Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Great figures in history-Julius Caesar

Today's proud recipient of News direct's probing historical attention is none other then that slightly balding fascistic member of the homicidal Julia clan, Gaius Julius Caesar.

Gaius Julius Caesar was born in the small market town of Rome just outside the cosmopolitan city state of Hull in the year 100BC. Julius's father, Dave Caesar, was at the time of Julius's birth known to have been running Rome's largest greyhound painting business and as such was revered and respected as one of the Republic's leading business men.

It is said that on the storm wracked night Julius was born his nervous father was trying to keep himself busy painting a black greyhound white, when all of a sudden a flash of slick lightening strode down from the angry night sky and split the now white greyhound into two halves.
A toothless old woman who had seen the greyhound electrically halved was said to have cried out "Wooooooeeeee is Rome!!!! For tonight a boy child is born who will make it his business to split any greyhounds he finds into two separate halves, whether they wish to be split asunder or not!!!!! This the gods have decreed."

The old woman was obviously drunk or mad, or possibly both, but the anecdote does give us an idea of the fear and superstition that clung to the young Julius from the very first moments of his fateful life.
We next encounter young Julius at at the tender age of seven where he is happily engaged in the traditional Julia clan business of Hedgehog grooming, It is known from the historical record that in 107BC the future genocidal maniac and sex addict supreme had made the princely sum of seven Denarii from his spiky grooming. To put that amount into some sort of modern context one Denarii is roughly equivalent to one million US Dollars. So as you can see young Caesar had even by this early age acquired enough money to fund his nascent political career.

On the occasion of his tenth birthday his father had presented him with a shiny new gold greyhound and told the young Julius that to make your way in the cut throat world of Roman politics one had to assume the trappings of power before one could actually taste the seductive sweetness of real power. In Rome Perception is power and wealth is but a means towards the perception of power, but perception is also power if one perceives any real perception of real power.
So it was with these wise words, no doubt still ringing in his ears, that the now twelve year old Julius proudly rode his slim golden greyhound through the ramshackle streets of Rome towards the sturdy oak doors of the senate and his date with with political destiny.

Just two short weeks after arriving in Rome the youngest member of the Julia clan was declared Pro-counsel and as such the de facto head of the whole Roman state, which at this time stretched from the east Yorkshire coast right the way across to what is now Leeds.
One of Julius's first acts as dictator was to invite his great friends Marcus Licinius Crassus, the poorest man in Rome, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, the fattest coward in Rome, to share his new found power with him.
The three best friends were so inseparable that they were known around town as the three amigos.

It was during this somewhat idyllic time that the young Caesar acquired the musky reputation as a sexual deviant and prematurely bald Latinate womaniser. Graffiti found on the walls of a McDonald's in ancient Pompeii Paints Caesar as a "Cum monkey and titty hound" The exact meaning of these ancient appellations have been lost but I think there is enough there for us to be sure that Caesars reputation was widespread and from all accounts well deserved.

But as we all know a life of wine, women and song does not come cheaply and three short years after arriving in Rome Caesar was totally bereft of funds.
After casually frittering away a series of family loans the young shiny headed tyrant decided there was nothing for it but war with the neighbouring kingdom of Gaul.
It was there over the next six weeks that the now fifteen year old Julius made himself secure for life on the blood and gold of over thirty two million unarmed Gauls, it was for this glorious episode that he is still admired today as one of the greatest military commanders in the history of the world.

Tired of slaughtering Gauls and now used to the adulation of blood crazed troops, Julius's gold filled thoughts eventually turned to home and the idea that his new found wealth might persuade the staid old senate to declare him king.
After all, he reasoned, he was quite good looking, had killed loads of people and a crown would cover up his bald head without arousing the suspicions a badger skin wig would.
Once decided upon this course of action Caesar was resolute in his fierce determination to be declared king of all Rome and nothing or no one could stop him, you could say he had crossed the Rubicon.

Upon his arrival in Rome great crowds of plebs had lined the streets chanting "We want a baldy king! We want a baldy king!" it was on the tide of these great chants that Caesar had been borne like a prematurely bald piece of flotsam right up onto the main floor of the Roman senate.
Where he delivered the greatest piece of oratory ever recorded, although I'm afraid we cannot reproduce it here as this great moment in political history went completely unrecorded.

