Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
The internet, like real-life society, only really works if people refrain from behaving badly; if people are prepared for a little give-and-take, a little co-operations, politeness and common sense.
When they don’t the internet doesn’t work – or you get these ghastly corners of the internet like Comment Is Free, The Huffington Post or Youtube comments section. Revenge porn websites, hate-filled fora and, perhaps worst of all, those people who spam Twitter with proclamations of loyalty to Justin Bieber (as an aside, could Justin Bieber seriously mobilise an army to mount on attack on a government of his choosing?).
Twitter is often the battleground of choice for outbreaks of bad behaviour on the internet. Spam is hardly unknown on the platform, it frequently degenerates into a bitchfest in angry 140 mouthfuls and it’s full of shameless self-promoters (I’m definitely one of them, but it’s cute when I do it).
The most egregious thing on Twitter, however, is the rampant use of AutoFollow technology. The concept is fairly simple: you give your Twitter login details to some dodgy plugin, set your parameters and fire it off, like a chain letter wasting everyone’s time, patience and goodwill.
The idea behind this is that people will be flattered by the follow from someone they’ve never heard and follow back. So far so harmless? Well, perhaps, but it also reduces Twitter to a pointless scrum to gain followers for virtually no reason whatsoever: followers gained like this haven’t been earned, they’ve no loyalty to you or interest in you and will be disinclined to click on your banal links to get-rich-quick schemes and marketing wibble. They’re fundamentally followers that have no value to you. What’s more it reduces your stream to total nonsense – a cacophony of incoherent babbling. So it renders Twitter fundamentally useless to autofollowers as a communication tool.
It get worse, though. If you don’t follow back within a certain period of time you will be probably be automatically unfollowed; there’s a good chance you’ll be unfollowed even if you do follow back. It’s taking without giving.
The reason for this virtual arms war is simply to get as many people to follow you as is humanly – or robotically – possible, so you can wave your Twitter count at the ingenuous like an artificially-inflated virtual willy. This is frequently for reasons of simple vanity, but it’s also used to fool other followers into thinking you’re important – and this is where it becomes obnoxious – as opposed to simply idiotic, selfish or a bit rude.
There are a lot of people who have no idea how the Internet works. And that means there are vast markets for the unscrupulous, the bullshitters, the snake-oil sellers and the fast-buck merchants. I have been asked by many PRs and marketing execs whether I can give them some tips on getting ‘a Twitter’ or on getting to the front page of the SERPS (‘being high up in Google’ in their parlance).
I have, on occasion, run social media campaigns for clients, but it’s always come with the proviso that it needs to be part of an overall, long-term digital strategy that includes some genuinely useful and engaging content and is run in alignment with existing on- and offline strategies. People rarely like to hear that something is difficult and could be expensive, which may explain why I’ve never made a career out of it.
Making a career out of this axis of nonsense where SEO, digital marketing and social media intersect would be a piece of cake however, as there are simply so many companies out there who have a vague idea that they need to spend money in this area, without the slightest idea of how or why. Where there are clueless CEOs there are fat cheques for doing fuck all.
Which is where autofollow technology comes in. People who don’t understand Twitter may be impressed that you have 30,000 followers; they may believe that it shows that you know what you’re doing. “We want 30,000 Twitter followers,’” they think. “Perhaps @SEObiz2013 is the person to get me there; then we will have a Twitter and sell many more industrial heat-exchangers.”
Needless to say, this is totally bogus reasoning. But in the kingdom of the blind the 30K-Twitter account is King. And now that the arse-end has fallen out of SEO as the online chancer’s favoured hunting ground, the untapped landscape of social media is next up.
That’s why I will be blocking anyone I suspect of using autofollow technology. It reduces Twitter to a pointless popularity contest where everyone follows everyone and no-one interacts meaningfully any more. It ruins something that I happen to believe is a potentially brilliant medium, far more than Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or many others at present.
There may be reasons for using autofollow plugins on Twitter, but I can’t think of any good ones. Some innocents may get blocked in the process, some people who might genuinely be interested in what I have to say and share on Twitter might miss out – and I might miss out on whatever they have to say – but that’s what the thoughtless deployment of these witless widgets do. They ruin the internet for everyone.
Want to join in? Have a look below at how to spot people using autofollow technology – I recommend that you do the sensible thing and give them the virtual finger. It’s the only language they understand.
Follow these simple rules and we can make Twitter a better place for us, our children, our children’s children and… well, you get the idea.
How to spot autofollowers on Twitter
Never interacted with you
Excessive use of hashtags in bio
Excessive blind links in bio
Keywords in bio likely to include SEO, SEM, content marketing, content strategy, digital strategy, online marketing, maven, networker, hero, incubator, investor, guru
Closely similar amount of following and followers OR vast discrepancy between follower and following
Tens of thousands of tweets
Post links to vague ‘how to’-style videos or articles
Links posted are often via share buttons direct from websites, rather than manually entered
Use Twitter client to autopost, generally on the hour
Banal positive-thinking quotes posted on daily basis
Unlikely to have significant interest in what you’re tweeting (ie. they’re a Californian tech gadge tweeting about marketing, start-ups and their coffee; you live in Sunderland and tweet about football and TOWIE)
Live in a different country
Don’t interact with followers
Tweets include many variations on sharing the same link multiple times
Follower count at or around large round number (eg. 1,000 or 10,000)
No mutual followers
Dull logo, obvious stock portrait or Californian sunset as avatar
Header or background = generic aspirational image
• The images used in this article are from genuine Twitter accounts who recently followed me (apart from the one at the top) and I suspect of using autofollow software. No further implications are intended. It’s also come to my attention that there’s an actual website under the URL digitalsnakeoil.com – no association intended there either.
