Monday, 2 February 2009

The Monday blog

2nd February 2009

Well I have made it to week 2. I have managed to keep procrastination at bay for another week but I make no promises that I will be here next week. 

This week I will mostly be talking about the Catholic Church reinstating a British bishop who has denied aspects of the holocaust. Richard Williamson has recently claimed in an interview that historical evidence was hugely against 6 million having been deliberately gassed, the maniac went on to say that he thought there were no gas chambers. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a day or 2 ago Pope Benedict XVI promoted an Austrian pastor to bishop. The pastor in question said that he thought hurricane Katrina was divine retribution for the tolerance of homosexuality and a general seediness that they think exists in New Orleans. He also thinks that the Harry Potter books amount to Satanism. 

Thank god I’m an atheist.

And while we are talking about homosexuality there is the controversy, lapped up by the Daily Mail, about a gay couple adopting the children of a recovering heroin addict. According to Richard, or dick as I like to call him, Littlejohn in the Daily Bile, they are being ‘stolen’ and given to 2 gay men. The ‘lyrical’ scribblings of these journos would love us to picture a pair of gay child catchers, stalking children with big nets and making their prisoners live a sinful life, growing up with a sixth sense about how to dress and a taste for musicals. If it hadn’t been for the parents contacting the Mail, they’d have got away with it too, Dick says. So wait a minute, the mail received a telephone call from the parents of a recovering heroin addict about her kids being ‘stolen’ by a couple of gay men. Within seconds the headline writers had 2 headlines ready to go, depending on which way it went or how Dick felt that day. ‘Scottish Gays abduct children’ or ‘Junkie Mother loses Kids’. Win win then. After a vote in the office (picture the staff at the offices all standing upright with one arm raised, jutting out in front of them) they decided that heroin was old news but those pesky gays were getting above their station, I mean where will this madness end, they will be wanting jobs at the Mail next, trying to get an alternative lifestyle section in the paper.

The story is that the mother of the kids is a recovering heroin addict and the grandparents, at 46 and 59, were judged too old and too ill (Angina and diabetes). The grandparents were understandably devastated but agreed to the children being adopted by another couple, on the basis they would be brought up by a loving mother and father figure, which could have just as easily read loving parents. I am still trying to decide whether the Mail are just looking out for the best interests of the children or if they have some anti-gay agenda. No brainer for me. 

Another hack at the Bile described the legalisation of homosexuality in 1967 as a ‘decent attempt to be tolerant towards a minority lifestyle.’ How jolly decent of us to tolerate them.

In Police news, Sir Paul Stephenson (Why are these people always knights, can we expect Elton John as the next chief of the armed forces? Can you imagine the Mail’s take on that?) has been appointed the new commissioner of the Metropolitan police force, the top job in British law enforcement and guess what he said is his top priority? That's right, reducing crime. Call me niggardly (“You can't say the ‘N’ word!!”) when it comes to dishing out compliments but if the top police officer in the country has to announce that his goal is to reduce crime then I think he is a bit of cretin and we had better introduce someone with a few more ideas, maybe Elton.

On a more personal note there were a few things, amongst the many hundreds, that wound me right up this week.

People who go to the gym. Even though I’m one of them, I think we all need to get a life. Not that I am against exercise you understand, far from it but running, cycling and general health and fitness can be got in the great outdoors. Of all the many gym goers around, I specifically think people who pay about 50 quid a month to go to a gym and walk are f’ing stupid. People who just run are bad enough but walkers, what the f**k are they thinking? Maybe being able to tell people you go to the gym everyday and not strictly be a liar, carries some kind of kudos. But the ones that get right on my wick are the people who go and read whilst walking; propping up a magazine on a treadmill really shouldn’t constitute exercise. If you can read whilst exercising then surely you’re not doing it right!

British quiz shows also annoy me. University challenge, 15 to 1, Mastermind, Egg Heads and to a certain extent Who Wants to be a Millionaire and the Weakest Link show a certain level of intelligence (or in the case of the Weakest Link, an unintelligence) but games of chance, games like Golden balls and Noel's pick a box game are simply an opportunity for numptys to show the kind of outpouring of emotion over money, usually reserved for funerals or the birth of children. 

Traditional quiz shows, as mentioned at the start, usually have no cash reward, just the kudos of being Mastermind of Great Britain etc. Who wants to be a millionaire is the exception, but to get to the million you really have to know your stuff. The others, where the greediest or the luckiest walk home with a sack full of money, are symptomatic of a greedy and sick society that wants everything but doesn’t even want to answer a question to get it. I don’t watch them regularly but have obviously seen enough of them to boil my blood. When I do watch them, usually because they happen to be on in the room in which I’m sitting, I hope and pray for one thing and that is of course that all of the greedy bastards walk away penniless and heart broken. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with a society that wants, nay needs money so bad that they figuratively stab each other in the back. The most recent Golden balls, and the last I will subject myself to for a long while, saw a young, attractive blonde woman steal 77 grand from a lollipop lady dressed like David Essex's wardrobe had thrown up on her. What was the gypsy grannies response? She called the greedy young thing a bitch and later said she hoped that bad luck came with the money and ended by telling her to ‘f off’. She played the part of a child friendly lollipop lady who couldn’t possibly lie on TV when it suited her and true to her word, she opted to split the money at the end and lost as the young girl shafted her. I’m sure the kids she crosses across the road and their parents would have been less than happy to hear their crossing lady turning medieval on the young girl, wishing her ill and using language that should really have prompted Mr Carrot to apologise to all the kids watching who would be scared to cross the road tomorrow.

