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May, 2009:

Government advisory

Aus

IMPORTANT   NOTICE

RE:  SWINE  FLU

As you were  advised through an earlier Department advisory letter, there is a  distinct possibility of an outbreak and epidemic of Swine Flu in this  country.

To facilitate  identification and in order that you may be on the alert for indications that  you or members of your  family may have contracted the virus, you should be aware of the following  symptoms:

1.   Sore throat
2.   Persistent slight headache
3.   Nausea or upset stomach
4.   An uncontrollable urge to fuck in the mud

Jamster

I have mentioned Jamster “products” before. Yeah, Jamster. Remember the perps of the first ever digital atrocity and crime against humanity that was The Crazy Frog*. Recall the adverts of that terrible creation dredged from the darkest part of Satan’s worst nightmare after he’d consumed a surfeit of raw pork and opium? Recall the flying helmet and the miniscule (and totally biologically incorrect) genitals that outraged any conception of decency? I am not even gonna mention the actual ring-tone itself which constituted audiological warfare. I mean play that from Predator drones all over the ‘stan and the North West Frontier and we’d have bin-Laden himself begging for a US Marine to end it all within the hour.

I regret to inform you they have outdone themselves with this screensaver.

Yours for GBP4.50 per week. Is there a cheaper way to let everyone know your a complete an utter bloody idiot?

*Do not click that link.

Where Elvis Currently Works…

Bloody hellskis! That’s one hell of a burger. It looks like they took a Scooby Doo Sandwich and deep-fried it.

To be honest that’s not at all my kinda eating but… I wouldn’t mind the table service. We Brits tend to think of the “sexy nurse” as dear old Babs Windsor in a Carry On movie with Jim Dale crashing through her window into her bath as the result of an ever so amusing comedic misunderstanding. Not anymore.

Whilst I have no particular desire to eat the Burj Dubai of Burgers I do appreciate the sentiment. Hotties in hotpants serving 8000 calorie sandwiches is the sort of thing to drive The Righteous up the fecking wall, over the ceiling and out the door. The only thing that could make that restaurant better is if they refused service to anyone who didn’t enter with a loaded weapon.

Actually I would like to eat there. I’d take “Doctor” Gillian McKeith on a date there. The faux-qualified*, hatchet-faced, former Channel 4 Quinoa-monger and stool-sniffing witch would have a heart attack. To get rid of that shrill, half-witted, semi-deranged bitch for good would be service to the world for which I would be prepared to have a veritable surfeit. And if I could similarly do in whoever at that TV station who commisioned Ms McKeith to humiliate salad dodgers, sniff their ordure with histrionic disgust (deep down I suspect she is into the sin of Oaten which involves the spilling of something other than seed, preferably by a Bulgarian rent-boy**) and then put them on a diet that looked like it was swept from a rabbit-hutch and call it prime-time TV then it would be high-fives all round. Friends it certainly ain’t.

H/T for the Vid to Alisa in Wonderland. Right at the top of the Blogroll.

*In 1994, she obtained a master’s degree, and in 1997, a PhD, both in holistic nutrition via a distance-learning programme from the non-accredited American Holistic College of Nutrition, now the Clayton College of Natural Health in Birmingham, Alabama. – Wikipedia
**Allegedly. It might have been a Polish rent-boy as though that would have been a mitigation.

Koran desecration

Well, this is pretty normal:

Dozens of cars have been smashed, 14 people injured and 46 arrested in riots by Muslim migrants over the alleged defacing of a Koran by a policeman.

A rumour spreads about a book being damaged so these morons go apeshit. Nothing unusual there, so why am I mentioning it?

Well, the thought crossed my mind, after an edition of this twaddle is printed, what happens to the plates? Are they treated with some sort of faux reverence, or are they treated like any other worthless scrap and discarded? Melted down? Disassembled? Thrown away?

Shouldn’t these bunnies go doolally over that as well?

I have had a copy of Mo’s mouthing’s on my hard drive for years, after all, I try to keep my opinions informed, and it has been moved from computer to computer often. What is the situation when I clear down an old drive? Is deleting (destroying) a digital copy by a kufr haraam? What about when I open it in a browser or editor, creating a display on my monitor? In sheer logic doesn’t closing the browser constitute destroying the words of Almighty Allah The Merciful? Should I expect mobs of Rage Boy soundalikes rampaging through my living room, showing me mercy en mass, just because I look up a reference on screen?

Hell, what happens if I print it out? An electronic copy is sent to the printer and then deleted after the print is finished.

What is a poor infidel to do? Boy, I am so screwed.

Norkology

The Association for the Study of Songun Politics in the UK is known by the acronym ASSPUK.

Yes, they are crowing about their great victory over the “so-called UN security council” in testing a nuke decades after all permanent members of that club not only tested ones but created deployable nuclear arsenals the likes of which The Dear Leader can only wank himself dry over. I mean the poor buggers don’t have electricity and are regularly eating each other.

