Friday, October 30, 2009

Who's Best To Replace "Hero" Fawkes atop Britain's Bonfires This Year?

I've just seen a tweet regarding an event in Ripon where they intend to replace the traditional Guy Fawkes effigy with one of Gordon Brown, much to the disgust of a young Labour supporting twitterer I follow who described the idea as "vile".

I don't see anything wrong in it myself. There are many examples in the past of having contemporary political figures for effigies on bonfire night (Thatcher, Major, Blair, Bush etc.). No one is suggesting we burn the real person to death, it's just a symbolic gesture after all... isn't it?

But this year, isn't there even more reason to replace Fawkes with a modern day political figure? This is the year of the expenses scandal and our political establishment has never been held in such low esteem. Given that Guy Fawkes intended to blow up the Houses of Parliament, and the disdain with which many now view its modern day inhabitants, he must be seen as a positive hero!

Mind you, it wasn't held in high regard before "expensegate". New Labour's culture of spin, dishonesty, cronyism and sleaze made sure of that. So I can't think of anyone more deserving of a symbolic roasting than Gordon Brown.

Link to Ripon's Gordo effigy bonfire night: Ripon Gazette

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 26, 2009

Favourite Tweets of The Day

My favourite tweets today came from the splendid "The Man Who Fell". If you don't already follow him have a butchers at his tweets and his web site.

Two newspaper mock ups of his own creation...

The much (fairly) maligned Daily Mail...

And "in the name of editorial balance"...

Why Do Theists Get So Upset By Atheists?

Would it be less offensive to the fundamentally religious if atheists said that their opinion, that there is no God, was based on pure belief with no supporting evidence whatsoever other than it is written in a book that men in dog collars say is "the truth"?

Presumably, as their opinion can now be categorised as belief rather than rational thought based on robustly tested evidence, by the theists' own unwritten rule, atheists would be immune from criticism.


I saw this on Twitter this morning.

It seems, even The Alpha Course is struggling to reverse the tide of Atheism...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant?

It was a controversial decision by the BBC to invite Nick Griffin onto Question Time. But the truth is that his party has attracted over a million votes nationally and they had no choice but to give him his 60 minutes of fame.

Many wanted him banned from national TV and feared his appearance would boost support for his extremist party. I felt that, apart from undermining the concept of free speech, this argument seriously under estimated the intelligence of the average voter. On this point, 24 hours later, I'm wondering if I was wrong.

Watching television this morning I heard a presenter read out messages from viewers about his appearance. The majority were angered by Griffin's treatment on the show and many said they would now consider voting BNP. This may have been a concerted campaign by BNP supporters to influence the coverage, but a poll out today has some worrying results.

55% think the BNP 'have a point' on the 'defence of "indigenous people"' point Griffin repeatedly made. 22% would consider voting BNP. I'm sure most of that 22% wouldn't actually vote for them on election day, but it is worrying so many feel comfortable enough about the party that they would at least consider it.

I hope this is all due the immediate hype after the event. Perhaps those 22% didn't watch the programme and are the type that are so suggestible that merely seeing the BNP party logo on the news all day is enough to influence their opinion. If that's the case, I imagine they are the same people that got stuck in their chairs after watching Derren Brown a few week ago.

But anyone watching the programme must have seen how weak his responses were, how sly he was, how fallacious his arguments were. After the show, I thought he had made a fool of himself. He was so easily torn apart by normal members of the public, there was no need to set professional debaters on him, he was floored time and again by the audience. But I thought of all the panalists, Bonnie Greer had some great moments. See this for one...

I had hoped "Sunlight" would be "the best disinfectant" and exposing the BNP to questioning would demonstrate what a nasty little party it is. But I guess we'll have to wait and see what the longer term effect on its support will be. I hope the "ban Nick Griffin" brigade were wrong, at the moment, I'm not totally sure they were.

See Cassetteboy's take on the appearance, made me chuckle...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stewart Lee: If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask For One

Great show tonight. I hadn't realised the "German Comedy Ambassador", Henning Wehn ( was going to appear before Stewart Lee.

He was excellent. If you get a chance to see him as part of this show or in an independent production, I would highly recommend it... Unless you are easily offended, or one of the McCann's!!!

Stewart Lee was on after a 20 minute interval following Herr Wehn. He was brilliant, as expected. His rapier like, satirist's wit initially employed to humiliate and expose a blatant and wholly unfair loyalty card based administrative error at Cafe Nero that led to him being denied his rightful free coffee... "ABSOLUTE CORPORATE IDIOCY!"

He went on to explain why 38 year old Scotch* comedian Frankie Boyle was right to describe all 40 year old-plus comedians as being "too old for stand up comedy". They lacked the anger of the younger satirists such as 38 year old Boyle. Quite right explains Lee. Just 18 months ago, Lee (now 41), would have been aghast and livid at the haunted status of the Queen's vagina. But now, at the grand old age of two score and one he is, at best, ambivalent about it. Frankie Boyle on the other hand is infuriated about the situation (as you will be aware if you've seen his act).

Best quote of the night, the inverse Daily Mail style quote, "If there's one thing I hate it's Emigrants". This was from a section of the act about how, those who emigrate (to, say, the former colony of New Vancouver-Zealand-Frisco) often claim a higher standard of living can be found. But, on deeper investigation, it often boils down to little more than the availability of MASSIVE PRAWNS. Massive prawns = quality of life. MASSIVE PRAWNS, five times the size of your ludicrous British prawns..quality of life, prawns... etc.

Ok, I'm still a bit drunk and shouldn't be blogging in this state. A proper review can be found via the link below; may add more tomorrow if my alcohol addled brain allows any more lucid recollection of tonight's events.

Gute Nacht!

* Before any non-Stewart Lee fans point out that it should be Scots not Scotch... I do know, honest!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Comedy Wednesday For Me!

I'm off the Camberley Theatre tonight to see the legend that is Stewart 'Stewart' Lee.

Looking forward to it. I'll report back when I can after the show.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Completely Inconsequential Blog No. 1

I've toyed with the idea of writing a blog before but always rejected the idea for three reasons:

  1. I'm an incredibly lazy person and can't be sure I'd keep it up for long after the initial post (let's see after this one, eh?).
  2. I don't live an exciting, thrill-a-minute life that would throw up worthy experiences to blog about.
  3. It strikes me as slightly arrogant and self important to believe that others would want to read about my views, experiences or humour.
So, what's changed? I still believe these reasons stand but, since February this year, I've been using Twitter and have enjoyed the micro blogging experience. But every now and then I've felt restricted by the 140 character limit when dealing with more involved topics. So, I am going to set this blog up for such occasions and perhaps the odd non-twitter related musings.

It's been a strange experience writing this first entry, in the knowledge that no one will read it any time soon (or perhaps ever). I don't know enough about blogging to be certain how to build up a readership but presumably being interesting would be a good start. Point 2 springs to mind at this point... I best start thinking about something interesting to write... Hmmm... Oh yes, point 1 comes into play now... Oh well, this was a waste of half an hour of typing!

If, by mistake, you find yourself reading this and have any comments or tips, feel free to share them with me.