Monday, October 31, 2011

Bottom of the News, 31/10/11

Happy Halloween, fellow unintellectuals! Of course, I'm not here to tell you that I want to suck your blood - Mitt Romney and I have a completely exclusive blood-sucking relationship that satisfies me on a vampirosexual level. No, I'm here to report on the various bottoms relevant to the news - and that bottom, of course, is none other than my Mitty Witty's!!

Now, many of my friends will know that I am bad with technology. Not just bad - absolutely retarded with it. I regularly need to get Yair, my cowriter, to debug my computer. I broke my Blackberry by trying to type an essay on it. One time, I even accidentally had sex with a toaster.

So when I went on Google to look for the news, I had a really hard time. I didn't see it on the top part of the browser, so I clicked "More." When I didn't see it on the drop down list, I clicked, "Even more." That's when I was redirected to a page that was even scarier and more confusing.

I quickly looked for something to do - and that's when I saw "What do you love?" in big letters at the top. So I said, "Duh, Mitt Romney's bottom." I typed that into the search box and clicked the heart. That's when I saw it.

You can adore it here
An entire page with information on Mitt Romney's bottom! Books about it, pictures of it, videos! You can start a discussion group about it, email people about it, even - and I'm completely serious when I say this - "Scour the Earth for Mitt Romney's Bottom."

Now you can imagine my joy upon reaching this page. However, I had work to do, so after a quick wank, I went down and clicked the top of "Latest news about Mitt Romney's bottom."

The article talked about Governor Romneykinz not doing very well in the polls in Iowa. This is no surprise - those Midwestern hicks just don't have the sophistication to appreciate his cool, apathetic appeal. This is why Romney-Bear and I moved to Massachusetts.

But the article made other points. For example, they argued that my Rom-Rom wasn't socially conservative enough for them. What do they mean? What's not socially conservative about saying "No homo" every time you make love to a young blogging male? Believe me - my Future Mr. Prezzybuns is going to dump a load of social conservatism all over America's face.

Socially conservative!
And the article got worse. The person beating him in the polls was - you guessed it - a black guy! Now, you all know by now that I'm not a fan of black guys. Nothing personal; I just don't trust anyone with a penis larger than their brain. (Looking at you, Barack! No homo.)

And to think that such a person is raping my Mitty Witty in the polls! As that ball of future presidency's no homo lover, I'm very protective of him. I'm not letting some Moor violate Mitchellbear, politically or otherwise.

Anyway, I'd love to sit and complain about black people, but I've got a picture of Mitt Romney that I still need to masturbate to. Bye!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Caowin's Editorial on Libertarianism

So libertarians, for perhaps the first time in human history, won a poll - namely, my "Which minority group is the most annoying?" poll. So this Thursday's article will discuss them and why they suck so badly.

Now, you might be thinking, "Caowin, what do you, a self-proclaimed Public Unintellectual, know about libertarianism?" Well, I'll have you know that, anticipating the libertarian's success (bet you'll never hear that again!), I attended a Ron Paul event.

Of course, since the handicapped, rape victims, and Jews also had good chances of winning, I also pretended to be handicapped to get people to do stuff for me, hit on women at the Rape Crisis Center, and burned down a local synagogue. I like to keep my bases covered.

Anyway, I learned at said Ron Paul rally that, in many ways, I'm a libertarian. I don't believe in welfare. I hate Medicaid. I even dream about peeing on poor people. But there are many things that libertarians and I disagree on.

For example, the wars on drugs, crime and terror. Most libertarians will tell you that these aren't really wars at all, since they do not involve engaging a nation-state in a military conflict, and are merely talking points used to justify exorbitant military and police funding (whatever that means).

But obviously they've never heard of  "Thumb Wars." Or "Mafia Wars." Or the card game "War." Or "Wario." These are all war things that have nothing to do with nation-state. QED bitches.

Or what about about their radical opposition to foreign aid? Now, I'm fine with not giving money to starving people in Africa - those people have overwhelmingly dark skin. [Editor's Rice: Rice - I apologize for my cowriter's obvious insensitivity.][Writer's Note: Caowinhim - You don't have to worry about offending black people: they can't read, silly!]

But what about Israel? If those Jews don't have a homeland, where am I supposed to launch my missiles when I become the first Nationalist Socialist President of the United States of America?

And what about gay marriage? Perhaps worse than the end of all those wars on ideals and the potential destruction of my Nazi dream, gay marriage would effectively be really homo.

So, in conclusion, while distaste towards the poor is something libertarians and I share, I cannot in good conscience call libertarians anything less than "Republican wannabes." So, in the wise words of Laura Schlesinger, "Go do the right thing?"

I'm Back, America! Also, Technology or Something

This may irritate my fellow writer greatly, but there is now only 3 time zones between his posting offensive rubbish and my editing it out. That is obviously good news for you, our fans, and bad news for him, the racist/conservative. I'll probably be getting a phone call from him about this soon, so relish it while it lasts.

So what is my new abode like? Pretty nice! I'm living on an island in a marsh now, which is pretty... Unique. Definitely positive is the fact that it's approximately 2,000 degrees warmer here than it was in England when I left - and I aren't living in a fascist/socialist dystopia any more.
I can't decide which one David Cameron is today.
On the other hand, I am surrounded by a lot more black people over here. Just kidding, of course - that's the kind of thing that Caowinhim would say. Although there really are a lot more races and cultures here, which is quite interesting. Right now, I'm working as a paid home teacher at home, which fulfilling though it may be, does not lead to a lot of social interaction. It is therefore with great confusion that I announce that I am both more and less lonely than I was previously. This is compounded by the fact that of my two 'pupils', only my sister has literally any interest in being taught. Ah well... I shall muddle on, in true British spirit.

Next week, I have both the SCAD film festival, and my first true Halloween in two years to attend, and after that I shall be seeking a job at one of the local island shops. There is social interaction to be has therw, I think. Unfortunately, what all of this means is that I won't have much time for political thought in these next couple weeks.
You really are getting off far too lucky today, David.
After all, I need to get acclimated to the U.S. political climate before I can truly commentate on it. You guys do enjoy my political commentary, right? I would hate to think my writing is being wasted here, when it's so much easier to just write 'Down with the beorgeousie fascist junta' on the walls of my room and then wallpaper over the scrawls for future generations to find and puzzle over. Please note: I have only done that once or twice. Now, I would genuinely hate it if all of you at home thought that I was some kind of limp-wristed wishy washy liberal or something! So, I'm obliged to here tell you that I also hate communism.
That is, unless you count the utopian socialist paradise that we may soon be able to create with our now-beorgeousie cutting-edge technology. Even I, the most Apple-hating anti-Apple supporter to ever laugh at Steve Jobs' death (only a little: I aren't evil like Steve Jobs), am using an iPhone to type this blogpost. Oh, I'm only using it because my Dad had an extra one kicking about with no network plan, and I have more complaints about the software than a Republican does about Mexicans, but the fact of the matter is that I am using this now ubiquitous technology. Even if you have the good sense and taste to shun Apple technology, a vast majority of you have a smartphone of some sort, not to mention internet enabled everything.
"Jeeves! Fetch my wireless swan at once."
What has this got to do with Utopia? After all, I have almost certainly written at least one opinion in my life blaming this self-same technology for everything from stupiduty to cancer. The fact is though that iTechnology (is that a word yet? I'm so coining it if not) is making information, media, and entertainment 'post-scarcity'. What that means is that whereas books back in the day had a material value (the paper, glue, and ink all costs real money), data in this world of ever expanding and cheapening bandwidth is essentially free. Practically speaking, publishers in ye olde world had to pay thousands, if not millions on releasing books in the hope of return - but in the modern world, people like Amanda Hocking can make millions by self-publishing on the Kindle for literally no cost.

