Tuesday, 31 January 2012

An evening with HENRY ROLLINS~!

GRRRRRRR, I'm a liar, etc.

n August of 1981, Henry Rollins left his job as manager of an ice cream parlour in Arlington, Virginia and got in the van of punk band Black Flag as their new vocalist, beginning a tour that carried him all over the world, continued through the life of his own Rollins Band and continues today as he performs his spoken word shows. The latest stop on this Mobius strip was London’s South Bank Centre, where a not quite sold out crowd was treated to an evening of ass-numbing proportions.

Rollins, resplendent as always in his customary black trousers and t-shirt combo, bounded onto the stage with the enthusiasm and energy of a man a fraction of his nearly 51 years. It seems that he is still an advocate of the Black Flag live performance aesthetic: there is not a wasted moment or movement during his two hours and forty seven minutes on stage. Two hours and forty seven minutes – that seem to pass in a trice – without moving from his mid-stage starting position, taking a drink or seemingly even pausing for breath. Despite his protestations – he states his anger is like his physique (“I work on it daily”) – it seems that Rollins has softened quite a bit over the years on the road, and rather than the full-blown ranting, sweating, “I’m a liar” polemics of old (though traces of them remain), his spoken word performances have become part stand-up comedy, part punk rock reminiscence and part outsider travelogue. In particular his accounts of visiting Korea and Tibet allow for many laughs and also personal stories of these Orwellian hotspots, allowing Rollins to prove that his angry outsider facade to be just that: a facade. Deep down, Henry Rollins is a people person, and you can feel that as he gives accounts of eating rats with field workers in India, dancing with cobra-wielding Christians in the deep southern United States, and mocking conservatives at his local supermarket. He is now more Victor Meldrew than Victor Von Doom, and he seems much happier for it.

Jesus wept: the Nineties man. The fucking Nineties.

I entreat that you catch him in performance in him while you can. You’ve just missed him in the UK and Ireland, but don’t worry: the van will swing around this direction again sooner than you think.The tour never ends, you see.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Even though I'm a big fan of the futuristic zero gravity sport HYPER -BOLE, the above statement strikes me as being a very grandiose claim. And yet the claim has been made by more than one person (most notably by this guy) that the mightiest pig in bap combo can be found not too far from Liverpool Street train station. Now, having been on a self-imposed meat ban for three weeks, it was decided that if I was going to break this dietary judgement error it was going to be done in dramatic fashion. Ever a fan of adventure (and swine flesh) I decided to put the outlandish claims of some fella I’d never even heard of to the test.


If you are of a mind to make this mighty Hajj yourself, follow these instructions to the letter. Deviate in the slightest and you will meet a sticky end, for, you see, this part of London village lies thick with peril. Creatures of myth and legend walk the streets and many inexperienced travellers have met a sticky end upon the rocks of Shoreditch High Street. Anyway, leave the station onto Liverpool Street and head left towards Spitalfields Market.

Stay the course lads, stay the course.   

You need to take a shortcut through the market itself so beware, my friends, beware that you do not listen to  the siren song of the hipster shitebags that dwell within.  For if you do, ye will be damned for all eternity (well, it will seem like an eternity) to listen to their tale of woe. And also about, you know, their new trousers, man, yeah?

Oh my god!!!! These trousers are like so tight yeah, that if i had any balls, right, you'd be able to see them.           
Once you pass through this abode of the damned your goal is in sight: ST JOHNS BREAD AND WINE.
LAND HO!!!!!!!
Once you get inside, you'll notice that it seems like the staff don't see you. Apparently this is because St. Johns Bread and Wine lies on the cusp of the nexus of all realities and it takes a while to sync up with the vibrational frequency their reality lies on. Either that, or it's because it's just after 9 on Sunday morning and they are all still mangled from the night before, so to be safe make sure not to feel fear or you will surely burn at their touch.

You need six dollars for WHAT?

The first thing you will notice is that everyone is having the bacon sandwich, chiefly because there is fuck all else on the menu (see above). Go with the herd here. You will not be disappointed.

Errrrrrr, that's a big fucking sandwich!
Remember that scene in the great outdoors where John Candy has to eat a 96-ounce steak? 

That'll do pig!!!!!

This is one big ass sandwich. It's not too much of a stretch to say that this sangwich very likely contains a full pig, and two whole breads. It's MASSIVE. The bread is baked in-house and the ketchup is homemade too. So fruity. So delicious.  So good. 
AIEEEEEE!!!! This giant sandwich will destroy us all!!!!!

