Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Modern Life is Rubbish

 It is though isn't it? The way that modern technology allows people with no talent of their own to digitally alter iconic images in search of a cheap gag. You wouldn't catch me doing that, oh no. However, the webmistress has no such scruples...

"Edinburgh Gothic: You'll Have Had Your Tea"

"The Scream 2: Despondency-on-Tay"

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Homecoming Scotland - Everyone's the same! Everyone's Photoshopped!

Following someone pointing out that the original Homecoming Scotland poster was a bit, you know, white breid, the organisers thoughtfully photoshopped in the image of an Asian bloke.


I suppose it must be a comfort of sorts to note that every element of the poster was already PS.

All of this suggests that the organisers might be subconsciously channelling this old Onion gag as inspiration. You know the gag, the one headlined "Black guy Photoshopped in" in an attempt to make a college prospectus look more inclusive:

Of course, the slight difference is that the directly above is deliberately inept, whereas ....

Inside: Anybody who suggests the new HS poster be named "Whaur's Wafiq?" can stay behind at hometime for detention.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

From the BBC: "Animal lover leaves charities £7m"

A dog lover from a village in Moray has left millions of pounds to animal charities in her will.

Grace Smith, from Alves, left a £7m fortune when she died in January at the age of 85.

Nearly all of that is going to animal charities, including the Dogs Trust, the PDSA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the Scottish SPCA.

The retired pathologist is reported to have left £3.5m to the Dogs Trust alone. The charity cares for strays.

It is also thought thousands of pounds have been left to care for Mrs Smith's own dogs.

All her life she loved dogs and I would not have expected anything else from her than what she chose to do
John Hogg
Local councillor

Mrs Smith died almost three years after her husband John, a retired surgeon and fellow dog-lover.

The chief executive officer of the Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin, said they had been overwhelmed by the "wonderfully kind gift."

John Hogg, an independent councillor who knew Mrs Smith for a number of years, said he had "no idea whatsoever" about the size of her fortune, but was not surprised by what she decided to do with it.

Mr Hogg, councillor for Heldon and Laich, said: "She had a comfortable life with a nice house, but nothing extensive."

After giving The BBC a nice, thoughtful quote, Mr Hogg then didn't tell The JT what he really thought: "Fuckin' hell, 7 million quid! Jesus, who'd have thought it? If I'd known about that I would've been a lot nicer to the daft old bat, let me tell you."

Friday, 19 December 2008

Scots on the box

"Scott Harrison - on the ropes", BBC1 Scotland, 10.35pm, Thursday, 18th December. "Survivors", Tuesdays, 9pm, BBC1

mate, who, for what will become obvious reasons, must remain nameless, recounted to me how he'd once spent a very uncomfortable half hour with a sponsor in AA and a flip chart. On the left side of the sheet the sponsor wrote down every "scrape", "bit of bother", "failed relationship", "career stalled" incident my mate had ever been involved in. It was a longish list. On the right-hand side the sponsor recorded any common themes, recurring motifs, that popped up repeatedly. "Drink" featured heavily. The sponsor underlined this recurring variable, turned to my mate and said: "Hmm, do you see a pattern emerging here?"

I was reminded of this watching "Scott Harrison - on the ropes" a painful thirty-odd minutes tracing, over some months, the boxer's slide into
Barlinnie earlier this summer. I don't know if the writer/director was being a bit coy, but he set the programme up by introducing it as a diary of sorts, wondering if Harrison would succeed in having his licence to box reinstated.

Ooh, let's watch and see how that turns out.

Of course, anyone who hasn't lived on Planet
Zog for the last two years knows exactly how it turns out. There's no triumphal story arc, no tidy, Rocky-lite ending with Scott Harrison triumphantly licenced to box. Nope. Over the piece, Scott opens far too many cupboard doors with skeletons waiting to fall out. There's the odd breach of the peace charge, banjoing a polis, breaking up with his wife, and then the big one where a previous trip to Spain with his uncle looked like it was going to result in serious Spanish jailtime, because drink, a car and liberties with a local polisman's jaw had been taken.

Earlier this year, Scott, mindful of his continuing attempt to get his boxing licence back, returned to Spain to face the music. His uncle declined the opportunity. Scott's trial was delayed 'til 2009, and then his uncle killed himself.

