gominokouhai: (Inspector Fuckup)

Happy Independence Day, Scotland!

Some of the more pedantic among you may observe, at this juncture, that Scotland has no Independence Day. Well, yes, say I, you are correct inna very narrow, technical sense, but as you know I've never been one to let tedious facts get in the way of a meticulously constructed argument.

That argument commences now.

Today, 24th March 2016, is the day that we would have become an independent country, had we not collectively bottled it eighteen months ago. My feelings on this matter have been made clear, but, more cogently for the current discussion: no true Scotsman that I know would let a weak reason like that get in the way of an excuse for a party.

It is an inconvenient fact that 2,001,926 people voted the wrong way in 2014, because they were either too feartie, or misinformed, or Tories. I see no reaon why that should get between me and my celebratory whisky.

Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation. Be the change you want to see in the world. Live positive. Think global and act local. Act as though you already have what you want.

Fly the saltire. Join me inna dram. Strip the willow down George Street. Whatever takes your fancy, really.

And if you don't happen to have any fireworks handy, I hear that molotov cocktails are the next best thing, if you know what I mean, hint, hint.


Fri, May. 8th, 2015 22:29
gominokouhai: (Default)

We did what we set out to do: punish the Lib-Dems and Scottish Labour for siding with the enemy. Democratically, of course. And we got exactly the worst possible outcome as a result: trounced Labour and handed a majority to the bloody Tories.

It's a pretty slim majority, and I understand that the Tories have a long tradition of backbench rebellion, so a coalition of the Left still has a chance to keep the bastards on their toes. For that to happen, the Lib Dems and Labour need to demonstrate that they've learned their lessons from last night.

I suppose we got exactly what we deserved: more work! It's the SNP's job just now to speak truth to power, as the largest effective voting block of human beings currently in Parliament. Labour have more seats than the SNP, but they'll be a complete waste of space until they decide what the point of them is—and that's assuming they even decide to be on the left. They certainly haven't been for the last twenty years. And the Lib Dems are dead for a generation.

Also—let's be honest—some of these new SNP MPs are going to suck, at least for the next while. Nearly all of them are brand new and most of them, when they were listed as candidates, were in seats where they didn't have a hope. That all changed and now they're in charge. Nicola will sort them out; I've met her and she's awesome.


Gotta say, I am amused at the huge amount of nothing that was eventually signified by all of Ukip's sound and fury. I am willing to put good money on the fact that not a single one of those 3,881,129 Kippers voted Yes in the AV referendum. One seat they managed under FPTP: no pasaran.


Yesterday was a 33-hour workday that started at 1pm on Wednesday and continued through until 10pm on the Thursday: the ninety minutes sleep I got in the middle doesn't really count. I finally got off to sleep at 3am and then the bloody taxi driver rang the doorbell at 03:30. Got back to sleep at about fiveish and then was up again for work at six. At some point on Thursday, I got to see Jehane for a whole ten minutes and I managed to make it around the corner to vote. During that 33 hours, $CHEF had made me a bacon sandwich. It wasn't a good day.

I'm still not keen on the SNP. They're too authoritarian for my liking, too nanny-statish, and I disagree with a hell of a lot of their policies. I don't like the way they cosy up to people like Murdoch and Souter and especially—euch—Trump. (Maybe they'll stop doing that so much now.) Ideologically I appear to be a Green— but only a Scottish Green because the party in England and Wales is still stuffed full of anti-science nutjobs. Yesterday, the SNP were the only left-leaning party with a hope in hell, so my vote was obvious. Also I did it to piss off everyone in England. I'd had enough of all the hysterical pearl-clutching anti-Jock media coverage. You're welcome, England. You brought this on yourselves.

So, having cast my vote for the SNP and finally able to tear myself away from the desk at 10pm, it was off down the chippy for a haggis supper, salt an' sauce, anna boatil ay the Bru. I had no particular political motivations for my order—sometimes a man just needs salt an'sauce—but it seemed appropriate. I think I might have gone native.