And if you wanna have a truly dreadful holiday and have a coupla thousand Euros to blow then this will be right-up your street. Do read the whole thing. I’d be here all day if I had to fisk it but work, alas, beckons.

The last line is priceless though:

Inside the DPRK we’ll have doctors and hospitals at your disposal 24 hours if you’ve any problem.

Interesting Times

I read Infidel753′s blog a lot. He’s always an interesting read. I’m gonna annoy Infidel here (he’s a Democrat) by suggesting that anyone with a vested interest in putting the Republicans back together again could do much worse than read his stuff on the travails of the GOP.

Anyway, one of Infidel’s big things interests is life-extension (and I don’t just mean his own) but technologies to combat ageing. Now I mainly know about this sort of stuff from Infidel’s blog and over the last year or so I’m beginning to think this sort of thing is plausible. What I mean is not the slow ramping of the life-expectancy charts but a sudden dramatic increase with the chance that that will buy you more time until they get something even more whiz-bang which will buy you more time until the nanobots reset your DNA or whatever… The main reason I now think it plausible (apart from the phenomenal progress with stem cells and computational biology* and such) is that if anyone gets anything to work they will make an absolute bloody fortune.

“All that I own for one moment of time”

-Last words of Queen Elizabeth I – probably apocryphal.

Moreover it will demonstrate the field is not a “fringe” investment opportunity. Any significant advance will be like the Rainhill trials. Before that people bitched and moaned and mocked the railways. After it investing in railways was the place for the smart money to be. History is littered with things that people thought daft, dangerous or immoral that are now indispensable. Lord Reith who was the guiding spirit of the BBC thought TV immoral. He later thought it OK but that colour TV was a step too far and in some obscure way would bring about the end of civilization. Well it did make the televisation of snooker feasible so I guess the curmudgeonly old puritan might have had a point**.

Anyway something close to rolling immortality might pitch-up soon. But I do wonder at the moral, social and philosophical implications. I’m not at all arguing that such treatments (if they are even possible) should be banned but they would profoundly alter the human condition in a way that no technology since writing has and that they will take a hell of a lot of getting used to. One of the most universal human experiences is bereavement. How will the experience of that be changed if people are clinically immortal but can still die in wars, natural disasters and accidents of the Tom & Jerry fashion. I mean if you get married you promise for “as long as you both shall live” and it’s possible to make a fair guess at that but what if that is potentially indefinitely? And what of the question of access to this stuff? I don’t just mean cost but I can imagine some folks will be genetically not suitable. There are phenomenal issues here. I cannot even begin to think them all through.

I can though guess at one. I think people (at least the compatible and wealthy enough) will become much more risk averse because losing your three score and ten is one thing but losing a potential eternity is quite another.

Oh, and God knows what the religious nutter types will make of it. I guess they’ll still be inconsolable with grief over the birth of the first kid who is the genetic child of two lesbians (that is very feasible and you can imagine the Phelpsites going absolutely stratospheric over it). It will happen and I’m looking forward to the absolute end-of-days chaos that will ensue. I’ll get the beer and the nachos in for that one. It’ll be bloody marvellous. Well in a way it will but not alas for the kid. There is a bitter irony there. The religious mentalists will go ape and cite (naturally) the effect this unnatural coupling*** will have on the child’s future happiness without even realising that by generating a stink over it they really aren’t helping screw the kid up. Don’t doubt me on that. A couple of years ago a woman in her late twenties in the Northwest of England gave birth to her first child. The Times felt it had to say the baby was “normal”. That woman was Louise Brown.

We are living in interesting times and I hope they get even more so. Because social, economic, scientific, technological, medical, stasis is the death of our wonderful, creative civilization and novelty is it’s own reward. At the end of the 300 Delios makes a rousing speech to the lads before the Battle of Platea. The bit that nails it for me is, “…and usher in a world brighter than any of us can imagine”. That’s beautiful. I want the future to be so bright I gotta wear shades and I’m just beginning again to think it might be. I also studied nuclear science and I revelled in its paradoxes and new discoveries and it’s revolutions and it’s capacity to astound. I am also a Libertarian so there are no five-year plans for tractor production for me. I want the future to be the undiscovered country but I appreciate it’s not gonna be smooth or easy or plain sailing. I also appreciate that that is exactly where the fun lies.

Let’s just do it and see what happens! The hell with stuffed shirts and moralising gits! I mean there are gonna be cock-ups, difficult questions, disasters and God knows what on the rocky and random path to the sunlit-uplands and even more upsets and “issues” to confront from there to the stars but hell’s teeth that’s life. My ancient ancestors didn’t stumble blinking and grunting out of the jungle onto the African savannah to get to a certain level and then set it in aspic like a Victorian housekeeper with a potted ham****. We are stardust from supernovae forever in motion and our very atoms yearn to get back there. It didn’t take (in geological time anyway) long for us to go from throwing spears at mammoths to throwing Saturn Vs to the Moon and back. I hope we are in for an interesting ride. I have to hope that because otherwise what’s the point?

