David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 122 – Confessions Of A Blind Man

Yesterday’s David Eagle related Google searches included ‘David Eagle disability’ and ‘David Eagle arm.’ I’m not entirely sure what the latter search query was all about, but it might be related to the fact that apparently I have a tendency to hold my arm out in a slightly idiosyncratic way. I can’t really describe what it is, as I am not conscious of it. The only time it’s ever mentioned to me is by boisterous drunk men, normally in a slightly threatening, accusatory manner, and it normally coincides with them mentioning my lack of eye contact, telling me that I’m not looking at them properly, and then aggressively asking what’s wrong with me. If I explain to them that I’m blind then they are immediately contrite, but it’s interesting how hostile certain people are to me before they realise this, assuming that I’m being deliberately anti-social or insulting to them. Most people are too polite to say anything, and most people certainly wouldn’t call me a freak to my face or act with hostility towards me, just a drunken minority. But, nonetheless, I assume that people do register these differences: the wobbling eyes, the lack of eye contact, the slightly bent hand, which, for the benefit of anyone Googling ‘David Eagle arm,’ is probably a subconscious defence posture, developed over years of having to protect myself from walking into things by putting my hand out, but I don’t know, maybe it’s something else. The wobbling eyes is probably related to my malfunctioning optic nerve, searching for types of visual stimulus that it’s not getting. But this is all just conjecture.

I wasn’t going to publish this until The Young’uns Podcast came out, but in light of the numbers of people searching for ‘David Eagle blind,’ ‘David Eagle disability’ and ‘is David Eagle autistic?’ maybe it would be apposite to publish this now. It’s a story taken from one of our gigs on tour, which addresses the subject of people’s reaction to me and my blindness. It’s been really fun and also therapeutic telling this story. I am not at all confident about myself in a visual, physical sense, nor do I have any reason to be, given that I can’t see myself and that I have no real way of assimilating normal, sighted physical behaviour, such as eye contact. Fortunately I have the ability to talk about it publicly and in a hopefully humorous way, meaning that I have a cathartic release valve that doesn’t involve getting too depressed or feeling isolated about it.

Bloody hell, I feel as if this Dollop has maybe been a little more introspective and revealing than I perhaps would have wanted, but hopefully it’s been an interesting read, and hopefully the following audio clip will be entertaining and lift the mood a bit.

Download the story here

Back tomorrow.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 121 – Any Questions?

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In Dollop 25 I wrote about how one of the most searched for terms that brings people to my website is, ‘David Eagle blind,’ or ‘The Young’uns blind.’ When we were gigging in Australia, this search query made a massive resurgence, as people were seeing us for the first time and presumably were curious to know. It then died out a bit after our Australian tour, but then picked back up as we started our UK tour. But then, after the Folk Awards this week, the amount of people searching for ‘David Eagle blind,’ and ‘The Young’uns blind’ has reached a new high.

Today, my website stats showed me a new search query which I’d never seen before. Someone had typed into Google, ‘is David Eagle autistic?’ The person who typed this was directed to my website, which they clicked on. I have not mentioned being autistic on my website, but then again, I haven’t said I’m not, so I wonder if they’ve maybe read some of these Dollops and tried to solve the mystery for themselves, in which case, I wonder what conclusion they reached. If you are reading this Dollop, my friend, I can reveal to you now that … I am … not autistic.

I wonder whether you’ll stay and read the rest of this Dollop or whether, now that your curiosity has been satisfied, you will click off this page, never to return again. Maybe this is what this person does for a hobby: thinks of a name and then asks Google whether they are autistic. Maybe they are collecting a list of autistic people, and mine is just one on a long list of names that they’ve asked Google whether they are autistic. So maybe I shouldn’t feel so self-conscious about this. But, being tagged by one disability that I actually have is one thing, but being identified with a disability that I don’t have is something else altogether. I wonder when and where they saw me, and what it was about me and what I was doing that prompted their question. If you are still reading this then perhaps you can let me know.

At the moment, I am only aware of which searches people have done when it elicits a click onto my website. I haven’t checked Google’s stats, which would also show me all the searches relating to my name that didn’t result in people clicking on my website. If I checked Google’s stats services then I might discover that there are hundreds of people asking whether I am autistic, and who knows what other questions: ‘Is David Eagle really a man?’ ‘Is David Eagle suffering from Halitosis?’ ‘Is David Eagle brain damaged?’ I dare not look, in fear of the array of confidence crushing questions I might find.

Why has no one searched for: ‘Is David Eagle single? I mean, I know he probably isn’t because he’s massively attractive, and anyway, even if he was he probably wouldn’t be interested in me because he’s way out of my league, but a girl can dream?’ ‘Is David Eagle a member of Mensa? He seems so clever, and funny.’ ‘Is David Eagle doing any solo gigging? He’s so talented, and I’d like to see more of him, without the other two dragging him down.’ But no, nothing like that.

There is a story I’ve been telling on this tour which ties into this subject. I won’t tell it here, as it will be on a Young’uns Podcast at some point soon. We’ll be releasing a podcast at the start of May, detailing our Australian exploits.

In the meantime, you can catch up with all of the past Young’uns Podcasts here. Although, why am I even bothering to tell you. Most of you are probably only here because of some unflattering question about me that you put into Google, and are not interested in any actual content, unless it relates to your question asking whether I have a certain disability or disease. If anyone has any questions about me, then feel free to leave a comment on this blog. Maybe if I get enough, or if I pluck up the courage to check Google’s stats for other David Eagle related search queries, I will put up a Frequently Asked Questions page.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 120 – Money From Old Folk

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We’ve just done one of our free community events, performing at an old people’s home in Liverpool. It was a lovely gig and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. But then at the end, chaos occurred.

