Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rage Machine Podcast: The 2008 Christmas Special





Ho-Ho-Hownload the mp3 by clicking/right clicking/holdclicking here.

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It's a Christmas special that will make all other Christmas specials wither away in embarrassment, with an unhealthy dose of jollyness, hall-decking, dobba dobba dom doms, pa rum pa pum pums, and a festive song about attempted date rape. Our holiday hero counts down the top ten christmas songs that make up almost all of British radio's yuletide offerings but never get played in America, constructs a new version of 'The 12 Days Of Christmas', sings to and with himself and has the audacity to tell a collection of holiday movie cliches to get off his lawn.

Featuring a plethora of special holiday guests including The Jingle Singers, Spike's clones, the real Jonah Lewie* and a visit from a semi-reasonable facsimile of David Bowie, it's the show about which the internet's Red Zeppelin said, "A++ WOULD GET JOLLY TO AGAIN". And you can't argue with that.

Merry Christmas!

*Not the real Jonah Lewie

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rage Machine Podcast: "Rueben One Out At Work"





Download the WHOLE show in that popular "impy three" format the kids are all talking about these days. Darn whippersnappers. Click/rightclick/holdclick here to save it.

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Why does Jesse Jackson Junior - grass extraordinaire - remind our hero of a trampoline? How did he get those hiccups? Did the Laurel And Hardy terrorists that hit our hero's home town airport go to jail? Are self-proclaimed libertarians just embarrassed conservatives? All those answers and more in this, the final regular Rage Machine of the year.

Plus, an enlightening visit from radio's Rueben Perdue, he of the secret stream, covering everything from Bush's shoe-dodging abilities, the differences between devout christians versus devout atheists, the media's treatment of Barack Obama, and sex. Yes, you read that right. Sex. IN THE WORKPLACE! ON COMPUTERS!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spike Nesmith Rage Machine Podcast: "When Blaggers Attack!"

*apologies for the lateness of the posting of this episode if, in the unlikely event, you follow the Rage Machine via anything other than the podcast RSS feed. Either Pod-o-matic, who host the file, or my computer (not impossible) went all wanky last week, which meant that Les Machine Du Rage embedded audio player was unavailable. Ho hum. Ever mind. Here it is:





The always reliable Rage Machine RSS feed is here. Click to subscribe in iTunes, or some other such similar program.

Go ahead and download the show MP3 directly here. Ye ken it maks sense, Wullie.

This go around on Ye Olde Machine O'Rage, our hero takes a long, hard look at a man he refers to as "The Blagger"; why he was a hero one day, and a villain the next. Why, also, it's just more evidence that no politician should be trusted.

If you found a big, fat bag of cash hanging on a hook in a cludgie, would you give it back or would you keep it? One woman found almost a hundred grand; not only did she work far too hard to find whom it belonged to, but she wouldn't even take a grand for her trouble. Pfft!

EYE TO EYE.... CON-TACT!

email: theusualaddress(at)gmail.com

facebook: http://facebook.spikeshow.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'O', How Fat You Are LOL!

It's been a great week for lazy hack comedians all around the country, as Oprah announced that she has gained weight and now tips the scales at over two hundred lbs. Cor, eh? What a porker!

In the grand scheme of things, Oprah should be an easy target for criticism without resorting to jokes about weight. In so many ways, she has managed to piss away her legacy as an innovator and source of inspiration and has turned what could still be a decent afternoon show that tackles important issues and subjects into a "look at me! I'm rich, do you hear me? RICH!" showcase. Ditto, her eponymous magazine. How obsessed with oneself does one have to be to not only name a magazine after oneself, but to insist on dominating the cover every month? I'd wager 'very'.

I defy you to watch Oprah for two weeks. You don't have to watch the episodes end to end, just dip in to see what's being discussed. What you'll see in those two weeks is at least one or two episodes that prove she's still 'got it', shows that really address topics that could make a difference. She's never resorted to Geraldo or Springer style circus freak shows or "OMG UR LUVERS GAY LOL" shows. Watch the show and you'll see that in there, somewhere, Oprah still has it. She's still able to connect with her guests and her audience and produce a compelling show that's socially and/or politically and/or culturally relevant.

But mixed in with those rare episodes that could make a difference in someone's life are lengthy shots, practically in soft focus, of Oprah agreeing with the guest, or interrupting them to tell a barely related anecdote about herself. Or episodes featuring vacuous, pandering, fluff celebrity interviews. Either that, or entire episodes dedicated to little more than showcasing Oprah's opulence. I kid you not, there was a recent episode dedicated completely to her jetting off to Las Vegas in her private plane to appear on stage with Barbara Streisand and Cher, in front of people who have paid a price for tickets that could, collectively, build a wing of an AIDS hospital. And guess who got top billing...?

Is that what people really want to see? Is that what we want advanced civilisations who may visit our planet to think we're interested in? The country is in a recession. Jobs are being lost left and right. Houses are being foreclosed upon and people's morale is at an all-time low, and traditionally, people turn to entertainment to keep their spirits up. If I'm sitting in a house I know I'm losing, looking for a job I don't know that I'll get or keep, wondering how I'm going to feed my kids, believe me: the LAST thing in the world I want to see is someone using their vast personal wealth for something so shamefully pointless. Use it to stock a soup kitchen for seven years. Use it to build a homeless shelter. Use it to help set up some sort of resource center for people at the end of their tether. Far be it from me to dictate to you how to spend your billions in your spare time, but don't you think that broadcasting it is rubbing people's noses in it juuuuust a tiny bit?

If they would cut the show to twice a week - three times, max - ditch the hopeless, vacant celebrity interviews (another chance for a thumbed-nose at the plebs), move the focus of the show away from Oprah and on to the subject at hand, she could still be a player. She could still be relevant and important.

As part of a culture that rewards an unattainable personal image with adoration and praise, one that claims beauty belongs only to the airbrushed and photoshopped, I probably shouldn't be surprised that weight gain inspires ridicule. I learned a long time ago that when it comes to expecting the best from humanity, my pessimism never leads to disappointment, but really... if we're going to sit in our glass houses and throw stones at people for their faults and failings, can there at least be some substance behind it?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Gonzo Hollywood

Once upon a time, the makers of porn (oh, great - one of THOSE posts...) took great skill and pride in assembling their product. And it wasn't just about trimmed moustaches and no leg hair, it was about plot. It was about camera angles. It was about making a film, something of substance that just so happened to have two (or three) (or four) people rutting in it. Then came the VCR, and with it, a golden age for Pornywood. But with the advent of the VCR, came a wake-up call for the industry; people were finally able to take things into their own hands. (steady!) They were fast forwarding through the plot and getting right to "the good bits". I'll wager there's not a man who discovered porn in the age of the VCR that could tell you the plot of any of his collection, only who slips a length to whom, how many times, and in which position(s).

