Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Shami Chakrabarti? Bill Keller? A British High Court judge, giddy with power after unleashing a horde of perverts on an unsuspecting public?
Nope, Aharon Barak, ex-President of the Supreme Court of Israel, a land not noted for its history of peace, tranquility and liberalism.
Sounds like guff to me, mind you. I'd rather see Democracy trying to fight with both hands tied behind its back, butting and biting like an England football supporter being crammed into the back of a German van.
I'd love to see Democracy get Terrorism a lucky kick in the shin then sprint off down the street, while Terrorism is hopping on one leg, swearing and shaking its' fist.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I am very fond of our transatlantic cousins, almost sinisterly so in some cases. I have travelled extensively across at least four states and can report that every person I met was polite, friendly and welcoming.
I recall when I was 24, taking the train from Boston up to Concord to visit the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War. It was a charming little town, a piece of Americana straight out of the fifties: a thousand flags aflutter in the afternoon breeze, white picket fences, you get the idea. On the porch of a nineteenth century townhouse converted into a restaurant I ate the most delicious burger I have ever tasted. It was a glorious summer’s day and I strolled out of town listening to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, which is nice if you like that kind of thing.
At the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne I met a rather plump, dowdy yet companionable woman in her late thirties who graciously offered to drive me around various sites of local interest, including Walden Pond* and Louisa May Allcott’s house. After a lovely afternoon tootling about the back roads of Massachusetts, we ended up standing by the grave of Henry David Thoreau, who is buried only yards from noted writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. I have always been a fan of HDT and admire his commitment to living life as he saw fit without the intervention of his fellow man. His isolated life by Walden Pond has been a major influence upon my libertarian philosophy, although I have long suspected that his mum did his washing for him at the weekends.
My companion advised me to surround myself with a protective aura to ward off the spirits of the unquiet dead. Not being versed in the black arts myself, I did this as best I could - it was something of a surprise when she then spent the journey back to Concord talking about pagan sex goddesses while fondling my knee and playing with my hair.
“Watch the fucking road, woman!” I screamed in a girlish voice, “You‘ll kill us both!”. Perilously, her mind was set upon more base purposes than observing the laws of the federal highway.
Well, suffice to say, I got away unmolested. Indeed, I was grateful to her for having shown me the sights, although I would’ve preferred more subtle sexual overtures, or none at all. Mind you, I still let off a particularly nasty fart just before I stepped out of the car - for all I know, she could’ve pursued me across the train tracks, salivating and rending her clothes had I not done so.
So I think that disproves the whole ‘anti-American’ accusation quite succinctly. Frankly, I’m rather offended that the point was even raised in the first place.
*Incidentally, in the UK a pond would be ten feet by six feet at most and would contain goldfish and a water feature. I believe the word that the locals were looking for is ‘lake’.
Update: In the unlikely event that anyone cares, the cemetery I'm talking about is delightfully called Sleepy Hollow and it has just gained another famous resident.
I must direct your attention to this article, which describes a new US Navy warship (The USS New York) which is being partly constructed using steel recycled from the wreckage of the twin towers. In the words of Commander Chris Mercer, "The sanctity and strength of all the victims, the first responders and their family members is really forged in the bow of this ship. For the next 40 years that bow will lead this ship in projecting naval power all over the globe in our global fight against terrorism."
I don’t know where to begin commenting on this; I suppose, if it brings some small measure of comfort to bereaved relatives of the victims, then it can‘t be an entirely schmaltzy gesture. The obvious point would be to question whether the best use of the detritus of the towers is to create yet another military behemoth to blast the fuck out of brown people who had nothing to do with the attacks, thus ensuring that future generations of Americans can share in intrusive security measures and monthly terrorist atrocities. If the only lesson learned in the past five years has been “Hey guys, let’s project naval power into the Gulf! That’ll keep the homeland totally, like, safe!” then we are in more trouble than I had realised.
Since it appears that a certain section of American society, of which few lost relatives or friends on 9/11, are intent on turning the WTC attacks into a everlasting symbol of national victimhood, rather than a barbaric atrocity and an assault upon decency that has not yet proved fatal to the nation, I feel I must contribute some suggestions.
First, I think that adopting “never forget” as the ship’s motto is insufficient to keep the wound of the atrocity fresh and raw. Without iconography, how can we keep our anger and our desire to wreak pointless destruction upon the third world at homicidally vengeful levels? What is surely needed is a recognisable figure who can articulate the pain and steely resolve of the American people.
