Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Beneath the surface lies the future.

There are two types of famous. There's good famous. And there's bad famous.

Example of good famous:

Cher employs celebrity psychic James Van Praagh (Gee Note: Who looks like an artist's impression of Burt Reynolds recovering from an eating disorder) to contact ex-husband Sonny Bono. Praagh claims he did this and that Bono advised him that Cher should go on tour with a Sonny look-a-like singer. Nobody makes a big deal out of this story or makes fun of either participant. Partly because Van Praagh is well thought of in Hollywood. But mostly because everyone pretty much accepts that Cher is "eccentric" and that she can do whatever the hell she wants. Seriously she could turn up to The Academy Awards wearing clothes made out of baby dolphin skin, carrying a bag with the logo "F*** Pakistan" and nobody would bat an eyelid. "Oh there goes Cher" the gossip columnists would say. "So whacky!". 

Example of bad famous:

Tila Tequila was recently invited to perform at The Gathering of the Douchebags Juggalos festival. She took to the stage to perform a set of six songs, only to be met with boos and jeers. Still hoping to get this crowd of overweight teenagers on her side, she took off her top and advised the masses that she wasn't leaving until she finished. Despite the fact that there was now a tiny Vietnamese lady with huge breasts standing in front of them, the Juggalo "family" still didn't warm to her. In fact so outraged were they by this that they started pelting the stage with bottles, rocks and, well, human excrement. Tila was eventually led away from the stage by security after being struck several times, suffering multiple lacerations and bruises in the process. The thing is though, none of this led to  a public outcry or a call to tighten security for events where idiots with severely questionable hygiene habits are likely to attend. Instead it was reported as "Tila Tequila got bottled off the stage by a bunch of geeks wearing face paint. What japes!". See Tequila is the bad kind of famous. Which means that she could fall off the side of a sky scraper only for a passing pigeon to break her fall in mid air and most people wouldn't care. The rest would label her as an animal murderer.

(Gee Note: EDIT- So I initially posted a long rant here about how anyone who would launch missiles at a 4'11'', 96lb, woman would be a complete idiot. Which of course most people would agree with. It then dawned on me that those who don't agree probably can't read anyway. So instead I'm going to tell an old joke.

Horse walks in to a bar.

The barman goes "Why the long face?"

The Horse goes "Dude. I've just been stuck in a room with a bunch of Juggalos. You'd be pretty pissed off too if you were me").

Which brings us to Katie Price.



For our overseas readers who will undoubtedly never have heard of Katie Price, she's a… ummm… to be honest I have no idea what she actually does on a day to day basis. She used to be called Jordan and made a living out of showing off her Himalayan sized chest to "lad's mags" and tabloid newspapers. Then, obviously realising that she'd need another string to her bow to continue to make money, she tried being a pop star. When it became apparent she couldn't actually sing she started doing the rounds on reality TV shows. On the show "I'm a Celebrity…" (Gee Note: Where a bunch of forgotten pop stars and assorted no hopers get thrown together in the Australian outback and forced in to such things as gobbling kangaroo testicles and fist fighting ostriches), she met loveable if slightly stupid singer Peter Andre and romance blossomed. A year later they were married and starring in their own show, an Osbournes-esque documentary following their trials and tribulations as celebrities desperately trying to find their niche in the world with no obvious talent.

The problem is, despite portraying a perfectly blissful marriage, Price was often characterized as being stroppy, controlling, and coarse. Andre on the other hand, apart from being a bit dull, seemed to be a perfectly pleasant chap. So when the news of their divorce surfaced, and Price was photo'd frolicking in a pool with another man soon after the split while Andre turned up on breakfast televisions shows crying about losing his kids, the nation quickly turned on the artist formerly known as Jordan. Blissfully unaware of the negative reaction hurtling towards her like a tornado, she signed up for another series of "I'm a Celebrity…" after her latest fly-on-the-wall show "What Katie Did Next" saw a dip in the ratings. Now part of the joy of "I'm a Celebrity…" is that for the first week or so the viewing audience gets to vote on who they want to undertake such trails as crawling around in Wallaby dung and eating maggots. And so it was written that the British public would pick up their phone en masse and make Price humiliate herself at every turn. After seven days of beating a path through cockroaches and mud Katie finally had enough and jacked it in. She then publicly dumped her boyfriend Alex Reid in a television interview before adding “I'm sorry if I've upset people”.

Don't worry though folks as they soon got back together (Gee Note: Phew!) with Reid actually going on to win a celebrity version of Big Brother. About a month after that they were married and then, this August, they made a television journey that many greats before them (Gee Note: Such as Mikey Graham. Hell yes) have made. They threw on their Proton Packs and decided to do a little Ghost Hunting.

That's right folks. Lock up the kids and your pets to bed. Yvette “Dude is she supposed to be trying for sexy or scary? It's just weird, you know?” Fielding is back leading Kate, Alex, and their friends around three spooky locations. With an opening line that goes “these five plucky Ghost Hunter's lives will never be the same again” (Gee Note: For some reason that statement makes me think of “Scared straight”. You know those public service programmes they do when they take tear-away teenagers to a jail and get some jacked up hornball to scream “Ima gonna makes you my bitch!!” over and over again until everyone agrees prison isn't all that much fun. Damn a paranormal version of that would be awesome. Some great big ghoul pops out and pins a poor schmuck to the wall yelling “You think it's fun being DEAD! DO YA!!! Well the only one's laughing around here are the deceased clowns. And those muthaf***ers crazy man!”. God I would TiVo every single episode of that. And tell no one about it. I don't want people thinking I'm a loser after all. Got a rep to uphold ya dig?), it promises us at least the spectacle of watching a famous person everyone seems to dislike getting seven bells scared out of her.

