With summer drawing to a close, we thought that now was a perfect time to release what we think are the five most important (and random) things that are essential for students planning to travel.
A hammock is unbelievably versatile and easy to pack. A hammock can be bought within the range of £20-£30 on Amazon, and it is not something you see most travellers taking in their bags. The possibilities are endless; all you need are some trees, and you are good to go! A hammock can also be used to put clothes in and use as an extra bag if need be. The one that we endorse is below.
A trip to Primark, Camden Town, or any budget shop will sort you out with a pair of cheap sunglasses. During the day we might instead recommend some higher-quality sunglasses that actually protect you from the Sun. But, at night, these are invaluable. Swapping cheap sunglasses with someone in a club is a great way to make friends, especially if you find yourself alone or “looking for other people”. Yes, wearing sunglasses indoors is not everyone’s cup of tea – indeed it is not mine – but we think that they are one of the best social tools when travelling abroad and partying.
No one really realises how much stuff they’re going to lose before they do it. Tile trackers go for as low as £14 on Amazon, which might secure the £500 in your wallet.
Cereal is a cheap, reusable, fantastic snack that is easily accessible and a favourite amongst travellers. Having reusable plastic bowls on hand makes cereal easier to consume as a group and means that no one has to continuously stick their hands in a box, having just licked them or shoved them in their mouth.
Do they look stupid? Yes. Are they essential? Certainly. For those who party during the day as well as the night, these are a way to protect the expensive sunglasses you’ve bought along. They can be sleek, and they can also be your saviours.
These are the most important hours in Brooklyn Nets history. A team that hasn’t won an NBA title, a team which seemed poised to lift the Larry O’Brien when they signed KD and Kyrie and then traded for Harden, is now dissolving before our very eyes. These are the most important hours in Nets history.
The package the Nets receive for KD will go down as one of the biggest in history. KD is also probably the best player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to be traded. Yet, the trend in recent years is that teams who have received hauls haven’t won championships, a trade which the Nets will surely fall into. Surely?
The Rockets aren’t contenders, nor are the Pelicans, nor are the Pacers even. The last few championship teams haven’t received the hauls, they made them. The Bucks went all-in for Jrue Holiday, the Lakers for AD, the Raptors went all-in (though not with all their assets per se) for Kawhi, and the Warriors have Wardell Stephen Curry.
The Nets are, however, in a different position. They are trading not one, but TWO superstars, and have one remaining. KD will garner a huge haul, Kyrie a significant (though not unprecedented one), and that leaves Ben Simmons. Simmons, a player who probably cannot be the best player on a championship team, is still one that raises its ceiling. Even more so, the Nets have an opportunity to create the perfect team around him.
A Brooklyn Nets Throwback
The Nets also re-gain something they lost when KD and Kyrie joined: culture. The viral videos of the dancing Nets benches are a thing of the past, replaced by the iso-heavy, boring basketball played by 1-year-contract vet-minimums alongside masterful scorers. Beautiful individual basketball, yes, but a team? Not truly.
The Nets team led by DLo, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen likely had a ceiling akin to the Jazz, if not a bit below that; not a championship team, but a good one, a high seed. The Nets have an opportunity now to be better than that, with Simmons at the helm. The Nets look to be getting a Westbrook-type player (i.e. aging fringe all-star player), a young stud, and future picks (which may not turn out to be top picks given any team is getting KD or Kyrie).
The goal, therefore, has to be building from the ground up, and fast. The Nets need to revive the attractive culture which brought in KD and Kyrie, not to get more free agents, but to create a culture of winning basketball. A culture, like Sean Marks said, where everyone wants to be in Brooklyn. That is what propels teams like Milwaukee, like Golden State, to the top of the NBA world, and that is what held the Nets back.
Is the loss of KD and Kyrie a tragedy? Yes. Can the Nets easily rebuild? The answer to that too, is yes. The Nets have never been “the best team in the world”, and shouldn’t try to be. They can build from now, Warriors-style or Spurs-style, and compete at a high level in the near future. And who knows? A championship might still be on the horizon.
Will Steve Nash go? Was losing Kenny Atkinson and Ime Udoka fatal mistakes? Time will tell. The Nets title push was a bust, but this trade request may just be the biggest blessing for the franchise. Two players we got for free in KD and Kyrie, may just grant us the most, and the best, assets in the NBA, and a bright future. For now, fingers crossed.
In his return to MARVEL blogging, Gavriel takes a deep dive into the season finale of Disney + series Loki. As if pointing out loads of hidden details wasn’t enough, Gavriel also speculates about what this might mean for the future of the MCU.
18th July 2021
It’s Been A Long, Long Time
The episode begins with the song “It’s Been A Long, Long Time”, first played in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but more memorably when Cap dances with Peggy at the end of Endgame, possibly creating at that moment a new timeline.
