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Revisionism For Idiots

Starkey Lite

The annual BBC Reith lectures were delivered this year by Professor Niall (call me Neal) Ferguson, who can best be described as the revisionist’s revisionist. Ferguson has a far greater opinion of himself and his intellect than many other so-called ‘historians’ (or even non-academics) and plays up to his self-styled image as the unapologetic, right wing defender of capitalism and empire. Yet, like every historian, he is selective about what he chooses to applaud or what he chooses to pour scorn on.

The BBC may pretend that it’s an unbiased, non-partisan, ‘balanced’ broadcaster but this has always been a self-perpetuated myth. Watch or listen to any news programme on any BBC tv or radio channel and this lie manifests itself every day, whether that’s reporting on wars, strikes or riots. Lord Reith was the first of many BBC big wigs who created this myth and the latest DG will no doubt carry on where the likes of Reith, Moir, Birt, Dykes and Thompson left off, defending the status quo and looking towards that lucrative knighthood that’ll earn em a few bob as directors and consultants once the public funded six figure salary and expenses stops.

In this context Ferguson’s rant made perfect sense. I missed his glorification of ‘Western’ capitalism, law and institutions (as if these things only exist in the ‘west’) but caught his last ‘lecture’ which focused on ‘civil society’ whatever the fuck that is. Prof Narcissus used the parable of a beach clean up operation he’d organised in South Wales (Wales is Scotland Lite, he ‘joked’ although I was unsure if he was referring to the landscape or the culture) to pour scorn on the type of people who look towards the council or the government to do things for them, things like clean up their beaches, give them a job and educate their kids.

In Ferguson’s ‘just do it’ paradise, we are all beach cleaners, we are all bowling club members, we are all charity volunteers, we are all school governers, we are all magistrates. The decline in American and British rates of belonging to non-profit associations isn’t the fault of technology, nothing do with us watching the telly, being stuck on the internet or pressures of work (or non-work) or any of that. No, it’s because we ask too much of our government, we want to remain in a state of meek subserviance to the state, to suck nanny’s milky tit from cradle to grave.

Well, some of this runs counter to Thatcher’s ‘no such thing as society, cult of the individual’ shtick. That’s not The Big Society, weve got it all wrong. Ask not what your country can do for you! There is no such thing as ‘the state’ just as there is no such thing as ‘the public’ there are only systems and myths used to control the mechanisms for making money. Dress it how you want ‘prof’ with your stupid ‘six killer aps’ with your glorification of murder, torture, theft and slavery, for that is what ’empires’ are all about, there is only one objective for capitalists and that’s to make money. It is greed not altruism which fuels the capitalist machine.

But wait, there’s more. Fergie pitches his loopy libertarian speil at an American audience, the very kind of ‘free market entrepreneurs’ who lap this sloppy, subjective shit up. Pay good money to hear it, hand out professorships at Ivy League institutions, buy books by the shipload (printed in China ofcourse). Ferguson markets himself as some windswept teller of truths, an anti-PC iconoclast who’s just saying how it is. He thinks he’s PJ O’Rourke but he’s more PJ & Duncan, utterly bland, mainstream, vapid.

The reason why the Chinese and the Brasilians and the Indians and the ’emerging economies’ are so successful and leaving the ‘west’ behind is not because they’re hungrier, not because their economic system isn’t controlled by a tiny elite of serial fuck ups and inbred halfwits, not because they have cheap labour on tap and aren’t constrained by pesky health and safety laws and other bits of anti-business red tape. No, it’s because they send a higher proportion of their kids to private schools.

The problem with Britain isn’t that there are too many private (public) schools but there are too few according to NF. Private education isn’t elitist, its enabling as long as you have the money ofcourse but hey, Niall wants more bursaries and scholarships for ‘low income’ kids to experience this educational wonderland. If not then the academies and free schools can take the slack cos they’re freed from ‘the dead hand of local authority control.’ And into the grasping claw of profiteering maggots.

Ferguson makes the mistake of equating The Guardian with left wing politics. The ‘lefties’ don’t like him but he don’t care, he’s the real radical and they’re the real elitists. He makes a few really bad ‘jokes’ that register a few token humphs and knowing guffaws from his Scottish audience but over all his ‘lecture’ was short on anything approaching analysis or understanding, unless you count selective statistics as ‘proof’. He returns to his heroic beach cleaning operation/metaphor every couple of minutes. You picked up a few bottles and put em in a bin bag mate, get over yourself.

The ‘west’ is losing out to hyper-capitalist new economies because it bankrupted itself fighting off communism and made the fatal error of replacing manufacturing with the very type of free market zero restriction stock trading that the right believed would keep themselves rich for ever more. The west had its industrial revolution 100-200 years ago and funded it by colonialism and labour market serfdom. It no longer has the economic or military muscle to pick on the third world so it attempts to cling on to its stolen wealth via abstract market manipulation. That’s my take on it anyway so maybe I should set up my own free school and teach the kids the whole world’s a con but they know this already, the poor ones at any rate.

Ferugon’s take on history is as phoney as his put on transatlantic accent and in allowing him to spew these dangerous lies and twisted theories, these Reith lectures demonstrate just how shit scared the BBC are of upsetting their paymasters when licence fee and public funding issues still need sorting.

On my way home I turned on Radio 3 for a bit of relief from tedious djs. There was a feature on a veteran double bass playing member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra who boasted about all the countries he’d visited in his decades plying his trade for ‘Aunty’ (as only ‘Beeb’ people call ‘her’). In this age of austerity, forcing old people out of homes, cutting hospitals and schools, evicting the disabled and the poor, isn’t it good to hear that the BBC and the Arts Council continues to lavish public funds jetting out classical musicians for the benefit of a handful of wealthy music snobs. That’s not elitist however, that’s ‘culture.’