Per Ardua, Ad Astra!

PS I composed this in Word 2000. It green-lined “blog”. It also uggest I replace “Phelpsites” with “Philistines”…

*Might I cite that absolute cyclone of biological advance Craig Venter?
**Infamous Colemanball – “For those of you watching in black and white the brown is the one behind the green”. My favourite sports commentator line though has to be this from a cricket match) “The batsman’s Holding, the bowler’s Willie” which caused at least one RTA. Though Bobby Robson’s epic “tribute-act” to Ali, “Des Walker jumped like a salmon and bit like a ferret” has the merit of just being gloriously nuts.
***”Unnatural” to me means something that can’t exist or can’t be done. If it can exist or can be done then that’s it – end of.
****The Victorians knew a thing or to about progress, which is why, they stopped potting hams and invented refrigeration.

Arrow

As a moderately successful heterosexual male I have over the years spent quite a lot of money on women’s underwear. Apparently men frequently get embarrassed doing this. God knows why because it’s pretty abundantly clear it ain’t for for ma (unless you’re from Norfolk) or yourself because what the devilment I would do with size ten Elle Macpherson “intimates” is utterly beyond me unless I were buying them for a wife or girlfriend. I mean I’m not an MP or anything that depraved.

I really envy women. The utter range of lingerie and swimwear and whatnots boggles my Calvin Klein panted mind.

It’s almost not fair. The prices certainly aren’t and absolutely violate a fairly generally held law of economics. You expect an oil tanker to cost more than a rowing boat, an Airbus to cost more than a Cessna but this don’t apply to lingerie or bikinis. I have a cunning plan. I’m going to invent the Emperor’s New Knickers. They will be the ultimate in style because they will consist of absolutely nothing and Paris Hilton will buy two dozen pairs at a million bucks a go. And then Britney will have to have them and Lindsey Lohan… I’ll be rich. Rich I tells ya!

These are not quite there yet but I rather like the arrow cut…

There is of course an alternative if you are planning on having Dita von Teese join your SWAT team. Yes the tactical corset. Tip of the something to commentator Sunfish for that one. I do though think he needs to get out more… Or something.

Hubris

You know what really pisses me off about this whole thing? It’s not as if the French were even at Normandy.

Any Colour As Long As It Isn’t Black

This is beyond human comprehension. It is beyond the comprehension of Gods. It is beautifully absurd.

As a weapon against global warming, it sounds so simple and low-tech that it could not possibly work. But the idea of using millions of buckets of whitewash to avert climate catastrophe has won the backing of one of the world’s most influential scientists.

Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as Energy Secretary, wants to paint the world white. A global initiative to change the colour of roofs, roads and pavements so that they reflect more sunlight and heat could play a big part in containing global warming, he said yesterday.

Speaking at the opening of the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium, for which The Times is media partner, Professor Chu said that this approach could have a vast impact. By lightening paved surfaces and roofs to the colour of cement, it would be possible to cut carbon emissions by as much as taking all the world’s cars off the roads for 11 years, he said.

Building regulations should insist that all flat roofs were painted white, and visible tilted roofs could be painted with “cool-coloured” paints that looked normal, but which absorbed much less heat than conventional dark surfaces. Roads could be lightened to a concrete colour so they would not dazzle drivers in bright sunlight. “I think with flat-type roofs you can’t even see, yes, I think you should regulate,” Professor Chu said.

Professor Chu said that his thinking had been influenced by Art Rosenfeld, a member of the California Energy Commission, who drove through tough new building rules in the state. Since 2005 California has required all flat roofs on commercial buildings to be white; the measure is being expanded to require cool colours on all residential and pitched roofs.

The California Energy Comission? Yeah the folks who can’t generate enough ‘tricity to avoid brownouts in one of the richest places on the effing planet. Idiots fuck up all the time on a small scale but to fuck-up as epically as that requires a Nobel Prize winning physicist and the Cali Energy Whatever… Jesus fucking wept. I note the video from the Times also features the Prince of Wails talking drivel (as usual) whilst (also as usual) playing pocket billiards with himself through the secret pocket in his double-breasted jacket. Can someone, anyone, please explain to me why our future head of tamponage (remember that?) cannot speak in public without engaging in a mass-debate in a double-breasted jacket. He really is a complete and utter fucking embarrassment.

I am so gob-smacked by this utter drivel which has so clearly not only jumped the shark but performed a triple toe-loop over the blue whale and God alone knows what it did over the orca but that critter is looking somewhat high-minded and rather bitey about it. This is now well beyond a fucking joke. I mean we laugh at the Victorians for believing masturbation caused every badness under the sun but a hundred years from now this fetishization of CO2 as the new ultimate evil will keep our grandkids in giggles and fits. I really mean that. This isn’t science. It isn’t even witchcraft because it’s completely fucking insane. It’s on a par with the C19th Texan doctor who promoted excision of the clitoris as a cure for female sexual dysfunction. It is that mad. Fortunately for the Victorians pretty much all his colleagues thought him utterly round the sodding bend and I think got him struck off.

