Wednesday, 19 October 2016

One-to-One With... The Conman Philip Green of Arcadia

In the voluminous category of Great British Arseholes, one of the most notable (and punchable) is Philip Green, the chairman of Arcadia Group and inexplicably knighted for his services to gobshitery. Beware! tracked him down by tracking deposits from his camel-hair coat.

B!: Thank you Phil for agreeing to this interview.

Phil: (glancing around nervously) You what? I didn't, and it's Sir Green.

B!: (pulls a face) Not what I've got down here. That's your name?

Phil: My name - you nonce - it's Green.

B!: Shits green? How much spinach would you need to... No wonder you looked so uncomfortable at the Select Committee.

Phil: What an unprofessional start. What publication do you -

B!: Hahaha (obscures press pass). Incredibly ironic, that, isn't it, you talking about professionalism.

Philip Green sweats sperm. (Andy Brain)
 - this design available via MoMoJaJa
Phil: Can we make this quick? I've got a massive yacht to go and view.

B!: Quick as a crash. Tell us how you got started.

Phil: I worked myself up from the ground.

B!: Bought up the stock of several bankrupt companies, stuck your own labels on, bish bash bosh right? Not a bad start. Reckon people will do the same with BHS stock?

Phil: It breaks my heart that things have worked out the way they have.

B!: So how does it feel to be the biggest con-man in Britain? When you're actually here that is.

Phil: Security? Who is this clown?

B!: (Being manhandled away) The voice of your swindled employees pricking at your conscience!

A few days later, we had another go...

Phil: Which one are you?

B!: Jeremy Bullingdon-Scythe from The Financial Arselick Times. (Belatedly crosses fingers behind back)

Phil: Oh are yer. Nice one. FT eh? That's the one that got sold off to the Nips. Shame that. Proud British publication. An institution.

B!: Taking good care of British institutions. That's something you would know all about of course.

Phil: (Missing any irony) I would, yes. I have advised the government on many things including productivity and efficiency.

B!: Did you perhaps advise them to drive wages and conditions down while extracting hundreds of millions of pounds out of failing businesses and spreading it around your family before leaving the country?

The face that appalled Philip Green so.
OK - our reporter had a mask on. (Andy Brain)
Phil: Eh? Actually would you mind not looking at me? It's really putting me off my pork pie.

B!: Not look at you? Fine fine - anything else you'd rather we didn't look at, like your tax arrangements?

Phil: Say what?

B!: Can you explain why your companies are registered to your wife's name and Monaco address?

Phil: What yew asking me about that for? Lady Tina is a Monaco resident and highly qualified to own ownership by name of the companies I own except I don't own them. Nothing could be clearer.

B!: What do you say to the term "asset stripper"? To those who think you should plough some money back into the BHS pension funds?

Phil: They have taken blood, sweat and shit from me already.

B!: Difficult stains to shift. So. A pound. You - let me get this straight - of your own free will, sold BHS for a pound. You wouldn't do that if you were playing Monopoly on your solid gold set, would you. What is it, a shop or a grab bag of sweets?

Phil: Now I've already said, we don't want any shit over this. I am willing to sit down with the regulators and give it a damn good go.

B!: A damn good go eh?

Phil: I'm giving up my free time for this.

B!: A lot of people would like you to give up a lot more free time, "Sir".

Phil: A lot of people never worked an honest day in their life. I built myself up from nuffin.

B!: Talking of honest workers - David Lachappelle eh? What does he know about fashion?

Phil: Dominic Chappell, actually, you cock.

B!: Oh you remember his actual name then. Did you know much else about him eh?

Phil: Dominic Chappell had all the qualities required to steer BHS through a difficult time.

B!: Christ you couldn't even pick someone who had a bit of retail experience! Might have gone better if you did sell BHS to David Lachappelle. They might have started stocking 30" trousers for a start.

Phil: There's no way you're from the FT.

B!: It's not FT any more, it's FAT. Pronounced "phat" because we like the way it sways off the lips and the hips.

(Phil washes his hands and exits.)

Not to be deterred, we gave it one last shot...

Phil: (Drops brandy) What the bloody cock...

