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The twelve toons of Christmas: Day six…

It’s “Factory Friday” 2015, which brings us to the halfway point in our Christmas cartoon countdown and today’s Ho ho ho from Ho is a fine example of the less-is-more school of illustration, showing that sometimes, a simple sketch is just as effective as an ornate masterpiece.

Have a mice day folks…

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Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Arts, Ho., Humour

 

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The twelve toons of Christmas: Day five…

In today’s artistic contribution from the ever-reliable Ho, there’s a culinary cartoon of festive fowl for your poultry perusal.

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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Arts, Ho., Humour

 

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One liner Wednesday: First drafts…

“Got my first real G-string, bought it at the five and dime…”

– Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams, 1984.

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Fortunately, Bryan had a change of heart at the last minute, giving us this gravel throated classic…

#1linerWeds

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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Arts, Guest spots., Humour, Music, One liner Wednesday

 

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The twelve toons of Christmas: Day two…

Here’s your second seasonal serving of Ho’s totally topical toons in my run down to this year’s blog Christmas card.

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Posted by on December 14, 2015 in Arts, Ho., Humour

 

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Two to Little, too late…

image Yeah yeah, I know, alright? It’s another Sunday edition of Stream of Consciousness Saturday, but I’m sure Helen Espinosa (who is hosting Linda’s blog while she jets off to a gig in Japan) won’t mind.

This weekend’s prompt was;

“ “to/too/two.” Use one, use them all.”

Two to Little, too late.

Jimmy “Big Jim” Little was starting to go an alarming shade of apoplectic red, which was complemented nicely by the deathly and terrified pallor of his left-hand man, Travis, (Big Jim had lost his right arm in a nasty revolving door accident some years before) who was cowering under the ferocity of his master’s furious stare.

“What d’you mean there are only two? There were supposed to be four in here!”

“I know, Boss, but when we picked it up the box was sealed and the weight felt right. How were we to know..?”

“You mean you didn’t check!?” bellowed Jim, a vein beginning to throb at his temple now, “Didn’t I tell you it was important? DIDN’T I TELL YOU!!!?

“B-B-But Boss, you always told me not to ask any questions about the boxes we pick up for you, and you said if I ever opened any of them, you’d cut off my…”

“I don’t care what you think I said, you fucking imbecile, I want someone I can trust to drive a couple of miles, pick up a package for me and bring home what l fucking asked for!”

Travis wisely remained silent, guessing (correctly, for a change) that any response he gave would only serve to further inflame Big Jim’s already incandescent fury.

“Well you’re just going to have to go back and get the other two,” said Jim, “and if you know what’s good for you, you won’t come back without them.”

Travis scuttled across Jim’s “office”; an empty warehouse with a desk and two chairs, surrounded by boxes and filing cabinets in the middle of the open expanse of concrete floor, to where Neville waited by door. (In what passed for Neville’s mind, discretion was most certainly the better part of valour and he’d decided to let the senior partner in the henchman hierarchy do the talking)

“What d’you tell ‘im Travis?” he asked, as his visibly shaken mugger-superior approached.

“Shut up you bloody fool,” said Travis, glancing back over his shoulder at Big Jim Little, (who was sitting at his desk with his head in his hands, massaging his throbbing temples, cursing the ineptitude of his staff and bemoaning the low intelligence of the goons you got these days) “he’ll hear you, then we’re both in deep shit.”

“I only asked…,” began Neville, with a surly look on, for want of a more descriptive turn of phrase, we shall have to call his face.

“Well don’t, ok? Just don’t.”

They walked to the car, Travis muttering under his breath and rapidly smoking a foul-smelling handmade cigarette, Neville dragging his feet and sulking like the world’s least convincing, most terrifying schoolboy; hands thrust deep in his pockets, head down, bottom lip stuck out like a bunion in a lorry tyre and his low, protruding forehead knitted in a ferocious scowl that dared the brave, unwitting or suicidal to say something to provoke him.

