UniLass, Daily Mail and Nu-Comics. The Good, The Bad and the Smugly Offensive.

As frequent visitors to this site – both of you – will know I despise the masturbating, women-hating, rape-advocating zoo of bellendery that is Uni Lad. So the idea of a site dedicated to attacking UniLad is my idea of a good way to spend some time.

I am pleased to say UniLass an engaging and inclusive website whose posts so far have included everything from solidarity with Indian women fighting against sexual violence to a Youtube clip of Riot Grrl! act Bikini Kill. The site aims to deal with misogyny on the internet. Dealing with misogynists on the internet is a bit like dealing with vacuousness on ITV3, or a nigh-on impossible level of a video game where you have to shoot your way through on an ever growing horde of zombies with a slingshot that fires marshmallows.

One site that found itself in the crosshairs of Uni Lass was “Creepshots”, a Facebook page devoted to pictures taken of young women without their consent. The sick website which is in clear contravention of the Facebook rules and regulations is a clear example of what the young women at UniLass are dealing with. Yet what is perhaps most scary is there is very little on the Creepshots page that you couldn’t find on the world’s most popular English language news website.

The Daily Mail website features these “creepshots” on an industrial scale.

In one typically depressing article entitled BROKEN BRITAIN: DRUNK CHAVS SHIT ON CENOTAPH AND WIPE ARSE WITH MAGNA CARTA – or something similar – The Mail’s photographer seemed as enamoured with a young woman in a red dress as the hack who wrote the thing was with the word “revellers”.

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Judging the angle of the picture we can only assume that this was shot by the Daily Mail’s new midget photographer. Either that or someone deliberately crouched down to get a picture of an inebriated woman’s arse and print it in a national paper. I’ll leave it for you to decide.

There are three pictures in total of the woman in the red dress; seen in succession they look like snapshots from a webcam attached to the head of a vertically challenged sex-offender. In fact they made think of the famous “stalking shot” pioneered by innovative horror classic The Evil Dead, the only thing separating these images from a low-budget video nasty was a lack of Dutch angles. Continuing in words what they had done in pictures one caption reads, “You Naughty Girl” which sort of makes me shudder it’s that fucking creepy, it sounds like something Paul Dacre would shout at the screen as he wanks over the very same sexually liberated women his paper condemns.

Below the line it’s clear some people approved of the Mail’s photographer’s eye for a bit of flesh commenting, “the lady in the red dress in Newcastle has the figure for it, great long legs.” It seems from the snapper to the journo to the readers is more obsessed with this lady in red than Chris De Burgh.

Unfortunately there is no depths to which the Mail will not deign to sink in search for click-bait. Here’s a screenshot of a – now edited – article on 14 year old (and before you read on, keep in your mind the fact this girl is 14, a child) Ellie Fanning.

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Some of the more offensive phrases in the article has been removed, Bowdlerising it slightly, but to say this was a mistake, a one of aberration would be to ignore the sheer weight of articles like this on the Mail Online. This one about Chloe Moretz, at the time also 14, speaks of her “vampish red dress” which is also apparently “thigh-skimming”. If you want to see just how many of these sort of articles exist you can simply type “all grown up” into the site’s searchbar, the results are well documented in this Vice article.

I can only presume this sort of thing is so if your co-worker sees you reading the Daily Mail online you can protest that you’re just a paedophile and obviously don’t agree with the paper’s far-right views on asylum, criminal justice and benefits.

But like the hoary old analogy about a stopped clock the Mail can occasionally get it right.

I did not see Big Fat Quiz of the Year but I did hear about the flurry of Mail articles on the subject from seeing rebuttals in the broadsheet press. Following one of the links I was able to read a few of the Mail’s attacks on the show itself and particularly James Corden and Jack Whitehall who were apparently particularly vulgar and distasteful. My immediate reaction was to take the diametrically opposite view to that of the Mail, a tactic which usually serves you well in life.

Now, however, after watching the show I am forced to admit a pretty dirty little secret; I agree with the Daily Mail!

Upon seeing James Cordon on the Big Fat Quiz of the Year my first thought was the title was perhaps one word out. As I continued watching I was struck by just how unfunny and outright embarrassing the pair were, eating pizza, shouting over the much more talented Richard Ayoade and just generally being puerile dickwipes. And when you’re being called puerile by someone who uses “dickwipe” as an insult then you realise you’re pretty much at primary school level. The only participant on the show who did not seem slightly put off by the pair’s unbridled twattery was Jonathon Ross who did his “sit laughing at young trendy comics and hope they’ll let you join in” schtick which he perfected earlier in his career whilst Russel Brand was offending a septuagenarian by slut-shaming his grand-daughter.

