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Angry people

There's a fairly atrocious advert doing the rounds on commercial radio at the moment. In it, a man with a warm Northern voice (the voices are always warm and Northern for ads of this ilk) extols the virtues of sitting round the kitchen table and airing your differences over a proprietary brand of convenience food (which, for obvious reasons I won't name - not least because I'm always too busy boggling at how bad the ad is to actually notice who it's for). Maybe you say dinner, or maybe you say tea, it says, but you can still shove our fat-sodden shite into your uncritical maw (I paraphrase). Leave or remain sort of differences, it says, cheerfully exploiting the imminent collapse of the country to sell chips (which seems fitting, to be fair). The message, as I understand it, is that it's good to talk stuff out, and preferably do so over some poor quality food. Whilst I can't subscribe to the latter part of their message, I do enthusiastically endorse the first …
Recent posts

The decline of Western Civilisation as evidenced by the tea available in the Morrison's Cafe.

One of the less edifying aspects of the culture wars in which we find ourselves more or permanently (and tiresomely) embroiled in these fervid times is the concept of keeping it real. That is to say, "authentic". A peculiarly modern notion which sniffs at any evidence of artifice, of pretension, of (whisper it) thinking you're better than other people. It is this tendency which makes Love Island the love that dares speak its name loud and long, and woe betide you if you think it's a bit rubbish. It is this tendency which saw poor old Lucy Mangan get pilloried on Twitter for admitting that she'd never seen Dirty Dancing. Get back in your ivory tower, you speccy pseuds, you're not REAL.

In a country where the PM derides a recent predecessor as " a girly swot" and popular culture is celebrated and seriously engaged with as never before, it is indeed a brave person who sticks their head above the parapet to criticise any aspect of the quotidian. Because…

The tragedy of Boris

Cast your mind back to those hazy, pre-referendum days, when all we had to worry about was whether or not our Prime Minister had put his penis in a dead pig's mouth. They were innocent, pre-lapsarian days, and on one of them, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson sat at a great desk, dappled with the late spring sunshine and wrote two essays.

Utilising all of his famed powers of rhetoric, and employing his considerable gifts for applying the lessons of the Classics to a modern milieu, this acolyte of Pericles, the great soldier-statesman, applied his vast intellect to the problem of Leave vs Remain. Long, long into the night he wrote, evaluating each case forensically, weighing the pros and cons of each outcome, projecting their ramifications and repercussions down the ages before finally deciding, with a heavy heart, that the case for Leave was unanswerable, and he must go against his great friend for the good of the nation. It was a tragedy which was pleasingly Greek in its scope, …

A fresh start

Sometimes an idea has a moment, and one which I have heard floating around a lot recently is the concept of an autumn reset (there's probably a piece to be written on how, in this information saturated and algorithmic age, it's unsurprising that you hear a few people talking about the same thing at the same time, but this isn't it) or fresh start to the year. I was reading an article (which I won't link to, as frankly it was too stupid an idea to deserve the clicks) which was pushing the idea of autumn as being the ideal time for this, a new you, a reset after the excesses of summer. The reason ran thus: it's the start of the academic year, freesh starts for kids and young adults, why not for the older ones, too? To which I can only reply: New year's resolutions are a bad enough idea in January, why on Earth would you want to do them again?

To which, of course, the only reasonable response is that nobody ever got poor by copying. The attempts to rebrand Easter …

Only the pure

Now, this may come as something of a shock, but according to the internet, Caroline Lucas is a Nazi, who knew?

That's right, this country's one and only Green MP, the sole Parliamentary representative of a party which even the Labour Party routinely dismisses as flaky, the epitome of everything that hard-headed political animals like to deride as woolly-thinking, woke, soft, unfit for governance is, as it turns out, marginally to the right of Goebbels. This, it's needless to say, is something of a considerable turn-up for the books; those who thought Lucas was more interested in renewable energy than mass incineration of her enemies have been exposed as hopelessly, wilfully naïve.

Her crime, of course, is the suggestion of a temporary Cabinet formed to stop a no-deal Brexit. A short-lived government of national unity to exist purely to guide us through what promises to be the choppiest waters yet seen in the whole farce that Cameron set in motion all those years ago (yes, …

Sovereignty

I'll say one thing for the six-lane pile-up which passes for UK political life these days, it's given me a bunch of entertaining stuff to blog about. Indeed, with the hounding from office of Kim Darroch, the UKs ambassador to the US, it appears we've reached an exciting new low in what, when it comes to be written, the definitive history of these benighted times will probably refer to as A Series of Hideously Embarrassing Events, in which the poor, orphaned, put-upon electorate are repeatedly forced to bury their heads in their hands and sob whilst an army of Count Olafs fuck about with their future to serve their own political ends. Yes, even more embarrassing than those Animatronic zombie thundercunts from the Brexit Party who had as all gnawing our knuckles in gut churning angst last week with their utterly ridiculous back-turning nonsense (though in fairness half of them weren't really sure which way they were supposed to be facing anyway), and that was your dad da…

The dark ages

I had an interesting conversation with Mrs Coastalblog a couple of nights ago, which revealed a certain, hitherto-unrealised difference in the way we approach what we want to watch on those rare occasions when we're at home at the same time and there's nothing more pressing to do. Having been meaning to get round to it for ages, we finally sat down to check out the first episode of the Beeb's alternative-future drama, Years and Years. No spoilers here, because it's worth a watch and I wouldn't want to spoil it for you; but whilst we both agreed it was excellent, brilliantly acted and intriguingly plotted, I was all for watching another one, and she said that she never wants to see it again.

I was slightly surprised by this, as Mrs Coastalblog and I generally enjoy fairly similar things, and this was, she admitted, engaging, interesting, well-made telly; but over the course of our post-match analysis it emerged that the reason that she didn't want to see it agai…