Except that doesn't happen. In fact nothing at all happens. For two long ass, tedious hours not a single thing of interest takes place. Now shows like this have a very simple formula. Put some people in a room. Tell them there's some ghosts in there. Then turn off the lights and watch them freak out after every creak and groan of the woodwork around them. Easy peasy chocolate squeezy. But if the buildings you happen to visit don't actually make any sound or don't have the occasional draft wafting through them then, well, all you have in the can is footage of folks looking cold and bored in nightvision (Gee Note: Just like Paris Hilton's sex video. BOOM! Yeah. I went there. I'm all about the dated pop culture references).

And without that, your left with the charisma of the participants to save your show. It's why programmes like Most Haunted work. I mean sure watching a middle aged Scooby gang creeping around an abandoned warehouse doesn't sound like an evening of thrills, but when you have nutbaskets like Derek Acorah sashaying they're way through corridors wailing “I sense the presence of a spirit here. A man. An evil evil man. Oh you nasty man! Leave us here you horrible horrible man!!” then you can't help but be entertained, if only for a microsecond. Sadly though Ghost Hunting with... Katie and Alex has somehow amassed a collection of the least exciting individuals since the last annual "Seaquest DSV appreciation society" get together (Gee Note: Actually that's a bit unfair. I quite like Seaquest DSV. Well the first two seasons anyway. It all went downhill after Roy Scheider left. Same with Jaws really. Scheider = Mark of quality. Mario Van Peebles on the other hand. Jaws: The Revenge? Highlander 3? That dude's got “franchise killer” written all over him).

Let's take a look. You have in no particular order.

Katie: Former glamour model, failed pop singer, current reality TV star who's is disliked on a national level.

Alex: Former cross dressing (Gee Note: No. Really) cage fighter who isn't quite as charming as Peter Andre. Or quite as nice as Peter Andre. Or quite as good looking as Peter Andre. Oh Jordan! Why did you ever leave Peter Andre!

Danny: Katie's brother. Who has Leo Sayer's hair. Seriously I made a note to mention this when watching the show and thought I could do a thing along the lines of “Danny it turns out is something something something which is amazing/a shame as he seems to go to the same barber as Leo Sayer”. But having watched him stumble around in the dark holding a camcorder for 120 minutes all I've got is “Leo Sayer hair”. That's it. Nothing else. I mean as I'm typing this there's a documentary on Channel Five called “Killer Squid Invasion” that I have on mute in the background. And I swear I know more about squid in the five seconds I've glanced at the screen than I do about Danny. For example, squid move really quickly. Also they've got really big eyes. Danny? I've got nothing man. Nothing.

Gary: Smiles a lot. Not as scared as Phil.

Phil: Doesn't smile a lot. More scared than Gary.

That right there is your motley crew of hell raisers. Woah doggies. This is going to be a barn burner right?




Sadly not. As it turns out watching five boring people stand around doing nothing is more soul destroying than you'd imagine. In fact even Yvette Fielding seemed embarrassed by the whole thing. By only the second location she's resigned to sending the Katie and Gary upstairs to play with a giant Etch A Sketch, while whispering half heartedly to the remainder of the group that there should be a lot of energy in the room (Gee Note: There wasn't by the way). At the third and final location, an old church that they had to get special permission to film in, a séance fails so spectacularly that she basically says “Well bollocks to this for a game soldiers. I'm wrapping this up right now”. All that was missing was her looking directly at the cameras and shrugging her shoulders to make it complete.

So with a lack of anything that could be mistaken even briefly as entertainment, the editor has obviously had to fill in the gaps with other points of interest. Such as a psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie, who as far as I can tell is made of oak, offering his opinion on how the ghost hunters interact with each other.

We also get some ludicrous soundbites from Katie and pals such as Alex saying “I reckon Katie's going to crap herself. Crap her panties.” (Gee Note: Charming bastard), Gary calling out “If there's anyone here can you show yourself. And I don't mean show us your tits Katie!” (Gee Note: Oh my), and Ms. Price herself complaining that “You're going to shit me up” (Gee Note: Lawks! Shit you up you say? I have no idea what that means but it sounds awful). In fact the two best moments from the entire show are made up of conversations.

Firstly you have an old steward who gets the ball rolling in the first location by telling the gang about a nasty spook messing about upstairs.”They say he was a man who used to be mean to his servants”.

“When you say mean,” replies Alex rather alarmed “Do you mean he raped them?” (Gee Note: Which, you know, is the most natural question in the world to ask.)

“I don't know!” says the old geezer “I wasn't there!”

The second one is when Gary refuses to take part in the whole church séance thingy, believing it to be disrespectful to, um, something or other. Feeling the need to defend himself he continues, “I'm not religious in any way... although I am Church of England”.

