Archive for March, 2004

Das Kapital eine

Monday, March 29, 2004

As one of the few people in the world to have read several chapters of Das Kaptial (and I’m sure even Engels flicked to the end when Marx started talking about the propensity of marginal profit to decline) I think the prolix prophet would share my views about the Captial One credit card company.
While he would regard it as one of the institutions of advanced capitalism whose directors will be first to the wall come the revolution, I forsee its destruction because users of iMesh will be so irritated by its incessant pop-up advertisements that they will send it faeces through the post. For anyone feeling distended, direct your turds to Capital One Bank, PO Box 5283, Nottingham, NG2 3YG.

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Colonel of truth

Sunday, March 28, 2004

KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken but renamed for alienating its core market with excessive use of syllables) has a new and highly calorific salad (438 kCal) for its health-conscious clientele. The soundtrack to the advertisement promoting this greenery (which, with 28.7g of fat, is worse for you than a burger) is a song by The Flirtations called Nothing But a Heartache. Heartache, shortness of breath, tingling in the left arm…

(originally posted Mar 28, 2004)

Top 5 songs about spreadable comestibles

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Beats International – Dub Be Good to Me (1990)
Tank, fly, boss, walk
Jam nitty gritty
You’re list’nin’ to the boy from the big bad city
This is jam hot
Jam hot

Like a Pop Tart.

Patti Labelle – Lady Marmalade (1975)
He met Marmalade down in Old New Orleans
Struttin’ her stuff on the street

Another type of tart, albeit more bitter and less likely to fit in your toaster.

Transvision Vamp – I Want Your Love (1989)
I don’t want your money, honey
I want your love

Oh yes. And then you’ll move in and start contributing to the mortgage and before I know it you’ll own 50 per cent of the house. Forget it. I’d be better off with Lady Marmalade. At least I know where I stand with her (etc).

Bruce Springsteen – Streets of Philadelphia (1994)
Oh brother are you gonna leave me wasting away
On the streets of Philadelphia?

A great songwirter, Bruce, but a terrible town planner. Just try driving on that kind of surface. No traction.

Gold – Spandau Ballet (1983)
Gold (gold)
Always believe in your soul.
You’ve got the power to know
you’re indestructible

But spreadable. Ah, St Ivel, the patron saint of marge and, apparently, nothing else. Surely he wasn’t made up by the dairy product industry?

Rupert/ Rupert the Bear/ What a tedious bastard

Friday, March 19, 2004

It should have been obvious from the moment Paul McCartney expressed a love for Rupert the Bear that there was something fundamentally naff about him, but the full extent of Rupert’s suitability for a life in the circus wearing a frilly collar and dancing on hot coals has only recently become apparent.
First there is the circumstantial evidence:

a) Rupert and all his mates have children’s bodies but animals’ heads, as if they were test subjects in some sort of macabre experiment.

b) The drawing style is a forerunner of those dreadful fantasy vistas you find on posters in New Age crystal shops. I should know. As a schoolboy I had such a poster. It was called Sanctuary, after the album of the same name by the heavy metal band Motherlode, and depicted an enormous and structurally dubious bridge. In my defence I was probably in one of those proto-gothic teenage phases and to this day I have never listened to their music.

c) Rupert’s creator, Alfred Bestall, capitulated when the Daily Express told him to change Rupert’s fur colour from brown to white because the cartoon’s white readership would relate to it better.

However, thanks to a biography of Bestall that I had the misfortune to pick up, we don’t need circumstantial evidence. It doesn’t help that the biographer, a relative of Bestall’s, has no sense of narrative, but I suspect no-one could write a roaring yarn about a man so life-sappingly boring. He left behind him a set of diaries containing a wealth of material about his life, but he was either amazingly successful at avoiding drama or proved incapable of expressing it.

The man was a lorry driver in France during the First World War, but the pinnacle of his experience was his encounter with a German gunner’s post with three dead soldiers in it. The rest of his war diaries are littered with banal observations such as: “I saw a cart that was being drawn by a cow!”

None of his cartoons, drawn for a wartime propaganda sheet, were funny, and Rupert would be his only memorable creation. The book attempts to pad out his life story by reproducing his travel diaries, but they reveal nothing interesting either about their author or the places he visited. It is like reading postcards from a child with Asperger’s syndrome.

It leaves me with the lasting sense that Rupert and the Daily Express were made for one another.