Sunday, 31 December 2017

A Musical 2017

I want to say goodbye to 2017 on a positive note and there is nothing more positive than music in my eyes.

So if you will allow me a moment of self-indulgence I would like to share with you the music that crossed my path this year. 2017 was a great year in terms of music that allowed me once again to consolidate my collection with a couple of new artists and a couple of established ones.

First of all, I acquired the latest album by heavy metal superstars Metallica, called Hardwired..To Self-Destruct. As you can imagine, subtlety is a word that struggles to establish itself in any Metallica song and this is something that endears me to them. They may be getting on a bit now but the music is still terrific. Here is Now That We’re Dead:

Riverside, a magnificent Polish progressive rock band, released an album that is really a tribute to their guitarist, who sadly died in 2016. The album, Eye of the Soundscape, features experimental material that was released over the past few years as bonus tracks on other albums and is like nothing they have done before; it is mellow and atmospheric, and totally instrumental. The good news is that the band will carry on, which is great for me because at the moment they are one of my favourite bands. Here is Machines:

Also, in 2017, I enhanced my collection of Devin Townsend albums adding four of them, all of which are completely different. Ghost is an ambient album featuring flutes and laid back songs that you can listen to with scented candles in a dimly lit room. Ki is more subdued but with hints of Devin’s metal mayhem. Epicloud is a fantastic album featuring a mixture of ambience, pop, rock and heavy metal but the craziest album is Deconstruction, which is 75 minutes of pure heavy metal mayhem that grabs you by the throat and screams at you. Here are two songs, one from Ghost and one from Deconstruction. Do you think it is the same artist? Believe me it is. First here is the title is a song called Texada from Ghost:

Now we have Juular from Deconstruction. The song is as crazy as the video.

And with the promise of four albums in 2018, I am looking forward to next year.

Veteran rockers, Deep Purple also released an album in 2017. The album may prove to be their last but it proves that they still have something. Here is Time for Bedlam:

Gary Numan is also still going strong. He was very prominent in the 1980’s when I was into electronic music and his new album, Savage: Songs From a Broken World, reminds me of that time, albeit with a much darker sound. Here is My Name is Ruin:

Supergroup Black Country Communion reformed for a new album, featuring Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham. The album, BCCIV, is an excellent collection of hard rock and blues rock songs. Here is The Last Song From My Resting Place – a truly beautiful piece of music:

Foo Fighters also returned this year with a new album Concrete and Gold.  And they didn’t let me down with some great songs, my favourite being Run with its highly amusing video:

You may not have heard of Neal Morse, but he is a progressive rock legend who was a founding member of a band called Spock’s Beard. Now he has a band called, unimaginatively, The Neal Morse Band that grabbed my attention because it features Mike Portnoy, the ex-drummer of Dream Theater. I decided to listen to an album they released a year or two ago, called Similitude of a Dream, which is a concept album based on The Pilgrim’s Progress. Neal Morse is a born again Christian and the album very much embraces this but that doesn’t detract me from enjoying what is a superb progressive rock masterpiece that I am proud to have in my collection. Here is Man in the Iron Cage:

I plan to investigate Neal Morse and Spock’s Beard next year.

Steven Wilson also released a new album this year and to me that is a major event. To the Bone marked a more pop oriented direction and he actually made a dent in the charts, forcing an appearance on BBC news as “the most famous British artist you have never heard of”. I hope this is the beginning of the recognition he deserves. The album itself is not as good as the previous masterpiece but still has amazing songs, my favourite of which is Detonation, a song about terrorism:

And finally – do you remember this pop song from the early 1980s?

The bass player in the band, Nick Beggs, has been playing with Steven Wilson for the past couple of years but has also branched out to form his own band called The Mute Gods. I picked up their second album called Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth. I was amazed at how good it is – and it is a far cry from his Kajagoogoo days. Here is the title track:

And if you are wondering, Tardigrades are microscopic animals that are, apparently, indestructible, able to survive radiation, extreme cold and heat and have even survived in low earth orbit, subjected to the extremes of space. It stands to reason they will be around after we have destroyed ourselves and the planet. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen for a while.

I am truly looking forward to a musical 2018.

Happy New Year to each and every reader

Friday, 29 December 2017

Goodbye 2017

I wasn’t going to bother with my traditional summary of the year this year because, frankly, 2017 has been a stinker of a year, much worse than the previous year, which was bad enough.

However, despite the pain, there have been some highlights and it would be unfair to confine these to the skip. So shall we explore the mound of crap that was 2017?

Let’s do it!

1.What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

I reached the age where I can get my hands on my pension pot, should I be stupid enough to do so. I’m not ready to do that just yet.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I started off with a quest to be more positive and to be fair, it worked until March. I also enhanced my French a little and revisited German, a language that is fascinating but very difficult to learn.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not this year,

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes – but I’m not ready to talk about that yet.

5. What countries did you visit?

This year we had a massive family holiday to Corfu and also visited Majorca for a well needed week break in September. A bunch of us also revisited Amsterdam to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday.

A flight arriving at sunset in Can Pastilla Majorca
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

No pain!

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Thinking positively, the week’s holiday in June – before the year turned to shit.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Nothing leaps to mind.

