The end of the world has been predicted for tomorrow 21st December 2012 at 11:11 GMT. Talking Bollocks has a reporter based in the world who will cover the story starting 1st thing Friday morning until midnight. If the world does end at any time Friday then our staff will record the whole story and report it to you, the public, as soon as the world become available again.
In the meantime, should you see the end of the world approaching please contact us stating where and when you saw the end of the world approaching and what colour it was. An artists rendition of the End of the World by John Martin indicates that it will be mostly black so please look out for anything very dark.
Our advice to anyone inclined to panic is to lay in a ditch with a paper bag over your head.
Yesterday we heard of yet another dreadful killing by a lone gunmen in the United States and, as usual, there are calls for greater gun control. Just as predictably we can expect the gun lobby to protect their rights under the United States Constitution Second Amendment: The Right to keep and bare arms.
There can be little doubt that the prevalent of guns in the U.S. is a contributing factor to the high number of murders but regular rampages by lone gunmen are not the only downside to the supposed protection of Americans rights. The Wikipedia list total firearm related deaths per 100,000 per year lists the United States as 12th. That doesn’t seem too bad until you notice that the countries which are worse than the U.S. are those such as El Salvador and Colombia. Countries which are more usually compared with the U.S. such as those of Western Europe they are way down the table. France is at 26 and Germany at 51.
An article by David Wagner in The Atlantic Wire claims that research shows that strict gun control laws do lead to fewer deaths. Interestingly Switzerland has no standing army and relies on a people’s’ militia who keep their guns at home and Switzerland ranks at 16 on Wikipedia,
But Americans are not the only people to suffer from lax U.S. guns laws The Economist has run several articles lately on Mexico, a country with a growing economy but which is held back by murderous and ruthless drug gangs. And where do these gangs get their guns? The United States of course.
Drugs and guns are very similar, they’re both great fun but and both potentially lethal. The difference being that drugs are made in the developing world and guns in the developed world. To quote The Clash: “In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, ‘n’ check the British bullets in his armoury”
U.S. policy on drugs is to ban them and blame the manufacturing countries. U.S. policy on guns is to sell them to anyone who wants them and blame the consumers. Perhaps the policies are just back to front?
A funny old week but great for the talking of bollocks in the media. With the economy still in the doldrums it’s clear what the lead stories in the press should be. So what were the three main parties pontificating about? Gay marriage, immigrants speaking English and legalising cannabis.
Tories? Legalising gay marriage? With their reputation? Yes, David Cameron is apparently trying to push through a policy which could almost be perfectly built to wind up his back-benchers but appeal to Labour supporters. Meanwhile Ed Balls has been banging on about how immigrants should learn English and this has to be tailor made to wind up the racism paranoids in the Labour party. Not to be outdone Nick Clegg wants to legalise Cannabis! What in blue blazes is going on? Why are they all meandering off in weird directions? Perhaps they’re all stoned and next week we will see Ed Milliband munching cookies during PMQs?
From the Tory perspective they probably just want to distract attention away from the economy and consider promoting gay marriage will soften their image though this may be backfiring as the backbenchers mobilise. Nick Clegg is also engaged in distraction tactics though his party may be more sympathetic to his cause. Ed Milliband comes off worse. He may be trying to toughen up Labour’s reputation on immigration to counter revelations about their open door policies when in power. However it demonstrates fantastic ineptness and c an only aid the Tories in knocking the economy off the front page.
I heard this week of a book entitled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini which outlines “6 key principles of persuasion”. It’s a marketing book which, I heard, was selected by David Cameron for the Conservative party reading list. This is the key to what they’re up to: SPIN. I’m sure we’re all got opinions on Gay Marriage, Immigration and drugs but, as Bill Clinton quite rightly said, “It’s the economy stupid!”
The astronomer Patrick Moore died on the 9th December. Like many people my age, as a kid, I often argued with my parents about why I should be allowed stay up late to watch The Sky At Night. Pre satellite TV and pre Internet it was one of my few tenuous links to the world of astronomy and I would relish the grainy and blurred photos while Mr. Moore explained their import. His style was to the point. He studied the stars but he was not starry eyed and doubted that we would come across alien life any time soon. His appeal lay in his intelligence and enthusiasm. He was passionate about astronomy but he didn’t patronise his audience. He assumed that we were as intelligent and well informed as himself and we were forced to pay attention to keep up. They don’t make TV like that anymore.
The disturbance outside on Saturday morning proved to be a plethora of Santas preparing to run 5km to raise money for Passing it On a charity which helps to build schools in Africa. By the time I’d blown away the cobwebs and got down there most of them had finished. Later I was Christmas Shopping and passed Fabrica in Duke St where a crafts fair was being held. Some good stuff and I bought this and that for Christmas presents. Some Great badges and cards by Saffron Reichenbäcker and some beautiful owls like Russian dolls by Caleigh Illerbrun. Then in the evening up to London for company bash at big hotel. Dinner suit dusted off, shoes given quick brush, train then tube, cloakroom ticket, hoards of people, boss’s speech, sales targets, M&S vouchers, prize draw. Glasses of red, bottles of Becks, dancing like fools, talking bollocks. Squeeze onto tube, 12:05 from Victoria, stand all the way and taxi home to find Alien 3 and a glass of single malt. Here comes Christmas……..