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The descent of man?

April 6th

It recently occurred to me that when it comes to describing our children I don’t like the word “descendants”. It represents a very old school of thought which has been thoroughly debunked by modern science. There are two distinct views of humanity divided by whether you put the perfect point of human existence in the future or the past. Does your “Golden Age” represent a period that went by ages ago, like The Garden of Eden or Atlantis, or do you envisage a futuristic utopia which is yet to come?

Most people, without giving it much thought, opt for the former. Even the phrase ‘golden age’ lends itself to that. It’s ‘golden’ and therefore doesn’t tarnish with time. The word ‘descendants’ implies that we’re coming down from that perfection, descending into the mire of modern existence. What nonsense.

Human beings are making progress, the best example of this is the dentist's chair. Would you like to go to the dentist at any time in days gone by? Or would you rather a modern dentist? Or, would you rather a futuristic dentist? If you are like me you'd be tempted to gamble on the futuristic one surely? Despite the fact that every time I go to the dentist I find God in the chair for a few moments (and prey to him for a bit) dentistry is easily the best proof that we as a society are progressing.

The next great thing people are going to do is explore the stars and colonise the planets. We're going to ASCEND! Lets stop calling the people who will do that descendants.

NM

Are you a bird?

In M&S buying some bits* when the fat woman infront of me asked the bloke on the till if he was a bird. It was such an odd question I was surprised at how casually he replied that he was not in fact a bird. She said "oh, my mum says I am" and wandered off. Aside from that she'd seemed normal and had made conversation about the weather with me a few minutes ago.

It left me and the man at the till a little bemused. Was she mad? Had she been asking if he was female? He had a bitof a goatee beard on the go. The correct three letters in this instance are WTF?

There was no communication between me and the bloke all of these questions were conveyed with facial expressions.

I clocked my shopping through and mused at what an odd world we live in.

NM

*Noel Fielding's character in The Might Boosh once pointed out that no one does a proper shop in M&S. You only go there to get your bits. Mashed turnip and beetroot in this particular instance.

Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye Of Chris Morris.


I've finally got my greasy hands on the Chris Morris book! I'm only a few pages in but I'm enjoying it so far. It seems like a proper fan book.

My only gripe is the following sentence on the back of the cover: "The fury of Morris's work polarised opinion and prompted government ministers to threat to ban him". What on earth is going on there? They "threat" to ban him rather than "threaten"? And how exactly do you ban a person? Surely it should be "threatened to ban his work" or something? Bah - it got up my nose a bit anyway.

Other than that minor gripe I'm all excited like you get when you've got a good book to read about Chris Morris.

NM

Re-writing my wikipedia entry

Nick Margerrison is a radio presenter who presents the weekend overnight show on LBC 97.3.

==Earlier career==

Nick Margerrison went to the University of Essex where he studied English Literature. It was there he started his career in radio at University Radio Essex where he rose ultimately to the position of Station Manager and helped to secure the station's first FM Radio licence, albeit a short term 'restricted service licence'. This co-incided with URE being granted a low power AM licence which was awarded on a trial basis to the station ahead of their adoption in the future on other student radio and hospital radio stations. From there he went on to work professionally in local radio starting on Oak FM in Loughborough and moving on to The Bay in Lancaster.

==Hallam FM==

He joined Hallam FM in South Yorkshire in April 2001 and remained there until May 2007. In that time he presented the overnight show and the afternoon show before finally taking over the late night phone in slot in 2003. 'Nick at Night' was a topical late night talk show that regularly received successful RAJAR listening figures.

'Nick at Night' deviated from traditional radio phone-ins in that it operated an almost exclusive "no-screening" policy on callers. Thus a wide variety of often controversial viewpoints were given air-time. Margerrison constantly challenged callers to reconsider their viewpoints, and offered his own thoughts on the subjects of the day.

==KERRANG! 105.2==

In October 2007 he was appointed as the Late Night Presenter for Kerrang! Radio in place of Tim Shaw who moved to present the station's breakfast show. The Kerrang! radio show was called 'The Night Before' and he presented it with a co-host, Amy Jones. His producer, Alex Baker, also had a very significant on air role. The show had a different structure to his previous show 'Nick at Night' in that it contained music and interviews.

