The Missing Link


If you are one of the (very) few folk who reads my blog via an RSS reader, or other social media link-aggregator thingy, then you will be missing out on some of my fabulous links to other stuff I read.

For example, as part of my ongoing commitment to disabuse people of the idea that the Daily Mail is anything even vaguely resembling a "news" paper, I would heartily recommend checking out Daily Mail Watch and The (new) Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project - the latter of which takes on the Daily Mail's classification of inanimate objects into two types: those that cause cancer, and those that cure it.

If you are looking for other kinds of sustenance, might I recommend The Food Pornographer (whose postings often make me wish I had a better lunch) and Cake Wrecks - ugly, down right bizarre and often hilarious cakes sold by commercial bakers and mocked beautifully by the Wreck team.

There are others, of course, who write personal blogs about things and stuff - and very well too, I might add - but I'll leave those for your own exploring. In addition, should you be a reader who would like a linky on my blog, then let me know and I'll see what I can do. No promises, mind you. I'm capricious like that.

* and if you can't see the image, well, it is VERY funny. So there.

Oh, indeed.

So, the Tories are trying to convince people of the panic-inspiring, bleak hopelessness of "Broken Britain" via analogy to cult, compelling TV programme "The Wire", are they?

To quote from one of the series (corrupt) politicians: Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

There are several reasons (many of which covered in the many and several areas of the media like, here and here) why this is daft, however very few have touched on what is perhaps the single most important reason: the "William Hague Baseball Cap Test of Coolness".

As you might recall, William Hague, poor deluded William Hague, once attempted to be "down wit' da kidz" by wearing a baseball cap and shorts and sucking on a coconut cocktail at the Notting Hill Carnival. He was widely ridiculed. And rightly so.

Chris Grayling, bless his socks, is also trying to be all cool and "with it" by citing a very cool, gritty drama that has caught the media's attention (but not really that of the viewing public - not because it isn't good - it is, it's brilliant television - but because it's been scheduled, inconsistently at that, at stupid o'clock and been about as well promoted as Norwich City football club have been these past few seasons...). By doing so he is being a total tool try-hard, much as William Hague's ogling at the bogling in 1997.

As much as it has successfully gained headlines, by comparing Britain's crime hotspots with those of The Wire's Baltimore Mr Grayling shows a pretty poor understanding of what the show is about -and a very weak understanding of what sorts of crimes actually are being committed in the UK.

Added to which, one gets the feeling that Mr Grayling hasn't watched as far as series three, which focuses on politics. In particular the ambition and corruption of ruthless men and women who will say anything to get/keep power - and the broken promises, statistical fudging, posturing and political powerplay that follows their political ascents/descents.

As ever the most incisive views some from the streets and might well be applied here: As Omar puts it, "How you expect to run with the wolves come night when you spend all day sparring with the puppies?"

Quit yapping, Grayling. Ya feel me?

Love Film? Who doesn't?

oh yes, click you know you want to
I apologise in advance. I am about to ask a favour - and I am going to be very blunt and upfront about it. So, here goes....

If ( and there really is no compulsion here, no guilt trip or anything) you were thinking idly about joining DVD/Game/Blu-Ray rental service "Love Film" and maybe wanted a free trial, I was wondering if you might do me the favour of using this linky here to sign-up.

The reason? Really simple: if you join up here you will get 30 days free trial (instead of the standard fortnight) And me? I'll get 30 days free too.

I'll also be honest about what I think of the service from Love Film: it seems fine to me.

- Can't say I've explored it fully, but it does what it says it'll do - sends out DVDs etc, no late fees, free postage. It does box sets too (I'm waiting for the release date of "Fringe" seeing as we dumped our Sky subscription over loss of service matched by stupidly expensive pricing policies...) and it is cheaper than a bloated cable subscription. In addition it is very handy for watching those films you sort of wanted to see at the cinema but didn't quite think it was worth it, or just plainly and simply missed.

I'm not a huge promoter of stuff and nonsense, but I thought this was worth a punt.

Thanks (and I won't trouble you with ads for stuff again. Well, not unless I think it is really worth it, anyway).

