June 30, 2003

Guardian News

From cerebrally-deranged Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell:

Despite the gun lunacy, the poverty, the crime, the lack of public healthcare, [America] must be one of the safest places on earth to live.

And conversely, because of the no-gun lunacy, the politically-rigged definition of poverty, the 60%-higher-than-America crime rate and the dogged devotion to a creaking and structurally unsound public healthcare system, Britain is one of the least safest places on earth to live. Perhaps US customs at JFK should have confiscated Bell's prejudices instead of his shoes.

Three freaks. That's how the Briffmeister puts it. What a way with words that boy has.

Hubble: "During my gap year I spent time on a kibbutz in Israel. Seeing the oppression of the Palestinian people at first-hand was a wake-up call for me about the evils of American imperialism. I went on to study philosophy at the University of North London and reading Marx made me realise how a capitalist economic system exacerbates social injustice. I became a committed socialist."

Bubble: "I want to protect my children from this society and bring them up in a strict Islamic environment so that it becomes a complete way of life for them. I don't think they will reject it but if they did I would be devastated because they would end up in hellfire for the hereafter."

Toil 'n Trouble: "Being in The Family has made Simon and I very close. We have the same goals, purpose and love of Jesus. In the right circumstances sex with someone outside the marriage can be a positive loving act. It's not something that we actively practise any more. But if a female member of The Family needed love and Simon felt he could, in good faith, give her love then I would allow him to sleep with her."

Three mentally cloistered individuals. Like watching a three-way motorway pile-up in slow motion. Thank God I brought the Pringles.

Dear Hubble,

I'm afraid you appear to be a living embodiment of the notion that a little education is a dangerous thing. Speaking as someone who has himself studied philosophy at university, I can categorically state that allowing one's political views to be formed in such a hermetic and abstract milieu is not big and definitely not clever. Hopefully, when you are able to get out more, you'll see the error of your ways.

Yours, etc.

Dear Bubble,

The solution to your problem can be found approximately 3000 miles ESE of here, a place you may have heard of called the Islamic Republic of Iran. Or, if that is too far, and you desire free healthcare and no taxes, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is somewhat closer. As the saying goes: 'He who wishes to climb mountains does not live in Belgium.'

Yours, etc.

Dear Toil 'n Trouble,

Did Jesus teach you euphemism? He taught so many things it's hard to keep track of them all. I never attended Sunday school, but I'm fairly certain that, theologically-speaking, therapeutic fucking does not count as 'love.' That part must be in one of the Gnostic Gospels of the King James Bible :-).

Yours, etc.

June 13, 2003

Different types of government

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

MILITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate".

BRITISH DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You feed them sheeps' brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows..

ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

HONG KONG CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly - listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother - in - law at the bank, then execute a debt / equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the fung shiu is bad.

ENVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.

FEMINISM: You have two cows. They get married and adopt a veal calf.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

COUNTER CULTURE: Wow, dude, there's like... these two cows, man. You got to have some of this milk.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

LIBERTARIANISM: You have two cows. One has actually read the constitution, believes in it, and has some really good ideas about government. The cow runs for office, and while most people agree that the cow is the best candidate, nobody except the other cow votes for her because they think it would be "throwing their vote away."

June 01, 2003

The Bush Tragedy

President Bush was visiting a primary school. One of the classes was in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meaning. The teacher asked the president if he would like to lead the discussion of the word "tragedy." So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a tragedy.

Little Jimmy stood up and offered, "If my best friend, Johnny, who lives on a farm, were playing in the field and a tractor ran him over and killed him, that would be a tragedy."

"No," said Bush, "that would be an accident."

Little Suzie raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not." explained the president. "That's what we would call a great loss."

The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Bush searched the room.

"Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of tragedy?"

Finally at the back of the room little Johnny raised his hand. In a quiet voice he said: "If Air Force One carrying Mr. and Mrs. Bush was struck by a "friendly fire" missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy."

"That's right!" exclaimed Bush. "Can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"

"Well," says little Johnny, "it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."