Archive for April, 2003

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003

Image of Iraqi children from

“your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

your old men shall dream dreams,

your young men shall see visions”
Joel (2:28)

There’s nowt new under the sun is there?

This Old Testament prophecy distils the wisdom of an ancient people.

It looks forward to a day at the end of the world when momentous things will happen.

When you read on through the passage it’s hard not to be reminded of recent events, “upon the earth, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke”.

The juxtaposition of prophesy, dreams and visions with the apocalypse is a bit disturbing to say the least but the language of the book of Joel is pretty colourful. Joel must have been an interesting person to be possessed of such a vision and it’s hard to think yourself into his mind. The society in which he lived was outwardly very different to our own so his intended meaning may now be obscured. What’s really interesting for me, though, is the resonance of the language – like poetry which brings feelings to many different souls. Joel’s evocation of the differences between youth and age are interesting too. Psychology tells us that each individual experiences reality differently; Philosophy that truth is relative. Joel’s observation that older people see the world differently from the young holds good. We all see it differently from each other.

Young people are a universal symbol of hope. Few can be unmoved when looking into the eyes of a child. We see in our youth the hope of a better tomorrow. When we hear of abused, injured or murdered children it touches something within each of us – truly adult minds understand the tragedy of this. We know what it is to be a child, full of hope and we appreciate how awful it is when hope is destroyed. I’m interested in Joel’s distinction between young men and old men. I would have put it the other way round but maybe the translator in distinguishing ‘visions’ and ‘dreams’ chose the best english words available. As someone who is somewhere between these two states I wonder if I am more dreamy or visionary? Until fairly recently I was growing more and more pessimistic – I think they call it a midlife crisis.

Yesterday I expanded on my view that we are an adversarial society and that we should try to move beyond this. Thanks to birdman this lead to an interesting discussion and I’ve thought a lot about the points he made. Maybe being a chaffinch he is pretty focussed on life’s essentials but he does seem to escape from survival mode from time to time and indulge in the odd bit of hedonism. It was interesting that my notion of a less confrontation driven world seemed a ‘miracle too far’ and I agree that the world is unlikely to change at a defined point – it always seems to be a lead-up, crisis and resolution sequence. ‘Wham, bam, thank you George’. Most days I find myself at odds with other people in some, often small, way and I have a choice about how I respond. I have found, to my cost, that confrontation, whilst often effective at securing quick reaction causes tension and ultimately resentment. It perpetuates the aggression/action cycle. As a man brought up to ‘be a man’ it is almost second nature to me to confront. It’s very hard for me not to do it in all sorts of ways. As a young man my vision was to change the world in some way. As I get older maybe my dream is that I will realise that I have and can continue to do that by reducing the confrontation and cycle of aggression. With any luck there will be some fun along the way too.

I’m going to keep on hoping and dreaming.

Meanwhile I have to decide on who to vote for tomorrow…

…talking of which – this just in:

“A bus load of politicians were driving down a country road, when the bus ran off the road and crashed into a tree in an old farmer’s field. The old farmer, after seeing what happened, went over to investigate. A few days later, the police went to look for the missing politicians, saw the crashed bus, and asked the farmer where they had all gone. “I buried them all out back.” said the farmer, “Were they ALL dead?” asked the police. The farmer replied, “Well, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how politicians lie.”


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Lets get together on this

Tuesday, April 29th, 2003

Yesterday I talked a bit about how I thought adversarialism permeates British life. This morning I received a phone call from someone that I’d done a job for. The work was not to his satisfaction and he began to interrogate me on the phone about the way in which I’d done the job, the reasons for his original problem which had necessitated the job and why he now had to take further action following the job being done. Rather than approach me as someone who had, genuinely, tried to help him out of a difficult situation [ possibly, I suspect, of his own making ]. He obviously felt it would be more effective to cross examine me in an attempt to uncover some ‘wrong doing’ on my part. The inherent mistrust in this exchange has not enhanced my view of this person and it took me a while to calm down his morning. However this incident does serve nicely to illustrate the points I was making in ‘exhibits B & C’ on Sunday. Our society is geared up for snap judgements of situations and people. If it can’t be summed up in a sound bite it isn’t worth taking time over. ‘If it’s a complicated explanation then they are probably trying to hide something’. The ‘5 minute’ culture phenomenon has been much commented on and linked with the growth of information media. The more information that is pumped out the more the information has to be packaged in bite size nuggets so that people can deal with it. This might seem the only way that the world [ as we are constructing it ] can continue to progress.

