Death on a stick.

I’m a man who likes a theory. No matter how wild or whacky a theory may sound it’s better than no explaination at all. I believe this is exists in all of us whether we’re conscious of it or not and is illustrated best by the people who believe in God. It’s a theory, an explaination for the nature of existence, one we’re told was true from our earliest learning and therefore no matter how mental it may seem to those who come to not believe, for some people this answer is better than the confusion that comes with atheism. The horror of not really knowing, the fear of the uncertain, a blatant lie can often be better than that.
I believe in evolution and the rest is a collection of theories that I’ll keep working on until I die, but, evolution, that’s what brings me to my topic, the evolutionary burden placed upon the men of this world. The one gender specific debilitation for which we are most mocked, the dreaded Man-flu.
I can hear women giggling already, oh, how they love to mock, to utter the words “man flu” with condescension as if we were weak pathetic creatures unable to cope with a bit of a cold.
Well, I’m here to present a theory I have about illness and evolution that I would hope would make the women of the world cease their patronising ways and come to comprehend that man-flu is just a few steps down from ebola in its capacity to render a male near death for a short period, it’s a curse  for those with the wrong chromosomes.

Let’s wind back a few years, back to the times when men boshed women on the head with clubs, dragged them to the cave and the partnership was consummated before the poor woman woke up. A time when male and female roles weren’t as clouded as they are today. Women bred, kept the homefires burning, bred again and kept the cave tidy and somehow simultaneously looking after the brood whilst men went out and hunted big dangerous creatures to keep the village fed.
At this time life was hard and dangerous.
You didn’t pop down the butchers for a half-rack of mammoth ribs and 20kgs of sabretooth rump. You went out, with your mates and you hunted, like a wolf pack armed with pointy sticks. An unsuccessful hunt meant the village went hungry and in an occupation where death and injury presented a very real risk, you kind of want to be at the very top of your game.
Women on the other hand, their role was very different.
Women’s tasks are without doubt as physically demanding if you look at energy usage but the day in the life of the female of the species was one of sustained workload, one where there is limited risk. The kind of work where, if you’re a bit under the weather, have a bit of a sniffle, nose blocked, sore throat and a cold you can continue at a about 70% and it’s probably not going to kill you. Sure, a woman may feel like shite but she’s not likely to lose a limb or be eviscerated by a mammoth tusk whilst stopping the little one form crawling into the fire is she?
I theorise that , like today, if a prehistoric woman got a cold her body fought off the illness over time. For 7-10 days she’s got a cold, her body aches, stomach hurts, she’s drained and her head aches. So what! That happens every month for 30-40 years of her life so fuck it, it’s a period where the dripping comes from the nose and not the…  Anyway, she copes and she soldiers on, very rarely retreating to curl up under a blanket unless time allows her the luxury of doing so.

Headache? Stomach hurts? All that shit and having to hunt huge and very bloody dangerous animals?… Armed with a pointy fucking stick?!
No chance!
Ten days of illness, of 70% performance, and you’d be dead. Simple.
You’re eaten, trampled, maimed or shredded in some horrible manner that you’re just not recovering from.
A hunting party can only be effective as a team if every team member performs effectively. One or more members underperforming can lead to not only an unsuccessful hunt but present a danger to all members.
So, that not how our prehistoric man’s body deals with illness.
Menfolk have an evolutionary difference, the chaps body throws absolutely everything at getting rid of the illness as quick as possible.  It ejects copious amounts of every fluid out of every available exit to rid him of the germ, it sheds all the cells on the back of our early mans throat just in case the lurgy’s lurking there. It throws all his energy at rampaging through his system decimating the bug and anywhere it could be.
It leaves him with nothing. Not a drop for energy to eat or drink or speak or think coherently.
For three days.
Then, with relief for all comes the glory of day four. One bacon sandwich and a cup of tea later our caveman’s out killing big critters with his sharpened twig again as if nothing ever happened.

Evolution is a relatively slow process and not always capable of keeping up with societal progress. Some stuff doesn’t need immediate rectification such as the appendix, wisdom teeth or hair on women that isn’t on their head.
Same with Man flu.
It only became irrelevant in western society in the last few hundred years.
Just because Dave from the cave 200,000 thousand years ago has evolved into Dave who hunts data in an office and lives in a nice semi-detached cave in Weston-Supermare doesn’t mean his basic system’s programming has had time to adapt from his great- great-great-great-great-great grandfather’s life of having to live in a stone built house and hunt great big stag with great big sodding antlers, where the coup de grace would have to be delivered by hand with an item sadly far from being describable as a great big anything and life was still a rather dangerous occupation.