But outside of those isolated incidents, Ghost Hunting with... Katie and Alex is a snoozefest of the highest order. Which is a shame because Katie Price for once comes across as a normal-ish woman. Although you wouldn't know it unless you made it all the way through, and truth be told if your not asleep by the 40 minute mark I'd be amazed.

Still it could be worse. No one got molested by an oversexed ghost. And no one got hit by a bag of poo. Sometimes you can be thankful for small mercies like that.

Just ask Tila Tequila.

Monday, 23 August 2010

This little one's not worth the effort.

The other day The Future Ex-Mrs Davies came home excitedly carrying a copy of the Daily Mirror newspaper. Now it should be noted that my sweet little flower is quite an excitable lass by nature (Gee Note: No really. You should see her skipping in to the room when she hears the theme tune for Masterchef kicking in. By the way, has anyone seen the US version of Masterchef yet? Seriously, what the hell is that? Turning a cooking competition in to American Idol? Gordon Ramsey? The bald dude? Oh dear God, the bald dude? No Greg Wallace bellowing baffling cliches such as "Cooking doesn't get tougher than this!" and "She must be able to make good hearty food! SHE'S A MUM!!!"? No John Torode slipping in to hyperbolic nonsense such as "But putting chicken and chocolate together is… it's madness! It fries my brain!" every so often? Well I don't like it. I don't like it at all). But for her to get a thrill from a simple newspaper is a very rare thing indeed. So you can imagine my surprise when she bounded through the door and met me with "Darling! You have to read this!".

Now I was half way through playing a videogame about silently sneaking up drainpipes and scaring pigeons (Gee Note: This may not actually be the point of the game you understand. It's just that, well, I'm not very good at being a gamer and most of the time I'm reduced to making my own fun.) and debated whether or not to ignore her. But the truth is I like a quiet life and don't like getting hit by stuff, so reluctantly I put my control pad down and took the paper off her. It turns out that day's front page was dedicated to a story about Vlad The Impaler Michael Howard leading a campaign for an official inquest in to death of David Kelly. Which is interesting sure, but hardly the stuff one gets giddy about. Noticing the confused look on my face she piped up once again.

“This has all come out after your last post. Which means you spotted this as a big story before anyone else did. I'm so proud of you.” And then she kissed me on the forehead and bounded in to the kitchen to bake a cake (Gee Note: For some reason The Future Ex-Mrs Davies likes making cakes when she's in a good mood. Which I guess is the reason we work so well together. She enjoys making cakes. I enjoy eating cakes. We compliment each other is what I'm saying).

The thing is though, I had no idea the Kelly situation was going to become a big story again. Honestly I didn't. In fact I wrote the last post simply because I'd had a conversation with someone a couple of days ago who was adamant that Tony Blair had bumped poor ol' David off. So I'd like to state here that I wish to thank former Leader of the Conservative Party Michael “Fan of Twilight” Howard for making me look a whole lot cleverer than I actually am. Well done Baron Howard of Howard of Lympne, to give him his full title (Gee Note: Lympne is a small village in Kent if you're curious. It has a castle called, imaginatively enough, Lympne Castle where the band Wings recorded the album “Back to the egg” in 1978. Sadly the building remained firm and didn't fall down on Paul McCartney's popular beat combo, and Wings continued to make God awful music all the way to 1981. Lympne also featured in the H.G. Wells novel “First Men in The Moon” where the narrator crash lands his craft off the village's coast. See? Research. I does it). Thanks to your sterling work in questioning the official story, I scoffed a home made pavlova that night. Seriously if you ever need any info on, like, bigfoot or something then consider it done. After all, a bro looks after a bro.

Speaking of news, working for a living sucks. Anyone who's kept down a job for more than, oh gosh, three minutes will already know this. Some jobs are better than others however. For example in my late teens I was employed for two years at a VHS rental store (Gee Note: Some of our younger readers may not know what VHS is. For clarities sake, they were what us grownups used to call DVD's. Except they were sturdier and you didn't have to buy the same one twice just because George Lucas had another breakdown and decided to screw with the original movie once again). And, I swear, I had a blast. Admittedly not everyday there was a ray of sunshine. But considering that most of my time was spent drinking soda, eating junk food and talking about movies, it really was my ideal job. As another example, I had a bloody awful job once working in a shampoo factory. The hours were long, the pay was rubbish, and everyone there was so bloody miserable it made Angela's Ashes look like a knockabout tween comedy.

Still it could have been worse. It can always be worse. Whatever you do as a vocation, however low you stoop to pay the bills and provide for your family, there's always something you can be thankful for. At least you're not Matthew Richards.

Now there's a chance you may have never heard of Matthew Richards. Richards is a reporter for BBC Wales, often appearing on their flagship television news broadcast "Wales Today". He's also quite unremarkable looks wise. He's kinda short, a wee bit podgy, and facially he looks a bit like a cabbage patch kid. This isn't meant as an insult however, as it's all part of Matthew's charm. If he had a Herculean physique then, quite frankly, I would probably hate him. But I don't hate him. In fact Matthew Richards is often the highlight of my day. Because, well, Matthew really does have a rubbish job.




