Friday, 26 April 2013

Assessing the Cyborg/Gibbon dichotomy in modern cuisine

I’ve been existing in a state of political confusion for what seems like an awfully long time. At some stage I think my brain just stopped being able to accept the bleak truth that democracy is dead and there’s bugger all I can do about it and decided, very much in keeping with the times, to take the executive decision to just pump out white noise whenever I tried to engage rationally with the issues of the day.

This resulted in my exasperated refrain of “I blame Thatcher”. It could be argued that I wasn’t wrong, but it really meant  “I don’t understand where it all went wrong but I know she was something to do with it.”
Since the old woman died a number of good things have happened: the media went monkey-cock crazy about all the stuff that THATCHER! did and how it was great and how it was awful and how very, very divisive she was and how you have to be respectful of old dead tyrants who supported mass murderers and sold bombs to dictators. It was good because it sent me down a hyperlink rabbit hole to finally find some decent information about why things are the way they are and how neoliberalism has screwed the vast majority of us brutally, roughly and without our consent in whichever hole we were least keen on getting screwed in, be it in the post-box or up the cat-flap.

This in no way equates to the sudden acquisition of valid opinions which would necessarily stand up to intense scrutiny, but I can at least begin to find out why there seems to be no social-democratic alternative available in mainstream politics and precisely why the concept of introducing the free market into all areas of state activity is so very, very wrong.

Most of us can see what the free market gets up to. Managers with beating sticks forcing Bangladeshi sweat shop workers to go into a building that promptly falls down. That’s what the free market does. It seeks to suck the money out of your pocket in any way it possibly can and concentrate that money at the pinnacle of an impossibly high pyramid, a pyramid built from the toil of all us grinning idiotic slaves. And they do it absolutely everywhere.

The NHS is being forced to contract out its services (not new that) and private healthcare companies are taking an ever larger piece of the pie. Where does the money come from? You, you dumb monkey. Where does it go? It goes up! All the way to the filthy rich geezers (there’s a high probability that it’ll be a geezer) sat on the board and to the shareholders. And we know what the filthy rich do; they sew pigs together and fire them at the moon. They put cows on roller skates and make them joust for biscuits. They make babies drink their own tears until they turn into fish. I have no idea what the filthy rich do and I never ever will.
Local government has to do the same. We are told that this outsourcing and contracting is more efficient and better value for money and the market knows best and that all the crashes, disasters, atrocities and fish babies are not the result of giving ever longer reigns to an unprincipled greed machine, but because poor people believed that they could have nice things if they borrowed some money and it would be fine and because poor people are all lay-abouts and scroungers and criminals and that what we really need to do is stop worrying about the people who actually made off with all the cash and find a way to make people’s lives which are currently really, really shit even shitter.

None of this will be news to anyone who is actually reading this, it’s not even news to me. What I was having trouble understanding was why there did not seem to be any political alternative to what we’ve ended up with. It’s easy enough to say that all politicians are the same but it is nice to be able to put your finger on how they are all the same. Turns out it is this belief in the free market as the answer to what ails us.

Funny how, now that I’m looking at it typed out, this is what I was thinking all along but had failed to organise into a coherent statement. What will be interesting in the years left to me before I am eaten by a weaponised koala paratrooper (I’ll tell you about it sometime) is finding out what it all means and whether we will ever throw off the shackles of the unethical and uncaring free market bastard army we currently find ourselves the victims and accomplices of.

Thanks for dying Thatcher. You’ve prompted me to replace my befuddled and impotent rage with a focussed, informed and erudite impotent rage. Suck my plums.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

I'm dizzy from the minty tingles!

That’s three grand nights in the Pilgrim that we’ve notched up now. We seem to be doing rather well at this caper. Z.E.B.R.A was great, sweaty and really very groovy. And I’m fairly certain he managed to hit himself in the face because he was getting so far into the groove. I too have hit myself in the face, many a time. I have also broken a deckchair because I was air-drumming so hard. I think the seeds of an excellent performance art project are right there.