That’s it, that’s my theory on man-flu, it’s basically the worst period ever.
It’s a years worth of periods delivered in one three day hit and it’s there because of Darwinian law so give us a break.
It makes a certain amount of sense and it’s better than no theory at all, so, go with it, tell the other men and women of the world, make them see, spread the word; after all anything’s an improvement on being called “a ponce”,  “a big girls blouse”  or a “pathetic wuss”  whenever one has to retreat to the comfort of the cave, curl up and beg for our Mummy with what double X’ers like to call a sniffle.

Amazonian Prophets were unbelievably high as they droned on.

I thought I’d pen a quick note about automation and drones.

Now, this isn’t going to be about drones delivering bombs in “warfare” and the immorality of being able to kill, free from responsibility and conscience. No, this is about deliveries of a different kind.
Blurays, skateboards, vibrators and cookery books raining from the skies and dropping at your door. This is about the announcement that Amazon are hoping to introduce a drone delivery system.

Now, I don’t think this is a realistic plan on the side of Amazon as I simply don’t see how one would have a multitude of drones running round the city and landing without carnage ensuing, but, the plan would be more feasible in low population density areas, more rural locales where its inefficient in terms of manpower, cost and environmental factors to make a single delivery man drive many,  many miles from the shipping hub to drop off “Save the planet” 1000 piece, 100% recycled material, jigsaw, but, and this is important, I don’t give a single fuck about any of that.
What I care about are the following two simple points:-

First. Amazon, with it’s tax avoidance schemes and minimal overhead strategies already makes enough money.

Second. Profits are not the be-all and end-all. Companies have a societal responsibility not just a responsibility to their board and shareholders.

I look at this latest step “forward”  Amazon are attempting to make, another attempt to maximize its profits by as much automation as possible, and I think how short sighted can we be?
If one is only looking at a five year, bottom line driven, selfish plan then I’m sure it’s a good idea.
I can foresee a time when robots “pick and pack” from the warehouse floor, other robots load the goods onto the shelves, drones deliver the items, a computer system handles your order… basically, within a decade Amazon could have no employees bare a few technicians/engineers/janitors stationed in each of its warehouses.
If it outsourced all its maintenance contracts the reality is Amazon could be a huge multinational which employed no one, not a soul outside of its stupendously overpaid board and that would all be via the Cayman islands.
Imagine the savings with no salaries to pay and no employee contributions to make.

If Amazon goes there others could follow.
Supermarkets, already trimming staff by introducing self serve tills and by having fewer actual customers in the store, by adding home delivery, have cut shop traffic and therefore shop-floor employees at what were once peak times.
High street shops close down left and right as internet retailers and the very same supermarkets, free of the burden of high street shop overheads necessary to shift their product, can sell goods for lower prices, in greater volume, at higher margin, the holy trinity of profit generation. We know the guy with the shop and three employees can’t survive.

We know all this, don’t we?
We’ve seen it, recognised it and done absolutely fuck all about it until now.
Well, because of this apathy,  I’m going to appeal direct to the companies involved and ask them to see sense by appealing, not, to their hearts, but, to their shareholder dividends.

So here it is, I know that in a five to ten year plan the profits look great, but, just a little further down the line things don’t look quite so great.
Because who’s going to buy all this overpriced detritus?
When robots, or those who are economically enslaved in far off-lands, make the goods and automated trucks do the driving, computer controlled forklifts get the goods and put them on the warehouse shelves, other robots get them off again, load them onto other trucks and almost every stage from production to delivery is automate what jobs will be left in order for us to have money to buy the shit your companies so desperately need to sell?

In some places this process of automation has already been proven to be profitable and successful, by removing the human element one also removes many of the potential mistakes humans are liable to make.
I am reminded of a television news report I once saw whilst in Germany. It reported that a pioneering German  pharmaceutical wholesaler and pharmacy owner had introduced machines that removed the need for staff to go round the warehouse and assemble orders. All of the “pick and pack” employees had been removed, made surplus to requirements.
He now had a small team who filled the machines and another small team who took the filled baskets, bagged them up and handed them over to the delivery driver.
The article portrayed this as progress, profits were up and mistakes, way down. Most mistakes that did occur did so because of human error when the machines were loaded.
This point was heavily emphasized.

Here’s a list of  some jobs I can think of under threat right now from the steady process of automation and shift to internet commerce:-
Travel agent
Bank teller or any high street bank employee
Shopkeeper with an actual physical shop
Supermarket anything
Anything involving manufacturing that isn’t specifically sold on being hand-made.
Warehouse person
Delivery driver
Taxi driver

In fact any kind of driving will be frowned upon and deemed better done by the car/van/truck/forklift/ambulance/fire engine… and, of course, YOUR car. You and I will only cock everything up if we’re in control of our own vehicle and operating independently from the “swarm”.