Cue another spectacular fall from grace by Scott, leading this time to
jailtime in The Bar-L.

Is it all down to drink? I don't know.
It would appear, putting it as tactfully as I can, that Scott has mental health problems that are exacerbated when he drinks. QED, stoap drinking Scott. And give up all thoughts of boxing again. It seems that the training for a fight focuses Scott, gives him security and purpose. But after the fight? Crashing deep into depression, if his own accounts here are to be believed.

I should own up to having previous here. Back in late 2006 I wrote a feature tactlessly suggesting that the last thing Scott should be doing was fighting for a living. I got an email from one of Scott's "mates" saying I didn't know what I was talking about; boxing was good for Scott. I emailed back asking the guy if he made money out of his "mate" Scott fighting.

No reply.

Just a quick word about "Survivors", the
Beeb re-working of the 1970s post-apocalypse sci-fi series. For some reason this series has been enduring absolute pelters off the critics and I've no idea why. Compared to the ludricrously over-praised campery that is Doctor Who, Survivors is a well-executed take on the central question in sci-fi: "What if?"

And a special
JT sweetie goes to Julie Graham, who acts her socks off holding our merry surviving band together. Fans of Julie's previous work might recall that she had a youthful tendency to divest herself of her bra rather too easily, which was fine if the role was raunchy but did tend to confuse matters a bit when she tried to make the role of Maria in the Sound of Music her own. Joke, just a joke.

Thankfully, in Survivors, the kit, in the main, stays on and Julie makes the most of her dual role, as the tough but kind
de-facto leader of the band and as the mum sure that her kid is still alive, somewhere. No post-apocalyptic drama these days can make it without some stylistic nod to 28 days later, but Survivors handles the inevitable comparisons well. I'm sure there must have been the temptation to stick in a few rabid monsters, but Survivors soberly presents a believable world where we collide and collude with people much like us.

My only gripe is with the looting scenes. The Survivors are seen helping their sensible selves to boring stuff like food and fizzy water while any self-respecting looter would have the steel door at McCormicks in Bath Street aff in jigtime, the better to facilitate the transfer of ownership of a Fender Jazzmaster I've seen in there but presently can't afford.

Or maybe that's just me...

Monday, 15 December 2008


Fake bags
 Seized fake designer gear  "worth" £3.5m actually worth about a tenner

Sports Personality Award actually goes to sports personality with an actual personality

Robin on frosty branches
Too cold to be bothered bobbin' along says red, red robin

Wallace Monument in fog
Seriously off-course Edinburgh bound pilot about to become seriously dead

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Just in Time for Xmas! Greedy bastard gene found

Its all in the genes! That's the welcome news delivered this week by boffins at The University of Dundee. In studying obesity, the City of Despondency-based egg-heads have identified a gene, FTO, that predisposes the carrier to seek out ultra-calorific food.

And this wonderful news has come just in time for Xmas, as the
JT's resident fat, greedy bastard now explains:

"Over the years I have explained away my weight by using the classic 'it's my glands' argument, leading to the acidic riposte 'Aye, the greedy gland'. Alternatively, I might deploy the 'Me? I eat like a bird' defence only to have that parried away with 'Aye, a vulture'. Thankfully, now as I go back to the Xmas buffet for a fourth re-up I shall be able to artfully deploy the genetic argument, to which there is no smart-arsed come-back."

The report concludes that a genetic predisposition to obesity can actually be controlled by attention to diet, but academic opinion agrees that few Scots are likely to take that bit in, as Professor Beaker now elucidates:

"We Scots are masters at employing selective perception, thus to the news that one out of three Scots will develop a diet-related cancer at some point, our response is "One in three? Those odds are OK." Or on hearing the news that we should restrict our intake of alcohol to a maximum of three units a day we subconsciously employ the following equation: whatever quantity we actually drink= three units."

In any case, any over-indulgence on the calorific front will be cancelled out after the festive season by ritual recourse to making New Year "resolutions". Yes, that definitely works.

Inside: I'm sorry but I couldn't resist pinching this cruel, disgracefully sexist definition from Viz's Profanisaurus: "Why is a fat lass called a commodore? Because she's once, twice, three times a lady."

