Heh, I’m not talking about my experiences here by the way, just in case you thought I was getting all personal.
I’m doing an interview with Sathnam Sanghera about his just-published book, which I’m reading right now. It’s quite good actually, in a therapeutic sort of way. This is one of the questions I asked him:
Did the book help you get your head around dating women in general?
I mean sooner or later someone was going to have to square up the fact that you had a bunch of nutters going around saying 9/11 was a conspiracy, and another bunch of nutters going around saying that 9/11 was their show of force against America’s military might. Can Osama Bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad get into the boxing ring please?
Not content with making our laws, beating us at football and stealing our fish, the EU has decided to harmonise the smell of Europe and Britain:
“A foul smell hanging over southern England is being blamed on easterly winds bringing either farming or industrial smells across the Channel. Labelled “Euro-whiff” by the Met Office, the source of the smell – alternately described as sulphur and manure – is under investigation.”
Nor is there any real surprise where it came from:
“Helen Chivers of the Met Office said the origin of the smell had been narrowed down to the area of Europe roughly bordered by Holland, Germany and Belgium.”
Attempts to stop Mumbai’s drivers honking their horns on World Health Day (?) have failed:
“The initiative, organised by Mumbai’s traffic police, is an attempt to educate the city’s 1.5 million drivers to be more considerate while driving. Organisers say drivers using their horn indiscriminately will be punished. But despite those measures, commuters who were looking for a silent ride would have been disappointed as honking levels were not noticeably reduced.
Many say that is because driving in Mumbai without honking is next to impossible. It is one of the only ways to ensure that drivers do not run over pedestrians, and it helps prevent many accidents. It is the first time the people of Mumbai are being asked not to honk.”
Unlike in this country, people do not honk their horn when angry. They just do it out of habit, and to alert pedestrians (who saunter across roads). It will be interesting to see what happens when the Olympic torch tries to make its way through New Delhi.
An upcoming film in the US by Mike Myers called The Love Guru may end up annoying some Hindus, says CNN.
Myers’ character is an amalgamation of Eastern-style spiritual movements, never making reference to any particular religion. And yet the Guru Pitka — billed as “the second best guru in India” — draws a distinct picture.
He wears long hair, a long beard and a flowing caftan. “Prepare to get your enlightenment freak on,” Pitka tells visitors to his MySpace page, where he blends real information — such as the Sanskrit origins of the word “guru” — with silliness, including impossible yoga poses that would require elastic limbs. He plays sappy pop songs on the sitar. His mantra is “Mariska Hargitay.”
The Dutch politician/demagogue Geert Wilders has released an anti-Islam film or something called Fitna. After hyping it for so long as the event to generate a clash of civilisations, I’m rather disappointed that the whole thing is such a damp squib and, to boot, boring as fuck. I mean really – you can fall asleep watching that shit.
Unsurprisingly, the usual idiots are getting into a frenzy. OMG, the website which originally hosted it had to take it down!!!!!!!!!!!! Erm, its all over YouTube or Google Video if you want boys, that ‘censorship’ stuff looks like a PR stunt. Some people really have boring lives.
But here’s two points to consider. First, Wilders himself isn’t really as liberal as he claims to be because he wants Islam the religion itself to be banned from the Netherlands. Yes, only a complete bunch of dimwits would proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder against censorship with an idiot politician who wants… erm.. censorship.
Second, guess who else loves the film? Omar Bakri! Yes! “On the contrary, if we leave out the first images and the sound of the page being torn, it could be a film by the [Islamist] Mujahideen,” he told the FT. Another journalist I spoke to yesterday said he actively praised it because he said it was much better quality than what the mujahadeen were producing it, but with the same message.
It’s not surprising if you think about it. Both Omar Bakri and the Melanie Phillips/Geert Wilders types think the ‘clash of civilisation’ is nearly upon us and went it to arrive asap. All of them are also united in wanting Muslims to become/look like nutcases. In other words, Omar Bakri and Melanie Phillips both appreciate it because it fits in nicely with their agendas. What better illustration that they’re all nutcases? They all deserve each other.
TOTAL POLITICS MAGAZINE
That this House notes the impending launch of a purportedly politically neutral magazine called Total Politics; notes that it is fronted by Iain Dale, a failed Conservative parliamentary candidate; further notes that it is being run from Lord Ashcroft’s address in Cowley Street and that it is fronted by Lord Ashcroft; and calls upon hon. and right hon. Members to reject the free copies which will be sent to them in the near future.
The BBC, not content with giving Nick Griffin an easy ride on Newsnight, have now failed to censure notorious racist Basil Brush:
“An episode of TV programme The Basil Brush Show is being investigated after police received a complaint of racism. A member of the public reported a scene which showed a Gypsy woman trying to sell Basil Brush heather and pegs.
