Cannon to the Left of them (Jokers to the Right)


As a bloke once said to me:

Half a league, half a league,
  Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death,
  Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.

01_1936 Charge of the Light Brigade LC

My regular reader, George in Cheltenham, will tell you that I’m no fan of war. Like Woody Allen in the event of war I’d be recruited as a hostage (that’s where the comparison between us ends). The army wouldn’t want me. I’m hopeless. I faint at the sight of blood, mine especially. Khaki is not my colour. I once soiled myself during a game of Paintball.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldiers knew
  Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
  Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
  Rode the six hundred.

So let’s all hope it doesn’t come to this again. You can be sure of a few things: If and when The Crimea War II bursts into action, there will be a few more than 600 involved, and the Russians won’t be just to the right of them and to the left of them and in front of them , they’ll be over the top of them and not just lobbing shells at them. Me?  I’ll be digging a hole in my back garden, wearing my tin hat, inside a Chieftain Tank. I shall be singing selections from Running Songs and Surrendering Ballads by the Queen’s Own Cowards, and crying a lot.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
  All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

1936 : The Chargeof the Light Brigade.  Errol Flynn flashes not only his Sabre but also his avocado collection.

1936 : The Charge of the Light Brigade. Future (alleged) Nazi Spy Errol Flynn flashes not only his ‘sabre bare’ but also other, favoured weapon. Like the murderer, Ruth Ellis, Flynn was famously well hung.

You see, there are a couple of things that worry me. Ok,ok, President Obama has said that there will be ‘Costs’ if Russia invades Ukraine (bit late on that one, methinks, O). But he also warned Syria’s Assad that he risked crossing a “red line” if he engaged in chemical attacks on his own people. That seems to have gone well, doesn’t it ? Shouldn’t someone tell POTUS that when warning someone not to do something, it’s always best to do it BEFORE they’ve done something, or it may come across as a bit of an empty threat.

 Not that I am against empty threats, you understand. Some of my largest threats have been absolutely bereft of any substance whatsoever. Only last week I threatened The Incumbent that if I didn’t start selling enough T-shirts to sustain us soon, then I would go and find some work back in journalism. Absolute bollocks. Never meant a word of it.  And she knew it. It was seventeenth-such threat since 2011.

No, I’m happy with Obama pretending he’s gonna do something about the pesky Russians, when really he knows (and they know. And what’s more they know he knows. And they know he knows that they kno…) that he’s gonna do no such thing. And I’m all in favour of that. We’ve had enough of mad wars for the time being, haven’t we? Yes, yes, I know the Crimea is very strategically important and all that; and “you can’t just let the bullies get away with it” argument; and that Putin is illegally invading a sovereign state (full of Nazi sympathisers, I might point out— if I hadn’t pointed that out before). But do we really want to go back down the David Hemmings’ route again ?

1968. David Hemmings tries to make a better stab of it than Errol Flynn. He failed too.

1968. David Hemmings tries to make a better stab of it than Errol Flynn had back in 1936. He failed miserably too.

If Obama goes to war, Cameron won’t be able to resist sending what’s left of the British Army (if Gideon hasn’t sacked them all by then). There’ll be months of slaughter, then we’ll pull out and let the inevitable civil war kick off. Then we’ll get weeks of graphic photographs in the papers, and footage on the news, up until the editors/public get bored and they concentrate on the new series of  X-Factor or Strictly.

Then Hollywood spots an opportunity for a remake or three. I don’t think the world needs another epic, sprawling, bloody awful movie about the Battle of Balaclava, Sevastopol or Crimean War, do you ? Haven’t we already had enough wars to write and make movies about without starting a new one ? It won’t be David Hemmings this time, it’ll be Brad Pitt. Cate Blanchett will play Florence Nightingale, Oprah Winfrey as Queen Victoria, and Matthew McConaughey in the old Trevor Howard role as Lord Cardigan.

Could McConnaughey possibly drink enough on set to do the role justice ?