9. What was your biggest failure?

To remain positive all year. Fate is like that sometimes.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

That has to be my new Samsung Galaxy 8 phone, by a country mile. My poor old decrepit S4 mini survived for as long as it could before the weight of my expectation pushed it beyond its limits. My new phone is absolutely amazing.

What a beauty!
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Nobody famous has done anything to deserve a PM award this year. However, I would like to single out Mrs PM who has been my rock during a time of hardship.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Donald J Trump – the biggest dickhead ever to be elected into the White House. I could spend a year ranting about this waste of humanity every day for the next five years.

Also, Harvey Weinstein and all similar horrific sexual predators deserve to be inaugurated into the hall of absolute shame.

Theresa May (and her government), Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan also deserve the title “Dick of the Year” too.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Same as usual – my house and holidays.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Nothing really. As far as excitement goes, this was a rather mundane year.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?

I will sum up the music I discovered in a subsequent post but this song deserves a special mention:

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

I am sadder (but improving), definitely fatter (but determined to go on a diet in January) and possibly a little richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

After a great start to the year in terms of blogging, I have definitely neglected it in recent months. I was thinking about giving up the blog altogether but I think I have decided to carry on for a while.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Again, I’ve had another angry year where the antics of politicians have made me fume. I wish I had stepped back from the precipice and ignored them more.

20. How will you spend New Year's Eve?

I’m not sure yet, but suffice it say, that Mrs PM and I will be somewhere that serves alcohol and has a dance floor playing cheesy music.

21. Did you fall in love in 2017?

No need. Mrs PM is still here with me.

22. What was your favourite TV program?

I have to say that the best new program I saw was Daredevil. Sorry – it is yet another Super hero series.

I also enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s last season as Dr Who.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Well we all know who I disliked last year and I still dislike them now. Add Kim Jong Un to that list.

24. What was the best book you read?

I thoroughly enjoyed the Atlantis trilogy by AG Riddle.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

A lot of established bands have been brilliant this year but I particularly enjoyed a relatively new Progressive rock band called the Mute Gods. More details in a later post.

26. What did you want and get?

My new phone.

27. What did you want and not get?

Common sense to prevail and for the government to admit that Brexit is such a huge mistake.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

Two superhero movies (sorry):

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Mrs PM took me for a weekend away in Warwick. Photos of this wonderful little city and its amazing castle will follow in a future post. I was (and am) 55 years old.

30. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Bugger all.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Fashion? You’re funny. I’m 55 – what do I care about fashion (other than to mock the absurdity of it).

32. What kept you sane?

That honour goes to Mrs PM.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Having watched Wonder Woman, I have to say Gal Gadot is worthy of admiration.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The inexorable slide towards economic disaster that is Brexit and the constant barrage of insanity that is happening in the USA under Donald Trump.

35. Who did you miss?

I’m not ready to talk about that yet.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a few good people this year, so there were a few shining lights in the hellscape that was 2017.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

I’m stronger than I thought I was.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to 
It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to, did it? 
It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to 
It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to, did it?

And finally

Let’s hope 2018 is a better year. I know I said that this time last year, but I’m trying to be positive. I’ll start off by saying that I am planning to revamp The Plastic Mancunian blog sometime next year. 2018 sees the 10th anniversary of the nonsense I have been writing and the next month or two will hopefully see something different.

Of course, procrastination may kick in – but I hope not.

See you soon for a summary of the great music that crossed my path in 2017.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Top Ten Pink Floyd Songs

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Top Ten post so, for a laugh, and just in time for Christmas, I thought I would share my 10 favourite Pink Floyd songs. After the year I have had I feel the need to do something I enjoy and, though Pink Floyd don’t have anything directly to do with Father Christmas it makes me smile anyway. So here goes:

10. Don’t Leave Me Now (from The Wall)

I’ll start with a very depressing song about the pain of a relationship break up. If you haven’t heard it before, make sure that you’re in a happy mood before hitting the play button. Despite the obvious melancholy, this really is an enjoyable song, particularly when the guitar kicks in at around the 3 minute mark. And you can really feel the mental anguish of the singer as he pours out his pain. It’s depressing but it pushes a weird button in my head whenever I hear it. And yes, I have plenty of weird buttons.

9. Us and Them (from the Dark Side of the Moon)

Talking of weird buttons, this particular song pushes another. I’m not a huge fan of saxophone solos but sometimes they can add a wonderful moment to a song and such is the case with Us and Them. The song just wouldn’t be the same without it.

8. The Great Gig in the Sky (from The Dark Side of the Moon)

There are many amazing things about The Great Gig In The Sky. The opening piano is so atmospheric that I can imagine drifting along on the wind in the sky approaching a sunset. Even better is the amazing vocalist who uses her voice as a musical instrument. It’s one of those rare songs that is so full of emotion that there have been occasions when a tear pops out of my eye.

7. Sorrow (from A Momentary Lapse of Reason)

This is the only song in my top ten not to feature Roger Waters. I think Pink Floyd lost something after he left the band but, having said that, Sorrow is still a great song with a definite epic vibe to it. I particularly like Dave Gilmour’s excellent guitar playing. I hope you agree.

6. Run Like Hell (from The Wall)

Run Like Hell has a very distinctive guitar sound that makes it obvious from the first notes that this is Pink Floyd. It’s not dissimilar in texture to their most famous hit from The Wall, Another Brick in the Wall (Part Two). However, the upbeat nature of the song gives it the edge, for me, over it’s more famous counterpart.

