Wednesday, 27 December 2006

A Little Test

by Charles Pooter

This post has been composed using Google Docs & Spreadsheets. This is Google's online answer to Word and Excel and it allows one to publish straight to blogger. I thought I would give it a try!

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

A Solstice Dose of Site Admin.

by Edwin Hesselthwite

As should be apparent from the content we provide - we, the team behind LMWN, have fantastic relationships with our families, extremely fulfilling personal lives and are generally exemplary members of the human race.

It should therefore be immediately clear that the site upgrades (the upgrade to The New Blogger chewed up our banner, template, links list and RSS feed; all of which have now been repaired) we have finally managed to implement were perfected long before the holiday weekend, and were only released following Winterval as a gift to you, our readers.

Thank you for bearing with us over the past two weeks, and we would be grateful if any users experiencing browser problems give us a yell.

One final comment, we at LMWN are (as ever) looking to expand our team, and some foreign correspondents would not go amiss, particularly for the part of the world George III referred to as The Colonies. So, if any of our readers across The Pond would be willing to take up the post, we'd love to have you drop us a note.

-

Friday, 22 December 2006

A brief Technicolor warm-up for a work in progress

by Edwin Hesselthwite

Here we have another attempt at a lede, I have a significant post brewing on the topic of the Hollywood Animated Shorts of the 30's-50's. For your viewing pleasure I post one of the most overtly political and historically important... Tex Avery's first work in his classic period at MGM.


The colour, the detail, this is Animation and this is rich. I love the war era politics that make it clear that there is far more to cartoons than just Disney's and Warner Brothers's obsessive desire to brand themselves as something to do with magic and the family. The adult jokes about erectile dysfunction, pornography and war bonds really hit the spot for me - Avery was clearly keen on mixing the adult and childish, never missing an opportunity to throw in a classic gag like the old "look at me, I'm full of holes" routine.

So, if you want to know more about classic animation before I give you my lengthy, ill-informed and opinionated ramblings, I give you two blog links: All Kinds Of Stuff and Animation ID. All Kinds Of Stuff is the blog of John K, the father of Ren And Stimpy. He's turned into something of a grand old man of animation and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the medium is stunning. Animation ID is Thad Komorowski's blog, he's a student of the art and posts daily with shorts and discussions.

Monday, 18 December 2006

They Are Already Doing it in Scotland

by Charles Pooter

Some moron named "Lord" Warner was interviewed on the Today programme this morning. He was defending the Govenment's evil plot to steal our medical records. One of his arguments was that "they've already implemented the scheme in Scotland" (I paraphrase).

As far as I'm concerned, if the Scotch implement a policy, that is reason enough not to do it here. When Scottish-puritan-protestantism meets the nannying impulses of nu-Labour-style socialism-lite, liberty is damned. From the screaming harridans of the snowdrop campaign, who confiscated the last pop-guns used by sporting shooters after Labour-connected Thomas Hamilton shot up a Scottish school, to the full ban on smoking in public places, to this latest medical database - Scotland is a testing ground for petty legislation that endangers our liberty and privacy.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Cute Overload

by Charles Pooter

Some blogs tackle the important issues of the day, others specialise in areas such as transport or technology. Well, thank goodness this blog has come along to give us our fill of pictures of cute animals.

Gaalllgh!

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Morally evolved?

by Unknown

A conversion to enlightened liberalism has attendant upon it many difficulties to overcome.

As age overtakes us we have two basic options available in terms of our moral and mental development. We can mature like seasoned oak, becoming harder and less flexible, rigid, un-bending yet strong and impervious. Or we can mellow like a fine red wine, opening and evolving as we grow, soft, fragile and easily damaged by change in our environment but friendly and rarely hurtful; never aimed at another with an eye to damage or wound. Very rarely however does a piece of oak evolve into a fine wine although I would suggest the alternative is fairly common (after all is not a conservative merely a liberal who has been mugged)?

I find myself, richer in years and poorer in wealth, disliking the moral stance that I once so keenly adopted.

