All posts by John B

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-09-20

  • Just caught up on the Adebayor stuff. As is often the case, football confuses me. #
  • Stamping on Persie's face v bad, victory dance in front of Gooner fans hilarious – but he seems to be getting most stick for the latter #
  • Bloody rain. Actually, bloody rain would be far better than the watery rain that's currently about #
  • Keys. They're shit. See also: flatmates being on holiday is shit; supposedly cheap London hotels are shit #
  • Reunited with keys. O frabjous day. #
  • I endorse this sentiment: RT @quantick My hangover is so bad I just shouted at it. #
  • The posh deli at St Pancras wants gbp3 for a bottle of Sam Smiths IPA. It's less than that in the pub, ffs… #
  • ?!?!?!?: (via @catdonn) #
  • Another day, another moronic 'scientist' trying to destroy childhood: #
  • Disagree with @libcon on B Scotland – nowt wrong with employing illegals, but ministers shld follow their own silly laws #
  • The pub opposite Archway station has a big sign up advertising that it cashes cheques for commission. Is it me, or is that kinda sad? #
  • A superb piece of historical context from the Economist re Islamophobic scaremongering – #
  • Earliest Sat night EVAH. Am officially lame. Nice to be in own bed for once tho. #
  • RT @drsamueljohnson Mister BAIRD'S Idiot-Lantern makes a Buffoon of every Man, esp. when enact'd by fellow Scotchman COLTRANE #
  • The only alternative to Frog a la Peche is even worse: Peche a la Frog #
  • If anyone isn't watching @james_blue_cat livetweet the midsomer murders in french, they should be #
  • Peep Show 6.1 quite surprisingly good. 4OD player really quite dreadful. Why do people who aren't the BBC have to make decent telly? #
  • (and yes, I know that Peep Show is pretty much the sole .uk example of people who aren't the BBC making decent telly) #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-09-13

  • Made 2359 Stansted Express off 2330 Ryanair arrival. Yay speed-walking and ruthlessness #
  • In the town where I was born, just long enough for the train to stop and start again. Maybe one day I'll get out & see what it's like #
  • just moved to new office. sadly a) is building site b) nearby train station is building site c) nearby Tube station is building site & shut. #
  • However, when works are finished in 2011 all will be wonderful #
  • am juvenilely amused by the overlap of responses between @cathelliott and @antonvowl #
  • Doctors 'can bugger off': #
  • Dammit, I thought I'd escaped from Orange: #
  • "Army makes safe 600lb border bomb" – I'm not sure the Army should really be making bombs, but I'm glad they're safe #
  • "Boyle edges closer to porno" – having read the headline, I was very relieved by the content: #
  • Apple are fantastic, but Safari is actually the worst browser I've ever used. It makes IE look Excellent. C'mon Google, Mac Chrome NOW. #
  • Fuck. Need to be in Bristol in 1h20m. Still in bed. Sceptical this will work. #
  • On train back from Bristol having visited 2 old friends and a v new one. A good day. #
  • Presumptious of me to call someone not yet capable of sitting up 'friend'; she may decide to hate me once able to formulate opinions… #
  • There is, quite literally, nothing better than the second (metaphorical) side of Abbey Road. If you think there is, you're mistaken. #
  • Finished The Corner. War on Some Drugs v depressing. Then read daft 'evil bankers' piece from R. Nader. Ignorance of lefties v depressing. #
  • Authoritarian nonsense, driven by the Nazi tendencies of the lower-middle-classes, is why we're screwed. The bankers are an irrelevance. #
  • See: grog. Legal, enjoyed by almost everyone, Paul Walsh doesn't shoot anyone, all fine. Admittedly, tis also in the puritan twunts' sights #
  • Meanwhile the bankers have given us a decade of cheap entertainment, followed by one year of rubbishness, all at the expense of the Chinese #
  • Compared to the puritans, they're Solomon and Santa Claus rolled into one #
  • Annoyed I'm following @quincytweets already, a Twitter poem (twoem?) would be qualitative. #
  • I was hoping #DavidCookRocks was some kind of crack fiend anthem, but apparently it's just appreciative of a lame Pop Idol singer #
  • Headphone review tweets from @tygerland reminding me why I stopped reading What Hi-Fi… #
  • …and yes, Twitter is a radically stupid medium for trying to express complex ideas. Back to my book & whisky… #
  • Do physicists call higher dimensions "branes" out of deference to N Molesworth? String theory def makes my brane hurt. #
  • Why is Ian Rankin the UK's most successful crime author, and Christopher Brookmyre, erm, not? Edinburgh more glam than Glasgie, is it…? #
  • "Scotland is beautiful. It's also cold, cruel and unforgiving if you don't treat it with respect" – this is why I like Scots birds^H^Hwomen #
  • Depressed by the tweets of people who've achieved things today. I've reheated some pasta and eaten a passionfruit. #
  • I suppose my liver has probably been working fairly hard. Well done it. #
  • I might have a kebab later, depending on whether I can face leaving the house. In the meantime I'm watching downloaded eps of Fist of Fun #
  • When I saw Fist of Fun 14 years ago, I assumed that at 30 I'd be a famous and successful comedian and writer like @richardherring #
  • Although looking on the bright side, I'm about as likely to get my own TV show as he is… #
  • Nice kebab or horrible pizza? Latter involves not leaving house or spending money. But is horrible. #
  • If only I had a servant I could despatch to the kebab establishment. And borrow money from. #
  • I made it to the kebab shop. I had a large kofte. It was excellent. Then I watched some Anthony Bourdain. #
  • Achievements for day: left house, put on dishwasher, cut nails. Hooray for six billion years of evolution. #

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As usual, David Mitchell is spot on

