Tag Archives: Switzerland

I’ve struck it rich in the movies…

The Big Steal trillion dollar noteIt’s finally happened. I’ve really made it this time. I’ve invested in three films and one of them has really paid off.

I’ve just received my first huge return. I’ve taken a photo of it in case you’re sceptical.

Yup. There it is. A trillion smackers. $1,000,000,000,000. My good intention has been rewarded.

I’m thinking of buying a few trips on the space shuttle – or maybe 2,000 of them. Nah – something closer to my heart. I think I’ll spend it on Ireland. With Turkey thrown in too, if I can’t get change from a trillion dollar note.

Trillion dollar noteWhatever I do, I can’t let the larcenous crew who got us into this financial mess get their grubby paws on my cash. Who? The bankers of course, according to The Big Steal.

Because my $1tn note is my return from my friends’ movie The Big Steal. They’re Julian Darley and Celine Rich, of Mysterious Movies – just two of the many outraged at the greed of the banks and the cynical way taxpayers’ money has been transferred to dodgy banks and then moved offshore or transformed into bonuses. So what? Lots of us are cross about it – but what can you do? Well, you can turn it into a film. That’s what they’re doing. The film will be called The Big Steal – but unlike most heist movies, this time the thieves are behind the counter, not breaking in. Can anyone stop them? Watch the film and find out.

But before you watch it – they have to make it. And they need help. They’re looking for lots of mini-donations, from a dollar upwards, to crowdsource the film and take it to the Cannes Film Festival this year.

So if you’re looking to bash the banking system and get a bit of retaliation in – here’s a way of doing it. Lots of good perks too. Being part of the film, getting your name in the credits Continue reading

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Is this racist?

Is this racist? Or sectarian? Or more simply – just bullying?

Or perhaps it’s somewhere on the spectrum between fair comment and edgy political satire?

That’s one side of a lantern at what some call the world’s biggest moving outdoor art display – the Basel Fasnacht. The other side – the more offensive side is Continue reading

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“Aah look at the Waggis. He’s so cute.”

Every year the normally sober sensible law-abiding Swiss go a bit crazy. They risk life and property by dragging huge flaming pyres through narrow streets. That’s for starters.

Then they converge on the city of Basel (or Basle in French) for a 0400 kick off. Yes, that’s four in the morning. It’s called the Morgestraich. At that moment all lights, including streetlights, are shut off.  Then band after band of bizarre, grotesque, odd and even cute creatures begin three days of Continue reading

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Happy St Patrick’s Day (from an unlearned exile)

James Joyce. Writer, musician and singer, in Zurich, 1915.

And now this is another thing I’ve got in common with James Joyce… We’ve both been in Switzerland for St Patrick’s Day – which is today. Though I’m not planning to spend quite so many here as he did.

Greetings to everyone, from one who – like St Paddy – is “first of all, countrified, an exile, evidently unlearned, one who is not able to see into the future…”

I wish you strength in times of tribulation and the ability to take joy when it’s possible.

But I should really be offering something more amusing than that. Oh yes – there’s always my favourite St Patrick’s Day joke – it’s here. (Sorry, I’ve just the one.)

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My eyebrows are singed

Is my ear on fire?

I’ve temporarily escaped from the fire that threatened to set alight me, the small boy beside me and the shop behind me. Continue reading

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When political advertising goes wrong…

Wait till you see the other one...

Just another election poster, you might think. But I think it’s hilarious. Hilariously cack-handed. And possibly illegal. But mainly funny. You really need to see it alongside the other one to get it… Continue reading

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13 gifts from Basel to the world

  1. Barca or Basel?

    Basel or Barca?

    BARCA. FC Barcelona comes from Basel. Barca was co-founded by a Swiss guy, Johann (who became Joan) Gamper who was allegedly inspired by FC Basel. Both teams play in red and blue. Both are FCB. Both have the same football.

  2. BABIES. All babies come from Basel. You just need to look at all the storks pootling around the fields.
  3. LSD. LSD comes from Basel. It was made by local chemist Albert Hoffman in 1938, though he didn’t realise until 1943 when he accidentally absorbed some through his fingertips. He described the sensation:  “I sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.”
  4. ISRAEL. Israel comes from Basel. Continue reading

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