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That's great news. Really, great news.

I am slightly stunned by the world. Yesterday I rang BT to ask about my phone bill. I'd forgotten that ment auditioning for the Krypton Factor as you try to get through to a human voice. Infuriating.

On my third attempt I remembered hearing about some sort of website that was compiling backdoors and cheats round automated phonesystems. A websearch found this dedicated website; www.gethuman.com. However it appears to have a US focus. In the end it was TV's accident prone clumsy f#ckwit Richard Hammond who came to the rescue, sort of. There was a little section on a site from his god awful ITV show here which explained how to get round BT's phone system. You keep pressing "*". It works as well. Straight through to a normal person. Even when it told me "this shortcut is not available", just press "*" again and off we go. Brilliant. I'm glad he didn't die after all.

Still, I was annoyed at the way a big company thought it was okay to hide behind an automated phone system. I think I'd like to install one in my house. I'd have a lot of fun listening to the c#nts* getting a taste of their own medicine as they ring to ask me if I want cheaper car insurance or whatever.

Then I went off to Meadowhall with Matt Mackay and actually managed to make one of my temples explode. There sat on the counter of a shop was a packet of crisps which cost £1. One pound? What the fu#k? In the words of the late Bill Hicks; 'did I miss a meeting'? £1? For a bag of crisps. I couldn't believe it.

"A quid? A quid for a bag of crisps?"

I could see Matt glaring at me imploring me not to make a fuss. He's an easy going chap and he didn't want to cause a scene. I was absolutely ready to ruck. In other circumstances I would have kicked off about it. Not because I wanted to buy them but because such a price is immoral. Totally immoral.

It really has wound me up.

I ended up going on about it on my radio show and getting calls from people who had seen crisps for £1.50! This is a normal bag of crisps we're talking about here. £1.50!

The world is both an awful and wonderful place. As evidence for the latter I'd cite the following YouTube video which tells a true story:

Can't see it? Here's the direct link.

I learned about this through Harvey The Pooka's blog which I read from time to time. It's worth a scan after you've watched the video. There's a permanent link in the sidebar. It's one of the few blogs advertised there which still gets updated.

I must admit I'm a little bit dissapointed that so few people get round to updating their blogs. The internet is a revolution on the same level as the invention of the printing press but, unlike other mass media it allows for a two way conversation. The mainstream is absolutely fu#king sh#tting itself at the idea that anyone will be able to communicate anything to anyone very soon. I wonder if their fears are misplaced? How many will take this opportunity? How long will it last? I'm rambling. The hug video has put me in an odd mood.

Speaking of rambling, this reverse speech site is good. I've linked there before I think but it's been updated since.

NM

*Here I'm using the word cu#ts to mean anyone who rings up trying to sell me anything ever. Could be BT. Could be a load of other companys. They're all c#nts.

Happy pills don't make you sad?

I used to have a lovely dog called Freddy. He was brilliant. A bundle of positive energy who helped me to overcome my crippling fear of dogs. I used to be an absolute nightmare around them. I've got a best mate who's scared of them, let me tell you though, he's nothing compared to how I was. I'd prance about like a stereotypical girl who's afraid of a mouse or spider. They terrified the sh#t out of me. What was really bad about it was that there was no reason for me to be scared*. I'd never been attacked by one or anything. It was just an irrational fear. As soon as I saw little Freddy sat on our porch shivering with fear though, I changed my whole opinion. In that instant he was my best friend. Obviously, he's dead now. That's what dogs do. Live for 10 years or so and then die. Shame.

It's left me with a dog sized void. I can't reasonably look after one in my current situation so I have to make do with looking at other people's dogs. This situation has spiralled a little out of control over the last year after my flatmate, who shares the same dog sized hole in his life, sent me a picture of his (still living) family pet during a trip back home at Xmas.

You'll notice the festive touch on the nose there. Doesn't look too happy about it but I can assure you that no cruelty was involved. There's some odd internet sites around these days where I'm not always so sure. Anyway, this picture resulted in me taking a few pictures of my own and texing them over to him at the next opportunity. Slowly but surely I've built up quite a collection of pictures of random dogs on my phone. Today is the first example of Monday's dog photo. I'm going to put a picture of a dog on my blog every Monday to cheer people up at the start of the week. I think even dog haters will enjoy a picture of a dog every Monday. You can't help but smile at a dog picture. They're great. What better way to start the week?

This idea will be sure to put my blog at the top of the blog charts. If indeed there is such a chart. I imagine there is. It'll be s#it though. I bet my blog isn't in it. Even though, and lets be honest, mine is pretty f#cking good. It gets real readers and everything you know. Not because I do a radio show. The ones who are here because of that are about 30% of the people who look at it. The majority of people who read this have stumbled over it during the year or so I've been doing it. Yes, that's right a f#cking year! How many people have been reading since day one? Not many. Most people seem to give it about two or three weeks then they f#ck off, never to be seen again.

That's according to my hitcounter and a bit of guesswork anyway.

NM

*Unlike my mate who was attacked by one once. I still think he should get one and therefore overcome his fear. It'd work like a treat and he and his girlfriend could provide a great home to one. Still, there we are. It'll never happen. He hates them.

(Sunday) I'm trying to shoot flowers into the ether. I hope I'm managing to do so.

I woke this morning from an odd dream which has disturbed me more and more as the day has rolled on. In it I had a load of pictures of me from about ten years ago. As I'm sure is the case for most people in these pictures, as in all pictures, I looked younger and thinner and more vibrant. The only problem was that I also looked totally different. My nose was longer and my facial features were sharper. My face was longer and my teeth was bigger. I was a subtly different person. It was like I'd had plastic surgery or something. I recognised myself but it was a different me. I could even remember posing for the pictures and my subconscious had gone to the extra lengths of making sure I was dressed in a green jumper which I used to love and wear all the time ten years ago.

At the time, in the dream, I wasn't freaked out at all by any of this. I just went along with it but when I woke up I was immediately struck by how odd the dream was. The thing is it's loaded with meaning in that currently I've been thinking about things like re-incarnation and what exactly it would mean to be re-incarnated. In many ways it is something that happens to you each day. You wake up, you're a new person, you inherit the life of the bloke you were yesterday. I think this is why I had this dream.

Pictures of you are not really pictures of you, they're reflections of the person you used to be. The person you are now is always beyond your grasp. The person you're going to be is the only one you can really think about as that's the one you can prepare for and make things easier for.

I dunno. I'm writing sh#t again but there's a logic to my thoughts here. It really did unnerve me as I went throughout today thinking about those pictures and the face which wasn't quite mine that looked out of them at me*.

It's an experience which clashed with a mate of mine who spoke to me about Lucid Dreaming. He mentioned it had happened to him quite out of the blue. This came after another mate of my girlfriend's spoke to me about their experiences of doing the same thing the night before.

If you've not tried this yet I suggest you follow the links above and have a scan at the external site they will eventually lead you to.

NM

*If I were to try and place the face it'd be an odd cross between a mate of mine called Gary who I haven't seen for a while and my girlfriend's Dad. Mixed in with my own f#cking face. What's going on there?

(Saturday) Lose the fear and be yourself, two things to do before you die.

Today I was beaten at Ten Pin Bowling by a group of girls. I came second to last, twice. I took it in my stride and pretended that my male ego wasn't battered by it. Actually, oddly, it wasn't. I don't think I really have a huge compettitive side. I think such urges largely only ever hold people back. You know, if you consider that the goal of my life is to get away with doing as little work as possible while managing to f#ck about as much possible. Getting all compettitive about things sort of ruins that mantra.

I'm confused though. I bowl with my right hand. I'm left handed but I bowl with my right hand. Also, I play the guitar with my right hand. I -ahem- have special moments with my right hand. If I were to punch someone* I'd do it with my right hand. Most things in life I use my right hand for, except for writing. What does it all mean?

It's very possible that I'm not really left handed at all. As a kid I was very contrary by nature. I can quite believe that I'd have thought to myself - "oh, so it's not common to be left handed is it? Well, I'll be left handed then, that'll show them". From that point onwards it's possible that I just learned to write with my left hand and have taken it for granted ever since. I used to do things like that as a kid. Actually I still do. It's a major character trait. The majority go one way and I can't help but go the other.

