Monday, July 31, 2006

Lies, damned lies, and the BBC

Aunty Beeb continues her sad decline into lefty-induced institutional Alzheimers, as she posts this shocking exposé on child porn.

Apparently, 50% of paedophile content worldwide is produced in the US. Or posted there. Or just copied from servers in other countries. They don’t tell us, probably because it didn’t occur to them to ask.

Nor do they find room to note that over 80% of all other internet content comes from the US.

Comparing those two stats, by implication, it is foreigners of various stripes who are disproportionately active in turning out this stomach-churning filth. After all, practically all of Russia’s web output is child porn and horse-fucking hookers. Yet for some reason the BBC’s chosen headline is “US 'worst' for online child abuse” rather than “Everyone else really into kiddie-diddling”.

It’s probably too much to ask for them to hire the occasional Atlanticist, but the least they could do is find people who can count…

Update! Le Monde joins the fray, proclaiming the US to be the world’s greatest exporter of spam emails. Well, duuuuh. Bit rich of them to complain, when they’re always moaning that no-one in America speaks their bloody language. Either give the Yanks some credit or blame the Quebecois, you whiny bastards…

The source of all evil, yesterday. Depraved non-American pornographers not pictured.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Women who I’d rather vote for than Hillary Clinton

#4: Lassie

OK, so the dogs playing Lassie were actually male. Whatever. Better a dog than that bitch…

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ivan’s Site of the Week

In the interests of balance, after featuring Mil Millington’s marathon piece of character assassination a few weeks ago, this week’s winner is Things My Boyfriend Says.

Personally, I think the guys got the better end of the deal. And deservedly so, naturally…

A pickup truck, yesterday. Mother Nature takes another one for the team.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Had we but world enough, and time

More “dog bites man” news this morning, as we read that one in nine women prefers chores to sex. When survey companies resort to laboriously “proving” such staple fare of third-rate comedians worldwide, it is a sure sign that business is slow and the silly season is upon us.

“like any other household chore”
“an irritating annoyance”
“only enjoyable for men”

Naturally, the temptation is to blame the men for these problems, and it does not help that one’s first sight of the naked male generally engenders reminders to put brussel sprouts on the shopping list. But one can’t help but wonder whether we are not confusing cause and effect here. After all, if one goes into something expecting to be bored, one is very likely to be proven right.

In my younger years, I found myself on several occasions putting considerable effort into pleasing a young lady in a variety of ways met with rave reviews elsewhere, only to founder against their native disinterest in the act itself. My repertoire exhausted and the cliffs unbreached, these encounters invariably ended with the girl’s impatient invitation to “go ahead – don’t wait for me”, whereupon passion flopped lifeless on that cruel and rocky shore.

Of course, I might just be a poor picker. I certainly seemed to have a knack for choosing lesbians, if the number who were lesbians the next morning was anything to go by.

“The Welsh, both men and women, said they were having sex more frequently than adults in other regions.” Doesn’t say with what, tho’.

Lubricious Wales, yesterday. Just one big al-fresco brothel, that place…

Monday, July 24, 2006

Industrial Accident

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Health and Safety takes a controversial stand, as it decrees that holding horrified Brazilians face-down on the floor and pumping seven dum-dum bullets into their heads “shows insufficient regard for their health, safety and welfare”.

And that’s not all! Just to ensure that the message is not lost upon the insouciant Chief Constable Sir Ian Blair and his trigger-happy plods, the Metropolitan Police can expect to pay a very heavy fine!

For shooting an innocent man. Seven times. In the head. With dum-dum bullets.

That’ll teach them.

Of course, no-one in the Met will be expected to stump up any money personally. No, no – that’s just for losers like you and me, caught by a speed camera or nabbed feeding the parking meter. No indeed – for the Met, it’ll be the taxpayer who coughs up, which, come to think of it, would be us again.

Mr de Menezes was by all accounts a quiet and law-abiding young man. I dare say he paid his taxes too. Maybe he’ll get a rebate?

