Tag Archives: humanity

One little prick

As has been documented elsewhere, for example by people pointing and laughing in pubs, I went through a period of cutting my own hair a few years ago. Listen I don’t care what you think, which must be why I stopped doing it, or something, but the point here is that not once did I consider a mullet.

This person looking at me from my computer screen has a mullet, and by the looks of it also cut it herself. I say ‘herself’. It’s called Angela, it looks female and as a budding sleuth I’m all about the evidence. This Angela is being interviewed about why it thinks it’s all right to have a mullet, which of course it isn’t. It’s asked “Do you think mullets make you seem more masculine or feminine?” and I wait with febrility for its insightful answer.

“Gender is a concept that doesn’t really exist anymore.”

Well bugger me if we’re not on tricky territory with this one.

Continue reading One little prick

Maximum AI

Well that’s it then. It’s all over.

Plato. Lincoln. Einstein. Parks. Tendulkar. Churchill and Pryor. Schindler. Tubman. Wilberforce, Hendrix and Peel. Johnson and Jonson. Fleming. Pankhurst. Dec.

These names and so many more light up the sky like Sana’a at dusk. The history of humanity is a tale of triumph against the odds. But every good thing must come to an end, and that end is upon us.

Someone has actually built a T-800.

Continue reading Maximum AI


It must be nice having a following. Lots of people interested in what you have to say, or at least interested enough to click a button on a website, once, ever. Friends vicariously enjoying your morning flat white, while Liking the articles about global warming, feminism and the KKK you link. I think you’re one of the few people in the world who really gets it. I wish I had half as much influence.

To be fair I’m not really putting the effort in. Take YouTube. I don’t post many videos, but I’m proud of the three subscribers to my ‘channel’ who enjoy my valiant efforts to improve the internet. This involves a video of a band called Snuff doing the theme to Test Match Special, and a collection of clips you could bracket under the title ‘The Best of Jason’s Murders from the Friday the 13th Franchise’.

Continue reading Tiddies

A time before E.ON

Channel 4, home of Posh Pawn, My Big Fat Diet Show (?) and Three Wives One Husband, where three women shit onto a bloke watching the rugby. The other night I accidentally landed on Channel 4 when whatever I was watching on catch-up ran out, and made the fatal error of not hammering desperately at every button within reach.

It was a programme about the royal family, I think. At any rate there was lots of Diana in it and she died. There were clips of plebs exhibiting mass grief outside a palace they weren’t allowed in. A huge, blatantly hard man shuddered as his beetroot-red face leaked onto the pitbull tattooed on the bingo wing of the ‘woman’ consoling him.

Where is he now, I wonder? How does he remember that day? Nobly, one suspects, with gnarled fists brandished if his manliness is ever questioned. But the TV doesn’t lie, matey. No matter how many fat people it exploits while promising Baked-Off strudels are good for you, Channel 4 doesn’t lie. You bawled like a smacked infant at the death of a rich woman you didn’t know, who’d have treated you like a 17th-century peasant with a large red X on his door had she met you, and we all saw it.

Continue reading A time before E.ON

Mooing in defiance

Trump got elected. It’s not hugely surprising. Poor people responded to their unhappy situation by voting in a man who plans to cut taxes for the rich. Uneducated people voted for a guy who will make it far, far harder for the average child to get decent schooling without parents who rob banks. It turns out people are stupid. Shocker.

A couple of years ago I probably would have been spitting feathers about it all. But there’s no rage for politics left in me. All that’s left now is to laugh.

This truly is the crowning glory of human achievement – the setting up of a system so confusing to the layman that they willingly truss their own hooves and leap onto the cart to the abattoir, mooing in defiance at the man with the bolt gun. If you can’t laugh at that you must be a Mrs Brown’s Boys fan.

Continue reading Mooing in defiance

Save those snails

Less than a minute ago I was in the communal kitchen of this open prison some call an office. A man there had been told by a woman that using a disposable cup wasn’t great for the environment. He then said this:

“They say we shouldn’t use plastic cups and we should bring in our own mug but…I haven’t got time to clean it!

His emphasis.


Continue reading Save those snails

A brave move for a lad they call Del Boy

I remember it just like it was yesterday. I think I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. I may have only just come around from the shock of it, but I can still say I’m glad I was there, I’m glad I saw it.

Did you see it too? Have you been watching The Apprentice recently? The moment was so seismic I swear I saw my TV levitating while every spoon in my flat was bending or some other such supernatural analogy. It was that never before seen footage of a candidate on the show displaying the lesser-known behaviour of humility in the boardroom.

