MURDOCH MID-SUMMER PANTO

“Today is the most humble day of my life,” said God.

Clown enters stage left with humble foam pie.

God didn’t know it was coming, then again he didn’t know much that day or at least pretended he didn’t.

“No.” Said God when asked if he was in charge of the fiasco and why he didn’t take responsibility. “But I can fix it.”

At that point, in walked Bob the Builder, one of God’s 52,000 minions.

The son of God meanwhile was still on the first question although people had stopped listening.

The media then spun out the story into a contemporary odyssey.

Tune in tomorrow for another heart-numbing episode.

MYTH OF THE COOL

Cool isn’t well. For a few decades now it’s been struggling with the expectation of being ahead of everyone and everything, of being a visual voice for what we ‘should’ like because someone else said so. It’s a slow road to self-hate when you think about it. We are choosing to like something based on someone else’s feelings and taste.

What does this mean?

It means we either have no taste of our own (which we all do, and fuck ‘em if they think our taste is or isn’t ‘cool’) or it means we have lost the art of understanding our feelings such is the pressure to buy into the right song/band/shoe/phrase/painting/diet/bike/hair/blog/book/pet.

Why can’t we just like something without it having to be rated in any way? Why must something be cool for it to catch on then immediately be relegated to uncool? If we as a species took all the effort we put into categorising cool and channelled it into fixing things we’ve broken, like lamps, or tyres, or economies, we’d be happier, if a little more tired trying to get the hardened glue off our fingernails.

MAXWELL OVERBOARD, MURDOCH OVERDOSE?

I’m sorry that I keep writing about News International. It’s not that I hate them, but having defecated in their own nest, they know that half of Britain is brimming with schadenfreude as we speak. The whole beautiful debacle has sent my head into rabid prophecy mode. The latest of which is the feeling that Murdoch may disappear soon without warning and without trace. Don’t get me wrong, he’s an astounding man but I have this unease that he’s about to come a cropper. Whether it’s his own doing, or the grim reaper, or an assassin, or just my misguided instinct who knows – the tealeaves are hard to read in a PG bag.

As far as we know, Murdoch’s empire is not in the mess Maxwell’s allegedly was at the time of his belly flop into the sea from the deck of his yacht, Lady Ghislaine. Well, not yet. Sky is doing its damnedest to distant itself from the washing of the family laundry in public. Is this because they know something we don’t? It’s about time Andy Gray and Richard Keys resurfaced as panto villains.

So Rupert, if you’re reading, take care. And keep the apologies coming.

CRAZY HAIR

Rebekah Brooks is no normal redhead. She is as close to a human Hydra as most of us will ever see. Her rusty corkscrew javelins hide a plain complexion (a tenner says Nicole Kidman will play her in the film of this whole episode) and also conceal what we really think about her. Call me superficial but her hair gets in the way. Ignoring for a second any other rational reason as to why she’s kept her job, could it be because of how she looks and not how she thinks, writes or acts?

If you doubt me and you no doubt will, then cast the net further afield. Malcolm Gladwell has no ordinary barnet. It’s another extraordinary dandelion-fro. Sure, he writes a good book based each time on hunch, but if he had the hair of say Steve Rider, would we give him and his words the time of day?

Even Einstein wore a comic bush. Had he presented his breakthrough theories with a flat, dull, mousey crop, combed to the side, we might have fallen asleep in mid-equation.

Look, I’m not saying crap hair gets you nowhere because it’s de rigeur for Silicon Valley billionaires. But I am saying outlandish hair can make a mediocre talent appear to to be genius.

So, work that look or wear a hat. As for me, I’m off to ram my fingers in the mains in the morning just before that meeting with the new publisher.

ONE LETTER PLACE NAMES (# 74,894)

Today I came across a place called Os, near Bergen in Norway.

What brevity I thought, to name a place so succinctly.

But this is longwinded for Norway – they have 7 villages called A (with a small circular accent above the A, a symbol I can’t find in my WordPress deck) as well as several farms called O.

