Monday, September 29, 2014

Duck goes Welsh

For reasons best left to one side, I have spent actual cash money over the last week or so on post-punk Welsh-language music. Don't understand a word of it, but these Datblygu chaps certainly make a wonderful noise and it's a shame that now Peel has gone there's nobody out there encouraging this sort of thing.

I'll be signing up for the Cymru Rouge next and burning down holiday cottages.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

This means something to me


This is Midge belting out the old classic with the Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestra just the other night. Suffice to say, as a fading old New Romantic, it pleases me immensely to see that he's still got it.

Even my goosebumps have got goosebumps.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Get well soon Kim Jong Un

I heard that Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, First Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, presidium member of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea Kim Jong Un isn't feeling very well. And I'm not surprised if he's holding down all those jobs to make himself a living.

So, I thought we could send him a nice card.

I hope he likes Peppa Pig. Everybody loves Peppa Pig.

I also though that if we all club together, we can send him a lovely present. For example, a lovely barrel of lube. He likes lube. I cannot over-emphasise Kim's love for lube. Properly lubed up, he'll be up and about, killing his uncles again in no time at all.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Little Shop of Holiday Horrors


Willy and Bozz star in Knock-Off Toy Story
Damn, I love holiday tat shop tat. I lived in Weymouth long enough to grow to love those lucky bingo card holders, mugs with a willy in them, and those pens that unveil the naked woman when you turn them upside-down.

So, the moment I saw the shonky Toy Story towel, I knew it must be mine. 5.50 euros well spent, I think you'll agree.

And here's a quick look at the other holiday tat shop tat I saw in Greece. Some you may already have seen, but where there's tat there's ...err... more tat. Enjoy.

Enough to give any kid nightmares. There's one under your bed right now.
Nothing like a bit of casual racism to brighten your day, is there?
Kill it! Kill it with hammers and fire!
No home is complete without genuine reproduction Greek penis art
And here is your homework: What's the worst bit of holiday gift shop tat you've got? Share your guilty secrets.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Poo-seidon Adventure

R2-D2 grew to hate his part-time job
After a week in Greece, I have learned two things about my chosen holiday destination.

1. Greece gave the world great poets, philosophers and writers such as Socrates, Herodotus and Sappho. In recent years, they seem to have lost their way a bit. As such, Greece only has two kinds of popular music. Greek pop music, which is awful and should be destroyed with fire and sticks; and classic soft rock, which gnaws at your psyche like a stalky, gnawing thing as you start to worry that you haven't heard Extreme's "More Than Words" for a couple of hours and it's due another airing. Classic soft rock should also be destroyed with fire and sticks.

2. Greece also gave the world great thinkers such as Archimedes, Hero of Alexandria and whoever came up with the bright idea of a giant horse on wheels as a device to win a war. In recent years, you could say they've lost their way a bit on the whole-thinking-things-through-in-the-bath thing as well. How, then, could you explain the modern Greek sewer system that means it cannot cope with anything larger than the average turd, meaning you've got to wipe your bottom and put the paper in a poo bucket.

I repeat: The birthplace of civilisation makes you wipe your bum and PUT IT IN A POO BUCKET.

However, Greece makes up for this awful shortfall by having Ouzo, so you're too drunk to be disgusted by having to wipe your bottom and put it in a poo bucket. The worst thing you can do, though, is kick over the poo bucket when drunk, so it's swings and roundabouts.

Apart from these minor gripes: GREECE, everybody, let's hear it for Greece!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Attack of the invisible mutant blood-sucking insects

"Don't pick at your insect bites or they'll go scabby."

So I picked at my insect bites and they went scabby. And that is the story of this holiday (apart from the amazing hotel, the sea views, the enormous sunsets and all the kebabs a man can eat).

And there's no stopping these fiendish Greek mosquitos, who find their way through any defence known to man: Layers of clothes, wreaths of garlic, a foul-smelling concoction in a bottle called "Bugger Off".

The worst thing is that I have not seen a single one of the dozens of these little bastards that have sucked at my blood. They're invisible, indestructible, and - given enough time - deadly.  People who have booked the 14 day holiday are so anaemic as to be entirely see through when you hold them up to a light. 

Serves us right booking a holiday next door to Dr Doom's Invisible Blood-Sucking Insect Lab (Days since last escape of invisible blood-sucking insects: One).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

THE HOLIDAY TAT SHOP OF DR MOREAU

Man alive, I love holiday tat shops, especially at the end of the season when all that's left is the unsellable items which have been sitting, fading on the shelf since about 2005, hoping that somebody will pass looking to complete their Beyblade collection, or are after a doll with poor standards of spelling. 

