Thursday, April 23, 2009

Get Some Schmaltz Right Up Ye

(Note - written and saved ages ago for publication earlier this month - forgot about it until now)

By 1890, Robert Louis Stevenson was wealthy and famous, living well on the profits of his bestsellers Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Nonetheless, Stevenson was still struggling with severe bouts of tuberculosis, and had spent many years searching for a climate more beneficial to his health than the horizontal sleet of his homeland. Despite his spells in the south of England, the French Riviera and the United States, he was still restless and sickly.

On 11th April the Stevenson family set sail from Sydney for the South Sea islands, settling on the Samoan island of Upolu. With much work to be done making a new family home on top of a hill in sight of the sea, his health steadily improved, and the Stevensons were soon able to maintain the lavish and typically eccentric lifestyle of the colonial gentry, dressing for dinner in starch-collared formality and bare feet.

The author of adventure and horror yarns was a huge hit wth the locals, who quickly forgave his oddball habits and dubbed him Tusitala - "Story teller." The more time that Stevenson spent with the islanders, the more he came to resent the policies of their British rulers, divining - quite accurately, I imagine - that the Samoans were merely an afterthought in the Empire's plans for the region.

The Samoans, he believed, were people capable of extraordinary cultural and economic achievements, but were being hindered by the policies of their distant rulers. Stevenson became a prolific letter-writer on their behalf, making himself enough of a nuisance to the colonial administration that he began fear deportation.

Becoming a man of some small influence with his neighbours, Stevenson once interceded in a dispute that had culminated in one local tribe capturing members of another, and eventually managed to secure their release. In gratitude, and seeing the toll which the long climb up the narrow path up to his house took upon Stevenson, the freed men set to work building a road to his door. Being a soppy bunch, they named it "The Road of Gratitude" or "The Road of Loving Hearts" - it probably depends on inflection, or something.

Stevenson had battled with writer's block for much of his time in the South Seas, but sudden inspiration had helped him pour many, many hours into a new novel - Weir of Hermiston. He considered it his finest work, and wrote to an acquaintance...

"...sick and well, I have had splendid life of it, grudge nothing, regret very little ... take it all over, damnation and all, would hardly change with any man of my time."

Not long after, while Stevenson was opening a bottle of wine at dinner, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died within hours, Hermiston still unfinished.

His neighbours stood watch over his body through that night and carried him to be buried on nearby Mount Vaea the following morning. The Road of Loving Hearts has been maintained to this day, still curling around the hill towards the spot where the Stevenson family house once stood.

A relief memorial was placed over Stevenson's final resting place a decade later and, as he had wished, the text of his poem Requiem was inscribed upon it.

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.

Glad did I live and gladly die,

And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;

Home is the sailor, home from sea,

And the hunter home from the hill.

Source - A Samoan Memorial of R.L. Stevenson

(Pictures - Stevenson in 1887 by John Singer Sergeant; stock photo of Samoa; Stevenson's grave on Mount Vaea, Samoa)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Will Nobody Rid Me Of These Fucking Moomins?

Modern life heaps indignity upon the common man.

From the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we rest our heads at night, human existence is truly a cosmic sitcom in which Satan gets all the best gags.

I can withstand life's slings and arrows; I can roll with the punches and dodge the blows, but if there's one thing I can't bear a moment longer, it's coming home after work to all these fucking Moomins.

Oh sure, I can imagine what you're all saying to yourselves right now... (Adopts Richard Pryor's uptight-white-guy voice) ...Why, what kind of man doesn't like Moomins? What kind of hateful curmudgeon would be immune to their wistful charms?

Well, all I can say is that you've obviously never had to chase a gaggle of tiny Finnish trolls out of your food cupboards or replace a fuse after one of the little bastards has gnawed through an electric cable. They breed like rabbits, I tell you - one day you find a Moominhouse in the skirting board and the next, you're overrun.

I live in a nice flat in a nice part of town, but everywhere I look?

Fucking Moomins.

I've tried everything. I started with humane traps, but they never showed the slightest interest - I'd get up in the morning and find the trap and the cheese where I'd left them, but the box of cornflakes on top of the fridge would be on its side half-empty, and the counter would be covered in Moomin shit.

They seem to be impervious to poison too, and the most I've ever found in the lethal traps is the odd Moomintail.

My Dad reckons I should get a Womble and set that on 'em; "Sort them out right quick a Womble will, son," he says. I told him, have you ever lived in a house with a serious Womble infestation? At least with Moomins you can invite everyday people over for drinks without having some tiny, impertinent seventies puppet making good use of the things they leave behind.

Yes, I remember well... Forget your wallet one day, and some Womble would be off down the bank machine emptying your account before you could say "Bagpuss", the little sneaks.