5. Time (from The Dark Side of the Moon)

I can really relate to this song because ultimately it is about wasting time and not realising that time is running out for all of us and it contains some of my favourite lyrics in a Pink Floyd song, lyrics that epitomise my struggle with procrastination:

And then you find, ten years have got behind you. 
No one told you when you run; you missed the starting gun.

The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way. 
The time is gone, the song is over; thought I’d something more to say

4. One of These Days (from Meddle)

What makes this song great is the bass line that dominates the song almost from the very beginning. I remember when I first heard this song and I remarked that it was a Pink Floyd song you could actually dance to. I proved this one time at a student house party way back in the 80s when the host popped on a mix tape and, fuelled with a fair amount of red wine, I managed to find a space amongst the crowd where I could strut my funky stuff. At least a couple of people agreed with me and joined me in making a complete arse of myself. Happy days.

3. Money (from The Dark Side of the Moon)

Money is a song about greed and is yet another song featuring a decent saxophone solo that enhances its appeal, but that isn’t the best part. I love the key change and the amazing Dave Gilmour guitar solo in the middle of the song.

2. Comfortably Numb (from The Wall)

This song almost made it to number one. In my opinion it is the pivotal track on the Wall. Again it features an amazing guitar solo by Dave Gilmour. A word of warning – Scissor Sisters covered this song and utterly destroyed it. Mrs PM loves their version of the song even though I reiterate time and again that it is an abomination spawned in Hell itself. Don’t ever listen to it. It’s absolutely dreadful.

1. Sheep (from Animals)

It’s quite amazing that any band could write a ten minute song about sheep but that’s exactly what Pink Floyd did. Worse, it’s not really about chewing grass in a field – it’s much more disturbing than that – and I love that. Even better, the song is just amazing with one of my all time favourite guitar pieces at the very end of the song.

And Finally

That’s all folks.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope Father Christmas brings you everything you want.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Pseudo-Intellectual Business

I’ve just discovered a link between two things I love to rant about. Actually I’m kicking myself for not spotting it before. The more I think about it, the more obvious it is.

The link I have made is this: People who use Business Bullshit are in fact a breed of pseudo-intellectual.

Regular readers will know that I love to bait pseudo-intellectuals and expose them for what they are – bullshit merchants who know several big words and like to quote philosophy in order to make themselves  appear better than everybody else. The truth is, of course, that they blind people with their vocabulary because ultimately they don’t actually say anything that makes any sense.

My favourite pseudo-intellectuals are people who stand in front of vomit stains in contemporary art museums and try to impress upon anybody who is willing to lend an ear that the piece of shit in front of them is something more than the shallow mess it actually is.

Another breed is the hipster who dresses like a nerd just to be different and “writes random poetry to express himself”, poetry that is truly awful and meaningless, I hasten to add.

It’s no real leap of logic to discover that a new breed of pseudo-intellectual lives in the upper echelons of high management and bombards his staff with weird business argon that nobody understands, and that his peers pretend to understand.

I am disappointed with myself because this type of pseudo-intellectual has been with me my entire working life. I have found myself in meetings with people from various companies, all trying to impress upon everybody else how important and intelligent they are,  while speaking utter jibberish to bamboozle us all.

In their eyes, their peers are thinking “Wow! This guy really knows what he is talking about. We must do business with him.”

The truth is rather sad. People actually think “What in the name of all that is Holy is this ballbag talking about? It makes no bloody sense.”

Such verbal diarrhoea is responsible for many a rant from yours truly but, more importantly, inspired Scott Adams, then a disgruntled employee, to create the now massively famous Dilbert cartoon series.

At this point, I have to add that some of my work colleagues have said in the past that I bear a striking resemblance to Dilbert – judge for yourself.

Plastic Mancunian

I have never met Scott Adams so their theory is nonsense.

Anyway, here are a couple of typical Dilbert cartoons that illustrate the point.

The idea of setting up a buzzword bingo card has appealed to me for years but the problem is that business bullshit is an evolving beast with new terms popping out of the bull with alarming frequency.  This means that lowly employees like me would have to keep on top of these new terms and this is a full time job that I don’t have time to pursue.

Here are a few new ones:

“I want to jump on your radar!”

“Thought leaders”

“Idea sherpa”

“Punch a puppy”

“Thought shower”

These are terms that make me want to cringe with embarrassment.

Many years ago, there was a comedy show called Drop the Dead Donkey in the UK that had a character called Gus Hedges who basically used bullshit to communicate with his staff. Some of the terms he used were laughable – and now over 20 years later, the terms he used actually sound more believable.

Here are some of his best lines:

“We've got to downsize our sloppiness overload, Joy. Am I making myself clear?”

“There is just something I'd like to pop into your percolator, see if it comes out brown.”

“I'm setting you free. Free to roam the high seas of enterprise as the buccaneers of our broadcasting future.”

“I'm in major cellular rejuvenation mode, fast-tracking my way to eternal biological viability.”

“I think we have a slight togetherness shortfall here.”

“You see, when it comes to sexual interfacing with the female gender group, I've always been caution-orientated due to ongoing problems of an adaptive nature regarding the gooiness factor on the physical front.”

“Jill, could you come for a brief scuba in my think tank?”

