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Cheers ... dude.

I've just bought a coffee. I can't help myself and I only notice once I've accidently said it. There's an uncomfortable slight silence and the bloke sort of looks at me with a 'don't patronise me fatty,' expression scrawled across his face. I try to undo the damage with a clarification: 'err, so yeah, thanks, bye'. Off I walk cursing myself, why the f--- do I keep calling people dude?

'Cheers, dude?' - I'm a grown man. I'm 32. I'm too old to be calling people 'dude'. It looks odd enough when Bill and Ted* do it. Imagine that oddness transposed into real life. It's not something people like being called. Imagine yourself being called 'dude' for no good reason by a man who looks like a chubby, hairy, cornish pasty. Not a pleasant experience is it? Certainly when it's so out of context. Then imagine the face of that bloke scrunching up into a sort of self loathing as he almost whispers the word back to himself with contempt and a question mark.

The thing about a minor faux pas like that is you can't apologise for it. Once you've got it out it has to remain there for all to see. There's no going back. You've committed yourself to the premise that whoever it is you're talking to is a 'dude', whatever that means and no matter how obviously untrue it is. The only way to deal with a verbal tick like this is prevention. Now I've noticed myself saying it I'm trying to filter it out. I just don't yet have a viable replacement. Feel free to post one in the comments section.

NM

*Bill and Ted? Who are Bill and Ted? They're the characters who appear in "Dude, where's my car" amongst other things...

My cast iron guarantee has rusted.

'Politics is show business for ugly people' - Jay Leno.

I don't bother voting, I think they're all a waste of time. Perhaps that's the wrong attitude but I've yet to be impressed by a politician and it's against my deeply held religious beliefs.

Long term blog readers will remember there was a brief period of my life where I dabbled in stand-up comedy. During that time I learned that comedians are fiercely protective of their material. Stories of a comedian who feels he's had a line stolen by a lesser talent often end in brutal revenge, and rightly so. I wonder if the same is true for politicians?

David Cameron made a 'cast iron guarantee' in The Sun to their readers that there would be a referendum on Europe. Now, apparently, he can't have one because of ... I don't know or care, they just make it all up really don't they?

Anyway, the practical upshot of all this is that the pro-Europe brigade have been coming along and giving quotes to the media with a 'hilarious' joke in there. See if you can spot it:

Chris Bryant (who looks quite good in just his underpants):

Chris Bryant, the Europe Minister, said it was now clear that Mr Cameron would be forced to abandon his "cast iron guarantee" that a Conservative government would hold a referendum on the treaty. "Now he is clearly saying that there is not going to be a referendum so his cast iron is already rusting pretty badly," he told the BBC.

[Source - The Times Online Novermber 3rd 2009 - Czech court gives go-ahead to Lisbon treaty]


Then there's Lord Mandelson (who looks quite good in his robes):

Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, told Sky News: "It looks as if that cast-iron guarantee has become very rusty indeed. I don't think he's being entirely honest with the British people

[Source - The Guardian Novermber 4th 2009 - Davis challenges Cameron with call for referendum on relationship with EU]


I wonder who came up with this hilarious line first?

There lurks in my mind the awful possibility that it was written for them. Particularly after I read this story, also in The Guardian, about Gordon Brown paying out $40,000 for "West Wing Writers" to tailor some of his speeches to an American audience. I wonder how much a 'joke' might cost you to purchase if you're a humorless politician? Perhaps after the expenses scandal politicians are looking to save a bit of cash by re-cycling their material.

I'll vote for the first one to say that 'Cameron's cast iron guarantee was a load of shit'.

Grr - I'm really annoyed - I've got an Audi - Grr!

Pulling into a car park at a pub and someone's coming the other way. They're in a big red audi. They are clearly loving it. I've made the mistake of thinking that they might want to reverse to let me in via what is, after all, the entrance. No such luck, the driver seems to think it'd make more sense for me to back out onto the main road and take my chances. A face off ensues. It's late so I can't see the driver of the vehicle but there's no way I'm pulling back onto a main road.

