MSG, Engrenages and Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Just returned from a family lunch at a place called Days Restaurant in Bournemouth. It’s a cavernous all you can eat place with an outrageous choice of dishes from around the world, I managed three plates with a wide selection on each. While we were there they played Happy Birthday over their sound system, it sounded vaguely sinister to me as if we were in some slightly futuristic, dystopian place. Also felt a bit weird after when doing a little shopping, had to have a sit down. Kate mentioned feeling really thirsty because of all the MSG so I reckon I had an MSG overdose. Now having my first drugs for a couple of days.

Apologies to Mike and anyone else who was at all offended by my references to baldy cameron yesterday, of course I don’t mean ill towards the follically challenged but anything to have a go at the balding bullingdon bully can’t be missed.

Thinking of missing I’m missing Engrenages, or Spiral, the exceptional French TV series. The storylines and acting were just terrific.

I can’t avoid mentioning that extreme twat ids (ian duncan smith) again as there are three pieces about him today in The Grauniad and New Statesman. First Gaby Hinsliff chides him for having a go at the bishops who wrote the letter earlier this week asking for “a fresh moral vision”. He’s only going to lose on this one, what a surprise. One of the many dull things he says is that the church only talks like this about the poor when the tories are in power, well duh!

There is then an editorial which reverses things by imagining some bureaucrat checking on ids like happens to welfare claimants and how his form filling with regard to what he’s supposed to have done stacks up. He’s failed on pretty much every aspect of welfare reform such that many are now more badfare, including those who’ve committed suicide and his great claim to make more people actively seek work has actually created the opposite: greater passivity.

And finally, Helen Lewis in the NS asserts that ids “is presiding over this parliament’s biggest failure”. One of the main reasons is the continuing belief in developing a computer system which can cope with the actually pretty complex universal credit, in line with the success of so many governmental IT systems through the ages. And as the delays, failures and errors mounted within the department of work and pensions a ‘siege mentality’ developed, personified by ids. They began and continued to only release ‘good news’, and gave misleading interviews and figures. This culminated in the office for budget responsibility, an agency set up by this government, saying that it effectively didn’t believe the department’s figures. Damning eh? So this is just judging ids and his department on their actual performance, not considering their ethical and moral shortcomings. All in all ids is a useless, evil, sanctimonious, bullying, underpants expenses claiming twat.

Now it could be argued that ids is following the modern trend of being overly optimistic and “the cult of positive thinking” as written about by Bryan Appleyard. I’ve touched on this before and my thinking continues to rebel more against the simplistic mantras of positive thinking. I won’t conflate or counter as I’m wont to do the thinking of others but will instead simply reproduce Appleyard’s introductory paragraph as a provocative act:

“The Beatle’s song “Getting Better” is a small masterpiece of ambiguity. It shifts between the temperaments of Paul McCartney-sunny, positive-and John Lennon-sceptical, negative. Here’s the chorus:

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)                                                                                                                                 A little better all the time (It can’t get no worse)

The final Lennonian comment undercuts the optimism and implicitly asks the killer question: better than what? By the end of the song the meliorating McCartneyisms are descending into desperate repetitions. Now ask yourself who would you rather have dinner with-chirpy Paul or sardonic John? If you answered Paul you are not going to agree with any of the following.”

Of course I’m sure some of you would have dinner with both, but which would you go with?.He then goes on to expound why he thinks positive thinking fraudulent and dangerous. Appleyard ends with describing optimism as a pressure that is stressful and ‘intelligence lowering’, Whereas pessimism (not depression which is very different and too often conflated with pessimism) ‘is relaxing and mind-expanding’.

At least moanrinho has said he’s ashamed about the racist chelski supporters.

Going back to Varoufakis’ Marxist essay he also described the development of neoliberalism as akin to the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This reminded me that I often likened those who went into senior management (not all, I hasten to add before I lose even more friends) as undergoing a similar process to what happens in said film. It was as if one day these people were friends and colleagues and the next day as senior managers they looked and behaved differently. Weird.

Bleedin’ Germans bullying the poor Greeks.

And welcome Marina to comments, I have fond memories of staying in your Sydney abode, still tell people about Geoff’s rice and remember our wine fuelled discussions.

And here’s a question for you musicos via Peter Wilby: do the Kinks belong in the socialist hall of fame?

There were many images to choose from for today’s image:

Manifesto 85:

  • Before any introduction of any new policy or governmental programme there should be full and proper pilot studies, would save so much money and distress.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


One thought on “MSG, Engrenages and Invasion of the Body Snatchers

  1. You are forgiven old boy. Whilst your barnet has returned in all its glory, you have had the experience of those of us with a more exposed pate. Hats off to you, so to speak.
    Lennon also wrote some of the most idealistic and romantic songs : Imagine, Oh Yoko, Love, Julia…etc as well as the more biting stuff that Paul would find difficult to pen : Woman is the Niigger of the World and How Do You Sleep ? Spring to mind.
    Ray Davies could get into the Marx Hall of Fame (Karl and Groucho) for Dead End St. alone. Sunny Afternoon would be a great post mansion tax song and Dedicated Follower of Fascism appropriate for Farage.
    Sonny and Che


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