You see Richards' official title is "North Wales correspondent". The problem is not a lot happens in North Wales on a day to day basis, and so Richards often gets handed the assignments that no one else wants. Need someone to interview a cow with Tuberculosis? Then send for Matthew (Gee Note: No really. He got sent to interview a cow. With tuberculosis. Picture a man wearing wellies holding out a microphone for a cow to weakly moo in to. Seriously it was awesome. Mind only a week later Matthew bested this veritable tour de force by filing a report on Wales' oldest tree, in which he had to meekly admit that he couldn't actually find the elderly sapling and instead had to settle for the second oldest tree in Wales. I swear I'm not making this up). Need someone to deliver a report about weather while being battered by gale force winds on the edge of a cliff? The send for Matthew (Gee Note: No really. The poor sod managed to squeak out the words "Worst weather Wales has seen in 40 years" before being drowned out by the sound of his bright yellow kagool threatening to take off in to the atmosphere). Have a story about an auto-mobile accident hotspot that, for reasons only known to the producer, needs to be conducted by the side of an insanely dangerous duel dual carriageway where approaching lorries threaten to decapitate the reporter with their wing mirrors every six seconds? (Gee Note: No rea… ah you can see where I'm going with this). Then send for Matthew. In fact take a look at the below video as an example.



(Gee Note: Now ignore for a moment the fact that it was Richards who got saddled with the work experience kid who blatantly had no idea how to work a tripod. Instead actually concentrate on the content of the report. As far as I can tell two people got arrested. And then they were let go. That was it. That's the entire story. Right there. You know it's a shame that there's not an international Peabody Award for "Consistently getting the short end of the stick in broadcast journalism". Because if there was, Matthew would win it every year).

In effect, Matthew Richards is BBC Wales' bitch. To the point where part of me expects to tune in one night and find him rocking back and forth while repeating something in Latin over and over again, covered in the blood of innocents. It hasn't happened yet. But I swear it's only a "Today a special ceremony was held to celebrate the man with the longest ear hair in Wales. We go now to Matthew Richards with more details…" away. In the meantime however Matthew keeps soldiering on hoping that one day, one day, that golden news item will land on his desk.

Anyway as most of you aware the British Government has been releasing their UFO files periodically over the past two years, giving tabloid newspapers an excuse to splash breathless headlines about Winston Churchill ordering a UFO cover-up and the RAF running in to little green men and getting in to all sorts of bother. The latest batch of these documents included a section about the alleged UFO crash in the Berwyn Mountains, North Wales.

So of course, it got covered in the Welsh local news. I mean aliens are always good for business. So just by mentioning the words UFOs and aliens “Wales Today” could expect a bump in the ratings, even if only from the morbidly curious. When you start throwing around statements such as the “Welsh Roswell” and “The Truth Revealed... NEXT!” then I wouldn't be surprised if “Wales Today” did it's highest rating in years.

Now bare in mind that Berwyn Mountains are in North Wales. And Matthew Richards is the North Wales correspondent for BBC Wales. So one would think that Matthew Richards would be the one front and centre of this sure fire audience winner right? I mean it would finally be his time to shine yeah?

Dude, c'mon now. Did you skip the middle bit? Of course Matthew didn't do the report. He was busy standing in front of an empty building talking about a concert that got cancelled. Instead the money woovy bezerk alien report went to Simon something-or-other.

As it turns out, it was much ado about nothing anyway. According to the MoD the Berwyn Mountain UFO incident was simply a mistaken case of an earthquake mixed with a lesser spotted meteor. Which, I don't know, I'm not sure a lot of people bought that theory when they first floated in 1974 let alone now.

Speaking of aliens (Gee Note: Two segues in one post? It's like I'm a seguing machine! Hey wait. The following bit is all about machines as well. Man I am on fire here) noted astronomer Seth Shostak has caused a bit of a stir in the UFO spotting community by suggesting that alien life may be, well, alien. As in "not like us". In fact according to Shostak it may be pointless searching for "biological" life all together, and instead we should concentrate our efforts on trying to find artificial intelligence instead.

Which presents a bit of pickle as far as SETI are concerned. Currently SETI, or the Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has spent it's time monitoring the skies for radio signals emitting from the general direction of planets that might be like Earth. And it's pretty much a thankless task. In fact space is so ridiculously vast that even if you knew for sure that a radio signal was floating about somewhere out there and had a vague idea of where it was coming from, it could still take the equivalent of five life times to find it. You'd only need to be fraction of a degree out to spend your evening alone listening to static instead of an extra terrestrial hit record (Gee Note: You know like… "I Saw Mommy Kissing Alf" or something. Yeah OK. I know. That's pretty lame even by my standards. Would you believe it took me half an hour to come up with that? I think I need a lie down).

Shostak's theory however is that organic life would have only been sending out radio signals from beyond the stars for a limited amount of time. At the point when Greeny McAlien invents artificial intelligence the machines take over and start doing all the work. And, because machines don't require things like air and water, they could be transmitting from anywhere. Which means that SETI has either got to get a bigger boat, or pretty much resign themselves to never finding a damn thing. According to Shostak "I think we could spend at least a few percent of our time... looking in the directions that are maybe not the most attractive in terms of biological intelligence but maybe where sentient machines are hanging out.".(Gee Note: Is anyone else here picturing R2D2 and the T-800 chillaxing in a bar? "How is ze beer?" "Beep-doop-whistle-beep-whistle-beep". "Ach. You always say zat").




