Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Citizen A: Madam, is it possible that you could keep your child quieter?
Citizen B: What am I supposed to do?
Citizen A: What have I just asked you
Citizen B: And I have just asked you
Citizen A: Have you no idea how to start?
Citizen B: What?
Citizen A: Use your parenting skills
Citizen B: What for?
Citizen A: To keep your child quieter
Citizen B: He's not making any noise
Citizen A: It's making a lot of noise, a noise like a loud parrot
Citizen B: It's He not It
Citizen A: Parrots are it
Citizen B: He's a human boy
Citizen A: Then, using your parenting skills, keep him quiet so that he doesn't make a noise like a parrot
Citizen B: No one minds.
Citizen A: Oh they do
Citizen B: You mind and I don't care about you
Citizen A: That much is apparent. So, you only pay attention to those people who agree with you?
Citizen B: All children make a noise
Citizen A: No. Many are taught to behave
Citizen B: Are you saying that I haven't brought up my son properly?
Citizen A: I don't want to go into the reasons. I just want the parrot sounds to stop
Citizen B: Stop calling my son a parrot
Citizen A: Stop him squawking like one then
Citizen B: I'm not staying here
Citizen A: Take the parrot please

Alan Milburn

I couldn't think who it was. Some time after 7 a.m. I came back near to the radio and heard a familiar voice talking in cliches.
And then the name came to me. Alan Milburn. Milburn? Wasn't he pronounced dead on survival?
I listened for a while but I'd have had more chance with Ukrainian.
I did notice one thing. He said "blah blah that wake up and smell the coffee moment blah blah". I think it was some kind of moment of decision  that he was positing; but the fool was quoting an advertising jingle aimed at selling coffee.
Why don't they ask "What the hell are you gabbling about?"
I have no recollection who the presumably comatose interviewer was. Maybe it was Evan Davies. Now he can talk his own faecal share. Listen to him on the bottom line as he interviews the succession of self-regarding ne'er-do-wells. But also I have seen him chairing at The British Academy and he didn't verbally defecate that much. And I have that impression of all of them on that programme. They're alert and literate and retain some respect for clarity. How do they cope with talking to these pillocks? Why don't they undermine them for the entertainment of those of us who haven't been body-snatched?
It really is in no one's interest except Milburn and whoever is backing him to talk crap about whatever it was he was talking about.
At the very least, they could do it back to him.
BBC: But aren't we throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
Millburn: What?
BBC: At the end of the day, I mean.
Moilbrown: I'm sorry, I --
BBC: Isn't it time we did exactly what it says on the tin?
Sooner or later he'd join in or give up. They have a short attention span and, eventually, he'd wash his arse -- oh no that's what cats do.
I'm trying to think of something less intellectual than a cat.
I'll come back to you.

web vermin

Yesterday I again removed myself from Facebook in reply to that parasitical organ's assertion that I had 2 new friends. As I do not have a Facebook account, I do not see how I can. They keep reinstating my account.

Unfortunately there is no button marked _hurt someone senior in the organisation unless they change their behaviour_

This morning Lulu sent me advertising with the invitation to disconnect myself from further notes. I always do. It happens again. Argue and you're told nonsense. So I have wasted my time again deleting myself again so that some self-righteous airhead can earn his money putting me back on. Again.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

New blind trap in London Borough of Sutton

I am having difficulty loading a photo of a London Borough of Sutton blind trap. I have a few ideas; but for now shall merely describe the object.
It is on the north side of Carshalton Road where it crosses the High Street. The motor and pedestrian traffic is high there at all times; and it is a nice place to trip and perhaps injure  these parasites who have not shown the enterprise to be able to see.
I first noticed it some weeks ago when it was some kind of control box covered by a traffic cone, good enough in its way, but not what you'd call innovative.
I like the way they keep changing the appearance of these traps as they elaborate them.
Then, after a while, some workmen came along and dug a hole. They covered the hole with a board and put plastic fencing that's easily knocked over around it. That's more like it.
But there's more. They put a sign outside it, a metal sign, directing pedestrians around it. Very useful for catching the blind and poorly-sighted! Serves them right.
That stayed that way for nearly a fortnight, with the metal sign sometimes inside the fencing, sometimes outside face down, beautifully dangerous, and only rarely in a position to be read.
That's what the photo shows, taken towards the end of the period that the trap has been active.
Now they have erected a big steel pole in it, concreted it in and left it. I imagine the pole is for a street light. Or that'll be the cover. It's been there for some days. The whole is still quite deep and could cause some useful injuries.
Now the beauty of this approach is that it can be defended with really convincing arguments such as: “It's not my fault. I said it was there and needed more work and it's not my job to chase it up” & “We didn't knock the sign over; blame those  did” and so on.
Any objection to this sort of thing is easily countered by “You want to live in utopia”
Here's to The Big Society.

