Wednesday, 29 August 2012


The BBC tells me that George Osborne says we mustn't tax the wealthy because we don't want to drive the wealth creators away.

Excuse me?

The wealthy aren't wealthy because they have created wealth

The whole idea of wealth creation is a version of snake oil.

These vermin did not create their wealth; they purloined it.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

smug asbos

I'd been having a passable day, and getting some things done, and was beginning to wonder if I should have another cup of coffee; and then around 4 pm the cafe was semi-flooded by middle-class Asbos exhausted by shopping, I suppose, who sat down with their coffees and cakes and left their offspring to run round banging into people and screaming. It had been noisy before; one expects that. Now it was NOISY. The important people had arrived.

Those too young to run screamed from their people carriers

And all one heard in opposition was the occasional shsh uttered by the responsible adults, made with the same kind of automatism with which some cross themselves. The children take no notice of such rubbish; it is just a variation on being ignored in between sudden but short bouts of baby worship.
At some level they notice it; enough to be sure that in twenty or thirty years they'll be doing it to their own brats.

If you shout at them to shut up, as I did around 4:35, they turn languorously with the assurance of those who know themselves to be of the master race, regard the shouter with contempt and carry on with their conversation and their shsh – while their children learn that they can misbehave, probably unaware that they are the topic of antagonism

Over by the window there is a nicely turned out woman reading a book while a child with what appears to be a motor horn almost the size of itself fills the air with pointless noise to cope with its boredom

When next I hear of large number of women and children being murdered, I may think of today. It is not necessarily a moral outrage, not if it happens here.
Three brain cells and you're out.

Last night there was a supposedly funny programme on radio 4 – One Micky Flanagan, who is we are told a cockney comedian, chatted on about how he finds “a big newspaper” too much of a burden because it takes so long to read, how he found school a burden because he didn't need to learn most of what they tried to teach him and how he is now a plumber earning good money without having learned anything at school.

I suppose it is a variation to hear from a smug (self-defined) working class voice; but it is just a variation on arrogance. It is really the same stable as the middle class moron.

At one point he told us repeatedly that he finds galleries and museums boring and wants to know why in such places they don't tell him what he's supposed to get from it...

Where does the idiot get the idea that everything has to be laid on for him?

If the slob had listened at school he *might have an idea.
The implicit idea that he is somehow an alternative voice to the middle classes is ridiculous. He's about as alternative as cornflakes. He's behaving about as intelligently as the smug puddle of scum who are imposing the results of their lack of parental control upon us in this cafe...

Friday, 24 August 2012


"That is the view of World Anti-Doping Agency chief John Fahey, who says Armstrong's refusal to fight on means the allegations have "substance"."

This from the BBC website

I don't give a damn either way about the matter really but I note the stupidity of what Mr Fahey is reported as saying.


Puts me in mind of the headline RECESSION NOT AS DEEP AS THOUGHT.  Well... how often is thought deep in these parts?


A little while ago I moved away from the guy to my left, moved to another table. He looked at me accusingly asked what was wrong with him that I had to move away. I said it was so I couldn't hear his music and he said "You can't hear that"

Stupid as well as insecure

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Transport for London etc

Transport for London e-write to me about the Paralympics: "London is very much open for business and we are confident that transport will cope well, as it did during the Olympics, provided that we again get your support in changing the way or time that you travel.  "

What does it mean (rhetorical question) when it says London is open for business?

And what is the connection between the possible meaning and the transport coping?

I didn't change my way of time and travel...

I haven't used public transport for about a week and noted when I returned that nothing had changed. Trains were still running late for no announced reason. The silence on the platform was broken this morning by a demand that we stand away from a non-existent train because it was about to leave.

Employees of Diarrhea Trains return to their arboreal origins, as they swing from the branches of their boredom, pressing the occasional button as they go in case their researchers have attached a reward to it.

A train was late because another train had broken down. That too seems discontinuous, the discontinuity marking a lack of details: that they have too few trains and have taken up the sidings so that they can't go round the break downs. Oh yes, and they don't maintain the machines adequately