As far as I am aware the claim is true: this is the best bacon sandwich in the parish. I give it my highest possible rating: OM NOM NOM 


Highest possible recommendation.  Tune in next week, when I pay a visit to "The  biggest slag in Essex".


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Death to the free Newspapers.

This is because I am in a foul mood today and need to vent .

I think I hate The Metro. No. Wait. I know I hate the Metro . I lie awake at night , with sweat glistening on my furrowed brow thinking that if I was good or decent man I would channel my meagre income into a worthy cause such as the destruction of The Metro by fire-bomb. I wish everyone who worked for it or even read it was dead. DEAD. That’s how much I hate it . I FUCKING HATE THE FUCKING METRO.

The Fucking Metro.
To explain to those not in the know The Metro is a free newspaper given out for free in cities with major transport networks. Did I mention that its free? well it is . Free as a bird . Or free leaflets in a magazine. Or like Free, the group. And I know its very poor form to complain about stuff you get for free , but I feel I must.

When I first moved to London and started reading it I thought that it was a great idea , a nice way to pass the time on your daily journey on the tube. Hurrah a free treat. Slowly but surely however it became the object of my loathing and I cant really explain it. Well, actually I can. It breaks down as follows:

5% crap stories copied off the Internet.
5% lazy journalistic platitudes, ( I'm talking to you, Arwa Haider).
5% completely inaccurate “ Facts”.
85% this douche bag: 

Colin Kennedy

Take a look at The Metros film review editor. Look at him with his greasy hipster shitbag haircut and his beady eyes .Look at his nice tie. LOOK AT HIM.

It was upon starting to read his film reviews that my opinion of this paper changed from vague indifference to raw naked burning hatred . Read some of this shit and hate as I hate.

Now part of the problem is that there is a newspaper to be turned out five days a week . I accept that. I also accept that this is most likely a combination of me  hating this “ London London Ra Ra Ra look at us aren’t we top , Innit?” spirit that they insist on , and some sort of man-period . And I know its not very big of me to take pot-shots at a free newspaper on a blog that statistically speaking no one reads but for FUCK sake have a bit of pride in your work lads. Seriously . A full page on a month old video from you tube about a cat fighting an alligator?  Or maybe I'm wrong , and its all fine.

Front page news, apparently.

I challenge you,The Metro. I challenge you to up your  game. I challenge you Colin . I challenge you  to turn out a review of a comic, sci fi or genre film without using the terms" nerd" or "geek" . I challenge you to write a review that doesn’t read as if you have not in fact seen the film but read the wikipedia article and guessed at it. I challenge you!!  Also are you the same Colin Kennedy who edits Empire?

I've been sending abusive texts to their text section for over a year. They have yet to print one. I am stalking several of their writers on the Internet.

I need help.

I'm going to bed now.

And don't get me started on the Evening Standard


Ps. I quite like the quiz and puzzles.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Operation: Man Tit Get Rid of Week 2.

First update on this.

My weight according to the scale at school is 83.7 kg. According to Boots in Hackney High Street 85.8. Its a Start. I have forsaken meat now for 16 days . No appreciable change in disgusting cleavage or massive gut ( which maintains its appearance of an out of date Milky Bar Easter egg).
In the last 13 days I have two cups of coffee, my life as a result of this is a LIVING HELL. In the last 7 days I have had ten units of boozeahol. Last week I visited the gym 4 times averaging 26 mins per time. Which is pathetic. Will update you again next Sunday. If I can be bothered.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Stewart Lee is a British Comedy Award winning LIAR

During my lifetime I have had exactly three discourses with my favourite comedian, Stewart Lee. For those of you who are currently asking "who?", below are two pictures of him: one in 1996 when he was working with Richard Herring on the BBC, and one from 2005 after he had finished eating Richard Herring.

So Young.

Anyway, the first of these discourses took place in 1995, when I sent a retarded fan letter to his Radio 1 show and received a very nice reply that I now realise was written by Richard Herring. The second was at a live show in the Playhouse in Derry in 2005, when he described a conversation that HE had instigated with me about the Incredible Hulk as "boring". The third was via email in 2007 and went as follows:

From : Ciaran Flanagan
To : Stewart Lee
Subject : Chippington Article

Stew, just wanted to congratulate you on the excellent Ted Chippington article in this weeks Guardian Guide. Any chance of a similar article on the " Super Moby Dick of Space " as mentioned  in your Alan Moore interview ?

