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I thought I’d died and gone to Hebburn…

A few days ago I was in the local Co-op buying bleech or some such. Anyhows, they have an area manager in and he is uttering the latest diktat. The woman on the till is astonished, gob-smacked by it. It went like this…

“You have to stock aubergines – tell Terry*.”

“But, but… what do you ever do with them?”

Area Manager doesn’t look taken aback. Seriously – must be used to it. He tries to talk her down in much the same way a copper might with some bloke on the tenth floor who is planning on jamming himself on the pavement (I assume Area Manager tasted aubergine once in a moussaka on Corfu and had seen the future). If I was a cruel man when I made my purchase I would have whispered under my breath, “I also like kumquats you know…” but the local A&E probably doesn’t have enough defibrillators anyway so I didn’t.

I have never really seen the point of kumquats but the imp of the perverse is a powerful imp.

This is 2012 and the Co-op regards aubergines (“Aubergines, Auber-here, stealing all our vegetable racks!”) as exotic. I mean if you can’t get a frigging aubergine what hope for a jet-pack? Right next door is a proper greengrocer who stocks several types of squash!!! Such decadence hasn’t been seen since the last days of Caligula! We also have a butcher and a deli (this stocks different forms of cheese). Both the local(ish) TESCO and Sainsburys even have a stab at sushi. Just before Guy Fawkes night the Co-op got in a huge consignment of… Easter eggs. Seriously. The Co-op is like Stalin just shot his load… in an aubergine. Even Uncle Joe would have known an aubergine when he saw one being a Georgian and all… The Co-op is fucking chronic.

I “popped” for some tomatoes a bit back and took them to the counter and had to have them returned because I spotted one had grown a Gandalf of a beard of something I’ve only ever seen on a sodding petri dish. And not any of mine (I know how to streak-plate). I mean the ones in movies where Denzel Washington or someone has 24 hours to save the Earth and bed a well-fit co-star (why is there never a phone call that goes like this, “Can we re-schedule for Thursday I’ve got a lot on right now”. “OK, cool, see you then!”). Nah, instead of that I had two slags** gossiping about X-Factor which was clearly more important than serving moi and Terry replaced my toms with a grumplestiltskin of a face-on at a speed matched only by glaciers. He then disappeared out back grumbling about customers actually wanting produce that wouldn’t give them pantomime poisoning***. Presumably for a fag or a wank**** or (most likely) just a general skive.

But the crowning turd in the punch-bowl came Friday before last. Now I was going out to see “Skyfall” (not bad BTW) and dinner was hurried and the Co-op tend to… Well, my wife is vegan and she frequently has said she can find fuck all to eat there. Well I was in the same dilly of a pickle. I thought I’d get a brace of their reasonable Aberdeen Angus burgers (nowhere near as nice as the ones I make but OK) but no! No burgers for Nick! Useless twats. They had replaced ‘em with – I shit ye not – a fucking display of four types of “Rustlers” (more on those soon). So I looked at the shelves for something tasty and quick (bear in mind this is kinda a convenience store/small supermarket) and there was the fifth-root of fuck-all. I got meatballs in the end. So seeing as I have no dietary whatevers I was as stumped as my vegan wife. That is fuckwittery from the Co-op on a cosmic scale. I got something in the end. I suppose I could have got the frozen burgers by Birdseye but that is all eyelids and rectums. Anyway I didn’t have the defrost time if I wanted to see Mr Bond. Not a fucking chance. No chance for anything to be shaken or even stirred apart from the bowels and that in a cataclysmic Old Testament sense.

Oh yea who eat the unclean parts of the ossifrage behold!

There are things in that shop that violate Deuteronomy. And possibly Leviticus.

This is…

…the Rustler’s microwave burger…

… an atrocity that makes being groped by DLT look like some form of “boisterousness”.

Having said that the microwaveable kebab is some form of Crime Against Humanity

And they had replaced all their proper burgerage with Rustlers. Cunts.

They really are a collection of tit-ends. More tit-ends than a fucking dairy farm in Wisconsin. An utter tittery of dunces.

The milk is OK at the Co-Op. There is pity-all you can do to cunterate milk.

But the water! Christ on a bicycle playing the fuckulating Souzaphone. The shop is hideously expensive. Well, some of it is but that is the “ethical water”. They also have normal H20 for people who are not the “saved class” that show their “ethics” by buying expensive tat and know piss-all about basic chemistry. Ethical-fucking-water!