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hypocrisy of the government

What follows is taken straight from an mailing. It needs no comment from me

Dear friends across the UK,
Education Secretary Michael Gove is selling off our school sports fields to rich
property developers at a staggering rate -- leaving a generation of British kids
with nowhere to play. But he’s overreached with his latest sell-off attempt, and
if we stand together now we can stop him.
Rather than investing in education, Gove is on the verge of approving the sale of
school fields at Elliott School in London -- the latest in a string of 21 sales
under his watch. This could turn almost half of the school’s grounds into luxury
residential apartments. But under growing community pressure, Gove is hesitating,
sending out conflicting messages about whether he approves the sell-off.
The local community is already mobilising against the sale, and a strong national
outcry supporting this opposition can force Gove to back down and save these school
fields -- sign the petition now and share with everyone you know:
Despite the Coalition's promise to halt the sale of school land and a pledge from
Cameron to prioritise school sports after the Olympics, the students at Elliott
School are only the latest victims in a series of government broken promises. This
is a government that would rather sell precious outdoor space to fund vital school
maintenance, instead of investing in education.
This time, it isn’t any ordinary school. Listed as a heritage building by the
government, English Heritage has called the school one of the finest built by the
London County Council. The government’s own heritage listing acknowledges that the
unique landscape is a key part of this heritage -- the very landscape Gove now wants
to sell off.
But with the focus on school sports during the Olympics, Gove has been coming under
increasing pressure. Despite earlier messages that Gove would approve the sale, now
David Cameron himself has personally insisted that no decision has yet been taken. A
national outcry can ensure these school fields are saved, and a line is drawn in the
sand against any future sales. Sign the petition to Gove now and share with

The success and failure of the Olympics

It would seem that the majority do not agree with me.
That's ok. The majority have tvs and watch Big Brother (2 separate oddities by my judgment.) The majority of voters voted repeatedly for Thatcher. Many I know who make a lot of noise about politics thought that something would change when Blair, the unindicted war criminal, was elected. The majority doesn't know so much.
Nevertheless, I have been surprised and dismayed by the size of that majority.
Makes me think of the way that most people were blinded in Wyndham's THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS because they all went outside to look at the marvels in the sky. And that makes me think of Defoe's JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR when he nearly gets in trouble for saying that actually he can't see a giant hand clutching a sword over the city.
And I thought of all that because I heard the second and final part of Radio 4's dramatisation of THE CHRYSALIDS when someone says "The more stupid people are, the more they want everyone to be like them."
The government must be pleased to have such proof that it can con such a large proportion of the London Mob. Makes the possibility of any future war mobilisation quite feasible. Even a hunt like Jeremy Hunt could manage it. Or Lord Low Cog himself, peace be upon him.
Yes, it was expensive, but as a dress-rehearsal for the final enslavement at the end of history, you can't put a price on it; and the victims pay anyway. Much cheaper than riot control, and we're not that good at riot control.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

for onola


thanks for your comment on my piece on Bill Lavender

I tried to reply via wordpress but it wants me to login even when I am logged in

it doesnt argue but just gives me back the empty form

i pretended that i had forgotten my password

but it just demanded my password

you may or may not have got the message but I have limited patience with a screen that's apparently as dumb as the dunghead who coded it

here's what I wanted to say

Thanks for your comments on my Fashionable Idiocies website. Ive published them
It's not my analysis; they're not my demands. I am in Greater London UK and don't know Bill Lavender; but I heard about it all via an academic discussion list and am persuaded that what I have posted is or was the case and that the man has been treated appallingly. I don't know if there is corruption behind the treatment but i suspect that personally.
I have copied all the material there which is so widely dispersed now as to be in the public domain. Do copy anything you want on Lavender and UNO -- I am glad; I put it there to spread the news
That it should cross the Atlantic a few times is just part of the fun and we need to have some fun while things are so nasty
all the best

Blag Bluster is monitoring you

Lord but I am sick of the Olympics. I knew I would be but didn’t have the means to escape. & I can imagine all the caves and hiding places being the subjects of disputes.

In a hobbit on the ground there was a hole.

I don’t mind people trying to pick up heavy things with others watching them; or running round and round to see who can do it fastest with others watching them. Let them.

But I am tired of hearing about it. It’s like people thinking you want to hear their opinion on the nature of God and sin and so on. I believe it so it’s true. As someone I know once wrote to someone else: you have made the mistake of thinking your opinions matter.

It is apparently the most important news, more important than a horrible civil war, a Mars landing and a corrupt and incompetent government(s).

I am tired of seeing human beings portrayed in the context of Olympians, striding to work in sportswear to beat the crowds, being waved at by vaguely-familiar sportspersons from utility advertisements.

I dislike religious processions.

I don’t want to stop it; but they might do it in private just as thoughtful people tend to if they want to masturbate. This has been going on since the bronze age at least. The more adept we become the more fearful we become; and what’s going on now seems to be based on compulsive repetition.