It's sort of odd that I'm not gay**. I think I would be if I didn't dislike the idea so much. Just to be different. Perhaps it's an elaborate double turn. Most of the gay people I know are really tidy and dress in fashionable clothes though. Not something I have the discipline for. And they have sex with men. Not something I think I could stomach. Stubble is bad news for a kick off. I don't know how women put up with it. Then the idea of not having and lady bits to play with. What a drag that'd be.

This blog entry has gone into a bit of a weird area, I realise this and am going to stop typing before things get any worse.

Here's a video of a bloke with no arms winning a swimming race. Don't you just love the internet?



NM

*Unlikely as I'm pretty rubbish at fighting. Never been a fan of it really. Unless we're including Ninjas in the equation. Me and my best mate at school were abso-f#cking-lutely obsessed with Ninjas at school. There's little doubt that they rock.

**Reader's voice: "Hur Hur, you're telling me Nick, beaten by girls?" That was you that was. God I used to hate it when they did that in The Beano, or more frequently in The Dandy. Am I right in saying that The Dandy was for the thick kids? I think I am.

(Friday) They don't relate to the content. They just amuse me. Sorry.

Today I watched the fantastic comedian Simon Munnery. I'd say he's one of the best stand-ups that I'm aware of. If I were to compile a top ten he'd be in there, as is the case if I compiled a top five, or indeed a top three. I'm not going to make such a list though because I'd only regret it. Here is his official unofficial website. Not much on it but it at least gives you an idea of what I'm writing about. It's hard to sum up his appeal but I think, like most good comedians, you feel after watching one of his shows that it'd be really good to be his mate.

His act is full of energy and acute observations. During his set he ditched the microphone and took to walking around the crowd. He worked them like a master. It's a gig I'll remember forever. Really good. I strongly suggest you put him on your list of things to do.

Also I saw a double act called 'The Toothpaste Expedition' do 20 minutes. It's hard to work out if they were funny or not because I was so busy laughing at a heckle which pierced any pretentions of surreal nonsense they were trying to play with right at the start of the show. The bloke came on with a false mustache and a balaclava and stood in sort of running pose. He did this for about 3 or 4 minutes in silence until a song came on. As he stood there, doing nothing and 'being surreal' I heard a thick northern accent behind me pipe up with;

"Fo*kin 'ell - a fiver for this?".

I couldn't stop laughing. It was the juxtaposition of wacky student nonsense with some solid working class pragmatism. It tickled me for a good 20 minutes which, oddly enough, was all the Toothpaste Expedition decided to do. They didn't seem to be going down too badly but I suspect the audience's patience was starting to wane a bit. I dunno. Odd gig and an odd act. I'd like to see them again just to work out if they were any good or not*.

The real revelation of the night though was the show's compare John Cooper. Blo#dy hell he was good. I've always thought he was a good compare but on Friday he was effectively an extra act doing loads of really natural material. Story telling his way through the night and seeming to just have fun with it. It was great to watch. I'm a huge fan of live comedy and would storngly urge you to go out and watch it yourself. There's no better entertainment. F#ck watching it on the telly. It's not the same at all. I've sat through hours of "live" comedy on the telly and not laughed once. Seriously, if you've never been to a live gig get up off your a#se and go to one somewhere.

If you live in Manchester make it one that John Cooper is involved in and if you live in Sheffield look for Toby Foster. London and you've got loads to choose from but my mate Rob Deb's very good. Birmingham, Tom Binns. Where else is there in the world? Loads of places. Erm. Anyway. You get the idea.

NM

*After my unintentionally surreal attempts at stand-up comedy I'm not in a good place to slag anyone off here so perhaps it's best that I lie and say I laughed all the way through their set. Actually that's not a lie. I really was laughing for 20 minutes at the bloke behind me and his well placed heckle. It's making me chuckle now. Like the bloke who said I was s#it, there's something beautiful about a good solid heckle. Doesn't even need to be witty. I'm going to start writing my new material tonight after I've got this blog upto date. I'm going to write a set about what it's like being rubbish at comedy. I think I should include something about heckles.

Clumsy nonsense.

I've finished reading Peter Kay's fantastic autobiography. It really was a great read, I felt sad when I could see the pages I had left getting thinner. There's loads of good stuff in there but one thing grabbed me which has stuck in my mind. There's a bit where he describes in detail the specific memories which songs call into his mind. Recently I had a conversation with a friend of my girlfriend's about how "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack always makes her cry because it reminds her of her nephew. For me it's a rather more mundane memory of going round to my mate Chris's and hearing it on the radio as we had a cheeky smoke*.

This is the thing about my life, it really seems to lack many profound moments. I guess I'm just not as in tune as other people are. Two Princes by The Spindoctors - having a shower at my Dad's house before I went out. Listening to it on the radio as I got ready.

Misteeq "Scandalous" - doing the afternoon radio show and dancing to it, much to the amusement of the news team in the studio. Fat Boy Slim, Rockafella Skank - dancing with my mate Lloyd to it during our student radio show. The Lightning Seeds - anything by them, arriving at Glastonbury for the first time with my mate Daniel.

I'm trying really hard to search for powerful moving memories which are connected to songs and I can't really locate any. They're all mundane little snippets of my life. Clear memories, but nothing particularly "deep".

REM - Everybody hurts. Drinking crap 'Thunderbirds' with a mate of mine on holiday in Painton when I was 17.

In a way though I guess that's what life is. A series of mundane moments given meaning by the fact that they're happening to you.

Or something.

NM

*Ahh - back in the days when I was a smoker. I still miss it you know. I don't think you can ever really stop.

My mate James sent me this on email. Unlike the other videos I've posted here this one is neither violent or mean.

There's nothing more boring than someone who is afraid of dying.

I now have a fully operational hands free kit. I've had this phone for ages but haven't ever managed to get the headphones stuck in. Previously I've tried to gently stick it in the hole with no success. This time I just f#cking rammed it in. It's the same fitting as the one I used to get all my pictures onto my computer. Just goes to show that you can sometimes get violent with modern technology and still get results.

Today though I faced a problem. Wandering through Tescos car park and I'm yabbering away to my girlfriend when I suddenly realise I now look like one of those pri#ks who walks round with a hands free looking like a loony. Mainly because I was one of those p#icks.

As a consequence I judged it less offensive to take it off hands free and hold the phone to my ear as I wandered about pushing a trolley. Impractical but less w#nky. I think. It's confusing.

I remember the days when people would pull a funny face and go "wooo" if someone was posh enough to have a mobile phone. It was a sign of success;

"Yeah, he runs his own business, got two men under him and even has one of them mobile phones!".

"Wooo!"

Nowadays though even tramps have them. Pumping out radiation and rotting our minds. I remember in the late 90's when all of those stories broke about how mobiles are sp#nking out radiation like little microwaves. Those people even managed to use one to cook an egg with. It was too late by then though. No one gave a sh#t. They'd tasted the high life and they weren't going back. I did a call in feature on my old night time show on The Bay where loads of people called in saying "I'm on my mobile and I don't care".

Mobile phones have had a massive effect on the world we live in and I don't think people are still used to them yet. I don't quite know which is best, hands free as you walk round Tescos or mobile to your face. The latter isn't as practical but it's clearer to people what you're doing. These sorts of moral quandries are a minor nightmare in my fairly boring little life.

NM

In the midst of such confusion one only need pretend to have the answer in order to attain great power

"I used to be cruel to my woman I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved / man I was mean but I'm changing my scene and I'm doing the best that I can" - Getting Better Paul McCartney.

What's the betting that Heather's allegations were inspired by the infamous line from that song? You know, as opposed to real events. I'm surprised that the papers haven't mentioned it, or even quoted it, as it's from The Beatles' most famous album Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. I personally have always thought that this Heather woman was a bad idea but I'm loving the fact that she's going to try and take three newspapers to court. It'll make for lots of interesting reading.

I'll never forget watching her and Paul McCartney on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire". Both me and my Dad, a lifelong Beatles fan, thought something along the lines of "WHAT THE F#CK?". Paul seemed intent on screwing up his legacy there and then. Shameful nonsense. It was supposed to be for charity but when you're pop's first billionaire that just doesn't really cut it. Give them the cash. Don't appear on tacky TV shows.

It was obvious that the only reason he was there was that blo#dy woman. She was fame hungry and so he'd agreed to pull some strings. Upon what do I base this allegation? The fact he'd never turned up in anything like that before. The worst crime I'm aware of in that direction was The Frog Chorus*. Yet there he was with this woman who didn't look like she belonged. She didn't look friendly, just determined. I remember thinking as I watched them answering stupid questions that it'd be nice when this phase was all over.

