Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Darwin and the evolution of psuedocide.

Psuedocide, that’s the buzz word ripping up the press at the moment (certainly in the UK anyway). It’s back in vogue following the disappearance and reappearance of that canoeist chap. The things people will do to get their hands on a pot full of cash. Hold on a minute though. If Darwin had simply taken a job at Burger King for the last five years instead of hiding in a wardrobe, couldn’t he have saved more than he got paid for dying? Getting back to psuedocide for a moment, this article makes a lot of sense about the reasons why, in future years (in a society that tracks individuals ever closer through financial, employment and even recreational records) we can reasonably expect to hear about more and more disappearances supported by false suicides. I wonder what actions insurance companies are considering in order to future proof their interests in this respect. I’d like to think that they’re going to be a bit more imaginative than simply increasing life insurance premiums for the rest of us. Maybe they should start insisting that any claim resulting from suicide should be supported by a body. In the absence of an actual body, how about accepting a short video clip of the event? Now that would be something wouldn’t it; a whole cottage industry built up around filming suicides? It appears that Jimmy’s idea may not be such a stretch of the imagination after all. Funny how reality often mimics fiction some years later isn’t it?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Gift Certificates...not as thoughtless as you may think girls.

I came across an article today that made an interesting point about how people are dealing with ticking off endless lists of ‘Xmas presents to buy’. A lot of us it seems are using gift certificates.

However, Judith Martin (known to millions as Miss Manners…apparently) dismisses gift certificates (and, by extension, gift cards) as "a pathetic compromise convenient to people who do not trust their judgment about selecting the right present for those whose tastes they ought to know."

Well bully for you Miss Manners, but I think that labelling people who send gift cards as dithering fools who can’t be bothered to empathise with their loved one’s is a bit harsh. What you seem to be forgetting is that a good percentage of the people who are tasked with buying gifts happen to be men.

What happened to that old axiom that ‘it’s the thought that counts’? We blokes have relied on that for years! For men, gift tokens are a welcome addition to a growing list of presents that we don’t have to think about too hard and yet still get heaps of appreciatiation for from girlfriends and family. Take flowers as an example. We go to the shop, grab a bunch of something bright and smelly and hey presto, we’re transformed into romantic heroes. You’d think that we’d scoured the Amazon, wrestled snakes and been chased by little men in skirts before picking the last orchid in the canopy. Chocolates for Grandma, another no brainer. Any Play Station game for the kids, although this is effectively a gift certificate anyway because you can guarantee that it’ll be exchanged within days for something rated 18. All these gifts have one thing in common; they have been developed by men over generations as the ideal, thoughtless gesture most likely to be received with kisses and hugs.

But it didn’t come easy this knowledge. Men through the decades have suffered slapped faces and endured cold lonely nights in the spare room as they searched for the ultimate in repeatable gestures. Just be thankful that ‘clothes iron’ and ‘washing up gloves’ did get struck from the list sometime in the early 1940’s. As for gift certificates Miss Manners, please leave my generation’s contribution in tact.

There again, if you really are against them and you’re looking for something hip and heartfelt, why not a copy of Recycling Jimmy or any of the other utterly brilliant Kunati titles………

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Debra Lafave: Sexual Equality for Paedophiles

Does anyone remember her? Must admit, I don’t recall there being much reported on this in the UK (back in 2004 when she was first arrested) but she caught my eye this morning when she was nicked again, this time for violating her probation. The reason? Apparently Ms Lafave bust her parole by talking to a co-worker who also happens to be a 17 year old girl and therefore a minor. Bit harsh that some would argue but what’s really wrong with this headline? Any suggestions? Well I’ll tell you what’s wrong; the fact that Lafave even has a bloody co-worker. What the hell is the woman doing at work? Why isn’t she in prison? Back in November 2004, when she was a teacher, Debra Lafave seduced and had sex with a 14 year old boy. Her punishment then? 3 years house arrest. What! Okay, I can understand that a 14 year old should maybe be grounded for being very very naughty but an adult who has sex with a child? Imagine if it had been a male teacher who had groomed and eventually raped a student in his classroom. Would justice be served then if the judge sent Mr Walker to his bedroom to think about what he’d done? If ever there was a cast iron case for sexual equality, then this is it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Passive Excercise is killing us all.

Me and my mate Malcolm spend quite a bit of time stood outside the office these days. The reason for this is that we’re both smokers. Now before you run off and tell the police, perhaps I should just clear up a few popular misconceptions about people who smoke. Firstly, we do not all carry a small puppy around in our pocket to stub cigarettes out on. Neither do we purposefully flick lit matches through the open windows of old people’s homes (that was an accident and no charges were brought). Never the less, we remain social pariahs; stared at like carnival freaks outside restaurants, chased from public parks by angry mobs. This is our life now, thanks to the over hyped phenomena that is passive smoking. Anyway, that said, we do abide by the rules and we try not to moan and, getting back to the shelter outside the office, we kind of enjoy the regular opportunity to grab a chat. This morning’s conversation (we have to have equal amounts of topics and cigarettes so here’s a tip girls: if you’re serious about finding Mr Personality, go get yourself a twenty a day man) was about global warming, specifically that frequently misunderstood and much maligned gas, carbon dioxide. During the course of the discussion we roughly calculated the contribution of CO2 in the atmosphere from you’re average set of lungs, and this totalled up globally to about 30% of the annual USA CO2 emissions. Big number that, but what struck me was that this is the figure calculated at rest. Imagine how much this increases during exercise when your lungs are pumping hard to drag 200lbs of flab round Central Park. My point is this. If we, the smokers, are to feel the full brunt of the law because of a possible link between poor health and passive smoking, shouldn’t those same agencies who persecute us be banning sweat suits too? The people who jog, sweat and grunt their way through life are not only, for the most part, offensive to the eye but also breathing too much and hurtling our world ever quicker towards its ultimate demise. Just a thought.