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Home > Culture and Society

Recent Stories In Culture and Society
WAWIBF... Indonesian Porn
March 16, 2007
It's been a tough week for Erwin Arnada, editor-in-chief of the Indonesian imprint of Playboy. The magazine went on sale in the predominantly Muslim country last April, where it immediately began to rub people up the wrong way. And not in a good way...
Education: Reading Is A Class Issue
March 16, 2007
Alistair Campbell once criticised the media for being relentlessly cynical about the government. This was an amazing bit of double-think by Campbell, who came up with the 'dodgy dossier', but on a more general level it's often true, with the media putting a negative spin on *anything* the government does...
WAWIBF... Cocaine
March 16, 2007
Cocaine really does bring out the worst in people. Not only when they've sucked it into their bloodshot heads and turned into ranting egotists, but also when they're trying to sell it to other fools. A couple of stories this week featured people who have so very little brain, they make Winnie the Pooh look like Marvin the Paranoid Android...
Indiana Jones and the Absolutely, Positively Last Crusade
March 2, 2007
It was announced this week that filming of the new Indiana Jones movie will start in June. In preparation, 64 year-old Harrison Ford is spending three hours a day in the gym and eating a high protein diet. The poor bastard...
The TFT Guide To... The Angels of the South
March 2, 2007
This week plans were floated for statues and monuments to be erected by the main roads into London to celebrate life in our great capital city. It’s been suggested that the monuments could be modelled on the Angel of the North... As yet no decision has been made about what form the ‘Angels of the South’ should take, so TFT offers some suggestions...
Britain's Bookworms: Misanthropic and Death-Fixated
March 2, 2007
Jesus, Britain’s readers are a miserable, bitter bunch. Judging by the ‘100 books you can’t live without’ as voted for as part of World Book Day yesterday, we like our escapism full of death, grinding misery, war, death, disappointment, disfigurement and death. Take a look at the list...
D'You Wanna Be In My Gang? (No.)
February 23, 2007
According to the media, gang culture is taking over the UK. And it's true. Even as we write this, TFT has decided to reform itself as a gang ('Da Friday Boyz') with the intention of taking out our rivals in a series of bungled shootings. Sorry, but that's just the way it is, on da street. And in online publishing. Actually, we're growing deeply weary of 'gang culture'...
The TFT Guide to... Celebrity Breakdowns
February 23, 2007
If you're rich and famous, it seems to be compulsory to go a bit bonkers in public. The latest celeb to lose the plot is Britney Spears, who this week went on a tattooing spree and had all her hair shaved off for no apparent reason (possibly nits). But with so many famous people behaving strangely, TFT couldn't help but speculate about who's going to be next...
The Picture of Doreen Gray
February 23, 2007
'There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is the seven signs of ageing,' said Andie MacDowell. 'How sad it is!' murmured Doreen Gray with her eyes still fixed upon the 'realistic image' of the John Lewis department store's newly unveiled not-size-zero swimwear model. 'I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful...'
Children: Spare the Rock Painting, Spoil the Child
February 16, 2007
It's official: the kids are fucked. And not in a good way. This week a UNICEF report revealed that the UK's children are the poorest, fattest, most promiscuous, most pissed, most stoned, most dysfunctional and probably worst at Pictionary of most rich nations. The causes of all this childhood grief are clearly complicated, but...
The TFT Guide To... Sex Myths
February 16, 2007
This week a survey by the Family Planning Association discovered a worrying lack of knowledge about sex among adults, with a third believing douching, urinating or vigorous exercise would prevent pregnancy.... So what other myths about sex need to be dispelled? TFT obliges...
WAWIBF... Mosques and Mirrors
February 16, 2007
Apparently 60% of mosques in Britain don't allow women entry. Because, presumably, women are not as good as men. They're rubbish at chess, they talk too much, they bleed. And so on. Such was the discussion this week on Radio 4's Today programme. One of the guests said this...
WAWIBF... What Women Want
February 14, 2007
You women. No wonder you're all such a mess. No wonder your relationships are rubbish and you're always weeping in each other's arms and wondering what you did wrong. It's because you haven't got a bloody clue what makes men tick! Whenever something goes wrong, you run crying back to your girlfriends...
WAWIBF... Florida
February 11, 2007
Picture the scene. You're driving along, your young niece is in the car with you. She's somewhere between four and eight, let's say. Suddenly, she turns to you, innocent eyes all wide and pleading and she says to you, 'Aunty, what's a vagina?' What do you do?...
DVLA Confidential: The War Against Traffic-Charging
February 11, 2007
In an exclusive, we have received a video from the mastermind behind the recent spate of parcel bombings across the country. Here is a transcript... 'You, the British people, I talk to you today about the best way to avoid another catastrophe and about war...'
The TFT Guide to... The New Curriculum
February 11, 2007
This week it was announced that the secondary school curriculum is being modernised. Changes will include updating and diversifying the English literature reading list, teaching practical 'life skills', and offering the chance to learn languages such as Mandarin and Arabic...
Macs vs PCs: Geek Against Geek, Nerd Against Nerd
February 11, 2007
Ructions on the Internet this week as comedians Mitchell and Webb appeared in a series of adverts for Macs based on their characters in 'Peep Show'. Thus PCs (David Mitchell/Mark) are boring office computers, while Macs (Robert Webb/Jeremy) are fun music-and-pictures machines. Although why anyone would want a computer that's also a drugged-up, self-obsessed wanker isn't clear...
WAWIBF... Miss Plutonium
February 4, 2007
Your best friend says they’ve met someone. A special someone they think might actually be ‘the one’. You’re excited, naturally. You love your best friend and you really want them to be happy. You ask them what this new person in their life does for a living. What’s the worst thing they could say?...
Young Muslims: Oppressed and Lovin' It!
February 4, 2007
It’s easy to feel the world is against you. In fact, sometimes it seems to be the only logical explanation for events. You know the sort of thing: those days when your partner chucks you in favour of someone better, then, as you trudge tearfully home, you tread in dogshit...
WAWIBF... Dedication
February 4, 2007
Every now and then a story pops up in the quirkies about a person who is so keen to be recognised for something - *anything* - that they will hit upon an activity no one else wants to do (for the simple reason that it’s insane and utterly futile) and they’ll practise it, and they’ll master it, and by God, they’ll become the best...
True Brit: The Great Smell of Brutishness
January 26, 2007
On the matter of national pride we must turn, once again, to the Testament of Bill (Hicks). From the book of Rant In E-Minor, chapter 14: 'I was over in Australia, and got asked, "Are you proud to be an American?" 'I dunno, I didn't have a lot to do with it. My parents fucked there, that's about all. I was in the spirit realm at that time, trying to tell them, "Fuck in Paris! Fuck in Paris!" but they couldn't hear me, 'cause I didn't have a mouth. They fucked here.'...
Dad To Be Gay
January 26, 2007
Where would we be without gay people? Without Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, Gore Vidal or even Christopher Biggins, the world would most definitely be a poorer place, although the precise purpose of Pete Burns remains unclear. But this week it's been impossible to avoid the unpleasant row about whether Catholic adoption agencies should be forced to consider gay couples...
The TFT Guide to... Middle-Class Gambling
January 26, 2007
As the government continues its love affair with gambling, this week casino bosses revealed that they've got a whole new set of punters in their sights - the middle-classes... if the middle classes *do* take up gambling with the alacrity of the working and upper classes, what will be the result? TFT speculates...
New Labour, Old Techno-Bollocks
January 19, 2007
If you've worked in 'new media', you'll probably have found yourself listening to a load of ridiculous claims about the impact of new technology made by 25-year-olds in Next suits... e.g. 'People want to watch TV on their mobile phones. And when our crappy podcast hits the Chinese market, that's over *one billion viewers* straight away!'...
WAWIBF... Bad Prejudice
January 19, 2007
What a racist week it's been! Oy. It seems you couldn't turn around without someone being racist right in your face. Not only the 'three thick bitches' [Andrew Neil, yesterday] on 'Celebrity Big Brother', but everyone else from Swindon gangs to Janet Street-Porter - they were all at it. Allegedly. It's almost like there was something in the air. A nip, maybe...
The TFT Guide To... Big Celebrity Racists
January 19, 2007
Another triumph for Channel 4 this week as 'Celebrity Big Brother' became one of the most complained-about programmes in its history, guaranteeing massive ratings and pissing on Tony Harrison's 'V' in the controversy stakes. In the unlikely event that you missed the story, Jade Goody and other housemates were accused of racism...
WAWIBF... Roger Holyfield
November 3, 2006
On Saturday 17-year-old Roger Holyfield was wandering around Jerseyville, Illinois, carrying a bible and yelling out, 'I want Jesus!' So, naturally, local police shot him dead. There are three possible explanations for this. 1) They genuinely wanted to help him achieve his stated goal and chose merely to speed up the process. 2)...
The TFT Guide To... Global Warming
November 3, 2006
This week the government said it would push for a new international agreement on climate change after a report by Treasury economist Sir Nicholas Stern reiterated the need to cut carbon emissions. But what should you be doing to help save the planet? TFT advises...
WAWIBF... Political Correctness Gone Mad Gone Mad
November 3, 2006
According to an article in The Yorkshire Post this week, local council workers have been ordered not to use phrases such as 'chairman' and 'fireman', and moving someone's stapler has been compared with punching them in the face. Furthermore - and rather cleverly - use of the term 'It's political correctness gone mad' has been outlawed...
Sign of the (End of) Times
November 3, 2006
This week SUV-chomping, cigar-driving Californian governator Arnold Schwarzenegger stunned - well - everybody by announcing that he was focussing his next re-election campaign on environmental issues. Meanwhile, over on the East coast, draft-dodger George W. Bush was attacking decorated war veteran John Kerry for showing contempt for the American military...
WAWIBF... Crimes Against Nature
October 27, 2006
There can be few people in the world to have had a more humiliating, depressing time of it of late than the girlfriend of 44-year-old Michigan man, Ronald Kuch. First of all, her beloved black Labrador dog went missing. She didn't find out until four or five days later that he'd actually been hit by a car and was lying dead on a road in front of a nearby day centre...
Nature: Entertaining In Tooth and Claw
October 27, 2006
This week you may have seen the story 'Pelican eats pigeon', which was widely reported and which really is all you need to know. Except for where you can see the video... The pigeon was doing its usual pigeon stuff in St James' Park, i.e. eating McDonald's wrappers and fag ends, when the pelican walked up and ate it, apparently reducing nearby children to tears...
The TFT Guide To... Unsuitable Playthings
October 27, 2006
This week Tesco was in trouble after selling a pole dancing kit on the toys and games section of its website, with critics saying it was an inappropriate item for children. Rather than simply admit that an error of judgement had been made, the supermarket disingenuously claimed that the pole dancing kit had no sexual overtones, saying 'Pole dancing is an increasing exercise craze.'...But what other products are inappropriately being aimed at kids?...
Journojism: Saving the Planet One Cheap Flight at a Time
October 27, 2006
'Climate change: *Our* green paper' sneered The Independent's front-page headline yesterday in its familiar supercilious greener-than-thou style. It offered 'a more radical' alternative to what's expected to be Tony Blair's 'toothless' upcoming climate change legislation...
Sex Education: Don't Be A Muppet! Johnny Up!
October 27, 2006
This week the Institute for Public Policy Research floated the idea that kids as young as 10 should be taught about contraception in their final year at primary school. A study by the IPPR also found that British teenagers are the most sexually active in Europe. (Or at least the most likely to lie about it.)...
WAWIBF... Intelligence
October 20, 2006
...Obviously we at TFT don't really approve of murder. Not really. We like to think - as with war and indeed any violence - that there is always another option. But sometimes, perhaps there really isn't. And perhaps - just perhaps - the world would be a better place if someone did kill George Bush. Oh, and Dick Cheney of course. Oh, burst open, sweet brutal floodgates of barbaric instinct...
The TFT Guide To... Being Terror Target Number One
October 20, 2006
This week it was reported that the UK was 'number one' target for terrorism, with intelligence chiefs claiming that not only has Al Qaeda regrouped and become more powerful, but also that its attentions were focused on the UK... So how should we respond to yet another terror warning? TFT advises...
WAWIBF... Age Crimes
October 15, 2006
On the first of October the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations came into force. And wouldn't you just know it, already people are using the new law as an excuse to squeeze all the remaining joy out of life. Obviously the law was introduced in order that the same stringent levels of regulated fairness be applied to age as they already are to gender and race...
WAWIBF... Sex Crimes
October 15, 2006
...on Monday Peter and Jennifer went to court where senior magistrate John King'ori said this: 'Having sex in a mosque is a most abominable thing to religion and only a custodial sentence can add justice to this.' He then sentenced them to 18 months in prison. 18 months. In prison. For fuck's sake...
The TFT Guide To... Online Crime
October 15, 2006
This week the BBC highlighted the problem of online crime, reporting that computers can be attacked every 12 minutes by various online criminals. So how can you avoid being a victim of online crime? TFT advises...
Fear of Veilure
October 6, 2006
This week Jack Straw decided to add his two penn'orth to the amorphous debate about the Muslim 'community' and its relationship with the rest of society. Unfortunately, the relationship between the government and the Muslim community is increasingly resembling that between an earnest but clueless teacher and 'problem' teenagers...
The TFT Guide to... Children's Classics Updated
October 6, 2006
This week an authorised sequel to the children's classic 'Peter Pan' was published. The story is set 20 years after the original, and Wendy has now got children of her own, while the Lost Boys have grown up... So what's happened to the other beloved children's characters of our youth? TFT makes believe...
WAWIBF... Hipbreak Hotel
October 6, 2006
This week Paul Moran, a man who makes money working as a Flying Elvis, broke his pelvis. Let's just think about that for a moment. In fact, let's repeat it: this week a man who makes a living from jumping out of an aeroplane dressed as the King of Rock and Roll (a Flying Elvis), broke his pelvis. How cool is that?...
Gnash For Questions: A Dog Owner Writes
October 1, 2006
It’s not been the best week for owners of big dogs with scary teeth, but still a better week than the one endured by the two families whose children were attacked by Rottweilers, resulting in the death of a five-month-old baby and traumatic injuries to a two-year old. But two such freakish attacks occurring so close together...
The TFT Guide to... The Singleton Market
October 1, 2006
This week the papers reported that supermarkets are set to sell products specifically aimed at single people. These will include smaller versions of traditional products, such as loaves of bread with as few as four slices. It sounds like bollocks to us, but we couldn’t help but wonder what other products and services might suit our sizeable single population?...
WAWIBF... Girly Men
October 1, 2006
A superbly ludicrous little tiff concerning the banning of vertical pissing in a school in Kristiansand has this week been splashed across the deliciously translated pages of Aftenposten.no ('News From Norway’). The principal of the school in question, Anne Lise Gjul, explains why the ban was introduced...
Texas Boob II: Sydney Does Dallas
October 1, 2006
School trips, for any young student, are generally the shizzle. You get to escape the classroom, go somewhere on a bus (exciting! And full of illicit opportunity), run around like Taz on PCP (bad and wrong but largely tolerated) and actually enjoy learning things as you whizz by them, although it’s easy to pretend you’ve learned nothing and thus maintain your reputation. pretend you’ve learned nothing and thus maintain your reputation. Also, if you’re lucky, you get to look at nakeds in art galleries. Or maybe some goats fucking...
Polish Immigration: Too Good To Be True?
October 1, 2006
Polish immigration has very much been the flavour of the last few months. And it does appear that there’s a genuine phenomenon here, not just something talked up by the press. Which makes a fucking change, from the same newspapers that would have us believe you can’t leave the house without being a victim of crime, or that 'political correctness’ means that Father Christmas is now an illegal immigrant...
WAWIBF... Cricket
October 1, 2006
Cricket Australia - the governing body of cricket, in Australia - has this week decreed that it’s perfectly fine if Australian cricket fans want to refer to English cricket fans as 'Poms’, just so long as they do so 'affectionately’. Don’t be fooled by those quotation marks however. No one used the word 'affectionately’. What they actually said was that the word can be, but not in the context of anything 'hurtful, racist, offensive or humiliating’. Well, that seems fair. Almost to the point of dinkum... apart from one small thing...
What Banksy Did Next
September 24, 2006
Prankster and guerrilla graffiti artist, Banksy, got himself into trouble this week when his painted live elephant - the star of his 'elephant in the living room' art installation in Los Angeles - was ordered to be hosed down by the Los Angeles department of animal services. The thing is, right, the 'elephant in the living room' is a metaphor, yeah?...
Fatty Fatty Fat Fats: A Class Issue
September 24, 2006
From time to time, you have to marvel at the fact that we humans aren't still living in caves. Sometimes it's that moment of panic as you see a loved one poking around in a toaster with a metal fork, sometimes it's spending 10 minutes in a queue at the corner shop when all you want is a pint of milk, but 200 proles are buying their midweek lottery tickets...
The TFT Guide to... The Muslim Terror Threat
September 24, 2006
This week home secretary John Reid was heckled during a speech about targeting potential Muslim extremists, during which he told Muslim parents to watch out for signs that their children were developing extremist views. He was interrupted by Islamic activists who called him 'an enemy of Islam'... So what's next in the 'debate' about young Muslims and extremism?
WAWIBF... Warfare
September 24, 2006
War! What is it good for? Well, if BAE Systems are true to their word, just about anything that that ails you, but particularly the environment. BAE is one of the world's largest and most successful arms manufacturers, and this week it was announced in the press that they are designing a new range of 'green arms'. This is simply fabulous news for anyone who's ever suffered the inconvenience of having their head blown apart by a sniper's bullet, or their entire family torn to shreds by a host of indiscriminate cluster bombs...
Cocaine: Even Crapper Than The Real Thing
September 24, 2006
Cocaine! It's a crappy free paper's wet dream. Especially when it's not actually cocaine but a caffeinated energy drink with an idiotically provocative name. Still, shitty city freesheet London Lite were still obliged to slash the drink's marketing budget by giving it a little outrage this week. Everybody wins, except no one really does, because Cocaine is a stupid idea, and London Lite is the malformed offspring of the cursed Evening Standard, and both are so badly designed they make the Spam tin look like the Louvre...
The TFT Guide To... Life After 9/11
September 17, 2006
This week you might have noticed it's been five years since 9/11, The Day Everything Changed. Fortunately this turned out not to be literally the case, or we'd all have had to get new keys cut. But how *exactly* has the world changed since that fateful day?...
Lost Childhood: Are We Kidding Ourselves?
September 17, 2006
When something gets their goat, the great and the good have a tendency to write portentous letters to national newspapers, like Harold Pinter and his stern criticisms of US foreign policy in The Guardian, but there's something rather futile about it. It's probably because the imbalance of power is so great - it's reminiscent of the way student unions will pass motions like...
Sting Wars II: Revenge of the Shit
September 17, 2006
Lots of people really liked the late Steve Irwin, with his chubby-cheeked enthusiasm for sitting on prehistoric reptiles. Inevitably, some of those people kind of missed the point of his work a bit, as well as the salient points about his death. These are the ones who have apparently started perpetrating 'revenge attacks' on stingrays in Queensland, where Irwin last week crikey'd his last...
Something Fishy This Way Comes
September 8, 2006
This week it was announced that around 5,000 secondary school pupils in County Durham are to be offered daily doses of fish oil to see whether it improves their exam results. This can only be a good thing: whatever the effect on exam results, children should be taught at an early age that life is cruel and deals unpleasant surprises...
Gestate of the Nation
September 8, 2006
A quick hypocrisy check is in order. How many times have we looked surreptitious daggers at any woman pushing a pram with fag in gob, and muttered 'If you can't even give up smoking for a kid then you shouldn't bloody well be having them, you irresponsible beast'? Too many to count. If there's one thing that makes us come over all righteous...
The TFT Guide To... Improving School Dinners
September 8, 2006
This week the government finally took steps to improve school dinners, putting healthier food on the menu and earmarking an extra £240 million for better ingredients, extra cookery lessons and better training for school cooks (although whether they'll ever accept that quiche *isn't* meant to resemble watery scrambled egg remains to be seen). So what will the changes mean?...
The Internet: What Do *You* Think?
September 1, 2006
One of the nicest touches in Truffaut's books-are-banned-in-a-future-dystopia movie 'Fahrenheit 451' is the way that reading has been replaced by ultra-bland interactive TV. At one point Julie Christie's pilled-up character is avidly watching an inconsequential discussion between soap opera characters about which of the spare bedrooms their houseguests should be given...
WAWIBF... Rubbish
September 1, 2006
As the mania to stick shiny new RFID chips on anything and everything continues, it is hardly surprising that several local councils have stuck devices on rubbish bins. This is, naturally, to "help end disputes over bin ownership", they lied through blackened teeth...
Don't Watch That, Watch Th... Oh, Don't Watch This Either
September 1, 2006
Liz Longhurst can't really be blamed. Backed by MPs and a 50,000 name petition, she's just won her court battle to get a ban on the violent porn which she believes had a hand in the murder of her daughter. Any of us would be likely to seek the same in our rage and grief - whatever we fiercely defend now, we'd be very likely to try and pulverise it out of existence if it killed someone we loved...
Adverjism: Spam Spam Spam Wonderful Spam
August 30, 2006
No one, not even the most demented nostalgist, has misty-eyed reminiscenses of Spam. You couldn't hypnotise anyone into sharing their fond recollections of sitting around the family table, while Mother dished up warm slices of the speckly breezeblock of processed meat-substitute facsimile. It is the ugly orphan sprog of canned foods...
Just Plane Crazy
August 30, 2006
Well, thrash us with celery and call us Susan, but turns out there might really have been an airplane bomb plot after all. We'd be the first to admit, as news of the mass arrests of suspects broke a couple of weeks ago, that the whole idea of a scheme to smuggle liquid explosives and detonators onto trans-Atlantic flights ranked 'Yeah, really' on our Great Big Friday Thing Cynic-o-meter...
