Thursday, June 29, 2006

Au revoir

Both of my regular readers will have noticed a distinct lack of activity in the Lighthouse of late. Frankly, I am running a bit short of inspiration, so I am going to shut up shop for a while to recharge the batteries. Back later this summer.

My parting shot, which may inspire a little debate, is this: the greatest band ever formed from any members, dead or alive. My picks:

Guitar: Jimi Hendrix. No question about it, the greatest guitarist who has ever lived. Second choice:

Vocals: Jim Morrison. Tremendous lyrics, and a wonderful voice that can range from a scream to a sigh. Second choice: Freddie Mercury.

Bass: Cliff Burton. Controversial, I know, but technically brilliant and incredibly disciplined, and one of the few listenable bass soloists. If not him, then Jon Entwhistle. Or Peter Hook. Hmmm.

Keyboards: Ludwig Van Beethoven. Seriously. Language barrier aside, he was an absolute master of mood and melody.

Drums: Just edging out Keith Moon, it has to be the mighty John Bonham.

Mixing: The KLF. Imagine what they could do with the sounds made by the above.

Bye for now.

The Moai will return

Friday, June 23, 2006

More naked populism


Translation: 'We took a spanking in the council elections because of this, especially in London. People have noticed that we are involved in naked profiteering. We're f*cked. Quick, change it, do something, anything'

Oh well, the reaction may be populist, but it does seem sensible. A Camden parking vulture* once booked a bike on a yellow line. Its rider was lying ten feet away being treated by paramedics after a crash. They have also fined a man who stopped to change his false leg. Yes, really.

* - this is unfair. Vultures are useful creatures, that keep the area clean by eating carrion. A persistent, primitive, harmful parasite like a lamprey or tick or intestinal hookworm may be a better comparison.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Via Wat Tyler, the EU plans to spend your money on saving inefficient producers of unwanted wine.

Oddly enough, the producers in question are mainly in France and Italy.

What did the EU to help British farmers when the beef ban, followed by foot & mouth, drove many to the wall, and some to kill themselves? Absolutely sod all. I wonder why.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Want. Badly.

The perfect gift for the hayfever-ridden Easter Islander.


This is very worrying. I know that at least two other people in the UK share my name. Imagine how many Mohammed Khans, John Smiths, and Dave Joneses there are, just to give a few examples. If someone with the same name as you is convicted of child abuse and that name is published... well, what might happen to you?

'In a statement, Mr Reid said his "starting point" was "that information should no longer remain the exclusive preserve of officialdom".'
Good, I look forward to a full enquiry into the July 7th bombings then.

On a lighter note:
'Up to 1,000 Dutch fans watched their side play Ivory Coast in their underpants on Friday after they were denied entry to Stuttgart's stadium for wearing orange trousers with the name of a Dutch brewery which was not an official sponsor.' link

Life in Baghdad

... as reported by the US ambassador, here.

'In March, a few members approached us to ask what provisions would we make for them if we evacuate....'

Thursday, June 15, 2006


A friend of mine sent me an email forward; the sort of thing I thought had died out in 1997. Anyway, it is reproduced below. Italicised text is mine....

> 1. At least 5 people in this world love you so much they would
> for you.
Name them.
> 2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
Blimey, will they all lend me money?
> 3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they
> to be just like you.
What about all the people who hate Hitler? Or Tony Blair? Or Michael

> 4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they
> don't like you.
NHS dental work. I rest my case.
> 5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to
Plotting to kill me, most likely.
> 6. You mean the world to someone.
> 7. If not for you, someone may not be living.
I have not given birth recently. Unless I have been kdnapped by aliens
in my sleep, and cloned, to create a slave army of genetically modified

Could happen, you know, maybe the aliens need miners or something.

> 8. You are special and unique.
And we ALL know what 'special' meant at school... Mmmggguuuuhhh!!!
> 9. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
> 10. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes
> from it.
You press the wrong red button, the bomb is launched, a city dissolves
into smoke, worldwide nuclear fallout, war, chaos.

However, the price of holidays abroad drops.

> 11. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a
> look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
The bells! The bells! Esmerelda!
> 12. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want,
> you probably won't get it, but if you believe in yourself,
> probably, sooner or later, you will get it.
So, one day I really will have my own volcano island-secret base with a
submarine crewed by blonde teenagers in silver catsuits?