It was said that when Caesar finally stopped speaking after over seven and a half hours of exclamations, pleadings, justifications and exhortations there was a complete silence for a full two minutes before a voice rang out from the back of the chamber "Get him!!!!"
And with this lusty battle cry all 400 of Romes distinguished senators fell upon the shocked would be king of Rome and tore him into pieces so small that a watching Greek philosopher, Democritus, was later able to formulate the first theory of atoms.

So there you have the tragic story of Gaius Julius Caesar of the clan Julia, a man not content with the meager trappings of shared power and hair on the sides of his head, here was a man who wanted it all, gambled and lost for there is an ancient saying that goes "They who the gods want to make mad, they first make bald."

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

News direct meets Reese Witherspoon

As regular readers will know we here at News direct are continually striving to give our valued readership the very best in not just global news and opinion but also top notch interviews with the world's movers and shakers in the fields of politics, art, science, show business and sport.

So it is a little embarrassing to have to announce that todays interview is with Hollywood "super star" Reese "the chin" Witherspoon.
I know the majority of our readers will no doubt exclaim, like I did when I found out I had to interview her, why the bloody hell would anybody want to any spend time reading about chinny ?????
And the answer to that is, if you don't you're sacked! Which I guess isn't much of a threat to you the reader but it did make a big difference to me, anyway here it is.

ND- Reese Witherspoon. Hollywood actress, fashion icon, girl next door, blah blah blah. Alright?

RW- Gee I'm like soooooo happy to be here in London, this city just rocks. I love those beef eaters and Carnaby street and ohhhhhh my god those red buses are like faboulous!!!! I'm just soooooooooooooo excited. I was like doh!!!! Reese this is like London!!!!!Hellooooooo!!!! What would you expect to see in London!!!!!!

ND- Yeah great.

RW-And like ohhhhhhhhhh my god could that Prince William guy be any cuter???????? You know my friend Lydia, when she heard I was coming to London she was like "Oh myyyyyy god Reese what if you like met that Prince William guy and like married him!!!! You would be like the wife of the President of Europe!!!!!!!" And I was like ohhhhhhh my god that would be like sooooooo cool!!!!!!!

ND- Yeah great.

RW-What? My newest movie? Sure I don't mind talking about it! It's a romantic comedy about a girl next door type played by me called "Illegally cute!"
I decided to do a lighter film after my brilliant but dark Oscar winning performance in Walk the line, I like decided that people like wanted to see good ole Reese as good ole Reese!
Walk the line? Oh I'm like soooooooo glad you asked about that!!!!! It's a film I like really treasure and working with that guy who was in it with me was a very non bogus experience.
When they like first asked me to do it I was like no way!!! I didn't even know who Johnny Money was!!! But then they like offered me loads of money and I was like Doh!!!!!And then when they like gave me an Oscar I was like ohhhhhh my god thanks!!!

ND-Yeah great.

RW-Where do I see my career going in the future? Ohhhhhhh my god I like sooooooo don't know, but I would like definitely like to do more films, cos they like give you loads of money and other cool stuff like awards and stuff and one time right, I was like going to that Oscars thing right? And they like gave me designer clothes to wear!!!!! I didn't even have to pay for them and my friend Lydia was like" ohhhh my god Reese that is soooooo cool, they like gave you designer stuff free!!!!!" And I was like I know!!!!!!! How cool is that!!!!!!!

ND- Your chin really is massive, I knew it was big from seeing it in pictures but close up it's huge, it looks like it should have its own satellites. If not it's own moons then it definitely needs its own postcode. In fact it's not just your chin, your whole head is huge! You look like a melon stuck on a pencil.

RW- How long will I be in London? Oh just a few days, Reese unhappy boo hoo. I like wish I could live here, it's sooooo cool and if you like had movies and TV and stuff I totally swear I would!! I'm not kidding!!! I sooooo would!!!! I would!!!!! Honest!!!! I sooooooo would!!!!!

ND-I cant take my eyes off your grotesquely deformed face, when you see it up on the big screen you think to yourself, ok it is gonna look big because its up there on a big screen, but Jesus Christ in real life you look like you are on a big screen! Looking at you is like watching you on Imax.