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Scots on the box

Sighthill Stories, BBC2 Scotland, Tuesday, 9th December 2008

Those readers who remember the good old days will recall that some years ago I wrote a feature concerning the rough treatment being meted out to asylum seekers in Sighthill. It wasn't a particularly good gag, but I tied off the story by suggesting that the "indigenous" residents wanted to move out with the asylum seekers since Sighthill was basically a collection of filing cabinets wi' windaes. Well, a few years down the road and now everyone's getting moved out.

Sighthill Stories charts the three month period leading up to the demolition of two of the last remaining tower blocks in the area. On one side of the blocks, a cemetery that has probably seen a lot of coming and going over the centuries, and to the other side of the blocks, the unprepossessing Sighthill Primary School. While nothing to look at, the school forms the safe haven for kids, dealing with various forms of dislocation and loss.

There's Jason. Jason is 12, he has Asperger's and he takes refuge against a threatening world by interpolating himself into Power Ranger stories, where a braver, more confident Jason can hold his own. Jason is due to move to the big school next year, and Jason is crapping himself.

There's Sasha. Sasha comes from a single parented family of 11 and we're led to believe that Sasha's Mum takes a drink. Sasha's best friend is Rahma, but we'll get back to her.

Dawood, recently arrived to join his Dad and brother, is from Kurdistan, this big lump of a laddie is at the primary school to improve his English.

And then there's Rahma. Rahma's family were originally from Somalia. Arriving in Glasgow, they were originally housed in Castlemilk, but as Rahma tells us in faultless Glaswegian "the flats were getting knocked doon, so they moved us tae Sighthill."

With Rahma's existing flat next on the chopping block it's left uncertain where Rahma and her family are going to end up. Somewhere in Glasgow, but will her friendship with Sasha survive the possible distances, the interminable bus-rides that are the only way poor people can get around?

The final scene of the programme shows the tower blocks coming down, the dust temporarily blanking out the headstones and statuary of the cemetery. Of course, long after fate and circumstance have dealt out the hands these kids will play in life, the cemetery will still be there. Permanence amongst the flux and change that is our lot as human beings.

My betting on the kids?

Jason and Sasha, I hope the best for, but I've a horrible feeling that life for them isn't going to be easy.

Rahma is tough, she might only be twelve but she's got an adult's head on her shoulders; I think she will endure because that's what she knows.

Dawood, unlike his Mum who talks daily of returning to Kurdistan, is going to stay in Glasgow whatever happens, "I like it here" he tells the camera, "Glasgow has been good to me."

And he has another reason for remaining, a few weeks after being reunited with his Dad, (here since 1999), his Dad died of a heart attack.

He will stay because his Dad is here.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A History of Scotland- The Historians

"Presenter Neil Oliver described two leading Scottish historians as the "grumpy old men" from the Muppets yesterday after they criticised the BBC series A History of Scotland, which he hosts.
Several, including Professor Allan
Macinnes and the leading historian Tom Devine, questioned why Mr Oliver, a broadcaster and journalist but not a professional historian, was presenting the programme." The Scotsman, 9th December, 2008

And now read on...

(Ext day, Academic buildings.)

Neil Oliver: And it was here, at one of Scotland's foremost universities that the battle for the future of doing Scottish History on the telly would be decided. On one side, me, gorgeous, pouting Neil Oliver,
er, fanny magnet with all lovely hair. And on the other, hackit bastards Macinnes and Devine.
But what were the reasons for the conflict?

(Cut to Ext day, BBC Scotland HQ)

Neil Oliver: It was here, six months earlier that the seeds of the conflict were sown. What happened in that
building that resulted in academic toys being thrown out of scholarly prams?
Let's find out.

(Interview segment.)

Neil Oliver: I'm here to interview Neil Oliver.
Neil, just what was the source of the conflict that threatened the very future of doing Scottish history on the telly?

Neil Oliver (again): Well Neil, jealousy pure and simple. At the initial planning stages for the show, that I think you present quite magnificently by the way..

Neil Oliver: Thank you.

Neil Oliver (again): No problem. Macinnes and Devine thought that they'd be getting TV work out of it.

Neil Oliver: And instead?

Neil Oliver: You, I mean me, I mean us, we got to do everything.

Neil Oliver: Including me interviewing you, I mean me, I mean us.

Neil Oliver: Exactly.

(Ext day, Academic buildings.)

Neil Oliver: And so, today, I'm meeting with these self-same academics in this historic, historical looking building to decide the future of Scottish History on the telly. Will we be able to reach a compromise or will Scottish History etc. enter a new dark ages or something? Let's find out.

