At the End of the Day

Is there anyone out there who has a printer that works, and has done so for more than three sessions in a row? I only ask this because I have never owned such an implement…and I wondered if I was just unlucky. The only term more unconsciously ironic than ‘paperless office’ is ‘wireless’: to get Wifi at home you need more wiggly windey things than Milanese pasta hors d’oeuvres. And whatever you do, don’t get a Wifi printer: you will be buried in desperation wires and spoiled papers within days.

What I can’t grasp is why printers need to shunt out a ‘test’ copy every time. What are they testing – the degree of inefficacy achieved? Out shoots the word ‘test’, followed by six blank pages, sixteen half-printed pages, or no pages. The only tests more pointless than this one are central banker stress tests.

‘No paper in queue’ it lies. There always is paper in the queue. ‘Paper jammed’ it alleges. The paper is never jammed. But when the paper is jammed, you don’t need a notice on the Palace railings…you hear it, and then pull out a piece of ink-stained origami.

Contrary to popular belief, most software will work when presented with properly constructed hardware. Asian-made hardware is the weak link every time: forget what the brand says, it was made in Asia. For a nation like Britain, this is a major opportunity to justify premium by supplying reliability. Anyone heard of a UK pc hardware company getting backing?


Although this isn’t a particularly nice thing to satirise, I think we need a weekly magazine along the lines of the TV listings/Time Out genre to be a sort of What’s On This Week guide to energy wars, religious slaughter, areas of military tension, new cyber weapons, gender wars, sovereign defaults, Islamist atrocities, American currency wars, market manipulations – indeed the whole gamut of geopolitical human belief-system spinbollocks.

The name has to be right, though. I thought of Fighting Talk, but that sounds too agitprop. I considered Tussles Weekly, and concluded it was a bit car auction and Ebay. Conflicts of Interest I rejected as too bourgeois and bland. And Playing Soldiers leaves out the many wars these days that do not involve grunts.

I think Warpath is the one. It gets the product in the headline, and suggests a way through the disinformation and timelines so central to grasping why the US runs fifteen side-by-side foreign policies at once – or even a layman’s guide to why the Saudis hate the Israelis, but see the Palestinians as untouchable underclass in one oxymoronic sweep of bigotry that passes the time in between outbursts of barbaric mutilation.

Warpath will offer a complete guide to who’s invaded who, who lied when, why aeroplanes disappear, and which psychopaths who deserve to be diabolic church carvings are in, out, and shaking it all about.

It cannot miss.


You may live in a world of soundbites, but speaking for myself I live in the antithetical world of the tonguebite. The tonguebite is what you have to apply when people say things like “Of course, you can see Schauble’s point”, “I like David Cameron, he’s got the right ideas”, “You’re just a grumpy old man”, “Say what you like about Boris, he speaks his mind”, “Ed Miliband has the makings of a Prime Minister” and “Our future lies ineluctably in Europe”.

When sober, I will give measured responses respectively as follows: “No I can’t, to be honest”, “Would that include HS2?”, “You say the nicest things”, “So did Herr Hitler”, “When does he get the transplant?” and “I sincerely hope not”.

But the scars on my oral tasting equipment are inversely correlated with how much fine claret I might have consumed before others emit such soundbite echoes. And we shall draw a discreet veil over that eventuality.


Here’s a fact with which to taunt the neolib nutters: name one popular song that’s all about being 100% committed to corporate life.

It’s a fair cop: they insist all we want to do is rush into work every day and just push the pea of product selling up the hill of consumer poverty until we reach the sunny uplands of Friedman. Only – seefingizzlike – there aren’t any songs at all about that, are there?

But the view that people work to live rather than live to work is supported by Friday on my Mind, Saturday Night Out, Summertime Blues, Blue Monday, Here come the Weekend, Nine Til Five, I don’t like Mondays, Takin’ Care of Business, Workin’ in a Coal mine, I Can’t Wait to Get off Work, Welcome to the Working Week, Factory, Big Boss man, and thousands of others – Google them all at this link.

Recent skin-test word reaction research showed a far higher response to the words leisure, hobby, weekend, family, children, neighbourhood and parents tha to any comparable corporate word.

Smiling, debating, taking part, privacy, going to weddings and condolences at funerals are natural. Friedmanism is the dried-up philosophy of a useful academic idiot. The swing to unnatural is a recurrent feature of common life. If only the Labour Party could grasp this simple point: neoliberalist corporatocracy is tosh.


Man 1: I just bought two pairs of khaki trousers.

Man 2: Why?

Man 1: I need somewhere to put me car keys.


A man was arrested earlier today on suspicion of stealing 38,700 negligees from a factory in Blackburn.

He was later charged with criminal negligence. But his defence attorney insisted, “The evidence against my client is flimsy”.



So like a dutiful little consumer, I followed the instructions and clicked. It showed various places where the parcel had been. CONTINUE TO GET YOUR DELIVERY DATE! I was gently asked. So I did. And there was a questionnaire asking me 15 personal questions. So I decided I could do without knowing the delivery date, but that I was a tad concerned the package was now in Charbon Blanc about 250 kilometres to the north of here: as it was coming from SE Europe, this seemed odd.

I sent then an email and a ticket came back saying ‘wrongly addressed’. When Snafu happens, blame the customer. I sent them the new address.

The next day I got GREAT NEWS! YOUR PACKAGE IS NOW CORRECTLY ADDRESSED AND WILL BE DELIVERED 1ST APRIL AM! As that was 4 days hence, it seemed to me slow for a package heading my way under the ludicrously expensive ‘Extremely Urgent’ banner, but Can’t be Arsed kicked in and I forgot about it. I went out. I did some shopping.

When I got back, the phone rang. It was the Man from UPS and he say yes, here I am where are you from here? I asked him if he was a Time traveller, which evoked silence, and then I gave him directions. He turned up, he peeped on his horn. I went to the front door. He peeped on his horn from the back of the house. I went to the back door. He knocked on the front door. I went round the house to the front door, he went round the other side to the back door. I signed for the package. I looked at the address written on the package by my friend. It was correct in every detail.

It seems that to get a delivery date from UPS, they need to know your inside leg-measurement and whether your auntie’s cat was now or ever had been a member of the Comnist Pardy. Which isn’t service, it’s data collection…but it’s not worth being a highly valued customer anyway, because the date they give you will be wrong.

I worry a lot about surveillance, but I’m equally often relieved to see how hopelessly incompetent the snoopers are about almost everything. Another piece of strong evidence in favour of this view is that – despite GCHQ spending £14bn each and every years to watch over some 44 million adults, they don’t have a clue where the jihadists, muggers, paedophiles and illegal immigrants are. So the chances are that if you like beheading children and don’t have a valid entry permit for the UK, you’ve little or nothing to worry about.

The South American bloke the Met shot dead (with an assist from Andy ‘Jailbird’ Coulson) in the Tube all those years ago had been the subject of intensive, skilled and electronically aided surveillance. There was just one problem: they’d ID’d the wrong man in the first place. To be fully certain that he was extinct and not blessed with the constitution of Rasputin, they shot him 34 times in the head at close range. Every civilian witness said he offered no resistance at all.

It is always vital to ensure that your prey is incapable of contradicting your story.


And finally, I wonder how many of you have noticed that, when you come to open your laptop the right way up, the brand logo is always upside-down. Could this be because – after three decades of trying to persuade the management that Geek Aspergers sufferers are not the best people to put in charge of design – this is the marketing department’s futile attempt to highlight dysfunctionality?

It would be nice to think so. Then at least we might get some user manuals based on a hierarchy of importance – as opposed to a random stream of impenetrable coincidence.