> 13. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about
> rude remarks.
Am I allowed to remember the rude remarks I've made? I am especially
fond of the time I called a bloke I know a 'goat-felching rimjobber'.
Very proud of that, it's almost Chaucerian in its poetry.

> 14. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel
> much better when they know.
You're nice.

I still need coffee.

> 15. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know
> that they are great.
I did, and Rob asked me if I was drunk, and if I wanted to borrow money.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Blair's lying again 2

This man deserves a blog *all of his own.* The Cock-Up Fairy strikes again:

'Metropolitan Police Authority chairman Len Duvall has defended police commissioner Sir Ian Blair amid growing calls for his resignation.
Sir Ian is facing mounting criticism after a raid by anti-terrorist police on a house in Forest Gate, east London....' Here

Has any other high-profile public servant endured so much flak and stayed in office so long? If he was a CEO of a public company, he'd have been gone long ago.

I'd go. If he resigns he'll go on a full police pension. Why delay the inevitable?

Something to remember

'Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death?

No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no.

One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?"

"Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be."'
- Isaac Asimov

I am trying to avoid reading too much about Tony bleedin' Blair and his fellow band of mendacious incompetents at the moment. It's just bad for my blood pressure. In fact, I am generally trying to avoid confrontations with people I disagree with full stop, because it is not good for me, or those around me, to grab people by the lapels and bellow 'CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!' at full volume. I don't do it because I feel superior, I do it because I desperately want people to start using the brains they have been born with, I want desperately for them to open their eyes. And because it is just not nice, not polite, to attack people. Pick your fights, they say, and they are right.

But, this is why I get so confused and perplexed about astrology, alternative medicine and pseudoscience. The truth of the universe around is staggeringly beautiful, so why are you covering your eyes and filling your brain with nonsense? To quote the great Dr Asimov again:

"Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold. What have we to offer in exchange? Uncertainty! Insecurity!"

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Two hundred year old swearing

An 1811 Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue.

Note the number of phrases for vomiting....


The Magistrate has happened across a purpose for ID cards.

Sue Townsend's wonderful Number Ten contains a great passage on this issue. A copper is asked by the Prime Minister why he wouldn't want an 'entitlement card', as surely he has 'nothing to hide'. I paraphrase, as exact memory escapes me:

'I've got plenty to hide! I don't want the government knowing what books I borrow from the library, my stepfather's criminal record, what political parties I belong to, and how much I drink. I've got plenty to hide. Haven't you, Prime Minister?'

Minnows thump Wallabies

On Sunday I went to the IRB Sevens rugby tournament at that eleventh circle of hell, Twickenham. A thoroughtly good day was had by all, with some execellent rugby, but the real high point was an extraordinary David v Goliath victory that, as far as I know, has had no coverage anywhere else apart from this brief note.

Russia beat Australia.

Russia beat Australia at rugby. Not narrowly, convincingly, 21-5.

This is nothing short of astonishing.

The hero of the hour was Igor Galinovskiy, who put three tries past the Ozzies, inspiring the crowd to begin chanting 'Iiiiiii-gooor....' No doubt this baffled the poor chap. The thing that really hit home for me was the Russians' kit. As one of them shot past me on his way to the try line, I noticed they carried no sponsors' logos; on closer inspections, their red tops and blue shorts carried no logos or badges at all, not even the Russian flag. These lads had flown halfway round the world, bought some generic red training tops, gone out, and beat the Ozzies at a game that they are world beaters in. It was an amazing victory, and the crowd loved them for it. This is what rugby should be all about. Well done Russia!

In other news, the hayfever season has started. With a vengeance. Honestly, how does my head manage to generate so muh goo? Where does it all come from? The goo gland?

If you have to travel on the Jubilee line at about 820am, I apologise for the volume of my sneezing. I'm off to steam my head.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blair's lying again

Sir Ian, that is. Via Mr Eugenides, he is at it again. The man is a total cock-up magnet, worthy of a blog of his own, and to be honest I'm amazed he's still in office. He's Prescotting.

(To) Prescott - verb; to cling on to political office long after one's turn. qv. Mandelsonning (to switch political offices repeatedly, in the face of calls to resign).