Lindsay – my new hero and mentor – after titting up a pointless and wanky sales task found herself in the boardroom on the losing side of the blame game. We’ve seen this before, and we know what to expect. We were waiting for her to fling herself around the room, wildly passing blame onto anyone and everyone, egomaniacally washing herself of any responsibility and making desperate claims about how brilliant she is and how many businesses she’s successfully made a few quid from, which usually boils down to a few bits sold on eBay and/or a small enterprise set up as part of AS-Level Business coursework.

But she didn’t. Cheeks ever so slightly aflame and eyes showing just a tiny hint of moisture, she did something unthinkable and just took the blame. Not only did she take the blame for failing in that particular task, but she went on to explain how she just wasn’t the right fit for the process. Of course you’re not the right fit, Lindsay! You’ve got a fucking heart you poor dear!

Sitting to her right, someone who is absolutely the right fit for the process – in other words, a total twat – went from getting ready to push her under the train to extending an arm of sympathy. A brave move for a lad they call Del Boy. You’d think he would be too afraid of catching humanity to actually touch someone who had the foolishness to admit to what he’d perceive as ‘weakness’.

Across the table, poor old Lord Sugar, with the look of a dried apricot that’s been rolling around in the fluff under the sofa for a good while, was just baffled.

For the merest moment, as I sat on my sofa with every muscle in my body tightening, I thought to myself “fucking hell, she might actually win this”. How could she not? Having shown honesty, integrity and self-awareness, she was a stand out. So she’s no salesperson, but is that really what it takes to be an entrepreneurial success?

Well yes, it probably is, and it sure as hell matters when you’re trying to go into business with Lord Al. With the confused look of a tortoise that’s just had a load of fag ash dumped on its head he did what he had to do. More gently than he perhaps would have done otherwise, he put our Linds out of her misery fairly quickly.

Up and away she went with well-deserved dignity, leaving behind a boardroom full of sharks who were too busy thinking about who to scapegoat next to dwell too much on the brief display of human decency they had witnessed.

It comes from the French word apprendre; to learn. An apprentice is one who learns or is learning. It’s why people get away with paying them pennies in the real world, because they supposedly have no skills that are valuable enough to warrant payment. What they get is the knowledge of one more experienced than them so that they can go out into the world and make a living.

Not so the cast of The Apprentice. They know it all already, though they’ll occasionally pepper their self-promoting windbagging with a few words of flattery about Lord Alan. Essentially they want to be as loaded as him and they want to know how the fuck he did it; that’s basically the learning they’re interested in.

One thing no one needs to tell them is there are very few ways in this world to become that rich without having a fairly loose attitude towards the feelings of others. I’m not saying everyone who is rich got there by being mean, but there are elements of it. Whether it’s by smashing the little guys, or taking a pay cheque for something that doesn’t fit with your morals just because there are several zeroes before the decimal point, you can get rich, but it’s unlikely to be the result of being nice.

Go forth and conquer it all, Lindsay. You don’t need to learn anything from Lord Alan or Del Boy or even Karen and Nick. You’re a hands down decent person which may mean you’ll never be stinking rich, but your position as The Nicest One on The Apprentice will doubtless be safe for many, many more series to come.

An aching legion of pine box evaders

Logan’s Run, now there’s a movie.

Based on the life expectancy figures that edge ever upwards year after year, most people eventually get old. Some don’t; there will always be a child exploding in an electricity substation after reaching for his battered red Frisbee while the girl who made him go in there shouts “Jimmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”, and we call that ‘Darwinism’.

If you don’t know what that refers to, that means two things: one, you should probably put ‘public information substation danger’ into Youtube and watch how the government used to routinely shit us up over our fish fingers; and two, you’re probably not old enough to need to care about getting old any time soon.

Good for you, because that might also mean you won’t have to turn into a complete arsehole any time soon. Old people, almost universally, are scum, potentially deserving of the millions of volts poor Jimmy received, though in most old people that would probably have the same effect as Berocca does on the rest of us.

I have two examples from today alone. Firstly, obviously, an aching legion of pine box evaders in Clacton-on-Sea have voted in their greying thousands for UKIP to win their first MP. For weeks they have been on TV news moaning about anyone they’ve not known for decades as regular patrons of the local butcher. Foreigners eat dog and that’s reason enough alone to vote UKIP, to protect JM Morley & Sons and ensure I get my pound of liver every fortnight without having to visit a supermarket filled with brown people. Old people eat liver by the way, another black mark.