“We're merely running our bulletins through the cappuccino machine of innovation, see if it comes out frothy.”

“Just a thought I wanted to pop into your fishbowl to see if it blows bubbles.”

“Problems are just the pregnant mothers of solutions.”

The good thing about Gus Hedges is that he is totally fictional. Sadly, there thousands upon  thousands of pseudo-intellectual managers who seem to have adopted him as a role model. Some pseudo–intellectuals like to quote philosophers; other like to quote Gus Hedges.

To conclude, I found a business bullshit generator that may act as inspiration for any pseudo-intellectuals desperate to climb the corporate ladder with no talent other than their use of meaningless vocabulary.

Here’s a couple I generated:

Synergistically streamline enterprise-wide collaboration and idea-sharing

Compellingly envisioneer standardized "outside the box" thinking

Uniquely reinvent sticky vortals

Have a go yourself – follow this link.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Look What I Found In My Head

Every day at work, I leave my desk at lunchtime, armed with my smartphone and my iPod and set off on a circular walk of just over two miles. My aim is fourfold:

(1) Get a little exercise.

(2) Escape the confines of the office.

(3) Enjoy some music.

(4) Clear my head.

I want to focus on item (4).

As I stroll around the streets, my mind wanders, replacing the inevitable stress and tedium of office work with a journey through my own imagination, accompanied by a musical soundtrack of songs that I love.

And that journey is usually quite fruitful.

The experience feels like I am in a room with thousands of doors. The journey begins when I open one of the doors and go through. The choice of door depends on my mood, the music I am listening to, the day I have had so far and random thoughts that have popped into my head based on conversations, news – anything really.

Ultimately I hope to find something interesting – like this idea for a blog post for example.

I am fascinated by the train of thought that eventually leads to the gems I find inside my own head. Sometimes they are good things but occasionally they are not do good. For example, if I am in a bad mood, or a little depressed about something, I find that sometimes it is difficult to drag myself from a negative path. In that respect I understand how depressed people think – I know this first hand because Mrs PM is prone to depression and in these situations it is difficult if not impossible to escape the irrational downward spiral that follows.

Happily, I have experience of seeing this is other people and can assist, if only to be the person who comforts them or to be a shoulder to cry on, so to speak. Of course, it is not as simple as that and, thankfully, Mrs PM is in control of it.

I don’t suffer from depression myself but if a negative thought threatens to enter my head and cause a negative cycle, I switch my mind to something that will distract it – like changing the song on my iPod of taking a moment to look around as I walk. This helps usually; rather like leaving the bad door alone and finding another more interesting one to go through. It doesn’t always work – and I have struggled sometimes in 2017 to be fair – but things are improving.

Sometimes, exploring my imagination can cause embarrassment. Here are a couple of examples.

Picture the scene. I am walking along oblivious to my surroundings and listening to a fantastic and happy song - a song such as this:

I find myself walking in step to the beat and imagine myself as the artist. The problem is that my step becomes jaunty and bouncy and on a couple of occasion I have actually started mouthing the words. If I have my headphones in, I can’t actually tell whether I am actually singing – I might be. In which case, it’s no surprise that I have acquired a few strange looks by people queuing up at a bus stop I have walked past.

On other occasions, a song has reminded me of a funny incident in the past caused an involuntary guffaw that is difficult to control and fuels yet more laughter, making me look like some kind of idiot marching along the streets.

Also, if I see somebody I know as I walk, I try to be polite and greet them as we pass. However, because of my headphones, it is more difficult to judge volume.

“Hi Dave,” they will say as we approach!

“HI ANDY,” I bellow at the top of my voice, in an attempt to drown out both the heavy metal song in my ears and the noise of cars, lorries and buses roaring past on the main road.

When I get back to work, I face the inevitable consequences.

“Why were you yelling at me in the street, Dave?”

Thankfully, this doesn’t happen very often and my walks are uneventful to watch.  The good news for me is that I have around 10,000 novel ideas as a result of my lunchtime walks. The bad news is that when I get back to work, I never write them down because the moment I sit back down at my desk, the shit hits the fan and I am plunged back into the abyss of the rat race before I have the time to write down a paragraph about invisible mutant aliens turning people into slaves.

However, I am certainly more relaxed and, for an hour or so at least, I find myself going about the daily grind with a smile on my face and a more relaxed approach to work.

I recommend you try it, dear reader. Once a day, grab hold of your own musical device and walk around the streets of your town or city for half an hour or so. Take off the chains of your imagination, walk through an interesting door and see where it leads you.

In almost all cases you will be amazed.

And for any Mancunians out there, if you see a greying blond nutcase singing or laughing as he walks – it might just be me.

Feel free to say “Hi Dave!” – I will try not to yell back at you.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

A Castle

After two depressing posts, I think it’s time to add a little bit of joy to the proceedings.

This year has been shit but in the midst of the manure, I have visited a couple of great little places in England in my quest to see as much of my own country as possible.

The first place is Ludlow, a small market town hidden in the countryside of South Shropshire. It’s a wonderful little place with almost 500 listed buildings, i.e. buildings that have been added to the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

There is also an old medieval castle that has sadly fallen into decline over the years and while it is largely in ruins, it is still interesting enough to visit.

