Tag Archives: Blogs

Herding cats for fun and profit, an observation

Well, it’s decided. We’re moving to Victoria at the end of the month. Basically because Mrs S wants to be closer to the action. Victoria being a much less snoozeworthy place than Nanaimo. Better bars, Cafes and restaurants, and here’s the kicker, all within walking distance. Even a modestly decent Tandoori restaurant. No need to worry about driving and getting pulled by the cops if you’ve had a glass or two over the odds. So we’re getting ready to pack up and shift all our worldly goods.

Apropos of sweet bugger all, I was doing a quick run through my blogroll this morning and I was particularly struck by how much victimhood is at the root cause of so many societal problems. Tears before bedtime because some TV celebrity (allegedly, which he didn’t) used a word so often used as a self reference by a certain racial sub group. A man arrested for publicly quoting a speech by a long dead politician. Another man denounced like some Soviet era dissident for saying the same word in private to his girlfiend (Not a typo). A local radio DJ in the UK fired for playing the ‘Unauthorised’ version of ‘the Sun has got his hat on‘ instead of the less safe ‘Abdul Abulbul Amir‘. People harping on about, and demanding money with menaces over an institution that was rightly abolished in the civilised world over two centuries ago. From the descendants of the very people and institutions who spilt their own blood in its abolition no less. Call that gratitude? On the whole, I’d say not. Come on guys, victimhood should have a sell by date. I’m pretty sure one of my ancestors was hanged for sheep stealing back in the 1700′s, and a few more were kicked out of their tenancies during the great medieval sheep clearances. Do I go crawling with begging bowl in hand about injustices done to my forbears? No, I’ve got more important things to do. The next generation needs support. Sights to see, bills to pay. The institutions and people that did the harm are long in their graves, and it’s high time the serial whiners built a bridge and got over it.

The world seems to be filled with infantile offence takers looking for some kind of redress for every imagined slight. From an alleged ‘grope’ forty years ago seen as an excuse for stripping a charity of its funding to complaints of a word beginning with ‘R’ used to shut people with an opposing viewpoint up. The cure for which was mooted by one well known actor saying Stop talking about it. As far as skin tones and cultures are concerned we should be building bridges, not burning them. We are all human. All blood is red. All else is biological adaptation to local conditions. Failure to adapt and integrate is a matter of personal choice, and should not be actionable, nor used as an excuse to knock a 91 year old veteran anti apartheid campaigner off his bicycle. Or declare a war.

Honestly, one would have to be mad to try and make sense of it all. Listening to all these complainants and trying to mollify them for the sake of a quiet life rather sounds like herding cats for fun and profit. I’m often moved to wonder where the grown ups are to give these habitual complainants a soundly slapped bottom and tell them to go off and do something a little more positive with their lives. Instead all we hear is “Waah! Nasty man is being howwind to me! Stop him Mommy, stop him!” I say this as someone who was, as part of his daily round, routinely verbally abused and occasionally threatened with physical assault by a terminally petulant public, then found that the very people he relied upon for backup suffering unexpected catastrophic spinal failure. Not to mention those paid to look after his workaday interests being as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot. Boy, was that an education. I used to bitch about it, but seek compensation? Being forced to wear unsuitable footwear which caused real physical pain and injury might have been cause, but really? I chose, like so many of my contemporaries, to pick up and move on.

My view? Perhaps all these offence takers should be arrested and charged with theft, because that’s exactly what they’re doing. Stealing offence, time and also personal liberty from others with their self absorbed thin skinned whingeing. The problem with offence seekers is that they don’t actually want to fix anything when their pet peeves are given credence, they just want money, and the petty minded sense of power a grovelling public apology brings. Which is poor compensation for the inferiority complexes which spawn these complaints, complexes which only intensive psychotherapy can rid them of. If they could only be bothered to try.

/rant

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have my own particular cats to herd, but not from this company.

Or this one;

A cool little WordPress feature

Doing a little site maintenance, and found the ‘Protest NSA Surveillance’ banner feature in the ‘Settings’ menu. I know it’s purely a gesture (although hopefully a highly insulting one) in the direction of the hyper suspicious state organs that need to know absolutely everything about absolutely everyone.