And to someone with a science background like me this is very depressing. It is depressing because the enemy is well inside the gates. Prince Charles can witter on relentlessly and no fucker in a semblance of their right mind will care a wit but we now have Nobel Prize-winning physicists (physicists!) on the green gravy train. It appals me because science has done more to advance the human condition materially, intellectually and morally than any other human endeavour and to see notable representatives of this wonderful pursuit to make life monotonically better taking the likes of Obama and Chuckles shillings to drag us back to a new Dark Age for a few bob in the short term makes me want to vomit with rage. There have always been enemies to the cause of human progress but to find them infesting Our Camp is beyond toleration. I am now officially mad as hell about this utter cunteration. They have taken my temple and there shall be a Nírnaeth Arnoediad over this when I take it back. It will be their tears and they shall be of an uncountable cardinality. Does anyone know Al Gore’s address and if rectal pears are on sale on eBay? Rectum? I will damn near kill him. It will not be over quickly and he will not enjoy it. I on the otherhand shall take the camcorder and it will be on Youtube.

I am quite angry. I am in fact so angry and so fixated on torturing the Goreacle (I think I would end up in the Abu Hamza Memorial Wing of Belmarsh if I even said what I have planned at sleepless 3 ams for Johnnie Porridge*) via his devine Gorefice whilst the reprehensible cunt is tied down to his four-poster in his bedroom which is the size of a Nimitz class carrier’s flight deck that I cannot even bring myself to comment on this.

*Actually it’s so fucking evil it will cause you sleepless nights if I tell you.

Well, there’s a surprise

A lesson for Gordon here, or any other government which spends more than they expropriate – Can’t balance your budget? Easy solution, do as Maryland did and find someone rich to fleece.

The WSJ picks up the story:

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were "willing and able to pay their fair share." The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would "grin and bear it."

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a "substantial decline." On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

Gosh, who woulda thunk it. Tax people, and they object.

Cause and effect people, cause and effect.

The Maryland state revenue office says it’s "way too early" to tell how many millionaires moved out of the state when the tax rates rose. But no one disputes that some rich filers did leave. It’s easier than the redistributionists think. Christopher Summers, president of the Maryland Public Policy Institute, notes: "Marylanders with high incomes typically own second homes in tax friendlier states like Florida, Delaware, South Carolina and Virginia. So it’s easy for them to change their residency."

Bloody tax havens. Lets ban em.

Bloody hell

Just raising my voice to join Nick in his outpouring of shock and outrage at Sarkozy and the community organizer.

They said President Nikolas Sarkozy was focused on the ‘main event’ of hosting U.S. President Barack Obama.

Main Event?

MAIN EVENT!!!!!

HOW DARE THEY.

The main event is the line of ancient and time wearied heroes making a pilgrimage to the site of the carnage. And yes, that includes both Betty and Phil Windsor who in any sane universe would be guests of honour.

in 1939, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy, graduating the next year from the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as the top cadet in his course.[12] He was commissioned as a midshipman in January 1940. Philip spent four months on the battleship HMSRamillies, protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean. After shorter postings totalling two months on HMSKent, HMS Shropshire and in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), he was transferred from the Indian Ocean to the battleship HMS Valiant in theMediterranean Fleet. Amongst other engagements, he was involved in the Battle of Crete, was mentioned in despatches for his service during the Battle of Cape Matapan, and was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.[12] Duties of lesser glory included stoking the boilers of the troop transport ship RMS Empress of Russia.[13]

Prince Philip was promoted to sub-lieutenant after a series of courses at Portsmouth in which he gained the top grade in four out of five sections.[14] In June 1942, he was appointed to the V&W class destroyer and flotilla leader, HMS Wallace, which was involved in convoy escort tasks on the east coast of Britain, as well as the allied invasion of Sicily.[15] Promotion to lieutenant followed on 16 July 1942. In October of the same year, at just 21 years of age, he became first lieutenant of HMS Wallace and one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy. In 1944, he moved on to the new destroyer, HMS Whelp, where he saw service with the British Pacific Fleet in the 27th Destroyer Flotilla.[16][17]He was present in Tokyo Bay when the instrument of Japanese surrender was signed. In January 1946, Philip returned to Britain on the Whelp, and was posted as an instructor at HMS Royal Arthur, the Petty Officers’ School in Corsham, Wiltshire.[18]

Commander Phillip Mountbatten RN? James Bond did no better.

And Barry? Community Organizer with ACORN? – and this sideshow dares to fantasise he is the main fucking event?

Barry, you want to know something? Sometimes, just sometimes, it really isn’t about you.

If Barry wants to go along, then fine, let him, But if he had a shred of either pride or humility he would know he is nothing but the sideshow.

