Tue, Nov. 4th, 2014, 10:48 am
Where am I?
Funny. I don't recall being followed home by a hearse and gassed to sleep in my sitting room, but somehow I find myself in the Village.
What I do recall is an eleven-hour train journey with one (occasionally) functioning toilet and no wifi—although of course they only told me this after they'd allowed me to pay for it. Then a three-hour boat journey from Penzance during which I actually got seasick, which doesn't happen. We'd had to bolt breakfast and sprint for the ferry, and I found out later that I'd taken the wrong braindrugs the previous night, none of which can have helped... although I think the twelve-foot waves hitting the ship from random directions probably had something to do with it as well. Then there was a connecting ferry from the big island to one of the smaller ones, and now I'm on Tresco, the second-largest of the Scilly Isles.
It looks like this.
( A set of photographs from ground-level of a holiday resortCollapse )
Actual photos of scenery and stuff will likely follow later on.
Back to the mainland tomorrow, weather permitting, and dependent on the performance of onmipresent surveillance and unorthodox security measures. Then, back and forth along the south coast for a few days. Lindsey Stirling has a concert in That London and with any luck we'll be getting in a pilgrimage to Maiden's Point.
So, there was a referendum. That happened. And we voted No. A trillion pounds' worth of international media descended on Scotland for a week—and the weather even stayed good while they were here!—and, as a nation, we had a chance to create a better world and we bottled it. I used to think that it would be embarrassing to be Canadian, but all the Canadians have as a national stereotype is that they are uniformly self-effacing and scrupulously polite. Since 19th September, on the world stage, Scots are craven directionless cowards. All of that William Wallace stuff that we've built up over the last eight hundred years, gone. We are lackeys.
I for one will not stand for it.
It takes time to build up a reputation like the Scots have—like the Scots had. Specifically, it takes eight hundred years. Down-to-earth pragmatists running the world with relentless efficiency in spite of their bewigged imperial masters. Hairy-arsed skirt-wearing maniacs perpetually game for a fight with ye, then a drink with ye, then another fight. The reason the claymore works as a weapon of war is that it's so damn big and heavy that, once you start running with it held out in front, you can't stop no matter how many English cavalrymen are in your way. We pissed all of that away in one night, and now, on the world stage, we are cowards.
I was there
at the dawn of the third age of mankind at the vote count for the Edinburgh region. It was a long day. The day before had been full of joyous, jubilant, exuberant marches in the Meadows, of hope and excitement, of impromptu mass choruses of Flower of Scotland. The tang of change was in the air. I could taste it. And then, on the great day itself, with history hanging in the balance, I had weighty duties to which I must attend. I'd set an alarm for six a.m. but was up at 5:30. One doesn't get to create a brand new nation every day. Out at 7 a.m. to witness the ballot boxen being sealed. Touring polling stations all day—technically in my organizational capacity as a polling agent for the Scottish Socialist Party, which is something that still confuses me. I'm not part of the Scottish Socialist Party. I only know one socialist and I'm on nodding terms with two or maybe three others. I'm still not quite sure how this happened, but I had an
ACCESS ALL POLLING PLACES pass and I wasn't afraid to use it. I may have spent slightly more of my day than would have been decorous waving the pass at people like Wayne and Garth at the Alice Cooper concert.
In the evening, it was off to the Highland Centre to observe the vote count. History was being made. At one stage, I was on the news. During a coffee break (I was on tea because I needed a sustained burn rather than the quick hit you get from coffee) I got to have a lovely conversation with Andrew Marr: I dislike his politics and I disapprove of his philandering but I bloody love his historical documentaries. I forgot to mention that my girlfriend's mother taught him English at Loretto.
The Yes and No campaign activists were given lounge areas on opposite sides of a big room, separated by a sort of concourse where there was a nice lady selling tea and coffee from a counter. I bought a bottle of water for £2.
Bloody hell, said I, aloud,
they told me the price of a pint might go up. The BBC and ITN news crews, on the other hand, were separated by fenced-off enclosures with scaffolding and big scary signage. I found this amusing: a physical paean to the civilized nature of the entire debate. Ultimately, we are all residents of these great British islands. Who needs barricades when there is a tea lady?
My role—still, apparently, on behalf of the SSP for reasons I still can't quite fathom—was to observe the count and ensure that no foul play was taking place. I can confirm that, as far as I can tell, the vote was scrupulously fair and above board. It was just that every bastard had put the cross in the wrong box for reasons that remain utterly incomprehensible to me.
