It comes as a shock I know, but it's true.
Since I've been working a bit more than usual and 'invested' in a few new hobbies, I've managed to tone down my gadget buying considerably. Right now I am fighting a genuine compulsion to buy a new TV.
It's true that the one I have is flawed - it has no SCART connections, no HDMI connection and randomly turns itself off in the summer. Also the bit of it that makes things HD also makes everything green so I can't use that bit of it.
However. It still works, and the fact is the only HD thing I have is the XBox and I really don't play games that often anymore so buying a new TV is a bit retarded. This is the conversation I have with myself pretty much daily at the moment, and it will be ahrder as the price of a decent replacement comes tumbling down in January.
My one possible saving grace to my complete lack of consumer willpower is my considerable ability to create unworkable plans. This year it is to be more frugal, buy less crap, so that maybe; just maybe I'll be able to get my own place in 2010.
So, the book is open. Lets be honest, I'll crumble on January the 1st.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It comes as a shock I know, but it's true.
So I left Surrey at 3:30am Christmas morning. I called my brother up at 6:30am(ish) from a Motorway services. This was primarily a malicious move on my part, I decided if I was lugging his pressie all the way from Surrey at stupid O'clock in the morning then he would suffer too.
Granted the car did the majority of the lugging, I just find detail gets in the way of vengeance.
I arrived, picked up my Pob-like older brother* and went to the parents house. Gifts were distrubuted, my mum had good Swag this year for once which was awesome. Though it did mean that my role as 'computer repair guy' was immediately doubled as she is now the proud owner of a laptop with Vista (*spit!*) on it and a digital camera.
I should clarify 'Computer Repair Guy'. My primary role is to go home, shout at my dad, remove all the shit he's spent the last few months installing on his computer and telling him never to install anything ever again. My dad's hobby is collecting malicious programs. He is banned from my mum's computer.
I drank lots on Christmas day, really far more than is good for me. And yes, Jo, I did when pressed (by pressed I mean 'looked at') did spout bile and venom about the travesty of THAT cover version. Most people agreed with me but I think only because my passion verges on zealotry in things like this and they were likely quite scared.
Sadly, Pedr did not attend the traditional Christmas booze up and fall-over, arranging instead to meet up on Boxing Day. Unfortunately on Boxing Day I was suffering a mysterious illness that required me to lounge around reading and listening to the radio whilst eating constantly and I was not in a state to go to the pub. This was probably a good thing, Boxing day is always a bad day to go out in Ruthin, it's like a bad tempered version of Christmas Eve.
So we rearranged for the Saturday but sadly I was still feeling under the weather as concealed beneath my mysterious definitely-not-a-hangover illness was the Christmas Ninja Lurgy.
The CNL is something I get whenever I go home for Christmas, it's not usually particularly harsh, just persistent. One of those illnesses that mean you are well enought o go to work, but anything social is off the cards as you know the moment you engage in revelry you will be struck down the next day in a mercialess assault of snot, coughing, sneezing and general blechiness. I had to drive on Sunday so couldn't really risk it.
On the plus side, Mike made a face melting chili and I was able to watch such awesome movies as 'Slugs!', 'Monster!', 'Pursuit!' and other one word, exlamation marked works of cinematice detritus. I also watched the genuinely enjoyable (not in a 'this is so bad' kind of way) 'Undead' - an Australian movie about aliens and zombies. Throw in some robots with lasers coming out of their eyes and you have a perfect movie.
I mentioned reading, I spent pretty much 2 out of the 3 days I was home just reading. I've not finished a book in over 6 months for one reason or another, I managed to finish 2 over Christmas and it was extremely gratifying to just sit around reading, probablt the most relaxation I've had in a very long while.
Finally, cool swag from awesome people.
I love Swag.
*Not just in looks, he also has an inability to form an intelligible sentemce. This does not stop him from tring of course, relentlessly and without pause 24 hours a day.
Posted by MattJ at 10:51 am
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I'm really very sorry about the previous post, I needed to vent that. I'd managed to avoid that partioular cover until today and it was so awful it released some of the rage.
I don't have a huge Christmas this year, driving back tomorrow and back here on Saturday or Sunday. None of that matters, I am going home - there will be booze, there will be foods, there will be family and there will be friends. I also travel bearing gifts, so hopefully I'll be spreading a little joy too. Some are for me that I am being good about and not unwrapping before tomorrow.
Most importantly, there will be piggies in blankets. Some people seem to think the big Turkey thingy is the centre piece. These people are clearly idiots, the turkey is there in order to have something large to put the piggies in blankets around. And the roast potatoes, essentially it's there for structure. So, now you know.
Another couple hours and I finish work and am out the door, I'll be wrapping, cleaning & packing. Then a fairly early night with a plan to set off around 4am. This plan will certainly fail, but you have to aim high people! Live the dream!
People make the party, and my people rule. 2 days is plenty.
Posted by MattJ at 3:42 pm
I don't object to cover versions of songs, even awesome songs. I want that understood right away.
However (yeah, you didn't see THAT coming!). BAD cover versions are just painful. It's like when Wil Smith stars in remake of a classic movie, or a wildly inaccurate movie version of classic literature. It's essentially pissing on genius. It's the difference between eating at a nice restaurant and stuffing a shit burger down your gullet so you can start playing with the free toy.
OK, the point:
Leonard Cohen is a genius. He makes you want to slash your wrists whilst necking a bottle of pills and hurling yourself off a bridge into oncoming traffic. That's a powerful guy.
Jeff Buckley's intensely awesome cover version.
Clicky (embedding is disabled on this track for some reason)
Seriously, I may get lynched for saying it but I think Buckley's version is just astounding and prefer it to the Cohen original.
Then there is this:
Which is essentially an exercise in demonstrating vocal range.
Now it's true I have a natural bias against anything vomited forth into the world by Simon Cowell, I think he is an evil and insipid shit who's sole purpose is to destroy art in all its forms. But that's not what I object to the most, it's the way that she sings the song. It's utterly without feeling or any attempt at understanding the lyrics, the entire track is sung in a 'Look at how well I can sing! Look! Look! Look at me! Look!' kind of way. You know, all R'n'B since 1988.
Compare that with the way it's sung by Jeff Buckley. I mean. You tell me, which is the shit-burger that may just satisfy for 5 minutes and which is the amazing meal and restaurant you are going to go back to time and again?
Honestly, I've not been this angry about a song since Busted covered Teenage Kicks by the Undertones.
There's a bit of a backlash against people like me, who despise reality TV with every fibre of their being - ESPECIALLY popularity/beauty contests like the X-Factor. Apparently I am a snob. The idea of sticking my head in raw sewage fills me with revulsion, not doing that doesn't make me a snob. Watching shows like this illicit a similar feeling, so I'm not sure where the snobbery comes in when I refuse to watch. If someone sticks their head in raw sewage and then asks me what my favourite used sanitary towel in the raw sewage is, on the immediate assumption that I too enjoy sticking my head in raw sewage, then I am going to voice an opinion on the subject. If then, raw sewage is poured liberally into 80% of the country's food, again on the assumption that raw sewage is where all the kewl kidz are at, then my ire will be raised even further. Hence this overdue posting.
Never let it be said that I under stretch a metaphor.
Also, I watch some right old crap. Seriously, I watch some awful things. My biggest viewing vice will be B-Movies and the like, especially horror, monster or Kung-Fu flicks. Some are so bad they are good, some make you feel someone has mugged you and stolen 2 hours of your life. But I love them all from the amazing Evil Dead I&II right down to 'Frogs!'*. Oh. And Troll II. Everyone should see Troll II. A movie so bad, it's working title was 'Goblins' but in an effort to increase ticket sales they called it Troll II in order to imply it was a sequel to a moderately more successful movie.
Anyway, I digress. I watch some right old crap, but the crap I watch is actively sought out and isn't the only thing on network TV before 9pm.
EDIT:I totally forgot the silver lining! Leonard Cohen needs the money, so at least all those bleating sheep that bought this piece of crap have given their money to a worthy cause, as have all the more discerning people who bought the Jeff Buckley version in retaliation! /EDIT
*in which there are no frog related deaths, or indeed frogs. they do manage a gecko related death, a moss related death, a tree related death (evil tree, but no tree rape as in the Evil Dead) and an implied turtle related death. I can only assume the sheer horror of a deadly killer turtle was deemed too gruesome and disturbing for the unsuspecting audience.
Posted by MattJ at 2:42 pm
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I don't believe in New Year’s resolutions, I think they are silly, arbitrary and invariably unachievable and pointless.
Resolutions FOR the New Year made on the 23rd of December are an infinitely more sensible idea. Especially when those resolutions are fuelled by 3 months of massive amounts of overtime, sleep patterns that are inversely proportional to said overtime and whilst one's mind is cheerfully unravelling.
So that's the approach I've taken, I suggest you all follow my fine example - unless of course you are not morons with an inability to say no to any piece of work that looks remotely interesting. If that's the case, the less effective but more traditional resolution my suit you better.
Anyway, resolutions. Prepare yourselves, there's at least one on this list you are not going to like. I put it first to get it over with, think of it as ripping off a plaster (that's band-aid to you silly Americans with your cute little language).
1) Daily Blogging - it occurs to me that I am not blogging much and when I do it's dull, uninteresting and, as a general rule, ill tempered. A lesser man would take this as a sign that he is dull, uninteresting and, as a general rule, ill tempered. Obviously I discarded this possibility as pure nonsense.