I ask myself where does it end?
Robots can work in all sorts of hostile weather a human wouldn’t want to and with a precision that a human cant mange consistently and in all weathers, so, when will we build robots that can build houses. Not the finishing, but, certainly the shell. It’s not that difficult a process to automate when you think about it. All the pieces exist to build such a device, one capable of laying brick, building house and warehouse shells 24 hours a day 7 days a week with very little respite.
Hmmm. Why the hell not?

What about translation. When will it become better for items to be translated by machine?

Oh, and this week a robot wrote a news article.

Is your job free from the process of automation or relocation for economic advantage to a poorer part of the world?
Is there a union or political party addressing your concerns, preserving your piece of shit, hateful job that doesn’t inspire you or fulfill you in anyway other than keeping roof over your head, stopping your belly rumbling and staying the wolf (mainly) from your door?
Didn’t think so and nor does anyone I know who isn’t worth 10+ million.
Strangely, I know a few of them, the extremely wealthy, from here and abroad and each and every one of them feels their interests are well represented and they have an ear or a legal avenue open to them should they need to make a case for their causes.
I know because I ask.
Odd, but true.
Anyway, here’s the crux of the matter, with enough unemployment and enough financial imbalance in the system, society as we know it, will inevitably collapse.
It has to.
It simply cannot survive an overwhelming burden of people living in poverty without the crime rate rising to such levels that the entire system collapses.
No jobs = no disposable income.
No disposable income = diminished market size.
Diminished market size = diminished profit
All of which = Company collapse.

Therefore, I plead to the conglomerates of the world, those seeking to increase profitability by continual process of automation, please, for your own survival, rethink your strategies.
Short term gain is appealing, but, the long term survival should be paramount to any entity and that means employing people to do real jobs to buy all the crap you make and sell.

Cry me a red river.

I find myself utterly perplexed by the situation in the Crimea region. It would appear to me that there are parties on all sides who seem utterly determined to escalate this matter into a global crisis. One that will undoubtedly cost the lives of a great many of those who have chosen to nobly serve their countries yet will instead die ignoble deaths fighting, not for honourable cause or defense of the realm, but, for profit.

Now, maybe I’m barmy, but the following things appear to be true.
the previous Ukrainian government definitely seemed a bit shifty. I pretty much accept they were Putin’s puppets. The treatment of Tymoshenko and the… I don’t think forced is the right word, but, suggested isn’t quite strong enough… anyway, the recommended exodus from Ukraine for the supporters of the orange revolution showed me there was always something not quite on the up and up about that particular conclave.
So, I do strongly applaud the people of Ukraine, who, tired of once belonging to soviet territory and fearful of a return, stood up and took revolutionary action. We openly applaud the overthrow of the soviet overlords marionettes and look forward to welcoming these self governing people into the EU.

Fine. Sorted. Agreed.

We are, after all, such supporter’s of democracy that we’ll bring it in with bombs and bullets if bloody necessary. If you’re brown, “oppressed” (as defined by Fox news and the oil companies), and happen to have lots of lovely energy resources we’re bringing you democracy with a very literal bang whether you like it or not.

However, and here’s where I get a little lost, much like the issue with Basques, some people are in a countries’ borders but their souls and culture belong in, and to, somewhere else,  another land.
The Alsace region, is it French or German?
Corsica, tell me, is it French or Italian? If its French why do the locals shoot all the French road signs and insist on having Italian on them too?
Scotland, are they British or are they a nation of their own… we’ll know soon enough, they’re having a referendum, they’ll soon get to decide. That’s how much we love the peoples’ right to self determination!

Except in the Crimea.
There, ethnic Russian or not, they have voted to be part of Russia because they are an ethnically separate group of people who would rather remain with “the Motherland” rather than join the EU.
Was there time for Putin to quietly rig an election?
The West would have us believe Putin in the few days they had forced everyone into voting one way and we’re supposed to believe that it was all orchestrated?
I struggle with that.
When presented with the choice that the overwhelmingly ethnic Russian people simply chose to remain a part of Russia, to which they have belonged since 1783, rather than throw their lot in with the bankrupt hotch-potch of Europe I know which sounds more plausible to my ears.

So, here’s where I get properly baffled… Surely the diplomatic thing to do is organise a proper referendum, one overseen by observers from both side and where all parties agree to abide by the result and if that vote repeats itself then we simply draw a new line on the map. I’m sure cartographers will be happy to have the work and the map industry could do with it too.

Where’s the problem with that idea?

Why are we so determined to make out that the Russians are up to anything untoward?
If they are up to something untoward is it any more obnoxious than the way our governments lied to us to give justification for invading first Afghanistan and then Iraq (11 years ago this week began the “shock and awe”)?
Why, when faced with the facts can’t we simply just back down and not expend the lives of thousands, tens of thousands and maybe truly horrifying figures I’d prefer not to speculate on, in the pursuit of whatever assets may or may not lie within the Crimean borders?

