Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jesus, No, Not In The Face!


A work colleague opined today that we'd have none of this war and conflict if the world was run by women.

Well, call me sexist, but I beg to differ - I shudder to think of the hideous slaughter that would ensue if Poland shot Italy a few dirty looks, or told the Italians that those shoes made their ankles look a little bit fat.

And who the fuck does Brazil think she is, strutting into Paraguay's house like Lady Muck and announcing that the place actually looks quite nice when it's tidy?

There'd be a nuclear exchange within two weeks, for God's sake.

Honestly, cross-border raids and espionage would be bourne with good grace and patience, but woe betide any nation foolhardy enough to walk about as if she owns the place.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Market Forecast

It's been a turbulent week for financial markets, but at this time I'd like to say a few words for the little guys - the ordinary men and women who keep the engine of profit and loss ticking, who even now are labouring to rectify their little mishap.

These unloved souls toil away unseen by most of us, greasing the wheels of commerce and never asking for more than a tiny fraction of the wealth they create to feather their nests.

So, stock brokers, I know there are some who would call YOU EVIL, GRASPING FUCKS, cursing the way you work your magic, but I'm not one of them. I have great respect for your efforts, and would never stoop to naming YOU ICE-HEARTED EBENEEZERS or COKE-SNORTING, INCONTINENT, BRAYING DIPSHITS.

Let's not forget the great crash of the 1920's, when many a stock broker chose to CLIMB TO THE TOP OF A VERY TALL BUILDING with only one thought in mind - "YOU MUST HURL YOUR WORTHLESS, FECKLESS HIDE INTO THE ETERNITY OF OBLIVION YOU SO RICHLY DESERVE."

I always have a warm, fuzzy glow inside when I recall their noble ends.

But that was then, and this is now, and I wouldn't want to give the impression that I AM URGING EVERY STOCK BROKER TO COMMIT SUICIDE IMMEDIATELY, IN THE MOST GRUESOME MANNER POSSIBLE, far less that I HARBOUR FIERCE, BURNING HATRED FOR EVERY ONE OF YOU.

Heaven forbid.

No, I have absolute trust in your ability to see the rest of us through this difficult time, and I trust that all of you will get exactly what you deserve.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Don't Know Much About

Hearty approval, please, for the Scottish Government's pledge to restore the nation's history to its rightful place at the heart of the school curriculum.

Having studied history for years myself, I can't overstate the importance of a good grasp on our heritage to understanding our place in the world. The least our ancestors deserve is recognition of their achievement and sacrifice.

It's right and fitting that children should learn of the Scots who bravely faced the Roman machine guns at Gallipoli. They need to be told of the gallant exploits of William Wallace and his Merry Men, whose courage and tenacity saw them triumph over the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Covenanters.

Surely, no Scottish child could fail to be moved by the fate of the doomed Darien project - those brave men and women who were stranded in the mountains and forced to eat their dead for sustenance.

Fortunately, not only do I have an excellent knowledge of our history, I also have experience in training and teaching. I know precisely how to call forth the shades of yesteryear and breathe new life into their immortal stories.

I ask you to think of that climactic scene in the 1986 movie Highlander, as the valiant Sir Sean Connery engages the evil Kurgan in a swordfight to the death to protect the honour of a fair young maiden.

Now imagine that they're both blind drunk and stripped to the waist, and that they're fighting with big sticks, and that the maiden is actually a bag of sausages. And then one of them is sick.

Or, to evoke the murderous battles of succession that raged for hundreds of years, imagine that scene in Scarface with the chainsaw, the bag of cocaine and the money. Then subtract the cocaine and the money.

Actually, that image would probably be good for evoking our witchcraft trials, too.

Either way, this is a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn of our glorious history of backstabbing, skullduggery and ignominious defeat borne with ill-concealed resentment. It'll be a fantastic initiation for a lifetime watching the Scottish national football team.

Good work, that Government.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fischer Death "Great Loss" For Jew-Baiting Lunatics
Chess World Mourns Death of 29-year-old Genius



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Condemnation Bingo - The Silly Season Starts

I see that various assholes are now demanding apologies and condemnations from presidential candidate Barack Obama because of some tenuous connection to Farrakhan.

Well, all I can say is, don't you do it Mr. O - you need to kick those disingenuous hacks to the kerb, because these losers are only interested in holding you back. Once you start playing their game, then nothing will ever satisfy them... You need to stand up for yourself and say, "I am a strong presidential candidate, I respect myself and I don't care what you think about me."

No way should you have to apologise for Farrakhan, who's never been guilty of anything more than bringing a little joy into the lives of cheesecake-eating women the world over.

So, you go girl, Mr. Obama, sir, and remember - you're every wealthy, middle-of-the-road candidate with a nice line in vaguely inspirational bullshit.

Denial Watch

In the post below, I mentioned how I have more respect for people who say exactly what they mean with no weasel words or messing about.

