Sunday, February 10, 2008

In the BTI mailbox

Thank Kali the first rays of spring have arrived. Now maybe smokers will shut their stinking gobs about the smoking ban. All winter, it's been all you hear every time you stroll past a pub: smokers on the pavement, "Facking ban...shit, it's freezing...makes you wonder why we bother...nah, I'm hardcore, I'd go out in a Force 12 gale for a tab, so help me..". I don't see what all the fuss is about, I don't know anyone who goes outside for a smoke. Most landlords seem to be oblivious to the number of dog ends floating around the urinals. Why, just last night, I was having a drink in the Hawley Arms in Camden and I lit up a Marlboro Light 'for old time's sake', in the corner of the frickin' bar itself. Don't think anyone noticed, it's quite dingy in there at the best of times.

ANYWAY, now's the time I sift through the BTI MAILBOX, and share some of the correspondence I receive. It's not much of a payback, but it does warm the old cockles for a few fleeting seconds.

My first entry actually came via snail mail. Someone sent me a page torn from the defunct record collecting mag "Spiral Scratch" (dated 1992). One side has adverts for 'newly released' UK Subs CDs, the other's an ad for a 'new' Manic Street Preachers single and some 2nd hand mail order firm in Northern Ireland called Plastic Fantastic. God knows who sent it, or why, but it's quite depressing to see that, even back then, dealers were trying to charge £15 for a "RARE P/S COLOURED VINYL" copy of an Orange Juice 7".

Who actually buys test pressings, anyway? I suspect that John Eden might have sent this, as it was posted second class. Anyone who knows the notorious Stoke Newington tight-arse will confirm that this is one of his more deplorable traits. Yeah yeah, fuck speed and modernity for the sake of, what, an extra 9p? If it was Eden, this bizarre missive just confirms my opinion that he's beginning to seriously lose his marbles. The last I heard, he was talking about making the entire third issue of 'Woofah' zine a tribute to Blazin' Squad. Yes, tell me about it! Unfortunately my idea for a role-playing game where you play a riot cop trying to win promotion by nicking people at Luton Carnival was knocked back for being 'racist' and 'puerile', but look out for "Woofah" 2, cos I've scribbled some rubbish about Ninjaman in that one. And Woebot's done another bonkers cartoon, so I hear.

OK, back to the inbox. And here's some sage bananas from

Dear BTI, I read your 'how to pull' tips, what you forgot to mention is the really good 'starbucks trick' which is good. You go to the starbucks on tottenham court road at six o clock pm in the evening, there are always single girls inside having a coffee. They sit on separate tables and often read things, I notice not many men go inside, those who do are geeks and read books or use laptops. Also maybe you can publish this (please credit the idea to me tho) call it 'starbucks book reading', as women like men who can read (less likely to hit them etc)

When I was a brat, I used to go to Brent Cross Shopping Centre, intending to pull myself a Jewish princess, carrying a copy of Zola's ultra-dreary La Bete Humaine (the English translation, obviously: the only French I know is "JE SUIS LE GARCON BOUCHER, VOTRE TAPIS EST MERDE, OU EST MA MERE, A LE SYNDICAT D'INITIATIVE? A LA PISCINE? OUI, CROQUE MONSIEUR, ELLE EST UNE FICTION DE LA NUIT"). I thought that sitting in the middle of this capitalist maelstrom - this North West London temple of gluttony and insatiable suburban desire - reading far out witterings about a psychopathic cuckold derailing a train, I'd get to meet a girl who'd never heard of Poundstretcher. But no, the daughters of affluence just clicked and swished past me. They were too busy raiding John Lewis for non-stick pans with diamond-encrusted handles, crystal cut glass dildos, seal-skin bean-bags, monkey-skull pot pouri holders. Facelifts galore and their brats, punishing husbands and dads by maxing out their Visa cards. Man, there was no room for the visionary poet in these surroundings.

So why do you imagine that Starbucks - the braindead slugs who charge way over the odds for 'cappucinos' that'd start a bloody riot if served in Italy - the same posse of fuckmuppets so utterly devoid of taste that they actually helped gormless, senile, wife-bashing bore Paul McCartney to release an album - to be any different?

