Tuesday, 31 January 2006

War On Terror (The Boardgame)

(Sub-titles in brackets is very in vogue right now...)

I piss you not, a wonderful bunch of chaps and lady chaps have invented War On Terror, the boardgame and are looking for people to register their interest for pre-orders (you don't have to give any bank details) so they have some data to take to funders to get the boardgame made in massive quantities and sold around the globe. Brilliant!

So what are you waiting for? Register your name and say you'd buy it for £30 including postage and packing and make gaming history. When I get mine I'll invite you round and get you all to play.

Please note, people without a sense of humour on matters of terror please do not bombard them with hatemail.

Monday, 30 January 2006

The Missionaries of Fucking and Fighting (The American Way)

If one of those Arab bastards managed to get me, I'd just pull the bullet out of my body and keep fighting until every last Muslim was dead.

I stole this from one of my favourite websites, which in turn has a further spin off website, I recommend them both if you like your humour dark with edges of violence.

Something about it really struck a chord with me, perhaps I was reminded of when US troops traded images of dead Iraqis for porn or the history of armies as tools of rape, pillage and slaughter; of conquering (read: liberating) without dignity.

And then I felt bad because I remembered the 2242 US troops dead and the 98 UK troops dead and the 103 misc nationality troops dead and what a difficult job it is being a soldier and how you can't say they're all the same and then I just felt plain sad.

It may as well read The Missionaries of Fucking and Fighting (The World's Way) and when will we come up with a better one?

Sunday, 29 January 2006

Gay Wedding

Yesterday I went to a gay wedding.

It was just like any other wedding really, apart from it felt slightly historic to be there and very brilliant that as a society the UK has at last moved up another few notches on the rungs of civilisation.

The ceremony was of course deeply moving and I listened hard to the vows exchanged and the official words of the ceremony and reflected on what they mean and how the idea of committing yourself to one person, for life, in front of your family and friends, is such a wonderful thing.

The words rattled around my head and as I stared at Marie (who was a bridesmaid, for want of a better word), I found the timely reminder of what it means to truly love someone quite overwhelming.

Stories on the legislation in the UK can be found here and here and the act itself is here in all its wonderful glory.

Friday, 27 January 2006

Punch Me Until I Work

I am like that toaster with the bad connection, hit me until I work.

You know when you get so sad that you get a bit hysterical and mental, like a comedy lost child in the supermarket, wondering if mum's on the tinned soup aisle and if you'll die here surrounded by funny food?

You know the one.

Sure you do.

Is it me or does my penis look big in that picture?

Thursday, 26 January 2006

I Spoke Too Soon

Ouch.

Today has been one of the worst for a long time, all of my own doing, no details, too humiliated and angry at my own foolishness and stupidity.

Ouch.

In efforts to distract myself from what a cunt I am, I found this over at Cheeks' blog. It's an article by the father of John Walker Lindh and it is as upsetting as it is informative, go read, go be disgusted and please go and do something, no matter how small, to change the world we're making.

It seems that the legendary Col.Dr is coming under personal attacks from conservative Canadians over at his gaff, he is more than capable of swatting them away like flies but if any of my readers can lend a hand in fending them off with well thought out arguments please go do so.

We have a new blog in the links, mirror up to nature, which is by actors for actors and I look forward to hanging out on there; it seems to be populated by Canadians, some of whom may be conservative but...

Time for me to become a better human.

Wednesday, 25 January 2006

Dancing Shoes

Things have been really tough of late, acting jobs have been hard to come by, auditions painfully infrequent and when they do arrive the job in question is either rubbish or seemingly out of reach due to arbitrary factors (too tall, don't live in the right place, wrong colour) and my lack of money and self-respect is frankly nauseating.

Such is the actors life.

But it's strange how a little drop of positive energy can turn that around and you find the strength to pick yourself up and take on the next struggle.

Yesterday was the peak of some serious fucking depression I've been feeling and the positive energy off others came at a time when I really needed it. First, my friend Hannah went with me to see the show of the actors I have just started teaching and made me feel more jolly.

Today I had a job interview that went so well I got the job (not acting but using those skills to work in marketing...hey, I need to pay the bills), then I taught my young actors, which, forgive me for going on, it such a buzz. I had the older group (15-19) tonight for the first time and I love being around that enthusiasm and drive and sharing in the moments when they do something for the first time and just love it; that revelation. I could've let tonight's class go on all night, it really is a highlight of my week.

