Monday, April 23, 2007

Geldof to Bono: It's on Bitch!

The media would have you believe that Bono from U2 and Bob Geldof from that “I don’t like Mondays” song are best friends. But it’s actually a little known fact that if Bono and Bob Geldof really were best friends, the combined might of their self importance would actually tilt the Earth off its axis and plunge our little celestial globe into the sun.

No, the reality is that Bob Geldof and Bono are actually bitter arch rivals locked in an eternal epic battle for the title of “World’s smuggest Irish rock star turned shrill do-gooding prat”.

For a while now, it has been pretty obvious that Bono is kicking Bob Geldof’s arse. While Bob Geldof was re-releasing
that preachy Chistmas song yet again, Bono has been flying around telling literally everyone in the whole world how shit Africa is. While Bob Geldof was off guest starring in Spiceworld: The Movie, Bono was winning every Q music award they could conceivably throw at him. And while Bob Geldof was reviving the careers of tired has-been rockstars with all those Live8 concerts, Bono was being compared to the greatest musician of all time.

But now, Bob Geldof is fighting back. According to
Reuters, Geldof announced this week his intentions to catalogue all of human existence in partnership with the BBC: “The Dictionary of Man website will be a limitless repository of content, an immense digital catalogue of all current human existence and an enormous resource for the exchange of ideas and information.”

Admittedly, this idea actually sounds pretty cool…that is, it would sound cool if it was headed by, you know, an actual anthropologist or something rather than just some stylishly unkempt rock star who wrote one crappy hit song in the seventies then made a whole second career for himself by self-righteously telling people much less rich than him how they should be spending their money.

Allegedly, the idea for the project came to Geldof when he heard a Governor of North Niger tell of how 300 languages were wiped out during a two year famine.

"Even though I never heard those languages, I already miss them. In these ways the lights of human genius wink out,” Geldof said, determined to outdo Bono in the wanky, glib statement department.

"Ultimately, I suppose in some ways we're also building the world's family photo album," he continued, displaying his talent for summing up extraordinarily complex concepts and ideas with nice media friendly sound bites.

He then went on about “homogenization” and “globalization” and probably lots of other big words often used badly by boring self-important liberal celebrities.

But not to be outdone Bono will be counter-attacking Geldof by living up to his reputation as a “musician” and actually produce some music.

Early reports suggest that, headed by alleged lead single the feel good sing-along “Hey everyone! Africa is shit!” U2’s awkwardly titled twelfth studio album “Making Money is Easy (just write easy listening pap then promote it for free by causing a political stir wherever you go)” will be out later this year.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Christian Groups Protest Chocolatey Wang of Christ

The Easter holiday season is cluttered with so many references to rabbits and eggs and chocolate and that episode of Vicar of Dibley where Dawn French wackily dresses up in a bunny costume and some old lady dies, that it seems we’ve forgotten what Easter is really all about: the promotional campaign for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

But Passion of the Christ has come, snatched about a zillion dollars from the wallets of a million gullible idiots enlightened filmgoers and gone and still we’re stuck with this mediocre holiday and all it’s weirdly homo-erotic statues of Jesus in a loin cloth bleeding from his wrists like some sort of half-naked middle class Emo teenager in the middle of a “cry for help”.

Now, most people I know decide to celebrate Easter by getting drunk on Good Friday then spending the rest of the long weekend lying in a puddle of drool, watching the special features on their Goonies DVDs and convulsing involuntarily every time an add for booze comes on the telly. Allegedly, other people celebrate Easter by eating chocolate eggs brought by diseased myxomatosis suffering animals and by going to Church to hear stories about a man getting nails rammed through his hands and feet.

But a whole bunch of people in the USA have decided to dispense with their usual Easter traditions in favour of shouting a lot at an American artist for sculpting a block of chocolate into a statue of Jesus’ holy piss rod and then displaying it in an art gallery.

Reports CNN: “A life-size sculpture of a naked Jesus made out of chocolate has angered a Roman Catholic organization and forced a Manhattan art gallery to reconsider exhibiting it during Easter week.

The sculpture "My Sweet Lord" by Cosimo Cavallaro was to be exhibited for two hours each day next week in a street-level window of the Roger Smith Lab Gallery in Midtown Manhattan."

This is an assault on Christians during Holy Week," said Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications for the league, which describes itself the largest U.S. Catholic civil rights group. "They would never dare do something similar with a chocolate statue of the prophet Mohammad naked with his genitals exposed during Ramadan."