Kenny Kicker On Andy Murray, Build a Bear & Bob Diamond

Telling yer girl don’t let yer kid go in there, it’s a secret base for the Buildabear group, they’re taking over the world by installing these tracking devices in kid’s teddies and shit, just like that bit in Spongebob The Movie when plankton puts that receiver in all the crusty crab patty buckets and turns everyone into zombies. Well, that’s what’s gonna happen with the Buildabear firm.

I’ve seen the evidence on the internet in America, they’ve got these underground bunkers where all the kids have been programmed to kill their mams and dads after the Buildabear boss, Bob Diamond plugs in his bird’s vibrator and sends a signal to all the teddies and that then transmits a beam into the kids heads and makes em go and get a big fuck off spud peeler from the kitchen drawer and gouge out their mam and dad’s eyes when they’re asleep.

Swear down girl, it’s all on there, so don’t be fooled, it looks harmless enough but look what they put in the stuffing, it’s all in Hebrew if you look dead close, secret Kabala fucking code words stuffed into kiddies toys. Sick lad! Don’t look now but the CCTV is clocking us so just pretend I’m like your fellar ok girl, they’re onto me, MI5, the CIA, Mossad, Barclays all of em girl they’re all in on it, they’ve got secret cameras outside all the Buildabear shops clocking people like me who’re trying to put people straight about what they’re up to.

I’ve got about 2 minutes before they spring Operation Silence Kenny with the SWAT mob, the Matrix, The Chuckle Brothers, Joe Anderson, Billy Butler, the bird from Countdown all of em girl, the whole Illuminati will be here any minute so I’m gonna do one OK girl? Just remember, this firm are the same ones who bumped off Princess Eugenie and Roy Orbison who was a double agent for Mossad and the KGB, that’s why he wore them shades all the time, it’s Bozo from U2 now who’s palled up with that Mossad cunt, Geldof and all his crew from the Dublin IRA Zionist grasses that poisoned Arafat with an umbrella made out of pure polony sausage from Poland.

If you get on youtube search Kenny Kicker channel and you’ll see me outside the cashpoint by Asda explaining how all the hole sin the ATMs are linked to Amazon and Facebook who then pass the PIN numbers onto the Mormons who update their database in Salt City Las Vegas then sell on the info to the Albanian mafia who pass it onto Garston college of FE and Toccy jobby to track down anyone claiming tax credits and bunking on the 86 into town.

No shit girl, I’ve seen em getting the secret briefcase from a lad wearing a big black Berghaus at JLA. I’ve heard that the CIA have made a plane made totally from semtex which they’ve got some daft Cockney muslims to fly from Moscow and do a kamikaze on Iran cos they’re gonna fit em up and claim it was Putin’s mob behind 911 and the floods in Hebden Bridge. Makes sense when yer think about it.

Bob Diamond’s just a prawn girl, he’s the bag man for the Moon jews, pumping trillions into the IMF and then charging 1876% interest like Quickquid to the Greeks and the fellar who owns Man City so they can fund their mission to Mars where there’s the biggest diamond mine in the solar system. All this shit about the Libor rate, that’s just a smokescreen girl cos the big money’s being made in China where the Triads, the Turkish smack barons and Pancake have got this massive lab under the Gobi desert cooking up tablets for the Fitz’s.

Look, if this fellar wearing a black Burtons suit and shades comes over t’yer when I’ve got off, don’t tell him nottin girl OK, just crack on I’m yer cousin cos every bird I’ve talked to in the past 3 years has been taken over to Guantanamo and waterboarded for years on end by the FBI and him out of Rambo 3, trying to get the in on me but I’m always one step ahead like Carly Simon The Coyote who killed that fellar from Allo Allo, Gordon Ramsey or whoever who was a nazi double agent working for Mossad.

If Andy Murray wins Wimbledon today and he will cos it’s all been sorted with the Swiss cheese board, that’s the secret signal OK. Bob’s Rumanian brass will switch on her dildo and all the teddys will start going mad, then watch yer eyes girl cos little Cheyna here will be suckin yer eyeballs out with a spud peeler in her little hand but don’t blame her girl, it’s the fuckin plankton from Spongebob who’s JW Henry’s double agent grass working for the Glazer family and Herbert from Herberts. OK girl, the cleaners coming, watch her, she’s got CS gas in her mop just in case it goes off. Later love.

Not A Lot!

I was flicking through the Metro this morning there was a massive ad for some whopper calling himself ‘Dynamo’who I assumed was one of these shite grime rappers who make desperate trance pop tunes with ‘yget me’ monotone rapping to give it a bit of ‘cred.’ Have these pricks never heard of Rakim? Doom? Derek B? Anyway on closer inspection Dynamo isn’t a grimer at all, he’s something even worse, a ‘street’ magician. I should’ve sussed cos the ‘a’ in Dynamo is an ace of hearts. See what he did there?

Just what the world needs, another fucking magician! Aaah, but magic’s making a come back isn’t it? The X Factor and New Faces USA are chocka with twats in tight black Burtons suits sawing their bird’s head off and pulling dead hedhehogs from baseball caps. David Blaine ofcourse re-marketed ‘magic’ from the showwbiz, poodle perm Las Vegas lights and mirrors merchants towards a more deconstructed, street level version of card tricks and elevation.

