Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Sew, very old one! Sew like the wind!

Shameless plug time. I have a guest editorial up on Generation Minus One. Added bonus, until I accidentally clicked on my favourites just now I had no idea it had been posted. So go read it and tell the wonderful folks that run that place that I'm the best thing to ever happen to that site. Or, you know, don't. See if I care? Jerk.

OK. I need to get something out of the way before we start. Over the past week or so about 5000 people have emailed me (Gee Note: To tell me how I can "better satisfy my woman". To which my answer is "Well I guess I could do the washing up a bit more often". And then I start thinking maybe that's a good idea. But then something like a dog with a funny tail catches my eye and I forget about it) asking me what my opinion is on the whole "What the hell was THAT?" thing recently seen in the Norwegian sky. For those not in the know, basically on December 9 a large swirling object emitting a bright blue trail high up in the heavens made people very excited on the interwebz. In fact blogs the world over were almost apoplectic telling us that them aliens had finally arrived. Initially those who don't believe in such things started speculating that it might be a Russian rocket that had somehow gone off course and started leaking fuel. Others disagreed and, really, it all depended on who you wanted to believe.

Thing is in the past couple of days the whole Russian rocket theory has gained momentum. On the day of the sighting some bright spark of a journalist contacted the Russian embassy in Norway to ask if the Big Red was testing any missile launches in the area. Like Tiger Woods being faced by his angry Nordic wife and a golf club, they denied all knowledge of such things. Missile test? Baby what you talking about? I 'aint been messing around with no missile test. What you and me got is special baby. Why would I want a missile test when I got you waiting for me at home? See you're the only one for me. Now why don't you just stop swinging that 9 iron at my head and we'll talk about it?

Since then however it turns out that Russia was indeed testing missiles, namely the positively terrifying Bulava. Basically the Bulava is what all those crazy bastards in the 60's were worried about when they went around calling everyone communists. It can carry up to ten individually targeted nuclear warheads and can travel up to 5000 miles. Scarier still is that the Russians still haven't worked out how to fire one properly, as the last test on the morning of December 9 - the very same day that all Molly broke loose in the Scandinavian skies for those of you not keeping up - ended in failure. Which is comforting I guess. However the spokes-people for the Russian Military categorically deny that the lights seen over Norway were the Bulava or any other of their fantastic killing devices spiralling out of control.

So was it a missile? Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Well I don't know. It could have been a missile. It could have been aliens. It could have been an unprecedented phenomenon the explanation of which will fry all of our brains and make me hide under the stairs for a week. But all we have to go off for the moment it that a pretty swirl turned up quite unexpectedly in the night sky. And unless what ever it was landed on the surface and opened a door from which a bunch of extra terrestrials looking vaguely like El Guapo from the Three Amigos stepped out of, then that's probably all it will ever be.

Another email that ended up in my inbox was from a friend who asked me what my opinions were on the following story. Earlier on today the Daily Bluster Mail printed the headline

Mother's fury at Tesco Christmas card that pokes fun at ginger children

The story goes that stay at home mum of three Davina Phillips walked in to a Tesco store the other day and was shocked to find this card on sale.

Being a proud red head and the mother of a trio of ginger girls, Phillips immediately complained to the store manager and caused such a fuss that it was removed from sale. "I have shown it to a lot of friends and they are all disgusted by it." She was quoted as saying, "I just don't find it funny at all. My three girls are beautiful. I have never seen anything in my life promoting making fun out of people with ginger hair." (Gee Note: You obviously never watched the tremendously awful British sitcom Game On then? It's OK, judging by it's short lifespan neither did anyone else).

Now, you may want to be sitting down for this, but the reason this was brought to my attention is because I'm… well… I'm ginger.

Now before you all start dropping to your knees and crying, cursing God for giving you a ginger blogger (Gee Note: "Was it something we did? Something we said?!? You're no blogger of mine!") you should know that I've tried not being ginger. I've tried dying my hair, wearing hats, correcting people who called me ginger by telling them "Actually it's auburn". The problem was all these things ended up making me look like a complete tool. So instead I came to love my hair. Although not necessarily look after it all that well. It's more like an abusive relationship than anything else. The point is though I'm completely comfortable with being ginger.

Which is why I have absolutely no opinion on this one way or the other. You see, making fun of people with ginger is a form of safe racism. It's for people who feel the need to be funny but don't have the imagination to think of unique ways of doing it. I mean not all of us can be Jay Leno. In fact, on recent form, Jay Leno can't even be Jay Leno. So if trying to bring a tiny bit of sunshine in to an otherwise dark and gloomy existence means that you feel compelled to make jokes about us "carrot tops" then feel free. I make fun of monsters. You make fun of gingers. It's not that much different.

There are however a couple of sterling quotes from the honourable Ms Phillips. Firstly we have:

'A few weeks ago the girls came home from school a bit upset saying they had been called "Ginger ninjas". I just said there was nothing wrong with being a ginger, or a ninja for that matter" (Gee Note: You're damn right sister. And I'm the living proof. Part ginger. Part ninja. All fantastic.)

Secondly: 'If it had been about a black child or an overweight child the store would have been shut down by now.".

Well, er, probably not actually. In fact it would have been majorly embarrassing, and there may have been a few protests here and there. But Tesco is a multinational company so unless it's board of directors consists of one man, and he holds a press conference saying how much he hates fat kids and black kids and they can all kiss his fabulously wealthy ass, then their pretty much staying put.

