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]


Last Friday, Alice Bachini blogged this:

I am now going to attempt to eat fire while walking barefoot on hot coals over Niagara Falls juggling three lives cats and singing the National Anthem of the United States of America.

It worked. She is now back in blogging business full time, newly energised and revitalised by having a new blog address without_any_underlinings_in_it_as_per_this, which apparently some people couldn’t get. (Although I notice that the archive links in the rest of this posting still have underlinings in them. If the links below still don’t work for you, go to the one in this paragraph to the top of the blog and scroll down.)

There’s also a picture of Alice wearing a bikini and a fur coat, and there is practically no bikini visible at all. She’s been flying, over America:

Flying is fun. You get to go right over the clouds in a huge powerful machine that has conquered gravity by the use of massive jet engines. Wow. And then you get to see things like glaciers and snow-buried mountains and mathematically squared-out American farmland out of the window. Cool. And then you get to eat small odd plastic dolls’-house food from miniature trays. Huh?


They shout. They smile all the time. They go very fast. This is slightly scary to a polite English person. They don’t speak English, just something similar to English, and assuming they speak English is liable to get you into trouble. Just as I have no idea how young people acquire their detailed knowledge of mobile phone texting language, I have no idea what college one goes to in order to learn how to order a coffee in America. But I intend to find out someday.

American supermarkets:

There is a wonderful array of weird junk-food (I use the term approvingly) in American supermarkets. Twinkie bars. Kool-aid drinks. Bubble gum that looks like cotton-candy. Chewing gum in interesting flavours. Breakfast cereal with enough food-colouring in it to kill a small Korean village. OK, that was a joke. None of us died from eating Froot-Loops. Anyway, this stuff is creative and fun, and Tootsie-roll is clearly designed as a minor snack and not a dietary staple.

Some stupid anti-mobile-phone “research”:

Implicit meaning: Just because nobody has so far managed to prove that mobiles fry your brains, the evil mobile industry has managed to persuade researchers to give up trying! Watch satanic capitalism destroy the path of human truth and ruin all our lives with its, um, cool gadgets! Gah!

The Grinch:

OK, so, it wasn’t my own personal first choice of video for the night, but my young friend assured me that this film is absolutely beautiful, and that the fact it is being rented so rarely that one can take it out for a whole week now at no extra charge is totally unaccountable and a sad reflection on the taste of our fellow townspeople. So I agreed to give it a go.

And this is what struck me: it’s about American values. Dr Seuss embodies about as much American morality as anyone ever did or will except The Wizard of Oz. And this is what the Grinch learns about the horrific evil capitalist greed of the aforementioned much-despised country:

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.” “Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

Well, there you go. Don’t expect critics of The Great Satan actually to find out anything about American culture before they trash it, though. Ain’t gonna happen.

Which brings us to – Iraq:

? Iraq as a whole is, of course, not angry with the US and Britain. That’s just what antiwar people argue to trick people into believing their horrible ideas. Actually, a few people are angry, because those people don’t have any better ideas, or they are angry about specific errors resulting from the job of the US and Brits being bloody difficult, ?

Which is exactly what I heard the other night from someone who has actually been out there for the last few months.

Alice says she wants to be a millionaire businesswoman. Good luck, and I will believe that when I see it. Meanwhile, someone should pay for her to visit Iraq.

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