Yesterday was the first time I've ever voted when the result has actually gone my way. I suspect I shouldn't get accustomed to it.

The next five years are going to be bleak. Look after your loved ones.

gominokouhai: (Default)

It's been a while since the last one. Since the last one, I've become upper-middle-class, become a manager, spent some time hanging around socialists, attended two Radical Independence conferences and campaigned for a Yes in the referendum. And I've also seen how far all of that got us.

For reference, here are the current UK political parties as they stand:

UK Political Parties chart 2015 including Respect, Sinn Féin, Scottish Socialist Party, Plaid Cymru, Scottish National Party, SDLP, Green, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, UKIP, Labour, DUP, BNP

Huh. Guess I'm a Green, then. Makes sense I suppose; I've always empathized with the underdog, that's why I voted Yes.

I'm slightly surprised at how libertarian it placed me. Maybe I'm having one of those days.

Previous compi go under the cut )

gominokouhai: (Default)

So, there was a referendum. That happened. And we voted No. A trillion pounds' worth of international media descended on Scotland for a week—and the weather even stayed good while they were here!—and, as a nation, we had a chance to create a better world and we bottled it. I used to think that it would be embarrassing to be Canadian, but all the Canadians have as a national stereotype is that they are uniformly self-effacing and scrupulously polite. Since 19th September, on the world stage, Scots are craven directionless cowards. All of that William Wallace stuff that we've built up over the last eight hundred years, gone. We are lackeys.

I for one will not stand for it.

It takes time to build up a reputation like the Scots have—like the Scots had. Specifically, it takes eight hundred years. Down-to-earth pragmatists running the world with relentless efficiency in spite of their bewigged imperial masters. Hairy-arsed skirt-wearing maniacs perpetually game for a fight with ye, then a drink with ye, then another fight. The reason the claymore works as a weapon of war is that it's so damn big and heavy that, once you start running with it held out in front, you can't stop no matter how many English cavalrymen are in your way. We pissed all of that away in one night, and now, on the world stage, we are cowards.

I was there at the dawn of the third age of mankind at the vote count for the Edinburgh region. It was a long day. The day before had been full of joyous, jubilant, exuberant marches in the Meadows, of hope and excitement, of impromptu mass choruses of Flower of Scotland. The tang of change was in the air. I could taste it. And then, on the great day itself, with history hanging in the balance, I had weighty duties to which I must attend. I'd set an alarm for six a.m. but was up at 5:30. One doesn't get to create a brand new nation every day. Out at 7 a.m. to witness the ballot boxen being sealed. Touring polling stations all day—technically in my organizational capacity as a polling agent for the Scottish Socialist Party, which is something that still confuses me. I'm not part of the Scottish Socialist Party. I only know one socialist and I'm on nodding terms with two or maybe three others. I'm still not quite sure how this happened, but I had an ACCESS ALL POLLING PLACES pass and I wasn't afraid to use it. I may have spent slightly more of my day than would have been decorous waving the pass at people like Wayne and Garth at the Alice Cooper concert.

In the evening, it was off to the Highland Centre to observe the vote count. History was being made. At one stage, I was on the news. During a coffee break (I was on tea because I needed a sustained burn rather than the quick hit you get from coffee) I got to have a lovely conversation with Andrew Marr: I dislike his politics and I disapprove of his philandering but I bloody love his historical documentaries. I forgot to mention that my girlfriend's mother taught him English at Loretto.

The Yes and No campaign activists were given lounge areas on opposite sides of a big room, separated by a sort of concourse where there was a nice lady selling tea and coffee from a counter. I bought a bottle of water for £2. Bloody hell, said I, aloud, they told me the price of a pint might go up. The BBC and ITN news crews, on the other hand, were separated by fenced-off enclosures with scaffolding and big scary signage. I found this amusing: a physical paean to the civilized nature of the entire debate. Ultimately, we are all residents of these great British islands. Who needs barricades when there is a tea lady?

