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Dear “captain ranty”…

Let me be very clear that that’s not – repeat not – Captain Ranty the libertarian and lawful rebellion advocate, but “captain ranty”, someone who seems to have got his cock in a knot with the true occupant of Ranty Barracks for some reason I’m not remotely interested in finding out about and to such an extent that he’s using his ever diminishing time on this planet to leave comments in the Captain’s name and with a copied gravatar with people on the CR’s blogroll:

Thanks for your contributions to my blog in the past, i have decided i do not want any more of your comments as they are not in the style and have the content i require in order to advance “lawful rebellion” in a new direction.

thanks again.

captain ranty

Presumably the hope is that the recipients of these comments will get the hump with the Captain and remove him from their blogrolls, although I have to say that if so then it’s an overly optimistic hope given the piss poor impersonation. There were a few things that shouted ‘impostor alert’ and one in particular made it certain, but even before looking at those there’s the fact that species as yet undiscovered on the bottom of the oceans can probably manage a better Ranty impersonation.

Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to make it absolutely crystal clear that this post is to “captain ranty” rather than Captain Ranty.

 

Dear “captain ranty”

I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what your beef is with Captain Ranty, and I honestly don’t give a remote fuck about it. I do care that rather than debate whatever it is with the Captain at his blog or your own you’ve taken your row to other people’s. While I can’t speak for anyone else it’s not welcome here.

Why? Well, let me put it like this. Imagine this isn’t the internet but the real world. Now imagine that I came and stood outside your home with a loudhailer yelling all the reasons I think that Andrew Demetriou is a dickhead, or even yelling that I am Andrew Demetriou and I don’t ever want to see you anywhere near me or anything to do with me ever again. Probably you’ll be wondering who the hell Andrew Demetriou is but almost certainly you’ll be wishing the tool with the loudhailer at your gate would go away and tell it to someone who cares because nobody appreciates someone else’s fight taking place on their lawn.

That, buddy, is what you’re doing. You’ve come here claiming that you’re someone else and asking me not to contribute to their blog. If you want to use me to get at someone for you at least have the fucking courtesy to offer to pay me for it. I’d turn you down flat but I’d have a little respect for you. Not as much respect as I’d have if you just blogged why you think the Captain is wrong about whatever the fuck it is you’re at war with him over, but a little. Not knowing what what arcane aspect of lawful rebellion is involved I may or may not agree, though I’d be lying if I said that doing what you’re doing doesn’t prejudice me against you because you seem to prefer it to making a convincing argument. But far more likely I still wouldn’t know about it because, at the risk of repeating myself, I’m not fucking interested.

So, paraphrasing Mr Wolf, pretty please with sugar on top… just fuck off.

Unkind disregards,

The Angry Exile.

 
Not what I would prefer to be blogging on a Saturday afternoon, but necessary. As a result of this the comments policy has now been updated. The class of comments I will remove as soon as I’m aware of them is now as follows:

  • Spam, whether porn or otherwise
  • Anything blatantly libellous and which some fuckwitted legal system somewhere will hold me responsible for even though someone else actually said it
  • Impersonators of other bloggers/commenters attempting a bit of social engineering

P.S. I won’t delete “captain ranty’s” comment on the last post as it was made before this addition to the comments policy, but I will tinker with it a bit. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

P.P.S. Or maybe I won’t seeing as I’ve just noticed that on top of everything else the knobber’s misspelled the word ‘captain’ in the name. I’m not sure I should fuck with it when I can’t improve on the original.

P.P.P.S So much for me thinking that it’s a falling out over some fine detail of lawful rebellion. From one of the Captain’s tweets it seems he’s just another wowser.

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Free gifts – the next thing to be on the restricted activities list?

Some things don’t mix well, we all know that. Street luging on public roads is one, and we saw yesterday how that makes it a restricted activity you need to get permission for. Another is alcohol and, well, if you took the opinion of every nanny and wowser out there alcohol and practically anything, including life and happiness, don’t mix. Certainly at least one will tell you that alcohol and promotions by way of free gifts don’t because not everyone is as bright as him, and a handful of people do very stupid things when drunk. So obviously a branding iron that’s given away with bottles of Jack Daniels is a bad idea because a tiny number of complete idiots will use them to brand each other.

Yes, this is going to be just like the two guys taking it in turns to shoot each other in the arse with an air rifle to see what it’s like, but with extra nannying.

And straight away I feel the need to point out that the men didn’t actually suffer burns in the promotion, as the very first line of the article makes clear.

THREE WA men suffered horrific burns after branding themselves with novelty branding irons given away as part of a Jack Daniel’s promotion.

See? Saying they suffered burns in the promotion makes it sound like that was either a risk or even the idea of the promotion, or at the least something went horribly wrong. Nope, nothing like that at all. It’s just that if you make enough novelty branding irons eventually one will end up in the hands of an idiot.

Cue the wowsers.

Health advocates are now demanding legislation that stops “reckless” alcohol marketing.

Reckless? Seriously? The brand was intended for steaks, as hinted at by the fact it was part of a barbecue set Jack Daniel’s were including with a bottle, and what’s reckless about branding a chunk of long dead cow? Naff, maybe, but reckless? Hardly, since they must have turned out thousands and thousands of these things, all but three of which have not been involved in any incidents as far as anyone knows.

The men, aged in their 20s and 30s including one who branded his backside…

Pffffft!

