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News | Anorak - Part 9

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Police find 30 eyeballs in man’s anus

anal eyeballs

 

Having stopped a car being driven by Roy Tilbott, 51, Wyoming police spotted a few eyeballs on the road close to where the suspect was standing. They seemed to have have slid down from somewhere inside Tilbott’s shorts.

When challenged at gunpoint, Tilbott told police the eyeballs were not human, rather cow eyeballs he’d stolen from Johnson Meats (a slaughterhouse) where he worked as a butcher.

“Company won’t let us take animal scraps home and instead toss them in the landfill,” said Tilbott according to the police report. “They’re a very wasteful company. We should be allowed to take scrap meat and other parts home. The company should start a green initiative. They don’t even have recycling at the plant. I enjoy eating bovine eyeballs and smuggling them out in my colon was the only way I knew how to get them out without potentially getting caught and fired. I put them in soups. They’re beneficial for erectile dysfunction, which I currently battle, but I also just like the texture and taste.”

Tilbott was breathalyzed and arrested for driving under the influence. He was also in possession of a number of large carving knives. Police don’t know what else to charge Tilbott with because no theft has been reported.

File under: no kebabs in Wyoming?

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal clickbait balls: Wenger gone and Ozil is buried in the Gunners’ (wooden) box

In recent days the Sun’s Neil Ashton has told Arsenal fans that Mesut Ozil is staying at the club (proof: the German Ashton said wasn’t worth “two bob” has renewed his box at the Emirates), Chelsea have been “beaten” Arsenal to £50m Virgil Van Van Dijk (proof: none) and Hector Bellerin will remain at Arsenal (proof: nothing to say that he won’t).

The question is: do these players all know Arsenal are dead? It’s not Arsenal fans burying the club – a group Ashton says “are only ever one defeat away from another meltdown” – it’s Ashton, who opined;

‘ARSENAL Football Club, Rest In Peace. This institution, one of the most famous clubs in the world, is dead and buried. Here at the Emirates, the heart finally stopped beating.’

“So it’s goodnight Arsenal. Goodbye Arsene,” said Ashton after Arsenal were thrashed by Bayern Munich.

Proof to the contrary: Arsenal live on. Arsene Wenger is manager.

It”s almost as if football writers just churn stuff out to fill a space.

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


When a child goes missing in Carrara global media rings the bell

Carrara missing child

 

Tales of missing children are as rare as they are are indelible. So when a child went missing in Australia, the media was on the case. ‘Every parent’s worst nightmare’ is an emotive story that travels.

To the Carrara childcare centre on Birmingham Road, Australia, then, where a child is leaving the premises at around 3.50pm local time. But who is she with?

The Sun broadcast “chilling CCTV” images of the “missing Queensland girl, 5, dressed in man’s coat as she is led away after being snatched from her childcare centre”.

The child “may be at ‘significant risk'”.

Just in case anyone in Basildon can help, the Sun tells its readers, “They were travelling in a creme-coloured Citroen hatchback with license plate 633XFU”. In the Daily Mail, the “desperate” search is looking for a “brown” car.

Australia’s 7 News wanted its viewers also to look for the child. This posse might have had even less to go on than Sun and Mail readers. The channel saw fit to smudge the missing child’s features. Have you seen her?

 

Carrara

 

Sky News then adds with a dash of menace: “A man was seen taking the girl.”

One day on and the story is that the child went off with her father. Both have been found safe and well.

A cynic might suppose that not everyone in media-land is delighted with the swift and happy outcome.

Posted: 25th, July 2017 | In: News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Charlie Gard is allowed to die

The legal fight for Charlie Gard’s future is over. The desperately ill child’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have ended their five-month court battle for their son to be released from care at Great Ormond Street Hospital and undergo experimental treatment in the USA. They accept that the damage to their 11-month-old’s muscle and tissue is “irreversible”.

It was ever the expert opinion heard at the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and the Vatican that Charlie Gard should be allowed to die. His parents and thousands of others, many of whom donated to a fund to send Charlie to the US, disagreed. On twitter they pleaded #dontkillcharlie and became part of #charliesarmy.

Big media fanned the story. In the Daily Mail, we read Connie’ words: “When I think about willingly turning off Charlie’s life support, with him dying in our arms, I cry uncontrollably… He has chubby, squeezable little legs, his hair needs to be combed more.”

Emotion or ethics? Hope or reason? Parental love or the pragmatic State? Pick you side.

Today Connie Yates told the the judge: “We have always believed that Charlie deserved a chance at life.” He said time had been “wasted” on legalities. “Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy,” she continued. “He may well have had some disabilities later on in life but his quality of life could have been improved greatly… Now we will never know what would have happened if he got treatment but it’s not about us. It’s never been about us. It’s about what’s best for Charlie now. At the point in time when it has become too late for Charlie we have made the agonising decision to let him go.”

Mr Justice Francis was at pains to remind everyone that in “this country children have rights independent of their parents”. He added: “The world of social media doubtless has very many benefits but one of its pitfalls, I suggest, is that when cases such as this go viral, the watching world feels entitled to express opinions, whether or not they are evidence-based.”