My role—still, apparently, on behalf of the SSP for reasons I still can't quite fathom—was to observe the count and ensure that no foul play was taking place. I can confirm that, as far as I can tell, the vote was scrupulously fair and above board. It was just that every bastard had put the cross in the wrong box for reasons that remain utterly incomprehensible to me.

It was obvious from early on that the Yes side were losing. As the postal ballots first came out, while I was still skittering around looking for a table to attend, one of my Yes colleagues turned to me and murmured: we're gettin' hammered. Surely not, I said. It's early days. We were always going to lose on the postal votes. It's the regular ballots that will vindicate us. Half an hour later, it was obvious even to me. Tally marks on the clipboard in front of me, sampling a ballot box from somewhere in the southside: 202 No to 75 Yes. You bastards. You sold us out, because some fucker lied to you about your pensions to guarantee his own. Fuck the fucking southside, man.

Later: we were always going to lose in Edinburgh. It's the rest of Scotland that will vindicate us. Then Clackmannanshire voted No. Then Shetland voted No (fucking Shetland, of all places). Then Dundee voted Yes, but only by a baw-hair, where all of our polling had indicated a good seventy or eighty per cent. At that point, we knew all was lost. Facial expressions changed. The evening became a slog. I had been up since 5:30 and it was now 4am and everything left was a foregone conclusion.

I'd got chatting to a fairly well-known professor of events management with whom I'd already done some networking for work, and plan to do more in the future. He's also a stunningly nice bloke, and a Yes voter obvs. By the point it was clear that we'd lost, self-preservation took precedence over solidarity. This is the country we live in now, the country that Scotland has chosen: every man for himself. So in the immediate short term, I opted to promote my own career and come back to making the world a better place later, and when Professor Joe offered to chum me back in his taxi at 5am, I agreed.

So I was there—just getting ready to leave—when the announcement came through that Glasgow, fairly overwhelmingly, had voted Yes. It was a brief moment of levity in the midst of a long night of otherwise unmitigated despair. A chant started up in the campaigners' lounge area: Glas-gow, Glas-gow, Glas-gow. Someone shouted: ya dancer! Someone else: Ye cannae fool a weegie!, and then it was time to go. It was a glorious moment. It was the only one. It wasn't enough.

The next couple of days were numb and bleak. I've been clinically depressed before and I know exactly what was going on in my brain. I surfaced from bed every so often to read Twitter for five minutes or so before I couldn't take any more. And then on Monday it was back to work, to catch up on the paperwork I'd missed during the last week, in time to catch a train down south on Tuesday. The last place I wanted to go. As a deeply pathetic form of revenge, I made sure to take scotch whisky with me, and Irn Bru, and lots of Scottish fivers.

We had a chance and we bottled it. But it was a good fight, and it's not over.

And now I have a branded Yes clipboard, which I'm keeping. Spoils of war.

There is an epilogue to this post, but it's going under access lock.

gominokouhai: (Khaaan!)

I was amused to learn, now that it's all over, that Our Eck is a big ol' Star Trek fan, specifically of Wrath of Khan. I wish more had been made of this earlier in the campaign. Full tax-raising power. No, sir! You have devo-nano! FULL POWERS, DAMN YOU!

Liking Eck more and more, now that it's all over. The last few days I've just wanted to give him a hug, because I think he needs one. Then there was his principled refusal of any seat in the Lords, and now I find he has impeccable taste in sci-fi. And he's right: if the promised powers are not delivered, we will chase Cameron 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before we give him up. Personally I'm particularly looking forward to the flames bit. I suspect Dishface is so greasy that he would self-ignite.

Back in the day, when I was a unionist, Star Trek featured heavily in what passed for my reasoning—although I didn't understand this about myself until significantly later, after a good deal of introspection. Obviously, went my thinking, the logical end goal of civilization is the United Federation of Planets, and we get there by heading towards global unity not away. For one thing, I later realized, adopting, as a genuine political model, a fictional utopia created by a somewhat mediocre cop-show screenwriter might be seen as impractical; and for another thing, I was goal-seeking using a naive hill-climbing algorithm. For shame, pajh.

