Watch 'Idiocracy', for this is our future

The latest 'A' Level results have been announced, and, shock horror, there has been another increase in overall pass rates, despite a concerted effort to make the exams and courses more challenging. This means that there has been not one dip in the rising pass rates over the last 20 years. Now, there are 2 conclusions that can be reached from this. The first is that young Britons are mutating into a master race of the world, who will soon be escalated to the very pinnacle of society. In time, they will do away with speech altogether and instead use telepathy to communicate. They will also move things with their very minds. Us older and obviously developmentally challenged relics will be employed as slaves and human chairs. The other conclusion is that the qualifications are becoming easier.

Unfortunately, lots of people seem to believe that the former conclusion is more likely than the latter. There was a time when the 'A' in 'A' Levels referred to 'Advanced'. Now it seems to represent the average grade attained. 'A' levels have been devalued thoroughly over the last 20 years, to a point where the universities are left flummoxed by students receiving 'A' grades when they are, quite clearly, thick as Lily Allen's ankles. Prospective students often lack the rudimentary skills to wash their own clothes or brush their hair, let alone apply abstract thought to a conundrum. Thankfully the interviewing process normally sorts the adept from the retarded, so the complete gibbering loons have to settle for a job as a tube driver or Big Brother contestant.

Idiots assume that the current bunch of sixth formers are much more intelligent that a decade or so ago, despite the lack of any compelling evidence whatsoever. In fact both universities and workplaces regularly complain about the declining standards of basic literacy and numeracy. I found some frightening statistics on the BBC website which I may have re-contextualised slightly to demonstrate that improved 'A' level pass rates are inversely proportionate to actual intelligence.You may notice the lack of data post-2005: this is because the incumbent university students were no longer able to operate a computer with sufficient skill to perform the analysis required, and were instead given some crayons to play with.

A-LEVEL PASS RATE: UK LEVEL OF DIMNESS SMUGNESS LEVEL
2001: 89.6% Blink 182 Average
2002: 94.3% Plank Big smarmy grin
2003: 95.4% 5-watt bulbAnnoying
2004: 96.0% Jade Goody (then)Think their parents are dim because they did not pass 6 A/S levels in Media Studies
2005: 96.2% Jade Goody (now)The world owes them a living. The intellectually bleak shall inherit the Earth

A* at 'A' Level has now been introduced, which is pretty much an admission that they are broken. I see this cycle continuing in perpetuity. I predict by 2030 what would have been an A in 1980 would now look like this: A******************************************************************************************************

Some facts about how much clevarar the new generations is than what my lot was

Autobots. Transform, and sell out.

Kids like Ben 10. Before that they liked Digimon. Then Pokemon (bit of a Jamaican flavour to that era) so on and so forth. In my era it was all about the Transformers. The cartoon was concocted to cynically market the toys, but I knew little of those machinations at the time. I just knew I had to have Optimus Prime. Had to. If the Internet was around then, I would have put my little sister on eBay to raise the funds. Eventually I got my wish. My mum bought it for me for Christmas, but she did so in October because they were so scarce. On a couple of occasions, I was allowed to play with him while he was still in the box. I was that pleased with him.

Optimus prime is an icon. Everyone knew who he was. He had the highest Tech Specs in almost every respect. Tech Specs were a jagged graph, printed onto the back of the cardboard boxes, next to the barcode and underneath a vista of various robots doing battle. You could distinguish the purple peaks and troughs through the pinkish grid if you wanted to, but why do that when you could use your decoder. A piece of red acetate endowed with magical properties. Pop that in front of the graph and hey presto. Those toys were the dictionary definition of awesome. So awesome that I have spent nearly a paragraph talking about a bit of packaging. They even had heat stickers, entirely pointless but wonderful badges that would only show the robots allegiance when rubbed or blown on. They were pointless because each figure had at least 4 or 5 Autobot or Decepticon badges so the need for subterfuge on one particular badge was never adequately (or at all) explained. I still have my transformers, and their Tech Specs. They are currently on loan, being exhibited to some lucky mice in my mum's loft.

So without really having to make much sense, the toys were great. The early ones in particular were incredibly well made. Chunky, metal and solid. Although anyone of my age who did not break or lose most of Megatron is either a liar, or didn't have Megatron. There was something abut the gadget-centric 80s that made transformers such a perfect fit. Ghetto blasters, Walkmen and Lamborghinis were all beautifully rendered. But in all honesty, the cartoons themselves do not bear up to close inspection today. All plots were the same. A bunch of planes tear across the Atlantic looking for Energon (Glowing, urine-coloured sugar cubes) pursued by a bunch of cars and trucks, who battle and randomly change into robots and back. (I think there was a contractual obligation to demonstrate both toy modes several times per episode) The evil ones (Decepticons) were always duffed up and sent packing. Occasionally a luckless human got a black eye. But it was all harmless fun. That was until the movie.

