No more Heroes

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 12:11 pm
caddyman: (telly)
Well done to the chattering classes who have it in for the BBC. Most of them have it in for BBC news, because depending upon your political views, it is either pro-Tory or pro-Labour; too PC, or not PC enough, too trendy or too staid. Most people seem to quite like Dear Old Auntie, but they are just the poor shmucks who pay the licence fee, watch the TV programmes and listen to the radio shows.

The ones who complain are the politicos and do-gooders who feel that a public corporation should follow their world view exclusively. I tend to the view that if the Liberals, the Tories and Labour all complain that the corporation is biased against them; the BBC must be doing something right.

Over the past few years, the BBC license fee has come under increasing criticism. It’s not that bad. The whole of the BBC is funded by the annual fee of £142.50 plus anything it makes from its world-wide marketing. It is not allowed to raise cash by advertising. Anyway, the complainers will soon have something to complain about. The relentless cost cutting the BBC is imposing to show that it is listening to its critics means that they are dropping such fare as Heroes and The Wire. Soon, you will only be able to watch them on DVD, satellite or cable. At least with DVD you get to keep them. How many weeks’ TV do you get on satellite or cable for £142.50? So if you don’t have satellite or cable, it means that download is all that is left if you want to stay current. But that’s illegal, too. Not that broadband outside the main cities is anything to write home about, so downloading isn’t always an option anyway.

Maybe if these gob-shites actually did something useful instead of simply complaining all the time and interfering where they are not wanted, we might get somewhere.

I’m not saying the BBC is perfect and I’m not saying that it shouldn’t do some restructuring and rethinking, but it really does get out of hand. Ninety per cent of TV is already rubbish, now it’s going to be more of such fare as Strictly Come X Talent Get Me Out of Big Brother.

And endless fekking soaps. Always endless fekking soaps.

No more Heroes

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 12:11 pm
caddyman: (telly)
Well done to the chattering classes who have it in for the BBC. Most of them have it in for BBC news, because depending upon your political views, it is either pro-Tory or pro-Labour; too PC, or not PC enough, too trendy or too staid. Most people seem to quite like Dear Old Auntie, but they are just the poor shmucks who pay the licence fee, watch the TV programmes and listen to the radio shows.

The ones who complain are the politicos and do-gooders who feel that a public corporation should follow their world view exclusively. I tend to the view that if the Liberals, the Tories and Labour all complain that the corporation is biased against them; the BBC must be doing something right.

Over the past few years, the BBC license fee has come under increasing criticism. It’s not that bad. The whole of the BBC is funded by the annual fee of £142.50 plus anything it makes from its world-wide marketing. It is not allowed to raise cash by advertising. Anyway, the complainers will soon have something to complain about. The relentless cost cutting the BBC is imposing to show that it is listening to its critics means that they are dropping such fare as Heroes and The Wire. Soon, you will only be able to watch them on DVD, satellite or cable. At least with DVD you get to keep them. How many weeks’ TV do you get on satellite or cable for £142.50? So if you don’t have satellite or cable, it means that download is all that is left if you want to stay current. But that’s illegal, too. Not that broadband outside the main cities is anything to write home about, so downloading isn’t always an option anyway.

Maybe if these gob-shites actually did something useful instead of simply complaining all the time and interfering where they are not wanted, we might get somewhere.

I’m not saying the BBC is perfect and I’m not saying that it shouldn’t do some restructuring and rethinking, but it really does get out of hand. Ninety per cent of TV is already rubbish, now it’s going to be more of such fare as Strictly Come X Talent Get Me Out of Big Brother.

And endless fekking soaps. Always endless fekking soaps.
caddyman: (Default)
Let me see if I’ve got this right.

The global economy is supposed to be coughing up blood; all the major economies are in or facing recession at best and though we are supposed to play three wise monkeys on the issue, the UK economy in particular may or may not be dropping out of recession into full-blown depression.

The situation is such that unemployment lines are growing, incomes are falling, production is through the floor and businesses are going bust.