There are many people who will attack me over this, that I am guilty of wanting to censor obscene comedy. This is not true, Stewart Lee and Louis CK can be obscene and be clever with it, as could Bill Hicks in the past. I totally agree with the patron saint of offensive comedy Lenny Bruce who said, “if you can’t say fuck, you can’t say fuck the Government”. However what I never remember Bruce saying was, “If you can’t say fuck then you can’t say you want to fuck Susan Boyle up the arse”, admittedly Bruce died before her rise to fame but it’s fair to say that it’s unlikely that he would have seen the highpoint of free speech as being the right to make jokes about sodomising a pensioner with a long and well-documented history of mental illness.

I absolutely despise these fucking Nu-Comics, totally uninterested in the craft or with saying anything of interest. They’re smug, trendy haircut, Topman t-shirt and a pair of skinny jeans with a pay checque from Mock The Week in the back pocket, dickheads. In a year that saw foodbanks rise, women’s shelters shut-down and a cabinet of millionaires shitting on ordinary people they offer fucking nothing but a desire to be on Live at the Apollo.

So can we please – even if it means agreeing with a newspaper that seems anathema to some of us – tell these pair of talentless shitgibbons to fuck off our screens. Let’s leave them to what they are destined to be in life. James Corden would be a sack of shit in an XXL “banter” t-shirt belching out Soccer AM catchphrases in a Wetherspoons – which he has the audacity to refer to as a boozer – and winking “alright darlin’” at uninterested women. Jack Whitehall would be a cocky, spoilt public school fuckwit taking shit drugs at a shit rave that plays shit music, stinks of Lynx and VO5 mousse and is populated entirely by cunts.

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UniLad: Woi oi! all aboard the misogyny-bus!

Woi oi lads, do you love banter? Of course you fucking do, you’re not a poofter are you!? Nothing you like more than necking a pint, smashing a bird and nailing a kebab.

If you do like all those things then you might like UniLad; a website for people that I thought only existed in WKD adverts. UniLad claims to be the number one lads mag for students in Britain, and if you have Facebook you will almost certainly have seen someone “like” or “share” one of their posts.

Recently UniLad ran into trouble with a group of feminists over an article where they advocated rape as a back-up plan.

If the girl you’ve taken for a drink… won’t spread for your head, think about this mathematical statistic, 85% of rape cases go unreported. That seems to be fairly good odds.

Ahahahahahaha! Sexual violence against women, how hilarious! Oooooh, those rum chaps at UniLad whatever will they think of next? Since America seems to be able to ride roughshed over various Geneva Conventions why not drop napalm in a nightclub, that’ll get them slags out of their clothes in no time. Maybe given the patchy record that we have on bringing people guilty of genocide to trial next date you’re on perhaps if she tries turning you down you can whisper in her ear that unless you get at least a blowjob you’ll have her entire village massacred.

Personally I think in concentrating solely on that one quote from UniLad feminists may be being a little short-sighted, the joke itself is offensive, as well as being cliché and – the worst thing you can say about a joke – unfunny. It is however just one joke, to overly concentrate on that would be to allow the people at UniLad to – as they have done – claim that that particular joke was a one off aberration. One mistake that has been rectified. It isn’t.

Hatred of women is hard-wired into the very DNA of UniLad. Its whole ethos is dripping with misogyny. For instance right now on the website of the supposedly more responsible UniLad we have the following articles.

Some are just unfunny.

Justin Bieber: We Dislike You

Taking a brave stand against the universally loved figure of Justin Bieber UniLad writes that his very birth was worse than getting your “Wonka bar” stuck in your zipper. Do people call their penises “Wonka bars”? In what sense? Loved by children? Can women easily guess a man’s age by asking whether it was Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp who forged their phallus?

UniLad claims that they hate him for, “looking like a vagina”, which he doesn’t really. I think I’d be a bit shocked if I went down on a girl and her vagina looked like a Canadian pop icon.

What gets me is for a site that is so aggresively heterosexual and heteronormative there is a great deal of disgust at the notion of female sexual organs here. If I didn’t know better I’d say the writer doesn’t actually like vaginas at all.

In fact I’d maybe go so far as to suggest that the writer was struggling to reconcile a deep burning homophobia with a desire to get a blowjob off the teen sensation.

“That Justin Beiber’s got some great lips” he might have thought to himself, “bet they’d feel great wrapped around my cock… but wait, then the blokes down the boozer might call me a poofter… nah, wait! It’s ‘cos he looks like a vagina, yeah, it’s not gay to think about resting my balls on his chin, it’s his fault for his vagina-ey face.”

