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Imagine if when we'd landed on Mars, rather than finding a rubbish empty planet we'd actually found it populated by alien life forms. "How exciting!" the news media would cry as people waited for more information on our planetary neighbours. Some people would change the way they viewed the Universe forever, others would cry "I told you so," and parts of the planet would quake in fear waiting for the inevitable alien invasion. Then the news comes that, "we've found life but it's not what we would call intelligent life". Turns out, in this hypothetical situation, the Martian planet's population is more accurately described as being dumb stupid cattle. Mars is inhabited entirely by cows. Actual, same as we have on earth, cows. And grass, for the cows to eat.

It would still be exciting news but the dissapointment would be more than obvious as extraterrestrial welcome parties were cancelled and scientists got to grips with the fact that for some reason cows were a spicies which had evolved simultaniously on more than one planet.

As the excitement died down and people got used to the fact that we'd found a "Cow Planet", more practical members of the human race might also start to see a solution to the earth's current food problem. "They're exactly the same as our earth cows," the argument would go, "why don't we eat them?". It'd only be a matter of time before the practically minded people of planet earth would push for martian cows to be served up for one and all. The McMartian Burger Happy meal would be a tasty treat I'm sure we'd all enjoy.

Obviously that's a hypothetical situation.

However, lets try a new scenario. Imagine the magic moment many people are waiting for finally comes and instead of us finding extra terrestrials they find us! Excitement abounds as the aliens walk amongst us looking for beings to communicate with; "We've found life but it's not what we would call intelligent life," they communicate back to Zeta Rectal (their star system). "It's inhabited principly by monkeys," they add, "monkeys exactly like the ones we have on our planet". "But we eat them," comes the reply, "what a fantastic solution these things will be for our current food problem".

If we are to speculate about the existence of alien life forms the first thing we have to accept is that they will by their very nature be alien to us. We can't ascribe human motivations to them and as a result the above hypothesis where we become alien food is only important because of what it tells us about humanity. An advanced and intelligent civilisation regarding ours will know or at least be able to deduce that if we could eat them, we would.

Blast on

I'm trying to develop a theory. It's not quite finished yet. It's currently a half thought which I'd like people to steal and develop.

I like playing Monopoly. Actually to be more precise - I like the idea of playing Monopoly. The reality usually becomes tedious and I don't think I've ever completed a game in one sitting. I've been doing a bit of research and most people I've asked are the same, they like the idea of a game of Monopoly but when faced with the reality few claim to have actually finished the f#cking thing. One of my mates distinctly remembers completing the game only by storing it and playing the same game later in the week. I'm not sure that counts. I'm talking about a start to finish, one session game, where one person is the winner without breaking the rules and everyone is satisfied with the outcome. In all my years I've never known that happen.

That, to me, seems significant when you consider that it's a game which is designed to work as a metaphor for the capitalist system*. If you presume that ending the game is the metaphorical equivalent of death you've got a pretty solid idea of where chasing money gets you in life. Not dead but dead and bored.

Like I say, it's a half thought. It's not yet great. It needs someone else to take it and run with it. Just make sure that if you are that person when you're getting your Nobel prize or whatever you mention your old pal Nicholarse.

NM

*The history of Monopoly is fascinating. It started out as a game which was designed to show that land ownership was the root of all social evil. It was inspired by the radical politics of a bloke called Henry George.

Crumble the bits of balsa wood into your mind hole.

I keep writing giant blog entries which I then never publish. I wrote a long piece about my mate David Icke which was called, "David Icke, politician, entertainer or nutter?". It was rendered swiftly out of date after we had him on The Night Before and he announced he was going to stand in the Haltemprice and Howden byelection*.

Following that I wrote an impassioned rant about how wrong the new law allowing the police to lock people up for 42 days without charge was. Before I had chance to finish that I hit the airwaves and spent most of the show talking about the same subject. "Is no one going to do anything about it?" I bleated and sure enough the next day, David Davis, who we also had on the show on the same night as Icke, made his stand.

