16
Jul 06

Attention Ewing

FT4 comments • 661 views

Every UK number one single ever is up for auction.

On multiple formats by the looks of things. Although auctioning off a digital download strikes me as somewhat silly.

Still, you don’t really need to buy a house, do you?

12
Jul 06

Britain’s best sausage…

FT + Pumpkin Publog14 comments • 1,916 views

… and I have eaten it! Hooray!

I discovered a week or so ago that my employer is good friends with a Sussex butcher, who has the honour of being twice voted Britain’s Champion Sausage-Maker. Obviously it took no deliberation whatsoever before I put an order in. A cursory glance at the menu reveals all sorts of delights, including Thai Chicken, Tomato and Basil and Apricot and Pork. Being a traditional sort, I immediately went for the traditionaly Sussex Village option. Because

30
Mar 06

FD – a celebration

TMFD1 comment • 449 views

Maybe it’s alright after all…

28
Feb 06

Glastonbury veterans – your lives will never be the same again!

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 657 views

Yes! They will be MUCH DRUNKER!

Yes, the fine fares of the Brothers Bar, Jazz Word Stage, Worthy Farm will shortly be available in pubs, supermarkets and indie toilets near you! In four flavours including:

– Perry!
– Apple cider!
– Strawberry Mixed Pear Cider!
and…
FESTIVAL STRENGTH PEAR CIDER!

Would the last person to slump in a bin please turn out the light?

15
Mar 05

Canine Unlikeliness

Blog 7Post a comment • 362 views

This morning I met a woman who claims her dog can find its way home. On the bus. Getting both on and off at the right stop.

We’ve all seen Lassie, but I for one am sceptical. If any canine scientists out there would like to shed light on this phenomenon, then go ahead.

2
Mar 05

Man Bites Dog

Blog 7Post a comment • 329 views

No, really…

19
Feb 05

FDNL

TMFDPost a comment • 437 views

FDNL

Oh Cristiano, how we mocked thee. Let me count the ways. How your endless cheeky flicks and attractive stepovers wowed the world and disgusted the TMFD staff. How we smugly nodded along with Alan and Gordon every time the words ‘end product’ were uttered. How we crowed during the short-lived ideological victory that saw the plucky, hard-tackling, dangle-free Greeks win Euro 2004 while you cried like a baby. How we rubbed our hands together, safe in the knowledge that the Portuguese bag of tricks would never survive up against the Robbie Savages and John Terrys of this world.

Of course, we were right. And then we were wrong. The way you covered an entire half of the pitch at Highbury in a matter of seconds, how you changed the entire course of the Premiership’s best game all season with two goals, an assist and barely a stepover in sight. And suddenly, the fanny dangle makes sense. How the most-fouled player in the Premiership is a huge asset in a team full of dead-ball talent. How cumbersome Evertonian fullbacks falling on their arse almost as often as you fall on yours makes for fantastic entertainment. How you are suddenly one of the most effective attacking players in the Premiership, and with only the merest hint of a poncey flickup.

Cristiano Ronaldo, for this week at least, TMFD salutes you. Enjoy it while it lasts.

10
Dec 04

Remember, its the thought that counts

Blog 7Post a comment • 314 views

A close friend of mine works for a financial publishing company which employs around 100 other people, all of whom are annually involved in their Office Secret Santa. As many of the employees work in separate offices, some of them have never met, jokey presents and “gentle teasing” are encouraged as a way of circumnavigating the problem of having to buy a thoughtful gift for someone you don’t know from Adam.

One particular staff member did a little digging around the intended recipient of his present, and discovered her to be an animal-loving vegetarian whose pet rabbit had just died. He then went straight to the butchers, where he bought two dead, skinned rabbits and some bunny-flavoured jerky, put them in a box, wrapped it and gave it to her.

The lady in question was so touched by the gesture that she burst into tears in the middle of the office Christmas party. History has not recorded the fate of these two employees twelve months on, but still, what a lovely fellow.

29
Nov 04

Hands up who’s surprised by this?

TMFDPost a comment • 456 views

Hands up who’s surprised by this?

Well, at least someone’s finally been honest about it, I suppose.

30
Oct 04

FREAKY TRIGGER TOP 25 SCARIEST THINGS – 3. The Influence Of The Daily Mail

Blog 7Post a comment • 791 views

Three days before the US Presidential election, the day after Osama Bin Laden released a new tape aimed at the American people with potentially huge polling consequences, the front page of the Daily Mail screams ‘VILLAGES HELD TO RANSOM’. Indeed. According to the Daily Mail, “villagers are being blackmailed into paying exorbitant sums for land to keep Gipsies out”. It is hard to see quite what new evidence has come to light to force the reappearance of Ossie B off our front pages, but equally, this tells you pretty much everything you need to know about one of Britain’s most popular newspapers.

Hot on the heels of the terrifying gipsy hordes, Osama comes in at a slightly disappointing Page 2, taking up marginally less space than the coverage of Colin Montgomery’s new girlfriend and a montage of her various wealthy exes on Page 3. ‘See our photo gallery of other old charmers who attract beautiful women at www.dailymail.co.uk’, a caption, hilariously, reads. Go on ladies, calm yourselves. The message is clear – this, ladies and gentlemen, is what you should aspire to. Unlike the ‘bored sisters, 14 and 15, in race to get pregnant’ on Page 11 (“and now they’ve succeeded, they both want council houses to go with their haul of benefits”).

Onto Page 4, where ‘Blair signs away our birthright (with no mandate from the British voter)‘ – the European Constitution naturally. Despite the fact that a) he is our elected representative, like it or not, and b) we get a referendum on it anyway.

But its the double spread on Pages 6-7 that’s the real killer. ‘70% say No to super-casinos’, apparently. Fair enough, the gambling bill is an important piece of legislation which needs to be debated and may have a major impact on the future character and appearance of many of our cities. The Mail, though, goes straight for the pictures of two women, horrifically battered, with the caption ‘How gambling addiction drove a thug to do this’. The gambling habits, or lack of, of Colin Montgomery and friends are not mentioned.

There’s the rub. Of all the discussion of various fears, both silly and genuine, on this blog over the past month, no one has really mentioned the exploitation of such fears. This is Daily Mail heartland – its tack is to scare middle-aged housewives round to its way of thinking. Understandable and genuine fears (violent crime and terrorist attacks, principally, but also unemployment and falling house prices) are used to engender distrust of immigrants, travelers, Europe, drugs, alcohol, big cities in general, anything the Labour government can even remotely be held responsible for. For god’s sake, just say ‘VOTE TORY’ and get it over with, will you?

Its easy to dismiss all this as mere tabloid hysteria, but the Mail’s air of outright respectability is what makes it threatening. The idea is that by appealing to the vicar’s wife (all those healthy eating and smart dressing tips), extreme opinions become acceptable (capital punishment, ffs). Whether you think it works is up to you, but I leave you with a story from about a year ago. The local community was in uproar! Someone had stolen the Blackheath donkeys which were used to give rides for children outside Greenwich Park. Pub opinion was divided over the motivation for such a crime, ranging from “I think someone just did it for a laugh”, from myself, all the way to “well, I think it was the illegal immigrants, stealing them for food”, from an otherwise intelligent and generally liberal acquaintance of mine. The fact that no one laughed in her face confuses and disturbs me to this day.

(For the record, I did actually buy a copy of the Mail today for research purposes. I solemly promise that I will give double the 70p cover price to a gay asylum-seeking single mother this very afternoon).