Monday, 1 December 2008

Milk

Here's the thing. I like milk.

I mean, what's not to like? You can drink it 'straight', you can froth it up and put it in your posh coffee, you can make milkshakes with it, you can pour it onto a bedazzling array of different breakfast cereals, you can turn it into cheese... You'd have to be mad not to like it. Milk is undoubtedly one of the best reasons for being alive. I'm always immediately suspicious of anyone who professes not to like milk, or even - yes - if they're not quite as over-enthusiastic as me. (That's you, you suspicious people, you.)

So, I have to admit that it grates with me every time I see one of these god-awful celebrity-endorsed milk adverts that seem to have constantly besmirched our streets and magazines and bus shelters and lives for at least the last decade.

The question is : Do I really want to see Myleene Klass or Nell McAndrew or anyone, actually, with milk smeared across their faces? No, thank you. Does it look attractive? No. Is it funny, perhaps? No. Does it make me want to buy milk? No. (I buy it anyway - lots of it - but that's besides the point.)

Why would anyone think this is even remotely attractive? Ugh! Clean yourselves up, honestly! You - celebrities! - did your mothers teach you no manners? Did they?? All you are demonstrating is a vulgar disregard for hygiene and a basic lack of cup-to-mouth manual co-ordination which most people learn and master well before they reach primary school age.

Of course, while facile celebrities can perhaps be expected to openly show off their vacuity in displays such as this, one might hope for advertising executives to have a little more decorum and respect for the products they sell. But who actually thinks that this is a good marketing idea? OK, having a milky moustache is a 'cute' thing for a small child to do - but let's not forget that small children also look 'cute' in dungarees, enjoy wreaking violence upon their siblings and often urinate in public at inappropriate times. Not cute. No.

What other foodstuff would advertisers treat this way? "Oooh, let's market our new baked beans by having Jonny Wilkinson plaster them across his face". or "I think the benefits of our new chocolate would best be demonstrated by having an X-Factor runner-up mash it into her hair or ankles"?

Thinking about all this in terms of culture, one can only hope that these ads and the people behind them, are symbolic of dying, pre-Credit Crunch British attitudes - of a voracious culture gorging on its own lazy profligacy, too busy consuming to notice it's own dirty face. Think about that next time you greedily guzzle a big glass of milk - but at least wipe your face afterwards, please...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Buried

For some, September the 11th, 2001 was a "good day to bury bad news" - as the world's attention focused on death and destruction in New York, government departments in the UK quietly pushed out press releases announcing how astonishingly rubbish our education, prison and rail systems were. And no one noticed. For a bit.

Today, as the comprehensive, round the clock coverage of every movement of the new messiah(tm), Barack Obama, begins to subside, only now are we beginning to realise the awful reality of the events of the past few days.

In perhaps the most striking example, while a majority in the USA were celebrating wildly after not electing an idiot, the state of California quietly announced that it was adopting Proposition 8, banning gay marriage. Apparently starting from tomorrow, every single "vile homosexual" must queue up outside state Governer Arnold Schwarzenegger's mansion and wait in turn to personally apologise to him for their misdemeanours.

But it doesn't end there. Whilst every single Indonesian was dancing in the streets to celebrate someone who once lived there for three minutes when he was two getting elected in a different country, their own government quietly shut down all the newspapers, banned ice-cream and kittens and deported all members of the opposition.

In Afghanistan, the Taleban and al-Qaeda dramatically announced a joint ceasefire and pledged to hand over all their arms to NATO forces and cease growing their vast opium crop. But, buried by the day's other news, the occupying powers failed to notice and just carried on with their offensive military operations.

And in Britain, Kerry Katona was able to go on a non-stop 38-hour cocaine, alcohol and M&Ms binge whilst going round and round repeatedly on the London Eye, Clive Dunn shot straight to number one in the singles charts with a hastily re-released "Grandad", and Edinburgh saw the first public hanging in the city since 1864.