It was obvious from early on that the Yes side were losing. As the postal ballots first came out, while I was still skittering around looking for a table to attend, one of my Yes colleagues turned to me and murmured:
we're gettin' hammered. Surely not, I said. It's early days. We were always going to lose on the postal votes. It's the regular ballots that will vindicate us. Half an hour later, it was obvious even to me. Tally marks on the clipboard in front of me, sampling a ballot box from somewhere in the southside: 202 No to 75 Yes. You bastards. You sold us out, because some fucker lied to you about your pensions to guarantee his own. Fuck the fucking southside, man.
Later: we were always going to lose in Edinburgh. It's the rest of Scotland that will vindicate us. Then Clackmannanshire voted No. Then Shetland voted No (fucking Shetland, of all places). Then Dundee voted Yes, but only by a baw-hair, where all of our polling had indicated a good seventy or eighty per cent. At that point, we knew all was lost. Facial expressions changed. The evening became a slog. I had been up since 5:30 and it was now 4am and everything left was a foregone conclusion.
I'd got chatting to a fairly well-known professor of events management with whom I'd already done some networking for work, and plan to do more in the future. He's also a stunningly nice bloke, and a Yes voter obvs. By the point it was clear that we'd lost, self-preservation took precedence over solidarity. This is the country we live in now, the country that Scotland has chosen: every man for himself. So in the immediate short term, I opted to promote my own career and come back to making the world a better place later, and when Professor Joe offered to chum me back in his taxi at 5am, I agreed.
So I was there—just getting ready to leave—when the announcement came through that Glasgow, fairly overwhelmingly, had voted Yes. It was a brief moment of levity in the midst of a long night of otherwise unmitigated despair. A chant started up in the campaigners' lounge area: Glas-gow, Glas-gow, Glas-gow. Someone shouted:
ya dancer! Someone else:
Ye cannae fool a weegie!, and then it was time to go. It was a glorious moment. It was the only one. It wasn't enough.
The next couple of days were numb and bleak. I've been clinically depressed before and I know exactly what was going on in my brain. I surfaced from bed every so often to read Twitter for five minutes or so before I couldn't take any more. And then on Monday it was back to work, to catch up on the paperwork I'd missed during the last week, in time to catch a train down south on Tuesday. The last place I wanted to go. As a deeply pathetic form of revenge, I made sure to take scotch whisky with me, and Irn Bru, and lots of Scottish fivers.
We had a chance and we bottled it. But it was a good fight, and it's not over.
And now I have a branded Yes clipboard, which I'm keeping. Spoils of war.
There is an epilogue to this post, but it's going under access lock.
I was amused to learn, now that it's all over, that Our Eck is a big ol' Star Trek fan, specifically of Wrath of Khan. I wish more had been made of this earlier in the campaign.
Full tax-raising power.
No, sir! You have devo-nano!
FULL POWERS, DAMN YOU!
Liking Eck more and more, now that it's all over. The last few days I've just wanted to give him a hug, because I think he needs one. Then there was his principled refusal of any seat in the Lords, and now I find he has impeccable taste in sci-fi. And he's right: if the promised powers are not delivered, we will chase Cameron 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before we give him up. Personally I'm particularly looking forward to the flames bit. I suspect Dishface is so greasy that he would self-ignite.
Back in the day, when I was a unionist, Star Trek featured heavily in what passed for my reasoning—although I didn't understand this about myself until significantly later, after a good deal of introspection. Obviously, went my thinking, the logical end goal of civilization is the United Federation of Planets, and we get there by heading towards global unity not away. For one thing, I later realized, adopting, as a genuine political model, a fictional utopia created by a somewhat mediocre cop-show screenwriter might be seen as impractical; and for another thing, I was goal-seeking using a naive hill-climbing algorithm. For shame, pajh.
A utopia is also an eutopia, of course, but it's telling that Roddenberry's vision is the one that took root inside my head as the default position to aim for. Naive it may be, but goddamn I wouldn't mind living there. I'm not sure if it's the proto-post-scarcity economy or the implicit communism that attracts me so much. Or the green alien babes. No, it's the skants. Definitely the skants.
I love Star Trek to bits, of course, naive as it may be, but these days my politics are much more in line with Babylon 5. I am prepared if necessary to go as far as Blake's 7, but I hope it won't come to that.
Thinking about this as I type, I should probably make a more detailed inspection of Malcolm Hulke's
Doctor Who stories before I fasten my colours to any particular allegory, here.
Obviously I'm deeply disappointed with last Thursday's result, but I've decided we may have been foolish to think we could win against the combined forces of ignorance and cowardice, backed by the full might of the British state. We were not foolish to fight. And we will not be foolish to do it all again in a couple of years, with lessons learned and a new generation of engaged citizens on our side. The future is coming, whether it's got green-skinned babes in it or not. That better world we wanted to create?... independence didn't quite work out, but it's still waiting to be created. We'll do it some other way.