Tyler Wakstein’s video of the finish line at the Boston Marathon didn’t get a huge amount of traffic. For horrific reasons his graphic still of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing did.
— Tyler Wakstein (@theoriginalwak) April 15, 2013
Shortly afterwards Tyler was bombarded with shocked, dismayed, bewildered questions. And a lot more from news gatherers asking if they could use his picture online, in newspapers and on television.
As of 11pm on 15 April it’s had over 4,000 retweets and Wakstein has been appearing on broadcast media all day.
Should you – can you – use social media pictures in this way? If you’re a journalist the upside to getting eyewitness reports and media via Twitter is obvious. It’s more evidence of my belief that of all social media platforms Twitter is by far the most useful – at once a live ticker tape, media source, RSS feed and crowd to be sourced at once.
The wherefores and hows are still rather more nebulous – here’s a couple of guides from Journalism.co.uk and The BBC on using social media for reporters – and a guide to the likely fees that people may charge if you want to use their photos.
@theoriginalwak I work for NBC in NY and am interested in speaking with you &using your picture on air.Please DM me if you would like my #
— Rob Rivas (@RobrivasNBC) April 15, 2013
— Tim Gowa (@timgowa) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak Hi Tyler – Did you take this photo? could we speak w/ you about what you saw & may we use it on the Daily News? 2122797130
— Lauren Johnston (@NYDN_Lauren) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak Hey Tyler – are you OK if we use this photo on the Newstalk ZB website?
— Ed Swift (@swiftynz) April 15, 2013
— NBC News Pictures (@NBCNewsPictures) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak Tyler, can USA TODAY Sports use this photo for our story? Thanks, Mike
— Mike Foss (@themikefoss) April 15, 2013
— Armand Emamdjomeh (@emamd) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak I’m a Photo Editor at the Globe and Mail in Canada. I’d like permission to use your image. Please contact me.
— David Lucas (@PhotoDeskLucas) April 15, 2013
— Angela Nelson (@BostonAngela) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak Tyler, photo editor for Toronto Star here. OK to republish with credit? 416-869-4341, email@example.com or DM me.
— Canice Leung (@canice) April 15, 2013
— Anomaly One Hundred (@Anomaly100) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak Tyler, were you the one who took this picture?
— Liz Heron (@lheron) April 15, 2013
— NRK.no (@NRKno) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak Did you take this photo?
— FOX40 News (@FOX40) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak This is your photo? We can use it on the web site of the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported with reference to you?
— Ты — репортер (@you_reporter) April 15, 2013
@theoriginalwak hello from the NY Post, amazing photo, please call us, we want to use your image in the paper 212-930-8505
— Juan Arellano (@porsupuesto) April 15, 2013
I love Twitter as a platform, though I occasionally despise the way that people use it. Still, I find it a fascinating and genuinely useful platform and have been evangelising to my social media students on its uses recently.
Let me count the ways: As a means to source opinion, quotes and contacts; as a platform from which to broadcast; as a much better replacement for RSS readers; as an unparalleled and unprecedented forum for following news and events live (more quickly, even, that 24-hour news channels); as a jumping-off point for all sorts of ideas for blog posts and articles.
Twitter is pretty open about sharing and its API allows for all sorts of uses – as a result there’s loads of functionality – embedding tweets has been quickly taken up by all sorts of news sites. I’ve previously used Hootsuite to embed searches, but Twitter also allows users to create a widget for particular phrases.
I couldn’t remember how to do it today, so thought I’d look it up. Here’s a Twitter search for #edballs using Twitter’s proprietary widget, followed by the Hootsuite widget:
Embarrassingly, the Twitter widget doesn’t work and the Hootsuite widget does. Moreover the Hootsuite widget is easy to create and the app even gives you prompts to save your searches as a stream. So, while I take my hat off to Twitter for allowing people to use data in this way, the Twitter client is far more user-friendly.
Browser software? Flash issues? Incorrect mark-up? Who cares? It doesn’t work. And who can be bothered to figure out why something isn’t working in these impatient interweb days? Not I. The moral? Use Hootsuite.
Anyway, why this search term? Well, I don’t think I’ve laughed quite so much at a tweet as the one below, released into the Twittersphere by the Shadow Chancellor today. Epic.
— Ed Balls (@edballsmp) April 28, 2011
Twitter isn’t all bad. Here’s a live stream of people telling The Sun newspaper to fuck off.
I find myself making an effort these days to use Twitter. I never used to. Twitter used to be something I did so I didn’t have to do something else; work, take the bins out, confront terrifying existential angst, that sort of thing.
