Archive for July, 2009

Dead Whingers Society

Posted in Film, Grave News, Music on July 29, 2009 by Johnnie

Originally published on SoundsXP, 4th May, 2005


Scene 13 – The Rector’s Office, St Xenolith the Pure, Boarding School of Music

THE RECTOR IS SEATED IN A LEATHER CHAIR BEHIND A GIANT MAHOGANY DESK.

ENTER THE DEPUTY, A TROUBLED LOOK UPON HIS FACE.

THE RECTOR PEERS OVER HIS SPECTACLES AT HIM, AS THE DEPUTY  ADVANCES SHEEPISHLY TOWARDS THE RECTOR’S DESK.

DEPUTY: Rector, please forgive my intrusion.

RECTOR : Your expression and general demeanour don’t inspire me with confidence. I take it that I am not expected to be delighted by your forthcoming revelation?

DEPUTY: Well, Sir, regretfully, I have some… erm… grave news, Sir…

RECTOR: Out with it, Deputy!

DEPUTY: Unfortunately, I have it on good authority from the head boy; I’m afraid, Sir, that, in spite of all our best efforts, there have been subversive sounds heard in the night.

RECTOR: Subversive sounds? What sort of subversive sounds?

DEPUTY: They were described to me as, if you please, Sir.. (gulps) the faint whingeings of Fishjumpery… Continue reading

Is This The Most Miserable Advert Ever?

Posted in Dearly Departed, Grave News on July 29, 2009 by Johnnie

Death and Misery

There really is no way back from this one.  It’s an advert for the Alzheimer’s treatment drug Remynil XL – which, when taken once daily, apparently stops the elderly from dissolving right before your eyes.  Frankly, this photo makes me want to take an overdose of them.  Continue reading

Designate the Fate of your Pate

Posted in Advice, Grave News, Star "Style" on July 29, 2009 by Johnnie
BALDI love adverts for “miracle” baldness cures.  They’ve fascinated me since I was a child, chiefly because my dad was convinced I’d be a slap-head by the time I was 19.  In fact, everyone was convinced of this, mainly because my dad was very convincing – and talkative.

As a teenager, I “articulated” these deep fears in an appallingly-drawn cartoon strip entitled The Onset, in which a bald man, short on confidence and money, goes to buy a toupee.  Looking at the available range, including “The Elvis” and “The Jimmy Savile”, he has to settle for the cheapest syrup in the shop – “The Pedal Bin”, a horrid, nasty rug made out of two Brillo pads, strung together into the shape of a comb over. Continue reading

Pointless Nostalgia: Puffa Puffa Rice (again)

Posted in Food & Drink, Pointless Nostalgia on July 26, 2009 by Johnnie

Due to overwhelming demand (and the extraordinary patronage of ANITA ALOHA , star of a 1960s Kellogg’s commercial), it seems we may have a ‘Bring Back Puffa Puffa Rice’ Campaign on our hands.  Personally, I’m all for keeping the past in the past but, if they can bring back Wispas, we could be in with a shout.  Firstly, here’s the ad featuring our friend Anita Aloha, followed by last year’s post as it appeared, then…


k-sootyGenerally speaking, I’m not one for nostalgia. Get a bunch of people of a certain vintage together in a living room or a bar and a strange mist descends over their eyes – before you know where you are, they’re dredging up half-memories of Spangles, Captain Pugwash, school medicals (including “the cold spoon”), Creamola Foam and Thalidomide.

Still, sometimes, a fleeting recollection of a certain product will conjure up tastes, smells and emotions of a bygone, never-to-return era; not a demand for an immediate return (because most comebacks don’t work), just remembrance of youth and a gentler time of your life. Continue reading

Heifer Whines Could Be Human Cries

Posted in Favourite Publications on July 24, 2009 by Johnnie

IFJTaking a rather different tactic than normal farming publications – which, regardless of economic climate, tend to feature rural types in flat caps and wellies wielding placards about whatever happens to be pissing them off about their endlessly miserable line of work – the cover of the latest issue of Irish Country Living (a supplement within Irish Farmers Journal) features a cheerful looking, and rather young, couple smiling merrily at the sheer joy of life.  Sun, sea, sand and no slurry to be seen or smelt (or to poison rivers) for miles.  Not even a hint of the ruddy-cheeked giveaway signs of climate fatigue or the furrowed, ploughed brows of being “constantly” “persecuted” by the government, the supermarkets, the EU, the Taliban and Somalian pirates.  But wait, is the lass in the picture wearing a badge?  What does it say?  “Miss Inis Meáin 2009”, or something? 

Continue reading

New Doctor, New Set Of Moaning Geeks…

Posted in Grave News, Star "Style", TV on July 23, 2009 by Johnnie

article-1200883-05C6E1B8000005DC-445_468x698Well, the excitement in Doctor Who-land didn’t last long, did it? The first pictures of the 11th Doctor Matt Smith and his new assistant Amy Pond (played by ‘wee’ Scots actress Karen Gillan) were published all over the British press this week as filming of the next series began in Cardiff.  But there’s already a chorus of whinges about his costume emanating from the grubby, hidden quarters of sci-fi-geek Inter-Nerd forums – the weird dimension where greasy-haired hordes of smelly, overweight, plastic bag-carrying, fully-grown adult males create a virtual “life” for themselves by railing against anything that resembles progress, and that almost entirely in the field of their favourite TV programme.

Doctor Who’s new executive producer Steven Moffat, a lifelong fan himself, has created what appears to me to be the perfect image for the new Doctor.  Matt Smith may, at 26, be the youngest actor to take on the role but the costume reflects that he’s still playing a Time Lord who’s almost 1000 years old.  Expressions like ‘geography teacher’ have been bandied around everywhere, but really, Smith’s look is part of a series of Moffat’s small nods to the Doctor’s own past which will put his stamp on the new era – those little nods are illustrated at the bottom of this post. Continue reading

Pointless Nostalgia: Patrick Hernandez

Posted in Music, Pointless Nostalgia on July 22, 2009 by Johnnie

When Jim Carroll posted details about the latest round of Electric Picnic acts on his blog, one reader was so bewildered by the inclusion of Kid Creole & the Coconuts that they replied, “Kid Creole !!?? Mother of God!  Anybody for Patrick Hernandez?”

Now there would have been a reason for me to go without comfort for an entire weekend.  Patrick Hernandez‘s biggest and, let’s be honest, only real worldwide hit, Born To Be Alive from 1979, is still one of my favourite songs.  It’s like all your electric Giorgio Moroder dreams come true.  Oh, and the video simply can’t be beaten for non-stop paving-the-way-for-Gary-Barlow dancing.  Sigh.  It could be that I’m just entirely, soppily nostalgic about this song, but the 10-year-old me was a very happy soul and it just takes me back there; maybe 1979 wasn’t the sunniest summer on record but it certainly seems like it listening to this. Continue reading