31 March 2010

Si si puede!

Today is Cesar Chavez Day. (Don't tell the Teabaggers!)

Getting juiced....

We've got an election coming, very soon, and it looks like it is going to be very interesting. I can hardly wait! Much better than election cycles that go on for years.

(Note to Americans: a hung parliament is not a reference to the size of the sexual organs of the male members.)

29 March 2010

Just how is Jerusalem above sea level?

It seems that global warming has resolved a long standing territorial dispute between Bangladesh and India. Perhaps this was Captain Codpiece's cunning plan for peace in the Middle East. Crank up your SUVs!

But what does Gaia think?

Environmentalist and futurist James Lovelock thinks that humanity is too stupid to do anything to prevent climate change in the coming decades. And with folks like these running wild it's hard to come up with a rebutal.

Perhaps it is time to consider whether we are an evolutionary dead end....

25 March 2010

Tonight in weirdness

I met my lovely friend Priya for a drink this evening (elle est ma faux-belle-fille). She has very curly hair that was recently cut very short and is now growing out a bit. We wondered if she could grow "Angela Davis hair". About ten minutes later my friend Liam arrives and asks me if I can remember a poem by either Primo Levi or Anegla Davis that began "first they came for the Jews..."

I do remember the poem which was not written by either of them (I think Levi used it as an epigram for one of his books and Davis may have quoted it at some point) but by a German minister by the name of Martin Niemöller.

I remember it because I had a t-shirt 15 years ago from the Anti-Nazi league that reproduced it on the back and it goes as follows.

" First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak out for me"

The Reverend Niemöller survived the Nazis and died in 1984.


I am willing Priya to manage Angela Davis hair in any case.

Well we all knew he was a scumbag

I just didn't realise that being a scumbag would be quite so lucrative for poor old Tony. This goes past champagne socialism to pure-Peruvian-flake socialism.

24 March 2010

But where's the big mac?

It seems that over the past 1000 years or so the portion sizes in illustrations of the Last Supper have grown larger. Jesus remains skinny, not to mention curiously un-Jewish, because calories and partially-hydrogenated fats don't stick to God.

A point of order

It is logically inconsistent to claim to be pro-life and to simultaneously make death threats. But then logical thought has never been a weapon in these folk's arsenal.

My budget

As a (not quite) moderate (enough) drinker and a smoker once again I'm fucked. This is the second major whack we've had this year. When the government temporarily dropped VAT rates to 15% they upped the alcohol and tobacco duties so that we sinners didn't benefit. And when the rates went back up to 17.5% in January they didn't unstitch the increase so the price of a pint went up 5p and my baccy about the same amount. I reckon I have to go to the pub tonight to get a last jar or two at a mere £3.05!

23 March 2010

As a divorced person...

...I find it unfortunate that Debenhams is now offering a divorce registry service. I mean where were they when I needed them all those years ago....

I don't think anyone should tell the "marriage-is-holy" contingent. It will just make their heads explode when I'm not about to watch.

18 March 2010

It's a shame that Hunter Thompson is dead....

...because I think that this means that things have gotten weird enough for anyone, even him.

"Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Perhaps I have lived away from America too long. Perhaps I have forgotten that the country was always this way. Perhaps so but I think not. There was certainly this level of vitriol in the years before I was born and the effect lingered into my early childhood in the early sixties. But it was not like this in my adult years in America until I moved away in 1993. When did it change? I haven't been back to the states for the past nine years and maybe it is only distance that has altered my perspective.

Where has the humanity gone? When did we cease treating each other like human beings?

16 March 2010

No parent really wants their kids to be smarter than them...

...and it would seem that the (once) great state of Texas has a solution to that little dilemma; "fix" the kid's textbooks. Of course the real losers are (in no particular order):
  • The school children of Texas.
  • The school children and families in other states that are stupid lucky enough to use Texan-books.
  • The country.

Of course any countries that look to compete with the US in the "knowledge based economy" can only be jumping for joy.

15 March 2010

Beware of Daffo-panie

Officials in Cumbria are extremely worried about the lack of daffodils in the Lake District and the potential impact on tourism. (Who the hell goes to the Lake District in March?) So if you see a few get Tweeting....

12 March 2010

New York notices Sarf London, innit?

A nice write up in the NYRB about the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Well worth a visit if you're ever south of the river; not that tourists ever come further south then the South Bank.....

Are no traditions safe?

The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling had been cancelled for this year due to health and safety fears. Possibly due to the saturated fat content of a big old hunk of Double Gloucester!

09 March 2010

Well he's not welcome here!

America's finest Big Fat Idiot has promised to flee the country if health care reform is passed.

As the official Yank in London (of and for London) I have veto power. I suggest he try somewhere where he might feel at home; perhaps Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe.

08 March 2010

Today in Schadenfreude

Am I the only one enjoying the spectacle of the Tories trying to 'splain away the disgraceful situation surrounding Lord Ashcroft's noble and patriotic tax dodge? When Norman Tebbit has him in his sight;s these can't be happy days in Tory Central!

(Not so) compassionate conservatism

Down wherever it is that Tom Delay is from they seem to think that people are unemployed because they like it. Or at least they do in the bar at the country club where he goes to make contact with the little people.

I would suggest that he is a small, evil and extremely un-Christian man but that would belabour the obvious.

04 March 2010

Double reverse irony

The British House of Lords has passed an amendment that will outlaw caste based discrimination in the workplace.

Isn't the House of Lords the ultimate exercise in caste based discrimination?

I have a few technical questions for the American Family Association

First - if the Bible is literally true you should note that an orca is not an ox.

Second - how will the stoning be executed? I know you're not all that big on science you surely you will have noticed that stones slow down considerably once they hit the water. Will you have to remove the orca from its natural habitat to make you weaponry more effective? Is this fair?

Lastly - as this is a second offense the owner must die as well. Will you simply stone the chairperson of Seaworld or must all the shareholders die as well? Will executions be simultaneous or will they occur on separate occasions in order to increase attendance?

You may reach me here.....

03 March 2010

Once again the scientists get it wrong

It turns out that dinosaurs are some 10,000,000 years older than previously thought.

Of course this finding does not apply in the Great State of Texas for obvious reasons.

Now he was a Socialist!

Former Labour Party leader Michael Foot has died at the ripe old age of 96. He was a marvelous orator, a writer, a fervent opponent of nuclear weapons and a Plymouth Argyle supporter. And yes, he was a real Socialist. A true lion of the left.

He will be missed.