Wouldn’t that be what diplomats would do? What those wise men and women now seemingly gone but once referred to, respectfully, as statesmen would do?

What if Russia agrees to compensate the economy of the now decreased Ukraine?
I’m sure any compensation would be considerably cheaper than all the bullets and coffins we’re currently facing a bill for and then we can all settle back down to nice cup of tea without annihilating each other.

Above all, how can we invade Iran if we have to fight the Russians?  We’re all primed and psychologically ready to go “free” the Iranians and put and end to their dangerous nuclear weapons programme.

On the other hand, in these times of recession and austerity, given where soldiers are drawn up from first I’m guessing there’s potentially substantial savings to be made to the Wests’ overburdened welfare programmes. So, maybe, there is a point to our open hostility and provocative behaviour after all!

Please rise, Goody Proctor, for the Honourable Judge Hone.

I’m a big fan of the legal system in this nation of ours.
I believe that the system known as the doctrine of binding judicial precedent, whereby the lower courts of the land are bound to follow the precedent setting judgments of higher courts in reaching their conclusions, is an inspired method of building the law.
I have, in this weird and wonderful life, availed myself of this system on more than one occasion and have encountered many of its branches.
I have, by and large nothing but respect for the many fine individuals who burden themselves with the role of judge and who must attempt to balance fact with subjective assessment, compassion with punishment and above all find away to place truth above fancy rhetoric.

Although our system is not perfect and some aspects desperately need bringing into the twentieth, let alone the twenty first, century overall I think it ranks as one of the very finest legal systems in the world.

Now, I could get sidetracked here on the subject of legal aid, but I won’t, and the cuts to this most valuable of public provisions will have to be saved for another day. Today, I would like to courteously ask a few members of the legal profession to resign their posts as they have recently brought the entire legal profession of Britain into disrepute.
They have made our system look like its run by ignorant, rhetoric spewing, scientifically blind clowns.

First up, the jester of the court who told the terrible joke…
Ladies and gentleman I give you, a man formally entitled to be called his honour, Richard Hone, Queens counsel and Old Bailey Judge.
Here is a chap who has, with his ignorant comments during sentencing and at the highest court of the land, shown a lack of capacity to keep abreast of science, politics and current affairs that can only lead me to conclude that he is no longer interested in being a Judge and is one who’s opinions should no longer be binding to the lower courts. An highly ranked representative of our fine system who has brought global mocking at his inadequacies.

Thanks to him other Judges who, with their comments, have shown themselves to be very much his equal, have also come along and shamed us all with their repetition of proven lies as fact.

Confession time. I have tried heroin and it was bloody lovely. That’s why I’ve never done it again and never will.
I’m also partial to a bit of weed.
The two things have nothing in common and any moron on the streets knows this to be fact…. Except, Judge Hone, supposedly one of our country’s finest minds, a most educated and wise brain who’s opinions and thoughts are of such balance, knowledge and wisdom he has been appointed as one of the few members of the legal community to be a counselor of the queen. He thinks, and in fact is so certain of it he’s happy to state it whilst sentencing weed growers, that there is:

“little difference between skunk cannabis and heroin”

Little difference. Skunk. Heroin… skunk… heroin.
What, what, what??? Yes mate, they’re exactly the same.

He went on to embarrass himself and all of us bound by the law of Eng-er-land still further when he stated:

“in my judgement, the distinction between cultivated skunk and class A drugs is not a large one”

What judgement is that then, not based on experience, science, common knowledge, medical opinion or, just looking casually at the statistics from any of the countries where people regularly smoke weed obviously. So…?

Yet more pearls of wisdom from this tomb of  insight:

(incidences involving cultivating) “High THC content” (strains) “can, and in my view should be, punished more severely”

Really, are you fucking kidding me now…. the ones that have higher contents of the natural substances that cure a substantial amount of our ails including fucking cancer and he thinks it’s like heroin???
I’ll list the number of ways weed is like heroin:
They both involve a flower somewhere down the line.
The products of both can make you sleepy.

That’s it. Those two tenuos connections are the entire list of commonality between heroin and cannabis indica or sativa. Oh, no, I forgot one: they both have medicinal benefits.

Heroin is addictive. Weed isn’t.
You can overdose on heroin. You can’t with weed.
Heroin therefore is dangerous and can kill you unless you’re genetically identical to Keith Richards.
Weed has never killed anyone ever, in fact it’s now saving lives so it’s scorecard is in the positive!
Heroin makes you constipated, nauseous, is an appetite suppressant and narcotic and, despite reportedly being beneficial to creativity has a nasty habit of bumping you off at around 27.
Weed gives you the munchies and is one of the least toxic substances to human being with an overwhelming potential  as a medicine as well as being, you know… weed.

