Much as I enjoy mocking Johann Hari (how could you not?), I’m something of a fan of his writings. However, you can take such things too far – and clicking through 20 Google pages searching for “johann hari” is definitely a bit much. Even if it does bring you here, which is an excellent place to be.
Perhaps it was the man himself vanity-surfing? Inquiring minds want to know…
It’s possible that I’ve gone mad. I seem to agree more or less completely with Patrick Crozier’s ideas on what to do with the UK railways – pretty much, deregulate them completely.
The only change I’d make would be to keep TfL and the regional Passenger Transport Executives: local is good…
I guess claiming you’re addicted to the Internet is easier than shooting yourself in the foot, as far as ways of getting sent home from military service go.
Although the real question the story raises is what the hell Finland’s doing with a conscript army – are they going to hold off the Russians with sheer manpower?
So Jamie and Tim nearly had me fooled. But no: Maggie hasn’t yet joined Ronnie, erm, wherever they may end up (somewhere warm, one might presume).
If the press is going to come up with dubious statistics covering economics and the EU, I guess it’s slightly better if they’re pro- rather than anti-Euro.
But in the realms of sensible argument, we seem to be beyond the phase of using economics to sway the Euro case. From the economic research, it appears that the likely positive or negative economic impact of joining is smaller than the margin of error in forecasters’ figures – respectable economists are entirely split on the cost/benefit analysis.
This means we need to make our Euro decision based entirely on personal prejudice and conjecture, which has the pleasant side-effect of making life much more fun. Since it would make travelling in Europe easier, would save my employers forex and hedging costs, would mean we had an exciting set of foreign coins to look at, would make it much harder for swivel-eyed loons to pull us out of the EU, and more generally woud annoy the swivel-eyed loons a lot, I support the Euro.
Unemployment-fearing British Spin has an excellent post on what might happen if someone with John Kerry’s qualities and CV were to lead America at a time of crisis.
Stereotypes in advertising are good – in that within the time and space constraints of an ad poster, skilful use of stereotypes can be the most effective way of making a point.
The recent ‘don’t eat smelly food on the Tube’ advert, which featured a sweaty Mediterranean butcher setting out his stall of meats on a London Underground train, is a good example.
The advert was funny and memorable; and given the fact that Mediterranean butchers’ shops *actually do* feature large quantities of highly tasty but highly malodorous meats, it’s also entirely inoffensive.
Italian Embassy official Guido Cerboni unfortunately disagrees, making an official complaint to London Underground that the advert impugns Italians (quite why Italians rather than the Greeks, Turks or French, I don’t know). Sadly, rather than telling Mr Cerboni and his whining countrymen to go and fuck themselves, London Underground has agreed to withdraw the poster.
My views on the permissibility of complaining about advertising (or indeed, ‘taste and decency’ issues in general) are simple: all complaints made to the relevant authorities should be taken extremely seriously. However, anyone who makes such a complaint should be instantly committed to a lunatic asylum and not released for at least 12 months. If people are not sufficiently offended to accept this bargain, then there is no reason to pay any attention to their complaints.
“I can still hear the songs you used to play / From that Summer of Love in 68 / Seems it’s turned into a Winter of Hate…”
For double interactivity, name the artist and song, and give your alternative ‘best lyric ever’ nomination – ‘lyric’ here is used meaning something along the lines of ‘couplet’. The winner gets a copy of Babylon Zoo’s second album, subject to undisclosed terms and conditions.
Right. This comment is the best explanation of why we should ignore government ‘there may be terror ahead’ warnings and get on with our lives. Chris Lightfoot for PM…
Additionally, it’s interesting to note that – despite the right wing’s self-proclaimed hostility to ‘big government’ and its claims that liberals are the naive one, it’s the rightists who are more likely to believe all this ‘we are at war’ bullshit. We’re ‘at war’ with a few nutcases. They’ll probably blow up some more buildings and kill a few thousand more of us. And while it obviously makes sense to try and catch them, as members of the public it really isn’t important enough to get worked up about.
The SBBS dry wit award doesn’t go to humorless libertarian Abiola Lapite (incidentally, the only person with whom I’ve ever had a flame war, after I – somewhat uncharitably – suggested that he was a tinfoil-hatted loon).
Abiola says, “A little known fact: Ireland is the only country in the world ever to have been completely converted to Christianity without blood (usually mostly that of those to be converted) being shed in the process.”
No, the winner is commenter (and worm lover) Andrew Brown, whose response is simply: “subsequent theological discussions were not entirely bloodless, though.”
Thank you very much and good night.