What with all the angry catholics, the liberal use of the word ‘genitals’ and the references to ‘chocolate’ one could be forgiven for thinking the artist had crafted some sort of hideous sculpture of Jesus in the act of conceiving Amelie like in that Da Vinci Code movie, maybe with a bit of Screech endorsed Dirty Sanchez thrown in for good measure. But in reality, it’s just another statue of a mostly naked Jesus except unusually made out of chocolate and with a nice wink to the least overrated Beatle George Harrison in the title.

Yet it looks like this is set to become the biggest public furore over an exposed penis since the last time Harry Potter decided to flap his dong about like a Yoyo. The sculpture has already been taken down, the gallery’s creative director has quit in protest and Americans are running around shrieking the words “Free Speech” like it’s the latest catch phrase on My Name is Earl or something.

But let’s face facts people, 98% of everyone bothered by this are actually pissed off because the artist decided to sculpt JC out of dark chocolate instead of white. Yeah, you read that correctly. Which really raises the big question: where the hell is Mel Gibson on all this? I thought giving a voice to all those wacky, unspoken, latent bigotries in certain religious communities was Mel Gibson’s raison d'existence!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Top Ten Bands that should have all Died when they were 27, Part 2

As Winston Churchill probably once said, "To die young is to die with dignity." Here's some more bands that selfishly refused to take advice from a former Prime Minister, Pulitzer Prize winner and best Briton ever according to the BBC.

5. U2
This band never really had a creative peak because they have always sucked. But just think of all the tired, middle of the road, easy listening tripe we could have avoided if Bono, the Edge and the gang had decided to all die en mass at 27!

4. Pink Floyd
I've written about some of the crappier aspects of Pink Floyd
before. Needless to say, these guys desperately should have taken a leaf out of Lynyrd Skynyrd's book and all died a little bit in a 1979 plane crash. In the 70's they made their reputation on being avant garde and eccentric and refusing to compromise their band or their music for the sake of convention and the demands of the music industry. Of course, after 1979 they embraced every cliche and stereotype of a band that has run its creative course but refuses to let it go: they released a bunch of pretentious wank masquerading as innovation (the Final Cut), the main songwriter quit, the remaining members hobbled together a bunch of awful albums solely intended to further fund their millionaire rock star lifestyle (The Division Bell) and dozens of similarly awful live albums and nostalgia tours (Delicate Sound of Thunder).

3. Jethro Tull
Here's Jethro Tull in 1969. And here's Jethro Tull in 2006. Why do all these outdated nostalgia bands look like they stopped making conscious fashion decisions in 1991? I mean has anyone in the last twenty years, outside a reunion tour, ever worn a daggy black waistcoat?

2. The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys pretty much invented the concept of the "nostalgia band" when they discovered in the seventies that, regardless of whether or not they were releasing new albums, people still flocked to their concerts because they all remember listening to good vibrations a lot in 1967. And for that crime alone, they deserve to be number two on this list. The band still tours today despite the fact that only one original member still plays in the band.

God, where do I start with these losers. INXS were never really any good to start with and most of their appeal came from their charismatic lead singer Michael Hutchence. Fortunately, Michael Hutchence had the foresight to retire early, albeit in the most embarrassing way humanly possible: auto erotic asphyxiation. And everyone breathed a sigh of relief, assuming that the juggernaut of crap INXS represented was over. However, in a startling lapse of understanding of how their band actually worked, all the other loser members of the band decided that a version of INXS sans Micheal Hutchence would be a great idea and went about reviving their band in the most soulless, pathetic, sell-out-y way possible: via a reality TV show. God, where's Charles Manson when you need him?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Top Ten Bands that should have all Died when they were 27, Part 1

Music isn't half bad is it? I mean, considering that we live in a world that contains such things as AIDS, Scientology, LaToya Jackson, Celebrity Big Brother, Prince Charles, poverty, baby boomers, that movie Crash, Jade Goody, global warming, Lord Jeffrey Archer and Britney Spears's sex hole, Music rates pretty high up there in terms of things that aren't completely shit.

Unfortunately, the music industry execs have done their best to undermine the goodness of music by endlessly releasing cack by such talentless nobs as Nickelback, Creed and Keanu Reeves' band Dogstar. But it isn't just the music industry execs that are cocking up music for everyone, it's also the bands, who continually and obnoxiously refuse to die when they are at their peak in creativity and cultural relevance! Instead of choking on their own vomit at 27 like proper rock stars, they're hanging around for another forty years getting fat, releasing increasingly shite music and making everyone forget why on earth they even bothered shilling out so much money for a 30gb iPod.

