Sunday, 30 September 2012

So my advice would be...

Choose a nice, neat little box on a Barrats estate. Because if you decide to move into a 17th century house, and it turns out your new flat has been uninhabited since around 2010 and you believed your cunt estate agent when they said the flat is in pristine condition, this is what will happen:

Your sofa won't fit through the door. Yes, that's right. 17th century people didn't have sofas. They probably sat on sacks of potatoes or something. And if they were rich then they most likely would have used their servant as a table. Either way, sofas - even small, beautiful ones that you love a lot - won't be going into your new house.

So, you resolve to sit on the floor. And then you see a letter for your flat. Dated three days ago. From the bailiffs. Estate agents didn't mention that little number when they were demanding money now, did they? I phone Bailiff Dave who reassures me that I have at least a few days before they come back. This despite me explaining very very slowly that it isn't my problem.

So, then I thought I better eat. I put some chips in the oven. It's fucked and blows something. I lose all power. I look in what is laughingly called a welcome pack from aforementioned cunt landlords and it turns our that the number they have put down for emergencies is 999. Yes, really. That's what they gave as an emergency number.Otherwise you can call the office. Which is shut. Oh, and for an extra special helpful treat they inform you that you may not organise an electrician yourself and if you do, they won't be reimbursing you. I paid these cuntmeisters something like £300 admin fee. May as well have just flushed it down the toilet. Except it probably wouldn't fucking work.

I meet the neighbour and ask for his help. And although none was forthcoming on the electricity front, he gave me water to make tea and let me charge my phone in his place. Well, it's his place in as much as he works there. Anyway, that's not important right now.

One emergency electrician later - gorgeous, called Jack, am keeping his number - I have power.

I decide to have a shower. Turns out it's totally blocked. Probably with a dead body or something. Judging by the fucking smell anyway. The bathroom sink doesn't drain either. Maybe that's where the last tenant is.

Three bottles of sulphuric acid and 12 kettles of boiling water and it's definitely smelling a lot better. I switch it on. It. Doesn't. Fucking. WORK.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Fuck you HTC (and possibly O2)

Sometime ago, can't remember how long, although usefully I did blog about it so that means I can check accurately when I can get a fucking upgrade, I got an HTC Sensation. I decided that I wanted a break from Apple and their reliable, stylish easy to use products and got myself a massive, cumbersome, buggy, virus ridden piece of shitting SHIT that doesn't even send and receive texts reliably.

So basically the Nokia brick I had in 1998, which looked something like this:

was more reliable as an actual communication device than something that looks like it could be a deadly weapon in the wrong hands, so large is it, and doesn't actually fucking WORK. I hate Google Play, it's messy and I can't find what I want and also it charges you in an annoying way and I hate the fact that every time I reboot I have to install a gazillion updates that never seem to make any fucking difference to any of the apps, most of which don't even work. And most of all I hate that fact that when I have arrangements with my friends and they text me to check on them, or see if I'm awake, or ask me what time, I don't GET THEM so I'm left looking like a rude, ignorant bitch and also don't get the precious friend time that I planned.

This blows. Your only job, HTC Sensation and/or O2 (don't know whether to hate the game or the player at the moment), is to deliver messages back and forth. And while you can seemingly manage that if I'm lucky and my friend has WhatsApp or Viber installed, SMS is beyond you. You might be a bit shiny but someone said you looked old and past it the other day, and I defended you. Fuck that. As soon as I can sort it HTC AND O2 are out, iPhone 5 and another network... yet to be decided... is in. Maybe then I'll actually be able to use my phone as a communication device instead of a massive, shiny, USELESS brick.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

"We have non-fat or dairy..."

I like to go to this coffee shop in York. The reason for this is because it is housed in the barbican of Walmgate Bar itself. This is very cool. Allow me to indulge my history geekiness here. I have to withstand bouts of video game, science fiction and robot type geekdom many, many times, particularly since spending a lot of time on the interwebz. I basically know everything about Star Trek, for example, despite the fact that I've only ever managed to sit through half of one of the '60s episodes and The Wrath of Kahn.

It's my turn now. Unleash the geek. Walmgate Bar is mostly 14th century, but the inner walls are most likely 12th century. The barbican is the only intact gatehouse of any of the four main gates of York. It's also the nearest gate to my house (my present and my new, as it goes) and it is beautiful.

Before I moved here, and I may have mentioned this before, I noticed that estate agents (or thieving scumbag knob-rots as I prefer to call them) greasily mentioning the 'cachet' of living within the City Walls. They didn't use the word 'cachet' of course, as they couldn't possibly spell it. I've lost count of how many times I've seen the word accommodation spelled incorrectly over the last few weeks.

When I moved here and found myself walking through Walmgate Bar regularly, I noticed that just inside are the unmistakable signs of council housing. Now, I have no beef with this at all. Except that this is proper drunken scumbags with a dog on a piece of string louty kind of council housing. People are pissed all the time. The guy who serves me in the One Stop is electronically tagged. People often don't have teeth. That kind of thing. It's hardly salubrious. And it certainly has no cachet.

But in Walmgate Bar itself is a coffee shop. It's beautiful. All leather sofas and hard back books. When I first went in there I thought it odd that the people behind the counter appeared to be American and the people drinking the coffee and sitting around tapping on iPads and smartphones also seemed to be American. I asked for the wifi key and was told it's 'jesuslovesyou'. Naturally, I thought that was a joke. Subsequent visits have convinced me that no, it's not a joke. And yes, it is run by some kind of bible-bashing, rightest of right wing (from myriad overheard conversations) and, frankly, badly dressed American youths. I assume they're students. It's hard to tell. They yak a lot in accents that I thought were made up for filmic purposes and they look at English people like they're weird. Or maybe I'm looking at them like they're weird. Because they ARE.

Today, three or four porky American girls were sat around looking like they'd run through an emo convention grabbing anything in sight and then wearing it all at once. They were discussing, in the very loud, grating tones that only Americans can manage (you know the ones. The kind of tones you can feel destroying your neurons and lowering your serotonin levels), the launch of ios 6.

"Ehmergerd it's AMAZZZZZING," said one. Let's call her Fanny Lou.

"I know, rigggghhhhhht????? I lovvvvveeee iosssss6666666," said another. Probably called Crystal Fernandez. I don't know why. It just sounds like something she'd be called. She looked like a large Avril Lavigne. Naturally, I immediately wanted to flick her forehead with my thumb and index finger.

I asked for a skimmed milk cappuccino. The (American, of course) lass behind the counter said: "Oh, wait, what's skim milk?" I looked askance. She went to check.

She came back and said: "We only have non-fat or dairy."

I'm sorry, what? You have what, exactly?

"Do you mean you have skimmed milk or full-fat?" I said.

"Errrr, I guesssss."

Unable to hide my disdain I said: "Skimmed please." and turned on my heel.

She didn't notice, what with being a rampant Christian. I expect 'Jesus loves you' no matter how execrable your use of the English language.

PS. I do like some Americans. Just not bible-bashing homophobic fools. Who use phrases like 'jesuslovesyou' for a wifi key. Abhorrent. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Fatman's big night out

I have the day off work today so I can pack stuff. I'm moving house very very soon and so far have managed to pack exactly fuck all.

I was going to get up early and get stuck in. I woke up at 10, naturally. But I did have a bit of a bound out of bed. A day off work, nice weather, things to do, life's pretty good. And then I saw it. My back door wide open. Now, I have to emphasise that even if I didn't have a neurotic, mental cat to look after I am anal about locking up. I have no idea what happened. I can only assume I was so hypnotised by The Great British Bake Off last night that I neglected all my normal actions and happily went to bed having left the door slightly ajar.

And that's all it took for my fat cat to disappear.

Immediately I couldn't breathe very well and I started to cry. This is basically up there with nuclear war and my mum dying as my worst nightmare. And no, I'm not exaggerating. Not even a bit. Outside of my mum and a few close friends, he is the most important thing in my life.

I know that people don't get this love that people have for their pets. And I know to some, cats are just cats, easy come, easy go. I'm sure many people would think my reaction excessive and hysterical. But this cat means the world to me. The round one has been with me for about seven years now and I love him. But more than that, when I rescued him from Cats Protection I undertook to look after him the best way I can for the rest of his life. And I had failed him. Massively.

Hysterical thoughts were flashing into my mind. That I would never see him again. That he would be killed. That he would starve. That I would have to cancel my move because obviously I can't leave the area now. That he would be so very, very afraid. He has no street smarts, no instincts. He's a cat imbecile and he wouldn't survive alone out there. Plenty of cats can and do, but Fatty's basically special needs. He's never even been outside before. Ever.

A quick scan of my backyard failed to reveal a mass of quaking fat covered in fur and I had to face the fact that he'd actually left the confines of safety and was out in the big wide world, scared, alone and - knowing him - hungry.

I ran round the streets for a while, heaving and sobbing, and drawing anxious glances from neighbours I've never even seen before. I called my friend and she joined the search. I called my expert cat friend who started co-ordinating vets and people and Cats Protection from far and wide.

All the while I was fighting a tiny kernel of admiration that Fatty a) was brave enough to go outside and b) had found the athleticism under his warm blanket of flab to scale the walls in my back yard. I genuinely didn't think he had in him.

On approximately the 17th walk down the alley way behind my house calling his name, I heard him. Or at least I heard a cat. But I know my Fatman's voice, and that was it. So I got my ladders and I climbed over the wall of the house four doors down and I broke into their shed. They weren't in, I hasten to add, or I would obviously have just knocked on the door.

A round, dusty face peered at me from the rafters of their knackered shed. He was squeezed into a tiny space. My friend returned from her mission of photocopying his details and photograph (her practical and helpful idea, I was far more about smoking fags and crying) and joined me. She brought some of his favourite treats and I tempted him with those. Until I realised that I was just standing in someone else's back yard feeding my cat. And if I carried on doing that, he'd never leave his new lookout. He was frightened but he's also stubborn. I moved some of the rickety tiles from above his head to see if he'd come out that way. But he just stuck his head out like a meerkat king surveying the world. He was bloody enjoying himself. The rat bastard.

Eventually my friend, being just ace, grabbed him, we transferred him to his cat basket and here he is. Back at home. Dusty and hungry. But absolutely fine. And safe.

I am never speaking to him again. Ever.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

News and culture review

Photos of Kate Middleton in the nude on holiday: who gives a shit?

Debate on whether this means media is turning said Kate into another Princess Di: she looks like she has the rictus grin and eating disorder down already but still, who gives a shit?

Anna Karenina film: joins the other classics ruined by casting Keira BLOODY Knightley. See also Pride and Prejudice, Dr Zhivago.

Middle East kicking off in response to shonky video of dubious quality possibly taking the piss out of Mohammed: Ridiculous anti-western hate mongering bullshit using a crap video as excuse. People who use religion for their own dirty agendas should go fuck themselves. So that's the entire Catholic priesthood then.

Father and two sons killed trying to rescue their doggie from drowning in slurry: so so unbelievably sad.

iPhone 5: slightly shinier iPhone 4S.

Kim Kardashian: still a cunt but an even cuntier cunt since she got with Kanye.

The Thick of It: Opposition: still elicits snorts of amusement and recognition but Malcom's lost his edge.

And that's all I can remember about news and things this week. It's possible other things happened too.

The end.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

I can't even breathe properly...

I've started to go to meditation classes. Buddhist meditation classes. My doctor told me to go. He is the coolest GP known to man. I didn't quite appreciate quite how Buddhist these classes were to be until my first time.

They're held at an old convent on Nunnery Lane. This means nothing to anyone outside of York, but I just like the fact I live somewhere that has loads of street names like Nunnery Lane. It's evocative. Although I couldn't much imagine the nuns trogging past the public toilets and fast food restaurants that now adorn that area. 

My steps were reluctant, it has to be said. And, just as I thought, as soon as I was inside and unexpectedly greeted by a Buddhist nun in full orange robe and shaved head regalia, I was fighting my fight or flight instinct. 

Any time I participate or spectate at some kind of religious service, ceremony, assembly or gathering, I have an almost uncontrollable urge to flee. I get a whole body itch and feel deeply uncomfortable, like I'm facetiously gatecrashing someone else's private thoughts. Because, and this is true, I just don't get it. I don't understand Christianity or any of its offshoots that I've ever read about or heard about. It makes no sense. There is no place in my world for a god who smites or punishes people for things like being gay. I mean, are you kidding? So I don't sing hymns, say prayers, chant responses or kneel when I'm told. I just stand quietly shifting from one foot to the other, looking at stained glass windows. 

I found my traditional seat - at the back on the end. This is the optimum seat position for a speedy exit. Locating and honing in on this seating position is a skill I generated at an early age and it has served me well. 

Five minutes later Scottish nun lady announced the teacher. A guy with the biggest grin on his face sails in, robes flapping. He sits down and introduces himself as a Canadian Buddhist monk. His accent instantly reminds me of all the jokes I have ever seen on American TV about Canadians. I just about stop myself imagining a hinge opening and his mouth flapping. 

I decide I'm probably not going to like him. Then they switch on a tape recorder and this voice starts sort of singing/chanting a prayer to Buddha. Everyone joins in. It's like that Catholic mass I went to once where everyone knew what to do and I didn't. 

After that the Canadian guy starts explaining Buddhism. And meditation. And the benefits thereof. And he guides us into a couple of meditations on the breath. I immediately forget how to breathe normally. I feel like I can only breathe in and then my mind gets confused because how can I only breathe in? I'll die? So I breathe out. Really loudly. I honestly have a moment of panic where I feel like I'm the only person in the world who can't even breathe properly. And then something happens. And I forget about everything in the room, all the voices in my head shut up and I see and feel something I haven't had since I was approximately five. Peace of mind. Actual, honest to god, peace of mind. 

They charge £5 for a two hour session. I've now been to seven hours' worth of meditation with Canadian Buddha dude and have had more benefit that with hundreds of pounds worth of therapy. My ma has been telling me to learn how to meditate since I was about 16. Why is it that I never listen to her the first time? 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Lunchtime poll...

You're an American TV company. You've inherited $5 million. According to the Mayans it's the end of the world pretty soon. What do you do?

a) play croquet then eat pate with your parents before realising you're late for a funeral?
b) colour code your group of friends in order of popularity/bitchiness?
c) adapt the best high school movie ever into a TV series for Bravo?

If you've never seen Heathers then you're dead to me. Seriously. You don't know anything and shouldn't be allowed to live.

Heathers is the best film of the 80s, bar none. It starred Christian Slater (doing his very best Jack Nicholson impression) as psychotic but oh so sexy rebel-with-access-to-too-many-guns JD and Winona Ryder as the sell out Veronica Sawyer who traded her integrity, sense of self and dignity to hang out with the popular clique at high school. Comprising Heather, Heather and Heather, the trio make Mean Girls look like flower fairies and preside over a complex regime of bullying and power games.

Veronica and JD decide to put an end to their reign of terror by faking a couple of murders. Although, it turns out JD is an actual psycho and Veronica gets dragged into an unwitting killing spree that ends up with suicide being venerated as cool by the collection of drones and geeks at Westerburg High.

It's not subtle, it's very dark and it only has a semi happy ending and it taught me more about life and how to live it than anything else in the late 80s. Course, I'm not exactly a well adjusted adult so I'm not sure what that says about anything. But this is how teen films should be made, they should be full of horror and humour. Sadly they all seem to be a pile of shit starring Lindsay Lohan these days.

I'm not sure what kind of series will come out of this. If they stick to the heart of the original and get the casting right, it could be Very.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The kid who sat at the back and ate glue

So I was flicking through my copy of The Guide, in between bouts of heaving and paroxysms of shivering.

In passing I noticed the new advert for Topman's autumn/winter collection.

It was this:

I checked that a) it's not some kind of out of season April fool and b) it's not some kind of joke advert mocked up to show the ridiculousness of the zeitgeisty fashions circa late 2012. I even cross referenced with Topman's website. And it is, indeed for real. And he actually is an actual male model.

I know I'm cracking on. I know that I'm pretty much passed the age of understanding the yoof of today. I know all that. But for Christ's sake. Look at him. Just LOOK at him. He looks like the special kid in school who smelled of off milk and couldn't form words properly. He's dressed like a four year old in the winter of 1980. He has a glint in his eye that suggests that you wouldn't want to leave him with access to your knife collection and your pets and/or children.

He looks like the care in the community lad that my ex boyfriend used to look after. He is dressed in the same clothes of my very young days - and even we knew we looked crap. Who puts this shit together? Is this really what the hip young man aspires to these days? Actually, it's occurred to me I don't even know what age range Topman goes for - is it the same as with women? Actually aimed at teenagers but also seen on anyone up to the age of 50-odd? Does this mean this season I will be seeing plenty of bejewelled specials with bowl hair cuts dressed like Where's Wally?

Excellent. Looking forward to it.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

You're my wife now Dave...

On my way back from an enlightening three hours with a load of Buddhist monks I stumbled across this:

Surrounding these men who appeared to be dressed as, well, that, were an audience of people dressed like this:

The strange guys dressed in approximations of Swiss Guard uniforms were doing some kind of, well I can only assume it was due to the proliferation of bells and sticks, Morris dancing. While dressed like clowns. With blackened faces.

In among the people with blacked up faces, and I can't emphasise that aspect of this enough, were a lot of very confused tourists. Actually, I think the native York people were more confused than the tourists. I overheard some American guy authoritatively tell his wife that this is "English Morris dancing and that it's based on the Black and White Minstrels".

I saw some German people looking aghast at the whole spectacle. And then the English people in among the crowds were sort of shifting about and trying to look like yes, old English traditions totally do include people blacking up and hitting each other with sticks. That's totally normal and we're fiiiiine with it.

Something like 7 gazillion tourists come to York every year. They come to soak up the history that permeates this ancient city. They come to experience the Walls, the Minster, the museums, the viking heritage, the sheer beauty of the Museum Gardens and the ancient buildings dotted around. They come to go to the Races and take the opportunity to anoint themselves in several layers of fake tan, wear a Topshop prom dress, six inch heels and puke their vino over Mickelgate Bar. They come to wander along the Shambles, all the while looking up and walking very very slowly, ignoring the people who are just trying to get home.

And now they come to witness the Great British tradition of men in skirts with blacked up faces and bells on their legs whacking each other with sticks while shouting OY a lot.

I wonder if any of them actually come back.

A quick Google uncovers them as a group called The Britannia Coco-nut Dancers. Oh dear lord.
They come from a small town near Rochdale (my place of birth as it goes) and apparently perform folk dances. Unsurprisingly the origins of their blackened faces are lost in the convenient misty mists of time, but it's thought that perhaps it is a pagan tradition to hide the dancers from being recognised by evil spirits. Riiiiight. Another theory is that the dances originate from Moorish pirates who apparently settled in Cornwall. Which obviously explains why they come from Rochdale. That clears that right up then.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Regrets, I've had a few...

Loads in fact. Too many to mention. Too many to remember.

But most of all I regret almost every time I've lost my temper. Because those that deserve it won't listen anyway and those that don't, well, don't.

Either way it's a lose/lose situation.

And something that, surely I should have control over at my advanced age? I remember a skit by Rob Newman (of Newman and Baddiel fame. Back when he was a hottie. Actually back when he was just around. Where did he go? He never pops up as a talking head on some shitey Channel 4 Top 50 Hilarious Moments of 1972 or whatever. He's never on Mock the Week. I don't think he's even turned up on the slightly more highbrow versions of comedy panel shows. He'd be perfect for Would I lie to you? or a celebrity version of Only Connect....

A quick look at his webpage shows a man who took the opposite stance to his partner. Rather than turning to tedious 90s lad culture and fronting some godawful programme about football for most of that decade, Rob Newman has been all serious and political. Sort of like Stewart Lee but with some morals and principles, and a lot less of the twisted bitterness that I adore.

He sort of turned into a hippie by the looks of it. Interesting. Although all trace of him disappears after 2007.

Baddiel, by the way, has come full circle back to awesomeness. He left Skinner behind and started writing pretty decent novels. He also called me cheeky once at a book signing. I asked him whether he hated Rob Newman now. I think the answer was yes.

Annnnyway. My point was the skit. It was one of his solo bits at the Wembley show they did. First comedians to ever sell out Wembley they were. Now Michael bloody McIntyre does it every other day. And it was along the lines of stress and regrets and just the general horror of existence. And it comes into my head now and then. Which is more than can be said for Michael McIntyre's stuff. Although the man drawer joke was very amusing. And I do like it when he skips across the stage shaking his funny hair. I can see why he's the most popular comedian in the land.

Like Rob Newman in 1995, I have a lot of regrets. It's something that you're not supposed to have. Like you're not supposed to think of the things you should have said, could have said, could have done, should have done. Or wish for a different life. Or envy your friends. Or look in the mirror and really badly want to look entirely like someone else. Or want what you don't have.

You should think positively at all times. But this is what I don't get. How do people do this? If it's a case of just pretending the bad stuff isn't there, then I'm not interested. That's insincere and inauthentic. Pretending shit hasn't happened or that your actions haven't affected other people is the opposite of being strong.

'Thinking positive' is the new oppressive religion of our times. The self help movement has done more damage than good. Simply repressing and ignoring cannot be the way forward and the constant pressure to rictus grin over one's burdens is neither helpful nor healthy. But then neither can over analysing everything, disappearing up one's own arse and becoming so confused you can't decide whether to have toast or cereal for dinner.

This has often been my modus operandi, leading me to act in ways I don't really like and appear in a way that I'm actually not. Which, much like Michael McIntyre, really has to just stop.

I need another way.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Who shot JR?

I was a 70s/early 80s child. And as such I clearly remember how shit the 80s was. From the clothes (hideous), most of the mainstream music (woeful), hairstyles (seriously seriously bad), the entertainment choices (three channels until 1982. Three), food (Findus Crispy Pancakes and luminous gloopy Angel Delight) to the politics, foreign policy and ever present threat of nuclear war and abject poverty (unless you were a rich bastard).

There was nothing glamourous about the decade, and very little to celebrate. Money talked, bullshit walked. People wanted more and more stuff and, in a predominantly white, middle class suburban upbringing like mine, general attitudes were flaccid to say the least.

I didn't really understand most of what I saw and heard on the news but I clearly remember the Falklands, Chernobyl, bombings in Birmingham, Gerry Adams with a constant voiceover, Margaret Thatcher all over the place, plastic Princess Di marrying her prince (even as a six year old I could see that had disaster written all over it), terrible haircuts (flat-tops,rat's tails, mullets and massive, massive perms - and yes I've already mentioned the hair but it's so awful it warrants more emphasis), everything was neon, Ronald Reagan talking about Star Wars on the radio (very confusing to a youngster)...

As a proper child of the 80s, the TV frames a lot of my memories of childhood. Before videos were available and when computer games were confined to a really, really arduous typing adventures like The Hobbit, the TV was our natural friend.

Kids' stuff was a lot weirder than today but pretty good - The Flumps, Rentaghost, Blue Peter, Grange Hill back when real shit happened, Marmalade Atkins...

My memories of proper telly are fuzzier, but there were a lot of really bad American soap operas. If you didn't fancy Dynasty there was Dallas or Falcon Crest or Melrose Place. Hours and hours of massive haired, massive shoulder padded, over made-up old hags cackling and screaming at each other, getting drunk and crying a lot.

And because there were only four channels by the mid-80s TV was an event that it would be almost impossible for youngsters today to comprehend. You know how everyone got really excited because everyone collectively seemed to be watching the Olympics? It was like that all the time. Even if all you were watching was Coronation Street.

The year Dallas ended on a cliffhanger, the question of who shot JR was genuinely on everyone's lips. Even my parents who appeared to only watch things like Dallas in a detached, ironic way - a manner I was careful to quickly cultivate even if I really, really liked something. Dallas was something you didn't like like, but you had to be able to talk knowledgeably - and preferably disparagingly, even at the age of six, about it so as not to lose face in the playground.

But if Dallas was done today it would get lost among the mire of utter shiteous tosswank that passes for 80% of TV. Wouldn't it? We have a gazillion channels showing aeons of terrible series that seem to be churned out endlessly for some reason, presumably to make money for someone somewhere. There are so many awful American soap operas that Dallas would never survive now. Right? RIGHT?


Somewhere along the line it became very 'now' to spend cash on remakes, reboots and re-imaginings. I mean, how many Spiderman reboots does the world need? I mean, REALLY? Ditto Superman, Miami Vice, Total Recall, Blade Runner and all the others that are getting CGId into oblivion.

Which brings me to my point. Kind of. Dallas is back. Someone thought that resurrecting Dallas was a good idea. Luckily (sort of) some of the original cast are still alive and, even more luckily (sort of) most of them haven't worked since it came off the air the first time. It's 2012 and Larry Hagman is still being paid to be JR. There is something very, very wrong with this picture.

What's happening? Total Recall on at the cinema, Dallas on the TV, high tops and asymmetric haircuts everywhere, Tory government systematically destroying the NHS, Republicans likely to be in at the White House before long. I've done all this once already.

We were meant to be on fricking hoverboards by now. If someone told me when I was six that fast-forwarding to 2012 would reveal a world fundamentally, culturally and politically unchanged I would have been, well, quietly disappointed and very middle class about it all.

Much like now.