I was lucky enough to be in Disney World at 8 years old. Did I want to go on rides? No. Did I want to be molested by Mickey Mouse? Not particularly. I knew that we were in the states at the time that the Transformers movie had been released. In the 80's, it used to take roughly 20 years for movies that had opened in the states to appear in Britain, for some hitherto unexplained reason. So I whined, complained bitterly and basically just behaved like the spoilt bastard that I am until my Dad relented and took me to see the movie. There are 3 peculiarities about the movie, looking back on it. 1) it was well animated and had a plot that made some sense. 2) Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles! lent their voices to it. 3) They killed Optimus Prime. They actually killed Optimus Prime and that was that. He was dead. I kept thinking that his resurrection would be forthcoming but it wasn't. Optimus was dead and the new Autobot leader was a knobend.

It takes real bravery to kill an icon like that. Especially with no real fanfare or advanced warning. In actual fact, I later learned that most of the old toyline was killed, to encourage us to buy the newer toys. They weren't sent to Swansea on a peace-keeping mission or something, they were all killed, on screen. Half of them were ripped to pieces. The replacement toys were bigger, noisier, but more plasticy and a lot less charming. The golden era of Transformers was over, and Transformers slowly went the way of other fads. I kept buying the comic in the UK all the way to it's bitter end, when it had been forced to print mostly in black and white. About 6 people noticed its demise. Optimus Prime had been bought back in the late '80's as a bigger and much uglier incarnation, and he couldn't arrest the decline. Then a garish relaunch of the old toys failed. Then they started fannying around with monkeys and dinosaurs.

In the intervening decade things were quiet. There were still Transformer toys and cartoons being made, and some of them weren't bad, but they were now considered niche instead of all-conquering. So I greeted the news of a new live action Transformers with cautious optimism. The old characters would be in it. I knew that CG could now beautifully render the old forms I knew so well. And then my initial optimism turned to sheer dread when I realised that Michael Bay had been appointed to helm the picture. What a disaster. That's Michael Bay the awful director, not some hitherto unknown Michael Bay who was not an awful director. Then the first character models emerged. I obviously doubted their authenticity at first, given how bad they were. But then the movie drew ever closer and I realised that they were the actual designs. I still had enough curiosity to see the movie, but I had to wait until I could see it gratis. I have a policy (If it's Michael Bay, don't pay) that has served me well in life.

I eventually got to see the Transformers movie, and Bay's reputation for ruining everything didn't disappoint. I was greeted with approximately 2 hours of insectoid, Picasso-inspired automatons clanging into each other in either so slow a speed that I dozed off, or so fast that for approximately a third of the movie I had no idea who was fighting who, where they were and what for. To say it was a crushing disappointment was an understatement. A fairly decent cast (including John Turturro for some reason - hope he sacked his agent) plus Megan fox gamely tried to paper over the quadruple chasms of infantile script, woeful direction, dreadful character design and excessive slow motion, but could do little to arrest the picture from stunning mediocrity.

Why am I writing about this now, you may ask, not very topical is it. Transformers was donkeys years ago. But no. If you remember my aforementioned rule regarding Michael Bay, I must never part ways with any money when watching his films. So last week, I was stuck in a room with a telly equipped with an 'On Demand' service and the choice was either wrist-slittingly depressing daytime TV or the Transformers sequel, Revenge Of The Fallen. Despite a million alarm bells going off in my head, I watched Revenge Of the Fallen. Could Bay and the production team arrest the myriad issues with the first movie? Of course not. In fact there are several reasons why Revenge Of The Fallen is even worse than its' predecessor. Even poorer plot. More confusing. Uglier robots. More silly little robots. More silly big robots (why does a stealth bomber need a walking stick, and where does it conceal it when in plane mode?) Shia LeBoeuf more irritating than before. Optimus Prime dies, and is promptly resurrected.

That last point is what prompted me to write this, so you can't blame me for wasting your time. Blame the heathens who chanelled the awful script via Satan's fiery ringpiece. At least in the original cartoon movie, there existed the kind of ruthless mentality to actually kill a hero and not pretty much instantly bring them back. It may have been for cynical reasons but then you're not relying on cheap tricks as a plot device. You can have a death scene that actually invokes emotion, rather than a death which you know will be followed up by a resurrection before the credits roll. So Prime is bought back to life by virtue of a shard of something being stuck into his chest, and then the aforementioned pensioner robot, Jetfire, kind of rips himself to pieces and sticks bits onto Optimus. That somehow does the trick and then Megatron, who in his latest incarnation resembles a turd wrapped in scrunched-up tinfoil, is vanquished.

Now that the inevitable sequel is in the works, who knows where this franchise will end. Despite the terrible reaction to the 2nd movie (kudos for that, critics) another film is now guaranteed. Michael Bay, a man constructed entirely of  Teflon, the narcissistic, ill-equipped and talentless hack, will direct again. This is despite the fact that even Megan Fox (whose sole contribution in the first 2 installments was removing and putting on clothing very slowly whilst pouting) has realised that Bay is an utter arse, opened her gob and has been kicked off the film. She allegedly compared him to Hitler. Now I'm no fan, but I think that is a bit over the top. Sure, Adolf was evil incarnate, but he never ruined Transformers.

