Archive for July, 2009

21
Jul
09

Just a couple of Youtube vids

I stumbled across these during the week and really liked them, so for no real reason other than that I’m posting them here.

This one’s not so much funny as scary. Seriously, it’s the kind of thing Sam Raimi would be proud of.

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16
Jul
09

An Bord Snip Nua: or how did it come to this?

Today was D-Day, at least in TV3’s words. An Bord Snip Nua (which is surely the worst quango name ever) published its report. And it isn’t easy reading.

So, what happens now? Obviously nothing happens just yet. Can’t let a recession ruin the government’s holidays (the cynic in me is wondering if the timing of this thing was deliberate, as it seems to take a lot of pressure off the government). Still, they’ll soon be reading this thing like it’s the menu in the Dáil bar, deciding who among us should be screwed over the most.

Personally, despite how necessary everyone is saying these cuts are, I don’t see the government taking on much action on them. They don’t have the nerve. Despite the notion that they’re unpopular because of the tough decisions they’re having to make, not many of the decisions they’ve made were really that tough. The pension levy was a soft option. The wider electorate had little sympathy with the affected civil servants. Nama aside, the only one that counts is the medical card for OAPs and we saw what happened there.

Now it’s time to step up and take the toughest decision any government has ever had to face, and I’m not talking about anything in the report. If they want to succeed in selling this bloody thing to us, first they need to come out and admit: “Yeah, we fucked the whole thing up, and how.”

The mealy mouth admissions offered so far don’t cut it. Cowen has already said he would have done some things differently had he know the way things would turn out, but it’s deeper than that. The financial black hole that these guys have created would be impressive in a normal-sized country. For a nation of four million it’s scarcely believable. And no banker or greedy developer can be blamed for this. It’s governments alone that squanders taxes. Likewise references to the global recession ring hollow. No developed nation, with the exception of Iceland and the likes, is facing what we’re facing.

And you know what, despite spending the money, the services they spent it on didn’t improve all that much. Kids are still being taught in prefabs (prefabs that have ended up costing the state more than building proper classrooms would have). Universities and the ITs are still under-funded, which is weird considering our emerging reliance on being a “knowledge economy”. And our health service is not even worth discussing.

If the current government is to survive (and believe it or not, I want them to) and push through these cuts, they need to start by being honest with us. I’m not talking about an apology (though I suppose this is inherent), and I’d rather not go down the road of individual lynchings (reading the report, it’s clear McCreevy, Ahern and Cowen share some personal responsibility). Just open up and admit you blew it, and we’ll figure out where we go from there.

09
Jul
09

Political correctness gone mad or basic syntax (and sandwiches)

Do you know what pisses me right off? People who complain about political-correctness gone mad. Now I’m not saying folks don’t get overly sensitive every so often, but it seems that the people most annoyed by this are usually the ones who necessitated the onset of political-correctness to begin with.

I mention this as I caught a wee bit of Newstalk yesterday, finding that someone (in all honesty I can’t remember who it was) was filling in for Sean Moncrieff. This lad was doing an interview with an American soldier type who’s campaigning against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (the ruling whereby openly gay people can’t serve in the military). Somebody texted the show to complain about the repeated use of the word “gays” by the presenter. Rather indignantly, the he dismissed the comment by deliberately saying it again.

The trouble is, the texter was right. “Gays” is not merely offensive to whiney types, it’s also grammatically incorrect. “Gay” is an adjective, a description word. Its purpose is to qualify or modify nouns. To use an adjective as a noun is, therefore, in inherently subjective, and to describe people as such (gays, blacks, pakis, etc) immediately assumes them to be different from the norm somehow. That’s not PC sensitivity. That’s how grammar works.

I’m not saying this guy is a homophobe, and to be fair he’s not alone in this. Sky News regularly describes gay people as “gays”. My own opinion is that this started with Little Britain. I can understand the confusion, but I do think there should be some rule set up to prevent people who don’t get irony access to the airwaves.

This aside, you know what else pisses me off? Specialty shops that sell items not within their specialty. If I wanted a panini for lunch I wouldn’t have gone to a place called “The Bagel Bar” to get it.

08
Jul
09

Adopt a graduate

My cousin’s husband, who lost his job earlier in the year, has just found himself another one. Apparently this new job bores him to tears, but fuck it, at least they can now go about paying the mortgage.

I’m genuinely relieved for them. Still, I can’t help but wonder why he was successful whereas I can’t even get an interview. Experience is the obvious answer. He’s been working for a couple years now and I’m just out of college. Also, he’s probably not been as lazy about finding employment.

College Humor has pretty well summed this up here. Not that I’m saying I need someone to adopt me. Not yet anyways!

By the way, sorry about the lack of updates lately. I’ve been distracted by several new activities, including time travel as it happens.

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I’ve never wanted to do 88 mph so much in my life.