Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Holy Inter-Gender Boxing Match!

Okay, so I realise cheap celebrity tittle-tattle is beneath you all, but how I could fail to mention Batman actor Christian Bale being arrested on charges of assaulting his mother and sister?

God knows, many's the time I've felt like boxing a recalcitrant relative's ears with the old Batarang myself, but manners forbid.

Anyway, I'm disgusted to see that the cops have let him get away. Haven't they ever been to the movies? I mean, didn't they at least try suspending him upside down by a burning rope over an vat of sulphuric acid? Didn't they even have the basic common sense required to clad him in titanium chains and lower him slowly into a pit of pissed off timber wolves?

I mean, what's the police force in this country coming to?

Not that I can't see why Bale was pissed off with his Mum, mind. He's probably still filled with untapped primal rage from that time when she left him with those grouchy Japanese babysitters to go off galavanting around southeast Asia.

I've Got Your War On Terror Right Here

Hilarious - they finally track down The Butcher of Bosnia, and the first thing they have to do is drag him off to The Barber of Belgrade so they can check it's really him under all that fluff.

In light of the example of Saddam Hussein, perhaps this explosive hair-growth is some kind of defence mechanism for war criminals, like squid-ink... The follicles must begin to sprout the second enemy tanks rumble into the capital.

It would certainly explain why the newly-captured Radovan Karadzic looks less like The Face of Evil than he does a stoned, bespectacled chinchilla.

Hell, I'm going to phone the CIA and tell them to forget hunting for Osama Bin Laden in the Tora Bora mountain bases - they should just rock up to Islamabad and arrest the guy who most closely resembles Cousin It.

That's a great get-rich-quick scheme, by the way, since there's about fifty million on offer for Bin Laden's head on a stick. Me, I've been throwing open the Karachi phone book and sending random addresses to Langley for six years, although so far all I've got to show for it is a red phone bill.

I just hope that I fluke the right location before some Al Qaeda type rumbles the gig and tips the spooks off himself. If I was Ayman Al-Zawahiri I'd be all like fuck this hiding in a cave shit, and grass up OBL for the cash. I mean, you never know, all that cavorting in paradise with dozens of virgins stuff might just be a load of old cobblers.

Why risk it all on a probably-fictitious afterlife? For that kind of cash, Al-Zawahiri could get all the women he wanted and I'm sure they'd all be delighted to tell him they were virgins if he's so bloody picky. I'd guarantee they'd do other stuff, too, whatever a man who's spent the last ten years in the company of hirsute, heavily armed fanatics and their goats desired.

Sure, it might be a bit awkward when the photos of President Bush handing the world's number two terrorist an over-sized cheque for that kind of cash hit the papers, but what would Bush care? Most people have the memory spans of pissed goldfish and anyway, they'd be too busy tuning in to America's Best Prison Assaults - Infinite Beatings (Bin Laden Edition) to care.

Meanwhile, Bush goes down in history as the President who brought America's greatest foe to justice* and Al-Zawahiri gets to live like a rock star, snorting drugs off models' cleavages and suchlike.


See, I've got your war on terror sewn up right there. They should make me a five-star general.

*Or smoked him out, whatever bullshit his handlers think will make him look most folksy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Plea For Tolerance

I see Sunny Hundal's advising people not to participate in Iain Dale's top blogs competition because he doesn't think it'll be fair... Or so he says, at least.

He's welcome to his opinion, of course, but I can't help but feel that his position might be motivated by simple prejudice. After all, Mr. Dale might be happily gay-married just like the rest of us, but he's also openly Tory.

That shouldn't bother people in this day and age, but we have to admit that it often does.

God knows I understand how people feel - it's an alien world to me too. When I was a youngster, conservative meant averse to change or holding traditional values. Such a nice word, but that was before these so-called Tories took it away from us and twisted its meaning.

Now, when somebody says conservative, rather than thinking of blushing girls in modest dresses and cheap shoes, I find my head filling with all kinds of disgusting imagery - secret, dirty deals done through back channels, as they slip each other thick wads of cash, again and again...

Hey, I don't have a problem with it - whatever floats your boat. I just don't want to see men trading fluid assets when I'm out walking with my dear old mother.