All we really had to go on was tricky camera angles and the reactions of the ‘real people; mostly hip black yoot who aren’t easily fooled by bullshit jive artists (y’dig?). ‘Shhheeyat!’ Dave seemed to float above the air, Dave caught a cap in his ass, Dave er, sat in a box for a year. Blaine’s magic soon turned into basic feats on endurance and his carefully constructed ‘enigma’ became copied by both magicians old and new. Fuck, even Paul Daniels tried to gegg in on the ‘nu magic’ craze.

The skill with magic is to be clever enough to briefly persuade people who know it’s a trick into believing it’s not. We know that David Copperfield didn’t really make the Empire State Building disappear but Al Queda really did make the twin towers disappear. That’s Al Queda the Islamist terror group not a new street magician. Ali Bongo is my kind of magician. Old Skool! Bunnys, floppy wands, funny walks, all that shit!

Magic should be entertainment first and foremost, and magicians should either develop some new shtick with whch to impress us or just accept that they are on the same level as jugglers, fire eaters and clowns. Pomposity and pretension don’t suit magic, so Blaine’s plazzy mystic routine just made him look even more of a knobhead. If he really wants to be Aleister Crowley he should take a load of acid, lock himself in the outside bog and fuck a goat for a week not walk about with a shite betty pen drawing of an eye on his palm and try to scare Eamonn fucking Holmes.

Most kids got a poxy magic kit as a Chrizzy prezzie and made the egg disappear or cut off their penis with a penknife didn’t they? Or was that just my kit? Anyway, I bet Dynamo doesn’t pluck eggs from the arse of a wooden chicken or pull miles of streamers out of a top hat. Nah, I bet Dynamo walks around the mean ghetto streets pulling cards from the foreskin of passing bizzies and stopping double decker busses by making a fucking T Rex appear out of a Pringles tin or something. Can’t wait!

The Road To Nowhere

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I picked up a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s bleak, post-apocalyptic novel, ‘The Road’ in a charity shop’s ten bob box about 5 years ago. Until that point I’d never read anything by McCarthy and only knew of him, as most people did, through the Coen Brothers adaptation of ‘No Country For All Men.’ Reading ‘The Road’ was something of a double edged sword as his prose style is pretty unique, deliberately boring in its repetitiveness yet punctuated by profound, almost Biblical poetic interludes. It’s hard work but somehow compelling.

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The story of a man and a boy called er, ‘The Man’ and ‘The Boy’ travelling across a dying, rain sodden landscape collecting tree ‘limbs’ to burn and avoiding armed gangs could’ve been played for Mad Max sci-fi cliche yet the existential, moral and practical issues that face the father and son become the stuff of real nightmares.

The son has been born after an unspecified armageddon and the father’s one mission is to keep him alive even though he knows he himself is dying and that his son will be left to fend for himself once they reach the coast, where he hopes there will some hope of salvation.

The boy’s mother has killed herself years earlier out of hopelessness and, as the pair struggle to keep moving with their few possessions shoved into a shopping trolley, they try to steer clear of killers, cannibals and other desperadoes eeking out a living in a food free world where everything is dead or dying.

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It asks the question; ‘what would I do in the same position?’ and undoubtedly the answer would be to kill your kid and yourself rather than face the terrible possibility of ending up like the living but amputated human ‘meals’ they discover locked in the basement of a house. There are only a few ‘action’ sequences in the book yet this makes them even more shocking and when it was decided to make a film of the novel, I shuddered at how it would turn out.

No Country… was a very good film and perhaps one of the Coens’ best for many years but there was something missing, the poetic voice of McCarthy and this is the same problem in The Road and other McCarthy adaptations such as ‘All The Pretty Horses’. His first novel ‘The Orchard Keeper’ is a complex web of inter-connected plots and timeframes and Mccarthy’s aversion to quotation marks his dialogue difficult to follow but that’s half the fun I suppose.

‘The Road’ must’ve been a difficult film to sell to Hollywood and went through many delays before being finally released in 2009 and it wasn’t until last week that I actually watched it. John Hillcoat’s direction shifs the narrative back and forth between the immediate aftermath of the holocaust and their day to day journey across the cauterised, decaying land.

Yet, if anything the true horror of the novel is played down; the chained catamites and pregnant women who are used as sexual playthings and food producers for the cannibal gangs is completely missed out. The roasting children they find obviously points towards why these women are being impregnated and this makes the man’s dilemma even more horrific.

The landscape is captured with skill, the monotonous grey wash over everything yet in the novel, the air is filled with choking dust or ashes. The deserted towns and cities, the ruined highways and collapsing forests, the utter devastation is captured with a marvellous eye for dusty detail. In today’s Hollywood of trite re-writings and happy endings, the film stayed true to the bleak yet ultimately hopeful tone of the novel. The beetle they see hints at re-generation and recovery but it’s still dog eat dog, a world where pity and kindness are weaknesses and the only morality is survival.

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Viggo Mortensen as The Man and Kodi Smit-McPhee as The Boy do a tremendous job of portraying fear and determination, the human desire to survive despite the potentially terrible consequences of this need to find hope and salvation. It’s perhaps McCarthy’s most catholic novel, the thoughts of an old man with a young son himself. There has to be light at the end of the tunnel surely? What happens when I’m not around to protect my son, who will care for him? Do I trust to God for protection and redemption or decide on life and death in a brutal world without law and morality?

