I am not offended

A cartoon has been published in an Australian newspaper.

Click to embiggen

People have apparently been offended.

Aw diddums.

What do I think of the cartoon?

It's not clever, nor even mildly funny.  I have seen far better on toilet walls.

Am I offended?

Not in the slightest bit.  A cartoon cannot offend me unless I choose to be offended.  And I choose not to.

What do I make of the paper publishing the cartoon?

Absolutely 100% weapons grade, industrial strength pure indifference.  If they want to publish poor cartoons that's their business.  It doesn't affect me,

What does annoy me is that some group who apparently set themselves up as representatives of the Irish should actually complain to the newspaper. 

Why can't these whingers grow some balls?



I saw the moon last night.

Yes, it was full, bright and clear.  It lit the garden quite nicely until Penny tripped the security lights whereupon the moon faded in significance somewhat.

Now if I hadn't seen the meeja I wouldn't have been any the wiser, but apparently last night was a Supermoon.

For fuck's sake!

And today the meeja and in particular Twitter [and no doubt Farcebook] are full of photographs of the moon as if no one had ever noticed it up there before.

I have seen the moon before.  I have been aware of it for sixty years and more.  Sometimes it's bright and sometime's it isn't.  It goes quietly through its phases without seeking any permission.  I even watched Neil Armstrong wipe his grubby feet on it.

But suddenly someone calls it a Supermoon and people go crazy, celebrating it and photographing it and acting like this is some new visitor from Outer Space come to save us all from ourselves.

The moon is on an elliptical orbit.  It varies its distance from Earth from 252,000 miles to 222,000 miles.  Now if anyone apart from an astronomer can visually see that small variation of 30,000 miles then they either have damn good eyesight or a vivid imagination.  What's more, the variations in distance happen very slowly so the moon tonight will appear just the same as the moon last night.  But by tonight the Twitterati will have forgotten about it again, because it is no longer a Supermoon.

Now if the moon suddenly turned up five miles away, that would be a Supermoon.





I have always had a [slight] interest in accents.

I suppose it comes of having an English mother which resulted in my having a slight English twinge which in turn led to unmerciful slagging in school.  I learned early on to purge my voice of any traces of Englishness and to develop a sort of hybrid Dublin/ East Coast/ whatever accent.

I was down in the village the other day.

It was a nice sunny day so I decided a mug of coffee in the sun was a good idea.

I was sitting there in the sunshine with my nice full mug on the table, the pipe going full blast and Penny curled up at my feet when I noticed the group at another table who were having rather a loud conversation.

The bloke had what I would describe as an educated East Coast accent, his female companion was American to the core so I could barely understand her and the bloke's daughter had one of those ghastly accents I can only describe as a television accent – a sort of mid-Atlantic twang and each sentence ended in an upward interrogative twist which drives me fucking mad and makes me want to smash the face of the perpetrator.

The American was obviously a visitor and the bloke was enquiring where she would like to visit the following day.  He suggested either the Giant's Causeway or The Blarney Stone.  As they represent opposite ends of the country he must have been one hell of a glutton for motorways.  When Ghastly Accent Sprog said she didn't want either, Fawning Daddy suggested Alton Towers.  Seeing as that is in another country altogether I dismissed him as being a bit of a fuitcake.  Either that or he owned a private plane.

But then the subject got onto accents.  He [rightly] stated that Visitor had an American accent and confessed that to him, every American sounds much the same.  This is true.  While I can distinguish New York Bronx from Deep South that is about the limit, whereas I can almost tell what town someone comes from In Ireland as I am tuned to the subtle nuances.

Visitor then announced at the top of her voice that Fawning Daddy had a very strong Irish accent but that she, quite definitely and categorically didn't have any accent at all.

I damn near choked on my coffee.

No loud Americans


Tobacco can save your life

I almost feel sorry for the World Health Organisation.

For years they have been obsessed with tobacco.  It is the world's greatest killer… millions dying every day… it must be eradicated and wiped off the face of the planet…  blah blah blah.

Then along comes Ebola.

Now Ebola is grist to the mill for the WHO and their pals in Big Pharma.  They can start bandying words like "outbreak" and "pandemic" to get the world really worried.  After all, Ebola is almost a byword for a deadly plague, so it's a simple matter to whip the world up into a frenzy and to start spending billions on vaccines.

The only small problem is that there is no vaccine.

There is hope however for all Big Pharma shareholders.  There is a potential vaccine on the horizon which just needs a few further tests and tweaks.  Get that little baby rolling and Big Pharma will have one of its greatest bonanzas yet.

The big problem though is that that vaccine is derived from the tobacco plant.  Is it good, or is it evil?  Will they have to force people to wear nicotine patches after each inoculation?  Will the vaccine be banned under the EU's Tobacco Products Directive?  Will hypodermics have to carry a health warning ["While saving your life, this product can kill you"]?

What sweet irony.