I've just seen this superb website, "Speak your brains". The premise is simple: (STEP 1) quote actual comments left by members of the public on the BBC's "Have your say" site. Such as:
Does this mean that ‘anyone’ can effectively stake out
my house or the houses on a street? So, for example, if this works in
anything like ‘realtime’, a criminal could ‘watch’ my house from his PC
(as opposed to lurking about suspiciously), work out my usual routine
and then plan his business accordingly. I can think of a lot of other
reasons why this and Google Earth could be a very handy tool for
certain unsavoury members of society!
Johnny PH, Leeds
(STEP 2) mock them:
There is something fundamentally dangerous about the democratisation of opinion that leads to expert judgment being curtailed for the thoughts of the general public. I appreciate how elitist that sounds, but I am speaking as a member of the general public. If I'm watching a news story about heart disease, I would rather hear from a respectable authority on the issue than a token person off the street. Which is why I don't watch the news anymore.
You know what it's like - a few days after a night out you're looking through your phone and discover photos that you can't remember taking. It makes you glad that camera phones weren't about when you were at uni, and also curious as to what the rest of this headline was.
Speaking of Gordon Brown, this video is fantastic
A Finno-Ugric joke tells of migrating tribal forebears finding a signpost on the steppe reading: "To civilisation". Those that could not read it went north and became Finns. Those that could went to Central Europe and became Hungarians. (Finns tell the story the other way around).
(From The Christmas Economist 2005, previously posted on January 10th 2006)
For a while now I've had an idea for a new episode of Seinfeld. Rather than do the full screenplay, I'll just write up the main plot. The challenge is to make it as Seinfeld-like as possible.
I have the basic storyline but am now trying to pepper it with recurring character behaviour. Historically these probably occur less often than we imagine, but since this is speculative fiction the challenge is to incorporate as many as possible. The types of behaviour I'm thinking about are things like:
So help me out - what are some other Seinfeld conventions?
In completing my thesis - Chivalry, Chauvenism or Schaudenfreude: Some Aspects of Socio-pathological Historiography for Penetrating Wagner's Ring - the following sources were both enlightening and indispensable.
Dropping in on Jerry: A Lighthearted Account of the Dresden Bombings / Wing Commander "Bullseye" Fortescue, VC, The Peacock Press, November 1991
Carpet Bombing Never Happened / Julie Birchill, The Brighton Imprint, January 2007
Radioactive Roustabout: Who's Afraid of Contamination? / Norton Quiz and Games Books, Rhyl, August 2005
Nailbiting in Bournemouth versus Bed-Wetting in Poole: Action and Amelioration / P. Hurst, Journal of Psychology, March 1980
Teaching Stockbrockers Ring Dancing / H. Ford, Practical Mental Health, January 1975
'Daddy, Mummy's Mad.' 'Good.' / A. Sikorski, Practical Mental Health, February 1976
Repressing People who Laugh Alone: Towards Effective Public Transport / H. Ford, The Bus, October 1975
Gerald Kaufman says 'Fuck Golf!' / G. Kaufman, Publish Yourself Books, September 2006
Where are Diana's Knicker Elastics? / David Starkey, University College London Press, November 2001
With apologies and much admiration to Will Self, Jonathan Coe and Armando Iannucci!
Being British is about driving a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then grabbing an Indian curry (or a Turkish kebab) on the way home, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.
And the most British thing of all?