Friday, July 31, 2009

Your Friday treat

Reasons Bookseller Crow is the best bookshop in the world:

1) A former member of Crass worked there*, and once recommended me a nice campsite in the Lake District. This replaced once having been given a bottle of Blue Nun by Jeremy Paxman as my favourite claim to fame.

2) They're offering this special promotion to anyone who pre-orders the new Dan Brown book as a gift.

Have a good weekend.

* (she might still do: I moved out of Crystal Palace a few years back and haven't seen her since)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

...Pants on Fire

A monthly subscription to Television X and an Ofcom fine for breaching rules on the protection of children to the first person who can find any reference in the Daily Express's coverage of the Desmond v. Bower verdict to the fact that he, er, lost?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Calling a spade a consolidated approach to multi-platform initatives

I've just been accused of using "direct language" by the BBC.

Well, I suppose it is exactly the opposite of what I've been accusing them of doing for years in the Birtspeak column...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Down with this sort of thing

Daily Mail dusts down its outrage, does a quick Find and Replace in 1996-vintage op-ed about Crash...

I haven't met Christopher Hart myself, nor shall I - and I speak as a broad-minded arts critic, strongly libertarian in tendency. But merely reading his copy is stomach-turning, and enough to form a judgment. He's a bit of a cock.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thanks for the ride, lady!

This may be down to me seeing It Felt Like a Kiss last night and still being quite seriously terrified, but for god's sake, do these people not watch horror movies?

My strong advice for the weekend: do not rob any stores guarded by wooden indian statues or run over any hitch-hikers...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And while I'm being unbearably smug...

... Paul Merton phoned Ian Hislop up yesterday to tell him how much he'd enjoyed the Jackoballs page I put together for the last issue.

Tomorrow's news today, today's news eight weeks ago

See the Independent's front page splash and leader today? As followed up by the BBC, the Times, Telegraph, Mail, Uncle Tom Cobley and all?

Someone's just caught up with my story for Books and Bookmen in Private Eye 1236, published on 15 May, then...

Great strides forward with Labour’s manifesto commitment to boost child literacy, as the government prepares to introduce new legislation that could drive children’s authors out of libraries, classrooms and even book festivals for good. As of November 2010 it will be a legal requirement for authors to apply to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (set up as one of the recommendations of the Bichard Report into the Soham murders) for clearance if they are “invited to speak at any public event where you may come in to contact with children or vulnerable adults more than once a year”. The checks cost a minimum of £64, and anyone who “allows a person who is not yet registered with the ISA to work for any length of time in any regulated activity” will be committing a criminal offence.

The Society of Authors has pledged it will be “making representations to the ISA about the disproportionately wide-reaching implications of the current proposals”. Meanwhile a former Children’s Laureate told the Eye: “This could put an end to pretty well all festivals, launches, school and library visits, bookshop signings, lectures – I certainly am not going to apply for a check of this sort in order to stand on a dais in front of 250 children with ten or so members of staff in attendance, to ensure I do not rape any of them.”

Friday, July 03, 2009

Have Your Say: has anyone seen the spare toner for the photocopier?

The BBC's Have Your Say asks the vital question: "Will you be watching Murray?" Over 300 people - and counting - log in to answer.

Just think, 10 short years ago, you'd only have been able to ask that boring question and not be very interested in the answers you got within the confines of your own office. Isn't technology great?

Go here. Frequently.

This week I has been mostly...

... trying to find Michael Jackson lyrics which work as headings for the various sections of a bumper "Jackoballs" special in next week's Private Eye.

As you might imagine, I'm not going to stop till I get enough.