Back To Crack

Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere, you will no doubt know that the mercurial talent known as Amy Winehouse is dead. Stop the clocks etc. Always prolific, Amy Winehouse released a massive 2 albums over an 8-year period, one of which was a dreadful pastiche of modern jazz, which featured lots of songs of her going 'da-be dee-dooh-da' rather too many times than is necessary. The second album she launched was a change in direction to an all-encompassing plagiarism-fest of soul records from the '60's which unfortunately opened the door for numerous bandwagon-jumping copycats to pick over the bones of what had been a respected genre, Including 'talents' such as Joss Stone and Duffy.

But Winehouse ensured her longevity over her contemporaries when 'Back To Black' was released; with 'Rehab' being the stand out single that truly made her a star to both scabby, dirty-fingernailed ingrates and winebar-frequenting fuckwits alike. 'Rehab' was a cynical attempt to cash in on her by then well-documented struggle with the booze and various narcotics, which was apparent in her losing half her bodyweight between the 2 albums she made, and also the daily newspaper articles which were run about her, of which I'm sure her record company had nothing to do with whatsoever. Ironically, she would go to rehab several times, spunking money at the Priory to get help which other addicts could only dream of, and singularly failing to sort her bloody life out on each occasion.

No doubt buoyed by her new-found success, Amy started hanging out with other 'tortured' people with mush for brains, smoking crack and injecting heroin into their genitals whilst pretending to eat mice. Holed up for weeks at a time with the equally filthy and bedraggled Pete Doherty, Winehouse would only be pictured sporadically going to newsagents, almost tottering over as her enormous beehive threatened to drag her emaciated body to the floor. Then came along Mark Ronson, a man with a talent for systematically destroying any old record he touches by re-imagining them with lots of horns and an accursed jazzy rhythm, and then getting a bunch of detestable cunts to sing over them. And so it was that 'Valerie' was born - the only track Winehouse has featured on in any shape or form that does not make me want to perforate my eardrums with giant rubber cocks.

After this brief success which included winning several awards, Winehouse spent the best part of 5 years ostensibly writing new material, which involved being off her by-now-inflated tits, booed off stage for being mashed off her face with the occasional good gig thrown in to keep the wolf from the door. And when you have a laundry-list of addictions as long as Amy's, the wolf is around quite a lot. She also spent about a year in the Caribbean doing bugger all and found time to get married to a nutter and then divorced said nutter when she realised that he was too mad even for her. I suppose her tale is tragic in an entirely self-indulgent way, but not unexpected. When you plough the equivalent of Luxembourg's GDP in drugs and booze into your system, death is inevitable, unless you are Keith Richards.

What bothers me most about her passing is the blanket coverage and outpouring of grief that her death has inspired. What was that phone hacking hoo-hah about again? Someone died you say? Mysterious circumstances? Whistleblower? Who cares now. There was also the small matter of nearly 100 Norwegians dying at the hands of a gun-toting lunatic, but of course that is relegated to fish and chip-fodder in the wake of such a tragic event. Oh and thousands of people in East Africa are probably dying as I write this, as the result of one of the worst famines in living memory. But it is for Amy Winehouse that the grief of the sycophantic idiots is reserved for. For some reason, a self-inflicted and inevitable death inspires more pathos than huge swathes of people who are dead or dying through no fault of their own. And rather than donating a small sum to charity to help the lives of people who do not have the luxury of choice, Amy's retarded fanbase are instead re-buying her album in a morbid attempt to have it top the charts, which I have no doubt it will do; since if Adele is the best we can do, we are in serious trouble. And maybe that is the biggest tragedy of all.

Hatfield is odd

I went to Hatfield on the weekend and there are things about it that are just not quite right. For a start, it is one of those places that are hard to get to, and even more difficult to leave. There are still people driving around there desperately trying to get back to London who have been there since the seventies. There were roundabouts everywhere and loads of weird contra flows. One diagram of a particularly strange road layout looked like 2 penises jousting and was surely the result of a bet between disinterested council workers. I found myself nearly crashing loads of times. There are just oodles roads there, with nothing of note at the end of them save a few curiously stunted buildings dotted around like an afterthought. It's like the architects had envisioned grand skyscrapers with large footprints but then realised that they were in Hertfordshire and that not enough people would utilise them, so they built the first couple of floors and then gave up.