You can imagine the fun I'm having as it all kicks off.

NM

This video sums up my attempts at stand up comedy.



*Pretty bad, sure, but there we are. I liked it when I was a kid.

(Monday) She comes out to find him. Doing that.

I had a call off my old mate James today asking about Civilization IV, the game which has frankly ruined my life as much as heroin would if I decided to use it. He said that after just half an hour of tinkering about on it when he came up on Thursday he now wants to get a copy for himself.

"I can't stop thinking about it, great game" he enthused.

"Don't f#cking do it, you'll never get your life back!" I shouted like a maniac who'd been sat on his own in a little room for hours.

He thought I was joking. I really wasn't. It's the greatest game in the world and I can't help but play it. I'm wasting huge chunks of my life on it. I really should be doing more worthwhile things with my time rather than sitting here pretending to conquer the world.

One sign that I've really lost the plot is that during the game I've oddly developed a conscience about things. I feel bad if I use nuclear weapons on my fictional opponents for example. I also get off on the idea of passing environmentally friendly laws. That means there some irrational part of me which thinks the world I'm playing with is actually f#cking real. That makes me a little insane.

Perhaps the best thing to do would be to mail the blo#dy thing off to him and then get back to my life*.

Over the weekend my mate who is a proper stand up comedian suggested some books for me to read after I explained how truely awful I am at it. One of them is by a bloke called Richard Belzer. In looking him up on Wikipedia I stumbled on some unintentionally amusing footage:

If you are amused by live television going wrong amid stupid violence then this clip is for you. If not, give it a miss. It earned the victim a reported £5 million after a brief spell in hospital and had me p#ssing myself laughing, particularly as the one and only Mr T starts chipping in towards the end talking out absolute b#llshit out of his a#sehole.

NM

*My girlfriend would love me to do this.

(Sunday) Life is a picture painted by the devil's own anus / upon a toilet paper canvass

Going to my old University yesterday was an odd experience. It was strange to see all the buildings and re-live a lot of memories. I have a terrible time recalling things these days and it was odd how being in a particular place brought back loads of random situations.

I expected to feel physically old, wrinkly and so forth. In fact I felt intellectually old instead. Their era is now totally different to the one in which I went to Uni, and the young me wouldn't have fitted into their world. For example I was surprised at how sharply all the kids there dressed. That was not the case in my era. Grunge and Britpop didn't really encourage the exciting hairstyles and sharp shirts. Am I of my era in that I'm sartorially lazy or did that quality just go unnoticed in the late 90's.

As I watched them all dancing to frankly incomprehensible music I felt kind of contented at the thought that life moves on.

Now if you'd have been 30 and come into our era you'd have been greeted with the sound of songs which were trying to imitate the late 60's. Our generation's music was "classic". Nowadays, in retrospect, it seems a bit conservative and boring. Kid's music should sound awful to people in their 30's. My era was the era of "Dadrock" for god's sake. Listen back to a lot of those tunes and they sound like what they were, cheaper imitations of original genius.

However I'm a bit surprised I didn't envy the students their youth. I expected to but in fact I sort of felt a bit sorry for them. They're being screwed financially in order to go to University. That seems unfair. They're living in an apolitical age where hope seems to have been replaced with a corporate symbol. I often change my mind on these things but after looking round there today I feel education should be free in our society. It's sad that it's not.

NM

Here's a video to make up for the fact that the above entry doesn't really go anywhere. It's a video I've been trying to source for ages and finally I've found it! It proves once and for all that Jay Kay out of Jamiroquai is a c#nt.




Or if not,

His sweaty grunting face contorted its way through a complex spectrum of emotions; (Saturday)

My radio career began at University doing a student radio show. Today I was back there giving a talk to a small collective of young folk who are interested in radio themselves. It was a reasonably small turn out of people which had been beefed up with people from other student stations who wanted to learn as well. It was an odd experience on many levels.

Firstly I was asked to talk about speech radio, something no student in their right mind would attempt on a student radio show. I bumbled on about speech radio for a while in my unbelieveably scatty style, unsure if the audience was either bored or confused or both. I ended up going into - in parts enormously technical - detail regarding the minutai and mechanics of putting together good phone in topics, judging the zeitgueist of the mainstream media and balancing the public collective conscious. I remember checking myself and thinking, hang on, there's no way I'd explain some of this stuff to a potential rival. What am I doing?

I also raised the somewhat contentious issue as to whether or not what you do on air is 'an act' or not. I've always thought the honest answer to that is yes, yes it is. It has to be. It's a projection of yourself obviously but in "real life" there's no way I'd do half the stuff I do on air. I don't think that means it lacks sincerity or realism. It just acknowledges the fact that there's a microphone there and not a person. You're performing. This is true for anyone who has a camera/microphone on them. This is a very unfashionable viewpoint for someone like me to have and it was soundly smacked down by another speaker who was there, Chris Moyles' co-worker Will Kinder*.

I'm not a particularly big fan of Moyles these days, I used to be when he was on Capital FM and in his very early Radio 1 days. I sort of got dissillusioned with him when I heard him ripping off a Howard Stern bit almost word for word, then came to the realisation that a lot of his stuff was actually "borrowed" from other talents. The John Peel quote that Moyles was "another DLT in waiting" has proved to be remarkably prophetic.

Apparently Moyles' on air personality is not "an act". He's "just being himself" when he's on air. Utter b#llocks. That's what I say to that. A few years ago Chris slagged off my phone in show on his breakfast show, calling it the "worst talkshow" he'd ever heard. When I met him in person later that year he had nothing but nice things to say. Why's that? Well, I'm not a physically imposing bloke, I think it's 'coz we all know it's an act. It's not "real" in the same sense as it would be if he were to accost me in the street and have a go about something.

I will always maintain that nothing in the media is "real" in the sense that you can actually trust it. The whole thing is a game. An advert for the truth concocted by people who'd rather do something they love for a living than something that resembles work.

Like I say, not a viewpoint that has ever made me any friends in radio.

NM

* Without doubt one of the most talented producers in the industry.

a complex spectrum of emotions

The train's full so I decide to upgrade to a first class seat, it's only £6 and I'm b#ggered if I'm standing for a three hour journey. However, as soon as I got in there the guilt kicked in. I've only ever walked through First Class compartments before* and I immediately felt uncomfortably scruffy and working class. I know that First Class compartments on trains are morally wrong** and even though I was busy justifying it to myself I knew as soon as I sat down that what I'd done was a little bit naughty to say the least.

Things only got worse from this point on.

I sat down opposite two other people who looked, like me, out of place in this carridge. They didn't look like First Class material. "Probably arty bohemian types" I thought to myself as I smiled at them and they blanked me***. The bloke had a narrow agressive face and the woman was as ugly as a pig's a#se. Still, there we are. Looks and money don't always come hand in hand.

The ticket collector made his way down the aisle and I got read to explain that I wanted to upgrade me travel experience. However the two people opposite me were firsat and it soon became clear that they weren't bohmeians at all, just little scrotes like you and me. The bloke took the lead as he responded incredulously to the suggestion that he upgraded their tickets. He acted like he'd never even heard of the concept of a first class section.

"How do you mean First Class? Why should I pay £6 to sit here? First Class? What do you mean?"

He was being pretty agressive but the ticket inspector stood his ground and told him that he and his girlfriend would have to move to the other carridge. In the seats to our right were an elderly couple who looked like they definately were first classers. The bloke looked like on of those posh old millitary men you get in films. The two of them wore knowingly smug expressions on their face as they rolled their eyes to each other at matey's indignified and undignified performance. I decided to chip in and try to mediate a bit.

"You may as well pay the £6 mate, there's no seats through there anyway" I suggested.

Unfortunately he took this to mean that I was in some way on his side, which I'm not sure I was. at the time. "Yeah I know, f#cking shit isn't it?" he ranted as he stormed off with his ugly little girlfriend in tow.

