Random Drivel from your Average Tosser

...with your host, Binty McShae - whether you like it or not!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Keep on warrin' for the free world!

So, according to the leader of the 'free' world we are 'winning' The War Against Terror. You can tell by the way that there have been elections in Iraq. And because there haven't been any bombs on Western soil for a while. And crucially because Osama wants peace.

Now, if you believe the propoganda this 'truce' is being offered because OBL has been weakened by the might of the Good Ol' U.S. of A. and their allies. Possibly true, but this does not mean that the threat is over. Bin Laden's star has been eclipsed over recent months by other extremists, including his own deputies. Just because he may be on the decline and looking for a way out does not mean that his followers are as well.

What the bravado war-mongers of our nations fail to acknowledge is that terrorism is usually a reaction against something. Initially the groups that T.W.A.T. is being waged against were very extreme 'idealists' with a vision of a world very different to the west. However , the modern 'enemy' is those who have adopted extremism to combat the injustice of - wait for it - the sweeping generalisation that is The War Against Terror!

People who would not take up arms against what they saw as a decadent society half-way around the world, simply because it meant nothing to them, are now reacting in anger because that society is interfering in their lives. T.W.A.T. is no longer the solution (if it ever was) - it has, instead, become a main part of the problem.

Think this is crazy talk? For the last 40-odd years politics in Palestine have been dominated by the Fatah party who justifiably seek more rights and freedoms for their people from Israel but choose to do this in a relatively moderate manner with diplomacy at the fore. This week they were ousted by Hamas, a party denounced in the west as one of the very terrorist organisations we are at 'war' with. The organisation has claimed responsibility for almost 60 suicide attacks since the year 2000 alone and has long called for Israels total destruction.

To be fair that demand was dropped from their election manifesto and they have adhered to a truce for almost a year. But this still signals that attitudes in the Middle East and beyond are rapidly changing, and not the way that Bush would like.

Cheers m'dears!

I'm away for a bit to usher in the New Lunar Year - the Chinese Year of the Dog is just beginning.... see you all in a week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Haggis, neeps, tatties and a wee drop o' the water-of-life to one an' all!

Crivens, is it here a'ready? Seems no' a moment sin' I wiz nursin' ma heid frae Hogmanay an' a' of a sudden that Burns laddie sez it's his turn agin, the wee scunner! So break oot the poetry an' raise a glass tae the true bard... no' that poncey sassenach laddie from Stratford, y'ken - him wi' the funny way o' spellin' an' a'. Ah'm talkin' aboot the man his-sel'! Oor Rabbie!!

Whit? Which wan o' yez shouted "Williams"? Awa' an' bile yer heid, ye twat!

SlĂ inte m'dears!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hill-billy Orangemen and Scottish Rednecks

No, this is not a bile spitting attack on Protestants in Scotland, though let me state for the record that I (even as a Rangers supporting lapsed-Proddie) cannot stand the fucking ridiculous Orange Order and their provocative marches. Tradition? So was slavery - that doesn't make it a good idea! That aside, I just want to bring the origin of the Hillbilly and the Redneck to your attention (especially Doc M and Tubthumper).

It appears that the world has oor ain guid fowk to thank for naming those rural off-shoots of Homo Sapien (modern urban evolutions of these sub-humans include the Ned, the Chav and the England Footballer... sorry, irresistible). Most interesting to me is the fact that hillbilly was indeed a term used to describe the original Orangemen (supporters of King 'Billy' of Orange). I'm not sure whether the smart bowler hat wouldn't just look out of place in Clampitt-ville, but I suppose there is a possible connection, as emphasised by the small minded bigotry often shared between the two 'Orders'.

Cheers m'dears!

Acknowledgement:- I found the link above when I randomly ended up at the macbean gene blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's a small world....

So what's going on in the world today? Or should that be, who was it that found the world yesterday? A Chinese lawyer has what he describes as 'proof' that Chinese explorer named Zheng He 'discovered' the Americas more than 80 years previously to Columbus, albeit travelling across the Pacific rather than the Atlantic.

Lets ignore the fact that the word 'discovered' completely dismisses several indigenous races who pretty much knew of the continents existence a long time before. In fact, lets even ignore that said indigenous peoples bear some resemblences to near neighbours in Eastern Asia anyway (after all, at their northern points the two continents are not that far apart, and cross-pollenisation is not that remote a possibility). Lets instead look at the 'facts' as presented.

The 'proof' is a map (shown above) which shows the Americas to the right hand side with Europe and Africa at the left and Asia in the middle. As with post-Columbus maps it assumes a spherical world, but rather than the Euro-centric models we are used to this is more... well, China-centric. Understandably. The original of this map is said to have been drawn in 1418... and herein lies the problem. The 'proof' is not the original map.