Gorp were also amazing. I spent my formative years surrounded by people who liked prog-rock. I confess it was never my favourite thing in the world but Gorp’s sound had a sufficiently edgy enough to please me. And no one was wearing a cape, which was a relief. I’m the cape wearer in these parts. That night I had decided to wear a fairly preposterous garment – a jacket with tails and great big silver button things. I think I looked like sex on a stick, a pretty big stick at that. A Gallop poll found that 87% of women over 35 agreed.

The specific stick.
March is looking like it is going to be an interesting month for us. We will be doing a session for Dave Monk’s show on Radio Merseyside, which will involve acoustic guitars. I’ve got new strings on mine and everything. I even gave it a polish with a bit of Pledge. Smells like spring cleaning. Polish technology has come a long way since I was a lad. According to the label this polish can be used on wood, plastic, glass, human flesh, space, time, facts, lies, racism, cancer, birds, racist birds, porridge, electoral fraud, delusions, illusions, confusions, scandals, handles, sandals, moths, cloths, lofts, ditches, bitches, witches, snitches, hovercraft, Lovecraft, dove crap, spider-monkeys, monkey spiders, dog spiders, spiders with human heads, spiders with human hands and human heads, human heads with spider eyes, bees with lips, ducks with dicks, cows with wheels, swine in heels, lords on fire, the snooker player Stephen Maguire, knuckle dusters, scrotal fusters (look it up), snowballing, kerb crawling, grass cuttings, face fuddings (don’t look it up), anal warts and existential angst. Remember to use a clean, soft cloth.

Greater Spotted Northern Canadian Lesser Lipped Bee
We will also be playing the Threshold Festival on the 9th of March, specifically in the Roost section at about half seven in the evening, which is a definite improvement from last year when we took to the stage at roughly one in the morning, after having sound checked at about noon. It was a long and unpleasant day. Hopefully this year will be much more fun.

But wait, there’s more. This Saturday we will be playing an animal right’s benefit gig in our old haunt Next to Nowhere. It’s been a while since we were down there so that’s going to be a hoot. And the mighty Z.E.B.R.A. will be joining us!

Rounding the month off will be our 4th Pilgrim gig on the 30th. These have really gone extremely well and I’m really very proud of us for having managed to do it. Yay, go us. Mike has an informative film about glue sniffing lined up for us, which I think we would all do well to watch. Whilst I have managed to get my solvent abuse down to manageable levels recently I know some of you haven’t and it is really in your best interests to do so. It wasn’t so long ago that I was huffing a 15kg Calor Gas Butane cylinder every week, as well as the Perma Gard Expoxy Resin, Loctite Hybrid All Purpose Power Glue, Unibond Repair All Purpose 1min Power Epoxy, Evo Stik Serious Stuff Ultimate Strength Grab Adhesive and my personal favourite Mapei Ultimate Ready Mixed Supergrab Adhesive. Now I’m down to one Tipp-Ex Shake ‘n Squeeze a day. My life is my own again. If I can do it, so can you. Andy can’t, he’s got no willpower at all, but the rest of you can.

Seriously though, solvent abuse is brilliant.

Only joking.

I’m not joking.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Invitations to participate in a scandal are now being accepted

We are 8.2% of the way through 2013’s total allocation of days and we have notched up two performances so far. The second instalment of our five act farce at the Pilgrim was at least fourteen spherical inches of fun. Chris Shennan kicked things off early and was very entertaining indeed. Unfortunately he had to leave early too to go and work, which was a shame.

Some Rabbits were outstanding and they brought fruit flavoured Fox’s Glacier sweets as part of some sterling promotional punning on the name of their new single Some Foxes. We all enjoyed them very much and, what’s more, they are extremely nice people to boot. Liam Some Rabbit will be returning as a Zebra for February. I heartily recommend that you attend.