RW-What? What did you say????? I am sooooooo not telling you about my love life!!! You're bad!!!! I'm like at a place right now where I'm not actively seeking love but if it comes along I won't like say no. It's like my friend Lydia says "Hellooooooo, guys are like great but I'm not gonna like go chasing them and then like cry if I don't like get one, helloooooo!!!"

ND-Yeah great, melon head.

RW-Music???? I'm like sooooo glad you asked me that!!!!! I like have a single out next month in the states called "Why does the world love me" It's a hip hop/country/jungle/R and B style rock song about the pressures of being Reese Witherspoon. People are like "Reese!!!! We knew you were great at doing like films and stuff, but music!!!!!! Are you like some kind of like genius!!! Like that ninja turtle, Leonardo, who did all them paintings and stuff!!!!" And I'm like Doh!!!! I have been into music like forever!!! Even before I did like acting and stuff!!!

ND- Jesus Christ, my legs have gone numb.

RW- It's been a real pleasure to meet you too!!!! Like if you ever come to LA you should sooooo look me up!!! I could show you some shops YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE!!!!!!! No I mean it!!!!

At this point one of Ms Witherspoon's people stood her up and led her still chattering towards the door.
I'm sorry.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Acme brides: An expose!

Man is a simple creature, he works, he eats, he drinks, he sleeps and he has done this with a monotonous clockwork rhythm ever since the mist shrouded beginnings of recorded time.
Is it an inbuilt metronome that swings him into these daily actions? Some innate instinct passed surreptitiously down through his genes?
The reason for man's seemingly natural actions is of course woman and more specifically wife.

No one knows when the institution of marriage first appeared but the earliest known references to this peculiar ritual appear in Sumerian cuneiform tablets dating from around 5000 BC, a rough translation of which gives us this tantalising glimpse of ancient marriage:

"And so the great king did say unto (Missing word)....thou have placed your arrow shaft into yon virgin's gourd, now thou must promise to doest as she tells thou and buyest all her foot wear (Missing passage)..... if thou does not do these things we will cut off your arrow and boilest thou in the oil of ten camels!"

So it seems that man has needed this mutually advantageous contract since the very beginnings of civilisation, indeed it is maybe even the very bedrock of our modern day civilisation.
Nowadays our fast paced lifestyles and isolated urban existences seem to have separated some men from the necessary contract of marriage, leaving them stranded in a sea of filth, instant noodles and internet porn.
Luckily for these poor unfortunates the marriage agency has sprung into much needed existence as an essential aid in the elimination of unwanted bachelorhood.

News direct decided the world needed to know more about these essential tools of modern love and asked me to delve into my box of undercover disguises and pretend to be a sad unlovable wretch so desperate for love that he would resort to the seedy world of the marriage agency.
I started my investigation by trawling the phone book. After F for fanny didn't turn up any promising leads, I then tried M for marriage and stumbled upon a veritable treasure trove of possible leads.
I decided to start where you're supposed to and made an appointment at a place called Acme brides, which had the intriguing motto of "If you don't get laid (for life) we don't get paid!"

Acme brides was conveniently placed atop a mini cab firm in deepest darkest south Leeds, only a discreet hand written crayon sign gave any clue that the steep unlit and uncarpeted stairs before me had been the stairway to heaven for so many of life's saddest losers and desperate geeks.
I climbed the stairs, after checking no one I knew had seen me, and came to a thin paint peeled door with another elegant crayon written sign bearing the legend:

Not the toilet!!!!
Acme brides
Stopping suicides since 1984
(Not affiliated with Acme medical supplies)