Pornywood, ever the innovator, answered this call from their audience who were tired of getting interrupted mid-ham shank to fumble for the fast forward button because they didn't want to watch fifteen minutes of badly acted conversation between "the lonely wife" and "the poolboy". They invented gonzo porn, a genre of the grumble flick that gets straight to the action. No plot, no set-up, no hello-madam-I'm-here-to-fix-the-toilet. It's in, out, and put the kettle on: the wanking equivalent of being handed a steak as you walk into a restaurant without having to wait for the chef make it.

I just watched the trailer for the movie "2012". Take it from me, the special effects in the movie look amazing. Cities blown up, bridges falling on houses, vast oceanic floods towering over civilisation... and aliens. Yes, aliens. But are people going to watch "2012" for the plot? Are there people who will say "gosh, I can't wait for those pesky special effects to be over so we can get to some acting?" I doubt it. Does anyone even care *why* the world is ending in "2012"? I seriously doubt it. I remember how excited I was when I saw the trailer for "Titanic", and how disappointed I was when I found out it wasn't an honest-to-goodness disaster movie, but a bad porno with all the action cut out of it.

Is it time for Hollywood to be as innovative as Pornywood, and give us gonzo blockbusters? Will we see the day when the movie we drop a hard-earned ten bucks to see is ALL special effects, a movie entirely comprised of disaster vignettes? Look, I love cinema. I'll thieve four hours of your life just talking about the lighting composition in "The Third Man", or how innovative the sound in "Citizen Kane" was, but I can appreciate realistic-looking shit blowing up as much as the next person. That's not cinema, that's entertainment you leave your brain at the door for, and there's room for, and value in, both.

Hollywood, I think it's time to ditch the trimmed moustaches and give us 'in, out, and put the kettle on'.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Rage Machine Podcast, Christmas Special Trailer





Download the mp3 here.

Rage Machine RSS feed is here.

A rare early posting treat! The Christmas Special premieres on Radio Six International on Christmas Eve (6pm EST, 11pm UTC) but a shortened no-music version will be available to download a few days before, to kick you into the Christmas spirit early.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Dreaming Of A White Christmas...?

Then boy oh boy, does the American Family Association have a gift for the white supremacist in your life: The pre-lit Christmas Cross!

Yes, when not actively campaigning against the basic civil rights of gay people or calling Jews "superstitious", the AFA wants you to remember the true meaning of Christmas, via a five-foot cross that looks like it's been set on fire. Show your love for Jesus and your hatred for gays, blacks and Jews simultaneously this holiday season, whether you're a church elder, a grand wizard or just a casual bigot. Jesus, king of those Jews you hate, will be sure to reward your efforts in heaven by saying 'thanks', or something. If he's in that day.

(by the way, wasn't Jesus crucified around *easter*?)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rage Machine Podcast: "You're Gonna Have To Face It, You're Addicted To Christmas. (and also, heroin)"





Right click (or hold click, Macites) to download this episode in living colour (where available).

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This week, our antagonistic protagonist talks Christmas. Has it come too early this year? Or does it have a free pass? Hot chocolate and a heart-warming gaze at the Christmas tree in reception will soon sort that nugget out.

Also, the Swiss have legalised heroin for addicts to get from their area GP. He'll tell you why - as Martha Stewart would say, were she a Swiss heroin addict - it's a good thing.

And: Mumbai! Facebook! Reunions! Twitter! That sort of thing!

First broadcast on Radio Six International, 7pm/E Dec 3rd.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rage Machine Podcast: "The 'B' Word"





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This week, our hero is all hopped up on coffee and a comestible combo which is either a new delicacy or the ingredients for some form of explosive. Other items on the menu (you see what I did there?) include a pop culture apology, NASA's recycled wee, whither British toerags, how to correctly introduce The Archies' "Sugar Sugar" and dazzlingly amusing quip about the role of republicans in the Obama whitehouse.

Also: why "that b-word Murdoch" is the smartest man in media, what could be the kick-off to removing all emotional adjectives from journalism and Tudor's Biscuit World. Mmmm!!

more? www.spikeshow.com and there's plenty more infotainment - including one Sony Award Winner and a man who is about to enter radio's Hall Of Fame - at www.radiosix.com. Keep in touch at the usual address (theusualaddress@gmail.com) and via The Book Of Face: facebook.spikeshow.com

Thursday, November 06, 2008

YES WE CAM! YES WE CAM!

You'll've heard all the "hilarious" quips by now, regarding CNN's so-called holographic technology. "Help me Obiwan Keblitzer", "beam me up" and so on and so forth.

Yeah, I didn't laugh either.

There has been much news handed to this oddball piece of technology since it debuted on CNN's widely watched election night coverage - or, as perhaps it should be renamed, "O"lection Night - and as a news junkie and techie geek, I feel like I should be all over this new and exciting technology, prodding it accidentally with inappropriate extremities. Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy, but I can't see exactly what this technology is for, other than do say "wooo! Look what WE can do!"

Don't get me wrong, it's somewhat impressive that an object in CSO is panned around at the same speed as the background. God knows what the directors of 1970s Dr Who episodes could have done with it. The question is what, exactly, its role is on a news channel. Look, I grew up in the 70s and 80s, when pretty much all tv was cheap as chips and made out of cardboard and balsa wood. Back in those days, it was impressive enough that the newsreader could talk to someone in a far away broom cupboard and they had proper sound and vision, not just a phoned-in report over a hastily assembled map of the region with a picture of the reporter holding a phone and looking serious hastily pasted in at the side. But it worked. What else do you need? Why does it need to appear that the interview subject is in the same room as Wolf Blitzer, particularly when they make such a fuss about them being so far away?

This, from CNN:

The technology involved placing a subject in the middle of a bright-green circular room inside a large tent at Obama's Grant Park victory celebration.

The subject was then filmed with 35 high-definition video cameras, barely larger than average point-and-shoot cameras, which ringed the wall of the circular room. The video cameras were 6 inches apart and at eye level, 220 degrees around the subject.

Did you catch that? THIRTY FIVE high definition cameras circling a reporter inside a big green circus tent, just so she can make lame-ass Star Wars references. I know I'm a big looney lefty socialist who wants to tell everyone what to do with their own riches and all, but all the time and money spent on this, not to mention the thirty five individual HD cameras, could it not have been better spent... oh, I dunno... gathering news? And anyway - said he, putting on his tv producer's hat - the reporter appearing to be in the CNN studio sort of belies the reason for her being where news is happening. TV news, by its very nature, has to be visual. Would it not have made more sense for her to do her report from inside the crowd? Or in front of the stage?

