Thursday, 27 July 2017

Everything now officially a journey

 Just in case you were in any doubt, literally everything you do is now some sort of journey.  We were in a DIY store recently, talking to one of their bathroom/kitchen designers about how much it might cost to renovate our bathroom. He'd suggested we might like laminate flooring which, to me, didn't  sound like a great choice for a damp environment, so I suggested some kind of vinyl floor covering as an alternative

After the briefest of pauses he replied, rather magnificently, "Our journey doesn't include vinyl."

I'm off to make myself a cup of coffee now. If I don't return from my epic instant caffeinated beverage journey, tell them I died trying.

"Roots of disruption"

Apparently, the United Kingdom is updating its Facebook profile from "Not in a relationship" to "In a relationship with Donald Trump." "He loves the United Kingdom" it says here.

The president's new mouthpiece, Anthony Scaramucci, invited us to "Think about the special relationship we've had since the inception of this great nation." Really - "since the inception of this great nation"? Yeah, I guess the relationship was pretty special in 1776, when the Americans and Brits were fighting a war which cost upwards of 110,000 lives. If by "special" you mean "abusive", Tony. Then there was that unfortunate little war we had in 1812. I know we burned the White House down...

...but, hey, that's in the past and it's all good now. OK, maybe we should update our relationship status to "It's complicated"... We're a team and nothing's going to disrupt us any more. Am I right, Tony?
You know what this nation is? It's a disruptive start-up, it was a group of rich guys who got together and said, "You know what, we are going to break away from the other countries and start our own country."

This is a disruptive start-up. You know what the president is doing? He is bringing it back to its roots of disruption.
Okaaay. So you're the disrupter in this relationship ... which would make the UK the disruptee. How have relationships between disrupters and disruptees been working out lately? A glance at some recent headlines might give us a clue:
Well, what do you know? Apparently, being disrupted hurts, so you wouldn't really want to snuggle up to a self-confessed disrupter, unless you're some kind of masochist.

In the unlikely event that the UK government ever wants our humiliation to stop, do we even have a safe word?

Monday, 24 July 2017

Also works as a band name generator

@CorrectNames is on a mission to uncover "The correct names for things, not the other ones", generating better-than-average band names as a byproduct. I particularly like "Acoustic Motorcycle", although this itself may be a mere byproduct of too much times spent listening to indie bands on the John Peel show as a lad:
Here are some more that tickled my fancy:



This one, however, is a bit less snappy, but contains a bigger grain of truth:
via

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Farage to abandon UK, after screwing it up for everybody else

Rats are well known for leaving sinking ships. Usually the rats themselves aren't directly responsible for sinking the vessel in question but, in this case, it's one of the rodents chiefly responsible for gnawing through the hull that's now thinking about jumping ship:
Reviled by many Britons, including those who voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit campaign that he helped spearhead when he was head of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage has expressed interest in moving to Maine.

Farage cites the animosity he has encountered in Britain and his fears for his family’s safety as motivating his desire to emigrate to the United States. He fails to mention that even his erstwhile supporters became angered when, shortly after urging Britons to vote to leave the U.K., Farage resigned as the UK Independence Party’s leader in a classic political cut and run.
What the good people of Maine will think about introducing this specimen of alien vermin into their native ecosystem remains to be seen, although the author of this article, Pamela Ballinger, sounds suitably unimpressed:
Why should we roll out the welcome mat for a man who sowed divisions in his own country, helped destabilize Europe and then shrugged his shoulders and decided to move on to greener pastures? We’ve got plenty of homegrown political cowards and cheats without having to import one from across the pond.

One wonders, too, what particular appeal (apart from its natural beauty) Maine holds for Farage. Perhaps it’s as simple as the promise of a “new” England in which Farage can reinvent himself.

Or maybe Farage is attracted by Maine’s demographics and nurtures a fantasy of homogeneity and whiteness, one that underwrote his Brexit messaging and led him to exploit the European refugee crisis for political gain.

Or perhaps he’s drawn to a state with a governor who tilts at windmills, given that one of Farage’s first meetings with Trump after the U.S. election involved a discussion in which the president-elect urged Farage and his associates to oppose a proposed wind farm that would affect the view at Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Or maybe he just thinks we’re simple rubes who won’t know enough about his brand of lies and sleaze to call him out on it. Whatever the reason, we should not normalize such behavior by making Farage feel comfortable here. 
However fast Farage runs, let's hope that his dodgy expenses fiddles still  catch up with him.

