The barmaid looks at me with a mixture of incomprehension and disgust.
She’s holding what looks like a multipurpose communication/healing/stun device from a shit 80s sci-fi. I’m holding a picture of the Queen on a piece of cotton paper. We seem to have got our genres mixed up.
Continue reading A convenient dystopia
In 1971, windswept crooner Don MacLean penned a little-known ditty (presumably inspired by the Weitz brothers film of the same) in which he warbled about “the day the music died”. Though MacLean was actually referring to the tragic 1959 plane crash which claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson, the true fate that has befallen music has proven to be far longer, more drawn-out and exponentially more painful.
Not that careering Earthwards in a ball of flame would be a fun way to go, but at least it would be over in a matter of minutes and carries with it a certain poetic panache. Come to think of it, there are few deaths that are more protracted and boring than the one in the throes of which the music industry currently finds itself – death by streaming.
Continue reading Humdrumification
A milestone birthday. Today marks 40 years since I was forcefully extracted from inside a screaming 16-year-old girl, for once not behind the tombola at the local fete while ‘close-knit’ villagers bay for vengeance.
Yes, today is the day I fill out the second half of my dirty old man application form. If anyone tries telling you 40 isn’t old, ask them to imagine how they look through the eyes of someone half that age. Youth is the future, as a confused Jeremy Corbyn will soon find out when they euthanise him in favour of some infant in a suit.
Continue reading Behind the tombola
Welcome to the end of London.
Everyone knows what’s been going on. Knife attacks, vans mowing into pedestrians, panic and fire. There’s terror and there’s terrorism, there’s anger and there’s fear. Right now there’s police tape all over the Seven Sisters Road and a tower block filled with charred corpses gravely peering over Ladbroke Grove.
And now even the weather’s getting in on the act, the fireball searing every inch of exposed flesh and making every commute an exercise in keeping murder at bay. In June. All in all, this city’s done.
Continue reading Happy horrific
All week out here in Hanoi there’s been a storm brewing. God himself tore the sky asunder, bringing his omniscient cock down to bear on the Vietnamese capital and opening up a stream of holy piss the likes of which haven’t been seen since the time of Noah. Turns out the vicar’s daughter hadn’t been prudent enough to heed the warnings of senior Tory party reptiles and there will be no ark for her when the floodwaters start rising.
And rise they shall. We’re a little more than a week on from the election, and for all the tooth and nail gibbering that took place during that sordid chunk of history, there emerged no victor.
Continue reading From Westminster to Wetherspoons
Quietly churning away like my stomach at the sight of Amber Rudd tongue-punching Theresa May’s fartbox live on TV, the wheels of democracy have lurched us to the barren cliff edge of election day.
Diane Abbott has jumped off the cliff ahead of Labour Party schedule and is now wallowing in the strange purgatorial realm of ‘illness’ – one that reeks of a sick note from your mum that gets you out of being rugby tackled by the head boy in PE. Only the head boy is now a semi-sentient, permanently concussed farmhand and yet he retains a better grasp on politics than Abbott, which is almost a shame.
The haunted stuffed owl that currently shuffles through No. 10 like a somnambulist, waking in terror at every question fired off by a reporter, somehow still lives, although not in the traditional human sense. Whatever voodoo keeps May alive clearly didn’t work for Abbott. At least she went with a whimper rather than a bang; people are on edge this week and sudden movements make everyone queasy. Continue reading Before the typhoon strikes
I’ve actually quite enjoyed this election campaign.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not lost my fucking mind. I haven’t been glued to leaders’ debates and party election broadcasts, desperate for a fix of election smack to see me through to the next Andrew Neil interview. I’ve quite enjoyed this one because it’s the first time in my adult life I’ve treated it with the same level of interest and respect owed to a hair-pulling girl fight at a Bolton comprehensive.
Continue reading The shifty librarian
The band are on fire.
Not in a Bataclan sense, but they’re tearing through their set like a chainsaw through trifle. The crowd are going batshit and no-one will leave without tinnitus. And you’re in the middle of it all, mainlining life.
From nowhere, a boot is thrust into your eyeline like the Grange Hill sausage. It thrashes about and whips at your eyebrow, ayabastard. By rights you should be furious; there’s no reason for a boot to be up there by your head, nor the ankle poking out of it. You grab it, pull it and drag it over yourself. Sweet Jesus there’s a whole body coming with it, a fat fuck of a man punching the air. He’s shovelled forwards, crushing the pink mohican of the lunatic in front.
It’s brilliant and you’re having the time of your life. But enjoy it while it lasts, because they’re coming for it.
Continue reading The Grange Hill sausage
This month sees the seven-year anniversary of the Tories’ ascension to Downing Street.
Seven is considered to be a magic number by many. Seven days of the week, seven colours in the rainbow, seven continents and seven seas on this great green-and-blue Earth. Seven Samurai, seven books in the Harry Potter series and seven fucking psychopaths.
Seven might be a magical number to some, but it certainly hasn’t proved magical for the majority of Britons over the last seven years, and it’s apparently not quite magical enough for Theresa May, who has decided to reach for five more years in the Prime Ministerial hot seat.
Continue reading Strength and stability
It was a rather hot summer’s morning at about 10am. I’d been up since 6am because I work for myself and my boss is a total prick.
My friend came to see me, said he had the day off. Now, you know that friend you have that, when they say they have the day off, you know you’re about to spend all day down the pub? Well, this is my friend like that. Before I could even argue he threw me my coat, and as this was a summer’s day, this confirmed my suspicions that we would be in the pub all day and most of the night.
It was one of those days where work didn’t matter. Nothing mattered, really.
Continue reading A hole to China