Tag Archives: toys

What I did on the rubbish dump

By Bert, aged 3.9

I do not like my Aunty Katy. Everyone says she is really crazy and funny because of all the crazy and funny clothes that she wears but I have always thought that she is mean. And my mum says that she cannot sing as well as she thinks she can.

Yesterday we had to visit her and I was looking for my toy robot that I had left at her house. But Aunty Katy said she had given it to her new boyfriend. She is going out with that Kanye from the Halloween party but my mum says Kanye could do a lot better. “He’s going to bath his ape in my Milky Way!” said Katy, looking very happy. “I just want to be a victim and be abducted by him!” My mum told her she was disgusting and made her promise to get my robot back.

We went round to see Kanye and he had lots of new toys and gadgets. He said that they were “playing aliens” when Katy borrowed my robot. “Disrobe and probe!” laughed Katy and my mum gave her a terrible look. Then it turned out they had thrown my toy away so mum made Katy take me to the rubbish dump.

While we were looking through the rubbish Katy told me to stop being so upset about my toy robot, and she said I was being gay. I said I was not gay and she said she did not mean it like that, she just meant I was being pathetic. She said she was only being playful, like when she called her ex-boyfriend gay and told him to go and hang himself. “Anyway,” she said, “I’ve got nothing against gays, I even kissed a girl once. But I didn’t like it.”

Then the wind blew Katy’s skirt up and I saw that she had hooves for feet and I was surprised even though it was my mum had always said. Katy was not embarrassed and she said that we are all special fireworks and we should celebrate our uniqueness and diversity. I said I was cold and I needed the toilet and she told me to shut up and stop crying.

Finally we found my toy robot. But to be honest now Katy has had it I do not want to play with it any more.

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If popstars were… Perverts

Oh it’s a loaded topic, isn’t it. Because we all know already that all popstars are perverts. Rihanna’s the latest to pitch in with new single S&M. But how well do our favourite acts put their fetishes into song? And how far would they really go?

Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf

What perversion is this? Midget is paraded in a long black leash on the high street. Disco dollies are lured into a life of vice. Pornos are filmed. ‘They all love your miniature ways! You know what they say about small boys!’ It’s quite specialised.

What does it sound like? Being aurally raped by a succession of oversized synthesisers while off-their-tits clubbers laugh at you (v good).

How far would they go though? If you believed even one story out of ten that the press ran about Marc Almond in the early 80s, you don’t need me to tell you the answer to that. For everyone else — the song’s pretty mild in comparison.

Depeche Mode  – Master and Servant

What perversion is this? A nice bit of submission. Dave Gahan gets down on his knees like a dog, and regrets that getting shafted in real life isn’t nearly as much fun.

What does it sound like? Like a nursery rhyme. A nursery rhyme with a lot of people banging on pipes and whipping each other while gas explosions go off (excellent).

How far would they go though? From this point on, half of all Depeche Mode’s singles were about chains or the sweetness of suffering or somebody having a wank while you strip off and choke on exhaust fumes. I like to imagine the boys had a special room in their Basildon mansion where they ‘tried out ideas for lyrics’.

Madonna – Hanky Panky

What perversion is this? A few years ago I spent a spring and a summer moonlighting as a karaoke DJ in a King’s Cross pub on Saturday nights. Happy times. My presentation style was best summed up by the time I introduced a punter doing Hanky Panky by saying “…and she’s going to sing us a cheery little number about consensual sexual violence!” (Oh she got her revenge. By coming back and singing the same bloody song, week after week after week.)

What does it sound like? Awful.

How far would she go though? Madonna spends a lot of time and energy convincing us that she’s as highly-sexed and adventurous as possible. So to be honest I think she’s exhausted by it all by the time she gets home. I expect she makes do with a sleepy poking in front of Newsnight once a week like everybody else.

Aqua – Barbie Girl

What perversion is this? It’s fantasy dress-up role-play of course, although it’s more to the point that once Lene is Barbie, René gets to undress her, control her actions completely, and touch her anywhere he likes. Lyrically, this stuff isn’t even buried, it’s completely explicit, which I think makes Barbie Girl the most deliciously perverted song ever to become a massive mainstream hit.