From : Stewart Lee
To : Ciaran Flanagan
Subject: Chippington Article


Which was fair (and funny) enough. The Super Moby Dick of Space was something that was brought up in an interview with comics legend (and Catweazle lookalike) Alan Moore on Radio Four as a long forgotten but interesting comics curio. I was obviously being a twat in asking about it. He answered in kind.

Big Up to my boy Glycon

However, Mr Lee, if that is true then explain THIS:



Anyway, I'm off to see the man this week and I can't wait because he is ace and fab. And buy his new book too. Available here. The Alan Moore interview is here.




Next time you read a thoughtful article in a broadsheet newspaper about how 'graphic novels' are now serious literature, take a look at the American comic books of the fifties and sixties and remind yourself how far we, as a civilization, have come.
Pitiful four-colour daubs picture infantile, underwear clad simpletons, barely capable of reasoned thought, in battle with absurd aliens, deranged versions of their future selves, and cackling pantomime villains. It seemed as if these comics were written solely for the amusement of children, and it's impossible to imagine that within a few decades comics would have evolved to offer us the sophisticated geo-political travelogues of Joe Sacco (Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine, Walking With Israelis) the brutal scatological and religious satires of Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys, God's Cunts) and the erotic mysticism of Alan Moore (Promethea, Lost Girls, Perfumed Emissions).
But they did. How?

The Super Moby Dick of Space, actually a cumbersome astro-fish and not a cetacean at all, appeared only once in the comics universe, in a May 1965 edition of DC's Adventure Comics Featuring Superboy and The Legion Of Super-heroes (issue 332), and was clearly written in the not insignificant shadow of Herman Melville's definitive American novel, Moby Dick.
In The Super Moby Dick Of Space, a small fish is accidentally enlarged by one Dr Lampier, whereupon it flies into space to feast indiscriminately on metal ores. After The Super Moby Dick of Space gobbles up a space freighter, Lightning Lad battles it unsuccessfully, his injuries resulting in the amputation of his right arm. Dr Lampier gives Lighting Lad a new metal arm, ("This should give me the power to handle the Super Moby Dick", the Lad says.)
Then, like some kind of mad one-armed Captain Ahab in green tights, Lightning Lad vows secretly to destroy the Dick and leads the unwitting Legion Of Superheroes in its pursuit. A psychedelic, venom-induced vision stops the blood-crazed Lightning Lad slaying the Space Dick and eventually the innocent fish is shrunk back to its normal size.

From this précis, The Super Moby Dick of Space seems a typical example of the kind of accidentally surreal comic book landfill of the era (1).
But it is more than that. So much more. For The Super Moby Dick of Space is perhaps a key, if rarely acknowledged, element in the process by which comics have evolved from the pathetic scribbles of the post-war era, once consumed, as explained earlier, only by infants and those with poor reading skills, to the sophisticated graphic literature of today, stocked in best bookshops, and discussed in broadsheet newspapers, usually under the heading 'Comics Have Grown Up!'

And the seismic tremors that The Super Moby Dick of Space's writer Edmond Hamilton set in motion, when he first mixed the highbrow world of literature, in the form of his own fantastic re-imagining of Herman Melville's enormous sea-dwelling metaphor for human hubris, with the clanking world of dimbo comic book idiocy, are still being felt today.
However simplistic its depiction, Lightning Lad's obsessive, one-armed quest for the Dick chimed with the same philosophical truisms that Melville coaxed from Ahab's obsession. How many of Hamilton's previously passive readers must suddenly have felt themselves stirred by thoughts of the Super Dick into a quiet contemplation of what it meant to be human?
Hamilton's The Super Moby Dick Of Space began the process of saving comics from themselves. Hamilton taught the genre ambition. He taught the comics scribes of the future to chase their own white whales. But who was he?

Born in 1904, Hamilton's golden era was the twenties and thirties when he wrote, prolifically, for Farnsworth Wright's seminal Weird Tales magazine, alongside other favorites like HP Lovecraft, Jack Williamson and Robert E Howard.
By the forties, as Science Fiction became more sophisticated, Hamilton's Flash Gordon style space operas seemed dated, and in 1946 he began a twenty year stint penning stories for DC comics, then as now a publisher known for its charitable acceptance of once ambitious writers who had failed in more highbrow areas of literature.
But lest we should dismiss Hamilton as a hack, and the genius of The Super Moby Dick Of Space as a mere fluke, bear in mind these three key points in his defence.