You know, either prosecute someone for murder, or call him collateral damage and move on. To make him a health and safety issue is just insulting beyond belief. If all Blairs end up sharing this unfathomable abyss of mealy-mouthed moral bankruptcy, no wonder Eric Arthur Blair changed his name…

Oopsie. The HSE has also demanded rubber floors on all tube trains, so police officers don’t slip on the blood next time.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ivan’s Site of the Week

This week’s winner is

Among other delights, Bill tells us how he sold one of his kidney stones for $75,000. I have not the words…

Bill Shatner in pre-girdle-and-toupé days, yesterday. Just where exactly is he planning to stick that thing?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Miss called Rhonda

Sad news reaches me of a colleague who has entered that dangerous age in the mid-forties when ones testicles launch their final desperate offensive for total control of all higher brain functions, with catastrophic results.

This unhappy soul, long divorced, has in recent weeks acquired a girlfriend who he introduces to friends as “call her Rhonda”, because no-one can pronounce her real name. She is apparently from points far-eastern and has limited English beyond “me love you long time”.

Communication difficulties, both linguistic and cultural, are the inevitable result. Sure enough, when the girl buys herself some leather chaps, he immediately goes out and buys a $30000 bike, which he cannot even ride.

He has known her for three weeks.

Now, I’m used to guys of a certain age suddenly turning up to work in Mustangs, but this seems to me to be exploring new and previously unsuspected dimensions of mid-life criticality. Insofar as rational thought dictated any part of this sequence of events, it has failed our man in this case, as Rhonda refuses point blank to go near the bike, let alone mount it. For all we know, the chaps were just an invitation to ride her.

Obviously there were mixed signals at work here. Faults on both sides, and all that. She could learn a little English, or he some Cambodian. But even so – a bike? I fear I will soon be press-ganged into another bloody intervention…

*sigh* Why are men so stupid?

A big honkin’ bike, yesterday. Note to guys: generally speaking, this is a poor substitute for a princess-cut diamond tennis bracelet.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

“If you enjoyed Free Willy, you’ll love this new face cream

The BBC mourns on behalf of the world of tree-huggery as a right-on, eco-friendly whale safari stumbles across some Norwegians enjoying a safari of their own.

“This really wasn't what we came to see” opined one sensitive soul, stumbling ashen-faced off the Love Boat upon their return. Well, honestly, what did they expect? They went to see whales in their natural habitat, and that natural habitat includes whalers with Freudian issues and harpoons to match. The result is not going to be pretty. If you don’t want to see that sort of thing, go on a tofu safari instead.

It’s all so typical of that breed of whining hippies, who have no more grasp of the workings of Mother Nature than you get from reading the first three pages of “Earth In The Balance” and wearing Birkenstocks. On similar jaunts to Africa no-one complains when the lions grab a snack out of a passing zebra, so why single the Vikings out? Norwegians, let us not forget, are part of the ecosystem too, you know. Each had a mother…

Whale and Norwegian in perfect harmony, yesterday. All part of the circle of life…

Monday, July 17, 2006

Most of the world still populated by idiots

More good news for democracy and freedom courtesy of Le Monde, this time from New Zealand, where the population can look forward to swapping fear of Islamic fascism for the protection of a slightly older model of the same:

Le 17 mai, une cinquantaine d'étudiants chinois de l'université de Massey, en Nouvelle-Zélande, ont manifesté leur colère devant les locaux du journal de la faculté. Impertinent, le magazine avait consacré sa couverture à un photomontage féminisant Mao, moulé dans une robe sexy, collier autour du cou, élégante comme une midinette. Les jeunes Chinois de Nouvelle-Zélande ont vu là un sacrilège comparable aux "caricatures anti-Mahomet". "Le président Mao, c'est un Jésus pour nous", s'est étranglé d'émotion un manifestant, cité dans la presse néo-zélandaise. Des excuses ont été réclamées.

Mao as Jesus? Hardly. If Jesus was the standard, then his fans would have to hold still while avant-garde artists dunked busts of him in buckets of horse piss. But no – this is Mao as Mohammed: a far more appropriate comparison, given that Mao too was a sociopathic child rapist and mass murderer. What odds a “peaceful rise” with that attitude?

