Tag Archives: houston

Houston, we have a problem

I woke at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I looked at my iPhone and read the news.

Whitney Houston has inevitably died.

I then tried to get back to sleep, but a song was stuck in my head…

No… Not a Whitney song, but Tim Minchin’s Pope Song (Download free at his website HERE)

(Lot’s of swearing, but the message is spot on).

Anyway… yes, Whitney Houston had died. That once amazing songstress and actress.

Personally, I liked some of her songs, and it’s a shame to see a wasted life, but I didn’t know her & I’m not overly upset.

More upsetting is the fact that people are dying everyday, trying make our lives safe, to protect us, and they don’t get a mention. People dying from incurable diseases who didn’t bring it on themselves… What about them?

Nope, the death of someone who chose their own terminal lifestyle is more important.

I have few tears for self indulgent drug abusers. If you become an addict through your own choices, then you made your own bed.

Each time a celebrity or well known figure dies from drug use, every time the news shows drug abusers, the general population look on and see them all as junkies. This really doesn’t help the cause of those people who have become addicted to their prescription medications, as people see all addicts under the same banner.

I’m not saying Whitney Houston’s death isn’t news, as she was a household name around the world, I’m just saying there are more important things going on in life. Pretty much like Tim Minchin says in his Pope song….. Anyway, I digress.

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Before her life choices

She made her choices, and the result is a pretty good anti-drug message.

After her life choices

Anyway, some people on the ‘social media‘ sites are getting angry at negative Whitney comments & jokes.

Look, some people didn’t like her. That didn’t suddenly change when she died.

Don’t speak ill of the dead, they say…

Right then, no more Hitler jokes or mentions of how much of an evil genocidal tyrant he was. He’s dead, so you have to love him too. Just a shame about the Jews really.

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The lovely, misunderstood Mr Hitler

Pol Pot can’t be referred to as a murderous mad man. Sure, 2 to 4 million people died (20% of his country) under his rule…. but he’s dead now, so we shouldn’t mention that.

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Pol Pot smiling as he watches a butterfly

Sure, the jokes can be seen as a bit crass when she only died hours ago, and sure, people could hold their tongues for a while… BUT if they didn’t give a rats arse about her when she was alive, then can you really expect them to give a rats arse now?

Heck, when that pain in the arse car crash Jade Goody died, I still managed some respect, even through I couldn’t stand her.

Gah!!!! Moron.

Twitter, Facebook & other ‘social media‘ sites are a slice of many people with many views. If you tweet or use Facebook, then you’ll see it all. Some good, some bad, but some of everything none the less.

People are individual, so expect individual views.

In much the same way you can have a film or new Dr. Who episode spoilt by a Tweeter who’s seen the show before you have, you can guarantee dead celebrity jokes will do the rounds.

When dealing with a cross section of people from around the world, you must expect these comments. Simple as that.

Ignore them. Just don’t waste your time moaning about them.

It’d be easier to stop the Earth from spinning than it would be to stop dead celebrity jokes/comments & TV show spoilers.

Freedom of speech cuts both ways.


Why Alex (and Top Gear) need Supercars

I know it's a squashed Beetle...but still...

There was never any doubt to Alex’s love of cars. He’s just past 2 3/4 years old now and already has marques and models that he prefers. He’s just as happy to sit down and watch Spongebob as he is Top Gear (Fifth Gear is bearable, but he thinks Tiff is a “Stupid man”).

Give him a Mini or a Porsche and he seems pretty happy – even if it is just a picture in a magazine. Trucks and buses keep him occupied for a while, but racing cars are the number one attraction for him. He makes all the noises and learning all the names!

I used to like cars when I was a kid…ah, who am I kidding, I still love cars! (Jag XJ13 – droooool!!!), but between the 70’s and today there wasn’t anything that major happening. Yes – improvements on engines, performance, aerodynamics, safety – all wonderful and exciting…. but they were improvements or variations on the theme that had been there for decades. When Alex is my age though, I imagine things will be a lot different.

Even now there are hybrid cars on our streets – and some that even Jeremy Clarkson would have to admit are really getting there. Not the slow green machines we all thought they would be, but blistering performance hybrids and alternate fuels – things we would never have put money on in the 70’s. Back then economy was all to do with plastic bodies and smaller engines that just farted along.

Now more than ever we need Top Gear to race around and keep the general publics interest in road going  performance cars on the boil. If the interest is there, then the manufacturers will see fit to invest in new greener sports cars – but the moment Top Gear vanishes, then what is there to keep us informed of these cars?  Lets face it – love them or hate them, these performance cars today will make our cars safer (and greener) tomorrow.

150mph plus and they walk away

150mph plus and they walk away

I know that I’d rather have a sports tourer on the road than a family car – purely because it is designed for better driving performance all round. Sports cars have better brakes, better handling and more power – all things that I like to have for the safety of me and the family. There are countless times people wish they could have a bit more power to get out of a dangerous situation – but I can’t recall one time when I thought “I could do with a few horse power less here…” – after all, the “loud” pedal doesn’t have to go all the way down – but it is reassuring to know there is still power left for when you need it. Sports cars are just safer in my opinion (if used correctly) – You just have to look at the 150mph Ferrari road crash that left the passenger/driver compartment intact and resulted in no injuries. In fact the police couldn’t find the driver or passenger because they’d walked back home…..

Hear that straight 3 roar...

For a while I thought Alex would miss the sound of the V8,10,12’s  or straight 6’s (I loved my old Supra 3l Turbo!) due to the economic and ecologic forces at play, but I have faith that ways around these issues will be found. Even if the death bell tolls for huge gas guzzlers, looking at the new and future car projects makes me think that something will fill the void. It might not rumble through your body and shake your fillings, but it will still leave a perma-grin on your face.

I can grab a test drive in a Ford Focus – I can read up about the pro’s and con’s on the Internet – but I have to get my performance car fix in third person.

So Mr Clarkson, Mr May and Mr Hammond, please keep racing those power houses around the track and letting us drive with you – I may never own a supercar, so the excitement and feeling you put into your tests is as close as a lot of us will get.

Jeremy "POWER!" Clarkson

James Captain Slow May

James "Captain Slow" May

Richard New Age Hammond

Richard "erm...." Hammond

Back in the real world though we get our track-side entertainment from a Hotwheels set in the house. Alex races cars around it on and off all day… mind you, some of them get a fair lick of speed going and “Off” is a near danger experience as small metal cars hurtle off of the track at bruise invoking speeds – which just makes Alex enjoy it even more. Even at such a young age he knows that the crashes are one of the key things that make motor racing exciting to watch!

Houston... we have a negetive on that trajectory...


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