All entries for May 2008

May 17, 2008

It really makes you wonder

Medieval Parking Fines

Easily the most alarming thing in this article is Nick Lester's apparent complete failure to grasp logic or basic mathematics.

Nick Lester, corporate director of services for London councils, said the system did work.

"We know that less than 1% of all penalty charge notices issued are challenged, and of those about half are upheld. That suggests that the system is 99.5% right."

Errrrm, what? I almost fell out of bed reading that. It patently suggests no such thing. If all charges were challenged, and the ratio stayed the same, then the system would be 50% right. Does Lester have any proof that those not challenged are automatically right? No, of course not. And this guy is in charge of council services for ALL OF LONDON? The world is full of morons >.<


Follow-up to Why must we fawn over wastes of space? from Jimmy K's Eclectica


I really think this proves my point. Not just the video itself, but some of the comments that follow it.

" Oh an other video with the baby of Amy's mouse ! They are so cute. The kiss between the two little mice is so cute ^^

Pete you're so handsome and Amy is so beautiful, thanks for this video !
pete you're the best ! <3"

" this is so adorable. & blake, don t let her go. u must be there to support her. no matter what.
pete, thank you loads for all these videos. they re simply amazing! cheers."

" I LOVE YOU AMY AND PETE! you guys are so hot doing what your doing!! i love you and never stop making music!!!"

Granted these are not representative of the majority of posters - the majority rightly point out the sadness of the situation, not least in the fact that the mother of these mice will probably now reject them due to their contact with humans. But the point is that, unless I have missed some incredibly well-crafted irony on the part of the above posters, there are morons out there in the world who actually idolise these people. "Can't Stand Me Now" does not excuse Pete Doherty for a life of being a fuck-up, certainly not if he's doing it out in the public eye. For me, Winehouse has never done anything worthwhile - she even took Valerie, a good song, and made it shit, surely the opposite of what a cover is supposed to do. I can grant that other people enjoy her music, but I stand by my previous claim - these idiots take far more from the world than they have ever and will ever give back, unless they either die tragically (from ODs or DUI), or completely reform and go on to live a life devoted to rehabilitating others - either way serving as an example of the dangers of unmoderated, uncontrolled drug abuse.

May 14, 2008

They could remake Se7en. Or not…

Seven new mortal sins have been announced.

  • Environmental pollution
  • Genetic manipulation
  • Accumulating excessive wealth
  • Inflicting poverty
  • Drug trafficking and consumption
  • Morally debatable experiments
  • Violation of fundamental rights of human nature

Right, let's take each of these in turn. I'd like to remind readers at this point that, while I will endeavour to deal with the objective inaccuracies and contradictions that follow, my personal dislike of organised religion, and my own Christianity will undoubtedly come into play. Just FYI.

Environmental pollution - somewhat excessive, perhaps? If you're a literal believer of the bible, this is the same God who almost wiped out all life on the planet with a flood. How damaging is that to the environment? Not to mention pillars of salt, burning bushes and the like (one of those is a joke :P). Even if you're not, it seems a disproportionate punishment. So by extension, if you ever dropped a piece of litter which you didn't confess to, you're going straight to hell... Pardon the scepticism...

Genetic manipulation -  so using the intelligence God gave us (or allowed us to develop) to lessen the pain and suffering experienced around the world by those unfortunate enough to have been born with various defects is enough to be sent to hell? Unless you're one of those who believes God inflicts such things as punishments or whatever on people (a view I can't even begin to justify unless you're a moron), then surely lessening someone's suffering is only the logical outcome of the love we are all supposed to show one another?

Accumulating excessive wealth - what counts as excessive? Who defines it, the church? One of the richest organisations in the world is going to dictate how much money other people are allowed to have before they get sent to hell? Hypocritical much? Some of the richest men in the world are the biggest philanthropists, like Bill Gates. Surely what you do with your money is just as important as how much of it you have. I know there's the parable of the poor woman and the rich philistine, but I don't think that can really be applied in todays world, and it is a parable anyway. If it is supposed to be followed like that (giving everything you have, no matter how much or little it is), then we're all fucked.

Inflicting poverty - surely this is the corrollary of the above. Regardless, while the sentiment is somewhat commendable, it is lethally vague. If someone offers to buy something for me, and I accept, or offers to sell me something, and I refuse, then surely I am making them poorer. Since poverty is a relative measure, have I not inflicted poverty on them? Would this not totally undermine charity?

Drug trafficking and consumption - oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The Catholic Church (CC), in trying to modernise, has shown itself to be even more stuck in the past. Unless by drugs they mean to include alcohol (which would include the wine at communion) and tobacco, it shows a woefully poor understanding of the scope of drugs, and the realities of addiction. Drugs in moderation are not evil. As for trafficking, only insofar as it is breaking the law, and the practices it is involved with and funds. So why single out one illegal act over any other?

Morally debatable experiments - sorry, what? Any intelligent person can debate the morals of any experiment. Animal rights activists will debate the morals of any experiment using animals, yet without these, countless antibiotics, treatments, vaccines and the like might not exist. By this, the CC just mean "experiments our ridiculous Draconian institution doesn't approve of", i.e. anything they falsely view as 'playing God', a phrase that should surely be banned, such is the rank stupidity of those who generally use it as the be-all and end-all of argumentation.

Violation of fundamental rights of human nature - which are? Hell, people don't even agree on the current universal declaration of human rights: I find issue with articles 5, 13, 16, 21, 25, and 26. That's one fifth of the current set of human rights. Is the CC giving its much delayed backing to the declaration? Or is it trying to bolster its own set? Regardless, without clarification, the statement is vapid and meaningless.


Then again this passage pretty much tells you all you need to know:

He also named abortion and paedophilia as two of the greatest sins of our times. The archbishop brushed off cases of sexual violence against minors committed by priests as "exaggerations by the mass media aimed at discrediting the Church".   

May 09, 2008

Centre for the Bleeding Obvious

Europeans Get Drunk To Have Sex

No shit, Sherlock! How long did it take to work that one out?

And people get paid to do this?

May 04, 2008

Why must we fawn over wastes of space? 

"And then there's Amy Winehouse, whose best songs really are works of art, no question."

I question it, Clive. I'll question it all day. I have absolutely no respect for Amy Winehouse or her apparent achievements. As a singer/songwriter myself, I find nothing of interest in her songs or lyrics. Her voice is nasal and grating. And most importantly, she herself is a disgrace. I saw her at Belgian festival Rock Werchter last summer - she stumbled onto stage 25 minutes late, drunk as a skunk, totally oblivious, you could practically see the coke dribbling out of her nose. She didn't know what songs she was doing, delivered a limp performance and was entirely held up by her excellent band. Had I been closer, I would have thrown a bottle.

I got in trouble last year for saying many of these things live on Kerrang Radio. I don't have any problems with drugs - I think they all should be legalised, as people have a right to treat their own bodies how they wish. But when you cannot control a habit (and the same goes for drinking, or smoking, or eating), especially to the point where it affects your personal and professional life, then you deserve no respect. Much like her male counterpart Pete Doherty, I feel that what Winehouse contributes to the world pales in comparison to what she takes. The sooner she is locked away to learn to control herself, the better. The she can go back to simply being a vocal annoyance, rather than a negative role model...

May 03, 2008

The Burbs on the Beeb

Boris takes the stage

Let's hope both the Premier League table and the US elections (with Obama in the running) look as blue at the end of the year.

"Blue is the colour"... 

May 2008

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