Monday, April 28, 2008


My attitude to the revolution's always been very simple: when it all kicks off and Westminster's reduced to a smouldering ruin, give me a shout, I'll be down the pub. It's just all the waiting around and theorising that turns me off. I want to see Parliament Square ablaze, like some demented Bosch triptych - forgive me if I take a raincheck on the meetings about who's sorting out the sandwiches for the barricades. The way I see it, if you arrange some work with a removals firm, it's your responsibility to wrap up the crockery and secure all your Italian new wave rarities in a sturdy packing crate. Don't blame the man with the van if your priceless Dennis the Menace mug gets smashed in transit because you couldn't be bothered to wrap it up properly in a moth-eaten Jesus & Mary Chain T-shirt. Do you understand where I'm coming from? You've read Trotsky, Marx and Zizek, I haven't, so YOU work out how it all leads up to a molotov-fuelled prole riot, sweeping gleefully down the Mall in a carnival of communist devastation - and, once you're ready to go, give me a buzz on the mobile.

I've got a vested interest in smashing the state and aborting the system: I'm still pissed off over being forced to cough up my TV license fee last year. As a result, I've been spending hours watching BBC programmes, just to ensure I get my money's worth. I've become au fait with utter tripe like Falcon Beach and Newsnight Review, not to mention John Craven's Countryfile. But worst of all's been some junk called Last Man Standing, which had me screaming infernal obscenities at the idiot box like God himself wouldn't believe.

Basically, for anyone who hasn't seen it, here's the 'concept': six Western ponces get to fly around developing countries, where they compete against local indigenous tribes in various tests of endurance. The ponces are drawn from the UK (( a 'spiritually attuned' hippie plonker, a Brummie kickboxer and some Oxbridge toff) and the US (( an amiable but thick muscleman, a BMX racer with a mental age of 4 and some Alaskan personality void)). The Corporation could have sent these jokers down the Red Cow in Peckham at closing time to assess how fucking 'tough' they are, and squandered my money on something semi-interesting instead - but, oh no - as if these tribes hadn't suffered enough under decadent Western capitalist exploitation, they now had to accommodate this bunch of preening dickwits as well.

Still, there seemed plenty of scope for serious injury and bloodshed, so I gave it a go. Christ, what a disappointment. One of their first 'challenges' was to take part in a ZULU STICK FIGHTING competition - which, the presenter droned, can easily result in fatalities. The camera then honed in on a black bloke lying in the grass with his head split open, gushing torrents of claret into the yellowing grass. Great, I couldn't wait for the Zulu experts to batter these turds into the witchdoctor's hut! "WHITE MAN, PERISH!" I roared at the screen every time one of the nobheads popped up, churning out sub-Apprentice gush, like "I don't believe in losing - I'm here to win", "I'm gonna kick his ass..I'm at my peak, so I just need to stay mentally focused now..." and"I'm doing this to make my family proud" (what a cunt!). The thought of the toff having his skull fractured under an almighty blow from a swooshing Zulu stick made me so excited I had to dash into the kitchen, to crack open a bottle of Guinness and a packet of smokey bacon.

Ah no, twas not to be - the ponces all got away with nothing more serious than a few cuts and bruises. The only conclusions I could draw from this utter travesty were:

a) Zulu warriors are powder puffs


b) It was inevitable that, despite the Boy's Own bravado on offer, this fucking shambles of a show was never going to put the 'competitors' in serious danger. No headhunter or Mongolian wrestler's REALLY going to whack the living earwax out of some Western thrill-seekers who've greased a few police, military and government palms in order to get an armed escort into these remote areas ((that's how illegal miners and loggers operate, by the way, when they trespass on endangered tribes' land, raze their resources and leave toxic garbage strewn everywhere)).

Anyway - the only episode I found remotely joyous was the one on TROBRIAND CRICKET, which pisses all over the conventional game, involving some riotous voodoo dance routines. An hour-long documentary about this sport would have been good, but rather than fill us in with any detailed info on the rituals and their history, the programme makers simply sullied my TV screen with endless pop-ups of the whinging prats banging on about how exhausted they were! "I'm finding it hard...I'm just relying on my concentration and will power now.." the hippie wretch blurted, while what I howled by way of reply is too sick to relate to you on a Monday, dear browser - even by this blog's usual gutter-level standards. Surprise surprise, none of 'our' competitors got a lethal googly in the nads. In fact, by this point in the series, the only injuries I'd picked up on were a couple of blisters, a sore neck, a bruised rib and some heatstroke. Talk about swindling the license fee payer.

But - naively, I suppose you could call it - I held out a smidgeon of hope for some major calamity to befall at least one of the cretins before the dismal series ground to a halt. Perhaps on the last episode, where they went 'canoe racing', the hippie pillock would be torn to pieces by a discerning alligator, or suffer the agonising humiliation of having a candiru fish wriggle up his Jap's eye and munch upwards 'til it hit prostate gland. He fell in the water umpteen times, but pulled through the challenge unscathed. Shedding hot tears of frustration, I booted the TV set repeatedly until the picture went all funny and suddenly switched itself over to ITV.

And what has the casual viewer of Last Man Standing actually learnt? Indigenous tribes dress funny, eat weird things and have nothing better to do than bear children and devise wacky sports for mutilating one another. Still, you can't say the BBC's not consistent. Meanwhile, gold miners in Brazil are exposing Amazonian locals to TB and smallpox, polluting their dwellings and sexually assaulting women and children in the Yanomami tribe along the way...maybe the Beeb can find a couple of rugby-digging postgrads to head over and challenge them to a spot of front crawl...

Oh, and what was up with that fucking White series? I didn't hear a note of Skrewdriver once.
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