Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On second thoughts give me a £80 fine any day if you let me get away from people like this

Columbus culture?

I have no comment. Really I don't.

I'd better start saving today

Did you hear the one about Kurt? Apparently Kurt was walking through a park in Kent and stopped to talk to some of his friends. The conversation goes something like this (words courtesy of The Friday Thing)
"Hello mate." said Kurt.
"Hello mate. What have you been up to, mate?"
"Fuck all, mate."
At which point a police officer who overheard the conversation gave him an £80 on the spot fine.

This is clearly insane behaviour on the part of the police. I mean really, they should have better things to do with their time than issue fines for people talking in the park. Now if he'd have said, "Fuck you fucking cunt I'm going to fucking kill you", then I could see that as anti-social behaviour. But "Fuck all, mate." that's what passes for pleasant conversation in my world.

Apparently I live in a different world to councillor Julie Rook of Dover who said, "Swearing and abusive behaviour certainly is not normal behaviour and I feel it should never be used in a public place." Well, my advice is to get the fuck over it Julie and try living in my world for a change.

Fuck is a word. No more, no less. Like Tuesday or orthogonal or testicle. If it is in the dictionary, and hell even if it isn't, I should be allowed to say it. Swearing is not anti-social behaviour. Swearing at somebody possibly is anti-social behaviour, but then it sort of depends on context doesn't it. Many times I tell my friends that they are cunts, this isn't me being anti-social it's me being amusing (to me and my friends at least) and, in fact, social. Yes that's right social, as in Marked or characterised by mutual intercourse, friendliness, or geniality; enjoyed, taken, spent, etc., in company with others, esp. with those of a similar class or kindred interests. or Inclined or disposed to friendly intercourse or converse; sociable..

Simple really. Much like Julie Rook and the stupid politicians who pushed through the current Asbo legislation without stopping to think. It's amazing what happens when brain is engaged before writing a new law. And, sadly, it's amazing how rarely that seems to happen these days.

Fuck 'em all I say. When I'm Prime Minister... (well we can all dream can't we?)

On the subject of stupidity, why has Ken Livingstone been suspended for insulting an Evening Standard journalist? I'm not much of fan of Red Ken, as I generally think that he's a slimy, shameless self-promoter, but come on we're talking about an Evening Standard journalist. They're the kind of people, along with their insane colleagues from the Daily Mail, who should be mocked on a daily basis. After all they are just hate-peddlers who are piece by piece destroying the fabric of society, etc, etc.

Even ignoring the fact that Oliver Finegold was such a deserving target, how is likening somebody to a concentration camp guard anti-Semitic? It's not anti-Semitic it's anti-Olivier, which seems entirely reasonable to me. Now London doesn't have it's Mayor for a month, I imagine it'll survive though.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Not dead yet...

...just in case you were worried I thought I'd get that out the way to start with.

Today I'm even feeling a little better. Which is good. I could actually open both of my eyes this morning, not generally an achievement which I think deserves mention, but it was the first time since Friday morning that I could do it upon waking. Yesterday I made the mistake of trying to look up my symptoms on-line, and that is never a good thing to do. Trust me, you only end up feeling worse and vaguely scared.

Looking beyond my eyes (if that is ever possible or in fact ever not possible, I haven't quite decided which one) and back to the cartoon comedy (in both the humorous and of errors senses), I found this story somewhat pathetic. On the plus side it was the Iranian confectioners' union who ordered the change of name and not actual politicians (who should have better things to do with their time), as was the case with freedom fries.

In case you're wondering I do kind of want this t-shirt, but I don't think I'll be adding it to my collection.

Completely away from cartoon protests, although still with cartoons, I saw this on the BBC website this week. I'd completely forgotten about Charley and what he said. Still, somehow I am un-amazed that he has (almost) his own DVD.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Featuring my eye an ear bud

So, I'm sick. And to be perfectly frank I don't like that. In fact if I'm honest about the situation I'm one of those typical males who when they're ill get all miserable and make the world generally an unpleasant place to be. In my defence though, this has been the first time in my life that I have been so ill that snot has started coming out through my eyes. Yes, through my eyes. And yes I'm not happy about it. Any time that you have to take an ear bud to remove mucus from for eyeball it is a bad thing. A very bad thing. It is certainly not something that I want to be repeating any time in the near future.

Grrrgh. 'Tis not fun to have snot dripping from your eye when you are trying to go to sleep. Really it isn't. Honest. I'm not lying.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The day I didn't know it was

I was walking back from lunch today when a colleague said something about a sign being cute. I didn't see the sign until she pointed out the, 8 foot by 6 foot, happy Valentines chalk sign on the wall (apparently somebody hearts somebody else). I was like, "Oh yeah, isn't it Valentines tomorrow?"
"No, it's today", came the reply and the laughter.

Just a small reason why Ryan didn't get any cards this year. Just a small one, but one of many.


Sometimes Columbus surprises me. Every now and again the surprises are pleasant ones. One such time was last Tuesday when I did my laundry. Generally speaking laundry day is not a day of surprises, and when it is, they're not as rule pleasant surprises. However last week was different. Last week I went Dirty Dungarees. Dirty Dungarees is either a laundrette with a dive bar inside, or it's a dive bar with a laundrette inside. Either way it's a marvellous invention. What else is there for me to do whilst my clothes are in the washing machine? Not a whole hell of a lot. At Dirty Dungarees I got to have a few beers, play a few games of pool and generally enjoy laundry time. It is the first time that I'v ever been pleased my new house doesn't have a washing machine. Fantastic.

You'd think that maybe the people who get to go to the G8 summit in Russia are smart people. You'd think that maybe when the eight most powerful countries in the world get together around a table that they'd have something worthwhile to say. You'd think it, and you'd be wrong. This article is the definitive proof that the world needs me to be Prime Minister. If the current leaders aren't stupid they certainly think that we are, here are a few select quotes from the New York Times article:
Oil-importing countries, including the United States, would like to see producing nations increase supplies on world markets, easing prices...
...Aleksei L. Kudrin, Russia's finance minister, said he pushed Moscow's approach to global energy policy, which calls for consuming countries to diversify supply away from the Middle East, in part by leaning more heavily on Russia's reserves...
The solution for a world parched for oil, he [the United States treasury secretary] said, would come in market mechanisms to open oil producing regions to investment and more transparent energy deals, and improving ties between producing and consuming countries.

So what did we learn? Oil importing countries want cheaper oil, well they would wouldn't they. It's a bit like saying beer drinkers would like cheaper beer, hardly a revelation. Then the Russian finance minister says we should buy his oil not someone else's, well he would say that wouldn't he. And finally the solution for a world parched of oil — a limited commodity that will one day run out — is not to develop other energy forms, no the solution is more transparent energy deals. If I'm running out of money in my account, printing balance slips 20 times a day (thus increasing my account's transparency) might help a little, however putting more money in the account is generally the preferred long term solution.

I went to see a film yesterday. To be precise, I saw the new Woody Allen movie Match Point and I'm not really sure what I thought about it. Nobody was likable (not strictly speaking a problem), nobody was believable (ditto), the dialogue sounded wrong (more of a problem), Scarlett Johansson was pretty (much less of a problem), there wer far too many arias (a growing problem after the umpteenth one), London was almost as pretty as Scarlett (less of a problem), but I thought the end was kind of well done so I left the cinema feeling pretty good about the film. Ho hum, only a year and a bit till I get to remind myself daily that London doesn't always look pretty.

As much as I respect anybody who shoots a lawyer in the face, I kind of wish the shootee and shooter were reversed.

Oh and just so you know, apparently I have a dreamy accent. At least according to the girl working at the sandwich stall in the North Market I do.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This is fucking insane

Now I'll admit it when I read the headline, Is Ritual Circumcision Religious Expression? in the New York Times Magazine this morning, my immediate answer was, No, of course it isn't. It is genital mutilation. That was just when I read the headline. Then I went ahead and read the article, availble here (registration or BugMeNot maybe required), and I genuinely didn't believe what I was reading.

It was the bit about oral suction, or metzitzah b'peh, that got me going. Now for those of you who, like me, were unaware of this practice and haven't read the article, I suggest you stop reading now and try and block it from your mind, forever.

Still here?

We'll continue then. Oral suction is, and you could not make this shit up, the practice of cleaning the wound made by the circumcision by sucking the blood from it. Now I'll repeat that cause frankly I don't believe what my fingers are typing, it is the practice of cleaning the wound by sucking the blood from it. Or to put another way, it is the practice of chopping a bit off the end of a babies dick and then sticking the dick in your mouth.

