The Sign of the Wanker

Evil, degrading, addictive, harmful

A public health crisis.

So another "public health crisis" is rearing its ugly head, to add to the long list of tobacco, fat, sugar, alcohol and all the rest?

So what exactly is this new "crisis"?

Yes, folks, it's PORN.

I am familiar with pornography.  Who isn't these days?  I ignore it because the sight of a couple grinding and groaning on a small screen doesn't interest me, just as watching a cookery programme doesn't satiate my hunger or satisfy my taste buds.  It's easy enough to avoid – just don't go looking for it.

Many many years ago, I was in London with a few friends.  This was before the Interweb age  and one of the group was desperate to see a porn film.  So we headed over to Soho, found a cinema and went in.  There were two films on show [I mercifully can’t remember their names] and we walked out after about ten minutes [much to the enthusiast’s disgust] because the film was intensely tedious and boring.  There is only so much grinding, groaning and sweat that a man can take.

Apparently however, pornography is “a public health hazard” that can result in wide-ranging harm to individuals and society at large".

Now this conjures up some rather disturbing images in my mind.  Are people whacking off at the side of the road in the state of Utah?  Are they discarding their used tissues and old socks in the gutters?  If not, then how is it a public health issue?  How is it harming society at large?

What about the cheeeldren I hear them cry?  What about them?  Kids will look for porn because they are curious.  Internet porn is just the modern equivalent of underwear brochures and Health & Efficiency Magazine.  They will watch and snigger and then move on to something else.  It saves a lot on the old Birds and Bees lectures?

I have a theory.  It's only a theory mind, but nevertheless it's mine.  My theory is that those who decry pornography the most are those who are hooked on the stuff and are desperate to have it removed at any cost.  Their wrists are shot from Repetitive Strain Injury, the carpet of their computer room is stiff and caked, and they just want to stop.  They suffer major pangs of guilt and the only way to purge their secret passion is to publicly denounce the practice.

So next time Todd Weiler is out and about, just watch closely.

Does he walk like John Wayne? 

Does his breathing rate increase at the sight of a woman?

Does he disappear into the gents' toilet every ten minutes and come out sweating?

Does he always carry a box of tissues?

Is his wrist inflamed and painful?

I wonder…..

The Need for Speed

When I first moved here, I had a brilliant connection to the Interweb.

It was a 56K modem.

Many happy days were spent watching a simple file download, while Herself spat feathers as I was tying up the phone line.  It was cheap because I had somehow [*cough*] discovered a special line that the phone engineers used to test connectivity.  In other words, it cost me nothing.

After a couple of years they must have discovered my little ploy because they changed the password.

Inconsiderate bastards.

So I started on an expedition to find myself a wee drop of broadband.  I phoned the phone company.  Oh, how they laughed!  "Broadband?" says they.  "You must be fucking joking!  Yiz live up the fucking mountains so just put that little idea out of your head for at least a century,"

After a year or so of expensive [and therefore rare] dialing into the Interweb I heard of a company that was installing a wireless kind of setup.  They were in Skobieville which is miles away, but I phoned them anyway.  Oh how they laughed!  "A connection?" says they.  "You must be fucking joking!  Yiz live fucking miles away so just put that little idea out of your head for at least a century,"

I persisted.  I told them I could see their mast on a very clear day and if I used a very powerful pair of binoculars.  They eventually sent out an engineer, obviously to try to get rid of me.  But said chappie found that I actually had a signal.  I signed up, and they installed a mast on the house.  I had broadband!

A year or so after that my connection suddenly stopped working.  I phoned them.  "Ah yes" says they, "We twiddled the mast so it no longer points in your direction.  Tough shit.  We'll send someone out to collect all the equipment and it was nice knowing you."

Sure enough, a week or so later, a van arrived to remove the aerial and all the other shit.  I told 'em to fuck off.  I told 'em that there was another mast that they had just erected and it was much nearer.  Oh how they laughed!  They said that mast wasn't visible from my house and they fucked off, but at least I kept the equipment as I wouldn't let them on the roof.

I rang the company.  I told them about the new mast [in case they didn’t know] and how I wanted to be connected to that.  They said it wasn't visible from my house.  I sent them a photograph of their mast taken from my roof.  They sent out an engineer and he relocated my equipment and gave me my broadband back.

I have been using it now for many years.  It's solid and reliable.  It is supposed to give me 3Mb [down and up] and in practice it's just that.  Never varies.  Always constant.

Speed test

I have a problem though.

As the years passed a load of trees have grown up and are about to block my line of sight.  Nature is about to deny me a connection, and there is fuck all I can do about it except install higher and higher masts on my roof.

There is a steel cabinet out on the road.  It's quite handy as I can stand on it to cut part of the hedge.  I discovered recently that this is in fact a fibre cabinet and if I connect to it I will get 100mb.  The ony problem is that it isn't working just yet.  They say it will be in operation within the year.

If I connect to it, it will cost a fair bit more, but for the price I can do away with the phone and probably the satellite, so there would be a net profit at the end of the year.  In fact I would save quite a bit and get a really fast connection.

I'm happy with my 3Mb.  It suits my needs and I couldn't normally justify the connection, except that I would be saving a bit and I wouldn't have to worry about those damned trees.

So it's just a question now of who gets there first.

The fibre connection or the trees.


Targeting the children

There is a topic that has been puzzling me for some time now.