Hubris invokes nemesis, and I can’t wait.

Disgraceful!

Now we all knew Nikolas Sarcophagus is a slithey tove and Frau Merkin of Krautland’s bitch* but this takes the custard cream and dunks it…

Buckingham Palace voiced anger last night after the French snubbed the Queen over next week’s D-Day commemorations.

Aides said senior royals had repeatedly made clear their eagerness to support the historic 65th anniversary events in Normandy.

But last night French officials crushed any remaining hopes, admitting they had never had any plans to invite members of the British Royal Family.

They said President Nikolas Sarkozy was focused on the ‘main event’ of hosting U.S. President Barack Obama.

There was also anger at the British Government for failing to secure a Royal invitation from their French counterparts. Protocol means they cannot simply invite themselves.

The failure to invite the Queen – who is head of state of both Britain and Canada – will be seen as an insult to the memory of the 17,556 British and 5,316 Canadian troops who died to free France and are buried there.

The figure does not include many airmen and sailors whose bodies were never found.

Well… I know what happened here. Broon didn’t fecking dare raise it with the Froggies because the G20 summit showed he’s about as popular as genital warts on a honeymoon in Paris and Berlin these days.

Ministers had refused even to treat the 65th anniversary as a major event until shamed into a U-turn by a Daily Mail campaign earlier this year.

Well that figures. Broon et al utterly despise our military. I heard on the radio a veteran’s spokesman who said all they really wanted was access to the cemetarys to lay some wreaths in memory of their fallen comrades. They are concerned they won’t even be allowed to do that because of “security” for the bigwigs. And it’s gonna be tight security because guess who is guest of honour?

A French government source said: ‘There were never any plans to invite members of the British Royal Family, although an invitation has been extended to Gordon Brown after he said he wanted to come.

‘He will, of course, be concentrating on the British commemorations, away from the American beaches, as is appropriate. This is very much a Franco-American occasion.’

Christ all fucking mighty they are re-writing history. By the time of the 70th anniversary it will be Obama and Sarkozy who alone stormed Utah beach. OK I do appreciate why Obama and Sarkozy don’t want anything to do with Broon – a photo-op with him is poison – but the Queen? Hell’s teeth! Her Majesty and Phil the Greek are the only ones out of the lot of them who actually served in the war. I somehow suspect that a great many of the veterans of all nations would much rather meet her and Phil than any of those self-serving media whores. Yes, even the French ones. Apart from anything else Prince Philip speaks fluent French.

This is a snub and to the extent that it is also a re-write of history it is hardly surprising. In the early ’90s I visited the D-Day museum in Normandy. They showed a video. It stated that on June 6th 1945, “French, British and American troops landed”. Yes, in that order and no mention of the Canadians on Juno Beach. It also absurdly exagerated the role of the resistance. I appreciate the Frenchies are somewhat embarrassed by collapsing like a souffle in a cupboard against the sausage-munchers for the third time in a row and the disgrace that was the Vichy regime, the wide-spread collaboration, the zeal with which the French fuzz rounded-up Jews and their disgraceful antics over their Med fleet post-capitulation (the RN had to sink it in the end – a shame because it might have proven useful in things like the Malta convoys and the North African campaign). I appreciate France’s crapness in battle from 1870 to 1940 (and they made an utter titteration of Indochina) is a sore point but this is beyond comprehension. Sarkozy and Obama might as well piss on all the graves of British Empire soldiers from two World Wars though I suspect they wouldn’t have time to fit that into their hectic schedules because that would involve a hell of a lot of pissing. I have been to the Great War battlefields and those neat rows of crosses in the British graveyards just go on and on.

I am not blaming the average Frenchman here. A great many of them clearly have deep respect for the British Empire troops who dug them out of a hole twice. The relationship is complex. Britain and France are almost siblings in a way and our folks and their folks give a much greater impression of animosity than actually exists between them because of that. It is their elite (interestingly a French word) I despise. Utter scum the bloody lot of them. I also despise our elite for not considering this important. It is important. Operation Overlord was a big deal and seeing as it was 65 years ago it’s veterans are all old men who might not get another chance to salute their dead pals in the Normandy sunshine again. They also deserve their Queen there and for it not to be just a twisted media event for Obama and Sarkozy.

Because that is so what it is not about. It should be about the commemoration of the sacrifice made by the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the entire free-world destroying a truly hideous regime which had taken over most of Europe. It should be about old soldiers in their best bib and tucker with their medals all polished-up visiting the graves of their comrades who weren’t so lucky. It should absolutely not be about George Bush and how now that the Messiah has ousted the Moron from the Whitehouse that Europe and the US are now pals again**. I said it was an attempt to rewrite history. It’s worse. It is trivialising it. Commemorating D-Day has nothing to do with these self-important gits having a photo-op over the graves of our soldiers. It should be about Tommy Atkins and GI Joe (if they allowed past the security cordon) and the Canucks and all the rest.

