Archive for September, 2010

Global Warming causes herpes

Friday, September 10th, 2010

So, yesterday, I read a short article in one of our national papers, that claimed Japanese oysters were spreading herpes in our Dutch waters. The minister responsible claimed they did, anyway.

Which had me thinking about the somewhat troubled history between Dutch and Japanese politicians and diplomats.

There are still quite a few Dutch survivors of those horrible camps the Japanese ran during the Second World War: men who had to build roads & bridges in atrocious circumstances, women who were forced to ‘entertain’ the Japanese troops…

and no Japanese official has ever come close to making an unreserved apology for these war crimes to any of these people.

Yes, I know that millions of Chinese and Korean citizens were treated even worse by Japan during the war and that they and their surviving relatives are also still waiting for something a bit more than a lukewarm “My bad but not-so-bad-all-things-considering-so-get-a-fucking-life-already”…

so, I probably shouldn’t grumble about a few herpes spreading Japanese oysters – even though none of them have apologized for this aggressively transmissive behaviour, so far.

Of course, then I did some research – that is: I Googled ‘Japanese oysters herpes’ – and found that it’s not really another case of Japan behaving badly on the world stage but yet another result of Global Warming:

“Add to the list of potential negative side effects of global warming the spread of oyster herpes.”

Which is very irritating.

It’s ever so much easier and rewarding to fear (and name & blame) some familiar painted devil.

I’m not dissing Global Warming but as a villain it does lack real substance.

Granted, the old ‘Yellow Peril’ was also a rather nebulous affair – and yes, aimed at China rather than Japan – but at least you could give it a sinister moustache and call it Fu Manchu…

and however many Japanese oysters you’ve been sleeping with, that is not something you can really do with Global Warming.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Aqua ThreatDown – Oyster Sluts, Japanese Hackers & Israeli Regulators
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

More about the 9/11 Florida-fé (or: Burqa Babes & Barbecues)

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

So, despite all the pleas from renowned moderates like Sarah Palin and the Pope, a certain imbecile in Florida has announced he will go ahead with his Koran barbecue…

which is not exactly a big surprise. Tiresome, yes but also highly predictable, which makes it even more tiresome, I guess.

Mind you, I do find it slightly surprising that Sarah ‘I can see Russia from here’ Palin knows that there are other Holy Writs out there – apart from the Alaska Hunters & Helicopters Almanac – but we do welcome her newly discovered commitment to civilized interaction…

as it is pleasing to note that the head of the Roman Catholic empire seems willing to renounce the auto-da-fé that was so popular with many of his predecessors…

though it might be that he’s just not that into burning books, being more of a nostalgic ‘I love the smell of burning heretics in the morning’ kind of guy.

Be all of that as it may, this wholly deplorably hoopla at least inspired one of my favourite Dutch cartoonists to make a mildly funny cartoon about it. It’s part of his running ‘Burqa Babes’ series.

This one is not as good as most of the others but it’s topical and not at all bad, so here goes:

Burqa 1: 9-11 it’s ‘Burn a Koran day’

Burqa 2: Yes

B1: I have a problem with that.

B2: Me too!

B1: I live in a small apartment with no balcony.

B2: I have it as an e-book.

Feed your brain: When zombies go to college

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

(The age of Aquarius it ain’t…)

Oh well:

“An American university is offering a new class on Zombies. Students taking English 333 will watch 16 classic zombie films and read zombie comics.”

Enter Jonathan Shorr, chairman of the university’s school of communications design:

“They think they’re taking this wacko zombie course, and they are. But on the way, they learn how literature and mass media work, and how they come to reflect our times.”

Well, I suppose that is a fair point.

When you look at today’s mass media – or care to reflect on ‘our times’ in general, you could do worse than do this through the prism of a zombie movie…

and God knows a culture that’s grown stupid, fat and lazy on a diet of soaps, reality TV shows and talk shows could well do with a few helpings of brain.

Car crashes and wedding cakes: If at first you don’t succeed…

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Now, here’s a scary story for you:

“A South Korean grandmother has become a national celebrity by passing her driving test at the 960th attempt.”

