The Curmudgeon


Sunday, April 30, 2017

His Castle

Before her necking bout with Freedom's blade,
The Queen of France would play the lowly maid;
And so today, our British man of fashion
(Who rivals her for breasts, as for compassion)
Must share the workman's joys, humble and pleasant,
In knocking up a shed while shooting pheasant.
The British worker's modest pride is seen
In how he keeps his hovel warm and clean:
Wool insulation for the walls and floor,
Hard wood to keep the homeless from the door.
When labour's done, he rests his weary head
Austerely, on a double sofa bed
Which local fauna hope is amply big
For purple porker, as for sucking-pig.

Max Stoneyvest

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Just Not Buccaneering Enough

Yet further evidence has emerged of Nazi-style dictatorship in Europe, as the Euro-wogs unaccountably and dictatorially voted through legal measures to cut toxic emissions from power plants. The fact that the new rules will come into force despite opposition from Germany must naturally serve to confirm the Hitleresque nature of the European enterprise, at least in the schoolboy blatherings of Tin-Pot Tessie's joke Foreign Secretary. On the reality-based parts of the planet, stricter limits will be imposed on emissions of the various pollutants which the Imperial Haystack blithely allowed to persist far above the previous legal level when he was in post as London's joke mayor. A Euro-wog with a funny name has pointed out that air pollution is "the prime environmental cause of premature death in the European Union;" but, in typically underhand foreign fashion, conveniently omitted to mention that the deaths take place almost exclusively among the lower classes and are therefore hardly a legitimate matter for concern among those world leaders who have the Trumpster to hold their hand.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Williams of History versus the Irving of Faith

I am sure we will all rejoice to see that Rowan Williams, whose tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury so typified the moral courage and intellectual honesty of Blairite Britain, has finally discovered an argument of which he isn't on both sides. Manchester University library is displaying books by the Holocaust denier David Irving alongside works of actual history, and Williams has written to the vice-chancellor and to the Minister for Being Related to the Foreign Secretary, requesting that Irving's work should be removed from open display and available only on request. While it is refreshing to see Williams taking so uncompromised and comprehensible a stance, there is surely little need to flatter Irving with the kind of treatment once reserved for pornographers, black magicians and other genuinely useful citizens. All that is really necessary is for his books to be reclassified and placed in their proper genre, alongside their brothers in spirit such as Mein Kampf and the Gospel of St John.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fuelling Dissent

Yet another enemy of the people has taken advantage of the judiciary's nominal independence from the executive in order to attempt sabotage upon our precious national unity. The high court has ruled that the Government is breaking the law by refusing to publish its plans to cut air pollution - a petty and insignificant issue which is believed to cause a mere forty thousand premature deaths a year, mostly among proles, NHS bed-blockers and other expendables. In November another enemy of the people declared that the Government's draft plans were illegal, though it remains unclear from what specific combination of normal ineptitude, concern for the well-being of fossil-fuel lobbyists, and recent efficiency savings in the civil service. The Government, which always has more important things to do than worry about public health, pleaded that publishing the revised plans during the automatic ratification of a Conservative government might lead to their being labelled Conservative government plans, which would obviously go against every principle of British justice. With the relevant ministry still in the charge of the gormless Andrea Leadsom, some spirit of charity from the courts would surely have been in order.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wogs in Space

Well, thank goodness we've opted ourselves out of this insidious scheme. The ghastly Euro-wogs and the Heathen Chinee are plotting to collaborate in constructing a base on the moon; a plot which might well be sold as an international endeavour despite failing to include the United States and the New Global Imperium of England, Wales, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. The Heathen Chinee have been excluded from the International Space Station because of American concerns over their space programme's military connections; never having done anything remotely military before, NASA apparently felt it would be at an undue disadvantage. Now that the flat-earthers have taken over Washington, it remains to be seen how the free world will react to bits of the moon being made foreign in front of its eyes. Thanks to their famously practical and non-ideological temperament, the British are likely to find a certain amusement in the clumsiness of the enterprise: apparently the project is to involve mere experts, and even scientists, and years upon years of effort, research and investment. This is of course far inferior to the pluckily buccaneering British method: namely to sulk, threaten and offend until the moon is shamed into fulfilling its moral obligation to accommodate our every whim.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lessons They Won't Forget