The Daily Mail: bringing vitriol to the masses since 1896

Lots of people arrive at this blog post looking for information on Karen Krizanovich & David Quantick's marriage. I would like to make it clear (if it isn't clear from this now dusty and mildewed post...) that I have no insight at all into their relationship past or present. I have no complaint about Ms Krizanovich choosing to write about her marriage. I don't like her persona or choice of material in this case, but that's personal taste. My gripe is with the Daily Fail's Mail's editorial position in conjuring stories out of thin air to create publicity for films or products -  or people. It isn't news. It isn't even gossip, it's payola. Readers deserve better. If you would like to read more of my blog, that's fine. Otherwise, gossiphounds, click through and happy journeying. I probably ought to write an update soon about how much I truly hate the Daily Mail...

Ye gods and little fishes. The Daily Mail is mean-spirited, smug little paper, isn't it?
I'll freely admit to perusing its pages from time to time (online only...I'm never parting with a penny for the rag and never even consider clicking through the unnoticed adverts) on the basis of "know your enemy." I can quite confidently sift through the lazy bilge that passes for political analysis with little more than a grunt of disgust, but every now and then an article gets published that leaves a nasty, greasy smudge in my mind.
Now, I've never met David Quantick, much less been married to him, but I've seen him on TV and heard him on radio a few times. Seems like a witty, perceptive and clever, but otherwise unexceptional, bloke-ish sort of bloke (I know, damned with faint praise or what?). I've never met Karen Krizanovich either (although I remember her Agony Aunt column in "Sky Magazine" when I was 14 ...) although I know her reputation is one for which the adjective "acerbic" was created.
-But bloody hell - she has surpassed herself here: I know divorce can be a horrible thing, but suggesting (based on no medical evidence, but rather through watching a Hollywood movie) that her ex-husband might very well be suffering from Asperger's Syndrome, seems a sneering smear too far and a serious kick in the freshly divorced balls for Mr Quantick.
I repeat - there is no medical advice or information on which Ms Krizanovich has based her "diagnosis," rather she has watched a film. A film starring Hugh Dancey nonetheless - not exactly glowing in A-list radiance (although he's not a bad actor, to be fair). And the Daily Mail seems to find it acceptable to publish vitriolic puffery concerning the breakdown of a marriage between a journalist and her writer husband as though it were in some way incisive, insightful and informative.
And that pretty much sums up their approach to journalism all over: bitter and mean spirited, based on scant evidence and lots of opinion.

Dr Teeth & The Electric Mayhem Band

It has been a bit of a funny month.

It started well enough- lovely holiday at my sister's place which happened to coincide with Cowes week (and the yachties were much more subdued than in recent years - which made it far more pleasant!) M'beloved and I particularly enjoyed watching the Extreme 4os (sort of 40ft carbon fibre catamaran-zippy sailing-type boats), although we couldn't exactly follow the racing, what with not really knowing anything about yachts and yachting, or even knowing where the race started and finished, or how long it lasted. Or anything, really. Pretty sails, though. Pretty, pretty sails...

We even saw this bit of nonsense: a completely daft promotional boat shaped like a boat shoe. Madness. Yachty madness.

And we saw lions and tigers and lemurs (Oh.... what? Not bears?) at the Isle of Wight Zoo - made famous on Sky (apparently) through the series Tiger Island.

We also ate lots of icecream, went to one of the Isle of Wight's least curated museums (and there are many) where I also viewed some real Edwardian porn on an ancient "What The Butler Saw" machine. All in all, who could want more?

Then back to work, and as Caron Wheeler so rightly sang with Soul II Soul, back to reality.

And the reality is a shit storm.

In a fit of complete and utter incompetence, the grant bid I toiled over for weeks has been turned down. Or rather the biggest part of it has been turned down - leaving me with a real possibility of redundancy come March (again) unless something happens. Worse still, it needs to happen either at the civil service end, or from my organisation's board figuring something else out and wiggling the figures. Either way, I'm fuming. All the more so because I warned the CEO and the depute (and even raised it with the board) of the possibililty of the grant funding being axed if it wasn't incorporated into the larger organisational bid (I mean - who creates an internal market when there are barely half a dozen people in the damn office?) and was ignored because "this is how things have been done for years and there've been no problems before."

If this model of thinking were to be followed, I would be chiselling this entry in ogham on some bits of stone. Or maybe we would still be living in caves. Or maybe still half in half out of the primordial swamp. Or just existing as a single cell entity, floating about, not even bothering to consider dividing.

I am not happy.

To add insult to injury, I had a filling drop out of one of my teeth and the dentist refilled it WITHOUT GIVING ME ANAESTHETIC! (cue Dr Teeth video and blog entry title...)

Like I said, funny old month.