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Beckham to get The Last Supper painting tattooed onto nipples, buttocks

In Culture, Sport on January 13, 2010 at 09:24

AC Milan and England midfielder David Beckham has caused controversy by announcing that he is to have the classical scene from Da Vinci’s The Last Supper painting reproduced as a tattoo which will cover his nipples and buttocks.

The surprise move comes in the wake of the unveiling of Beckham’s most recent tattoo this week after his team’s win against Juventus in Turin.

Although that tattoo, taken from the painting The Man Of Sorrows by Matthew R Brooks, and depicting Jesus on his way to the cross, has caused considerable debate, the decision to cover his nipples and buttocks in iconic religious motifs is one that is sure to see Beckham come under fire yet again.

"Judas go poo-poo!"

The painting depicts a poignant moment for Christians recounting as it does the final days of Jesus, who announces that one of his twelve disciples will betray him.

“I think it will be extremely, y’know, tasteful,” said Beckham this morning. “I’m not, y’know, completely sure if I can get it done yet, but I’m hoping that we can position the, y’know, image so that Jesus sits just in between my nipples, and Judas will be, y’know, on my buttocks.”

David’s wife explains, “Becks has always liked that painting and I said I’d get him a tattoo of it for him for Christmas. I’m classy like that.

“David was really excited at the prospect of having Judas on his buttocks – I think he’s got this image in this head that every time he goes to the loo, he’s going to shout: ‘Judas go poo-poo!’ Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea after all.”

This will be the fifth Beckham tattoo to depicts Christian iconography as he also has a crucifix on the back of his neck, a guardian angel between his shoulder blades and an angel on his right shoulder.

Beckham’s personal taxidermist, Pete ‘the Snake’ Temple recounts how he had talked David through various tattoo options before he eventually settled on the Da Vinci classic.  “We discussed tattooing the scene from the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, the Mona Lisa, and, David’s favourite, the Teletubbies…in the end, I managed to convince him that this was for the best.”

“After this, I’m going to get that scene in Return of the Jedi where, y’know, Darth Vader fights Luke Skywalker,” Beckham added, before Victoria assured him that this was in no way associated with Christian iconography of any sort.


Britain rushes back to work after agony of Christmas break

In Culture, Lifestyle, News on January 4, 2010 at 18:18

Britain's workers celebrate getting the all-clear to return to work

Hundreds and thousands of workers across the country are celebrating returning back to their place of work today having been cruelly deprived of the opportunity to earn their livelihood over the last ten days thanks to the agonising and unnecessarily long Christmas break.

The traditional holiday period, which for many people has run from Christmas Eve (December 24th) all the way to today, dragging out the full horror of New Year’s Eve in the process, has been known in previous years to drive many of Britain’s diligent workers close to the brink of insanity.

Martin Sandhurst, 26, a postman from Salisbury said: “I know a lot of people like to paint the festive period as a time of fun and celebration, but the cold hard truth of the matter is that if you ask anyone what they’d rather be doing out of sitting round a table and stuffing their face with a roast turkey dinner, unwrapping presents, or putting in a good honest day’s shift, and it’s really no contest.

“To be fair, if you’d have given me the option of doing my daily rounds on New Year’s Day, rather than sitting around all day, I’d have been down that Post Office faster than you could sing a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne.”

Judith Finch, 42, from Suffolk agrees: “The Christmas break has always been a difficult time for me. I run a small shop in the local village, and it’s quiet at the best of times. At Christmas time, when everybody is at home in front of the telly, there’s no point in even opening up. I spent seven hours on Christmas Day just standing in the cold outside the shop, pining for Christmas to end so that I could re-open. I think I got a mild case of hypothermia.”

Asked to explain the phenomena, leading psychologist Dr. Philip van Marco explains: “Traditionally, people in this country are creatures of habit. They carefully establish their routines and get settled into them easily.

“Any break in this routine,” the Doctor continued, “such as a prolonged, unnecessary and it has to be said, ridiculous absence from work such as the one we have just had, preventing the workforce from doing their jobs, can lead, in extreme cases, to subjects psycho-analysing their own family, pets or even the Christmas turkey as was evident in my own case on Boxing Day.

“In particular, city workers are known to miss the comforting surroundings of the commuter trains, glowing in the warmth of another car’s rear lights in a traffic jam, and the hustle and bustle and camaraderie of shouting at one another across a crowded office until their throat is sore. God it’s good to be back, isn’t it?”

Prime Minister says he ‘didn’t want to go to a New Year party anyway’

In Culture, News, Politics on December 30, 2009 at 23:40

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has announced that he ‘hates New Year’ and that he is ‘glad’ that he isn’t going to a New Year’s Eve party this year, because he ‘didn’t want to go to one anyway’.

Speaking this afternoon at a hastily assembled news conference at Downing Street, the Prime Minister confirmed that he would not be attending any New Year celebrations this year, on the basis that they were all ‘rubbish’.

“New Year is stupid,” the Prime Minister said. “I mean, think about it – here we are getting all worked up about the New Year, when in 12 short months we’ll be back here again glad to see the back of it. It’s pointless.

