I am a massive Alan Partridge fan but I have never read any of his books as I assumed they wouldn’t work as well as the TV show and were just cashing in. I was colossally wrong. Alan Partridge: Nomad appeared on some recommendation page or other and it had such good reviews that I impulsively downloaded it. I am exciting that way.
The intention was to have something amusing to read while I was waiting for a train or out with someone boring. Once it had landed on my phone however, I thought I would just read a little to see what it was like. I had to stop 5 minutes later because I was laughing too hard and frankly it was embarrassing as I was on train. In the end I just had to look like a lunatic as I sniggered my way home reading. I read the book in two sittings (I had to meet someone exciting which interrupted it).
Nomad is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I guess it helps if you know Alan Partridge as his voice read the book in my head and was all the funnier for it. This is now literally the case as I have also downloaded the audiobook (read by Coogan/ Partridge). It might also help if you studied British D-list celebrities as Alan recounts a lot of run ins. Especially Noel Edmunds.
Alan Partridge: Nomad is the story of Alan doing a walk called the “Footsteps of my Father” where he follows the route taken by his father when he went from Norfolk to Dungeness to get a job at a nuclear power plant. I cannot stress how much more funny it is than that sounds.
Unless you hate laughter and looking like a giggling nutcase, I highly recommend this book. It is superb. Long live Partridge.
Benedict Cumberbatch was on Saturday Night Live the other day (probably on Saturday) because he seems to be contractually obliged to be absolutely everywhere at the moment. To be fair, that is quite subjective – we just saw Dr Strange (which I loved), that prompted my wife to re-watch Sherlock, all while I have been re-listening to Cabin Pressure on my commute. So that has been a lot of Cumberbatch.
Anyway. On SNL he did a spoof of the Apple 1984 Macintosh advert and I found it mildly amusing. It’s a Monday, so mildly amusing is about as good as things can get. To be honest, I would quite like a toilet like that – you can have a stand for a book/iPad and flush with ease. Here is Cumberbatch on a toilet. Enjoy.
In case you are a child, here is the original Macintosh 1984 advert:
Normally I would post this on Scifiward but it is pretty funny and not really science fiction – barring the fact that it features a god, obviously. The clip explains what Thor, and to a lesser extend Dr Banner (aka Hulk), have been up to and why they weren’t in Captain America Civil War. He has basically been chilling out in Australia trying to be normal. It feels like the British version of the Office but with Thor instead of Gervais.
It also shows the Chris Hemsworth is actually pretty good at comedy. I could easily watch a half hour of this, there are some great lines. (There is more humour in this clip than all of DC’s recent outings.) Enjoy.
As editing movies becomes easier there are an increasing number of re-cut films, sequences, and trailers out there on the interweb. Generally this is really annoying. You try and find a trailer for a movie or game on youtube and some pointless dink has make a fake one from old film footage. I assume they are spending hours of their time to satisfy a weird fetish of being hated and disliked on the internet. Maybe it’s cool, maybe they are twats. (I’m trying to sound balanced here, but it is totally the latter.)
So it is refreshing when someone does something clever. According to the blurb, a student decided to do a re-cut of Mrs Doubtfire to turn it into a horror flick for a film project. The result is genius and convincing. I don’t know if the student was the first but there are a lot on youtube now for all sorts of movies. If you fancy an utter waste of time enjoying these, you are in for a treat. Just so you know what I am talking about, here is the trailer:
Going with the comedy to horror theme, here is another good one – Dumb and Dumber:
Willy Wonka had some genuinely scary moments anyway but check this out:
There are others on youtube if you fancy. There are other mix-ups which are mildly funny at first but then peter out: Mary Poppins as a drug dealer, The Shining as a Seinfeld comedy, and so forth. It all depends on how much free time you have I guess. I wish I had more time for my ‘Dancing alien chicks of Star Wars and Star Trek’ video project but lamentably I don’t. Feel free students.
After the misery of my last post where I simply listed what happened last year, I thought I would start 2012 off with an amusing local story. In a Tesco supermarket in Coventry a 12 year old lad called Charlie picked up a display version of the iPhone 4S. He wanted to test out the new Siri system – where you can ask the phone a question and it replies with a sexless female robotic voice. It is supposed to answer your question, but not always it seems.
When little innocent Charlie asked ‘How many people there are in the world?’ The delightful android replied: ‘Shut the fuck up, you ugly twat.’ Naughty little virtual minx that she is.
Apparently some hilarious pranksters had fiddled with the settings of the phone. I’m just impressed that the iPhone 4S has an offensive sweary setting. I’m kind of annoyed that my old school 3GS is annoyingly polite. Stupid prick of a phone.
In case any Daily Mail readers stumble upon this and are about to bleat to the world how horrifying it must be for the kid and whine on and on in their pointless whingefest forums let me just point out the following. The kid was 12, he’s probably already seen porn. The kid was in Tescos in Coventry. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know the air is riddled with swear words as people lament the fates that led them to be in Coventry. It’s a ghastly place which was completely flattened in the war and rebuilt entirely in cement by architects with no souls.
The final point is the kid’s mum. Upon hearing the swearing she was duly shocked and outraged. So asked the question again and got the same reply. Still shocked and outraged she then played the message yet again to the staff. So little Charlie heard the message three times and is now probably desensitised to the words anyway.
Intrigued by what Siri can actually do, I did some research. It seems to have a sense of humour and was clearly programmed by cool dudes into Scifi. In the film 2001 the main character suspects that the computer HAL is malfunctioning and wants it to open the pod bay doors. HAL refuses. Here’s what happens with Siri:
Here is Siri answering one of life’s imponderables with a quote from Monty Python:
Siri answers the meaning of life
Of course Siri can be helpful too:
Siri helps hide bodies
I then stumbled upon the following after typing in ‘What does Siri sound like?’ into google. She seems rude but capable.
I suppose I should talk about the whole politicians’ expense scandal purely for its hilarity value.
It started, as far as I can tell, with Jacqui Smith’s husband buying porn at taxpayer’s expense. Speaking as a taxpayer (albeit a reluctant one), this was bloody funny. No one really begrudged him for it. Except for Jacqui Smith, obviously. Then it turned out that absolutely tons of politicians were using expense accounts to buy all sorts of crap.
I feel it only fair to point out that the percentage of politicians who fiddle these accounts are very likely to be an exact replica of the percentage of humanity that also fiddle theirs. You have to love journalists – legendary for their expenses – getting so morally outraged about the ‘evil’ political types with their snouts in the trough. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that can charge something to someone else in the corporate world who hasn’t done this.
I guess the difference is that this time it is with taxpayer money. Whatever. What I have been enjoying is what this money has been spent on.
Some amusement comes from the sheer penny-pinching claims (these are real): Lembit Opik spent £19.99 on ‘the mother of all wigs’ for a charity gig, other MPs have claimed for face cream, a stamp, and £4 for a toilet brush. One MP claimed 1p for a phone call. 1p.
A happy duck
Funnier ones are: the MP getting his moat cleaned and another who spent £600 having the hedges trimmed around his helipad. This shows a certain level of class I feel. The MP who got his £1,645 claim for a floating duck house (modelled on an 18th century building in Stockholm) rejected must have been gutted. These three were Tories and a damn sight more creative than the tedious labour lot with their roof repairs and house flipping.
My favourite has to be: (from Metro) ‘George Osborne charged the taxpayer £47 for two DVDs of his own speech on Value For Taxpayers’ Money.’