THE TIME FOR ENGLISH CORRECTION, IT NOW BE

This one, a long time have I watched. The errors in speech be many.

“You’re working hard to put food on your family.” —Presidential candidate George W. Bush, Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000

Here the problem of the president be that confused he is. Trying he is, to say ‘put food on the table’ or ‘get food for your family’ but neither does he manage. Before said have I “do or do not, there is no try’.

Absurd it is to imagine, that pizzas on the heads of families be put.

If changed be the error in preposition from ‘on’ to ‘in’ then sense make, it still does not.

“I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” George W. Bush

900 years have I lived with the force as my ally but understand this, I do not.

“One year ago today, the time for excuse-making has come to an end.” —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 8, 2003

Tenses – confused they are. The ‘has’ – unnecessary it be. ‘The time for making excuses came to an end’ is what he sought to say.

GONE SHOPPING

This is an article Mark Steel wrote in the Independent in January but the point stands…

NOT A SHOPPING SPREE – Mark Steel

Occasionally there’s a news story that can be presented as so jolly everyone must find it heartening – Havant and Waterlooville scoring against Liverpool, kittens rescued from chimneys, that Indonesian dictator bastard dying this week, that sort of thing.

You might think the escape of hundreds of thousands of people from the siege in Gaza would come under this category. On the point of starvation, with almost no fuel, electricity or medical supplies, they’ve blown up the wall at the border and danced into Egypt, smiling and waving at the reporters. They’re such merry scenes you imagine reporters spluttering the way they did when the Americans marched into Baghdad, when they came out with stuff like “This old man behind me is so jubilant he has quite literally burst into flames with joy.”

Especially as you’d think the middle class in Britain would say: “Oh I can see what Hamas were trying to do by pulling that wall down, they’ve knocked the ghetto and the desert into one which will give them so much more light in the summer.” Maybe that will put them in huge demand, so Hamas will get calls all day from people saying: “Hello, I wonder if you could give me an estimate for knocking down a dividing wall between a living room and reception room, I hear you’re very reliable.”

But instead it’s been reported as just about acceptable, but not the sort of unruly behaviour to be approved of. Or it’s seen as frivolous, such as the report in The New York Times that reads: “Palestinians used a bulldozer to knock down a portion of the wall and continue a shopping spree.” A shopping spree? Do they think the leadership of Hamas said: “Oooh my goodness, have you seen the spring collection on display in the Sinai Desert branch of Debenhams? They’ve got the cutest little calf-length boots that were made with me in mind. If I don’t have them I’ll die – get the Semtex and the detonator.”

Or maybe there were radio adverts across the occupation with a couple of actors gasping “Where is everyone running to?” “We’re all off to the Sinai springtime sale where prices are so crazy they’re not just up the wall, they’re through the wall. So hurry hurry hurry and remember – you can afford a smash through the border.”

The Palestinian “shopping spree” has kept them from starving, freezing or otherwise dying. Because for eight months the whole place has been shut off from the outside world, deliberately. Even yesterday, an aid convoy consisting of Israelis who’d brought five tons of food was refused entry into Gaza by the Israeli authorities. Maybe they’ll claim the rice created a “security risk”. Because Palestinian terrorists could place it by the border and pour boiling water over it, making it expand into Israeli territory and covering the settlements with starch.

This approach has been described by the Israelis as “collective punishment”. So Prime Minister Olmert said: “We must show the population it cannot shed itself of responsibility for the situation.” This could lead to an unexpected development, because that sounds similar to the crazed logic of the jihadist who blows up civilians on buses and Tubes. So maybe the next twist in Middle-East politics is that the Israeli government will join al-Qa’ida.

The problem for the media is that people escaping for bread, diesel and fags are spoiling Israel’s strategy, so that can’t be celebrated, as that would appear biased. It’s as if, after Comic Relief night, the BBC had to have an evening in favour of starvation in the interests of being neutral.

And yet by every account it’s a classic feelgood story. It’s even a marvellous example of religious unity, as Hamas have followed the lesson of Moses by leading people out of danger through Egypt. One woman was reported as saying: “Now I can visit my daughter who I haven’t seen for four years.” When the Berlin Wall came down, that sort of comment signalled universal rejoicing, but this meets with disapproval from Western governments, mostly because they’ve denounced Hamas as terrorists and refused to talk to them, even when they’ve won elections.

But maybe blowing up walls to save people’s lives is the sort of thing that makes Hamas popular. Politicians here are always complaining they’re disconnected from the population, so this might be the way to engage with the voters. To start with, they could blow up the border between first and second class on inter-city trains, and as reporters gasped “behind me are the most astonishing scenes, as these poor wretched creatures, crammed against each other in corridors for so long have literally poured into the empty caverns of first class, where they can at last breathe, and see close-up for the first time the puffy headrests and peculiar posh purple lamps”, their popularity would soar.

FOR ANYONE WHO EVER MISSED HOME

At various times I have spent months in a stretch or even a year away from home. Travelling is a wonderful thing – seeing how people do things in various places is endlessly interesting, but sometimes you feel it burn.

In the course of a year it won’t happen that often but it can be almost anything that starts the feeling. Maybe added up you feel it for a couple of weeks in a year. It usually goes away but it bites hard when it bites.

Something good could happen at home and you want to be sharing the experience because you know what it means to people at home and you want to be part of it, but you can’t.

Alternatively, something bad could happen at home and you want to be there to help if you can and you feel terrible because you know you can do almost nothing from where you are.

It can be something utterly random – there could be an incident in the street  and you wish one or other person you know is there with you because you know they would have loved it or you want to hear what they would say about it.

Sometimes it really does hurt.

