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& finally the deal is sealed... well, almost

A mate of mine jumped out a plane yesterday*. That is something I will never do. Ever.

I knew that if I spoke to him during the day all I would have done would be try and talk him out of it. My logic is simple - if he'd done it and I'd not managed to talk him out of it, I'd be slightly responsible for his inevitable tragic death. Fortunately, as it turns out, the word 'inevitable' is misplaced here. He was saying to me things like "wow - you should do it - it was amazing" and so forth. All I was thinking was 'thank f#ck I'm not that stupid as to do something like that'.

I can imagine it. I'd be all nervous and excited. A large part of me would be thinking it was a crazy thing to do. But I'd be saying things like - "ooh this is great isn't it, we're going to jump out of a plane. Aren't we all cool as f#ck?". Perhaps I'd even be punching the sky and saying things like "yee har" or whatever it is these people do.

People would be telling me how safe it was. They'd be saying things like - "the team we've jumping with are the most experienced skydivers in the country".

My Mother would be horrified and telling me not to do it and to be careful. I'd presumably be baulking at her fears with comments like "I'll be fine, everyone else is doing it". Or whatever it is these people say.

I'd be thinking of my mate Stuart Collings who jumped out of a plane and said it was amazing. I'd be thinking things like 'well if he can do it so can I, by jove!'.

Then we'd jump out and endure the 45 seconds or so of freefalling which my mate told me about yesterday. Then we'd pull the chord to make the parachute come out and it wouldn't work. I'd be scared but then remember there was a back-up chord and think things like - "phew that was lucky!". Or whatever it is these people actually think.

Then that wouldn't work either. And I'd realise what a silly cu#t I was for jumping out of a plane. Those final few moments of my life would be spent cursing my own stupidity.

NM

*With a parachute. Obviously.

I went to the doctors again about my foot. I got some creme, which he says is the toughest available! After that I went to weight watchers and got told I'd lost 2lbs. This qualified me for my silver seven. This is a number seven which is silver and denotes the fact you've lost half a stone. They stick it on your form. I got a special round of applause. Very exciting. But not quite as exciting as these two websites:
One animation site sent by Lee.
And the other, a story of an out of body experience sent by a mate of mine.

You skip my mind and look over there. v2

Driving into work today I see a baby faced girl of about 17 with a pink baseball cap on chewing gum and driving a car with two massive England flags pinned precariously to the doors. I've already made it clear that I hope England are disqualified from the world cup as soon as possible. I'm not sure if I've ever put into print how much flags in general annoy me. I've certainly broadcast my viewpoints in the past.

I recently read an opinion piece by (I think) Charlie Brooker in (I think) The Guardian about how flags are a sort of branding iron printed onto thick people. The beauty of these labels, he wrote, is that the thickos actually stick them on themselves. Listeners to my old phone in will recognise this argument as one I put forward a couple of years ago.

The thing I don't like about this though is it's smug, self satisfied and avoids the real reason flags are so awful.

I think of each country as being a corporation much like Tesco or McDonalds. The only difference is that England has been around for such a long time that it existed before there were laws and moral restraints holding back its desires*. As a consequence England is a bigger and more powerful corporation. Its aims are simple, make money and look after the top dogs. As employees of England we are tended to as a farmer tends his crops. Great.

But not so great that I want to put flags on my car, sing the company anthem and pretend to give a s#it how the sports team does like some f#cking vegetable brained a#se mind.

Do you see what I mean?

I got some Tesco clubcards coupons today. I couldn't help but feel like a twat when I was pulling them out and sticking them into my pocket. I know it's bulls#it. I don't know why I even got a clubcard. "Baa baa" like a bloody sheep. I know corporations are wrong, morally.

"In life, you're either f#cking someone or you're being fu#ked!"

But if you know in your heart that corporations are wrong ask yourself about the nation you so proudly claim to be a part of. England sends its employees to fight in wars, kill people and be killed. I don't remember that being part of the deal when I worked at Morrisons!

Flying a flag in my opinion is very un-English. It's not something which is part of my culture anyway and I'm more English than most**. It's impractical as well.

In fact that was what I was going to write in the first place.

Driving down the motorway with my Dad, some tw#t is infront of us with two flags on their car. One of them flys off in the wind and smashes into the vehicle behind him. We're slowly drawing up alongside this cretin and I see his 17 - 18 year old thick t#at face. It reminds me of a recent conversation I had about how in the 1st world war loads of kids around his age were sent to die in trenches for no good reason in defence of England Ltd. It's a sad moment as I realise that he's too young and stupid to understand that. Four or five generations ago now. Shame.

What's even worse is that as we drove on I found myself thinking "what this generation needs is a bloody good war to shake them up a bit".

Don't look at the screen like that you cu#t. I realised I was wrong as soon as I thought it. You've thought the same thing yourself. You just won't admit it!

NM

*The laws which stop McDonalds from housing its workers and sending employees to war have of course been put in place by England to stop it from becoming a threat.

**I don't EVER go abroad. Ever. I hate the idea.

Went to the pub but didn't drink at all... I'm serious about this not drinking thing...

So I was backstage at Mayfest. That Sandi Thom girl was there*. The one who sang that "I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair" song. Firstly let me make one thing clear, I like that song in so much as it's expressing a feeling which I have sympathy for. It's got a good tune to it as well. Lyrically however it doesn't reallly work.

Only last night I was having a conversation with a caller (off air) about how the lyrics are -at best- confused. In fact I wrote his name down so I could mention him if I ended up discussing this on air. Erm... Paul in Doncaster? Not sure. Lost the bit of paper. Rubbish.

The lyrics start with the bold statement: "Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair". Okay. We all know punk rockers didn't have flowers in their hair. They generally broke the noses of people who had flowers in their hair. It's a mixed image which instantly annoys me but I can't be sure she hasn't done it on purpose because she follows it up with "in '77 and '69 revolution was in the air" which shows she knows there were two different eras from which she's using her images.

Then she annoys me again with: "I was born too late into a world that doesn't care". This is the bit of the song which really ticks me off! It's pernicious nostalgic nonsense. It implies that she is somehow not responsible for this "world that doesn't care". Which of course she is. We all are. This is the problem with nostalgia. It gives people an excuse to ignore the present. The rest of the song is like a Peter Kay stand-up set. "Do you remember old things? Weren't they great?"

I'd prefer it if she was more honest. "I wasn't born in the olden days but they sound pretty good... here's a list of how I think it was in the olden days..." would be a better line. It'd preserve the lyrical integrity of the tune.

As a kid I used to watch TV programmes about how great things were in the 60's. Then as I got older people started making programmes about how ace everthing in the 70's was. It was only by the time I saw a few about the 80's (which I sort of remember) that I realised what most of the contributors to these programmes were actually saying. Roughly translated each of them was expressing this thought: "Yeah back when I was in my 20's things were better than they are now. Everyone was younger and cooler. It was great. Now I'm old and things are not quite as good."

As a consequence of these sorts of programmes a large chunk of my generation thinks the 60's were ace. They weren't. The Vietnam war was going on for a start. That was pretty nasty. Go on wikipedia. Look it all up. The world has always been a mixture of great and horrible. That's unlikely to change.

Anyway. With all these thoughts in my mind I decided I was going to corner this little popstar and tell her what's what. Ask her if she knows punks didn't have flowers in their hair and so forth. There she was chatting to a few people. I'll go over.

No, she's coming this way. I look down at the floor and then think 'fu#k it say something'. I look up and say: "hey, erm, you were good". She looks at me and says "um.. thanks" and then carries on walking off to her car. Great. I'm ace.

Oh no, I'm not.

NM

*As well as a lot of other popstars, none of whom really excited me in the same way as Sandi Thom. I wasn't excited about her in a sexual way. Just in an intellectual one. She looked very pale faced actually. Probably a bit of a thinker.

I'm not having that... super casinos.

