01-14 June, 2002

This entry was posted on
Saturday, June 1st, 2002
at
9:48 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20020601

Time
09:48
The gifted visionary who was behind the worst Eurovision entry of the year (possibly of all time) has threatened to sue after accusing producers of sabotaging his performance. He claims that bad sound mixing, not bad singing, was to blame.

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Date
20020602

Time
11:52
Many thanks go to DVD Fever for their support of our Get Alex Moving campaign. You can check out their main site here or their Big Brother section here.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:15
It had to happen – worldcupblog.org is here. I’ve got a collection of World Cup ‘virals’ that have been festering away in my Inbox for a few weeks now. Perhaps I should bite the bullet and lay them all out on one page. Or not. After all, we already know who’s going to win.

By the way, do you mind if I say something offensive?

“SOCCER! It’s called SOCCER!”

Thanks.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:23
Loose Lips Sink Ships: Then and Now.

The highly secretive National Security Agency has gone public with an advertising campaign urging members of the military to protect information that might be of use to terrorists.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:36
Further indications that Google is turning to the dark side. This time: censorship.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:43
Evel Knievel is back and ready, we assume, to jump into his own grave.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:52
Spare a thought today for James Russell who, while rummaging in his pockets for money to pay an overdue parking ticket, dropped a small bag of marijuana. A subsequent search by a passing police officer turned up 46 packets of crack cocaine.

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Date
20020605
Cat Lovers Inc.
Time
09:58
A singing kitty with a hole within his soul. Not where I’d put it…

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Date
20020605
Latest Viral Agents
Time
10:00
Dancing Paul, which was re-invented as The Stereo MP’s for MTV (and was, to be fair, the biggest viral agent of last year’s general election) has now been hastily recycled for the Jubilee. When you’re onto a good thing…

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Date
20020605
Big Brother 3
Time
12:48
We were there on Friday to see Lynne evicted. Find out what it’s like to be in the Big Brother audience here.

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Date
20020605

Time
19:25
Newsflash: Posh Spice is rubbish.

Well, duh.

BTW, it was reported by Popbitch that Posh wouldn’t be dropped from her label until after the World Cup, but it seems that this report itself has had an effect on the timing of the announcement. There’s a word for this that escapes me. There’s also a few thousand words that escape Victoria, but I’m sure she’ll make do with some choice four-letter selections.

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Date
20020606

Time
09:04
Wyclef Jean of the Fugees was among those arrested in New York City on Tuesday at a rally protesting proposed cuts in the city’s educational system. Jean, 32, said he wanted to ‘speak on behalf of the kids’ who, presumably, have a core message of ‘one time, one time’.

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Date
20020606

Time
09:14
There’s an old joke about a college graduate who starts work at McDonalds as a trainee manager and wax cup supervisor. On his first day, the manager gives him a mop and instructs him to clean the floor.

“Excuse me,” he protests, “I’m a college graduate!”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” says the manager, “Let me show you how to use the mop.”

If you’re not too overcome with laughter, perhaps you’d like to pause and compare the above article with this version. The only difference between them is that one can be found with an internal search engine and the other can’t. Find out why.

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Date
20020606

Time
10:22
Swimmers are being warned to stay away from a “sexually aggressive” dolphin that has made its home at a popular tourist resort on the English south coast. Of course, if you do want to get this close to nature, you might want to read this classic FAQ first.

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Date
20020606

Time
10:25
A Milwaukee man poured gasoline on his clothes, set them on fire and jumped into Lake Michigan to douse the flames in a Jackass-style stunt. Too bad his mate’s video camera ran out of battery power at the critical moment.

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Date
20020606
There Is No God
Time
10:30
An Australian man, one Mr Joey McNicol, is being sued by a spamming outift because he complained and the company was blacklisted as a result. The claim is for $20,000 ‘to compensate for the 20 days of lost income while awaiting a new internet connection’. The obscenity of this claim astounds me, but at least I can take action.