After reading ‘The Road’ I read McCarthy’s ‘Blood Meridian’ which if anything is even more bleak and brutal, more poetic and profound and, as it’s based on the true story of the Indian clearances in Texas and New Mexico in the late 19th century, is even more distrurbing. It is perhaps an unfilmable novel but would make a great 3D animated film if any producer had the courage to depict the paedophile preacher Judge Holden in all his hairless, satanic glory.

Hey but I’m not really interested in all that redemptive quest for humanity amongst savagery, look at Viggo’s boss parka!

The New Football?

I fancied Italy myself. Let’s spout the same old cliches eh? The Spanish want to walk it in, their system is all about tiring the oppostion like Ali’s rope a dope trickery, the Italians are way too canny to be fooled by tippy tappy geometry and showboating midgets, their defensive skills are legendary and they destroyed one of the best German teams for a generation. I subscribed to all these theories and I was wrong. Hands up!

I’ve got a great book co-written by the BBC’s cosmopolitan pundit Gianluca ‘Luca to his mates’ Vialli with Gabriele Marcotti called ‘The Italian Job’ which compares the Italian way of playing football with the English manner. It’s not a flattering comparison for the English who are patronised as energetic but predictable ‘grafters’ compared to their more artistic and intellectual opponants from the big boot. Whereas Italian teams value strategy and tactics and players spend hours and hours in school rooms studying the theory side of the game, English players fuck about on the golf course and the bookies. The English booze hard and eat shit, the Italians watch their diet and go to bed early.

Vialli recognises these are broad generalisations but nevertheless these stereotypes are based on what he saw during his time in the premiership. What struck most of us when Football Italia was first screened on Channel 4 back in the days of ‘Gazza’ and ‘Platty’ was just how different their game was to what we get served up by our leading teams. Even the most talented players in Britain just couldn’t adapt to the restrained, patient build ups and intricate passing moves beloved of the top Italian teams who then were the top teams in Europe offering the best money.

Yet maybe they got too good, too enraptured by their own propaganda. During the 90s and 00s, Italian football began to rely ever more on imported players and the clubs were no longer sure of attracting the best talent the world had to offer once money was pumped into the Spanish, German and especially the English leagues. As Shankly once said ‘football is a simple game made complicated by fools’ and whilst theory and tactics have their place, the end product is still simple enough; to score more goals than your opponants.

If Wimbledon and the ‘route one’ merchants of the English game became successful because of their neanderthal approach to getting the ball into the danger area, then what was wrong with that? Silverware counted more than aesthetics and what is Jose Mourinho other than a glorified Dave Bassett? If the new off-side rules and three points for a win encouraged a more attacking approach, then defensiveness and settling for a point would become redundant wouldn’t it? As it happened, things stayed pretty much the same. Those with the most money won the most trophies.

As a Man United fan, I think the past twenty years at Old Trafford demonstrated that a balance of ‘local lads’ with expensive imports is crucial to any club’s long term success. Gary Neville was never a great technical player but his attitude was all important. The great Liverpool squads of the 60s and 70s always had local players who were maybe limited but effective and dedicated their local team. Carra has never been the best defender but who would you rather have in your team, Jamie or Johnson when the chips are down? Gerrard has virtually carried the Liverpool team singlehandedly for the past 5 or 6 seasons and missed out on the trophies his talent and determination deserve.

Scholes and Giggs prove that no matter how old you get, a club player produced via the youth system is worth far more in terms of sustainability than simply buying in the best players and hoping that they’ll knit together. Real Madrid learned this lesson the hard way and one of the reasons Arsenal have been poor has been their lack of local kids who can compliment the imports. Their recent bunch of outstanding local lads is addressing this and will no doubt contribute to a better season next time.

This isn’t just ‘Little Englander, they’re all a bunch of mercenaries’ gripe becuase I realise there are plenty of lazy, greedy, homegrown players and plenty of hard-working, loyal imports but there’s a reason Chelsea play better with Terry, Cole and Lampard in their squad, even if none of them were nurtured via Chelsea’s own youth academy.

The Spanish league and their national squad is proof positive of building a culture from the grass roots up. It’s not accidental that they’ve improved out of all recognition from the Spanish teams of the past 30 odd years. Even when Real and Barca were ruling the roost they were heavily reliant on South Americans and other ‘foreigners’ and still are to a degree, the earning power of these two clubs enabling them to surpass amost every other European team. Yet, with Xavi and Iniesta and Fabregas and Silva and Alba and Alonso and Pique and Ramos and Puyol and the rest of the team, they have re-invented the game.

The Dutch era of ‘total football’ in the 70s was short-lived but its ethos of producing players who were comfortable in a variety of positions and switching from one position and formation to another at will is now coming to its beautiful fruition from the seeds planted by Cruyff and co. We will soon get sick of hearing all these pundit parables and dinner partisan paeans to ‘the new football’ but after last night’s demolition of the Azzuri maybe this time it’s not just media hyperbole and we are witnessing something genuinely revolutionary in the way the game is played.

I still thought the Italians would win though.

The Stone Roses Story Pt 3 – The Wilderness Years

After 600 years and millions spent on surgery, the Roses look as fresh faced as ever.

As Orangutan disappeared into the forests of the Peak Districts to eke out a living as a shepherd/sculptor/hairdresser and Gibbon Eyebrows became well known on the 74 bus in Stockport as ‘Mad Gibbo The Drumming Bus Conductor’ Bonobo and Chimpy enjoyed success as solo artist and slave of The Osmonds respectively.

Bonobo indeed became a cult figure amongst millions of Tibetan monks who worshipped him as a living God equal to the Dalai Lama. One monk even set himself on fire at a Bonobo concert when the singer played his first solo single ‘I See Dead People, John Orangutan For Instance.’ The feud between the former foetus pals was becoming ever more poisonous as Bonobo and Orangutan now only spoke via their crack teams of Philly lawyers from Rochdale or smoke signals.