"But hold on, Mr. Rice!" I hear you calling, "didn't you say that post-scarcity means that things don't cost anything, and yet I need to pay for ebooks/TV/creepy fetish porn!"

Yes, things do still cost money (unless you, like me, whole-heartedly support the public domain and creative commons), but the important distinction is that they only cost money because distributors attatch an artificial value to them. I realise that as an aspiring writer, what I am saying is very self-effacing, but I'm still in favour. What does reading this blog cost you? Nothing. How much would you be willing to pay to read it? Also nothing... Unless you're a far wealthier and more generous soul than anyone I know - including myself. We get all our money from advertising. But the latest bestseller ebook? At least a few bucks, likely more depending on the vendor. Why is that, when fundamentally they are the same? Even bestsellers (Twilight) can have far worse writing quality than an average blogpost, whether written by me or an illiterate/Caowinhim - yet you are happy to pay good money for the latter. This is not, as previously and erroneously stated by myself, a flaw in society at large-
"Damn straight, homies"
-but a flaw in wealthy people that is single-handesly supporting our antiquated economy.
"I'm melting! Nooooo!!!"
I have recently been reading a newish RPG book called Eclipse Phase, which is what we call a hard science fiction game (mostly available for free on a CC license). That does not, as Caowin might believe, have anything to do with erections; it instead deals with (amongst other minor things, such as the apocalypse) a totally post-scarcity society, wherein even food and basic goods can be mass-produced at virtually no cost. Even perfect diamonds can be produced with a little electrcity and a lump of coal. So, in a majority of societies, 'money' doesn't exist as we know it; instead, products and services are freely available to those who contribute to society. All of this is of course pure fantasy to us - except that media is currently like that for us. We only pay for it because of dated principals pushed by the beorgeousie elite: modern internet technology has liberated us! We can all try and contribute to entertainment - whether you write, draw, or do music (or even other, more obscure things, thanks to You Tube), so why pay for it? I don't: I buy used when possible, opt for CC or public domain where available, and so forth. As such things increase in popularity and quality, the very economy that prevents a socialist utopia will lose all viability and crumble. It's already begun.

All of that is very much blue-sky thinking, I know. So, what can we do to make the dream come true? Not much really. It is an inevitabilty though - if not for us, then for our progeny somewhere down the line. A monetary economy is only one, very feudal, way of running things. The most you can do is keep reading our blog without paying for it.

You cheap gits are bettering the world!

Oh yeah... That bit about me not being a liberal: apparently I was wrong. Still, you can't say that I'm of the wishy washy variety.

This has been, socialistically yours once more,

Y. S. Rice


All pictures are sourced again! Yay for non-piracy. Follow links as you will. Forbes used to provide info on Ms. Hocking, the lucky cow who made money from nothing like all writers can only dream of doing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bottom of the News 24/10/11

CAOWIN HERE!! So recently my cowriter, Y. S. Rice, has been busy and I offered to do his Monday survey of the news, which he calls “Top of the News” for reasons that escape me. (Does he think it’s clever? Who knows!)

Anyway, while I will try to stick to his format, I won’t try that hard. For example, Mr. Rice usually goes on Google News and just clicks whatever is on the top. But when I did this, the first thing that came up was something about Gaddafi, whoever that is.
I'm guessing he's a James Bond villain.

So I then decided to actually look something up - namely, “Romneykins.” I love to see all the silly stuff my favorite ball of future presidency is up to. But then the article that came up was less than flattering.

According to the article, Mitt Romney is “wooden...scripted...boardroom cool.” Now, at first, I assumed that the article was referring to the stuff he and I did last night, where I pretended to be his foresting company’s biggest shareholder and he had to convince me to keep my money in said company’s stock despite suffering some losses this quarter.

But as I read on, I realized this had nothing to do with Governor Rom-Rom’s love for roleplaying. This article was suggesting that Mitt Romney lacked the emotional appeal to get people to vote for him. Now, if you’re anything like me, you immediately thought, “But Mitt Romney is the most appealing guy in America! I mean, just look at that ass.”
Now THAT'S a bottom of the news!
But that’s not the only way that people have been mean to my future Mr. Prezzybuns. In the recent GOP debate, other potential GOP candidates kept on talking over Mitty Witty for no reason! It made it really hard to masturbate to him.

Come on guys! Even if you don’t think Mitt Romney is as cute as a kitten cuddling with a baby Golden Retriever, why don’t you treat him with the respect that a reasonably attractive presidential candidate deserves?

Not a requirement for being respected.
Sure, he can be emotionally unavailable at times, but he’s really trying. And unlike most of the candidates the GOP is offering, who have that “bad-boy” Tea Party swag, Mitt Romney is going to offer us the stability we deserve.

Anyway, last night, after he had convinced me to keep my "stock" in his "company," my thoughtful Mitty reminded me that I’d be posting this article on my friend Kailee’s birthday, so I’d like to conclude by telling her “Happy Birthday!”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Announcement (23/10/11-29/10/11)

Hello valued readers!