Pet Peeve
August 30, 2006
'Pet' is one of the more adorable epithets available to the person who can't just finish a sentence with a full stop like anyone else. It is a particularly Geordie wordlet, immortalised of course in 'Auf Wiedersehen, Pet'. It's also a diminutive, like 'love' (or the Yorkshire 'luv') or 'sweetie'. It's like a nice pat on the head. (Like Newcastle endearment 'hinny', although that's quite close to 'hiney', so rather more like a pat on the arse.)...
Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Just Don't Come Crying To Us
August 30, 2006
We're not saying some members of the Government are fat, but road protesters are once again taking to the trees and digging tunnels to prevent a bypass being built around the Cabinet's meeting room. John Prescott is now so large that spacetime curves around him and small objects cannot escape his gravitational pull. He's orbited by a set of rings – like Saturn – made up of pork pie crumbs, brown ale bottle tops and stray peanuts that missed his slack, stupid gob...
Truth Decay
August 18, 2006
It took long enough but finally, after 200 years, the last drop of wit and intelligence was squeezed from political debate this week. From John Wilkes' 'That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress' (in response to the Earl of Sandwich's assertion, 'egad sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox') to Prescott referring to Bush as 'crap'...
WAWIBF... Mayhem
August 18, 2006
On Wednesday, 59-year-old Catherine Mayo, a blithering claustrophobe on a United Airlines flight was wrestled to the floor of the plane and tied up with duct tape after suspicions that she had about her person a whole arsenal of contraband. 'Snakes on a Plane'? Bollocks to that. 'Catherine Mayo on a Plane'. That's the disaster movie we want to see...
The TFT Guide to... Airport Security
August 18, 2006
After the plot to attack transatlantic flights was uncovered last week, airlines have been busy stepping up their security. So if you're about to jet off to the Seychelles, or oblivion, depending on who else is on the plane, what sort of security measures can you expect? TFT explains...
WAWIBF... Ryanair
August 18, 2006
The week kicked off then, with the immediate aftermath of the hideous onslaught of the first Great War for the Heavens. With a couple of bottles of pop, al Qaeda - or somesuch - temporarily brought British air travel to a standstill, and managed to cripple it for life in the process...
WAWIBF... Over-compensation
August 18, 2006
Speaking of buses, anyone who's ever travelled by National Express will tell you that travelling by National Express is an unpleasant pain in the arse. As opposed to a pleasant one, that is. In many ways the Ryanair of their time, National Express may be cheap (relatively), but they're also cramped, uncomfortable and predominantly staffed by evil-doers. Having said all that however, at least they're not Megabus...
Bankruptcy: Spendthrifts Like
Us

August 11, 2006
Here at TFT we don't like to scaremonger. We don't pass on fuckwitted emails about getting your drink spiked and waking up with your kidneys missing. We don't go around telling women that if they haven't had kids by the age of 26, they may as well consider themselves sterile. And we don't parrot every shock- horror story that the media carelessly spews out, e.g. 'Can tap water give you AIDS?'...
Rapping in the Real World
August 11, 2006
Rap music rarely provides the model for a lasting relationship based on mutual respect, as this lyric from 2 Live Crew suggests: 'Lick my ass up and down / Lick it 'til your tongue turns doo-doo brown.' It's not the greatest offer, is it? Even if you're open-minded about rimming members of a long-forgotten, misogynistic gangsta rap band, there's a horrible juvenility about it...
The TFT Guide to... City Street Games
August 11, 2006
Just recently you may have noticed the media getting a bit overexcited about something called 'city street games'. Usually organised over the Internet, they've included a mass pillow fight outside St Paul's Cathedral, hide-and-seek on the streets of Toronto, human Pac Man in Manhattan, and stalking other 'assassins' with a water pistol in London in a game called 'StreetWars'. However, the police have already raised concerns...
WAWIBF... Carl Myles
August 11, 2006
Carl Myles is a 20-year-old Welshman. Say no more, you might think. And you might be right. But you might also be a racialist. Maybe you need to think about that. So anyway, last month Myles was walking home from a party, worse for wear to the tune of 12 pints of super-strong cider. Plus of course, he was Welsh, so who knows what was going on in his brain when he spied Snowy, an 11-month-old goat by the side of the road...
Drugs: Still Bad, Now With Added Confusion
August 4, 2006
Imagine the evil looks Professor David Nutt, a senior member of a committee that advises the government on drug classification, must be getting for devising a new classification scale that rubbishes the reliable A/B/C one. After all that effort and money we put in to simply and firmly stating that all drugs must be avoided...
The TFT Guide to... Putting the 'Cool' in 'School'
August 4, 2006
This week Essex teacher Simon Smith called for an end to pupils being called 'clever'. The word, apparently, is uncool and makes pupils less likely to want to achieve, lest they receive a good kicking from their classmates. Simon Smith however, is an idiot... What we need to do here is to bring 'cool' into the classroom where it belongs. So how could that be best achieved?...
Burger: Off
August 4, 2006
Las Vegas, as a city, isn't big on self-denial. It sees quite a lot of money go merrily down the tubes one way or another... Roughly 87% of its homeless population were millionaires this time last week (we read somewhere that we made up). Sucks to be them even more as of this week, since the city council have made it an offence to give them food...
WAWIBF... Rainbows
August 4, 2006
Local hick Keith Klassen spelled out the problem on a TV news report: 'For me, it's like running up a Nazi flag in a Jewish neighbourhood,' he said, seemingly, like Mel Gibson, under the impression that it was the Jews that mercilessly persecuted and killed six million innocent Nazis, and not the other way around...
Saddam Hussein: Inspirational *and* Suave
July 31, 2006
The real reason Osama bin Laden hates Saddam Hussein is pretty obvious - it's simple jealousy. Poor Osama ate nothing but cabbage soup for *years* to get himself down to a camera-friendly size 6, and Saddam's gone and made it look easy in a matter of weeks with his radical hunger strike regime...
WAWIBF... Picturing Pooves in the Park
July 31, 2006
Generally speaking, there is nothing certain homosexuals like more than to go to a secluded place in the dead of night, preferably in or at least close to a public toilet, and have frenetic dirty sex with a perfect stranger. If perfection isn't readily at hand however, a pot-bellied van driver will often suffice...
WAWIBF... Paedophilophobia
July 31, 2006
No parent wants their kids to be molested by a pack of dirty great paedophiles. Or even one paedophile, acting on his own. And yet very few parents have ever actually suffered such a fate. Which is not to suggest that, if the unthinkable ever did happen, they would actually get something of a kick out of it, but rather to suggest that even the mere thought of one's children being sexually abused is *so* incredibly hideous that most people are prepared to go out on a limb and confidently declare that they definitely wouldn't enjoy it...
WAWIBF... Watching the Detectives
July 31, 2006
According to The Daily Mirror, plain-clothes detectives were out in Trafalgar Square on Tuesday looking for paedophiles when they happened across a Scotland Yard surveillance expert and anti-terrorist officer with a camera hidden in a sports bag. Turns out this veteran of the force was using his hidden camera to take upskirt shots of womens' private parts...
Thinly Veiled
July 22, 2006
Last week Deborah Orr wrote an article explaining why the sight of a woman in the Muslim garb of hijab offends her. The debate in the letters page of The Indie and elsewhere has been sizzling ever since. There have been sarcastic suggestions that if Muslim women are covered up to avoid inciting male lust, children should lead their fathers blindfold along the street...
WAWIBF... Brotherly Love
July 22, 2006
If sitcom star and animated cadaver Lesley Joseph is mutton dressed as rather garish, tarty mutton, and the BNP are a bunch of nasty turds dressed as turds which are ostensibly respectable but basically nasty turds fooling no one, then what the hell are the Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity Party? Well...
TFT FIlm: 'Hard Candy'
July 22, 2006
The word 'paedophile' inevitably sounds ugly to us, and it looks rather unlovely too. That Latinate 'ae'; it's all perverse and threatening. However, the US English version - 'pedophile', with the first syllable spat out to rhyme with 'dead' - is possibly ickier. As ghastly as both is 'Hard Candy', a film in which a sinister 14-year-old girl submits an early-thirties male photographer to a sunny afternoon's mental and physical torture...
WAWIBF... Wanking
July 22, 2006
Now we all like a wank. Anyone who says they don't is either lying, for strange and most probably religious reasons, or is Darren Moulding, who we went to school with and who was so bizarrely sexless and waxy and fond of chess that we actually believed him when he denied it. Eventually. So yes, wanking is common as muck. Less common however, is wanking in front of complete strangers...
WAWIBF... Posh Kids
July 22, 2006
They may have nannies, trust funds, skiing holidays, private schooling and ponies, but this week a very definite downside to life as a posh kid was revealed. Turns out they're like magnets for cancer. On the front page of The Daily Mail a survey carried out by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) revealed that, although there is no proof of a link between nuclear power plants and cancer, there is a very definite connection between personal wealth and cancer.
TFT Meets: Will Rankin
July 15, 2006
In 2004 Will Rankin was crossing the Great Wall of China when he stumbled and fell, making what was later described as 'a noise like a pregnant dinosaur'. He could have died. He should at least have snapped a rib, punctured a lung, or something. But he escaped with cuts and bruises. In 1993...
Sticks, Stones and Monkey Business
July 15, 2006
And so the World Cup came to an end, not with a bang, but with a big bald thug head-butting a defender's chest like the half-witted, slightly brain-damaged donkey he truly is. Ghastly, for sure, and yet in its moronic, infantile self-destructiveness, the attack seemed an appropriate denouement for a tournament marred by disappointing football, foul play and ape-like thuggery...
Suffolk Police: Pants
July 15, 2006
This week BBC Online reported on the deliciously awful new binge drinking campaign run by Suffolk Police. Like most similar things officially produced and aimed at women or teenagers - in this case, teenage women - the pamphlet seems to have been conceived in hopelessly earnest good faith without a whiff of an inkling of its own rambunctious inappropriateness...
WAWIBF... Diana
July 15, 2006
Poor old Diana. They just won't let her decompose in peace. This week however, it isn't the Daily Express dancing around her grave - well, not primarily - it's The Sun with their wonderfully tasteful headline, 'I BEDDED DIANA'...
The TFT Guide to... Remembering Syd Barrett
July 15, 2006
This week we discovered that Syd Barrett, one of the founders of Pink Floyd, had died aged 60. Although a talented songwriter, Barrett was best known for going mental after taking shedloads of drugs and spending the rest of his life living with his mum in Cambridge. Still, at least he didn't have to listen to Roger Waters banging on about his dead dad every day. But as the tributes flood in, how best to remember this enigmatic and troubled musician?
WAWIBF... Curses
July 15, 2006
Mary Whitehouse wrote that if there was one thing she really couldn't stand, it was the expression 'Jesus fucking Christ'. Although she used asterisks obviously. At least six. But you can understand where she was coming from. Especially if, like Mary Whitehouse, you're a sex-fearing Christophile...
WAWIBF... Soap Operatics
July 15, 2006
Seven years ago last month, Nicola Pridham was, according to the tabloids, 'on tot of the world'. This was because she'd just had her 20th child. The press dubbed her 'Supermum' and the nation was said to have taken her to its heart. No one mentioned overpopulation, because it wouldn't have been nice...
Pointless Change: The Only Constant
July 7, 2006
Most right-thinking people do not fear change, but sometimes the sheer pointlessness of unnecessary change makes even the most progressive of us quietly transmogrify into Keith Waterhouse. (Although we do draw a line at criticising decimalisation, unless you're the kind of weirdo who gets a kick out of adding up in base 12.) It's been a good week for pointless change...
Falling Out of the Ugly Tree
July 7, 2006
Last week some sensible individual arrived gasping to cries of 'about time, fool' to announce something brilliantly obvious - fruit that is aesthetically substandard is to be made available to buy. Good old Waitrose, the Netto of the chattering classes, is going to give a leg-up to lumpen, grotesque, vaguely inbred-looking fruit and flog it at a cheaper price...
WAWIBF... Rachel Bevilacqua
July 7, 2006
If this is your first exposure to the Church of the SubGenius, then where the hell have you been? Get yourself over there at once and praise Bob. But be careful. It could cost you your children...
Enid Blyton: No More Dick, No More Fanny
July 2, 2006
There's something very wearisome about the recent outrage over the updating of various Enid Blyton novels. It's probably the way that traditionalists and rightwingers have been able to claim that the changes are yet more examples of (yawn) 'political correctness gone mad', accompanied by endless unfunny articles in the press lampooning the changes...
Lad Mags: The Sexual Revolution Has Been Shelved
July 2, 2006
This week an MP proposed a bill forcing a shunt of all glossy lad mags to the top shelves, beside their big-breasted porn brethren. Once more the nation rises sluggishly from its torpor and notices there are yards of happily unfeminist airbrushed cleavage at kiddie eye-level in its corner shops, and commences expelling piss and wind in equal measure...
TFT Goes: Starkers
July 2, 2006
...Thus it is in the name of investigative journalism and simple curiosity that we find ourselves in the downstairs bar of Starkers, London's only naked nightclub. It is a club for the fabric-impaired that may include, but is clearly not restricted to, the volleyball-players who persist in legend as the archetypal nudists....
WAWIBF... Charles Lennon
July 2, 2006
68-year-old Rhode Islander Charles Lennon used to be impotent. Unfortunately this was ten years ago, a couple of years before the advent of the cock pill. So what Charles did to put a stop to his midlife phallicrisis was to have an operation. Specifically, a penile implant. This is basically a steel and plastic device inserted into the penis - essentially a bionic nob...
WAWIBF... Tea
July 2, 2006
C-Ice Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea is, at least as far as Barry Gorman of The Tea Council is concerned, not a proper tea. But then Barry Gorman doesn't even recognise chamomile as a proper tea. Which it is. So the makers of C-Ice probably shouldn't be too concerned with what a reactionary old beverage-square like Gorman thinks. But they should also be aware that all proper tea is theft...
Children: The Cause Of and Solution To All of Life's Problems
June 24, 2006
This year's unofficial 'Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Children' week was a huge success. First up, on Sunday, the News of the World and the Home Office agreed that Britain is better off with its 'child sex beasts' out of sight and out of mind, instead of in plain sight where we can see...
The TFT Guide... To The Power of The Tabloids
June 24, 2006
This week the government was accused of basing policy on the reaction from the tabloids, something it hotly denied, although it's obvious that New Labour is so keen to appease the tabloids that Rebekah Wade may as well sit in on cabinet meetings with a big rubber stamp...
WAWIBF... Bavaria
June 24, 2006
Just before last Friday's Holland Ivory Coast World Cup soccer bout kicked off, hundreds of Dutch fans were forced by FIFA officials to take off their lederhosen and watch the bout in their sweaty keks. It wasn't a sex thing however. It was a money thing. Specifically, a marketing thing. As you may have noticed if you've watched any of the soccer, Budweiser is one of the main sponsors of the tournament...
WAWIBF... The Wayne, The Truth and The Light
June 23, 2006
Nike must be tickled pink with the stinking furore kicked up by their Rooney Christ ad this week. Sanctimonious MPs and religious leaders both have been lining up to play into Nike's hands by denouncing the ad. The Reverend Rod Thomas of Church of England evangelical group Reform was the most amusing. 'It's quite a disturbing image and because the paint is wet, it really looks like blood,' he said, quivering...
Kate Crimes
June 16, 2006
Good old Kate Moss. Good old strangely apposite symbol of spunky Britishness and bulldog spirit, not unlike Jordan in many ways, but with human breasts and a terribly sore nose. There were sighs (or perhaps snorts) of relief in her camp this week as it was announced she would not be facing drug charges...
WAWIBF... Naked Civil Servants
June 16, 2006
From the various accounts of how bad things became at the Rural Payment Agency office in Newcastle recently, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the end of the world is clearly well nigh. Not since the subhuman madness of the Katrina Superdome have we seen scenes so reminiscent of Sodom and Gomorrah...
The Grad Grind
June 16, 2006
A study published this week by the thinktank Demos found that - yet again - employers aren't happy with the calibre of their graduate recruits. Again! It's a refrain so familiar it might as well replace 'Er' in the common idiom. So what irks our capitalist pig-masters this time?...
WAWIBF... Hot Cockles
June 16, 2006
If we were 12-year-old Jake Oliver, we would invest in a BlackBerry and a fake Rolex, and we would hang around dodgy areas and flaunt them. Jake was in the news this week following his enviable dispatching of a would-be mugger in a balaclava...
Bluewater Comes To Baden-Baden
June 16, 2006
At first glance, the press would appear to be in love with the wives and girlfriends of the England team, judging by the number of photo stories about them. There's Carly out shopping, there's Michaela by the pool, there's Nancy being glamorous. Even the sight of Cheryl Tweedy twatting a jigaboo would only slightly detract from their overall loveliness. But there's a dark subtext to the endless shots of the not-terribly-interesting Germanic adventures of Carly, Melanie, Michaela, et al, and it is 'Just look at these trashy, working-class spendthrifts!'
WAWIBF... God
June 16, 2006
God showed His true colours this week when He was called upon to save one of His flock, and was, frankly speaking, found wanting. A wacky 45-year-old Ukrainian man was at a loose end and so decided to put God to the test...
WAWIBF... Chris Evans
June 12, 2006
What a smashing week it's been for the hitherto godforsaken people of Chennai in India. For it was this week that 'Sport Relief Goes All Out For India', featuring the good peasants of Chennai and special guest, perennial TV stool, Chris Evans, was beamed into living rooms right across the known BBC world. Foraging for sustenance in mountains of human waste...
TFT Goes To... The Bodies Exhibition
June 12, 2006
Gunther von Hagens is, by anyone's standards, a creepy bastard. With his sharp cheekbones and sunken eyes and big black hat, he looks almost exactly like the baddie out of 'Poltergeist II' - the 'God is iiiiiin his holy temmmple' guy. He's a caricature of an anatomist, a bloke who coldly cuts up cadavers without a blink. He invented the process of plastination in the late 70s...
WAWIBF... Damien Cooper
June 9, 2006
On Wednesday of this week, as on any other day of any other week, a large number of babies were pushed bawling into this wonderful shit-filled world of ours, without so much as a by your leave. Let alone an agent. Naturally, a large number of these babies were born around six o'clock, some of them - wait for it - at six minutes past six...
Worldwide Whatever
June 3, 2006
Congratulations. By reading this, you are using a means of electronic communication whereby information is passed from one computer to another, commonly known as 'the Internet'. You find yourself in the happy, somewhat virtuous position of riding on the cutting edge of modern technology to which millions still do not have access...
Web Celeb: Wandering Scribe
June 3, 2006
Here's a fairytale for the Internet generation: this week a woman who was homeless and living in her car, and who detailed her experiences in a blog, won a book deal with publisher Harper Collins. As a result, Anya Peters is now housed, and the blog itself has been nominated for a media award. 'It still feels like a dream - it's completely turned around,' she said...
WAWIBF... PRegnancy
June 3, 2006
Rejoice! Melissa Parker is due to give birth next week. Despair. The woman is an idiot. Melissa is due to give birth next Tuesday. The sixth. The sixth of June, 2006. Aargh! Six! Six! 2006 minus 2000... can it be? It is! Six! The Number of the Beast! Naturally, she is distraught. She told The Sun: 'When I got my due date I thought, "Oh God, I'm giving birth to Damien from The Omen"'...
The TFT Guide To... Not Getting Involved
June 3, 2006
Recently a student was stabbed and killed while trying to intervene in an argument between a man and a woman on a train. Not only is it a reminder of the UK's knife culture, but also a worrying example of a situation that we've all found ourselves in, i.e. having to use public transport. But what should you do if you see an ugly incident and feel you should intervene? TFT advises...
WAWIBF... That Darned Pope
June 3, 2006
What is wrong with this bastard of a pope that he has to wring every last ounce of joy from the soul of every poor sod that crosses his path? We heard last month that his visit to Poland would result in an embargo on televised porn, *including* late-nite chat fodder, 'cause they know what he's like...
Cut-Off Point
June 3, 2006
Inevitably, in the wake of the Virgin Trains stabbing, calls for long kitchen knives to be banned have rung out. This urgent suggestion comes from a team of Accident and Emergency doctors from the West Middlesex University Hospital, according to the BBC. Their research, published in the British Medical Journal, includes consultation with ten top UK chefs. We're suspicious of the whole thing, frankly, although we are prepared to admit they might have a point...
UK Eurovision Travesty: TFT Commiserates
May 27, 2006
This year's landslide winners Lordi (imagine ZZ Top pretending to be Slipknot in their 14-year-old sisters' platform Goth shoes) represent the very best of Eurovision, and something like genuine controversy. So gloriously ludicrous are they, so manifestly upsetting to anyone who was cheering on any of the more traditionally poppier songs, that all you can do is remove hat and genuflect. But of course this was to the detriment of our own Daz Sampson and co-writer John Matthews, aka Ricardo Autobahn, who were left languishing in the green room as the points trickled in. TFT caught up with Ricardo again as he teetered on the ledge of his Athens hotel room window. (Thankfully his room was in the basement.)
F4J: FFS
May 26, 2006
It was the week following Sven Goran Eriksson's fake sheiking, and the whole world and his dog wanted words with the man himself. 'Any questions?' asked the FA spokesman, at last. A sea of hands. Sven immediately pointed to the blonde hackette from 'Take a Break' magazine. 'When it's cold,' she asked, 'Do you think they should play football indoors?'...
