Apologies for my absence. To summarise my excuses involves a broken mouse and guerrilla gardening. Oh I thought I was cock of the walk with my wireless mouse but I wasn’t I was a fool. Honestly I might as well have traded a cow for some magic beans for all the good the bloody thing did me. I’m on a Tesco Value mouse this evening let’s pray it lasts
I like a theme for an open thread but I must admit I’m struggling this evening. I have a mind full of stagestruck jesters and feathers these days. To that end I have decided to rummage in the tin of time honoured themes for stuff and have as luck would have it pulled out the seven deadly; sins lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. All the lads are there!
However this week I’d like a bit of lust, I suspect last weekends outbreak of passion in the Clairwil household may be to blame. Still our friend comedy will not leave the room so to keep him happy I’d like tales of lust fuelled catastrophes, sex related urban myths and an amusing celebration of spending adulthood chained to a lunatic.
Don’t be shy, confess your sins and shame the devil.
Failing that let’s have your plans for the weekend but keep your mad politics off my thread or I’ll bite you.
It strikes me that there hasn’t been nearly enough in the way of jolity of late. If it’s not war, it’s the economy, if the police haven’t been misbehaving then some politician has and it’s all a bit depressing. So instead I propose we take a day off from worrying about interest rates and carnage and act the giddy goat.
I spent the morning doing a spot of solo guerrilla gardening and thinking up cruel and unusual punishments for folk who drop litter on my tulips. Having attempted to civilise the community with lupins I am now exhausted and intend to take to the couch strirring only to hoot at Eastenders, swish around the internet and make a spot of tea. Do drop into the comments box and say hello.
All the usual open thread stupidity and trivia is welcome. Kindly keep your serious points for the clever clogs threads. I will be ruthless in expelling boffins and moaners from this thread. Have you found anything funny on the internet? Read any good books lately? Have you taken an illegal nibble of your easter egg before Sunday? If so I hope you’ll still feel it was worth it when you’re roasting on the hob of hell!
Burmese state radio states the official death toll of last weekend’s Cylcone Nargis to be 22,980 with over 40,000 missing and thousands injured. If this data is not devastating enough, fears are now growing that the figure might be as high as 100,000 deaths. According to the UN, more than 1 million people are currently without shelter. For millions, the struggle now is for survival. The real risk now is the outbreak of acute diarhhoea, malaria or even cholera.
Karl Rove has written an homage to John McCain in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal. As far as the election goes, Rove and the GOP frontrunner can now be said to be in a sweet and tender embrace.
This is despite the fact that Rove was reportedly one of the team behind a vicious smear campaign to discredit McCain before the South Carolina primaries eight years ago. There, someone involved with the Bush campaign instigated a series of telephone calls in which Republican voters were asked whether they would be more or less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he’d “fathered an illegitimate black child”.
Nothing political for once, but this video, which I saw last night, is amazing. Brain surgeon Dr Jill Bolte Taylor initially talks about how our brain works. But then she explains what happens when she suffers a stroke. Suddenly she’s evaluating her own brain while she’s going through her stroke and eventually thinks she reached a higher state of conciousness. “Nirvana”, is her exact word.
I’ve always been interested in how to get to a higher state of conciousness. What she says, essentially, is that our right side of the brain works more in a way that relates to energy around us, while the left side of the brain brings us back down to earth and is more methodical in the way it works. If it were possible to stimulate the right side further, she thinks we would all be able to reach that higher state.
From a theological point, her view of the world being full of energy and us being part of that energy is very much how basic Hinduism and Buddhism see the world. In a way, what she’s also saying is that all those “visions” and feelings that religious people have, is simply a result of brain stimulation. via Feministing.
Salam ‘aleikum Asim Siddiqui, I agree with you completely:
The Islamic movements dominated Muslim political discourse in the 20th century. Political models coming from the west, such as representative democracy and accountable governments, were at best seen as tools to achieve an Islamic theocracy or at worst dismissed as unIslamic. Meanwhile monarchies, dictatorships and tyranny were able to thrive in the name of Islam. Much of the last 100 years has been spent politicising Islam rather than working for a just polity: the rule of law, equal citizenship and democratically accountable governments. The 21st century will see Islamist ideas dismantled by Muslims and western political models incorporated.