(Wide Angle shot of Neil opening big oak door to reveal only darkness within.)

Neil Oliver: Hello, hackit historians, MacInnes and Devine are you there? Honestly, it's so dark in here, I can't see a thing!

(Door swings melodramatically shut. Sounds of shouting, stabbing noises ensue. Door eventually reopens to reveal blood-stained figures of Professors Macinnes and Devine.)

Together: What happened inside this building? No one, least of all the police, will ever really know. The only thing that's certain is that in the dark Neil Oliver became confused and stumbled tragically against the knives that we were holding. Impaling himself again and again until he died, eventually.

Devine: What was clear however, was that with Neil Oliver dead, the BBC would have to get proper historians to front their Scottish stuff. Historians like me, Tom Devine.

Macinnes: And me, Allan Macinnes.

Devine: Well, obviously, I meant you as well.

Macinnes:Just making sure we're clear on that point, that's all.

Inside: "And so, a new era in Scottish History on the telly dawned. With proper, albeit ugly, historians, presenting proper, grown up history programmes, content to share their academic knowledge for an up-front fee, book deal and 15% gross of the repeat fees."

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Oh Christ, there's more...

The Calman Commission, tasked by Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories to come up with a 101 good reasons why The Union IS A GOOD THING, presented its report this week - and the conclusions?

Er, none so far.

At a press conference where senior figures from the commissioning parties attempted and failed to look interested, Lord
Calman who, on this evidence could bore on a professional basis, told the waiting world that we were in possession of what was merely the interim report!

Oh sweet God in heaven, you mean there's more?

Yes indeedy, the 140 page whopper, soon to lie unread on desks across the land, is merely the first course, an agenda setting exercise if you will. The main course, a set of conclusions about Scotland within The Union, will follow next year.

As a miasma of ennui descended, we called upon Professor Beaker, our resident polymath, to pass judgement :
"When those parties not in power at
Holyrood appointed this Calman bloke to carry out this exercise, the main idea was to be seen to be saying yah boo sucks to the SNP. No one, least of all the politicians who generously funded the exercise on our behalf, using our money, seriously believed that anyone would be interested in an actual report."

And has Professor Beaker actually read the interim report? "Fuck no, life's too short."

It is thought that the
SNP's alternative "National Conversation" will report, in time, overwhelming support for independence.

There's a surprise.

Inside: I'm sorry but this two part exercise in empty symbolism brings to mind that story about Mike and Bernie Winters at The Glasgow Empire. One of them bounds on stage to total, Stygian silence, followed, after a beat, by his brother. A development which led to the following comment from the audience : "Oh Christ, there's two of them."

"Page one.... zzzzz."

Monday, 1 December 2008

Mine's a Toblerone - a big one

As a Scot with relatives normally resident in Foreign, I know that this time of year is especially difficult for those of our ain folk forced, through circumstance, to spend the festive season lying on a tropical beach somewhere.

My heart bleeds, it really does.

Thoughts of home were brought to mind by an email from Peter, who noted with some distress that Lulu has turned up contributing a squawk to that new "Homecoming" ad.

For those in Foreign, a word of explanation. The tourist authorities here are promoting 2009 as year of homecoming, holding the thing (however loosely) together by next year being the 250th anniversary of Burns' birth.

Anyway, to promote the idea, the authorities have paid for a short ad with the great and the good, Chris Hoy, Sean Connery and other luminaries, taking a line in turn from Dougie MacLean's "Caledonia". I'm not sure how that song is especially Burnsian, but I'll get back to that in a minute.

Peter, like all right-thinking Scots, is justifiably horrified at the inclusion of Lulu and I can see his point.

Scots don't like Lulu for two main reasons.

There's her pit-oan English accent for one thing which she oh so hilariously leavens with occasional renditions of her original "Glesca" patios. Oh, desist Lulu, do! I fear my ribs might break such is my merriment.

The other gripe left at Ms Lawrie's door is that she left Scotland to become famous and she only
visits Scotland to patronise the locals. Perhaps alone among my compatriots, I've got no problem with Lulu moving to England to further her career.

In fact, I would've preferred it if Lulu had moved away a bit further. There's a very good cabaret circuit within The Crab Nebula I hear.

