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Because bullet points are easier than essays

Chart stolen from this guy.

I promised you a post on the British elections and didn’t deliver. Fridaypost’s as good a time as any.

A Conservative win wasn’t the worst possible outcome — obviously — but it wasn’t the one I was hoping for. I was hoping for a divided, unstable government with a small Conservative majority that would force Cameron to jig right. Here’s some bullet points in no particular order:

■ The Liberal Democrats went from part of a ruling coalition to near annihilation. Seriously, they may be done. Forever.

■ None of the pollsters came close to predicting the outcome, which sadly won’t be the end of pollsters.

■ Labour lost big.

■ The SNP won big (at the expense of Labour).

■ UKIP took a healthy chunk of the vote, but only one seat.

■ They lost Nigel Farage’s seat.

■ Cameron is bound to see a big Conservative win as a big Cameron win.

Here’s a simplistic weasel-eye-view of why this happened, also in fun, easy-to-digest bullet points:

■ It was inevitable that the LibDems would collapse at their next election test. They were a far left party that had entered into a coalition government with the main right party.

■ It became clear early on that the Scottish National Party was going to murder the Labour vote in Scotland. Stirred up nationalism and leftover bad feeling from the failed Scottish split-off (Labour had encouraged them to stay in the union).

■ Sawed off SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon began to strut and crow that if Labour got in, she’d call the shots.

■ Brits got in the voting booth and panicked at the thought of gormless weirdo Ed Miliband running the country under the thumb of the Scots. (Which may or may not have depressed the UKIP vote, although the UKIP vote wasn’t bad — they came in third in the popular vote).

Early appearances are that the election will pull Cameron to the right, not least because he can’t blame the LibDems for his leftist inclinations. In conclusion, here’s the 2006 audio snippet of Cameron calling UKIP “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists.”

May 29, 2015 — 8:43 pm
Comments: 9


Sorry. Got jammed up with, ummm…work. Yeah, that’s it.

I definitely wasn’t playing Far Cry 4 what I bought myself for my birthday, prancing around the Himalayas with Booboo, my trained attack tiger.

You don’t get the tiger all the time. Just when you’re in Shangri La, which may or may not be a drug induced state.

It’s basically the identical game as Far Cry 3, except instead of being a white boy running around killing black men on a Caribbean island, you’re a Tibetan boy running around killing Tibetan men in a mountainous backwater. I never read game reviews, but I’d be amazed if they didn’t get lots of criticism for the first one for the skin color thing (though they didn’t take out the part where you kill endangered species for their skins so you can make useful fashion accessories).

Anyway, it’s very pretty and very fun and I definitely wasn’t playing that instead of doing whatever it is I should have been doing.

May 28, 2015 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 7

Y’all know this shit is dangerous, right?

I don’t indulge in many conspiracy theories, but I’m sure there’s something weird behind the dramatic shift from aspirin to Tylenol that happened…when was it? The Eighties? I know aspirin has some issues — stomach bleeding mostly, Reye’s syndrome is extremely rare — but it’s cheap and it works and it has awesome side benefits.

Tylenol (acetaminophen in the US, paracetamol in the UK) doesn’t work (honestly, it doesn’t do jack for me) and is extremely dangerous in overdose, causing acute and sometimes fatal liver failure. Worse, overdose can be as little as twice the normal dose, particularly if you’re washing it down with alcohol (which soaks up liver enzymes you need to deal with the OD). Worse, it’s really easy to get an overdose, especially if you have a cold, because they put it in everything from Nyquil to cough medicine.

I don’t mean to be patronizing. I’m sure you know this. You may not share my hate-on with the stuff, but I trust you know to be careful. Only, an acquaintance of ours is currently dealing with acute liver failure that was very likely caused by doubling up her paracetamol to deal with aches and pains. She didn’t know.

Coincidentally, did you see this? It’s all over the web today: dumbass British kids on Twitter daring each other to OD on paracetamol. It’s got the breathlessness and lack of detail characteristic of social media moral panics. In other words, I’m hoping it’s complete bullshit.

But damn — how did this stuff become the ‘safe’ over the counter painkiller?

May 27, 2015 — 10:06 pm
Comments: 30

Don’t worry, folks

He’s got this.

