Friday, 27 January 2012

Small things occasionally about the news

David Cameron said: "I often say to my children 'No need to go to the Natural History Museum to see a dinosaur, come to the House of Commons at about half past twelve'.", which Labour took offence at, so Conservative Mark Pritchard said: "I wonder whether this House of Commons would be better with more or less humour?". Judging by the first statement I'd start with introducing some humour, then working our way up. Given that parliamentary footage is explicitly not allowed to be used for comedic purposes, it's a shame Cameron's non-stop gag-reel of a mind is so wasted on an audience of "Politicians and to a lesser extent, people who care about politics". He really zinged that 79 year old, to the extent that he never even knew what hit him. Possible return zings "I often tell my kids that if they fancy hot-air ballooning, it appears the PM has an excess of fuel that they can pick up about now.", or "I tell my children that instead of going to the local farm on the off-chance of seeing a cock crowing to his loyal following chickens, they might as well be certain of it by coming to Prime Minister's Questions". He said neither of these things, by the way.

I was in a shop that was playing Falco's seminal German hit "Rock Me Amadeus". It was as close as I'll ever get to time-travel. I felt like going up to the cashier and yelling "WHAT YEAR IS IT?!". At some stage in 2030, someone is going to make this precise joke about current hit "Party Rock Anthem". I sometimes like to remember that one day, that'll come on Radio 2 as one of the "hits from the past" while I'm driving, and I'll sing along, and the children in the car will be horrified. Partly because they're not mine, but mostly because of the song thing. That's a joke obviously; that song will still be cool in 18 years.

The Duchess of Cornwall launches a new initiative for kids on Jubilee day: A cooking competition! "Cook for the Queen", presumably shortened from the original title "Cook for the Queen like the worthless peons you are, she demands it of you and who are you to resist the demands of a divinely-chosen being, you pleb?!", aims to unite the children of the UK through their shared love of baking into one joyous nation again. This should single-handedly stop the Scottish independence referendum in its tracks, and grind republicanism to a halt. Anything less and it can only be considered a failure.

People have been "Flooding" MPs with questions via twitter for Michael Gove. Over four billion people from around the world have tried to get MPs to ask him "Why are you so hateful?", as well as "A royal yacht?! What sort of austerity measure is handing out free boats?!". One person got halfway through a sensible question about the government's new academy policy before descending into using his remaining characters on "IHATEYOUIHATEYOUIHATEY". Sadly, it closed at 11am, so you've missed your chance to ask a question to Michael Gove.

Ed Miliband, as ever a man of the people has had a go at David Cameron about what this week? Let's make it a multiple choice quiz!

[a] Swingeing cuts to core services that will leave many in Britain who are reliant on a system of social security, those are the most vulnerable in our society, out of luck as the system abandons them in a desire to save money?

[b] The intractable war which Britain has been waging for nearly a decade in the Middle-East, and the PM's position on the apparently growing threat that is Iran?

[c] Chocolate Oranges.

It's a tough one... Got an answer? Good! If you said [c], well done! If you said [a] or [b], I'm afraid you simply have too much faith in the leader of the opposition to address issues that are actually meaningful or important. You grow out of it, it's a phase, like having faith in the political process, or liking George Michael. Yes, Ed "Fathead" Miliband has pointed out that David Cameron was aghast, appalled and angered by the cut-price chocolate oranges available to fat people at WHSmiths, only 6 years ago, in 2006. And yet, in 2 years of power, he has not found time between battling the political fires of the middle-east and economic woes of neighbours to address what is, CLEARLY, a burning issue. "If he can't sort out the chocolate oranges, he's not going to sort out the train companies, the energy companies, the banks, is he?". In a wide-ranging interview, he was also asked about whether he would donate to a privately-funded Royal Yacht. He said "I give money to charity in different ways. There are obviously lots of deserving causes.", carefully neglecting to finish that with the sentence "And a new yacht for a woman who literally lives in a palace isn't one of them.". Very politically astute of him.

Finally there has been a hubbub over RBS giving someone a bonus of £963,000. On top of his regular salary of £1.2 million. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I will do the job for a paltry £100,000 a year, and not ask for ANY bonus. And given that, due to the joys of shares, the £45.5 billion investment has now lost £27 billion under his reign, it's hard to imagine I could do a worse job. Consider this my formal application, RBS. I await your response with anticipation.