As we bid everyone goodbye and made to leave, we heard a kerfuffle from behind us, and a cry of “wait” from one of the ladies. Looking round, we saw that some of the residents had started getting money out of their purses. We tried to stop them, but they were resolutely thrusting it into our hands. It was impossible to stop them and hand their money back, as more and more hands kept going, until everyone started joining in. As the enthusiasm for this exercise increased among the residents, the amounts of money that were being presented to us were getting larger and larger, with some people handing over notes. If we’d have accepted all the money that was being thrust at us then we’d probably have come away from this short afternoon performance in an old people’s home with more money than we’d made on any of our actual gigs. We kept trying to hand people their money back, but it was becoming increasingly difficult as more and more people pushed their hands at us and dropped their offering on the table. The table was now covered with coins and notes. Plus, we had no idea who had given what. If we tried asking people what they’d given, so that we could give it back, they either refused to tell us or said they couldn’t remember, which may have been true – after all they are ninety and their memories are probably not brilliant – or just an excuse to stop us returning the money to them.

The staff attempted to step in and reissue the money to people, but they had no idea who’d given what. The place was in chaos. Some people had gone to their rooms, realising that they hadn’t got any money, and were now coming back to give us money, not realising that we’d actively been avoiding taking it for the last five minutes. Some people were pursuing us out of the place, still trying to give us money.

The staff are clearly not going to be able to give the right amount of money to the people who gave it, and so maybe we should have accepted. But it seemed wrong to offer a gig for free and then end up coming away with hundreds of pounds. But is it patronising of us to refuse their money just because they are in their nineties? We refused the money as soon as it was offered. Had we accepted, would staff have stepped into intervene? Regardless, it just seemed inappropriate for us to accept.

But maybe we are going about our performance career in the wrong way here. Maybe we should be using the money from benevolent old people to subsidise our gigs for everyone else. The beauty of this scheme is that the old people don’t have to travel anywhere, because they live in the venue we’d be performing in, as it’s sheltered accommodation. Therefore, with the money they’re saving on travel, they can afford to pay a healthy amount to us. Also, the fact that these people are reaching the end of their lives means that they’ll be able to afford to be extra benevolent.

The three of us wouldn’t need to bother paying for a hotel, because we’d be able to stay in the residential home, either sharing a bed with a benevolent old lady, or taking advantage of any beds that have recently become free due to a resident dying. The bonus of this scheme is that there’ll be some lucky ladies in their nineties who get to have a night of passion with a man in his thirties, which we’d be offering as a free extra. Or maybe we should be charging. After all, I doubt that any of these ladies in their nineties would have ever thought they’d get the chance to spend another night with anyone ever again, never mind someone so young and attractive. I mean, obviously there’s a chance that they might be lumped with Michael or Sean, but at least they’d still be getting someone young. Then, with all this money we’re making and saving from gigging to and sleeping with old people, we’ll be able to lower the fees on our main gigs. I cannot see a problem with this scenario, and I intend to forward this Dollop onto our agent immediately.

I think it’s very doubtful that the staff at today’s home are going to be able to give the right amount of money back to the right people. Perhaps the residents will just decide to split the money between them equally. They may even elect to put all their money on the table and split all of it equally between them, and start a new utopian life where everyone is equal. This idea might then spread into other old people’s homes, and this might eventually filter down to the rest of society. Sadly, this would eventually invariably lead to people being put to death, as yet another communist attempt fails to effectively get off the ground. We thought it would be nice to do some free gigs for people in the community, but we may have ended up accidentally launching a bloody communist revolution, resulting in the possible death of millions. Lesson well and truly learnt. We’ll be sure to only do gigs for lots of money in the future, and hope that the people in the residential home in Liverpool either die or have a collective memory laps before they can set their communist plans to action.

Sorry if you were hoping for some showbiz stories from the folk awards and conversations with celebrities, but I find all of that massively daunting and intimidating. I am much more secure and content being in my own little bubble, writing blogs about having sex with ninety-year-old women. But come on, let’s be honest, you would clearly rather read about fictional communist revolutions brought about by ninety-year-olds in a residential home than listen to me having a conversation with Martin Freeman, wouldn’t you? What? Really? Oh, well, sorry.

The title of this Dollop, Money From Old Folk, is meant to be a sort of pun on Money For Old Rope, but I’m not sure if it works and was maybe a bit too subtle. That’s the trouble with me: I am just too subtle. I’m sick of people constantly telling me that, time and time again. “Oh you’re so subtle David,” they say. I would tell them to fuck off, but I’m far too subtle to do that.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 119 – The Dollops Get A Big Up On Radio 2

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This is going to be another hastily written Dollop, as
on stage at Warwick Arts Centre in an hour. I’ve spent the day doing loads of interviews, plus we did another of our free community events today in a primary school in Coventry. So if this Dollop appears rushed and a bit uninspired then don’t blame me, blame the BBC Radio 2 awards panel for having the temerity to vote us best group again. As a result, I was up partying all night, only got three hours sleep and have spent the day doing interviews. Plus there’s been loads of Facebook comments, tweets and messages to wade through. Whereas if we hadn’t won I’d have probably gone to bed a lot earlier, got a lot more sleep and wouldn’t have had all the congratulatory comments to plough through, nor would I have had to do any interviews, meaning my brain would be a lot less frazzled and I’d have time to actually write something decent. The Folk Awards judges really have no consideration. What were they thinking?