As the MARVEL title animation comes into focus we hear famous lines from each character as they begin to appear. But as the camera pans out and shows the Sacred Timeline in its entirety circling the “time citadel” the sounds merge and become a cacophony. Perhaps this represents the simultaneous occurrences of all these events and time as a whole from the perspective of the one who remains. From Spider Man’s web shooter to Peter Quill’s dance-off and “the friend from work” line, the sequence pays homage to the entirety of the MCU. Fun fact: a make-a-wish kid visiting the set of Ragnarok came up with that line, which is arguably one of the more iconic lines from the MCU.
Expanding the Loki “verse”
The voices then transition away from MCU lines to the words of notable people. Philosopher Alan Watts begins: “We think of time as a one-way motion from the past through the present and on into the future.” Watts argued that time wasn’t the past affecting the future but an imaginary concept we perceive from the present. Niel Armstrong’s first steps from the moon are recorded as a mysterious ship flies by, and then Greta gets a word.
Malala is also heard followed by Mandela as Tchaikovsky’s music from Swan Lake is heard. Putting on my English Literature student cap, this might represent the battle between light and dark. In a sense, this is like this variant of Kang’s battle with other, worse variants.
Beethoven’s Für Elise is then heard as we see two adjacent black holes. We zoom into the next black hole as we hear “GLORIOUS PURPOSE” screamed by the older, variant Loki.
In her initial conversation with Miss Minutes, Ravonna seems to have no clue who “he” (He Who Remains) is. However, when she has her chat with Mobius she seems far more agitated. She is certain that “he” is the only one with free will and she is determined to find him, disappearing off perhaps to find a variant of Kang.
Ravonna came from FDR high school, where she was the principal “Rebecca Tourminet”, an alias she uses in the comics. She is Kang’s love interest in the comics, and her search for free will might lead to her entanglement with Kang at some point down the line.
Kang/He Who Remains Explained
Kang the Conqueror was a scientist who discovered alternate universes and made contact with other versions of Kang. They were all narcissists and started fighting with each other, naturally. This version, “He Who Remains”, won their war, and he uses the TVA to keep his throne secure. When he is no longer able to control the timeline, the other Kang’s start fighting again.
“He Who Remains” is a variant of Kang the Conqueror. Jonathan Majors has been cast as Kang for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and his character in episode 6 was dressed like Immortus (another variant of Kang). He refers to himself as a “Conqueror”, and the light initially casts his face in blue which makes him look like his comic-book costume.
He snaps at Sylvie, calling her a murder and a hypocrite, similar to Kaecilius calling the Ancient One a hypocrite in Doctor Strange. The breaking of the timeline is depicted similarly to lightning, which is also seen in Doctor Strange when the Ancient One slows down time as she dies. At this point, neither He Who Remains nor the Ancient One can see beyond this point. When Loki returns to the TVA it has already changed.
That Was Loki Very Deceitful
When Sylvie stabs He Who Remains he winks and says “see you soon”. This scene is executed chillingly. She truly had no free will in their battle. Kang well and truly was in control the whole time, and in spite of his inability to see the future he set up a scenario in which he, and only he, could win.
Kang’s offer to promote Sylvie and Loki is backhanded. Their affection for one another (albeit somewhat inappropriate) makes them Nexus beings with immense powers when together. Kang probably realises this and thus drives a wedge between them the entire episode masked by his candid attitude. Now Kang can return in an even more dangerous form.
Loki and Sylvie
Despite their odd relationship, it is strange to see them fight. Their fight is undoubtedly a callback to Loki a few episodes back when he calls love a ‘dagger’. Up close you can see yourself in it and it is beautiful (Loki and Sylvie kiss). But, when you reach for it you bleed (Sylvie pushes Loki through a time-door).
Classic Loki’s wisdom reigns supreme. Blades are worthless against a Loki’s magic. However, Loki learned the key lesson Sylvie laid out for him at the beginning of the series – it truly isn’t all about Loki. Hopefully, we can see more of the duo in season 2 of the series. It will probably come out just before the next Ant-Man and the Wasp in early 2023.
Loki’s return to the TVA shows on the monitor many branches overlapping, and in our cosmic view of the multiverse, many sections are red. Perhaps this is an explanation for Scarlet Witch hearing her children calling out in the post-credit scene of Wandavision? Perhaps this will also explain how Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx will appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home. We should get a trailer for that soon.
Mobius and B15 don’t know who Loki is and the timekeeper statues are replaced by a statue of Kang the Conqueror. Its true creator (Kang) is now for all time, always. Well, at least until he is inevitably dethroned in a possible Fantastic 4 movie, or any other movie really. It does seem as if Kang has the potential to be the next big bad of MARVEL.
If you have any questions or theories feel free to email us at email@example.com and I’ll be sure to respond.
Videos of “yobs” harassing England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, have gone viral. The gibberish chants of these “thugs” have set in motion a MET office enquiry into what our PM, Boris Johnson, described as a “despicable” act. Austin takes a sideways look at the impact of the incident and the broader trends in the British political landscape.