In the end the driver reverses a little and we both pull up alongside each other. The driver's face is contorted with rage. I'd be scared if she didn't look like a middle aged primary school teacher. I don't know what possessed me but I decided to pull my frog face. A look of confusion breaks her anger briefly then she drives off apoplectic.

I've mused on this before here but, seriously, what is it about Audi's that makes their drivers such twunts? There's no way that silly woman would have been so annoyed if she wasn't sat in that car.

--

On the train and there's some cool dudes, probably coming back from a trendy all night rave or something, sat on the carriage. Actually, they're more slumped than sat. Their long skinny jean clothed legs are trailing over the gangway, one of their mobiles keeps jumping into song every now and then with some obnoxious s--- song that the uber dudes were probably the only people to know about. Part of me is annoyed by them because they do seem quite cool and I was never that cool when I was their age. At a guess they're about 20-23. Crafted haircuts. Etc.

There's a woman who looked just like the one I described in the incident above, only this one is slightly less assertive. She, like most everyone else on the train, is annoyed by these trendy twerps but is putting up with them.

We arrive in Birmingham Moor Street. They slump to their feet rolling their eyes with the same disdain they looked at the stupid ticket collector who dared ask them for their tickets. 'Duh, like this is so lame' I imagine them thinking. One of them gets off the train as the other two, a slim blonde emo girl and the taller of the two chaps sort of muddle about having a conversation about who should call the taxi. They hold hands and kiss.

The guy on the platform is sparking up a tiny slim rolled cigarette. The train is getting ready to depart. He casually raises his palm to inform the stupid train driver that he can't go just yet. The doors of the train close. The two kids on the train realise they're about to leave their mate behind. The girl slams her hand onto the button to open the door. The bloke on the platform freaks out. The train sets off.

Lovely stuff.

Suddenly all the cool and casual nature has gone. The girl is horrified and the lad looks like he's going to cry. They get off at Birmingham Snow Hill. I find the whole incident amusing. I think I must be a bad person.

--

Private Eye.

Go and buy a copy of the current issue. It's better than it has been for quite some time. There's an article in there which opposes two sets of Gordon Brown quotes. One lot comes from the Prime minister's secretary who spends quite some time making it clear that our leader does not have time to waste watching silly TV programmes like Question Time. The second is an excerpt from a handwritten letter from Gordon Brown telling a reality TV contestant how saddened the PM is that 'X Factor journey [has] come to an end'. According to the PM 'I always try and watch the X Factor'.

Been ill.

If you get "swine flu" go to the Doctors and demand they do something about it. That's what they're there for, it's what we pay our taxes for. Screw all this advice about not worrying about it and just staying in bed. Go to the Doctors! Demand they cure you.

I recently did some overnight shows on London's all talk station LBC. I was on Thursday 10th September through 'til the 15th at 1am-5am in the morning. Quite a hardcore shift but it seemed to go well. We had more calls than we could take and the boss was happy enough to offer me another bunch of shifts. During that period I had a bit of a sore throat and I could feel I was coming down with something. I'd had a migraine a few days previously and that tired feeling you get when your body is under attack was sweeping over me.

They took a picture of me for the LBC website and in it I look ill. My eyes are red and I can see I look knackered. However, us radio presenters don't do ill, we're most of us self employed and if we don't work we don't get paid. Simple as that. So, I did the shows and thought I'd postpone getting better until once I'd finished.

As I slumped into my bed I remember thinking I had about a week or so to get better in time for the next run. My symptoms were; a sore throat, a cold and a cough. Unfortunately the next day things seemed to have got worse rather than better. I now had a thumping headache and a fever to add to the list. By day three I wasn't sleeping properly as my cough had escalated into a constant feature of my life. Furthermore I was really tired and running short of breath all the time.

