Old MacDonald had good luck, E-I-E-I-O

Scholium—if you ram your email address into the oblong on the right, you’ll get pinged whenever I add a new blog post. (Sadly you still need to do this even if you were subscribed to my Indian dispatches.)

You may find it atmospheric to play this soothing farm-like music while reading the foregoing…

Old Macdonald had good luck, Covent Garden Soups. He won that farm from ‘Country Veg’, Covent Garden Soups. With a slurp-slurp here, and a slurp-slurp there: Here a slurp, there a slurp, everywhere a slurp-slurp. Old MacDonald had good luck, Covent Garden Soups.

Yes, this is probably one of the most stupid competitions I’ve ever come across. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” might not be entirely true, but I had thought we all agreed  that, “There’s no such thing as a free farm worth £500,000.” Oh well.

eu diagram blog copy
Click to enlarge

As well as striving to become the next Bernard Matthews, I’ve also been doing my first essay-writing in almost two years, so far discoursing on how Britain has tried to be generally disruptive in the European Union (the diagram Fig. A to the right, despite looking suspiciously like the DNA fingerprint of the Yorkshire Ripper Fig. B, apparently depicts the EU: you could have fooled me!) as well as 1,500 words on, “Why should we obey the law?” – a very short subject with little academic material to condense into a ridiculously short piece of writing, obviously.

The ‘Foundations of Politics’ course spent some time this week examining the concept of equality in general, and luck egalitarianism in particular. The splendidly-named Ronald Dworkin belives that society should compensate people for ‘brute bad luck’ – inborn disadvantages such as disabilities, lack of talent and lack of intelligence.

Straight after discussing this, our seminar tutor moved onto explaining how our end-of-term essays will be graded. Which raises a lot of questions… Shouldn’t we all get exactly the same mark? Isn’t it unfair that some people have the inborn advantage of being good at essay-writing? Is it someone’s choice to be lazy and do no research, or is it a permanent part of their personality? And is it undeserved good luck that one person wins a farm worth £500,000 when the rest of us can only aspire to that?

These are not good questions.

I don’t REMember doing this at school…

Professor Tim Bale MA PhD (Cantab) commented, “I’m only playing this to test the sound,” just before showing the video REM Furry Happy Monstersat the start of a lecture. Interested readers can find the academic work in question here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXVvvRBBUn8 

There was also another incident of music-videos-being-shown-on-YouTube later the same day, although this time for an intellectual purpose (apparently) – and it was conveniently recorded as part of the lecture:

occupy-brightonMeanwhile, the Occupy Brighton camp, protesting against the malevolent capitalism of the ghost-train on the pier, the fire-eating supplies shop and the £12-a-ticket Brighton’s Magnificent Sewers tour, has been getting very in tents.

In other news

This week’s Straight from the Horse’s Mouth Award for the least tentative statement by a newspaper goes to The Guardian which managed to produce the following headline…


The Guardian also bags the week’s Biggest Understatement Prize, sponsored by Rupert “humblest day of my life” Murdoch, for the exceedingly modest comment, “Coming out of the new Tintin film, I found myself, for a few seconds, too stunned and sickened to speak. In fact, the sense of violation was so strong that it felt as though I had witnessed a rape.”

And the Keeping Cool Under Pressure prize naturally goes to Dave Hartnett, Britain’s most senior tax officer, who – when asked by a Parliamentary committee why he’d had dinner with a company he was supposed to be investigating – gave the well-thought-through reply, “Er… supper. It was hardly dinner.” Later, when the committee taxed him with (hahaha, taxed him…) the accusation, “You have had 107 corporate hospitality lunches in two years, which is at least one a week,” he quite reasonably responded, “They are not all lunches, with respect.”

It’s as well to be accurate in these matters.

MUM: There’s lots of things going on in the International Relations sphere at the moment, aren’t there. / DAD: Do you mean ‘the world’?

MUM: [sees me drinking a cup of tea during a 9:15am Skype call] Is that your morning cup of tea?

MUM: There seems to be this character in your Twitter feed called ‘Mum’ who says silly things!

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