After a decade in hibernation when he fathered over 30 children to a family of traveller girls, Orangutan finally formed another band, ‘The Salt Water Salmons’ who reached no 64 in the Danish charts with their debut LP, ‘The Salt Water Salmons Are Going To Take Over The Entire Universe Just You See’ but then split up the next day.

Chimpy was meanwhile enjoying himself massively with the notorious rock n’ rolling Osmonds, becoming addicted to UHU and marrying his own relatives in the Salt Lake City compound where Little Jimmy ruled the roost with a rod of iron and a speculum.

Bonobo meanwhile went to live in the hills of Jamaica with the Ashanti tribe of mystic rastas who taught him the secret rituals of Coptic Jah revelation and returned him to Manchester with a big bible made out of crack. Detained at customs for six months, Bonobo eventually tunneled his way onto the runway and tried to hijack a paraglider but was caught by that fellar off the Euronics advert and was sentenced to life with hard labour which was reduced on appeal to 3 days in Risley.

He came out a bitter but much feared jail bird who didn’t like to talk about his prison experience except with close friends and journalists. To anyone who’d listen, the old lady collecting her coupons at the Co-Op or the little kid who worked in the cloak room at the baths for example, he would declare that his stint in ‘jug’ made the Shawshank Redemption look like an episode of Porridge.

Still, he was still a big name amongst students and people over 40 who ride Choppers. Trendy sportswear outfitters, Bukta used Bonobo as of their target ‘opinion fudgers’ and marketed an entire ‘Bonobo @ Bukta’ range around the enigmatic singer. His eccentric behaviour however was still a cause for concern for no-one as he began sleeping in oxygen tents, opened his own Ian Bonobo Fun Fair and even befriended a chimpanzee….no hang on, that’s someone else…..anyway he went nuts.

For the next 700 years there were constant rumours about the Roses getting back together but the lads just couldn’t work out a way to put down their Hungry Hippoes and their Crossfires and their Rebounds and their Battling Tops so fuck all happened. Then after the massive sums of money that The Mock Turtles made on their comeback tour, Bonobo looked at his monthly royalties statement and began crying. Seventeen of his ex-wives all had paternity suits against him and his milkman hadn’t been weighed in for 3 months, so there was only one answer; Dee Dave, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and The Other One were back!!!

A 500 date tour of North Wales caravan parks sold out in 30 seconds as trillions of Roses fans dug out their old frogman outfits and feather boas, ready to sing that famous chrous for one last time “I am the Randy Rent Man and I like The Orb.’

That’s all folks!

The Stone Roses Story Pt 2 – The Glory Years

As acid techpunk took over from string theory flipbeat as the biggest musical revolution for 1000 years, The Stone Roses captured the Stonehenge Deepstep zeitgeist. They were on the front cover of every angling magazine from Plymouth to Penzance and touring venues with capacities of 200 plus.

However, as the band’s fame spread throughout Dorset and Wiltshire and their debut LP went on to sell over a billion copies in Hampshire alone, the lads began to question Bernie about their hastily signed contract. Hidden in the small print was a clause that only guaranteed them 30p per day pocket money which they could only spend on sweets and also entitled Shotgun to the first born baby of each band member. Ian, as usual, was the most outspoken member of the band and demanded Bernie give him 40p a day and a copy of the Beazer. John meanwhile asked if his uncle, a hot shot Philly lawyer from Bolton, could look over the contract but Shotgun simply hit them with an iron bar and sent them to bed at 9 o’clock with no Weetabix for their supper.

The next day, the band were due to embark on a 1000 date tour of the Orkneys and posed for an NME photoshoot in the new image Shotgun had prepared for them; retro-scally trawlermen. The lads mucked about on Ffrith beach dressed in their bright yellow psychedelic oilskins and Boys Brigade pill box hats then recorded their first performance for Top of The Charts. Ian was pretending to have two broken legs and waved his trademark halibut above his head whilst signing out of key to their top 10 single, ‘I’m Fucking Ace, Me! (ask me ma if y’don’t believe me).’ The rest of the band then threw buckets of fish guts at Dave Lee Travis and stormed off before fellow Manchester flugelcore band, The Daft Donkeys performed ‘Donkeychester; Chew On!’ which became an anthem for the so-called ‘Baggyhaberdasherybeat’ scene.

Millions of gullible students and confused postmen copied the Roses’ deep sea diver look and after their tour of the Orkneys was cancelled due to an outbreak of Satanism, Shotgun planned his biggest coup yet, a mega-concert at Rhyl Suncentre. The band played a brilliant set in the wave machine and the gig received great reviews in the Clwyd Hardware Society’s newsletter. Bernie was convinced his band would act as a catalyst for a new society based upon peace, understanding, fishing hats and money. He therefore promoted the biggest outdoor gig since the Enid played at Witton Albion’s ground in 1982.

Gulliver’s World, Warrington was the venue for the concert that no-one called ‘our generation’s Woodstock but with a Log Flume and Dinosaur Area.’ Over 5 million fans flocked to the Cheshire fun park dressed in the Daftchester uniform of chainmail bloomers, open toed clogs and top hats with ostrich feathers stuck on the side. The concert was a massive success despite marauding gangs of scouse arse pellets and 37 deaths from rancid hot dog onions. The band were elated as they realised that they were on the verge of becoming even bigger than their musical heroes; Freddy & The Dreamers.

