June 23, 2007
A gem from Newsbiscuit
Despite what Kirgizia claimed about the Soviet Union being a team of equals, as one fan said ‘the Soviet Union without Russia would have been like The Osmonds without Donny.’
April 22, 2005
Are you writing what we're writing?
I suppose it was only a matter of time.
April 01, 2005
Yet again, it's time to list the best of the April Fools. My current two favourites are from Silicon:
Labour lines up countryside role for Charles" from the Guardian.
For last year's see Fooled? 2004
February 14, 2005
I Ate My iPod Shuffle
erasing.org: an Ogden Nash for the 21st century?
No need to make a big kerfuffle.
But yes, I ate my iPod shuffle.
The websites warned me not to, sure.
But sometimes one must ask: Wherefore?
Its sleek design was so damn sweet,
It just looked good enough to eat.
erasing.org / I Ate iPod Shuffle.
January 25, 2005
Occasionally I find a blog with a sense of humour perfectly attuned to my own. This isn't London is one such.
Of the delights on offer, my favourites have to include buildings that don't reside currently beneath Whitehall including 'the world's biggest reservoir of whitewash' and the 'Morlock Embassy', and a selection of Easterns (The Isle of Dogsville, Epping Forest Gump etc).
Very, very funny.
January 07, 2005
Craig Robinson's pixel illustrations of bands, filmstars and others have a very loyal following on the web. Wayback when FlipFlopFlyin started I regularly dropped by to view tiny caricatures of David Bowie or Blur. For some reason he dropped off my radar.
Anyhow, I've been back and heartily recommend What If..., a map of Robinson's life that suggests what might have happened had the artist as a young man taken a different path. Most witty.
Update: digging further through the site I also learn (though am hardly surprised) that Robinson designed the iconic From ABBA to Zappa advertisements for the Observer Music Magazine.
Dem bones, dem bones
What would Hello Kitty, Charlie Brown or Fred Flintstone look like under the X-ray?
To be honest it is not a question I've asked myself, yet Michael Paulus has asked it and provided an answer: as good a Friday diversion as I have seen this year ;-)
There are some glaring omissions, however. Disney would probably sue, but whither Snoopy? Whither Bugs and Daffy?
September 14, 2004
[Second in a brief series on TV criticism, curiously]
Thinking about Clive James led me naturally to Nancy Banks-Smith (as mentioned below). I wondered whether there is an archive or fan site for the most accomplished critic currently writing (and funniest too). And there is, of sorts. It will surprise few of your that Mr Phil Gyford has the answer:
Yonks ago (less than five, but certainly more than a couple) I wanted to add Nancy Banks-Smith, the Guardian’s masterful TV reviewer and national treasure, to Byliner but I couldn’t find a suitable page to index. Then — duh — I realised I could monitor the paper’s search results for ‘Nancy Banks-Smith’. So here she is, all Bylinered up. While her writing doesn’t make me wish I’d caught, say, last night’s EastEnders, the turns of phrase at least have me relishing her reviews of it, a talent no other writer can match.
'Masterful...national treasure.' Quite what NB-S would make of that I'm not sure, but I can quote you a choice nugget from the treasury:
Have you ever met an evil cow? This is how Janine (Charlie Brooks) is always described. I think it extremely hard on cows, easy-going creatures whose strength is as the strength of 10 because their hearts are pure.8 May, 2004
Finally, this a welcome reminder of the inspired Byliner – a web tool that keeps you up-to-date with your favourite columnists.
September 13, 2004
Glued to the box
Think of Clive James for a moment. For most people now he was that slightly rotund and balding Aussie who appeared on our screens every New Year's Eve to laugh at Japanese people doing painful things to one another on Japanese TV. After a while the format seemed to tire and James seemed bored. In recent years he has been absent from our screens.
Of late, though, I've been reading Glued to the box, the third volume of James' television criticism in The Observer from the late 70s and early 80s - the writing that made him famous. And well worth it it is too.
You might think television criticism the most ephemeral of literary collections and for the most part you would be right. In James' hands, however, it matters less what he was reviewing (The White Bird Passes anyone?) and more the how and the why. Like all really good writing, it tells you something, but not necessarily about the subject. Only AA Gill and the woefully unsung Nancy Banks-Smith have the bravura to bring off such enjoyable scribblings on the gogglebox.
My favourite passage, so far, has to be quoted at length and covers the Embassy World Snooker Championship in 1980. Welshman, Terry Griffiths has gone out of the competition:
The result was a disaster for him and for the cigarette firm sponsoring the tournament, since the Welsh maestro is a formidable consumer of their product. While his opponents were plying the cue, Griffiths was always to be seen sucking an Embassy. He puffed and dragged. He ashed and stubbed.
...Hurricane Higgins is another great consumer of free fags. He smokes the way he plays – as though there is not only no tomorrow, but hardly anything left of today either. With adrenelin instead of blood and dynamite instead of adrenelin, he sprints around the table... he stood revealed as a truly great smoker, capable of reducing an Embassy to ashes in a few seconds.
Meanwhile, back in London, a bunch of Iranians were threatening to do the same.
August 04, 2004
CIA Asks Bush to Discontinue Blog
From the Onion: genius.
Even better, someone (not the Onion, who must be getting rusty) looked at the TypePad link (the Trotts ought to be particularly proud that it wasn't Blogger, LiveJournal etc) found it wasn't registered and did so: http://prezgeorgew.typepad.com