I was recently in my local convenience store buying a bottle of wine and at the head of the queue at the check-out was a lady (perhaps mid-60s) who was, at the time, clearly a considerable fan of high romantic composers of the Germanic tradition and at least one movement short of a concerto. There was a queue and it was a bit late but she felt the need to regale us all with her joke…
You know what’s wrong with Santa Claus? He only comes but once a year and then just down the chimney!
Well, it’s not a great joke. It’s not even a passable joke (more like something Jim Davidson thought better of back in ’87) but you had to be there and everyone was kind of sort of amused. Not least when she returned looking utterly meerkatted having “lost” her hand-bag and told it again and collapsed into ribaldry.
She was wearing a vaguely Chinese cut zip-front blouse in black shiny stuff with many small pictures of terriers emblazoned upon it.
I guess if that joke could be improved (which it can’t for it is awful – though funny as hell in the context) then it would be with the addition of something like, “… despite having both sacks full!” I mean Wilde or Wodehouse it was not. But is that the point?
Today is also the anniversary of the birth (and the death – well he did know a thing or two about dramatic timing) of William Shakespeare. This is remarkably appropriate because, of the many gifts England has given the World, this language that I torture here is perhaps the finest. I say “perhaps” because you also got Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, George Stephenson and Simon Cowell out of us.
England has for so long been the fulcrum of the planet and therein lies the rub. England’s glory lies not so much within but without. We have always been a great trading nation and we have always been in the global rough and tumble.
And that is why I am proud to be English and that is why I despise the country pleasures of the likes of the BNP. Because being English may be in the blood but not in the way Nick Griffin thinks.
Nobody really knows who St George was and that is so fitting because this England, my England, is an empire of the mind and what can be more magnificent than that?
This morning I had to hang a shower screen. This entailed getting the drill out of The Cupboard of Doom. Everything is in there. I didn’t know what I’d find as I dug through…
Gordon Brown’s moral compass.
iDave’s conservative principles.
Nick Clegg’s personality.
Nick Griffin’s treasured boyhood teddy in it’s smart little SS uniform.
Lord Lucan astride Shergar.
Fortunately all I found was the drill so that was OK. Anyway over the traditional (stretching back to the opening of the first ever B&Q) British festival of DIY that is Easter blogging shall be very light.
Got the shower screen up though and a very happy Easter to you all whether it be an opportunity to eat your own body weight in chocolate eggs, a celebration of the Resurrection of Christ or standing half-way up a wonky step-ladder with a mouthful of posidrive screws.
PS If Mr Bono (if that’s his real name?) still hasn’t found what he’s looking for might I suggest he tries looking under The Edge’s hat. Or in my cupboard.
Today (I’m referring to UTC) is the last day of the first decade of the third Millenium Anno Domini and I suppose something ought to be said about it.
Well, it’s quite difficult to sum-up ten years in a blog post so I shall focus on two of the major things that I think this decade will be remembered for. Unlike the ’60s it certainly won’t be the music or the fashion…
I recall reading somewhere many years ago that decades take a while to get going. This one started on the 11th of September 2001. Since then the West and especially the Anglosphere has been embroiled in a seemingly endless war against Islamists. Of course that really goes back much further but 9/11 is a particularly poignant index point for the start of the latest round of fisticuffs. I say seemingly endless because the whole “War on Terror” was from the very start ill conceived. I thought just post 9/11 that the boom would be lowered and the balloon would go up and that the West would unite and, in short, it would be clobberin’ time for the brutal, bigoted, dark-age cult of an illiterate satryomaniacal Arabian warlord. Was it Blair or Bush who made that “Religion of Peace” speech? I don’t recall who it was but it set the tone of what was to follow.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking, “Let’s nuke Mecca!” (though in my darker moments…) but rather a reversal of the insane racism of, “It’s their culture innit” to an acknowledgement that our post-enlightenment standards are objectively superior to the standards of orthodox Islam. But no… Blair and Bush didn’t go for the jugular. They didn’t because they both suffer from the malady of having religion. Well, it didn’t happen so we are now stuck with a war against a tactic rather than against an ideology.