It's selfish is what it is and it has pretty much ensured that, instead of a final blaze of hard rockin' glory, music will one day die with a strangled last gasp characterized by daggy black waistcoats, awkward saxophone solos and baby boomers bopping embarrassingly at Sting concerts. To help protect the music industry from this fate far, far worst than death here's a list of bands that really should have done a Jeff Buckley while we still thought of them with any degree of feeling besides complete and utter contempt.

10. The Who
The Who's drummer, the legendary Keith Moon actually had the good sense and timing to bow out early, dying of a drug overdose at the age of 32. Unfortunately, the other three decided to stick it out and The Who fans have been forced to witness a few decades of crappy reunion tours, Pete Townshend claiming he was a woman in a man's body, crappy new albums and Pete Townshend getting arrested for looking up child pornography.

9. Duran Duran
A band mostly famous for their embarrassing eighties fashion and feathered hair probably shouldn't still be desperately clinging to fame twenties years later.

But that is exactly what Duran Duran has done. You see, forgetting that people stopped using words like "new wave" and "synthesizer" 17 years ago, Duran Duran have continued to release albums into the new millennium. Here's a tip Duran Duran, if your old videos get played on VH1 "The Eighties were shit!" specials more regularly than your current videos it's probably time to hang up the guitar or go back in time to 1989 and convince your twenty-something year old self that Bon Scott was really onto something with that whole choking on your own vomit thing. Whichever is easiest.

8. Deep Purple
You know, Deep Purple: they're the creators of that bit at the start of Smoke on the Water, also known as the most overrated rock riff off all time. These guys didn't do anything terribly bad after they reached their creative peak. I'm sure their last ten albums have all been dreadful and stuff. Just the fact that they're still together thirty years after everyone stopped caring about them warrants inclusion on this list.

7. Oasis
Back in the day, these guys were actually briefly half decent. If the Gallagher brothers had died in some plane crash in 1997, Buddy Holly-style we would probably all be sitting around saying, "Think of all the great albums these guys could have made if they weren't all dead and stuff!" instead of "Look all that cack Oasis have put out over the last decade! What a bunch of untalented wankers!"

6. The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones really highlight what a godsend Yoko Ono was to The Beatles. If Yoko Ono hadn't forced The Beatles to split up with her own particular blend of pretentious, shrill shitness we would probably, today, be watching George Harrison prancing about on stage in age-inappropriate lycra jump suits like these prats. Well...obviously we wouldn't because George Harrison is all dead and whatnot but you know what I mean. Plus, I think we all embarrassingly remember that time Mick Jagger subversively accepted a knighthood from the Queen.

Continued tomorrow! The last five will blow your mind! And by blow your mind I mean make you feel embarrassed about your record collection!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sorry for all the non posting...

...but, alas, I've been violently, violently ill for the last week. I've barely been able to muster up the strength to watch Richard and Judy let alone write witty, savage damnations of dyslexic American celebrities. Actual content next week when I stop coughing up bile and filling my apartment with snotty tissues! Promise!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tom Cruise: Apparently the New Messiah

Tom Cruise has always had a bit of an inflated ego hasn't he? When he's not telling women how to deal with their post-partum depression, he's arrogantly discounting the entire school of psychology as 'glib'. But the size of Tom Cruise's self opinion has reached such an all time high that scientist are speculating that Global Warming is actually caused by the dangerous gravitational pull of his giant oversized head. You see, accordng to The Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise now believes that he is Jesus Christ.

Long considered just "some stupid science fiction cult", it has taken a lot of special back massages at natural disasters for Scientologists to overcome the fact that their religion sort of reads like an X-Files fan-ficition written by an 11 year old. But despite the fact that Scientologists are still struggling for credibility these days, their leader David Miscavige has decided to reveal this week that a man
all women hate is their "christ-like figure". As quoted by The Sun: “Tom has been told he is Scientology’s Christ-like figure. Like Christ, he’s been criticised for his views. But future generations will realise he was right."

You just know that John Travolta is standing around somewhere angrily drawing an unflattering moustache and glasses on a photo of Tom Cruise then furiously tearing it into tiny pieces.

