Boggart Blog Select vol4
401 I Don't Want To Eat Clone
402 CELEBRITY STOOLS
403 My Confession
404 Soapland Strategies
405 Dangerous Diets
406 Smiling in public
407 Ich Bin Ein Berliner
408 Sense Of Self
409 Nine Million Facts
410 Dreaded P Word
411 While we are nosing about
412 Sausages of Terror
413 Loving Belgium
414 Shock, Horror.
415 Suicide Dolphins
Boggart Blog Select vol 4
Beef from cattle cloned in laboratories will be available very soon in a supermarket near you if the scientists’ predictions are to be believed. Like many scientists’ predictions however cloned beef seems to have gone as far as "almost ready to go on the market" and stalled. It could be a result of the recession, the credit crunch, of course. After successfully cloning a calf from an adult in the lab. there is still a long and expensive road to be travelled before a commercially viable production system can be set up. Since the announcement in 2007 that the first viable cloned calves had been bred investment capital has dried up completely and with so many question marks hanging over the business of turning a successful experiment into a business proposition it is understandable potential investors would want a lot of guarantees.
One of the big drawbacks of cloned livestock is expense. It costs thousands of Pounds, Dollars or Euros to have scientists do in the laboratory what bulls and cows have been doing for free since time immemorial. The supporters of cloning claim they can offer a near 100% success rate in producing healthy calves that will produce a good profit. Bulls and cows cannot guarantee any such thing of course but their failure rate would have to be very high or their calves very sickly and skinny before a cost benefit can be obtained by switching from current artificial insemination methods (the poor bull rarely actually gets it’s leg over a real cow these days) to creating a foetus in the lab.
Because of the expense involved the clones see their future in the premium meat market, cloning exotic and expensive breeds. But would beef from a prize Charleroi or Aberdeen Angus really work in a stew or casserole. Few of us want to eat filet steak for every meal even if we can afford it. Also the show breeds are very delicate thanks to selective breeding and could not survive in open fields on a natural diet. They need to be sheltered in heated byres and fed highly processed supplements or top quality grain that might otherwise be eaten by humans. Again the equation makes no sense because eight kilograms of grain produces just one kilogram of meat. Those are just a few of the commercial issues.
Inevitably the arrival of clone tissue in the food chain with spark ethical protests and we will be asked by organisations of the right and left, "would you eat meat from a cloned cow?" Forget the warnings of cranks and fanatics about the consequences of going against nature. Actually eating the flesh of a clone would not pose any direct threat to our health. Personally, I would not give a hoot, a steak is a steak and we should remember the first animals ever farmed for food were snails and as they are hermaphrodites they clone themselves in a manner of speaking.
Archaeological evidence traces snail farming back to 10,500BC and in all that time the question of whether it is ethical to eat animals that have shagged themselves has never arisen. Whatever snails get up to in the privacy of their shells is their own business.
Snails are a much less complex life form than domestic cattle however and experience shows the further up the evolutionary ladder an animal is the more necessary it becomes to stir up its gene pool quite regularly.
Many people would not eat snails but for aesthetic rather than ethical reasons. If we don’t like the look of something there is no way it is going in our mouths. This probably goes a long way towards explaining why the majority of us are 100% heterosexual.
Having said all that, it is unlikely I shall ever eat cloned beef, though not in my view unethical, it is bad for the planet.
Prime quality beef from grain fed cattle has an enormous carbon footprint as suggested above and is a huge drain on food stocks. With a global food crunch lurking in the shadow of the credit crunch eating premium, grain fed meat is economic madness.
In the case of cloned beef the adverse energy balance is even worse. I recently read a description of how many scientists are involved in producing beef this way. Add up the cost of feeding them, keeping them in warm, comfortable sheds and providing enough electronic gadgets to keep them amused and the cloning and intensive production of farm livestock is totally unfeasible. Add to that the ethics of reducing living, feeling animals to mere products by forcing them through a totally artificial life cycle from the moment the egg is artificially fertilised not by sperm from the male but by the nucleus of a cell taken from its ear and inserted into an ovum from which all genetic material has been removed would be unacceptable to many people. Yoghurt is one thing, cattle with their big, soft, sad brown eyes are another.