I am going to India in a week and a half, for two months. I have got all my shots, flight etc. but as it is my first visit there, I was wondering if anyone had any tips. They would be much appreciated. I am sticking to north and west India mainly (UP, Punjab, Gujarat). Advice on the Punjab would be especially helpful.
Also, this can double as a midweek open/new year’s thread.
Here are the first and second prizewinners of the UNICEF Photo of the Year award for 2007.
First Prize: Child Brides [photo: Stephanie Sinclair]
Meet the Afghani newlyweds. He, Faiz, is forty and she, Ghulam, is eleven. “We needed the money”, Ghulamâ€™s parents said. Faiz claims he is going to send her to school. But the women of Damarda village in Afghanistanâ€™s Ghor province know better: “Our men don’t want educated women.” They predict that Ghulam will be married within a few weeks after her engagement in 2006, so as to bear children for Faiz.
Early marriages are not only a problem in Afghanistan: worldwide there are about 51 million girls aged between 15 and 19 years who are forced into marriage. The youngest brides live in the Indian state of Rajasthan, where 15% of all wives are not even 10 years old when they are married. Child marriages are a reaction to extreme poverty and mainly take place in Asian and African regions where poor families see their daughters as a burden and as second-class citizens. Already in their younger years, girls are given into the â€œcareâ€ of a husband, a tradition that often leads to exploitation. Many girls become victims of domestic violence. In an Egyptian survey, about one-third of the interviewed child brides stated that they were beaten by their husbands. The young brides are under pressure to prove their fertility as soon as possible. But the risk for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 not to survive pregnancy is five times higher than for adult women. Every year, about 150,000 pregnant teenagers die due to complications â€“ in particular due to a lack of medical care, let alone sex education.
Second Prize: Child Labourer [photo: G.M.B. Akash]
Child Labour is pervasive in Bangladesh and it is not uncommon to see children working in all kinds of labour from domestic servants to factory labourers.
According to UNICEF estimates, about 3.3 million children in Bangladesh are involved in child labor â€“ almost 20% of the working population, despite efforts during the 1990s to ban child labor in the textile industry. Many children are forced to carry out hazardous work with dangerous chemicals in paint shops, workshops and tanneries. A child worker receives 60 Taka per day (less than 1 Dollar), about one-third of the regular wage for adults. Factory owners prefer to employ children, thereby keeping trade unions out of their factories. By entering the labor market at such an early age, children have no chance of getting an education and consequently no chance of getting better-paid jobs.
Eid Mubarak and a Happy Christmas to the children who are not going to be sharing in the joy of the festivities, who’s lives have been blighted by forced marriage, child labour and abuse.
As anyone resident on the British Isles is aware there is no event on earth more important than a SPORTING event. Everything must stop for SPORT and the drinking that goes with it. I often wonder if women would be allowed to gather in such numbers to bellow abuse at folk and sing badly -like a mass hen night. Excuse my rotten mood but I’ve been fighting my way through gaggles of drunk kilted men all afternoon and even I’m starting to hate the Scots.
Oh it was all so pleasant this morning a few flags, bagpipes and Rod Stewart on the radio -then the crowds came. For some inexplicable reason they’ve blocked the entrance to my flat. I wouldn’t mind but I resent being manhandled by drunks on my own doorstep.
But enough of my whining I trust your weekends are all a bit happier. Let’s have the usual chit chat below and no fighting.
Finally today’s clip is from ‘Grey Gardens’ otherwise known as Clairwil’s retirement plan.
Update! There are now two clips -Thanks to Rohin for his suggestion.
With Remembrance Day approaching, it seems appropriate for us to commemorate all those South Asians who fought for Britain, not because they were forced to, but because they wanted to.
On the outbreak of the First World War (WWI) in 1914, messages of support for the British flooded in from the Indian princely states, while many Indian cities saw pro-British demonstrations. Well over a million South Asians volunteered to fight for Britain during WWI, and they were sent all over the world; France, the Middle East, and many other places. The Dalia Lama sent troops to help and even Mahatma Gandhi volunteered to work with an ambulance unit.
What a relief the weekend is here. I thought my working week would never end, anyone working this weekend has my sympathy.