The other example comes from Estonia where, in a rare good news story in the time of Ebola, ISIS and, well, UKIP, MPs have narrowly voted in favour of legalising gay marriage. The vote was 40 to 38 in favour and the massed ranks of decrepit Estonians were predictably furious at the result, having corralled their motorized pavement-clearing death machines into Talinn’s main square to protest against this affront to decency. Honestly, my dear old ageing army of Estonia, I’d say you’re overestimating your personal appeal if you think that law will affect you in any way.

Why do old people have to be so scared and angry about things the rest of see as basic human decency and equality? There’s a natural tendency for old age to bring on a creeping move to the right wing of politics but, though it’s generally accepted as fact, does anyone know why? They’re getting nearer the grave, many of them believe in some form of afterlife, so should their last act on Earth really be to act the total fucking bastard to minorities and anyone they’ve not known all their lives?

I know an old guy in my neighbourhood; I once helped him out with a website of his and now I’m stuck with him. He’s in his 70s and has loads of extraordinary stories about his countless jobs and japes, and though half of them are no doubt balderdash he’s still quite entertaining. He also thinks HIV/AIDS is a disease the ‘organism’ that is the Earth created to wipe out homosexuality. He fully believes in the death penalty as a way to reduce the prison population. He’s also a UKIP activist though I’m sure that’s a coincidence.

My grandfather, who I love dearly, has professed clearly racist views in the past and I do everything I can to ensure the conversation goes nowhere near any vaguely related subject. My 72-year-old stepfather is worse. I have a mate who absolutely idolises his ageing father and who I heard use the words ‘fucking poofs’ the other day, fully imitating his wonderful old man, completely without sarcasm.

There is the odd ray of light. I read about an old gent at Labour’s recent party conference who made an impassioned speech in favour of workers’ and human rights. My chest swelled with pride, and by all accounts he brought the auditorium close to tears. My pride and their tears were a direct result of the astonished delight that we’d found an old man who wasn’t a bigot railing against any form of change and the way ‘naive’ people below the age of 70 are ruining things for everyone.

The obvious assumption is that old people look back on their lives, realise they’ve wasted a huge majority of their time in jobs that amounted to bugger all, and set about raging at the injustice of it all. But why exactly they home in on ‘progress’ as the cause of their unspeakable futility is anyone’s guess. Can they honestly believe that the world would be a better place if they’d been allowed to live like the peasants in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, eventually to be carried away on a cart of corpses while pleading “I feel happy! I feel happy!”?

That’s where we’d be without progress – the past. In almost every single example anyone could ever provide, the past wasn’t a better place. Progress is good. Death is inevitable so, please, take my advice: when you feel the first stirrings of old age tugging at your mind with the words “But why does everything always have to change?”, accept that your time is up.

You’re no longer relevant to public life in any way, but that’s fine, because we’ll look after you. We’ll reform health and social care so you’re cared for properly and with dignity. You can laugh out your final years with your friends and family, protected from frightening current events. And the rest of humanity can get on with the business of tolerance and fairness without you beating us about the brains with your bitterness.

The serious business of blame

The corpse of a west London schoolgirl has turned up in the River Brent. Plainly this is grim news for the people who knew her, and the sympathies of the country are with them at this difficult time.

It’s important to get that out of the way, like the condolences handed out to the families of dead soldiers at the start of Prime Minister’s Questions, just before MPs start baying hateful abuse at each other and making noises that sound like a goat’s vinegar strokes. Now we’ve said that we feel distinctly sorry for the family of the dead girl, we can move on to the serious business of blame.

It appears the police think some Latvian did it. There’s a good chance he’s pissed off back to Latvia since the crime was committed – the very country in which a few years ago he murdered his wife in a forest. The word ‘lure’ is used when that tale is told. He sounds a bit of a git does Arnis Zalkalns.

If he did indeed kill the British schoolgirl, that makes the blame game nice and easy. We blame Zalkalns. I’m no criminologist but the world will be a saner place for all of us if the man who did the murder is the man blamed for the murder. But we can’t confirm that he did it yet, not least because nobody knows where he is except perhaps for a load of Latvians, and that’s where the art of blaming takes a fun turn.

He killed his wife and served seven years in prison for it. Not long enough, with hindsight, but he served his time, was released and as far as the Latvian authorities were concerned he was free to hot-foot it to Britain to mess with schoolgirls because of the EU’s rules on freedom of movement. He comes here, he’s arrested on suspicion of assaulting a different schoolgirl in 2009 and released without charge, and even has the gall to take a British builder’s job while he’s here, the bastard.