I get sent lots of links to bands. Gina sent me this one [external link to myspace] with the following comments:

" These boys are going to be the next best thing to rise from our steel city! I suggest you be a good radio station and play one of their myspace tracks! Its all professianl like, and they have a forthcoming album launch party at PLUG! Thats a big venue! "*

It's nice that people are still trying to make good music. My girlfriend is really into her new music whereas I'm a fan of old music**. I used to try and be a rockstar with my mates years ago. We'd all plug our electric guitars in and sing old 60's tunes with loud buzzing chords to them. It was very exciting.

We also tried to write our own songs. I managed to construct about 50 or so songs. 49 of them were frankly rubbish but one of them was okay. I'd love to give this song away to someone who has a band. Seriously.

I've always thought it was a bit of a waste that I wrote a reasonably good song but never did anything with it. I'm never going to get a band together and tour and make it big. It's simply not going to happen. My original song is going to waste. I never use it. If you're in a band and you want it send me an email [Nick@hallamfm.co.uk] and I'll try and work out how to give it to you. I'd have to record it I guess. Not sure.

It's a minor detail.

I doubt anyone will take me up on my offer. This blog gets loads*** of readers these days but hardly anyone corresponds with me through it. I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything but it seems a bit rubbish that I get maybe one or two emails a month from it. Here's one from
Wayne the conspiracy theorist:

I think a Chatroom would be cool, a messageboard would be too.

Given that he's THE ONLY person to have replied to my earlier rantings about improving this blog I'm taking his views as those of THE MAJORITY and have added a comments feature to the blog. I hope this doesn't prove to be a mistake. I imagine no one will take the opportunity to comment anyway. We'll see. I think you've got to be a registered blogger to add your thoughts. I'm sure they will be genius.

NM

*I've never heard of "PLUG" before as I don't go to nightclubs and the like these days. However I'm inclined to say that I like it because my friend Daniel Harrison who does Phlegm Magazine [external link to Phlegm comics] is currently spraying 60 meters of his art onto the walls of the place.

**Although I am old I've always been into old music. 60's - 70's. I think pop music went wrong somewhere around 1977, maybe earlier. After that date most stuff was rubbish with a few obvious exceptions.

***It's the end of the month and even though I've been less bothered about my infamous hit counter this month shows yet another increase on the last one. Soon you'll be able to brag to people about how you were here before them and so forth. That'll be fun won't it. Bit like the old phone in. Then perhaps I can stop writing it for no apparent reason. Great.

you know The message already (Saturday)

I'm seriously considering giving up alcohol for a few months, just to see what it's like not to drink for a while. Bill Hicks did most of his best work once he gave up the demon booze. Peter Kay doesn't drink. Jonathon Ross gave it up. It seems that people only ever benefit from the decision. I doubt it's a decision you can regret.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not an alcoholic. I just wonder what it would be like not to drink at all for a few months. I think it'd help me to loose weight for one thing. It'd cut down on embarrasing -did I really say/do that- situations. It should work out as a positive on my bank balance.

I've not decided yet but as I write this I've got to be honest, I'm hard put to think why I shouldn't give it up for a few months. What precisely are the advantages of drinking?

That's the weird thing about drugs. They affect people in different ways. Alcohol for me is something which makes me tired and stupid. Nothing else. It's mainly a social thing for me. I feel like I'm ruining things for people if I don't have a beer. It's annoying to think I lack a backbone in this respect.

Screw it.

You've just witnessed me deciding to go without beer for two months.

NM

Weddings, girls and oil. (Friday)

I've not been on my diet at all this week. I'll have put on something silly like half a stone when I go to get weighed at weight watchers next Wednesday. Boll#cks. That's really annoying. I enjoy weight watchers more than the atkins but if my weight does go up by too much I'm sorely tempted to get on the latter again. The atkins diet works. There's no debate there. I was 18 1/2 stone. I lost 2 stone on it and have never put it back on. The only problem is it's so intense and hardcore that I lack the willpower to do it again.

The rot set in with me and Jodie having Pizza Hut at the start of the week. That in retrospect was clearly a mistake. It was obvious I'd made a mistake when they came round with the wrong pizza. Brilliant. I rang them back and got told I was lying and that was what I'd ordered.

"No I didn't, my girlfriend's vegetarian, she wouldn't never order that pizza"

"Yeh you did. In fact I remember the order because I read it back to you."

Short pause for thought here. The bloke I ordered it off had a strong accent and poor grasp of english. The bloke I'm chatting to now who claims to have taken my order has no accent at all. He's calling me a liar. I'm going to have to return the compliment.

They send matey round with the correct order and demand the rubbish pizza back. Crap service.

Pizza tasted nice but was a bit cold. Felt fat for three days afterwards.

I'm reminded of one day when I ate a pizza and put on an extra half a stone. In a day. Never shifted it until the atkins diet came along.

Perhaps I should get back on it. My Mum certainly thinks so.

NM

(Thursday) Guzzling big flaps of dead meat is fun!

If you read this blog often you will know I'm a geek who loves comic books. Not "ha ha" comics but 2000AD featuring Judge Dredd. Like Batman only good. For a while I tried to pretend I wasn't really a geek but the older you get the less of a f#ck you can give. In the end you just accept that comics are ace. There are only a few really great writers in the comic book world that I am aware of. Pat Mills is one of them. Today I finally got to meet him for this interview I'm doing in REDEYE magazine.

He's respectfully and rightly known as The Godfather Of British Comics. The almost legendary writer is responsible for Slaine, ABC Warriors, Charley's War, Finn. He created the comic 2000AD and is largely responsible for keeping the whole industry here in the UK afloat. He has a reputation as a bad-ass take no s#it type so I was surprised to find him to be really pleasant funny and easy to chat with. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take some time to tell you the story.

I spend the night before flicking through old 2000AD comics. It's a totally weird experience which manages to bring back loads of memories concerning my childhood and what it was like for me to be a teenager and read these great comics. Strange.

On the train down to London I'm trying to construct a list of questions which covers Pat Mills's entire career, from writing girls comics in the 70's through to his work on 2000AD and also his seminal book "Charley's War". I'm too busy getting a solid structure to the interview written up to be nervous.

Meet the editor of REDEYE Magazine Barry Renshaw in London Euston. It's the first time we've met face to face and he's exactly the same age as me and looks slightly like me as well. Great.

We then go to the place where we're meeting The Godfather Of British Comics and there he is. Instantly recognisible from pictures of him which were taken years ago. He looks a lot cooler than you might have imagined. We skip off to a hotel bar and get chatting.

Our tactic was to just let him talk...

I want a massive long transcript of him talking for ages about stuff. I've yet to read an interview with him like that. What we got was well beyond what I'd anticipated.

He spoke about magic, seeing a UFO, David Icke, the comic book industry, the fall of girls comics. It was ace. Nothing went wrong. Perfect day.

We've got about halfway through his career. We're looking to hook up again soon so we can finish up.

I feel like I should add some sort of twist to this story.

There was no twist.

For once I met one of my heroes and he was ace and I had a great time.

NM

There are few advantages to insomnia but this isn't one of them

I've always liked f#ckwitted pretentious popstar Madonna. She's in the middle of a great little silly controversey at the moment where Christian groups are annoyed that during her tour she straps herself to a twenty foot cross during one of her little songs [external link to story]. What I love about it is that firstly I'd guess that no one gives a s#it really. I wouldn't be surprised if this story had come from her people. In fact, it stands to reason that whoever has complained must on at least some level be a Madonna fan or how would they be aware of it? Stinks of publicity stunt.

Then again I'd find something to complain about if I'd spunked out £160! F#cking Diana Princess of Wales could come back from the grave and s#ck the toes of every audience member and I'd still be a bit annoyed at the price.

Anyway, it's important for the next bit that you understand how much I like Madonna. she's great. What's more I think she's actually, very clearly, a little bit like a modern day Jesus. I don't have time to explain why.

If I were christian I might be thinking it was time to convert to following Madonna instead of Christ. I'd also be a little annoyed that people think it's okay to f#ck about with my iconography without there being any consequences. Perhaps I'd convert to the way of the Madonnaian and along the way become a little more millitant about stuff. The only thing I'd be wondering would be this. If Madonna were to be crucified would she come back from the dead like what God did?

