Friday, 16 November 2012

The latest of the English Idioms...

Well so I thought I would share some of the articles I have been writing to help people on here as well ...

so here goes...

Here is the latest one I wrote on the origin of the phrase The Bee's knees

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Where has the wombat been?

For those of you wondering where all the posts and blogs have wandered off to, be not alarmed... I have been occupied on trying to help people...

I know... crazy right? In a time where money is tight and gives us an excuse to say 'charity begins at home' with a little more conviction, there are a lot of people trying to do something. By trade I am an English teacher so I gained a knowledge of grammar and my first language. I also saw how important it was to help people who are trying to learn. The English that is not spoken around the world contains many words from different languages and it is no longer the same language that left these shores in the time of colonialism. In fact, I believe in the future it will evolve even more, very quickly, into something barely recognizable to what we speak today. There are words like Shampoo (of Hindu origin), Potato (from Spanish) and Kindergarten (German) already firmly planted in the language. In fact it has roots from Latin (words like prefer and adore), Germanic (Hound and Land) with many other major contributors (Nordic adds many words, usually in the form of words beginning with kn, like knife).

This is only going to increase in the future, and it will serve to bring our broken world further together and allow is to communicate in a common language.

The one thing I noticed is that English relies heavily on idioms and phrases, in fact there are over 25,000 of them and that number grows everyday. Therefore, I decided to write a definition a day for many of idioms to help English language learners around the world. I also decided to include the origins of these phrases for people who already know them and wish to see where they came from.

I put all of the links to each article on this blog...
You can click on the 'help with english link' above or just paste the link below:

I hope you enjoy :)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Silvio Berlusconi Strikes back

A day after Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to four years, reduced to one, he has decided to reassure the fans of bunga bunga parties the world over that he will stay in politics.

Determined to 'right the wrongs' in the justice system he will make sure that what happened to him won't happen to other 'innocent' citizens...So let me get this straight... he feels aggrieved, hard done by and like the Erin Brockovich of Italian politics... 

This is a man who is also being investigated for soliciting sex with a underage girl, a man who has been charged with numerous allegations and always walked away.. the man is a legal teflon. Sometimes he has not got off due to acquittal but rather that the trial exceeded a time period and the case was dismissed automatically. So now I ask you, while some celebrate the victory of a conviction what has actually been achieved?

Well he was sentenced to four years - that was immediately reduced to one through some amnesty law that only the Italian judicial system can seem to understand and ordered to pay 10m euros in damages... for what amounts quite simply to tax evasion... so has he been carted off to the lock up? of course not, cause he's appealing... and the appeal process that could take several years, which on a probable note means he will never serve the sentence... Also he was banned from office for  5years... but does this mean that this ban is also suspended? could he realistically return to office, where the Prime Minister cannot be found guilty of any crimes and get off again? It seems that in Italy the Magna Carta was never translated!

So what we have now is a man, who has been found guilty, probably not going to serve his sentence and being encouraged to re-enter politics to right some  wrong he feels he has been served?  He feels he has been persecuted by the judges that tried him... which I'm pretty sure is how anyone feels when they get sentenced to jail.  

The only brightside I can see to this is that without a man like Berlusconi, the only clowns left to blog about would be in the circus.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Weekly Wombat (Since last time to 17/10/12)

So it's been another period of time since the last weekly wombat and here goes...

In the news this week Police taser a blind man while looking for a samurai, a man cooks a squirrel burns down a block of flats and Obama gets some balls!!!

1) In a time in England where the police needs a bit of a PR boost after the controversies of the cover-ups of the Hillsborough disaster and the apparent reports of Jimmy Saville's pedophilic activities not benig followed up the police needed a positive story ... so when reports of a samurai pacing the streets of Chorley in north west England came through the police burst into action. What they didn't need was to end up tasering a 61 year old blind man mistaking his white stick for a samurai sword...

If it wasn't so tragic you'd laugh... however what ended up happening was so distressing that it defies any possible belief... a man, who has suffered two strokes and cannot see anything was suddenly struck by something he described as feeling like a shock from an electric pylon, was tasered by a police officer who could not distinguish the difference between a sword and a white stick!!!

later a man was arrested for carrying the sword... but seriously... can we start testing for common sense soon?

2) and now in America... continuing the theme of animals from last week and common sense - a man found some roadkill in the form of a squirrel and thought 'waste not want not' therefore deciding to take the rodent home and grill it... he used a propane blow torch to singe the fur but instead set fire to his apartment and damaged a total of 8..

in a time of austerity and financial constraints I'm sure everyone in that block of flats was delighted to see the 'new gordon ramsey' save the pennies, grab a dead rat thing and set fire to their homes...

I now endorse McDonalds over roadkill... and that's saying something

3) And finally, if the reports are to be believed, the man we know President Obama decided to turn up for his second presidential debate... After Romney stormed it in the last it's nice to hear the Barack realised his 'I'm an insurance man and don't really care' routine wasn't working and decided to fight...

I was not polarised in this situation at all... until Romney started speaking and then I thought, wow... I really don't want to see America go back to the blunders of Bush or Righteous Regan eras...

I did however love Romey's 'binders full of women' comment - I love the idea that in his office Romney has binders full of women... what the fuck was he talking about? and where does he come up with this material? Cause he should bottle it and send it to some comics if he really is serious about being the President of the States...

I think... if Romney and Obama were in a head to head to see who could be the new Stand-Up sensation, then I'm afraid to say rollover Seinfeld... Romneys in town, Barack... you should just stick at being president... it's what you do best

Thursday, 11 October 2012

John Terry - An Ambassador for England

I think that football sometimes reflects the make-up of society and can reflect the society it comes from when talking in the terms of national teams. This is not a football blog but it seems to be the second post in as many weeks that focus on the subject. This is cause, quite simply, even though we're pretty crap on the national level, football is a pretty major passion in England.

The national team is seen to be representative of the culture that it comes from, however in the case of Asian footballers we have none in the current national team... and the only player of Asian origin to play for England was Frank Soo who played during the war... even though Asian people make up 7% of the British population... but anyway this post is not about the genetic make-up of the England team ... it is in fact about John George Terry...

John Terry is the captain of Chelsea football club and the ex-captain of the England national team. This means that at one point he was the most prominent ambassador for the English national football team - when we went to another country he was the first port of call, the front line man and the person we feel best represents our team... our leader.

