Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! (Yet More Bloody Lists)

Anybody else suffering deja vu?

I never talk about Israel/Palestine on this blog if I can help it, since the issue is a guaranteed tosser-magnet, but it appears that we are stuck in a time-warp... Those who don't read history are condemned to act like utter wankers indefinitely, it seems.

Had I been knocked out in the summer of 2006 and woken up today, I wouldn't see anything amiss. We've got the Israelis engaged in mass bombardment of heavily-populated urban areas in pursuit of unachievable goals, while much of the world's media waxes lyrical about how bombing cities in pursuit of unachievable goals is perfectly sensible;

The Decent Left are once again proving why they are one of Britain's nastiest political sects, and;

Lots of people I've always thought of as reasonable and rational have, frankly, lost their damn minds.

I'll cheerfully say that I regard bloggers' responses to the 2006 assault on Beirut as the most shameful incident in the already embarrassing history of the form - essentially, an avalanche of mendacious, lying bullshit designed to convince people to support a murderous, pointless bombing campaign. And yet, here we are again.

Let's run through what happened last time and see how this round of pointless death and destruction compares to 2006...

- Terrorists are evil, ergo the faction I support can kill as many civilians as it likes with total impunity; (Check)

-
The Palestinians are Hitler, it is 1939 and I Am Churchill. (Check)

-
This situation is a horrible tragedy and I personally feel terrible about the lives lost, but what the hell, let's get bombing, people! (Check)

-
Anyone who says that bombing cities in pursuit of pointless goals isn't moral is a disgusting anti-semitic Nazi who thirsts for genocide. (Check)

- Some bloke somewhere waved a placard saying We Are All Hezbollah, ergo anyone who says that bombing cities in pursuit of unachievable goals isn't moral is a disgusting, pro-jihadist Nazi who thirsts for genocide. (Cross, but I suspect it's in the post)

-
Some guy with a website compared some photos and proved that cruise missiles are surgical instruments for the laser-accurate vaporisation of evil; that they never kill any innocents, ever, and that anyone who says otherwise is a disgusting, pro-genocide genocidalist who thirsts for genocide. (Cross, but see above)

-
The BBC, the International Red Cross, Reuters, The Guardian, ITV, CNN, The New York Times, Channel Four, the Independent and hundreds of other media outlets are actively working with terrorists by failing to report the conflict according to my fucknut prejudices; (Cross - I haven't seen anything worse than stupid blog commenters, but no doubt that's in the post too.)

-
Decent Leftist incapable of saying Bombing cities in pursuit of unachievable goals isn't moral without also tacking on a lot of semi-hysterical shite about the horrible opinions of unnamed lefties. (Check)

-
Melanie Phillips goes doom-bonkers, humiliates self. (Check)

...And on it goes. I'm neither a military specialist nor a political analyst, but during the 2006 campaign I argued with many, many wingnuts that...

a) the Israelis' war aims were unachievable, and had probably been drawn up by morons;

b) that bombing petrol stations, ports, bridges, random cars, blocks of flats and such were easily-identified war crimes; that anyone saying otherwise had shat on his or her reputation and that their pronouncements should be treated thereafter as inherently suspect;

c) that the Israelis dropping a bunker-buster on Mrs. Rodent, for instance, because she lived in the same building as a terrorist would cause me to think more nasty thoughts about the Israelis, and not less; and that

d) rather than being destroyed, Hezbollah would emerge more popular than ever.

If anyone can think of a reason why we should expect a different outcome this time, comments are below.

Monday, December 29, 2008

FR's 2008 Review, Cont.

Right, so where were we? Oh yes, trawling through another one of those God-awful end-of-the-year round-ups.

June

-
Ireland firmly rejected the EU reform treaty, thus saving the nation from an invading horde of bloodthirsty killer abortionists and the rest of Europe from tyrannical rule by Eurocrat Nazi-Communists who want to abolish freedom itself, at least until next year's vote on the same treaty;

- Robert Mugabe's election slogan The Destruction Of Our Nation's Infrastructure In An Orgy Of Bloodcurdling Violence We Need proves surprisingly and suspiciously popular with the Zimbabwean electorate.