Then there's this monstrosity:

Flashback to the Guangdong Lucky Toy and Rocket Fuel Concern, eight years ago. The production line is at a halt and a panicked supervisor explains all to the boss...

"We've got a shitload of dolls' bodies but no heads, boss. Damn head supplier's let us down again."

"What else have we got?"

"There's 20,000 assorted dogs' heads but I don't think ..."

"Do it"

"But the kiddiewinks - they'll have nightmares. It's like something from The Island of Doctor Moreau. We can 't possibly..."

"JUST DO IT!"

"Don't come running to me when somebody takes the piss out of them on the internet."

"DO. IT."

Monday, September 15, 2014

SPOILER WARNING

So, I was in this hotel the other night and found a Gideons Bible. 


Seemed only fair to give the next reader a little helping hand. 

Other options: Autographing the fly-sheet "Best wishes, God", but vandalism is a bad thing, m'kay?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The accordion, and its use as a tool of oppression by totalitarian governments

Must-watch television: The 14th National Singing Competition of the Working People 
FACT: North Korea has its own version of the X Factor, a grim parade of hand-picked hopefuls singing revolutionary standards in front of a rictus-grinning audience of hand-picked sycophants, and a panel of judges who all look like Louis Walsh.

It's actually called "The 14th National Singing Competition of the Working People" and it is compulsory Monday night viewing for party members in Pyongyang, if they remember to keep the electricity turned on long enough.

Unfortunately, like any televised concert in a totalitarian state, the entire affair is dominated by that scourge of musical taste: The accordion.

No act takes to the stage with fewer than two accordion players, murdering the propaganda department's finely-tuned marshal classic "Mighty apple harvest of the foothills of Mount Paektu", before getting the nod from one of the Louis Walshes and heading for Forced Labour Boot Camp.

"You owned that song," says Louis, "Which is bad news for you because all property is theft."


Pyongyang not likely to suffer an accordion shortage any time soon
In my long experience watching television from states encumbered with the world's worst governments, the accordion appears again and again. It's clearly used as a tool of oppression against the poor citizens, having any vestige of individuality pulverised out of them by musical mediocrity backed up by stern-faced men with big guns.

The accordion should be declared an instrument of torture under the Geneva Conventions, and it's not difficult to see why.

No good has ever come out of the accordion, and of western cultures, only France and Germany use it with any vigour, and they can't even be arsed with the Eurovision Song Contest these days, which goes to show how far they've fallen since the glory days of 99 Red Balloons and Johnny Halliday.

It's an alleged instrument that is so difficult and time-consuming to play that citizens living under dictatorships are forced to learn the accordion - at gunpoint if necessary -  in order to prevent them from having the time to realise how shit their lives are and rise up against their corrupt factory managers, the party and the state.

Give a man a guitar and he can sing his way to a revolution. Give them an accordion, and they're still trying to figure out which button does what six months later, their factory work quotas unfulfilled and their place on the next shock-work rice planting punishment brigade assured, three months up to their knees in a shit-fertilised paddy. With compulsory accordion concerts and self-criticism sessions every evening.

Russia: The Second Cold War will be accompanied by the sound of light dance classics

Do what you like, Ivan. We've got an army of Morris Men waiting to shit you up
As a means of pacifying the population, the accordion - for both players and audiences alike - are a soul-crushing means of wiping out dissent and dangerous thoughts.

In North Korea, this is easily summed up by an official Workers' Party slogan: "Let's learn to play the accordion instead of having our fingers stamped on by the commissar!"

It's worth noting that the accordion is prevalent in countries where senior army officials wear huge hats. Not just North Korea, but Russia, Uzbekistan, China, and - if Alex Salmond gets his way - Scotland.

If Scotland votes yes, the Supreme Leader Salmond and the SNP with have the citizenry on the accordion before you know it, and the Scottish navy will be wearing Russ Abbott sized tam o'shanters to boot.

With wall-to-wall accordion- and bagpipe-based talent shows on the new Edinburgh-based SBC television, don't say I didn't warn you.

Meanwhile, in China

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Scouting For Boys: Baden-Powell vs The One-Eyed Trouser Snake

In 1908, Robert Baden-Powell published his classic boook of advice for young men called "Scouting For Boys", the handbook for his fledgling Scout movement.

At the last minute, his publisher got cold feet and urged him to remove a passage on "self-abuse", advice which B-P grudgingly took. Luckily for us, the passge was not entirely lost, and was restored in a 2004 reprint.

So, what did Baden-Powell think of masturbation? (Hint: He's not a fan)

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So. Leave it alone, or if you can't go speak to your Scout Master, and he'll sort it out for you. Wise words, indeed.