Perhaps a new category is called for

Said category being along the lines of “Things you hear all the time in The Movies, but didn’t expect to hear in Real Life”.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be the most used category in the world, but it would have been nice to have a handy tickbox for this particular eventuality.

Given the lack of said category, however, I’ll just have to put this here and give it an appropriate sub-heading.

Things you hear all the time in The Movies, but didn’t expect to hear in Real Life: Radio conversation division

[unheard start of conversation]

Tower: Roger [phonetic callsign], cleared for flypast, 60 knots, we’ll try and get a good look.

[time passes]

[Phonetic callsign]: How’d it look?

Tower: Not sure, but front gear looked bent significantly to the left. Please advise of intentions [phonetic callsign], suggest you stay up over the peninsula and burn off fuel.

[phonetic callsign]: Er, it’d take three hours to burn off fuel. I’ll attempt landing, and try to keep the weight off it as long as possible.

Tower: Roger that.

Fire 1: We copy.

At this point, the radio I was listening to was switched off, but since nothing like this was on the news yesterday afternoon, I can only assume it ended OK…

Quotes I should live by

From the eterenal wisdom that is the office calendar:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

A paraphrasing of which I’ve been using for years, although I’m partial to the word ‘ineptitude’ rather than stupidity.

Of course, the phrase doesn’t discount the very real possibility that both malice and stupidity are in play… For examples, see any recent press release from the Home Office.

A man could get in trouble for that sort of thing

For the obvious reasons1, I’m quite interested in the massive emergency exercise that they’re planning here this weekend.

lifted from

Apparently the plan is to have a flight from minor Airport 1 to minor Airport 2 declare an emergency and crash as slightly-less-minor Airport 3. With a cast of thousands, five hospitals, three airports and lots of shiny equipment that won’t be used except for such large events. Should be interesting.

And not least because of the makeup of some of that cast…

Three airports, five hospitals and role-playing student nurses will also take part in the drill.

There are so many comments that could (and should) be made there. But, given the current climate perhaps they would be best held back. Until the sharp knives have been put down, at least.

1 – Geekish tendencies, fondness of explosions and a liking for techno-thrillers, since you ask.

What I was trying to say

What I was trying to say here has been said better by Chris:

“But smoking is bad. I just don’t like it. I don’t want people smoking near me”; was his final argument (actually his first, final, and only argument).

He just didn’t get it. He didn’t understand why the government shouldn’t step in and force a private property owner to do whatever HE personally wanted them to do. He thought it was entirely reasonable that his preferences should be made into law, and should infringe on the rights of the property owner. As far as he was concerned, because he didn’t want people smoking around him while he ate, then no-one should ever be allowed to smoke in a restaurant.

As we were about to be seated I turned and made one final statement: “Sir, d’you know what the most dangerous words in the English language are? ‘There oughta be a law'”

Amen to that. Saying ‘There oughta be a law’ oughta be followed by the judicious application of the cluebat.

For those unfamiliar with the term, here is what I mean:


Of course, to keep the health and safety bods happy, when applying The Clue to those of a younger disposition, corks should be placed over the spikes. So you can’t accuse me of being cruel…

Ah, the innocence of youth

Dear God, if this is what the Sweary Lady is like at one, what the hell will happen when she reaches the Terrible Twos?

And this little quote nearly had me ‘lol’ing, and there was a distinct possibility of ‘rofl’ing.

I’m fed up with having no one outside of Mary Harney’s powerful orbit (That’s no moon! It’s a health minister!)

But I managed to restrain myself to a mere ‘heh’. It seemed the least I could do.

Not just an English thing

From Harry Hutton:

It is every Englishman’s dream to fly over London in a hot air balloon with his pasty arse hanging over the side, and take a great big dump on the Houses of Parliament, while singing the Eton Boating Song.

Change the soundtrack, and I dare say that a few more nationalities would sign up for that as well.

As an example, I heard tell that Sian Lloyd was planning on dropping trou’ to the musical delights of The Cheeky Song (Touch my Bum). But I think that she has different reasons than most for her actions.

Aw, shit

A quote from this week’s Economist:

Bloggers, especially lefty ones, use swear-words the mainstream media shun.

Fuck-a-doodle-do. Does that mean that my fondness for sweary goodness is a symptom of a deep-seated leftism? Or is this one of the few occasions when the Economist is talking out of its well read arse?

