Thursday, April 16, 2009

What are pigs really like?

I like to think that I am usually a fairly thoughtful person, but clearly I am not, if one is to compare me to those at the BBC:

"Many of us eat bacon for breakfast without a thought for the animals that provide it, but what are pigs really like?"

It's true, I eat bacon whenever I can, but no, to my shame, I have not spent much time meditating on the pig it came from. Perhaps life is too short? (Shortened even, by eating bacon, perhaps).

This BBC program stuck an actor in a sty with a bunch of pigs and then filmed his 'thoughts' and reaction to the experience. So rather than find out what pigs are really like, we found out what a human guy felt like sitting in a sty.

"My biggest challenge was not the mud but the isolation. No conversation, no computer, no phone, no paper, no way to organise your thoughts, nowhere to wash. Not being able to play with my phone or send an e-mail or write anything down."

In Britain, people pay a license fee for the privilege of owning a television, with which revenue the government funds the BBC. My family, however, never paid this tax because we did not have a television, rightly understanding that Satan invented the TV in the early 20th century in response to rising human populations.

Also, Satan is 42 years old, and lives in Beverly Hills, California.

St Andrews designs tartan for Dutch people

This from ages ago -- September, 2005. It took them five months to design a tartan?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

F minus for content, effort, design...

Say hello to, but try not to stare in horror. This 'hideousity' is a new Web site aimed at the worldwide Irish diaspora. Sources tell me that Irish taxpayer money helped fund those who seem to have haphazardly flung together bits of stale design from the late-1990s world wide web, while the content still cannot shake itself away from that hokey 'Oirish' bullshit affectation that has never represented anything more Irish than a Lexington Avenue dive bar. And those ads! Garrish. (Why take ads anyway, if indeed the Irish government is footing the bill?)

Overall the site screams ugly. It's kind of like looking at a photograph of one of those stomach-churning meals from the 1970s...

Something Rich and Strange

I regret to report that my neighborhood has taken a sudden downward turn with the news that our new neighbor, a block and a half away, is... Madonna. According to the New York Post, Ms. Ciccone has bought a big townhouse on East 81st Street between Lexington and Third Avenues.

I think I'll go round and -- while welcoming her to the neighborhood, of course -- ask her if she wouldn't mind keeping the music down.

And more songstress news! This time, Britney Spears: apparently she got a new tattoo, of the Japanese word or character for 'mysterious.' But she was bummed to discover afterwards that the tattoo more broadly can be translated as just plain 'strange.'

And now, in Pirate news: after the events in the Persian Gulf involving the U.S. Navy (score: one), and Somalian pirates (nil), the Washington Post published a slightly cautionary report with this line:

"The killing of the three pirates by the U.S. military could worsen the problem, military officials said. Statements made Monday by people who identified themselves as pirates seemed to bolster that view."

'People who identified themselves as pirates...'

I'm imagining a gravelly voice at the other end of the telephone line: "Aaaarrr! Yes, yes, that be true. I be a pirate. Shiver me timbers, I been sailin' the seven seas since... ah, since my Master of Fine Arts at Yale didn't automatically lead me toward a writing career..."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Shrouded in mystery? Not really

I open the weekend Wall Street Journal and find a full page article on the enduring Swindle of Turin, the piece of rag which various millions of Christians around the world insist must be the burial sheet of Jesus, because, lo, upon it is the supposed facial imprint of a bearded man! Case closed.

But a glance at John's Gospel chapter 20 suggests otherwise, and only with the authority and force of the Word of God. Who do you believe, Christians? In the passage quoted below, Simon Peter comes to the tomb of Jesus and goes into it. He finds no body, for Jesus has of course risen from the dead. What does he find? Chapter 20 states:

Verse 6 Then cometh Simon Peter... and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

Verse 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

So, the Shroud of Turin, which is one whole piece of cloth, is hardly a likely contender. Happy Easter.