Inspiration

Wow! Inner Peace!! Guaranteed?28 Sep

phone box

Im passing this txt on2 u because it worked for me. I have found inner peace. The way 2do this is 2finish the things u start. I looked around yesterday afternoon at the house & saw the things I had started but not finished…. So I finished them…… The vodka, the Baileys, some rose wine, the ice cream, crisps & the valium. U have no fuckin idea how peaceful I feel now!! 😉 Pass this on2 anyone u think might need a bit of peace in their life!!

Sociodrama

Seven reasons to read Alan Sillitoe’s “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”23 Sep

long distance

1. It’s a book of short stories.

2. The onomatopoeias and the rhythms of the sentences: On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jogtrot, jogtrot, crunchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion…
(Title story)

3. The breathtakingly sad endings: Yes, I cry, but neither of us did anything about it, and that’s the trouble. (The Fishing Boat Picture).

4. The fabulous Nottingham vernacular: I could scoff a horse between two mattresses. (Noah’s Ark)

5. The tragicomic scenes: “I’m going ter ‘ang messen, lad,” he told me, as though he’d done it a time or two already, and people had usually asked him questions like this beforehand. (On Saturday Afternoon)

6. The precise portraiture of the characters: I swear blind he didn’t know the difference between an apron string and a pair of garters, though I’m sure his brand-new almost-beautiful wife must have tried to drum it into his skull before she sent him whining back to his mother. (The Disgrace of Jim Scarfedale)

7. My copy is so yellowed, it looks like papyrus.

Fairy Stories

The Sneeze of a Dragon and the Kiss of the Witch: adult version18 Sep

sneeze2

In the olden days the people knew the might of a king by the number of kingdoms he dispossessed of all their land, wealth and maidens. And though they thought him wrong, no one argued with a king who had lots of dragons, well not for long anyway…
But keeping kingdoms was a difficult business, especially when rebel sorcerers struck with their spells and all your dragons caught a cold. It can be very damaging to your castle when your dragons, suddenly without warning, exhale yards of flaming, sticky dragon-sneeze.
But King Llewellyn had been caught like that before and after the loss of several towers he kept his dragons in another valley where they lived in holes in the cliffs between his castle and the sea.
This action prevented further loss to his property but caused him to worry: when the rebels attacked his castle, how quickly could he get word to the dragon-master to bring the fiery beasts to his aid?
The knights of King Llewellyn’s castle were fierce young men, well paid to defend his realm. They amused themselves by performing acts of self-abuse, often wanking from the towers and battlements, ejaculating to attract the attention of passing witches. Like the rebels, the King’s knights believed that if a brave man is kissed by a witch, he will never be afraid because he knows wherever he is and whatever befalls him she will find him and take him away to be with her forever, living from one exhilarating kiss to the next, always falling, falling in love. For the witch is a most faithful women to the bravest and the truest. But the leaders of the rebels had arranged for prostitutes to pretend to be witches and kiss their warriors who now believed themselves charmed.
And the Queen, like many wives of violent men, lied to the King, introducing her own lover as the finest warrior in the castle who had been kissed by a witch. So King Llewellyn believed that when his enemies laid siege to his castle, the wild, fierce, unstoppable mortal force of his bravest knight would fight his way across the valley, howling for his witch and leaving behind a path of blood, bone and broken steel. And he would succeed in summoning the dragon-master who would set loose the King’s dragons that would burn all his enemies to a fine black ash.
But when the rebels attacked, the Queen’s knight failed the King, falling easily in battle, his heart full of lies. And when the King’s dragons finally arrived at the height of the battle, the rebels, believing themselves to be under the protection of witches, threw themselves into the dragons’ mouths. Their sneezes thus constrained, the dragons blew off all their own heads.
And King Llewellyn’s castle fell and he was thrown from his battlements to die in the field of flaming dragon flesh. So this is the story of Camelot and this is the story of Troy. And history is written by the victors.