B!: (Climbing in through the yacht window) Hello matey. *whistles* So is this the holiday home-from-holiday home? How is Monaco these days?

Phil: You've not been invited -

B!: Alright, no sweat, eh, No Sweat. But hey, with a sweat problem like yours, you can mop it up with a Topshop flannel made in one of your hellhole factories.

Phil: You should know better than to talk about hellholes when there's people like Idi Amin in the world. I've given tons to charity.

B!: Drop in the ocean.

Phil: (Advancing) You'll drop in the ocean.

B!: (Retreating) Missed out on The Apprentice didn't you! Ere I've got another lifestyle format, you'll love it: Brass Neck UK. The candidate who cocks everything up and keeps getting bailed out but still manages the most brazen cheek gets an excrement badge, how about that? Alright I'm leaving.

Phil: F*** off and stay f***ed off.

B!: (in the water) Are you Alan Sugar's little brother?

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Poetry Hallway - Summer Speziale

Hot? It's hot as hell on a heatsink! Well, mainly on the tube, where it's always 15 degrees warmer than everywhere else. But still. My underwear has melted! Here are some steamy verses by Beware!'s team of cracked poets. Bask in their haze. Socks off.

Summer Haiku by Andy Brain

Tyrants of summer
Hang heavy with payloads primed;
Trichomes! Take cover!

Puffball detonates.
Sun-arise, early in the morning.
(Courtesy: MoMoJaJa page on Redbubble.)
Plane tree sheds on sight of sun.
Pollen penetrates.

Filmy teary eyes -
"Don't rub or you'll make it worse";
Mucus wells inside.

Outdoors fun denied,
Retreat til the pills kick in.
Sit tight; purify.

Massive Sound System by Dicko Twonk

Arse-Hat is in East Hill
Revving round Cruiser's Creek;
Street soul, but bad brain connection
Pearl cobwebs; silk goat,
Many such in the valley, but only one here.
The "song" plays in the open
Through 300W of raw power, and,
Most importantly, does not please just Arse-Hat,
But penetrates our skulls, our private hells,
And so on.
Bass thumps in sternums rouse neighbours;
We hope and pray for a short circuit.

At noon, the sun burns my resolve,
I have to sleep in the nude.
The balcony is home to bees
In hotel of twigs and board;
Poppy fields round the back,
Tempting arcadia amidst unemployment.
The Magic Cup attracts summer louts.
Will it validate our idiocy? Phat chance.
Summer dreams? Foreign streams and dry eyes.

Sunhat by Archibald Oulipo

Come we to the sunhat, to the sunhat we will come, 
For the benches are full of posers and the armpits full of liquidity, 
And the crumpet is on the oboe a-bullock of her newsagent, 
And lust is burning diaries in my true lover’s britches; 
She sucks beneath the white throat a-plaiting of her half-life, 
And I will to my true lunch with a fond wench retreat; 
I will look upon her failing, I will in her bee retard, 
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely butt. 

The cloud of clerics are creeping on the open blueberry of May, 
The merry behest is gargling the pollen thrushes all clean, 
And the chamberlain it is bruised on its grizzly mossy newsagent 
In the white throb butter where I will lecture upon my lover’s brick; 
I’ll lecture upon her brick and I’ll wick in my earthworm 
That I cannot get a witch to sleep for thrill of my decanter; 
I hustle at my meditation and I daily spurt away 
Like the helmet, round, that is broken 'neath the heel of the dean.

(Middle 8 of some repute, played on squeezebox, snare and lute)

Come we to the sunbonnet, to the sunbonnet we will come, 
For the wooers are full of blushes and the heirlooms full of blowpipe, 
And the cruet is on the objection a-bullet of her neuter, 
And lullaby is burning dictates in my true lover’s breeze; 
She spurts beneath the white throb a-plaiting of her hairpiece, 
And I will to my true lube with a fond researcher repeat; 
I will look upon her factory, I will in her bedposts result, 
And spray my alkaline horniness upon her lovely breeze. 