The question we must ask then is how much harm are we willing to do to the planet just so scientists can prove how clever they are. In the face of such a weak economic case the answer to that is very very little.
gt;So Much Too Do, So Little Time and Money Boggart Blog on the pointlessness of much that is done in the name of science. This time, after scientists have spend fortunes building a special computer to analyse data from radio telescope to predict the approximate date of a collision between the Andromeda Galaxy and our own Milky Way, Ian Thorpe studies their conclusions and finds it's not the end of the world.
Clone Cows, Human Milk
It's Life Craig, But Not As We Know It.Since the publication of Frankenstein and maybe before that it has been the ambition of many scientists to discover the science of life itself and thus create new life in the laboratory. Now modern adances in delusional thinking have led science to move beyond dreams into the realms of fantasy fiction and claim they have created artificial life when they have not.
GM crops versus CO2
GM crops will not feed the world
2005-09-02 @ 18:37:19 by ianrthorpe
Tags: television; reality; celebritity; humour; satire
Davina McColon has hit a new low in reality "TV." The lastest vehicle for the world's chirpiest publicity junky is such a dire concept that it makes even Celebrities Give Hand Jobs To Farm Animals look good. The show called Bring Your Husband To Heel or something like that features a rather bossy lady who styles her self a canine behaviour specialist, showing women how to train their men to be as obedient as Pavlov's Dogs. One has to admire the perseverance of the researchers who scoured the world to find half a dozen blokes so lacking in self-esteeem, balls and intelligence (do they suppose that their mates down the pub will ever let them forget this…ever?) that they can be conned into being part of such a demeaning and distasteful spectacle. That such dross ever got to the screen diminishes us all.
Adding insult to injury for me however is the fact that I have not yet had a response to my idea for a reality TV show, Celebrity Stools, in which the ubiquitous Ms McColon would persuade a panel of Z list celebrities to pass their ploppies into a plastic container and then invite members of the public to wing prizes by guessing "WHOSE TURD IS IN THE TUPPERWARE?" Isn't that a brilliant concept? I am positive that given a Saturday peak time slot it would totally eclipse The X - Factor.
2005-09-04 by ianrthorpe
Tags: confession; humour; satire; poetry; drugs; poet
It suppose it is inevitable at a site like this people will pick up on little hints, Freudian slips and those telling habits and mannerisms that give us away. Sure enough a few of my regular readers have mentioned in quite a subtle way and with genuine concern that I might have a dark secret and would probably feel better if it was out in the open and everybody knew. So here we go…
I am not proud of this, but who among us has not done things of which they are ashamed?
What I do, have done for years, is not big and it's not clever. Sometime in the past I suppose it seemed quite racy and glamorous to those who felt constrained by the more formal manners of their time. Wild nights, lurid love affairs and periods in which memory was obliterated may have a certain cachet but we know now that people who share my secret vice often live lonely, friendless lives, neglecting their own wellbeing in order to feed their habit. It is a vile and self destructive addiction that takes possession of its victims' heart and soul. We live in a shadowy half world, we are in society but not of it and so we are creatures to be pitied, not glamorised.
I hope that by facing up to this now I may be able to get clean after all these years and perhaps rebuild some fragment of my life in the time I have left.
The cause of my downfall you see is that I am a POET.
Yes, shocking isn't it that someone as outwardly normal as I could conceal so well a horrible affliction for so long. My whole life has been a lie, what people saw was an affluent professional with a fine house, a classy car, a pretty wife and two shiny, talented children. But the essential me was in a Paris attic, zonked out on Absinthe, falling hopelessly in love with the kind of girls who posed naked for Toulouse Lautrec. Behind the dark suits and pastel shirts was a secret bohemian. Oh a few people remarked on my whacky taste in ties and hinted that perhaps I was not all I seemed to be. I fooled most people, but worst of all I fooled myself into thinking I could go on forever.
It started at school. I was always good with words and one day an older pupil suggested I should try a rhymed couplet. I was bored with lessons and just marking time until I could get out into the big, exciting world. Out of sheer mischief I accepted the offer.
I savoured that couplet, toyed with it, moulded it, crafted the meter and then added the rhyme. My world exploded, tsunamis of sensation coursed through my being. I felt as if I was one with the universe.
