Sunday, 28 December 2008

Uber Images of 2008 (Happy New Year)

Stolen from here via here. For maximum enjoyment click on the picture to make it large...





















HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

And in Berlin...(Part II)

Eva-Jane and I will be off to Berlin on the 29th December, to spend new year in my homeland and to get my first taste of the place one-half of my family called home for many years.

Although I'm very excited to be going, I'm also rather embarrassed that it's taken this long to get round to exploring my German roots, that I am so very proud of. The Hoffmann part of my double-barrelled surname comes from my mum's side, the German side and Berlin was my Grandfather's home town, both pre and post World War II.

I can't wait to explore, to discover, to absorb the history and to walk the same streets Grandpa did.

The post title is a redux of a post I wrote back in March 2005 on this very blog, regarding Horst Hoffmann passing away, the words stolen from his son, my uncle Peter, who said them with a sort of whistful sense of nostalgia that I found very moving and inspiring.

I'm coming home.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

I Told You So...(Merry Christmas)

As we approach the end of 2008, I'm getting all reflective and I was reading through some old blog posts and I found this one from Sunday 12th November 2006. (That's right, two freaking years ago bitches!)

It's called "America's First Black President?" and in a nutshell, I make the case for Obama winning in 2008...which he did. Obviously. How prescient was I? My favourite bit of seeing into the future is:
"More importantly, 2008 is the right time for him to strike: the GOP by then will be further weakened, the nation fishing around for dynamic change; there will be no incumbent and no vice-President to deal with. In short, there is a golden opportunity for the Barack Obama to become the first black President. Here’s hoping…"
Reading the comments is fun, from a fear that the colour of his skin is too much of an issue, to sad digs at how black people can't be in charge of anything.

So in smug celebration of my greatness, here is an Obama themed photo montage for ya'll...




Before I go and smother myself in my own smugness, a few things caught my eye to ponder on over the Christmas period, the deteriorating situation in Guinea for one and the call for help from the government there, which I fear will fall on deaf ears as there is no oil...

Then there is a nasty reminder of what things could be like for us bloggers in the West, with news that Vietnam is cracking down on bloggers and banning them from posting things that undermine national security, incite violence or disclose state secrets. Oh and they must be written in clean and wholesome language...I'd be fucked then...

Spare a thought also at this time of the year for the 31.5 million Americans on food stamps, $24 per week per person it hard to swallow at the best at times but even more so, as Sadhbh Walshe points out, when the US government is bailing out private enterprise left, right and centre.

And finally, I know what I'll be watching on TV tomorrow (aside from my complete collection of The West Wing): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is delivering an alternative Christmas message on Channel 4, which is brilliant, offensive and bizarre, all at the same time.

Cool.

Merry Christmas to all my readers, friends and loved ones; I'll even extend season's greetings to all the blog asshats that bug the shit out of me.


Peace.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Pope and the Gay Threat

It's not really news when the Pope behaves like a bigoted, backwards thinking, homophobic fuck.

He, after all, represents a religion that is mindful of its role as the world's protector against the gay threat, indeed, the Catholic Church's obsession with homosexuals is matched only by it's ability to hire paedophiles to molest children under it's care.

I do have to be careful here, because I personally think that the whole Roman Catholic sex abuse thing is/was a conspiracy to implant the idea that homosexuality is nothing but another word for being a paedophile; a nuanced reading of which can be seen in pretty much every UK tabloid newspaper, written mostly by people with no idea what a paedophile is, or the difference between pederasty, nepiophilia, hebephilia and ephebophilia.

But I digress...

If you didn't know already, the Pope has just come out, so to speak and said that humanity needs saving from homosexual and transsexual behaviour, saving from the gay threat.

And I know that, sadly, in one sense this is a non-story because, I suppose, we should be grateful that the Catholic Church doesn't set fire to homosexuals and transsexuals anymore or go round trying to purge them of their sin and just rambles from the corner of the room about gay threats and other such nonsense.

But this is yet further proof of the utterly anti-human nature of religion. That homosexuality, something common in all animals and all parts of nature, can somehow be unnatural, wrong and against this idiot we call a god.

If you want further insight into this bizarre and offensive mindset, I suggest you read this blog post here, the purpose of which is to outline definitively that the bible is against homosexuality (like, no shit Sherlock, I thought god loved fags). I'm not sure why it was necessary, or what good can come of it but to better know your enemy is to better destroy them.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Deletion of my MySpace: "This is For Eva-Jane"

Yesterday I got rid of my MySpace, I was tired of the spam, didn't use it and I wanted to streamline my online presence (and no, I'm not getting a fucking Facebook).

