Babyboomer Selfishness

Of the £160bn annual benefit budget nearly £75bn goes towards pensions. This in itself isn’t anything to complain about – many pensioners rely on these payments to live – but there plenty of others who do not need a penny of it. These wealthy pensioners tend to vote for a Tory party that is happy enough to keep giving the pension to them, in fact to keep raising the amount. Strangely, young families with just as much money have child benefit taken from them – perhaps they don’t vote for the right party.

Meanwhile tragically poor families are being robbed due the detestable bedroom tax and other squeezes on benefits. This disgusting bedroom tax policy could never have made a change to the way housing stock is used, there just aren’t the smaller houses for people to move into. The cold hard mathematical facts are against the policy – there really isn’t the housing stock. The government would have known this when drafting the policy – instead the bedroom tax is a deliberate ideological and financial attack on the poorest members of our society. The plan is to dismantle the state and to do so first one must attack those that rely on it. So the poor are demonised, the NHS and education systems vilified. Look at how much money we waste on these broken dreams, the Tories say, let us abolish them.

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Ending the Guitar Tone Obsession

Do we guitarists obsess too much about tone? I’ve realised I certainly do. If I look back to the first 15 or so years of playing the instrument tone was the last thing I thought about. The gear I had was just what I can afford and I did the best I could with it. But thanks to the internet we can now all learn about the gear we don’t have, and how the gear we do have isn’t any good, despite it being perfectly fine beforehand.

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Suspension of Disbelief and Citroen

I am liable to post the occasional rant, this is in keeping with the character I like to portray on this blog. It’s mostly an act really for my own amusement. But sometimes life does throw up things that are genuinely very annoying and a problem with our car is one of them.

Of course running a car is not a cheap business as one expects the occasional repair bill due to wear and tear. When such matters arise and there’s a danger one’s car will be off the road one does not expect to be told that the required part will not be available until the end of summer.

This is the situation currently with Citroen here in the UK and parts for its pneumatic suspension on higher-end Picasso models. We have such a car and we are waiting for the parts with the hope that our suspension doesn’t completely fail at speed with our family in the car.

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A Response to Mumsnet, On Grief

I read a lot of rubbish on the internet. That’s part of my job. I’ve also developed something of a thick skin, I can even read YouTube comments without eating my own knees off.

But sometimes you come across something so idiotic, so fueled by stupidity and hate you have to comment. And in this case it was a Mumsnet thread about someone moving on and finding love again after being bereaved. I don’t know if my response in the thread will remain, so I post it below.

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Cross Purposes

Once again the subject of wearing crosses in the workplace has reared its head again following the government’s decision that there is no automatic right to wear one.On this rare occasion I agree with the government.

The sort of people who get annoyed by this kind of thing have already been getting worked up about it. How can we show we are Christians, they demand of the government, if we can’t wear our execution-based jewelry?

Here of course is the irony. The sort of person who needs a bloody great cross to show that they are a Christian, the sort of person who rants and raves about their rights to wear a cross, needs a heck of a lot more than a piece of jewelry to convince anyone they have anything to do with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

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Lazy Town Fit Fruits & Super Squash Review

Don’t worry, I’ve not become a mummy blagger – I’ve not sold my soul for some Duplo or a free holiday. But I have been given a ton of free drinks to experiment on my children with and tell you if they survived, went mental for a bit, or were merely hydrated in a fruity manner.

The Gerber juice company has launched a range of fruit drinks and squashes with Lazy Town branding. Lazy Town, but that’s not on CBeebies these days? Well perhaps it’s on one of those channels that the lower orders use to babysit their children while having a fag, I suppose it breaks up the monotony of Ben10 episodes and adverts for cheap plastic tat.

Some of you may be wondering what Lazy Town is? It’s an Icelandic blend of puppets, preaching, homo eroticism, jail bait and thinly veiled propaganda for the fruit production industry.

But are the drinks any good?

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Save Us From Preachy Kids TV

Over the last five years I’ve seen a lot of CBeebies. Probably more than any of our children have actually seen. Some of it was good, some bad, but the content that sticks with me, the stuff that annoys me, is how nauseatingly preachy children’s television has become.

I should add by children’s television I mean stuff like CBeebies, not the extended toy adverts on the commercial channels the lower orders let their brats watch. Cbeebies is awfully preachy, but even worse it often gets its preaching completely and utterly wrong.

Take Mike the Knight for example. This show is popular with my two boys. Mike is a trainee medieval knight and gets into all manner of scrapes with his sister Evie1 and pet dragons. The general idea is that Mike learns lessons through life and encourages children to be “more Knightly”. Except he doesn’t. Mike spends 99 percent of each episode behaving like a spoiled, bad-mannered little bell-end.

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Blackstar Unveils Revolutionary Marketing BS

British advertising bullshitter and sometime amplification manufacturer Blackstar has unveiled its latest state of the art marketing nonsense. The company describes its latest verbal slight of hand and customer misdirection as revolutionary.

“We were a technological innovator with our introduction of the phrase ‘Pure Valve’ in our mostly transistor-based technology in recent years,” said Blackstar CEO Bob Scraggs. “However our world class engineers have been hard at work delivering more powerful state of the art bullshit that’s sure to be a big hit with clueless customers and puny editorial lapdogs such as Guitarist Magazine.”

“Today Blackstar is proud to unveil our latest product phrase ‘True Valve Power’ which we will believe will fool even more customers than ever before. With ‘True Valve Power’ we’re extending our previous abilities of not having many valves in our valve products to now having no valves in them instead. Raising our ‘no actual valves’ to ‘valve based marketing bullshit’ ratio to 100 percent. I believe Blackstar is the first amplifier manufacturer to completely remove valves from over-hyped valve related products. This will enable us to continue to charge British-built prices for a range of Korean-made tat.”

‘True Valve Power’ marketing bullshit will be available as an expensive range of literature and badges this summer, and will be bundled with a free modelling amplifier that’s almost as good a Line 6 Spider for three times the money. The presence of any valves has yet to be announced. Full press release follows.

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Creationists No Longer Welcome

I know it’s a bit late for talking of new year resolutions but earlier in the month I couldn’t actually think of anything I wanted to promise myself in 2012. After some thought I’ve now decided on something – partly inspired by the approach of the BBC radio show The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Over the years I’ve embroiled myself in many a complex argument with creationists and those that subscribe to the intelligent design concept. The sad fact is these people are too into their delusions and lies to admit their error. You can’t change the opinion of people this stupid. And I’ve come to realise I’m just wasting my breath.

The other problem with debating with creationists and especially intelligent design advocates is that they believe that their view is of equal value in a scientific discussion as those who offer real scientific theories. In trying to debate with these muppets we’ve given them credence, which is far from what they deserve. They peddle their “evolution is just a theory” nonsense at length – despite not understand what “theory” actually means in a scientific context. They believe that “theory” means guess, it doesn’t.

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My Sex Is On Fire

I wrote recently about how I wasn’t well at the moment and some of the rather unpleasant procedures I’ve undergone to get to the bottom1 of whatever is wrong with me.

If you remember I had two tests lined up. I’ve been very nervous about these tests, more because I’ve been scared of what they might find. Partly because I tend to worry about such things anyway and also because a stupid GP scared the Bejaysus2 out of me.

Well the experience of the first test was fine. As fine as being fed feet first into a giant radioactive doughnut can be anyway. We can save on electricity bills now as I’ll glow in the dark for a year or so. In the week since the CT scan I’d not heard from my GP or consultant and took that to mean “no news is good news”. After all if they’d found anything in there they’d have called me, right?3.

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