They matter. They did something incredible. They fought an existential threat to civilization and won. Obama organized a community – whatever that means, Sarkozy fucked a model and the least said about Broon the soonest mended although if I did say he fucked the nation those heroes fought and died on those beaches I would not be a million miles out of the park.

*I am resisting the urge to make a comment about her taking him up the arras with a knockwurst strap-on. Although quite how Angela could wear that and her merkin is beyond me. Why more to the point did anyone ever invent the merkin? I mean why?
**The “great falling out” was always an utter invention of the political and media class on both sides of the Atlantic anyway. It was a problem they created to further their ends.

JKJ

Got a ‘mail this morning from my friend (and Samizdatista) Midwesterner. Someone had brought up the issue of neglected literary classics and pre WWI Germany and this is what I had to say. Mid said I ought to public it. Well… Samizdata saw fit to take him on and their technorati ranking makes me and Cats look like a bloke in a shed in Cheshire and a bloke in a flat in Queensland. Which of course is what we are. so here goes…

Neglected classics. On the subject of Germany shortly before WWI I suggest you read Jerome K Jerome’s “Three Men on the Bummel”. It is not as good as “Three Men in a Boat” but, especially towards the end, it makes some points about pre WWI German society which are disturbingly prescient. It’s also quite a fun read about three blokes having a lark cycling through the Black Forest. It and “Three Men in a Boat” are bizarrely contemporary. There is a section in which J bemoans folks who tinker with other folk’s cycles by the road-side which parallels exactly how I feel about folks who tinker with computers. The analogy still works.

JKJ is highly recommended. He is a brilliant comic writer. But there is more to him than that. He exposes something which gives me enormous hope. Those Edwardians were very similar to us. The idea that they were a bunch of misogynist stuffed shirts is surely a construct of the 60s. J, George and Harris were in so many ways freerer than we are and so were their wives that they lived in mortal terror of.

I have read a lot of late Victorian/Edwardian literature (it’s out of copyright and therefore cheap) and I feel I could fit right in there. I mean the EU likes to pretend that before them we couldn’t live and work in France or Germany – not true. Philip Larkin wrote (mockingly) “Sexual intercourse started in 1963/After the Lady Chatterly Trial/And before the Beatle’s first LP. Look at C19th British population figures… They were clearly at it like knives.

We are fed a diet of complete bunk about the Victorians. No social mobility. Not true. I grew up three miles away from George Stephenson’s cottage and his dad was an illiterate collier but George ended-up on the five pound note. Quite a few generals by the end of WWI had started out as privates. The working class enslaved in slums? True up to a point but that fails to see the wider picture which is one of enormous material gains over the entire C19th. Look at how life expectancy, literacy rates and stuff like that ramped whilst Victoria was on the throne. Look at the literature and the science and engineering. Or the libraries or medicine or sanitation or anything… The Victorian era was epically brilliant. It started with folks complaining that trains travelling at 20mph would be fatal to passengers and ended (not exactly but near enough) on Kill Devil Hills South Carolina* because it was not just in Britain. It was also the age (roughly) of Edison and Tesla and Benz and Orv and Wilbur. In those five names we have almost everything we think of as modern. I had a ‘tricity cut recently and for over an hour it was almost like being dead. You ever flown on
a plane? You have a couple of bicyle tinkerers from Ohio to thank for that. Been in a car – thank you Mr Benz, used electricity – thank you Nikola Tesla. It just goes on and on…

And moreover it was an age when these things were seen as good things and progress and a carbon-footprint was something a miner was beaten with a clothes-prop by the missus for leaving on the clippy-mat and not a cash-cow for the former senator from Tennessee.

We have so lost the plot yet we are almost so close to it I think we can get it back.

Do they not get that we only got here from there (and there was bloody awful) by building those dark Satanic mills…

I’m gonna be outrageous here. I think by studying physics and astrophysics I got a sounder grasp of history than if I’d studied history. Seriously. As Perry** would put it that’s because the meta-context is right. It’s partly about a belief in progress but it’s also about an understanding of how that actually happens.

And trust me. It ain’t broad-brush “movements” – it’s individuals. Our practical deification of Sir Isaac keeps our feet on the ground. I have met a great many physicists (it kinda helps to be one) and most of them claim Feynman as a hero. Nobody claims Newton. They wouldn’t dare. He is beyond that and that is what makes us humble. Because we appreciate that great individuals can turn the universe upside-down.

Amongst his many achievements (i.e. the entire modern world) he also invented the cat flap.

Very slightly edited that’s almost verbatim. Like the Victorians we live in an age of epic change. I am 35 and I have had computer (of sorts) for 25 years. I now have several. But when I was at primary school a computer was something governments and Bond baddies had. They weren’t in the back bedroom running Manic Miner. They were in extinct volcanoes and tended by leggy brunettes with ponytails who were toting clipboards and looking very severe. They wore specs that you just knew if they shed (and let their tresses down) they would go in two seconds from librarian to ultra foxy. And yes they usually did just that for Commander Bond.