Even in the unlikely event that this is the case, my natural contempt for my fellow man must surely dictate that I increase my output and not decrease it? So from January 1st I am going to make concerted efforts to blog daily. They will doubtless start off as lengthy as this one, but most days should be little more than a paragraph musing about how they make Kinder Eggs
2) Use my Annual leave differently - OK, the last 2 years I've had some awesome holidays, which has been great. Couple years ago I spent 2 weeks in Pittsburgh, which confuses many - especially as I didn't do huge amounts whilst I was there, but that suited me down to the ground. I got to see an old friend, do some interesting mooching on my own and spend other days vegging out eating sandwiches. It was fucking great. Same year I spent a few days in Italy with some close friends, also awesome.
This year I spent a lot of time and money with the Canada trip for Nick's wedding, which had some real highlights (not least of which was the wedding!). But other than that, I don't know what I did with my time.
Next year I am going to keep UK based, I want to take shorter breaks and make sure they really are actual breaks or make sure I am going to do something. I've already secured my Glastonbury ticket, I'll be going to Download and maybe Rebellion UK, Hammerfest and some of the gentler festivals. I also want to make sure that I see enough of my friends and family So I am going to be doing much more long weekends and less of the full week off kind of holidays. Some times of course I just want to eat chips and watch DVDs.
3) Keep looking - I've stopped looking for new things to do this year. I took a few new interests, both of which have suffered as a result of my current workload, which is slightly disappointing but not irredeemable. I also stopped looking for new jobs etc. which is always a mistake for me because I get comfortable, then I get bored. I was bored this time last eyar and I was looking, I now have interesting things going on so I stopped. Really what I should be doing is looking for the next thing to do because what I am doing now will stop being interesting in April. Probably sooner.
This isn't about definitely moving job or company or country, it's just about reminding myself that I can, because I really am not the sharpest tool in the box.
4) Read more JOlivia! - I haven't kept up to date with the happeningses in the lives of the two people whose blogs I have read since the day I started blogging and I feel like a cad (yeah that's right Hannah, I'm sticking with the 17th century). Also I haven't read Famulus' blog in ages.
It's not for me, these poor souls are missing my valuable insights and observations into their humdrum lives and they deserve better.
So that's the shortlist.
So there you go, prepare for the flood!
Posted by MattJ at 4:17 pm
Monday, December 01, 2008
So I was awoken by my alarm this morning at some ludicrously early hour, I always ignore my alarm but it's good to have a routine.
Ok. Yes. I am one of those freaks who like to be woken up massively in advance of when he has to be woken up just to have the satisfaction of knowing I don't need to be awake for ages and can go back to sleep. And yes on a normal day and for reasons best know to itself, my brain wakes up about 2 minutes before that alarm goes off no matter when I set it for.
After the first false alarm alarm, at 7:30am the radio kicks in. It's far enough away for me to have to actually move about in order to get to it, so usually I leave it on and gradually wake up enough to be in what I like to call the 'post-asleep, pre-11am/4 cups of coffee' state. I'm working on something snappier, but I am the literal sort so it’s not easy.
Anyway, I kind of went past the bit where I could do a seamless segway into the point of this post. The radio comes on at 7:30am just as 6Music News starts. Today, once they'd got past all the unimportant stuff to do with terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Thai airports and suchlike, they moved onto the important business of the Billboard charts. Apparently the Killer album beat Guns 'N' Roses Chinese Democracy to the number 1 spot. Apparently pundits had expected it the other way around, some bollox about in hard times people listen to hard music.
Fairly certain there wasn't too much thrash jazz about in during the Wall Street crash, but I am assuming that by allowing them to make these kinds of studies, we are keeping these idiots and their highly flammable beards, corduroys and pony tails away from naked flames. Not so much for their own safety but for the sake of preventing substantial property damage.
Anyway, I digress (again). A more likely indicator that Axl 'I'm taking my football home' Rose's latest endeavour would enjoy chart success is the fact that both AC/DC and Metallica's latest offerings both debuted at number one.
Now, here's the thing... Oh shut up! You knew there was going to be a thing; it's your own fault for reading this far!
The thing. Metallica, biggest metal band of the last however many years. Newest offering? Awe-some. Seriously awesome. After some of the shit they have produced over the last 15 years, I can't tell you how good this album is if metal/hard rock is your thang. They also had the benefit of having their last album be utterly without redemption, a truly awful piece of crap that had no idea what it was or where it was going. Which, rather than losing them sales this time around, led to a 'Well, it's going to be better than St.Anger - even if they just somehow manage to make some kind of audible syphilis infection, it'll be better than St.Anger' feeling around this release. Couple that with the gap between albums and tours, the more awesomeness of Death Magnetic, the general return to form and the fact that they have a monumentally huge fan base - this was never not going to be number one in a LOT of countries.
AC/DC. Not buying the new AC/DC album at some point (I have a few copies on order) if you're a rock/metal fan is not an option. Angus Young is God. I don't give a toss that all their albums sound the same after Back in Black. I refer you to Angus Young and rest my case. Also see 'Army of loyal fans'. Number one in a LOT of countries. But for a different reason, this isn't a 'return to form'. It's AC/DC, they are awesome and they rock. They've always rocked; even when it wasn't fashionable to rock (hang your heads in shame Metallica! You may have rocked at gigs, but your albums? They did not rock.). This is a loyalty 'Fuck you, I'm 103 years old and AC/DC are getting to number 1 because immortality wins every time bitch!'
OK, maybe not. Maybe they are just both really good albums, metal and hard rock seems to be back in fashion without the necessity of sub-categories like Emo (rebranded Goths with better make-up) or Nu-Metal (E-chords and the rap/melody combo). It'll stop being in fashion again fairly soon I am sure, but it won't stop being awesome and populated with some of the world's most talented musicians.
Chinese Democracy. I have a few problems with this offering:
1) Fifteen years in the making! - Bullshit. 15 years of Axl Rose in and out of rehab, hiring and firing musicians like some kind of demented genius but without the genius part. They probably knocked this thing out in 6 months all told.
2) Bandwagon jumping - You really get the impression they wanted to get this out around the time of the other two releases, I'm sorry but G'N'R, sorry, Axl Rose stopped being relevant about a decade or so ago.
3) Appetite For Destruction - The band, in whatever its form, has never written anything that comes close to the awesomeness of this first album. Use your Illusion was cool, great pair of albums but not a speck on AFD. The Spaghetti Incident was laughable...and this, well. See below
4) Was it worth the wait? - No. Fucking. Way. I heard some of the tracks on My Space. They are not BAD tracks, but there's nothing new here. This album basically sank Geffen Records as an independent entity, and saw the walk-outs of numerous music execs, producers, musicians, tea ladies, basically anyone who had any contact with Axl Rose. Fine if it was a symphony of metal or crescendo of hard-rock the likes of which the world has never seen before. But this REALLY isn't. This leads me on to point 5....
5) You're not AC/DC - AC/DC make the music they make because that's what makes them happy, and hard-core AC/DC fans don't like change. Or nurses (they keep stealing their clothes). But mainly, they don't like change. They WANT to keep making the same song, and their fans WANT to keep hearing the same song. Guns N' Roses were a pioneering band once - original, talented and volatile. Now?
6) You're not even Guns N' Roses - You're just Axl Rose working, essentially, with session musicians who fucking hate you. The rest of your crew are off doing their own thing over in Velvet Revolver and have been for years, in fact they have 2 albums. They are looking for a new lead singer right now, but don't be waiting by the phone.
So. Not a bad album from what I've heard of it and I will end up owning it as the first track is certainly pretty good. What it isn’t is 15 years and the livelihoods of those left in the wake of Axl Rose's ego.
Posted by MattJ at 1:07 pm
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I have to go to North London on Friday for what is cheerily described as a Disaster Recovery Test.
This involves me going to a new office up there that has been recently built and is described as a shining example of something or other. The whole point is to prove that I can continue to perform the exercise in futility that is my job from an alternate location should Leatherhead fall to the aliens, as predicted by H.G.Wells.
There's no nice way of putting this, if alien death machines did land and wipe out this part of Surrey, the reaction of the rest of the country would be something akin to 'How much is your fucking shoe-box flat worth now dickhead?!'. We're a pleasant people.
Anyway, I digress. Leatherhead - a rubblesome, smouldering heap. Me, off to North London to continue my important and vital work. Presumably, whatever disaster/terrorist assault/alien invasion/stampede has struck Leatherhead has avoided the city of 7.5 million people that is about 20 miles up the road.
The office in question is being built, and apparently quite combustible. I'm told it's caught fire 'a few times' during the building phase, as with other cost-saving initiatives my genius employers taking the idea of hotdesking to a whole new high. Fuck-off, everyone needs a pun every now and then if only to be reminded how painful they are.
Talking of hotdesking, I don't have a hotdesk, I have a permanent desk. I've just been told that I now have to book the use of my own desk, or some other dithering fuckwit (ie, a dithering fuckwit who is not me) can come and use my desk. This, apparently, is to encourage me to record when I am not here so that some other dithering fuckwit can use my desk and mess up all my mess.
I have decided to see what happens if I do not follow this new genius policy, I suspect it will go something like this:
ME: Hi. You're sat at my desk
DFW: I booked this desk; you'll have to go somewhere else
Me: Uh-huh. It's my desk though, if I could do my work from anywhere I'd be at home in my pyjamas eating toast.
DFW: I'm afraid I booked this desk; you'll have to make other arrangements
Me: If you can work from anywhere, which apparently you can - including a desk that is evidently mine, it has my name on it and everything!- then why aren't you at home in your pyjamas eating toast?!
DFW: I have work to do!
Me: And I have toast to eat, but let me just take your email address so I can refer all questions to you OK?
Me: Well I assume you will be adopting my role for the day? Don't worry, I'm good with faces I'll go ahead and set up an Out of Office reply and go eat toast, have a good day!
I'm not sure of the logic. I'm essentially going to have an excuse to go home.