Shostak makes sense though. Which means that while we now have new areas to look in, finding alien life without a great big flying saucer swooping down from the skies and f***ing up various monuments just got that much more difficult. It would be like looking for a needle in a hay stack, if the needle was about the size of a flea and the hay stack was the size of Jupiter.

Still there's always hope. Maybe, just maybe, someone will find evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the heavens.

And when they do I hope Matthew Richards covers the story. It's the least he deserves.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

For the first time in my life, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do.

Hey. So. It's been a whole month without an update here. Sorry about that. It's partly because I've been struck with some amazing news recently and, well, it's taken a bit of a while to get my head around it. But mostly because I now own a PS3 and so most of my free time has been spent shooting bad guys in the face and showing the world who really runs the show.

Anyway. With the unplanned absence it seems I've missed a lot of really groovy stuff going on the past couple of weeks (Gee Note: I've also missed you sexy people who read this blog. Really I have). So I should probably try and catch up as best I can.

You guys remember Ultimate Thor right? No? You sure? Scandinavian guy talking about how humans will advance their "spirits to a higher understanding" (Gee Note: Bro. Have you seen a KFC Double Down? You know, the bacon and cheese "sandwich" that uses fried chicken instead of bread? No really. Two bloody great big lumps of chicken separated by cheese wrapped in bacon wrapped in cheese. I don't know about you but I'm really not sure the human race can get much more advanced than that). Well for those of you who don't Ultimate Thor's real name is Edward Alexander. Or Maggador IX-777. Now some folks may be wondering why one man would have two names. Well it's because Edward Alexander is his human name. And Maggador is his alien name. I think. To be honest though I'm not sure. Seriously trying to get a grasp on this is a bit like wrestling a greased up eel. If, of course, the eel was a large hippy from Sweden.

OK. Allow me to explain. About a year and a half ago Eddie announced himself to the world with a couple of Youtube videos in which he claimed his body was the host for a reincarnated spirit of an alien (Gee Note: Intergalactic squatters eh? I can see the enraged Daily Mail editorial now). Some people believed him, because of course some people are insane. Most people didn't and chose to ignore him and a couple laughed at him. Which at the time I thought was a bit harsh. I mean, sure, he wasn't really an alien any more so than Madonna is a talented performer (Gee Note: YES! Madonna hate. We're back baby.). But he appeared friendly enough and didn't seem to let any of the negative reaction he received phase him.

Anyway one week I was stuck for material for this 'ere online journal thing, and decided to write a post about Maggador, gently poking fun at the Nordic wonder. Basically he'd started up a blog which featured some step by step instructions on how to contact your spirit guide.  So I tried them out for myself and, not surprisingly, it didn't go so well. I don’t know. Maybe my spirit guide is as rubbish as I am. It would make sense. Anyway I wrote the thing and thought nothing of it only for the man himself to leave a nice enough comment wishing me all the best in the future (Gee Note: Although it might not have been that nice depending on how he said it I guess. I mean when a Mafia boss says stuff like "You wanna be careful. There's plenty of potholes in this neighbourhood a guys like yous could fall down. Capeesh?" they're not really worried about the route you'll be taking home that night. Also they might not actually say the word "capeesh". It all depends on whether or not they're in a Jimmy Cagney movie).

Since then however Edward Alexander has taken a bit of a wrong turn. Rather than be the happy go lucky basketcase who thinks he's from the planet Zog, Maggy has started preaching about how the entire world is just one big conspiracy. It all started with this video where, accompanied by a monkey (Gee Note: !), he in a nutshell told people to overthrow their government. Which for an extra-terrestrial extolling the virtues of peace of love is confusingly militant. Since then he's held a series of interviews with various folks who are all as barking as he is, led an online war against the conspiracy nut website Above Top Secret for being "part of the elite", and even posted a Facebook update recently that stated "They're watching and hearing you. NSA (and who knows whom else) have a back-door built into all versions of Microsoft Windows, meaning they can access anyone’s computer whenever they want. In turn, this means they can watch you through your webcam, and hear your conversations through your microphone." (Gee Note: Two things. Firstly if anyone has been watching me through my webcam while I'm online then er… I'm very sorry. That's probably not what you want to see while you're eating your lunch. Secondly, who updates their Facebook status with stuff like that? Seriously mine only gets updated with things like "I like cheese." and "I'm not sure my *insert body part here* should be turning blue after getting up too quickly from the sofa...". Have I been doing it wrong?).





Which is a shame because it instantly makes Ultimate Thor way less appealing. Mind that could be just as far as I'm concerned. You see if there's one thing I dislike it's conspiracy theories.

Take the case of David Kelly. Now in British political circles the name David Kelly is a bit like Voldemort (Gee Note: In that politicians don't like saying it out loud. Not that he's an evil wizard with an alarming lack of hair growth on his head. Why does he have no hair by the way? Is it a symptom of his evilness? Does that somehow make him even eviler? If so then Telly Savalas must have been a right bastard). Involved in one of the worst governmental controversies in recent memory it seems the very whisper of his name is enough to make Members of Parliament shuffle their feet nervously.