If you ask me, Sunny needs to realise that times have changed, and that such attitudes are unacceptable these days. You and I might find conservatism disgusting, abhorrent and unnatural, but it's ultimately none of our business what a man does with his private sector.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Musical Appreciation For Beginners, Pt. 1 - Cocksucking Corporate Rock

The fact that gurning shite-rockers Nickelback's latest roll of aural bumwipe is now being used to sell cut-price sofas* is both unsurprising and horribly appropriate.

Hopefully, it's a sign that no-talent ass-clown Chad Kroeger has blown the entirety of his ill-gained fortune on drugs, gold-digging women and stupid, bleepy gadgets covered in flashing lights for goggling 30-year-old toddlers.

If there's any justice, his only remaining career option will involve having a stick shoved up his arse by a hatchet-faced Thai fishwife who will then mop up the splatters in a Bangkok ladyboys' knocking-shop with his stupid fucking beard.

*Warning to music lovers - do not click on this link. I did, and I was forced to rip off my own ears and burn them with a blowtorch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Bi-Polar World - Cretins vs. Bastards

"So, yes, (the United States is) not so popular in Europe and Asia anymore. I guess they would prefer a world in which America was weaker, where the leaders with the values of Vladimir Putin and Thabo Mbeki had a greater say, and where desperate voices for change in Zimbabwe would, well, just shut up."
Thomas Friedman, New York Times, July 16th 2008

Such were the musings of the ball-faced Times blowhard Friedman yesterday, voicing his extreme displeasure at the Russo/Chinese veto of the American UN resolution on sanctions against Zimbabwe. Not that he sees the Administration's inability to penalise Mugabe's regime as a problem for the United States itself, mind - he sees it as a catastrophe for the world's poor and dispossessed, which it generally is.

Of course, Friedman deserves to have his lachrymose prose etched onto sharpened stones and thrust down his millionaire neck for daring to issue such laments. It'd be difficult to find a single American outside of government who did more to bring about this parlous state of affairs.

Some may recall disagreeing with his rah-rah 2002/3 commentary, in which he pushed the idea that previous UN resolutions granted the Americans the freedom to bomb, invade and occupy Iraq whenever it liked. Others might note that the Times letters page filled with sage advice pointing out that this concept clearly abused, if not the letter, then at least the spirit of those resolutions, and would have seriously detrimental knock-on effects for future multilateral actions.

And then there was Friedman's supreme reason for supporting the invasion in his column The Long Bomb...

"...What you are about to see is the greatest shake of the dice any president has engaged in voluntarily since Harry Truman dropped the bomb on Japan... Mr. Bush is betting his whole presidency on this war of choice... "

For those not down with American football terms, the Long Bomb is a play where the ball is thrown as far as possible - it almost certainly won't work, but you have to admire the ambition.

Those unfamiliar with the law relating to war crimes should note that a Voluntary...War of Choice is one.

Add to this the fact that Friedman acknowledges that the Bush admin may be the worst people to implement the plan, and I can summarise his considered opinion thusly...

Fuck it, this administration is so batshit crazy and their plan so hilariously fantastical that it just might work. Why the hell not?

And so, to quote the man verbatim, Friedman decided to pop some popcorn, pull up a chair and pay good money just to see how this drama unfolds.

This is the setting in which to understand yesterday's column, which amounts to a wise, golf-loving, walking moustache sternly wagging his finger at all those foreigners with the audacity to wish that some mechanism existed for putting the brakes on the Republicans' deranged schemes. That he was repeatedly warned in the pre-war period that exactly this kind of thing might happen matters nothing - what's important is that his readers understand the villainy of those self-indulgent, knee-jerk and borderline silly foreigners.

When Friedman finally ran his Perhaps This War Wasn't a Stroke of Genius After All column, he cited Bush... or Arab reasons for the war's failure. Me, I'm starting to think that the war was such a clusterfuck for Friedman reasons.

Friedman displays all the flaws of the Republicans - the pompous moral grandstanding and the patriotic bullshit, the refusal to consider inconvenient facts, the scaremongering. The folksy, homespun bon mots about keeping your nose to the grindstone or turning lemons into lemonade that stood in for actual, concrete policies. His steadfast insistance on not recognising reality until it cannot possibly be ignored any longer, then proclaiming that Iraq is in a civil war or America's position has been weakened as if he'd descended from Mount Olympus with a divine message from Zeus himself.