I felt sorry for the ticket inspector and embarrased at the idea that I might have been trying to make a difficult situation worse. However I didn't say anything to him other than pay my £6 upgrade fee. On reflection though I think the ticket inspector didn't deserve my sympathy. On reflection I think I'm on the side of the agressive scratter. Perhaps I'm over analysing things but I'm sure that the Nazi's will have rolled their eyes at Jews and homosexuals who tried to put up a bit of a fight as they were dragged off to the camps. There will have been smug little pri#ks like the two old people on my right and then unthinking morons like myself who tried to chip in and suggest that they go along with Hitler's demands for the sake of a bit of peace and quiet.

Famously the concetration camp guards and indeed most of Hitler's subordinates, later relied on the following defence in the trials which followed "we were only following orders". If non of them had followed orders we'd not be in the mess we are in now, let alone back then. If all the soldiers in the US and British armed forces refused to follow orders to go over to Iraq Tony Blair and George Bush would have both been saved from themselves.

Wars would not be possible if the mentality which led me to pity the ticket inspector did not exist in our society and individual responsibility exteneded a little further than we currently allow.

Still, it was jolly nice to ride in first class and the old people did return my smile later on during the journey, so perhaps I miss read them.

NM

*Actually I think I might have been in one once before, it's hard to recall but I think work sent me on one once to some event or other. Not sure.

**There's no doubting this. Don't even try and debate me on it, it's been proved by scientists that you'd be wrong as soon as you opened your mouth.

***What's that about? People who don't smile back at you? It seems to be a more common phenomenon these days. I honestly don't think I've ever not returned a smile. I don't understand the psychology of someone like that. C#nts deserved all they got. Actually, forget that if you've not read the full entry yet. I've never quite known how "*" works. Do you have to check it out straight away? Surely not. Surely you do that afterwards, or it'd be quicker for the writer to use brackets (like these).

(Thursday) ranging from lust through to arrogance and finally inadequacy.

Driving along in my car and four young lads come zooming up the back of me, resting their car on my boot. Annoying. Call me a boring old git but I'm quite keen on minor things like road safety and avoiding unnecessary risks so I was pootling along at the 30 mph speed limit. The lads behind me didn't like that at all.

"Move aside grandad" they implied as they shot past in their car.

I'm sure you can imagine my delight when the little c#nts got flashed by one of those beautiful speed cameras everyone else seems to hate so much. It was a lovely sight. Instant justice. They slowed down pretty quickly after that and as I pulled alongside them at the lights the driver looked pretty p#ssed off.

I imagine his mates will have consoled him with all the usual b#llocks people spout about these wonderful inventions. But I'm sorry, that's exactly what it is: TOTAL F#CKING BO#LLOCKS!

If you've been nailed by one it serves you right. That's the bottom line. Don't drive like a di#khead and you won't get a ticket. Couldn't be more simple. All this "ooh, it's not fair I was actually going at 31 mph" just doesn't cut it. You broke the law, pay up like everyone else and don't do it again.

Something else I've noticed recently is the number of people who simply could not give a f#ck about wearing a seatbelt. They should fine you for that more often as well. Totally indefensible. If you're in a car crash at 30mph without a seatbelt you're gonna f#ck up your face in a big way. No question about it. You won't know what hit you. Where does all this "oh we're not going far" s#it come from? Who cares? What do people think, like there's going to be some sort of loophole in the laws of physics which allows for that fact? You hit your face with anything at 30 mph and it's going to f#cking hurt, bad. Really bad. Could even kill you.

The other one which infuriates me is the suggestion that wearing a seatbelt is in anyway an insult to the driver of the car you're in??? What??? When you're missing an eyeball or nose will you be consoled with the fact you didn't insult anyone's driving??? In-f#cking-sane.

Besides, you might be in the car of the world's best driver* and still be involved in a major car crash when some other d#ckhead flys into you. Very few people take into account combined impact speeds when thinking about car crashes. Imagine that! You're sat there without your seatbelt on and someone s#its straight into you. Both going at 30 mph, double it and there's your impact power. Like driving into a brick wall at 60 mph. You're dead. As you die this blog entry will flash up before your eyes.

I once witnessed a car crash as I walked with Matt Mackay up to a pub in Broomhill. It'd have been a fatal one if they'd not had seatbelts on, no doubt about it. At a guess they were both going around 25 mph at the most but the sound of that bang as they went into each other has made me wear a seatbelt ever since. Please do the same.

NM

*Me.

PS: If you love Jesus, do not click here.

Totally forgot to go to weight watchers. That's not good. Not good at all.

Odd things annoy me and put me in a bad mood. The problem is I get into a rant and by the time I'm on a roll I end up thinking a massive nuclear war wouldn't be such a bad thing. One of those odd things which got me in a tizz recently was this sight, in my local Tescos:



What's going on here? I'll tell you: the destruction of humanity. Lets start at the top on the left hand side.

"Star" magazine; NIKKI'S SECRET MEETING WITH PETE. Firstly, as anyone over the mental age of 8 can tell you, it obviously wasn't a 'secret' meeting. The suggestion that it is though has a very interesting connotation. It implies that even though it was secret people should still be able to know about it. That's the way society is going. Surveilance cameras up all around the country, the ID card brigade knocking on your door. The very concept of a right to privacy is being attacked and erroded each day and from all corners. Immoral f#ckwits like the ones who live off this sort of dirge are part of that.

Secondly there are two stacks of this magazine. That either means it's a big seller and therefore people like this sort of cr#p more than the rest or it suggests that whoever stacks these shelves saw it and thought, "woo - with a scoop like that, this issue's gonna be huge!". It's not a good sign either way. Two people who (it is documented) both suffered from serious mental disorders went on television for a bit of fame and the next thing they know people are using their faces to make money with. Look at their expressions! Do they look happy? Do they look like they're "living the dream"? Looks to me like they're enduring a nightmare.

"They made the choice" people harp. Let me repeat, serious mental problems. That's a well documented fact. Do we not have a responsibility to others in our society?

Well, no it wouldn't seem so. Not if you apply the logic of the next magazine which is called "First". Initially it appears to be rather respectable, "a look at the news". Then we get to the next bit which is a story about the mag's "cover girl":

"Sir Bobs's fears PEACHES IS TOO YOUNG FOR THE FAME GAME".

Ok. So why print a picture of her on the cover of your magazine? Why facilitate her 'fame game'? Why print that story? In doing so the implication is either that they don't care that "Sir" Bob is worried about his kid. Perhaps she might die like her mother did*? 'Doesn't matter, we need a good cover girl story, print it anyway'. So again privacy is something which is wilfully ignored, as is the idea of our social responsibility. Even despite the implicit death threat. Not only that but in this instance we're talking about a kid. A child. They're fair game are they? Madness.

The other possiblity is that by running with this headline they're doubting "Sir" Bob's sincerity. That's fair enough but I'll bet they did their share of buying into this very same sincerity when they covered the sh#tfest that was Live 8.

Either way their use of the title "Sir" is in-f#cking-furiating. It manages to annoy both the people who respect that title and those who do not. Sir Bob? Sir Bob? Doesn't even need me to elaborate.

Next up it's OK Magazine who go with violent thug Cheryl Cole (nee Tweedy) as their cover girl.

- Violent thug Nick? That's not very nice.
- Sc#ew you internal monologue. Those are the facts. Wanna see another picture? Howabout the woman whom Cheryl subjected to a violent and frenzied attack after she dared to do her job, as a toliet assistant? Go here, look at it. It's a beauty. She can really beat the s#it out of people that girl. The Judge said that it was an "unpleasant piece of drunken violence" for which Tweedy had shown "no remorse whatsoever". Call me a boring old square but I'd have thought that incident alone would be enough to ruin her career. Not so, thanks to magazines like OK who go for the amusingly ironic** headline: "I DON'T LIKE VICTORIA'S WORLD". Brilliant. The world of drunken thuggery is much better I'm sure.

Notice the arrogance in the headline though. Victoria? Who is Victoria? They presume you know they're talking about; Victoria aka "Posh Spice". F#ck's sake. Posh Spice! Sums it up really.

The next few magazines are even better.

AS THE SKINNY ROW CONTINUES... STARS FATTEN UP.

It's difficult to make it out from the picture but their cover star is Mariah Carey with a bit of a belly on her. There's a little arrow pointing you towards it. Humiliating for her I'm sure. Amusing for the reader as they cackle at her bad picture, laughing at someone else's misfortune. Fuelling women's fears about their own shortcomings. Brilliant.