I'm used to euphemism and self-deception, but this latest example is a new one on me - a conversation with a work colleague about her favourite TV shows leads on to gangling, freak-baiting Hugh-Grantalike Louis Theroux, and a show he did about porn movies.

One of the featured actors was a supposedly straight man appearing in gay sex movies, who identified himself as "Gay-For-Pay", i.e. rampantly macho and heterosexual, but perfectly happy to be hosed at both ends for a few hundred dollars.

Now, call me an old traditionalist if you will, but I don't think you have to coin a hyphenated neologism in this instance. I think that appropriate terms already exist for men who enthusiastically partake in this kind of sexual behaviour, and they include "Gay," "Homosexual," or even "Bisexual".

If you don't believe me, consider this - when I first took a full time job in the public sector, I earned less than £8000 a year while trying to pay rent on a flat in central Edinburgh. This left me a bit short of cash, so I took a job working nights and weekends in a local pub.

I wasn't offered the opportunity to act as a screeching cock-receptacle, but I'm willing to bet that even in those times of scarcity I could find another way of making ends meet, so to speak.

"Gay-For-Pay"... honestly. Next, you'll be telling me that Libertarian means "Principled stance in defence of liberty and privacy," rather than "Hands off my fucking Lexus, hippies."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Negative Creep

Back again, with a meme to complete. It arises from some comments thread in which Larry Teabag tried to pin down Paulie Hippy over the latter's definition of "negativism", a term he's fond of using.

Paulie seems to hold some weird ideas about the usefulness of blogs and what should be done with them. While I have some sympathy with his belief that people, generally, should spend more time making positive proposals than they do complaining, this strikes me as uncomfortably close to If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. That drove me up the wall when my mother said it years ago, and I'm inclined to respond with obscene gestures now.

So, I am a negativist, and I see little problem with being one. That's as much as I have to say on the subject, since Dsquared has already said it far better than I could.

Anyway, Larry wanted me to come up with seven things of which I'm in favour. I could use this for a short, sharp, witty post stuffed with absurdities, but I'm in more of a drawn-out, rambling, hectoring jeremiad mood... so I'll go with some basic beliefs I've formed after years of arsing about online.

1) I am strongly in favour of everybody chilling the fuck out.

It doesn't matter what the situation is, it's guaranteed that some joker will be mining it for maximum political benefit. Regardless, unless the story is Sky To Fall Tomorrow, the sky is not falling and it's probably worth calming down a bit. Which leads me to...

2) I'm in favour of bloggers recognising their own essential fartiness.

Even if the sky is falling, it will likely be indifferent to your deeply-held antipathy towards it.

3) I urge everyone to say exactly what they mean without dicking about.

e.g. "I favour strong action against terrorists," when you actually mean "I favour massive bombardment of heavily-populated urban areas, even if it doesn't actually kill many terrorists."

Or, "British workers must become more flexible to enliven the economy," when you mean "British workers must take pay cuts, work longer hours, sacrifice holidays and be prepared to move house at the drop of a hat."

Respect, as they say, goes both ways - it's basic good manners to assume that your readers are intelligent enough to notice attempts to sugarcoat unpalatable suggestions. This is why I started The Encyclopedia of Decency - not because the subjects were the worst for disingenuous bullshit, but because they disseminate it in such large quantities and don't get called on it nearly often enough. However...

4) I'm in favour of self-awareness, because nobody is perfect.

I'd like to think that my opinions were formed in the spirit of even-handedness and unbiased thought. Sadly, I suspect they're little more than a half-assed bundle of prejudices and wishful thinking, and that others may be similarly deficient. This is why we occasionally do and say stupid things, and I'm inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt for one-off acts of random daftness. Thus...

5) I'm strongly in favour of hot sauce, for the chilli is a divine gift handed down to humanity by the creator himself.

6) I'm in favour of general civility...

... but there are plenty outright malignant shits online, and the correct response to them is mockery. The author of this book is a prime example, but there's far, far worse out there. And finally...

7) I'm strongly in favour of short blog posts, and this one has gone on long enough.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Sooner We Reintroduce Capital Punishment In Schools, The Better

I'm horrified to find that standards in Scottish schools have reached an all-time low. Just yesterday, the teachers' union announced that their members are having to use classroom assistants for cover.

It's clear that we're failing in our duty to teachers, as modern handguns fire projectiles that are still deadly even after passing through up to three classroom assistants.

Surely, if our classrooms are so dangerous, the least we could do is kit out our teachers with bullet-proof vests.

I say it's a disgrace, myself. If we were serious about educating our children, we'd give teachers little reinforced booths with a "letterbox" aperture to allow them to return fire.

(Warning! Stolen joke alert - dishonestly acquired suggestion incoming!)

In fact, I'd go further and give teachers police dogs for classroom control. To make it easier for the dogs to bring down unruly pupils, I'd make sure the room was strewn with little see-saws and hoops.

Some pupils might get past these obstacles, but the dogs will be on them in a flash as soon as the kids try to slalom through the row of little sticks.