These arrogant young piss-and-vinegar Chinese have picked up on the new fashion in multi-cultural discourse, namely naked intimidation, and have been rewarded with the same result. The only free speech on offer now is the danegeld of a thousand babbled apologies from craven liberals. And we all know what happens once you start paying danegeld…

What is it about people that they worship evil?

OK, kids, two orderly lines please - execution on the left, rape and execution on the right…

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ivan’s Site of the Week

This week’s winner - the excellent Old Negro Space Program. Takes a while to load on iFilm, but it’s oh so worth it.

Space is really really cold, apparently…

Loopie Louie, yesterday – Blackstronaut and Hero.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Victorian Dad

Continuing the theme of children…

Now that we have punched out our last kid and, barring the intervention of a pitcher of margaritas and a Barry White CD, have put childbearing behind us, I find myself beginning to worry about who my shavers will eventually marry. Especially the girl.

Of course one hopes for plain, round daughters, if only so one doesn't have to spend the 2020s chasing bikers off the lawn. Unfortunately, #3 is already cute as a button, but at least I'll have the boys around as back-up.

Instead I take consolation in the fact that, now I have a daughter, I will at last get to fulfill a long time fantasy and say "I forbid you to marry him" at regular intervals. Examples of potential hims are...
Bill Gates
Bill Clinton (also applies to internships)
Arnold Schwartzenegger (included in the interests of political balance)
Simon Cowell
TV Evangelists
anyone called Keith (I give you Keith Richards, just as an example...)
Manchester United fans who don't live in Manchester
all the other Manchester United fans
Nascar fans
men with goatees
divorce lawyers, and

Might be worth moving to Massachusetts, just so I can add Roseanne Barr to the list.

Who would you add?

Roseanne Barr, yesterday, wearing her politics on her plus-sized sleeve with Michael Moore. Roseanne is on the left. Or is it the right? Whatever. She’s every inch the dream daughter-in-law.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Breed Apart

With babies much on our minds at the moment, what with one thing and another, we take a moment for a quick follow-up on Les Knight and his Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

Long-time listener, first time caller Razzamatazz steps in with an excellent idea in the comments, namely to appeal for celebrity volunteers to sign up to Mr Knight’s self-denying ordinance for the benefit of humanity. He suggests Ant and Dec for starters, and who can blame him?

But I’m inclined to go the extra mile and actually offer awards for those who, recognizing their own fundamental superfluity to human progress and world happiness, omit to piss in the gene pool, whether by accident or design. Think of the joy in their dull little eyes, and the frenzied wagging of their vestigial tails, when they see the coveted VHEM seal of approval waiting for them in their inboxes.

So come on folks – your nominations, please. And if there’s an email address to go with, so much the better…

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, yesterday – prime candidates for the VHEM Grand Cross and Bar, with Oak Leaves. Let’s hope chronic gonorrhea completes its noble work before the next generation’s prime time TV is infested with more of these mewling parasites…

Monday, July 10, 2006

The eyes have it

More disturbing and dubious research from the amoral world of science, as boffins in Newcastle Upon Tyne prove that pictures of staring eyes make people more honest.

Apparently, the restraining influence of watchful orbs made the subjects of the experiment significantly less larcenous. Without them to follow their every move, the locals will inevitably steal anything that isn’t nailed down.

Geordies untrustworthy, eh? Who knew?

Of course, the only real lesson of this research is that all students, and Geordies in particular, are thieving rodents. But that is so obvious a point as to be deemed unworthy of mention by the Telegraph’s finest.

Some speculation follows as to the practical applications of the Big Mad Eyes Effect in real life - by speed traps, perhaps, or in underground stations by the ticket barriers. If I may, I would like to suggest that they start with a big, extra-manic pair opposite 10 Downing Street. Maybe that will finally winkle Public Enemy #1 out from under his rock…

Helloooooo, Tony!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another damned immigrant jumps the queue

OK, all together now - a quick chorus of the approved Democratic Party Serenade for Newborn Ethnic Caucasian Males (sung to the tune of “happy birthday to you”):

There’s no candles for you
‘cos you’re simply too new
You’re a white male so you’re guilty
But at least you’re not a Jew

Please join me in welcoming to the world Terriblet #4, who was born, to the great relief of all concerned, at 12.48pm this morning by scheduled caesarian.

Like most projects, the only thing that went to plan was the starting time, and we ended up in a scrum of surgeons and vascular specialists all shouting things like "clamp!", "suction!", and "everything is under control!” Turns out that some previously unsuspected varicosity had bottled up about 40 gallons of blood under high pressure in the wife’s right leg and abdomen, and the caesarean incision unwittingly liberated all of it at once. It was really quite a sight, especially if you were a fan of Jackson Pollock in his famous “Arterial Red” period.

However, after twenty minutes of colour and excitement, they stopped the bleeding and went on to extract the boy, who was still in the womb and blissfully unaware of current events.

My personal highlight was the moment when the duty obstetrician gave me some hurried reassurance over the curtain across wifey’s chest, ending by reflex with a big "thumbs-up". In a rubber glove. Which was literally dripping with blood. For an exquisite split second my eyes flicked to the thumb. His eyes followed. The hand disappeared so fast a single drop was left spinning in space, a bit like Wyle E Coyote just after his rocket runs out of fuel.

Mother and baby are now doing fine.

He's named for a certain Irish saint who, according to legend, sailed to America in a coracle in the early sixth century, snuck in on a tourist visa, and overstayed by seven years doing barwork and voice-overs for "Lucky Charm" cereal commercials. Seemed appropriate, somehow.

While not built on the herculean scale of his two brothers (10.5lbs and 11lbs) #4 is keeping up the family tradition for size (being 10lbs 1oz and 21 inches long) and is certainly not short on appetite or lung-power. All being well he’ll be coming home on Monday. Meanwhile, please keep your fingers crossed for mother and child - especially #4 as he towels himself off after his own personal voyage of discovery…

A bright, shiny new American, this afternoon. Acclimatising nicely there by being a big noisy layabout.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The low-brow corporate titan is always right

The Economist quotes Henry Ford approvingly in a recent article. “If I’d listened to my customers, I’d’ve given them a faster horse” says the great man, in effortless counterpoint to all received wisdom concerning customer focus.

And that is not the end of his wit and wisdom, a large selection of which is collected here for your reading pleasure.

There are some interesting parallels among these gems. For example, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking” brings to mind Lord Curzon’s “A gentleman is a man who uses the butter knife when no-one can see him.” Perhaps there was more to the use of the word “quality” for the upper crust than later egalitarians would like to admit. Or perhaps they were both just massive snobs.

But it’s not all insightful brilliance. “History is bunk” is superficially interesting, but when one finds “Exercise is bunk” a few lines down, one detects a pattern emerging. And it’s all downhill from there. “Mercedes is bunk” is frankly embarrassingly parti pris, while “My other bed is a bunk” can only be excused as the sad product of his declining years.

What’s your choice of most over-rated quote?

Henry Ford in 1896, yesterday. Somewhat better at creating cars than creating aphorisms, on the whole…

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Flag Day

I’ve been reading Amartya Sen’s latest on how people define themselves. He makes some excellent points on the surprising degree to which individuals choose their identity, up to and including their religion and even ethnicity.

This is something I’ve had quite a bit of experience with myself, both through my own early flirtations with Irishness, and through having had the word gypsy flung at me more than once as a kid. I’ve also seen it in Americans. Blacks construct painful fantasy-lands of apartheid culture like Kwanzaa, while many whites will grasp at any straw to deny their Caucasoid status. I’ve lost count of the number of 1/64th Cherokees and Utes I’ve had to humour as they drone on about their native heritage and customs. To my mind, you’re not an Indian if you don’t have a casino, but I accept that these entirely fictional ethnic fig leaves give many an oppressed white an excuse to whine right back at chippy minorities at parties, not to mention to tick one of the “unsackable” ethnicity boxes on the HR forms at work.