Update: 30th May a.m. Nothing has changed, still a dangerous hole surrounded by dangerous bric-a-brac in the middle of a main thoroughfare. The sign warning sighted people was in a new place so that any cunning blind scrounger can't benefit from learning.

Update: 11th June evening. Nothing has changed. Sensibly the metal sign is now being laid on the floor and moved around so that the blind and disabled scroungers can't learn where the danger is. None of the plastic walls is standing any longer, but all lean in on each other, causing as high a risk as possible.

Here's to London Borough of Sutton. 4 weeks and counting.

Friday, 25 May 2012


The story of my misfortunes (sick) went all over the place and is not finished. I may do one other post to bring it up to date and then I may remove it from here and put it on my website for an experiment in rewriting solo wiki style

There were lots going on in there of interest to me at least. Memory and false memory in particular.

While all that stuff was happening on I kept a diary, as one advises employees who think they are being bullied to do. But in this rewriting, I did not refer to it; and forgot so much.

Message ends
for now

forest hill cars

I was writing my blog on J as the train went through Forest Hill.

My op sys became rather agitated. Forest Hill Cars was trying to access my computer.

So this is just an up yours to that company.


Sitting waiting for the Diarrhea train to London Bridge this morning, I was thinking through  some of the things that it could be interesting to blog.
Most of them present difficulties, including the need to say much to explain the point I want to make.
But there is one that remains with me years on.
It concerns J, a person of limited intellect and greatly limited ethics, and she worked in F.E.. She was one of those strange types who take statements of corporate aspirations and advertising as statements of reality; so that she wanted nothing more than to be “successful” in the eyes of others; and endorsed the status quo until some aspect of the status quo deemed it appropriate to change. And then she changed. Fashionable idiocy all the way.
Thus, she seemed to know that Human Resources is a true force of Nature and thank god she wasn't born in an era when we had only discovered Personnel. Having left that childhood period behind us, we now knew that mastery of HR would lead to human happiness.
How wonderful and appropriate then that she was Head of H.R. in her institution.
The first problem that one notices with Dungheads is that they think they have to be seen to be doing something useful; steady as she goes sounds like madness to them because they want to be known for great deeds more than doing things the best way; but they can't do anything useful. So they do unuseful things.
I recall that she took on the issuing of temporary contracts. Not herself, of course; dear me, no; but she handed them to a typist. When she remembered. We handed them to her and she handed them to a typist. Sometimes the typist made a mistake and that was often not discovered until later, J never noticed – “I don't pretend to be a subject specialist; I merely offer HR expertise” – creating confusion and understandable aggression on the part of the visiting lecturer who objected to hanging around while they got the paperwork corrected.
And it was a tribute to the trust she inspired that few were willing to work on the promise of a contract after she took over.
Sometimes the typist would ask for clarification and she, J, would ask dumb questions of the busy senior lecturers who used to do the contract writing without thinking; or she would give a daft answer, taking us back to the first problem.
She wanted more and more notice and subjected others to lectures on the need to plan. (She was new to F.E. and seemed to think you could plan everything weeks ahead.)
More and more people were unwilling to work for us; and she complained that we were not retaining our temporary staff.
Gone were the days when you could take a lecturer into a class and tell them you'd bring them a contract during the time they were there. That wasn't an ideal way to work; but sometimes it was the way one had to work – events, dear reader.
Then she had the idea that it wasn't good enough to just issue a contract; and that we had to give a full statement of what they were supposed to do etc. Such thoughts occur to fools with too little work to do. Especially if they don't know anything about the subject. This one had never taught; but you could tell she'd had an hour or two of training while she was getting her HR ear tag and was ready to put the rest of us on the straight and narrow.
It was from her that I first inferred the belief, previously accepted in the Soviet Union, that anyone who misbehaves must be mentally ill and that, combining this belief with a good dose of behaviourism, the best thing for everyone is for management to force people to behave as you tell them.
As the new regimes came into FE twenty years ago, people were bullied and became ill. “How dare you speak like that to a manager” she was inclined to shout. Part of the bullying was disciplinary hearing – I was myself once charged with “inexpert photocopying of a document” (Level 4, bringing the institution into disrepute; straight up) – and it was clear to J and all the other monosyllabic intellects that the only way to save these people was to discipline people more. Only when they had faced up to their crimes would they be able to lead rewarding and productive lives.
These fools did not learn anything about psychology or any of that nonsense. It was obvious to them that they were right.
J and co were deeply suspicious of staff who could not or would not account for their time in advance and in detail; they would show their diaries, especially proud of the very full pages.
I think this arose from their constant desire to steal time and stationery whenever they could; and they assumed we were all the same.
Similarly, they knew the impossibility of managing by consent because no one they had ever worked with had willingly carried out their ideas.
I recall being asked how I kept discipline in my team.
I also remember incomprehension when I said I was busy for a few hours because I was going to have a longish unofficial chat with someone, no I wouldn't say whom, in order to solve a possible problem. She saw straight away this was foolish and advised head on confrontation and keeping a record on file. Oh what I fool I was not to listen.
Solved the problem though.
When she asked how I kept discipline, I didn't understand the question. I really did not. I had had to speak to a couple of people over the years; but it was hardly a major issue: one chap who did try to do nothing, but was very good if you could get him in the room and keep him there; and one with whom it was better for the students when she did do nothing – so we gave her the classes who seemed mostly came for the social side and everyone was happy.
But day to day. the idea of management as sheep herding was not in it. Not for me. One had to make decisions. One had to carry cans. One had to bollock the occasional recalcitrant student: “Can you speak sternly to x, Lawrence?” For the rest of it, I taught alongside my colleagues, a little of a personal specialism and a lot of the stuff no one wanted so they could see I took my share
How did I know my team did their full hours? Because I gave them more work than they could do in their hours.
But how did I know?
You see, these half wits didn't know how long anything took to do properly because they had never done anything properly. They had no “trade” at all, no trade of any description. They offered a sort of free-floating professionalism and expected you to consult them for advice so you could hope one day to become like them. They'd give you a garbled regurgitation of the latest self-help book they had read; and that was it.
Are you familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? asked my Head of Sector one morning. She liked us to meet at least once a week although there was never anything to say. The only thing I remember needing to see her over was to warn her that the student she had signed up to study Multimedia – do you teach it? he had asked and she had Yes, because she had no idea what he was talking about – was going to go berserk now he knew that that we didn't have the kit. She looked confused and said “But I thought Multimedia was computers and that”. Oh yes, and why had she changed my timetabling and given the fastest computers to the programming class? Again, she looked confused; but they're our star students, she said. Yes, I said, and you can do their coding on any heap of a machine. I said I wanted the best computers for people learning the latest version of Office. Why? Because it won't run well on anything else.
She couldn't get that.
Anyway, I said I was very familiar with Maslow... and that was the end of that conversation. She just about had the intelligence to not speak to anyone on anything they already knew about.