While it was great to win the award for the second year running, the true highlight was that the Dollop got a shout out. We were standing on stage, and just before our acceptance speech, as the applause died down, there was a shout from the audience of “give us a Dollop David.” I didn’t notice at the time, but listening to it back on the radio, it is clearly audible. The shouter is Irish Mythen, who’s supporting us on tour at the moment. I mean she’s probably just angling for a bit more money from us and thought that a Dollop-related shout out would soften me up.

I also had lots of lovely conversations with people at the folk awards who are Dollop listeners. There were quite a lot of people who were telling me that they listen everyday before going to sleep. I find it’s strange to think that there are people who hear my voice and enter my mind on a daily basis, and also that for some people, mine is the last voice they hear before they go to sleep. There were quite a few women who told me this, although none of them accepted my half-joking invitation to have my none-recorded voice lulling them to sleep, for the very reasonable price of their body, by which I am referring to their live body in a sexual capacity, in case you were worried that I meant that I intended to kill them, which would probably be a bit much, even for such an amazing experience as the one I was offering. But no, I am not a psycho; just a slightly creepy sexually repressed idiot.

I didn’t feel too rejected though, as it’s obvious that the only reason these female Dollop listeners didn’t take me up on my semi-jocular offer was because they didn’t want to distract me from recording the audio versions of the Dollops, which I was two days behind on. So they gallantly decided to sacrifice their night of unbridled pleasure with me for the greater good, knowing how bereft they and all the other Dollop listeners would be if they had to go any longer without hearing the latest audio Dollop. I would like to thank you all for being strong enough to resist, what must have been, the overpowering urge to succumb to the pleasures of the flesh, and thus allowing me to leave the party at 3am in order to record the two pending audio Dollops. You are truly amazing and inspirational women. I take my hat off to you; though sadly not my pants.

I also spoke to the winners of Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman. You may remember from Dollop 22 that I mentioned that they’d put a thing on Twitter declaring their favourite artists. Included on the list was Maddy Prior and other big names in folk. But right at the top of the list was my name, not The Young’uns, but just me, and they had linked to my twitter account. Naturally I’d assumed that they’d meant to write The Young’uns and somehow accidentally just tagged me instead, however I spoke to them both yesterday, and they said that they had deliberately meant to mention me, because they listened to these Dollops everyday in bed before they go to sleep. Well, at least, I assume they listen to it and then fall asleep. They just told me that they listened every night in bed. Whether they find the Dollops an audio aphrodisiac or not is none of my business, and to be honest I wouldn’t want to know. After all, it would be a bit of a kick in the teeth to discover that I was responsible for two people getting it on on a nightly basis, when me and my female followers are sacrificing our pleasure so that they can have their daily dose of audio arousal.

While it was really nice to hear that they were big fans of the Dollops, they sadly did not thank me in their awards speech. I’m sure they will next year, now they’ve listened to this Dollop and can appreciate the sacrifices that I and others make for them.

I have to go now, as I’m due on stage in two minutes.

You can listen/watch the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards here Our speech is in the last half an hour. See if you can hear the Dollop shout out before we start talking.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 118 – Dolloping From The Royal Albert Hall

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This is going to have to be a very hastily written Dollop, as the Folk Awards are about to commence in the next hour, and I doubt I’d get away with typing up a Dollop while sitting in the ceremony. However, if you see me on the TV typing on my laptop, or even worse, muttering the audio Dollop into a digital recorder, then you know that this project has really driven me insane, to the point where I’m willing to sabotage a BBC awards ceremony and in the process ensure that we’ll never be invited back again. So apologies if this Dollop is a bit short and not very interesting or entertaining. At least I provided you with an amazing stream of consciousness blog yesterday all about sandwiches, which will clearly more than make up for any shortfall today.

I am sitting at the bottom of a staircase in one of the bars in the Royal Albert Hall. Everyone else is drinking around me, but I am resolutely keeping this challenge going. You see Dad, there’s no need to worry about my mental health, and that I’m spending all my life preoccupied about blogging. The good news is that these Dollops are stopping me from drinking, thus being good for both my mental and physical health. I mean, chances are that this challenge will eventually end up driving me to drink and becoming a full-blown alcoholic, but the good news is that, at least for now, it’s resulting in me drinking a lot less.

We arrived at the Royal Albert Hall with about ten minutes to spare. We then had to go through security checks before they believed who we were and that we were actually meant to be on the Simon Mayo show. They asked us lots of questions. It seemed like we were going to end up missing our spot as a result of being held up by the security staff. I did try suggesting to the security staff that they could verify that we were The Young’uns by locating our website, which would surely take a lot less time than all of the phoning through to different departments, which was what was currently happening. I thought that this made perfect sense, but it probably just made me sound arrogant. To be honest, I was probably looking rather suspicious, as I was carrying a big bag containing my laptop and other electronic equipment in order to do the Dollop.

Eventually we were allowed through with just five minutes to spare. We were ushered into a waiting room where we saw our good friends The Unthanks, who had just been on the show. We loudly and enthusiastically greeted each other, at which point a harassed producer came running in waving her hands at us and whispering for us to keep the noise down. It took us a few seconds to realise this as we were too busy chattering away and hugging each other, plus she was whispering, so we didn’t really hear her. The reason for her whispering and waving was because she was trying to get us to keep the noise down. The three of us hadn’t realised that the studio was literally next door, and apparently, according to the whispering producer, we could be heard in the studio and would be able to be heard on the radio. In fairness to the three of us, we didn’t know that the studio was so close to where we were, but The Unthanks were aware of this because they’d just been on the show, so if there is anyone from the Simon Mayo team reading this, I hope you can see that the fault clearly lies with the Unthanks and not us.

