Friday, May 23, 2008

A dead tree writes

On the only occasion I ever used any information from the blog run by Paul Staines (nee Guido Fawkes) for a story in Private Eye, he got very stroppy and sent me an email headed "Don't cut 'n paste stories without attribution".

Still, it's good to see his own investigative zeal is still intact.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hey, hey, Gerard Way, how many kids have(n't) you killed today?

From Media Guardian:

Hundreds of black-clad fans of "emo" band My Chemical Romance are planning to march on the Daily Mail's headquarters in Kensington, London, to protest at what they see as an unjustified media attack on the group and its fans.

The fans, furious at a string of articles that they claim wrongly portray followers of the emo youth tribe as a "suicide cult", plan to stage a peaceful protest outside Northcliffe House on May 31.

Organisers said yesterday that they had already signed up 300 protesters and hoped to at least double that. They urged protesters to be polite and pick up their litter.

Likely outcome? Several image-spoiling cases of sunburn and a couple of sub-editors on their way to get a sandwich saying "ooh, look, Goths; bless."

Of course I could be wrong. Fond tales are still told in Northcliffe House of the time the Lesbian Avengers got all the way to the atrium, and Sir David English insisted on dyke-deflecting turnstiles being installed at the bottom of the escalators...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Change at Crewe

Look, sod the politics of envy and whether class war is alive or dead. The fact is, trying to paint as an out-of-touch toff the heir to Timpsons, that place where you go to get keys cut and your dad gets his shoes mended, is going to be about as effective as trying to dub the original Gregg the Baker as a top-hatted, slave-owning oligarch.

Mind you, if we are going to hold his family against him, I wouldn't vote for him on the grounds of the self-published books of humorous golf anecdotes alone...

The over-compensation culture

Yesterday afternoon, the Sun's Gordon Smart sat down and wrote this picture caption for his throbbing red-top column today:

NADINE COYLE is given a helping hand from GIRLS ALOUD dancer Antony after a night out in London.

The pair were snapped leaving exclusive Mayfair nightclub Mahiki.

And the lucky lad even got a squeeze of her boob for his knight in shining armour routine.

At first I thought Nadine had bagged herself an even better looking bloke than that gardener fella JESSE METCALFE the office girls are always going on about.

But I’ve been reliably informed that these two are just good pals and a romance between them would be “highly unlikely”.

He than sat staring at the picture for ages and ages looking a bit teary and muttering repeatedly "I'm not. I'm just not," before texting colleague Pete Sampson and cancelling their sleepover after the football because "I've got loads of revision and everything's just a bit weird at the moment."


Thursday, May 15, 2008

For reasons that will be obvious to anyone who's just received this week's Popbitch mailout...

... I spent a good part of the morning trying to come up with train-related euphemisms for female masturbation.

For some reason, m'colleagues refused to use "taking Jenny Agutter round to visit Bernard Cribbins" and we had to settle for "stoking her own boiler" instead.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lots of stuff in the current Eye...

Including this Street of Shame lead:

“Mr Johnson is not a politician. He is an act,” thundered Simon Heffer in the Telegraph just days before the mayoral election. “For some of us the joke has worn not thin, but out. Yet many less cynical than I am find it appealing…He has had stooges all through journalism, who did significant parts of his various jobs for him, usually with little thanks or reward. And now there are stooges in politics… Where is the evidence of his adroitness in administration, his sense of responsibility, his ethic of public service?”

Well, some might think Johnson’s sense of responsibility was demonstrated fairly well by his 2004 trip to Liverpool to make a public apology for a Spectator editorial which, in his words, “imposed an outdated stereotype” on the city and included several crass mistakes about the circumstances of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people died. Although Johnson never attempted to shift the blame from himself, the offending piece had in fact been written by one of his journalistic stooges, one Simon Heffer. Nice to see he remains so grateful for the favour the boss did him!

Some stuff that didn't quite make it, too. And here's some of that.

Polly Filler was in full flow in the Daily Mail on 7 May, as former BBC reporter Rosie Millard regaled readers with full details of how her children Gabriel, Honey, Phoebe and Lucien had abandoned “our habitual regime of a ten-minute morning music practice” and bracing walks when she bought them a Nintendo DS games machine. “The pale blue, £150 Nintendo arrived last November, fresh from Hong Kong,” Millard revealed. “I had bought it on the net crammed with a ‘bundle’ of 20 games including Brain Trainer, Fifa 08 and Nintendogs.”

The three games Millard mentions alone would cost at least £65 to purchase on the UK high street – yet she claims she also got a further 17 titles bundled in with her Nintendo DS (UK RRP: £99). In February, Nintendo named Hong Kong as one of the “major trans-shipment points for the global distribution of illegal goods” in the piracy trade which it estimates costs software publishers and developers $975million in lost sales each year. This followed raids ordered by the Hong Kong high court last October which netted more than 10,000 “game copying devices and modification chips” which allow illegal copies of Nintendo games to be downloaded onto imitation cartridges and offered for sale.

“I’ve never come across such an apparently blatant admission of piracy,” one games industry insider told the Eye. Having failed to make this point on the Daily Mail’s website, where comments on Millard’s article have mysteriously failed to appear, at least one reader has instead reported her to anti-piracy watchdog the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) for investigation.