Ludlow is a lovely little town, filled with history and surrounded by verdant countryside that is excellent for a decent ramble on a Saturday morning; a great way to relax if you need to unwind after a stressful week at work.

Mrs PM and I spent the weekend simply walking around, visiting the castle and enjoying hearty English fare washed down with a pint or two of the finest English ale.

Ludlow is home to a couple of interesting structures.

First, Ludlow Castle, initially started way back in 1086, stands over the town like a silent sentinel. It’s fallen into disrepair over the years and is now largely in ruins. However, there is enough present for a stimulating visit.

Originating a couple of hundred years later, St Laurence’s church is also significant building and can be seen from most of the town.

If you are a fan of English architecture, you will love the place.

Here are few photos.

Mrs PM - A Damsel in Distress
A Knight to the Rescue

Finally, I encountered quite an interesting toilet in a pub (I’m sorry to discuss toilets again). This one had beer barrels as urinals with humorous little signs indicating how a man’s liquid waste product can be converted back into ale. I had to break men’s public toilet etiquette rules and risk being thought of as some kind of pervert by taking a photograph in the men’s loo. Thankfully I was alone when I did this. 

Here is the photo.

Which one is used for lager?
The things I do for this blog.

Saturday, 21 October 2017


Right – I’ve just written a post about Donald Trump but a recent tweet by the orange lunatic has prompted me to write yet another one. I don’t want to dedicate more posts to him but I feel I have to in this case.

I just want to tell America that Donald Trump is a liar and you should not believe a single word that comes out of his mouth or any word he throws into cyberspace via Twitter.

Here is the tweet that has forced me to rant about Trump AGAIN:

Not content with telling lies about his own country, he is now telling blatant lies about mine!
How fucking dare you! 
Let’s analyse this tweet.
Yes, crime as risen by 13% in the UK, something I am sure our government aren’t proud of. I would like to write a separate post about the reasons for that – cuts to the police force by our own incompetent ruling party if you’re interested - but I won’t because of the words of the moron in the White House.
The police have indicated that they recorded 5.2 million offences last year the bulk of which were NOT associated with terrorism. Can you read that Mr Trump? I will write it again.
Can you understand that, Mr Trump?
Most of the crimes committed were the usual things; public order offences, robbery, possession of weapons, stalking and harassment.
And here’s another statistic for you. There were 664 murders in England and Wales and only 35 of those were caused by the terror attacks in London and Manchester.
Donald Trump is a liar.
How dare he abuse a headline like this to fuel the fear of extreme radical Islamic terror.
And I had to laugh at the end of this tweet:  “We must keep America safe”.
Can I tell you how to keep America safe, you orange buffoon?
Get rid of your bloody guns!
Here are some facts that perhaps Donald Trump should worry himself about.
America is not safe and it is not due to radical Islamic terrorism.
One white non-Islamic man opened fire on a concert on October 1st of this year and killed 58 people, injuring 546. 
One man!
And that’s not the whole story. The statistics about gun crime in America make very uncomfortable reading. For example from 1st January 2015 to 2nd December 2015, there were 355 mass shootings in America. That’s 335 mass shootings in 336 days – more than one a day.
And this statistic applies every year. If you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself.
What Trump needs to do is focus on his own country’s problems by facing up to the NRA and actually doing something, instead of abusing statistics about other countries in an attempt to brainwash gullible supporters into turning against Islam with pure lies.
I’m sure many Americans stumble on this blog and I welcome them with open arms. I love America and every time I have been there I have had a great time. 
Nevertheless, I despise your current President and I suspect (hope) most of you are the same. For those who don't hate him, I implore you to ignore the blatant lies he tells in public with no shame, particularly those about other countries.
Please check the facts and don’t take the random ravings of this lunatic as gospel. 
Donald Trump is lying just to brainwash Americans into following his own deranged agenda.
The only fake news we see at the moment comes from Donald Trump’s twitter account. Every single time he opens his big mouth in public his words are lies and bullshit.
Please ignore him and do your own research. 
You know it makes sense.
In return I shall try not to post any more about Trump. 
I feel sick about this already.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Trumpa Loompa

Donald Trump!

What a man!

What a legend!

I am astonished by what he has achieved in recent years and find myself gaping in wonder at his triumphs.

Donald Trump is President of the United States of America, elected by promising to make America great again. Having been a frequent visitor to the US I wonder how this is possible but clearly he has seen something the rest of the world hasn’t. I realise that there are people out there who doubt this and my own personal theory is that he is doing his best to bring America to its knees in his first term in order to make the country rise up like a phoenix when the next President has to pick up the pieces. Clearly he thinks it will take a few terms to achieve his goals of rebuilding this self-proclaimed greatest country in the world.

And he has God on his side. At the inauguration ceremony, where it was clearly raining, Donald told the world that God made the sun shine. The rest of us saw pissing rain – but Donald saw God. The rest of us saw a below average crowd of witnesses to this event whereas Donald saw billions of people – the greatest number of people in history to witness the inauguration of a President.

Donald also has the ability to run the government on social media. Twitter has become the means of making the country amazing again with policy statement after policy statement crammed into 140 letters. He even invents new words like ”covfefe” – a true genius at work.

Talking of genius, nobody has taken Donald up on his challenge to have an IQ test. They are running scared because Donald has a higher IQ than anybody in the world. He doesn’t have to prove himself. He’s the President for heaven’s sake.