Better To Have Loved And Lost - Better Still To Have Signed A Pre-Nup
May 26, 2006
Hey, ladies! Form an orderly queue, because Mike Davies is single! 'Who is Mike Davies?' you might ask. Well, Mike lives in Bury and is a contributor to BBC Online's Have Your Say discussion board. And this is what he has to say: '...The only reason I would ever get married is for having kids and for that, there is no way I'd marry a British woman...'
WAWIBF... Dave West
May 26, 2006
What is it about us British that makes us love to see people fall flat on their arses? Meanness? Bitterness? Or just the really rather fortunate ability to conjure sackfuls of freude and precious little schaden from the suffering of others? Whatever it is, we were given a fine opportunity this week when Posh and Becks' half-a-million-quid showbiz megabash showed its shiny arse in the rain and, like every other event this week, suffered the scourge of David Cameron...
WAWIBF... Heather & Paul
May 26, 2006
The impending separation of Heather and Paul McCartney has brought out all that is mean-spirited, infantile and incredibly superficial in the British press. Our heartless hacks and crass commentators seem incapable of rising above the level of petty playground taunt, constantly accusing poor old Heather of digging for gold in the creases of Macca's face and constantly making snide, blatant or otherwise unnecessary references to her disability. It really isn't fair, and poor old Heather hasn't got a leg to stand on...
Middlescence: A Terrible Case of the Bobsplats
May 19, 2006
Problems. We've all got them, and there are many theories about the best way to deal with them: counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, boring your friends shitbrained. But surely the best has got to be: make some money out of them. Step forward the US 'researchers' who invented the term 'middlescence', as featured in the 'report' 'Managing Middlescence'...
WAWIBF... Celebrity Smut Island
May 19, 2006
Right up until the moment they pulled it, the BBC's official line on 'Strictly Come Pole Dancing' was that it was 'just a bit of fun'. Scheduled to slip into the fund-raising spectacular of this year's Sport Relief on July 15th, the idea was to get a bunch of sexy celebs and have them writhe around on a pole, with punters at home pledging a few pounds for kiddies with spina bifida, and maybe, just maybe cracking one off at the same time...
The TFT Guide to... The Water Shortage
May 19, 2006
We're facing water shortages this summer, apparently. Here at TFT we couldn't help but wonder: why don't we just build some more fucking reservoirs? There's plenty of space in the UK (what's Camden actually *for*, anyway?), and it would be worth the cost just to avoid having to listen to the same media scare stories every year. But this is too simple, apparently, so how should we cope with water shortages? TFT advises...
The TFT Guide to... Making Politics Palatable
May 13, 2006
If, as appears the case, the events of 2006 are duplicating those of the 90s, we can't help but wonder if politics is doomed to be like this for ever and ever. If the answer is 'yes', then we're looking at a fairly barren political landscape for the foreseeable future, including lower and lower turnouts and zombie-like voter apathy. With this in mind, TFT came up with some suggestions...
The TFT Guide to... Books by Fictional Characters
May 12, 2006
This week we discovered that 'The Da Vinci Code' has been replaced on the Amazon bestseller list by 'Bad Twin', a spin-off from the series Lost which is supposedly written by the character Gary Troup, who 'died' in the crash of Oceanic flight 815. It's rubbish, apparently, but it did make us wonder: what books by fictional characters would we like to see?...
WAWIBF... Premature Sexualisation
May 12, 2006
Children grow up so fast these days. So much faster than they ever used to, that's for sure. And the Internet is only partly to blame. One minute they're suckling at mummy's teat, the next they're done up like miniature whores in padded bras and camiknickers or being corrupted all to hell by the foul mouths of ageing homosexuals in bare-faced wigs. Thank heavens then for David Cameron...
Grin and Colbert It
May 12, 2006
YouTube and ifilm and Google Video are among the best wastes of time in this not-baddest of all possible worlds, but they can also, like the rest of the net, be tools for good. They came into their own last week when they all carried, in part, the film of Stephen Colbert's White House Correspondents Dinner speech, a speech whose impact in all manner of ways shouldn't be underestimated...
England vs Delusions of Grandeur: What's the Beef?
May 5, 2006
So, football fans, have you started writing your World Cup checklist yet? Days off booked? Check. Crosses of St George affixed to the motor? Check. Wallchart pinned up? Check. Cases of Stella laid on? Get down to Sainsbury's quick, they've got an offer on. There's something missing. What is it? Oh yes. The excuse...
Reasons To Be Doleful
May 5, 2006
The shock news of the week, prompting bears to prick up their ears on their way to the Pope, was that Britain is less happy than it used to be. Yes, folks, it's another of those surveys without which there would be 35% less news, and the papers would be forced to fill in the gaps with large-print Sudoku and pictures of Billie Piper...
Oh, You Will Fool... The Children of the Digital Revolution
May 5, 2006
You'd have to be a bit dense to accept every claim about technology at face value. If you did, you'd be waiting in vain for 'Lord of the Rings' to come out on 12-inch laserdisc and cooking all your meals on a Breville sandwich toaster - possibly while chatting with your mum on an Amstrad video phone. Although all of this might prove a bit problematic, considering you'd be living in a cardboard box after investing heavily in boo.com...
TFT Meets... Johnny Daukes
April 28, 2006
If we're honest, when we sat down less than two weeks ago with an advance copy of BBC Three's newest sketch show, 'The Message', we weren't expecting a great deal. In fact, if we're completely honest, we were expecting to be horrified. Not merely because 95% of all things are horrifyingly bad (add at least 4% for comedy), but also because we know what BBC Three are capable of. We've seen 'Titty Bang Bang'. 'The Message' however, is funny...
TFT Film: 'Paradise Now'
April 28, 2006
It took a while for 'Paradise Now' to make it into British cinemas. It was due to premiere in July last year, but distributors Warner Bros quietly shelved it after the attack on London. The irony is that there could hardly have been a more appropriate time to show a film which attempts to look unflinchingly at the motivations of suicide bombers, and do what Lib Dem Jenny Tonge got the boot for - trying to figure out what drives ordinary people to commit what seems like inexplicable atrocity...
A Few Good Mentalists
April 23, 2006
There comes a point where you really have to feel sorry for Tom Cruise. Not only is he madder than an army of hungry hungry hillbillies, but also, every single day he has to put up with people he's never met writing the most terrible lies about him. He's gay, they say. His relationship with Katie Holmes is a sham, they say...
Pin Me Up, Let Me Down
April 23, 2006
Poor Dominik Diamond. It is perhaps the greatest test of one's faith, finding yourself pilloried in the media for doing The Right Thing. Especially when The Right Thing involves crying like a girl. Making a television programme about getting yourself crucified in front of a huge crowd, who are, in the main, there to see grown men suffer extraordinary amounts of pain, is not, when you sit down and think about it, the best idea you're ever likely to have...
Web Celeb: Gina Zycher
April 14, 2006
Although she didn't know it at the time - how could she? - when Gina Zycher typed the words 'Shih Tzu' into her search engine in 2001, or 2002 - whenever that fateful day was - her life, and indeed the universe, would never be the same again. For amongst the photographs tossed up by her image search was a darling little Shih Tzu dressed as a bee. Instantly, Gina was bewitched. Her life transformed...
Neighbours: What's Their Beef?
April 14, 2006
So it turns out that people reporting their neighbours to the water companies for breaking recently imposed hosepipe bans was prophesised in the Old Testament. Isaiah, 19:2, no less: 'I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian... brother will fight against brother, neighbour against neighbour, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.'...
Doctor Who - Time Lord or Gaylord?
April 14, 2006
Classic BBC programme 'Doctor Who' hits our screens again tomorrow, with David Tennant at the TARDIS helm and feisty Billy Piper doing her best to put a little gender-equality into the traditionally misogynist programme (bless her little cotton socks)... To put it bluntly, we have uncovered at the heart of Doctor Who one big, horrifying gay conspiracy...
Noel Edmonds: Too Shallow For God
April 8, 2006
Everybody needs something to believe in. A religion of some kind, for a pillow. Whether it's astrology, palm reading or even something embarrassingly risible like Jesus, everybody needs something to cling to in the dark times... Even those people we assume are beyond such piffling smoke screens. Even, we found out this week, Noel Edmonds...
TFT Goes... Guerrilla Gardening
April 8, 2006
It is a brisk London night, full of crisp spring beckoning. The whoops and grunts of distant youth are drowned out by the cacophony of late evening traffic which hacks at the throat but fails entirely to quell the earthy stench of optimism which wafts across the air... Two minutes' walk from Lambeth North tube on the Westminster Bridge Road are the guerrilla gardeners, committed to the cause of brightening up our neglected public spaces...
TFT Film: 'V For Vendetta'
April 7, 2006
'V for Vendetta' has all the usual action film stuff to shield your children from - knives, torture, blood, bludgeoning, explosions, torture, human experimentation - alright, so maybe a bit more than the usual. But it demonstrates that nothing is more dangerous than ideas. It's about them, it uses them, it gets used by them, it isn't quite sure how to handle them, it's... much like the rest of us, in film form...
Hey Teacher! Leave Those Crackpot Racial Theories Alone
March 31, 2006
You may be a largely pointless individual, but by subscribing to racial superiority theories, you can feel much better about your lowly status without having to do anything except have the skin colour you were born with... This is a view espoused by Leeds University lecturer Frank Ellis, who was suspended this week after claiming...
The TFT Guide To... Online Milkmen
March 31, 2006
This week it was revealed that that the milk delivery industry is in crisis. For some bizarre reason people are not ordering milk from their local milkman, instead simply buying milk from the nearest shop, the fucking fools. As a result, milkmen have decided to start selling their wares online. TFT explains what a cyber-pinto will involve...
TVjism: 'Neil Morrissey's Secret'
March 27, 2006
We happened upon 'Neil Morrissey's Secret' on the still rather embarrassing BBC Three one evening this week, and within five minutes were secured to the screen, jaw agape. It was a documentary following Morrissey, best known for being the one you'd go for if Martin Clunes was the only other man left alive, as he followed his dream of harnessing the power of a rare plant...
Silly Sue Storer and the Flatulent Chair Affair
March 24, 2006
Sue Storer is the ex-art teacher who this week sued her former employers for a million pounds - wait for it - because of a squeaky chair. The 48-year-old, who openly admits that she never wants to teach again, claims that in the four years she worked for Bedminster Down Secondary School in Bristol, she had to endure endless amounts of overwork, intimidation and stress. The worst aspect of this maltreatment however, seems to centre on the noise emanating from her seat...
TFT Meets... Ricardo Autobahn
March 22, 2006
Ricardo Autobahn is the shadowy figure behind Britain's Eurovision entry 'Teenage Life', co-written by Daz Sampson who will be grunting his way to glory or ignominy on May 20th... TFT congratulated Autobahn on his most recent success, and demanded to know who he thinks he is with his teenagers and hamsters and a man named after some washing powder...
Dutch Cap On Immigration
March 17, 2006
Holland is brilliant. It's like the polar opposite of America, with its jolly liberalism and legislation-enshrined rights to get stoned and then milked by the finest prostitutes in the world. It's a place to laugh, to talk crap, to be gay by archaic and modern definitions. No wonder, then, that lots of people stuck in other less enlightened places want to go and live there....
Between Two Stools
March 17, 2006
The Which Loo? guide is the result of a two-year consultation between Aurora, a Croydon-based LGBT group, and Croydon Police. It is split into three sections: 'Before you use the loo', 'When you're in the loo' and, all going well, 'When you leave the loo'. The Sun covered the story of Scotland Yard's endorsement of the guide with its trademark sensitivity and tact, tossing words like 'trannies' and 'gender-benders' around with great smirking alacrity...
Raising The Bloody Pressure
March 14, 2006
Despite TFT's spluttering denouncement of the 'say fuck, get fined' farrago the other week, it seems the news that penalising profanity is blinking bonkers hasn't quite filtered through to those with the power to penalise. Indeed, the regulating body BACC seem to be slithering towards 1950s standards of propriety, having opted to put the kibosh on the use of the word 'bloody', as in 'bloody hell', in a television ad. For fucksakes...
Where the Streets Have No Shame
March 14, 2006
Apparently there are over 7 million dogs in the United Kingdom, and together they produce something approaching a thousand tonnes of excrement every day. Apparently. We have no idea how much that is in real terms, but we're fairly sure that if it was all in the same place, you'd need some expensive equipment to scale it...
TFT Doesn't Go To... The Oscars
March 10, 2006
CRASH... Black guy (suddenly acting like crackhead for no apparent reason): Tee hee, I've seen your Patron Saint of Travellers on the dash and I'm going to reach into my jacket to pull my own version of it out while laughing maniacally like a big crackhead. Cop: Hey, hey, hey, that really looks like you're going to pull a gun on me, and I'm understandably pretty paranoid, especially as the writers are contriving to have you act like a crazy person. Quit it. Black guy: I'm upset by the implication that you think I'm going to get violent, just because I'm laughing maniacally and am refusing to tell you what I'm doing and now getting a bit defensive... Come on. The tension is just too lumpen to sustain.
Guantanamo Here We Come
March 6, 2006
Morrissey is, frankly and objectively, a bit of a cock... He's an arrogant, sneering, misanthropic so-and-so who even refused to befriend Jonathan Ross... However, just as Morrissey's askew side-smirks at the condition of misery don't wash with people who think songs must be either 'You Don't Bring Me Flowers' or 'The Birdie Song', his voiced views on government don't seem to have gone down well with the FBI...
The Plain Truth
February 24, 2006
This week the Washington Post reported on rather a sad survey. Two academics analysed data from 15,000 high school students from their teens into adulthood, and found that the uglier they were, the more likely they were to get a criminal record. 'We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones...,' they concluded, tactfully...
Fuck: Wad
February 24, 2006
This week London's Metro - by lineage the Diet Evening Standard, itself the Lo-Carb Mail - carried the front page headline 'I got £80 fine for saying sweet FA'. Sure enough, a young man had been penalised for using a common profanity, and suddenly even prim corseted papers were instinctively embracing filth...
Fag Off
February 18, 2006
Tobacco, it seems, is finally, well and truly in the doghouse. In its heyday in the sixteenth century it was thought to cure all known ills, from worms to halitosis to cancer. Then, much more recently, when most people were pretty sure the opposite was true, they continued to smoke anyway, because they were under the impression it conveyed an air of sophistication, even intelligence...
Education, Education, Destitution
February 17, 2006
This week it was reported that applications to university in the UK have fallen for the first time in six years. With £3,000 top-up fees lurking for next term's intake and stories of bankrupt graduates hanging themselves, most of us were Jack's complete lack of surprise...
A Currant Affair
February 17, 2006
You had to smirk and sigh at pretty much the same time this week when it emerged that, as the cartoon protests continue, the Iranian Ministry of Commerce is calling for the name of the Danish pastries that Iran consumes in great quantities to be changed... it transpires that the innocent confections are to bear the lofty name 'Roses of the Prophet Muhammed' (custard, cardamom and a generous portion of raspberry compote be upon him)...
Adverjism: New Balls Please
February 12, 2006
...Women with great legs thronging through a city with nary a man in sight, like herds of well-dressed gazelle. They're doing all the jobs, drinking all the beverages and generally getting on very well. A few of them cast curious, gossipy glances at the supposedly sleek and sharklike new Peugeot 407 Coupe as it moves amongst them... Then on black, the killer line - 'MEN ARE BACK'....
Mohammedgate
February 12, 2006
As the cartoon counterattack continues to career out of control, with new protests, retaliations and sackings every day and the number of dead now well up in the double figures, there was a slight spin-off story concerning a sex toy. You can see the sex toy in question right here. That's right, the patented Mustafa Shag blow-up doll...
Death by Stoning and Dung for Dinner
February 6, 2006
The Observer reported at the weekend that 30 or so writers and illustrators are contributing handwritten work to an auction for Book Aid International... Richard Curtis has resurrected Edmund Blackadder in his Elizabethan incarnation for a new mini-sketch. All good, all good. It will make lots of money to promote literacy, education and training in 40 countries... But - in the name of all that is vaguely amusing, what the hell is *this*?
Oy! Are You Looking At My God?
February 6, 2006
In September of last year, a Danish writer bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t get anyone to illustrate a book he had written about the prophet Mohammed. The reason for this of course is because in the Muslim faith, pictorial representations of the prophet are strictly forbidden. This means that although you are more than welcome to picture Mohammed pleasuring a pot-bellied pig in your mind's eye - if that’s what floats your blasphemous boat - you could never actually draw a picture of it, or at least not without incurring a fair bit of wrath...
Funny Into Sexy Doesn't Go: A 'Funny' Woman Writes...
February 6, 2006
This week The Independent reported on the results of a survey conducted for the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behaviour. The survey questioned hundreds of men and women in their twenties to ascertain how important a GSOH really is in a potential partner; or rather, what they mean when they claim a ‘good sense of humour’ is what they’re after. Women want men who are funny, but as it transpires, men only want women who will laugh at their jokes...
Mad For It: The Passion of the Manc Christ
January 28, 2006
This week the BBC, cheeks still aflame with transgressive glee after that whole 'Jerry Springer The Opera' brouhaha, announced plans for its flagship Easter programme. The important Christian festival has had its share of abuse, but the Beeb will rectify this sorry state of affairs with... is that a 'modern interpretation' hoving into view? Hallelujah!...
Taking a Chill Pill
January 21, 2006
A cure for PTSD is a genuinely awesome concept that would truly benefit mankind... Americans will gradually stop suing TV networks for the emotional distress caused by glimpsing Janet Jackson's nipple, and get their fucking priorities in order. Which can only be good for the world at large...
WAWIBF... Clarence Ray Allen
January 21, 2006
Clarence Ray Allen was executed this week, a day after his 76th birthday. He was blind and partially deaf. He also used a wheelchair. But this was California, so appeals for clemency fell on deaf Austrian ears...
Turn On, Tune In, Look a Bit Uncomfortable
January 13, 2006
It was Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann's birthday on Wednesday. He's 100 years old, which is rather a Burroughsian hoot given that he's responsible for flooding the gibbering brain of the world with acid. It was Hofmann who discovered in the early 50s that LSD was powerfully psychoactive, leading to its pioneering use in psychiatry...
Hats Off
January 13, 2006
In any war there is always a certain amount of collateral damage, a certain number of innocent victims caught up in the crossfire of bombs or sanctions or over-reaching legislation. And as 64-year-old Colin Osborne learned this week, the Labour Party's war on anti-social behaviour is no exception. Osborne fell foul of the pandemic erosion of civil liberties sweeping across this once proud nation when, in a pub in Hereford, he was ordered to remove his trilby.
The Cruellest Month
January 12, 2006
TS Eliot had some strange ideas about life. For example, he actually considered April to be the cruellest month. The reasons he gave for this were odd, mostly to do with an aversion to lilacs and the extraordinary notion that memory and desire should be kept well apart. Not a great masturbator, Eliot. Miserable old bugger. So, for Eliot, April was the cruellest month. For everybody else, it's January...
Civil Partnerships: A Little Half-Arsed
December 24, 2005
More significant than Elton and David's union this week was that of the Reverend Christopher Wardale and retired academic Malcolm McCourt. Not only did Wardale and McCourt enjoy a civil union in Newcastle, but they also chose to defy church stricture by following it up with an in-church blessing...
The TFT Guide to... Christmas Myths and Christmas Reality
December 24, 2005
MYTH: Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry. REALITY: Christmas is a gruelling ordeal consisting of sanity-threatening hangovers, exhausting, joyless shopping trips and eating for the sake of it until your entire digestive system is filled with meat, grease and chocolate in various states of digestion. That and attempts to make travel arrangements that become so complicated and stressful they make 'The Great Escape' look like popping out for a pint of milk.
Bad Vibes
December 18, 2005
Condom kings Durex made the inevitable diversification into vibrators some months ago with their Play range. The line is basically the embodiment of the gradual normalisation of sex toys - looking much like interesting Italian lighting, these *objets* are perfectly aligned with the whole sleek, simple Noughties aesthetic that doesn't go anywhere without its iPod.
The TFT Guide to... Christmas Shopping
December 18, 2005
As is traditional at this time of year, Marks & Spencer carried out its usual pre-Christmas publicity stunt. The store is employing 'stocking fellas' - male shop assistants who will help and advise men buying lingerie for their partners. The giveaway is that the 'stocking fellas' will only be present in 'key stores', i.e. 'We had to create a couple of them so we could send out a press release and a picture of a model in a Per Una bra.' Nonetheless, it reminded us of the waking nightmare that is Christmas shopping, and in its usual generous spirit TFT decided to offer some present buying tips...
The TFT Guide to... The Fall of Little Britain
December 18, 2005
Viewers feel that Little Britain may have overstepped the boundaries of taste with a new character, Billy, who is two years old and suffers from cloacal exstrophy, with the result that his large intestine protrudes outside his body. Even schoolchildren fail to warm to Billy's hilarious catchphrase: 'I'll be dead before I'm four!'
Torture: Not As Easy As It Sounds
December 12, 2005
When Condoleezza Rice backtracked on US-sponsored torture this week, admitting, grudgingly, that it might be a bad thing, what do you think really happened? Did she: A. Immediately issue instructions to the Pentagon instructing that all ‘extraordinary rendition’ operations should stop and people should no longer be sent to Syria to get their feet beaten to mush? Or was it: B...
American Internet Idiots: Fuck Off Saddam
December 3, 2005
With the current situation in Iraq actually looking worse than it was under Saddam Hussein, it's hard for most of us to see how Bush can keep justifying the occupation. However, we may be neglecting a crucial factor: American internet idiots. Take the individual who goes by the moniker 'Fuck Off!!!! saddam'.
A Nation of Flag-Hags
December 3, 2005
This week the Sun were conspicuously alone in picking up the story of representative of the Labour Party 'Communications Unit', Terry White, and his response to a complaint from a member of the public, in which he happened to mention that there are very strong associations between racist hooligan behaviour and the English flag. The Sun, predictably, went ballistic...