The episode of the children’s puppet programme was a repeat and was broadcast on digital channel CBBC. Northamptonshire police confirmed they had received a complaint about a TV show featuring Basil Brush from a member of the public in February. “The complaint was logged as an incident of a racist nature and our Hate Crimes Unit is investigating,” a Northamptonshire Police spokesman said.”
Northampton police sources revealed that they would have pursued Brush sooner had it not been for his powerful friends in the Labour party. Brush is believed to have been one of the key figures behind the Hunting Act, and as such has widespread support amongst the governing party. Police also want to hold the TV fox for twenty eight days, on the grounds that his catchphrase “boom boom!” is incitement to terrorism.
It’s Friday afternoon political joke time people! Thanks to Sarah for sending me this.
It was the first day of a school in USA and a new Indian student named Chandrasekhar Subramanian entered the fourth grade. The teacher said, ‘Let’s begin by reviewing some American History. Who said ‘Give me Liberty, or give me Death’?
She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrasekhar, who had his hand up: ‘Patrick Henry, 1775′ he said.
LOLcat, if you don’t know, has become a popular internet phenomena where pictures of cats are given speech bubbles with funny messages in pidgin English. Sometimes, pictures of cats are super-imposed on random pictures too. See: Icanhascheezburger
I have a new suggestion. LOL-blair. In this game we find pictures of Tony Blair from his latest new and exciting plan to change the world, write funny captions, and then speculate on what he’s going on move on to next.
Here’s the latest in this saga. First he wanted to bring peace to the Middle East. We’re all aware what a great success that has been. Then he wanted to become president of the European Union, until Angela Merkel shot down that plan.
Now, it looks like he is going to sort out our global warming problem. This surely is evidence that we are all doomed and the environment is going to degrade faster than relations between Israel and Hamas.
Once again – best caption, preferably in pidgin English – wins a prize. This time I’ll actually mail you a book.
When I first saw V for Vendetta I was not overly impressed, but enjoyed the dark prediction of where London and the UK are heading. Perhaps we’re one step closer. I’m sure many of you have seen the asinine Met Police campaign that suggested we are too stupid to make common sense decisions about people with cameras and that somehow the Police are effective on acting upon tips. I love the fact that one poster alerts you to the dangers of people with more than one mobile phone. I might have to report every single Gujurati I know.
Public speaking is one of the biggest fears we have as Britons. I’m unfortunately part of that scared majority. That hasn’t stopped me though because practice makes perfect as someone stupidly said. Anyway, this week I have to give a 45 min speech at Open University on ‘Religion, integration and political participation’, and on Saturday I have to give a talk at the annual NUJ Black Members Conference on diversity in the media. Oh jesus. Any tips? Ideas? Isn’t the wisdom of crowds supposed to generate results?
Saying that though, the last time I asked ideas about ‘changing the world’ at the Fabian conference, all you folks came up with was some idealistic airy-fairy ideas! (Yes, I’m looking at you Desi Italiana).
First he tried to become a peace ambassador for the Middle East. That failed. Then he started trying for the EU presidency. That is facing stiff resistance. It looks like his latest plan of action is to bring peace and harmony to the UK by visiting ‘the ethnics’. This is a picture at Southall’s Gurdwara. I’m perplexed as to why he didn’t cover his head though, as tradition demands.
An experienced Scotsman of Calvinist stock arrives to take over the rule of England. Worried by grumbling both north and south of the border, he spends his first few years as ruler talking obsessively about the need for a ‘Great Britain’. Yet he cannot win over the malcontents, and eventually abandons his rhetoric. Some Scots fear that he has become too Anglicized to rule over them, while the English complain about a group of Scottish advisers surrounding his person. They are also unhappy at the money spent on the Scots, to the detriment of the English. Such financial profligacy only makes matters worse in an era of increasing inflation, and government debt begins to spiral out of control. In the country at large, religious extremists, some of whom have received training abroad, target this ruler, and attempt to blow him up. Peerages are sold freely, in order to raise money for this leader. Trade with India grows. The Church of England is in trouble, and the archbishop is very unpopular with some members of the Church. A previous time when a particular female ruled is looked on as a golden age by some.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 13 February 2008 15:57
Subject: Response Source – Diana Appleyard , Daily Mail
PUBLICATION: Daily Mail (Request for personal case study)
JOURNALIST: Diana Appleyard (staff)
DEADLINE: 14-February-2008 16:00
QUERY: I am urgently looking for anonymous horror stories of people who have employed Eastern European staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear, or have lied about their resident status. We can pay you Â£100 for taking part, and I promise it will be anonymous, just a quick phone call. Could you email me asap? Many thanks, Diana
HOW TO REPLY:
Phone: not provided for use
Fax: 01296 738083 (preferred)
You have to love the Daily Mail right? Please please snitch on some Eastern European person for a bit of cash and we’ll turn it into a horror story about how they are destroying British society. This has nothing to do with the long-running line of bullshit we print about them and Muslims ever day. PS: We absolutely reject the idea that running daily scare-mongering stories like this, which our editor forces us to do, leads to increased racism. PPS: No, we don’t do this for every immigrant group that comes here either. Just the ones we hate. Which is all of them.
