Hey Ho! :(
Another Saturday Night® has come and gone leaving me with the uneasy feeling that I am missing something. I have left "The Sprog" off at a local nite club and by the time I was turning the corner to come home he was surrounded by a gaggle of young ladies. Was I ever in that same enviable position? I am sure I would remember if I have been ... wouldn't I?
Perhaps my somewhat glum mood is because I live up here around 55º north were the trees are now well on the way to baldness and there is a nip to the air even at midday that makes one think that perhaps wearing a teeshirt under the shirt is a good idea. When out for my wander in the wood this afternoon the stands of Silver Birch were as picturesque as always but in a cold, asleep sort of way and at their base they was a massive covering of little 'rooms
Yes I did get down on my knees to take this snap and yes I did manage to get back up again, although it was accompanied by a series of pops, creaks and groans commensurate with my age and waist measurement and no I didn't sample any and yes this IS me being normal.
I bumped into another "brisk walker" on my travels and we nodded at each other and I grunted the usual Irish-English greeting of "bout you?" which roughly translates to "Hale and well met fellow traveler on the deep pile of life's rich carpet" ... which is like life's rich tapestry but you walk on it... My fellow walker nodded back and responded in English-English by muttering "Good afternoon". This set me to thinking - there is a world of difference between the rich patois of the provinces and that spoken by those on t'other side of the Irish Sea.
One of the elder statesmen of the family told me before going to University in England that should I as a stranger to the area ever get lost that it was vital I NEVER ask for directions! For the English are too damn polite and would not increase your worry by telling you they didn't know. As a result their directions would unerringly be incorrect however by some strange twist of the knife of fate these self same directions would unerringly end up depositing you in Llanacelligcwangorallicallywagagogogogogoichllanelliconwallag in Wales!
I shared a room in the university residences with a nice chap called Phil who was by birth, inclination and profession a "cheeky cockney" and for all of the first term I have no idea what he was saying. I just nodded, smiled and offered to buy drink which seemed to do the trick and we became firm friends although I still have no idea what "Stone Me Pink and twoddle me parsnips but this berk comes up with a boat like Abbyssina and I rogered him up the Old Kent road" means and I have a feeling the world is a better place for my ignorance.
Oh I feel a tangent coming on where did i put the ellipsis? Ah there it is ...
The world, it seems, is wandering off down the road to rack and ruin and the UK politicos at Westminster, the birth place of elective democracy and as such reffered to as the "MotherF****r of all Parliaments" (but only by the Irish) are plonking around waving their arms and making a lot of noise. Precious little else other than this verbal diarrhoea and certainly not anything that resembles sense, common or otherwise, is dribbling from the vaulted halls of democracy.
Gentle reader, lest you be misled, be assured the fact that the Politicians fall into the same logical set as chocolate fire guards does not surprise me. Democracy has since the time of Solon and Pericles in Athens been a semi official form of care in the community for those afflicted by the debilitating disorder of "wanting to be a politician" which has symptoms very similar to ASW except you will probably be asked to appear on Question Time more often than an average ASW afflictee would expect.
The epoch of Maggie T and Ronnie Raygun where Milton Friedman's economic brain farts defined the next 30 years has now ground ignominiously to a halt. I for one hope that the man who found it well nigh impossible to admit that markets could go wrong is at least blushing in his coffin. As an atheist I don't believe in an afterlife but on this occasion a nice warm corner of hell set aside for Friedman and his ilk would be useful to have. So I have contented myself by imagining a demon inserting ungreased sea lions up the self same nobel laureate's bum whilst being forced to listen to Coldplay in one ear and Celine Dion in the other.
On a side note the aforementioned sea lion stuffed economist visited Iceland in the autumn of 1984, met with prominent Icelanders and gave a lecture at the University of Iceland on the "Tyranny of the Status Quo" which made me dislike him from the start. I quite like Status Quo, they are far from Tyrants and only an ignorant oaf would make the mistake as you need to know 4 chords to be a tyrant and one of them needs to be a flattened 5th sustained!
Friedman participated in a lively television debate on August 31, 1984 with leading socialist intellectuals, including President Grimsson who got pissed off cos Friedman charged them for the appearance and then refused to buy his round at the bar. This aside he (Friedman) made a great impact on a group of young intellectuals in the Independence Party.
**Note** By intellectuals I actually mean "deluded twonks usually called Henry that were manifestly driven by greed, stupidity and porn" but this was the 1980's and I want to keep this sentence in character.
This group of self styled free market free thinkers including Davíð Oddsson who became Prime Minister in 1991 and promptly began a radical program of monetary and fiscal fiddling, privatization, tax rate reduction, definition of exclusive use rights in fisheries, abolition of various government funds for aiding unprofitable enterprises and liberalization of currency transfers and capital markets, and writing really really bad Eurovision song contest ditties. He remained Prime Minister for thirteen and a half years but never won a Eurovision)
The present Prime Minister, Geir H. Haarde was secretly cloned in a combined CIA and IMF plot from Oddsson's toe nail clippings and following in the footsteps of his forebear (footsteps, toenail clippings... geddit?... oh do keep up there are precious few jokes around today) He kept the economy trucking on in the same vein up to the point where it is today, and in case you missed the news Iceland is now totally F**ked! It is so FUBARed that the Sigur Ros song starálfur (staring elf) now makes sense and that takes SOME doing!
I bet these modern day vikings who steered the good ship Iceland are now wishing they had gone hunting Bjork pixies trolls instead of going to listen to Mr Friedman. BTW you are now able to buy Iceland (excluding Bjork) on eBay for the princely sum of £1.20 But be warned -this is a real rip off, I would given them no more than £0.75.
Given that Iceland is not that far geographically from Ireland and being a forward looking individual I have made a start practicing for the post-market-melt-down-world. I have :-
(a) started to learn Cantonese because the Chinese won my mortgage in a bet
(b) I have drawn up a list of "barter-able" stuff that I may have to use come the time when money ceases to be usable.
This list is of course useless unless someone wants to barter a chicken for 2 days of PHP programming (I would require at least 3 pork chops for any MySql!) I think thats fair but I have a feeling that the best I can hope for would be a couple of carrots and if I am lucky a small potatoe, I shudder to think what Java Dev folk will do!
Google last week brought in "Goggle specs" to stop you sending "unfortunate" emails when you are pished, drunk or otherwise incapacitated. Wonderful idea! Now can we do it for the USian election ? I am not a USian and to be honest I don't give a monkey's chuff who wins. It would appear that to be "leader of the free world" you need loads of $'s and have nice teeth. This oddly os the the way a friend of mine chose the eventual winner of The 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup, Denman an 8 year old out of Polly Puttens by Presenting and well worth a pound of anyones money at 7-6... i digress... The media is full of this election, you just can't escape it even in rural Ireland! Where was I? Oh yes "Goggle Specs" now if some smart chap could do the same for the election.. before you vote is cast you are asked a couple of questions and then it asks "You are you sure?", "Are you really really really sure?", "Well alright then but no coming complaining after the budget!" and so on, i think the world would perhaps be a better place.
Oh bugger! I didn't win the lottery sometimes I find that Saturdays just suck! Time for bed ...