March of the Penguins

Penguin: bastard

Penguins are bastards. They have managed to capture the affection of almost everyone without actually doing anything particularly interesting or useful.

That’s why I object to the film The March of the Penguins. It’s like watching a Channel 4 documentary about people living in council estates, who moan about poverty and the hopelessness of their situation and then spend their benefit money on Sky TV packages and Wii consoles while their kids enjoy a daily diet of  turkey twizzlers and Quality Street.

Like those council estate residents Penguins should not be afforded any sympathy. Penguins live in sub-zero temperatures and that’s their bloody choice. If penguins want a better life they are perfectly capable of swimming to the ruddy Bahamas but of course, they never do. They just waddle about waiting for Channel 4 to take notice.

Penguins live in cold places… because they like to… and don’t start all this rot about ‘the plight of the penguins’. They get just what they deserve even if the odd seagull does occassionally have a small fluffy one for lunch.

And what of this ‘marching’ business anyway? There’s certainly no goosestepping or right-wheeling to be seen throughout this two-hour ‘epic’. Any self-respecting avian army parade would see straight through the lack of discipline demonstrated by these flightless, butler-impersonating frauds and send them straight to Guantanamo Bay for a bit of decent, well-rounded correction.

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‘Landing’ sweeties

Boiled sweets: utterly useless for landings

Flying is hell and anyone who says they enjoy it is lying. You are stuck in a metal tube at 40,000ft sitting next to a person with halitosis. Your knees are touching the seat in front and you’ll be like this for the next 12 hours.

Every three or four hours you get some chicken slop in a plastic box which you’ll eat with plastic cutlery. Then if you need to go to the toilet you’ll have to shift your fellow passenger, wait until the toilet’s free and sit in a box that’s no bigger than a coffin. You’ll do an unsatisfying, and disconcerting, skinny poo.

More likely, stage fright, will curtail a release and you’ll have to go through the whole demeaning process 15 minutes later when your bowels start screaming for mercy. If you are really unlucky you’ll fly through a storm and you’ll go through that uncontrollable fear that’ll leave indents on the arms of your seat. If you are in the toilet for a pee, you will piss on your trousers. You’ll exit and everyone in the plane will point out that you have a wet patch. It’s like school all over again.

Once safely in your seat, reeking of stale urine, you experience that ‘Oh lord, we’re going to die’ feeling at every air pocket until basic physics gets a grip and does as it’s told. If there’s any time for lachrymosity, it’s now. You have come to the point that if this is to be your final moments then let’s just get them out of the way.

After 20 minutes the plane exits the storm and the seatbelt lights turn off. The flight reverts to silky smooth and your terror begins to fade. It’s coming to an end but soon the plane will point downwards and you’ll have to go through the whole thing again as it navigates through low-level cumulonimbus hell.

At the ten-minutes-to-landing stage a perfectly coiffured flight attendant offers you a boiled sweetie. This, one assumes, is offered as a way of apology for the next ten minutes of trauma.

As the plane’s altitude descreases you get that feeling that somebody is attempting to crochet an ill-fitting jumper in your earhole. This is the time to start sucking like a baby. Your cheeks narrow as you try to prize the recalcitrant liquid from the sweet-tasting stone that you have in your mouth, but your efforts yield little reward. You’ve only got through the sugar coating.

Then, as the plane makes its approach and you hear that reassuring thunk of an undercarriage being released, you’ll now be convinced that someone is trying to shove a fridge in your ear. The boiled sweet in your mouth has now withered to a razor-sharp slither and it’s carving through flesh. Now the roof of your mouth resembles Wookey Hole. You have a shredded, bloodied mouth as well as a pair of ears that have no remaining function.

It sounds like you are underwater, but as the plane taxis along the runaway you can still hear the text-bleep from the mobile phones of fellow passengers who are convinced that they so unbelievably important that they need to keep the amount of time they are ‘incommunicado’ to an absolute minimum.