I am well used to the Tobacco Control Industry spouting their little soundbites.  They wiffle on about half of all smokers dying [what do the rest do?], how smoking kills X thousand people a year [fill in the number of your choice] and all the other little snippets that they invent at their conventions.  They trot them out so glibly that they must practice them every night and make a mental note to slip one of them in every third or fourth sentence.

The one that confuses me though is their dogged insistence that Big Tobacco are constantly dreaming up new ways to attract children into buying their brands.


Let's say for arguments sake that a tobacco company introduces a new brand called Disney.  Its pack is all slinky and pink and curved with an image of Mickey Mouse on it.  Its slogan is "Sooth that toddler's croup" and the company goes into full production.

Where does it go from there?

They can't advertise this new brand, as all advertising in any shape or form is banned.  So no glossy images in magazines, on the cinema screen or on television.

The new packs are concealed behind "the wall of shame" in all shops so the kids can't see the new packs there.

So that leaves just one area open – the pack lying around at home or in the hand of a smoker in the street.  We can discount the smoker in the street as the kids may notice the pack but won't be able to go any further.  Unless they approach the smoker and start asking questions about the brand then they probably aren't even going to see the name or slogan.  And anyway they can't barge into a shop and demand the new brand as presumably they will be refused, so that just leaves the pack lying around the house that mammy or daddy have left lying around.

But why would mammy or daddy leave a pack of Disney lying around when they don't know of its existence either?  Because of the ban on advertising, the grown ups are completely unaware of any new brand so presumably are going to carry on asking for their Marlborough or Rothmans as they have always done.

Herself likes Silk Cut so when I am buying, I ask for Silk Cut [I was once approached by Mensa].  I don't go into the shop and ask if there any new brands she should try.  I don't ask to see the pack first.  Most shops now use a dispensing machine so when I ask for Silk Cut, they press a button [coincidentally marked “Silk Cut”] and out pops the pack.  Since all these bans came in, the design of the pack has changed three times but I only became aware of it after I had made my purchase.  There could be fifty new brands in there but I don't and can't know about them.

So a serious question – how exactly are the tobacco companies "targeting kids"?

I would dearly like to know.


Politeness isn’t everything

I accidentally clicked on a bookmark in my browser a couple of days ago.

I have a habit of finding a site, thinking it looks interesting, bookmarking it for a later occasion and then forgetting about it entirely.  As a result I have hundreds of useless bookmarks floating around the place.

The one I rediscovered was a "politeness test" to check just how polite and friendly my writing is.

Apparently my meanderings are not very friendly.  I stuck in the stuff I typed last Friday and it scored "Contentious".  What the fuck?  Apparently I use too much of the First Person.  Of course I use the First Person!  I'm writing about my own brainfarts and thoughts so I'm hardly going to use the Second or Third Person?  Do they think I'm the fucking Queen or something?  We are not amused.

One of the sentences was marked as using "vulgar language", but the only word I could find that could possibly triggered this alarming message was the word "hole" as in "the UK will disappear into a black hole if they fail to follow the wishes of the EU masters".  Do they think I am referring to a Negro's arshole?  If so they would need to clean up their own fucking act before criticising mine.

It seems I am too negative as well?  They don't say quite how I am negative but nearly every sentence is flagged.  It can only find a few positive words such as "we", "us", "for" [what the fuck?] and “and” [now they’re taking the piss!].  I really must use "positive language" more!

From now on I shall use this test site frequently.  My ambition is to score "anarchic", "obnoxious" and "utterly disgusting".

Just out of interest I tested the above.

A couple of interesting things cropped up though.

It seems that "fucking" is vulgar and a swear word, but so is "mine"?

One thing it didn't object to is "Negro's arsehole" so apparently that is quite acceptable language?

I think it says a lot about that site!



I haven't mentioned Brexit before.

It has no effect on me personally so you would imagine that I would have no opinion.  But there again I seem to have an opinion on everything so I had better grow one fast for Brexit?

I have seen the occasional report in the meeja that Brexit would be disastrous for Ireland, and I have also seen reports that our Dame Enda has been over imploring the Brits to stay in the EU.  Why the Brits should take any notice of Dame Enda is beyond me as we ignore him here, even in his own country.

The Brexit vote is typical of any other EU vote – tons of propaganda stating that the sky will fall in and the UK will disappear into a black hole if they fail to follow the wishes of the EU masters.  If the Brits vote to leave then there will be re-runs persuading them why they are mis guided and they really must vote again to get the right answer.  Or maybe the EU will just decide to ignore the vote and refuse to let them go.  I wouldn't put anything past Brussels.

Personally I do have an opinion.  I hope for a resounding vote to leave.  This is indeed a personal thing not because it will affect me personally [or I hope not] but it will inflict a major wound on the whole EU project which I despise.  They are already suffering financially and from the immigration thing which is leading to a groundswell of opinion against them, and in the event of a Brexit I would hope that some other countries will get the idea and tell Brussels to fuck themselves, which could lead to am interesting domino effect.

I don't kid myself that Ireland will join the queue to leave as our gubmint [if we had one] has a propensity for arse licking and crawling cap in hand to Brussels.  We always want to be on the side of the bully in the playground even if it means ignoring the wishes of the Irish people.  We [apparently] pride ourselves on being the cap doffing, forelock tugging leaders of Europe, or at least that's what our gubmint tells us.

So for God's sake vote to leave, for all our sakes.


It just could be the beginning of the end.