Then, disaster struck as the band refused to Shotgun’s demand that they fly to the USA to appear on Sesame Street. So upset were the lads at their treatment by their strict manager that they broke into his portakabin office on the Asda car park in Hyde and painted ‘Bernie Shotgun Stinks Like Dead Bad Shit (and has got a shit muzzy)’ on the walls. Enraged at this, Shotgun tried to launch a nerve gas attack on the band but was foiled by local fire officer and Roses fan, Danny Onion. The band took Shotgun to court claiming they had only been 3 years old when they signed their contract and as minors, it wasn’t binding. However, the legal complexities of the two sentence contract was so complicated that it took over 1000 lawyers 27 years to unravel claims and counter-claims.

As this was sorted out, the Roses were unable to release any new music and even their most die hard fans began supporting Notts Forest as grungestep, tripcore and Slade took over the pop charts. By the time the case was resolved and the band were allowed to sign to top American label, Clueless Records Drone-a-diddly-delic music was as old hat as one of Gibbon Arse’s trademark trilbys. Still, the lads attracted a huge amount of media attention as their follow up LP was released over three centuries after their debut. ‘The Very Best Of The Ian Bonobo Band featuring Slash Vol 6’ received mixed critical responses. Some critics hailed as ‘the best ever record ever made ever’ whilst others said it was ‘shit!’

The band’s new ukulele synth-crunch sound left many cold and when the band sacked Gibbon Eyes for smoking glue cigars, the band started to drift apart. After a series of sub-standard performances in which Bonobo’s increasingly bizarre antics included singing entirely in an ancient form of Persian whilst crossing the stage on a pogo stick, the press and fans turned their backs on the band. When Chimpy left to join The Osmonds, Orangutan sensationally quit music to become a lollypop lady at his son’s junior school.

Unperturbed, Bonobo replaced his former childhood pal with one of the Haughton Weavers and The All New Ian Bonobo Stone Roses Experience played their first gig at the legendary Frickley Sausage Festival where Bonobo insisted on walking backwards and singing the lyrics in Morse Code. Infuriated local miners threw shallots at them, forcing them off-stage and the band eventually split in a hastily organised and chaotic press conference at the Knutsford Magistrates Court. Bonobo claimed that he was possessed by the spirit of Haitian dictator, Baby Doc Duvalier and slaughtered sixty six chickens in voodoo ceremony before being arrested and later jailed for life after calling a Co-Op checkout girl a ‘soft cow’ when she refused to serve him with skins and asked to see his ID.

Was this really the end for the Roses?

Pt 3 coming soon!!!!

The Stone Roses Story Pt 1

In the run up to the biggest event since the 2nd crusade, Swine is devoting the next 3 posts to the fascinating story of how the biggest band ever in the history of doo wop, dark step and post-core, The Stone Roses.

Part 1 – the early days

Ian Bonobo and John Orangutan were childhood friends from the mean streets of inner city Timperley on the outskirts of Salford. Ian was always into the latest fashions such as Hansiatic League Customs Clerk, Peacock Drayman and Uber-undertaker. John loved drawing pictures of horses with massive knobs. When they were in their mid-30, their lives changed after sneaking into the Timperley Conservative Club’s under 15s disco and seeing a band that would create a revolution; The Hollies!

At that moment both ian and John knew they too wanted to be in a band that sounded fuck all like The Hollies and so Ian learned to sing opera and John dedicated himself to playing the oboe. Moving to the tough ghetto streets of Hazel Grove on the outskirts of Moss Side they recruited bassoonist, Graham ‘Chimpy’ Chimpman and French polisher, Alan ‘Gibbon Balls’ Gibson on wash board.

Calling themselves ‘Ian, John, Graham and Alan Plus 5 On The Guestlist Please Love’ they began rehearsing in Alan’s ma’s chippy and after perfecting their unique brand of retro-60s jingle jangle piss weak indie pop, began touring the fruit and veg stalls and carpet warehouses of Ancoats but failed to get noticed. Undaunted, the four eager pioneers adopted a new look, ’23rd Century Scout Leader meets Transylvanian Plumber’ they began to build an audience through word of mouth and a million pound advertising campaign funded by John’s dad and his work with leading cartoonist, Terry Bonkers creator of kids tv programmes such as DangerCunt and Scatty Doo; the Shit Detective.

Local electrician and record label mogul, Bernie Shotgun saw the band play at his daughter’s 7th birthday party and liked what he saw. He signed them there and then for a six figure sum; £120.000 with rights to all future royalties, publishing and Panini sticker sales. The band changed their name first to the Iron Beatles, then to the Paper Byrds and finally the Stone Roses and released their first single; ‘Silly Cellarman’ as a tribute to Coronation Street barman, Fred Gee who appeared in the video and became a massive fan.

However, jsut as their frist Lp was being recorded in downtown Macclesfield close to the hard, edgy streets of Wilmslow, tragedy struck. The studio burned down destroying all the master tapes and although convicted of arson, Bernie Shotgun was cleared of attempted murder. The Roses themselves and producer, Barry Genius were playing a game of pool as the studio went up in flames and Shotgun was caught hiding behind a wall covered in petrol singing ‘I hate the Roses’ to himself.

The guys wer emade of strong stuff however and soon forgave their temperamental manager and the band’s first LP ‘This Is The Sound Of The Stone Roses In Stereo SurroundSound Vol 1’ was released to critical apathy in 1988. With anthems such as ‘I Wanna Be A Doctor’ ‘Stoke Water Park’ and ‘I Am The Second Coming Of Arthur Askey’ the LP sold over 60 copies in 3 months, earning them a spot on Granada TV and Factory label boss, Anthony B. Burgess’s late night pop, knitting, architecture and cooking show, ‘The Other Side Of Fascist Iconography.’

