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The Mad Mad Teaparty Affair

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[sticky post] The Mad Mad Teaparty Affair Oct. 24th, 2015 @ 03:15 pm
Hi!

I've got very lazy at updating this journal lately, but I am trying to use it more, and hoping to make a few new LJ friends to spur that on! With that in mind, I'm adding this as an introductory post!

I'm in my mid-30s, living in the north of England having moved up from London to go to Uni about a decade ago, and steadfastly refusing to grow up. A bit like Peter Pan, except my arch enemy isn't a pirate. I would like that, though, so if you know any angry pirates looking for an arch enemy, please let me know.

My posts tend to be about real-life updates, touching on what I've been up to, the people in my life, peppered with the occasional political rant and geeking out over Doctor Who. Lately, these have been looooong explanations of things I've done recently, but hopefully if I get off my arse to update this more these will get more pithy and interesting ;)

I like, in no particular order;

- Decent and sincere people!
- Synthpop
- Doctor Who
- the 1980s in all it's glory
- Horror films (no matter how predictable!)
- British comedy
- Cats
- Depeche Mode
- All them Marvel Comic films
- The Man From UNCLE and other 60s TV shows of that ilk
- Drinking
- Pubs 'n' gigs
- Walking

Please add me if you fancy it!

The Gold Affair Jul. 16th, 2017 @ 12:18 am

Stuck in a horrendous bar that has generic music on tap.

Tonight is one of the rare alternative 80s nights in the generic wasteland of Leeds and yet I'm stuck here listening to Spandau fucking Ballet' s Gold.

Genuine wish to have someone a bit more on my wavelength here.


The Garbageman That Couldn't Affair Jun. 26th, 2016 @ 05:10 pm
There's a great episode of the Simpsons (it's the 22nd episode of Season 9, according to Wikipedia) where Homer strives to become Springfield's sanitation commissioner. The incumbent, voiced by Steve Martin, is a a dull but dutiful man providing a dull and dutiful service, and when Homer campaigns against him it is on a platform of catchy slogans ("Can't somebody else do it?") and insane promises on what extra services his Sanitation workers would be able to provide.

As a final campaigning word, Steve Martin says to the people of Springfield, "If you want an experienced public servant, vote for me. But if you want to believe a bunch of crazy promises about garbagemen cleaning your gutters and waxing your car then by all means vote for this sleazy lunatic." Cut to -

Of course, Homer's plans are completely unsustainable and burns through a $4.6m dollar budget in a month. His only option is to go through some terribly morally wrong decisions in order to

When I was at school, and to this day, the history and tragedy of World War I is often illustrated by the final episode of Blackadder to provide a funny and engaging hook for students. I have a feeling this Simpsons episode could be used in a couple of decades to explain just what the fuck happened in Britain in 2016.

I'm at a loss to explain the result of the referendum. The only good things that made me feel better on Thursday morning was that the lead was tiny, and that my Facebook feed was filled with concerned, intelligent, lovely people that confirmed great people were still out there, and I knew a terrific selection of them <3

But what I feel bleak about is how let down everyone is going to be. The immigration issue is not one I consider an issue, but I know it was for a lot of people. However, already Leave campaigners have said there wouldn't be a material change to numbers coming in. They heavily suggested the money we end up not sending to the EU could be spent on the NHS. It baffles me that anyone bought that Tories like Boris Johnson, Ian Duncan Smith and Nigel Farage would be in any way interested in spending money on a public service, but they did, and this has now been shot down by Duncan Smith. It was sold on the fact that we were world's 5th strongest economy, and before lunchtime on Friday we were already 6th, letting France nudge ahead. Who knows how far we'll fall when we actually start the process of leaving (a process no-one actually seems to want to start, perhaps because although the majority of the people in the country want out, the majority of polticians think it would be a Bloody Stupid Thing to do, which must include Boris Johnson; I can't imagine that a former Mayor of London would really think this was the way forward, given how much that city depends on it's EU Passport and international links)

Essentially, the Crazy Promises that Leave made will be shown to be lies and unsustainable just like Homer's grand ideas, and we'll have shafted our economy, our place in world, and worst of all any indication that we want to be an outward-looking progressive nation for nothing.