Mattel did sue Aqua over the song, claiming they’d tarnished their doll’s reputation, and Aqua countersued, claiming hilariously that Mattel were injecting meanings into the song that simply weren’t there. After a long running series of legal disputes that eventually reached the US Supreme court, a judge dismissed the whole thing and told everyone “to chill”. Pop gold.

What does it sound like? They call it bubblegum pop, technically. I can’t come up with anything better than that. Barbie Girl‘s true genius is that you only have to hear it once and you’ll never ever forget it.

How far would they go though? Lene and René did date eventually, but only after she’d split up with Brian McFadden, of all people (a man who at the time had temporarily changed the spelling of his name to Bryan, “to make it easier to sign autographs”). Lene’s debut solo album was called Play With Me, and included the tracks Virgin Superstar, Bite You and Pants Up. René also went solo, releasing the tracks Let It All Out (Push It) and The Uhh Uhh Song. From these few facts alone I’m happy to believe that anything’s possible.

Rihanna – S&M

What perversion is this? The problem is that it’s all a bit broad-brush, trying to cover too many bases without ever settling on one of them. According to the video, Ri-Ri is into clingfilm wrap, domination (Perez Hilton’s her sex dwarf), a little light bondage, and ‘food play’ — with strong hints in the closing moments that a bukkake session’s about to take place. Meanwhile in the lyrics, she’s into masochism — chains and whips in particular. Then there’s the alarming line “Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it!”, inviting us to picture Rihanna as a small red spaniel leaping to catch some flying ejaculate on her muzzle.

What does it sound like? A very generic I Can’t Believe It’s Not Guetta! production from Stargate is a big disappointment after the lovely What’s My Name?.

How far would she go though? A difficult question. Because on her last album Rated R, it was easy to believe that shell-shocked, defiant Rihanna was capable of anything, including vengeful suicide firebombing, shooting herself in the face for laffs, and dabbling with girls “underneath the candelabra”. This time around she’s playing up her fun, sexy side, from a ridiculous food fight dance routine on X Factor, through to “spilling the milk” with Drake, and finally the well-publicised “banana gobble” in this video. I don’t know who the real Rihanna is. But I’d like to.

Tied up with string: January

What’s been tickling my fancy this month then?

A Song

Song of the month is Traktor by Wretch 32 featuring the ungoogleable “L”. Wretch says CHOO CHOO GO HARD GO FASTER in it, it’s made of an insanely good combination of beats, synth wooshes and surf guitar, and it’s stupidly addictive. I had it on repeat play ten times in a row at one point. Ahem.

An album

I already put it in my Top 20 of last year, but it’s only really come out in the UK this month, and it’s a big grower. Last Train to Paris by Diddy – Dirty Money is superb. It sounds to me like an electro-R&B sequel to Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express, with a consistently hypnotic chug about it, a strange atmosphere of repressed minimalism, and some brilliant songwriting. Hear it on we7

SOME TELLY

How lovely was ‘Head Over Heels In Rats’? I am now broody for a rodent friend who isn’t my toy rat from Ikea.

A film

‘What about the King’s Speech?’ asked a colleague on the bus the other day, as I was confessing to my Black Swan addiction (I’ve seen it FOUR TIMES at time of writing). ‘Oh I couldn’t give a shit whether the King makes his speech or not,’ I replied. And I couldn’t.

I've been looking at you, you've been looking at me

I want 100 minutes of extreme close-ups, brilliant sound design (SO LOUD in the cinema!), paranoia, feathers, creepiness, crotch-grabbing, and mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. It’s Roman Polanski meets John Waters meets David Cronenberg and I can’t remember watching a film so obsessively and repeatedly since I got my hands on a VHS of Nightmare On Elm Street in the mid 80s. I suppose there’s my formula: give a girl an eccentric mother figure and throw her into a world where the boundaries of reality are always shifting, and I’ll love it for life (see also: Run Lola Run, Hellraiser).

