Tag Archives: blackwater

You don’t need a cellphone to talk through your arse, but it helps…

More like this here: http://www.bizarro.com/

More like this here: http://www.bizarro.com/

The old days: Thought in head. Speech through mouth.

The old days: Cell phone off. Someone might call me. With work. Wouldn’t want that. “How come you never answer your mobile?” Switch it on to call other people. Quickly switch if off again. Occasionally lend it to soldiers on duty at “incidents” or outbreaks of “bother” to let them call back home to Britain – in exchange for them giving access or information. Otherwise peace. Quiet. Meeting someone? Make an arrangement and stick to it.

These days: Cell phone on. Someone might call me. With work.  Freelance. Keen. And on duty to respond to emergencies like forgotten PE kit, after school activities with the bus long gone. Emails. Audio recording. Writing. Maps. Twitter. Facebook. Etc. Etc. If only it came with a pillow I could sleep on it.

These days: No need for any thought in head. Adjust sitting position. Then, using either buttock, accidentally trigger cell phone and dial a random person in phone’s address book. Nothing to it. You’re talking through your arse.  That’s progress for ya. Just pray your backside hasn’t dialled Australia.

Or the police. Really Continue reading

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Curing me of my biggest fear

Just one small step and... wheeee....

Just one small step and… wheeee….

They say the best way to conquer your fear is to face it. So if you’re an arachnaphobe, you should let a big hairy tarantula scurry over your hand. If snakes give you the willies, you should let a small non-poisonous serpent drape itself round your shoulders.

Easy for them to say, whoever “they” are.

What if your fear is this? Imagine you’re really high up – at the edge of a cliff or the parapet of a very tall building. The fear is not being scared of heights. Or about having vertigo. It’s something different.

Call it… curiosity. What if… What if I stepped up and jumped? Like Icarus. The rush. What transcendent insight would reveal itself? What revelation? What if… Continue reading

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Islam and Freedom of Belief

Let there be no compulsion in religion

Let there be no compulsion in religion

We hear a lot of intolerance and Islam. When there’s a complaint in Europe or north America about Islamaphobia or suggested restrictions on the wearing of the full-face veil, you can be guaranteed that someone will remind us that when it comes to intolerance, Islamic states can be hard to beat. “Try walking through Mecca in a mini-skirt,” they’ll say. “Or proselytizing for Christianity. You’ll soon know what real intolerance is like.

But that’s not the full picture – as you’ll know if you follow the Unity blog of Usama Hasan. (A good guy you may remember from a previous bust-up.)

He’s written an interesting paper called No Compulsion in Religion: Islam and the Freedom of Belief. I reproduce some of it here. I’ve cut a lot for brevity and scrapped the footnotes. So I recommend you read the original. But in the meantime, please read this. It enlightened me.

Following the international furore in 2012 over the amateurish, inflammatory and offensive film, Innocence of Muslims, there were calls around the world to introduce or strengthen rules that would become akin to global blasphemy laws.  Dozens of people were killed during violent protests in Muslim-majority countries, including US Ambassador Stevens in Libya by a terrorist attack under cover of anti-film protests, and a Pakistani minister placed a $100,000 bounty on the head of the film-director.

For many of us, this felt like a case of “Here we go again.”  From books and films to cartoons, teddy bears and desecration of copies of the Qur’an by a handful of American fundamentalists and soldiers, the story is the same: instead of ignoring material insulting and offensive to Islam, or forgiving their authors as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would have done, some immature Muslims resort to violence that ends up killing people who had done more than most to actually help Muslims or Muslim-majority countries.  Furthermore, the poor-quality “offending” material receives far more publicity than it deserved, and the image of Islam is dragged through the mud yet again, to the exasperation of the vast majority of ordinary, decent Muslims.