The watching word expressing opinion is never a pitfall. It’s glorious. But ultimately, it was futile.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Americans are banned from visiting North Korea

Best hurry up with that romantic break to North Korea. Donald Trump has alerted American tourists to the risk of “long-term detention” in Mr Kim’s dystopia. You might argue that being locked up in North Korea is akin to getting the full experience, a chance to be total immersed in the place. Like making a Buckingham Palace guard laugh or setting fire to a car in Paris, a diet of tree bark and curfew is to live like a North Korean.

But US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has signed a “Geographical Travel Restriction” . It makes it vorboten for Americans to enter North Korea. Tillerson’s spokeswoman Heather Nauert tells media:

“Once in effect, U.S. passports will be invalid for travel to, through and in North Korea, and individuals will be required to obtain a passport with a special validation in order to travel to or within North Korea.”

This harks back to the fate of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American who having been sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea last year for trying to steal a propaganda sign while on a tourist visit, returned to the USA in a coma. He died soon after.

North Korea called Warmbier’s death “a mystery”. Other mysteries thought to be befuddling the North Koreans are: why Katie Price sleeps on her back? How come Mr Kim is so fat when his fellow North Koreans are so very thin? And what do materialistic men see in Bernie Ecclestone’s daughters.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports: “North Korea is currently holding two Korean-American academics and a missionary, a Canadian pastor and three South Korean nationals who were doing missionary work. Japan says North Korea has also detained at least several dozen of its nationals.”

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez goes missing in Paris

Transfer Balls: How much money is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez’s worth? Much guff has been written about the Chilean player whose Arsenal contract expires in a year’s time. The pick of the stories is the one that placed Sanchez in a Paris hotel room in readiness for his move to the city’s PSG. He’d been “spotted” in Paris by a raft of top media titles – but no-one of them had had the presence of mind to take a photo of the player. Moreover, not a single passer-by, hotel worker or fan has produced a photo of Sanchez in Paris.

With not a muon of evidence of Sanchez ever having been in Paris last week, the Metro nonetheless managed to connive the headline:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/23/alexis-sanchez-agrees-four-year-contract-with-paris-saint-germain-6799303/#ixzz4njEVVmXV

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

The Metro adds that PSG will secure Sanchez on a £36m transfer and pay him £275,000 a week – £5,000-a-week less than Arsenal have offered. Really? No. It’s total balls.

The Telegraph counters:

Wenger’s conviction that Sanchez will stay has been strengthened by influential French daily newspaper L’Equipe reporting that PSG have now switched their attention to Barcelona’s Neymar.

Plus Arsenal have already stated their resolve to keep Sanchez.

“My mind has been made up for a while now. I think I’ve made it clear a few times that this is my stance [he will stay at Arsenal],” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger yesterday. “Sanchez has got one year to go on his contract and we have no need to make money. He will be part of the team next year and after that I can understand it. We are in a strong financial situation so we want to keep our best players. Has he asked to leave? No.”

So much for the facts. What about the fee?

£90mDaily Star, July 11

£80m Daily Express, July 9

£70mLondon Evening Standard, July 23

£50mDaily Mirror, april 17

£45m The Metro, July 22

£40mDaily Express, June 8

More fake news every day in the trusty mainstream media.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit supporting Daily Mail plans to stay in the EU by relocating to Ireland

The Daily Mail’s owners are considering relocating from Kensington, London, to Ireland (EU). The Times reports:

 

daily mail brexit

 

July 1, 2017:

Spencer-Churchill also let slip that the Daily Mail’s publishers are considering upping sticks after the Brexit vote. “I was talking to my friend Viscount Rothermere yesterday,” he said. “He’s thinking about moving his whole operation of Associated Newspapers [now DMG Media] to Ireland.” So much for crushing the saboteurs.

Previously in the Mail:

daily mail brexit

 

Take a bow (out), Daily Mail!

Spotter: @bellamackie

Posted: 23rd, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump pretends he can’t speak Japanese as Akie Abe forgets her English

 

You know how it is: you’re sat next to some awful bore at a dinner party. Donald Trump feels your pain. The New York Times spots him sat alongside the interminably dull Akie Abe, wife of Japan Prime Minister Abe, at the G20 bun fight. They didn’t talk – which is wise because once Akie gets started on depictions of women on Manga comics, drip-dry toilets, why Japan hasn’t apologised for its treatment of prisoners in World War 2, the absence of a memorial to the thousands of Korean slaves killed at Hiroshima and the subjugation of females in her contry you’ll need a wall to stop her. Japanese women, eh, they’re such rule breakers.

So, I was seated next to the wife of Prime Minister Abe [Shinzo Abe of Japan], who I think is a terrific guy, and she’s a terrific woman, but doesn’t speak English.

HABERMAN: Like, nothing, right? Like zero?

TRUMP: Like, not “hello.”

HABERMAN: That must make for an awkward seating.

TRUMP: Well, it’s hard, because you know, you’re sitting there for——

HABERMAN: Hours.

TRUMP: So the dinner was probably an hour and 45 minutes.

But she does – or at least she can read English.

And did Trump forget his fluent Japanese?

 

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Top Secret files reveals how Churchill saved Britain’s Nazi King

Biarritz, France. 1951. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are pictured at their villa.

 

Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower didn’t want us to know about King Edward VIII’s plans for peace with Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Papers released by The National Archives considered “too difficult, too sensitive” include a 1953 “top secret” memo from Churchill discussing German telegrams carrying reports by Nazi-sympathiser the Duke of Windsor, as Edward VIII was known after he abdicated in 1936.