Fairy Stories

The Sneeze of a Dragon and the Kiss of the Witch: kids version18 Sep

sneeze2

In the olden days the people knew the might of a king by the number of dragons he possessed. No one argued with a king who had lots of dragons, well not for long anyway…
But keeping dragons was a difficult business, especially when, as often happened, the dragons caught a cold. It can be very damaging to your castle when your dragons, suddenly without warning, exhale yards of flaming, sticky dragon-sneeze.
But King Llewellyn had been caught like that before and after the loss of several towers he kept his dragons in another valley where they lived in holes in the cliffs between his castle and the sea.
This action prevented further loss to his property but caused him to worry: If his enemies attacked his castle, how quickly could he get word to the dragon-master to bring the fiery beasts to his aid?
The King’s wife had an idea: an enchanted, battle-proof knight who would fight any enemy and cross to the other valley to summon the beasts.
The knights of King Llewellyn’s castle were brave young men, sworn to defend his realm. They amused themselves by performing acts of bravery, often walking the towers and battlements blindfolded to attract the attention of passing witches. Witches love to fly, with or without broomsticks, and if you stand on a high hill or cliff or tower and you look down, that lurching feeling in your stomach, that is a witch passing through you and so you feel their exhilaration. And if a brave man is kissed by a witch, he will never be afraid because he knows wherever he is and whatever befalls him she will find him and take him away to be with her forever, living from one exhilarating kiss to the next, always falling, falling in love. For the witch is a most faithful women to the bravest and the truest.
So the King’s wife found the bravest knight who had walked the battlements blindfold most and who had been kissed by a witch. And when King Llewellyn’s enemies laid siege to his castle the bravest knight was wild, fierce, unstoppable by mortal force and will and fought his way across the valley, howling for his witch and leaving behind a path of blood, bone and broken steel. And he succeeded in summoning the dragon-master who set loose the King’s dragons that burnt all his enemies to a fine black ash.
And as the brave knight lay dying, his witch came and took him away to be with her forever, living from one exhilarating kiss to the next, always falling, falling in love. For the witch was a most faithful women to the bravest and the truest of the King’s men.
And King Llewellyn and his Queen and all his knights and all his subjects lived peacefully and brave young men standing on the ruined towers of his castle may still, to this day, feel the kiss of the witch.

Sociodrama

Six things not to say to a celebrity16 Sep

mujeres_y_vino_Regalo

photo courtesy of catdesigns@yahoo.com

1. Wow – you’re much smaller in real life!

2. Why do the press dislike you so – even the quality ones?

3. I liked your earlier work much more than the new stuff.

4. Is it really that hard to stay married or are you just a commitment-phobe?

5. Those recent revelations about your past didn’t change my opinion at all – you dragged yourself up from the gutter and that’s fine by me.

6. Could you sign this? It’s not for me, its for my girlfriend – she thinks you’re good.

Inspiration

The Nine Classic Joke Forms of Comedy Scriptwriting16 Sep

funny rex

My last post about Irony reminded me of a list of nine different types of joke that I got from a comedy scriptwriting book. They are:

Exaggeration – I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate. Some people have a stream of consciousness, mine’s more of a puddle
Word Play – He had engine trouble – he was hit by a train. The footballer had car trouble – on the way to the ground a fan belted him
Pun – In the event of fire, inform any ember of the staff
Twisted Cliché – People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones
Reverse Gag – My garage told me to keep the oil but change the car
Illogical Logic – I tried to put a Euro in the parking-meter for my German car
Insult – If your suggestion was a light-bulb you might have the faintest idea. You’re so un-hip – why doesn’t your bum fall off?
Sex Gag – Save your breath for blowing up your girlfriend
Topical – Home secretary Alan Johnson is reducing police paperwork by making the forms smaller.

If you want to apply these you simply make a list of words and phrases relating to your chosen subject. Here’s mine about “the Brits”:

Hooligans, Irony, Beer, Stiff Upper Lip, Mrs Thatcher, Cross of St George, Island Race, Tea-drinking, Bad Food

Then try each one with each joke type:

In England, they order their food, pay and then run off without eating it (Bad Food/Reverse Gag).

You can hear some more like these in my radio play “The Archie and Cilla Show”.

Have funny!

Inspiration

Mr Bizlike’s finely developed sense of Irony15 Sep

joke

Some years ago, I was trying to explain the British (or more specifically, the English) sense of irony to a German. Because he was an engineer and much given to scientific method, we created the grid shown above to set the concept within the general context of “jokes.”