Y. S. Rice here, just making an important announcement. For those of you who do not already know, I will be moving to Savannah, GA today, in a bid to be somewhere closer to my spiritual home of New Orleans than... Well, the opposite side of the God-damned planet. For those of you who think of me as the quintessential Englishman, think of it this way: what made Luke Skywalker, Dave Lister, and even Jesus Christ so valuable? They were each the only ones of their kind - Jedi, human, and Messiah respectively, in case you forgot who was who. In other words, by moving to America, I will be infinitely more appreciated for my Englishness than I ever could be over here in England.
Well okay. Most of us aren't clever and witty.
But we are still a dime a dozen over here.
What will this do to my writing for th Public Unintellectuals (and other blogs)? Well inderectly, it won't mean too much: I'll still maintain my cutting British tongue (typing hands?), and I'll still write a lot about the U.K. The only real subject matter shift will be that I will be able to write about U.S. politics a little bit more well-informed. That's a little bit more well-informed than 'not at all', in case you're keeping score at home. More directly, however, it means that I won't be able to write much this coming week, as I'll be busy settling into my new place and catching up with my family (who I haven't seen for over 14 months). Adding insult to the gaping lack-of-writing injury, I will be attending the major film festival at SCAD. For those of you not in the know, it runs from the 29th of October until the 5th of November, and for people with VIP tickets - like myself - can attend workshops with cast and crew in-between watching awesome indie films. As a cinephile, this is essentially a wet dream occurring every day for a week. Also as a cinephile, this means that I will have a lot to write about, but as a blogger it means that I won't have much time to spend at my computer for the next week or two.

So, for this week Caowinhim and I have traded blogging schedules: He will be writing 'Top of the News' this Monday, and an article on Thursday; I will only be writing an article on Wednesday, and half of the bi-weekly 'Point-Counterpoint' on the weekend. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Trading schedules with each other NO HOMO - Caowinhim] There is a chance that this schedule will continue next week thanks to the film festival - I'll be sure to drop you all a quick post if that is the case. Remember to subscribe/follow us if you want all of our updates instantly! It can take us up to half a day to post new stuff on Facebook, and it's - well - feckin' Facebook. 

Do you honestly not believe that my bitterness fully encompasses that corporate entity? If not, then you clearly don't know me. Go away. In the meantime, I apologise to my loyal readers, but... Well... Caowin isn't all bad. He may be trying to dismantle the free world as we know it, but at least he's being rather amusing while doing it.
"I am not amusing!" (force choking sounds off-screen)
- David Cameron, upon his ascension to the throne of the Antichrist.
This has been apologetically yours,

Y. S. Rice

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On Planes, Buses, and Trains

That is suspicious. I've never seen the tube trains so empty.
They must've taken this photo on 8/7/05.
Welcome, dear readers, to my world.

I'm not joking. I have heard this warning over hundreds of P.A. systems in at least thirteen different languages. At least, I assume that they were saying something about anti-terrorist action, and not in fact commenting about the weird English backpacker in the hat, standing by himself. As you may or may not know, I am something of a world traveller - so much so that once, while bored on a 9+ hour train journey from Berlin to Dusseldorf, I tallied up the number of trains that I had ever taken in my life. Despite having never been a train commuter (I've never lived in a city with such a system), the total currently stands at 104. That's 104 trains, stopping at 67 stations, to be exact.

Planes are another thing! I've been on more flights than I honestly care to remember. Just in the last three years, I've flown internationally eleven times, with six of those journeys being over nine hours - and two of them being 15 1/2 hours (direct). Not counting cities where I've only passed through, I have so far been to 103 cities in 17 countries. That's soon to be 104 cities, when I go to Savannah, GA this Sunday.

As for buses. Honestly, thousands. That is how I used to commute to college every day, and simply how I got out and about day-to-day.

What's my point though? I don't have the most impressive record - especially out of my Facebook friends. Some of them truly put me to shame. No, I am merely a good journalist giving you my credentials on my subject of choice today. And that subject is?
Why you should be suspicious of anything. I guess.
Well, more specifically, the reaction it's had on public transport. It's a bit weird to think about 9/11 really: this thing happened ten years ago, and has dominated the public consciousness almost non-stop for that entire length of time. If a terrorist attack could be likened to a film, this thing is doing nearly as well as Pulp Fiction. And I'll be damned if that movie isn't still as popular as it was when it first came out. I'm not trying to make light of the twin towers... I'll leave that to my colleague, Caowin, when he next wants to offend the masses. What I am saying, is that the U.S. got over Pearl Harbour within about four years - because they had closure.

Just like a relationship.

But this whole terroristy mess really hasn't had any proper closure for us.
Nothing says closure like this does.
Yes, we killed Bin Laden (at last! I'm never going to challenge his progeny to hide and seek), but the rest of the world continues to be scared of his little one-hit wonder group: Al Qaeda. Maybe it's just because we don't have a cool little quote like "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds". Maybe it's because we don't have a genuinely scary superpower to deal with in the wake of this war (coughcoughUSSRcoughcough). Or maybe, it's just that the media is constantly lying with us just to get our attention. Yes, it's the latter. But I'm not here to talk about that. Honestly. I'm not here to tell you how terrible the meat grinding machine that comprises the upper echelons of modern society truly is. It's terrible. I'm not here to tell you all about the countless ways that the Man is bringing us down.

No, I'm here today to vent about how bloody annoying public transport is now, thanks to public safety concerns. Don't get me wrong: I fucking love not falling out of the sky because of that crazy safety concern that we call not letting our planes just fall out of the sky. What I do hate though is... Well, I'll be honest; a lot of things. Maybe it's the bitter, withered, old-man soul that resides within my heart.
The doctors said it was heart disease, but you can never trust the NHS.
No, it's the multi-faceted paranoia that annoys me to the brim of my essence. That insane level of paranoia where I am afraid to leave my bag on my seat when I go to the toilet on a train - not because I'm worried it'll get stolen, but because I'm worried that people will think it's a bomb in that duffel bag, rather than some dirty clothes and a bottle of absinthe. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Yaya, you're being a bit paranoid here, aren't you? - Caowinhim]. I'm talking about the insane level of paranoia that means that I have to hear announcements about abandoned luggage at rail stations in cities that terrorists wouldn't be able to pronounce (Wroclaw, I'm looking at you. It's pronounced Vroswav, by the way). Being able to ask for a ticket to a place is a significant precursor to manually bombing it. As the great comedian Ed Byrne once joked, I too can remember the days when I could see an abandoned package and think 'Ooh, I'm having that!'.

This absurd paranoia even especially extends to technology. You know: like when you're on a plane about to taxi for take-off, and they're telling you to turn off your mobile phones. That's fine. Reasonable, right? I mean, phones do emit wireless signals which could theoretically kill pilots or whatever. Apart from the fact that on two of the flights I mentioned in my introduction, I left my phone on for the whole duration by accident... And I haven't even died in a plane crash once. Now, I have heard that the mobile phone thing is because if you had a large number of them on at once, they could interfere with important computer stuff on the plane. The fact that everybody needs to turn off phones does allow for the fact that some idiots (like me) will simply forget without dooming everyone aboard.


That's fine.


