Sunday, 6 July 2008

Oh Brother!

OH GOOD, BROTHER'S BACK.....Is a sentence possibly uttered by someone, somewhere, once. Personally though, I couldn't be more disappointed that television's voyeuristic cash cow has had yet another pail of milk squeezed out of its already tender, bruised udders.

Somewhere in the darkest depths of central London, in an IKEA clad over-sized office, behind a huge desk, a Channel 4 executive sits counting piles of money like tap nosed super villain Cyril Snare. The only thing that can match the size of this individuals ego, desk and bank balance is the massive irremovable grin on his face. And it's there for a reason; this show makes money, a lot of money. Approximately 5million people tune in to watch the Friday night eviction show every week. If you add this to the 7 or 8 insomniacs that tune into the live show every night then we get a total of five million and eight people who Id rather cross the street than have a conversation with. This man (or men as the case may be) is now my mortal enemy. He is the Joker to my Batman, the Oasis to my Blur, the Patrick Viera to my Roy Keane.

The problem is this shit sells. Somewhere there should be a government bill passed to cease the filming of any show that contributes to the dumbing down of our nation. People don't seem to realize that all they are watching are people, living in a house. No matter how many flashy lights or cowboy psychologists, or seemingly ever pregnant TV presenters you pin to the thing, it is simply....wait for it....people living in a house. God I would have loved to have been there when this one was pitched to the head of programming. Talk about pulling an idea out of your arse at the last minute. I imagine the conversation went a little like this:

C4 EXEC
So what've you got for me?

IDEAS MAN
wiping a nervous sweat from his brow, wishing he'd spent last night developing ideas instead of snorting blow out of a hookers navel
Well I have a concept....

C4 EXEC
go on......

IDEAS MAN
We...we take some people

C4 EXEC
not really listening but instead recalling how last night he was snorting blow from a hookers navel
mmmm

IDEAS MAN
And we put them in a house

C4 EXEC
Semi detached or detached?

IDEAS MAN
urm.....detached?

EXEC
Go on....

IDEAS MAN
And we um....film it

C4 EXEC
Anything else?

IDEAS MAN:
Yeah....we give them something to do every week, like urm....they could dress up funny or something

(BEAT)

C4 EXEC
Fuck it, I'm sold! Let's do lunch


I understand I may be dumbing down a little. If pushed, and it would have to be the kind of 'I have a gun at your head and you will say something positive' kind of push, one could argue that Big Brother is a valid social experiment. An experiment which groups together people from different walks of life, places them in front of a dozen TV cameras and sees how they react when faced with a variety of tasks devised to push people to their psychological limit. What tasks? I hear you ask. Well, generally the kind of tasks you'd face in the outside world, such as separating different coloured M'N'M's, completing an assault course or performing a dance routine every time the loudspeaker blasts out Chumbawumba at 6am. God knows, with what little life experience I have, I can just about figure out what will happen if you piss people off enough by putting them in a house with a bunch of overly attentive, attention seeking wankers, deprive them of food and sleep and then occasionally feed them booze. And we've had some moments haven't we. Kinga with the wine bottle. Jade Goody with...well everything really. But are we really supposed to sit back and let Channel 4 purposefully humiliate people? Sure, why not. I'm on no moral crusade here. I just don't like the show. It's fun to watch people argue and freak out every once in a while, but as we go into what is now the Big Brother's ninth series, you have to wonder if the producers are beginning to flog a dead horse (note to self; suggest flogging a dead horse as a task for next seasons BB). Each year the contestants have become stranger, to the point where the Big Brother is now pretty much a show solely about social misfits. It has become a modern day freak show:
"Roll up, Roll up, watch the trans-gendered, turrets suffering scouser try and articulate his inner sorrow in the diary room!"
If this pattern escalates I wouldn't be surprised if next year we are presented with a house full of religious zealots, all from different religions and a token atheist. Fuck it, that’s a show I'd probably watch. Seriously, lazy TV programming is something we've all become used to, but the humiliation (albeit of idiotic fame hungry media whores) of the general public, for the pleasure of the general public, is where I draw the line. If I want to spend my evening watching retards on the telly box then I'll rent "One Flew Over he Cuckoos Nest" or I am Sam".

The program itself is bad. But as if this isn't enough to make my blood boil, it’s fucking relentless. There's a nightly show, a nightly live show, a weekly eviction special and 24 hour coverage on the internet. For those of you who haven't had the displeasure of watching this I'll enlighten you: Imagine people sleeping....are you still with me? Good. Imagine 10 people sleeping. Right, now we're on track. Now imagine watching 10 people sleep, interspliced with footage of three people in the other room having a conversation about the most inane subjects known to man. Now imagine this already soul-destroyingly boring conversation occasionally censored by the sounds of tweeting birds and jet engines. Welcome, dear friends, to big brother live!