Chilli’s have more in common with heroin than weed as you can overdose and do yourself serious harm with a chilli.
Bananas are more toxic than weed, nuts are more dangerous, as are mushrooms (not magic ones) and apple seeds. They also come from plants and therefore are probably closer on the list of “dangerous shit that comes from plants” to heroin than weed. Especially as it’s never been proven weed is  dangerous to anyone that actually exists.

Sadly, none of this widely known information seems to have found it’s way into the noggins of the, now, dishonourable Lord Justice Pitchford,  Justice Burton and Justice Patterson when they refused to censure Judge Hone for his comments and instead poured fuel of ignorance onto the fire of fuckwittery by noting:

There “can hardly be any dispute (that skunk was ) potentially highly dangerous to those who are vulnerable to a narcotic effect”

Hmmm… Challenge accepted.

Hardly any dispute? There’s near bloody scientific consensus that there is no danger from THC no matter how sodding strong it is to virtually anyone, anywhere, ever.
Who are these people “vulnerable to a narcotic effect” and what precisely does that mean? It’s rhetoric, it’s creating an imaginary group of victims who we must censure to protect.
It’s bullshit, high grade, rhetorical bullshit and it’s being repeated in our courts.
Binding lower courts to sentence on a similar premise.
Then, it’s repeated round the world as all the rest of the nations point and laugh with incredulity at the flat earth society occupying the highest courts of our land.

It’s a politicians job to deal in lies and rhetoric, well, it is these days, which is why we need courts that are filled with wise, learned people who make the effort to keep up with facts that can shape judgements they give on cases that may come before them.
There is scope built into our legal system for judges at the top to begin giving more lenient sentences for things that are illegal, but, only from historical legacy not current opinion, wisdom or more importantly SCIENCE!
There came a time when courts passed lighter sentences for the crime of Homosexuality, before it stopped being illegal. A time when courts stopped locking people up for sodomy, blasphemy, heresy and tax evasion that came before these offences were superseded by statute  decriminalizing them.
The Legal system can take into account that the political mill often grinds slowly, but, if the courts still believes in witchcraft then they’ll keep on sentencing people as witches.

One should give respect to the bench when in court, but, why should any person appearing before these judges give them the slightest ounce of respect.
From my point of view they may as well be justifying a sentence of heresy or blasphemy or looking at pictures of people engaged in a drop a hows-ya-father.

“you looked at a picture of a willy so I sentence you to two years of having to see them on a daily basis!”

The names I have listed in this are all people whom we may find ourselves, or someone we care for deeply could find themselves,  in front of one day. We never know what may happen tomorrow and, for me, that one thought is enough to hope that they, the judges, are always fair, balanced, compassionate and, above all, informed.
An ignorant man cannot render balanced verdicts or impose appropriate sentences and if you can’t even be bothered to keep up to date by simply reading a newspaper and seeing the sweeping change in policy around the world then you are too lazy and completely unsuitable to sit injudgement on people.

I believe these people should resign their positions as they have brought the great legal system of this country into disrepute, shamed and embarrassed it and themselves and should publicly apologise and resign immediately.
Not for imposing the law, but, for delivering a dangerous false equivalence and being uninformed.
The fact is the only gateway effect with marijuana comes from the mistaken belief that other “drugs” are the same. They aren’t and this fallacy costs lives.

That’s it, I call for these few to step down and for the others to educate themselves promptly and I hope you’d support me, they’re our courts and we have a vested interest in them being enlightened… Unless of course they can produce some evidence for their claims, in which case I’ll apologise and catch the next flying pig to sunny Jamaica and you’ll never hear from me again.

If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.

Last night I caught a glimpse of a news article that, well, isn’t really news at all, but, somehow, still wound me right up.

Apparently a chap called Shazad Iqbal from the delightful town of Bradford in England has started an online petition to have the Katy Perry video for the tune “dark horse” removed from Youtube on the grounds it contains a clip where someone, one of the “suitors” to Katy Perry’s Egyptian queen is briefly seen and is wearing a pendant with the Arabic word for God on it.
This, he alleges, is blasphemous.

1 a.
 A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity
  b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God.

2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct

Some 60,000 lunatics have signed onto his petition to youtube for it to be removed. Removed…
from youtube…
for blasphemy…

Ok, just give me a second to check my calendar…oh, yeah, it is 2014.

First, I should point out that I have a deep suspicion of all news and as far as I am concerned this news story could be far deeper and far more complicated than it at first appears, but, no matter how the petition got started it, who Shazad actually is becomes somewhat irrelevant because, sadly, 60,000+ other mentals who have jumped alongside “him” in defense of “Him”.

I want to deal with my issues one by one.