That was in the days when the Beatles were four fresh faced lads from Liverpool, nobody had considered the erotic possibilities of Mars Bars and weed was something puppy did when they were excited. Rock was clean then, rock stars had five hits then cut their quiffs and morphed into family entertainers. For anyone who wanted to get into serious debauchery, poetry still seemed the easiest route. My role models were not wholesome characters like Johnny Spitfire - Pilot or Fred Cricketer but Byron, Coleridge, De Quincey, Poe, Beddoes, Dylan Thomas and Swinburne. Poets were still household names then of course. Who would have though that just a few decades on Rimbaud would be mistaken for a Sylvester Stallone film?
It progressed gradually after that, thinking that I could just mess about with limericks, clerihews, quatrains to impress the other boys I carried on, oblivious to the dangers. To this day I have managed to stay away from the really hard stuff, I tried a sonnet once but was tortured with guilt for a week and hand on heart, I promise I have never touched a villanelle or a pantome. Maybe it would have been better if I had, I always deluded myself that because I was not mainlining I could handle it.
Gradually poetry took over my life. I took to dressing in flamboyant and eccentric ways, often being seen around town in the stripey T shirt of a French Onion seller (than you Cathead.) I hung around jazz clubs, took to dating older women who had been round the block and I started to drink black coffee. I was hooked.
As time went on I needed something harder than couplets and experimented with free verse and even concrete poetry. Then a few months ago someone suggested I should try haiku. I was immediately tempted, fortunately this was the shock that brought me to my senses.
Since then I have made a real effort to kick the habit. I started blogging in prose and have developed interests in fiction writing and gardening. So far it is going well, but I'm taking it one day at a time.
I am not asking for your sympathy, only that you (and especially the younger people among you) be warned by my experience. As soon as you notice any tendency in any of your friends to take an interest in meter, metaphor or rhyme, make sure they get help. Once somebody is on that slippery slope it is so hard to get off.
A Two Faced Poet
2005-09-06 @ 18:18:08
There seems to be a trend in soapland for hiring famous people and (SHOCK! HORROR!) occasionally even real actors to pop up flagging story lines as the tired old plots are endlessly recycled. Bride dies on wedding day; bride absconds with grooms gold cards on wedding day; pregnant bridesmaid reveals groom is the father just before the couple exchange vows; long lost embarrassing relative turns up on solemn / happy occasion; pub / club / row of shops explodes or has a plane fall out of the sky on it; gay man shags best friend's mother; gay woman shags her married lover's husband; sleazy con man turns out to be Gandalf…you know the sort of thing. And of course nobody ever truly knows who their real biological father is.
You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off - probably the best movie line ever, delivered by Michael Caine in The Italian Job
East Enders is the classic; a Watts will jump in the canal allowing a Butcher to take over the Queen Vic; a Butcher will go bankrupt allowing a Mitchell to take over the Queen Vic; a Mitchell will get banged up for fraud / murder / bad acting and the Queen Vic will get blown up by a rival gangster seeking revenge. Then of course a decomposing body will be discovered in the ruins of the Queen Vic. Oh no, sorry. Pauline Fowler just looks like that. Then the cycle begins again.
It’s the same in Corrie. Ken and Deirdre have been married and divorced and remarried six times. Fred Elliot will be caught cheating in the Weatherfield Observer sausage of the year competition etc. etc.
Obviously regular viewers need to be distracted or they might suss out that the scriptwriters ran out of ideas decades ago. So famous people and real actors are drafted in. Tony Christie popped up in Emmerdale last month (will somebody please give that man directions to effing Amarillo) Sir Ian McKellen aka Gandalf had a short run in Corrie and Fagin graced East Enders (not Dr. Nookie from Carry On Nurse who I saw pretending to be Fagin in the West End a few years back, but the REAL Fagin, Ron Moody. And now it is rumoured that he will be followed by Sir Michael Caine. We have yet to learn if Sir Michael will be a Watts or a Mitchell, or even Kat Slater's new toyboy. Will he be a vendor of dodgy motors like the Butchers, or will he sell dodgy pork pies like the Beales?
He might even turn out to be the long lost husband of Dot Cotton, thus exposing the Bible loving Dot as a bigamist.
OR…….. (is this too much to hope for)
might he be a man strolling through Albert Square next time there is an explosion in the Queen Vic. At which point he would turn to Phil Mitchell and say…
"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off…."