A minute later we were whisked into the studio, which was literally next-door, so it’s likely that the producer wasn’t exaggerating about us being audible on the radio. We were warned by the producer that we literally would only have two minutes in which to do the briefest of chats and then sing. Baring in mind that the song was 1 minute 40, the chat would have to be very brief. However, when at 557, Simon went to the traffic news, the line wasn’t working, meaning that they came to us earlier than planned. Whether this had anything to do with me or not I cannot say. Whether I happened to use one of the electronic bits of equipment housed in my bag in order to jam the studio line and thus buy us more radio time, I cannot say. But it worked a treat, and we ended up getting 2 minutes thirty seconds on the air as a result, which was well worth the days of electronic research and tinkering, or, I mean, it would have been worth it, if I had actually been responsible for the traffic being curtailed; which I am not divulging.

If you want to know how our Simon Mayo appearance went, then give it a listen. We’re on at 557. Or have a listen from 550, and see if you can hear the sounds of us and The Unthanks shouting away in the background.

At the time of writing, we are currently the holders of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for best group. What will the next few hours bring? Tune in to BBC radio 2 from 7pm today to find out.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 117 – And Thus The Lord Said: Man Shall Not Live On Bread Alone; Unless He’s A Touring Musician, In Which Case He More Or Less Will

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The amount of bread we have eaten on this tour is ridiculous. We get up and leave first thing in the morning, and there isn’t really time to sit down and eat anywhere, and so we just grab a sandwich. Getting a salad would be more preferable and healthier, but the three of us eating salads in the van isn’t particularly practical. It can be rather messy, with those tubs of sauce that often come with them, and it’s hard for us all to eat at the same time, as there isn’t enough room for the three of us to wield our forks; we end up just elbowing each other in the face. Then we get to the venue, and the people have provided sandwiches for us. After the gig we are hungry, but often everywhere is closed apart from the take away places which serve burgers, pizzas or kebabs, which all have a bread element.

This morning, I had a ploughman’s sandwich. I mean, that was the name of the sandwich, in case you were thinking that I’d stolen food from a ploughman, perhaps waiting until he started ploughing and had his back turned to me, allowing me to make off with his butties without him realising.

The ploughman’s sandwich consisted of ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickle, which are obviously the five top things that a ploughman likes to have in his sandwich. I assume they did a survey of lots of ploughmen, asking them what they liked in their sandwich, and then collated that information to create a bespoke sandwich tailored to the ploughman community. The ploughmen would no doubt have been immensely grateful that someone had bothered to put the effort in, perhaps wondering why they had been given such special treatment.

I enjoyed my ploughman’s sandwich, or at least as much as a man who is fed up to the back teeth – both literally and figuratively – with bread could be expected to enjoy a sandwich. But as I ate it I wondered why the ploughmen get a bespoke sandwich made for them, and why no one has thought to branch out and cater for people working in other fields (by which I am referring to jobs, jobs that don’t involve working in fields; I probably could have chosen a better word there).

What about the Data Annalist’s sandwich? or the IT Consultant’s sandwich? These people continue to be completely unrepresented in sandwich form, yet these are very common jobs. How many ploughmen do you know? But I bet you know at least one person who works in IT? The sandwich industry has clearly failed to move with the times, and doesn’t seem to have recognised the huge decline in ploughmen, and the many new jobs that have emerged as a result of the industrial and communications age. The sandwich makers are clearly out of touch with the real world.

I’m not saying that the ploughmen can’t still have their special bespoke sandwich. I am suggesting that the sandwich makers should also be reaching out to other professions and survey them about what they would like in their sandwich, and then cater for that community with their own special bespoke sandwich. I am happy to start the ball rolling and help the sandwich makers get started with this venture. So, if you could leave a comment on this blog telling me what your ideal sandwich would consist of, and then let me know your profession, I will collate the results and send them to the people working in sandwich production.

I suggest the first group of workers we target are the sandwich makers themselves. I mean, they are clearly the experts, the people who make sandwiches for a living, who have tried many and varied combinations of ingredients. Surely they of all people should know what it takes to make the perfect sandwich. If I wanted to buy a sandwich, I’d rather by a sandwich that has been specially designed for the highly discerning and skilled sandwich maker than a sandwich that’s been made for a man working on a field. No disrespect to ploughmen, but all I’m saying is that if I want a sandwich, I’d rather have a sandwich that’s been designed by and for the sandwich making community, just as if I wanted my field ploughing (and that reminds me, I really must get on the phone to someone about that) I would choose to get it done by a ploughman, and not a sandwich maker.

It would be interesting to see whether there is any correlation with the results. Will there even be a perfect sandwich that’s agreed on by the majority of people who just so happen to work in the same Job? Or will we discover that sandwich preference is not at all dependant on the job you do? Might it be that the only workers who agree on the perfect sandwich are ploughman? Maybe this is why none of the other jobs have sandwiches designed especially for them, as ploughmen are the only ones who have a collective opinion on sandwiches. Perhaps someone has already tried to do this work before, and found that asking people working in the same job to give their favourite sandwich yielded completely different results, with some people hating the very foods that other people said they loved. Maybe the sandwich makers got so confused and beaten down by their attempts to make bespoke sandwiches for these people that they eventually gave it up as a lost cause. If anyone knows then please get in touch.

