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When smart people go stupid

Okay, so why are the individual nations of Europe hanging onto the EU with white knuckles, throwing the last of their money down this dry hole? Two things underpin it, one sensible and one not.

They are absolutely terrified of another war. The last war still looms over everything here, fresh and vivid and awful in the minds of pretty much anyone old enough to be in government (all of them, when the EU was being cobbled together).

The not-so-sensible thing? A huge number of those people are convinced that what caused both World Wars was nationalism, by which they mean what an American would call patriotism. They are so sure of this, it’s not even an argument; it’s simply obvious to everyone.

They are horrified when Americans chant “USA! USA!” at sporting events. At best, it’s an appalling Neanderthal faux pas (much as if we were screaming racial slurs). At worst, ZOMG! ZOMG! Shut up with the nationalism, you’re going to get us all killed already!

Seriously. They think they can (and must) break people of being tribal. They think they can unite them all behind the United States of Vague Geographic Proximity. The pictures on Euro banknotes are of generic landmarks that don’t actually exist.

This is why Angela Merkel can survey the break up of European project and casually observe that peace cannot be taken for granted. It’s a perfectly sensible remark to her and her kind. This isn’t an economic union to them, it’s survival.

In reality, the technocrats of the EU have not banished human nature. You won’t stop a Brit poking fun at a Frenchman, or a German looking down his nose at a Greek. People who speak different languages, worship in different churches and have been raiding each other’s stuff since the Ice Age will not willingly pull together in harness for long.

Unless maybe aliens land and start shooting up the place.

November 15, 2011 — 10:55 pm
Comments: 50

…and the winner is…

So, the EU has deposed the democratically-elected leaders of Greece and Italy and replaced them with EU puppets. Um…that there’s called a coup d’état. It’s like the UN toppling George Bush and replacing him with Madeleine Albright.

Holy shit.

I’m speechless.

When Italy said, “excuse us, we’d like to hold an election to replace Berlusconi”, the president of the EU said “This country needs reforms, not elections.”

Criminy buckets.

The president of the EU would be Herman Van Rompuy, the moldy gray leprechaun in the picture, of whom Nigel Farage famously said “he has the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low grade bank clerk.” Never heard of him? Well, he’s the King of Europe now.

You have to remember, the veneer of democracy — even nationhood — is pretty thin over much of Europe. Despite its great age and long history, many of the modern nations of Europe were cobbled together from principalities and city-states, busted up or invented out of nothing quite recently. The switch from monarchy to democracy is a shaky and incomplete project.

Well, this new thing won’t last. It can’t. The math doesn’t work and neither does the human calculus.

The Germans want the Greeks to grow up and act like Germans. The Greeks want the Germans to shut up and keep signing the benefit checks. You can substitute “Northern Europe” for Germans and “Southern Europe” for Greeks throughout.

Oh, man. And I’m going to be standing next to it when it blows.

November 14, 2011 — 10:21 pm
Comments: 41

ROUND 22: the race for the dick

You know what I hate? When Andy Rooney dies and I can’t remember enough of Andy Rooney’s schtick to do a proper Andy Rooney send-up. Hey, the Seventies was a long time ago! Congratulations to Oh, hell!

Onward and dickward…

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay?

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you don’t want the fabulous prize, you’re too smart to be a regular. It takes me forever to put them in the mail, packages go by slow boat, typically take minimum eight to ten weeks and lose the will to live along the way.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

What do we want? Aunty’s dick! When do we want it? When somebody on the list dies!

November 11, 2011 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 125

Just this once

This year, Remembrance Day is 11/11/11. Also, it’s the 90th observance (I can’t make the math work on that, but the nice man who sold me an enamel poppy with “90th” on it told me so).

When the clock strikes 11:00 anywhere near Flanders Fields, you’ll all be tucked in your warm American beds dreaming your dreamy American dreams. Wait — eleven o’clock in the morning? Yeah, I probably will be, too.

So, why poppies on Remembrance Day? The corn poppy (popaver rhoeas) naturally grows on torn earth. We see them along the edges of the ploughed fields around here. In the blasted earth of the Great War, sometimes poppies were all that grew.

Anyway. Yes. Friday (6pm Weasel Blog Time) we will begin the next round of Laughing at Death. I just didn’t want that to be the only thing up here on Armistice Day. Didn’t seem right.

November 10, 2011 — 11:24 pm
Comments: 49

It’s only a flesh wound

Heyyyy…I didn’t know they’d identified Ned Kelly’s remains last month. Dug him up with a bunch of other old bones and ran some DNA tests. He finally gets to be buried in the family plot, a hundred and thirty something years after it was his last wish.