I pushed softly on the door, afraid of taking it off its rusting hinges, then pushed again harder because the frayed carpet under the door had gathered up into a foot worn conspiracy to deny me access to this temple of marital bliss.
A voice called out from behind the door "Oi!! what are you trying to do!!"
I continued to push against the flimsy door "It's stuck! I'm behind the door and want to come in and get married"
"Well don't keep bloody pushing on it! You'll have the door off!!"
I felt some give in the door and gave it one last big push and then felt myself swoon into a sort of free fall weightlessness with nothing but the door guiding my passage to the inevitable floor.
I landed hard, star fished awkwardly across the floored door.
Before me behind an untidy desk sat the astonished face of a portly,slightly purple, balding middle aged man, whom I assumed was the owner of Acme brides.
He stared down at me.
I stared apologetically up at him from the traitorous carpet "It was stuck." I nodded at the carpet "On the carpet."
He stared down at me.
"Pushed it too hard I think.......I can't feel my testicles."
He stared down at me.
"I think I may be genitally paralysed, I'm not joking, I really can't feel my testicles."
He stared down at me, his violent purple face now mellowed into a slightly less memorable shade of puce.
I gingerly lifted myself from my spread eagled position into a more comfortable on all fours doggy style, to try to lift the mood I ventured "Bet this doesn't happen often! Does it?"
He stared at me.
I now maneuvered myself onto my knees and began to vigorously rub some sort of life back into my numb testicles "I've come for a wife."
"Get off my door!"
I looked behind me, then back at him "What?"
"Get off my door!!!!!" He was now turning, cuttlefish style, back to his previous violent purple, it was strangely beautiful.
I pulled my hand from the front of my pants and slowly stood up.
"Get off my door!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"What?" I looked down "Oh yeah, sorry."
I stepped off his door, and out of politeness, I picked it up for him and took it over to where it used to be attached and leaned it against its one time neighbour, the wall.
"I'll just put it there shall I?"
He stared.
I made a face that I hoped said "Oops!, I'm such a klutz! But aren't we all sometimes!" And which I knew as soon as it had appeared on my face was more like "Ha! I have just knocked your door off it's hinges and I'm not bothered, in fact I find it hugely amusing, because I believe you to be a twat!"
He stared.

We hadn't got off to the best of starts but in a strange way I think the door accident had helped me to establish my undercover persona as a sad and bumbling bachelor desperate for love.
I pointed towards the plastic chair in front of his desk "There?"
At the sound of my voice he took his eyes from his now leaning door, skipped them off me, onto the chair and sort of grunted as he slid down into his own much more comfortable chair.
"Sorry about the door."
He shook his head, slowly wiped a hand over his face and sighed "What can I do for you Mr...?"
I smiled my best smile "Mr Hart, Johnathan Hart."
A look of puzzlement drifted quickly across his face at the sound of my name but by the grace of god and my brilliant forward planning my disguise held.
"So what can we here at Acme brides do for you...Mr Hart?"
I smiled inwardly with the intense satisfaction that another cunning persona had entered the world fully formed and ready to investigate "Well Mr..?"
"Mr Steele, Remington Steele."
I narrowed my now suspicious eyes "Well .......Mr Steele, I won't lie to you or beat around the bush, the fact is that I'm a multi millionaire businessman and I have decided that after a lifetime of cigars and scotch stained board room deals that it is finally time that I settled down and got myself some legally bound pussy." I smiled.
"Mr Hart, we are not a knocking shop, we don't do "legally bound pussy" we are a reputable bureau du amour, a resource for the time poor bachelor, a service to the community."
"Oh yes, of course I fully understand Mr Steele." I winked.

This wasn't really going how I'd hoped it would so I cleverly changed tack "How About I tell you what I'm looking for and we can go from there?"
Mr Steele sighed and nodded his agreement.
"Right what I'm looking for is something with very large breasts." I clawed my hands in front of my chest to give him some indication of an acceptable size."
He shook his head slowly as I carried on "an even temper and an O level in cookery if possible......but obviously the last two requirements aren't compulsory, but I will not negotiate on breast size!"
"Mr Hart."
"Get out of my office."
"You heard me, get out of my office."
"But I want legal love!!!!"
He stood up and pointed at the open space where his door used to be "Out!"
"Just gimme one of your fat ones then!! I'm not fussy!!!"
He then unexpectedly lunged at me across his paper strewn desk and I quickly decided my impenetrable cover as Johnathan Hart multi millionaire industrialist had been blown and he now suspected I was Britain's top investigative reporter.

I made quickly for the stairs and took all thirty two of them in four giant strides, and before Mr Steele could even reach the bottom stair I was off and away down the crowded high street like a investigative cheetah on amphetamines.
Sometimes undercover work is a dirty and dangerous business, but if it helps bring the stories that matter to the people that matter (That's you) I'm willing to do it.