Then we get to the pictures detailing Madonna's attempts to get a kid out of a country, contrary to its law. A woman who famously made her name by posing in a porn book which was considered too explicit for most UK bookshops. Why she doesn't want to adopt someone from this country isn't clear. Maximum publicity perhaps? Well NOW magazine gives her some more space as well. Inbetween these two we've got stories about celebrities who've had to cancel their marriages.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I rest my case. Nuke the whole f#cking lot.

NM

*Her mother Paula Yates ruthlessly persued fame all her life, launching her career by posing naked in a porn mag in 1978. She ended it at the age of 40 with a massive heroin overdose which according to the coroner's report was both "foolish and incautious". Three years before she'd had to accept psychiatric help following the unfortunate demise of Michael Hutchence who she'd been sleeping with after she left "Sir" Bob when his fame was on the wane.

**I suspect the irony is unintentional. It'd be nice if it wasn't.

Twoozeday

I am sweating like mad. It's this bloody Atkins diet, you p#ss sweat all day. Still it's a sign that it's working I suppose. Thanks to the fact I've done no shopping recently, so have no food, I ended up getting take away today. Chicken omlette and fried chicken. Cost about £8. The fried chicken was like cardboard so I had to cover it in sauce to make it edible. The omlette was pretty nice though. The reason it was so expensive? It came with chips. They put chips with in with everything. I didn't want chips. I didn't order chips. They're sat in the fridge now, no use to me. Can't bear to throw them out though. Perhaps I should send them to Sir Bob Geldof?

Tomorrow I'll be getting weighed at weight watchers. However, I'm not going to tell them my devious plan. It'd only upset people if they knew I was cheating and doing the atkins diet. Be interesting to see if I actually have lost weight or not. It's always possible that I won't have.

Oddly I've not eaten anything else all day today. My little lady had a theory that the Atkins diet works because it keeps you fuller for longer. I seem to remember seeing something along those lines on some TV programme once*. The thing is it's difficult to seperate the bull from the truth on this one as there is a lot of nonsense spread about the Atkins by people who have a vested interest in selling you cheap mass produced carbohydrate foods. They were literally s#itting themselves when the diet took off.

"Woo, Dr Atkins is a con-man!" they chirped. Okay, in what way? What's he selling? Nothing. A book. Couple of food products. Non of which are essential if you want to follow his diet. Furthermore, you do it properly and it works. I mean it really works. You lose weight. End of story. F#ck all this b#llocks about "woo, is it good for you" and so forth. It gets you losing weight. That is what I want to do. I don't remember ever going on a diet because I wanted to do anything other than lose weight. I'll learn healthy eating once I'm not a big fatty.

I imagine the above rant has guaranteed that tomorrow at weight watchers I will have put on 3lbs or something.

NM

*Poor girl got a bit of a rant off me when she mentioned it. Irritated at the suggestion that my Atkins diet wasn't a great idea I peppered it with stupid cod-biology nonsense which I don't really know much about, like the fact Dr Atkins thought "Ketosis"[wikipedia link] is responsible for you losing weight. She's really very patient with my arrogance.

(Monday) The Stannage problem raises it's head. Can't change my position though, sorry.

Went to see Dan who writes and draws Phlegm Comic*. I got a copy of the new issue which is out now. It's a beauty, probably his best yet. I'm told he's sold over 2,000 copies so far, not bad. Not bad at all. I love that he seems so bemused by his own success. It's a great comic and to my mind it has always been guaranteed local legend status. The question is, will it work in the rest of the UK? If you know of a comic shop in your area which could stock it, leave a post in the comments section and I'll pass it on. Either that or you could add it to his blog which has just been started, here.

He sent me the following email about it:

You made me have doubts. So here we go, a phlegm news page available to everyone..
See ya.

Although I can't accurately recall I think he may have been subjected to a myspace rant. I still quake at the fact that I'll probably get one in the end and be forced to eat my words. Another mate of mine who got in touch recently has got one. They thought I was mad when I went off about how much I hated them. We'll see. Hopefully I won't do a classic Margerrison U-turn and end up loving them like nothing else.

Talking of which I now have a conntection from my phone to my computer. This is very exciting as it means I can share pictures off my phone with the world. Like this:

It's a picture of a piece of pineapple which me and my girlfriend were eating. If you look closely you can see what can only be the face of little baby Jesus smiling back at you. Either that or it's the Virgin Mary, or someone. Look! They've got a mouth and two eyes. It's a f#cking miracle!

I've been sat on this little gem for ages, just waiting to publish it. Unfortunately we ended up eating the miraculous piece of pineapple so have no way of authenticating this miracle. You'll just have to accept it on good faith.

Oh dear.

NM

*If you have no idea what Phlegm Comics is then check the sidebar, it's one of the most popular links there. I like to think I've helped in some small way to raise the mag's profile. If you're a fan of comics you won't go far wrong if you read this one. Very funny and beautifully layered. You can track my interest in it via these links: First mention of me liking the comic, meeting the writer, comparing it to other smallpress as I write my reviews for REDEYE magazine, going to exhibits of his work in odd pubs.

Blurrgh. The world spews out of my face. Into my eyeballs. Walk with me.

Urrgh. I'm sweating like a ba#tard at the moment, thanks to the atkins diet. I've been on it since Friday. Didn't s#it for the first two days. No traffic whatsoever. Not even a false alarm.

I've added a new poll to the sidebar today, thanks to everyone who added their thoughts to the last one. I'm constantly trying to improve this little thing. It appears that the majority of the people who read it like to read amusing things. The results were as follows:

How can I improve this blog?

Shorter entries 6%

Longer entries 12%

More amusing entries 53%

More serious entries 29%


However I've confused myself a little with the phrasing of the question. I'm unsure if the results mean that my blog entries themselves should be more amusing OR that I should provide more entries which are amusing. If you see what I mean. It's hard to know if 53% of the people who voted think I'm either not funny or they think I am funny when I try to be but... erm. You know.

If you're a blogger yourself looking to do a poll I'd reccommend the people I've used, Pollhosts. They're free, easy to use and haven't filled my inbox with junk mail yet. Also they don't appear to use dangerous or intrusive pop-ups. However, if anything like that does happen when you click on their site make sure you add a comment into the comments section and I'll sack them off immediately.

My new poll is an attempt to suss out how many people read this site as it's starting to become quite a number. I'll give you the results in a few months.

In the real world I'm currently living inside an ipod/walkman/mp3 player induced bubble. I sat on the train, usually a great place for blog entries*, in my own world today. Actually, that's an exaggeration, I didn't sit, I stood, in the gangway with some nob'ead who kept falling forwards and breathing on my neck. It's a good job I had my headphones in so I could pretend to ignore him. Otherwise I'd have made him pay, with some pretty stern looks.

I was listening to the rabid conspiracy theorist Alex Jones again. He's brilliant. He's also probably right about the way the world is going. When I got in to work I used one of his stories on the "News They Didn't Use" feature on my music show. The story was about a little girl who was interrogated by the American Secret Service after she wrote an anti-Bush page on myspace.com. Brilliant story. It's here.

I'd implore you to search out his film Terror Storm on Google.video before they delete it. Same goes for Loose Change as it looks like Google have started censoring the hit rates of both films. Won't be long 'til they pull 'em altogether. Loose Change is in the sidebar, as is Terrorstorm.

NM

* Just a few of my train related blog entries: Here, here, here, here and more recently here.

(Saturday) I dream a dream about a bee.

Why am I surprised that the Peter Kay book "The Sound Of Laughter" is funny? Surely I should have expected that? Or maybe not. I've never really been grabbed by Phoenix Nights, I enjoyed it more as a soap opera than a sit com. Don't get me wrong, it was funny in places. Just not the unbridled genius people made it out to be. I still watch Alan Partridge, The Office, Blackadder. Phoenix won't get watched again unless it's on repeat on one of those Sky Channels. It's just not laugh out loud funny enough for me. I think I got into it largely because my ex-flatmate thought it was genius.

Both me and him went to see Peter Kay do live stand-up in Manchester once. Didn't really raise a smile. I was dissapointed. I'd expected something more. The Blackpool Tower DVD of Peter Kay is by far one of the best ever stand-up DVDs I've ever seen. Still makes me laugh to think about it. Used to feel a little like that was his peak. Until I started reading his book. It's brilliant and has consequently come as a total surprise.