Some adverts

I’m a big fan of the Which? advert with the ‘genuinely filthy dog’ in it. Why does it speak to me so much, this creature who starts out all clean and handsomely muzzled before going off to have adventures, lick tramps and rifle through bins? Who can say?

Genuinely filthy dog

I also admire Jedward’s well-judged self-mockery in the Money Supermarket ad; they’ve certainly managed to appear in the only watchable Money Supermarket ad I’ve ever seen.

And an honourable mention for holidaying in Jersey, not an amazing advert in itself, but I like that they’re now ‘The Warmest Place in the British Isles’. It’s a vast improvement on previous years’ Channel Islands campaigns which have proudly boasted ‘WHERE A POUND IS STILL A POUND’. That’s a revolting slogan which speaks only to the aspirations of Daily Express readers, who like the idea of going abroad but only if they don’t have to endure any foreign muck or funny money.

Animal of the month

Born to make you happy

And finally, a salute to the humble cochineal, whose pulverised remains are once more featuring in the ingredients lists of some of Britain’s favourite shop-bought cake slices. They went away for a while, but these days with ‘No Artificial Colours or Flavourings’ a big selling point, they’re back back back!

Thousands of these otherwise unloved beetles are dying every day to ensure that our cakes are just that little bit more red. WE WILL NOT FORGET.

Monsters At Home: The Weeping Angels

Traditional Monster Files just don’t tell us everything we really want to know. In the spirit of scientific investigation, let’s have a think about what really goes on behind closed doors after a hard day’s stalking, scaring and savaging.

EGGS EGGS DELICIOUS TASTY EGGS

WHAT DO THEY EAT Traditional Monster Files tell us that the Weeping Angels send their victims back in time and feed on the potential energy of the lives they would have lived BLAH BLAH. I’m more interested in what they eat when they can’t be arsed with all that and just want to slump in front of ITV2. And for a quick fix of potential energy, there’s no better source than the humble egg. I like to think of an Angel whipping up a quick frittata with an old spring onion, or perhaps a nice round or two of eggy bread.

HOW DO THEY SOCIALISE For creatures who turn to immobile stone as soon as someone looks at them, this is a tricky one. Which is why, on the rare occasions they venture out, they like the darkrooms at the rougher end of the gay scene quite so much.  We’ve all seen beautiful stone statues stuck on the roads around Vauxhall station on Sunday mornings, a half-drained bottle of poppers in one hand, a shred from somebody’s trouser-seat in the other. And now you know why.

WHAT DO THEY DRINK Antifreeze.

WHAT DO THEY WATCH ON TELLY As creatures that derive energy from the lost and the might-have-been, they were big fans of Noel’s House Party, although they turned off in droves when “Blobby got too commercial”. These days they are big fans of All Star Family Fortunes, and have high hopes for Louie Spence’s Showbusiness.

WHAT DO THEY DO FOR FUN Solitary pleasures are key here, and so — unfortunately if somewhat inevitably, and with a heavy heart — I must invite you to picture our stone friends tucked away in crypts and bedsits, wanking almost continuously from dusk ’til dawn. Happily the vast amount of fine dust produced in this way is harvested and used to bulk out economy sausages and pies.

Bottoms as smooth as a sausage

HOW DO THEY REPRODUCE It was a tragic sight when they tumbled away at the end of their last Doctor Who adventure, revealing that they really do have ‘action figure undersides’ (a disappointment echoed here at Christmas when my fella rushed to “unwrap” his JB from JLS doll).

But as the show told us, ‘that which holds the image of an Angel becomes an Angel’. So after a long wilderness period spent trying to reproduce themselves by looking in mirrors, with confusing results, the Angels were greatly relieved when the age of Chatroulette and Twitcasting came along. If you see a profile that claims HOT STATUARY ACTION or CHISELED FEATURES or IMPRESSIVELY SCULPTED BUST, just don’t click on it. Or my next Monster File may be about you.