What the the Allah-buggering-piss-flappery is “ethical water”? Is that water that can write a Desmond essay on Spinoza’s juvenalia as well as quenching a thirst? Or is it just water bought by self-righteous self-abusers? Note the hardly disguised selling of indulgences and the piccies of happy natives who’s water is ultimately sold to some school-run mumster with a BMW X-5 to make her feel better about killing the planet with diesel to take Tarquin and Cressida to school. Does anyone other than me think this more patronizing than anything the (obviously evil) British Empire ever did? Anyone thought these folks might not want to be “happy natives” for Co-op customers to feel good and have the opportunity to own a Beemer as well? Nah, that would be so inauthentic for the poor dears wouldn’t it? Better keep ‘em in abject poverty so they can make “authentic things” to be bought by middle-class Indy readers to assuage their consciences over having the X-5…

It sticks in my craw. It really does. I am typing this on an excellent little netbook/laptop by Lenovo (S205). This machine was designed and built in China by people whose parents were probably starving peasants without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. If they had remained “authentic” or Mao-ist or whatever I’d not have this machine on my lap, you wouldn’t be reading this and China wouldn’t be dragging itself into a bright future. A survey a few years ago showed that 80% of “Chuppies” (middle-class Chinese) liked English cider so Bulmer’s planted orchards and built a factory over there. What goes around comes around. It ought to be about creating wealth, not the “selling beads to the natives” approach of Fairtrade nor the re-distribution idiocy of sharing the morsels of the last ration-box on the lifeboat. Wealth is not fixed. I could go on. And I shall, in a later post…

“I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome.”

(look it up). So is cholera, doll.

- Drew Barrymore (who promised E.T. to “be good” and then became a pre-pubescent heroin addict). She was muntering around some potless gaff in Central America and thought shitting like an animal was “cool”. OK, if that is her fetish – fine. And maybe it is if you don’t have to do it all the time. But how patronizing is that? Coming (so to speak) from someone who at the time lived in a mansion in Hollywood? I could be wrong but I think that was valued at $20m round the time. Fuck off. You are not part of the solution. You are the problem. Poverty does not bring dignity. They are utterly seperate variables.

Wealth (and aubergines) are not to be ashamed of. Protectionism is something to be ashamed of. We should not be ashamed that we have indoor plumbing but that we actively prevent development in some of the poorer countries by our trade policies and then engage in patronising and pointless genuflection to the Gods of “Fairtrade” as, yes, an indulgence is just wrong. That the EU subsidises (controls) our farmers etc. and that the counterbalance is Fairtrade is obscene. It helps almost no-one.

Why not just cut the Gordian knot?

Why not let us all run and play?

*Terry is the most idle cunt who ever (slowly) walked this goodly Earth. If he moved any slower he’d have moss on him – like a three-toed sloth.
**The first time I was ever in Buxton (genteel spa town etc..) some lad walked past me and my then girlf and he just said, “tits”. Oddly enough the same happened in New Orleans with the same girl. She had nice breasts but a slim build and they went with that and were hardly bazonga material so that’s odd. I find it odd that it happened over six time zones but then you are no longer alive if reality loses it’s eternal power to astonish.
***A terrible malady that makes someone think they are Christopher Biggins and playing Widow Twanky at the Swindon Empire. I have actually sort of met Mr Biggins and he seemed a decent sort. And yes, he was a panto dame at the time.
****For some reason (my filthy mind) I’m thinking of an old Turkish proverb, “A women for duty, a boy for pleasure but a melon for ecstasy!”. They don’t tend to have melons in the Co-op. Perhaps they are too exotic or perhaps Terry has jizzed in them during his many “technical breaks”. Perhaps that’s why the fruit and veg tend toward the manksome?


  1. John Galt says:

    Cats swear-o-meter has exploded.

    Quite Interesting reference to the biblical Ossifrage though…

  2. John Galt says:

    John Masters, who served in the Indian Army of the Raj and fought in a frontier campaign against the Pathans in the 1930s, noted this in his autobiography “Bugles and a Tiger” an old Pathan saying “A woman for business, a boy for pleasure, and a goat for choice.”

    He also noted one Pathan song that began “There is a boy across the river with a bottom like a peach, but alas I cannot swim.”