We were pretty good too. We didn’t fuck up our new song Lucky not Lucky to any great degree so I’ll put that one in the win column. We’ve got another new one on the way for the 9th of February. See if you can pick it out from the list below:

1. Lips limbs lungs
2. Facts
3. Stone
4. Lucky not lucky
5. Donkey's Arse
6. Curtains
7. Various Propositions
8. Sanity Check

There may be a prize. There may not be a prize.

We also played at Phoenix of Avalon’s EP launch in the Lantern Theatre and we had a very nice time. It’s a very welcoming little theatre and they made us feel very at home. We also picked up a cracking review from

So all in all we’ve kicked off 2013 quite well. At this point I think it is entirely appropriate to speculate as to what 2013 may hold for us. I have gazed into my crystal prosthetic scrotum and this is what the swirling mystical spermatozoa have revealed:

  1. Andy will be invited to produce the next Roger Whittaker album but will turn it down after suddenly developing a terrible fear of beards.
  2. Mike will tangle his leads into a knot so dense that it begins to warp the fabric of space. William Shatner will arrive to sort it all out. Andy will record William Shatner’s new album.
  3. Matt will discover that it is possible to reanimate corpses using Glade plug-ins and Vimto.
  4. Matt’s zombie army will take over Tuscany.
  5. Mashemon will enjoy a nice holiday in Tuscany.
  6. I will stop worrying and learn to love the bomb.
  7. My dog will cost me another massive pile of money when she ends up in the vets after challenging an orang-utan to a gin drinking contest and getting into a fight with a Russian sailor on shore leave.
  8. Mashemon will finally finish our rock opera based on Culpeper’s The Complete Herbal after cracking the difficult arrangement of Borage.
  9. One of us will learn how to levitate. One of us, who can levitate already, will feel a little less special.
  10. My naked arse will be projected onto the surface of the moon so that all the people of the world will be united in admiration of my hot, hot ass.

It is possible that not everything on the list will occur in 2013, some of them may be postponed until 2014 so don’t come to me with disparaging remarks this time next year because I will simply nod sagely, stroke my beard and tell you to blow it up your wazoo.

In other news: I’m pleased to say that playing my new Firebird at the last gig was very pleasant indeed. Now we’ve got Matt making bringing the twang and scratch with his Telecaster the earthier, deeper tone of the Firebird sits very nicely in the mixture. I’ve even ordered some new Bill Lawrence pickups for it, although they seem to be taking their sweet time to get here. I can only imagine that they’ve been stolen by Rock and Roll Pirates who have put them to use in their swashbuckling activities of deflowering maidens, brawling with burly Hungarians and rocking out with their cocks out.

Speaking of which, because of the low slung nature of the new guitar I can happily rock out with my cock out all the time and no one will be any the wiser, until I start playing it with my teeth. The guitar that is, I gave up those sorts of contortions when the subscriptions to my pay-per-view website hit the £1,000,000 mark and I realised that I could pack it in and avoid major back surgery. Something to bear in mind.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

My mastery of the reverse lunge is unrivalled!

December’s gig went really well. We have launched our new EP and people have reported that they like it. This is a good thing to hear. I would like to think that someone, somewhere, did a little getting ready for work dance to it, or maybe did a little getting ready for bed dance. Or maybe both, if that’s the line of work they are in.

I did a little dance the other day. I think I was eating something tasty and it compelled me to do a little jig. My hips were very mobile. It was not entirely an appropriate jig.

Our next performance is a mere 10 days away and as far as doing a new song each gig is concerned we may fall at the first jump and have to be taken into the car park and put out of our misery with a brick. Things that may have caused us to fail:

1. Micro-organisms.
2. Festivities.
3. The implacable marching of time.

Of course, we may find in our two remaining rehearsals that this song comes very naturally to us and that there was nothing to worry about at all in which case the beginning of this piece will just be me scare mongering needlessly and you’ll say:

”He’s losing his mind.”

And I’ll say:

“Who are you talking to?”

Ha! See what I did there? Try to pull that shit with me buddy and I’ll have to teach you a hard lesson in the art of recognising shit that shouldn’t have been pulled. So put that shit-puller down and button your lip, wise-acre.

Another thing we may or may not be doing at the next gig is bringing along my old and rather large bass-combo to act as some kind of sub-woofer to give things a bit more bottom end. The bass amp is currently sat under my stairs, where it has been for quite some time. I’m going to get it out and turn it on tonight and see what happens. Oooh, shut your face. Filthy. Providing everything is in order with it I’ll be getting Mike to give me a hand carrying it to the van and sticking it inside. Behave. Then we’ll give it a good working over in rehearsal to make sure it will be up to the task of lasting through the next gig. Dirty!

I do hope you’ll be coming to our next night at the Pilgrim. It’ll be on Saturday the 12th of January. Doors open at 19.30 ish. Bring a friend. Bring two. Now return to whatever it was you were just doing. Except for you. Don’t do that.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mentol rocket blast! Full & Frontal!

The expansion has been a success and we now move onto phase 8 of the plan. At least I am fairly certain this is phase 8. Things left to do this year:

  1. Do our final 3 track EP for the year.
  2. Do a split EP with Dass Unser so we can jettison our pop music ballast.
  3. Start making preparation for what we will be up to next year.
 We’ve already got started on next year’s project and I’m confident it will be at the very least a pleasing diversion. One thing I will say is, if you haven’t got hold of anything which we’ve already done either on CD or as a download, do it before the end of the year.

Next gig is on the 19th of October in the Lomax. We’ve got some class acts lined up, as displayed below:

It is going to be Professor Graham’s first gig with us and I am expecting you all to show him some goddamn respect. Not only is he more intelligent than you are, but he is also a professional wrestler and can probably open you up like a tin of sardines. So don’t start giving him aggro or being all up in his face because, and I am not exaggerating, he will fucking end you.

Really, I don’t know why I always have to tell you to just behave and act nice, anyone with half a brain would have learnt from the last time, but no, you just can’t help yourself. What about that butcher you were taunting last Tuesday? And that chef in the Chinese restaurant? I am not going to spend another evening in A&E waiting for you to have something else sewn up, stitched back on, pulled out or shoved back in. 

In other news: I saw my second Mock Mock Tudor house yesterday on my way to Shrewsbury. If you or anyone you know lives in a Mock Mock Tudor house I would love to meet either you or them and I woud love to love you or them even more. 

Other other news: that thing I said about these blogs happening more often: fucking lies! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

If I let go of it for just a second we'll all be impregnated

We were trying to think of something different the other day. We are playing at the FesEvol at the The Kazimier on Saturday the 12th of August and since we’ll be playing in the daylight we won’t have the opportunity to use the projectors. This means that we will have to rely on our own natural charm, charisma and stage presence to embellish the performance. Hmmm.

So we were thinking of ways we can do something a bit different and we pondered, stared into the middle distance, stroked our chins, made thinking noises and furrowed our brows. This is what we came up with:

  1. Perform naked.
  2. Get an escapologist.
  3. Grow moustaches.
I think you’ll agree that’s certainly a list. As to whether the items in the list are quality items, I think the less said the better. Sometimes we come up with better ideas than this, but not this time.

If we were to be trendy zeitgeisty types, we’d put it to the vote. Except it would be a thoroughly demoralising process for all concerned no matter what the outcome was. Much like chemical warfare or the postal service.  

It’s not always easy to come up with an interesting or novel idea at the drop of a hat, although strangely enough the International Hat Dropping Championships were thought up in just that fashion. Still, relying on serendipity isn’t going to put dinner on the table or money in the bank or ducks in the pond or monkeys in the trees or fish in the sea or tassels on nipples or chips in the fryer or ground glass in the camp commandant’s mashed potatoes or Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century. 