And it is continuous with all the other idiocies including a Games management which can't organise its own security or provide enough drinking water and milk for a known number nut extending to the whole world, particularly damn fools who upgrade software without the possibility of reversion if it goes wrong and never trying a fullscale test.

Chatting the other day with a friend I haven’t seen a while, we found we had developed much the same fearfulness. That where once one might hope the next generation might see things out, now we’ll be lucky to see our own lives out. It wasn’t, we felt, just that sense of chaos to come that many get as they grow old – we really have had most of our assets ripped off; and the thieves are here helping us look for them, blatantly, in the hope of getting the pennies remaining. Climate change is not only obviously here but far worse than anyone thought. And one might sum up the general response to these and other problems: oh surely not; oh you are pessimistic. And the population doubles and doubles.

We talked about the breakdown of language both in the apparent inability of many to read anything that’s not been processed till it’s like cheap breakfast cereal and in the inability of the few who are writing to express themselves.

[Earlier today, a highly educated and highly intelligent person took me to task for unclear writing which I had done for him because he had failed repeatedly to get it done himself. One sentence that stumped him had a simple syntactical inversion and the reader said he couldn’t keep it all in his head; the other was just a complex sentence with a subsidiary subject. Again, he couldn't get through it retaining the various aspects of the thought.]

I offered my friend the example of bSkyb whose web pages include the possibility of a message which says “that’s gone with the clouds” and nothing else when the system thinks (wrongly in my case) that cookies are blocked; but it doesn’t say that; it just makes the arrogant joke.

A complaint elicited a denial that making irrelevant facetious jokes could be arrogant or that there is any need to explain the message. They knew what it meant, I said.

Yes, they said. And?

How was I supposed to know?

It comes up when cookies are blocked.

But how do I know that?

Because it comes up when cookies are blocked.

They could not see the other person’s point of view at all. If they knew then surely I must. That puts them below the crows.

“That’s gone with the clouds” does not mean “cookies are blocked”, I said.

They knew that. They aren’t stupid, you know.

Well? I asked.

Well? It comes up when cookies are blocked.

I said to my friend that more and more the only book which engages with the situation we are in is The Hitchhiker’s Guide; but my friend wants 1984 in there, too; and he is right.

And we agreed that the image of our reality might be Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Blag Bluster is monitoring you

Monday, 6 August 2012

More on Bill Lavender

I should say that I do not know this man and do not think I have ever seen any of the books that he has published. I am passing on information from people I trust

and I'll trust here publish the url so that readers can see the original

It just sounds like so much of the half-witted nonsense that seems to infect education now

if it's a cut on budgetary grounds and not some personal vendetta but the man makes a profit for the university, then what are we talking about? either there is something going on or the management are really stupid -- well, why should UNO be any different?

Another Press on Chopping Block
August 6, 2012 - 3:00am
Scott Jaschik

Saturday, 4 August 2012

University of New Orleans Press

Keep Bill Lavender as Director of UNO Press
[Apologies -- I have gathered together material from several sources though I have tried to avoid duplication
Bill Lavender -- don't worry if you haven't heard of him -- is being treated appallingly by dungheads. The first few paras give you the basis and then there's a petition...
But you might like to read on and see the delightful email of dismissal he was sent -- and a bit further to see what the students think]

The University of New Orleans Press has be put on "hiatus" and its motivating editor, Bill Lavender, fired. The presumptive reason was that of budget constraints, but in fact the Press was cost free. It also published an international range of writers, many of them prize winners or otherwise notable. Bill Lavender had, in fact, taken a rather lifeless creature in 2007 and enlivened it with over 100 publications, a remarkable achievement.

After 15 years of service as an instructor at UNO, building a highly successful and self-supporting Low-Residency MFA program and rehabilitating UNO Press from 10 years of neglect, making it also self-sustaining and publishing some amazing contemporary poetry, translation, and scholarship, Bill Lavender has been given the sack under the guise of "budget cuts", though both the programs he participates in at SELF-SUSTAINING.

In support of UNO Press and in support of Bill Lavender and in support of fine literature and good reading, please visit UNO Press's site and then consider signing a petition indicating your support.

UNO Press:

Petition site:

You may also wish to write personal letters to the President and Provost of UNO:

Provost Louis Paradise,

President Peter Fos,

From: Susan E Krantz

Date: Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Subject: FW: low res committees in the Fall

To: Bill Lavender

Cc: Peter A Schock , Fredrick P Barton

Dear Bill—The news I have for you is not good, and I apologize for relaying it through e-mail, rather than face-to-face. But I completely understand your wish to know the disposition of your employment as soon as possible.

