25 August 2010

Wheelie bad idea..

Unless you've been sheltering from the rain in a wheelie bin you cannot have escaped the news this week.

Provided of course that the wheelie bin in which you sought refuge was not unintentionally invaded by Lola, a four year old tabby from Coventry.

Mary Bale (no relation to Mrsslippy) now looks as likely to be asked by her neighbours to feed the cat whilst on holiday as Gary Glitter would be asked to babysit.

As a cat owner and all round animal lover myself, I found what she did completely abhorrent. If someone was to dump Minnie or Busta in a bin, I would certainly seek to discover the culprit, and press charges.

What I wouldn't do is demand their head on a plate. After a good old fashioned witch hunt she has been named and shamed, and Internet forums are alive with the most medieval demands for how her sick actions must be punished.

Nothing like a bit of mob justice to show the uncivilised barbarians of society the wrongs of their ways. The irony is almost palpable.

It's just a shame the angry hordes can't get as worked up over some real crimes in society..

  • Apathy towards the plight of millions of flood victims in Pakistan.
  • News Corp, and its fascist flagship Fox News fanning the flames of racial hatred with it's misinformation and propaganda surrounding the 'Ground Zero Mosque' - which interestingly is neither at Ground Zero, nor a Mosque
  • Turning a blind eye to the Catholic Churches mutual wonky optics regarding allegations of persistent, endemic sexual abuse of minors, as we welcome Pope Benny to the UK in a couple of weeks time.
At least no cats were harmed in any of the above. Perhaps if they were, the public would care more.

Mary Bale will be punished for her crime.

I don't know the women, but she strikes me as someone clearly not right in the head. Lacking any empathy in the first place to do such a thing, and then lacking the insight into the fact that she had done anything wrong. She really claims to not understand what all the fuss was about.

Let the punishment fit the crime. She caused distress to a living creature, which could have died.

She did not set fire to a basket of kittens and use the embers to spit roast a puppy as part of some pagan ritual

Sadly animal abuse happens all the time, either by neglect, or direct action. Let's not make Mary Bale the poster girl for what is wrong with society just because she was caught on camera.

In a moment of madness she faces prosecution, losing her job, and her friends - and it serves her right. Any physical attacks on her, or her property makes us no better than her. An eye for an eye will make us all blind, and an arson for a kitty just wastes the Fire Services time.

She will find it hard to gain re-employment, and will be ostracised not only by her local community, but by the whole country. Shunned and ignored.

As one, we can send her to Coventry - but as previously stated, she already lives there.

And some would say that's punishment enough.

23 August 2010

The Dulwich Defectives

After a brief hiatus of about 4 months where I've been so bored of staring at computer screens all day at work that I just can't be arsed to do it in the evening, I have decided to put pen to paper, or more correctly carpals to keyboard to document a jaunt to London before my aging synapses auto archive it to my minds irreversible recycle bin.

Taking inspiration from the 130th Anniversary of HP Lovecrafts birth, the closest we could get to doing Detective work in Dunwich, was assembling a collection of freaks, geeks and gargoyles to Stoxies stomping ground of East Dulwich and just being wrong.

Prime mission for the day - cricket. Unfortunately due to the ECBs complete incompetence by starting a Test on a Wednesday, and some shocking batting by the home side it was all but over by Day 4 on the Saturday. However there was still the prospect of getting a few hours of entertainment, followed by plenty of booze time.

Myself and Ali trained it from Cambridge to meet Stoxie and Tim already assembled at The Hanover Arms for a prematch warm up drink - soon to be joined by Nick and Stevo and into The Oval to start racking up the pints whilst wondering if the last wicket stand could rack up more runs. A little sweepstake on how many balls England would face was short lived as Broad swiped recklessly at the 3rd ball of the day and as soon as play started, it was back to the pavilion to prepare for a Pakistan run chase.

They were quickly out the blocks, and the chase looked as one sided as Mo Farah legging it after Heather Mills, bludgeoning her with her spare leg as he goes.

As it became more and more apparent that it would be over as soon as it began, the only way to make the most out of the day was going to be to just keep getting the pints in and soaking up the atmosphere.

Seemed atmosphere wasn't the only thing we could soak up, as our section of the crowd became less interested in cricket, and more interested in drinking, and feeding the snake.

I'd never seen a snake at a sporting event before, but the execution was so sublime and simple I'm stunned to be a viper virgin. Simply collect up your empty pint pots in a stack, and feed it by passing it around the stand. Busy hands gather discarded plastic pots adding vertebrae at an exponential rate whilst its head waves ominously several feet above you. Eventually the snake reaches critical mass and it's body collapses, spewing it's innards of warm dregs of Fosters and Pedigree over all and sundry, only to be reborn from its broken body parts.

A phoenix from the flames, or a serpent from the spillages.

Some more incisive bowling from Jimmy and Swanny slowed things down enough to make for a slow painful death, but all over too late to find a local football ground, so instead back to Dulwich, Stoxies local, and Soccer Saturday on the big screen.

What followed was 8 hours of systematic abuse, bullying, and character assassination as each individuals physical and mental flaws were ruthlessly laid bare for the cheap amusement of the others - and it was great.

An extended episode of The Inbetweeners made real, but with 36-37 year olds who have somehow despite holding down responsible jobs and raising families are deep down no better that the 17 year old versions of ourselves sneaking into pubs compiling lists of dream women - some of which remain the same after 20 years despite the fact that some of the women are now world weathered hags, and heavily soiled goods.