Meanwhile the entire HR department of 1, who survived senior management anger by making available sexual services to the Head of Corporate Blagging, decided that those Team Leaders who got on well with their teams and whose teams defended them, were obviously too close to their teams. We must have separate offices and all teaching time removed so we could concentrate on managing.
You don't need student contact to manage lecturers, Lawrence
She offered herself as an example of a manager who had never taught; and look how well she was doing.
But not everything was bad.
One day she felt she had been doing so well that she went to the pub for the whole day as a reward; and then on the way home she went through her windscreen. And then her body died too.
Such a loss. But the discipline of it was good for her. She never bothered any of us again.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Philip K Dick was on to something

Apple write to me suggesting I give my father something he won't forget... He's been forgetting since 1974.

They say "The brilliant Retina display makes everything look incredibly lifelike and perfectly

I always suspected that none of this is really what it seems.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

the Greeks

Our ministers are forever announcing that they know what the public wants on the basis of the most tenuous information and declaring what various patterns of voting mean.
Given that nearly all of the very few votes we are allowed are the selection of candidates from sets of candidates whom we did not select, this is more than slightly suspect.
“I think the British public is telling us that…” says one who then goes on to attribute to the electorate en masse his or her own desires.
I think it would be difficult in most cases to account for many individuals’ choices; determining mass voting intentions requires great analytical caution.
There is a related activity now. It is telling the Greeks that their forthcoming election is also a referendum on the euro, having recently denied that they needed a referendum.
As far as I know, the Greek electorate only faces a choice of candidates.
Telling them that their candidate vote is also a referendum on EU membership is nonsense.
If that is what is wanted then it should be proposed and implemented; but up to now the EU seems to have been quite happy talking to a few bigwigs.
The Greek government proposed a referendum and pressure from outside Greece was applied to deter them.
So the proposed referendum was previously withheld by those who now want to hijack an election and regard it as a referendum on policy.
A parliamentary election cannot be a referendum on policy because it is tied to individuals. To vote for the EU, Greek voters (not “the Greeks” please) must vote for the likes of Pasok and New Democracy. Those who want to vote for the coalition headed by Tsipras have no way to vote simultaneously for EU membership.
Such a desire may be thought or at least represented as stupid; but that does not make it illegal.
A referendum on policy is or should be an instruction from the people to the government. Cameron’s call is little more than an attempted imposition of a government such as we have seen in Italy.
The large mass of Greek people are being patronised for thinking they can refuse to accept an agreement for which they did not vote (the referendum proposal having been withdrawn); but that is much less ridiculous than believing that one can have a monetary union of quite disparate economies without one central lender of last resort.
The Greek government(s) have been widely criticised for profligacy; but if EU accounts have been balanced and accepted by the auditors ever then it is news to me.
The joke in which a Greek passport officer asks Merkel “Occupation?” and she answers “No, just a short visit” has more than an element of truth.
And in case that appears to be anti-German, I assure you I can distinguish between a person and a state ideology. And I remind the reader that British troops shot Greeks in Athens after the end of the Second World War.
Today’s quiz: in which European country, currently in the EU, was Napalm B first used as an offensive weapon in 1949?
(It’s all right: it was only partisans who were burned alive and it had already been decided, without a referendum, that the freedom-loving countries of the world would not talk to partisans in that country, So it is ok. It just stung a bit, I expect.)
Statesmen and negotiators who might find a game of snap intellectually demanding embarked on a social engineering chess game using membership of the Euro as an attractor to EU expansion; and did not think through the consequences. Did not even try for fear of being told it should not be done.
We are now in another joke. We are listening to those who have jumped off the top of a tower block without parachutes and have fallen and fallen, have passed the second floor with a fixed deathly smile as they cry “No problems so far” and are now a few feet above the ground and are still accelerating. Some are getting nervous. Some are squeaking.
But not all.
During the Vietnam War, there was a cartoon, by Ron Cobb, I believe, of a US general in all his finery, to attention, saying “I must maintain this rigid position or all is lost.”
The situation is not of “the Greeks’” making. Note the phrase I am denying: the Greeks. It is a formulation which should be used carefully, along with the French, the Germans etc. Some of the Greeks maybe.
In my brief and – for most other people – unimportant visits to Greece, I have been aware of a lot of dodgy characters wherever I have spent time; just as there are dodgy characters making a good living in my own rotten borough.
Let the dodgy characters pay. They’re taking the money.
The trouble is that such people are the king-makers and the makers of opnion and of supposedy democratically-elected governments.
But as Lao Tze remarked: the true leader is never in the police van.
Oh, didn’t we arrange that?
No, my dears; you did not. And you would not have been allowed to even if you had wanted.
Thus, we come to The Markets. Who the hell are The Markets? What happens when they get jittery? And so on.
Well, they are self-selecting, to some extent.
They are people with money or people with access to the use of money.
They invest money to make more money.
Let’s not bother where the money comes from exactly. If we go back far enough, and perhaps not very far, we’ll find that it was stolen or appropriated.
Much has been made of reparations to Jewish families whose possessions and, some of them, wealth were plundered by Nazis.
Even when it means money being paid to unpleasant types I feel I have to support it.
But it is a special case. It is also, in some ways, a response to special pleading.
I get jumpier when wealth is returned to aristocrats in the former Warsaw Pact area.
How many have been recompensed for the clearances in Scotland and Ireland?
How many have been recompensed whose families were sent to the workhouse because capitalism couldn’t provide them with work and homes.
So crooks have the money and they want more. They invest what has been stolen. They do not make anything.
They get jittery when they think they won’t get the money. They do not get jittery when people lose their jobs and homes. They have not been elected.
Those that are called “the right” used to be rather vocal about sovereignty and it was expressed very much in metaphors of personal freedom. Just recently, that has all been camouflaged by lots of patriotic waffle; but the basic assertion and its basic supposed assumptions are still there. Sooner or later parliamentary Sovereignty will be mentioned.
But Parliament is scared of The Markets.
The Markets rush in and mark everything. Like bailiffs.
And any challenge to the system will be ridiculed, the same kind of ridicule meted out to the Greeks who want the Euro and a decent income.
Buffoons and crooks are very good at ridicule.
The trap door has been tested, the hands secured behind the back; the noose is over the head and the blindfold is on.
There is a silence on the trading floor for the space of half a second; and it occurs to even the slowest citizen that these people are not necessarily his or her friends and may not be just play-acting at jailers and serfs.
“You’re not really going to kill me, are you?” they ask nervously.
“Of course not,” comes the reply. “We’re just going to give you the chance to innovate as you fall through the air. Innovation is good for you.”

