Friday, September 30, 2005


LargeTrousers and I were discussing the work of the great Chris Morris at lunch today, recalling such gems as Joss Ackland's spunky backpack, heavy electricity, Czech neck and paedophiles disguised as schools. Morris' most recent (but hopefully not last) work of public note was 'Nathan Barley'. Those of us who have prowled the interweb satire hinterland since c.'97 will remember that Nathan Barley was formerly know by a far, far harsher name, and originated as the eponympous lead in a TVGoHome show. TVGoHome was, of course, the creation of Charlie Brooker, who gives vent to a deliciously taboo hatred in today's Grauniad.

Kate Moss jokes of the day:
Rolling up stoned gathers no dosh
A stoned Moss gathers no roles
Stoned: a roll-up; Kate Moss, I gather
etc. etc.

This has been far better blogged elsewhere, but I am going to add my two pence and say that it was shameful what happened to Mr Wolfgang. But so achingly New Labour, because they were concerned largely with how it would look on camera. That's another couple of thousand more membership cards torn up then. He really couldn't be tryign any harder to reduce party membership.

'Alistair, all these smelly proles are cluttering up the conference hall. How do we thin them out a bit?'
'Well, we can't have them f*cking all shot, well, not yet anyway, we don't have enough f*cking police here. Why not make them all leave the party?'
'Great idea. How do we do that?'
'Hmmmm.... how about beating up a f*cking pensioner?'
'That'll do.

And give the first one who stops clapping a good going over too.'

I do not regard leaving Labour, as I did in 2001. The party in power now is not my party, and not Nye Bevan's, Keir Hardie's, Clement Attlee's, or John Smith's, either.

I am off to France avec the better half next week, so unless I blog over the weekend, have fun, and talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Congratulations to these Japanese researchers for not only getting footage of a giant squid (8m, same length as a London bus, factoid fans) but also getting a tissue sample. Sterling stuff - proper derring-do biology. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the deep oceans, so let's hope the ALVIN replacements get up and running (well, down and sailing) soon.

I am going to try not get annoyed by anything today, with the help of the Dalai Lama. I have been kindly invited by Jarndyce to submit a rant on The Sharpener so I shall save my vituperation for then! Any suggestions? Current thoughts: the academic boycott of Israeli universities, UK higher education funding, forced marriage, ID cards, locking up pensioners who don’t pay their council tax, scientific illiteracy... ooh, I could go on for hours. Ideas very welcome.

Oh, and, hello, SoulKnitting.

Newsflash: ID card protestors arrested. ID cards to help protect civil liberties? My a*se they will.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cheered me up

Yes! Yes! Yeeeeesssss!
Tim has mentioned me!

Almost as exciting as the time ScaryDuck left a comment.

Sad, I know.

Go read Chicken Yohghurt - the man is on fire at the moment.

Bang 'em all up

I have absolutely no sympathy. I am a socialist, I believe in the principle of 'from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.' She has an enormous mortgage-free house and refuses to pay £50. Meanwhile, I am being taxed into the ground and am unlikely to have a state pension at all. Council taxes go up for everyone, not just pensioners.

In fact, we're not only paying their pensions, we're now paying to put them up at Her Majesty's Pleasure. Sell your house, you selfish cow. I don't have that option.

I wonder what the press reaction to this story would be if we replaced 'white English pensioner' with, say, 'asylum seeker', or 'council estate mother with five kids'?

She says "I'm a survivor. I survived the blitz - I can survive prison." Prison is not fun. I look forward to seeing her survive an encounter in the showers with Big Mary.

'Miss Hardy said she had sensed for some time the anger which was in evidence in the community, adding: "I feel that an uprising is not far away."'
A very slow moving uprising that uses Zimmer frames and smells of wee.


Thos who don't learn from it, relive it. In all the recent upheavals I have seen remarkably little commentary on the readily available parallels, especially the IRA. Anyway, Blognor Regis provides an interesting parallel.


Ignorance is not a point of view

Monday, September 26, 2005


Let it never be said that the Lighthouse is not democratic. By way of response to my ever-so-slightly hystrionic Friday posting below, the view from a very good friend fo mine from the opposite end of the political spectrum. (I should point out, he hates New Labout as much as I do.)

Take it away, John:


It is difficult to know what to make of this story.

