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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Best Blogs 2014

Another year has slooshed down the plug hole of life and I just want to say thanks to all BG bleaders (blog readers) for visiting here each Tuesday. 

While you’re deciding whether 2015 is a scary abyss or an exciting blank slate here are the three most popular blogs from this year...

The most popular 2014 BG blogs (in no particular order) were -

71. Scotland is a Strawberry Tart
88. Off with their Eds
113. The Crap Gap Club

THANK YOU for reading.

Amanda :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Blog 115. £1.3 billion - Thank you Lord

It dawned on me with a flash of brilliance - like a bright star in the sky you might say. As I was elbowed by one desperate shopper after another – all madly focused with that crazy glint in their eyes – there could be absolutely no doubt - Capitalism Works.

Today (according to people who work these things out) Brits are going to spend £1.3 BILLION. Just today. And I am fairly sure (though I’m just guessing – I am not one of the people who do surveys to work these things out) relatively few will feel better on Boxing Day for having spent that money. In fact some folk are going to feel much worse.

I recalled a very odd recent church service. A young preacher wound on for a while in an entertaining manner about her shopping, her gift-wrapping, her fear of putting on those ‘Christmas pounds’, the stuff she was going to watch on telly etc and finished up with an authentic -

“Thank you Jesus”

I listened hard for the irony. There was none.

I gazed around the congregation and saw a few smiles, the occasional appreciative nod. Some were glazed over and had clearly already gone to the land of when-is this-over but no one else seemed to be squirming with discomfort.

After a few days of stewing about this I realised that Christmas really is the ultimate proof that Capitalism Works.

At no other time of year is it more evident, at no other time are the masses so eager, nay desperate to fulfill their role as cash cows.

I was humbled.

For the fact is that the whole point of Capitalism (as surely we know by now) is to make a few people at the top rich while keeping the rest alive to service that wealth. This happens because the vast majority of those below them are exploited and the money travels up up up. It is not pyramid selling but pyramid economics. This Free Enterprise defies the laws of gravity, humanity and morality.

In its mildest forms and usually when economies are developing, enough money and resources stay at the middle and lower levels to muddy the inequalities and we rub along (Britain between WWII and Thatcherism). But we are past that stage.
At no time since WWII has there ever been greater inequality between the tiny percentage of haves at the top and the have-nots at the bottom. And the rules are – as we've known in this country since at least The Industrial Revolution – when economies contract or cease to expand the only other way to squeeze out more profit is to exploit people more.

Capitalism Works. Capitalism ensures wealth for the few. What we are experiencing at present is Rampant Capitalism that ensures obscene amounts of wealth for those at the top whatever state the economy is in and scraps plus debt for those at the bottom. 

As people scurry round buying gargantuan piles of crap in the name of that thing we call Christmas, stuff made by people even more exploited than they are and eat/drink themselves into early graves (yes this is my jolly yuletide message) they are proving with every penny borrowed, every credit card burnt that CAPITALISM WORKS. Capitalism is alive and kicking our heads in.

The question is not does this out of control free enterprise monster work. The question is – is it what we want.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Blog 114 WHO ARE THEY?

Today was going to be a titanic tirade about Scottish Power but the compensation (sorry – good will gesture) they told the Ombudsman they’d paid me in September finally arrived today after more hassle and phone calls. I've escaped from them now so  let’s not waste lovely blog space. Instead – a short poetry rant about the vacuous nature of modern living.

Who are they?
You’re ‘amazing’, famous, a mega superstar
But I don’t know who you are
Nor do I care

You flog perfume though once you kicked a ball
I have absolutely no Idea at all
How this all works

Your bum appeared in a gyrating tweet
But I wouldn't know you if we met in the street
What’s your point

Did you do something worthwhile
Like a 4-minute mile
In the days when athletes’ shorts went to their knees

Or maybe you’re in prison for strongly held beliefs
I can’t admire you because you posed in your briefs.
Get real.

That song you're killing has been done a dozen times
By vaselined boys miming nonsense rhymes
Into a mic

My ring my marriage my baby my divorce
My love my loss my scheming my remorse.
It’s all dished up in a stinking slop
Make it stop

Unplug yourself and learn to think

It may be painful
At first


NB. For some nice energy company cartoons click in the right hand column on my name in orange and scroll down the post list to the political cartoons.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Blog 113. The Crap Gap Club

This T O T A L L Y private, elite, select club is so unbelievably exclusive that it will, I guarantee, be tongue-hanging-out-fashionable by Friday. The jet set will be splitting their face-lifts to get membership.

However, it is so devastatingly rarefied that yours will be the only name on the roll call.