You see how good I am at taking the negative and turning it into the positive? That's right; I am the optimistic King of turning the frown upside down.
Though if you think about it that would just look a bit weird. 'Mate! What the fuck is going on with your forehead! You look like a failed Klingon!'
Anyway, I am going to do more work now.
Posted by MattJ at 3:59 pm
In celebration of the fact that the Labour Party and the Conservative have a policy difference for the fist time since around 2000, all political parties and the press are having a field day with stories about the new economic stuff that the guvmint is going to do.
Now, a few of the outlets and politicians are focussing on the actual content of these policies - analysing the immediate and long term impact. These people are idiots and have no idea how to run either a news story or a political party.
No, the REAL story is in the stuff that was rejected and isn't going to happen. Yup, that's right - everyone is complaining about the rise in VAT that isn't happening. They are telling us how terrible such a rise is and how we are all going to be eating gravel as a result of this thing that isn't actually happening.
The Tories, in a magnificent display of hyperbole have claimed it is a huge tax bombshell, targetted at every family in the country! This immediately made me feel better, it's usually families and their bawling, vomitting, shitting offspring that benefit from my hard-earned dollahs, it's about time they were targetted by a 1000 megatax thermonuclear bomb! (You can use that Dave).
So to recap, in the absence of anything worhtwhile to talk about it's all John Sergeant and a tax rise that isn't actually happening. Way to go Britain, you rock!
Personally I think Labour and Conservative should just stop all of this fightin' and a feudin' and just get together - white middle class millionaires should stick together afterall. They should join into one party, instead of red and blue, how about a nice Royal Purple colour?
They'll need a new logo...... How about Big Ben? (Not St. Stephen's tower, but the thing that is actually Big Ben that makes the noise inside St Stephen's tower). And this would be the end of political in-fighting as there would only be one party, so really the partty to end all parties. The End party. And they'll need a nickname....... purple, big ben, the end. How about the Big Purple Bell-ends?
Posted by MattJ at 12:40 pm
Friday, November 21, 2008
I'm going to the pub after work (whenver that happens to be). In order to counteract this possible boost to my social life, I've been forced to use a powerful Pariah-ising tool - The Nerd-o-Geek Puntabulous joke.
I've been waiting on something all day from a colleague who has been swearing at varying degrees of voracity throughout the day. We just noticed he made what can be described as a 'schoolboy error'. Or, as I put it in my incredibly funny email (which travelled a few hundred miles to go about 6 feet):
No one is cooler than me.
Posted by MattJ at 5:29 pm
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I don't ask for much out of life really. Food, booze, toys, gadgets, awesome friends, the formation of a joint Platypi/Badger defence league - the usual simple things.
Amongst my simple desires is a complete Godzilla movie collection on DVD - the Japanese 'AAAAIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! GOJIRAAAAAAA!' originals of course. I think we can all agree that this is a simple, right-minded thing for me to want and indeed is really something that is essential to being complete as a human being. Which probably expalins why it is so difficult to get hold of, along with the fact that it doesn't actually exist.
Or so I thought.
Because Life and the Universe are spite-filled bitches, they wafted this in front of my nose earlier. Yeah, that's a Godzilla head - I don't fucking care, look at all that DVD goodness! Out of print - what kind of sadist produces the awesomest collection of more awesomer the world has ever seen and then makes it a 'Limited Edition'?! And not like a Hollywood 'Limited Edition' where 'Limited' means 'Limited to the number of copies we can produce until all the resources of the planet Earth are consumed or until we make Limited Edition II:This time it's personal'. This was an actual limited edition that they stopped making!
It's official, no one has it harder than me. Don't bother trying to find anyone, there's no point. I've thought of appealing to the distributors sense of dignity or humanity, but we all know that people like that have no souls and can only just be considered human because of so-called 'Genetic evidence'. Pfft!
So, come on my peoples - help me out. Help me track down a complete Gojira!! box set so that I can finally finish of that Social Death Spiral I've been working so hard at.
Posted by MattJ at 2:49 pm
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Well Jo, 'Liv. You did it, you destroyed the American Dream, I hope you're proud of yourselves.
In 2000 the Republican party proved that just because you lose a Presidential election, that doesn't mean you can't be president of the United States of America. In 2008 Rudy sought to keep that dream of hope alive, to prove that promise of legalised election fraud could still hold true today.
I have no doubt that it was your commnets on thsi blog that finally crushed the stout spirit of this great american and joinrudy2008.com, was taken down.
Now you'll just have to live with your democratically elected leader. See where THAT gets you!
Posted by MattJ at 12:07 pm
Friday, November 07, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
First rule of British politics: In the absence of something of substance to say, try to associate yourself with someone who has.
Posted by MattJ at 1:46 pm
Like most alive people, I depsised the Bush administration with an unholy passion but despite his best efforts, there are still lots of alive people left in the world.
I'm not going to talk much about the US elections, other than to say what a joy it was to see two competing candidates. I agree with my friend Hannah - there were two sides, two sets of opinions, two personalities. You could see where they differed and where they agreed. One made the mistake of listening to strategists and abandoned his strengths and went on a pandering/attack campaign. That was a shame, he should have stuck with who he actually is.
But there were differences, and a massive turn out. 11 months is a bit of a piss take for a democratic process but you gotta love that whole separation of power thing they have going on.
All we get to do is pick a colour and wait for the next set of generic public school boys to take over without anything approachign a mandate.
Posted by MattJ at 1:12 pm
Monday, November 03, 2008
Politicians used to leave me alone back in the day, that was when I was a low income non-voting pleb who didn't understand the wider world or politics. Of course the only thing that was actually true was that I was on a low income, but facts rarely matter in politics and neither do the people.
The only people that matter are those that vote, 75% of which would rather put their own eyes out with a shitty stick than change the way they've voted all their lives, even if their party of choice has changed their main campaign promises to include legislation protecting puppy drowning and child slavery.
That leaves a good 25%, many of whome will be influenced by their rag of choice. You also have to take into account those people who will vote to keep someone out rather than voting with their conscience (I actually did this brainless and fucked up thing once, to my eternal shame). There are people in the world who will vote their conscience, but unfortunately many of those people aren't allowed to vote because they are not 18, and the rest won't matter because we don't actually operate anything resembling a democracy here.
So, unsurprisingly I've gone off topic. I'm now in an income bracket that means politicians now care about my vote, and its fucking annoying. Try explaining to people why you opposed the 10p tax balls up when you are one of the prime beneficiaries. I'm the guy they aim these things at because demographically speaking I am likely to vote, and generally speaking people are selfish fucktwits so i am likely to vote for what benefits me directly which is a sick view of the world.
And sadly it works, any movement that taxes people like me more, or God forbid! One of the many middle-higher income couples that happen to have spawned , then you'll pretty much lose. Because the people who get fucked over the most are the people least likely to vote and that's the way governments like it. And now I definitely know I am become the enemy because I am talking shit about something I barely understand and will do little to nothing about. Middle class, is there anything more evil?
Red or Blue, in this decade can someone please tell me the difference?
Posted by MattJ at 1:08 pm
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So I'm in Milton Keynes for the next 2 days. I'm being punished for something, probably something I said. The problem is I say so very many inappropriate or off colour things that to narrow the field down to a specific thing that the universe is punishing me for would be an exercise in futility.
Milton Keynes is a good example of why town planners in this country need to be stopped at all costs. They are the mid-level management of evil genius. Macciavelli's brain damaged cousins. Moriati's accountant. You get the idea.
I think it was originally designed as somewhere to train people in what to expect in the event of the emergence of a post apocalyptic dystopia. It's the city equivilent to soylent green. It's completely inavigable because everywhere looks like everywhere else.
There is a nice chinese restaurant here though. See how I am ever the burning ray of optimistic summer sunshine?
Posted by MattJ at 1:45 pm
Monday, October 27, 2008
So Pedr was down this weekend. We drank, we ate, I bought a coat and a yellow music stand. All was well with the world. We also started an inappropriately named NFL franchise on Madden 09 on my Xbox 360.
2 grown men laughing like school children because the first game of the 09 season was the Rimjobs at the Browns.
All of this highbrow activity was a mere preamble to the main event, which was the San Diego Chargers (booooooooooooooooooooooooo!) @ New Orleans Saints (WHO DAT!). Only not really, it was the New Orleans Saints home game but at the awesome-o Wembley Stadium, the awesome-est stadium in the world (It's a fact, no need to look it up).
I won't bang on about the game itself - which was a massive improvement on last year's and was amazing to watch - you can check out espn for that. They did throw a tailgate party this year and the Lt. Governor of Louisiana was knocking around the place apparently, as were the Louisiana tourist board.
There were give aways, NFL Experience things going on and live music. Which was mainly jazz, which is fine because it was what I term 'good jazz'. Not the musical in-joke, clever, smug and awful sounding 'experimental' (for experimental, read discordant) crap that is more interested in mutually assured musical masturbation than in entertaining anyone beyond their own little clique. I'm glad we have made the distinction, now we can move on.
Wait. I should clarify, in case there are musical types out there (Rob I'm talking to you) - I mean good in a the pure 'Good Vs Evil' sense. The Devil was clearly the superior fiddle player to Johnny but he still sounded like shit because he spent all his time trying to be clever instead of trying to sound good.
So, the jazz. Lots of brass too, which was bent towards further jazziness. The rain did not deter the enthusiastic folks whose job it was to bring a little piece of Louisiana to a car park outside a stadium in Wembley. I'm sure the irony was not lost on them.
