Friday, 17 February 2017

Contradictions 4

We're living in an Alice through the Looking-Glass world.

If all news is fake, why is Trump talking to the press? If the press lies all the time, how do we know he said "All news is fake"? (Have you met my friend Epimenides?)

The people calling everyone "snowflakes" have been deeply offended by a Broadway show, a coffee shop, SNL, a Star Wars movie, and a beer ad. (‏@robdaviau)

Academics who moan about trigger-warnings and safe spaces are the whiniest of whiny babies. (@lottelydia)

"The Libtards are too sensitive!!"
(Clutches pearls at Starbucks cups.)
(Faints at booing.)
(Literally dies at "Happy Holidays".)
(Cassandra ‏@ChrisWarcraft)

"Safe spaces! Grow up and face the real world, snowflake" - People who voted to wreck the country just to avoid sharing it with foreigners. (Dean Burnett ‏@garwboy)

Some of the meanest-spirited social media pages I've ever seen are punctuated with fluffy memes and quotations about Caring. Always fascinated by those Facebook pages where screeds of racist rants are suddenly interrupted by memes of teddies & friendship. (Kate Long ‏@volewriter)

Millennials are 'obsessed with phones and hashtagging' says Piers Morgan, in one of his ninety two thousand tweets. (Jon Dryden Taylor ‏@jondrytay)

Funny, the people who berate the Archbishop for speaking out for refugees are the same people who demand we return to 'Christian values'. (@revkatebottley)

The reality is Leavers create wealth, Remainers in the main consume it. When push comes to shove Remainers are of no value to society. (Godfrey Bloom, How can you run an economy without consumers, Godfrey? If nobody consumes your goods, how are you going to “create wealth”?)

In Brownsville tampons are seen as immoral. So is using birth control. What I don’t understand is that teen pregnancy is generally accepted. (Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, Maya Van Wagenen)

Complain that kids today don’t know where food comes from, or why we celebrate Easter, while recommending the Japanese/Finnish school system that doesn’t teach children to read until they are seven, or teaches nothing but “character” and “manners” for the first two years. (And moaning that children just rote-learn facts that they “regurgitate” in exams.)

Claim that print media is dead, and journalists are all fiends.

Claim that we are playthings of fate – and masters of our destiny. (There’s no such thing as freewill – and we are responsible for everything that happens to us.)

Deny free will while arresting, charging and condemning criminals.

Despise Muslims while reading Rumi.
Complain our culture is being diluted while eating a chicken tikka masala.

Expect your children to become professionals, and despise “trade”, while enjoying the benefits of a society based on buying and selling.

Rant about the nanny state
while enjoying public works like street lighting, libraries, museums, roads, sea defences...

Claim to be “uncomfortable” when you hear people speaking Arabic, but make sure your children learn French.

Claim that everybody stayed put before about 1950, but admire Christopher Columbus, Francis Drake and Captain Cook.

How can people say “be yourself” while also using the words “social pressure”?

And if nobody drank water in the Olden Days because it was polluted, how did the Broadwick Street pump cause a cholera outbreak?

More here, and links to the rest.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Haiku 18

Is it possible
To have too many haiku?
Me, I don't think so.

If I could under-
stand what the purpose is for
I might just do them.
Nathan Keates
Smells wintry. Just needs
A dash of Esso Blue and
An anthracite whiff.

It’s always the paws
of the lynx that
fill me with awe.
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

Deer across the river –
heard a woodpecker and spied
a nameless bird of prey
at the junction of two streams.

Elephant seal sleepover.
The weird sky with the tiny red sun
is due to smoke from forest fires.
Marcus Fairs ‏@marcusfairs

It's the weekend baby,
you know what that means.
Time to buy precisely one courgette on the way home
because you're an adult I guess.

I have discovered an interesting toadstool,
the colour of natural beeswax,
shaped like a small bowl
and about three inches across.
I shall look it up.
Unfortunately it has been growing
on the bathroom carpet.
Liz Williams

Tricia has gone to buy
Root veg and cream cakes.
I’m in the car
Listening to Akhnaten.

The stormwater retention pond in the rain.
Black willows, and all the reflective gray
in the world.
Elizabeth Bastos

Somehow fog makes
back areas photogenic.
On right: fallen gutter
which no-one is ever
going to repair.

‏Such light,
and the mist rolling in
to hem the landscape.

Such otherworldly skies,
and in the park,
a stretch of mist
like a forgotten scarf.
Festive Kat Brown ‏@katbrown

Inside ancient amber,
palaeontologists find
tiny dinosaur feathers —
and also some little ants.
Science News

Ladybird clinging
to the ceiling like
a spot of blood.
Alex Paknadel

It is typical that seven wild swans
will fly over your head
when the camera's batteries have run out.
They may have been looking for someone
to sew nettle shirts.
I'm not volunteering.
Liz Williams

There are several green parrots
nesting in the ombues
outside my bedroom window.
The sound they make
is very far from being tuneful.

Two peacocks on a wall.
Where they should not have been,
but hey! Peacocks.
Liz Williams

Moon is strong enough to walk by
and casts a shadow from my body
on the silvery dune grass.
Quintin Lake

Back from Cornwall.
Cormorant flying alongside the train
at Teignmouth for half a mile or so.
John Grindrod ‏

Why does the ticking
of a clock get louder
after midnight?
Andrew J Baker

The old house quivers
When a Thameslink train passes
Beyond the car park.

Woke from a series of visions
about a vast, silent ship made of ice
gliding slowly through the dark
towards earth.
Spooky Toad ‏@FrogCroakley

Interlaced AngloSaxon birds
gnash their horrible teeth
as they grip each others' legs
on St Chad's Gospels.
Susan Oosthuizen

Just bumped my head
on the low flying moon.
John Grindrod
Great Apes
Before we were us
We were them
And we still are.
Paul Harland

Don't glamourise evil,
Or it will creep up on us
Like its shabby self.

Absolute peace in the city.
The absence of noise...
But for the soft tap of keys to type this...

Condensation, dew,
windfall apples, fading light.
I'm 63 and Back To School
still puts a sliver of ice
in my heart. Brr.

More here, and links to the rest.