  3. Sam Duncan says:

    “The shop is hideously expensive.”

    That was the final straw for me at my local Co. Well, that and the Genial Ernie Guevara poster. I mean, Waitrose is expensive, but their stuff’s pretty good, as is their service. And M&S is… yeah*. Okay, Waitrose then. I’m certain that’s what all the “Co-operative” rebranding’s all about: they’re trying to convince the Guardianistas that they’re just like Waitrose, daahling. But they aren’t. They’re Iceland with an attitude problem.

    Stick to Lidl. Lidl’s awesome.

    *The last M&S mince I had was grey. Meat is not grey. Also – just a little extra tip for you here, Marks’n'Sparks – it’s supposed to taste of meat.

  4. John Galt says:

    Stick to Lidl. Lidl’s awesome.

    Where else can you get bottles of 2010 Claret for £3.59?

    Lidl are the dogs bollocks!

  5. RAB says:


    I just got a bottle of 12 year old single malt from Lidl for £11 !

    I do a lot of shopping in Lidl, always transfer the goods into Waitrose bags though, well you’ve got to keep up appearances, haven’t you? ;-)

  6. NickM says:

    I do like Lidl. I prefer Aldi, mind – but there isn’t one for miles here. And Netto ham is ace.

    Sam hits the nail on the head. The Co-op is Iceland that thinks it’s Waitrose. Bang-on Sam!

    John, I’d heard that poem was the Afghan national epic a la Beowulf. Given that they collapse walls on homosexuals God knows… An interesting “culture”. No wonder we haven’t got anywhere in what is (I think) our fourth Afghan war. As to goat-fuckery – well, is this caper worth anyone else coming back in pine on a C-17? I don’t think so.

  7. John Galt says:

    I do a lot of shopping in Lidl, always transfer the goods into Waitrose bags though, well you’ve got to keep up appearances, haven’t you?

    You cheap pikey bastard.!

    Shame there is no Waitrose, Lidl or Aldi in Penang. On the plus side, temperature is 30 Celcius @ 3:00 AM…


  8. John Galt says:

    No wonder we haven’t got anywhere in what is (I think) our fourth Afghan war.

    In the days of the Raj it kind of made sense as “The Stans” acted as a buffer between Imperial Russia and India. A modern day assault into Afghanistan makes no military sense on any level. It’s a politically oriented cluster-fuck.

    The Afghans have fought tooth-and-nail for their Islamic feudal shit hole. It is in our best interests to get the military out (they should never have gone) and just go back to observation. If some neo-Osama turns up, just bribe one of the local tribes to whack him or send the SAS in.

  9. NickM says:

    I prefer the “drone alone” option… And ditto for any bunch of loons playing Les Buggeurs Risible in the “restive”, “tribal” areas of Pakistan. So, yes, get out now and leave nowt but a rope for thm to hang the Khazi of Kabul from by his bollocks – if he’s lucky.

  10. John Galt says:

    The problem with the “drone alone” option is that its pretty obvious what happens when several hundred thousand dollars worth of sophisticated military hardware falls through the roof.

    With a decent SAS black op, he just appears to have accidentally cut his head off while shaving.

    As I said before Islamic feudal shit hole = G.T.F.O

  11. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    Cats swear-o-meter has exploded.

    LOL That was my first thought too.

    I’d argue vigorously for Nick being given a special dispensation though. Reading Nick when he’s in full ranty mode is a thing of joy, comparable only with reading Michael Chabon.

  12. Stonyground says:

    “There are things in that shop that violate Deuteronomy. And possibly Leviticus.”

    Since these books contain more than six hundred pointless and arbitrary rules, I would think that every shop violates at least one of them. Polyester-cotton, bacon-banjos, cheese-burgers, you name it. It should also be mentioned that the penalty for the slightest infringement is death by stoning, unless you are one of YHWH’s favourites, in which case, he will just kill an innocent baby instead.

    Regarding the OP, I am presuming that your local Co-op is very close and alternatives are very far away. Otherwise why would you shop there? Still, a brilliantly funny post, ethical water and the doner card had me laughing out loud.

  13. RAB says:

    Let it lie lads. Things are pretty much back to normal. You have no idea how wearying it is to be Mediator General/ Piggy in the middle, round here.

  14. CountingCats says:

    Cats swear-o-meter has exploded.