Then I had a meeting with some people who've read my play and they fucking loved it. I felt like doing a little dance, in fact I am going to do a little dance once I've done typing this. It may not lead anywhere (the kind words, not the dance) but to hear that positivity really healed me (I sound like a fucking hippy) and topped off a sound day.

I must also mention the positive energy and support coming from my good friends Kirky and Keith, who have helped (without knowing it) getting my head in a good place.

Thanks must also go to the Artic Monkeys for providing a soundtrack to my new mood.

I'm off to have a dance...

Monday, 23 January 2006

Bush Beaten by a Cedar Tree (The Environment Strikes Back)

You may remember when Bush was beaten by a door, well this time the world's leading exponent of inanimate object combat has been thwarted by a Cedar tree. As you can see, Bush came off pretty badly, he looks like some kind of Zombie Warlord but one source close to Bush said:

"That motherfuckin' bastard tree is fuckin' dust after our esteemed leader launched a holy fuckin' war on it's sorry wooden ass and smited it into a thousand pieces like the bitch it is...or was."

The President had this to say in his defence:

"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself, not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch."

This comment was made at the Amputee Care Center of Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas on January 1st, 2006. You may need to read that last bit again and realise with utter horror that President Bush, in a clumsy attempt at an ice-breaker, was comparing his injuries caused by being an asshat to men and woman who have lost limbs due to a war he so desperately wanted to fight.

Ouch.

Video of the speech is here, you may have to watch through your fingers and what is it with all those massive pauses between words?

Here is a picture of Bush having better times with a Cedar tree and clearly kicking it's ass:

And here is a picture of soldier Robert Jackson with no legs:

Friday, 20 January 2006

Immediate Theatre and "The Touch of Death"

Picture the scene.

You are doing some immediate theatre (ie: fast, fun, accurate, edgy and hard hitting) and some person stands up from the audience and says that this theatre is not very immediate at all.

You go over to the said spectator and pepper spray the bastard in the face and stand over his squirming body and scream:

IS THAT IMMEDIATE ENOUGH FOR YOU, YOU BIG SHIT?

Forgive me.

I am suffering from post-audition stress syndrome. I've had quite a few auditions this week and I have another on Sunday coming up, you start getting vaguely hysterical after a while.

It's a funny business auditioning because you build up a pseudo camaraderie with your fellow auditionees; even though they are actually your opponents in the war for work.

What was funny today was that the director of the show utilised 'The Touch of Death' technique, to let people know they weren't suitable for the play. She'd lean over to them, place a hand on their shoulder and say: "Sorry, you're not quite right". Her hand did brush my leg but I'm trained in ju-ju magic to resist "The Touch of Death".

If in doubt, use voodoo.

Wednesday, 18 January 2006

I Wonder What Laws Have Been Broken Today, To Make Me Feel Safer?

Man, I've spent far too much time of late arguing with right-wing maniacs who think they are Socrates on the internet; it's exhausting but at least you can develop your thoughts in depth.

Polanco, over at her blog, has been documenting the key elements of fascism and drawing some comparisons with the current US government and I found some interesting quotes I'd like to share with you. First up is top Nazi Herman Goering:

"Of course people don't want war...But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

Are we that easy? Are we that transparent? Of course we are! What about when one of Abraham Lincoln's mates suggested the US invade Mexico in a pre-emptive strike in 1848? His response:

"Allow the President to invade a nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose...and you allow him to make war at pleasure...How could you stop him? You may say to him, "I see no probability of the British invading us" but he will say to you "be silent; I see it, if you don't".

And you must all know Theodore Roosevelt's badass quote:

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

Noam Chomsky, a true legend of words that leave the US administration reaching for their vital organs as the sentences pierce them, laid this fact on:

"Democracy in the US rhetoric refers to a system of governance in which elite elements based in the business community control the state by virtue of their dominance of the private society, while the population observes quietly."

I've stumbled upon some nice piece bits and pieces on the web last few days, such as the new Get Your War On (top quote: 'Why did twice as many American soldiers die in Afghanistan in 2005 than 2004?'), Emmanuel.K.Bensah II laying some facts down on US sponsored assassinations of left-wing leaders and one of the funniest web pages I've seen in a long time.

Monday, 16 January 2006

Spying is in Fashion

It's catching. Like a virus. The spying bug is traveling across the Atlantic. Inspired by Bush and his spying efforts, Blair has decided to try and spy on his own MPs.

Please read that again, a world leader wants to spy on his elected representatives. I feel like I'm living in some pissy backwater with a mad dictator whose second in command is a fat wolf.