I disagree.

The recent war and the lead up to it has reinforced the view that I’ve been forming for a while. A key thing which makes us human is the ability to deal with abstract thoughts and ideas. The ability not to give in to instinct. The ability to transcend our animalistic impulses to rush to judgement. The ability to get inside the mind of others and see things from their perspective. From this comes the unique ability we have to work collaboratively for the mutual benefit of one another in the furtherance of our desires to improve things. I wonder if it’s true that most positive human achievements come when we work together and most negative ones come when we work alone. Why are women so good at working collaboratively and men so bad at it?

Interesting that my last two questions are instinctively oppositional 😉


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Out of order?

Monday, April 28th, 2003

Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the election of the first female Speaker of the House of Commons. After 700 years a woman was given the job of keeping order in what can, at times, be a volatile debating chamber. Two banks of seats facing each other are occupied by ranks of ‘honourable members’. Between them, elevated and somewhat enclosed by her canopied Speakers chair sat Ms Boothroyd. Since the televising of the British Parliament in 1989 international audiences have been able to sample the delights of the way we do politics here (at least the more theatrical aspects anyway). Through her TV appearances Betty Boothroyd became a familiar on-screen presence to millions and she is still missed for the verve she brought to the role. What I always found amusing was that her acerbity fitted well with the rumbustious nature of the setting. Betty was very effective at putting members in their place. Her famous reposte to the MP who enquired as as to how she would like to be addressed, “Call me Madam”, typified the style. Interesting too would be the expressions on the faces of MPs who had been Betty’d – like little boys with smacked botties. My point is that Betty, as a pioneering female figure in British politics occupied a role not unlike a matriarch in a large family. A wise word here, a stern rebuke there; all the while set on a course with an eye for the propriety of proceedings and the dignity of the office. Essentially though the role of Speaker did not change. Time travelling MPs from the nineteenth century would not be unduly shocked were they to beam in and see the present speaker, (a man), in action. The traditions and proceedings of the Commons are largely derived from a bygone age and none more so than it’s adversarial nature. Betty Boothroyd’s election was no revolution. The role of women in British politics is still a reactive one defined by centuries of male modes of operation. Adversarialism permeates British life and over the next few days I want to think a bit more about this.


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"Call me madam"

Sunday, April 27th, 2003

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

“The Tories are committed to 20 per cent cuts in public services across the board. No amount of shoddy calculation by the Tories can hide this fact”

Exhibit C

bored already?

another way?

more tomorrow…


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True or False?

Saturday, April 26th, 2003

Thought I would have a little fun.

The following ten statements are either true or false.

You decide.

1. I have a dog.

2. I am currently outside the UK.

3. I have no hair on my head.

4. I own 10 telephones.

5. I used to live in Dublin.

6. I am Australian by birth.

7. I occasionally appear on television.

8. One of my middle names is Finbarr.

9. I can speak three languages.

10. I play the trumpet.

“Hey I don’t think you should make fun of them just because their wedding is different. Maybe he’s a pimp or something, plus it’s highly original which contrasts with 99% of all other “cookie cutter” weddings” indeed

One for the ladeeez – give yo man the shockofhislife baaad


I won’t be coming into work today…”I have a TV, a vibrator, and a pizza delivery. Why should I leave home.”

Master Of The House


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Have I got a load of old bollocks for you

Friday, April 25th, 2003

Apologies for the title but I wanted to pull no punches.

I’m not donating my gonads to the blogosphere; rather taking a moment to reflect on the state of our satire.

So the new series started tonight. The first since Angus was finally forced to ‘retire’.

Same old set with the vertical blinds…and some new stuck-on old newspaper clips.

Host this week was Martin Clunes – looking flabby, waxy and old – is he unwell I wonder?

Guests were Ruby[ yay! ] and Glenda Jackson. Paul Merton, sans beard, wearing his usual sartoriallly challenged ensemble. Is this the same ‘Mr Respectable’ we saw recently interviewed by Parkinson? Then he appeared grumpy, and a little ill-at-ease. Amazing what a shave does for your temperament. The show tonight held no surprises. Tired re-run of the Millionaire scandal – Merton milked it as much as he could in his usual stream-of-consciousness style. Given his strangely self conscious persona on Parkinson it was difficult not to now think this was very well rehearsed.

