the sun is shit.

May 31, 2007

Having a go at the sun is a bit like shooting dead fish in an dry barrell, but today they set themselves a new standard of respect with the front page of their website.

First, there’s a story about a butterfly that landed on the head of mother of missing child, Madeline McCann. I’m not going to go there, but it’s a nice gentle touch for a newspaper that spends its hours making a load of stuff up, trying to indoctrinate everyone in the country into hating certain segments of society and trying to slate everything and everyone 24/7.

But the bit that shows truly what the sun is about is the left hand side of the screen.

As everyone in this country is no doubt aware, Big Brother has returned to Channel Four in England. The makers, deciding to start with an all-female house, have set a new agenda for reality television. What will these females say about feminity and modern Britain? What impact will it have on the way women are perceived?

Well, the sun has chosen to focus on the important issues of the show, rather than focus on the day’s news. As well you can gague from the headline…

the sun is shit

That says it all. But it’s most definitely not all. What headline news stories do the sun highlight as imperative to today’s news?

– EMILY – “I’d do naked film” (sic)
– CHANELLE – shows undies
– SHABS – “I speak Spanish”

For fuck’s sake. As I said, why have a go at them?

I just wanted to.

J.

Ok… so I know Nine Inch Nails isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think this is very interesting from a marketing POV and use of the Internet.

Their forthcoming album, Year Zero, is going to be concept album set in the future about the end of the world, with a bleak vision of the United States, its military and the way in which it treats citizens – drugging the population on two substances, dependent on who they are.

Trent Reznor (who is Nine Inch Nails and controls musical and artistic direction) has always been involved with the Internet, running a detailed blog for registered users of NIN.com, the band’s website.

Currently on tour, Reznor has started deliberately leaking a few of the new album’s tracks, leaving them on Flash Drives in the venue’s toilets. So far this has happened in Lisbon and Madrid. Naturally, these tracks have appeared on the Internet to fans. This is not all.

Parallel to this, fans on the website discovered that the latest range NIN merchandise had highlighted or marked letters on it, spelling out “IAMTRYINGTOBELIEVE”. Someone then tried this as a website…  http://www.iamtryingtobelieve.com/

You need to highlight the text in order to read it on the sites.

The fan section of the official website then discovered further related sites to the original…

http://anotherversionofthetruth.com/  (which features a faked forum and audio clips) – highlight the picture and draw over it, more will be revealed
http://105thairbornecrusaders.com/
http://www.consolidatedmailsystems.com/citizen_unknown/
http://bethehammer.net/
http://churchofplano.com/
http://www.uswiretap.com/71839J/

These websites suck the reader into this world, there is even the mention of a hand – known on the album as ‘the Presence’ – that comes down to earth from above.

This “alternate reality game” (as it’s called on Wikipedia) was designed by the same group who make the computer game, ‘Halo’.

It’s definitely a unique marketing campaign that’s attracted a good amount of interest in America.

Reznor says this will be the first of two concept albums, so wait and see what the next viral marketing campaign will be.

Much much more on the details of this in this MTV article (very well researched… http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1552470/20070215/nine_inch_nails.jhtml)

J.

times-front-page.jpgSo the Times relaunched their website this week. I think there are bugs as some of the pictures are missing etc. but I have other issues…

Two things, why have a lime green header if all the headlines are in blue? Surely that’s a bit estupido? It just looks crap.

Second of all… they have this new ‘Times Recommends’ banner… I kinda think they should be a bit careful what they put in there… or at least attempt to phrase it a bit better! What do you think?

times-banne-400r.jpg

Bit inappropriate?

However, they do have some respect with me (despite being Murdoch-ised) – I do like this from John Henley in the Guardian about the website’s launch…

“We just adore the new Times website! So lime-green, so unlikely! Also, for most of yesterday, so down, and, on Sunday night, so entertaining! “Sorry, Times Online has gone to the pub,” it said, above a picture of a pint of beer. “We have finished building our new-look website and are having a drink while our friendly geeks connect it to the internet.” Bless”

At least that’s a good sense of humour… shame about the website.

J.

What is it about this time of year?

First you get the newspapers regaling you in advance about just how miserable everyone will be for the next month or so. Then they tell you half the people are fine as none of them are at blooming work anyway – at least not until January 8 apparently. They can’t even make up their minds, and I think that’s a problem for a lot of people now.

It’s all this end of year stuff too. It’s just a time that people (at least those who don’t fret about their direction or definition every single day of their so far meaningless lives) take stock, all because that little number at the end of the date clicks over, we reset back to the all powerful 01 of 01, and it suddenly seems to make people go crazy for a few weeks. New start and all that.

Like New Years Resolutions, I just find it a bit bizarre y’know? Why not change during the year? Why not change make these changes on a Thursday in November. Is it just this period of assessment that makes us do this? Or just the symbolism of that last digit clicking over?

