Archive for October, 2006

North Korea’s Secret Weapon

October 31st, 2006

This year has seen North Korea in the news quite a lot as Kim Jong Il’s plans to turn his country into a nuclear power came to fruition.

Last July, he caused major consternation when he tested the Taepodong-2 ballistic missile. The missile crashed into the sea of Japan seconds after launch, causing some to poo-poo North Korea’s efforts. However, many believe that the splash down was deliberate. After all, North Korea would not easily be able to retrieve its technology if it came down in international waters. At the time, all eyes were on Korea and there were many threats of sanctions.

We fast forward to October, and North Korea conducts an underground test of a small nuclear bomb. Due to the small size of the explosion, some believed it was a large conventional explosion masquerading as a nuclear one. However, the USA conducted radiation tests and confirmed that it had been a nuclear blast. There was a mad flurry of activity in the UN and more sanctions have been threatened.

All of this activity got me thinking. These tests were not conducted in secret. The North Koreans seemed keen for the world to see what they were up to. The whole thing smacked of misdirection to me, so I began to look elsewhere. After many hours of studying surveillance photos, it suddenly occurred to me. Kim Jong Il’s secret missile programme was being hidden in plain sight. He has silos all over the place, some within yards of South Korea.

I have managed to uncover secret footage of test launches from these silos. Click here for the footage that will shake the world to its very foundations.

Musing #2

October 29th, 2006

Why is it called a lift or an elevator on the way down as well as on the way up? Why isn’t it called a “drop” or a “depressor”? Why isn’t an escalator a “de-escalator” on the way down?

Excuse Me, Please!

October 25th, 2006

Three very simple words, yet people nowadays seem unable or unwilling to say them. I don’t understand it. If I’m standing in front of the baked beans in the supermarket and you want baked beans, how hard is it to wait until I have moved on or simply smile and say: “Excuse me, please”?

Today I was in a branch of Pret a Manger with my girlfriend. We were standing just in front of one of the sandwich cabinets, trying to decide what to eat. There was just about enough room for someone to squeeze in front of us, so that’s exactly what happened. This middle-aged woman (sorry, love, it’s true… mutton dressed as mutton) shoved herself in front of us and I suddenly went from considering a tuna salad sandwich to contemplating the back of her head.

I said to Gema, while still looking at this ignoramus’s head: “Nobody says ‘Excuse Me’ anymore.”

She turned round and said, with a smile: “Excuse me” and returned to perusing the sandwiches.

I replied, without a smile: “You’re excused.”

Without turning round again, she said: “Well, you were standing back from the cabinet.”

What the fuck did she think we were looking at? Were we Daoists contemplating the empty space that lay between us and the display?

This was no isolated incident. People always seemed to shove in front or reach across you. One time Gema was on her haunches, looking at something on a bottom shelf in Boots. Some old woman wanted the same item and in her eagerness, knocked Gema flat on her back and walked away without a word.

Another time, I was at the cinema, playing a video game as I passed the time. Without my realising, the queue had grown and people were standing right behind me. Suddenly, I felt someone poke me in the shoulder. I turned to see a middle-aged man and his wife. They just stared at me but said nothing. Then I realised they couldn’t get past because the queue was right behind me. However, since I didn’t appreciate being poked and since they didn’t actually ask to get past, I ignored them and went back to my game.

A moment later the same man just shoved me aside and the two of them joined the end of the queue. Again, not a word from either of them. At this point I abandoned my game and stood looking at them. Once I caught their eye, I walked… what adverb to use… resolutely towards them.

Now I scrub up reasonably well, but on that occasion I was unshaven and wearing a black track-suit, so combined with the look of “You’re going down, fucker!” on my face, I’m sure I was an intimidating sight. Anyway, Mr. and Mrs. Nomanners expressions were as if they had just run into the back of Vinnie Jones’s car. They positively blanched. I walk up to Mr. Nomanners and stuck my face into his.

“I was brought up to say ‘Excuse me’, not push,” I said quietly and walked away.

I’m sure I could hear the sound of fecal matter being passed.

I blame Burger King. “Have it your way!”