In other news, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that computer-generated images of minors engaged in sexual acts are not illegal and are in fact protected by the First Amendment.

My, it is turning out to be a good day.

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Date
20020606
Big Brother 3
Time
12:35
More Big Brother links than you can poke a stick at.

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Date
20020606

Time
12:54
The betting pool to end all betting pools. Quite literally, I fear…

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Date
20020606

Time
15:19
How’s this for a weblog title?

The never-ending ever-lasting party in my pants.

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Date
20020606

Time
15:32
The chap in charge of an enormous electronic document archive has died. Administrators have since made a public appeal for help from hackers, as he took many of the core passwords to the grave.

See? You can take it with you…

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Date
20020606

Time
16:53
Make your own South Park character. This is me. Notice the crow’s feet and bags resulting from overexposure to computer monitors.

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Date
20020607

Time
11:05
The Sun seems mystified by the sudden run on bets that Alison is for the chop. Have they not heard of Popbitch, then?

(For those who came in late: Popbitch yesterday announced the following on their front page and in their widely-received weekly mailout: “Expect a massive hatchet job on Alison in tonights Big Brother. The producers, who are very proud of their new £1.2m set, are increasingly worried by the hyperactive heavyweight’s destructive properties.” The rest of this entertaining scoop is here. Enjoy.)

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Date
20020607
Another Reason To Hate Pop-ups
Time
11:29
I don’t know about you, but I’m a ‘hunter and pecker’, so I watch the keyboard more than I do the screen – and I hate it when I’m typing text into a data field on a web page, only to look up and discover that my typing has been interrupted halfway through because some pop-up has thoughtfully made itself the main browser window. All pop-ups must die.

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Date
20020607

Time
11:42
Yasser Arafat’s bed bombed. Goes on to win Turner Prize. Etc.

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Date
20020607

Time
13:28
I’m sitting in the middle of a very empty office right now. Apparently there’s some kind of football game on at the moment. Everybody seems terribly excited, but then, football isn’t everything.

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Date
20020607

Time
14:08
Who doesn’t need a naked Hitler doll with moveable hands?

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Date
20020607

Time
14:09
No, I don’t get it, either…

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Date
20020607
Flash Games
Time
14:26
Play Alien Attack

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Date
20020607

Time
15:28
I know, I know, it’s sooooooooo last Tuesday – but if you have even a passing interest in Penthouse’s recent Anna Kournikova stuff-up, then you can’t afford to miss this great article and *ahem* pictorial.

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Date
20020607

Time
15:38
A personality test that’s destined for weblog greatness.

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Date
20020609
Mustard Man II
Time
09:03
Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to announce that we can now, at last, finally and once and for all, reveal the true identity of Mustard Man. Be prepared for a feeling of mild surprise.

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Date
20020610

Time
10:32
I was at the xcom2002 event yesterday. I met some interesting people, and enjoyed some first-time facetime with people I’d previously only known online. Highlights? The free badges they were giving away emblazoned with the messages ‘Steal Music’ and ‘Steal Content’, erm, on a table right next to the security guard whose job it was to ensure that you paid your £3 to get in.

I really wish I’d worn a suit, though. Then I really would have stood out as an establishment figure.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:08
God has a blog but, typically, has already tired of the affair and wants to give it up so he can get back to work on version 1.7 of the Platypus.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:10
Arnold Schwarzenegger has his say on who would win in a battle between a vampire and a werewolf. It’s good to see Hollywood movie stars are finally speaking out on important social issues.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:13
Tony Blair lives in a dump.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:26
10 Ways My Dog is Capable of Advanced Logic.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:30
Get your stinking paws off my mobile you damn dirty ape! Police in London are hunting a chimpanzee after it broke into a house and stole a mobile phone.

Of course, this kind of thing happens all the time.

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Date
20020610
Flash Movies
Time
15:00
This series of traffic lessons is the funniest and best-presented flash offering I’ve seen in a long, long, time. If you steal one link from my blog today, make it this one.

