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The fact some things aren't funny even if they seem it (2)

If you're going to have a massive nervous breakdown I'd say this was the way to do it:

1, Attract world's attention with a viral.

2, Get upset by personal criticism.

3, Run about with nowt on and then get caught performing a lewd solo sexual act.

This blog entry, ladies and gentlemen, is a certificate of 'Fellahood'. It is printoutable and usable by one man only, that man is ...

Jason Russell.

I honestly don't get the big fuss people are making about this. The guy snapped, doesn't make his video any more or less true. It annoys me how ideas have their authority undermined by their author. It would be better if authority came from within and people thought for themselves rather than by imitation.

NM

Muppets film review

The new Muppets film is great, really great. It's a cliche but there's enough silly nods and winks for adults that it doesn't feel like a kids film. It is however kid friendly, it's the Muppets after all.

No niggles about this film whatsoever, genuinely liked it.

Unlike Courtney Love who felt it was like a violent sex criminal: The Muppets are rapists.

NM

Last FM phone app.

I don't get why a company as big as Last FM has to charge for its mobile services. I've just had a little free trial of it and, if you're listening to music, it's a pretty good trip. Now they want me to pay! How unreasonable. I can't believe they wouldn't be able to sell adverts onto that feed and make enough money like that. There's a weird sort of fear some people have regarding adverts that I just don't understand. It's like they're impossible to stomach for some people.

I also don't get why it's free on the website but you pay for the mobile app thing. Surely it's the same principle with both?

I guess the only reason I've written this entry is because big companies manage their online reputations and there's a vague chance these complaints will be heard this way. Either that or I'm finding the challenge of daily blogs a bit too much and my inspiration is running dry. I often wonder what the purpose of this little bit of the internet is. Have I just created a giant datamining exercise for future statisticians? Or is it a real record of the last five years of my life?

And if it is, who is it for?

It gets a few hundred readers on a regular basis. But sometimes that number increases. Or drops. I've never worked out why. I think the more entries you do you find that more people get into reading it. But, like I said, I've no idea what it's for so...

NM

Big Eared Gypsie Weddings

Urgh ... ye Gods!

Watching some daft reality TV show last night. Or rather, it was on telly while I was in the room. Glanced up and there we are, Paddy off Celebrity Big Brother stumbling about with some bloke filming him, shouting insults at him and another giving him punches every now and then. It was so brutal I was stunned. Apparently the footage had been uploaded to YouTube and became part of a now resolved court case. The story had been reported last year but escaped my attention.

It's probably one of the most shocking moments I've ever endured on television. I'm amazed Channel 4 thought it a good idea to broadcast it to be honest.

NM

I'm now proper into the gym and things.

Now I've lost weight I have noticed my stomach has something I never noticed before, kind of weird lumps. I think they're called muscles. Actual muscles in my stomach! As a consequence I've dived into the gym again. I'm still in shock that my body still bothers with the idea of muscles. I was convinced that idea had been dropped years ago and replaced with a bold new grey design for my hair instead.

My main problem though with working out is that you have to tolerate the company of big muscle blokes who clearly take themselves very seriously. It's difficult not to smirk a bit when they're grunting and doing their thing. Just as I'm sure they find it hard not to sneer when I'm picking out my weedy weights.

NM

My Tony Robbins trip

The programme I use is called "Get The Edge". I've been loving it since my last entry about it. There's something so exciting about pretending to be a big toothed cheeseball like The Robbins. No problem is too big in his world. All you need is optimism and a good work ethic to pull you through.

I'm a huge fan of optimism. It has done more for us than probably most other words. Without it we'd never have got to the moon. Can you imagine something like that happening with pessimists at the controls? You can't even imagine it really. P--sed off engineers moaning; "bah, another day at work on this moon trip fiasco. God I hate this job what a stupid idea, as if men are ever going to walk on the moon. Particularly not when we've got Barry in accounts f--king everything up. What an idiot he is. etc".

NM

Entry for Monday the 12th Of March

Today involved going in to London town and having quite a dull meeting. It also involved me seeing a picture on the wall in the London Underground. It was a drawing of a robot with a speech bubble coming out of it that said "people are stupid". I tried to take a picture of it but failed. I guess that proved the robot right.

NM

Tony Robbins time...

Meh, I have once again decided that it's Tony Robbins time. I've loved self help books for longer than is normal. Most people like them for about a week. It sort of ties into my fascination with occultism, most of which is not unlike self help literature.