The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.
Off down south tomorrow for a company meeting. I went to the bank today and withdrew £20 in Scottish fivers,
because I want to piss them off. The bank teller had never heard that one before—seriously? I honestly thought everyone did that—and told me I'd made his day.
All set for this goddamn nine-hour train journey tomorrow. Gots my sound-isolating earphones, emergency Irn Bru (can't buy it down there), emergency whisky (Islay Mist, won't react with the metal in the hunt flask), gots my vindictively pan-European sandwich, and my instructions for haxx0ring free train wifi. Spent some time with stormsearch perfecting my Scots accent.
Michael Mcintyre has this bit that he does about, every time someone wants to spend a Scottish banknote, some mad Scotsman pops up from nowhere and shouts
don't you know that's legal tender. It's funny because it's true, and not, I hasten to add, because Michael makes any effort to make it funny in any way. He crams this bit in to any set he can.
Heard a Scots accent on my way to the theatre tonight. Reminded me of that guy who says: . And off he goes again.
don't you know that's legal tender
stormsearch is not a qualified voice coach and her instructions have been sporadically helpful, but with her experience combined with my voice-talent nollij, we made headway. The word
£ is a particularly difficult word to say in Scots. There's an argument that it's pronounced
poouwnd and another, equally legitimate, argument that it should be pronounced
pnd, and both of these should be done simultaneously, while also pronouncing the
ou as an
ai except that it's really more of an
eh but do it with your face all scrunched up like this. I got there eventually. As is so often the case with learning experiences in my life, whisky helped.
Thus, I am now ready to have the following exchange, should it be necessary, with an unsuspecting southerner:
Good day to you, shopkeep, and what a marvellous day it is indeed. I would like to purchase this bottle of Coca-Cola® if you'd be so kind. What's that? You doubt the authenticity of my cash monies? Well, dear shopkeep, I do so regret that it must come to this, but I fear you leave me little option but to go Full Scotsman on you. Ahem. DON'T YOU KNOW THAT'S LEGAL TENDER, that's a five pooouwnd note ya wee numpty, huv ye no seen a five pnd note before ya great sassenach.
Interesting, perhaps, to note that, although I am a trained voiceover artist and a remarkably good one, it's only been since this week that I've been able to pronounce
sassenach with the appropriate amount of sass.
And I know there's no such thing as legal tender, but the unsuspecting southerner won't.
Those of you who grew up in the 90s will know already that perky elfin teen-pop princess and sometime Ozzie soap star, Natalie Imbruglia, in a dark and terrifying departure from her usual glittery milieu, once witnessed the terrifying Frankensteinian reanimation of a previously deceased human being. It's well-known that her popular song Torn is a postmodernist retelling of T'Pau's China in your Hand from the perspective of an affected observer descending into schizophrenia.
You all know what I'm talking about, but because I'm nice I shall provide the vid for context. Behold.
( In which there are several embedded mediaCollapse )
Splains why I always liked the theme to Ski Sunday so much, but: how the FUCK did I not already know that about Ski Sunday? My musical recognition skills were hitherto frankly superhuman, but lately I've noticed that they've begun to diminish with age, or possibly with lack of practice. I'm now all out of faith in my own abilities. This is how I feel: I'm cold and I'm ashamed, but thankfully still fully dressed.
I've had a bloody awful day, started badly at 0730 (exactly) and got steadily worse from there, has only now started to wind down a bit at 2330. I had a manhattan or two when I finished work at 2100, but what I really needed was a sazerac, and I now finally have one. Well, sort of.
A proper sazerac requires orange peel and acquiring same would mean climbing two flights of stairs to pick up an orange. This is clearly work for chumps, so I have substituted the usual Peychaud's (which I have, of course, ready to hand in the kitchen) for Angostura orange bitters and dubbed the result the
ersatzzerac. The good-quality rye whiskey, cognac, gomme (home-made, natch) and absinthe mist I obviously had ready to hand in the kitchen. The orange was the tricky part.
Also this evening, unrelatedly, but possibly illustratively: I walked for ten minutes to buy cigarettes that I don't even smoke any more.
I am also using slightly the wrong sort of glass for a sazerac. This matters.
I may as well just buy a fedora and have done with it. Actually that's not true. I already own two fedoras: one vintage, one that actually fits my head, and both of them I owned before fedora shaming became a thing. They are currently in storage. I had them when fedoras were still classy. Yes I am 150 years old. Shut up.
(The sazerac is also 150 years old, and it is delicious, so shut up.)
And before any of you make the obvious jibe that the fedora was never cool: I'm just going to leave this here.
