Sun-Earther

irregular burbling

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January 30, 2004

Can you tell what it is yet?

Ladies and Gentlement, the music of Rolf Harris.

Posted by Jonah at 1:50 PM

Size isn't everything

Someone should tell Tom Wilberg that even if your motorcyle is over five metres long you still look a cunt if you have stabilisers.

Posted by Jonah at 12:31 PM

January 29, 2004

Clean sheet?

You know, I'm starting to think that Tony Blair is good mates with corrupt slippery media tycoon and Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi for a reason. He's getting escapology lessons. Silvio's managed to dodge many a huge clump of ordure flying his way many a time (although the recent squelching of his ministerial immunity law means that he's back on the back foot now), and somebody must have been giving Blair some tips. (Of course, it'd be cynical and low of me to mention that Berlusconi's in trouble for bribing judges.)

The sobriquet "Teflon" is no longer really adequate for Blair - I'm left wondering what the perfectly frictionless hull of Disaster Area's stunt ship was made from. Has he been hanging around playing guitar at a crossroads at midnight or something? (Probably playing come by fucking yah, the twunt.) Still, perhaps he's following the neocon lead again: I bet Dick Cheney'll get as easy a time from the US Supreme Court as Blair did from Hutton.

The most gobsmacking thing about Hutton's verdict is the bit where he says that John Scarlett might have been "subconsciously influenced" into strengthening the wording of the dossier by Blair's desire to have backing for his predetermined war. That's a good one isn't it? You could apply it anywhere.

"The prisoner was subconsciously influenced to fall down the stairs your honour."

Lesser men than Hutton might suggest that you might similarly conclude that Dr. Kelly might have been "subconsciously influenced" to top himself by Blair's desire that Kelly shut the fuck up and the revelation of his name, but of course that'd be an awful thing to say.

It's almost as if Hutton had been set a brief of producing a report that most closely matched Blairite political needs. After an initial flurry of rhetoric about punishing the BBC via the charter renewal process, the Government backed down after criticism that they were seeking to stifle BBC independence. Now that Hutton's laid the blame for the row that led to Kelly's death directly at the door of the Beeb the Government has a powerful weapon if it wants to give the corporation a thorough and sustained reaming with a broken meths bottle. If Alastair Campbell does have a grudge against Andrew Gilligan then I certainly don't fancy Gilligan's chances of keeping his job much.

The one good thing about this is that it's so spectacularly one-sided and so much evidence contrary to its conclusions has been publicly ignored by Hutton that very few people seem to be taking it seriously. It certainly doesn't seem to be giving the Blair his much-desired closure of the Iraq war/WMD subject. Still, maybe if he desires it hard enough the rest of us will be subconsciously influenced to move on.

Posted by Jonah at 3:46 PM

January 28, 2004

316 - 311

So, Tony's squeezed his higher education bill through the commons with a majority of five. All the pundits have been going on about how this rebellion shows that the Labour Party's not going to allow him to force them on an issue that runs counter to their instincts ever again, and how Blair will now have to straighten up and fly right, running the Government in a less "presidential" style.

What a load of bollocks.

The exact same things were said after the vote on Iraq and after the vote on foundation hospitals. When it comes to one of his pet "marketisation of the public sector" projects, he'll always threaten the parliamentary party with a confidence vote and they'll fall into line. It's his "nuclear option".

As for Blair suddenly leading by consensus and letting control of the party diffuse from him back to the cabinet and parliament ... I'm not going to hold my breath.

What's been interesting about the whole debate for me personally (outside of the fact that I work for a University) is that a leading proponent of the bill, Barry Sheerman, is my current MP and a leading rebel is Dr Ian Gibson was my old MP when I lived in Norwich. They were often interviewed together on TV news debates on the HE funding bill.

I like Ian Gibson - his beliefs are reasonably similar to my own "true labour" leanings and he was a good constituency MP while I was in Norwich, the one blob or red in the blue pond that is a political map of Norfolk. I broadly approve of his voting record.

Barry Sheerman seems to be a bit of a Blairite New Labour apparatchik, however, backing things like the ridiculous ID card scheme that David Blunkett seems so keen on, foundation hospitals, an all-appointed House of Lords and going to war with Iraq on no solid pretext. To be fair though, he's a responsive constituency MP, always responding when I harass him with moaning faxes about Government policy.

Oh, according to aristotle, now I've moved half a mile uphill I'm a constituent of the Colne Valley district, which makes my new MP Kali Mountford. Barry'll be releived that I'm going to have to take my complaints to her from now on. Hmm, looks from her voting record like she's a loyal Blairite as well as being named after the Hindu Goddess of Death.

She also has a fairly cluefully-designed website, apart from the frames and use of javascript rather than CSS to do her rollovers. (Still, I've always been fond of Anne Widdecombe's website.)

As for the HE funding Bill itself, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I don't like Blairs dogmatic faith in markets to solve public sector problems (see Railtrack, the Tube et al) and I vehemently oppose the creeping privatisation of our public services, but on the other hand it means that the new Unversity I work for will get some much-needed money. Last year I saw colleagues being laid off due to cash shortages and that's never a good thing. I still disagree that variable fees were the only option though.