I am also envious of his hair. Yes – you read that correctly. My hair is a sentient beast and leaps at every opportunity to humiliate me.  Donald has the BALLS to face his own sentient beast and march out to face his loyal people with his head held high even when his own hair has appalling ideas of its own.

Moreover, while we’re on the subject of physical appearance, Donald is a trendsetter. His skin colour is amazing and redefines the word “orange”. We all know that “orange is the new black”, a phrase I am certain that Donald invented via Twitter sometime in the past. Either he wants to be an influential leader or he is simply an orange alien with crazy hair. You decide.

Donald also trying to redefine “misogyny” because (he says) he respects all women. All the talk about grabbing women in  intimate places has to be fake news – surely. Surely his quip about dating his own daughter was a joke, When he said way back in 1992 that “you have to treat ‘em like shit!” that had to be fake news too, didn’t it?

Okay – who am I kidding here? All the buffoonery above is total bollocks!

The man is a bloody arse. Everybody knows it but nobody will admit it.

Surely America has sussed this guy out.


There are numerous examples of him talking utter bollocks, boasting, lying, contradicting himself, being nasty to anyone who criticises him, hiring incompetents and firing people who challenge him.

There must be millions of Americans who voted for him saying “What on earth possessed me?”

Make America great again? Really?

Donald Trump has made America a laughing stock. But it isn’t funny any more. All he does in the White House is massage his own ego, something he cares about much more than his country.

Worse, his bullshit is taking a sinister turn. Here are some disturbing quotes:

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for him and his regime.”

“Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!”

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen ... he has been very threatening beyond a normal state. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

And what about this scary exchange when Trump recently posed with a room full of military leaders:

Trump: Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be, the calm. The calm before the storm.

Press: What do you mean, Mr President?

Trump: We have the world's great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And uh, we're gonna have a great evening.

Press: But what do you mean by “calm before the storm”, Mr President?

Trump: You’ll find out.

What the bloody hell is THAT supposed to mean?

Is he going to authorise a major military offensive?

Is he making threats to a deranged power-hungry lunatic in North Korea who just happens to be testing missiles that may soon reach the United States armed with a nuke?

Will this be the start of World War 3?

Oh my God!

I tell you what: there has never been a President like Donald Trump – and I hope to God that there will never be another one.

Here are some thoughts from British comedians:

I hope that's cheered you up a bit.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Hello Again!

Hello again, Internet.

It’s been a while – over two months to be exact – but I do have my reasons. There has been a lot going on and I may reveal some details in due course. But then again I may not.

Anyway, enough about that.

How have you been?

By the way, when I say “it’s been a while” I really mean that it has been a while since I have bored you with drivel from my ample yet flawed imagination.

Of course I have been lurking, reading about how Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are trying to start World War 3; reading about yet another psychopath with a gun in America;  reading how Donald Trump is slowly bringing America to its knees while still pretending that he wants to make America great again; reading how the United Kingdom is heading towards oblivion with Brexit, like a ship heading towards a huge waterfall while pretending that the waterfall doesn’t exist, with politicians trying to convince the population that the ship will fly into cloud cuckoo land instead.

It’s all very depressing and doesn’t help my mood.

Yet, after all of this, I am trying to be positive again and despite fate, life and circumstance I think I am back on that road, looking forward to 2018.

Yes – that’s right. I have cast 2017 into the dumpster alongside 2016 – and you may note that it is only October.

Still – it is my birthday in just under a week so I’m looking forward to being at the age where I can get my hands on my pension, should I have the desire to jeopardize my retirement. Don’t worry, I’m not stupid enough to blow it all on a Ferrari or a round the world trip (as tempting as that is).

Normal blogging buffoonery will resume next week (I’m sure you can’t wait).

See you then.

P.S. I’ll leave you on a positive note with a nice little tune that I like from Steven Wilson’s new album.

See you soon.

Friday, 28 July 2017


Daily Mail readers are outraged – again.

Usually the target of their wrath are “looney lefties”, immigrants and people who voted Remain in the EU referendum.

This time, however, they have a new target – the BBC.

Are they angry because of media bias against their beloved Conservative Party? No. They are angry over the choice of an actor in a well-loved BBC drama.

The have chosen a woman to play the part of Dr Who.

Oh my GOD!! How could they?

Here are some of the comments that have surfaced from the politically incorrect, right-wing morons who read the Daily Mail –and the equally obnoxious newspaper, The Sun:

“Nobody wants a TARDIS full of bras!”

“If they made a separate series about a female time lord no one would watch it. Just as no one would watch a women-only tennis tournament. Women have to ride on men's coat-tails and if necessary hijack the concept in order to get noticed. This just one of the reasons why there will never be equality. Women generally don't have the initiative nor the willingness to take risks.”

“The BBC are trying to brainwash your children.”

“She'll get a second series where she'll get written out of story to make room for male Doctor. By this time the real Who fans would've stopped watching and can't be bothered due the writers bowing to feminism and the PC brigade. Not [only] have BBC shot themselves in the foot, they'll certainly lose money on the merchandising. What wants to dress up as a woman? What a waste of a regeneration!!”

“The reason the Doctor can't be female is simple, she'd only be of any use protecting mankind from the evils of the universe for three weeks out of four.”