Some are not funny and slightly evil

Chubby Girls: They Need Loving Too

“Chubby girls. The ‘elephant in the room’ as it were – everyone knows them, everyone’s seen them (They’re hard to miss when they’re that big).”

Get it? They’re like elephants they’re so fat! No, they’re not exactly like our pachyderm friends, no they don’t have ivory tusks, that would be silly. Yes, they don’t look as much like elephants as they look like human beings that deserve basic human decency and compassion. But that’s not quite as banterous is it?

Some are not funny and are a lot evil

Medley of Minge

“She’s likely to be really insecure because she knows she could be much fitter, so she’ll appreciate your attention enough that you’ll definitely get a blowjob. And chubby insecure girls are REALLY good at blowjobs. They’ve spent ages being too shy to get out their vajayjays, resorting instead to the good old cock-sucking move of desperation. Also, all of them at some point have probably had a bit of a self-induced vom, so their gag reflex is probably shot. Hello deep throat!”

This is a paragraph that starts badly, but it’s that last line that really does it for me. Are we seriously at a point in our society where we can make gags about bulimic teenagers – and if you want to know why teenage girls are bulimic maybe jokes about them looking like elephants don’t help – being better at sucking cock then we can just give up all our claims to be decent and compassionate.

And to deal with the defence that all this stuff is “just a joke”, I’m sorry but it clearly isn’t. It seems eye-droppingly obvious to point out that reading such nastiness day in and day out is going to affect how young men view women and how they view themselves. And we have evidence to support this.

Anecdotally there are plenty of stories from young women about the normalisation of sexually aggressive culture, of how frequent and acceptable groping has become in student nightclubs. This is the behaviour and the culture that existed in the ‘70s and allowed the likes of Jimmy Savile (and it would be naïve right now to not imagine a lot more people) to assault teenage girls at the BBC. We had a campaign in the 80s and 90s to stop that sort of thing, to say it isn’t acceptable, the rise of “lad culture” seems to be a backlash against those battles that were won by women, homosexuals and other people that aren’t “lads”.

An even worse story came out that groups of men were waiting outside student nightclubs on Fresher’s week to pick up clearly inebriated women offering them a lift home, once their victims were inside the car they would drive in the opposite direction and bundle them out of the car. The name given by the perpetrators to this phenomenon? Slut-dropping.

The thing that worries me most about “UniLad” is the phrase “Uni”. These are – supposedly – educated, enlightened people who will run our society one day. We can only thank God that the people that awarded Marie Curie her Nobel prizes were not alumni of the “UniLad” school of thought. If they have been they wouldn’t have commended her for her discovery of radiation but would rather have said to her, “what are you like at blowies love? Phwoar, bet you suck right good cock, you slutty French chemists you!”

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan is apparently in trouble for posting a picture of herself on Twitter holding a gun to her head during the public furore over the tragic events at Newton High School. This was “INSENSITIVE” and “BRAINLESS” according to the Sun – isn’t it funny how the very thing we hate in others is that which exists so abundantly in ourselves?

Personally it seems unlikely that what Helen was thinking was; “how could I best rub salt into the wounds of bereaved parents?” In fact, call me cynical, I might even be tempted to think that what the Sun was thinking when they came across the photo – calm down, this isn’t a Carry On Film – was “our readers would love to wank over that, how best can we fit that into a story?”

So there we have it, faux outrage to facilitate masturbation, and people say we need to defend our press.

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Obama vs Romney. A nation asks; whose idea was two-party politics anyway?

I must admit, I sort of love America. I love WWE, I love the Superbowl, I love the razzle dazzle and the unashamed patriotism. Don’t get me wrong, I love it from a distance, I don’t want it in England, I am very pleased to live in a country of Jam and Jerusalem and Alan Bennet and queuing and drizzle.

I think the sheer showmanship of America is why people all across Britain will be having election parties, drinking crap beer from red plastic cups and eating chicken wings and hot dogs. I sincerely doubt in 2010 whether there were any parties in Washington where Anglophile Americans sat around watching the BBC, drinking real ale and eating hotpot. “Hey Hank, pass us the toad in the hole” they would shout at each other, wondering whether the smooth-faced posh bloke who looked like he’d come from Madam Tussauds Hall of Tosspots would beat the Scottish accountant who’s just discovered his wife is cheating on him with his brother. They might even pass the time trying to figure out what they thought was more disgusting, black pudding or Nick Clegg’s smug smile which makes him looks like he’s constantly on the verge of climaxing.

