Awesome?: New Years part 1

When it comes to new year I’m bi polar. There’s one half of me that thinks new years is a great time to start fresh and self improve. Another half wonders why everyone’s making a fuss over an arbitrary night. So we’re doing this in parts. I’m feeling optimistic today so lets start with the good stuff.

Ahh the new year! A turning point in the calendar where we can start fresh and make resolutions to better ourselves. Want to quit smoking? Lose some weight? Stop being a blog writing little dork and talk to a girl? Well the new year is time to set those wheels in motion.

If your new years resolutions take up that much space, you’re seriously fucked up.

So you’ve decided on your resolution. You burst into January full of energy and optimism. This year will be the year of change. You feel like the master of your own destiny and you feel that if you can master this particular flaw, then you could rule the world. Trouble in the Middle East? No worries. I’ve been learning a fact a day since January, Leave it with me.

You will not beat me carbs!

Of course you’ll cave and by May you’ll be worse than when you started. Nice while it lasts though.


Awesome?: Christmas

Haha the Yule tide season is upon us! The time of giving, sharing and goodwill towards all men (and women) is here.

Bring out the decorations, put up your tree and put some Christmas tunes on. Christmas means different things to different people depending on their background and faith (or lack of). But we can all agree that Christmas is a magical time of year where we are all a little nicer to one another. It’s the only time of year where it’s perfectly justified to eat chocolate for breakfast and be drunk by 10:30am. As I sit here writing this whilst listening to some Xmas tunes (Happy Xmas, War Is Over If you’re interested) I look forward to giving out presents, getting some myself and watching old relatives get pissed. It’s always good to see your grandma drop an F bomb.

Probably wondering how he’s meant to make an iPod…

You’re probably wondering how your beloved author will spend his Christmas. (Oh Chris Rea- Driving Home For Christmas) Well I’ll tell you. As a heathen, I mean Atheist, I don’t really subscribe to the whole baby Jesus in the stable story, although I do love a good nativity scene, however this doesn’t stop me from joining in the festive fun. I shall wake up Christmas morning and exchange presents with the family then listen to some Christmas tunes until Christmas dinner is served. Oh God is there a finer meal in Christendom than Christmas Dinner?  I want to kiss the man who decided that we should do nothing less than eat our own body weight in meat. (Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid). Then I shall have a fun filled romp through time and space by way of  the Doctor Who Christmas special as I have done for the past 5 years. Though If anyone talks during it I will shove a Sonic Screwdriver so far up their backside they’ll still be waddling the next year. I’m a geek by the way.

Bowties are awesome too

But in all this festive fun do remember that not everyone is as fortunate at Christmas. Spare a thought for the homeless and the downtrodden. Forget your presents and Jesus and Christmas Dinner. When it comes down to it Christmas is a time of goodwill and giving so do your bit and donate a bit of cash or better still your time to those less fortunate than yourself. It’s not your fault there are people less well off than you but its seldom their fault either.

(Oh Fairytale In New York! The greatest Xmas song ever?)

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 


Awesome?: NIrvana for Christmas No.1

(If you’re not currently living in the UK you wont give a shit about anything I’m about to say)

Remember back in 2009 when we made Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name Of the Xmas No. 1? I thought that was pretty good. Now, in 2011 some facebookers have come together to make Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit No.1.

Since this year is Nevermind’s 20th anniversary I think it would great. Please join the Facebook page and I promise I’ll stop talking about Nirvana like I’m their PR agent.

Do it for me as a thank you for all the entertainment I’ve given you with my HILARIOUS scribblings. Or better still do it so we dont have to endure more X factor shite.

Its only October and they’ve already got over 33,000 members. Plus they are also supporting a charity called Rythmix so its all for a good cause.

http://www.facebook.com/nirvanaforno1?ref=ts

Just Like the page and follow their instructions.

Thank You.