May

-
Bhutan voted in its first-ever democratic election following the abdication of King Wangchuck, prompting mourning royalists to ask How Much Wang King Wangchuck Would Chuck, If King Wangchuck Could Chuck Wang*;

- In a well-thought-out gambit that was almost guaranteed to win the affection of the British people, hopalong harridan Heather Mills failed to convince a judge that much-loved entertainer Paul McCartney is an evil, abusive scumbag who wouldn't give her any money.

- Disgusting scenes at the UEFA Cup Final in Manchester, where a battallion of ultraviolent riot police attacked crowds of law-abiding Rangers fans by beating them on the feet and fists with their faces, ribs and testicles.

April

- Actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in jail for breaking out of a cryogenic prison and murdering twenty seven people, plus several counts of wanton vandalism and public affray with Kentucky-Fried-Chicken-faced Botox-horror Sylvester Stallone;

- Austria is stunned by police incompetence when it emerges that, in 1972, a teenaged Josef Fritzl was voted Pupil Most Likely To Imprison And Repeatedly Impregnate His Daughter by his fellow students in his high school yearbook.

March

- Corpse-fed former royal butler Paul Burrell stuns Britain by announcing that he "removed Princess Diana's ring from her body" after her death, stunning a nation that had previously been unaware of either his surgical skills or his gruesome sexual predilictions;

- The population of Tibet appears on British television show Who Wants To Be An Oppressed People Whose Struggle For Freedom Is An Inspiration To Us All; Despite high initial viewing figures and popular enthusiasm, the show is cancelled due to lack of interest.

- With one final show of force, Israel finally bombs the anti-semitism out of the Palestinians, who immediately cease all attacks and ask if they can get the Israelis a nice cup of tea.

February

-
The BBC reports the threat that killer ladybirds pose to Scotland, despite the fact that I could take on ladybirds ten at a time and still win easily, regardless of how disgruntled they are;

- Germany recognises Kosovo but is seized by a sudden irrational fear that it might not actually be Kosovo, and actually just a country that looks a bit like it, so doesn't go over to say hello.

January

-
The death of Bobby Fischer is mourned by the world of anti-semitic chess, and

- At his final State of the Union address, President George W. Bush is fondly bombarded with shoes.


Well, that's almost it for another year, as we look forward to another year of appalling natural disasters, financial catastrophes and terrorist outrages - a happy New Year to one and all, when it comes!

*Joke copyright commenter Herr Doktor Bimler, whose excellent bit of wordplay has earned him the privilege of being mercilessly plagiarised.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saccharine Moment At The End Of The Film

Dave Osler was listing his heroes earlier this month, and it struck me as a good excuse to spank out an easy post on the matter. It particularly appealed to me since my modus operandi is to pick something I don't like then launch into a wordy rant on how shit it is.

Being a raving egomaniac, it's not easy for me to choose people I admire, but let's crack on....

World of Arseing About On-Camera

Clint - the definition of "grizzled", but fuck me - what a body of work that is; the joyfully barking Terry Gilliam, and everyone involved in the production of Children of Men. A barbarous list, but cinema isn't really my thing - I hate it, in fact. Being herded in like cows to watch 45 minutes of adverts, before being shown some half-assed, thrown-together Hollywood bullshit - not my thing.

World of Running About Like a Dick

The totally obvious Hitler-affronting Jesse Owens; twinkle-toed why-doesn't-everybody-play-like-that genius Henrik Larsson; Studied-To-Death chess monomaniac Jose Raul Capablanca; Euro trophy-winning, gag-cracking smartarse and all-round good bloke Gordon Strachan; Demi-God Czech football messiah Lubomir Moravcik; Dedicated, deceased ginger midfield dynamo Tommy Burns. (Yes, Celtic-heavy, what did you expect?)