A typical The Night Before interviewee came from a fringe perspective. Examples include, David Icke, Ivan Stang, Alex Jones, Bret Hart, Alan Moore, Rodney Orpheus and Peter H. Gilmore.

On 23 June 2009, Kerrang! Radio stated in an e-mail to 'Freq Club' members that Margerrison would be leaving the station "we can’t escape the fact that the economy at the moment is screwed and like every other business we have had to make some tough decisions."

==Edge Media TV==

Margerrison has filmed two series of the chat show called 'Esoteria' for Edge Media Television, which broadcasts on Sky Channel 200. Its main focus was the more esoteric guests that had featured on the Kerrang Radio show.

==LBC 97.3==
He now presents the overnight show on London speech station LBC 97.3 from September 10 2009, taking over from Anthony Davis who moved to weeknights.

==Religious beliefs==

Nick Margerrison is an ordained and practising Discordian (fifth Pope of the High Church) but usually professes to be an athiest.

==Reference==

His blog. The above is all actually true.

Is anyone going to sort the above out for me? I'd feel odd editing my own page - I've resisted the temptation ever since it first appeared on that bloody website back in the Hallam FM days.

Talking to people for fun... 2

My attempts at conversations with strangers are continuing. I’ve spoken to some bloke who was on his way to Liverpool for a conference, a couple of women who were in training for the London marathon and an old lady who still had some mince pies left over from Christmas.

I also had a chat with a guy who was from Cashmere who got out pictures of his bus that he’d left in his home country. It was really interesting looking at the different world from which he’d come. I also learned about a country I’d never thought of beyond a few news reports years ago.

Finally I chatted with a chap from Afghanistan, he told me that the war there was doomed to failure because, according to him, everyone there is born to the sound of gunfire in order to acclimatise them. “Everyone carries a gun there, the Americans might have technology but most of the people I know from my country who want to fight wouldn’t hesitate to die,” were his words. He was a nice bloke. His reasons for leaving were that it was a dangerous place to live!

I’m being careful to avoid conversations with obvious nutters. I’m also trying to avoid coming across as one myself. It’s also tricky not to seem like you’re chatting someone up if they’re the opposite sex. My current tactic is this, open the conversation and don’t continue it without a good response. I think there’s an art to it which I’m starting to master.

April 1st

We had a good suggestion in the comments section of this entry about voting:

Murray said...

Why not just encourage disillusioned people (yourself & myself included) to register to vote anyway, and when it comes to election day, deliberately spoil your ballot paper in a creative and imaginative way (e.g. funny pictures, graffiti, poetry, slogans, rants etc.) Just before you pop them in the ballot box, when in the booth take a photo of your spoilt paper, and then later post it up on the net. Invite readers, Twitterers to send theirs in to you - you could then make a 'Lee & Herring' style gallery of spoilt ballot papers.

How about it?

Well, I'm tempted to do this as I've still not been convinced to vote.

I recently discovered that my girlfriend has registered me to. My card came through the post this week. I don't know. I think politicians are like celebrities, if we all ignore them won't they just go away in the end?

Furthermore I've added a stumbleupon widget after one of our blog readers stumbled this entry. You'll notice it at the bottom of each entry.

Personalities...

Today I hooked up with my old flatmates from Sheffield in London. Little much has changed between the three of us and it was nice to see them. I think they were a little bit bemused by my penchant for messing about with Tarot cards. It doesn’t quite fit with my overall character and I get tired of trying to explain why I ‘waste time’ on occult nonsense. The readings were with my brand new Crowley tarot cards. Jolly good they are too, but my mates remain to be convinced.

Meeting up with old friends like that is fun but it feels like a form of time travel. By the end of the night I was Nick Margerrison circa ’04 and it felt weird.

There’s a bit of a misunderstanding as regards personalities in our culture at the moment. The word “personality” is derived from the latin root word “persona” which described the mask an actor would wear when performing a character in a Greek play. The persona was shaped like a loud hailer was designed to project the words of the actor and a clear facial expression. In my opinion personalities are like masks, or clothes, and you put the right one on to suit the occasion. Some of them go out of fashion and end up neglected in the back of your mind whereas there are always new ones just around the corner waiting for you to try them on for size. This is, in my opinion, authentic human behaviour. I speak to my Mum about some things I wouldn’t talk to my mates about and visa versa. In my experience this is how most people behave but ironically the more “authentic” amongst us daren’t admit it. It’d make them less “real”.