In the 1980’s, Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, an expletive-laden, largely-unreadable book was catapulted, along with its author, into international fame by an Islamist campaign of “raising awareness” by publicising its satirical insults towards holy figures of Islam, culminating in Ayatollah Khomeini’s notorious fatwa ordering Rushdie’s murder.  The same story was repeated, two decades later, with the Danish cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): these were largely unknown when first published, until a Denmark-based Egyptian cleric began a campaign publicising them.  Surely, to love the Prophet and his disciples means not to publicise gross insults directed at him.  If people insult our loved ones, such as parents, children or siblings, would we broadcast those offensive comments or depictions to the whole world?

In all these cases, dozens of ordinary people died in riots and protests around the world: this is extremely ironic, when the Prophet himself is said to have taught that the destruction of the Ka’bah, the holiest site of Islam, is lighter in the sight of God than the taking of a single life Continue reading

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Who’s on the cover of this week’s Enormous Ego?

You gotta have a bit of an ego to get ahead, right? To convince yourself that your art is important to others… So what better example to follow than the composers Chopin and Liszt.

chopinlisztsmChopin and Liszt come courtesy of the Hark, a vagrant blog. I bought the book the other day. It’s great. The topic, ego, was set by the Loose Bloggers Consortium. It’s all them, them, them with Ramana, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Rohit,Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will – when it should be me, me, me, whoah ha ha ha.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: You may notice a new image under my horse’s head in the top right hand corner. It’s a big F. Please click on it and follow the link. I’ll tell you more about it soon.

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It’s time I gave erotic fiction a thwack!

Given the topic, I though I should have at least one picture of a, you know, cute cat.

Given the topic, I though I should have at least one picture of a, you know, cute cat.

Everyone’s doing it. (Ooer Madam.) It’s time I did it too.

But where, how and with whom? Or what?

Maybe I’ll do best to follow the crowd, but (being very busy and important) I don’t have time to read the whole of 50 Shades of Grey – never mind the sequels. Luckily there’s an abbreviated version which I can share with you here. And, fancy that, it’s a special version aimed at men.

So read on and enjoy. Or should that be: Read on – and Tingle! (By the way, a “zimmer” is a walking frame.)

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – (a husband’s point of view)

The missus bought a Paperback
down Shepton Mallet way
I had a look inside her bag
… T’was “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Well I just left her to it
And at ten I went to bed
An hour later she appeared
The sight filled me with dread

In her left she held a rope
And in her right a whip
She threw them down upon the floor
And then began to strip

Well fifty years or so ago
I might have had a peek
But Mabel hasn’t weathered well
She’s eighty four next week

Watching Mabel bump and grind
Could not have been much grimmer,
And things then went from bad to worse
She toppled off her Zimmer

She struggled back upon her feet
A couple minutes later
She put her teeth back in and said
“I am a dominator!”

Now if you knew our Mabel
You’d see just why I spluttered
I’d spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I’d uttered

She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like,
but stood on her left tit

Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out
My god what had I done!?
She moaned and groaned then shouted out
“Step on the other one!!”

Well readers, I can’t tell no more
About what occurred that day
Suffice to say my jet black hair
Turned fifty shades of grey

That work of classical literature came from here. And I suppose you could call this the musical version. It’s funny.

Right – I’m now in the zone. I even have a title for my Continue reading

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Surviving black and white and subtitled

What a killer smile.

What a killer smile.

I want a film that delivers a punch. Being winded can be… good. But throwing up probably isn’t.

I’ve seen films that made me switch off, walk out, pass out (only to wake with a crowd around me, thankful the floor was sprung and I’d had the sense to bring a nurse. No didn’t go anywhere. Probably seemed too much like work for her) and weep. And then there’s the one to which I always return.

I let (well, ok, kinda tricked) my Top Boy into watching the other evening at home). You might be able to work out the film title from our conversation over the opening titles and scenes.

HIM: “Wait a minute, you never told me it was black and white.”

ME: “It’s still good though.”

a little later…

HIM: “Aw no. You didn’t tell me it was all in French.”

ME: “It’s not all in French.” (No, some of it is in Arabic. – I didn’t say that bit aloud.)

HIM: “Are we going to have to read subtitles in English all the way through?”

ME: “It’s not all English subtitles.” (Some of them are in Italian. Shhh.)

Can you tell what it is yet kids? (As a certain entertainer, whose reputation is currently on a knife edge, might ask.)

Here are two more clues. The cast includes only one professional actor. Got it? And it was recommended viewing in the Pentagon in recent years. Now you’ve got it Continue reading

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Should children be allowed to drive?

Who would you rather have driving? Little Maggie - or Homer?

Who would you rather have driving? Little Maggie – or Homer?

Why are children not allowed to drive cars?

“It’s very frustrating,” said Top Boy, age 13, “to be sitting in a moving car, but not driving it.”

Soon, I soothed him, soon…

But he was not deterred. And in fact went further. Says he: “Assuming they can pass the driving test, it’s actually more sensible for children to drive than adults.”

Because…

  1. Children are used to learning and learn more quickly and effectively than adults.
  2. Children are used to following the rules.
  3. Children would not have such bad driving habits.
  4. Children would not be in such a hurry.
  5. Children would be getting such a kick out of driving they would not be letting their minds wander.
  6. Children have better eyesight.
  7. Children have quicker reactions.
  8. Children would be less likely to be distracted by disruptive passengers. (As Top Boy pointed out, he can do 200 miles per hour on computer driving games and stay on the track even with his mates pestering him. And that’s far faster. Continue reading

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My boyfriend boils his balls for me

Consideration for others can be shown in various ways. Holding open a door for them. Giving them your seat on the bus. Boiling your balls for them.
Say what?! Wait a minute…My boyfriend boils his balls for me

It’s true. It may even be true love. Melody Datz is a lucky lucky girl, because her boyfriend boils his balls for her.

Not in a euphemistic – hey, don’t go boiling my balls – type of way. (Not even to the tune of that Kiki Dee & Elton John duet. Know the one I mean?) We’re talking high temperature testicular torture – literally.

True love is shown in many ways. Here’s an insight into one way to turn up the temperature.

For seven nights out of every month, my boyfriend soaks his balls in a bathtub of 118-degree water for 45 minutes. He crams his six-foot-four frame into our claw-foot bathtub and sweats profusely as a constant stream of hot water slowly kills off enough sperm to render him infertile for the next few weeks.

The ball-intensive approach to the war on sperm—the heat method my boyfriend and I use—is great if you can put in the time and energy, but not many people really want to do this. The water in a hot tub rarely exceeds 104 degrees (or shouldn’t). Sperm-killing water must stay above 116 degrees—FOR 45 MINUTES. This means sitting in a tub (or in a sitz bath or on something really hot) for a long time while continually monitoring the temperature to make sure it’s high enough to zap the little bastards. My boyfriend downs a couple of pitchers of ice water during every bath. And, again, it’s incredibly time-intensive—45 minutes out of every evening for a week out of every month, not to mention the time it takes to run the water and cool down afterward.

I’m really not recommending you copy this yourself, but I really AM recommending you read the full article in the Seattle newspaper The Stranger. It’s about men sharing responsibility. It’s gruesomely fascinating – and interesting about the politics, practicalities and future of conception and contraception. Though oddly, after all the scorching scrotum soaking, there’s not much about sex. (I guess one might not be in the mood.) So it’s a suitable read for everyone.

squeamishApart from squeamish men, of course.

Or to be more concise…

Apart from men.

(And Irish readers may be shocked. The very idea of leaving the immersion heater on so long. Good God. Angela Merkel would never stand for it.)

Amidst the comments left below the original article, was this epic piece of advice from someone calling themselves AlaskanbutnotSeanParnell, who said:

If you are trying to save time by microwaving your balls, remember to puncture them first with a fork. Continue reading

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The universal rules for guaranteed good cooking

guaranteed_stampBreath in, breathe out and relax. It’s all going to be fine. You’ve found the Universal Rules for Guaranteed Good Cooking.