But it was weird, because I felt a wee pang of sadness when I did so, because of what it symbolised.

You see, I only got a MySpaz because of Eva-Jane, it was a device to help with our courting, a tool to bring us closer together, a way of communicating when communicating was hard; it existed purely and honestly just for her, my love.

So much so that the tag line always remained the same: "This is for Eva-Jane". And the meaning of that changed as our relationship changed, until, we didn't need MySpace anymore because we have each other: heart, mind, body and soul.

On another positive note, the good news is that British troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by July 2009, which is a wonderful step, not only for Iraq but for our soldiers, who have given so much in the establishment of a stable Iraq; let's just hope it can stay that way...

18th December 2008 must be good news day, because a UN Tribunal has jailed the Rwanda genocide mastermind for life, the fuck goes by the name of Theoneste Bagosora and it may have taken a while to get him but at last, it is done.

On a less positive note, it seems that the shoe throwing nonsense has paralysed the Iraqi Parliament nearly as much as its paralysed the web; which bodes well for when they have to deal with proper issues and actual political matters.

I'll sign off with Barney the dog's final Christmas video from the White House, watching it is like having your shame gland stabbed and seeing the shame leak from you but Bush gives a supreme performance, which bodes well for his next career as an after-dinner speaker at GOP fundraisers.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Twat Fatigue

One thing I didn't miss when I stopped blogging was having to deal with twats, that and having pointless arguments that have no chance of changing anyone's mind and just take up space and leave you with a feeling that life is too short and there are more important things going on.

Currently, I'm dealing with one twat in a debate which has descended into me linking to silly pictures because quite frankly, that has equal value to two people bellowing at each other in a small room. The 'debate' has plumbed new depths of human depravity including using the Holocaust as a bargaining chip, wild generalisations about Europeans being to blame for everything (that and leftist polices) and me saying that the twat rapes ovens and sticks his pudgy cock into Pop Tarts.

I've tried pointing out that the thread is about the atrocity in Mumbai that claimed some 173 lives and left 308 injured and perhaps we should show some dignity and respect but alas, that was not to be, so instead we piss on our own trousers.

Then there is this racist twat, who is just running his mouth off like an attention grabbing special needs kid, because his dad never told him he loved him and maybe his mum fingered him or something like that. Either way, the person in question is a subhuman sack of ballbags.

And to top it off, everywhere I go in the blogosphere and even proper websites (check out this twat's list of ways to insult Bush around the world), I find much glee and support for the shoe throwing twat, as if that whatever Bush has done means that it's okay for someone, anyone, to assault him.

Where does the line get drawn? What if the shoe had been a brick? What if the brick was perhaps a bottle or a knife, what if the guy had a gun and got a shot off? Is that too much? When did it become too much, what would deserve being shot or bottled?

The point is, the act was wrong, best to draw the line there, rather than excusing fucking daft behaviour from adults who should know better.

I swear, some of ya'll need my foot in your ass to wake you up from your bullshit.

Peace.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Bush Nearly Hit By Shoes, Big Fucking Deal

Yesterday, President George Bush was nearly hit by two shoes and the second it happened, I thought, that's going to be all over the interwebs.

Here I am, blogging about the damn thing but you know what, I think it stinks. First off, what if they'd hit, that would've hurt and that is no way to behave around a President or any world leader, no matter what they've done; you can't go around fucking assaulting them with shoes or Pop Tarts or whatever weaponry you have to hand.

I watch the footage of the event and I actually feel sorry for Bush and then I get impressed by the sheer speed of his reactions but it's weird, he dodges the first one like a pro: swift, fluid and focused on the object right up until the last minute...kinda reminds me of a batsman in cricket ducking out of the way of a bit of 'chin music' but then the second shoe, he kinda deflects it with the support of Nouri Maliki who shows good wingman skills.

The shoe throwing dick-wad wanted his moment of fame, his moment of name calling and violence and that seems kind of appropriate, as he represents a country that is full of name calling and violence; as murderous squabbles between Shite and Sunni leads to dead civilians and dead troops and makes Iraqi people and Iraqi society frankly look like they haven't a shitting idea what they're going to do with their own country.

Friday, 12 December 2008

There's a Goblin in the Room

I catch a

Scurried movement from the

Corner of my eye

It has a laughing quality

A beautiful sweetness

A rare excitement

A sense of play I'd sell

My

Soul

For

Never has the bit between our

Kitchen

And

Bathroom

Been so funny

And I get a premonition of what our children will be like

(Don't worry baby, they'll be as wonderful, tall and glorious as you are)

I love you Eva-Jane.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Meeting Up With Mohamed

Last night I had one of the best times I've had in a long time, a meeting of minds, a meeting of kindred spirits; it was if, separated by different cultures, continents and languages, we still managed to share pretty much the same, universal, human experience.