If you’ve found this Dollop uninteresting or weird then blame it on the bread; it’s gone to my head.

Oh, I’ve just remembered that I haven’t even mentioned the original subject I was going to write about. We are doing the Simon Mayo BBC Radio 2 show tomorrow. We’re on just before the 6 O’clock news, and when I say “just before,” that is exactly what I mean. Apparently we only have about two minutes. That will be barely enough time for us to sing a song. There probably won’t be any time to talk about sandwiches unfortunately, as this would give me the perfect platform to start collating people’s professions and sandwich preferences. We might have to scrap the song.

Tomorrow we are at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at the Albert Hall. After tomorrow we may no longer be the Best folk group. I hope you won’t dessert these Dollops if the result goes against us.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 116 – Nigel And Boris Are Out Of Line, Back Of The Queue Boys

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A few days ago, Boris Johnson made some risible remarks in the Sun Newspaper about Obama getting rid of the bust of Sir Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.

“Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009.
Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why.
It was a bust of Winston Churchill – the great British war time leader. It had sat there for almost ten years. But on day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington.
No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision.
Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”

This seems like a very weak, shoehorned attempt to suggest that Obama is in some way anti-British, presumably in an effort to discredit his motives and his position about Britian staying in the EU. Otherwise why reference it? This is the opening paragraph of his article, so Boris has clearly deemed it an important point on which to hang the rest of the argument.

His manner of writing engenders a feeling of conspiracy: “Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009 …” “Something vanished from that room …” Boris does his best to keep the atmosphere of conspiracy alive, by writing: “No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision.
Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire …” Clearly this is just vague conjecture then, as Boris is tacitly admitting, only veiling it in the cloak of conspiracy and intrigue.

I’m sure many Sun readers will be sucked into Boris’s style of writing, and will already be horrified by Obama’s Anti-British audacity, to remove a bust of this “great British war time leader.” He clearly added that description of Churchill to stir up patriotic emotion within readers, unless he honestly thought that the people reading might not know who Churchill is.

Perhaps he was worried that some people might get confused and imagine that Obama removed a bust of the nodding dog from the insurance TV adverts. I suppose that would put a different spin on Obama’s decision. Boris wouldn’t want to discredit his entire article by having his readers completely miss the point and assume that Obama had spotted a bust of a dog from a British TV advert, and decided to remove it. Boris’s readers would be confused as to why Boris was making such a big thing of this. After all, it seems like a perfectly logical thing for Obama to do. I mean, this was a bust of a dog from an advert that wasn’t even on American television. Of all the iconic things that could possibly be hanging from the Ovel Office, surely a bust of a talking dog from a British TV advert was a highly odd and dubious choice.

Boris had said that it had been hanging there for almost ten years, since 1999. The Churchill dog only started appearing on British television in 2004, so there would have been five years when even British people visiting the Ovel Office wouldn’t recognise the bust. Perhaps the bust went largely ignored for the first five years. No one quite understood what the heck it was and why it was there, but it was harmless enough and so it was just left to hang. But then 2004 came and the TV adverts started appearing on British screens and every time someone from Britain entered the Ovel Office, they would mysteriously turn towards the dog and say “oh yes” in an odd voice, before laughing. Obama might have heard about this strange British quirk and the mysterious and parculiar affect that the dog bust had on British people.

He’d been told how Gordon Brown found it all highly amusing, sometimes spending minutes lost in his own world having a conversation with the dog, then replying to his questions in the dog’s voice. “Will I still be PM after the election?” “Oh yes,” “Should we keep spending?” “Oh yes.” Obama consequently had the dog bust removed both for his sanity and the sanity of Gordon Brown and all the other weird British people who took up hours of precious presidential time talking to the dog and saying “oh yes” and then laughing, rather than concentrating on the important reason for their visit.

Despite Boris’s best efforts to make his Sun article opener sound like an interesting, worthy conspiracy theory, all he really does is highlight how much of a none story this is: “No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision.” And surely that’s the point Boris; no one was sure. You’ve chosen to hang your argument on this weakest of threads, and you yourself have had to admit that the decision to remove the bust might not have had anything to do with Obama anyway. So you can dress it up as an interesting conspiracy theory if you want, but essentially it’s a none-story, which has subsequently been debunked as complete bollocks. Apparently the bust was removed before Obama entered office, although, in fairness to Boris, no one was sure that Obama didn’t employ a psychic to send telepathic messages to people in the white house to have the bust removed before he became president, in order to make it appear that the decision had nothing to do with him.

The fact that he also writes, “some people said …” is also very vague, and is extra indication that this theory of Boris’s is just that, a theory, a very weak conspiracy theory on which he pins his argument, clearly as a way to try and get the idea across that Obama is in some way anti-British.

Fortunately, the leave campaign has much more credible people behind it, and doesn’t solely consist of Boris Johnson and his peculiar fatuous conspiracy theories, otherwise they might be in trouble. The good news for the leave team is that they have Nigel farage onboard, who’s much more level headed and wouldn’t waste time concocting peculiar, spurious theories about Obama.

Nigel Farage was dismissive of Obama’s comments about Britain leaving the EU. Obama said that Britain could face being pushed to the back of the queue when it came to drawing up trade agreements with the US. But Nigel Farage wasn’t having any of it, accusing Obama of merely parroting the British PM. But as you’d expect, Farage wasn’t going to make such a statement glibly, he hadn’t merely jumped to this conclusion on next to no hard or real evidence. Obama might have got away with merely parroting the PM, were it not for Farage’s impressive intellect and powers of deduction. This is what he said to Sky news:

“”He said ‘We’d be at the back of the queue’. “Interesting, isn’t it? Americans don’t use the word ‘queue’. They use the word ‘line’ … So he’s clearly just parroting Cameron.”

Yes, very interesting Nigel. An observation that both shows off your amazing detective skills and also clearly showcases your abilities as a worthy contributor on Countdown’s Dictionary Corner. The Pro leave people were jubilant, ecstatic that Obama had been found out by Nigel’s incredible powers of deduction. If he’d have only said “line” then presumably Farage and the leave campaigners would have been more accepting of Obama’s words, but he said “queue,” didn’t he? He did, he said “queue,” and American’s don’t say “queue,” so he was obviously merely parroting the PM. In fact, no one was sure that David Cameron didn’t have Obama hypnotised to repeat that phrase whenever someone asked about how leaving the EU would affect Britain drawing up trade agreements with the US. No one was sure that that didn’t happen. If only they’d hypnotised him to say “line” instead of queue, then Cameron and the pro EU team would have gotten away with it, but they didn’t, did they? He was programmed to say “queue,” not “line,” and of course, Americans don’t say “queue,” they say “line,” don’t they? What a bunch of mind-manipulating idiots Cameron and the Pro EU brigade are. If only they’d said “queue” not “line,” then it would have all been fine.

Except … Americans do say queue. It’s in the American Dictionaries. I’ve checked. It took me less than two minutes to find the definition of queue in five different American dictionaries. You’d have thought maybe Farage could have spared a couple of minutes to do some cursory linguistic research before he presented his theory to the media. But in fairness to farage, it sounds like a really good theory, and it would be a shame to have it ruined just because it doesn’t happen to be factually accurate.

Granted, the word queue is less common in America than it is in England, but it’s not as if the word is never used and would be completely alien to Obama. Also, Obama does tend to travel quite a bit, and has been to Britain before, so it’s not unlikely that he’s picked up some of our lingo. After all, Farage is married to a German woman, who presumably speaks English, but I assume that Farage is happy to accept this and doesn’t accuse her of merely being his parrot? But I might be wrong. After all, no one is sure that Farage doesn’t force his wife to put on a costume made of feathers, flap her arms about, squawk and then repeat everything that Nigel says, only in the voice of a parrot. Some people say that he does this because he finds it sexually arousing. Some people say that he does this because he is an oddball with a weird power complex. No one is sure.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 115 – Cold Things Come To Those Who Wait

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Another really enjoyable and very long day yesterday. We were in the van by 8am to drive to Bristol in time for a BBC Radio Bristol interview with Doctor and comedian Phil Hammond. It was great to meet him, as I am a big fan of his work; I’m not too fussed with his comedy, but his administering of prescriptive medical drugs is very efficient and always on-the-money.

After the gig, we went to an Indian restaurant with some friends. Everyone’s meals arrived at the same time, apart from mine. I noticed that everyone was waiting for mine to arrive before they started. I instructed them to start eating, but they said that they would wait. Five minutes elapsed and still my meal hadn’t arrived. Upon enquiring, the waiter said he would go and investigate. Five minutes later he returned. The others still hadn’t started their meals, despite my repeated protestations that they really should.

The waiter enthusiastically informed me that the reason my meal was taking slightly longer was because they were preparing something very special for me, It was clear that they’d simply forgotten my order and he was trying to cover up their mistake. After all, Sean had ordered the exact same meal and his had arrived with everyone else’s. If my meal was more special than Sean’s, even though he had ordered the same thing, it would be a bit of a slap in the face for Sean and everyone else, baring in mind that they’d had to wait for mine to arrive, meaning that I got an hot extra special meal while everyone else ate an inferior cold meal. There seemed no reason or logic why I would be given an extra special meal, unless the waiter was a fan of David’s Daily Digital Dollop, in which case I suppose that’s perfectly understandable.

I tried again to insist that the others started their meals. Michael and Sean had already started, as they knew that I’d genuinely prefer it if they did, but everyone else in our party refused to start until my meal arrived. I tried explaining that it was more polite of them to start than to wait, as waiting was merely making me feel guilty and awkward. But they politely just kept saying, “no, it’s OK, we don’t mind, we’ll wait.”

How annoyingly stupidly British these people were being. My nan bread had already arrived, and I was eating that, which I was perfectly happy to have as a starter, in fact I normally eat the nan first anyway, so the wait wasn’t really inconveniencing me at all. I was happy to drink my pint, eat some nan and chat while the others ate. But still they refused to eat. It got to the point where I was begging people to eat, but they still refused, out of some warped version of politeness which they were mercilessly battering me with.

Eventually my meal arrived. Sean and I did a comparison. They both tasted exactly the same, only mine was hot. I wonder who’s meal was more enjoyable. I had a freshly cooked hot meal, but was unable to properly enjoy it as I was aware that everyone was now eating cold food that had been sat there for fifteen minutes, and thus I felt massively guilty, even though I’d tried to convince them to eat. However, they might have been eating cold food, but they were no doubt doing so while basking in their self-satisfied smugness.