The split-skin-a-squealer is choking on the open blowpipe of May, 
The mouldy beggar is trampling the pinky thrones all deaf, 
And the chalet it is brothel, by its grinning mossy network 
In the white throat bust-up where I will leash upon my lover’s breeze; 
I’ll leash upon her breeze and I’ll wholesale in her earpiece 
That I cannot get the wisdom of sleep for thrash of my debt; 
I hurl at my medic and I daily fade away 
Like the heirloom rotunda that is broken in the hectare of the deaf.

Pretty pretty flowers.
(Courtesy: MoMoJaJa page on Redbubble.)
How to do a Summer Holiday by Bobby Robert

Get new credit from the banks,
Overspend right to the max,
Fly abroad and fart your thanks,
Don't come back til statute barred.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Sun's Guide to UK Spiders

The Foreign Threat

They're not indigenous, but they've settled in the UK. At first glance, they may look like safe UK spiders, but they're actually dangerous foreign spiders known as 'false widows'. They are all very closely related to the famous Black Widow, which kills 500 a week in North America and 20 people a day in banana-sorting depots in ports around the UK. With one-in-three UK spiders now thought to be a false widow, it's never been more important for Britons to kill everything indiscriminately.

Thankfully, right-wing dishrag The Sun is on hand to show us how to identify a false widow.

Monday, 2 May 2016

The British Pigeon Menace

Supersized Columba

The US d'A is well-known for doing everything slightly bigger, if not always better. And when they can't do it better, they just do it even more biggerer. That's true for fast food portions, cars, motorways, presidential candidates, and religious lunacy.

But somehow, pigeons slipped through the net. On more than one occasion I've heard American visitors to the temporarily-United Kingdom exclaim superlatives at the size of our resident pigeons, and run for the cover of picturesque Post Offices and red phone boxes.

And they are right to be fearful, for if a British pigeon doesn't catch you, you'll probably catch something from a British pigeon. Here is Beware! The Zine's handy visual guide to the North American and British pigeons:

Microcolumba americanus (left) and Columba philocanis (right). M. acericanus is identifiable by its small size and the excellent condition of its teeth. C. philocanis is noticeably larger, rarely possesses a full set of toes, and lines its nests with the pelts of domestic dogs - which it eats.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

One-to-One With... The U.S. Election Candidates

With the U.S. election machine staggering along the track, still not out of separate lanes, Beware! sent its interviewers along to get drenched in spittle and lukewarm coffee dregs.

One-To-One With Huckabee:

B!: Caucuses are not generally known for passion and enthusiasm, especially when most of your aging supporters are outside the campaign hall, queuing up for the facilities. Can this tide of effluent be ignored?

Huckster: Are you suggesting my supporters will be -

Huckster waves goodbye to a disinterested public.
B!: Praying and piddling.

Huckleberry: It's very simple. The prayer is an image, a visualisation, according to the old methods, the holy stand, and you bring it into being and you will be whistling, an ecstatic fervour like... 1980. As it was written on the accession, or in any of my Lord's writings.

B!: And the piddle?

Huck-huck-huck: Well that can be mopped up no trouble. This manifesto's super absorbent.

B!: "Abhorrent", shurely?

Huhby: It's not wrong to champion the sanctity of life.

B!: It is if you crow about sanctioning 16 executions in Arkansas.

Hubris: The bullet and the noose are the only things - the _only_ things! - that stand between this great nation and the last days of Sodom. Do you want anarchy? Do you?

B!: It's good to discuss these things as rational people and we can all get better educated.

Horror: Education should be for families, not for liberal "journalists" or federal fiddling. The state has no business interfering in schools. Parents should be able to keep their kids at home and teach them right from wrong and the ways of God.

B!: And what is right in this day and age?

Hulk: I tell you what's right. Israel is right. Israel is a shining light of moral clarity. If they build houses in the lands given to _Abraham_ are you going to stop them? You'll come through me first (stands up, impersonates a brick wall).

B!: (Makes excuses and leaves)

One-To-One With Clinton:

Beware! turns its political vacuum up to full, to suck the facts from Hillary Clinton. Has our vacuum not excited you before? Or do you jingle that bell idly? In this case, it's not enough, as the New York Times tells us we have another Clinton applying for the White House. So interview we must. Wonder how many bugs are in this room... Madam, what year is this?