I met up with Mohamed, a fellow blogger, we've been fans and readers of each other's work for years, indeed, Mohamed pointed out that it is one of his longest 'Internet relationships' so to speak and I am always grateful for his passionate, intelligent and insightful commentary. Also, often, he acts as a much needed voice to counterbalance my fervent anti-religious tone, or as Mohamed put it last night: "my fundamental atheism".

The night started well when I texted Mohamed about how I would know it was him when we met at the station, he replied: "I'll be the Islamist in a turban."

We shared a few pints of ale, eat average English pub grub and aside from putting the world to rights, we felt compelled to share our personal histories and stories, much of which overlapped and we marvelled at our shared experiences, mine in Nottingham and his in Cairo.

The world felt truly small, the lines we divide ourselves with utterly ridiculous and I gained an insight into the idea of a humanity without boundaries.

So thank you Mohamed, an honour and a privilege to meet with you (and I swear that the man who came up to me to tell me how good I was in Zero was not a plant), I hope we get to do so again and perhaps one day, you can show me around Cairo. And for you my comrade, a video of George Bush being humiliated; as none of the soldiers want to stand next to him...

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

UK Censors Wikipedia: Part of me Dies

This is a fucking disgrace.

The Internet Watch Foundation (an unaccountable UK body that I am utterly ashamed of because it is a tool for censorship the like of which I'd never thought I'd see) has decided that the above image, the frankly terrible cover of a quite good album called "Virgin Killer" (if you live in the UK you won't be able to see that link as it is blocked) by German rockers Scorpions (you may recall their seminal soft-rock hit, "Wind of Change" and the fact that the lead singer, Klaus Meine, wears a daft hat) that has been out since 1976, is child pornography.

*cough*

Feel free to read that again.

The Internet Watch Foundation then applied pressure to various UK ISPs to block the page on Wikipedia, so that UK based web users can't see it. This is clearly utter rubbish, pointless censorship at its worst. Not only is the image and album some 32 years old and it's existence has not yet caused a massive outbreak in paedophiles or anyone feeling strong enough to censor it but the image is available through a massive range of Internet sources.

What next? We ban all of those? Ban this blog for showing the picture?

Utter madness.

Another reason this is an offensive farce, is that if you are based in the UK and want to access the page, Wikipedia have enabled a secure connection just here.

Also, my mind is drawn to what next? Perhaps Renoir's "Young Girl Bathing" is next...

Or Michael Fu's "Angelic Nude Girl"...

Or perhaps even Egon Schiele's (an artist who depicted many children naked in an erotic way) "Nude With Coloured Cloth"...

I can't stand censorship.

It takes the empowerment of decision making away from the citizen, it is as if they can't be trusted to make the right decision. It also begins a slippery descent into making art of any sort forbidden, controlled, overseen by unaccountable arbiter's of taste and we have progressed beyond this kind of backward thinking.

I hope that James Wales, founder of Wikipedia, does what this news story moots and takes The Internet Watch Foundation to court.

He certainly has my full support.

UPDATE: Hurrah! IWF has done the right thing and backed down, realising that it made an ass of itself. A small victory of sorts...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Zero: Wicked Night at the Karaoke

Just got my hands on the following excellent images that capture the wonderful madness of our night out on the 28th November 2008, to celebrate the end of Zero.

Before you peruse them, I must say that Karaoke is more fun than I ever thought it would be and we had such a good time that it all got a little bit emotional; as we bonded together, singing at the top of our voices (fuck the microphone), humans joined in song and having a right bloody laugh.

I think the pictures capture the feel of that awesome night...

Me, crooning like a skinhead Sinatra although I think it's to a Rolling Stones song...

Adeel , pissed, living the dream and making the sign of the devil

Me again, lost in music, no turning back

Damian, with Adeel and Jo as supporting groovers

One of my favourites as Kate and Stephen look like cute rodents having a boogie

My second favourite as you can nearly see the sounds moving through us like wine...

Damian and Kate are stunned by my use of the mic as pointing stick, slight Bruce Forsyth feel

Men embracing, Kate looks left out but she got some man cuddles just after this pic was taken

Damian, deep within the soundscape, goes to another place in his mind and that place is made of funk

Aiden sits and laughs, while Nat, Adeel and Kate use two microphones to convey twice the feeling

Kate is so happy in this photo as she has just discovered they have all of Take That's back catalogue

Adeel, overwhelemed not only by Aiden's shirt but also the sheer brilliance of the evening, salutes us all the only way he knows how