Mon, Mar. 24th, 2014, 01:09 pm
The 23rd century is going to suck, and this is why: all of those hot alien babes, green-skinned or otherwise, saying
what is this human emotion you call love, to which I am compelled to reply:
baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.
Buwuh? [Or alien equivalent.]
Honey, you wouldn't understand. It's an Earth thing.
DAMN YOU HADDAWAY, COCKBLOCKED FROM FOUR CENTURIES IN THE PAST AGAIN
My wall planner indicates the phase of the Moon with little moon icons (moonicons). Down at the bottom of the planner, to splain the different moonicons used for the different phases of the Moon, there is a legend, or key. It is (and it says so at the bottom of the planner) a moon key.
It is particularly good at the gibbers phase.
The security light outside my flat door has started strobing. This wouldn't be a major problem but that I'm now unable to pass it without throwing some shapes and singing
THE SYSTEM. IS DOWN.
We bought those security lights so that you could escape the building safely in the event of major power failure. Not so that you could throw light-switch raves.
I am in the process of developin a series of whisky-tasting evenings, themed, with narrative cohesion and everything. Partly this is for work use and partly so that I have something I can do if they ever fire me. The big practice session is tomorrow night. I bought all of the whiskies myself (and did so for the pre-practice session last week, and for the copious amount of targeted bar time it took to select the whiskies in the first place). Next time, I hope to be able to expense this shit.
Thinkin of a name for myself should I ever take the whisky-tastings freelance: I quite like
Six Nine Two Events, or possibly
692 Events, which is a tip of the hat to the 692 illicit distilleries closed down in 1834, eleven years after the Excise Act made it much easier to be a licit one. I like the idea of raisin a glass to those stubborn holdouts who kept to the old ways, as a tribute and a memento mori. Plus, it sounds trendy enough that nobody ever needs to know.
Other possible business name ideas included:
LASER SPLOSION WHISKIES,
DIAL-A-SPLOSION (because somebody needs to have a business called that and it's not my responsibility that dialling for splosions isn't exactly what I offer), and
Whiskypalooza, at which point I gave up.
- Le Wrath di Khan | YouTube
You have not experienced Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan until you have heard it in the original Italian.
(tags: silly music video star trek )
- Scarfolk Council: "We Watch You While You Sleep" TV signal intrusion 1975
"Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum." This video will make you feel that you are there.
(tags: video )
- Knight v Snail - Medieval manuscripts blog
Something I didn't know about medieval literature: the illuminations were really, really fond of depicting Eenglish kerniggets engaged in abundant battle with giant gastropods.
(tags: history literature )
- Born Honest Born Clever « Bella Caledonia
"Scotland is not the part of the UK that has suffered most from London rule. Perhaps we should act to redress that issue. Perhaps we should pay a proportion of our annual ‘direct debit’ payment not to the Treasury but to local authorities in the North of England, Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, the Midlands…" I like the way Robin McAlpine thinks.
(tags: scotland indyref economics politics news bloodytories )
- Peter Foolen: Hamish Fulton – East-West 2013
"180 people divided into 2 equal facing lines, walking east, walking west in silence at arm's length from midday to one o'clock at low tide on Penzance beach, Cornwall, England, 20 October 2013". Oh...kay.
(tags: art fuckwits )
I've been investigatin electropop lately, most of the current batch of which appears to be Canadian for some reason. I have no problem with this. At least it's not Canadian hip-hop. Movin on from the Canadian theme before I get myself into trouble, at this stage I feel I should mention CHVRCHES, who claim that their band name is pronounced
churches, but I know better. They are from Glasgow and they are awesome. Particularly the lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, who is cute and elfin and adorable and basically so much the complete opposite of Shirley Manson that she goes round the back of the spectrum and becomes exactly as amazing. Chvrches spell their name with a V so that you can google for them, which you should do immediately if you've not already done so.
I have this 160GB mp3 player to fill up, and it's an actual mp3 player this time, so I can't cheat by includin the complete Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who and all the seasons of Sherlock I haven't watched yet. It's got to be actual music, and even for me there's only so many versions of the Glorious Ninth I need to carry around with me in my pocket. (A post on which is forthcomin; suffice to say I renounce all former allegiances to Karajan.) Somebody on the Twitters recommended the New Order album Power, Corruption & Lies, which I've not actually listened to. When it was released in 1983, my listenin habits were more or less evenly split between Prokoviev and Pinky & Perky. (I was precocious, but I was also three years old.) That I have not got round to it since then is an omission I knew I must rectify forthwith—but, in my defence, do any of you realize how many different versions there are of the Glorious Ninth?
Listenin then, at last, to Power, Corruption & Lies, three or four tracks reminded me of That Goddamn American Express Advert that I remember seeing once. And then, finally, it arrived in my ears as some part of me knew it would: Blue Monday, the biggest-selling 12" single of all time.