Could McConaughey possibly drink enough on set to do the role justice ?

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
  All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
 Noble six hundred!

It’ll just be a matter of time before EA Games gets involved and produces Medal of Hono(u)r CRIMEA edition— when a team of crack Hussars (hussar !!) will slaughter thousands of commies (humour them) to knock out the guns at Sevastopol/Navarone/Moscow (pronounced Moscouw)* (delete where applicable). There will be bigger body count than in an average Hospital in Stafford. Don’t believe me ? There’s already been an attempt at it. Good old Atari back in 1991.

Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade_-_1991_-_Impressions_Games

“From the producers of Rorke’s Drift” ????? Do they mean that other crap Atari game or the actual battle? Perhaps Obama could bill the Presidency as : “POTUS : From The Producers of Operation Iraqi Freedom(ish); The Directors of Shock, Awe & We’ll Leave You to Clear Up all the Mess  After We’ve Left; and the writers of Somalian Disaster.”?

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

1854
.

So please, Mr President, enough with the threats. We don’t want no war, we don’t want no movies about war, we don’t want no games about movies about war. You blokes in charge of things sort it out between you without sending us lot over the top again. Please.

This post was bought to you by the makers of “I Told You So” and “I’ll Sign up for the Military Right After Politicians Send Their Sons to War.” and by the letters F and O.

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Announcing the Losers in Reverse Order


WARNING: NO SPOILER ALERT

For the first time in a while I seem to have seen a few of the movies which all the fuss is about. As you know, I have never been one to fully embrace the full movie “experience” (see And The Winner Isn’t (Original Screenplay)) so it’s usually been the case of waiting til it comes out on DVD or Virgin (and no, I don’t have NETFLIX) before I get to see what everyone else has seen before me (which usually means I know the storyline. I haven’t yet seen Skyfall , for example, but thanks to those around me, I already know the surprises and twists and unexpected deaths).

This year,however, things are a little different. I have managed to see American Hustle, Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave. I will be seeing very soon Wolf of Wall Street, and there is this bloke who knows a bloke who knows a bloke who can get me a copy of Texas Buyers Club, Nabraska and Captain Phillips, should I fancy them and don’t mind breaking the law (heaven forfend). All this means that I will have the opportunity to see the bulk of the Oscar-nominated movies before the ceremony actually begins (not that I’m ever likely to see the ceremony, unless I pay Messrs Branson & Murdoch a lot of money. Which I won’t ever again).

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So without giving away the plot to anyone who hasn’t see any of the above, I shall give you my considered and informed opinion and verdict on Hustle, Gravity and Slave.

They’re ok.

Gravity is a bit of fun and effects — but I hate 3D movies: all that playing with the glasses,  lifting them up & down while you’re sitting in the cinema puts me off the plot. Fortunately there’s not much of one to be put off. Clooney is charming, Bullock acts well again and er…that’s it.

Hustle is a masterclass of period detail. Well done the wardrobe dept. The girls play their parts well. erm….

Slave is 2 hrs 14 minutes of wanting something rather good to stop. (a bit like watching Charlton Athletic, without the ‘rather good’ bit). The 3 main, nominated actors are very good indeed. But…

You see…maybe I’m getting old and stuck in my ways (“No! NO! surely not!” I don’t hear you cry) but Gravity doesn’t have the feeling of epicness which 2001, Apollo 13, Moon, Silent Running or even Star Wars had/has. Hustle is a great study of the 70s, but no better than Boogie Nights, and certainly no Carlito’s Way. And Slave is a very worthy and sad movie, with a tale that needs to be told, and watched. But Schindler’ List it ain’t.

There is a movie called Prisoners, which is a rather under-stated thriller(nominated for Roger Deakins‘ photography) that is worth a look, but it’s not making many headlines, sadly.

So there you have it: Some good films indeed, just not great films. Nothing with the impact of watching the first 28 minutes of Saving Private Ryan, seeing The Godfather for the first time (or the tenth time), no The Right Stuff or even a Milk.