You know, just in case Mrs Miggins down at the pie shop is not simply putting out tasty pie recipes on her blog, but that these recipes are, in reality, coded messages to the local Al Quaeda cell to go and do something horrible, like create self detonating custard. Which is actually more likely than you might think. Custard has some interesting properties.

Welcome back Anna

Anna Raccoon is back on the blogroll after being reported missing in inaction due to illness.

Absolutely delighted to see Anna back up and stumbling. Only sorry she trashed her blog layout which now needs rebuilding. I’m sure the magical Interweb wayback machine might be of some assistance here.

Big H/T to Leg Iron at Underdogs bite upwards

The last post

Over the past year I’ve grown ever more cynical and less inclined to post about the same old problems caused by the same old class of people. The tools, drones and otherwise hard of thinking behind desks who think they know better than the rest of us about how to run our lives, and eventual deaths.

So as far as Bill is concerned, I’m hanging up his commenting keyboard for good. Oh, I’ll be writing elsewhere on similar topics, but in different ways through a different medium. But Bill Sticker will no more haunt forums and comment threads. This is the final it. This blog and the blogger counterpart will be his memorial until I decide to take them down. The door will not hit me on the way out.

Why? We can rant and rage on our blogs against the machine all we like, but is the machine listening? Not a bit of it, say I. The machine is a clumsy, massive bureaucratic construction that carelessly crushes those bull headed enough to get in its way. Thus it is down to each of us to plough our respective lonely furrows, to create what small miracles we can in our own minuscule ways. By not giving into the temptation of every single shiny new toy. By not blindly following some glib ‘leader’ promising ‘change’ without actually defining what that change will be. Following leaders of that sort always leaves their followers with loose change and ashes, but little more. Maybe not quite the kind of change their followers were hoping for, but that is the way of things. The only person who can make real and lasting change for the better is the feet on the street. The little guy with a little heart, and enough guts to do the right thing at the right time. Whenever that is.

It’s been fun being Bill. He’s the guy who’s said all the things I sometimes haven’t been brave enough to voice in person. As far as he’s concerned, I’ve only ever documented a fraction of the real life strokes pulled, of the sheer bare faced cheek needed to survive the myriad of metaphorically jackboot wearing whack jobs out there. Of the many little victories against the blind behemoth of tick box bureaucracy. Now it’s time to move on.

TTFN

The end result

Currently, the libertarian end of the blogosphere is under assault (Again?) from the forces of darkness. Cranmer has had some come catspaw using the ASA. Witterings from Witney from another source (on a three year old post? Is someone taking the mick?), and there are mutterings in various comment columns about “We’re coming to getcha.” (Oh noes, not again). Some sites, offering informal advice based on personal experience have been shut down by regulators. Bloggers, even in ‘free’ societies have been raided by Police and even faced criminal prosecution simply for publishing their version of events (Tallbloke over ‘Climategate’ springs to mind, follow the ‘Holly Grieg‘ subject blogs for others). Never mind the (Very) hastily taken down Greenpeace threat last year “We know where you live” – seriously? Just because of a disagreement on an issue – even though reality tells a different story? Talk about acute humour failure. Definitely the Violet Elizabeth Bott approach to dissent; (“Do what I want or I’ll thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick – I can too!” ) No one is fooled. Behind the attempts at suppressing free speech blogs come the echoes of marching jackboots, and it isn’t a pretty sound.

Aldous Huxley nailed the major weakness of suppressive tactics in 1941;

“For the means employed inevitably determine the nature of the result achieved, whereas, however good the end aimed at may be, its goodness is powerless to counteract the effects of the bad means we use to reach it. Similarly, a reform may be in the highest degree desirable; but if the contexts in which that reform is effected are undesirable, the results will inevitably be disappointing. These are simple and obvious truths. Nevertheless they are almost universally neglected.”

For a given value of ‘good’, I might add – there’s a downside to everything; and ‘good’ is mostly subjective anyway – even more so when preceded by the word ‘greater’.

So it is with attacks on free speech. In seeking out offence everything becomes offensive. Pointing out that something can’t work / isn’t working means being labelled a ‘Denier’. Highlighting the failures, areas of suspicion and dodgy dealings of an administration makes you a ‘Hater’. Mildly contentious comments that some might find slightly objectionable (Mostly if they contain a good deal of objective veracity) are turned into ‘Hate speech’ by offence seeking drama queens. Setting official agencies on people because of a flimsily perceived ‘offence’, likewise.

Like a school playground ruled by sneaks and snitches running to teacher every time their feelings are hurt, this creates an ugly place to live in, so such behaviour poisons discourse and spreads a fog of disinformation. Not to mention creating a huge enforcement overhead. It prevents open and reasoned examination of an issue, and hides that which should be known. As with war and truth, honesty is always the first casualty because in order to shut people up, the primary weapons are always emotive lies, disinformation and exaggeration.

Essentially what we’re dealing with is immature offence seeking such as;
“Mummy, Mummy! They’re saying bad things about me!”
“Mummy, Mummy! They’re smoking at me because I’m a non-smoker!”
“Mummy, Mummy! They’re drinking at me just because I’m teetotal!”
“Mummy, Mummy! They’re shooting guns at targets and it fwightens me!”
“Mummy, Mummy! They’re eating bacon sandwiches at me because I’m a Vegan!”
“Mummy, Mummy! They’re saying I’m bad because I tell on them all the time – stop them Mummy!”

All of the above have one thing in common – they are invented ‘offences’. Of course said attacks on freedom of expression are dressed up in grown-up speak, but the impulse that drives such behaviour is nonetheless childish, born of unreasoning fear. There’s only one real cogent response – overt mockery. Specifically Shakespeare’s classic from Twelfth night; “T’hart a fool. Go to.” or the more modern “STFU” and variants thereof. Which is why I often respond to them in baby talk and parody. “Has Oo had oo’s feelings hurt, den?” highlighting the attacks for the contemptible, selfish and immature outpourings that they are. Not to do so is to allow the jackboots to march again – and 20th century history holds a grim record of what that led to.

Here’s an Australian perspective on why freedom of speech and expression is so important. H/T Just about every blog I link to, but I believe the Angry Exile was first by a nose.

To Quote the late, great Ray Bradbury; “For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangu­tan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversation­ist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics.” The old adage of the road to hell being paved with good intentions springs to mind. For a given value of ‘good’.

H/T for the Huxley quote from Ends and Means to this post by Sackerson at OOL.

Teachers don’t suck

Picked up from Oh what now! on a sunny BC morning, I showed this little video to my wife, who is a teacher, and a bloody good one. Howls of laughter ensued.

Just watch it. All right, it was made for an American audience, but the same principle applies. Parents who don’t nurture, who dump their toddlers in front of the TV and don’t get involved with teaching them about reading, writing and life in general. Parents who are too busy, who are too afraid of engaging with their kids, or who spend their whole lives commuting and working, then ignore their progeny when they get home. Parents who use their children as emotional weapons in warring relationships. Parents who can’t be bothered to make a little time to pass on their life skills. In short, parents who don’t train their own children. Parents who are little better than sperm and egg donors.

As Mrs S was perennially fond of pointing out when she worked in the UK educational system; “Parents have their children eighteen hours a day – I only get six with thirty of their little darlings at a time, and they expect me to fix all their kid’s issues?”

Yet politicians spend megabucks of taxpayer dollar fiddling with public education, only to see it failing. Politicians blame Teachers because they’re too slack spined to turn round to the parents and say “You spawned ‘em, you fix ‘em.” Education and learning are a great and lifelong thing, but unless parents do some of the grunt work and embed at least a passing love of learning (and a modicum of self control), even the best teachers won’t be able to fix what they couldn’t.

/rant

Blog admin

Nothing much happening I care to blog about, so today having mostly caught up on sleep lost since February, I’ve been doing a little sidebar admin. Links have been updated to people who’ve migrated their blogs, and I’ve added a few bits like the climate widget and some science links to various Auroral and Quake monitoring programmes.

The sun is shining, and the great Canadian outdoors is calling, and that’s one call I’m not going to “cop a deaf ‘un” to.