Unlike my co-blogger Cats I doubt the coming singularity. I would love it but I doubt it will happen. Not convinced on that mind you. I don’t think there is any technical reason for it not to happen (though the lamentable level of science education in the UK doesn’t fill me with confidence). Instead I think “moral” and “social” reasons will nix it. The largest economy on the planet*** – the EU – has permanently banned GM foods and has done so despite scientific advice (the EU’s pet farmers can can keep on projing on via subsidies of course – for a while anyway).

What we lack and what the Victorians and Edwardians had in spades is hope. Way too many people now see “progress” in negative terms, or what’s worse “progressive” terms – to the extent that the word “progressive” has been utterly scrobbled. In the early eighties my dad (a teacher – now retired) worked with a chap, with a beard, with leather patches on his tweed jacket who claimed that Africans had healthier diets than us. He claimed this because we consumed more calories and ate more red meat so we were more likely to die of a heart attack or colon cancer. I don’t plan on doing either but I’d much rather die of either in my 80s than do it next week due to malnutrition or because the water was lousy. What he clearly didn’t get was that those Africans were carking it because they were poor. A good diet (and this is highly debatable) matters nowt if you are dead from malaria or some (quite literally shitty) waterborn disease by twelve. D’oh!

Greater wealth has arguably lead to greater social inequality but equality is not the issue is it? A hundred years ago a rich man might have had myriad servents but they never had wifi or the capacity to get to the USA in 7 hours. I have both. I am objectively richer than Edward the VII. Yeah, he had his palaces and all but I have a television and Youtube and a laptop. I would not trade apart frrom one thing. I just wish my generation saw technology as the solution and not as the problem.

*Do SC numberplates still have the state motto “First in Flight” on them.
**Editor of Samizdata.
***It might be The Obamanation.

Proud to Live in East Cheshire

At least I think that’s where I live. They are making an utter hash of a council re-organisation. Basically they’re splitting the county of Cheshire down the middle or at least that’s what I thought they were doing until yesterday when I got a load of guff from Stockport council. God knows. I preferred the joining Stockport to the idiocy that is the Cheshire East option not least because if I call the rozzers they apparently now have to come from Macclesfield (40 minutes away) and not from the cop-shop two miles up the road. Don’t ask me why. I only live here.

I suppose (I guess – that leaflet from Stockport really threw me) Cheshire East sounds better for house prices and this is real “footballer’s wives” territory. Well it’s not quite Alderley but then nowhere is. Alderley is the sort of place where you can be jailed for wearing last season’s Armani. It’s ludicrously affluent. I thought we would be nicked for parking a Vauxhall there. Probably for crimes against property prices. Some WAG would call the dibble (well get her butler/personal trainer/whatever to do it) because the very presence of the Corsa would knock five percent off the value of her absurdly overpaid Man U second team fullback’s bijou residence. On the up side nobody was gonna nick the car because it was in a car park that went: Beamer, Ferrari, Merc, Prosche, another Merc, Corsa, Range Rover, Roller, Bentley, yet another Merc… I think you can be jailed in Alderley for driving last season’s Merc. I mean it just looks untidy. I wannabe a Mercedes salesman in Alderley. They must sell themselves because everyone seems to have two. A glance in the window of the estate agents was… interesting. There was a gaff up for rent for 12 grand a month. It appeared the desired feature on the top houses was – you’re gonna love this – the second indoor swimming pool. I had to cogitate on this one. It’s for the kids innit? The main indoor swimming pool has a bar and that’s where you hang-out with the other WAGs and then there’s a kiddie pool.

I know this because I am vaguely related (you have to be a mother or a hobbit to specify how – some strange thing seems to kick into the female brain at the moment of giving birth which enables them to tell you who everyone’s second cousin thrice removed is) the footballer Robbie Fowler. My parents went to his wedding. This was good for my dad because he’s a life-long Liverpool fan and he got to chat with the likes of Jamie Carragher and Danny Murphy. Murphy was being roundly mocked because he was wearing his first ever suit and he’d picked it up for pennies in Primark. But fair play to the lad. He wasn’t into clothes and being a professional footballer the very last thing he was expected to turn-up to work in was a suit. Anyway Fowler has a second indoor pool at his gaff in Cheshire.

I know this sounds horribly like snobbery but it isn’t. It is just attempting to paint a picture of where I live (and of course doing it in my usual style) and I have quite a bit of respect for the likes of Robbie Fowler. In his prime the “Toxteth Terror” was a hell of a player and as an enormously talented bloke (unlike for example the majority of the current Newcastle United squad – have they been hung from the Tyne Bridge yet?*) fair play to him. He also has an extremely good business manager and his earnings have not been squandered so his daughters will want for nothing, ever. Even houses with two swimming pools. Oh and he has my respect for being a key player in the revolt that ousted that utter nutcase Glenn Hoddle from the England job**.