1) After a few years writing the adventures of Lightning Lad, Captain Future and such like, Hamilton's own prose work was, according to sci-fi experts, showing increasing signs of sophistication, culminating in 1960's philosophically inclined novel, The Haunted Stars, still highly regarded today.

2) Like many male comic book writers, Hamilton was romantically entwined with a more talented female partner, whom one must assume had influenced his work. In 1946, Hamilton married the acclaimed, snow obsessed, science fiction author Leigh Brackett, eventually to become the screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back, conspicuously the only one of the original Star Wars trilogy in which the dialogue is anything more than just the phrase "I've got bad feeling about this" repeated over and over again.
Stan Lee says it was his wife that urged him to give his crazy Spider-man and Fantastic Four ideas a shot.
It's a reasonable presumption that Brackett's encouragement might have given Hamilton the confidence to act on his ambitious The Super Moby Dick Of Space vision, despite the apparent restrictions of the comics genre.

3) In his essay Herman Melville : Space Opera Virtuoso , the Nebula award winning Science Fiction writer John Kessell describes how the young, would-be pulp magazine contributor Herman Melville corresponded with contemporaries like Fritz Leiber, Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester and Edmond Hamilton. Edmond Hamilton! Stumbling across this essay on the internet, everything suddenly made sense. Perhaps Hamilton and Melville had cooked up Moby Dick together, Melville using the idea as the basis for the great American novel, Hamilton using it as the basis for the comic book that changed everything. Except of course the dates don't work.
Moby Dick was published in 1851, Melville died before Hamilton was born, and on closer inspection Kessell's piece is a delightful alternate history fantasy in which Melville invents modern science fiction in 1920s New York with his novel The Wail.
Kessell posits this Melville's Ahab as the captain of the Independent Research Ship Peascod, and he is able, "through alien symbiosis, to detect the forces that move behind the "pasteboard mask" of matter."

But behind the pasteboard mask of Kessell's temporarily misleading fiction, behind the fact that Melville and Hamilton did not know each other at all, and could not have done, lies a strange coincidence, which suggests Hamilton was the natural inheritor of Melville's visionary innovations, whether he knew it or not. When Melville wrote Moby Dick, the sea was the unknown, the limit of man's understanding of the physical world, the perfect location upon which to float the gigantic symbol that is the unknowable white whale. For Hamilton's generation it was space.
But maybe Melville saw this shift of focus coming, a shift eventually accelerated by Lightning Lad's grapple with a Dick of his own.
Melville's last novel was 1957's The Confidence Man. His prose was largely unappreciated during his lifetime and he lived out the rest of his days as a customs officer, and occasional poet, dying uncelebrated in 1891. But Melville's notebooks show that he was still at work on unfinished ideas, and that he was also a great reader of contemporary writers. An 1866 journal shows Melville clearly spellbound by Jules Verne's recently published From The Earth To The Moon, making notes comparing the sea to space itself, the frustrated and forgotten writer envisioning 'dark waves of black air', 'a white surf of starlight', and 'a voyage to the unknown suns, destined to remain unending'.
And, perhaps aware of Francis Godwin's 1599 proto-sf fantasy, The Man in the Moone, or a Discourse of a Voyage thither, in which basket-harnessed geese carry a passenger into space, Melville had begun to make some very strange sketches; - pencil drawings of a whale, borne to the stars by vast flocks of birds tied to its fins, its jaws snapping at manned, pencil-shaped cylinders.
But why? What was Melville trying to say? Was this space-borne Dick an attempt to extend the metaphor of the white whale in a medium Melville knew would soon be universally appropriate? And was this an attempt that Edmond Hamilton eventually and intuitively completed, one hundred years later?
Melville's Moby Dick gave the Great American Novel vast and unprecedented depths. Hamilton's The Super Moby Dick Of Space began the same process for the Great American Comic Book. Neither writer was given any credit for what he had done in his lifetime.

During his second and final attempt to slay the Super Dick, Lightning Lad is pictured in a wild-eyed visionary state, Dick venom from the wound that severed his arm finally having made its way through his bloodstream to his brain.
He pictures the Dick at the centre of a vast cosmos of interrelated beings, and realises that his intended vengeance is an offence to nature. "Everything that lives is holy," he observes, trembling, "energy is eternal delight." With these words, quoted presumably deliberately by Hamilton from William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, Hamilton not only assimilates the lessons of Melville's Moby Dick, but arguably improves upon them, plugging the novel into a wider consciousness of ecstatic moral relativism that Melville only hinted at.
And, on a perhaps less profound note, he showed those who were watching - Alan Moore included, I should imagine - just what comics might one day be capable of.