He's been charged over the years with assault and proven innocent, parked his car in a disabled bay and accused of sleeping with his teammates girlfriend ... and he has not been tarred by any of it..,

Then he called Anton Ferdinand a "fucking black cunt". I have seen countless times f****** black c*** written in the papers, but lets not mince our words here cause the word I find most offensive is the one that they have left in... His defense is that he was asking Mr Ferdinand if he had thought he'd called him a "fucking black cunt", which seems about as plausible as Nicholas Cage winning an Oscar  Because the court could not establish the tone of Terry's voice he was again acquitted...

The English FA then tried Mr Terry and basically dismissed his defense as a load of bollocks and decided that the term 'fucking black cunt' had been used by way of an insult... so lets look at this... he used the term including the word 'black' to describe Mr Ferdinand's skin colour as way of an insult... however they did say that while he had racial abused Anton, he was not in fact a racist...

He was given a four match ban, a fine and sent on his way... and the fact he has been declared 'not a racist' means there is nothing to stop him from returning to play for England or evening managing a team in the premier league... This is in stark contrast to Luis Suarez who speaks Spanish calling a Frenchman 'negro' - which means black in Spanish and is commonly used in South America as a way of describing someone... After living in South America I can say that some of the things I heard felt pretty racist - for example to call some negro in Britain would be highly fucking offensive, but in Brazil if you called someone Preto (or black in Portuguese) this is very upsetting and racist for Brazilian people... Luis came from Uruguay and did not understand the language or the culture - I have corrected people, who's first language is not English, in the past who think that it is acceptable to call someone 'nigger' because they heard it in a rap song. These people simply do not know the difference... Luis however was given an 8 match ban....

John Terry did know the culture, he speaks English as a first language... he knows that the word black is offensive. If Anton was indeed being an idiot he might have been worthy of being called a fucking cunt, or a dickhead but it had nothing to do with the colour of his skin... I have met good people and pricks from all nationalities and ethnicities, but it has had nothing to do with where the are from... some people we simply don't like and when I choose to tell people they annoy me I don't feel the need to reference if they are white, black or green... it is inconsequential... to do this I feel would be racist - and I am not a racist person.

John Terry did do this and he too apparently is not racist - it's just his actions were a bit racist that day... if the circus that is football was truly representative of British society does this mean we would see criminals using the defense 'I'm not a rapist, I was just a bit rapey that day' or 'I'm not a murderer, but what I did was a bit stabby'. This idea that I'm not racist but one person is a 'fucking black cunt' seems to come straight from the Nick Griffin school of thinking when he called a pair of people Fenians, but does not mean it to imply to every Catholic...

Everyone has prejudices - the key to being a good person is not to be blinded by them and to give everyone an equal chance.


Friday, 5 October 2012

Weekly Wombat (23/09/12 - 04/10/12) giving you more than 7 days!

This week on the weekly Wombat...

The Americans ask David Cameron whether the Magna Carta is overrated, Steve jobs is seen on a truck in China, Batman gets arrested and Obama makes Reagan MK2 look good...

1) On a recent trip to the US to boost tourism to the UK... cause in a time of economic woe most peoples first choice of destination would be the Island of Britain with its warm weather, sandy beaches and smiling natives... wait wait, I have dyslexia - I mean Bali... David Cameron decided to go on the Letterman show. It was there he was asked the million dollar question of is the Magna Carta really that important? In a time where current issues need addressing to save society as we know it it's great to see that the British Prime minister also has time to debate a burning issue and relevant question that started in 1215 with the signing of the document...

I would like to ask a question to Mr Letterman... who the fuck cares? seriously? I mean is there not some more serious issues that we should be discussing here? like... trillion dollar debts, over spending by banks, world poverty, climate change, racism, sexism, the struggle for equality... no wait, the signing of the Magna Carta and it's significance on modern society is way more important... thanks David Letterman and David Cameron for putting life into perspective...

The Magna Carta states that no one person is above the law, not even the king... so arrest the bankers and the people who fucked it all up in the first place then... but seriously there are far more important things to discuss as whether the Magna Carta is relevant today...

2) Ok so this is a weird one... the late Steve Jobs was seen on the back of a truck in China.. The snap (seen below) started an internet phenomenon...

After Jesus on toast, Mary on a cloth and Chairman Mao was seen on the moon it was only a matter of time before Steve Jobs was seen on a truck in China... people are debating whether Jobs has been reincarnated and wearing a turtleneck and holding his chin in China, or whether it is a waxwork or even a cutout or a doctored photo... It could indeed mean that Apple has moved on from Ipads and started making Ipeople that can be 'recharged' - one thing is for sure... this changes everything

3) What is the world coming to when you can't dress up like a complete tosser, try and solve crime without being arrested... Well it turns out that we do in fact live in this world...

and here he is... having traded Gotham for Michigan has now been arrested twice for getting in the way of solving crime. I happen to love these people who try and solve crime dressed up in homemade costumes, they even have one in Sao Paulo, Brasil, and think that anyone who tries to make a difference for the better deserves a little bit of recognition ... So well done Mark Wayne Williams from Michigan... but if you happen to be somewhere where the police don't want you to be - like a crime scene where they are trying to use sniffer dogs who are getting distracted by your scent, go and grab a coffee in the bat cave, cause if you go to jail you can't do much good in there - and I'm not sure quite how long you'd last... everyone can help someone everyday... you don't need to beat up a mugger, just help and old person cross a road or buy a homeless person a coffee.. and luckily you don't need to dress up like a prick to do it :)

4) and finally! Obama and Romney took to the stand and in what was expected to be a political KO for Romney made Obama look about as passionate as an insurance salesman... Please Barack ... tell me this was some sort of mercy, that you didn't want a landslide victory that made you look too good... cause Romney seems to be the most scary candidate since Reagan.  When Reagan was in power with his finger on the button not just the enemies of America cowered... the world went running... so please Barack, get your head in the game... stop telling people that you were not the perfect president, that you will not again be a perfect president and start saying come on... look at him... then think 'it could be worse'... either that or why not debate over the relevance of the Magna Carta cause that seems like a pretty hot topic right now and take Rommey to the cleaners... I have one more suggestion... if you want another term power... forget the promises and the rhetoric, just offer to release the files displaying the truth about the Kennedy assassination.... Bribery will get you everywhere...

Monday, 1 October 2012

Twitter - Griffin-style

I have a love/hate relationship with twitter... on one hand it's great way for great, interesting and funny people  to share 140 characters and letters with other people in the hope of attracting other peoples attention to legally stalk them... in fact of all stalking techniques twitter is the greatest... so if you fancy stalking me - @RoyWoodhouse

On the other hand is a way for less great people to also share their views in 140 characters... step forward Nick Griffin. (for anyone who doesn't know he is the leader of the British National Party - which is a right wing party in Britain that promotes anti-immigration and has 'in the past' supported white nationalism and tend to be anti-Islam) In other words the BNP seemingly stands for everything that Citizen Wombat opposes.