No. I really hope you don’t take me wrong here because these footballers and the birds that snagged them are OK with me. They are top flight entertainers and it’s fine they make beaucoup because no one ever puts a Browning to your head and says, “You will get a Man U season ticket and a subscription to Sky Sports”. And you know what? If Sir Alex saw me having a kick about and wanted to pay me a hundred grand a week then I’d say,”Sir Alex, and I wanna let you before phoning the missus and telling her to buy all of Selfridges”. I mean he’s a dour Scots git but unlike another rather well known dour Scots git he’s a bloody successful dour Scots git. I think 11/17 Premiership titles speaks for itself. Nah, the footballers round here are living high on their own hog or the hog that folks pay for voluntarily so fair enough. And they are entertainers and a huge part of the reason they are paid silly money is because their millionaire lifestyles are part of the draw. I mean the likes of David Beckham are at least as famous for marrying pop-stars and wearing daft stuff as they are for their kicking an inflated pig-bladder. We can’t all live like that so we need folks who can otherwise the OED could delete the word “vicarious”.

But the real point here is that no one forces anyone to pay for these folks. Quite unlike my local MP, Nick Winterton who has not only defrauded the tax-payer epically since 1971 but also had his wife in on the game and claims in some unspecified way to be important.

I don’t care that footballers are paid silly money. I don’t care because I don’t have to pay for it. I do care that MPs are because I have no choice and anyway how many of them of them have brought fun, drama and joy to us on a Saturday afternoon whilst wearing a football strip. Apart from the Mellorphant man’s apocryphal antics in a Chelsea strip with the “actress” who later masturbated a pig to ejaculation live on C5 there are none. An act which quite clearly dug through the already seriously holed bottom of the barrel of UK telly. God alone knows what lay beneath. I don’t want to.

*Two North East clubs got the drop. We did and Middlesborough did but Sunderland stayed up. The Mackems a division above us. It’s almost too terrible to contemplate. Christ almighty. We used to taunt the opposition at St James Park with “You’re going down with the Mackems!” I think you will find that cited in the 2010 edition of the OED under “hubris”.
**In case that doesn’t ring immediate bells Hoddle was a religious loon who dropped players who wouldn’t consult with his faith-healer – including those like Fowler (a Catholic) who were practising members of real religions and felt insulted as well as dropped. He was finally ousted when on a meet and great he told a disabled girl she was “being punished for sins from a previous life”. He claimed to be a born-again Christian although squaring that with a belief in re-incarnation would require the theological sagacity of Saint Thomas Aquinas. A sagacity that Mr Hoddle clearly lacked. Oh and he was bloody awful as a manager. Apart from anything else he clung doggedly to the patently deluded belief that Darren Anderton was good. There is something about religion and football which from “hallowed turf” to Glasgow on a Saturday night to David Icke (former Coventry City goalie who claimed to be the son of God whilst wearing a turquoise shell-suit and had a number of deranged theories about the Knights Templar, the Illuminati and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion… You get the drift – one wit pointed out when he crossed the line from “odd” to “utterly barking” that whilst he claimed he had been put here to save the world he saved fuck all for Coventry City – quite. He also had a dalliance with the Green Party. They dumped him because he was blatently mental. His core thesis was that several major world figures were reptilian aliens. Specifically: George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.

Truth Is A Class Enemy

“Now who might you be, my little girl?” asked Safronov. “What did your mummy and daddy do?”

“I’m nobody,” said the little girl.

“How can you be nobody? Surely some sort of principle of the female sex must have fixed things so you could get yourself born under Soviet power?”

“But I didn’t want to be be born – I was frightened my mother would be bourgeois.”

“How did you get yourself organized then?”

The girl hung her head in confusion and fear and began to pull at her shirt; she was in the presence of the proletariat and so she was on her guard, remembering what her mother had kept telling her so long ago.

“But I can tell you who’s the boss.”

“Who?” asked Safronov, pricking up his ears.

“Lenin and after that comes Budyonny. Before they were around, when there was only the bourgoise, I wasn’t born because I didn’t want to be. But as soon as Lenin came along then, then so did I.”

“Well my girl,” Safronov managed to say, “your mother must have been a conscious woman! And if kids can forget their own mothers but still have a sense of comrade Lenin, then Soviet power really is here to stay”.

- Andrey Platonov, The Foundation Pit.

He has been compared to Kafka and Borges and yes, he did say that “Truth was a Class Enemy” which is priceless.

Gotta read him because anyone who can be seriously compared to Borges has to be brilliant. I really ought to post on the divine Argentine because he was the greatest man who ever sat at a tripewriter. Doubt me? Go and read “Funes the Memorious”. I never quite got Kafka.

OK. Just buy a copy of the complete “fictionnes” A paperback will cost you under a tenner. It will though change your life.

And BTW my co-blogger Chris ought to try and spell “literature” correctly. Just sayin’ is all.

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