So by way of a trip down memory lane, when the movies really did seem to live with you long after you left the cinema (I’ve already forgotten the plot to American Hustle) and as an excuse to show some pretty cool snaps from behind the scenes (decent movie or not), have a little browse thru this lot.

They’ll have you screaming for the return of Blockbuster Video.

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The Birds. “What’s my motivation for this ?”

Laughing-Actors-Godfather

The Godfather.”I reckon this is gonna be worth one sequel, at the very most”

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Apocalypse Now. “I Hate the taste of Pepsi in the Morning”

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Planet of the Apes “Put your stinking cigarette out, you damn dirty ape! Want to buy a gun?”

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Frankenstein. “I’ve created a breakfast”

BVGsW8SCIAANxic

Jaws. “We’re Gonna Need some Bigger Shorts”

shining-kubrick-1024x640

The Shining. Heeeere’s Stanley

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Psycho. “Don’t worry, my boy. After this role, the job offers will just fly in”

TQM5IRG

2001: A Space Odyssey. “Well I don’t get the oberlisk. Do you get the oberlisk? I don’t get the oberlisk”

BestSellerGridADVERT

End Gunshot Victim Shortage Misery


Come early, avoid the rush:

phptutqa0

From Yahoo News:

“The US military is reportedly testing a smart rifle that aims automatically, so whoever is firing has more chance of hitting the target.

Start-up company TrackingPoint says the military bought six of its precision-guided firearms for between $10,000 and $27,000 each. One journalist who tested it said he hit a target 1,000 yards away on the first shot.”

(see the whole article here)

Well about time too. I’m sick and tired of hearing all those news reports of those poor nutcases going on the rampage in Walmart car parks, Colleges, High Schools and Shopping Centers who keep missing their targets. Now they can kneel at the crucifix on the wall in their bedroom, tool-up, leave home and head for the local University Campus or Naval Dockyard, safe in the knowledge that now they can’t miss. Praise the Sweet Baby Jesus and the 2nd Amendment.

(also available from Amazon Norway— free Plastic Swastika with every gun sold)

And as if by magic, we also have this from today’s Daily Telegraph

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 08.57.34

“Twenty-three mass shootings have occurred in the US in the year since the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, leaving more than 100 dead across 17 states.

Today marks the anniversary of the Newtown shooting, in which Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza, who also killed his mother before leaving home for the school, reportedly had an obsession with mass murders, especially the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, in which 13 people died excluding the two perpetrators.”

For the full article and interactive graphic, click here

ALTOGETHER NOW:

“…And the Laaaaaaand of thaaa Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

cameronradvert

Kickin’ and a Gougin’ in the Mud and the Blood and the Beer


Just for a change, I’d like to talk about one of the good things in life.

djangounchained1212146

He’s back and at last he’s brilliant again. Probably his best movie since Pulp fiction, the great QT returns with this sensational epic. If you don’t like plot, edge, witty dialogue, then go ‘chase me, chase me’ down to middle earth and go see the Hobbit with the rest of your Dungeons & Dragon set. But if you can stomach barrels of blood, acres of character and the funniest Ku Klux Klan scene since Blazing Saddles, then go and take yourself along to see Django Unchained….just don’t take your mum.

Be prepared to hide behind your hands in scenes which give more than a passing nod to the the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs. The much maligned Tarantino has been accused of having lost his touch, with the spiffingly over-rated Inglorious Basterds taking most of the stick for an ailing career. Well now, even if you had no time for Basterds, and didn’t get the brilliance of Death Proof and it’s sensational soundtrack, take yourself along and see a proper movie.

Certainly not for the faint-of-heart, Quentin delivers big time, yet again. It’s a long movie at 2 hours 45 mins, and the longer it goes, the more outrageous is the action, and the more blood is spilt. Well before then, you’ve forgiven the director for everything he wants to throw at you, and allow any outlandish stunt or ridiculous scenarios to wash over you. It’s like Kill Bill, just with horses and six-shooters. And so, so much better.

