Dumbfuckistan resurrection

Let it go folks… once President Obama was out of the door there was no longer an option for dignity and oratory. One Clinton may have dignity, and another may have oratory, but none of them have both. As for the new incumbent… well, viewing from afar is like watching a good friend skidding down the road heading straight into a slow motion car crash.

The 8 year experience of slick Obama speak has lulled us into a false sense of expectation. The new zeitgeist of the nightmarish dark hours tweet fest is beginning to look something altogether different…

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Little did we know that the poor little bum-crack combover was being spied on, by the order of the outgoing President and through the skilled practitioners of the UK spy industry…

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There is no value in challenging these facts, because they are carefully disguised in an evidence-free shroud where conspiracy theory has become incontrovertible. To mangle a quote from Groucho Marx “I have facts, but if you don’t like them, well, I have other facts!”

George W Bush might well have been the prime architect of Dumbfuckistan, but for those of you who have lamented its passing, fret no more. Evidence is beginning to pour in from the focal point of the free-world to suggest that Dumbfuckistan has been resurrected and is thriving again in its assault on rational thought.

For a start, just the other day I was browsing my weekly digest of national and international news, when I nearly choked on my personal sense of my place on the planet. It seems the new administration of the country that wants to tell the world how to be has just scrapped requirements on major telecoms providers to take reasonable measures in order to protect our data from the hands of unscrupulous vultures. Then there is the perennial Republican favourite… “want guns, have guns, get your hands off my guns buddy.” Good news for the equal rights for the mentally disturbed lobby, as those declared mentally incapable of managing their own affairs are at least free to buy guns!

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It seems this freedom from rational thinking is rapidly filtering down from the White House and Capitol Hill, to State legislatures. Why, only the other day the good folk of Arkansas realised a way of grabbing a bargain before deadline day… it seems their stocks of killer drugs are fast approaching their sell-by-date. A State that has not executed anybody in 12 years has found a solution to the dilemma of wasting perfectly good stocks of lethal injection juice… let’s have some mass executions while stocks still last!

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If the so-called Islamic State were ever in need of some fresh thinking, there is an abundant source of ideas simply oozing from the resurrected state of Dumbfuckistan.

As for Bella, she was always well prepared with a copy of the relevant constitutional amendments for any challenge to her right to take down any animate or inanimate object of her choosing.

Got my papers

Until we speak again, sleep tight, and try not to let those early morning tweets bight!

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The will of the people

We live in such divisive and divided political times that abiding by ‘the will of the people‘ is a constant mantra delivered by the fearful so-called winners. The Brexiteer 52% (approximately 37% of adult UK voters) will have no truck with any attempt to debate the way forward. Any expression of a desire to debate issues is instantly drowned out by this vaguest of phrases. When challenged as to what the Brexit plan could be about, headless chickens may well provide a clearer answer…

Difficult choices

In Scotland, the 45% who want independence from the UK have the dominant voice in most political discourse. Or is that the 62% who want to stay in Europe (against ‘the will of the people‘)?

Looking for clarity from across the western democratic world? Why not check out the US, where the person who accrued less of the total number of votes wins all! A clear mandate to show the middle finger to the rest of the world beyond US borders, aka the will of the people.

Challenge any of these populist movements to give us a clue as to where we are actually going, and they have only a Plan A all the way to the sunny uplands of making us (or is that US) great again (as mandated by the will of the people)…

Concept: Successful business trend. Happy talented businesswoman

Talking of La La Land… the will of the football tribe is never ambiguous. Ask any one of the 100% of Cardiff City FC fans, and there is only a completely singular ‘will of the people‘… we are the greatest team in football the world has ever seen! Fortunately, on this occasion we ran into an Ipswich Town team largely resembling the Tractor Boys image externally imposed on ‘the will of their people‘; so that at least today the ignominious chant of the home fans could pass any scrutiny.

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Until we speak again, I would strongly recommend the will of cats, as demonstrated by Juno. they are much better at herding than being herded, whatever the statistics try to say!

You talking to me?

 

Cheap tricks

There was a time, not long ago, when the UK Labour Party tried a nice little trick of charging £3 for people to become a member. The bonus attraction was the opportunity to vote in a leader, out of a duck shoot of particularly charisma-lite alternatives. And the newfound masses managed to locate the one who would have the least chance of amounting any possible credible opposition to the incumbent public service wrecking crew. In fact, this might just be the lost soul trying to curry favour with people he would need to protect him in the most unlikely event he were to taste the power of government…

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However, the new leadership, if that is indeed not misrepresenting the definition of the term, took to flaunting the engorged numbers of new members in their party. Clearly mistaking a bunch of misguided activists to be representative of the masses needed to return the forlorn party to the governing benches. A cheap trick that seems to keep on giving to the very people it is supposed to be opposing!

Talking of horse shit…

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… Birmingham City FC were in town today, to take on the mighty Bluebirds.