Food came courtesy of Stoxies local Mongolian Barbecue joint, which went down just right, as did the drinks which were switched from ale to pitchers of margarita, or as coined by Stevo "Tasty Drink". An accurate description which worked well enough procuring refills in the restaurant, but slightly ambiguous when requested at the next bar, so onto bottled lager it was.

Next up - something we've never done before. We've dabbled in all sorts of nonsense on all day sessions with things getting particularly messy. The full stories of which can only be pieced together using combined flashbacks, and contents of cameras, phones, receipts in wallets, and an absence of all cash money.

What had we never done?

Six men, let loose in the big city with a weekend pass from six very trusting ladies?

Six men with a combined track record of some of the most debauched puerile shennanigans?

What's left to do?

An early night....

We went home before 11...

No late licenses, no clubs, no titty bars, no casinos, no roaming the streets naked looking for random trophies to transport home balanced on our heads.

Home - Match of the Day - all tucked up in separate beds by 12.

And if you believe that you'll believe anything.

For which I commend your trust - because sadly, it's true.

23 April 2010

Crash of the Titans

Although not a complete train wreck, there is no denying that the 2010 remake of the Classics classic 'Clash of the Titans' is certainly a multiple car pile up.


Louis Letterier has spoiled it.

I have a very fond recollection of Desmond Davis original, from Ray Harryhausens beautiful stop motion animation, to Vida Taylors beautiful bare arse as she and the young Perseus are washed up on a island at the start of the film.

Harry Hamlin may have been a bit wooden, but his constant look of bewilderment helps endear us to a mortal coming to terms with the fact that he might actually be a God.

Sam Worthington is just shit. In theory he has this 'everyman quality' which is why we have seen him come from nowhere to staring in Avatar, Terminator, and now this. He's cut from the same cloth as countryman Russell Crowe, but unfortunately it's the off cuts at the end of the roll.

From the outset the film veered strongly away from the original, in a plot that just made no sense at times.

In a summary of the 80's classic...

Beautiful Andromeda is engaged to demi-god and son of Godess Thetis, Calibos.
Calibos pisses of Zeus by hunting and killing all but one of his herd of flying horses, so he turns him into a hideous monster. With the wedding off, Thetis puts a curse on Andromeda that no man may marry her without solving a riddle - the answer to which is a ring on her disfigured sons hand.
Cue Harry Hamlin. He fancies a bit of Andromeda action, so connives to solve the riddle, and cuts off Calibos' hand.
Calibos now even more pissed off begs his mum to take revenge on Harry/Perseus. She can't because he's Zeus's son, so vows to destroy Andromedas home town instead, by unleashing the Kraken in 30 days unless Andromeda is sacrificed.
Stygian witches and a Medusa later, and the Kraken is dead, and Perseus and Andromeda live happily ever after.

Back to 2010 and it's all a bit different...

Perseus is now pissed off with Zeus's brother Hades for killing his family in a fishing accident.
Hades is pissed off with his brother because Zeus gets to wear ethereal shiny armour, and he has male pattern baldness and has to live in the dingy underworld.
Hades vows to destroy Andromedas home because she has a gobby mother, but we don't really care about her, and neither does Perseus, as he's spotted the much fitter Io, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the also fitter than Andromeda, Gemma Arterton.
Grumpy Perseus and a not so merry band of soldiers head off in search of a way to stop Hades pet sea monster.

Why he doesn't just tell them to go fuck themselves and shack up with Io, I'll never know.

But off they jolly well go, until their path is hampered by Calibos.

Only this time Calibos isn't the son of a Godess, he's King Acrisius - husband of Perseus's mother but not his Dad! Sneaky Zeus had got the Queen up the duff, and Acrisus in a fit of rage chucked his wife and son into the sea in a wooden box at the start of the film...

Via the same route of Stygian witches, Medusa, and a (black) Pegasus we still get to see Perseus defeat the Kraken, and save Andromeda but he doesn't care about her, and neither do we.

Instead we see him reunited with a (killed by Calibos in Act III), Io. Resurrected by Zeus as a 'thanks for bitch slapping my brother - I couldn't be arsed to do it myself', despite the fact that she was apparently immortal anyway....


I want Burgess Merideth, Booboo the mechanical owl, and a Medusa that looks 10 times scarier as a stop motion plasticine monster than as an expensive CGI monstrosity.

I want a Mount Olympus populated by Knights and Dames of the acting world wearing their best togas, not an armoured Irish Zeus with his wrinkles inexplicably airbrushed out.

I don't want post production 3D that just doesn't work. It was no more 3D than a pop up children's book. A layer in the foreground, a layer in the middle distance, and then a back drop. 3D objects are exactly that, 3 dimensionnal. They are not just a couple of 2D objects placed a little distance away from each other.

In some parts it became overly distracting, particularly in close ups where people appeared to be stood in front of a second version of themselves. Peering over the top of the 3D glasses confirmed just that. All the acting (if you can call it that) is strictly 2D, with the CGI effects mashed in to try and give some depth.

Normally when I see a film like this I can take some solace in the fact that it's all just a bit of silly nonsense. Escapist tosh that it really doesn't matter if the plot leaks like the back four at Blundell Park, or the effects are a bit clunky - provided it's fun.

