Monday, 11 April 2011

A Word About Writing Satire And Logical Progression

I have been known to pen the occasional satirical piece in my time, and have enjoyed a modicum of success in this most dishonourable of pursuits. As is the case with some of my fellow satirists, I have had skits, rumours, and outright lies published on genuine news websites, and even in the national press.

As my mate Seaton Carew will attest - it's pretty funny sometimes when you see something that you've made up off the top of your head be picked up on and reported as 'news.'

Seaton did a classic today - reported a celeb/sportsman wedding taking place on the 31st of June. Slack work by sub-editors is no excuse - they were suckered in good and proper. Top marks to the chilli munching man with the silver shoes!

So - how do you become successful as a satirist? And why would you want to anyway? You don't get paid for it - but it seems that internet satire writing is all important for some individuals, for reasons known only to themselves.

To start with - it's easy. It doesn't take long to realise that the most popular internet satire stories concern either some form of sexual innuendo, or a celebrity or two, and if you can successfully combine the two into an attention grabbing headline, then you're quids in. (Not literally - people don't get paid for this stuff as a rule) but you may well get your name placed near the top of a list.

Which is all well and good, but if somebody wants to get better at what they do, then they need to move on from that initial adrenalin rush of success, and branch out into other, more ambitious attempts. It just seems utterly pointless to me, churning out gallons of slop stories about teen celebrities, day after day after day, just so that you can look at some chart and say "Yes! I am number one!"

Being number one is a hollow achievement - and I'm not saying this because I'm bitter or resentful in any way (I've been number one on a popular website several times since I joined it) but I don't see the point of churning out mindlessly repetetive rubbish which is essentially the same story with the same vaguely suggestive title ad nauseum.

There's really no point. It doesn't make anybody a top writer, satirist, humourist, or even remotely funny because they can churn out a sexually suggestive title involving much googled celebrities. No matter how many 'hits' stories like that can garner, the percentage of people who have been duped by a headline and rapidly move on, without even bothering to read the article in question must number in the high nineties.

Times change, and things (and themes) move on. The thing is, that if anybody has the temerity to suggest any kind of change, in the interests of natural progression, they get shouted down and almost witch hunted by the people who don't want creativity or innovation.

And some people will fight to the death to maintain their meaningless positions in a meaningless chart. They really will. They cry: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" from the rooftops. And plough the same tired furrow. Over, and over, and over, and over again.

Which could be interpreted with a degree of understanding (some people just won't accept progress at any price) were it not for the fact that sometimes these individuals can become incredibly vindictive.

I had first hand experience of that this week when a one time Facebook friend and so-called top writer defriended me and flagged my stuff as offensive on that website. Now I can't put things up on there for a few ex-work colleagues who enjoy my silly little stories.

Amazing the lengths some people will go to.

Which is partly why I post this blog today. Given a choice, I'd much rather read Seaton Carew's excellent June 31st wedding jape than some crap about Russell Brand being pulled by airport security for having porno mags in his luggage, or about some pervert reheating teen celeb's underwear in a microwave so that he can sniff said articles "as if fresh..."

And I get flagged on Facebook for being offensive?

Sadly, these are the lengths some people will go to, in order to stay at the top of a cloud cuckooland chart.

It's all rather sad.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Talking Utter Shit On The Internet

Fair enough - the internet is a wonderful thing. It gives everybody a voice, the opportunity to comment, express an opinion, get things off their chests. It allows people to ask questions, conduct research, gain knowledge, and be entertained.

So...I've been having a look around today...And what do I find?

Let's kick off with comments on newspaper articles on news websites...

"They should of hung him!"

Of? They should of hung him?

What happened to 'have'? They should have hung him. Or...more correctly...they should have hanged him?

It's scary when you look around at the standard of linguistic ignorance which is all to often displayed. But you know what really pisses me off? I should add before I move on, that these aren't my exclusive views or opinions - they're based on comments I've gathered from a variety of sources...

The internet forum.

I like the forums, and I'm an avid participant. If I think of something relevant, or vaguely amusing to slip into a discussion, then I'll do it. What I won't do is just put up something utterly irrelevant, just for the sake of announcing my presence.


That really fucking irritates me. LOL - what the fuck is that? I write stuff for various sites which is intended to amuse and poke fun - one comment I dread reading about what I've done is fucking LOL!

I'd much rather somebody say - "That wasn't funny. Get a life. Get a job. Sort yourself out you sad git and stop posting fucking shite on the internet. You PRICK!"

Anything's better than fucking LOL.

Then you get people saying shit like:

"I can't really comment on this because I don't understand it."

Really? So why comment? Why not leave comments to people who do get the fucking point? Stop fucking announcing to the world what a fuckwit you really are. We don't need to hear it.