Blair says on funding HE via direct taxation: "why should the hospital cleaner pay for the education of the fat cats' children?" So tax the fat cat and not the cleaner, you swivel-eyed warmongering prick!

Posted by Jonah at 2:42 PM

January 27, 2004

Spoogling antics

A lot of people I know online have admitted a guilty soft spot for some of the collections of random words spammers are using as subject lines these days to defeat bayesian spam filters, likening the best ones to a kind of found computer-generated poetry. Today I ar mostly been pasting them into Google and hitting "I feel lucky":

granular episteme
brownish herbert
griddle pompeii
eukaryote corporeal
mellifluent fortiori (googlewhack!)

Well, I had to do something to fill the time before my orders of xanax and viagra arrive!

Posted by Jonah at 4:29 PM

January 26, 2004

Walkthrough

If IKEA was a computer game ...

Top comedy!

Posted by Jonah at 1:27 PM

January 23, 2004

Dubya joke

Joke reportedly doing the rounds in the US armed services, according to The Sideshow:

Q: What's the difference between Dubya and Jane Fonda?

A: Hey, at least Jane went to Vietnam!

Posted by Jonah at 2:27 PM | Comments (2)

Bill Hicks Bootlegs

Wow, I was just having a little trawl about and I ran across a link to a site offering all of the Bill Hicks bootlegs as mp3s! As anyone who knows me is aware, Bill Hicks has been one of my Short Duration Personal Saviours for some time now, and is a voice that is sorely missed, especially with all that monkey businees that Dubya and his chums are getting up to.

The site appears to get a lot of traffic so do like the feller says and try it when it's merkan bedtime.

Posted by Jonah at 2:23 PM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2004

Dope is for the dopeys

Well, here's a gobsmacking revelation: smoking dope all day makes you lethargic and gives you the munchies.

10am
"I woke up, had a coffee and smoked around three-quarters of a spliff. I go for a half-hour's run every morning so I got my kit on and went out of the door, despite feeling that I couldn't be bothered.
10.30am
By now I was hungry so I cooked a breakfast of beans and fried eggs. I was feeling pretty mellow and managed to stir the beans but couldn't focus on the eggs.
The result was a mess of broken egg. I was so ravenous that I poured it over the beans and ate it quickly. The rule in our flat is we wash up after each meal but I conveniently forgot this and just dumped the saucepan and plate by the sink, which annoyed Katie, one of my flatmates.

It's good that someone is finally doing this kind of ground-breaking research.

On a side note, three-quarters of a spliff? Fucking lightweight.

Posted by Jonah at 10:21 AM

January 13, 2004

Escape from neverland

Chamone!

Posted by Jonah at 1:51 PM | Comments (2)

January 12, 2004

Electro-funk to Psytekk

If you have Flash and a fairly nippy sonnection then take a look at this guide to electronic dance music. A breakdown of the manifold genres and amusing commentary on and samples of each from disco to trancestep. Much fun. Yum!

Posted by Jonah at 4:51 PM

January 9, 2004

Ignorance is Strength

From the Newspeak Dictionary:

crimestop - Orwell's definition: "The faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. In short....protective stupidity."

s/Ingsoc/Neoconservatism/ and you have one of the best explanations of the lowing and yapping of the US pro-war right yet put forward.

(Original quote, of course, from The Theory and Practice of Oligarchal Collectivism, the book within a book in George Orwell's 1984)

Posted by Jonah at 1:05 PM

New Lego set!

Decades of "fun":
http://www.humorisdead.com/news/legoiraq.html

Posted by Jonah at 12:00 PM

January 8, 2004

Retread

Make your fucking mind up!

Posted by Jonah at 12:24 PM

Full of stars

Here's an interesting Grauniad article about the forthcoming year's space exploration events. Amusingly, they reveal that:

one [space mission] even has the same title as a Bruce Willis vehicle. In December this year, the Americans will launch Deep Impact on a mission to another comet

Deep Impact did not, of course, star Bruce Willis at all. They're thinking of the other giant comet movie of 1998, Armageddon. While it's plausible that the US has a project called "Armageddon" planned for 2004, somehow I don't think it'll be in space ...

Posted by Jonah at 11:29 AM

January 6, 2004

eepoohw cushion

Wow, check it out, an anti-flatulence seat cushion:

http://www.gasbegone.com/

The site suggests that you "Buy one today for yourself, a loved one or a friend". No doubt there'll be no end to the popularity of this gift. Just a shame I didn't get this link 'till after xmas. I blame Giles Turnbull.

Posted by Jonah at 8:15 PM

January 5, 2004

Home sweet home

Well, Cres and I finally moved into the new house, although we were without a land-line, cable and net access over the xmas period. Being off-net for a few weeks hasn't been as bad as I expected although I do have a fucking ginormous email backlog to catch up with. Belated happy new year to you all, if you've been in touch I'll reply soon, I promise.

The bathroom's still unfinished and there's more plastering and painting to be done but we're in! It's a good feeling after all the delays and hitches. I think we're going to be very happy here.

Posted by Jonah at 3:42 PM