Enemies of the people, infected by the ghastly foreign doctrine of human rights, are criticising the tough love régime at the Feltham child warehousing facility. A teenager is complaining to the high court over being kept in solitary confinement twenty-three and a half hours a day, even though he was allowed the luxury of half an hour's taxpayer-funded freedom to gossip on the phone or take drugs. In the spirit of the Graybeing book ban, he received no education; and he was not allowed to exercise in the gym, although such undeserved luxuries remain statutory until the glittering advent of our much-anticipated post-European British Bill of Rights, Responsibilities and Rah-Rah. About a third of imprisoned children spend some time under similar conditions, and a couple of bleeding-heart busybodies have worried about the lack of formal governance in such cases. The Ministry for Profitable Incarceration has admitted that there was no statutory authority for preventing the teenager's association with other children; but no doubt there was a good, sound, common-sense reason behind it, such as not omitting the punitive element, or economising on tutors.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Uncertain Intelligence

Not all members of the Not Awfully Bright Party are opposed to recycling, it appears. While others dredged up some of the Milibeing's policies from two years ago (with circumstances changing every five minutes and a pledge-keeper of Mad Tessie's calibre in charge, they can afford to go hog-wild with the promises), the less imaginative wing of the party was blathering out the old Cold War caution about pretenders to prime-ministerial office who hate Britain so much that they aren't even prepared to start World War Three. The blustering blimp in charge of wog-bombing proclaimed a first-strike nuclear weapons policy in the interest of creating uncertainty in the minds of those poised to attack us (Russia? North Korea? Spain? Britain First?), while manifesting much patriotic indignation at the uncertainty inherent in the Labour leader's inclination to ask questions before drone-kicking some terrorist buttock. Just imagine the disasters that might have occurred if Britain's late Head Boy had spent the run-up to his glorious Libya campaign making strange, communistic queries like "what actual good will it do?"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Then They Came for the Fat People

Fat and pollutive persons who have the temerity to be ill while lacking sufficient British pluck and gumption to afford private healthcare are to receive their proper come-uppance under plans to ration NHS care according to worthiness of lifestyle. "We are seeing, bit by bit, the destruction of the solidarity that this country has been so proud of with the NHS," mourned the Liberal Democrat health spokesbeing, Norman Lamb, whose principled resignation from ministerial office over the Bullingdon Club's vandalism of the NHS was one of the moral highlights of the coalition in a universe slightly less cretinous than this one. The medical director for NHS England in Yorkshire and Humber has written a letter supporting management of resources "for the benefit of all patients" by forcing smokers and the obese to wait longer for hip or knee surgery. Those denied such surgery can suffer severe pain, as they deserve, and have trouble walking, which means they will burn off the calories that much more efficiently as they hobble towards their foie gras from the food bank.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Social Disease

As the Christian state of Arkansas bags itself another nigrah four minutes before the death warrant was due to expire, researchers have discovered that legally-sanctioned death by medication may have adverse consequences for real people. The drugs which are used for lethal injections are also used for curing taxpayers, and some have fallen into short supply; at least four death-penalty states, including the Christian state of Arkansas, are hoarding them. In a particularly deplorable lapse of American values, one of the country's largest pharmaceutical suppliers is suing the Christian state of Arkansas to prevent the use of drugs which the company says were obtained by state officials under false pretences. Although they claimed to be re-stocking prison hospitals, these angels of mercy were hiding their virtue under a bushel: in fact the drugs were to be held against the day when they might be required to provide closure for grieving relatives and show whining liberal snowflakes what God's justice really means.

Friday, April 21, 2017

No More Black on the Union Jack

More than three decades after the sainted Thatcher crushed the saboteurs of the Enemy Within, Britain is set to declare final victory over the pernicious national disease that has plagued the country since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The National Grid has predicted that the first working day without coal power generation is nigh; and the last coal-fired power station is due to close in a few years under the rubric of meeting the Government's climate change commitments. Other symptoms of the Government's interest in meeting its climate change commitments include abolishing the relevant ministry; cosying up to the Trumpster, who does not believe in climate change; and appointing drooling imbeciles like Owen Paterson and Andrea Leadsom to the Department for Environment, Floods and Whatever. The true significance of Britain's first coal-free day is much happier, more glorious, more far-reaching and patriotic. With the rise of new and sustainable energy sources such as Russian gas and blanched radioactive Franco-Chinese pachyderms, the nation is finally at liberty to march towards a future that is free from the centuries-long moral stain of reliance on uppity coal-miners.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Criminal Psychology