This is trying to break the back of an agreement that has stood for 40 years and some how Blair is trying to justify that, in the "current climate of terror" (Trademark. All Rights Reserved), he needs to have powers to spy on MPs. Just in case they are Arabs of something...

And on that bombshell I'm going to learn a speech for an audition. Thanks again to Tim for the facts.

Sunday, 15 January 2006

Talking to Terrorists


I'm depressed. I need a job. Waiting to hear from the man to see if I got an acting job is getting a drag. I need to get out there man.

Had to sit through a mediocre play yesterday, that depressed me, having just finished writing a play that's far better and that I'm currently selling. There is some interest but nothing concrete, I need concrete.

Marie bought us some plays to read, I'm reading one right now that is depressing me further, not because it is crap but because it is so full of painful facts. It's called Talking to Terrorists and it is full of reminders of awful things that have been done and are still being done in our names.

Like Uzbekistan, the US/UK propping up of a terrible regime that tortures and commits acts of state violence with elements of ethnic and religious bigotry and all for the war on terror as our governments accepts information based on torture to fulfill its false policies. Utter complicite in another regimes sub-human behaviour.

Or the Israeli army who the US army seem to have stolen a march on by copying their utterly useless policy of destroying the 'enemy' rather than talking to it and in doing so creating a new enemy, stronger, more vengeful and more determined to use violence as a means to an end. And so the cycle continues...Like the final words of the play, verbatim text from a Bethlehem Schoolgirl:

"When I first saw the Twin Towers on the television, I felt sorry. But now I feel happy that they died. It's their turn to suffer. I could see many thousands of them die. I wouldn't feel a thing."

Is it a surprise that the part of Iraq that UK troops are in charge of is more peaceful than US held parts? Of course not, we have a military who understands they true nature of conflict, of how wars are conducted and how they are to won in the long term; rather than 'Shock and Awe' short-term bullshit.

The point is that you have to talk to the terrorists eventually, at some point after all the pointless violent posturing and drawing lines in the sand and dead children, you have to sit at a table and figure it out.

Now I'm angry and depressed.

Friday, 13 January 2006

Canadian Theatre


This is Trevor White. He is many things:
  1. He is Canadian
  2. A very good actor
  3. His company Suspect Package are putting on a show called House in London town very soon.
Why am I telling you this? Well, I'd like to think some of you will maybe go see it and some of my Canadian readers may also feel a swell of pride at seeing one of theirs doing so bloody well and maybe hop over to London to see the show, or perhaps tell all their UK based Canadian pals to go see it.

You'll be glad to know Trevor also has a blog, it is here and please visit often to keep tabs on how they're getting along. Speaking of new blogs, I'm glad to annouce the return of MORONSDONTKNOWFROMNEWS which is as funny as it is irreverent. I've also stumbled upon an excellent Henry Rollins blog, that archives all of his exceptional radio shows, so you'll find that linked too.

Enough plugging for I am spent.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

I Don't Want Perfect


I was on my way to the tube today to pop into Loughton to do a bit of business when I was stopped by an old lady who said she was sorry to bother me and that she wasn't selling anything. Turned out she was lying. Twice.

So I stopped, I wasn't in a rush and she asked me if any political party really fit the bill in terms of looking after humans and the planet. She couldn't have asked a worse person but before I unleashed all kinds of heavy politics on her old ass I enquired if she meant any party that currently existed or if I could cherry pick a fantasy political party.

She didn't answer. She just stared deep into my eyes and said that humans make mistakes, they humans are imperfect and that we can't rule the world and that only Jesus can.

I nearly hit her but instead I gave her a withering glance and made it quite clear that...
  1. I'm not religious
  2. Making mistakes is good, we learn from them
  3. I love imperfection, imperfection is what makes life so sweet
  4. God isn't perfect

It was the turn of the nice old lady to look at me with disgust and retort: "If you'd seen some of the imperfect people I have seen you wouldn't say that."

"Do you mean disabled people?" I asked.

"Yes, they're all imperfect and they're all so unhappy!"

She wandered off at this point to hassle some other un-suspecting citizen and no doubt shout at a wheelchair user or the spastic kid.

Who needs perfection? Life would be so dull. Unless it's fried chicken, then it has to be perfect...

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

My First Goatse


As you all know, Goatse is possibly the most famous image on the entire world wide web, if you are lucky enough never to have seen it then I'll explain...

Basically, it's a picture of a man using both hands to open up his anus to a massive diameter, so you see deep into his ass and guts. It is disgusting and vomit inducing, unless you like gaping assholes, in which case go watch Bill O'Reilly. Wikipedia has a lovely entry on Goatse here, which will give you all the facts and a fascinating article on shock sites here.