30th June 2021
What Happened to Whitty?
If you haven’t come across the appalling clip of “yobs” harassing Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, you must be living under a rock. The clip shows two male aggressors swarming Whitty, bellowing unintelligibly in a symphony of masculine idiocy. Pushing him from side to side, it is hard to work out what the pair wanted from the distressed Whitty.
In the footage, Whitty is just able to duck beneath the arm of one of the men. His accomplice yells from behind, “Just one photo, please”. It would be wrong to trivialise the incident. But, there is something deeply amusing about the “yobs” demanding a photo with Whitty, whilst capturing the whole thing on camera.
Opening social media yesterday morning to see this was deeply concerning. Firstly, no human being (regardless of what Noah says about politicians) should have to endure such abuse. But secondly, it is the perfect illustration of the lack of respect the public has in the institutions of this nation.
MPs have condemned the incident in their droves – and rightly so; newly appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the men “should be ashamed”. Priti Patel commented that she was “horrified” to see this “terrible” act, committed against a “remarkable public servant”.
Think what you like about Whitty. But, there are no logical grounds on which to support the acts of these men.
Is Whitty the First?
Sadly, this is not the first time such an attack has happened. It is not even the first time Whitty has experienced harassment. Just four months ago, a man followed Whitty around London branding him a “liar“, accusing him of making up Covid statistics.
Today’s footage coincided with the hearing of protestor Martin Hockeridge who, harassed journalist Nick Watt. Watt was forced to run the length of the Strand, wading through a sea of megaphone-wielding protesters chanting “that’s what you get for serving this filthy government” and “down with the monarchy”.
The alarming frequency of harassment cases against those in politics begs the question, why? What is driving people to hound individuals in this manner?
The footage of the “yobs” doesn’t reveal any political motive. But, this kind of action is a testament to the fact that the government isn’t being taken seriously. Given the government’s track record, this is hardly surprising!
In the space of the last few months, the Prime Minister used £60,000 in unmarked cash from Tory donors to pay for renovations of his flat at No.11 Downing Street. The £39 million ‘Track and Trace’ contract was handed out to Hancock’s Tory chums and proved completely inoperable. Patel has several counts of workplace abuse to her name and yet has not resigned. And most recently, Hancock was caught on camera conducting an affair with his aide.
The current Conservative government is lurching from scandal to scandal, plundering through the pandemic like a bull in a china shop. So, is it any wonder that the public has no faith in the government? The individuals who have prioritised lining their own pockets at the expense of millions of British lives?
I understand that the government makes it even harder to respect the British political system. However, the assault on Whitty illustrated a grave problem with the burgeoning “leftist” demagogy. The notion that harassing a journalist, or physically bullying England’s Chief Medical Officer is an acceptable course of action is utterly disappointing. And, in each of these cases, Whitty’s included, social media has greatly exacerbated the turn of events.
Yes, it is important to hold the government to account. That is the basis of this country’s constitution. It is why Parliament exists, why the Queen installs an official opposition and why there has been an increased focus on e-petitions to allow more people’s views to be heard by the government. But, the increase in criminal acts against journalists and government officials is not “holding the government to account”. It is abuse.
Politically, we are trundling down a path towards a precarious tyranny of the majority. With crowds acting as they have been towards Whitty and other officials, there is no hope of positive change.
Instead, these acts give the government ammunition to clip the rights of protestors and non-conformists, reducing our capacity to actually hold the government to account. We have already seen this happen. Priti Patel’s proposed restrictions on protests as part of her policing bill earlier this year illustrate the intentions of this government to silence dissenters. So, what use is there is making the government’s desires easier to achieve?
It must be noted that I am by no means suggesting that the government is behaving in a corrupt way to invoke protests, with the ulterior motive of clipping protesting rights. To assert such an opinion would be to entirely misconstrue events and to descend into conspiracy theories. However, the violent minority is putting ever greater pressure on the government to legislate to reduce our right to protest.
Protests are a part of this nation’s vibrant past. Without protests, Patel would not have a seat in the Commons, let alone a position in Cabinet. As a nation we must safeguard our right to express our opinions and hold the government to account by not allowing ourselves to be caught up in this political aggression.
What is to be done?
I’m sure our high-calibre Decablogs readers will appreciate the Lenin reference in the subheading. But, you must understand I am not advocating some sort of Decablogs Blanquism and a mass overthrowal of government. No, no.
Instead of resorting to violence and playing right into the hands of those sleazy government officials, we must show a reverence for the constitutional process. It is impossible for serious political and social change to occur if the “thug” persona can be pedalled by the media. We cannot give way to atavistic instincts. We cannot lose sight of what really matters – the burning social injustices of our society.