I can just about handle the fact that a program I hate monopolizes most of the air time Channel 4 owns. The real bitch of the situation however, the real thorn in this lion's paw, is that I always end up watching it. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, for those precious few minutes of my life, which i will never get back, I have joined the dark side and am in cahoots with all that I believe to be wrong with the world. In fact, even as I write this I have it on in the background. There are three social misfits and an attractive young lady, who as far as I can figure out is a mute. They are talking about Britney Spears and why she shaved her head. I shudder and pray for the bird noises to come back.

I wonder If George Orwell saw this coming when he wrote 1984. My guess is he's turning in his grave....and Channel 4 are probably filming it.

[cctv]

A Religious Experience

So....

I'm getting increasingly more curious about this Scientology lark. Its all the rage these days and after reading a blog about it earlier today I decided to do a bit of probing (not in a rude way, but an investigative way). Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for a religion to fill a void in my life, or to cleanse my soul and rid me of my sins. I'm simply curious to see what it's all about. Scientology, as far as I know (and I will hold my hands up and say I don't know a great deal), is based around a theory involving us living under the watchful eye of alien leaders. It also claims, despite contrary laws of evolution being somewhat established long ago, that we are all evolved from clams, or croissants or something silly......STOP! I know you may be tempted to re-read the previous statements, but as far as I can figure out, this is the basis of the religion (I wont go so far as to claim to have done any research into this, it's just what I heard on the grape vine, so no lawsuits please!). So it's got me, I'm intrigued, and who can blame me? This is the stuff of legend, no wonder so many movies stars are enticed by this wonderful ideal of extra-terrestrial overlords, it's like something straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster....and you know what? If its' good enough for Tom Cruise, then it may well be good enough for me. However I'm not about to leap into a decision as important as choosing a religion without doing a little research. So i decided to check out the official Scientology website.

Now after arriving at the site, alarm bells started ringing pretty early on. I'm down with the aliens and all that nonsense, it's a lovely thought, and as long as I'm not asked to swallow it as a fact, I'm cosy. However the first page of the Scientology website (which can be found at www.scientology.org ...if any of you have managed to stop looking at porn long enough to realize the internet has other uses) seems to provide a problem for me...

"The word Scientology literally means "the study of truth." It comes from the Latin word "scio" meaning "knowing in the fullest sense of the word" and the Greek word "logos" meaning "study of."

Okey dokey then. I can only assume that the truth this site references isn't the truth that you and I know; the one based on fact, but instead one based on complete tittlewankle (this is a word I just made up which basically means bollocks). But despite this initial setback I still found myself eager to learn more about this cult/religion/hopefully-worldwide-prank-that-we-will-all-laugh-at-in-a-few-years-time-when-beadle-jumps-out-from-behind-his-camera-with-his-funny-little-hand-and-tells-us-we've-all-been-had. So I explored the site...

The first thing that attracted my attention was the free personality test! "I don't know me" I thought "I bet this religion motivated computer programme can help me find my true self/inner child" . And the way they worded it, well, it made it sound like a great deal:

"The churches of Scientology are extending an invitation to you to receive an OCA Personality Test and evaluation free of any charge or obligation.

Your personality has everything to do with your income, your future, your personal relationships, and your life.

A test of this kind would normally cost you $500.00 and up. It is offered to you here free of charge as a public service.

If you are not happy with life, you can find out why."

Now I am guessing here, but I'm about to take this test, and I have a funny feeling that the reason I am not happy with my life may well be because I haven't yet become a scientologist.... I though I should probably take the test and find out though. So I did......

Here's the information I had to submit before I got started. Luckily I had a cunning alias lined up so none of this could be tracked back to me:

Enter Your Information
Title: Mr
First name: Tom Last name: Cruise
Address: Hollywoodland
City : L.A State (US Only): CA
Zip/Postal code:TM CRZ State/Province (Non-US Only):
Country: U.S
Phone (Home): (Work):
Occupation: Actor/Nutbag Age: 40...ish Sex:Male
E-mail: TomCruise@remembermeintopgun?.com

Here are some of my favorite questions in the test, there were many, many more but i've already wasted the best part of an hour doing this so i'll just give you the highlights:

3. Do you browse through railway timetables, directories, or dictionaries just for pleasure?

Yes, yes I do......are you fucking serious?!

6. Do you get occasional twitches of your muscles, when there is no logical reason for it?

I occassionally get the odd accidental hard-on does that count?

11. Is your voice monotonous, rather than varied in pitch?

55. When hearing a lecturer, do you sometimes experience the idea that the speaker is referring entirely to you?

Do you mean am I easily brainwashed? ....perhapse...keep talking you have a soothing voice.