I therefore suggest a painting on either side of the ship. Two one hundred foot tall murals of that beloved symbol of American nobility, Scooby Doo, clad in a firefighter’s uniform, wiping away a tear yet exuding an air of defiance. To make sure the message is not lost, a giant speech bubble saying “Re Rill Rever Rorget” should strike the right note of reverence and steely resolve. The ship should then be rechristened the “USS Highjack This You Fags” and launch into a lake of tears cried by the orphans of 9/11.
I realise that this is a controversial issue, but we must be prepared to grasp the nettle on such difficult matters.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I became alarmed, for I couldn’t think of a reason why one of the age’s foremost philosophical geniuses would post a picture of a man who appears to be, quite frankly, a shit-eating retardoid.
I presume there is some ironic point being made that I am insufficiently educated to understand. I suppose that having one’s ignorance exposed to the world is the price one pays for airing one’s views in public.
Friday, June 23, 2006
When someone agrees with me repeatedly, even on a subject as tame as whether the weather is pleasant or not, I start looking for the cops. If someone emails me to tell me that I have made a good point, I am apt to reach for my revolver.
Blogger conventions, from what I can see, demand that I post pictures of my domestic pets, possessions, environment and slaves. Here is my attempt to mingle with the blogger crowd, in the hope that this will speed my acceptance as a leading political thinker.
This is my household pet. You are invited to agree that he is both cute and fluffy, although it remains unclear what his position is on proportional representation at Westminster.
This is a picture I took at Celtic Park, a large football stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. As you can see, this is a place where Scotsmen gather to sing songs, reminisce and pledge their allegiance to their homeland, the Republic of Ireland.
This is my pet Orang-utan, Clyde. Clyde is a big fan of beer and country music. He is a fourteen year old male, and is pictured here next to my friend and confidant, Clint Eastwood. Clint is in fine shape for a man of seventy-eight, appearing not a day older than forty-five in this picture, despite it having been taken only last week.
This is London, a town south of Scotland. Its original name, Londinium (Latin, literally “The land of ill-gotten wealth“) dates back to the year 48 A.D., when the Emperor Claudius led his legions across what we now call the English Channel to invade Britain. Moving north, he found a great city filled with ugly men selling each other trinkets out of suitcases, infuriatingly punchable spiky haired trendies yakking into wooden mobile phones and thousands of people wedged into small, shaking horse drawn carriages not looking at or talking to each other.
On the left is the Houses of Parliament, where the Great Leader Anthony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain, receives homage from his grateful subjects. On the right is South London, where the real debauchery goes on.
These are capybara. As flightless rodents, they do not possess any of my grace or élan, but they are good workers and can put in twenty hour shifts with only one ten minute break a day for some lettuce.
I will post further pictures of the tedious minutae of my life at a later date - this is not a threat, it is a promise.
1. I am opposed to murder.
Murder is always regrettable, even when it is committed to prevent a greater evil. I am particularly opposed to the murder of civilians by military combatants, whether they wear uniform or not.
2. This does not mean that I am some pant-wetting girly man.
I am not a pacifist. I enjoy blasting children with an M-16 and firing mortars into crowded areas as much as anyone; I am merely asking for a degree of moderation.
3. I detest moral equivalence.
Although I am unclear on the exact meaning of the phrase. According to the philosophical geniuses and mental colossi of the blogosphere, it appears to mean “implying that harming innocent civilians is always wrong, including when our side does it”. This sounds like an unassailable moral position to me and I will defend the principle to the death.
4. I do not carry water for political interests.
It would be a travesty and a smear upon the good name of blogging if I were to covertly advance the agenda of a political party or group. As a radical libertarian, albeit a lefty one, I will never sully the reputation of citizen journalism with partisan propoganda.
5. Before arriving in a foreign country, always learn some key phrases.
This should really be my first rule, so passionately do I believe in it. I believe that it is ignorant to holiday in a country without learning some basic phrases. Visitors to the UK generally know how to ask directions and order food, yet the Brits are monolingual to a shocking degree.
It is therefore only good manners to learn simple sentences such as “Can you tell me where the toilet is?”, “One bottle of Jose Cuervo, please“, “How much for the girl?” and “Please telephone for an ambulance, I have been stabbed”.
If you intend holidaying on a Mediterranean island, I would also advise learning the regional variants for “cocaine”, “sucking chest wound” and “venereal disease”. In Paris, one can almost pass as a native by making a series of impatient snorting noises and shooing gestures. In Moscow however, all you need to know is the Russian for “Please, don’t shoot, here, take the money, it’s all I’ve got”. It helps, but is not vital, to know how to say “I have a wife and child”.