Friday, 18 May 2012

bad evolutionary metaphors

I turned on Radio 4 last night and heard the second half of a programme about mass extinctions. (Around 9:15 pm - 9:30)

My problem with it was that those species which have become extinct were described as losers and new species were described as winners.

It was gratuitous, adding nothing.

Surely this is adequate evidence that the writer (and complicit presenter?) is a fool and should not be given such a spot.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Red tops

I am very pleased that Ms Brooks and others have been charged; but in a rather malicious way.

I thought it quite likely they would not be charged.

I am inclined to think that others are sheltering behind their prosecution.

In a paper lying in front of me, The Sun, a headline proclaims that a tv psychic said Maddie McCann is dead, in huge letters. It says in the brief article that this has upset the child's parents. Nothing about the effect this newspaper might have upon them.

Exclusive: McCanns' Outrage. It says.

Inclusive vomit and shit served up as news.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

frack Shell

I went to a talk by a man from Shell on the subject of fracking the other night.
He assured us it was all ok.
I have to say he was very very good at EMC (English to Mislead Clients) but he also did go into a lot of detail on the geology as geology.
I'm not sure how sincere he was in saying that he was trying to communicate with everyone because he used a great many acronyms; and my judgment of his competence is such that I do not think that was a mistake. He was telling us: this is very clever stuff which I understand; so you can trust me.
At the end he showed us some kind of a 5 point commitment that Shell make to us, the victims. There was a drawing of a footprint, presumably to indicate the footprint... I didn't listen. I didn't wait for questions; I knew he'd wriggle out of them.
And to some extent it went out of my head.
And then someone sent me the following from Center for Biological Diversity in USA


Shell Oil has done it again. The oil giant just filed another lawsuit against the
Center for Biological Diversity and 13 other environmental groups who are trying to
protect the Arctic from dangerous drilling.

I wanted you to hear it from us first -- and know what we're doing about it.

The Center's blocked every offshore drilling proposal in the Arctic since 2007.
Shell knows we're effective, so it's trying to take us out with another preemptive

But we're not going to be scared off by outrageous lawsuits. We're fighting on every
front to stop Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic this summer.

In fact we just filed a legal challenge against air permits that would allow the
company to do just that.

The pristine Arctic -- home to polar bears, walruses and seals -- is too fragile to
turn into an oil-drilling industrial zone with pollution, oil spills and lasting

But Shell is determined to drill. Its latest lawsuit targets our work to enforce
laws protecting marine mammals like whales and seals from the devastating impacts of
sound from drilling.

In its first suit, the oil giant is also trying to get us to pay its legal fees,
which will likely run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We won't be bullied by Shell. The Arctic is just too important to hand over to oil

Thank you for standing with us to fight these obnoxious intimidation lawsuits. The
Center will stay in this fight for as long as it takes to keep the Arctic, and all
its wild inhabitants, alive.

We'll keep you updated as we move ahead to protect the Arctic and fight off Shell's
suits against the Center and our allies.

Thanks for standing with us.

Kieran Suckling
Executive Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. The Center's been fighting to protect the Arctic and its incredible wildlife
for more than a decade. You can read on our website about what we're doing now to
stop the Far North from being destroyed.


Instead of going to their website, I went to Shell's and typed in “fracking”... now the other night this senior man from shell was using the term as every other word, how it was the only way, and it's all under control. But that was the Geological Society.

Go to their website as a pleb and you'll find that there are no pages at all mentioning the subject.

Now there is a funny thing.

I think their silence says it all.

New laws on sonic disturbance a hit, say local councillors

New laws brought in by Lawrence Upton, the dear and considerate leader, brought a swift and satisfactory end to selfish behaviour in the High Street last Saturday. Sonic Police were called to the Happy Jitters coffee bar where it was reported that a child had been allowed to scream unbearably and repeatedly for over an hour. They found it was so. Other customers spoke of headaches and frustration and complained that those allowing the noise, the child's parents, were arguing unreasonably and denying responsibility. The parents of the child offered no satisfactory explanation and were taken to the Sound Court where a magistrate, having failed to obtain any assurance from them that they would not repeat the offence, ordered that they be painlessly removed from society.

In a private ceremony on the scaffold in the David Cameron Memorial Shopping Centre, Mr A Screech said “I have always sought to follow the laws, aiming to do my bit to bring down the ridiculous deficit left by the Romans before they abandoned us in the 4th century A D and to maintain the standards of decency for which this country is rightly praised throughout the S E of England

But I die a martyr to the cause of Freedom. It is the democratic birthright of everyone to make and allow his children to make as much bloody noise as they like; and those foolish enough to look after their hearing can always go somewhere else if they don't like it.”

