Wanker of the Week – Nicholas Cage.

Not quite Van Gogh is it Nick?

It’s been a while, I know, since Wanker of the Week raised its head and splattered the verbal diarrhoea of the rich and famous into our collective consciousness, but while eating a bacon and sausage butty and perusing the BBC news website, I came across an interview with Nicholas Cage and it became clear that wanker of the week needed to make a comeback.

Now it’s long been a suspicion of mine that Nicholas Cage might just be a weapons grade bell-end. After all, what normal, self respecting human being would a)agree to be in the film Con Air and b) utter the line ‘Put the bunny in the box’ in a menacing manner without so much as a hint of irony? Con Air is a film of such breath taking stupidity that everyone else in it had the sense to ham it up good and proper. Not so Cage, who clearly believed every moment of this very expensive sack of shit.

And so now the follicly reduced Mr Cage has a new film, Ghostrider, Spirit of Vengeance, 3D. That’s not a promising title. It’s a title that suggests perhaps $400m was spent on CGI effects and $36.40 on the script. And if the verbal dysentery that Cage has unleashed on the press is anything to go by, bet a box of popcorn and an overpriced bucket of Fanta that I’m right.

So, what has Cage had to say on the matter? Let’s peruse…

Apparently he is “beginning to like the word actor less and less because in his work he’s ‘interested in the truth’”. Ok, well leaving aside the fact that you might not like the word ‘actor’ Nick, this is in fact what you are. Not the Dalai Lama, a spiritual guru or defender of the faith. You are an actor. Someone writes some shit, you learn it then someone puts makeup on you and you spout it out in front of cameras. And can you tell me, because I’m just dying to know, which particular ‘truth’ it is that you’re exploring with ‘Ghostrider, Spirit of Vengeance, 3D’? I suspect you don’t like the word ‘twat’ but hey, if the cap fits….

While filming, he stayed in character on set, he asked the director if he could wear a mask because he was concerned with feeling ridiculous on set. Might I politely suggest Nick, that more would have been achieved by just remaining silent for the duration of the shoot? After all, if you continue to let your mouth aimlessly flap and all this nonsense to fall out, all that’s going to happen is that you look like a knob in a stupid mask, rather than just a knob.

He located mystical objects to carry about, “I would gather things together to wear in my wardrobe, like a bit of Egyptian artefacts from a pyramid and I would sew them in, or get some rocks together that had a frequency in the new age community”. Dear god. How is filling your trousers with rocks going to help you more accurately spout your lines while wearing makeup and posing in front of a green screen exactly? Surely it’s just going to leave you at risk of losing your kecks partway through shooting as gravity takes a firm hold of your rocks, so to speak, and gives them a good tug.

But wait, I’ve got ahead of myself, here’s Nicholas to explain what’s going on. “Whether they work or not – or you believe or not, if you’re an actor and you give yourself over to it, it can stimulate your imagination and your psyche to believe that you’re the Ghost Rider”. Well quite. Is anyone else getting flashbacks to Team America, World Police?

“I saw the fear in the other actor’s eyes and that only inspired me more to believe I was this spirit from another dimension”. Nicholas, you were a man in a painted on mask with pants full of mystic rocks, warbling utter bullshit and making no sense. Is it possible that perhaps the fear in their eyes was not so much down to your awe inspiring and inspirational portrayal of a spirit from another dimension but an entirely justified concern that you’d let go of the plot entirely and their personal safety was in jeopardy?

If you were still in doubt as to whether Mr Cage is indeed a worthy wanker of the week, his final words ought to set your mind at ease, “I have to find characters that allow me to realise, in the true sense of the word, my abstract dreams as a film maker. That means if I want to act the way I perceive a painting, like a Van Gogh when things are a bit twisted, or a Francis Bacon, that means I have to find a character who is outside of our reference point, or has a problem of some sort that enables me to act that way. I can act pretty outside the box”. Leaving aside the fact that comparing his box office drivel to Van Gogh or Francis Bacon is pretty laughable, that last paragraph is full of so much self indulgent bullshit that I wouldn’t even know where to start dissecting it. You don’t ‘act outside the box’ Nicholas, you play the same knobhead in every film, the only things that change are the set and the backstory. You are not an artistic genius who is inspiring us with your seminal works, you are a Hollywood blockbuster star whose films contain less artistic merit than a tampon advert.

So Nicholas Cage, you are a very worthy winner of the Wanker of the Week award. Don’t bother coming to collect it, I’ll post it to you, I don’t think any of us could survive the acceptance speech….