Of course, jazz isn't really my kind of thing - even good jazz (see definitions above). It suited the setting, anywhere else and I would have been ready to stab someone in the eye with a clarinet reed after the first half hour. The whole thing though was a really good idea. nearly 20,000 attended the tailgate, it generated a really cool pre-match atmosphere and certainly made my mind up about who I would be cheering for. After we'd decided to be Saints for the day (a bigger deal for Pedr as he is a 49ers fan), we proceeded to bully Nick to do the same. Undeterred by the weather, the Louisianartians and the NFL(I think that's what people from Lousiana are called.....) put on a great day that even made this curmudgeon marginally less scowly.
Highlights? For me it was standing in a queue. There is nothing more fundamentally British than queuing. We are born to it.
There were these guys wandering about with beer dispensers, Pedr and I joined a queue for one of these selfless slakers of thirst. After a few minutes it became apparent to Pedr that there was no one at the end of the queue, the beer man had gone off somewhere. We were standing in a queue that had nothing at the end of it, it was the single most British thing I've ever done and unless I am able to subjugate other countries at will, or take up casual racism, it's the most British thing I ever WILL do!
It genuinely filled my heart with unparalleled joy. Our queuing powers had temporarily evolved. No longer did we form queues to get something, we now formed queues and waited for a good/service to arrive at the front of it. And so it was, the man returned replete with fresh beer.
The second thing was the flags. Everyone got a 'Be a Saint' flag in the stadium. Essentially this meant it was possible for there to be no actual Saints fans. None of these flags indicated allegiance to the Saints, they merely encouraged it in others.
Downside? Another British thing. Local radio DJs. The NFL comes to town, very American. Louisiana come to town, bringing their amazing food (more on which later), music, dance and atmosphere with them. We had to do 1 little thing, just one - get a decent guy on the stage. Seriously how hard can it be to find someone who wasn't made in a vat with the rest of these countless and pointless pricks?! Here's a clue whoever made that decision - get someone who fucking knows something about the game, or the teams, or anyting at all. This should preclude all DJs. Just let the NFL send their guy OK?!
For those outside the country, over here it's tradition whenever there is an outside event to use a Radio DJ for announcements. No one knows why it's a tradition, but slavery was a tradition until someone noticed that it was inhumane. I'm not saying that Local Radio DJs as events presenters/announcers are as bad as slavery...... that's for you to decide.
Posted by MattJ at 3:13 pm
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sometimes I really wish I had an imaginary friend like those Judaeo-Christian religious people,then I could use the phrase 'God hates me' when things aren't going well.
Please provide suggestions in the comments section that's as punchily whiny as this exclamation of woe.
Posted by MattJ at 3:05 pm
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Like most of the Interwebbed world, I am Facebook's little revenue generating bitch. I've forgone the obvious whining about facebook post for far too long. It's time to face the fact that my complaints enfold with a tedious and predictable inevitability.
If I was in therapy, it would be called 'embracing who you are'...
Of course if I was in therapy the rest of my interaction with the therapist would be called 'Assault with a deadly pencil shapener'.
Anyway, I digress. Facebook.
This is not a complaint about the new layout, it's a complaint about people who complain about the new layout. Even lamer than these people are the people who set up groups for people to join so that they can all whine like little bitches with skinned knees together about how much they don't like the new layout. The peak of lameness, in this particular sub-category of troll-like lobotomy experiment, is those who set up groups with a target of n Million people to join, and if they do Mr Facebook Man has said he will trash the new facebook!'.
The guy who is raking in untold gabazillions of dollahs as a result of the additional ad revenue sat down and thought 'I know, I'll tell a fat kid with a serious skin complaint and questionable personal hygeine who lives in San Antonio in his parents basement that if he, with his untold popularity, can gather together 10,000,000 people into an imaginary gang, I will forego the advancement of my evil plan'.
So. There's those people. And to those people I have a message (cos they totally want to hear what I have to say). Here's my message, ready?
Leave. Seriously, leave Facebook. If you hate it that much, fuck off. Do you know what your little online clubs do? They make more money for facebook, that's right dumbass - more pages = more revenue, also it provides Mr 'I'm throwing my head back and laughing like a Viking' Facebook Man's targetted ad system even more data on his hapless revenue drones (that's us by the way, in case you are still struggling with the concept).
They don't care OK? I've hated the fucking thing since they allowed you scum to bombard me with crapplication invites every bastard second of every bastard day, but I am still there all the bastard time like the weak willed addict I am. If you leave, I will respect you as you will have the courage of your convictions, if you stay - just roll over and accept that you are nothing but a money counter.
So. Targetted ads. Why is facebook periodically trying to encourage me to get breast implants? Can they double as ear-muffs?
People you may know..... I think Mr Evil Facebook Man has gone a bit loopy here. the logic behind this particular feature appears to be 'Does anyone on you friends list have a relative or have any contact whatsoever that matches anything in youtr profile'.
Yes. I do know that person' mum. Would I go for a pint with them? Probably not. leave me alone.
Yes. I do know that person went to the same Uni as me, he was a nob then and now he's a nob with a job. Congratulations ut I'd still rather use crushed glass as eyewash than have him associated with me in anyway.
You wouldn't think it, but I actually enjoy writing this stuff, it's quite cathartic (hey! have you been talking to therepists!).
Posted by MattJ at 8:54 pm
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I'm trying to start eating breakfast at the moment but I can't go around eating a pig every morning, which is pretty much what I do when I roll out of bed at the weekends and cook a farmyard slaughter on toast.
So. Breakfast cereal. As a general rule, I only eat Shredded Wheat when it comes to breakfast cereal. First of all, it's yummy. Second of all, when it succumbs to the the fundamental flaw that affects all breakfast cereal, it's yumminess doesn't diminish.
Which brings us to the fundamental flaw of all breakfast cereal. Milk.
The love affair between breakfast cereal and milk is beautiful but sadly shortlived, ending in mushy, inedible goo. Cornflakes are really quite nice, but by the time you've sat down, they've collapsed like a fat man on a paper unicycle and have all the appeal of brain fever. I've recently decided that I like Rice Crispies, this was appropo of nothing, it just popped into my head and I obeyed. So now I like them. Unfortunately they succumb to the squoodge-making lacteal embrace even quicker than cornflakes, which makes for some extremely quick, not very pretty, cereal consumption.
Surely someone should be inventing some kind of edible, tasteless, imperceptible cereal laminate? Fucking scientists pissing about with the fundamentals of the universe when they could be laminating my breakfast and making things hover! Unless of course they intend to make giant doughnuts once they are done, in which case I am willing to forgive them.
Being the positive, burning ray of summer sunshine that I am, I will look on the bright side. I generally roll out of bed around 15 minutes before I need to leave the house for work, so having to consume a bowl of Rice Crispies in the 30 seconds it takes for soggification to begin is probably helping me in some perverse, none indigestion related way.
PS Anyone who suggests any kind of chocolate flavoured cereal should be in any way associated with breakfast, kindly join the 'Gene Cleansing' line. You are wrong on every level and you are beyond redemption. That goes for you sick, perverted Nutella deviants too.
Posted by MattJ at 2:31 pm
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I am pleased to report that my guitar playing has advanced from '12 thumbed monkey with Parkinson's' all the way up to the border between 'Please God make it stop!' and 'Appalling mediocrity'. This is a mere step below 'Oasis'. Go me.
In more positive news, my ability to tinker with guitars is improving by degrees. Unsurprisingly my innate geek ability to play with screw drivers, wire cutters and sockets vastly outstrips my musical talent.
Posted by MattJ at 4:16 pm
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad. Often they are combined. Like giant Toblerone. It's chocolate but when you eat it, it attempts to pierce the roof of your mouth and stab you in the brain.
US Electoral campaign. Democrats: giving the appearance of the things that are admirable about America. Sarah Palin: Representing a worryingly large number of people who see Deliverence as a guide to life.
I have a personal example of course, otherwise this wouldn't be a proper whinge would it?
Using my amazing powers of sitting around on my own browsing the interweb, I managed to locate the entire run of the West Wing for a mere 50 of your English pounds. Being a geek, I immediately thought 'w00t'. That's the good part. The bad part? They don't have it in stock. I know - you're shocked. A lesser man would fall to the flaw cluthing at his chest screaming 'WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!'. I'm made of sterner stuff than that.
Still, 7 seasons of awesomeness will keep me occupied for a few more weeks!
[ADDENDUM] Huh, how about that - the universe actually helping to illustrate my point. Firstly, you should know that like a lot of companies, mine is going through some changes - but we were well ahead of the game in that they started well before Cap'n Crunch introduced a new, exciting, economic turmoil flavour.
So they are doing away with the structure and punting a bunmch of us about into other places, whilst remainign where we are. Confused? you should be.
Anyway, we were supposed to move to one new division and we are being punted to something called 'Outsourcing Services'. We were asked if we had any concerns. I mistakenly assumed they meant it and I proceeded to ask lots of questions and make my views known. I think I mangaged to convey the geenral feeling that OS are a bunch of fucking monkeys who's sole purpose is to make life for people with actual jobs as difficult as possible. In addition, I'd rather lick the fiery arse of a napalmed Guy than transition to that division.
On the plus side, as a result my Project Manager (the OS denizen who informed us of this glorious news) seems to be implying that I won't be on this project anyway after April. This isn't a massive plus on first look, but it does look like he is going to foist a bunch of actually useful training my way in order to further empower my glittery illusion of competence. Huzzah! Also, one of the courses is called PRINCE II. It all depends if that is like The Godfather II, or more like Troll II. Time will tell!
Posted by MattJ at 1:18 pm
Friday, October 03, 2008
Over the years I've acclimatised to stores selling Christmas paraphanalia as soon as Easter is over. OK, in most cases this is an exaggeration but I certainly saw Advent calendars and the like for sale in September.
More worryingly people were bloody well buying them.