May 26, 2015 — 8:15 pm
Comments: 11


My parents divorced when I was about nine. My father had traveled a lot for years, so the difference in my daily life wasn’t great, but it did mean the occasional formal Day of Visitation with my dad.

This is one of the first movies he took me to. If you haven’t seen it, Tora! Tora! Tora! is a two and a half hour WWII epic largely in Japanese with subtitles. It’s possible a major film was released that year that would be more horrible and boring to a nine year old girl, but I kinda doubt it.

Anytime the damn thing is on TV here — and it seems to be once a month or so — Uncle B sings out, “Weaselllll! Your movie is onnnnn!”

Anyhoo, mojo recommended it as one of his favorite Memorial Day flicks in the thread below, so I figured I’d share. I can’t say as I’d recommend it to the little girl in your life.

Hope you’re all having a decent long weekend; we sure have.

May 25, 2015 — 8:03 pm
Comments: 21

I dunno…

In other news, Emma Sulkowicz‘s mattress graduated from Columbia today with a B.A. in Anthropology. “Sure, it’s a bullshit degree,” the mattress is quoted as saying, “but was I supposed to do with all these art credits?”

Good weekend, folks!

May 22, 2015 — 9:11 pm
Comments: 19

Kind of expensive for a hate crime, isn’t it?

I try to keep up with the news from home. For some reason. Anyway, it looks as though someone vandalized the Holocaust Memorial in Lynn Massachusetts yesterday with five pieces of pork.

Now, I know stuff is cheaper where you are, but what the hell? Those are thick center cut pork chops, at the very least. Pork roasts, even. That’s going to be a good £30 worth of meat, easy. And so gracelessly displayed.

I would have thought bacon the obvious choice here. Cheap, instantly recognizable, drapes over objects in artfully disrespectful arrangements. What kind of monster drops a giant meat bomb and walks?

Not a Muslim, obviously.

I’m betting it’s some kind of butcher shop heist gone embarrassingly wrong.

May 21, 2015 — 10:04 pm
Comments: 14

Chikken practical jokes

What the hell, girls? This thing was on the floor of the henhouse, not in the nest, so I suppose there’s an outside chance some passing robin snuck in and laid it (European robin’s eggs are not robin’s egg blue). But it looks exactly like one of theirs, only stupidly small.

I think I’ll keep it.

Posted in response to this picture kindly sent to me by Clifford Scridlow. It’s a nice try, dude, but I think shame is outside a chicken’s emotional repertoire.

Spare me a thought. I’m going in tomorrow. I don’t feel too bad, but I’m a thoroughly disgusting gurgling water feature on legs. I’ve packed an entire roll of paper towels in my bag.

May 20, 2015 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 13

I’ve got a new hobby

I’ve got a new hobby: collecting old postcards of local scenery. They’re cheap and plentiful in junk shops and on eBay, especially if you buy them in lots.

The thing I love most about it is that the famous tourist spots have been done again and again, from exactly the same angle, sometimes dozens of times. And the only way you can tell the nearly identical images apart is an Edwardian hat here, a 1950s skirt there, sepia tone, hard color, a horse cart, a motorcycle. It’s like a weird time machine with an almost (but not entirely) unchanging landmark in the background and a shadowplay of fugitive humanity drifting around in front.


I’ve also decided that postcards are the path to artistic immortality on the cheap. Oh, you can’t make money on them — the scale is bad and the math is all wrong — but as long as you can sucker someone into selling them in a tourist town, they will be saved and collected forever and ever.

You know what, though? I have a suspicion this one isn’t really from 1650.

p.s. Cold, day 3. I am Ye Olde Snotte Monster. I’m taking one more day off tomorrow and then I really must pull myself together, unpleasant honking sounds or no.

May 19, 2015 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 16


A nice short roundup of anti-Hillary street art on display here.

Not seen that website before: gotnews.com. Looks to be a startup from Charles C. Johnson, a name I have seen around (but not to be confused with the Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs).

It’s got a lot of original reporting on Brandon Bostian, the engineer who crashed that Amtrak train. Including his online dick pics with the dicks tactfully blurred away. Which is horrible in an indefinable way.

Me, I came down with a nasty head cold over the weekend, so I’m’a sneak off and…drink Jack Daniel’s or something.

May 18, 2015 — 9:37 pm
Comments: 13