Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sublime Delusions

I was grievously insulted today by an Archiving student, who ridiculously is in the same 'school' as me at UCL despite sharing absolutely no characteristics in common with the relatively normal, sane folk on my course. This student languishes under the sublimely deluded belief that archivists and their ilk are somehow superior to us Electronic Communication and Publishing students because they are doing something 'relevant' and 'exciting'. I was temporarily rendered speechless by the utter, overwhelmingly moronic idiocy of this statement. How exactly is spending eighteen hours a day sitting in a library desperately avoiding all human contact researching the Golden Years of Preston North End 1898-1898 or the History of Dishwasher Powder 1970-1984 'relevant' and 'exciting'? Frankly, I'd rather eat my own pancreas. Raw.

As a consequence of their fear of the outside world, archivists are so dangerously pale that I strongly suspect them of dissolving upon contact with sunlight. Unfortunately I have thus far been entirely unable to test this theory as this would involve physically removing one from the library, which is about as easy as swimming blindfolded across a crocodile infested lake in a meat-flavoured straitjacket.

The other principal object of my ire today is the dismal excuse for a sketch comedy that is Little Britain. The rise of this mind-numbingly predictable uselessness is a sad indictment of a frantically impatient society that requires instant comic gratification, however weakly delivered. Whatever happened to the intricate, subtle and cleverly executed humour of a 'Coupling' or a 'Scrubs'? The pathetic cow's backside of a programme that is Little Britain is characterised by a hideous cacophony of atrociously uninspired set-pieces, painfully telegraphed 'punchlines' and an increasingly desperate third series resort to the standard 'comic' fallback of urea and faeces 'jokes' to achieve even a semblance of humour. Well, it's an old truism, but even unpleasant bodily fluids can't drag this horrendous debacle out of the comedy gutter.

Here, for reference purposes, is the invariable structure of a Little Britain 'joke':

1. Matt Lucas says/does something unfunny
2. Mark Walliams says/does something equally unfunny
3. Unfunny consequences result

Repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseum, ad overpowering homicidal urges.

It never ceases to astonish me just how preposterously popular this comic vacuum is. Particularly as it is one that displays the originality of a sexually deviant Liberal party leader candidate, the uproarious hilarity of accidentally slicing your own head off with a chainsaw and the profundity of a satsuma. The aspect of the programme that infuriates me the most is the fact that it operates under the chillingly complacent belief that if a spectacularly unfunny catchphrase is repeated often enough, it will somehow become amusing. You know what I have to say to that?

Mates.

Ed's Mood: Bemused

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: Radiohead - 2+2=5

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cheltenham Blah

Tuesday 24th January 2006

4:45 I stagger blearily out of my Database Systems Analysis seminar, desperately pleading with every god I know and several that I improvise on the spot to never again force me to enter the cursed four walls that have brutally imprisoned me for the last three hours. I wipe off the cold sweat and massage my temples to alleviate the symptoms of terminal brain death that are beginning to afflict me.

5:00 I try to calculate when exactly I became the type of irretrievably sadomasochistic maniac that travels to places like Cheltenham midweek to watch his football team undergo a ritual thrashing. I remember with sickening horror and a sense of gruesome disgust that I went to Hartlepool in 1995. I renounce my soul.

5:18 I catch the Cheltenham Spa train from London Paddington.

6:00-7:29 I ignore the vociferous and heated complaints of my brain and attempt Database Systems Analysis reading. For the next half hour I experience first-hand what it must be like to be stripped naked and then impaled on a javelin in front of an audience of your closest family members and friends as they watch extended graphic highlights of your sexual career on a 100" plasma screen accompanied with Dolby Surround Sound. Only this is infinitely worse.

7:30 I reach Cheltenham Spa and catch a taxi, whereupon a morose and clearly distinterested driver asks me where my destination is. I somewhat abashedly tell him. He says 'you're well spoken for a football fan' in a somewhat disbelieving and mildly insulting manner. I resiliently resist the overpowering temptation to unleash the banter-exterminating qualities of my internal David Brent and say 'well, you're fat for a taxi driver'.

7:35 Taxi driver asks the dreaded question 'so how are Colchester doing?'. Usually my reluctant and guarded response to this question is greeted with a sardonic witticism along the lines of the following:

'Ah, not bad, only one place below second bottom'
'Well, at least you're above Billingham Symphonia Ladies Under 10's 4th XI (har-de-har-har). Oh wait, you're not? Sorry'

The driver visibly blanches, is struck absolutely dumbstruck and narrowly avoids depositing the taxi in a conveniently located ditch upon hearing my reply.

7:38 A shaken and ashen-faced driver expresses his idiotic preference for horse racing ahead of football, a jaw-dropping statement of obtuseness akin to saying 'I'd rather eat my own faeces than Belgian chocolate'. I greet him with the most utterly contemptuous scowl and soul-crushingly scornful lip-curling sneer at my disposal. He misses it completely.

7:47 Having missed kick-off (and, by virtue of two minutes already having elapsed, presumably the opening three Cheltenham goals), I sprint across the street with the debonair grace of a pheasant priming itself for roadkill responsibilities towards the glorified arrangement of cow sheds that is currently moonlighting as a football ground.

7:50 After explaining to a bemused steward that my glasses' case extraordinarily and miraculously houses glasses rather than the DIY nuclear missile kit and chemical weaponry that would normally be expected, I locate a seat with the 150 other hardy, committed and supremely devoted morons who have also made the trip. I discover to my astonishment that the score remains level.

8:00 George Elokobi demonstrates his ecsquisitely executed and varied range of passing by hitting the ball into the upper tiers of the right hand stand, fortunately receiving it from the resulting throw-on and then slicing it majestically into the left-hand one.