(1) To be fair, there are other moments of incidental brilliance in the story, such as 'The World Of Dead Robots' that Lightning Lad briefly flies over in his spaceship. "Those huge mechanical giants, created to serve humans, revolted and drove their masters away.
Then, unable to repair themselves, they gradually stopped running and 'died'.", the lad observes of the rotting robots, depicted by the artist John Forte as resembling the denizens of some now abandoned Soviet era sculpture park.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

I hope Dolph Lungdren doesn't read this.

I’ve started taking an ass-load of supplements and stuff as part of my “un-eating all the pies and not being such a lazy bastard who fulfils none of his potential “ stratagem . I’ve got all the usual gubbins: Multivitamins Cod liver oil etc. But in a misjudged moment in the local Holland & Barrett, while I was searching in vain for red skin peanuts ( CURSE YOU HOLLAND AND BARRETT), I happened upon some Ginkgo Bilbao which boldly claimed to “ support mental focus and memory.” 

Now I have no problem with long term memory in fact I can sing you the theme tune to a TV show that hasn’t been on TV in 25 years no problem.

Fogg, I'm the one who made the bet, now I'm sure I'll be exactly right on timmmeeee.

Short term? Err , Not so much. I am , how you say, a wee bit catty. As for mental focus it pretty safe to say that I have a very short attention spa OOOHHHH SHINY. So anyway I decided to try some of this snake oil for the hell of it.

Or a big, fat placebo!  It's all the same crap!

NOW.I'm usually sceptical about stuff like this . It’s only been four days but....I think it might be working. Not completely as in I remember EVERYTHING ( although I keep remembering what a ballbag I am at inappropriate times ), but two or three times so far I've taken strange notions to go somewhere ( for example , the fridge) , with no idea why and then when I get there I remember something I was supposed to . Might just be a coincidence or......


Johnny mnemonic is a 1995 film in which Keanu Reeves plays a man who carries data around in his head. Even if you've seen it you've probably forgotten it . Sadly , i can never forget.  It is an horrible film . Shame on all involved . Sorry Henry

Ill keep you posted.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Operation: Man Tit Get Rid Of.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

I of course realise that as a New Year's message that this is coming both a day late and a dollar short, but in this instance there is a method to my indolence. I wanted my first post of the year 2012 (eeek the world's going to end etc) to be a mission statement for my behaviour and efforts over the next 12 months, and it was important to me that this missive not get lost in the whirl of soon-to-be-broken promises and end-of-year platitudes. It definitely wasn’t because I couldn’t be bothered. Really. I swear. Honest.

Over the last two months of 2011 I became EXTREMELY lazy. I didn’t mean to, it just kind of happened. New job duties, plus finally getting a proper house (someday I'll talk about my hostel days, someday soon.) meant I was knackered in the evening so I just gave up. My diet and exercise regime went to SHITE, and my Herculean booze consumption did not help.

The results of this were twofold: I did nothing and I became fat. I knew this to be the case as my sister told me so on Christmas day as I was making fun of Adele for being a fattie. This is unacceptable. Therefore this blog will become a forum for me  and you the almost-but-not-quite hypothetical reader) to track my progress in getting my writing output way up, and my weight way down. I will also become less lazy in terms of performing comedy as it is now nearly two years since I moved here with a view to performing stand up at least once a week and, thus far have managed exactly one gig (which went very well, thank you for asking).
  • At least once a week I’ll check in with my "Operation Man Tit Get Rid Of" ( working title).
  • I'll post at least one graphic novel or comic review per week.
  • I'll post one other thing of at least 500 words per week.
  • I'll check in with three other short pieces per week. This will chiefly consist of thoughts, pictures, or (more realistically) stupid stuff that happens me at school.
  • I'll loose ten percent of my body weight before the summer (hopefully in the form of disgusting adipose tissue that currently resides around my chest area in a grotesque parody of womanhood).
  • I will gig each month at the number of the month ( 1 in January etc.).
  • I will give my liver a break.
That doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch, now does it?

I rely on you, one of the <7 people who pass through here every day, to kick me up the hole .

For the record: my current weight is either 85 kg ( according to the school gym scales) or 86.5 ( Boots in Hackney Central).

I have forsworn meat (7 days currently) and caffeine (4 days), and booze is on the way out.

I visited the gym four times this week (and humiliated myself).