As with magick you kind of need to leave your nonsense detector at the gate when entering the world of Mr Robbins. However, as with magick, you seem to get results if you follow the instructions. I've got a lot of things on the go right now, lets hope a bit of cheesy American pseudo psychology assists me!

NM

A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT

Somewhere there is a human who as part of their day at work once wrote out the following sentence: "A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT". That's important to remember. The sentence was not written by a machine as my brain sort of casually imagines might be the case. A thinking breathing living person wrote out that pointless statement for use on the back of a packet of sweets.

Maybe they were a freelance copywriter doing a job for, Wrigleys, the gum upon which this sentence has been printed. Maybe the person in question had a word limit, I hope they added the sentence because they had to be as close to that as possible. In other words, I sincerely hope it was "filler" material and these sentences were printed by machines on an industrial scale simply because of some weird quirky clerical requirement.

Most of the sentences around it are pretty functional and useful legally, particularly the one about how eating too many of these sweets might make you shit your pants. The problems begin just after this sober reminder about the effects of "PHENYLANINE" upon a human bowel system. Maybe that image was what set off the problem. As they imagined an idiot who can't contain himself, eats three or four packets and then sits on the toilet and howls their guts out, perhaps that kicked off the copywriter's need to essentially provide instructions on how to use chewing gum: "CHEW FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES AFTER EATING AND DRINKING".

Their faces will have looked content for a minute. "Good," they might have thought, "that will help a few people out there". Try to imagine the psychology of the person who writes out a sentence like that though. Instructions for the use of chewing gum. It's a marketing person, no doubt about that. The advice exists so they can try to market chewing gum as a form of dental hygiene. What's important is the effect writing out such a sentence has upon the mind of a human being. Words change your consciousness when used. Treating people like idiots tends to bite you in the bum a bit. It means you'll start to believe you inhabit a world of fools. That's where you live if you write out instructions for use on the back of a packet of gum. That's why you might then go on to think, "F--k!, I'd better give these idiots some more of my advice, they'll be f--ked without my help, they can't even use chewing gum for God's sake, what's the world coming to?".

Then you find yourself writing out the plain obvious: "A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT". How they managed not to descend further we will never know: "BE NICE TO EACH OTHER, LOVE YOUR FAMILY, ALWAYS CARRY A CLEAN TISSUE IN YOUR POCKET. HELP ME, I'M ALONE AND FRIGHTENED IN A WORLD I CAN'T UNDERSTAND" etc.

That's one scenario.

The other, more likely one, is far worse. There's a fear in my mind that in fact this is the work of something, someone, maybe more than one person, who genuinely gave a little bit of thought to their words.

In that nightmare scenario,where this is the work of many, there was a meeting somewhere with pricks who get paid more than you do to talk s--t about things they do not understand. They hold themselves with an unearned swagger and call themselves things like "Project Manager" or "Team Leader". They care little for the worlds of either grammar or ethics. They add extra "AND" words to sentences while giving pointless advice to people in an attempt to elevate themselves above the little people they find around them. They think you and everyone else in this world is stupid and they believe there's something "good" about lecturing people in common sense.

No one thinks "A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET" is a bad thing. No one thinks "A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE" is not good. And, furthermore, if such people do exist who think "UNHEALTHY" is better or an "EXCESSIVE AND UNBALANCED DIET" might be the way forward they're beyond the reach of the 'wise words' written on the back of a chewing gum packet.

The ONLY real purpose of this advice is to put you in your place. It creates a relationship between you and the chewing gum packet where it knows best and you'd better do as it says. It can only do that if you agree that such a sentence was the correct thing to write upon the back of this packet. In other words, if you read this blog entry and thought to yourself "meh, what's wrong with putting that on a packet of chewing gum?" they've got you already and you're beyond help. Like a nodding dog hypnotised by the rhythem of the road you have been conditioned to think that having the obvious stated to you is good in and of itself. Like saying a prayer, reading helth advice is good for its own sake. Snap out of that trance! "MAY CONTAIN NUTS" on a packet of peanuts is advice fit for fools, it envisages a society fit only for them. It pulls us all down into the mire of idiocy. Treat people as children sooner or later they'll start acting as children.

A machine evolves by becoming more efficient, that is, more foolproof; hence the objective of mechanical progress is a foolproof world--which may or may not mean a world inhabited by fools.

Orwell, Road To Wigan Pier

The cultural machine which produced this sentence about chewing gum would like a world inhabited by fools. Easier to sell product to. Resist.

Particularly if it was your job to write that sentence.

NM

Politicians - can't stand them.

