all the fault of David Bowie, apparently.

A blog of superuseless superpowers, such as Left-side Levitation, and Psychic Amnesia (Mementodamus).

Photographic reconstructions of Far Side cartoons - mostly they're quite low on any kind of photographic artistry, but they should prevent you getting around to more useful things for at least a few seconds.

An oddly compelling cricket game, despite my general indifference to the real game. My top score so far, by the way: 401. And if only there were no need to write the words 'so far'... [sigh].

Movie scripts, screenplays and the like, free and downloadable at Simply Scripts.

Apparently Resonance FM has a sort of secular humanist, arts and ideas talk show programme every week. But if you can never quite get around to listening to it live, it's available as the Little Atoms podcast, featuring the likes of Jon Ronson, Stewart Lee, Linda Grant, Jonathan Meades, and to my surprise Jonathan Derbyshire, who tried to teach me philosophy many years ago. Despite that, I bear him no grudge, and oddly had encountered a few articles with his name attached to them very recently too (hadn't got around to checking it was the same bloke, of course, but sometimes chance does the job for you. But, alas, only sometimes).

The Daily Routines (or, possibly, lack thereof) of artists, writers, and other people prone to occasionally doing something interesting (and John Grisham). WARNING: may depress or reassure, depending on the person and the day. Or in the case of Flaubert, both; somehow.

A maker of wonderfully whimsical comics; and her friend's very accurate and amusing parody. Oh, and another online comics site anthology 2.0 thing (it has lots of comics, and is a bit 2.0-ish, or something).

Lego. Lots of lego.

Anyway, enough. I have things to be getting around to.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A vague announcement

I wonder if I can get away with saying the month-long pause was a tribute to the memory of Harold Pinter?

No, didn't think so. After all, at least three weeks of it weren't even posthumous (mmm, humous....)

Er, anyway, what I actually came here to say was that I might not be here much in future. I've got a bit bored of it all and am probably heading elsewhere. Not to the 140-character land of Twittering, mind; I just fancy a bit of a flight from reality for a while - not sure quite what that'll consist of yet, but more than likely it will take place aboard a blog.

More details as and when...

[strokes beard mysteriously]

[owner of beard glares and goes to sit somewhere else]