I'm not suggesting I'd try and kill her in order to find out. That'd be crazy.

What I'm saying is I'd be waiting for her to make that final sacrifice. The natural next big step in her divinely ordained direction from pop star (and failed wannabe film actress) to Mother Goddess! I'm sure it's what any sane deviantly obsessed mentally unbalanced fan of the material girl would want. But no matter how much you (and God) actually want something it's never right to give everything a helpful push in the right direction. Never.

But what better way for Madonna to finally enter that glorious cannon of legends such as John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix!

It is surely what she would have wanted?

I'm sure it'll be sooner rather than later that she takes that final noble step.

On her own, without anyone's assistance.

NM

If you're interested in it... be prepared for the fact it's therefore likely to take an interest in you. (Tuesday)

Suppose that when you die your life actually does flash before your eyes. One question that has always fascinated me is how would it do this in such a short space of time? How is all that information compressed into a few seconds of realtime?

One way to do it would be to have it like it is when you watch a film being fast forwarded on a DVD. Here speed is achieved by cutting out some of the frames of the film. I find this idea unsatisfactory given that you're not actually watching the film, you're watching an incomplete version. If this were true it would be more accurate to say that bits of your life flash before your eyes before you die*.

In the few accounts I've heard where this phenomenon is reported it's the whole thing. Only an idiot thinks they can watch a film by scanning it on fast forward. Surely the same would be true of your life story?

The second idea which I find more satisfying is that your perspective and perceptual ability changes with the experience and you're in some way able to process all of the information in those few seconds you have available to you. Every last burp, fart, trivial detail, amazing moment and awful tragedy. No bits left out. Not compressed but fully realised and entirely complete...

This raises the question - how complete? Would it include the end bit of your life. The bit where your life flashes before your eyes just before you die?

If it did this would lock your life story into a loop. A loop which allows you to compact the events of your life not just into a few seconds but now into the final fractal extant of a few seconds. A loop which in the real world starts to defy the laws of what is physically possible, surely?

Processing a lifetime of information in fractions upon fractions of time. The more the loop turns the faster the dying person would be living out their entire life story from our perspective but to them of course this would not be the case. To them it'd all be going at a comprehensible speed. Whereas as far as we're concerned they're experiencing a lifetime within a split fraction of a nano-second. And beyond. Until they are no longer in the realms of what is possible in a finite world. Pushing up out of the finite into the infinite. Is that possible? Probably not. I don't know.

How could I possibly know or understand all of this? I'm just fuc#ing with your tiny mind for fun. Follow me. It's fun.

Anyway, I digress, imagine this:

You are born and you experience the first second of your life. At the end of that second that period of time is literally (to you) a lifetime. Therefore living for another second would be (to you) like living for another lifetime.

So now you were born two seconds ago... living for a third one is going to take you half the time it did before in terms of your perspective. It's only literally (to you) half a lifetime now. Still a long time considering where you head will eventually get to but, y'know, not as long as it was.

This process continues until seconds start to amount to much less in terms of your life experience. Your perspective allows you to percieve time more easily and in line with the rest of the real world. You're tuning into consensus reality.

Suppose we shoot forward to you being one year old. A month to a one year old kid is an enormous ammount of time. One twelfth of their lifetime from their perspective! A two year old though and it's half the time. A twelve year old kid and a month isn't nearly as bad. A 24 year old adult and a month is nothing.

Thus the experience of many of us is that time appears to be speeding up. It's all about perspective and how much of it we've experienced.** It's interesting to note the parrallels between this idea and the one I opened with. All about realtive time perception based on perspective.

Is it possible that we drop from the state of death I described at the start of this weird 'blog entry into the life we're in now?

Maybe it is.

Did you think of that?

No you didn't because you're busy doing things like living a life while I'm having time off. Not going on holiday to some hot country or some such. Just sat on my ar#e thinking. For fun.

NM

*This may well be the case. I don't know. Obviously. This is a 'blog. I don't need to know. I'm writing this for fun. I'm not really interested in helping you along the spritual path. That's your own business. I don't remember ever dying before. Or do I? Actually I do. Furthermore I'm surprised I've never included an account of this odd hallucination of mine concerning the intimate details of my own death in this 'blog. That's quite odd. Will have to post it up sometime. Seriously. Not joking. I've watched myself actually die twice. I'm an old man in hospital. Really f#cking odd.

**This (in my opinion) is why old people see the world as being fast moving. I've also often thought it's why kids have a higher pitch to their voices unlike older people whose voices continue to deepen the older they get. Old airchecks of radio shows I did as an 18 year old have me prattling away with what sounds like a speeded up voice. I was just younger.

Looks like that one just slipped through my fingers...

So I'm off this week and have spent most of the morning in bed. That's what I do when I have time off. F%ck all. It's all I've ever done with my time off. Laze about and get drunk. I don't understand why people get in a flap and go on holiday and stuff. What's the deal with that? It seems to be more of a stress than anything else to me. And it costs a fortune!

My girlfriend will be going on holiday soon when she takes her time off. She's going to Greece. She is of course going with one of her mates, the teacher who I thought was cool. I can't speak Greek so I'll never go there. My new rule is I will only go to countries where I can speak to people. It seems rude to turn up without having any idea how to talk to the natives. This restricts me to only visiting the colonies. I don't like hot weather either so the chances of me ever going abroad again are looking slim.

Also I hate flying. Oh there's no reason to be worried about that you silly boy! Pah! Shove that thought up your a&se. There's every reason to be scared of flying. Mainly the possibility of a horrific death.

One thing I don't understand about holidays is where people get the money from. I earn a reasonable amount of cash but I don't have any left over to go zooming off to foreign lands. Seriously, there's nothing in my account for that sort of thing. Too many outgoings.

Crack cocaine and heroin don't pay for themselves you know.

NM

The O.C. (Sunday)

Bloody hell that episode of Dr Who was amazing! I missed the Saturday showing and watched the re-run today. It blew me away! The Cybermen have always been my favourite villains. Their only problem is they often play second fiddle to The Daleks and many of their episodes have suffered from poor scripts in the past. Even so I've always thought they were far more exciting than The Daleks. In fact I once met the actor who played the leader of The Cybermen in the 80's and I still own a copy of his book which he wrote, signed of course.

I'm really in geek heaven these days. 2000AD subscription, writing regularly for geek-bible REDEYE magazine and watching Dr Who. Excellent. Actually there's another cool thing. The Pat Mills interview seems to be shaping up well. This Thursday I'll be popping down to London with the editor of the magazine to interview The Godfather of British Comics. Brilliant. My only vague fear is that there's been a misunderstanding with the dates and perhaps it was actually this Thursday just gone. I'm pretty sure it's just my natural paranoia kicking in there but we'll see. My disorganised life isn't able to shock me anymore I don't think. Such a misunderstanding is possible and slightly hinted at in recent emails I've been sent with comments like - "we're meeting him at xxx on Thursday, see you there". Got that email at the start of last week.

Going to spend a large part of this week - I'm off all week - reviewing a new batch of comics I've got. One of them is a new BBC one called Dr Who Adventures. It's pretty rubbish. It's clearly for kids, but as a kid I remember things like this annoying me. Just because you're a kid it doesn't mean you're stupid.

Well. Perhaps it does. I can't remember.

A lot of kids are pretty f*cking thick.

Hey-ho, I'll save it for the review.

NM

Thin mongy doggy (Saturday)

I consumed an enormous amount of alcohol on Friday night at the company awards ceremony. Some people contend that drunks tell the truth. I've always thought that was bo*llocks. I recently heard this idea again off my girlfriend's mum. My sister used to believe it as well. I'm not sure if she still does. If it were true I'd be very worried. Furthermore, if it were true then our Governments would just use alcohol as the infamous 'truth drug' for which they've so long searched.

It's not true.

My memory of the night is patchy. It's annoying because I'm not entirely sure who I should ring and apologise to. Perhaps I don't need to. I'm usually a happy and silly drunk. That said I certainly annoyed some people by pretending to run up for awards which I hadn't won. I think I annoyed my boss by giving him a piece of my mind about something as well. I wasn't having a go but I was talking utter sh*te. Something he realised with the following firm but fair line: "Nick, this is neither the time or the place for this discussion". Fair 'enuff.