The scenario is highly unlikely, there is something in pomp and balloons and over the top personalities that interests people about US politics that is lacking in other countries’ political processes. When the most populous country in the world changes its leader soon few in this country will be up all night to watch, even fewer will be hosting parties and eating bamboo shoots or chicken in satay sauce. This may seem an oversight as it will be his cold metallic laugh we will hear in 30 years’ time when we’re working in Chinese-owned sweatshops making trainers for their consumer market.

But not only is the whole world watching, they are also all hoping for the same result. From Limerick to Lahore, from Timbuktu to Tokyo, it seems everyone wants Barack back in the Whitehouse. (Quick tip to aspiring writers, what I just did there, “from one place to somewhere that while being both geographically and culturally different still alliterates”, is a journalistic staple, it looks dead clever but it really isn’t. Try it yourself sometime and just like me you can give the impression of talent whilst being lazy and hackish.)  The exception to this rule is Israel which is throwing its toys out of the pram due to the fact it is not receiving its usual molly-coddling by the US.

But what makes the whole world so pro-Obama? For starters I would suggest, just look at him. I mean seriously, just look at him. He’s so fucking effortlessly cool. Romney on the other hand looks like an actor who made his name playing vampires in 80’s horror movies and has since let himself go. If this was a Hollywood movie about a black guy who grew up in a single mother household, on food stamps and who put himself through college versus an out of touch millionaire who worked as an asset stripper sending jobs overseas before getting into politics to give his millionaire friends tax cuts you would think it too simplistic, the real world isn’t like that, there are – according to academic reseach at least 50 – shades of grey.

And it’s fair to admit (I am here using the more common meaning of “admit” as in to concede a point or recognise a personal mistake, not as in the answer to the question, “how do you make the Republican Party seem  even more fucking creepy?”) that the situation is slightly more difficult, on the one side. It would certainly be fair to say Obama has not lived up to the HOPE agenda. On the ludicrous “War on Terror” his record is worse than Bush, he has failed to close Guantanamo, failed to repeal the Patriot Act, increased the use of drones and the deaths of civilians that goes with them and sent more young men to die in Afghanistan. This has allowed him to campaign as a tough guy on national security, yet it has further damaged America’s standing in the world. You cannot fight for freedom if you wiretap your citizenry and engage in torture. And if you want to know what people in the Middle East hate about the West? it’s not our freedoms; it’s our bombs that tear of the limbs off their loved ones, that’s the sort of shit that makes you get a bit cranky. Domestically and on the economy he has been weak on Wall Street, he has allowed the Frank-Dodd Act, an act that did not go far enough in the first place, to be watered down by the crooks in the banking sector. And that word crooks should not be hyperbole, the actions of many high level banks and bankers was criminal and they should have been treated just as harshly as some scrote that nicks £80 out of some woman’s handbag. We have to concede, Obama has failed.

However please look at who Obama is up against, a party that believes rape is the will of God and consensual sex between two adult males is the will of the devil. A party that wants to privatise healthcare and nationalise women’s wombs.  A party whose leader can say “I don’t care about the very poor” or that 47% of Americans see themselves as victims. I mean seriously, if you are only counting on having 53% of the public even consider you – because the remaining 47% apparently expect things like “food” and “healthcare”,  fucking moochers – then don’t alienate those members of the 53% who have vaginas, as that’s going to be about half of them. I can only imagine two possible reasons why Romney and the Republican Party are acting so hatefully right now. Firstly it is worth considering that Romney is unaware America has universal suffrage, like he still thinks it’s 1832 and only white men who owned property were allowed to vote, he probably thinks if he just swings by some of the big slave states and promises to knock this dangerous emancipation talk on the head he’ll romp to victory. The second answer starts with a personal story, a friend of mine, an American who leans slightly further to the right than a man carrying his shopping in his right hand, providing he’s just purchased a black hole, made a bet with me recently. I currently have £20 on Obama to defeat the man who is right now, sat on a throne made of the bones of the poor, sporting a massive erection at the thought of firing one of his servants. As a result of my little wager I have actually been secretly rather pleased every time the Republicans let slip how little they care about people who aren’t millionaire white males. But if I have £20 on the result who’s to say how much other people have riding on this. Maybe one of those dodgy far-Eastern betting syndicates has millions of dollars riding on this. This could be like boxing where they pay the boxer to take a dive, perhaps they’re paying them to make horrible remarks that will offend independents.

Of course there is a third thing to consider, maybe the Republican Party and Mitt Romney do believe these things. Maybe, just maybe, beside the PR and the smiles you have a group of nasty, elitist, misogynist, racist, reactionary and homophobic people who just don’t like America in the year 2012 and want to take it back to a mythical time that never existed.