I love his attention to detail. Little touches which make you smile, like a scene where he cuts himself on a family sized corned beef tin, while watching Quantum Leap. He reminds me of one of those kids who was naturally funny at school that you've lost touch with as time goes by. I'll make sure I post on here if the book tails off and goes s#it but for the moment it's a great read.

I also like it because as I was stood in the queue at Waterstones I heard two people behind me having the following conversation;

"Ooh, I bought that the other day."

"Mmm. Well there's no accounting for taste is there."

I looked round at the woman who was slagging my choice and with all the dignity I could muster, I gave her a little smile. That told her.

NM

Is that really justice?

I got a letter off my gym* today explaining that my complimentary membership was due to be cancelled unless I can 'maximise their financial marketability profit margin'. I've no idea what the crunk that means but there's a number to call at the bottom of the letter so I'll give them a buzz on Monday. I'm not really very good at 'blagging'** things and free gym membership is one of the few things I get out of the fact that I'm a Z-list celebrity*** in South Yorkshire.

This is annoying because I recently bought one of them there ipod/walkmen/mp3 thingys. I was looking forward to using the gym while I listened to the various podcasts and songs I've managed to squeeze onto it. Hopefully I can convince them their gym is adequately rewarded by its association with The Nick Margerrison Brand. Wish me luck.

In other news I was dissapointed to turn up to Zumeba Comedy club in Manchester only to be greeted with the news that it was closed for the next month or so. Doubly so, given that I'd had an email today telling me what a great show it was going to be tonight. Obviously there was some sort of mix up. However I loved the fact that there was a little table of people sat there at the back of the room, visible to all of us outside through the glass doors. They were laughing and eating food having some sort of little party every now and then looking at us like the fools we were beckoning us to go away.

"Ha - can't they read? The little sign says we're closed. Don't go and explain to them, just ignore them, they'll go away."

People are brilliant.

NM

*Not going to name them until this fiasco is resolved.

**Partially due to my hatered of that word. Surely a word used exclusively by c#nts? Does that make me a cu#t? Probably in this instance it does. Shame. I appear to be in a hole of my own making. No pun. Erm...

***A good mate of mine once explained to me that radio DJs are right at the bottom of the showbiz ladder. Just above jugglers and That Fat Lad Who was on Pop Idol.

Sugar for the last time baby.

I now finally own one of those walkmen Ipod thingys. It's f#cking great. I'm really excited about it. I can now listen to odd podcasts while I wander around as well as my own music. Genius. There's currently a lot of talk in radio about how this sort of technology will damage the industry forever. Bring it on is what I say. I couldn't be more excited at the prospect. I'm firmly of the opinion that any changes which come will be for the better. Radio needs a good old kick up the backside every now and then. It'll just end up coming back stronger.

I went to Meadowhall to buy my trendy ipod walkman thingy. It cost me £27, despite firm assurances from two different store staff in two different shops that £45 for a 1gig mp3 player was the stuff of a madman's dream. I managed to find one for half the price. Also, I was firmly told that it was impossible to convert MPEG-4 into MP3. More b#llocks I'm pleased to say. There's a handy little feature on itunes which does it for you at the click of a button. It amazes me the ammount of guff "experts" will happily spout to someone they're confident knows f#ck all. An irritating aspect of human nature.















As I wandered round Meadowhall I was caught by the site of these big chaps who've been immortalised there in statue form since the massive shopping complex opened. It seemed odd to see them, representing as they do such an obviously bygone era. As I floated up the mechanised stairs towards Currys.digital where I bought my ipod thing from I was distracted by an old family legend, that my grandad knew one of them in real life.

It annoys me a bit that I don't know which one he knew. I think its the one doing the pouring but I really can't be sure. As a kid if I ever got lost in Meadowhall I'd wait for my parents, "near Grandad's friends". Perhaps that was just a bit of bull which I got told as a kid.

Still, it's nice that there is some sort of tribute to the steelworks upon which the big capitalist temple is built. Industrialism replaced by capitalism. Wonder what will come next? Do you think they'll put up a statue of an annoyed and lying shop assistant trying to flog MP3's when whatever it is takes Meadowhalls' place? I wonder if they'll manage to make them look as noble as the blokes in the picture?

NM

Open your hands

Me and the lady are driving along in her car when we stumbled across a community radio station in Manchester. Community radio is in a different league to commercial or BBC radio. It is everything the BBC should be but isn't. Radio run by volunteers, there because they want to be. Lovely, pure, real radio. The show me and my girlfriend witnessed was a beauty. Two old people chattering away about the war. They weren't talking from direct experience* just generally about history and so forth. After a bit of prattle they then went into the following routine:

"Oh, it's a bit technical this next bit. Pick a number."

"Erm, can you have a half?"

"No, now come on, don't be silly, pick a number."

"Okay, 22."

"Right, here it is then."

After this exchange on came some really old fashioned comedy sketch featuring 'Ching Chong Chinaman' who was explaining his country's position as regarded the war. Ching Chong appeared to only talk in an odd parody of Chinese and eventually the bloke listening to him told him to shut up and then shot him. Swiftly following the demise of Mr Chinaman the sketch faded out and an embarrased presenter went;

"Erm... that's all we've got time for... erm."

"Why don't you do the quiz for a bit while I choose something different?"

"Yes, that's a good idea, well, I've got it here."

(Paper rustling)

"Oh, look here's someone calling in."

"Well, they can't know the answer to the quiz yet. I've not finished the question."

"I'll go and answer it, you get on with the quiz."

(You can hear one of the presenters getting up and pushing past the microphone to go answer the call)

"Right then, here's the question for you-"

(Off mic and in the background you can hear one half of the phone conversation)
"Hello? ... No I'm afraid he's not in..."

"Who was it?"

"Someone ringing to see if Simon was here but I told them he wasn't."

I was amazed. The show continued in that vein throughout the whole car journey. It was genius. Like you'd just popped round to their house for a chat. I'm not going to name the station as it's not my intention to mock it or have a go. I'm actually praising it. I listened to that above all the other stations in Manchester at that time! You just can't bottle a bit of radio like that. It was great. The whole experience put me in a good mood.

NM

*Most of our war generation is gone now. Sad how these things move on.

(Tuesday) Giggle at the cosmos you little fool.

I'm clearly a little bit ill. Despite my awful performance on Friday I've still got a burning desire to do more stand up comedy. I can't stop thinking about it. It was really good fun, even though I didn't get a single laugh. I can't quite suss out why I enjoy it so much. Since doing it, badly, on Friday it has been my pervading thought all week. Obviously, my total lack of talent regarding it is going to make it tricky to get any more stage time but I think I'm going to have to book another slot somewhere soon. It feels like it did when I just started doing radio. You sort of know you're s#it at it but you feel deep down that you could be quite good one day, even if no one else believes you.

I think I'll write some new material though. I also think I'll practice a little more than I did last time.

Before I post the following link I want to warn you that it's not pretty. My mate Matt Mackay sent me it and I've hesitated as to if I should post it on here or not. I'm guessing it's a radio compettition, which takes place in Amercia. How long before some bright spark tries to rip it off here in the UK?



It's interesting to see how the two women go from being sort of happy and friendly to just plain nasty. They're playing for $5,000, that's about £3,000? Madness. Utter madness.

NM

Why not try and tickle someone's 'BACKSPACE'

Do not go and see "The Queen" with Helen Mirren. It is every bit as rubbish as you'd think. I'm still a little unsure as to why I went to see it myself. Me and the lady got tricked by this sort of crap;

"Dame Helen Mirren's movie performance as the Queen has been met with critical acclaim" [link to a BBC review].

Initially I thought it was going to be utter s#it 'made for TV' nonsense. Then I got drawn into the hype machine. "Ohh, it might be good", I ended up thinking. It's all about the period in which 'Her Majesty' was flapping about as the public got upset that Diana was dead. It's a good film in that it does remind you of the emotional hysteria which went round at the time. It's a rubbish film in every other respect. Particularly bad was the bloke who is acting the role of Tony Blair. He does a cringeworthy impression of him, it's like he's taking him off. Awful. Bloody awful.

It's the second encounter I've had with something that was irredeemably s#ite, in as many days*. On the other hand you've got Tom Green's website which is genius. I spent about two hours watching it as I pottered about sorting out my room today. It's amazing, every bit as good as promised. I mentioned it here some time ago.