The comparison could only be more apt if Friedman had somehow dismissed the Iraqi army himself. Hell, his latest column could capably function as a metaphor for American politics itself - Vote for the Cretinous Asshole Party, because you sure don't want to be ruled by those jerks from the Evil Bastard Alliance.


(Addendum, for those still awake)

But Friedman's not finished there, not by a long chalk. If I can summarise yesterday's column succinctly, he says Well-meaning and misunderstood America is trying to help the Zimbabweans, but is being thwarted by the evil Russians, Chinese and South Africans, who care nothing about suffering people.

Excellent analysis if you're seven years old, but pretty piss-poor for one of the lead columnists on one of the world's most distinguished papers. He basically saunters up to the rest of the planet's population, elbows them in the ribs and chuckles, That's a nice post-Soviet consensus you've got there, it'd be a shame if something happened to it.

Using my meagre understanding of officialdom, here's how I imagine diplomatic planning works in the US government. One branch of government tells the US ambassador to the United Nations to lodge a resolution proposing sanctions against Robert Mugabe's rogue regime, and he or she begins preliminary negotiations with the other Security Council members to secure their consent.

But before the resolution can be tabled, a second branch - let's call it Dick Cheney, for a laugh - decides that it wants to strike an agreement with the Czech Republic to extend the non-functional congressional theft programme that is national missile defence into eastern Europe. They know full well this will enrage the Russians and, as officials do, they ask for a cost/benefit analysis of the agreement, and some Dilbert clone duly arrives huffing and puffing in the Vice President's office...

Cheney: Right, is this thing gonna fly? The Russkies better not get ornery about this, I'm about done listenin' to that creep Putin's shit.

Dilbert: Well, sir, we calculate they'll probably try to block our climate change proposals, and you know how cut up the President will be if they shoot them down -

(Both collapse laughing hysterically, pounding the desk with their fists until their ruddy cheeks run slick with tears of hilarity and their voices become hoarse with merriment)

(They compose themselves, with difficulty)

Dilbert: Ha ha ha, yes, that's a good one... Now, where were we? Oh yes, we think they'll definitely veto the sanctions against the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, too.

Cheney: (Snorts) Fuck Zimbabwe, son, this deal's worth billions. Right, that's lunch - get me some chicken wings, put it on the Senatorial expense tab.

And that's the US Government's moral backbone right there - principled right up until it butts heads with the interests of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. Doubtful British readers will recall precisely how the wheels of justice ground to a halt when they tried to run over BAE Systems and incurred the wrath of the Saudis.

One week later, you find yourself reading a Tom Friedman column castigating foreigners for not showing the United States enough love.

Hell, somebody's got to do it, I suppose, and if you can do it from a multi-million dollar mansion, so much the better.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bang to Rites

Surprising news today as it emerges that Wee Gordon Broon is considering granting Margaret Thatcher, of all people, a state funeral.

Ask yourselves, really, would the Iron Lady herself want a state funeral? It has a horribly Co-op/Council feel to it, after all, and smacks of a hand-out to the undeserving.

Surely Mrs. T would prefer it if those she helped enrich provided for her funeral through charitable donations? She was maniacally determined about such ideas, caring little whether they had any foundation at all in reality, and the sight of her wrinkled carcass being flung into a skip and publicly torched while her indifferent former supporters snort coke off strippers' tits in the City of London has a startling ring of poetic justice, I think.

Better yet, why not send her final procession through the towns and cities that felt the impact of her policies most keenly? I'm sure the people of Mrs. Rodent's home town of Cowdenbeath would give her an enthusiastic send off, cheering furiously as the motorcade passes the tat shops, off-licenses, shoddy boozers and boarded-up stores that came to dominate the high street in the eighties.

After all, these are the people who truly understood what Mrs. T meant when she talked about self-sufficiency and flexibility. You don't get any more self-sufficient or flexible than you do when you've been made redundant and forced to provide for your family by taking whatever godawful unskilled McJob you can scrape together, especially when everybody else has been laid off at the same time and is in competition with you for those very few shitty positions.

Hell, you could invite the local MP to give a eulogy, too - it's none other than Wee Gordon Broon himself. Perhaps he could appear at her state-funded send-off and explain to some of the people who were ridden hardest and longest on the rhino-horn of Mrs. T's bright ideas why he thinks that she merits such treatment.