Of course I knew it already. And, because I was cursèd to grow up in the nineties, I knew it already chiefly because of this:
Even back then I was aware that this was possibly the worst advert of all time. I envisioned a cadre of corpulent besuited bastards, cocaine-crazy and caffeinated, masturbatorily manifesting moronic muppetry, thuswise: it's time for an EMERGENCY MARKETING MEETING!
INT. DAY. The MID-NINETIES. Opulent CORPORATE BOARDROOM
(PROPS DEPARTMENT: please make sure there is a RED STAPLER somewhere in shot)
TWAT #ONE is agitatedly pointin a STICK at a FLIPCHART that has some damn GRAPH on it.
Okay, we're the wealthiest and most expensive credit card company on the planet, we own all the money in the world, and each of us has a secondary personal Learjet just so we can ship around the team of flunkies required to wax our primary Learjets, but but we need more. More... flirting?... sorry, that's a whole different advert that hasn't been made yet, with subtler humour than this scene. Anyway. I understand there's an entire new generation of suckers who have money. So: who knows anything about this "youth demographic"?
Well, from what I've read in the newspapers, the Youth Demographic really do like their "music with a repetitive beat".
Excellent. Let's have some of that. Anyone else?
They like... skydiving?
Brilliant. Throw that in there. What else?
I heard that they really like skin-tight black PVC trenchcoats.
Who doesn't? You're fired. Next!
[VO] prolonged nasal SNORTING noise
TWAT #FIVE looks up from the table, takes a moment to orient himself
They like... geishas pulling stupid faces?
Give that man some stock options.
~ FIN ~
I have always said that I hated the bloody Nineties: the decade of Westlife and the Vengaboys and Columbine and backwards jeans and Global Hypercolor and pastels and plaid and the Bosnian genocide and the Doctor Who Movie. But! (Even before you start: that was a preemptive
but.) To be fair to the nineties, we also had Dark Season (so much pastel! and Jacqueline Pearce!) and Knightmare and Animaniacs and Way Out West and Portishead and we had both Ren and Stimpy simultaneously.
I've made my peace with the nineties.
After all, if we're considrin solely the restricted subset of credit card advertizin, then it could be so very, very much worse.
- pick-up lines for feminists - Lesley Kartali - Lodestar Quarterly
#ActivistPickupLines was briefly a hashtag meme on the twitters today. (My contributions: "What's your sign? mines says `TORIES OUT'", and "Girl you must be tired cuz u've been a capitalist running dog all day".) Of course somebody has already done it better. Congratulations, Lesley Kartali. You are the Simpsons of the twitters.
(tags: poetry feminism activism handwringing lefty guardianistas ftw )
Descent 2 is now available for the Oculus Rift. Excuse me while I have my stomach surgically removed before I go anywhere near this.
(tags: tech gaming cool stuff games )
- Courage award for man who threw out old computer cables | NewsBiscuit
Would that all be so brave.
(tags: silly writing )
- Euro, Pound Sterling or Scottish Pound? : Business for Scotland
This is rumour control. Here are the facts.
(tags: indyref economics politics news )
- The Scottish Pound and the Illusion of English Money : Business for Scotland
Of course this was written /before/ Gideon announced that yes, he actually is just that stupid.
(tags: economics indyref politics news )
- Donald Trump loses legal challenge to windfarm near his Scottish golf resort | World news | theguardian.com
Ireland's welcome to him.
(tags: news politics fuckwits renewables scotland )
- Ireland's gay marriage debate: where homophobes are treated as victims | Emer O'Toole | Comment is free | theguardian.com
Speaking of Ireland: you need to fix this shit, guys. For the avoidance of all doubt, John Waters is a homophobe and a cunt.
(tags: equality religion fuckwits politics )
- Twitter: The Comic
Comics based on the greatest tweets of our generation.
(tags: silly comic socialmedia )
- Papa John's Pizza: This is what happens when you leave pizza dough in a bin overnight | Metro News
To be fair, at least they were recycling.
(tags: silly news food )
- Our RoboCop Remake
Now /this/ is how you do a remake: get fifty independent filmmakers and groups to do one scene apiece, each in their own key, of course, until the whole place is just soggy with nostalgia. Stay tuned for the brilliant contemporary ballet rendition of scene 18. And lots of dick jokes.
(tags: luvviedom movies film silly video incrediblyobscurereference )
- London Underground | Frames of Reference
Shades of everyday travel on the 70s/80s. I particularly like the third picture.
(tags: photos photography cool stuff zeitgeisty )
- After the love, the rough wooing. | Iain Macwhirter
Pretty faultless analysis here.
