TSROD understandably making gains

Further to my post yesterday and my ongoing and increasing disillusionment with anything political, be it British, European or South African, this fits so nicely.

 

To be honest, the only reason that TSROD isn’t sweeping the board is that it’s clearly a new option which people haven’t considered before.
If you offered the average man individual on the street The Sweet Release Of Death, they’d likely politely turn you down.

It’s only when you offer them the choice between The Sweet Release Of Death and any of the political parties on offer that TSROD suddenly becomes such an attractive option.

And that’s completely understandable.

 

image credit: the brilliant General Boles

Fed up with Brexit

I am. And I’m not even very involved.
(More involved than some people think (bless him and his little army), but still…)

I’m fed up with the mess that it’s made of politics, the economy, the people and the news.

I’m fed up with the drama llamas on both sides, of the constant wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Remainers and the blinkered stiff-upper-lipism of the Leavers.

I’m fed up of either side twisting any given news story to somehow suit their narrative.

I’m fed up with people expecting their elected MP to listen to their specific viewpoint rather than that of their electorate. Can you imagine if the vote had gone the other way and yet the Government had still gone ahead with leaving the EU? Because that’s pretty much the equivalent of saying that the referendum shouldn’t count. You don’t get to keep trying until you get the result you were hoping for.

I didn’t get to vote in the 2016 referendum: I wouldn’t have been able to anyway: I was on the beach in Mauritius when it all happened. Shame.
But for the record, I would have voted to remain*. And that means that I would have been on the losing side too. Bummer.

Because yes, democracy is great until people don’t choose the option you wanted them to. And step forward that old “but there was so much disinformation, so many broken promises!” chestnut. Well, sadly that’s politics. It’s crap, but show me any political campaign that’s been entirely truthful; any manifesto to which the party in question has kept. It simply doesn’t happen, and yes, maybe (some of) those voting to leave were naive enough to be seduced, much in the same way that you likely were (subconsciously or otherwise) whenever you last voted for anyone**.

Some of the stuff that I’ve heard from bitter Remainers has had very little to do with the truth as well. This breaking news, just in: Not everything is about you. Not everything is about Brexit.

Perhaps the one redeeming feature of Jeremy “the scruffy communist” Corbyn is that he was also going to follow through on the result of the  democratic vote if he were ever elected [laughs in that’s not going to happen]. Kinda weird for him not to take the low-hanging populist fruit, but still…

And one other thing that has struck me about this whole thing is that while the EU “respects” the UK referendum result, there’s very much a Hotel California vibe in their “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” message to the rest of the EU, probably brought about by some other close polls in other countries.

While I believe in some benefits of the EU, holding it up as some sort of bastion of freedom and honesty is clearly misplaced. It’s every bit as rotten and hypocritical as any other political organisation. If you choose to overlook that simply because it suits your argument, then expect short shrift from me.

In fact, don’t expect much from me at all if your day seems to consist solely of stuff about Brexit. No matter which side you’re on.
Yes, I’m aware that it’s important. I’m aware that it’s current. I’m aware that you’re not very happy.

It’s just that I’m totally and utterly fed up with Brexit.

 

* thus alienating half my readers immediately, because you’re not allowed to like people from “the other side”, just like when you were 5 years old in the school playground. Analogy very deliberate. 

** But of course not. Because you would never allow that to happen to you, would you? That’s something that only happens to other people. Not you. Right. Ok then. 

 

The elephants… are inconsolable

Sad Death of an Elephant Trainer in Sheffield

It happens. Elephant trainers are every bit as mortal as the next guy, and when the Grim Reaper comes calling, even their big, thick-skinned, flappy-eared grey friends can’t do anything about it.

See here:

And I quote:

SAD DEATH OF AN ELEPHANT TRAINER IN SHEFFIELD

In the early hours of this morning the accident to Fred Hartley, who was in the employ of Messrs. Sanger as elephant trainer, terminated fatally. Such a sad ending to what was considered only a slight mishap was not expected until within the last day or two. It appears that during an afternoon performance on the 19th inst. the deceased, who was a promising young fellow of 26, and a great favourite with the visitors at Messrs. Sangers’ establishment in Pinstone street, handed to one of the elephants a horse-pistal [sic] for use in a trick. The weapon went off suddenly, and the wadding lodged in the palm of Hartley’s hand. The wound though painful was not regarded as serious, and the injured man was medically attended at his home for a few days. On Sunday, however, alarming symptoms began to manifest themselves and his removal the the hospital was advised, where after lingering in dreadful agony, he died as stated. Lockjaw is returned as the cause of death. The deceased has been in the service of Messrs. Sanger ever since he was a child and his loss to them is felt very keenly. The elephants, with whom he could do anything, are inconsolable, and it will be a matter of no little difficulty to fill his place in their affections. The funeral will take place at the General Cemetery on Sunday.

Lockjaw – or tetanus – is caused by Clostridium tetani. A simple vaccination or dose of metronidazole would have saved this “promising young fellow”. But this snippet from the Sheffield Telegraph (and shamelessly borrowed off Facebook) is likely from the 1870s, and they hadn’t quite got their heads around the microbiology of it all back then. Still, it’s a good reminder of where we’re headed with increasing antibiotic resistance and anti-vaxx idiots.

Because yes, even a mild injury to your hand, caused by an elephant shooting you with a horse-pistal [sic] could be fatal again soon.

It’s something we all need to be cautious of.

Octopus! Dead ahead!

This screenshot from the BBC News website really tells you all you need to know about this particular incident…

…but there are more delicious quotes to be had by clicking through:

Octopuses are not unheard of in the seas off the south coast of England, but this particular cephalopod would have had to crawl more than 5km over hills and fields to find itself in the path of a car on the A381.

So it looks like you’d have to be a real sucker to believe his story.

A load of bull

I love art.

No, really. I honestly think that in this world of poverty, hunger, sickness and never quite enough Castle Milk Stout, there’s genuinely nothing better that money could be spent on than art.

Like this new exhibition at the Museum of English Rural Life, for example. It features the work of artist Maria McKinney. She’s made art from cattle semen straws. Yes, those are the tubes used to artificially inseminate cattle.
(This is, at least, I suppose, better than making art from the tubes used to naturally inseminate cattle.)

Ms McKinney was inspired by collections of 18th and 19th century livestock in the museum’s collections, which exaggerated the features bred into the animals and turned them into ‘the first viral celebrities’.

Of course it did. One can hardly miss the endless references to the cattle of the day on Ye Olde Facebooke, nor forget that all six finalists in the first series of Britain Hath Talent were bulls.

Here’s a bull with coloured plastic stuff on its back. Note also the expression on the bull’s face. It is – understandably – going to kill someone very shortly.

McKinney states:

“It was essential for me that the sculptures communicated something about the lived reality of these bulls.”

And I honestly feel that she’s hit the nail on the head there, because “the lived reality” of these animals – that they regularly have coloured plastic stuff attached to their backs – is often overlooked by the general public. If nothing else, this exhibition – featuring images of bulls with coloured plastic stuff attached to their backs – breaks the silence on this difficult and entirely pointless topic.

The exhibition, beginning this month and running until early May, is the only chance to see the results of this project, which started in 2015 and was funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award to the tune of £29,125:

Well done, artist.
Four years and a whole shedload of cash well spent right there.