Never mind the Warhols

Purple people

By our ephemeral correspondent Delbo

15 minutes of fame is too much for ’em. These people in the public eye who are famous for nothing at all. They have no talent, no skill, no charm but they are celebrities.

If you had a Delete key, who would you say had outstayed their welcome in the Celebrity Hall of Fame? Who would you dump in the Wells of Oblivion?

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 10:38 am  Comments (68)  

Gael Cliche

It’s linguistic correctness gone mad! It’s Delbo.

Somebody somewhere coins a catchy phrase and next thing you know it’s all over the web. Or its gone viral through YouTube or cable TV. Everybody down the pub is using it and it makes me heave. I’m glad the football season is over so I won’t have to hear ‘park the bus’ (they have a good defence) until August.

Or when some filmic autobore … Hang on, filmic??? This abomination means ‘it’s to do with films’. Where was I? Ah yes. Or when some filmic (spit) autobore says a film ‘pays tribute to bla bla’ all he means is that bla bla has been shamelessly plagiarised as the script-writers wouldn’t know a fresh idea if it crashed their iPad. Post-ironic (grrrr) my arse, they’re just clueless copyists.

Cliches, that’s what we’re on about here. They’ve got to be severely limited in their useage with severe mediaeval penalties falling on persistent abusers. Take the chronically overused suffix -gate. Watergate OK, that’s the origin. But in the last week I’ve endured Blattergate, Clegggate, Obamagate, Pippagate, and the simply inexcusable Giggsgate. (Surely that’s an alleyway in York?)

Due warning. This is going to get bloody folks.

What I’m asking for is your top 3 worst cliches. I want to see flesh creep and bilious eruptions here. You can cherry pick the low-hanging fruit  and move forward to claim the point. Yes, that’s right, it’s a point-tastic bonanza here at Minggate but remember folks, it all goes to charidee.

Published in: on June 27, 2011 at 8:02 am  Comments (77)  

Junk it

By our ad-hoc recycling expert Delbo Desperado.

Why do we collect & keep so much junk? Clothes that don’t fit or are worn out, broken machinery & stereos, receipts, plastic bags, dead shoes, multiple incomplete crockery sets, useless books upon books, CDs we never play, photo albums, rubbish DVDs, broken garden tools, that traffic cone,  worn-out tyres, jam jars & yoghourt pots, hat boxes, bent nails & screws, solidified glue pots,  old calendars. Decks of old computer input cards (obsolete or what?).

Bottles of unknown fluids, boxes full of packaging,  your ex’s vest, bust inner tubes, musical instruments we can’t play, tie-pins (still in box) when we don’t wear ties,  that basket of plastic flowers, old newspapers, textbooks from our ancient student days, paint cans, somebodys gear you said you’d mind for “a while” – 10 years ago, a bike you always scrape you leg on, fishing tackle.

Dead house plant, spare gear box for a bike we sold years ago,  all the old rags we saved for dusters but never use (they’re too good),  porno mags,  keys we have no idea what they’re for, odd socks, dental floss, aftershave, wooden elephant, leaky fish tank, broken plant pots, rejection letters, student essays, credit card statements from when you bought your ZX81, solidified curry spices in coffee jars, stamp collection. Unwanted ghastly gifts.

Business cards from people you can’t remember, old mobile phones, non-digital cameras, Transformers, pizza boxes, leaflets on savings plans, that mould in the fridge, framed pictures you never really liked, novelty keyrings, ashtrays (you don’t smoke), holiday plug adaptors,  spectacles that you’ve outgrown & can’t see with,  ignored dental appointment cards, party political propaganda, freepapers. Lengths of cable that we’ve no idea what they’re for.

Useless holiday money (often the countries no longer exist), London Underground map, Arsenal shirt with the sponsor of 15 years ago on the front & Charlie Nicholas on the back, bust or upgraded printers, hats that were funny at the time, wingnut can openers, video cassettes, shoe trees (gift),  deeliboppers, DLT’s Top of the Pops Annual, travel guide books from the 90s, grass strimmer (you don’t have a lawn in a condo 17 floors up). Used toothpicks.

“How to” books but didn’t, knackered furniture, medical stuff well past their use-by date, stolen airline spoons, birthday cards, froggy pen holders, faulty calculators, blunt knives, stolen wine glasses (2),  You Are Leo 1997 handbook to the year ahead (it didn’t), that credit card slip from 2004 that you’ve no idea what you bought for $24.99, old airline ticket stubs, day-glo tie. Gnomes.

“I’m with stupid –>” T shirt. Sony Walkman. Saggy elastic boxers. Official letters in Chinese from years back (if they were important you’d have have been shot by now & your family billed for the bullet). Dog leads when you never had a dog.  Wobbly tables wedged up with beer mats. Tolkien books you never finished. Bust umbrellas. 396 bottle openers. Spare car keys for the Capri, restaurant menus with crap spelling mistakes, odd socks, bog brushes sans bristles. Coffee table books on Impressionists, tent pegs, your mother’s socks to prevent deep-vein thrombosis on long-haul flights, old shampoo & conditioner bottles some bint left behind years ago. Termite-infested stereos that don’t work, fax machines & other redundant technology, laser pens, empty glasses cases.

