Two memes

Via Kevin Drum, "books you’ve started and are embarassed not to have finished":

1) Ulysses

2) La Peste

3) Tom Jones

…actually, that’s it. I occasionally feel like I ought to finish Le Morte D’Arthur, but then remember that it’s boring childish wank (incidentally, I’ve lent Ulysses to this chap; I’m not sure what terrible consequences this will have for the literary world…)

Via me, more interestingly, "books you’re embarrassed to have read".

1) Riders

2) Rivals

3) Polo

4) Prudence

5) Harriet and Octavia (although I read it in the form of two separate books. "Harriet" was marginally worse).

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Tipu Sultan of Mysore

"By the end of the 90s, the hardliners calling for regime change in the east found that they had a powerful ally in government. This new president was not prepared to wait to be attacked: he was a new sort of conservative, aggressive in foreign policy, bitterly anti-French, and intent on turning his country into the unrivalled global power. It was best, he believed, simply to remove any hostile Muslim regime that presumed to resist the west…"

Read, as unimaginative bloggers say, the whole thing.

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Lord Stevens Is Stark Raving Mad

Former Met commissioner Lord Stevens would appear to have completely lost it. He reckons youth crime is a "raging social cancer tearing away at Britain", and (of course) he wants to increase sentences for people who do crime while wearing hoodies.

I think it would be hard to avoid categorising Lord Stevens as an extreme member of the Square Daddio tendency, or to avoid nominating him for the Melanie Phillips Prize For Lack Of Perspective. Especially as he’s got form.

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Oi! I cannot compete with Couba. So WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

Suggestions in the comments, please…

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"They may be sovereign countries, but you folks at home forget, that they all want what we’ve got, but they don’t know it yet" – Billy Bragg

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We hate wireless networking

Whether it’s Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or whatever, wireless networking systems have one common trait: they don’t work yet. Every wireless network system I’ve ever used out of the box required far more IT knowledge to get working than most end users (come to that, most IT helpdesk employees) have.

It shouldn’t, for example, take four hours to connect your mobile phone to your computer. The process shouldn’t require you to uninstall your Bluetooth card and then reinstall it with an obsolete driver. It shouldn’t then require you to uninstall the phone synchronisation software and reinstall it to work with the obsolete driver. Once all this is done, you shouldn’t then need to turn the phone and computer on and off several times, and then spend an hour looking through web forums to see if anyone has run into the same problem.

Ideally, the ultimate solution should not involve finding someone who admits that the correct process just *is* arbitrary and insane, and that you have to ignore all printed instructions and common sense.

Oh well, I guess it’s kept me out of the pub. And now I can post silly pictures like this one:


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Bored? Go and watch this excellent animation on What The Brits Have Done For The Irish. It might be ever so slightly sarcastic.

From the comments on the same site, this quote is probably the best summary of (the positive side of) the relationship between the Irish and the English: "the ironic thing is… we have more in common with the so called brits than with any other country in the world… Same weather, mentality, drink culture, being fucked up by a monarchy for hundreds of years, ugly women that dress like hookers out on the lash on a sat night…"

Incidentally, why don’t the Irish hate the Scots? They were the ones who settled in Northern Ireland under Cromwell and actually slaughtered the natives to become the Ulster Protestants, not to mention making up a large proportion of the British Army over the years…

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Mad Mel update

"Old Testament brutality" is an antisemitic phrase, according to Melanie Phillips. Wow.

(NB I originally transcribed this as ‘Old Testament justice’. To me, this makes fuck-all difference. To anyone who gives a monkey’s about the distinction, feel free to whip my ass.)

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