 

 


Awesome?: Nevermind’s 20th Anniversary

Nevermind is an album that means a lot to me. I think we all have albums that mean a lot to us for different reasons throughout our lives. For me Nevermind is definitely one of those albums. It may even be the most important album I’ve ever heard. Let me explain…

Rewind six years. It’s 2004 and I’m a chubby little twelve year old starting to get his first zits. I was sitting on a park bench talking to an older boy who lived nearby. I was always impressed by how much he knew about music and he’d often tell me about bands he liked or new music he’d discovered. That evening was no exception and he passed me his CD player (No ipods in those days kids!) and told me to listen to the first track. I put the earphones in and hit play. The opening riff of Smells Like Teen Spirit came flooding into my ears and I was forever changed. I listened to the whole song loving every drum beat, guitar note and lyric.

You’ve got to understand that at the age of twelve the only music I was aware of was the mass produced pop crap that gets sold to kids. My only music experience consisted of crap pop songs by crap bands such as Steps, S Club 7  and Hear Say. You can tell how bad they were by the fact none of them are around today and most readers outside of the UK will not have heard of them. God I cringe at how shite my music taste was. But hey I was twelve!

Safe to say however Nevermind ignited a fire in me that has yet to fade. It was like my eyes were opened. I suddenly realised how artificial the “music” I’d been listening to was. I realised music didn’t have to be bland, boring and safe. It could be energetic, crazy, soulful, exciting, dangerous and most importantly inspiring.

The Nirvana baby 20yrs on.

Upon seeing my enthusiasm this friend of mine burnt me a copy (Kris, Dave if your reading this I owe you a pint!) and I rushed home and just listened to Smells Like Teen Spirit over and over and over and over and over again. The next day I listened to the whole album on the school bus. I felt sure the rest of the album wouldn’t be half as good as Smells Like Teen Spirit…I was so fucking wrong. Every song that followed filled me with the same sense of joy and excitement I’d felt listening to Teen Spirit. From In Bloom, Come As You Are, Lthium, Polly, Something In The Way and everything in between I was euphoric. It had never occured to me that an album could have no filler and that every song could be every bit as good as the single. The sense of joy I felt listening to that album is something I’ve only felt a few times since. Within days I was proudly going round school telling anyone who listened that my favourite band was Nirvana and that Nevermind was the best album in the world. For about six months Nevermind never left my CD player and when it did it was only because my mum had taken me into town so I could buy another Nirvana CD. To this day I’m still proud to say that the first album I ever bought was Nirvana’s From The Muddy Banks Of The Whishkah live album. That was my gateway into the rest of Nirvana’s songs. From that CD I discovered the likes of Heart Shaped Box, Scentless Apprentice, Negative Creep and  School as well as Kurt’s amazing scream. For Christmas that year my parents got me every Nirvana album, from Bleach to Unplugged In New York. During Christmas dinner I made them let me show them All Apologies. Even my Dad, a more old school rocker who preferred AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Lynard Skinard said it was good.

But Nevermind didnt just open me up to Nirvana’s discography. It opened me up to Rock And Roll and all the genres that fall under that vast category. From Grunge to Punk, Classic Rock and Funk, I dived in and explored all the glorious bands that danced to the beat of Rock And Roll. I think today my taste in music is pretty good. There isnt a genre I don’t like but the bands I listen to most often certainly fall under the genre of Rock and Roll. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Green Day, Blink 182, Frank Turner, Sex Pistols, NoFx, Bad Religion, Rise Against, My Chemical Romance, 30 Seconds To Mars, Radiohead, Slipknot, Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Blondie and of course Foo Fighters. Rock music has continued to flourish and grow all the way from Never Mind The Bollocks to American Idiot, and had it not been for Nevermind I may never have had the pleasure of enjoying it.

Just some of the bands Nirvana introduced me to.

Nevermind will always have special place in my heart and this is a birthday truly worth celebrating. So either dig out your 91′ copy or go out and but the 20th anniversary edition, sit back, relax and enjoy.

So here’s to Kurt, Kris and Dave. Music just wouldn’t be the same had you three not come together.

Rock And Roll will never die. Nor will Nirvana.


Bollocks?: Tattoo’s part 2

As we saw last post, some tattoo’s can be great. However many more tattoo’s look like an intoxicated 5yr old has come at someone’s skin with a tattoo machine. Sometimes you just want to grab the person with the tattoo and scream “What the fuck were you thinking!?”.