The map in question is an 18th century copy, which unsurprisingly has caused many to doubt the claim that Zheng He set foot on American soil before old Chris. It's too long winded to go into in detail but suffice to say both sides can produce oodles of evidence to support their claim (if you really want to know, click here). And of course the waters are truly muddied by decades old claims that the Vikings were there a few centuries earlier.

So allow me to sort it out once and for all. The first non-natives to visit the New World were a pair of Gauls named Asterix and Obelix. I know my history, I've read the bloody book! And if anyone else out there likes comic-strips please allow me to draw (pardon the pun) your attention to the All-New and Exciting Adventures in Blog World, starring many of the fuckers that are listed down the right. It's called Blunt Cogs, and if you don't get that then you're already screwed......

Cheers m'dears!

Monday, January 16, 2006

A witty title eludes me.... sorry!

George Galloway... what can you say.

Yes, okay, I hold my hands up and admit it. This is a post concerning the Sibling of All Evils, Big Brother, or more specifically wannabe-and-faded-Celebrity Big Brother. I have never liked that reality show shit (I seriously doubt anything will ever change my mind) and moving to Sinless City I thought I may have made an escape, but no. Not only do they have their own version of the UKs own WMD, 'Pop Idol', and import the US version 'American Idol' but for some reason the Daily Propoganda insists on reporting with glee the antics from the BB house. What utter cunts.

But back to the fat moustachioed one.... what, indeed, can you say? Let me give praise where it is due and say that for a brief spell Mr G. became an honest-to-god fucking hero after his stint in the US courtroom where he was essentially on trial for 'collaborating with Saddam'. In a defiant manner similar to Bertolt Brecht (and others) during the McCarthy trials Gorgeous George positively mauled his inquisitors and completely turned the tables, castigating the Bush administration for its handling of Iraq. That is where my admiration of the man must stop, however.

Lets get real, for a second. Is there anyone out there who doesn't think GG is a little bit 'woah', a little bit 'whay'? He may prattle about politics and spout socialism but his taste in cigars and expensive suits (that somehow still look cheap and ordinary on him) give him much more the air of a Glesgae gangster than an MP to be 'Respect'ed. And isn't a bit suspect that this fat middle-aged white guy won his seat on the back of being a friend to the ethnic minorities in his constituency despite his main opponent actually being from one of said minorities? Hey, I'm not alleging anything actually illegal - for one thing I don't want to be made an offer I cannae refuse - I just wonder, y'know... what the fuck's going on?

So, finally - to the BB thing. For those not in the know George is in the house this year. That's right, a sitting member of the British Parliament is fruitfully using his time on a fucking reality show. "Doing what, exactly?", I hear you cry... Well, according to him he is trying to bring Politics (particularly his 'Respect' party) to the masses. According to the worlds press, which tends to actually shape the opinions of the masses, he is pretending to be a cat and lapping imaginary milk from fellow contestant Rula Lenska's hands. Nice one, George. That's one in the eye for Smug Tony then.

Incidntally, every time the Georgemeister does actually talk politics the shows producers overdub him with the sound of birds twittering... I'd like to think someone at C4 has a sense of humour, but it's more likely been censored to comply with British laws on political broadcasts.

Cheers m'dears!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dr Seuss... but even more warped!

Green Eggs and Ham? Pah! Yesterdays delicacy. What all the hip kids want now is Green Ham and Eggs, hence the newly spawned green pigs in Taiwan (yep, that place again). And we ain't talking 'green' as in 'good for the planet' and all that. We're talking fluor-fucking-escent green pigs snuffling around the sty and attracting moths at night!

This has all been taking place at the National Taiwan University where pig embryos were injected with fluorescent green protein by pissed-up undergrads with fuck all better to do. Or maybe that should read 'by researchers. With nothing better to do'. The results have caused great excitement with Professor Wu Shinn-chih from the Department of Playing God (or was that the dept. of Animal Science and Technology) rubbishing other 'partially-fluorescent' pigs elsewhere in the world. "Ours are the only ones in the world that are green from inside out!" he boasted. "Even their hearts and internal organs are green!"

If I ever get a rasher of radioactive bacon served up for brekkie it'll be my internal organs turning fucking green, I promise you.

On a final note... with all the complaints about expanding towns bringing light pollution to rural areas and nature-lovers not being able to see a decent starry night any more aren't glow-in-the-dark farmyard animals just exacerbating the problem?

Cheers m'dears!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mon dieu, Captain Hastings!

Just a quick one today.... need a pint too badly to write anything worthwhile.

Semi-interesting factoid - 30 years ago this very day Agatha Christie kicked the bucket.....

