Another weekend of pain – this time spent getting royally mucked up in Manchester and being kidnapped by Virgin Trains – yet again. I mean what kind of excuse is it to say you can’t sell any tea or coffee or hot food because you’ve run out of paper bags and the law *requires* you to sell anything hot IN A BAG?
Nearly managed to kill myself by bouncing off a door with one of those enormous exercise balloons but there you go – back of my head/neck still intensely painful, but I’d probably know if I’d fractured anything. Right. Right?
Apart from that – excellent Mancunian antics – made a really inappropriate pass at one of my friend’s office juniors. NICE.
Can’t work out why I’m so tired today. Last night to bed at 10pm after a delicious nourishing meal of broccoli cheese and fighting with the flatmates. Admittedly I woke up between 3.45 and 5.15 am, but I didn’t get up till 8 – that still a good 8.30 asleep. I think the only solution is to start going to bed as soon as I get home. I thought you were supposed to need less sleep as you get older – I seem to need more.
The downside is that quite a bit of that 1½ hours was spent thinking how much I hate David Blunkett and what an intense pleasure it would be to kick him down a set of wet rubbish strewn concrete steps, preferably at one of his own ‘illegal’ immigrant centres while he attempts to explain exactly why not only are ID cards a good thing, but why it’s both stupid and an act of ‘terrorism by default’ of me to even think about questioning his vision and trustworthiness on this.
I think the thing that really really gets me going about Blunkett is the mock outrage he expresses that anyone could doubt his word, whilst simultaneously attempting to insinuate that anyone not 100% signed up to his fascist vision must have something to hide – probably a member of Al-Quaida already, and really he’d be doing less than his duty if he didn’t tip off the Department of Homeland Security about his suspicions. Now here’s a terrifying thought – and I don’t think I’m being paranoid there either.
This is the state we have now reached. While at the moment only those unfortunate enough to have funny sounding names and swarthy skin are being locked up indefinitely without trial the rest of us need only suffer ‘home’ arrest. All it takes is one anonymous politico or civil servant to add our name to a list somewhere and suddenly we will be unable to travel anywhere abroad :-
Why can’t I go there?
You’re on the list mate.
Can I see the list?
Not in the interests of national security mate.
Can you tell me why I’m on the list?
Against the interests of national security mate.
So what am I accused of?
That’s a matter of national security mate now fuck off before you have an unfortunate accident in a police cell.
You think I’m joking? You know I’m not, and you know it’s true. Anyone who speaks out against this tide of ‘anti-terror’ insanity sweeping over us is very rapidly going to find themselves going nowhere at all.
As soon as politicians start saying things along the line of “The innocent will have nothing to fear from these proposals” my blood starts to boil and can shortly afterwards be seen spouting out of the top of my head in a rather unpleasant geyser of rage. Everyone has something to fear. These people are NOT trustworthy. Their assurances that none of this information will ever be used other than in a strictly controlled and approved manner is both ludicrous and pathetic. It basically amounts to being asked to put your head in the lion’s mouth and hope he doesn’t bite it off. Fair enough, except that in this particular case the lion also assured us that WMD really, really existed. He’s been caught making it up before and now when anyone dares suggest that as a result of being caught out telling such gargantuan porkies they don’t really want to put their head in his mouth, his rage is incandescent.
Negative stuff : Intense feelings of hatred, terrible feeling of depression at concept of another Blair term, increasing age, girth, everything really.
Positive stuff : just got paid. Lots. HA. In your face Blunkett!
And one more thing – I fail to understand how Blunkett shagging someone else’s wife doesn’t qualify as sleaze. However you look at it it’s not the act of a gentleman or the act of someone who puts much stock in the values he supposedly represents – the sanctity of marriage, the upbringing of children in a stable environment, the use of contraception etc etc. And even worse than that, the thought of Blunkett on the job is just so repellent I can actually feel my lunch coming back up. I can only assume Mrs Quinn is suffering from some sort of deep seated psychological childhood trauma which makes her want to throw herself under aging megalomaniacs. Reeeevolting, anyway.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Friday, November 26, 2004
So that’s over at least. Truly team building away days are a bunch of arse. As these things go it wasn’t too bad. Stayed an a pretty decent place and some people had some very nice things to say about Pan, despite me being horribly late (both for the workshop) and pretty much on a daily basis, and also not being much of a team player. Not that I shaft my colleagues – quite the reverse – but I simply find it hard to be all touchy feely and consultative – the thought of taking a vote to decide some critical point is alien to me.