What really gets me is that recently (they didn't do this to me more recently than a year or two ago), they have started demanding that I turn off my mp3 player during take-off and landing. I would understand (begrudgingly) if this was so that I could listen to those 'important' canned safety messages they deliver before every flight - the summary of which is 'We are all going to die if I mess this up, ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy your flight.' - but that isn't the case. Otherwise, they would ask me to take my headphones off, or pause my mp3 player. But no. They're very insistent that we must turn off our mp3 players completely, even if you - like me - own a 6-year-old pre-everything-must-have-wireless style mp3 player. Seriously, mine lacks any way of communicating with any other device, short of being plugged right in. Obviously, the air steward/esse/s don't know that... But have you ever tried explaining this simple fact to them? I have. It ended with the same conclusion that it would've, had I never tried arguing in the first place.

"Wow, Yair! You have a lot of pent-up rage right now! Why haven't you directed it against buses though? That's even in the title of today's article", you're probably thinking about now. Or at least I hope you are... My writing kinda hinges on being able to guess approximately what you're thinking. My answer to this hopeful hypothetical is that I really have very few complaints against buses. Oh, they're about a million times more likely to kill you than an airplane, for many, many reasons, but the worst day-to-day hassle they make you suffer is being a little late occasionally, and jacking up the price exorbitantly (if you're in the Teeside region, at least). The only thing I have to say on them really, is how hilarious I find it that there's apparently been a whole lot of fuss about the installation of CCTV cameras on buses in the U.S.


That's been going on for ages over here! Like seriously, there are cameras everywhere over here.
Saying "Fuck you, civil liberty!" since 1949.
Hahahaha. Cameras on buses. Wow. That's rich.

Anyway, yeah, this has been me pointlessly ranting,

(Don't worry guys: Monday's article will be less hate-driven.)

Y. S. Rice

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Caowin's Plan for Fixing Britain

Readers, I'm not a big fan of my cowriter, Y. S. Rice. This is in part because he is a great big trinational homosexual, which means he flaunts his camp style all over the world, and in part because he tries to stop me from voicing my opinions about rape.

However, every now and then, I have to admit that he has a good idea. For example, RedTube. I love that site, and I would have never found it if he hadn't told me about it. (Note: I'm not going to link to RedTube in case children are reading this. I don't need any help korrupting the kiddies.)

The great idea I am referring to is his idea to send the Tea Party to England. Now, you might be thinking, "But Caowin! Isn't the Tea Party, in its very name, something essentially American?" And that's where you're wrong. I mean, while the British may remember the Tea Party differently than we do, they surely haven't forgot what we did with all their tea.

We threw it on the ground!

Besides, people don't mind naming themselves after people that fought them in wars. That's why we have the Washington Redskins, whose name is only slightly offensive. They should just be happy that we remember them at all.

Which brings me to my next point: racism. The Tea Party, as we all know, dislikes immigrants and Muslims, right? But these two hatreds are often very distinct from one another. Now imagine if they could take these two distastes and form one mega-hatred.

Well, in Britain, most immigrants ARE Muslims. We have finally discovered the peanut butter and jelly of discrimination, with xenophobia and religious intolerance being those two great tastes that taste great together. It's like a win-win situation, the two winners being racists and the torch-and-pitchfork making industry.

And surely the Tea Party would have opinions on the rampant social liberalism? Abortion, gay marriage, the general homoness of the country as a whole - the Tea Party would fix a lot of this up to, turning "The United Kingdoms" into "The United Kingdoms - NO HOMO."

Or what about taxes? While Cameron, Brown and Blair claimed to have different political affiliations, they maintain a 20% sales tax. You know what the Tea Party would do to that?


The only problem I saw with this is that it'll be very hard to convince the British to do a Tea Party of the American political variety. What kind of Briton is going to dress up like a colonial man and march?

But then I realized - what kind of Briton ISN'T going to, in essence, put on fancy clothing and go for a brisk walk? Those bastards LOVE doing that! I know because I read Pride and Prejudice like seventeen times. That entire book, everyone is either dressing up or going for walk. It is the British way.

And that is my plan for fixing Britain: send the Tea Party over. They can be racist, homophobic AND tax-evading. It is like Tea Party heaven.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Top of the News 17/10/11

Monday again!

Hope you all caught our ridiculously one-sided debate on Saturday. If you didn't, the links right there, and if you did, then here's your dose of Public Unintellectuality for today:

Google's top news for me today? Oliver Letwin, the British Prime Minister's chief policy advisor, is under investigation over 'potential security risks'. What were these security risks? Oh nothing much, really. Probably just some red-tape bollocks. Nonsense, I'm sure. You know what politics is HOLY MOTHER OF GOD this guy was throwing private government documents in a bin at a park straight after meetings with the Prime Minister - right on freakin' Downing Street. To give a little frame of reference for our non-U.K. readers, this would be similar to Hilary Clinton having a meeting with Barrack Obama at the White House, leaving for lunch, getting bored along the way, and dumping the top secret papers Obama gave her in a bin next to the Washington Memorial.

While normally I would question the sensibility of hiring somebody named 'Letwin' as a political advisor-
Let them win. It'll be easier than trying, Mr. Cameron.
-it seems that this time, it genuinely wasn't sensible at all. For once, the government is now agreeing with me. Though, of course, they did hire him in the first place. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.

Labour leader, Ed Miliband had some pretty obvious things to say about the situation: "[Letwin was] treating important papers with contempt" and "[he was] engaging in strange behaviour". Apart from being obvious, I dare-say that the latter is something of an understatement. Strange behaviour is when you're organising a surprise party for a flat-mate so you stay out of their way more than usual. Strange behaviour is when you're stoned off your face and spend 10 minutes staring at your own hand and wondering how it got there. Strange behaviour is when you finish that bottle of whiskey and think "I can totally jump over that bollard!" when you would've struggled over it while sober. What strange behaviour is not, is throwing government policy secrets into a bin in a park. In London.

My God! London. Have you ever been there? I have. It's a wonderful capitol city - don't get me wrong - but the homeless population in a typical London park is approximately equivalent to the population of a small South American republic. Sure, "Our understanding is that there were no classified documents", according to an official spokeswoman - but there is a reason why this stuff hasn't been released to the general republic yet, surely. What if there was some big announcement that was going to be made soon? And, you know, the PM himself wanted to announce it properly?
"... I can deep-throat an entire banana. Just ask Nick Clegg."
Still, I suppose this shouldn't really come as a shock to us all. As I've stated previously, the U.K. government has been pretty rubbish since... Ooh... Winston Churchill? And even he was certifiably insane when you check the facts. As a voter, I have had many thoughts on the subject of why our politicians are so rubbish, and I've come to one conclusion: they're all identical.

Right. I know what you're thinking: either "Duh - all politicians are the scum of the Earth", or "You're wrong! My party is the best party ever, and it's so much better than all other parties!". Either way, you're failing to see the situation over here. In the States, we have two significant parties that are polar opposites on just about every single issue. I think that the only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that the U.S. shouldn't cede itself back into British hegemony. In the U.K., that seemed to be the case, at least until recently. That was when a few things happened.