So, let’s deal with Shazad and his mates and the question of if you’re a sufficiently devout Muslim that a symbol that you believe represents “God” being worn by a representation of a historical character in a pop video wearing a necklace offends so much then, err…
What the fuck are you doing watching a bloody Katy Perry video?!?
This is surely a video guaranteed to contain a bevy of naked, jiggling, sexually suggestive flesh, both male and female, with particular attention being paid to the acres and acres of milky white cavernous cleavage of the star. How exactly does that sit with your religious fundamentalism?
Seriously, how hard was this guy looking to notice this necklace?
Is he so pissed because he spotted it just as he reached the vinegar stroke?

Then there’s the others. Are they signing a petition based on his word or did they all wade straight in to observe this blasphemous material?
Are the costume department now subject to a Fatwah? Are they also to be shot in the street for their transgressions?
I would have signed the petition if it had been because it was god awful shite, but, not for poxy blasphemy. So, here’s my suggestion to the first issue, people here’s the question one should ask oneself before clicking a link, sitting down to youtube or watching mtv:-

Are you a practicing Muslim? Are you devout? Are you from one of the other religions? Are you offended by young attractive people creating sexually suggestive imagery?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above stop watching Music videos.
Stop having a tug to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, go and find a woman of your own to subjugate or wait for your parents to buy one for you and stop writing petitions about blasphemy. To claim for yourself the right of God to be offended for Him is a blasphemous act. Don’t think I’m only talking to muslims here, OK, the catholics have been at this far longer and they should concentrate on stopping telling women what to do with their bodies, stop buggering alter boys  and protecting peadophiles in their own entertainment industry before they start on at the Hollywoods entertainment industry.

Next, people of said entertainment industry.
Either do some research into what things are before putting them on the screen or carry on not bothering and go tell the religions of the world to choke on what they’re shoveling.
So, try to ensure that you’ve not accidentally created a copy of the Holy piss cup of Abraham or the Bedpan of Isiah and then put it in a music video featuring two naked lesbians writhing with a customarily naked Miley Cyrus who’s furiously licking the majestic chalice which is being used by Robin Thicke to cover his genitals in their imminent duet about how much glorious fun it is to have an orgy in front of her dad whilst the poor bastard sits in the corner and cries into his, by now, much needed crack pipe.
I know, it’s far easier to just acquiesce than actually having some balls and standing up for the truth.

Now, it’s time to talk about us.
We need to deal with this blasphemy nonsense.
We are continually changing the meaning of words, giving them new definition and I suggest it’s about high time we moved with the times and redefined blasphemy, gave it a truer, more meaningful summation. So, just change a few key words and punctuation in the current definition and add a third part, thus:

Any contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing alleging offense on behalf of God or any sacred entity
 The act of claiming for oneself the right to be offended on behalf of God.

2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to (something considered inviolable and sacrosanct) Science.

3. (n. unused) The once held belief that there was a God and one could kill or punish others for upsetting Him

It’s the 21st bloody century and we’re still allowing people to run around claiming offense on behalf of God.
If God has got his holy knickers in such a twist by this three second appearance of a sodding necklace in a pop video then he can bloody well do something about it Himself. He is, some say , all powerful and all mighty, so, surely he can be wrathful all on his own, I’ve read all the good books, he’s not short of experience in the area! However, could he kindly do something about the all the slaughter and death that goes on His name first… You know, priorities people, necklace against generations of religious genocide.

If God isn’t offended by the sight of endless slaughter, but, is offended by a bit of Jewellery, then for the love of the real God (the collective capability of our species) please, please, pretty please with some sugar on top, STOP WORSHIPPING SUCH A PETTY TWAT!

As it turns out the video has now been edited to remove the offending article so, Mr Iqbal and friends can get back to watching youtube with one hand whilst training their heat seeking womb ferret until it’s sick with the other, free of the fear a sudden religion induced lack of tumescence ruining those treasured moments of self-worship between prayers.

A somber thought.

Today I worry, I worry for us all.
I imagine, for some reason, that in Russia the people there are seeing in their news, in their media and in the oration of politicians that the Ethnic Russians in the Crimean region of the Ukraine are suffering huge hardship, cruelty and torture under the new regime.

I fear that Russia has watched and learned the lesson of Republicans and their media wing Fox news that if you tell people the same lie enough times from “official” sources they’ll believe anything and support anything.
Soon the Russian people will be utterly convinced that a Russian Humanitarian mission to save the poor repressed people of Crimea is unavoidable.
I’m certain they will be convinced that any new government is enslaved to the EU and the US and that due process and the free peoples will has been coerced and corrupted to deliver the valuable energy resources solely to the west.
They will be told that this will impact the average Russian with higher bills while the rich west coerce continued cheap resources.
They, the Russian authorities, will make a convincing case that we, the coalition of the willing, have shown a pattern of behaviour that could be dubbed as neo-colonialism where the prize is energy resources.
The Russians will be able to invade and annex Crimea and we will have no moral authority to prevent it. We will have no strength advantage to force them out and so, in order to avoid world war three, we will be forced to sit back and watch as a new iron curtain comes down on the Ukrainian stage.

