Meme Time

Here’s how it works: Google “[your first name] needs” and share the first 10 results - omit duplicates and gibberish. That's it: it is that simple. But be honest! These are actual quotes from the top ten results.

1. Douglas needs Major Expansion.
2. Douglas needs your support now!
3. Douglas needs to shut up.
4. Douglas needs YOU.
5. Douglas needs help.
6. Douglas needs love.
7. Douglas needs surgery on his other shoulder.
8. Douglas needs an escort.
9. Douglas needs a climate change.
10. Douglas needs a hit by beetlegeuse.

I appear to share many of my newfound needs with Michael Douglas.



People, buy Pepsi. Unless they cave, in which case buy Coca-Cola.

"AFA asked Pepsi to stay neutral in the culture war." What? They're not the Romulans, you know.

If you're going to put milk in the coffee, the coffee's got to learn to speak Milk.

It's true.

Strikes and Switzerland

So-called 'wildcat' (nice name - in my experience, domesticated or not, there's no such thing as a non-wild cat) strikes have been breaking out in the UK over the employment of foreigners. I do think that people who are striking about this are, in their special way, idiots. This kind of employment protectionism gets no-one anywhere. And this is just an eccentricity on my part due to my extreme europhilia etc, but I don't really regard other EU citizens as foreigners anyway. That's completely alien to my way of thinking.

However just for the annals of political goofballery, I'd like to point out this rather silly statement from Gordon Brown, speaking in the (non-EU) country of Switzerland. (Quoting this BBC News report)

"Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Mr Brown said  '... where there are jobs in this country, we need people with the skills, developed in this country'".

Translated, this means:

"Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Mr Brown said, '....where there are jobs in [Switzerland], we need people with the skills, developed in [Switzerland.]'"

I have more developed thoughts about employment, freedom of movement in the EU, etc..... but it's Sunday.

This article by Steven Pinker, the language theorist, in the New York Times, is ostensibly about Obama's bungled oath of office, but it also contains a few passages that nicely encapsulate my approach to grammar.

'Language pedants hew to an oral tradition of shibboleths that have no basis in logic or style, that have been defied by great writers for centuries, and that have been disavowed by every thoughtful usage manual. Nonetheless, they refuse to go away, perpetuated by the Gotcha! Gang and meekly obeyed by insecure writers.

'Among these fetishes is the prohibition against “split verbs,” in which an adverb comes between an infinitive marker like “to,” or an auxiliary like “will,” and the main verb of the sentence. According to this superstition, Captain Kirk made a grammatical error when he declared that the five-year mission of the starship Enterprise was “to boldly go where no man has gone before”; it should have been “to go boldly.” Likewise, Dolly Parton should not have declared that “I will always love you” but “I always will love you” or “I will love you always.”

'Any speaker who has not been brainwashed by the split-verb myth can sense that these corrections go against the rhythm and logic of English phrasing. The myth originated centuries ago in a thick-witted analogy to Latin, in which it is impossible to split an infinitive because it consists of a single word, like dicere, “to say.” But in English, infinitives like “to go” and future-tense forms like “will go” are two words, not one, and there is not the slightest reason to interdict adverbs from the position between them.'

Personally, I'd go further and say that when it comes to grammar, you should just make shit up. It's your language, be free!

The Rock Doctrine and Guantanamo Bay
My feelings on the United States closing of Guantanamo Bay:

'A [silly fellow] will say some shit like, "I take care of my kids." You're supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What kind of ignorant shit is that? "I ain't never been to jail!" What do you want, a cookie?! You're not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having motherfucker!'

--Chris Rock.

This is what I call 'The Rock Doctrine' - ie, you shouldn't have to be commended for doing something a normal person/country would do anyway.

(The words 'silly fellow' replace another word that I'm not going to put on this LJ.)

The Sound of 2008
The top 25 songs of 2008, mashed:

Mr. Smith
I've been reading the comments on the Guardian's story about Matt Smith being cast as the 11th Doctor. It's surprising how prejudiced people are about young people. I happen to quite like this new Doctor - after all, the Doctor is 900+ years old, so no actor is of 'sufficient age/experience' to adequately play him. But this is because I am an optimistic person, and therefore not at home in Britain, whose national motto is a quiet moan.

One observation, though, is - I think this Doctor's personality will be remarkably different than the Tenth's. The Eleventh looks like the brooding type.

I suddenly feel an urge to grow a moustache.

This urge needs to be combatted swiftly and with all necessary force.

Master of none
I do sometimes wish I were an expert on something. Instead my knowledge covers a wide range of issues over which I have rather shallow understanding. I sometimes startle myself at my lack of intellectual or moral rigour.


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