The War on Terror is a defining part of the noughties and in some obscure way it’s lack of engagement with the real issue is echoed in the rise in the West of the culture of the faux-meek or Green as it’s otherwise known. Green is quite simply horrible. It is anti-scientific, it is anti-human and it has seized upon some utterly misguided sense of guilt within the developed world over our level of development. “We have too much!” is the cry. No we don’t! It’s not about sharing the pie through farces like Copenhagen but making the pie even bigger so everyone can join the party. Green will kill more people than Stalin and Mao combined yet it is seen as “ethical” by the sort of middle-class twats you hear on BBC Radio 4 espousing things like farming in a totally half-assed manner as being morally superior. The extent to which Green has dug-in as self-evidently true in the minds of many is at least as terrifying a development as the incoherent response to the threat posed by Islamists.
I have of course failed to mention credit-bubbles and the relentless erosion of our liberties under this awful government. I have also failed to mention scientific and technological progress – I started this decade not knowing what a blog is (did anyone?) and am ending it with a post! I guess the economics are best left to wiser heads than mine in that field and I hope our civilization’s progress in the sciences is self-evident for all to twitter about.
Anyway, that about wraps it up for the noughties. Roll on whatever mixture of thrills, spills and violent stomach cramps 2010 has to offer and to all of our readers I wish you health and good fortune for the coming year.
PS It goes without saying that the feline enumerators shall have even sharper claws and twitchier whiskers for whatever absurdities the new year has to throw at us. See y’all in 2010!
Well, it’s 1-15pm here and I’m only just now sitting down with a beer. Christmas has been very busy so far a grim ordeal of shopping and wrapping and cleaning the house and putting up two trees and having to move one of them (with decorations) twice. Oh and of course work – I had a 9-30 am “hop” to re-jiggle an epically screwed Outlook Express account this morning*. But now that’s all done and there is nothing left to do but stuff myself with my own body weight in nuts (and have a few shandies naturally). Ahhh!!! Nice. I’m almost feeling festive. I know what! This’ll do it…
Right that’s me festive. How’s about you?
OK. Well what is there left to say? I’d like to thank all of you for reading my deranged ramblings this year and wish you all a Happy Christmas. I won’t wish you all the best for 2009 because I’ll be back before the New Year to do that. I just can’t help myself. So many hours squandered… Or rather not because, dear reader, I’m sure I’ve managed to entertain, inform and provoke at least some of you some of the time. Because, of course, without a readership or (especially) a commentariat this would be throwing messages in bottles into a black hole**.
So have a good one and please just keep on coming because without you we’re just a couple of computer techs doing the equivalent of shouting at the telly.
PS. I dunno what Cats was on about with respect to the Northern winter… It’s a beautiful day here in Cheshire – not too cold and very crisp and the light is beautiful.
*Don’t send 7.5Meg attachments to a guy with arthritic dial-up. Really don’t do it if the guy’s dial-up is so arthritic that his machine’s security updates are waaay behind the times and certainly not when the registry is an utter mess. Don’t because I need jobs like that on Christmas Eve like I need leprosy.
**Although given the council’s abysmal trash collection that’s not such a bad idea…
Unfortunately, this pumpkin I carved last night and put out on display was gone by the morning. Some nameless piece of grit under the foreskin of society has half-inched it. Seriously. The bastards!
And this isn’t a rough area by any means. Where I used to live the fuckers would have hurled it through the front window to add injury to injury.
Utter scum. It took me quite a bit of effort to turn a pumpkin into the semblance of a Japanese Kabuki mask. And Goddamit that was my bloody pumpkin on my property and quite frankly it’s well past time we brought back the birch.
This was just going to be a Happy Halloween message to all our readers but I’m mad as hell because theft is theft and I’m narked. To nick somebody’s Halloween pumpkin the night before Halloween is lower than the Dead Sea. I hope whoever is responsible for this perfidious act develops a rather cheeky case of rectal gangrene.
Counting Cats (CC) was taken to task by several other commenters for being too squeamish and perhaps even morally neutral about who are the good guys and who are the bad guys here. While I don't share CC's reaction to the video, I rejoice in his (her?) existence. What kind of a world would it be if people like CC didn't exist or if they had to hide their views? Who knows, we might all be living in something akin to Somalia.
CC's civilized response is precisely why our military is a force for good in the world.