There are two key issues here. First of all, the police have to make sure that they do everything possible to safeguard the British public in the face of the threat caused by the unprecedented, and horrifyingly brutal, attacks on the tube network in July. The fact is that there is no real way to stop a suicide bomber. By definition, they have nothing to lose. They are planning to die. The horrifying truth is that the shooting of de Menezes was the only way in which they could have stopped him from detonating his bomb. It appears as if they did not shout a warning. But had they done so, and had that unfortunate young man been a suicide bomber, then Stockwell tube station could have been a re-run of 7th July. The arrest described in the article is actually a large risk. Overkill is the most effective way to deal with that sort of situation, and the only way to identify suspects is through a system of profiling that will be biased against those who are dressed unseasonably and those carrying rucksacks. Had this happened to me or you is would be unsettling, upsetting and I would struggle to hide my indignancy and rage even with the police. But I think in retrospect the mistake would be unfortunate as long as the police act correctly. Which brings me onto the second point. The UK police have been very good at fighting terrorism – the IRA mainland campaign was a training that the US can only dream of. But they have made high profile mistakes before, the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six and of course the Stockwell shooting. When they make a mistaken arrest it should be very clear very quickly that an error has been made. The lack of a bomb being a good indicator for a start. Then they apologise, release the person, offer counselling, offer compensation, expunge all records other than the record of the police mistake and return all possession. To continue to treat the innocent person as a terror suspect is utterly unacceptable.

It also ignores the fact that you would not have had to search very hard to find evidence of the intentions of the July 7 bombers. They had nail bombs in their cars for God’s sakes. They were not hi-tech…

We are now on a watchlist for putting nail bomb in an e-mail.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The most important thing I've ever blogged about

Read this.

I did, I got very scared, then I got very very angry indeed.

You or me. Is this police vigilance in dangerous times or the beginnings of an Orwellian state? With that fascist Clarke in charge I know which way I am leaning.

F*ckers. F*ckers, f*ckers, f*ckers, f*ckers, all of them.

Thanks to the ever-brilliant Chicken Yoghurt for that one.


Is this the most spectacularly awful debut in football ever?

Tips of the day:
Ice cold vodka on cotton wool will reduce pore size around and on the nose.
A shallow scratch in a wooden table can be effectively hidden by heating a dark brown crayon with a lighter and rubbing it into the scratch.
The crayon would, of course, be chocolate-flavoured, if certain companies had the foresight to get behind some great ideas (see Lighthouse passim).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Quote of the week

'More out of her depth than a midget in New Orleans'

Love it....


This article fascinates and horrifies me in equal amounts; a secret society of men dedicated to applying scientific methods for pulling as many women as possible. Horrifying, because of the moral implications; and fascinating, because it shows that the (supposedly) best way to achieve the aims of the Darwinian drive is the ruthless application of experimentally validated, psychological techniques.

I have a very dear friend who, despite being a lovely guy, is useless with women. My girlfriend has privately said to me she thinks that is because he is just *too* nice, and not demonstrably masculine enough. She has a point. I have half a mind to get him the book this article refers to but a) how much of an insult to another man is that?, and b) I may get jealous if it has the effect it claims! I wonder what women reading this book will think. At least it's an antidote to the hellishly cynical 'The Rules.'

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Back online

I have returned from the inhospitable wilds of a Marriott in the North (who cares where? in a Marriott you may as well be on Mars) to my sandblasted obelisk (thanks LargeTrousers.) However, I am afeared to say that nowt has happened to me of real interest, apart from a job offer from a mate who works in the NHS ('come on, I've got money to burn') and the glad return of the rugby season. I have also had three young American ladies staying in my usually tranquil, two person, all-male flat. The sheer amount of stuff they have brought with them is astonishing. Every flat surface in the bathroom is covered in bottles of herbally-flavoured this and starwberry-scented-multivitamin that, lotions and potions, all promising a youthful glow and an eternally virginal unblemished complexion. So why 21 year olds are spending Belize's national debt on them is a mystery to me. My comment of the clothes-strewn room that they are occupying, viz. 'It looks like bloody New Orleans in here', did not go down well with the all-American audience it received.

Monday, September 12, 2005


As one of these so-called IPods, I am grateful for this lone voice....

Off for now

Blogging will be light over the next week as work are sending me Oop North to attend a training event, which handily enough is in a hotel with a pool, ahaha. Expenses claims here we come.

Congratulations (llongyfarchiadau, yn gymraeg) to the mighty Welsh super middleweight Joe Calzaghe who broke his hand in the third round Saturday night, boxed the rest of the fight with one hand and still won - 'ard as nails, butt!

I tried explaining to my girlfriend yesterday why cricketers have to give up and go in when the light is bad. I can see her point. I have played rugby games in torrential rain on December nights when you're not even sure who or where the opposition is. Oh well, who I am to contradict the MCC? Come on E&W!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hoax calls

From Wikipedia, Some of Victor Lewis-Smith's finest:

- Calling the office of That's Life! pretending to be a trombonist in a wheelchair, who then collapses while trying to play the Sailor's Hornpipe at extreme speed down the phone. (Lewis-Smith appears to have a particular loathing for Esther Rantzen.)
- Telephoning the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and asking them why there was only one such organisation.
- Phoning Harrods department store and asking if if he had got through to the H.A. Rods shop, before enquiring about returning an allegedly faulty vacuum cleaner which he claimed (in a halting voice) to have bought 'to suck dust off sausages'. As the conversation progressed it became increasingly clear to the call staff and the listener that the caller had bought the appliance for purposes of simulated oral sex and had injured his penis while attempting this act.
- Phoning a hotel in New York and asking the receptionist to announce over the tannoy to ask 'General Pinochet' if he could hang fire until further negotiations with the United Nations, which she unsuspectingly did.
- Ringing the White House, and using the synthesized speech system of a computer to impersonate Stephen Hawking and demanding to speak to the President.
- Phoning BBC Radio and applying to be a continuity announcer, while pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome and reminding them of their equal opportunities policy.