Vincent Gallo: Super Seed
November 25, 2005
For the princely sum of a million dollars, you can avail yourself of a shot of Vincent Gallo's sperm. For a half a million more, he'll even inseminate you himself. Unless he finds you attractive. In which case he'll hump you for free. But you still pay for the sperm. Wow. You've really got to admire the man's balls.
It Was the Skirt, Your Honour
November 25, 2005
Where rape is concerned, there is never much you can call good news. It happens often, is reported rarely, and convictions are few. The best that can be hoped for is a crawl towards greater enlightenment and care on behalf of the justice system, and on behalf of ordinary people. You hope that at least things can be stopped from getting any worse; this is why when newspapers start hollering that one in three people believes the blame for rape rests with its victims, you start to fear for the fragile advances in attitudes that have seemingly been made to date...
50 Centime
November 25, 2005
Human violence remains a terrifying force in our lives - something that is part of us, yet is as incomprehensible and frightening and alien as the black depths of the ocean. Have you ever seen pictures of the things that live in said black depths? They're fucking mental. Fish with glowing eyes and transparent fangs and little arms. They look like they were drawn by mad children.
by th txtng ov my thms, smthng wkd ths wy cms
November 21, 2005
It's obvious from a swift glance at the telly that the national attention span deficit is widespread and chronic... it's as if we're blithely floating away from the sturdy pillars of knowledge that give our lives meaning. So imagine the beatings of breasts when it was reported this week that our great literary classics have been reduced to text-message summaries...
Cancer: Coming Soon to a Mouth Near You
November 21, 2005
We've all asked ourselves at one time or another how we'd like to die. The answer of course is that we'd like to have a massive painless heart attack whilst receiving the oral sex award for Healthiest Living Nonagenarian. But we know that's not likely. Much more likely is that we'll be slowly eaten to death in a single bed, with only Richard, Judy and our regrets for company.
The Darkness: Copyright Protection Racket
November 11, 2005
The trouble with being at the forefront of fashion is that the joy of spearheading a trend is short-lived; soon, oh soon, you will tumble from favour into a bottomless bin of cringe. You might be chuffed to have reached the heights, but you have to accept the inevitability that - cool curdles...
David Cameron: Be Honest - Do You Really Give a Fuck?
November 11, 2005
During the media frenzy over whether David Cameron had taken drugs, or, more accurately, when he'd last taken cocaine, many people sighed and said 'Yes, we know he's taken drugs at some point, but what about the policies?' But look at his policies and you begin to realise Cameron's stance on drugs isn't much different to his stance on everything else: as vague as a distant landmark on a misty day. As seen by a mole. Who's just woken up. And has cataracts...
The Sorted, Thwarted - An Ecstasy Survivor Writes
November 7, 2005
This week marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Leah Betts. Betts was the sort of happy, well-adjusted, ordinary middle-class teenager whose image has become front-page catnip. At a house party for her 18th birthday, she took a single ecstasy pill... five days later, the life support machines were switched off. And so began an unprecedented media campaign aimed at frightening the shit - and the curiosity - out of young people...
The TFT Guide to... Yob Festivities
November 7, 2005
This year's Halloween night demonstrated an increasingly common contemporary phenomenon: a rise in yob behaviour precipitated by traditional festivities. Police reported an increase in yob incidents on 31 October, including a man being attacked by youths and subsequently needing reconstructive surgery for a broken jaw, cheekbone and eye socket. So if the march of the yobs continues, what can we expect our festivities to be like in the near future?...
Taking Offence: The Best Form of Defence
November 7, 2005
It's been a good week for the easily offended. This week the Hindu Forum of Britain criticised a Royal Mail Christmas stamp depicting Hindus worshipping the baby Jesus, calling it 'disrespectful'. Not to be left out, Christians and traditionalists were offended by reports that Lambeth Council was calling its Christmas lights 'winter lights'... Maybe it's time for the following groups in society to stand up and get whinging...
The New Puritans
October 28, 2005
If they drink at all, they don't do so to excess; if they eat, they do so not for pleasure, and obviously, fast food, chocolates, meat, sugar and salt are off the menu; they do not indulge in casual sex - indeed, many of them only copulate in order to procreate, although approximately half do not copulate at all as they consider over-population the most important issue of the day...
The TFT Guide to... the Mitchell Brothers
October 28, 2005
Grant persuades Phil to engage in some incredibly vague criminal activity involving a sawn-off shotgun in a sports bag, but no apparent criminal act. Phil and Grant have a stand-off with a ruthless gangland boss who is never seen committing any act of violence and who is in awe of Peggy, for no readily apparent reason. After a politically correct team of police turn up in Albert Square, Grant mysteriously disappears again - just as the next series of ITV's Ultimate Force goes into production.
SS Club Seven
October 28, 2005
L7 throwing tampons at their audience; Jarvis Cocker crooning about drugs; Rik Waller. You can always rely on music to stir controversy. But take a couple of eerily genetically-apposite blonde pre-teens, liberally basted with full-on neo-fascism and singing sweetly about men who ran concentration camps, and suddenly the entire punk movement seems a bit pansy. The American channel ABC this week screened a documentary about the thirteen-year-old Gaede twins, who are just like the Olsens, except they're Nazis. Well, it's a unique selling point
TFT Guide to... Surviving Bird Flu
October 21, 2005
This week the chief medical officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, revealed that it will be impossible to stop an avian flu pandemic reaching the UK, with the potential to kill 50,000 people. So what can we do to protect ourselves against the coming epidemic?... 1) Leave a sachet of Lemsip on your bird table every day...
Things Can Only Get Verse
October 21, 2005
Anyone who has ever spent any time in the Highlands of Scotland will know that it can be a very bleak and depressing place. All that stark, desolate landscape and soddening rolling mist. All that harsh, impenetrable heather and those roads of varying height. It should therefore come as no surprise that in recent years the suicide rate in the Highlands has been well above the national average. Thankfully, the arts organisation HI-Arts (the 'HI' stands for Highlands and Islands) has come up with the solution. And the solution is poetry...
Win Friends and Influence People, the Yorkshire Ripper Way
October 21, 2005
This week John Humble appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court charged with perverting the course of justice by pretending to be the Yorkshire Ripper. Humble sent letters and a tape to the police, taunting them for not yet having caught 'him'. As well as wasting massive amounts of police time and taxpayers' money, it also sent the investigation in the wrong direction for three years, during which three more women were killed. Still, you've got to have a hobby.
TFT Goes... In Search of Crack Squirrels
October 14, 2005
A story appeared at the end of last week in a local South London paper suggesting that Brixton squirrels, after digging up rocks buried by panicky dealers, had become addicted to crack... It's clearly a load of old nonsense, but in a week full of fire, earthquake and Tories, it suddenly seemed worth looking into in slightly more depth...
Puppy Love
October 14, 2005
Dogs are well known for bringing people together. The number of relationships that have resulted from a conversation over a dog on the end of a lead, or two dogs on the end of two leads, is most probably in the brazillions. When you get right down to it, dogs are like furry little cupids. So it's hardly surprising that those funny money-from-love Germans have set up a new online dating agency called Date-a-Dog...
TFT Meets... Mark McGowan
October 11, 2005
It was probably 'The Running Tap' that finally saw Mark McGowan topple Tracey Emin as the artist most likely to be viciously spat into debates about Modern Art, and what a ludicrous, offensive waste of time it really is. After all, at least Emin can embroider. What can Mark McGowan do?
TFT Goes To: Sadler's Wells
October 11, 2005
Watching these two perfect specimens of human physicality brought to mind the ghastly memory of Barry Austin, Britain's Fattest Man, who graced our television screens the week before, courtesy of Sky One. It is almost impossible to believe that Barry Austin and Silvie Guillem are the same species.
A Very British Coo
October 4, 2005
Just as you never pat cripples on the head, point and scream when a midget comes into the room or tie middle-aged men to radiators and leave them there to starve, so should you never lean over newborn babies and make cutesy nonsensical noises at them. They're not retards and they don't deserve your condescension and abuse.
TFT Guide to... Condensed Reads
October 4, 2005
Recently it was announced that a condensed version of the Bible is being published, which, allegedly, can be read in 100 minutes. TFT wondered what other books might benefit from being condensed?... Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein: 'Frodo goes somewhere. Frodo gets chased. Frodo escapes. Frodo goes somewhere else. Frodo gets chased. Frodo escapes. Frodo goes somewhere else. Frodo gets chased. Frodo escapes... (repeat for 1,500 pages). The End.'
Fashionably Fucked-up
September 23, 2005
This week was London Fashion Week, the annual opportunity for the industry as a whole to show people who ordinarily couldn't care less, what a significant, worthwhile and hugely under-appreciated thing it really is. Unfortunately, this year, somewhere along the line, something went horribly wrong.
The TFT Guide To... Leaving a Beautiful Corpse
September 23, 2005
This week the Guardian revealed, with no little nausea, that a rather ghoulishly pragmatic Chinese cosmetics company is using skin harvested from the corpses of convicts and aborted foetuses in the development of beauty products sold in Europe. After rinsing down the floor, wiping our mouths and calming our hysterical mothers, we read on...
Sticks and Stones: A Blogger Writes
September 17, 2005
Until this Tuesday, I ran a moderately popular blog called Shot By Both Sides. Now, I don't. This isn't because I've decided that writing political nonsense on the Internet is a waste of time - it's because someone was so offended by my writings that they decided to blackmail my employers into firing me...
Squaring Off
September 17, 2005
Once the haunt of several hundred thousand pigeons and half as many seed-peddlers, Trafalgar Square is now haunted only by the curious emptiness of its fourth plinth. That, and several hundred thousand hysterical cricket fans jumping in the fountains. But the empty plinth has stood for years as a discomforting vacuum, a yawning chasm where solid ground should be...
Only When I LOL
September 17, 2005
This coming Monday sees the twenty-third anniversary of the : - ) Yes, it's been two and a bit decades since one Scott E Fahlman, a Pittsburgh computer scientist, had his Archimedes moment and realised that the most natural and common of human expressions could be rendered in otherwise grumpy everyday punctuation. On the 19th September 1982 Fahlman typed a colon, a dash and a bracket, explained 'read it sideways', and the smiley was born.
The TFT Guide To... Modern Manners
September 9, 2005
...If you're out dogging in a national trust car park and see Steve McFadden grunting like a pig as he ejaculates down the side of a Ford Escort, don't point and stare. It's rude. If you are forced to cycle on the pavement, always cycle as though you're on the road, or, better still, as though you're taking part in the speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi.
Greying Matter
September 9, 2005
Great news this week as serious scientists declared that the gradual decay of brain tissue associated with old age is merely a state of mind. Or in other words, you’re only as old as you feel. Sounding more like Heat magazine than anyone you could possibly take seriously, Professor Ian Robertson of Trinity College Dublin told the Evening Standard, ‘I think the best advice is really to think young.’ And - let’s not forgot - beautiful. If you want to be loved.
Smile Like You Ketamine It
September 9, 2005
Here's the bad (oh so very, very bad news): kids are taking ketamine. Ketamine is a drug. It's a drug (oh no!) that's got something to do with Vietnam. (Vietnam - death - spectacular American failure - bad films - oh no!) It's bigger than ecstacy. (Ecstacy - Leah Betts - thirty-plus deaths per year - bad music - help!) But it's OK...
The TFT Guide To... Shagging Your Workmates
September 2, 2005
It was recently claimed that the affair between England manager Sven Goran Eriksson and Faria Alam, a secretary at the Football Association, had continued even after they’d been found out. But if you’re going to dip your nib in the company inkwell, how should you go about it? TFT makes some suggestions…
Dicks: Clever - A Woman Writes
September 2, 2005
Intelligence can be a bit of an albatross, and the media really love to whip out the blunderbuss and take some pot shots at it whenever they can... This week, it’s some tiresome piffle about IQ tests. Apparently, research shows that men are more intelligent than women. Get Buerk on the phone! Vindication is nigh!
Defending the Right to Ridicule
September 2, 2005
Ironically, nothing incites religious hatred like religion itself. Rightly or wrongly (wrongly as it transpires) religious guide books such as The Bible and The Qur’an have provided a staggering amount of ammunition for haters throughout history. Leviticus for example, reeks of incitement...
The TFT Pete Doherty Test
September 2, 2005
For someone whose career high point was The Libertines, Pete Doherty gets a lot of attention. From the fans it’s adoring; from the media it’s a combination of venom and speculation about overdoses, wasted talent, the perils of crack and suchlike. However, there’s another way of looking at Pete’s situation, and that is: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD DO ANY DIFFERENTLY? If you doubt this, simply take TFT’s Pete Doherty Test...
The Three Rs – Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
August 26, 2005
Hot on the heels of last week’s exciting, controversial, record-breaking A-Level results came this week’s controversial, exciting, record-breaking GCSE results. The only way to tell them apart is to count the pubes.
When Is A Rock Not A Rock? (When It’s A Fossilised Alien)
August 26, 2005
Eric Kaesberg is a gold prospector and rock collector from California. In 1999 he was digging for gold/rocks and ‘looked down at his rock sifter and noticed little faces looking up at him’. Intrigued, he kept looking and accumulated ‘22 small rocks all in the shape of alien heads with faces on them.’
Me, Me, Menezes
August 26, 2005
As everybody knows, the one thing that traumatised survivors of terrorism really, really want is publicity. Just that little slurp of the spotlight, that initial on-the-spot fleeting exchange with a wild-eyed reporter, is enough to rouse a sleeping beast slavering for attention. They're quite literally panting for press. A few strangers staring at their bruises and bandages in the street isn't quite enough - they need the eyes of the world on them.
'Hiphopera': Groovy teacher syndrome at work?
August 20, 2005
Great news for opera buffs: Mozart's opera Cosi Fan Tutte is being updated as a 'hiphopera' at Glyndebourne, complete with rapping and people saying 'wicked' a lot. But if you're not familiar with the original, it goes something like this...
The TFT Guide To... The Edinburgh Festival Fringe
August 20, 2005
Crap plays, bad comedians, getting your head kicked in by neds - yes, it's the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! But leaving aside the cultural joys of a city where you can buy deep fried Mars bars and effeminate-looking dolls of the Black Watch in plastic tubes, what theatrical treats can you expect at this year's Fringe?
Suicide bombers: a bit weird, frankly
August 20, 2005
From the Western, liberal perspective, there aren't many benefits of Islamic extremism and largely random terrorism, apart from the fact that it's kick-started a massive industry: analysis of the causes of Islamic extremism.
The TFT Guide To... Convenience products
August 20, 2005
Scientists have developed the kiwi berry, a bite-sized kiwi fruit with hairless, edible skin that can be 'eaten on the run'. And about fucking time too. There's quite literally nothing worse than having to sit down to eat a kiwi fruit. But what other things should the boffins redesign for our convenience?
24 Hour Paralytic People
August 20, 2005
This November will see the long-awaited relaxation in drinking laws, leading to much partying and pummelling in the streets in a hail of bottles and horrified media glee. Given the embarrassing state of British drinking culture ('culture' as in 'Celebrity Love Island', or maybe mildew), it seems a good idea to at least try *something*, since it can hardly get much worse. However, with the doomy clang of inevitability, this week the Council of Her Majesty's Court Judges threw up their hands and pre-emptively proclaimed disaster.
Boom, shake, shake, shake the exercise yard
August 20, 2005
No, really, we really shouldn't laugh. Prison bombing is a serious business after all. But there is something perversely hilarious about the fact that this week Muslim 'shoe bomber' Saajid Badat was able to assemble and detonate a small weedkiller-based bomb within the walls of Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire.
The TFT Guide To... Home Testing Kits
August 5, 2005
This week we learned that the over-60s will be able to get free home testing kits for bowel cancer from the government. For once this sounds like terrific idea (although discovering you've got cancer won't be a 'bowel' of laughs, obviously). As a result, TFT wondered what other tests we could carry out on ourselves...
Boy Scout Freakout!
August 5, 2005
On July 25th, the first day of the 2005 National Scout Jamboree, four Alaskan scout leaders were killed in a freak electrical accident when the pole of the tent they were erecting came into contact with an overhead electrical cable. Well, maybe not so much a freak electrical accident as a freakishly stupid oversight. We just didn't want to sound callous. But really, these were 'long-time scouters' apparently, who had been putting up tents since they were knee-high to a gopher. Still, they only had a 7.000-acre field to play with and accidents do happen.
Rape: Here Come the Weirdoes
August 5, 2005
...The point made by Miranda Sawyer's article is that there is a massive disparity between the number of rape allegations made and actual convictions. It's estimated that in 2003 50,000 women were raped. In the same year, 11,867 rapes were reported to the police. Only 1,649 went to trial and of those, only 629 resulted in convictions. Unless tens of thousands of false rape allegations are being made, there's something very wrong here. But as soon as you point this out, bloke-in-the-pub types start saying 'Yes, but we can't just tip the balance in favour of women, because then anyone with a grudge will be able to ruin someone's life with a rape accusation.' ...
My Thongs: # 8245 - 8249
August 5, 2005
This week's 'gay old time' moment for the media came in the form of a skimpy little downturn in the sale of thongs. Still clearly gasping for funnies, all the papers pounced like pun-hungry tigers. Yes, the laughable excuses for knickers are no longer selling like hot hookers.
The Abonimable Yeppie
August 5, 2005
Meet the Yeppies: 'Young Experimenting Perfection Seekers', the latest dubious social group identified by thinktank The Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC). It's the latest in a long line of contemporary tribes that has included the Yuppies, Buppies, Dinkies, Shrinkies, Tinkiewinkies, Wankies and Nazies (we may have made some of those up.)
Greenish gold
July 31, 2005
This week it emerged that due to a drought in Spain, the price of yummy, versatile and healthful olive oil is set to rocket. (They could always make it out of something other than olives, no one would know. It never smells like olives. It smells like something inedible you could use to clean gently some part of your car.) Never was there such a conspicuous candidate for nudging us toward global flashpoint.
Muslims: Are you integrating comfortably?
July 31, 2005
As unanswerable questions go, how much Muslims should integrate is up there with ‘What percentage of penguins do you think are happy?’ Not only is it unclear what it means to ‘integrate’, but how can you ever say what is too much or not enough? And, of course, it’s one of those totally subjective questions based on perceptions rather than any hard facts or figures. Does a Muslim in London know how much a Muslim in Leeds is ‘integrating’, or vice versa? Maybe there’s a scale of integration: 100 per cent integration: See no conflict between being a Muslim and a career in lap dancing... 11 per cent: Have lived in Tipton all your life but mainly see yourself as one of the Mujahedin.
The TFT Guide To... The Very Hungry Caterpillar
July 31, 2005
This week it was revealed that Eric Carle’s classic children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is being turned into a film, with the rights going for ‘a seven-figure sum’, according to BBC news online. So good to luck to the screenwriter who has to turn this rather short book into a 105-minute summer blockbuster. But what other children’s classics are being snapped up by film makers?
Right not to not die
July 30, 2005
It’s not unsimple. Most people expect the right to live. Some people desire the right to die. Others want the right to not die if there’s a hint of a ghost of a whisper of a chance that a few brain cells can be kept gasping on the treadmill for a few more precious moments. This week, a 45-year-old man with a degenerative brain condition unwon his right to not die. That sound you don’t hear is Diane Pretty, who fought for legal release from the body that had become worse than useless to her, not spinning in her grave.
Keeping it simple
July 30, 2005
We were always only visitors, but there were those who lived on the estuary all year round. They seemed to me to be an unhurried and unhurryable lot, both wizened and wise, whose eyes sparkled beneath unkempt mops of white hair. They would sometimes help me across the concrete cubes when the gaps appeared to have widened since the last crossing. They would answer my many questions, though their answers often left me more baffled than before. They told tales full of mystery, tales without endings and laughed heartily at jokes beyond my years. I learned quickly that they shared something that would forever be lost on my family: the secret of keeping it simple.
Water on the braindead
July 30, 2005
He’s back. This time we tried to ignore him. It wasn’t easy, and ultimately, obviously, we failed. Mark McGowan reappeared in the papers a month ago on the back of his latest artwork: a running tap in a plugless sink in an art gallery kitchen in Camberwell. The work is called ‘The Running Tap: 28 June 2005 - 27 June 2006’. By the end of the year-long exhibit, McGowan estimates he will have wasted 15 million litres of water.
The Church of England: Ambivalent to be gay
July 30, 2005
Once again the Church of England has returned to one of its obsessions: homosexuality. Not that Rowan Williams and the guys are planning to hit a couple of bars in Soho then go on to a club and check out the talent in a celebration of liberated sexuality and popper-fuelled hot man-love. Oh no. Instead they’re back to their strange and unnatural practice of endlessly talking about it.
Moviejism: How the hell did they arse that up?
July 30, 2005
You don’t have to look far for spectacularly bad renditions of promising material. Judge Dredd springs to mind. More recently someone fucked up Electra Assassin, and by all accounts The Fantastic Four is fairly rubbish. It also seems to be the law that films based on good books like Alfie and Day of the Jackal, once turned into good films, then have to be remade as junk. This week we learned that the rights to The Very Hungry Caterpillar have been sold, but the precedents don’t auger well. Five words: The Cat in the Hat.
Mouseacre
July 30, 2005
This week, as the world’s attention focused on the ongoing Situation, another violent and sustained campaign was raging on a tiny island in the Atlantic. Gough Island is home to huge colonies of seabirds including shearwaters, petrels and albatross. It is also home to some really fucking big mice....
