Sunday, 29 June 2008

Honky Bush Shoots Hoops


The uber-cracker is shooting hoops with some Irish kids on his lame-duck tour of Europe and as always, provided the waiting world with more opportunities to take pictures of him looking like an asshat.

I'm kinda gonna' miss the guy when he goes...


Enjoy the images of whitey playing B-Ball with his homies...

Friday, 27 June 2008

The Way of Acting

As both a teacher and a student of acting, I spend a great deal of my time immersed in various books on performance technique, hoping to expand my knowledge to not only pass on these essential ideas to others but to also make sure I draw upon the widest range of skills and approaches for my own career.

I want to be the best that I can be.

I’ve just finished Tadashi Suzuki’s “The Way of Acting”, which is more of a philosophical text than a practical guide to his method and because of this contains some real insights.

For example, Suzuki writes about the only time he ever acted in one of his own shows (to save money, which is a common reason for unsuited people to cast themselves in their work) and his performance went down badly with the audience: “The creator of the method will, more than anyone else, undercut it in practice…I can preach my dreams precisely because I am incapable of carrying them out myself. I would be a rare performer indeed if I myself could bring my ideas to life.”

Which is so true, sometimes it is best to be on the outside looking in rather than being inside; greater things can be achieved by being the outside eye rather than building everything around yourself, no matter how good you think you are.

Suzuki speaks at length about how bad modern theatre spaces are for both audiences and performers; I couldn’t agree more, as Suzuki says: “A multi-purpose hall is really a hall with no purpose”. We live in a time where arts spaces have to be multi-faceted to get the required funding but by becoming multi-faceted they stop being an arts space and merely a place where a whole variety of art events can be ‘accommodated’. The UK is full of arts centres that proudly boast of they multi-purposeness, that in reality should be ashamed of their multi-purposeless. It’s as if they are justifying their existence by their ill-worn versatility.

The best section however, is concerning the Japanese equivalent of the British acting term ‘Ham’ which is daikon, or a large radish. Whereas a ham is an actor who is over the top, extreme and full of melodrama, a radish is an actor who has no character, who leaves no mark on you (as the daikon is very bland and seemingly impossible to cook badly) and I hope that the idea of ‘a radish actor’ will spread like wildfire around the UK wherever it is seen.

And unfortunately, it will be seen…

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Ticking Time Bomb Scenario

If you're not familiar with the concept of the ticking time bomb scenario than quite simply it's a justification for torture:
I know what you're thinking, why the need to justify torture? Surely any human would turn their back on such tactics. But that's the time we live in, so desperate are we to protect our 'freedoms' (read:ourselves) and strike pre-emptively that we need to come up with a method to our madness.

The logic being that if you had a terrorist who knew the whereabouts of a deadly, killing device and you had five minutes to find out where it was to save the world, that torture would be perfectly acceptable. This is then used as a thin edge of the wedge to make the point that in some cases, torture is justified.

It's like a dot-to-dot but a really nasty one, perhaps the finished picture is the crushing of a child's genitals to extract the needed info.

All's fair right?

I stumbled upon this twisted justification as it is the driving concept behind a new play I'm starring in, which I'll tell you all about later but it's lead me to go into further depth on 'torture theories' and the whole science behind the use of torture.

I can't believe these are the times we live in.

Would you torture?

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Heinz Homophobia

Oh dear.

Tolerance and reason takes another backward step towards oblivion in the UK.

An advert by Heinz for mayonnaise shows two men kissing, which naturally has led to nearly 200 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (not many in the big scheme of things I know but in TV land, this is allegedly a lot and makes it the most ‘upsetting’ commercial of 2008). Now when I say kissing it’s more of an ‘off to work peck’ and the distressed complainers have said things like “offensive” and “inappropriate to see two men kissing”.

These are the times we still live in?

People getting all distressed by two men kissing, how offensive is that opinion? I’d bet it’s all repressed homosexuals and religious types (which could also pass for repressed homosexuals) calling in and getting all hot under the collar.

I forgot to mention the nasty mooted idea that children could see it and that leaves parents with awkward questions to answer, along with where do babies come from and why are we here. Is it me or can you not just say to children that sometimes, men kiss men and women kiss women and that’s all part of life?

