Friday, 25 December 2009

Pope on a rope

Merry Christmas, all.

I see today, that on one of the major events of the Christian calendar, that the Catholic church has pulled off the marketing achievement of the year. A woman jumps off a fence, misses the Pope, the Pope only hits the deck because a bodyguard jumps on him, and they've got the news headlines on Christmas day to the detriment of every other religion, particularly Anglicans.

I wonder if they've employed Simon Cowell?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Offended? Really?

Another story from the BBC website. This time, someone has been offended by a card in Tesco. What was so bad about it? I quote; "...a lot of my friends and other people I know, we are absolutely disgusted", so you can see it must have been incredibly offensive. In fact, Tesco's are removing the greetings card from the shelves.

Was it Racist? No.

Was it sexist? No.

Again, a quote; "The card shows a child with ginger hair sitting on the lap of Santa Claus, and the words: 'Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones.' "

Now, I tread carefully. My wife has red hair. Red hair is fine. I personally wouldn't wind anyone up about it, and I know for a fact she gets irritated by people calling her ginger. Not offended, just irritated. It's not funny.

That's how I look at this card. Not funny. But offensive? Seriously? I saw a card with a fat Father Christmas stuck in the chimney, well surely that's offensive to fat people?

Again, quoting the touchy lady who complained. "If the card had been about an overweight child then the shop would have been shut down, and so would the people who made the card."

No it wouldn't. Unless the subject matter was illegal. So, my suggestion would be to get over it, and find something important to worry about. Like Afghanistan. Or cancer. Or poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, child abuse, men who beat up their wives (and vice-versa), crime in deprived areas, or one of the other million things that actually matter in the world. Because compared to those things, a card with a gentle dig at ginger-haired kids is easily ignored.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

"... smoke it out then 'it it over the 'ead with a spade"

Here's an interesting picture, I took today whilst walking near where I live. I don't think it's particularly gruesome, but I can see some people wouldn't like this much.

I thought it important to show it though. I've never seen anything like it in my entire life.
A pile of dead moles is certainly not something you'll ever see outside BHS in Hull city centre, that's for sure.
I reckon there are three ways you can look at this.
1. You can be utterly disgusted with the disregard for the lives of animals, and complain loudly about the welfare of innocent creatures being slaughtered in this way.
2. You can accept that moles are a nuisance to farmers because they ruin meadowland with their molehills, hence reducing the amount of grass available to feed their stock during the winter months, and putting their livelihoods at some risk of being financially affected. They are stacked up for future use elsewhere, possibly falconry, or such like.
3. You can suppose that country folk are barking mad, and no other sane person in the entire world would even consider stacking up dead moles on a fencepost next to a public right of way, in this manner.
I fall somewhere between 2 and 3, although sympathise with 1 a little bit. If you stacked up dead rats in this way outside Tesco, there'd be complaints for sure.
I'll be off out again tomorrow, and I'm hoping to find some tap-dancing red squirrels. You'll be the first to know if I spot any.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Swindon - twinned with Disneyland

image: The Guardian

Sounds like a joke, but evidently it's true, according to this BBC report. Swindon? Disneyland? No doubt the Swindon schoolchildren are all gagging for the exchange visit.

I've been to Swindon. I spent a week there on a work training course, and remember very little of it, asides from a few snippets.

The magic roundabout. Yes, we've all heard of it, the locals love it but to a visitor, it's scary as hell. I don't ever want to repeat the experience of driving round/across it. Perhaps the thrill-seekers would get as big a kick out of driving around it, as they would on any Disneyland white-knuckle ride.

The dodgiest nightclub I ever visited. Oh yes. Dodgier than Hull's former Tower nightclub. Even dodgier, I'd guess, than Hull's former "Henry's" nightclub... or maybe not. Still, though, very dodgy. Can't remember it's name. It was split in two, had the stickiest carpets in nightclub history, and drinks were included in the entry fee hence it was rammed. Although dodgy, still a good night, if I remember, although for some reason I decided to wander back to the hotel, on my own, in a town I was unfamiliar with, and at one point had to run. Fast. The clue was, the guy shouting abuse had ripped his shirt off and thrown it on the floor. Not sure what I'd done, but I certainly didn't plan a civilised discussion over tea and biscuits.

erm... that 's it. Actually, after a full week, the only other thing I remember about Swindon was the hotel, which was very nice. So there you go. Swindon, home of bad roundabouts, bad nightclubs and bad, scary people. There's a strapline for the Wiltshire tourist board.

There's one thing I do know, though. I don't want to go to Disneyland, and I'm certainly not keen on a trip back to Swindon. Hence, they probably deserve to be twinned!