But sadly this is not. It takes itself far too fucking seriously and has all the charm of Piers Morgan, tanked up on WKD Blue, out on the pull in a Cleethorpes nightclub, with Richard Littlejohn as his wingman.

If you've not seen it yet, don't waste your money at the cinema - wait until it's on Sky and watch it as it was shot, in 2D - then yearn for the original, and just be glad they haven't done it to any your other favourites such as The Birds, Death Wish, Gremlins, Robocop, Westworld, Escape From New York, Flash Gordon, The Black Hole.....

...sorry...what's that?...They're ALL IN PRODUCTION AS WE SPEAK?

God in heaven help us.

Because the ones on Mount Olympus are all shit.

13 April 2010

Facebook fatigue 2

I've been a bit quiet lately. Mostly because I've been generally happy with the World, and also because I've been a little bit busy, and a little bit lazy, but today someone annoyed me off and pushed me into a grump that I have to get off my chest.

Not for the first time, I'm pissed off with Facebook, or more's the point, some Facebook users.

Nothing is guaranteed to annoy me more in the morning than logging in to find one of my 'friends' has posted something like

"Why do we send so much money to overseas charities when we have children in the UK going to bed hungry??? Charity should begin at home!!! I bet 90% of people aren't brave enough to copy this post onto their status!!!"

Just like 90% of us aren't brave racist enough to goosestep our way down to the local BNP office wearing our best pointy white hood.

Not only is it pretty rare to see an underfed British child, there really is no reason for children in the UK to go to bed hungry. We have a welfare system that although not perfect, means that children should not starve. If they've got no dinner money, it's probably because they spent it on a shitty polyphonic N Dubz ringtone. If there's no food in the cupboard at home, check how much money Mum has spent on scratch cards and fags, or how much Dad has pissed up the wall.

And isn't it nearly always the same whiny wastes of space that write this shit. The same ones that moan that the council have messed up their benefits, or that they had to wait hours to see a GP., or that their council house isn't good enough.

Easy for me to say I suppose, I'm lucky enough to have a reasonably well paid job and my own home.

I was lucky enough to not bunk off school, and get a few A levels, to train as a nurse where I got a bursary, not a salary or a grant. £1,000 every three months for food and accommodation. Not a university student with a few hours of lectures a week. Full time study, mixed with full time work. Weekends were to either study and write assignments, or work Bank shifts to subsidise my income.

I was lucky enough to qualify saddled with debts, which after several years I managed to get under control enough to buy a house with Mrsslippy.

Our own home? No. It's the belongs to the bank, and will do for another 20 years until we pay off the enormous debt we are now in - it's called a mortgage.

Yeah - lucky.

And yet still I give my money to feed underprivileged children, house the homeless, treat the sick, and rightly so.

It's called taxation. Those of us who work for a living pay it. A chunk of my salary goes into National Insurance, a bit more into Income Tax, and another chunk to the council.

I've never had to claim unemployment benefit, child benefit, need complex hospital care. A few trips to the GP now and again, but I know full well that the prescription charges I pay would have covered the cost of the antibiotics 100 times over - that's what enables those on expensive drugs to pay the same charges.

And I'm happy to pay my tax. It means that those less fortunate than me through no fault of their own can receive food, shelter and medical treatment.

I believe that if a child is going hungry, then it's most likely down to neglectful parenting. These fuckers that demand more for kids at home are demanding more funding, which means more taxes - but then they would - they don't put into the national kitty in the first place, just take, take take from the bottomless money jar that the rest of us fill up.

If I donate to overseas charities, it can save lives.


That same money was taken as tax, it wouldn't stop children going hungry - even if it did go directly into child benefit. Parents who don't want to care for their children won't. The only way to resolve that is tighter monitoring. More social workers. More interfering Nanny State that the whiners don't want. There have been tragic failings, but these have been down to mismanagement, not penny pinching.

So when they say that we should look after our own first are they really saying we should pay more taxes, and interfere more in family affairs, or that the rest of the world can fuck off as far as they are concerned?

I honestly think it's the latter. The 'acceptable face' of racism.

Well guess what? It's not acceptable.

A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds. That's probably 4 or 5 since you've been reading this. A mosquito net costs £5.

They can't buy them for themselves because they have no money. They haven't blown it on ringtones and scratchcards. They can't go to their Government and ask for one, because they have no money either. Not because they are lazy, but because the countries natural resources have been stripped away from them. They've been fleeced with ridiculous loans from the World Bank. Natural disasters and famines have decimated what quality they ever had. They rely on the kindness of strangers to get them back on their feet. Not to provide them with luxuries - just the basic needs to sustain life.

Is that really too much to ask?

If the government asks me to pay more tax, I will pay more. If there are people dying in the World I will help. I won't donate all my worldly goods, but I'll give what I can comfortably spare.

I know the people who post this sort of bigotry won't give anything - but don't you dare try to suggest that the rest of us shouldn't either.

I've started binning off people that post this bollocks. I used to keep them on out of morbid curiosity as to what Daily Fail sponsored shite they'll come out with next, but it's giving me bad ju-ju, so it's time to cut them loose.

If I've offended you, then so be it.

You offended me first. Take your casual racism, your farmville, your fish world, your pokes, gifts, bejewelled high score, and fuck off.

And another 3 children have died of malaria...

24 February 2010

Run for your life!