I thought it'd be funny to wear a t-shirt which said "I'm Number 1 so why try harder" and Phoneboy bet me that I wouldn't manage to wear some cool rockstar shades throughout the night. He lost the bet. On one level this t-shirt could be perceived as arrogant but on another it's so clearly ironic you'd have to really think I was number one (or at least that I thought I was) for it not to be funny. Sometimes my irony is lost on people. A fat bloke with a beard is not number 1.

I filmed large parts of it on my phone as an experiment. I'm thinking it will soon be possible to embed video onto this blog. I don't know if this will improve it or not. I'm also still toying with the idea of popping up a comments section.

As I've got the week off I might spend a little more time making this website cooler. Howabout putting up one of those f*cking awful chatrooms?*

NM

*Obvious irony. You knew that right?

Words are not what you are reading. (Friday)

Remember that fat bully who was on the last Big Brother? Lesley Sanderson was her name. By then I'd already gone on record as saying that the way this thing will end is with the suicide of one of the contestants once the lights are gone and the cameras are no longer interested. She's recently admitted that she attempted to end her life [external link to digitalspy.co.uk] not so long ago. My thoughts on reality television are outlined quite concisely on the most popular page of this blog, over here.

What strikes me about what she says in the interview is the pathetic sadness of it all. On one level she was a fuc#witted agressive bully who showed a very unpleasant side of herself to a large number of people on TV. What she didn't understand was that this was then picked up and spun by tabloid newspapers to people who were as thick as she is. The consequences of this are the depressing, tacky and unfortunate series of events which became her life after leaving the gameshow.

There's one bit of it which really strikes a chord with me though. She describes herself as a victim. This is correct in every sense of the word. In yesterday's post I outlined the fact that broadcasters need to hold a licence as one of the reasons people like Channel 4 hold such sway over the minds of the stupid. As it stands at the moment this requires them to take responsibility for what they choose to broadcast. Programmes like Big Brother are in my opinion a flagrant breach of this. Lives are ruined by this programme. There's no debate about that.

Does the fact it makes a lot of money outweigh this? I think not.

Does the fact they volunteered for it? Not in my opinion, they're too stupid to know what it entails.

Does the fact that I'm going to probably end up watching it, just like I did the celebrity one? No.

NM

Macca's been done like a fool hasn't he?

Last night I spent hours on the internet flicking around a website which I wasn't previously aware of: www.tomgreen.com. Very good it is too. In fact I'd go as far as to say it's totally opened my eyes at to where the internet and the media is headed. He's building a TV station in his house! There's loads of odd videos on there. It sort of reminds me of his old TV show that he used to do. I could watch it for hours. Hang on. I just did watch it for hours.

At the rate we're going soon everyone will have their own TV channel, radio station, newspaper collumn. I've sorely tempted to take some video on my phone of this forthcoming awards ceremony I'm going to. Host it on google video and then embed it on this site. Job done. Amazing!

The number of friends I've got who now have blogs is increasing by the day. It feels like I'm adding a new one each time I post*. Soon we'll all be uploading video like Tom Green does. Not all of it will be great but it's going to change the way the media works forever. Currently most media organisations survive not because they're good but simply because they hold a licence to broadcast. Once those days are over and anyone can communicate with the masses just by sitting down at a computer it's really going to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Some people in the media are really worried about this and are keen to cling to their monopoly. Their attitude is sort of: "Oh my god! He's got his own collumn and 1000's of readers and he's not even famous! It's an outrage!". It upsets them to think that in the future everyone really will be famous for 15 minutes.

Many people in television still mourn the loss of the terestrial television system where we only had four channels. Then of course there are people in government and so forth who are worrying about the impact this has on society as we continue to fracture down into smaller sub-groups. The political arena is now being defined more and more not by ideology but by which of these groups you belong to. Hence the rise of right wing parties like the BNP and Respect.

A lot of people are really very worried about it. How are you going to tell people what to do if none of them watch any of the major TV channels?

I'm in the other court. Bring the whole f#cking thing down man. Lets hear all those thoughts that people don't express. Let people who do good stuff be rewarded and those who are rubbish but their daddy happens to work in the company - your days are numbered. The sooner all this happens the better. It's exciting!

Actually, if you want to see the future of broadcasting: CLICK HERE (not okay for younger readers, too much swearing**). This guy sums it up for me. I honestly think it should be okay for people like him to have a crack at doing a phone-in on a proper radio station. You'd have audience coming out of your a#se.

NM

*Well, I sort of am. Here's my mate Lloyd's. He and I did a short lived stand-up double act for a bit. He's a lot funnier than I am but has little/no interest in doing anything with it.

**In fact in fairness, younger readers shouldn't really be reading this website. It's far too boring. Not particularly offensive I don't think but certainly boring. Go out and play in the sunshine/rain whatever.

"Oh shi# what have I f#cking done?" - JIMMY YOU LEGEND!!!

As I said in my previous post I've been making every effort to eat slightly less than my prescribed 31 weight watcher points this week as well as going to the gym twice this week. So, I pop along to my meeting feeling like I've not really lost much weight this week after the 4lbs I lost last week and get on the scales. I was quietly confident that perhaps I'd lost a couple. On we get -- oh dear I've gained a pound.

My dissapointment at only losing a pound in the first week is now thrown into sharp relief as I feel a little cheated that I've done the opposite this time round. It doesn't really make sense. The group leader suggests that the previous week where I had a bit of a blowout might have caught up with me. My mate Tracy suggests I might have eaten too little. The other woman sat with us told me how she ate hardly anything at all and walked everywhere for a week and put on a pound as well.

I remember once when I was really big (18.5 stone) I didn't eat anything but half a cup of rice for three days and still my weight went up! The atkins diet was an absolute godsend for me back then. Now however I'm only about a stone off my normal weight for my height. Weightwatchers is a better system. You can eat what you want. In theory.

Furthermore I learned today that you can't save points from one week to the next. So all my point cutting this week in anticipation of the awards ceremony I'm off to this friday was a total waste of time. Bolloc#s.

As I write this I'm stuffing my face with a sandwich and a crunchie.

What? F#ck you! I have enough points left over for it. Eating too little? Not this week!

Here's a link to my mate Gordon Loncaster's latest venture. Gordon is one of the nicest blokes I've had the pleasure of meeting in this little radio industry of ours.

NM

My athlete's foot is looking quite normal now. However it's just started itching again recently. I've been on a course of antibiotics for it recently. As I mentioned in a recent post. At the bottom of this post I was foolish enough to use a gag which featured in one of my early (never performed) stand-up routines. Swallowed my tooth - hurt like a b#stard ... particularly when it came out the other side. However it means I'm the only person here who has bitten my own ar#e. Cue laughter.

The reason I never performed this routine is because I knew the whole routine wasn't really that funny. However I always liked this little joke. A mate of mine helpfully emailed me to explain why it's not a very good joke:

That dentist gag about biting your own a*se still doesn't quite hit the funny bone - I'm sure it registers high on comedy potentiometer but somehow there's a short circuit and it just doesn't connect - maybe it's my logical brain but I think it's because "bite" indicates at least two teeth together, one is just uncomfortable abrasion.

He is of course right. It's a sh#t joke really. And there's nothing funny about biting sh#t. He also does a blog. I'm just about to go and read it... here's the link.

Under red keys in his locket

So I've started going to the gym recently in order to boost the total number of weight watcher points I'll be able to spazz at the forthcoming company party this weekend. This means I now have to contend with THE CHANGING ROOMS again, which frankly I've always fuc#ing hated. Today there were all manner of people there doing all manner of horrible things. One bloke arguing on his mobile phone with someone. Really going at it and shouting. Another in the corner with a calm look on his face pulling his plonker occasionally in the sort of absent minded fashion one might adopt when scratching your ear.

