Saturday, December 31, 2005

Light Blogging

But on Thursday I fulfilled one small ambition. My daughter and I walked the Malvern Hills from one end to the other. Lovely cold day, a dusting of snow, misty but the sun was out on the tops for a while - blue sky above, mist around and below. Never walked the southern end before - much more woody than the north. I'll add photos in a day or two.

Back at home we've replaced the old Cyrix 300 box, used for email and word processing, with the awesome power of a Celeron 633. The boys loaded up one of their favourite old games - Ultimate Soccer Manager 2 (classic from 1996 or thereabouts) only to find it wouldn't load. 'You need at least a 486 to load this game' was the error message.

My days of computer gaming are gone - not enough time and I'd rather blog with the time I have, but I enjoyed USM2 ten years back.

We found a workable version (version 2 is better than the 98 version) on Home Of The Underdogs - a site devoted to 'abandonware' - software no longer sold or supported by anyone. Great place for retro games -a paradise for those of you with time on your hands.

Happy New Year ... see you in 2006.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Prostitution Crackdown ?

So sayeth the Guardian and BBC.

I'm not sure if this is actually going to be a crackdown on prostitution as such. After all, in the 1979 feminist worldview currently informing Home Office policy, they may not quite be able to decide whether the girls are poor victims of society, ordinary "sex workers", or Girl Power exemplars (this post describes their confusion), but they know who the bad guys are - "guys" being the operative word.

We will take a zero tolerance approach to kerb crawling. Men who choose to use prostitutes are indirectly supporting drug dealers and abusers. The power to confiscate driving licences already exists. We want the police to use that power more."

It can't be long before Julie Bindel is wheeled out again to tell the punters what evil murderers they are, while the poor girls are given lots of support, counselling, housing and other goodies, none of which, of course, they can afford themselves.

Alas, no pressure groups have been formed to campaign for the poor punters as hapless victims of their hormones, chained to the village idiot.

In the words of Antonia Bance, rapidly becoming my locus classicus for left-wing self-contradiction, "the real problem is not the women selling sex but the men who pay for sex. Let’s ASBO a few kerb-crawlers, put their photos in the paper, and see whether they come back for more."

We're back to those Victorian times, so well described by the Magna Mater Melanie, when earnest feminists condemned the fleshly lust of fallen Man, and the tragic victims necessary to feed their brute desires.

The Asbos Don't Work ... Solutions Please ?

"More resources"

'Young people with nowhere to go, now that resources have been cut, are being criminalised for hanging out on street corners' - "Niki" Adams, The Guardian.

"Professional support and compassion"

'The majority of young people who offend are neglected, abused, ill and immature. We should treat them as such and start caring for them in a more considered way, rather than dealing with them through the criminal justice system' - Louise Swain, The Guardian.

"None of the above"

'enforced military service for these subhumans ... should be sterilized with a blunt knife ... the decent people should now start to go around in groups and beating up little scum ... bring back the public stocks ... I wouldn't **** on him if he were on fire ... concentration camps should be re-opened ... firing squad ... I'd prefer to slap his parents ... drown him at birth ... birch them ... should be locked up and forgotten about ... stuck in a burning building - I'd gladly stand by and watch ... this piece of excrement'

Readers of the Manchester Evening News (owned by The Guardian)

Monday, December 26, 2005

No Christmas

I often wondered where the Scots Hogmanay tradition came from, and why it was always the big festival of the year.

Ignorant me. The Calvinist, Puritan tradition lived long in Scotland. In England Cromwell's men had outraged the population by banning celebrations as Popish idolatry. But in Scotland, not celebrating Christmas was a token of virtue and difference from the slackers south of the Solway.

Christmas Day was a normal working day in Scotland until 1958.

Nowadays Scots still don't celebrate Christ's birthday. But they buy presents and get drunk just like the English do.