“He is convinced that had he remained on throne war would have been avoided and describes himself as firm supporter of a peaceful compromise with Germany,” says one telegram from Portugal, where the duke was staying in July 1940. “Duke believes with certainty that continued heavy bombing will make England ready for peace.”

 

queen mum nazi salute

Edward ‘teaching the Queen how to give the Nazi salute’

 

Blomberg:

Edward abdicated so he could marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The couple set up home in France, but when World War II broke out they moved to Spain. The government in Madrid, formally neutral but sympathetic to Germany, asked for guidance from Berlin as to what should be done with them. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop replied, asking if they could be kept there. Then he ordered a watch on their house.

Ribbentrop’s interest was piqued when he was told, a few days later, that in private “Windsor spoke strongly against Churchill and against this war.” While he considered what to do, the duke and duchess made their way to Portugal, where they made similar comments. The Nazis decided to act.

“The duke should return to Spain under all circumstances,” Ribbentrop wrote, adding that they should then be “persuaded or forced” to stay there. His plan was then to offer the duke “the granting of any wish,” including “the ascension of the English throne.”

Churchill duly made the Nazi Windsor governor of the Bahamas.

When the Windsors were reluctant to leave Europe, Churchill threatened Edward, who held honorary military rank, with court-martial. Ribbentrop, anxious not to let his prize escape, launched Operation Willi to persuade the Windsors to return to Spain, kidnapping them if necessary. But despite sabotage attempts and bomb threats, the Germans failed.

The plan was “to persuade the duke to leave Lisbon in a car as if he were going on a fairly long pleasure jaunt, and then to cross the border at a specified place, where Spanish secret police will ensure a safe crossing,” according to a note sent to Ribbentrop.

You can read more on how close the UK came to being overrun by Nazis in this great story on Flashbak.

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The ASA war on gender means mum gets the power drill and dad goes to Iceland

asa gender

 

The Advertising Standards Authority once complained about this site. An advert featuring Page 3 stunna Lucy Pinder was sexist, they alleged. Pinder welcomed readers to Old Mr Anorak’s throbbing organ, which for filthy lucre had been sheep-dipped in Lynx, the stuff that drives women wild with lust. It was all a lot of nonsense. Pinder was willing. No readers were damaged. And rumours abound of a whole generation of young Anoraks. Now the ASA is going for other “gender-stereotypical” commercials, seeking to censor inappropriate ads “that feature stereotypical gender roles”.

There’ll be no more Pinder presenting her primary sexual characteristics like Saint Agatha in a bikini. No more Oxo mum feeding her family. No more Ronseal man telling us it does “exactly” what it says on the tin. And no more ads for yoghurts in which a baby-voiced female celebrity talks about her “tummy”.

Such amplification of “stereotypical gender roles” can “cause harm”. These ads “reinforce assumptions that adversely limit how people see themselves and how others see them”. It turns out that Lynda Bellingham is a bigger role model than your actual mum and dad.

So mum gets the power drill for Christmas after all, and dad gets a trip to Iceland for own-brand ketchup and other tastes of regret.

How’s that for progress?

Posted: 20th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait Balls: Manchester United and Arsenal fans tricked by world’s worst journalism

sanchez manchester united

 

Transfer Balls: The Manchester Evening News has big news for Arsenal and Manchester United fans: “Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks Alexis Sanchez.”

Can it be that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is on Manchester United’s shopping list? Having reached the MEN’s scoop through Google News, the story begins:

Jose Mourinho has admitted it is a ‘shame’ Manchester United did not sign Alvaro Morata and appeared to dismiss any chance of a move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

He only “appeared” to. So there’s a chance Mourinho wants Sanchez.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: “It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.”‘

Weird answer, no? Mourinho just tags Sanchez onto the end of a reply. Has he done that to wind up Arsenal and Manchester City, who were said to be keen on the Chilean? No. He’s not talking about Alexis Sanchez. He’s talking about Jose Angel Sanchez, Real Madrid’s director general.

 

 

But The Metro didn’t even bother to read that. It thunders:

Freudian slip? Jose Mourinho mentions Alexis Sanchez to send Manchester United fans into transfer meltdown

 

 

clickbait manchester united arsenal

 

Undeterred by fact, the Metro coughs up a cut-out-and-keep guff of dire journalism. This is it pretty much the clickbait balls in full:

Jose Mourinho has got Manchester United fans very excited by accidentally mentioning Alexis Sanchez’s name when asked an unrelated question at his post-match press conference.

The Portuguese oversaw a 5-2 victory against LA Galaxy in the early hours of Sunday morning, and afterwards he was asked, among other things, about Real Madrid frontman Alvaro Morata.

But curiously, Mourinho appeared to get the Spanish striker and Arsenal’s wantaway Chilean mixed up, with many fans now speculating that it was a Freudian slip hinting at genuine interest.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: ‘It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.’

The exchange got pulses racing, with United fans debating whether it was an accidental slip of the tongue or something more substantial…

Of course, it is possible that the Special One innocently misspoke, or he would even have been referring to a different player – midfielder Renato Sanches, perhaps.

But even his choice of language – saying ‘I don’t know’ rather than categorically ruling out a transfer… has got United fans hot under the collar.