The worst of all this is the vindication of a deeply unpleasant wedge of British society; for years, a small but vocal and vicious minority of racists have felt their views represent a silent majority. They felt that this majority were hamstrung by the EU imposing rules on political correctness, rules that never actually existed like the banning of England flags etc, and argued we should leave to take "our" country back. As the EU referendum was framed from the Exit side explicitly on the notion of immigration, toyed with people's fears, and co-opted the language and mottos of the far right ("take control back", "make Britain great again"), that victory now feels like a massive vindication of their beliefs, as they feel the silent majority they always felt they represented have no spoken, in force, in their favour. It's very sad.

My solution? A quick look at the results shows this isn't Britain's decision; it is clearly and firmly the decision of England and Wales (don't get me started on the abject stupidity of a country as dependent on EU hand-outs for it's economy as Wales voting to cut the purse-strings). In England, only London really voted to Remain with any real fervency.

Now. They say the amount of money London generates subsidises the rest of the country to a large degree. But this money generation is down to institutions, not geography and in a global, technologically augmented world, geography is malleable. So, relocate all London businesses that want/need to stay in the EU to Edinburgh. Offer an amnesty period that anyone who wants to stay in can move up there on an assisted immigration plan, and declare independence. Scotland's independence referendum in 2014 was dogged by the suggestion that it couldn't cut it economically without getting money from London/England, but with the financial powerhouse of London operating within it's borders, and that money being spent purely in Scotland and not across the rest of the UK, the country would suddenly become ridiculously rich. Northern Island and Gibraltar can then decide if they want to join up with Scotland, work out their own plans, or hook up with the Republic of Ireland or Spain respectively.

Wales, Cornwall, Sunderland, Norfolk and all the rest of what was the UK can then get on with the business of making Britain Great Again without the hand-outs and subsidies from the EU and London.

Nicola Sturgeon (who was the only politician I had any respect for on Friday morning, and left me feeling not for the first time that the SNP should start fielding candidates in England to snap up disollusioned Labour centre-left voters) should be making overtures to London companies reliant on the EU with aggressive tax relief offers to relocate up north, while nudging the EU to allow an independent Scotland to inherit the UK's membership on a fast-track basis.

Of course, it's not going to happen, but it makes sense to me at least.

Dark days ahead, I think. Whatever happens, we're going to be worse off and the poorest in society will once again lose out, albeit at their own hands this time. People who want Out generally don't consider us Remainers as being patriotic, but to me Britain stands for proud, liberal values, an all-encompassing multi-cultural culture, and a proudly non-insular global outlook. That's the sort of Britain I love, and I grieve for it because if not dead, it's certainly not got much life left in it :(
Feeling....: scaredscared
Hearing....: Freezepop - Do You Like My Wang?

The Jimmy Fallon Affair Dec. 8th, 2015 @ 07:26 am

So an odd thing happened last night.

On holiday in New York, we'd had a fantastic cheesy tourist day and ended up in a bar near our hotel. It was quiet in there, and a bit tucked away from the main strip. The four of us had a drink each and we're chatting,  when this guy came up and politely asked if he could join us.

He had a hoodie with "visionary" on it, which I  thought said "missionary", and with his polite demeanour and the odd (for a Brit) thing of sitting with strangers, I assumed he was about to try to convert us to Jesus.

But instead he asked us if there was anything we'd like to ask him as an American. None of us had interview questions so we were kinda stumped by this. So he started talking about himself anyway.

"So let me tell you about myself. You guys play Call of Duty? I'm a famous internet sensation, I'm Banks. If you guys know any 13, 14, 15, 16 year olds they'll definitely know me. I've just come off The Tonight Show. You know, with Jimmy Fallon?  You guys get that? I was on that tonight. I'm from Boston, not New York.

So you brits, huh? You Brits like a drink and you're all here drinking. You know what else I've heard you Brits like? You like coke. You like blow."

Then it dawned. He was a Z Lister Jay with no Silent Bob looking to sell party drugs to the most boring looking tourists in the whole of NY. I googled him, he was indeed telling the truth about being an internet star, although he comes across as a much less polite young man online.

We fell asleep during the Tonight Show so couldn't verify if that was true. Maybe if I'd have bought some coke I'd have made it up to see him!