More seriously, I seem to recall, back when the world was made of wood, Ms Lawrie making some very uncomplimentary comments about striking miners back in the early 1980s. Ancient history I know, for the kids who only see her as some post-modern, post-ironic, post-menopausal, marginally cool icon, but some of us have got very long memories.

Anyway, fuck off Lulu, where was I?

Aye, I 'm not at all clear why the powers that be are using "Caledonia" in the ad. I mean, it's a great tear-jerker and everything but it's not anything to do with Burns is it?

But if it's a free-for-all on the pulling on the heart strings front can I direct your lugs to The Theme for Scotland by Skyedance? I'd like to listen with you but I always get something in my eye when I hear it so I'd better not.

I guarantee for those JT readers in Foreign, that this tune will have you booking a flight home toot sweet.

So, when you're going through duty-free, get me a Toblerone, a big one mind.



Dogs running in the snow
Dogs would appear to have that whole "don't worry, enjoy life!" idea pretty well nailed

Swan-shaped branch

Since Rod Hull's untimely death, life hadn't been easy for Emu.

Snow-covered beach

Aberdeen beach - in July.

The photographer was about to discover if that story about swan wings and broken arms was just bullshit

Christmas shoppers
After 5 hours Xmas shopping with his wife, Hughie seriously started tripping out

Waxwing with berries
Marvellous example of the genus "Woodie Woodpeckerus"

Thursday, 27 November 2008

£200K for (ahem) "arts consultancy" hailed as a creative triumph

Consultants employed by the "transition team" tasked with putting new arts body "Creative Scotland" together have notched up a highly creative £200k of your earth pounds in "consultancy".

Now, a five year old might respond to this intelligence by asking : "So, what the fuck are the agency management getting paid for then?"

But thankfully foul-mouthed five year olds aren't in charge, oh, goodness me no.

The people in charge (and I quote directly from the Herald item here) say: "Any change project is complex and a range of specialist expertise in required", which, forgive me for remarking, is a rather puzzling response.

I mean, the transition team was presumably recruited and was presumably asked at the interview: "what steps are necessary to successfully merge The Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen?"

Turn me round, slap my bum and call me Tristram, but I'm betting the successful recruits to the project didn't answer "Step1: Hire in a load of consultants. Step 2: er..."

Perhaps the key attribute for the management team lay with being able to sign cheques, while being amazed at how the cream of Scotland's creative talent could come up with such stupendous amounts.

Marvellous darling, a triumph, an absolute triumph.

Inside: Given that the role of CS, whenever it actually gets established, is to give out dosh for arty stuff, I just like to make it clear that the above feature wasn't written by me. A big boy did it and ran away.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The RBS: "Making hee-haw happen."

The Royal Bank was all over the broadsheets today, telling us, via full-page ads, that the bank "recognises that small businesses are the lifeblood of the country." That's nice. But you should have seen the first draft of the body copy for the ad....

"Here at The Royal Bank of Scotland we recognise that small businesses are the lifeblood of the country. In fact, we like small businesses so much, we're so convinced that they are the future, that senior management here at The Royal Bank just narrowly avoided turning a big business, the bank, into a small business.

Luckily, we had the taxpayer to bail us out, but remember, your small business might not be so lucky. So, look after cash flow, don't make impulsive buying decisions based on a hunch that could lead you to buying say, something like ABN Imro at the top of the market with the p/e ratio completely out of whack and then finding that you've fucked your liquidity.

Red faces all round!

So what are we doing to help those lifeblood businesses who don't unfortunately have Alistair Darling's number on speed dial if it all goes tits up?
Well, what we're doing is committing the bank to overcharging you for your overdraft at exactly the same rate of overcharging for a whole year!

That's right!

We guarantee not to change the rate at which we overcharge you (subject to terms and conditions not enumerated anywhere on the ad, which I thought was illegal) for at least a year!

Fan-fuckin'-tastic isn't it?

The RBS: when it comes to supporting small businesses, no bank makes a bigger fuss about doing absolutely hee-haw.

Inside: This is true. The ad headline is: "To us, they're not small businesses." Presumably the coda, "To us they're also a source of continual, easy profit" got lost off the end.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

"¿Quién es Butcher?"- Terry has piss taken anew after 22 year wait

Its been a long wait, and like his reaction time when Maradona skipped past him back in Mexico in 1986, it took him a while to realise, but clogger extraordinaire and Scotland deputy coach, Terry Butcher woke up this morning and cried:"That dago's taking the piss!"

