October 27, 2006

Conversations With Greatness CII



For anyone keeping track: I've updated the CWG website with a few new bits and bobs.

October 26, 2006

Cheney of Fools

From FT.com: Cheney endorses simulated drowning
Dick Cheney, US vice-president, has endorsed the use of "water boarding" for terror . . .

Mr Cheney was responding to a conservative radio interviewer who asked whether water boarding, which involves simulated drowning, was a "no-brainer" if the information it yielded would save American lives. "It’s a no-brainer for me," Mr Cheney replied.
He continued, "No-brainer as in, instead of a brain I have an evil super-computer like the one from Superman III."
A spokeswoman for Mr Cheney denied that he had endorsed or confirmed the use of water-boarding.

"The VP was talking about the interrogation programme, clearly noting that we do not torture and we live up to our international treaty obligations. He does not discuss any techniques or methods that may or may not be used in questioning," said Lea Anne McBride.
See, it's just the liberal media taking everything out of context, as usual. What Cheney really said was: "I would like to clearly note that we don't torture and we live up to our international treaty obligations. I am not discussing any techniques or methods that may or may not be used in questioning, during this very specific conversation about a particular technique that I publicly admit has been used in questioning. DUH. It's a no-brainer."

I mean, Jesus, what's all the fuss about? It's not like Cheney came out and made any direct, black-and-white statements about anythi—
Asked in the radio interview whether he would agree that the debate over terrorist interrogations and water boarding was "a little silly", Mr Cheney responded: "I do agree".
Oh.

So, I'm curious, when the vice-President comes out and says something so bat-shit crazy less than two weeks before the much ballyhooed midterms, what demographic is he trying to secure for the Republicans? Soccer moms? Whiskey-soaked hobos? Rush Limbaugh?

Actually, speaking of bat-shit craziness and the midterm elections, check out this guy.

October 24, 2006

The Brown Line

From BBC News: Train defecator hunted by police
A man has been defecating in trains across south-east England, causing damage costing £60,000 to repair . . .

He waits until he is alone before committing the offence, smearing excrement inside carriages . . .

"There is no particular pattern as to when he appears," said [Detective Constable Donna Fox].
In fact, it’s kind of a crapshoot! *rimshot*

Detective Fox described the man’s behaviour as "a serious public health issue," as well as being "exceptionally anti-social." Just pooping on a train would be anti-social, but I guess going the extra mile and smearing it all over the place is what earns him the "exceptionally."

Detective Fox continues.
"On at least one occasion CCTV footage shows the man being disturbed by a passenger walking through a train."
I imagine the passenger was somewhat disturbed as well.
"If anyone sees this man travelling on the railway network they should not approach him, but call the police or alert train staff immediately."
Right, because approaching him would be your first instinct.

"Oh, honey, look! It's that train defecator fellow! Let's go introduce ourselves! Do you think he's the same in real life as he is in the news?"

It's a slow day at work.

October 23, 2006

Stranded

I was out and lost with some friends in central London on Friday night, so we asked a girl handing out flyers for directions.
Us: Sorry, but do you know how to get to the Strand from here?
Her: Um, yes, I think it’s that way. [Waving her arm in a vague direction]
Us: Okay, thanks. [We begin to walk away]
Her: Hey, what time does that shut? [Handing us a flyer] Because when it does this is a great after-hours place.
Us: D’oh!
(If you didn’t know, the Strand is a pretty large street in London, and anybody who thinks it is, in fact, some kind of bar, is probably not the sort of person you want to be getting directions from.)

Still no broadband at home, etc., etc. I sob when I think of all the hilarious YouTube memes that have come and gone in my absence.

October 20, 2006

Conversations With Greatness CI



Actually, I'm not absolutely positive it was Freud who wrote that. It may have been Lacan. But without my handy cultural studies reader or Wikipedia at home (I don't want to search for anything including the word 'penis' at work), I can't really check.

October 17, 2006

Dipshitlomat

From FT.com: EU invitation to Putin a blunder, diplomats say

Wow, those are some comically undiplomatic diplomats. If that's what flies as diplomacy in Brussels these days, no wonder the EU is in such bad shape.

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Yes, I edited this post facto. It has been so long since I've had the internet I am forgetting how to blog properly. Soon I will be reduced to pooing words on to my keyboard.

October 13, 2006

Conversations With Greatness C



As you may have guessed from my lack of posting this week, my broadband has not, in fact, been hooked up. This, despite almost an hour spent on the phone with incompetent (10p a minute!!) technical support-- a hilarious editorialised transcript of which I will post this weekend, if I can wrest myself from my dial-up induced depression.

October 09, 2006

Hello Photoshop, Goodbye Evening

From BBC News: Outcry at North Korea 'nuclear test'
North Korea's claim that it has successfully tested a nuclear weapon has sparked international condemnation.

The White House called for a swift response from the UN Security Council, calling Pyongyang's move "provocative".

Japan and South Korea also condemned the test . . . calling the move "brazen".
Provacative and brazen . . . Man, they ain't kidding — will you get a load of this guy?