But the novelty has worn off, partly because so many people use it now. Watch sporting events and you’ll get the Twitter handles of presenters and commentators popping up on screen in much the same way that other unwelcome and unnecessary things pop up on screen. Red button alerts, adverts, Piers Morgan.
And not just in sport. Newsreaders ask us to follow or tweet them our news. Question Time wants us to hurl abuse at the goons on its panel. Things reached an absurd low recently when the Twitter handle of Batman massacre perp James Holmes was flashed up on screen whenever court reportings featured him on the news (that didn’t actually happen).
So, there are many more people on Twitter these days than there ever used to be. And Sartre tells us about other people. As Twitter’s usage has exploded, its IQ has imploded. Idiots like Chris Brown are routinely retweeted by thousands of people. A wife-beating, woman-hating, talent-free wankstain has a team of people bigging him up for any conceivable action – walking unaided, respiration, continence etc – ensuring that his every move is broadcast to millions of others who have no interest in him whatsoever.
Elsewhere a man who has been in a film has been cheated on by his wife, who is also in some films. Hence thousands of people who have never met them, and never will, firing invective at one another, and their respective idols, as a kind of surrogate poison dwarf.
My most recent experience of Twitter idiocy was a lot closer to home and on a rather smaller scale. In a moment both awkward and clumsy, a Scottish man known for running quickly and inventing lycra in the 80s made a reference to his skin colour in front of a man of a different skin colour.
I’m not quite sure what made Allan Wells, completely unprompted, observe that he was the last white guy to win the men’s 100m in the Olympics (back in 1980 in Moscow with no Americans around). It was a bit odd and understandably felt a little weird, especially with Johnson sitting alongside him.
But there are very good reasons why he might have introduced the topic, which is central to the modern paradigm of sprinting and athletics. Black men rule sprinting and have done since Wells’ victory 32 years ago. More and more research has come to light about the physiology of black athletes of certain origins that suggests an unusual biological quirk that concerns things like fast-twitch muscle reflexes and the like. Put simply, if you’re black and carry certain DNA you’re a lot more likely to be able to run fast than a little Scottish feller.
I thought it possible that Wells was referring to this – “It was very special,” he said; “You’re in a very select group,” replies Gaby Logan, which is surely the piont he was making; Michael Johnson doesn’t bat an eyelid – and was making his statement as a source of pride: I am biologically inferior to the best black sprinters, as are most white men, but I nicked that one.
Wells’ Olympic gold may also be seen as the last hurrah of an era of athletics where people became sprinters almost by accident. No widespread funding for athletics; no wide take-up of the sport in certain parts of the world; no modern training, facilities, dieticians or biokinetics.
Like with many things, TV brought fame, money and professionalism, for want of a better word. The game changed. The best physical specimens in the world were genuinely competing against one another after 1980. Look at Alan Wells, a quiet bloke from Edinburgh and then look at his successor as Olympic champion, Carl Lewis. The difference between them is symptomatic of the enormous change between athletics in the 70s and the 80s.
I find it not unreasonable that Wells may have been attempting to invoke this paradigm shift in the history of sprinting. Either way it was clearly not malicious, pointed or prejudicial. Did Twitter consider these inflections, these subtleties, these shades of grey and give Wells the benefit of the doubt? No, there was a deluge of sniffy, disapproving tweets, many of which essentially claimed that Wells was being racist.
Wells did not help himself when he later appeared to call a Chinese weightlifter ‘horrendous’, but it was again unclear what his intent was. On rewatching it it sounds like he’s claiming that receiving a massage from the weightlifter would be ‘horrendous’ – a reference to the fact that she is very strong, in all likelihood.
Yet the die was cast. Wells was not only making racial comments, he was a misogynist too! Complaints would be made; blowhards apologised to Johnson on behalf of Brits everywhere; the Twitter frenzy was upon us once again.
This is all rather boring and a little depressing. The faux outrage, the smug sniffiness and willingness to judge was insufferable. And worse, the other side defending Wells for his glorious ‘un-PC-ness’; revelling in what they took to be a blow for outspoken iconoclasts (translation: racists).
The whole affair made me question what I get out Twitter. But it made me feel sorry for Wells too; a man who, I suspect, would be mortified by the way his comment was taken by both sides. A man who – like sprinting when he was at his peak – is of a rather different time and may speak artlessly about race and more besides, but without any prejudice or intent whatsoever.
Hell may be other people, but Twitter is the dimensional aperture beaming it into our homes. And what a terrible vision it is. A cacophony of nothingess. A chasm of self-satisfied yawning. A parliament of tits.
Having just had what I was determined to the last ever battle I ever have with WordPress over excluding certain images from a gallery that I wanted to embed in a post I went and looked it up.
Why on Earth WordPress, which has my unstinting support in every other regard for its brilliant platforms, still hasn’t addressed what amounts to the biggest ballache for me (any many, many more gathering from a quick Googling) is beyond me – and their support forums are full on inane ‘how to create a gallery’ videos or baffling technobabble, assuming they’re not telling people to go ask their questions somewhere else.
So, having twatted around with this for absolutely sodding ages, here’s my tutorial:
- Upload all of your images – galleries and non-gallery images
- Insert the gallery link
- Preview the post – then mouseover the images you want to exclude (put your cursor over the offending images until a pop-up, er, pops up.