It unashamedly tries to proclaim itself as some sort of gateway to London but is not. There is not really much there. It's like the whole area was built for a significant world event in the 1960's which was subsequently cancelled. The topography is flat and featureless - the greys of the skies blending seamlessly with the edifices of the uninspiring buildings and the local inhabitant's hopeless faces. The hotel I was at desperately heralded itself as a 'great place for visitors from the north to come if they want to go to London'. Surely just going to London itself would be easier than stopping 50 miles short, staying in a concrete mausoleum and boarding a shockingly expensive and infrequent train to King's Cross. And imagine if your first experience of London was King's cross. You'd just want to turn around and go home before you captured some airborne parasite from one of the many prostitutes or down-and-outs.

We went to a farm at Hatfield house. It was like most farms that I have seen except practically all of the animals were fighting each other. They obviously felt the same sentiments towards the place that I did, and seeing as they couldn't 'flight', 'fight' was the only option open to them. There was a bunch of retarded ducks with giant bouffant hairstyles. They looked like they had been made by some local prankster to achieve placement in a Ripley's 'Believe it or not' exhibition. They were fighting with smaller ducks, bigger ducks, goose-type things and themselves - obviously dimly aware that they were abominations who had no right to exist. There was a very surly sow who had about 14 piglets who seemed to resent them seeing as the dad had sensibly buggered off. She proceeded to use her snout and feet to basically give them all a good thrashing for no apparent reason. Their alarmed whelping and squealing only made her more cross so she stepped it up a gear by trying to propel one of them into the electric fencing.

There was also a variety of odd-looking chickens who had apparently had testicles grafted onto their chins, who made their displeasure known by stomping on each others heads. And then I spotted a large group of what looked like midget black rams which had left their enclosure and were just wandering around until they saw me, at which point they menacingly started to run in my direction at great speed. I thought were going to charge at me, and I was calculating in my head what my chances were against an enraged flock of Satan's emissaries. Could I avoid them all with one swift jump, or was I better off going on the offensive and trying to kick them in the head? Could I pick one up and throw it at the others, or brandish it as a grunting, snarling club as I beat its contemporaries to death? Thankfully they ducked back under what must be the most useless gate ever made, since they could come and go at will.

But at least the farm animals of Hatfield house had been interesting. In fact, If I was responsible for bringing tourism to that godforsaken part of the world, I would actively encourage more genetic mutation and grow the farm into some kind of gladiatorial arena, where various affronts to god would fight to the death. Now,that would be worth visiting.

Things that I'd rather be than a traffic warden

I got a parking ticket yesterday for the heinous crime of partially obscuring a dropped kerb (offence 27 apparently) and I'm not happy. I will be writing a 20,000 word appeal which will consist of pages and pages of legal gobledigook which I will copy and paste from all over the internet. Obviously I won't win the appeal but I will at least cost Sutton Council some money reviewing the bloody thing, which makes a change from them always fleecing me. Perhaps they can put my 55 pounds towards fixing some of the potholes which regularly threaten to propel me over my handlebars.

Why do people become traffic wardens? I honestly don't know. It must be one of those professions that people fall into when they are addicted to Heroin and are too unattractive to be a prostitute, and too stupid to become burglars. It got me thinking about things that I would rather do than be a traffic warden and the list is practically endless. But I need to start constructing my rigorous defence of my parking ticket so I will truncate the list somewhat. Plus I can't be arsed today.

Things that I'd rather be than a traffic warden

A snake

A child in a creche run by Fred and Rose West

Rosie O'Donnell's bra

A Hippy

A private detective affiliated with News International

An attractive woman in a locked room full of footballers

Michael Moore's toilet

Andy Murray's armpits after 5 sets

Piers Morgan

A Journalist affiliated with News International

Katy B's Pale tree-trunk legs

Lindsay Lohan's gynaecologist - there are not gloves thick enough

A tea boy affiliated with News International

Chris Moyles's sense of humility - is anything else in the world more neglected?

A Glee fan ('Gleek' apparently)

Anyone affiliated with News International


Any vehicle owned by George Michael


What's with all the racquet?

Wimbledon Tennis is over. The concrete tennis courts of Britain will now revert to their primary purpose which is to host gang fights, rapes and other youthful hijinks. Racquets will be left in the shed, and forgotten the next year when another new racquet will be purchased, which will then in turn end up forgotten in the shed. Plucky Andy McMurray has failed in his quest to become the first British champion since 1542, and he is surely tucked up in bed nursing a bottle of Buckfast as he licks his wounds after being soundly spanked by Rafael Nadal. I personally don't mind Murray, although he is so Scottish that if you cut him in half there would be a layer of non-specified minced meat with a large egg in the centre, and he would leak Irn Bru everywhere.