Which beats becoming a national celebrity for being papped while climbing out of your car in the emperor’s underwear, I guess…

though I’m not sure I would celebrate such a serial failer’s newly attained powers to move about in the kind of projectile that weighs around 2000 kilos and can, and I’ve chosen the following verb carefully, hit 60 miles an hour in 6.5. seconds…

which is what a Hyundai Sonata can do…

which is kind of relevant since Korea’s largest car company will be using Mrs Cha Sa-soon in one of its prime time TV ads…

which is a bit like a wedding cake company paying Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin to promote its products.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm Chinese burn to Pop’s Patron Saint of Useless Wankers: Morrissey

Monday, September 6th, 2010

There’s a certain subspecies of pop star for which the term ‘useless wanker’ seems to be designed.

Bono, for instance. Sting, of course. Pete Doherty, obviously…

but the patron saint of these PUWs (Pop’s Useless Wankers) must be Morrissey.

More self-obsessed than Prince, more self-righteous than John Lennon, more prone to mental upskirt soundbites than Paris Hilton and more obnoxious than a fistful of Simon Cowells, here he goes again, doing another one of his famous dial-a-clichés…:

“Morrissey, a vegetarian and animal rights advocate who last year abandoned the stage at the Coachella festival in California because of the smell of cooking meat, described the treatment of animals in China as “absolutely horrific”, referring to recent news stories about animals in Chinese circuses and zoos. He told interviewer Simon Armitage: “Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.””

You really can’t help but feel that Morrissey wasn’t nearly beaten up often enough when he was at school.

(“Grow up, be a man, and close your mealy-mouth!”, indeed…)

Lazy Sunday afternoon: Eight songs and one dog

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

(Well, it was either that or THIS…)

No news stories in this post, I’m afraid. No specific reason: I’m just not that much into it, today.

I’ll just play you some clips I watched, earlier today: Here goes, in no specific order of urgency:

1) Melissa Etheridge & Bruce Springsteen: Thunder road

2) Leonard Cohen & Sonny Rollins: Who is calling?

3) Bløf & Cristina Branco: Dansen aan zee

4) Marianne Faithful & Angelo Badalamenti: Who will take my dreams away?

5) Julie London: The end of the world

6) Kim Carnes: Bette Davis eyes

7) The Kinks: Celluloid Heroes

8) Little Feat: Dixie Chicken

and one last shot for the road:

Where Satan and Tony Blair fight over the bodies of pubescent girls

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

(Now, that would have made a much better title…)

There’s a new horror movie that’s getting a lot of hype in the various international papers.

Guardian movie critic Phelim O’Neill wrote that it’s enough to restore your faith in the genre.”

Perhaps so. Not that I will be in any position to judge. I’m doing another Amy on this, having grown very tired of this horror sub genre.

For me, the most promising aspect of this movie is its title:

The last exorcism.

If only I could believe as much in Hollywood title claims as some do in Satan’s strange obsession with entering pubescent girls.

Mind you, as exorcisms go, this following one is quite watchable:

“Hundreds of people have joined a group on Facebook calling for Tony Blair’s memoirs, entitled, A Journey, to be placed in the crime section of all bookstores. The group urges shoppers to surreptitiously move all copies of the book, which was released on Wednesday, in protest at the former Prime Minister’s record on Iraq.”

(I just might have bought the book if it had been called ‘The last time you’ll ever hear from this religious fanatic’…)

Hodie mihi, cras Vinyly (or: Play it again, Sametery?)

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Now, this is rather interesting:

“Music lovers can now be immortalised when they die by having their ashes baked into vinyl records to leave behind for loved ones. A UK company called And Vinyly is offering people the chance to press their ashes in a vinyl recording of their own voice, their favourite tunes or their last will and testament.”

It’s also a wonderful opportunity to update that famous party game: ‘Name ten famous people you really want to outlive’…

by choosing the music for their long playing records – in an ashes to ashes top ten.

