50 journeys around the sun today. And I still think I’m 18

I was born in a little hospital in Barnsley called Pindar Oaks. I find this amusing because in its later years it became a mental hospital.

Who would have guessed that today I would be paying regular visits to the Capio Nightingale in Marylebone and having my head shrunk.

One of my major mental aberrations today is that I think I can do everything I used to do when I was 18.

I think I can still go out for a run without coming back and having to put bags of frozen peas on my poor knees.

I think I can go out for a bike ride, but since my last accident where I woke up with a crowd around me, I don’t quite have the nerve back, yet.

I think I can buy a chest of drawers and carry it up the stairs on my own so I don’t have to pay delivery charges.

Finally, I think I can drink 10 pints of Guinness and a couple of double Jack Daniels and Coke and not feel the worse for wear.

On this last one, I know I cannot.

*Sits on settee and watches the room dance for him.

 

 

Genghis Khan: eco warrior

Temüjin was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. He came to power by uniting many of the tribes of Northeast Asia.

After being proclaimed ‘Genghis Khan’, he conquered most of Eurasia. Where he massacred civilian populations across Asia and China.

Now most people would say ‘that’s a bad thing’ but hold your horses. There’s an upside.

He may have massacred over 40 million people in his quest for world domination but by killing all these people it proved beneficial to the environment.

In this time most people were farmers. Killing them allowed vast areas of farmland to be reclaimed by forests.

Which meant there were fewer greenhouse gases and the Earth was allowed to cool.

This is where I see a solution to all these questions about global warming. All we have to do is give his descendants license to swarm across Asia and China again.

10% of the men living in the old Mongolian Empire may carry his Y chromosome, and so about 16 million people alive today could continue his barbaric legacy.

It’s either that or elect Donald Trump President of the US.

I vote Genghis.

‘I would never read an article by a Daily Mail writer’. You do it every day

In my view, the Daily Mail is a joke, rehashing and recycling stories with a fresh amount of bias and propaganda every day.

They do it to fuel the anger of middle class Britain and do a very good job of it too. You would never read what those writers have to say. Right?

Bad news. Years ago, I was talking to a freelance journalist. Lovely fellow, just a little bit worse for wear.

I asked him which papers he wrote for. ‘Every single one’ he replied.

It seems that he writes a story for the Times, let’s say on ‘Brexit’. He would sell that story to the Times and walk off with the cheque in his back pocket.

Then he would rewrite it for ‘The Sun’ adding their bias and write using simpler words. Then he would re-write it for the Daily Mail using their editorial stance.

The same story he would re-purpose for every single newspaper. Same story, 5 different viewpoints.

All we are getting from our newspapers are the views of the editorial staff. The facts have been selectively chosen for that newspaper.

It’s not lying, but it is a sin of omission. We are surrounded by it. And it’s designed to manipulate people into doing what ‘the friends’ of that particular newspaper want us to do.

If you want the real news, you have to search for it online these days. Websites that report the news not what newspapers tell us what news is.

Try http://www.blacklistednews.com/ for a start.

I think you should change your blog. I think you should fuck off

I keep saying this and I will carry on saying this. This is my blog. If you want to read my ‘musings’ feel free. But it’s my rules.

Want to expand on something and put pictures and videos all over the place? Start your own blog.

People are quick to criticise when something doesn’t quite fit with their way of doing things but they are reluctant to do something about it.

Critics will sit at a play then destroy it with a cheap quip. They won’t write a play themselves. Too much effort.

They’ll ridicule the choice of music used as a backing track to a film, or argue that someone is miscast then tell everyone how they would do it better.

Well, critics everywhere, show us what you’re made of. Stop hiding behind your opinions of other people’s work and do something yourselves.

Or are you scared what other people will say about it?

What do you want? I’ll know when I see it

Some clients are rubbish. Sometimes they even admit it. They are supposed to write a brief detailing their requirements so there is no miscommunication.

But do some work based on that brief and they mumble ‘it’s not quite what I was looking for’.

Ask them what they do want and they tell you ‘they’ll know when they see it.’ You can sit them down under bright lights and remove their fingernails one by one but they have no clue how to convey their requirements.

The burning question then is, ‘why are you the marketing executive if you have no vision or inkling of how you want to present your company or brand?’

What usually follows is an unhealthy back and forth where the agency presents hundreds of ideas and the client rejects them until one hits close to the mark.

The client gets excited and then pushes you down an avenue that no one else seems convinced about.

When the work is done, on air, online or in press they then say that they’re not happy with the finished work. And they never were convinced about the idea.

Then you show them their signature on the finished artwork.

Try wriggling out of that one in the Law Courts when you refuse to pay your bill.

Want to change the world? Put the idea on television

We know television influences people. They’ll be talking about what was on last night or the week before and if you missed it you can download it on catch-up.

Someone said the Wire was the best thing on, so everyone watched it. Then Breaking Bad came along and the same happened.

There was a little known experiment carried out in 1988 by the Harvard Business School. They introduced the idea of the ‘designated driver’ into films and TV.