But anyway my colleagues seem to see me as some sort of maverick wunderkind / troublemaker / joker / visionary of the group. Which is nice. After all you wouldn’t want to be the practical ‘can-do’ enabler would you?
So now I’m knackered. Too much food, too many hours sitting in stuffy conference rooms battling with concepts such as ‘when did I last achieve one of my dreams’ or ‘on a scale of 1-100 where would you put your commitment, and where would you like your commitment to be’. Had to get up too early to get the train back to London and too much brekker as welll. Ack.
As I said – it wasn’t t actually that bad overall. Which is lucky as we’re booking a follow up session as well. Plus you get a free feed and get to sleep in a ridiculously squishy bed as well as all those other traditional hotel hobbies – looking at the wee shampoo bottles, wondering if you want to keep the slippers, gazing at the air conditioning units outside the window, flicking through 137 tv channels, none of which is porn, or at least not free porn, browsing the world’s most boring directories of local attractions and trying to work out if the fact you got a twin room and some of your colleagues got a double room was purely random or some sort of implied insult : chances of you getting pissed and repairing with an equally drunken co-worker for a sport of soon to be bitterly regretted How’s Your Father : Zero.
When I stayed here:
I used to amuse myself by disabling the window catch so that it would swing completely open and then seeing if I could flick lumps of wet toilet paper into the roofs the cars outside. I never even got close but it helped to pass the time.
at 3:26 pm
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Some people really don’t have enough to do. Imagine spending this much time creating a web page for a 1970’s board game about the supernatural. Can you guess what it is? I can’t even believe I’ve spent the time to create a link to it. Weird, huh?
Went to see this exhibition (Encounters) about Mummies earlier at the British Museum.
It was quite interesting (and a freebie) but what was most impressive was the 3d surround cinema technology. It’s really impressive, especially with the computer animation sections , because then there are no seams between the different projection footprints. Felt quite queasy zooming down the tunnels inside the pyramid, and actually had to stop myself from reaching out trying to touch things a couple of times. How old am I? Four??
Off on a team building away thingy tomorrow – horrors. Any event where they tell you in advance that the day will be co-ordinated by a ‘professional facilitator’ fills me with horror. Still – probably better than an unprofessional facilitator. That’d be me – the kind of facilitator who immediately forms favourites and pet hates from the group and favours / humiliates them appropriately. In the evening you could slip the graduate trainees too much booze and try to sleep with them and then have a bit of a weepy breakdown in the bar.
I’m laughing just thinking about it. If you’ve never been to works outing which dissolved into chaos you haven’t lived. I can remember one particular Christmas office outing to a Greek restaurant which I helped organize where I danced to The Birdie Song with The Big Boss, one of my colleagues started to break plates on his forehead requiring a quick trip to casualty for stitches and more than one person spent the entire evening in floods of tears. Happy Days! Ugh.
The Birdie Song is not, thank fuck, an international phenomenon. There are special ‘dance’ moves you have to do, and it’s just the last word in making a twat of yourself naff fucking awfulness. This will never become a post ironic ‘so out it’s cool club classic’. It will remain what it is: shit.
I include the full instructions for anyone wishing to travel to the UK for the purposes of committing social suicide anytime in the near future. Or possibly real suicide.
Birdie Dance (England) Music: Birdie Song ESP 001
No formation: Hands simulate bird chirping sound by opening and closing hands.
Hands under arms with elbows moving up and down simulating flapping or hands may be shoulder height with elbows bent, waving hands.
Body twisting to right and left simulating wiggling tail. Cheep with hands 3 times. Flap wings 3 times.
Repeat above for a total of 4 times.
Make a right hand star and turn with it for 8 steps, reverse with a left hand star with 8 steps.
Repeat this sequence again and go back to the beginning.
at 6:39 pm
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Blogging can be a strangely cathartic exercise. Sometimes you don’t even have to post what you wrote. Just writing it gets it out of your system. As you can probably guess I just wrote something that was, to put it mildly, a but rabid, so I’ve edited out the personal attacks, most of the more obvious slanders and just left the broad thrusts as it were.
