Archive for the ‘Stalactites and Stalagmites’ Category

Rose for the lady?

OK. It’s hot outside, there’s World Cup football and a Wimbledon final to be played. All in all, little excuse for holing myself up indoors at my desk and labouring over a substantial new blog post. However, life and its ancillary parts continue to annoy and amuse me in equal measures and I need an outlet to exorcise these feelings, and this (potentially regular) form of post is my way to do it.

The idea is to give myself a cut-off point of one hour to write down a short list of current likes (stalactites) and dislikes (stalagmites), with video or picture links to the said reasons for rapture or suicide. As for the stalactite and stalagmite references, the discerning followers amongst you will recognise this as a visual gag from an early Harry Hill sketch, a man who romps straight into the top five likes.


1. Debut album from Pulled Apart By Horses

An intriguingly successful mix of screamed vocals, killer hooks and inventive drumming coming at you all the way from, er, Leeds. Much as a Twilight series fanatic becomes slightly moist at an impending key change in a Leona Lewis power ballad, I got a tingle when I first heard the tempo shift in album stand-out, Meat Balloon (link below). Turn it up loud, forget the shit lyrics and get your rock on.

2. Clare watching Friends

I’ve recently discovered the joys of covertly watching someone watch TV. In the latest instance, Clare has been my object of choice, rolling in from another long stint teaching to watch a Friends episode for the one thousandth time. Notwithstanding the familiarity, she follows the story keenly, beaming wholeheartedly, as if watching it for the first time, and the end product is undeniably endearing. A case in point was the Ross leather pants episode that was replayed on E4 this week. While I admire the writing on Friends, I often struggle to enjoy it, principally because of the ‘quirky’ Phoebe and the notion that the other characters would genuinely be her friend, notwithstanding that they have absolutely nothing in common with her and she is only marginally less annoying than the Krankies. However, the pants episode had its charm, and David Schwimmer undeniably has comedy chops.

3. The Situation

Welcome to Jersey Shore BIYATCH! For the uninitiated, Jersey Shore is a horrific MTV reality show, where a bunch of vain Italian-Americans get pissed, go clubbing and try to fornicate with one another. It’s truly worthy of a blog post in its own right, but Charlie Brooker’s already beaten me to it (well worth a read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2010/mar/20/charlie-brooker-jersey-shore). The biggest bell-end of all the cast members is Mike Sorrentino aka “The Situation”, so-called because his six-pack is so severe and incapable of adequate description, that only the term “the situation” will suffice. While I should hate him, the fact that he coined a name for his abdominal muscles deserves some respect.

4. Andy Roddick

While we all like to do the patriotic thing and follow Andy Murray during the season’s Grand Slams, let’s face facts: the guy’s got less personality than Mark Owen and has a badly receding hairline. Andy “A-Rod” Roddick, on the other hand, looks like Stiffler, is genuinely funny and actually has the bottle to win a Slam. Lovingly-crafted compilation of some of his best quips below, and check out the Kournikova flirtation at 2.43. Hero.

5. Harry Hill

“What is about people who repair shoes that makes them so good at cutting keys?”

Before Harry Hill started cleaning up mainstream comedy awards, he was a leftfield stand-up with a ridiculously good late-night show on Channel 4. While I used to be gently ribbed by school friends for disappearing home on a Friday night, I needed my weekly fix of the Hill and the activities of Stouffour the cat. Link below to a few stand-up sketches.


1. Halifax Adverts

Halifax started the trend of shit adverts when it asked real-life employee, Howard Brown, if he wouldn’t mind making a tit out of himself on national television, to which he duly obliged, starting in a string of monumentally gash spoofs, including the “Who Gives You Extra” commercial, based on seminal Baha Men offering “Who Let The Dogs Out”. Even worse are the current ads where a bunch of lobotomised hicks sit in a radio booth (no explanation offered) and smile gormlessly at one another. Everyone involved should be ashamed.

2. People declaring love on Facebook

“I just wanted to say I love you xxxx”, “miss you babe xxxx” etc appear with alarming regularity on Facebook walls. What is wrong with these people? Don’t they actually speak with one another? If they’re going to start going down this road, why not go the whole hog and write “when you get home from work, babe” – let’s get the grammar right, people – “we’re going to have some dinner xxxx”, therefore totally dispensing with verbal communication.

3. Carlsberg Advert

As if watching the nation regress into its default state of rabid xenophobia and jingoism wasn’t enough, this World Cup has also treated us to the “do it for Bobby” Carlsberg advert. Carlsberg, may I remind you, is a Danish company which produces lager that tastes like piss, yet is generously consumed by many Brits. Trying to latch on to the fever generated by the World Cup, they produced an advert that sums up all that’s wrong with our society – blind belief that we will conquer all without any rational appraisal of the situation – and suggests that the England team must win the tournament for the late Bobby Robson. I’m sure Bobby’s family will be touched by the commercial exploitation of their loved-one’s name by a group of boardroom suits.

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