It's not to be said the party is in itself racist... as has often been denied by Griffin (I usually put a Mr in front but I thought I'd miss it out this time), it's just ironically it seems to attract white skinheads who have a tendency to fear anything other than what they know and have put the word Islamaphobia in the English dictionary - oh and I hate this fucking diagram with the brains showing White, Black and Asian brains all the same size and a tiny racist brain... The reason I hate this is cause racists aren't going to get the metaphor - and it's not the truth - they just don't use their brains as well as the rest of us... so I think the advert should read more like "Racists are retarded and/or cunts" (I was going to put an asterix in cunt, but then I didn't want anyone to take that wrong)

Back to Griffin. The other day he decided to turn up in Northern Ireland during the Unionist Parade (called the Orange Men) who are pro-Great Britain. Now what a truly amazing man to turn up and add his weight to this rather volatile situation - which in this case is a little bit like throwing a very fat tank of fuel onto a bonfire next to a petrol station in the middle of the Kuwait oil fields... so thanks for going to that! He did say "Obviously there was no connection between the British National Party and the organisers of the parade, I was there as a member of the public." which to me sounds like no-one fucking wanted him there...
On another level he said "I had one long ten-minute discussion with an Orangeman who didn't agree with me. We had a good discussion and we shook hands at the end of it," which on another level says that while the other guy didn't agree with him the Northern Irishman was a polite man.

"Everybody else that I met either just said I had a right to be there or wanted photographs taken and autographs" was by far the highlight of my read of what he said ...  Look at the picture above - I don't think I'd recognise him in a crowd... let alone walk over to him and ask him for his autograph... we're not talking Brad Pitt or George Clooney here.. I'd struggle to pick the politician out, who is blind in one eye like a proper bond villain, in a line up of five men... which again shows me that either the Northern Irish have a fantastic knowledge of British politicians faces or this comment is full of shit.

Anyway I have gone off topic... cause the reason for this blog is that after receiving comments on twitter from a couple of Republicans (Pro-unified Ireland) about his lack of welcome in the Emerald Isle he decided to use the word Fenian to describe them. Fenian for anyone who doesn't know is a incredibly offensive term for a Catholic and should never be used, and if you do know it I hope you've never used it in an aggressive or abusive manner... if you have click the little x in the top right hand corner of this screen, never come back here and then promptly go fuck yourself.

Since calls of inspiring racial hatred have fallen on deaf ears I feel the need to say that to use a derogatory term to describe someone of a different faith or appearance to yourself is indeed racism and when you do it on a social media platform like twitter is it not inspiring others to feel the same?

Anyway he decides that upon a bit of pressure that he will not be taking his comments down, which is nice to know he sticks to his bile, and that he used the term Fenian just for these two people and not to describe Catholics in general.... so below I have the quick...

Nick Griffin Guide to Casual Racism

1) Find someone you don't like
2) Find a way to describe them in a derogatory way
3) Say you don't describe everyone in the same way and just use it for said target

cause for Griffin it isn't racism if you only use it selectively...

For anyone that thinks the same as this bile... please again look to the little x at the top right....

Thursday, 27 September 2012

New Zidane Statue Proves Context is Everything

Context: The 2006 World Cup Final saw Italy and France line up against each other to claim the ultimate 
international footballing prize. It was a close fought match which saw both teams score in the first 20 mins (courtesy of goals from Italy's Marco Materazzi and France's Zinedine Zidane...which is ironic considering what happened next). Then out of the blue Materazzi said something to Zidane and the Frenchman end up turning round and headbutting him... but this wasn't a normal headbutt - no this was a special kind of headbutt that was directed at his chest. Zidane later justified his actions saying that Materazzi had made nasty comments about his sister - oh dear... it is clear to see that Zidane is not a man to enter into banter with over jokes about his mother... He also wanted to say that he was sorry for his actions blah blah blah... but that he did not regret his actions blah blah blah (if I was you I would Zidane)

I was honestly hoping that Zidane would say that he was very sorry that he headbutted him in the chest and that if he had the chance again he would clench his fist and smack him in the face or at least headbutt him in the face like a 'normal' human being. Instead we are left with possibly one of the strangest looking on pitch offences in my mind ...

Roll on six years and just as we were beginning to forget one of the most stupid moments in a world cup final when boom... someone makes a statue of it... yes why not? I mean a man headbutts another man in a match needs to be molded into a bronze statue for the world to see because without it life would just be meaningless... As if the 715.1 million people globally who watched the match live wasn't enough, now the rest can catch a glimpse as well... all you have to do is visit Paris... and here it is...

Ok so we've had the context, but lets de-contextualise it... seriously what the fuck is going on there?... What is happening on Materazzi's face? Is he in pain or is he enjoying this? And Zidane... is he sniffing him, or staring at his crotch? Zidane doesn't look like he's attacking more just looking ready to give Materazzi that face all over again. I am not saying that either man is in fact gay... I'm just saying that whoever made these statues might have wanted to consider a bit of contextualisation here... If we look here and at the actaul photo Materazzi's arm is now above Zidane's which seem to change the feeling of it... that clenched fist looks less like a punch and more like a... Ok so I could go on, but I have had my fun and feel it's time to move on.

The point I also wanted to make is why make a statue of this? This was a moment of violence in a match that  detracted from what should be a peaceful event that brings people together... why immortalise a heabutt.. and a badly directed one at that, when we should maybe immortalise an image of someone lifting the cup... It seems very strange that this of all things was chosen as a great idea for a Bronze statue in Paris...

So, on a day today when John Terry was found guilty by the FA of racial abuse towards Anton Ferdinand, will an artist be commissioned to immortalise this dark moment of sports and society? I fucking hope not... or perhaps it could be an image of Joey Barton stubbing a cigar out in a team mates eye? or Roy Keane breaking Alf-Inge Haaland's legs in a career ending two footed challenge? Of course we won't (I do still have a tiny of fear that human beings can be this ridiculous) so why on God's green earth do we see this?

Please, feel free to explain this to me cause - I am obviously rather heathen and just don't get 'art'.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Weekly Wombat (11/09/12 - 22/09/12) - Weekly?

So it's nearly Fortnightly Wombat this time around but I've been in transit from Brazil and the airline managed to misplace my baggage (see special thanks at the end of this post)

 So news that caught my eye this time round - Person sticks primate down his pants, Obese Elephants to go on a diet, Pennsylvanian couple commit dog-napping and Romney continues to act like a tit.