We decided that, whatever our nationality, we can make jokes about ourselves and about others. These jokes can be about a permanent or a temporary condition. This gave us three different joke types:

• Two stereotypical types of joke, where the “permanent condition” is indicative of a national or cultural characteristic. For example, on seeing the proverbial glass, an optimist says it’s half-full. The pessimist says it’s half-empty. But the German says its 50% over-engineered. Regardless of who makes this joke (self or others, a German or me) its still about one of their national characteristics, the stereotype of reliable (see VW ad ) engineering
• What I call “clowning” where the joke is about myself and concerns a temporary condition. Once, whilst running a session, I had to pause part way through an explanation because I was unable to pull the top off my flip-chart pen. I announced that the pen was the Excalibur of felt-tips and I would never be King… Despite the pre-requisite knowledge of Arthurian legend and a tone more tragic than comic, my remark showed a willingness to let others have a little fun at my expense
• The delightfully named “Schadenfreude” – or joy from others’ sadness. A man walks into a bar. Ouch! It was an iron bar. Includes fart jokes (embarrassment), banana skins and other physical comedy scenes.

To illustrate the concept of irony, my German colleague and I chose the topical subject of Iraq. Having spent the spring and summer of 2003 defending UK foreign policy to my colleagues from the rest of Europe, I’d arrived at a stock response:

The British are an island race. Tony Blair says: “I land troops wherever George Bush tells me to.”

Taking one definition of verbal irony – that speakers communicate implied propositions that are intentionally contradictory to the propositions contained in the words themselves – I suggested setting this joke up with an opening assertion:

The British attitude to European unity can be understood by the fact that we are an island race. (This implies that there are geographical and historical reasons for our permanent condition of separateness.) Tony Blair says: “I land troops wherever George Bush tells me to.” (The punchline contradicts the original meaning by showing that our permanent condition is in fact to be in thrall to the US.)

The skill in using irony, we concluded, lies in how well the speaker subverts stereotypical expectations. A criticism of “us Brits” is that it’s often hard to know when we are being serious – we say one thing and then immediately go on to imply the opposite. This may explain the stereotype about our notorious “sense of humour.” No one gets irony the way we do…

This gave us a fourth category to add to our grid:
• The ironic stereotype where a permanent condition of self or others changes meaning in the telling.

Take the ever-popular subject of beer. It’s an old stereotype in the rest of the world that our beer is inferior to other nations’ products:

English beer tastes so bad its best to pour it straight down the toilet and cut out the middle-man.

By incorporating another stereotype – the notion of British inefficiency – we can mean the opposite of what we say:

English beer is a wonderful example of British efficiency – it tastes so bad its best to pour it down the toilet and cut out the middle-man.

So now you know. How to make funny jokes and both use or fully appreciate irony. Handy, eh?

ABC

Every time I pass a pub now…10 Sep

Cigarettes & Alcohol

Every time I pass a pub now, there’s a morbid fascination to see how busy it isn’t.

Occasionally, I’ll go into one and have a drink. I like proper beer but it makes me fat and, more immediately, drunk.

Following the sad demise of the automatic hand dryer – a roaring noise, a vertical gale of warm air and cold wet hands which you could dry by running through your newly deranged hairstyle in a vain attempt to restore it to some semblance of order – lots of pubs have paper towels. Such is their pathological need to not run out before closing time, they cram the dispenser so full that the first tentative tug usually brings a dozen or more out in one clump. So the very act of overfilling means they run out sooner, I always conclude. This is known as the law of unintended consequences.

Another example of this was the Beer Orders which appeared in the UK in the early 1990s. At the time most pubs were owned by big brewers, and appeared to be taking advantage of a monopoly situation. The legislation was intended to force brewers to sell off most of their pubs, and to allow those they retained to sell at least some beer from small independent brewers. It imagined a return to idyllic pubs with owner landlords all selling local brews. It bombed. Some of the brewers decided they preferred owning pubs and sold the brewing side, most of the pubs that were sold went in bulk to new, huge pub-owning chains. Brewers consolidated even further. Choice went down. Forced to buy expensive beer from the huge PubCos in return for ostensibly cheap leases, landlords were caught by first cheap supermarket alcohol and then by the smoking ban. So the pubs closed down.

But, whilst sleeping off last night’s football-fuelled beerfest this morning, the Radio Four current affairs fairy whispered something magical in my ear – the growing number of breweries in the UK made it the “undisputed top brewing country in the world”.

“Britain has more small craft breweries per head of population than all other major industrialised countries; but it also offers tremendous choice,” said Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide.

“While most other countries offer mainly mainstream lagers, Britain has enormous diversity – milds, bitters, strong ales, porters, stouts, barley wines, old ales, Christmas ales, spring beers, golden ales and harvest ales to name just a few.”