Kelly was either a cop-killing savage or Robin Hood, depending on where you lean in the Irish/Aussie/English ethnic preferences continuum. They’ve made a couple of movies about it, so you may know all about him and his gang, and some of that may even be true.

Me, I only love him for this bad-ass body armor he kluged together out of old farm equipment for his last shootout.

The authorities not being complete morons, they shot him through the legs.


November 9, 2011 — 11:09 pm
Comments: 27

Oh, you beautiful doll

You remember that scene in Poltergeist where somebody opens the haunted bedroom door, and it’s all shrieking and howling and shit swirling around and toys playing with themselves? I looked in on Twitter today, and it was just like that.

I’m not digging politics at the moment.

So let’s talk about something nicer. Like, have you seen this Russian guy who was caught this week with the mummified bodies of 29 young women he’d dug up and dressed like dolls? One was got up as a teddy bear. Also, there were actual dolls. All of which was good going, because most reports say he lived in a tiny apartment with his parents.

Reports describe him as a well-known historian and expert on local cemeteries, but I dunno. This doesn’t sound like any academic I know:

Moskvin claimed that from 2005 to 2007 he had inspected 752 cemeteries across the region, often traveling about 30 kilometers (20 miles) a day by foot. He said he drank from puddles, spent nights in haystacks or at abandoned farms and once even slept in a coffin readied for a funeral. He said he was repeatedly questioned by police, who then always let him go.

Oh, my mother would have loved this story.

November 8, 2011 — 10:03 pm
Comments: 27

Prince of FAILs

This picture sums up nicely why I want to apply for my maroon passport while Her Maj is still on the big sparkly chair (Charles and Camilla apparently trying — and failing — to make trinkets in the manner of disabled Tanzanians).

I know, I know…the oath is to the crown, whoever’s under it. But I’m hoping they skip over this goof in favor of that nice young man in the Dudley Do-right getup.

November 7, 2011 — 10:39 pm
Comments: 33

Andy Rooney, bitching in the afterlife now

Oh, hell wins the dick with Andy Rooney.

Because I didn’t update the sidebar link, poor luis picked Rooney in the wrong Pool. My bad. For that, I have offered him a pre-pick on the next Pool, if he likes. Seems only fair.

I resolve to do better, updating that link.

Meanwhile — see you next Friday!

Oh, and happy Bonfire Night. There are two really good ones
nearby tonight, but the weather is crappy so we’ll probably skip
them and do our own tomorrow.

November 5, 2011 — 4:52 pm
Comments: 31

My pet goat

Happy Eid al-Adha, everyone (this year, it runs from Sunday the 6th until Wednesday the 9th). The Festival of Sacrifice celebrates Abraham’s willingness to cut his son’s throat in obedience to God — one of the more disturbing chapters in the book, I’ve always thought.

Today, a taxi driver told my mother in law this story: when he was a lad in Kashmir, his grandmother bought a young goat every Summer and raised it as a pet. She stroked it and spoiled it with treats until it loved her and followed her everywhere.

Then they killed it for Eid al-Adha.

Because, see, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, you should sacrifice something you love, and that loves you back.

I’ve been trying to tell myself that of course the gods must ask you to do difficult things; but I’m not sure it follows that the gods must tell you to do rotten, shitty things. You can draw a pretty straight line between people who think God expects them to kill their pets, and people who rejoice when their sons fly airplanes into office buildings in the name of God.

November 4, 2011 — 11:09 pm
Comments: 46

Butt-crack daisy

I’m going to be the #1 Google hit for “butt-crack daisy” or my name isn’t Seraphina Terwilliger Weasel. (Original photo is a Man Ray).

I’m not yet. Feh. Google used spider me in really fast, back in the day.

Interesting…when I did a search of “butt-crack daisy” (only when it’s punctuated exactly like that), a notice appears at the bottom of the search listings: In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at ChillingEffects.org.

At the link: Child Pornography Complaint to Google. The cease-and-desist or legal threat you requested is not yet available. (Child pornography butt-crack daisy. Oh, let’s not dwell on that, ‘K?)

That Chilling Effects site is interesting, though. From my quick trawl, it looks like they’re gathering cease-and-desist letters and linking them up to FAQs. Cool.

Anyway, I just can’t deal with politics at the moment. Sorry. Between the presidential hoo-ha in the States and all the crap about Greece and the Euro, current events at the moment is like a great hooting of spider monkeys.

November 3, 2011 — 10:24 pm
Comments: 22