I have to say, I'm a little sceptical myself. Besides the fact that my mother always told me never to trust a man whose name rhymes with 'miscarriage', I'm really struggling to see what Tom Cruise has done to elevate himself to Messiah status. Yell at women for taking drugs that stop them from smothering their babies? Yell at Dustin Hoffman for two hours for being retarded? Try and sue some men who squirted him in the face with a water pistol? I'm really not seeing it. that I think about it, Tom Cruise does have a few god-like qualities. For example, divine intervention is the only way I account for public opinion of Tom Cruise plummeting from most popular celebrity ever to most hated man in the whole world within about three weeks. And it was more than a little spooky when he somehow got "no sex before marriage" supporter Katie Holmes pregnant a whole year before they actually got married.

But it doesn't matter what I think about a man who became famous by starring in a movie about a boy losing his virginity to a prostitute being declared a christ-like figure because I'm not religious. From an objective stand-point however, this revelation has interesting cultural ramifications. For example, this weird linking of Christianity and Scientology actually means that Battlefield Earth can now be considered a prequel to Passion of the Christ.

Similarly, this whole story really highlights the inherent problems with the deification of historical figures. I mean, these days we think of Jesus as a strapping handsome young gentleman with sexy blue eyes and a lovely, flowing well conditioned mane of hair and beard. But I bet if we used a DeLorean to go back in time to oldey time Jerusalem we would probably find that Jesus was a creepy, obnoxious, short, middle-aged man with a funny nose and a weird, glassy-eyed child bride. Likewise, in a thousand years people will probably believe that Tom Cruise was some sort of tall, charismatic genius instead of just that plonker who jumped up and down on Oprah's sofa.

Unfortunately for Tom Cruise, I actually think that he is supposed to die before he can be considered a messianic figure. Now, David Miscavige didn't reveal whether or not they were going to go for the traditional nailed to a plank of wood. But if they're looking for ideas for Tom Cruise's inevitable martyrdom, I'm offering keelhauled or crushed in heavy machinery.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Captain Great: "The Academy Awards are Shithouse"

So Academy Awards season is upon us once again. You know the Academy Awards: that annual event when all sorts of celebrities get together and masturbate while watching their own movies? Okay, so that's not what happens at all but it might as well be because lets face it, Hollywood's night of nights is the most excessive example of narcissistic, self congratulatory, self pleasuring nonsense on the face of the planet.

Alright, what the Academy Awards actually is is that night of the year when celebrities parade around a red carpet in dresses worth ten times most people's annual income, then they sit around looking smug and feigning modesty for several hours, then the next day everyone bitches about how the worst movie of all time Crash won an award over Brokeback Mountain. Usually, but not always, they are hosted by that weird looking actor Billy Crystal, star of lots of movies you probably don't like and City Slickers II: The Legend of Curley's Gold.

The Oscars also exist as a way in which to promote a whole bunch of pretentious movies usually about people with mental disabilities that would otherwise have no chance of making any money due to their complete lack of Johnny Depp dressed like a pirate. They also serve as a means to reward normal people for their odd decision to devote two hours of their life watching Cate Blanchett die.

Now, unlike other religious holidays, the Academy Awards isn't just a one day a year deal. What I'm trying to say is, it's unlikely that you'll have to listen to Jingle Bell Rock in, say, March. The Academy Awards, however, you have to put up with every other day of your fecking life, mostly due to idiot film critics who love throwing the words "oscar-possibility" into every review of every movie in which any actor emotes a little bit more than usual or plays a retarded character.

Basically the Academy Awards are shithouse. But people seem to care about this sort of nonsense so here's a list of this year's nominations, minus all the boring ones:

Best Picture: "Babel," "The Departed," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Queen."

Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond"; Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"; Peter O'Toole, "Venus"; Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness"; Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland."

Actress: Penelope Cruz, "Volver"; Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"; Helen Mirren, "The Queen"; Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"; Kate Winslet, "Little Children."

Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"; Jackie Earle Haley, "Little Children"; Djimon Hounsou, "Blood Diamond"; Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"; Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed."

Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, "Babel"; Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal"; Abigail Breslin, "Little Miss Sunshine"; Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"; Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel."

Directing: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Babel"; Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"; Clint Eastwood, "Letters From Iwo Jima"; Stephen Frears, "The Queen"; Paul Greengrass, "United 93."

Foreign Language Film: "After the Wedding," Denmark; "Days of Glory (Indigenes)," Algeria; "The Lives of Others," Germany; "Pan's Labyrinth," Mexico; "Water," Canada.

Animated Feature Film: "Cars," "Happy Feet," "Monster House."