- Make a note of the number that pops up – it should be a number between one and whatever you’re up to on numbers. It’s not the name you gave the file, or the name the image had before you downloaded it. It’s a numerical, plain and simple.
- Insert this code: [ gallery exclude="your number here,your second number here"], remembering to include the numbers of the images you want rid of. If there’s just one then just exclude that one. (Remember too to close up the space between the opening bracket and the ‘g’ of ‘gallery’ – or it won’t work).
Jesus, why is this stuff so hard?
News that the Huffington Post – the current Death Star of journalism for reasons outlined here – is now generating twelvety billion impressions a day has obviously enervated the UK’s newspapers.
Well, the online versions of them anyway. The Daily Mail adapted first – and is a recognisably different beast form the print version. Put simply, it has a lot of tits down the iconic right-hand sidebar that virtually stick your fingers to the mouse – metaphorically and, quite possibly, literally depending on the photo.
The Mail Online also writes what might be the first ever article it’s ever done virtually every time it mentions a topic. So, for example, if I were to write an article on the Mail – in the style of the Mail Online – I’d go into how the long the website has been live, how many redesigns it’s had, what it’s raison de’tre is and any recent newsworthy items relating to it. Let’s say, um, Jan Moir’s vile columns or Twitter poll karma. Basically you can expect to read a mini Wikipedia entry about the topic on every different article; like a pen picture for the stupid.
I expect that, combined with lots of other tics, this is an SEO exercise – as the entire site is, really. 3.2 million articles can’t hurt, mind.
The Mail also a internet dog-whistler – even going to the trouble recently of winding up its own audience with a ‘lefties are more clever than righties’ article – and it borrows a trick from its print self in stoking up people’s irrational fears and disgust.
The Mail and the Huffington Post have been duking it out for some time for traffic. Other papers have their own versions: The Telegraph has a frothing twat by the name of Jams Delingpole whose only purpose is to wind people up. The Guardian has an entire section devoted to that purpose in the shape of Comment Is Free. The Indy writes millions upon millions of ‘top ten’ articles – it’s almost pitiful.
But I’ve noticed something else in the last few weeks that I did not notice before – something I can only put down to the clear success off The Huffington Post. Namely, idiotic galleries designed to keep users clicking through dozens of pages, getting trillions of eyeballs on display ads and ensuring they’re shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Today the Torygraph has dozens of images of Steve Coogan’s various alter egos – something that amounts to 24 press stills assembled with approximately ten minutes’ effort writing captions. Last week the Grauniad had a load of photos of dogs swimming underwater, for crying out loud.
Somewhere else the Grauniad is following the Huffington Post is into the free resource market. I say ‘free resource market’. What I really mean is ‘using bloggers and media professionals who can’t find employment to churn out high-quality work for no money’. At least the Guardian asks – the HuffPo gets its free labour to take stuff from the web, rehash it vaguely and throw a link back to the source, buried among a million ads and calls-to-action.
I find this fairly egregious, but symptomatic of where the web is heading. Shorter attention spans, sites wielding their Page Ranks like weapons of mass destruction and a brainless mix of celebrity flesh and diverting pictures.
In celebration of the New Journalism, here’s a top ten of internet facepalms I’ve collected from around the internet that other people have taken the time to mock up.
Faceplams are an internet meme popularised by an image of Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Patrick Stewart holding his head in hands. They are meant to typify frustration or disbelief at the behaviour of others (my own genuine facepalm is above).
Star Trek: The Next Generation is a US TV network show that was broadcast between 1987-1994, starring Patrick Stewart. Patrick Stewart is a Shakespearean actor known for his bald head. Baldness implies partial or complete lack of hair. Stewart had a famous public with roly-poly funnyman James Corden at an awards ceremony in 2010.
Peter Mandelson says he regrets saying that the Labour party was ‘intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich’.
From The Grauniad:
Lord Mandelson has admitted he is no longer “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes”, given rising inequality and stagnating middle-class incomes brought about by the damaging downsides of globalisation.
Almost a decade and a half after making the remarks, which were seen as characterising the Labour government’s embrace of free markets and the City, Mandelson said he was “much more concerned” about inequality than when he made first made his comments to a US industrialist in California in 1998.
This isn’t, in itself, especially interesting beyond one of New Labour’s key architects admitting he got something wrong, which is fairly rare.
What’s interesting to me is that I interviewed Mandelson in 1998 and quizzed him about the wisdom of those remarks while representing Hartlepool – a depressed post-industrial north-east town with high unemployment and low ‘filthy rich’ rates – as MP (the full story is here).
Unsurprisingly he bridled at the question – and then denied flat out that he’d said it. I knew that he’d almost certainly said it, so I asked for a clarification. “You’ve never said that?”.
“No. Next question.”
These were the days before the internet was much use as a research tool, so I’d trawled newspapers archives and stacks of various political mags to find some interesting questions to ask Mandelson – I’d seen the quote referred to a few times but couldn’t trace where it had first been used or who had first reported it, despite talking to a reporter who’d written it (he’s copied it form another report), so it remained – like the mushy pea story – something that was probably true but plausibly deniable.