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Corporate Wankery – the ‘strategic HSEQ meet and greet’ day.

It's another day of wankery folks.

And so it was with a sense of trepidation I set off to drive the hour and a half to Stafford, scene of the latest idea from the new owners of the company I work for – the HSEQ Meet and Greet Event. The word event makes me nervous, it’s a non-specific term that could mean anything from death by powerpoint to team building games and anything along the horrifying spectrum inbetween these two monstrosities. Fortunately the rest of my cynical team, people who are equally unimpressed by corporate wankery, were going so at least I’d have people to sit with who were normal.

Wrong.

After meeting the company’s Cable Champion, whose name escaped me (probably because I was too busy being baffled by his opening gambit – “I’m passionate about cables and cable strikes, I chair the company’s steering group on cable avoidance and I’m leading the way in assessing our performance in terms of cable events” – which from a lad who looked to be in his mid 20s, the age when you should still be interesting, was a surprise ) the meeting kicked off and we are told to go to the back of the room and get into height order. Fucking brilliant. I’m 5ft 10in in my bare feet and I was wearing heels, this makes me a) taller than any of my colleagues by a good few inches and b) by far the tallest bird in the room. Yep, I’m on my own on a table of big blokes, again. One of whom I’ve met before and who has now attached himself to me like a limpet, simply because I’m one of only two women in the room who doesn’t look like she’d win a wrestling contest with a bison.

“Oooh Alan”, says Pinstripe Twat to my new friend, “howcome you always manage to get sat next to the pretty girls, you lucky man, want to swap places?”. Fuck off arsehole, I’m not sat here because I’m shagging the boss, I’m fully qualified and spend my days on shitworks talking to the kind of blokes you’re probably scared of in pubs, so don’t sit there patronising me you sexist prick. I smile, you know the smile that says I think he’s a knob who requires a kick to the kidneys? He looks slightly afraid at this and turns away. Good, that saves me the trouble of being rude to him later when he mistakes me for someone who won’t make a fool of him for trying to letch on me at the end of the session.

Once we’ve established that Pinstripe Man has escaped from the 1950s, we’re into the Powerpoint presentation from the QA lady with the terrible teeth and massive arse that we met at the last meeting I daydreamed through. I have to say that I can’t tell you what she was talking about because I daydreamed through this session too. I think it might have been the same subject as last time because the slides looked the same but whether that was Non Conformances or Brad Pitt’s backside I couldn’t say.

Then we got down to the good stuff, the presentation from the safety directors. This wasn’t good because the content was interesting, it was good because I had a list of bullshit bingo phrases from Best Friend and I had a sneaking suspicion that this crap was going to score highly.

I was not disappointed.

I got quite a few ‘going forwards’, one ‘110%’, a ‘lifting the lid and kicking the tyres’ (in relation to auditing in case you give a fuck, which I suspect you probably don’t) and even a ‘sheep dipping contractor’s systems’. Not a clue what that’s about to be honest, having met contractors it’s entirely possible that they do actually mean dipping the sweaty buggers in vats of chemicals to kill off mites. Although given that these people never go near actual sites or people, preferring to sit behind desks shuffling paper, I doubt it’s anything that practical. Disappointingly I didn’t manage to get ‘low hanging fruit’. I had high hopes for that one.

After lunch, which I spent most of hiding in the car eating a sandwich and speaking to people I don’t think should have been drowned at birth, we have the drugs and alcohol session, which I spend sat next to a mercifully normal bloke called Chris, laughing at Pinstripe Twat who after gobbing off about anything and everything (what with him being an expert on absolutely everything everywhere) went suspiciously quiet when the girl in charge said we were all going to test the drug and alcohol kits on each other. Not so big now the group are going to know that you spent lunch snorting Bolivian marching candy off the bog cistern are you? When he inevitably failed the drugs test, he tried to loudly claim that it’s because he’s on medication. Listen mate, it doesn’t count if you buy it off a bloke in a carpark.

Time Corporate wankery day was meant to finish – 3.00pm

Time Corporate wankery day actually finished – 6.00pm

Time I left my house in the morning – 6.45am

Time I arrived back at my house – 8.15pm

Mood – Nuclear.

Dinner – Macdonalds. The dinner of choice for people who can’t be arsed even opening a tin and heating some beans.

Apparently they’re thinking of holding these things once a month. I do hope no one is expecting me to attend them, because if they are, they’re going to be terribly disappointed.