Thursday, August 11, 2011

The War of Jenkin's Thumb. When playing the piano, I have a bad habit of leaving my thumb off the keyboard. When using my Mac, I have a bad habit of leaving it ON the keypad, causing the machine to do all sorts of clever things I don't want it to do. Which is a tad annoying. But that's what separates us from the other primates, I guess - a prehensile thumb. Or is it the other way round?

The trouble with events like the UK's urban riots is that you can't get near the facts for the smell of axe-grinding. Both from the Left and the Right. My only comment is that, while I admired the mother who dragged her errant son to the police station, my immediate thought was Where's his father? So, I wasn't surprised to read this today:- “A large and increasing number of youngsters are brought up without dads. The majority of rioters are gang members whose only loyalty is to the group and whose only authority figure is the toughest of the bunch. Like the overwhelming majority of youth offenders behind bars, these gang members have one thing in common: no father at home.” More here. Albeit with the smell of Catholic axe-grinding from a prominent member of that Church. Which doesn't mean she's wrong, of course.

And here's the most (only?) heartwarming article I've read so far. Sample: “Across the country, ethnic communities have emerged as the heroes of the week’s riots – and, in the case of the three Muslim youths who were killed as they defended their neighbourhood in Birmingham, its martyrs. They have shown themselves to be not just as law-abiding as the Anglo-Saxons, but far more inspiring.”

Reading The Baldie's blog recently, I saw mention of a voice-changer. Not knowing what this was, I googled the term. And came up with this . . . MorphVOX® Junior is free voice changer software that will modify your voice to match your personality. You can sound like a man, woman, or little folk. Why??

Here's a decent article on the under-trod bit of the Camino from Santiago to Finisterra. Don't believe what he says about the Galician battle, though. The Reconquista began much earlier at Covadonga in Asturias. If that doesn't satisfy you, click here.

Finally . . . I received what I hope is my last mobile phone bill from Orange today. It contained an item of 2 euros for two one-second internet connections. Despite trying to avoid these, I've had about ten of them in the last year, compared with none at all during the previous three or four years. It happens (or did) when I switched on the phone and I suspect it's not a coincidence. Five million customers doing this several times a year adds up to an awful lot of pure profit. So . . has anyone else suffered from this? Or is it another thumb problem unique to me?

Postscript: I didn't want to venture this prediction that I've just seen but, now that someone else has done so, I will . . .

11 comments:

Candide said...

You keep your thumbs safe, mate. Or else...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jellokitty/2297123190/

Candide said...

“Across the country, ethnic communities have emerged as the heroes of the week’s riots – and, in the case of the three Muslim youths who were killed as they defended their neighbourhood in Birmingham, its martyrs. They have shown themselves to be not just as law-abiding as the Anglo-Saxons, but far more inspiring.”

Was on telly. For once telly sounded really good.

Sierra said...

Exceptions to generalisation:

"A postman, a primary school mentor, lifeguard, charity worker and a father of a newborn baby were among defendants appearing alongside schoolchildren and college students to answer charges ranging from theft to violent disorder. Yesterday, 19-year-old Laura Johnson, the daughter of a millionaire, appeared before magistrates charged with stealing £5,000-worth of electronic goods after police allegedly looted from a branch of Comet in Charlton."

Lenox said...

Following your recommendation, I've been watching Press TV from Iran. They seem to have a very sane solution to the riots in the UK.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/193467.html

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ferrolano said...

Does Europe need to return to mandatory military service or conscription for its young people? It gave them something to do, taught teamwork and discipline and when finished, put them in a better focus or mindset for the future.

Colin said...

@ Lee

Intriguing. Ta.

@Ferrolano. Not convinced it will address the basic problem of fatherless state-financed families.

@Sierra. Also intriguing.

@ Lenox. Brilliant. Will cite tonite. Ta.

Jimbob said...

I suspect a lot of people out there will be in favour of the return of National Service, even if, like me they didn't do any themselves. I expect though the armed forces wont want the job, and the government will be most unwilling to find the money (from us) to pay for it.

Mike the Traditionalist said...

National service worked because those who were called up were already used to discipline and authority. The first lot that didn't do national service were still being disciplined at home and at school but by the late sixties it was beginning to fall apart. The importance of being a teenager was being picked up by business people who were only too willing to cater to the new generations who were not getting the same discipline as the older generation. Now the teenager was the most important person in society and so everything was being done to pander to them. The new ghettos forming were breeding grounds for trouble. Those areas were once lived in by poor white people but as the coloureds moved in they moved out. They were still run down areas as before but now those who lived there claimed racial abuse. As a result they have become no go areas. London is a strange place to live. I once lived in Battersea which is in soutwest London and it was a run down area. Now you couldn't afford to buy a house there as it has been taken over by the new rich. I well remember the days of no "Irish or blacks need apply" for a rented room. What is a nice area in London today can turn into a ghetto tomorrow. So re-introducing National service won't work because the problem lies in the homes where children grow up. The schools have no authority over the pupils and neither do the parents or parent if there is no father in the home. This is the modern thinking so get used to it. People are bored so look for any excuse for excitement. The fact that a man was shot by police in London was just an opportunity to go out and defy the system of law and order. The fact that there is high unemployment doesn't hold water. There is a social backup system that provides money for those who can't find work and those who don't want to work. If you are like myself in your 70s and walking along your high street in Britain look at the age group who were teens in the late sixties and see how they present themselves in public today.

Candide said...

Other societies have wars when there's an excess of able-aged bored men.

Ferrolano said...

@Mike TT and others – I am glad that I put the thought about National Service out there and I certainly appreciated the comments that were made, especially about discipline, which was one word that I specifically avoided – but it is what is missing from sectors of modern society. Now how do we restore this?

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