Likewise the dickheads who try to get people playing silly fucking games...guess who I am? Guess what I do? Guess the weight of my testicles?

Fuck off! If I wanted to know shit like that, I'd email and ask you.

It's like you get idiots posting messages on comedy websites about the death penalty.

Fuck off! Put it on the death penalty website. Pillocks...

Just sayin'

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Friends - I Don't Even Know 'Em!

I've just been having a look on that social networking site thingy. You know the one - it involves a book and a face, not to mention a never ending parade of utter shite.

Not that it's all bad - there are a few people on there who I read about from time to time, and a few interesting things, like photographic studies and links and blogs, but I'm still confused as to how I got some God bothering woman from the deep south of the USA who keeps leaving shit on my wall telling me that Jesus loves me.

I don't know why she keeps putting shit like that up on my wall, I mean, it's just fucking depressing! One minute she's telling me that Jesus loves me, and in the next sentence she's asking me to pray for her fat fuck of a friend who suffered an "unexpected and sudden" coronary at the age of 41, potentially leaving behind seventeen kids with mullets, a trailer, and a distraught tobacco-chewing husband.

It's fuck all to do with me!

Honestly...I'd just tell the silly cow to "fuck off" but I'm a bit of a soft touch really, so I just ignore her.

Then there's another silly American woman who must play games on there or something - she keeps sending me heart shaped boxes of chocolates, asking me to look after various animals and requesting I send her some oxen or something...Fuck knows how that came about.

So anyway, the wife was having her traditional Sunday afternoon siesta, and as I'm suspended from writing on one website, I thought I'd have a quick look at the social networking one.

There's a guy I used to work with who's looking for lurrrrve on the site, and he really is a nice guy, so I accepted him as a 'friend' and now, everything he puts out in public comes up on my wall. Which usually consists of pictures of scantily clad Eastern European women, accompanied by the comment:

"Nice legs! LOL"

I'm sure that'll reel 'em in...

I do twat on a bit sometimes....anyway...

I looked at this thing on the social networking site that said "people you might know" and inviting me to "add as a friend."

I mean, I'm not a miserable fucker, or a recluse, or any of that bollocks - I can be quite sociable occasionally - especially if it involves good company and copious quantities of alcohol, but this list read like a who's who of various relatives I rarely see, and their friends.

I can't be arsed with that. If I want to talk to them I'll call them or pay them a visit. I mean, just because we propped the bar up at a funeral seven years ago and had a laugh doesn't really make you a 'friend.'

Then I scanned the lists - apparently I share mutual friends with various stand-up comedians, journalists, writers, actors, musicians, celebrities, sportsmen...

Fuck all to do with me. Any of 'em. Maybe indirectly there's some tenuous link... but to be honest, I can't imagine inviting Garry Bushell, or Felix Dexter, or James Whale round ours of a Sunday evening to watch the Spanish football on the box, and share a few Stellas and a kebab.

Maybe I should put them in touch with the God botherer...

Nice legs! LOL!

More later.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wellie Boots And That

The wife bought some wellies on eBay the other day. Green ones. For gardening.

Thing is, our garden isn't even the size of a tennis court. You don't need fucking wellies. You're hardly likely to go down in quicksand or mud, up to your neck. Even if you do manage to get past the dead gazebo - which is still dead and lying on its broken metal back with its legs in the air.

The wellies were never really a necessity. Just an eBay thing...again...

Anyway, the good lady wife, the trouble and strife, is forever banging on about how she's a country girl who used to help out with the harvest on farms for pocket money - but she doesn't know how to put a pair of wellies on.

Me, I was born in Salford and to a large extent brought up in Burnley - I didn't even know what a field was till I was about twelve years old, and wellies were just something your parents bought you because they were cheaper than proper shoes.

But at least I remembered how to put the bastard things on.

"I can't get 'em on!" she wailed. "They're my size but I can't get 'em on!"

Resisting the urge to tell her that it's probably because she's got fat legs, coz I love her really, I asked her to demonstrate.

After much grunting and gasping, she still couldn't get the first wellie on. She got her foot stuck in the heel area. But what she was unaware of, is that I was studying her wellie wearing technique. She had it all terribly wrong.

Now - I've got bigger feet than her, but the wellies looked like they might fit me.

"Give us one here..." I sighed. Before proceeding to put the wellie on in one flawless manouevre. A bit tight, admittedly, but on never the less.

"How did you do that?" she asked.

Now, I haven't donned a wellie for many a year, but I remembered how to do it. So I told her: "You point your foot down the welly, grasp the top at the back, and wiggle...bang. Job done. Welly donned."

"Ooh aar" she said. (Or some similar country expression) "I see."

So then she did it. An expression of pure contentment crossed her visage without comparison since she beamed like the morning sun when we were honeymooning in Rome, the morning after a smarmy Italian waiter made a fuss of her the night before.

