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.


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.

For Shame

No doubt in a characteristically selfless act to compensate the British nation for the loss of George Best, the last few days have seen the re-emergene of another loveable rogue and sporting genius. Max Hastings wonders why Jeffrey Archer and his ilk can inspire such forgiving loyalty:

You ask: “What about forgiveness?” This, surely, can only follow contrition. Archer is devoid of shame or regret, except about getting found out. He still claims to be a wronged man. Likewise, Jonathan Aitken proposed himself for a return to parliament.

he explains:

This is the age of chutzpah, in which shamelessness will get you anywhere.

What needs to be revived, I think, is the old tradition of bellowing SHAAAME!! at people whose behaviour leaves a lot to be desired, whatever the circumstances. I have always found it works a treat, and leaves the target uneasy and redfaced.

Next time you get splattered against the doors of a train by icily impassive commuters with the manners of a buffalo, be sure to let fly with a sonorous SHAAAME!!, with plenty of bass, and watch the bastards shrivel up and die.

Set Adrift

As the Irish blogosphere is getting a bit crowded these days, I’m planning to re-flag this weblog at Then I’m gonna register my house as a ship. You seen how much it costs to hire a cleaner these days?

Bring Me The Head of a Eurabian Polygamist Rapper

We can now scratch rap music from the list of possible foreign causes for the French riots, according to M. De Villepin.

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November 2005