Sunday, 28 June 2009

A Call To Wierdness

Well, I’m back, and I write these words sitting at my keyboard with a chest more full of holes than a tea strainer. Today I am truly holier than thou, so grovel, sinners!
Last Monday morning I had my gall bladder removed. Being a wimp I was all ready to lie about on a hospital ward for a few days, but they kicked me out within one to make room for worthier cases.
Amazing things gallstones, by the way. The surgeon presented mine back to me in a specimen jar. It looks like I’ve eaten someone’s gravel drive.
So, after a few days watching the e-mails mount but truly not knowing or caring what in the world’s going on any more it seemed time to re-engage with this madness.
I needed to break myself in with something cheerful but stupid, so I went to Jeremy Clarkson’s Sunday column at and that was just what I needed. As well as agreeing with his central point about the relative merits of hippies and Catholic clergy this article usefully reminded me of other things.
Back in 1992 two fellow Manx reprobates brought off a spectacular practical joke at the Stonehenge Solstice. In those days both police and army presence was stronger at Stonehenge, officially due to English Heritage’s need to guard the stones against ‘vandalism’, but many a stoned cynic thought because a damn great party of broken down vehicles got in the way of massive military exercises, such as playing with Cruise missiles.
My fellow deviants dressed up specially for the solstice, but not in druid costume. Sadly, they never got it filmed, but somewhere on an old police VCR even now I’d guess a few coppers are creasing themselves watching Wiltshire’s fattest chasing a pantomime cow round and round the stones like a demented Benny Hill sketch, overseen by several billion quid’s worth of spy-in-the-sky military hardware.
Yes folks, it can be done. This world may be run by all-powerful lunatics, but with a fair sprinkling of humour and imagination ordinary folk can hit back. As the late and great Dr Hunter S. Thompson used to say: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
Thinking this through, the tragedy is us Manx oddballs get this stuff together off-island, but when we come home we get serious. A couple of years back I was so shocked by the claims of Liberal Vannin ( a Manx political party named after liberals but so clueless they took advice from a UKIP reject) to be the biggest party here that I proposed a branch of the Monster Raving Loony Party. The idea was sign up more members than Liberal Vannin, so that internationally the island would be on the map because self-confessed lunatics outnumbered people with serious political ambition.
It would have been possible, but once I contacted the OMRLP I lost interest. I knew them in the days when Bradford’s Wild Willi Beckett ( roller skating nun, psychosurgeon and all round anarchist muckraker) made enough waves to actually get Yorkshire candidates elected… and even do serious work on issues like homelessness. Sadly, the current OMRLP are more like a Rotary night out than a lunatic fringe.
But then I saw my wife creased double with laughter at a Hungarian news website. Hungary needs laughter, having just allowed fascist throwbacks to get the balance of power due to lack of support for dishonest conventional politicians (sound familiar?). So all power to the Two Tailed Dog Party, who recently organised a ‘political demonstration for nothing’, where any party line was absent and the ensuing clash of slogans on placards had to be seen to be believed.
I can’t find a site where you can get an English language translation of those events, but you can find an English version of some of their antics at You can also follow the links to these and other inspiring folk via ‘joke political parties’ at Wikipedia.
Read, laugh, and then go and do thou likewise unto the huddled masses.

1 comment:

Andy Armitage said...

Good to see you back, Stuart. Here's hoping for a quick and full recovery.