2016 — 14 July: Thursday

Our newest PM1 is clearly a student of that great pragmatist Lyndon Baines Johnson. What other reason could she possibly have for appointing the clever idiot BoJo as Foreign Secretary? (Inside the tent, but supposedly focused on an outward direction for all his micturation.)

If the Bank of England...

... cuts its interest rate by 0.5% it will reach zero — further confirming my near-total incomprehension of the dismal science. Time for tea before a pre-weekend supplies run.

The Ace of Trumps?

Try this:

He's shown the American political system to be the charade we all know it to be — a mock field of battle where a mockery such as he himself can succeed. A meta-candidate. That would provide him with the sort of victory he's been savouring all his life as a tycoon. A bluffer's victory. If we could only believe he's that clever.

Richard Ford in TLS

Clever, agreed. But utterly pointless, too.

Student loans...

... seem to be the gift that goes on giving. This comment to an El Reg article tickled me:

Student Loans IT failure

Those pitiable, and continuing, guvmint I.T. system failures and write-offs, heh? £50,000,000 here, £50,000,000 there, pretty soon you're talking about big money...

After the name...

... of the actress in this film came up in recent conversation, I was pleased to find Mr Postie had dropped off a used copy of this NTSC DVD I snaffled from an Amazon seller's hospice 'shop':

Obsession DVD

I like the director, the composer, and the screenwriter too. But I have somehow never seen this film. In 40 years! Fingers crossed, as de Palma veers between awesomely good and ditto bad...

There's a distinct...

... downside to my long-term habit of keeping my physical DVDs and BDs in all those CaseLogic folders, separate from their associated artwork. I scan this artwork, and keep images of it online; that's not the downside. The downside pops up when (as today) I spend an hour searching, in vain, for the actual artwork for a couple of DVDs that I've replaced by BDs, and thus wish to pass along to a chum. The BD artwork has displaced the DVD artwork in my (assuredly infallible) system of 'rainbow' folders... but the puzzle is where have I put the displaced artwork?

I pursued this mindless search while listening to news of the shiny new cabinet of sparkling guvmint ministers. Surely I'm not the only person who can see many more bursts of Tory infighting in the future? What we could use, about now, is an effective political opposition party. The party in power will (it seems) do its best to provide its own, built-in, opposition. At least it's one of their very few core skills.

A lovely piece...

... of anecdotage from ten years ago. Source and snippet:

... once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life? No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."
"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support. "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."
I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing. "Loses count?" I asked. "Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."
I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked. "No," he said. "If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day."

Michael Gartner in USA Today

I hugely admire...

... the artwork of Ron Cobb. I never expected to find this first-ever collection of his cartoons, however. I fear the £125 puts it very much towards the top of my price range. That said, the first edition was only 1,000 copies, and Sawyer Press was then working out of a garage in Tarzana, California:


Ironically, there's almost as much material about Cobb in Marc Eliot's biography of his friend Phil Ochs (the American folk-singer classified by the FBI as a subversive and an extremeist) as there is in Cobb's own published work. He's a very fine artist. For my own amusement, I assembled a collection of about 200 examples of his work, scanning and typesetting it all on my trusty RISC OS DTP system in the mid-1990s, and attaching to each image what seemed to me appropriate quotations. Here's the front cover I knocked up...

Ron Cobb collection



1  Or do I mean "Imperial Grand Wizard"?