Hillary: ...? It's good to have you this morning.

B!: Maybe soon. Let us feign independence first. (Unhooks the colours, unfurls the flags) So your opponents had, like, zero visibility, and now Bernie Sanders has had a scratch. What's it all about?

Hillary checks out what the kids
are diggin' these days. Ahh, surveillance.
Hillary: This is how we start a discussion? Well! _Really_ good. I can salute the effort and... indefatigability of Senator Sanders, but there is, obviously, by my side, the umbrella of significance. And an umbrella can be used to shield from rain, but also it can be used, with a poison tip, to puncture the leg of an opponent and cause rapid death.

B!: Top tech! But obviously, this is not Tomorrow's World. Is this yesterday's war?

Hillary: I cannot wait idly for some fuzzy ideal of "progress". People demand government now. If that means a moratorium on progress, so be it. We have eight years to fight for.

B!: ...Four years?

Hillary: (Acid) _Four_ of those eight years, yes.

B!: Mrs Clinton, there are wild assets in your great resume; however, you're surely worried about being seen as one of the privileged few, unable to see the wood for the treehouse?

Hillary: No, I do not know this picture. I am _here_ (thumps desk) at the end of the day, and the beginning of the next, so I think people will... vote without frowns. (Cracks a smile) They know people should vote for their loved ones, this is the best type of commander as the next president. And here, in the NSA, I know that economic performance, achieved through free-market means, is the way to develop. Deals with health management, sure. Deals with big corporations, sure.

B!: Deals with Occupy?

Hillary: If they want to float themselves and do things above and beyond the books, sure. I want to reach out to every part of our glorious Wall Street. I want to build bridges between the senate and the stock exchange. I want to feel that people in all walks of life, from Harvard to Hollywood, will be alright.

B!: From... Harvard to Hollywood?

Hillary: I know, we have experienced people. A lot of people very experienced with making money and keeping money. For example, I intend to harness the innovation of drug companies to make money for their shareholders.

B!: In what ways?

Hillary: I just said - to make money for their shareholders.

B!: Oh - I thought there was a twist.

Hillary: I will focus on the economy. It is for people to get ahead, be rich and willing. I do not want to change the tax system. I do not want to change the benefit system. This whole idea of government, economy, democracy, saying this thing or that thing is a bad idea is something we need to look at.

B!: As you know, your opponent, Senator Sanders, has torn into Goldman Sachs, who contributed a not-insignificant sum to your account in return for speeches. We must ask. Because you and I evidently do not remember, do they - is this an entirely innocent $675,000?

Hillary: (Holding a finger to... a hidden earpiece?) I have said this before: Goldman Sachs have no designs on my presidency.

B!: B -

Hillary: (Waspish) You do not intervene in the running of a proud nation. You intervene in the running of lesser nations. There will be no regime change in the United States of America. Goldman Sachs know their place. I know mine. And you know yours.

B!: (Makes excuses and leaves)

Beware! attempted to One-To-One with Donald Trump:

B!: Hello Mr -

Trump: Shitface!

B!: I - I - I -

Trump: Stammering bastard! Jew-eyed slanty wop! Brown-nose asskisser!

B!: Excuse me?

Trump: Yeah I will this time, but do it again and you'll be shining boots on the sidewalk!

B!: Er...

Trump: You know what made this nation great? Intolerance. We didn't tolerate being poor. We didn't tolerate being black. We didn't tolerate being women. We stood up and did something about it.

B!: Being balding?

Trump: I say, tolerance sucks! Tolerance doesn't build you a _10 million dollar_ golf resort (fondles genital area).

B!: Tell us about your campaign.

Trump: I started with _nothing_, you hear me? Nothing!

B!: Self-made tan, ain't cha.

Trump: Nowadays, I could knife Bambi, and they'd still love me. You get that? Luurve me (leering).

B!: That's not exactly what the polls say -

Trump: What have the Poles got to do with it? Fuckstain European centralist bastards! Let them stay over in Great Scotland and they can play their own goddamn snooker games. You know what snooker is? Pool for people with no balls.

B!: There's more balls on a snooker table than a pool table.