But this collection of images at Flickr documents a whole bunch of people's 'First Goatse' moment as they stare in horror at the image on a laptop.

brilliant!

(and thanks to Tim for the link)

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Immigration (Finger Print Blues)


One of my favourite bits of New York is Ellis Island, I find it both inspiring and moving and I like the buzz about the place as children and adults trace their history. Amazing. Reminds me of what makes America the kind of place it is.

There's a section in the museum dedicated to moments in US history of anti-immigration feeling, a man was reading out a description of some of the darker moments to his partially sighted wife and when he finished he looked at the guy next to him and said: "That could be now, it's coming round again, how quick we forget."

Immigration is always a hot debate, the UK is only just relaxing from a good few years of frankly racist hot air about the perils of 'letting them in'. Xenophobia is never far from the surface in discussions about immigration and even bigger denials of racism, no likes to be a bigot but hey, they come over here and steal our jobs right? Right?

Inspired by Ellis Island I decided to look into immigration in the US and thanks to the excellent US Citizenship and Immigration Services I got some interesting facts. Unfortunately all the latest data is 2004 but it'll do and before I go on can I remind you that the population of the US is 295 million. Thanks.

Total immigration into the US in 2004 was just under 1 million people at 946,142 with the highest amount ever (1.8 million) coming in 1991. The lowest ever it seems was 1976 for some reason, with only 103,677 people deciding to try their luck in America. If anyone knows why or has some idea please share.

What amazed me is that only 75,000 of that 946,142 were refugees/asylum seekers, in other words the rest were economic migrants coming to see if the streets were paved with gold (more on that later). Indeed the most refugees ever admitted was in 92, when 120,000 were let in.

How many of those are willing to go through the 3-5 year naturalisation program? 537,151 became naturalised US citizens in 2004 with the peak being 1 million in 1996 and guess which two States most of them live in? California just pips New York.

I know what you're all thinking, what about all the ones that don't get in? These are split into different groups for some reason but the first group is the number of illegal aliens located (ie: logged but not ejected) and in 2004 that was 1.2 million (the peak being 2000 with 1.8 million) but that doesn't include those that are logged by the Border Patrols, this figure is 1.1 million (giving a total of 2.3 million illegal aliens) but these are ejected straight away. Guess how many of the 1.2 million located illegal aliens were expelled? 1.2 million.

What I'm trying to say is, consider the population of the US, consider the amount of people trying to get in and how many get through (and I'm sure many illegal aliens avoid being located) and see if that makes an immigration problem.

Here's what I think, most nations at some time start to blame immigrants for the social and economic ills of their failed policies, because that person is at the bottom of the pile, they are the easy target; the whipping boy but it's far harder to point the finger at those in power, those that set the economic parameters.

I was curious about how many US citizens emigrated every year to other countries and that info is far harder to come by, the estimate stands at 48,000 people a year leave America for good, for pastures new. The most popular destination? Europe and Canada.

As for streets paved with gold...

"But when they got here, they discovered three important things: First, the streets weren't paved in gold; second, they weren't paved at all; and third, they were expected to pave them!"

Monday, 9 January 2006

DIE DICK CHENEY DIE!

Well, if Ariel Sharon is going to deny me, then my attention must turn to Dick Cheney (pictured above with an erection) who was admitted to hospital with shortness of breath, no doubt due to the massive cracks appearing in the evil edifice he is part of.

Speaking of cracks appearing in the evil edifice, The Guardian have done a good piece on the sheer volume of political lobbying that goes on in Washington, it's opening paragraph is eye opening to say the least:

"America's monstrous system of commercial political lobbying has long needed to be cut down to size. In Washington, more than 35,000 professional lobbyists now spend at least $5bn every year trying to influence the votes of members of the US Congress. It is a system that the former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has said makes Washington the most corrupt capital in the world."

Speaking of corruption, here is Tom DeLay's resignation letter and a picture of him with Bush.


And can someone please tell me why, last Friday, President Bush decided to flash a Texas football sign at the Economic Club of Chicago, a sign that also has satanic and heavy metal connotations?


Thanks.

Saturday, 7 January 2006

He's Doing it to Spite Me


Well, Sharon is holding in there but naturally moves are being made to line up a successor, his stand in Ehud Olmert is just that and I doubt very much whether he'll take over. Word on the street is that Shimon Peres is being lined up as the senior figurehead to guide Israel through a period of re-orientation; he is an ex-Prime Minister and a well respected figure in Israeli politics.

