Tuesday 30 December 2008

The Art of Autobiography

"I was a signalman, one who knew the semaphore code and how to receive and transmit it... I had blundered into wanking a teleprinter..."
- Peter O'Toole, Loitering With Intent

Monday 29 December 2008


The washpot never boils.

Good cheer!

The Amnesiac Review - spreading warmth and love, this festive season.

[Thanks to KJW]

Saturday 27 December 2008

I've had enough of singing for one year.

This guy, on the other hand....

Which of the four is actually his natural voice, d'you think?

[Thanks to BCG]

Thursday 25 December 2008

Santa censors?

On the off-chance that Santa visited this Christmas, my father asked if there was anything I might like.

I said an album by (the) Fuck Buttons.

Didn't get it, though.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

The Lost and Found Orchestra

Junk, but not rubbish. Or vice versa.

At the Southbank Centre, until January.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Absolutely NO way

Friday 19 December 2008


Without warning, the nation's favourite chocolatier has axed four ranges - Time Outs, Picnics, Dreams and Crunchies - from tins of Heroes and replaced them with just two - Bournvilles and toffee Eclairs.

Full horrifying story

Least comforting headline of the day so far

People 'still willing to torture'
Also, I don't understand what the word 'still' is doing in that sentence. Unless of course they're referring to whoever is in charge of the Christmas TV schedule.

Thursday 18 December 2008

Terrifying Science News UPDATE

“From aspirin and bananas to Vegemite and water, internet searches present seemingly endless options for preventing or treating alcohol hangovers,” the doctors said. “No scientific evidence, however, supports any cure or effective prevention.”
For various reasons to do with Czech lager and French wine, this comes as particularly unwelcome news this morning...

Science latest

SCIENTISTS are to test whether sharks enjoy listening to Christmas pop songs, it was revealed yesterday.

They will also find out whether the fish prefer Slade's Merry Christmas Everyone to Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine.

Seen in a charity shop

As opposed to what, exactly?

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Tony McNumpty

The Out-of-Work & Pensions Minister, Tony McNulty, says that the whole financial crisis (with attendant job-losses) is far from over, but - huzzah! - that the HMG will be going through inquiry reports on the economic slump with "a fine tooth-comb".

The Amnesiacs suspect he may have meant 'a fine-tooth(ed) comb'. But no matter.

"I learned a new word today, Basie" - 5

hellion, n. a disorderly, troublesome, rowdy or mischievous person (e.g. Hunter S Thompson).

The Scarecrow and His Servant

... at the Southwark Playhouse.

Philip Pullman - too good for children.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Why we need to start closing all the schools

Because the internet teaches us everything we really need to know:

Amnesiac Food Critics' Awards, 2008

AA Gill at his best/worst.

I calculate that less than 40% of this week's column has anything to do with food, let alone Trishna, the restaurant ostensibly under review.

Nick Hornby, legend

The third installment of his brilliant Believer reading diaries.

Technology latest

Aiko says "I do not like it when you touch my breasts," before swatting the inventor away with her right arm.

Quote of the Day

From Peter Schmuck at The Schmuck Stops Here, one of the handful of blogs I read religiously:

"By the way, I'd like to make a shout out to President George Bush for the deft way he dodged those shoes that were thrown at him by a reporter in Iraq. The incident got me wondering if I could have been a Secret Service agent. I'm not a real brave guy, but I think I would be willing to take a shoe for the president."

Monday 15 December 2008

I drink, therefore IQ am

More from doctors. Apparently, smart kids are fractionally more likely to develop drinking problems by the age of 30.

This is clearly bullshit, since I developed mine a full decade ahead of schedule.

Saturday 13 December 2008

Health latest

Dr Philip said: "A recent market research report has suggested that there has been a worldwide increase in the number of wooden and ceramic toilet seats sold.

"We would not be surprised to hear that other colleagues have noticed an increase in penis crush injuries as a result of this." (BBC)
(Thanks to Alexandra)

Thursday 11 December 2008

Most unfortunate headline of the day so far

'More action needed' on obese kids
To be fair, there's probably a perfectly good physiological reason obese kids aren't seeing much action.

Apostrophe police

This one is bad (about 17 seconds in):

The interview itself is terrible, until the last three seconds, when Chevy Chase releases an enormous air bagel.

Reading matter

Nearly half of all men and one-third of women have lied about what they have read to try to impress friends or potential partners, a survey suggests.

Men were most likely to do this to appear intellectual or romantic, found the poll of 1,500 people by Populus for the National Year of Reading campaign.

The men polled said they would be most impressed by women who read news websites, Shakespeare or song lyrics.

Women said men should have read Nelson Mandela's biography or Shakespeare. (BBC)
One of these days*, the authors of this blog will write a book called The 50 Worst Books Ever Written, in which we will dissect (review) the 50 worst books ever written (like Ulysses and Penetrating Wagner's Ring) so that you, the reader, will be able to lie about having read them.

*Defined as: if we ever get our fucking acts together.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Hot and bothered

August: Osage County, at the National.

Bunch of bankers

Alex, at the Leicester Square Theatre.

Fascist referee of the week

Prospective title for my autobiography

"It was the operas wot done it."
- D S Hilton

Conclusive proof that nothing works in Britain

It relates to tennis, but this is as perfect a microcosm of events in my lifetime as I've ever read:

There was a time when British tennis was run by blazered Bufton Tuftons and cried out for modernisation and efficient practice; now the desire of the LTA to 'organise into the optimum way of serving our key stakeholders to efficiently and effectively deliver real benefits to British tennis in 2008 and beyond' (the words of Stuart Smith, its departing President, not mine) has a distinctly hollow look.

As heard Today on R4

"The Civil Service leaks like a sieve."
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the essence of the statement is correct.

The phrase just seems a little unfair on the sieve, is all.

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Monday 8 December 2008

Quote Unquote

"I believe in history [or, possibly, 'History']"
- The Dean of Southwark, on Newsnight.

Something refreshingly ironic in a priest declaring his firmly held belief in something everyone knows to exist.


AKA "Keep talking, girl!"

- Simon Bates, Classicfm

The great thing about Wikipedia UPDATE

As my learned colleague should have learned by now, ALWAYS read the footnotes!

The great thing about Wikipedia

is that it always delivers the facts you most need

And the winner of the cheeriest headline of the month is...

Job market is awful, but may get worse

Today's best headline

Accounts see record fall in profits
Nice to know they're paying attention.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Hunting horn

Finding horn.

I Found My Horn, at the Tristan Bates Theatre, W2.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Bangladeshi Brickies

As Hunter S Thompson might have said, BAD MIDGET CRAZINESS!!

[Thanks to KJW]

I Found My Horn

Jasper Rees's mid-life crisis, now showing at a theatre near you.

Best of Stop Smiling - 8

Sebastian Faulks Channels Ian Fleming: Devil May Care

Received, by e-mail

One very actual invitation to an event.

They know me so well.

[click on image for full ghastliness of small print]

Spam of the day

"one wife is not enough"
This courtesy of Mr(?) Winterfeldt Gianotti. You really have to wonder who his target audience is.