Clearly not…

Monday, 23 June 2008

Coast to Coast is Over, Here Are The Highlights...

Back in May 2006 me and Mark Whiteley walked across Britain with no money, no food and no where to stay; with only a show called The Big Adventure as our currency.

It was one of the best things I've ever done in my life.

Then we made a show of it called Coast to Coast which we've been touring since August 2007.

This month marked the end of the tour and as a homage to our amazing adventure, Mark knocked up a greatest hits from the show. Here it is, enjoy and don't tell anyone that actually, I really quite miss it...

Friday, 20 June 2008

An Atheism Meme

Got this meme from the excellent Ministry of Truth and as it tied in with my thinking at the mo and also wasn't a forced meme, I thought I'd do it. If anyone wants to do the same, please do and leave me a comment so I know to check it out. Here goes...

Q1. How would you define ‘atheism’?

Not believing in any of the numerous gods out there and challenging religious thinking. Also a stance against anything supernatural or without a basis in evidence based practice and reason.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?

No, lucky enough to have a Dad that believes in nothing and a Mum who is only a Christian (in the loosest sense) in emergencies and for comfort, however, as it was fashionable in the 80's to get your kids Christened, I was, at the age of 12. I felt very daft having a priest put his wet fingers on my head. This lead to a brief phase reading the bible and looking to Jesus for answers, needless to say he gave none.

Q3. How would you describe ‘Intelligent Design’, using only one word?


Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?

The continued advances in evolution and the insights gained into the development of humankind and our fellow animals is pretty fascinating but I suppose all the advances in physics and the knowledge around the beginning of time and the rules that govern the greater universe. Big questions are very exciting, things that challenge the mind on the bizarreness of time and space.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the ‘atheist community’, what would it be and why?

Well the fact there isn't an atheist community is a bit of a problem, so I'd change that and develop a legion of people who base their lives on reason and evidence and the joy of the wonderful world we've been blessed with, with a remit to continue investigating the world and our environs

It'd be nice if the atheist community was more vocal in its challenges to what is taken as a given with regards to the infection of religion in our cultures and the damage it causes.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said ‘I’m joining the clergy’, what would be your first response?

Any child of mine is free to make whatever choices they want, so I would accept it and love them all the same but always remind them that I take an opposite stance to them. I'm hoping that I will raise my child in an environment where religion or not, is a free choice and I will furnish them with all the facts and information so they can make up their own mind but I will certainly not bring religion into the home or use it as a cheap out for all the tough questions they may ask.

Q7. What’s your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

I find arguments with theistic people tedious and annoying because eventually they pull the faith card (ie: we need no evidence, we have a feeling) and tell me to prove there is no god. When I say there is no need to prove it because there is no evidence to prove it in the first place, they think I'm ducking the questions.

It's all very frustrating because they eventually don't take on the basic principles of reasoned, evidence based debate, they just go off on one. One of my favourites however, is to ask them how old the earth is and if they believe that women should be locked away whilst on their period, this usually shuts them up or gets them bogged down in their unique 'interpretation' of the bible/religious book they believe in.

Q8. What’s your most ‘controversial’ (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

I don't know if it is controversial really but I no longer have a liberal tolerance to backward thinking religious values and am a lot more hard line in my feelings regarding religion being something that holds humanity back.

Q9. Of the ‘Four Horsemen’ (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

Can't pick, they all connect to me in different ways, although Harris's stuff about meditation and whatnot confused me. So Dawkins I suppose as Hitchens can be a bit of a prick.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

The Pope, then the rest would hopefully follow.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

United Airlines Flight 93 Was God’s Fault

I’ve just finished reading Richard Dawkins “A Devil’s Chaplin”, which I can’t recommend to you enough and one of the chapters really managed to encapsulate the terrible indoctrinated delusion that is religion.

There are quite a few people out there who believe that many of the passengers on the United Airlines Flight 93 were put on that plane by god to prevent it destroying it’s intended target. You may have to read that statement again to fully take on board the terrible, ludicrously tragic logic of it all.