I don’t know from ‘kin boiler
How come I don’t have a problem with the boiler. Well it provides me with hot water to shower in and heats up the radiators. What’s not to like? Others however, disagree. Others think it blows itself out, that the hot water suddenly stops, that it makes funny noises. Who am I to judge their subjective experience? So how did I end up having to sort the boiler out? I don’t really mind, it’s more of a philosophical question. You’d think that the one with the mysterious hot water problem would be the one to find, book and pay the plumber, but you’d be wrong, because it’s Pan. Which is odd because the boiler can eject itself through the roof and head for Mars leaving a trail of steam and sparks and 119 bottles of ‘colour confidence’ conditioner behind it for all I care.
Why do otherwise pretty decent examples of humanity sudden loose their va-va-voom and become, for want of a better word, crashing bores. I mean seriously, people who are in bed asleep by 10.30 every night and never go to the pub. I actually asked one of these types for a pint recently and was rebuffed in favour of - the horror - Top Gear.
Which is worse – not wanting to go to the pub because you just don’t want to spend an hour or two in the company of Pan (odd I know but sometimes you just have to accept these things) or because you actually want to watch Jeremy Clarkson standing in front of a bunch of hero worshipping petrol heads over . . . emphasising . . . every . . . single . . . fucking . . . word? Christ on a bike. I have now sunk lower than Clarkson in the popularity stakes. It must be me. I must be doing something.
Eat properly FFS!!!
When people start to bug you, suddenly everything about them is annoying. Eating habits for example. Two weeks ago I cooked a casserole of duck, ginger, garlic, onions, and star anise. Would anyone try it? NOOOO. Last week I cooked a hot pot of chicken, venison sausage, chick peas, butter beans and artichokes. Did anyone give it a go? NOOOOO. I made an amazing salad of tomatoes, ginger, garlic, palm hearts, fennel and sunflower seeds with raspberry vinegar and sesame oil vinagette. Care for a forkful? NOOOOO. Scallops? Niet. Squid ink pasta? Nein. Kidneys? Ne. And let's not even get onto the subject of tongue, pig's trotters and sea urchins. I don’t know what it is about well educated, intelligent and supposedly cosmopolitan people who refuse point blank to expose themselves to anything that they haven’t tried before but it’s certainly depressing.
Linda McCartney pies, macaroni and cheese and cereal does not a proper diet make. Have you any idea how dispiriting it is to offer someone a plateful of nutritious, organic food brimming with care and attention, delicious, fresh, flavoursome and good for you to have them wrinkle their nose and say ‘no thanks’, and then proceed to eat a bowl of carbohydrate, fat and water. BTW I’m not having a go at mac & cheese – I like it as much as the next man – but if you are going to make it, use some proper fucking cheese – Iceland VALU Cheddar tastes like arse. What’s wrong with people? Christ. If you have the means then please just stop buying excluseively from the super bargain left-overs bins at Lidl. Stop buying fishfingers made from ocean floor sweepings. Stop buying 4 packs of no brand pizza. Stop buying white sliced sta-fresh bread. There’s a reason why it’s only 27p and can be compressed into an 800g ball of glue with one hand you know. I know it's cheap, but it tastes bad, and it tastes bad because it's no good. If I sound like a snob then perhaps I am, but if the definition of that is being driven crazy by people who have the time, the money and the opportunity to lead interesting, pleasurable and soul enriching lives but choose instead to spend Saturday night sitting on the sofa watching Stars in their Eyes, and eating a horror pie, then so be it.
What's to 'get'?
Honestly it makes my soul ache – people who seem to wilfully deny themselves enjoyment, not for some real reason, not because of some deep seated psychological problem (hell we’ve all got one of those) but simply because, “well I might not like it, and if I did give in, then I’d have to interact with other people as well”.
I realise I’m guilty of doing here what I accuse other people of – making value judgements based on insufficient evidence. That may be true, but I’m still right. Of course I’m not necessarily the most perfect person in the world either – Opinionated? Lazy? Dirty? Fetishistic? Judgemental? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. But at least I’m not sinking into a quagmire of suburban mundaneity. I may often be unhappy, I may even be 'wasting' my life, but I still manage to have fun once in a while. Sometime I feel that people must derive some kind of pleasure from being as dull as humanly possible whilst simultaneously feeling the need to communicate their more ‘adult’ mindset to the universe in general by being as rude and patronising as they can be to everyone who isn’t quite ready to brick themselves up in the mental equivalent of a Barratt Starter Home just yet. Why are they like this? I just don't understand. Eeesh.