My money is on Benjamin Netanyahu though, he is further to the right than even 'The Bulldozer' and has been making the kind of right-wing noise that the conservatives lap up. We shall see.

One thing is clear, the situation in the Middle East isn't going to get better quickly, a lot of the Jewish media seems to think that Sharon's death will lead to more attacks by Palestinians (the logic being his extreme political acts of cruelty frightened them into servitude) whilst the Palestinians wait to see if some of the reforms (I call them reforms, even though it makes me gag but that's how bad the human rights situation in Israel has got) that Sharon was pushing through will be rescinded.

Found a few blog things that I want to share with you because they are stimulating bits of writing, Cheeks has some interesting words on organised religion, the Col.Dr lays down a moving post on the mining tragedy in the US and on a lighter note, the caption competition Jessica won has a new picture.

Friday, 6 January 2006

DIE ARIEL SHARON DIE!

In the crazy whirl of my blogging about utterly random horseshit for my own self-gratification, I forgot to mention that before Christmas I got a job teaching acting. It comes in two parts, the first is teaching 10-18 year olds who are with a children's talent agent and then a group of professional actors who are with the adult branch of that agent.

I've not started with the grown-ups yet (I'm quite excited to be truthful, I've directed adult pros before but never really taught them), that comes at the end of the month but I've started with the kids already and there is something I love about working with young talent, to be a part of someone's development at an early stage, passing on tools to further their own careers.

As you may have seen from the title, I'm not going to bask in the joys of teaching for the entirety of this post because I'm an angry bastard. Instead I'm going to ask you to pray with me that the helldogs will come and take Ariel Sharon away from this earth and into the spinning pain pit made from Arab children's flesh, where he will be punished for all the terrible things he's done on this earth.

Marie pulled me up short a few days back when I was on an anti-Ariel Sharon rant, she said: "He's someone's dad". It stopped me in my tracks for a few beats, maybe it is that simple I thought but then I remembered that Marie is a Christian and that Ariel Sharon is a war criminal as well as a father.

Thursday, 5 January 2006

The Spastic Kid

You know the ones. The ones who get their heads stuck in chairs because they were curious, or drive out in front of cars in their 'magic wagons'...

or arm themselves with weapons and go on killing sprees, destroying none spastics... Well sometimes they are blessed with special mutant gifts from baby Jesus and this one spastic kid I know has the amazing skill of being able to give a a pet dog an amazingly apt name within seconds of viewing it. Sorta like Rain Man but without the patronising performances and crass exploitation of disabled people for fiscal gain...but hey, if you play a spaz you get an Oscar. People love seeing God's special children on the big screen don't they?

On an utterly unconnected theme I discovered a very high resolution version of Zapruder film of the assassination of JFK, it is here and it made me cry and feel very fucking sad because it looks like a movie and that would mean it was all fake and the bit where Jackie tries to put the bits of her husbands head back in breaks my heart.

Where was Superman to come and save him?

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

Polk Salad Annie


If some of ya'll never been down South too much...I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this, so that you'll understand what I'm talking about. Down there we have a plant, that grows out in the woods and the fields, looks somethin' like a turnip green. Everybody calls it Poke salad. Poke salad. Used to know a girl that lived down there and she'd go out in the evenings and pick a mess of it...Carry it home and cook it for supper, 'cause that's about all they had to eat, But they did all right.

Down in Louisiana
Where the alligators grow so mean
There lived a girl that I swear to the world
Made the alligators look tame
Poke salad Annie, poke salad Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her mama was working on the chain-gang (A mean, vicious woman)
Everyday 'fore supper time
She'd go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess o' polk salad
And carry it home in a tote sack
Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang (a wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman, Lord have mercy. Pick a mess of it)
Her daddy was lazy and no count
Claimed he had a bad back
All her brothers were fit for
Was stealin' watermelons out of my truck patch
Poke salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her mama was a working' on the chain gang (Sock a little polk salad to me, you know I need a mess of it)

Monday, 2 January 2006

A Late Christmas Story

No, not the one about Christ but the one about my Grandma.

Marie and I got my Grandmother Trixie some strawberry and champagne jam with a fancy ceramic jam pot and spoon from the UK retailing legend that is Marks & Spencers.

Upon opening her gift she exclaimed how wonderful it was and that she would take it with her. When we asked where she would be taking it to (foolishly presuming she meant home), she told us that she would be taking it to heaven when she went.

Bless my Grandma and bless all old people, who when they reach a certain age constantly talk about death as if it is their best friend, rather than a dog with a beak that hovers over them until they are are stricken by terminal illness.

And as if they let jam into heaven...