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No blog entries?

Well, you can thank three things for the lack of blog entries in December. Firstly, I make the usual advent calendar videos every day, that you can access using the playlist link (also just under the calendar in desktop mode) or by subscribing to my YouTube channel to be notified of updates. While the videos are fairly short, there's all of the editing necessary, plus forever to upload them on my slow rural broadband (especially when YouTube's shonky uploader gets to 60% and then suddenly jumps back to 0%...).

Additionally, you can blame Netflix and Korea. A series that was on Netflix that I watched a few episodes of is "Black".

Black screenshot.

In a nutshell, she is a young woman who's dialogue seems to consist mostly of saying "Oppaaaaaaaa....". Her eyes are wonky, they can see a sort of black smoke around people who are soon to die, and touching that smoke gives her the ability to have a vision of how that person dies. She wants to use this power to save people.
He is a detective with amnesia, his body currently being inhabited by a reaper. He doesn't want her to save people because, you know, it's a repaer's job to take them to the afterlife, but he starts to fall in love with her which makes it hard not to save people. Which sets him on a collision course with other reapers.
Being Korean, there are loads of episodes and each one is nearly movie length. Plus they're packed with details and references and things to watch out for. Or rather, people to watch out for. Winding through different drama genres, playing with tropes and never quite going where you think it'll go, it's a visual treat as well as an intellectual one. But the length and intensity of each episode makes it unsuitable for binge watching. You really need to take a break to think about things, put together some dots, and have fun trying to predict what'll come next.
"Wednesday" was lovely, but a different pace and style of storytelling, I watched the lot in a couple of days. "Black"? Will take more than a couple of weeks.

Additionally, as it's Korean, you can have an easy drinking game:

  • Each time Crazy Dog (one of the other detectives) bites somebody.
  • Each time somebody turns out to be corrupt or has done something corrupt.
  • Each time a superior inflicts physical violence on an employee.
That last one is depressingly prevalent in Korean dramas. From being played for laughs such as the police chief swatting somebody across the head with a few papers, to deadly serious such as a bloke brutally bashing his brother with a golf club, and to ram the point home, doing so to the guy's pet dog, fatally.

The series is leaving Netflix soon, so I only have a short time to get through all of the episodes.


Feel the ANGER

Jonathan Pie's excellent rants were once the stuff satire was made of. Sadly, tragically, without doing or changing a single thing, he's transitioned from satire to simply reporting on what's going on.
But I think what's going on is a straw too far, even for Pie. He's clearly angry. As we all should be.

Note: NSFW (many well aimed F-bombs).

You'll notice that it doesn't even end with the usual "Fake news" banner, simply putting his website link on-screen. Because this isn't fake news, this is reality, the reality that the real reporters are too scared of coming out and saying, even without the obscenities.


But it doesn't stop there. It doesn't stop with calling out Tory bastards for being bastards. No, here's a potential Christmas number one by some guy called LadBaby. My taste in music is "stuff from the '80s" and "symphonic gothic metal", so I have no idea who he is or if this is typical of the sort of thing he does.
What I do know is that the original song was written to raise money for starving Africans due to a massive amount of famine. This version? Aimed at starving Brits due to a massive amount of c**ts in Westminster.
Between this and nurses using food banks, I wonder for how much longer the fervent right wing press can continue propping up failure after failure by the Tory bastards, who after a decade and a half in power, have only themselves to blame.


And finally, in yesterday's advent video I make a few subtle references to the situation with the striking nurses.


Kind of proving their point

Sadly, just as Britain goes on strike, Harry and Meghan released their little TV series to the world. I say sadly because it has given a welcome diversion from reality for The Daily Mail (among others).

Some example article headlines:

  • How will WILLIAM feel about this blatantly public grab for Diana's legacy - and the dig at Kate's 'formality'? Of all the wretched words uttered by Prince Harry in his one-sided Netflix diatribe the saddest were directed at his own family, says RICHARD KAY
  • 'Now strip them of their titles!': Tory MP leads calls for Harry and Meghan to lose Duke and Duchess status after 'aggressive and unbelievable' attacks on UK - as Netflix show slams Queen's Commonwealth legacy as 'Empire 2.0' and links Brexit to racism
  • Backlash at Harry and Meghan Netflix show's portrait of 'racist' Britain: Tory MP leads backlash as Nigel Farage says it labels 52% of Brits 'bad, racist people' with attempt to link Brexit to racism in the UK
  • DAN WOOTTON: Gutless Harry has accused his brother William of 'bullying' him out of the Royal Family without a scrap of evidence to advance this ugly family feud. No matter how he deludes himself, Diana would be ashamed of her youngest
  • EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: And Meghan says the royals aren't 'huggy'? Paul O'Grady hails Queen Consort's warmth and reveals he 'always gets a big hug and kiss' when he meets the King's wife
  • Watch out, Harry and Meghan! Here come Uncle Gary's truth bombs... In an exclusive interview, Kate's relative says the Duchess of Sussex is jealous of his niece because 'she makes it look effortless'
  • Meghan and Prince Harry release their sparkling 'paper-free' 'holiday season' card that includes a picture of them on night they won award for 'fighting racism' - but does NOT mention Christmas
  • PLATELL'S PEOPLE: Setting aside the slurs against our late Queen and calling his father a liar... Harry's most devastating attack was against his own brother and his war of words will lead to the worst pain any sibling can suffer

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It is as if the two can't say a single thing without having a dozen or so angry articles per day aimed at them.
Which I feel is kind of proving their point.

