Thursday, 30 April 2009

Word Search

I watched The Speaker last night on BBC2, which (from what I could gather) is about a load of (possibly disabled) children entering a public speaking contest to see which one of them behaves in the most freakishly adult way, and which one can deliver the most arse-clenching rhetoric in the weirdest, most pretentious terms without any effort because they're all such precocious little cunts.

Now, normally I'd ve shit knives I was so angry with them. But, (they call this a "key change" in music) there was ONE good thing about it all, namely the part where the contestents had to write their speeches. I'll just repeat that: they had to WRITE something which would then be SPOKEN. Which got me thinking all about the process of writing, and also about this book:

This cracking little tome is a spectacular bio-philosophical voyage into the workings of the human head. With sections on everything from speech, language, consciousness and even crying, it explains exactly how and why our heads work, exactly how and why it's the centre of our experience and also the centre of "ourselves".

You see, whenever you write something, those words will automatically, and unavoidably be spoken inside your head. The external, written word is formulated by an internal "spoken" dialogue we "hear" in our mind. Agreed? (Just say "yes" in your head). But weirdly, even though we never ever speak in the same way (tone/style/manner) we write, we quite often write to sound as though we're speaking. Understand? Like, I just asked you a question then, as though I'm actually in the room with you. I'm trying to create the impression of a conversation, by involving you in the action. Lucky you! (See I did it again). But anyone who's ever spoken to me will know that every third word is usually obscene. So sadly, this is a completely pretend conversation.

For years now, advertising copywriters have been hi-jacking the patterns speech to better reach their audiences. And whilst the pally, conversational informality of Innocent drinks' tone of voice makes its audience feel all wanky-warm and special, the real reason the written word is so much more powerful than speech is far less superficial.

Whilst human speech is direct, accessible, and innately appealing, it's function is purely short-term. The written word on the other hand serves a very different (higher) purpose. As Ray Tallis says: "By means of the unfading written word, the kitten-prints of thought are set in concrete: ideas can reach across the world and echo down the ages... writing is demonstation of how the collectivisation of human awareness through the written enables each mind to transcend its body."

Now, what was that you were muttering about copy being dead?

Pointless Pie

Here's great recipe that's absolutely perfect for wasting your time. With a light, insubstantial stock and a hollow filling, after a long day it's a truly disheartening dish. Irresistible!

Here's what you'll need:

(serves 1)
200g flour
100g butter
3oz sponge
6 whole free range atoms
1/2 a mind

Take the butter and leave it overnight. Do not approach it. Next, separate the flour using a stopwatch. Take your time and get the consistency right. You want it to be senseless. In a saucepan, introduce the butter to the flour, whilst being as formal as possible. In your left hand, knead the sponge and leave it to either side of you. Beat the atoms using a flat object or a kitchen spade. Heat the oven to 220c fo 35 minutes then lower the temperature. Open a window, and in a 5-sided cake tin, aimlessly spread the pastry up the sides. Slow-bake the whole thing for 3 hours, and serve with a shrug.

Voila! A disspiriting, and dissatisfying supper for everyone involved.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Visit Wales

Some deliciously bleak images of Cardiff on a Fri/Sat night by the very talented, one Maciej Dakowicz.

View the whole set here.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Ten Tits

I'm testing a theory that the internet is basically just smut and questionaires.

So here's 10 random tits. Vote now for your favourite.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Trust me. I'm a writer.

Here's Patrick Baglee making some obvious remarks to The Drum about copywriting.

Writing is all about trust, apparently. I don't disagree. But would you trust a man who dresses like a paramilitary leader and makes strangling gestures while speaking in a deranged monotone?

I don't care what he says. He's creeping me out.... No wonder copywriters get such a shit time. Everyone must think we're fucking mental.

No Such Thing As a Bad Blow Job

Crafty Buggers


We're all going KA-RAZEE for it apparently. It's a bit like Ebay for communists. People who make handmade stuff sell it and/or you can commission individual pieces from them. Billed as another one of those internet things that's gonna change our fuckin' lives man!, it's quite a handy place to buy unusual one-offs. Or more cynically, it's an insurmountable mountain of shit manufactured by women in Canada and New Zealand.

But this morning it isn't working. So instead of an error message, you can watch two hairy women doing a Tony Hart. Which is actually a really nice touch.

Let's just hope it doesn't end the same way as Mark Speight.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Record Of The Weak

"Do ya liiiike good music?"

No. No, I don't. When you come home with the designer next to you's iPod playlist ringing in your fucking ears, I like stuff that's a bit hard work, me. Something a bit stronger. Which is why I love Pere Ubu's 1995 album, Ray Gun Suitcase.

