Saturday, 31 December 2011

Top Five

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is 2011.

The BBC news was dominated by headlines about the royal family, but then why would we want to read about boring, unimportant shit like foreigners being killed? Then yesterday Geoffrey Howe tried to deny stuff that definitely happened. Poor man, it's as if you say one thing and suddenly you're branded as having actually said that thing. Though my memory is obviously not great, considering my summary of the events of 2011 only goes as far back as yesterday.

I may have become blinded by anger. Just a few nights ago I dreamt that I went up to Beyoncé and said, "Oh you fucking cunt." Then last night, after becoming disproportionately annoyed with 2 people on Facebook, I spent about an hour thinking, "if I could line them both up so that if I punched one of them, their head would knock painfully into the jaw of the other, which one of them would I punch?"

But instead of all that, I'm going to talk about my favourite things of 2011. Because in spite of everything, some great stuff came out of this year. Here are five Top Fives:

5. Take Shelter
4. Wuthering Heights
3. The Guard
2. Drive
1. We Need To Talk About Kevin

Not forgetting Senna, Super, A Separation, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Super 8, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Scream 4, Attack The Block...

TV Drama:
5. The Shadow Line
4. This Is England '88
3. Doctor Who
2. Black Mirror
1. American Horror Story

Seriously, American Horror Story was a brilliant mixture of The Shining and David Cronenberg and every horror film ever and Glee. Well not Glee, it was just created by the same people, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The perfect cast even included Jessica Lange and Frances Conroy, whose character is simultaneously old and young and dead. In fact 90% of the characters are dead. It is set in "Murder House" after all, hence why there's a thing in the basement and a thing in the attic. They might as well have included the exchange:
"In the interest of full disclosure, I should warn you that this house is known as "Murder House."
"We'll take it!"
"No seriously, all the previous owners were killed in here."
"I'll double the asking price!"
"Listen to me, you will definitely be brutally murdered in this house."
"You had me at Murder!"

TV Comedy:
5. Him & Her
4. Fresh Meat
3. Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle
2. 30 Rock
1. Community

And my thoughts remain with Community during its hiatus. Thank fuck for the return of 30 Rock to keep me sane during this difficult time.

Music (Gigs and Albums):
5. If Not Now, When? - Incubus
4. Queens of the Stone Age - Queens of the Stone Age (Originally released in 1998 but thankfully re-released this year)
3. Incubus at the Manchester O2
2. The Skints at loads of places
1. Jamiroquai at the O2 Arena

That Jamiroquai gig was one of those special, unforgettable experiences, and not just because Jay Kay spoke to me.

Live Comedy
5. The Future Is Another Place - Josie Long
4. Richard Herring (Christ on a Bike and What Is Love, Anyway? and AIOTM *aiotm*)
3. Carpet Remnant World - Stewart Lee
2. Curse Sir Walter Raleigh - Michael Legge
1. The Trap (X and Bad Musical)

Not forgetting the brilliant Robin Ince and his ridiculous amount of stuff; people with shows so great that I saw them twice such as Tony Law and Tim Key; and those geniuses that I finally saw for the first time like Simon Munnery and Dave Gorman.

Thank you for reading, happy new year! Enjoy 2012, even though there's going to be that big, ghastly, expensive affair with all the nationalism and shooting. No not the Olympics, the US Presidential election! Hahahahah oh fucking hell let's just hope the Mayans were right. I'll leave you with the Hotspots song that this blog is named after, enjoy!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Without A Face(book)

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is Facebook.

So here we are are, at the final chapter of my trilogy of blogs that I'm calling: Failing My Degree. And what a ride it has been. Remember how it all began? Two days ago, we began this saga. They said we'd never make it. "You're crazy," they said, "get out of my bedroom." But we persisted. We never gave up, even during that difficult middle section of our journey. Yesterday. Dark times indeed. But we made it out the other side, ready to face the biggest evil of all: Facebook.

Last month I blogged about Twitter, and now I turn to Twitter's sex-offender uncle, Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I love The Social Network. But I often wonder what it is that I really hate: Facebook, or most people that I know. The answer is both. The former because of the way it constantly restyles itself like a fucking celebrity, because of the way it shows everyone exactly what you're reading and watching and wanking over, because of Facebook Chat acting like a temperamental, uncooperative, moody teenager. We're all "experiencing some problems" Facebook Chat, get over yourself.

But what really makes me want to put my hand in a toaster is that persistant irritant, Other People. With their Facebook Statuses. The kind that make me want to comment saying "CUNT" and then claim I was fraped. The kind like these: The 10 Worst Kinds Of Facebook Status - Oh and if you're thinking, "why don't you just hide the people who piss you off?" Fuck you.

10. The Mundane - eg. Loving X Factor and pizza tonight - People complain that Twitter is full of mundane "I am eating" style tweets, but clearly they're not friends with the same people as me on Facebook. Every other status is "I am in a library" or "I am bleeding to death, please get help." YAWN

9. The Wry Observation - eg. How come the more you sleep the more tired you are?! - This covers "that awkward moment when..." statuses too, which I've complained about before. "That awkward moment when you walk into a room and forget why you went in there!" Thanks Michael McIntyre.

8. The Copied Joke - eg. David Cameron's wife has given birth. I didn't even know Clegg was pregnant! - Yeah we've all seen Sickipedia.

7. The Link To The Thing I Hate - eg. I love this new Florence And The Machine song! - Followed by a YouTube video. Equally awful is when someone I hate posts something I like. Shit, THEY like Fight Club? Time to find a new favourite film. And stab myself in the leg with a corkscrew.