The expenses scandal demonstrated three things: first, that British politicians can be dishonest, albeit in a petty way that genuinely corrupt political cultures would find quaint; second, that they can be idiotic, either in their stubborn refusal to concede that there were any irregularities or their spineless acceptance of every criticism hurled; third, that they weren’t paid enough either to stop them ferreting for perks or to preclude the aforementioned morons infiltrating their number. I can’t see which of these three problems reducing ministerial salaries and increasing the price of salads in the Palace of Westminster will solve. Surely it will exacerbate the last two.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-09-06

  • RT @DrSamuelJohnson The Tory sees the BBC as a Nest of Whigs, the Whig sees it as a Nest of Tories, when 'tis a Nest of FOPS #
  • Conjecture: if someone's been dead over 5 years, then IT'S ANCIENT HISTORY JUST FUCKING LET IT GO. See: Lockerbie, Chappaquiddick, etc. #
  • Half a day more work. Then Ryanair *shiver*. Then port, sun & wedding. Yay Oporto. #
  • Not mine, obviously. LADIES OF TWITTER, I'M STILL AVAILABLE. #
  • Genius ad. Absolute quality, and makes a good point: – unsurprisingly, idiots are offended #
  • Much as I dislike Chelsea, the FIFA ruling is utterly bloody ridiculous #
  • Litigious billionaire terror-supporter dead. Hurrah! #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-08-30

  • Chris Grayling is halfwit #Britainisntbrokenyouridiculousjokers #
  • Blimey, the right-whingers are going mental at Kennedy's death. I reckon "40 years political service" outweighs "once crashed a car" #
  • The phrase "I'm not being funny" is almost invariably correct. #
  • Early night w00t #
  • Complete this sentence: "Fraser Nelson is the new …." #
  • Anton Vowl & The Femmes are one of my favourite bands too – RT @Jennymac22 #ff – Just follow everyone I follow. Esp @antonvowl and the fems #
  • #ff @johnb78 #rampantegotism #
  • RT @DrSamuelJohnson #Carnival comes to Notting-Hill. I shall parade dress'd as Emperors Frederick of PRUSSIA & Haile SELLASIE. #
  • Looking to increase the "might be"'s to "might have been"'s ratio in my life. "Might be"'s, make yourselves known. Many req'd. #
  • Crook. Dirty old man. Both proveable. What else can you say to *actually damage* the man's reputation? #
  • This could work: RT @antonvowl My plan to save the newspaper industry #
  • Just received Mattressman *monthly* newsletter. Mattressman make good mattresses – currently reclining on one – but surely 3 yrs more apt? #
  • National Express ads 4 horrid bus trips on Spotify. Just cos ur not allowed to run trains nemore doesn't mean you have 2 spoil it 4 everyone #
  • Is it too early to point out that HAHA, YOU DAFT THICK DADROCK-LIKING-TWASSOCKS, BLUR FUCKING WON? Just wondering… #
  • Excellent LC piece: – conservatives hate the BBC because it reflects the fact they lost the argument long ago #
  • "I'm robbing your country blind, send me home" – OK Amanda, would love to #
  • Breakfast of black pudding, mushrooms, half a dozen oysters and a pint of Guinness #livingthedream #

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Very simples indeed

To Commentisfree, which is running one of the more embarassing pieces of po-faced Spartery I’ve seen outside a student union:

A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were watching TV at home when the advert for appeared on our screen. I had seen the ad before and not thought anything of it. However on this occasion, my girlfriend, who is Ukrainian, turned to me and said: “I don’t like this advert, it is very offensive to me.” I mentioned it to a friend who said his Latvian lodger also found it offensive.

The advertisement centres on the word “market” – a word that eastern Europeans/Russians pronounce “meerkat” – using talking CGI-animated meerkats. The sole point of this African animal’s appearance is, it seems, to highlight the idea that east Europeans cannot pronounce the word market properly when they speak English. It struck me how racist it was to parody what is now a significant part of the British population in this way. It also occurred to me that were the ad to use stereotypical Indian or Caribbean accents in the same way it would never be allowed on TV.

Luckily, another commenter saved me the trouble of coming up with a witty, incisive demolition of this nonsense:

I am inclined to believe you are making this up.

I am inclined to believe, for comedic purposes, that you are offending me for lumping Lativains and Lithuanians together into an amorphous Eastern European whole.

I am inclined to believe that the editors of CiF are foolish to publish this and like others cannot believe they have.

I am inclined to believe you are employed by Richard Littlejohn in order to supply copy for his hateful Florida-based rantings.


What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-08-23

  • The Awl is brilliant ( – and no, I'm not getting paid to say that #
  • The staff of my local Pret have all gone on a jolly to New York, and been replaced by equally enthusiastic, but less ept, stand-ins. #
  • CO2 emissions aside, I strongly approve of big co's sending baristas and sandwichmakers on jollies, not just salesmen & directors #
  • Another one for the "and this is in the public interest because…?" column: #
  • Just contracted a rare brain disease from excess cannibalism. Can cross that off my kuru list #
  • Running Kittenify on Twitter produces cute results, although does have the side-effect of suggesting all your acquaintances are cats #
  • New hobby: Amazon idiotspotting. Go to excellent books, records & films and read the 1* reviews, eg #
  • Best kids' toy EVAH: #
  • Just overheard @ pub in N1 "they don't go to work, do they? Cos they're married to a black man" #surrealracists #
  • David Mitchell is excellent, Robert Webb is an irritating tosser. Not a great revelation, but nice to see confirmation: #
  • Quite a good summary of right-wing-ness: "Stop reminding us of the truth we don't like it" – in comments here #
  • Hadn't realised that Scotland releases all prisoners with <3 months to live by default. How very civilised, shame we never adopted it #

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