Anyway, you live with it and simply content yourself with rolling your eyes in a superior, holier than though (holier cos I know that Christmas is in fucking December!) way.
I can even live with the adverts for Christmas gifts before we've even had the opportunity to carry out the traditional burning of the effigy of a revolutionary papist idolator.
However, this concept of shopping for Christmasin the middle of summer appears to have invaded my family's psyche. My brother sent me a text at the beginning of September declaring how he ahd bought the family's Christmas presents, including mine. Smug fucker.
Then my mum calls me and starts asking what I want for Christmas, she wants to get me 'something useful' and she won't take no for an answer. In fact she has issues with me buying dad presents and goes positively mental if I suggest I am going to spend anything on her. Stupid woman. Or is she? It could be a cunning ploy to illicit more and more thoughtful gifts until she has everything her big heart desires. Devious cow.
Anyway, talk of Christmas anytime before December always confuses me and I block it out as insanity. However, as I've mentioned, she is an insistent woman and not slightly built. So I provided her with a list of options - not something I am accustomed to doing as it's basically telling someone to buy you something which is distasteful. I've tried to keep it reasonable in the vain hope that she sticks to a budget.
So, dear santa. Please give me one of the following:
1) A thing that plugs into my radio in the car that gives me DAB
2) An espresso machine so I can annoy colleagues by drinking coffee that actually tastes of coffee
3) A DVD boxset of the origianl Godzilla movies. AIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
4) Super Powers.
I am well aware of the irony in this post.
Posted by MattJ at 2:04 pm
Thursday, October 02, 2008
I haven't seen anyone not associcated with work in some way for over 6 weeks, and before that I have no idea. I'm going insane. I need to get out of Surrey this weekend but not so far that I can't get back inside a couple hours if I need to. Friends inside that radius are all busy or have better things to occupy their time than keeping me away from sharp objects.
Answers on a postcard (and by postcard I mean comments section :D) please, I am about to go axe-happy on a trout farm.
Save the Booleader, Save the Trout.
Posted by MattJ at 5:53 pm
Saturday, September 27, 2008
All I'm saying is that Paul Newman dies adn Ben Afflek and and Sean William Scott get to live on and shit onto cinema screens. Where's the justice?
Surely there must be some kind of way of turning the life sucking machine of the skexies towards a purer, more noble purpose?
I'm not suggesting that you join those two sentences up to come to the conclusion that Ben Afflek and Sean William Scott should have their life force sucked out of them and fed into infinitely more worthwhile and talented people. All I'm saying is that if ALL of you have reached that conclusion by reading the aforementioned sentences, who's to say it is wrong?
Posted by MattJ at 4:22 pm
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I won't finish the well known phrase as I doubt there is much planning in the life of a mouse, don't believe the lies perpetuated by Hanna Barbera or MGM.
Anyway, I thought I had a free day or two this weekend so i was going to take a trip home or to see friends - hadn't quite decided what yet, maybe to drop off some overdue presents. Pootling about, with the possibility of a final destination.
Apparently this was entirely too much planning for the world to cope with and now I am not going because I may or may not be needed at work.
I'm actually not that put out, it's just mildly annoying but may at least give me some more time to develop a plan to turn clowns into some kind of Squow operated weaponry. Almost certainly employing hover technology.
See how I weave?
Posted by MattJ at 3:25 pm
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This story kind of misses the point somewhat I think. Some people are really scared of clowns - foolish but vaguely understandable. They are, after all, freaks and weirdos.
Some people really like clowns, these people should be watched for they are surely deviants.
Some people think clowns are funny - these people should be sterilised as they are bigger danger to the human race than global warming. Enough of these people breeding would put us back in caves trying to work out if rocks are edible.
Clowns aren't funny. they've never been funny and they never will be funny. Even when I was a kid and was taken to the circus - which I absolutely loved - the most boring and tedious part of the whole show was when the clowns came on. Oh look, your bucket isn't full of water at all, it's confetti! Well bless my soul.
I know the supporters of these tools would say 'ah but the repetition and the lack of originality is what makes it so enjoyable to watch!'. No it isn't, you're an idiot. I don't care how good the joke is - if you repeat for 300 years it stops being funny. I like repetition as much as the next guy, partly due to my ever failing memory and inability to remember whether or not I've told someone a story already (I invariably have), but there are limits.
So I applaud Birmingham council for exposing these frauds, perhaps with out the glitz and glamour of their trumpets, the audiences will see them for the rubbish painted deviants that they are!
That is all.
Posted by MattJ at 10:37 am
Friday, September 19, 2008
The sofa was too big, I still have no sofa. Bah!
I've pretty much given up again now, I think 2 weekends is entirely too much time spent on this kind of crap - I pretty much have everything I need other than a sofa. Maybe now I have created a sofa habitat, one will migrate there.
In the mean time I'll use my weekend time getting worse at guitar and working. Yeah that's right - no one parties like me.
Posted by MattJ at 3:10 pm
Sunday, September 07, 2008
... on the other hand I could successfully bid on a fairly plush looking leather sofa, rug, dining table & chairs, glass shelving unit and some other bits for under 200 squids. I have no idea what just happened, but I appear to have arranged a complete refurnishing of my front room. Since there aren't any home improvement shows at all on the TV, anywhere in the world, I may grace you all with a before and after photo set. But only if things go well ;)
Posted by MattJ at 7:28 pm
No I don't have a sofa, I am faffing about too much. Rather than drive about looking for something appropriate I reverted to type and tried with ebay again. Evidetly I failed because, when it comes to furnishing a flat that I don't own, I am a cheap ass.
By the end of next weekend there will be something sofa shaped in my front room, even if I have to steal from a tramp down the tip.
In other news, I have a cunning alternative to the decorative pebbles. I'm going to take an existing, stupid idea and turn it into something more awesomer. Honest.
Since the sofa is causing me so much consternation I am going to buy a bunch of other stuff off ebay in preparation for the phantom couch's arrival. I'm sure it'll be fine.
Posted by MattJ at 10:50 am
Monday, September 01, 2008
Which, Emperor of All the Europes aside, isn't actually all that much. Looking around the flat after Dave moved out it occured to me that I've seen homeless people with more furniture than I have. This was helped in no small part than my generous. if misguided, donation of over 50% of the furniture in the front room to Dave.
In perspectivem, this was a table and some chairs. When a table and some chairs accounts for 50% of your front room/dining area, you need to take a long hard look at the sofa vaccuum occupying the middle of your floor.
Somthing I duly did, I looked, I observed, I digested. Then I started looking up art prints on eBay.
Please, don't try. If I can't follow my own 'logical' leaps, what hope do you have?
Posted by MattJ at 4:32 pm
[WARNING: FANBOY POSTING!]
In customary gloating fashion, I thought I would just brag about the fact I just secured myself a ticket to the Metallica album launch party at the 02 in a couple of weeks. They rather generously offered the tickets at a fiver each. However, in order to get into the first round of ticket sales (and thus stand any chance at all of getting one) you have to be a member of their fan club. I don't think I've been a member of a fanclub before, but then I've never had cause to watch a phoenix reborn before.
OK, a slight exaggeration, but since Bob Rock has been producing Metallica things for the more traditional fans have not gone well. I know people who refuse to listen to anything after the ....And Justice for All album. I'm a little more broad minded, but only a little. The Black album (that's the one with Enter Sandman on it), whilst really cool and an album I really like, was a break away from their roots. Load, again, was eventually proved to be a good album and actually worked the more Bluesy angle really well - just not exactly what you would call knock you off your feet amazing. ReLoad was just the filler left over from Load and the less said about that album the better. There were a few quality albums in between the next studio one, which were basically rehashing existing material but still good stuff. Then there was St.Anger. or Stanger. Or Stank-er.
The problem with a band like Metallica is that they've sold somewhere int he region of 110 million albums, they have a legion of fans like me who buy their stuff just because it says Metallica on it. They can produce any old garbage (see ReLoad & Stanger), slap a price tag on it and it will sell.
Anyway, they finally got a chap called Rick Rubin on board, who's been responsible for so many quality albums it's untrue. Like a bit of metal? He produced the Kerrang! 'Heaviest album of all time' with Reign in Blood by Slayer. Beastie Boys fan? How about the classic License to Ill? All the good Danzig albums are his. Like a bit of the Chili Peppers? Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magick is chief amongst his involvement with those boys. System of A Down, Rage Against the Machine - the list goes on. The guy knows his stuff when it comes to mainstream stuff and with the stuff at the roots of Metallica, so I have unreasonably high hopes for this latest release.
Yes I know that this post is only of interest to me. Yes I know I am acting like a frothing fanboy. If you don't like it, what the hell are you doing reading it all dumb ass?!
Posted by MattJ at 9:17 am
Friday, August 29, 2008
My Olympic diet hasn't been going well of late, I've really eaten or slept much over the last couple of weeks. Fear not though, this kind of phase always leads into a period of frantic activity, cooking and eating. I will resume eating farmyards at the weekend from September so my training schedule to become an Olympic swimming God will be back on.
I will be rigorous in my consumption of egg butties and fry-ups, I'll not let you down guys, I will be be the first Olympic Gold Winning Emperor of All the Europes.
Of course the administration of entering us as 'All of the Europes' into the next Olympics may not be complete so in the meantime, you will all be repatriated as Welsh. This isn't so much national pride as finding it really funny watching Daily Mail readers cough up their own pelvis.
Posted by MattJ at 11:38 am
After 3 years living in the same place I've decided to acknowledge that my time in Surrey and in this flat may not be quite as temporary as I'd first envisioned. Work as gone well and the lack of any commute appeals to my desire not to become a homicidal maniac.