Mandelson remains the single most unpleasant interviewee – and one of the more unpleasant people – I’ve ever met and he appeared to take great delight in trying to rough up and obstruct a student reporter simply because they’d nailed him with one of his own dim-witted remarks.
So I take some small measure of satisfaction, the best part of 15 years later, to call Peter – now Lord – Mandelson, in this one regard, a liar (I still have the tapes).
That politicans tell lies and, let’s be honest, wholly inconsequential ones at that, is not headline news either. But on behalf of my 19-year-old self I’d just like to call Peter out on that lie – and for being a total dick.
This is the absolute last word on office work and sums up everything I have to say on the subject.
It’s by Jason Fried, the founder of 37 Signals, which makes various nifty little ‘how to work together’ programmes that I sometimes use. He has a remarkable name but I’m even more impressed by his views on the tyranny of the office.
I wish everyone who worked in an office would watch this.
There are only five types of Facebook status update. That’s a fact. There’s no actual evidence to support that claim, but it’s a fact nonetheless.
I’ve whittled it down to five types by looking over my status updates over the last year; they all fit perfectly into one of the five types of update I’ve identified. Oh, there are sub-categories and the like, but it’s all pretty much there. Here they are:
And that’s it. Think about every banal Facebook update you’ve ever seen. I guarantee they lot into one of these divisions.
See if you can slot my updates into one of the five categories. And, if you want bonus Internets, see if you can identify all the pop-culture references.
The five types of Facebook updates
Now THAT’S sarcasm…
like a kestrel having sex above a television set
has not impressed the bloke from Go West
Went to Jodrell Bank. Closed. Jodrell Wank
Went to Jodrell Bank today; thought of Logopolis
I’m going to thrash you to with in a inch of your life.. and then.. i’m going to have you
Guess what. I lied. Guess what. So did I. But I lied… Twice. … I didn’t think of that
I’m not a frying pantheist!
Bowman is reading out the bass hunter sex charges to me while the India/SA one-sayer is on telly. A chilling vision of how things could have worked out very differently.
Fillet o fish for my wife
if you don’t love me now you will never love me again
5 nights in 5 consecutive beds. Not as exciting as it sounds
The King’s Speech contains ‘strong language in a speech therapy context’
Ross Noble is on stonking form on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue
Which way to the bloodbath?
Would you smash it?
Where in shitting crikey is my nose?
A starling is running through it’s list of impersonations at St Michaels Station like a sturnidae Rory Bremner
I don’t like to take naps. I don’t like to wake up more than once a day. ‘Cause when I first wake up I get that shock of who I am and everything. I… I really don’t like to do that more than once a day.
got telephones for eyes
Whatever happened to Tiggy Ovington?
it’s the weekend. i want fags, sleep, booze, dr who, pub with friends, good food, culture, telly, buzzards, walks and sex. Up yours, work
points with mute distaste
whenever i watch Kill Bill I have a very strong mental image of Quentin Tarantino frantically, furiously wanking his naff little cock off
a relentless and merciless morale-killer
like a battenberg owned by Jesus that can miraculously talk
No word can describe how tired I am. So why am I not in bed?
I once had a dream so I packed up and split for the city
Crushed like a new potato in Jamie Oliver’s kitchen
Just attempted to move my eyes down page of magazine by moving mouse on desk
No exclamation marks. Anywhere. Ever. Excise them from your mind. Do not use exclamation marks.
Just saw Don Horton on Bargain Hunt
it is what it is
i’m a tiger when my dander’s up
Adam and Joe back on 6Music? Excellent!
The new Greggs chicken tikka slice is quite, quite horrible
promises to aliens have no validity
Ever heard of the double bluff?
He who laughs last… laughs longest
And the Rodneys are queueing up… God forbid
Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
Has exchanged contracts
Tropical hot dog night
I reserve a window seat at table, facing in the quiet carriage. my seat is non facing, aisle, no table. And two guards talking loudly! In the quiet carriage!
Hey you sat behind me on the train. Close your fucking mouth when you’re eating crisps, you fucking animal.
Logopolis. Murray Gold is shit.
Do you want the genital cuff?
“Now!” …. something something something. That brilliant “Now!” speech…
all my facts about lighthouses are wrong
misses his fat, lazy, stupid cat
Darkness outside; inside, the radio’s prayer; Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre
Botham: We’re too straightforward with the bowling. Botham: Sometime we try too many things with the ball. The man’s an idiot.
I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist you stop using the word ‘banter’.
This is the day your life will surely change
and they catch him and they say he’s mental
Novel introduction to training provider assessor: “I do wear a hearing aid and I am slightly deaf, so as a result I may come across as rude, sharp and aggressive.” Might pinch that.
I dreamed of you last night, You had a different face, Or maybe just a haircut
A man told me to beware of 33
A funky ball of tits from outer space
Ever see a photo of yourself and think ‘who the fuck is that old man?
Editing: -Hi – do you want to do a quick Q+A? -Sure, here’s 3,000 words of formless text
Wonder if anyone’s ever opened a furniture shop called Ottoman Empire
Don’t know if I’ve ever been so disbelieving of a death as Lis Sladen’s. Sad.
Today I was filmed angrily throwing an ice cream off a cliff
I went to Rotherham and longed for Threads
will you just read grazia and bake your stupid cakes?