My formative years included opinion-defining elements of which most will recognise at least a few. My rigorously atheistic parents carefully allowed dollops of mysticism in the form of the Santa and his cohorts but never drew a line to religion. Ferociously intelligent in a linear, academic bent they were largely conformist to the middle class ideal even to the point of the de rigueur slight racism imposed by their parents and always denied. Fostering debate and self-growth they were unthinkingly scornful of woolly thinking or illogical or poorly thought out argument.

I am my parent’s child. Some debate nature Vs nurture. I do not. (Not merely because you can never test it but because, frankly, I don’t see the point). I am the product of my parents by whatever means that has been transferred to me.

My brief rebellions at University and socially were centred around using my superior debating skills to decimate the more valid but poorly communicated ideals of my friends and acquaintances leaving them with the vague idea that they should be utilising negative eugenics to make the World a better place or possibly selling firearms from their front gardens.

Sure that every problem had a strong, defined, usually right wing solution that was always indifferent to the pleas of the masses I espoused this ‘wisdom’ at every opportunity. Pointing out the economic and technological advantages to warfare and explaining that draconian birth control is the World’s panacea.

Ah. What a hateful little creature I was.

But, and here is my slightly pointless point. Those thought processes defined the layout of my brain, my method of thought and the shape which data must adopt to be accepted as valid. My new and constantly shifting moral centre, the software, is not compatible with my brain’s processes, the hardware.

I am now, thoroughly anti-war without exception. Yesterday I trawled the anti-war sites online. After a couple of hours of reading that banal, nonsensical, non-qualitative, emotive, un-coordinated, badly written, badly drawn pap I would gladly have invaded Iraq myself just to get them to shut up. Are they wrong? No. Do I believe that this drivel is affecting cold, calculating, scientific minds? Not for one single second. Wake up guys, every word you have ever written was wasted. You have to write like (to mix my metaphors) that piece of oak to get a piece of oak to (mixing again) listen.

Where are the cost/benefit analyses taking into account post war disease and crime? Where are the lost vote analyses? Rising cost of petrol? Cost to take and hold each square metre of land against the per capita improvement there and at home. Come ON people - wake up and smell the coffee. War is bad? No shit, that cat isn’t going to swing. You have to communicate to a different species to get the point across. All you’re doing is preaching to the converts.

Anyway. My change from amoral arsehole to more moral arsehole had attendant upon it many difficulties to overcome.

Neither camp likes me now.

-

An image of Pritchard Buckminster, supplied by Edwin

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

OpenOffice Clipart

by Charles Pooter

Demonstrating that the open source model of collaboration doesn't work for everything, here is the competition-winning clipart submitted for OpenOffice 2.1. Samples include such useful items as some ginger:


..and a mystery piece of clipart simply entitled "Feijoa":
I'll certainly be using both of these in my next PowerPoint presentation: "Information wants to be free!"

Creator of Green Lantern Dies

by Charles Pooter

RIP Martin Nodell

In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!
Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott

Monday, 11 December 2006

Blogger Beta

by Charles Pooter

We've just switched to Google's Blogger Beta. Like our switch to rotary presses in 1891, this will bring many improvements but has started with some teething troubles. Please bear with us!

Saturday, 9 December 2006

Pooter's First Law

by Charles Pooter

You've heard of Godwin's Law, now read Pooter's First Law:

"Anyone who cites Godwin's Law, when a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis is actually apt, has automatically lost the argument."

Thursday, 7 December 2006

The Big Opt Out

by Charles Pooter

It is becoming a full-time to job to keep up with the ways Tony's Fun Size Facism(© Charles Pooter 2006) is destroying our liberty, privacy and dignity. His Government's lastest madcap wheeze is having all your medical records uploaded, without your consent, from GP surgeries to the NHS' dysfunctional, insecure IT system. From there they can be accessed by NHS staff members, the Police (reassurances to the contrary are worthless) and any wino who happens to wander past a hospital terminal, whilst getting his head wound seen to, after a good Saturday night's shouting at strangers.