"This just in to the CNN newsroom, a huge fire in the downtown Los Angeles area which threatens to destroy five of the buildings that are already ablaze, and several others beside it. Our own reporter Jessica Yellin is on the scene."

"That's right, Wolf, and I've just popped into my big-ass green tent to tell you all about it."

Spike Nesmith Rage Machine Podcast: "Lazy Election Clipshow!"





Download this episode, see? Yeah. Right click here. I'm Little Podcaster, see? Yeah.
And subscribe to the RSS feed, see? Yeah. See? Nyah. Click here, see?

Road To The Whitehouse! The 270 Challenge! Race For Pennsylvania Avenue! And other phrases!

Call it what you like, this is a cheap, cheerful and - yes - lazy clipshow from Rageys past. You'll hear the immediate aftermath of New Hampshire where Obama lost, but McCain won. You'll hear the results of West Virginia's vote with radio legend Paul Wheeler! And you'll gasp as Hillary finally drops out of the race.

This show originally aired on November 5th via the magic of Radio Six International. Visit www.radiosix.com for more details.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

World War Four

Albert Einstein once famously said that he didn't know what weapons would be used to fight World War Three. "But World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones".

It's almost midnight, and I sit here with an incredibly hot laptop on my lap, three beers in, with one more call to get out of the way before I can go to bed, three to four hours before I expected to.

It's been an astonishing election with an outcome that has cumulated in a moment in American history that will live forever - and rightly so. Perhaps it's the wrong time to criticise, the guy hasn't even formally accepted the presidency yet, but what was supposed to be a campaign that rose above the mire of the last two and was supposed to be different, eventually sank to the same, shameful depths that his stop-at-nothing competitor was indulging in and became just like all the others.

One could easily argue that, culturally, and in terms of making history that sorely needed to be made, the ends have justified the means. Make no mistake, this is big. Really, really big. But where does that leave us for the next election? What dirty tricks will be used next time? How much lower can negative advertising sink? How much farther can 529s go in their slanderous quest for victory? What else can be said? Or inferred? Or done, in the name of pure victory?

I already know what weapons were used to win the 2008 election. My fear is that I don't know what will be used to fight 2012's.

Spike's Election Prediction - post yours below!

Here's how I think it's going to shake down tonight:


And bear in mind that this is a best-case scenario. I still have a fear that McCain is going to win by hook or by crook, but this is the way I see a likely Obama victory. We're going to be up late, that's for sure, and there's going to be at least one lawsuit, but I'm going to go ahead and give McCain PA and OH and FL, because at the end of the day, I think a mixture of racism, old people and "b-b-but he's a muslim socialist, my pastor told me so" will win over the hearts and minds of the electorate. VA will swing Obama, but it's not going to be as secure as they hope. It'll be close. NC won't go Obama - although it will be close, and SC certainly won't. They just won't. Obama's not white enough. SC will go to McCain quickly. At least one state will be called for one candidate and then later recalled to swing, then reassigned to the other. I'm not sure which one, but I feel it in my Mystic Meg bones that it's going to happen.

As you can see, not the massive Obama landslide that everyone seems to be predicting. Why, oh great one, I hear you cry? What Dow Chemical calls "the people element". The beauty of math is that it's not swayed. There's a right answer and a wrong answer. But math is emotionless, and it doesn't take random variables into consideration. So the polling data isn't necessarily wrong, it just doesn't take into consideration variables that can't be realistically predicted. Rain, for example; rain might not keep Mr Smith from voting, but Mr Jones might not want to get wet. Wait times; Mr Jones might not mind waiting three hours in line to vote, but Mr Smith might have a bad back. The severity of party affiliation; Mr Smith might feel so strongly for his candidate that he'd go out and vote no matter what, Mr Jones might see that his candidate is on a pretty good track and feels that he doesn't *need* the extra vote to win. For example, if a McCain supporter in Nevada, whose polls close later than those on the east coast, might see that McCain has taken "the big three" - Ohio, PA and Florida - and then decide not to go out and vote, assuming that with those three under his belt, he's a shoe-in.

And that's not counting the dreaded "Bradley Effect" that could easily muddy the waters of polls. I mean, South Carolina still flies the confederate flag - is it *really* in play between a black man and white "war hero"?

So my official prediction is that the first network will call the presidency for Obama at around 3:30 Wednesday morning, but there will be one controversial state that will be contested for one reason or another - probably OH or PA - and that will delay the actual result a few hours. After a recount, McCain will "do the honourable thing" and concede, in prime time, tomorrow night.

What's your prediction? Post it below. A laurel, and hardy handshake from the south to the person who gets it rightest before midnight tonight.*



*while supplies last

Friday, October 31, 2008

Rage Machine Podcast: "Electile Dysfunction (part 1)"





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Back at last, just in time to be almost late for election coverage, our hero discusses the final week of electioneering and keeps a tally on how many lawsuits have been filed so far.

First aired on Radio Six International, October 29th.
Visit www.radiosix.com for more details.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why Bother, One Asks?

I remember the first conversation I had with my parents about voting. I was just turning eighteen, had no interest in politics or politicians and was planning on sitting the whole thing out. My mistake, apparently, was mentioning this out loud. This horrified my mother, whose parental generation were the ones fighting and dying in the second world war, the generation that the war physically touched, whether they had enlisted or not, and had friends and relatives and entire neighbouring families wiped out whilst in the "safety" of their own homes. "By God'n you'll vote!" she said, almost threateningly.

For her generation, the vote is a sacred voice. Civic duty. She comes from a time when the wounds of war were still fresh and when the very real loss of liberties and rights were a puddle away. Really. The French channel is so small that people can swim from one end to the other. Oh sure, people like to crow these days about how the fighting forces are "defending our freedom", but they really aren't. Our freedoms aren't being threatened. At least, not by an exterior force.

Well, some time has passed since those heady bygone days, when I wore a younger man's clothes. Many things have changed, I certainly respect my parents a lot more and I no longer believe they're the reactionary fools who just "don't get it". But one thing hasn't changed; I'm still not voting.

What happened the first and only time I exercised my civic duty? I voted for Tony Blair, and look what happened. Talk about leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

I'm often asked when I'm going to become a citizen, particularly now I'm well past that period where I'm not allowed to apply. Oh sure, I could claim test anxiety. I could claim that my British citizenship is more important to me. The real reason is this: As a permanent resident, which is the position I hold now and one that automatically renews and doesn't expire, there are very few things that you can do as a citizen that I'm not allowed to. I can't be charged and convicted of a federal crime or I'll be deported, I'm not eligable to work for the government (including VOA) and I'm not allowed to vote. Other than that, you and I are exactly alike. I pay taxes. I was blackmailed into registering for draft eligability. Everything you can do, I can do sexier. Except vote. And therein lies the rub.