1) This is the first of two news stories this week that refer to India - a man was patted down at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi airport when the security officer discovered a rather strange object in his underpants. We have all heard of jewels in anuses and condoms full of coke, but what I never expected to read that a man had stuck a rare primate next to his private parts. In his underpants was to be found the endangered Sri Lankan Loris (Nope I've never heard of it before) carefully tucked up next to his... how do we put this delicately? errmm cock. Apart from the fact that this stunt has done much to improve world knowledge of this tiny critter, it is possible that the man has also tarnished the reputation of it as well by trying to get it involved in the mile high club.

The critter, which grows up to 10 inches, has huge eyes which I can only hope he kept closed for the duration of his journey... The question I want to ask is at what point did the animal smuggler decide it was a good idea to stick a live animal next to his penis? Was this a replacement for the old sock technique to boost ego? Was he not a little worried that it might get a bit peckish  and take a bite? A second Loris was found in a bin so it's clear that while the man from the UAE's morals and common sense absconded, his knowledge of biology did not, therefore keeping only one in his pants as to improve his manhood.

2) In India again and celebrated temple elephants in Tamil Nadu are to go on a diet after being discovered to be overweight... The obese elephants situation has been blamed on secret snacks from pilgrims and lack of exercise due to 'being chained to the ground' - yep that could do it... Elephants are worshiped as holy representations of Ganesha - and can be hired for less than £20 for parties and tourist rides... why do we need to chain up and market a deity? If Jesus comes back it's like saying, oh great you're the son of God, but we don't have you on any official records so we'll have to leave you in confinement and hire you out as an after dinner speaker...

please, someone give these poor animals some exercise... and while your at it can we start to address the rapidly increasing obese world population... if elephants can diet, so can Americans, Europeans etc.

3) A couple from Pennsylvania discovered two of their neighbours dogs had wandered on to their property
and while returning one decided to keep the other and sell it on Craigslist for $50. What the fuck were they thinking? Why not just stick it down your underpants, go through airport security and get patted down with a baby Rottweiler stuffed down there. The idiots were caught when the police visited and their kid confessed saying my mummy sold it on the internet... my words fail me to describe to level of moron we are dealing with here...

4)Mr Mitt Romney continues to be a gift from God for Obama. With gaff after gaff it's a wonder that there is even going to be an election.... people like to blame and it seems it has all fallen on Obama - the economic crisis and the wars (neither of which were his fault) and his failing healthcare bill, which Romney initially supported... but Romney keeps dishing out the comedy with catchphrases such as "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." and "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there." My favourite though has to be his leaked comments when he said...

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

(is it me or do the look a little on the similar side? - a bit weird me thinks - it's amazing what a little 'Just for Men' can achieve)

I just want to say well done to the Democrat party for playing a blinder and putting a real candidate and a dummy one up for election! With all this shit people can't seriously be wondering who to vote for... Obama or the accidental comedian... with the former we get possibly more change and positive shift, with the latter we get four years of gaffs just like Bush 2 - comedy gold - oh yes and possibly hell on Earth again with everyone in the world running for cover... you decide.

And on a final note I just want to say a special thanks to the people who lost my bags... while I was on a flight from Brasil for just 12 hours, my bags have been all over the world (lucky bastards) and five days later have still not arrived which is great cause I love just having two sets of clothes to wear and washing one while wearing the others - thanks again.

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Here comes The Sun

I love the news... hell most of the time current affairs are the subject of this blog... I even like amusing satirical or deliberatly (and obviously) faked news that has the purpose of making people laugh.

I have in the past waged a small war against the Metro newspaper... but let's face it - it's free and I now even read it in Portuguese on the train in Brazil! I have made my peace.. the news may be a bit shit and nothing positive really comes out of it, but on the whole the news is pretty much genuine... The war is over - for now.

While I argue all news can never be truly objective and will always maintain an air of subjectivity due to the writers own opinions, this doesn't stop me reading it... in fact I enjoy the subtle ways in which the wording of a sentence betrays the thoughts of the journalist... I however do not enjoy the made up ramblings of journalists who invent stories...

Lets now turn the clocks back 23 years, when I was but a wee lad. I was 7 and one shocking day something came on the news that shocked me and stayed in my memory to this day. 96 people were crushed to death during a football match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool. 96 people lost their lives. It is the most sporting related casualty the UK has ever witnessed. Luckily I didn't read the Sun otherwise I might have had to re-learn the truth I had always known 23 years later...

'The Truth' showed that the South Yorkshire Police acted with dignity and integrity trying to help the fallen victims battling against vicious Liverpool fans who were, among other things, pissing on police and looting the pockets of the fallen victims... All 96 were dead before the police could get to them and the Conservative party were in no way involved in a cover-up.

For 23 years the Liverpool fans protested their innocence.

Roll on 23 years and an independant commission discovered a different chain of events. The Sun then published their retraction, 23 years too late...

'The Real Truth' showed that the South Yorkshire Police altered statements and falsified reports to improve their reputation. That the proud Liverpool fans were wrongly accused of such heinous acts and have had their names dragged through the mud for 23 years. That somehow the Conservative MP of the time for Sheffield Hallam was involved in passing the story out and that The Sun's story was in fact a crock of shit.

There was more... Not all of the 96 were dead when the police got to them... upto 41 were still alive and could have survived if reactions by the emergency services had been improved.

The Sun helped, among other papers and people at the time, to tarnish the reputations of not only the victims, their families and Liverpool fans alike but also the police who are honest in the country. The apologies have flowed... the Prime minister, the opposition, the former leader of the paper... but the damage has been done.

You cannot repair 23 years of hurt... no apology is enough. There is now a protest on Twitter to stop the sales of The Sun newspaper, and so soon after the News of the World scandals... Support this protest, seek justice for the 96 and their families. I am not a Liverpool fan, but I am a human being... I am ashamed of my countries behaviour during this crisis. It is time for the people responsible in this cover-up to be held accountable from the police to the politicians. Thank God for the exhonoration of the fans that day but as Trevor Hicks, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group said this is "too little, too late"

Do yourselves a favour - always question 'the truth'

Follow me on Twitter - Roy Woodhouse

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Weekly Wombat (3/9/12 - 10/9/12)

In the news this week Clint Eastwood kicked off at a chair, Barack Obama gives out his secret recipe and Iran presses on with it's Nuclear Program despite World of Warcraft ban...

Ok so it's been just over a week since the last Weekly Wombat and I'm not one for making excuses cause I'm usually too tired and busy to make them... but it's my last week in Brasil... 

