Archive for August 16th, 2005

Symbology And Codology

A few days ago I attacked ironing as a tyrannical waste of time. Yet even the hours spent ironing may have been of some use: I cannot ignore the possibility that my crisply pressed shirts may have been decisive at some pivotal moment in my life.

I can find no such rationalisation for the hours spent reading the Da Vinci Code. It was easily the worst book I have ever read, by a country mile.

The ‘controversies’ (you know the ones – the Catholic church wanted it banned; Opus Dei were planning to have the author assassinated; it almost a mass suicide among the Knights Of Columbanus) generated by the book, or perhaps more accurately, by its promoters, have continued with the filming, with the obligatory nun turning up to object to its filming at Lincoln Cathedral.

Please Give Generously

Perhaps timed deliberately so as to coincide with the ‘Ian Beale reverses his vasectomy’ storyline in Eastenders, BBC News presenter Michael Buerk has claimed that men these days are ‘unemployable sperm donors’.

He said:

“Men gauge themselves in terms of their career, but many of those have disappeared. All they are is sperm donors, and most women aren’t going to want an unemployable sperm donor loafing around and making the house look untidy. They are choosing not to have a male in the household.”

Still, there’s always the weblog to keep ’em busy, what?

Pelvis Pensées

Such are the depths of my present slump that I’ve had to resort to On This Day.. style commentary. On this day in 1977, Elvis Presley died, in a manner fit for a king: on the throne. Or didn’t die, depending on your religious beliefs.

Elvis was one of those famous people – others included John Wayne and Alfred Hitchcock – who I learned was dead some time after I learned who he was.

Almost completely unrelated, is it normal to only be able to curl your lip on one side of your face?

And what is Frank Chisum doing these days?

Explosive Headlines

One of the small pleasures in the course of my daily wage slavery is scanning the front pages of the newspapers as I leave the train station each morning. Today the standout headline was the Irish Mirror’s warning that Ireland Will Be BOMBED.

(I can’t recall the exact headline, but I do remember seeing BOMBED there or thereabouts)

Scanning the front page while simultaneously dodging bleary-eyed suits grabbing the Indo, I was able to discern that it cites Anjem Choudhury, Omar Bakri Mohammed’s ‘spokesman in the UK’ (The Sun). Apparently he says that Ireland’s links to the US such as allowing warplanes to land at Shannon leave it open to attacks.

As I commented the other day on another site, this Omar Bakri Mohammed character seems a hybrid of Osama Bin Laden and Eddie The Eagle, equal parts bogeyman and buffoon.

Jon Ronson had a grimly hilarious piece on Omar Bakri Mohammed in yesterday’s Guardian:

‘I spent a year with Omar back in 1996, just as he was beginning his campaign to overthrow democracy and hoist the Black Flag of Islam over Downing Street. On our first day together he needed to get leaflets printed – Islam Is The Future of Britain and Homosexuality: The Deadly Disease. He chose Office World because of their special Price Promise.

“If you find a photocopying service that’s cheaper,” explained Omar on the way, “then Office World will give you a discount. Oh yes. I benefit from your capitalism to convey the message.”‘


‘Another Rally of Hate – outside the Israeli embassy – was cancelled because Omar accidentally gave his followers the wrong address. He explained to me that when he telephoned directory enquiries, they deliberately gave him a false address in Knightsbridge. By the time Omar discovered the correct address it was too late. Many of his followers were already on their way and they didn’t have mobile phones. This, Omar said, was proof that Scotland Yard’s Muslim monitoring unit was in league with British Telecom’s directory enquiries service.’

Of course, this is hardly reason to take the words of his ‘spokesman’ any less seriously, is it?

Is it?

Plucking Up the Motivation.

Still no word on an end to this here semi-blockage. Getting back in the saddle right and proper has been doubly difficult since receiving the present of the entire back catalogue of the ludicrously talented Camarón de la Isla. So I spent the last few days growing my fingernails and playing some very intricate flamenco air guitar. The voice could be a bit toughter to emulate though.

I on Twitter

August 2005