Why not email Diana, concoct a story, and send her on a wild goose chase? Is that immoral? Sure, but not worse than this. The other thing is, I wonder if the National Union of Journalists can be persuaded to strike her off the register for such unethical journalism.
Rumbold adds: The funniest and most outlandish tall tale will be sent off to Diane Appleyard. Entries like ‘immigrant stole my money so he could change it into Euros and then put it back in the till’ are the sort of thing we are looking for. Oh wait, the deadline has passed. The winning entry will be sent the next time this sort of e-mail comes round then.
Since Clairwil has gone a bit awol, I’m going to cheekily hijack her slot and post the weekend thread. This is principally because I wanted to post this track by British-Bengali singer Bishi, who’s album has just come out. I haven’t heard it, and neither do I know her, but I absolutely love this track – Never seen your face.
This is the first time we’ve featured a Bengali singer on this blog I think. Rohin should be overjoyed. Punjabis still rule though, of course. So… what’s going on this freezing weekend readers?
Okay, I made the last one up. But the rest are accurate stereotypes of aspects of UK-born Indian life amongst ‘the yoof’ crowd, both within the community and rest of the British population’s notions of Indian culture.
“British Asian” culture is an interesting phenomenon, even though it has somewhat splintered during the past few years, due in part to certain local and global events (I’m sure I don’t need to go into any details here).
This is a purely subjective and anecdotal opinion, but I think that matters really began taking off from the early 90s onwards, as the UK-born contingent came of age and began to make its presence felt.
Boris Johnson, Tory candidate for London Mayor, has hired a stand up comedian to help him with his lines:
Boris Johnson has hired an open-spot stand-up to help write his speeches during his bid to become London major. The Henley-on-Thames MP has recruited Oxford-based Tom Greeves, who describes himself as a â€˜lifter of weights, a Conservative and a British Americanophileâ€™, to work on his lines.
Greeves, who took part in the Free Fringe show If Not Comedians at Edinburgh last year, has been described as having â€˜a scarily convincing ability to impersonate a nutterâ€™ and an â€˜in-yer-face PC-bashing styleâ€™. [Via The UK Comedy Guide]
Is he having a laugh? Londoners need policies not punch lines from our Mayoral candidates!
When many in the West hear the word fatwa, their minds immediately turn to the infamous one issued against Salman Rushdie. The very word conjures up dark images, but in fact a fatwa is simply a ruling by a mufti on a particular subject, which can range from the important (marriage), to the mundane (types of shoes). Thankfully, some fatwas come along to help put the word in a less scary light:
“A Bollywood actor has had a fatwa issued against him for allowing Madame Tussaud’s in London to make his image in wax. Salman Khan, star of more than 50 movies, unveiled the statue himself last week and described it as an honour. Most Indians would agree, but Mufti Salim Ahmad Qasmi, a Muslim cleric in India, said the statue is illegal according to the Sharia, which forbids depictions of all living creatures, Mohammed in particular.
Like, frankly, I couldn’t give a crap about the coverage of Princess Diana and her death yada yada. She died ten years ago, move on people! BUT, I was amused to read yesterday that she was kind of in love with a Muslim heart surgeon from Pakistan. Brilliant, I thought. I wonder what the Daily Express would make of it since the newspaper has essentially become one long obituary of Di over the last ten years.
How surprising that I find this on their website: “Princess Diana was branded a ‘whore’ by her mother for dating Muslim men, her inquest heard yesterday.”
Uh oh. Has the Daily Express suddenly lost interest in their beloved?
Wow, I survived my first working week of 2008, amazing! Itâ€™s been a long week after such an excellent break but itâ€™s good to be back. Stealing Clairwilâ€™s thunder this is the weekend thread; all manner of fun, idiotic, silly and distracting things can be talked about here but NO POLITICS!.
What are you up to, still counting the cost of the Xmas spending spree or are you detoxing all the munching and drinking you did?
As is tradition [and being a gamer] hereâ€™s a YouTube that just blows me away: