Whatever You Do, Don’t Look At This Thing I Made.

To mark the rebirth of of Pirate Bay and Justin Timberlake’s impending parenthood, I went to Pirate Bay and searched “Justin Timberlake”. Then I searched on “Total Recall (2012)”. Pages of torrents, seeders and leechers. Oodles of people unwilling to help Justin and Jessica Biel support their new baby!

…That’s the old fashioned view of “piracy”. The new model, as described by many a business guru is that the mp3, the mp4, the ebook, etc. are ideas, and the DVD, the CD, the paperback, etc. are the souvenir of the idea. Ideas that spread win. Free ideas spread the best. Illicit free ideas? Well, just look at “The Interview”. It was actually hard not to.

It all reminds me of being a parent. When you can’t get your kid to eat their greens, just dangle a forkful in front of them and say, “Whatever you do, don’t eat this piece of broccoli, because I’m just about to eat it…” Look away. Look back. Hey presto. Broccoli eaten. If you want experience the real joy of parenthood, act frustrated that your broccoli has been stolen. This results in a giggling child. Repeat until your child is brimming with nutrition. Priceless. You’ve made them do something they didn’t want to do, and made them happy about it! For more Machiavellian parenting/governing tips see here.

So with that said, I would certainly hate it if you went to this link and downloaded my latest album for free.

PS. I’d only ever use BitTorrent for educational purposes.

PPS. I would hate it if my stuff ended up on Pirate Bay. So whatever you do…

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How To Run a Country… In Seconds!

You get quite a few ideas from being a parent.

When you can’t get your kids to get dressed, you turn it into a race. “Let’s see who can get dressed the quickest… Go!”

Or you give them a choice. “Do you want to wear the red top, or the blue top?”

Both of these tactics will result in the kids doing what you want, not what they want. You’ve taken the option of not getting dressed off the table with competition and choice.

Food for thought in an election year!

Here’s a song I wrote about this topic. It’s the history of civilisation in two and a half minutes.

P.S. I’m staying with old friends this weekend. The guitar and the picture were created by the genius Keira (aged 10), who amazingly made them because that’s what kids do when we’re not bugging them!

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Bruce Springsteen And Extreme Weather!

Here’s every single Bruce Springsteen song in 50 seconds. Sorry I could’t boil it down any further, but he has quite a body of work. I love Bruce Springsteen, by the way – it’s just there’s a lot of it, and I figured you might be busy.

I’m all about saving you time.

Hopefully, you’ve been following my time-saving tips and haven’t bothered looking at any mainstream climate change coverage, so I’ve put a little reference to it in the Springsteen clip.

If you watch environmental stories through the news, you will see the opinion of 99.99% of climate scientists (that climate change is real, human-made and perhaps should be mitigated through policy) given the same air time as the opposing view (that climate change is a leftist hoax). It’s all in the name of balance, but the back and forth of it is time-consuming!

Better to not to get bogged down in the whole debate. To save time, let’s act as if climate change isn’t real. Then when Al Gore finally jumps out from behind the scenes and goes, “AHAHAHAH! You should’ve seen your face!”, we’ll be able to hold our heads high.

I’m kidding of course. There’s no such thing as Bruce Springsteen (B.S.? Wake up, people!). Springsteen was dreamt up by an ad agency to stimulate tourism in New Jersey.

Better book a trip, before it gets wiped out by extreme weather!

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Pornocracy!

Have you ever noticed when, say, Rupert Murdoch or Alan Sugar do another deal because they want to be in the position of people who are wealthier than them, they’re being ambitious?

When people join a trade union to achieve the same, they’re just jealous.

Stand Up For Labour Awards

I like performing at Stand Up For Labour events, because it means being around engaged people who are in an earnest, grassroots effort to improve the lives of working people.

They’ve got their work cut out for them. By the time Tony Blair had finished with them, New Labour were a bit like soft porn. People who like porn don’t like soft porn. People who don’t like porn don’t like soft porn. Who is it for?

So, with that said, here’s a totally one-sided, polemical song about Margaret Thatcher. I think it’s okay to be one-sided and polemical. Like historian Howard Zinn used to say: “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”!

Songs like this are just here to make you feel a little less alone if you feel the way I do.

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Schrödinger’s Joke – Observe With Care!

Here’s a joke involving Schrödinger’s Cat*. Let me be the first to comment that the act of observing the joke might kill it.

The joke also involves the work of Black Lace, who wrote the song “Agadoo”.  I think both “Agadoo” and Schrödinger’s Cat are hard to grasp, but hopefully I’ve made some sense of them for you.

Everyone loves science these days, but it’s a mixed blessing. Without some kind of Hippocratic Oath, it’s only a matter of time before scientists come up with another nitroglycerin, another uranium-235, another file format to share the music of Justin Bieber with…

In Power Systems, Noam Chomsky says that back in the day (around the early 1600s), if you were holding a cup of boiling water and then let it go, the steam would rise to the ceiling and the cup would fall to the floor. I’m not a scientist, but I think the same would happen now. Anyway, Noam’s point is that back in the day, actual scientists would’ve explained the cup-steam phenomenon thusly:

“The cup is going to its natural place and the steam is going to its natural place”.

There were some pretty clever people around, but no-one knew to be puzzled about why the cup and the steam were doing different things. And then Galileo got puzzled about it and all hell broke loose.

Makes you wonder what we’re not being puzzled about these days, doesn’t it?

*My big regret with this clip is having to leave out the final punchline (due to an audio drop-out), which is Morrissey singing, “Girlfriend in a conga, oh you’re so embarrassing…”

P.S. There’s some great Chomsky here and some great Schrödinger’s Cat here.

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Never Mind The Genitals

Here’s a musical joke involving a medical practitioner.

Some people don’t like musical comedy. The polite ones I meet say to me, “I don’t like musical comedians, but you were alright…”

I know female comedians who get similar feedback: “I don’t usually find women funny, but you…”

I bet there’s a version of this compliment for Asian comics, comedians who juggle and so on.*

I also bet no-one has ever walked up to a heterosexual, cisgender, straight (non-spesh), white, male comedian after a show and said, “I don’t normally find straight, white guys funny, but you…”

As a heterosexual, cisgender, straight, white, male comedian would say, “What’s up with that?”

People see a musical act they don’t like and say musical comedians aren’t funny.

People see a female act they don’t like and say women aren’t funny.

Stop blaming the guitar. Stop blaming the genitals. It’s better to understand that you just didn’t find one particular person funny on one occasion.

*The exception must be Jewish comedians. I imagine their version is reversed: “I normally find Jewish comedians hysterical, but you…”

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How To Be An Informed Person In Less Than 20 (!) Seconds.

Here’s me adding to my treasure trove of time-saving tips when it comes to understanding the “news”. Sorry for not posting this earlier. When I wrote “How To Be An Informed Person In Less Than 30 Seconds” on Friday, I thought I did you a bit of a disservice, so here’s how to take an extra 10 seconds of your life back.

Depending on how far into your life you are, I’ve just added about two to three days to it with this last tip. Why not give this gift to someone else, by sharing the video?

How can you repay me for this? You can’t. It’s my gift to you.

I only ask that you spend those two days I just gave you wisely. For instance, you could come to my Leicester Comedy Festival show and still have the majority of the two days I just gave you left over. Call it a tithe. If Leicester is too far for you to travel, but you’d still like to feel the joy I can bring, my new album is free to download.

Have a great rest of the day. Remember, stay away from the news!

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