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Teenage Mutant Ninja Hurdles – How Martial Arts Have Taught Me Persistence Pays And Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Back in 1983, when I was 14, I started practising martial arts. Like many people who become martial artists, I started off with karate. Shotokan karate, to be precise. And like many people who start fight training, I became absolutely obsessed with it. Here is a photo of me taken at Christmas that year: Read More…

I’m With Stupid – Who’s More Annoying, Clever People Or Stupid People?

 

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There is an old saying which goes: “There’s nothing more annoying than a sober man when you are drunk or a drunk man when you are sober.” On similar lines, clever people hate stupid people and stupid people hate clever people. That is just a simple and incontrovertible fact of life. Read More…

There Can Be Only One – Soulmates, Dragons And Unicorn Sandwiches

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The Internet. It’s not all amusing cats, sex and Facebook. Well, okay, it’s about 96 percent those things but there’s other stuff on there too. Motivational memes are pretty popular. Happiness is a subject that crops up a great deal. Lots of unhappy people on the internet, apparently. As anyone who has spent more than five minutes interacting on Twitter can tell you. Read More…

I Come From A Little Town You’ve Probably Never Heard Of – How My Only Meaningful Dream Is Actually Just One Big Joke

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A few years ago, I went to get some talk therapy. The therapist asked me to keep a dream diary. I did warn her that this was probably a waste of time. My dreams very rarely have any structure. When my slumbering brain talks to me, it’s like an over excited five year old boy trying to tell his mum about a particularly great day he’s had at school. There lots of : “And then, and then, and then, and then…” but with very little actual information being imparted. Read More…

The Black Dragon – Fakes, Frauds and Kentucky Fried Chicken

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That is a photo of one of my childhood heroes. Count Juan Raphael Dante. Martial arts master, founder of The Black Dragon Fighting Society, voodoo priest and alleged bank robber. He came to fame in the 1960s by posting adverts like this in the back of American comic books : Read More…

Context – Why Charity Can’t Be An Excuse For Everything And Not All Uniforms Are Sexy

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One Friday afternoon, when I was in Sixth Form, me and my friend Shane abandoned our usual lessons, put on our Ku Klux Klan uniforms and ran around the streets demanding money. I realise that sounds a teeny bit racist and possibly a trifle thuggish, so please allow me to explain myself. There was a good reason for our little afternoon outing. Read More…

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – How To Turn The Tartan Trousers Of Disappointment Into The Shark Attack Of Happiness

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That’s a photo of me at my big brother’s wedding. I am not the tall fella on the left and nor am I the bearded chap in the middle. I’m the one in the tartan trousers. The bearded chap with his hands on my shoulders is my big brother, Paul. Read More…

Resolution (Slips Away Again) – How To Have Your Cake And Eat It

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Twas the night before Christmas, And all ‘round the house, Not a creature was stirring, Not even a mouse….except for the lady of the house, of course, who was creeping stealthily towards the fridge and thinking : “It’s Christmas Day tomorrow and I’m going to be spending most of it in this kitchen. Fuck it. I’m having another piece of cake.” Read More…

Toki Pona – Fluency In Silence And The Assassination Of Donald Trump

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Apart from a few scintillating highlights, 2016 has been the worst fucking year of my entire life. I don’t feel too badly about it though, because broadly speaking 2016 has been a bad year for pretty much everybody.

So many dead celebrities. So many fallen heroes that looking back on this year is like viewing the killing fields at the end of the first day of The Battle of the Somme. Read More…

The Aspect Of The Honey Badger – Why Heroes Don’t Always Look Like You Picture Them

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 “The course of true love never did run smooth”. Shakespeare wrote that. The twat. He wrote a lot of things, Shakespeare. He was the original meme generator. But I’m beginning to suspect that a lot of the things he wrote about weren’t such big problems with the human condition until he plonked them into the public consciousness. Read More…