Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Wasting Away

December 21, 2006

It’s a well known fact that I love Christmas, and it does tend to bring out the best and worst in people.  My mother would happliy invite various warring mutants to our house on Christmas Day, dertermined to give them a ‘normal Christmas experience’, completely forgetting that it was her family that usually had a new experince.  Many are the Christmases of yesteryear that I’ve watched presents being flung from first floor windows or games of Pictionary decend into bareknuckle boxing.

But one thing I dislike about Christmas is the waste, particularly in regard to cards. 

The average Brit sends 17 cards at Christmas, that’s over a billion across the country.  Or nearly 400,000 trees.

This is appalling and it’s a problem.  Happily there is a simple solution; stop sending cards you morons.  Or if you must send them, write them in pencil, then it can be erased and used again next year.  Of course you could always buy recycled ones I suppose.

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Woo-ooah!

November 6, 2006

I would just like to implore you to be hypnotised by this. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, probably. Thanks to Dave and b3ta for bringing it to my attention.

Biz-Tsar

October 30, 2006

Earlier this month in Moscow I saw the largest collection of Fabergé Eggs in the world. Being a jet setting playboy I am used to such sights, but the Moscow Millionaire Fair opens everyone eyes. And quite possibly their legs. Boasting such tasteful delights as a solid gold baby’s dummy, a diamond encrusted mobile phone and a tropical island, the event hopes to beat last year’s turnover of $600 million. How worthy.

According to Forbes, 88,000 new millionaires have emerged from Russia in the last twenty years, leading to ever more extravagant methods to stand out from the crowd. This coupled with the fact that Russian weren’t allowed to own nice things in the Soviet Union goes some way to explaining the complete lack of taste and sophistication. You can get your tits done too.

One of the exhibitors is Park Avenue. This is their entry in the fair guide:

Feel the passion. See the beauty. Know the rogue spirit that is Randall Tysinger.

A bit rogue, a bit child, a bit brilliant artist. Swirl them all together, and splatter them on the canvas of humanity. That’s Randall Tysinger.

A quirky amalgam of humor and passion, Randall Tysinger lives by his senses. As owner of Randall Tysinger Antiques, one of the largest and most enchanting collections of European antiques in Northern America, Randall was born with a sixth sense about European antiques … their craftsmanship, their legacy, their ability to transform daily life into something more graceful and transcendent. That’s why he travels Europe’s back alleys and obscure shops in search of the incredible … the pieces that speak of lives past and of magical moments in history.

Having grown up in the family’s retail furniture business, the young Tysinger spent his childhood alternating between tomfoolery and serious protйgй. Yet in 1981, at the age of 29, Randall created his own magical moment in history during a trip to Italy he had won for selling mattresses. Upon arrival in Florence, the rogue artist inside him took over, and he found himself sneaking away from his tour group to soak up the ambience and craftsmanship of the city’s back alley workshops. Not dissuaded by time nor the frantic tour guides searching for him, Tysinger spent the remainder of the trip studying the masters, not rejoining his tour group until minutes before the flight home.

What happened during that happy accident changed history. No longer was Tysinger destined to sell mattresses from the family furniture store in Thomasville, North Carolina. The third generation Tysinger would, indeed, carry the family name into the future, but no longer would he be hawking picnic tables and swing sets from a storefront. Instead, he would indulge his senses in the sights, sounds and touch of Europe’s finest antiques and bring them to America to share with those of like mind.

Today, the name of Randall Tysinger means more than exclusive European antiques. It represents the rogue child artist in each of us … the raw passion and the treasures we would hope to find if we could sneak away and scour the back alleys of Europe ourselves.

Now, the passion and beauty that drove Randall Tysinger to follow his heart into the alleys of Florence come together in the Randall Tysinger Collection for E.J. Victor. Feel the passion; see the beauty; know the rogue spirit that is Randall Tysinger.

Randell sounds like a right knob doesn’t he? More for fans of Catherine Tate than Catherine the Great.

And what on Earth’s a serious protйgй?

Cockswain

October 28, 2006

I went with Sally to see Graham Coxon at the Astoria. It was weird. I didn’t really know his solo stuff but Graham Coxon was alright, did a top job, punked it up a bit, few good songs, lovely. However, the crowd were a little strange.