A utopia is also an eutopia, of course, but it's telling that Roddenberry's vision is the one that took root inside my head as the default position to aim for. Naive it may be, but goddamn I wouldn't mind living there. I'm not sure if it's the proto-post-scarcity economy or the implicit communism that attracts me so much. Or the green alien babes. No, it's the skants. Definitely the skants.

I love Star Trek to bits, of course, naive as it may be, but these days my politics are much more in line with Babylon 5. I am prepared if necessary to go as far as Blake's 7, but I hope it won't come to that.

Thinking about this as I type, I should probably make a more detailed inspection of Malcolm Hulke's Doctor Who stories before I fasten my colours to any particular allegory, here.

Obviously I'm deeply disappointed with last Thursday's result, but I've decided we may have been foolish to think we could win against the combined forces of ignorance and cowardice, backed by the full might of the British state. We were not foolish to fight. And we will not be foolish to do it all again in a couple of years, with lessons learned and a new generation of engaged citizens on our side. The future is coming, whether it's got green-skinned babes in it or not. That better world we wanted to create?... independence didn't quite work out, but it's still waiting to be created. We'll do it some other way.

The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Off down south tomorrow for a company meeting. I went to the bank today and withdrew £20 in Scottish fivers, because I want to piss them off. The bank teller had never heard that one before—seriously? I honestly thought everyone did that—and told me I'd made his day.

All set for this goddamn nine-hour train journey tomorrow. Gots my sound-isolating earphones, emergency Irn Bru (can't buy it down there), emergency whisky (Islay Mist, won't react with the metal in the hunt flask), gots my vindictively pan-European sandwich, and my instructions for haxx0ring free train wifi. Spent some time with [personal profile] stormsearch perfecting my Scots accent.

Michael Mcintyre has this bit that he does about, every time someone wants to spend a Scottish banknote, some mad Scotsman pops up from nowhere and shouts don't you know that's legal tender. It's funny because it's true, and not, I hasten to add, because Michael makes any effort to make it funny in any way. He crams this bit in to any set he can. Heard a Scots accent on my way to the theatre tonight. Reminded me of that guy who says: don't you know that's legal tender . And off he goes again.

[personal profile] stormsearch is not a qualified voice coach and her instructions have been sporadically helpful, but with her experience combined with my voice-talent nollij, we made headway. The word £ is a particularly difficult word to say in Scots. There's an argument that it's pronounced poouwnd and another, equally legitimate, argument that it should be pronounced pnd, and both of these should be done simultaneously, while also pronouncing the ou as an ai except that it's really more of an eh but do it with your face all scrunched up like this. I got there eventually. As is so often the case with learning experiences in my life, whisky helped.

Thus, I am now ready to have the following exchange, should it be necessary, with an unsuspecting southerner:

Good day to you, shopkeep, and what a marvellous day it is indeed. I would like to purchase this bottle of Coca-Cola® if you'd be so kind. What's that? You doubt the authenticity of my cash monies? Well, dear shopkeep, I do so regret that it must come to this, but I fear you leave me little option but to go Full Scotsman on you. Ahem. DON'T YOU KNOW THAT'S LEGAL TENDER, that's a five pooouwnd note ya wee numpty, huv ye no seen a five pnd note before ya great sassenach.

Interesting, perhaps, to note that, although I am a trained voiceover artist and a remarkably good one, it's only been since this week that I've been able to pronounce sassenach with the appropriate amount of sass.

And I know there's no such thing as legal tender, but the unsuspecting southerner won't.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Experienced my first anti-Scottish racism on Wednesday. I've lived in Scotland for fourteen years now and have experienced plenty of anti-English racism; usually from people in bars who were on my side while England were playing Germany but then, ninety seconds after the final whistle blows, decide to call me an English cunt. Oh how we laughed. Feels odd to be on the other side of it, but not entirely unexpected.