While the rest of the world and its mother laughed along with Diego after Wednesday's "Who is Butcher?" put-down, it wasn't until Saturday morning that Terry, not the sharpest tool in the box, finally worked out what had happened. " I wondered what the entire Scottish press corps was laughing at during the press conference. I now realise: they were laughing at me."

Terry, for whom the expression, "done up like a kipper" might have been invented, failed to realise before Scotland's mid-week game against Argentina that, in asked to comment on Maradona's perfectly fair "hand of God" tactic back in 1986, he was being invited by the Scottish press to perfom the difficult task of taking the piss out of himself without realising it.

Which he duly did.

A wiser head might've thought about it and replied "Mexico 1986 was a long time ago, I'm here to talk about Scotland."

But no.

Terry gave the Scottish media exactly what they were looking for and, happily for Burley, detracted attention away from a Scotland performance that graphically illustrated the playing chasm between us and, er, any team that can play fitba a bit.

From a manager's point of view, having your deputy make a tit of himself is a valuable short-term tactic, diverting scrutiny from your own short-comings, up to the point that is when critics recall just who it was that appointed Terry in the first place.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Latest Glenalmond bullying to lead to "slight change" in tax status

Following the news that fellow pupils at the £24,000-a-year fees Glenalmond Public School physically and emotionally bullied a scholarship kid, it is likely that the tax status of "public", that is "private", schools will be changed slightly if the editor of The Jaggy Thistle has anything to do with it.

The latest incident comes a year or so after previous Glenalmond pupils filmed themselves taking part in a extremely hilarious "chav" hunt. The fact that these posh kids call "neds", "chavs", should really tell you all you need to know about their geographic origins, but let us press on.

At the moment private schools are treated as charities, which has significant tax advantages, based on the institutions being seen to provide community benefit - that is, outside the fee-paying school walls.

Most private schools discharge this obligation in part by offering scholarships to kids who might benefit but are too skint to pay the fees. All well, and indeed good, you'd think.

Ah, but wait.

These free places tend to go to academically bright kids - so the school gets a double dunt, partially satisfies the criteria for charitable status and gets a wee help with boosting the school's exam pass ranking.

Now, my modest proposal is this: that private schools should continue to enjoy charitable status provided they offer places to kids who have been excluded from "public" education - especially the pupils excluded on the grounds that they might not be too great academically but that when it comes to fighting they are securely found in the upper quartile of achievement.

This move would benefit the private sector in two ways.

First, the sector would continue to enjoy favourable tax treatment and those fee-paying pupils who self-evidently enjoy a bit of physical rough and tumble can have their heids professionally kicked in by an expert at no extra charge!

Good result all round I think...

Inside: One of the reasons I always liked this mob better than The Clash, you know that band made up of ex- public school boys: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lG0L86DRuC8

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sixty largely undistinguished years!

As will become only too painfully apparent very soon, The Jaggy Thistle's favourite German, Prince Charles, has his sixtieth birthday this week.

I say painfully, because rest assured the occasion will not pass without Charles treating the waiting world to one of his famous passive-aggressive speeches delivered to an invited audience of sycophants, who will obligingly chuckle every time Charles delivers one of his self-deprecating, but not really self deprecating remarks, to be shown on every TV channel in the known universe for ever.

I'm not sure if, like his Mum, Charles also has an official birthday, or he has to make do with one lot of presents like the rest of us, but congratulations and sincere thanks to His Royal Highness. For, let us be clear, searching for satirical sustenance by rifling through the past eight years of the journal we call The Jaggy Thistle would have made for a thin gruel indeed if it were not for Charlie's reliably bollocky utterances on every subject under the fuckin' sun.

If you go to the big site, search on "Prince Charles" and loads of stuff should come up, search on "Prince Charles+twat" and you may to have to re-boot your PC.

We are specially blessed in the pictorial area of gagstering. For, although Charles might be officially Prince Of Wales, I cannot recall seeing pictures of him standing outside a Cardiff nightclub, sporting a WRU top, fully gassed. At 2am.

No, when it's time for playing dress-up games, Charles can't get enough of that kilted look below.