I don't trust politicians but Davis seemed like a good enough bloke when I chatted to him. Then again that's part of the problem in life. People often seem okay when you talk to them. Alexie Sayle eloquently made this point recently, during his excellent Liverpool documentary** series:

"That's the problem with celebrity parties, you end up chatting to people you hate and thinking things like 'that Gordon Brown's not such a one eyed Scottish loony after all, I had a really nice conversation with him about cats!'"

Testimony suggests that even Hitler was a pretty nice guy when you got to know him. In fact, if we're to believe recent stories about him in the papers, he had a great sense of humour***. It's hard to imagine a genocidal maniac being amusing. Then again I've always found it hard to believe anyone laughs at Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps.

NM

* Click here for some of the press articles which were written about it.

** "Alexei Sayle's Liverpool".

***I kid you not. Click here.

The male conquering instinct...

I'm hooked on 'Tanks'. It's a Playstation game. Not Playstation 3 or Playstation 2, no Playstation 1. I've had it for about 8 years. It's not even called 'Tanks', it's actually called Warzone 2100 but it involves a lot of tanks so I call it 'Tanks'.

It tells you how many hours you've spent on each particular campaign and I reckon in total I must have spent literally months of my life stuck in that world. This is why I must never get into stuff like World Of Warcraft or indeed any online gaming. My personality type can't withstand it.

According to an article in The Daily Mail* I'm satisfying my male conquering instinct with it. In fact judging by the article in question it appears that with this new research top scientists** have proved conclusively that playing this game actually makes me a w#nker. A w#nker of the worst kind, sort of like Adolf Hitler.

I am inclined to think though, that perhaps if genocidal maniacs slated their urges on silly computer games the world would be a better place. How many 'would be gangsters' have wasted their time farting about on GTA 4***? Perhaps scientists** should investigate that.

NM

*I f#cking love the Daily Mail. It's like a mad old man drunk in a pub ranting. Great fun to listen to but not something you'd like to be seen enjoying too much.

**Scientists eh? They're brilliant. I always wanted to be a scientist but was dissapointed in my early teens when I found out that I lacked the necessary intelligence.

***GTA4? That's Grand Theft Auto 4, a game clearly aimed at w#nkers.

Urrgh... this blog sort of died for a bit. I'm going to go to weekly updates now as I'm genuinely busy, for the first time in my life!

So I wander into Subway to get myself a sandwich. The chubby young girl behind the counter starts getting very excited because a tune comes on the radio she recognises. They're listening to 'Radio Galaxy FM' and, to me, the tune in question is indistinguishable from whatever sh#t they were playing before it*. However, to her, it's a call to arms and it makes her start sort of awkwardly dancing.

"Yeah! I love this one," she exclaims to no one in particular. "Ah! Cheryl Cole, she's amazin' I saw her on telly last night an' she looked proper mint. I love that she's stayed with Ashley, she's stuck by him she has, hasn't she? I think she's ace, what do you reckon?"

Oh f#ck! I'd been busy listening to her celebrity culture bullsh#t in smug horror and now I realise she's talking to me! What a cheek, to presume that I even know who Cheryl Cole is, let alone that I have an opinion on her. I'm clever and stuff. I've got a degree, somewhere. I need to think of something witty to say to redress the balance;

"Yeah, um, it's good innit?"

What? I didn't even mean to say that. I feel confused and leave with my big sandwich. I don't understand what just happened. I do of course know who Cheryl Cole is. I should have communicated with the girl, she was only being friendly.

As I walk home I think to myself about what just happened and decide it's time to start writing the blog again.

NM

*It has always seemed odd to me that in dance music it's actually seen as a good thing that the tunes all sound the same. "Woo hoo - a seamless mix there! Bet you didn't even notice I'd changed the tune did you?" an overenthusisatic mate of mine might brag as he demonstrated his mixing skills. How is it good that it all follows the same dull syncopated beat?

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