On the train down to That London, through That London, and out the other side Dorset-bound. I am pretty much a London expert now. The first time I went down there as an adult I spent the first day simply riding around the integrated transport system in awe. I thought that having a Lobster card would be creepy, RFID and all that, but it turns out to be fantastically useful—look at me, ma! I can go anywhere! They even have boats!

By now I just huff and glare at the other passengers and catch the Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square and then transfer onto the Northern Line to Waterloo without a care. I still find London itself a little creepy. There are no old people in London. There are no disabled people in London—although I did once see someone on crutches. Everyone is just slightly too well turned-out and glamorous. It's as if the entire place, all seven million of them, are one giant Potemkin village. But the integrated transport system: that's nifty, and I can commute with the best of them.

Through London, then, and out the other side. Found myself on the train out of Waterloo sitting at a table with three young urban professionals, all wearing amusing cufflinks on shirts that would cost a week's worth of my salary. From the conversation I judged that they were in the business of buying and selling yachts to other, wealthier, young urban professionals. I was becoming increasingly aware that I was in England and that these were not my people, never were. At this point I was listening to Capercaillie on the ipod and eating a deliberately, relentlessly, nay dare I say it vindictively pan-European sandwich that I'd prepared earlier (sopocka and Leerdammer on ciabatta, trivia-fans) in an attempt to stave off homesickness. It was partially successful and that is because, where sandwiches are concerned, I roll twenties. I had crossed the border five hours previously.

Of the ticket inspector I asked a question which, I thought, would be a perfectly reasonable example of the genre:

Is there wifi?

There was a Silence, the kind of silence you only get when the saloon doors flap and the honky-tonk piano player stops mid-arpeggio. Said silence continued for about two and a half seconds longer than was comfortable, although it felt a lot longer while the Inspector looked at me—inspected me, no less— with narrowed eyes, as if I'd asked him for a happy ending. Eons passed, the civilization of man rose and fell, the civilization of cockroaches rose and fell, the civilization of squid rose and fell. Galaxies collided, then crashed and flew off. Then spake the Inspector thus:

No. The company's owned by a Scotsman.

Funny, that, said I. I've just had free wifi[0] all the way down on East Coast Rail. That one's owned by five million Scotsmen.

Okay, no I didn't, but I was thinking it pretty loud.

The training in Dorset was all about time management, so mostly consisted of To-do lists are good and Get a to-do-list. Then there was a section on assertiveness, because the fundamental yet unspoken rule of time management is always postpone meetings with time-wasting morons. That evening, after the CULINARY CHALLENGE[1] and an indeterminate number of beers[2], $FINANCE_DIRECTOR asked of me my opinion on the possibilities of Scottish Independence. I am a good manager who pays attention to his training, and I seize opportunities as they arise. This was a chance to test my newfound assertiveness, so I told him.

[personal profile] scotm, you would have been proud of me, although I suspect some of my figures were off. And I don't think $FINANCE_DIRECTOR was convinced.

Currently entrained at 113mph, somewhere between Newark-on-Trent and Worksop, on my way back to a civilized nation, where we have free wifi. And healthcare.


[0] c.f. blog post here.

[1] c.f. other blog forthcoming

[2] One, but the usual rule about cooking with alcohol applies: one for the pot, one for the chef, so a fair amount of free cider.

gominokouhai: (Default)

This video, from 2008, is making a lot more sense now:

Mike Read. Ten minutes. Rapping. And then they got into power and we all wondered how come the Tories were so out of touch with reality.

I say they got into power. We let them. An insufficient minority of the UK population voted Tory, and had we known about this Mike Read thing back then, we could have had those voters all sectioned anyway so those votes wouldn't have counted. Then we had five days of frantic squabbling and Kay Burley screeching that the people voted for a hung parliament before, finally, a dishfaced twat liked by precisely no one went to ask the Queen if he could form a Government full of his old schoolmates.