In a kingdom as prosperous and united as our own, it is sometimes necessary for human resources to flexibilitise their starvation-avoidance functionality. Hence teachers are required to spy out Muslims for the security services, GPs are ordered to double up as border police, and the boys in blue themselves are now frequently required to cover for the mental health services which were cut to pieces by the Bullingdons and their little orange enablers. As Home Secretary, the dead-eyed warden of HM Prison UK presided over massive cutbacks in wasteful red tape (or sacking of experienced staff, in Standard English), thereby leaving the police in the best possible state to intervene where the tattered remnants of the hated public sector have unaccountably failed to prevent someone having a mental breakdown. The new commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has a vision of a force with fewer officers and more tasers, which certainly ought to help matters; particularly given that a dead paranoid schizophrenic is arguably even easier to defame than a dead immigrant electrician.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spiritually Foreign

Given our great country's present parlous state, with almost half the population comprising saboteurs, enemies of the people, citizens of nowhere, non-white working classes and other metrosexual élites, it is surely an insult to Britishness that young Muslims have been approached on the subject of terrorism with anything other than an order to condemn and denounce. Nevertheless, a study has been carried out by a professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, and has risked provoking righteous wrath in the more united parts of the kingdom with its lack of democratic feeling. Rather than favouring hanging, flogging and other means of British law and order which have hitherto been forbidden by Euro-wog human rights lawyers, the survey's respondents favoured alien, Sharia-tainted measures such as reintegration and rehabilitation. One interviewee had the temerity to note that inflicting the stick without offering a carrot can lead to reoffending: an attitude which goes against everything the Ministry for Profitable Incarceration stands for. Others made the inevitable quasi-foreign complaints about wog-bombing, and worried about, of all things, a "lack of identity", as though the categories of suspected immigrant, suspected extremist or even brown person were somehow not good enough. Well, really, how un-British can one get?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Her Promising Career

All Englishmen and lesser breeds
Can always look to me
As one who marches straight, and leads
With true consistency.

I have a mandate strong and bold;
I don't get in a flap,
And certainly will never hold
Elections that are snap.

Last year I joined with the campaign
To stay in the EU;
That we'd be better to Remain
Is certainly untrue.

Division cannot help but feed
The SNP infection,
And that is why we do not need
A general election.

I am convinced that workers should
Be given far more say;
I'm certain it would do no good
If they should get their way.

Some sixty million people all
Are with me, staunch and burly;
I have no need or wish to call
Elections that are early.

Humility, most Jesus-deep,
My vicar parent spurred:
No earthly thing is mine to keep -
Especially my word.

Verity Trumpette

Monday, April 17, 2017

An Expensive Place to Die

Some of the more buccaneering and entrepreneurial elements of the senior citizens disposal industry have been emulating Tin-Pot Tessie's favourite boot-boys. It will be remembered that those efficient people at G4S and Serco were caught charging the taxpayer for monitoring deceased miscreants; the care home industry has now adopted a similar business model by charging residents' families for accommodation after the residents have died. Some consumers ("relatives", in pre-family-values Oldspeak) are also being forced to subsidise shortfalls in state funding since the state, as a privileged client, is excused from funding the care of dead people so as to have more money to spend on their surveillance. As one would expect from caring people, the trade body for the senior citizens disposal industry defended the arrangement by stating that it was stipulated in the contracts. If care consumers are dissatisfied, they can always shop around; just try doing that in the Stalinist dystopia that is the hated public sector.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dim Beginnings

In a rare instance of nearly joined-up thinking, the Government has claimed that it will double the funding it provides for fighting various tropical diseases. Given the Conservatives' general enthusiasm for runaway climate change, it makes sense to attack the vectors of such diseases before conditions at Westminster become conducive to their immigration. The instruments of our triumph over the pathogenic swarms will of course be those leading pharmaceutical companies which will soon be fleeing Britain thanks to the amputation of our biggest trading partner; and those world-class universities and researchers which the Conservatives have starved of funding and whose paying foreign students Tin-Pot Tessie and her minions are obsessed with kicking out. One cannot expect the Not Awfully Bright Party to join up too much thinking at once.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Can He Be Up To?