As you all behaved so beautifully last time, I will again allow political stuff as long as it’s funny and doesn’t lead to willy waving and fisticuffs. Please also share your interesting links, amusing anecdotes and tales of accidentally causing offence.
Today’s clip is again from Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s quite long but worth a peep.
Enjoy and feel free to add your own suggestions below.
Sunny adds: As our lovely Clairwil has been posting M.I.A. videos all this week on her blog so I thought I’d post my favourite one here as part of the loooooong weekend thread. (I’ve incorporated the previous thread with this one)
As Katy has hung up her golden open thread robes I’ll be filling in. Be warned I’m fierce and spoling for a fight! So to keep this thread pleasant and jolly let’s have no politics, religion or any squabble fodder at all.
But enough of what you can’t do. Here’s what you can comment about. Romantic mishaps, hilarious anedotes, your weekend plans, your summer hols, the weather, puppetry, hobbies, insects and anything else you think might tickle the picklers collective fancy. Just keep the mood light please.
This has been amusing me very much this week. I don’t care what anyone says but you can’t beat a bit of ‘Trapped In The Closet’.
I shall leave you now with a plug for one of my little projects. You don’t have to be Scottish or even remotley connected to the place to join just a bit of a skiver looking for a message board to while away the hours on when you should be working.
Is there anyone left with an internet connection who is unawre of the man, nay the legend that is Glasgow Airport baggage handler John Smeaton?
For the unfamiliar and those like me who grin from ear to ear at anything Smeaton related. He was one of the members of the public who tackled the admittedly rubbish terrorists at Glasgow Airport on Saturday. Ah John, what is not to love about a man who witnesses a terrorist attack thinks to himself ‘whits the score here, we need tae get this sorted’.
However unlike the others John was interviewed and rather than adopt a formal manner for being on the telly showed himself to be at ease in front of the cameras by chatting amiably away in his everyday Glasgow dialect. As a result viewers in America were baffled as John told CNN he ‘wis oot fur a fag’ and the world stunned by his comparison of the explosions in the car as being like ‘when ye throw a can of deodorant ontae a bonfire’.
However the ‘accent barrier’ aside most of us have been charmed by his simple message to the terrorists ‘This is Glasgow, we’ll set about ye’. Indeed we shall, as the author of the fine tribute website points out, ‘nobody gets between 10,000 Weegies and a Â£99 week in Ibiza booked on Thursday night through Barrhead Travel.’ Not on the great Smeato’s watch.
However events have taken a darker turn it would appear that Smeaton’s bosses at Airways are displeased with our hero and he’s rumoured to be facing disciplinary action for talking to the press! Though he is also rumoured to be addressing an awestruck and grateful nation on ‘Reporting Scotland’ tomorrow night. There is, it has to be said an air of mystery about all things Smeaton related. That’s part of his allure.
Like the man himself ‘Smeatomania’ is unstoppable. You can buy badges, t-Shirts and posters. Flower Of Scotland has been rewritten to include Smeaton’s heroics, attempts are being made to have him added to the bill at T In The Park, have June 30th declared ‘Smeaton day’, Glasgow Airport renamed in his honour, suggestions made that he be knighted, given the freedom of every city in Scotland, made defence minister, prime minister, given parts in Still Game and River City, an appearance on Big Brother, women are offering themselves to the Smeat. In short we haven’t seen the like since the Beatles and it took four of them to get everyone going.
I’m pleased to say despite the best attempts of a minority of racists, Islamophobes, conspiraloons and humourless bigots to derail the Smeato tribute site. It’s remained a place of merriment and has surpassed it’s aim of raising enough to buy the man 1000 pints. Do drop in and leave your message of adoration for our John.
The last time I was in Paris, riots broke out. Let’s hope there are better omens this time. I’m off until Thursday evening for a conference. A few posts have been scheduled for the next day or two and I’m sure the other Picklers will chip in. I have some exciting stuff happening in July and can’t wait to tell you folks about it soon.
News has reached me via the fine folk at PAIH that another asylum seeker family are at risk of detention and ultimately deportation.
Saima Asim arrived in the UK six years ago with her two sons, now seven and eleven years of age, after fleeing her violent husband and in laws back in Pakistan.
Since arriving both she and her sons have integrated well. Her sons both speak English exclusively (in the event of their deportation I do hope the Home Office supplies a couple of phrase books as a leaving gift) and Saima has been active in various church and community voluntary projects.