Obama is not perfect, he needs to do more on reforming the economy, he needs to bring justice to the banking system by jailing those responsible for the crash, and the dead children of central-Asia should rest heavy on his soul. There is a good chance he won’t do these things because of the toxic mixture of money and politics that exists in the US. But you can be sure Obama represents the lesser of two evils, and if that’s your only choice then it’s a simple one. PICK THE ONE WHO’S LESS EVIL.

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A Boring Personal Story

In this week’s blog as opposed to trying and failing to be funny I am going to try and fail to be sincere.

My name is James, I’m 22 years old, and I am dyspraxic. Typing that into Microsoft Word brought up the little red squiggle, it’s a word my spell-check doesn’t even understand, by way of experiment does it recognise the word “dyslexic”? Yes, it appears it does.

To be fair to the good people at Silicon Valley most people don’t know what dyspraxia is, yet statistically speaking you will know a dyspraxic person, you will most likely think of them as simply scatter-brained or clumsy.

Logging onto the Guardian’s website today – as a good liberal I not only read the Guardian but read it online to save trees – I saw an article that caught my eye. “Dyspraxia can be serious – it deserves more recognition.” Reading the comments I came across a few people talking about their children having been diagnosed as dyspraxic so I thought I’d maybe pen this to detail my own experiences.

Ever since I can remember I’ve just not been able to do certain things as well as other people, I learnt to walk late, I wore Velcro shoes to avoid the ignominy of attempting to tie my shoelaces into the neat little bows that adorned my classmate’s shoes. Thankfully American skate trainers – Vans, Etnies etc – are best worn with the laces tucked into the sides, cheers Tony Hawks.

I was in the bottom sets for everything at school, I wrote letters and numbers backwards, didn’t know right from left, couldn’t tell the time, was abysmal at sports, as you can imagine I felt as useful as the Pope at an orgy.

Fortunately when I was nine years old I had my IQ tested and came out considerably above average – I’m not going to brag by telling you what it is, but it’s definitely higher than 146, though unfortunately I’m no 148 guy – and it was decided that the combination of me being Mensa material but unable to tell the time was a sign that there was perhaps something wrong. After a few tests and meetings with a child psychologist I was diagnosed dyspraxic.

It was probably one of the best things to happen to me, I could now understand why I just couldn’t do some things. Why no matter how many times my woodwork teacher – Mr. Boon, a man of incomprehensible patience – told me to “measure twice and cut once” my pencil case always looked like MC Escher had designed. Why I will always be unable to play anything more complex than the opening bars of “Oh When The Saints” on the harmonica. It’s probably the last thing that irks me the most, as someone who adores music and truly believes it to be it’s actually the closest we will have in this world to magic, I think all musicians, even Coldplay, are magic. I don’t get how some combining an E sharp and an F can make me feel equally as elated as someone combining methylenedioxy and methylamphetamine is capable of. I would give anything to be able to master music, but, alas, it is beyond me. It is perhaps for that reason I think the episode of Futurama where Fry is determined to learn to holophone to impress Leela is so achingly sad.

But we must learn not to get hung up on our many weaknesses and instead make the most of what we can do, I happen to have a knack for reading and writing. The latter of which is helped by the wonder that is computers and keyboards which, when I press the “D” button produces a “d”, not a “b” as can happen when I am lumbered with pen and paper like some sort of pre-Gutenberg monk.

If you do suffer with dyspraxia you must do so with humour, with all the best coping methods in the world you are occasionally going to write that you sleep in a “deb” (which was even worse for me as that’s my mother’s name, giving the whole error rather Freudian undertones) or you might find yourself like me asked to explain to children via a whiteboard the difference between the political left and right, only to be informed that you have written “left” and “right” on the wrong sides and are going to have to re-draw that Hammer and Sickle on the correct side of the board. At times like that you really do have to laugh.

I am now happily in my third year of a history and English literature course at University which I enjoy greatly. And I am a broadly content and happy person (so long as I am not expected to give someone directions or kick a football in a vaguely straight line) so my simple message would be to anyone younger than me, if you are diagnosed with dyspraxia; it gets better! Honestly.

If you want proof of that fact read this article (warning, that link is to The Daily Mail online, don’t read if you are prone to irrational right-wing opinions) which covers an interview with Daniel Radcliffe where he reveals his own fight with dyspraxia. I’m pleased to see such a high profile star come out and say he’s not embarrassed by that, and neither should he be, though the voting for the Liberal Democrats stuff has come back to haunt him.