While MPs were quick to rally around Whitty to condemn the atrocious act of violence against him, they have as yet failed to recognise that such violence is the lived experience for women across the globe – over half of the world’s population. They have as yet failed to remedy the vast social inequality, that has only been perpetuated by Covid.
The assault on Chris Whitty was disgusting to watch – a shameful act of half-baked barbarism. Sadly, though, such instances of harassment are now very much commonplace. And yet, spurred on by a dangerous brand of vaguely socialist Instagram “leftism”, the course of activism has been hijacked by a intense breed of far-fetched revolutionaries. Such action makes a mockery of real concerns like inequality and achieving social justice.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this blog. If you have found any of it interesting, I’d love to hear from you over on Instagram.
The supermarket meal deal – a main, a drink and a snack. Conveniently packaged, and more to the point, competitively priced, the importance of the meal deal in today’s society cannot be overstated. N.B. Decablogs is not in receipt of monetary endorsement for this post. But, if Tesco would like to pay me to gobble down some pasta pots, I’m ready to talk.
26th June 2021
When the urge strikes
It’s a Tuesday afternoon. And you’ve been sitting now for roughly forty minutes in your lounge, avidly tracing the motion of the wall-mounted clock with your eyes. As the second hand races towards the top, and the hour hand plants itself above the “1”, you are thinking of one thing and one thing alone – lunch.
Your brain kicks into gear and as you pace into the kitchen, visions of mediterranean banquets flicker before your eyes. This imaginary mise-en-scene of Italian hams, tomato based sundries and delicious cheeses is shattered when you prise open the fridge to see some low fat margarine, a single spring onion and the cold blue light blinking back at you. There is only one course of action – meal deal.
Snatching your coat from the hook, scooping up your phone, keys and wallet in a perfectly rehearsed pirouette, you swing back the door and stroll down to your local supermarket.
The Meal Deal – a British Icon
What I have just detailed is a vignette of modern british life that rivals even Turgenev in the romance of its realism. The meal deal is a perennial icon. A symphony of thrift and choice that has come to embody a generation of Brits. As the sun reaches its highest point each day, millions of Brits pour out of houses, offices and brothels, with a burning desire for a delicious lunch that won’t break the bank. So, the appeal of the meal deal is undeniable.
But, the reason for my post is to lay down a few ground rules. It’s fair to say, I have had quite a few meal deals in my time and so I like to think I have a pretty good grasp of what separates a banging meal deal from an out-and-out stinker.
Where to get your Meal Deal:
The first decision you are faced with (bad news if you are an indecisive Libra) when on the hunt for a meal deal is where to cop it from. To my mind there is only one viable option – Tesco. No one does meal deals like Tesco. For the humble price of £3, you can pick up a quality meal deal from one of 13 million meal deal combinations.
Historically, my second choice meal deal would have been Sainsbury’s. However, recently they have upped the price of their meal deal to £3.50. So it is no longer the case that the low price compensates for the lack of options.
Many would argue that Co-op offers a good meal deal option. And to those people I would say, are you high? Co-op is overpriced, limited in choice and generally not a nice place to be. And, in many of the stores I have been in, meal deal items are not clearly signposted, leaving hungry shop-goers to traipse all over to track down a – let’s be honest – astonishingly mediocre lunch.
So, these are the big three on the meal deal scene. However, there is a list of shops from which I would actively discourage getting a meal deal.
WHSmiths – Overpriced, wraps that taste like cardboard
M&S – Great food but be prepared to remortgage your house to finance it
Morrison’s – I’m sure they’re great but my nearest Morrison’s is 32 miles away (no thank you!)
Pret – not actually a meal deal, grow up!
Boots – As far as meal deals go, they were the first and now they’re the worst
The Nitty Gritty of the Meal Deal
Right, so you’ve made the right call and demonstrated to the world that you have a fully-functioning brain by walking into a Tesco. From the entrance you are able to make out the clearly labelled section “Food To Go” and so you walk over and set about making your selection.
As far as I am concerned, there is only one correct choice with the Tesco Meal Deal.
The undisputed king of meal deals. It marries taste, vegetarianism, flavour and value in a small form-factor meal that is easy to carry in one hand without a bag. While this is the only logical option, there are a few other approaches that can work.
Many meal dealers opt for the most expensive items in the meals deal to maximise value, often at the expense of taste. The most expensive meal deal item is the smoothie, double sushi combo.
Main – Vegetable Sushi – £2.75
Snack – Vegetable Sushi – £1.00
Drink – Naked Smoothie – £2.36
= £6.11 for the price of £3.00
While value junkies would be the first to admit that this isn’t the best tasting meal deal, they can justify such a purchase given the immense dopamine rush at seeing the £6.11 total on the self-checkout drop to £3.00.
Themed Meal Deals
Some like to unite their purchases with a common theme. These can include a focus on Indian cuisine (Main: Samosa, Snack: Samosa and Drink: Ginger and turmeric smoothie shot) or a pasta heavy meal deal (Main: Cheese and Tomato pasta pot, Snack: Cheese and Tomato pasta snack pot, Drink: Water – to cleanse the palate between the wildly different main and snack flavours). While I can respect the themed meal dealer, its not a way I can live my life.