Unfortunately Ali, her eldest son was recently hospitalised after being assaulted by a gang and is still receiving treatment for the injuries he sustained.
The whole family have been asked to report to the Home Office in Brand Street whereas normally only Saima is asked to report.
PAIH have organised a protest outside Brand St, in Glasgow tomorrow at 9:30am. If you can attend and wish to help it would be much appreciated.
Finally here are statements from Saima and her eldest son.
“I’m a mother and i don’t know what to do. The Home Office said that we must report on monday. we are terrified about this because normally its just me who reports and lots of families have been taken away recently. But ali was attacked by a gang of boys on friday outside our for defending his little brother from being hit – this is the third time. I took him to the hospital. the emergency doctor said we must attend both the doctor and the glasgow dental Hospital on Monday because the cuts in his head are so deep after they beat his head and face with a metal knuckleduster. His teeth are also broken and moving very badly and could be permanently damaged. I reported it all to the police but those kids are still playing outside our home and my kids stay in all the time except for school or with me. I don’t know whether i should take my sick kids to hospital tomorrow or do what the home office and report there. If they detain us it will be the worst thing, i tried to save myself and my children, there is nothing and noone who will stand up for us in Pakistan. We came here for refuge not benefits. My kids are settled here, and i would like to be able to give back to this community and find work so we can stand on our own two feet. Ali would like to become a doctor one day, he could do something good for this country, we all could given the chance.”
“On Friday 22/6/07, I was coming home from my mum’s friend’s home when i saw 2 big boys,they were asking me why i batterd a boy called Stephan, i tried to tell them i didnt but the first boy started to batter my brother Bilal i tried to save him then the second boy hit me with a big piece of metal which gave me a burst head which i have stiches and then started to kick me on the face and gave me a bruised eye, and broken teeth and gave my brother a bruised face and neck.I am really afraid now this has happend to me 3 times and my brother 2 times the police have done nothing about the 3 incidents.
“My friend Leonard is at St Brendans Primary too, and he went to the home office him and his family to the detention centre and thats how he talks about it being so horrible, they wont let you out, you cant go out, they keep you locked up and maybe they will send you back to your country. But Pakistanâ€™s not my country cos it doesnt feel like it and i dont want to go back. My best friend Osama one day he was in the class and the next day he wasn’t. We thought he was just off. But he never came back. Our teacher Mrs Taylor said maybe he’ll come back but he didn’t. She used to talk about it but then she never mentioned it again. I think she was sad like us because we all missed him in the class and he was a really a good student. Some kids at school told me after that the police came to his house and just took him and his family back to their country. I tell my wee brother maybe they will take us away one day so he has some idea what’s going to happen, Bilal cries about it cos he was really small when he came here. Both of us remember scotland but we don’t remember anything about Pakistan. My mum cries a lot at night and is quite ill”.
Batman ultimately represents the capitalist view of society and inherent in its storyline are not only the fears of the bourgeoisies but their anger for humanity itself. Its protagonist Bruce Wayne grew up in an idealised childhood filled with any whim he desired being catered to until one day his ‘perfect’ family was torn apart during a street robbery that cost the life of his parents. Eternally enraged by this our billionaire playboy ‘hero’ sets out on a quest of never-ending vengeance against the hated criminals of Gotham City. America supports this man as a force of good against evil.
The bourgeois man has always had a schizophrenic attitude to the proletariat. The underclass are needed to work the factories and houses of merchants, but they are also to be feared as wild lustful creatures ever on the edge of anarchy. The megalomaniac tendencies of the bourgeois man leads him to rage at the disorder of the universe; he sits in his highly fortified palace with its perfectly manicured lawns impotent to truly control life outside his fiefdom. How dare the filthy underclass behave in such a manner. He is perpetually fearful to walk the streets at night as the unthinking psychopathic mob are sure to rob, rape and kill him in their drug filled haze. Driven to the point of mania by his inability to deal with the exploitive-symbiotic nature of his society he organises state and private terror on the proletariat. Police forces and private security organisations are set up to both guard him and keep a revolution from occurring.
