The “Winner”

There were really only two houses of the foul excrescences (listed here) in which I would live. Most of my Readers got it right: the runner-up was Edinburgh Road, but it failed simply because it looks like a shed and is too close to a main road (although the sea view is lovely).

But the only (grudging) consideration I would give is to Ness Point:

The reason I don’t mind Ness Point is simple: for once, the architect actually took the ambience and scenery into mind, and instead of inflicting his “vision” (i.e. egoistic bullshit statement) on the world, he created something which actually looks like it belongs there. Note the grass roof:

…but the interior (which I call “corporate whiteboard”) would be repainted in some human-friendly color, with curtains, bookshelves and comfortable furniture installed — you know, so I could actually live there.

I’d still prefer something more in keeping with the other houses, of course ( thus shutting up the neighbors’ whining), but at least I wouldn’t call for massive amounts of dynamite to rid the world of the place — unlike the others on the list, which should all be blown to smithereens along with their architects.

 

Unreadable

When we have our pictures taken for ID docs like drivers’ licences in the U.S.A., we usually have the option of smiling or unsmiling poses. I tend to smile, because in repose I look like this:

That’s my picture as it appears on some British railcard ID — and it’s a perfect example of what my kids call my “hitman” expression. (I think it’s more like “Wanted In 25 States For Murder”, but that probably means the same thing, really.)

When I had said pic taken, the photographer told me that H.M. Government doesn’t allow smiling pictures on IDs, because if you smile, their facial-recognition software can’t identify you.

Ponder on the implications of that, if you will.

Happily, my passport photo is of Smiling Kim, so the BritGov may never be able to identify me — and as I have no intention of breaking any of their poxy little laws, there’s no problem with that… right?

One of the reasons to travel abroad is that we can see how other countries screw their citizens / subjects over, and we can therefore resist similar bullshit on the part of our own government, which is already too fucking big for its boots.

Now read this.

Not Enough Gun Owners

Surveys about gun ownership in the U.S. are largely meaningless, because not that many people are willing to tell a total stranger whether or not they have any guns in the house. So by all means, take this one’s findings (a state-by-state comparison of the percentage of households with guns) with as much salt as you wish.

That said: Texas ranks only 13th? Behind Minnesota?

It’s enough to make a man sick to his stomach. If Louisiana, Arkansas and even New Mexico, our poorest and least significant neighbors can chalk up (much) higher percentages, then it’s time we Texans got some new shooters up and running here in the Lone Star State.

So this is a call to arms (literally) to any of my Texas Readers who might know of some poor souls who are defenseless: get it done.

At least we beat Oklahoma…


Some comments:

Because it’s a CBS survey, the tools ranked the states in inverse order. (Rhode Island ranked #1 with only 5%. No wonder their burglary rate is astronomical.) Alaska, as expected, has over 60% of households with guns and are at the top (actually #51; they also gave statehood to D.C., the assholes, hence the strange numbers).

Hawaii also ranks high, but that’s because there are only about ten households in all of Hawaii. (The rest are Japanese tourists, hippies of no fixed abode and soldiers / sailors.)

Finally: I love the pictures they use to illustrate each state. Usually, it’s some dimbulb police chief looking earnest as he holds up an eeeevil gun, but the best they can do with Texas is a Mexican at a gun show with a WWII Lee-Enfield No.4? Yeah, that’s representative of Texas gun owners. (Nice-looking gun, by the way.)

Girlyman Alert

Oh good grief. Apparently there’s a talk show for men scheduled to appear on TV sometime soon.

I use the term “men” in its most penumbral sense because:

“We have all the shows in the world that empower women to talk about these things – which they should exist by the way because, let’s be honest, women deserve a safe space to have these conversations – but men don’t talk,” he says. “Even the idea of this show made men scoff, like, ‘Oh, who’s going to watch men talking to each other?’ That’s how rare this is. This is not The View for men. This is a conversation show. This is a show where men create a comfortable space for each other to go deep and have a conversation and we hope that this stuff happens in real life, too.”
Topics include personal subjects like body image, fatherhood and dating/relationships, but Baldoni also hopes to cover current events when appropriate.

My prediction: this show is going to tank worse than the upcoming “Lena Dunham Gives Harvey Weinstein A Pityfuck” Christmas special on the Disney Channel.

For those who can’t get it: men don’t talk about their feelings, body image or dating relationships. We already have a comfortable space; it’s called a pub or bar, and it’s there where we discuss our problems: the broken transmission on the truck, the dickhead boss, why [insert sports team of choice] sucks so badly this season, why we did badly in [insert relevant competition] last week, and why we have to call off the annual fishing trip (because the doctor says that the wife’s going to have the baby prematurely, or some such bullshit).

Discussion of dating relationships is of the “So, did you score last night?” variety, followed by a sympathetic shake of the head if negative, or a high-five if positive. If we talk about “body image” it’s of the “The Doc says I need to do something about this gut or I’m gonna die soon” type. That’s it.

You got it right, Baldoni: men don’t talk, and we don’t watch shows about men talking either. Maybe if your guest list included actual men (e.g. Clint Eastwood), we might be tempted; but the problem is that such a show would include a few terse sentences, lots of nodding and even more sips of single malt. Unless the men start showing off their latest gun- or new car purchase; oh, then the conversation will flow, you betcha. But that’s not your typical modern-day TV entertainment, is it? Oh no: just look at the list of participants, and note that one is a transgender butch dyke of indeterminate gender who specializes in Wokedom or some such crap. That’s yer conversation fodder eight there, you betcha.

So having turned off real men, all the viewers of this crappy little show will be women and girlymen, and no doubt these same viewers will start Volume-11 whining and hashtagging the moment any one of the participants says anything remotely manly or controversial, or anything that isn’t part of the Universal Pussification Zeitgeist.

Then the show will be ignominiously canceled, and it’ll be All Men’s Fault, as usual. So much for a masculine “safe space”. What bollocks.

I’ve told the story before about my incredulity towards the stupid Hollywood production process as portrayed in the movie “The Player“, and the acid comment from The Mrs., “They aren’t even that smart.”

Here’s proof of that statement.

The Ugliest Schools In The World

As I paged through this article (actually entitled 16 Of The Most Beautiful Schools In The World ), I experienced a growing sense of horror: every single one was indescribably awful, terrible and soulless. In particular, the temporary structure at the Estonian school  looks to me like a modernistic version of an extermination-camp gas chamber, complete with Zyklon-B inlets:

I expected to find beauty: harmonious buildings set in gorgeous countrysides, or if in an urban locale, at least buildings which were designed to accommodate the pupils’ needs. One of the descriptions actually includes the words “square lines and hard angles”, and another, “jagged, playful exterior” — at a kindergarten(!) no less — and I ask: when the fuck did these design motifs become equated with beauty?

Every single one of the architects responsible for these revolting structures needs to be driven from the public square with whips, accompanied only by scornful cries from people who are sick to death of their ghastly pretensions. I’d start with the guy responsible for this ghastly edifice at Duke University:

This Etch-A-Sketch structure is set within a framework of exquisite, graceful Gothic buildings, and you know what it is? It’s a middle finger extended squarely at tradition — and for a conservative like myself, it embodies everything that’s wrong with academia (because ultimately, the college administration approved this revolting design).

If you want to know how civilization ends, this is as good an indicator as any I’ve ever seen.