.......wait for it.......

.....the butler did it.

Hey, if you wanted funny you should have gone to Jokemail!

Cheers m'dears!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Chinese Horror-scope for the next Decade..?

Fellow blogger and all-round entertaining ranter Brewski has recently been contemplating leaving his home on 'Demented Isle', which he revealed in a feedback earlier in this blog to be Taiwan. Being apparently afeared to fly he wishes to opt for the sea-and-land route - no doubt picturesque, but will it be quick enough to escape the fate looming over the island? C'mon Brewski, get yer skates on! If the Daily Propoganda is to be believed World War III is going to kick off in your backyard!
The article I refer to is citing the book America's War With China: A Collision Course Over Taiwan by Ted Galen Carpenter which predicts that in the next 10 years America will go to war. With, err, China. Umm... over Taiwan. And that's not just a load of guff, apparently - after all, Carpenter is described in the press as 'a sober commentator on foreign policy issues' as opposed to a scare-mongering fantasist. That said, many such sober commentators predicted similar shit with China's predecessor-in-superpowerdom, the USSR, and despite a few spats all-out-war never quite reared its head. Personally I am always sceptical about believing folks described as 'sober'... I for one have always found alcohol to be a most excellent truth-laxative.
Of course the current US stance would seem to be at odds with this prediction, but the double-standard that America displays in not recognising Taiwanese independence from communist China has always been based on politics rather than 'ideology', and politics is a temperamental beast. Carpenter's argument is based on the assumptions that: a) Taiwan has become so bolshy in asserting it's sovereignty that China is being goaded into settling matters once and for all; b) China believes that the US is sincere in it's support of their claim to the island and will not intervene to defend it; and c) the US could never stand by and allow such an occurrence, despite paying lip-service to Chinese claims.
He could be right, although other 'experts' (another group I distrust) dispute the claims, making the point that a Straits War would not only fuck up Taiwan but would be a bad for the US and China too. Of course going to war is often not that good for anyone, but it's never stopped us yet.... Brewski, get swimming!
In completely unrelated news it appears that the Government of India has been panicked into patenting a couple of hundred Yoga poses (stances / positions / what-the-fuck-ever) by unscrupulous teachers in the US who are cheekily taking out patents themselves, claiming credit for practices that have been around for years. The world really is full of cunts, ain't it?
Cheers m'dears!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Byte me!

Sweet Jesus, computers are fucking wank!

As you may or may not have noticed I have had a few troubles with my blog this weekend. First off Friday's blog came out half-baked without my noticing until Saturday, by which time it had already received comments. It has now been restored, so please feel free to wend your way back there and read the finished article. And then, to cap it all, Saturday's blog has simply fucking disappeared without a trace. Did I even write one, I ask myself. Well, did I? I just don't bloody know any more.... did anyone else see it?

So why do we bother? The idea that computers are going to create a paperless society is utterly refuted by the fact that we now print a dozen hard copies of whatever we have created, just in case the PC dies (and you just know that when it does die it will be the only time you didn't make a hard copy). In fact, the amount of times that my computer and printer conspire to fuck up the document that I am trying to print means that I am probably creating more waste paper than most whole offices did before the electronic age.

More to the point I ask myself why the hell do I bother. Why endure the frustration just for the small joy of ranting on a blog like this, a past-time I could equally recreate in the comfort of my local boozer with a decent pint in hand. Except they can't bar me from my blog when I've "said enough" (can they?) and at least here I only have to put up with twatty retorts after the fact instead of having my entire flow punctuated by them.

Anyhow, now that my blood-letting has taken effect I am going to save this as a word document, e-mail it to myself (both personal and work addresses) and save it as a draft on this site under a backup name. Just to be sure. If you are reading this humanity has prevailed over the machines (eat shit, you Terminator-Matrix thingummies!). If not.... well, any further detail is pointless.

Cheers m'dears!

Friday, January 06, 2006

God is alive - and He's an Old Testament kinda guy!

So Ariel Sharon, having pretty much done a U-turn in his stance over Palestine, has succumb to the fickle finger of fate.... or is it just the wrath of a vengeful God? I mean, lets look at the evidence. The last Israeli top dog to look to compromise was Rabin... assassinated in office. Not having much luck, these Israeli 'moderates'.

Jordanian Political Analyst Labib Kamhawi is quoted as saying "If God wants an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement then Sharon will not die". Aside from the fact that this statement is hardly Political Analysis it's a bit of a fucking stupid thing to say. So if Sharon dies God (whichever one you are talking about) must want the Middle East to explode? You are probably an intelligent man, Labib, so don't act the fuckwit. Especially since chances are extremely high that Sharon ain't going back to work.