I’ll start – but feel free to make your own:

George Bush – Cocaine on my brain

Oprah Winfrey – Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

The Pope – The Indian condom song

Superman – O Superman

Stephanie Meyer – Dr Teeth’s Money Song

Tony Blair – He’s not the Messiah

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Everybody must get stoned

Tom Cruise – I’m straight

Smiley – Fuck off and die

and for Naomi Campbell we have this song, of course:

…And lead us not into temptation (or: Spiders and muesli and the stupid will always be with us)

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

You know that old slogan, the one that’s so popular with the merchants & facilitators of quite avoidable death: ‘Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.’

Technically, they are right, of course, though I’d love to see those Columbine idiots, or that Virginia Tech moron, or the promoters of your average Shock & Awe campaign try and kill as many people as swiftly and easily with a catapult and some brightly coloured balls of paper.

Gods don’t kill people. Priests kill people.

The Little Red Book doesn’t kill people. Megalomanic arseholes kill people.

McDonald’s doesn’t kill people. Lazy gluttony kills people.

Death doesn’t kill people. Living kills people.

Et cetera, et cetera, et ad absurdum…

Spiders do kill people, of course – but not all that often, really. Mostly, it’s stupidity that kills people or embarrasses the shit out of them, as the following article shows:

“An 28 year-old man suffered severe burns after attacking an arachnid with an aerosol can at his home in Clacton in Essex. The man was summoned by his wife to deal with a spider she had seen scuttling behind the lavatory on Bank Holiday Monday. Not being able to reach it, the man decided to kill it by spraying it with the can. However he was unable to see whether it was dead because the bulb in the bathroom light had blown. At this point he turned to a cigarette lighter to illuminate the room, but in the process ignited the gas fumes and caused an explosion. The blast was so strong it blew the man off his feet and lifted the loft door off its hinges.”

Talking about spiders, and about idiots, and about religion, and about religious idiots with a spider fixation. Here’s a little something I found on that most omnipresent of Webs:

“Because its webs are traps for the unwary insect, Christians use the spider as a symbol of the Devil and the elaborate traps he prepares for souls which are represented by flies.”


Meaning that the good God-bothering flies would go to Heaven and the wicked Richard Dawkins flies to That Other Place…

which would turn both God and His Adversary into a kind of B-movie type good cop, bad cop Lord of the Flies team.

Christians against arachnids. What next?

Hindus against holograms? Jews against geography? Muslims against muesli?

Kinky Friedman and George Bush have a deep-fried beer with their best friend Tony

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Texas.

On the one hand, it’s the actual home of Kinky Friedman, front man of the legendary Texas Jew Boys and writer of superbly funny detective stories, featuring a puppet’s head, a lesbian dance class, cigars and a perfectly grumpy cat…

but, on the other paw, it’s the spiritual birth place of George Bush.

So, what to make of Texas?

Or, perhaps more to the point, what to desperately avoid eating in Texas?

As the following story makes clear:

“A chef in Texas has created what he claims is the world’s first recipe for deep-fried beer. The beer is placed inside a pocket of salty, pretzel-like dough and then dunked in oil at 375 degrees for about 20 seconds, a short enough time for the confection to remain alcoholic. When diners take a bite the hot beer mixes with the dough in what is claimed to be a delicious taste sensation. His deep-fried beer will be officially unveiled in a fried food competition at the Texas state fair later this month.”

By the way, those who think deep-fried beer has no chance in Hell to win any fried food competition may be as sadly delusional as the people who thought George Bush had the same chance of ‘winning’ the presidency (twice.)

As this quote, taken from the same article, shows:

“Last year’s winner of the Texas state fair fried food competition was a recipe for deep-fried butter.”

Still, however distasteful deep-fried beer or butter may be, today’s newspapers saw many stories that were much harder to swallow…

like the one about Tony Blair and his bloody memoir, in which he stands by his decision to invade Iraq but regrets banning fox hunting.

(A lot of dead Iraqis would agree it’s a pity he never ran for the presidency…)

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