    Ok, so I am of the opinion that in general educated people do not need to indulge in obscene abuse in order to get their opinions across. So shoot me.

    However, I have never sought to control what people say – with one, and one only, special circumstances exception – but in the last posting, rather than direct the abuse to the SOB’s who are screwing the world, commenters started referring to one another as cunts, and up with that, I will not put.

    No one calls a visitor this site a cunt without eliciting some reaction from me.

    Why? You think I’m wrong? Would you accept such abuse between visitors to your own home?

  15. NickM says:

    Oh, give it a rest Cats and join the Women’s Institute and make fucking jam or something.

  16. Rob F says:


    I’ve been lurking (and occasionally commenting) since around 2006 and maybe I shouldn’t be sticking my oar in, but I hate to see two great bloggers falling out this way.

  17. CountingCats says:


    “Oh, give it a rest Cats and join the Women’s Institute and make fucking jam or something.”

    Nick, come on.

    Given recent requests are you not a tad short on credibility on this one?

    “Can you lay off the North? As someone from Gateshead who now lives near Manchester it’s getting on my tits.”

    You can get pissed off but I can’t?
    Given that everyone north of Brisbane is a northerner in my book.

  18. The Jannie says:

    Our local Co-op’s fine . . . oh, what’s that you say, it’s still shut because of the rat infestation?

  19. John Galt says:

    However, I have never sought to control what people say – with one, and one only, special circumstances exception

    That’s bullshit Cats and Nick, RAB and I were all party (as commentators) to your pettiness just over a week ago when a posting by Nick was deleted after after your whining.

    As I said then, your gaff, your rules, but if you pull that bullshit again we’ll go play elsewhere.

  20. CountingCats says:

    As I said JG, with one single exception, the one you refer to being it. And to the best of my knowledge you are not privy to the information that precipitated that action. As you will be aware, things are often more complex than they seem on the surface.

    I have done nothing to insult you, I fail to understand your attitude.

  21. John Galt says:

    I have done nothing to insult you, I fail to understand your attitude.

    I try very hard as a part of the Kitty Counter Commentariat to add to the general views expressed, enhance the subject under discussion (however serious or trivial) and provide personal insights where they are appropriate.

    As, along with the poster “Philip Scott Thomas” we are the only outwardly gay members of the KCC, we are occasionally able to add a different dimension to the commentary as we are essentially minority viewpoints.

    One thing that I am particularly sensitive to though, perhaps to the point of unreasonableness is censorship and control. As I live out of choice in a Muslim country (Malaysia) where my views are subject to censorship I have to go to significant lengths and take significant risks to post my commentary here.

    So when I find my comments (evens ones made in jest as with the BBC one), subject to deletion, that does indeed piss me off.

    Your humourlessness does not justify censorship.

  22. CountingCats says:

    John Galt,

    Ok, to keep you informed.

    That posting was not deleted. For reasons which I don’t wish to go into right now, it was moved from ‘published’ to ‘pending’. The comments are still there and are visible.

    You can see it here if you wish.

    Nick is aware of why this happened, he has control of the posting, and he is in a position to republish it any time he wishes, either as is or modified. The choice is his. Timing was one of the reasons for my decision, but time has now passed. The other issues surrounding it I do not wish to discuss here.

    For information, before you abuse me again – people have been banned from this site, but not by me. Comments have been deleted, but not by me and I don’t expect that to change. However, I do expect basic courtesy – and I don’t expect that to change either.

    You are welcome here as often as you wish to come, get as heated as you like, but I would prefer it if, in future, you could refrain from abusing me – or anyone else for that matter.

  23. John Galt says:

    You are welcome here as often as you wish to come, get as heated as you like, but I would prefer it if, in future, you could refrain from abusing me – or anyone else for that matter.

    Fair enough, point made and appreciated on both sides.

    *cranks neck back in*

    End of.

  24. CountingCats says:

    See, these things can be sorted, given a basic good will on both sides. Pity is, that good will has to exist first.

  25. Simon Jester says:

    @Counting Cats, I tried following the link in your last comment and got a “Not Found – Sorry, what you are looking for isn’t here” result. Is its visibility restricted to editors on this site?

  26. Simon Jester says:

    Comment before last – your last comment hadn’t been appeared when I started mine.

  27. In the mid-70s I worked in a Printer’s Co-op in Oxford. Buying a van, we – natch – went to the local Co-op Insurance office to insure it.