I won't try and describe it to you in case I start sounding like Paul Morley or one of those boring undergraduate cocks who go to ATP twice a fucking year. And let's face it, rock journalism's at least 30 times more self-conscious and pretentious than half the bands it chronicles, so the less we say about it the better.

Suffice to say, I can't write to it. You might be able to dance to it, but I doubt you could design-along to it in the same way you can with -oooh?- Goldfrapp, maybe?

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Kirstie's Homemade Galleon

I'm Kirstie Allsopp.

And if you're a busy mum like me, restoring a mid-17th century slave ship in time for your husband's birthday, can seem ever such a daunting task. Finding the time to phone mummy and daddy can be a com-pleeete... nightmare! But it simply needn't be.

In it's heyday, the Bright Phoebus transported thousands of Abyssinian slaves to the shores of Britain, bringing urgently needed footmen to our homes, and fabulous wealth to my ancestors. So sailing to Africa in period dress onboard the old family tub, seemed a perfectly fun treat for my husband's birthday.

In this series, I'll be showing you where to buy the finest silks and laces for your costumes, and how you can get 200 quality negroes to lie in the dark for a fortnight whilst you drink champagne above their heads for surprisingly little money.

In these times of doom and gloom, this program is all about doing it for yourself and making do with what you have... like doing the school-run in the old Bentley for a change. And if a loved-one dies, why waste money on a carbon-emitting cremation? Crack open the family mausoleum.

It really is so simple. Everyone can do it!

Under the Influence

Went to this last night. (shrugs shoulders)

Don't think I was quite pissed enough to get it if I'm honest. Despite a brilliant, charming and refreshingly honest talk about agency life by illustrator Si Scott, the rest quickly (really sadly) descended into Powerpointing planning wank and some fucking dismal number-crunching. Granted, number-wanking has it's place in the industry, but not on a night that's meant to influence and inspire creatives. The best bit was the video of some web application that let a fat moron scan baseball cards into his webcam, which then let him play Pong with a render of his character by pressing ONE KEY on his computer. "This is happening right now!" we were told excitedly. Wow. I'm sure Stephen Hawking'd love it.

A genuine well done to the guys at Iris for making the effort though. A bit more emphasis on creativity and creatives, rather than the clienty "Facebook has torn a hole in space-time" hysteria-bollocks and you'll be on to a bloody winner. Oh, and the veune looked great, by the way.

In fairness, I must just say please don't let my negativity put anyone off (I'm always bloody negative - don't try it home, kids). Apart from some crap speaking (in my view) Under the Influence, is a very, very good thing. The more people get involved, the better it'll be.

(Who got booted off The Apprentice, anyway?)

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Adventures Of Asbo Horse No.1

What's that you say, Asbo Horse?

Monday, 20 April 2009

So shit, it's good

Hello. I'm back. (Yeah, good thanks).

For those of you who don't know, I've been in Cornwall for a week reading The Guardian and wearing sandals, and generally being appallingly middle-class and a bit too bloody"organic" for my liking. Eugh.

Anyway, whilst I was floating around the holiday cottage (and eating crab sandwiches in my batik pyjamas) I stumbled upon the obligatory "Days Out Folder." You know the one I mean - the ring-binder the owner leaves that's full of takeaway menus, taxi numbers and (if you're lucky) a load of flyers and leaflets for local tourist attractions (or if you're unlucky, the installation manual for the water boiler). Nevertheless, the Days Out Folder is a compelling treasure-trove of tat; a faded catalogue of wonky, incomprehensible rustic attractions. Shall we visit a "Craft Farm Heritage Restaraunt," or a "Miniature Meat Zoo"? Let's go the "Open-Air Steam Aquarium," or the "Foreskin Gardens at Spunkcastle"! You can imagine my dilemma.

And so, it was amongst these hysterical shrieks for publicity that I discovered a leaflet for Flambards (pics coming soon) - a mutant theme-park/garden centre/museum/con-centre thing, the contents of which boasts some the weirdest, and wrongest copywriting I have ever seen.

Seemingly drafted by a dead Victorian lawyer (or possibly a wizard?), Flambard's disturbing tone of voice veers between stiflingly pompous formality, and apopleptic, doom-addled rhetoric.

To quote the COVER-page in it's full 120 words (I shit you not):

"Come rain, Come shine…

Come to Flambards

FLAMBARDS is a highly acclaimed Leisure Park set in acres of colourful gardens. Car parking is free and there is a shaded area and water-point for dogs.

7000 sq. mtrs of indoor floor area gives ample scope for an exceptionally high standard of attractions, designed to please & surpass the expectations of all who experience them.

Due to lack of print space, not all that is price-inclusive is listed here; there are many more delightful surprises to discover on THE DAY.

With so much pleasure and diversity included in the entrance fee, Flambards is possibly the BEST VALUE FOR MONEY for a comparative great day out for all age-groups, anywhere in the country."

