Tuesday, July 18, 2006

but is it art?

as we know from the meticulous and detailed researches of brilliant and insightful plagiarists like bestselling author Don Braun, the painters and artists of the renaissance period were obsessed with symbolism and liked to convey coded messages to a knowing audience through representational figurativity. for instance, the mysterious and enigmatic smile on the face of La Gioconda (aka Mona Lisa) actually means "you bought me a pair of Jimmy Choo's. it's your lucky night, big boy."

equally, the somewhat insouciant pose of Michaelangelo's statue of David is simply another way of representing that classic dilemma: "should i use the black leather gimp mask and the red velvet cuffs, or the pink latex mask and the braided silk restraints?"

other artists employed figurative representationalism to perform a similar task. this famous view of the Grand Canal by Canaletto actually means: "my brother went to Venezia on his holidays and all I got was this crummy painting". an interesting and little known fact about this famous image is that careful research has proved that his use of an early camera obscura, and the nature of the laws of perspective, mean that the only physical vantage point from which the artist could have achieved this specific viewpoint would have required him to be 73ft in the air dangling upside down from a helicopter hovering over the Rialto. this implies that Leonardo's early experiments with powered flight may have been more successful than at first supposed.

it was in fact this research which encouraged the latter-day descendants of the da Vinci family to mount a wrecklessly expensive lawsuit against the late Igor Sikorsky for patent infringement. whilst many experts doubted the validity of the case, and held out little hope for its success, they were at least unanimous in their belief that it stood a much better chance than an earlier suit which had been brought in error against the late Igor Stravinsky.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

carpe micas

we liv on coast in shiny haows
wher cats dey bring us eekch a maows
da boy fian out an he coam too
get tyny room an his oan loo

da number one wan betta job
tiad of dat whin trayd mob
pooters is da fing he knoads
giv im job, he maik you loads

da grrl she servin canna pays
to peeps in posh frox an dee jays
she liak to breev unner da see
she a bit wiud if you arx mee

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

leibniz has got me by the monads

from a strictly epistemological point of view, of course. actually i can't really bring myself to believe in the existence of anything. except maybe other solipsists.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

who is this Norman guy anyway?

he must be pretty important, because apparently both time and tide wait for him. not to mention buttered eggs.

i think we should be told.

Monday, December 05, 2005

recursive diversions

the great Robert Frost long counted the cost
of taking the road less travelled
what with all those brambles, and paving a shambles
no wonder his laces unravelled

he tripped and fell in that yellow dell
where he'd paused to discern between routes
a wiser man might have hatched a plan
that didn't get mud on his boots

the path less trodden is known to be sodden

and slippy, not for the faint-hearted
all choked with weeds, it eventually leads
you back to the place where you started

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

lorrel reef 4 ma mane man

dis blons not dum
he got sofa tikkit
say he number one

dass nise, all thowd
we ditn neata see it
we all reddy knowd

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

out of the box

the government today announced measures to crack down on binge thinking. amidst fears that the proposed relaxation of library laws will lead to an increase in antisocial behaviour such as violent disagreements, opinion-peddling and throwing up spurious arguments, the Home Secretary announced plans to give the police powers to disperse discussion groups and issue on-the-spot fines to autodidacts.

"most people are decent law-abiding citizens who only think occasionally and in moderation." he told reporters, "we must protect the innocent majority from being harassed by the increasing numbers of thinkers who hang around on street corners at night after the WEA courses and evening classes close. our towns and city centres are becoming no-go areas for all but the most hardened mullers and ruminators."

Sarah Brayshun, spokeswoman for the Licensed Cogitators Association, argues that keeping libraries and lecture halls open for longer hours will result in people pacing their thinking more sensibly, rather than encouraging them to cram in a lot of thoughts really quickly before last ideas is called. "we are pleased with the proposals to liberalise the current law. we believe that everyone should have the right to enjoy a quiet think with friends. we never encourage anyone to become over-deliberated, and we refuse to introduce concepts to anyone who has enough to think about already. we recognise that thinkers have a duty to behave responsibly and we unreservedly condemn antisocial behaviour such as thinking and driving."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

sunflower seeds confirmed in parrot

uk customs officials yesterday revealed that a yellow-headed amazon parrot held in quarantine at Heathrow airport had been found to contain sunflower seeds.