I also noticed a little cubicle in the corner of the room which had never struck me as absurd before. Now I noticed that to use this little cubicle (presumably to preserve your modesty and not attract attention to your naked body) you'd be actually drawing more attention to yourself by going into it. People would think it quite odd.

I remarked on this to my friend and then spent the rest of my time there worrying that someone would walk out of it looking all shamefaced. They didn't.

Then, for the first time ever, there was a queue for the showers. I've never experienced that before. Very odd. Naked people really smell horrible. Standing in a line of them is probably the sort of thing they make you do in hell. Big line of naked people, waiting to be flogged.

If you spent an eternity there you'd get used to it in the end of course. It'd still be annoying though. Smelly people.

However I'm the one who's laughing. I've managed to get an extra 4 points by going to the gym this week. That is equal to an extra pint of bitter and half a lager.

Doesn't seem that much really does it.

Cu#tflaps.

NM

You don't have to be afraid anymore

So I went to the doctors and got told more about my athlete's foot, which isn't actually athlete's foot. He says although my foot is making a recovery it's still not as well as it should be. Years of agressive stratching and neglect mean it will be forever scarred. It's also very prone to infection. He prescribed more anti-biotics and steroid creme. What amazes me is that I sat in his office and totally forgot to mention that I'm getting a sharp pain in my left hand side every now and then at the moment.

Could it be down to my anti-biotics? Perhaps it's triggered something with my apendix and I'll wake up tonight in agony crippled with pain unable to do anything about the situation. Then it'll burst and fill my body with toxic chemicals and people will later point to this entry and go "aahhh". He knew he was going to die. The irony.

This is my problem. I self-diagnose via ignorance and paranoia. The end result is that my vivd imagination serves up an unlikely but detailed worst case scenario. What I should of course really do is ask the expert. But I forget. Or even worse I become too scared to sort the problem out.

My front bottom teeth are bunched up and mongy. They always have been. I think most people of my generation suffer from the too many teeth syndrome. Well my front teeth, like most people's, fell foul of the shi#tty build-up of sediment that you get. There was loads of it. Rather than listening to my friends who all said - "you just need a scrape Nick" I became convinced that they were soon to fall out. They'd bunched together and melded into one instable super-tooth and as soon as any sane dentist saw them he'd be sure to remove them all and put in some falsies.

False teeth at the age of 23 (my age then, not now)! The injustice. I therefore decided not to go to see a dentist, ever again. Just keep on trucking and deal with it when they fell out.

Then I cracked and swallowed one of my back teeth*. This forced me to the dentist. While he was taking a look I cowered in the seat.

'Any minute now he'll notice my instable supertooth at the bottom front, he'll want to put in falsies, bas#ard!'.

'Oh, you're teeth need a bit of a scrape there now don't they?'

Off came all the crap. Brand new teeth. Great. What was I worrying about? There really is nothing to worry about. Even though I'm sure there is. I hate dentists. Yuk.

NM

*Fu#king hurt like a bastard I can tell you. However it eventually came out the other end. That was of course even more painful. On the positive though it makes me better than you in that I've managed to bite my own ars#.

Regis of the Moor Pond

Is it possible that the collective consciousness of which we are all a part is actually the same force which shapes consensus reality, rather than the other way round, as I'd always presumed? If you imagine humanity as one dreamer imagining truths with each moment and replacing them in the next can we realise each person's perspective as a fraction of what actually is real? I suspect what holds us back is the fact that people so often lie about what they think. If someone is sincere in their beliefs I think they should be taken seriously. I've got a mate who I respect as an equal and he believes firmly in ghosts. He claims to be able to sense them. My only option is to suspend judgement on the matter.

Recently I'm getting more and more into the idea of sincerity and genuine conviction. Bill Hicks used to believe that everyone had an internal voice of logic. I know I have. When I'm wrong about something I often know it, deep down. The little voice of logic is in there. Sometimes it's hard to find it though as like most people I'm able to lie to myself with real conviction.

I had a conversation recently with a mate of mine about my aspirations to do stand-up comedy. He said that really I should stop doing the open-mic shows now and get on proper bills infront of paying people. My little voice of logic agreed with him. Every other part of me got a little bit frightened and tried to convince me that I could still learn a lot from open mic gigs.

Stand-up comedy is the final frontier for me. I know it's where I've got to go next. The problem with most of the other things I've done is they're too easy and the returns are accordingly lower. Stand-up is hard work but if you do it well I imagine it's like crack cocaine. The highs are high.

And the lows are low I suppose.

You'll read about it all here.

NM

Saw it again last night in my dreams, this time it wasn't mine?

Urrgh. I have a hangover. It's one of those ones you get after you spend the night drinking: lager, Guinness (mixed with Tia Maria), vodka and coke*. I was drinking lager because it has less weight watchers points in it than my traditional bitter. I was drinking vodka because it's got even less. I drank Guinness with Tia Maria in it because I was drunk and thought it tasted nice. That's the same reason I tried to order Pizza when I got home. Fortunately Manchester isn't as good as Sheffield for things like that and we couldn't find anyone prepared to deliver**.

Whenever I wake up in the morning like this I always feel that I've done something stupid. As I sat on the throne this morning I skimmed through my phone and realised that around 12 different take-away and delivery places got the following message:

"Oh I see - not open tonight are we not chaps? Well fu*k yoo pretty boy!"

Seemed hilaryarse at the time. Now it appears to be the drunken shenanigans of a fool, which of course it was. I'm a giddy and silly drunk. Getting in a bad mood or becoming annoyed about anything just sobers me up and is very hard to maintain. Drink affects different people in different ways. It used to just send me to sleep when I over did it. That's not the case anymore unfortunately.

Now of course I'm going through all the usual nonsense I experience after drinking too much the night before. Odd feelings of guilt. Tired yet restless. And the classic 'I should give up for a month or so'. Which I rarely follow through but I think perhaps that time is coming. Currently I'm on anti-biotics for my foot. The doctor told me I'd be okay to have a couple of drinks on them and that is sort of what I've done however they work as a good excuse for not drinking.

How odd is that? You need an excuse to not drink!

"Not having a pint Nick?"

"No I'm alright actually."

"Why not? You're not driving, come on man! Get a beer down you!"

INSERT EXCUSE HERE... or get a beer...

Perhaps a good excuse would be something which includes reference to the fact it makes me act like a total twonk.

NM

*Coca-cola. Not cocaine. I'm not boring enough to do that yet.
**Point to Sheffield here. I'm trying to work out which is the best. In all honesty the steel city is winning hands down.

Dreamed about a scabby eye

Blogging seems to be taking off these days. Lots of people I know have taken up the mantle and started putting their thoughts on the internet in word form. For a while I've had the following conversation with my girlfriend:

"So if you're blogging you should let me plug it on mine, then people can read yours who read mine"

"No, I don't want people to read mine just because I go out with you"

"They won't, they'll just like to have a look that's all"

"But your blog gets readers"

"Not many. And besides only a small fraction of them ever follow my sidebar links"

"Oh okay"

So that sounds to me like she's given me permission to link to her blog. Hence if you look at the sidebar you'll see an entry which say's "My Girlfriend's Blog". In it she talks about bands she fancies and my ringtone which she wrongly identifies as Superman.

I like the fact that blogging is starting to take off. I now have loads of blogs which I can flick through when the mood takes me. The more the better in my book. I'd go as far as to say they're one of the best things the internet has produced for us. Aside of course from emails promising bigger erections and strange offers from people who reckon they want you to look after huge amounts of money for them.

NM

The cogs fall into gear and it's time to start moving.

So a BT engineer came round to the house today to fix our phoneline. Apparently it wasn't working or something. We're only going to be using it for the internet but it needed to be fixed. He was amazed at how badly the lines had been fitted by the people who built the building originally. It seems that workmen often feel the last person to have been there before them was rubbish. It's sort of one of the rules.

Talking of rules, what exactly is the protocol when there's someone like that in your house? I didn't have any milk so I couldn't make him a cup of tea. I just sort of stood there as he explained stuff to me which frankly made no sense at all. "Oh yeah, that's not the master socket that, it needs a capacitor. We'll do a line check you see. Now these wires here, they're not on the BT standard colour coding. Cowboys, whoever put them in you see. So ..." etc.