… were admitted to Royal Perth Hospital for surgery and emergency skin grafts. The last one was operated on earlier this month.
The others chose to plunge the hot metal rod with the words “Old No.7 Brand”, in reference to the Tennessee bourbon, on the back of a hand and a leg.

Okay, sounds like serious injuries, but let’s remember that this is part of a barbecue set, and unless you’ve invited Jeffrey Dahmer nobody, drunk or sober, is going to think it’s supposed to be used on living people. But even so, just in case (or more likely as required by some nannying law) Jack Daniel’s provided a label on the branding iron in order to state the completely bloody obvious.

… Jack Daniel’s brand owner Brown-Forman Australia says it has done nothing wrong because the product comes with a warning [which reads:]

  • This branding iron can cause serious skin burns.
  • Do not touch metal parts with fingers, skin or any flammable material.
  • Branding iron will remain hot long after being heated. Remove this label before first use.

Surely that’s enough to keep the nannies happy? Nah, ‘course not. Because the nannies want everyone to be treated the same as the daftest person in the country.

[Royal Perth hospital] head of plastic surgery and burns surgeon Mark Duncan-Smith branded the gimmick “an irresponsible cocktail for disaster”.

Disaster? What, like the Japanese tsunami or the Christchurch earthquake? Well, it’s a stretch but I could accept it as disastrous if hospitals all over the country were getting flooded with victims of these would-be killer barbie brands and the ambulances and burns units were starting to crack under the pressure, but the reality is there’ve been one self inflicted burned hand, one self inflicted burned arm and one self inflicted burned arse. Disaster? Seriously? In fact even these three victims of their own machismo/masochism aren’t complaining, presumably because being daft enough to stick pieces of hot metal on themselves on purpose doesn’t mean they’re too daft to realise it was their own fault. If so then this, in my opinion, makes them brighter than the one solitary person who did complain.

[Brown-Forman managing director Marshall Farrer] said the only injury complaints he had received nationally were from Dr Duncan-Smith in WA.

I wonder, would this possibly be Dr Mark Duncan-Smith of the Royal Perth Hospital plastic surgery and burns department? I don’t think we need to ask.

“You can’t stop everyone from doing something silly, but when you are actually providing a method for people to injure themselves, even though it is still their responsibility, it is providing fuel in one hand and a lighter in the other,” [Dr Duncan-Smith] said.

No, they get the fuel and the lighter from Bunnings, or the supermarket or the local petrol station or any of dozens of places, and they can do plenty of damage just with those and without a novelty branding iron. But, as with the branding iron itself, almost nobody does. And it’s not providing a method for people to injure themselves any more than selling barbecues is providing a method for people to cook each other.

“It is a devastating mix. The combination of alcohol and a branding iron is just crazy. It is a cocktail of diminished capacity and a mechanism to inflict serious damage. I personally think this is madness.”

Interesting. I wonder if the doc would say it’s more mad or less mad than taking a sample of three idiots – and a self selecting sample at that – and taking that to mean the whole country is just as dopey with a few glasses of JD inside them? Leaving aside the obvious point of Dr Duncan-Smith’s hideously paternalistic view of his fellow man this argument makes as much sense as estimating that there are 615 billion cats in Australia based on the sample in this room. It’s nonsense, and it’s infuriating that Perth Now seem unable to call him on it.

Nor is Dr Duncan-Smith the only one whining, even if he is the only one who actually complained to the company itself.*

McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth director Mike Daube said there was a “glaring gap in curbs on alcohol promotion”.
“These are entirely predictable outcomes from an outrageously irresponsible promotion,” Prof Daube said.

Oh, really, Prof? Entirely predictable, are they? Well, I’m going to call that claim weapons grade bullshit, though I’d be delighted to eat my words and apologise if you can show us exactly where you predicted it. Because I’ve done a web search for your name in connection with Jack Daniel’s, which I’d have thought would be sufficiently broad to pick any such prediction up if it made it into press or even if you’d put it on the MCAAY (pronounced “Mmkay?” in a South Parkian Mr Garrison voice, I guess) site, and would you like to guess what I found between the beginning of the promotion and the news of these three self inflicted burns cases from West Oz? Go on, have a guess.

Oh, alright, I’ll tell you: not a fucking thing.

Entirely predictable, Prof Daube? My unburnt, non-supperating, pristine and entirely healthy arse.

“There are no controls whatever none on alcohol promotions of this kind.” He said he would write to the federal and state governments calling for measures to halt irresponsible alcohol promotions.

Look, the range of humanity from stupid to sensible is going to be such a wide bell curve that simply whispering that alcohol exists is probably irresponsible for someone at one extreme end, but you’d have to go to insane lengths to come up with something that’s irresponsible even for everyone in the middle, much less the Spock-like people at the far end. A free pallet of booze for anyone who drives themselves to the bottle shop having snorted more coke than Tony Montana might qualify, but some piece of tat for branding your steaks certainly doesn’t.

And so we turn, but only because we’re forced, to the politicians. You just know it’s not going to turn out well, don’t you?

State Mental Health Minister Helen Morton, who is also responsible for drug and alcohol issues, supported regulation changes on alcohol promotions, but said it was a federal matter.

Well, of course she does. She’s a politician seeing an excuse to get a bit of media, possibly encouraged by some of the people in her ministry who’ve just seen a half-arsed justification for extending the remit of their department or by people who just want to extend the role of the state in our lives in general. It’s as Reagan once said, the instinct of governments is that if it moves they should tax it, if it keeps moving they should regulate it and if it stops moving they should subsidise it – they never look and think that maybe they should just leave it the hell alone. And I don’t take any comfort from a state politician bouncing it up to the federal government because the federal government is likely to take one look and either tax it, regulate it or subsidise it, possible even all three at the same time, regardless of whether it moves or not.

