Thursday, 10 December 2009

Gopping Star of the Week #1

Chris Moyles.

In this unfair world of injustice and despair inducing woe it comes as no great surprise to see that shite rises to the top. People whose strongest qualities are raw ambition and being prepared to stab colleagues in the back.

We've all worked with them and seen their unashamed butt crack licking of superiors and bare faced cheek when claiming credit for ideas and solutions that perhaps they could have come up with themselves if they hadn't channeled all their energy into looking good in front of the boss.

This can be the only explanation for Chris Moyles rise to the coveted Breakfast Show position on Radio One. There he has sat since 2004 with his crew of cackling cronies who fall about at his piss poor attempts at humour.

The BBC press office say, 'Renowned for his outspoken, honest style and wit Chris has become part of the fabric of the nation'.

This would be the bleary eyed, just woken up part of the nation who can't face the daily horrorshow of the morning news but need some sort of external noise to wake them up.

Moyles seems to possess the musical knowledge of most daytime Radio One DJ's which is precisely knack all. Their job is to broadcast the playlist given to them and fill in the bits inbetween songs with whatever words come spilling from their mouths. Basically they need to be able to talk a lot for a few hours.

Most DJ's usually broadcast on their own but Moyles has his crew with him so they can swap banter in an imitiation of the rest of us proles in offices and factories.

This is a style he has taken from Steve Wright in the Afternoon and Chris Evans, particularly Evans, who seems to be a driving force behind Moyles.

In 2002 Evans produced Moyles's first attempt to break into television, Live with Chris Moyles on Channel Five which was a watered down rip off of TFI Friday and was so wincingly awkward and stilted that it lasted one series. He also was on Capital FM as was Evans after starting out on Radio Aire at sixteen.

Moyles is good at being successful but is not what he thinks he is, and that is funny. His misogynistic gobshite rants and flimsy song parodies come over as forced. This probably explains why his crew laugh as much as they do, to flash in big neon letters that this is HILARIOUS.
The TV advert for Moyles's song parodies album showed a Godzilla sized Chris stomping around a city waving at people through high rise building's windows as though he is every one's giant mate. Add this to him calling himself 'the saviour of Radio One' then you get some idea of the size of ego we are talking about here.

At the end of the day Moyles may be a successful DJ with seven million listeners but millions of people watch X Factor as well and just goes to show that a lot of people are easily fooled.

Last word goes to John Peel, a DJ who genuinely loved music instead of using radio as a springboard for his own ego, 'If Chris Moyles is the future of radio I'm going to kill myself and take him with me'.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Smug Git.

A few years ago my wife announced that she wanted to do the Carol Vorderman 28 day Detox Diet. At this time I was around 15 stone in weight and was getting a noticeable belly so I decided to join her in this enterprise, it would be easier in the long run as we wouldn't have to be preparing separate meals.
It's basically a vegan diet, no wheat, dairy, meat, fish, alcohol, caffiene or anything with sugar in it. Breakfast was porridge made with water, lunch would be salad and evening meal would be some vegetarian dish. Snacks would be fruit or Ryvitas with houmous, something I had never eaten before.
It was suprisingly hard work preparing the various soups, stews and salads but over time it was something we got used to.
At the end of the diet I had lost thirteen pounds and felt better for it but now I was looking forward to an Asda cheese scone with butter and cheese spread on, a staple for me pre-diet.
However when I finally had one all I could taste was fat and the inside of my mouth had a film of grease on it. I haven't eaten one since.
I tried to drink a can of Cola but after nearly a month of nothing fizzy it was like drinking battery acid. A McDonalds meal tasted synthetic and afterwards felt as though it had formed a large cube in my stomach, the corners of which were now digging into my gut wall.

Needless to say this experience has had lasting effect on my diet and has made me think about what I eat. I am not saying that fad diets are a good thing as many people feel they are denying themselves and when the diet is over they will rush out and gorge on what they have been missing. Just do things in moderation. We've all sat and chewed our way through a whole tube of Pringles at some point and you don't have to beat yourself up about it.
Just do it once every couple of months or something, not every night.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

How to Drown in the Open Air.

We really should have seen it coming. I mean going for a hike in the wettest area of the UK that isn't actually underwater at the end of October, you are going to get slightly damp at the least.

As we drove along the tiny B5289 towards Borrowdale valley we could see black lowering clouds ahead of us looking as though they had full bladders.

The road ended at Seathwaite which was nothing but a farm with a sorry looking campsite attached. The site was empty apart from one lonely tent, huddled against a dry stone wall to protect it from the wind in the exposed valley between the the hills.

We parked up and put on our kit. Although it wasn't raining the air felt wet and the tops of the mountains were hidden in the thick grey clouds that filled the sky. We put on full water proof gear, rain was going to come and it was simply a matter of time.

We set off south from Seathwaite long the bottom of the valley and alongside Grains Gill, a fast running stream to our right until we came to Stockley bridge. This was a stone, humpbacked bridge that crossed the gill. We crossed this then the path veered west and began to climb the lower slopes of Great Gable.