That’s what companies have been pounding into us for well over a decade now in Britain and Ireland. It’s not just Burger King. It’s credit card companies, banks, loan companies… Everyone is telling us that we can have whatever we want. We don’t have to ask. It’s ours by right. The big push to foist loans onto people has meant no one believes they have to earn something any more. They can have whatever they want now.

“I want” seems to have become most people’s mantra. “I want that sandwich. You’re standing in front of it? Fuck you! I’ll just elbow you out of the way.”

I think there is also an element of people being afraid to communicate with a stranger these days. That simple “I beg your pardon” seems to be beyond people, regardless of their generation. Now despite the fact that I think people are not much above cattle (to judge by their group behaviour), I try to smile as much as possible when I’m surrounded by them, as much out of courtesy as anything else. Have you looked at people as they try to shove past or reach across you for something? They are determined not to catch your eye. They are afraid of communicating with you.

Do me a favour… Next time you want something and someone else is in the way, make sure you use those three simple words. No, not “Move aside, shithead!”

Yes, those three: “Excuse me, please.”

And don’t forget to smile.

Post Script
Famed “Insultant”, Rowan Manahan, has a nice post on the topic of courtesy
.

George W. Bush’s Radio Address

October 21st, 2006

George W. Bush made a radio address to the American people today on the subject of Democracy in Iraq and the War on Terror (full text of the speech available here). In his address, he acknowledges the increase in attacks on security forces in Iraq.

Here are some of the things he said: 

“Our goal in Iraq is clear and unchanging: Our goal is victory.” Brilliant! Imagine if he had used that as his reason for going to war in the first place.

President: “My fellow Americans, the reason I am taking you to war, the reason that hundreds, maybe thousands of your sons and daughters in the military will die, is so that we can win!

Congress: “Victory is just a means to an end, Mr. President. Can you elucidate your goals?”

President: “Uh, no.”

Congress: “Well, that’s good enough for this Republican-controlled Congress!”

“General Pete Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, recently put it this way: ‘From a military standpoint, every day is a reassessment day.'” Or to put it another way, “What the fuck do we do now?”

“The Prime Minister [Maliki of Iraq] recently met with tribal leaders from Anbar Province, who told him they are ready to stand up and fight the terrorists.” Let me see if I understand this… civilian militia fighting each other within the same country, one side being supported by the government. Why that’s… civil war. Isn’t it?

“His [Prime Minister Maliki’s] government suspended a national police unit after allegations that some of its members were linked to militias and death squads. A battalion commander was arrested for possible complicity in sectarian deaths. And earlier this week, two of Iraq’s most senior police commanders were reassigned as part of a major restructuring of the national police force.” Struggling to see the positive spin there.

“Another reason for the recent increase in attacks is that the terrorists are trying to influence public opinion here in the United States. They have a sophisticated propaganda strategy. They know they cannot defeat us in the battle, so they conduct high-profile attacks, hoping that the images of violence will demoralize our country and force us to retreat.” I don’t understand why they would do that. After all, it didn’t work for the North Vietnamese. Oh, wait…

“We will not pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete.” That will be the clearly stated mission of “victory”.

“Retreating from Iraq would dishonor the men and women who have given their lives in that country, and mean their sacrifice has been in vain.” And sending more to die would honour them how?

“The last few weeks have been rough for our troops in Iraq, and for the Iraqi people.” As opposed to the previous three years, which were a picnic.

According to an article on the Yahoo news website, President Bush consulted his senior generals today to discuss tactics. Rumour has it that their advice was: “Get a fucking time machine!”

White English Terrorists Are OK

October 19th, 2006

I came across an article by Matthew Carr, who writes for The First Post, in which he highlights the recent case of a BNP council candidate who was accused of being in possession of what, according to Mr. Carr, the police described as: “the largest amount of chemical explosives of this type ever found in this country”. The co-accused was allegedly in possession of a rocket launcher.

I put the following words into Google: “bnp council burnley explosives” and not a single one of the mainstream news websites featured the story.

There was a time in the UK when the attitude was that if you were Irish, there was a good chance you were a terrorist. Nowadays, it seems, to be considered a terrorist, you have to be a Moslem. Being a white BNP member in possession of “the largest amount of chemical explosives of this type ever found in this country” just isn’t good enough.