Strangest fact revealed: 300 tons of kebabs are eaten nationally each year. [ and yes they did crack the throwing up gag ]

A picture of Saddam eating an al fresco kebab with a blond woman brought a nice crack about Argos garden furniture and inevitably lead to a mention of Captain Colon – the latest weapon in the war against colorectal cancer.

The obligatory Catherine Zeta Jones & Michael Douglas age-gap jibe – bitched to within an inch of it’s life by Graham Norton – passed by and got the obligatory cheap laugh.

Tariq Aziz is a Roman Catholic and used to be called Michael – now this was news, at least to me. The demise of the Innovations catalogue was poorly done. No clear door coolers no nasal hair trimmers – nothing. Mr Clunes was given a shot at sexist type reversion when commenting on the recently published parallel parking formula – written by an unwitting female. All then rounded off with a piss poor caption bit at the end. Nobody had thought to brief the guests about what they had to do. Merton and Hislop muddled through. Clunes just grinned inanely and guffawed. Audience dutifully erupted as the producer switched on the in-seat electrodes.

Roll titles.

[ Heads for the bog ]

Friday, April 25th, 2003

Things That Are Difficult to Say When You’re Drunk:

Indubitably; Innovative; Preliminary; Proliferation; Cinnamon.

Things That Are VERY Difficult to Say When You’re Drunk:

Specificity; Cogito ergo sum; British; Constitution;

Passive-aggressive disorder; Loquacious; Transubstantiate.

Things That Are Downright IMPOSSIBLE to Say When You’re Drunk:

Thanks, but I don’t want to have sex; Nope, no more booze for me; Sorry, but you’re not really my type; Good evening, officer, isn’t it lovely out tonight? Oh, I just couldn’t – no one wants to hear me sing…

credit: Jezza


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Stroik a loit myte

Thursday, April 24th, 2003

I give in.

If I’m very good do you promise me that I don’t have to do that again for a very long time?

It’s true – I used to enjoy it – in a slightly perverse way – even look forward to it. The times when it was good were very very good. It always felt so liberating – especially after a long day at work and it always used to be quick and that’s how I like it best. Granted, there was the time the Police caught us and that was pretty scary at 1am in the middle of nowhere – but it’s all part of the adventure eh? Today I thought it would be like old times – how wrong I was.

So hot, so sweaty and it just went on and on – I never thought it would end. And now I’m back I’m fit for nowt – completely knackered.

So please – don’t ask me to drive through London again for at least another 5 years.

FAQs from the Australian Tourist Board

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)

A: Actually, we import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)

A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)

A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)

A: No, WE don’t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)

A: Anywhere where significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)

A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)

A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)

A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)

A: It’s called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them, although you personally should be safe enough. If you are still worried you can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Tecwen watchResults 1 – 10 of about 1,430. Search took 0.20 seconds

The sequel: Cor blimey guvnor – I’m orf to jolly old London


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Could changing your name change your life?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2003

“how human individuality is created through the relationship of mathematics, date of birth, language, name, and mind.”

This is interesting. Personality and life characteristics on the basis of your name. Having checked out myself and a few people I know well there seems to be quite a good ‘hit rate’ in that the traits described appear to match the names concerned – even when two or more people share the same name. The ‘health’ bits don’t seem very accurate at all though and there is a worrying similarity between certain names which tends to suggest a clever database at work here.

Purely in the interests of research, you understand, I decided to submit a few unusual names for consideration:

“The first name of Plank creates an intense personal nature. Your feelings and emotional desires are strong and consequently you are an individual, determined, strong-willed person.” [ not at all wooden then ]

“Your name of Todger gives you the desire to understand and help others with their problems…you prefer to avoid strenuous work of a manual nature…where you are engaged in mental rather than physical activity…” surprsingly, given this, it’s claimed, “The health weaknesses created by this name affect the fluid functions.”

Flobalob – Sorry, but your name is not yet part of our database. Would you like to Add Your Name?” [ surely Weeeeed would have summat to say about this…?]

“Your first name of Weed creates individuality, independence, self-confidence…Your circle of friends is restricted to those of like nature” [er – that’d be flowerpot type people then? ]

Dill…Because of your sensitive nervous system, over-stress and extreme tiredness could cause nervous disorders, seizures or dizziness” [uncanny]

In honour of my top five from yesterday I undertook the following searches on your behalf dear friends….