And look! the erroneous poster above even gives you two more reasons to go see it: Sacha Baron Cohen (or Kurt Russell) never actually made the final cast of the film. Russell quit for ‘unknown reasons’ (like Kevin Costner before him —phew!)  and Baron Cohen had too many commitments to his project The Dictator. Having now seen both movies, Sacha should now be put on a 24 hour suicide watch.

So, welcome back Quentin. A world choked with the smug smog of smeg by Peter Jackson and James Cameron needed you back.

And why not, indeed ?

Good poster too.

End of the World December 21st (Indoors if wet)


Either The Police are lying bastards, or Andrew Mitchell a (former) top Tory MP is a man not to be believed. Is there no-one we can have faith in anymore ?? It has certainly shaken me to the marrow.

As if to prove a point, and according to the loonies amongst us, -(and when I say loonies, I’m chiefly talking about the population of the American mid-west)  the world ends tomorrow, Friday 21st December 2012. Which is a pity, cos I’d just finished by Christmas wrapping (as opposed to christmas rapping, which I gave up a long time ago). If you can’t trust the Police, the Government and an ancient Mayan prophecy, who or what the hell can you believe in ???

Anyway, in the unlikely event that the world does survive….

Fat bloke tee

I Swear by Almighty God…


Well I suppose the time has come to stop moaning about how skint I am, get up off my arse and go get a job. That may sound a ludicrous idea in this day and age, but there seem to be a lot of jobs available at the moment, and I’ve been pondering their various merits. I wonder if I could find something to do part-time to supplement the millions I’m making out of designing T-shirts ?

Coronation Street actress Jenny McAlpine

By the way, if anyone from the BBC Newsnight Team is reading this, that last line was a joke. I’m not making millions out of T-shirts, I merely put that line in by way of a joke. I hope to include several more jokes in this piece, and hopefully much funnier ones. But please, if the rumour spreads across the internet that I’m worth a fortune due to my printing business, and you feel it would be a story worth airing, please call me to see if there is anything to the gossip. Back in the day when I worked in the journalism business, it used to be called fact-checking.

So there’s my first application off in the post : for the job of Newsnight Editor. There presumably isn’t one at the moment, and if there is I think I back myself to make a better fist (easy !) of it, being pretty sure as I am that a multi-collaborated story about systematic and widespread child abuse on BBC premises, covered up for over 40 years would probably be worth airing, whereas some bloke approaching me in the World Food aisle of Sainsburys, accusing a Tory peer of abusing him, adding “I’m pretty sure he looked a bit like that Lord McAlpine bloke, or someone…probably” might merit some further investigation before broadcasting it. D’you think?

The Renault Alpine

The Renault Alpine

As mentioned previously, The job as the new Arch Bishop of Canterbury has already gone. I was never really cut out for that anyway. Firstly, and most obviously, I’ve never been a treasurer for Enterprise Oil Plc- a post which, if you know your scripture as badly as I don’t, is spelt out in the book of Colin18:15 :- and Yea verrily, the Lord sayest unto me -“if you want a jobeth up here, mate, worketh you for ten plus one years (including Bankest Holidays) for a FTSE 100 listeth multinational, then I might consider you. And for My sake, shaveth off that beard – I’m not going down that route again” – amen.

So I clearly need to look elsewhere. Only to add that it’s nice to see the new ABC stamping his sandal down heavily on gay marriage right from the get-go. I certainly wouldn’t want to lead any church which welcomed all and understood the needs and differences of all HIM UPSTAIR’S flock. On the other hand, it may just be his way of ridding the church of paedophiles, because, as the Prime Minister has already said this week, there is a concern that this hunt for child abusers could turn into a gay witch hunt. 