“We’ll have to go back and see Boris the Frog, find out what happened to the other two in the box before he delivered it to the drop,” said Travis, once they were back in the dilapidated green Range Rover that they’d stolen that morning for the sole purpose of collecting Jim’s package, “maybe inflict a bit of gentle persuasion, just to jog his memory.”

The prospect of physical violence always seemed to cheer Neville up and this occasion was no exception. He immediately brightened up, fastened his seatbelt and pushed a tape into the ancient cassette player on the Rover’s dashboard.

He turned to Travis, idiot grin fully restored, said, “Oooh! I love this one!” and twisted the volume knob to maximum.

With a grinding of gears and clouds of black, oily smoke, the pair of criminal masterminds headed for Boris the Frog’s secure storage facility, barely two miles up the bypass, with Brittney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again” blaring from the broken sunroof, accompanied by two part harmonies in the key of Duh!

While the dysfunctional duo were heading for his main competitor’s lockup, Jimmy Little was sitting at his desk, carefully inspecting the contents of the package Travis had given him.

If anyone ever finds out, thought Big Jim, I’ll never live it down. I’d be laughed out of town. He winced at the thought.

“But they’re so beautiful.” he said under his breath, as he stroked the smooth, silky mane of the blue My Little Pony figurine he cradled in his hand.

He placed it gently back in the tissue-lined box, next to the purple pony that nestled there already and replaced the lid.
He had expected this delivery to have been the final addition to his huge private collection, he just needed Fluttershy and Applejack to complete the whole set of first edition ponies.

And now that fucking Russian wannabe mobster had screwed him out of what was rightfully his.
Well he’d bloody show Boris the bloody Frog, Travis and Neville would sort him out and bring home his beautiful, silky little playmates and he could reunite them with all their friends.

Boris “The Frog” Ribbitri heard the gravel-in-a-washing-machine sound of the Range Rover pulling up outside and gingerly took the box from his small floor safe. He closed the heavy door and slid the rug back into place, hurrying for the door before those two morons came in and started poking around.
He met Travis just as he was climbing out of the driving seat and while offering one hand in friendly greeting, he held out the box in the other, all the time talking and grinning.

“Oh I’m so glad you came back, there was nearly an awful mistake. You were supposed to take both boxes but they were delivered separately and one had been temporarily misplaced. But you’re here now and everything is where it is supposed to be, thank goodness.”
Boris looked from Travis to Neville and back again, both hands still held out in front of him, “You will take to Big Jim, yes? With Boris’ apologies for the mix-up and my best wishes, naturally.”

Neville just growled, but Travis patted his partner on the arm in a conciliatory manner and said, “Now, now Nev, Mr Ribbitri is being respectful,” he looked up at the glowering giant of a man, “remember what we said about respect?”

Neville wrinkled a brow that already looked like a badly-ploughed field and said, as if reading off some internal autocue, “Yes Travis. We must show respect. We must be polite. We must…”

“Yes, yes, ok Neville, you got the idea,” said Travis and turned back to Boris, who was watching the exchange with some amusement and took the package from him “Thank you Mr Ribbitri, I’ll be sure Big Jim gets this right away. Come on Nev, let’s get moving before rush hour kicks in.”

Travis nodded a goodbye to Boris, who was already on his way back to his office, climbed into the Range Rover and turned the ignition.
Nothing happened.
He looked around for Boris, thinking he could ask the Russian for a jump start, but he’d vanished into the maze of storage units.

Boris the Frog closed his office door and leant back against it, suddenly out of breath and sweating.
This was it. This was the moment he’d been planning for months.

He went to his desk and opened the bottom drawer, taking out a small black plastic box with a stubby antenna on the top and a single red button on the front.
Boris looked at his watch, placed the detonator on his desk blotter and went to the small drinks trolley in the corner. He poured himself a generous measure of vodka, returned to the desk and sat sipping his drink for a few minutes whilst humming a happy tune.

Outside in the car park, Travis had spent nearly fifteen minutes trying to get the piece of shit car running, while Neville knelt in the passenger seat and sang along to Britney’s greatest hits in an enthusiastic but tuneless bellow, with his head poking out the sunroof.