The plan was to climb Great Gable, a mountain 2951 feet tall at its summit then descend onto Windy Gap, as arrette that ran between Great Gable and its neigbour Green Gable. this was a smaller peak standing at 2629 feet. We would summit this then head north along Gillercomb Head before descending alongside a stream that poured down the side of the mountain called Sourmilk Gill.

We climbed the lower slopes, the path running along the edge of a steep defile with a fast running stream coming down from the hills. Pine trees studded the slopes of the Gill, its steep sides protecting them from the wind that frequently blew down the valley. Here and small streams crossed the path but these could easily be cleared with a jump.

The path climbed for around 1000 feet until it levelled out and the land opened up in front of us.

Now we were walking along the bottom of a wide valley, the hills sweeping up and away either side of us. We walked south west straight along the valley floor until we came to a Montain Rescue kitbox at Styhead Pass. From here the path veered to the north west and ascended the higher slopes of Great Gable to our right.

We heard the sound of footsteps behind us and turned to see two men in there early twenties wearing shorts and tracksuit tops and running along the path. We let them pass and nodded greetings, then watched them go bounding up the side of the mountain.

As we started up the mountainside it finally began to rain. The path was easily to follow but steep and we climbed hard. The runners were now out of sight, swallowed by the low lying cloud.

After a period of relentless climbing with our heads down and breathing hard the wind picked up and blew the rain horizontally across the slopes. Fortunately we were protected by a rocky ridge that ran up the slope to our left, this sheltered us from much of the wind but occasionally a gust would catch us.

It was as though a giant hand grabbed you and tried to pull you off the slope. All you could do was brace your legs and grip the soaking wet rock with soaked and slippery gloves.
After a time the two runners came bounding down the mountainside like a couple of exuberant goats.

"Be careful", they said as the bounced past, "it's pretty bad on the summit".

Can't be that bad if you went up in shorts we thought.

Eventally we came to the end of the protecting ridge and the summit of Great Gable was visible ahead of us, it could only have been 200 yards away.

However the route to it was a totally exposed boulderfield wth no cover and sheets of icy rain blasting across it, driven by gale force wind. We looked back the way we had come. The slopes on the opposite side of the valley were obscured by the never ending torrent of rain blown along by the roaring wind. By now my waterproof gear had failed and I was soaked in sweat and rainwater. My socks squelched in my boots, rain ran off the brim of my hood in a stream.

We had to decide if it was safe to go on, considering the route would take us across Windy Gap. The name says it all, arrettes are dangerous in good weather but in this there was a very good chance of dying. With one last look at the summit that was so close but so dangerous we turned back and began the difficult steep descent along the path we had just climbed.

It is easy to see why people get in trouble on the mountains. Some people go to the Lake District woefully unprepared and start walking along clearly defined paths that climb gentle slopes until suddenly the weather changes and they realise they are not walking in a carefully managed and controlled park but are out in the wild and at the mercy of the elements.

Others go prepared but run into bad weather and carry on anyway, pride pushing them into potential danger.

It was tempting to push onwards but as we descended we came to the small streams that crossed the path. We had been able to cross these with a single jump, now they were raging torrents that had to be waded through. As we finally approached the lower valley we came out of the low lying cloud and the slopes of Skiddaw mountain could be seen. These were only 10 miles away but were bathed in sunshine. In Borrowdale valley the rain kept falling.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Alec Guiness in a Dressing Gown.

This was going to be a post about humanity reaching the 7 billion mark but after reading through what I had written I have decided that you must never see this.

If you did then you would see me as a soulless, black-hearted monster who has lost touch with humanity.

It would damage this fragile, beautiful thing that has grown between us irrepairably and I can't stand the thought of losing you.

So I have chosen to lock that post away in the darkest recesses of my laptop and instead repost one of the very first things I put on my blog, back in the days when I had absolutely no followers.

And let's never speak of this matter again.

When I was ten years old my parents told me they had seen a trailer for a new film that ws coming out soon. 'It looks amazing', my dad said, 'there are dogfights in space'.

A childhood spent readng World War Two based comics like Warlord and Battle and watching any war film that I could on telly had me imaginging Spitfires and Messerschmits flying through space.

This was the first time I heard about Star Wars and I was hooked.

When it finally reached cinemas in the UK my mum and dad made an occasion of going to see it and we went to the Bradford Odeon, back then an impressive structure, these days it is closed down like many city centre cinemas and has trees growing out of its roof.

In the seventies the main feature was always preceded by a support feature, in ths case a 30 minute film about a knight rescuing a lass in a white dress. It was called The Black Angel and starred the bloke who played Dick Barton, Special Agent on the telly.

After this the cinema went dark and silent, then suddenly a spotlight shone on a glitterball rotating on the ceiling, filling the auditorium with rectangles of light. The deep, mahogany voice of James Earl Jones boomed out of the speakers' May the Force be With You'.

The film started and I spent two delirious hours looking at something I had never seen before and thought it was the best film ever.

Jump forward 20 years and I am in the cinema with my girlfriend watching the digitally remastered version of Star Wars, with new added lizards and shiny bits.

