Freaky Friday

Well, here we go. The markets are in freefall, the end of the free market economy is here at last. You know what? I’m glad. I’m glad that the experiment in trickle-down economics, the mad idea that if the rich were made richer, somehow we’d all benefit has been shown up as a blatant sham and a fraud. I’m glad that Thatcher, that mad old bitch, is still alive to see the epic failure of her life’s work. We’re going through massive changes, and who knows what’s going to come out of the other end? A better, more accountable economic system? The global apocalypse? Everybody running their own pocket banks, as we devolve back to a system of barter and trade that doesn’t depend on ghost money and phantom promises?

Whatever happens, we’re smarter and better connected at this point in history than we have ever been, and we’ll figure it out somehow. It’s a new day, and I’m treating the fear-mongering of the press with contempt. I’m a banker now. We all are. We have a chance to look beyond the tired old formats and systems, and come up with something genuinely 21st century.

While we consider what form that new financial model might take, let’s have a little music, shall we?

Thoughts Gathered

Saw this the other day on the tube, and got unfeasibly excited at the idea of Paul Pope drawing Tank Girl, and that prospect being advertised on massive billboards.


It was, of course, not to be. I have no clue what the show the poster’s advertising will be like, but I have no doubt that it won’t be anything like as cool as this image.

Incidentally, I’m pretty excited about the return of Tank Girl to UK news-stands, as she finds a new home in the Judge Dredd Megazine. Rufus Dayglo’s art has a rough-hewn Hewlett quality that I find most pleasing. Alan Martin in particular seems chuffed that the Girl is back in a British magazine, and I can only concur. The Ashley Wood stories that came out earlier in the year were fine in their way, but they seemed to be dicking with a winning formula, in much the same way as the abortive Rachel Talaly movie. The new story, Skidmarks, harkens back to the Gumball 3000 strip back in the Deadline days. I could well find myself investing…

More coolness, from A Softer World. The perfect browse for a Sunday afternoon.

Baby Doom
Baby Doom

And finally for now, a response to possible-Vice-Pres Bookburnin’ Palin from the guys at Tales From The Crypt. I’ll try to get hold of more comix versions of The Hockey Mom From Hell over the next week or so. She seems to be galvanising the comic community in ways I’ve not seen since the golden age of Thatcher. She’s just so easy to hate…

Burn Baby Burn.
Burn Baby Burn.

A Good Day For Writing

The last sunny Sunday of the year, probably, and I have spent the best part of it in the conservatory, and allowing the light to push some particularly black and nasty bits of writing out of me and onto the site.

Firstly, the regular update of Satan’s Schoolgirls has reached Chapter 8, where I go sort of torture porn. Sort of. I’m trying to be subtle, really I are, Readership.  It’s a good chunk of verbiage, that try as I might simply couldn’t break up. Let me know if it’s too much, won’t you?

Secondly, a new short is up in the fiction room. The Murder Room is a short burst of bile that shot out of me pretty much fully formed. It wears it’s heart and it’s influences very clearly on it’s sleeve. I won’t pretend it’s particularly great art, but it’s at the sort of level that I’m happy to hit on a warm sunny Sunday, thinking on the dark days to come.

Autumn, I mean. Nether Gods, I can be over-dramatic sometimes.

Here, have some patented lighten up Rob funnies, courtesy of the fabulous Kate Beaton:

That should be the middle finger, Ross…

The Reithian ideal, by which to my mind all British TV should to some level adhere, states that television should “educate and entertain.”
With that in mind, let’s summarize the best that Sky has to offer this autumn.
Ross Kemp sucks the life, danger and interest out of gang life. The campest game show ever returns. Wayne Rooney sucks corporate cock for a jazzed up soccer school. A new season of Lost, the most infuriating show on the planet. And Hairspray, the High School Musical. There are no words I can summon up for this one, but the image of a water buffalo in a tutu defecating moistly into John Travolta’s mouth springs unbidden to mind.
I don’t recieve Sky anymore, and thank the Nether Gods for that. Who in their right mind would willingly pay for that panoply of shite?
Give me darts and fighting any day.

Things aren’t what they used to be… thank God.


Six and thrupence for the ween. The other one you can have for free, he does nothing but eat and go on about something called GTA4.



Now, every so often I get into an argument (or as I like to call them “reasonable discussion at high volume” about the state of the nation, or on days when there really is nothing better to do, the world. The general consensus seems to be that we’re screwed, and the handcart to hell is now loading on platform 666.

I tend to be the dissenter in these discussions, largely because I’m prepared to take a slightly more open view and actually look at how we used to live. It’s not pretty. Global war in the teens and forties. Poverty and want in the fifties. Race and sex wars in the sixties and seventies. Kylie and Bros in the eighties.

That’s without even starting to consider where we were a hundred, a couple of hundred years ago, where people from my level of society would have been living in a slum, scraping a living at a manual trade if you were lucky, and dead at fifty. The quality and sheer joy of my life would have been dismissed as the rantings of a lunatic.

In my opinion, the best time to be around is right now. We live in a world where for the first time people are being accepted on the basis of their talents, regardless of creed, race or sex. Global communication is accessible and instantaneous. Despite what the press would have us believe, we’re actually in a better place now than you’d think.

Katherine Whitehorn agrees with me, and gives the argument some much-needed perspective.

It’s all good armament for the next time the volume gets raised on an reasonable discussion.

Notes on The Great Work

Now, there are those that consider this site to be the Great Work, to which I can only blushingly offer my thanks. However, the Work I’m considering in this post is the one that occupies my day job.
Or rather, not my day job. In order to get The Work done, I have had to do some very peculiar hours. For example, this week I am doing a 7pm to 5am shift. Which is fairly unique in my experience.
What’s doubly peculiar is how quickly I’m getting used to it. I was always of the highly vocal opinion that I was incapable of working nights as the lack of sleep would kill me within a week. This does not seem to me the case. I have laid off the caffeine a bit, but I’m getting enough kip and feeling remarkably lively, all things considered. I’m probably just on the verge of a psychotic episode instead.
The Great Work provides its own compensations for my collapsing mental state. I am witness to some of the richest and least seen TV archive this country has to offer. Science programming, political commentary and satire of the highest quality spool past my rheumed, reddening gaze. There used to be a reason that we had the reputation for having the best TV in the world, and the proof is in front of me nightly.
But now, most worryingly of all, I have to confess to a crush.

On Lynda Baron. That’s right, big motherly Lynda Baron, Arkwright’s squeeze on Open All Hours Lynda Baron. Clearly, my readership murmurs, the boy has lost his marbles. And the plot. And all reason.

But wait. The Lynda Baron of my dreams is the 1966 model, the looker with the achingly now flippy hairdo who chantoosed regularly at The Talk Of The Town in Mayfair, and had a gig on one of Ned Sherrins later satire shows. She fills the Meredith Martin on TW3 bit. Slinky dresses, funny songs and a touch of glamour just to set off the comedians of the day who, let’s be frank here, were not on telly for their looks. John Bird is many things, but he can’t shake his stuff in a cocktail sheath dress like Lynda Baron. Or rather, it’s not something I’d really want to see.

Blimey. Hello.

So, yes, it may be the lateness of the hour, but I’m crushing quite a bit here. I’m sure you understand. If you were in my position, you’d probably do the same.