Hurling her two penn’orth into the frothing and futile pot that was the Guardian’s anti-Boris campaign, columnist Zoe Williams was clear what she found most offensive about the soon-to-be-Mayor of London. “That floppy hair, and that sodding bicycle. Has any man ever before managed to persuade such a huge number of people that he was a decent chap on two such flimsy, trivial, irrelevant, modish pieces of ephemera?”

Well, he did, he cannot but have been helped by such half-baked opinions as the following: “This is the truth about the cyclist – they are more civic-minded than anyone else travelling in any other manner, bar by foot… Cyclists are persistently treated like the naughty children of the road, where the SUV driver is the decent, law-abiding adult, when, in fact, the very opposite is the case. And while it's a difficult sum to calculate precisely, I'd estimate that one cyclist is as socially beneficial as 10 lords.” Who blethered thus? Keen cyclist – and, judging by her latest photo byline, bearer of rather floppy hair – Zoe Williams, in a column in February 2006.

Plenty of other Boris/Gruaniad stuff made it, though. You should buy it and see. It really is terribly good, you know...

Have your say: Has swearing on TV gone too far?” demanded the Sunday Express last week.

Those lacking in inspiration from which to draw their opinion might like to study some of the programme titles currently offered by the paper’s sister channel Television X: “Cock Crazy”, “Fuck Bunnies”, “The Pussyvator” and “Cum On My Teeny Tiny Tits”.

Right, that should bring some interesting Googlers to my site...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our survey said...

Well, I've just done something no one has ever done before - gone out onto the streets of London and actively tried to pick up a copy of thelondonpaper. A bit like when I used to write a column for The Big Issue, and each Monday traipsed the length of Oxford Street trying to find the vendors that only materialise when you haven't got £1.50 in your pocket or you genuinely, actually, really have already got that week's edition.

And the result of our experiment, right there in black white (and, er, purple) on page 22 is... drum roll...

MORE 23% BORE 67%.

Which definitively, scientifically proves that - 10% OF THOSE WHO TEXTED IN DID NOT EXPRESS AN OPINION!

Crikey. You don't expect the work experience kids that put thelavatorypaper together to be able to write decent news stories, but you would think they might stretch to adding two numbers together to make 100, wouldn't you?

It doesn't really help our experiment much, either, does it? Ah well, back to the drawing board, Beaker old friend...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Experiment IV

Can you do me a favour? Be warned: it's one that will cost you 25p, plus standard network rates...

On the rare occasions I pick up shiny happy freeshest thelondonpaper (I was put off it early on by a. the fact that it's the death knell for my industry, and more imporantly, b. I stared at the picture byline of one of their dating columnists for ages before realising I'd once got off with them, and it made me feel a bit sordid and dirty) I'm always intrigued by the "More or bore" feature on the bottom of their daily guest columnist's, er, column.

Whenever I see it, the votes always seem to come in at either 100%, 75%, 50% or 25%. Which makes me suspicious that something between one and four people bother to vote each night. Which would just be a triumph for youthful, groovy interactivity, wouldn't it?

So, here's where we can all get involved. Have a look at the blameless herbert filling the slot today - read his not particularly original, interesting or well-expressed thoughts, pick up your phone and text "MORE" or "BORE" to 88855. Far be it from me to point you in either direction - alright, he's not particularly original or entertaining, and judging by his picture byline he's a bit chinny and appears to be wearing a pastel blue fleece, but hey, the sun's shining and for christ's sake, he's "a project financier from Surrey Quays", it's about time something went right in his life - but here's the important bit: LEAVE A COMMENT LETTING ME KNOW WHICH WAY YOU VOTED.

If I've got my maths head on properly come Monday, I might be able to work out something worth a paragraph in Street of Shame...

I've just put in my twenty-fivepennorth. They told me I could "contact TLP on your mobile anytime", which was comforting. I plan to take advantage of this in the event of a bout of manic depression or close friend's death.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hirsutes you, sir

So I went for a haircut. In the same place as I have for the last 10 years or more, Mr Topper's £6 Haircut (though frankly the place hasn't been the same since it stopped being Mr Topper's £5 Haircut a few years ago and they just rounded out the circle in the '5' on the sign outside with a bit of coloured paper). As even those of you who haven't had the pleasure of being shorn by the big green frog in spats and his multilingual assistants might guess, it's not exactly Toni and Guy. In fact, if the man behind you was wearing a bloody apron and wielding a meat cleaver, you wouldn't be over-surprised.

But this time there was a sign next to the mirror giving prices for men who wanted to have their "eyebrows resculpted and tinted". And beneath that - I swear I'm not making this up - was the offer to have "upper lip and chin waxed."

Now hang on just one cotton-plucking minute! That's the sort of thing you used to have to go to Transformations on Eversholt Street to get done!

Combine that with the boy I walked into work behind this morning who'd obviously spent longer on his straightening tongs than I had on the entire commute, and the advert above a urinal in a City pub I was in recently advertising a special electric razor for shaving "intimate areas", and I start to come over a bit Kelvin Mackenzie. It ain't natural, I tell thee.

Personally, I blame the heterosexuals.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

It's got nothing to do with anything...

... but this is officially, actually, the best thing in the world ever.

This version probably comes second...