    When they asked what type of business we were, we told them we were a Co-operative.

    “What’s that?”, they said.

    Bless ‘em.

    They’re alright really, and I would bank with them if they didn’t donate to the Labour Party.

  28. John Galt says:

    My apologies if my strong feelings on the subject of censorship have come across as personal insults, they were not intended to be, but rather a robust explanation of my view as an outsider looking in.

    As with most of the Kitty Counter Commentariat, I am notionally aware that there are both editorial and technical issues to maintaining a blog such as Counting Cats, but as an outsider I have no real appreciation of what is involved.

    I am not a troll and have no desire to sow the seeds of strife within the editorial team of Counting Cats, but from the outside looking in I saw what appeared to be arbitrary censorship and as a Libertarian to the very depths of my being felt it appropriate to call that out.

    I am what I am, though the heavens fall.


  29. CountingCats says:

    Simon, hmmm, dunno. Maybe.

    WTF, I’ll stick it back up.

  30. CountingCats says:

    John Galt,

    Problem is, issues such as courtesy and respect for others are central to any society. What happens in a libertarian society if individuals just do what they damn well please, with no concern for others?

    All societies operate by rules, although these rules need not be laws. What happens when these rules are arbitrarily ignored by some as they feel convenient, to the detriment of others?

  31. NickM says:

    Cats, difference is I made a snarky comment about “Up North” largely because I thought we were alienating Northern readers (like me). Call me a “One Nation Libertarian” or whatever but I stand with what I said and I always comment with humour. I don’t delete and I don’t ban with one exception. That single exception was a specific death threat – oddly enough from an NHS computer. I can be awkward but I am not malicious. That is the only reason I have ever IP-banned anyone in thousands of posts. I think that is fair enough.

    Death threats – bad. Taking the piss – what we do.

    As an aside I appreciate after what JG risks and I have always appreciated his comments. All I did was call Ian B (in my own style) on his rank hypocrisy, vile misogyny and his perverse contrarianism.

    Anyway, I repeat. I want for Christmas my portion of the CCinZ database so I can track my trajectory. I just want to read that to see how my position has tracked over the years. That matters to me.

  32. John Galt says:

    Problem is, issues such as courtesy and respect for others are central to any society.

    I agree in principle, but there are difficulties in practice as “courtesy” and “respect” have been used by totalitarian states in the past (including the USA) to silence those with dissenting and/or minority viewpoints.

    The point being that freedom from censorship / freedom of the press means that those who don’t have “courtesy” or “respect” should still be able to express their opinions even if that expression is offensive to some or all.

    We are not face-to-face as we would have had to have been 20-years ago to air our views and the typeface of both a blog posting and commentary is sterile and without feeling, by use of the Anglo Saxon we can express in a word feelings and passions that are complex and nuanced, sometimes more so than a few paragraphs of blather.

    Perhaps we resort to these words too often and too readily, but that should not undermine either the strength of argument or the passion behind it.

    Equally, if someone is ignorant and bigoted, freedom of expression will illustrate that more loudly and clearly than a thousand polite articles.

    Let the fools speak with their own tongues and they will more readily prove themselves fools. It is by unfettered freedom of speech that we shine a light in the dark corners of the world.

    Of my own choice I live in a state that has stringent censorship and where I would be put in gaol for saying what I really think about those in charge, where “courtesy” and “respect” are the words used by judges to silence critics.

    I would love to shout out to all that will hear that my local politician is a crook who is syphoning off public funds and placing his relatives in well paid government jobs, but if I did I would be silenced, placed on trial, jailed and then deported.

    So its a slippery slope from “courtesy” and “respect” to censorship.

  33. Bod says:

    The concept of ‘censorship qua censorship is ridiculous here.

    Cat’s House, Cat’s Rules.

    JG, I can appreciate your situation somewhat, having opined and posted from places even more repressive than Connecticut in the past, but there’s always that point that men (and teh wimminz) can be known by the company they keep. C-in-Z gets pretty rambunctious, but we’re in a situation where some posters who are not as technically ept as yourself cannot maintain your level of anonymity, and are still to some degree subject to speech codes.