I'm a bit of a fan of things like positive thinking so by the end of the third day I'd decided to convince myself that I was getting better. This went reasonably well but you can't positive think your way out of a coughing fit. Or the fact that you've got no strength in your body. By the end of the fourth day I was pretty pished with positive thinking and started on the drugs. Cough medicine. Nose spray. Vicks in a hot bowl of water. Paracetamol etc etc. You have to be careful with these things in that if you combine them you can do more harm than good so they were all nicely spaced out and so forth. None of them made any difference. I was getting worse.

By the fifth day I had to ring the boss of LBC and tell him that I couldn't do the second set of shifts he'd offered me. I cant tell you what I wuss I felt like. It didn't make any sense, I don't get ill!

My fear was that once I spoke to him my symptoms would suddenly clear up and I'd feel fine. The total opposite happened and I got much worse. That night I was actually hallucinating. I thought I was in conversation with the devil. I felt like I was being physically attacked by goblins. These hallucinations were interspersed with real life drama where I couldn't funking breathe. I had so much crap in my lungs I felt like I was being choked by it. I was drenched in sweat. It was really nasty.

I decided to ring my doctors surgery. It was a weekend so I got a long, long, long, recorded message telling me about the swine flu pandemic and advising me not to bother coming in as they'd be too busy. Also, they're closed on the weekend so feck off. Finally it told me to ring the NHS advice line. Bear in mind that I'm delusionally ill at this point.

The NHS advice line was amazing. Multiple choice questions to sort out the really ill from the idiotic. Advice to the effect of 'go to bed you'll get better' for people suffering from swine flu and a big long recorded lecture about pandemics. When I finally got through to a human she sounded nice and told me to take some codeine and I'd get better soon. Terrible advice. The codeine informed me there was a risk I'd become addicted to it if I used it for a few days. When I took it I felt drugged up like Renton out of Trainspotting. It didn't ease my headache. Then my nose started spunking blood.

It occurred to me as I mopped up the blood and worried I was going to die that a key skill for someone who works on the NHS advice line must be to sound like you care when actually you don't. If you did actually care you'd end up taking your work home with you and worrying about all the ill people you spoke to that day. If you sound like you don't people will notice and you'll lose your job. Therefore the best skill to have is good fake empathy.

The next day, after another night of choking and hallucinations we went to a doctors surgery located inside Boots the Chemist. I sat down in front of the receptionists and told them I was dying and I wanted them to sort it.

Bit over dramatic but I'd exhausted myself walking from the car park round the corner.

It's all a bit of a blur but I remember a nice doctor giving me some antibiotics which didn't really seem to work at first.

The next day I booked myself in to see my usual doctor, mainly to ask when I'd feel better in order to get back to work.

The surgery is walking distance from my house but I was so forked I couldn't make it there. My girlfriend had to drop me off in the car. I can't tell you how gobstruck I was when I walked in and saw that I was one of only two patients waiting to be seen. There were six staff behind the desk! This makes a staff to patient ratio of three to one. This from an organisation which was at every possible turn advertising how busy they were! Too ill to be annoyed I slumped into a chair and waited to see the doctor. A couple of minutes passed and he invited me into his office. He told me I'd been seriously ill and I wasn't really better yet. He prescribed me some stronger antibiotics and told me I wouldn't be fit to work for a fortnight. Bloody hell!

He suspected I'd been hit by more than one virus at once. I had to go in the next day for blood tests to check if I had anything more serious than an aggressive case of flu and sore throat. I've never at any point been told I had swine flu.

The next day I was THE ONLY PATIENT in reception. A staff to patient ratio of 6:1. That is until an old lady popped in to pick up a prescription, she remarked very loudly "what have you done with all the patients?" to which the receptionist replied jokingly "we've killed them all!". She was obviously making a point and the polite laughter that followed was interesting to listen to.

As I sat there, waiting for my blood tests I could hear the receptionists telling people over the phone that there were no possible appointments, they've very busy at the moment. They clearly were not. Quite amazing.

Why is it that receptionists in Doctor's surgerys look like dinner ladies?