I got a twitter message after the show chastising me for slagging off John Prescott. I don't even remember mentioning him but it sounds about right. I can't pretend to like any of these 'characters' who steal our money off us every month (taxation, VAT etc) and then dare to lecture us about their deficit. They parade about as if what they do isn't something to be ashamed of. I cannot stand them!

It makes my job a little tricky. At the moment I've kind of stumbled into being a "newstalk" presenter and so a lot of what we talk about concerns people who I think are contemptuous. Most normal people agree on this nowadays. The tweet which defended Prescott defined him as "One of the very few true honest politicians we have!" only to get shot down by another follower who pointed out that Prescott's wife might roll her eyes at such a description.

Politicians are THE LEAST STRAIGHT TALKING PEOPLE on this planet and those who try to defend them will do well to remember that.

NM

Thursday the 8th

On the 4th of March my twitter account hit 2,000 followers. Today's entry is for the 8th. After four days of being around the 2,000 mark I've become irritated with the constant fluctuations. A less memorable number is easier to forget about. If it's 2,000 you notice when four or five people click 'unfollow' because they like the Royal Family or whatever. I think your ideal number would be around the 1,800 mark. It's easier to forget about it.

NM

Carpet Remnant World by The Stewart Lee

It's his best yet.

Go see it.

I've loved Stewart Lee's work since the incredible set "Stand Up Comedian" which he did in the early part of the last decade. It blew me away at the time, his material was concise and delivery so perfect it made him impossible to ignore. Since then he's produced a lot of very good work and the occasional duffer.

A lot of his early appeal for me was that he occupied this weird world where he was a "has been" who clearly did better work off the television than on. His sneering and venom could be fired forcefully at mainstream society without consequences because he was an outsider but at the same time there was always a danger he'd be 'reclaimed' at some point in the future.

Now his return to television looks, with the benefit of hindsight, inevitable. The consequences do as well, he did quite a bit of lazy work and rested on his laurels a little. Not so with this new tour. It's easily some of his best work. Go see!

NM

Oh dear ... I'm going to lose some weight out of this

If you're on a diet it's a bit of a mixed blessing getting tummy trouble. Well, actually, strike the word "mixed" from that sentence and it's accurate. The noise of a poorly tummy was in fact music to my diet ears. I'm now down to 13stone 12lbs at 6 foot 2. I need to blaze off 5lbs and I'm "normal".

How my arrival at waistline "normality" will be celebrated remains to be seen. No one really seems to care now I'm not huge anymore. It's just sort of taken as a given that I've lost the weight and that's that. I empathise with Robbie Williams's quote:

Inside me there is a fat man dying to get out.

Well, right now he's certainly dying to get out. Toilet time again... must be something I ate.

Nick exposes his ignorance RE: Jung...

I spend a lot of time listening to rather obscure "psychedelic" thinkers such as Terrence McKenna, Alan Watts and Timothy Leary prattling on about the world. This is largely thanks to a great little podcast called The Psychedelic Salon. Link to it here.

One of the names that keeps coming up is that of Carl Jung. As a result I've bought myself a sort of 'idiots guide' and am currently ploughing through it. It's very interesting. I now have an idea what a neurosis is. I also know a little bit about archetypes. I am however at that point where I'm not quite informed enough to spout it off to other people yet. I'm sat at the cusp of knowledge. It's like a less mindblowing re-run of the time I read Desmond Morris and decided everyone was a monkee playing out their animal instincts.

I think in retrospect Desmond Morris's work did my head a bit of damage at the time. It took me a few months to really come down from it.

NM

Carnage ...

Sometimes you see a film and it grabs you so tightly that you have to squeal its praises to everyone you see that month. They're usually little indie films. Sometimes you get a mainstream film trying to be one of those films. It's surprising how often that tactic works, Carnage, is a curious example.

Once Jodie Foster and Kate Winslett have gotten over themselves a bit it settles down into quite a good film. Think art fart and add in some good performances and occasionally very funny lines.

I ate nothing but popcorn during the film. It was a carbohydrate day so I was allowed.

My current weight is 14.4 I'm hoping to blaze off 11lbs and hit my target weight soon.

NM

A psychic reading ...

"Don't make any decisions before the 29th," intones the psychic man who is doing me a reading. He's read my palms and told me I'm going to live 'til the age of 90. He's told me I've been in three serious relationships. He's dished out all sorts of info and I'm totally into it!

For me this kind of thing exists in a world not unlike the one which art and literature comes from. It's not meant to be serious, like the world of science or religion. Debunking it is in my mind a bit like pointing out that a work of art 'is just' a load of paint on canvas. Attacking its reliability is like asking Van Gogh what his painting does that's useful.