As I'm sure you're aware, the current orthodoxy is that we only have one true personality buried underneath the fronts and affectations put on in certain situations. This is because most people are supposed to be fakes who don’t “just be themselves”. Usually “just being yourself” is an excuse for rudeness and oafishness. It's exactly the sort of thing a reality TV contestant will say they are doing just before they act badly.

In TV terms the idea that people have only one personality is useful, in reality it makes no sense.

Clearly the above is something I’ve given a little bit too much thought. This probably comes as a result of my job where I am essentially selling my personality to the highest bidder. In radio there’s a lot of this “just be yourself” posturing and it does get on my wick. Rah rah - this rant could last forever.

NM

Still got a fat face though...

Despite eating loads of crisps, falling off the wagon and not going to the gym my weight is slowly coming under my control. I’m just under the 16 stone mark. My target weight is 14.5 but when I started this venture I was pushing 17.5. I’m therefore almost half way. This is a dangerous point in a diet. I’m having moments where I catch my reflection and think, “oo – I’m not as fat as I was”. This then seems to translate into “it’s ok I can cheat a bit today and eat that”. I think the hardest part of a diet to do is the last bit when you’re shifting the final half a stone or so.

Annoyingly I still have a fat face. This means it’s unlikely I’ll be going for beard removal anytime soon. I’ve had a few close shaves and this second chin of mine doesn’t do anyone any favours. Unless it goes the beard will have to stay.

Bit stalkerish?


29th March

Excellent – my girlfriend has commissioned and purchased a picture of Alan Moore for me. One of her mates painted it and jolly good it is too. You’d have thought a picture of one of my all time heroes could only be a good thing. However, there’s part of me that has to now accept that Alan Moore and I will never become bestest friends for life because one of us has a big picture of the other hanging in his front room. It’s all a bit stalker.

I interviewed, Alan Moore, on an old radio show I did a few years back. There’s a YouTube video here*. We got along well, spoke for hours and at the end he gave me his address to send the interview on to him. Obviously, in typical Nick Margerrison fashion, I lost it in my room somewhere. I suspect part of this was caused by a vague subconscious feeling that life would be weird if I became friends with a genius. Now of course, it would be even weirder because I have a big beautiful picture of him.

NOTES FOR NONE GEEK READERS: Alan Moore is the single most potent force in comic books at the moment. His work has transformed the nature of sequential art forever. In years to come our descendents will study his work as you and I did Shakespeare.

NOTES FOR GEEK READERS: If you disagree with the above description of Alan Moore you clearly have no idea what you’re on about. People like you annoy me actually. You’re exactly the sort of twunt who’d say they don’t like The Beatles just to get a rise out of me. You do like The Beatles, they’re amazing. You also like Alan Moore, The Watchmen was so good it made you cry. It’s no good pretending otherwise now he’s popular. Strutting about with your copy of Sandman under your arm thinking you’re all that. It can’t hold a candle to Prometha that can’t. Etc etc.

*Featuring an amusing comment from some bloke who has clearly had a bit of an irony bypass. See if you can spot it...

Alpha males

I’m quite proud of the following sentence ... “I hate alpha males but not so much that I’d want to become one”. I’ve used it a few times now and I’m disappointed at the response it has had from people. It’s a sentence that popped out of my head when I was writing a blog entry for work. When it did I sort of sat back and went “yeah, that’s really good”. Turns out it’s only a great sentence in my own head. Other people don’t seem to notice its greatness.

This has presented me with a problem that I’m in the process of solving. If I drop this sentence into a social occasion no one bats an eyelid and the conversation continues. It’d be stupid of me to try and say:

Ha – don’t you see???!!?? I hate alpha male types, right, but not so much that I want to become one!!!!???!!! Good eh???!? I’ve highlighted the reason why people are unable to challenge the dogma surrounding the conventions of alpha males and hierarchical structures within our society, with a single sentence!!!?!! Man, sometimes I’m quite good at putting together words an’ stuff. I suppose that’s why I get paid for it. Me, me, me. Ahh, lets talk about me and how great I think I am ”.

I’ve tried acting like that before when I was younger and it doesn’t really work out. The end result is you hang out with people who either do the same about themselves or agree with you. Neither type is much fun.

