Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Son of the Return Of Short Shorts Part VI

I can stop if I want to...

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Son of the Return Of Short Shorts Part V

Obey Your Thirst!

  • As a fairly regular reader of Paul Krugman I should mention his Nobel Prize which, as Patrick Neilsen Hayden has it, seems to be, unusually for an Economist, for Being Right. The Rightwing bloggers are in a tizzy, apparently.

  • Krugman likes Gordon Brown, though, which may or may not cause you to question the above.

  • A discussion of Pornography: “If real-world sex were a meal, the chicken would rarely be hot enough and there would not be quite enough dessert to go around.”

  • Nailing Your Wife. PG Porn with the fearless Nathan Fillion.

  • The Designer's Notebook: Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie! IX Earnest Adams looks at the ways computer games, and their designers, still manage to annoy us.

  • Cubeecraft. Because you never know when you are going to need a boxy model of Buffy, Darth Vader or Hellboy.

  • Quackle. Not exactly Scrabble, but you can sure make it a lot like that game. It describes itself as a "free crossword game artificial intelligence and analysis tool that rivals the best players in the world!"

Monday, 13 October 2008

Tis The Season

I'm pretty sure I've read this article, or something very much like it, a few times before. In short it goes something like this:
Confident, possibly attractive New York women fails to pull at some event or other.
Realising the problem isn't her, or her judgemental, condescending manner, she looks for another possibility.
She comes up with one. English men's fear of sex, say, or, in this case, English drinking habits.
Generalises to whole country.
Includes flight to notorious drinking spot (Dublin, Ibiza or where ever, in this case Prague), so she can compare her normal, rarefied society to the oiks.
Writes article about it for quality rag (maybe also gets book deal).

The hilarious follow up to this is the stampede of English people rushing to furiously agree with her in the comments, because Englishness is nothing if not the ability to look at other English people with revulsion, followed by a handful of denials and at least one sarcastic reply.
I went to a dinner party the other night. The new yorker sitting next to me was brash, rude, passive-aggressive and generally unpleasant, so I stayed quiet for the first part of the meal while enjoying a little wine to dull the pain. Later I made sarcastic remarks about her she didn't understand.

Then, probably, a second wave of responses will come when the Guardian, seeing how many hits the Times piece is getting, writes a piece asking if the English (or British, as it tends to be for these things, though I doubt that Sarah Lyall met a single Northern Irish or Welsh person) are really like that. Normally concluding that, despite the Guardian (and Times for that matter) readership being sensible people who like a bottle of red wine or two with dinner but don't have a problem and who aren't generally loutish on holiday, well yes we guess the British really are a terrible lot, except when we aren't.

Really, though, to top it all off Ms. Lyall should have made the now de rigueur trip to Rotherham and had an awful experience in a Working Man's Club. Though may be that's in the book.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Just When You Thought Their Reputation Couldn't Get Any Lower...

... bankers find a new low to go to. Apparently some on the right, ignoring the obvious reason that the current calamity has been caused by a bunch of rich venal fucks who you wouldn't trust with their granddaughter's piggy bank, are blaming the finacial crisis on being forced to help out poor people (read "darkies" or other, worse epithets).
Charles Krauthammer provides an excellent example, writing that "much of this crisis was brought upon us by the good intentions of good people." He continues: "For decades, starting with Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, there has been bipartisan agreement to use government power to expand homeownership to people who had been shut out for economic reasons or, sometimes, because of racial and ethnic discrimination. What could be a more worthy cause? But it led to tremendous pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which in turn pressured banks and other lenders—to extend mortgages to people who were borrowing over their heads. That's called subprime lending. It lies at the root of our current calamity."

I'm not usually one to advocate violence, but Krauthammer needs a kick in the balls. Several. Until he recants this nonsense. And then till he passes out. Same goes for anybody else who believes that rubbish.

Via 3QD.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Son of the Return Of Short Shorts Part IV

Vorsprung durch linkage.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Paul Newman Helped Me Pass My Driving Test (Sort Of)

I never met Paul Newman, not that I ever expected to. So I won't ever get a chance to thank him for helping me with my driving test. I gather he was a nice man and I'd like to think he would have been charmed by the story.

Strictly it was him, Robert Rossen and Jackie Gleason. The film is The Hustler and there's a bit in the first game between Eddie and Fats where they take a break. They've been playing pool for hours and Eddie just sits around and chats, maybe has a drink, while Fats goes and gets clean. Fats takes off his jacket and washes himself and combs his hair. The black guy then helps him back on with his jacket and puts talc (I guess) on Fats' hands. Eddie looks at Fats and says something about "You look beautiful Fat Man" and cracks up with laughter. At that point you know that Eddie has lost the first game.

There's something cool about that moment. In a literal sense. Fats cools himself while Eddie doesn't take the time to stop and think he just carries on.

Well, when I took my driving test I got flustered at my first right hand turn, nothing too bad, just nerves. I remembered that moment from The Hustler and I imagined myself as Minnesota Fats putting his jacket on and feeling that little bit cooler. It helped.

The Hustler is a film of many great moments and it is one of my favourites. It helped me pass my driving test.