It’s more likely to happen and be something stuck to if it happened at some point during the year, without everyone repeatedly asking how’s it going. Maybe sub-consciously, the person knows that most resolutions fail and that’s part of it all. Or maybe they’re just determined, I don’t know, I just suppose I don’t think everyone (or anyone?) is actually going to keep it up.

So what about me, did I make one? I tried to think of one (fucking hypocrite). I got a text at 2am on the (all powerful) 01 of 01 from a friend saying ‘here’s mine, what’s yours?’. So I thought and typed out ‘I’m going to be productive‘. Next morning though, when I was deleting old messages on the phone I saw that in my drunken state I’d actually typed ‘I’m going un be productive‘. Now, while that may not be grammatically accurate, I think it’s the kiss of death to that thought process already.

Incidentally, the friend wanted to not swear so much this year. I suppose that’s pretty easy really. I’m disproved immediately. I suppose the only conclusion I can come to, is pick something that doesn’t cost money at least. Or just go to the fucking gym and use the membership and don’t lose all the money you accumulate from working a job. (Warning: sweeping generalisation alert…) Especially when quite a lot of you hate your jobs anyway and wouldn’t be there if you didn’t need the cash.

One day, maybe I’ll be able to say: “This year, my resoulution is to be a man of leisure’. That’d be nice.

x, J.

mmmmmm…………… wish I’d made this.I guess this is kind of a farewell message to my life… Bacon will soon send me six feet under.
Imagine my surprise, reading the news today when I learned that Harvard boffins (love that word, oh, and also ‘boff-job’ – I mean, what does that mean?!) had concluded that eating bacon gives you bladder cancer! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Apparently some little things called nitrosamines and heterocyclic amines are to blame. The bar stewards. How dare they?! I’m incandescent with rage!
But, upon closer inspection, it seems that it’s only a problem if you eat bacon five or more times a week? Who does that (apart from truck drivers, roadies and cabbies)? So the headline of the news articles – “Bacon link to Bladder Cancer” for the BBC, “Cancer warning over the bacon sandwich” for the Express – well, they’re factually correct at least.
Oh, and when you read the story a bit further on, you learn something very interesting…

“The researchers also found people who ate bacon and other processed meats frequently were also more likely to smoke and to take in more fat and fewer vitamins. They were also less likely to exercise.”

This is it! Even I can see that! It’s lifestyle you eegits, stop blaming perfectly good bacon when it’s done nothing wrong to you. All it’s been to you is a friend on a hangover morning when you’re head is pounding and your mouth feels like a small rodent crawled into it during the night and died.
So it’s ok.

Fry me a rasher, I’ll be back for breakfast.

BBC News story here…

J.

I’m gonna lift this straight from the Times Online as it’s so good, it needs no explanation. This is the best name I’ve ever heard – what a prat. Imagine his post or his bank statement… it must look ridiculous…

 “A 23-year-old James Bond fan, David Fearn, of Walsall, has changed his name to James Dr No From Russia with Love Goldfinger Thunderball You Only Live Twice On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Diamonds Are Forever Live and Let Die The Man with the Golden Gun The Spy Who Loved Me Moonraker For Your Eyes Only Octopussy A View to a Kill The Living Daylights Licence to Kill Golden Eye Tomorrow Never Dies The World Is Not Enough Die Another Day Casino Royale Bond.

The only thing is (and this wasn’t my first fault, ’twas someone at work who thought of this) what the hell is he going to do when a new film comes out? Change it again?

Rest of the Times article (all about names in UK) here.

J.

ding dong the witch is dead.

November 10, 2006

yes! Rumsfeld’s gone. cuntIt took me so long to report this news as I’ve been out celebrating his departure from the American Government.

AMERICA IS NO LONGER COMPLETELY BLIND, VOTERS HAVE FORCED BUSH TO AT LEAST DO ONE THING RIGHT FOR ONCE!

This man who has no scruples, conscience or anything. Pure and simple… the man is an absolute wanker who is responsible for Iraq. Shame W. Jnr. didn’t go with him. Arsehole.

two evil bastardson Abu Gharib: “These events occurred on my watch as secretary of defense. I am accountable for them.” Prosecute and put him in jail. This man is responsible for linking Saddam (who he visited and armed in the 1980s, suggesting Iraq went to war with Iran, which he believed would help America) to September 11, invading Afghanistan and the butchering of a country, currently taking place in Iraq. He should be stripped of all honours he has been awarded and condemned to rot in jail.

LINK: http://www.ceasefirecampaign.org

Just sent this email to the Daily Express. Do you think they’ll answer?

Dear Sir/Madam,The fucking Express

I am writing regarding the Daily Express website, http://www.express.co.uk.
Unfortunately there seems to be an inaccuracy on the site which requires correction urgently which I hope you will see fit to rectify.

You see, when viewing the site in Internet Explorer, the title bar of the browser window reads: “Daily Express: The World’s Greatest Newspaper”. I also note that this appears on the print edition of your newspaper. I just wondered how you acquired the said title.