I only comment on his overt and very miserable Scottishness because I'm sure when 'Tiger' Tim Henman was in his relative pomp, he was referred to as English. The gentile and well-heeled folk of SW19 normally fear the marauding Scots and believe it's a bloody shame that Hadrian's wall was allowed to fall into disrepair; so for them to warm to the ginger menace illustrates just how desperate these aristoprats are to cling to the notion that Britain is still somehow relevant and superior. And before Murray there was the Canadian-as-an-Elk Gred Rusedski, and inbetween a disastrous attempt to convert the very Serbian Novak Djokovik into a tea-drinker.

This illustrates how poor the English (or when convenient, British) game is. Murray cut his unusual teeth in Spain, and has been forthcoming in criticising the English (sorry British) LTA, who are so bumbling, disorganised and incompetent that they make the English FA look like the SAS in comparison. The gentlemen of the LTA spend most of their days supping on champagne and falling asleep, and in rare moments of lucidity moaning about the price of servants. But internationally, the Men's game is in rude health, with 3 superb players at or just over the peak of their powers, and Andy Murray trying desperately to keep up with them/hoping they all die in a plane crash. The REAL problem with tennis lies with the women's game, which has descended into an un-watchable freakshow.

Petra Kvitova won Wimbledon this year, mainly because she is 6'2". Women's tennis is fundamentally broken. They are all either giants, or they scream their heads off. Some are both. Victoria Azarenka is 5'11" and wails like a lost soul in the night. She does this every time she hits the ball, plus sometimes she screams petulantly when she misses a volley. And let us not forget the champion of screaming, Maria Sharapova; a woman who by right ought to wear out her voice completely before she hits 30.

I hope Maria Sharapova ultimately suffers the same fate as the boy who cried wolf - One day she will be loudly slaughtered in one of her mansions and her neighbours will think she is merely having a practise session. In fact, her neighbours will be the most likely suspects in the ongoing murder inquiry, and who would blame them. If ever there was just cause to commute a murder sentence to involuntary manslaughter, then surely this is it. It would be like living next door to a very large hareem of bickering foxes, who have chosen to nest in an active volcano.

The screaming phenomenon can be traced back to Monica Seles, who had a trademark grunt before a lot of today's players were born. Lest we forget that she was stabbed courtside. Now I'm not saying that this occurred because of her relentless noise nor do I condone it; but I was secretly relieved that I wouldn't have to put up with her half sneeze/half orgasm shouting ruining women's tennis for a while. The question that needs to be answered is why do they do it, and why is it tolerated? The first questions is easy to answer - it's all gamesmanship. No men do it. Nadal grunts but he does not emit a theatrical warble which would put a Bird of Paradise to shame.

From barbaric and blood-curdling to downright odd; none of the women's screams sound like they are a product of exertion. They serve purely to distract their opponent, to disguise the sound of the ball as they hit it; to give the opposing player no chance of determining whether they are facing a slice or a smash until the ball is nearly upon them. It should be banned. I have no idea why it is allowed. But then I have no idea why a rubbish American player saw fit to dress up like a porky hybrid of Lady Gaga and a Quarterback, (How silly did she feel when she was dumped out in the first round by the way) but what the hell do I know.

Then there is the combined might of the The Williams Brothers, who should be forced to compete in an 'other' category - which would consist of themselves, Caster Samanya, Amelie Mauresmo, Lindsay Davenport, and all the female weightlifters. Surely they can all piss standing up. These non-gender-specific muscular titans have no place in any women's sport. How relieved Novak Djokovic must have been this year, knowing that he wasn't going to be manhandled by either Venus or Serena for the first time in years at the player's ball, where it has become customary for the winning males to be crushed to death by monstrous 50" thighs more befitting a shire horse.

The rapid decline in the Women's game has by and large been rewarded with equal parity in terms of prize money, despite the fact that the men have to work for at least one third longer for the same money and they do not spend their time screaming like rabid baboons. What the fuck is all that about? Surely the EU should step in and sort it out seeing as they have nothing else to do with their time at the moment apart from wiping Greece's backside. I'm hoping that as the Williams brothers retire that the women's game reverts to what it used to be, and the days of 7 ft banshees smashing the ball as hard as they can whilst screaming will be but a bad dream. I shan't hold my breath though.