Joined by loose limbed ‘vibesman’ Tony ‘Jellylegs’ Jeffries the band performed their latest single ‘Hey hey We’re The Stone Roses (now wipe your bottom)’ in their new ‘Dandy Welder’ image, they soon attracted the attentin of pub-trance, art-beat and surf-metal journalists from as far afield as Matlock and Garstang. The band were going places, the world was at their feet and they knew it. Bernie Shotgun rubbed his hands together and put his cattle prod away as he smelled the smell of smelly money stuffed into smelly pillow cases hidden in a smelly cellar somewhere near Winsford. What on earth would happen next????

Pt 2 coming up soon!!!

Wizard of Oz Economics

Fuuuuuuck!!!!!!!

As George Osborne and Mervyn King announce yet another 100 billion ‘liquidity’ to get the British economy moving, I’m getting more and more confused by the strategy of it all. Maybe I’m just a naive, unintelligent person anable to grasp the complexities of macro-economic theory but why does the government and the Bank of England need to print a load of extra money and give to the banks in the hope that they’ll start loaning that money to small business and individuals? Why not cut out the middle man – the banks – altogther and just loan it to those who need it, or y’know even ‘give’ it to them?

I don’t understand why the banking industry has become so all powerful that they hold the entire world economy to ransome and demand bail outs when they fuck up and pats on the back in the form of massive loans and bonuses when they refuse to do their job, ie taking other people’s money and investing it to provide a return to their shareholders, if not their customers.

What’s the big deal? What am I missing? Ah, it’s far more complicated than that, you have to take into account all those complicated and meaningless buzzwords that market analysts and business reporters use to obscure the fact that the economy’s fucked and the government haven’t got a scooby what to do about it.

When I first got a job I had to get my wages paid into a bank every month. It was the first time I’d ever had a bank account. Only ‘posh people’ had bank accounts and cheque books, although having a building society account was OK for people like me mam and dad, who saved a few bob in mutual societies. I didn’t even know what an overdraft was but once I discovered you could take out more money than you had in, I rubbed my tiny hands together and went mad, running up an overdraft of £200!

Life was simpler then, me dad would pick up his weekly wage packet, box me ma off with her ‘house keeping’ money to pay the rent man and keep us fed and clothed and the rest was left for him to piss up a wall or invest in FTSE 100 shares. Banks were about as alien and useless to most working class people as the ‘money’ sections of newspapers. The bank mananger was something you only saw on Terry & June, Dad’s Army and the Beverley Hillbillies. These mysterious creatures might as well have spoke in dolphin clicks for all we understood them.

Two things happened in the 80s to change all that. One; Thatcher’s council house ownership scheme offered the likes of me mam and dad the chance to buy their home from the council at a knock down price. This was perhaps the Tory’s greatest strategic masterstroke. Automatically, it gave millions of working class people something worth ‘conserving’ something worth selling or leaving to their kids. It made people greedy and selfish, wishing death on relatives and breaking up families and communities.

You can still see the evidence of this on council estates by the roofs of those who bought their homes in the 80s and haven’t had the money or the inclination to get them re-tiled. The council sold off their housing stock to private companies and individuals and this also put large amounts of dough in the arse pockets of corrupt corporate landlords and run of the mill gangsters alike.

Here’s a foolproof business model for you; gangsters purchase drugs and sell them to drug addicts. With the profits from this they invest in housing stock in the most run down areas of the inner cities. The council, being totally reliant on private housing provision, home the poorest people in these residencies, many of them on benefits and addicted to drugs. They therefore pay the rental costs from the benefits budget which goes straight to the gangsters who use it to buy more houses and purchase more drugs to sell to the drug addicts living in their properties. You have to admire the economic perfection of that cycle if not the morality of it.

As more and more people became shackled to the mortgage trap, so banks began to dictate economic policy and as more or more people got sucked into the banking industry’s clutches via direct debits, standing orders, wages and even benefits payments, loans, bogus insurance ‘protection’ policies and easy debt became such a lucrative market that the banks became ever more greedy. Once they became so powerful that the entire western economy was totally reliant on interest rate fluctuations, they knew that no matter what happened, there was too much at stake for the politicians to allow them to fail.

The second thing that happened in the 80s was the capitulation of the left to so-called ‘pragmatism’ which in other words meant accepting the existing economic model was irreplaceable and that de-regulation of industry and privatisation of national assets worked in everyone’s interest. OK, so the likes of Clinton, Blair and Brown may have tinkered around the edges, imposing pathetic minimum wage levels and so on but by and large, they were more guilty than the Neo-Cons in allowing the banks and the city to replace manufacturing as the major means of economic production. Abstract, flickering numbers on screens and balance sheets created a Wizard Of Oz economic subtefuge. Behind the screen there was nothing, just a set of levers spewing out cliches and slogans.

The Bank Of England, the Federal Reserve, The European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, they are all futile, all Wizard Of Oz fraudsters pretending that behind the smoke and mirrors there is science, there is philosophy, there is magic. Capitalism isn’t an ism at all, just a better word for ‘greed’ just another excuse for murder and exploitation.

Are bankers any different to the drug dealers? They too have a perfect business model. They take money from people, they charge money for this ‘service’ (the myth of free banking – remember?), they charge interest for this honour, they invest this money in all manner of despicable industries and con tricks. If they fail, they get their debts paid off by governments who impose austerity policies and then pass the buck to ‘irresponsible lenders’ and if they win, they get to keep the profits.