So there you are, Harry Potter’s got dyspraxia for God’s sake, and he defeated the most powerful dark wizard to have ever lived. Though watching those films again with knowledge of his condition I suspect that maybe the staircases at Hogwarts don’t change so much as maybe he’s totally incapable of travelling in such a large building and not getting lost, with or without the Marauder’s Map. Perhaps to really help raise awareness of the issue he should star in “Harry Potter and the Shoes on the Wrong Feet” in which Professor Flitwick asks his class to grip their wands with their right hand whilst the boy wizard makes an “L” shape to remind him which one that is.

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Bricks and Mortar, Tits and Reporters and Goodbye to The Girl Who Waited

Overtly Long Self Indulgent Introduction

How To Turn A House Into A Loan?

Do you remember the heady days before the crash? The Augustine era when champagne was pouring out of women’s breasts and little dogs shat out gold ingot? It’s highly unlikely you do, because I am exaggerating for comic effect.

But in comparison to today we were doing fairly well for ourselves, thankyou very much. Whilst as now our country is so broke we are closing libraries, shutting centres for victims of rape and domestic violence and taking benefits away from disabled children. And sadly that sentence contains no hyperbole.

One of the great cultural shifts we saw during the sustained period of economic growth was firstly a rather obscene deification of the wealthy. Bankers stopped being seen as rather boring, bowler-hatted drones doing uninteresting but necessary work. Now, newly liberated by the stock-market deregulation of the 1980s, they had seen their pay spiral and were the new playboy Aristocracy. There were slavish reality TV programmes showing them purchasing incredibly expensive champagne with mini-fireworks attached. The purpose of which was to ensure that when a bottle was ordered it would arrive at the table with red sparks announcing its arrival and drawing maximum attention. And funnily enough these programmes weren’t meant to make us hate them, it wasn’t a clever far-left piece of programming meant to inspire us into class-based warfare, instead we were meant to like this people. Personally I thought they were fucking horrible and the whole scene made me sick.

The second new cultural wave that emerged was an even more noticeable one which revolved around an obsession with housing. Changing Rooms started in 1996 and asked a nation of people, “hey, give a shit about other people’s houses” which may not have worked if the nation they had asked had not been the British. By the 2000’s four out of every five programmes on television were property shows, probably. Channel 4 in particular seemed to be going out of its way to help out the housing industry with a constant stream of television programmes dedicated to bricks and mortar. It made stars out of the presenters, on the posh end of the scale we had Kevin McCloud patronising people who were building £2million pound houses out of seaweed, McCloud always looked odd on those shows as the ever increasing gap between his eyebrows and his hairline gave the impression of a man who had built a loft conversion in his own forehead. You could also wonder at Sarah Beaney, who somehow managed to contrive to be pregnant for ten solid years, the only woman in history to have a decade-long third trimester. But the most famous of these were Kirsty and Phil, the hosts of Location, Location, Location They always look a little like the two most middle-class porn stars in history. I watched one episode once where a young female graduate was shown round flats in Manchester and as Kirsty ushered her in, wearing a tight black skirt and high leather boots with Phil following in behind, leering at their nubile concubine I felt a little like I was watching the start of a Moms Teaching Teens Video.

It’s one of those things that you have to step back and think about for a second, Britain has celebrity estate agents, we’ve gone fucking mad.

The housing price bubble was seen as a uniformly good thing. Yet I fail to see how. The biggest losers have been the young and the poor. The average age of a first time buyer in this country is now 35, Tim from The Office is no longer a sad act, but the norm. People sneer at “girls who get pregnant to jump the housing queue” yet never stop to consider how utterly warped our society is that people find such an act necessary for them to ascertain a house. Even for homeowners I fail to see the advantage, yes your house is now more valuable, but so is everyone elses. Your house might be worth a million pounds, but so are similar houses in similar areas, the only way you would benefit is to be the world’s wealthiest tramp. Yet people have been taken in by this and act like they are in fact very canny entrepreneurs, exclaiming over the Pinot Grigio, “our house rocketed in value since we bought iy” like they’re Warren fucking Buffet.

There have only been two real beneficiaries of this explosion in house prices.  Firstly, asylum seekers, because every time the Daily Mail headline is “HOUSE PRICE SHOCK” it’s a headline that isn’t accusing refugees of spit-roasting Princess Di or something. The second huge winner from our spiralling house prices has been banks. These institutions which are, deservedly, slightly less popular than Nazi paedophile rings or Islamic extremist Morris dancing societies, have become hugely wealthy as a result of higher house prices. It is now impossible, unless you’re a tax-dodging Glenn Quagmire-faced comedian, to buy a home without a mortgage. This means that most of the population will, at some point, have to go into masses of debt that they will spend the rest of their lives paying off, we were told we were building a property owning democracy, in fact it is now the banks who own both our property and our democracy. This idea of keeping individuals in debt is also the way the student loan market works in the USA, and the way it is heading over here. It is a process called financialisation and in many ways it has more in common with feudalism than capitalism. To an extent this is deliberate policy, indebted individuals do not go on strike and as long as you are required to go into debt to purchase a house and an education – two of the ultimate tickets into the middle-classes – then the banks will continue to have us by the bollocks.

