We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Finally! A politician I have no hesitation endorsing and who, if I lived there, I would actually vote for!

- Perry de Havilland at a ruinous piss up get together of thoughtful political analysts.

The Color Purple, faded

Prize-winning author Alice Walker gives support to David Icke on Desert Island Discs.

Not a headline you see very often.

For those that don’t know, Alice Walker is a “an American author, poet, womanist, and activist”, Desert Island Discs is a long-running BBC radio programme in which celebrities say which eight records (look it up) they would take with them to a desert island (I suppose the gramophone must be one of those wind-up ones), and David Icke is a former Green Party spokesman who believes that, among others, the Queen, President George H. W. Bush, President George W. Bush, Al Gore and Boxcar Willie are really twelve-foot alien lizards.

Mrs Thatcher clones

An unexpected pleasure, leftists chocking at the sight of people celebrating Margaret Thatcher, has just got even better.

The Daily Mail informs us that the “Thatcher haircut” is the rage in central London, with one salon claiming to be overwhelmed by demand.

Italian-born Christina Bellucci, 37, a digital consultant, said she felt the look reflected a modern attitude.

‘This is a strong style and gives me authority,’ she said.

‘When I walk out the door I feel a few inches taller, it gives me power without sacrificing any of my femininity.’

You would have to be nuts…

When I read this

A supermarket chain has withdrawn bags of nuts – after failing to declare they may contain peanuts. The Food Standards Agency issued an allergy alert saying the presence of peanuts was not declared on Booths’ own brand packets of monkey nuts. [...] Booths technical manager Waheed Hassan said: “It is our responsibility as retailers to accurately record allergy advice. [...] In a statement, the supermarket said it had identified the labelling error and issued a warning to customers.

“If you have an allergy to peanuts, please do not consume this product and return it to your local store for a full refund. No other products are affected by this issue and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

So the packets of nuts labelled as… nuts… are being recalled for not telling people allergic to nuts not to eat the nuts.

I would have much preferred if Mr. Waheed Hassan had instead issued the following statement:

“If you are allergic to nuts, do not buy anything labelled as… nuts. And if you do, then either you are illiterate or cannot read English, in which case an additional label telling you not to eat the nuts that you are allergic to from this packet labelled as… nuts… would not help.

But then again, anyone suffering from a nut allergy eating from a packet labelled… nuts… and which, when you open them and see them prior to stuffing them into your gaping maw, look exactly like the… nuts… that you are allergic to, well, such a person is so stupid that we feel that we are providing a public service assisting with their choice to remove themselves from the gene pool. No need to thank us and remember to always shop at Booths! Kthxby.”

But sadly, he did not say that.

Whitehouse bomb tweet hoax causes markets to… fall?

I looked at my screen this morning and saw this…

BILLIONS was temporarily wiped off the US stock market last night after hackers broke into the Twitter account of the Associated Press and announced that two bombs had exploded at the White House, injuring Barack Obama

Sayeth the news article and my immediate thought is… why?

If the White House… hell, let us think big… and indeed all of Washington DC was fortuitously tragically blasted into a huge smoking crater by an unexpected meteorite, killing every politician, government functionary and policy wonk who works there, surely that would be a economic windfall that should add billions to the US stock market, at a stroke removing a significant portion of the most active members of the parasite class from the world’s largest economy.

Just sayin’

We want none of that messy individualism around here

“The North Korean government has issued haircut guidance for its citizens and chosen 28 hairstyles it deems “appropriate” for members of the single-party state. According to the WantChina Times, photos of the 28 haircuts recommended by the totalitarian regime (pictured below) have been issued to salons around the country. The cuts were chosen for being comfortable and resistant to Western influences.”

Via The Register.



Appropriate surname for a government regulator employee

This might be a bit of a cheap shot, you might say, but the benefit of cheap shots is that they often hit the target and are not expensive to fire.

This guy appointed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, an organisation that, remember, did such a splendid job in preventing the 2008 crash, Bernard Madoff, and so on, has the perfect name for the job.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Ah, freedom


Encountered at a truck stop near the Armenia/Georgia border (on the Armenian side) yesterday.

Authoritarian naming

A court in Iceland has ruled that a 15-year-old girl can officially use her name. It seems that in Iceland there is a Naming Committee, and they can reject names that are not grammatically correct, or are “too masculine”.

There is a lot wrong with this. But I am most confused about one thing.

“I’m very happy,” Blaer said after the ruling.

“I’m glad this is over. Now I expect I’ll have to get new identity papers. Finally, I’ll have the name Blaer in my passport.”

Why does anyone care about the opinions of officials? None of my friends has ever asked to see my identity papers.

Samizdata quote of the day

“The trouble with cults is that they aren’t actually about the parts that are true. They’re about using the true parts to hook you, to condition you into an becoming an eager little propagator of their memetic infection. For that to happen, your ability to think critically about the doctrine has to be pretty much entirely shut down. Fortunately the behavioral signs of this degeneration are quite easy to spot – I would have learned to recognize them back at the dawn of the New Age movement around 1970 even if I hadn’t gone to Catholic schools before that.”

- Eric Raymond.  Read the whole way down to the punchline at the end. You will not regret it.


There are some strange characters in Norfolk

Two men dressed as Oompa-Loompas – characters from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – are being sought by police in Norwich after an attack in the heart of the city.

The Daily Telegraph.


Look, I know that folk from East Anglia – where I come from – are used to being abused for being “in-bred” or having “webbed feet” and other silly nonsense, but to be accused of trying to commit crimes while dressed as Willy Wonka’s employees is a bit much. (Just in case anyone wonders, I am not making light of what might be a serious crime.)

Mind you, Norwich did used to have several chocolate factories. Oh well, it makes a change from reading about the US “fiscal cliff”. I promise to be a bit more productive on this site than I have been in recent months. 2012 was effing busy.

My strangest picture of 2012

Okay, I admit it. This is me checking out how you post photos on Samizdata, with Michael Jennings sitting next to me to show me, what with him already having done this successfully.

Nevertheless, this is quite a fun photo. It was taken on November 28th of this year:

Weird Concorde picture

Words don’t fail me, but you surely know what I mean.

There’s the fact that Concorde was scrapped in 2003. There’s the weird colour changes imposed upon the dear old Union Jack (which were such a feature of life in London in this Olympic Year). There’s the fact that this is an item of weirdly designed Olympic stuff on sale and on display in a London shop (it was not the only one – trust me). And there is the fact that this weirdly designed Olympic object is still on sale now, months after the Olympics have been and gone. Michael assures me that Olympic crap will still be around in our shops for many more months yet.

There is probably plenty more to be said about this strange, strange thing, but I leave it to others to add such observations.