The question is 'why bother'? I mean, really. I could go on and on about how the way the 2000 election was handled was an utter embarrasment and made me trust the American electoral system in the same way that the Rodney King trial helped me to trust the American judicial system, but that's practically ancient history. What scares me is electronic voting machines. Regular reader(s) will know that I'm a huge fan of technology and that I'm utterly thrilled to be enjoying the bountiful pleasures of the twenty-first century. Who now would want to live without wi-fi, TiVo, the ability to make phone calls wherever you please? Only nutjob survivalists and fans of the Victorian era! The two-thousands rawk, make no mistake. But when it comes to something that's supposed to be so important, simplicity is king. It's a whole lot more difficult for someone to get cheeky and mess with twenty thousand individual ballot papers, to re-punch a hole or rub out a check mark and put it somewhere else, than it is for someone with a working knowledge of "e-voting machines", a USB keydrive and a political agenda to make things swing his way. And it only takes seconds. Less time than it took Ferris Beuller to change his grades to 'A's.

When you've got the CEO of the company that makes voting machines saying at the last general election, ''I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year'', how can one NOT be suspicious? A CEO's job is to deliver the company line. He IS the company. How can one have hope that something didn't go on in a state (and maybe beyond) that was known to be vital to both sides' victory, particularly amidst claims of huge differences in the straw polls and the final numbers, and other irregularities, when the CEO of the company that makes the voting machines says that he is committed to delivering such an important state. That's almost an admission of guilt.

One would hope that the debacle of 04 in Ohio would be enough warning for the rest of the country to steer clear of something so inherantly tamperable, but no. My own home state of West Virginia has since adopted the machines for this election cycle, with great success.

voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain."

Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that.

Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.

...oh.

Well, at least the good news is that the organisers are confident that this very obvious problem with the software and/or hardware can be fixed before anything else happens.

"People make mistakes more than machines," said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.
...oh. OK, so let's recap. The voting machine are changing people's votes. But it's not the machine's fault, it's the people who are voting wrong. Gotcha.

So with that in mind... why bother? I mean, really. If it's already decided, why spend the hours on end queueing that are being predicted when the machine, owned by a company that is ''committed to helping [state] deliver its electoral votes to [candidate]", will tell me who I'm supposed to be voting for?

Nah. Keep it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Adventures In Customer Service (Dish Vs Direct Winner Revealed)

They say that the artform of customer service has gone astray these days, but I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm luckier than most. Maybe it's the financial crisis that's forcing these companies to work harder to gain or keep customers. Either way, it's been a reasonably positive week.

But first, let's recap the fun and games from last week:
For a while now, my basic cable channels - your networks, your TNTs and AMCs, your Nickelodeons and Disney Channels - have had a really rubbish picture. A call to the company resulted in a whopping $5 off my monthlies for the next year and the promise that a tech would come out to see what the deal, yo. Next day, the tech calls - CALLS, never sets foot in my house or, as far as I'm aware, ever gets close to my house - and says something to the effect of "we still get our networks from rabbit ears and we get a lot of co-channel interference at this time of year". I kid you not. So, I ask him if there's anything I can do at my end to improve the picture. There is not, he says. So, the short version is that they're aware the picture is rubbish, but there's nothing anyone can (or is prepared to) do about it, so you're just going to have to like it or lump it. That's when I decided it was time to move on. And you're already familiar with the Dish Vs Direct conundrum. Dish won, for extensive reasons that may form another blog post later.

Monday
Tried Dish Network's flash-based "DishBuilder" online, but still had some questions. Called Dish Network, they got me sorted out good'n proper, and they scheduled an installation for that Thursday. Looking back, I'm glad I did it that way. Most CSRs make their money from commission and even though the first time I called Dish, whilst I was researching my options and calling round a few places, I got some needlessly tenacious wanker who wouldn't let me hang up the phone and was practically BEGGING me to buy it then and there. I'll tell you now, if I hadn't dug a little deeper, DirecTV would have won the battle just based on that call alone. But the woman I spoke to this time was great - low pressure, answered all my questions and made me feel like I was getting exactly what I wanted without being rushed or given the hard sell into crap I didn't need or want. It turns out, after almost a decade in America, I still have some Britishness in my DNA; I apologised (yes, with an "S") to her for taking up so much of her time with my questions, especially since they work on commission. Because, you know, it's not like that's her job or anything. She told me she'd much rather make sure I was getting what I wanted and that I had a good experience. Prime shite, I'm sure, but good to hear nonetheless. So I'd much rather she get what little extra they make from sales than buy online - she was worth it.

Later that evening, as if by retribution for it's impending replacement, my beloved TiVo craps out. It makes a whiney noise, the picture freezes and then... nothing. Flatlined. Dead. Gone forever.

Tuesday
Called TiVo to, regretfully, cancel my service. I've been a TiVo faithful since my clunky silver 40-hour Series 1 in 2002. I've never, ever had a beef with the service or the company. (I'm not supposed to tell you this, but I was even one of the chosen few; a TiVo firmware beta-tester! That's how much I loved my TiVo.) But, $13 a month is $13 a month, and those monthlies could be better spent upgrading my Dish package to get Boomerang and the Fox Soccer Channel, so cancellation it has to be. He asks me why I'm canceling, I tell him that I get a DVR from Dish and that my TiVo box was dead. The CSO thanked me for being a valued customer, as per the script, but told me he was amazed that my Series 2 box, now five years old, had lasted as long as it had. Remember that a TiVo box is, essentially, a Linux-based computer. Imagine having your PC running all day and all night for five years straight with the hard drive perpetually birling around. He's right, something like that should have a lifespan of three years, max. So, back on the script, he offers me two free months of service and a free replacement box. You read that right - two free months of service and a free replacement TiVo box. Naturally, I'd jump on that if I was going to be completely DVR-less, but as much as TiVo has far more features than the bog-standard Dish DVR, like online scheduling and the ability to pull shows off to the portable device of your choosing, that's just not worth $13 per month to me. Channeling the doorkeeper in Kafka's "Before The Law", I took their two free months only because I didn't want them to think that they failed to do anything in their exhaustive measures to retain my account. But before the offer dies, I'll go to close it.

Thursday
Lovely man in a white Dish van turns up in the pouring rain, reads the installation agreement sent from my landlord that insists the dish be installed on the rear of the building (which would be facing away from the satellite) and not on the walls. Which means a roof installation. And the company won't let Mr Nice Installer go up on the roof when it's raining. So they reschedule for the next day. Shame, he was a terribly nice man.

Friday
Mr Redneck Installer turns up, reads the installation agreement, comes to the same conclusion regarding dish placement and realises his ladder isn't long enough to reach the roof. Really. A ladder. Not long enough. I don't live in Trump Towers, it's a two-story townhouse, but yet... his ladder isn't long enough to reach the roof? Whaa..? After some humming and hawing, he calls his company, they send out another van (and an even neckish-er installer) in the area with a bigger ladder and the dish goes up. All fine and dandy, dramatic increase in picture quality from cable. And when I say 'dramatic', I mean it. Even the colours are more vivid. So far, so good.