Friends reunited, marriages dissolved
July 24, 2005
Whatever the ‘success’ stories emanating from Friends Reunited, it’s hard to truly believe it’s anything other than a bit dodgy. Hooking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend from school could conceivably be a good idea. But only if you’re pretty sure that the person you shagged/snogged/lusted after is the person you want to be with 10 or 20 years after the event. It would be interesting to know how many of these romances survive, not least because in the intervening years you’ve probably done a selective mental edit of the person you remember, turning Julie of 7PW into Helen of Troy. Or Helen of Terminal Moraine.
Terribly unimpressive events
July 24, 2005
In what seemed to be a desperate cry for help, four seemingly non-suicide bombers failed either to bomb or to suicide in London yesterday. Armed police chased one man, wanting merely to console him, but he ran off sobbing into a ruined rucksack. Several fundamentalist groups posted messages on their websites claiming no responsibility for the attack whatsoever. 'These men are an embarrassment to our cause', said one, 'and we wish to point out we have never been affiliated with any of them. Except the one who at least broke the bus window. He's alright.'
Fear of failing
July 24, 2005
Of course there is much to be said for not telling a child who fails to complete a homework assignment to a satisfactory standard that he or she is a useless little bastard. And children should be shown that they are not coming up to academic scratch without making them feel humiliated or defeated. But telling kids who are failing that they’ve done ‘jolly well’ - although terribly sweet - might not provide the necessary incentive to actually do well.
Fear of failing II: An English teacher writes
July 24, 2005
Retired primary school teacher Liz Beattie has suggested that the word ‘fail’ should be removed from schools, like so much contaminated fish pie. ‘If children at an early age decide, “I can't do school, I can't learn to read or do this maths stuff”, they are losing an enormous part of their lives,’ said Beattie. ‘Some children who have a problem are being turned off the whole education process almost before they have embarked on it simply because failure is a thing they see quite a lot of.’ The motion itself, the wording of which Beattie has said she doesn’t necessarily agree with, booms: ‘Conference believes it is time to delete the word 'fail' from the educational vocabulary to be replaced with the concept of “deferred success”.’ Cue seismic outbreak of giggling at the back, and some of those fake farty-noises you make with your armpit.
Losing the war on abstract nouns
July 15, 2005
The scary thing about terror in the modern sense, as is generally accepted, is that it’s not actually there. You can’t get at it. It’s an abstraction, an idea – it uses people’s reactions and emotions as weapons against themselves. This is why you can’t attack it in the conventional sense – it’s like Stan hitting Olly in the head with a two-by-four to get a fly. It is warfare by mindfuck. Thus it’s only logical to deploy our own mindfuck, but rather a pleasant, peaceful, masturbatory, orgiastic sort of mindfuck.
Bad medicine
July 15, 2005
Mental illness, like internet dating and saying ‘fuck’ in front of your parents, is almost acceptable nowadays. Pop stars and actors speak openly of their experience of going a bit funny – even the Wrath of Cruise fails to deter them. Visit your GP during one of your long dark weeks of the soul and you should expect to be treated with sympathy, respect and Good Drugs.
The TFT Guide To... Getting back to normal
July 15, 2005
Oh God, what a week it’s been. If Al Quaeda hasn’t scared you shitless, then ITV News probably has with their relentlessly sensationalist coverage telling you ‘THE NIGHTMARE ISN’T OVER!!! SECONDARY DEVICES ARE EVERYWHERE!!! IN FACT, PROBABLY DOWN THE BACK OF YOUR SOFA!!!’ But what can we all do to help get things back to normal as soon as possible? TFT makes some suggestions...
Idiots: They will never be beaten
July 15, 2005
You have to be pretty idiotic to imagine you can stop the juggernaut which is western ‘civilisation’, but it doesn’t stop them trying. A few bombsaren’t exactly going to cripple our thriving military-industrial complex and ruthlessly powerful economic system. Not to mention the West’s incredibly popular cultural imperialism. Al Quaeda versus the Coca Cola Corporation? Give it up, guys. But if the London bombings have taught us one thing, it’s that idiocy respects no national, cultural or racial boundaries. Take some of the idiots we’ve seen this week...
Speaking volumes
July 15, 2005
Much has been said about the silence affording time for respect for the victims, for reflection upon the tragedy as a whole, and for defiance in the face of those who made it happen. But what is really inspiring about a mass silence such as this is the act of solidarity itself. It is about people saying, in a voice that no amount of words could ever afford them, that they have been touched by some shared heartbreak and that they desperately don’t want it to happen again.
Speaking volumes
July 15, 2005
Much has been said about the silence affording time for respect for the victims, for reflection upon the tragedy as a whole, and for defiance in the face of those who made it happen. But what is really inspiring about a mass silence such as this is the act of solidarity itself. It is about people saying, in a voice that no amount of words could ever afford them, that they have been touched by some shared heartbreak and that they desperately don’t want it to happen again.
Prime suspects
July 15, 2005
Remember – the only way to be sure that you do not miss anyone suspicious is to be suspicious of everyone. Even yourself. The next time someone asks you if you packed your bag yourself, reply: ‘Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bomb in it, does it? I might have packed the bomb myself and could still answer truthfully that yes, I packed the bag myself....'
The TFT Guide To... The speeches Churchill never made
July 10, 2005
This week saw the start of celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2 in Europe and Japan, including a frankly strange decision to project images of German troops onto Buckingham Palace, offering a tantalising glimpse of what might have been, if you're a Neo Nazi. But no WW2 celebration is complete without remembering our most inspirational of British leaders, Winston Churchill, whose rousing, beautifully crafted speeches helped inspire and unite a nation against overwhelming odds. However, this made us wonder about the draft speeches he rejected...
Make papacy history
July 10, 2005
The Make Poverty History campaign is very big on the fact that people are dying for want of drugs we can pick up at our local pharmacy - a shame indeed - and that the cost of HIV treatment is still prohibitive for most Africans. All of this is sobering and salient. But the campaign seems, bewilderingly, to pull up short of suggesting preventative methods, concerning itself solely with treatment. When it comes to thinking in the long-term on this, as it does on the idea of eventual self-sufficiency in trade terms, it seems to get a little queasy and blush. It's not like condoms are prohibitively expensive (even if they were, shouldn't someone be making a fuss about this as they are about the drugs - need for which would be lessened if fewer people were infected in the first place?) - the only reason for their glaring omission from the campaign can be fear of causing religious outrage.
The London Olympics: Doing it for the kids
July 8, 2005
Such has been the mindless enthusiasm for the London Olympics, it's easy to get a bit paranoid and imagine that if you express the slightest criticism you'll be dragged off to a Pol Pot-style re-education camp. A camp where Tessa Jowell will beat you with a big stick until you finally break and mumble 'I'm backing the bid... I'm backing the bid....'
The baffling appeal of the Royal Family, revisited
July 3, 2005
It’s hardly the first time a dumb blonde has been screwed by one of the Kennedys, but this week we learned that Princess Diana (allegedly) slept with John F Kennedy Junior. The ‘revelations’ came from one of Diana’s creepy spiritual advisors, who obviously wasn’t spiritual enough to turn down a few thousand quid from the tabloids. Womanising seems to have come to the Kennedys as naturally as swimming comes to a fish. JFK shagged around, and seemed to have a pretty low opinion of women, while brother Teddy took it to the next level by inadvertently drowning an attractive secretary after driving off a bridge after a party on Lake Chappaquiddick. It’s interesting that people talk about The Curse of the Kennedys, and not The Curse of Anyone Who Knew the Kennedys.
WAWIBF... Flag-burning
July 3, 2005
This week two fine upstanding Floridians, both 18, were incarcerated after going on what has been described as ‘a flag-burning spree’ on Sunday morning. Scott Baber and Brian Richard III drove around Bent Tree, Sarasota, FL in the wee small hours with a can of gasoline. They set fire to four American flags in total. Hardly a spree, but probably more than most of us burned last weekend.
Chavs: MPs' best friends
July 3, 2005
The difference between being a nice middle class chappie who happens to support Fulham and the actual charvers is so vast it’s actually offensive. Stephen Pound isn’t a chav, not even an aspirant chav, unless he clocks off from the House of Commons and heads straight for the nearest corner shop to abuse the staff and do a bit of shoplifting. Equally vile is the way MPs always use football to give themselves working class credentials, as though they’d be just as at home with the Chelsea Headhunters as they are in the House of Commons bar.
Making wristbands history
July 3, 2005
The trouble with the Make Poverty History campaign is that it’s too easy for people, especially pear-cider-sozzled festival-goers, to join in a big display of something for the helicopters and whoop and think that they’ve done their bit, that they have contributed something. As though wearing a bit of rubbery stuff around one wrist directly puts food in some Kenyan street-urchin’s mouth. The wristbands were designed as a simple statement of the wearer’s alignment with an ideal, but have quickly become perverted to the extent that they might as well say ‘Make Sickening Public Displays Of Altruism History’.
Week of the Week: National Poop Scoop Week
July 3, 2005
Owning a dog brings responsibility. You must for example, train Patches not to rend other creatures limb from limb, not to rend the post leaf from leaf, and you should not under any circumstances force him to wear a faux-leopardskin poncho. Perhaps most importantly you have to hold your breath, say to hell with dignity and pick up his poopie in public. National Poop Scoop Week aims to hand a scented nappy-sack of awareness to the last dog owners who have failed to grasp that this is the polite and community-spirited thing to do.
Project Holiday
July 3, 2005
On Sunday a shocking new Foreign and Commonwealth Office report entitled ‘Project Holiday’ was smeared like laughably low factor tanning milk across the summer news-sheets. It was the usual tosh, revealing that most young Britons go abroad with the sole triple-pronged intention of poisoning themselves with overpriced lager, having unprotected sex with as many partners as possible and battering at least one or two natives to the ground with their bloated, peeling fists...
Bad idea #254,987: Sniper at work
June 29, 2005
TFT has commented before on bad ideas, which seem to be much more likely to be actualised than good ones. The list is practically endless: the remake of Get Carter, the Vietnam War, The Proclaimers, the Amritsar massacre, pencil tops,...
The TFT Guide To... The poor old middle classes
June 29, 2005
This week it was announced that people earning over £37,000 - 13 per cent of the working population - are paying more than half the total income tax for the whole nation. In other words, anyone on a half-decent income is subbing the chavs and povs. Meanwhile the middle classes face the cost of paying for private education, falling real incomes, stealth taxes and falling property prices. Oh dear. Can things get any worse? TFT speculates...
The TFT Guide To... What wristbands really mean
June 17, 2005
This week a survey of teenagers claimed that the dreaded Young People are using wristbands to demonstrate more than support for a charity - they're being used to denote sexual preference. The survey, which is almost certainly bollocks, said that a red wristband denotes sexual availability, purple means they're gay, and so on. But the question remains, what does wearing a wristband really say about you?
TFT Goes To... The V&A
June 17, 2005
'Try me,' say the exhibits at the V&A's new contemporary design show, 'Touch Me', which opened yesterday. 'Feel me,' they purr. 'Scratch me.'
ASBOS: The antidote
June 17, 2005
The Asbo scheme was extended last week to include 'mini-Asbos', inevitably rousing both opponents and supporters. On Saturday the former general secretary of civil rights group Liberty, Andrew Puddephatt, accused opponents of the scheme of being sillybuggers, and reminded them that the victims of anti-social behaviour have rights too. Then the current Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti complained of the 'tough talk and arbitrary powers which make insufficient distinction between criminality, irritation and social exclusion', further opining that 'the naming and shaming of children is more akin to the medieval stocks than a 21st-century law and order strategy. We are in danger of transforming Britain into Asboland.'
Heavy betting
June 17, 2005
Is there anything more tragic than being addicted to the Internet? By that we don't mean *using* the internet as a useful or entertaining activity. We mean spending endless hours surfing moronic chat groups, voting in inconsequential online polls and the relentless pursuit of 'cool stuff!', ie. crap Java games.
Everything gives you cancer
June 17, 2005
This week, a Cancer Research UK survey revealed that one in three British women would be willing to have both breasts removed if they thought they were at high risk of breast cancer. The survey also claimed that the British fear cancer more than any other country in Europe. Even more than we fear Belgium. Hardly surprising really, given our media's insatiable appetite for a good old health scare. Indeed, not five minutes later, another gloomy bunch of boffins announced that excessive consumption of red and processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer.
Strange things happen
June 15, 2005
Crisp with confused foreboding, the air cools. Goose-bumps trash your arms and shoppers in the high street stop shopping and peer skywards in silence. You stop your bike. You crane your neck. You peer along with the rest. The cloud moves toward you with great speed. Clouds come in all shapes and sizes of course, as you know from years of observing them, but this is like none you've ever seen. This is no ordinary cloud. Just as you begin to realise that this incredible cloud is actually directly overhead, the first of a shower of tiny green frogs smashes into your face and knocks you to the ground.
Journojism: The real Mrs Robinson
June 15, 2005
Anne Bancroft's recent death sparked a flurry of articles about relationships with older women, although Bancroft was only 34 when she played Mrs Robinson. (It proves that then, as now, in Hollywood it was fine for virtual geriatrics to play romantic leads if they happened to be men, but an 'older woman' was one in their mid 30s.)
Mobile Phone Chicken: The latest from chav world
June 15, 2005
The continued existence of the chav species appears to depend on high breeding rates. Like baby frogs, the chavs face many threats to their survival not experienced by other members of society: getting attacked/killed by other chavs in pointless street aggro, crashing a twocked Sierra Cosworth into a flyover, falling off buildings while attempting to burgle them whilst pissed, etc.
The pervert at the next desk
June 15, 2005
Officials investigating internet use by 140,000 employees at the Department for Work and Pensions found 2.3 million pages of pornographic material had been accessed. The next time you get any correspondence from the DWP, it might a good idea to give it a quick wipe first.
Child Murder And More Ready-Made Conversations: A TFT Resource
June 4, 2005
Mercifully, child-on-child attempted murder is a very rare thing. However, it's considerably likely that however much you'd prefer to avoid the horrible subject of the attempted hanging of Anthony Hinchliffe, you'll be dragged into an interminable speak-your-brains conversation with workmates or people down the pub. Having realised this, we decided to create an instant Bad Conversations crib sheet. Simply print out the following article and effortlessly take part in any idiotic conversation about issues of the moment without having to flex a single braincell.
The TFT Guide To... Prison Reform
June 4, 2005
This week a report found that Bristol Prison had 'lost its way' for a host of reasons: inmates felt unsafe, young adults were mixed with adult offenders and sex offenders, and inmates did not have enough activities to occupy their time. So if our prisons are in such a mess, what can we do to improve them?
WAWIBF... Pride
May 29, 2005
There has been a lot of pride kicking about this week thanks to the truly remarkable performance of Liverpool FC in Istanbul on Wednesday. As the team's Chief Executive, Rick Parry said: 'We do tend to specialise in dramatic cup finals that entertain the whole continent.' Never a truer word. Even people who have absolutely no interest in football whatsoever were forced to admit that they had never in their shabby little lives been so entertained.
Bleary ideas
May 29, 2005
After last week's front page headlines declaring that Hazel Blears intends to humiliate community service offenders with Guantanamo Bay-style orange gimp-suits, this week the MP for Salford felt she had a little explaining to do.
All carrot, no stick
May 29, 2005
In America in the good old days there used to be something called 'National Meat Week'. It was introduced by Senator Jessie Helmsand was basically one of the many ways in which Reagan et al showed the great American meat industry how much they really appreciated the handouts. Sadly, we never had a National Meat Week here. And we probably never will. What we do have however, is National Vegetarian Week. In fact, we're having it now. Right now.
Big on propaganda, big on the causes of propaganda
May 22, 2005
Given the obvious confusion and contradictions surrounding youth crime, maybe we need to take a whole new look at the issue. To this end we have produced a policy document that we will be sending to the Home Office. We'll keep you updated with their response.
Everything stops for tea
May 22, 2005
Tory turncoat and dubious kerb-crawler William Gladstone once said, 'If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.' He was of course, in the main, quite wrong. What perhaps he should have said was, 'If you are dull, tea will please you. If you are anything less than dull, it will bore you to tears.' The good news then, is that tea - tedious, soulless little drink that it is - is finally on the way out...
Special consideration
May 15, 2005
New guidelines set out this week by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) stipulate that in the future, pupils taking exams in times of personal hardship may have a few extra per cent added to their overall grade, partly just to cheer them up a bit, partly to attempt to balance out the horrid hand dealt them by a cruel and callous god. Isn't that nice? No-one could possibly piss and moan abut that, surely?
Michael Jackson: We blame the parents
May 15, 2005
As the Michael Jackson child abuse case trundles on it is coming to resemble pure panto, and for the time being at least, it looks as though Jacko is going to get off.
Teenage sex: skinheads do it with baloons
May 15, 2005
This week the Bluewater Shopping centre announced a ban on hooded tops to deter young crims from thieving and general yobbery. John Prescott supported the move and said he had almost been a victim of youthful yobbery: 'happy slapping', hitting someone and filming their reaction on your mobile.
You know when you've been happy slapped
May 15, 2005
Happy Slaps films are this decade's skiffle. This is how our teenagers are choosing to channel their creativity, and the challenge is to make Violence as funny and as entertaining as they can. Happy Slaps targets are almost always alone, often dozing on trains or relaxing on park benches: the key is that they must not be expecting the attack. The more cruel the violence, and the more flustered the reaction to it, the better the film is received amongst their peers. Films are then sent backwards and forwards like they're something to be proud of.
The TFT Guide to community support officers
May 15, 2005
This week the Government's plans to bolster the number of police with 'community support officers' came in for criticism. Critics suggested that CSOs might be a bit crap, because they won't be allowed to use handcuffs or detain anyone for more than 30 minutes. Which made us wonder what the future of policing is going to be like with more CSOs...
The Beltane book burning
May 11, 2005
As sybaritic neopagans the world over got naked and frolicsome to celebrate Beltane on Sunday, a hundred people or so in Wigtown in South West Scotland got together for a good old-fashioned book-burning.
The TFT Guide To: Corporate universities
May 1, 2005
Tutors at Ye Olde University of Oxforde have criticised plans for business wonks to have more say in the running of the institution. They're not happy about the controversial idea of setting up a board of trustees, many of whom have strong corporate links. But if business involvement continues to increase, what will higher education look like in the future?
E.R. my son
April 20, 2005
We've said some harsh things about footballers in the past, and indeed about football in general, and perhaps rightly we've been criticised for our seemingly intolerant and even reactionary stance. We'd like to redress that balance today by saying something wholly positive about the sport. We really would. But have you seen the newspapers this week?
The TFT Guide To The His And Hers Settings
April 20, 2005
BBC News online recently reported on a new trend: manufacturers are designing 'his and hers' settings into their goods: a toaster with two setting dials, double duvets with different thicknesses for each side of the bed, and, cleverly, a clock radio with two alarm settings so that you don't have to fumble about resetting the alarm if your partner gets up earlier than you. But what other things would benefit from 'his and hers' settings?
Papal Bullshit: Hypocrisy in action
April 10, 2005
This week George W Bush said Pope John Paul II was ‘the champion of human freedom'. It was one of many sick-making tributes to a man, real name Karol Wojtyla, who championed the cause of backward nonsense.
The TFT Guide To: The future of the papacy
April 10, 2005
You'd have thought God would take a bit more care of His representatives on Earth. Jesus, Joan of Arc, David Koresh, and now the Pope... all a bit fucked in the end. He could at least make them immortal. Or give them super-powers. Or robot exo-skeletons. But to move away from idle musings about The Predator Vs. Robo-Pope, what does the future hold for the papacy?
The TFT Guide To... Extreme April Fools
April 5, 2005
Your shoelace is undone! Ner! Gotcha, you April twat! Yes, it's time for the annual hilarity which is April Fool's day. With this in mind, TFT tells you how to get the most out of this day of side-splitting pranksterism. Did we mention that your shoelace is undone, by the way?
Teenage Sex: Don't open Pandora's box
March 26, 2005
Last week a Commons committee report said that sex education was failing because youngsters can be taught the biology of sex but don't have the emotional and social skills to cope with sexual relationships. The committee's next report is titled 'Sticking a fork in your eye: Substantial evidence suggests likelihood of unpleasant sensation.'
On pain of death
March 26, 2005
'Some people deserve to be killed.' These words were spoken earlier this week by a regular in a pub called the Starkey Arms in Heywood, Rochdale, as reported in The Independent. Paul Cooper used to drink in the Starkey Arms too. But not anymore. Not since last Friday night at around fifteen minutes to midnight, when he was set upon in his own home and beaten to death. The reason for the murder is straightforward: Cooper was a paedophile. He had it coming. But the main problem with this reasoning - not the only problem of course, but the main problem was that Cooper wasn't a paedophile at all. The mob had got it wrong.
The TFT Guide To Middle Class Comprehensives
March 26, 2005
A report has shown that the best comprehensives are being swamped by middle-class children, whose families are able to buy homes in the right catchment areas. So what will this mean for 'comprehensive' education in the future?
The NSPCC: The kids aren't alright
March 22, 2005
The NSPCC recently ran an extensive campaign to try to stop parents hitting children - you may have seen the rather terrifying adverts. Underpinning the campaign was extensive research, which found, among other things, that one in six parents of babies and toddlers lose their temper with their child almost every other day, and many admitted to 'over-reacting', ie. twatting the little bleeders.
Smells like Holy Spirit
March 22, 2005
When Cliff Richard stepped out of the pong closet last year, cast aside his naphthalene cloak and flogged the world his flowery stench, most of us assumed that the race for Most Virtuous Perfume was over. We were wrong. There is a new perfume in town, and it makes Cliff's Miss You Nights smell like Saddam Hussein. This scent however, does not come in a bottle. Hell, no. It comes in a candle, and the makers, Bob and Karen Tosterud, will have you believe that it is the actual scent, indeed the very essence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. What vision. It's called His Essence.