8:02 George Elokobi blasts the ball out of the ground.

8:03 George Elokobi blasts the replacement ball out of the ground.

8:04 I wonder idly if Elokobi has been employed at a generous hourly bribe rate by a murky third-party interest to discreetly bankrupt Cheltenham Town with spiralling lost-ball costs.

8:06 Colchester's token lazy Australian Harry Kewell-esque excuse for a striker Richard Garcia unleashes an optimistic 25 yard pearoller posing all the naked menace and threat of a Care Bear on sedatives. Taken aback by the preposterously straightforward nature of the task facing him, the bewildered goalkeeper maintains a melodramatic statuesque pose as an equally surprised ball travels past him into the net. He finally engages his dive a few seconds later. 1-0.

8:10 Colchester fans sing 'we are top of the league' to an utterly apathetic and vaguely confused Cheltenham audience.

8:30 Half time.

8:45-9:30 Nothing happens of any discernible interest.

9:31 Cheltenham hit the post after their single remotely threatening attack. A few hundred slumbering fans open one eye, collectively emit the single word 'meh' and return to their dreamlike stupors.

9:33 Colchester win. I wonder if this is miraculous divine vindication for my endearing, blind commitment to a hopeless cause and then decide that it is far more likely to be a consequence of the Cheltenham team being absolutely and utterly atrocious.

Ed's Mood: Smug

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: Slash's Snakepit - I Hate Everybody (But You)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Realism Schmealism

I have recently become involved in a horrific downward spiral where I appear incapable of extended perusal of anything other than a Robert Ludlum tome. Fortunately the bloke is dead (I mean this in the most pleasant and least bloodthirsty sense) and therefore the books are finite in number, but it is mildly alarming that my expertise is so great that I can now predict plot twists and dramatic murders at least three hundred pages in advance of their happening. Anyone who has ever read one of these will know that Ludlum spent 30 years attempting to concoct the world's most ridiculous twist, peaking with his revival of an indomitable one hundred year old bedridden Hitler to lead the 4th Reich. This was accompanied by some laughable dialogue in a vain attempt to disguise the sheer ludicrousness of the idea:

'It can't be!! Oh my God!!'
'Well, it's not impossible..'

No. It's not impossible. The fact that the bloke shot himself in the head, was liberally covered in petrol, brutally disembowelled and burned into several billion tiny particles of ash would render the likelihood slim though, I believe.

Ed's Mood: Sarcastic

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: The Divine Comedy - Everybody Knows (Except You)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dustball of Idiocy

After weighty consideration I have made the revolutionary decision that I shall no longer write thousand word Blog entries that require decades to plan and millennia to read. I am instead going to grossly compromise my art and bow down before the demands of an increasingly frenetic and impatient society by condensing my thoughts into regular daily or two-daily updates. As the machinations of the inside of my head can be best visualised as a giant dustball of vegetative idiocy travelling across a bleak desert of emptiness and hitting the occasional oasis of vague inspiration every couple of hundred years or so this may prove quite a challenge.

However, I feel suitably inspired today by the horrendously atrocious serial homicide against cinema that was Match Point, which has been receiving criminally positive reviews despite utterly obliterating the previously unshakeable truth that if Scarlett Johansson (a woman so beautiful that shattered mirrors spontaneously rebuild themselves in her presence) appears in a film, it cannot be bad. Match Point is not bad. It is cataclysmically dire. It perpetuates every American stereotype about the British imaginable (we all own vast country estates, have chauffeurs, speak with insufferably posh baked-potato accents unheard of since the 1930s, work as tennis professionals at Queen's, love opera, and have a country that is so infinitesimally small that we're entirely incapable of engaging in any activity that does not take place at a world famous landmark). The 'star', Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (who you would have thought would have a slight advantage by a) being Irish and b) being an actor) is supposedly from Ireland but sounds about as Irish as Stelios Giannokopoulos and acts about as convincingly as a cabbage on sedatives with a puzzled face drawn on it by a blindfolded two year old. To be fair to the poor hapless moron, he is not assisted by a plot which is about as convincing as a Tim Henman fist-clench after winning a point on serve in the first round of the Azerbaijan Open and dialogue which is as profound as a rejected Tweenies script. Please, I beg of you, do not watch this film.

Secondly today I'd like everyone to note (as the media appears to be blissfully unaware of the existence of Essex) that after last night's preposterous 3-2 victory by the latter over Bristol City 'Sarrrfffend' and Colchester resplondently sit in 1st and 2nd in League One, which is itself utterly incredible and worthy of comment. However, the two teams remain, infuriatingly, in the incorrect order and in shameless denial of the universal, transcendent truth of Colcestrian superiority. As I struggle to find any remote justification for the righteousness of this truth I will not even try to argue constructively. However, what people often fail to realise is that the Southend mascot (a horrifying humanoid shrimp capable by its very appearance of causing terminal heart failure in the under 5s) is not a friendly human in a costume but an actual mutated sea creature created through a) decades of shrimp/sexually frustrated chav 'relations' and b) decades of direct exposure to and drinking of Southend sea water, which is so revoltingly stagnant and polluted that even looking at it requires an emergency tracheotomy and a month's strict convalescence in a health farm. A team with this horrific monstrosity as a mascot does not deserve to be in their lofty position, but should instead be fighting a doomed battle against relegation to the ninth division of the Blackwater and Dengie Pub League. Hopefully the rightful county hierarchy will be restored on Saturday with the assistance of a Colchester victory against the redoubtable Port Fail.

In homage to the Olimeister:

Haikus kill the muse
Abstract meaninglessness reigns
Shorthand poetry

Ed's Mood: Disenchanted

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: Anathema - Fragile Dreams