24 August 2009

Daily Chat 24/08/09

Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79, burying the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae in ash and rock. Six thousand Jews were killed in Mainz in 1349 after being blamed for the bubonic plague. British troops invaded Washington, D.C., in 1814, setting fire to the White House and several other buildings. And in 2006, those bastards at the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto is not really a planet.

Celebrating birthdays today: Kenny Baker, A.S. Byatt, Jean Michel Jarre, Stephen Fry and Rupert Grint. The Roman Catholic Church observes the feast of St. Bartholomew today and we go back to school. It's gonna be a long week.


  1. Hi Montana, hope you’re ready for the new school year.

    Try to pay attention to the teachers and do your homework properly this year, and maybe you’ll learn something...

    The International Astronomical Union was really just catching up with what the rest of us already knew.

    Pluto is not a planet, he’s Mickey Mouse’s dog.

    And a song by Bjork

  2. I really hate that fucking mouse

  3. Pluto isn't a planet.

    I always had the feeling that some people wanted the solar system to have loads of planets just so when we meet aliens from another star system we could do the homeowner bedroom bit on them.

    "How many planets do you have? Oh, just the six. We've got nine. Well, we did have eight but we had Pluto converted. Kuyper Belt objects just aren't a selling point these days and it's put simply trillions on the value of the solar system ..."

  4. But the duck was good.
    M. Jackson modelled himself on the mouse.

  5. Damn andy and Frank beat me to Pluto.

    Our youngest goes to Glasgow Gaelic school and as the catchment area covers all of Glasgow there are buses and taxis to take the kids to school - a taxi just came round to pick up her up but as we live the other side of the park from the school this seems a bit lazy, so my wife is walking her to school this morning and we're taking bikes rest of week if weather holds up.

    Is amazing to have a taxi come to door though, appeals to every idle bone in my body, which is all of them.

  6. Have now decided I hate Madeleine Bunting even more than that fucking mouse - she's making the most monstrous argument for fascism on CiF today, and I don't think she even realises it. *Gleefully* trying to deny free will on the flimsiest of grounds, positively embracing billard ball ideology. Fucking horrible ignorant dangerous woman.

  7. "more than the mouse"?

    For me the mouse was never in the same league. Bunting and Tonbee will always have a special place in my ..er..whatever it is that makes the bile.

    Peter Preston's just been promoted to the premiership as well. I was pretty pissed by his attitude in the piece he did on the soldiers who get shot during the pizza delivery. You really did get the feeling that if they'd been collecting a Thai takeaway, made with fresh ingredients by a lovely, close-knit, nuclear family who barely spoke a word of word of English...he might have been a bit more sympathetic.

    Now he's followed that with the most condescending thing I've seen in ages. Telling us we should get back to basics and live a subsistence existence in some picturesque idyll..presumably so ex-Graun journos with gold-plated pensions can visit now and again and praise our simplicity and wholesomeness. Fuckin outrageous.

    Why can't I paste anything into here btw. Just looked back at the pizza/terrorist thread.

    "Is the peace process derailed"

    8th March 09. On page 2, it features just about the best response to a piece of wanton Guardianista condescention I've ever seen. Sorry I can't give a link but if you're not busy, check out Myself1's reply. Brutal.

    How come I can't cut and paste btw?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. 'cos you ain't signed with a Google id or similar. For some reason cut and paste and some of the more useful keys are disabled when you're not.

    Oh, and Bunting is a dribbling arse-clown.

  10. I suppose we'll be shortly be reading articles about how Google gave up the identity of Lord Summerisle, the blogger who referred to Madeleine Bunting as a dribbling arse-clown.

    I'd happily defend that in court.

    Call exhibits 1 to 4037, her CiF article history. No court would convict me!

  11. I just don't understand this actual *longing* to be a zombie that Bunting displays. Now I can see how someone with a limited imagination and piss poor understanding of the rather limited grasp science currently has of how our mind might "be" could accept the claims that we can't have free will - that is isn't possible. But why be so damn chuffed about it?

    Because it turns us into hive creatures I guess, products of environment and interaction - just as Marxists desire to be true. Stagging how much lefties must hate natural inequalities; rather than accept difference, they prefer to reduce us to the status of robots.

  12. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/08/northernireland?commentid=a2cfb2de-9df2-4ef6-9800-6ee22d49351d

    Here it is. The article, with myself1's post at the foot.

  13. @LordSummerisle

    Just point out that you have no free will and present MB's article as evidence.