Actually the Linda McCartney pies are entirely palatable, but you'd still probably be better off with a carrot.
at 2:15 pm
Monday, November 22, 2004
Another year – another 365 days closer to the grave. As you can tell my birthday has been and gone again. I am now officially in denial about it. I refuse to have anything to do with it or accept that I’m as old as I am. I feel ancient. Obviously I’m a bit of a worrier, but is 30 something too young to start worrying about obsolescence? It ought to be . . .
Went to a very interesting exhibition though at the V&A about the social, economic and cultural interaction between Asia and Europe 1500 - 1800 expressed through a variety of artistic and cultural artefacts and paintings called Encounters. I can strongly recommend it. It was interesting to see how the concepts of Europe and Asia changed during this period – the attitudes of different countries, both Asian and European seemed to be often individual rather than generic – certainly Britain’s attitudes and behaviour towards, say, India and Japan are completely different – at least in the first half of this period – and there is a lot of cultural exchange. It was common for traders etc to interact with the local populace – embassies were sent back and forth – lavish gifts made to local rulers etc, yet somehow by 1800 we have reached the stage where Europeans decreed that it was illegal for their natives to adopt local dress. How strange is that? What turns a mutually beneficial trading and cultural exchange into an exercise in cultural isolationism and military domination? It seems really odd as by and large Europe didn’t really have anything with which to trade with as Asia didn’t really want anything we made – goods had to be bought with silver rather than exchanged. Obvs the Portugese had some problems as their trading empire was to some extent a front for Jesuit missionaries, or rather the finance wing of same but still – how was it that the guys with nothing to sell ended up dictating the terms . . . very interesting anyway.
Mass Slaughter – Latest odds & tips.
For those of you who might have been worrying that W will decide to temper his second term with a dash of humility or even sanity, it’s good to see that there appears to be no signs so far. I have however given myself a little pat on the back for correctly picking where America’s next global death match would be. There were of course quite a few options, but many had something wrong with them :
Lebanon – would have to do it by sea, and frankly who cares anyway. But can ski in the morning and spend the afternoon at the beach *on the same day* so you can’t rule it out completely. Popular choice with Israel. 7-1
Egypt – too moderate, need to keep onside for cajoling recalcitrant Palestinians (although actually this isn’t really true either; the Bush mantra seems to be ‘Why bother persuading someone to co-operate when you can just kill them instead’) but big, too tricky militarily, plenty of chums, and it’s Africa dude! 25-1
Libya – would love to really and could probably make it happen militarily but would also piss off the UK enough to withdraw from all future co-operation make the rest of ‘old Europe’ mad enough to demand a trade embargo and probably make the French declare war on America. Again, So What? Except the French have nuclear weapons of course. The reason for all this is that Europe (and the Clinton administration) have spent the last 15 years (post Lockerbie) giving Gaadafi the slow water torture – and it’s worked. Boring and slow it may be but somehow we’ve managed to get some justice for the bombing and at the same time made Gaadafi play nicely with others without having to kill a whole bunch more people. Bush does not like this sort of thing at all of course – why talk when 250k lb of high explosive achieves practically the same objective. Admittedly with a somewhat higher body count and with the side effect of making America the new terrorist target du Jour, and not actually achieving one iota of behavioural change but hey . . . . 10-1
Cuba – possible, possible, and ideologically attractive, but a pretty unfavourable risk/reward ratio. Havana will almost certainly fall when Castro dies anyway so why bother as there’s nothing to gain. An American invasion would absolutely require the imposition of a US supported ‘democratic government ‘ and the ‘return’ of all the land to Chiquita (formerly The United Fruit Company and Central American Buccaneers) et al. The GOP already has all their votes, so what’s to gain? If there’s some sort of internal revolution and general mayhem (which is a pretty safe bet) Bush gets to be King Maker instead of having to have pay for all those boring old elections. Staying away makes a lot more sense economically. 7-2
Jordan – interesting tourist destination, moderate by Middle Eastern standards and constitutional monarchy, so good at locking up lefty trouble maker types so what’s the point? 30-1
North Korea – don’t make me laugh. We *know* they have Weapons of Mass Destruction (not to mention one of the world’s largest standing armies) so chances of actually provoking them in any significant way? 100-1