He was then led to the humane killer and despatched, followed by his spouse, who was listening to music on her headphones and seemed unaware of what was happening. Their bodies will be used for commercial purposes by Surrey Burgers (since 2007)

The child was taken to a quiet place of safety for vocal restraint training.

Outside, a large silent crowd gestured their support for the dear and considerate leader.

A council spokesman later whispered “We support the dear and considerate leader. This new law will be more popular than the Boris bike.”

Friday, 11 May 2012


Purcell Room, South Bank this evening

Walked into a friend and colleague and talked to her for maybe ten minutes. In that time I twice had to defend from the security staff the plastic bag I had beside me, containing a bottle of water.

Please keep your belongings with you at all times. Items which are unattended may be removed without warning and may be subject to damage or destruction by the security services as they attempt to form concepts.

Pig or fig

I am in my office on the High Street, among the screaming children; and there was a cockatiel in a buggy. It looked like a young human child but it sounded like a cockatiel. I knew a really vicious one in an old people's home, where a friend of mine had been put so that the people she had trusted with her affairs could make use of her possessions and house before she actually died.
This cute bird would sit in its small cage, plotting to inflict grievous wounds on anyone who volunteered intimacy. An intimacy it invited by singing everything from the twentieth century twelve tone repertoire.
I know the voice. The child was a cockatiel.
I thought of Alice and the child that turned into a pig.
I have no pepper.
As with the grass I referred to in my previous post, there is no one to tell. I feel like Matthew in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But I have had confirmation of my analysis. After a particularly loud squawk, even the mother could not stand it. A gelatinous alien creature in human form she may be, but the human body has its needs; and one of those needs is not to be screamed at by a cockatiel using the lungs of a child.
So, having picked it up and bounced it and fed it, none of which worked -- and why would they because they don't meet avian needs? -- she took a piece of cloth from the buggy and put it over the bird, which went quiet immediately.
She has gone now, having decided to pull the cloth off it -- at which point the cockatiel assumed it was morning and demanded bird seed.
I cannot help thinking the creature would be better off with me. I could have taken it from here; and, following Alice's story, it would soon have sprouted its wings and beak and presently flown away.

Vandalism in the London Borough of Sutton

As I walked down my road yesterday, on my way to work, I noticed a range of fairly commonplace but wild flowers growing. It pleased me.
I had a lie in this morning. Not for long. Lots of noise in my road. I didn't watch all of it; but, as far as I saw, this is what happened.
First a council nonce went by and blew air through the grass verges. Then another council nonce came and strimmed them. It may have been the same nonce with two machines.
Briefly it smelt of cut grass. But the flowers have gone.
I find that I am incapable of properly expressing the degree of idiocy this suggests. Fool, isn't enough. Cretin... well, that goes without saying.
Better, I suppose, this than that the nonces be swinging on a gas chamber door saying I am only obeying orders; but that will come.
It is impossible to tell them that because they will declare that the Nazi era and their attitude are entirely different. Nor, I suspect, would they encompass a charge of exceptionalism. One might as well debate with a dog turd about one's right to poop scoop it, with the turd advancing claims of its rights.
There are no guidelines. No policy statements exist because, they would hold, it is the obvious thing to do; so how does one argue? I approached the GLA Greens on related matters; and they referred me to my local councillors. Jobsworths, all of them.
The local MPs, coalition boys, do not reply.
Only the Charles Whitman approach works; and it cannot possibly be turned to, quite aside from the obvious fact that they'd shoot back before the gunperson got them all.
So we all go down together. Dungheads and grass cuttings and all. It wouldn't be so bad perhaps but one would share the plague pit with people who would see God's beneficial hand in our suffering.  
I suspect that the stimulus for this vandalism is draughts playing thinking. Someone has complained that long grass is unhealthy. Maybe it makes their polished shoes wet when they put their dustbins on it; or the grass gets in the way of their mixing of cement. Such people have votes; such people must be brown-nosed.
So the grass is kept cropped.
Sod the insects. Sod the flowers; you can buy flowers; but flowers are for the garden. And so on.
The other Whitman in my head, Walt Whitman, suggested in a poem that grass is the uncut hair of the dead. Not his finest line, and he was speaking of grass on graves. But I think of it now; and I reflect that, even in (spiritual) death, my fellows in the London Burial Ground of Sutton like to keep their hair smart.