"at present we have no evidence of seeds being transferred from birds to humans, but some scientists think it is only a matter of time, meticulous training and a lot of patience," explained Luke Enderbag, senior customs officer at the UK's busiest airport. "we have taken the precautionary step of interning everyone on the national pirate register, and outlawing the sale of Duchy Originals bread. we have also burned the quarantine block to the ground and are currently soaking all our customs officers in Domestos, just to be on the safe side."

some scientists have predicted that if news of the discovery starts passing from person to person, it could lead to a pandemonium. unless enough drugs can be produced to sedate everyone, there will be mass avoidance of granary bread and eiderdown duvets, resulting in as many as 50,000 deaths from constipated hypothermia.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

darwinners and losers

the US Federal Department of Education has announced that with effect from January 2006, state and local school boards will have the right to replace the teaching of vacuous dimwittedness to pupils in high schools with an agreed programme of 'intelligent stupidity'.

"for many years the US education system has been widely acknowledged as one of the most depressingly ineffective in the world, and part of our success has been down to a strict adherence to teaching the accepted scientific principles of dullardry and empty-headedness," explained Congressman Ole Magnutt. "we feel the time is now right to build on that success by introducing young and impressionable minds to the new possibilities offered by the very latest in superstition and ignorance."

the Rev. Telly Vangelist, a prominent advocate of 'intelligent stupidity', argues that "the future of the USA lies in its youth, and it is never too early to start promoting the fundamental principles of bigotry, defective reasoning and unquestioning acceptance which have made our country great. after all, the school children of today are the Republican voters of tomorrow."

Monday, November 07, 2005

who do you want to be today?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

some days you're the caterpillar, some days you're the leaf, and some days, just very occasionally, you get to be the polychlorinated dibenzo-paradioxin derivative that does for them both.

Monday, October 31, 2005

a message from the driechinator

misanthropy is a somewhat unfashionable pastime, but as one glance in my wardrobe will confirm, fashion has rarely dallied here long enough for his trilby to cool on my hatstand, so snagging my wheel in the rut of a lone furrow is not so much a fearful prospect, as a blessed relief.

let's face it, humanity, you really are an unrelentingly loathsome shower of oiks. for the most part, and with very few exceptions, you are boorish, malordorous, ignorant, ugly, and most depressingly of all, quite dismally stupid. i think it is time that you locked yourself in the library with a loaded revolver and did the decent thing. except of course one cannot depend on you to do anything right, so one's sympathies must lie with the butler, who will be obliged to apply his shoulder the door only to discover that you have emptied 6 chambers into that beautifully mounted 20-point red that the Twelfth Earl bagged up at Applecross, and then rendered yourself sh*tface drunk on my 28 year Lagavulin. like i said, loathsome.

you also appear to show an alarming propensity to breed. somewhere around 6.5 billion of you are currently sullying the landscape, and there is nothing to suggest you will learn how to keep your trousers on until long after we are up to our knees in your mewling and puking brood. fortunately your vile planet-keeping habits have filled the environment so full of oestrogenic pollutants that your sperm have all developed breasts and taken up embroidery, so perhaps there is a glimmer of hope after all.

in the meantime i should be obliged if you would refrain from any form of activity likely to cause offence. like breathing, for instance. you're not qualified, leave it to the experts.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

the mysteries of life

if it's really the case that the other man's grass is always greener, how come he spends so much time round here smoking mine?

Friday, October 28, 2005

stapled frog syndrome

to the uninitiated, it may seem as though stapling a frog to a lily pad constitutes animal cruelty, but there really can be no limit to the efforts a wildlife photographer must make in order to secure the perfect shot. when you have spent three weeks trekking through the rain forest, being eaten alive by mosquitoes and bitten to pieces by fire-ants, having to share a cramped tent with a malodorous Geordie sound engineer called 'Bazza' and drink lukewarm watery tea tasting of chlorine tablets, the last thing you want when you finally focus your outrageously overpriced 410mm triple-coated photomultiplier zoom lens on the highly endangered web-toed slimebag, is to have the little bugger leap into the murky depths before you've had chance to capture its warty green image for posterity.

so whether one is superglueing the humming bird's beak to a bromeliad, or sewing the meerkats together into an endearing family huddle, one has the satisfaction of knowing one is merely enhancing the beautiful work that nature herself has wrought, and helping to bring an appreciation of her efforts to a wider audience. without a widespread understanding of the natural world, people would sit back and allow the terrible destruction of the environment and the extinction of thousands of species to continue unchecked. how much better that there are wildlife photographers out there, people with the knowledge, skill and dedication to turn that destruction into entertainment.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

auditory enlightenment

in the road movie of my journey to nirvana, i used the sound of one hand clapping as the incidental music. sales of the official soundtrack album have been somewhat disappointing.

this, by way of contrast, is well worth listening to:

Monday, October 24, 2005

wasn't Enron that bloke in Lord of the Rings?