One day on from that total balls, the Metro reads the clicks, senses that it’s on to something and produces the follow-up piece:

Why Jose Mourinho – not Pep Guardiola – is the perfect manager for Alexis Sanchez

Ewan Roberts didn’t bother to check the source of his opinion piece. He just thunders:

Jose Mourinho doesn’t do innocent slips of the tongue. Depending on how cynical you are, his name-dropping of Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ranks somewhere between a Freudian slip or the planting of a seed. Whether he intended to or not, the Portuguese has inserted Manchester United onto the list of potential suitors for the Chilean – and they may even top it, with Old Trafford arguably a better fit than their sky blue rivals down the road.

 

 

The article based on poor research and what looks like a cynical disregard for readers trawls on and on, pausing a while to produce a graphic of what Sanchez would look like in the United side:

 

 

It’s “random” stuff says one writer at the clickbait-driven Telegraph:

 

 

More great journalism when we spot it.

 

Posted: 20th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Sanchez stays and Gooners should rejoice

Barring a gigantic transfer fee that makes his departure irresistible, Alexis Sánchez will be at Arsenal next season. The club has done the sums and worked out that selling their best player to a rival would be a failure. So they’ll keep him and wave goodbye to the Chilean when he leaves as a free agent next summer. They’ll keep the £140,000 a week extra they were going to pay him in a new contract – one he rejected. And, vitally, Arsenal will field a player who boosts their team’s chances of a swift return to Champions’ League football, which they missed out on for the first time in over 20 years with last season’s fifth-placed finish.

“The decision has been made and we will stick to that,” Arsene Wenger, the team’s manager, told media. “The decision is not to sell.”

So Sanchez stays. Keeping him also means Arsenal need not look around for his replacement, which given their status outside the Champions’ League makes signing top talent even more expensive. Just look at the huge premium Manchester United had to fork out to get Paul Pogba.

Arsenal fans should be happy. The deal shows that the club has a long-term plan for success.

 

Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Radiohead and Slash sticks it to BDS bigots: Jewish Devils get the best tunes

When Thom Yorke’s gave BDS the finger, we cheered. You should cheer too. The monocular Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) mob demanded Radiohead cancel their show in Tel Aviv, Israel – a country vast in the Bible and Leftish dogma but in reality small and dusty. “Their ill-advised concert in Tel Aviv suggests to me that they only want to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid,” said Jeremy Corbyn’s mate Ken Loach in the Independent. “Every international artist who plays in Israel serves as a propaganda tool for the Israeli government.”

Anyone who saw and enjoyed the Corbyn set at Glastonbury will hope the Jewish state finally sees sense and Tel Aviv gets twinned with Somerset and Islington. Politics is music and music is politics, hymns the popular song of the correct, compassionate and knowing.

Many more have added their voices to the chorus seeking to impose a cultural blockade on Israel, its peoples and anyone who agrees with them in the spirit of – get this – inclusivity, equality and diversity. Desmond Tutu, Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and Dave Randall were all aghast at Radiohead’s concert in the Israeli beach-side city. “Music helps drown out the cries of the oppressed,” opined Randall without irony. Music does more harm than good. It’s the kind of message sure to get a sympathetic ear among the Taliban.

“Anybody who’s tempted to do that, like our friends in Radiohead, if only they would actually educate themselves,” advises knowing Waters, who addresses Yorke in an open letter on a BDS live chat: “I look forward to – if you feel like it, when you finish your trip to Israel, because you probably still will go – write me a letter and tell me how much good you did and how much change you managed to affect by chatting with musicians.”

In the face of the scholarly and superior Waters, Yorke is defiant. “We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others,” he said. “As we have in America. We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America. Music, art and academia is about crossing borders, not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression.”

He goes on. “Imagine how offensive that is for Jonny.. [Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood is married to an Arab-Jew]. Just to assume that we know nothing about this. Just to throw the word ‘apartheid’ around and think that’s enough. It’s fucking weird. It’s such an extraordinary waste of energy.”

Although it’s not weird to make the world’s one Jewish state a special case for censorship. Israel’s unique status among the enlightened too-often smells of something horribly familiar and nasty. Throughout history the people of God’s dad are often a special case.

But never fear, Jews and your apologists. The Devil always has the best tunes. Pink Floyd’s Waters – a fair-minded and reasoned man who compares modern-day Israel to Germany under the Nazis – can’t make it. But Guns ‘n Rose can. Take it away, Slash:

 

Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Bakayoko makes Chelsea panic and Manchester United fans click

Transfer Ballsa look at dire football reporting.

When Tiemoue Bakayoko was on his way from Monaco to Chelsea, the media was fanning the baseless news story that he was contemplating a last-minute switch to Manchester United,

Above a story about Bakayoko having his medial at Chelsea, the Manchester Evening News told its readers: “Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko’s Manchester tweet sends Chelsea fans into meltdown.” The headline had nothing to do with the story, which went on to explain that Bakayoko had been prodded and probed at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground before heading out for dinner with some of the club’s players.

What Chelsea fans were in meltdown over that? The MEN didn’t say.

But that total tosh was topped by the London Evening Standard which managed to corrupt the simple fact ‘Footballer Undergoes Chelsea Medical’ into “Tiemoue Bakayoko tweet sparks panic among Chelsea fans as he arrives in England for £40m transfer”.