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And it seems that the home team are trying to learn from the aforementioned beleaguered Labour Party, by selling off loads of tickets at £5 a pop, so that they could then boast of the great numbers they amassed to support them (normally about 13-14,000). A cheap trick perhaps…

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But, it seems that just like the Labour Party, until Cardiff City FC can mount a credible opposition, they are doomed to fall short of the promised land. For the record the match finished Cardiff City 1 Birmingham City 1.

However, perhaps the highlight of the day was the ranks of seagulls perched on top of the Canton Stand. Rumour has it they were gazing at the away fans at the other end of the ground, wondering what people who don’t live by the sea actually look like! [Note: for my reader who didn’t know, Birmingham is about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK].

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Until we speak again, don’t get fooled by cheap tricks, and take a leaf out of juno’s book… the ‘wake me up when it’s all over’ edition.

Fighting fit [3]

Revolution without the beer

My avid reader will be aware of a very recent post on the birthplace of the industrial revolution. You would be forgiven for thinking I got somewhat pub obsessed in my reflections on days gone by in Manchester. So, here is my opportunity to salute the architectural legacy of Manchester (with maybe one potential sighting of a pub!).

Artistic cats will be particularly drawn to the Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street, a Grade I listed building in Greek Ionic style built in the 1820’s, it acts to remind us that cultural appreciation is free to all… well, at least those who can be bothered to take their gaze temporarily away from a screen these days.

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Meanwhile, cats who like to read something in a more traditional style may be attracted to the Manchester Central Library on St. Peter’s Square. Loosely based on the Pantheon in Rome, this Grade II listed building, combines a columned portico fronting a rotunda, built in the 1930’s. It succeeds the original and first free lending library of 1852, when Manchester demonstrated a ground-breaking recognition of the benefits of providing education resources for its local population.

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For orchestral cats there is the Manchester Free Trade Hall. Built in the 1850’s as a monument to the repeal of the Corn Laws, this building on Peter Street is also built on the site of the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. It became the home of the Halle Orchestra, before more recently succumbing to mammon’s requirement for more hotel space.

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Talking of hotel rooms, for decadent cats there is always the magnificent sight of the Manchester Midland Hotel. The Edwardian Baroque Grade II listed building was erected in 1903 facing St. Peter’s Square to serve the northern railway terminal. Interestingly enough, the true frontage faced the square, with the rear of the hotel facing the station! However, even the side street facade was adorned with the same elegant detail, including direct access to the Spa and hairdressers.

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If you’re looking for insurance against the mind-numbing advancement of bland architectural fashions, look no further than the corner of Oxford Road and Whitworth Street. It used to be the iconic Refuge Building in my day, but no less magnificent is now the Principal… a Grade II listed building constructed in the latter part of the 19th century, and housing an early example of the importance of financing public welfare through life insurance and pensions. It has more recently become the home of the Palace Hotel… well a great conglomeration of architectural gems needs beds for the volume of visitors to be accommodated!

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Did you think I would ignore the needs of the administration cats amongst you? Manchester Town Hall on Albert Square is a Victorian neo-gothic building completed in 1877. And the old Queen even reflected her love for a pre-Brexit German union with the formidable Albert Memorial, whereby the pillar of teutonic heartthrobness faces the great home of Manchester City Council many years after his untimely demise. A Grade I listed building, this centrepiece of Manchester is considered one of the best examples of Gothic revival architecture in the world. In the 1930’s an extension was built and connected by two covered bridges.

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But when visiting such architectural beauty don’t be blinded by the overall majesty of the building, look for the detail, as there is a history to be read by looking at the ornate representations just above the natural eye-line…

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For spiritual cats there is always the Friend’s Meeting House on Mount Street. Built in 1828 this has been the home for the Quaker community, and provides a venue for all forms of action towards social and economic justice, including providing shelter for homeless asylum seekers during cold winter months.

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The aforementioned Whitworth Street is always worth a stroll, if only to experience a canyon of former late 19th century industrial warehouses, now largely converted into apartments. Here names such as India House and China House reference Manchester’s original connection to the wider world of industry and commerce.

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Look up when strolling along King Street and you might just take in the motto of ‘upward and onward’ as Doric columns support an image of advancement. Here lies Manchester’s first town hall, a seat of administration from the early 1820’s until the present day structure opened in 1877 at Albert Square, when the demands of a burgeoning bureaucracy required a larger home.

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As time passes the old must inevitably give way to the new, but is it always a gracious transition? The Chinese influence will take on greater significance as the 21st century progresses (i.e. not just affecting our palate!)…

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The new must occupy space alongside the old… well, at least until the new gets condemned or simply falls down, leaving the aesthetic champions to once again dominate the picture. But here a number of new buildings offer some startling contrast to the historic core of the city…

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Then there is the confusion of the old and the new, as trams re-occupy the street as the best mode of transport. Blackpool may be home to the longest consistently running tram, but Swansea to Mumbles in south Wales was home to the very first tram. In recent decades Manchester was again at the forefront of adopting the form as its primary means of transporting the masses around the centre of the city…

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So, Manchester has a historical core to match the best of them, and a willingness to showcase its history in splendid fashion. Did you spot that pub? Until we speak again, take Bella’s lead and become an inquisitive cat.

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