Space constraints do not allow me to ponder further HRH's (ahem) "singular" contribution to public jollity but If I may I'd like to quote directly from his Royal Waste of Spaceness, viz:

"What's wrong with everyone nowadays? What is it that makes everyone seem to think they are qualified to do things far beyond their technical capabilities? This is all to do with the learning culture in schools. It is a consequence of a child-centred system which admits no failure and tells people they can be pop stars, high court judges, brilliant TV personalities or even infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting in the necessary effort or having natural abilities."

Ahem. After you Sir with the pot, kettle and tin of black paint.

Prince Charles reacts with regal good humour to suggestion that he might like to pay tax.

Elderly couple concede: Fran and Anna tribute act needs more work

There were red faces all round when Charles turned up at The Braemar Games in the wrong chieftain costume.

When Charles talked about "taking care of wildlife" he perhaps had a very specific meaning in mind.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Glenrothes: the dawn of a new, ginger, era!

Lindsay Roy celebrates"I dreamt of a day when a man would not be judged by the colour of his skin, but by the gingerness of his hair. And the specs as well, obviously.

A day, when a bloke who's clearly channelling the spirit of Rod Hull, could walk down Main Street, Glenrothes without local children shouting "Haw, speccy! Whaur's Emu?"

A day, when a man would not be castigated because he came first in the 1970 Fife finals of the "Fuck me, you're a dead ringer for Charlie Drake!" competition, or was only allowed to do Simply Red songs at the pub karaoke night.

This day has proved that even gingers can aspire to the highest offices in the land, or at least become an MP, which is almost as good.

Friends, will you now join me in singing some old gospelly spiritual thing that you only know the first couple of lines from? And remember, its one , two, three and clap, not one, clap, two and three."

Monday, 3 November 2008


Grey Mare's Tail
Has the genetic modification of rabbits gone too far?

Edinburgh Police called to Princes Street, as intergalatic post-pub punch up escalates

Mother and daughter conjoined at head baffle boffins

Lloyds-TSB offer: " A clear, strategic vision for comprehensively fucking people over"

In recommending the bank's offer for HBOS to shareholders this week, Lloyds-TSB promised "a clear and consistent commitment to maximising shareholder value through a comprehensive programme of reducing duplicated overheads".
The offer document continues , " We will achieve significant savings by rolling out a clear action plan dedicated to achieving overhead reduction through extensive fucking over of disposable staff."

It would appear that significant savings are to be found in trimming centres of retail duplication: "Where the two existing brands are in direct competition we will engage in consultation with branch staff effected to ascertain who would liked to be fucked over first."

Back office functions are likely to reduced from the current two centres to a more cost-effective one. "It has not yet been determined which of the two existing centres will be wound down. The decision will rest after consultations with politicians to ascertain whose offering the biggest bribe to avoid local staff fucked- overness."

In recommending the offer to shareholders, the Lloyds-TSB board paid tribute to the taxpayer for bailing out the bank :"By allowing taxpayers monet to be used to support a private institution, the government has shown sober wisdom in allowing itself to be fucked over. We would hope that Lloyds-TSB and HBOS staff will follow this sterling example of acceptance of being comprehensively fucked over."

Inside: Bank boards to avoid being fucked over. Funny that.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Scots on the box

Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Thursdays, Virgin, 9pm

Eeeh, we like the old Terminator franchise in our house we do.

Two great movies, one so-so movie and a new iteration with Christian Bale is in production that promises to erase the memory of a slightly arthritic Arnold in T3. And, in way of keeping us interested we had, last year, the first series of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, showing on Virgin.

The Chronicles show basically picks up the storyline as it was left at the end of T2 and runs with that, via time travel from the early 1990s to the present day, with Mum Sarah looking to protect son John from the bad terminators aided and abetted by a good terminator.

OK, I'm embarrassed now. Having written the storyline down, I'm only too aware that it all sounds the way it actually is: total and utter bollocks. And to be honest, none of the acting performances in The Chronicles last year were anything to write home about, but it was done with a straight face and as long as you didn't think about it too hard, the show hung together.

So what about the second series, now showing on a Virgin near you?

Oh lordy. Two words, Shirley and Manson.

I read somewhere last year that Edinburgh-born Shirley, late of indy popsters Garbage, was jacking in the singing to pursue her acting career. I never thought any more about it to be honest and then guess who turns up as a baddie terminator in this year's Chronicles? Oor Shirley.