There are, however, some lines over which one cannot cross. What follows is a list of cardinal sins, the sort of things that if I saw someone swiping throught the checkout would make me put my head in my hands and wail audibly.
Avoid at all costs
The Spicy Bean Wrap – If you are consistently beaning, you must really hate yourself
Prawn Layered Salad – Stomach churning – who are you trying to be?
Egg Protein Pot – If you’re choosing this, you are the worst type of person
Tortilla Chip Pot – These are always stale. Get doritos like a normal person
Tyrrells Vegetable Crisps – Just No.
Coconut Water – This is what happens when you start choosing meal deals for instagram photos rather than taste
That’s a wrap! (I hate myself too). If you think I’ve missed out any sinful meal deal items, let me know via instagram: https://www.instagram.com/decablogs/ or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading! If you liked this or want to have more of this style of blog, leave a comment, like and share – it costs you nothing and makes writing these blogs worthwhile 🙂
Following a brief hiatus, our first meeting back, as always, descended into a frenzy. But, from the squawking and quacking emerged a plan; like a Phoenix from the ashes rose the Decablogs Sham-ifesto.
Now, in true Boris Johnson fashion, we can make vague promises which we likely won’t keep about what we will be up to in the coming months.
We pledge to:
Publish absolute nonsense purely for entertainment reasons with unwavering conviction to slander
Get sued by – and then beat – Google at least once a month
Release new content on all days that end in a ‘y’ – we are German speakers when we want to be from henceforth
Measure groundswell with a slurry of truly pointless polls on our social media stories every single day
Annoy enrich you all with endless emails and shameless attempts at publicising Decablogs
Avoid the use of full stops at the end of bullet points and numbered lists in order to sustain the sanity of ourselves and our readers
Make a complete mockery of this Sham-ifesto at every given opportunity.
Reach the number 9 in every list we make
Numbered like iPhones, we want these Sham-ifesto promises to be treated like iPhones; discarded each year to appear only in CEX shop windows
Introducing Decablogs Parliament
Lastly, introducing our newest feature! If you have any issues regarding absolutely anything, pop us an email. Title the subject “Parliament” and include an offence and a proposed punishment/solution in the email, and we will deliberate over the matter with intense scrutiny and give you our verdict. Should your issue be taken to a court of law? Probably not, but it will receive either an email or a blog post in response.
When did I ask? When did I ask you to interrupt my wonderfully articulated, musical speech with such a pointless question? It’s pretty obvious – I love my monologues, hence, well, the blog. So don’t flatter yourself: I am, after all, only speaking for my benefit.
21st May 2021
Today marks a week since the last Decablogs release, and the few of you that have signed up to – or been signed up to without consent – the weekly newsletter will know why. Exams. Alas, every CEO Laird Chief Supreme High Archangel Esq (as Austin addresses me every time we speak) needs an outlet, and today such an outlet will be my blog.
Truly, when did I ask? If anything ruffles my feathers it is those who find it appropriate to question why I am talking. The answer is obvious. No, it is not to appease your desire for all the useless knowledge which I possess. So when, and why, did you ask, and why am I rambling? You didn’t have to – I already adore the sound of my own voice. The true question is when did I ask you to speak? Don’t interrupt me and shut the hell up. I don’t care if the world ends because I am having my moment. Thank you.
When did you ask? When did you ask for this wonderful hammering of the philistines that walk this Earth constantly questioning why the hell I’m talking? You did not, but in response to all of you feigning that you do not in fact care about what I am saying, I am coming out guns blazing. When? Now.
When did I ask?
Ah, the classic. This one truly does make me quake in my boots. My hatred for this phrase is comparable to my ill-fitting trousers’ hatred of my socks. Unfortunately, whilst my trousers will likely never have the pleasure of meeting my socks, I have had the utmost displeasure in encountering too many of these people with brains dryer than asphalt after a year of intense drought. When in fact you thought my continued rambling was in response to your question, it was not. Rather, I very much enjoy the sound of my voice. So much so that when I cannot sleep I am oft found reciting Shakespearean soliloquies to cure my boredom.
What gave you the impression that I cared?
If I’m being honest, this one hurts. My usual retort: how did you gather from my continued speaking that I give a toss as to whether you care or not? Underneath, however, I am indeed crying. You see, I hold a very high opinion of myself and my ego is “as large as…” To think that there are people out there who don’t care for what I have to say hurts me. It hurts me to even think that people would so willingly blaspheme. Did you care what Jesus said? I thought so.
I am of course not comparing myself to Jesus, but I am a very important person and a somewhat decent blogger. Hence, you should care about what I have to say. Mike Allton didn’t, and look what happened to him. Do you want to get the same treatment as Austin gave him in his blog? Thought not.