Just one of the many hundreds of New Year's parties that the Prime Minister has not been invited to

“And anyway, even if I did go to a party, it would probably be a massive disappointment – it always is.  It always gets built up as the best night of the year, but you’re left with no booze, and your best mate ends up snogging the bird you’ve had your one good eye on all night.  How is that fun?”

Mr. Brown has faced a difficult year in 2009 ahead of next year’s General Election with many backbenchers looking to force him out of office, while his personal approval level has sunk to an all-time low.  All of which has lead to increased speculation that the Prime Minister’s hard line on New Year celebrations comes as a direct consequence of not being invited anywhere.

“That’s b*llocks,” Mr. Brown said earlier, to refute these allegations. “I’ve been invited to loads of parties. What’s that? How many? Four.  No, wait – nine. Yes, nine parties.  I just think they’ll all be rubbish.

“Let Sarah and the family go out and find out for themselves how rubbish they are. I’ll stay indoors with a bottle of gin and shout obscenities at that gurning idiot Jools Holland on the telly in my vest and pants.”

The Prime Minister’s comments have brought a mixed reaction from the voting public, and although some have preferred to label him a “boring t*at” others have shown their support for his sentiments.

“I agree with Brown – New Year’s Eve is always rubbish.  Why do we fall for it every year?” said one anonymous man.  “I’m going to follow the PM’s example and get my own gin, vest and pants and just stay in .”

Labour party spokesperson was quick to laugh off Mr. Brown’s comments as “a seasonal practical joke, which has got out of hand” although added in hushed, urgent tones: “You didn’t let on where the big Labour party New Year’s Eve party is happening, did you?”

Nation vows never to eat turkey again

In Culture, News on December 27, 2009 at 11:19


The entire nation has vowed never to so much as go near any turkey ever again according to reports. The sudden move follows three days of  sustained binge eating of the bird in a variety of different ways over the festive period, and comes in the wake of a sustained bout of stomach cramps, pains and aches brought about by stuffing it into people’s every orifice as quickly as humanly possible.

Angela Wilkinson and her husband Ken, from Stoke-on-Trent are one such couple who have been forcing turkey down their necks in recent days.

“On Christmas Day, Angela cooked up a lovely meal for us, and the rest of the family – we had seven of us over in total, so we got a larger turkey than usual,” Ken explains.

“Although, if I’m completely honest, all this really meant was that was we had more left over. I’ve had turkey in every single meal since Christmas lunch, and if I so much as see another piece, I swear, I’ll go completely f*****g postal.”

“It’s true,” says Angela. “We had so much leftover turkey that I had to start slipping it in with Ken’s Corn Flakes in the morning so that I could use it all up. We’ve had turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey surprise – that’s turkey with extra turkey – and my favourite, turkey trifle. We’ve still got half a turkey left – what are we going to do?”

The Wilkinsons are far from alone with their dilemma, as a recent survey showed that by the 27th December every year, almost 92% of all Britons would rather hack off their limbs with a rusty spoon than take another mouthful of turkey.

Even senior politicians are not immune to the effects of too much turkey, as Michael Heseltine recalls: “I remember one year in the late 1980s after too much turkey and quite a lot of gin, we had to physically restrain Mrs. Thatcher from giving the order to declare war on Turkey – in fairness, there had been a bit of a misunderstanding.”

To combat the escalating turkey issue, the government have proposed widespread boycotting of the Christmas meal in 2010, unveiling their campaign yesterday under the slogan: ‘Why not have a pizza instead?’

Turkey magnate Bernard Matthews, meanwhile, was unavailable for comment,  as most people seem have assumed that he died after he stopped doing the ads for frozen turkey burgers on the telly, so we didn’t bother.

Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny unhappy with ‘publicity-seeking’ Santa

In Culture, Media on December 7, 2009 at 12:44

Publicity whore

The Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny have shocked the world this morning by threatening to reveal Santa Claus’s true identity, as well as the location of his secret Lapland hideout.   The pair have stated that they will release this information, as well as compromising details about Santa’s past to the press unless he bows to their pressure and reduces his number of commercial commitments.

Speaking at a hastily arranged press conference, the Easter Bunny explained that both himself and the Tooth Fairy had become increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of relative publicity Santa – also known as Father Christmas, St. Nick and Kris Kringle – had been receiving.

“To be honest, we don’t think it’s really fair,” said the Easter Bunny.  “Look, I know you don’t usually see me around this time of year, but somebody’s got to take a stand against this, and I think it should be me.  Time was, that we all used to take our turns doing our own thing.  I’d give out the eggs at Easter, the Tooth Fairy would give out money for kids when they lost teeth, and everything would be sweet.”

The Easter Bunny went on to relate how the relationship between the three had turned sour.  “Well, you see, it wasn’t long before the jolly old b*stard got greedy.  I suppose it wasn’t enough that he had the biggest event of the year…he had to take a cut of it for himself, didn’t he?”