Look if you really find something like this offensive and you want to take a stand then good for you. But just so you know, it's not going to change anything. I mean the people who find this card outrageously funny are probably now even more likely to buy it simply because it’s controversial. Those who don’t are going to forget it even exists the moment they close their eyes to go to sleep tonight. The only people who’ll still be bleating on about it are the one’s who should pay it absolutely no attention what so ever. This card doesn’t encourage “discrimination”. Because there is no such thing as discrimination against people with red hair. I’ve never, not once, ever been refused to be served in a restaurant or lost a job because I am ginger. Sure I’ve lost plenty a job by being a bit crap, but ginger? No. Not even close.

And anyway if you need to rationalise all this “Ginger Hate” then you could put it all down to jealousy. You see us gingers are a special breed. I myself may be a wee bit psychic.
Allow me to explain. We’re quickly coming up on 100 posts here at I Saw Elvis (Gee Note: No really. I’m as amazed as you are that we’ve lasted this long. I mean what a journey it’s been. From nobody reading this blog to… nobody reading this blog. Rollercoaster I tell you. Rollercoaster) and so I’ve got something a bit special in mind. Anyway I was trawling the internet doing a bit of research when I stumbled across this website, offering to test my Psychic IQ. The test itself comes from the “Psychic Workbook” by Craig Hamilton-Parker, but on the online version after answering each question the website will tot up your scores for you and tell you if you're James Van Praagh or Jean-Claude Van Damme at the end. Of course, being the adventurous soul I am, I decided to give it a whirl.

Q1: When the phone rings do you:

A: Sometimes know exactly who's unexpectedly calling?
B: Often make a guess at who's calling?
C: Never think about who it may be?
(Gee Note: Or D: Throw the phone against the wall and go back to sleep?)

Q2: When you're angry or upset at work do you:

A: Systematically deal with the task at hand and experience no problems?
B: Notice that occasionally machinery breaks down.
C: Always find that faxes jam, computers crash and photocopiers go wrong?
(Gee Note: Or D: Notice that your monitor is broken after you’ve flung it at the head of your boss?)

Q3: If lost while driving in a strange town do you:

A: Immediately stop the car and consult a map?
B. Drive in what you guess is the general direction?
C: Follow your instincts and drive straight to the address?
(Gee Note: Or D: Follow your instincts and drive straight in to a lake?)

Q4: Are you a person who:

A: Is the life and soul of the party?
B: Likes to express themselves but not excessively?
C: Prefers to keep their counsel?
(Gee Note: Or D: Haven’t had any meaningful contact with another human being since that time you thought the girl working behind the counter at the corner shop really really liked you. So you reached over that counter one day and hugged her. And then you didn’t want to let her go. But then her screaming brought out the store owner with a baseball bat. And the next thing you know your lying on the street outside with a really bad headache?)

Q5: When things go very, very wrong do you:

A: Become withdrawn or depressed?
B: Remain anxious but hopeful.
C. Brush off your troubles and maintain a high optimism.
(Gee Note: Or D: Lock yourself in a cupboard with a copy of JUGGS magazine and a bottle of Jack Daniels and wait for the world to end?)
Q6: When playing board games involving chance do you:

A: Loose despite being careful.
B: Find that you're quite lucky?
C: Enjoy taking risks and feel that you influence the dice in your favour?
(Gee Note: Or D: Lose, and then throw the board and the pieces on to the ground before pointing at everyone else who played and shouting “YOU’VE ALL GOT STUPID FAT HEADS. YOU NO GOOD CHEATING CHEATERS!!!!!”, while storming out of the room?)

Q7: When you meet someone for the first time do you:

A: Form an immediate assessment of their personality?
B: Guess what they are really like?
C: Reserve judgement?
(Gee Note: Or D: Stab them in the eye with the nearest suitable object? It’s better to be safe than sorry right? Remember anyone, and I mean anyone, could be a terrorist).

Q8: Are you:

A: Logical and systematic in your thinking?
B: Have good innovative ideas?
C: Extremely creative and artistic
(Gee Note: Or D: So drunk most of the time that you can’t spell your name?)

Q9: With new born babies do you:

A: Leave the care to someone else?
B: Wake from sleep just before they need feeding?
C: Know when an absent baby is upset
(Gee Note: Or D: Fear that newborn spawn may be the Anti-Christ and bring forth the apocalypse with it’s devilish ways?)

Q10: When you sleep do you:

A: Dream in colour?
B: Never dream?
C: Occasionally dream of events that happen in reality?
(Gee Note: Or D: Dream of Steven Tyler in a startling and confusing way?)

Q11: Do you:

A: Keep an open mind about the existence of ESP?
B. Accept it as completely true?
C. Believe it's all a load of tripe?
(Gee Note: Or D: Have no goddam clue what ESP stands for, think it might be some kind of fish, and so answer C?)

Q12: When you gaze at cumulus clouds do you:

A: See the shapes of faces
B: See a multitude of changing pictures
C: See clouds.
(Gee Note: Or D: Burn the back of your retina because you‘ve been staring at the sun for ten minutes.)

When all was said and done I scored 25 (Gee Note: Which the website felt the need to tell me with an exclamation point). According to the following score system…

12 to 20 points

You've a long way to go. You're as psychic as a rice pudding

20 to 28 points 

Not bad. You're probably quite psychic

28 to 36 points

Brilliant! Did you already know you were going to take this test today?

My score makes me “probably quite psychic”. Which is OK I guess. I mean it’s better than not being psychic at all. But I’m kinda disappointed I didn’t make the “brilliant” range. Still I’ve got a theory that I was doomed not to accomplish that goal from the start. Wanna hear it?

It’s simple. The test discriminates against gingers.

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