Of course Israeli supporters have begun their vigils and are coming out with various reverential statements, but alongside these even some Arab commentators are begrudgingly praising Sharon. Take this example from a random news piece:- "A live Sharon is better for the Palestinians now, despite all the crimes he has committed against us". But this is in stark contrast to the Palestinian kids waving banners with the words "Die, Sharon the killed (sic) of our children".

Why this polarisation of opinion? After all, last year Sharon pulled the Jewish settlements out of Palestinian land. That's 30 odd years after they were aggressively established by an Israeli minister knicknamed 'The Bulldozer'. What was his actual name again....? Oh, that's right - Ariel Sharon.

It's a difficult call to make - would the Middle East be better off without the bastard who, in the 1950's, led Israeli Covert Op's Unit 101 in destroying the village of Qibya, killing 69 Arabs (including children)? Or was the reformed Sharon the only chance for lasting peace. God only knows, and as usual he's moving in mysterious ways.... the cunt!

Cheers m'dears!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Eye of the Beholder

As I reached the top of the escalator I was riding today I noticed a discarded cardboard coffee cup on the very top step. As the escalator continued to rumble the cup was stuck at the edge, the motion causing it to spin in a wheel-like fashion, forever moving yet going nowhere. And strangely I was drawn to it....
No, this is not going to be a metaphor-laden soul-searching blog about people 'going nowhere'. It is, instead, simply a reflection on the strangeness of what we find to be beautiful. Much like the plastic bag in 'American Beauty' this piece of litter was captivating. It was not as random or graceful as the aforementioned bag yet there was something strangely perfect in the fact that it had found its way to this place, something bizarrely moving about the way in which it moved around and around. Maybe I'm just a bit of a weirdy cunt, but I stopped for a moment to watch it anyway... and it got me thinking about my own taste in 'beauty'.
Now, I'm a country bumpkin at heart. I love the smell of the forest, the beauty of the gnarled old trees, the sound of the wind. As such you would expect me to hate the giant footprints that man leaves littered all over the countryside, but you'd only be partially right. Yes, I despise the indiscriminate littering perpetrated by ignorant individuals, and even more so the wholesale environmental tipping doled out by all-too-knowing corporations, but there are times when modern technology collides with mother nature to produce what is, to my mind, breathtaking artistry.
My personal favourite, and a classic example, is that of the wind-turbines erected in many places throughout the UK (and elsewhere). A descendent of the windmill, the architects of the modern turbine have removed the basic stone building and instead mounted blades on tall, sleek towers that seem to be straight out of science fiction. And I love 'em!
Have you ever been travelling somewhere and slowly caught a glimpse of something flickering just over the next hill? Then, as you progress further, the flickering reveals itself to be the three blades endlessly turning atop the tower that gradually emerges.... it's like watching some giant robots or machines striding the countryside, a la 'War of the Worlds' or that old BBC series 'Tripods'. Majestic is a word I frequently use to describe them. And I never tire of coming across a cluster...
It is a shame not everyone feels this way, but not living near to any turbines myself perhaps I truly am unaware of the noise-pollution they alledgedly create. Regardless of that, however, there will always be some stuffed shirts who think that something cannot be beautiful if it is not a classical piece of artwork. Remember the initial horrified response to the 'Angel of the North' (another monument that I find awe-inspiring - pictured above)?
Beauty is a funny old thing, you never know where you'll find it... moments like that insignificant coffee cup are worth treasuring. Even if they do start me talking /writing like a poncey twat.
Cheers m'dears!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It Could Have Been You.....

What would you do if, whilst finally doing the laundry that's been at the bottom of the basket for months, you pulled a jackpot-winning lottery ticket out of your jeans pocket... only to discover that it expired earlier this week? It's a possibility since an unclaimed 9.4 million quid disappeared from some punters grasp on Monday just gone.....

But before you think "What a stupid twat" think on this:-

The date of the winning draw was 6th July 2005, a Wednesday night. If you were the lucky winner that night you would have discovered that you can't take it down your local corner shop to redeem the winnings - no, instead you must either present the ticket to the lottery bosses in London or call them up and get them to come to you.... lets assume you take the first of those options.

So, in your excitement you decide you'll fuck work off tomorrow and jump on the very next train down from Doncaster, probably the last one of the day. After a sleepless night planning how you will spend your new riches Thursday morning finally arrives. Straight out the hotel door into rush hour London, you jump on the underground (or maybe a bus) thinking "I'm the luckiest cunt in the world", when all of a sudden.....

I wonder if anyone else has noticed that the day after the unclaimed ticket came good was the infamous 7/7. Adds a whole other twist to Alanis Whatsernames 'Ironic'....

Cheers m'dears!