    To all – many of us emit both light AND heat here from time to time, but even a society founded on ‘spontaneous order’ has to police itself at some point. It’s infinitely more enlightening, to debate in a somewhat civilized tone. We all know all those naughty words, I doubt any of us need to prove that we do. And when it comes to ideas (ones that challenge the ‘conventional wisdom’ of statists) it pays dividends to maintain a veneer of ‘respectability’ in case someone actually – you know – quotes us.

    Good grief, you can get banged up in some allegedly civilized places for denying the holocaust happened (it did, in case you were wondering), so we’re well down the slippery slope, and in the UK you’re only one step away from being banged up for wishing someone would put a bullet thru’ Abu Hamsa-al Masri’s head (I don’t, in case I need to point it out) on some ‘incitement to violence upon an oppressed minority’ bullshit. We have enough real c*nting statists out there without us slandering each other.

    While I have nothing but contempt for our political masters and their megalomania, we have to function within the broad framework of the ‘civil society’ they have imposed upon us, and sad to say, if we can’t police our own behavior as individuals within a generally supportive (privately owned) environment, then the proprietor of said gaff has every right to object and act.

    In closing, the whole IanB debacle left me utterly gobsmacked – there’s a tiny speck of would-be authoritarianism in all of us – and the first priority of every lover of freedom (to avoid using the term ‘libertarian’) is to confront it when it rears its tiny, scaly head. It surprised me how that whole even spun out of control. My first reaction was the same as Legolas – “A plague on Dwarves and their stiff necks”.

    For those of you who are not dimensionally-challenged, my sincerest apologies.
    For those of you who are, my sincere condolences.

  34. Bod says:

    That was spooky. My post was being written before JG’s one of 12.56.

    JG – not picking on you here really – there’s definitely a place for swearbloggery on the internet – but Cats isn’t in any way obligated to *be* a swearblogger site, is he?

    He could be a LOLCats site if he wanted to (preserve us, Cthulhu).

  35. CountingCats says:

    So its a slippery slope from “courtesy” and “respect” to censorship.

    No argument with what you say, any of it, but there is still the issue that at bottom “courtesy and politeness are the lubricant which allow us all to rub along together”. What happens if someone – call them a free rider – takes advantage of that lubricant without contributing any of their own? Do what they damn well feel like, within the law, and to hell with what it costs or how it affects other people?

    I am not talking about totalitarian societies, but rather about how free ones deal with the problem.

  36. CountingCats says:

    It’s infinitely more enlightening, to debate in a somewhat civilized tone.

    Bod, thank you. Someone who has some understanding.

    It is not even a bit of swear blogging. It goes further than that.

    Try this for size. I think it is the most crass posting I have ever seen on any blog, anywhere:

    To my mind, if people want to talk about piss flaps and bulging cunts then there are plenty of porn sites that will welcome them. I don’t see any benefit that posting brings to this site at all, although I do seem to be alone in that opinion.

  37. John Galt says:

    In our own little microcosm, Counting Cats suffers the same problems as the United States, with 1st amendment challenges still being heard by the US Supreme Court 200-years after it was signed.

    Just as the Supreme Court has said time and again (to paraphrase), “You can’t legislate against taste.”, the point I am trying to make is that the vast majority of the contributors and commentariat of this site are adult enough to survive a few Anglo Saxonisms and although I understand where you are coming from in terms of civility and politeness, I’m not sure if you are gauging your audience correctly as to me your comments appear out of place, possibly even childish (no offence intended).

    By all means chastise our descent into unnecessary vulgarity (and at times we need and deserve chastisement), but try to treat us like adults at the same time.

  38. John Galt says:

    Try this for size. I think it is the most crass posting I have ever seen on any blog, anywhere:

    I completely agree that the particular phrases used are crass and tasteless, but given the sterile medium of the blog posting, such a one-liner is both expressive and evocative.

    In the space of a few words our minds merge with the poster in a shared experience of the whole horrible cacophony. If Nick had said “and is just as utterly dreadful as all the rest.” would that have conveyed the same visceral revulsion?

    I would suggest not.

    However, these are just my opinions and as the old saying goes…

    “Opinions are like arseholes, everybody has one and they all stink!”

  39. CountingCats says:

    try to treat us like adults at the same time.

    That is exactly what I try to do at all times, especially when the site starts to sound like nine year olds exercising their skill at faux Tourette’s in an attempt to shock their parents.

    The point is, which contains the greater amount of information?

    The fucking sky is fucking blue, or, the sky is blue.