1) Clint Eastwood gave the world a new reason to fear actors ever becoming politicians as he set about addressing the chair as though it was Barack Obama... In a rather strange viewing spectacular Clint possibly turned out to be the greatest wildcard the democrats never played. I love Clint, I think he's great, but please to God don't support your Republican views by ranting to an empty chair.... It was as if some senile old git had got up on stage and destroyed everything that Romney had built. It was however fantastic entertainment... This too also adds weight to the likes Arnie staying in acting and maybe leaving the politics to the less dramatic more considerate liars out there... And if Clints oscar winning rant didn't set you on fire lets just think... Reagan was an actor before he went into politics... and look how well he turned out...

2) A lovely little story in the news this week was that the Whitehouse's closely guarded secret of how Mr Obama brews his apparently 'world famous' honey beer... I had no idea he did... and frankly I don't care... and didn't care right up until I saw that maybe just maybe there was a little sneaky element to this...

In the US it is always said that the candidate you vote for is the one you would most like to share a drink with. Romney being a devout Mormon doesn't sip the amber nectar, but apparently Obama loves it so much he brews it in the Whitehouse... which to me seems to cheapen the status of that building a little... I mean can you imagine a group of MPs getting together and making some homebrew in the Houses of Parliament? It all seems a bit of hard work when you can just claim it on expenses like the rest of the politicians. Ok so I'm a bit cynical about the motives of revealing the recipe right around election time but in all fairness we should be concentrating on who the fuck out of the two of them is going to sort out the massive deficit in finances and third world economy that is creeping upon them and not who the fuck gets pissed ...This would make most people in America and in other countries happier... well in most of the others... one exception being...

3) Iran... they're at it again ... last week I wrote that Blizzard had stopped it's support of World of Warcraft in Iran but it seems that the people who play WoW couldn't convince the hierarchy to stop enriching and now they've doubled their production... shock horror it's as if they don't care what the other countries in the West think of them... So what happened? Israels Prime minister Ben Netanyahu claims that Iran is now the worlds greatest threat replacing Iraq with all their WMDs on the top of the list. Ben went to the USA but unfortunately Barack was to busy to meet to discuss how they would solve 'the problem' (possibly home brewing?)

The only way America could justify attacking Iran is if Iran was to declare war... So that could never happen? Roll on to other news and America has taken a keen interest in Syria, one of Irans closest allies, and says that force will be issued if they do not stop hostilities and murdering there own people... I mean this is totally unrelated to other issues and look what the west did to help when similar was happening in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Egypt? That's right ... nothing... it's almost as if there might be a secondary reason to help Syria... some form of alternative purpose, but clearly there couldn't be... right? And now with Russia, who are well known for their tolerance, not the happiest about the idea of American intervention this spells a rather interesting time in the middle east which makes me rather glad that I live far away in the depths of South America...

And finally, in case you missed it... a woman in Hertfordshire, England forgot about a cabbage and then after two weeks discovered that it had sprouted 12 inches which means this is probably the shittest fucking news story I have ever heard in my life... with all the important news on the planet, all the suffering and injustice, all the inequality in the world the Hereford Times feels the need to write a piece about an old woman and a fucking cabbage... can the human race ever be saved? We are a disease with smiles... so the answer you are looking for is probably not.

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Why do we use bins?

The other day I was in Sao Paulo, Brasil in the Japanese town known as Liberdades... (it's a fucking awesome place if you ever get the chance to visit). I happened to be enjoying Sir Alex Ferguson's favourite past time of chewing some gum when as typical these days it suddenly lost all its flavour and I felt like I was chewing some particularly foul tasting cardboard... when is someone going to finally Willy Wonka some of that into eternal flavoured gum? Possibly never on the grounds that if something doesn't break or last forever working perfectly well then no consumer is ever going to buy any others... welcome to capitalism 101.

So with my mouth tasting somewhat akin (I imagine) to a goats arse I decided to chuck the offending article. I removed the piece of shit cardboard tasting material from my mouth (sorry to anyone of a more sensitive disposition for the brutal imagery) and proceeded to wrap it in a piece of scrap paper that I located in my right hand pocket. With shit tasting thing in hand I began to scour the street for a bin and to my dismay there were none on the same side of the road as me. Luckily I spied one across the way and crossed the road (which can be rather hazardous in Brasil, especially when you consider the traffic comes from the opposite direction to which I'm used to) to place the thing in the bin.

I then recrossed the road and to my amazement the man who was selling some strawberries on the street started to laugh in a manner that could only be certified as a guffaw. Now at this point I need to confirm that my Portuguese is not up to the level where I can have some banter with a man selling strawberries and can certainly not have taken him apart in a debate. He then informed as to the source of the amusement - the fact I bothered to cross the road to use a bin when I can just throw it on the ground like anyone else. At this point I wanted to maybe I don't want to take advice from a man who sells fruit for a living or maybe just maybe I don't want to live in a world that is a rubbish tip. Instead I smiled at him and gave him a condescending nod.

He then went on to expand his sagely advice that by throwing it on the ground you were creating a job for someone... There was so much that if this cretin had spoken English I would have demolished him - however the language barrier stopped me from even bothering enter into conversation. The problem here is not this guy, it's the fact that some people actually think like this. Do they not realise that the state employ people to collect litter and also others to clean the road and by throwing in on the ground you are merely making it look shitter and this thing we call an environment head further towards a rubbish tip? Once again these opinions lead only to the conclusion that a lack of decent free education for the entire world will probably end up being the end of us all...

As for me... I think maybe it's time we let the Dolphins have a crack at being in charge... I don't think they could possibly fuck up what's left of this planet any more than we already have... I mean I would sooner vote for Flipper any day over George Bush or David Cameron, solely down to the fact that Flipper talks more sense when he/she shrills. Maybe it's better that we leave a more intelligent species in charge for a while.

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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Weekly Wombat (27/08/12)

In the news this week!!!

1) Avril Lavinge and Chad Kroeger are getting married... well maybe this wasn't new this week but I found out about it and therefor new news to me this week... this is abominable... it's like a nightmare that lost parts of my childhood are now getting hitched and potentially going to reproduce. Chad Kroeger, best known for producing drony music that had no soul to it through Nickelback and also an equally souless solo effort for Spiderman 3 is now marrying a girl who sang about men being complicated and boys who prefered to skate, or sk8 as the kids put it these days, over doing something towards a better world. I wish them all the best in their marriage and hope that married life becomes so overwhelming that they forget they once tried to sing. My greatest fear is that now they are potentially breeding we could see children be brought into the world from this union... please god may they not try to sing or come into the public light... The results - well if it was a solo effort it could be along the lines of Peter Andre or Rick Astley and if it was a group... dare I mention Creed?