My limited understanding of the situation leaves me at something of a loss to see quite how we got where we are, other than it seems to have started because a bunch of negligent bankers – maybe even criminally negligent bankers – in the United States loaned staggering amounts of money to people and institutions that had no hope in hell of ever paying them off, or at least could only sustain repayments as long as the economy was growing.

Isn’t this a glorified pyramid scheme? Aren’t they illegal?

Anyway, having indulged in a little sub-prime lending in the land of euphemism, these liabilities seem to have been sold on to other banks worlds wide who in turn have felt the credit squeeze when it became apparent that no one was going to honour these loans. And then everyone starts calling in debts no-one can pay and the whole house of cards collapses. And none of this even touches the probability of any frauds that may have contributed to the downfall of the banking sector.

I seem to recall that the banks – along with any other number of industries – have been able to creak along in one fashion or another on the back of impossibly and incomprehensively huge infusions of public money. Or rather, governments have borrowed against future tax income to bail these people out.

We don’t even know if these back-breaking bail outs will even work: it’s far too early to say.

So when I read in the Times a headline: Stampede by banks to beat bonus crackdown and that Lloyds and Barclays (following the example of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who I recall were early beneficiaries of the handouts from the public purse) are going to push out millions of pounds in bonuses to traders and senior bankers before threatened crackdowns come into force, well…

Outrage over so-called fat cats has largely passed me by in the past, but for a bank – Lloyds – that has received £17 billion in rescue money because of its culpability in the global scam that lends money to beggars , to even think of paying out bonuses of hundreds of millions of pounds for performances that should have them sacked at best and brought up before the beak at worst.

I have never seen myself as a socialist; if someone works hard and well, I see no reason why they shouldn’t earn whatever they can get for it, but that’s the key. Bonuses and awards should not be automatic; they should be clearly and closely linked to performance.

There are two things wrong: banks are gratuitously rewarding themselves for failure and they’re doing it with our money, not their own.

Come the revolution…
caddyman: (Default)
Let me see if I’ve got this right.

The global economy is supposed to be coughing up blood; all the major economies are in or facing recession at best and though we are supposed to play three wise monkeys on the issue, the UK economy in particular may or may not be dropping out of recession into full-blown depression.

The situation is such that unemployment lines are growing, incomes are falling, production is through the floor and businesses are going bust.

My limited understanding of the situation leaves me at something of a loss to see quite how we got where we are, other than it seems to have started because a bunch of negligent bankers – maybe even criminally negligent bankers – in the United States loaned staggering amounts of money to people and institutions that had no hope in hell of ever paying them off, or at least could only sustain repayments as long as the economy was growing.

Isn’t this a glorified pyramid scheme? Aren’t they illegal?

Anyway, having indulged in a little sub-prime lending in the land of euphemism, these liabilities seem to have been sold on to other banks worlds wide who in turn have felt the credit squeeze when it became apparent that no one was going to honour these loans. And then everyone starts calling in debts no-one can pay and the whole house of cards collapses. And none of this even touches the probability of any frauds that may have contributed to the downfall of the banking sector.

I seem to recall that the banks – along with any other number of industries – have been able to creak along in one fashion or another on the back of impossibly and incomprehensively huge infusions of public money. Or rather, governments have borrowed against future tax income to bail these people out.

We don’t even know if these back-breaking bail outs will even work: it’s far too early to say.

So when I read in the Times a headline: Stampede by banks to beat bonus crackdown and that Lloyds and Barclays (following the example of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who I recall were early beneficiaries of the handouts from the public purse) are going to push out millions of pounds in bonuses to traders and senior bankers before threatened crackdowns come into force, well…

Outrage over so-called fat cats has largely passed me by in the past, but for a bank – Lloyds – that has received £17 billion in rescue money because of its culpability in the global scam that lends money to beggars , to even think of paying out bonuses of hundreds of millions of pounds for performances that should have them sacked at best and brought up before the beak at worst.

I have never seen myself as a socialist; if someone works hard and well, I see no reason why they shouldn’t earn whatever they can get for it, but that’s the key. Bonuses and awards should not be automatic; they should be clearly and closely linked to performance.

There are two things wrong: banks are gratuitously rewarding themselves for failure and they’re doing it with our money, not their own.

