Short, Stupid Thursday

Thursday 4 May 2006

I’m still working through a backlog of stuff, but after the longish writeups of Samuel Beckett and Tate Modern (and too much time spent dicking around with pictures of John Hurt) it’s time for a few, short, stupid posts to break up the routine. See them below: one, two, three.

A Close Call (contains exaggeration, spurious praise of deity, sentence fragment)

Thursday 4 May 2006

I woke in a cold sweat last night and had to get online to check my blog again, convinced that somewhere in my discussion of Monet and Rothko I had used the word ‘diaphanous’. False alarm, thank god.

You sick bastard

Thursday 4 May 2006

Someone visited this site searching for “Denise Drysdale tits“. I’m speechless.

Name your Japanese hip hop posse

Thursday 4 May 2006

Urgent Ditsy Casual Pack

Liveblogging the BBC radio coverage of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Wednesday 15 March 2006

  • Melbourne is so up for this.
  • It’s very famous, I haven’t seen it.
  • This is the precursor to what is going to happen next.
  • It’s a tremdous opportunity to soak up the experience.
  • They are what they are.
  • Melburnians will come to watch any event.
Then, the broadcast suddenly stopped after half an hour and they switched to a phone-in about hosepipe bans.

Fun fact: the Australian national anthem was written by a Scotsman, who was paid 100 pounds by the government. I didn’t know that.

UPDATE: Intersecting Lines gives a first-hand account of the festivities – more details, more accurate.

Name your ironic, Pavement-type indie band

Saturday 11 March 2006

  • The Licensed Heroes
  • Sex Yacht Wiki

Great News in The War on Terror

Tuesday 28 February 2006

Back in July when bombers struck London, the custodians of the building I work in swung into immediate action, and by October had stuck signs in the lifts warning us to be careful.
Today, I came in bright and early as is my usual habit, to find that the Islamic-Chicos-cum-Ghostbusters-logo has now been removed, which I guess means that cheap laminated signs have seen off the Islamofascist threat for now.

Well done, everyone! Together, our vigilance and steadfastness has made our world only slightly less dangerous than it was before.

But when barrel-scraping stage musicals became known to more and more people, the demands to do something about Ben Elton became louder and louder…

Sunday 19 February 2006

So it’s come to this. Lord knows there’s enough crappy musicals plaguing the surfeit of fleapit theatres that infest London’s west end. Not content with Abba tribute shows, Queen tribute shows, Billy Joel tribute shows, and Joe Dolce tribute shows, the West End is racing to the bottom in a desperate bid to take more money from dazed tourists still punchdrunk from the currency exchange rate. I spotted this down the pub:

At first I thought, “Wow, two hours of Eagle Rock played over and over”, but then I noticed the tiny print below the big title and my heart sank. Apparently it tells the story of a young man who hangs out with Rasputin, Ma Ba(r)ker, Ross Wilson and baby Jesus. Please note that it says “love and music”, not “love of music.”
Previews start on 26 April, so hurry! Australians will eat this shit up too. Americans are less likely to get it (in more than one sense).
Worse still, it’s not just Boney M but other bands created by musical genius Frank Farian – this includes Milli Vanilli. Yes, the little blue flyer promises that punters will get to “Girl You Know It’s True”, but doesn’t mention that for the first time ever, you will actually see someone really sing it. Although this is true of all the blokey bits in Boney M’s oeuvre as well.
It’s worth reading the interview with Farian about the show, if only for the choice quote, “I can’t make a comedy, it doesn’t go with our songs.” More importantly, it reveals the Boney M no-one remembers, such as their mid-80s attempt at prog-rock, and the long lost TV special…

which Farian says was called Boney M Lost the M. “What was the plot of that?” He shakes his head. “The story was Boney M lost the M. It was a very low-budget film.”

Think about it: it failed to meet Frank Farian’s standards. I need to see this.

Sport, drinking: two things you grow to wish you weren’t so good at

Monday 13 February 2006

England is a relatively cold country which gets snowed on regularly. Australia is relatively hot and 99% of the population must travel if they are to see snow at all.
England (although reluctant to admit it) is part of Europe, birthplace of all Olympic winter sports. Australia is about as far away from Europe as you can get without leaving orbit, and has no representation in most Olympic winter sports.
British TV has started showing winter Olympics events from Turin without much fanfare on the BBC digital channels. I have heard no speculation in the media about any British medal prospects. Australian network TV has been, based on past experience, heavily promoting its round-the-clock Olympics coverage for weeks in advance. There will be detailed evaluation of Australia’s slim hopes of fluking another gold medal, which is regarded as a genuine achievement rather than a humorous anomaly.
The returning Australian atheletes will get a parade. The returning British atheletes will not, but anyone winning a gold medal will get an MBE. Even with an MBE, the British will have lower expectations of being taken seriously than the Australians.
The BBC is runing ads explaining to people what a luge is. Australians have known what a luge is for years and spent the past week debating Zoeggeler’s chances of winning.
However, Scottish TV will still skip episodes of The Sopranos to show the local curling playoffs instead.
I hope I’m starting to sound more like an expatriate but really, I’m only in it for the babes.