Firstly, there are now three major political parties: Conservative, Labour, and Liberal-Democrat. Nominally, these are right-wing, left-wing, and moderate left-wing. This new paradigm shift in politics has watered down both sides of the old balance (Conservative and Labour). English readers may be confused as to why I say that, since you probably have your favourite side. Let's look at the facts: all three parties have been in favour of different tax raises, all three parties are comprised of wealthy bastards who pretend to be common people-

-and all three parties are relentlessly mocked. Actually, the above video kinda supports that idea too. My point? Nobody I know likes our government here in England. Nobody liked it when we had Gordon Brown (unelected), and nobody liked it in the last few years of Blair either. I know plenty of people who hate Obama (Republicans, rednecks, and Republican rednecks), but I also know plenty of people who like Obama (Democrats, sensible people, and the rest of the world outside America). 

Our political parties over here are washed out like those red socks you threw in the wash with your white shirts. Conservatives are openly posh bi-partisans, Labour are closeted posh bi-partisans, and Lib-Dems are somewhat openly posh bi-partisans. All of them want to squeeze the British public for every pence they have. I am in favour of scaled taxing, but not when 50% of your money can end up going to the government. At that point, there's just no point trying for the whole 'social mobility' malarky any more.

Actually, I have an idea! The U.S. can solve it's problems and England's in one fell swoop: all you need to do is send your Tea Party supporters over to the U.K. 

Think about it. 

They already like dressing like they're from the 18th century, so they'll love how quaint and history-filled our country is. They don't think that taxes should exist, basically, so they'll combat the Hell outta our ridiculous taxes (did I mention sales tax is 20%?); and they're passionate racists, so the British National/Nazi Party can get behind them. Best of all, they'll show the British voting public what 'right-wing' actually means, forcing a more honest Democrat-style party into being. Then the Democrats will inevitably win over the crazy Tea Party guys, and everyone will be happy.


Mr. Cameron should hire me as his policy advisor next time. My plan will work a lot better than binning government files. Seriously.

Bringing you the politics, this has been,

Y. S. Rice

Friday, October 14, 2011

Evolution vs. Creationism

Welcome all, to our second point-counterpoint debate here on The Public Unintellectuals. As soon as Caowinhim and I can work out our professional differences, we hope to make these debates a weekly thing. Actually, if we did somehow resolve our deeply rooted disagreements, the debates would probably cease to exist at all. Huh.

Make of that what you will guys, but I just hope you enjoy reading this week's installment, which Caowin has generously allowed me to lead-off: Evolution versus Creationism.


Y. S. Rice's Point

I'm certain that many of you can empathise with me; if not because of any actual similarity between yourselves and me, then at least because I'm far more agreeable than the other local alternative (Caowin). That's why it is with great sorrow that I am probably going to alienate a portion of my potential fanbase. Sorry, to those religious few out there who support my crusade against my colleague's rape-tastic writing tendencies, but I am a strong believer in evolution. For the less religious of you out there, and even for some of the plenty religious of you, that's a fine thing for me to say... But I know that for some of you, this may be somewhat controversial. Therefore I am going to tread lightly as possible, and be very delicate with this matter.

About this delicate.
No, seriously. As I have previously stated, I am genuinely a theist: an agnostic theist with Jewish cultural leanings, to be precise. However, there are few things that annoy me more than people who believe anything blindly and unquestioningly. That's one of the reasons that I love my birth-faith, in fact - Judaism is all about asking "Why?" over and over again until you get to the basic premise that "God did it, somehow" when the question can't be answered any more.

"Hang on! Isn't that what creationism is?"

No. There is a logical alternative to "God did it, somehow" with regards to life on this planet. And, better yet, there is a logical alternative to "God did it, somehow" when it comes to how life got exactly the way it was today: e-v-o-l-u-t-i-o-n. The problem that most organised religions have with this matter is that God is usually said to have created us in his image, and God is very rarely pictured as a primate.

It has been known to happen though.
The biggest problem with this problem is that such people almost universally misunderstand what evolution is actually saying. I've read Darwin, and further writing on the subject too, and nowhere does it say that humans 'descended from apes/monkeys'. Seriously - not once. What does it say? That we are related to apes. Biiiiig distinction there. According to the theory of evolution, we share a common proto-human-ape ancestor, and are not actually descended from the apes themselves... They are a completely separate branch of our humanoid tree. That also shoots down the common 'If we're descended from monkeys/apes, why are monkeys/apes still around' manoeuvre - one that I like to call the 'I don't understand a damn thing I'm talking about' manoeuvre. What's more... What's wrong with God being a monkey? Or even an amoeba? According to most faiths, he's meant to be unfathomable, which means that he can't be completely human-like. Heck, a lot of religions play with the idea that if you actually saw God's visage, you would die or be driven mad - which makes him sound a lot more like Cthulhu-shaped than person-shaped, in my humble opinion.

Could this be your God?
Religion says maybe.
Now that we've set the facts straight, let's dive straight into the next big issue regarding the theory of evolution: namely that it is the theory of evolution. Alright guys, listen up. Do you want to know some other things that are called theories? How about that wacky atomic theory? Or the even more ludicrous valence bond theory? Those two theories are the only scientific reason that we have paper to print Bibles on. Oh, but it's not just chemistry that has 'theories' that are generally regarded as pure fact: do any of you disbelieve plate tectonics? If you do, then congrats! Earthquakes are a lie to you.

The fact of the matter is that you can't just say "I have a theory guys! What if humans are actually made of chocolate, and we have gumdrop brains?" and call it a theory. There is a cold, scientific, tried and true method to these things. The actual definition of a theory, according to Google definitions is:
A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be.
Yes, that is saying that you need to have scientific basis for a theory that is independent the issue itself - in other words, you need to have some sort of basis and/or precedent before you can make a theory. The only difference between a theory and a law is that a law has been irrefutably proven, while a theory is still in the testing phase of the scientific method. Yes, many theories have been disproved, but that doesn't mean that this one isn't completely and totally true. It's just more difficult to prove than the fact that things fall (which also used to be a theory). I mean, come on! Evolution is something that happens over millions of years, and is so slight that you can't even tell if it's going on or not! It must be impossible to prove, right?


While a part of a different and not fully understood genetic phenomenon, the rapid differentiation of different breeds of dogs bears an impossibly attractive similarity to evolution. We aren't even sure how on Earth humans thought to domesticate freakin' wolves, but it started at most 32,000 years ago, and was definitely going on 9,000 years. Yeah, that's not quite millions of years, but that's far too long for any one human to observe changes in the species as a whole, right? Right! Except that new breeds are being created every year, and even the 14 scientifically most ancient dog breeds don't really date past antiquity. God didn't create them that way.