Come the revolution…
caddyman: (I've had enough of this!)
Further jollity follows the Government and its attempt to catalogue and file the population of the UK. It’s been flying under the news radar the past few months, but preparations are continuing for the introduction of hugely expensive and largely unwanted biometric ID cards in the next couple of years.

The first step in this programme, allegedly intended to make identity theft harder, is the introduction of chipped passports. You will have one if you have renewed in the past two or three years and you will definitely have one next time you renew. They were introduced in the wake of 9/11 to help make it close to impossible for the bad guys to cross international borders.

Marvellous. Fantastic.

Now, whatever the reasoning behind the need for this technology in passports (and, to be frank, I have less of a problem with those than I do with ID cards simply because I can choose not to have a passport if I wish) it has always bothered me that a government that is supposed to serve the people rather than monitor every individual fart wants to spend vast amounts of our money on something that few people want or believe will make a difference. Anyway, I have grumbled about all this before; the point is, that the Government cheerfully tells us that it will work and that once we have ID cards, life will be a bowl of cherries, global warming will reverse, petrol will be free and Utopia will be achieved.

You recall seeing in the news that 3,000 blank passports had been stolen, but the Passport Agency told us not to worry, because they were worthless since no-one could forge them? Here’s a little reminder – note how suddenly they are worth £2.5 million on the black market, incidentally, well now The Times has published a report on how they have managed to clone the 'fakeproof' e-passport in minutes using over the counter software and a £40 card reader.

New microchipped passports designed to be foolproof against identity theft can be cloned and manipulated in minutes and accepted as genuine by the computer software recommended for use at international airports.


I don't feel lied to at all. The technology is necessary and fool proof. It will work and we will all eat rose petal salad and fart perfume. The Government says so.
caddyman: (I've had enough of this!)
Further jollity follows the Government and its attempt to catalogue and file the population of the UK. It’s been flying under the news radar the past few months, but preparations are continuing for the introduction of hugely expensive and largely unwanted biometric ID cards in the next couple of years.

The first step in this programme, allegedly intended to make identity theft harder, is the introduction of chipped passports. You will have one if you have renewed in the past two or three years and you will definitely have one next time you renew. They were introduced in the wake of 9/11 to help make it close to impossible for the bad guys to cross international borders.

Marvellous. Fantastic.

Now, whatever the reasoning behind the need for this technology in passports (and, to be frank, I have less of a problem with those than I do with ID cards simply because I can choose not to have a passport if I wish) it has always bothered me that a government that is supposed to serve the people rather than monitor every individual fart wants to spend vast amounts of our money on something that few people want or believe will make a difference. Anyway, I have grumbled about all this before; the point is, that the Government cheerfully tells us that it will work and that once we have ID cards, life will be a bowl of cherries, global warming will reverse, petrol will be free and Utopia will be achieved.

You recall seeing in the news that 3,000 blank passports had been stolen, but the Passport Agency told us not to worry, because they were worthless since no-one could forge them? Here’s a little reminder – note how suddenly they are worth £2.5 million on the black market, incidentally, well now The Times has published a report on how they have managed to clone the 'fakeproof' e-passport in minutes using over the counter software and a £40 card reader.

New microchipped passports designed to be foolproof against identity theft can be cloned and manipulated in minutes and accepted as genuine by the computer software recommended for use at international airports.


I don't feel lied to at all. The technology is necessary and fool proof. It will work and we will all eat rose petal salad and fart perfume. The Government says so.
caddyman: (Vincent)
I can only imagine what it’s like for someone who actually cares, but I for one am fed up with reading about the Anglican Church imploding over the vexed questions of women and/or gay bishops. So far the knotty problem of the first lesbian bishop has yet to be addressed.

It is my understanding, and I am quite willing to ignore corrections or facts to the contrary, that the Anglican Communion is an inclusive communion. Apparently it is, provided you are male and straight. The debate seems to rage whenever a few bishops come together in the same place. Instead of arguing over the best way to bring their message to their flocks1, they are far more concerned with the sexuality and sex of the least necessary tier of the entire church.