Kelly was born in the Rhondda on May 14 1944. After graduating from the University of Leeds and the University of Birmingham he moved on to Linacre College, Oxford where he successfully completed a doctorate in Microbiology. From there he joined the British Civil Service as head of the Defense Microbiology Division before moving on to the Ministry of Defense. Where he was, er, given no specific job title. No really. As far as I can tell Kelly was employed as kind of a consultant, his advice sought whenever the MoD or the Foreign Office found themselves in a spot of bother with those jolly foreigners and their killing machines. It was during his time at the MoD that Kelly, at the request of the United Nations, visited Iraq as a weapons inspector during the aftermath of the Gulf War. His diligent work in this field led to a nomination for the Noble Peace Prize.

Anyway fast forward to the year 2002. Britain, as part of it's lapdog "special friend" status with the USA, was gearing up to invade Iraq. Knowing that the move would be unpopular with, well, just about everyone, it was decided that some more evidence other than "George W. Bush wants to invade Iraq" was needed to appease the nay sayers. Therefore a dossier was produced by the Joint Intelligence Committee detailing the weapons of mass destruction that Iraq possessed. Kelly, being an expert in the field, was asked to proof read some sections and wasn't at all happy with what he saw. One claim in particular, that Iraq could deploy biological and chemical weapons within 45 minutes struck Kelly as being exaggerated in order to convince skeptics that an invasion would be a just course of action. Despite registering his complaints however the dossier was deemed fit for publication by MI6 and the JIC, and became one of the cornerstones on which the invasion of Iraq was built.

And so with the document approved The UK put on it's little tin hat and went off to war. By the time all the ground fighting was done Kelly had resolved to see this incredible Iraqi war machine for himself. Now it should be noted that David Kelly genuinely believed that Iraq had either kept hold of or had started producing again seriously horrendous biological and chemical weapons. So joining an inspection team from the 5th June 2003 to the 11th June 2003 he paid a visit to an alleged mobile weapons lab. Except, er, that's not what it was. According to man himself, "They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were - facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons." (Gee Note: Balloons you say? My God. It's worse than we could have ever imagined. Forget Al-Qaeda. The Iraqis have been aiding Richard Branson.) .

Meet Andrew Gilligan. Gilligan was a journalist for the BBC who made a name for himself covering the war in Iraq. Having previously talked to David Kelly about an earlier draft of the dossier. Gilligan was keen to pick the man's brains about the distinct lack of WMD's being discovered in Iraq by both UN Inspectors and the armed forces. Kelly agreed to talk with him but only if he could remain as an anonymous source. No problem said Gilligan and on May 22nd they met up for a good ol' fashioned natter. Seven days later Gilligan broadcast his report based on Kelly's testimony.

Cue political shitstorm.

You see in the programme Gilligan announced that the 45 minute claim had been added by the government themselves to "sex up" the dossier (Gee Note: Although to be honest I can think of better ways to sex something up . For example, a picture of a lumberjack with his shirt off standing next to a woman in a bikini for no real reason), despite reservations about it's accuracy. Two days later Gilligan wrote a follow up article for the Mail On Sunday in which he named Labour chief spin doctor Alastair Campbell as the man responsible for the over exaggeration.

Mister Campbell is, well, how can I put this so he won't sue me? He's... tenacious, but not in a good way. Upon hearing his name mentioned he immediately went on the offensive, demanding an apology from the BBC and Gilligan. Gilligan refused to issue one, standing by his story that Campbell had prettied up the dossier in order to make a war in Iraq seem more appealing. Deciding not to take this lying down Campbell arrived unannounced at rival broadcaster Channel 4, and was immediately given the chance to launch in to a tirade on their nightly news broadcast, slamming both the BBC and Gilligan in hearty fashion.

You know that feeling you get when you've done something you shouldn't have and after the fact realize a lot of people are going to be pissed at you? (Gee Note: For me it usually involves trying to make a flux capacitor out of macaroni and adhesive only to end up gluing the Future Ex-Mrs Davies's favourite bag to a coffee table or something). Well Kelly felt a bit like that. Knowing that he had spoken to Gilligan and aware of all the commotion it was causing, Kelly went to his superiors and admitted the liaison with the reporter. However, Kelly claimed that he could not have been the primary source for the report as he was convinced he had not said the things attributed to the unnamed whistle blower by Gilligan.




Now what normally happens in these type of cases is that the MoD would have slapped Kelly on his wrist and send him on his merry way. And should anymore journalists have come knocking on their door asking questions, they would do the media equivalent of putting on a big fake black mustache and speaking in a thick Hispanic accent. "Sexings up of dossiers? We no know no sexings up of dossiers" they would say. Except this time they didn't. Instead the MoD released a statement saying a potential source of the leak had come forward. And although the statement didn't outright name Kelly they gave enough clues, such as his service record and the like, that anyone with half a brain could work it out (Gee Note: A bit like the "wicked whispers" sections of tabloids when they want to make stuff up about celebrities but don't want to get sued. You know, the ones that go "Which soap star is afraid they're house will be raided by police because they are storing the severed head of an ex-lover in their fridge?").  Even more bizarre when reporters did call the MoD asking if the person the statement was referring to was in fact David Kelly, the MoD confirmed that it was.