2) Blizzard, the company behind the life denying World of Warcraft (WOW), has banned all support for the game in Iran. This is due to the sanctions in place by the US and Blizzard also want to 'do their bit'. How are the people of Iran meant to pretend to be orcs and use magic now?! I have no doubt that where all other sanctions have failed to deter the hierarchy of Iran to cease their Nuclear Enrichment program this may strike where they have not. It is indeed a well unknown non-fact that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a massive fan of the game and has already been seen suffering the withdrawal symptoms of dressing like a wizard and screaming terms from the Harry Potter series. WOW fans are famous for their violent behavior when denied access to the game so Tehran should soon be expecting several complaints via the internet and possibly on blogs. Get with it Blizzard for fucks sake.

3) And finally ... in India a company in India has released a cream/gel that... 'tightens the vagina to become virginal again' - The tastefully named '18 again' has produced an advert that see's a man a woman dancing and singing about feeling like virgins again. So I suppose that means that it's tighter for him and more painful for her... The best quote was to be found was on the BBC who referenced someone talking about the gel being already available in the USA and it was "merely filling a gap in the market".. please BBC, tell me this was an intentional joke? If not you have one of the worlds finest accidental comedians on your books. This cream is quite frankly a disgrace... it opens women (or closes women) up to a whole new level of abuse. In the grand scheme of things it really damages women's rights and the people who invented it are either misogynistic wankers or just plain pricks (possibly quite small pricks judging by the nature of the cream).... I'm sure that it has it's benefits for people who have gone through traumatic childbirth, but at the end of the day should a woman really feel the need to use this cream cause the man demands or expects it? By implying that women are not perfect it can go towards giving them an inferiority complex and encourages women in particular the desire of men that they marry a virgin... In India and indeed in many other countries such as Turkey a woman's virginity is seen as a prize and prevents many from seeking healthy pre-marital relations... it's fine for a man to have sex, but just not woman...and who says we still live in an unfair world?

Roy Woodhouse - Twitter 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Lance Armstrong walked on the moon!

This week saw Lance Armstrong have his life changed from being the bloke who won a record 7 Tour de Frances in a row to holding exactly the same number of titles as me... I particularly loved the "banned for life from cycling" part. Does this not imply that now for Lance to get on a bike is tantamount to a federal offece? Do all bikes in the world have a restraining order against him. After checking out his twatter the other day he tweeted that he would be grabbing his bike and heading for a ride in the woods... will this man never stop? The fact he grabbed a bike could be percieved as some sort of hostage situation, but I shouldn't bother calling the Police just yet.

Armstrong has been accused of being a drugs cheat... it happens to many of the top professionals in the world... in fact only the other week Carl Lewis (yes the ex-drug cheat) accused Usain Bolt of taking drugs to which Mr Bolt told the former to politely fuck off. One of the accusers of Armstrong, Floyd Landis, was found guilty of defaruding his charities' supporters ironically in the same day as Armstrong was stripped of his lifes work. To his credit Lance has maintained his innocence to the end and stated his lack of wish to destroy the rest of his life fighting the charges was his reason for throwing in the towel. Does this make it one of the dirtiest sports since snookers bad boys were 'outed'?

The problem with being labelled a drugs cheat is that it has the connotations of some kind of junkie. No matter what people say I still head in my mind to some trainspotting fueled evening of fun that ruined the sportsmans careers. Was Lance so high on drugs that he managed to convince the world he not only won those titles, but did it on the moon while playing a trumpet and singing about it being a wonderful world. Apparantly there is still one of Lance's bikes on the moon to this day! This seems to be the opinions and knowledge of some ignorant bastards on the internet who can't differentiate one great Armstrong from another. The truth is Lance himself is not a junkie, but rather is accused of having used some medicines to improve his performance in the races.

Whether or not Lance cheated I couldn't give a shit - if he is innocent then I truly hope he is exhonerated and his titles restored. My main concern is that his potential cheating is all this man will be remembered for. In my opinion he deserves to make the group of those great Armstongs including Louis, Neil and Stretch and not because he was good on a bike with or without an extra bit of something.

Why? This man battled back from cancer... ok so many people do and many people deserve to be recognised for what they went through, but this man came back from the disease and went on to claim 7 titles. He could have stopped there but he founded a charity. He used his fame to try and do a little bit of good in the world. He gained the sponserships of companies like Nike and tried to help other people. While there was a witchhunt trying to strip him of everything he had he managed to change some peoples lives. I am not usually a fan of big corporations, but Nike to their credit have stood by him and continued their funding citing Lance's un-wavering declaration of innocence as their reason. Kudos, however, to a company who gains little recognition for this act and continues to do the right thing.

I hope that in time people see that what he did, whether or not he cheated, was to try and do something good and used his influence to gain the attention of companies that people outside of the headlines could never have got.

Roy Woodhouse - Twitter

Friday, 24 August 2012

Rick Astley Vs Bill Hicks Vs Denis Leary

 The greatest grudge matches often go down in the annals of history and are the very thing that legends are made of...

 In the Bible we had Jesus vs The Devil and David vs Goliath, in later we had Harry Potter vs Voldemort and in life we have had Mohammed Ali fighting like a bee and stinging like a butterfly, or something like that, against Joe Frazier... but nothing stays in my mind quite like Rick Astley and Bill Hicks...

I included Denis Leary cause when mentioning people who pissed Hicks off it's very hard to not mention Leary's name... Bill once told an interviewer about Leary - "I have a scoop for you. I stole his act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did"  

The two were once close friends but plagiarism saw an end to that... After Hicks died it was refreshing to see that Denis could indeed survive without copying his work... it was clear some felt that he wasn't limited to Bill after Louis C K found there were some similarities between a routine of his and a hit song released by Leary.

That said plagiarism doesn't run at the core of this post... it is instead a different special guest who I will remember as the truest adversary of Hicks... a one Mr Rick Astley... Astley represented everything Hicks stood for... Bill loved pure rock, or music with soul as some would call it. Many of his routines focused on the decline of great bands like Led Zep and The Beatles and being replaced with people with thought were, for lack of a better phrase, talentless twats. Bill once said of Astley - 

  "Rick Astley? Have you seen this banal incubus at work? Boy, if this guy isn’t heralding Satan’s imminent approach to Earth, huh. “Don’t ever wanna make you cry, never wanna make you sigh … never gonna break your heart” … oh, I wouldn’t worry about that without a dick, buddy. You got a corn nut! You got a clit! You’re not even a guy! You’re an AIDS germ that got off a slide! They’re puttin’ music to AIDS germs, they’re puttin’ a drum machine behind them in a metronome beat"

However in 1993 Astley retired from performing 'music' in 1993, one year before Hicks passed, and there this story should have ended... but no... someone brought Astley back... He became an internet phenomenon in a 'harmless' prank known as Rickrolling where people would lead you astray to watch videos when unsuspectingly out of nowehere.. POW... the video cut to Astley singing "never going to make you ... blah blah fucking blah"... what were you thinking? Why this dire tripe? You should have let him be! After the 'success' of his Internet hits Astley decided the time was right to make a comeback...he is performing again...he is touring the world singing his filth like some bile filled prophet of bad music... and what does this serve? It only highlights even more how empty the world is without a man like Hicks... We have no one to protect us now, he has no opponent and Astley is free to run amok...

