Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The strange, solipsistic world of Jeremy Corbyn... the "nirvana fallacy" revisited

I mentioned an excellent New Statesman article about Jeremy Corbyn and the nirvana fallacy last October - 'The nirvana fallacy, Denis Healey, and "Toy Town Trot" Jeremy Corbyn'. It's been impossible to avoid the old twit on television in recent days, what with the party conference officially marking the end of Labour as an electable force in British politics, and - presumably because he's really dim and mentally rigid -  it seems he has learned absolutely nothing. To recap, the nirvana fallacy is the belief that we always have a binary choice in politics between messy, imperfect reality and the perfect world which exists only in our imagination: once you have rejected the imperfect world and shared your vision of a perfect world, your work is done. Here's how Ian Leslie put it in his  excellent New Statesman article:

Not only is vaping 90% better for your health than smoking - it also turns shameful addiction into sheer, flavourful pleasure

This time last year, I was convinced that any e-cigarette user who vaped anything other than tobacco-flavoured juice from anything other than a device that looked like a cigarette (i.e. a cigalike) was a pretentious ponce. During the past week I've used my JACVapour ego/pen style vaporiser and my chunky Aspire Nautilus box mod to switch between rich, dark custardy flavours from Vapemate and delightfully sweet fruit mixtures such as Bat Juice, Vamp Toes, Blackjack and Pinkman (the best of the lot) from Vampire Vape. I have become a flavour-chaser to such an extent that there are days when I forget that I'm actually pumping nicotine into my system every time I press the button that activates the coil which turns the liquid into vapour (I'm on an 18ml nicotine mixture, which is 2ml below the maximum allowed under EU rules).

Thursday, 15 September 2016

What eight years in the White House does to a man - and could do to a woman...

Even Barack Obama - who seems to have spent much of his presidency either playing golf or chumming around with his Hollywood pals - looks like he's put on about 25 years in the seven years between the start of 1999 and January 2016:

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Lots of talk today about cutting the number of peers as well as MPs: I know - what about the "last in, first out" principle!

Because, let's face it...

Crybaby American football players refusing to stand for the US national anthem need a lesson in true class from Usain Bolt

Ungrateful wretch
The protests started with the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who apparently wants to complain about racial inequality, which has evidently forced him and an enormous number of other black athletes to become unfeasibly rich and famous. I'm sure we all feel their pain and sympathise with how they've suffered under the jackboot of American racism.

At last, the stain on my reputation has been erased - I did not write "Eat Them Alive": Evelyn Louise Nace did!

I was sitting at my BBC desk one afternoon about 15 years ago when a smirking colleague pointed out that my long-retired writing alter-ego, Nick Sharman, was the subject of some heated online speculation. Puzzled, I went to the relevant horror/fantasy Trash City fansite and there found myself brazenly accused of having been responsible for writing a 1970s horror novel entitled Eat Them Alive, under the pseudonym Pierce Nace. I didn't in the least mind being accused of writing an incredibly violent pulp horror novel, because that's what I used to do for a living, and, to be fair to the rumour-mongers, the mysterious Pierce Nace had been published by New English LIbrary, the same company that published most of my books at that time.  But I did object to being accused of writing Eat Them Alive because - even by pulp horror standards - it is reputed to be execrable.  Here's a sample of the dialogue:

It's 86°F in West London: getting into your car be like...

I agree with Will Ferrell: