Archive for September, 2009

A Review of The Many Deaths of John Le Baptiste

September 18, 2009

It is both true and a truism that blogging is one of the chief causes of illiteracy. Before the establishment of a veritable leper’s colony of unlearned logorrhoea-sufferers on the terra nova of the internet, everyone in the world was at least as literate as Martin Amis (at least). Then the bloggers started popping up everywhere and doing unspeakable things to grammar and the once impregnable boundary between literal and metaphorical language. Of course, buried beneath this flood of 21st-century vandals were a few diamonds in the rough who carried the flame for good sense. Their blogs made us laugh and made us cry but they did so without splitting infinitives and mixing metaphors. But the damage was done, and we are all the worse for it.

Bearing all of this mind, The Many Deaths of John Le Baptiste constitutes a new low in the history of the weblog. To describe Le Baptiste’s tortured imitation of English as doggerel would be to grossly insult the abortive product of the attempt to crossbreed a dog with a cockerel from whence the term originates. Sure, that hound-bird was a fleshy, feathered tumour of wet-nosed horror and an offence to God and nature, but it was less monstrous than what John Le Baptiste calls writing. For one thing, Le Baptiste appears only to have mastered the first fifteen letters of the alphabet fully (except j), and for another, he seems to think that commas are letters. On the rare occasions he manages to produce something resembling a sentence, it typically combines babyish exclamations (‘whelky-elk’ for ‘whelk’), pseudo-gangsterisms (‘straight up now dogboy biddy-bo), management-speak (‘is 110% isn’t not good enough, is it?’) and phrases that one can only assume Le Baptiste takes for poeticisms (‘upspringing egg, I love thee’).

Quite apart from the abhorrent language of this blog, the premise on which it is founded is both cruel and illogical. In essence, each entry describes the different ways in which John Le Baptiste claims to have died. It is grossly insensitive and one can only imagine what any dead people would think of it were they to read it. To first go through the discomfort and inconvenience of dying, only to be confronted with an illiterate pipsqueak making light of the whole ordeal! It’s sick! I know that if I were a dead person and I discovered this blog I would be livid. But it seems like anything is permissible in this permissive society.

Additionally, the essential concept of the blog is deeply flawed. It is a fundamental rule of the universe that you can only die once, unless you are successfully resuscitated shortly after. This Le Baptiste character claims to have been poisoned and shredded into little pieces on two separate occasions. I sincerely doubt that if this really did occur, Le Baptiste could have been resuscitated afterwards. Either he is lying about having died, or, and this is worse, he has already died, in which case he is a demon or spectre who has been sent to torment us and to corrupt our language. Whatever the explanation, this is not the sort of stuff you would want your child, grandmother or servant to read.

Most probably, John Le Baptiste is not a demon or a liar, but instead a confused and stunted tramp who has wandered into an internet café and is trying, futilely, to make sense of his own pointless, urine-soaked existence and to draw the attention of the world to his plight, so that they might point him in the direction of the nearest off-license. The sooner the world does this, the sooner the internet will be free of his unconscionable waffle.


The Many Deaths of John Le Baptiste

September 12, 2009

I have recently started expiring a lot. You can read about my progress in a separate blog, entitled The Many Deaths of John Le Baptiste.

The Football Factory

September 12, 2009

What kind of backward imbecile would watch the Football Factory of their own free will? Not this kind of backward imbecile, that’s for sure. Here is my review:

Hooliganism was invented in 1872 by Mother O’ Hooligan, a stout, bellicose and matriarchal denizen of Cork, Ireland. Her brood was numerous and consisted solely of thick-boned, pudding-bummed bruisers, whose copious reserves of punchsome gusto were inversely proportional to their sense of civic responsibility. “Why, Mother O’ Hooligan”, the priest would exclaim, “I’ll wager those boys are a handful even for your gargantuan, shovel-like hands”. “Aye”, she replied, “but what am I to do”? However, that very night Mother O’ Hooligan was struck by a fresh, sugary pump of inspiration. “That’s it!” she cried, “I’ll channel the destructive energies of my fat, rowdy sons into a form of noisy football-oriented enthusiasm and have them engage in hot frothy battle with other gangs of fat, rowdy boys who happen to support different football teams, so as to render them tired and pliable by the time they come home for tea.” And lo, football hooliganism was born.

In essence, this film features underpaid, ill-trained thespians affecting to be “shit brickhouses” and “hard wingnuts” with the intention of producing a sublimated erotic thrill in the brains of the unprepossessing subnormals who actually watch these sorts of films. This, at least, is what it says on the blurb. Let’s have a looksee for ourselves….

Heaven On A Hotplate! Danny Dyer is in this film! The most mysterious, challenging artiste of our – or anyone’s – generation is in this film, this film that I am watching right now, with my own eyes. I retract every particle of the preceding paragraph, especially the bit pertaining to underpaid thespians – I was, transparently, talking shit. Good lord. I feel like Joe Meek must have felt after he didn’t sign the Beatles to his record label and then they went on to become famous, or like the innkeeper must have felt after he turned away Jesus and then the said Son of God went on to sell more records than the Beatles. I hope the readers of the Agoraphobic Reviewer can forgive me for this appalling oversight. Permit me to try to recover what little critical credibility I have left.

This film is not so much a vehicle for Danny Dyer, as Danny Dyer is a vehicle for this film, and indeed for all of our most noble aspirations and divine sentiments. When he curls his face up like a cheesy quaver and squeaks “you done a bloindah, me old san, a facking bloindah”, we feel as if he is talking directly to us and validating each of our existences on an individual basis. It is highly gratifying. When he strips off his velveteen hooligan costume to reveal a specimen of male genitalia that is, like the human to which it is attached, tiny, pink and full of character, we do not feel anything so base and feral as sexual arousal. Rather, we feel what Dante must have felt when he ascended, in living form, to heaven, and viewed the resplendent Beatrice sitting by God’s side: nothing short of all-conquering holy rapture.