Since last April I've been foregoing the car or public transport to travel to work and back for a number of reasons

  1. It's the only exercise I get now I have a desk job
  2. It's the only fresh air I get
  3. It's free
  4. I know exactly what time I need to leave the house without being dependent on buses being on time/traffic etc
  5. It's a nice way to just have some 'me' time. Stick in my headphones and I'm away for half an hour (or there abouts)
I have a few different routes, with the most straightforward taking exactly 33 minutes, the most circuitous over 50 mins. It all just depends on how active I'm feeling.

All in all there are dozens of different ways I could go, and variety being the spice of life, I like to mix it up a bit.

Recently I've been able to use my inner geek to really test out my routes with a little GPS gizmo on my phone that tracks every step of my route, then uploads stats on top speed, average speed, distance etc into Google Maps.

I now know that the shortest route to work is exactly 2 miles, and although it's not really up hill, there are enough ups and downs to climb 91 meters en route. See for yourself here

But as I've accumulated loads of data around what each route encompasses, I still need to make the decision of which one to take each day, and after nearly a year, that is getting boring.

Fortunately help was at hand.

My newest geeky game draws in two of my favourite things.

Techy gadgets, and Zombies.

I have an application on my phone that turns the GPS sensor and map utility, into a Zombie detector.

As I leave home/work, all I have to do is set my destination, and the level of Zombie infestation. Controlled Outbreak (quite a few), Early Local Infestation (lmore), Late Local Infestation (loads), or Total Pandemic (fucking everywhere)

Type of Zombie defines the speed. Night of the Living Dead (2mph), Resident Evil (5mph), or 28 Days Later (8mph).

As today would be my first foray into a Chinton plagued by the undead, I decided a Controlled Outbreak would be a nice gentle start, and being as my previous stat gathering has informed me that my average walking speed is around 3.8mph I didn't want anything either in my way, or following behind me that would cause me to run all the way.The classic 'Romero' Zombie would be my first adversary.

Simply tell the phone where I'm going, and next thing you know there are dozens of little green Zombie icons all over the Map. Some making roads completely impassable, some loitering around in gardens that if I was nippy enough, I could probably scoot past.

Get within about 50m of one, and his little icon goes red, and he makes a beeline for you, and Zombies, having no regard for personal property and privacy, will quite happily wade through a private garden and over fences to get to you.

I got about 10 minutes into my journey without attracting attention from any of them, but as I neared the school on the main road, a crowd of four that were loitering around the playground picked up my scent, and I had to break into a gentle jog to make sure I was clear of them as their virtual hands grasped through the school hedge.

The road ahead was blocked, and there was too much traffic to be sure of being able to lure those ahead of me all onto the same side of the road as me, and still be able to dash across the road to go around them, all without the ones from the school catching me from behind, so I took the next left into the housing estate. There were quite a few in there, but I felt they were distributed in a pattern I could avoid if I kept my wits about me.

The ones from the school eventually lost interest, but I soon had another on my tail, and another up ahead blocking a path through an alley that was too narrow to try to go round him, so I had to lure him out.I walked briskly towards him, and the moment he got my scent, I crossed to the opposite side of the road, and slowed right down. As predicted, the alley Zombie shuffled down his path, and towards the road, just as the one behind me crossed to follow.

Now I had to really slow down and think fast. I stopped to pretend to tie my shoe - eyes still on the screen monitoring the progress of the undead behind me....

I'd timed it just right. With one 5m directly ahead, the other the same distance behind, I leaped to me feet, sprinted across the road at a perfect right angle, and didn't stop running until I'd put a good 30m between me and them.

They still had my scent, but were lumbering so slowly that I knew they would never catch me. I picked up a couple more over the last stage of my journey, but made it to work unharmed - even if a few of them did follow me into the hospital.


Tomorrow I think I'll up the ante a bit with an 'Early Local Infestation', but I'm not upping the speed yet - I can't run all the way to work.

So if you see me zig zagging my way up the road - dawdling then sprinting - don't look at me like I'm mad.....


23 February 2010

Celebrity Divorce

So after whoring their wedding to whatever tawdry magazine it was that stumped up the cash, Cheryl Cole has asked for privacy as her and Ashley go their separate ways. Something tells me you're not going to get it love...

But as have no interest in either which backing dancers arms you go running into*, or where Ashley sticks his cock next, here's a picture of a dog enjoying it's birthday instead.

* if said arms turn out to be Sarah Hardings, I may resume interest

20 February 2010

Daily Fail

I don't know why I do it to myself. I can normally avoid exposure, but having woken up far too early for what I would consider acceptable on a Saturday morning, I resolutely lay in bed, refusing to get up, instead passing away the minutes until my hunger gave in by trawling through the news on my phone.

There's a widgit that has all the national newspapers in one section. It's not really that much more than a selection of internet bookmarks, but it caches the results so it's quicker easier than general surfing.

As they all have different editorial policy, I'll often flick through several in case I've missed a story that only one paper is covering, but what I won't generally do is bother with The Daily Fail Mail, because I know it will piss me off in some way.

Today, boredom and desperation got the better of me, and I hit the link.

My eyes were drawn to a story titled "Revealed: Why all those disabled bays stay empty", and I had to read it.

Presumably some Daily Mail writer frequently gets irked because when the drive to Waitrose they can't park outside the front doors because those spaces are reserved for people with wheelchairs AND THERE'S NOT EVEN ANYONE PARKED IN THEM!!