Dave moves out at the weekend, he's got a part-owned flat further down the M25 and for September at least I've decided to go it alone again, mainly because of constraints on my time but partly by design. I'd prefer to live on my own permanently of course, but there is that whole 'doubling of the bills' thing to contend with - seriously cuts into my 'wasting money on crap no one needs' budget.
Anyway, I decided against the part ownership thing, the commute, the uncertainty at work at the time and the fact that I was dealing with a self important agent who was nothing more than a glorified typist (I won't say secretary, they actually do something of value) al put me off the idea. So I bought a car.
Don't try to follow the logic, you'll just get dizzy.
Anyway. After 3 years I've decided it might be worth putting some actual real furniture in my flat to make it look more like a place where someone lives, rather than a place someone dumps stuff and sleeps. I'm reliably informed that there is a difference.
With this new found desire to make at least one room habitable comes a minefield of accessorising. Did you know that you can go to a shop and buy decorative pebbles? That's right, decorative pebbles. Presumably from the famed pebble mines of New Guinea. The pebbles (decorative, not the unsightly ones) need to go on things with shelves and surfaces, all of which needs to match or be made to match or 'go' with other things. Pebbles, apparently, belong in a bowl on a shelf taking up space that could easily be used for DVDs, CDs, books or lost coins/picks/keys/biscuits.
The shelf (which matches the rest of the stuff) whose purpose is to support the aforementioned pebbles (decorative) should perhaps be facing a large mirror on the wall. A large mirror creates the illusion of space and creates light and, when facing pebble supporting shelves, the added illusion that you are wealthy enough to own multiple bowls of pebbles.
I even intend to buy cushions. Don't worry, I am going to get big fat cushions - mainly because whatever sofa I get will be very cheap and used or very free and used, so likely will need some comfort enhancers. They will be big, they will be fat and they will have a purpose. Not those scatter cushion things that seem to decorate people’s homes. Let me tell why they are called scatter cushions - it's because that is what happens to them the moment anyone actually wants to sit down comfortably.
When it comes to walls, I've mentioned a mirror. Probably some canvas prints. Maybe some wall hangings. Maybe a combination of all of the above. If I put an X-Men poster in a frame, is it now art?
Posted by MattJ at 10:55 am
Thursday, August 28, 2008
That's right! I've reached that landmark 507th post that all serious bloggers strive for!
Less knowledgable people than you discerning readers might suggest that I really should be marking the 500th post. A cynic might suggest that I didn't notice that I had passed this landmark and this is a shameless attempt to divert attention from that fact.
We all know that such people are morons and aren't to be trusted.
Who are you going to believe? Some cynical, myopic pedant or The Emperor of All the Europes?!
Posted by MattJ at 12:29 pm
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I've decided to try to take something seriously - it's a shock I know, and in order to do this I've decided that to fund my new obsession I should sell some of my crap instead of just accumulating more. This is a leap of logic most people make on a daily basis, but most people are weirdos and don't understand the awesomeness of stuff!
Anyway. As one thing comes in from eBay so do some of my favourite toys go...
First to go is my Nintendo DS, chief amongst my 'Bestest gadgets of more awesomeness ever' gadgets, this is truly a sad day. Now I have a car I use the train far less, thus I use the Nintendo far less. It is an amazing toy and I hope it and the stupid collection of games goes to a new home.
Almost as difficult to lose is my XBox 360, while it's true it really isn't costing me anything as my collection of games has dwindled with each successive trade, I am also not really playing it. I pretty much just use it as a media centre to play my 'Evaluation' copy TV shows on the big screen. I am gonna bring my old PC out of retirement for that I think, I'll do something media-centrey with it perhaps - alternatively I'll sell that too and replace it with a PVR.
I'm also considering, after 3 years that perhaps my situation isn't quite as temporary as I'd first imagined and should probably sort my flat out with some less make-shift furniture and decoration. Dave moves out next week and am considering staying on my own, at least for the time being as I don't really have the time or inclination to sort another flatmate out yet.
I have to be careful not to go too far with this selling of stuff of course and resisting replacing those things which I am selling is gonna be tough. You'd think they would make some kind of patch for people like me!
Posted by MattJ at 4:59 pm
In a private, understated ceremony today - held at an exclusive but secret 'Above the Petshop' location in the South East of England, Matt Jones was declared Ruler of All the Europes.
After noticing all of the ballyhoo, bru-haha and general finnagling and shenanigans going on in Europe, particularly around the Russian Federation of late, I decided it was time someone took charge of the situation.
The first step was to declare myself Ruler of All the Europes. Already I have made massive savings by avoiding unnecessary costs to my endeavour. By cunningly sidestepping a costly Military coup against my own government and a subsequent European war of domination, I have saved countless thousands of lives and Billions in costs.
I grant you I am not yet widely recognised as the wise and beneficent ruler that I evidently am, but I am going to pen an explanatory letter to Europe explaining their new position in the pecking order. So please help this transition into a new golden age of co-operation and understanding by donating taxes to my cause - until an official and automated taxation system is in place I will accept payments via PayPal.
Your Loving Overmaster,
Posted by MattJ at 12:44 pm
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I know, it's sad but I grew up on this band, from raw rusky goodness of Kill 'em All, through the proteing filled Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning, on to the flat but inspired ....And Justice for All, the mighty Black Album. Load and ReLoad kept me going with some small morsels of past glory and whilst the rancid Stanger nearly made me vomit up my pelvis, we did get Garage Inc. and S&M to keep us going until they made something original.
I haven't been this optimistic since waiting 6 years for Load, only to have my anticipation crushed by the final product. It's a good album, it's just not 6 years good.
Anyway, it's my blog and I'll put what I want on it so nerrr!
Posted by MattJ at 9:56 am
After a brief dalliance with insanity 1998 with Piff Duddly, or what ever he was called that week, Jimmy Page has finally completely lost his marbles by whoring out his genius to generic popster Leona Lewis in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. In tribute to the ruthless efficiency of the host nation, the duo are to preside over the cruel and unusual torture and ultimate death of the classic tune 'Whole Lotta Love'.
It's understood that Jimmy is to join popular boy band Blue in a surprise reunion tour at the end of the year as 'The one that isn't as pretty as the others but can play an instrument'.
Posted by MattJ at 9:43 am
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So according to the papers, following a global suspension of morals and decency, 'Team GB' is doing really well at the Olympics. I'm reliably informed that 'Team GB' is what Great Britain are called this year. I'm not sure if that applies to all of us or just those at the Olympics and if the latter, whether they get special passports or not.
Aside from from the various speed-commuting sports such as cycling and running the medal haul has been aided in no small part by the sports that are in what I like to call the 'Chinless Wonder' category. These 'sports' (and I use the term loosely) are created and designed entirely for people with titles, double barrelled names and speech impediments created by genetic flaws that are a result of a family paddling around the shallow family end of the gene pool for multiple generations. 'Sports' like pootling about in boats and horse dancing - Dressage and Yachting if you want the full titles.
I rarely get excited about the Olympics and find the fact that people are only interested in sports they've never heard of once every four years when we happen to be doing well in it. Who can forget the Curling fever that gripped the nation in the 2002 winter Olympics? It's particularly disappointing this year though because no matter how much I mock, the dedication required to become the best in the world at anything, even playing in boats or peasant baiting, is truly admirable. Unfortunately 2 facts remain:
1)The hypocrisy of the whole thing, it's truly astounding how some of these world leaders can keep a straight face when they tell you how committed to human rights they are. Maybe they should append those statements with 'Unless you have cool fireworks. Or Choreography, you can't get 16,000 people dancing in unison without a violent and despotic regime - democracy simply doesn't have that efficiency!'
2) The Olympics are REALLY fucking boring! Seriously, Iain Duncan Smith reading War & Peace boring.
Oh, and just so Jo has some consistency, please just assume that I've made some slight or insult about that American fishboy character. He's keeping up the American record breaking Olympic tradition - let's hope he doesn't keep up the other American olympic tradition of having to hand them back in a couple of years ;) -*
[Addendum]* Sarcasm aside, i do genuinely hope this, not least because I love the idea of this diet becoming the performance enhancing drug of the future. 12000 calories a day in fry-ups, the man is rapidly becoming my hero. I hear he is good at swimming too, but that's far less impressive.
Ah there it is! :D
Posted by MattJ at 7:14 pm
Monday, August 18, 2008
Certain traumatic events can cause mental scarring in your life, your psyche covers up and blocks these events in an attempt to stop you going axe-happy on a trout farm*, however certain sights, sounds or smells can trigger a severe emotional response that brings the event back to mind.
I just experienced such a thing. Sitting in my office, busy doing someone elses job for them - so already in a fairly unreasonable state of mind - I have my earphones in so I can ignore my co-workers** when Kashnir by Led Zeppelin starts to play.
As soon as the opening bars kick in I am thrown back to an event: Nick and I in my flat as we record one of the few podcasts we put together. Discussing cover versions, he said these words:
"I think Puff Daddy's version of Kashmir is better that the original"
He said this with conviction - utterly serious and without a trace of sarcasm. And not in the hilarious dead-pan style of some comedians who say things utterly against God and nature in an ironic fashion. He honestly believes this to be true.
I honestly get slightly annoyed everytime I hear that song now, I am clearly disturbed!
* See Garth Marenghi for more awesome descriptive terms
**It's not that I dislike them, it's quite the opposite - the current work I am doing has put me in a dim frame of mind so want to hammer through it, I don't want to run the risk of spitting venom in the wrong direction and hitting an innocent bystander.
Posted by MattJ at 3:33 pm
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Or so radio would have us believe. I listen to BBC 6Music a lot, most mornings and pretty much relentlessly over the weekend. I really like that they seem to recruit their weekend DJs heavily from the comedy circuit. I also like that they have playlists but also 'free plays' where the DJ has free reign to play pretty much whatever they like for a number of songs during whatever show they are airing.