“Knock, Knock....whose there? Dr......Dr Who? Yes,...I've lost mi key in mi handbag....let us in chuck!.”

“Time travel is for men – and men only”

“I'll stop watching now but a tip for the BBC. You're not being PC enough yet. She not an ethnic minority, lesbian, asylum seeker and didn't vote Remain.”

“Political correctness should not exist in space”

“They should rename the show “Nurse Who”

From a personal perspective, I was a little surprised but I welcome the decision. Jodie Whittaker, the new Doctor, is a great actress. Mrs PM loved her in a programme called Broadchurch.

As well as having moronic misogynistic readers, some of the right wing tabloids have decided to introduce Jodie Whittaker to those who don’t know of her by showing naked stills of her from other TV programmes.

"Here’s Jodie Whittaker – a decent actress. We don’t want to talk to her about her new role – we will just show dirty pictures of her having sex in another steamy TV programme."

All of this shows how crap the United Kingdom is becoming. This misogynistic, politically incorrect undercurrent has been bubbling under for quite a few years now but rags like the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun have been championing these narrow minded views, peddling hatred and obnoxious views. Their voices are getting louder now and I am disturbed by this.

People who read the Daily Mail and Daily Express take every word as gospel – even the outrageous lies that they publish. No wonder we are drifting slowly into oblivion.

Mrs PM’s mother reads the Daily Express religiously and when I visit, I sit there on her sofa ranting like a madman as I read it. I do so out of curiosity and to gain an insight into how these people think but within minutes I am almost overcome by a psychotic urge to set fire to the bloody thing in rage.

One day I may actually ask Mrs PM to video me while I am reading it. You will laugh your heads off – I promise – and I won’t be acting for the camera.

Anyway – to conclude – Dr Who is a shape-shifting alien being, owned by the BBC and, most importantly, is a work of fiction.

The BBC can do what they hell they like with the character.

I welcome Jodie Whittaker and I hope she is an amazing Dr Who.

And here’s a message for outraged Daily Mail readers and the authors of the comments above.

“Get a fucking life!”

Monday, 10 July 2017

700 Posts and More Travel Snippets

Well, folks, it’s another milestone for The Plastic Mancunian – this is my 700th post. This means that I have written 700 posts of utter drivel, averaging about 900 words per post making a rough total of 630,000 words of nonsense to bore anybody who happens to stumble on this web site whilst presumably looking for something more important and interesting.

In fact, the 10th anniversary of The Plastic Mancunian is 21st March 2018 – and I think that might be a fitting point to call it a day. I haven’t fully decided this yet but it seems a good place to stop and put my energies into writing something more worthwhile – watch this space.

However, that is about 8 months away and until then I shall continue to bore you with drivel. 

I rarely use Facebook these days, but one of the main applications I use is something from Tripadvisor that allows me to record where I have travelled. Thus far, it tells me that I have been to 34 countries, including 368 cities. By “cities” the application really means cities, towns and villages; but I’m not complaining. It also tells me that I have travelled 294,688 miles and seen 25% of the world. 

I aim to increase all of these statistics before I say hello to God in person.

Here is a map of my travels:

I thought I’d would repeat a similar post I wrote way back in 2010 (you can read it here) and share a few more snippets of fun that I have experienced from my travels from 2010 to the present day:

(1)        Muscat, Oman – I had a rather strange but very tasty dish: Camel Biriyani.

(2)        British Columbia, Canada – I stood on a glacier in the snow drinking whiskey. I hate whiskey but it was required to warm myself up.

(3)        Reykjavic, Iceland – I found myself on a dance floor in an Icelandic night club surrounded by five gorgeous, tall blond women. Mrs PM said that I looked terrified.

(4)        Boston, USA – I met Henry VIII on a street – promoting Virgin flights to the UK. He didn’t think I was English and asked if I wanted the trip of a lifetime – back to England.

(5)        Cape Cod, USA – We stayed with a wonderful old couple in Cape Cod who referred to us as “the kids”, not really realising that I was 48 at the time.

(6)        Salvador, Brazil – The only way I could communicate with a lot of Brazilians was using very bad Spanish in the vague hope that they would also speak it as a second language. It worked – once or twice.

(7)        British Columbia, Canada – the scenery in this wonderful part of the world is amongst the most breath-taking I have ever seen.

(8)        Seattle, USA – Mrs PM’s dad was asked for ID when ordering a beer. He was 68 years old at the time.

(9)        Muscat, Oman – the hottest temperature I have ever experienced is 46°C. I thought I was going to melt.

(10)     Hakone, Japan – I used an onsen for the first time. It was like taking a hot bath.

(11)     Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona is home to one of the greatest football teams in Europe, if not the world. And I managed to find a bar showing my own beloved team’s game. They are Walsall and are in the third tier of the English football league.

(12)     Santorini, Greece – I climbed a volcano in beach sandals.

(13)     Berlin, Germany – I walked into a restricted area outside the Reichstag, reserved only for German politicians and staff. A stern but friendly German police officer showed me the correct way to go.

(14)     Muscat, Oman – I refused to carry on a training course until my students agreed to form the Omani division of the Walsall Football Supporters Club. They agreed but wondered why I don’t support a good team like Manchester United or Manchester City.

(15)     Alaska, USA – Alaska is the only place I have ever seen blue ice floating in a freezing cold sea.