So why do we store it all? And why do we take it all with us every time we change job and country?

They told me you missed school today/ So I suggest you just throw them all away//

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 10:51 am  Comments (27)  

Fanatics in our midst

By our fanatical correspondent Delbo Desperado 

The word Fanatic has a real bad press, it’s become associated with beardy bombists or swivel-eyed Goddists. This cunning spin has allowed millions of infiltrators to slip under the radar and wreak havoc in civilised society by endlessly pushing their own severely localised passion upon unsuspecting folks. 

You know the sort – whatever the topic of conversation they immediate seek to switch it round to their own hobby-horse and just won’t let go. These guys learned boredom on their mother’s knee, graduated through tedium and specialised in graduate school in coma-inducing catatonics. At this point, the fully trained fanatic is assigned one and only one topic to learn in the most stupendous detail then unleashed upon a gullible and unsuspecting public. Their mission: to latch onto any member of the public and drone on and on without letting go for an instant. Their aim is nothing less than the total destruction of civilised converse and life as we know it. 



The pitch of voice is crucial: it must be dull, flat and monotone. It must have the insistent drone of a distant buzzsaw, the urgency of a mosquito in your ear, and the fatalism of a dead fish. Advanced practitioners whinge, cringe and drone. They even go so far as to wield totally unnecessary hand gestures to emphasise a point of such crushing tedium that it lulls the victim back to near-consciousness to continue the torture. 

Bars, public transport and government waiting rooms are favourite haunts. You feel the thud of someone sitting next to you and with mounting horror you realise you’re trapped. “Isn’t amazing how many people completely fail to be aware of the correct instances where it is permissable to overtake on the inside?” This is the opening shot from guy I met yesterday in Kowloon who labours under the total misapprehension that the world shares his fascination with the UK Highway Code. “How many instances would you say were permissable?”. “Errr…3?” “You couldn’t be more wrong, it’s 4” He then triumphantly proceeds to detail all 4 in the dead tone and lexicon of a driving examiner and your heart sinks. 

There’s a guy in our pub – “Woody Jim” – who only talks about wood. Endlessly. He once did a pub quiz where all 40 questions were wood-based. “Take 3 pieces of coaxial-cut wood, which is the denser? Is it (a) split pine (b) ash or (c) maple?” At first we thought he was sending himself up but as the questions headed into the teens and increasingly woody we realised he was dead serious. After being roundly kicked off he said “I don’t understand. I thought you all liked wood. We talk about it all the time”. No Jim, you do. 

It’s likely these fanatics are intrusive alien avatars sent to test our resistance to the limit before the big invasion. What they lack in the impact of headline terrorists with their “spectaculars” they make up for with their numbers. They are legion, hordes of ’em. Is there any sane and reasonable argument against having them gruesomely killed? 

So we’re different colours/ And we’re different creeds/ And different people have different needs/ It’s obvious you hate me//

Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm  Comments (63)  


By our merchandising correspondent Angelo D’Elberto 

You go, you see, you buy. Then it starts. Your purchase is smothered in film, wrap and bags. And more bags to put your bags in. Then another bag to put your receipt in. Then more bags (they’re on ‘special offer’). And when you get home you spend a pointless hour peeling it all off and throwing it all in the bin. Which needs emptying 18 times a day. Which stinks to Capello in the tropical heat. 

I went in a 7-11 in Honkers to buy a yoghurt (don’t ask why). Got the yoghurt in 1 bag, the spoon in another and the receipt in a third. Staff asked if I wanted to put all 3 bags in another bag. I said I didn’t want any bags at all and just ripped the top off the carton and ate the yoggie. Caused mayhem. “Please sir you cannot do” Yeah right, just watch. 

Get back from Carrefour or Tesco Lotus.  90% of the bulk of your purchases goes straight in the bin before you get it in the fridge. Fridge still empty, bin full. What’s that all about? 

And it’s tough, real tough. Needs a real sharp knife to get through it all to unearth what you originally fancied  just to find 8kg of packaging on the floor and 17g to eat. Wompo, its gone then you got to empty the bin (again). Fancy some cheese? First get your buzzsaw, drill, machete, sharpen your teeth and attack the wrap. Cheese a sorry state afterwards but who’s looking? 

I hear that in more advanced economies you got to take your own bags now. Recycled funky bags with “I am a recycled funky bag” printed on the side in non-polar bear threatening green. Well OK, but when’s this going to take up in Asia? Where unrequited bags blow down the street in Kowloon like a blizzardy snowdrift, blocking doorways and gumming up traffic lights. Where bags of discarded dim sum & chow mein rot & stink in full view of an oblivious populace. The stench is staggering. 

Lennon & Ono once sang about ‘everyone’s talking about baggism’ but only now do I get it. There’s more bags than people, far more, and it’s got to stop. Let’s all say now: “No more bags!” “Bags? No Thanks”. “Give me my steak, raw, & no bloody packaging”. “Put it in my pocket, I’m cool”. Why are we sponsoring bag-makers and bin-men? It’s gotta go and go now. 