Meltdowns. Panics. Might be an idea for jittery Chelsea fans to stay away from the news, which operated in the twilight zone between utter balls and economical truth.

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

The Express had previously told its readers: “MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a £35million deal to hijack Chelsea’s move for Tiemoue Bakayoko.”

 

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

One day and on even the Express clickbait farm admitted the story was bilge: “MANCHESTER UNITED do not want to sign Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko and have not submitted a bid for the Monaco midfielder.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jodie Whittaker: the naked Dr Who photos too racy for tea-time telly

jodie-whittaker-doctornaked

 

That the latest incarnation of Dr Who is a woman and not a child or a fridge freezer has not escaped the Sun and the Daily Mail. The papers reviewed Jodie Whittaker’s pre-postgrad career in time travel and noticed that she’s appeared starkers.

Both tabloids have shown their readers pictures of Whittaker naked or topless in previous acting work. To which you might wonder, ‘So what?’ She’s a grown woman who took the roles that required disrobing in the best possible taste under free will. But something called the Equal Representation for Actresses (ERA), is upset. “We are delighted by the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor,” says the camping group without humour, mistaking the BBC’s Verne-fed gurn-fest for an actual character. “However, we are surprised and disappointed by the Daily Mail and the Sun’s reductive and irresponsible decision to run a story featuring pictures of Jodie in various nude scenes.”

The show’s Daleks were naked, moreover the Cyberman and K-9, Dr Who’s robot dog. All nude. Why is it different for Whittaker? Is it because women are so weak that she needs special protection?

 

Jodie Whittaker naked

 

Doctor of Morals

Everything about the BBC’s cash-cow is contrived to milk viewers. What began as a bit of fun is now a marketing campaign so message-laden Dr Who should be recast as a Royal Mail van driver. The last Dr Who looked like your grandfather, or at least the head of English at an inner-city Academy. He was tooled-up with a magic screwdriver in place of plot. When that MacGuffin flagged, he scored a gay female sidekick, who for added twitter-appeal was also black. “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?” Pearl Mackie, who played the sidekick told the BBC. “That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show.”

Good for her. But the suspicion is that her identity-first role was led less by desire for change than it was it to suppress desire of a more base sort in the Beeb’s post-Savile era. There was no chance of the Aunty who tuned a blind eye to depravity letting old man Peter Capaldi anywhere near someone young and female who could be perceived as some kind of love interest.

So now you get Dr Who who looks most like a primary school teacher, albeit one with a racier past. She’s safe around children, and on parents’ evening, there’s something for dad to contemplate.

Posted: 18th, July 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Mobikes in the canal restores faith in the spirit of Manchester

In Manchester new Chinese bikes are creating artificial reefs in the city’s waterways. It’s terrific. Although it might not be what the Chinese company behind bicycle sharing service Mobike envisioned when it launched in the UK. Can Mobike disrupt Manchester travel?

I really wanted to believe that Mancunians could be trusted with nice things. Just over a fortnight ago, a Chinese company called Mobike brought 1,000 shiny new silver and orange bikes to my city. Unlockable with a smartphone and available to rent for just 50p for half an hour, they could be ridden wherever you liked within Manchester and Salford and, crucially, could be left anywhere public once you were done.

I was an immediate convert, boasting about the superiority of our new bike-sharing system over London’s, pitying sadsacks in the capital who had to trundle around looking for a docking station. One sunny evening shortly after the launch, I rode a Mobike to Salford Quays, where I swam a mile in the filtered water of the glistening Lowry, reflecting as I did my backstroke that Manchester was starting to feel rather European. I had always fancied living in Copenhagen, where the cyclist is king and the harbour has been turned into a lido. Was I now living that continental dream?

Two weeks on and I fear that a dream is all it was. There are Mobikes in the canal, Mobikes in bins and I am fed up with following the app to a residential street where there is clearly a Mobike stashed in someone’s garden. On launch day, the Chinese designer told me the bikes were basically indestructible and should last four years without maintenance. It took a matter of hours before local scallies worked out how to disable the GPS trackers and smash off the back wheel locks.

On Thursday, none of the eight bikes showing on the app as being near my house were actually there. I was so incensed when I reached the location of the ninth and could see it locked away in a backyard that I lost control of my senses and knocked on the door. A young man opened it and I asked nicely if I could rent the bike. He looked surprised and said, no, it was his, and anyway, he needed it later. I explained that was not how the system worked, that the bikes were public, and that if everyone was as selfish as him the whole thing would collapse. He rolled his eyes and told me I would be trespassing if I dared try to fetch it.

You see, what works in a totalitarian state where everyone’s being monitored doesn’t work in Manchester. Good-oh. Theft isn’t right, of course not. But to assume compliance and that people offered a 50p bike ride home will treat the thing with dutiful respect represents a failure to understand your target market.

PS: Chinese airline Wings of China can update its advice to travellers visiting the UK. The 2016 Air China guide told its passengers to avoid visiting areas of London “populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people” – and “We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling.”

The chapter on Manchester should be a hoot.

Spotter: The Guardian:

 

Posted: 17th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump’s Mexico wall will be higher than a man on 60 pounds of marijuana

Donald Trump was the wall between Mexico and the USA to be made of glass, or Sellotape or whatever it is they spray of ageing A-listers faces to keep the skin tight. “One of the things with the wall is you need transparency,” he told media aboard Air Force One on his way to Paris for Bastille Day. “You have to be able to see through it. So it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other wide of the wall. And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them. hey hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.’”