88. If we were invading another country, would you feel sympathetic towards conscientious objectors in this country?

Are these guys planning a war?...this worries me!

130. Are you aware of any habitual physical mannerisms such as pulling your hair, nose, ears, or such like

I occassionally scratch myself when I think no-one is looking...but thats okay Tom Cruise picks his nose...allegedly

After answering over 100 questions (yeah I know I should get out more, I don't need to hear it from you) along similar lines as those above, my faith that such details of my life could lead to a true understanding of my personality was weening.....and then they hit me with it....a graph! How could I doubt such clear statistiacl evidence? Besides...we already know that "The word Scientology literally means "the study of truth." And i could now see it in front of me, in colour and everything!

Okay so here are the results (in said graph form), and I have to tell you; things aren't looking good for me!

(In the not so improbable circumstance that this graph doesn't load i'll give you a brief synopsis. According to the survey I'm depressed, aggressive, emotionally unstable and there's a good chance my cock will fall off if i don't become a scientologist IMMEDIATELY!)

Well, as you can see from the handy graph, I'm in a fucking state! But I think its going to be okay! because theres a link that says 'something can be done to change the conditions of my life'...i'm going to click it!:

........... i wonder whats coming

TA DAAAAAA:



Start improving conditions in your life right now. Scientology: A New Slant on Life contains both a discussion of the profound principles and concepts on which Scientology is based and remarkable practical techniques anyone can use to improve his life.
Scientology: A New Slant On Life (book available at Amazon.com)
Ahhhh, shocker!



....Well I can be grateful for a couple of things here I guess;

Firstly, i'm not a scientologist....secondly, i didn't pay $500 for that personality test...and thirdly...I will never be part of a religion that was invented by a bloke in a neckercheif!

L. Ron Hubbard

....unless perhaps its 'Fred' from 'Scooby Doo'...he looked very fetching in his!

<-- L. Ron Hubbard....founder of scientology, alien and clam enthusiast and all round playful nutter!



I didn't bother looking at the rest of the site to see if what I had heard, about aliens and clams was indeed the basis of scientology. To be honest I'm suprised that my attention was kept for this long, but the football's starting now so I'm going to watch that instead...like a real man would!

Just Super!

I have I firmly held belief that Superman is perhaps the laziest creation of a super-being ever to grace our screens/comics/cartoons. It's not that superman himself is lazy, just the general idea of the guy. I recently conducted an interview with superman creator Joe Shuster (this didn't happen, I just have too much time on my hands) in an attempt to find the source of my distain for one of the worlds most popular superheros!

Me: Hi Joe, I'd like to start by thanking you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few of my questions.

Joe: No problem, I'm a big fan of your work

Me: Why thank you Joe, During this interview I hope to get to the heart of what makes superman, so I'd like to start by asking what gave you the original idea for this character?

Joe: Well its an interesting story. I wanted to create a superhero. My starting point was that he must be a man, and that he must have superpowers, so I came up with the name 'Superman'.

Me: Thats great, I see what you did there Joe, fantastic word play! Not really an interesting story but whatever. So what super powers does superman have?

Joe: well he can do pretty much anything. He can lift things with his incredible strength, he can see through walls, burn stuff with his eyes, reflect bullets. You name it he can do it. He can even fly around the globe so fast that it will turn back time.

Me: ermm...you can't fly around the globe to turn back time, that doesn't make sense.

Joe: Yes it does, he's superman.

Me: Okay then.....The guy seems pretty much invincible, there must be something that can stop him..you know like an achilles heel?

Joe: Sure, kryptonite!

Me: What the fuck is kryptonite?

Joe: It's a green rock from his home planet.

Me: Well that sounds pretty safe! If it's from a different planet then not much of it can be around right?

Joe: Oh no, it's everywhere! Pretty much any supervillain can get a hold of it.

Me: well, how come?

Joe: Just because....

Me:.....

Joe: Just because....

Me: Okay then. So tell me about Superman's alter ego, what exactly are the differences?

Joe: Well Clark (Kent) is a bit of a looser, he can't stop bullets, lift planes or turn back time. Very much like you or me. Plus he has a side parting.

Me: Okay, so how does Clark turn into Superman?

Joe: Well he takes off his glasses, did I mention he wears galsses?

Me: No

Joe: Well he does. And he changes his hair slightly and puts on the suit!

Me: That's weak!

Joe: Well he does it very quickly

Me: Doesn't the suit seem a little gay to you?

Joe: A little, I suppose...you're pretty!

Me: Joe, without meaning to sound offensive, this whole idea sounds a little retarded to me. Are you a retard?

Joe: *druels a little*

Me: 'K then, thank you for your time Joe, its been a pleasure talking to you.

Joe: I like chocolate

Me: Thats just fine...bye now

So as my time with imaginary Joe proves, Superman is crap.......













...And a little gay!