The wicked insights of Frankie Boyle…

A trip to my local supermarket this morning, and the antics of my fellow humans, has left me in a misanthropic mood. As a result, I’ve been listening to King 810, watching Frankie Boyle on YouTube and drinking beer.

Oh, and I’ve compiled a top ten of Frankie’s best quotes:

  1. “£3m for the funeral of Margaret Thatcher? For £3m you could give everyone in Scotland a shovel, and we could dig a hole so deep we could hand her over to Satan in person!”

  2. “Our greatest fear is to die alone, which is why I intend to take quite a few people with me.”

  3. “Bye Afghanistan. Seems like we just couldn’t murder enough of you to bring peace, couldn’t drop enough explosives to bring stability. Sorry.”

  4. “I don’t read newspapers anymore. I just lie to myself and cut out the middle man.”

  5. “It’s worth remembering that in the press, ‘public opinion’ is often used interchangeably with ‘media opinion’, as if the public was somehow much the same as a group of radically right-wing billionaire sociopaths.”

  6. “On balance, I think the only reason our political elite haven’t slaughtered us in camps is they need us to produce children for them to fuck.”

  7. “People say that Steve Jobs died too soon but I think it was a fitting metaphor for his company’s attitude to battery life.”

  8. “We live in a culture built on debt, so we are encouraged to have no self-control. Consumer culture needs us to be impulsive, while our political culture fears that we will ever develop discipline.”

  9. “There is a vegetarian option. You can fuck off.”

  10. “I thought it was sad, you know, that they had that pop concert to commemorate Diana. I mean, she didn’t have much to do with pop music, did she? They should’ve done something that celebrated what was really great about her life: By staging a gangbang in a minefield.”

Joke of the year?

The perfect depiction of the UK political climate:

“A banker, a Daily Mail reader, a Tory MP and a Polish cleaner are sitting at a table sharing 12 biscuits.

The banker grabs 11 of them and scoffs the lot.

The Tory MP leans over to the Daily Mail reader and whispers: ‘Watch out! That Polish cleaner is trying to steal your biscuit.”

Pinched from today’s Independent.

Thanks for the heads-up Yahoo!

Why is it that every time a major web-based service gets ‘hacked’, you only ever find out through the media?: Yahoo hack: Should I panic?

As I use Flickr, I have a Yahoo login, but neither company has so much as sent an email to warn me that I might want to update my password as a precaution.

This is the third or fourth time that a similar situation has occurred, and each time it’s been through Reddit or the BBC’s online news that I’ve become aware of it.

Guess who’s not getting their service subscription renewed next year?

Bah, humbug!

The latest communication from my youngest son’s school, to remind parents about Christmas lunch:

“Dear Parents/Guardians

Just a reminder that Christmas lunch for all students is available tomorrow – Wednesday, 14th December.

Please ensure your child’s lunch card is topped up as no loans will be given for Christmas lunch.”

My emphasis in the text above, as it struck me as a particularly unfestive attitude worthy of old Ebenezer Scrooge himself.

God bless us, every one!

An alternative literary canon…

Part mental exercise and part mischief, I came up with a list of literary classics that might have been:

  • Celsius 232.7
  • Sid Quixote
  • Three Men in a Dinghy
  • The Good Gatsby
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Plumber
  • Modest Expectations
  • A Farewell to Legs
  • A Clockwork Apple
  • In Search of Lost Change
  • A Tale of Two Towns
  • Lady Loverly’s Chatter
  • Midday’s Children
  • The Importance of Being Serious
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Milkman
  • The Bananas of Wrath
  • A Passage to Ibiza
  • Paradise Misplaced
  • The Lime of the Ancient Fruiterer
  • The Maltese Pigeon
  • Gulliver’s Travel Agent
  • Len and the Art of Boiler Maintenance
  • Finnegan’s Sleep
  • For Whom the Bell Rings

Well, it kept me amused…

“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

I love Matthew Whittle’s suggestion in The Guardian that William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is the perfect Christmas gift this year, as it so precisely describes post-Brexit Britain:

It’s the story of a society in which democracy descends into tribalism and tyranny. One of a civilisation built by those committed to the rule of law who turn on each other, scapegoating the marginalised and powerless. Ultimately, it’s a reminder of a human barbarism lying just beneath the fragile veneer of decency.

I’ve not read the book since secondary school, but his analysis this rings true to me. So many times recently, I’ve watch political debates and wondered if a) children might do a better job of running the country, and b) if the country were not in fact actually run by a lot of frightened children.

But both options suggest that we should perhaps forgive our naive ‘leaders’ for their desperate attempts to seem like adults – something that I’m not inclined to do with so much at stake.

Hail Timoth!

A pub-lunch chat yesterday turned into a silly exploration of a name. We were talking about grandparents and I mentioned that my sons both have middle names after mine and my wife’s fathers and grandfathers.

My younger son has ‘Timothy’ as one of his names and I’ve always found it to be a strangely effete and middle-class name. Reminds me of Timothy Lumsden, the mummy’s boy from the 80s comedy, Sorry. The fact is though, that he was named after my wife’s grandfather who was a tough-as-nails farmer all his life, and the furthest thing from a mollycoddled suburbanite that you could imagine.

What might have made the difference, I suggested, was if his name had been ‘Timoth’ instead. Just dropping that semivowel ‘y’ somehow makes it sound much more rugged and masculine. I could image a ‘Timoth the Wanderer’ from the ancient legends, or a ‘Timoth Ragged-Beard’ of the Viking sagas. But putting the ‘y’ back just takes all the edge and romance out of the name.

Compare the two:

“And lo, the land was laid waste by Timoth the Despoiler, and there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

or

“And lo, the land was laid waste by Timothy the Despoiler, and there was much laughter and scratching of heads.”

It just doesn’t sound right does it…

EDIT: Younger son reckons that ‘Timoth’ would make a great name for a Scandinavian black metal band!