Love shouting abuse at the idiotbox? Here’s some quality fodder!
If Hollyoaks didn’t make you want to chew off your own face off in anger and frustration at the unholy depths TV can plummet without irony, then Trinity, without a shadow of a doubt, will. You will literally have no face by the end of a single episode. It’s the new weekly show on ITV2 (yes, it’s that good), set in a fictional English public school (because posh people are always having sex), stuffed un-imaginatively with female, blonde, straightening-iron enthusiasts – who just adore having sex – and boys fractionally too ugly to be in boy bands sporting top hats. The plot – which it’s simply too painfully clichéd to place in inverted commas – hints at the school’s dark underbelly and grotesque historical secret. Alas, this is merely an excuse to place shiny, pointless teenagers making crass innuendoes on top of each other and IN YOUR FACE. Hopefully, you’ll love it as much as I do – because it’s exactly the sort of rich mine of lameness that provokes unimaginative pubescents to self-abuse and makes for a top-quality sofa-heckle.
No room on the list for this poser…
It’s always a complete joy to hear from a member of the growing Interestment family, and today Debs – a fantastic writer with a very arched eyebrow – thought she’d point her magnificent microscope at strange popstars who sound like they’re singing gobbledigook. She had this to say…
Many of us have had a special relationship with song lyrics at one time or another. Perhaps they evoked the memory of a loved one. Perhaps they recalled the time we were unceremoniously binned by that same loved one as they made off into the sunset, cackling and smearing Marmite onto our best friend. Whatever. The fact remains, lyrics have a magical power that can drag your emotions from exquisite joy to murderous loathing at the mere drop of a stylus. However, there are certain artistes who deny us this experience, simply because they open their mouths and a garbled string of consonants emerge. This lot are ideal listening material if you think the evening may become the sort of nightmare you don’t ever want to remember again…
1. Michael Stipe, R.E.M
If nasal slurring is the order of the eve, M. Stipe’s your man. Interesting fact – the title is the only regularly intelligible part of his repertoire, resulting in that embarrassing tendency to start singing along with zest only to fade off in garbled shame: What’s the frequency Kenneth!! whatc – er – shuh huh huh…Ahem.
At best: sounds like a distressed child trying to talk mid-tantrum but who can only gasp out certain words due to wrenching sobs. At worst: it’s the vocal equivalent of shredding a dictionary through a powerful ceiling fan. And an Icelandic dictionary at that.
3. Caleb Followill, Kings of Leon
“Spainjer in the spoon gee cow!” strains Caleb at the beginning of Closer, sounding in desperate need of a pint of WD40. Followill manages to enunciate only one word in eleven – somewhat like those drunks who mumble constantly apart from the swear words that they manage to bellow out with all the clarity of a top-grade elocution graduate.
4. Sean Paul
Is, when slowed down and fed through an expensive piece of audio equipment actually reciting from the Yellow Pages: Romford and Ilford Districts. True story. Perhaps.
Julia Dale, Beatbox
It’s always brilliant to hear from a member of the ever-increasing Interestment family, and today Debs dropped in brandishing a clip of a teenager who’s put down her shiv and picked up her, um, mouth. She had this to say…
Teenagers – nothing ever really comes out of their mouths other than filthy toilet words and gang related threats. Just ask any old person and they’ll tell you . They’re awful, all of them. Except, that is, for this 17 year old female who must go down a storm at family parties when, instead of getting up and destroying a piece of violin or clarinet music after months of pointless lessons, she busts out some serious beats for a terrified grandma’s 80th birthday. You go girl!
Say hello to BRAGINA
It’s always excellent to hear from a member of the Interestment family, and today it’s the turn of Debs. She’s been away for a bit, but now she’s back, and she’s turned her arched eyebrow and golden celebrity microscope up to Eleven. Here, she’s talking about strange celebrities and their weird nicknames. She had this to say…
As mentioned before, abbrevos are excellent – so good that showbusiness circles have thought it totally necessary (or totally ness) for celebrity names to be handed a catchy, shortened, handle. Harmless enough you’d think, but embarrassment can ensue if you’re not prepared. For example: if someone utters Su-Bo they refer not to a forgotten martial art, but actually to the ubiquetously lumpen Scottish gentleman who went into meltdown after Britain’s Got Talent. By uttering TomKat, the speaker in fact alludes to the eternally unconvincing partnership of Cruise and the brunette from Dawson’s Creek – not Lidl‘s own-brand petfeed. By Brangelina – or Bragina as we prefer – they very much do not mean a jarred meat relish, or Thrush cream, but rather Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt. And LiLo is very actually Lindsay Lohan, American blonde actressingerthing – not a cheap, plastic, water mattress.