    Which sounds better in a conversation where people you may not know may be present? Which is least likely to result in a slanging match? Which is most likely to induce people to leave the conversation and go somewhere else?

    Do we really want to alienate casual visitors before they get to know us?

    Update: Damn, there is a posting right there. And I was about to go to bed too. John, you in Malaysia, how far are you behind Queenslands sunny Gold Coast? It is 2:00 AM here now.

  40. Bod says:

    I’ll pass on the link, thanks – I don’t need to experience it.

    But to return the favor, I’ll be a bit critical of you now:/

    Set some groundrules (as you are at the moment). Make ‘em as lax, arbitrary or strict as you like. Then we can know whether C-in-Z is our kinda gaff. And if not, we can break out WordPress, Blogger or even our own Expression Engine site (ask me about EE now) and we dissidennts can have our own soapbox.

    C-in-Z is not a sovereign nation, founded upon natural rights ; nor a democracy (which many of us will agree is not at all what it’s cracked up to be anyway). Be a benevolent dictator, even if soi-distant, benign and reluctant to intervene. Be Willy Wonka. Be Emmanuel Goldstein. Or O’Brien. Hell, be Pol Pot.

    Look, the reason I like Samizdata (mostly) is that there are (a) rules and (b) I’m basically comfortable with them, despite the fact they also gulag’ed IanB.

    Yeah, I know, that means I’m some kinda sell-out-lackey-to-the-authoritarian-blogging-complex. In truth, most of the ‘rules’ active in Samizdata are specifically the result of spontaneous order, and they work pretty well. I cite the argy-bargy you yourself got into over the sniper Youtube incident.

    Fuck knows (see what I did there), we’ve all seen what regime uncertainty can do to society (hellllooooo, Mr Obama); everyone loses (except the guys creating and selling bitcoins). Set some rules. You’ll lose some readers and contributors, and you’ll gain some too.

    The big win will be your sanity.

    Little coda for JG though – the part where C-in-Z is obviously different is that it’s not a Constitutional Republic. You ‘voted’ against the UK by the not insignificant effort of upping stakes and moving. And there’s a limit to the number of times you can do it; you eventually run out of oppressive regimes that you can flee.

    With C-in-Z, you could just delete the hyperlink (although I’d be disappointed if you did).

  41. Bod says:

    I was going to say, Cats, you’re up way beyond bedtime :/

  42. John Galt says:

    Update: Damn, there is a posting right there. And I was about to go to bed too. John, you in Malaysia, how far are you behind Queenslands sunny Gold Coast? It is 2:00 AM here now.

    Seven minutes past midnight here, but I’m on vacation until March 2013 *ENGAGE SMUG MODE*.

    Certainly think you should convert some of this into a post as the arguments are about equally balanced and there are merits to both sides (i.e. no straw men)

  43. CountingCats says:


    I can suggest all the rules I like, although I prefer them to be more fairly lax guidelines, but there needs to be a minimum level of goodwill in that others accept them.

    That goodwill isn’t present.

  44. CountingCats says:

    This comment thread should now leave this posting and go here:

  45. John Galt says:

    You ‘voted’ against the UK by the not insignificant effort of upping stakes and moving. And there’s a limit to the number of times you can do it; you eventually run out of oppressive regimes that you can flee.

    Malaysia is actually my 3rd “Regime” since leaving the UK with the Isle of Man and Germany being 1st and 2nd respectively. However your looking at it from the wrong perspective, it’s not about saying there are 193 countries, so once I’ve fled to Zimbabwe I’m screwed. That is not what I am trying to achieve.

    My belief is that the greatest freedom can be achieved by always being a tourist, then wherever you are, you are seen as a temporary piece of inward investment rather than a resident or citizen to be fleeced. Even when I am in Ireland (despite being an Irish dual national) I only show my Manx passport. Conversely when in the Isle of Man I only show my Irish passport.

    By having multiple mailing address across the world (Isle of Man, Zurich, Paris, Frankfurt, Singapore) courtesy of virtual office providers I can prove residence in whichever of these cities I wish and therefore I am exempt from most government privations.

    By being physically resident and tax resident in Malaysia, I can earn money elsewhere in the world and it is not subject to tax in Malaysia as foreign incomes are exempt.

    It is a variation of the Perpetual Traveller / Permanent Tourist approach. Difficult to achieve and maintain but fundamental for a true Libertarian.

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