Before they invented the idea it didn’t exist. A year later, people were adopting it all over America. Then it jumped the channel and ended up in the UK.

Now thanks to the prevalence of American TV, it’s everywhere. And it’s a good thing. But what else does American TV and film tell us?

The English are all machiavellian characters. America won the First and Second World War. Terrorists are against freedom. It’s ok to own a gun if you have a license. And God will save you if you send the TV preacher $20.

I’m all for a bit of escapism now and again but I do believe TV should educate people about real history not confuse it.

Some Americans now believe that aliens are real – so they take out alien abduction insurance. The holocaust never happened. And Hitler was a TV character.

You could argue that the internet can provide factual accuracy but when you consider the ‘chocolate is good for you hoax’, is it any wonder people don’t know what to believe anymore?

 

Lawrence, the patron saint of comedians: and funnily enough, chefs and cooks too

St. Lawrence was the archdeacon of Rome under Pope St. Sixtus II. It was his job to provide help from the Church to the poor, sick and needy.

When the Pope was arrested, the prefect of Rome ordered Lawrence lay the church’s treasure before him. St. Lawrence agreed to do it in three days.

When his time was up, Lawrence appeared before the prefect with the poor the sick, the widows and orphans of Rome. Saying “This is the Church’s treasure”.

For his insolence Lawrence was sentenced to be roasted ‘little by little’ on the gridiron, rather than the customary beheading.

After being on the gridiron for a good long time, Lawrence declared, “I am well-done on this side. You can turn me over.”

Just before he died he said “It is cooked enough now”.

Ba-dum tish.

We have a solution. Now let’s find a problem

One of the most famous examples of a ‘solution looking for a problem’ was Listerine. It was first invented in the 1880s, and it wasn’t used as a mouthwash.

It was designed to kill bacteria but where and why wasn’t established. Then some clever johnny came along with bad breath and profits went through the roof.

Viagra was invented to treat high blood pressure and angina but when they found out it gave men (and women) increased blood flow to their genitals, they were laughing all the way to the bank.

These medical people know how to make money. They’ve invented so many different types of toothpaste but how do you get people to use more. Well, you could increase the diameter of the end of the toothpaste tube or put it in a pump dispenser that makes you get through more each day. Genius.

And what about shampoo? How can we make the unwitting consumer consume more? One word. ‘Repeat’. Add it to the end of the instructions ‘Wash. Rinse.’ and people are eating through their shampoo like nobody’s business.

They make soaps that wash away the acid mantle that protects our skin then sell us moisturisers and creams to keep our skin looking healthy.

It’s been proved that we don’t need to shower every day because we actually  destroy our bodies’ natural defence systems.

We are also told to remove unsightly hair, wax our nether regions into more pleasing shapes. Slaver ourselves in cosmetics.

Then there are sprays that clog up our pores so we don’t sweat – which our bodies were designed to do.

They say we deserve to look or smell our best. But what if we just want to be normal chemically unaltered people? Doesn’t that sound better?

“Well, we have this new product which you’ll find is full of natural ingredients, now.”

“We’re all digging our own graves with our teeth.”

It’s a great quote and seems appropriate now since they’re talking about potatoes being bad for your heart and your blood pressure.

We knew potatoes were bad anyway. They contain starch which is broken down into simple sugars and can send your blood sugar sky high.

We can’t eat processed meats anymore because of all the chemicals, so wave goodbye to bacon, ham, sausages and pepperoni.

The jury is still out on dairy products; unless it’s raw and unpasteurised, it’s no good.

So what do we eat? Well, fruit, vegetables and nuts. With the occasional starvation day and cleanse to sluice the pipes out.

But don’t go too heavy on the fruit as it will give you pancreatic cancer.

Oh and fruit and vegetables may have pesticides on them.

And lettuce has been known to cause salmonella.

Water’s not all that good for you either.

Or breathing near a main road.

So cut all that out and you won’t die of heart disease and cancer, you’ll die of starvation, dehydration and asphyxiation.

Just trying to help.

 

The NWOBHM: the second wave?

A few years ago Tygers of Pan Tang started releasing music with founder member Rob Weir on the guitar again.

Then Raven released ‘Extermination’  and Tank released ‘Valley of Tears’ and I almost wept with delight.

Today, I am listening to the new Vardis album and I cannot be any happier. This is the music I grew up with – the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

Most people will know Iron Maiden because they never went away. They may know Saxon because they still put out albums and tour. Or even Angel Witch. But the years have worn them down.

The NWOBHM was heavy metal. It was raucous and raw. Like Motorhead it drew its inspiration from punk. They wanted to get away from the blues rock of Led Zeppelin or the progressive anthems of Genesis and Yes. These youngsters were angry, expressive and impressive.

Then it all got a bit mushy. And all the anger of the NWOBHM was replaced with big hair, spandex and ballads. The money men made it ‘acceptable’ and sellable.

From its inspiration we got thrash metal, speed metal and nu metal. (You can thank Black Sabbath for black metal.)

In my opinion these bands have been away too long. I can only hope they maintain their angry young men stance even though they are angry middle aged men, now