Anyway, as I said in my opener, if you've got this swine flu thing, go to the Doctors. They're not busy.

Furthermore, listen out for me on LBC again soon. I'll twitter the dates nearer the time.

So, you've left Kerrang then? And other FAQ's...

So, you've left Kerrang then?

Yup. Wrapped the show up this month. Thanks to all the listeners and callers and guests, it obviously wouldn't have been the same without you.

Why did you leave?

Money: there simply wasn't enough of it to continue doing the show as it was. It's worth pointing out that I've not fallen out with anyone and I sincerely wish Kerrang all the best. There's a great team of people there, all of whom are friends of mine, including the boss Gordon Davidson who is a jolly good bloke.

Are you still doing the TV show?

Yes. We're about to start filming another set soon. As with the last one you'll need to watch it on Sky 200, it's called Esoteria and it focuses on some of the more far out stuff we touched on in the radio show.

Are you leaving radio then?

No. I've met with quite a lot of important radio people over the last few days and will bring you more on that when I can via this blog.


Finally, thanks to all the people who have emailed/tweeted/facebooked their nice words about the show to me recently. It's hard to know what to say in reply so a lot of them haven't had a response but they were all appreciated.

NM

PS - I feel a bit pretentious doing an FAQ but it seemed like the best solution. Feel free to use the comments section below.

Theology morphs into a technocracy... a half finished article written for fun.

I recently received an email off a listener asking the age old question; "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?". Despite what you may have been told, that's actually a very easy question; the egg came first because dinosaurs laid eggs. Here's a better question, which came first mind or matter? Christian theology would argue that mind came first and matter was formed by it afterward. "In the beginning was the word..." or more accurately the concept or thought*. God was a vast ocean of consciousness when he made the universe and he did so by performing unbelievable feats of mind over matter**. I use Christianity as an example but the same can be said of Islam, Judaism etc. Anyone with a creator God who considers the question will probably conclude that mind predicates matter.

In the Jesus myth you might remember that his father, Joseph, is a carpenter. This is a metaphor which expresses this theological mindset of God 'the creator' who fashioned the earth and mankind. There's a bit in one*** of the creation myths contained in the bible where God makes Adam out of clay (some versions use the translation dirt or dust) that again expresses this idea of an external force fashioning life into existence.

If you're up on things like biology and evolution you might have noticed that this idea is more than a little contrary to the evidence. I existed long before my mind did. My component parts sat in my parent's bodies for quite a while before they started to grow into the chubby bearded chap whose words you're reading now****. Also, notice the important word here is 'grow'. None of the humans who are reading these words were made, both you and I grew like everything else which we consider to be alive. All biological life grows as opposed to being made like a chair or a table.

Once I finally got my head around the fact that there are two distinct yet easily defined opposing sets of metaphysics at work in the world many of the debates which often rage within it started to become clear to me. I'm best described as an atheist***** so obviously I used to find 'creationism' very amusing. I now see why it's so important to people and can't help but feel pity for those who cling to it so voraciously. They understand the debate better than most. The Pope's wacky condom ideas also make sense. In his head a bit of sperm isn't a seed in the same sense it is to me. It's like a little person waiting to grow as opposed to a seed you might encounter when you're eating an apple. The abortion debate also boils right down to this difference between those who reckon people are made and those who can see that we grow.

When I say that I'm an atheist I explicitly mean that I do not subscribe to any of the major theologies all of whom lay claim to a creator God******. I do not reject the concept of a supreme being. Obviously there are people and possibly even entities which I do not understand that are superior to me in all manner of ways, intellectually, physically &c. Here's where the real fun starts...

Renne Descartes was a brilliant philosopher and is the bloke who dished out the awesome truth nuggett; "I think therefore I am"*******. However many people take his logic to task when, in the same book, he goes on to say that the mere fact you can think of an infinite power such as God means that he must exist. Bit mad. It's often seen as a sort of caveat to avoid criticism from the agressive religious people who enforced their philosophy at that time********. However in this post, for a bit of fun, I intend to re-visit the idea that because you can think of God he must exist.

