Tuesday, February 27, 2007


...society, that is. We messed around with it, experimented with it, tweaked it, and, at some point over the last twenty-thirty years...we went and broke it.

I have to say I agree in part with Cameron, that it's the breakdown of family values that is partially to blame; Labour's insistence that single-mum families, 'blended' families are not only perfectly okay, but to be celebrated...has taken it's toll.

But the problem is way bigger than that - and Cameron's party are guilty too. Who remembers when Thatcher proudly announced, in the heigh-day of her years that 'there is no such thing as society any more'?. She championed the 'me first' attitude that served as rocket fuel for the consumer driven free market vision she had for Great Britain. We all went out and bought houses, filled them with stuff from IKEA, and stuck two fingers up at everyone else who wasn't immediate family or close friends, went inside, closed the door and double-locked it.

And now?...

...we're all stuck in our tastefully furnished little shoe-boxes watching SKY TV, or looking out through the windows at streets filled with roaming hoodies, some packing guns, most packing at least a knife and we're stuck inside bemoaning the fact that - you know what? - we miss being able to talk to our neighbors over the garden fence. We miss stumbling across an impromptu fathers-and-sons football game on the common, with jumpers marking goal posts. We miss being able to amble safely through the town park at dusk.

Society is dead. And some time over the last two decades, during four terms of Conservative rule, and three terms of New Labour, we let our governments kill it.

I miss it...I want it back.

Friday, February 23, 2007


It's a con.

It's a fraud of mind-boggling proportions. Bazuka simply doesn't do what it says it does on the tube. My lad Jake had had veruccas for eighteen months - through which, day in and day out my wife and I have been diligently applying Bazuka cream. I can't begin to recall how many tubes we've been through.

Then one day somebody told us that the cream was virtually a placebo. That there was nothing in there that was going to sort out a verruca. She said, that verrucas have a lifespan and they will drop out of their own accord if you leave them alone. She even went on to say, the more you fart around with the cream, with zapping them with that painful acid stuff, the longer they last!

So we stopped messing around trying to get rid of it - actually 'them' by now. And about four or five weeks later, they all vanished overnight.

Now, I suspect that the entire verruca business, not just the people that make Bazuka, but all the other brands of ointments, acids, socks and creams surely know that none of their products actually work, and that these little buggers basically have a lifespan and will sod off when they're good and ready.

And of course there's all those other products out there, that don't actually work...at all. Or, if they do work, it's not because of the product itself, but some other coincidental affect. For example; rejuvenating face creams, anti-wrinkle creams. These sort of work after a fashion, but mainly as a result of the massaging action of applying the cream. The cream itself has no affect at all. But they're not going to tell you that, are they? Not at £30 a tube.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


In a survey of modern industrialised economies, it seems our kids are the least happy with life; despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

That really comes as no surprise to me at all. I suspect though, if they widened the remit of the survey they'd also discover that most British people are generally unsatisfied with their lot.

But focusing on our kids...I've got a good idea why they're all surly and depressed. And it's got a lot to do with wealth. See, in the UK, we are mostly quite pampered. I think something like 90% of kids over the age of ten now have a mobile phone. I don't know how many have a TV, a DVD player and at least one console in their room, but I'm guessing the percentage is quite high.

Sadly though, our kids live in a country where either they're driven from friend's-playover to after-school-activity by terrified SUV-driving parents, whipped into a fever of peedo paranoia by the media, or...they're totally ignored and rejected by chav mums and dads who are way too busy watching trash TV.

They've got the latest mobiles and Sportswear accessories, but no freedom.

But worse still, our kids are being bombarded - like radiation - by subtle (and not so subtle) media messages specifically designed to make them feel crap about themselves (unless, of course, they go and buy product XYZ).

Seriously. I'd like to start a class action and sue the hell out of the media for making our kids despondent, depressed consumer clones, who, no matter how much they have in their bedroom, need only pass a street billboard, a TV set or recieve an unsolicited text to find out how little they have in comparison to 'all the other re-e-e-al co-o-o-o-o-l kids'.

If you've got a moment, why don't you take a look at the adverts on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon? Or skim through a copy of some teeny mag next time you're in a newsagents? Or, if you want aspirational radiation therapy at it's worse - check out one of the music video channels.

I look at our kids and really worry. And you know, I'm not dissing them.


The people I save my venom for are people my own age; the creative execs and degree-holding middle-class media muppets who are responsible for peddling this insipid me-me-me poison. You know, I once toyed with the idea of breaking into marketing/advertising, back when I was much younger.

I'm so glad now I have a kid of my own, that I didn't chose to go over to the dark side. Hell...maybe I should have, and tried to affect change from within.

Nah. I could see my 'Don't Buy Nike...they're over-priced and won't actually make you any happier' campaign not really going down too well with my hypothetical employer.

Friday, February 09, 2007


First of all, I have to applaud the show for keeping the tension and pace up. Season three, and it's just getting better and better. Whilst in contrast....LOST, ahem lost it I think someway through its first season.

This season though, the whole Iraq thing is getting up front treatment. Take Saul, the 2nd in command aboard the Galactica. This season, the costume designers have worked hard at giving him that Maqtada al-Sadyr look. And why not, Saul is heading the insurgency against the Cylons, makes sense. And then there are the suicide bombings, the tit-for-tat killings for those who have assisted the cylons, the assasination of humans who have joined the Cylon security forces. It's all very in-yer-face. Which on the one hand I think is fantastic, and on the other, feel it's a little bit too 'one-note'...if you get my drift.

But the bottom line though is that it's the best thing on TV right now. Very polished.