The big non - story of the week so far has been the news, just released, that in the second world war the Germans had plans to attack the allied armies with exploding chocolate bars, a weapon of such devastating potential it would have seen our leaders suing for peace in a matter of weeks.
The fiendish plan was to take advantage of the fact that our soldiers had been in the front line for months without getting close to a woman, an alcoholic drink or a mouthful of decent food. So specially adapted bombers were detailed to overfly the British lines and drop fake bars of Goering's Dairy Milk. The wermacht reasoned that such desperate men would not be able to resist a sweet and tasty chocolate treat and before officers had time to issue orders to the contrary would dive on the sweets, sink their teeth into the thin coating of real chocolate and get their teeth blown out before British officers could issue an warning.
Not quite as sophisticated as an invisible death ray perhaps, but no less devastating for that. The scheme only failed because the German supply lines were blockaded by the Royal Navy and when a boatload of chocolate did get through it was hijacked by the Belgian resistance who ate it all.
The idea of exploding food was not original though. During the Indian mutiny of 1857 the evil oriental scientist Dr. Fu-Man-Sweeney revealed his invention, an explosive that only became active when mixed with human digestive juices. The substance that in its inert state looked exactly like curry sauce would, about twenty four hours after being eaten, cause a massive explosion in the bowels thus rendering its victims helpless for several days. The British authorities were fighting the Sepoys but half the troops were fighting the squits.
The most devastating exploding food weapon of all though, and the one that so far has defied scientific analysis, is the one developed by Al Quaeda in order to debilitate the American population. This stuff, once eaten, explodes slowly and with such minimal force it does not break human skin. To underline the effectiveness of their global terror organisation, terrorist cells have infiltrated the American fast food industry and are surreptitiously adding the explosive to ingredients. Take a look at news footage shot in any American city and you will see a sizeable minority of the population have already exploded within their own skin.
Scientists And Politicians Attack The Food We Love, But Is It Science Or Just Control Freakery
Face It: Eating Shite Makes You Fat And Ill
Wealthy Nation Lifestyle Links To UK's High Cancer Rates
Millions Taking Statins Needlessly
Everything They Said Is Bad For You Is Good For You.
Things have come to a pretty pass when we have to rely on designer labels and cellphone ring tones to give us a sense of self. The whole thing started in the 1980s I guess, when the wild - eyed advocates of free market economics were tearing apart the fabric of our communities and urging us all to follow the creed of "we are what we own" It was at that time people first started wearing labels on the outside of their clothes. "Look at me, I am a successful and cool person, those D&G or DKNY labels proclaimed. Fashions always change however and by the mid 1990s lads and ladettes ruled the roost, Jackson Pollocking city centre pavements with pools of vomit and abandoning all self restraint as they binge drank their way to social cachet. The supercool were by then wearing Sweatshirts that bore the legend FCUK, which sent out the message, "hey look at me, I'm a cool, wacky and outrageous person who does not give a damn about anything except having a good time. I wear clothes that nearly say FUCK.
The bottom line was these people were insecure ikkle bunnies who only wanted to be liked and so were almost naughty in a cute, cuddly and inoffensive way.
Next came the people who wore FUCK YOU! T - shirts. They thought this made them seem like the kind of person who drives outrageously expensive cars but wears clothes that look as if the came from a street market as a way of saying "I'm so rich and powerful I don't have to care what anyone thinks of me so FUCK OFF!"
The reality of the FUCK YOU T - shirt however is that behind it lurks a bitter and twisted loser who could only afford to buy a sense of self item in a street market and so feels it is necessary to express his anger and resentment publicly. The FUCK YOU T - shirt wearers desperately care what people think but are so convinced everybody hates them they feel they have to get their retaliation in first.
The most exclusive designer labels are now readily available on cheap and cheerless clothes imported from China so designer labels have lost their cool and are only for wannabees. Mobile telephone ring tones are the way to tell the world who you are now.
I have to say at this juncture, my cellphone lets me know it needs attention by going BEEP, BEEP. I call it the Roadrunner ring tone. It does the job.