Cross-posted here.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Scandal in the wind


It looks as if Nigel Farage has lost a party but found his true calling as an actor. First he played Marilyn to Trump's Jack Kennedy...
... now he's starring as Khrushchev denouncing Stalin (with the dead Red Tsar played by the entire European Parliament, a piece of casting which makes about as much sense as Trump playing JFK).

Because you know what was the absolute worst thing about Stalin? His woeful unpreparedness for the Nazi invasion? The mass starvation of his own people? The mass deportations? The gulags? The purges?

Nah. Stalin really sucked because he was super picky about people justifying their huge expenses claims. Apparently. The bastard:
The European Union has demanded another bill… and this time it’s £80,000 of Nigel Farage’s own money.

The MEP recently received a letter stamped by the European Parliament telling him he was being unexpectedly charged the mammoth amount.

It’s all over a quibble that one of Nigel’s staff who helps represent him as an MEP also held a post in Ukip at the same time.

The LBC presenter confirmed this was the case, but argued he had done nothing wrong as the staff member worked for Ukip on a voluntary basis.

“But they’re not happy with that,” Nigel said.

“So without any meeting. Without any request to me to provide evidence. Without any formal procedure of any kind at all, the letter tells me they’re going to take £80,000 from me.”

He continued: “And it’s now my job to prove my innocence and so what we’re actually dealing with here, these unelected people are behaving frankly like people back in Stalin’s day did.”
A sad end for the persecuted star who played Marilyn Monroe so movingly. Fortunately, we can all still share Nigel's pain when we listen to those classic Elton John ballads Candle In The Wind and Nikita. Sad songs say so much.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Squid hatchery

Just heard a BBC radio piece which handed Goldman Sachs a bit of free PR by interviewing the beneficiaries of the workplace childcare facilities in its London offices.

Wow, that just makes up for everything, rather like being shot with environmentally- friendly lead-free bullets.

The fluffy bunny propaganda was rather spoilt by the job title of one of the people interviewed - she was apparently something in "Human Capital Management."

Goldman Sachs, I guess, manages its human host capital by wrapping itself round its face and relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.*





*Update - sadly, I can't now quote Matt Tabbi's masterful take-down of the worlds #1 financial parasite without the disclaimer that, although I still approve this message, I don't approve Matt Tabbi himself, who turns out to be a self-confessed rapey sleazeball.

I'm kinda getting used to this sort of thing by now - I still think that some of the Dilbert 'toons are pretty good, despite now knowing that their creator is some kind of batshit libertarian mens' rights oddball and I still have to agree with Piers Morgan that gun control is the blindingly obvious solution to America's chronic gun violence problem, even though he is ... ugh ... Piers Morgan.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The man who fell to Earth

Google News headline/image pairings - the gift that goes on giving, at least for lazy bloggers...
"Nasa forced to deny there was a long-lost 'civilisation' on Mars after questioning by Republican congressman"*
If the MC who presides over that parallel universe called Eurovision came from a habitable planet Mars which exists in a slightly alternative reality, rather than from the Dublin suburb of Clondalkin, as he's always claimed, that would explain a few otherwise inexplicable mysteries. Including, for example, 2006 Eurovision winners Lordi:
  "On May 14, 2016, Lordi appeared in the interval act for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, in a musical number satirising Eurovision songs."
The truth is out there.



Photo: Albin Olsson
License: CC BY-SA 4.0



* If it's inadvertent hilarity you're looking for, do follow the link to Andrew Griffin's piece in the Independent:
California Republican Dana Rohrbacher asked whether the fact that Mars once had a vastly different atmosphere meant that it could also have supported an entire civilisation that was now lost.

"You have indicated that Mars was totally different thousands of years ago," he said. "Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?"

His question was answered by Kenneth Farley, who is a project scientist on the Mars 2020 rover mission and a professor of geochemistry at California Institute of Technology and was one of the scientists answering politicians' questions.

He pointed out that the "evidence is that Mars was different billions of years ago. Not thousands of years ago".

He also said that there is "no evidence that I'm aware of", that the planet was once inhabited.

That wasn't enough for Mr Rohrabacher, who asked: "Would you rule that out? See, there's some people... Well, anyway."

Professor Farley said that such a possibility was "extremely unlikely".

It isn't clear who Mr Rohrabacher was referring to when he suggested that "some people" think there was a civilisation on the planet. But there are a limited number of people who have proposed what they believe to be proof not only of ancient civilisations but existing ones – including a guest on Alex Jones's InfoWars programme who suggested that Nasa has put child sex slaves on the red planet.
In the light of this performance, maybe they need to change the boilerplate strapline which follows American political campaign adverts ("I'm Dana Rohrbacher and I approve this message"), to something more useful, like "You can't win. If you vote me in, I shall become more stupid than you can possibly imagine."