But what I really find bizarre is that the WA Health Minister understands something about people and governments and legislation. Something most people understand, even the ones sticking branding irons in the barbecue for a bit before trying to make their own gluteus the property of an American drinks company.

“However, at the end of the day, how can we legislate against that level of stupidity,” she said.

You can’t, Helen. It’s an exercise in futility, and that being so what the hell’s the point of regulation changes on alcohol promotions? Accept that a tiny number of people will do something daft with practically anything we can imagine, and that an even smaller number of people will remove themselves from the gene pool in the process.

But never forget that the vast majority of people won’t.

* I wonder if he writes to car manufacturers every time he has to hide the scars on someone who was injured because they or someone else was screwing around while driving? Or is it just alcohol that lights up his brain’s complaint node?

Brings a new meaning to the term ‘joystick controller’

I just don’t know what to say about this but I’m slightly surprised that some feminazi isn’t screaming that it’s sexist because it’s been designed to exclude women, sorry, wimmin.

Personally I suspect the feminists are keeping quiet because they’ve had their own videogames in the ladies’ lavvies for years, and they’re much better games with multiplayer modes. This is why they always go to the loo in pairs and take so bloody long. Powdering your noses? Yeah, sure. You’re just trying to level up before the husband/boyfriend/significant other wants another drink.

Let’s get the flock out of here

Or if we’re talking about pigs, the herd. And obviously that’s a lot easier if the herd has its own fully signed, designated escape route which it knows because there have been escape drills. Yes, we’re still talking about pigs, and no I’m not making this up. I’ve banged my head on the desk once or twice but this bloody article is still there.

Click for linky and loss of will to live

If fire engulfs a piggery in Monto, its residents can rest easy. That fluorescent exit sign above the doors will save their bacon.

And also saves me making that joke. Predictable, I know, but better than the ‘hamstrung’ one the Courier Mail used in their headline.

In one of the most ridiculous rules stifling small business in Queensland, piggery operators are required to install illuminated exit signs inside pens occupied solely by pigs.

Okay, look, I know pigs are supposed to be relatively intelligent creatures but I can spot two flaws with this. Flaw number one is that I’m pretty confident they’re not that intelligent. Flaw number two, and this is important for anyone who believes you can teach a pig what a sign’s for, is that’s a running fucking MAN on the emergency exit sign.

But it’s okay because after that the rules begin to make sense. No, just kidding, they don’t.

Regulations also demand an escape door for pigs to use in case of fires…

You might already spot the potential problem here.

… but which farmers fear the animals can use any time.

Which suggests that someone in the Queensland government has failed to recognise that emergency exits aren’t used all the time because you can explain to people that this exit, this one over here, is for emergencies only and that one over there is for coming and going as you please. This is simple enough even for a fairly young child to grasp, but I wish you the very best of luck if you’re hoping to explain it to farmyard animals. You’re going to need every bit of it.

Oh, and then there are the fire drills. Fire drills! That must have been funny enough to sell tickets for.

“Right, we’ll try again. Now, Napoleon?”
“Oink?”
“When I blow this whistle you call Pinkeye and Squealer…”
“Squeeeeeeaal!”
“No, listen…”
“Squeeeeeeeeeeaaal!”
“Just listen a minute…”
“Squeeeeeeaaloinkoinkoink.”
“Ah, screw it. They’ll all be in bits on cold shelves in a few weeks anyway.”

“A concrete block shed with steel roof trusses and corrugated iron roof, built to hold 60 pigs in four pens, had to have a fire hose, an illuminated “EXIT” sign above each of the two doors and an evacuation procedure displayed in a prominent position,” former pig farmer Darryl Stewart told an industry survey.

A fire hose? But how… ?

“The biggest difficulties were teaching the pigs to read the signs and procedures, conducting fire drills so the building could be evacuated in orderly fashion and training the four most intelligent pigs as fire fighters.

Presumably chosen from among Pugh, Pugh, Barney MacGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Snouter.

And it had to be done all over again every three months because that is when a new batch replaced the old batch.
“Oh, and rounding them up from anywhere within a 5km radius after every fire drill was not much fun either.”

Okay, I am actually laughing now because I’ve got this mental picture of pigs running in every direction apart from back to the piggery, and there is Benny Hill music. Still, this is a former pig farmer and he’s probably kidding, right? Right?

Ian Hill, of Bailey Creek Piggeries in Mulgildie, confirmed to The Courier-Mail exit signs were legally required in pens.
“It’s one of the council requirements that when you put a building in that they want illuminated exit signs at every piggery building,” he said.
[…]
A Biloela piggery owner confirmed signs and particular types of doors that pigs could use in a fire were a legal requirement.
“We had a fire inspector come through here when we put up sheds years ago, and he made us put in fire extinguishers, put up the illuminated signs … There’s no deviation,” he said.

And of course the serious side to this is that of costs to business. Someone’s got to go out and buy signs which are meaningless to the inhabitants of the buildings they’re put up in, plus install and maintain equipment that those inhabitants can’t operate with trotters or even comprehend the purpose of – with the exception of the pig operable doors that are supposed to be for emergency use. Not only that but you can’t cut corners because there are inspections, and to cap it all your taxes are helping pay not just for the inspectors’ wages but also the clown who I’m guessing saw Porky the Fireman while stoned off his dial and thought it was a good idea.

