Archive for August, 2010

No mob rule!

August 27th, 2010

I abhor cruelty to either humans or animals, so I was disgusted by the actions of Mary Bale when I saw the video of her dumping a cat into a recycling bin.

Her excuses (“moment of madness”, “just a joke”, “it’s just a cat”) are pathetic. Her act was that of a mean-spirited person and had it been my cat, I would have been livid.

But the next steps should be taken by Britain’s RSPCA, not by mobs.

Some of the comments on the Facebook page “Help Find The Woman Who Put My Cat In The Bin” are puerile and somewhat disturbing:

  • “Give her a yeast infection”
  • “Hang her”
  • “We should all find her and kill her”
  • “Punch her, punch her real hard, that shud [sic] fix her mind state”
  • “We should bombard her with hate messages”
  • “Anyone planning on paying this woman a visit? just [sic] wondering, if you are good on you”
  • “Too bad we can’t put this bitch in a time machine  and set it for September 11, 2001 World Trade Center”

All over the world today, people are starving and homeless. Women and children are being raped in their hundreds in the Democratic Republic of Congo. People are being press-ganged into slave conditions to mine for the minerals that enable our mobile phones to work. Fish stocks around the world are on the verge of collapse. People are losing their jobs. People are losing their homes.

Do you see mobs protesting on the streets?

But one cat gets locked in a bin for fifteen hours and people go apeshit.

Don’t get me wrong, that woman deserves the humiliation her public shaming brought upon her and I am delighted to see her get her comeuppance (especially after the sneaky way she checked to see if anyone was looking). To their credit, however, the owners of the cat have called for calm and have asked the nutjobs from the Net to leave the woman alone and to let the matter rest in the hands of the RSPCA.

Now, however, the Mail Online is reporting that lynch mobs  are demanding that she be fired from her job at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Is RBS going to submit to pressure from a baying mob? Is that how they run their business? If so, perhaps the banks need more baying mobs at their doors screaming for them to release more credit for mortgages and to businesses.

But this woman is due to be investigated by the proper authorities. If we ran our businesses based on the misplaced expressions of outrage of the mob then the economy would be in a far worse state than it is now. This woman should be fired from her job if she cannot do her job. That’s it.

Show some balls RBS.

All this over a cat? Are you fucking kidding me?

Feeling crap?

August 18th, 2010

When you are feeling crap, homeopaths would have you combat the crappiness by diluting crap in water over and over until there is no crap left in the water and then drinking the water.

Wait… that’s tap water.

Drink tap water!

Pakistan in floods of tears

August 17th, 2010

Before the floods, what images came to mind when you thought of Pakistan?

None of us is immune to prejudice. Our views are often coloured by the sensationalist broad-strokes that the mainstream media tend to make. I am not immune to unconscious prejudice, even though my own prejudices offend me when I drag them out into the light.

I have noticed, particularly on Facebook, a deafening silence when it came to collecting donations to aid Pakistan, compared to the calls that were made for Haiti. Why is nobody (or so it seems) interested in helping Pakistan?

Perhaps the answer lies in why I was slow to make a donation, and slow I was, compared to how quickly I responded to Haiti’s need. I asked myself why and these were the uncomfortable answers I got:

  • Pakistan chooses to maintain a nuclear arsenal, so why the hell do they need my money to help their own people? – Discomfort scale: 3/10
  • Pakistan’s need seemed less because of the relatively few numbers killed in the initial flooding (compared with an earthquake) – Discomfort scale: 5/10
  • Pakistanis: aren’t they the ones who send their sisters and daughters back to the “old country” on a family holiday, only to force them into marriage and virtual imprisonment? – Discomfort scale: 8/10
  • Pakistanis: aren’t they the ones who train people to commit acts of terrorism in Britain (my former home)? – Discomfort scale 9/10
  • Pakistanis… aren’t they the ones who murder their sisters and daughters for daring to choose their own boyfriends? – Discomfort scale 10/10

Notice that the more unreasonable and ignorant the stereotype, the more uncomfortable I was with the fact that part of me was thinking that way.

My first bullet point might be considered a valid and reasonable point, but the fact remains that millions of ordinary people in Pakistan desperately need help. I believe that charity begins at home, but I also believe that the whole world is our home and that someone else’s problem on the other side of the world is not just their problem.

I also believe that it is better to teach someone to fish, but there are times when someone is starving right now and needs a fish right now.

While my unconscious prejudices did not long survive the glare of conscious scrutiny, I am ashamed I had them at all, and that they delayed my helping the people of Pakistan, and I apologise to the friends I have who are of Pakistani origin.

I have made a donation to the International Red Cross.

These people need our help.

Fly, be free!

August 13th, 2010

When “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” came out, I was mad keen to see it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was such a long film that my left buttock went to sleep.

Unfortunately, other than walking funny for  a while, I ignored it. What a terrible mistake! Had I realised the consequences that lay in store for me, I would have made every effort to revive it. But I ignored it, and later that night, while I slept, my left buttock slipped into a coma.

When I woke up the next morning, I could hardly walk, so I staggered off to the hospital, but it was too late. Despite repeated attempts at CPR and the generous application of high voltage, half of my arse was declared legally dead at 11.34 am.

The next stage was to remove the dead flesh and I spent the next three days lying face down while a colony of maggots went to work. On the second day, one of them got lost and wandered up near my face. At first I tried to shoo him away, but he was so cute the way he looked up at me with his little face that I had to adopt him.

After I was released from hospital, I would take him for walks and throw sticks for him. We had such good times together. He was my joy and my light during those dark days of recovery. But one day, he slipped the leash and tore off down the road after a meat delivery truck. I was too feeble to give chase and I never saw him again. Curse my mono-cheekedness!

I miss him to this day, and whenever a fly buzzes past, I  gently call out:

“Nigel?”

… It nearly bleedin’ killed him!

August 9th, 2010

I don’t know if you have ever been kicked right up the hole, but it hurts.

It happened to me forty years ago and I can feel it now. It happened after school one day. I was standing there chatting to a couple of my friends before facing the two-mile walk home when a little snot of about five decided he wanted to fight me. I think he wanted to establish himself at the top of the food chain within his peer group by taking on an older boy. I was a fairly unaggressive child, so instead of picking the smaller boy up and throwing him over the school wall, I simply informed him that I did not want to fight, and I turned to walk away.

That’s when it happened – and my Weltanschauung changed forever.

Gone were the innocent days when my rectum was simply for shitting out of. In the blink of an eye, its whole purpose changed. Now, its only design was to cause me the kind of gut-wrenching pain that was so intense, I could not even collapse to the ground in agony. All the muscles in my back spasmed, making me standing erect and walk about like a Charlie Chaplin parody who had been, well, booted right up the hole.

I turned only to see the little bollix half-way up Emmet Terrace laughing his own hole off. “Top of the food chain, here I come!” I could almost hear him chuckle. I put a brave face on it and shuffled home. I swear I have not been able to pass solids the same way since.

So if your mate is ever kicked in the ‘nads and he is double-over in misery, do him a favour and boot him up the hole. It will straighten him right up and I promise you he will forget all about that mere tickling sensation in his goolies.

Oh, and if a five-year-old ever wants a fight, do yourself a favour and feck him over the school wall.