Experts on international relations continue to ponder the likely consequences of the present military posturing by a chubby mad-haired man-child in north-eastern Asia. Apparently motivated by parade envy, the infant has dispatched what he calls an armada, a term most famously used to refer to a sixteenth-century invasion fleet from the existential threat to Gibraltar. As the world's biggest nuclear power, with a record of destroying non-nuclear countries that is second to none, the United States is deeply concerned at the increasing ability of North Korea to bother fish in the Sea of Japan. The chubby mad-haired man-child is on record as implying that nuclear weapons are for using rather than for deterring; which makes Kim Jong-Un's obsession with military might all the more sinister and enigmatic.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Exercitia Spiritualia

Heresy-hunters in the Christian state of Kansas have sniffed out another threat to the faithful, namely the ancient, lurking evil that is yoga. The Benedictine College has just discovered that the practice includes not only bending and stretching exercises, but a spiritual dimension which is tainted with Eastern mysticism and comes highly recommended by the Beast himself. As always when the children of God permit themselves knowledge outside the purview of Mussolini's artificial city-state, hideous blasphemies and horrid apostasy can be the only possible result: "It is a mind and body practice developed under Hinduism, the goal of which is spiritual purification that will lead to a higher level of understanding and eventually union with the divine," shuddered the chancellor for the Archdiocese of Kansas City. Since the Catholic church has no truck with higher understanding or union with the divine, the Benedictine College is now encouraging its flock to seek out ways of bending and stretching their bodies without exercising their spirits.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unredeemed Recidivism

Some enemies of the people have been caught siding with criminals against the British taxpayer. The Court of Appeal has ruled that the brilliant Chris Graybeing, as Minister for Profitable Incarceration under the Bullingdon Club and its little yellow enablers, acted unlawfully in depriving prisoners of legal aid. Besides being horrified at the idea of convicts reading books, Graybeing was appalled at the idea of the right to legal representation applying to prisoners who were other than wealthy, especially when the Conservative Party was busy punishing prison staff for belonging to the hated public sector. Graybeing's replacement, the jabbering homunculus Michael Gove, was equally silly but more media-savvy, and reversed some of the cuts but left in place those he thought he could get away with, namely those that affected only the livestock in the human warehousing industry. A spokesbeing is apparently considering the judgement on behalf of the ever-absent Liz Truss; it remains as yet unclear whether Graybeing's law-breaking spree will result in a custodial sentence.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Informational Buccaneering

Business family values vied with celebrity hanky-panky at the Old Bailey yesterday as the father-in-law of a TV chef pleaded guilty to hacking the emails at his son-in-law's company. The father-in-law had been fired and was allegedly looking for pictures of his girlfriend; but since the lady in question is apparently of interest neither to the Home Office nor to the Home Secretary's co-employer Rupert Murdoch, the father-in-law was unable to muster a convincing defence of either national security or freedom of information. Nor, strangely enough was the dead-eyed warden of HM Prison UK, nor any flunkey or minion thereof, called to testify concerning the much-vaunted social benefits of breach of privacy. Given the blatant miscarriage of justice, it surely cannot be many days before we hear that Vladimir Putin was running the trial all along.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Laws are for Little People

Whining trouble-makers are threatening trouble for the Government, over the legal technicality that the Government took upon itself a legal obligation which it is now failing to discharge. Having ratified the Paris agreement on climate change, the Conservatives are now all of a dither because they have to produce a sort of plan thingy; a task in which they are doubtless somewhat hindered by the Bullingdons and their little yellow enablers having fired the relevant civil servants for being too expert. Given that she abolished the relevant ministry and put the brilliant Andrea Leadsom in charge of Environment, the extent of the dead-eyed warden's commitment should be clear for all to see; nevertheless, mere lawyers have given the Government three weeks to come up with something or else face litigation. Fortunately for global Britain, buccaneering business and the will of the people, the jurisdiction of the courts extends only to the real world, from which the Government is known to have seceded on the country's behalf some time ago.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nice People Don't Mix With Cockroaches

Almost sixty per cent of destitute asylum seekers are housed in the poorest third of the country, while the richest third houses ten per cent; and Labour-led and Labour-minority local authorities house a swarm twenty times the size of what Conservative-led and Conservative-minority councils can manage. Despite such manifest sensitivity to the legitimate and understandable concerns of hard-working families, Yvette Cooper has described the system as a shambles; probably because she would prefer to see all asylum seekers profitably incarcerated beneath the tender mercies of those efficient Serco people. The housing of destitute hordes is a voluntary matter for councils to decide for themselves, and by way of incentive the Ministry for Wog Disposal offers no resources whatever to assist with additional health and education costs. Doubtless the Conservative councils are merely holding their charitable instincts in reserve for the inevitable influx of Gibraltarians fleeing the Euro-wog yoke; in the meantime a spokesbeing was extruded to proclaim that the Government is "working to encourage" more councils to participate, although it seems as yet unclear whether the Clegg-pledging race-baiter at the Home Office will be able to override the wealthy white racist vote by sheer strength of personality.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Talking Above Their Weight

Since our joke Foreign Secretary has better things to do than engage in diplomacy at a time of international crisis, it has fallen to the blustering blimp at the Ministry of Wog-Bombing to give the Russian Bear its marching orders over Syria. Having last month postponed his visit to Russia in order to assert his buccaneering independence over the Americans' double-booked diaries, the Imperial Haystack has now cancelled the whole affair because of his moral displeasure at régimes that behave towards their citizens the way Margaret Thatcher's chum Saddam Hussein behaved towards his. "By proxy Russia is responsible for every civilian death last week," blathered the Minister for Wog-Bombing, whose employer spent last week sucking up to the fundamentalist head-choppers of the House of Saud. Fortunately for the civilians of Yemen, the House of Saud has carried out an investigation of its own UK-sanctioned wog-bombing and, with true Conservative Party rigour, has absolved itself of all possible blame.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

The Cutoff Point

Mere months after the referendum, it appears that our lords and masters are beginning to suspect, however vaguely, that the process of disengaging from our biggest market might require some sort of planning. Accordingly, the governor of the Bank of England has dispatched a note to all the realm's corporate gamblers and thieves, warning them that the Government may be plotting to take over the banking sector's ancient privilege of tanking the economy and demanding that they consider what to do in the event of the proles lacking sufficient ready cash to bail them out again. The deadline for handing in their homework is Bastille Day, which shows that a certain cosmopolitan humour has not yet been purged from the head of the Bank of England.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Something Must Be Done

What human soul could ever see
These scattered dead who couldn't flee
Because legitimate concerns
Forced them to stay and take their burns -
And not resolve, once more, to fight
Shoulder to shoulder with the Right
Against the Wrong, for love that's tough,
And all that patriotic stuff?

This vile attack, to all our shame,
Displayed no telegenic flame,
And fell to no enlightened end -
So who could fail to recommend
Retaliation without fear,
Since any damage will appear
More decorous on our TVs
As corpses than as refugees?

Libby Presser

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Did You Lead Him On? Please Tick One Box

Along with immigrants, the bereaved and the disabled, the greatest threats to our national well-being are of course rape victims, and the Government has taken appropriately buccaneering and entrepreneurial action to ensure that they do not unduly detriment the fortunes of the deserving tax-dodger. As part of new measures to disincentivise excessive breeding among the proles, rape victims will have to fill out an eight-page form and declare that they no longer live with their attacker, because the Government is dashed if it's going to waste public money on people without sufficient initiative to risk walking out on a violent partner. There is as yet no obligation for the victim to declare her chastity, sobriety and modesty of dress; but further consultations are planned. The purpose of the form is to ensure that claimants of a certain social class have a valid reason for producing a third child when they know very well that they are allowed fodder for only two; hence the rape victims are required to supply the identity of their tainted offspring "to give us the evidence we need to support you further". Any such support will naturally occur by way of whatever nearly-secure databases the DWP's boot-boys choose to maintain for sale to the most benignant bidders.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Safeguarding Some of Britain's Future

Even in the fortress of self-sycophancy that is the House of Expenses Claimants, it appears that a few people are beginning to worry about the increasingly parlous state of the reality-based community. A committee drawn from those who recently voted by a substantial majority in favour of re-depressing the economy beyond the Osbornomic depths has warned that continuing boardroom scandals and excessive pay are not doing us any good in the long run, and that if restraint is not applied some people who have little or no leverage in the matter will be very cross indeed. Although the ones hit hardest will be proles, rather than persons of consequence with cast-iron pension schemes and keys to the revolving door, it is encouraging that some of our masters have at least developed sufficient foresight to fear the wheels coming off the gravy train before they get a chance to board.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The Sidekick and his Punisher

Seismologists monitoring the western Pacific Ocean detected minor but noticeable tremors today as the vole-brained former Minister for Werritty landed in the Philippines, triggering a precipitate drop in the archipelago's collective IQ. Liam Fox, who once burbled about wanting to be first in the queue to inflict corporal punishment on burglars, has had a bit of a blather about the values and interests he shares with Rodrigo Duterte, who has encouraged his voters to inflict capital punishment on drug addicts. The vole-brained former Minister for Werritty also blathered about the markets "from Australia to China" which, now that Brussels can no longer prevent them, are joyously opening themselves up to penetration by the newly recrudescent British Empire. Presumably Australia will get the convicts and the more persistent remoaners, while the Heathen Chinee will get the opium. It remains as yet unclear whether the Philippines will rejoice in our cheese or bask in our marmalade; either way, it seems certain to be much jollier than playing grown-ups with silly old Germany.