Why did you think that point was valid?
I am a learned blogger. At the ripe old age of two, I read the Biff and Chip books and it has been only up from there. At my current age, I find myself encountering far more smut than I would typically like, though that is beside the point. I am evidently of superior intellect, evidenced by my clash (and ensuing victory) with Big Mike, and am willing to take any other blog on the web. By extension, I am always right. So why did I think that my point was right? In true “history essay” fashion, it is because “evidence suggests that I am almost always right”.
I have reached the point of this blog where I am asking myself many existential questions. Who asked for me to write this? Why did I write this? Surely I have better things to be doing? Work perhaps? Not obsessing over effectively using rhetorical questions? Writing something serious perhaps? Maybe about my interview with a certain celebrity/politician for this very blog? Acquiring my daily hot chocolate from Pret before I run out of time?
The truest answer I can give, not to the rhetorical questions but to the question of “who asked” is as such: you did. Now, don’t pretend you didn’t preface your witty retort with a question, nor should you pretend that you don’t care about what information I have to share. Listening to your jokes is as painful as wading through thick, old, mucky treacle. Just delightful.
I guess the real question now becomes: “who did actually ask me to write this blog?” The answer – nobody, because I can do what I want. Like fire people, for example. Or tell Google to go away and stop suing us for copyright and spamming the website. Perhaps my attempts at trying that will be explored in a future blog. Until then, ask yourself: who asked you to read this? Because it was most likely me. I asked. That’s who.
Quick shoutout to my friend Eliane who thinks she is so cool and constantly weaves these questions into our conversations. Eliane, as my guy William once said, I have no more faith in you than in a stewed prune. Perhaps it is because you are an alien. I’ll get Noah on that. His alien-hunting expertise is second to none.
In the biblical fashion of David and Goliath, Austin declares war on “Award Winning Social Media Blogger” Mike Allton. After some seriously aggressive tweets, the only thing that can save the Decablogs mothership is full-blown out-and-out cyber conflict. The thick, oozing beef is enough to make a vegetarian like Austin squirm.
Decablogs! The very word is an anagram of ‘sobcdealg’. The Headquarters of Blogging. The dozen or so pages of velvet prose nestling in the warm folds of the ‘.com’ universe. The blog (itself an anagram of ‘glob’) that is girlfriend, mistress, mother, casual boyfriend, sergeant major, nurse-maid, father-confessor and one-night stand all rolled into one. Decablogs means so much to so many.
However, between May 5th and May 7th 2021, a burning injustice was committed. Fellow Decablogger Gavriel set about some perfectly harmless, perfectly legal blog promotion on Twitter and was chewed up and spat out by a bigger boy, by the name of Mike Allton. I don’t want to call Mike a bully, a scoundrel, a good-for-nothing motionless fart because what would that achieve? But, what he said to Gavriel left the poor man in tears, trembling at the very thought of ever having to go on the internet ever again.
While deliberating over whether or not to write this post, I was in my shed. As I was sweating away with chisels and 6ft plywood planks, trying to recall the rudiments of year 7 woodworks, a friend called me and asked what the hell I thought I was doing. ‘I have a record player and nowhere to put it,’ I said, ‘and there comes a time when you need to make a stand.’ So a stand I intend to make.
On the 5th of May, Mike Allton (or Big Mike as he shall henceforth be referred to) set about a little bit of – your friend and mine – online promotion. Unfortunately for him, he made the woeful miscalculation of thinking anyone was actually interested in his “Blogging Bootcamp”. His tweet ran as follows:
What can you expect from enrolling in the Blogging Bootcamp? Nothing less than a complete plan and strategy for how you will move forward with creating content that actually drives traffic, leads & sales.
By all accounts, this is an entirely innocent tweet. Little was Gavriel, of this parish, to know that the moniker “Blogging Brute” plastered at the bottom of his promotion revealed such a core element of Big Mike’s character. At this point, though, we just felt sorry for him. Although we cannot claim to be an “Award Winning Social Media Blogger” like he does in his Twitter bio, we are perfectly acquainted with how it feels not to get any replies to a tweet (yes I am trying to guilt-trip you into following us on Twitter and by Timothy I think it’s working). So out of the goodness of his heart, Gavriel deigned it to reply, thusly:
Oh man, not even close. You wrote about how to write a blog POST. That’s mechanics. What do you actually write about? How do you drive traffic and convert sales? How do you build a brand?
How do you avoid spammy link drops on other people’s posts? 😉🤣
Gavriel‘s reply above was in perfectly good humour, simply alerting Big Mike that he was not alone in the wilderness of the ‘.com’ universe and that we were there for him. From his reply, it was clear the sort of character we were dealing with. The bullish “Oh Man” says it all. This man is a Blogging Brute. The troll under the bridge spinning riddles so that small bloggers cannot pass. Well, Big Mike, I’d like to take you on a few points (if I may).