Maybe Trump means a chain-link fence, something the Republican Congress passed in the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The Act,  signed by Barak Obama, Hilary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and George W. Bush, approved 700 miles of fencing between the border of the United States and Mexico. The wall / fence would feature checkpoints, drones and lighting to stop illegal immigration.

Dugs remain optional.

 

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Nothing To Do With Arbroath’s Kevin Gray has died

nothing to do with arbroath

 

I’m very sad to learn that Kevin Gray had died. He was the brains behind the brilliant Nothing To Do With Arbroath. Kevin was just 56 years old.

We spoke many times. In December he told he that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer that “has spread to as yet unidentified other places…

I’ve not been able to get internet access in hospital and was surprisingly told I could go home for a few days just before lunchtime today.

I have to return on Thursday for a lung biopsy before the real horrors are revealed and the nasty stuff really begins.

I’m just about to write a cheery post on my blog.

All the very best, mate,

Kev.

Hundreds of thousands of people read and enjoyed his work. He never got the reward his great eye for a story and humour deserved.

Donations should be given to Cancer Research UK.

 

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Thank God for Conor McGregor: antidote to the age of doubt

I’ll remember seeing Conor McGregor waiting in the ring for Floyd Mayweather (video below). How could I forget? What a sight. What style and substance. What panache. What a hoot. In the current era of can’t say that, when “inappropriate” is the watchword and Outraged of Twitter commands compliance in speech and deed, McGregor’s swaggering and shadow boxing was a visit from another world, a more exciting time when mistakes were glorious, failures radiant and life was about daring to do with a big toothy grin and gaping, irresistible laugher.

McGregor knows what he is and wants to be. It’s a clarity out of step with snowflakes, safe spaces, blaming everyone else for your own errors, excruciating debates over gender and identity, and so much guff about cultural appropriation, virtue signalling and a navel-gazing search for fluid indefinites.

McGregor commands admiration. “There’s two things I really like to do and that’s whoop ass and look good,” says McGregor.” He said of an opponent: “How could I hate someone who has the same dreams as me?” And most tellingly of all:  “There is no opponent … you’re against yourself…Defeat is the secret ingredient to success.”

The golden age of derring-do hasn’t been eradicated. It’s been throbbing in a tough part of Dublin. It’s out there. And it’s glorious. “I know who I am,” says McGregor. And we love it:

 

Posted: 15th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: De Gea (and his agent) are ‘desperate’ to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid

Transfer balls – a look at rubbish football reporting: The BBC says Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, 26, wants to join Real Madrid this summer.

The source of this story is the Daily Express. It’s source is Spain’s Don Balon. The Express says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is “desperate to land the Spain No 1”. As ever, it’s fun to look at the Spanish report through the prism of Google Translate:

The David de Gea option is still very much alive. The current United goalkeeper is not willing to let the Real Madrid train pass for the umpteenth time and press in the offices of the Santiago Bernabéu through his agent, Jorge Mendes.

With Keylor Navas stuck with his continuity in the white team, the keeper of the Red takes a step forward and maintains a direct line with the Real Madrid controls, as reported by Pipi Estrada in ‘El Chiringuito’: “Jorge Mendes has asked José Ángel Sánchez [Real Madrid CEO] for De Gea and Sánchez has asked him to be patient because the decision has not yet been made. This year there is a lot of happiness because it has won the double, which has not been won for a long time, but next year you have to win again and if you do not win there will be a problem. ”

De Gea is still the right eye of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who is waiting for a final PSG move to remove Keylor Navas from Madrid and be able to open the door of Real to Spanish.

This all seems to suggest that De Gea’s agent is agitating for his client’s move. And Perez doesn’t sound “desperate”.

Whatever the source, the report offers no quote from player, club nor agent. We do hear only from one Pipi Estrada, a journalist for Spanish sports TV show El Chiringuito. And that’s a dead end.

With facts in short supply, the Sun picks up the story and thunders:

GET ME OUTTA HERE David De Gea ‘desperate to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid and orders agent to get deal done’

 

GET ME OUTTA HERE David De Gea ‘desperate to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid and orders agent to get deal done’

 

The Sun reports:

Spanish transfer outlet Don Balon claim Madrid will try again this summer, with club president Florentino Perez desperate to land the Spanish international.

De Gea, meanwhile, is said to have told his agent Jorge Mendes to get the deal sorted.

Desperate stuff all round.

The Sun then assures readers:

Agent Jorge Mendes could seal the deal with Real Madrid.

The story gets murkier still when you look back to July 13 – yesterday ! – when the Sun told its readers:

DOUBLE BLOW – Real Madrid give up David De Gea chase while Eden Hazard tells Zinedine Zidane he will not join Champions League winners this summer

 

de gea the sun manchester united

 

The source for that Sun story is – yep – Don Balon:

…according to Don Balon, Real have decided to ditch plans of a bid for De Gea…

Don Balon tells its readers not to panic. Real are far from desperate for De Gea:

Real Madrid, however, has already perfectly located a new candidate to become the starting goalkeeper next season. And at a much more affordable price than De Gea: Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Such are the facts in the twilight world of football reporting.