The most irritating ring tones are those favoured by people who want to announce to the world "I'm fun!" each time their phone rings. The world seldom sees us as we see ourselves of course. The Monty Python theme far from announcing "I'm a wacky and zany, devil may care free spirit," actually says "I'm a boring old fart still stuck in the seventies." Mozart, Beethoven and any other classical ringtones are the superior sneer of an insufferable snob while Crazy Frog screams "feel free to kill me now because I am an arse!"
It was easier to know who we were in days of yore. A man named John who wrought fletched arrows for a living could look at his life with satisfaction, safe in the knowledge that everybody in his world, which probably did not extend much beyond the village where he was born, knew he was John Fletcher. He had identity, a sense of self.
But what happens to a generation of Justin and Sheryl Customer-Service-Assistants? How do they find meaning in their mundane existence?
Perhaps, rather than looking for new tags to hang on ourselves it is time we all took a long look at the ant hill society we have become part of.
Identities On Parade
The Human Cost Of Cheap Clothing
posted 2005-09-14 by ianrthorpe
"There are nine million bicycles in Beijing, and that's a fact" warbles sex thimble songbird Katie Melua on her latest single before going on to wonder if its a fact that her boyfriend really loves her. Now the figure may not be 100% accurate, (the bicycles, not the orchidaceous Katie's figure,) I'm sure even the methodical Chinese have a few forgotten old bikes stashed in a corner of the garden shed along with the unwanted girl children. Allowing for a small margin of approximation however I am prepared to take Ms. Melua's word for it.
Here a heckler yells, "we already worked out that you'd take her word for anything Ian,"
Maybe so, but in this case it not her looks or youthful freshness that sway me so much as the fact sounds utterly believable. It makes sense.
We cannot possibly verify every fact the world throws at us; some things we have to take on trust, that radar speed traps are accurate or George W Bush does not have a tail for example. Can either of these be proved?
Remember your wise old granny advising "you should not believe everything you are told." She was right coz she was wise and old.
With this in mind, the "does it sound sensibe" test is the best filter we can apply to sift out nonsense like "terrorism poses a serious threat to our way of life" or "Global warming is just a weirdie-beardie scare story" from useful stuff like "there are nine million bicycles in Beijing." You see how important that filter can be. Believe nonsense and you end up looking an idiot rather like the guy who went to New Orleans this week and said "this did not happen because of Climate Change, it's a result of God getting angry with the sinners who lived here. Traditionally the worst offenders when it came to lies, damned lies and statistics were the newspapers but more recently preachers have overtaken them. God made the earth in six days, evolution is a scientists conspiracy. AIDS is a punishment from God and the only way to prevent it is to put half your pay in the church collection.
Homosexuality is an infectious disease, always disinfect yourself after seeing George Michael on TV. All these things and much much more they spurt out like projectile vomit. Unfortunately enough people believe this crap to make it worth the preachers' while vomiting it, yet all that they present as fact defies possibility and the only argument they can justify to support it goes "it must be true because it says so in the Bible."
Like the uber-propagandist Adolf Hitler however they understand that if you repeat the lies often enough people will start to believe some of them at least.
There are probably about nine million bicycles in Beijing.
God did not smite the sinners of New Orleans for their wickedness.
Be Sceptical, you know it makes sense.
Georgia's Small and Beautiful
posted 2005-09-16 by ianrthorpe
Although the word is rarely heard in everyday language these days it describes one of the more unpleasant traits of the Anglo - Saxon character. Unfortunately this personal quality is alive and well and hiding out in underground suburbia. Occasionally however some unfortunate occurrence will goad it into announcing its presence.
There was such an instance after the BBC's documentary marking the 21st birthday of Prince Harry. During an interview the pot - puffing - princeling was heard to say "arse."
Now arse is one of those words that though completely harmless is guaranteed to excite the "old fashioned values" brigade. They do not seem to mind the American variation "ass" but get uptight about our old English spelling. Well it is our language and we should preserve our right to use its more colourful extremes. Perhaps in common with piss and shit it is just too earthy or working class for the prudes. Oops, silly me. I used the forbidden word. There will be letters in the Daily Mail tomorrow complaining "just because we have values it does not mean we are prudes.
Yes well they might have values but they have arses too. It is nothing to be ashamed of. We are not supposed to describe people as prudes now though, its a politically correct thing, rather like having to describe my walking stick as a mobility aid, or members of the dark skinned races as people of ethnic origin (these in the guidelines issued to staff by the charity my daughter works for) although we are all derived from one or more ethnic groups.