So now you know.
Some really creepy ones didn’t make it…
It never fails to add an extra coil to the spring in our step whenever we hear from a member of the growing Interestment family. Today excellent contributor Debs – a lady with an eye for the absurd – turned her telescope made from a rolled up magazine onto album covers, particularly frightening ones. She had this to say…
Intently flicking through racks of 12 inches in some grubby second-hand shop with only a gaggle of trainspotters for company – it’s nothing if not meditational. Until, that is, some artist attempting to shift more units via shock-tactic publicity scares the living daylights out of you by placing a grotesquely disturbing image (which, in some Eastern European cases, can simply be their face) on the cover of their latest EP. Who hasn’t had their browsing zen interrupted by the glimpse of something uncalled for and horrifying? The following pop groups should be ashamed…
1. Aphex Twin, Richard D. James
It’s a tough call when it comes to choosing which of the Cornish, bank vault-dweller’s covers is the most mind-bendingly odd. But this demonic self portrait is the winner – narrowly pipping the Aphex Kids on the Come To Daddy EP cover to the horror post.
2. King Crimson, In the Court of King Crimson
This trippy drawing of a screaming maniac has been known to make actual grown up men ask timidly about the whereabouts of their mummy, before erupting in hysterical tears.
3. Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy
Small naked children, dragging themselves out of holes in the earth, crawling slavishly towards some (undoubtably) twisted and dark power that is emitting light from behind a hill. Shitting heck.
4. Black Flag, Family Man
The comic-style simplicity of the Raymond Pettibon drawing makes it all the more appalling. The teddy. The child with the eye-injury. Mum’s leg. And the date? The day after Kennedy’s assassination. It’s everything that’s wrong in the world. Well, America anyway.
Makes for an excellent sword, they say
It’s always so nice to hear from one of the growing flock of excellent Interestment contributors, and today Debs – a keen-eyed observer of things and people – switched on her diamond microscope and pointed it at the strange games that people seem to play these days. She had this to say about cardboard…
As any ungrateful young child that you’ve just bought a hugely expensive toy for will tell you: packaging is amazing. There’s just something brilliant about jumping up and down on bubblewrap, launching oneself into large piles of empty cardboard boxes, or shrink-wrapping a colleague/cousin. Yes, packaging brings out the gently violent beast lurking in all of us, mostly without the legal repercussions. Observe then, if you will, this enlightened social sub-group, who – for fun! – beat seven shades out of each other with cardboard tubes. It’s actually a real-life sport in the States. And quite possibly more interesting than American Football. Which is the real rubbish.
Look, some brainiacs and mathletes
As ever, it fills us will glee to hear from one of our contributors, and today Debs – a keen observer of modern life – turns her fluorescent binoculars in the direction of frothy ale, scraps of A4 paper, and smug quiz masters taking the opportunity to try out some of their stand up material. Yes, the pub quiz. She had this to say…
Technological advances, Olympic medals, decent telly…yep, the British have been pretty crap at everything since the Industrial Revolution. Perhaps this explains why more than any other country in the world, the UK holds the retention and showcasing of pointless facts in such high esteem. Hence our enduring love of the Pub Quiz – an exclusively English obsession. Why, it’s hard to say (except for the glaringly obvious reason that no other culture in the world spends so much time in pubs) But it’s almost impossible to envisage Belgians or indeed Croatians jostling round scrap paper, wielding those small pens people usually steal from betting shops arguing over who directed a certain episode of Coronation Street.
So deeply ingrained in UK life is the might of the PQ that the current secondary school syllabus body are considering replacing Geography and Economics with Name the famous James and Guess the song title and artist from the first line studies. Apparently, this will serve children more admirably in this depressing economic climate where the average pub quiz weekly win is double the wage of a quantity surveyor. Yet, ultimately, there’s something inherently proud-making about triumphing in a competition based on totally fatuous knowledge, punctuated with toilet runs and free sandwiches. If you can EVER beat those two blokes in the Pat Benetar 1982 Tour teeshirts who always sit at the bar, that is.