Yes, you're incredibly adorable.
No, God didn't make you. Yes, cry. Cry.
What more can I say, really? Those of you out there who didn't believe me before probably don't believe me now, and those of you who did almost surely still do. There really isn't anything.... Except some closing facts:
  • Darwin believed very much in God (ask Google, Wikipedia, his biographies, et al), and had in fact studied to be a priest for the Church of England.
    • Any source saying otherwise is hilariously misinformed - nobody has ever told me that Darwin recanted evolution on his deathbed, as the article claims his supporters claimed he did, and after a a couple of minutes of research... I can confirm that he didn't. Duh.
  • He also didn't invent either the idea of evolution (that was Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis) nor 'survival of the fittest' (and that was Herbert Spencer - trivia show QI backs this up).
  • The Theory of Evolution was not controversial at the time. Again, QI supports this, as well as a little bit of biographical knowledge. The Church of England had just about nothing to say about the theory at the time, and Darwin pissed off Britain so very, very much that... They put him on their ten pound note.
Not many currencies feature the Antichrist on their money.
Some of you were probably expecting me to bash the Bible or something; alas, I will not lower myself to that level. I believe that the Bible, while not a factual book on any level, holds a lot of good answers. Some of the best people I know are honest Christians/Jews/Muslims, and, put simply: whoever did write the Bible must have done something right for it to have existed for about 3000-4000 years. Very few books pre-date it, and I wouldn't doubt that there were even fewer that you could name. So shut up, you feckin' Bible haters. The Bible's a good book (some might say, The Good Book), but it might not be the best scientific textbook. Don't be from Alabama - do consider evolution a strong maybe.


Caowin's Counterpoint

I have a lot of problems with the Bible. First of all, it’s really long. I mean, it’s not quite as long as the Rig Vedas, the Hindu religious canon that is like thousands of Bibles, but it’s longer than, say, an Oscar Wilde aphorism. I mean, how come Gods needs pages upon pages to explain his point, while Oscar Wilde can get loads of meaning into cute little sayings like “Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”

With that in mind, I do appreciate some things about the Bible. For example, it really simplifies things when it comes to understanding the universe. Now, you might think "Yair just gave a great, simple explanation of evolution." But look at it this way: he spelled maneuver as "manoeuvre." How simple could this guy be?

I mean, look it up. The evolution of the brain, bird, and even the friggin eye are really hard to understand. I mean, click those links. They use loads of big words. HUGE ones. I mean, don't they know I just had to put up with Yair using "manoeuvre" like some kind of homo?

Second, we have to consider the sources of the information. Creationism, as most people know, was first discovered by Jesus, when he was doing a middle-school science experiment called "Did my Daddy create all the creatures of the earth?" Jesus was a really cool guy too - who wouldn't want to hang out with a guy that could turn water into wine?

And who's pushing evolution? Y. S. Rice and Charles Darwin. What do those bastards have in common? They're both from England. Yeah, that's right. Those people with bad teeth and pompous accents and that fat old Queen lady are the same ones saying we're descended from monkeys. Clearly they are projecting their insecurities about their apelike tendencies onto the entire human race, the same way someone with a tiny penis will insist that five and a half inches is average.

But on a more pragmatic note, if we start questioning the Bible's scientific ideas, does that mean we have to question its moral ideas too? I mean, in 2 Kings 2:23-25, God kills 42 children for calling a guy bald. Deuteronomy 21:10-14 tells us how to rape and humiliate the women of a country you beat in war. The point of the entire New Testament is that God would only forgive the world for all the evil stuff they do if they brutally murdered his son. If we question the Bible, we might realize how ridiculous it is!

And so, for these reasons, we must reject the lie that is evolution. Not only because it's hard to understand and obnoxiously English, but because questioning the Bible is bad. So go out there and make the right choice.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thursday, Thursday!

Hi there, dear readers.

It's Thursday here at The Public Unintellectuals (and presumably wherever you are, too) so it's time for my weekly pseudorandom article. Some of you may know this as 'Y. S. R.'s weekly rant', but I prefer to think of it as 'that day of the week when I get to write about things that actually matter to me'. Google, despite all their goodness (Chromium, Chrome OS, Docs, Gmail, et al.) have yet to master the art of knowing what I care about in the news, as you will undoubtedly have noticed if you have read any of my 'Top of The News' pieces.

For this week, you may have noticed that I had a poll up so that you - the reader - could decide what I write about. And what you evidently decided was that this made my job too easy, so you made sure that it was a perfect draw.

And 62%+62%+62%+62% is a logical possibility.

So thank you very much democracy. At the risk of sounding a bit like my colleague, it looks like the fascists had something right, after all. So, I can't just write about movies, music, rape being bad, or even something random about relationships and/or love. So what will I be talking about?

Why don't you just read on and see?

Just yesterday, I was in the town, doing what I always do in the town: buying used DVDs and going to the cinema (on my own, yes - make of that what you will). On this particular yesterday however, I decided to check out the new used media store that had opened literally across the street from my usual used media outlet. Who thought up that brilliant marketing strategy, I wonder? Probably the same guy who thought there should be five H&M's on the same street in Stockholm. I thought I was just a bit hungover from the night before, but Google Maps seems to agree somewhat.

Back to the story though!

So, I went in this store with the same exact thought I enter with every week: 'I will not buy even one DVD. I'm just browsing'. This time, I was greatly comforted - they didn't have a separate foreign film section: 'Ha! Amateurs! I might be able to not buy anything this time'. And then suddenly, while searching for Ran (which they didn't have, by the way), I stumbled upon two copies of the director's cut of The Wickerman. Those of you who have read my other blog will know both that I already have a copy of The Wickerman on DVD, and am deeply in love with said film. The problem though, is that I didn't have the director's cut; my version had 15 minutes of what Robin Hardy considers to be crucial footage ruthlessly excised from it by the Warner Bro's execs. So, for three pounds, I picked it up - still feeling okay ('It's only one DVD. You're fine, dude') - and walked to the cash register.

The problem was, that by the time I got to the checkout, I had in my hands some 20 quid worth of DVDs. I ended up spotting, picking up, and purchasing such cinematic gems as Apocalypse Now, V for Vendetta, The Omen (original, of course), Donnie Darko, Trainspotting, The Deer Hunter, and Starship Troopers.

Wait. What?
Yes, I did just say Starship Troopers and "Cinematic gem" in the same sentence (without the phrase 'is not a'), and I wasn't even being ironic. As this article is basically saying, that 'dumb action film from the 90s' is in fact a 124 minute relentless satire of war, fascism, and xenophobia. That page is all about why Starship Troopers was the critical flop that it was - timing - and this article goes on to support it further, with the mind-blowing implication that Paul Verhoeven is a time traveller. And if there's anything scarier than a time-travelling Dutchman, I don't want to know.