As unrepentantly ungodly as I am, I have by tradition and culture, if not by faith, a streak of the puritan in my make up. I try to stand on it to be sure and I think that most of the time I am reasonably successful. Anyway, the point is who actually needs bishops? Apart from kicking up unwarranted fuss in a very un-Anglican manner, or at least a very un-Church of England manner and maybe there’s the problem: the bulk of Anglicans are no longer Church of England, where acceptance is so broad that it can cope with atheist vicars at one end and non-papal catholic priests at the other.

The English are by nature a very unobservant (in religious terms) lot and like their vicars to be seen gently dozing at village cricket matches, officiating over village fetes and getting into muddles with the church roof fund. Pretty much anything, in fact provided the refrain from bothering us with religion outside the formidable trinity of rituals concerning hatchings, matchings and despatchings. Anyone who actually cares about Christianity adopts any one of a number of reformed churches, chapels or Catholicism, depending on their relative preferences for comfort, terror, guilt, singing, beady-eyed fanaticism and/or incense.

In today’s Times there is an interesting article: in 1850, the weekly congregation for the Church of England was about three million. Eighty percent of babies were baptised into the CofE and the entire structure got by with 26 bishops. In 1945, the congregation had fallen to two million, baptisms into the CofE were down to 70% and the number of bishops had risen to Ninety. Sixty-three years further along, the relevant figures are 900,000, 15% and One hundred and fourteen. At this rate, by the end of the 21st century, the Church of England communion will be on first name terms with their own personal bishop.

My taxes are paying for this unrepresentative bunch of out of touch idiots. It galls me that church and state are so intermingled. Disestablish the buggers and let them get on with it.

Think of the money we can save and they will still be there for the odd times when they are actually useful.

1Actually, now I think about it, this is the accidental benefit emerging from the issue: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are quite pesky enough, without Anglican clergy turning up on the doorstep uninvited with a flask of tea and a slice of Madeira cake, “Let’s talk ‘God’ and will you have a tombola ticket?”
caddyman: (Vincent)
I can only imagine what it’s like for someone who actually cares, but I for one am fed up with reading about the Anglican Church imploding over the vexed questions of women and/or gay bishops. So far the knotty problem of the first lesbian bishop has yet to be addressed.

It is my understanding, and I am quite willing to ignore corrections or facts to the contrary, that the Anglican Communion is an inclusive communion. Apparently it is, provided you are male and straight. The debate seems to rage whenever a few bishops come together in the same place. Instead of arguing over the best way to bring their message to their flocks1, they are far more concerned with the sexuality and sex of the least necessary tier of the entire church.

As unrepentantly ungodly as I am, I have by tradition and culture, if not by faith, a streak of the puritan in my make up. I try to stand on it to be sure and I think that most of the time I am reasonably successful. Anyway, the point is who actually needs bishops? Apart from kicking up unwarranted fuss in a very un-Anglican manner, or at least a very un-Church of England manner and maybe there’s the problem: the bulk of Anglicans are no longer Church of England, where acceptance is so broad that it can cope with atheist vicars at one end and non-papal catholic priests at the other.

The English are by nature a very unobservant (in religious terms) lot and like their vicars to be seen gently dozing at village cricket matches, officiating over village fetes and getting into muddles with the church roof fund. Pretty much anything, in fact provided the refrain from bothering us with religion outside the formidable trinity of rituals concerning hatchings, matchings and despatchings. Anyone who actually cares about Christianity adopts any one of a number of reformed churches, chapels or Catholicism, depending on their relative preferences for comfort, terror, guilt, singing, beady-eyed fanaticism and/or incense.

In today’s Times there is an interesting article: in 1850, the weekly congregation for the Church of England was about three million. Eighty percent of babies were baptised into the CofE and the entire structure got by with 26 bishops. In 1945, the congregation had fallen to two million, baptisms into the CofE were down to 70% and the number of bishops had risen to Ninety. Sixty-three years further along, the relevant figures are 900,000, 15% and One hundred and fourteen. At this rate, by the end of the 21st century, the Church of England communion will be on first name terms with their own personal bishop.

My taxes are paying for this unrepresentative bunch of out of touch idiots. It galls me that church and state are so intermingled. Disestablish the buggers and let them get on with it.