I’m sure there are some characteristics that qualify the Express for such a grandiose title – after all, you were the first newspaper to publish a daily crossword – however, as a keen newspaper reader; I have not seen a worldwide competition ranking newspapers recently. I must have missed it. Which distinguished panel awarded the Express its title?

Needless to say, I congratulate your newspaper on its title. I’m sure that it was a well judged, objective decision to receive this title, just as your news stories are. Not that it was made up by marketing men in a room who think that someone will read that, and then think:
“Hey, no that’s right, the Express is the best newspaper in the world. No one would get a title like that without due process. Let’s buy the Express.”

Needless to say, I would be grateful if you could correct this inaccuracy as soon as possible as I feel it is inaccurate.

On an additional note, your story on page 3 today about the motherless deer was excellent. I thought there was something in the news about global warming or something, but I’m glad you feel this story has better news value this early into a newspaper. Oh, and page 25: “No, it’s Jesus, not Judas Asparagus” was particularly excellent as well. Very informative.

Yours sincerely,

Mr J Grainger.

Awful headline. Disgraceful.
Today, we draw our attention to a historical archive that’s being run by the National Trust. October 17 has been designated as a day to capture the ordinary. They want everyone’s words, they want people to post as many different daily blogs as possible, as a resource for people in ten years, twenty years, a hundred years etc. Read about it here. Really. It’s actually really fucking interesting. The actual archive is here. Go post yours.

And now, for your reading pleasure is the entry I put into the historical archives…

“Woke up. Got out of bed. Didn’t drag a comb across my head because I’ve just had a haircut and it’s not long enough.

Bit of Johnson rage this morning. Ignore it though, have to help him out later, well late for work so run to the shower and step in. Fecking freezing. What a bar steward. Underground crap, rammed with people, causes lots of people to tut all the time. Lots of people sneeze. I shut off with music and read. Much better.

Went to work. I work for a breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Care. Do lots of web work, I like to call it ‘Web Monkey’ work, but really it’s just writing content, text, doing images etc. for our website. It helps people reach out to each other and educates about breast cancer. Very good organisation, I actually don’t feel guilty for being a capitalist, profit based, arsehole everyday. I feel I have a bit of social responsibility. I like it. But really I’m just as bad as everyone else, no matter how much I tell them off for things, I’m still playing the system to. There is nothing left, no alternatives, you can only join in with the rape of the natural world.

At lunchtime, I reinforce this by walking down streets and buying things. Well, normally I would, but I’m skint because I forgot to pay my rent. Spent a lot of time thinking about the novel I’m trying to write, listened to music on my MP3 player, then worried phenomenally about how dissatisfied I’ll probably end up on my death bed, when I’ve been to lazy to follow my hopes and dreams. Read about the war in Iraq. Thought how evil George W. Bush is. Thought about whether Tony Blair’s more evil. Thought about national blogging day. Thought about how I’m having to leave work for reasons I shall not mention here, but are not my fault. Went and got a pint in a bar. Liquid lunch.

Thought about how bad it is that we have so many cars. Thought of great literature and music. If anyone bothers to read this, read some Charles Bukowski. Please.

Am now writing in preparation for going home from work. You won’t know what’ll happen then as I’m writing this now. Bus and train home, smoke some cigarettes, cook whatever food I can and then go to the pub to binge drink. You’ll have to guess what’ll happen to the rest of the day.

Maybe I’ll help the Johnson.

My song for today is relevant I think. ‘How Soon Is Now?’ by the Smiths. Even if everyone in the future has never heard of them, the thoughts, the communication… I bet it still rings true:

“You shut your mouth/How can you say?/I go about things the wrong way?/I am human and I need to be loved/Just like everybody else does” “.

What do you think? x, J.

Now, normally I wouldn’t wish to get into all this here. But the news today that the police officers who shot Jean Charles de Menezes in the head SEVEN TIMES are to face “health and safety” charges just seems to me like it’s taking the piss. Health and safety?de Menezes, post-shooting
Are flying bullets just a hazard of the workplace? If someone’d taken more control would it have mattered? Are these people right in the head?
Now, I’m a fan of 24 and one of the best things about that programme is the fact that it makes you question your principles. Is this shooting justified today via terrorism and the way in which the world? Are a few eggs going to have to break if we’re to make an omlette?
That’s certainly an argument (although not one I necessarily agree with outright) but that doesn’t excuse the fact that an innocent man was shot in the head, point blank, seven times. All because he was running for a train. Remember when the details first came out? One of the reasons he was identified incorrectly was because one copper was having a slash.
I think the police just do not want the dirt of all this. I think there’s more mistakes in there. If they hang one or two coppers out to dry then more mistakes will be revealed.
And it won’t end here, the family of de Menezes will sue. And they will get more than the £5,000 offered by police originally – that’s what they thought his life was worth. You can be sure it would’ve been more for a white victim from a wealthy background.