I just sort of nodded and said "yeah?" and "oh right" whenever it seemed appropriate. It was very boring watching him work but I wasn't sure if I should sort of say, y'know, "get on with it then... I'll be over here reading my comic books" or not. So I didn't I just sort of hung about.

One of the things I always consider with people like that is how rubbish I am when it comes to anything practical. Like changing a fuse? No idea how to do that. Changing a lightbulb? I'd rather not. Might get electrocuted or something. I'm not even going to think about trying to fix my car or change a tyre. No chance.

What am I going to do when I finally have to grow up?*

NM

*A computer game with The Hoff in it.

Skak lob

I'm going to go and get weighed again at WeightWatchers. It really is like a sort of version of The Freemasons. Popped into my local shop today and had a half hour conversation with the woman in there about how many points were in what. Oh yes, she's a weightwatcher too! We got on so famously that she ended up giving me a box of weetabix for free. Excellent. The whole incident managed to shake the foul mood I'd managed to get myself in last night...

I watched a TV programme called "I killed John Lennon" about the useless t#at who shot one of my childhood heroes. It was infuriating on so many levels I don't know why I didn't just turn it off*. Everytime I have that story related to me there is a little part of me which half expects the story to turn out okay this time.

Chapman, clutching a book of The Catcher in The Rye, shouted out to the popstar "Mr Lennon". John turned round and saw he was holding a gun. Quick as a flash the dry witted scouser grabbed his wife and used her as a human shield.

Blam blam blam. No more Yoko. A terrible tragedy which produced Lennon's next album. A work which many people believe was some of his best work. Yeah, and then the security guard from the Dakota building and Lennon kicked the f#cking shit out of Ono's killer.

Everyone's happy.

No, sad. Because Yoko died and stuff. But y'know.

NM

My athlete's foot is clearing up. Really clearing up. I'm on antibiotics for the ba#tard at the moment. It's almost gone though.

*A factor which adds to my annoyance.

Blog spak

I think today's show was much better. It felt a lot more comfortable and I wasn't knackered like yesterday. It's quite weird standing in for Daryl. A lot of fun and very different to standing in for Matt. I enjoy working in the day though. I wasn't happy with myself when I took it on last time round and immediately longed for the comfort of working at night.

So, I stumble off air and we're away to the "team-building" day. Horrific! Absolutely terrifying. People firing shotguns at clay pidgeons. Running over assault courses. Climbing 8 foot high walls. Flapping round. Being the 'alpha male' and generally doing all the sorts of things that "go getters" and "big hitters" do in these situations.

I'm of a nervous disposition and have a vivid graphic and unforgiving imagination. I watched one of the teams doing the assault course in a state of total petrification. With each moment I imagined an even more terrible fate befalling one of my collegues. As they climbed up and down the nets and so forth I was anticipating the pop of a limb or the snap of a bone.

Then -WHHOOOSH - SLAMM! One of the women in the office landed an enormous crack on her head. Urgh. F#ck. I can't look. Jesus Christ. I f#cking knew it. Is she? Urgh. No. No. She's okay? She's got a helmet on. Don't take it off, her brains will come out? No. No. She's okay. She's laughing, she's fine*. She's okay. Fu#king hell.

They're all loving it. Running round and shouting things like "hell yeah"! I seem to be eternally detatched from the emotions of my fellow humans.

NM

*Well. She'd just hit her head. She wasn't fine. She did say she felt like crying afterwards. But instead she masked her pain with a pleasant smile and laughed it off.

Spag bog

Exhausted! Clash of the shifts. Sunday night I was on air doing my late show. Monday morning I'm up early to stand in for Daryl Denham. Towards the end of the show I got seriously giddy. The absurdity of what I was doing seemed incredibly apparent. Talking inbetween songs. To what avail? Why? Cue the giggles.

As a result I fluffed some of the links and got occasionally confused as to what I was supposed to be doing. Only minor things here and there but it's annoying* nontheless.

Tomorrow it'll be different because I'll be fully rested, watered and fed**. The only shame is that most of the Hallam FM staff will be at a "team day" learning how to work as a team. It'll be one of those motivational sessions. People breaking wood and shouting "I am a winner". You know the sort of thing. I've never learned anything even remotely interesting at one of them but I enjoy their absurd nature.

The reason this is a shame is that my boss will be there too. That means in reality he won't listen to any of my fantastic work. He'll have heard me today and think I'm a bit of a fu#kwit.

NM

*Well, it was amusing. To me. At the time.
**After my blowout at the Take That concert where I ate EVERYTHING I could think of, my points total was almost non-existent on Sunday.

Not the wise or the lamb (Sunday)

There's thousands of 'em. Absolutely screaming like lusty warriors. Every time there's a break in the song I pop my fingers in my ears knowing that they're going to be ringing like a fire bell in hell for the next few months...

Now they're dancing in the middle of the crowd on a giant temporary stage which has been lowered from the ceiling.

And now they're talking to the audience about a 'special bloke' who was there with them from the start - and is here tonight. Whispers fly round like a fire dancing from tree to tree. "Robbie? It's Robbie! Is it Robbie?"

"Nigel Martin Smith" Mark Owen continues and the audience replies with a series of loud booing and hissing noises. He looks a little surprised and replies with "No, erm.. if it weren't for 'im you'd not be 'ere."

Then Gary Barlow announces that he and the band have had a great idea. They're going to run through the crowd back to the stage. I'd heard this was going to happen earlier. In fact I'd been stopped from getting to the bar by a steward in order to make room for them.

Surely this will turn into a full-scale riot?

Our side of the crowd gets Gary and Howard*. As they run past with all these women touching them my girlfriend leaps out of her chair and grabs Howard. She gives him a big kiss and looks confused/happy/excited. Frankly you couldn't have done this sort of thing at a rock gig. Liam would have been punched.

With a ratio bordering on something like 4 women to every bloke this crowd is one of the nicest group of intensely excited people I've ever been a part of.

It is in my opinion proof that women should rule the world. They're nicer.

Even if their collective taste in music is a bit rubbish.

NM

*No idea what his last name is. Or indeed who he is.

'Twas a bit rubbish last night though, shame I was getting into it.

I'm particularly excited today because as well as going to see Take That tonight I'm also going to go get some comics from a shop in Manchester called something like "Travelling Man". They're hosting a Free Comic Book Day event. There's a website about it: www.freecomicbookday.com*. I imagine though, given that I'm still in bed at the moment, there's not going to be many left by the time we arrive. Still it's a good excuse to spend some time wandering round the comic book shop.

I've just recently bought a comic book actually. It's by a bloke called Grant Morrison. It's his 'masterwork', The Invisibles. I've read a lot of Grant Morrison in the past and wasn't expecting much. He'd stuck in my memory as being mostly hit and miss. The worst work of his was a book called Arkham Asylum. Really dull. The only reason I bought it is because me and a mate have become a little obsessed with a fantastic speech he gave at the Disinformation conference a few years ago. Do a search on GoogleVideo** for either disinformation or Grant Morrison and you'll find it. He's a wacky character.

He bangs on about magic and aliens. What's good about that is he manages to do it in an interesting fashion.

I think one of the reasons I've got a reasonably eclectic mindset is my fascination with comics during my formative years. In retrospect it's obvious when I consider some of the genuinely strange yet talented people who write these things. Their odd fascinations with ideas that traditionally belong on the fringe naturally bleed through into their work. It's amazing the influence this has on you when you're an adult.

Things seem to be moving along with the idea of me interviewing Pat Mills, the Godfather Of British Comics. We're even looking at a possible date at the end of this month. Fantastic news.

I sent a script off to Viz this week. No reply as yet but I'm sure they will love it. Just as Tharg will at 2000AD in the end. As well as my script I sent in a load of letters. They pay a fiver a pop I think? Here's my favourite letter submission:

Dear Viz,
Why don't that Osama Bin Laden, Tony Blair and George Bush all just f*ck off and leave us lot to live in peace?