What this calls for is some shitty number crunching top investigative journalism!

"Hundreds of thousands of prime parking spaces in Shopping Centres are unused because of a legal obligation to provide four times as many disabled bays than are actually needed", it cries out.

It transpires that a car park with 200 spaces or less is legally obliged to reserve 6% of these for Blue Badge holders - larger than 200 and it's 4%

What bothers the Daily Mail is that just 1.4% of the population is registered disabled.

"6% spaces divided by 1.4% disableds = 4!!!" says someone with a calculator app on their iphone.

Yes it does near as damn it, but as usual The Mail is generalising terribly, taking extremes (not the 4% for larger car parks), and ignoring simple common sense.

Let's keep the numbers nice and simple for you Daily Fail, with a carpark with 100 spaces. One space = 1%. Are you still with me?

Firstly, 1.4% of the population aren't going to need 1.4% of spaces in a car park with room for 100 cars. You can't park 0.4 of a car you fuckwits. They'll need 2 spaces. That's now only three times as many as you thought they needed.

Next, I'm going to make the assumption that you have made the assumption that disabled people are so unnattractive they couldn't possibly have a family or relationships. I'm afraid you're wrong (but I suppose you're used to it by now). 100 cars in the car park doesn't mean 100 people shopping, it means 100 households. Some alone, some with husbands, wives, lovers, children...

The figure you should really be looking at is how many households have someone who is disabled living in them. With average household sizes in the UK at around 2.4% (and having already told you that you can't have 0.4 of a person), I'm going to be generous to you and let you round it down to 2 people. But I will now insist on you doubling you're figure of 1.4% to 2.8%. Hell, lets just say you would need at least 3 spaces in a car park with 100 spaces.

Hmmm..now it's only twice as many as you thought. Or 25% less than you need in the larger carparks.

Nextly, let's look at scale deviation. Lets imagine it is the week before Christmas, and the carpark (with still your OMG SIX SPACES) is at 90% capacity. Two cars arrive, one with a Blue Badge, one without. One parks straight away, the other has to wait because 5.6 cars (there's that bit of a car again - shall we just call it 6?) are already using the disabled bays.

If there were only the average number of disabled shoppers they'd be fine! But that's the problem with averages. They're just an average. A number generated from when sometimes there are a few less, and sometimes there are a few more. Yes, it is twice as many as the 3 I told you that you'd need, but it's only 3 more cars

So they wait.

And for every 16 cars that leave a the car park, one of them will be from a disabled bay. Might be the next car, might not.....

We've all experienced the frustration of driving round a car park looking for a space, but imagine if as cars left you were constantly left still hanging because only 1 in 16 of the spots that were being created you could use, just because you were selfish enough to have foregone your mobility in order to blag some easy parking.

But not only have they got their numbers wrong, they've also failed to see the other glaringly obvious factors.

I can walk to the supermarket, and often do. I take the car for 'the big shop', but if I just need a few bits and pieces I am not forced to drive. Others are.

I can take the bus into town, again it tends to be a preference. Not because of the difficulty or cost in parking, but because the journey is so fucking tedious. Stop..start..stop..start..No thanks, I'll sit and look out the window with my ipod on and let some other mug sit in the traffic. Because I have the choice.

Park and Ride? No problem!

For me.

Time of day might also be a factor. If I was disabled and had any control over when I could fit shopping into my schedule, I'd be least likely to want to go when the aisles were heaving, and protected parking spaces might have been taken by some twat who was just 'popping in' for a ready meal (and a Daily Mail), so bays might appear to be less populated when the rest of the car park is busy.

If the Daily Mail really has a problem with a dozen or so protected spaces in large supermarket car parks, they want taking out and kneecapping. That'll let them use the spaces if they're so incapable of walking a little bit further after a hard day at the office hating immigrants, gays, the unemployed, Northerners.....

But it might interfere with their goosestepping.

And it's probably quite hard to get to the moral highground in a wheelchair - that is unless someone has put plenty of protected parking spaces up there.


15 February 2010

Cyber Bullying

I'm not proud of this, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to put my hands up and confess to cyber bullying.

Sort of...

Cyber bullying by proxy you'd probably call it. What I actually do is harbour, care for, feed and cuddle a cyber bully.

And it's not Mrsslippy....

It all started with Twitter, and the strange habit English people have of anthropomorphising their pets...

Comedian and Independent columnist Dom Joly is one such person. He owns a cat called Dr Pepper, who along with Joly has his own Twitter feed. Whereas Dom is a genial type of chap with a far too obsessive interest in Andy Murray, Dr Pepper claims to have Tourettes, and uses this as an excuse to vent obscenities at anyone who dares to leave a comment on his page.

This weekend Joly wrote an article on Dr Pepper in his Independent Column in which he revealed that the Doctor used to kill as many Robins as he could get his claws into, and mice. Never any other type of bird, just dozens and dozens of Robins.

When the time came, as so often does with big tomcats, the Doc had the op, and came back from the vets sans bollocks. Suddenly he was no longer interested in Robins - just the mice, so Dom decided - probably quite rightly that if a neutered Doc had lost the urge, the initial one must have been sexual.

His cat was a murdering sex pest. Who killed Cock Robin? Probably Dr Pepper after violating the body first, and then again afterwards.

This revelation caused many Twitterers to start poking fun at the Doc due to his newly revealed status as a jaffa, with most of these comments coming from fellow cats.