Featuring this guy…
The path from pop star to the silver screen is a well-trodden one, and yet, when the opposite road is navigated, and one of film/television’s finest scamper in the direction of a well-crafted music video, we erupt with surprise and elation. It’s a joyous, explosive feeling. One that isn’t lost on our very very excellent contributor, Debs. She had this to say…
Celebrities – they’re an adaptable lot. Not only do they regularly pretend to be other people for money (which incidentally is illegal for anyone not an actor) but some sing badly, some do charity things unconvincingly and others – like this bunch – unexpectedly lark about in music videos. And here – by no coincidence whatsoever – are our four favourites!
1. Laurie and French in Experiment IV, Kate Bush
Alarming song, alarming video. But perhaps the most alarming thing about this song (making it an alarmist hat trick) is the appearance of Hugh Laurie and Dawn French – both usually so nice and British and scone-eating – playing evil, morality-free scientists. Yikes.
2. Chevy Chase in You can call me Al, Paul Simon
Rumour has it that Paul Simon portioned up the budget for this video thusly: Hiring Chevy Chase: $24, 999. 75 (+ one platter of cold meats). Set-building materials: 25 cents. But no matter, it works. A question: is Chase that tall or is Simon that short? Or is this Pre-Lord of The Rings CGI work?
3. Depp and Dunaway in Into the Great Wide Open, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Forgotten beauty Faye Dunaway plays the Rothmans-chuffing cougar in shoulder pads. Johnny Depp plays the leather-toting, rock ‘n’ roll mouthwash swilling heart throb. The Heartbreakers play The Borrowers. This video is just like a mini frat-pack Eighties movie – with extra cameo points for including Matt le Blanc and Terence Trent D’Arby. Brilliant.
Youtube wouldn’t let us have it, so you’ll have to see it here.
4. Jack Black in Low, The Foo Fighters
Jack Black as depraved hick dons tutu and fully-hammers-it camp for video-camera wielding special friend Dave Grohl. Do not watch while eating.
Again, you’ll have to see it here.
High five for brilliant things!
It’s been a little while, but it is with unreserved euphoria that we welcome back our ace contributor, Debs. Once again, she’s revved up her gigantic microscope and turned it on society. Today, she talks a little about the things in life that don’t cost anything, but feel excellent. She had this to say…
Thrills, ladies and gents, very rarely come for free. As you will have discovered if you have ever paid to get into a theme park – those places are very expensive. Hence, in these recession-crazy times, getting anything exciting for zero pence is unlikely – nay, it’s a bleeding a miracle. But fortunately, there are a few things that still get one’s pulse racing… and they don’t cost a thing.
Getting a screwed up piece of paper in the bin from over three feet away
Who has not punched the air in triumph – perhaps even shouted a “yeah buddy!” – after successfully getting waste in it’s intended receptacle? Even more satisfying if someone witnesses the miracle.
Getting the wrong change, in a good way
Once you have convinced yourself that isn’t theft and that you are too far away from the shop to take it back, it can be very satisfying taking home the correct change from a twenty, after paying with a ten. And if any doubts linger, you can simply console yourself by remembering that you have just “stuck it to THE MAN”. Even though, in this case, THE MAN is a struggling shop keeper desperately trying to make ends meet in a bleak financial winter. Just get drunk.
Biting into a KitKat finger and finding it’s all chocolate
Joy upon joy! Alternatively, you could buy a Dairy Milk.
Getting to the bus stop just as the bus arrives
Restores your belief that God does actually exist, regardless of wars, poverty, recessions, cancer, AIDS, Sting, anger problems, city boys and sprouts.
Thanks a flip, guys
Once again, one of our favourite contributors, Debs, has switched on her electric magnifying class and honed in on the people on the streets. This week she turned her attention to their hideous use of toilet language. She had this to say…
Swearing isn’t as exhilarating as it used to be. Time was when saying “F” signalled that you were beyond angry, that things were about to get seriously ugly; the listener knew they’d ticked you off to a place from which there was no coming back, and the user knew they were severing their link to God forever. The “F” was a big deal. Nowadays, however, old people regularly say “F” to each other in shops, and doctors casually say “F” to their patients. Everyone is saying “F”. It’s probable that even your mum will “F” if she slightly overboils the chicken. Even more shockingly, some people have started saying “C”. Yes friends, the “Power Expletive” is officially dead and nothing exists to replace it’s vigour. Unless you combine “F” and “C”, of course…
Have a great day everyone, touch wood
For those brave enough to leave the house this morning, well done. Good for you. After all, it’s just another day – babies will be born, old people will die, somewhere in the woods a gang of street urchins will be strangling a farmer and stealing his cows. Business. As. Usual. Anyway, by means of celebration for such a fateful day, ace contributor Debs has turned her multi-coloured telescope on society, and had this to say about superstition…
Superstitions are quirky, pointless habits for people who are too tight to buy insurance or have a latent God-complex and think that by saying something they will make it happen. For centuries, people have relied on superstitions such as touching wood, avoiding ladders or kicking black cats out of their path in order to avoid a nasty misfortune. A lot of us adhere to more common “superstitions” such as buying and fitting locks, keeping a survival knife under the bed and not walking around ladders straight into a thundering juggernaut. In Poland, touching a man with a bald head and glasses is considered good luck. Whereas a UK building inspector demanding official papers is considered an unlucky omen. The questions remain however: “do traditional superstitious counter-measures actually work?” and “can you claim on your insurance if the coffee-table was only wood-look laminate?”
