Three terms?

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.

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Greasy wops

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.

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Best lyric ever

“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.

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Listen: he speaks truth

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.

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Dry wit award

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.

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As a great fan of stupid interlingual puns and the Tube map, imagine my delight to see the two combined. Never let it be said that the Austrians have no sense of humour.

Relatedly, have you noticed that if you view the geographically accurate Underground map, it looks almost exactly like the Harry Beck map drawn by a drunk and then stretched round the inside of a crater?

Not that I’ve ever made a drunk draw the Harry Beck map and then strech it round the inside of a crater. That would be wrong.

(via ein Englischmann’s Schloss)

Update: as Horst points out in the comments, I’ve been confusing my Franks and my Harrys – fixed now…

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Lies, damned lies, etc update

Online IT rag The Register has discovered yet another way to rig opinion polls: create an online poll using multiple radio boxes which appear to cover several different categories, but which actually only allows a single vote. So when you vote in the final pseudo-category, you don’t notice that you’re clearing any previous attempts at voting.

This meant that Rush and Heart (the two contenders in the Unpleasant Canadian Pomp Rock pseudo-section at the far bottom of the poll) were voted IT professionals’ favourite rock bands, alongside the less suprising likes of Metallica and Radiohead.

I’m sure Diebold are taking notes – so US voters should be wary if their presidential voting screen is divided into several categories, and the bottom one appears to feature a head-to-head choice between GWB and Osama Bin Laden (and yes, I know that Chimpy’s people are already trying to spin the contest as if it were…)

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In the press

Hooray – I’m on the BBC!

It almost makes up for staying up til 2AM working on a database about chilled food. D’you know how boring chilled food is? Very.

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