The facts speak well enough for themselves really, but since I enjoyed this film as a kid for it's giant insect aliens and explosions, I just had to watch it again for the political commentary. So I did, and here are my results:

Heil, mein... Er - Sky Marshal!
Holy Hell son, do I even need to go on? Blonde hair, rugged complexion, leather tranch-coats... Just look at those guys in the background! This could almost as easily be a screencap from Downfall as it is from Starship Troopers. I'll let those articles I linked above do the rest of the talking - and there is plenty of talking on the matter. If you want to read more, just search 'starship troopers anti-fascism' on Google. It's like some kinda public secret or something.

But all of this really got me thinking, as things have been know to do. What else out there has been totally misinterpreted? Lots of things, of course, and many of them can be found on the same site as that second article I linked: One particularly interesting subject of confusion is music. For those of you who don't know my music credentials, they are two-fold:
  1. I can't sing, play instruments, compose, or even read music.
  2. I do, however, have over 3000 different mp3s, occupying 17 GB of my hardrive. If I played every song, it would take over 12 days of non-stop listening to hear every song.
So naturally, despite my incapability of creating music, I do definitely consider myself something of a music aficionado. Most of the hidden song meanings out there I already knew, since I do listen to my music quite a lot: Every Breath You Take is pretty obviously creepy (stalking and/or rape is, despite Caowin's beliefs, quite wrong), The Best of my Love is about a breakup, and Born in the U.S.A. is about how much the state of having been born in the U.S.A. sucks.

Bruce Springsteen just trolled you, America.
But there are many far more obscure song meanings... Usually these come as misinterpretations that are supposedly 'secret meanings' that the artist was trying to convey. How many of you knew that Hotel California is about the Church of Satan? Or that Lucy in the Skies With Diamonds is about LSD? Don't be alarmed if you didn't, because both of those are complete bollocks anyway, but they are widely believed. One thing I never got about the Lucy in the Skies With Diamonds thing is that the initials are actually LSWD (not LSD), which stands for 'Low Speed Warning Device'. Now, don't get me wrong; I aren't saying that the Beetles could possibly have thought that song was a good idea without mountains of marijuana and LSD, or even that it didn't play some part in the creation process - but it is pretty well documented that the song itself is not about an acid trip. John Lennon was quoted saying that he "Never even thought of it ... Who would ever bother to look at initials of a title?"

Now, I am a journalist with integrity, so am I just going to take the songwriter's word for it that his song doesn't have to do with acid? Heck no. I did some independent research:
  • Whole Wide World by the Proclaimers was actually predicting the birth of the internet.
  • Black Betty by The Ram Jam is about how fun pellet guns are!
  • Gardening at Night by R.E.M. is obviously a Geordie chav trying to say "Going".
  • D.I.S.C.O by Otawan was totally a song about disco.
Well... Apart from that last example, it looks like the crazy dead Beetle may have been right: songs' initials don't usually mean anything whatsoever. But what about Hotel California and Satanism? That's got nothing to do with initialism! Oh yeah, but it is by the band who sing such ballads of youthful rebellion as Victim of Love, After the Thrill is Gone, and Love Will Keep Us Alive.

That's even less rebellious than Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart.
Come on, Eagles! Man up and talk about Satan already.
I kid of course - though not about the lack of Satanism in Hotel California: I love a good love song [Editor's note: No homo? - Caowinhim][Writer's note: You're a dumbass - Y. S. Rice]. Meat Loaf is one of my absolute favourite singers, and Jim Steinman sure did write him some amazing ballads. His songs are an eclectic mix of the hopelessly romantic: I'd Lie for You, If God Could Talk, and What about Love? as well as the obviously-just-about-sex: Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Original Sin, and Where the Rubber Meets the Road (hint: it's not talking about driving). R.E.M.'s The One I Love is not about love at all, but Losing my Religion is sure about having one helluva crush. F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E by Pulp, is both the truest song about love that I have ever heard, and a direct call to action against people who don't use punctuation.

I could go on, but the fact is that most of you probably already know that approximately 99% of all songs are about love - even Turning Japanese, which isn't in fact about masturbation at all. If you want a song about fiddling with yourself, you should listen to the accurately titled I Touch Myself by Divinyls. Or The Who's Picture's of Lily. Or Prince's Darling Nikki. Okay, so there are a lot of songs about rosy palms. Let's just agree that 99% of music is about either love or self-love.

Apolgies! I seem to have gone on a bit of a tangent there, huh? Where was I? Oh yes: "What will I be talking about?" Just kidding, of course - I've done enough talking for today: I discussed a good film, music, how bad rape is, and something about romance... Just like your vapid voting said that I should do. If you found my topic changes to be confusing and annoying, then you have only yourself to blame.

Serving, as always, your poor democratic decisions,

Y. S. Rice


Pictures are hotlinked from across the web. I've been testing out some different HTML, so these ones don't actually link to the page, but only to the pictures. Still... That's something, right?

Articles are linked from Cracked - the only surviving original competitor to Mad Magazine - - a site that evidently believes that Starship Troopers isn't a waste of space - and, which has something to do with 'aerodefense'. This is something that I can only assume has something to do with combating this:

A menace to free Americans everywhere, I am sure.
"Feel my bubbles, ya Commie terrorist 'Cong bastards!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Caowin's Editorial on Important Issues

Recently, I searched for “important issues” on Fox News – this is how I get the vast majority of my news, you know.

Now, I’m not going to call myself a Republican. Nowadays, we Republicans call ourselves “Independents,” so people don’t instantly hate us. But I will tell you that I hate the gays and think taxes should be optional, so…

Anyway, Fox News decided that the most important issue was their interview with Mitt Romney. Now, some of you are thinking, “They’re a news source, and they think the most important thing is they talked to this guy?” But that’s missing the point.

Mitt Romney is super cute!

I mean, look at that ass.
No homo.

Now, if you clicked the link, you’ll notice it’s like an eight minute video, which might seem long when you forget that it’s Mitty Witty (I love calling him by pet names) – he’s super long all over.

That's his sex face - still no homo.

You might also think Romney talked about important issues. He probably did. But I just kept on thinking “Aw, look at my Governor Mitchell-Bear!” He mentioned that the world wants a strong America, although all I want from him is a strong MAN.

He also spent a whole bunch of time bashing on Obama, and then said about Herman Caine, “I’m not going to talk about his vulnerabilities.”

I agreed – talking about some other guy’s vulnerabilities might give them the wrong idea, even though everyone knows that Romney-kins is mine.

All man and all mine. (No homo is implied here.)

But then I realized, he just spent half the interview doing just that for Barack Obama. And this is when I got scared.

Is Mitty Witty trying to subtly hint on national television that he wants Barack Obama sexually? I mean, I know it’s silly for me to even think, but he’s a powerful man – what if he leaves me for someone cuter, with more political clout? I mean, just look at my Rom-Rom.