“The name of Zed brings opportunities for success…With this name, success to you is a foregone conclusion… as you have self-sufficiency, supreme confidence, boundless energy, and enthusiasm”

” The name of Cleophas has given you an appreciation for many beautiful and refined aspects of life–music and art, literature, drama…you are very inspired, desiring to be with people and to entertain others as the “life of the party,”

“The name of Witch makes you very idealistic, sensitive, and inspirational. You are generous and people are drawn to you because of your friendly and sympathetic nature”

Sadly ‘Tealeaf’ has not yet made it into the system but…

“Your name of Blue has made you practical, systematic, and thorough…You are mathematically adept and have great patience with work of a detailed nature such as bookkeeping, accounting, or technical research.”

good news then for Simon and a bonus for Witchy too!

“As Geezer, you have a natural interest in the welfare of your fellow man…You enjoy making others happy and you never let your own problems “get you down”

All which goes to show what thoroughly nice folks I regularly read.

Of the four ‘four letter’ words I tried one actually has a listing – suggesting that either the Kabalarians have a limited knowledge of Anglo Saxon or some ‘fortunate’ individual in the world actually has a first name the same as the subject of monologue 14 in this, now famous, production. This persons name, it’s claimed, “has given you a desire for self-expression and for positions that allow contact with people” [ right ]. I won’t go into detail about he dietary information – no, really I won’t.

Jezza’s Joke of the day

A man walked into a pet shop and said to the owner: “I’d like to buy a wasp please”.

The pet shop owner looked at him quizzically and said: “We don’t sell wasps”.

The man replied: “Well you’ve got one in your window.”

I thankyew

TecwenResults 1 – 10 of about 1,210. Search took 0.18 seconds



the out of print author with Unknown Binding

the pussy

the mentalist

the church

the Manager of Quality

the tractor

Cor blimey guvnor – I’m orf to jolly old London

NOT – a slight change of plan forced me to remain at home trapped in my sunny garden relaxing. sob


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Monday, April 21st, 2003

Lurk ye no longer

I know you’re out there. One Thousand hits since February tell me you are.

So dear reader I attempt now to speak in your own language:

‘Greetings’ if you have arrived here from the United States.

‘Yatasay’ tho if you are Apache.

‘Hello’ if you are Canadian or maybe that should be ‘Bonjour’ and ‘Oki’ if you are Albertan blackfoot. ‘Tánisi’ if you are Cree.

‘G’day’ to my Aussie mates and ‘Wai palya’ if you are a native Australian.

‘Hallo’ to you South Africans.

‘Konnichi wa’ if you join me from Japan.

‘God dæg’ should you be of the Anglo Saxon persuasion.

‘Ahlan’ to my Arabic speaking guests.

‘Hola’ to my Spanish amigos and

‘Kaixo’ should you be from the Basque region

‘Aadaab’ to the Bengali speakers.

‘Ho yat’ if you speak Cantonese.

‘Zdravstvuite’ if you clicked in from Russia

‘Salaam’ if you are a Farsi speaker.

‘Durdathawhy’ if you are Cornish. [ I love your ice cream! ]

‘Hej’ to those of a Danish persuasion.

‘Goedendag’ if you are from the Netherlands.

‘Liti’ should you happen to be an ancient Egyptian.

‘Tervist’ to all you Estonians.

‘Guten Tag’ to my German speaking friends.

‘Aloha mai’ if you surfed on in from Hawaii.

‘Shalom’ to the Hebraic community.

‘Tuaj los’ to the Hmong Laotian and ‘Sabaai-dii’ to the Lao.

‘Komið þið sæl’ to all you Icelanders.

‘Dia dhuit’ and ‘Mine’s a Guinness’.

‘Rozhbash’ should you be a Kurd.

‘Sveiki gyvi’ to the Lithuanian.

‘Tena koe’ if you are Maori.

‘Sain baina uu” to my Mongolian readers.

‘God dag’ to the Swedish chefs and Finnish friends out there.

‘Malo e lelei’ to the Tongan.

and ‘Abusheni’ to the Tsongan.

‘Merhaba’ to any Turks.

‘Adaab’ if you speak Urdu.

‘Bondjoû’ to the Waloon speakers or ‘Hallo’ if you prefer Flemish.

‘Sanibonani’ to my Zulu friends.

If you’ve Googled your way here welcome, stay awhile – enjoy.

If you’re a regular – welcome back I’m very glad you find summat to your liking.

My top five referrers

1 – Zed over at My Boyfriend is a Twat

2 – Cleophas at Freshnjuicy

3 – the Bluest of Witches

4 – the Bluest of Tealeaves

5 – the Geezer

I thankyew all muchly

Now for gawds sake write some bleedin comments will ya? 😉


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