Bruce Wayne represents the pinnacle of what the bourgeois would consider Ãœbermensch. A billionaire industrialist and playboy he makes his money by exploiting the working class before sleeping with as many rich ‘it girl’ whores as he can. The holy trinity of money, power and sex are thus complete. If that were all there was to the story of Batman, his comics would never be a success. Our ‘hero’ must be a given raison d’etre in our make believe world; so that most primordial fear in the upper-classes is brought up. His family were unjustifiably murdered by the unthinking psychopathic proles. What’s worse is this happened during his childhood, and childhood for the bourgeoisies is sacrosanct as is represents a time when the true reality of proletariat society was unknown to them.
The implications of this are so profound for our bourgeois hero that he dedicates his life to fighting the underclass. Completely unwilling to empathise with his fellow man he sets out for the complete domination of the working class. He exploits them by day, and using his ill gotten gains, beats the shit out of them at night with elaborate weapons. He is the prefect man. Rich. Successful. Virile. Physically capable. His own private security and police force. He can walk wherever he pleases whenever pleases. The master of his universe. Obviously however he must cover up his face at night for fear the revolution will occur in his factory in the morning. His vigilantism is expensive and he cannot afford his identity to become known to his workers.
The humanity of the proletariat in all this is obviously missing. We are never given a reason Bruce Wayne’s parents are killed other than notions of total anarchy. No storyline exists where the robbers needed to buy over-expensive medication for their sick children, or about how working 18hours a day in Wayne Industry factories wasn’t enough to pay bills. Bruce Wayne never attempts to fight the causes of crime because he doesn’t care about the causes of crime. His arch-nemesis The Joker isn’t given a definitive storyline detailing why exactly he became a psychopathic murderer because ultimately we aren’t meant to care â€“ he is just representative of the unthinking violence on the streets. We are never meant to question why his followers would even choose to work for psychopathic murder; though perhaps their choice to work for the Joker rather than Bruce Wayne tells us everything we need to know.
Instead of ‘combating’ such outlandish ideas as insufficient education, social exclusion, poverty, violence in the home or poor role models our billionaire playboy hero decides to dress up as a bat and kick the crap out of law breakers.
No work today, no work on Monday unless you do an important job. I could have told you years ago that all that study wouldn’t get you anywhere. Mind you your parents probably think very highly of you which must be nice, judging from my inbox, mine presently wish I’d disappeared on holiday years ago. I am trying to be sympathetic to their position but I’ve been alive 32 years -get over it.
Anyway whilst I plot something to get them really angry, let’s have your weekend plans. Is anyone going fishing? I’ve always imagined that would be rather restful. I’ve got my eye on some lurid paints at the moment. The truth is I have no talent for art or anything else but I quite fancy knocking out a couple of brightly coloured abstract paintings for the hell of it.
I’ve been having a good chuckle over the end of the worlds most tedious relationship. I’m afraid I blame both of them but her slightly more. Though that may be more to do with a hatred of neurotic women than anything else.
What else am I up to. Drinking red wine, footering with various fortune telling bits and bobs, smoking, looking out the window and maybe a short stroll at some point. What a fascinating life I lead.
So over to you. Let’s have funny stuff, exciting plans and for some reason I quite fancy hearing some mother-in-law jokes.
Relax, get yourselves a beer or six and make the most of this unexpected heatwave. I’ve got every window in the house open, the sun is streaming in and someone is outside playing the bagpipes. It’s as if someone has attempted to recreate Scotland in L.A, using short people turning from bright white to lobster red. There are no leggy models round my way.
I’ve spent the morning walking round my bit of the world and enjoying the sunshine. I also saw my first butterflies of the year. The first was the usual cabbage butterfly but the second was a fancy looking boy with red and black markings.
After that I dropped into the St Mungo Museum which is holding a photographic exhibition on the Afro Caribbean presence in Glasgow. That isn’t as dull and worthy as it sounds. The photography is brilliant. Well worth a look if you’re in the area.
As for the rest of the day, I’ll finish posting this then sit at the open window, swigging beer and a spot of light reading.
So let’s have your plans, jokes, funny stuff and bits of bobs of interest. Keep it light and NO BLOODY POLITICS!
We hardly need an open thread really this week, such is the bizarre nature of some of the comments in the thread below.
However it’s tradition, so we’re having one whether you like it or not. I’m off for lunch with two lady friends today. I’m rather excited as it’s been some time since I’ve socialised with ladies. I did have some female friends a while back but they all got boyfriends and started breeding apart from one who kept getting raped. It was quite peculiar, we’d be in the pub, I’d nip to the loo and by the time I got back someone would have tried to rape her. I haven’t seen her for a few years so I shudder to think what’s happened in my absence.
Now I must make an appeal on behalf of two of my fellow bloggers. The Ill Man is looking for soup recipes. Do drop in and help him out if you can. Our Zin Zin is feeling a bit unloved, so pop in and say hello and if you have any widow wooing tips I’m sure he’ll be delighted to hear them.
Usual stuff below, please. Lot’s of nonsense, no politics or dull stuff. First person to make me laugh out loud is the cats pyjamas.
Actually it’s not my birthday until Monday but I expect I shall have forgotten about it by next week. So I’m starting early.
My weekend plans involve loafing, taking snaps and staring out the window, perhaps a spot of scribbling but all nice relaxing stuff. I have no doubt all you naughty picklers are yawning at the next round of orgies or taking part in ‘extreme sports’. Feel free to share.
I suppose I should give you all something interesting to look at to reward you for dropping by, so here’s what’s come to my attention this week:
Inspired by the post below and the utterly hilarious words ‘white satin bomber jacket’ I have decided to make the main theme of this weeks open thread, style errors. Let’s hear about your past clothes of shame, see your links to incredibly badly dressed people and just to show we’re not all completely catty let’s have your nominations for the world’s best dressed men, women and animals.
Of course the usual random off topic stuff is still welcome.
I’m horribly busy at the moment having taken on several new blogging duties (see my own blog) . So my weekend will consist of being glued to the internet and typing with one finger. Well I suppose I’ve always wanted to write.
On a different matter entirely The Metro are currently a blogging contest. Far be it from me to try and influence the result but if any of you fancy nominating Pickled Politics in the politics category, here’s the link.
Finally I don’t suppose I’m going to get away without confessing my own style sins. I will own up to wearing jumpsuits, catsuits, knickerbockers, legwarmers in public during the 1980′s.
As for the 90′s to the present the wounds are still too raw.
Or morning as it is to me having only got up at lunchtime. My weekend plans include more decorating and clearing of clutter, fannying about the internet and maybe the odd stroll. There will also be red wine.
I haven’t so much as glanced at newspaper or switched on the TV today. Has anything interesting happened? On second thoughts don’t tell me I’m rather enjoying my total ignorance.
I’ll also be getting about this weekend if only online. For those that are interested I’ll be hosting The Scottish Blogging Round Up tomorrow. Do drop in if you have a moment.
That’s more than enough about my plans. Let’s hear yours as well as your jokes, amusing links, prison survival tips, hilarious stories about elderly relatives and anything else frivolous you’d like to share with the group.
All my fellow picklers will be spending Saturday afternoon on a pickle meet. Naturally I was invited (I was! -I can prove it) but London is a bit awkward for me to get to at short notice. So I’m relying on you all to stop me feeling left out and lonely. In other words I’m making a bold bid for attention.
I’ve been off work all week with a touch of the ‘Winston Churchills’ (depression not alcoholism) so I’m a bit bored, though oddly cheery. For some reason the depression goes every time I leave work. Do you think there could be a connection? So I’ll be after cheerful stuff only please. If your dog has left you and your wife has worms you have my sympathy but I don’t wish to hear about it. Sorry but it’s holiday plans, jokes, japes, funny links and pictures of dogs in dinner jackets only.
To kick off the funny stuff I’d like to introduce you to Scottish Hip Hop, more specifically Glaswegian Hip Hop. It’s hard to know how to describe it, though piss yourself hilarious isn’t a bad start. More so when one considers ‘The Schemes’ video was recorded to show another side of Arden after it’s rather grim showing on Channel Five recently. Quite how depicting it as a shithole full of lousy rappers improves things is beyond my understanding. Poor Steg G the tragedy of the man’s life is that coming from Arden just doesn’t conjure up the same danger and swagger as being say being from Compton. As one fellow comments beneath his truly remarkable video ‘I’ve heard better beats watching two boys fighting on the estate’ and I have no doubt he’s right. Beyond parody. Beyond belief.