Monday, November 25, 2013

Stemming the tide

Youngest child: Daddy! I can't sleep. Will you tell me a story?
Daddy: Of course. Love to.
YC: Come on then.
Daddy: Hang on. I'm trying to find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
YC: Oh no, please. Not that one. It gives me the creeps in more ways than I have time to explain.
Daddy: To be fair, I know what you mean. So. What's it to be?
YC: Well, I did say "tell" not "read". Would you tell me a story? Remember it. Maybe even make it up. At least embellish on one half-remembered from your own childhood. Like a proper parent.
YC: Well?
Daddy: Em...ok. I don't see why not.
YC: Well?
Daddy: Hang on. I'm thinking.
Daddy: Did you have one in mind?
YC: Can it be ANY story in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD?
Daddy: Of course it can.
YC: Oh BRILLIANT! My most favourite story in the whole wide world is the one about that man. That man from a land by the sea. That powerful man. Powerful, but not as powerful as he thought he was or wanted others to think he was. That man who was so puffed up and carried away with his own sense of self-importance that he lost touch with reality. He was so silly that he thought he could stop things from happening when he couldn't stop them at all. He thought he was so powerful that he could stop things over which he simply had no control. Not just no control, in fact. Not even any influence. But still, he said he would stop them. Insisted that he could, and would, stop them.  And when he did say he would stop those things, and when he did try, everyone could see how silly he was and they laughed and laughed at him. Laughed and laughed.
Daddy: Ah! I like that one too. But do you know? The funny thing is that actually King Canute didn't think he could stop the sea. He knew that he couldn't. He was commanding it to stop so as to show his courtiers that there were limits to what even a King could command.
YC: No. Not that silly, deluded man from a land by the sea who everyone knows isn't as powerful as he thinks and who threatens to do things he simply doesn't have the power to do. The other one. Carwyn Jones.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hold fast, comrades, in the face of the coming onslaught

Ruth Davidson really did drill down forensically to the nub of things when she announced, presumably to a stunned and sombre audience:

"The SNP simply cannot guarantee that we'd still get Dr Who after independence."

(It was that "simply" that was particularly devastating. Plain-talking, exasperated Ruth telling it like it is.)

Well she's right. That fat liar Salmond simply cannot guarantee that we'd still get Dr. Who after independence. Or
that we'd still get the Clangers after independence. Or that we won't stop getting Dr. Who anyway. It's happened before. Or of course that we won't be invaded by actual Daleks. Or actual Clangers.

However, I still think we can do better than Ruth's sad counsel of despair. It's back to deductive versus inductive reasoning. They "get Dr Who" in Angola, Botswana, Myanmar, Uruguay and elsewhere. The BBC wants the world to see its programming. Hence the World Service. Britain wants to project soft power. We own part of the bloody BBC.

So, on balance, I think we'll get Dr Who. I also think we won't get invaded by actual Daleks. However, I am prepared to accept that neither outcome is guaranteed.

And so, then, it comes to this: courage. Courage, my friends. There will be many dark and difficult days like these ahead, as the ruthless British state unleashes its mighty arsenal against us. Take heart that it feels compelled to deploy its big guns, like the "You simply cannot guarantee that we'd still get Dr Who after independence" argument, so early in the campaign. Look, and see. Have hope. For they falter! They falter!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Unexpected comedy hypnotism - tickets still available

I still think that George Galloway's bravura performance before the US Senate Sub-Committee on Investigations, facing down the turncoat Norm Coleman , was one of the most engrossing, exhilarating and ultimately gratifying exchanges between two human beings that I will ever see. I'd certainly have paid money to be in the room. On the other hand, I grew up in Dundee and I remember George. I'd not, even it was him paying me, sit in a hall listening to him explain his reasons for opposing Scottish independence. However, I may have misunderstood his offering. If his "Just Say Naw Tour" is in fact not an exercise in pompous, self-regarding windbaggery but a series of evenings of "comedy hypnotism" (and from the URL at Groupon, it seems that it is), and if you can still get two tickets at half price (and it seems that you can), then I  just might actually think about it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Creation myth

God: There you go.
Norway: Oh. Ok.
God: Is that all?
Norway: What do you mean?
God: What do you mean "What do you mean?"? I mean that a bit of thanks might be  nice, for all that lot.

Norway: Allright, I know. I said thanks. I'm particularly grateful that you've blessed us with the bounty of a lot of whatever is going to be left over from the anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms...
God: Oil.
Norway: Right. Oil. Though I'm not sure what people are going to do with that, to be honest.
God: They'll think of something.
Norway: Really?
God: I think it might burn really well.
Norway: Oh. Ok. that it?