Meanwhile, you are looking at a future where sign language, lip-reading and subtitles will form a big part of your life. You simply cannot hear a thing. On leaving the plane the cabin crew lines up like a wedding party and you can just about lip-read the words ‘thank you’. You return the compliment, but because you are now deaf all verbal communication is reduced to incoherent mumble.

The ‘sweetie’ never does the job it’s supposed to do. After two days your hearing is back to normal, and within a few months you’ll probably go through the whole process again where you’ll take the sweetie, but just don’t know why.

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‘Fashion’ shows

Bread head

This week, dull people in suits will be attending Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York to look at people wearing stuff. As a result of this, the No 1 Line subway will be called the “The Fashion Line” (I can see what they’ve done there) and it is expected that about 230,000 will attend.

In advance publicity it has been described as one of the world’s most eye-catching events but I might like to take issue with that. A stray javelin is potentially more eye-catching.

One hopes there’ll be a few nice frocks for us to gawp at, but let’s face it, we’ll be lucky. Once we’ ve marvelled at a dude wearing the leaning tower of Pisa and the stick-thin model notable for her plastic penis earmuffs, we’ll probably pop off for a quick bellini and a chit-chat. Yah, mwah, yah.

So what can you make of all this then?

The short answer is, not much, because anything that you do see on a catwalk has, um… a cat’s chance in hell of making it into the shops. The argument here is that these garments, inspired by an evening of Guinness mixed with Prozac, help to inspire a sense of creativity.

That’s as empty as a Dale Winton thought. Why do you need to attach a dustbin lid to your head to come up with a nice wedding hat? Just design a nice wedding hat that won’t offend the in-laws and that doesn’t sound like Stomp’s doing a turn every time it rains.

Anything that appears on a catwalk is not fashion, but a nice little earner for people who have French- or Italian-sounding surnames*. The reality is anyone can stick a 1930s telephone on their head and call it art – it’s just we don’t want to.

Brinnnggg brinnng.


How handy is that?

*This was a creation by Timotei Baudelaire, assisted by Roberto de Vinci.

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‘Celebrity’ Big Brother


Right, so Celebrity Big Brother is back, like, on Channel 5, instead of Channel 4, which means big big changes.

This time they’ve got real celebrities, y’know like, well, Sally Bercow…
Ok, fair point. What about Jedward? I’ve heard of him. Them.

Kerry Katona? That’s easy, she’s famous because she won another reality show and there’s um… well, there’s Tara Reid – American Pie – and then there’s like Amy Childs and that’s before you’ve even considered Pamela Bach, Lucien Laviscount and the true legend that is Bobby Sabe. All household names, well familiar to all of us.

I think you get my drift. 

I can’t take it any more. I’ve had enough of so-called entertainment where we are invited to gawp at Z-grade ‘celebs’ making idiots of themselves. I thought it was all over last year when they had the final ‘Ultimate’ series where they boasted of ‘real’ stars to entertain us.

It was real super that one, and it included a veritable galaxy of well-known individuals. There was Chantelle, who’s famous for not being famous, and she was ably supported by a selection of ex-Big Brother housemates who hadn’t been famous before they became famous. And then there was Ulrika Jonsson – yep, I’d well heard of her. 

And Preston, which is a town.

So I’m not being fair, you say. Let’s consider other celebs who entertained on Big Brother series of old.

Lady Sovereign…?

Um… no.

Katia then?

Oh that’s easy, she was famous for sleeping with Ronnie Wood. And Ulrika, who was famous for sleeping with Sven Goran Eriksson. Then there’s Dane Bowers, who was famous for sleeping with Katie Price; Alex, who was also famous for sleeping with Katie Price; Jonas, who was famous for almost sleeping with Katia and Ivana Trump who was also famous for…

So, glad that was over, but now we’ve got Sally Bercow, who’s famous for…

There’s seven billion people living in the world and, as adults, most of them are perfectly capable of having sex with other people. It’s not a unique talent that demands adulation.

I’ve written about this before, and I am sorry to bore you with this subject again, but I’ll be steering well clear of Channel 5 in the next few weeks just in case I accidently channel-hop to a scenario where I am able to witness the hilarity of somebody arguing over who took the last biscuit.

See what I’ve done there…

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