Lord McAlpine and a Friend (unknown)

It’s taken a while to arrive, but I wondered how long it would take for someone to link child abuse with homosexuality. What a brilliant device to justify the non-outing of child abuse offenders. Hide behind a human rights statute which, given half a chance, Cameron and his mob would chuck out at the drop of a Top hat (and demand the right to bend over and pick it up). The BBC spent all week slating Philip Scofield for having the temerity to ask Cameron about the rumours, but not once did anyone pick up on the scandalous accusation that paedophilia is a product of homosexuality.

So there’s application No.2: Witch Hunter (Gay) General. Just point out all those gay witches to me and I’ll be on the case. A rather well-off bloke called Cliff, who drinks in my local pub (known to me as Fiscal Cliff – a joke only I enjoy) reckons statistically that “all poofs are perverts”. Who amongst us could argue with a beautiful, well constructed argument such as that ? He’s also a champion of the “all rag-heads are terrorists” school, and founder of the Dartford chapter of the “Illegal Immigrants Smell” society. It’s a real joy chatting to him, as you can image. (Note to BBC journalists that last paragraph was a joke too. It’s not a joy to speak to him)

As an aside, I was recently asked to be a driver and take the X-Factor Cheryl and her former husband Ashley up to St James’ Park for a charity gig. But I didn’t fancy it, so I turned it down. To me it seemed a bit like taking Coles to Newcastle.

sorry

An Undercover Paedophile

But I mustn’t be too hard on the Prime Minister. It is, after all, a well-known fact that if you let gays into the armed forces, they will be distracted from their task of fighting the enemy by their uncontrollable urge to shag the nearest NCO up the Tactical Retreat. It’s obvious that these degenerates blend in with normal folk, dressing and acting in a manner which makes it incredibly hard to tell them from us regular chaps.

What a sensational idea. To conceal the fact that you are a paedophile in a children’s home by dressing up as…. a paedophile. Who on earth could have realised what he was up to ? No wonder the PM is concerned that we will be hunting down the wrong sort or paedophile  individual , and accuse any random cabinet minister person that they were either colluding with the offenders, indulging in nefarious activities with them, or simply so incompetent that they unwittingly turned a blind eye to these crimes in a bid to be popular. I can’t see that sort of admonishable behaviour ever having happened, frankly.

Unknown Man with An Undercover Paedophile

Useless Twat with An Undercover Paedophile

If the Witch Hunter job has already gone, there’s always the job of the head of the CIA to apply for. The incumbent one, David Petraeus, has just fallen on his sword after having admitted having an extra-marital affair. It’s apparently not the done thing to have the Spook-in-Chief play away from home, in case he goes all John Profumo on you and starts pillow-talking with the opposition. Petraeus is an all-American hero and the suggestion that he may have betrayed state secrets is vigorously denied by both the US Government and his lover, Mrs Edith Taliban, Hut 5, Nad-e Ali, Helmund Province. Telephone: Afghanistan 4.  (Note to the remaining members of the CIA: That last bit was a joke also. I made up her phone number. My hat size is 6 7/8, should you want to bring a canvas bag with you when you call. I also have Aspergers. Honest).

Oh fuck it. I think I’ll apply to be a Police and Crime Commissioner. By the sounds of it you’ll only need about 5 votes to get in, such is the apathy for the upcoming UK elections. In Kent, The English Democrat candidate is the wonderfully named Steve Uncles.  Here’s the opening to his website:

“Steve Uncles Kent Police & Crime Commissioner English Democrats – “More Police Catching Criminals” Born Blackheath (Traditional Kent), child hood Bexley (Traditional Kent), adult & family life Dartford (Kent), I am an English Kentishman. I have worked within public and private sectors and for 10 years ran my own business.”

Zeig Heil

(NB: I made that last bit up.)

Do you get the idea he’s from (Traditional) Kent ? I can’t read that without hearing the “We Want to be Togevva” voice in my head. I’m amazed we haven’t run over each other in the past. If I can’t beat him I might as well give up and go and make T-shirts or something.

Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing