Saturday, 23 March 2013

Hardly an Apology

News that Turkey and Israel have resumed diplomatic relations is good news. News that it comes on the back of an "apology" is relatively irrelevant for two reasons:
  • It wasn't exactly an apology

    Netanyahu apologised for "any mistakes which led to the loss of life". Well yes. As far as Israel is concerned, it is always apologetic for mistakes which lead to loss of life and always regrets loss of life full stop. As much as western media will try and portray Israel as some sort of vicious, murderous and blood thirsty nation, content with nothing more than spilling the blood of those who do not accept its right to existence this is simply not the case. So of course Israel is apologetic for any mistakes which lead to a loss of life.

    Crucially, there was no apology for the raid itself. Frankly, that is not something Israel has to apologise for anyway. 
  • There was probably an incentive involved

    Quite simply, Obama must have convinced Netanyahu that it would be worth his while. Perhaps  it has to do with Turkey's strategic position with regards to Iran or just simply the importance of ties with neighbouring states for reasons including, but not limited to, the fact that Syria is in a very dangerous mess at the moment.
So not only has Netanyahu (correctly in my view) not apologised for the raid itself but the apology he has made was probably helped along by an incentive anyway. Hardly news really.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Things I would make Illegal

Pet hates. We all have them. Little things that, given the chance, we would happily make illegal. I will, no doubt, be forced to add to this list as I go about my daily life, trying desperately not to be annoyed by trivialities and failing miserably.

Here's my list:

1. Wearing Ugg Boots outside the house

Stupidly hideous slippers that do not deserve to be called shoes. Condonable when worn indoors out of sight. Not acceptable in any other situation. Because they are comfortable is no excuse.

2. Tea practices that I disagree with

Tea bags, sugar in tea, putting the milk second would all be banned. Either drink proper English breakfast loose leaf tea correctly left to brew and then poured into a cup already containing milk or stick to coffee. Or something else. Just not tea. Please. Mint tea is acceptable. Just none of this fruit tea nonsense either.

3. Using 'literally' incorrectly 

This really annoys me. For example, there were literally 1 million people in the room. Unless there were ACTUALLY a million people in that room, you cannot say there were literally a million people in that room. Well you can. But you really really shouldn't. Just no. Don't do it. Ever. Literally.

Update: Thanks to the idiots of the world, literally now means literally and literally the opposite of literally. Fan-bloody-tastic.

4. Restaurants adding service charges to the bill

Don't go assuming I would have tipped. I was once told this was done for "my convenience". Go away.

5. Art that isn't

You know - those plain canvases with squares on them that are labelled "modern art". There is nothing artistic about it. My cousin's twins, barely a year old, could do that. Stop it.

6. 'Slippery when wet' signs

Please assume, until notified otherwise, that everything is (at the very least more) slippery when wet.

7. The phrase "inclement weather"

Last heard at London tube stations. Never heard up north where they prefer the simpler and better 'wet'

8. Saying things like "I'm not racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-Semitic etc but..."

Let's be clear here, saying "I'm not...but" does not therefore render your statement not whatever you claimed not to be. In more cases than not, any comment preceeded by the phrase: "I'm not racist but..." is racist, likewise for the other variants. If you feel the need to say "I'm not racist" just stop there.

(A new personal favourite is "I'm not insulting the memory of those killed by Hitler but..." which I was tweeted recently)

9. Being George Galloway

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

10. Alan Smith, Robbie Savage, Andy Townsend, Adrian Chiles, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen, Lee Dixon, Mark Lawrenson, Gareth Southgate, Jamie Redknapp, Gary Lineker, Alan McInally, Niall Quinn, Martin Tyler and Paul Merson ever presenting or commentating on a game of football. 

Suicide, metaphorically of course, is contemplated whenever any of the above start speaking about football. Just so bad. (Mentioned above in no particular order). No thank you.

11. Middle lane hogs

Ohhh these bastards annoy me. Learn to drive. Don't sit in the middle lane on a motorway doing 50 miles an hour. Dangerous, frustrating and just so inconsiderate. Behave.

12. Quoting a tweet on twitter and adding nothing

Just RT it. And whilst we're at it. Tweet theft. No.

13. Smugness about passing your driving test first time

This has nothing to do with the fact I passed 5th time. Nothing.

14. Invoking the law of the excluded middle

You'll either love it or hate it. It'll either work really well or not at all. This has the potential to be superb or awful. Most commonly heard on talent shows when a contestant describes an obscure talent or on Masterchef when Greg hears a flavour combination he's not had before. ARGH. I have a policy of remaining indifferent to absolutely everything that is described in this way. Infuriating stuff.

15. Simon Cowell's thumbs up

Not really sure why this one annoys me. But it does. Rest assured it does.

16. Wearing sunglasses when there is no sun

My mother is the main culprit. The clue is in the name. "sun" glasses. To be worn in sunny weather. Not inside. Not on the tube. Not anywhere but outside on a sunny day.

Update:

Update 25/05:

17. The use of the word banter

I am ashamed to admit I was once one of those who justified anything and everything as banter. I grew up. You should too. 

Update 27/05:

18. Celebrity couple names

Latest example being 'Kimye'. Please stop it. 

19. Views are my own or words to that effect

Find this frankly absurd. Let's assume views are one's own until specified otherwise. I mean, can we designate our views to other people? All views in this blog are the views of the Labour party. Does that work? Made worse when an attempt at a "humorous" variation is made in a twitter bio. Grow up. Find something interesting about yourself to put in your twitter bio. I'll assume the views are yours. Kthxbai.

Update 2/06:

20. The phrase "at this moment in time"

Say now like a normal person. 

Update 8/06:

21. Mexican Waves