If you accept the basic premise of that, you could argue why didn’t god just kill the hijackers with terrible diseases or stop them being born in the first place and why didn’t god care about the people at the World Trade Centre, why is the White House so special?

You could also argue it was god that killed all those people in the first place, as after all, the hijackers were doing it for him and a place in his holy kingdom.

Of course, accepting that kind of logic is the first step to madness but unfortunately we live in a world dominated by this kind of retarded religious thinking and religious dogma and you do have to wonder if there is no disaster terrible enough to shake the faith of these people? Nothing seems to dent God’s goodness and power, no matter how relentlessly terrible the events are that his followers carry out and are allowed to happen either in his name or not. What does it take for people to consider that he might not be there at all and that we’ll have to grow up and cope with being in the world on our own?

After all, you either believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent God who controls everything or you believe that humankind has free will; in which case God can’t be omnipotent and omnipresent.

All of this wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have an incredibly religious superpower in the United States that believes that Christ will return to earth in the act of Revelation, squaring up against the Bronze Age backwardness of Islam and the most religious people on Earth.

Both sides believe that God will grant them sole victory and both sides are utterly deluded, the destruction and loss of life they’ll cause (and have already caused) is one of the great tragedies of human existence, when will we stop deluding ourselves and make the next evolutionary leap to reasoned thought?

I'm ready, are you?

Let's roll...

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

How Can a Ballpoint Pen Fight With a Gun?

“We shed a lot of blood for this country…We are not going to give up our country for a mere X on a ballot. How can a ballpoint pen fight with a gun?"

Robert Mugabe

Mad Bob is currently dictatorship at it’s worst.

Not only has he ignored the results of the March elections to fudge a Presidential run-off (the results haven’t even been released yet because he lost the bloody thing), he’s now in the process of stripping away the last vestiges of democracy in Zimbabwe. Scratch that, democracy has long gone, this is tinpot, pissy backwater politics at their bullying worst.

First off, the brutality shown towards supporters of the opposition MDC party has led to over 60 deaths, never mind those that have been mutilated and/or displaced by horrendous, countrywide attacks. Mugabe has a track record of killing his own people to repress rebellion, the atrocities Gukurahundi in the 80's are testament to that.

Secondly, the MDC’s leader Morgan Tsvangirai and deputy leader Tendai Biti (initially charged with treason and then with the Kafkaesque vagueness of causing disaffection in the security forces”) have been in and out of jail on various trumped up charges over the past few weeks and worst of all, have actually been accused of starting the violence sweeping Zimbabwe. I suppose, in a sense, they have, by running in opposition to Mugabe and standing up to his terrible government, which has been crippling Zimbabwe for far too long (currently, there is Z$5.2 billion to $1, limited food and constant power cuts).

This nasty, clearly mental old man said yesterday:

“We shall never, never accept anything that smells of the MDC. These pathetic puppets taking over this country? Let’s see. That is not going to happen…We are prepared to fight for Zimbabwe if we lose it in the same way that our forefathers lost it.”

So, basically, if he loses the election there’ll be a terrible war and if he wins the election it’ll be via bullying and brutilising the population of Zimbabwe.

Not exactly a win-win situation is is?

This whole messy episode reminds me of Kenya’s ongoing political crisis and doesn’t bode well for the development and furtherment of genuine democracies in Africa.

Not that the rest of the world is helping much, I presume because there is a serious lack of oil to justify regime change in Zimbabwe and involvement in Africa comes with all kinds of colonial connotations. So the Western leaders bluster off stage, whilst the deafening silence of South African leader President Thabo Mbeki and his brand of quiet diplomacy has spearheaded Africa’s political response.

Spearhead isn’t really the right word, more like an appeasing shrug and this approach is seriously damaging South Africa’s reputation on the world stage because by their very association with Mad Bob’s regime, they are tarnished.

The solution? Brute force I’m afraid. Mugabe won’t go peacefully into the night, he’s already shown that, Zimbabwe’s damaged economy and infrastructure is already impacting upon neighbouring countries in Southern Africa and something needs to be done to enable direct change before it affects the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s either that or we all stand by and watch…

Monday, 16 June 2008

My Eva-Jane is Famous!

As some of you may know, I am lucky enough to call Eva-Jane Willis my girlfriend; like me she is an actor and very creative, unlike me she is very good looking.

She is currently featuring in the lastest music video for Jack McManus and very good she is too, you can watch her in action with the Leo Sayer look-a-like below.

Well done baby, I'm very proud of you!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Hayibo is Very Cool

My South African obsession has led me to discover a few cool things on the interweb, one of them is a South African news satire site called Hayibo which I urge you all to check out as it's funny as hell.

Currently leading with the story that has the following headline:


The second South African bit of linkage is a grand blog called The Fishbowl, which has a nice personal/political feel to it and valid exposure on issues in South Africa and beyond.

I'll sharing my own thoughts and experiences jolly soon on that fine nation but until then comrades...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Millions of Chinese Kids Named After William Shatner

Only joking but a great story I stumbled upon about how a popular name in China at the moment for newborns is in fact “The Olympics”, which is brilliant. Other top choices include: “Defend China”, “Build the Nation” and the coolest by far “Space Travel”.

I have some other suggestions for Chinese people looking for patriotic names for their offspring: “Taiwan is Mine Bitch”, “Made in China” and “We Torture Dissidents”.

Any further suggestions please leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Baudrillard's Bastard

I've been tagged by Ortho over at Baudrillard's Bastard which is nice but weird, as I've been thinking a lot recently about Baudrillard (and many of his peers) and that perhaps, as much as I love his writing, the style of it could perhaps be a cover for a serious lack of serious ideas and the authors need to feel as if what he writes is a science, rather than lots of hypotheses on various non-issues.

Still, onto the tagging issue at hand! (Some of my older readers may remember that I don't do blog memes and in fact suffer from Meme Cancer but as it's been a while I'll do it, however, I'm not printing up the rules of this tag and neither I am passing it on. IT DIES HERE!)

I have to share seven facts about me 'sen, so here goes:
  1. I am no longer tolerant of religious beliefs and see faith as a large barrier to the advancement and survival of the human race
  2. When playing cricket I bowl leg-spin and bat at number 7 or 8
  3. I'm thinking of getting some tattoos
  4. I am madly in love with Eva-Jane Willis
  5. I drink far too much Coke
  6. I am very proud of my German heritage
  7. I'm not as liberal as people think I am
Lovely. That's got that cleared up and now, here is a picture of a lovely pair of gentleman's slip-ons...

Be seeing you!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Lame Duck Comes A Visitin'

Before Bush fucks off to political obscurity, leaving a wake of mangled childen's corpses, annoyed Arabs and religously retarded, backward thinkers in the ascendency; spare a thought for us Londoners who will have to put up with a visit from the git.

Not on my watch...

Operation Manticore.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Fist Tag

"I've come up with a new game!" screamed the boy. "It's like tag but better."

The rest of the boys nod and await further instruction.

"You curl your fingers over so the nails dig into your palm and then bend the thumb over the fingers, this is called a fist."

The rest of the boys do as he says and feel the weight of this new weapon.

"Then you use this fist to hit people and whoever you hit is 'it' and everyone must hit them until they don't get up again."

The rest of the boys nod, they like the idea of this game.

One boy doesn't nod because he knows that someone must be the victim, someone must pay the price for the rest of the others happiness.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

There Will be no London...

You have been warned...

I nearly got pushed onto the tracks today at Liverpool Street Station, some guy thought I pushed him, when in fact it was the asshat in front of me who did the deed and he spun round and had a shove, however, I am quite an object to shove and the wee man rather bounched off me.

It goes without saying I had a word with the little creature and he ran off.

May his sex organs drop off and his wife be covered in poo.

(Thanks to Rich and Counterwork for the image)

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Who is the World’s Worst Dictator?