What I don't like - George Lamb, but then no one likes him. In fact, as far as I can tell he is universally reviled and is only listened to by Radio 1 listeners who own a digital radio and need something to listen to after Chris Moyles has finished. Being essentially 'Moyles/Mills Lite', George is the perfect choice. Seriously, tune in to 6Music after 10am and see if you can stand him and his Mockney voice for longer than 30 seconds.
George also fits into 'Don't Like' number 2: If you keep playing it, it doesn't make it any fucking better! George is a brilliant example of this; they receive a massive swarm of official complaints about him. Someone makes a website with an online petition on it begging to have him removed. None of which I engaged in for the following reason: When you do that, the marketing department don't see a talentless wanker who should be fired, along with whoever hired him. No. They see a 'controversial figure. He's not controversial, he's a talentless moron. Anyway, so then he ends up with a Sony award and he's a rising star and blahblahblah. We bring it on ourselves, I really shouldn't be so hard on George - if everyone had kept quiet and just tuned out, he would have disappeared like a fart on the breeze.
Anyway, I completely digressed here. Back to that first line 'If you keep playing it, it doesn't make it any fucking better!’ Casing point? The Verve. I truly loved Urban Hymns as an album; even the weaker tracks weren't awful. They've 'burst' back onto the scene with 'Love is Noise', a truly terrible song - not because it is so discordant or particularly badly written or even that objectionable. What it is, is instantly forgettable, so why the hell does it get so much air time?!
I know this happens all the time, but it doesn't make it any less annoying and once the first few weeks are over, it is relegated to where it belongs but seriously Richard Ashcroft already wildly overestimates his own talent and impact without having his delusions validated !
I've had a great week at work, can you tell? :D
Posted by MattJ at 4:59 pm
It's true, they are always shouting about their Hut!
ha ha. I am funny.
Come on people, stick with me - it's going to get worse before it gets better - you need to ride it out like a fever or genocide.
Anyway, I just traded in a bunch of things at the local Blockbuster because the new version of Madden NFL has become available and it's time to build a new all dominating Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. Madden 08 tended to get confused after about 10 successive SuperBowls and fell over.
By 'a bunch of things', I mean old games obviously - not like vital organs or anything. I never used to get rid of old games, keeping them for 'replayability' but since I mostly lost interest in a most games (thanks to ditching my PC last year) this urge to hoard has waned somewhat and has paid for any number of new titles this year, which have subsequently been chopped in for new stuff. I wish I was that sensible with all the other crap I insist on accumulating...........
Anyway, new Madden can only mean that the new season is just around the corner and I need to start considering where I am gonna get my game fixes from!
In conclusion - LETS GO STEELERS LETS GO!*
*Seriously, I love this game but they need to sort themselves so decent chantss out.
Posted by MattJ at 3:59 pm
Thursday, August 14, 2008
..but whiskey's quicker.
Or so the song goes.
I've decided to make an effort to blog every day, working on the theory that if I provide enough quantity the odds would dictate that I accidentally say something funny or poignant at some point.
Anyway, whiskey. I like Irish whiskey, I am slowly working on a bottle of 12 year old Jameson's at the moment. Before that was a Bushmill's malt. It's yummy, though I am apparently a philistine because I drink it with ice. I like a few Scotch malts, but not the ones I am supposed to like. Real hardcore whiskey drinkers will bang on about Islay whiskeys, these are like drinking whiskeyfied mud and definitely an acquired taste! It is like drinking a peat fire, I don't know why this is appealing to anyone.
I think bourbon suffers from the way it is made (clean, new barrells) but maybe that's because I've only really been subjected to Jack Daniels (a product of good marketing), Jim Beam and Bulleitt. Any Americans who want to put my right about American whiskey-type products, just say so!
Incidentally I am well aware that this entry is neither witty, interesting, poignant or anything else that might make it worth reading but we have to get rid of the chaff people - before we get to the juicy wheat of literary genius!
Posted by MattJ at 9:36 am
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I blogged briefly about this story, a few years ago when talking Britain's 'Freedom 1.2 (beta)(TM)' and it's something I half keep my eye on, particularly this case. One thing that has become apparent is that not only this whole appeals process and taking stuff to the House of Lords is not only costly, overly time consuming and lengthy but ultimately, in cases like Gary Mckinnon - a complete waste of time.
The problem is that right now, if the US government tells the British government it wants something, then it pretty much gets it. It's like those kids you see who dominate their parents, demanding all sorts and all you are thinking as you watch is 'Just tell them to fuck off!'. Perhaps that is a bad analogy, maybe Britain is more like an abused spouse who has been broken to such a degree that they willingly and smilingly do themselves harm at the request of the abuser.
No that's a bad analogy too, they both put too much blame on the US government. Here's the correct analogy : It's like a spineless and wretched excuse for a government is allowing, no, actively inviting a foreign power to not simply influence our foreign policy but to dictate which of our citizens do and do not have rights and to what extent those rights hold sway under our own sovereign laws.
I won't go over the vomit inducing extradition treaty we signed with the US is again, but suffice to say it's a far cry from Great.
I'm not saying the US government is blameless - it's boorish, overbearing, too quick to react and a whole host of other things, but then when hasn't it been? A lot of those negatives also contribute to the positives of that country, that doesn't mean that we have to act like it's bitch!
.....Anyway I digress. Back to why all of the last 2 years was a waste of Gary's time. The appeals were always going to be rejected, partly on the basis of the extradition treaty - which doesn't require any actual evidence of wrong doing, or an indication of the victim's fate, and partly because of the spineless wretches in charge. Essentially he should have been fast-tracked the the EU court of human rights, by-passing the entire British legal system which was essentially a 2 year formality. I'm not saying that we'll get the right result - they are hit and miss at best - but it is his best chance of getting the right result.
Posted by MattJ at 4:40 pm
Every single year this story appears in one guise or another.
Quite aside from the fact that it suggests the loss of Gertrude* as a human name is anything other than a good thing, it seems to imply some kind of crusade is in order to keep bullies in victims for years to come.
I'm sure I can't think of any reason why William, Henry, Harold, Richard or Walter were popular names in centuries past - there certainly weren't any famous Englishmen who could be considered celebrities with those names around were there? That would be insanity, it might even suggest that like most things, names move with the times. I'll grant you it isn't always for the better but all of the top 3 names this year are perfectly fine and at least if you run into anyone called Jade, Bianca or Cherice you know exactly what you're in for.
We already re-use crap from past eras - music, fashions and art - recycling the same old crap and regurgitating slight variations on a theme every 20 years or so, is there any real need to bring back pre-WWI names? If it does happen, then I insist we launch a campaign to bring back Beróun, Ceowulf, Coenwahl, Hunuald, Redwald, Sebbi, Swidhelm and Wuscfrea - at least they are mroe bloody interesting and speak a little more about where all these names came from in the first place!
Or we could just go back to simpler times when we merely referred to our offspring as 'Ug!'. Of course, this also translates into 'Go and tidy your cave' and 'that's so unFAIR! I HATE you!'.
*Cows, of course, can be called Gertrude - but NOTHING else!
Posted by MattJ at 12:23 pm
This story can used to illustrate the following phrases:
'Wildly misjudging your audience'
'Tawdry attempt at making an easy buck'
'Doomed to failure'
I think it also demonstrates a wild and, until now, unheard of interpretation of this phrase:
All I'm saying is that people tend to pick a cult then stick with it, some might say religiously. I don't think if you made Pope II, a huge amount of catholics would abandon their current idol. Even if you said 'Now with 33% extra genocide, racism and Nazi gold!'.
Posted by MattJ at 12:00 pm
Monday, August 11, 2008
I get asked this by the same couple of friends on a frighteningly regular basis. I've taken to answering this question with the statement 'I recently bought an electric guitar'. I feel that this should tell anyone everything they need to know about my relationship status and, indeed, the importance I place on it.
I've discovered that it is just another way of saying 'I am single right now and will be for the foreseeable future'. I think if you hit 30 (yes I know I'm 31!)and start buying things like guitars it's a perfectly reasonable reaction for people to look at you with a mixture of amusement and pity. It's one thing buying an electric guitar, but when you buy a Jackson Randy Rhoads, which has a.......distinctive.....shape. When I reveal this information, the looks move from amusement and pity to the more familiar one I like to call the 'Of course you bought that one, what was I thinking? You're Matt' look. This is an equally reasonable reaction. At work I can be almost pathologically practical, at home......this ethos seems to go somewhat awry...
On the plus side I have a pointy black guitar, an abundance of self-delusion and an apparently equally deluded tutor who wildly overestimates my abilities.
I thought I better blog something as it's been a while and I had 10 minutes to kill before I leave work!
Don't worry, only David Lee Roth is still allowed spandex, I'll stick to hiding in my flat and annoying the neighbours ;)
Posted by MattJ at 5:21 pm
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I know it's clichéd to take the piss out of Americans but there is no getting around the fact (or indeed the woman, not without a map, compass, climbing equipment and a few days rations) that this woman was American, so there isn't a lot I can do about this.
We were at a Starbucks in Niagara, Nick and I. We just sat down to drink our beverages next to a family of Behemoths balanced precariously on the surprisingly sturdy chairs. The smallest one had evidently been elected to go order the beverages because the matriarch of the group was doing her best impression of what the Harpies in Jason and the Argonauts would sound like if they were from the deep south. The call was to attract the attention of her long suffering daughter (I assume it was her daughter, she was a smaller, younger sphere with a similar face) to make a request for her beverage:
"Don't forget to ask for mine extra hot!"