The problem with the film though is that it made me realise I'm starting to become a bit of a Royalist. I sort of like the fact we've got a Queen. It's sort of good. Better than any alternative which I've ever encountered. The American system for example, where a possibility of Arnie as President is a real one? I found myself watching this rubbish film and thinking things like, it'd be a shame to get rid of them though. You'd only be replacing them with c#nts like Tony Blair. Why bother?

NM

*Yesterday's Robin Hood entry being the other.

(sunday) Yak tak skool ain't what you thought. Why are you here?

I'm still recovering from the awesomely bad Robin Hood disaster I watched on Saturday. What the flying f#ckeroo was that supposed to be?

The most annoying feature of it was the awful jump cut editing, presumably designed to add pace to very slow moving action sequences and, I guess, to get the maximum value out of some of the stunts. Is Robin jumping off a hut? Lets have him doing that from every possible angle shall we? No lets f#cking not eh? They used to do that sort of thing in the 80's on things like the A-Team and it looked s#it then. I'm still amazed at one sequence where a bloke had a loaded arrow pointing at our hero for about a minute as Robin looks around going, "oh no, oh no" only for, and here's the twist, Maid Marrion to save him with a well aimed hair-pin.

As if that weren't bad enough the whole thing was made even cheesier as we're treated to a load of awful jump cuts as she walks away giving us all a the knowing look? The whole sequence took forever and had me cringing into the sofa. I was embarrased for everone involved.

Furthermore, unnecessary sword chinking noises gave the whole thing a tacky feel. Ka-ching - "Sherwood Forest". Ka-ching "Nottingham". Ka-ching? What? I'll tell you what, they're responding to the way in which this awful nonsense was hyped. 'The Replacement for Dr Who'! They've watched a bit of the first series of that much missed programme and totally misunderstood why it was good*. Alarm bells should have been ringing when the shows writer started punting this line:

"One of our touchstones was Jamie Oliver – a bit of a geezer. I mean, maybe it's a bit faux, but he says 'Hands up who thinks we should have better meals in schools?' Well, everybody. But nobody else did anything about it. Robin Hood's a bit like that – affecting change" [link to one of the many interviews where he says this].

What a f#cking doofus. Who writes this s#ite? People like him.

Jamie Oliver??? I ask you. Pri#k.

I'd heard that quote prior to watching it though, so I really should have known it was a franchise in the hands of idiots. The problem is though, it's not a franchise is it It's a legend, part of our folklore and alike in value to Buckinham Palace. Imagine if someone took a big dump on Buckingham Palace, there'd be a pretty hefty punishment for such behaviour, rightly so. Why is that not the case with something like this? Shouldn't the people involved be put in the stocks for a couple of days?

Yes, yes they should. Particularly when you conisder that it's your TV licence which has paid for this drivel. Coked up halfwits like Keith Allen are all very well when they're taking cash off private companies but when it's out of our pockets the joke wears a little thin.

Actually, a word here about Keith Allen. He plays The Sherrif of Nottingham in this, badly. has he ever done anything good? Ever? He's 'venerated' by loads of people but I can't think of anything he's ever done that's been good.

Where was I? Blair's Britain. Soundbites. Style over content. Jamie Oliver. We're living in a world where mediocre content can be produced by a few news friendly press releases. They think we don't notice how s#it it is. The problem is that the era which has produced this piece of s#it television is coming to an end and in an attempt to look modern "The BBC's Robin Hood" has managed to look very dated.

NM

*Second series not quite as good as the first though.

Jack be nimble, Jack be thick, sounds to me like he knows Jack s#it.

After I'd finished my awful stand-up me and my girlfriend went on to another club where we saw a nastly little fight kick off between two fat stupid women. "I'm gonna kill 'er I am!" said the cubby psychopath as she was politely escorted out of the establishment. When women go, they really go. It was a depressing thing to see. Violence always kicks off little adolescent fantasies within me along the lines of me wanting super powers which I could use to combat it with. Perhaps if I could freeze time leaving only me able to move about. Then I could not only display my heroism in the face of a certain victory but also I could have a lot of fun in situations which are always depressing.

Oddly, today, me and my girlfriend were getting onto a train when I saw another violent incident. Some thug badgering and then thumping a little Japanese bloke. One of the thugs mates stepped in the way and a crowd of people gathered round. I was caught up in the surge of people getting on the train and only saw it out of the corner of my eye but it looked equally ugly and depressed me* as I trundled along on the train.

I considered ringing the police when I got back home but on reflection there was a big crowd of people who gathered round nicluding, I think, a train guard. Perhaps I still should?

I can't work out if it's my imagination or if we really are becoming a more violent society. I think we are. Things seem to be getting a little spicier than they used to be. Sort of like we're going back to the bad old days of the mid 80's. I remember that era as being a distinctly grim period. The idea of an 80's revival has never made any sense to me. That was a horrible decade. Tacky music, crappy drab looking people. It is personified to me by pictures of rubbish 80's porn.

They say things go in cycles. I think the 90's were a replay of the 60's and now we're locked in the 70's as we stumble towards the 80's. Again! Nightmare.

I'm also pretty sure that our country being at war all the time is not good for our collective conscious. That said it doesn't look like we can really just go and pull our troops out. What a total mess Tony Blair leaves our country in. Shocking really.

NM

*Not as much as the poor bloke who got thumped.

The road to guantanamo? No s#it.

I was f#cking awful. My stand-up set tonight was actually one of the worst ever performances I've ever given. I'm actually managing, with practice, to get worse at being a stand-up comedian. That surely does not make any sense? The crowd were fantastic, the night was brilliant, I was s#ite. I mean, really bad. The moment I got on stage I realised I didn't want to be there. I immediately struck a camp pose and bumbled into something which wasn't my set. Then I did a rubbish Dr Who joke which I wasn't initially planning to do. Then I looked around, slightly confused. Then I did a joke about b#msex and was red carded off the stage.

I have no idea why, once onstage, I feel so much more comfortable being a little bit limp-wristed. It always happens but I'd got quite good at resisting it. Not tonight. Tonight, as soon as I got onstage I though, "hey, a hand on my hip would feel real good right now". Go with the flow baby. Oh dear.

The biggest laugh of the night came when I did the following 'hilarious' joke:

"I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, no you don't".

What actually happened was this; "I know what you're thinking..." - in chips audience member - "yeah, you're shit". Game over. Everyone laughs. I get even more confused and drop the gag altogether.

Part of me was thinking - "no, now come on, don't interrupt, you won't enjoy it as much".

I should have been thinking of a hilarous response but actually I just felt a little bit like an angry teacher who's been beaten by a "witty" pupil.

Oh dear. I was bad. Seriously. Bad. I think I need to have a major re-think as regards my little hobby. If I ever do another gig it's going to involve uber-practice. I was very under-rehersed. Man I was rubbish.

The other acts were good. They were professionals. In fact I ended up on the same bill as Susan Hanks. I mentioned to her backstage that I'd seen her and written about her in my blog, she gave me a sort of knowing look and went: "Oh, that's you, I see, it makes sense now".

I was busy being 'hilarious' so I said: "yeah ha ha, I've been following you and taking pictures". She didn't look sure how to take that and I instantly felt like an unfunny fool. I was so nervous backstage with the other comedians. I'd seen almost all of them at The Zumeba in Manchester and most of them had been brilliant. I knew elements of almost all of their acts and being amongst them made me even more nervous.

"Sh#t, these guys are good comedians, what the hell am I doing here?" went my internal monologue. Also I felt like I wasn't part of their gang. They all knew each other and I felt totally out of my depth. Probably because I was.

NM

(Thursday) The pull of my mind into the second sphere is something deep and something to fear

I've lounged around for most of the day today. I came in and had quite an important meeting with my new boss, that seemed to go quite well. He seems like a nice chap. I've still not entirely decided which diet I should do. Should I carry on counting my points or get on the atkins diet? The atkins diet works, it's just a bit extreme. I think I'll stick with Weight Watchers. I dunno.

I keep changing my mind because there is quite a lot taxing it at present. Theres the stuff I hinted at yesterday, then theres the fact I keep getting battered on Civilisation IV. Very annoying! I was doing good at it before, now I'm suddenly s#it at it again. Ruined.

Then finally theres the fact I'm doing my stand-up tomorrow. I'm worried that some of the readers of my blog may have sussed out where I'm doing it. It's a bit obvious I guess but I was told by the organiser that the night has actually sold out! Unusual for a 'new talent' night. Hopefully that's just me being paranoid. In fact, I'm sure that's just me being paranoid. If not, don't expect anything other than me to be rubbish. I'm new to it. I've done about 5 gigs in total and don't actually have any funny jokes yet.

