Monthly Archives: February 2005

Commenting Fixed

I’ve now restored the facility for you to preview your comments before you post them. Like this:Like Loading…

“Doing The Patriotic Thing”

Yesterday I had lunch with a “fellow” Catholic whose grandfather used to hide fugitive members of the “old” IRA in his house in the Irish countryside. We discussed the disgust being expressed by republicans north and south of the border at the behaviour of the supposed descendants of his grandad’s lodgers. Cathal (not his real […]

All This And Self-Mockery Too

As if anyone needed another reason to fancy Halle Berry, she turns out to have a GSOH as well: Halle Berry thanked the makers of Catwoman for “putting me in a God-awful movie” when she turned up to collect her worst actress Razzie award. The actress, whose surprise appearance got her a standing ovation from […]

Decked Out

As Saddam’s half-brother is handed over by the nervous Syrians, it’s an appropriate moment to catch up with some old friends. For those of us whose outrage at the continued immunity of various collections of state-sponsored goons around the World has been curdling for years this is a heartwarming sight. Like this:Like Loading…

Watching The Clock

As the countdown to redundancy continues I envy this creature more and more. If I could retire now, though, it would be the perfect leaving gift for a quasi-civil servant like me. Like this:Like Loading…

Punk Slam Dunked

Effra, the first commenter on this story at Harry’s Place says most of the things I’ve felt about punk for the past twenty-plus years. She does so as she compares that musical movement of late seventies to this Web movement of the mid-noughties. She’s right about punk, but her assessment of ‘Blogging is about as […]

Is There No End To The Boredom?

I’ve added months of old posts. (See the Archive section over there –>.) I couldn’t even be bothered to go on a nostalgia trip and read any of the content, so sick am I of the sight of a computer monitor. There’s still a big gap between April 2002 and March 2003, but who cares? Laugh […]

How Many Times?

“The decor looks like an asylum! Where’s my ‘Blogroll link? I want the pretty finger back! I can tell you how to fix that comment spam!” For the next week or so the only complaints I want to hear from you rabble are if your legitimate comments are being bounced, otherwise please stop griping about […]

You Will Be Assimilated

This evening I tuned into a new radio station called Chill. Apparently the music I make belongs to the chill-out sub-genre. And apparently this accidental “movement” is now big enough to be a genre in itself. I am accidentally fashionable—or rather I am accidentally a few years behind the curve, because it’s mainstream now. The […]


It could be that there is a real Harry Thompson with the misfortune to share the same IP address as Benji, so I’ve re-instated his comments—see over there –>. Maybe I’m becoming cynical in my old age, but it’s possible to go too far the other way. Hot Wheels Helena asked me today, “Why has […]

Shaddap, Already!

Look, peeps, this is temporary. I’ve upgraded out of necessity, not for aesthetic reasons. As I tried to explain a couple of days ago, you’ll get your favourite features back once I have some time to spend on this site—and I’ve figured out how the new WordPress themes architecture works. Until then, please stop whining. […]

Rabbits On The Perimeter Fence

Reading a ‘Blog on the Web is like watching a swan on the water: you have no idea of the furious activity that’s going on under the surface. Within hours of my upgrading this thing, 57 varieties of annoying spamming scum and devious abusive snotbag converged on probing and testing for weaknesses. Every five […]

Thatch And Poot: The Truth

In the 80s my hair was bigger than hers—and here she is giving me a certificate saying so: [click image to enlarge] Like this:Like Loading…

Hidden Depths

Jimmy Carter’s wife, Rosalynn, sponsors the naming of a big, black underwater vessel full of seamen after her husband. Yes, I’ve been reading spam all weekend. Like this:Like Loading…

I’ve Got The Decorators In

The design looks pretty strange to me too. I’m working on it. I’d really had enough of comment spam linking to “granny she-male cock” and the like appearing in my moderation system while I put off upgrading to WordPress 1.5. Now I’ve finally, er, crossed over there’ll be lots of other weird stuff going on […]