There are no stupid questions, only stupid people

Thursday 26 January 2006

“Are you going to be long in there?” Dude, she’s in an instant photo booth – I think you can wait.

Masons in Distress!

Friday 20 January 2006

Filler by Proxy XXIX: Where spam comes from

Friday 20 January 2006

Do you ever get spam from dodgy Nigerians who have millions of dollars lying around the place, but need your help to get it out of the country? Sure you do. But have you ever wondered what sort of person writes and sends this stuff to you? Teju Cole has met one while sitting in an internet cafe in Lagos.
The man seated next to me my first time at Tomsed was composing a message by the hunt and peck method. He pressed one letter on the keyboard, searched for the next, pressed that one, and so on. It was his one-fingered technique that attracted my attention, but when my eye alighted – not entirely accidentally – on his text, I caught my breath. The man was composing a 419 letter. A real-live scam artist sitting next to me. The words were as expected: “transfer”, “dear friend”, “deposited into your account forthwith.” So this was the origin of all that flotsam.

They don’t use your banking details, by the way. The idea behind the scam is to nickel-and-dime you on “unexpected” banking and legal fees to allegedly grease the wheels of Nigerian finance. You can find out more about the 419 scam, and some creative ways of dealing with it, here and especially here. Meet the person who actually got some money out of a Nigerian conman!

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

Saturday 14 January 2006

Good Day,
Let me start by introducing myself, I am MR BEN.H, CREDIT ACCOUNTS OFFICER EQUITABLE PCI BANK. I am writing you this letter based on the latest development at my bank, which I will like to bring to your personal edification. I am writing you this letter with so much joy and excitement even though my heart goes out to the very powerful and distinguished gentleman who I was fortunate to have worked for and extremely privileged to have known for numerous years. I am a top official in charge of client accounts in EQUITABLE PCI BANK inside Zimbabwe.
In 2005, my client was going through a horrendous divorce in the United States Of America and Was on the verge of losing most of his estate to his vicious and diabolical wife. As a result of this alarming predicament, my client came to me with a very brilliant idea. He transferred some funds, five hundred dollars($500) to a pavement by the side of a road in Hackney, East London. Due to his untimely death in early January 2006, the funds have been sitting on the pavement for a matter of hours before I could find them lying in the street on my way home from the pub. My client did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I would like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to our client so that you will be able to receive his funds. I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we can come out successful. I have contacted an attorney that will prepare the necessary document that will back you up as the next of kin to my client.
There is no risk involved at all in the matter as we are going adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents. The allocation of our money will be as follows: 20%($100) to you for your part in this, 75% for me and my partners and 5% for any unforeseeable expenses we may incur. I think this is extremely fair, as you have nothing to lose but just a little time, while on the other hand I am staking my flawless reputation among other things. And besides 100 Zimbabwean dollars is no pocket change. Once you are approved, the entire transaction should take no longer than twelve business days after which we will go about our daily business, but just one hundred dollars richer.

As you can see this is easier than taking candy from a baby, but mind you, trust is something that is developed over time and that is something that we do not have. So I have to let you know that it will highly unfeasible to try to run away with the money because even though only you can transfer money in and out of your account, the transfer can only be authorized by my department of which i happen to be the head. The money will be transferred from my bank to an account you will provide. So please, there should be no room for greed because one hundred dollars can quench even the most insatiable desire for the almighty dollar.
Again, I will be in charge of everything else. I will assume all responsibilities for this endeavor so you don’t have to worry about any legal ramifications, just what you will do with all that money.
Your urgent response is highly anticipated so please email me for more details on this transaction as soon as possible. This should be kept very secret and confidential. I believe you know.
kind Regards,
Mr. Ben.H

I guess the curvy scimitar-bayonet thing is meant to imply they’re Islamic or something

Monday 9 January 2006

Long-time readers how my workplace swung into action a mere three months after the London tube bombings to make the building terrorist-proof, by sticking up signs in the lifts. In the same spirit of tireless vigilance, I have finally gotten around to taking a photograph of the sign for your ‘enjoyment.’
Judging from the terrorist’s appearance, London is in imminent threat from the Chicos Liberation Front.

Starting the year as we mean to go on

Monday 2 January 2006

Continuing on from last year, let’s get 2006 rolling with another photo of this website’s patron saint:

This is the Jeremy Bentham pub in Bloomsbury. Just behind him, further down the street, is the building that houses his notorious Auto-Icon. On the street corner is a large plaque set into the pub wall, telling passersby the Bentham story, much of which seems to have been cribbed from for the Wikipedia article about him, particularly the guff about his stuffed corpse being dragged out only for special university occasions. A stroll one block over will verify that the man is on permanent display.
Haven’t drunk in here yet, but the pub reviews I just looked up for the above link says they sometimes stock a cask of Orkney Dark Island, one of the world’s greatest beers. Must investigate.