So, much like Yellow Pages, the law of unintended consequences is not just there for the nasty things in life and apart from the usual screw-ups (step-forward Financial Services Act) and Murphy’s Law (the first spill in months is always on your new, expensive carpet, shirt or tablecloth), those awfully nice Wikipedia peeps describe a third category – a positive unexpected benefit, usually referred to as serendipity or a windfall.

So if I pass a pub these days, serendipitously open, there are lots of great beers to drink. That’s why I get so pissed I can’t work the towel dispenser. Why do they fill those things so full? What a waste, no wonder they’re often empty. Hmm – my hair looks kind of windswept…

Thweatre piece

You heard it here first10 Sep

Bizlike HQ

Heard it here 1st! World peace by 2012! Don’t just type there do something Get organized Success by the yard is hard by the inch its a cinch 11:09 PM Mar 14th from web

Heard it here 1st. World Peace by 2012. Web-sites up. Pay attention, you at the back! Sign up, saying what you’ll do. No timewasters please. 11:14 PM Mar 14th from web

Heard it here 1st. You say you want a revolution? World Peace by 2012. That’s only two years and nine months. Better get cracking tweeps 11:19 PM Mar 14th from web

For sale: one revolution hardly used, one careless owner. Just kidding get those websites up! World Peace by 2012. Heard it here 1st Sign up 11:25 PM Mar 14th from web

Heard it here 1st. Right I’m off to bed now hard work being Twe Guevara. So that’s social justice and a nice environment for all Off you go. 11:35 PM Mar 14th from web

To celebrate the hour-e-versary of the World Peace by 2012 movement, I declare the next ten-minutes a global holiday (or part thereof) Enjoy 12:19 AM Mar 15th from web

Taking a break from “World Peace by 2012” symposium by reading “2000 AD” in the dark using a head torch. Dystopias scare the sh*t out of me. 12:38 AM Mar 15th from web

@NAME REMOVED FOR SECURITY PURPOSES During my break, control of the “World Peace by 2012” movement has been assumed by yourself Thank you for flying Youheardithere1st 12:45 AM Mar 15th from web

@NRFSP Dear Mr M, all enquiries concerning the “World Peace by 2012” campaign should now be addressed to @NRFSP, in a plain tweet 12:59 AM Mar 15th from web

@NRFSP The symbol “Cupcakes” is a registered trademark of “World Peace by 2012corp”. No unauthorised use of this and pie in the sky 1:14 AM Mar 15th from web

These “World Peace by 2013” berks – they’re all nutters. Seen it all before been there dunnit. I had that Bizlike in the back of my cab once 1:25 AM Mar 15th from web

Thankyou ladies and gentletweeps. The preceding was the world premiere of my thweatre piece “You heard it here first” Catch-up on my profile 1:37 AM Mar 15th from web

That was a bizlike production in association with words. “Words” is a registered trademark of the Bizlike TM organisation. No infringe meant 1:41 AM Mar 15th from web

Sociodrama

The men, the music and the media06 Sep

JOC book

Five reasons to read “The Junior Officers Reading Club” by Patrick Hennessey (published by Allen Lane)

1. Though we’ve successfully wedged the i-pod speakers into the dashboard of the WMIK (a weapons mounted installation kit: a stripped-down and up-gunned Land Rover) the combination of wind and static crackle on the radio is drowning out even Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ which – after extensive debate – has pipped Too Many DJs Prodigy vs Enya ‘Smack My Bitch Up (Orinoco Flow)’ as the soundtrack of choice for our first foray ‘OUT’ (page 21)
2. The RAF crew as we’d landed had capitulated to the yankeeism that’s everywhere and played The Killers over the C130 intercom, and it was still playing in my head, ‘boy, one day you’ll be a man,’ as we drank in the city through the open chopper doors (page 157)
3. We’re appreciative of the lift of 2 Many DJs mash ups or AVH’s ‘My My My’ as we cock pistols or fix bayonets and charge once more into the labyrinth of stone and goats and rabid dogs (page 176)
4. Of course there weren’t enough vehicles and of course communications were rubbish, of course we needed more helicopters and of course the boys were tired, but it had ever been and would ever be thus. No army in the world ever had all it needed, no commander ever suffered from too many resources, and the funny thing was we resented the presumptuous journalism more than the shortages (page 197)
5. Nothing rankled more than having friends and colleagues spun by clueless, career-politician dickheads (page 272)

The Bizlike Organisation apologies unreservedly for any infringement of copyright, but you’ll sell more books now, won’t you? Buy this book.

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