As Sgt Apone said in "Aliens" - "Somebody wake up Hicks"

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Breaking News: Governments to ban education

A recent hypothetical study by a group of hypothetical scientists has confirmed what Governments have feared for some time...


This discovery has sent shockwaves of panic through the Governments of the world... "Apparantely educated people feel they have a right to form and express an opinion when we fuck up - this is the one thing we don't want" said one politician. "How can we be truly corrupt and incompetant if people are there to criticise us?" said another.

But fear not, as the Governments of the world have come up with a solution... they will simply ban education and replace it with more soap operas on television and papers will be filled with subjective news that is pro-government in nature. We spoke to one politician who helped clarify the new move.

"I think education can be quite scary for people... I mean imagine thinking your leaders were imcompetant and without direction! That could be terrified and then you've got the stress or the politicians and government - I mean imagine feeling that you had to act in the peoples needs all the time and constantly worrying about recriminations for mistakes! By irradicating education we are simply removing simple stress from peoples everyday lives"

For anyone not versed in the satirical nature of this blog I would like to now clarify what the fuck I am ranting on about. Education is vital to the growth and development of our civilization. Everyone should be entitled to a free and exceptional education, but in our world this is not always the case. Aside from totalitarian states there are still other countries with shocking educations around the globe. I have lived in Brazil for the last 6 months and my eyes have opened to such a gross inequality that I could never have imagined before I arrived. The privalaged people who can afford to pay for a private education are graced with the knowledge they need to get a good job and really steam ahead, but the people forced by lack of money to enter the public/state system are being left behind. From several reports the teachers are paid a deirsory salary and sometimes don't even bother to turn up. They are forced to pass their students whether or not they could pass a test so that the schools can move them into society. I won't go into more details as this blog will turn into Wikepedia length essay... but safe to say even with my cynical nature I was surprised. Brazil is far from alone.

A fine example of this is my first language English. Brazil puts a heavy emphasis on speaking English and people who can find themselves in better jobs with better salaries and therefore can buy themselves better lives (that's capitalism baby). Lets look a receptionist in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They earn between 1000 - 2000 R$ a month before tax (just under $500 - $1000 a month at the time of writing this blog) and we will continue to work in Reais (R$) for the sake of this as it is all relative. Most English teachers charge around 60 - 100 R$ per hour for private lessons and school charge 250 - 350R$ per month for classes. This model is simply unsustainable and combined with costs of travel, living, food etc your average person on this wage cannot afford to study English and therefore stays at one level for most of their working life. Some universities charge 3000R$ a month for a degree! How the fuck are people meant to get out of poverty or base level jobs and become educated? Quite simply they aren't!

Therefore I feel a moral obligation to do what I can. When I return to England next month I intend to start a new blog and site the accompanies this one and delivers free English lessons both in text and video. Anyone wishing to help with either filming or lesson ideas will be greatly recieved - I do not want money.  I am a trained English teacher and I feel it is my duty as a human being to give as much as I can to people who cannot afford to buy themselves a better life.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Who is the real Che Guevara?

People often ask why this blog is called Citizen Wombat and indeed why a picture of a wombat's face has replaced that of a famous revolutionary in possibly one of the most iconic images of the 20th century...

Many moons ago I produced a twenty minute performance on Ernesto 'Che' Guevara... it was a one man show talking not about the man himself but indeed this image. The image itself was taken by a Cuban man called Alberto Korda who for the record never recieved a single penny in rights, not cause he was robbed, but because he didn't want to - he wanted the world to have a free image of a hero and little did he know what it would become...

So who was Mr Guevara - well the facts are these... he was a cigar smoking, asthmatic Argentine physician. He was an intellectual and scholar as well as a medical student and humanitarian... I have no doubt he was an asshole at times and equally a top bloke.. so with all this knowledge at our fingertips why did someone come and ask me why was I talking about the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine? Is this what our society has come to? That no-one knows who he was? He is a man now more popuraly refered to as 'Che' than his real name (because people don't know it)! Che in itself is slang in the south of Brasil and Argentina for 'friend' and, unlike someone once pointed out that he was called Che because he was a friend to the whole world, he was called this because he used it a lot in every sentence... and people were merely making fun of him. People have forgotten what he truly stood for and now I see this image egreciously replaced with everything from the monkey from "Planet of the Apes" to Ricky Gervais. Ernesto and Korda would turn in their graves.

When Guevara was executed by CIA-assisted forces in Bolivia America feared they had created a martyr... that this mans ideologies would spring up all over America and indeed the world... The image began to circulate the globe and quickly became associated not with Revolution, with Freedom or with Communism - but rather with teenage angst! This mans face has been on posters and t-shirts, wallets and badges of kids and teenagers who have not the slightest fucking idea who he is... I have several times to owners of these posters what they know about the man... and the bad answers have far outwayed the good... whoever killed him in 1968 merely took his body, but the slurge of tacky merchandise that followed has attempted to murder his beliefs and every single thing he stood for...

To every reader that has got this far in this post I welcome your comments. If you already know much of his politics or indeed are curious to learn more (I urge you to buy a book or use wikepedia for starters (it's free)) then I embrace you. When Hitler died the world rejoiced - not only cause a monster had fallen but because when he died people became interested not in his ideologies, but in who he was - in fact one of the best selling books on the 1950's was a Hitler inspired vegetarian cook book with all his favourite recipes... Thank God or Stephen Hawkings for this.... but we did the same to Che... a man who deserved to be heard.
So why a wombat? Apparantly in Austrailia they call a man who sleeps with a lot of women a wombat... simply because in the dictionary it says Wombat - eats roots and leaves. (roots in Australia being adapted as a verb for having sex). This is not my reason. It's simply because I find wombats funny. I sometimes ask if you were in Top Gun what would your call-sign be? I always say Wombat. I replaced the face to commomorate not the loss of the man, but of the loss of everything he was. When Mr Guevara died we changed him from a hope for freedom and expression into a trendy poster. May his beliefs and hopes rest in peace and one day may peace and love embrace world... and may the people who have murdered these ideals one day realise the crime they have commited and repent for their sins by reading and spreading ideals for a better world. Do not fight wars... fight oppression... Kill in-equality, not your brothers and sisters and please try and remember the people who stood up and fought for others freedoms.

