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           Gus Spank is Alive!

Welcome  to  a  new concept of part-comedy,  part-rant articles,  with  this
pained  and  personal  look at some objects or  ideologies  that  have  been
bugging me lately.

Ladies(?)  and  gentlemen(??) Without any further ado,  or that much  of  an
introduction, let me give you this uneasy mixture of irritants...

The Tardis Shopping Basket..

Take a busy supermarket,  at lunchtime.  Every other checkout is occupied by
the regulation harassed mother,  with an entire month's shopping,  trying to
ineffectually placate an obnoxious screaming child, who is screaming because
her parents lumbered her with a stupid name like Kylie Marie-Anne.  You spot
the  'ten items or less' line and cry with joy.  You pause only momentarily,
to step over the mangled corpse of the pendant who had to blurt out "But  it
should properly be 'Ten items or fewer'?" Then,  your heartbea| slowing from
the killing frenzy which took place,  just a second ago, you take your place
in the line...

And  it's  not as if it is that much of a queue anyway.  There is  only  one
other  person  in front of you,  but wait,  what's this.  Out of a small wire
basket,  a never ending procession of goods appears, in blatant disregard of
the 'ten items' rule,  and taking the small size of the basket into account,
most  of the laws of physics!  Before you know it,  the smug sod in front of
you, has managed to colonise the entire space to the checkout with his crap.
You only have an hour for lunch,  and most of that time is going to be spent
here.  He realises that, and smiles gently at you. At that point, a red mist
descends,  and precise recollection of what happened from there,  is sort of

Some  conclusions  now.  The person in front of you is able to  effortlessly
manipulate  the laws of time and space,  as he is a Timelord from the planet
Galifrey.  Those Atarians who are Dr Who fans,  will know what I am on about
(Hi  Setok!)  Secondly,  the tardis basket may be a good place to  hide  in,
whilst  trying  to beat the murder rap for that regrettable loss  of  temper

Atari Time..

The fictional shopping-queue haunting Timelord may have something to do with
this  second  niggle too?  This is the occasionally remarked  phenomonen  of
'Atari  Time',  a  separate and much slower flowing river of time that  runs
parallel to the mainstream of events.

A few people have attempted a crude and generalised measurement of the Atari
time  stream,  and  compare it with normal time.  The comment "One month  of
scene  time  equals six months of normal time" isn't  untypical.  What  most
people  don't  realise  as yet,  is that Atari time itself,  is banded  into
hundreds  of  faster  or  slower flowing streams.  For example,  a  week  or
fortnight of Maggie time, may well end up as two months, in reality, but New
Beat time, turns that same period into a couple of years!

Of  course,  we  are still awaiting a measurement of an Atari Time  adjusted
'Reservoir  Gods Week',  and we may have to resort to carbon dating to get a
proper end-part to that one?

Genetic slicing out of any sense of proportion..
 Or, the relentless rise of 'More money than sense'

A  number  of  commentators have looked anxiously at what they  see  as  the
relentless rise of an underclass in society.  The crude form of the argument
goes "They're outbreeding us!" fully expecting nice,  soft,  cuddly, middle-
class values to be forcibly barged aside by rough, hard, feckless people who
drink out of tins of Special brew,  and spit drunken rambling insults out of
their crinkled scabby mouths.

I have to disagree, as the most disturbing threat to any sane future, is not
the  rise  of militant people in ragged clothing,  but the emergence of  the
stupid,  overmonied, spoilt rich kid, from the bowels of a very large middle

I am of course, talking about those people who pay over the odds to get hold
of grey import console gear.  At this moment, some spotty little spawn of an
accountant  is trying to get hold of beta Nintendo Game Cube hardware,  just
to be that little bit more 'cool' than his other mates,  who are also people
who  solely  define their miserable personalities by the  ownership  of  the
'right'  sort  of consumer goods.  Money no object of course,  it is daddy's
cash after all!

I  feel sorry for the likes of Mr Pink,  going from gifting their talents to
an  appreciative  audience,  and  having  to earn a  living  gratifying  the
momentary  whims  of  some spoilt fashionista tosser,  who couldn't  tell  a
polygon from a polly parrot!

The grow-your-own Microcelebrity..

I'm  writing about this one purely as a British phenomonen,  as this country
seems  to attract the largest number of Z-list zero's who match up  to  Andy
Warhol's classic everyone getting 15 minutes of fame definition. What is the
situation like in the rest of Europe, do celebrities still have to have some
kind  of defining talent,  or do they merely have to live in the Big Brother

I  hear  the  media worries that there are shortages  of  teachers,  nurses,
airforce  pilots,  and  other socially useful groups of people.  Part of the
reason  may  be the lousy pay and conditions.  Another factor could well  be
down to a process of negative reinforcement,  that such people are fed up of
having  their  testicles  kicked  clean off  their  bodies,  physically  and
spiritually, by a stupid, loudmouthed, and unappreciative public.

(Surely  including airforce pilots in the 'socially useful' group is  a  bit
rich,  I hear you cry.  yes,  maybe,  but you never know when you might need
someone  to skilfully lay down a carpet of Napalm on the unsuspecting  heads
of people you don't like!!)

But  I think that the biggest problem is down to the expectations  that  our
children  are programmed with.  Any profession with real value just  demands
too much effort now,  if you think, to go through medical school demands six
years work. Far easier to get a walk-on part for the fad of the moment. Only
reasonably photogenic young people need apply though!  In fact,  the current
template seems to be,  sunny personality,  good looking (to a point,  not so
much   the  impossible  Hollywood  standards  of   cosmetically   remodelled
perfection, so far at least), but fundamentally WITH NOTHING TO SAY.

People I don't want to hear of, ever again. This is just a small selection.

Anthea fucking Turner...  (That isn't her real middle name,  just one I gave
to her!)
Maureen from TV's 'Driving School'...
Anyone from the Big Brother house...
David Beckham and Victoria 'Posh Spice'.. So articulate, so intelligent...
Any  footballer who stopped their formal education and personal development
when they were ten years old. (Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne springs to mind here.)
It  seems  to be an English problem in particular,  the 'thick lad good  at
football' syndrome.
All the other Spice Girls...
Minor Royalty...
Tara Palmer-Tompkinson... Braindead drug-addled posh tart..
Anyone  on local radio or television...  These take the whole idea of
micro-celebrity to new levels of the absurd!

For  those  non-UK  readers who are scratching their heads  right  now,  and
thinking "Who the fuck are these people?" - My point is made!

It  still begs a couple of questions,  what happens to all those people  who
aren't  in S-Club 7?  And what happens when the supply of foreign people who
are willing to fill in for the socially vital jobs that no-one here wants to
do, dries up?


Well  that seems to have mostly turned to rant.  Maybe we'll get a bit  more
comedy in there for the next time?

Gus Spank - Oct '00

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