Monthly Archives: December 2014

Internship

I was on an internship in London. They couldn’t pay me because-

I couldn’t afford to get the Tube so I’d get up in Slough at 1 am and walk to work in the East End. I’d get there at ten to seven. Work until five, walk back, shower, clean my teeth and get into bed at about ten to one in the morning. But, you know, when you’re doing something you love you don’t need sleep.

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Notes:

All these years I’ve been dipping my pizza crust in mayonnaise when it would have been far more healthy to coat them in scrambled egg.

Can I hire a film crew to follow me around recording everything I do? Ostensibly it will be to make a documentary about my personality, but really the cutting room footage will give me a database from which to work out how to become a better conversationalist.

From Metal Gear Solid – “It is true that Snake has killed a lot of people. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a heart.”

Grocery shopping is food foreplay.

He experiences sound ten metres west of his position.

He walks away. The sun goes down. He takes the day, but I take the crown.

How does what I do compare with what is expected of me?

I bet Stewart Lee is good at pub quizzes.

I find it easier to cry in films than I used to. Is that a good thing?

I want to make a show called “The Cross Factor” in which people compete for the approval of very cross judges. I’d title it with the words “The” and “Factor” with a cross in between them.

I’ll just read a bit of TV Tropes while I fry my eggs and toast my- oh my goodness it’s evening now I’ve been reading all day and the house has burned down.

Invisibility Sponge: The Collected Thoughts and Fictions of Mungo Tatton-Brown.

My internal reading voice has adopted a strong Yorkshire accent.

My laptop overheats so badly you could dry an egg on it.

My life is an ever expanding bucket list.

My phone thinks “farts” is not a word.

My problem with the internet is that when so much great material is so popular, it’s hard for my product – which is crap to be honest – to get any traction.

My question to every political candidate:  If you could be judged on one statistic, what would it be?

People are rarely as complex or as simple as they appear.

Plastic was invented by someone who was really bad at making mozzarella.

Playing whack-a-mole with my demons.

Sleep makes everything better.

Statistically speaking, if you keep trying long enough, eventually you will die.

That reminds me of something completely unrelated.

The frightening prospect is not that the computer will break the rules but that it will follow them.

There’s a note on my phone I can’t remember writing. It says “stanuldupb about my pickings amd hatred for all.” I know the first word was meant to be “stand-up”. What did I mean by “pickings”?

The street sign said “Dead End Drive” and beneath it was a corpse. Was it irony or sarcasm?

Notes:

A comedian is someone who treats jokes seriously and treats serious matters as if they were jokes.

A philosopher is someone who treats jokes seriously and treats serious matters as if they were jokes.

Amazingly talented people ruin things for the merely gifted.

Anyone else think the iTunes album descriptions are really bitchy?

Do giraffes get depressed?

Drop the words “masculine” and “feminine”.

From a distance trowels sound like dubstep.

How long have my flies been open?

Hugh Laurie has done more than anyone else to convince Americans that there is no such thing as a British accent.

I forget.

I make bad decisions when I’m hungry.

I wish I could travel in three dimensions.

I was born just before humanity’s eight o clock.

I was in hell for a hundred years. When I got out I missed it.

I worry about getting shot by right wing people.

I worry that by the time I’m forty five basic medical care will no longer be freely available.

I worry that if I had a time machine I’d use it to seduce my friends.

In the nineties every other action film had to have a scene in which a man was trapped in a car and the car was being crushed.

If I was into men I’d go for bastards.

It was my inability to remember my closest friends’ names that drove me to comedy.

It’s easier to extrapolate when you have fewer data.

Lying. The great political solution.

Stress happens not because setbacks are too fast, but because progress is too slow.

What happens when my brain fills up?

Waiting for a webpage to load on 3g in my house is the most tedious form of gambling. It’s making me into a worse person.

You hold me when I stay and shiver when I’m away.

You’re going to Inglerland. Now remember, your pants are your underpoopers, your underpants are your gloves, and if anybody sneezes you say “god’s sake”.

From the pen of Marcus Tatton-Blue:

Watching Desolation of Smaug I can’t help but feel a clash between my liberal socialist values and those of the series’ “heroes”.

The quest of going to the mountain to kill the dragon, take back the gold and restore the dwarven kingdom is problematic. For starters, a dragon, whether evil or not, is a rare and beautiful creature. As far as I can tell, Smaug is the only one of his kind in this part of the world. Surely even evil creatures should be preserved for the next generation?

And that’s assuming that Smaug genuinely is evil. Yes, he is clearly anti-social. Yes, he defies the laws of Dwarven kings, taking their kingdom and their gold. Yes, he threatens those who enter the mountain. Yes, he has killed many people and dwarves in the past. But when the hobbit and the dwarves enter Smaug’s lair, he avoids killing them, feigning stupidity and humouring their attempts to trap him. This is a clear sign that he is to some extent a reformed dragon, and is owed some degree of recognition for defying his naturally evil dragon instincts. He has fallen through the safety net, largely because of his near total vilification by the general public (and the right-wing media), but he still does not kill those who seek to kill him. Surely if someone had simply volunteered to bring Smaug tea and biscuits and listen to him, his anger would have been greatly diminished, and many lives saved?

Then there is the question of what is to be done once the gold is captured and the Dwarven kingdom restored. Gold, as any truly scientific economic observer will recognise, is not wealth in itself. The people cannot eat gold or wear gold, gold will not cure diseases or educate the young, gold will not protect the dwarven borders and, contrary to nineteenth century myths about New York City, one cannot pave the streets with gold. Gold is primarily a store of value and a means of exchange. But so much gold is held in the mountains, kept out of circulation by Smaug, that the inflationary impact of releasing it or spending it could be catastrophic, not just for the Dwarves, but for the whole of middle earth. And when hyperinflation strikes, it is the working classes – those without property or land– who suffer most, whilst the mortgage holders and landlords can snap up more than they hold in exchange for loaves of bread. And that is without mentioning the political impact of hyperinflation.

Economic collapse paved the way for Nazi rule in our history, and middle earth has its own charismatic reactionary revolutionary – a man who promises power and hierarchy, who rejects the values of the enlightenment, and is prepared to use modern industrial technology to conquer the known world.

And what does Gandalf do in the face of this fascist threat? He sets the dwarves off to slay an irrelevant dragon. This creature could be a bulwark against the forces of Sauronism, but instead it is driven to the same side as the forces of evil by the actions of those in the West. What is more, removing the dragon from the mountain is sure to create a power vacuum that will invite conflict between elves, men and dwarves – the very people who should be united in this time of need.

And then there is Bilbo, a thief who steals a psychologically disturbed homeless person’s only possession. And that is why I cannot call Bilbo, or any of his party, “heroes”.