I haven’t looked but i imagine the Crimean peninsula is where the majority of Ukraines’ resources lie.
Our governments have shown themselves to be willing to deceive their peoples into supporting a bullshit military led asset grabbing and profiteering exercise and we’ve also handily shown how to use the media and the false message of “Going in to help” to act with fraudulent righteousness.
The Russians understand now, you don’t achieve a totalitarian level of control and surveillance on people by brutal heavy handedness, you just use marketing to make people believe anything you say and tell you everything you do by choice.

For years Russian leaders were portrayed as nuclear arsenal building lunatics, dictators with not an ounce of diplomacy or willingness to relent,see sense and back down from Global Nuclear War. Of course, it was bollocks, both Kruschev and Gorbachev proposed full scale nuclear disarmament to successive american president but the Cold war was very very good for the pentagons suppliers so there was really no incentive.
Now, in Putin, we really do have a man with the potential to appoint himself potentate supreme and we no longer have any answer why its ok for us to do, but, not for them to do the same.

I do hope I’m wrong… I hope Tymoshenko can be like Mandela and come from persecution and imprisonment to ascend and transcend her suffering and bring about peaceful stable change, otherwise, i fear, there will be a level of bloodshed witnessed that makes the last weeks spillage look like a shaving nick and there’ll be nothing we can do about it.

Finally, if i cant appeal to the humanitarian instinct in you to care, then i’ll assume you’re a man and say to check google images and think again… Ukrainian women are proper fit and so surely worth aiding!

The Why of the Baboon.

I am about to embark on a journey.
I hope that soon I will have booked a slot at an open-mic and with the first one under my belt will commence on a trip of discovery and enlightenment.
Before I do though, I wanted to take a few minutes to explain why.
(I’m really not sure as I write this if I am writing for my readers or for myself, a little of both I would imagine.)

My appreciation of comedy began at a young age (who doesn’t like to laugh?) and I admired the joke-tellers and sketch writers for their ability to bring cheer to our lives.

Then came Bill and Teds excellent adventure.
It was obvious to me on my first watch that the man called Rufus wasn’t really an actor and was being treated and portrayed in this movie as an Icon. He was paid deference on screen. His role in the film seemed to be there for the purpose of worship.
I had no idea who he was.
At first  I assumed he must be a great guitarist and was brought in to do Rufus’ solo, a technical guitar solo…. But, the end credits gave that nod to Eddie van Halen.

Anyone remember how hard it was to find out information before we had access to google? I do, boxes filled with reference cards , a name connected to a mystical code where each citation could be found. There was no information as to the volume of material one would find at each location once the librarians code had been cracked, yes, it could be a full page profile or it could be a mention of the name in passing.

The school library, despite being very large and very well stocked, had no reference to this George Carlin and it was many months before I found a municipal library with material relating to him and eventually after much searching a bootleg cassette tape found its way into my possession and onto my walkman.

People talk about Revelations, well, this was my road to Damascus.

My parents won’t like to know about the next bits too much as they did their very, very best to protect me from obscenity and objectionable material and they succeeded in almost every area except comedy. The more thought provoking, the less jokes, the more valuable the content the better. This usually came with a bit of cursing and a drop of lewdness.
I discovered that Richard Pryor did more than family movies… now that motherfucker came as a shock!
I discovered Lenny Bruce, but, cared not for either his material or his delivery.
The Montreal comedy festival was shown late into the night on channel four and my young mind lapped it up. Maybe my Olympic addiction simply prepared me for late nights staring at the box as comedian after comedian took the stage and entertained and, in the case of “the best”,  educated me.

The late 80’s and early 90’s were a glorious time for dangerous comedy, from Eddie Murphy  to Thea Vidale in the states, the mighty Alexei Sayle here at home and the magical and disturbing Emo Phillips on a planet all of his own,  my young spongey brain found some reflection in the madness of the performers.
This period of comedy also gifted me relative colour blindness. Black people were funny, gay people were funny, women were dirty and funny and the only people who didn’t seem to be funny were the Germans and the last lingering vestige of working mens’ club humour (Blacks, women, jews etc go into a bar with a long faced horse.).

Then came Bill.