Memo to the Queensland government. Don’t attempt to teach a pig Occ. Health and Safety. It wastes your time and annoys the pig, but really infuriates the poor sod who has to pay for it.

A new standard for "Too much information"

As reported already by Max Farquar and thoroughly pisstaken by The Daily Mash, The Daily Mail’s Liz Jones has given the world a new standard for TMI.

… I decided to steal it from him. I resolved to steal his sperm from him in the middle of the night. I thought it was my right, given that he was living with me and I had bought him many, many M&S ready meals.

Ugh. Between Dervla Kirwan’s soft porn voiceovers for M&S food ads and Jizz Loans’ revelation that she considers that buying some of their ready meals is a fair exchange for a Durex load of her other half’s baby gravy I’ll never be able to look at any ready meal ever again.

One night, after sex, I took the used condom and, in the privacy of the bathroom, I did what I had to do.

Stoppit, for Christ’s sake.

… I resorted to similarly secretive methods to conceive in my next relationship.

The saddest part of this for Jizz Loans is that having revealed herself to be a serial spunk thief – c’mon, Jizz, you knew damn well they weren’t just using a bag to avoid catching anything – her chances of finding anyone willing to play hide the sausage has, er, shrunk. There will be the usual blokey jokes about her looks and remarks along the lines of “I wouldn’t, eh, fellas?”, but with what the Mail calls her most shocking confession yet Jizz Loans has also shown a manipulative side that a lot of men will find a bit of a turn off.*

I’ll leave the last word to the Mash.

DAILY Mail experiment Liz Jones has urged men across Britain to send her their used condoms.
[…]
Jones said: “I can’t wait for the parcels to start arriving. It’ll be like a never-ending Christmas as I rip open each little packet and squeeze the contents into my trembling uterus.”
Meanwhile, she has urged donors not to include a photograph or any personal details as she wants her baby’s surprising DNA to provide up to five years worth of ground-breaking journalism.

Almost the last word. If anyone wants me I’ll be in the shed, upside down in a bucket of mind bleach.

* That wording implies the possibility of something even more shocking up her sleeve, or possibly on it. We can only hope not.

Don’t ask a journo to check your pulse

A terminally ill taxi driver? Really?

The late Mr Bills has become the first man to be mummified in the style of the ancient Egyptians for at least 3,000 years.

“The late Mr Bills” would tend to suggest that he’s not so much terminally ill as actually dead. Or did The Mainly Fail get a second opinion?

The cake is a lie…

… and so is the floor, the walls and the idea of which way is up.

More art for gamers here

Somehow it’s appropriate

I’m not sure what the thinking behind the design of the 2012 Olympic medals really was, but I found it instantly reminiscent of an iconic piece of contemporary British culture: the scratched tag train window.

On top of which the fact that the design is also too big to fit in the pockets of Team GB’s uniforms just speaks fucking volumes, doesn’t it?

The medals are so thick, the uniform designers of Team GB have had to make some last minute changes.
The pockets of the athletes’ formal suits have been adjusted to accommodate the medals’ 85mm diameter, 375 -400 gram weight and 7mm thick.

‘Kinell!

Sorry, but I did not order the late night snack or the earthquake

I’ve not had to argue hotel bills too often in my life. I avoid the ridiculous phone call rates by using my mobile, I won’t use the internet for much the same reason unless it’s included, I steer clear of the minibar and its stupidly overpriced contents, where possible I pay as I go for food and drinks, and it should go without saying that there’s no way I’m going to watch their ruinously expensive porn channels. That way when I’ve checked out I’ve not had to do much more than make sure the number of days I’m being billed for is right and that the room service bill is for what I ordered and nothing more. On one or two occasions I’ve had to argue that I didn’t get a paper or a club sandwich that they thought I’d had but generally I’ve been able to glance at hotel bills, pay and leave. Simple as.

I’ve never been stayed in an hotel when it got hit by an earthquake either, but it would never have occurred to me that that would be a reason not to pay even for things I did have.

A guest trapped in Christchurch’s earthquake-hit Hotel Grand Chancellor for nearly four hours feels “kicked in the guts” after being billed $NZ300 ($A232) (£155, US$247, €173, blahblahblah I’m not doing it in Harry Potter money, I’m just not – AE) for his stay.

Well, if the earthquake had prevented him from staying there then fair dos, but as we’ll soon see that’s not exactly how it was.

A New Zealand man and his wife, who declined to be named, were trapped on the central Christchurch hotel’s 22nd floor and escaped hours later by braving collapsed staircases, smashing down doors and crawling on to the roof of an adjacent car park.
[…]
He received a $NZ300 bill from the hotel for his two-night stay, including an $NZ18 parking fee for a car that took more than two months to recover.
[…]
When the February 22 quake struck, the couple were watching a movie for which they were billed $NZ15.20, in their 25th-floor room.

Okay, so since they were in their room watching a movie and their car was parked downstairs I think it’s safe to say that they’d checked in. In fact they were very checked in.

The couple have been unable to get an insurance payment for the $NZ15,000 worth of luggage stuck in the hotel because their insurer says the belongings could still be recovered.
They had so much luggage because they were about to move to Australia.

Now it might be a bit shitty of their insurer to deny a claim for possessions that are stuck in a damaged building to which there is no public access and which has been scheduled for demolition, but that’s not the hotel’s fault. And if all that stuff is still in there then I think it’s safe to say that the couple were in the hotel and using its services – parking, TV entertainment (hopefully not some Roland Emmerich disaster porn – that’d be unreasonably cruel of life) and accommodation – at the time.