As If We Don’t Have Enough “Hoodies”

October 18th, 2006

As if things weren’t bad enough with intimidating gangs of “hoodies” blocking the footpaths, hanging around outside the local Spar, or even worse, filming “happy slapping” events.

Now it seems celebrities are importing more “hoodies” from abroad. Yes, indeed, I am referring to Madonna’s recent adoption of a young “hoodie” from Malawi. Where will this lawlessness end? Just don’t give him a camera-phone for his second birthday, Madge!

Madonna's newly adopted son.  A thuggish, young 'hoodie' accosting some poor woman.

Iceland Resumes Commercial Whaling

October 18th, 2006

According to several news services (Daily Mirror article here), Iceland has licensed fisherman to hunt the endangered Fin whale and the Minke whale despite the fact that they have no market for the meat.

If I owned any Björk CDs, I’d burn them!

Seriously though, there are some on-line petitions you can join if you are so inclined:
Greenpeace
Go Petition
The Petition Site

People Who Stop You in the Street

October 17th, 2006

I hate it when people stop me in the street, especially when it’s obvious that I’m going somewhere. What arrogance! They think their time is more valuable than mine. Do you have the same problem? Well, here are some handy tips for minimising your contact with these arseholes.

Question:

Do you have a moment?

Response:

(Pause for a moment)
Eeeeeeeeemmmmmmmm…. No.

 
Question:

Do you know God?

Response:

(Look wrathful)
I am God! Who the hell are you?
(Raise your hand as if to smite)

 
Question: Can I talk to you for a moment about Krishna consciousness?
Response:

Make it quick… I’m late for an appointment at the meat packers.
(It helps if you are actually eating some meat at the time)

 
Question: Are you considering voting for [name]?
Response:

Tell me where [name] lives. I have a bullet here with his/her name on it!
(Works better if you are actually carrying a bullet)
(Works best if you are actually carrying a bullet with his/her name on it)

 
Question:

Would you like to make a donation to help the blind/the deaf/the disabled/the chronically annoying?

Response: (Burst into tears)
You had to bring it up, didn’t you!
 
Question:

Can I talk you for a moment about the Mormon Faith/Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Response:

(Wild look in eye)
My parents were murdered by Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses!

 
Question: Can you spare 20p?
Response:

Have you got change of £50?
(If the answer is ‘No’, respond: ‘You’re out of luck then!’)
(If the answer is ‘Yes’, respond: ‘Well, lend us a tenner then!’)

 
Question:

Do you know Jesus loves you?

Response: Yes, I do. Jesus is my friend!
(Wait for the contented smile)
But he told me he thinks you’re an arsehole.
 
Question: Can you tell me how to get to [destination]?
Response: Yes, get on the number 17 bus. Get off at the terminus, take the second left and it’s just across the road.
(Give this response regardless of the destination)

Geri Halliwell’s Stalker

October 16th, 2006

According to an article in “Life Style Extra”, Geri Halliwell has a stalker and she fears for the safety of her daughter, Bluebell Madonna.

I doubt she is in any danger. This is probably just a concerned citizen trying to bestow a less comical name on the poor child. I believe the same stalker has been seen hanging about the Geldof residence and has also been spotted following Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin around.

I should set up a business providing celebrities with comedy names for their children. If there are any celebrities reading this and who are thinking of having children, or even changing the names of their current children, please do contact me. Here are some samples which you are free to use:

  • Fancypants Blunderbuss
  • Moutard Cornichon (for that Gallic flavour)
  • Acromioclavicular Ligament
  • Paucity
  • Gob

All my names can be applied equally to boys and girls.

The Great Nobby, Prénomeur to the stars!

Song of the Day: Last Train to Clarksville

October 15th, 2006

Performer: The Monkees

Composer: Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart

Year: 1966

Why I like it: Gotta love that jangly guitar.

Trivia: Despite the bubble-gum tune, this is actually a song protesting the Vietnam War. The protagonist of the song has been drafted and wants to meet his girlfriend one last time before he is sent off to war.

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