Friday, June 26, 2009

Like A Sunset Dying With The Rising Of The Moon...

It may seem both opportunistic and churlish to resume my bloggage with a delineation of my thoughts surrounding the death of Big MJ.

It is.

Yesterday, at 2:26 PST, Michael Joseph Jackson died following a cardiac arrest. He was 50 years old.

Following this, the internet all but collapsed. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter suffered severe server issues upon being inundated with messages from around the globe. The world's media have discussed it at great length already. The world, it seems, has gone ever so slightly mad.

Is this justified? Entirely.

Few figures of our time have provoked such strong and divergent reactions from the populace. For every one obsessive fan clamouring to lick the sweat from Jackson's malleable face, there is one vocal opponent who decries him as a scheming paedophile. He is revered and vilified in almost equal measure. He instilled hope and wonderment in many, but cynicism and revulsion in others. So reactions to news of his death are bound to be as dichotomous as they were to news of his life.

Jackson was endlessly fascinating. His transformation from cute black prodigy to grotesque white "King of Pop" happened gradually - and frighteningly - before the public's eyes. Never before had a celebrity's rise and fall been documented so publically - and visually. His mental disintegration was reflected in his continually decomposing face. He was ripe for parody because of this, with people revelling in his ever-degenerating look. Sympathisers willed him to stop, but to no avail. Procedure followed procedure followed procedure. Yet the most fascinating aspect of his mutable appearance was his continual refutations of cosmetic surgery. What was apparent to the world at large was not to Jackson himself, and this, sadly, was a motif that would recur in his unfortunate life.

Ironically, for someone so blatantly in the public eye, Jackson was notoriously mysterious. Fond of masks and disguises, MJ seemed intent on keeping something of himself hidden from view. Perhaps to retain some semblance of self amongst the preposterous cavalcade of interest that surrounded him. Perhaps for some darker reason. We'll never know. But whatever Jackson's reasons, his desire for a degree of opacity was well-founded. Indeed, when we were offered glimpses into his secret world (notably 2003's difficult-to-watch Living With Michael Jackson), it became apparent that he had severe mental issues that the media were all-too-glad to exploit for the ravenous public's consumption.

Which brings us to the most unsavoury aspect of Jackson's anima: his disturbing self-infantilism. Jackson's refusal to be a grown-up was easily construed by the more misanthropic as disingenuous. When his childlike nature and fondness of the company of young boys became apparent, naturally, people talked. Was he a child molester? In my opinion, probably not. Whilst I generally take any innocent verdict with a pinch of salt, and sundry allegations were stacked against him, it is my view that despite his wealth and fame, Jackson lacked power. I feel that his early fame and relationship with his tyrannical father truly did inhibit his mental growth and stability. Therefore, he was easily manipulated and fooled into trusting those who sought only to discredit him (and win a few Neverland carousels in a healthy out-of-court settlement).

He wanted friends of similar mental age. Instead, he gained status as a predatory bogeyman, luring kids in a Caligariesque manner to his sinister fairground. Therefore, the Jackson fiasco (or "fiJackso") is both a cause and effect of our overvigilance today regarding children's safety. Whilst I applaud the desire to shield children from harm, I feel that forbidding parents from recording their children's nativity plays in case they decide they'd like to chug one out over one of the Wise Men may be somewhat gilding the lily. But I digress. In short, I feel Jackson was, for the reasons noted above, an easier target than a limbless Nazi. He posed no great threat to the safety of the world's children. Well, unless he felt like dangling them over a balcony...

Sorry, couldn't resist. NB: sad as all this is, people are perfectly entitled to joke about it. Spirit of the gallows and all that. Lay off the Haterade.

For all the mentions of disintegration and decay in this post, one thing remains untarnishable, and that is Jackson's musical legacy. Whilst by no means a rabid fan, I am fully aware and appreciative of the influence Jacko had on shaping pop in the seventies and eighties. His blend of disco, funk and soul paved the way for countless other artists, and will continue to do so for generations. Today, his big crazy ghost has well and truly possessed the airwaves, and d'you know what? I don't hate it. In light of his death, the secondary and tertiary aspects of his life and work should be sidelined: his contribution to music history is unquestionable.

Therefore, it is both tragic and appropriate that his death should fall when he was on the brink of a comeback. It is the final sad grace note on a life lived bizarrely. There are those who will say that the stress of the upcoming concert dates was what killed him. That may be so. But he lived long enough to see tickets for his concerts sell out insanely quickly. Despite everything that happened, his fans were still clamouring for his eventual Messianic return. This time, thought, it wasn't just his disciples that were intrigued. We all were. The world was ready for him again. We wanted him back. Perhaps, therefore, he had finally found what he sought in life: simple, guileless acceptance. And that, my friends, is fitting.

I realise that this post has been, at times, maudlin, trite and downright unfunny. Fear not, underlings. My cuntishness is merely being MOTed. It's coming back from the garage very soon, and it's gonna have some bitchin' alloys. So I'll be round your house to give you a lift in the next week or so. With my cunt. Or something. Clearly I didn't think this metaphor through.

To finish, here's the most appropriate send-off I can imagine to the bad, dangerous, (almost) invincible mothafucka we all knew and...had an opinion on. Ladies and gentlemen, Ms Liza Minelli!

Chamone, you crazy diamond.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


...for neglecting you so, chicadees.

Fear not! Soon I shall return to the blogging fold with a firey vengeance! And when such vengeance is wrought, I expect you all to cower in mortal terror. Cushty? Good.

Also, if you're stopping by, feel free to comment on my ramblings. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a blogger to unload your sticky thoughts all over my face like the cheap whore I am. OK?

