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    Five years, and we’re still here….

     Posted in The Blog & The Rantastic Podcast at 12:54 on Sunday, December 16th, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    I don’t think that when I started this website, five years ago, it would still be here after all that time. In the five years that I have been writing here we’ve seen some changes but the ethos of the website continues to this day, it is essentially for fun.

    In late 2007, The Rantastic was launched. I started out very small while we searched for a direction for the site, when it was born it didn’t even have it’s own home, it was hosted on a subdomain of another site I had a hand in until 2008 when therantastic.com was created. Since then the popularity has grown steadily and we now handle a little under 50,000 unique visits a month which is pretty good considering that this site doesn’t really serve a purpose.

    After the we purchased the website name, we started to put more effort into it’s design and development, the site facade you see hasn’t changed that much since it’s inception but many of our background processes have been tweaked and updated to make it more reliable, whilst the site is admittedly overdue a facelift, I’m happy to see it develop as time goes on rather than rush a new design out, but we are working on some updates for the future and a possible return of the podcast.

    For the future, it’s fairly certain that this website will still be here in another five years time, or at least I hope so. I’m pleased that I’ve kept the site ad free, and as open as possible, I hope to continue for a bit longer yet.

    One final thing:

    Thank you, for your views and readership over the past five years, I hope that we continue to make you smile, grimace and enjoy our little piece of the internet for years to come.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    It just gets earlier every year….

     Posted in Anger Level 3 & Gripes & Annoyances at 10:36 on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    We’re getting near to that time of year, we frankly we all start to go a bit mad. It’s October, and granted yes, its towards the end of the month, however, we’ve hit that point already where we are forced to endure the advertising that signals the beginning of the silly season. The time of year where people become nothing more than sheep, to be chased and herded into position, so that some powerful business/person can take the money that you’ve worked so hard for, and keep it for their own.

    I should note, that today is the first day of the October half term and boy does it show, the roads are quieter, the phone rings less and I can only guess that all the people with children are unable to work, and they’ve taken the week off to be with their children, those children that make everywhere busy, and those children who get in my way. A purely selfish moan. Alas, I am allowed to moan about my plight when it comes to those tiny feet that inter-tangle with my size 12 feet, and yes, before you ask; I do apologise, I am sorry that I trod on your foot and made you teary, but you really shouldn’t have got in my way.

    Of course, once the child is teary – incidentally before I continue I am aware that there is a undertone in this post, of the child hating. This in-fact is not true, I don’t hate them all, there is a one-percent tolerance when it comes to children, they’re not all bad, just most… I endure the wrath of the parent, the parent whose entire mental capacity is seemingly absorbed by the child, and is incapable of rational or even un-rational thought, they’re just focussed on preventing their little darling from running away, well they don’t do a fantastic job when it comes to corralling their sprog.

    “Timmy, stop there. No, Timmy, I said wait, you can have the biscuit lat.. No, you can’t have it now, you have to wait. Just wait, thirty seconds is all I ask, Come back Timmy! Come back now! OH GOD” – Said the mother whose child has slipped her grasp, sometimes those reins you see attached to young offspring’s back, begin to sound like a good idea. Yes, it’s tantamount to torture, but if it controls little Timmy and stops him from legging it, I’m all for it.

    So as we progress into that time of year where self control is less evident and virtually non existent the parents of little Timmy be rest assured that we, the childless, don’t wish to tread on your child, and just ask one thing, a little control, and some well earned silence.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    The Olympics

     Posted in In the Summertime at 19:38 on Thursday, July 26th, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    In less than twenty-four hours the London 2012 Olympics begin, I’m not looking forward to it, it’s not that I don’t like sport, I enjoy some sport, I even like some of the Olympic sports, so that’s not the problem. What I don’t agree with is how much has been made of the whole event. It’s been touted for seven years, and we’ve had to out up with it.

    We’ve had to listen day in and out about how it’s been planned, how hard people have worked to out it together and how much it means to people, I don’t begrudge people enjoying the Olympics but they would benefit from realising that not everyone enjoys watching people run, jump, skip and hop they’re way around a track.

    I’m sick of hearing about it now. I can’t wait for it to be over so we can all get back to normal and remember that we have lives that haves to be lived. Already on the opening day, we had the mess that was the flags of North Korea, I’m asking myself what else can we do to ruin this event, something that should be a big thing for those that enjoy that kind of thing has already been overshadowed by something so silly that the media felt it was the biggest story of the year.

    I’m hoping that the next two weeks fly by, and then it will be over and we won’t have to hear about it anymore.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Crucifixion: Gunther Von Hagens

     Posted in The Religion Police & Thoughts on Things... at 23:32 on Monday, April 9th, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    Picture the scene.  It’s Easter Sunday and tucked away deep in the depths of television scheduling sits a programme aptly named Crucifixion.  Apt, you might think, after all it’s Easter Sunday and we’ve come to expect a programme or two about Jesus’ demise; but this was no ordinary foray into mono-theistic doctrine, this was Gunther Von Hagens.

    If you haven’t heard of or seen Von Hangens’s work, let me briefly explain what it entails and what you should expect.  Von Hagens created a technique called ‘Plastination’; this technique allows him to remove and replace with plastic, dead organic tissue.  Yes, dead and organic does mean; human, animal or indeed vegetable.  Gunther found fame in the early 21st century when he ‘Plastinated’ the remains of human body donors and embarked on an exhibition called “Bodyworlds” or in his native German “Korperwelten”.