It was the duty of every responsible citizen, as Cameron headed for the Palace, to rugby-tackle the bastard before he could get there. If for no other reason than to stop him wasting Her Maj's time. For the greatest dramatic effect, leave it til the last minute and do it with as much violence as possible. Your Majesty, I humbly request permission to form a Government on Your behAUGHWOOFH!

I was occupied at the time (they had one from Stewart's Brewery I hadn't tried before, and one from Inveralmond), but the rest of you have no such excuse. Come to think of it, the BBC were in on it the whole time. It's no wonder they gave up on us shortly afterwards and turned evil—they'd done everything possible for us and none of us took the hint. Constant rolling news-helicopter footage of a Bentley slowly progressing along Whitehall. And now we see David Cameron's car turning left at some traffic lights. David Cameron there, on his way to Buckingham Palace, where he is expected to ask Her Majesty the Queen for permission to form a government. His car is now pausing outside the crosshatched box before an intersection. Now he's turning right. The BBC Charter probably prevented them from outright coming out and saying it, but they came as close as they could: THERE HE IS, YOU BASTARDS! GET HIM!

On further reflection, we should formalize this. In the event of a hung parliament, this should be how things are decided from now on: by a drag race down Whitehall. First one to reach Her Maj gets to form a government. All dirty tricks allowed. Gordon trips up Dave before he even gets into the car, then bounces his giant dish-shaped face off the bonnet, just to make sure, before he peels off. Then Nick comes up from the inside and slides sideways, tyres screeching, to a stop in front of the Palace gates. A cloud of dust and burnt rubber puffs down the Mall like papal white smoke. Democracy. Is. Served.

Makes a lot more sense than the current system, anyway.

gominokouhai: (Default)

The irrepressible and frequently incorrect [twitter.com profile] dhothersall started it. It's not my fault, I promise.

So #indyrefpoetry is a thing. All of my efforts have been far, far too terrible to commit to the Twitters, but that's what I have a longform blog for, so now you all must suffer. [personal profile] scotm deserves credit for originally enduring all of these over IMs. He will testify that, although terrible, they were at least written very fast. Regular readers may recall that I seem to do all right at iambic pentameter. How bad can it be?

Pretty damn bad, actually )

My last attempt actually fit into 140 chars, and was Oh, ye cannae shove yer Westminster oligarchs aff a gravy train. Thus was it indicated, quite appropriately I think, that it was time to stop.


Oh, no, there's more )

I tried to do a pastiche of Sassoon, but it just isn't going to work. Sassoon is beyond my meagre skills. You should probably consider yourselves lucky.

No, I'm not going to do Rabbie, and you all already know why.

gominokouhai: (Default)

So there was a march on Parliament by the EDL and the BNP. Naturally there was a counter-march by Unite Against Fascism and Hope Not Hate. Coincidentally. there was also a march by a group of girls in badger costumes, protesting against the badger cull, led by Brian May, probably the world's greatest astrophysicist rock god.

It was this latter badger-becostumed group that chased the EDL off.

(Reports that the EDL tossers were crying aah snake aah snake! ohh, it's a snake as they fled remain unconfirmed at this point, so we're forced to assume that they did.)

This is a real thing that happened. I love this country.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Today's link is obvious enough that it gets a linkdump all its own:

There will be more later, but right now I have a bottle of limited-edition, Ximenez finish, single-cask 1996 Ben Riach I've been saving for today.

Ding dong.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Well, 2011 sucked, and 2012 was a marked improvement. Got promoted twice in twelve months (once last October and once again this June). Became a posh New Town bastard. Made the best bolognese known to man. Invented Eggs Cumberbatch, because somebody had to. Invented girrawheening, with help from [personal profile] highlyeccentric. Somebody had to.

Bought a new watch. It has a compass and a thermometer and a tide clock. Bought a new Gore-tex® jacket. Bought an incredible new fixed-length 50mm f/1.4 lens for the camera. Despite two promotions, still have no money. I wonder why.

Politically, swung yet further to the left (while still becoming a posh New Town bastard, yes, it's possible); finally fell off the fence and decided to go full-on for Scottish Independence. So far, I have donated £250 worth of the company's money to the cause (in the form of conference space we weren't otherwise using anyway), and haven't yet signed the Yes Declaration, because I don't like the wording.

Spent far too much time this year concentrating on work. To be fair, there were the two promotions in the space of twelve months, so I had a lot to learn; and now I'm responsible for the livelihoods of nineteen staff, many of whom I consider friends. But I have this down now. In the new year there will be more food, more drinking, and more loving. I was going to add more dancing to that list, but let's be realistic here.

May 2013 bring nothing but loveliness to all who read this; for Cameron, Osborne and DuncanSmith, may your next shit be a hedgehog. 2013 is when everything changes, and we gotta be ready.

gominokouhai: (Default)

I heard that the entire Organising Committee of the London 2012 Olympic Games can only have an orgasm if they kill a dog. That's just something I heard somewhere.

Context, for them as needs it. Also, go fuck yourselves in any available orifice, LOCOG, you disgraceful bunch of cunts.

On analogies

Thu, Dec. 8th, 2011 19:07
gominokouhai: (Default)

Remember George Washington? Father, I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the cherry tree with my little hatchet. On reflection, that's a pretty good model for the behaviour of US presidents. Random wanton destruction without reason or explanation, and he's not even ashamed afterwards.

I suspect I'm not the first person to make this observation, but it just occurred to me.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Cutting-edge political insights, as ever, from The Scotsman:

Mussolini was hanged from a Milan petrol station for public display. Such a scenario would ensure that Gaddafi did not have to face a court.


Thu, Apr. 28th, 2011 15:58
gominokouhai: (Default)

I suddenly find myself unable to continue ignoring the royal wedding. It's got Daleks in it.

A royal wedding street party with a difference will see a Dalek serve up trays of drinks and snacks to guests on Friday - presumably with cries of 'Extermi-Cake'.

More likely, WOULD YOU CARE FOR A PLAS-TIC CUP OF LUKE-WARM CHE-RRY-ADE. Although, the more I think about it, the more this starts to make sense. What better way to celebrate a great British institution than with a terrifying symbol of imperialistic aggression? Particularly, one that some bloke from the Home Counties has spent a week painting red, white and blue?

I am no stranger to those odd periods of mass hysteria that we're all subjected to on occasion. When Diana died I bought Candle in the Wind twice. I saw Titanic three times in the cinema (and each time, because it is a four-hour-long behemoth, I had to go to the loo just before Kate Winslet gets nekkid.) We're all allowed to get emotional beyond the bounds of reason now and then, especially if we blog self-deprecatingly about it years later. But this one just seems supremely pointless. Two people I don't care about are performing a ceremony I don't care about. I'm not invited. I don't get any of the cake. I am unsure what, as a nation, we all gain by waving flags to solemnize the fact that, according to a book most of us haven't read, two young people are now permitted to fuck.

I shall be at work tomorrow. Although I might take the opportunity to have an excuse to rewatch The Princess Bride.

gominokouhai: (Default)

A post about the new Doctor Who is coming, I promise. In the meantime I'd like to talk about some old Doctor Who. And the Beach Boys. And the Archbishop of Canterbury. But mostly I'll be focusing on Doctor Who. All will become clear. I hope.

Some time ago a good friend left me a copy of some music by a band known as The Pixies, a Boston-based alt-rock ensemble, to which I've only just now got around to listening. They sound like this. They produced this in the distant past year 1990:

Listen ye and be amazed. (It's quite good.) Specif, listen and note ye how similar it is to this, of which it is a direct cover version:
In which there are further embedded media )

Bear with me and try, if you can, to ignore the brass line from All the Strange, Strange Creatures. The bassline is identical. I only noticed when Murray provided a version without the brass line in it during the first episode of Season 5. It's right after Eleven tells Patrick Moore to pay attention, when Rory and Amy are driving the Mini to the Hospital (00:40:15). I once wrote fanmail to Murray Gold and asked him if this was an unconscious ripoff or a deliberate homage. I'm beginning to realise why he never replied.