The psychic holy man ends the reading by telling me to meditate more and trying to flog me a few CDs. I leave entranced. Ace.

NM

Being a ruddy bloke

I've tried reading Loaded magazine. It's pretty poor. I'm just trying to lighten up a bit these days and be a bit less 'complex'. Loaded didn't really manage that for me though. As a result I've now tried with FHM but unfortunately I left it at the tube station. Bit annoying, it cost me the best part of a tenner. I just forgot about it. Reading it seemed like an effort.

I don't honestly think I've ever watched a full episode of The X Factor. It all seems like work to me. I was speaking to a mate of mine recently about this and his words were: "that's your job, you should know about it".

Meh - I dunno.

Like I said, I'm trying to be a bit less complex at the moment. Not sure FHM is quite the right route to take but I'll keep this blog updated on my progress.

I even tried to watch a bit of football recently. Didn't work out. It's a boring old game.

NM

It's chilly willy ...

I'm trying to be more organised. Today I cooked chilli. It was quite good. I also sat and watched some of perhaps the most absurd reality TV show I've ever seen: "Make Bradford British". The idea is to take a load of different people from "multicultural" Bradford and pop them together, in a house, I think. A bit like Big Brother only with added Daily Mail. This is from memory so I may have the details a little shakey. I'd had a glass of wine or two with my chilli as well so ...

I think it's a shame that the show was so contrived in its format as the trailers made it look like a serious investigation into Bradford and the problems caused by a divided community. Instead it's got all the traits of being a "heartwarming" story of how people can live together if they just try hard enough or whatever.

This show comes on the heels of a documentary about the EDL and some Islamist bloke in Luton called "Pride and Prejudiced" which was broadcast, I think, earlier in the week. It's all a little tiresome.

I have a big issue with this word "multi-culturalism".

How do you define a nation?

The best answer to that question I've heard comes from a guy called Michael Savage, an American talkshow host banned from setting foot in this country because The New Labour Order didn't like his opinions...

Dr Savage defines a nation thus: Borders, Language, Culture.

That's as good an answer as you're likely to find. Now, muti-culturalism knocks out one of those pillars and means any country which preaches it chooses to define themselves by just language and borders alone. However, as you know, we live in a multi-language nation. So now our nation is defined only by its borders...

OK, so where's the problem with that?

Well, multi-culturalism in the above form has been tried before. It's the natural state of our planet. The borders of planet earth are defined by it's gravitational mass. It's multi-cultural and multi-lingual. It's history is characterised by warfare and oppression. Is that really what "multi-culturalists" want to have happen here in the UK?

A documentary that tackled that might be better than this Big Brother pap I had served to me along with my chilli I made.

Yeah, I made chilli.

I cooked.

NM

Chess and the game of life...

There's an old saying that runs something like this: plan your life before someone else makes plans for you. I enjoy the fact that the game of chess illustrates this perfectly.

Me and a mate sat in a cafe today and played chess. We played three games over a few hours. It was awesome, or at least I enjoyed it. I think he was less keen as I kept beating him.

I don't have any tactics in the game particularly I just like to make sure my opponent gets drawn into my plan and is "forced" to move as I want them to. You do this by making obvious threats to important pieces and then anticipating what they will have to do to avoid the damage. And then having a plan as regards what they will be forced to do.

When I was in Amsterdam this same friend of mine claimed I play chess like I play the game of life. I wish I did. I've not quite got the rules of life sorted out yet, unlike those in chess which only took a few hours to learn.

NM

Can't beat a good haircut...

I'm working on my small talk problem, with some success. I'm not sure if it counts if you're speaking to someone you're about to pay money to though. In this instance it was my hairdresser who I engaged in chatter with. He enjoyed travelling and seeing the world, particularly Australia. I engaged him in conversation for a while and felt happy that I'd done a good job.

The haircut though was a bit of a struggle. I'm not sure of myself when it comes to style and fashion choices. I was once laughed at by strangers because I was wearing a granny cardigan like it was a good idea. This is one of many times, including my brief and ill advised Goth period, when frankly I've proved I haven't got a clue about sartorial style. With this in mind it's always worrying to have a hairdresser say things like, "do you really want it this short?"

"Too bloody right I do mate, I was in here only a month ago and now I'm back again so soon?" went my internal monologue as I asked him more about the 'excitement' of his Australia trip.

People have since commented that I look like I've lost weight these days. I'd say that's a win for short hair.

NM

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