    Macabre, you might think, and some would agree but for me it’s fascinating and educational, it allows us to see inside ourselves as never before and allows us to understand what we’re made of.  There’s something incredible about seeing the course a blood vessel takes as it meanders and courses through your body in a fantastic evolutionary path.  Von Hagens has over the past ten years or so has ‘Plastinated’ hundreds or specimens, charting our evolution in a style which has become a form of art.  He has also applied his technique to animals such as; gorillas, elephants and even a giraffe, as you can imagine it’s become as much entertainment as it has art, but personally, the biological aspect is one I’m keen to keep.

    In recent times, with his work becoming art as much as a look into ourselves and other organisms, Gunther has faced and created much criticism; it seems sometimes he is out to shock rather than provoke debate or provide a look at ourselves, it seems that ‘Crucifixion’ his latest work was more about creating a storm rather than  allowing us a scientific view of life.

    The brief for the project was to create a realistic crucified image, but here’s the kicker; using real ‘Plastinated’ human remains, now on paper that sounds great to an atheist like me, but in reality it was also going to cause a huge amount of anger and criticism focussed on Gunther, especially from those who believe in God and the story of Jesus.  I have no issue whatsoever with Gunther’s project, it was interesting to watch him create something that was shockingly beautiful and ultimately something that showed the struggle between life and death.

    However, my first thoughts on the programme and Gunther’s idea was that he was intentionally trying to piss the church and it’s followers off.  Careful now.  I have no issue with pissing off the church, I’ve done it enough with this very blog in the past, I do have issue with setting out with the intention to piss them off.  Oftentimes, especially here, it’s easy to get caught in the moment when you write so that your words can become harmful to a certain group of people, we however, don’t hold the moral high ground and certainly don’t intentionally set out to piss you off.

    It’s easy to see that Gunther – a confirmed atheist like myself – wanted to do something which he’d wanted to do for a long time, whether this is making a protest or fulfilling some form of ego boost that he may get from controversy, but also a portrait of a man who knows his own mortality and is dying.  We discovered that Gunther is dying.  He has Parkinsons disease and is rapidly deteriorating, it was upsetting to see him struggle to walk, talk and use his dexterity which he is so famed for.  There is too much we can say about Gunther, and I don’t wish to turn this into an obituary before it’s time.

    I think however, we must pose a single question.  Would he have done this project if he wasn’t dying?  I think so.  I believe that Gunther would have always created his own Jesus, one day sooner or later, I do feel that the reason it was done is because it was his last wish, his last stand and his very own creation story.

     


    Update Status: Modified at: 23:01, on April 11th, 2012.

      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Guilty Pleasure Edition: Eurovision

     Posted in The Arts at 4:02 on Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    I thought I would write something about the Eurovision, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine and never fails to raise a smile to these fetted, decayed old lips.

    Often, the reason is because I’m taking the piss out of it, whilst watching but often it’s just down to the pure campness and silliness, it’s just amazing, lets face it where else to you get Ukranian’s dancing around in crazy hats or twins that you’d quite like to kill (Jedward).

    We’re starting the long road to Eurovision 2012, and it starts here, yes the UK has announced that we’ll have Engelbert Humperdinck representing us, lets see how we get on with that!

     


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    A link to our past about to disappear – Cosmeston Medieval Village

     Posted in Our Past at 20:39 on Thursday, March 1st, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    Incase you hadn’t realised we have heritage.  It’s colourful, diverse, and often bloody, we’ve been in that many wars it’s unfathomable, but we’re loosing our grip on it, we’re loosing those links that make us remember what made Britain what it is today.  What makes us great.

    For years now we’ve been slowly cutting the education of the past. Places to visit where you can learn about our heritage have been shut down and the wealth of knowledge that these places had is lost.

    Just recently Vale Council near Penarth, Wales, has decided to cut funding for Cosmeston Medieval Village a ‘living’ attraction where you can experience first hand what medieval times in Britain were like and learn in depth how people lived in that time.

    I should explain what a ‘Living’ attraction is.  A ‘Living’ attraction is just that. Living.  In Cosmeston’s case, it’s staffed by an enthusiastic group of historial interpretors who will teach visitors about the attraction, showing them how people lived, and died in 14th century wales.  From farming, to the black death you can learn how a typical medieval village ticked.

    Now, stop me if I’m wrong but personally attractions like this are particularly important to our heritage, people learn better through experience and places like Cosmeston do it well.

    We know that most councils are motivated to save money at present but at the cost of our heritage and understanding, I think that questions need to be asked.  In the last year around 20,000 visitors entered Cosmeston Village, yes there’s a small fee of £5 for Adults but isn’t that worth it to learn?

    Well, the local Council don’t seem to think so.

    There are plans afoot to cut the historical interpretors who dress in period costume and  guide people; therefore loosing the thing that best helps people learn; experience. You will no longer be able to chat to villager; and ask them how their home was built, you won’t be able to see a vast array  of farmed animals and you won’t be able to walk amongst it all and breathe in our rich history.

    Should we let it go? No.

    We need to fight for what is left of our past and allow future generations to learn about history, a petition has been set up to fight for Cosmeston and it’s one I would like to support, I may not be from Wales but we can’t let a place like Cosmeston go, because once you get rid of one thing, you’ve already signed it’s death warrant.

    You can view the Petition here.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.