Put it this way if I lend a bag of sand from the local loan shark and he wants seven bags of sand back where do I turn? To the police? Chances are I’ll go to another loan shark and pay off the first one then be even further in the shit with the second loan shark because he wants 40 bags of sand back. I think the Greeks have got this one sussed. Keep going till everyone’s got that much owing to them that they really, really need to keep you alive. Or maybe I’m missing soemthing.

Top Of The Nonces

Last week I was watching Venessa Paradis perform ‘Joe Le Taxi’ on Top Of The Pops 2 and remarked to my wife that her hip swaying, pouty performance seemed deliberately designed to appeal to paedophiles. At the time she was only 14 years old (and looked it) yet no doubt because she was French and looked like a pubescent Brigitte Bardot it was OK for producers and camermen to treat her like she was ten years older.

Looking back at TOTP now it seems obvious that the array of zany middle aged deeeejays were obviously noncing up the gaggle of mini-skirted star struck young nubiles who gathered around them as they introduced Lieutenant Pigeon and Smokey. This was the 70s (and 80s) remember before the word ‘paedophile’ had replaced ‘dirty old man’ as the acceptable term for men who liked to look at and touch up young girls and boys.

This was the era when Benny Hill chased suspender clad girls around parks and the On The Busses/Are You Being Served brand of titillating comedy featured ugly, middle aged men making endless single entrendres to ditzy blonds who appeared to enjoy being treated as vacuous sex objects. No doubt this was the script writers own fantasy wish fulfilment but it also sent a message out to young lads like me; women were all ‘nymphos’ gagging for sex with men, ANY man, even ones that looked like Reg fucking Varney.

Or Jimmy Saville for that matter. What a strange breed of duck ‘Sir’ Jimmy was. Of all the weirdos and cranks that have populated the world of ‘pop’ Jimmy’s up there with the Michael Jacksons and Phil Spectors. His shtick wasn’t contrived, he was a genuine 100% off his rocker, no lumps of fat and gristle freak. Quite apart from his leering and sleazy chat ups of grinning groupies there was an aura of threat about Saville, the suspicion that he inhabited the pop world entirely for his own perverse gratifications. Although you could argue the same for other creeps such as DLT and Diddy David Hamilton I suppose. They didn’t seem to be in it for the music that’s for sure.

The cameramen were in on it too ofcourse, swooping up skirts from low vantage points and clocking all the attractive young dancers in amongst the goofs and goonballs looking up at the overhead camera or whatever the fuck it is that makes them all look to the heavens like Frank Lampard searching for his ma in the clouds. As for Pan’s People and Legs & Co, well that was described as ‘something for the dads’ a quick wank montage for the toilet later.

Pop is made for paedos. It’s bread and butter is young, dumb ‘guys n’ galls’ desperate for fame who’ll do just about anything to get a foothold in the world of ‘showbiz.’ As such every two bit huckster from Larry Parnes to Louis Walsh has used their position as ‘impressarios’ to gather around them a stable of attractive and compliant young lads who will get down on one or two knees to break into the glamorous world of Top of The Pops and tours of Belgium.

The Lolita theme runs away from Chuck Berry’s ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’, through Gary Puckett’s ‘Young Girl’ to the Police’s ‘Don’t Stand Too Close To Me’ the unifying theme that sexy underage temptresses are luring grown men into lust and, by implication, that all men are incapable of self-control. Maybe that’s what Serge Gainsbourg’s duet with his 12 year old daughter, Charlotte ‘Lemon Incest’ was hinting at, but then again Serge was French after all and what do you expect from Frogs and hillbillies like Jerry Lee Lewis but under age, incestuous relationships?

Which brings us back to Vanessa. There she was on TOTP2 thrusting her hips provocatively and acting all demure as if she didn’t know exactly what’s going on. She ended up married to Hollywood heart throb, Johnny Depp so no doubt she had a game plan even when she was 14 going on 34. Or perhaps her parents did because there’s no doubt that some parents are only too willing to pimp their sons and daughters out to anyone in the showbiz industry whether that’s pop stars, managers, film directors, television producers, business moguls and gargoyles of every description as long as there’s a contract to be signed.

In this world sordid ‘womanisers’ like Bill Wyman, Roman Polanski and Silvio Berlusconi get excused or even admired for their under-age exploits despite their physical and moral ugliness. Where else could short-arse, self-obsessed freaks like Phil Spector and Simon Cowell get a crack at stunners like Ronny and Leona? I’ll leave the last words to Mr. Puckett (can he Puck it? Yes he can!)

Beneath your perfume and your make-up
You’re just a baby in disguise
And though you know that it’s wrong to be
Alone with me
That come on look is in your eyes

Young girl, get out my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run girl
You’re much too young girl

So hurry home to your mama
I’m sure she wonders where you are
Get out of here
Before I have the time
To change my mind
‘Cause I’m afraid we’ll go too far

OK, I’ll have the last word, as per fucking usual. Quite how stuff like this was ever allowed to be released never mind bought by millions of ‘innocent’ music fans only underlines just how acceptable noncing was back in the good old days of comedy rape telly shows and pervy pantomime villains presenting mainstream pop programmes. Then again it wasn’t so long ago that Channel 4’s noncefest, ‘Minipops’ was deemed suitable early evening viewing for all the family ‘especially the beasts’ and The Sun ran its countdown calender to celebrate the day Charlotte Church finally became ‘legal.’