Was fuck all to do with me.

Where was I? Oh yes...she's happy now that she can get the wellies on. Although she'll probably never wear them again. She'll probably go on eBay again to buy a box to keep the wellies in, then a wardrobe to keep that and all the other bastard boxes she got off eBay in. With all the rest of the shite.

I'm not quite sure what the point is of me telling you all this...but when I started out, it was intended to lead up to something relating to carbon footprints.

Funny that, and a bit ironic - because in the days I wore wellies I had not the slightest idea what a carbon footprint was. Or is.

I'm tired now. She's gone up. I just hope she hasn't taken the wellies with her.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Me? A Social Worker? Are You Taking The Piss Or What?

It's true.

The wife wants me to take a 12 month course to qualify as a bona fide social worker.

Maybe she has a point - it makes more sense than working machinery - plus I've done it before, working with brain injury patients in one job, and the homeless in another.

Sure, I can do it, but I don't want to get into a situation where I take my work home with me all the time.

In all honesty, I'd rather round up the trolleys at ASDA or TESCO or whatever...

But there's this thing inside that keeps saying - maybe you can make a difference...

Having read about that Baby P case, I really don't know. Maybe I can make a difference, but then if I do, do I get condemned for it? The people handling that Baby P case were naive beyond belief - I think I can say with some degree of confidence that I wouldn't ever get sucked into that kind of crap.

But then you look at the bitch who was in charge of an episode that left a baby dead because her department didn't do its job properly, and she's suing the taxpayer for tens of thousands - and the rampant insanity which governs our country...

Makes you wonder if it's worth it...

Rules, regulations and bullshit don't save lives, don't rescue families, and can I live with that kind of responsibility all over again?

I'm not sure. I have the experience and the know how, but there's just so much corporate bullshit floating around these days (the homeless are an industry that pays a lot of people a lot of money - trust me on that)

I really don't know which way to go.

Feel free to comment, because for once in my life - I'm just not sure what to do for the best.

Sorry - not miserable at all - just being realistic.

Bit of a bitch situation.

Any advice gratefully received. I'm willing to help out but I don't really want to kill myself in the process.


You're Fired

Ah, it's not the end of the world.

I got fired on Monday, but as they say - one door closes, another opens. Bit of a honeymoon period right now. Not sure what I'll do next - probably some agency work to keep me ticking over until something more suitable turns up. Until then, I'm gonna put my feet up for a couple of days.

On a positive note - no more 15 hour days, I don't have to answer to idiots or spend my days working robots in the most tedious, soul destroying job I've ever had the misfortune to be engaged in, and at least the wife speaks English, albeit in a Midlands accent. It's easier to understand than Polish.

The rank stupidity of some of those I've had the "pleasure" of working with can't be overstated. Just one example of this came after 9/11 - I commented to a colleague how terrible the whole thing was. She said that she didn't care, because it wouldn't affect her. I swear to God if it had been a male who trotted out such a fucking stupid statement, I would have punched him in the face.


Conversation at break times usually consisted of little more that Big Brother, or whatever crap Simon Cowell talent show happened to be airing at the time. I'd just sit and read the paper, or do the crossword. I'm no snob - don't get me wrong - but the machinations of some of those people's brains beggared belief.

In all honesty - I got fired because that's the way I engineered it. Deliberate non-cooperation. They kept tossing me lifelines but I ignored them. I wanted to make a point about something which bothered me greatly. The only way to do that was to invoke disciplinary proceedings.

If anybody's reading this and they worry about being fired - don't. Life is made up of phases. This particular phase in my life had ended. I had to bite the bullet or I'd have gone quietly insane.

So, there we have it. It ain't the end of the world. Life goes on.

Not my usual inane waffling on, this entry, but if it makes anybody feel better, then it's job done.

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, 27 March 2011


There's a lot of it about. I suppose it's human nature, an extension of the survival instinct - from wars to petty arguments about something and nothing. The competetive spirit looms large in the house of conflict - aggressive driving, the aggressive supermarket trolley push, the scramble to be top dog. Whatever the cost. It's interesting. Moreso if you're an observer. I witnessed a conflict last week from inception to conclusion. It was bitter, and hate filled, and yet all over something which isn't really all that important in the greater schematic. Yet by the tone, anyone would have thought World War Three was imminent. The mind boggles... Anyway - I've got a conflict of my own to attend to tomorrow. This one is important, possibly life-changing (at least I hope it is!) and although I don't really stand a cat in hell's chance of winning, I'll give it my best shot. Afterwards, I shall be hoping to put conflict of any kind on the back-burner. At least for a while. It's just such a waste of time and energy. Got to go - the wife's putting the boxing gloves on... Shuttlecock. (Mr)