So what’s the problem with being billed for it? The earthquake trapped their possessions and their car, and presumably they didn’t see the end of the flick, but it didn’t erase time and undo their use of the hotel facilities. It was desperately bad luck compounded by an unsympathetic insurance company (is there another kind?) but the hotel company was unlucky too – they have a large and unusable building sitting there and the expense of demolition and reconstruction to look forward to, and their insurers are probably no more cuddly than that of the unnamed couple. The earthquake wasn’t the hotel’s fault and about the only thing you can criticise them for is the time it’s taken to send out the bill. Even then…

[Grand Chancellor Australia and New Zealand group manager Frank Delli Cicchi] said many guests who checked into the hotel just before the quake had received their bills in the past few days because the company had only recently gained access to the accounts, which were trapped in another quake-damaged building in the city.

So they weren’t actually able to send out bills until recently. I’m finding it harder and harder to understand why it is that the hotel shouldn’t get paid for the services it provided up to the point the quake hit. Look, if I ordered a pizza and set it down on the table before something happened that meant we had to abandon it and get out of the house, can I ring up the pizza company and expect my thirty bucks back? Of course not – they’ve provided what I asked for and whatever happens after that isn’t their problem. Anything they do do is out of the goodness of their hearts and not because I have any kind of right to expect it. So how can this be different?

Even more confusingly the hotel group has caved in and waived some of the bills, including that of the anonymous couple, but not all of them. Whether they are billing guests or not now depends not on whether the guests used the hotel’s services but on whether they were inside or outside when the earthquake happened.

[Delli Cicchi said he] did not know how many trapped guest had been sent bills. Guests who were not in the hotel when the quake struck were still expected to pay their bills, he said.
“They legitimately incurred costs.”

And how did people who were in the hotel somehow not legitimately incur costs? How does whether a guest pops out for a stroll around Christchurch or kicks back and watches a film in their room alter whether they’d legitimately incurred costs? Do I have to lick a special kind of toad to make sense of this or something?

And above all, why are those who’ve been let off having to pay for goods and services they did in fact receive and consume still complaining?

After contacting New Zealand’s The Press, the man received a phone call from a Grand Chancellor accountant who said the bill would be waived.
The man said he was still upset.
“I would never send something like that.”

I can’t think why not. If I’d done some work for someone and was about to send him an invoice when I heard that a tree had fallen on his car written it off I’d be sympathetic to the poor guy. I’d probably phone him first and talk to him about it, maybe see if he needed a little flexibility on my part. But if he told me that he thought I shouldn’t get paid at all I’d say I hope his chooks turn into emus and kick his dunny down as well.* I’d feel for the guy and I’d try to help out if I could in his time of misfortune, but whatever had happened, even if he’d been in the car and narrowly escaped unharmed, it wouldn’t undo the work I’d done. Even if he’d been killed shouldn’t somebody still settle up with me? Estates still pay outstanding bills, after all.

Is it heartless of me to think that victims of bad luck and even quite serious natural disaster should still settle any debts they owe? And if not does it make a difference whether the bill comes from a small business or an international company with a dozen or so large and luxurious hotels?

* An Australian curse I came across not long ago. You’ve got to love what Aussies do with the language.

Bullying victim snaps – the animated version

Yep, Casey the Chifley College bullying victim has had the Taiwanese computer animation treatment from NMA TV.

Is there nothing they can’t make completely bizarre yet strangely compelling?

On a side note news.com.au are saying that western Sydney is divided over the issue.

“Good on him. I was so happy to see a bully finally getting what he deserved,” one St Marys resident said.
“I don’t condone violence but when kids stage an attack like that and record it to humiliate the victim it’s wrong.”
But another resident Jayne Saunders said: “He could have broken that little kid’s neck.”

An explanation might be needed for Jayne and others thinking the same way: when you continually harass and provoke and torment a placid pet to the point it goes nuts and attempts to bite someone’s face off you’ve sown the seeds of your own misfortune. The kid who was picking on Casey – who is apparently not at all sorry for doing so – might have had his neck broken, and had that happened it would have been as a direct result of the violent incident he himself initiated. The question Jayne Saunders and co. are probably not asking themselves is what would Casey have done to Ritchard Gale if the he and the other bullies had simply left him alone. Almost certainly the answer is:

Absolutely nothing.

Just the most bizarre thing I have seen this year.

Okay, the year has hardly begun, but still…

Rule 34 of the internet – If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.

And that’s just a sample of the surprising amount of Lego porn to be found on YouTube.

Boggle.

Ah, bless him. He understands every word.

Boggle.

Okay, that’s quite funny in a stupid kind of way, but at the end of the article it says this:

A website for the US judicial system states that jurors are “not expected to speak perfect English”.

Well that bodes well for getting a fair trial, doesn’t it?

H/T The Grim Reaper.

Who’s on top can be confusing Down Under.

Ahahahahaha.

A bizarre decision to ride an inflatable doll down a flood-swollen Yarra River blew up in a woman’s face yesterday when she lost her latex playmate in a rough patch.

Her keks too, according to The Herald Sun.

While it is understood the blow up doll and several other inflatable items were salvaged from the scene, the bottoms of the rescued woman’s bathers were long gone down the river.

A blanket was required to protect her modesty as she exited the water.

And they just fell off? Was it all done in the best pAHH-ssible taste?

Police and a State Emergency Services crew were called to the rescue when the woman and a man, both 19, struck trouble at Warrandyte North about 4.30pm yesterday.

Just in case you’re wondering it’s well over an hour away, I can’t pass for 19 anymore, my hair is shorter and I have an alibi.

But, with Queensland in the grip of a deadly emergency and 50 rescues from flood waters around Victoria in the past week, police were not amused at the pair’s “stupid” actions.

‘‘We’ve got people busy with rescues and to have to divert resources to that sort of thing is not ideal,” said Senior Constable Wayne Wilson

‘‘Most rescue organisations would frown on people behaving in such a manner because there are people out there who are in genuine need of assistance,’’ he said.

The rescued pair were checked by ambulance officers but did not require medical attention.

And when it comes to Aussies doing crazy shit that’s never guaranteed.

The incident prompted a warning from police that blow-up sex toys are “not recognised flotation devices’’.

:Sigh: I give it 18 months before Melbourne’s sex shops are required to put that on a warning sign.

The religion of peace vs the religion of love.

There’s a fair amount of anti-Islam feeling going on at the moment, and with disturbing videos such as this* (which appears to be an actual girl’s death by stoning and is NSF anywhere – it is without doubt the most distressing thing I’ve seen since Neda Agha-Soltan was shot and killed, and if anything the behaviour of the mob makes it even worse) it’s easy to understand why. There sometimes seems to be no way we in nominally Christian nations can find common ground with what many commenters sarcastically refer to as the religion of peace. On the other hand, a good read of the Bible could easily have you wondering why the hell not (death stuff in bold, rape and assorted lunacy underlined):

  • Genesis 38:7 – Er killed for unspecified reasons (‘wicked in the sight of the Lord’).
  • Genesis 38:9 – Er’s brother Onan killed for not getting Er’s widow pregnant.
  • Exodus 19:12 – death by stoning if you try to go up or even touch a holy mountain (includes animals, so it’s pretty fucked up to throw a stick at it for your dog to fetch).
  • Exodus 21:15 – death for striking a parent.
  • Exodus 21:17 – death for cursing a parent.
  • Exodus 22:20 – death for sacrificing to a different god.
  • Exodus 31:14 – death for profaning the sabbath [er, whut? – AE] and exile for working on it.
  • Exodus 31:15 – actually, no, death for working on the sabbath.
  • Exodus 35:2 – yes, definitely death for working on the sabbath.
  • Leviticus 20:9 – death for cursing a parent.
  • Leviticus 20:10,11,12 – death for adultery with a neighbour and certain in-laws.
  • Leviticus 20:13 – death for being a gay man.
  • Leviticus 20:14 – death by burning alive for sleeping with a woman and her mother (which makes a lot of porn a capital offence).
  • Leviticus 20:27 – death by stoning for being Derek Acorah or another medium or psychic.
  • Leviticus 21:9 – death by burning alive for prostitution if the girl is a priest’s daughter.
  • Leviticus 24:16 – death by stoning for blasphemy.
  • Leviticus 27 – death for not following through on any sacrifices that you’d promised.
  • Numbers 3:10 – death for being an outsider and going too near the tabernacle (what qualifies as too near isn’t specified).
  • Numbers 4:20 – death for being a Kohathite [me neither – AE] and seeing ‘the holy things’.
  • Numbers 11:1 – having your tents burned down for being a bit whiny.
  • Numbers 14:36 – death for scouts returning with bad news and being less than keen on attacking.
  • Numbers 15:32 – death by stoning for gathering sticks on the sabbath.
  • Numbers 16:32 – buried alive for being a lippy bastard to Moses or for being the family of one of the lippy bastards.
  • Numbers 16:35 – being burned alive for being associated with the lippy bastards.
  • Number 18:7 – death to outsiders who go too near the alter.
  • Numbers 25:4 – death by hanging or plague for worshipping another god.
  • Numbers 31:18 – approves raping young girls taken prisoner (but death for their families)
  • Deuteronomy 7 – basically commanding the genocidal destruction of half a dozen cities full of unbelievers.
  • Deuteronomy 13:5 – death by stoning for being a false prophet who suggests people worship another god.
  • Deuteronomy 13:10 – actually, just suggesting people worship another god, death by stoning.
  • Deuteronomy 13:15 – hack the population of an entire city to pieces and destroy everything in it because just some of the inhabitants suggested people worship another god.
  • Deuteronomy 15:12-17 – a slave is to be set free after six years and given livestock, grain and wine, unless he or she voluntarily chooses to remain in slavery, in which case he or she is to be nailed to a door by their ear [I am absolutely not making this up – it was a real WTF moment when I read that bit].
  • Deuteronomy 17:6 – death by stoning for sacrificing an animal that is less than perfect (providing there are at least two witnesses – can’t say fairer than that).
  • Deuteronomy 17:12 – death for not obeying the rulings of religious courts.
  • Deuteronomy 21:11-14 – approves rape of female prisoners.
  • Deuteronomy 21:21 – death by stoning for sons who rebel against their parents.
  • Deuteronomy 22:22 – death for adultery (both parties).
  • Deuteronomy 22:13 – whipping for a man who falsely accuses his new wife of not being a virgin.
  • Deuteronomy 22:20 – death by stoning for her if she really wasn’t a virgin.
  • Deuteronomy 22:23 – death by stoning for an engaged girl who puts out for someone else and for the lad who got very temporarily lucky (rape victims who don’t cry for help are also stoned to death, but only if they live in a city – the rapist gets stoned to death in either case).
  • Deuteronomy 22:28 – forced marriage to her rapist for a rape victim who isn’t engaged.
  • Deuteronomy 23:10 – soldiers who’ve had a wank in camp have to stay outside all day and have a wash at sunset [worth comparing with the last three and some of the others involving women, this one – another WTF moment for me].
  • Joshua 1: 18 – death for disobedience to Joshua.
  • Joshua 6 – genocide.
  • Joshua 7 – an entire family stoned and immolated because the head of the family kept war booty that was supposed to be sacrificed [and yet at the same time Ezekiel 18:20 says that sons are not to suffer for the sins of their fathers].
  • Joshua 8 – more genocide.
  • Joshua 10 – lots more genocide.
  • Joshua 11 – light genocide and some animal cruelty.

Frankly I’d read enough at this point, but let’s not forget the Bible is also all for things like genital mutilation of infant boys, holding captive and raping women taken prisoner during war, selling your children into debt bondage, slavery subject to certain conditions and various other stuff we’d all find unthinkable now.

Oh, and when women have got the painters in they’re unclean, which, what with the bleeding, bloating, stomach cramps and so on, might not be a huge comfort. For a religion of love you’d think there’d have been something about chocolate or flowers or ice cream, but no. Sorry, ladies, not even a hot water bottle’s worth of sympathy. Uncleanliness it is and you’ve just got to rock with it. I imagine you should blame that Eve bird from Genesis since she was told that because of her the miracle of childbirth for all women was going to be like shoving a fire extinguisher through a letter box, so I expect the whole menstrual cramps and unclean business is probably her fault as well.

You get stuff that makes sense like offspring not being responsible for the sins of their parents and vice versa, but then there’re examples of precisely that going on with Eve’s disobedience and with illegitimate offspring and their own offspring to the tenth generation are excluded from ‘the assembly’. So is anyone who’s had their balls crushed or, somewhat surprisingly given prescribed male genital mutilation, their knob cut off. Suffice to say that the Bible, if taken literally, would make Christians and Jews every bit as vicious, violent, misogynistic and downright batshit insane as anything the Koran has to offer, and of course in the past they have been.

And in case you think it’s all Old Testament stuff and that Christians are beyond that? Well, ignoring the fact that plenty think the Old Testament is evidence that the world was created at a date that would make it more recent than agriculture was developed, and therefore are very much not beyond it, there’s some good stuff in the New Testament as well.
  • Matthew 5:28 – according to Jesus just looking at a woman lustfully is equivalent to adultery [and since he’d already said (Matthew 5:17) that he wasn’t up for changing any part of the Old Testament laws presumably that meant having a quick perv at a nice backside on the other side of the road is punishable by being stoned to death].
  • Matthew 10:34 – not the hippy dude after all, Jesus said he hadn’t come to bring peace, he’d come to bring a sword.
  • Luke 12 – oh, and fire as well. And division, sons against fathers and so forth.
  • Luke 14 – disciples are expected to hate their parents. And their wives. And siblings, and children. And themselves.
  • Acts 5 – believers are to give absolutely everything you have for redistribution and don’t try to hide anything or lie about it, or they get killed.
  • Ephesians 5:22 – women should submit to their husbands.
  • Titus 2:9 – slaves [slavery is still okay, apparently] should submit to their masters.
  • Romans 1:26,27 & 32 – death for gay men and lesbians [the lesbians had been getting away with it for a couple of thousand years at this point, which clearly wasn’t on]
  • 1 Corinthians 11:5 – women should cover their heads in church unless they want their hair shaved off.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:34 – oh, and also they should keep shtum while they’re in there.

Seem at all like what we’re worrying about at the moment with Islam, no? Surely the prospect of fundamentalist Judaism/Christianity should be just as scary and outrageous, if not more so. I mean, look: low value on human life, check; death sentences even for fairly trivial offences, check; women treated as second class citizens with far fewer rights, check; approval of rape, check; approval of raping minors, check; otherwise pretty hung up on other people’s sex lives, check; a worrying inclination to kill everyone and destroy everything that stands in the way of the faithful, check; violent proselytisation, check; holy war, check; promise of heavenly reward in the next world in return for zealous butchery in this one, check… need I go on?

Much of the criticism levelled at Islam is for stuff that is absolutely okay according to both Testaments, and bearing in mind that some of that stuff is two thousand years older than the Koran you have to wonder how much of what went in the latter was influenced by traditions that were already ancient. Why the hell aren’t we all worrying about Christianity? At the moment Christians still comfortably outnumber Muslims by half a billion or so and one of the world’s biggest Christian nations has several thousand nuclear weapons, can call on more than two million men and women under arms with some highly advanced weaponry, seems indisposed towards electing a leader who is not themselves religious, and has a track record of conflict with other nations over the last… what, forty years? Fifty? And while we’re worrying about Muslims playing the my-god’s-better-than-your-god game there seems to be a growing number of Christians, especially in the US, who insist on a literal interpretation of the bits of the Bible that condone homophobia and support their belief in a very young (in geological terms) Earth despite the existence of some very, very ancient rocks. Maybe they’ll go in for the whole spreading the message by the sword thing next.

Yeah, smartass,  how would you like Norway to glow in the fucking dark?

So am I worried about Christianity? No, not hugely (though not quite ‘not at all’ either). And even though I think the so-called fundamentalist Christians, the Creationist gang, are a bit on the loopy side I don’t think anyone else should be. Yes, I do have a problem with their attempts to get Creationism taught in science classes, but not so much because I don’t believe it myself as because like anything that can’t actually be disproved it doesn’t qualify as a scientific theory. It doesn’t end there either – I have a problem with their frequent desire to have secular laws based on their religious laws, I have a problem with the book burning brigade (not just this Pastor Terry Jones bloke’s threat to burn Korans today – assuming he doesn’t change his mind again and burn them after all – but also those nutjobs burning Harry Potter books in case they taught their children how to do spells) and I have a problem with the massive hang ups some of the more prudish of them have about other people having anything other than vanilla sex, and frequently that too.

But, and this is a very important but, I don’t think any but the most microscopic handful of them want a return to stoning and burning people to death, violent proselytising, raping women and children and genocidal destruction of entire cities. You see, whatever we think of their beliefs, as a group Christians are just a bit too nice for that. Biblically and historically they’re an awful bunch of people that non-Christians should be utterly shit scared of, but all that stuff, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Malleus Maleficarum, witch trials, persecution of unbelievers, the kill-them-all-God-will-know-his-own thing, no small amount of papal bull, and all the violence and ridiculously harsh punishment in the Bible is in the past. Well, for most Christians it is, and I’m sure for most of the rest virtually all of it is.

No, Christianity really doesn’t worry me much despite everything in the Bible because Christians filter what it has to say through a layer – albeit of variable thickness – of pragmatism and common sense. And for that reason Islam also doesn’t worry me much no matter what’s in the Koran. I can’t imagine there’s anything in there that’s worse than the Bible, and just as most Christians have left the worst of that behind them I’ve met Muslims, probably typical ones, who also interpret their scripture in a way that is more up to date and even handed for everyone around them. To me that suggests that their religion is not so much a cause of violence and misogyny as it is an excuse for it among those who are naturally inclined towards violence and misogyny… just as Christianity and Judaism used to be (and probably still are for a very small number of people).

And if I’ve not convinced you ask yourselves this: if they weren’t already spoken for in the religious madness department and if stoning women still went on in modern Christianity do you think perhaps the mob in that video, the same ones who brained that poor girl with rocks and breeze blocks while somewhat insanely trying to keep her dignity intact by covering her legs and backside as her blood pooled around her head, would look at the Bible and say something like, “Hey, guys, have you seen what’s in this Bible book? It’s got the whole lot in here. Seriously, fellas, this sounds like just the religion for us.”

And with what the Bible would give them to work with wouldn’t they be just as violent and misogynistic as Christians? With that in mind is it Islam per se we should worry about or just generally unthinking, irrationally violent fucknuts who love nothing more than to hate?

P.S. – several hours have gone into this blog post over the last three days, mostly spent thumbing through an ancient family Bible and searching online versions for the various examples of Biblical death, destruction and general hideousness I gave near the top, and by the way I skipped plenty of stuff. In the meantime the antics of the wannabe book burner in Florida prompted Dizzy to write this, in which he’s given a link to an satirical ‘Whose God Is More Vicious?‘ quiz based on genuine scripture from both religions. Interesting answers, though if you’ve read all of my verbose rantings today you probably won’t be surprised. Anyway, seven out of ten is my score to beat (and humiliate, and lash, and stone, and burn and so on), with a metaphorical land of milk and honey for anyone getting full marks first go.

* H/T Leg-iron and Captain Ranty.

Thank you, Daily Mail – UPDATED

How would I struggle through the day without the critical knowledge that some pale, ginger actress who plays some girl who’s the current Doctor Who’s current pretty assistant dropped her phone the other day. Fucking world shattering events, eh? I just can’t understand why anyone takes the piss.

Even by the usual standards of sleb gossip this is poor stuff. And no, like the Diana underwear adverts in China, I just can’t arsed to link to it. I’m just going to sit here and think fondly of Daily Sport headlines.

UPDATE – Credit where it’s due though. I saw that thing about the Doctor Who girl dropping her phone after following a link to a Mail article from another blog and happened to notice the story in the sleb stuff they always put down one side of their web pages. For some reason I clicked the Mail’s homepage before leaving and saw that their top headline was this:

Lifted like a rag doll and hurled into cell: Shocking video of police brutality… on 5ft 2in tall woman, 59, found asleep in car.

Okay, it’s next to a picture of Liam Neeson and some woman – don’t care, didn’t read – and The Mail seems unable to decide if she’s 59 as per the headline or 57 as per the beginning of the article (all becomes clear later – she was 57 when she was filled in at a police station and is now 59), but at least a story about police brutality has got the attention it deserves. I suggest you go read it and be outraged by Sergeant Mark Andrews’ behaviour towards someone over a foot shorter than him. I am just about old enough that my parents brought me up telling me that if I was in some kind of trouble I should always ask a policeman. Now I think back on it they never said what to ask him, but I very much doubt they were thinking along the lines of ‘please stop hitting me, officer’, though being a similar size to the bastard I have little doubt I’d have got a shoeing from a pair of them. The only thing that makes the police look at any good is that the cop involved was at least charged and was found guilty, thanks in no small part to a fellow copper, PC Rachel Webb, who saw it happen, complained immediately and went to court to give evidence. That she was prepared to complain about and give evidence against a higher ranked officer (a title the bastard clearly doesn’t deserve) does show that they’re not all bad, but you have to wonder how many incidents like this might be swept under the carpet because junior officers fear retribution (probably the career blighting kind rather than anything physical) from the more senior bully boys or have ambitions of one day becoming more senior bully boys themselves.