Damn it, it’s so good, I do believe I’ll blog it twice!

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Date
20020610
Flash Movies
Time
15:03
This series of traffic lessons is the funniest and best-presented flash offering I’ve seen in a long, long, time. If you steal one link from my blog today, make it this one.

Damn it, it’s so good, I do believe I’ll blog it twice!

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Date
20020611

Time
09:47
A growing collection of unresolved endings.

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Date
20020611

Time
09:49
Attention women! We men have a few rules of our own. (Erm, if that’s OK with you…)

Rule 1: Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

Etc…

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Date
20020611
Ebay Weirdness
Time
10:00
Some bright spark on ebay is asking for you to pay for his wife’s boob job. In return, you get to cop a feel. The link to the auction is here, but the spoilsports at ebay don’t want people who aren’t from the US viewing ‘Adult’ auctions (I suspect this is a government-funded initiative to reduce the ‘only in America’ effect). The auction is also likely to be withdrawn. Not to worry. Cruel.com has it mirrored.

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Date
20020611

Time
10:11
Can somebody please drop by cyberskiving.co.uk and tell them that they need a ‘weblog’ category? Thanks.

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Date
20020611

Time
10:27
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you the first overtly commercial personality quiz. Too bad they forgot to include the basic component that makes these things spread so fast (i.e. the ‘cut and paste’ graphic and/or text link code normally presented with the results). Kind of like this one (that’s far from a perfect example, but is currently riding high on Blogdex):

“I act like I’m 18. This test was brought to you by Mel – She’ll bite you ;o). Take it here.”

So that’s Blaggers:0 Bloggers:1

Next!

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Date
20020611

Time
11:40
Listen to the Homer MP3 that Fox does not want you to hear. Save a copy to your hard drive for future generations to enjoy.

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Date
20020611

Time
14:15
We reported last Thursday that administrators an enormous electronic document asked for help from hackers, because the primary archivist died and took his password with him. The problem was solved within 5 hours of their appeal being released. As it turns out, it was cracked, not hacked. The password was the dead gentlemen’s name, with the letters cunningly rearranged back to front…

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Date
20020612

Time
05:26

This is going to be a very strange blog today, and I apologise for that, but after putting up with years of bullshit from South West Trains, and after what happened last night, I really feel that I must speak out.

It began, as most of my travel adventures have in the past, at Waterloo Station. I arrived in plenty of time to catch the 9:20 but, sadly, it had been announced on the boards as being ‘expected at 9:45′.

A multitude of passengers waited, staring hopefully at the electronic board.

About 20 minutes later, as a seasoned passenger of SWT, I asked why a number of platforms had been confirmed ahead of ours, when our train was listed as due (at 9:45, but the time had been and gone without advice).

“Well, as late as it is, it is confirmed for Platform 9″ came the quiet response from the man manning the ‘information’ desk, “But of course, I can’t confirm that…”

This triggered something inside me. Nothing big, but enough to make me do what an Australian will do ahead of a typical Englishman. No, I didn’t whinge selfishly; I simply spoke up in a loud voice to the majority who were waiting for the same train (and staring hopefully, if you remember, at the electronic board).

“This” I intoned, with as much senatorial control as I could muster, “is typical of how bad this situation is!

“The train is now over half an hour late – and nobody is complaining! And do you know what? Everybody here is hoping that you won’t complain!”

I went on to give a very loud, and I would think quite lucid, account of why privatisation of public transport doesn’t work. A local drunk helpfully chipped in by adding “England!!! England!!”, which pleased the SWT Trains bods no end. It gave them the perfect excuse to pack up and leave.

Yes, they actually lifted the entire information desk and shuffled away with it. I shit you not.

But this (my faithful friends who are actually reading the entirety of this text) is just the beginning. The rot goes much deeper than this, as you’re soon about to find out…

The platform was announced, finally, as Platform 9. I had to shake the drunk off my shoe to get there, but get there I did.