Firstly, God, as a concept, can at least be said to exist within our imagination. He's sat there in your head, in 'idea space', whether you believe in him or not. The majority of people on this planet believe in him in a literal sense. Furthermore one of the core elements of the concept of God is that he is infinately powerful. If he exists in any context, even if it's just as an idea inside someone's head, it's safe to say that he's a force to be reckoned with. If his power is infinite it would not be impossible for him to manifest into this reality directly from the place known as 'idea space'*********.

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him," wrote the Enlightened thinker Voltaire. Consider that point literally as you remember the infinately powerful God who sits in the heads of religious people, like a seed waiting to find the right patch of land to take root in. It is of course possible that this strange enterprise known as the internet which you and I are involved in right now might be part of our endeavor to "invent Him". We're pouring knowledge and consciousness into the net at a faster rate than any of us can safely comprehend. If God is all knowing might this be thanks to his access to google? When God first starts to manifest outside of the minds of men will anyone be surprised if it's inside a giant server somewhere?

NM

*This concept was first explained to me by the excellent book The Secret History Of The World by Jonathon Black.

**Mind over matter is not such a silly concept. The late Terrence McKenna put it very succinctly once: "sending a neural signal from the brain to lift a hand to scratch your ass is mind over matter".

***If you've not read the Bible you'll probably not be aware that there's more than one creation myth. Unfortunately they contradict each other as well. Bummer eh? I prefer the first one, right at the beginning.

****And those parts will of course have been consumed by my parents as food which also grew. The whole Universe is growing. This concept has been articulated to me by the late great Alan Watts. It's not the only great idea you'll get off him, if you managed this article go seek him out post haste!

*****I'm actually a Discordian if you're interested. Sadly for you though I am the only true Discordian left in the High Church and we're not recruiting any more members to our bizarre cult. Try the Low Church of Discordianism, last I heard they had no members whatsoever. Make yourself a Pope. Read Robert Anton Wilson a bit as well. He's great.

******Not all Gods make this claim. Most of them don't claim to have created anything. I don't see Thor bragging about making the universe. Nor does Eris. Or Loki. Or Zeus. The idea of a male creator God acting alone is a very modern frankly stupid idea. I am an a-theist, I reject theism.

*******I think therefore I am. The action of thought proves that you exist in some form or other, somewhere. You can't have a thought without a thinker. Just genius. Go read some Descartes. Good for ya!

********Timothy Leary used to argue that philosophy is usually taught in our society but in most of the world it is enforced. Leary, like me, dug the idea that perhaps philosophy is best when it is performed. Leary was a brilliant mind and without doubt he too was persecuted for his point of view.

*********'Idea space' is a concept toyed with by both Terrence McKenna and Alan Moore. I'm not sure who coined it but Alan Moore takes it much further than McKenna ever did. Read a few interviews with Moore to flesh the concept out. Put simply it's the idea that concepts exist in a realm known as 'idea space'. It goes back to the idea which Aristotle put forward of perfect forms.

More things I have noticed...

More things I have noticed...

Bad days.

Some days are just bad. You wake up, bang your toe catch your sleeve on a door handle spill your tea on the carpet and forget to bring something important in to work. Days like these should be treated with a sarcastic and knowing smile.

Audi Drivers.

I know this is a generalisation (and that they don't work, generally) but why is it that all Audi drivers are such clucking twunts? Those four rings on a car seem to encourage people to literally drive like a ringpiece. Like a bad day, I think it might be for the best that we treat Audi drivers with a sarcastic and knowing smile.

Sunny days make the world seem impossibly nice.

A sunny day lifts your mood like nothing else. Optimism is everywhere and the troubles you faced yesterday don't seem quite so bleak. Days like this should be treated as the source of your sarcastic and knowing smiles.

