Sunday, 30 March 2008


ScriptFrenzy starts Tuesday! I've decided to write a musical, because I am insane. I've never written a song before in my life, so my plan is to write some lyrics, sit in front of my brother's keyboard, attempt to find the key that matches the note I'm singing and write it down. Accompaniment be damned. If I can sing it, it's a musical.

Shit Celebrity Fun

I have a question, then.

Being up late and bored, I decided to watch a little Art Attack on Youtube and indulge my inner eight-year-old, who by the way is still throwing a tantrum over its cancellation. So I search "Art Attack" and it gives me some videos and some alternative searches: art atack, art attak, the usual misspelled goodness. However the first one is "mensaje subliminal". Why? Is this a new conspiracy theory? Was Neil Buchanan actually an evil genius putting subliminal messages into his programmes? In Spanish? I suppose it would explain my continued love of the man. He's my favourite shit celebrity ever, just ahead of Roy Walker and Maurice Flynn of BBC Points West. He's only third because of the time I actually met him, which provided me with endless amusement. We were at the Balloon Fiesta, collecting free stuff, and when we discovered that we could get Maurice Flynn's autograph, our Shit Celebrity radars went off. Brilliant! We'd never even heard of him! A nice man informs Maurice Flynn that we want his autograph.

"What?" says Maurice, looking genuinely petrified, "No they don't!"

We assure him that yes, we do, and he signs the photos whilst looking at us partly as though we're insane, but mostly as though we're going to eat him. He then turns bright red and vanishes. I do occasionally wonder if we scarred him for life that day. Poor bloke.

I do want to point out the difference between a Shit Celebrity and a Celebrity Who Is Shit. A Shit Celebrity is barely remembered, but fondly remembered. A Celebrity Who Is Shit is well known but everyone hates them. This particular blog is a Shit Celebrity supporter, and will try not to mention Celebrities Who Are Shit unless they're actually relevant to the national news somehow. I do enjoy collecting Shit Celebrities and might turn them into another regular feature. Yay!

ETA: Oh My God. This is the best thing I've ever seen. Oh, Neil. You do make it so easy for me to love you.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Oh, Good, It's Cardinal Arsehole

He's back. And he's still annoying me.

I've done a little ranting about this elsewhere, in times of yore (well, last week, actually). The Embryology bill is getting on my nerves partly because of Gordon Brown - more on that another time - but mostly because Cardinal Arsehole keeps butting his cassock into political affairs and telling Catholic MPs how to vote. This was a particular horror. But Cardinal Arsehole (no, he doesn't get a name. If he wanted me to use his proper name he wouldn't have compared abortion in Scotland to the Dunblane massacre) has been running his mouth about this new bill, particularly in his Easter sermon. Now, I admit that the last time I was in a church for anything other than a wedding or a christening I was nine and in the Brownie Guides, but isn't an Easter sermon supposed to talk about, well, Jesus? Is he not the point of Easter sermons? Crucifixion, resurrection and all that jazz? I have read the Bible, and I'm fairly sure the story doesn't go, "And Jesus said, Fear not, for I shall rise again, spliced with the DNA of an Easter bunny." That's actually not a bad metaphor for Easter, though.

Inner workings of the church aside, why is Cardinal Arsehole now getting to act all magnanimous that he's willing to talk to scientists? Why should they have to convince him of anything, so he'll allow Catholic MPs to vote for the bill? I really don't have a problem with politicians voting their conscience (not in this country, anyway - if I were an American it might make me a teensy bit nervous), but I sure as hell don't want them all voting Cardinal Arsehole's conscience. If you read the article, the guy pushing for this meeting is a Catholic who wants to support the bill. But Cardinal Arsehole needs to say it's OK before he votes for it. NO. Keep your damn religion out of my government. As a guidance for your own personal morals and ethics, fine. If I were an MP I would always keep feminist principles in mind when voting on a tricky bill, but I wouldn't call up Gloria Steinem and ask her what the right answer is. If you're involved in running the country, you should be able to make your own damn mind up.

The BBC's comment page, which is a bit of a breeding ground for ill-informed opinions and improper use of the shift key, had some real gems when Cardinal Arsehole first started throwing his weight around. I won't pretend to know too much about embryonic research, but I have managed to grasp that no, scientists will not be creating some sort of man/cow hybrid which will lumber around in a field and shit on the floor of the bus. The most annoying comment, though, and it recurs a lot, is that "England is not a secular country, so the Cardinal has every right to interfere."

First of all, ARGH. Second, we are pretty darn secular, actually. Third, in case you haven't noticed, Catholicism and the Church of England are DIFFERENT FUCKING FAITHS. The Queen is head of the Church of England. She doesn't have squat to do with Catholicism. Catholics are legally banned from becoming monarch and/or advising the Queen about state and religious matters. Cardinal Arsehole is a Catholic, and so has absolutely no right to interfere with the government. Jesus. Admittedly, I'd be no more impressed if an Anglican leader tried it, and oddly enough everyone was quick to call for his resignation in that case. He doesn't seem to have done that, by the way - I knew I wasn't kicking up enough of a stink for it remain in the forefront of everyone's mind. Please note: dammit.

The British, it has to be said, don't like religion, although we don't mind people believing in God or praying or going to church or what have you. What bothers us is religion in the mind of someone powerful. Tony Blair is Catholic, but he waited until he'd left office to officially convert because he knew we wouldn't like it (just to be clear, nobody could care less now). He said that the English believe if you're religious, you're a nutter, and I'm very happy he thinks so. Particularly as this lovely bishop immediately informed us all that if Blair had been inclined to discuss his faith, it would have influenced a lot of his decisions.