Yours Sincerely


Nick Margerrison

PS - That Saddam Hussein can get to f*ck as well.

Hope they publish it.

NM

*You'll have to cut and paste this because I'm updating on my liddle lday's Apple. For some reason it won't let me put in a weblink. This is in no way a criticism of her Apple! I'm not getting into all that again.

**Usually of course I'd have done the work for you here but it seems a bit pointless given that I can't link to it. Perhaps I can embed it into the entry? Not managed to do anything like that for a while... here goes:

An odd quirk of the Banyan Tree...(Friday)

I admit it, I am excited about the fact that I'm due to go see Take That in Manchester this weekend. We're going to the saturday performance. There's silly rumours that Robbie Williams will be performing at one of the hometown gigs. They're obviously b#llocks but it adds a little spice to the forthcoming adventure.

Me and Take That have a long history. Any bloke of my age knows their power. Most of the relationships I've had have been with women who've loved Robbie and Mark and the chaps. As a result I've watched Take That Live videos and documentaries and so forth. Although I missed the recent one. I was visiting my parents at the time and my dad wouldn't let me watch it because "they're f#ckin' shi#e son". I know in my heart that he's right about that but on the flip side I kind of feel like I've grown up with them a bit.

I remember watching them as a kid and thinking it was funny that they were only a few years older than me. I quite liked their manner. I just didn't admit this to any of my mates at school because obviously they'd have reacted like my dad did.

To some extent I've kept up the idea that I don't really like them and that I'm only going to watch them because my girlfriend wants me to. Then she decided to call my bluff:

Jodes: "Well if they're so rubbish and you don't want to go I'll take Claire with me instead and you can go for a pint with the lads"

- oh f#ck I've been rumbled -

Me: "Err, no it's okay babes I'll come with you. I know you like their music and stuff.."

Jodes: "No I don't mind. We can still see each other. Claire would love to go."

Me: "Um.. well.. I mean"

Jodes: "I'll send her a text she'll be made up"

Me: "NO! NO! NO! No. I mean. Sorry. Erm. Actually I think I'll go. Yeah. I'll go. It'll be good."

Jodes: "Do you want to go then?"

Me: "Yes. Maybe."

Jodes: "Say it bitch."

Me: "Ok. Ok. I admit it. I love Take That and I always have."

Jodes: "Say it in a girly voice like the little gimp that you are!"

Me: [in a high pitched voice] "I want to go see Take That!"

--

Well, you know. It was sort of like that. Perhaps I've exaggerated the first part.

NM

You don't know what you'd do without it...

So today I had a nasty shock. As I glanced at the last few entries I've made to this 'blog I realised that I'd missed a day out. Totally by accident I'd failed to post an extra entry to make up for bank holiday. At first I was convinced I'd written one and it had somehow been deleted. Like some weird hacker had decided to delete random blog entries for fun. It took an unusual ammount of time for me to realise that it was actually my halfwitted tom-foolery which was to blame.

Now it's not unusual for me not to update this each day because I might not be able to get to a computer. What I do in those instances is upload the correct ammount of entries the next time I'm online. However these entries have usually been pre-typed into my phone so they're relevant in some way.

Tonight I needed an extra entry to make everything fit in my little world of odd silly rules that I must stick too at all costs. So I ended up digging out an old entry which I wrote but never posted some time ago on the grounds that it was a bit sh#t. And very up its own a#se.

That's what you now see over here.

I predict that no one will ever read it. It's too long and boring.

There's a lovely irony in the fact that this post is now about apologising for a previously bad post. A trick I've employed once already this week.

Sorry.

NM

Blue eyed night sky looking down on me... thine eyes have seen the wonders of history... did they really look... as plain as me?

I was having a conversation with a mate of mine recently about another mate whom I described as "a thinker". When I first decided to call my blog by its current name I did so because I was in one of those moods where I couldn't give a f#ck if I upset people*. As though I was prodding some imaginary member of the public and saying: "yes, that's right, I'm a thinker, what do you make of that eh? I think. I enjoy thinking. At least I think I do. Ha ha! See that? Thinking man's wit. I thought of that. At least I think I did."

Notice how that imaginary member of the public is by implication NOT 'a thinker'. There's a reason for that which I'll come to in a minute.

Once I'd got underway with this website there was a period when I thought I'd chosen the wrong title. It looked pretentious and exclusive and I was considering changing it to something a little more mocking like "Proud To Be A Stinker" or some such. I've got a strange relationship with pretentiousness. On the one hand I can see why it's so repugnant and loathe it when it's all there is to something. Then again on the other, all the best human endeavour has to have some level of pretentiousness to it. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is steeped in it. All great films ooze it. Shakespeare would be lost without it. Colombus would never have bothered without it as a character trait. Etc etc etc.

Often entertainment which is not pretentious and exclusive ends up being the worst pile of conceiveable sh#te you could imagine. Pop Idol ain't pretentious or arty farty. That's why it's so un-utterly wa~k. Why was it okay to like series one of Big Brother? It was the only series that was genuinely pretentious. Now Davina has "the common touch" smirk and the producers don't pretend it's a "social experiment". The consequnce of this is that it's s#ite.

There's an article on a website which makes a simmilar point in specific reference to TV comedy: CLICK HERE TO READ IT. The article is called "Lets all be elitist" and it suggests: "Intelligent comedy which aims for an intelligent audience is great. Plebbed-down comedy which aims for great fat middle-ground audience of 'ordinary people' who don't know naffink about naffink sucks big time". I couldn't agree more.

However elitist is not the word I would use. You see I have a theory, not my most popular but certainly one I try to stick to. It goes like this: Joe -dead ordinary- Bloggs is actually quite intelligent. In fact I'll go you one further. He's as intelligent as you are, if not more so. We're conditioned to expect him to be an utter fu#knut who just goes out gets pis#ed and acts like a t#at. In fact those people are the MINORITY and not the majority.

Most people are actually like you.

Therefore by being "Proud To Be A Thinker" I am not actually isolating or excluding anyone. If anyone isn't involved it's because they've cut themselves out of the deal, not me. They've made the choice not to be a thinker. It's not me who excluded them. We're conditioned to think that title is exclusive. In reality it is far from it.

I like to imagine that the people who read this site are all "Proud To Be A Thinker".

What I'm suggesting is that we start a movement. A club of people, all of whom are not ashamed of the fact that they like to think about the world in a critical manner. They take ideas in and then think about them.

The conversation I was having with my mate centred on things which can often be ruined when they stop being underground and clamber up into the mainstream. Partly we were worrying about the work of genius which is Phlegm magazine (see side banner for link). It's currently as 'underground' as it comes but surely mainstream success can't be far?** Would that ruin things? Only if it stopped being a comic which allows you to think for yourself.

Here's where I personally have had a change of heart. I think the mainstream does not have to be sh#t. I think it's only s#it because that's how we've been told it should be by the same machine that's out to convince you Joe Bloggs is a thick c#nt. The same machine which does not want thinkers. It wants passive consumers.

Popular stuff does not have to be rubbish! It does not have to involve a lack of thought.

For example, I'm proud of the fact that if you type "Proud To Be A Thinker" into google it's now this site which comes up at the top of the list. This site is more popular now than it ever has been. Anyone else who feels "Proud To Be A Thinker", has a command of english and access to the net will find us. And they often do***. From all over the world. Read some of the other entries on that list. It's awe inspiring how liberating it can be to not give a f#ck that you like to think. No, that you're actually proud of being able to!

Here's the next bit, the call to action: I believe that you are a creative person, who is 'Proud To Be A Thinker'. The fact you read this far proves you must be. You should get writing, drawing, singing, dancing - whatever it is you want to do - and be as f#cking pretentious as you can about it. If man did indeed get to the moon he didn't do it by not being pretentious. He did it by filling mankind up with the spirit that anything is possible.**** Don't sit on your a#se worrying that people might not like what you do just f#cking do it. Give over half an hour of your day to it from now on. Each day. Get into something.

That's how movements start.

So there we are: Proud To Be A Thinker.