Now, I have not watched the Harry & Meghan series. Quite frankly, I'm not interested. But I do respect Harry for choosing his wife over his family obligations. With respect to that, let's look at some of those points.

Firstly, it's always going to be a bit sad to see siblings airing their problems in public. Whether it's two royals or the Gallagher brothers, you can't help but wonder how things broke down so much for it to come to that.

That being said, while it's entirely possible that they are attention seekers, it's equally possible that this might have seen to him as the only way to get his side of the story heard, instead of the carefully prepared palace press releases. Perhaps he felt oppressed by all of that?

Racism and Brexit are linked. A 2019 survey of 1,006 people conducted by Opinium shows that 71% of people from ethnic minorities faced discrimination, up from 58%.
Other research suggests that hate crimes rose following the referendum, around 15-20% more (around 2,000 extra cases in the third quarter of 2016), but notes that a lot of such things go unreported (source).
And, of course, the whole long battle for a Brexit "deal" was conducted by a government lurching further and further to the right and more and more nationalist. Such an environment can be simplified down to "English good, foreign bad". Note that I said "English", as Scotland is notoriously more open to foreigners, as immigration officers discovered in Glasgow.

It is the King's prerogative to be the "Defender of The Faith" and uphold the values of the Church of England. It's one of the duties of the Monarch. It isn't the duty of the second son. So maybe, just maybe, the Christmas card not mentioning Christmas is because they are aware enough that not everybody actually celebrates Christmas, and they don't feel the need to assume that people do.

In today's Mail is this article:

  • Buckingham Palace now considers 'disastrous' race row between Lady Susan Hussey and black charity boss Ngozi Fulani to be 'closed' after face-to-face apology as King Charles hopes to draw a line under 'highly embarrassing incident', royal expert claims
Buckingham Palace is wrong. Somebody got called out, they got fired and had to make an apology and now all's good, blah blah.
What? Did nobody ever think that just perhaps Lady Hussey thought that such behaviour was acceptable was because such behaviour might be something of a regular occurance within palace walls?
I'd consider this incident to be a start, not an end. Who else has similar views? What can be done about it?

Finally, on Diana's shame over her youngest. Well, actually, I rather imagine Diana would be proud that her son had the sense to get the hell out and stick by the woman he loves. It's a sad situation for sure, and I'm obviously lacking in many details not watching the series, but the more of those sorts of headlines I see in the press, the more I think they had the right idea.
It seems to me that he found himself in the situation where he had to choose - family or wife.
He made the right choice.
And maybe part of what's going on is resentment at having to make such a choice in the first place.

But, as nurses and teachers and rail workers and binmen and postal workers and every-bloody-body-else freeze their arses off on their picket lines demanding such outrageous things as being treated fairly, there's always the possibility of more nasty articles aimed at Harry and Meghan in between the nasty articles aimed at Mick Lynch and other union leaders for daring to disrupt Christmas.
If you've not already watched, scroll up to the Jonathan Pie video. Watch it.


Weird calendar

Amazon noted that I like unusual calendars, and cats. So, uh...

This calendar actually exists.

Who'd really want to hang this on their wall? Bizarre...


And, of course...

I guess it wouldn't be right if I didn't link to today's advent video.