Now, one would assume that if Blair's faith has been so vitally important to him over the years, he would have used Catholicism as a moral guide anyway. Yes? So why is it such a shame that he never talked about it? Why would it matter? I don't think it has anything to do with Blair's personal leadership; it's about the public knowing that He's One Of Us. And you have to admit, he'd have been a much more effective display piece than Ann Widdecombe, who incidentally also made comment about Blair's Catholicism. He'd voted against Church teachings on various issues, such as abortion, and her implication is that perhaps he isn't, or wasn't, a proper Catholic. This is my point: Blair was a pro-choice leader. The only way he could stick to this conviction in public was to keep his Catholicism quiet. Cardinal Arsehole, Ann "Celebrity Fit Club" Widdecombe and other guardians of Catholic decency would have hounded him mercilessly. How can you be Catholic and say that? How can you be Catholic and vote that way? How can you be Catholic and claim that anything is an individual's choice? (sorry, that was snide). They could quite easily hound his minister, who could quite easily start refusing communion just as Cardinal Arsehole recommends for MPs who won't do as he says. It's an easy form of blackmail.

For clarity's sake, I'm not trying to rag on the Catholics here. I don't care what people believe. What I believe, as I said in my first post, is that whatever it is should be kept firmly to themselves. I don't want to have to deal with religion becoming as intertwined with politics as it is in the US. Apart from anything else, when the religions start moving in - and chances are, as the Matthew Parris article up the page suggests, that when one starts all the rest will follow - it pushes out those of us without a man in power to speak for us. Pagans don't have it, atheists don't have it, people who believe in something but have no specified church don't have it. So when this kind of thing crops up, I will get a little mean. But it's Life of Brian all over again - it's not your religion, it's the way you're dealing with it. And I'm not having it. No way.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Gayest Looks For Leno

This is just the best thing in the world at the moment. If you care to look, you can spot me.

Open Prisons Are Crap

Oh, for fuck's sake. What on earth was this man doing in an open prison in the first place? Especially considering he'd already escaped once before. In light of this blog being entitled "Looks Like Satire", I present you with a few choice quotes from the above articles:

"The court heard Foye had promised not to abscond again [well, that's alright then] and had tested positive for drugs before absconding for a second time." An untrustworthy prisoner! Who'd have thought?

"[MacAskill] again warned that any prisoners absconding in future were likely to be sent back to a normal jail." Now it might just be me, but I am reminded of being caught skipping lessons at school and being threatened with detention "next time". It reminds me of that because we all knew our school didn't actually do detentions. Ever.

No prisoner is going to be sent back to a regular jail because a) it's too much hassle and b) there's no damn room in the regular jails! Remember this? Followed by his imprisonment when he "forgot" or "wasn't told" to sign the sex offenders' register? Until they find some way to sort this prison shortage out - and God knows I don't have any ideas - no prisoner is going to be put off by the threat of regular jail because there's nowhere to put them. They can meet the criteria for transfer to an open prison even if they're classified as "high risk" and likely to re-offend.

I'm not sure I understand the last linked story at all. The investigation says they couldn't have predicted the rape because Foye wasn't in jail for rape in the first place. He had a history of "dishonesty and car crime". Right, but he was in jail for attempted murder, not a parking ticket. He'd absconded before, had a history of drug use and was supposed to be going to Alcoholics Anonymous when he absconded this time. Surely these factors put together resemble some sort of warning signal? It's not as though nobody knew he was violent.

Meanwhile, a young girl's life has been fucked up, and the government can only apologise.

Useless Information from the Tuesday Pub Quiz

My first regular feature! Yay! I don't even have any readers yet! And this is technically cheating, because it's from last week's pub quiz, but never mind.

In 2001, the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cannes Film Festival was... Melanie Griffiths. Melanie Griffiths? I can think of approximately one film she's done. I know she was Oscar-nominated for it (well, I didn't - I looked it up because I didn't believe this was the right answer), but really. In most people's heads, she's two things: Antonio Banderas's wife and an example of why plastic surgery is a bad, bad thing. Which I suppose is an achievement.

Post the First

Hi, and welcome to blog number eight hundred and forty-five. I will probably lavish a small amount of attention on it before moving on to blog number eight hundred and forty-six. I'll warn you now that this is a ranting blog, hence the title: it looks like satire, but is unfortunately not. I don't feel hugely poetic given that it's some stupid hour of the night, so here are a few subjects that will probably recur frequently:

  1. David Cameron. Can't stand him. He's a useless, chinless, gormless pillock with no views of his own whatsoever.
  2. Gordon Brown. Oh yes, I'm one of those. I have no side, just a list of grievances. Anyway, I don't trust Brown, who seems genuinely affronted that when he became Prime Minister he inherited an entire country of pesky people who expect him to listen to them.
  3. Grammar. I am a raving spelling and grammar militant, and if I see bad grammar coming from a professional source, you are going to hear about it.
  4. My own writing. I have some story on the go about eighty per cent of the time, and I have no control whatsoever over a) the plot, b) the characters, c) which genre I'm writing in, or d) which medium I'm writing in. Seriously, I once started a script and it turned into a novella in blank verse.
  5. Feminism. When the day we reach some semblance of equality arrives, I'll stop. Until then, I intend to make a huge bloody racket about it.
  6. Religion. I don't believe anybody's religion is public business, and I get cross when someone tries to make their religion (or in the case of Richard Dawkins, their atheism) my business. For the record, I'm a pagan, and I'll write a full-disclosure post about that in the future in order to clear up any confusion.

There will be other things besides ranting, but I'll tell you about those when I think of them.