Syria. Oooh – always a possibility – right next to Iraq, anti Israeli, socialist, military dictatorship, probably any number of Palestinian terrorist lurking there, You’d have to say it’s on the radar for regime change at the very least. Downside – large modern(ish), relatively well trained, equipped and experienced army. Would also probably trigger new Middle Eastern war but so tfw – can’t make an omelette without breaking heads. But likelihood of military ass-kicking and body-bag untastic news pics too much to risk. High on the list, but actually not really going to happen. 3-1
Kazakstan. Islamic & potentially oil rich & strategically VERY interesting, but technically haven’t done anything wrong (huh?) plus very real possibility of causing simultaneous invasions by both Russia and China. Don’t think W really has the appetite for that. Also have to invade at least one of the other ‘Stan’s first. 15-2
Turkmenistan, Kyrgistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Jumblistan. Islamic and by and large ruled by thundering loonies. Apart from that skint, un-strategic and all round un-engaging as Theatres of War. Low ratings value. A bit like Afghanistan but with more cardigans and fewer AK-47s. Useful for invading Kazakstan but that’s about it. 15-2
Saudi Arabia – Right next door, repressive monarchical dictatorship, lots of oil, terrorist breeding ground, origin of Al-Quaida, not many friends, but much cash. A Bush family favourite. 50-1
Iran : Oh yes Oh yes Oh yes. Thinking of buying a time share in Tehran? Hold that thought, dude. Don’t believe me? It’s already starting : Pentagon turns heat up on Iran. Downside [Figures courtesy of the CIA ] Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 12,434,810 (2004 est.) Upside [Figures courtesy of the CIA ] Military expenditures : $4.3 billion (2003 est.). On the other hand Iran does seem to be making the right noises on non-proliferation, but we know how much credence the US gives to claims of innocence: 3-2 ON.
at 2:23 pm
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
STOP THE MADDNESS
I can’t believe what’s going on in Iraq. It’s really teetering on the precipice. I don’t mean about the marine shooting the guy in the mosque. That’s the sort of thing you have to expect in war. It’s always happened, because lets face it – they’re soldiers and they’re trying to kill each other. Name of the game really.
Obviously not good to break the ‘rules’ of engagement, but it’s clearly not only the Americans who are playing dirty. The problem is that they’re expected to adhere to a higher standard of behaviour than a bunch of semi organised militant ‘freedom fighters/terrorists’, and they should too. So: not good, obviously; very bad in fact, and a disaster for the US in PR terms, but also no surprise to anyone but the wilfully disingenuous (aka certain Islamic and anti-war commentators) in this or any other war. When you’re fighting block to block, house to house day by days, shit happens. If the roles had been reversed you know the same thing would have happened. And even if prisoners had been taken – so what? The Americans would have ended up in orange jump suits being executed on TV and the Iraqis would have ended up in orange jump suits locked up forever in Guantanamo Bay.
The really sinister development is the murder of the Care worker Mrs Margaret Hassan. Apart from the obviously insane and evil actions in kidnapping and killing someone who was so obviously only interested in defending and helping ordinary Iraqi’s, who are of course outraged at her murder, and was not in any way political or connected with western economic interests it bodes really badly for the future safety and stability of Iraq. Terrorists who are willing to carry out this sort of murder are clearly not interested in the normal political process. They are not really interested in using ‘terror’ to achieve their aims. Clearly their demands (the withdrawal of British Troops) were never going to be met, so why continue with the action?
The answer is to cause the withdrawal of individuals from Iraq – to effectively Balkanise the region. Again you might ask why, and the answers are simple – the US are probably not going to be in Iraw forever, even at the behest of whichever slightly dodgy party wins the fabled elections, and when they leave it’s all to play for politically. The purpose of these horror attacks is to reduce concepts of rationality and induce fear and isolationism within the Iraqi population. A population that regularly sees foreign nationals on it’s streets engaged in business, in charity work, in leisure is less likely to feel abandoned by the west, to feel trapped by extremists, and will be much more likely to retain and uphold the hospitable and humane values that the Persian Gulf used to be famous for.
This vile murder is actually an attack on the general population of the region, attempting to move them into an isolated position where they feel they have no choice but to bend to the will of the terrorists. We know form our experience in Northern Ireland that it actually only takes a very few (possibly as small as a few dozen) actual violent activists to seriously distort the political landscape, and these people are very hard to flush out. This murder is an opening shot in a war about the future of Iraq post America – whether it will be ruled by democratic or even non democratic but popular means or whether it will be ruled by militant fanatics in the manner of the Taliban. Without the willingness of the Iraqi population to stand up for their moderate views, and without the willingness of Western, Asian, and African nations and individuals to continue to operate in Iraq, rule by lunatic is inevitable.
Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m no fan of the war or American foreign policy, but Networks such as Aljazeera are not actually doing the Iraqi people (and neighbouring states) any favours by concentrating so heavily on the Marine shooting incident at the expense of proper reporting of the murder of Mrs Hassan. One is an unfortunate but inevitable outcome of violent conflict which may slightly hasten or lengthen America’s stay in Iraq and may (again depending on the degree of spin put on the reportage) decrease the public’s opinion of US forces and the US in general. The other is a clear warning that once the deep freeze of occupation is over all hell is going to break loose and Iraq will be left looking down the barrel of a violent, endless, civilian targeting civil war which will make the American invasion and occupation look like a brief interlude of calm before the storm.
at 5:34 pm
Monday, November 15, 2004
Christ. I’ve only had the iPod a week and I’m already embarrassed at half the shit I’ve managed to get on there already. OK – some of it’s pretty fine – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Cornershop, The Donnas, Lou Reed. And then, ooh-er starting to look a bit iffy : Blink-182, the Darkness, Lasgo, The Bangles until finally you’re right down there underneath the barrel and wondering how you managed to pollute your lovely machine with The Buggles, Juice Newton and Busted. FFS.
What I’ve always thought would be fun would be to walk through a crowded commuter train with some sort of stereo randomly pulling out people’s headphone jacks and inserting your own which then broadcasts whatever they’re listening to the rest of the carriage. The potential cool points could be enormous – imagine if you were listening to, say, Mein Hertz Brent (Rammstein) from the Lilja-4-Ever soundtrack.
Alternatively you could be standing there: Just you, a carriage full of commuters and The Strawberry Alarm Clocks.
at 5:27 pm
Thursday, November 11, 2004
So where have I been since last week – The Isle of bloody Wight. There is of course a logical explanation for all of this but let me tell you first – the island is weird. Not scary or anything, but weird all the same. A strange mixture of common and posh, urban and rural. The reason for this unseasonal journey was of course to attend the marriage of The Captain to The Mixster. Yikes. Actually of course I was more than attending I was in fact Best Manning. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular role your job is to organise the stag do (already done) and then stop the groom from getting two drunk, cart the rings around till needed, chivvy people about, make sure everything starts on time, and of course make the best man’s speech.
I can’t really comment on my organisational skills but my, speech, though I say it myself was wicked good. I slayed them. Which was lucky because beforehand I was sweating buckets. I’ll never be sneery at the best man again. Trust me when you stand up in front of 100 braying drunks with the remit to be rude enough to amuse a 35 year old rugby player yet not be rude enough to offend any octogenarians grandparents, there’s a certain moment of truth. However, the truth be told, it’s not the hardest audience in the world to please, and by the end they were rolling in the aisles. I rule. Rah!
They also very kindly gave me an iPod for my efforts, and I LOVE it. It’s simply the coolest thing in creation. It’s soooooo wicked. I *heart* Apple. I feel like a giddy schoolgirl with a new crush. Bring me unto the Macs. It’s time to change I think.
And speaking of things that haven’t changed saw Bridget Jones : The Edge of Reason on Sunday. If you liked the first one you’ll quite like this one – it’s the same film basically. Down to the same scenes and everything. Jumbled around a little, but there you go. In fact I suddenly feel a strange urge to go the cinema. Not that there’s anything on particularly, I just want that cinema experience. It’s comforting.
at 1:36 am
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Women’s Auxiliary Royal Canadian Moose Mounties Deliver Knockout Blow to Retarded Dickwits!
Hmmm – all quiet on the blogging front. Caused, for once, not by a total lack of stuff happening but by *too much* happening. I don’t think I have anything to add to the Great Bush Debacle except to say that I stayed up till 7am GMT and got absolutely shedded. With hindsight possibly the worst way to spend the night in recorded history.
So suffice it to say I was plastered and in no mood to do anything so spent the whole day in bed with the duvet over my head thinking "What have you done? What have you done? We’re all going to die!" and consoling myself with the thought that all the ‘tards from Lumpyhead, Kansas will be laughing on the other sides of their faces when they all get drafted to go and invade Iran. And it will be them of course – I don’t think the usual troops of ‘Operation Human Shield’ will be turning up in droves and we can also be pretty certain that none of Bush’s cronies offspring stands in any danger. The thought alone is laughable.