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Anon, 18th December 2022, 09:42
For the unenlightened, or those who perhaps haven't been in the UK for many years, LadBaby is a comedy outfit who, for the last several years, have scored the "coveted" xmas number 1 with a sausage roll-themed parody of a well-known classic song. 
Last year they parodied the song that was tipped for the number 1, originally performed by Elton John and Ed Sheeran. Except in a stroke of genius, they got Ed and Elton to perform with them on the parody version. Which got to no 1. Ed and Elton's original was at number 2. 
Rick - not sure if your blog comments automatically makes links clickable, but a list can be found here: ristmas-number-1-ever-__3618/ 
Looking at some of the trash over the last few years, I'm tempted to suggest wheeling Cliff Richard out of the retirement home to show all these millenials how it should be done!
Anon, 18th December 2022, 09:44
(No, it doesn't make it clickable - understandable or you'd have hundreds of links to sites selling certain small blue tablets. Can that link be fixed as the software's inserted an extra space in it?)
Rick, 18th December 2022, 15:56
Links only become links if Cthulhu notices your plea and takes pity. 
It isn't automatic for the obvious reasons, nor are styles supported (keep the parser simple). 
So one can make a living making song parodies involving sausage rolls? That's got to be the most British thing ever. 😂 
Ah, Cliff Richard Christmas songs. Uniquely cheesy but somehow weirdly good at the same time. Sort of a tradition way back when. 
Still, I'd rather listen to Saviour's Day than ever hear Slade again. I need only to hear the shout of "It's CHRISTMAS!" and I'm like "Oh, help, make it stop!". I suppose a childhood of hearing it in every bloody department store and supermarket and shopping centre has made it that one song that ought to be banished from reality. Even more than the Rickroll or anything by Kylie Minogue (though, arguably, her songs do come a close second). 
The inserted space is probably an anachronism for the older layout and browsers that don't force wrap long single "words". I'll have to test Netsurf with a long line of gibberish to see if it behaves these days. 
Anon, 18th December 2022, 17:53
Yup, like I said earlier I understand completely why it isn't automatic! :) 
From a musical point of view I actually quite like the way "Saviour's Day" is composed. It uses a familar chord progression (I, IV, V, I followed by I, I, I7, IV, then a turnaround I, I/III, V7, I - if you understand numbered chords [1] ) but over a 6/8 time signature, something one rarely hears in 'pop' music nowadays. 
Of course I don't really relate to the lyrics, the Christians stole our Yule festival of midwinter and "appropriated" it. But musically the song's actually genius in its simplicity. 
[1] Yes, I do play a number of instruments, I'm trained in both classical and contemporary forms. </geek>
David Pilling, 18th December 2022, 18:18
Spoiler alert... Megan uses the money and notoriety from Netflix to become President of the USA. Meanwhile the evil King William creates Empire 2.0 and leads an army South from Canada. Harry rallies the US Army and kills his brother on a tightrope at the battle of Niagara Falls. And everyone lives happily ever after. 
David Pilling, 19th December 2022, 17:01
That turned out a bit fanciful... TBH I don't want to hear any more about M&H. But then I read the above blog and wondered what the significance is. That I don't understand and could not care less is not surprising - they're talking to their own audience. 
Today, turns out you don't need friends when Jeremy Clarkson is your enemy. So perfect for them.
Rick, 19th December 2022, 19:17
I dunno, can't imagine Meghan could be in any way worse than the 45th. 
As for anything else, including the opinionated gearhead, not interested. File it in the compactor right next to anything to do with football. 
(the irony here being that I mention that in today's video, but only because, like H&M, it's bloody hard to miss right now) 
Gavin Wraith, 20th December 2022, 23:10
I have no interest in celebrities unless they know me personally or they are dead. I apologize for the arrogance of this position, but it saves me from wasting my time.
Rick, 20th December 2022, 23:40
We can but hope that a certain odious ex-gearhead soon falls into one of your preferred categories... 
Rick, 20th December 2022, 23:48
Apparently (it's been taken down now) he wrote: "At night, I'm unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, 'Shame!' and throw lumps of excrement at her." 
He's unable to sleep because what? Get a grip, idiot. 
And the medieval Game of Thrones style punishment? For what, for not becoming a sellout? 
Oh, yeah, him and the anti-Wokerati are upset that she called them on their casual racist misogynistic bullshit. So I'm rather enjoying the casual racist misogynistic ranting. In other words, Clarkson is the utter twat that demonstrates quite nicely HER ENTIRE POINT. 
Stupid bloody cockwomble. 
Anon, 21st December 2022, 18:42
Whatever you may say about Jeremy Clarkson, just remember this: 
He punched Piers Morgan. 
In the face. 
For that act alone, he deserves a pint. 
Normally I wouldn't advocate violence, but when it comes to Piers Morgan? 
Sure, it's just one odious bastard punching an even more odious bastard in the face... but the odious-er (is that even a word?) of the two is the one who got lamped. 
Anyone who punches Piers Morgan in the face deserves a pint for their trouble. 
As for the comments? I wonder how many people got the reference to Lady Godiva?
Anon, 21st December 2022, 18:47
Pooping cats calendar? Try this: 
(Rick - can you make that into a link? It's not spam, promise!)
Rick, 21st December 2022, 21:27
Nope. Clarkson is an arse, but Morgan is a bigger and more capable arse. 
Trying, and failing, to be "as bad as Piers" is not an accomplishment. 
The only good thing to come out of this discussion is the knowing that somebody punched Morgan. But no beer, surely it's just civic duty? 
I've linkified the link. But, meh, not impressed. 
Do you have Netflix? Try an episode of Aggretsuko. 
David Pilling, 23rd December 2022, 13:23
Interesting how the rules of celebrity work - Danny Baker, under the bus. Clarkson lives for another day.  
Maybe it is like real life, you can do bad things, but mostly no one is watching or can be bothered. Some unfortunate people make a mistake and from one small spark their world catches fire. 
Rick, 23rd December 2022, 14:08
Might depend upon how much the Twitterati stamp their feet and throw toys out of their prams? 
Rick, 23rd December 2022, 14:13
After all, the thing that got J K Rowling excommunicated from reality was pointing out that boys and girls are different. 
Because it seems some people experience difficulty looking down... 

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