However, if I don’t at least congratulate myself somewhere on my amazing new sentence I’ll feel a pressing need to mention it either socially or, even worse, when I’m doing my job. Either way I’ll come over like an idiot who lives up his own backside.

My solution is to blog about it. Any reader of this blog (and there’s a worryingly high number of readers presently) will have already sussed out that I have twerp-like tendencies. I’m guessing that you’ll be looking at the screen wondering what gave me the impression that the sentence I’ve come up with is of note:

“I hate alpha males, but not so much that I’d want to be one”.

Not to worry, I’m putting up a lot of entries at the moment in an attempt to catch up, skip this one and read about my ever developing crisp habit underneath.

Skipping my daily Monster Munch...

I’ve switched my crisp allegiance from Monster Munch to Skips in light of the fact that they are half the number of weight watchers points. Although I’m not enjoying them quite so much, I’d say my enjoyment factor has only decreased by about 15-20% per packet, this is easily compensated for by the fact that I can now eat two bags of crisps where previously I was only eating one.

Sadly, unlike Monster Munch, the retro value of Skips is not being used to market them. Personally I would like to see the return of “Clumsy Colin” the wacky cartoon character who was used to shift product for KP Snacks Ltd back in the early 1980’s. A large part of their marketing campaign was invested in the sponsorship of a little remembered ZX Spectrum computer game, “Action Biker,” which to my mind qualifies as a retro classic. It’s fair to say that for a long summer in 1985/6(ish) I was obsessed with this game. The point of it was to drive about and collect bits of your bike from people’s houses. I mainly spent time running out of petrol and driving over packets of skips which increased your health.

In fact, before I owned a ZX Spectrum I remember fantasising about what it would be like to play 'Clumsy Colin' for longer than the half an hour or so I got at my uncle's house. In the wake of these fantasies me and my next door neighbour (at my insistence) devised a game called 'Clumsy Colin' which we played on our bikes out in the fresh air.

Obviously it wasn’t as good as the real thing. Fresh air is for losers!

I’d like to see the return of, Clumsy Colin, for entirely selfish nostalgic reasons, it’d be interesting to see what happened to him as he rode his bike through the 90’s and the 00’s. I imagine, entirely sustained by a diet of crisps, he died of malnutrition. Perhaps the new reworked game for the PS3 would be Angry Colin, son of Clumsy! He’s back to kick the ass of the marketing chump that killed his Dad with poor dietary advice!

Screenshots lifted from this excellent retro gaming site, World Of Spectrum.

33 degree

I celebrate my birthday with some cake and a radio show. The cake is 7 weight watcher's points. The radio show involves me not mentioning my birthday much. I'm in the school of thought that says you shouldn't go on about it too much to your audience. It's hard to make it interesting to people that you were born.

Despite my expectations I do not wake up and suddenly feel like a grown up.

NM

Almost Jesus's age...

25th March

This time four years ago I was 29 and trying to be a stand up comedian. I celebrated my birthday with my girlfriend (who I now live with) and was struggling to work out how my career was going to make any sense at a local radio station in Sheffield.

There's a link to a blog entry from the day here.

The process of aging can be rendered gradual when you think back in detail over all the things you've done over the past few years. In those four years I've seen friends of mine get married, give birth, buy houses. I've moved house more than once, changed job more than once, been to the Edinburgh festival more than once, done a couple of Glastonburys and spoken to a huge collection of weird and wonderful people.

It has always annoyed me when people say that life is short. It isn't as long as I'd like it to be but it is the longest thing I can remember experiencing. The devil is in the details.

NM

Flash Forward - I finally get into a long running US TV drama

Weds 24th

Didn't get into Lost. Didn't get into Heroes. Didn't get into Battlestar Galactica. There's loads of US TV imports (24 just popped into my mind) that I've missed out on. I can't see the point in trying to catch up once they're underway. You just (The West Wing) feel like you'll never be up to date. One recent exception is Flash Forward. The first episode was essential and if you missed it there's not much point in jumping in late but it's a great TV show. The only problem with things like this is there's no point in recommending it to anyone. Or even blogging about it I guess.

Alongside Eastbound & Down it stands out as a work of current TV genius. The former is a comedy series which I do suggest you hunt down on DVD.