Urrgh. I'm stressed.

Keep thinking about smoking.

Not going to start smoking again.

NM

The little mark on my face that only I can see.

So, I lost weight. I lost 2lbs. I feel a little deflated about that though*. I wanted to lose 3lbs. I even said to my flatmate; "this is it, if I don't lose at least 3lbs I'm going straight back on the atkins!". When I lost 2lbs I sort of felt like perhaps that was too drastic a step. Then I won the raffle that they do. £10 of free weight watchers stuff, non of which is suitable for atkins. Then I went home and played on my computer game Civilisation IV and got a proper hammering. So I munched pretty much all my weight watchers stuff thinking, "I'll finish this off and go on the atkins tomorrow".

Now I'm left thinking I should stick another week on Weight Watchers.

All of this is because I'm stressing about something else at the moment. Things are changing at work a little and I've made a pretty big decision. I think I've done the right thing but I'm not sure.

My EMAP contract binds me from discussing it in too much detail but I promise I will put it up here first once I know it's official.

NM

*No hilaryar#e pun intended here. Quite unfortunate. Mmm, I'm in an odd mood today.

This thing be automatic (Tuesday)

I'm going on the atkins diet. If I get weighed tomorrow and I've not lost some weight I am going to go on the atkins diet again and actually burn off some of this jabber which clings to my frame. I've been sticking to weight watchers and no losing any weight. It's been going up a couple of pounds and then down a couple of pounds. That's it. My weight loss has hit a total flatline. I have about two stone left to lose and frankly it's never going to happen with this system. I need to take drastic action.

I feel a little bit like the tubby woman who was kicking off at the leader of the group some time ago as she stood on the scales*. She was f#cking livid that she'd not lost any weight. I can remember stifling my mirth as her chubby face got more and more angry;

"I've dun alt things wot yuv said an it ant wurked".

She spluttered. How amusing I found this at the time. "Ha ha, stop eating pies fatty," went my gloating mind. Now I find myself in her shoes. Looking at my pregnant stomach and wondering why it won't shrink.

The Atkins works. It's just brutal. Tomorrow I'll find out if I'm going back on it. Anything less than three pounds off and I am.

NM

*I've just spent the best part of an hour looking through this blog to see if I can find my original post about her. I couldn't. Two things struck me as I looked. Firstly I'm surprised at how many posts I've actually got on this blog, it doesn't feel like such a long time ago since I started it but we're coming up to a years worth of stuff now. Secondly I noticed how easy it is to get distracted on the internet. I've just wasted about an hour catching up with how I used to feel about stuff. Sort of listening to an older version of me prattling on about what their life is like in the past. It's an odd world. Apparently we will soon be able to send and recieve messages from the past. Something called retrocausality. What do you think of that? Madness. That's what I think. F#cking madness.

Wasted the whole day.

I'm cr#pping myself about my forthcoming brief stand-up appearance. I go through the following cycle, practice a bit, look through my material. Get really nervous. Stop doing it. Faff about. Get nervous and decide to practice again. I need to get hold of my mind a little more. I'm also having conversations with people where they're saying "oh I'll have to pop down to that, sounds good" and I'm thinking, "no way, not a chance". I'm just not good enought yet to invite friends along to see me. Obviously there will be a few people I know there but no one who doesn't know exactly what to expect.

One of my hilarious jokes is as follows:

"Couple of facts which I heard recently. Apparently we're less likely nowadays to make friends with people these days because of the internet and that. Sad that. Lets not makes that the case in this room. Do us a favour shake hands with the person sat next to you and say hello*. 'nother thing I've heard is that 80% of people don't wash their hands after going to the toilet... This is apparently a leading cause of most diseases."

I'm wiping a tear of laughter from my eye as I write.

I'm screwed.

That joke actually has never failed to get a luagh yet. So, I've only done it three times but, y'know. Erm.

"There are three kinds of laughter; genuine laughter, sympathy laughter and ... no laughter".

It's another hilarious banker.

I shouldn't really write my blog when I'm nervous like this.

NM

My brain isn't quite capable of thinking enough.

I'm in shock.

Total shock.

I've honestly never seen a film as consistently good as Children Of Men.

The trailer looked okay but there were worrying hints that it would at some point go s#it. Those hints turned out to be red herrings. The film is quality from start to finish. I was on the edge of my seat, for real. I've never seen anything like it. I honestly think it might be my favourite film of all time. Apparently it's based on a book by PD James. I thought she was a boring crime writer. Not a dystopian prophet of the premier kind.

I don't want to ruin the film, but I do want you to go and see it.

Here's the trailer:



A word here about trailers. One of my best mates hates them specifically because they ruin the plot of a film. I agree that some of them can do this. My problem with this trailer is that it makes you think the film might be a bit rubbish. It promises so much it's hard to believe it. Let me tell you now, go and see this f#cking film.

I have nothing else to say about sunday. I stumbled out of the theatre. Amazed. We'd only been looking for something to do while we ate our popcorn.

NM

Take me wife, please. Take me. (Saturday)

If you've ever marvelled at how long a woman can take to get ready to go to a party, times that by about a million when you're talking about fancy dress. We literally spent all day faffing about as we prepared for one today. I picked up a Darth Vader costume with my lady and her mate in town. All the while I listened to them worrying about looking fat;

"I should just go as Jabba The Hut," said her friend as my lady chipped in with "I was going as Wonder Woman, I think I'll go as Chubby Woman instead."

It's hard to know what to say in such situations. I think my girlfriend looked fantastic dressed as Wonder Woman but she wasn't convinced. She looked more p#ssed off than I think I've ever seen her as she stood there looking at herself in the mirror with half of her wonder woman costume on.

I got so unsure of what exactly to say that I decided to go to sleep for a bit. When I woke up Wonder Woman was there in the room ready to go to the party. Off we went. It was a great night. Fancy dress is much more fun than you'd think. We saw Freddie Mercury, Hugh Hefner, Rolf Harris, Zorro. It was really good fun. Two of our friends were there dressed as Indiana Jones and Roller Girl* respectively.

As we got chatting to people and the alcohol flowed I enjoyed the celebrity my Darth Vader outfit brought with it. People took pictures of me. When they did I always made sure I had a big smile on my face, then I'd realise there was no need as I had a mask on, ruined. However, as I got more and more drunk I started putting my foot in it a bit. Firstly I spouted off some 'highly interesting information' about questionable research into the evolutionary nature of homosexuals;

"Apparently you're more likely to be gay if you have two or more older brothers"

"Really? Sounds like b#llocks to me. Lets ask him, he's gay. Ere, this bloke reckons to be gay you need a couple of brothers"

"What? I ain't got no brothers babe, neither has my partner"

Soon I'm surrounded by a little crowd of people interrogating me about my odd beliefs on homosexuals, "so you're saying to be a gay you've got to have two brothers?". The more I tried to explain the more I questioned where this information had come from. "Er, no, it's just more likely that you'll be gay. There's more testosterone in the womb so it means, um. You're more likely. And ... you're middle finger is bigger and you're more likely to have a bigger wi#ky." I spluttered totally confused as to where all this was coming from. The w#nky comment seemed to appease though.

Later on I was chatting to a girl dressed as "Fat Britney". She announced that she'd been a vegetarian for a week after watching some film or other made by PETA. I was horrified. Not that she was a vegetarian but that she'd be influenced by such a facistic right-wing group. We promptly got into an argument about animal testing, which was reasonably heated;

"We don't need to test things on animals though."

"But what do you know about this subject? Nothing. I'm prepared to trust the experts. If they say they need to test stuff on animals I believe them."

At this point other people started chipping in telling me that everything which needed to be discovered had been found out by now so there wasn't any need for animal testing. I was the only person in the room who thought it might be a good idea to try and cure cancer at the cost of a few hundred animals. Apart from Indiana Jones, who sat in the corner of the room hidden under his hat keeping well out of it. He knew I was right, what's more, I knew he knew. However, Roller Girl was his girlfriend and she was busy being outraged at my callous attitude.

We left soon after. No one ever regrets going home slightly early. Remember that. You only ever regret staying out too long.

NM

*Who is Roller Girl?

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