Aleister Crowley & The Call of the Second Aethyr

Last week I suggested an idea to my audience. I've got some old recordings of one Aleister Crowley speaking in an ancient language which was given to humanity by angels via a crystal ball. The language is called Enochian and the recordings are of a ritual designed to call spirit entities into the physical plane. Wouldn't it be funny to play these out on air? If they work thousands of demonic portals might open up all over the UK as radios rip open the very fabric of reality and we get a scene a bit like the one at the end of Ghostbusters as ghosts and ghoulies pour into the UK. Obviously though, magic isn't real and nothing like that would happen.

However, here's the bit it's hard for me to explain on the radio thanks to the UK's broadcasting law. Magic and I have a strange history. Around four years ago I was taught by a Discordian* magician how to cast low level spells. One of the techniques I acquired during this period was Sigyl magic. The idea is pretty simple and it's explained perfectly in this you tube video here**. (Edit 9th Aug 09 - the previous vid has been removed from YouTube so the link you've just seen is new & annoyingly not quite as clear. I intend to put this stuff in the next Esoteria so find that on Sky 200?) If you've not got time to go deep into this stuff I'll summarise for you: it's a bit like bonkers legend Noel Edmonds and his cosmic ordering guff. You write a wish down on a bit of paper and you hope it'll come true. Stupid eh?

Anyway I wrote out my 'wish' and I still have the paper here in my office. It said "I present a national radio show which deals with UFOs / Consipracy theory and the occult. I am helped by two members of staff who are dedicated to the show. It has a phone in element.". If you've tuned into Kerrang Radio around 10pm recently you might recognise that pitch. It was made using a Chaos Magick technique two years before the show was even mooted.

Proves it?

No, of course not. Obviously the "wish" was firmly within the realms of possibility. I knew the presenter of the show Tim Shaw. I was already known for doing speech radio and getting good audeince figures. We don't need spooky magic to explain how things fitted together here but I did find it a very strange experience watching it all play out with a wry smile.

I've tried them subsequently and all but one has borne out so far. I don't do them often, they freak me out a bit.

Remember this; the establishment spent hundreds of years killing witches and wizards, burning them alive and drowning them for fun. Then, once all the magic users were dead the very same establishment announces to its people that there is, in fact, no such thing as magic. Fortunately for them there was no one left to prove them wrong, they all went up in smoke, or were hired to work for the establishment...

Fast forward to the present and I'm doing the radio show. We're chatting to a bloke, Rodney Orpheus, who is part of the religion which Crowley left behind after he died, it's called O.T.O. I'm asking him what would happen if we were to play out Crowley's magical spell ritual designed to call out demons. He tells me probably nothing, "if demons were to come out of the radio I'd be very surprised, if they're going to come out of anywhere, they'll come out of people's heads". Awesome. Great bit of radio. Hit play on the song. Two minutes in the station has a major technical glitch. The consoles in all three studios stop working. The mic won't turn on and then won't turn off. We play three songs in a row as we try to sort it out. Chaos as broadcast assistants and producers run about like headless chickens trying to sort it out. Technical response team on the phone. Finally we're back on air. Not the most impressive bit of radio ever. An example of Crowley's curse?

Proves it.

Well, actually, obviously no. It was a technical fault. It's never happened before but it's not proof of anything other the unreliable nature of technology. The callers who arrived on air swiftly afterward backed me up. It can't be anything other than a co-incidence. However, my co-host Amy Jones has now decided that if we do go ahead and play out Mr Crowley's magic incantations she doesn't want to be in the studio at the time. She refuses to listen to the recordings at all. This follows on the heels of my producer's on air announcement that he wants nothing to do with the show when we plan to do it, we've got the experiment penciled in for next Tuesday.

We wrap up the show. I've told the audience that they will decide if we go ahead with this idea. At the moment it's about 1/3 against and 2/3 up for the idea. As we hit the calls just before 1am people are very much egging me on to do it. I get emails from people prepared to travel from miles around to help out with the show for free if my Producer and Co-Host really are too freaked out to lend a hand on the night in question.