Monday, April 03, 2017


Denis Villeneuve 2016

Twelve alien vessels appear above twelve locations scattered across the world, plunging the human race into crisis and causing linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to be helicoptered off to Montana for interpretation purposes. Banks receives little characterisation in the brief run-up, aside from the facts that she is divorced and a bereaved breeder. Even the protagonist of Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, who has a mental age of approximately eighteen months, received far less casual treatment; but in Arrival, as it turns out, Banks' marital and reproductive status is all that really matters.

The concept behind Arrival is the theory that language determines consciousness and that, by extension, new linguistic discoveries could mean new discoveries about the potential of the human mind. This intriguing idea served as a McGuffin for Ian Watson's thin alien-contact novel The Embedding, received a bit more attention in Samuel Delany's more substantial Babel-17, and has the makings of a very good science fiction film. Unfortunately Arrival is not that film, because Arrival has little interest in science and is thoroughly cack-handed as fiction.

Several times, Banks has occasion to explain the problems of using natural language to communicate with alien species, and the script allows her to discourse with wit and concision. However, the intelligence of her exposition is somewhat compromised by the way in which all the complexities Banks points out are forgotten the moment she stops speaking. As she observes, the question What is your purpose in visiting Earth? would lead to misunderstanding, or else nowhere at all, unless both earthling and alien understood each other's assumptions about who "you" might be and what a question is. Banks nevertheless establishes contact by holding up some writing in Magic Marker, although the film never establishes quite how the aliens worked out what was signal and what was noise; let alone how they then determined that "HUMAN" doesn't mean Greetings, or Guard your midriff, or Take me to your leader, or Immigrants go home. Possibly it was for much the same reason that the Montana site, presumably one of the dozen most locked-down locations on the entire planet, is nonetheless susceptible to explosive sabotage by a few rogue squaddies under the influence of xenophobic TV broadcasters.

In fact, as far as the script is concerned Banks' scientific expertise is barely relevant, since whenever a problem arises it can invariably be solved by a flashback about her late offspring. I'm not sure how many of the feminist critics who cried sexism over Elle and Nocturnal Animals have picked up on the fact that Arrival allows Banks to be the heroine not by virtue of her intellectual accomplishments, but purely and solely because she is, or was, a mom. Given, in addition, the unearned, implausible and meretricious family-values twist at the end, Banks must be one of the more reactionary female characterisations since the days when all the aliens spoke American English.

Slickly shot and well acted, Arrival shares with most big-budget science fiction films the crippling handicap of a puerile screenplay. It is inferior to Close Encounters of the Third Kind; it is inferior to The Day the Earth Stood Still. It is inferior to The Andromeda Strain, to Phase IV, to The Abyss, to District 9, to Monsters and to This Island Earth. I haven't seen Contact or read Carl Sagan's novel, but I would be prepared to lay odds that Arrival is inferior to those, too. It is also, by varying but significant orders of magnitude, inferior to Incendies, Enemy, Prisoners and Sicario, its predecessors in Denis Villeneuve's filmography; which makes it not only another lazy lump of pretentious Hollywood pabulum, but also a true disappointment.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Unfortunate Women

George Osborne's tampon tax, a levy on the culpable indiscretion of being female, is set to raise twelve million pounds which the Government pledged to spend in support of women's health charities. Naturally, one of the biggest donations will be going to Life, a charity dedicated to undermining women's health with anti-abortion propaganda. Strangely enough, the Government seems to be hiding this gleam of family values under a bushel: no mention was made of the donation in the press notice from the Department for Cultchah, Murdoch and Sport, which the Conservatives apparently consider the appropriate ministry to deal with such snigger-worthy issues as female piping. Doubtless the Government's modesty derives from concern about the delicate state of the economy, which is not yet quite global enough to sustain a sudden boom in the coathanger industry.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Feel That Sovereignty

A teenage asylum seeker has had his perverse incentives aggressively re-adjusted with a summary lesson in British values. He was approached while waiting for a bus with two friends, asked to specify the degree of his non-Britishness and, in true blue, fair-play, underdog-cheering style, pursued and beaten up while outnumbered approximately eight to one. The swarming hordeling appears to have responded with the usual ingratitude to this cultural upgrade, wilfully occupying a hospital bed that might easily be put to more profitable use, especially given the increased likelihood that not enough of his fellow cockroaches will be available to treat him.