World of Banjo-Twanging

Greatest living Scotsman and bass supremo Jack Bruce; Top-notch geezer, average-song-writer and screamtastic noise-merchant Dave Grohl; rock collossus Josh Homme; Singed, twang-happy string-plucker Django Reinhardt; Holst; Crack-hungry growler Mark Lanegan; Dead Clash frontman Joe Strummer; Mozart; Monocular albino and general nutter David Bowie; Where-The-Fuck-Did-He-Go Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery; Oddball, polysyllabic Pavement frontman Steven Malkamus; Lipstick-happy-Jesus-Get-The-Fuck-Away-From-Me mentalist PJ Harvey.

World of Shooty Violence

They-Don't-Make-'Em-Like-That-Any-More WWI Classicist Robert Graves; Ooops, probably a bit of a fascist Roman military genius Germanicus (see also, Graves, above); Propaganda-inflated Nazi-killer Vasily Zaitsev; Sensitive war casualty Wilfred Owen and nation-founding wig-wearer George Washington.

Tha Honeyz

Fragrant, gorilla-humping late-bloomer Naomi Watts; Alien slime-beast fodder Radha Mitchell.

World of Scribbling For Money

You-Should-Read-Lolita-But-Honestly-I'm-Not-A-Paedo multilingual chess-lover Vladimir Nabokov; Gumshoe innovator Raymond Chandler; The racist but excellent Joseph Conrad; Practically the entire staff of The Exile, i.e. my favourite working journalist Matt Taibbi, total bastard but hilarious Mark Ames and weirdo Berkley Russophile John Dolan.

World of Spouting Bullshit For The Entertainment Of Twats

Pete Cook; All at Viz; Monty Yes-I-Know,-It's-Obvious bloody Python; the notorious sex-tourist Hutton, the world-beating brilliance of Richard Pryor.

World Of Dead People

Mong-fucked Roman Emperor Claudius (as related by Graves, above); Sexby, as related by Paul Foot in his book The Vote and definitely not by The Devil's Whore; Spartacus (yes, yawn); So-Crates, dude; Butcher of bastards Saladin.

Update! Oh, and now I come to think of it, Thomas Jefferson. Criminal oversight.

Update 2! It occurs to me that Freddie Mercury should go down in history as the world's most brillaint human being, who spread more joy than any other. I should have known better than to start this off.

I can think of many more, but time and tedium forbid. Anybody I missed?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

FR's 2008 Review

...And what an odd year it's been. In 2008, the British public couldn't decide whether they were more outraged by the police for not beating to death the Packs of Feral Youths That Blight Our Once-Great Nation, or by the criminals who actually were beating to death the Packs of Feral Youths That Blight Our Once-Great Nation...


...It was the year when it finally became apparent that the West's economy was entirely based upon the ruling class's willingness to believe in the literal existence of golden unicorns that shoot rubies out of their eyes and gold bricks out of their arses, leading to massive government investment to shore up the ruby-shooting, gold-shitting unicorn industry...


...And it was a year in which the great and the good leapt to their feet in spirited defence of lowly Georgia, finally opening their mouths to righteously denounce the mighty Russian bastards, before slowly sitting back down, opening their newspapers and pretending they'd never spoken as it emerged that the Russo-Georgian War was a bit more of a level-bastardry field than we had initially been led to believe.


It was an odd one alright, and as a passionate believer in learning our lessons from our forebears, I'd like to review this year's events for posterity... I'll start from this week and work backwards, since that might be easier.


December


- The month in which Pope Benedict XVI told the world that maybe we shouldn't rush to judgement about this whole homosexuality thing, and announced that he would personally lead a Vatican inquiry into steamy bareback action and those hot, hot cocks;


- After years of bombing and mayhem, the Americans finally brought democracy to the island of Sark;


- Channel Four announced that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would give this year's Alternative Christmas Address, in which he will extend the hand of friendship, understanding and will expose all those Zionist lies about the Holocaust.