I remember when ‘Letter from America’ by the proclaimers came out. It is a song Irish people love as well (you can see it being sung at the wedding in the film ‘The Commitments’)  because even though it mentions only Scottish place names it is a song about emigrating, and that is something the two countries know a lot about.

I also remember how much the thing the thing was ridiculed. I can’t find video evidence for this but I seem to remember Paula Yates being apoplectic about how such a thing could be at the top end of the charts and being incredibly snidey about it.

The reason a lot of people bought the song is that they know what it is about… she obviously didn’t…lyrics below..

When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
Broke off from my work the other day
I spent the evening thinking about
All the blood that flowed away
Across the ocean to the second chance
I wonder how it got on when it reached the promised land?

When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
I’ve looked at the ocean
Tried hard to imagine
The way you felt the day you sailed
From Wester Ross to Nova Scotia
We should have held you
We should have told you
But you know our sense of timing
We always wait too long

When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
Lochaber no more
Sutherland no more
Lewis no more
Skye no more
(3x)

I wonder my blood
Will you ever return
To help us kick the life back
To a dying mutual friend
Do we not love her?
Do we not say we love her?
Do we have to roam the world
To prove how much it hurts?
When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
Bathgate no more
Linwood no more
Methil no more
Irvine no more.
(3x)
Bathgate no more
Linwood no more
Methil no more
Lochaber no more.

Continue reading

SPORTSMEN – GUTLESS, GREEDY OR STUPID

This is a repost but I think it is topical… A few days ago I posted about actors who uncritically appear in blatant propaganda pieces but don’t say anything. Another group that are involved in this sort of thing are sportsmen. I remember Michael Jordan getting asked about sweatshops in Indonesia where people were making shoes for ridiculously poor wages. Jordan himself was rumoured to be getting paid more than all the people making the shoes put together and he didn’t have a lot to say about it. He was quoted in the NYT as saying…

“I don’t know the complete situation. Why should I? I’m trying to do my job. Hopefully, Nike will do the right thing.”

Nothing much has changed since then of course. Individual factories have seen some improvements and glossy codes of ethics have been made but the sweatshop syste remains intact. Democracy Now did a good section on it yesterday…

Unfortunately the team I support also have a deal with Nike, which I am none too happy about. I have not bought a single product of theirs for a long long time for 2 reasons. The first is ethics and the second is that their products are shite anyway. The question is though, are the sportsmen who get these huge marketing deals to gutless to say anything, too greedy to care, or too stupid to realise what is going on? I don’t see that there are any other options. Whatever happened to this sort of thing…

or this..

“Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.”

Muhammad Ali

ANTHROPOMORPHISATION

I know that this is not exactly the most important story in the world today but there is a serious point to it.

I saw this story…

Shock at polar bear’s carp kill

Germany’s celebrity polar bear Knut has triggered a new controversy by fishing out 10 live carp from his moat and killing them in front of visitors.

Critics say Berlin Zoo should not have put live fish inside Knut’s enclosure. But German media report that the carp were put there to eat up algae.

There is speculation that hand-reared Knut killed the carp just for fun.

First of all, I don’t find it particularly shocking that a polar bear killed something, do you?

Second, you shouldn’t be having the bears there in the first place. I understand that it was rejected by its mother (the sort of thing that the supposedly civilised romans used to do a lot of – they dumped their unwanted babies onto a big pile in the city and left them to die) but its mother shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Third, making the thing a celebrity means that once the public falls out of love with it it has alcohol addiction, the Betty Ford clinic and the inevitable comeback tour to come.

But the story goes on…

The Frankfurter Allgemeine news website reports that Knut “senselessly murdered the carp”, fishing them out, playing with them and then leaving the remains.

IT IS A F*CKING POLAR BEAR! What — do — you — expect — it — to — do? Keep them in a glass bowl and feed them little bits of that smelly stuff every day? Give them names? Take them for a swim around their mutual little prison?

If it wasn’t dead because its mother had left it or if its mother hadn’t been stuck on some f*cking rock next to a swimming pool in Germany somewhere it would/should be jumping about in the arctic giving seals something to worry about or indeed, fish. Just because the humans feed it it is unlikely to make its natural instincts disappear.

It’s all similar to something I watched in a David Attenborough program about how killer whales appear to play with their prey before finishing them off. I emphasise ‘appear’ because I would not be so presumptuous to assume I know what a killer whale is thinking. However, one of the commenters saw fit to leave a comment (I don’t know if that is exactly the right link to get the comment) that they had ‘lost all respect for killer whales’.

Behave.

I hate this kind of story because these things are not evil, that is giving human ‘qualities’ to something that is not human. It is not like other humans where you at least have a reference point. Even the sensory data it receives will be so different from ours that we can’t tell how it physically interprets the world around it, or at we least we can’t really feel and know what it is like.

You don’t know what it is thinking so you can’t tell if it is being an arsehole or not.

VOMIT PART 2

As I said in VOMIT (Part 1), and old photo and a borrowed line but some things make you think that there isn’t enough vomit in the world…

I actually have an old video of U2 on stage when he use to phone the whitehouse at the end of every gig and it was when Bu$h Snr was about to leave and he said..

“I just want to tell George I won’t be bothering him anymore. I’m gonna be bothering Bill Clinton now.”

This appears to be Bono’s version of bothering him.

Also, congratulations to 1820.org.uk for reaching their 500th post [1]. Go over and join the fun and the daily maybe has an interesting little survey you might want to take part in.

[1] If you want to know what 1820 was all about it was the Scottish War of Insurrection (actually one of a series) and you can read about it here.

(Thanks to whoever alerted me to the photo. It was a while ago and I can’t remember now so sorry and thanks anyway!)