Your culinary troubles are over. All you need for gustatory nirvana is to follow these few simple steps exactly.

No need to sweat through Jamie, cower before Delia or moan over Nigella. Cookbooks begone! All you need is here.

Padmini this is for you. Men wave goodbye to kitchen anxiety. Women flex your spatulas. And let’s go…

The 20 Universal Rules for Guaranteed Good Cooking

1. Choose a bottle of red wine.. Not a carton. Not a box. Not a plastic bottle from a plane. A proper long-necked bottle.

2. Open it. Sniff it. Pause in anticipation.

3. Slowly pour it – savouring that obble-gobble obble-gobble sound. That sound is the spiritual fanfare of the kitchen.

jaqee4. Choose your music and press play. [Inappropriate music: The Pogues*, anything about prisons*, anything rubbish.] [Appropriate music: When the night feels my song – Bedouin Soundclash, Moonshine – Jaqee (looking cool and sultry on the left there), Desaparacido – Manu Chao, upbeat reggae or ska.]

5. Adjust the setting on your music player to a higher temperature. That’s better. By now you should have tasted your wine. (NB: Be sure to pour the wine before turning on the music, otherwise you may miss the soul-lifting obble-gobble obble-gobble.)

6. Stir yourself and dance (or at least sashay) round the kitchen. This is to be repeated frequently during the cooking process.

7. Take your measuring jug, scales and specially designed half teaspoon/teaspoon/half table spoon/table spoon device. Carefully hide these and any other oppressively exact tools in a cupboard out of sight. (NB: A glass doored cupboard will NOT do – unless the glass is opaque.)

8. Prepare your mushrooms. Rinse them. Peel them if it makes you feel good. Peel them slowly. Drink some wine. Then chop them and gently fry in three sauces – dark soy, teryaki and mirin. And the greatest of these is mirin Continue reading

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Wrong Fit

Postman Plod - from Viz

Postman Plod – from Viz

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches back into view? It’s me. I’m tentatively back.

Now wait a minute. Don’t go pointing the finger in this direction. You’re the ones to blame. For bringing me back, that is.

Despite me disappearing deeper than the caves of Tora Bora, keeping quieter than the Count of Montecristo and remaining as inactive as your local political representative – you kept dropping by this blog. And some of you have been sneakily getting in touch by other means. Thank you.

But why today? Why now?

It’s the postman who’s really to blame. He just fits this Friday’s topic set by the Loose Bloggers Consortium – Wrong Fit.

It was like this. I came home today, stood at the front door, feeling slightly off balance as I delved for my key.

(No – don’t go jumping to conclusions. No drink had been taken.)

I opened the door and stepped over the pile of letters inside. I carried them in to the kitchen. They were mostly for the previous occupants who seem determined not to redirect their mail. (Odd, considering some of the stuff they’re getting in the post and how poorly sealed the envelopes.  I’d definitely not want other people handling them if I were them.)

Oof - nasty kick to the head there!

Oof – a nasty Franz Ferdinand kick to the head there!

I was a bit disappointed because I’d been expecting two CDs – Franz Ferdinand: Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action – and Belle and Sebastian: The Third Eye Centre (you may remember them from that film I backed.) I ordered the CDs to celebrate finally getting paid for some of the work I’d been cramming in. But still no sign of them.

Then I spotted one of those familiar red “Something For You” notes left by the postman.* The message said the item could not be delivered because it was too large to go through the letter box. It was the wrong fit. The postman had written on the paper slip: “Package under mat.”

I paused. Can that mean what I think – no, what I fear it means?

Package under mat. Under the mat at the front door? The mat that everyone stands on when entering the house?

I went back outside. Lifted the mat – the mat I’d just been shuffling about on as I hoked around for my key.

Remember the bit about feeling a little off balance? That was because of the package hidden underneath my feet. (I’d clearly be an easy booby trap target with my powers of observation.)

So the question is this: Why on earth would any adult think it was a good idea to conceal a breakable parcel where people will stand on it Continue reading

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