Think of the money we can save and they will still be there for the odd times when they are actually useful.

1Actually, now I think about it, this is the accidental benefit emerging from the issue: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are quite pesky enough, without Anglican clergy turning up on the doorstep uninvited with a flask of tea and a slice of Madeira cake, “Let’s talk ‘God’ and will you have a tombola ticket?”

Oblique ranting

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 05:14 pm
caddyman: (pound of flesh)
May be I am getting old and weary, I don’t know. I don’t feel it, most of the time and I should hope not, aged 48. At the risk of sounding trite or clichéd, 50 is the new 40, 60 is the new 50 etc. Age is as much a mental as a physical thing and I have long stated that I refuse to grow up, having seen what it does to people.

That said, I find myself tiring of the bright-eyed idealism and generally unrealistic world views of people I meet and who ought to know better. No-one objects to a kid (really anyone up to around 24-25 years old) looking upon their elders with exasperation because they refuse to do things personally and as a group that seem so simple and which would sort them and the world out properly, once and for all. Kids have no sense of history; everything is new and the answers are simple.

Most people are shaken out of this world view progressively between the ages of 20 and 30. They may hold on to their idealism to an extent, but they recognise that answers are hard to come by and certainly not easy. Despite that, a great many people fall back upon intellectual laziness and express trite opinions that their own experiences should lead them to question.

Let’s abandon this and adopt that. Why? Because it feels nice, or because it’s fluffy and the world should be pretty and pink and soft and not hard and pointy.

But when it all goes wrong and the pink and fluffy experiment fails and the shit hits the fan, it’s those who deal with the real world that have to come barrelling in and sort it out. Have a bit of idealism by all means, but let enough reality intrude to temper it with something workable.

Oblique ranting

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 05:14 pm
caddyman: (pound of flesh)
May be I am getting old and weary, I don’t know. I don’t feel it, most of the time and I should hope not, aged 48. At the risk of sounding trite or clichéd, 50 is the new 40, 60 is the new 50 etc. Age is as much a mental as a physical thing and I have long stated that I refuse to grow up, having seen what it does to people.

That said, I find myself tiring of the bright-eyed idealism and generally unrealistic world views of people I meet and who ought to know better. No-one objects to a kid (really anyone up to around 24-25 years old) looking upon their elders with exasperation because they refuse to do things personally and as a group that seem so simple and which would sort them and the world out properly, once and for all. Kids have no sense of history; everything is new and the answers are simple.

Most people are shaken out of this world view progressively between the ages of 20 and 30. They may hold on to their idealism to an extent, but they recognise that answers are hard to come by and certainly not easy. Despite that, a great many people fall back upon intellectual laziness and express trite opinions that their own experiences should lead them to question.

Let’s abandon this and adopt that. Why? Because it feels nice, or because it’s fluffy and the world should be pretty and pink and soft and not hard and pointy.

But when it all goes wrong and the pink and fluffy experiment fails and the shit hits the fan, it’s those who deal with the real world that have to come barrelling in and sort it out. Have a bit of idealism by all means, but let enough reality intrude to temper it with something workable.
caddyman: (Material World)
The Sushi takeaway on Totteridge Lane has opened in the past week or so after threatening for close on a year. Tonight being games night, we traditionally order in. The two concepts rather melded, though I would rather have had a curry from the trusty and long-established Bayleaf myself.

I have never had sushi before. Never fancied it. The thought of small portions of wet, raw fish sitting on ornate pedestals of rice never appealed. It did appeal to the other three, though ([livejournal.com profile] colonel_maxim rarely orders in these days unless it is Chinee, so the other three, not the other four), so I went along with it. Nicely presented, I'll grant. Rather expensive, too, for the size of the portions and that odd seaweed paper that is inedible yet an integral part of the meal is just too odd. I never did work out which was the catsoup, or whatever it is.

I was gratified to find out that some of the stuff actually is cooked, so I had a chicken thing. Hmm. It was OK, but Indian and Thai cuisine goes for better curry. I had a strange duck wrap, too. The Chinese do better duck.