I'm sorry if this is a common thing that I am ignorant of but......what?! I mean...how?...what?! OK, my understanding is that the water comes out of the thing virtually in a vapor, that's right isn't it? Does she want to chew the beans and suck on the steam nozzle? Someone explain this to me, please. Are there an elite few coffee drinkers who scoff at us poor saps who have to deal with merely scalding beverages?
These aren't rhetorical questions, I need to know. Maybe it wasn't a family of big fat fatties but they'd been artificially inflated by the steam from there extra hot coffees? I didn't see them tethered down but they could have had particularly heavy shoes they'd had specially made?
inquiring minds need to know
Posted by MattJ at 2:42 pm
Thursday, July 24, 2008
So I've been off here for sometime but I plan to blog quite a bit over the weekend and hopefully get back into the swing of things. Also giving some thought to having another crack at pushing gravybrowning back into some development action - I'm going to get a hold of wordpress over the weekend and see how I get on from there.
Anyway, I digress - I'm in Canada at the moment - Toronto to be precise but I'll get to that later. The reason I am here was Nick's wedding, I am going to post some pics on my facebook page around that when I get back to the UK - though I was best manning so I had to entrust the photographing to the bride's mum.
There aren't really enough words to describe the falls themselves - even the crappy American falls are pretty awesome but the horsehoe falls were mind numbing. We did a couple of trips on the maid of the mist which takes you right to the base of the falls and gets you quite damp, but it is well worth the little money they charge for it. I would go into greater detail but it always annoys me when people come back from trips like this and they waffle on about how amazing the sights and sounds are - they can't possibly hope to convey anything of the feeling of being there, no matter how many hundreds of photos you show me! So there will be photos on my facebook page but nobody is forcing you to look at them OK?
Everything around the falls was utter tat though. Imagine someone who has had Las Vegas described to them by a blind madman in a language they didn't understand. Then that guy goes to a mentally unstable town planner and describes the same thing using crayons and spilled pudding. That town planner then builds something vaguely resembling that picture. That is pretty much what surrounds one of the great natural wonders of the world - Neon, plastic, vile, tacky. Shit.
If you go to the falls, just go to the falls and go for like a day because unless you have a reason to be there it can be quite soul destroying.
Happily I had a reason to be there, as did Nick, Kara and all the family and friends who had traveled for the occasion so was kept pretty busy for most of the time that I was there, mainly trying to make sure Nick was in the right place at the appointed hour. He wasn't nervous or getting cold feet you understand, just.... well put it this way - I have never met anyone in my life who has such a limited understanding of the passage of time. I can only describe this in two ways - at great length or in a brief sentence - we'll go for the latter. OK, here goes. Imagine 5 minutes. Got it? OK now you just need to imagine thinking that every single thing in life takes 5 minutes and, more than that, all other measurements of time are just different ways of saying '5 minutes'. That's Nick.
OK, I thought I'd posted this a couple days ago but apparently blogger broke and I no longer have any idea what I wrote. Knowing the way I write I am not going to put myself through reading this crap so I will conclude with this, and hope it isn't in the verbal vomit above : Nick and Kara are now Mr and Mrs Brooks, the wedding, the bride, the setting and the ceremony were beautiful. Nick managed to not look like a bearded coat rack, basically it went brilliantly and I wish them all the happiness in the world. Well. Not all of it, they can't have the bit of happiness I get from cartoons or food. But they are welcome to the rest of it.
Posted by MattJ at 10:42 pm
Friday, July 11, 2008
It took a government commissioned report to recommend that the government shouldn't really be selling our personal information to private firms.
has anyone else just had their corneas burned out by that blinding flash of the fucking obvious? I believe the next report says that embezzling public money should be frowned upon .
Posted by MattJ at 2:29 pm
Friday, July 04, 2008
That's right! The oppressed badger population has won a reprieve from the evil feline controlled conspriacy to do away with our stripey backed friends!
Bovine TB! Pffft! Why would a badger have Bovine TB eh? And what are cows doing wandering around the woods in the middle of the night anyway? They are asking for trouble. It's like those people on the Claims Direct adverts - 'I was carrying a bucket of hot tar across an ice rink whilst playing the banjo when I slipped and fell'. Good! You're a fucking moron and the world just got lighter! Call it natural selection and move on!
In other news I am doing a big clean out tomorrow in my flat. In much the same way that there are 5 major food groups, there are 3 majpr crap groups: Crap to throw away/recycle, Crap to go to a charity shop and Crap to go on ebay. I may take pictures of mounts Tipolata, Charimonjaru and the Himebayas if they are suitably impressive.
Either that or I will play Madden '08 surrounded by rubbish - place your bets.
Posted by MattJ at 1:05 pm
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
So I haven't really blogged in a while, apart from the Kid Rock thing. Mainly because I wasn't sure what to blog about, poking at the Daily Mail holds an unlimited amount of fun/frustration for me but it has to get tired for the 2 people that read this.
Then it occurred to me that most of what I write will be tired and so I have returned! I am going to provide you with some brief highlights of recent months and then maybe get back into the flow of things over the coming weeks. I know, you feel ever so lucky.
So. Beginning of June I went up to Hull to visit Kirsty for her birthday, catching up with Hannah and Emi (first time the 3 of us have seen eachother together for over a year and probably 2 or 3 years since the 4 of us were together!). I was only really there Friday night and Staurday, then I drove to Wales in time for Sunday dinner at mum's place (woohoo!).
The next few days I went up some of the local hills and woods and did some GPS treasure hunting (check out www.geocaching.com) , visited Mike for some Chili of Deathly Doom and generally got drunk and merry. Top banana.
On thursday the 12th, Rich, Rosie, my brother and I went to Donington for Download Festival and there we remained until Monday (if anyone is at all interested in this, pelase comment and I will regale you with tales of adventure and tents).
Then I went back to work, in a few weeks I go to Canada for a friends wedding - i currently have about 50% of the trip booked into hotels around Niagara, I am still deciding what to do with the remaining 4 days but I am sure i will think of something :D
OK, so that's briefly what's been happening - the devil is in the details and i may write something about some of the many dumb/ill advised/etc thingas that I have done/bought/tripped over recently if the whim takes me later.
Posted by MattJ at 11:09 am
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I was going to write a thing about my recent Download Festival experience but thought that would be very dull for everyone - just like the 200 pictures I uploaded to Facebook! Instead I am going to write a nice response article to this one about Kid Rock.
Just for a bit of context, he was supposed to play the main stage but an announcement came on saying that he ahd been taken ill and Disturned would be playing a longer set instead - as my friend so nicely put it 'There was an audible cheer'. Anyway, here are Kid Rock's real rules (you'll need to read the beeb article first):
'START WITH THE SONGS'
That's what equals success in this business - good songs and good music that connects with the people. Trying to get it through the powers that be to get to the people, that's the hard part. harder still is convincing the people you got through to that you didn't just steal the music of infinitely more talented people and palmed it off as your own, you need to some really REALLY dumb fans for that. But a well stolen song will always break down those walls.
I don't think there's any secret to putting on a great show - it all stems from good songs, which is why i am careful not to release anything I've written myself as a single and just rely on other people's riffs that I pitifully remix in the vain hope no one notices. Once you have good songs, it's all about crafting your spiel.
'ENJOY THE FRUITS OF SUCCESS'
I enjoy it and I have fun, but at the end of the day I try not to hurt anyone and really enjoy life.
Honestly, what I like to do on the road is enjoy the fruits of our success. I like to take people to dinner. I like to take my band and friends to dinner and pay for it and enjoy being around them because they're like family. I particularly getting totally fucked up beyond all human recogition and pulling out of festivals that I am suppose to be performing at.
Sometimes I like to close down the pool at the hotel we're staying at and have some fans over and everybody gets naked and goes for a swim. Essentially it's me in a pool, naked.
'STAND BY YOUR FRIENDS'
I stick by my friends and family, through thick and thin.
Even if somebody did something wrong who was close to me, I would take their side because I don't really have the courage of my own convictions.
That causes a lot of problems, but those problems are what make you stronger. You need some scars, some cuts for people to identify, especially when you're in the public eye, for people to know who you are. Or at least that's what big Frank tells me when he gets me to dress up in that special outfit....that's normal right?....I mean, that's just what you do for your good friends. And pay them, Frank says you pay your friends, and let them introduce you to German business men with 'special tatstes'.
Integrity translates into people's music, which is I think why I've been so successful because people believe the people who wrote that music and when they hear the dodgy lyrics I write over those tracks, they assocaite the music with that kind of talent and integrity, so I get kind of respect by association.
'HANG OUT WITH DECORATORS'
I'm a skilled craftsman in my trade. Successful plagiarism and theft isn't as easy as it looks!
I look in the mirror and look at other musicians and say: 'Am I as good as them, am I better?' The answer is clearly no, but successfully convincing people the answer is 'yes' - that's the key, that's the trick.
And I always surround myself with good people. My dad always told me: 'If you want to be a painter, don't hang out with a carpenter.'.
So I surrounded myself with the best painters that I could and I've tried to learn from them. When thjat failed, I just nicked all their stuff and painted over bits of their stuff and palmed it off as my own work. I like to think of it as the musical equivilent of painting by numbers, but one where some other kid has already meticulously filled in most of the pony then I come along an smudge crap all over the lines, essentially making something that was really quite good quite considerably less good.
I don't mind people stealing my music, that's fine. But I think they should steal everything.
You know how much money Tommy Hilfiger has? If you need a new laptop or a new iPod, you know how much money Steve Jobs and Apple have?
If you're going to steal music, steal everything - but then just pretend it's yours - that's the key here. Steal shit, and then pretend it was yours in the first place - this works for ideas, music - anything intangible.
Do I steal things? yeah I fucking do! I steal things and now I'm rich.
Posted by MattJ at 3:29 pm