And on a deeper level we all have to start to seriously examine our attitudes towards America and Americans. Many bloggers myself included have always made the clear point of disengaging the actions and attitudes of the US government from actual Americans. But now?? Those guys have been clearly shown what Bush & Co are really like – there can be no doubt as to the stupidity, greed, hatred and intolerance of the Bush administration. Yet still he got voted back in on a hugely increased majority. The only logical conclusion is that the majority of voting Americans are also stupid, greedy, hateful and intolerant. The days of ‘benefit of the doubt’ are *OVER*.
To paraphrase Dead Ringers : "My fellow Amerindians, this electionification has proved one factuality beyond any doubtednessedness : there are 59,459,765 people out there even stupider than I am."
Never mind – no use crying over spilt milk. But I would say one more thing – can people please stop knocking Hillary? I hope she does run in 2008 and she is the probably the best candidate out there. What was wrong with Kerry? Not much, except he didn’t have much charisma, and people doubted whether he really believed what he was saying. No worries there from Mrs Clinton – she’s passionate and dedicated and she really believes. She is the embodiment on conviction politics. Forget all those idiots in Wyoming and what have you – they hate gays, they hate equality, they hate anyone who tells them to stop doing all the dumbass things they like doing that are ruining life on Earth for everyone else. Fuck em. They’re never going to vote Democrat. You could stand Adolf Hitler out there and if he had a blue rosette on him he wouldn’t get any votes. Get Hillary to pound whatever mummy’s boy asshole the republicans can come up with into shark chum and win back those states that must be taken to win. Trying to win votes by pretending to be ‘a bit republican’ clearly isn’t going to work. Reclaim the left of centre as the logical place to be. Of course in most countries they would all be so poor and sickly after another 4 years of this nonsense that a ‘Democrat’ victory would be a shue-in but not necessarily in the USA.
I’m beginning to think that republicans *like* being shat on. There’s clearly something in their make up that says “I’m nothing – use me, screw me, lie to me, patronise me, pretend I’m one of you to my face and jeer at me behind my back, take my money, my healthcare, my education, my children and feed it all into the pit. Give it to the super rich – make them richer, and the poor poorer because that’s what we do best in America – inequality.”
The reason I got so ming-monged was I’d been out earlier for rather groovy tapas at El Parador with the kids I used to work with at M.A.I.D. (or Dialog as it became known when it was owned by Dan Wagner instead of Thomson) - one of the most innovative companies of the last 20 years and a genuine delight to work for. Just a pity they were pathologically incapable of actually selling anything. We were reminiscing and comparing what we did there back in the day and realised that technology wise we were probably 5 years ahead of the field but had a unprecedented love of doing things the hard way instead of the ridiculously easy way. KISS – wise words when it comes to developing client-server bespoke knowledge enterprises suites. Never mind. And a second point – you’re never really going to sell a product that costs £200K if to install it you have to tweak your client’s server registry settings to install it.
That really was a great place to work – the sales team only employed beautiful women so there was always some eye candy to rest your glazzies on, the offices were on Leicester Square, we ate at Chinese restaurants every lunchtime and Dan’s idea of a company jolly was flying everyone to Barbados for 2 weeks. No, honestly. It was real communal working – we strove together, ate together, got trolleyed at The Blue Posts together (every night , pretty much) and went to the cinema on Friday lunchtime together. Despite all that we did a lot of great, original, work and had more fun than anyone going to work really should. And for the record – Dan was a cool guy who really valued the input staff made. I’m making it sound like it was all a laugh but we worked 10 hour days every day long before the dot-com nonsense started, we didn’t have shares, we didn’t begrudge it – we were happy to do it – we believed in what we were doing.
at 4:03 pm
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Well we’re all sitting here waiting to see what kind of a mess is going to appear over the horizon. Actually I’m fairly hopeful. Given that it should be a lot harder for Bush to cheat in Florida this time it’ll be almost impossible for him to win, provided of course he doesn’t manage to get half the electorate excluded on charges of ‘being found in possession of curly black hair’ (with apologies to Not the Nine O’Clock News) or whatever dubiousness (sic) he’s got planned. Not that I’m really such a big Kerry fan – it’s pretty lily livered stuff after all – but the choice is, for any sane person anyway, pretty much a no brainer – on the one hand a rather un-charismatic, in fact boring, career politician with a track record of ‘playing politics’. On the other : Nuclear Satan on Drugs - the Coke Snorting Draft Dodger himself.