There is no on-line join up because it is so de-rigueur. Nor is there a sign-in or membership fee. You don’t need an enigma-level password or to remember your mother’s maiden name. You don’t need to search in your memory for the place you used to go on holiday back in the day when holidays meant going to the beach and not being herded worse than cattle through barriers, into holding pens, hauling coffin-sized trolley suitcases full of rubbish you could do without for a fortnight – or half full so that you can return with holiday junk.

No no.

The Crap Gap Club exists in your mind and permeates your life and involves only you but you will be the epitome of infra-dig if you don’t join. You will be a social reject within a month like someone with an out-of-date mobile phone that can’t remotely control the fridge (woops that’s me). You don’t need to tell people about it every ten minutes (like  on twitter) you don’t need to post photos of it (like facebook) No one will collate your private but freely given details and flog the resulting data to firms who will target you with their own special brands of shite. It’s not ‘secret little clubs of the invited and the chosen’ like LinkedIn. It’s just YOU and an absence of clutter – physical or mental.

There are rules of course.

  • ·        You must not put up with abysmal so-called customer service from profiteering energy companies.
  • ·        Clear STUFF out of your house/place of work (ornaments, keepsakes, paperwork which will never be looked at by you or anyone else).
  • ·        Get angry (but not aggressive) when you hear people talking nonsense (racism, homophobia, misogyny, fracking).
  • ·        Clear rubbish in all its forms from your life – be ever vigilant against its incursion (especially watch out for the effects of all fuzzy-edged TV advertising).

There are also levels of membership.

For example – Exclusive membership – let’s say tea and toast level - would be reserved for those who don’t know the names of more than two brands of cars and have never bought a handbag for any reason other than essential stuff fits in it.
Pinnacle membership – shall we call it – fresh homemade cake level – would be someone who can’t summarise the plot twists of more than two soap operas and is totally ignorant of the relationship scenarios in The Archers
Supersonic membership - I would like to name – freshly ground Colombian coffee level. Coffee that you made yourself though, not stuff you parade around the street in a corporate logo'd cup putting other citizens at risk of serious scalding. This membership level would be for those capable of sitting n a room without any electronic communication device on for – ooh let’s say 10 minutes.

There will be rewards too.

You are allowed at least one mean thought per month with absolutely no guilt. So for example I might treat myself to a fantasy in which Tony Blair is stuck in a sky scraper lift. The only other occupants of this small lift are three grown men who were children in 2003 and whose families were wiped out in the Iraq invasion and who are affected by powerful psychotic episodes as a result.

There must be a complementary physical clear out too (no I don’t mean with laxatives). Chuck out all the detritus from your house. Start with ornaments, then move on to knickknacks, clothes that don’t suit you/fit you, games your kids never wanted, kitchen equipment that actually make jobs harder or take too long to clean (electric carving knives) and things that never should have been invented (melon ballers). If your TV screen can be seen from the moon it’s too big, it has more influence on your family than you do – get rid.

There are little membership behaviours and tics – like the Masonic handshake - that will single you out. You may indulge these once you are properly affiliated to this non-affiliate non-organisation. For example, next time you are on a bus and someone is wearing so much make-up, hair spray and perfume or aftershave that your eyeballs start to dissolve and you find it hard to breathe – vomit on them.

Avoid the yap, clear the crap, zap the pap, shun the clap trap, join the CRAP GAP CLUB.

If you have a nervous breakdown and end up running down Princes Street naked but for a Tam O’ Shanter with your bagpipes swinging in the breeze because you suddenly found yourself alone with time to have a coherent thought - DON’T BLAME ME

This week’s recommended blog from the archives,

blog 12 Armageddon will not be televised

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Blog 112. Black Friday Lament.

With the current state of the world I wondered whether the latest hideous US import was worth getting agitated about. It is. Humans fighting over Christmas crap, on a day orchestrated by the retail industry, is truly a gruesome, miserable, degrading thing.

Here’s ‘Black Friday’
It feels so grey
Queue. Charge. Grab. Buy
Plastic rises sky high

Saturday teatime
Could be bee time
Make it compulsory
To bath in warm honey

Why can’t we say            
It’s Sweet Sunday
All shops will close
For calm repose

Monday’s  Kiss day
Don’t avoid this day
Stop. Breathe. Think.  Smile
Look around a while

Tuesday let’s say
It is Mates’ day
Hug a close friend -  
Remember hands are there to lend

Wednesday morning
Without warning
Paint ‘my mum is fantastic’ on your face then take a picture and instagram it to
Everyone that you know

Yellow Thursday
Mellow Friday
Not black
Like depression

Bless the days and coulour them bright. Then spangle them with hope and light


This week's recommended blog from the archives is, 
blog 58     Chri£tma£ we who are about to buy salute you