Archive for November, 2005

A prolonged sling of the hook

I’m entering a period of enforced exile from blogging, beginning immediately. The reason is that I’m getting addicted to farting about with my own blog and reading those of others is becoming an overwhelming distraction to my main concern of earning a daily crust. So I’m taking at least two weeks off. In the unlikely event that you should you feel disappointed, I would ask you to Blame The Man. Hasta la próxima.

Tendentious Theology

So what’s the difference between ‘tendency’ and ‘orientation’ then? Well, I imagine that to have ‘a tendency’ implies that we all have a primary, perhaps ‘natural’ state, but the very fact of this means you can tend, to a lesser or greater extent – towards something else. Orientation, on the other hand, presuppose that sexuality is a matter of a ‘path’ you have been pre-destined to travel. In the Vatican’s view, then, terms of being ‘half-rice half-chips’ or ‘swinging both ways’ are false by definition.

As the Vatican recognises homosexuality as a ‘tendency’ to be overcome, it can be sure that its recruits to the priesthood in years to come will contain an even higher proportion of repressed homosexuals than before. As most people these days know, it’s very hard to stop thinking of pink elephants.

Arms Deal

Spain and Venezuela have signed an arms deal. Despite apparent rumblings of discontent, the United States is unlikely to be too bothered. Post-Iraq, Zapatero’s government has no material interest in damaging relations further with the US, and probably sees itself as a sort of interlocutor between the United States and Latin American countries. To my mind, it seems fanciful to think that this is part of a strategy to create a counterweight to US power.

The sale of arms to Venezuela allows Spain to expand its influence in the region. For them, the fact that the arms are being sold to Hugo Chavez is probably not that important either, given the magnitude of the deal. There is some talk that the sale of arms to Venezuela will put the skids on the sale of 40 planes, in a bigger deal, to the United States. The Spanish government either knows that this is not going to happen, or that its material interests are best served by greater influence in its former colonies. For the latter, such influence would depend, to a large extent, on useful relations with the United States.

Interview

The Through-the-keyhole style interview Suzanne Breen conducts with Eileen Paisley here is certainly a bit of an eye-opener. So Ian has two cats called Byron and Shelley. One might be tempted to cast him as the brooding Romantic type, but I reckon it’s because Rhonda’s a fan of Natasha Bedingfield.

UnTrained Melody

So what should I do about the bull-headed guy who gets onto the same carriage as me every morning and blasts hard-ish rock so loudly out of his iPod earphones that the whole carriage can hear it? This morning I could hear, quite clearly, the bassline of Cowboy Song by Thin Lizzy as I attempted to make my way through the first chapters of The Human Stain. I would be tempted to bellow SHAAME!! at him, but I fear it might cause a scene. And no-one else seems inclined to do anything about it.

His wife, who always accompanies him, doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, she seems quite happy for him. I think I saw her nod her head ever so slightly to Sweet Child O’ Mine.

Assassination Attempts

I watched The Assassination of Richard Nixon last night. The film, that is, not his actual assassination, which never really happened.

(Interlude – I received a ’30 facts about Chuck Norris’ e-mail this morning, and one of them read thus:
‘Chuck Norris built a time machine and went back in time to stop the JFK assassination. As Oswald shot, chuck met all 3 bullets with his beard, deflecting them. JFK’s head exploded out of sheer amazement.’)

Definitely not the sort of film you want to be watching on a Sunday evening if you’re dreading going back into work on Monday morning, but Sean Penn puts in a cracking performance as a confused loser.

Marine Observation Post

Sunday evening TV reached a new low last night, even lower than UTV School Choir of The Year, with the broadcast of nude British marines wrestling. It was like a Ken Russell-directed dream sequence from a DH Lawrence adaptation, but heavily influenced by that nudists-prepare-Danish bacon advert from a few years back.

What is surprising is how many people seem to be genuinely surprised. I for one would have imagined that this sort of thing went on quite a lot. The old joke about separating the men from the boys (with a crowbar) sprung to mind.


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