“Too soon”, volume one in an inevitably long-reaching series; In Which Flopsybuns Delivers A Fairly Inappropriate And Hypocritical Eulogy.

I’ve been playing with Google Insight today.  True to its name, it held a few surprises for me.

Not least that the fourth most popular Google in the UK this week was “google”.  Come on, country.  Get your act together.  I’m not the most organised, or even conscious person, but I’ve never asked someone to their face where they are.  I suppose it’s the next logical step in windowlickery from hunting for my glasses when they’re on my head – so long, sunday afternoon, I’ll never see you again – but on a national scale I can’t help but feel this is unacceptable.

Even more depressing is that seventh worldwide rising search is Jade Goody.  The press blitz of coverage of the “tragic” pseudo-celebrity was inevitable, and even the fact that the usually level-headed Guardian gave it front-page reportage stimulated little more than a stifled groan.  The press can’t account for this kind of showing though.  There’s only one logical conclusion; people of the world are actively searching for news on… her.  I’m not going to be overly unkind here.  A woman is dead, and her genuine family and friends are grieving.  They should stop reading here.

Jade exemplified a subculture of consumers who want nothing more than fame and attention, at the expense of dignity, privacy and wellbeing.  It’s worrying that so many people desire it so badly (he said, typing into his unpaid weblog), but ultimately understandable compared to the mass hysteria and schadenfreude that possess those who follow them.  My own theory is that these reality stars give the public the opportunity to feel superior to some of these glamourous characters, and illustrate that it could really be anybody – and in being the everywoman, Jade excelled.

Her eulogy and tribute is loud in the press this week, not so much on the lips of the people in my own experience.  Maybe this unequal treatment is because her presence in the zeitgeist was the pure result of the media and PR insisting she was interesting, rather than genuine relavence.  I’d like to believe that the british tabloids felt some twinge of regret at the way they publically treated a human being, though she was nowhere near the least deserving or worst treated of the victims of ravenous and unscrupulous journalists.  I’m fairly certain though that they were just bleeding the last column inches from her life.  Jade Goody lived to be a celebrity, and died famous.  Now let’s all move on, and read a little less Heat magazine.

I watched the Watchmen and made a tired pun about it

dr-manhattan-3Watchmen finally hit UK cinemas last week, and my contemporaries and I made a pilgrimage around the weekend to see it (in the biggest motherfucking cinema I’ve ever seen, seriously, what’s the deal with that?).

After a modest period of casually asking each other what we thought of it (british to a man, can’t show too much uninvited enthusiasm) shit-eating grins broke out all round, and happy fanboyism commenced.  In case you haven’t heard, it is good, and faithful to a degree I didn’t think possible.  Alan Moore is a writing deity in my book, but he’d do well to stop grumbling about other people paying him multi-million-dollar homage and start complaining about the people who watch the damn thing.

I’d wondered how public opinion would regard Watchmen; western culture doesn’t deal well with pragmatism and mixed motives in its news reports, let alone its entertainment.  If hell froze over and the mature themes in Watchmen – a comic that muddies the waters of morality around terrorism, murder and rape – weren’t censored or omitted, how would the stupid, cow-eyed masses of the public react to it?  Condemnation?  Dare I hope for a reconsideration on the unsympathetic reactions to what we are told to regard as criminals?  I was beginning to fear for British tabloids‘ readership.

I needn’t have worried.  Rather than discussing the plot and characters, the blood-spattered smiley has been supplanted in the hearts of the population by a giant, glowing dong.  Transfixed by the shiny (helmeted) objects, the media pundits narrowly avoided discussing questionable morality and instead fixated on Doc Manhattan’s freely swinging member.  You’d think that in light of recent events, radioactive cocks would be a sensitive subject in the UK, but noooooo.

I do love how, although taboo in most circumstances, unrestrained wangers are considered more suitable for public consumption (steady now) than questioning the moral status quo.  Still, at least my Comedian badge is bona-fide geek cred, right?

69 Uses for a Failed Vice President

Sarah Palin…and I use that mostly because it sounds a bit like a list, and you get about three times the readership. So, maybe three people.

What do you do with an ex-beauty queen vice presidential candidate after she’s been publically rejected for being a scary fundie?  Screw her on camera, obviously, an offer of $2 million coming from “The King of Milfs”.  I’d have thought MILFs would be a barony at best, serving under an autocratic plutarchy.