Something has to be done. The Latvians have let him go, not monitored him at all, he’s free to go where he wants in Europe and now he’s over here touching up and murdering our schoolgirls. Something is rotten at the heart of the European project when a man can come here from somewhere they speak a funny language and kill one of US, and piss off back east to blend in with the very people who’ve allowed this to happen.

That ‘something rotten’ is the way this story will highlight how we view ‘other people’. The implication is that, had Arnis Zalkalns stayed in Latvia and killed a Latvian schoolgirl, it would matter far less. Is that really where we’ve ended up?

We all know the media will latch onto a good child murder, particularly if it’s of a girl, ideally a white one, and if there’s a dodgy homemade video of her appearing in some shocking school play, all the better. It’s possibly a stretch to say the News of the World may have considered topping one or two nativity play Marys themselves when the phone hacking lost its lustre, but you get the point.

But if this young, pretty, white girl is foreign in some way, or killed somewhere else, that’s really not our concern. There’ll be a devastated family somewhere, but not here, so never mind. We like TV news shots of dull British streets with yellow police tape and small white tents like on Silent Witness, not mysterious overseas cities of dark rains and police uniforms we don’t recognise. If Latvians want to kill Latvians that’s their business. How dare they come here and kill US?

People frequently define themselves by where they’re ‘from’. I could lay claim to the area of London where I live, or claim to be a Londoner, or an Englishman, or British. Anything wider than that makes you out as a freak in 2014. Nonetheless, I’m a citizen of the EU, an inhabitant of the continent of Europe, an Earth-dweller and a member of the human race and why the bloody hell would I choose one of the mid-range classifications, British say, to decide whether I care about someone being murdered?

I never met Alice Gross and I don’t doubt she’s a huge loss for her family, but if she’d been Latvian, Albanian, Peruvian or someone on the International Space Station I’d care as much or as little. Now her body’s been found we’re about to embark on weeks of moaning about why the suspect was allowed to come to Britain to commit this crime, utterly ignoring that he could have gone to any other country and we probably wouldn’t have heard about it. But he came to Britain because ‘they’ all come to Britain, and if we can use the death of a schoolgirl to reduce the number of immigrants ‘coming over here, taking our jobs’, we’d be fools to miss the opportunity.

There’s just as much chance that a British fiend will travel to another European country and kill one of their schoolgirls, unencumbered by any form of monitoring by British authorities. Next time this happens, let’s see if there’s an outcry here about it. He could have stayed in Britain and killed someone here, but thanks to the freedom of movement he could happily head off to Banská Bystrica and commit the type of atrocity that makes Hostel look like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

So as the shouting commences and lasts a full eight months to the election, consider taking a breath and defining yourself first and foremost as a human being who hates the nasty shit we do to each other, regardless of how close to home the victim might be. Alice Gross is a dead schoolgirl, and that’s awful. She’s not an excuse for xenophobia.

The Drake equation

Fifty-odd years ago, S.E.T.I. – the US government funded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – was founded. Its creation was due in large part to a then recently formulated equation (the Drake equation, to be precise) which, in trying to mathematically determine the number of intelligent civilizations that exist in our galaxy (or as I prefer to refer to it, the infinite inky blackness of space), came up with the conclusion: ten thousand.

So we, as a species, started searching the infinite, inky blackness of space (metaphorically of course, for as both you and I know, space is actually predominantly green in colour).

So we searched it, remember? That infinite inky blackness of space? And do you know what we found?

Well, yes, of course you do. We found nothing.

Nothing in the infinite inky blackness of space. Nothing.

We would have remembered hearing all about it if we’d found something, wouldn’t we, in the infinite inky blackness of space? But we never did.

We found nothing.

In the infinite inky blackness of space; nothing.

And that’s what I love about our planet, the one we cling to. The Earth.

There it is, glittering away. All alone. The only smudge of intelligent life in the whole, infinite inky blackness of space.

That’s us, innit? You and me and them. The inhabitants of, the passengers on, space-ship Earth. Hurtling through nothing at 60,000mph, the only intelligent lifeforms, you may recall, in the whole fucken Galaxy.

And we, all of us down here, really, really fucken hate each other.

The only intelligent life in the infinite inky blackness of space, and we all, as a species, hate each other.

Isn’t that remarkable?

Go us.