Monday, 23 January 2012

My Own Magdalen College Rejection Letter

Dear Magdalen College,

I, like many other candidates who have not been accepted to your university, am writing pre-emptively to reject any offers you may put my way. I sincerely hope you understand that you were in competition with many other universities who have not accepted me, and I simply cannot accept all possible offers that are not yet put to me.

I hope you find many other not-accepted candidates who are willing to attend your university in my stead.

Yours Sincerely

On a side note, I read the (actual) letter, and the final sentence is "Perhaps you should offer a glass of water in your interviews; it is rude to torture your guests". The use of torture there is bold, to say the least. One could suggest that real torture victims in Guantanamo might say they get arguably too much water during interviews. It's a fine line between "Satiating Thirst" and "Waterboarding", and frankly, if a college doesn't want to accidentally stray across that line, I can respect that.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Song Puns around Communist Leaders

New Music Update! Robbie Williams has released a new album of communist remixes of his old songs. "I'm loving Engels instead" is to be the title track. Also included is a brand new version of Fatboy Slim's seminal hit "Right here, Right Mao", advocating an immediate change to Maoism in Britain. Another twist on a new song with "Just the Che you are" remixed with the aid of Bruno Mars. And a change on the classic "Sparks" by Coldplay, called, you guessed it, "Marx". Say what you like about his music, you can't argue with the underlying political messages in his songs. Nothing in there for fans of Liebknecht, but it's hard to rhyme, I can't blame him really. THAT JUST HAPPENED. Get on board.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Due to stormy conditions, we went without power for 3 whole days. I am going to relate to you that nightmarish existence. Do not read before bedtime, as this is clearly, a first-world horror story.

Wake up without power. Think little of it, as I am going to a friend's house, and it'll surely be back on by the evening. Surely.

Arrive back that evening. Enjoy a game of cards by candlelight. Novelty factor still making this a relatively enjoyable experience. Good analogy is a Christmas jumper. Wearing it once isn't bad. Midway through day three, though, with absolutely no choice in the matter, it begins to become a little grating. Go to bed. House not yet lost the warmth, but is noticeably colder than I would desire.

Wake up. Curse the cold. Then curse the mind-numbing boredom. Suddenly understand the popularity of Victorian toys and sports, given that the alternative is "Freeze to death inside your own home reading ludicrously ambitious literature" (I had a stab at Dante's Inferno and very nearly learnt something before Scottish Power turned the electricity back on. What are you trying to pull, Scottish Power!? I don't want to LEARN on my time off. God.). Spent all day at home, tending to fires (Read: Not moving very far away from fires) reading books I'd always meant to get round to reading but never had. Nearly died from ennui. Had to eat something unexpectedly spicy just to liven up my day. Evening came. Played cards. Went to bed around 10, just because I needed something to do. Cold. So cold. Slept with a hot water bottle. In a sleeping bag. Under a duvet. Was acceptably warm. Scottish Power's emergency line said we'd have power by today. We did not.

Wake up at dark o'clock. No idea what time it is, and my phone won't tell me as it is out of power. Decide to sleep until it's light outside. Get up. Ring Scottish Power's emergency line again. Shout "What are we to you, ANIMALS?! I need my electricity!". Moo down the line at the automated voice telling me it would now be midnight tomorrow till I got my power back. Begin to suspect cold and boredom may be messing with my mind. Spent all day trying to make a fire so hot it redefined the temperature scale as we know it, and everything would have to be designated in terms of this fire. This should just about stave off the cold. Sit within a four yard radius of the fire. Take up napping as a pastime. Boredom is physically palpable. At lunchtime, I try to learn piano. Twenty minutes later, I knew I was not cut out for the world of piano. Stare out of the window like a lonesome dog. Secretly hope UFOs land and take me away, just to end the crushing tedium. Night falls at about 4 pm. Wear a headtorch. This is my only fun. Play cards.

Wake up to power. Shout "THANK THE LORD!" at the sight of the illuminating glow of the shaving light. Immediately upon having power again, I get offers to go do something that isn't sit at home alone the dark. C'est la vie.