6. The "Ironic" - eg. S Club 7 back together. Life is complete. - That one is a genuine status from someone I hope never reads this blog.

5. The Smug - eg. That's 8 hours in the library done, time to start another essay! - Like I don't feel bad enough about doing fuck nothing with my day.

4. The In-joke - eg. Shoelaces! LOL @Jamie Jameson - I hope your head gets stuck in a boiling kettle.

3. The Lazy Frape - eg. I love cock. - New rule: Only Dan is allowed to frape. He is the master. He fraped someone when they were LOGGED OUT of Facebook. And even if he does just do an "I love cock", it's funny when it's Dan.

2. The Pretentious - eg. Now dance like a dandelion in the wind on the hill underneath the pines, yeah move like the river flows, feel the big drum down deep in your toes. - Another genuine status. From a male. These statuses could be song lyrics or a nonsensical quote. "'Healing yourself is connected with healing others.' - Yoko Ono". Just because it's incomprehensible doesn't make it clever. Statuses like this are just pretentious, meaningless, smug, attention-seeking, self-absorbed, self-centred, self-involved piles of nothing.

1. The Night Out - eg. Can't wait to get on it tonightttttttttt! - When the last letter of a word is held down like that I always hope it's because they've collapsed in pain on to their keyboards. But no, because the next day they have statuses that just say things like, "Hanging." Which leaves me hoping it's literal. These boring cunts have mistaken telling everyone about how drunk they get for a personality.

The name of this blog is a genius play on the Rage Against The Machine song with which I will leave you, enjoy!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Look Alive

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is gigs.

Welcome to this, the second instalment of my trilogy of blogs that I'm calling: Failing My Degree.

I hate music gigs. Which is why I go to so many of them. Actually, seeing my favourite bands play live is one of my favourite things in the world. But there's always that annoying virus at every gig; Other People. So here's the 5 worst things about gigs, starting with when you first arrive and try to buy...

5. Overpriced drinks - One of the great things about the fact that loads of my favourite bands are relatively unknown is that I can see them live for around a fiver. Unless I want to buy a drink. In which case I need to sell my liver. Which renders the entire drinking operation redundant. How much?! £4?! For a pint of disgusting beer?! Which I'll inevitably get spilt all over me anyway?! Yeah, 2 of those please. Then, plastic cup of watery piss-beer in hand, you run to the front, unless there's a...

4. Barrier - I understand why you'd need a barrier between the crowd and the stage at a venue like the O2 Arena, but at this tiny punk venue in Camden I want to be 2 metres closer to the lead singer of Capdown! And even if you do make it to the front, there's the inevitable...

3. Pushers-in - Didn't I start at the front and in the centre? How come I'm now 3 rows back and next to the speaker? Oh, it's because you all thought it was OK to push me out the way. Even though you're all about 8 foot taller than me, you have a mohawk, and you're covered in tattoos. Not to mention that you're all...

2. Sweaty, topless men - And you have dreadlocks. Which I love, by the way, but not when they're in my mouth. I leave gigs covered in sweat, most of it not my own, desperately wanting to bathe in acid. It's even worse when these sweaty, topless men are...

1. Moshing - If the gig is punk or metal or whatever then knock yourself out. In fact you may well do exactly that. But most gigs I go to are reggae or ska and people still mosh! And no, I can't ignore them, because this venue is the size of a child's bedroom. And that child is Linda Blair in The Exorcist; I cannot ignore them. In fact I'm tacitly participating, according to the people flying into me while I try to enjoy The Skints. Presumably you paid to see this band, fucking watch them! At least face the right way.

Thank you for reading, and thanks to Ben for helping to compile these and for protecting accompanying me at these gigs, which despite the ranting, are some of the best things ever. I'll leave you with the brilliant Incubus song that this blog is named after, enjoy (Incubus)!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Sell Out

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is adverts.

This is the first of 3 blogs I'm going to write over 3 consecutive days, in a trilogy of blogs that I'm calling: Failing My Degree.

So one minute you're watching Come Dine With Me and shouting "CUNT" at the TV, and the next you're watching adverts and shouting "CUNT" at the TV. The ones that try to be clever end up funny, the ones that try to be funny end up annoying, and the ones that try to be cool end up pretentious. They're nasty, obtrusive and about as welcome as a fork in the eye. And there's only one thing worse than adverts: Christmas adverts. I've talked a bit about adverts before, here and here. And the brilliant Charlie Brooker wrote this great article about Christmas adverts recently so I'm going to avoid mentioning any of the ones he covers so masterfully. (Watch his "Biggest Cocks (And She-Cocks) In Advertising" videos on YouTube, they are the best.) But here are the 5 worst adverts I've seen recently:

5. Argos

"Mmm, Bieber." Isn't he like, 9? Is that OK? I thought this was an Alien, not a Predator.

4. Marks & Spencer

"Only at your M&S." My M&S?! But I'm neither Marks nor Spencer! Unless they mean it's only at my local branch. But then why advertise it on national TV? And how do they know where I live? What am I talking about? Oh well, I'm off to buy a seriously delicious looking apple strudle.

3. Thai Life Insurance

Kathryn tweeted about this horribly manipulative piece of awful. And it's far too long.

2. I can't remember

It was for some shop, I'm sure someone can tell me which, but it started: "Love Christmas? Love Peter Kay!" What kind of an assumption is that? What fascinating piece of research led to that particular conclusion? "CUNT"

1. Hair Dye

Specifically, hair dye adverts in which we see couples with exactly the same hair colour. They look like chemically-enhanced mutants committing incest.


Stop it!

Stop sniffing your sister!

Anyway, I will leave you with the Reel Big Fish song that this blog is named after, enjoy!