Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Parliament - Prime Order (Micro Mix)

A Plague on Evangelical Vegetarians

vegetarianism: the higher taste
Image by robpurdie via Flickr
I appreciate that almost all of us have things we believe in, or traditions we have carried on for years, or political or social goals that we believe, deep down, if the rest of the world thought and did the same the same as us then the rest of the world would be a far better place. Personally, I would like to see a much broader appreciation of hard rock music, the introduction of Neal Gaiman's Sandman as a compulsory part of all English literature courses and the police to be allowed to arrest any adult caught wearing a tracksuit in public when the wearing of said clothing is not immediately related to a sporting event. But that's just me.

I know a lot of people get upset at people who have faith, they hate proselytizing. The very worst single belief people though are the ardent vegetarians and associated animal rights folk. Theirs is the one and only true path, they have achieved perfection and nirvana in their views and all others, meat eaters and leather weathers in particular, are unthinking souls lost in the limbo of uncaring and harmful ways. Yet, they can be saved, especially if you bang on about it for long enough.

My views on vegetarianism and its ultra orthodox relative veganism are the same as my views on religion. I am quite happy for you to hold whatever view you want, but once you have stated your view and someone else has stated they are not in agreement you should not persevere with explaining your viewpoint until the cows come home – of their own accord, only if they wish to spend the night in a barn, and not to be cruelly exploited for the purposes of extracting the precious gift that is mother’s milk.

Militant vegetarians always try to claim a moral high ground by continually pointing out the various cruelties involved in meat production. They do so though by always taking the most extreme examples they can find. Whilst engaged in a rather one sided ‘discussion’ recently I was repeatedly informed that if I would only watch a particular YouTube video showing chicken factory workers being cruel to their flock then I would never want to eat chicken again. This is false and fuzzy logic, I have in fact seen the footage in question and what I desire after seeing it is for nasty people to stop being unnecessarily cruel to chickens and using them as footballs. Not for a moment does this sort of thing turn me off from being a meat eater; a ‘lovely roast hen with Yorkshires and gravy’ is still on the menu for me.

If you wanted to show the health and farming benefits of being wholly or partly vegetarianism I would be much more willing to listen. I think the Meat Free Monday movement is quite a decent idea, there are lots of us who should perhaps eat less meat and less extensive and intensive animal rearing would be beneficial in parts of the world. Perhaps the idea could be extended into Fish Only Friday and Tofu Thursday, but only if people want to join in.

I dislike the way some vegetarians try to demonise meat eating, the whole Meat Is Murder moral high ground thinking is rubbish. People are not evil because they enjoy a bacon butty or Big Mac. They might not be particularly well educated about the meat they eat though, so there is always room for education.

People should be allowed to eat meat, meat is wonderful. Last night chef Rob and myself made some slow honey and chilli slow braised belly pork with crackling and it was truly wonderful. As some fundamentalist vegans would have it though, this was the act of two evil men; an innocent animal lost its life just to provide a family with a meal.

I will be quite honest here, and this is the bit that might upset some people. I hold that animals and people are two different things. Animals are not people, they do not have to be accorded the same rights and respect that I would grant to any human. However, I see no reason at all why any food animal should be put to any unnecessary suffering. Beasts farmed for food should live decent lives free from pain and suffering and the killing should be accomplished in the most humane manner possible.

Many of us should perhaps eat less meat, bought from less intensive farming styles. Yorkshire Dales lamb would be an example of a good choice due to its non-intensive farming methods, while artificially fattened beef is less good. Neither of these, nor hardly any other meat choice is evil. The moral high ground claimed by the militant vegetarians is not a high ground at all; they have taken a value judgement and made a decision based on their own moral standards, as I have done. Neither of us stands above the other in moral terms, it only looks that way from your narrow point of view.

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School Photo

A rather sweet short film about school photo day.


Ham Bikini Bouncing Explosions Mayhem!

Coca-Cola Wormhole (Vidvent Calendar Day 2)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baseball ?

