Monthly Archives: March 2016

Who Are You?

Before we get going, I’d like to make an observation. Have you ever noticed that just about the only acceptable way to approach a complete stranger on the street is to compliment them on their tee shirt? It’s true. I’ve done it several times and always received a positive response, be it the guy behind me at the ferry terminal in a shirt that read “In dog beers, I’ve only had one” or the chap in the coffee shop wearing a  shirt from the Medicine Department of Miskatonic University or the guy in a different coffee shop in the Liverpool F.C.replica shirt with the number 10 and the name Coutinho on the back. On each occasion I’ve said “Great shirt, mate”, and received a smile and thanks in return. Actually, I had a really enjoyable, if short conversation with the Miskatonic “alum”, made even better by his response to my telling him I sport one from the Literature Department.

Of course, you can only get away with such comments to other guys. If the  woman ahead of you in the coffee line is impressively shod  and you say “Cute boots” to her, the next thing you experience will be lying on the gurney while  the nurse rinses the mace out of your eyes and the E.R. physician prepares to remove one of the aforementioned items of footwear from the place where you used to have functioning genitalia.

You cannot believe how much empirical research went into the above statement, you really can’t.

This leads me to my story. A few weeks ago my sweetie and I went to see Wussy at the Funhouse. It’s a dump, a real scuzzy pit, to tell the truth, but the chance to see Wussy was too good to pass up. We skipped the first two openers, but  had the misfortune to hear the third, and not even an unbelievably good margarita could kill the pain of having to hear them. Anyhoo, on our way from the door to the bar I saw a rather scruffy looking guy sitting next to the merch table wearing what I took to be a Joy Division “Unknown Pleasures” long sleeved tee. On my way back, drinks in hand I said ” Love the shirt, man” to which I received the response “Thanks, you have to go to Cleveland to get one”. It was then that I realised that the back bore the name of a Cleveland record store and the front was the “Unknown Pleasures” cover art trimmed into the shape of the great, I mean the state of Ohio.

I thought no more of it until my sweetie pointed out that the guy looked like, and it was here that I misheard her, because the guy looked nothing at all like the former Joy Division and New Order bassist, until the penny dropped and I realised she’d said “Buck”.  “Nah, it can’t be” was my natural reply.  She produced her phone and pulled up some pictures. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!!!!!!!!!! “You’ve just freaked me out” was all I could manage to say. Of course, it WAS the former R.E.M. guitarist and I’d just not recognised him.   Those of you who know me know that I love R.E.M., but never had the chance to see them live, don’t bother with music videos and don’t even touch”Rolling Stone” on the basis that I can actually afford real toilet paper.  I was truly bummed not to have recognised him, but now couldn’t do anything about it. He sat with the headliners who were staffing their own merch table and during the show ambled around, having a good time. This town doesn’t really appreciate overt  fanboy behaviour, so I just let it go and made sure not to stare, unlike the loser who made a point of introducing himself and shaking Buck’s hand. Wanker.

I bet he told all his friends, and anyone else who would listen about it until he was blue in the face and they were bored to tears. Don’t you just hate people like that?






























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Let The Idiot Speak

Note: This one is a bit heavy on the editorial content.

Now that so called “Super Tuesday” is  behind us, all I can say is WTF, ‘Merka? Seriously, what is wrong with you people? Well, not you exactly, I mean anyone who is reading this, in all probability has more than two brain cells to rub together, but I’m still puzzled. As someone who grew up with the parliamentary system I find the American method of choosing a leader to be bizarre in the extreme. Essentially, in Britain a general election is just a nationwide  series of local elections and the prime minister is simply the leader of the party that wins the most constituencies, and isn’t elected directly. Even after over two decades, I still find the primary process insane, especially the fact that anyone can declare themselves as either Democrat or Republican and run on that ticket without any prior justification or history.

Like most people, I presumed that Trump’s announcement to run was just one more ego trip designed to generate free publicity for whatever plan he had in hand and I fully expected the whole thing to crash and burn in a spectacular manner after a couple of weeks. Of course, I’m not going to rehash all his outrageous statements and claims, but from anyone else they would have spelled instant death followed by a flurry of the usual non-apology apologies and rationalisations. Not so with Trump. He is the archetype of someone who has never been questioned, never been called out on anything he says and has never been told  “No”.  What started out as a joke became a farce and then passed into a surrealist farrago that even Bunuel and Dali on acid couldn’t match on their best days. I bet Jon Stewart must be kicking himself for leaving “The Daily Show” just as the richest vein of material in comedy history was discovered. This makes the whole Anthony Wiener affair pale by comparison.

I don’t want to fall foul of Godwin’s Law, but as some of you know, I am something of a history buff – take a look at my book shelves and you’ll see for yourselves, but I have to point out that Trump’s rise to prominence is not without precedent. I can think of another political outsider with a stupid haircut who rose to popularity by offering the ill educated masses quick and easy solutions to complex problems, blamed all the country’s perceived ills on foreign powers whom he would force to pay recompense or face the consequences and wanted to force a religious group to be identifiable in public.  We all know how that turned out, don’t we?  At least with all those golf courses, the Donald has no shortage of bunkers.

Of Rubio and Cruz I will say little except the infighting between them has been hilarious as each one tries to outdo the other in religiosity and political hard lining. It comes to something when John Kasich is the voice of reason. My only hope is that this election truly tears the Republican party apart once and for all.

The other side of the coin isn’t too sweet either. Why does this country have an obsession with crazy old guys? Ross Perot, John McCain, and now Bernie Sanders. I just don’t get it. I find it hilarious that half the country is terrified of someone who claims to be a Socialist. Just the mere mention of the word is enough to give the entire population of the Confederacy an attack  of the vapours. Well, let me tell you, Bernie ain’t no Socialist. As a former card carrying member of the Labour Party amongst other organisations, he would be laughed out of any meeting I’ve ever attended.At best, he is a liberal democrat with some crazy thrown in for good measure. I bet his basement is full of soccer and baseballs that have flown over his garden fence.

Last, but by no means least is Hillary Clinton. I will confess that I don’t like her. She expected this primary campaign to be some sort of coronation procession.

It may well end up that way, but what I can’t stand is her smug expression and her obvious sense of entitlement, like a spoilt child who knows that she will get any present she asks for. Even if she wins, and I expect she will, her first term will make Obama’s tenure look like a New Year’s Eve party. I can predict with confidence that the hate campaign against her will be like nothing we have ever seen. If you thought Obama had a hard time getting anything done, wait until Inauguration Day and then see what happens.

From all the above you may have the impression that I won’t be voting in November. Nothing could be further from the truth. I intend to mail in my ballot as soon as I can, and will vote exactly the way those of you who know me expect me to. I just think that there has to be a way to select the de facto leader of the free world that has more dignity, substance and honesty than the current one. Who’s for a new television series? I have a great idea – American Presidential Candidate Gladiator.














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