NM

Pride cameth before the fall

Tuesday 23rd

The inevitable has happened. My Big Blooming Telly appears to have a slight fault. It's got a little line of static which occasionally appears in the top right or lower right hand corner. It's such a minor thing but it's exactly the sort of thing that gets worse over time. I'm suffering from a severe case of "shouldnthaveto" as regards taking it back. Mainly because I've lost the receipt. I can picture the conversation with matey jobsworth.

It's going to have to go back. I will report on the blog when I over come my case of "shouldnthaveto".

NM

Internets is serious radio business

22nd Monday

I love how I can listen to any radio station I want on my mobile phone. Radio stations in the UK, and probably the wider world, are confused by the pace of change presented by technology. It has the power to transform the industry I work in. What I've always thought is that this is going to be a gift in the long term for speech radio. Speech stations provide unique content unlike music radio which reproduces the wholly owned content of others.

Non of these implications are on my mind though when I'm listening to, for example, James Whale on my little mobile phone. It's not even a posh mobile phone. Excellent.

NM

Arrgh! I hate getting parking tickets.

21st Sunday

I'm learning my lesson as regards driving myself in to work. Sometimes it's nice to get there in your own car but this is my third time I've been given a parking ticket in an area where it's not clear to me (or loads of other ticketed people) that you can't park. The feeling of impotent rage sticks in my throat for ages. In Birmingham, when I was working at Kerrang, I scored a victory against the parking people by contesting a ticket with photographic evidence proving I'd been wrongly fined.

Irritatingly the fine was just forgotten about, they never sent me a 'sorry' letter or acknowledged the fault! More than anything else I wanted a "sorry I'm an idiot" letter from the bloke who gave me a ticket. No such luck.

NM

BACKLINK TO THE TIME I GOT A PARKING TICKET (caution, new readers, your new blog friend used to use bad language on this page...)

That's bananas

This recent kick off about "meow meow" is depressingly predictable. People dying in drink and drug related accidents is obviously awful but I strongly suspect there's nothing the law will be able to do to stop it.

In the late 60's and early 70's there was a craze for smoking dried bananas in an attempt to get high from the "bananadine" which is contained within. I wonder how long it would take for bananas to be legislated against if this craze took hold once again in the year 2010? If people were found to have died in a banana and booze orgy would they still be trotting out the same arguments we're getting now: "Ban it first, ask questions later because it's better to be safe than sorry".

I've long thought legalisation would be the sanest possible course of action as regards recreational drugs. Most of the people I meet seem to think the same. In the wider world most of the experts agree it would be the right way to go. And whenever you raise it as a talking point on a phone in show you get huge support for the idea. It's just one of those things that most people seem to agree would be a good idea.

I doubt it will ever happen though.

This is of course good news for criminals who make huge sums of money selling the stuff illegally. So, y'know, it's not all doom and gloom.

Ploughing through another book on the occult...

I'm reading a new biography on Aleister Crowley called "A Magick Life". It's jolly good and reads like a dramatic film. The author, Martin Booth, doesn't get too bogged down in the 'reality' or otherwise of magick and has crafted a book that reads really well.

I've never been too enamoured by the 'cult-of-Crowley' but do have time for Thelemites and the OTO. It's interesting to read about some of the Thelemic rituals, as they were carried out at the Abbey of Thelema in Spain. It also makes me wonder if the people I know who are members of the OTO still honour some of the more bizzare ideas Crowley put into practice at the height of his powers. I suspect not but the scintilla of doubt is what makes it interesting.

One of my most popular pages on this blog is the entry I wrote as regards my dabblings with Crowley and the occult last year. If you're new to the blog go here to read it.

Lion-O is my hairspiration

I'm trying to sort out my physical appearance a bit, with limited success. Largely my hair seems to want to look like Lion-O out of The Thundercats. Don't get me wrong, Lion-O is a cool dude, but his hair isn't really what I want.

Thundercats was not actually a great cartoon. It did that thing which a lot of kid's TV shows did back in my era, had a great intro and then provided very hit and miss episodes. One of my eternal gripes is the fact that the intro to Thundercats always contained all the characters having a massive brawl in stark contrast to the episodes themselves which would only usually feature one or two of the main characters and some new villain they were trying to get you to buy as a toy.

Lion-O is now my archetype for a bad hair day and frequently pops into my mind when I look in the mirror.

Still, at least I'm not Alistair Darling. He looks exactly like Sam Eagle out of the muppets...



Darling is on the right...

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