Well, I've got a new plan - I'm calling it the "Tony Martin method"... Hide in the pitch dark with an illegal shotgun for five hours until you hear the skitter of little claws, then quick! Flick on the lights and give 'em both barrels.

Then we'll see who's boss.

Think they have the upper paw, do they?

I almost feel sorry for the little suckers - they won't know what hit them.

Almost, mind.

(n.b. Be sure to clean up afterwards, by the way. Small children sometimes find exploded Moomins a little upsetting, but that's a story for another day).

Your New Media In Action

"...I won't ever let lobby journalists forget that they sleep safe in their beds tonight because a rough blogger was prepared to do violence on Damian McBride." - The Times, 17th April 2009

Good God.

In tone, this bit of brazen wankery is indistinguishable from Peter Mandelson's infamous, onanistic re-election speech - ludicrously self-important, hilariously grandiloquent self-promotion of the first water.

In content, it's Father Ted accepting the Golden Cleric; all fragile, injured ego and righteous retribution. In style - Jorge Valdano's "shit on a stick" in the Tate Modern at last.

If you'd told me yesterday that it was possible for a cock to simultaneously suck and blow itself, I would've laughed. Not today.

Quite what this hooting, puffed-up bellend is doing in The Times is anybody's guess - presumably Danny Finkelstein has been at the meths again. A cringing embarrassment for everyone involved.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Local Libertarian Can't Understand Why Moronic Electorate Won't Vote For UK Libertarian Party
Libertarian News, 13th April 2009

Local libertarian Randall Muffchump yesterday pronounced himself "baffled and mystified" by new opinion polls suggesting that Britain's cretinous sheeple will not vote for the UK Libertarian Party in any upcoming election.

"I just don't get it," Muffchump told
Libertarian News. "I mean, the closed, anti-democratic Westminster village has only delivered over a century of qualified success... Hospitals that treat their illnesses and injuries, driveable roads, relatively clean streets, a generally honest and civic-minded police force and a reasonable standard of living for the majority of the populace..."

"All that, and yet when I tell these idiots they should support an entirely ideological campaign of wild deregulation and privatisation that would propel the UK's governance system back to the early 1900s, they look at me like I've got a glowing orange phallus dangling out of my forehead."

"The gormless, no-brain assholes."

Randall Muffchump has been campaigning door-to-door for the LPUK for five years, and reports that the average retarded British bonehead is no more enthusiastic about unproven and extremely dubious promises of future jam than he was when Muffchump began.

"I'd expect that behaviour out of the ignorant Jockanese," Muffchump said, using a favourite term of his to describe the Scots. "You can't expect a bunch of traitorous, Marxoid, looting vermin to entrust the gears of government to an intellectually superior clan of furious ex-Tories and angry IT consultants... But I'd expect more of the average English Littlebrain."

"Have they honestly spent so long sucking at the socialistic teat of Big Government and grovelling on their bellies like pathetic, mewling, moronic infants they are, to hear our message of contemptuous, hectoring, bilious rage - "A Vote For LPUK Is a Vote To Destroy Everything LPUK Hates, Fucktards?"

"I think they have."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

UK Politics - "Has It Really Come To This?" Edition

"A canny chimpanzee who calmly collected a stash of rocks and then hurled them at zoo visitors in fits of rage has confirmed that apes can plan ahead just like humans, a Swedish study said Monday...

According to a report in the journal Current Biology, the 31-year-old chimp started building his weapons cache in the morning before the zoo opened, collecting rocks and knocking out disks from concrete boulders inside his enclosure. He waited until around midday before he unleashed a "hailstorm" of rocks against visitors, the study said."

Chimp Collects Rocks To Throw At People Later -, 10th March 2009

"One of Gordon Brown's senior officials has resigned after sending e-mails which reportedly discussed smearing senior Conservatives...

...Paul Staines, writer of the Guido Fawkes blog, described the messages sent by Mr McBride as "obscene"...

...Mr Staines told the BBC: "The e-mails are intended to be anonymous smears; they are obscene in cases, and would be impossible for a newspaper to publish. They're libellous and they're untrue."

No. 10 Official Quits Over Emails, BBC News, 11th April 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ed Miliband Will Kill The Green-Hair And Eat His Heart

By Chief Ed Miliband, Minister For The Last Of The Milibandians

Ed Miliband simple warrior. Ed Miliband live with tribe, like make wind turbine.

One day, the Green Hair come with planning objection, say - no wind turbine. Ed Miliband must take wind turbine and shove wind turbine up Ed Miliband's arse.

Ed Miliband's heart broken. His heart will be whole again on the day the Green Hair and his seed are dead!

Ed Miliband will put the children of the Green Hair under his knife before the Green Hair's eyes, then Ed Miliband will kill the Green Hair and eat his heart.