I understand that there are eight notes and that, as a result, there are a finite number of permutations to which one can subject those eight notes. But I must be forgiven if I am occasionally suspicious.

While we're on the subject of cultural homages—because I'm sure that's what these are—let's just observe that Paradise Towers was a total ripoff of J. G. Ballard's High-Rise. I'm not judging. I'm just saying.

Apparently this weekend was the anniversary of some fictional (and highly unlikely) thing that didn't happen to a bloke who probably never existed, involving a story during which he was crucified and then entombed in a chocolate egg from which he escaped on the third day, or something. Apparently on these occasions the Archbishop of Canterbury is obliged to give a speech of some kind. Apparently, according to what I can tell from BBC news (about 01:07 in), the Archbish makes reference to popular culture.

It's probably unseemly to involuntarily shout woo! from the congregation while the Archbish is giving his address. So it's probably a good thing that I was only watching the BBC stream. Nonetheless it's good to know that the cultural information flow goes both ways.

Frankly, we've always known that Rowan Williams was a leftie Who-fancying nerd. His problem is that, as chief spokesperson for a monolithic, regressive, medieval, omnipervasive, misogynistic, homophobic, repressive, anachronistic, capricious, conservative, disingenuous, perfidious organization, he's never been allowed to say so.

Since at least the 1970s, the Doctor has been swanning out of police boxen and teaching people that they were actually lefties all along. It's good to know that he's managed it with the Archbish. of Cantab. as well. As always: the Doctor shows the way.

gominokouhai: (Default)

[personal profile] miss_s_b just posted her Political Compass, and reminded me that it's been a while since I've done mine. I know that I've swung significantly more to the radical-left in the last six months alone. So here we go:

The Political Compass

Economic Left/Right: -6.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

The last time I did one of these was 24th August, 2007, when it looked like this:

Moar graphs )

You can, of course, do your own here should you so wish.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Kettling is a tool used solely to stifle dissent. So we now have a handheld Iphone app to avoid kettles.

In Egypt, they shut down the internet. So the Egyptians built their own one.

This is a message to The Man: don't fuck with geeks.

On stones

Sun, Jun. 15th, 2008 15:17
gominokouhai: (Default)

Somebody has left a pamphlet in the office about the evils of caffeine. I'm very glad they did. It reminded me that I have a cup of tea brewing. Mmm, tea.


Today's constitutional crisis, threatening to rock the very foundations of the Scottish establishment[0], is that Our Eck reckons that the Stone of Scone is a fake. I'm not sure what constitutes fake when we're talking about rocks. Is it secretly made of plastic? Is it just rock veneer on a cardboard facsimile? Is it somehow less rocklike that we've been led to believe?

I've always thought it was a pretty stupid national symbol in any case. Down south, they have the Crown Jewels in all their resplendent finery. Up here we have a chunk of rock, and we're proud of it.

Mind you, Edward I the Scots-Hammer went to the trouble, in 1296, to raise an army and come all the way up here in order to steal the same said chunk of rock. Who's looking foolish now?

And theories persist that instead of the historic throne of Scottish kings, he was given a toilet seat instead. Who's looking foolish now? I've often wondered how that would have worked. Let's imagine it together, in Braveheart-style glorious Technicolor™-o-vision:

Lights! Camera! Irish Army Reservists! Action! )

From the article, Professor Ted Cowan says: How credible is it that you can just make a replica of something like that in five minutes because Edward I of England is coming to steal the real one? Actually, it's really very credible indeed. It's a rock. You can find them just lying around.

The Professor, we're told, is one of Scotland's most senior historians. And yet he doesn't seem to know the scarcity value of rocks. I think Edinburgh isn't what it used to be.

[0] Pun not intended, I swear.


gominokouhai: (Default)

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