“Right, fuck this for a game of soldiers, let’s go and find Boris, he’ll have to loan us some wheels.” Travis set off in the direction he’d seen the Russian heading earlier, carrying Jim’s precious package.
Grumbling, Neville turned off the music and ambled across the tarmac in the wake of his partner in crime.

Boris Ribbitri, small-time gangster and occasional hitman for the Russian mob, placed his empty glass on the blotter, picked up the small black box, pulled up the antenna and, with a triumphant laugh, said “Fuck you Little Jim!” and pushed the red button.

At the exact same moment, he heard a knock at the door and just had time to look up in horror as Travis and Neville walked in carrying Jim’s package.

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Damien, Jaack and Verity…

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It’s always nice when someone leaves a comment about the blog, nicer still when I get feedback from artists and performers that I’ve featured on it and nicest of all when I get to interact in some small way with those writers and creative types more successful than myself.
That vicarious thrill of knowing that, no matter how minor, my little corner of the internet has had an impact on the work of somebody whose work I admire, whether it’s plugging a local band I’ve seen or helping promote a world famous artist.

Ok, that second example might not be the sort of thing I get to do very often, (oh alright, “never” would be more accurate, if you want to be picky) until today, that is.

A couple of years ago I wrote this post on outdoor sculpture, which featured the spectacular Verity statue on Ilfracombe harbour, a commission by the original enfant terrible of the British modern art world, Damien Hirst.

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Verity looks out to sea in North Devon.

Up close, Verity is incredibly imposing, towering over the small harbour like a watchful colossus protecting her homeland from invaders and, despite her half-flayed naked figure, she has a savage beauty that takes your breath away.

Well imagine my delight last week, when I received an e-mail from a very polite gentleman called Theo who works for a company called Artsy, (they showcase and promote the work of various artists on their very slick website) saying that he’d seen my sculpture post and asking if I would be prepared to provide a link to their Damien Hirst page.

Obviously I was very flattered that he would consider Diary of an Internet Nobody worthy of such a request and told him that I would be glad to be involved in whatever way I could.
After all many of you, my lovely readers, are from far flung parts of the globe and you may not have yet been exposed to Hirst’s often beautiful, sometimes controversial, but always intriguing catalogue of art works.

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So please take the time to check out THIS LINK and discover for yourself what makes Damien Hirst one of the most talked about artists of recent years.

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Which brings me to the second person that I’d like to draw your attention to today, someone who, if there’s any justice in the world of comedy, will soon be a big name, not just on YouTube, where his channel has over 150,000 subscribers, but on TV and the live comedy circuit.

Jack Dean is a self-styled “YouTube personality with little personality” whose channel is called JaackMaate and who tackles everything from the curse of terrible, formulaic pop music and teen magazines to racism and celebrity interviews.

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Now, I’ve never really been a fan of what I suppose you could loosely describe as “lad humour”, although the way Jack does it, with his immensely likeable personality, (he’s too modest, he has charisma by the bucketload) snappy editing and liberal worldview, it makes even the most ranty of his posts very funny indeed.
Admittedly, you may need to brace yourselves for a fair bit of colourful language and adult humour, but even so, JaackMaate comes across as one of those rare people; somebody who everyone wants to be friends with (unless of course, you are one of the unfortunates who have incurred his comedy wrath) and I’d like to share with you one of my favourites of his recent YouTube videos.

This is “Dirty Questions With My Girlfriend”:

If you liked that and want to see more of Jack’s material, GO HERE TO CHECK OUT HIS YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

And that’s about it for this post.

Coming up: I’m lucky enough to have been nominated for another award, this time by the lovely Linda G Hill, so next time I shall be going back to (very nearly) the beginning of my blogging adventure.

Stay tuned…

 

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Colour me childish…

Rhonda reminded me at the weekend that I have a birthday coming up soon, (that she had to remind me this, shows my enthusiasm for arbitrarily celebrating another 31,536,000 seconds as a passenger on a spinning ball of rock, but that’s beside the point) an “event” that will mark the beginning of my fiftieth year of continuous breathing.