Русский: Том Стоппард на приёме в честь россий...
Tom Stoppard
"I don't think I can be expected to take seriously any game which takes less than three days to reach its conclusion" - Sir Tom Stoppard talking about baseball and cricket.
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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Two Minute Zombie Movie

Too Late from Side Films

Songs of Joyce - My Girl's a Yorkshire Girl

My Girl's A Yorkshire Girl

Yorkshire Rose
Image by jo-h via Flickr
Two young fellows were talking about
Their girls, girls, girls —
Sweethearts they'd left behind,
Sweethearts for whom they pined.
One said, "My little shy little lass
Has a waist so trim and small.
Gray are her eyes so bright,
But best, best of all...

"My girl's a Yorkshire girl —
Yorkshire through and through.
My girl's a Yorkshire girl,
Eh! by gum, she's a champion!
Though she's a factory lass
And wears no fancy clothes,
Still I've a sort of a Yorkshire relish
For my little Yorkshire Rose."

When the first finished singing the praise
Of Rose, Rose, Rose,
Poor number two looked vexed,
Saying in tones perplexed:
"My lass works in a factory too
And has also eyes of gray;
Her name is Rose as well,
And strange, strange to say...

"My girl's a Yorkshire girl —
Yorkshire through and through.
My girl's a Yorkshire girl,
Eh! by gum, she's a champion!
Though she's a factory lass
And wears no fancy clothes,
Still I've a sort of a Yorkshire relish
For my little Yorkshire Rose."

To a cottage in Yorkshire they hied
To Rose, Rose, Rose,
Meaning to make it clear
Which was the boy most dear.
Rose, their Rose, didn't answer the bell,
But her husband did instead.
Loudly he sang to them
As off, off they fled...

"My girl's a Yorkshire girl —
Yorkshire through and through
My girl's a Yorkshire girl,
Eh! by gum, she's a champion!
Though she's a factory lass
And wears no fancy clothes,
Still I've a sort of a Yorkshire relish
For my little Yorkshire rose.

For my little Yorkshire Rose."  - Words and music by C.W. Murphy and Dan Lipton

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Official Kiss Kiss Music Video - Popstar Trishii

(Found by Shan)

The Blog Isn't Dead...

Antony and Cleopatra, bas relief
Image via Wikipedia
...but it came close this time.

I know I've been rather non-existent on the blogging front for nearly a month, a busy period at work, uni work and then our annual holiday all got in the way.  The holiday was wonderful, we spent two weeks in Florida and did all the touristy things including the Universal theme parks, Gatorland, watching the Mars mission being launched and, er, shooting a Glock handgun. Not at anybody you understand.

After Florida we spent a weekend at the UK's premier classic/hard rock festival, Hard Rock Hell, drank slightly too much, got a new tattoo and heard some great, and hugely loud, bands.  Magnum, Black Stone Cherry, Therapy?, Michael Monroe, Voodoo Six, Quireboys, Wolfsbane, Kobra and the Lotus and a host of other bands made it a great weekend.  We have booked our tickets for next year's festival already as they tend to sell out rather early.

I got some rather good news from The Open University yesterday, I passed my foundation module with flying colours and received a Distinction.  I managed seven maximum scores from the eight marking points and a good score on the online multi-choice exam.

Now that I am a quarter of the way through the 60 point module AA100 The Arts Past and Present, I am very glad that I did the foundation module as nearly all the work we did on art, poetry and history is highly relevant to this course as well.  My first essays on this course, on Plutarch's view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra, and a critical comparison of the styles of Cezanna and Zurbaran, were both marked as being only a fraction short of Distinction level so I am really pleased with that as well.  The second essay, a re-write and reflective analysis of the Plutarch essay I handed in while on holiday. The next essays are on Michael Faraday, and a critical analysis of some poetry about cats, due in the first week of January 2012
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Wagner - The Greatest Hoax

English: W. Somerset Maugham British writer
W Somerset Maugham

"But Siegfried! When he mentioned it Professor Erlin leaned his head on his hand and bellowed with laughter. Not a melody in it from beginning to end! He could imagine Richard Wagner sitting in his box and laughing till his sides ached at the sight of all the people who were taking it seriously. It was the greatest hoax of the nineteenth century." - Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham.
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Son Of The Groom Speech

For those who were unable to be at Dad and Shirley's wedding...