Over the years I’ve come to regard you as people I… met
Enjoying the high bombardment of positive ions in the atmosphere
Word of the day is… QILF
First game of the season for Sefton Park CC – I am the oldest man in the team. And feel like it
What about Basil…where’s my snake?
If I’d got on the electoral role in time I’d be voting yes to AV today. Have you seen the No camp? Baddies, by any stretch of the imagination
Drove a monster truck over a police car; fired a bonnet-mounted paintball gun. Two more bucket list items ticked off
On the receiving end of such a powerful headbonk from the cat that scalding tea jolted all over my chest
Are the red satin sheets a bridge too far?
What’s your name? Who’s your Daddy?
It seems as if I’m going to have to Goto war with Matressman.co.uk – clearly they do not understand my power of teh internets
like butter scraped over too much bread
My cat’s snoring
I’m officially the 25th most important influencer in the UK automotive industry on Twitter. #winninginsomesmallinconsequentialway
Odd day. Started with a hangover. Stood around in the rain for hours. Got hit in the chin by a cricket ball. Good episode of Doctor Who. Ended with hangover.
If airport departure lounge screens said ‘wait miserably and impotently’ instead of ‘eat drink shop and relax’ I’d respect them a lot more
Classic French fare last couple of days. Foie gras, lobster, strong coffee and fags
Arrived at CDG in plenty of time for flight home. Five hours, to be precise
Sickly sweet Dr Hook hot lovin’ schmaltz or disturbing sexual threat? You decide: And when your body’s had enough of me and I’m laying flat out on the floor When you think I’ve loved you all I can, I’m gonna love you a little bit more
Gave Beau some catnip. Tried rolling around in it myself. Nothing.
A three crackpipe problem…
Warm copies make everything better
I don’t give a fuck about Kenny Dalglish!
The revolution will be streamed
All the fucking internet warriors would be first against the wall in my revolution. Digital shithouses
Tonight I’ve been walking in the rain. Someone’s been talking and I’ve got the blame.
If you had to be a participant in horror film The Mist or horror film The Fog, which would you choose?
Is it just people in Hartlepool who call things ‘shan’?
What goes on in this town is none of your business
This episode of Panorama is like seeing Ted Maul berate Sainsbur McManus in Cowsick #fuckoffyoupatronisingtwats
Just found the best ‘actual’ name ever among contacts: Quinton Drawbridge
distracted by kestrels
Looking over some old gaming ‘lance I did, with some suggestions for sone author-based spin-offs that never got off the ground: Salmanazars Rushdie’s Poolhall Madness; Ian McEwan’s Sim Asylum and Clare Rayner’s Colchester Rally Inferno. I don’t think I ever worked for Future again after this batch.
Think I’ll call myself Donald Twain
ants are unable to relax and enjoy life
An empty pride, a hopeless vanity, a dreadful arrogance, a stupefyingly futile conceit… but at least it’s something to hang on to
Driving through Cologne with an Argentinian and two French guys listening to It’s Raining Men on the radio
Choke on em
Now, eating monster munch in Huddersfield, three hours after watching Bargain Hunt in a Range Rover Sport on Saddleworth Moor and 14 hours after getting up to play cricket, I’m wondering what can possibly happen next. Really hope that’s not my epitaph
There are coal tits in my yard!
Bon chic bin genre
Overheard in Chichester station: ragamuffin behaving badly answers phone: “Yes I did. Yeeees! KFC Mum, alright?!”
A day of driving electric cars with Kryten. My job is nothing if not eclecti
Last week I bought two grand’s worth of Wimbledon tickets according to my bank account. That’s insult to injury.
I laughed at this quote from RHE Observer for about ten minutes. A biography of Bercow by the BBC journalist Bobby Friedman attributes his ambition and desire to get one over the likes of Cameron, in part, to the fact that he was bullied at school. He was teased for his small stature and fear of wasps.
And the fact that you don’t understand, Casts a shadow over this land.
Proffered a napkin by kindly but slightly disapproving lady, clearly recognising that a chap with mayonnaise in beard and eating a sandwich with failing structural integrity is clearly in trouble
Try taking a pot of Vaseline through security in a see-through plastic bag without feeling like a raging bum fetishist. Go on, just try.
Unaccountably covered in baby spiders
I am acing this edition of Catchphrase tonight
Lost cat. In Arthur Street. Black and white.
My cat came back after nine days. Pathetically grateful to the cat Gods.
You spell Robin with an I if it’s a boy. With an I. NOT a Y.
My favourite word has been, and always will be, ‘frot’.
Actual stage direction: “Dracula fucks wildly”
If my cat did status updates I reckon his latest would read ‘just got back from three hours of staring slightly to the left of other cats’
And now on BBC4, middle-aged men get to stare at Victoria Coren’s ginormous breasts while pretending to answer questions abouT hieroglyphics
What’s a cocoa shunter?
it’s some book week thing; this is genuinely the 5th sentence of the 56th page of the closest book to me: “Deciding that the strange apparition probably wasn’t dangerous, the guard took his hand off the blaster, and reached for his belt communicator – and collapsed in a heap as K9 promptly shot him down”
Just a little explosion!