Posted: 14th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Charlie Gard: hope will always beat reason

charlie gard

 

If you get delve into the steaming heap of pleading, bias, fiscal nous, screeching, virtue-signalling, baby-kissing, dreaming, pining, narcissism, spiritual zeal, butchery and guff, at the root of society, you’ll find the whole point of governance: to support human life. You can consult the history books and thereby, say the knowledge wallahs, learn how not to repeat mistakes of the past. But most of us know what we want and where we need to go to get it. We want a good life. So how did it come to this? How did the parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard end up fighting for their son’s existence in the High Court in London?

Charlie suffers from infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS). He’s ill. Very ill. He cannot see, hear, move, cry or swallow. Everything he does is dictated by invasive machines. Science and electricity keep Charlie Gard alive.

And in technology, Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have hope. They know of an experimental treatment that could prolong their son’s life. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GSOH), where Charlie is on life-support, say they have explored many treatment options and none would improve Charlie’s quality of life and he should be allowed to die. Judges at the European Court of Human Rights ruled further treatment would “continue to cause Charlie significant harm”.

But that hope, the thing that makes us human and active lingers and nags. It drives Charlie’s parents on. They’ve raised £1.3m through donations to take their son to the US for an experimental treatment called nucleoside therapy. It’s untested. Not even mice have tried it. And it’s not being offered as a cure. Having seen the report on Charlie’s brain damage, the American doctor stated that he could “understand the opinion that [Charlie] is so severely affected by encephalopathy that any attempt at therapy would be futile. I agree that it is very unlikely that he will improve with that therapy.”

GSOH says Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity. Charlie is 11-months-old. Dignity is for the aged, the lived and the caring. Can an innocent die with anything but dignity? Can a child yet to make his first birthday have an undignified death? The adults are charge. They are keeping him alive and deciding the manner, time and, through language, the narrative of his death.

Medics will offer Charlie the utmost respect through a hard-fought death; but they will not offer him more life. They’ve blended hard-nosed, pragmatic, experienced views with statistics into a thick gunk, added some sweetness to mask the taste and handed it to Charlie’s parents. Give it to the lad. Swallow once and wait for the end. It’ll be ‘peaceful’.

But for everyone involved in this case – the living – it isn’t peaceful. Hurt by a seriously ill child with an inherited disease, the parents are cursed doubly with hope stymied by bureaucracy .“There is no love of life without despair of life,” wrote Albert Camus. Hope doesn’t mean denying the horror of their son’s appalling condition and appealing for the impossible. Hope is about remembering triumph.

So we give them money. We want the Gard family to prevail. And from the medics, one small boy’s life is now down to the lawyers. The case is now about the State’s reason and critical thinking versus emotion. We know hope won’t do it. It’s not enough. But the money might. The intrepid medics could help. Things are not certain. There is a miniscule chance of something incredible. And in that tiny space, we see a need to act. Hope, more muscular than mere optimism, is the trigger for action. Not to act on hope is to be complicit and complacent this side of the grave. Against cruel nature Charlie’s parents have a chance to influence the outcome.

You’d deny them that chance? I wouldn’t. I’d let them seize it. Things might not change for the better, but they can change.

Posted: 13th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The smoking ban killed working-class pubs

Can we link the ban on smoking in public places to the death of pubs? It’s been ten years since the introduction of the smoking ban in England. Lots of pubs tried to make up for the loss of income from banned smokers by selling food or setting aside outside places for smokers to sit. But the country is not all that warm, and wrapping yourself around a patio heater in November as you eat your chips and guacamole is not all that much fun. You might as well have a drink, a smoke and an oven-ready meal at home.

And then there are the drinking pubs – so so called “wet-led pubs” – which rely on drinkers not eaters, where food is nuts, crisps and something picked in a jar on the counter. These pubs are more likely to be in less wealthy areas, where the working class go for a sit, a chat, a drink and a smoke.

The Guardian looks at the fate of pubs on housing estates, where space for smokers’ gardens is not an option:

English postwar estate bars are often seen as a joke: “Never drink in a flat-roofed pub,” the saying goes. But these pubs – whether they’re 1930s-style redbrick structures with pitched roofs and large beer gardens, or forbidding cubes of wood and brick that squat in the shadow of tower blocks – are now at risk. They’re being closed and converted into shops or apartments, boarded up and left to rot, or completely wiped from the map, leaving a cleared site and an empty car park.

“There’s a huge level of threat: these pubs are dropping like flies,” says Emily Cole of Historic England.

Spotter: The Guardian

Posted: 13th, July 2017 | In: News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn only wants a little peace (of pizza) and genocide denial

Jeremy Corbyn has been “enjoying pizza” with a man who supports “Syrian dictator” Bashar Assad. The Sun has spotted Corbyn eating, nay “scoffing” with “pro-Russian journalist Marcus Papadopoulos”. One Washington newspaper calls Papadopoulos a “Russian agent”.

 

Marcus Papadopoulos corbyn pizza

 

Most of us have no idea who Papadopoulos is lest what his opinions are. Helpfully, the Sun has searched Google and can tell us that last year Papadopoulos tweeted: “There was no siege of #Sarajevo, there was no genocide at #Srebrenica and there was no massacre at #Aleppo. Discard what Western media says”. This year he opined: “President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…”

So much for the Sarajevo Roses. A Guardian leader article called Srebrenica a “place of horror that ranks alongside Auschwitz”. The one deed the dead can perform on behalf of the living is allowing us to bear witness to their suffering and the consequences of our freedom. Would you deny them that honour?

