Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Tuesday 03/02/09

There were reports yesterday that a Taliban suicide bomber had killed 21 policemen in a police station in Afghanistan. The Afghan authorities stated that the dead policemen had been ‘martyred’, which is an intriguing use of terminology that puts the authorities on the moral high-ground and reclaims a word loaded with connotations of moral rectitude and that, till now, has been almost exclusively associated with terrorists. Perhaps Muslim clerics should follow up the Afghan authorities’ tactic with some PR on how suicide bombers are not in fact adhering to the principles of Islam and can in no way be called martyrs or even Muslims, being barred forever from entry to their heaven by their indiscriminate actions. Our news media should perhaps also follow suit and also refer to all innocent Muslims who have succumbed to suicide bombings as ‘martyrs’.

While on the subject of the power of words, there’s a young people’s Christian organisation called the Urban Saints. They used to be known as The Crusaders but changed their name relatively recently out of respect for Muslims, for whom the crusades were a bloody episode of history that is best forgotten (despite them having won). That said, there’s a delicious irony in the choice of name in that the Pope who preached the 1st Crusade in 1095 was called Urban II. I wonder whether the choice of name was intentional.

Back to more anarchic matters:

Following on from yesterday’s post about Carol Vorderman heading Cameroon’s maths task force, I’m wondering what bit of lunacy he’ll come up with next in pursuit of the popular vote. Here are some Curriculum Task Forces and suggested popular leaders:

English Language – Liam Gallagher,
English Literature – George W Bush,

Note: the above two can occasionally effin’ swaperificate - like.

Physics – Pope Benedict MLCCXXXVIII,
Chemistry – Amy Winehouse (also doubling up for Cookery),
History – David Irving,
Modern Foreign languages – anyone from Liverpool,
Music – Lisa Simpson with Pete Doherty as backup,
Geography – Jade Goody,
Art & Design – Shane MacGowan,
Information & Communications Technology – Jimmy Knapp,
Citizenship – Any Tory tax exile.

Cars, lorries, buses and trains are disrupted by ‘severe weather’. Bloody hell – the temperature hasn’t dropped below -2 degrees, for God’s sake! In Canada they have to plug their cars into electricity supplies overnight so they don’t freeze solid in temperatures of -20 and yet still they manage to function as a society and everyone gets to work. What is it about our weather or organisational capabilities that makes everything grind to a halt, even when we have several days notice? The media has been full of reports of ‘arctic conditions’ – the arctic is a bloody sight colder than -2C.

I wonder how many company bosses will analyse which departments that have not been able to get into work due to the weather have had the least effect on the smooth operation of the business and use the data to selectively cull them? HR (remember, we used to call them ‘personnel’); now there’s a prime example of a department that could easily stay at home for a few weeks with no ill effect on company efficiency. In fact, no-one would probably notice their total absence. I’d suggest that the HR department could function perfectly well staffed by part-timers working say 1 week in 4.

US Super Bowl fans in Arizona got a surprise when their TV coverage was interrupted by a pornographic film. According to reports, the clip showed a woman unzipping a man's trousers, followed by ‘a graphic act between the two’. What’s wrong with that? Didn’t Rolf Harris make a whole career from a graphic act?

Drunken sailors have been removed from the lyrics of a famous sea shanty by the government-funded Bookstart project, which encourages parents to read with their young children. The original version of What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor includes, "Shave his belly with a rusty razor", “Slap him around and call him Suzie”, “Give 'im a taste of the bosun's rope-end”, "Stick him in a bag and beat him senseless" and "Put him in the hold with the captain's daughter". These innocuous and enjoyable maritime activities have been replaced with sadistic and twisted tortures like, “Tickle him till he starts to giggle”. Bookstart has dismissed accusations that this is a politically-correct attempt to avoid the alcohol references, saying that it was a case of re-cycling a familiar tune for reading events that were based on a pirate theme.

Alcoholic sailor, part-time blogger and Sean Connery impersonator, Chairman Bill, commented: “I find thish totally unacsheptable. Drunken shailors are now being treated like pariahs and shacrificed on the altar of political correctnesh.” A few bottles of whiskey later he added: “To be brudally honesht, Wha Sha We Zu Wi Th Drunken (hic) Ssssailor was never a nurshery rhyme. It wass a rhythmic shipboard shong that was shung when hawshers and halyards were being pulled in unison.” He then promptly threw up in the scuppers.

Did you know that according to Endsleigh Insurance, Hull is the best city in which to own a car if you want it nicked, while Swindon is the worst. Could it be because there are no cars worth nicking in Swindon.


  1. I think it's because all the people in Swindon have popped out to some far flung place to buy something, anytime I've been through there it's been closed.

  2. Rolf Harris, a graphic act - Never!

    I'm with you on Drunken Sailor(s) - I was brought up on that tune, and am none the worse for it - Mind you, I don't think my parents knew all the verses, a bit like - 'The boy stood on the burning deck...'

    Great post, sir re Cameroon's cabinet planning! Maybe Dubya could write his speechifications too?