Is it pejorative to describe narrow minded, prissy, pretentious snobs who think they have a God - given right to impose their moral prejudices on the world as prudes or is it just shorthand?
The true cause of the collective ire that prompted so many people to bombard the BBC with complaints is probably not the Prince's arse, after all Royalty are no strangers to the word. When King James V1 of Scotland was travelling to south to become King James 1 of England he insisted in on keeping the blinds lowered on the coach despite the crowds of his new subject who lined his route through town and villages. His courtiers advised the King that his new subjects might like to see him to which he replied "then I shall pull down my breeks and they shall see my arse."
Despite lapses into the vernacular Prince Harry has not yet suggested that us proles are not good enough to look at his face. So what has upset people.
The scandal that surrounded D.H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover four decades ago blew up not because Lawrence used words like "fuck" and "cunt" in describing sex acts ("Ee Constance, tha's gett'n a beautiful cunt, I love t' fuck thee," says the incurably romantic Mellors to the Eponymous Lady C) but because the protagonists are cuckolding a member of the nobility. There were plenty of dirtier books in print when Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned but the authors had a better understanding of the sexual etiquette of a repressed society. Using bad words was not the taboo broken to bring the case to court, but that an aristocratic married Lady was joyously and graphically having it off with a working class man. It would have been OK had Lord Chatterley been rogering one of the maids of course. Lady C could even have "yearned" for the embrace of the lusty gamekeeper so long as her sexual involvement with him was confined to becoming flustered in his presence.
Maybe the same energy was at work in Prince Harry's case. Would anybody have batted an eyelid if it had been uttered by Jonathan Ross or Graham Norton. A lot of people apparently still believe that the Royal family are different to us mere mortals, fingered by God to be superior. Well done Prince Harry for showing us you are human and know your arse from your establishment. Now if you could just tell those prudes that as a Prince and second in line to the throne you will not put up with this kind of shit.
Prince William And The World Cup
more Politically (In) Correct Posts
Comedy and Satire menu
posted 2005-09-21 by ianrthorpe
Today's gobsmacking item on breakfast TV featured a talking pig. The animal, on a prompt from its owner said "sausages" into a microphone. Or rather it said "saucissons" because, as the owner told a by now utterly bewildered reporter, it only speaks French. What it did say sounded suspiciously like grunt-grun-grunt, something often said by pigs when they have a microphone shoved in their faces.
Beards of Terror
Readers over 35 will remember some years back a dog that said "sausages" and bearing in mind that pigs are more intelligent than dogs will say "so, what is gobsmacking about a pig that says "sausages." Overseas readers who are not aware of the iconic status in British folklore of the dog that said sausages (or nearly said sausages) will by now be gobsmacked by the sheer pointlessness of this article.
If dogs could talk one of the things they might be expected to say quite often is sausages, so a dog that says grrrr-rrr-rrrrrr in a way that sounds vaguely like "sausages" is hardly worth remarking on. But a pig that says sausages is a different kettle of fish, or cut of pork if you like.
As stated pigs are intelligent animals so why would any Berkshire porker with half a brain want to go putting ideas in the farmer's head. A pig smart enough to talk would be more likely to say "Linda McCartney Veggie Burgers" out of the corner of his mouth.
It is possible therefore that the Pig had a hidden agenda. What if it is clever enough to understand that in today's celebrity obsessed world a pig that can say sausages and also "hello, is that Max Clifford Associates" not only has far too much earning potential to ever end up in sausages, it could even end up getting hand jobs off a Z list celebrity in the tackiest TV show ever made (sorry Rebecca Loos, but you must have known that incident would haunt your career such as it is.)
Could a pig be that smart?
Make the connections. A Berkshire you must remember is a black pig. And The Black Pig was the name of the pirate ship belonging to Captain Pugwash in the children's cartoon series which gave us (allegedly) characters like Master Bates and Seaman Staines. The Black Pig has a history of subversive activity then.
Unsurprisingly the Government's anti terror laws, allowing for the fact that pork is forbidden to Muslims does not contain any reference to securing the places than make pork sausages. Even as I type and the pig continues encouraging people to eat sausages on the evening news bulletins, suicide sausage makers could be stuffing succulent skins with semtex.