(16)     Blue Lagoon, Iceland – Heaven is sitting in a geothermal spa with a silica mud mask drinking a glass of beer.

(17)     Boston, USA – I informed a group of American tourists on a famous boat used in the War for Independence that they were lucky to have won and that one day we’ll be back. They took it in jest rather than lynching me – I guess Americans do understand British humour after all.

(18)     Tokyo, Japan – The Robot Restaurant is the craziest and entertaining show I have ever been to.

(19)     Bύzios, Brazil – Mrs PM and I saw a model phot shoot at our hotel whilst relaxing by a pool. I did not stare at them and I certainly didn’t take any photos myself (well not many anyway).

(20)     Alaska, USA –                 I was introduced to log rolling, where two men run on a log in water until one of them plunges into the icy water. Great fun to watch but not much fun if you lose.

(21)     Reykjavic, Iceland – I ate whale for the first and only time. Not a whole one!!

(22)     Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – The only mosque I have ever visited is the Sheikh Zayed Mosqu in Abu Dhabi. It is huge and beautiful and can accommodate 40,000 worshippers.

(23)     Kunming, China – I was asked, as guest of honour, to select the fish we would be having for dinner. The poor thing was swimming with his friends and ended up on our plate. I was sad about this particularly at the end when the tank was missing one resident.

(24)     Lisbon, Portugal – Lisbon has a smaller version of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

(25)     Hakone, Japan – We stayed in a Japanese-style hotel and wore a yukata for mealtimes.

(26)     Monaco – I have never seen so many supercars in one place at any one time.

(27)     Rome, Italy – I celebrated my 50th birthday in Rome with friends, one of whom , another Dave, was also 50. We were forced to wear a “50 Today” badge while the women in the group wore a T shirt with a picture of the two of us enclosed in a heart with the slogan “Happy 50th Birthday You Old Gits!”

(28)     Berlin, Germany – We actually ate a Berliner, which contrary to a popular ex-American president, is a doughnut (a Berliner Pfannkuchen in fact).

(29)     Tokyo, Japan – Mrs PM and I got lost in Shinjuku railway, not once but three times. The third time, a member of staff who tried to help us was also clueless.

(30)     Boston, USA – I had a beer in Cheers.

(31)     Nice, France – Nice is my favourite city in France and I will not let the antics of a nutcase in a lorry stop me from going back.

(32)     Puerto Banús, Spain – I strolled down a crowded street walking between a cruising Ferrari and a cruising Lamborghini. Bloody show offs!

(33)     Dubai, United Arab Emirates - In order to conquer my fear of heights I climbed the Burl Khalifa in Dubai – the tallest building in the world at 828 metres. My quest  failed. I am still scared of heights .

(34)     Tokyo, Japan – This city is absolutely huge. Having spent three days there I only saw about a quarter of the place.

(35)     British Columbia, Canada – I met a Mountie, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

(36)     Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – We strolled along Ipanema Beach whilst drinking a coconut and shortly afterwards on Copacabana Beach while drinking beer. Beautiful.

(37)     Marbella, Spain – Keen to show off my blossoming Spanish skills I ordered  a beer and ended up with shandy!

(38)     Kyoto, Japan – Two very drunk businessmen starting talking to us in a sushi bar and tried to persuade in very broken English to join them on a bar crawl. Thankfully we had a bullet train to catch.

(39)     Kunming, China – I ate some of the most wonderful yet weird food I have had. I avoided insects.

(40)     Beijing, China – I ate some of the most wonderful yet weird food I have ever had – again! I avoided pig brain.

(41)     Dubai, United Arab Emirates – You can buy gold bars from a vending machine. I didn’t because I am skint.

(42)     Alaska, USA – There is a photograph of me about to put a dollar bill in the cleavage of a very buxom waitress.  And Mrs PM’s dad was doing exactly the same. Don’t worry  - everybody was doing it; we were in a themed restaurant/bar pretending to be a whorehouse and it was a bit of fun. The photo was taken by his wife.

(43)     Tokyo, Japan – I used the world’s best toilet in Tokyo. I’m glad I work in IT so I could work out how to operate it.

(44)     Berlin, Germany – We were in Berlin for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall but missed the celebrations by two days.

(45)     Kunming, China – I saw the world’s worst toilet on a building site in Kunming. I am delighted that I didn’t have to use it.

(46)     Iguaçu Falls, Brazil and Argentina – I visited something more impressive than Niagara Falls, namely Iguaçu Falls. We were so impressed that we saw them in Brazil one day and just over the border in Argentina the next day.

(47)     Barcelona, Spain – La Sagrada Familia, the famous cathedral in Barcelona, is still not complete 135 years after it was started. It will finally be finished in 2026.

(48)     Kyoto, Japan – We visited a shrine with around 10,000 sacred gates (torii). An amazing sight.

(49)     Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - In order to conquer my fear of heights I climbed Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro to see the legendary statue of Christ the Redeemer. My quest  failed. I am still scared of heights

(50)     Hong Kong – After visiting for the umpteenth time in 2013, I can safely say that it is still my favourite city in the world. Mrs PM and I hope to go again in 2018 for our 20th anniversary.

That's it for now. If I have made you laugh or held you interest for a minute or two then that’s great. 

See you for post 701 and once again thank you so much for bothering to read the nonsense I write.