He’s even cuter when I’m worried that I’m losing him.

I just don’t want to lose him.


'Nude Lovers' and 'Romney's Sex Face' photoshopped by Y. S. Rice.

All other illustrations were chosen and edited by Jester Antonio Caowinhim.

CAOWIN: Another thank you to Y. S. Rice for helping me with the gay porn! No homo!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Top of the News 10/10/11

Goooood morning, world!

Hope you're all feeling as good as I am, guys and gals. Today, Google's top news for me is all about Liam Fox's allegations - apparently they're "Very serious indeed", and David Cameron wants answers on them. However, I have absolutely no idea who Liam Fox is, and the odds are that unless you're very familiar with the British government's cabinet members, you don't either.

I am vaguely aware of a Liam Neeson.
He voiced Fujimoto in that children's classic, Ponyo, after all.

Now, since nearly three times as many of our readers come from the U.S. alone as do from the U.K. - and since I want to actually know what I'm talking about before the day I write about it just this once - I aren't going to bore you with Mr. Fox. Huh. That's kinda like Michael J. Fox. Is this guy some sort of gestalt of Hollywood actors, or what? I wouldn't be surprised if his full name was Liam Pitt Cruise DiCaprio Fox. But enough about that guy - he's a politician. A boring old politician. Google's top news in the sports section today? Sebastian Vettel is now World F1 Champion. Here is a guy that I've actually heard of! And he's a sportsman whose name isn't a rip-off of other, more famous, people.

Well... Other than my man, J. Sebastian Bach.

Now I know what you're thinking... Actually I don't. But I have never written a sports article before, so I'm not entirely sure how to proceed. High five? Are high fives still cool in sporting events? Jeez. Yay sports!

What I do know is that Michael Schumacher used to be awesome, and now he's getting too old (42) for the business. Some are saying that Vettel (24, and equally Germanic) could be the usurper of the crown of awesomeness that Michael once wore. This seems unduly surprising to a lot of people [read as: old people], but even from my passing awareness of F1 these past two years, it was bloody obvious to me. I mean, this guy is crazy quick compared to everyone else around him...

Which would be why he is now the youngest ever double F1 World Champion.

Christ... In six years' time, I doubt I'll be the youngest anything - other than, perhaps, person to ever shoot James Cameron if he goes through with Avatar 2. I'll even push the envelope a little on this one: the odds are stacked that none of you will be the youngest to do anything, ever. Sorry if it's cynical, but... Well, it's true. Worse still, none of us will ever have the awesome beard stubble that this guys has:

Come on! Look at that. Rawr.

Now I really do know what you're thinking: 'But Mr. Rice! You always go off topic about 2/3 of the way into your articles! Why aren't you doing that this time?'. I shall - just for you, my loving audience.

So how about them Nix?

Just kidding. But this is a great opportunity to discuss opinions on sporting culture in general! And by discuss, I mean me talking and you listening. You know, since that's how this blog thing works (but do feel free to comment, if you have anything to say!). Now then... There are two things that often come up when discussing sports - particularly [association] football over here in Europe - and they match up perfectly to the two types of people in this world: the people who don't give a hoot about sports, complaining that sportsmen are grossly overpaid (and usually that soldiers are grossly underpaid), and the seething masses of athletic supporters (Caowin, no laughing) who will hate you for life if you support the wrong team.

First thing's first: are athletes overpaid, and soldiers underpaid? Well, I'm certainly not going to disagree, since: 1. A lot of my relatives have been (and still are) enlisted in some country or anothers' armed forces, and; 2. Soldiers are pretty buff, and could probably kick my nerdy-writer-arse seven different ways to next week. However, to completely agree is to miss a couple of very important points that are of a mostly economic nature. Firstly, there's the fact that sports (that thing that athletes do) is a multi-multi-billion dollar-a-year industry, thanks to advertising and viewing figures. War (the number one activity of soldiers), on the other hand, is a negative multi-multi-billion dollar-a-year industry, thanks to... Well, the fact that all it does is cost money, and not make any back.

Then of course, there is the means of financing. The armed forces of any given country are supported by paying taxes, while Wayne Rooney is supported by people watching him kick a ball for 90 minutes. Which of those is the more pleasant/easier task? Just ask the Tea Party if you're at all stuck. There are, therefore, limitations on what can be paid to whom. If you want to increase soldiers' pay, then go ahead and pay more taxes... And then hope that the government puts the money where you want it. If you want to decrease athletes' pay, then don't watch sports. The odds are that if you make this sort of complaint regularly, you already don't watch sports though. Congratulations! You're doing all that can be done in our free market economy. Shush now.

Morally speaking, you're right: sportsmen tend to be dumb and overpaid, while soldiers tend to at least be underpaid. Financially speaking, this is the only way that the world can be... Unless of course the armed forces got a sponsorship deal... Nah. That would be silly...

Coca Cola and bombers? Sign me up.

That second subject of sporting culture that I mentioned is, of course, its competitive nature. In spite of the chauvinist opinion that the WNBA is a pushover league, even women's sports are competitive as anything. Come on guys - have you never pissed off a woman? Would you make that mistake again? If so, did you ever find your penis after she chucked it in that empty lot? Women can be mean. My point though, is not that women are just as competitive as men, but that sports is competitive in general.

Well, duh.

Seriously. Yeah, winning isn't everything, and maybe it's not the best thing - Sebastian Vettel only came 3rd in the race that earned him his title this year - but hot damn if it isn't important here. Why? Oh, no reason... Just that it's entirely based on war, and always will be. We used to use these kind of games to train our soldiers (see above for more comparisons between soldiers and sportsmen!), and they became so exciting for spectators that we decided to use it for entertainment. And what do people do in war? Hope that everyone gets along? Support both sides equally? Wish the other side a good game?


For those of you out there who are saying "Okay, I get you... But sports is nowhere near as important as war, is it?": yes it is, in its own way. Pride connected with national/regional pride is very important to each and every one of us psychologically - whether it be with an army or a sports team. Yes, it's responsible for horrible things, but we use it for other things too: a comfort blanket when all else is going wrong ("At least I'm not Canadian"), a go to joke when we want a laugh ("At least I'm not Canadian, eh"), or even an example of post-modern ironic humour ("At least I'm totally not Canadian, eh"). For those self-same reasons, we need a sports team to stick by. We need it for our comfort and our humour! And I'll be damned if that's not important enough to justify a little competitiveness. 

So remember kids, the Nix suck. No, the Yankees suck. 

Et al. Ad infinitum.

Leaving you, as never before, sportingly fulfilled, 

Y. S. Rice


Other links courtesy of the BBC, Scotland Herald, Wikipedia, and ESPN.

All pictures linked, except the one of Vettel since that's in the above BBC link anyway.