It's winding down time and I'm messing about on the net with a mate who produces our podcast***, he's got a twitter account and can verify the following story - it's www.twitter.com/simonhillonq. I'm showing him the joys of this website you are reading now. As I'm showing him I click on the feature you'll notice at the top in the search bar of this very page which says NEXT BLOG. I click on it to show him a random blog. Up pops a picture of Alister Crowley! This one in fact:


At random the man himself has managed to pop up and stare into our faces. Simon and I couldn't believe it. I called my producer Alex over as Amy wears an, "I told you so" look on her face. As I write this blog entry I've tried clicking that button over and over again, none of the random blogs it has put up feature Crowley's face. Another co-incidence?

Proves it?

C U next tuesday.

NM

*Most people think Discordianism is a joke and they're pretty much correct. I am the only true Discordian left, all the rest of them are just well meaning liars.

**Quite a long vid. Be careful with Sigils if you're going to do them. Spend at least a few months phrasing it very carefully in the positive. Notice with mine I didn't write "I WANT to present a national radio show". Doing that locks you into an eternal sense of wanting to present a radio show. No good to anyone. There are other little rules. Do more research than just reading this blog entry.

***If you're reading this blog entry on the weekend 29th - 30th - 31st then find the podcast of the show and listen to it yourself. I asked Simon to keep the technical hitch in there.

Things I've noticed.

Gordon Brown.

I have a theory that his head used to be about one third bigger than it is currently. I suspect it has an as yet unidentified slow puncture which is letting the air out gradually like a balloon. This explains his deflated flabby face and wrinkly saggy forehead. Ultimately his head will just be a flap of skin hanging from his constantly gesticulating shoulders. I suspect the face will still sport that fu#king weird smile.

Karate.

It is no longer good enough to know Karate. You have to know something fancy like Wing Chun or Taekwondo. In fact I don't think I've met anyone for quite some time who is a proud user of Karate. It is no longer in fashion. I had an orange belt in Karate, that was never fashionable.

Jade Goody.

The reaction from the general public was not the one I suspect the media hoped for. Obviously people were sad to hear that someone had died but that's about it. There are now apparently plans for a film of her life. I suggest they call it Forest Gump II.

Listeners.

I have a message from a listener which reads like this: "What do you think of Fightstar? I think they're ok. Also do you think swine flu will be used by the Illuminati as an excuse to sterilise the world population? Cool show, write back."

Being cool.

I am not cool. A friend of mine recently got into a conversation about things which are cool and oddly I got drawn into it as an example. Apparently I am not cool at all but this makes me a bit anti-cool. It was agreed that this was a sort of compliment. But the woman in question kept making jokes about how she was going to "stop digging". I realised what she'd meant to say was that I am just not cool.

Twitter

I now have a Twitter account. I intend to 'Twitter' for exactly two weeks and then sign off. At the moment it's fun and I have a total of 20 people who give a crap about my inane updates, things like "I'm eating vegetable stew - my girlfriend made it. Nice. Got some crusty bread with it". If you're one of those people, 'hello', and if you'd like to be here's the direct link to my profile: www.twitter.com/nicholarse.

In the meantime I've been trying to write a book. It's about my belief in UFOs. Although it's fun planning it I'm hitting snags here and there at the moment so it's putting me in a bad mood. I do believe in UFOs but I can't really work out why. That's one of the snags.

Charlie Brooker reviewed my TV show, Esoteria, in the Guardian recently. It's not an entirely favourable review but I'll take the phrase "clever people gone wrong" and use it as my epitaph. At some point I will upload parts of the TV show to my YouTube channel as all the internet uploads I've seen so far are pretty poor quality OR take ages to load. I'm still very proud of the shows we've done so far. There's some really mindblowing stuff in there and some of the finest guests we've ever interviewed.

Apologies to regular blog readers - this blog has been all but defunct for some time now. The Kerrang show takes up almost all of my time. I think this will remain as an occasionally updated website for the forseeable future.

NM

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