I arrived just in time to see our train – formed of the front four coaches only – arriving. The multitude or former electronic board watchers herded onto this train.

The only SWT staff member who was semi-helpful on this journey pointed out that the subsequent express (also running late) was arriving on the opposite side of the platform.

Not surprisingly, I opted for this eight-carriage train instead of the other (which by now was already standing-room only)..

The journey was uneventful.

I did, however, arrive at my destination a mere minute after my connecting bus – the final service for the night – had left.

I headed straight for the Station Manager’s office and pointed out that it was due to South West Trains’ failure to provide the scheduled service as promised that I was now facing a 3 mile walk home in the rain.

Here’s where the fun begins…

All I wanted was a cab. A simple service, and provided for under the meagre charter that allows for delays over an hour or more. A cost of six quid, to be precise.

He informed me that he was not responsible for buses.

I informed him that he was responsible for trains, and from about then on, he ignored me.

The discussion collapsed irretrievably when he shut the office door in my face.

So, here I was with an unexpected cab fare home that I couldn’t pay for (due to an un-cleared cheque that is a matter for later blog-whinges regarding banks and their archaic ‘7 day clearance’ system in this modern age of instant email and what-not) and a corporation that, rightfully, owed me at least a single fare refund. This single fare refund amounted to pretty much the cost of my cab fare (if you remember, about 6 quid) so, as it was raining quite heavily, I tried to reason with him as a human being.

Big mistake.

Mr Tiddles, as the Station Manager shall be known from this point forward, took great offence at the suggestion that he should be called to authorise such an extravagant expenditure.

His solution was to call ‘the police’.

Now, when an SWT stationmaster calls the police on you, there’s something you should be aware of. When he refers to ‘ the police’, he is, in fact, referring to the Transport Police.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting…

This ‘policeman’ turned up, as if by magic, at about the time when I felt compelled to stage an impromptu sit-in by blocking the doors of (yet another) late train.

I even drew up a sign, being the stubborn little fucker I can be forced to be occasionally, reading:

THIS IS AN OFFICIAL PROTEST

SOUTH WEST TRAINS DID NOT PROVIDE ME WITH THE SERVICE THAT WAS PROMISED AND WILL NOT HEAR MY COMPLAINT

This ‘policeman’ turned up as yet another drunk turned up to take my side. Perhaps God sends these people but, God – if you’re listening – I can do without it.

Ho hum.

Anyways, I stood well clear as the ‘policeman’ cleared this chap from our lives, as in his current state he was no more than an unwelcome distraction.

So, here I am, waiting patiently for the ‘policeman’ to address me.

I explained the situation in some detail, and here – critically – time gets fuzzy.

What it all boiled down to, after roughly thirty minutes of discussion, was that he insisted that he was “merely a keeper of the Queen’s peace”.

Please remember this, as there will be a test later…

At the close of our long, long discussion (during which, I was constantly worried that he had better things to do) I pointed out that the Station Manager held the solution to the problem – not me – and not me – had best take it up with him.

I was certainly not going to endure an hour’s walk home in the pouring rain because SWT had fucked up, and if the Queen’s peace was at stake, then the only resolution lay in the hands of the Station Manager because I was in the right and, subsequently, an immovable object.

It was about this time he pointed out that, as a member of the Transport Police, he was – in effect – employed by South West Trains as part of their security force.

This is the bit where I failed to absorb important information. I take full responsibility for that. I was thrown off by the fact that he had a radio, black uniform and bobby hat like What Those On The Bill wear.

Stupid.

Stupid.

Stupid.

He went off to ‘meet’ with the manager in what looked to be a small office on the far end of the station. I waited 5 minutes, 10, then close to 20…

Then a woman in her late 30’s turned up. She was quite distressed, because a late train had resulted in her missing the last bus (sound familiar?).

I was a prick.

I was so intent on using her to support my cause, that I didn’t see the full scope of her problem.