My thoughts were not about the lack of plum in his plumbing, but his interest in the reddy plumage of the little innocent Robin.

But I couldn't post this myself - it wouldn't be right and proper, so I quickly knocked up a profile for my own furry brute, Busta, who responded thus;

@domjolyscat you sick fuck. if you must fiddle with birds, at least go for big ones. partridges have nice red breasts if that's your thing

Within a few minutes there was a response..

@BustaTheBigBoy you look like one of those cats that people bag up and throw in a river with a brick attached-

A little chortle at getting a reply, and then I thought nothing more of it.

It was later on that evening that my phone alerted me that Busta had been receiving followers and messages from 'other cats' questioning his size, virility, and sexual orientation. Busta is gay, but he's not camp with it - he's more like the Ronnie Kray of the cat world.

A few messages back and forth, and Busta and his new acquaintances had established that there was a common enemy, and what we should be doing was planning an attack on Dr Pepper. Before I knew what I was doing I was looking though the Twitterati that he'd verbally abused, and messaging complete strangers cats on behalf of my cat to plan a coordinated attack on the foul mouthed 'celebrity' cat. At 8pm today any cats online were to bundle on @domjolyscat

Online bullying in it's worst form. I woke this morning feeling guilty about even considering it. Hurling abuse behind the smoke screen of an innocent animal. I couldn't go through with it.

So Busta must've done it himself.

Bundle on @domjolyscat !!! Gotcha ya Fat Fuck

He even got Minnie to join in.

Bundle on @domjolyscat ! Dr Pepper - Dr Rubbish, more like

Naughty Busta......

06 February 2010

Avatar blues

An impromptu annual leave day left Mrsslippy and I with some spare time to do that thing that we do so rarely, a trip to the flicks.

Both sceptical of the hype surrounding Avatar, it wouldn't normally have been my first choice, nor hers, but as it's supposed to be a 'game changer', it seemed only fair to give it a look see on the big screen whilst wearing daft glasses.

And my thoughts on it?


It was ok...

If it hadn't been hyped quite so much, then I may have liked it more, and there's no denying that it was absolutely beautifully rendered. Everything did look real, and the 3D worked so much better than the shonky stuff of my childhood, but was still little more than a distracting gimmick at times.

It's probably due to the way our eyes work. In real life if you're looking at something in the foreground, things in the background are out of focus. You look over to them, and your focus pulls the image sharp. In a 2D film the director tells you where to focus. If the camera is on something in the foreground, all that background action will always remain a fuzzy blur.

What 3D cinema does is fool you into thinking you can actually focus on things that the director doesn't want you to. We get a close up of Sam Worthington, and my eyes dance round the screen looking at stuff that my brain is telling me is further away, but no matter how much I squint and stare, I cannot bring it into focus.

We'd been led to believe that this film would have been unmakeable until now, because the technology didn't exist to make it, and now that it does, the only thing that limits what we can do in films is our imagination.

Someone should tell Jim Cameron that, because that sadly was the thing that the film desperately lacked.

It was just Pochahontas/Dances with Wolves in space, and the redskins are now blue.

We were told that Jim had visualised a whole planet with a diverse ecosystem and hundreds of wondrous beasts.

What we got was a CGI rain forest with some very pretty luminescent plants, and a handful of beasts from the imagination of Cameron, with his imagination limited to such deep thoughts as "Imagine if a rhino fucked a hammerhead shark? How cool would that be?" or "What about a six legged horse with a face like an anteaters"

George Lucas (and his team of designers) have imagined and built a whole Star Wars universe in the films and spin off games. Anyone who's wasted far to much of their life wandering through the realms of Azeroth will have seen all sorts of landscapes and creatures. Even a child with ten minutes in the ceature genertaor in Spore could have come up with a few more interesting indigenous life forms. Glow in the dark plants and a handful of hybrids ain't nothing special Jimbo.

"And imagine those drop ships and heavy loaders that I imagined so well in Aliens," I imagine Jim said "Imagine if we used them again because they were so super cool?"

They were cool Jim, but we've seen them before. So why on Earth (or Pandora) have we advanced so far technologically that interstellar travel and conscious transplantation is possible, but in order to blow up a tree we have to have helicopters escorting a mahoosive bomber past floating mountains (not even gonna go there...) in order to push a couple of pallet loads of TNT out the back?

A simple story of boy meets tall blue girl, falls in love, embraces her values and come to realise that capitalism, environmental destruction and genocide are so not cool, but will still use a machine gun in the final Na'vi versus humans battle, because guns still are cool if you're a nine foot neon blue warrior.

And while I'm getting it off my chest Jim, why invent a whole language for your Na'vi, only to subtitle them with an off the shelf shitty typeface like Papyrus?Why not really take the piss and do it in Comic Sans? $500 million to make and you couldn't even be bothered to pay for someone to design a font for you?

But it's not all moan, moan, moan. It's just ..meh...

I loved the look of the film, and would probably have loved it more in 2D where my brain and eyes knew what they were doing. I loved the direction. CGI really let Jim put the camera and follow the action from anywhere he wanted, and he is a great director. I loved Zoe Saldanas turn as Neytiri. It's her subtly mo capped performance that breathes life into the character and makes her so real.