  14. Just read Preston's piece, what an appalling fat clown.


  15. I almost puked my pancreas reading Preston's piece - and how many people does he think that kind of life can support? How many people might the UK support, from an economy like that, with agriculture like that? Half what we had in 1970? And what of the additional ten million labour have dumped on us? Keeerist.

    And how might those cheerful peasants manage if they actually adopted the insane agricultural bureaucracy people like PP and his statist chums have pushed these past decades, how might they fare if they were forced to feed those who refuse to work, who refuse to support this "community"? How much light red wine do you have left when you've been ordered to hand the village alky all he wants?

    Stupid article, stupid man, stupid paper, stupid fucking country in a stupid fucking world.

  16. "I just don't understand this actual *longing* to be a zombie that Bunting displays".

    Bunting's career falls into two sections. First she was a rather social policy journalist, (i.e. preferring statistical evidence to mere conjecture) of issues such as social housing, deprivation, joblessness, homelessness, and related social policy ideas. You might have disagreed with her, but her arguments (check out old articles in Guardian Society) were usually pretty cogent and well backed up with evidence, and weren't at all barking mad.
    Phase two, the last five years or so has seen a major mission creep away from rather dry social policy stuff into some groovy, highly fashionable and big bucks "interfaith" arena, which at least to this old fart is based on a load of pomo nonsense - but ticks all the govt-approved identity politics positions, under - as it's religion - some sort of over-arching conceptual framework.
    Reading between the lines, it's this new and lucrative endeavour, highly popular with liberal left media, and respected “thinkers” who seem to have identified faith as a perfectly reasonable counter to unfettered materialism, that got her interested in joining Demos as a high ranking director two years ago. Quite why she got the sack three months later is anyone’s guess; may be it's because this new pro-religion anti-western / enlightenment shtick was too much even for them ?

  17. Frank, I don't think Bunting longs to be one of the drones. She is, after all, a thinker, an opinion former, a leader, a queen if you will. Her free will is in rude health because she already thinks the correct thoughts. It's the rest of us that are the problem.

  18. Just read the Peter Preston. Its put me off me dinner! Ach y fu!!! (untranslatable but onomatopoeic term of disgust in Welsh pr=uch u vee).

    Not sure I can face Maddy after that!

  19. I looked at Cif this morning for the first time for ages and on the front page saw a pic of a bloke beside Maddie's name - has gone now, obviously a mistake which Cif caught fairly quickly.

    Must say I don't think anything she was saying was that new. Someone (I think Don Cupit) pointed out ages ago that if James Frazer was right we are not rational, individual beings at all, but demon-haunted patterns of instinct and fear; as one of Maddie's scientists would say, the neurons flash but there's no one home!

  20. Hi! Just popped in while I ate my toast & drank my coffee. Off to the salt mines now. Pluto will always be a planet in my heart.

  21. MMMM...

    Not sure about Maddy's article. I don't actually think she is saying that we are not individuals. I think she saying that we are individuals who are also part of a collective.

    We are not Bees - we are social animals though - evolutionary theory suggests that our strength lies in our ability to co-operate with others of our kind. Solitary confinement, which is an extreme form of imposed individualism (not of course involving choice)often causes mental damage. I think the 'choice' here is not between the individual or the community but rather an interaction between both.

    The research Maddy refers to is inclined to be reductionist and simplistic which is why it comes out as total bollox! We do have choices but its also true that all of us have a tendency to drift unthinkingly into patterns and mental pathways set up over time. In other words we often don't exercise choice, sometimes because we blindly follow habit and sometimes because choice is just absent or limited.

    We don't/shouldn't live alone thats why so many who do so seek 'communities' online. The size and nature of these communties is open to many definitions which include genetic kin, people with similar political/religious views, people who share similar interests.

    Ultimately, in my view John Donne's meditation which includes the often quoted 'No man is an island', remains true even when the religious views alluded to are removed.

  22. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/aug/24/atheism-dawkins-science-evolution?commentpage=1

    And yet another one!

    Science and religion need a truce!

    Has the Guardian completely renounced any minute vestige of rationalism?

    Looks like the answer is: Move to a little village, live a hand to mouth existence and wait eagerly while the 21st century is served up by the op-ed section of the Guardian: in easy to handle, bite-sized, po-mo chunks, as seen through the prism of 'spiritually-literate', all-inclusive, N. London, dinner-party set.

    The future's feudal superstition...the future's Bunting.

  23. Theres some real eye rolling stuff on cif today - agree about MB and the Preston piece - farmhouse in Galicia, dahlings, with authentic old wrinklies....how super. what about the must apologise for Stalin piece - really couldn't be arsed to take it seriously.