And the performance?

You know that clichéd expression "beyond bad"? Well, take BB as the baseline and multiple that by a factor of 10 to the power of infinity. And then double the resultant.

Shirley delivers every fuckin' line in a speak your weight machine monotone at a funereal pace that makes that other (ahem) Scots "actress", Kellee Mick Dawnaahld seem like Daffy Duck in comparison.

For there is a school of acting, mainly embraced by people who don't know how to act, which teaches that all you have to do: Is.Deliver.The.Line.Really.Slowly.And.The.Audience.Will.Think.You.Can.Really.Act.

Is that true?


All the audience will think is that you can act nane and they'll be right.

Quite apart from Shirley's thespian deficiencies there are other factors at work here to suggest that The Chronicles casting director should seek professional psychiatric help immediately.

Nae herm to her, but Shirley is a ginger. Hands up who would be scared by a carrot-topped robot? Me neither. And, Shirley's been given one of those scrunchy hair pull-up jobs resulting in what the cruel and unthinking refer to as a "cooncil hoose face-lift".

People may run away screaming but not for the reasons you'd think.

Finally, in what must've been the work of a subversive second-unit director, at the end of the first episode, Shirley reveals her talents as a shape-shifting terminator by morphing back to normal, having taken the shape of? A urinal.

Insert own "I've heard of a performance going down the toilet, I've never heard of anyone performing as a toilet before" gag here.

They say that one's subjective experience of time varies subject to context and I can confirm that when Shirley's on screen, time slides past with all the ease and grace of a wardrobe being dragged up Ben Nevis. With your Granny inside it.

Seconds seem like minutes, minutes elongate into hours and unbidden to my lips comes the anguished appeal to oor Shirley: Please.Jist.Gonnae.Stoap.Talking?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

"Nazis were bad, after all." O'Brien in shock new finding.

Cardinal O'Brien, leader of Scotland's Catholics, confirmed this week, however tangentially, that all things considered, the Nazis were probably bad people.

The coded admission came as the Cardinal gave Gordon Brown both barrels for daring to support the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Cardinal O'Brien has apparently decided that this is akin to supporting "Nazi-Style experime
Which is all rather confusing, since the last time his Cardinalness spoke bollocks in public on this topic, back in March, he promised to consult with people who actually knew something about the topic - you know, scientists.

The Diocese told The JT: "His Graciosity did meet with the boffins, but he lost track of what they were saying after 'OK, let's keep this simple'."

Anyway, it's good to know the Nazis are now on the official Catholic baddie list and let's hear no more about that Pope, you know, the one, who supported the Nazis.

Inside: No excuse needed to link to this

"Dear Adolf, how are you today? Question mark."

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Links we like

Rather self serving this post, but bear with me for I shall reward you presently for your forbearance. I've no idea why I finished the preceding sentence the way I did, perhaps it's better just to move on...

Apparently, so the young people tell me, there are now more than a dozen sites on the interweb. Meaning that busy people like you, with many demands on your time, might find it difficult to make time to read the blog you're now reading.

Bear with me, I've taken my meds so any minute now one of these sentences will make sense.

What I mean is, there's this thing called Google Alerts which if you sign up for it tells if the site you're interested in has been updated. At least, I think that's how it works.

Anyway if you can't be bothered with that RSS malarky go here and you'll be either alerted as promised or aliens would eat your brains, one of the two.

Can I also point out to The JT's loyal readers (hello you two) that there's no law against you recommending the blog to the unwary, so do it...

Thanking you.

Finally here's the payoff I promised.
One from long-time JT supporter and kilt-maker to the gentry, Ian. A very old gag but a goody

The second I found on the blog of some guy who subscribed to The JT so, to show my gratitude for his loyalty I'm nicking one of his featured clips, what a bastard eh?

This clip isn't funny or sad it's just cute and lets face it, in these difficult times, we could all use some cute.



Lecht - located car dealer admits he hasn't sold a single car since opening in 1950

Insert own "Aberdeen leisure centre" gag here

Morag and Sandra somewhat relieved they didn't use same hairdresser as Shona and Eileen

As credit crunch hits, canny Morayshire family plan to save a fortune in washing up liquid

Labour's Glenrothes candidate "ecstatic" at news PM will visit constituency