Saturday
I realise that Classic Arts Showcase, one of the shorties' absolute favourite cable channels, isn't in the lineup, despite being promised as available in my package. I call Dish Network, they tell me (and, curse my diminishing eyesight, is confirmed in reeeeally small print on my handy-dandy laminated channel guide) that "some channels may require an additional dish". Part of me is PO'd, but part of me doesn't care - after all, it's for just one channel I want, and I have a slew I didn't have before. And HBO. Looking at it logically, when would I ever be watching the other channels that this affects - like, for example, The Pentagon Channel? I mean, really? But it's the principle of it all. I was promised those channels, and the shorties love to go to sleep to it. And I like it too - except when bloody opera is on. Because I bloody hate opera. I hate opera with the intensity of four thousand suns in supernova. You know how Groucho said that golf was a good walk wasted? Opera is good music wasted. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Hate. It. So the CSR, based in THIS country I might add, said we need a second dish to pick up this fabled distant satellite upon which lives Classic Arts Showcase and other "community programming". I enquire how much this installation might be, taking into consideration that I had already used the free installation promised with my two-year commitment, and that the company that installs them are based an hour's drive away from my house. The answer to this question took almost ten minutes on hold. Ten minutes of a 90 second loop of music. I waited. I hummed along. I danced. Even today, more than twenty-four hours after the call, I can still sing that bloody tune. There were profuse apologies when she came back, something about having to talk to a different department and supervisors, but the basic upshot of it all was this; it will cost nothing. Nothing at all. Hee-fuckin'-haw, as we say dans l'ouest de l'Écosse. They're going to drag some schmoe out of his comfortable office an hour away, to string up and connect a second dish so that my kids can fall asleep to some skinny woman walking around on her toes, whilst a guy with socks down the front of his tights lifts her up, and they're not going to make a dime from it. Awesome.

I freaking love this company. I hope that doesn't change, but there's one year and three hundred and sixty three days left on the contract, and I get disappointed very easily...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I Need Your Help

There was a time when I was a media shill. A shameless promoter of cable TV. I was good, too. I worked hard at it and there was, for a while, talk of larger prospects. But even with the words of Bill Hicks echoing in my ear about being cast off the artisic rollcall for pimping my ass for The Man, I'm not going to say I'm not proud of it. I had a blast and I got cheap-as-free cable. Including the movies. And, at one time, every NHL game. I had no problem extolling the virtues of what I considered to be excellent value for money. Did it matter that the public at large paid considerably more than I? Not a jot, mate. They were big enough to make decisions for themselves and if they, like I, thought that cable was excellent value for what they paid, more power to them. I certainly thought that the service I got was worth what I paid.

Well, now I'm culturally irrelevant. A media nobody. And with irrelevance comes anonymity. And irrelevant anonymous ex-media personalities don't get free stuff. So, for the past six months, I've been paying what Joe Schmoe does for his cable. And lemme tell ya... it's not such a good deal anymore. My three-figure cable bill gets me reasonably good internet, but rotten telly. When I lived in a place where I was a big media slag, where people knew my name and quoted my catchphrases, we had toys. A cable box made in the 90s - with s-video and coax digital sound - and real on-demand channels. Now that I've moved to Bedford Falls, our cable box only handles RCA outputs, the picture quality and channel line-up is rubbish and it doesn't get on with my Tivo. If I'm lucky, it manages to change the channel on ye olde cabbel boxe 30% of the time. And that's if I'm lucky. And that's not even mentioning the cost of it all.

But don't cry for me leaving the media elite, just help me to make the right decision:

There are advantages and disadvantages to both DirecTV and Dish Network. DirecTV offers slightly more channels for the monthlies for the first year, but the price jumps $13 for the second year of the contract. Dish Network has that two-room-one-receiver type dealio, but getting two DVR receivers with DirecTV would mean twice the storage.

The package I've selected on both systems would have all the channels I want (and more), so that's not at stake. What I want to know from yous guys who have one or the other, or have dabbled in both, is this: which is better? And why?

Partisan Meanie

And now, a scene from my Sunday afternoon:

INT, WALMART.

SPIKE APPROACHES THE CHECKOUT AND AN ELDERLY LADY STARTS RINGING HIS GROCERIES UP
.

OLD WOMAN: And how are we today?
SPIKE: Fine, thanks. And yourself?
OLD WOMAN: Oh, I'm just fine.
SPIKE: Good.

THE OLD WOMAN ACCIDENTALLY KNOCKS OVER SOMETHING ON THE CONVEYOR BELT.

OLD WOMAN: Whoops! I didn't do that!
SPIKE: (GOING ALONG WITH THE JOKE) That's alright, I didn't see you doing it.

THE OLD WOMAN LAUGHS.

SPIKE: In fact I was on vacation at the time it didn't happen.
OLD WOMAN: (LAUGHS) That sounds like one of the excuses that Obama would use.

SPIKE'S EXPRESSION CHANGES TO LESS-THAN-FRIENDLY AND THE WOMAN CONTINUES RINGING UP AND BAGGING THE GROCERIES.

CUT TO: CLOSE-UP OF THE CUSTOMER KEYPAD, SHOWING A LIST OF THE GROCERIES AND THE TOTAL.

UNDERNEATH, A SECTION ASKS "WAS YOUR CASHIER POLITE TODAY?" WITH ONE BUTTON MARKED "YES" AND ONE BUTTON MARKED "NO".

SPIKE LOOKS UP AT THE OLD WOMAN. HE PRESSES "NO".

Monday, September 29, 2008

When The Legend Becomes Fact, Think The Legend.

At the risk of getting all Nancy Grace on yo' assiz, the more I read of this totally bizarre saga, the more I'm inclined to feel almost sorry for Casey Anthony. And today's events are no exception.

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=5894719&page=1

Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman Casey Anthony reportedly named as a suspect in the case of her missing daughter, today denied any involvement in the case, saying she doesn't even know the family

Fernandez-Gonzalez, said that she looked at an apartment and filled out a form at the complex where Anthony said she dropped off Caylee before she disappeared.

"I just went to look at an apartment and filled out an information card," Fernandez-Gonzalez said. "My suspicion is they probably gave her [Anthony] the information from the card."

The card included the names of two of her daughters and the make and color of her car, which is the same information that Anthony gave the police.