I was left with a strange understanding of why the Japanese hanker after whale steaks if this is the stuff they eat generally. It also opened a window on why they might want to invade China, Manchuria, Thailand or indeed anywhere in the Western Pacific or Eastern Asia rim with a distinct and toothsome cuisine. We should not forget that apart from stealing and adapting western technology and then undercutting us, the highest expressions of Japanese culture are fancy lacquer boxes, wood and paper (!) houses, shoes with stilts on (for when it rains - galoshes are too clever for them), dysfunctional and disturbing "erotic" cartoon art with altogether too many tentacles in places that shouldn't know what a tentacle is, and exceptionally sharp swords which can take your head off as soon as look at you. If you stop and think about it, that is a dark and disturbing mix. It shows in their cooking, too.

I shall make do with a cheese sarnie and a mug of coffee next time sushi is order of the day; it is odd food begot of an odd people with odder ideas and as a plain-spoken man from the English West Midlands I want naught of it.
caddyman: (Material World)
The Sushi takeaway on Totteridge Lane has opened in the past week or so after threatening for close on a year. Tonight being games night, we traditionally order in. The two concepts rather melded, though I would rather have had a curry from the trusty and long-established Bayleaf myself.

I have never had sushi before. Never fancied it. The thought of small portions of wet, raw fish sitting on ornate pedestals of rice never appealed. It did appeal to the other three, though ([livejournal.com profile] colonel_maxim rarely orders in these days unless it is Chinee, so the other three, not the other four), so I went along with it. Nicely presented, I'll grant. Rather expensive, too, for the size of the portions and that odd seaweed paper that is inedible yet an integral part of the meal is just too odd. I never did work out which was the catsoup, or whatever it is.

I was gratified to find out that some of the stuff actually is cooked, so I had a chicken thing. Hmm. It was OK, but Indian and Thai cuisine goes for better curry. I had a strange duck wrap, too. The Chinese do better duck.

I was left with a strange understanding of why the Japanese hanker after whale steaks if this is the stuff they eat generally. It also opened a window on why they might want to invade China, Manchuria, Thailand or indeed anywhere in the Western Pacific or Eastern Asia rim with a distinct and toothsome cuisine. We should not forget that apart from stealing and adapting western technology and then undercutting us, the highest expressions of Japanese culture are fancy lacquer boxes, wood and paper (!) houses, shoes with stilts on (for when it rains - galoshes are too clever for them), dysfunctional and disturbing "erotic" cartoon art with altogether too many tentacles in places that shouldn't know what a tentacle is, and exceptionally sharp swords which can take your head off as soon as look at you. If you stop and think about it, that is a dark and disturbing mix. It shows in their cooking, too.

I shall make do with a cheese sarnie and a mug of coffee next time sushi is order of the day; it is odd food begot of an odd people with odder ideas and as a plain-spoken man from the English West Midlands I want naught of it.

Political Hypocrisy

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 10:32 am
caddyman: (Stalin Award)
I've gone off the increasingly barmy Lib Dems over the past few years, but in this instance they are spot on.

Freedom of Information


The Commons have voted on and passed a Private Member's Bill, the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill exempting themselves and Lords from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. This is additional to the protection they already enjoy when speaking in the House, which provided they do not use "Unparliamentary Language", means they can say pretty much what they want about anybody or anything unsubstantiated or not.

As we slowly stumble into a centralised and increasingly authoritarian state, we should retain as much accountability from our representatives as we can. We should not let then forget who serves whom.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lupercal for spotting and posting this in the first place. Stick it on your LJ or blog and get people to sign up.

Ptch. And me without my hat of ranting!

Political Hypocrisy

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 10:32 am
caddyman: (Stalin Award)
I've gone off the increasingly barmy Lib Dems over the past few years, but in this instance they are spot on.

Freedom of Information


The Commons have voted on and passed a Private Member's Bill, the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill exempting themselves and Lords from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. This is additional to the protection they already enjoy when speaking in the House, which provided they do not use "Unparliamentary Language", means they can say pretty much what they want about anybody or anything unsubstantiated or not.