(tags: independence indyref politics bloodytories scotland economics news )
- Ruth Davidson on same-sex marriage | Herald Scotland
The Scottish Parliament is not yet 15 years old - still in its adolescence - and it had taken one of the most difficult and sensitive areas of legislation imaginable and shown maturity, courage and care as it sought to extend the rights of individuals. Fantastically pleased about this one.
(tags: news journalism equality scotland politics )
- Outing Holyrood’s Haters: The MSPs who didn’t vote for Equal Marriage | A Thousand Flowers
This is not just an exercise in pointless bitterness or pedantry, it’s about holding our political representatives to account when they make the wrong political decisions. It's also rather well written and makes several very valid points.
(tags: news politics equality )
- WEEKLY WANKER #017: Wings Over Scotland | A Thousand Flowers
Interesting. This is basically EyeEdinburgh's argument, except expressed with a modicum of sanity and a refreshing lack of frothing hysteria. FWIW my opinions on the Rev Stu are well known: I do not agree with him about everything, but he is a remarkable source of information on #indyref-related topics. Unlike Jane Carnall, who used to have a good blog but sadly went completely fucking loopy a year or so ago, I do not believe that the fact he once said something bad about women five years ago automatically means that we should all vote No.
(tags: indyref politics feminism )
- Gamol-léac - Castiron [Archive of Our Own]
YES FOLKS there exists Beowulf / The Man Your Man Could Smell Like crossover fanfiction and YOU'RE WELCOME.
(tags: writing silly literature the benefits of a classical education )
- Sketch: Och aye the No! - Telegraph
[archive.is link] It comes to something when even the Torygraph thought that Dishface's impassioned speech was pathetic.
(tags: news politics bloodytories indyref )
- George Kerevan: Cameron takes medal for hypocrisy - The Scotsman
Good stuff from Kerevan.
[Cameron] waved the emotional flag, like a good imperialist, but signally failed to use the moment to offer any concrete new partnership of equals for the nations of Britain. Genuine reform will only come when Scotland recovers sovereignty. Although I must take issue with this:
[Dishface's] emotional call to defend the flag was redolent of 1914 and the jingoism of the Boer War[...] just imagine the outcry if Alex Salmond used the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in similar vein—I guarantee that in a couple of months you won't have to imagine—
or if the Yes campaign ventured away from economics towards the politics of identity—what's so bad about the politics of identity?
(tags: news politics journalism indyref bloodytories )
- Brian Blessed, World of Warcraft, And One Possible Future Of Movie Analytics - Forbes
More on Machinimaguruhughhancock and the fact that his new film has BRIAN BLESSED in it. (*ahem* andyrcorrespinaverysmallsupportingrole) Thus allowing me now to slip into conversation: I read the article in Forbes.
(tags: machinima journalism film luvviedom )
- Dear Mr Gove: Letter from a curious parent | Education | The Guardian
Michael Rosen has some questions for the education secretary. I have some much simpler questions for the education bloody secretary.
(tags: education writing language politics bloodytories )
- Russian Army - Get Lucky Cover ( Daft Punk) - YouTube
Here, have some Russian [Red] Army Choir. They're up all night for good fun.
(tags: music video silly )
- LUL Programme Machine | squarewheels.org
Eeeee this is ADORABLE. The machines use punched tape to control the signalling of London Underground trains. Still in use on some parts of the line, which, presumably, are the parts to be on when London is hit with an EMP bomb.
(tags: tech cool stuff history )
- A Rare Connection: My Photo Shoot with John Schneider | Jeremy Cowart
Quite remarkable. Touching.
(tags: photography photos luvviedom )
- Campaigners wield marker pens in war against punctuation cull | UK news | theguardian.com
Gangs of feral grammarians roam the embattled streets of Cambridge, marker pens at the ready! Their battlecry: If You Tolerate This, Then Your Commas Will Be Next! Kathy Salaman, director of the Cambridgeshire-based Good Grammar Company, said [...]
If I was walking along with a marker pen in my pocket and I saw a missing apostrophe, it would be difficult to resist the temptation to fill it in. That's
if I were, Kathy. Are you quite sure you're qualified?
(tags: grauniad grammar language silly handwringing lefty guardianistas ftw incrediblyobscurereference )
- 5th Anniversary Videos | Frisky and Mannish
The Kickstarter worked, so now these videos are available to the world. Even if you've not spent real money on every single Frisky & Mannish live performance available, like what I have, these hi-def recordings are now available for you to enjoy IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME (although, for various reasons Festival-related and not, I still highly recommend getting drunk either first or during). F&M aren't doing any shows for the next while, so this is all you get. Enjoy.