I feel kind of dirty.

October 06, 2006

October 05, 2006

When Shit Hits The Fans

From Newsvine: DNA May Implicate Malibu Stars’ Toilets
MALIBU, CALIF. — Just whose waste is fouling the most star-studded stretch of the Southern California coast?

. . . Environmentalists and health officials suspect Malibu homeowners' leaky septic tanks are allowing what gets flushed down the toilet to flow down the hills and into the Pacific Ocean. To identify the offenders, authorities intend to use DNA testing and, if necessary, get court warrants to inspect septic tanks. And that includes tanks buried in the backyards of Hollywood celebrities . . .

"It is a big deal that the county is now saying, `We're willing to go on to properties to see what the source of fecal contamination is,'" says Mark Gold, executive director of the local environmental group Heal the Bay.
Ew. I’m sure glad my country isn’t saying that.
County officials initially will focus on properties with heavier toilet use, such as restaurants and Barbra Streisand's old estate.
Whoa! Wicked burn on Barbra Streisand!! It’s got to be pretty upsetting when local politicians use their legislative power to make editorial comments about your creative output — I heard that was what drove Kurt Cobain to suicide. (Come on, deep down, you know I’m right.)

On a completely unrelated topic, did you know that Facebook is ranked seventh in terms of total web traffic in the US? How did God let this happen?*

And splendid news! I received word today that my broadband gets hooked up tomorrow, instead of at the end of the month — so I can now talk on the phone and studiously avoid social networking sites at the same time! Woot.

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*Because everyone knows that God is totally a Friendster guy.

October 04, 2006

Wit Parade

In Islington, Dan and I have quickly discovered, the official dress code when appearing in public is a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with a humorous slogan printed on it. As luck would have it, just a week or so before leaving Edinburgh, I ordered a couple of new ones, which arrived the other day:



Now all I need is a hipster mullet! (And a MySpace profile.)

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Speaking of MySpace, my friend Dave Burdick (of blogroll fame) has always been fantastically hilarious, and this, I propose, is no exception.

October 02, 2006

Tongues Not Required

You know that scene at the beginning of The Naked Gun, where OJ stumbles around comically from one horrible injury to another? I blame that scene for making me see this story as kind of funny:
Pedestrian hit twice by vehicle

. . . The man was crossing the A68 Dalkeith to Lauder Road, in Pathhead, Midlothian, when he was hit by a Ford Focus travelling north.

The force of the collision . . . sent him onto the southbound carriageway and into the path of a Toyota Corolla.
I mean, God, isn’t that awful? And yet my first reaction was definitely to stifle a laugh. Curse you, Leslie Nielsen, for desensitizing me to the horror in near-fatal accidents!

Oh, what the hell, as long as I’m making grossly inappropriate comments about current events:
Fatal shooting at US Amish school

Six people are reported killed and three injured in a shooting at an Amish school in Pennsylvania, US . . .

It is not yet known whether the gunman came from the tight-knit Amish community or was an outsider.
Well, um — and maybe I’m going out on something of a limb, here — but I’m guessing that if he had a gun, he probably wasn’t too Amish. No?

*holds breath and waits for blowback*

October 01, 2006

I'll Have a Hamlet and Pineapple

Ah, yes, ye olde pi∫∫aes, of which the bard hath spake many a time with unrivall’d glee.

So, on Tuesday, my laptop broke, thus rendering my already tenuous internet connection pretty much non-existent. First, I thought, “It’s okay, I’ll just dial in through my AirPort base station and browse using my iMac,” but my AirPort base station stubbornly refused to talk to AOL’s dial-up servers.

So, second, I thought, “It’s okay, I’ll just move my iMac upstairs temporarily and connect it directly to the phone line.”

Sadly, my iMac is so technologically advanced that it doesn’t, in fact, have a modem. Which I have to admit has a certain degree of beautiful, postmodern absurdity about it.

Eventually, today, I remembered one of the ancient dial-up accounts I used to have growing up (like, really, when I was sixteen), and on a whim decided to see if it would still work. And, lo!, I have the internet at home again, so I can at least surf with a little more abandon than when I surreptitiously use the web at work.

Speaking of postmodern absurdity, when I went into the Apple store yesterday to see about getting my laptop repaired, I had the following conversation with a very helpful member of ‘The Genius Bar’:
Me: I need to get my iBook repaired. Am I in the right place?
Him: Do you have an appointment?
Me: No.
Him: Well, we’re fully booked today, I’m afraid. You’ll have to make an appointment for another day and come back.
Me: Okay. Can I make an appointment with you?
Him: No, you have to go to our website.
Me: But . . . My computer is broken.
Him: Well, then all you can do is just turn up tomorrow at 10am when we open the store, so you can get in line first.
Me: There’s no other way to make an appointment?
Him: [exasperated] No.
Now, I’m sorry, I know I’m no Genius, but does it not seem a little bit self-defeating that you need to use your computer to fix your computer? Why not just ask me to go outside and devour myself, ouroboros-like?

Otherwise, though, London has been much fun and I have had a much happy week. More later.