But no matter. Corbyn can explain. The Labour leader who was simply reaching out when he invited “friends” at jihad-endorsing, Jew-hating Hamas to take tea in Parliament (Hamas’s charter declares: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”) and has a proclivity for sharing platforms with anti-Semites is yet again an innocent.

The Sun quotes a “Labour spokesman” who says Mr Corbyn had been “joined briefly by Mr Papadopolous [sic], who asked to be photographed with Jeremy. Photographs of Jeremy with members of the public do not mean he endorses their views, as is the case on this occasion too.”

Do the two men know each other? The Times adds that Mr Papadopoulos “is editor of Politics First, a bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of just over 1,000. Mr Corbyn wrote for its last issue.”

So much for the right-wing Press’s view on the pizza date. What say the Mirror and Guardian on the matter? Nothing. Not a word. Is it a sign of information denial? Is news about feeling good and moralising journalists attaching themselves to pet causes, or is it about presenting the facts and trusting your readers?

Things are taking a nasty turn. It’s not politics that supports Corbyn; it’s a personality cult. And it’s dangerous.

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Jose Mourinho mocks Arsenal, taunts Chelsea and breathes

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho can be a chippy, snide sort of man. But the man who likes to mask his own shortcomings by goading, belittling and mocking others should be impressed at how the tabloids see meaning in his most mundane observations  “Jose Mourinho aims latest dig at Arsene Wenger over Alexandre Lacazette signing,” says the the Daily Express.

 

man JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Mancheste mourinho express

 

JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Manchester United saying the striker has “no stamina, no physical impact and is not a big-game player”.

What a sad sack he is. But hold on a moment. Mourinho didn’t say anything of the sort. Indeed, he didn’t say anything at all. The Express continues:

But a United source said: “Lacazette was followed because he was top scorer in French football – but a lot of his goals were penalties [10 of his 28 goals last season came from the spot]. In the end he wasn’t considered because he has no stamina, no physical impact and isn’t a big-game player.”

Words by Mourinho: nil.
Words by anonymous “source”: meaningless.

And then the Daily Mail hears more sniping. This time Mourinho “taunts” Chelsea over Romelu Lukaku.

 

jose man united balls

 

What did he Jose say about his former club to manutd.com?

“Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”

Words about his former club Chelsea: nil.
Words about Lukaku’s selling club Everton: nil.
Words on how Lukaku is joining Manchester United because he and his agent will earn a shedload of cash: nil.

If it’s like this now, it’s only going to get worse when the actual football starts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Labour Hunt Tory MP Ann Marie Morris for making remarks she doesn’t agree with

Ann Marie Morris is proof the Tories are “still nasty”, says The National. Ann Marie Morris is proof that the Conservatives are “in chaos”, says the Mirror. Ann Marie Morris is front-page news. She’s the Conservative MP for Newton Abbot. What she said during a meeting at London’s East India club to a group of Tory Eurosceptics is to terrible the paper refers to it as “n*****”, the word censored lest we say it and also become pariahs.

What Ms Morris said was that “the real nigger in the woodpile” about Brexit is if after the two-year negotiation period is up Britain and the EU haven’t agreed on trade contracts. It’s a remarkably stupid and ugly comment. You’ve got to wonder at anyone who uses it outside a class on arcane phrases loaded in racism. But surely one idiotic phrase doesn’t sum up an entire political party and the millions who voted for it.

When Prince Philip told British students in China “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed”, the Mirror called it a “memorable gaffe“, a bit of misspeaking we should cherish. It was one of his many “classic quotes”, other being about Aboriginal “spear chuckers”. Did we hear them and say that his words summed up every Windsor in the Family Firm, including The Queen, Harry and Diana?

 

ann marie morris tories

It’s not really about race. It’s about party politics, which is nasty and unsure. It means politicos have to be seen to be active. Theresa May, the actual Prime Minster, suspends Morris from their party. Labour MP Tulip Siddiq tweets: “I’m absolutely appalled by this. I assume PM will take appropriate action?” Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s campaign coordinator, says: “Theresa May once spoke about changing the Tories’ ‘nasty party’ tag. If she’s serious about that, she will admit it’s not enough for the Tories to ‘investigate’ and will apologise and act immediately. If that means withdrawing the whip, that’s what they should do.” Guardian invention Owen Jones wants action against other Tory MPs who were at the meeting and who failed to denounce Morris for her choice of phrase. For people against blood sports, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour seem to love the thrill of the hunt.

Neither circumspection nor reason is countenanced.

Anne MArie Morris

 

But the good news for Morris is that, like Naz Shah the Labour MP who suggested all Jews should be deported from Israel, you can embark on a “journey” and learn how to become socially acceptable among your enlightened Commons peers once more.

And Corbyn, with his interesting friends, should be sensitive to Morris’s re-education, after all when Naz Shah shouted “RAUS!” at the Jews, Corbyn told us, “We’re not saying she’s anti-Semitic. We’re saying she’s made remarks she doesn’t agree with.” More guff than gaffe.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0