Trump: You know what I'm gonna do when I get in that Oval Office? I'm gonna build me a wall. A big, fuck-off wall. You know what I'm gonna call it? The Wall. Yeah. Sounds good, right? And every day, I'm gonna make sure that we put another brick in that wall. We don't need no Mexi-rapists, we don't need no state control. Sing it with me (unzips and uses his cock like a guitar whammy)

B!: (makes excuses and pelts it out of there)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Beware! Encyclopaedia of International Celebrity - U.S. Election Special

How to explain the race for America's next President to an outsider? Some will tell you the President is a straw figure, effectively neutered by the machinations of the senate, condemned to fiddle around the edges. Some may suggest on entering the Oval Office, the new President is taken to one side and shown the video of Kennedy's assassination, with a quiet entreaty not to rock the boat. Some may point out that America is so indebted to various moguls and sheikhs and China that its hands and feet are tied and all it can do is attempt to talk (foolish) other countries into ceding control based on some nebulous notions of freedom...

But still, the President carries real power. The general idea is still that a President makes things happen. Admittedly, mostly contracts for their chums' businesses. So, we get a race to the White House, which descends into an undignified scramble through bullshit. Candidates hire huge campaign teams. They vie for the backing of business leaders.

These po-faced peacocks and their unwieldy overripe-buttock-gangs pebble-dash the country for a good two years, spewing bombast, powered by flammable gas and inflammatory statements. Millions are wasted on dreadful spectacle. Naturally, Beware! is on hand to gloat.

Your runners and riders...

Democratic 1% Party

Hillary Clinton (Bloodline Botox Bomber) - all the money, all the connections, and yet the public haven't warmed to her. Still the presumed shoo-in for third way business as usual. Mrs Clinton has even taken to courting the support of embalmed Reaganites, rather than risk cultivating progressive policies. Still, it would be a good start (and a nice surprise) if she at least sticks to her (tame) pledges.

Bernie's seen something amusing on the right.
Lawrence Lessig (Dusty Book Sharer) - founder of Creative Commons and eager advocate of free culture. Is it any wonder his campaign stalled amongst the money men of politics?

Martin O'Malley (Young Old Spunky) - perfectly moderate candidate, but who had previously endorsed Hillary. Notable for his guitar-wrangling, in this particular talent show, he came, he was seen, he conked out. Should have brought the band.

Bernie Sanders (Breathless Wind) - many in America were energised by seeing the rise of our cycling placard monk Jeremy Corbyn, and incandescent finger-jabber Sanders looks set to cash in on Corbyn's success, as the US once again copies what we're doing in Britain six months later. The independent senator (or "enemy within")'s student support and Scandinavian-style policies naturally make him akin to Beelzebub in the dollar-imprinted eyes of rightward-leaning voters. Weirdly, there is a class of voter who would consider Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump their two main choices, suggesting that their free-floating anger is focused on establishment politicians rather than the super-wealthy.

Republican 1% Party

Ted chews over the big questions.
Second or third?
Jeb Bush (Bloodline Hanging Droop) - all the money, all the connections, and notably all the technology (still got those machines from 2000 gathering dust). Yet the public haven't warmed to him. That must suck his deposits.

Ben Carson (Tiny Knife Man) - with his knowledge of precise surgical technique, it has been pointed out that Mr Carson is entirely overqualified for presidency, which usually just requires a big mallet to whack down dissent. Still, he should be good at washing blood off his hands. Carson's campaign reached a standstill as he reached a standstill - in the wings at the introduction to a televised debate, with the cameras focusing on his every uncomfortable flinch.

Ted Cruz (Liberty Grabber) - feeling just a little bit misogynist? Just a tad racist? Just a smidgen asshole today? We present Ted Cruz, the watered-down Trump, a floating stain of ick. Pledging to make even bricks and mortar go out and find a job ("I want a wall that works"), pro-lifer Cruz champions the right to keep and bear arms. Kill for peace.

Out of his mouth fall
ripe squeezed nuggets of hate. 
Mike Huckabee (Talking Salvation) - I see the light! Ah, the fading of the light, the light at the end, the lights are going out, the last pinprick of light, nope didn't make it this time fella.