I asked her to stay where she was while I tracked down the officer from the Transport Police and/or the Station Manager.

I went to the small office they appeared to have disappeared into, knocked politely, and announced: “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I have someone here with exactly the same problem as I have. You may as well deal with both of us.”

No answer.

The woman was getting more and more agitated, so I headed back towards her.

She informed me that she now she had a lift, but she would hang around for ‘a few minutes’ while I tried to sort this out.

I went back and knocked at the door again, but as I looked back, I noticed something particularly strange about the manner of the man who was obviously her promised lift. It’s hard to describe, but he seemed a little too insistent, if you know what I mean. When he saw me looking, he backed off again.

Suddenly, my priorities had (finally) changed. I walked across to the woman, and ensured her she would be able to get a cab. Even though I couldn’t afford it, the last thing I wanted to do was let her go off with this man. She seemed so desperate to get home, but I was looking less and less like a sure bet as the station staff ignored me and/or disappeared into the woodwork as I asked about the whereabouts of the Station Manager.

In the end, she opted to go with the stranger. I did not feel comfortable about this at all. If he’d stepped forward at any time I might have been OK about it, but he seemed so intent on orbiting this distressed woman until she was alone that he made me very suspicious.

I looked toward the small office once more, but she had gone. I chased after her. The stranger was ushering her toward the road near the station.

Say what you like about my paranoia, but by now all sorts of alarm bells were ringing in my head. It didn’t seem right at all.

I ran back into the station (about 12 steps, not a big run) and pointed out what was happening and the possible – if unlikely – ramifications. The staff, bolstered as they were by my status as a troublemaker, ignored me.

I was dumbfounded.

I asked the eight men present (that’s eight of the fuckers) if they were going to let this woman walk away with a stranger.

“Not our problem” said the fat bastard who claimed to be ‘just a cleaner’ (who from now on shall be known as the ‘Fat Bastard Cleaner’).

Of course, at this time, I still had a vague notion that there was a real policeman somewhere nearby – so I this time I *hammered* at the door the member of the Transport Police and Station Manager had seemingly disappeared into.

No answer.

I rushed back out to the front door just in time to see the woman being rushed/ushered out of sight.

Yes, I will admit at this stage that consensual sex between two strangers happens from time to time, but this woman hadn’t been out clubbing all night – she’d just arrived on a train from work. And the surreptitious way in which this woman was spirited from the station made me feel very, very uncomfortable.

So uncomfortable, in fact, that I felt compelled to call 999.

Too far away to give chase (after being under the illusion for so long that a police officer was in attendance) I did so.

It was quite reassuring, after all of the negative and/or ‘who gives a damn’ attitude I had experienced on the platform to hear someone on the other end of the line who actually responded with a reasonable amount of care.

Real policemen were on the way, and by the time I had made it back to the platform it had finally sunk in that Mr Tiddles the Station Manager and the officer of the Transport Police had (instead of making their way into an office) actually disappeared from the station via a nearby set of doors.

I informed the remaining staff of my concerns and told them that police were on the way. Much hilarity ensued. I pressured them again and again as a concerned commuter to reveal the whereabouts of the Station Manager. Hell, I even tried to appeal to them as fellow human beings.

Again, a big mistake.

Fat Bastard Cleaner threatened me with physical violence at least twice. Another gangly git from the security team (hereby known as ‘The Gangly Git From Security’) not only refused to give his name, but even the name of the company he worked for.

“Right,” I said, “Let’s ignore the last hour or so. As a concerned commuter, I want to contact the Station Manager, and I want to do so now

The Gangly Git From Security responded with; “Nobody orders me around, mate!”

No help from staff, no management in sight, and no police. Yet.

In desperation, I picked up the same phone Mr Tiddles had used to call the Transport Police. I figured anything was better than nothing. I informed them of the situation, they informed me there was nothing that they could do. Hooray!

So I asked about the previous call-out to get the real name of the ‘policeman’ who had attended the original call (he had reluctantly given his name as ‘White’ or ‘Whyce’ before swiftly changing the subject).