Your position will be eliminated. We have put the Press on hiatus and are relocating the CWW Low-Res to an existing faculty member.

I would very much like you to work through the month of August, so that we can make the transition as smooth as possible. By working through August, you will also complete 15 years of employment at UNO. I encourage you toseek advice from HR as soon as you return from your trip to understand what benefits you are entitled to.

I am very sorry to bring you this news; although it does not make the news any easier to swallow, I want to assure you that you are not alone. During this period, 19 Liberal Arts employees—both faculty and staff—are losing their jobs. I am afraid that there will be more to come.

Please make an appointment to see me at your very earliest convenience when you get back.


An open letter to

Fredrick Barton, Director of Creative Writing,

Susan Krantz, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts,

University of New Orleans

Cc: President, Peter Fos

Provost, Louis Paradise

From: Students of the Low Residency MFA Program

We are now in receipt of Rick Barton's communication to the UNO on-campus MFA community notifying students that Bill Lavender's position has fallen victim to the "draconian budget cuts" of the Jindal administration and thanking him for his service at UNO. The message was forwarded to us by a concerned on-campus student, for Bill Lavender's reputation is not limited to the low res program. If you have not seen this email, please see it pasted below this message.

While we can appreciate this, virtually the only recognition Bill has received for his 15 years of selfless service to UNO, we will not stand by and see his dismissal blamed on "budget cuts." You, Barton and Krantz, know that his dismissal was plotted by you in advance; the "budget cuts" were merely a convenient screen to hide your true motives.

This is proven by several facts, the most damning of which is the fact the Barton was actually in San Miguel de Allende at the time Bill's dismissal was announced, planning to move the study-abroad program there. It is obvious, then, that Bill's dismissal was a pre-ordained fact, that Barton was assuming he would no longer be a part of the program at the time he bought his tickets. Rick Barton, would you like to produce the receipt that shows the date of purchase of your tickets?

The dishonesty of blaming this unconscionable take-over on budget cuts by the Jindal administration, while cast as a polite, white lie, perhaps even as a kind gesture to spare Bill's feelings and ease the enormous emotional loss that this must be for him, it is in fact the lowest form of capitulation. The Jindal administration, and the national cartel of corporations from which he draws his support and his policy, have set their sights on nothing less than the destruction of public education. When you lie and blame his dismissal on "budget cuts" you are in fact supporting this policy, acting as Jindal's emissaries on campus, plotting the destruction of the very thing you purport to save.

Everyone, of course, in privileged America and Europe, plays the role of assassin's assistant to one degree or another. We shop at Wal-Mart; we pay our bills to AT&T; our retirement funds are all invested in the very corporations which, through ALEC and the other conservative think tanks, are now writing education policy for conservative politicians. But today we ask you to give the devil his due, to pull down your masks and tell the truth.

So now, right now, you two, for the record, in front of all the writing students at UNO, CWW and low res alike, in front of these alumni, in front of all these faculty at UNO and all the visiting faculty who have taught online and in the abroad programs Bill led, faculty at universities all over the US and Europe, in front of your Provost, President, and Governor, in front of all the authors Bill published at UNO Press, writers and poets from America, Italy, Japan, Spain, Ecuador, Zimbabwe, Brazil, England, France, Algeria, Venezuela, in front, too, of posterity, those who will come after us seeking truth the way we did when we first came to the university, having faith that it would be found, in front of all those who will look back at you and know that you held the keys to knowledge, to truth, in your time, in front, in short, of the whole world, please tell us why, after fifteen years of service during which Bill Lavender created and gave to UNO a degree program of national prominence and high profitability, generating millions of dollars in tuition that would not have been there otherwise, and built a press of international distinction that is now in the unheard-of position of being self-supporting, he has been dismissed with less notice than is normally afforded to a janitor, and four professors who were hired less than a year ago have been retained.


Some people think that to stop children making a noise it is necessary to shout at them; but that compounds the problem, making more noise and damaging a child's delicate developing psychology.

Some think hitting them will do it; but that is even worse and probably illegal.

Do-gooders would have us sit down and reason with them, form friendships and all that stuff. But who has time?

Now, though, there is a quick, hygienic, modern solution: KIDshush

KIDshush is an innovative product which has been in development for years under the codename “childpaper”.

To look at it, you'd think it no more than heavy duty and rather wide electrical insulation tape. It is adhesive on one side, fiercely adhesive, with a soporific element to send any child to which it is applied unconscious within half an hour. (That might seem a long time, but the child will become progressively less intrusive; and we are a responsible company – we don't want the brats falling over and hurting themselves.)