With his identity now out in the open Kelly and Gilligan were summoned before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on 15 July 2003. Kelly appeared to be a broken man, speaking so softly that the building's air conditioning had to be turned off so as to hear him properly. Despite this various MP's took what seemed to be a perverse delight in grilling him. Most notable of these was Andrew Mackinley, who cross examined Kelly so aggressively that it was later reported the MoD agent described the Labour politician as "an utter bastard".

And here's where the story takes a tragic turn. Two days later Kelly was at home, where he spent the morning replying to emails from colleagues and friends offering support. At around 3pm he told his wife that he was going for his routine daily walk and left his home on foot. He never returned. He was reported missing that night by his wife and his body was found early the next morning in woodlands about a mile away from his residence. It appeared he had committed suicide, taking up to 29 tablets of the painkiller co-proxamol and cutting his left wrist with a knife.

An awful, terrible end to what is one of the most disgusting stories in modern political times. I mean forget for a moment who David Kelly worked for. Forget for a moment the question of whether or not Alastair Campbell had anything to do with "sexing up" the dossier (Gee Note: Campbell was cleared of intentionally adding misleading information by the Select Committee on 7 July. However it was only decided by the casting vote of the chairman. The same report also observed that the 45 minute claim was given "undue prominence". You know, the next time I tell a great big fib, I want the Select Committee on my side. “Of course I don't think you look fat in that dress honey. And to prove it here's a six page document stating exactly why the words “Woah! Who let the Orca in here?” were in fact about a completely unrelated topic).Forget for a minute that Gilligan himself included statements "direct" from the source in his report that may have not actually been spoken by Kelly. Instead think of it this way. David Kelly was a man who believed that the invasion of Iraq wasn't fully justified and because he had admitted this to the wrong person, he was hounded mercilessly until he could handle it no longer and took his own life. If that doesn't make you sick to your stomach then you're probably a psychopath. No really. You might want to get that seen to.

The thing is, well, a lot of people don't think like that, Not because they are psychopaths you understand (Gee Note: Although a lot of them aren't playing with a full deck I grant you). But because they don't think that David Kelly killed himself. You see they believe that Kelly was…

Wait for it…

Murdered. (Gee Note: For the best results, please play that music that goes Dun dunnn dunnnnnnnn while reading that sentence out loud in a thick Scottish accent. Thank you.).

It all started with the Hutton inquiry. Now the Hutton inquiry was set up by the Labour Government to investigate who, if anyone, was responsible for the demise of David Kelly. Chaired by Basil Brush Lord Hutton, the inquest set out to determine four main questions. Did Kelly commit suicide? Did the government act improperly? Were the MoD right to release his name? And were the BBC correct to stand by their man Andrew Gilligan? The inquiry opened on the 1 August 2003 and after hearing numerous testimonies and studying various documents Hutton released his report on 28 January 2004. Que a vicious tongue lashing for all involved and a stern warning that, by gosh, things will be done differently in the future.

Except that isn't what happened. Instead Lord Hutton had decided that Kelly definitely killed himself, that the government had no cause to answer, that the document had in no way been "sexed up" (Gee Note: You know I wish they would come up with a better phrase than that. "Embellished" for example. I mean considering the context, what we're talking about here is a document that sent a lot of people in to a war zone where they would put their lives on the line while trying to kill some other people. And, unless you spend your time masturbating to slow motion replays of fatal car crashes, that is in no way sexy.), and that the MoD had acted properly but were a bit mean in not letting Kelly know he would be thrown to the lions. Hutton reserved his criticism for the BBC however who he claimed had made  grievous errors it not checking the accuracy of Gilligan's story and allowing the report to be broadcast.




Following the damning report the chairman of the BBC Gavyn Davis handed in his notice almost immediately after publication. BBC Director-General Greg Dyke followed soon after, as did Gilligan himself. However during the announcement that he was stepping down Dyke claimed he did "not necessarily accept the findings of Lord Hutton." It lead to thousands of BBC employees paying for a full page advert in the Daily Telegraph which read:

The following statement is from BBC employees, presenters, reporters and contributors. It was paid for by them personally, not the BBC itself.


Greg Dyke stood for brave, independent BBC journalism that was fearless in its search for the truth. We are resolute that the BBC should not step back from its determination to investigate the facts in pursuit of the truth. Through his passion and integrity Greg Dyke inspired us to make programmes of the highest quality and creativity. We are dismayed by Greg's departure, but we are determined to maintain his achievements and his vision for an independent organization that serves the public above all else.

With all that being said, exonerating the Government annoyed a lot of folks in the media itself, particularly The Independent who's front page was basically empty except for a small headline in the middle that read "Whitewash? The Hutton Report". The Daily Mail, Britain's answer to Fox News, led with an editorial that included the statement "We're faced with the wretched spectacle of the BBC chairman resigning while Alastair Campbell crows from the summit of his dunghill. Does this verdict, my lord, serve the real interest of truth?". In fact outside of the pro-Labour and anti-BBC Times, almost every newspaper claimed the Hutton inquiry was a load of old bobbins.