Even Channel 4 is beginning to doubt the brilliance of basing our entire economy around housing, broadcasting a series of shows highlighting the inherent problems in such a situation. Turning on Channel 4 and seeing programmes attacking the housing market was a bit like watching a feminist critique of the exploitation and objectification of women in the porn industry on SlutLoad.

Middleton’s Mammaries

“Look at Kate Middleton’s tits! Look at them! Don’t look at the Government ripping up the already shoddy protections to employees! Don’t look at soaring child poverty! Don’t look at the dismantling of the NHS, or cuts to the schooling budget, or a cabinet minister calling someone doing their job a pleb! Look at those norks!”

David Cameron must be really fucking thankful for the Royals. First they get married and provide a nice distraction, then it’s the Jubilee and we get to have a nice flag-waving party, then one of them gets snapped topless and everyone’s attention are again taken away from what even Tory MPs are calling a cabinet of “arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk” tearing apart what’s left of Beveridge and Bevan’s great cradle to grave welfare state.

I must start by saying I am a Republican. I think when we bomb the shit out of countries, telling them that they should have a democratically elected head of state, as opposed to a dysfunctional and out of touch family forced on them by a mixture of tradition and theocracy, that we should actually practice what we preach. But then I’m one those radical anarchist sorts.

I do however feel sorry for Kate. She is a young woman who was on holiday with her husband when someone, without her consent, took a picture of her breasts and sold it to the press. If a peeping tom were to take a picture of a topless woman relaxing in her own property with a zoom lens then he would be arrested, imprisoned and placed on the sex offenders list, and quite rightly. Unless of course his plan was to sell it to newspapers, then he isn’t. It seems odd that doing such a thing for your own consumption – however vile an act – is punished more heavily than doing it in order that other people can view it. There are no shortage of perfectly pleasant young girls with perfectly pleasant breasts who are prepared to get them out for a fee. Why do we need to photograph someone who doesn’t fancy having people pull one off over her waps without her even knowing it’s been taken?  I hope William does win his legal battle against the scum that 15 years ago killed his mother.

Bye Amelia Pond

It turns out my sonic screwdriver doesn’t work on tears, curse you Moffat!

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We’ve Fought The War, And The War’s Won

What’s funny that’s happened in the news this week? The Essex lion? that’s not fucking funny, that’s tragic. That’s what we use our free press for, to write utter fucking horseshit about a lion in Essex? There’s ethnic cleansing going on in Syria and we concentrate on a big cat wandering around St. Osyth. Then the news came that the police had called off their search as it seemed the lion didn’t actually exist. So while Assad’s government massacred yet more civilians the press in this country was discussing a fictitious lion. What next? “We won’t have time this evening to look at Russia’s human rights violations in Chechnya because we’re carrying an interview with Parsley the Lion from Michael fucking Bond’s The Herbs.”

It’s a good job the media didn’t have the same fucked-up priorities in 1950 or there never would have been a discussion about Atlee’s re-election or the decision to send British troops into Korea due to all the press coverage of the death of Aslan, rightful ruler of Narnia.

So next time you hear a debate around Levesson and ethics in the media and some hack pops up and says, “we need to preserve our free press” remember what they use that freedom to do. They don’t hold the rich and mighty to account and they don’t tell truth to power. They write about imaginary lions and print pictures of a clearly inebriated teenage girl’s vagina taken surreptitiously and without her consent by the paparazzi as she exits a taxi on a night out with friends.

No the story that I thought it might be fun to make gags about this week involves the beheading of two children by a group of Islamic extremists in Afghanistan.

Remember Afghanistan that we invaded 11 years ago with the aim of improving the country’s infrastructure, removing the Taliban and creating a democratic Government? I now think that the BBC should start airing some of the excellent documentaries made about the West’s involvement in two fucking stupid wars just after the 10 o’clock news on Saturday night with the announcer going, “and for those who are aiming to watch Errol Morris’ ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ and don’t want to know the results look away now” whilst the screen flashes statistics concerning the number of British troops dead or civilians disabled by bombing or even Afghanistan’s rating according to international Watchdog transparency as the second most corrupt country in the world.