Customer (The Moai) - 09/07/2005 05:03 AM:

Dear Crayola
Everybody eats crayons at one time or another. So why not make them taste nice? You know, make the orange ones orangey, the green ones lime flavour etc.?
I'd like some money if you take this idea up.
The Moai


Response (Debbie Lintvedt) - 02/17/2005 01:36 PM
Dear Moai,
Thank you for your e-mail and for your suggestion that we make CRAYOLA Crayons taste good. We appreciate your comments and have recorded them along with other similar suggestions from consumers. Binney & Smith is constantly striving through our own marketing and research andproduct technology departments to develop new products, and concepts and to improve existing ones. People outside our company, like yourself, regularly submit ideas, suggestions and concepts to us. Although we truly appreciate your thinking of us, we are unable to accept product or marketing ideas or suggestions from outside the company.Perhaps the following companies can assist you as an alternative: Toy Manufacturers Association of America (212) 675-1141
Invention/Submission Corporation (800) 288-4332 or (412) 288-1300 or
We appreciate your interest in Binney & Smith and CRAYOLA products.
Make your online destination for creative solutions, colorful ideas and fun developmental activities!


True genius is always unappreciated in its own time.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

More on ID cards

This from the lovely lovely El Reg may be over a year old but it is still a worthwhile demolition of th case for ID cards. There is a particularly interesting dissection of the private sector's likely response to relying on a database that they are not in control of, and is in fact being run by people with a track record of IT cock-ups (see Lighthouses passim.)

The CEO of the company I work for has said to me, as our in-house IT bod, that we should try and get on the bandwagon for this as it is obvious the government is prepared to throw cash at it, and government cash is always great as it is a bottomless pit that tends to have very few (commercial) strings attached (as PFI companies know well.) This is something for an ethical dilemma for me as I am opposed personally to ID cards on both technical and ethical grounds. In fact, I have yet to meet a technically qualified individual who does like the ID.... that alone says something....

If ID cards to come through, buy shares in Sshlumberger and EDS. You heard it here first.

Perverse cartoon of the week: Red Meat

Car of the week: The Pembleton (want, badly)

Tune in my head: 'Turning Japanese' by the Vapours. And yes, I know what it is actually about....

Friday, September 02, 2005


I decided last night to resign from the choir that I have been a proud member of for two years. There are a variety of reasons. I have realised that, a few people excepted, I don't really have too much in common with most of the people there. The repertoire is going downhill. The concerts are always on Saturday nights, and weekends are for rugby, museums (musea?), girlfriends and mates, not entertaining geraiatrics. (We did a concert in Eastbourne once and I could smell the urine from the stage.)

The final straw came when it was announced last night that we will not be doing the Crusader's Chorus in upcoming concerts because of 'the sensitive political situation.' Musical dhimmitude? I for one think it should be dropped because it's crap, not for fear of offending people who lack the philosophical maturity to face any form of debate or history. I'm a Buddhist and I'm not offended by Onward Christian Soldiers (should I be?). Do they really believe that by singing the Chorus we are inciting people to invade Syria? I am outraged that we have had to drop a piece of old music for fear of causing offence. I can understand not doing 'Deutschland Uber Alles', but *this*?

It also occurs to me that for two years we have stood in stage in various churches bellowing the fantastic 'Divine Brahma' from the Pearl Fishers by Bizet - am I the *only* one who has noticed that Brahma is a Hindu god? No CoE vicar has complained about this blatant act of heretical musical worship so far.

This may seem a small thing in the grand scheme of things but music is important to me. Time to find a new choir/band/musical outlet. If anyone would like to nominate a friendly, sociable group/choir with a good musical standard that wants a classically-trained second tenor/guitarist/mandolinist, let me know.

Good luck to Wales tomorrow. It may be chavball, but it's Wales.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A message of positivity

In the midst of all the gloom and terror, message of positivity from the Dalai Lama.

Forced marriage & the feminist response

This and this make very interesting reading, and highlight the central problem with appeasing an ideology which is in its very nature hostile to liberal ideas. Whether it is cultural or religious in origin, the fact remains that is abominable and must not be tolerated.