It’s Academic Now

I also often disagree violently with the politics of the Anonymous Economist (AE) especially when it comes to Iraq. Yesterday, as we are wont to do, we had a vigorous online debate about British higher education. This is not surprising since we both currently have a professional interest in the subject. At the end of […]


Much as I disagree with his politics, I have to concede that Jeremy Hardy was on superb form on The News Quiz this week. He even managed to justify the existence of Alan Coren. The latter seems to have taken up the role of Hardy’s straight man, setting up gags for the Second Funniest Man […]

Via Slashdot

Those Americans, eh?: “The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women. However, according to a story on The Guardian, a new study puts the UK ahead in one more category: it leads the world in TV piracy, accounting for 38.4% of the world’s TV downloads, with Australia coming […]

The Less Said The Worse

Films these days start out being pitched as a high concept—“My script is Ghost meets Titanic in outer space”—and end up being reviewed as a high concept—“James Cameron’s I Loved A Phantom Starship Captain is Ghost meets Titanic in outer space”. It does save you time when a film you haven’t seen is compared to […]

The Threat From The Curds

Hot Wheels Helena now has her own ‘Blog, but I am not allowed to link to it yet, which is why half of the posts this week are courtesy of her. Because Her Boy had (administrative, not financial) problems with his plastic we had to shop for dinner on Wednesday immediately beforehand. As I wandered […]

Built-In Obsolescence

Last weekend, as I regarded the wreckage from my most recent computer system balls-up (again), I decided that I should at least squeeze some good from the bad and upgrade PooterGeek’s software to the latest version of WordPress. I stayed up late on Sunday night carefully moving my modifications from 1.1 to 1.2, and also […]

A Heartwarming Story Of Crime And Punishment

Just over a week ago, Duncan Grisby, one of this city’s many alpha geeks, invited readers of the legendary “cam.misc” discussion board to pop along to his Website to examine his action shots of a burglar. The thief had been filmed by the video Webcam that was sitting on top of the four thousand pounds’ […]

Class War: Two Things

Hot Wheels Helena did mention that my account of the boxing tournament between Cambridge students and residents might have given the impression that I didn’t have a good night out. I did, in fact, have an excellent time. She also mentioned that—further to my amusement at one of the university’s champions being called “Hugh”—she and […]


I bought a copy of Kate Fox’s Watching The English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour a few weeks back. I’ve not really had time to read it of course. So far I’ve managed three chapters: “The Weather” (which, appropriately, opens the book), “Linguistic Class Codes”, and “Rules of Sex”. It’s pretty accurate so far—so […]

Reason To Be Cheerful

I tune to Radio 2 in the bathroom, having run through the local stations (“all Bedingfield—all the time”), Virgin (“all REM—all the time”), and Radio 1 (“old people pretending to be young, playing music to young people pretending to be old”). Instead of the usual rambling from Terry Wogan, Johnnie Walker is at the mic […]

Don’t Panic

I think the quote at the end of this piece is probably accurate. It undercuts the rest by saying that fears of a new, aggressive strain of HIV are “a storm in a teacup” [© Benjamin Mackie 2004]. But ten years ago I was sitting in a common room when one of the most senior […]

Feel The Love

The Financial Times tells the story of an estranged partner seeking reconciliation. Tony is from Mars; The People are from Venus: The prime minister used his keynote speech at Labour’s spring conference in Gateshead to acknowledge it was largely his fault that his bond with the public had frayed. His decision to reach out to […]

Golden Farewell

Look at the photograph accompanying this article about the removal of HP’s former CEO Carly Fiorina. Try to keep your mind free of these words: “You are the weakest link. Goodbye.” Like this:Like Loading…

Excuses, Excuses

If it’s any consolation to you, my last remaining reader, as you vainly reload this page expecting new material, I have at least been getting out a bit more over the last few days, even as far as Wales. There, Auriol and Peter treated me to a superb meal, a browse through a couple of […]

Class War

Last Friday I went to the Cambridge Union Society to watch the Town versus Gown boxing. I should explain to non-Brits that the Cambridge Union is Cambridge University students’ debating chamber and cross-college social focus. Several members of the various Thatcher cabinets were elected officers at the Union when they were undergraduates. Friday night’s event […]

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