And I hated the one dimensional human characters. Walking cliche's the lot of them. I hated Jims clunky dialogue, and the *spoiler alert* way that Sigourney Weavers death pretty much gave away the ending of the film before the battle even started. The animals saving the day, the oh so amusingly titled 'unobtanium', 3D photos embedded in a 3D film, the touchy feely spiritual bollocks that's about as subtle as Jim carving 'Stop destroying the planet man!' into your chest with a rusty compass - all shit.

On the whole a good bit of escapist nonsense. Nice eye candy, and an easy way to kill a few hours. But not a game changer.

If it's true that we finally have the technology to make anything we imagine look real, we need to make that technology available to film makers that have that imagination in the first place. Step forward Neil Blomkamp. District 9 cost only $30 million to make, and is an incredible film, but will no doubt be over looked for the over bloated Avatar come Oscar season. I'd love to see a 3D fookin prawn.

At least the glasses are reusable. If I pop them on now and look at the cat, it's like I could almost reach out and touch him. Amazing technology.

23 January 2010

Modern Vampires Suck

There was a time when I would have been happy to proclaim my love of the Vampire genre, both in book and film, but the blood that I was fond of gorging on has been tainted by a disease that theatens to once and for all kill off the undead.

The shitty Twilight saga has made a mockery of the nightcrawler, turning him from a savage hunting machine into a mopey teenager and wank fantasy for teenage girls, and perhaps even more worryingly, their middle aged mothers too.

The legend of the Vampire has existed in almost all cultures since the beginning of time, and he's never been a particularly pleasant fellow.

The most famous fictional Vampire is (or at least was before Edward Cullen), Dracula. And although he wasn't he first, Bram Stoker researched European mythology for several years to pull together a template for what I would consider a Vampire to be.

A cold, distant stranger who kills indiscriminately. Coming at night to feed while you sleep, or attacking in a throat ripping frenzy. He has no friends, no lovers. Any acquaintances are merely kept alive long enough to assist with his needs, and his only need is blood, and lots of it.

A monster.

The first iconic film adaptation was the wonderfully atmospheric 'Nosferatu', followed by likes of Universal Studios Bela Lugosi flicks of the 30's. Bela was so mad in the end he insisted in being buried in his cape, believing he really was a Vampire.

The 70's brought us the sometimes campy Hammer movies, but as debonair and suave as Christopher Lee was, he had such a menacing presence that you knew that in a flash his eyes would go red, the teeth would be out, and he could rip your throat out.

It was also in the 70's that the rot started to set in.

Step forward Anne Rice.

Her Vampire Chronicles books took the aristocratic monster of Dracula, and turned him into a tortured soul. We started to see Vampires with emotions rather than just primal urges. They were artists, authors, actors. They were social creatures rather than lonely hunters. They didn't need to drink blood every night, and some wouldn't drink human blood at all, instead making do with animal.

And women loved it. Tall, dark, powerful men who would bite at your neck, but then pull away and crack open a bottle of dog instead. The world of the Vampire was moving from horror to romance...

And now we have Twilight.

Not read the book. Not going to. But in the name of research, and checking that I'm not prejudging harshly, I have seen the first film.

And it sucks. Animals.

Edward Cullen and his merry band of pretty, but tortured souls mooch around the local High School DURING THE DAY, and drink animal blood.

Vampires that don't burst into flames in sunlight, but sparkle like the fairies they are.

I may have not been concentrating, but if Edward is 104 years old, why is he spending his time hanging around a school? He doesn't have to, and ok, Bella is supposed 17, so therefore 'legal', but the freak's 104!

Not quite a paedo, but still seriously fucked up.

And if it is ok, because he's perennially 17 himself, then it what world is it socially acceptable for menopausal women to scream and frig themselves silly every time they see him? Yes, yes, I know middle aged men do it with 17 year old girls, but at least they do it discretely at home on their own, not in a packed cinema.

And now the floodgates have opened. Every other book in the Adult Fiction or Horror section is about romantic vampires.

And where will it stop? Having taken Vampires, are we to see Zombie films where the lead has chiseled features, and has passed over his appetite for human offal with a little bit of fois gras and chicken liver pate on toast?

There is time to change! If you find yourself, or know of anyone who is drifting towards the Shampire genre, re-educate yourself now with these modern classics.

Salems Lot

Not that modern, but marks the point in the 70's where the timeline was broken. Stephen Kings book is genuinely creepy, and the film has some real stand out scenes on what childhood vampires should really look/act like.

30 Days of Night

The book itself is a VERY graphic, beautifully drawn graphic novel.

The Vampires here are ancient, vicious beasts.

One of the coven has the smart idea that the little Alaskan town of Barrow is so far north that come winter, the sun sets and doesn't rise again for 30 days.

The town, cut off from all communication wit the outside world suffer a siege mentality of horrific proportions. In other Vampire films the victims hide and check their watches, waiting for sunrise. These poor fuckers are checking their Calendars.

The films not bad either, and has 'Angel' from Home and Away in it...

Let the Right One In

A little gem from Sweden. Proof that you can add a little romance and feeling into a Vampire story without removing any of the true essence of what a Vampire really is. No spoilers. Seek it out and watch it tonight, You won't regret it.

There are more, but these should get you back on the right track before the bloodline is tainted forever.

Accept no substitutes, when watching Vampire films, insist on on a visual transfusion of the rhesus A +ve stuff.

And if I catch you wearing a 'Team Edward' T-shirt, I'll rip your throat out myself.