And then the autopsy report of Kelly's death, presented to the Hutton Inquiry instead of an official inquest, came in to question. First off the two attending paramedics at the scene, Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt, claimed that there was a distinct lack of blood in the area where Kelly's body was found. As reported in The Guardian, the pair stated that they found a small amount of blood on the surrounding plant life as well as a patch on his trousers about the size of a coin. They admitted they were surprised by this as they would have expected several pints of blood for a suicide involving an artery cut. However forensic pathologist Chris Milroy of Sheffield University disagreed, theorizing that the outdoor nature of the fatality would have meant that most of the blood would have seeped in to the ground.

The Guardian wasn't quite finished however, as it later printed a letter written by three senior doctors who suggested that the cut would not have caused enough blood loss to be fatal and that the amount of painkillers taken by Kelly would not normally have been enough to take one's own life. Then in a further letter to the British Medical Journal an epidemiologist named Dr. Rouse highlighted how rare an occurrence it was for a 59 year old man with no documented psychiatric history to slash their wrist in such a way.

Proving that this was the controversy that simply wouldn't go away on October 15 2007 it was revealed that the knife which Kelly was supposed to have used was found with no fingerprints on it after a request was made using the Freedom of Information Act. Then in December 2009 a group of six doctors started legal proceedings to bring forth an official inquiry in to his death. This was scuppered when Lord Hutton ordered that all files relating to the post-mortem remain secret for the next 70 years. The reason? Well there isn't one. At least not one that's been made public yet.

Which brings us to Boris Karpichkov (Gee Note: Who looks a bit like the love-child of Gollum and infamous British banker Nick Leeson).



Karpichkov is a former KGB spy who fled to Britain from Latvia in 1998. In a recent article in the Mail On Sunday he claimed that Kelly was bumped off by "shadowy figures in the intelligence community". Boris states that at the time he was working for Group Global Intelligence Services, a firm that apparently carries out detective work for corporations. During the period the firm was run by a chap named Peter Everett who allegedly is or was an operative for British intelligence outfit MI5. Karpichkov, as reported in the Mail On Sunday, claims that he and Everett had a conversation about Seagulls and why they are complete arseholes David Kelly a couple of days after his death. According to Karpichkov:

'He told me that it was extremely uncomfortable, inconsistent and unusual for Dr Kelly to slash his arm in the way he did. He would have lost some blood, but it would not have been fatal. He also claimed that it was not a coincidence that Special Branch officers were the ones who first appeared on the scene. They moved Dr Kelly's body to another location, changed the original position of his corpse and took away incriminating evidence. He added that the scene where Dr Kelly's body was found was carefully arranged and completely "washed out", including the destruction of all fingerprints. When I asked who was behind his death, he answered indirectly, saying the "competing firm", which I took to mean MI6.'

(Gee Note: Now I'm not sure what makes a good spy, but the ability to keep a secret is probably pretty high up on the list. I mean if Ian Flemming's novel Moonraker had kicked off with James Bond introducing himself to Hugo Drax by saying "Hello Mr. Drax. My name is James Bond and I'm a spy who's been sent to investigate your missile project and stop you from blowing up Britain." then it would have probably only been three pages long and would have ended with Bond being dipped in to a vat of boiling lava.).

So there we have it. Surely enough evidence that the government had David Kelly killed and then covered it up.

Except, and here's the thing, I don't buy it. Not one bit.

You see, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that Alastair Campbell had added the 45 minute claim to the dossier in question knowing full well it was a load of old bollocks. I wouldn't be shocked to find out that the government had pressured the MoD to release Kelly's name to the public. And it wouldn't rock my world to find out that Lord Hutton had skewed his report to absolve the government and the MoD of all responsibility just because he didn't want Joe Public thinking any less of elected officials, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Because your government lies to you. They always have. They always will. Sometimes they're little white lies, such as telling you they're looking in to affordable housing when in reality they've already spent their entire budget on novelty paper weights for the office (Gee Note: You know, like those miniature magic 8-balls you can get? "Will I mishandle public money?" Shake shake shake. *All signs point to yes*). Sometimes they're huge whoppers, such as telling you they're bombing a country because they don't like the way it's dictator treats the public, rather than that they want to protect their oil interests. It's the way of the world. In fact those in power would probably tell you that it simply has to be that way just to stop the thronging masses degenerating in to chaos.

But, and think about this, would the British Prime Minister really order the execution of a 59 year old civil servant? A man they had already discredited in the press to the extent that, whatever his knowledge of events was, most thought it was just a storm in a tea cup? I mean it doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you think about it.

Now I don't know if David Kelly killed himself. How could I? Unless you're a doctor with a sterling reputation and you have access to every single shred of evidence then I guess you can't really have an informed opinion. And as it stands right now, all we have are inconsistencies and hearsay. Nothing more. Nothing less. Did David Kelly commit suicide? I honestly don't know. Did the government murder him? No. No they didn't. It really is that simple.

Case in point, does Uncle Sam and his cousin across the pond lie about their knowledge of the existence of UFOs? Yeah they probably do. If only because at some point they've been testing new flight technology and didn't want those goddam Russians to know about it. Was 9/11 an inside job? Well of course it wasn't, as anyone who isn't barking mad would agree. There's a massive difference between lying to the public and murdering your own civilians. And neither the American nor the British regimes are that bad, no matter how much you feel need to blame them for everything because your life sucks.

Still I will say one thing about the “Kelly Conspiracy”. I bet Ultimate Thor loves it.