Actually I couldn’t give a stuff what drugs politicians take or used to take provided they’re not demanding tougher sentences for first time offenders whilst hoovering lines off the back’s of prostitutes and to be fair Bush has pretty consistently emphasised treatment and education over imprisonment. Plus I’m sure that things were damned tough in the Women’s Auxiliary Royal Canadian Moose Mounties – why should you be stymied for being a wee bit of a rat fink 30 years ago after all. I mean what were the choices – a) stand up for yourself and become a conscientious objector – fine but you’re NEVER going to have a career in public office in America, b) go to Vietnam and have every chance of coming to sticky end over what was pretty clearly even then a total disaster, or c) get Daddy to fix you up with a sinecure that obeys the letter of the law without any risk whatsoever of all that dangerous being shot at. Provided you don’t mind being a bit of a snivelling weed the last choice is clearly the best.
OK – having the nerve to then call John Kerry a coward and a cheat was pretty stomach churning (and if you believe the White House didn’t organise The SwiftVets then frankly you are a retard), but ultimately so what – druggy, snivelling and morally vacant – none of these were or are good reasons not to vote for someone – they’re irrelevant.
No in my opinion the reason you should vote against Bush is because he’s a raving lunatic whose policies will inevitably cause the social, political, economic and military annihilation of America and probably take most of the West with him. Stop this madman before it’s too late. And that’s all I have to say on the matter.
On the brighter side of things I’ve been struggling with Java all day and it’s driving me crazy. I’m no java programmer (or indeed programmer of any kind) but I need to use some apps which are only available in a java development environment. So I’ve installed netBeans, I’ve mounted my source files, I’ve declared my classpath (whatever!), I’ve located the relevant 3rd party files I need in the jakarta-tomcat directory, and can I make it all work??? Can I arse. Nothing happens – it’s all a big con. I’ve also spent a lot of time talking to the IS team about apache servers and port 8080 permissions and we’ve come up with a great technological solution to the other half of the problem. Rather than re-writing their permission scripts to give me access to the relevant directories one of them is going to come up to my office every morning and map a drive with their secret secret passwords to a someone else’s Solaris box which has access to the relevant server area. DOHHH! And of course because they haven’t got Python or Samba or something working properly this will have to happen every single day.
I’m just *so* not interested in technology. OK – I’m a bit interested. But I’m not in the slightest bit interested in the nuts and bolts – just in the ways humans use all of these playthings to complicate their lives even more. The mere sight of something along the lines of :
public void dumpResults(TologResultsSet results)
for (int i = 0; i < row =" results.getRow(i);" buf =" new" j =" 0;"> 0) buf.append(", ");
buf.append(" = ");
buf.append(row.get(j) instanceof Topic ?
((Topic)row.get(j)).getID() : row.get(j).toString());
and I’m reaching for the smelling salts. It’s SO BORING. I know, I’m a blogger, I work (albeit tangentially) with computers – I’m supposed to eulogise these things, but I just can’t. I would love to be some nerdy swot banging on about threading in C++ and never getting laid but I just can’t be arsed to learn it all. Fortunately though that hasn’t held me back from the never getting laid bit.
In fact I think it’s pretty much a miracle that I’ve managed to stay awake thus far. Reminds me of the people I knew on my course at college. One of them had a silicon chip (8086 generation) earring. It was so ultimately tragic but he thought it was deeply cool. And being a big nerdy geek is sort of cool – once you’ve accepted your inner nob all you have to do is let it all hang out and you can climb the ranks of university physicsy computery spod-hood with immunity. Wear enormous scuffed white trainers 100% of the time : check. Unappealing straggly shoulder length hair : check, flapping thrift store overcoat : check. And then of course once your basic numptiness has been established you can develop special powers : Only be ever seen in a variety of difference Dr Who jumpers : check. Hang around outside the Senior Common Room attempting to engage Dr Sandford in a conversation about X-Ray crystllography : check. Gaffer tape all of your remotes to a piece of 2 by 4 so you don’t ever lose any of them : check, check, check.
Actually that reminds me :-
Q. What do you get if you cross a cow with a pig?
A. N^Sin? Cow Pig
at 4:49 pm