in days of yore, capitalism was practised properly, the nation's economy was grounded in the bedrock of primary and secondary industries, and profits were maximised by grinding the faces of the poor, exploiting a defenceless workforce, and squeezing the sap out of distant colonies by taking all their natural resources in exchange for a portrait of Queen Victoria and part-shares in the bible.

regrettably, this healthy climate of inequality and division has been replaced by a new wishy-washy neo-capitalist looking-glass world, where our economy gracelessly subsides into a treacherous sandy bed of tertiary service industries, and all efforts are focussed on creative accountancy and maximising shareholder value, even if at the expense of creating a sustainable business or making a genuine, rather than a paper, profit.

meanwhile one hemisphere has to have all its overpriced designer chamois light-bulb polishing gloves and scented microsuede sock-drawer liners made by three overworked and neglected children from the other one. if they didn't, then Tamsin and Jeremy would be unable to afford for little Jocasta and Tarquin to be looked after by the au pair while they attend their meditative crystal healing and tantric aromassage sessions which are so absolutely crucial to helping them release the terrible stress they suffer from because they're so worried about the value of their wretched investment portfolio.

so, in summary then, if you insist on purchasing executive stress relief solutions on-line, on the whole there has probably never been a better time to use your company credit card to pay for them. accountants can be very narrow-minded but they will jump at any chance to capitalise a bit of expenditure.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

the world is his lobster

his new girl lives near Hounslow Heath
his home is in Cockfosters
he's going to have to grit his teeth
and buy a lot of Oysters

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

carpe omnium

da grrl she goan up to da smoak
wher curtain pol fall on her bloak
we miss her, an wonce in a wial
we sen her chox to make her smial

da number one he in a ban
moosic sum doan unnerstan
he gud wid maffs, an woss nise
he sell you whin at nock-dow prise

da boy he goan to murikey
in shiny plain fly over see
to be wiv grrl dat he luv moast
we sell his stuff an moov to coast

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

merchandise is available at the back of the hall

you've tittered winsomely, you've wept openly, you've smiled ruefully, and you've considered Phlebas. i considered Phlebas once, but you can never really trust a sailor. now it's time to demonstrate your loyalty, and increase my vast personal fortune, by buying the t-shirt:


i don't really need your filthy lucre, but if you do give it to me, you can be sure i won't squander it on a crappy t-shirt.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


do not sit behind me, your inane prattle is distracting.
do not sit in front of me, your stupid hat obscures my view.
do not sit beside me, people might think i have an ugly friend.
basically, just bugger off and let me watch the film in peace, OK?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

as god is my witness...

... getting a signature on the affadavit is going to be a challenge

Monday, September 26, 2005

herd of herring

'fescue' doesn't sound like grass
'escutcheon' should be stone, not brass
'pulchritude' is clumsy too
truth is beauty, beauty true
'weltschmerz' is quite an ugly word
but then again, is rarely heard
the onomatopoeiaphile
feels despair once in a while

Sunday, September 25, 2005


there are times when life sets you down you at the crossroads, and you are required to choose between selling your soul in exchange for the Mojo hand, or catching a bus back into town before Tesco Metro closes.

in my experience, the Mojo hand has a tendency to make rude gestures at inappropriate moments, whilst Tesco have got 25% off selected wines right now. admittedly the wines in question appear to have been selected by a teetotaller, but even so.

so should i be the poltroon or the omadhaun? it's so unfair. i know i'm versatile enough to be both.

single to Broadmead, please.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

the little people

the smaller they are, the brighter they shine, so it seems reasonable to assume that their energy is coming out of the ground. this may be why they fall asleep when taken upstairs, but does nothing to explain their hyperactivity on long-haul flights. further research is called for.

Friday, September 23, 2005


and em ay gee eye sea are
both magic spelling

Thursday, September 22, 2005

sage advice

if life gives you lemons, squeeze them into the eyes of fatuous aphorists

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


a game in which you sit on a train chewing your pen, creasing your brow, and muttering under your breath whilst entering 81 numbers randomly into a grid

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

it's all your fault

be in no doubt. you are the main reason why the world has got itself so deeply enmired. it's slackers like you that give layabouts like me a bad name. and i really don't need the help.

i would advise you to use your time more carefully in future. remember, i know where you live, and frankly if my fridge was in that state i'd be unable to hold up my head in public. as it happens I have a machine to do that for me, so it doesn't really apply, but i think you know what i'm saying.

the time has come to retrieve those hairy jars from the back of the top shelf, to sacrifice the ice monster despite its amusing resemblance to Abraham Lincoln, and to decant off that noisome green liquid in the salad drawer which first saw light as a cucumber. don't procrastinate any longer. the sooner you start, the sooner you can return to the pool for sundowners and idle gossip. think how much better you'll feel.