November


- In joyful scenes that recall the promise of the American dream, Joe Biden became the 47th white Vice President of the United States.* Americans of every creed and colour were united in joy as Barack Obama was elected the country's first non-asshole President since 1945.


- On Mars, water is found - it is shipped to Earth, where the Coca-Cola Company sells it for £1.49 a bottle under the name Dasani;


October


- Oliver Stone's George Bush biopic W. opens in cinemas, causing an instantaneous economic crash and mass redundancies. In response, the government implements extreme measures permitting torture and arbitrary detention to maintain order, while the middle east collapses in anarchy.


- Austrian Nazi Jorg Haider demonstrates that far-right, racist politicians can be trusted with responsibility and power by getting pissed up and splattering himself in a massive car smash. Later revelations of homoerotic tendencies are downplayed by a world deeply saddened by the fascist twat's entertaining demise.


September


- After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and a fresh attempt on Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani's life, Pakistan admits defeat by opening the world's first Clay Politician-Shooting Range;


- The CERN Large Hadron Collider was turned on, immediately confirming alarmist fears that an explosion of bad jokes about turned-on, throbbing Hadrons could cause the Earth to be consumed by an enormous comedy black hole.


August


- Evil computer tyrant Skynet sent cyborg swimming-machine Michael Phelps back in time to kill Olympic competitors' gold medal hopes;


- Also at the Beijing Games, in a completely, like, mindblowing development, sources reported that protester Samantha Parkinson was totally on television and everything. Unconfirmed speculation suggests that a man seen being shoved to the floor and handcuffed by police may have been Charlie, you know, that one with the nose-ring that Ashley got off with at Tabitha's party, which would be just like, hey, this is crazy, right?


July

- Fugitive war criminal Radovan Karadzic is finally captured after spending the last fifteen years disguised as a stoned chinchilla;

- Gurning shitehawks Nickelback's fuck-awful dirge Rock Star debuts at number one in the charts after throngs of cloth-eared cockwits flock to the shops in their bovine thousands to burn actual money for a disc chock-full of honking aural bumwipe.


More Year In Review to follow...


*Joke copyright Harold Hutton Esq., 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Bilal Abdullah, you stand here accused of conspiracy to murder by detonating explosive devices in London and Glasgow. How do you plead?"

"Not guilty, your honour. The dead guy did it."

"Excuse me?"

"The dead guy, your worship, my friend Kafeel Ahmed... I thought we were just going for a nice drive from London to Glasgow through the night in a car full of petrol, gas tanks and nails."

"I see... So you mean to tell the court that there is an innocent explanation for your actions?"

"Absolutely, your holiness. See, my friend Kafeel was always keen on a bit of nocturnal welding and amateur carpentry and I was just trying to help him out."

"Right... And the voice recordings, and the small matter of you trying to light petrol bombs and fighting with the police while shouting your mad Jihadi slogans at the top of your voice?"

"All a misunderstanding, your grace. It was dark in that car, and I was lighting up to see... And I was just clearing my throat while I was trying to explain myself to those nice officers."

"And do you have anything else to say in your defence?"

"Only that I actually did want to set off the bombs, your majesty, but it was all just a big prank."

"Of course, a prank. Well, on this evidence, I have no option but to acquit you of all charges and declare you a free man."

"Really? Well, that's -"

"No, of course not 'really', shit-for-brains. This court finds you guilty as sin of being a crap terrorist and a thick twat to boot. Now, fuck off to prison for twenty five years* while we get on with laughing at your pitiful defence..."

...At least, that's how I imagine it went.

I always imagined that any crazed fanatic would leap at the chance to get his face on TV and expound his ludicrous reasoning before an audience - that's what Zacarias Moussaoui did at any rate.