Worshipping in mysterious ways
March 22, 2005
Those goodly upstarts at Ship of Fools, the online 'magazine of Christian unrest', are at it again, trying desperately, diligently, this time maybe even successfully, partially, to yank Christianity into the 21st Century. A couple of summers ago they came up with The Ark, 'the world's first internet reality gameshow'. This was followed up last summer with The Church of Fools, 'the UK's first web-based 3D church', the graphics of which were reminiscent of those quaint Virtual Reality helmets in the 80s, but with praying, and without the helmet. This year however, they have hit pray-dirt.
TFT Guide To... Neo-traditional jokes
March 22, 2005
This week it was announced that Italian troops were pulling out of Iraq, no doubt in tanks that have one forward gear and ten reverse gears, ber-boom! This hackneyed 'joke' made us realise that good old-fashioned gags really do need to be updated. As ever, we at TFT laboured hard and long to come up with some traditional jokes that are relevant in the 21st Century.
The TFT Guide To: Affordability
March 11, 2005
This week we learned of plans to help younger people get on the property ladder by building affordable £50,000 homes that are pre-fabricated in a factory and assembled cheaply and quickly on site. This is a nice idea, so at TFT we wondered what other things could be made affordable?
Cookery Corner: Toxic food, blob people and class hatred
March 7, 2005
The recent scare over Sudan 1, the carcinogenic food dye, got us a bit paranoid. The list of products that may have been contaminated was a rogues' gallery of convenience food, ranging from the upscale to the inedible...
Darkie Days: It really is PCGM
March 7, 2005
For 363 days of the year, only one in every thousand people in Cornwall is black. But on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, there are a couple of dozen more. For these days are Darkie Days, when, according to tradition in Padstow, North Cornwall, men, women and children black themselves up and parade through the streets playing their accordions, singing their songs and raising money for worthy local causes.
The TFT Guide To: Infidelity
March 7, 2005
This week a survey claimed that more than one in four women had had an affair. Women aged 30 to 59 were surveyed on behalf of the witless magazine publisher Conde Nast, also revealing that one in 20 claimed to have had sex on a plane, while one in eight described their sex lives as 'kinky'. Which probably means doing it with the light on. But if women are having affairs willy-nilly, what does this mean for relationships?
Demeaning is simple
February 28, 2005
This week Italian sexpert Piero Lorenzoni exploded all over the anxious face of Sex Journalism like dead Benny Hill's balls.
Education: Time for a GCSE in realism?
February 28, 2005
Yet again the subject of A-levels reared its spotty head this week as Dr Geoff Parks, director of admissions at Cambridge University, said A-levels should be scrapped. And you can see why.
The TFT Guide To... Unpaid Working
February 28, 2005
This week the TUC highlighted the problem of unpaid working, which benefits employers to the tune of £23 billion every year. The TUC says unpaid overtime means that, in effect, the average worker takes until 25 February to start earning money for themselves, and suggests that British workers should celebrate by taking a proper lunch break this very day and maybe even having a pint with colleagues. This is obviously something we cannot condone, because it's this sort of Bolshie rabble-rousing that led to the storming of the Winter Palace, but what can we do about the problem of unpaid working?
Dresden: The other German-themed non-apology of the week
February 18, 2005
This week the old question of whether we should apologise for the bombing of Dresden cropped up yet again, as though saying 'Sorry' would somehow be of comfort to the thousands of people blown up, burned and suffocated. Maybe we could send them some chocolates - or a big nylon teddy bear in a T-shirt saying 'SORRY ABOUT THE FIRESTORM'. That should do the trick.
Ellen MacArthur: Giant advert returns triumphant
February 11, 2005
Ellen MacArthur differs from Christ and Sisyphus in that she had massive corporate sponsorship from B&Q. Which is somehow unfair because the crucifixion not only involved wood and nails, but also, in dragging the cross to Calvary, 'do-it-yourself'. Imagine that - instead of a sneery sign saying 'King of the Jews' on the cross, Jesus could have had 'You can do it if you B&Q it'.
Charles and Camilla: Not quite 1981 all over again
February 11, 2005
Cast your mind back to the heady days of 1981 and the royal wedding. It was an exciting time, and not just for tea towel manufacturers. There were street parties, adoring crowds, Union Jacks everywhere, endless TV coverage and commemorative mugs. Lots and lots of mugs. However, it's hard to imagine quite the same level of excitement accompanying the marriage of Charles and Camilla. Without putting too fine a point on it, Camilla is no Diana-alike and Charles is a dork. Yes, a tiny bit of the magic has gone.
Historyjism part one: shall i compare thee to a summer's gay?
February 9, 2005
LGBTHM has already got into trouble for claiming, with little evidence, that Florence Nightingale was a lesbian, and that Shakespeare may have been bisexual, based on (note) suggestions of homosexual love in the sonnets.
Feathered friends in 'not thick' shocker
February 9, 2005
A few months ago it was fish that were waking slumbering scientists with their gargantuan intellectual capabilities. Now it's birds. Pretty soon there'll be no dim-witted animals left and mankind will have to initiate a global cull for fear of a Planet of the Apes-style coup. George Bush will warn us all of the imminent threat of the Animal Kingdom. He will label them bestial, inhuman, even ungodly. He may even speak of an axis of weevils. 'It's them or we,' he will intone gravely on the telly, as Paul Wolfowitz peels off his human hair and skin to reveal a giant, quite brilliant rat. (No anti-Semitism intended.)
The TFT Guide To... Sex Exams
January 29, 2005
This week we learned that the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has produced a draft guide for schools on how to assess what pupils had learned from sex education and other 'life studies'-type subjects. Or as the more excitable papers put it: 'Pupils to sit sex exams'. So what will these involve?
Fuck the bid
January 15, 2005
Prince Harry is not the only royal to have created a stir this week. The Queen also caused a bit of a rumpus when she allegedly 'stuck the boot into London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics'. This she did by voicing the surprisingly sensible opinion that Paris will most probably pip us to the post. The Sun, who described the old lady's remarks as 'astonishing', went on to say that they would be 'a boost for rivals France'. Sadly, they won't, because no-one pays a blind bit of notice to what the Queen says, especially with her grandchildren goose-stepping all over the front pages, tossing stolen fillings in the faces of Auschwitz survivors.
Why Don't We Offend Islam? (Part II): Oh, we do.
January 15, 2005
Of course, if for some childish reason you did want to go about offending Islamic fundamentalists for no other reason than a cheap laugh, how would you go about it? TFT suggests.
Why Don't We Offend Islam?: Some answers.
January 15, 2005
Why indeed is it OK to ridicule Christianity but not Islam? The answer might be a bit less baffling if Christians actually bothered to think about it.
The TFT Guide To... New Year's Resolutions
January 13, 2005
Greetings, readers! It's a brand new year, full of excitement and promise! Mind you, that's what they said about 2004, and that was pretty shit. But in yet another triumph of feebleminded optimism over common sense, it's time to make those New Year's resolutions. So what will you doing in 2005?
Kids against litter and satan
December 24, 2004
Recently a poll of under-10s found that what they craved most was fame, ranking above a scatological list of other desirable things, including, in order: their family, football, holidays, God, discos, chocolate and sunshine. Amusingly, in a list of their 'worst things', the Devil came at number 10, ranking considerably lower than 'being bored' and 'litter'.
Robbie Williams in new drugs shocker #3,747
December 24, 2004
Shocking news emerged this week that people may take drugs because they enjoy it. We're gobsmacked. Like everyone else, we'd assumed they do it because they want to slide into a life of degradation, prostitution and bad skin.
This Is Your Week: Gurpreet Kaur Bhatt
December 24, 2004
If it wasn't for those pesky Muslims and their meddling fatwas, few of us would even have heard of The Satanic Verses. Rushdie himself would be nought but a poor man's Hanif Kurieshi, Have I Got News For You a distant dream. Let's face it, he'd probably be back hawking cream cakes for a living. Bearing that in mind, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatt must be absolutely thrilled to bits this week, and simultaneously soiling her lehnga with fear. What a rush!
The TFT Guide To: Things going wrong at Christmas
December 24, 2004
Ooh, we all know what it's like when things go wrong at Christmas: granddad's had one too many sherries during the Queen's speech, mum's forgotten to defrost the turkey and dad forgot to get batteries for little Tommy's electronic video game... actually, fuck this shit. None of these things ever happen in real life, merely in the stunted imaginations of newspaper cartoonists and Daily Mirror columnists. So what's really likely to go wrong this Christmas?
Sports personalities: Time to stop looking?
December 18, 2004
A good definition of oxymoron might well be 'sports personality'. This week Kelly Holmes became the latest BBC sports personality of the year, but it's still a concept we have trouble with, for the simple reason that most sportspeople don't appear to have personalities.
House of twats
December 18, 2004
Recently Madame Tussauds, the famous purveyor of wax-based entertainment, decided to celebrate Christmas with a recreation of the nativity scene, featuring the Beckhams as Joseph and Mary and Jeanette Krankie as the baby Jesus. Actually we made the last bit up, but the truth isn't much less strange.
Santaphobia
December 11, 2004
Michael Howard was more than happy to jump on the Sun's bandwagon yesterday and give the anus-faced bird to the PC Brigade. 'It doesn't matter what colour your skin is or what religion you are,' he declared. 'We're all British.' Which is all very well of course, except for the fact that it's completely untrue and Michael Howard is a total fucking dick. 'And,' he continued, 'Christmas is a British tradition.' Right. Whatever you say, Michael. What's that? Christ was a chippy from Skegby? Course he was, duck.
The BNP Christmas disco
December 11, 2004
Despite the fact that the BNP may not be the most open-minded people in the world, nor the brightest, nor the most amiable, they are human beings, just like the rest of us; and just like the rest of us, they do like to get together and celebrate at this special time of year. So last weekend they had their Christmas party. But, as BNP spokesman and Croydon branch organiser Bob Garner explained, 'There was a bit of a cock-up'. The cock-up occurred when some silly beggar went and booked a black DJ for the do. Apparently, the guy who booked him reckoned that 'he sounded white over the phone', which presumably means he didn't answer the phone with words 'Who dat dere?' But this is where it all gets a bit confusing.
Give me a child and I'll give you a burnt-out husk
December 11, 2004
Part of the problem is probably that children don't have adult social skills. Up until quite a late stage in their development - possibly the late teens - children are nasty and brutish. Even a group of 13-year-olds could quite easily turn cannibal, given the right sort of peer pressure. As an adult you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable at a dinner party where you don't know anyone, but at least the other guests aren't going to chant 'BENDER!' at you all night, or gob in your food when you go to the bathroom.
The TFT guide to... falling education standards
December 10, 2004
This week it was revealed that UK schools are slipping down the world education league, after pupils in different countries were set identical tests and British youngsters managed to be crap at yet another thing, along with 'not being clinically obese', 'not being pregnant' and 'not being off their fucking heads' . But how could examiners tell that British children are getting thicker?
The Nanny State: What's the beef?
December 4, 2004
You may have noticed people getting into a lather about the 'nanny state' over the past week. This was largely the result of children's minister Margaret Hodge defending the nanny state, saying it was entirely appropriate for the state to 'pick up the pieces' when family life went wrong.
Arrogant Catholic plans family for total strangers
November 26, 2004
Imagine you go to your local shoe shop to buy a pair of leather boots, only to be refused service on the grounds that the sales assistant is a committed vegan. Imagine you queue up in your local supermarket with a trolley full of pork chops, only to be turned away at the last moment because the chap on the checkout is a committed Jew.
Generation Jones: a trend too far?
November 26, 2004
Aargh! The trendspotters have been at work again this week, inventing the 'Joneses', another bogus social group that's about as convincing as 'Shrinkies' (40-somethings who are in a state of perpetual psychological crisis because you don't get Shrinky Dinks based on Disney's The Black Hole in breakfast cereal any more.)
The Father, the Son and the shit pun
November 26, 2004
Faith is like talent: you've either got it, or you've not. After all, anyone can believe in a six-armed Christ, levitating and changing colour, sparks firing out of His eyes, ears smoking. That's easy. Real faith however, has no need of the proof of visual gimmickry. To believe without proof, you need something special; you need a large chasm of aching desperation and an overwhelming sense of personal futility. Or at least that's how it was with Jesus.
The TFT Guide To... Great British Myths
November 26, 2004
This week a survey showed that 67 per cent of Brits don't engage in DIY because, by their own admission, they're not much good at it. The survey also found that the modern Brit is too busy working long hours to get involved in serious DIY projects, finally laying to rest the myth that we're a nation of DIY buffs. But what other myths about the lifestyles of the great British public need to be debunked?
Taking it on the chins
November 19, 2004
Obesity reared its ugly bloated head and endless rolls of doughy disfigured chin again this week in two sweetly quivering stories, the first of which concerns the launch of the Monster Thickburger. This is basically a 1,420-calorie heap of fat and grease, described as 'a monument to decadence' by it's pushers, American chain Hardee's; described as 'a thrombus in a bun' by anyone who knows what a thrombus is.
Universityjism : not going to Oxford will ruin your life
November 19, 2004
You sometimes have to wonder at the toll popular preconceptions must have taken on our ability to imagine reality. Are there thousands of coppers feeling hard done-by because it's not all kicking doors in? Maybe there are thousands of teachers bitterly reflecting on the fact that they've never once saved a child from the ghetto by igniting their love of learning. Or dance.
The disheartening case of Melissa Smith and her 15-year-old womb
November 19, 2004
Kids today eh? There was a time, if a 15-year-old fell pregnant, the foetus would be scraped out faster than she could say Petronella Wyatt, and she'd be confined to a mental home for the rest of her natural life. It wasn't ideal, but at least there were no mixed messages.
Business Meanies And Woolly Thinkers: What's their beef?
November 12, 2004
This week the Guardian (who else?) published a report with the icky title 'The Giving List'. Rather pompously, the paper describes it as an 'annual survey of corporate responsibility', as though the newspaper had suddenly become a corporate regulator. Shockingly, the report found that businesses aren't charities, with the top 100 firms giving less than one per cent of their profits to charity.
Blight of the wrong knives
November 12, 2004
The News of the World has a 'No To Knives' campaign. Why? Doesn't really matter why. The fact is they do. They say 'no' to knives. This week they told of how they had procured a 15-year-old boy and forced him to buy numerous lethal killing instruments of death and torture, including a Chinese sword with a 14-inch blade that 'can cut off your head in a stroke.' The boy was as shocked as anyone as he posed for a photo which would later be captioned: 'Boy wields chilling weapon.' He said: 'It was as easy as buying a bag of sweets.' From a baby, he might have added. But he didn't.
The TFT Guide To: Celebrity spotting
November 12, 2004
Increasingly, celebrity magazines are encouraging readers to text in with 'sightings' of their beloved slebs, eg. 'James Nesbitt spotted in Notting Hill Waitrose, buying pasta!' and other exciting incidents. But in a perfect world, what celebrity spottings would TFT like to see?
Killing the pain
November 5, 2004
In 1998, in an attempt to stop quite so many people killing themselves, the government introduced legislation which reduced the number of paracetamol and aspirin tablets in packets. At the end of last week, the British Medical Journal published research which showed conclusively that the initiative has so far been a great success - death by paracetamol and aspirin fell by 22% in the year following the reduction, and continued to fall over the next two years. Interestingly, over the same period, non-fatal overdoses from ibuprofen - which for some reason were not included in the legislation - increased by 27%, although the number of deaths remained unchanged.
Factoid Corner: Bonfire night
November 5, 2004
Bonfire Night has its roots in the olden days, when Shrek was alive and Hamlet defeated Smaug at the battle of Agincourt, and celebrates an attempt by the Pope's army of Orcs to kidnap Winston Churchill, like in The Eagle has Landed. We've done our research, but how much do YOU know about this annual festival of baked potatoes? TFT presents the Bonfire Night Factoid Corner...
The TFT Guide To... Fatal mistakes
November 5, 2004
This week police firearms officers threatened to stop work in support of two colleagues who were suspended for shooting Harry Stanley, who was carrying a wrapped table leg that he planned to repair but which was mistaken for a sawn-off shotgun. But the blame for the killing must surely lie with members of the public who phoned the police and told them he had a gun when Stanley stopped off for a drink in a pub. One hysterical caller said an 'Irish terrorist' was walking around with a gun, after mistaking Stanley's Scottish accent for an Irish one. So what other fatal mistakes can we expect from dim-witted members of the public?
A few good satanists
October 29, 2004
Satan has finally been allowed to take to the high seas with her Majesty's approval. Now that really is a refreshing change.
TFT Goes... Looking for love
October 29, 2004
It's weird, and it's shocking, but it's true - tell people you've joined a online dating agency, or you've put a classified ad somewhere, or you're going speed-dating or signing up for the next series of Who Wants To Marry My Dad? - and believe it or not, even in this day and age, you still get the odd shriek of incredulity from the hidebound and blinkered; head-in-the-sand old fuddy-duddies who think there's something 'a bit iffy' about not meeting your life-partner when you're blind-drunk in a nightclub toilet. Well to hell with them. With the exception of Who Wants To Marry My Dad?, they couldn't be further from the truth.
The TFT Guide To... chav Britain
October 25, 2004
It's been a mixed week for chavs. 'Chav' has been named buzzword of the year in a new book about contemporary language. Meanwhile child chavs are believed to be distraught at the news that Asda will not be selling eggs to kids because they could be used in trick-or-treat 'pranks', ie. scaring pensioners to death with a barrage of hard objects. But hate 'em or hate 'em, chavs have never had a higher profile, so what next for our burgeoning underclass?
Racial terminology: what's the beef?
October 15, 2004
Showing some of his father's talent for offending people, Prince Charles recently got into trouble for calling native Americans 'red Indians'. The whole thing was a bit of a storm in a teacup - he used the term when referring to childhood stories he'd enjoyed. It's a bit unfair, but who cares?
The stench of celebrity
October 15, 2004
Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, Julio Iglesias, Michael Jordan, Priscilla Presley, Celine Dion, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Naomi Campbell, J-Lo, Beyoncé, Britney, Cher, Giselle, Pavarotti and the Olsens. What do they have in common? No, apart from that. That's right, they're all sickeningly greedy scumbags for whom no amount of millions will ever be enough. Which is why they have all launched at least one line of perfume.
Rebranding a McTurd
October 15, 2004
Apparently it's got nothing whatsoever to do with the adverse publicity of Supersize Me, and nothing whatsoever to do with falling profits (a mere £23m last year), but today puke-peddling shit-burger-kings McDonald's are launching a new advertising campaign.
The TFT guide to... working past retirement
October 15, 2004
Thanks to the pensions crisis, it looks as though we're all going to be working long after the traditional retirement age. But what will be the effect on the modern workplace?
Think of the fish
October 8, 2004
New findings concerning the intelligence of fish are causing ripples in Whitehall where government big-wigs are said to be considering moves to top the furore over the fox-murder ban with a total ban on angling.
The TFT Guide To... Commercial Opportunism
October 1, 2004
When a council-run leisure centre in Bury St Edmunds caught fire this week, onlookers and firefighters were amazed to see staff from the local Fitness First gym handing out promotional leaflets while the fire raged. A Fitness First spokesman later blamed 'excessive enthusiasm', but what other examples of naked commercial opportunism can we expect in the future?
Going conkers
September 24, 2004
In South Shields a ruck has popped over South Tyneside Council's decision to emasculate six conker trees at the side of a main road. The castration was okayed after a small child fell from a chestnut-gathering climb and was injured. The council was also worried that in trying to loosen the prickly battleballs with sticks and stones, other kids might break their bones, or cause a conker-related pile-up.
Fox hunting: probably not the last word
September 24, 2004
Is there anything left to be said about fox hunting? There's been endless news coverage, not least because Brian Ferry stormed the Commons, or something, and eeennndddllleeesss pontificating from the newspaper pundits, most of whom probably earn £150K a year for basically saying It's cruel or It's traditional.
The chavs and the chav nots
September 24, 2004
This week the annual bestseller, the Pocket World in Figures (P-WIF) was published by the Economist. The book is apparently something of a bible for statistics monkeys, with findings based on official sources in over 191 countries (192 to be exact). The biggest story by far in this year's edition however, is not how rich and happy we're all becoming, but rather a tearful commentary on the rotten state of our nation's teenagers. Particularly the little girls.
The TFT Guide To... Superteachers
September 24, 2004
This week a committee of MPs said we need a new breed of 'superteachers', who would be paid more to work in the UK's worst schools. So what will these corduroyed crusaders be like?
MMR: Tin foil hat time
September 17, 2004
A study recently found that the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab has no link with autism, the disability that limits people's ability to communicate and interact with others. Unfortunately there is also no evidence that autism turns you into a Rain Man-style card sharp, which is probably just as well, or some parents would be taking their kids for 20 MMR jabs, not just the one.
Doing it 4 the kids
September 17, 2004
On Monday, Jason 'Batman' Hatch, as he's become known, snuck his way up the front of Buckingham Palace dressed as 'Batman'. There he remained for five hours, posing for photos and chatting to security guards and policemen. Then he came down and told the waiting press, 'It was easier getting to the Queen's balcony than to see my own children.'
The So Solid Crew ate my homework
September 17, 2004
Recently Ken Livingstone commissioned a report into the poor performance of black kids at school. Basically the problem is this: 70 per cent of male African/Caribbean pupils leave school with fewer than five GCSEs at the 'top' grades of A to C. Considering you practically need a post-grad qualification to get a job collecting supermarket trolleys these days, this cannot be good.
The TFT Guide To... A to E ratings
September 17, 2004
This week a conference held by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health suggested that all restaurants should display a five-grade scorecard from A to E showing how well they are meeting food safety standards. But what other things could benefit from scorecards?
