Okay, it’s official. The world has gone totally fucking mad. First John Barrowman — star of the West End and Torchwood (he’s also been known to “sing”, but it’s probably best if I don’t mention that) — decides to flash his genitals during a Radio One interview. A pretty juvenile thing to do, admittedly, but not exactly the end of the world.
Well, and then someone actually complained. Someone sitting at home felt the need to pick up the telephone and express his/her disgust at the fact that Mr Barrowman had flashed his genitals… on the radio! Nothing appeared on the studio WebCam. No one, as far as I know, saw his “fruit and nuts” other than the hosts Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac (who were, possibly quite provocatively, asking him about his “predilection for exposing himself during interviews”), and for all that the listeners knew the incident might not have actually occurred at all. But… someone… complained.
Mr Barrowman has since apologised for any offence he may have caused.
And whilst the image isn’t the most appealing to me, I like to think he was stark bollocking naked when he did so.
© 2008 Gary William Murning
Ah yes. It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it, before McCain rolled out the esteemed and intellectually challenged Arnold Schwarzenegger to make up his Rapturous Unholy Trinity? With talk of war heroes and backlashes, he wowed his audience and looked… well… suitably Arnie-ish.
I have no idea how Mr Schwarzenegger’s rhetoric and hyperbole sounds to your average American voter, but I would seriously hope that they find it as unimpressive and hollow as I.
A couple of points that got me shaking my head and sighing:
- Apparently, Mr Obama — with the money he used for television ads — could have bailed out the banks and paid off everyone’s mortgages. This was hyperbole, wasn’t it? He wasn’t really being serious, right? You see, from this side of the pond it’s difficult to be completely certain — but I’m going to assume that he was speaking literally, even though I realise he probably wasn’t, because I can Obama’s campaign budget was estimated at the beginning of October as being somewhere in the region of $450 million. This was money raised for campaign purposes. The money allocated to television ads would have been a percentage of this. I don’t know the actual figures and it’s irrelevant, anyway. The point is, this money was never intended to be used as an economic crutch — or anything else other than campaign funds. It is preposterous to even suggest (with or without hyperbole) that it could have been used in any other way. Yes, it is rather excessive but, on an interesting side note, back in 2006 Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal wealth was said to be around the $800 million mark. Hey, Arnie, why don’t you bail out the banks? Jerk.
- John McCain was a prisoner of war. D’you know something, I have a deep-seated suspicion of war heroes who use their past exploits in this way. My great-grandfather (who died when I was about eight or nine) fought in the trenches in France during the First World War, and no one in our family knew anything of what he went through during that time — other than the fact that it was so distressing that he chose not to talk about it. Now this isn’t to say, of course, that everyone who talks about what they went through during battle is somehow embroidering the facts. People quite often need to talk, to share, to help others — from friends to historians — understand the reality of the situations in which they found themselves. But to use those memories, the dead colleagues and friends, the suffering… to use them on the campaign trail, to allow fellow campaigners to refer to them, that I’m afraid strikes me as cynical and inherently suspicious. There were many heroes during the Vietnam War, some in the Armed Forces, and some on the steps of the Kent State University. If Mr McCain is a real hero, it may well have served him better to not have used it for possible political gain.
There’s a definite superficiality to McCain’s campaign that seems to be predominating. Whilst I’m no political commentator — and certainly not the obsessive campaign-watcher that some are — it does strike me that this is the fundamental difference between McCain and Obama. Granted, the latter is far from perfect (anyone who chooses to be a politician is by definition imperfect in my book!) but he at least seems to have something like substance.
I may be wrong — but when I hear Schwarzenegger referring to Obama’s “scrawny little arms”, I tend to feel that I’m not.
Hey, Arnie! Another suggestion for you: why don’t you go and beef up your scrawny little brain?
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:
© 2008 Gary William Murning
Contrary to many a rumour out there, I don’t always agree with Old Hitch. But in this recent article for Slate, he takes the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate and very ably shows her for what we all already knew her to be:
“With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man’s philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of “teaching the argument,” as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn’t think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a “premillenial dispensationalist”—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.”
As a Brit, there is very little I can do directly to prevent her and McCain from gaining office. And yet the choices that you, my American friends and readers, will soon make will have consequences on a global scale. This impacts on us all. As imperfect a political specimen as Obama might be, he’s far superior to McCain and Little Miss Full of Shit. So please, use your vote wisely.
Don’t give these inbred arseholes the opportunity to, amongst other things, possibly make the End of Days prophecy a reality.
© 2008 Gary William Murning
After ten days or so of, for Gary William Murning Online, at least, extremely high hit rates (close on 7,000 a day at its peak), everything seems to be finally calming down. The world didn’t end (it was never going to, even if there had been a problem with the experiment — which there isn’t — because it doesn’t really start doing proper science for a few weeks yet) and as the dust settles I’m left wondering what to do next by way of a stats encore… and just how many of the visitors I’ve seen over the past few days have decided to stick around and keep reading.
Whilst I work on the first question, maybe you can help with the second.
Are you a new reader who intends on returning? What aspect of this blog do you especially enjoy? The science-related posts? My writing-related work? Have you subscribed via a feedreader, some other service, or do you just pop along when it occurs to you? Is there anything else you would like to see here that I haven’t already thought of?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
In other news…
Was this reporter really serious when he asked in this interview, “What is the hardest thing about your job?”
© 2008 Gary William Murning
This afternoon finds me grinning stupidly in spite of being just a little bit knackered. As expected, Children of the Resolution is now complete. I’m extremely happy with the end result and now looking forward to getting the edits out of the way and submitting. How it will be received, I don’t know — but if my other novels came close, I find it hard to believe that Children of the Resolution will not find a home. I’m confident, as dangerous as I know that that can be. It deserves to be published, not because I wrote it, not even because I invented it (for the most part, it being semiautobiographical, I didn’t), but, rather, because it is a unique and telling story. If they can’t see that… well, they will.
And so, now, some tennis (watching, that is, not playing!)
A job well done. A bloody good feeling, that.