Ed Miliband's wind turbine good. Wind turbine make Ed Miliband's tribe happy. Wind turbine make energy sustainable, meet green energy targets for 2009/10.

Then Green Hair say, no wind turbine. Wind turbine blot on landscape. Green Hair say, Not In My Back Yard.

Ed Miliband's ancestors cry out for vengeance from great wind farm in sky!

Ed Miliband will have vengeance on the Green Hair. First, he will make all opposition to wind turbine socially unacceptable, like not wearing seat belt or beating wife after night on firewater.

Then, Ed Miliband will put the children of the Green Hair under his knife. The Green Hair will die by Ed Miliband's hand!

Then Ed Miliband's heart will be whole, and Ed Miliband can focus on re-election campaign for Big Chief Gordon Brown.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Attention, Life


Amalgam filling: Lower right molar.

Extraction: Lower right premolar.

Composite filling: Lower right canine.

Composite filling: Upper right canine.

Composite filling: Upper right incisor.

Amalgam filling: Lower left premolar.

Amalgam filling: Lower left molar.

Amalgam Filling: Lower left molar.

Perio (2 visits)

Extraction: Lower left molar.

Extraction: Lower left premolar

Treat acute mucosa infection: Lower left premolar.

Root canal filling: Upper right premolar.

Extraction: Upper right 3rd molar.

Crown preparation and impression: Upper right premolar.

Bonded full or jacket crown - precious: Upper right premolar.


Is that everything?

Throw it all at me now, I feel like I could take on the world.

Update! Extraction: Lower left 3rd molar.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Snobbery Of The Tool

You know, I was watching that G20 protest on TV this week, and I found myself filled with inexplicable, blinding white rage.

At first, I struggled to explain the feeling. It certainly wasn't caused by the epic outburst of fiscal fuckery the big banks used to accidentally tank the world's economy. Nor is it the fact that the deranged self-confidence of this tiny oligarchy has inadvertently transformed British and American democracy - your birth-right and mine - into a fierce contest to see which political party can keep them the happiest.

It's not as if this situation is new, after all. The idea that democracy is about representing the interests of 1) the super wealthy for the supposed benefit of 2) everybody else has been at the heart of UK politics for at least thirty years... So no, that wasn't the reason for my rage.

It wasn't the coppers and their kettling tactics, either. I've seen several thousand cops in swish space marine outfits swaggering around on double overtime before, and I've seen their crowd control tactics up close and personal. I know lots of coppers in my personal and professional life, and I'm certain that most of them would prefer a day off with their kids than a full-on rammy with a load of wannabe anarchists.

So it's not that.

No, the reason for my incandescent fury only became apparent when I watched an interview with one of the protestors, an attractive, well-spoken twenty-something crusty with natty dreads.

What really boiled my piss was that the protesters were middle class, and middle class people don't have any right to be angry or to protest about anything.

There were certainly plenty of people with very silly political views in attendance, but I think we can all agree that their ignorance of global finance isn't anywhere near as infuriating as their comfortable backgrounds, their posh accents and, most likely, their double-barrelled names.

Should we institute a new opinion-licensing system, whereby everyone must produce photographic evidence of their working class bona fides before they are permitted to attend protests? At least three snaps of a close relation engaged in manual labour required, and no less than six paycheques recording an annual salary well below the national average.

Regional accent optional, absolutely no ethnic foodstuffs more adventurous than a Chicken Jalfrezi accepted... One whiff of balsamic vinegar, and it's no placards for you.

See, I've no clue when this idea that only the nation's car mechanics and bus drivers hold valid opinions began, nor do I understand the ever-shifting criteria - I notice that the plummy tones on the wingnuts' new fuck-toy Daniel Hannan MEP, for example, haven't invalidated his opinions with his boosters. As Shuggy pointed out the other month, the fact that Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins aren't exactly coal miners doesn't seem to bother their fans either.

I've seen this wheeze deployed in defence of war, ID databases and antisocial behaviour orders. Crack a gag about the dishonesty of the tabloid press or about immigration and deportation, and within minutes some joker will be along to condemn your revolting elitism in blisteringly self-righteous tones. So it goes for taxation, petrol duty and professional sport - football's fine, but rugby's the preserve of howling Hoorays.

God knows I'm guilty of this myself, mocking the persecution complexes of some of blogland's wealthy faux-victims, so I'll cut everyone a deal here.

If everyone agrees to soft-pedal the bruschetta and chardonnay stuff, I'll do the same, and maybe we'll all be happier for it. Surely an opinion can be true or false, regardless of whether the speaker is a banker or a bin man.

Local Libertarian Delighted By Wayward Son's Career Choices
Libertarian News, 5th April 2009

Morningside Libertarian Piers Everhard was "ecstatic and totally pumped" yesterday after discovering that his seventeen-year-old son William has committed himself to a career in crackhead prostitution.