So how do you avoid a bad tattoo? Well a good start would to be avoid these types of tatts.

The religious tattoo…

OK first of I’m pretty sure most religious texts advise against marking your skin, so you’ve just pissed God of there.  Stoning a homosexual is fine but for Gods sake don’t get a tattoo. Second, if you start thinking for yourself, you dont want your first thought to be regret for the massive crucifix you got plastered across your back.

Not just God…

The taking the piss tattoo…

If your going to get something on your body that will be there till the day your dead, you want to think long and hard about it. Who would ever get pissed and just think “what the hell…”. Well apparently quite a few. Why would anyone get a tattoo just to take the piss?

 

Yep…


The despite the fact I’ve not got a drop of eastern blood and I’ve never travelled further than my street I’m going to get an oriental tattoo because it makes me look cool, travelled, and cultured…

Oh God how many times have we seen this one. Unless you have Oriental heritage, spent time in the east or can fluently speak Japanese you have no good reason to get this sort of tatt. Those freakin’ WASP Caucasian students that get some Chinese characters they cant even read….GOD!!!!! If I were a tattoo artist I’d tattoo TWAT into every one that came in my studio!

*Douchebag*

The fangirl/boy tattoo…

Just because you love Twilight right now doesn’t mean your still gonna swoon for Cullen when your 60. Twilight tattoo’s are especially regretful because Twilight represents a vision of love that DOES NOT EXIST! Christ I’m 18 and I know this. Don’t get me wrong, Robert Pattinson has cheek bones to die for but when you’re older and you’ve loved and lost you’re going to realise no one is as perfect as the Twilight cast.

The misspelt tattoo…

For Christ sakes just double check it.

Power to the peaple!!!

So there you go, the worst genre’s of the tattoo world. But hey what do I know? All that really matters is what you think of your tattoo.

 


Awesome?: Tattoo’s Part 1

Occasionally I will have a two parter entry. It will be in two parts because the subject has an element that is both awesome and bollocks.

One of these rare subjects are that of Tattoo’s.

Some tattoo’s can be fantastic. Some are so funny and/or so beautifully well done you have to stop, stare and envy the person who will carry this fantastic ink for the rest of their lives. Of course these tattoo’s are rare and I’ll cover the bad tattoo’s in my next post but for now lets look at the awesome side .

What makes a great tattoo? Hard to say. I myself have no tattoo’s and at the moment have no plans for any so I’ll be the first to admit I’m hardly an authoritative figure  when it comes to this subject. It seems to me the key to a successful tattoo is as follows…

The worst tattoo ever might just be the best.

One talented artist + an original idea (how many fucking butterflies have I seen!) + an appropriate location (depends on the design and size) = A tattoo you wont hate when your old and grey.

Tattoo artists are rarely given the praise they deserve. Many people see tattoo as a modern fad that goes to show how corrupt our youth are. This couldn’t really be further from the truth as the art of tattooing has been dated back to 3300 BC. The confidence a tattoo artist must have in their skill to risk scarring someone for life is amazing. You can rub out a sketch on paper, but you only get one chance on skin.

Tattoo’s can also have very deep meanings. Prison tattoo’s often tell the life story of the one who bares them. This is especially the case with eastern gangs, from the Russian Mafia, Yakuza and Triads.