They informed me that no such call-out was made. I asked them to widen their time-frame and/or check if there were officers on duty at the time. After a muffled pause, they claimed to have no record.

The real police arrived at this time, and were Perfectly Reasonable. They listened to what I had to say, and did their best to take action.

They interviewed me, and the staff that were present. Acknowledging the possible gravity of this situation, they requested access to CCTV footage.

Miraculously, Mr Tiddles turned up about 5 minutes after this formal request. He gave his version of the story – at least, the bits he was there for – and was quick to point out that I had wrongly claimed a refund because my train was only 13 minutes late. (If you remember, I had caught the alternative train – so technically he was correct. Score one for Mr Tiddles.)

Mr Tiddles wisely gestured Fat Bastard Cleaner away, but The Gangly Git From Security had already mouthed off once, and was determined to do so again. I’ll leave his description of me to your imagination. You know enough swear words already.

So why all this fuss? What’s my problem?

My problem is that, at the end of the day, these goddamn jobsworths were so intent on protecting themselves and defeating one problematic commuter that they ignored what may have been a much larger problem.

I’m praying it wasn’t.

I also have a slight problem with the fact that South West Trains have their own goddamn Gestapo who obviously act in the company’s interest whilst strutting about in a policeman’s uniform that amounts to little more than a stage costume.

But then, that’s just me…

UPDATE – She’s OK folks! I’d given the woman in question one of my business cards when we first met, and she got in touch. She was most appreciative of the effort I made and the concern I showed, and described me as ‘the only gentleman on the platform’.

Guess what? The guy who offered to get her home didn’t have a car. He did, however, offer to walk her through Guildford. It was when he then wanted to go via a dark underpass rather than the High Street that she became fully creeped out and simply walked away from him.

The distance to her home was over 2 miles. It’s at this stage that I should probably mention how old she is. 50.

Charming, isn’t it? Because of the inaction of South West Trains staff, this 50 year old woman was walking through Guildford, alone, about an hour after chucking out time. Happily, she had a key for her mother’s house, which happened to be on the far side of Guildford. She made it there safely, let herself in quietly, and stayed the night.

I gave her the names of the (real) police officers that I spoke to, so by now she would have been in touch to let them know that she is OK and given her account of the incident.

Now all that remains is to make South West Trains answerable for the disgraceful behaviour of their staff. That starts, but doesn’t end, with this web page.

Thanks for your time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020612

Time
15:57
Due to the incredible amount of support for today’s blog and some subsequent media interest, it has been mirrored at http://www.bloggerheads.com/swt.asp. If you wish to link to this article, please use this URL instead of linking to the front page, which will updated with the usual bloggage by this time tomorrow.

Thanks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613

Time
07:42
RB wrote in with a few points:

“I have just had read your SWT article and would like to clarify a couple of points for you (I do not work for SWT, and I do not like SWT services!)… British Transport Police are a special police force who cover the whole of the British Isles and who have different divisions around the country… BTP are NOT security guards for SWT nor any other Train Operating Companies, they are there to keep the peace and to arrest anybody who has committed a criminal offence against railway property.”

Here I should point out that, while the BTP do not work directly for SWT, they are funded fully by the industry, primarily the train operating companies, who contribute 50% (with Railtrack contributing 30% and London Underground 20%). I’m sure you can guess where their priorities lie.

Mr Alex Robertson, the Chairman of the British Transport Police Federation, said the following at their annual conference on 17 April, 2002 (a full transcript is here):

“Turning now to the Force itself, the BTP remains saddled with being funded by the Train Operating Companies. In turn they are driven by commercial priorities in the very difficult market of railway transportation.”

Having a privatised railway system is bad enough, but a privatised police force? It boggles the mind!