After the meal, the waiter came back and asked us how everything was. I decided to pretend that I’d believed his story about my meal being more special than the others. I profusely thanked him for the extra effort he’d put in. Unless he was prepared to admit that he’d been lying before about the special meal, he’d be forced to keep up the pretence. I enthusiastically asked him to tell me more about my meal, and how it differed to Sean’s. I could tell that he was starting to regret his dishonesty. I don’t think he was quite sure whether I knew he was lying and that I was winding him up. I asked him loads of questions about how the meal differed. He said that he’d used some special spices. I then asked him why he’d chosen me as the special one. His energy, composure and enthusiasm was starting to falter. I wanted to keep going to see if I could make him crack and admit that he’d been lying, but some of the people around the table were starting to get uncomfortable, so I left it. Yet again, politeness had spoiled the fun.

This Dollop has been the most rushed and difficult one to write so far. But if it’s a bit rubbish, hopefully you will be too polite to say so.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 114 – As You Mic It

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So today marks 400 years since the death of Shakespeare. The radio was talking about Shakespeare none-stop on our car journey from Hampshire to Bristol. There were lots of interviews with school children and teachers who were all passionately talking about Shakespeare’s work. It’s amazing that Shakespeare’s plays are still being taught in schools, 400 years after his death, and are still appreciated by children and adults all over the world. Shakespeare can’t have had any idea that his plays would be studied in such meticulous detail, adapted and given so many different treatments, and would still be put on in theatres centuries later. He would be incredbly surprised to find that his work has had such an impact on future generations.

I would certainly be immensely surprised if I knew that David’s Daily Digital Dollop was lorded in a similar way, given multiple theatre, television and radio treatments, and studied for centuries by school children all over the world. I am not being arragant here. I am saying that I would be massively surprised about the fact, but there is just no knowing which works will stand the test of time, and there are examples of writers, poets and artists not being appreciated fully in their own time, but then recognised as a genius by people after their death, and worshiped by future generations. Perhaps my Dollops are too ahead of their time.

Hello to any children from the future who may be reading this, trying to make sense of my strange antiquated style of English, and you are sick to death of having to endlessly analyse my pros. Maybe your school is about to put on a theatrical performance of my elevator music composer blog. Or maybe you’ve been asked to write an essay about my work: “David’s Daily Digital Dollop: comedy or tragedy? Discuss.”

Yesterday we did another afternoon in a primary school. The three of us were each given a microphone to wear which was wirelessly connected to a deaf child’s hearing aids. All the children seemed to have really enjoyed themselves, although the exception might have been the poor deaf child who’s potentially going to suffer long-term psychological trauma after what he faced yesterday.

The attachment on Sean’s microphone was quite loose, and every time Sean moved too much it fell onto the floor. The sound of the microphone hitting the floor must have generated a rather loud sound in the deaf child’s ears, as he jumped and shouted out in shock. This must have happened about five times over the hour. A little later on, Michael put on his guitar and I started playing the accordion. We both forgot that we were wearing micophones attached to hearing aids, Michael’s guitar kept knocking against the microphone and my microphone was in direct contact with the accordion’s bellows. Seeing the discomfort on the deaf child’s face, Michael and I moved our microphones away from our instruments, attaching them to our trouser pockets. This seemed to be working absolutely fine, until both of our microphones eventually detached themselves from the outside of our pockets, and slipped down into our pockets. These were the same pockets that were housing our mobile phones, and the child was apparently then treated to some very loud electronic interference being generated by both our phones. In addition to this, he’d also got a shock whenever Michael and I received a notification on our phones, as the phones vibrated directly against the mics. Michael and I were both receiving the same notifications from The Young’uns Twitter account, and given that we had a gig that day, there were a lot of tweets coming in, meaning that our phones were both vibrating very frequently.

Afterwards, the teacher thanked us for coming into the school and said that she was sure we’d given the children an afternoon that would stay with them for a long time. I’m not sure how true that will be for the other children, but I’m sure the memory of our visit will stay with that poor deaf child for a very long time, and might prove the cause of future psychological problems.

After the lesson I visited the toilet, and it wasn’t until I’d returned to the school hall that I realised I had still got my microphone attached. I assume that the signal wouldn’t stretch that far, but I might be wrong. Fortunately I was humming to myself while I was going about my business, so I doubt that the sound of the weeing would have been audible anyway. And as certain Dollop listeners might be able to tell you, I am not a noisy urinater. If you are wondering what I’m talking about, then feel free to listen to the audio Dollop from two days ago, and continue to listen until you reach your level of squeamishness or decency.

I wonder how often the teachers inadvertently leave their microphones on, and whether this deaf child has heard loads of private conversations between teachers. Who knows what salacious bits of gossip he is privy to. He’s probably the riches kid in the school, due to blackmailing all of his teachers, threatening to reveal their dirty secrets unless they pay him to keep quiet. So don’t feel sorry for that deaf child. He is a manipulative, devilish Iago type character. You see how I referenced Iago, simply because it’s 400 years since the death of Shakespeare, and thus tying all the themes of this blog together perfectly. Did you see what I did there kids? Also the title of the Dollop is a pun on a Shakespeare play. I just thought I’d point that out for you students of the future, just in case you hadn’t got the pun; I’m helping you out with your essay writing here. Shakespeare didn’t have the foresight to help students of the future analyse his work. So does this make me more of a genius than Shakespeare? That is not for me to say. That is for you to say in your essays, studnets of the future and consequently get top marks for factual accuracy.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 113 – Breakfast Of Champions

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The Bridgwater Arts Centre joins The Edinburgh Pleasance Theatre in being responsible for thwarting the uploading of the audio Dollop. Their WIFI connection was working perfectly in the afternoon, but by the time I’d finished editing the audio version at 720, the WIFI connection had disappeared and didn’t return. I should have had both written and audio versions of yesterday’s Dollop published for 730, but lack of WIFI meant that the audio version couldn’t be uploaded and I had to use my phone’s Internet to publish the written version.