John Holmes - yes, that one - once concocted a story with his manager to tell in interviews at the height of his fame, to make him sound more interesting and exotic than "farm boy from Nowhere, Ohio with freakish appendage, abandons his ultra-conservative wife to make 8mm loops and become an LAPD snitch". The story was that a wealthy female English socialite/wife of a business professional/whatever had paid for him to take several trip per year to visit and... ahem... 'service' her. All fabrication, but towards the end of his career, whether it was mental erosion due to massive drug abuse or a case of telling the story so often his head had convinced him that it had indeed happened, Holmes, making idle smalltalk one day, turned to his manager and said "hey, remember when I used to go visit that woman..."

One wonders if Casey Anthony is at this point, either due to some form of mental illness or 'print the legend'itus, that having concocted a story and repeated it in her head and to police so many times, is it indeed fact to her? She, after all, still plays the increasingly tenuous 'innocent' card and sticks steadfastly to her original claims despite the mountain of evidence against her that overwhelmingly points to the fact that she's probably guilty and looks to be going down for a very long time.

But they also said that about OJ, didn't they?

Friday, September 19, 2008

They Would Not Listen, They Did Not Know How. Perhaps They'll Listen Now.

I don't watch local TV much anymore, but when I do, I invariably encounter buffoonery in one form or another. Sometimes it's a pitifully produced local commercial, sometimes it's cringe-worthy reportage, sometimes woeful anchoring. One shouldn't mock. We're not in New York City, baby. It's West Virginia. It *should* be a training ground for teh teevee n00bz to get better, but one would like to think that whilst training, people would at least *try* to get things right.

This evening, on one of the Charleston stations, I caught part of a report about some event or other happening this weekend, called, bafflingly, "Starry Starry Night". The reporter chirpily quipped, "Starry Starry Night! Which is also the title of my favourite Van Go painting!" Like, zomg!!11 teh gr8 coinsydense!11

Firstly - and let's get the somewhat understandable error out of the way first - she prounounced his name "Van Go". Coming from a country that is just as guilty of mispronouncing the famous Dutch painter's name ("Van Goff"), I shouldn't complain. But, if one is to split hairs, phoenetically, it's "fingoch", as one word, with a hard G and "och" as in "loch". But, as the phlegm-loaded "ccchh" sound isn't one that's native to Americans (or the English for that matter), I'll give her a free pass. Ish. I still think people should try harder to get it right, rather than plumping for "Van Go". That's what you should say when your minivan won't start, not how you address a man who is, arguably, the finest of the post-impessionists.

Secondly - No, "Starry Starry Night" is NOT the title of your favourite "Van Go" painting. It's the first line in a Don MacLean song. What you're thinking of is "THE Starry Night", or, if you're feeling particularly pretentious, "De Sterrennacht". If you were such a big fan of Mr. Go, you'd know that.

Thirdly - van Gogh walks into a bar, and Paul Gauguin is sitting there. "Alright, mate?" says Gauguin, "can I get you a drink?" "No thanks, " says van Gogh, "I've got one 'ere." (say it out loud.) Also, technically wrong, as van Gogh only cut off his earlobe (which he sent to a prostitute he was in love with), but never let accuracy get in the way of a good joke.

Monday, September 15, 2008

10 PRINT "WANKERS", 20 GOTO HELL

Today, my bank informed me that I'm now eligible for a wonderful new scheme! Wa-hoo! I've made it! I belong!

If my checking account falls below zero - which is invariably - instead of an overdraft fee of twenty five dollars, they will transfer money from my savings account to cover it! How awesome is that?

< / sarcasm >

First off, how ridiculous is it to have an "overdraft fee" at all? If I've got no money in my account, where am I supposed to find twenty five dollars to pay it? Secondly, check out the small print: instead of the twenty five buck overdraft fee, there's now a minimal ten dollar fee for the transfer. Yes my dears, they are charging me ten dollars of my own money, for moving my money from one of my accounts to another of my accounts. The really funny thing was that the teller was so excited to tell me this, like she was handing over a big comedy outsized cheque, a la Ed McMahon. Oh thanks, Mrs Teller! Thanks for providing such wonderful service whereby I get shafted by your crappy piece of shite bank AGAIN.

Now, I'm not a monster. I can, at least, somewhat understand the philosophy of ATM fees (that's Automatic Teller Machine - sorry to disappoint all you fans of gonzo porn). I can't defend how they keep going up, but I can at least understand them. What I'm having trouble with is the bank (Chase, in case you were interested) charging me money for moving money from one Chase account in my name, to another Chase account in my name. WTF am I paying for, exactly? This pish is all automated. It's not like some drongo in a blue sweater has to take time out of her busy day to do it manually. Where is my ten spot going, exactly?

After I was told of this exciting offer (eeee! give it to me one more time!) the thought of automation struck me, and I was reminded of simpler days in the life of Spikey; when I wore a younger man's clothes. Now, I was never a big bang whizz at programming my clunky old shoebox Commodore 64, but I did have a somewhat working knowledge of the programming language BASIC. It's been a looong time since I tampered with BASIC, but I tells you what... I bet I could, in less than an afternoon, write a very simple little program that would automate - for free, mind'y - the savings-to-checking transaction. All with those funky little sideways triangles. What you're seeing here is a simplified version of the program, which would require "checking" and "savings" to be represented by what's called a 'string' command. The 'string' command - which happens to be a dollar sign - would just throw confusion into the mix, since we're dealing with money. So, all you BASIC nerds who are probably already composing a far better and more effective program to post in the comments section, take that into consideration. Also take into consideration that I've edited this post four times now to correct places where my BASIC programming goes all weird. I fix it and within a day or so, it's wrong again. Particularly line 50 - maybe Blogger was built on BASIC and it's trying to put money into my account.

10 REM SPIKE IS A SEXY EFFING BEAST YPRICK (that line's just so anyone who performs a runstop knows just who is in the drivers seat here. REM commands don't generally like punctuation, so they tend to look like a text-mad eighteen year old wrote them.)
20 PRINT "I DID THIS FOR FREE, CHASE. SO G.T.F" (that will print that statement on the screen. First. Thing.)
30 REM ALRIGHT ENOUGH DICKING ABOUT HERE IT COMES (this means that the fun's over and it's on to the real sheet.)
40 IF CHECKING > 0 THEN PRINT "ALL IS WELL"
50 IF CHECKING <>(easy stuff here. If my checking account is less than zero, it forwards you to line 70. If it's more than zero (ha!) then it tells you 'ALL IS WELL'. Reassuring, huh?)

Alright, here's where I get fuzzy on BASIC, so I'm winging it here. But you'll get the general idea.