At this late stage of freedom's end-game it is probably futile, but please write to your GP and ask to opt-out.

KFC Christmas Bucket

by Dom Glennie

Interesting

Monday, 4 December 2006

Wouldn't it be nice....

by Unknown

A close and much loved friend once asked me of an evening, somewhat out of the blue and ruminatively around a mouthful of fine claret as I recall, “What could we, as a group, do to make the World a better place?”

After gentle probing it seems that this was not a continuation of our often re-iterated theme “wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was nice”* but rather a specific and heartfelt enquiry. This young gentleman, of no small means, wished to try and improve our World in a qualitative fashion.

Somewhat agape I realised that I had no response to offer. None. Nothing. Nada. This concerned and irritated me in equal measure and seemed to drive my friend into deeper melancholy. Sanguine in this seemingly expected response he re-filled his glass and looked into it, far distant in thought.

Later, remembering this perturbing exchange I came to think upon it once again. Everyone knows what’s wrong after all.

Really? Am I suggesting that, taking an emotive and tediously perpetual issue at random, my understanding of immigration is the same as the USA Today’s economics editor’s, an Oxford Sociology lecturer’s and a Bradford bricklayer’s?

Clearly not.

Every obvious solution hides more and more subtle and ephemeral issues and counter-issues like string theory constructed with Russian dolls.

Back to the evening in question we dallied with possible ‘solutions’. Over-population and lack of education walk hand in hand down avenues of destruction, a recursive duet in pain and hunger. Maybe a ‘Proud NOT to breed’ effort, we could have badges!

No.

Charitable donations then (but what harm these institutions that formalise dependence and make poverty the thing rather than the absence). We discussed an up-lifting poem or novel or a piece of art to represent humility and grace. As the level of the second bottle sank and I joined my friend in a glum contemplation of inevitable future unhappiness we became increasingly desperate to find something that we could point at and say, “Look, I am making a difference”.

We wondered if happiness is communicable – after all, laughter is. If I am happy then all those around me are privy to a piece of it. Maybe to make the World a better place we should simply strive for our own (preferably non-materialistic) happiness. But what a nest of snakes that can be as to be truly happy you must know yourself and, more importantly, the yourself you want to be.

I started this piece with an eye towards a possible answer but I find myself adrift on the immensity of its scope. To salve my self-worth I will communicate five simple rules that work to protect my fragile happiness from the caustic indifference of the real World. These rules will not work for you, formulate your own, or don’t, whatever makes you happy really. If we could all just raise one extra smile a day…..

(i) Never trust any institution, organisation or Government. Ever. No there aren’t any exceptions. Yes they ARE lying to you. Yes you too. No their intention doesn’t matter. Accept this and move on.
(ii) Never do DIY. In the time it takes you could earn enough to pay a professional.
(iii) With the time/happiness you save in (ii) – go roll in a field. Especially in the rain.
(iv) Understand that every day granted to you in health is a day that the Government has once again failed to fuck up your existence. This is the pinnacle of their capability. Be thankful.
(v) Try anything and everything once, embrace novelty. If anyone sneers/laughs/vomits just try harder.

‘Wouldn’t it be Nice if Everyone Was Nice’ was the song sung by the mechanical puppets at Duff gardens – a Simpsons parody of Busch Gardens in Florida. This quickly became a LMWN favourite phrase to describe any kind of woolly-headed naiveté or well-meaning hippy nonsense. It is used here in ironic context with full permission of all participants.

A theoretical Government response to the previous article with inclusion of socio-economic factors and cause and effect emergent dynamic theory

by Unknown

Well someone voted for us.

And everything we do, we do in your name. And ignore you. Vote for us or don't, it makes no difference.

To bastardise a quote of the late great Bill Hicks, "Go back to sleep Great Britain, your input is not required, we are running the country now, go back to 'I'm a Celebrity".

"Fuckers" indeed - track that man down, suicide his ass and shove an orange in his mouth.