Now this is not religious expression, this is insanity. And apparently it happens 2000-4000 times a year. So by the time I leave America next year, something like 3000 baby boys will have had their bleeding cocks sucked by mohels (I have no idea what a mohel is, and now never want to know).

The article lost me somewhat when it started waffling on about whether this practice could spread disease — apparently there have been only seven recorded cases of babies developing herpes following the operation — because they missed the point. The point is not whether this practice is dangerous, the point is this practice is fucking insane. Really, there is no other way to describe it. Any practice that involves grown men sucking the dicks of little boys is wrong. And them doing it because the dick is bleeding from a wound they created, doesn't make it any more right. Does anybody out there disagree with those statements? Well, yeah, apparently they do.

The real debate should not be about whether this crazy dick sucking process should be allowed to take place. It shouldn't! The real debate should be about whether infant circumcision should be allowed to take place at all. If you can sufficiently indoctrinate your child such that when he grows up he voluntarily has a piece of his dick chopped off, that's fine by me. Hell at that point I'm all for him getting someone to suck the blood off it if he wants. But doing it to a baby who has no choice in the matter, it's not really cricket.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why come and cocks?

One time you were my baby chicken
Now you've grown into a fox
And once upon a time I was your little rooster
Am I just one of your c****

Did the NFL really need to censor the word cocks? Apparently.

Living in a nanny state and lovin' it! Or something.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Superbowl Snark

So, yesterday was the Superbowl, and continuing my fine NFL gambling form I backed the Seahawks. Sadly, Pittsburgh picked this game to prove the old adage that it is better to be lucky than good. And my were they lucky. The bastards. Still you can't have everything, unless you're the Pittsburgh Steelers that is. I mean, one Seatle TD nullified for something and nothing, one Pittsburgh TD given for not getting in the endzone, a questionable holding call that moved the ball from the Pittsburgh 1-yard line to the 30-yard line and a crazy fake play that worked for a touchdown (it was pretty though).

Now it might have just been that I was a wee bit angry after the game and not in a generous spirit, but the trophy ceremony at the end of the game really irritated. Is there any other sport in the world where the trophy is given to the old rich white man who owns the team, instead of to the players who just won (luckily in this case... the bastards) the game? I believe the answer is no. Even in Formula One where the manufacturers really do play an enormous part in the on track success, they give the trophy to the driver first. But I guess that's what you get when the sport is run by the owners for the benefit of the owners. Anyone else fancy a nice yacht in Miami in four years time?

On a happy note, the season is now over so it will probably be 8 months until I can start losing money hand over first on teams with a feathery name. Yay!

Muslim cartoon fury claims lives -- Five die in Afghan cartoon furore -- Protests Over Cartoons Turn Deadly -- No 10 criticises cartoon protesters

How do I live in a world where No 10 criticises cartoon protesters is not a joke headline? Losing your life over these cartoons, it beggars belief. (Or more accurately it takes belief out behind the bike-shed and kicks the shit out of it for a couple of hours. Poor belief, all these crazy things happening because too many people take it far too seriously.)

Still, there's always the Fed Ex caveman ad to make you smile.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Opportunistic and an opportunity

On Monday night I was involved in a discussion over whether or not Google Cache was in violation of copyright law. I was of the opinion that it wasn't, whereas a friend was of the opinion it was and should more correctly be called Google Republisher. The friend who was against Google was, un-incidentally, a friend of Blake Field — the Blake Field who tried to sue Google (as far as I can tell just because he thought he might be able to make a bit of money) over copyright infringement. Last week a district court in Nevada ruled against Blake Field and ruled that Google Cache was "fair use". The ruling makes pretty interesting reading, and makes you wonder what issues it will bring up down the road.

So Blake Field: a) Opportunistic leech out to make a quick buck of Google; b) Defender of an author's right to distribute his creations; c) bit of both. I've never met him, so I'm going for a) if I had maybe I'd be tempted by c). Maybe.

Now that it looks like I'll be going back to London (although probably not for another year), every now and again I have a little play around and look at how much it's going to cost me to live there when I go back. Today I found something that I could actually afford, it is advertised as, "£50 pw unfurnished, Parking Space". I have a couple of points: i) unfurnished parking space? ii) it would be a 40% increase over what I'm currently paying for rent. Nice location though.

Oh and finally, I had the misfortune to see some of the State of the Union address last night. After about three minutes I wanted to cut the hands of the people applauding every fifteen seconds. I know Bush isn't much of an orator, but do they have to applaud him every time he finishes a sentence?