Will’s Mum from Inbetweeners has done a nude scene? Oh good God.
A Succulent Violin, Vaccine Unlit Soul, Vulcanise Cunt Oil #lucienlaviscountanagrams
Surely a train journey is the only time you’d drink a pint of coffee?
Frigging hell an ex is on the Great British Bake Off. This is like the start to a Nick Hornby novel.
Had a flashback – again – to the time I asked for a ‘scotch on the rocks’
What The Fuck? “The assailant can be seen to place his head down by the victim. He starts eating away at his face and his head. The male has had his two ears bitten off, part of his nose bitten off and half of his lip bitten off.The attack reminded me of a lion wrenching the flesh off a gazelle.”
i know now why you cry… but it is something i can never do….
there’s still some of the same stuff we got yesterday
Friday morning immediately brings an exceptionally loud Irish girl. Fuck you Friday morning
Spin spin spin the wheel of justice; see how fast the bastard turns!
On this day in 2010 i wrote ‘I hate Sebastian Coe!’
Text from brother: Which would you rather be called: Alan Viscount, Phillip Bourbon or Robin Custard-Cream?
Seem to have injured my neck but don’t know how. Mindful of Larry David’s views on this.
1AM stop-cock traumas – make your own jokes up
If anyone ever mentions the ‘wow factor’ to me ever again I’ll punch them in the teeth
FUCK OFF TOUGH MUDDER
Will the internet ever get tired of feeding me idiots to destroy?
Walked up a mountain today. It rained. Then we walked back down a waterfall.
Thinking about it it’s hard to decide on a favourite moment from the stag. The Fabulous! morphsuit-clad Jamie Bowman emerging from the toilets at Stenhousemuir; the walk up a mountain that became a waterfall; seeing my mates ziplining down a swollen river; the merciless Platoon-like paintball massacre of the stag; the hydro-electric power station; or the violent midnight game of rugger where I flattened Jamie, thrashed the opposition and ended up giving my details to a WPC about half my age. And I didn’t even mention the Crab From Islamabad…
Larry. I like you. What’s not to like? Ah… You’re a Jew Excellent episode of Curb. I think I might offer myself out as a social assassin
Have seen an E Type and a Mark II Jag in last two days
Having gone to the countryside fir a few days’ holiday I now seem to be watching Embarrassing Bodies with my family
Loading up on carbs and getting an early night. Gotta be up at 2pm for the Grand Prix…
Ticketed for doing 80mph on a three-lane motorway? That’s gotta be pretty unlucky
I want a dulcitone
Today I bought a Three Colours: Red poster. When I got home the latest RSPB magazine was waiting for me. For a few minutes I was the most middle class person in the world
Set in the near future, where robot boxing is a top sport, a struggling promoter feels he’s found a champion in a discarded robot So, I’ve now got a motorsport licence. How could this possibly go wrong? Impossible to look at Wolverhampton without dreaming of hydrogen bombs exploding above it A 25-year-old Vauxhall Astra GTE nearly ended me today. But a dab of oppo and I was away Actual headline: MC Hammer to take on Google with rival search engine Dreams last night: a game of rugby in a WH Smiths a mile long; winning a marathon and being presented with some batteries as a prize; being exorcised by a catholic priest using a pub quiz machine. Your cod-Freudian analysis please Received a letter from the vets. Beau is now officially a ‘mature or senior’ cat. Wonder how long before I get a similar letter from the doctors. i’ve started writing an article at 11.49 – I’m a fool to myself Lots of best man speech advice things say five minutes max. I’m in serious trouble And so to the wedding of Jamie and Becky. I expect they’re both straightening their hair as I type “Yes it’s true. This man has no dick.” Got train to St michaels; walked home; walked back to St michaels to pick up car; drove home Lid on train: “I’m really tired; I’m still asleep. It must be the hour going back…” Personally my money was on it being the smack In fairness, Pete Tranter’s sister is hot To Portugal to drive an electric car tomorrow – and how many people can say that? I’ve missed these dingy Heathrow hotel rooms. Long couple of days. Today comprised: 2 electric cars, a Nissan Cube, a flight, a train and a bus. Welcomed home by some fucking idiot dog walker who left a number of bundles of dog shit, like small pagan offerings, in my empty recycling crate New Bravissimo catalogue. The postal service’s way of telling me the woman I bought my house off had massive norks. Shan as It’s mischievous, not mischieveeous, dammit Today I piloted the TARDIS with Terrance Dicks I think the unions have chosen entirely the wrong grounds on which to base this fight, and played in Tory hands as a result, but given some of the disgraceful shit from the Tories today, I’m happy to aim an emphatic ‘fuck you’ in their general direction Taking Egg-Shaped Fred for tea Dear Facebook – I have zero interest in following CEOs of silicon valley digital agencies. Here are people I would follow: Tom Baker, JJ Burnel, Geoff Boycott, Mick Foley, Tony Benn, umm…. Paul Daniels you’reacockyou’reacockyou’reacock Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is spitroasting nine birds on More 4. Before the watershed too. “One of your friends read the article ‘I’m still a virgin as my boyfriend couldn’t penetrate me’ on the Guardian” Beautiful South’s Perfect 10: a song about fat sex that I utterly despise and was once referred to by Simon Hoggart as ‘the best pop song of the year’. The daft twat. Hello Facebook. Why the chuff would I wan to know that my friends are posting ‘about Christmas’? The Toyota Land Cruiser was known as the Toyota BJ when it first went on sale in the UK “How about a detective who dangles a piece of string?” Shit. Twat. Fuck. ****. You made me do that Auto Correct. You hear me? YOU MADE ME Neil Morrissey dislikes nouvelle cuisine #bbc2 Stupid like a fox I’m givin’ this whole thing as a promotional expense, that’s why I invited clients instead of friends Ah, the arrangement of the First Nowell that’s used on The Box of Delights on Radio 4. Beautiful Bedded, knobbed and bumsticked BBC4 doc on decay potentially fascinating, but seems to consist of a man constantly expressing surprise at old food going off Hilarious famed Hartlepool insult: You look like a new-born pig
So, I’ve now got a motorsport licence. How could this possibly go wrong?