As much as her attraction is debatable and is, indeed, debated this all makes her a prime candidate for cashing in on it, and hey, if hubby gets involved they get a snowmobile!  Wow!  Bet she’s looking forward to throwing some really huge snowballs.  Ugh.

Anyone who thinks this is the first time a senior Republican party member has appeared in pornographic publications clearly hasn’t spotted John McCain on lemonparty.org (soooooo nsfw).  I’m still wondering if her daughter’s still got to marry the redneck that knocked her up now her mum’s not going to be president.  That would suck.

The Dance

Shit, when I said “Get me out of here”, I was joking.

Thanks to a rushed job offer, I’m on my way over the Pennines to Sheffield, a city that hasn’t been knocked down and regenerated so many times it oddly resembles a picked-at scab.  Unlike Manchester, arf. All of this means I’m fucking moving house again.  Now begins the dance.

The dance occurs when you leave a rented accommodation for another.  You owe your landlord a month’s rent.  They owe you your deposit.  You know damn well, if you’ve danced before, that landlords normally treat your security deposit as a signing bonus and spend it on crack, whores and paying fines for streaking children’s playgrounds as soon as you’ve moved your stuff in.  Consequently, you know they’re going to pick apart every pinhole in your wall, coffee stain on the desk or semen stain on the ceiling, and you’ll be lucky to see a penny of your cash back.

Coincidentally, the deposit is usually one month’s rent.  Which is easy, right?  You stall the landlord until you move out, and don’t pay the last month’s rent.  It’s a messy way of doing things, but you can’t deny the effectiveness of not giving someone money.  Unless you’re unlucky, and you’ve drawn one of the few honest landlords in the UK.  They do not spend your deposit on crack and staying off the sex offender’s register.  They spend it on bailiffs, and then reclaim the money it costs in consumer electronics.

The dance, you see, is a tango between two men, and both have the other’s balls in their hand.  They circle, unwilling to break until they’re sure the other isn’t going to rip off their testacles.  On the other hand, both know they’re going to have to tango with another man soon – and a spare set of cojones would sure be handy…

Unfortunately, my landlord is a landlady, and has many more bailiffs than she has balls.  I’d work out how that translates into my tango metaphor, but frankly I’m scared and I’m not sure I want to know.

Put’choo onnit (kill me)

Fuckbuttons - Street Horrsing album art

I’m spending a lot of time lately listening to Fuckbuttons (myspace, media heavy, duh), a duo from dahn sahf bringing a kind of harmonic tribal white noise to my ears; it’s hard to describe beyond “ambient electronica” which frankly fails to capture it; if you’ve got a better description then feel free to tell it to your own backside.  The best suggestion I can give is to head over to their Myspace page and listen to Sweet Love for Planet Earth.  Go on; fuck off, you’ve got my permission.  Then come back.

It’s nice to see Late of the Pier (myspace, website)  getting some mainstream recognition lately.  I’m not actually much of a music wanker (my reasons for being a bit of a wanker are completely distinct) but it’s gratifying to see a band that I’ve already discovered, listened to and grown bored of gracing the cover of the NME under the title “next big thing”.  To be honest, I’ve had trouble getting into anything of theirs as much as Bears Are Coming, which sounds like an epileptic in a pan shop with a keyboard.  I also think it’s going to be my new favourite thing to scream while running naked through the local park.

Anonymau5?

Anonymau5?

Furthermore, Deadmau5 (website, media heavy).  The guy’s clearly a fantastic house musician with an awesome helmet and solid geek credentials.  Why haven’t I heard of him before this week?  I was against Dave Pierce’s insurgence on BBC 6 Music, but maybe it’s what I need if I’m going to hear Sometimes Things Get… Yeah for the first time when I’m shopping in a music store.  Last week I asked the cashier who was on the stereo and it was Soulwax.  And I didn’t know it.  I live in Manchester, she gave me a look as if she was expecting me to commit seppuku.

For the unaware, Manchester’s vibrant, youthful, progressive image can basically be interpreted as follows; at any point in Britain, you are, allegedly, at most five feet from a rat.  Rats in Manchester complain that they’re being swamped by fourteen year old Amy Winehouse dressalikes, swarming around the shopping centres and showing off the latest fashions.  The kids, not the rats.  As far as I can tell the latest fashions – for the image conscious reader – all involve a charity shop and a random number generator.

Get me out of here.