The sausages of terror have outflanked our inept government once more.
Fondue Of Terror
It's The Sausages, Stupid
2005-09-23 @ 17:27:31
Tags: Belgium; travel; politically correct
This week I was reading a novel by Alexander McCall Smith and came across a passage in which an artist (a piss artist* to be exact) described how he came to write a hymn in praise of Belgium. The story related that he had seen an ad for a competition being run by that bunch of dour Presbyterians The Free Church of Scotland to find new hymns so the artist decided though there were hymns about England, Scotland, America and Australia nobody had ever written a hymn about Belgium. He decided to put matters right and entered this opening verse for the competition.
God's never heard of Belgium
But loves it just the same
For God is kind
And does not mind,
He's not impressed by fame.
The characters in the story then go on to discuss how Angus' hymn might bring him to the attention of the political correctness police.
"We live in such humourless times," says one "that somebody would complain it is offensive to Belgians, yet it used to be perfectly alright to make fun of them and they of us."
A silly, surreal passage but there is so much truth in it. Wherever people are gathered together in small groups to have fun you can bet somebody with a pinched up little mouth and a permanent "tut" in their voice will be earwigging and eager to point out that Belgians are not boring at all and it is not politically correct to suggest they are. Whenever we refer to some apocryphal national trait, be it Belgian phlegm (no pun intended) (yes there was) French sexual incontinence or Irish drunkenness we are quickly reminded that it is both dismissive and pejorative to generalise. Well of course it is, but it's also fun. Does anybody really need reminding that the Irish are not all drunks, the French are not all sex mad (in fact statistics suggest the English are more sex mad, or bigger liars) and that Belgians are not all boring, at any rate Mlle. Dondelanger with whom I was sexually incontinent many years ago(French colleagues made me an honorary Frenchman) wasn't.
Then of course there are religious sensibilities to consider. In a world where office staff are advised not to display cards bearing the words Merry Christmas as it may offend Muslims, Hindus and Jews can there be any hope for anything but a bleak future.
Now some spy from the Political Correctness police (Blair Bullshit Protection Squad) will no doubt make my day by pointing out that having to take Belgium seriously is a small price to pay to secure our civil liberties.
*one who is habitually inebriated
Politically Correct Culture
more posts on Politically Correct nonesense
posted 2005-09-25 by ianrthorpe
Shock, horror! Hurricane Rita finally convinces business and political leaders that urgent action is needed on climate chaos.
Did you read it this week? No.
Shock, Horror! China passes USA in several vital economic measures to show that western civilisation is in terminal decline.
Did you read it this week? No.
Shock, Horror! Famine and AIDS set to wipe out millions in Africa. Did you read it this week? No.
Shock. Horror! Blair ushers in an era of privatisation by stealth for the National Health Servive. Did you read it this week? No.
Shock. Horror! Supermodel does lots of coke. Did you read it this week? You certainly did, in fact unless you are a Guardian reader you probably read little else. This non - story did make The Guardian of course but did not spawn so many column inches over so many days as in the rest of the press.
Why is a story about a fashion model taking coke worthy of so many headlines? Surely it would only be news if a fashion model was found not to be using coke. Everybopdy has known for years that cocaine is the ambrosia of the fashion business. Yet in an orgy of moral outrage Kate Moss has been crucified for doing what fashion models do. What's all this nonsense about her being a role model? She wears clothes for a living for God's sake.
It all reminds me of the outrage surrounding Keith Moon's antics years ago. He was pilloried for setting a bad example too. But Keith Moon was a drummer. He made his living hitting things with sticks. When are the people who run the moral outrage industry going to get real.
Poor Kate Moss is in big trouble now of course. The Moral Outrage bandwagon has flattened her fragile form and no less an authority than Max Clifford said the only thing that will save her career is for her to promise to lead a purer life in future.
I just hope she had the wit to reply "I've no problem with that, I'll only do uncut stuff from now on."
Shock, Horror, FILTH! taught in schools and discussed on talk radio.
Childhood Drinking Put Us On The Slippery Slope To Success
You Live, You Die, And In ??Between You Might As Well Have A Ciggy
Decadent Exam Results Day
Skin Up A Toad
Your Right To Party
A Career In Substance Abuse
Need To Eat