(tags: music silly video cool stuff )
- The catalogue of UK Entrances to Hell
This week's most popular entrance is BRAAASHTEEEFUNORVALLISHHTUUU. Or perhaps it's QUETTY ORANA? Stay informed, stay protected.
(tags: photography uk photos urban silly )
- Jon Ronson | An email from a psychopath
Fascinating, terrifying, recognizable, and damn well written.
(tags: psychology writing mental health )
- Wings Over Scotland | The bully pulpit
Several of these are personal friends of mine. Hey, now I can wear that "Hated By The Daily Mail" pinbadge I own with some actual justification. I remember seeing it in the bookshop window display in first year: I burst in, "I MUST HAVE IT". As Stephen Fry once said: "How can one not be fond of something the Daily Mail despises?" It's a rhetorical question.
(tags: journalism fuckwits bloodytories indyref )
- Embed With Games | Embed With... London
Incredibly good writing, and it's good to see that @tef is amongst friends. (And guys. Next time you have a journalist this good to put up? I have three hotels in your woodsneck. Three. IM me or something.)
(tags: gaming journalism writing tech )
- What Happens When the Poor Receive a Stipend? - NYTimes.com
Only good things, for everyone, it would seem.
(tags: poverty politics economy economics bloodytories science )
- How to screw learning with one simple belief
Wow. That's pretty damn dramatic. And incidentally coincides with every single one of my preexisting prejudices about how the education system works.
(tags: psychology education science )
- Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived - The Oatmeal
Just in case you missed it the first time: Tesla == geek. Edison == CEO.
(tags: tech history science writing comic )
- How Get Huge on Twitter: Ignore Copyright and Creative Credit
Related [because Tesla natch]: apparently @HistoryInPics are giant bastards. Such a shame. I really appreciate what they do, often, but there are rules.
(tags: copyfight internet history photography )
I aten't dead folks! Been busy being awesome. I know you understand.
Awesomer yet and on general release RIGHT THE HELL NOW, gratis to stream or torrent: Death Knight Love Story! In a world... suspiciously similar to the World of Warcraft universe... one corpse... forcibly resurrected in an unholy ceremony... escapes the dread legions of the Lich King. Can she learn to love again? Find out
this summer this holiday season right the hell now.
Starring: BRIAN BLESSED as the Arthas the Lich King! JOANNA LUMLEY as Lady Mirabeux! JACK DAVENPORT OFF COUPLING as Zielieck! ANNA CHANCELLOR as Miria!
And, in a very brief cameo in the first couple of minutes, yr. corresp.!
On which note, I'm just going to leave this here:
- I was in Death Knight Love Story with BRIAN BLESSED
- who was in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with Christian Slater
- who was in Murder in the First with Kevin Bacon
Thus, as of yesterday, I have a Bacon Number of 3, which is ONE BETTER THAN HITLER.
For what it's worth, if you're keeping count, then if you're terribly charitable about the strictness of your definitions, we established last time that I also have an Erdős number of 8.
Go, link, share, watch etc. Did I mention it has BRIAN BLESSED as the Lich King?
Behold, for I have discovered the Most Wikipedia Sentence Ever:
Snagglepuss typically appends the adverbial focus particle "... even" to synonyms (instead of the more commonly used "[concept A]; [concept B, which tops concept A and/or includes but is not limited to concept A] even" format).
(tags: silly )
- 5 Time management tricks I learned from years of hating Tim Ferriss | Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist
Can't argue with that.
(tags: writing blogging )
- The Greenwich Meridian - where east meets west
Probably the most interesting article you'll read today containing the phrases "oblate spheroid", "geodetic meridian", and "one might reasonably expect to be zero".
(tags: geography science cool stuff )
- English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet | The Atlantic
"[...]the `because-noun' form is limited only to the confines of your own imagination. It can be anything you want it to be". DESCRIPTIVIST PROPAGANDA RAAARH
(tags: language grammar writing internet )
- The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath | Surprising Science
Whatever fucker wrote this article has (presumably) read at least one book about psychology and nonetheless can't stop irself conflating "psychopath" and "serial killer". Having said that, so does the featured neuroscientist in direct quotations. Perhaps he wasn't a particularly /good/ neuroscientist which is why he's had to turn his hand to writing pop-science books. Oh well. Quite interesting regardless.
(tags: psychology science journalism writing )
- If I had the vote I'd grab the chance of Scottish independence | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian
"something very exciting is afoot": the first reasonable article about indy in the mainstream UK media, you're not kidding.
(tags: handwringing lefty guardianistas ftw news politics scotland indyref independence )
- The Armando Iannucci Shows - Except for viewers in Scotland | Youtube
This (perfectly delivered) gag, the initial premise of which is that technology has already led to the obsolescence of regional television, was first broadcast before the Twin Towers fell. Take that, Better Together.