70 IF SAVINGS = >50 THEN GOTO 90
80 IF SAVINGS = < 0 THEN PRINT "YOU'RE FRIAR TUCK'D, YA DOBBER"
90
(this line, if I had a better memory, would be the command that would move a pre-determined amount of money from savings to checking. As it stands, I'm fuzzy on my commands and, as I said, it would take an afternoon of re-learning the basics of BASIC. Don't judge, piety is a very unattractive quality.)
100 GOTO 10

And there you have it. A simple little routine - a free routine - that does, for free, what Chase wants to screw me out of a tenner for. And in BASIC! You realise that there are Word documents on your computer that take up more memory than was in a Commodore 64?

And so, in closing,
20 PRINT "I DID THIS FOR FREE, CHASE. SO G.T.F"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oi! Watch It, You!

Yeah, I know, I know. There are far better things on The You Tube to watch than my bizarre fizzog, but I thought this would be a fun experiment that I'd love your thoughts and comments on. Ladies and gentlemen and ladies; submitted, as the late Rodman Edward Serling would have quipped, for your consideration - Rage-TV.



Share and enjoy. Pass it on to friends (or enemies). Embed it on your own site. I'm looking for as much feedback as possible. But here's the question; do you think it's worth doing more this way, or is it just pointless and daft?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SNRM: Oh, The Adjectives!







RAGE MACHINE RSS FEED IS HERE!
DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE SHOW HERE!

This week, our hero dissects the Denver Democratic donvention... uh, Convention, and tells you why, even as a proud loony lefty liberal whose ideology takes more left turns than a Nascar race, he can't quite find it in his bleeding heart to embrace Obama. Also on the agenda, a look at Obama's VP pick Joe Biden, his ties to Wales' lest irritating export Neil Kinnock, and why "teh meeja" aren't giving him a fair shake.

What ties McCain's now-famous confusion over how many houses he has to Spike's 4-year-old pair of Chuck Taylor's? Why can't our hero get into the Olympics, why does the British team's imminent titling in the New Year's honours list "twang a bum note" on his banjo, and with what would NBC interrupt coverage of the end of the world?

Our hero will tell you what connects Beijing to 'Auld Lang Syne', why he's not proud of the guy who lives two doors down, and makes a terribly, terribly unfair comment about cheerleaders.

Keep in touch! Send all your comments to the usual address, or - if you happen to be in the US (or you have a great long distance plan) call the comment line at 206-339-9410. (Add a 001 if you're calling from the UK, where you swallow all long distance charges!)

Don't forget to visit SpikeShow.com and join the Facebook group.

First aired on Radio Six International, Wednesday August 27th.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

SNRM: Life Begins At Kleenex





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DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE SHOW HERE!

This week, our hero tackles the Saddleback Church mass-debate with Obama and McCain rambling on and on about the things they always ramble on about. There's an investigation into John McCain's greatest hits, why the Scots are uptight about their bard and a neat way to replenish your bank account. (warning: it means moving to Wales.)

You know how to get in touch by now! Email the show at the usual address, join the Facebook group, that sort of thing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dear The Department Of Homeland Security

I know you routinely use your vast powers and super networks to monitor what we residents read, where we are, what we're doing.... After all, it's for our own safety, right?

Well, when you check out my most recent receipt from Wal-Mart, bear in mind that I'm not a terrorist and I don't work for any rogue nations. I was hungry and it looked yummy.


Yours,

Spike Nesmith

Friday, August 08, 2008

Squeezing My You Tube.

For no other reason than fun, and because I've been arsing around with Windows Movie Maker recently, I decided to 'do a You Tube', as the kids of today like to say.

This is what a spare hour, a few pictures from The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, a filter or two and a BBC Radiophonic Workshop album can do.

Rage Machine: At Last! An Audience!

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In this premiere episode for Radio Six International, our hero discusses... waaait for it... waaaaiiiiit for iiiiit.... the American Presidential Election! (well, YOU fill an hour.)

Was Obama's trip to Europe and the middle east eclipsed, in the opinion of people who can actually vote for him, by McCain's podunk tour of the flyover states? He chastises the British media for their pronunciation of "Barrick" Obama.

And write down the date! Spike says something complimentary about George Bush! This one's a keeper!

There's the price of oil (be nice, this is a new audience, they've not heard this guff before) and could it be? Really? A politician doing something nice? Hmm... maybe, maybe not. Britain's Channel 4 incurs the wrath of the regulatory body for showing a skewed anti-global warming documentary, and what's the right way to respond to pokes and requests on Facebook?

Speaking of, joineth thou the Rage Machine Facebook Group. NOW! RIGHT NOW! DO IT!

and find alllll the ways to get in touch with the show at www.spikeshow.com, and don't forget to keep listening to Radio Six International at www.radiosix.com online all the time, or by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Spike Nesmith Rage Machine, online tonight!

Tune into Radio Six International at 8pm eastern tonight, to hear the Rage Machine in its new home!


www.radiosix.com

Radio Six International broadcasts from Scotland 24 hours a day online, and via various AM/FM/SW and satellite.
http://www.radiosix.com/tunein.html

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

HELLO EVERYBODY! LA LA LA! LISTEN TO MEEEE!

Dear Waiting Room Loud-Talker,

I'm sure you feel as if somehow its your duty to make sure the doctor's waiting room doesn't descend into dreadful, terrible silence, or that a private two-person conversation is made better instantly by adding another loud opinion, but really. Let me put your troubled mind at ease; you're wrong. On both counts.

Let me also give you a piece of free advice: had that been MY conversation that you had been eavesdropping on and decided to join, uninvited, or if it had been MY child that you had plonked yourself too close beside to pursue an unsolicited line of inquiry, you would be looking for ice to pack that unwelcome nose of yours in.

Look, I'm really sorry you forgot to bring a book today. My heart breaks that that the newspaper machine was empty, or that you didn't have the correct change. I'm even sympathetic that the daytime programming that is flashing garishly on the generously supplied tv holds no interest for you. But really. Shut up, bugger off and mind your own damn business.

Yours in contempt,

Spike.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wee Russ And Me (or "Heaven Heaven Heaven")

Few celebrity deaths can make me stop in my tracks, go cold and think "oh Christ, how in the hell can the world function now?" One, as I covered some time before, was Factory Records' Tony "don't call me Tony" Wilson, the other is Tim Russert. To say that Wee Russ' death was unexpected is an understatement.

There are many words that you'll hear a lot over this weekend's news cycle, not the least of them "enthusiasm". Russert's enthusiasm for politics and the political system was utterly infectious and has carried me along for two, almost three, presidential elections now. Grinning and antsy, like a child on a store Santa's knee, when discussing even the most mundane political news, Russert made me care like no other journalist or commentator. He made me interested. He made me believe. He made me think. But it was more than the mere presentation, it was his astute observations and frequently dead-on predictions and insights that made him such an important figure in politics and in political reporting. Never anything than straight down the line with his interviewees, his technique was rare in the landscape of today's news coverage; firm, but fair. Tenacious, but polite. There was no yelling. There were no dirty tricks. There were no traps. No snarling, no sarcasm, and he was never holier-than-thou about his guests or about whomever he was talking. Russert never told anyone to "shut up" or cut their microphone.