About half way through the film I realised I was mentally compiling the weekly shopping list and not even watching. We left before the end.

Now I know I can never relive the experience I felt as a child and that Star Wars was genuinely groundbreaking in terms of special effects for its time. George Lucas said about the film that he wanted to recreate the Saturday morning kids cartoons to the big screen and he succeeded in doing so on a grand scale.

Unfortunately this meant the same level of story and character depth so that once the inital wow factor of space ships the size of planets has worn off there isn't much left to engage the viewer.

Lucas creates a universe where the main characters all turn out to be related like a bunch of space rednecks and the storylines hinge on coincedences so massive as to make the Death Star look like a golf ball.

He also tries to inject humour into his films by way of comic relief characters, the robots and Jar Jar Binks in StarWars films and the Brownies in Willow.

His idea of humour is to have these charcaters bicker with each other and occasionally fall over, then sit up looking dazed with something stuck on their head at a comedy angle.

They speak mangled English in amusing foreign accents or in the case of See Threepio are so camp they make Kenneth Willams sound like Nosher Powell.

None of these characters bring anything to the films and are blatantly plastered on to make the kiddywinks point and laugh at the funny sounding robot/frog thing.

Darth Vader was recently voted as greatest cinema villain of all time in some film magazine poll but in all honesty he just doesn't seem particularly villainous. Apart from looking fairly cool he just stomps into the room, wheezing like an asthmatic playing football and making mild threats. He does at one point stab Alec Guiness's dressing gown so I suppose he could get done for criminal damage but it's hardly the stuff of nightmares.

Getting annoyed about Star Wars is about as pointless as sitting here writing about it. It is a billion dollar industry that will steam roller on and people will continue to treat it like a religion. Millions of people go to see the new films despite the fact that many of them seem to come away disappointed. People seemed to be going just to see if they would improve which is a waste of time and money.

One last thing. The same year Revenge of the Sith came out another science fiction film was released called Serenity. This was a spin off from a failed TV series called Firefly which was cancelled in its first season due to poor ratings. However DVD sales of the series were strong enough for the studios to take a gamble and the writer of the show directed the film, bringing back the cast members.

It came out in the same summer as Revenge of the Sith and failed at the box office.

I had never seen the series but saw the film. Here was a strong story with characters that interacted well and you could care about. There was genuine humour as well as decent special effects and among the cast were the always watchable Chiwetel Ejiofor and Adam Baldwin. I enjoyed it enough to watch the series and found that I wanted to see more of these characters.

Unfortunately that is unlikely to happen as no-one went to see it, instead they went to see Lucas's latest eye candy knowing that the would probably be disappointed but trudging along anyway as though it was inevitable. No doubt they were brow beaten into it by their kids who have been laser targetted by the marketing people through massive hype and merchandsing.

Maybe Star Wars is all we deserve.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Jesus is Boss.

Ever since I gave myself to Jesus my life has been so simple now. I used to worry about things all the time, why am I here, what's the point, why should I bother.

Then one day I had what I thought was an epiphany. It came to me that life had no meaning other than a biological imperative to survive and breed. The Earth and life on it were not created for a reason but was a series of chemical reactions brought about by being in the right place at the right time. Life on Earth was brought about by being the right mix of elements coming together at the exact distance needed from a star at the period of its existence that would provide the right amount of heat and radiation to support life.

We are all made of the same chemicals and particles that make up the rest of the universe, it's just that where we are right now the conditions are right for these chemicals and particles to interact in a certain way, what we know as sentient life.

In essence the only reason I am here writing this is blind luck.

This of course put me in a massive depression, there was no point to my existence. I began to slack off at my job and stopped seeing my friends. Then one day I was sitting in my pyjamas in the middle of the day flickng through the TV channels when I came across the GOD channel.

Here were people talking about the things that I was worrying about the most.

The people on this channel told me that there is a point to existence and that I am important.

This galvanised me into signing up with Pastor Linus's Family Ministries and I have not looked back since.

They told me that my so called epiphany was a sign from God to seek the true meaning of existence through the teachings of Jesus and that I would never have to worry like that again. If I have any doubts or troubling thoughts I just tell Pastor Linus and then he tells me what to think.

It's great, I can now make totally unqualified statements and I don't have to back them up with proof or evidence like scientists do.

The other day I was having dinner at my parents and they had given me some broccoli. I have always hated broccoli but my mother said I couldn't have any treacle sponge until I had eaten it.

So I told her that as the Lord had created us in is image, so he created the animals to be our food and the vegetable to be the food of the animals. therefore if I ate vegetables then I would be unto as a beast of the field and this would be a sin in the eyes of the Lord.

My mother merely looked bemused and gave up the argument and I got my pudding.

I can make any outrageous claims I want and no-one can argue with me, all I have to say is that I am a man of faith and I am allowed to express my opinions no matter how others percieve them.

It's like a get out of jail free card and as changed my life. All I had to do was give Pastor Linus my bank account details but like he says these are material goods and don't matter in God's plan.

We are truly Blessed. Go in peace.