Even I was blindsided, however, by a practical demonstration of this phenomenon with my boys, as a side-effect of our recent trip to Yorktown in Virginia.

Both were born in France, to an Anglo-Irish-Hungarian union. The elder (who is 6) thinks of himself as an American and gets very upset at any suggestion to the contrary. I always assumed the younger (who is 4) would follow suit, if and when he came to think about such things at all. But while we were watching the mini-documentary in the Yorktown visitors’ centre he abruptly decided that he wanted the British to win, and went into a massive sulk when Lord Cornwallis was marched out in humiliation. As far as I can tell, the root cause of this was that the British were wearing red, which is his favourite colour.

Argument was raging before we even left the museum, ending abruptly in the parking lot when the younger laid the elder out with a right hook. A pattern that has been faithfully repeated on every subsequent engagement.

Any hope that this was a flash in the pan were dashed when we reached the souvenir shop, where the boys almost literally nailed their colours to the mast…

Just as well the little monster wasn’t around in the 1780s, or America might still be British today. And then I’d have to move again…

There’s a good review of the book here if you’re interested. Meanwhile, a very happy Fourth of July to you all!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Expecto patronisum!

A classic piece of BBC reporting catches our eye this morning, as Zimbabwe throws off another shackle of its colonial past by repealing the ban on witchcraft.

"The repealing (sic) of the witchcraft laws is another sign that Zimbabwe's government is continuing to move away from Western values and placing more emphasis on the country's own traditions" the BBC reports with barely concealed approval, conveniently forgetting that African witchcraft leads directly to ritual sacrifice and horror stories like that of Victoria Climbie.

Mentions of President Mugabe, his murderous regime, and its ongoing campaigns against opponents of every colour: none. It goes without saying that all cultures are equally valid to the BBC, including those whose defining features are tyranny, corruption and mass-murder.

All in all, I’m pretty grateful to be living in America. God forbid I should be stuck in Zimbabwe. Or still worse, next door to someone from the BBC…

An “alternative physician”, yesterday. Take two dismembered children and call me in the morning.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Fantastic Four

I swore I’d never do one of these, but Randall has asked me twice now, and weekends are slow news days anyway. So here you are – a one-time-only event…

Four Jobs I've Had
Among others…
Shelf-stacker at Iceland Frozen Foods, Southend-on-Sea.
Labourer in a small building and decorating firm in the East End of London.
Ticket Clerk at Victoria Coach Station, London.
Lecturer in Contemporary British Language and Culture, Lenin Pedagogical Institute, Moscow.

Four Movies I Could Watch Again & Again
Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day

Four Places I've Lived
In chronological order, the four most significant would be…

Four favourite books
Aaaargh! Four out of so many? OK.
Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov)
The White Guard (Mikhail Bulgakov)
At Swim-Two-Birds (Flann O’Brien)
The King Must Die (Mary Renault)

Not to mention The Divine Comedy, Heaney's Beowulf, Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Catullus, Chaucer, Larkin (Next, Please), Auden (The Fall Of Rome), Eliot (The Wasteland), Cavafy (Waiting for the Barbarians), Tennyson (Ulysses) and so on ad nauseam…

Oh, and Terry Pratchett, Tibor Fischer and Tim Parks when I need a laugh.

OK - better stop there...

Four T.V. Shows I Love To Watch
Father Ted
Vicar of Dibley
Red Dwarf

Four Places I've Been On Holiday

Four Websites I Visit Daily
Blogs apart…
BBC News
Daily Telegraph
Le Monde
Washington Post
…and weekly:
The Economist
The Spectator

Four Favorite Foods
Bacon sandwich
Boxty (Irish savoury pancake)
Any of my wife’s Hungarian specialities

Four Places I'd Rather Be
In no particular order…
Visiting my mum
Remembering my Dad with the regulars in his favourite pub
Paddling with the kids on the beach
Having a lie-in with the wife.

Four People To Tag
3H, if he’s interested
GB, likewise
And Des - he has no blog, but I could post his answers for him next weekend, if he likes :)

And that’s all she wrote.

Tag - you’re it!