Firstly, your query “What do you actually write about?” would be quite easily answered by a quick click on the link that Gavriel was so kind to furnish you with below. Secondly, for someone who rather embarrassingly claims to be “Fluent in Star Wars”, perhaps you should get to grips with English first. Has it occurred to you that “[driving]” and “traffic” are virtually incompatible with one another? I’m not going to sit here and point out all the problems with your Twitter presence without offering a solution. I think you would benefit from writing into Agony Aunt, which by the way will be making a comeback if we hit our Instagram milestone – so go follow us NOW!
Gavriel‘s response below was perfectly poised to help out a clearly disgruntled Big Mike. In a manner we have all come to expect from Gavriel, he replied to Big Mike’s sarky retort with an arm around the shoulder. Gavriel‘s suggestion to “write about current events” was a great one, which I’m sure would help Big Mike drive the traffic of his dreams. If you haven’t already, read the blog Gavriel tagged below about the 2021 London Mayoral Election here.
Dude. Years from now you’re going to think back on this thread and realize, “Damn, I was so out of line.”
Big Mike’s last reply says it all really. Before anything else, let it be known that Big Mike Himself, an “Award Winning Social Media Blogger”, thinks that Decablogs will last “years from now”. (Also, FYI, award-winning should be hyphenated. Pretty embarrassing for someone who claims to be an author your Twitter bio). However, the thing that angered us most, that ground our gears, that chafed our crack was what he said next.
“Damn, I was so out of line”.
“I was so out of line”.
Mike, Mike, Mike.
I think there has been some sort of misunderstanding. There is no “I” in Decablogs. This is not some egotistical, sycophantic vanity project. No. Decablogs is a collective. More than that, we are principled. We stand up for the little guy, championing the plight of the common man. We seek to right the injustices that poison this hallowed internet, which we all hold so dear. But above all, we do not let brutes go unchecked.
For you, it would seem, blogging is about driving traffic and converting sales. Chasing profit and using others to further your own personal gain. But we Decabloggers see so much more in blogging. A platform for expression, to get voices heard, we are Decablogs. No amount of glibly uttered “Dude”s or “Damn”s can change that.
Those final words of Big Mike’s reply – “Good Luck” – were severely tinged. Any semblance of well-meaning sentiment was disgraced by the smug grin of his profile picture. I have only one more thing to say to Big Mike.
Dude. Years from now you’re going to think back on this thread and realise, “Damn, I really should have looked at my border policy to stop all my hair migrating to my chin.”
Good Luck Big Mike
All the best,
If you enjoyed this blog, stick it to the man and join the Decablogs movement. Follow our socials and share this post with anyone who will read it. Heck, send it to your nan if you feel like it. Don’t let Big Mike win. Feel free to weigh in on the matter in the comment section below!
To celebrate the holy London Mayoral Election Gavriel has dedicated an entire article to celebrating the best candidates. Featuring Count Binface, Lawrence Fox and Brian Rose, find out more about why your vote matters.
6th May 2021
Ah, it is Election Day at last. Thursday 6th May was a date I had circled on my physical calendar for months, eagerly looking forward to this momentous election. My calendar, by the way, has a different picture of Brian Rose for every month: May, ironically enough, is the only one where he is not wearing his red tie but a bright red “mankini”. Or so I’m told – I have had the calendar flipped to May since I acquired it because why would I dare switch out that picture?
The Mayor of London is a very important role. With a rich, long, important history starting in 2000, the Mayor’s office has been occupied by some highly qualified baboons. There seems to be some genetic link between previous Mayors, and therefore whichever candidate gets the hereditary power to wrongly calculate and decide, much like Boris and Sadiq have over the last year, how long they wait until more people die. That is part of their manifestos, is it not? Lawrence Fox called the NHS ‘so sensitive it needs a round of applause just to finish work’ so if he becomes Mayor I’d put money on him letting as many people die as possible.
Alas, here I am slandering a person advocating for free speech in my web-based blog. What sort of person does that make me? Well, I would like to encourage everyone who can to ensure they submit their vote for the Mayor of London today if they have not already. It is very, very important you do so.
Why I hear you ask? The difficulty of today’s election is choosing between the amazing candidates. Fosh, Fox and the fantastic “Mr Foxy” Brian Rose all appear to be viable candidates for the Mayor’s office, yet they are not looking great in the polls. We must band together to rectify this. I shall henceforth propose my argument as to why you should vote for each.
Max Fosh has my vote. He appears to be intelligent, something which many of our previous Mayors have not impressed upon me. He is also amusing, in touch with the youth, learned and he took part in debating society. He can evidently organise things effectively, such as his famous debate with Lawrence Fox – the only lesson learnt from that is that Lawrence Fox is not as timely as you would like. He fulfils the posh bloke quota, yet he commands the respect of more than most. Who wouldn’t want a Mayor who is a confident speaker, a great organiser, and in touch with a significant proportion of the population?