Fuck the road, this was Damascus, the orchards were full and the baby Jesus was welcoming me into the local hostelry with a steak, a joint and an apology I’d have to share the bed with Mary Magdalene.
I had never and have never been so moved and provoked by a comedian.
I didn’t agree with everything he said, I never did in all the work that followed, but, he always made me think, he always made me laugh, he always made me care and he always made me angry at the injustice of the world.
I saw him perform once live in London at what has become one of his most iconic performances and I knew… just knew deep inside my soul that this was The Voice of my generation. A truth teller, not, as he would have said, a Joke-blower.
A man who spoke out and would always speak out, who had understood that comedy isn’t just about making people laugh, it is a vehicle for social change, it is, as Mary Poppins would  have had it The spoon full of sugar that makes the medicine go down.
We finally had our Doctor.
My respect for him grew as word amongst fans spread that he had refused to toddle off down the standard career path of the time:

“I will do stand up…  I will be outrageous to get noticed.
Then I can get my own sitcom… or if I’m really lucky make some movies.
I will sit back and be rich…
I don’t need creativity or to be true to myself, I am a brand to be marketed”

Unlike every performer he made look mediocre or who ripped off his material he wouldn’t sell out or be restricted in his speech for the lure of them ever so tempting Big fat bucks.
Here was a man for whom integrity, creativity and freedom of speech weren’t just words or concepts to be sold to the highest bidder or sacrificed for personal comfort, but, ideals to be chased and worked for, and when captured, nurtured and protected so they may grow within and make us better people.

Then he was gone.



Society still silently mourn his loss.
I didn’t realize it had been exactly twenty years… I knew it was twentyish, so, it came as a surprise to find that for bang on twenty years I had sat and waited for someone to come along and pick up the gauntlet that Bill had lain down far too soon.
Each year I became more and more frustrated as another promising comedian would come along angry at the world and ready to tell us all about it, to expose the truth of our existence or at least ask some bloody good questions only for them to race up to line drawn in the sand, full of piss and vinegar, but,  instead of smashing right through the line they’d stop at it and tentatively put their tippy toe across, testing the waters lie a cowardly bather… one eye always, seemingly, on their future career.
Marcus Brigstocke came close, but for me, he just fell short.
Just too bloody posh, you see, no idea what it’s like down in the shit, scrabbling for the scraps of western culture the wealthier leave behind.
When it comes to middle class angst Marcus is the man and his three religions rant is one the best things I’ve ever heard, but, I think he’s got to always keep an eye on the bottom line, his income potential.
Or maybe he just doesn’t love/ hate quite enough.

So there I am, ranting and raving in private with friends , many of whom have spent time encouraging me to perform, somewhere, anywhere, even just on youtube, but, I was too afraid to even contemplate it.
Not afraid of performing , I never have a problem gobbing off in public, but… afraid of finding an audience, afraid of celebrity, afraid to be recognized, afraid to say what I felt and believed in case the organisations and people didn’t take too kindly to it.
Instead I channeled my energy and frustration into writing.
It wasn’t enough.

One day I awoke with a start.
As I rapidly blinked to life, the remnants of my dream lingered and  I had an odd realization.
I was a man, able-bodied and perfectly able to swim, stood on the edge of the dock whilst two children struggle in the waters below. I was entirely capable of diving in and helping the children, but, instead I was stood on the dock screaming at passers-by at the top of my voice:-
“what’s wrong with you people, why won’t any of you dive in and save these children?
look at them they’re drowning before your very eyes and you’re doing nothing!!!

It was not a nice day.
I had chosen fear, now I would try and choose  that other path.

I was unaware the twentieth anniversary of the passing of the young William Melvin Hicks was coming up when I began writing, venting, screaming at the world we live in. I know who it is that inspires me and he’s right at the top so it seems apt that I should start out now, so I may, in some way with my performance, give tribute to the greatest stand up who ever lived*.

I will perform as the Baboon.
I have no desire to be known, recognized, photographed or gossiped about.
I do not wish to appear on television, make friends or become a celebrity.
What I want is to try and understand this world better and to choose enlightenment and the quest for it over the comfort of Ignorance.
I want the world for our children to be better than it is now. Not some neo-aristocracy with a side order of totalitarianism where the only real jobs for people are consumer or webcam slut.
As I said, I have children and I don’t think one can stand up and talk about teenage self harm, cyber bullying, mass surveillance,  America, Israel and the UK governments bullshit without attracting a few enemies  and so I hope to go some way to ensuring that, should the population of this country decide they want to hear my material, my children will be kept away from the ramifications by my performing in character… a lower species on the evolutionary chain to remind us that we got to be at the top by being smarter than the other species, more creative and resourceful than the other species and not by owning more shit than them.
We stopped being lion food by being clever and working together; not by buying the prettiest spear with the latest trendy name on and stabbing our neighbour with it.
I would hope to remind us of that.

So that’s it people. In the business world this would be my mission statement.

If I can be ten percent as bold, funny and thoughtful as those I’ve mentioned I’ll be ecstatic.

*Greatest stand up and funniest stand up aren’t , for me, the same thing. Funny’s funny, but, to be great you need to be trying to make people switch on their brains not switch them off.