Answer for question 4535. Oct. 24th, 2015 @ 12:49 pm
The Star Wars movies -- do you love 'em or hate 'em? How excited are you for the new movie in December (if at all)? Will you be getting tickets for the 12:01 AM first showing, or are you "eh, whatever" about the whole thing? If you're looking forward to it, what or who are you most excited to see?
I've never really like the Star Wars films. Growing up in the 80s, I remember them being a big deal to everyone... we used to play it in the playground and such. Being a geek even then, people used to buy me Star Wars toys and I had quite a few of them... but most of them were pressed into action as background artistes to my Doctor Who figures, as they were more-or-less the same scale.

Growing up, I never really engaged with the films even though they were repeated constantly. It was 2007 at Uni when I finally sat down to watch the films properly, at Adam's request.

I honestly did approach it with an open mind, but I found it incredibly dull, with really wooden acting and a LOT of walking through deserts. I gave up after about 45 minutes.

I think there are good elements to it; the special effects are very good for their time, and some of the designs are impressive (like the Stormtroopers, a very cool design, or Darth Vader which has obviously become iconic).

So I'm very much in the, "eh, whatever" camp. I think it must be one of those things that grabs you when you're a kid and never lets you go, but if you miss that boat, you can't jump on later. I won't go and see the film; the idea of seeing the 7th in a series doesn't appeal, and I'm always mistrusting of a sequel that comes out so long after the previous film in the series.

Who was it who said, "To those who understand, no explanation is necessary. To those who don't, no explanation is possible"? Well, like that anyway!

The Two Point Apology Affair Feb. 15th, 2013 @ 01:47 pm
I think it's been a while since I update, and also a while since I've read anyone's journals. So I apologise on two counts for being rubbish.

So yesterday was Valentines Day and Facebook treated me to the usual cynical "It's a Hallmark holiday", "It's there just to sell presents" rubbish. Of course, it's true, Valentines is a massive commercial exercise, but it's only as commercial as you want to make it. Take Christmas; I'm completely non-Christian and LOVE Christmas. I pick and choose the bits I like of the holiday and celebrate them, all the cheesey pop songs and the Santas and the tacky lights, and leave the religious stuff for other people. If you think Christmas is too commercial and not enough about Jesus, then celebrate it in your own way. It's all good.

Valentines is the same. Me and Karen had agreed only to spend a fiver on gifts as she is unemployed and skint. What she bought me was a guidebook for Cairo, something we'd have bought anyway before we go to Egypt in October, which came to a fiver and then made her own card. The card had the rose design from Depeche Mode's Violator album on the front, and a TARDIS on the back, and featured the message;

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love


Now that is the loveliest card I've ever received, and really means a lot to me. Especially the co-opting of the DM logo, since DM is a band that means a lot to me and nothing to her. So Valentines Day, and all the commercial purveyors thereof, made nothing from Karen for the day, yet managed to touch me so much more. So people shouldn't gripe about having a day set aside for romance; that's a lovely idea and it's only as crass and commercial as you choose to make it.

(If I have one gripe about Valentines Day, is that couples have co-opted it and it's now perceived as being about people in relationships going out on dates and rubbing their love in the faces of the single. I don't think this is necessary, as couples have every day to go out on dates. I think Valentines would be nicer if it was a bit more old-fashioned and was about single people sending cards and flowers to people that they fancied but had never really told. I've never received a Valentines Day card unless I was going out with someone*, and it would have been nice to have got one from an admirer. In fact, I did once do this properly and sent a bunch of flowers anonymously to someone who I knew didn't fancy me just because I knew they'd like that. That's what it should really be about.

*This is not strictly speaking true, as I got one in 2007 from Dan who wrote the touching verse

Before I met you I never knew how touching and tender a real man could be
I love you with my heart and soul
Now bend over and show me that hole


inscribed inside.

Past and Future Weekends in the Big SmokeCollapse )
Feeling....: Grand!

Mar. 29th, 2011 @ 11:22 am
*SCREAM*

The Advert Affair May. 14th, 2010 @ 11:02 am
Ridiculous advertising makes me smile;

Email from Play.com this morning; "EVERYTHING £5 (on selected items)"

LOLz, as they say! :oD
Feeling....: amusedamused

The Eleventh Hour Affair Apr. 5th, 2010 @ 04:06 pm
OK then. Saturday's Doctor Who. Let's go.

Cut for Spoilers, in case you careCollapse )

The Drunk affar May. 7th, 2009 @ 05:57 pm
Ive gone into the futue
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