Impossible to look at Wolverhampton without dreaming of hydrogen bombs exploding above it
A 25-year-old Vauxhall Astra GTE nearly ended me today. But a dab of oppo and I was away
Actual headline: MC Hammer to take on Google with rival search engine
Dreams last night: a game of rugby in a WH Smiths a mile long; winning a marathon and being presented with some batteries as a prize; being exorcised by a catholic priest using a pub quiz machine. Your cod-Freudian analysis please
Received a letter from the vets. Beau is now officially a ‘mature or senior’ cat. Wonder how long before I get a similar letter from the doctors.
i’ve started writing an article at 11.49 – I’m a fool to myself
Lots of best man speech advice things say five minutes max. I’m in serious trouble
And so to the wedding of Jamie and Becky. I expect they’re both straightening their hair as I type
“Yes it’s true. This man has no dick.”
Got train to St michaels; walked home; walked back to St michaels to pick up car; drove home
Lid on train: “I’m really tired; I’m still asleep. It must be the hour going back…” Personally my money was on it being the smack
In fairness, Pete Tranter’s sister is hot
To Portugal to drive an electric car tomorrow – and how many people can say that?
I’ve missed these dingy Heathrow hotel rooms.
Long couple of days. Today comprised: 2 electric cars, a Nissan Cube, a flight, a train and a bus. Welcomed home by some fucking idiot dog walker who left a number of bundles of dog shit, like small pagan offerings, in my empty recycling crate
New Bravissimo catalogue. The postal service’s way of telling me the woman I bought my house off had massive norks.
It’s mischievous, not mischieveeous, dammit
Today I piloted the TARDIS with Terrance Dicks
I think the unions have chosen entirely the wrong grounds on which to base this fight, and played in Tory hands as a result, but given some of the disgraceful shit from the Tories today, I’m happy to aim an emphatic ‘fuck you’ in their general direction
Taking Egg-Shaped Fred for tea
Dear Facebook – I have zero interest in following CEOs of silicon valley digital agencies. Here are people I would follow: Tom Baker, JJ Burnel, Geoff Boycott, Mick Foley, Tony Benn, umm…. Paul Daniels
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is spitroasting nine birds on More 4. Before the watershed too.
“One of your friends read the article ‘I’m still a virgin as my boyfriend couldn’t penetrate me’ on the Guardian” Beautiful South’s Perfect 10: a song about fat sex that I utterly despise and was once referred to by Simon Hoggart as ‘the best pop song of the year’. The daft twat. Hello Facebook. Why the chuff would I wan to know that my friends are posting ‘about Christmas’? The Toyota Land Cruiser was known as the Toyota BJ when it first went on sale in the UK “How about a detective who dangles a piece of string?” Shit. Twat. Fuck. ****. You made me do that Auto Correct. You hear me? YOU MADE ME Neil Morrissey dislikes nouvelle cuisine #bbc2 Stupid like a fox I’m givin’ this whole thing as a promotional expense, that’s why I invited clients instead of friends Ah, the arrangement of the First Nowell that’s used on The Box of Delights on Radio 4. Beautiful Bedded, knobbed and bumsticked BBC4 doc on decay potentially fascinating, but seems to consist of a man constantly expressing surprise at old food going off Hilarious famed Hartlepool insult: You look like a new-born pig
Beautiful South’s Perfect 10: a song about fat sex that I utterly despise and was once referred to by Simon Hoggart as ‘the best pop song of the year’. The daft twat.
Hello Facebook. Why the chuff would I wan to know that my friends are posting ‘about Christmas’?
The Toyota Land Cruiser was known as the Toyota BJ when it first went on sale in the UK
“How about a detective who dangles a piece of string?”
Shit. Twat. Fuck. ****. You made me do that Auto Correct. You hear me? YOU MADE ME
Neil Morrissey dislikes nouvelle cuisine #bbc2
Stupid like a fox
I’m givin’ this whole thing as a promotional expense, that’s why I invited clients instead of friends
Ah, the arrangement of the First Nowell that’s used on The Box of Delights on Radio 4. Beautiful
Bedded, knobbed and bumsticked
BBC4 doc on decay potentially fascinating, but seems to consist of a man constantly expressing surprise at old food going off
Hilarious famed Hartlepool insult: You look like a new-born pig