Name that tune

You’ve got tricks you aint never used/ Give it, give to me, it won’t be abused//

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 11:38 am  Comments (21)  
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The boat that sank

By our WGYG music correspondent Delbo Desperado

Del speaks out

Del speaks out

Just watched a new movie called “The Boat That Rocked“, shocking great fun. Its about pirate radio ships broadcasting pop music illegally off the English coast in the ’60s. And, 40+ years on we might find the old standards a bit flat – The Who, The Stones, Beach Boys, The Beatles etc – this movie shows without any doubt how utterly radical if not downright revolutionary music was at the time. The post-war class-bound establishment was utterly horrified and did all in their power to crush this blooming of irreverent, inappropriate but above all FUN content. Going with it was a lifestyle of sex, drugs and R&R that was anathema to the Powers That Be. It transformed society in untold positive ways, cast off shackles of staid convention and untapped the raw creative talent of young people.

The movie got me to thinking. It truly was an extraordinary time. Now scroll forward to 2009

Won’t get fooled again

Pop music today is bland, formulaic and exquisitely dull. Nothing sends that tingle up your spine when you listen to the unmitigated pap that is packaged by corporate marketing divisions and celebrity-obsessed mediacrats. Functionally manufactured boy bands vie with identikit girly bands in launching tunes of overwhelming mediocrity spun to the masses as excitement. Its a full-circle return to the 50’s, Pleasantville with multimedia high technology, with only black and world music retaining a raw edge. But who wants to listen to them? Blacks and Worldies? What’s their purchasing power?

“Eeee it’s not like it used to be?” No way. This is not a fogeyish lament. I believe this to be palpably and demonstrably true.

Has music been commercialised?

Has music been commercialised?

The day the music died…

The rot set in in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Global corporations acquired all musical outlets and retuned them to peddle nutrient-free glop. Unleashed the MTV marketing spinners to convince kids that this is what they wanted, this is what they liked via functionally illiterate kindalike sort of cloned VJs. Launched multimedia assault through all available channels. At the same time just edit out and delete anything different. Homogeneity ruled, history ended and there is now no way vibrant new musics can emerge. No, its glop & slop all the way from now on. Can you name me ONE chart single in the last TEN years that you liked? Or remember? Why are all our last lines from the 60’s – 90’s? Its not just age, after the 90’s pop music became pap music.  And there’s no escape.

New York, London, Paris, Munich, Nobody’s talking about Pap Music

Note the panic response of global corporations to file-sharing, illegal CDs and MP3s. They think people are stealing their product. They’re not – it’s just that there’s nothing worth buying. And can you imagine any 60’s musician even contemplating music as product?

Sales have plummeted. No amount of hype can convince kids that content-free spam is worthwhile. Remember when the Chart Show was a Can’t Miss event with ten million fingers paused over the Pause button? Not now. Top of The Pops, once a national institution, has been dropped. Hyped-up singles enter at No 1 one week and exit altogether the next. I’m old enough to remember when the Beatles stopped the country with live TV releases of Hey Jude and All You Need Is Love.  Can you see this happening today? Glastonbury festivals etc.? All pre-mid 90’s bands who can actually play live.

Can’t play Won’t play

In packaged pap there is no musical talent. Music comes from computers and band members are selected on their ability to pout rather than play an instrument, which, of course, they can’t. They can learn prepared interview scripts, taught dance moves and replaced if hype demands. Bands split due to “musical differences”? My arse, they split due to marketing decisions. I see that a member of Boyzone has just died whose only real talent was being gay. Already commentators are comparing this to the deaths of Lennon, Hendrix and Morrison in terms of the loss to music. Oh yeah?

Goat gotten

Is he right or what?

Is he right or what?

And so this is what gets my goat. How did we get to this absurd point? How did we allow all those magical times and tunes to slip away to be replaced with pre-digested nutri-free vacuous pap? It was so IMPORTANT to us, then careers and mortgages and marriages and stuff gets in the way. The end result is weary old crusts sitting on the barstool  nodding away to Hendrix and The Eagles  and saying “Now that’s what I call music”. How did we let it all slip away? The kids of today are lost, they’ve never known anything better, they listen to our stuff,  and any creative mobs are excluded to the periphery. We should be angry, angry as all hell.

Stairway to Hell

So is there any hope for pop music? I really do fear that no, there isn’t. Gut-ripping guitar solos are history. Consciousness-forming Dylanesque lyrics are banned. Originality is off the agenda. The bureaucrats and men in red braces have won. Those who tried to stifle the eruption of joy provoked by pirate radio have succeeded. It’s gone, man, solid gone. I just can’t see the eruptive charisma of a Punk movement (say) being allowed to break through and sweep it all away. All that’s left is saccharide treacly gloop. In perpetuam.

And so to a rather existential and appropriate last line.

Down the street you can hear her scream “you’re a disgrace”/As she slams the door in his drunken face/ And now he stands outside and all the neighbours start to gossip and drool//

Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm  Comments (56)  
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