Monthly Archives: October 2009


Last night, sitting on the sofa, listening to music, and typing, I was suddenly aware of a conflagration over the road. Someone had set fire to our opposite neighbour’s front door. By the time I’d put Leo in his cage and got to the house, the fire was out, and all that was left was our neighbour looking perplexed and bewildered on her doorstep. We still don’t know what
it was all about but it scared the bejesus out of all of us.

We went over to see if she was ok (I woke Michele after an initial visit) and she seemed suitably jumpy. When we asked if she had any idea who could have done it she said “No! I haven’t been on drugs for 10 years.” Hmm.

Note to self: the UK is more fucked than you remember

It’s far too easy to forget that rose-coloured glasses are a distortion of the real world. So when I read about mad shit like this it doesn’t seem as bad to be living in the US. The only things I really miss are my family and friends [and highly accessible Indian food]. Other than that, we’re all surrounded by maniacs. We’re also all within a short ride of someone sane so it doesn’t seem so bad. Let’s be happy about the sane people.

Top of the fascists

Italy has forged ahead in the pan-European race towards Fascism by bringing back the blackshirts! Obviously they’re not actually wearing black shirts any more, this isn’t the 1920’s! No, now they’re wearing beige shirts, but the racist underpinnings are exactly the same. All bad things are as a result of the immigrants. Go Italy!
You better buck your ideas up Britain; putting neo-nazis into the EU was a coup, but Italy has now knocked you down the leaderboard with its invocation of the the thug paramilitary.

Meanwhile, in the utopia that is the USA, we are fortunate enough to be witnessing an historical set of events that could well be the most epic of fails in the history of the country. It’s tragic that The Daily Show is still the only serious journalism available nationally here. There was even an interview with Ron Paul, during which Jon Stewart managed to ask him the one question I’ve wanted to hear answered by the Libertarians: how do you prevent Corporatism. Watch at about 6 minutes in to see Ron gracefully dodge the question.

The only potentially viable alternative to Jon Stewart is with PBS/NPR, but really it’s pathetic. This evening, because I was off work today (gutrot), I managed to watch the BBC World News on WHYY. As the end titles were rolling we were subjected to the list of wonderfully philanthropic benefactors who are responsible for us being privileged to watch it. As if this wasn’t bad enough, it was followed by three commercials^H^H^H^H^H^H^H PSAs that could be the nominees for the international irony awards:

  • Firstly, a promo for PBS/NPR. This consisted of a handful of “artists” giving soundbytes on why pubic media is important. One of which included the phrase “we prefer a conversation, rather than a soundbyte.” Genius.
  • Next was a commercial^H^H^H^H^H^H^H PSA from Monsanto explaining how they help farmers, save terminally ill babies and cure lepers [ok the last two were a slight exaggeration. Slight].
  • As if the Ironometer could take any more, the next commercial^WPSA was from Toyota (the car manufacturer), explaining that they don’t just manufacture cars, but they also devote themselves to saving the environment.

It’s very important to realise that these weren’t commercials; they were PSAs. Now you may wonder what the difference is between the two and the answer is quite simple: I’m buggered if I know.

Reasons to be Cheerful

  • Charlie Brooker
    tonight we watched part one of his new “GamesWipe” series. Everything he says seems to align with my world outlook. Charlie, if you’re ever in Philly and need somewhere to crash, drop me a line.
  • Dan Bull is a middle-class, white, English rapper who somehow manages to be cool. He recently wrote a wonderfully succinct open letter to Lily Allen that I agree with on every count. The rest of his album is well worth checking out too.
  • After a load of bad reviews of one of my iPhone apps, I had nice experience with a total stranger that managed to renew my faith in humankind.
  • Near work is another hotel bar that, on Wednesdays, has a happy hour involving free “fancy cheese” and wine.
  • Birds are amazing little things.