The bathroom sink was leaking at our flat, so we called up the guy who helped us do a lot of the work on our place last year called Abror, who also happens to be from Uzbekistan. This led to me discovering the world’s worst dictator…

Uzbekistan has a pretty bad leader, number 9 on Parade’s list of the world’s worst dictators in fact: Islam Karimov. Abror and I discussed his terrible human rights infringements; indeed one of the reasons Abror left with his family was this nasty little man, who of course had many years of support from the Bush regime who found his willingness to torture “enemy combatants” very useful in the war on a noun. Brilliant.

Parade’s top 20 of dictators makes for interesting reading; the old faces are still sadly present: North Korean loon Kim Jong-il, the epitome of a mad dictator Robert Mugabe who is literally starving his country to death, the real problem in Iran, Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi (although his attempts to sidle up the US government via oil exports is quite stomach turning), Syria’s Bashar al-Assad who looks the least like a dictator and more like an accountant and Fidel Castro’s brother Raul.

Aside from our great ally Islam Karimov, we have other pals on the list of evil: King Abdullah, who rules that epitome of backwardness that is Saudi Arabia, has oil (and awful facial hair) so does what he wants to the people of his nation, indeed Saudi Arabia has one of the most female repressive regimes in the entire world. The West pretend to not like Hu Jintao and the cruel Chinese Communist powerhouse but we need their goods and money more than ever to prop up our economies and we even gave the bastards the Olympics, which just about takes the biscuit considering the Chinese utilize forcible abortions and control all aspects of thier citizens life.

Another top buddy on the list is Pervez Musharraf, who has suspended Pakistan’s constitution, closed the courts and had political opponents killed, Bush of course said: “Musharraf has advanced democracy in Pakistan.” Our final homie on the list is Hosni Mubarak, who often slips under the radar as an utter cunt because he’s been at it for so long but don’t forget that he loves to torture and has ruled Egypt under ‘Emergency Law’ (thereby bypassing all human rights and civil liberties) for 27 years. Once again, brilliant.

Africa, unfortunately, has far too many names on the list, aside from Mugabe it includes: Idriss Deby of Chad who luckily for him is oil rich so his errors are forgiven, Meles Zenawi in Ehiopia who constantly wars with another awful dictator in Eritrea Isaias Afewerki. Knocked off the top spot to number two is Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, who is currently overseeing one of the world’s worst genocides and humanitarian calamities. Bringing up the rear are two very bizarre African rulers, Swaziland’s King Mswati III who is the last absolute monarch in Africa and has overseen the largest rise in AIDS/HIV on the planet as well as crippling any efforts at democracy. Teodoro Obiang Nguema, whose regime in Equatorial Guinea is one of the world’s most corrupt, oppressive and undemocratic, joins him on the mentalist list because not only does he boast about being a cannibal but he says things like: “I am God and I’m in permanent contact with the Almighty…I can decide to kill without anyone calling me to account and without going to hell.” It goes without saying that Condoleezza Rice met with him and wants to build a working realtionship to establish alternate oil sources...

If so many people weren’t dying because of all this, it’d be funny…

Monday, 2 June 2008

Eva-Jane Loves Sex in the City but I Don't...

So the idea of Carrie Bradshaw carrying her own decapitated head makes me smile (thanks to the the excellent Cherryflava for the lend of above image).

Eva-Jane however, loved the film so much she wants to see it again...

Needless to see I'll only go when hell freezes over but I still love you Eva!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

You've Lost That Blogging Feeling

There is nothing more tedious than blogging on how little you've been blogging and trying to add colour to what is a basically dull concept but just had an urge to write again on the small bit of the internet that is mine.

It's not just a busy, full and happy life that has restricted my blogging but also a lack of desire to shoot my mouth off on a whole range of topics, the passion, for now anyways, has been lost but, if the mood takes me, I may make a return to shouting to the hills from my bit of the www.

Also, as I keep explaining to people who keep asking me why I'm not blogging, it's not just about writing the stuff, it's also about reading other people's and that was becoming a full time job and a half.

Having said that, since I stopped blogging my political views have done a bit of a volte-face, especially regarding religion (I dislike it more than I ever did) and the liberal spectrum of thought, especially the overrated concept of tolerance.

You could blame it on reading too much Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens so I hope to share soem thoughts on that very soon as well as my new found obsession with South Africa.

Until then...