12 meandering pages in, and we suddenly get a right fucking bollocking over Flambard's Victorian Village:

"The Village is not a mock-up made of hardboard, cardboard or M.D.F. All of the buildings are real buildings, built from traditional materials; brick, stone, granite and timber.

The streets are cobbled with granite setts, salvaged from the old streets of Bath in the 1960s, while the wood-block floor of the schoolroom had already felt the tread and scuffs of thousands of clogs and hob-nailed boots, before being salvaged from the demolition of a Victorian school somehwere 'up North' and transported to Flambards. Who knows? They might serve their original purpose yet for another hundred years.


It is unique. It has to be experienced to be beleived."

Jesus. Sorry, Dad. Don't hit me again, yeah?

Whilst it's real easy for me to piss-my-pants over the ham-fisted weirdness of Flambards' homespun brand, on reflection (and kill me now cos I'm gonna sound like a gushing planner's twat) there's actually something deeply creative and original in it all. It's crass and unsophisticated, but only by comparison. Why does everything have to be polished and strategised, and targeted? There's just something intriniscally charming about an in-house brand - a "folk brand"* almost - where client's make their own marketing. I've said stuff like this here before (can't be arsed finding the link) - I mean, it's clunky, but it's cute, right.


Oh, bollocks. Have I just talked myself out of work again?

*Please, no jokes/comments like "Simon and Garfunkel - they were a good folk brand"

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Frightening Shallow Dogshit...

... For your daughters! Hooray!

It's !

What dya mean, you've never heard of it? Just type the letter "S" into Google's new web-dogging search-field and you'll find it there between "Sainsbury's" and "Screwfix".

Thanks Google. Now I don't just have to imagine I'm an 8 year old pleb. I can actually BE one!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Doin' It For Yourself

Sadly, I'm away now for a week. I say sadly because I'll be on holiday. I'd much rather be at home over the Bank Holiday, having a bonfire, cleaning the shed, or doing some DIY...

Oh, god. To be doing some DIY. To be getting my hands dirty... fixing stuff, and making things. (Shudder).

Good job I've got my new favourite website then: Building Services Porn - the place for men who like ducts, manholes, circuit boards, traffic lights, air conditioning units.... You know what I'm talking about, don't you.

Just look the valves on that....

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Barack Obama!!

Barack Obama! has declared that Barack Obama! "is not at war with Islam", during his first visit as Barack Obama! to a mainly Muslim country.

Addressing the Turkish parliament, Barack Obama! called for a greater Barack Obama! partnership with the Muslim world and said Barack Obama! would soon launch "outreach programmes. "

Barack Obama!'s relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on Barack Obama!'s opposition to al-Qaeda," said Barack Obama!

President Barack Obama! urged Turkey to help bridge the gap between Barack Obama!, and the Muslim worlds and also said Barack Obama! supported Turkey's efforts to join the EU.

Barack Obama! is a registered trademark. Unauthorised hiring, copying and lending of Barack Obama! is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

It isn't what you hoped for, is it.

I turn 30 next week. Gulp. I'm not really sure if that's a milestone, or whether it's just a yardstick. Maybe I mean watershed.., or benchmark..? Or is 30 a "waterstick"...?

(Erm, a "shedbench" maybe?)

Whatever you call it, 30's definately a time to reflect -a place to stand drunkenly on the first-floor landing of life and put two fingers up at your graduation photo (by now hanging there next to a photo of a dead grandparent). It's a place to wobble between everything you were, and everything you might be, because -lo!- the Landing of Life maybe built upon dreams, but it is lit with bitter failure, and carpeted with non-stick, stain resistant regrets...

If only I had/hadn't kissed that girl.
If only I had/hadn't taken that job.
If only I had/hadn't finished that musical about dinosaurs.

But wait! Hope is n't completely spazzed yet, you know. He can still get up those stairs un-aided for fucksake. Just think of all the great thing's you've acheived so far:

For one, you don't live with your parents anymore.
Two: You have a sophisticated, and plausible hairstyle.
Three: You don't have a childish, newsgroup sounding knickname like "Johncat".
And four: Your girlfriend doesn't have a removeable tongue...

So the next time you're turning 30, don't be so hard on yourself. You might not be a rockstar, or a self-made millionaire. But at least you're not fucking a giant Chinese corpse-puppet in front of your mum.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

pleasde help


i am blind. as such i cannot use rthe frucking ticket machiness on the manchester metro because rthe fucking thjings dont have a fucking braillle dfacility. theyre the same machines as the ones in ncp carparks. obviosuly thatt doesnt affect me though cos i cant fuckiong drive anyway. soo all the3 more dfucking reasdion for me to use the fucking metro.

you thick fucking cuints