If you want to pull using a book, go to a library. Library assistants have very boring jobs, imagine being approached 12 times a day by old grannies who smell of wee, asking you if you've got any more Danielle Steele novels ("HIGH-CULTURALIST! CLASSIST FILTH!" - A DISGRUNTLED READER). Even if you haven't got any decent chat up lines, I think they'd appreciate the effort. J.G Ballard is pretty safe ground for an opening gambit - he's not "Wooh, bugger the hangin' sailor boy, ACI-EED!" wacky like Burroughs was, and nobody will believe you if you say you like Finnegan's Wake by Joyce. Libraries are great for awkward or shy paramours too, because you're supposed to be quiet inside them anyway! Just avoid football hooligan memoirs at all costs. And don't be like that mad bloke who got arrested for crawling under the table like a big mole, trying to fondle a student girl's feet. I know St Thomas Aquinas once said "No difference twixt the foot and fannie - least not for a kick in the cunte!", but it's not a good look.

Unfortunately Geeta Dayal's stopped emailing me rude JPEGs these days, so on to our second and final email entry. I'm indebted to **** ******** of SpaceWatch for sending me this sinister press release - a timely warning of what the imperialist space-colonising bastards are up to. As you may know, SpaceWatch evolved from the West Hendon branch of the Association of Autonomous Astronauts (AAA), who later had their name besmirched by one member deciding to form the neo-nazi space exploration agency Satellite 88. But the rest of them were OK, even if their activities resulted in little more than a tubeline pub crawl one rainy Tuesday night. Here is the press release:

SAN JOSE, California (AFP) — Odyssey Moon from the Isle of Man stepped forward Thursday as the first private team intent on exploring the moon and claiming Google's 30-million-dollar Lunar X Prize.

Google announced the prize in September, challenging entrepreneurs to "re-conquer the moon" and launch a "Moon 2.0" era of private lunar visits and enterprises.

"People have not really thought through the potential the moon represents," Odyssey Moon chairman Ramin Khadem told AFP after the team's public debut at the Space Investment Summit in San Jose, California."The moon is the eighth continent and we need to exploit it in a responsible way. We want to win the Google prize and, if we do, that will be gravy. But either way we are going to the moon."

Google partnered with the X Prize Foundation, which promotes private space exploration, to offer the prize.
The 30-million-dollar offer to the first private team to make it to the moon is good until 2012, when the amount of money drops to 25 million. All the prize money is taken from the table in 2014 if unclaimed.

"The Moon is a stepping stone to the rest of the solar system and a source of solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems that we face on Earth -- energy independence and climate change," Google says in a posting on its website."Already, governments from around the world recognize the importance of lunar exploration."

The Google X Prize promises 20 million dollars to the first team to land a privately-funded craft on the moon, move it at least 500 meters and send "Mooncast" video back to Earth.Millions more dollars in "bonus prizes" can we won by completing additional tasks on the moon.Odyssey Moon is the first team to pay the 10,000-dollar registration fee and qualify to compete.

"We hope the announcement will motivate and inspire even more teams to enter this race," said X Prize Foundation chairman Peter Diamandis."I think that people are beginning to stand up and take notice of the fact there are a lot of very smart millionaires and billionaires investing in space."

The roster of technology entrepreneurs backing private space exploration includes Google founders Larry Page and Serge Brin; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and founder Jeff Bezos, Diamandis notes.
"Explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries who set out to find new worlds were probably asked why they were doing it," Khadem said. "Look at the riches and wonders they discovered."

Odyssey Moon is an international partnership that began the project about three years ago."Ours will be a small robot," Khadem said, explaining his team's mission is modest in comparison to manned space travel funded by national governments."We are out to complement, not compete with, China, Russia and the US."
Khadem envisions solar power farms on the moon to help sate mankind's hunger for affordable energy. He also sees the moon as a staging ground for deeper space missions.

"I think the returns can be enormous," said Khadem, who is also chairman of the International Space University.
Odyssey Moon has hired Canadian technology firm MDA as its prime contractor on the project.
The Isle of Man, a crown dependency of Britain, has crafted its laws and tax structures to attract private space exploration businesses, according to its director of space commerce, Tim Craine.

"If you tell people you have offshore banking they nod," Craine said. "But if you say your home to a space program you ignite their interest."

SMASH THE SPACE COLONISTS! You know it makes sense. Right, that's it, a page from a 16-year old newspaper and two emails? Ah, sod the lot of you, I'm off for a fag.
Hehe, I'm from the Isle of Man and I'm going to space! Still no word on my flying car or personal jetpack though...
Did this blog come up on an 'Isle of Man' search? I've been trying to become number 1 google search for How to Be a Professional Disc Jockey by David See for a while now, but it's not working. But maybe David See comes from the Isle of Man, in which case he might see this after all. Do you lot still hang gays?
"Did this blog come up on an 'Isle of Man' search?" - yeah, bizarrely you're #6 if you Google against "The Isle of Man" and "David See."
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