Stupid phrases

Boots on the ground – When I hear this hackneyed tripe, I imagine a poor man’s Don Draper musing potential slogans:

“Most conflicts can be solved with our new product – Boots on the Ground. Now available in size 12.”

Presumably enemy soldiers are in awe of a bunch footwear parachuted from above, and lay down their arms surrendering. Why use this phrase? Taken literally as I’ve lampooned above, it makes no sense. Of course, they mean ground troops or infantrymen. Why invent this mouthful pleonasm, when the former will do? Be more pithy next time.

Bums on seats
– Similar to it’s cousin above, this neologism similarly grinds my gears. “Our revenue will go up with more bums on seats.” Says a charlatan train company operator who is lining their pockets with tax payer funded subsidies. More redundancy in wording here. Do people who invariably stand on the train due to lack of seating get to travel for free? No, the season ticket costs over the odds for the privilege to stand. Do disembodied arses generate profit? No. Say passengers, customers or people you morons.

Woke – Yes I know what ‘woke’ means, this proves my street smarts, would that it were. This slang seems to be everywhere and it regrettably seems to have crossed the Atlantic too. If you’re unfamiliar, it means someone is up to date on social and political issues. Do you know what I call being ‘woke’? Awake Not being a fucking idiot. I’ve been following politics for more than 15 years. I imagine that people who use this word may have lost attention so I’ll put it into a form they’ll understand:

You think being woke is your ally? You merely adopted being woke after Brexit and Trump. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see fake news until I was already a cynic, by then it was nothing to me but gibberish written by Russian bots!

PS blame Stephen Fry for the sesquipedalian long words.

Animal – Reviewed

Animal: The Autobiography of a Female BodyAnimal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I decided to read this book, because I’m a fan of Sara’s television and radio work. It didn’t live up to expectations. The book is part autobiography, part science and part feminism. An unusual mix to say the least, now add humour to all that too. That’s the problem with this book, it’s not sure what it wants to be.

The scientific sections felt like rehashes of Bill Bryson’s A Short History Of Nearly Everything, though there were a couple of tidbits that were new and intriguing. Like the existence of kamikaze sperm, which exist to sabotage the fertilisiation chances of sperm, from other males. Thus implying that women are evolutionarily slutty polyamorous. Also the body dimorphism theory, relating difference in gender size to degree of monogamy.

With that out of the way, what I really didn’t like was the style she’s chosen. At times, it feels like a child has written it. I assume she’s done this for comedic effect but it comes across quite silly and annoying, especially as she’s trying to talk authoritatively about scientific fact. Some of the humour is really cringeworthy, she’s trying too hard to be funny, perhaps because she thinks the subject matter is dry, and ends up crowbarring in some poor jokes to compensate. In fact, I almost gave up on the book after 70 pages. What I most liked, was the autobiographical parts, she’s lead an interesting life, I would have liked to have known more. These were at times both harrowing and heartening.

I’m not sure if she’s joking when she says “There wouldn’t be any wars if women ruled the world”. Is this whimsy or casual misandry? She repeats it twice so maybe she’s serious. Let me stereotype for a second too, women are often seen as bitching behind the backs of their friends and being quite viscous to each other. Would a world lead by these sots of people be full of fewer wars? How about refutation by example, Margaret Thatcher declared war on Argentina. You could argue she was left no choice by the Argentine invasion but nonetheless having a woman in charge didn’t reduce the number of wars. I don’t think men are the problem, arseholes are. Unfortunately the world is run by arseholes who happen to be men, Assad, Putin, Saddam Hussein etc.

View all my reviews

Trump Rescinds Law of Gravity

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump called for the end to gravity today, in a move that has infuriated democrats and physicists internationally. He remarked: “The law of gravity is a very bad law. Why does the earth have to orbit the sun all the time?”. In a move of solidarity, congressional Republicans and senators stood by President Trump, calling for an end to “big gravity’s monopoly on mass” and “It’s time this fundamental force stopped dragging down the economy”. All was not lost however, as he further hinted that he may not scrap the law entirely, but try and renegotiate the precise nature of the theory with Sir Isaac Newton.

Trump appeared to be in a buoyant mood as he called Sir Isaac “a pretty smart dude, probably one of the smartest”. Political commentator Clare Malone described this as typical Trump behaviour, the offering of the carrot first during negotiations before unleashing childish personal attacks. “He’ll probably go after his hairdo,” Malone mused, adding “Kinda ironic, given that people in glass houses and all…”.

Trump’s recent tweets have bizarrely been attacking the standard model, lamenting the lack of observable gravitons. Rumours have been circling for a while, that the president is unhappy with his sizable girth, and this latest move is an attempt make himself feel less heavy. Scientists have tried to point out, that natural laws aren’t as mutable as presidential ethics or international trade agreements but his base did not seem to care. Indeed, his supporters were seen chanting “stop the drop” and jumping off multiple storey buildings in preemptive celebrations.

UPDATE: We have reports, that at a press conference, Trump was quoted as saying “Nobody knew the universe could be so complicated,” with a note of chagrin he put down his copy of “Astrophysics for Dummies”.