Who would've thought that Britain, home of the world's most horrifying reality TV/celebrity culture, would throw up the world's most camera shy and modest terrorists?

n.b. Update 17/12 - Apologies - Clairoyance fail... 32 years-to-life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Your Meritocracy In Action

A Short Guide To The Bullshit-Based Economy

International finance - A bullshit money-based notional market in which Financiers and Banks compete and/or co-operate with each other to see who can die with the most Toys.

Financier -
A person who handles large amounts of bullshit money, usually involving large transfers into untraceable accounts in Bermuda. A highly-trained professional who makes investments for which he or she is yet to be arrested.

Bank - A Financial Institution which handles large amounts of bullshit money before begging the Taxpayer for a Bailout.

Investor - A person giving actual money to a Financier in the hope of a reasonable return, often from the taxpayer. The Sucker; the Mark.

The Taxpayer - You
; the Patsy.

Money Heaven
-
Afterlife for bullshit money, from which there is no return.

Credit Default Swap -
Financial contract in which one party takes actual money from another in exchange for a promise to return a larger sum on the occurance of Event (x), before transferring the actual money into an untraceable account in Bermuda and begging the Taxpayer for financial aid.

Innovation - Ingenious method by which a Financier turns actual money into bullshit money, and uses it to buy Toys.

Financial Scandal - What happens when a Financier gets a little bit too Innovative and is caught in possession of a few more Toys than society deems tasteful.

Bailout - Event in which Banks rob the Taxpayer's Children at gunpoint, then offer to lend the same money back to their parents at very reasonable rates.

Recession -
Financial downturn in which you lose your job and the Financiers and Bankers promise to cut down on Fraud for a while.

Meritocracy - Social system by which the brightest and best are promoted to the highest positions, from where they are able to magically generate vast sums of bullshit money with which to buy toys, before begging the Taxpayer for a Bailout and being arrested.

Regulation - Governmental mechanisms designed to ensure that the Financiers and Bankers can transfer the maximum amounts into undetectable bank accounts in Bermuda.

Democracy -
Political system in which the Taxpayer decides which party should be in charge of Regulation.

That will be £499.99, please - all credit cards accepted.

Ba-Doom, Tish! Is Not a Foreign Policy

"He [George Bush] deserves to be hit with 100, not just one or two shoes. Who wants him to come here? " - Baghdad resident

Okay, so lots of people are giggling about the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush and called him a "dog" - from what I can gather, the middle eastern equivalent of peeing on his knee while giving him the finger and calling him a baboon-blowing bag of clot-stupid arse-chutney, or suchlike.

But let's be deadly serious for a moment and admit that, in Saddam's Iraq, this journalist would not have been able to exercise his basic human right to hurl footwear at the President of the United States.

In Saddam's Iraq, it would've been impossible to lamp the POTUS with a loafer, unless you were capable of spanging the mother between the eyes from the southern border while he was on one of his visits to Saudi or something.

So before we all go gloating over George W.'s latest pant-plummeting pratfall, let's recall that this is merely another one of those slapstick, Benny Hill fuck-ups that can be blown off with the catch-all excuse But Saddam was evil before returning to our previous beliefs on the matter...

...Although I imagine this won't be the final humiliation, given that the Bush presidency has been one goof-laden, cringe-inducing boner after another exploding turd-in-the-box. Me, I wouldn't be surprised if he pulls out his finest Lt. Frank Drebin impersonation at Obama's inauguration.

Just watch - first he'll solemnly muse that, the next time he bombs an Afghan wedding party, he could get arrested... Then there'll be assorted beaver gags, before he somehow becomes the first President in history to leave office by falling face-first into a shopping trolley and careering down the National Mall into the Reflecting Pool, while the band plays Yakety-Sax.

Honestly, unless Gordon Brown appoints the Chuckle Brothers to his cabinet, life's about to get a lot harder for lazy, left wing smartarses.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Whittle You Into Kindlin'

Since I'm in a straw man-bayoneting mood tonight, I'll note that I've also heard variations on this argument before, deployed today in the context of the terrorist assault on gun-free Mumbai...