This effort from Geoff "Fiery" Boycott saw him lift the Chalice in 1970

What I’m saying is, if we’d had a flip chart and some pens and a day of team building exercises we might have come up with something better. So don't make the same mistake. Mashemon Inc. run a series of Action Activity Days focusing on fostering improved inter-personal team dynamics, re-balancing systemic process inequalities, providing nurture bubbles for proto-cognitive realisation gradients and facilitating non-culpable responsibility “we-states” vital in the full formation of intermeshed community zero-scale market gearing in the modern world. 

Formalising the "notion-of-us" in a respect-rhombus

Prices start at £300 per person per day. Buffet lunch and light refreshments included. Bring a change of clothing.

Ultimately it will all come down to the performance on the day. I am planning on taking one song at a time, playing the high percentage notes, keeping focussed on doing the simple stuff right and playing each ball on its merits. You simply cannot afford to make simple mistakes at this level and you should be able to clear up in one visit. Our defence is strong, we’ve been training well and Andy is getting over his groin strain. He might need a pain killing injection, but he’s a brave lad and I’m sure he’ll give 110%. As far as Mike’s upcoming trial for racism, homophobia, sexual misconduct and armed robbery is concerned, we are not making any comment at the present time. Because we’re a little scared of him. 

It's about this time of the day that I like to tell you to go and boil your head.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

I saw butterflies eat flesh!

I return! Like an eel in a coracle, or a wasp in a thermos flask. I know I’ve not been getting as many posts on here as I should and I know I’ve said before that I’ll be more prolific so I’m here to tell you two things:

  1. There will be more blog posts in the future
  2. They will appear at a higher frequency
  3. They will make less sense than ever.

You can put that in a bag and call take it to the funeral home.

Talking of funeral homes, there’s one down the road from where I live which has the most interesting exterior decoration this side of the M6. You’re all familiar with what a Tudor house looks like I presume. White walls, black beams, you might be able to summon the image in front of your mind right now. There might even be a Tudor man and Tudor woman standing outside the house. Give them a wave. Are they waving back? Try again. Anything? Probably not. Bastards. 

Oi! Big nose! Look me in the eye when you don't wave at me.
You’re also probably aware of the 20th Century Mock-Tudor house. You know, you see them in middle-class housing estates with their black timbers and white bits of wall. There’s probably a Ford Mondeo in the drive way. Possibly a Ford Focus as well. There’s a nice couple standing outside. Give them a wave. Are they waving back? Probably not. That’s because you are too poor and they are afraid of you. If you look carefully they have both let a little bit of wee come out. 

Stop being happy and wealthy and eat your dinner.

So, we know what a Tudor house looks like, although you might be thinking of the Tudor Revival of the late 19th and early 20th Century. I’ll let you off this time, but my goodness you’re pushing it. One of these days we’re going to come to blows and when the punching starts I punch to maim. Not to demoralise or deter, proper horrible, brutal, nasty, ugly punches. And I’ll kick you in the balls as well. If you’re not a ball owner I’ll kick someone else in their balls and it will be all your fault. So please, just stop dicking around and pay attention. It’s your own time you’re wasting.

If I may continue. You’ve got your Tudor house and you’ve got your Mock Tudor house. Both of them involve the use of wooden beams visible on the exterior, in the Tudor house they are actually structural whereas in the Mock Tudor house they are more decorative, to give the impression of a half-timber structure.

The funeral home down the road has taken this one step further by painting on the dark timer beams. Yes, that’s right; it’s a Mock Mock Tudor building. I don’t know whether to shit myself or go blind. Suffice to say, every time I pass by I give it a round of applause.

I’m guessing that right about now you’re thinking:

 “That’s exactly the look I’ve been searching for my home. But how can someone like me ever afford to have a house like that?”
Well there’s no need to fret or sell your organs because Mashemon Property Redesign offer a wide range of exciting design possibilities for your home. With prices starting as low as £37.42 (excluding VAT) you can have the dream home you’ve always dreamed of dreaming of. Give us a call and we’ll be round in a flash. A cup of tea would be nice. White, no sugar. Thanks, sugar tits.