Archive for June, 2007

Tiger Tiger, not burning bright

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tiger Tiger, the bar outside which the incompetent London car bombers parked their jerry-built Merc on Friday morning, released a statement on Friday saying that any suggestion that it was the intended target was “pure speculation”.¬† Nonsense. Pure speculation would have been that it was a plot by Sir Jimmy Savile to mark independence day in the Seychelles. When wannabe terrorists leave a car bomb outside your club it is circumstantial evidence of an attempted attack, not some wild fantasy cooked up by a news-parched Sky reporter.

My favourite part of the coverage was when Sky broadcast a Google map of the area with arrows suggesting which way the driver could have run away. “He could have run along here, to the west, or perhaps here… he could have run in any number of directions…” Tiger Tiger take note: that is pure speculation.

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Gordon Brown, PM

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is Prime Minister.

A haiku (composed at Glastonbury)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Chai tea and tai chi
Is it a coincidence
They both attract twats?

Simply sistahz

Thursday, June 14, 2007

One by-product of the horrendous murder of Davina and Jasmine Baker, the sisters found stabbed in their beds in Stretham, is the meeting of mainstream media and Bebo, the social networking site for young teens.

Jasmine, who lived with her mother, used the site to tell Davina, who lived with her father, that all was not well at home: “Momz like why do i alwayz have to take you jasmine – why cant yur dad take you and all this bllaa bllaa bllaa.”

Their mother is, as I write, being questioned by police on suspicion of murder, so Jasmine’s words were printed in any national newspaper worth mentioning. The corrupted spelling and total absence of syntax is typical of 13-year-old girls, but it still looks strange in print.

But the part I find really striking are the messages left by well-wishers. Dannii, for instance, writes: “R..I..P..Babee. Love Yhoo .x.x. Now n alwaiiss nevaa forget thatt. Missin Yhoo Both soo muchh.”

The profoundly odd thing about Dannii’s commemorative words is that they aren’t misspelt because she is illiterate, or because they are shorthand, or even because they are phonetic. “Yhoo”, “thatt” and “muchh” aren’t improvements on the correct spellings of the words, they’re just wilfully different – as if to show that she isn’t using the language of The Man (although she is, just badly).

It makes me wonder whether she tried and failed to find misspellings of “love”, “now” and “both”, or just couldn’t be bothered.

Buddhism solved

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Given that religions are essentially mysteries, it is odd that no one has attempted to solve them. It’s a bit much to ask me solve all of them in a morning, but I’ve just about got the patience to deal with Zen Buddhism. Here are the answers to five Buddhist koans. Tomorrow I deal with Islam (cue sense of humour failure and threats of death, etc).

1. “Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?”
Answer: a faint wafting.

2. “Without thinking of good or evil, show me your original face before your mother and father were born”
Answer:

Winston Churchill (who, as everyone knows, is the model for all unborn children)

3. “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the west?” Traditional answer: “The cypress tree in the courtyard.”
Answer: Wanderlust and idle curiosity. And don’t call me Bodhidharma. (The only person who calls me that is my mum when she’s angry.)

4. “What is Buddha?” Traditional answer: “Three pounds of flax.”
Answer: Three pounds of flax, and a man with a fondness for heavy linen trousers.

5. “Does a dog have Buddha nature or not?”
Answer: No. Ask yourself, does Buddha does have dog nature? Hey, get off my leg.

It is (boring). Are you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Independent – a newspaper worthier (and containing only slightly less breaking news) than the Dead Sea scrolls – displays its usual elan this morning.

Its “50 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE FULL MOON” item seems to have been something of a tall order for its authors, Jonathan Brown and Rebecca Bowle, whose 20 minutes of Googling has resulted in two pages of distilled tedium.

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Too many proverbs spoil the broth

Friday, June 1, 2007

How on earth am I supposed to memorise enough proverbs to lend myself an air of seasoned wisdom? There are simply too many. I suggest, therefore, a programme of proverb rationalisation that will neatly reduce their number without diminishing their pithy truthfulness, viz

1. A stitch in time waits for no man.

2. An early bird in the hand loves to hear himself sing.

3. You can take a horse to water, but don’t look him in the mouth in mid-stream.

4. An eye for an eye is no robbery.

5. Where there’s muck, there’s a sow’s ear.