Mindblowing shit is coming your way, peoples. Hold your breath, eh? Continue?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

Bored? Down? Feeling unloved?

Of course you are. Look at you.

Well cheer up! Visit this site! It'll certainly put a minor smile on that dreadful face you're wearing.

Look on the bright side! At least your family have never made you pose in a vaguely sexual pyramid! Or have they? If so, I condole you, whilst laughing furiously at you in your absence.

Cheers to good ole Graham Linehan (the genius behind Father Ted and Big Train) on Twitter for the heads-up! Boredom busted! Continue?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Deal? No Thanks.

Let's get one thing straight. I am not averse to mind-numbingly idiotic television. Indeed, I am a major fan of such tripe as ANTM, where girls of varying degrees of attractiveness vie for the chance to grace the cover of some shit tween mag and gain the widespread ridicule of the modelling industry and, indeed, the wider world. Indeed, I daresay my ludicrous love of said programme shall provide fodder for a future blog post. Hold your breath!

However, my tolerance has its bounds. And daily, those bounds are strained. "By what?" I hear you mumble uninterestedly. Since I love you, I'll give you a clue:

Some clue, eh?

Yes, it's Deal or No Deal, arguably the most infuriating piece of formatted luck-quiz ever to dribble its way out of the feverish mind of a former children's entertainer. A rare(ish) blight on Channel 4's otherwise healthy schedule, DoND (roffle) is a loving ode to stupidity, mediocrity and Britain's entitled underpublic. My dissatisfaction with this show (to use a mild term) stems from numerous niggles, which I shall now detail to tediously cathartic effect. Wake up! I'm about to say some harsh words. That's why you're here, innit? Aye.
So here we go!

My first and potentially greatest bugbear with this televised shit is that skill and/or intelligence is not rewarded. Quite the opposite, in fact. Indeed, contestants are encouraged to flaunt their various worthless abilities such as cake decoration, blindness, or extreme pikiness. In themselves, these abilities and the countless others presented pathetically on a daily basis are acceptable. Everyone has a party piece, no? I for one can tie my cock in a bow, a quite splendid feat when performed with the necessary aplomb at a suitable occasion (ie a dinner party or family Christening). However, I would not expect the British General Public to be subjected to my tangled genitals as they chowed down on their Crispy Pancakes. Additionally, I would not expect my mildly interesting penile display to encourage the public to will me to success.

Despite this, a cavalcade of gauche students, pub-dart champions and other assorted weirdoes are trotted out in front of us every single day. Call me crazy (don't), but I like my gameshows to involve an element of ability on the part of the participant. Exemplars of successful models are The Crystal Maze, The Krypton Factor and University Challenge. The aforementioned shows require some form of genuine ability to beat, and - interestingly - offer little financial or material reward for success, despite their gargantuan difficulty levels. The implication seems to be that emerging victorious in these contests is reward enough in itself, as it is a genuine marker of intelligence or skill. Conversely, DoND (roffle) rewards...well, nothing. Not only is the jackpot nigh-on unobtainable (at time of writing, only two Britons have won the £250,000 prize), but the achievement of a succesful outcome has its basis in chance. Yes folks, it's entirely random.

Which is my next major source of aggravation. The show's outcome is completely random. Again, not a problem in itself, but Mr Edmonds and his loyal herd of imbecilic box-fanatics maintain that some tactical element is involved. We hear them speak of "good games", "bad moves" and "tactical errors". I cannot emphasise enough that these are all misnomers implemented to distract the viewers and contestants that they are merely watching people open boxes. I mean, what!? Tension is manufactured around randomly selected fools randomly opening boxes which represent random amounts of cash. I mean, this randomness isn't even a new format! My advice? Instead of perpetuating this charade, make the programme stop. Channel 4, I implore you! No more! Gies more BodyShock instead! I needs me some pebbleheads!

In spite of its arbitrary nature, DoND (roffle) takes itself very seriously. In fact, it has it's own jargon. Yes, the lingua franca of the desperate throng is littered with ridiculous terms. The studio is referred to as "The Dream Factory", the audience - in a disturbingly religious analogy - are named "pilgrims", and the unseen antagonist/giver of money is called the "banker" (HOW APPROPRIATE!!!1! LOL!!! BANKER SOUNDS LIKE WANKER!!!!!11!!!1!). How appropriate that the de facto villain is also the contestants' benefactor. Why? Well, because the morons who watch the programme undoubtedly gain the majority of their income from the Government, whilst bitching relentlessly about how their needs aren't satisifed. To them and Noel, I say: "fuck off. Now."

Remarkably, the show has a massive following. It's among Britain's foremost cults. A group of particularly virginal losers even commentate and discuss the shows. Terrifying. The quasi-religious slant that the show takes is among its most disturbing traits. I swear to Jehovah, if Noel Edmonds, the World's Smuggest Cunt, is indeed the second coming of Christ, I'm converting. To Scientology. Fuck, Scientology's got loads of aliens and shit. I'm converting anyway!

So as we can see, I have several issues with the format, execution and existence of DoND (rof - oh, enough already). Its onus on celebrating and rewarding...well, nothing sticks royally in my craw. What is a craw, anyway? Sounds like a lobster's arse. Hmm. Savoury.

Anyway, it's not all bad, despite my fervent opposition. Occasionally, it allows us to wallow in the sticky, dirty joy that is schadenfreude. Thus, I leave you with this. Happy bad-natured amusement!


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Short Stories

I'd like to draw your attention to this site. It contains a multitude of stories notable for their brevity – each is exactly fifty words long.*

Some are funny, some moving, some quirky, but all charming. Like PostSecret with fewer sexually-confused emos.

Go. Read. Enjoy!

*just like this here post! Wowza!