NM

*These moods come and go. They're not my perpetual mindstate. I think it does people good to be offended by stuff sometimes though. It's often done me a lot of good to be offended by something. When I first heard Pink Floyd I thought they were offensively indulgent. I was wrong. The experience of being annoyed by them was good for me though.

**The writer, Daniel Harrison, has recently been profiled in various mainstream media. You may have read about him elsewhere. You heard it here first!

***About 20 people each week come via a google search on those words.

****Is anything possible? I'm not sure on that one. It often annoys me to hear people say that. I often annoy myself. I'm not even sure this particular entry makes sense.

Order implies desire, say what you see not what you want. Random chaos.

I've lost 1lb. I went to Weight Watchers and got weighed and was told I'd lost 1lb. I've been sticking to it all week. There was general confusion all round:

"Oh well - at least you've not gained a pound."

"Have you been doing it right?"

"Perhaps you're not eating enough?"

"You watch it'll kick in next week"

As I sat listening to the woman talk to the group about how great the new shopping guide is (£4.50 if you want to buy one) I considered what an odd little thing this group was. It's one of the only times I'm in a room where I am the only bloke*. I feel like I've not quite sussed it out yet. It sort of reminds me of Sunday School/Cub Scouts. It's very odd. Not a situation I'm used to and in that respect, I think it's something worth doing.

'Perhaps I've f#cked up my metabolic system with the atkins diet?' I mused as the woman explained how each letter in the word "Shopping Guide" stood for something positive on the path towards weight loss.

I drove back to work and chatted to the lovely Maureen who does the cleaning at Hallam FM. She was surprised I'd not lost more. She'd even predicted I'd have lost around 4lbs. I like her, she's nice. I think the world could do with a few more nice people.

I wonder if I'd gone to the toilet first I could have lost 2lbs?

NM

*The other chap who was there last week wasn't in this time.

Good luck Mr Mushroom...

I have rules about how I put these entries together. One of the rules is that I rarely change an entry once it's been posted. What annoys me is that I remembered just as I was going to sleep what I ment to say about War Of The Worlds in yesterday's entry. What I ment to say was - isn't it annoying when you're watching something you really enjoy and you start crying 'coz it's so good. It's hard to gaze in awe while you've got tears in your eyes!

That would have been a good entry. Much better than what ended up being posted.

I'm sure you can empathise with my irritation. Saying something rubbish when you wanted to say something interesting is a common fault. I often do it.

The flip side is when you start to say something dull or rubbish and then just manage to stop yourself.

NM: "um.. no actually"

The only problem with this is that then the other person becomes very interested in the rubbish thing you were about to say.

X: "What? What? Go on. What were you just about to say?"

NM: "Um.. nothing. Nothing."

X: "No, go on. You were about to say something. What was it?"

NM: "I was just ... um ... no it's silly"

X: "Oh don't be like that why won't you tell me? What was it?"

NM: "I was just going to say wouldn't it be weird if they served tea in pubs on taps like, you know, beer taps or pumps or something. That's all."

X: "What? Why were you going to say that? What a stupid thing to say? Ha ha. What a f#ckwit you really are."

NM: "But... I wasn't going to say it. I decided not to. You made me do it."

X: "Ha ha. Nonsense. You're the fool not me. It's your weblog and yet still I've outwitted and humilliated you. Ha ha ha"

NM: "Fuc#nuts"

The alternative to this is you invent something else to say while the discussion about what you were going to say is developing. Something like - "nice weather we've been having".

NM

Wagga wagga jambolina (sunday)

Yesterday I went to see Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds being performed at The Hallam FM Arena. It was fantastic. Luckily for me I didn't read this review in The London Evening Standard. I've recently been doing a lot of reviews of smallpress comics and it worries me that in doing so I may wrongly cut people off from good stuff. It doesn't seem to worry John Aizlewood at all*.

Thing is, when you really get on a roll it's easy to dish out some really over the top smackdowns to something you don't like. The reviewer ends with the following comments:

"despite the occasional victory, this War was well and truly lost. As Heyward mused on The Eve of the War: "The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one." The chances of anything good coming from this are significantly less. "

I suppose the reader is being encouraged to chuckle at John's wit and then move on. No one's going to bother going to see something which has a significantly less than "a million to one" chance of being good are they? No. No they are not. But, it got the reviewer a bit of a knowing chuckle from their reader so... y'know, that's okay then isn't it?

What I don't understand is why is it that I really f#cking enjoyed myself? It was fantastic. The cast were great and I'd go as far as to say it's one of the best things I've ever seen at The Arena. Really good**.

I think I should review John Aizelwood's review. See how he likes it. Here we go:

"Mr Aizelwood's review of War of The Worlds is wrong."

There we are.

NM

Most common thing for people to do next is click on one of my sidebar links... at the moment Audio Of The Old Phone In Show and Bored Housewife are the two most popular.

*Obviously here I mean it doesn't worry John Aizlewood that he might put people off good stuff with his reviews, not that I might with mine. That'd be mad. But at the same time I'd appreciate his concern.

**My girlfriend didn't enjoy it. She was bored. She'd probably agree with Mr Aizelwood. Ruined.

When the spit goes down you'd better be breaddy (Saturday)

I was saddened to see porky granny-sh#gging-scouser Wayne Rooney screaming in agony after a nasty tackle today. It's never nice to see someone in pain and I've always had a soft spot for the chubby halfwit myself. More so recently, given his legal success against a major media company. However his injury is not all doom and gloom folks - oh no!

Apparently "Engerland" now has no chance whatsoever of winning the world cup. It's safe to say this is some of the best news I've heard all week. The sooner they're kicked out of the running officially the better. Why? Because it means I have to endure less cu#ts behaving like tw#ts in pubs/streets etc. Less fuc#wits driving round with bloody flags in their car. Less halfwitted cu#tishness all round in fact. Great.

"B-but Nick, surely you are English? So you're bound by a sort of duty to support--"

Co#krot! Utter co#krot and you know it. Who won the international tiddlywinks championships? Don't have a clue do you? Was it "EnGerLand"? Again you've about as much knowledge about that as the gass which bubbles from my bottom. Why do you prefer football to other sports? Because you've been told to since you were a little kid. Fuc#ing pathetic.

As pathetic as Big Brother and X Factor Island or whatever. Brainless rubbish. Nothing more.

I don't mind people having brainless interests. I, for example, have hundreds of them. If you're a regualr reader you'll know this already. But at least I know that's all they are. I don't go get drunk and run round with my Dr Who DVD's agressively singing patriotic or nationalistic songs when they comission a new series or have a particularly acomplished episode on*. I don't treat it as a right of passage. I know it's brainless inconsequential s#it. Just like "footy".

I was at a comedy gig last month and the comedian asked us if we'd got up to anything particularly exciting recently. The comedian was in the fat-no-nonsense beer-drinking-prole model. To annoy him I said we'd watched Dr Who DVDs. He said he thought Dr Who was gay and he liked drinking and 'burds' and football and stuff**. As I watched him, like one watches a snail crawl over your carpet in the front room, I wondered which was the most gay pastime.

a, Football - watch a load of men, with all your best male friends, play on a field where there are no women allowed. When the men get a goal they kiss each other.

b, Dr Who - hit and miss sci-fi written by a gay bloke. Liked mainly by single blokes.

Obviously once I'd got all the evidence together like this I realised that none of them are particularly "gay" in that being gay involves falling in love with men. Even though football fans often profess to "love" players and teams. Even though there are some football players who are clearly lying about their sexuality. Therefore sexual deception is accepted in the culture of football***. However it doesn't make it "gay". Saying it's "gay" is a stupid thing to say. Football isn't "gay" it's s#it designed to reduce your intelligence. Big difference.

NM

*Contrary to some of the reports you may have read in some of the grubbier broadsheets.

**It's possible you'd get the impression here that he was really s#it. That's not true he was mildly amusing. Slightly odd looking bloke. But funny in places.

***As I learn is, casual racism, rape, violence and various other unsavoury activities. Don't think they'd let you do any of that in the TARDIS.

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