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the wedding celebration of Jack and Shirley Jarvis.

I would like to thank you all for being here, especially those of you who knew I’d be saying a few words – it’s very touching that you’re still in the room.

When Father asked me to do this speech, he said he was looking for someone with right amount of decorum, the correct gravitas, somebody with a sense of propriety, a man who understood decency and decorum and whose style of formal ceremonial speech would complement and underline the occasion, however, he conceded his best friends were the likes of Graham Walker and Mike Exley so that was unlikely, and even if knew anybody else of that ilk he couldn’t afford their services and so as a back up would I do it for free.

No problem, as now as I have almost 15 years of the marriage experience, I thought I might be in the position to offer the happy couple some general advice.

As I said, I have now been married, oh hang on, Meg’s been editing my speech. I have now been HAPPILY married, what’s that dear ? Sorry, I have been VERY HAPPILY MARRIED for almost 15 years now.

Actually, this reminds me of a story, we were flying on holiday and the lady in seat next to Meg was admiring her ring.

“Yes” said “It’s the famous Jarvis diamond, but it comes with a terrible curse”

“Oh what’s that ?” asked the lady.

“Mr Jarvis” my wife replied.

Strange but on the same holiday I managed to get lost in the airport, realising I had gone missing Meg went to the assistance point and said she had lost her husband.

“What does he look like ?” said the assistant.

Meg replied “He’s about 6’6”, a body like a bronzed Adonis and the features of a young George Clooney.”

The lady pulled up a picture of me on the cctv and said was this her husband.

“Yes” said Meg.

“But” said the lady, “this man is 5’4” with a pot belly, a frankly ridiculous beard and looks like Lemmy from Motorhead.”

“I know” said Meg, “but who wants him back “

I asked my good friend Phil Baxendale if he had any experiences he could pass on as a married man and he told me this story of his own wedding. Apparently Michelle was very nervous on their wedding day and afraid she might get something wrong at church. Phil said “It’s very simple dear, just remember that first comes the aisle, because that’s what we’ll be walking down down, second comes the altar, because that’s where we’ll be standing, and finally comes the hymn, because that’s what we’ll be singing.”

And how did that work ? I asked Phil.

Not so good he replied, when we got to the front of the church all I could hear was Michelle muttering Aisle – alter – him , aisle – alter – him.

Now, a recent holiday survey showed that the items that appeared most often in the luggage of young newlyweds were

an industrial sized tub of KY jelly

a rampant rabbit personal pleasure device and

a kinky nurses costume

Whilst the items that appeared most often in the luggage of older newlyweds were

an industrial sized tub of Deep Heat

a Johnson & Johnson personal support truss and

a nurses outfit, complete with heart monitor and defibrillation machine

some older couples also took along a dirty movie, not so much to get them in the mood as to remind them what they were supposed to be doing.

This does remind me of the wedding day of my Great Great Grandfather Wilfred, at the wedding breakfast his rather elderly bride turned to him and said

“Tonight I’m going to give you super sex”

Great Great Grandfather thought for a moment and then replied “I think I’ll have the soup.”

Ok, this has been a load of daftness, but to conclude I would like to recall the final words of my Great Great Grandfather Wilf. I was a young boy, and the family were all gathered around Wilf’s hospital bed, he lay there with his oxygen mask on, and he began struggling for breath and indicated with his hands that he would like a paper and pen. With these he scribbled a few words which he passed to me, and then the poor old soul expired.

Dad turned to me with a tear in his eye and said, what did he say Mike.

I look down at the paper and solemnly read out to the assembled family.

It says “You’re standing on my oxygen tube.”

Now, to be properly serious, I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Shirley into the Jarvis clan, and I’m very sorry but we don’t get any more serious than this.

And now ladies and gentleman, if you would charge your glasses, I would like to propose a toast, to the much loved and respected patriarch of the Jarvis clan, and to the equally much loved and respected most recent addition to our family, Jack and Shirley Jarvis…