"In January 1909 two such anarchists... tried to commit a robbery in north London, armed with automatic pistols. Edwardian Londoners, however, shot back – and the anarchists were pursued through the streets by a spontaneous hue-and-cry. The police, who could not find the key to their own gun cupboard, borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by, while other citizens armed with revolvers and shotguns preferred to use their weapons themselves to bring the assailants down...

...The arming of the populace guaranteed rather than disturbed the peace."

I suspect that a pistol was an expensive item in 1909, effectively restricting ownership to the wealthy. I imagine that in a new, heavily-armed British Utopia, modern mass production and open competition might tend to, well, democratise the issue.

I wonder if those people who currently have a big boner for gun ownership might think twice when they realise that they don't have eyes in the backs of their heads? After all, I saw that scene in Reservoir Dogs where Tim Roth tried to jack that car, and it didn't turn out well for anyone involved.

Well, we probably wouldn't have to worry so much about the anarchists, I suppose, but it'd certainly liven up those late-night stops at the bank machine.

Empire Fail, LOL

The Aaronovitch Watchers direct our attention to this piece by mobile mid-life crisis Andrew Anthony, in which he considers the news that, around sixty years ago, Barack Obama's Granddad was imprisoned and tortured by the British authorities in Kenya.

I'll ignore Anthony, who uses the story as an excuse to bash a) evil African dictators and b) unnamed persons suffering from liberal guilt - what interests me are the commenters, a couple of whom lament the awful PC liberals who are forever doing down Britain's glorious history and sucking off tyrants.

Well, if straw men are good enough for Anthony and company, they're good enough for me, so I'll ask you to take me at face value when I say I've heard the following assertion in certain quarters, from conservative commentators in newspapers to blokes down the pub... The belief that young Britons are indoctrinated with anti-British ideology from an early age, coached to believe that our dastardly deeds outweigh the crimes of nefarious foreigners.

I'm in a good position to deal with this contention, as it happens - I was taught modern history right up to the age of 21* in a country whose politics were dominated by the left, all the way down to the PTA. If you were looking for a part of Britain where the curriculum was being set by the dreaded socialists, this was it.

Despite being educated in the late 20th century - ground zero for the infamous Political Correctness - I don't remember being walked through the crimes of the British Empire. In fact, between the ages of five and twenty one, I don't recall ever being taught about, say, the potato famine, the Mau Mau uprising, the British invasion of Tibet, the Croke Park Massacre or any number of nasty imperial misdeeds.

On the other hand, I was taught at length about the Reign of Terror, the genocide of the Native Americans, the liquidation of the Kulaks, the rise of Italian and German fascism and the Holocaust. I studied foreign warmongers and despots from Bismarck to General Franco. I read about the American annexation of Mexican territory, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the collaborators of Vichy France and Stalin's starvation of the Ukraine.

Not that there was no British history on offer, of course. I learned plenty about the industrial revolution, David Hume and the Scottish Enlightenment, 19th century laissez-faire economics, World War One (Germany's fault, just in case anyone was worried about liberal guilt there)... The rise of the Labour movement, the enfranchisement of women and the emergence of modern British society... All of it stuffed full of progress, industry and decency.

Given all this, you can imagine it all came as quite a shock when I finally got round to picking up a book about the history of Ireland or India.

Now, it could be that I'm a poor example because, if I'm being honest, I was a poor student who tended to ignore unappealing subjects if I thought I could get away with it.

On the other hand, I could be entirely typical of the period. Anybody care to offer an opinion?

(Just as a coda, let me note my opinion on complaints about anti-British sentiments in history teaching. Note the diagrams below...




Conclusion - the 20th century is over, and we lost. No need for a tearful wank** about it, though).

*And no, I wasn't held back in primary school for four years.

**"Tearful wank" - Humorous gesture directed at an upset person, made by forming a crying, boo-hoo gesture with one hand while sarcastically waving a loosely-clenched fist. Often followed by abrupt evasive action.