I thank you all for reading.

Roy Woodhouse - Twitter

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A feminist speaks - Todd Akin

Words cannot describe the sudden wave of emotion that engulfed the world when Todd Akin, want to be senator for Missouri, gave his advice to female victims of rape.

Todd is one of the true feminists of our time and his words will only make his wife and mother more proud of him. Mr Akin was talking on the subject of anti-abortion... not something to be broached after dinner... when one  journalist asked him the age old question of "what happens in case of a rape?"

The wise move here is - if you have nothing good or productive to say - shut your fucking mouth... however unlike me, Mr Akin did have some advice for all to share... 

"Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, 
how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand 
from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that 
whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should 
be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."

It is clear to see that Todd and his reputable and educated doctors clearly have an insight on the female body that has been eluding the rest of us for years... It's good that he has such an 'understanding' of what happens but he does state that it's in the case of a 'legitimate rape'. What the fuck is an 'illegitamate rape'? Does this imply that anyone becoming pregnant after rape vetoed the legitimacy of the rape? He does go on to say  " let’s assume that maybe that didn't work or something" which shows that even in this sagely advice he has room for making a little error... or indeed completely moronic statements that have no place in the modern world... 

The fallout from this led his own party to distance themselves from him and The President to call for his head (not literally as I feel some wish) and for him to stand down... If I may Mr Obama - may a give a piece of advice. I know I am not as good at advice as Mr Akin, but I like to try... I feel that the damage to his election chances may have already been done... I feel that a far more constructive idea would be to go and speak to some feminist groups without the aid of any security and he can see just how well a woman's body can shut down after hearing this advice.. 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

I predict a Pussy Riot

Just a few days ago three members of the punk rock group Pussy Riot were jailed for two years on account of their ad-hoc performance in a church in Russia of a song that was anti-Putin in content and according to the courts blasphemous in nature...

People around the world cried out at the injustice that had been served.... the lack of free-speech that was 'now' found on the streets of Russia. I even read a quote that said with this movement Russia is moving closer towards the totalitarian states of China and North Korea.

This is alarming news, for Russia has long been known for it's Netherlands-like tolerance and freedom of speech. Putin himself has welcomed peoples open honesty about his rule and even in the past Trotsky lived a long and happy life until his accident with an ice pick in Mexico City after his loss to Stalin.

The news encouraged me to head to Youtube and  listen to the Pussy Riot girls themselves... and after hearing the dulcet tones I can honestly say I'm not sure what all the fuss is about partially motivated by the fact that I have no knowledge of Russian and the lyrics sounded a little shouty, all be it with a real Sham 69 and 70's British Punk feel. This experience prompted me to ask two questions...

1) Is this what Rage Against the Machine (a band I hold very dear to me) sounds like to people from Russia who don't speak English or indeed any non-English speakers? Also is it what all 'modern' music sounds like to my father when he complains that it's just noise?... Has anyone considered this could be Putin's problem? I know for one my father would love to put some of the bands I listen to in jail for crimes against his ears.

2) At what point did people become surprised that this would happen? That these people, who decided to speak out against a man who had been in control in one way or another for the last 13 years, would not walk away from this easily.

When the verdict was given there were strong resentment among the crowd outside leading to several arrests  outside the court including that of Gary Kasparov - the ex-world chess champion. It is clear chess will also no longer be tolerated. In other news Moscow's council has decided to uphold a ban on the streets of the city prevented Gay Pride marches for taking place for the next 100 years, so this will be something to look forward to in 2113.

From all I can see Russia is not acting like China or North Korea... it is merely acting like Russia. People who choose to speak out are usually punished and censored. The sentences were indeed harsh but for some in the religious community it apparantly seemed too lenient. Freedom of speech has always come at a price and the three girls from Pussy Riot paid dearly for doing what the felt was right. Martyrs are created every day but it is up to those of us left free to carry on their message. I feel the judges felt they had avoided martyrdom by giving a more 'lenient' sentence of 2 years than that of the maximum 7 years... but you could see from the girls bitter smiles they knew what they had become... 

If you live in Russia at the moment perhaps you should avoid setting up a band, or speaking out or apparantly even being proud to be gay... oh and playing chess... these four seem very big taboos at the moment... on the other hand... Freedom of Speech comes at a price... but it also buys you something...

Roy Woodhouse - Twitter

Monday, 13 August 2012

Anti-Social Media!

As is written in the title we live in a world where people like Lady Gaga and Ricky Martin hold more appeal for the public than the leader of Buddhism... I don't think I can actually articulate just how fucking disappointed this makes me! I don't know why I care... I don't even know why I'm surprised... but then to be fair Ricky did have some pretty catchy tunes in the early 90s and when was the last time the Dalai Lama got to number one...

Ok... so Bill Hicks would probably turn in his grave but apart from crimes against my ears Ricky Martin hasn't actually done that much wrong... he makes shit tunes and collects money, kudos to him on the grounds that he never really has to consider taking a bollocks sales job to make the ends meet! In fact Ricky is nigh on my hero compared to some people on Twitter... or twatters as they should be known as!

I happened to stumble across the supportive words of Kenneth Tong who took it upon himself to make quips at the expense of the tragedy of Gary Barlows stillborn child Poppy. I make bad jokes, some too close to the wire that even I wince... but never would I delve to this level... I try and leave a little bit of soul in my jokes... or integrity... take what you will...

Men down the pub on a saturday evening wouldn't make these jokes... and the justiification... he wants to create a re-action and get famous again... cause he can't live without the fame levels of a Big Brother season 74 celebrity! The ironic thing is by scribbling this blog I'm helping him... so why is there no campaign for people to stop following and his number of followers are now nearing 180k?...

I have a funny suspicion that if Hitler were alive today he wouldn't bother writing Mein Kampf, no fuck it he'd just tweet his bile or how about instead of an ice pick through the head Trotsky and Stalin might have a twitter row... this fantastic platform allows two things... people to write more mundane shit I don't want to know and also allow dickheads to get famous... (please follow me on twitter) - we live in a world where people write their number of followers on their CV to impress new employers...

If the trend keeps going then pretty sure Mr Tong will soon have more followers than the Dalai Lama... why does this depress me? Because if you have a soul it should... please if have the time... follow the Dalai Lama... or Ricky Martin... they have equally interesting messages...