The Motorola F3

It doesn’t have a camera. It doesn’t play music. It doesn’t do bluetooth. It can only display six characters at a time. It is an uncompromising slab of plastic that is cutting-edge yet harkens back to the LED displays of the 1970s. And it cost me £10.


It is a phone of Futurism.

A Possible Meeting At Pepsi Headquarters


(a skyscraper office somewhere in Purchase, New York)

SUIT 1: Morning, everybody. Where's Rick?

(Rick comes in, drinking from a Pepsi Max bottle)

SUIT 1: Rick, take a seat. We're going to need you today.

SUIT 2: As you know, Coca-Cola has been upping their game recently.

(SUIT 1 presses a button on his laptop and a bottle of Coke Blãk appears on the whiteboard)

SUIT 2: Took us totally by surprise. Coke mixed with Coffee! And what did we have in response?

RICK (sighing): Pepsi Twist.

SUIT 2: Exactly. Pepsi Fucking Twist. We didn't stand a chance.

SUIT 1: We need ideas. The next level. The new 'it'.

SUIT 3: Why don't we bring back Pepsi Blue?

(SUIT 1, SUIT 2, and RICK stare at SUIT 3)

(SUIT 3 stands up and walks out of the open window)

SUIT 2: Still, perhaps we need a new color.

RICK: Yellow? Done. Red? Done. Black…Done. Green?

SUIT 1: Green?

SUIT 2: Yeah, Pepsi: Green. With a hard colon. That's the stuff.

RICK: It needs something more. An edge. Something unique.

SUIT 1: Apple-flavoured Pepsi?

SUIT 2: No, no, it needs to be something that no-one would expect.

RICK: But it still has to say Pepsi: Green.

SUIT 2: Hard colon.

RICK: So hard it beats up all the other colons and turns them into full stops.

SUIT 1: What?

RICK: I mean periods.

SUIT 1: Ah.

SUIT 2: Something green. Something new...

RICK: Cucumber.

(SUIT 1 and SUIT 2 look at Rick, mouths hanging open)

SUIT 1: That's insane!

SUIT 2: How could that possibly work?

(SUIT 1 and SUIT 2 exchange a look)

SUIT 1: That's it!

SUIT 2: It makes Coke Blãk seem boring!

RICK: Pepsi Ice Cucumber. Clear bottle. Shards of glass on the label. Cool. Edgy.

SUIT 1: We're gonna sell a million!

SUIT 2: Rick, you've done it again.

(Rick gets up)

RICK: All in a day's work. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Andrex to pitch toffee-flavoured toilet paper…

currently playing: Björk – Declare Independence

It's A Hard Job, Honest!

Somebody needs to drag BBC Wales off to America. Then, instead of whining about the stresses of a 13-episode series, they can witness a 22-part season being put together, with comparable levels of special effects, set design and levels of cast turnover. And at a fairly similar level of budget too.


currently playing: Dexy's Midnight Runners – Reminisce (Part 1)

Storm Troopers Demand The Truth About 9/11!

The oddest part about yesterday in London.

Tomorrow, it seems, I may finally have a mobile phone that works in Britain. Hold me, I’m scared.

currently playing: The Arcade Fire – Black Wave / Bad Vibrations

Tucker Carlson: Not Just An Idiot In A Bow-Tie!

No, wait.

currently playing: Stars – Midnight Coward

The Celtic Soul Brothers

It had to start somewhere.

It’s a wedding. Rob and Gail, let’s say. Somewhere up past Watford. A mining town. They’re getting married. Brian’s brother has just got back from the Falklands. Best man fall. People are on the dance floor. Working man’s club. Spread put on by Rob’s mum and sisters. Enough to feed Ethopia for a month. Children running in and out into the car park outside.

The DJ looks through his record box as Boney M makes a rather unspectacular impression on those present. He comes across a single, takes it out of its sleeve, puts it on the turntable, and pulls the needle down slowly.

A fiddle. A piano.

Poor old Johnny Ray…

It had to start somewhere. There had to be a first time. There.

This is nostalgia for a period I never knew. I was three at the time. Though even then, I managed to wreck a tape of Soft Cell’s Tainted Love by listening to it over and over again, and I spent a few nights during my early childhood at my dad’s disco sets at American bases (not that I remember any of this. Nor me, two years old, switching off the entire disco at RAF Croughton one night). But Come On Eileen isn’t part of that early childhood at all, because my mum hates the record.

Thus, my first real recollection of it isn’t from a wedding, but a golden wedding anniversary. And yes, the dance floor filled immediately immediately. Even I danced, and back then that was something I did even less than now.

The song has its defenders and detractors. Die-hard Dexy’s fans, dismayed at the band’s ‘betrayal’ of the Young Soul Rebels aesthetic, hate it with a vengeance., hissing that Dexy’s had so many other better, purer records.

These people are fools.

(though you should really check out those other records regardless)

There’s a group of defenders that attempt to reclaim it from the weddings and birthdays, from the tacky DJ set, from the school disco, any from the dungarees and that fiddle. They seek solace in the lyrics, a paean to the fleeting memories of youth and fame, feeling that it’s wasted on the drunkards who get up and stomp about to the middle section.

These people are also fools.

Their heart is in the right place, for it is that, but to deny the populist appeal of the record just seems crazy. It’s a song about that fleeting moment, yet in a stroke of irony, it lives forever on that dance floor; it has ascended to the select pantheon of songs that never really go out of fashion, perhaps because it was never fashionable in the first place.

Here’s to twenty-five years of Come On Eileen. Moving a million hearts in mono and stereo.

Back in 1982, the DJ smiles. The floor is filled with children, the bride, the groom, their parents, the extended family; there will be harder times ahead. Three million on the dole. Strikes. Scabs. Occupation of the North. The breaking of their backs. But for now, everything is just fine.

currently playing: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

Call for a new 'Hero'

Call for a new ‘Hero’ bank holiday.

No, what we need is a HIRO BANK HOLIDAY!


currently playing: Candie Payne – All I Need to Hear

Why They Don't Want To Rebuild New Orleans

Karl Rove: Scum to the very end. Or: how the Republican party deserted New Orleans to swing the state for 2008.

currently playing: Hefner – The Day That Thatcher Dies

How's Your Week?

Yesterday: my iPod Shuffle got run over. Today: Credit card fraud.

Tomorrow: Stepping on a rake.

currently playing: The Royal We – All The Rage


Why I’m still working at 9pm?

currently playing: Stars – Set Yourself On Fire (Montag Mix)