  • Barbed Wire tattooed across the forehead signifies a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
  • Birds over horizon: “I was born free and should be free”
  • Cat: a career as thief. A single cat means the bearer worked alone; several cats mean the bearer was part of a gang.
  • Churches, fortresses, etc. are often tattooed on the chest, back, or hand. The number of spires or towers can represent the years a prisoner has been incarcerated, or number of times he has been imprisoned. The phrase, “The Church is the House of God,” often inscribed beneath a cathedral, has the metaphorical meaning, “Prison is the Home of the Thief.”
  • Madonna and baby Jesus indicates the person has been a thief since childhood.
  • Dagger: sex offender
  • Executioner: Murderer
  • Rose (white-dried): Death is preferable to loss of virtue.[5]
  • Spider or spider web: may symbolize racism or doing time in prison[6]
  • Spider Web: Worn on left elbow and symbolizes that the wearer is a predator and highly dangerous, spiders are associated with hunters, they wait patiently for they prey trap it and then kill it. Also may symbolizes that the wearer has killed before or is willing to. Wearer has to be high rank to be allowed to wear this tattoo.
  • Tombstones represent the loss of time. You may see the number of years that are served (i.e. 5 tombstones reading 2001 – 2005 means the prisoner has done 5 years).
  • SS: two sig runes were the symbol of the Schutzstaffel, Nazi insignia
  • Stars: Worn on the knees: signifies that the owner will kneel before no man, or no one.
  • Stars: Worn on the shoulders:Signifies that the owner is a man of discipline, status, and tradition. Men will also receive stars when promoted to “Captain”.
  • Skulls: Signifies murder, if the murder was significant enough to merit the tattoo. Military insignia and uniform epaulets are worn on the shoulders. This symbolizes criminal accomplishments. When a Skull symbol is portrayed with it, it usually designates a man as a murderer. Epaulets are decorated with certain crests and symbols in the sections where one can see the Skull there prior to conviction, especially when it was of any significance.
  • Swastika: Symbol of defiance to authority.

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises. A film about the Russian Mafia.

Have you seen a great tattoo?

Feel free to tell me about it in the comments.


Bollocks?: London Riots

A man is shot and his family hold a peaceful protest that turns nasty.

This apparently justifies putting on your arsehole hat and going out to loot, destroy and burn whatever the fuck you want.

Now I’m all for freedom of speech and the people’s right to question their government but torching a shop with TWENTY flats above is never justified. The shops that were looted weren’t owned by government fat cats, they were owned by innocent people who were just trying to make a living. Many people are now homeless.

One of the largest shops to be set on fire. There were twenty flats above it.

When one of the rioters was asked why he was rioting he replied “Why would you miss the opportunity to get free stuff? I’m not bothered”.

Lets be honest. None of these rioters give a shit about the man who was killed. There’s no political agenda and they don’t stand for anything. They are doing it out of greed.

However if we’ve seen the worst side of humanity over the last few days at least now we’re also seeing the best. Volunteers have been helping to clean up the mess caused by the riots and support is being offered to those badly affected.

Volunteers help sweep the mean streets.

Before I go there’s one more point I’d like to make. Look at this picture below of a man who stole a bag of Tesco’s own rice.

He might be able to flog that for anything between 40 to 70 pence.

If your going to go to the effort and risk of looting your food at least go for the better quality brands!

 


Awesome?: Gay marriages legalized in New York

OK I know I’m pretty late with this good news but let me explain my tardiness.

When I first heard it was now legal for a same sex couple to marry in New York I was like, “That’s great”.

Then I realised only six states out of fifty now allow gay marriages and I realised what a huge thing this was.

New York is one of the most recognised states in the world and if those good people have seen fit to legalise gay marriage then no doubt the people of other states will see fit to follow suite.

So come on America! Make the land of the free, free.

 


Bollocks?: Ryan Dunn Passing Away.

I’m no adrenaline junkie myself. I don’t like pushing myself to the limit or hurting myself for kicks, but I’ve fond memories of watching Jackass at my friends house crying with laughter and gagging with disgust at some of the crazy shit those boys got up to.

Whether or not you love or loath the Jackass boys and their program one thing that’s undeniable is that Jackass was an unapologetic, rebellious program in a world where censorship and political correctness were taking over the media.

Ryan Dunn was a member of this motley crew and he proved he had bigger balls than most, time and time again. He starred in all three seasons of Jackass and appeared in all three movies. On June 20th 2011 he was killed in a car crash. He was 34 years old.

Im not the biggest Jackass fan in the world. But I look back now at the young impressionable 10 year old sat in fits of laughter as the Jackass boys did their stunts and I feel a pang of sadness. It seems that with the passing of Ryan so to passes the end of an era I wasn’t ever really aware was taking place. I guess you dont know what your missing till its gone.

I guess its a small comfort to know Ryan lived hard and fast and I doubt he’s many regrets.

Rest in peace Ryan.