Archive for March, 2008

Wouldn’t It Be Nayce

However, songs like Surfin’ USA, Surf City and Surfin’ Safari owe more to this part of the world than you probably thought.

In fairness, not much more than you probably thought, even if a large part of your life happens to be spent thinking about things in terms of how close their relation is to Northern Ireland. A son of a man from Ulster brought surfing to California from Hawaii. It had already existed in Hawaii, and there is nothing to indicate that there was any Ulster-specific factor, such as a diet of soda farls, that was decisive in the man’s decision to either promote the sport or move from Hawaii to California.

One of these days BBC Northern Ireland is going to run a report claiming that the gospels have a Northern Irish influence to them, after studies reveal that the man who built the cross was from Lisburn.


Post-leftism has its roots in the inter-war decades of the last century when the old left’s belief in a future socialist society first began to drain away. It grew, as the late Lionel Trilling put it, in the form of an “adversary culture” – a comprehensive opposition to “bourgeois” society ungrounded in a positive alternative. The post-left has radicalised this inchoate hostility until “Amerika” is the satanic principle in the world.

God knows what the hell this is all about, but I couldn’t help but noticing that the article claims Lionel Trilling, who has been dead for more than thirty years, said that post-leftism grew in the form of an “adversary culture”, even though the term itself (‘post-leftism’) was coined by contributors to a magazine which has only been on the go for three years. That’s visionary for you.

Confirmed – Plinky Plonky Pinky Porky

The severed finger was found a week later on top of the 8ft fence. An extensive search for the keen pianist’s missing finger was launched on O’Connell Street at the time.

That the initial story was reported and commented on even before the full facts had emerged is all too common in this digital age.

Woolly Mammals and Harp Lager: It´s Our Thing

Hilarious, sort of:

Blueprint series editor Paul McGuigan says: “We’re rolling 600 million years of Northern Ireland’s unique past into an exciting series across television, radio and online.”

Via Slugger O’Toole. Apparently the dinosaurs from both communities lived in peace and harmony.

I don’t know when it was that Northern Ireland began to seem to me like something really stupid and unnecessary. But since then, it’s started to seem even stupider (though I don’t see any state as particularly necessary).

Get Down

So Hillary Clinton didn’t get shot at by snipers, contrary to an earlier claim she had made. I don’t know about you, but when I get shot at, I tend not to forget about it. (In the interests of disclosure, I didn’t really get ‘shot at’ – I was just in the general path of some bullets fired completely indiscriminately. However, I would like to think that the experience was scary enough for me to be able to at least empathise somewhat with those who have encountered sniper fire.) Conversely, my recollections of the many occasions on which I didn’t get shot at have never been muddied by unbidden images of being shot at. Like the time I was doing my driving test, and the British Army didn’t shoot out the back windscreen of the car as I pulled back into the test centre. Or the time when I was running the world, or at least 3km for a Sport Aid fun run, and people didn’t run the last 500m extra quick because there wasn’t a sniper picking contestants off.

Teach Your Children

In Liga With Terrorists

And then there was this:

What about passengers that need medicines, dietary foods or baby food in liquid form?
The new EU aviation security regulations allow some exemptions to the restrictions. These include essential medicines and dietary requirements in liquid form, for example baby-food or food for people on special diets. Passengers are allowed to bring these items to the screening points in the quantities that they need during their trip.

However, as a safeguard, passengers may be required to demonstrate that the product is real medicine or special food, and not something less innocent.

For a product to be innocent, it needs to possess the potential for a conscience. But that is besides the point I was going to make, which is that this is one of the most mindless and ridiculous of security restrictions.

Suppose you’re a fanatical terrorist, hell-bent on causing destruction, and you want to blow up a plane. And you figure….security is tight on airplanes these days, they’re checking for explosives and everything. Maybe I could go looking for liquid bombs, even though they are practically impossible, and the most famous plot involving their use turned out to be a load of bollocks.

But let’s say you manage to get your hands on the material to make ‘liquid bombs’ and you decide you’re going to smuggle it onto a plane. Only problem is, you need more than 100ml for the ‘liquid explosives’ to have any real effect. So, instead of getting a few containers of less than 100ml, sticking your liquids in there and then buying a bigger bottle (a mineral water bottle would do) once you get into the shopping area at departures, you try and trick the security guards by even more wily means. You know that the weak-kneed clowns in worldwide airport security still have a modicum of compassion for babies, so -nasty terrrrrrist that you are- you decide to exploit their values, by sticking the liquid explosives into a baby’s bottle. Hah! A baby’s bottle – they’ll never think of looking there!

Let’s recap on what’s needed.

Basic Requirements for Blowing Up a Plane

  1. Liquid explosives
  2. Baby bottle
  3. Something that will make the liquid explosives look like baby milk
  4. Baby

Easy, yes? Unfortunately, it’ll probably have to be your own baby, since no-one else is likely to let you use theirs. And you would be doing very well to snatch someone else’s baby and their baby’s passport (unless, of course, you are able to get a forged passport for the other person’s baby) and manage to board a plane, without the parent noticing and calling the police.

OK, let’s assume you decide to use your own baby. (There are some sad dupes out there who think it extremely unlikely that a parent would use his or her baby in an airline bombing. Unfortunately we in the vigilant community know better) This is the sort of thing that requires a hell of a lot of practice. You need to be able to co-ordinate looking after a baby and building a bomb at the same time. You also need to make sure that the baby is well behaved, because that can interfere with your plans. And you need to get someone else to travel with you too, because it would look pretty strange for you to rush back and forth to the toilet and leave your baby sitting there looking out over Leixlip while you put together your liquid bomb (which doesn’t in fact work).

I think it is becoming clear that the prospects of this sort of thing working are quite slim. But what of the security measures meant to stop these fanatical baby-employing terrorists? Well, what is proposed is that the passenger demonstrate that the product is real food, i.e. they need to taste it.

I don’t know about you, but if I was planning on blowing up a plane, I wouldn’t have too much difficulty taking a slug of the baby-milk type substance, even if it was extremely disgusting and toxic, since I’d be blowing myself to smithereens anyway 45 minutes later. If I was going to blow up a plane, I could take a sip of whatever was going and not flinch. I’d have practised well in advance, by wolfing down Turkish Delight bars with a smile on my face. If it was really revolting, I’d go straight for the bogs and heave my guts up.

I’m not looking forward to Sunday, I tell you that.

(Note to any security personnel that might be reading this: I’m not looking forward to Sunday because I have to bring a baby through airport security – not because I am planning on blowing up a plane. Thanks.)

Gospel Truth

Seeing as it’s Good Friday, some gospel:


‘The industry inside us is vipers with fangs trying to bite us
Drug suppliers is the health care providers
We cakin’ makin’ narcotics outta household products
We ain’t workin’ out til we exorcise the demons that’s inside us
Plus they seem to just provide us with enough rope to hang ourselves
Enough dope to slang ourselves, enough toast to bang ourselves
It’s officially nigga season, these niggas is bleedin’
That’s why I’m spittin’ freedom, we had enough of trigger squeezin’’

I No HazZ Fun Funzz?

Sports Minister Edwin Poots has said that £42m of funding earmarked for Northern Ireland sport, culture and the arts is being diverted to London 2012.

Oh dear. Looks like fun in Northern Ireland has been subordinated to the greater glory of the British nation. Makes me wanna burn my ice hockey mask in anger.

Robots In Disguise

But recruiting is just part of the equation, and the phrase “a positive light” is even a little soft. At the movies, the military gets sold — at least in those legions of Pentagon-aided films — as heroic, admirable, and morally correct. Often, it can literally do no wrong. This, of course, is no accident. Something must be exchanged for the millions of dollars in otherwise unavailable high-tech weapons systems and equipment, not to speak of personnel and military advisors, necessary to make the sort of “realistic,” eye-catching war, action, and sci-fi movies that Hollywood (and assumedly its audiences) demand.Speaking about the big-budget, live-action blockbuster Transformers (2007), Ian Bryce, one of its producers, characterized the relationship this way, “Without the superb military support we’ve gotten… it would be an entirely different-looking film… Once you get Pentagon approval, you’ve created a win-win situation. We want to cooperate with the Pentagon to show them off in the most positive light, and the Pentagon likewise wants to give us the resources to be able to do that.”

The basic plot for Transformers goes something like this. Evil robots in the Middle East attack US military base, and good robots help the US to kick evil Middle Eastern robot ass. Christ, even Raza, for which Spanish dictator Francisco Franco wrote the script, was more subtle than that.

Speaking of which:

A real barrel of laughs. In fairness, it could have been livened up with a few kick-ass robots.

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March 2008