I've often said that when it comes to the media, nobody who dies is ever a pathetic loser. They're always "brilliant", "popular" or "beautiful" and there are tales a plenty of successes. Nobody who ever died was ugly, stupid or roundly hated by their peers. The NBC staff's appearances in tribute today, to a man a frog hair away from tears, emphasises the fact that his warm welcome on the NBC shows where he guested (always with that irritatingly forced intro/outro "NBC's chief Washington correspondent and moderator of 'Meet The Press', Tim Russert") were nothing but totally genuine. The rapport, love and respect between Russert and the Today Show's woefully underused Matt Lauer was obvious, just as it was with Brian Williams and Chris Matthews. His delight lit them up, too. Lauer, like so many of Russert's colleagues, made no secret of how much he enjoyed the man and the experience of him as a guest.

It was clear - in life and, today, in death - that Russert was adored and respected at NBC. Chuck Todd's interview with Olbermann this evening was particularly heartbreaking and brave. Puffy-faced and red-eyed, Todd - NBC's political director and a man who is well on his way to being a worthy successor to Russert if you ask me - spouted lovingly about their time working together, sharing stories of Russert's love of baseball and scoping out non-chain local restaurants whilst on the road together. There's no doubt that it's going to be a rough November without him there.

It's hard to lose a colleague, especially one that was essential and influential to the workings of a workplace - harder still when that loss is so sudden. There's no faux tears on America's TV screens tonight. No empty tributes from colleagues either pushed or pushing in front of the camera in order to appear warm and fuzzy. The grief is real, obvious, beautiful and tragic.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I Owe You An Apology. Probably.

Dear Blog Reader,

I just noticed that I had about a bazillion unmoderated comments on here. I thought it emailed me when I got one I had to deal with. Naturally, with no emails, I figured there were no comments. Not so, there was a tonne of them waiting, and they were all genuine. You love me, you really love me.

I've changed the settings. Reply away. I love you too.

Spike.

SNRM: It's Much Too-oo Late... For Goodbyes.

Don't forget to bookmark http://www.spikeshow.com for all the associated Ragey fun.


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It’s finally over, in time for it all to start all over again. As OBAMA scoops the Democratic nomination, Spike talks about the primary as a whole and looks ahead to five more months of
this guff, intensified. Well, at least he’ll have plenty to talk about, right?

Questions: What links (never a frown with) Gordon Brown to scary mentalist Derren Brown, other than the name? Why is Google turning into an AOL/MySpace hybrid? How well does Tony Blair know his Bible? Who says Britain’s “moral vacuum” is turning formerly good Christians into Islamic fundamentalists, and why? And how does that relate to the apparently moribund world of local radio? What can stop kids smoking and drinking? Are internet users ruthless and selfish? And what’s WITH that slutty mermaid…?

All the answers, and much more, are in these eighty action-packed minutes of Rage.

Does you Facebook? Then join the Rage Machine Co-Conspirators’ Group. Invite a friend. Get that friend to invite a friend. Get that friend’s friend to invite a friend, and so on. Clickez-vous ici to join.

Everything sound OK this week? No technical problems? If there's something wrong with the file, other than it having rubbish content, email and let us know.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The No-Rage Movie Machine

Dudes!

Following on from the success of the last time we did one, and on the heels of some very exciting news about the show that I'll share more details of soon, this summer sees another "No-Rage Movie Machine" special.

In short, I need your help. Instead of ten 'desert island' movies, this time I'm looking for five; if you were to be stranded on a desert island, which five movies would you take with you and why? I'll be picking some of the more interesting lists and a guest will compare theirs with yours. Hopefully, it will be the first of many appearances by blogger The Film Geek, who knows his movies like Keith Richards knows his gak.

So get cracking! You can post your list to the Facebook page, or email it to the usual address. And, in case you missed it first time around, here is the first movie special, in which Old Spike and I comb over some of the lists that were submitted last summer, in addition to our own:

MP3 download it here.

Listen online: http://snipurl.com/2btyv

Get your lists in ASAFP!

Monday, May 26, 2008

SNRM: A Bloody Hell Moment (fixed)

Sorry about the technical mayhem. Something went wrong. Howwibly, howwibly wrong. Turns out that even though the embedded flash player was coping admirably with the file, the peeps on the RSS-end were only getting half the show. I have a sneaky suspicion as to why this is, ultimately it doesn't matter. It's fixed now, so enjoy it! If you have any problems listening, let me know at the usual address so I can fix them, because most of the time I have no idea.


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After a "bloody hell moment" through the week and major praise from major quarters over last week's show, our hero gets back to 'nobody listening and it being rubbish' usual, discussing whether Barack Obama can moan, whine and bleat over his wife being criticised, whilst sending her out to public events to campaign for him - were her original comments misunderstood? Or should she have stood her ground? E-Mail Spike at the usual address if you have any thoughts on the case. D'y'think John McCain has any grounds for criticising O, over his lack of military service? And did the AP/MSNBC overstep journalistic boundaries be referring to McCain as a "war hero" in the article rather than a veteran? You might like to comment on that, too.

TEN GRAND to renovate a kitchen? TEN GRAND?? You better believe it. That, and other taxpayer-paid revelations in the expense accounts of British MPs. Prime Minister (neverafrownwith) Gordon Brown is launching a new service with YouTube, whereby the lumpen proletariat can submit questions. Spizzike looks at a few quizzestions asked of G-Bizzle by the great, good and snappily dressed of Grizzeat Brizzitain. Scroll down to see them in their full glory!

The heads of the five families were dragged up to capitol hill and grilled by Spike's new sarcastic hero. All that, and a man who doesn't want to make any money. But, according to an anti-NRA organisation, is quite happy for straw purchasers to. Ha ha ha ha!

Keep in touch! You never write, you never call...
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And thanks to the new Rage Machine researcher, AllClick! Want to be a researcher? Gawrn! All the cool kids are at it. Click here.

Here is the YouTubery, as heard on this exciting edition of The Rage Machine:

Gordo solicits us:


StylistBrighton's long, rambling Video Blog. There may be a question in there, somewhere.



AnonyGirl1 questions "G-Bizzle". Who likes her shirt? She got it from Asda. (that's like Walmart). Remember folks, this is the generation that will be wiping your arse in the old people's home. Scary thought, huh?


Check out the phat jamzzz that SambaDisaWinner lays down for his fawn-a-thon/question - as if he's about to start making sweet, sweet love to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Y'know, I can't help thinking I've seen this bloke somewhere before...


And finally, what could be more entertaining/frightening than a trip to Don's Guns? Remember: he doesn't want to make any money, folks...