Incidentally, if you ever visit Scotland, I’d advise that you stay the fuck away from me, ‘cos I’m packing and I’ll bust a cap through you as soon as look at you, motherfucker.
One never knows when one may need to use such information.
5. This will be the only post debating the existence of God, ever*.
One of the good points of the blogosphere is that one rarely stumbles upon theological debates about the existence of a higher power. The entire subject smacks of red-eyed, 2 a.m. discussions between beardy twats in fetid student residences, so I will lay the matter to rest right now.
If God exists, he has nothing but contempt for his creations, to whom he allows all manner of unpleasant things to happen. I’m not even talking about kids with leukaemia, natural disasters or terrorist atrocities - the small stuff is quite bad enough, as anyone who has ever suffered from piles, toothache, VD or erectile dysfunction will tell you. Speaking as a flaccid, scratching, toothless lardass, I know whereof I speak.
No, the final proof of the Lord’s indifference to humanity is to be found in the horrors of nature. From funnelweb spiders to foot-long venomous centipedes, God’s creation abounds with foul creatures that bite, sting, gouge and burrow under the skin to lay eggs. If, like me, you’ve ever seen a black mamba with your own eyes then you’d know that humanity has been abandoned to face eternity alone.
Not enough proof for you? This is a great white shark - a twenty foot long remorseless eating machine indigenous to the shallows surrounding Australia and South Africa. This is an anaconda, a creature so unpleasant that it has kept the editors of Bizarre magazine in hookers and hot dinners for the last ten years.
If there’s a lesson to be drawn here, it’s that we are deluded in believing that God loves us. The central message of the major religions should be, “Watch your ass, God‘s omnipresent and he‘s an omnipotent, psychotic badass harbouring a wicked grudge against mankind”.
So do I believe in God? Damn right I do, with all my heart. An entity with such an implacable urge to fuck me up with scorpions, rampaging hippopotami and grizzly bears is not the kind of guy you want to get on the wrong side of.
Never mind being saved from hellfire, I’ll settle for being saved from disembowelment.
*Until I think of something funny to say about it. Funny to me, that is, not you.
So there I was surfing the net a couple of years ago and I came across the political compass. You‘re probably familiar with it - answer a set of questions on moral issues and it plots your political position on an ideological map, between the positions of libertarian/authoritarian and left/right. The final graph plots your position, relative to notable figures of history. I took the test and was deeply surprised by the result.
The questions are fairly simple, from “Should the government provide assistance for people fallen on hard times?”, to “Should we reintroduce the death penalty?” and “Are your wings a shield of steel?”.
As you can see, my results indicate that I’m a fairly radical leftist-libertarian, putting me smack in-between Mighty Mouse and Batfink. I had thought that I might tend closer towards Swamp Thing and the Hulk, as they were both big influences on my moral development. Plus, I also thought I was more of a centrist.
Nonetheless, the graph has spoken and it’s clear that, politically speaking, I am some form of flying rodent, hence the name.
Sadly, I couldn’t be arsed at the time, since I’d just scored a copy of Rome: Total War and was distracted by the endless horde of Christians and barbarians just begging to be crucified. Plus, people were starting to push copies of the Da Vinci Code on me and it hasn’t been safe to leave my bedroom for the past three years. Until now.
Undaunted, I now step blinking into the dazzling glare of the future of media, armed only with a ludicrously purple writing style and unshakable faith in my own powers. With hard work and determination, I hope to emulate the philosophical geniuses and mental colossi of the blogosphere. A war is underway for the minds of humanity and I hope that my small contribution will add to the greater glory of the whole.
Firstly, I am the Flying Rodent. This is a childish and ridiculous moniker, but I have a good reason for adopting it. As you may have guessed, this is a nom de plume, which I gather is something of a no-no for serious citizen journalists. This is unavoidable as I have to work for a living and my employers are famously intolerant of embarrassing extra-curricular activities. This would not pose a problem if I had an ordinary name, but a quick Google search for my real name turns up exactly six entries, all of which are about me. Suffice to say, I would have had an easier time at school if I had been christened the Flying Rodent.
Expect occasional updates between Monday and Thursday, and occasionally on Sunday since I generally start drinking at 5.30pm on a Friday night and don’t stop until it’s time to iron a shirt for work. I’ll be writing about a diverse range of topics including music, literature and politics, although my chief interests are self abuse and swearing, in that order.
So, this is my blog. If nothing else, the police will find it baffling when they come to investigate it.