"All my life, I told my boy Will that he had to make his own choices, " the 47 year old IT consultant Everhard told Libertarian News. "And there he his, smoking up crack cocaine and dick in equal measure..."

"It brings a tear to my eye... After he took that job as a hospital porter at the Royal Infirmary, I thought he might be a leech on the public tit for the rest of his days... Now that he's started smoking crack and taken up full-time ass-bitchery, I'm delighted to see he's finally embracing the private sector and stopped mooching from the taxpayer."

Free market advocate Everhard has supported legalisation of drugs and prostitution for many years, and yesterday described himself as "tickled pink" after his son revealed that he has decided to make productive use of his saleable arse.

"Will is selling a product that people will pay for... Namely his pert, hungry young backside." Everhard said. "Some might say that he's only doing it because he's enslaved by drugs and lacks the savvy to steal from shops like the other addicts, but surely all of us are slaves to big government."

"Philosophically, there is no difference between the status of the British taxpayer and my son's nightly crack-happy ass-poundings by countless anonymous strangers."

"When I think of my drug-addled son on his knees, selling his cock-hungry mouth to wealthy, throbbing Johns, I take a small measure of pride in his minor engorgement of the black economy... It's not like he pays taxes on every bumfest he partakes in."

Will Everhard's arse is on sale now at all good street corners.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ferguson, McGregor Frozen Out Of Scotland Team For Brown-Eye Arse Gaffe
BBC News, 3rd April 2009

Scotland and Rangers captain Barry Ferguson and goalkeeper Alan McGregor have been told they will never be selected for the national side again after they were caught mooning cameras during the recent game against Iceland.

"In light of the bare-arsed events of the past 48 hours, the SFA has decided that neither Barry Ferguson nor Alan McGregor will be considered for selection for the national team," said SFA chief executive Gordon Smith in a statement this morning.

"By dropping their shorts, presenting their rear-ends to the media and shouting Blah, blah, blah while mimicking a yakking mouth by repeatedly squeezing together and pulling apart their buttocks, the players have crossed the line."

"Frankly, Scotland fans should be able to watch the national team without having Barry Ferguson's arse rubbed in their faces."

Ferguson and McGregor have expressed regret for their behaviour, and have promised to refrain from any further misbehaviour. "Certainly nothing worse than the odd drunken rampage or punch-up in an Ayrshire kebab shop," the Rangers captain pledged today. "Or maybe a few naughty hand gestures cunningly disguised to make it look like I might just be scratching my face, delivered in a manner that suggests I believe this is both witty and hilarious."

Barry Ferguson is 31 years old.
Local Libertarian "Astonished" By Science Fiction Novel's Gritty Realism
Libertarian News, 4th April 2009

Morningside libertarian Darius Clockfarmer was yesterday "dumbstruck, amazed and astonished" by Ayn Rand's gripping, prophetic novel Atlas Shrugged.

Eyes wide in wonderment, Clockfarmer told
Libertarian News that the Sci-Fi/Fantasy epic had "opened (his) eyes... and shown (him) how the world really works."

"I immediately recognised the reality Rand was painting in the novel," he said. "When I read the seventy-third contrived miniature morality play, unconvincingly deployed to illustrate the cruel persecution of a small clique of honest, beautiful, hard-working, plutocratic, billionaire capitalist ubermenschen at the hands of a horde of jealous, dim-witted, socialist ogres, I just thought to myself - this is
my life I'm reading about here".

47 year old IT consultant Clockfarmer described himself as "totally pumped" after finishing Rand's chilling true-life fantasy epic.

"It just pushed all my buttons," he told us. "I've spent my entire coddled life living in exceptional plushness, having had access to the best education that money can buy, but I still believe that I'm mercilessly persecuted... Like Rand, there's nothing I enjoy more than whining and bitching about the remorseless evil of a cackling band of looters and moochers who exist only in my mind".

"I especially love the way that Rand's depiction of a secretive fifth-column of greedy, grasping, ugly schemers using their dim cunning to steal, betray and manipulate is in no way reminiscent of the nastiest anti-semitic propaganda of the 1930s".

Rand's 1957 opus is a chillingly accurate depiction of a ludicrous right wing fantasy universe populated by laughable, one-dimensional charicatures. Star Trekkily, it's a world of cars that run on thin air, "magic metal", sonic weaponry and frankly silly camouflage technologies.

"It's like somebody took all of my most passionate interests - whining about non-existent persecution, pleasuring myself with priapic revenge fantasies and daydreaming about rough sex with submissive females - and wrote a book about it," Clockfarmer said.

"Mind you, even I got bored by that fucking 50-page speech at the end."