The penultimate anecdote, if that’s what it is, is a more personal story.

My father is a creature of habit. He always has been and he will never, ever change. Seeing as he is now 70 years old, he won’t get too many opportunities to change. He point blank refuses to wash the mug he drinks tea from. I wash it because after even a day it is almost black with tea stains and I cannot bear to even look at it. The situation is not helped by the fact that he leaves the teabag in the cup for the duration of the drink and even until the next time he makes a cup of tea. But even he has surpassed himself this time for sheer peculiarity.

In a previous blog post I talked about the phenomena of 'sidewalk shopping'. The pastime favoured by North Americans that consists of picking up and taking home items of rubbish. Recently I experienced a similar incident a little closer to home.                              

There is a running joke in my family about my father and the fact that he loves a bargain. It is often said that he would buy dog food if it were reduced in price, made ludicrous of course by the fact that we don't have a dog. He shuffled up the path a few days ago and I met him to unload his trolley. He is 70 now and struggles to bend over, never mind carry bags of shopping from the door to the kitchen. 'Be careful, there are eggs in there' he said of one of bags. It turned out that he had somehow managed to acquire 4 eggs in a plastic food bag. I transpired that a woman had dropped a box of 6 eggs outside the supermarket and just left them and went on her way. He salvaged the 4 unbroken eggs, presumably going into the supermarket to get a food bag.

He has for some time had a reputation for hoarding crap that comes from newspapers and magazines, but he can now add collector of food items from the floor outside supermarkets. Just like the boy who cried wolf, he gets the blame for everything strange, useless or both strange and useless that turns up in my mother’s house. An erroneous single glove sat on the settee yesterday and my mother looked at me and said 'He didn’t find and bring home a single glove did he?’

He didn’t but he could have.


Finally President 44’s weekly addresses

Firstly I should probably say why I’m writing this at all but the simple truth is that I care about Obama, I am interested and I want to know what is going on, as much out of curiosity as a concerned citizen of the world. What happens in the US will affect me, in one way or another and I want to be on the inside track. And he seems like a nice bloke, better than the last guy anyway.

So far ‘44’ has addressed the nation twice and you can watch the videos or read the addresses on the Whitehouse’s website. The first didn’t start too well however as he looks like he is actively reading an auto cue and therefore not looking at me, not that he should look at me, not being American and all, but the his public would also surely get that strange sensation that he is talking to someone behind you. It makes him look a bit shifty but then we know he’s not, don’t we?

Anyway he said that efforts into alternative energy sources will be doubled over the next 3 years but I wonder if that will mean signing up to the Kyoto protocol? The entire nation’s health records will also be computerized in an attempt to streamline the system I should think. This is undoubtedly a good thing but surely the country that spawned Microsoft, Apple and all those cool Pixar films should be able to accomplish this in a matter of hours shouldn’t they?

Americans can go to a newly created website,, to see exactly where tax payer’s dollars are spent. A great idea and one I would very much welcome in the UK, especially if I could track exactly where my tax money is spent ( wow, I see I bought 3 rolls of wall paper for an office in the house of lords last year, I wonder if they liked it?)

At the end of the first broadcast he said ‘Thanks for listening’, a very nice Jerry Springer touch that made me believe that he cared and was genuinely thankful that I, a British citizen, had listened. Apparently he didn’t care at the end of the second broadcast, well he didn’t say thank you, let’s put it that way.

The second video had a few odd cuts that jumped from a mid shot to a more close up shot of his face. Made the whole thing a bit like a max headroom video and I don’t think it will be long before people start cutting up these clips and re ordering his words for comic effect, or possibly more sinister motives.

The second video was shorter than the first and I hope that isn’t a sign of things to come, the man is a good speaker and I actually found myself thinking I would email some American friends to congratulate them again on doing the right thing.

Maybe once a month would have been better but then what would I have to look forward to on Saturday mornings?


And to finish, a few quickies

Cancer is really rubbish.

Neil Ruddock is a prat.

I have just re-realised that only fools and horses is a fantastic program


D H Lawrence was 42 when he wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover. So there is hope for all of us.


Oh and I am well aware that this blog was longer than last weeks and that isn’t a sign of things to come, they shall not be getting longer every week, much like 44’s videos wont keep getting shorter. Shorter next week.

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