He'd better come up with something pretty good, since many of those people had to work their arses off for twenty years just to get back to the position they were in at the start of Mrs. T's reign, if they ever managed it at all, but I'm sure he'll think of something.

He just seems so good at communicating with the electorate, and to have him tell the public directly why Thatcherism appeals to him so vividly would pretty much be the icing on the New Labour cake.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Great Western Idiotquake of 2008

Note: To fully conjure the appropriate ambiance for the first part of this post, I suggest clicking here and fast forwarding the clip to about the 4 mins 20 mark, then reading on.

Communist domination encroaches on America, according to one of the gibbering inmates at the Samizdata booby-hatch today, and he makes just that point before pissing in the corner and daubing the walls with his reeking waste, probably...

The power of the American left... is very great. About 9 out of 10 newspapers lean to the left in their editorials (and, to be blunt, in the rest of their content also - from news coverage to book and film reviews) and most television networks also lean to the left. Some more than others - but the general direction is plain...

(Editor's note - Various bought-and-paid-for, sabre-rattling free traders and cocksucking, cash-for-favours Washington creatures are trotted out as proto-Leninist butchers in support of this bollock-brained burble masquerading as a sound premise...)

...But in spite of all of the above it is clear that the left is not satisfied - they demand total control of all aspects of life, totalitarianism.

...And so forth for several hundred increasingly wild and wacky words, culminating in the hilarious assertion that, by 2009, the largest American corporations will prostrate themselves before their all-powerful, beret-wearing, tofu-fucking overlords.

Take a glance over the Atlantic, and you could be forgiven for failing to spot the many tendrils of this continent-wide conspiracy. For an omnipotent cabal of communist dictators-in-waiting, the American left does a fantastic job of disguising itself as a gaggle of powerless, polysyllabic students quite happy to fritter away their evenings yammering to each other on the internet.

I could pick the peanuts out of this post, but what would that achieve? That anyone could examine the American system of government - essentially a highly efficient mechanism for doling out favours and contracts to the highest bidders - and conclude that its biggest problem is incipient socialism, should be unbelievable. That an adult human being could observe the bloody Democratic Party and perceive the slightest trace of Bolshevism is utterly insane.

Remember a few years back, when we were being told that a glittering era of citizen journalism was round the corner? Not even I suspected we were actually headed for a cataclysmic international idiotquake on this scale, as the politically inclined hunt about for the online rabbit hole most suited to their delusions and dive down it head-first.

Sure, there are lots of problems with the old print media. Often, it's smug, sensationalist and self-righteous, and prone to sticking its ideological oars in unhelpfully. Sometimes papers are lazy on fact checking and lack a sense of proportion.

All of that, but at least they're on speaking terms with reality. Even at their worst, you're not going to pick up a British newspaper and find an article accusing the Red Cross of complicity with Hezbollah, to pick a random example.

Hell, forget about my earlier recommendation to listen to The Planets while reading this kind of stuff. Give it a few years, and this is going to be the appropriate backing track for 90% of all blogs.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just Quickly

Yes, it's summer holiday time, and I'm on mine, i.e. sitting on my couch watching movies, trying to keep the hell off the internet. I'd be somewhere sunnier, by choice - I don't know about you, but these price rises are kicking my financial ass goodstyle, so the Med is just going to have to wait.

Still, it's good politics to keep interest up, and with recent triumphalism over the success of the surge which is, of course, working, I thought I'd point you to this...

Call me self-indulgent, but it went up at a time I was taking hardly any hits, and some might have missed it. New stuff soon.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Extracting Humour From The Misery Of Others

Shocking news about the local man sentenced to 40 months in prison for biting off part of his friend's nose in a fight.

If I'd been the judge in that case, I'd have bound him over to keep the piece.

Wonk Wonk and, indeed, thrice Wonk.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Video Game Review

Metal Gear Solid 4 - Guns of the Patriots

If I'd wanted to spend hours watching a painfully long, self-indulgent cinematic masturpiece crammed with shitty dialogue, pointless and confusing plot development and hysterical Gotterdammerung stylings, I'd have bought The Matrix: Revolutions.

Picture a man snorting cocaine off his own balls while shouting You're the man! into a mirror. 2/10