That’s 1,576,800,000 seconds, should you be interested.

I’m sure most people will tell you that they don’t feel their age, after all, nobody likes to think they’re getting old, whatever their own personal definition of being “old” is and I’m certainly no different.
In fact I’m pretty convinced that I’m still about 25, and that’s only in my overall outlook, the me that lives in my head can’t be much older than fifteen, judging by the nonsense that passes for my internal monologue most of the time and that has always seemed perfectly natural.
I bet if you really think about the way you communicate with yourself in the privacy of your cranium, you’ll realise you too are largely at the mercy of your inner child.

This is of course something we should all celebrate and be eternally grateful for, because if it wasn’t for the ability to see the world through the eyes of a child occasionally, where would the wonder go?
We need that childish naïvete and innocence sometimes, just to enable us to live in the world and not go mad.
We need to be able to just forget we’re “grown-up” for a while and indulge the big kid in all of us.
This doesn’t mean that having a childlike view of things makes us immature, juvenile or stupid, it just means we can enjoy exercising our intellectual faculties on a different, maybe more instinctive level.

And one of the best ways to channel our inner kid is watching a completely unrealistic, fantastical and unfeasible science fiction movie or TV show.
Because the genre title alone, Science Fiction gives you a get-out from the get-go, letting you suspend your disbelief and cynicism and allowing you a guilt free two hours of wishing you could fly an X-wing like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, or beat the crap out of zombies like Alice in Resident Evil.

So imagine my amazement this morning, when I read that one of the recent greats of British geek TV and cinema, the creator of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg, has said in an interview that he thinks our fascination with all things sci-fi has dumbed down our culture and society and made us all “infantile”.

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Simon Pegg – Don’t make me laugh, I’m trying to look intellectual.

This from the bloke who not only gave us two grown men miming slo-mo gunfights on television and a film about a couple of geeks meeting an alien on the way to a sci-fi convention, but who is also in the process of writing the next Star Trek movie, which I’m sure will once again feature him giving toe-curling comic relief in his role as Scotty, not to mention the hopefully excellent Monty Python spin-off, Absolutely Everything, which, would you believe it, prominently features comedy aliens.

Here’s the trailer.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t look like the sort of film that’s going to be shown in art house cinemas anytime soon, (In his interview, Pegg singles out such classics as The Godfather, Taxi Driver and The French Connection as being films that we could intellectually engage with. The Godfather? Art house? Really?) nor do I think that many of the movies that were likely to have influenced him in his youth were all that arty or cerebral.
I may be wrong, he might have spent his formative years watching nothing but Fellini and Bergman films while he stroked his wispy adolescent beard.
But I doubt it.

Simon Pegg’s argument seems to be that when you come out of a modern blockbuster, having watched two hours of robots kicking the shit out of each other in the Pacific, teams of superheroes fighting aliens, or presumably even Sandra Bullock dying of boredom whilst floating in space, you haven’t had much of a mental workout.
Although I don’t believe I recall the scene in which Don Corleone challenges a rival mobster to a sudoku tournament to settle a turf war, or Popeye Doyle quoting Nietzsche at a suspect as he beats a confession out of them.

Let’s face it, most films boil down to some kind of morality tale: Good vs Evil.
Star Wars is just a western in space, Guardians of the Galaxy could just as easily be the Dirty Dozen and Pegg’s own Hot Fuzz, well, that could be any number of buddy movies, all the way back to Butch and Sundance.

So I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s fighting his way through some kind of early-onset, inverted mid-life crisis that makes fun people dull.
Then again, there’s just as much chance that he’s taking the piss, in order to promote his latest not-very-grown-up film.

Either way, I don’t intend to grow up anytime soon, no matter how many times I go past the same flaming ball of gas.

I shall leave you with two full movies to enjoy, one by Ingmar Bergman and the other by John Carpenter.
See which one entertains you the most…

And remember, stay childish everyone. ;~}

[Simon Pegg’s picture stolen from Google]

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Arts, Films, News, TV, Video

 

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