Sunday, 20 March 2011

Libyance Libyance Revolution (Or Dance Dance Execution)

You'll NEVER guess which northern African nation has plunged into civil war. No, not Algeria. No, it's not Morocco. I'll give you a clue, it's been in the news a lot recently. That's right, it's Libya! Yes, Colonel Maddafi (Copyright every tabloid headline writer, and if they haven't used it, they're FOOLS) has lived up to his pun and gone all dictatory. The former public enemy number 1, who slipped from menace to world society to valuable oil-rich trade partner with alarming ease (He's been bombed before, in 1986. What is it with us, and bombing a nation without deposing of the leader properly? 1990s, Iraq, 1980s, Gaddafi. Always comes back to bite us.) has had a UN no-fly zone enforced over his country. I'm pretty certain this is the political equivalent of a bad boy at school being forced to stay indoors over break, by all the bigger boys hanging outside his door, and then punching him in the face if he even looks at the door wistfully. It's been enforced pretty strongly, with the US military saying they fired at least 110 missiles. Perhaps a better analogy would be to have the bigger boys outside the door kick in the door and start shooting at the boy.

Better news! Conservatives have revealed that they will back pensioners! and that is entirely true, just part of a longer sentence, the end part of which they mumbled. The full phrase was "The Conservatives will back Pensioners! Into an economic corner in the kitchen of capitalist ideals, from which there is no hope of escape with current financial methods, probably because we've greased the floor with lax rules on the fiscally irresponsible banking industry and left the lion of corporate tax avoidance and increasingly right-wing corporatism in there with her and told it not to let her out." (For those of you asking, that lion is called Trevor the Lobbyist Lion). Admittedly this was the Scottish Tories (Despite Thatcher's best efforts, such a thing still exists. I was as shocked as you to find this out) in the build up to the highly anticipated Scottish Elections, but still, they said it.

Some people are calling the Scottish Elections a two horse race between Labour and SNP, but I think that's unfair. It's a 5 horse race, but the Blue horse, "Helen of Tory" was put down in 1990 during the poll tax riots, and hasn't been running the same since. Not so much a dark horse as "Blacker than the deepest black imaginable on the fringes of a giant black". The Orange horse, "Leggy Cleggy", was caught in the crossfire of a political battle outside Westminster, and got shot in the foot. It won't say who did it, but no-one remembers seeing it get hit and its gun was suspiciously absent one bullet, so all logic points to it shooting itself. An outside chance, provided the inside chances contain every possible combination of events, including apocalypse, that are more likely than the Orange horse winning. The Green horse, "We Keep Harpering on about the Environment" only has one leg, brays endlessly about ecological disaster, and remembers the pasture being greener than it is now. Worth a punt, provided you don't like winning when you gamble. The Red horse, "Brown But Not Out" is still recovering from being ridden by a jockey who crashed it into a fence, tragically killing 10 spectators, and then falling at the third fence, avoid economic armageddon. Could do well under the new jockey. Last one now, the Yellow horse, "Leap like a Salmond", good at crossing political hurdles, very poor on the flat, likes soft turf, doesn't like keeping promises. Firm favourite for this race, odds-on at the bookies, but largely through default at the other horses being terrible.

Expect no more of these, and you might not be disappointed, but if you raise your expectations a little more, I might do another one of these with other sports before the actual election. Or after it. Whatever. Who am I to be constrained by political dates?!

Made Up News/books

No made up news today. If I ever find time to finish "Brave New World", there will be a made up bit about that. See how literary I am? Fear me. Fun fact, a large number of my books point towards a dystopian future in one form or another. In fact, I can pretty accurately sum up any dystopian future book here. I will DO THAT instead of made up news. I call this section "Made Up Books".

Ironic Title, possibly referencing earlier works of literary importance, perhaps, "The Elephant's Nose*" from the Just so stories.

Brief description of the dystopia humanity has descended into (Unless it's HG Wells, in which case, brief monologue by the main character to an assembled crowd of astonished, but largely incredulous bystanders, told by the perspective of one of the attendees, who is merely "Laying out the facts, as it were" introduces the book/story) which will pick an aspect of the current life, either real (Oppression by governments: 1984, Orwell) or allegorical (Class distinction separating the Eloi and Morlocks into workers and do-nothings**: Time Machine, HG Wells) and amplify it to such an extent that humanity ceases to function in a manner we can really recognise, making it seem alien and unknown. Introduction of main character, who can see through the flaws of the dystopia, making him human and relatable to the reader, but ultimately ostracised and unusual (Perhaps freakish) to the other characters in the book, from whom he will increasingly find a sense of detachment. This character will increasingly become misanthropic, before finding someone he feels he can trust, all with the backdrop of the dystopia looking increasingly unusual to the reader.This will motivate the character to do something about the circumstances he finds himself, but his partner will inevitably betray him in some manner (provided we include dying to be emotional betrayal, robbing a man of his support). The character will then look to leave the dystopia in some manner, in 1984, by sacrificing Julia and himself to believe the "truth", in Time Machine by going home, etc. There the book will end, a bleak, blunt awareness of the dangers these ideas hold, and how we must rally against them, whilst we can. The dystopia must defeat the protagonist, how else will the reader grasp how dangerous this is? Anyways. There we are, the perfect dystopian novel. Just add water.

*No, it doesn't also have to sound like the name of a vaguely modern bistro on a quiet city street, but it helps. In fact, all the Just So stories could be pubs. The Whale's Throat, The Camel's Hump, The Rhinoceros' Skin etc. Maybe I'll start up "Just So" pubs, one day.

**It's worth noting, the Time Machine was written in 1895, when the upper class was pretty prevalent, and thus this dystopia made sense at the time. Nowadays, the much wider middle-class would have trouble seeing themselves as the Eloi, I imagine. Exciting FACTOID, there.

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