In fact, the eyes of the British public were so focused on events across the Atlantic that not one single person complained when Radio 2 broadcast live an hour of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross actually having sex with Andrew Sachs' grand-daughter.

More revelations are sure to come out in the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled, people...

Friday, 25 July 2008

Dog Show

Electrofreaks.com brings news of the eagerly awaited debut LP from canine electro genius Rex The Dog, apparently titled "The Rex The Dog Show" and the lead single, "I Can See You, You Can See Me". The latest track is not quite as in-yer-face as previous singles, but I kinda like it...



Bizarrely, I have also discovered that the man behind Rex the Dog was also responsible for early 90s eurodance classic "You Belong To Me" by JX.... Remember this one?


I am now on a mission to discover the early 90s cheesey secrets of today's credible underground electro producers, so watch this space!

In the interests of stupid eclecticism, I've noted that this should make an interesting combination with the new James Yorkston album that's due out at the beginning of September also!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The Ultimate Secret Bunker

I suppose most of us must give at least a passing thought, at some time or another, to what we might do and where we might go in the event of some horrendous world catastrophe - nuclear war, bird flu, the rapid onset of the next ice age, perhaps, or a giant, out of control rabid, toxic Celine Dion rampaging across the globe.

World leaders have certainly given it some thought at various points in recent history, building vast underground bunkers and complex communications infrastructure to ensure that they (and maybe a select few of us) survive. Most recently we had the opening of the Global Seed Vault built under a Norwegian mountain to store all known types of crop, in case some future disaster puts at risk our capacity to produce Corn Flakes and Hovis.

But now I know exactly where I'll be heading should the prophets of doom start their oratory in earnest:

http://gizmodo.com/5018990/lego-secret-vault-contains-all-sets-in-history

Yes, it's the secret Lego vaults, where the crazy Danish plastic brick makers have stashed away one complete set of every Lego product ever made. Really. Every one.

Can you imagine a more fulfilling way to live out your last few days on Earth, as the meagre food and oxygen supplies dwindle and the hope of salvation recedes? Something better than having access to all those Lego Space and Pirates sets that were just that little bit too expensive for your Dad to buy you, even at Christmases or significant birthdays? Come on!!??!

Sorry guys, you can all go off and live in a bunker full of seeds and grain (grain?! Puh-lease - even the most fertile of imaginations would have difficulty making any fun out of a few big piles of plant germplasm) I'll die happy pretending to be a wee square yellow spaceman with limited capacity for limb movements and a head that has a tendency to fall off at the most inopportune moments.

If the rescue parties ever arrived with news of mankind's miracle survival and the great hope for the rebirth of the human race, they would find me, like a crazy, child-like Colonel Kurtz muttering to myself about the scarcity of roof pieces and my grand plan to build a replica Berlin Wall out of thousands of 2x6 multi-coloured studded bricks.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Neon

Look, if I haven't bored you already about how bloody brilliant the new Neon Neon album is then you better brace yourself...

Anyway, in preperation for the inevitable barrage of over-enthusiasm, feast thy ears upon this Pitchfork gem, a mix by Boom Bip, cataloguing the influences behind 'Stainless Style'. Essential stuff.

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/download/47233-neon-neon-mixtape-mp3

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Secret

I have a secret. I'm addicted to this website.  

http://www.postsecret.com/      

It's tragic, funny, twisted, sad, desperate, hilarious, disgusting, poignant...   

This is my favourite from the archives.   

http://www.postsecretarchive.com/2008/01/20/10-16-2005/   

You never know, one of them might be from me. About you.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Crying On The Dancefloor

Credits due to the Venerable Count for pointing me to the latest essential mix from Sally Shapiro mastermind Johan Agebjörn

"Someone I love turned me down,
I didn't feel my head touch the ground,
Someone I love said goodbye,
I never knew someone could make me cry,
Like this"

More info and the download you need is here.