The answers are, “we’re not sure.”
Enjoy Stevie Wonder singing Superstition after the jump…
This man is not one of them
Once again, one of our most gifted contributors, Debs, has turned her educated glance onto society. This time focusing on those in the public eye who can’t be bothered with making themselves sparkle. She had this to say…
Just like Elvis Presley, famous people all have an obsession with bathrooms. Bathrooms with televisions. Bathrooms with gold effigies of Jesus. Bathrooms housing a swathe of performing midgets. Except these perennially soiled looking individuals to whom Imperial Leather will always be just another royal fabric:
1. Amy Winehouse
Filthy, dirty songstress who has been seen combing actual fieldmice out of her beehive. Too busy drinking turps and smoking jazz cigarettes to bother with much-needed water/soap combo. Last known wash: April 2004.
Another word used, like, wrongly
As ever, one of our favourite contributors, Debs, has taken an enormous magnifying glass out of her pocket, and turned it on society. Today, she is studying how we use language. More specifically, the word “sorry”. She had this to say…
Sorry: Rarely used to truly express regret. Regularly used by the English as a substitute for “Why didn’t you look where you were going?” or “I am deaf, please repeat.” Or “oh dear, your partner of thirty years is dead, I should probably apologise.”
It was also the name of a late 80s television programme starring Ronnie Corbett. For which, ironically, everyone involved should really apologise.
Don’t be fooled by the kind demeanor, children
The human mouth is a sensitive area. Which is why people tend to aim for it in street brawls. It bleeds easy, it scolds easy, and if you thunder a closed fist into it, it explodes like a bomb in a microwave. But, even simple non-violent everyday activities can be a danger to your mouth and face. Our excellent new contributor, Debs, thought she’d talk us through a few terrifying danger foods. She had this to say…
Eating shouldn’t be dangerous. Unless you’re clinically mal-coordinated. But sometimes even the most humdrum eats can turn on you. Here’s the four worst offenders:
1. Le Baguette
On the outside it’s a simple Frenchman’s lunch – but inside beats the heart of a sadist, silently waiting to de-laminate your hard-palette, before slicing an artery in your gums.
Who is to blame for this?
Once again, one of our favourite contributors, Debs, has switched on her amazing technicolour microscope and turned it on society, and all the weirdos in it. Today, she looks at language… more specifically the word “fine”. She had this to say:
Fine. Not as in – the most terrifying prospect facing a homicidally violent young offender in Britain these days – but as in the verbal response equivalent to a paper bag soaked in milk. An over-popular, 100 per cent thought free ejaculation that doesn’t actually mean “life is satisfactory to me”, but rather “you don’t care and I don’t care so lets just nip this mutual caring charade in the bud, eh?”
It’s like opening your mouth and Muzak coming out.
“Um… soooo… good weather in that cab?”
Bid a kind and hysterical welcome to another Interestment contributor – friend and human behaviour enthusiast, known almost universally as Debs. She had this to say about the dreaded world of Small Talk…
Uncomfortable silences invoke terror in human beings, along with flooding, using a stranger’s toilet which then won’t flush, and the prospect of supermarkets being closed over the bank holiday weekend. Why we deem silences that involve another person as uncomfortable is a mystery and has had scientists waking up in the night screaming and gnashing their teeth since the 16th Century.
Small Talk is the (questionable) art of being able to un-ironically state the obvious, ask inoffensive personal questions, or unselfconsciously emit disturbing noises to denote your bodily temperature or energy levels.
Some people, like Public Relations employees, are professionally trained in Small Talk. Everyone else in the world hates these people.