Lawrence Fox is another perfect candidate, at least to the outside world. In London, admittedly, everyone is what the British like to call “a schmuck”. Therefore, by virtue Fox is the perfect candidate. Not only is he wholeheartedly a schmuck but he is the King of Schmucks. If any city in the world deserves to be ruled by a King, it is London, and Fox’s kingdom is essentially the entirety of London already. He truly is a terrible person who poses a threat to society, much like the guy sitting LITERALLY NEXT TO ME on the tube this morning. Talentless, nepotistic, and worldly-unwise, he is the definition of a Londoner. Also, he is advocating for free speech. I would very much like to keep my rights to that since it allows me to give him such charming compliments like ” he is a schmuck” and “Fox is a fascist meerkat”.
I met Brain Rose today, albeit from afar. Never before has a mayoral candidate been so excited by seeing a group of people that he proceeds to shout and wave with both harms punching the air as if he is Rocky or something. So, if I hadn’t already dedicated myself to Max Fosh I would have voted for him. He is, well, a man with youthful vigour.
Count Binface is an alien. Who wouldn’t vote for an alien? I can answer that. Anyone who voted for Fox, Fosh or Rose. He’s next in line, however. I mean, who even are the other candidates?
In his restless pursuit of copper-bottomed baboonery, Austin has become Agony Aunt for a week. Below are his responses to emails as far-ranging as subjects about one thing and other subjects about other things:
Howdy! It is well known that in this life one should try everything once, save gnocchi and incest. This week I’m having a bash at being an Agony Aunt. My inbox was flooded this week so unfortunately some of your emails got slightly damp. Nonetheless, I was able to salvage some of your predicaments. But this experiment only lasts for this week, so for Pete’s sake don’t bother me with your problems!!! Okay? Great! Thanks! Much appreciated. Mm!
Dear Aunt Austin, what’s happening to my body? I’m just knocking on the door of fourteen and I am becoming aware of certain changes in me and in my feelings towards others. What does it mean? Yours, ‘Mildly Perplexed’
Dear Mildly Perplexed, pull the other one – it’s got bells on it. You’re fully aware of what’s happening inside you, you just want me to write a reply that includes the word ‘genitals’ so you can have a rotten giggle over it. I only deal with genuine problems here; if you want filth try your local train station car park.
Dear Aunt Austin, my girlfriend, whom I love dearly, is unable to satisfy my appetites, and I have started going to restaurants behind her back. I am terrified that if she sees me eating in a peculiar place she’ll sever the relationship. Should I tell her before she finds out? Yours, ‘Hungry’
Dear ‘Hungry’, There’s more to a relationship than just plain eating you know. Of course, for the first few weeks, food and mealtimes will be the most important thing you have between you, and you’ll spend all day at the table together, exploring each other’s tastes and range of cooking styles. But if a relationship is to last, it’s important you learn to find interests outside of the kitchen. If she can’t satisfy you at the moment, perhaps it’s because you aren’t telling her what it is that you want and need. Buy a cookery book, there are plenty available, showing a variety of cuisines that may be more to your taste. Happy gorging!
Dear Aunt Austin, Mr Graham – our headmaster – is forcing me to do double maths every Monday afternoon. I hate maths and it clashes with Neighbours, the Australian Soap on Daytime TV. Could you come round and shoot him so I can get out of it? Lots of love, Peter
Dear Peter, as much as I would love to help, you have a duty to go to school. I know you teachers don’t get paid enough but there are hundreds of students relying on you to guide them through exams – so buck up and get teaching!
Dear Aunt Austin, I think my wife is cheating on me. She keeps answering calls and secretly texting with her phone angled away from me. I have had suspicions for quite some time now. But recently she has been going out a lot more in the evenings with “the girls” who she knows “from work” and whom I have “never met”. Finally, I had had enough. Last Tuesday I tried to follow her. I tailed her very discreetly in my car and parked outside the restaurant the taxi dropped her off at. As she entered, I crouched down behind my BMW 1 Series M Sport and saw the stuff of nightmares. My exhaust pipe was leaking oil. Is this something that can be easily remedied? Yours, ‘Highly Flammable’
Dear ‘Highly Flammable’, I know of somebody else who is also having car troubles at the moment. Last Tuesday, I met a delightful woman for dinner at a very nice little restaurant. I could tell it was a good one because there were a number of expensive cars outside, including a BMW much like yours. Anyway, I got talking to this woman and she mentioned how her husband was having trouble with leaky pipes – you’re clearly not the only one. My prescription would be to visit your local Kwik Fit, kick the tyres and say “she’s got four good feet on her” to seem like you know what you’re talking about.
That’s all for this week. Next week I’ll be interviewing the world’s worst escapologist Alexei Navalny on how he is faring in lockdown. Who knows, the week after that I might be on the moon! Look out!!!