There are a select few people on the left who continue to support the war in Afghanistan. One of their primary motives seems to be the belief that British troops in the region are supporting women’s rights in the region. Obviously I am a believer in, and a supporter of, feminism. But you can’t bomb people into respecting women. Explosions don’t make people leave behind out-dated notions of gender. It’s not like during the Blitz previously rather old-fashioned chauvinist men found themselves stood in the middle of bombed out houses in East London thinking, “Cor blimey guv’na! I fancy reading that Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ to better understand the modernist feminist critique of patriarchal society”. Nor was the last thought to go through Lord Mountbatton’s head, “My one regret is not listening more to Germaine Greeeeeeee…”

If anything our military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq has made it less likely that we can bring these countries into a more modern, progressive way of thinking. It is quite obvious that if you are trying to persuade people to agree with your worldview – in the case of the allies a western, post-Enlightenment, liberal-democratic one – then removing the limbs of those you are trying to convert seems a fairly odd way of doing it. At election time politicians don’t come round your house, push a party manifesto into your hands and then blow your legs off. These people don’t hate our freedoms, they hate it when we murder their families and destroy their houses.

There is a part of me that when writing this piece attacking Iraq and Afghanistan thought, “well, it’s a bit cliché by now taking the left-wing anti-war position, of course it’s very easy to mock the reasons given to support these wars”. Then I stop and think, it really fucking shouldn’t be! The reasons that our Government picked in order to send our citizens off to not just die, but also to kill citizens of other sovereign nations shouldn’t be that easy to ridicule. Alastair Campbell in the run up to Iraq was like the world’s laziest student, with Blair as his teacher going, “I want a dossier on ‘Why We Should Invade Iraq’ and I want it completed by Thursday” and Campbell spending all week playing pool and drinking cider at the SU bar with his roommates before spending the night before the dealine copy and pasting any old shit he can find on the internet.

Considering I’m doubting the credulity of the Government’s case for war in Iraq can I make it clear on this public blog that if I am found on Winsford common near my house with my wrists cut I definitely didn’t kill myself? One of the key objections by many coroners was the amount of blood spilt by Dr. David Kelly from the supposed time he cut his wrists to the time when he was discovered, though at the Hutton Inquiry Blair explained it is possible to get a hell of a lot of blood on your hands very quickly.

Bring The Troops Home, Now!

http://www.arrestblair.org/

In other news…

Charlie Brooker pens new spoof ‘A Touch of Cloth’ for Sky

So it seems Charlton “Charlie” Brooker has written a parody of the crime fighting genre for Sky. It is easy to see what Sky get from the deal, whilst rich on – well, riches? Sky is incredibly poor on talent. Securing Brooker, who has received plaudits for Screenwipe and Deadset, is a step towards correcting that. Brooker on the other hand has always sought to come across as an anti-establishment and left-wing figure and working for the despised Murdoch group will surely trouble his conscience. Simply put the better the quality of Brooker’s writing the more money Rupert Murdoch will have, that’s more money to do what he really likes to do, influence elections in democratic countries, print lies about the desperate and the weak, and hack dead schoolgirls mobile phones. Working as a writer for Sky must be like being a German munitions worker in 1938, you’re just doing a job and what your employees chose to do with your product is up to them, you tell yourself…

Millionaire uses social networking to mock the poor

Ricky Gervais has been on twitter this week tweeting under the #chavmumtshirts hashtag. In what is seemingly an attempt to write a Daily Mail article in 140 characters or fewer. Anyone who has been a fan of Gervais will have noticed his sad slide into small-C conservatism. It was not long ago he was attracting scorn for casually using the word “mong” as an insult along with ‘hilarious’ pictures of his own gurning distorted face. Now he is using twitter to make fun of impoverished single mothers. The hashtag features predictable jokes about benefits and swapping children for Benson & Hedges that are as odious as they are unfunny. Now your response to this might be to question why I don’t simply ignore them. For instance I don’t watch Peter Kay DVDs because I don’t find the changing hues of canine excrement amusing. Nor do I watch Michael Macintyre as I don’t find a slightly chubby bellend dancing about on stage and talking like a cock to be particularly amusing. However my problem with Ricky Gervais’ jokes here is they are actively harmful to society. My mother was a single mother in the 1980s under Maggie Thatcher and now we have a Government led by people who called Thatcher “mummy” as young people when they were working for the CRD, and these people are seeking to return to the old days when young parents were punished for moralistic reasons by uncaring, wealthy, white men. Every time Ricky Gervais makes a joke about “Chav mums” he furthers the cause of those who will not be happy until the poor are in workhouses. When you have Gervais’ wit and talent you have an ethical responsibility to use your comedy to better society, not to take cheap shots at those too weak to defend themselves. He should be ashamed.

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