We arrived at the Bed and Breakfast just before midnight, but alas there was no WIFI. There were signs all over the place, proclaiming that their breakfasts were multi award winning. We have clearly broken new ground in terms of our status in the folk world. There was a time when we would stay at B&Bs that hadn’t won even one award, and now here we are staying in places that have been awarded multiple times. I am of course aware that we may currently be at a high point in our career, and that one day we are likely to be back on our way down, and we’ll be booked into places that only serve breakfasts which have merely managed to secure one award win, or possibly even a place that serves a breakfast that has only been nominated for an award. I will accept this fate with good grace, for I am not arrogant, and I don’t do this for the award winning breakfasts, or at least not entirely for that reason anyway. But if we get to a point where I find myself eating a breakfast that has neither won or even been nominated for an award, then I will know that it’s time to bow out and retire.

So there we were, in the morning, a multi award winning folk group eating a multi award winning breakfast, our multi award winning lips gracing their multi award winning food. I could never have dared dream of such a moment when I was a child. I imagine all the other diners were looking on in reverent astonishment, unable to believe their good fortune, that they were eating with a multi award winning band who were eating a multi award winning breakfast, whilst they themselves ate a multi award winning breakfast. The other diners must have wondered what it was like to be a multi award winning band eating a multi award winning breakfast, imagining that it must be a highly incredible and enviable experience. But they were wrong. The breakfast was very nice, and no doubt deserving of its multi awards, but I was unable to appreciate it, as I was smarting about the lack of Internet. The expert panel of judges may have found their award winning organic apple juice to be sweet, revitalising and refreshing, but I had an acrid taste in my mouth, for I had yet again had to swallow the bitter pill of audio Dollop failure. I kept trying to locate a WIFI network, but there was nothing, not a sausage, multi award winning or otherwise.

We were about to embark on a three hour drive to a school in Hampshire for our next community project. We wouldn’t get to the arts centre until about 5pm, and so I wouldn’t be able to upload the audio version until then, at the earliest, making this the biggest failure of this challenge so far.

We received another complaint after our gig a couple of nights ago in London. A very drunk woman was annoyed with us for one of our songs. The song was about Dr Kate Stone, who had a harrowing and near-fatal encounter with a wild stag, which charged at her, puncturing her neck and very nearly killing her. While she was recuperating in hospital, re-learning to walk and talk, various newspaper journalists were reporting on her story, but choosing to principally focus on the irrelevant fact that she “used to be a man,” AKA she is a transgender person. So we wrote a song which was inspired by Kate’s none-aggressive and compassionate way in which she dealt with the newspapers and her subsequent work in helping to create more understanding and acceptance about this subject. But a woman in the audience was peeved, and asked why we had chosen to sing a song about this particular woman, and transgender issues when there were more important “Women’s issues” that could be discussed, such as domestic abuse or femaleinequality. I couldn’t really understand her point. She seemed to be berating us for not singing about domestic abuse or women’s inequality, but I don’t see why she’d singled out the song about Kate Stone as a reason for contention. After all, if we had a song about domestic abuse or women’s inequality, then surely we could still sing that as well as the song about Kate Stone? I think her rant was clearly born out of being uncomfortable with and disapproving of the transgender subject, and she’d tried to justify her opinion with a badly cobbled together argument that she hoped would disguise her prejudices.

We started our set with a song called A Place Called England. But she didn’t have a problem with that, and didn’t ask us why we’d not sung a song entitled A Place Called Japan, or A Place Called Papua New Guinea. Or when we sing Billy Bragg’s Between The Wars, maybe we should extend the first verse beyond, “I was a miner, I was a docker, I was a railway man,” to list every other possible profession, which could feasibly take up the entire gig. But for some reason this lady didn’t seem bothered by any of that, but rather chose to focus her attention on our song about the media’s coverage of a transgender person.

I wonder whether she’ll complain to the gig organisers, like the woman in Australia who accused us of being sexist. I very much doubt it, as I’m sure that when she gets home, she’ll immediately fall into a drunken sleep, and when she wakes up she’d either have no recollection of the incident, or feel embarrassed by exhibiting her prejudices so passionately yet incongruously, or realise the ridiculousness of her complaint when she attempts to put it into words. But we have now received two complaints in a month. If you’re coming to see us on tour at all, prepare yourselves, we are clearly becoming more controversial, with our sexist anti-transphobic ways. In fact, I am so sexist against women, and equally vehemently anti-transphobic, that I want to suggest that all women become men, and thus wipe out the pointless and stupid female gender altogether. There, it’s controversial, but I’ve said it! I accept that, being heterosexual, I am cutting off my nose to spite my face, but at least that’s only a figurative nose being cut off an allegorical face, whereas you women will be forced to go through far worse with your actual literal genitals. And before the compliants start pouring in, I know that just because someone is physically female or male, it doesn’t mean that they will identify themselves with that gender, so my idea for eradicating the female gender doesn’t really work. OK, you’ve found me out, I was making a joke, albeit a joke that when held up to any scrutiny doesn’t really work.

Don’t worry, if you happen to be the drunken lady from London, be assured that I’ll redress the balance. I intend to spend tomorrow’s Dollop joking about domestic abuse, then on Sunday I’ll write a Dollop full of jokes about female inequality, before moving on to fill all my other Dollops with jokes centred around every different type of job I can think of, until the end of the year when this project ends.

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