Oh, exalted Danny Dyer. Teach me how to fight and love and live like you. Bear me up on your shoulders as if I were a mogwai and you were the main character out of Gremlins whose name I have forgotten. Throw me up into the benign sunlight as if I were your own son. Nurture me and all of humanity at your soul’s teat.

Danny Dyer’s surname reminds us, like a terrifying, Satanic memento mori, that one day he will die. When that day comes, we must all just have to try to cope in our own way.

‘Nerrbits, a story’ by James Cameron, aged 16

September 4, 2009

Some of you may have read James Cameron’s justifiably concerned response (see Avatar comments below) to the publication of a personal letter that was intended for his eyes only. The AR apologises and lifts his eyebrows up at the centre and depresses them at their ends in a recognisable expression of thoughtful contrition. It is only fair that Cameron be allowed to speak his piece. Accordingly, here is an excerpt from one of his stories about Nerrbits the alien, written when Cameron was a mere 16 years old.

Crepuscular globules swelled from the jungle wall. Alien teeth gnashed in the under-scrub. Were they good alien teeth or bad alien teeth? Nerrbits didn’t know. But one thing was for sure – these aliens didn’t worry themselves about floss. An undue preoccupation with dental hygiene would get you killed on Cameronius Prime. Evolution had weeded out the teeth-pussies.

Sometimes Nerrbits thought back to when he was at school and everyone teased him for liking science and aliens. Butch, Duke and the other Beefy Boys had mocked him, saying “When are you gonna get laid Nerrbits?” or “One day you’re gonna jack your joystick right off Nerrbits, sitting around in that room all day”. How they laughed. Little did they know that one day they would all die in a horrible biochemical attack that would make them grow horribly fat and bald just before they died, horribly. Nerrbits of course survived the attack and went on to become a sensitive lover, a film director and an explorer of alien worlds. But he had known this since early infancy, following a visit from an oracular bluebird who landed on his crib and foretold all of the great things that would happen to him.

Nerrbits hunched down on his haunches and pulled a cyber-whip from his side-pouch. He triangulated his position to the nearest milli-quim and shot a fiery flare into the intense skies of Cameronius Prime. Just as he had hoped, a dick-weasel sprang from the shrubbery flashing its fleshy fangs. Nerrbits seized it by its red shiny head and grasped at its trunk with his limber legs. They fell grappling and grunting into the mildewed leaves when all of a sudden Nerrbits realised his mistake. This wasn’t just any dick-weasel – it was a female dick-weasel. This was going to be a night to remember.

Avatar (spoiler alert)

September 1, 2009

There I was, eagerly awaiting the postman, that evergreen Father Christmas, with his daily yield of treats from Amazon (not the website, the river – I’ve recently developed an interest in silt and ox-bow lakes). Any minute now, thought I, a parcel swollen with sediment samples and crocodiles’ fingernails will poke its eager head through the letterbox and into my welcoming arms. Verily, the samples and fingernails arrived, but an unexpected boon accompanied them: a letter designated for James Cameron. This was highly peculiar, as my (real) name shares no letters with his, and I live in the North of England whereas Cameron lives in Hollywood, Los Angeles, which is quite a way off from the land of deep-fried Mars Bars and whippet-grooming tournaments that I call my native province. Naturally I ripped open the envelope and read its contents. It appeared to be from Cameron’s father, Bill, and it detailed his thoughts on the upcoming science-fiction film, Avatar. I am sure that no one, least of all Bill or James, would object to me reproducing the letter in its entirety. Here you go then:

Dear Son,

You done good Jimmy, real good. You done a great little movie here. Your ma and I are real proud of you Jimmy. Real proud. I still don’t know how movies work even though you explained it to me already. I mean, how can there be blue people flying through the air on the screen when I’ve never seen it happen myself, not even in ’Nam? I saw a lot of bad stuff there Jimmy. Like that time when Rooker got elephantiasis of the balls in that brothel after that hooker gave him a rubber caked in evil Vietcong beeswax and his balls fell clean off and rolled under the pool table and the dog ate one of them and Rooker tried to kill himself but he only shot off one of his ears then Gomer said he’d got one ear to match his one remaining ball and everyone laughed even Rooker until he tried to shoot himself again. We saw some crazy stuff over there Jimmy. You should make it into a movie some time Jimmy. Jimmy. Jimmy son.

Seriously Jimmy, we never thought you’d grow up normal. You used to sit in your room drawing pictures of that alien you used to call Nerrbits. Old Nerrbits. Remember him Jimmy? All the boys at the club had normal sons who wore jockstraps and shouted ‘Beer-Bus!’ even when there weren’t any beer-buses around. But you sat in your room with Nerrbits.

Anyway Jimmy. This continuous prose business is for white-collar assholes. So here’s my thoughts on the film in bullet point form:

Worthington – great guy. Good glutes, solid guns. (He is based on me, isn’t he?)

Story – I got confused Jimmy. What happened?

Dialogue – I liked it when Worthington said ‘Ahhrrrerrrgh’ and pushed that girder off his stomach. Good dialogue.

Special effects – Real special Jimmy. You’re a special kid.

Credits – Why couldn’t your name be bigger on the credits? And why was it so fast. Old Cody Wilkinson said it went so quick he’s not even sure your name was on there. What an asshole.

Popcorn – Real delicious. How do you movie guys make it so delicious. Except for that Speilberg guy. His popcorn is WEAK and CHEWY. I went to see E. T. and I couldn’t even finish the popcorn. He shouldn’t be allowed to make films.

Well that’s all Jimmy. You done good son.