Asked to explain this further, the Tooth Fairy interjected, angrily: “Do we have to draw you a picture?  Personal appearances, adverts, movies, TV programmes.  He’s got his own agent, you know.  I don’t even have my own event.  I deal in a teeth/money exchange.  How do you think I do on that?  Do you know what the black market is like for kid’s teeth in a recession?  It’s not good, I can tell you.”

“It’s got to the point where I can’t even enter a shopping centre or turn on the TV without seeing him,” the Easter Bunny continued. “Have you seen that bloody Coca-Cola advert?  It turns my stomach.  And when do you see us on TV or in the media?  Never.  Santa needs to cut down on all of this publicity-seeking, or I swear, we’re going to tell all the kids where he lives, and spill the beans on that little stint he did inside a few years back for aggravated assault.”

Santa was unavailable for comment this morning as he was busy shooting a new Coca-Cola commercial, although his agent has promised to look into the issue and “speak to the rabbit.”

Government moves Christmas to next Wednesday to end the pain of it all

In Culture, News, Politics on November 4, 2009 at 09:23

Christmas: next Wednesday

The government has announced that it is bringing Christmas forward to next week as a reactionary measure against television adverts, radio DJs and shopping centres who insist on trying to get everyone ‘into the Christmas spirit’ in early November. The new date for Christmas, announced this morning by Home Secretary Alan Johnson will be next Wednesday, 11th November.

“I hope this teaches these people a valuable lesson,” Johnson said. “If they really want Christmas in November, then let’s give it to them. We’ll have New Year the week after that (on the 18th November) and when the rest of the world is tucking into their Christmas lunch and ringing in the new year at the end of December – that’s almost two months away, by the way – we’ll all be at work. Sound good? Fine, let’s do it.”

The radical new government initiative is not thought to be one that will be popular with voters, although many are said to be sympathetic to the motives behind the move.

Joe Delaney, 24, from Barking said: “Christmas?!? In November?!? Are you having a laugh, mate? Mind you, if I hear ‘All I want for bleedin’ Christmas’ on the radio on more time this week I think I’ll scream. Aaaaaaargh!”

Meanwhile, Katie Stack, 28, from High Wycombe, offered: “My husband and I got so confused with all the Christmas ads on the telly that we immediately went out and bought an AK-47 assault rifle. We don’t even know why. That’s how confused we are with everything that’s been happening.”

Sofa chain DFS, who kicked off the ridiculous speight of Christmas television advertising with a run of festive based ads in October, have reacted angrily to the government’s plans, stating: “Do they honestly think this is going to make any difference at all?  They can move Christmas to the middle of July if they like, and we’ll still churn out ads like they are going out of fashion.  Nothing can stop our relentless campaign to hawk ridiculously expensive sofas as though they are somehow a bit of a bargain in an offensively chipper and up-beat way!  Nothing!”

The government has refused to comment on media speculation that it is considering cancelling St. Valentine’s Day, postponing Easter and ‘having a long hard think’ about Father’s Day in 2010 owing to rampant commercialism.  “Why can’t everybody just calm down?” Johnson concluded. “Together we’ll get through next Wednesday, Christmas will be over, and we can all get back to being miserable together as usual.”

450 year-old painting is world’s first ever advert for Tag Heuer

In Business, Culture on October 20, 2009 at 08:24
branding at its most subtle

Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence: the master of subtle branding

Advertising and marketing experts are today celebrating finding what they think to be the world’s oldest Tag Heuer advert after uncovering a 450 year-old painting of a man sporting what appears to be a very early incarnation of one of the brand’s watches.

The painting has been in the Science Museum’s collection for 33 years after being acquired from a private donor, and has only just seen light of day. Art experts advised after a thorough examination that the painting depicts Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence, holding a golden timepiece, bearing a discreet Tag Heuer logo.

Marketing experts believe the picture, painted by renaissance master Maso da San Friano around, might be one of the very first examples of third party endorsement on record.  Professor Paul McNichols, a noted academic in the field of advertising and marketing said: “I believe this represents a significant breakthrough in terms of the history of advertising. Look at the Duke’s stance in the picture – it’s laid back, relaxed, carefree, and yet somehow all the while drawing attention to the product,” enthused McNichols.

“These are text book traits of an expert model even on modern day advertising photoshoots. It’s just a pity that he was wearing a woman’s blouse, which, to be fair, ruins the whole effect completely.”  McNichols went on to explain that the advert would most likely have been hung in prominent places in villages, the Royal Court or huts that passed as primitive motorway service stations, where passers by would stop in their horse and cart for a bowl of gruel and a mug of ale.

“The branding in the painting is extremely subtle – you may not even be able to notice it unless  you really squint, but real conieusseurs of the time would be able to instantly tell that the watch was a Tag Heuer.  Also, it probably helped that it was probably only one of three watches in existence, so you really have to question why they bothered advertising it at all, but that’s a different matter.”

A spokesperson for Tag Heuer said the company was delighted with the find. “Cosimo was a great patron of science and technology, or so we understand and so we are pleased that he was chosen to pioneer our very first marketing campaign. I suppose it would have been nice if they could have got the strapline in the painting somewhere, but then I suppose you can’t have everything.”