Jordan - don't go there

Jordan. Dry, arid and unbearable during the day. Ice cold at night. Mile upon mile of featureless dusty orange, sparsely populated with giant dunes. A barren, unforgiving landscape, devoid of character or hope. Also known as Katie Price, she has been many a feckless girls' role model for some 10 years now. 10 years in which she has transformed from a pretty and harmless bongo mag staple to a dried up, emaciated cynical old husk, who has an innate belief in her intellect and god-given right to forever be the most famousest woman ever.

If we go back 10 years we can see where the issues started. Jordan was pretty and glamorous. A pin-up you might say. But when she first opened her mouth a wave of crushing disappointment swept across the males of our fair isle, in much the same way David Beckham's first interviews made women a little bit sick in their mouths. Her voice is so dull, lifeless and relentless, she could verbalise the cure for cancer and no-one would listen. Her voice has no lustre, no life. If Stephen Hawking wanted to sound more robotic, then he should wheel himself over to chez Jordan with a tape recorder.

Did you know that Katie Price has a speech impediment? She actually can't say the letter r. The rotund, floppy-haired and perma-adolescent comic fetishist Johnathan Ross has made a career out of not being able to pronounce his own surname; yet 'Pwicey's' less than expert use of her tongue (something of a first there) goes un-noticed. This is because never has one person spoken so much bilge and gained so many column inches for doing so. We are so baffled and befuddled by the latest stream of verbal diarrhoea exiting her gob that she could lisp like Chris Eubank and no-one would pick it up.

She manages to be insensitive, rude and crass while all the time possessing zero charisma. Even her attempts at public crying seem to be more akin to initiating a software program rather than any genuine emotion. My theory is that Jordan is a cyborg. She has had so many nips, tucks and alterations she is now about as organic as Tesco Value giant mutant tomatoes (10p for 6). All of her life decisions seem to be determined by her relentlessly stupid, yet cold and calculating brain; her selfish synapses firing once every couple of months, telling her to dispense of someone or something in her vapid life and replace with a more pliable/hunkier/less intelligent substitute.

She is literally surrounded by sycophants now, having ousted any actual friends who may dare to suggest that, actually she is wrong all of the time, and quite the disgusting human being to boot. Surely it is only a matter of time before the town of Hove is permanently scarred by a giant, stalinesque statue of her effigy, giant breasts hewn from disused gasworks. Lately she has been expressing the difficulty she has had in being 'Reidinated', by classily informing various media outlets of her struggles, as every woman with a modicum of self-respect in her situation would do. She is acutely aware that another unfortunate sprog would momentary shore up the rapidly disintegrating walls of her 'career'.

However, at least having children to various fathers isn't her only talent. Oh no. This is a woman who professes to have written in excess of a dozen books, yet I'd be amazed if she could name a dozen she has read. In fact, I'd be stupefied if she could name a dozen titles of any book ever written, even if allowing her to name her 'own'. Putting this aside, at least she has her looks. Oh Dear. She now resembles a Harpy dreamt up by H.P. Lovecraft on acid. The bottom-half of a 10-year-old boy. A Top half that even Beavis and Butthead in their chromosome-deficient horny pomp would be hard-pressed to make such a mess of. A duck-like, emotionless face, punctuated by soulless black beads for eyes, and all crowned by a huge, synthetic mane of the deepest ebony, she really is a 'stunna'.

Her last remaining vestige of hope is television. Ever since she was filmed lazily noshing on Dane Bower's chub-on it was obvious that the small screen was her natural home. Her 'fly on the wall' television series continues to be syndicated by various low-brow cable channels which you find by accident when looking for Porn. Tawdrily serialising the black widow-like mental destruction of her latest luckless male, the show somehow succeeds in painting her in an even worse light than usual. And this is a show of which she has editorial control, so who knows how bad she really is? Poor old Alex Reid, I’ll wager. No wonder he was so pumped to be on Shooting Stars, even if he had no clue what was happening.

I don't like wednesdays (tell me why)

I hate Wednesdays. Wednesdays are neither here nor there. Trapped between the optimism of a forthcoming fantastic weekend and the crushing reality of yet another disappointing weekend. I'm not even with Orange so no free cinema tickets for me. 

If I believed in the absolute absurdity that the earth was created by a divine entity in 7 days, then the Daily Mail, electrical 'lifestyle' products prefixed with a little 'i' and Katie Price were all created on a Wednesday. Such is the banal nature of the day that we could easily scrap it from the calendar altogether. At least then we could 'enjoy' Christmas in the summer once in a while.

So it is on this Wednesday, sitting here listening to yet another conference call where words meld into one lengthy, undulating string of bilge, which I decide to create this 'blog'. I hope that it is the cathartic kick up the arse I need to actually achieve something, even if that something is making someone else as miserable as me, if but for a fleeting moment of time.

So look forward! to being regaled with unremarkable tales about things that vaguely annoy me. Which, as has been pointed out by some real life people to me is pretty much anything. Suspend your disbelief! as I grumpily and somewhat futilely have a strop about not much at all. And most of all Enjoy! not being as petty and mincing as me.

Roll on next Wednesday.