Many other folks have written in with positive feedback – thanks, everybody – but I’m still to hear from Andrew Haines (Managing Director of South West Trains) who I emailed at about 5:30am yesterday morning. Andrew and I have had words in the past, both friendly and otherwise. I can only hope he hasn’t had time to return my email because he’s too busy kicking arse.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613
Unintentional Googlebombing
Time
13:29
(Hooray – something that’s not about South West Trains!)

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m heavily involved in online marketing and search engine optimisation. I was quite amused to be informed on Tuesday evening that the search result that gets the most traffic into UKNM (an online marketing mailing list to which I contribute regularly) is ‘simspons porn’.

UKNM turns up somewhere around No. 4 for this search query, and has done so for some time.

Why?

Because I included an example of an automated keyword spamming function in this post way back in Dec 2000. The link popularity of UKNM does the rest.

An interesting turn of events, but not something I can show potential clients.

Well, not all of them…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613
Photoshopping
Time
14:43
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the front page of today’s Mirror. You can see a larger version of this here (or, if you’re reading the archives, you might want to go here instead).

A tabloid has yet again ripped off the work of a Photoshopping artist and used it for their own benefit without so much as a name check, much less any kind of compensation.

What is it with journalists who assume that if it arrived by email or came from that dark mysterious thing known as ‘The Web’ that it must be free?

They did this same thing with the Harry Pothead picture and the Queen Mum Yoda mix. Such works, being transformative as they are, are covered under ‘fair use’ in that they have created a new work from old images. This new work is covered by copyright – copyright that the Mirror has violated by reprinting the work without permission. On the front bloody page!

All the redtops know that the front page is what sells the paper, so if I were the artist involved, I would stick it to them for a massive fee.

Bloggerheads Says: Come on you slack bastards. You’re supposed to be journalists. Do your research. Find the original artist and get in touch, instead of using their work without permission!!!

UPDATE – I just called the picture desk at The Mirror. I pointed out that the front page image was missing a picture credit and asked where it came from.

“Reuters” said he, “it was released two weeks ago on the Reuters network, and that’s the image we’ve used”

“No it isn’t,” I replied, “This is a new work by a Photoshopping artist that’s protected under fair use.”

“No it isn’t,” he retorted, “It’s the same picture with artwork on it!”

“Can I quote you on that?” I asked.

“And who are you?” he smarmed.

“I’m a photoshopping art..*click*

Cheeky bugger. Shows how much they care for our opinion, doesn’t it? Make some noise if you want; they won’t listen to me:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/contactus/

UPDATE 2 – A reader from Belgium writes:

“The picture of the daily mirror has been published the first time on a belgian newsgroup called “kotnet.absurd”, this newsgroup is a private newsgroup of the university of Leuven. It was posted by “De Phanne” on Sat, 8 Jun 2002 13:05:50 +0200 (with the) Topic: “Re: waar is de tijd dat voetballers echte mannen waren?”,

It was also this student who created the image.”

There. That took me less than two hours to find out. The Mirror had over two days, but didn’t bother. Why not? Are we not worth bothering with?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613

Time
17:18
An Oslo man was fined after threatening to sexually violate a mailman or anyone else delivering unwanted advertising to his mailbox. It seems the standard ‘no advertising’ sticker had little or no effect, so he decided to spice his up a bit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020614

Time
21:31
I’ve just had to travel all the way to Hull and back to discuss laxatives. I’d consider this to be particularly ironic considering the amount of shit I’ve had to put up with this week.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020614
Mustard Man II
Time
21:43
The word is spreading, right back to where it ‘began’.

Muchmusic is encouraging their viewers to take Mustard Man as a date to their MuchMusic Video Awards:

And if you need a date for the MMVAs, look no further – Mustard Man has been revealed! You may have heard me mention him on MOD. This is your chance to ask out the one and only “Mike ‘Nug’ Nahrgang.”

Get to it, girls. He is, after all, only one man. (Erm, but with his mate Peeps, he’s two…)

Mind, it’d be nice if Muchmusic put on a limo and maybe a nice dinner…








About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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