more dungheads coda

The nonsense went on. After a while the child was standing on the long upholstered bench, bouncing up and down, so that everyone shook. A friend who had lived outside of UK for a while used to call behaviour such as our failure yesterday to complain "being English". Mind you, if my looks could have killed, the entire group would be dead.
It wasn't the child's fault. He was being brought up to be an arsehole, and very efficiently so, I would have thought. He was offered no critique.
He took to throwing his toys under my table and watching her crawl for them.
He took a header and was caught in mid air. This must happen quite often because she allowed him to continue what he was doing and there were no marks on the bits of him that I could see.
He gained in confidence and grew bored with St Vitus' Dance. He began to paw me. The mother seemed to find this charming. I removed his hand. She looked disapproving. He grabbed me. I said Go away; and the shock on his spoilt face showed that he had learned something new.
She and her friend whispered to each other. The mother proposed that they move to a recently-vacated corner, where the bongo playing had been. There isn't much room, said the friend. And it's true; sometimes there are only 6 or 8 people in there.
But who would want their child to remain in the region of a monster.
They moved, leaving the buggy and the cafe's high chair and their coats and their bags and their dirty plates and their empty cups, to the cramped corner. Presently a man came up with his coffee and asked me to advise him: was the space free or not. I said it was and pointed him to the two women.
Typical, he said, and had a polite go at them. It's what I should have done.
Resentfully, they moved their bags. What about the high chair? No, she said, you can put it back; and he moved the high chair; but she wouldn't let him touch the buggy, the thing she owned.
I think of Charles Whitman more and more. It's no help. What he did was quite unacceptable ethically; and anyway the yahoos shoot back; they developed the gun.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

More dungheads

I am sitting in a cafe trying to enjoy some peace – the music machine is broken -- and to get some work done. I want to stay here because it is raining heavily and because I have things to get done.
Ten minutes ago a woman came in with a male child which she seated quite carefully in a chair and then disappeared towards the cakes until two minutes ago. During that time the child has been shouting to her at very high volume. The fool has acknowledged each and every shout with smiles and gestures and the child is learning that it is good to be noisy.
The fool has been joined by another fool who is encouraging them both in their folly and bad learning.
Ten feet away a man is wearing headphones and is trying to speak on a phone which he has pushed under the headphones. He uses the pressure of the phones to keep the phone in place, though this doesn't work, while he practices his aggressive bongo playing on the table. Cups and plates rattle.
The phone falls and he grabs for it. The headphones howl. The child bangs his plate on the table. The fools smile. They pay the child no attention except to worship it occasionally.
In my head I am praying to the ghost of Charles Whitman, who shot at his fellow human beings at random; but it brings no alleviation.
The child has just thrown a toy on the floor. The first fool has leant sideways to get it, while the child shouts, without pausing in her torrent of speech. She, the fool, begins to overbalance. Coffees spill on her table. She grabs for my table and I lift the computer away from the moron's grasp. Momentarily everything she is using and that I am using is in the air.
Not a word of apology as she pulls herself back. No one seems to exist for her but her. I suspect that if I challenged her I would discover it is her democratic right to behave with exclusive self-regard. Her friend has just said “Everything is progressing” and she has agreed.


I just made a perfectly ordinary google request about e-poetry which brought the response from google "We're sorry... ... but your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now. See Google Help for more information."

Someone somewhere has told a fool that he is clever. Dungheads.

I think what annoys me most is the disengenuous "we can't process your request right now" because what it means is that they are going to do nothing. Ever. But they are too slimy to say so and would probably believe that they are being polite. Dungheads.

And the disengenuous claim that they are protecting their users. Dungheads with diarrhea.

There was no squiggle to interpret to prove I am not a robot; just a link to bollocks about contacting my network administrator, checking I haven't got malware and so on. Never a thought that they might have their brains up their arses. Dungheads.

Now I must go round the houses to get the information I want

The Cloud and Sky Arts

I have spoken of The Cloud before: they provide an imitation of efficient wifi to Cafe Nero.

It's much the same every day; only every day it's different. The result of an attitude somewhere between "that's good enough" and "they'll think it's their fault".

It intervenes if you try to connect to the internet. Only sometimes it doesn't intervene properly. So I had to load my browser three times before it deigned to respond -- the way you have to shout some times when people get in the way and stand still.

It takes a while to load because they clutter their page with pictures and logos.

This morning, when it finally loaded, I had to click _get on line_ 7 times before it reacted; and it took me to another page which offered that _get on line_. That took 5 clicks.

Then it offered me the login page. I logged in and it welcomed me.  And that's the end of what they do, beyond being officious; they don't seem to know how to hold the URL you gave the browser and take you there.

[If you forget your password, they ask for your email address and then take you to a page... where they ask for your email address.]

So I typed in the URL and... it invited me to login to The Cloud.

So I logged in for the second time; and typed in my URL for the second time; started work and, within minutes, it cut me off. I logged in again; and 15 minutes later it cut me off.

And every time you login, it says WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SKY ARTS.