(tags: video comedy scotland tv politics indyref )
- The Period, Our Simplest Punctuation Mark, Has Become a Sign of Anger | New Republic
Oh Ghod this is getting ridiculous now. Apparently, while I wasn't looking, the full stop has become obsolete except as an indicator of passive-aggression. CONSTANT VIGILANCE
(tags: language grammar writing internet )
- Ee ja nai ka - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Or, as we would call it today, "YOLO"
(tags: history culture society )
- Lady Gaga: ARTPOP review | viagroar
I do think that Gaga has become more pretentious and less listenable as time goes on, which is a shame. Nonetheless I'd still be getting this if it weren't for the contribution from R Kelly---who on earth think's he's still relevant any more?
(tags: music review )
- Man Smoking E-Cigarette Must Be Futuristic Bounty Hunter | The Onion
As Laurie Penny once said: you know what's cooler than cancer? a ROBOT CIGARETTE.
(tags: comedy writing silly )
- Get the Full Pop Education Trilogy Online! | Kickstarter
Frisky & Mannish deserve ALL YOUR MONEY. Let's make this happen, chaps and folks.
(tags: music comedy kickstarter )
- It was hard to stomach David Cameron preaching austerity from a golden throne | Graun
Is this what they call a "gaffe"? Considering his PR background, he's spectacularly good at making himself look like an utter dick. I wonder why that could be.
(tags: news politics bloodytories austerity economy fuckwits )
- Google Books held to be fair use | Matthew Sag
Library digitization is apparently a transformative work with massive social benefit. This is great news.
(tags: news law copyfight tech internet usa )
- Why do private-sector zealots choose to ignore the countless ways public money underpins daily life? - Comment - Voices - The Independent
"Free-market triumphalism is endemic among the British elite, but rarely challenged. It’s time to start exposing it for the sham it is. They demonise the state, but they are dependent on it. Perhaps they should be a bit more grateful."
(tags: economics economy handwringing lefty guardianistas ftw news politics )
- Smatterings: We could have had a better tomorrow
Bastards. The only way for this to make any sense is that they want to remove the Bedroom Tax only when they're in power, and one has to admit that their manifesto would look pretty goddamn thin without it. Bastards. We pay them £66k salaries so that they can vote on things, and this is what we get? Bastards.
(tags: bloodytories economy inequality news politics poverty )
- Animal instinct | katie mulgrew
Wow. I like to look at pretty ladies as much as the next man, but... wow. Note also the gratuitous attempted astroturfing in the comments, and @michaellegge's diligent and accurate rebuttals of same.
(tags: comedy fuckwits sexism )
- Conservatives erase Internet history - Public Sector IT
I'm not quite sure that "editing robots.txt" exactly counts as "attempting to erase a ten-year backlog of speeches from Internet", but nonetheless the words "memory hole" spring readily to mind. Manifesto commitments are a bitch, ain't they?
(tags: bloodytories internet news politics tech )
- Lookspring » Mind games
" I like co-op games where the other player gets a beer, not a second controller, but can still be utterly pivotal to the outcome of a game." I usually like to be the Other Player. "FTL, whose pause function lets it tick-tock between everything happening at once, and an eerily huge possibility space, is remarkably well geared for collaborative play." If only I could ever remember to pause....
(tags: gaming )
- ARTEMIS | Spaceship Bridge Simulator
“Artemis isn’t an official Star Trek game, but it is the Star Trek game you’ve always dreamed of.” WANT.
(tags: cool stuff gaming tech )
- The Figurative Truth | Bob the Angry Flower
This is literally relevant to my interests.
(tags: language grammar comic )
- 86 year old makes a beautiful rage comic | gagism
This is pretty damn awesome.
(tags: comic life history internet socialmedia )
- Dropbox unveils major redesign to simplify separating business and personal data | Venturebeat
Sounds good. A simple change, but it should make all the difference.
(tags: internet tech news )
- The Economics of Star Trek — Editor's Picks — Medium
"A proto-post-scarcity economy". Sounds reasonable to me, but I gots concerns about individual ship owners like Harry Mudd and Kasidy Yates. If they're allowed small interstellar vessels but (presumably) can't own a Galaxy-class starship by themselves, where's the cutoff point?
(tags: economics scifi star trek )
- Pain in the ananas: etymology maps | Graun
This is awesome. More please.
(tags: language etymology cool stuff history )
- BBC Radio 4 Extra - Doctor Who, Dr Who: The timeless appeal of the Time Lord’s theme tune.
I remember the Eric Winstone version! I used to have it on a record.
(tags: music doctorwho history )