  24. Martin Kettle seems baffled why fewer people of Caribbean descent turn up to see England v Austria than England v the West Indies.

  25. #Ultimately, in my view John Donne's meditation which includes the often quoted 'No man is an island', remains true even when the religious views alluded to are removed.#

    Although, even this was a piece of rabid protestant propaganda bemoaning the success of the counter reformation.

    "if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less"

    This is not simply poetic symbolism...this was literal...religious polemic. Cut to 2009 and the pages of the UK's "leading liberal mouthpiece" and the mumbo jumbo merchants are still peddling this shite to political ends. That said...Bunting's hardly John Donne...more kinda been there, 'Donne' that, not going back...it's fulla bullshit.

  26. I stopped buying the Guardian during the week and saved a few bob. I've now stopped buying the Saturday one and the Observer. I can still get my rage free online.

  27. colinthestoat
    Do you listen to Electric Ink, Radio 4, 6.30 Thursday evenings ?

    It's a bit like Drop the Dead Donkey meets Guardian / CiF. Pretty ammusing at times, and sounds like the writer knows Alan Rusbridger's business plans for Gaurdian Online inside out...

    Particularly amusing was the paper's online moderator an older journo berated her last week for being too lenient on posters. As flipping if !!!

  28. The Graun seems to be having another identity blitz, it has published a handful of the most laughable piles of shit imaginable in the last week. What a joke this paper can be at times. They seem to live in a permanent time warp about 25 years out of date.

  29. Bitterweed,
    Will give it a try. Thanks.

  30. This is not just poetic symbolism - well at the time it wasn't but that doesn't mean you can't interpret it as such surely? This isn't the 16th C.

    If you strip the religious meaning away which of course I do.

    Modern individualism does strip us away from society - we are literally 'islands' in our own homes these days. Which is precisely what the powers that be want social solidarity is a danger to them.

  31. Just realised...it only just came to me so I immediately posted this on the WDYWTTA thread..

    #Oh my gawd...slaps forehead in disgust at my own stupidity. Just worked it out.

    GMG record losses...etiquette thread (hopeless attempt to impose self-censorship)

    You're cutting back on the moderators aren't you? They're being wished "all the best in their future careers" aren't they?

    Nice try CIF.#


    Fuck it! Charliepolecat was getting on my nerves anyway. Last time I ask the kids to come up with a new moniker.

  32. Good work inspector monkeyfish !

  33. MF phone...........

  34. Mods are children of staff on 10 year internships. They don't get paid fuck all. They live in cardboard boxes and have to give their giros to the wages department.

  35. Damn you lot. I've started reading LOTR again.

  36. "Damn you lot. I've started reading LOTR again."

    I was tempted too, Thaum, i admit, i bought MFs recommendation, Sokal, and Orwells Essays instead. Though going to have to do the 4th LOTR run some time soon i think. Might be 5th actually, not certain.

  37. Must be at least my 10th time, Jay.

    Of course, I've never read it with my feminist hat on before. Have made some startling discoveries: Gollum's (or rather, Sméagol's) community was a matriarchy. Seriously. The matriarch kicked him out.

    Will keep shtum on the subject now for fear of annoying everyone else....

  38. Yep, best keep schtum, any more LOTR we should resort to email.

  39. Jay/Thauma

    Feel free to continue on the LOTR - you might even persuade me to take a look.

  40. although I'll draw the line at statues...

  41. Sheff - I think the mob might turn up with torches and all.

  42. Thauma

    That bad eh? Really will have to dig the books out - am sure I've got a couple in a box somewhere.

  43. 'Of course, I've never read it with my feminist hat on before.'

    Here's a few pointers for you, thauma -

    Entwives are cool!

  44. The entwives were obviously a radical lesbian feminist community which eschewed the company of the ents because they were so bloody slow at everything. Imagine how long it could take for an ent to put up a shelf ..

  45. The ents couldn't find the entwives because they were all hiding out at Bidisha's house.

  46. .. debating separatism with Bindel ..

  47. "I'm writing a paper on feminism in Lord of the Rings, any suggestions, ideas, quotes?"

    Haha, probably some gender studies student, glad to see the Reilly school of feminism spreading its roots though...

  48. JR
    Ha! I think you'll find I'm in the scherfig deconstructionist school of feminisms.

  49. And I'm in the deconfeminist school of constructivists...or was it the disinfectant school of confected shits?

  50. Lesbian Ents Make Better Tree Fellers.

  51. MF
    I bow to your academic credentials.

    LEMBTFs - very good, and probably true, but it doesn't work as an acronym!