That's Sky Arts as in Sky Elbow.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Cloud day

Further to my post of 27th April...

Click Neg persists in his delusion that the only way to save us all from something is to save himself.

In that he will  be successful. The humiliation which awaits him will not penetrate.

Frankie Holland says he'll change everything and the many cheer. Sour Cosy shows that he always could fake humility but just couldn't be arsed until he saw advantage in it.

The LABOURed sTORIES still insist they can interpret the runes of public opinion - "what the public is telling us is..."

And the BSkyB clowns at the cloud continue to provide a substandard service. It just threw me off the net for no apparent reason and then announced that my password is incorrect. It wasn't. I remember worrying it was insecure -- bastards. Well, it's changed to something much more complex. Much good may it do me. Every day it seems I waste time coping with the incompetence of their dunghead coders.

Which brings as us back to STORY I T policy which conflates writing a small spreadsheet and writing a profitable adventure game.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

style is all

Interesting moment on R4 Today this morning. The journalist Matthew D'Ancona, described as  a friend of Boris Johnson, was speaking of the differences between David Cameron and Johnson.

He said "To say it is a difference of personality would be to understate it. It is a matter of style."

There you are then: personality as a subset of your style.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The elect

Well the electorate, some of it, has had its mutters and mumbles and the sold mouths have been on the radio -- and on the tv, I am sure; but what would I know of that? --  telling us what it means, sometimes in great detail. They are generally talking shit.
Harriet Harman wasn't so bad as she has been this morning.
Hague was jabbering about cutting the debt left by the dreadful labour government within seconds.
I went for a piss and let fly a few farts. That got rid of him.
And now we carry on.
A few corrupt MPs have suffered; but most survive, voting with the pre-pack.
One tells us we are as guilty as the banks for cooperating with the banks.
Now that...
I could condemn him, call for flogging and crucifixion; but let's take it as it stands; and say therefore all the MPs who have ever cooperated with the sales of arms or in encouraging corrupt regimes, including our own, are, as he says, consenting adults and guilty of complicity in terrible crimes.
Now we can talk about punishment

Thursday, 3 May 2012

GM crops and evasion

Depressing item on Today regarding GM
They brought together an anti and a pro and didn't give them enough time
The pro found the anti tiresome and kept changing the question or point he was answering before giving his answer. He called the anti a naysayer and seemed in some ways to think that was a complete argument instead of an hominem attack, albeit mild.
Now in some ways not accepting a question can be excellent and admirable. Arthur Scargill used to be a master of not accepting the terms of the tyrannical question; but that is not the same as not accepting the terms of the question that you do not like because you cannot answer it without embarrassment.
At this point, the role of the chair becomes crucial.
Much as I am in favour of the BBC, it is a role they nearly always duck.
As here.
I was thinking deeply about something else entirely when this item was broadcast; and, as so often, have not retained the essential points verbatim. I usually can, or used to be able to; but as Customer Care evasion becomes more sophisticated -- and other factors occur to me -- I find it hard to retain dialogue designed to camouflage guilt and intention.
It was I remember to do with how beneficial GM could be; but the question concerned the likelihood that we do not know all the effects of genetic modification and so do not know fully how beneficial or detrimental the modifications are. This was not responded to and the chair timed them out. Thanks, not for nothing, but for something; but we don't know what.

The same thing had already happened with regard to the privatisation of hospitals. The CEO of one that's fallen into the sticky hands of an organisation fronting hedge funds came on and said that before he answered he'd just like to say --- and then answered a completely different question, an assertion actually, a straw person, he had authored himself.
This was challenged by the chair; but then the worm restated his own version of what their topic was -- in *his words, how to improve the hospital -- and that was not jumped on. He went on to say they were improving the hospital (without stating criteria of course) and so evaded the point on which he had been challenged.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Unlikely body parts

Recently I have noticed a couple, perhaps three, newspaper articles where the meaning of the sentence is probably the exact opposite of what the author intended. I meant to blog them and deplore the collapse of culture; but forgot and then lost the paper.

There was one last night from a journalist -- this is all The Guardian --  which spoke of what a voter said after the journalist had been campaigning for some time; but she, the journalist, attributed the campaign to the voter -- they just can't handle subjects of sentences over any verbal distance. I imagine, but do not know, that the response would be to say that we know what she means. And for that reason, that supposition, it gets it mentioned here; because that is the fashionable response.

But the reason for this blog is actually another kind of grammatical idiocy.

The same paper, The Grauniad, today speaks of debris from the big Japanese tsunami arriving on the coast of USA, under the headline UNLIKELY BODY PARTS WILL BE WASHED ASHORE