As we slowly stumble into a centralised and increasingly authoritarian state, we should retain as much accountability from our representatives as we can. We should not let then forget who serves whom.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lupercal for spotting and posting this in the first place. Stick it on your LJ or blog and get people to sign up.

Ptch. And me without my hat of ranting!

Seasonal Rant

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005 01:13 pm
caddyman: (Default)
Normally I don't mind this time of year too much, despite the busy workload we always have in the office trying to get the financial settlements sorted out for the new financial year. Christmas week itself is a pain, because it is so disruptive to my schedule: I like having the time off work, I don’t like the fact that everything from TV/Radio down is changed, sprinkled with saccharine cultural icing and repackaged with flimsy seasonal variants.

I am not a religious man, but I am reasonably certain that the modern evolution1 of the seasonal message of cheer and goodwill to all has reached the commercial point that had he been here now instead of the Middle East 2,000 years ago, Jesus might well have by-passed the temple money lenders entirely and nuked the stock exchange instead. I realise, of course, that I am conflating different Biblical periods here, but the observation stands.

Christmas has become a cultural and financial black hole out of all proportion to its importance, and we are trapped on the event horizon watching our resources drain and time slow and stretch into infinity as we make futile attempts to escape. The effects of the holiday are only negated for a fortnight or so around July when we have finally paid off the excesses, financial and physical of the previous year, and before we start fretting about the consequences of the next one.

Many committed Christians in the past wouldn’t celebrate anyway as it is just a thin Christian veneer over a pagan holiday, and only has a 1/365 chance of being Jesus’ birthday. Easter (which is only notable in the UK for the fact that the pubs close early on Good Friday, otherwise it’s pretty much a normal day unless you want a bank loan) is by far the more important holiday.

This year the build up is annoying me just as much as the commercialisation of the holiday does. This is largely due to the fact that we have a certifiable Minister who can be relied upon to push everyone to the edge of nervous breakdown with additional and unnecessary work, but it’s also due to the fact that I needed to have a rant about something, and Santa happened to be the biggest, reddest and most visible target available, and I wanted a suitably sanctimonious whinge.


1I know that one of my friends will be unhappy about both the usage and relevance of the word evolution in this context. It is exactly the right word for my purposes.

Seasonal Rant

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005 01:13 pm
caddyman: (Default)
Normally I don't mind this time of year too much, despite the busy workload we always have in the office trying to get the financial settlements sorted out for the new financial year. Christmas week itself is a pain, because it is so disruptive to my schedule: I like having the time off work, I don’t like the fact that everything from TV/Radio down is changed, sprinkled with saccharine cultural icing and repackaged with flimsy seasonal variants.

I am not a religious man, but I am reasonably certain that the modern evolution1 of the seasonal message of cheer and goodwill to all has reached the commercial point that had he been here now instead of the Middle East 2,000 years ago, Jesus might well have by-passed the temple money lenders entirely and nuked the stock exchange instead. I realise, of course, that I am conflating different Biblical periods here, but the observation stands.

Christmas has become a cultural and financial black hole out of all proportion to its importance, and we are trapped on the event horizon watching our resources drain and time slow and stretch into infinity as we make futile attempts to escape. The effects of the holiday are only negated for a fortnight or so around July when we have finally paid off the excesses, financial and physical of the previous year, and before we start fretting about the consequences of the next one.

Many committed Christians in the past wouldn’t celebrate anyway as it is just a thin Christian veneer over a pagan holiday, and only has a 1/365 chance of being Jesus’ birthday. Easter (which is only notable in the UK for the fact that the pubs close early on Good Friday, otherwise it’s pretty much a normal day unless you want a bank loan) is by far the more important holiday.

This year the build up is annoying me just as much as the commercialisation of the holiday does. This is largely due to the fact that we have a certifiable Minister who can be relied upon to push everyone to the edge of nervous breakdown with additional and unnecessary work, but it’s also due to the fact that I needed to have a rant about something, and Santa happened to be the biggest, reddest and most visible target available, and I wanted a suitably sanctimonious whinge.


1I know that one of my friends will be unhappy about both the usage and relevance of the word evolution in this context. It is exactly the right word for my purposes.

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