The hands of paedophiles
September 10, 2004
Something odd and slightly startling seems to be happening vis -a- vis our attitudes toward paedophiles and child pornographers. Despite the general 'high alert' status of child-crimes across the globe, we seem to becoming a great deal more lenient. It's almost as if, with the exponential increase in the number of child abuse cases coming to light, judges have just shaken their heads, declared that there is nothing they can do about it, and have given up. Indeed it seems that if we carry on the way we are, in another 50 years, child-love will be as widespread and as generally acceptable as smoking Mary-Jane.
Fancy another round (of alcohol counselling)?
September 10, 2004
At this point you might be wondering: So is the government in favour of the Licensing Act or not? Well, it all depends which bit of the government you mean. The Act was the result of the drinks industry lobbying the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which thought it was a super idea that will bring the beloved continental café culture to heathen Britain. As Kent Brockman would say, only time will tell.
The TFT Guide To... raising the legal smoking age
September 10, 2004
Four out of five people want the legal smoking age to be raised from 16 to 18, according to a poll by the BBC designed to generate a bit of cheap controversy, sorry, stimulate debate. But what other age restrictions could be changed to benefit the UK?
TFT Goes To Edinbugh... Week Six
September 3, 2004
Always gluttons for punishment, the Uncertainty Division decided that in the exhaustion that characterises the final week of the Edinburgh Fringe, two shows weren't really enough to keep us occupied. So we looked for inspiration to another event which has been entertaining people this summer.
Islam: it's been a bad week for public relations
September 3, 2004
A prime example is the latest chapter in the story of the French government banning Muslim headscarves in schools. The ban seemed to be the product of a melodramatic desire to defend the secular state, rather than genuine concern for the well-being of Muslim girls. The veil and burkhas raise real questions about personal freedom, but headscarves?
Go Rooney!
September 3, 2004
Intelligent football fans, should they exist, will argue that this wall-daubing, death-threatening contingent is just a small minority of the fanbase and in no way representative of the average fan. But this is bollocks. Football attracts morons. You'd have to be a moron to deny it. Unlike any other sport or pastime, football is like a magnet for the small-minded. Vicious, hateful, selfish, lifeless vermin flock to football like wasps to a discarded coke can. And for every Nick Hornby, there are millions of mono-syllabic lice who go to Rooney websites and write things like this...
TFT Goes To Edinbugh... Week Five
August 27, 2004
I'm certainly not stupid enough to try to further my career by engaging a pissed comedian in conversation. Neither would I put myself in the same bracket as those with recognisable comedy faces. Not even after having my photo in Fest twice in one week. All the same, when I experienced this exciting melee some of the young hopefuls decided to chat me up anyway, presumably just hedging their bets - and I was more than happy to oblige them by promising to put in a good word for them at the Beeb if they bought me a pint.
Nature vs. nurture vs. gross generalisations
August 27, 2004
This week various media reported that women are more sensible investors than men. Women who buy shares are more likely to spread their risks over different companies, and tend to buy lower-risk shares, for example in retail companies. Men, on the other hand, like high-risk investments that offer big returns, eg. high-tech companies, and are less likely to spread risks, investing more in fewer enterprises.
Beenie on the run
August 27, 2004
Just in case you've been wallowing in blissful ignorance, Beenie Man is a Jamaican dancehall megastar who, frankly speaking, hates queers and wants them dead. He probably feels threatened in some way. The girl. Outrage! are 'the world's longest surviving queer rights direct action group' and understandably, Beenie's barbaric and infantile stance rather rubs them up the wrong way. That's about the size of it. But after years of their usual pit-bullish perseverance, it looks like Peter Tatchell and co might finally be getting somewhere.
TFT Goes To Edinburgh... Week Four
August 20, 2004
I have been assaulted, raped and sullied by a show. The show in question is 'The Crooked Mirror Cabaret' presented by London's Whoopee Club, whose publicity promises that burlesque is fashionable once more. God help us if this is true. Imagine the most horrific thing you can envisage on a stage. Then multiply it by ten. And add nipple tassels.
A Levels: Let the buyer beware
August 20, 2004
It's A-level time again, and as surely as a million teenagers are about to get unceremoniously ditched by their boyfriend or girlfriend when they meet someone more exotic at university, it's time for the usual debate about A-levels getting easier.
Money for old rape
August 13, 2004
Iorworth Hoare, 52, currently serving a life sentence for rape, has won seven million pounds on the National Lottery. Some people think that this is simply not right. They think that because he is a convicted rapist, he should not be allowed to win the lottery. But, the thing is, he did. He won the lottery. Fair and square. You've got to be in it to win it. He was in it. He won it. And although once again, it could have been you, it wasn't. Obviously. It was him. Life's a bitch.
Lotto not fair shocker
August 13, 2004
This week convicted rapist Iorworth Hoare (currently nearing the end of a 'life' sentence) won £7 million on the lottery. How, screamed the media, can this be right? Well, the answer to that is that the little coloured balls are neither sentient nor clairvoyant. Number 1 (and all the other balls) don't think to themselves 'If I go down the chute, some rapist is going to win. I'm staying put.'
TFT Goes To... Trafalgar Square
August 13, 2004
Well done, Ken. That was very nice. Top marks. Now stop pissing around and sort the fucking tubes out. Next Wednesday: 'Romafest' with music and dance from Roma Rad and Mukka, featuring Dana Codorean Berciu. Plus Ricardo Czureja an his haunting Gypsy Voices. Be there, or be elsewhere.
Parents: Shut up and play
August 6, 2004
Rigorous unbiased research this week revealed that most parents are not only neglecting their children by never making enough time to play with them, but they are even going so far as to lie to themselves, fooling themselves into believing that they actually play with their kids all the time. Feel the shame, parents. You monsters.
TFT's Edinburgh Diary: Part Two
August 6, 2004
During this particular rehearsal the narrative took an unusual turn and developed into a rock opera about Fidel Castro. It was so much fun that we feel we'd rather like to incorporate it into every show. Shoehorning Fidel Castro into different improvised narratives each night might prove a challenge, but I'm sure it would be worth it.
TFT Goes To: Brick Lane
August 6, 2004
Brick Lane is going through a rough patch. As testament to this, a sign reading 'Beware *muggings* occur in this area' was recently chained to a lamppost at the top of Brick Lane. A few days later, the sign itself was mugged.
The TFT Guide To... Tougher anti-terror measures
August 6, 2004
This week it was revealed that the government is planning to introduce tighter laws on terrorism, including an offence of 'acts preparatory to terrorism', along with greater powers to detain suspects. So what will our latest clampdown involve?
Fag Hags
July 30, 2004
On Wednesday, Sir Liam Donaldson, England's chief medical officer launched his annual report into the state of the nation's health and for the second year running he had some pretty unpleasant things to say about smoking.
No struggle but the STD struggle
July 30, 2004
New figures have shown the number of sexually transmitted infections rose by four per cent last year. Teenagers in particular are said to be ignoring 'safe sex' messages. This begs the question: why? Is sex education really so crap?
TFT Goes To... The Edinburgh Festival
July 30, 2004
Taking a show to Edinburgh is not really about performing a show. It's about publicising a show. You could take up a daring piece of conceptual theatre starring Derek Jacobi on ice, but if you don't get publicity right you might as well be doing an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. At least you'd get some people to see it that way.
The TFT Guide To... Violent computer games
July 30, 2004
This week the parents of a teenager who killed another boy said he was mimicking a bloodthirsty computer game called Manhunt. So what should we do about violent computer games?
TFT Goes To... The Lambeth County Show
July 23, 2004
The Lambeth Country Show has been a regular summertime fixture of Brockwell Park - a park described on its official website as the green lung of London's Herne Hill - for 30 years. Originally it was a stage for purely horticultural events, like a dirty great peepshow for green-fingered types, but over time it has become more like a tiny segment of Glastonbury, without either the high fence or the enormous ticket price. Or the world famous bands come to that. But fuck it. This is a park in Lambeth. What do you expect?
Office Life: Lunch is a political issue.
July 16, 2004
More dispatches from the battlefield of office life: this week a survey showed that the average office-bound Brit spends just 27 minutes a day away from their desk. It also showed that only one in five people takes a full hour for lunch.
The TFT Guide To... Faith Schools
July 16, 2004
Tony Blair is in favour of faith schools. He's so in favour of them that when he visited the King's Academy in Middlesborough, he showed 'genuine delight in what he saw', according to the headmaster. Well, who wouldn't, at a school that teaches creationism, that homosexuality is a sin and that Muslims (but not Christians) are all wrong? So what can we expect from religion-based education in the future?
TFT Goes To... Playing With Fire
July 9, 2004
On Wednesday TFT went along to Firebox's first open-to-all Playing with Fire night. Imagine an ordinary pub, then add free games and entertainment. Not a couple of scabby old board games and a karaoke machine like you might find in your motheaten local of a Sunday afternoon, but more games than you could ever get round to playing in a single evening and an uber-camp lounge singer with a penchant for Motorhead.
Smack my kids up
July 9, 2004
Ah, child abuse - you can't beat it. Whenever the issue of smacking is raised, as it was once again in the House of Lords this week, the hysteria is joyful to watch - in the same way that you could support England in Euro 2004 but also enjoy the sheer schadenfreude of watching blubbing blob-people as England lost.
Child Murder: No, daddy, don't write a book about me!
July 2, 2004
We rightly condemn people who cash in on the death of others - biographers who play fast and loose with the facts like Albert Goldman, and people like Paul Burrell who have made a small fortune by telling stories whose veracity can never be proven. But you cannot question the motives of the parents and publishers who churn out books about dead children. Kiddies are dead, end of argument/
In the name of the Osmonds
July 2, 2004
Mormons are acting like Wombles collecting rubbish - except in this case they're Mormons, not Wombles, and they're collecting Jews, not rubbish.
Time Please: The government's booze-flavoured fudge
July 2, 2004
The government has devised an alcohol harm reduction strategy. That is the good news. The bad news is that it is rubbish.
WAWIBF... Spoling the child
June 26, 2004
Obviously, for better or for worse, the days of children limping home from school with their backsides covered in cane welts or slipper swellings have long gone. Whilst some social commentators approve of the phasing out of corporal punishment, others have argued that the death of institutional child-beating has led directly to a widespread rise in insubordination, teen pregnancy, child obesity and knife fights. It's difficult to know what to think. But some children really could benefit from a good hiding. Surely?
England's Euro 2004 Defeat
June 26, 2004
Who is really to blame?
The TFT Guide To... Rail Trespass Deaths
June 26, 2004
The police have highlighted the dangers of trespassing on railway lines, revealing that 60 trespassers have been killed in the past year as a result, six of them children. So what can be done stop youngsters hanging around railway lines?
The TFT Guide To... Britain's Euro Shame
June 18, 2004
This week Jack Straw said that the frolicsome and exuberant behaviour of some England supporters in Portugal brought 'shame' on our nation. But who else is bringing shame on Britain?
WAWIBF... Evil
June 12, 2004
Evil is a much overused - and indeed a much misused - word, particularly in these terror-war times, when there seems to be - if the people who bandy the word around willy-nilly are to be believed - so much of it about. Not just Saddam and Osama and Hook Hamza and Mel Gibson, but also George Bush and Ronald Reagan, Jehovah's Witnesses and Jews.
Racism: the sums don't add up
June 12, 2004
It's easy to knock the British National Party. And why not? They're cunts.
Patriotism: the angry whimper of fear
June 12, 2004
One of the many joys of Euro 2004 is seeing St George's crosses everywhere. It's like the birth of a new nation. While the countries of the United Kingdom have always competed individually in footie, the St George's cross has only really caught on in the last few years. Now they're popping up more often than the evil mushrooms in Chorlton and the Wheelies. Maybe it's something to do with devolution - the Union Jack isn't quite appropriate now that we're three separate countries at a legislative level.
The TFT Guide To... Euro 2004
June 12, 2004
It's Euro 2004. Hooray. So what can we expect from this entirely unpredictable sporting contest?
The Church Of England: Going back to its roots
June 5, 2004
This week the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, told The Times it would be a good idea for Prince Charles to marry Camilla Parker Bowles. And why not? They've got plenty in common: they're both posh, they both like killing things, and they're both a bit odd-looking. Just pity any children they might have.
The TFT Guide To... Commemorating D-Day
June 4, 2004
Remember the forgotten heroes of World War 2: the soldiers who never saw action and came back without any decent anecdotes or poems... If you're a Daily Mail reader, fondly remember a time when you could leave your front door unlocked. There wasn't much point in locking it after the Luftwaffe had blown all the walls off.
Bill kill, Grace and the death of the Royal Mail
May 28, 2004
The Royal Mail is in a right royal shambles, wallowing in ‘thieving, laziness and utter chaos’, according to a sobbing Telegraph headline last month. Which was around the same time chief executive Adam Crozier vowed to sort the whole sorry mess out.
WAWIBF... Bankruptcy
May 28, 2004
In another fascinating News of the World exclusive this Sunday, ex-prime-timer and over-fussy swimmer Michael Barrymore revealed that he has just had to declare himself bankrupt.
My Ruin: An old person writes
May 27, 2004
It's time to own up. I am old. Old in the head. Old like my parents were when I was still young. Old before I die. Earlier this week - for the sole reason that I was fairly certain it would lead to an episode of sexual intercourse - I accepted an invitation to a gig, despite the fact that I had never heard of the band that were playing. They were called - and unless they woke up on Wednesday morning and suddenly saw the error of their ways, they presumably still are - My Ruin. The gig was Tuesday night at the Garage in Islington.
WAWIBF...The Church of Fools
May 27, 2004
You may remember about a year ago a website calling itself the Ship of Fools set up something called The Ark. Billed as 'the world's first internet reality gameshow', the Ark was where you went if the idea of 'Big Brother meets the Bible' appealed to you. And - in a kind of 'let's give the Christians a bit of credit for at least trying to be cool' type way - it was almost fun. Bless them.
WAWIBF... Arnold
May 27, 2004
An American toy company which makes cheap plastic celebrity-caricature dolls with nodding-dog heads this week made the terrible mistake of assuming that Austrian politician Arnold Schwarzenegger has a sense of humour. He does not.
The TFT Guide To... New look fast food
May 27, 2004
This week McDonalds announced it has cut the amount of salt in its Chicken McNuggets by 30 per cent, and plans to lower the fat content too. So what further changes to our beloved fast food can we expect?
WAWIBF Surviving heights
May 14, 2004
This week a 102-year-old Italian woman fell out of the fourth storey window of her retirement home in Turin and, against all odds, did not shatter like an antique vase and disappear in a groan of dust.
The TFT Guide To... The Modern Family
May 14, 2004
Theologian Jane Williams, the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury, this week suggested that the traditional model of the nuclear family might be outdated. She said many children were growing up with 'no models at all of lasting, committed relationships', and that the church needs to do more in creating 'wider sets of social relationships' for non-conventional families. So what can we expect in the future?
Qualifications that really mean something
May 7, 2004
Perhaps understandably, the news that traditional degree grades - first, second, third, etc. - could be dropped didn't get much attention this week. Still, it's good that the government isn't allowing the war in Iraq to get in the way of more pointless tinkering with the education system.
WAWIBF... The big lie
May 7, 2004
This week New Scientist magazine spoke to psychiatrist Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa about her recent research into that most pleasurable, violent, life-affirming, utterly selfish of emotions, love. Ms Marazziti found that when men are in love, they produce less testosterone. Conversely, women produce more. Unfortunately, this information alone is neither use nor ornament.
Anal sex: doesn't always sit comfortably with loving relationships
April 30, 2004
You think you've got problems? Take a peek into the private world of one unfortunate woman who wrote in this week to The Observer's Dear Mariella problems page, hosted by the lovely Mariella Frostrup.
The TFT Guide To... Binge-drinking children
April 30, 2004
This week it was revealed that thousands of 11-15 year-old children are being admitted to hospital after binge-drinking sessions. The Department of Health found that on average nine kiddiewinks a day are hospitalised after hitting the sauce. So what can be done to address this deplorable problem?
Prostitution: Time for re-branding?
April 24, 2004
This week the Observer ran a rather good 'special investigation' into prostitution, which claimed that the number of people in the UK offering 'sexual services' (ie. sex) has increased by 50 per cent in the last five years. The article listed a number of reasons for the increase, including an influx of foreign prostitutes, who can earn more here than in Eastern Europe, and a gradual relaxing of sexual attitudes, reflected by the popularity of lap dancing clubs and, of course, Internet porn.
The TFT Guide To... Online exams
April 23, 2004
This week the head of the government's exam regulator said that schoolchildren could be taking exams by sitting at a computer within five years. It's even been suggested that mobile phones could allow children to answer coursework questions from home. So what will exams look like in the future?
The kids could well be alright
April 14, 2004
Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote? This rather earnest debate cropped up in the papers again this week, though not the tabloids, which are only interested in Young People if they're murdering toddlers, being ‘roasted' in lurid detail, or getting their tits out on page three. Bad teenager: single mum. Good teenager: luscious Lucy, 17, wants to be a TV presenter, 36C.
There goes the neighbourhood
April 3, 2004
People of Cottenham, check your sheds. Hordes of Irish gypsies, their untaxed Volvos stuffed with babies and chunky jewellery, are spilling across the fens, and the folk of Cottenham are withholding their council tax in protest.
Glad to be gay
April 3, 2004
The Tories put down their bargepole, swallow hard and embrace the pink vote
Crime of passion
March 25, 2004
How Melissa and Sean Davidson, a pair of thirty-something amateur theologians came to blows in the name of the Father.
Throwing the Jowell in
March 5, 2004
Our children are obese and health organisations have, as usual, jumped to all the wrong conclusions and laid the blame on completely the wrong people - they who advertise fatty foods. Thank goodness, then, that Tessa Jowell has the common...
Is That An Eighteenth Century Wig On Your Head Or Are You Just Pleased To See Me?
February 27, 2004
Did you know that Elton John is a Freeman of the city of Nice? Well he is. But not everyone in France is such a fan. Elton's only scheduled French concert this year has come under attack by two councillors...
Hey Big 'Stender
February 26, 2004
Following the shock news that Gillian Taylforth from Footballers’ Wives spends £2,500 a year on beauty treatments, the Daily Mail is appealing for readers who spend more. On Wednesday, stunner Gillian told how she shelled out fat sums on facials,...
Cannibals: what's their beef?
February 20, 2004
When Anthony Hopkins was promoting Red Dragon, he told the press that Hannibal Lecter's popular success could be attributed to the fact that 'He is the dark side inside all of us.' On first glimpse, it would seem that Sir...
Cashing in on the flashing
February 17, 2004
Janet Jackson is launching a range of nipple rings. Ideal for anyone who's about to have their top ripped off by Justin Timberlake in front of millions of people, and who wants that extra bit of 'areolan protection'. But freaky...
Prince Andrew gives up holiday for work
February 17, 2004
Say what you like about Prince Andrew, but he’s a hard worker.
The price of fame
February 12, 2004
Maxine Carr has had her application for early release under the tagging and curfew scheme quashed. The sour-faced, serially-unfaithful non-child murderess wanted to go and live quietly with her mum, Shirley Cap, in Grimsby. But this dream, charming as it...
Ham it up, Hamza!
February 10, 2004
The Daily Express have taken a well-deserved day off from screeching about gypsies to have a go at their favourite whipping boy: Abu Hamza, the ‘mad mullah’. Old hook-for-hands is such a niggling itch in the hide of the Express...
Pete Townshend: a word in his defence
February 9, 2004
Declan Duffy has been annoyed by our "lazy" and "not very humorous" comments about guitar legend Pete Townshend. He would like to set the matter straight...
WAWIBF: the other Hutton
February 6, 2004
One way or another, the word 'Hutton' and the word 'whitewash' are destined to go down in history together. One fellating the other for the rest of time. (A little perhaps, like the word 'Butler' and the word 'whitewash'). The...
I'm a cunt, get me out of here
February 6, 2004
The magic happens or it doesn't. With Tara and Darren, we got purest platinum television: one of the greatest and purest dramas, real or fictional, ever to have been played out. When Craig confronted Nick, we were glued. When Feltz...
Flash in the pan
February 3, 2004
Oh look. There's Janet Jackson's knocker. And it's got some sort of futuristic silver crab on it. The "wardrobe malfunction" which left Janet's right-hand duck dangling out of her costume during the Superbowl half-time entertainment has caused quite a stir....
A Better Future
February 3, 2004
David Blunkett has quite brilliantly announced that his new way of dealing with terrorism will be “to intervene before the act is committed, rather than do so by due process after the act is committed when it's too late.” This...
Having it both ways with Paris Hilton
January 29, 2004
The slithery ex-boyfriend of Paris Hilton, Rick Saloman, has sued the Hilton family (for $10 million) for claiming that it was he who released the notorious 'sex tape' of him and Paris doing the naked cha-cha. And now - in...
Foul Play In Fair Oak
January 27, 2004
David Snugge, the vicar at St. Thomas Church in the Hampshire village of Fair Oak, is sleeping uneasily in his bed tonight. Around the vicarage, angry villagers gather, with pitchforks and bricks and raised fists. We know what you're thinking,...
Cannabis: can cause confusion
January 26, 2004
There's probably only one thing more boring than sitting in a room full of stoned people when you're not stoned yourself (the inane laughter, the agonising confusion over who's going to go to the off-licence, etc.) and that's the cannabis...
Snip / Tuck
January 25, 2004
John Galliano, the cutting edge (yawn) designer (yawn) has shocked (yawn) the fashion world (yawn) by dressing women up as giant golden Egyptian turkeys (hurray!) The women looked stupid - but maybe that was the point (or was it? -...