KIDshush comes in a handy dispenser designed so that you can not only cut it to the length required on the integral cutter but also find an end quickly next time. Never ever use KIDshush without the dispenser, not unless you want to send yourself to sleep. And be careful not to touch the adhesive side.

Tape a noisy child's mouth when it's looking the other way; then make a couple of turns around its head just to be sure; snip and... job done.

The soporific, which gets to work immediately, will last several hours. Remove the tape as soon as the child is unconscious or leave it on till the child wakes and remove it then – ouch that stings, mummy! – as a mild punishment. Tests show that the scar disappears within weeks.

KIDshush is manufactured by a division of Plebchews, manufacturers of the finest breads for the masses since 2004. So shut the kids up and have a nice big sandwich. Plebchews and KIDshush. What a combination.

Available from chandlers, military surplus stores and selected sex shops. KIDshush

Panayiotis Petrou & Mark Duggan

Police would not help Panayiotis Petrou when he fell in the Grand Union canal in April apparently out of his head on ketamine. None of them had had appropriate training so they wouldn't risk it. One might ask why they had not had the training and if they are likely to get it. I won't say much. I don't know how brave I am but then I am not on a police pension. It occurs to me that it seems extremely unlikely that anyone trained anyone to shoot Mark Duggan in August 2011, but it was managed. Did someone turn the world upside down?

Friday, 3 August 2012

a complacent hunt

Meanwhile Jeremy Hunt, not even looking soggy after his weeks floating among the brown stuff, dares to blame others for the foreseeable consequences of Olympic Games. If, in a metaphorical pub, particularly a Public Bar (bliss was it to be alive, sort of), someone spoke such supercilious crap with that arrogant smile on their self-satisfied face, they might not be surprised if someone smacked them in the mouth. I’m just saying. I hope no one does it. It is the retailer's fault for not preparing a plan, he says. This a couple of days after it turned out that the Low Cog Games ran out of milk. They ran out of milk for a known number of people. That's after they ran out of water for a known number of people; and you can't take in your own in case it explodes.

The Boor of London

Several have argued with me about Boris Jobsworth’s Big Brother tendencies, betraying a secret enchantment with the Great Lard Tub, I suspect. It is said that I am exaggerating. But Simon Jenkins said it in today’s Guardian, the well-known far centre newspaper. If Simon Jenkins and I say the same thing you’d better pay attention.

Misheard announcement

The 9:02 to Epsom Downs has been delayed by 17 minutes due to a fault on the train. As you know, our maintenance system is second to some and that’s why trains are breaking down and the doors jamming. It makes a good profit though and commercial decisions trump your convenience. There’s nothing anyone can do, so I wouldn’t bother complaining. We’ll tire you out. We have teams of idiots who talk balderdash without effort and they deal with all complaints. Senior management doesn’t give a toss. It’ll probably be longer than 17 minutes actually, but 17 sounds good, rather serious, worthy of some words of apparent explanation, but not actually that bad. We’ll let you know when we have a new estimate. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for travelling with Southern. Fuck off.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Truthful headline

The BBC has a headline

Cameron: Osborne's going nowhere


Boris Johnson, dangling

As I came in last night, I turned on the radio and heard the end of an item to the effect that Boris Johnson had been left dangling from a wire.

As in September 2001 and the events in New York, I was slightly concerned, being more or less against violence, but not surprised.

Later, I got the whole story and, rather than a sense of all being well after all, I felt a sense of indefinable injustice. That was heightened this morning when I saw a photo of the devious pillock clutching a union jack in each hand, suspended in East London and someone on a phone, presumably actually trying to get him down.

To think that they're slaughtering healthy animals to make pet food.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Minor problems at my local station mid morning. A train going south was said to be delayed due to "an earlier operational incident" which could mean anything and probably means nothing. Then the next was just delayed.

Apparently the Games Police had boarded a train, seized hold of anyone not wearing union jacks on their clothing or as their clothing and interrogated them. Some were taken away and only then could there be what they call a normal service. All are to be charged with Games Crimes, one at least with the most serious LACK OF ENTHUSIASM FOR THE GAMES.

If found guilty, the example may be forced to attend all sessions of the Synchronised Mental Masturbation being staged at Palace of Westminster this autumn.

But many train delays are normal and attributable to almost 100% take up of Diarrhea Trains' policy of 5 minutes in the hour Solo Conjugal Break for their staff. Apparently SIGNALPERSON'S PARTNERS (formerly Signalmen's Wives) is especially raunchy during the Olympics with sports equipment taking the place of the usual knobs and levers in old fashioned signal boxes