Or should I just stop with the twatting swearing and grow the fuck up?

Yeah, that’s hugely likely…

from teh interweb

For those who don’t get Radio Ulster

Yer man Moyles yesterday made reference on one of the daytime shows to a little discussion he had on Radio Ulster. Wherein there was much swearing between the esteemed fat b’stard in the red corner (Stephen Nolan) and the auld wan off of stroke city (Gerry Anderson).

Said discussion was noteworthy mainly because of this little bit:

Moyles: See, this gentleman [Anderson] sounds like a very intelligent man.

Nolan: ‘Gentleman’?!?

Anderson: Thank you Chris. On the other hand, Stephen is an asshole.

I do so like the lack of a bleep button in the Foyle studios…

And after that, it just descends into bickering and a wage related pissing content. And t’was quite enjoyable, really.

The audio is here if you’re that curious. And it will be till next Tuesday, I assume. 3:20 in, if you’re really that interested.

Another shocking confessional episode

In the news today: The Beautiful South split.

The shocking confession: this fills me with sadness.

I quite like ‘em. One of my favourite songs to sing along to while intoxicated is Woman in the Wall. Don’t Marry Her gets massive thumbs up for shocking honesty. Perfect Ten makes me laugh. And Rotterdam had a great video.

They were never the coolest band in the world, and cutting edge would be one stunning way of not describing them. But they were one of the ones I liked.

And now they’re gone.

Boo hiss to that, sez I.

/ wanders off, muttering

He was just a social drinker but social every night
He enjoyed a pint or two or three or four
She was just a silent thinker, silent every night
Hed enjoy the thought of killing her before

Well he was very rarely drunk but very rarely sober
And he didnt think the problem was his drink
But he only knew his problem when he knocked her over
And when the rotting flesh began to stink

Cry freedom for the woman in the wall
Cry freedom for she has no voice at all
I hear her cry all day, all night
I hear her voice from deep within the wall
Made a cross from knitting needles
Made a grave from hoover bags
Especially for the woman in the wall

Shed knitted him a jumper with dominoes on
So he wore it everyday in every week
Pretended to himself that she hadnt really gone
Pretended that he thought he beard her speak

Then at last it seemed that he was really winning
He felt that he had some sort of grip
But all of his new life was sent a-spinning
When the rotting wall began to drip

A worrying amount of these are right

You Know You’re Irish When….

The condensation on your pint of Guinness takes the shape of shamrocks
ACtually, it’s leprechauns. Shamrocks are just too damn common.

You don’t believe there is a God, but you are damn sure of the infallibility of the Pope.
But then how would you put the fear of God into someone?

You believe that to forgive is divine, but you don’t excercise it yourself.
Exercise is for wusses.

You won’t eat meat on Friday, but you’ll drink a pint for breakfast.
I’ll admit, I do eat meat on Friday. And everyone know that you can’t drink beer before the sun is over the yardarm. That’s what whiskey is for.

You consider any Irishman who has become successful a traitor.
Only if they refuse to give me lots of money.

You have great respect for the truth, and you only use it in emergencies.
Damn straight.

The further you get from Ireland, the more Irish you get.
Oh yes indeedy.

You eat homefried taters for brakfast, potato bread for lunch, and potato stew for dinner.
Close enough.

You cry at sad movies, but you cheer in battle.
No to the first, yes to the second.

You will never play professional basketball.
I think that we can safely assume this to be the case.

You swear very well.
And I’ll call you a dirtylowsluttrampbitch-ho if you dare to disagree.

You think you sing very well.
Only when inebrated.

There isn’t a huge difference between losing your temper and killing someone.
Killing is such a negative word. ‘Releasing them from their earthly form’ would be my description of choice.

You’re strangely poetic after a few beers.
Waxing lyrical all over the show.

Many of your sisters are Catherine, Elizabeth or Mary and one is Mary Catherine Elizabeth.
Well, except for the Catherine.

You can’t wait for the other guy to stop talking so you can start talking.
Can’t wait, and often don’t.

Much of your food is boiled.
Or stewed.

You are, or know someone, named “Murph.” If you don’t know Murph, then you know Mac. If you don’t know Murph or Mac, then you know Sully, and you’ll probably also know Sully McMurphy.
I know enough Murphs that there are a few subdivisions.

