Quis custodiet (ipsos custodes)2? Oh, it’s me. Right.

I’ve just arrived home, having spent a pleasant evening in the company of Messrs Canon L. Printer and Henry The Depressed Fern. Printers, as any fule kno, were put on this Earth to test us, and to separate the merely persistent from those prepared to spend three solid hours making the requisite sacrifices of dead trees, bent paperclips, blood, sweat and (alarmingly) hair in order to ensure the passage of the last print job. But this is a whinge for another day.

Bearing this in mind, however, I wasn’t in the best of moods on the Tube home, so I’m not sure whether my reaction to this poster is entirely fair. I present it to you without prejudice:

Statistically aberrant cluster of babies

Statistically aberrant cluster of babies

Now, having scrupulously allowed the reader to make up his or her own mind, allow me to supply my own views:

Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

I suppose I can manage a bit more than that, so here goes: has it really come to this? That we are publishing some bizarre form of propagandic haiku, exhorting people to spy on the people who are spying on the machines that spy on us? Even for the most fervent surveillance state wet-dreamer, this paranoia in triplicate is surely spiralling into self-parody. Not only are we expected to be content with being watched 24/7, we’re expected to be complicit in ensuring that everyone else is similarly chuffed. Don’t look at the cameras! Don’t photograph the Police! And smile while you don’t, dammit.

Clearly, the lesson we are take from this poster is that we must somehow cleanse the populace of all information that might somehow be useful to terrorists. I’m afraid that just for starters this is going to require the elimination of all particle physicists, either by deportatation, elimination or lobotomy. We can continue by rounding up the aeronautical engineers, sequestering them somewhere they can do no serious harm – Hull, perhaps – and distracting them from their plight with plenty of questions about aircraft on treadmills. We can then continue through the professions as necessary, until our population consists entirely of telephone sanitisers, management consultants and marketing executives (neatly closing the cycle of human existence). We will subsist on the remnants of the canned food made by our better-informed but terminally imperilled ancestors, retaining only important knowledge such as “don’t run with scissors.” It’ll be a better life for us all.

As I took the photo, incidentally, I drew odd looks from several nearby people, causing me to wonder whether my overt surveillance of propaganda encouraging people to practice surveillance of people practising surveillance of surveillance gear was itself suspicious. However, this fifth order spying clearly confused my fellow travellers, unused as they are to multiple levels of recursion. Having not only observed me observing the propaganda about observing those who observe those who observe me, they observed each other observing me, and experienced a moment of fleeting self-doubt sufficient that they briefly considered turning themselves in to the Police.

This allowed me to slip on to the next Tube, ironically unobserved.

Bird net facial

Bird poop

Devoid of inspiration? Fingers listless, tired? Check your google searches for fun and profit (and cheap blog posts). Boring of late, mine have shown sparks of life this week. We begin with the promising “big feces” – apparently Gillian McKeith* is a fan. Less excitingly, my site is now a veritable hub for all things eyebrow-related (the Healey variety in particular), which pleases me no end, as does my continued dissemination of lies about Noel Edmonds. Someone would like to know “onion and tortoise how to pronounce” – I can only assume that a wildly misguided translation of Aesop is taking place somewhere on the subcontinent. And yet another visitor is looking for “outrageous badger mullet cuts” which really defies any sort of analysis.

Best of all though, having previously believed the internet to have exhaustively catalogued all possible permutations of sexual fetish, it is with some bewilderment that I discover myself to be the main authority for devotees of the “bird net facial”. Such is this community’s apparent isolation that they’re succumbing to grave self-doubt, one wavering gentleman reaching my site with the forlorn search, “what is benefit bird net facial?”

Never having had a bird net facial myself, I can only speculate as to its pros and cons, but please, sir, do not lose hope! There can be few enough of you bold enough to practise such hornithology at all, let alone reach out to kindred spirits on the internet. Readers, picture this poor gentleman at his computer, his face dripping with budgie semen and tears, and with the squawks of his flaccid menagerie ringing hollow in his ears; what worse time to experience a crushing moment of despair? I invite everyone who has known the joy of receiving a money shot from a macaw to come forth in a spirit of joyful community, and I’m happy to host such a virtual gathering on this very blog.

Help him; help yourselves. Is this not the true benefit bird net facial?

(*Gillian McKeith contains trace quantities of PhD and large quantities of nuts.)

Retarded Reviews: Indiana Jones and the Boring MacGuffin

Indiana Hitchcock

Warning: I’m going to spoil the shit out of this movie. This is actually going to be tricky because it has no discernable plot, although there is plentiful shit. Don’t worry, you’ll thank me for it later.

The Writers’ Guild of America strike last year obviously hit Universal Studios hard, as they decided to dig up and molest a few corpses to keep themselves entertained (it can’t have been for our benefit). Harrison Ford’s was easy to find, as he had become pinned beneath the latest Tom Clancy novel and expired. Karen Allen had to be retrieved from the middle of a giant ball of twine, while Denholm Elliott proved far too actually dead even for this grave-robbing exercise, so was merely recreated in bronze; this did not prevent him from putting in easily the best performance of the film.