Top-up fees: foward planning to rival the railways
January 25, 2004
Top-up fees now look set to become a reality, after a week or so of the government demonstrating its usual willingness to press on with legislation that is deeply unpopular and not properly thought-out. (What next? Congestion to be solved...
Uri Geller: thou good and faithful servant
January 24, 2004
Uri Geller once wrote in the Sunday Post that there is nothing wrong with Michael Jackson's face. Famed for his powers of perception, Geller went on to describe the troubled star's terrifying, criminally-insane mask as 'strong and serene'. 'His skin...
Maternal rape: may bode ill for the future
January 23, 2004
In these times of 'gross out' comedies, bellowed mobile phone conversations and Davina McCall, the art of understatement should be cherished more than ever. But sometimes understatement seems a teensy weensy bit inappropriate - for example, when discussing someone who's...
The tide (of violence) is high
January 23, 2004
New figures show that violent crime is on the increase. So what can we do to protect ourselves from this rising tide of thuggery? 1) Avoid places that are known for their high levels of street crime. Like streets. 2)...
It's a fat fat fat fat world
January 23, 2004
Brace yourself. Last year, in the United States, the amount spent on treating obesity-related diseases was $75 billion. And that's a "conservative" estimate say the authors of the report, published by US think-tank RTI International and the Centers for Disease...
Happy Families
January 18, 2004
President Bush is set to give a big wet presidential kiss to the institution of marriage in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday. According to the New York Times: For months, administration officials have worked with conservative groups...
Smack to reality
January 18, 2004
Last week, the Welsh Assembly voted to back a ban on smacking children. While the Assembly has no actual powers to impose such a ban, it is a strong political statement in support of anti-smacking legislation. "Animals have more protection...
George Bush and Martin Luther King: compare and contrast
January 16, 2004
To the rousing tune of hundreds of protesters shouting their objections, President Bush has laid a wreath at the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr., to mark the 75th birthday of the murdered civil rights leader. The only other sound...
Bad God
January 16, 2004
God has been up to no good again this week. First of all, it turns out that his pesky Son has been whispering naughty suggestions into peoples' ears. The ears of people like Mijailo Mijailovic, the man who stabbed to...
Richard Branson: a man at bay
January 16, 2004
Virgin boss Richard Branson had a nasty run-in the with the paparazzi this week. He was caught popping out for a pint of milk and 20 B&H at the newsagents, and tried to run for cover but found his picture...
He who laughs last, laughs shortest
January 16, 2004
[Harold Shipman], the arrogant, contemptuous monster they once trusted with their own problems while he was lining up lethal injections for their mothers, has had the last laugh. - The Daily Mirror What goes ha ha... bonk? A man laughing...
Liberals vs. Islam: What's their beef?
January 16, 2004
Generalising about Islam is wrong. But perhaps progressive Muslims should openly admit that Islam lends itself to unsavoury interpretations, and this, not some sort of fashionable racism, is why it gets so much stick.
More Fear Coming Soon!
January 12, 2004
Paedophiles, with their rolling eyes and flicking tongues, have shuffled along in their stained trousers to the front of the nation's fear list.
I told you so
January 7, 2004
No matter what 'Palace insiders' might insist, the absurdity of Diana dying in a French tunnel with a steering column stuck in her spleen trumps the absurdity of her claim that Charles wanted her dead.
Turning those grey skies blue
January 3, 2004
Apparently most of us are facing the dread nightmare which is 'the January blues' - coughs, colds, minor ailments and stress caused by the return to work. So how can you beat the January blues? 1) Make sure you get...
Bobby Davro: the tears of a clown
January 2, 2004
2003 was a great year for Bobby Davro. Channel Four's 'The Games' catapulted him back into the public eye, he guested on Living TV's 'Loose Lips', a magazine programme hosted by Melinda Messenger, and he seemed to be ending the...
The not-so-good works of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
December 30, 2003
The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths settle themselves down to dinners in their sumptious livery hall. A far cry from serving the working people of Acton for whom they were meant to be the trustees of a vast tract of land.
The Beagle has... oh
December 29, 2003
We should raise an extra glass of Bailey's to the night sky – celebrating not because a British enterprise has failed but because it's one in the eye for those arch-tossers, Alex James and Damien Hirst.
Last night a beermat saved my life
December 28, 2003
New government beermats warn that burglars can get in to your house through open doors and windows. Who'd have thought it?
The TFT Guide To Christmas
December 25, 2003
Children. If you seeing Mummy kissing Santa Claus, console yourself with the thought that once the divorce and custody proceedings are over, you'll be going to live at the North Pole in a toy factory full of elves.
We will all go together when we go
December 22, 2003
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stephens says that a terrorist attack on London is now “inevitable”. Whoopee, sings Euan Ferguson, we're all gonna die!
Take the blue pill, twice a day
December 21, 2003
Jordy Connolly is a fairly run-of-the-mill teenager: he plays tennis, does karate, enjoys Japanese animation and loves his family. But the fresh-faced teenager is one of a growing number of people worldwide who suffer from a distressing new syndrome: 'Keanic Dismorphia'.
City of slogans
December 20, 2003
The French have already got a slogan for the Paris bid for the 2012 Olympics: ‘The Games of all the Colours’. Now the organisers of London’s bid for the Olympics are desperately trying to think up their own slogan. LNR suggests some appropriate ones.
Little Britain
December 19, 2003
Of what is Ian Huntley, the monster, a sign? Of the loss of innocence? The impossibility of trust? The decay of civilization? Of Britain's descent into a mire of evil? In fact, Ian Huntley signifies nothing - precisely because he...
The Big Fib
December 18, 2003
You've got to wonder about the people who voted for the Big Read. On one level, there's nothing surprising about the chart, certainly the top 50. Of course people voted for Lord of the Rings. It's a classic that lots...
Ian Huntley: There should be a law...
December 17, 2003
The trial is over and the calls for new and different laws are coming in thick and fast.
Going Down With The Jones
December 14, 2003
Vinnie Jones should be ashamed of himself. Not only did he get drunk on a transatlantic flight, threaten to take out a contract on the cabin crew, abuse a woman and slap a man - but he forgot the golden rule of being a celebrity on an aeroplane.
Sinners and Winners: A confession
December 13, 2003
We all hope that our sins won't come to the surface. But lets face it, no matter how hard you pretend that it didn't happen, someone's bound to notice one day.
London's low-fat Olympic bid
December 11, 2003
A Mars a day helps you work, rest and win the 100 metres hurdles.
Debt's the way to do it
December 10, 2003
Amid claims by a former senior executive of the store card issuer GE Consumer Finance that the firm's call centre staff regularly held competitions to see who could make the most customers cry, LNR takes an unsecured look at the dark side of debt.
God Save Del Boy
December 10, 2003
Blunkett wants a brand new citizenship ceremony, but is he taking his reforms far enough? Surely every new British citizen should be given at least a rudimentary hatred of Last of the Summer Wine.
The Dicks vs. The Sharks
December 9, 2003
Patricia Hewitt ropes in private investigators to try and solve Britain's mounting debt problem.
Ten reasons to hate the tube
December 7, 2003
John Camm vents his spleen at the crumbling underground.
Hellhound on my trail
December 5, 2003
Deep in the Congo, a Roman Catholic priest tries a kill-or-cure remedy for evil...
The New Black? Part Two
December 5, 2003
An analysis of the lyics of Jamaican singer Sean Paul reveals that just like Blazin' Squad, he is tinkering with his language to sell more records, claims Dr Keely Fisher.
Kabbalah... with Britney and Madonna
December 5, 2003
"Yesod is the world seen magically, the relationships under the surface of life. I have made Missy Elliott like me through this power, and I made you kiss me; soon, it will let me rule the musical world once more. This is where Into the Groove and Hollywood come together, and where our mystic union takes place."
A Prime Minister writes...
December 5, 2003
This is Tony. I'm the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and I'd like to start a conversation with you...
On his own secret service
December 5, 2003
Thanks to the Hutton Inquiry, that new car that drives on water and the departure of David Shayler, there has never been a better time to be a spy. But is the murky world of espionage as much fun as it sounds? We sent Ben Caudell to find out.
Should I put the giant snake on my head?
December 5, 2003
America is a scary country, but I had nothing to fear from my yoga teacher. If there is a cult of Rusty, it commands nothing more than honest self-expression, writes Jason Thomspon in San Francisco.
104 calories in a shit-induced daze
December 5, 2003
It is physically impossible to exercise without listening to something. Try it and you will run a gruelling section of treadmill only to look down after a decent amount of sweat to see you’ve been at it for 25 seconds and burnt four calories, writes Shaun Pye
Here comes the science: prostate cancer
December 4, 2003
Everyone’s heard of prostate cancer, but we tend not to know much about it except that it means someone sticking a finger up your arse. Fortunately, medical science is slightly better informed than the average bloke...
The New Black? Part One
December 4, 2003
Urban music is a hugely lucrative market for an artist to tap into – but with every other act claiming to be ‘from the streets’, how can you tell which are the genuine article and which are keeping it less than real? We asked Dr Keely Fisher, lecturer in English at Oxford University, to see if she could spot the impostors.
Second sight
December 4, 2003
The nation’s appetite for Guidance is such that Tony Blair may be right not to bother asking his electorate what we want; we have no idea, writes Jeanette Winterson.
Like most cults, the members look so happy
December 4, 2003
The only trouble is, apart from sci-fi nerds like me and those eager to join any cult that would have them (again, me), who actually needs this thing? Its top speed is 12.5 mph for goodness sake. I know sheep that move that fast. Ben Moor test-drives the Segway.
Never mind the questions, here are the answers: Chrissie Hynde
December 3, 2003
'Someone told me that Morrissey said when I enter a room I enter it as a man and a woman. But he’s a poet so I’m not quite sure what he meant.' Hannah Borno gets some answers from Chrissie Hynde.
Rugby, bloody rugby
November 30, 2003
Shocking news for sports fans: the fortunes of England in rugby, football or any other sport are not moments of emotional overload on a par with being the sole survivor of a plane crash, writes John Camm.
For the man who has everything: Tongue Insurance
November 29, 2003
A heartwarming tale about the celebrity chef and his beloved mouth organ.
The Greatest Album Sleeves That Never Were
November 16, 2003
The world's most celebrated artists have had a stab at doing some album sleeves. Alan Connor ponders why the results are such a disappointment.
Jessica Lynch vs. Larry Flynt
November 14, 2003
On Monday, Flynt declared that he had purchased nudey pics of Private Jessica Lynch. They were sold to him by Lynch’s fellow soldiers, whose intention was apparently to show the world that Lynch is ‘not all apple pie’.
Michael, Michael, Michael. You've done it again.
November 13, 2003
"What more can I give?" asks Michael Jackson in his new single. The answer, it seems, is millions of pounds to the Church of Scientology.
WAWIBF: Girl Power
November 12, 2003
It's everyone's favourite celebrity death match: Liza Minnelli versus David Gest.
McJob means a bad job and it's derived from McDonalds burger chain
November 12, 2003
McDonalds are getting their knickers in a twist agian about people saying "McJob". Diddums. Allow us to explain what a dictionary is.
"Blahtastic" is not cromulent
November 10, 2003
When did the Prime Minister's Office start using words like "blahtastic" asks Alan Connor.
WAWIBF: Translating Becker
November 7, 2003
Boris Becker does battle with Babel Fish. And loses.
WAWIBF: Pleasure Deficiency Syndrome
November 6, 2003
Eminent mind-plumber, Dr Linda Papadopoulos, thinks that we're all making ourselves miserable because we're denying ourselves what we really really want: a nice, sweet, refreshing tumbler of Baileys.
Good To Have A System
November 6, 2003
Calmly insane statements, spoken in the register of normality (much as you might say "I drive a Ford Mondeo, it used to belong to my mum") are infinitely more terrifying than frothing yells of madness, writes Charlie Skelton.
Is it cuz I is middle-class?
November 1, 2003
Mark E. Smith does a wee into a bucket. Micheal Bracewell thinks it's because he was a class warrior. But maybe he was just bored, writes Alan Connor.
All I've damaged is an egg
November 1, 2003
What do you get if you cross a comedian, some bacon, sausages and a few eggs with an American magician in a perspex box? Henry Naylor reveals all.
WAWIBF: Torching Pikeys
October 31, 2003
Remember remember the 5th of December: gunpowder, treason and burning gypsies.
Names: stop the madness!
October 31, 2003
Condemning a person to a lifetime of being called "Beatrice Millie" is fairly cruel (and has all the hallmarks of Heather's sad ambitiousness: the royal first name; her own surname mirrored in "Millie"), but it is nothing like as cruel as calling her Piper Maru - which is what Gillian Anderson's daugher is called. (Is it an alien name?)
Jim 'some of my best audiences are mentally ill' Davidson
October 24, 2003
What a very bad person Jim Davidson is.
WAWIBF: Dead Babies
October 22, 2003
Should we be shouting and screaming and castigating ourselves, wondering what on earth kind of damage we must be inflicting in a world where our four-year-olds are trying to top themselves?
Journojism: Have you got a tissue?
October 19, 2003
Could the stupid kids on Teen Big Brother behave any more like randy mastiffs, wonders Charlie Skelton
Where's your head at?
October 19, 2003
Sweets. Kids love 'em. And sweet manufacturers, well - they simply adore kids.
TFT's 11-step, fun, anti crime blueprint
October 17, 2003
Crime. There are no easy answers. Or are there? Yes.
Bright idea
October 15, 2003
It's a shame that Commissions which involve moral questions will automatically assume that you'll need a Bishop, an Imam and a couple of Others to get the ethical angles covered.
Say what?
October 14, 2003
Cheryl Tweedy: giving lexicologists plenty to think about.
Roy Horn and the 21st Century reality crisis
October 10, 2003
The terrible mauling of Roy Horn gives Charlie Skelton pause for thought. (Note: this is not a pun).
Here, kitty kitty kitty...
October 5, 2003
One of the most prolific cat murderers of recent times: Mr William Seed. This is his story.
It shouldn’t be allowed
October 4, 2003
Sean Walsh on why we're unlikely to see Superman having anal sex with Batman for a few years yet.
I want to be a Walmart of it
October 3, 2003
Last month, for a cool $166 million, the Big Apple officially became the Big Snapple.
Out of the pen
October 3, 2003
If it wasn’t for Jeffrey Archer, how on earth would we know what a terrible state our prisons are in? How would we know that they’re full of illiterate junkies? How good of him then, to turn his ghastly criminal past into something which can benefit society as a whole.
Losing their religion
October 1, 2003
Sean Walsh has a good hard think about belief systems that could be used to liberate rich pop stars from the burden of their worldly possessions.
Fear and Loathing in... Everywhere
October 1, 2003
People think of asylum seekers and they are afraid; afraid that outsiders are coming to clean our office buildings in an exotic way or open shops that sell funny shaped vegetables and don’t run out of bread by noon, writes Jeremy Hardy.
Parliamentary Advisory Committee to meet at Whirl-Y-Gig
October 1, 2003
Sean Walsh gives a think tank a piece of his mind.
Top-up Fees: the issue that will not die
September 30, 2003
Just when you thought it was safe to go to university...
Shoe Bombers: How To Recognise Them
September 29, 2003
A handy cut-out-and-keep guide for regular air travellers and American Airlines staff.
Uri Geller: Bending The Truth
September 29, 2003
Legally speaking, Uri Geller is a dangerous man to cross. Almost as famous for threatening litigation against his critics as he is for bending cutlery, it would be a foolish man indeed who accused him of being a fraudster. Which is a shame really, as that's exactly what he is. A fraudster - albeit an exceptionally clever and charming one.
Terms of Bewilderment: Postmodernism
September 27, 2003
Is it time, now that Jacques Derrida has finally died, for a moratorium on postmodernism? It's what he would have wanted.
Big Portions: the Yankee menace on your platter
September 26, 2003
Food. We put it in our mouths, and our stomachs digest it, and it helps us do things like walking and breathing, and then we excrete it in brown lumps. Oh yes, and we obsess about it to the point of lunacy.
What Brock Found
September 19, 2003
A poem, by Rob Katz
Addicted to Hutton
September 19, 2003
In its guise as literature I've enjoyed the Hutton Inquiry much better than the last Will Self novel I read and I'm not sure I want it to stop, writes Robert Katz.
I thought: "Brilliant! I can give this to Warp and they won't pester me every two years."
September 19, 2003
A review of Sheath by LFO.
Shunda da da ma shunda, tonda, da da na munda!
September 11, 2003
The Weakest Link took a turn for the weird yesterday, when one of the contestants started speaking in tongues...
Work vs. life: What's their beef?
September 9, 2003
How is your life-work balance? A) Good; B) Adequate; or C) the last time you had a holiday was when your guts fell out after a bad seafood meal and you spent the whole of Thursday sitting on the lavatory shivering - and that was 4 year ago.
Never The Twain
September 3, 2003
Is there anyone out there currently *not* fighting a holy war? If so, could they stand up and wave their hands? We'd like to meet you.
You've got to admire his balls
August 22, 2003
Why do we have such a problem with watching a free-swinging cock and nutsack come flapping up the road?
And you're sure we've never met before?
August 20, 2003
The bullet used in Derren Brown's Russian Roulette stunt was a blank. Who'd have thought it? Everyone.
It's what anyone of us would have done, right?
August 1, 2003
As Tony Martin showed us, sometimes in life you're left with no choice but to shoot someone in the back with a pump action shotgun. That's just the way it is.
I pledge allegiance to David Beckham
July 29, 2003
Blair's fancy has been tickled by swearing-in ceremonies. It's only natural. Why wouldn't he be attracted to a pointless, superficial branding exercise?
Commuting: the new age way
July 24, 2003
Imagine a shield of white light is surrounding your car - the light is beautiful, impenetrable, even a Ford Transit making an illegal right hand turn couldn't get through it...
Consider the lillies
July 24, 2003
Scientists take another giant step towards a perfect world: they have created pollen-free lillies. Now if they could only turn there attention towards something a little more important, like developing a breed of asparagus that doesn't make your wee smell funny...
Essay Outline
July 17, 2003
'Big Brother and the Collapse of Post-Structuralist Narrative'
This is an art attack
July 4, 2003
The Saatchi Gallery is boldly canonizing the big-hitters of Brit-art. And what a depressing canon it is too, thinks Charlie Skelton.
Professor Robin Murray: weed makes you potty
July 3, 2003
"The more cannabis that's consumed, the more psychiatrists we are going to need."
The Backscatter
June 26, 2003
The Backscatter is so-called because the x-rays it uses reflect away (or, if you like, 'scatter back') from what are known as Low Z materials, such as skin and clothing, but hone in on what are known as High Z...
Jesus Wept
February 13, 2003
Eighty Catholic priests have been identified as being involved in a US child-abuse scandal centred around the archdiocese of Boston. That's right. Eighty. Eighty priests. Eighty Catholic priests.
Ten gifts you will give today....
December 25, 2002
...because you have to buy something but which will be a source of negligable pleasure to the recipient.
WAWIBF: Christmas Quirkies
December 13, 2002
Of course Santa fucking exists, Reverend.
Dumb Britain
December 6, 2002
This week's ban on British beef by France caused something of a problem for our nation's red-top tabloids, writes Paul Carr.
No Dogs, No Blacks, No Gingers
December 6, 2002
Being a racist is no fun anymore. Remember the golden era of bigotry when we could laugh at Leonard Rossiter's ethnically intolerant outbursts on Rising Damp without having to convince ourselves in our own heads that we were actually laughing *at* him? Paul Carr does.
Dying to be famous
November 18, 2002
If you're a teenager, becoming a 'missing Surrey schoolgirl' or a 'tragic ecstasy death teen' may seem like an quick and easy route to celebrity. Just think: instant fame; no more school and, if you're very lucky, a televised appeal from Will Young. Fantastic! But don't be too hasty - it's not as easy as it looks, writes Paul Carr
The Smoking Burrell
November 12, 2002
The revelation that Paul Burrell tried to seduce Michael Barrymore just days after the death of Princess Diana raises the serious question: is there a single major news story which Paul Burrell has not been involved in? Apparently not...
Web Of Deceit
November 2, 2002
While the web isn't killing newspaper journalism, it does seem to be helping certain newspaper journalists to commit suicide, writes Paul Carr
Diana Spencer's diary
October 13, 2002
Weight 6st, alcohol units 8, people in marriage 0, calories in 5424, calories out 4631, total 793.
Getting the horn
October 13, 2002
Have you seen the signs? Screen-printed banners of justice, suspended majestically over motorway bridges. A call to arms which no self-respecting motorist can ignore.
Games without frontiers
October 13, 2002
As Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth have a whale of a time in Manchester, we can't help but feel sorry for the 70% of the world who weren't eligible to enter - just because they didn't enjoy British colonial rule in the 19th Century.
Spare a thought for the children
September 13, 2002
Is there anything else to be said about the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman?
We shall not be motivated
June 6, 2002
Aaah, The NUS's 'Grants Not Loans' rally, a "return to the days of political activism" for the nation's student population. Or was it? Paul Carr has his doubts.
The Cannes Film Festival...
May 13, 2002
...une guide.
Mackerel paste, anyone?
April 13, 2002
Sunny Delight: Neither sunny nor delightful.
One goes mad on a horse
January 13, 2002
'Living up to his image as the Royal we'd least like to meet in a dark alley, lanky, Britney-chasing, art historian, William Windsor alledgedly 'went mad' this week, attacking a defenceless photographer with his horse.
Jubilee Street Parties: A Guide
January 13, 2002
Hardly anyone is planning a Golden Jubilee street party this year, warns the BBC, as usual reporting the utterly trivial with same gravitas as the three-minute warning.
The Bootylicious Shall Inherit The Earth
January 11, 2002
One only has to look closely at the lyrics of Destiny's child to see a carefully worked-out theological position.

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