John Kasich (Heritage Car-Sick) - apparently this chump is mainstream Republicanism's last hope. Polite, gently stirring, harking back to a previous generation, could he be the John Major of this race and find himself propelled by others' desperation all the way to the top? Probably no.

Marco on the uppers.
Marco Rubio (Call Me Marco) - notable for his campaign putdown: "I wear heels bigger than your dick!" Fresh-faced, squeaky-cheeked Marco was tearing it up like Xmas wrapping on a Fisher Price playset, until he took on Trump at his own game: "I'm no-one's apprentice. You don't get to fire me. I'm a different company altogether!" to the confusion of thousands. Marco wound down his sputtering campaign with a sad-eyed rejoinder: "Guess I'm just too damn pretty for this race".

Marco on the buffers.
Donald Trump (Anal Vomit Leak) - fill in your own jokes. This thatched orange blob of hate has ascended to a realm beyond parody. Mr Trump has the sterling support of the demolition derby circuit, World Wrestling Entertainment fans, and all jihadis. It is merely hoped that the sheer poison of his candidacy might bring about the implosion of the Republican Party, before any more innocents suffer.

Come back tomorrow as the crack Beware! team attempt to pin down the candidates on severe policy matters.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Poetry Hallway - Hot Air

In the long tailwind of the COP21 aftermath, a spattered crapulence of empty words and death sentences, it can be easy to get downhearted. But the solutions are all around us. Real change will only be effected by people using their anger in a positive way to improve this country's energy policy, scrap by scrap. Think small-scale, local, think divestment from fossil fuels. What is your council's attitude? Beware!'s regular contributor, noted poet and campaigner Andrew Walton has a book of stirring environmental verse entitled "Little Green Poetry". Here's an apropos poem he's recently updated:




 Hot Air

Cameron exhales with intent. (Andy Brain)
Trains trundle to and fro, tired travellers
Stuffed sardines stifle in squalor
First-class fat cats with fatter wallets
Relax, remote from the raucous riff-raff.

Six hundred hypocritical half-wits howl hot
Air against applications; altercations arise –
Irate imprecations, impossible implications.
Wind turbines? Not In My Back Yard!

Motorway madness means mollycoddling motorists
Belching bellicose blasts, bloated backbenchers
Pork on Parliamentary privilege,
Gigantic guffs of hot air.

Cameron points accusingly
Crotch-deep in flood water,
Apr├Ęs moi la deluge – a modern Canute
Eclipsed by climate change.

If only Nature could be given wings
And the Earth’s glacial warming
Measured in a five-year term.

On the distant banks of the Thames
No cuts to flood defences here.
The barrier bursts open,
Foetid algal slurry laps
Around hems of designer suits,
Ruining pairs of Jimmy Choos.

Maybe, the message might just prick
Empty balloons of pomposity and privilege.

Or we could just take power ourselves.
We would not have to suffer
Yet more hot air.

- - - - -

You can hear Andrew performing this poem as part of Beware! Vision Vol 3: Andrew Walton 20/10/13, a free download via Bandcamp and the Free Music Archive.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Nase & Abel - Digital Gods, part 5

Anex's price is nothing so trivial as currency.

naseandabel-shortformat#8-page05 (written and illustrated by Gareth Monger)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Nase & Abel - Digital Gods, part 4

Negotiations with Anextiomarus. And... language barriers.

naseandabel-shortformat#8-page04 (written and illustrated by Gareth Monger)

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Nase & Abel: Black Star Tribute

Bowie leaves us (he's a black star).

Nase_and_Abel_short_form_Bowie. Written and illustrated by Gareth Monger.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Twitwich Effluence - Old Boats

Here at Twitwich, have no fear - what's past is past; and once something's buried, it stays buried. Apart from copper cabling, or corpses.

Twitwich Effluence - short form #04 (written/illustrated by Andy Brain)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

The Twitwich Effluence - Distance

Welcome to another January, secure in the knotted bowels of Twitwich. With a New Year, thoughts of a change of scene are only natural, especially when you're employed by Britain's Most Corrupt Council (see Private Eye ad nauseum).

Twitwich Effluence - short form #03 (written/illustrated by Andy Brain)