Shia “Got mlik?” LaBeouf was then recruited to give the film a semblance of animation, and Ray Winstone was also introduced as an old mucker of Indy’s, completely without explanation. Rather presumptuously, the audience is expected to take him to their heart within 30 seconds, as if he’d always been there. This is a bit like waking up to find a complete stranger in your house, but cooking breakfast in the exact way you like it (presuming of course that you like it cooked with an annoying accent and plenty of ham).

Beloved Long-Term Character Ray Winstone remains a good guy for approximately one scene, after which he turns on Indy for Russian baddie Cate Blanchett.

“Why are you rubbing your nipples and moaning, Ray?” asks Indy. “Are you trying to turn me on?”

“Oooooh,” replies Ray.

“Enyuff of this syilly byanter,” interrupts Blanchett. “We hyaff to myake you find the MacGyuffin befyore the implausible chyase sequence. It’s a crystal skull or syomething, I don’t knyow, just gyet on with it.”

Indy is thus forced to lead everyone to the MacGuffin, which is indeed a crystal skull, and highly magnetic (we know this because when it appears on screen there is a menacing “bwarrrrmm” sound effect, just like a real magnet). Indy locates it by throwing gunpowder on the floor, and following where it runs. You may think this sounds stupid, but this is only five minutes before Indy escapes a nuclear explosion by hiding in a refrigerator, and a sprightly 90 minutes or so before Shia LaBeouf gets stuck up a tree and becomes the leader of a troupe of Capuchin monkeys, so enjoy this relative sanity while you can.

There then ensues the obligatory chase scene, which occupies about 90% of the movie. We’ll skip the bit with the monkeys, and the less said about the man-eating ants the better, but it climaxes when our heroes drive off not one, not two, but three Niagara-sized waterfalls in an open-topped amphibious vehicle without receiving so much as a scratch. Isn’t the point of Indiana Jones movies that he dashingly escapes the terrible peril, rather than just miraculously surviving? It’s no fun if Indy just waits to be run over by the enormous rolling ball of death, then gets up, says, “oh, I appear to be fine,” and carries on.

Using the fast-forward button cinema-goers wish they’d had, we’ll jump to the end of the movie when Indy and annoying crew have replaced the MacGuffin on a crystal skeleton, rejuvenated a council of long-dead aliens, abyandoned Cyate Blyanchett to get her eyes melted out with pure information, and finally escaped a collapsing ziggurat and the anal-probing clutches of a flying saucer. Job done, they sit on a hilltop and indulge in sub-sitcom banter. As we watch the spaceship lift gently into the sky (presumably in search of a movie franchise whose butthole George Lucas hasn’t done something unspeakable to), we’ll leave the last words to Indy:

Their treasure wasn’t gold – it was knowledge.

Knowledge was their treasure.

Yeah, thanks, Indy.


I\'m Spartacus

Retarded Reviews: The Prince Albert, Camden

Today I branch into reviewing London social establishments, my ire having been roused by the Prince Albert, an alleged gastropub located slightly off the beaten Camden track. I went with high expectations, and had them all expertly crushed. Service was disinterested verging on insolent (“Hi, do you know what time the live music starts?” “No idea.” <wanders off>). There was pretentious literature on all the tables pronouncing the place’s rare character and “eclectic interior”, the latter description presumably written by someone who thinks having both tables and chairs in a pub is a dangerous concession to indulgence.

My main complaint was the food, however, described in the blurb as “fine dining”. Whatever one’s opinions on the gastropub revolution, you at least expect to get something edible. I opted for the “sausage and mustard mash with onion jus”, this unnecessary violation of innocent gravy being on reflection a very bad sign indeed.

Poop.It’s hard to cock up sausage and mash with onion gravy. If one were to try, however, the Prince Albert provides a handy tutorial. First, select overspiced, under-meated sausages with a rusk content higher than the average kindergarten and the texture of insulating foam. Then bake the crap out of them until they form a thick, impermeable coating of gnarled casing that goes “bonk” when you hit it on a table, and resists being cut like a tortoise wearing kevlar. For the mash, eschew actual potatoes for the main part, preferring instant mix with Coleman’s mustard powder added. It can be challenging to get the right lumpy consistency with mix, though, so you may want to have some elderly chopped potatoes on hand to lend the necessary gravitas to your meal.

Finally, as any fule kno, onion gravy is exactly like a strip tease – less is more. Indeed, if you provide sufficiently little “jus”, your victim–sorry, “customer”–will have no idea how good it was, and will give you much benefit of copious doubt (they have already been wowed by your prowess with the humble potato). Serve at a tenner for fun and profit, perhaps using said bill to blow your nose in the customer’s face. After all, your establishment has bestowed upon itself a “new, more refined role” – these peons should be grateful for your benevolence in not having them roundly thrashed.

In summary, I give the Prince Albert three out of ten, this being the number of times the urinals overflowed in our presence.