Your parents were on a first name basis with everyone at the local emergency room.
Yes, but not for the obvious reason.

There wasn’t a huge difference between your last wake and your last keg party.
Keg party? Why would you do that when spirits do the job much better. And are more portable.

You’re proud to be Irish – and you pass these jokes on to all your Irish friends!
Like feck I will, I’ll just put them on the blog.

Headlines that the hippies like

International aid is often considered to be a guide to how ‘developed’ a nation is. No country can claim to be truly civilized unless they give away a little of their hard earned wealth to another, less developed nation.

Obviously, to prove their worth, the donor nation tends to hype their donations. Hell, what’s the point in doing good if the international equivalent of Mrs Jones at number 27 doesn’t know all about it.

So you get headlines like “Developed nation gives £800m to third world neighbour”. Which really should have been plastered all over this:

The Irish Republic is for the first time to spend money on Northern Ireland’s infrastructure.

The Irish government’s National Development Plan for 2007-2013 will be published later.

About 1.2 billion euro of that 180 billion euro will head north. That is about £800m and is roughly 7% of the total spend.

It is expected that some of this money will, inevitably, go on cross border initiatives. But some will go on other things that need it badly: the road network in the west of the province, and some of the health service in border areas*.

And I for one welcome our new Celtic Tiger overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted blog personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

* – turn about being fair play, I suppose, considering how many people from t’other side of the border who get NHS treatment…

More from the department of “Duh”

My word, the Department of the Bleedin’ Obvious has been well busy recently, hasn’t it? Their latest offering is of a similar vein:

Women find men more attractive if they see other women admiring them, a study has suggested.

Psychologists discovered that a man was judged more desirable by a woman if she saw her peers using positive facial expressions, such as smiling.

I fully expect them to follow up with other similar studies. Might I suggest one into the well known phenomenon mentioned in Scrubs: that women are soooo much more interested in a guy if said guy is unavailable.

J.D. spots a hot girl.

J.D.’s Narration: Oh, hellooo. Women are checking me out lately. Was it the ten push-ups I’ve been cranking out every other Sunday? Perhaps. More likely it was the pledge I made not to date anyone until Elliot did. See, since then, the gals have been all over me.

Girl: Can I buy you a drink?

J.D.: I’m sorry, sugar, this store is closed.

J.D.’s Narration: They’ve been all over me.

She puts her legs behind her head.

J.D.: Very impressive, but I’m sorry.
You have some…gum…on your shoe.

She laughs, embarrassed.

Because if scientists could figure out how and why this happens, then they’d perhaps be one step close into evening it out. Which would make life so much easier for the men of the world.

A sorry confession

Though I would quite often describe myself as a bit of a libertarian (not as much so as Chez or Marc, probably), I have to admit that I have read, roughly, none of the texts of the supposed great thinkers of the field. No Freedman, Smith, Popper or Jefferson has passed through these eyeballs and into the soft grey goo I call my brain.

Shocking, I know. But then, the core value of libertarianism is basically a belief in individual freedom; this is not something that requires a book to teach. Sure, there are always queries about where the balance should be struck between where your individual rights end and mine begin, but that’s what Samizdata is for…

Anyway. I thought that I should probably do something about this lack of reading. But I didn’t particularly want to go headlong into some dry, academic text. So I figured that I should probably go for something a little more… me.

Hence the recent perusal of some of Mr Patrick Jake O’Rourke. With book titles such as Parliament of Whores and Peace Kills: America’s Fun New Imperialism, where could you go wrong?

So, I’ve just finished Parliament of Whores. And by God, it’s good. Sure, it’s old (1991), but that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant. In fact, it’s one of the most quotable books I’ve read in a loooooong time. Hell, it even has the best chapter title in the world, ever: Our Government: What the fuck do they do all day and why does it cost so Goddamned much money?.

So, I’ve started doing some reading. And you may all come to curse me for it; my copy of Parliament of Whores is a second hand one, and was muchly highlighted when I got it. I’ve added plenty of dogears and pencil marks of my own. So the quotes may come thick and fast from this one.

I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.

God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle-aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well-being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything n the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God’s heavenly country club.

Santa Claus is another matter. He’s cute. He’s nonthreatening. He’s always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without thought of a quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he’s famously generous to the poor. Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.

Of course, this was written long before the Republicans got control of Congress, let alone lost control of it. But the central thesis, I think, is still apparent.