13 January 2010

Nightmare of a friend

This is the tale of the nightmare of a friend.

It's not mine. Oh no! This is not one of those 'I've got a friend who....' stories that people tell when they're really talking about themselves., This is most definitely not about me, and despite the fact that this friend has put this out to a group of us on Facebook, just in case he doesn't want it to be completely public, let's call him 'Quentin'.

Earlier this week, 'Quentin' sent this email out to a group of male friends via Facebook.

"Let me tell you all about my terrible nightmare I had. I was rudely awakened at 5am yesterday by some horrific and extremely vivid images.

Let me explain. We (the boys) were all on a drinking sesh on some kind of balcony overlooking a park (bit like Eton Park I suppose).

We all then looked over the balcony to see a naked bloke lying down on the grass with none other than Ali (also naked) squating over him having gay arse sex. It was at this point that I woke up so I don't know what else he was doing?

Now, I am livid that I had this dream for two reasons.

1, I have seen Ali taking it up the bot and enjoying it.

2, After telling (Quentins wife) this story, she called me gay for having the dream?!?!? How is that the case when it was clear that it was Ali getting smashed up the bot?!?!

I would be keen to hear your thoughts?!?!"
I've not anonymised Ali. It's not his fault he was dreamt about, and it also clears him up from being the actual dreamer.

So what do you do when you get an email like that from a old friend?

I'm no expert on dream interpretation, and I'm not about to start sticking "Dream + friend + gay sex" into Google, as I very much doubt I'll get an explanation, but would probably get some very graphic demonstrations of what dear 'Quentin' was storing deep in his subconscious.

Suggestions from those of us that responded included;

"I am confused. From your description of your desired fantasy you have Ali squatting over someone having gay arse sex.

Therefore Ali is clearly the bot-smasher rather than the smashee. And we all know it is better to give than to take.

To summarize - you am gay."


"O......K....well I've got some things to be getting on with thanks for sharing that with us......I think?"

"I have three suggestions;

a) You want to watch Ali in a wrong sex act

b) You want Ali to bum you

c) You want to sodomise him yourself..

.. and all three while we are all forced to watch you.

I concur with teh honourable Stevo.

You are a friend of Dorothy. She is your very bestest friend.

Gayer." from me.

'Quentin' responded thus;

"I can't believe you are taking sides against me?!?! I am comfortable and happy with my sexuality and I only wish you could have seen Ali's happy face, then you would realise that it is in fact Amis who is the gayer and not I."
So who's right?

Is happily married father of four Ali the bum bandit, and it is only through 'Quentins' special dream powers that we know this?

Or perhaps 'Quentin' is a little bit more in touch with his feminine side than he'd care to admit to .

Anyone care to add their thoughts on the matter?

11 January 2010

Snow? Balls!

The couple of inches of snow that has caused so much chaos and disruption has finally melted, and we can go back to some semblance of normality.

No more wasters unable to get to work because of the particularly isolated drift that landed outside their front door.

No more panic buying at the supermarket.

No more news that is just basically weather, followed by the weather, then more news about the weather.

It's a sad fact that as a country we are woefully unable to cope with a little bit of snow, but even more sad that we can't be bothered to even try.

No sooner had the first flakes settled there were angry faces on the television, Twitter and Facebook as the masses demanded to know where their personal snow plough was to clear the road in front of their house? Why had the council not stockpiled a billion tons of grit? Why weren't they clearing the paths NOW so they could walk to their car safely? Who was going to pay for the extra heating bills?

As shit as Gordon Brown is, even he can't be blamed for the weather, and I know that if he gives you extra benefits they won't go on your heating bills anyway, it'll go on petrol for your chavvy kids mini motorbike that they still seem to be able to drive on the roads and paths even if you can't get off your arse.

It always seem that the people who are most vocal about the councils lack of readiness and response are the ones that pay fuck all towards it anyway.As inconvenient as it is to walk a few miles in the snow to get to work, I'd rather do that than see my council tax double to provide a fleet of gritters and ploughs that get used once every 10 years.

I know there isn't isn't enough manpower to clear all the paths - that's why we did the bit out of our front ourselves.

I saw a woman clearing her drive whilst I walked home the other evening. It looked as if she'd de-iced her car that morning by pouring warm water on it, as you could see a thick sheet of ice that ran down the drive, across the path and pooled on the road. The bit of dropped kerb that broke up the grassy verge leading to her drive was already cleared, and she was now working on the drive itself, but the actual path itself was still like sheet glass.

"Missed a bit" I said cheerily as I teetered on the black ice of her creation.

"Nah, that's the fucking councils bit" the selfish witch responded flatly. "It's their job to clear the paths innit?"

Nothing like a bit of festive whiteness to raise the community sprit eh?

In fairness she was probably a bit tired and stressed out by not being able to watch Loose Women in peace due to having all six of her (brought up by the taxpayer) mongrel brood at home all day.

Perhaps if the older ones weren't so busy seeing how far you can skid on a mini moto in the snow they could have cleared the paths on the whole street, enabling mum to push the double buggy to the Post Office for lottery tickets rather than make black ice on the path in order to get her car out.

Then we wouldn't need the council to come and spread grit everywhere at the slightest whiff of white.

If they've got any grit left at the end of this cold snap I've got a far better suggestion where they should be spreading it. I've got some nice sharp gravel if It'll help.

Six useless kids is more than enough for any ignorant slapper.