Talking of O, Devon has a river by the same name, while the river D runs through Oregon.

E is both a mountain at Hokkaido in Japan, and allegedly a river in the highlands of Scotland.

Panama claims to have a place called U.

Which leaves us with Y, a commune in the Somme, France and similarly a settlement in Alaska.

Given the Sarah Palin association, I know which one I’d rather hook up with.

THE END OF THE NEWS OF THE WORLD

For once they’d rather not sensationalise the front page. They’d rather play it down, sweep it under the carpet along with the countless other bilious acts of heroic investigative journalism. In their 168 years they’ve broken the stories that others feared to print, even if they turned out to be false. In many ways, this paper is, and always had been, a work of fiction. Indeed, this scandal is playing out like a screenplay, no doubt to be optioned by C21st Fox.

The truth has barely surfaced yet. By the end of the week the following events will unfold for the following players (and make the movie worth watching a year from now).

  1. Andy Coulson  - will be arrested, or have gone missing and stay missing, or commit suicide.
  2. Rebekah Brooks – affair with Rupert Murdoch will leak out, then she is hit by a black cab and falls into a coma, only to die a week on Sunday, the first day in 168 years that the world has lived without the News Of The World.
  3. Rupert Murdoch – will seek political asylum and in fleeing will suffer a heart attack displacing the planned front page of SORRY printed 4000 times.

If Harold Camping had been right with his Nostradamus-style prediction that the world would end on May 21st 2011 then the Murdochs would have evaded this mess and their final headline could well have been:

THE NEWS OF THE END OF THE WORLD

THE DAY MY FACE FELL APART

This’ll make you laugh. I woke up today with an eye that wouldn’t open. When it did finally open, it instantly shut again as if daylight was hydrochloric acid.

Ny nose was also a mess. It ran its snotty legs off. Mucus is still streaming down my nostrils as I fling my head back so as not to snot my keyboard. The eye must be colluding with the nose.

Despite this sudden disintegration of my facial functions, I rode my eldest daughter to school. A simple act you’d think, followed by the even simpler act of posting two letters. It was between these two tasks that a bee flew into my face and rammed its sting into my lip – if it hadn’t been for my teeth, the little fucker would have javelin’d my tonsils such was the speed I was freewheeling at. Still, I rode on having posted the letters. It was at this point I met a neighbour who stopped me to stare at the state of my deformed face. I explained how I’d come to impersonate the bastard offspring of Daniella Westbrook, Michael Jackson and some strange large-lipped in-bred Royal gene from the Windsor clan. Then I rode home, remaining alive.

By now the paranoia stakes had risen to manic heights. Never before had cheese, ham and tomato on toast presented itself as gastro-terrorism. I swear the mustard was smeared in semtex. The 4 day old bread was as barbed as a bayonet, so I hacked the crust off and buried it in a reinforced lead trunk (ok, so that’s a fib but you the gist).

As my face lies strewn in watery fragments around the house, I try and piece it back together knowing one false move could be fatal to the land mine that was no doubt planted in the head at some point the night before.

If you too come across a hattrick of ailments/accidents in a single morning, do not attempt to drive a car, fix a plug or mow the lawn.

INTERDEPENDENCE DAY – JULY 4TH 2011

As most Americans on Earth slap their thighs and each other’s backs with congratulatory yee-haa on their big day of freedom, the rest of the world looks on and wonders if there’s a need for a bigger, broader, deeper day that we can all join in on. In a word, yes.

Interdependence day is the penny dropping that everything is interconnected – from the writing of this post to the reaction of you reading it to the confluence of people finding things easier if they form a chain. History tells us it’s pointless fighting over whose hedge it is when it easier to remove the hedge. You can drill down into a thousand theories as to why things are linked, but frankly life’s more fun if we just live with it.

The one rule of interdependence day is: as hard as you may try you cannot spend it alone.

There you go.

Best be off now as I have a war to fight over a drooping tree.