There was a mosh pit. The mosh pit were rocking out, throwing themselves towards the stage like the young scallywags they were, plenty of injuries and sweat and swilled beer. Well done the mosh pit. Sally and I got through them quite easily, they being enthusiastic weaklings and us being hardened rock chicks (that’s my version of the story). However, at the front left of the stage where we positioned ourselves to annoy the guitarist it was a different story.

Hordes of petite pretty women in ultrahip outfits stood still – some perfectly still – showing no signs of enjoyment whatsoever. The band poured out songs through which I would find it incredibly difficult to remain static if listening through my headphones on the tube. They responded with a credible impression of Topshop mannequins (only one or two people away from the bouncing throng) looking miserable. Fair enough if this was slow, sad music, but it wasn’t. They lined the whole front of the stage.

If they did make a move it was simple; one arm aloft, pointing and clicking with the mobile phone. Not just one or two, oh no, all of them. As though they’ll show or send the photos later, to tell their mates “yeah I was at Graham Coxon, look at the fun everyone else was having”. “I was there because I’m so hip, I know all about Blur and shit, I was there you know.” So what’s the point in that?

Dave and I discussed it last night. He reckons it’s the media’s fault – telling you what you should like, how you should dress, where you should go. I guess you get there, it’s not where you really want to be so you take photographs by way of compensation to pretend you’ve been having fun. Or you go there just to take photos to add to your porfolio of cool… there’s me in the tent at Glastonbury, there’s me next to someone who knows Danny from Supergrass, there’s The Kaiser Chiefs. I used to love James Blunt, me, but now everyone says he’s shit.

I’m often tempted by events because it would be great to say “I was there”. But while you’re there, enjoy yourself. Even if you don’t really want to be there, find some fun. Or leave. People! Be happy! Do I really have to tell you this?

Curb your Anality

October 21, 2006

This morning I was being particularly anal. Not only did I clean all the cutlery, but I also cleaned the cutlery divider thing. Yep, that is anal. So anal I’m approaching bowel status.

It was during this particularly anal stunt I discovered all the teaspoons I brought into the house two years ago have fucking vanished. I mean where the fuck have they all gone?!

I know socks, pens and blue whales vanish all the time, but what sort of pinky communist liberal scum, comes into your house and steals your fucking teaspoons?! They aren’t valuable, they didn’t need liberating or anything. You can’t even fucking sponsor them, so why the fuck would you want to steal them?!

Immediate action is called for, so from this day all visitors are now banned and anyone leaving the property will be subject to an intimate body search. Even me. And I’ll tell you all this, if I find one of you trying to make off with more of my cutlery using the old “cutlery-in-a-condom-up-the-arse” routine I’ll bloody tan your fucking hides with a wooden spoon…. assuming you haven’t already fucked off with that too.

This was my first post. Great wasn’t it.

Plates of not meat

October 15, 2006

I need some trainers so I’ve been looking for a pair that haven’t been made in a sweatshop and don’t have some massive logo associated with corporate nastiness or some nauseating identity of sport, health or chav chic. The search is far more difficult than I anticipated. Look on-line for ‘ethical trainers’ and the like and you find a plethora of vile vegan shoes like these.

yuck

I’ve got nothing against vegan shoes. As a veggie myself it’s nice to avoid leather, but I don’t fancy going to work in boots fit only for lonely rubber fetishists and those with an obsessive fear of electrocution. No-where is there a mention of who made them or how much they were paid.

How are people ever going to be encouraged to wear sweatshop-free sport shoes when there is so little choice? Fortunately, there are a few which fit the bill. My favourites are these vejas from France, made in Brazil by workers on a fair wage (at least that’s what I think it says, my French is rusty). Sods law dictates that they don’t have an on-line shop or an outlet in the UK. These ones are just what I’m on about – recycled from charity shop clothes, used fireman’s trousers, military clothing etc. and interestingly styled.

not bad

I’m not a huge fan of the combat-look recycled rubber soles but I think I can look beyond that (I haven’t decided yet), unlike the £65 price which means I’m going to have to wait until next month to get a pair providing nothing turns up in the meantime.

Any information on other ethically smug shoes would be greatly appreciated. Here are a few other things I discovered;

These are nice but there aren’t any trainers and they carry a price tag which reflects not only the workers’ pay but also the designer label. Love these, but again no trainers. I think they’re made in Devon. These come close, but look like they’re for running rather than mooching about Camden.