Re: The English Are Weird Like This

1

That's the guy who destroyed the U.K.? He makes that Nigel guy look like warrior prince.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:13 PM
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Geez, you had to wait until right after I posted two things about the UK in the other thread.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:15 PM
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A) I am fascinated by this Gove person who is suddenly in the news. He seems to be the precise British equivalent of Ted Cruz. Half the coverage is about how ruthless and disloyal he is, and the other coverage is about how weird and creepy he looks. But nobody in Britain votes on the basis of being a Christian theocrat, so in the absence of that there's even less reason to think anyone could support this guy.

B) I am confused by the attempted anti-Corbyn revolt by the same people who were anti-Corbyn last year. It seems to be very personal. Why doesn't this McDonnell guy run for leader instead, he seems to be respected by his peers and actually looks like a politician and is always showing up in the media saying "Actually what Jeremy meant was this, before you took it out of context."

Also I am confused by the apparently inadequate base of the support for Corbyn/McDonnell. It seems to be both the young cosmopolitan people, AND the labor unions. Uhh, who else does Labour represent? Whoever they are, why don't they join the Lib Dem party instead?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:15 PM
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When I first saw this I was certain that someone had processed it to make his hands look even sillier.

Also, I suppose his lip-twitching is something that anyone might do unwittingly, but it sure does complete the look.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:16 PM
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Re: 3a, see: "Maybe we can send Ted Cruz to the Tory party on Lend-Lease. Nobody here is using him, he looks like he'd fit right in, and he likes debating"


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:20 PM
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Judging by appearances is risky, but he's obviously got corpses in his basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:21 PM
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Isn't the problem with Corbyn exactly like the problem with Ted Cruz? That is, everyone who has ever worked with him hates him, but people who just know him as an abstraction ("old-school Labour guy" in Corbyn's case) sometimes think he's pretty awesome.

I realize this is about Gove. He looks like a shaved Ewok.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:30 PM
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hurtful to Ewoks


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:34 PM
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Entire generations of men have no personal experience as to what a shaved Ewok looks like.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:42 PM
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There's something about the current moment -- maybe the internet! who knows! -- that is giving rise to these political candidates who are basically extreme parody caricatures of some particular political type. Hey, are we the party of evil upper-class English weirdos? Here are our caricatures, Johnson and Gove. Extraordinarily creepy neo-fascism? Nigel Farage. Resentful, preposterous blowhardy old white Americans and bitter cartoonish racist business owners? Donald Trump. Preposterous angry Texan, religious nutcase edition? Ted Cruz. Yelling old ex-hippie grandpas? Sanders. It's not just that politics going to extremes. It's an appetite for politicians who are cartoon parody versions of whatever the constituency is.

*not sure what to do with Corbyn because I don't actually know England. "Clueless and grating left wing asshole?"


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:42 PM
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The problem with Corbyn is not the problem with Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz is excessively ambitious and egotistical. Corbyn is apparently not ambitious or egotistical enough to be leadership material.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:42 PM
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Hey, are we the party of evil upper-class English weirdos? Here are our caricatures, Johnson and Gove. Extraordinarily creepy neo-fascism? Nigel Farage.

I'm trying to figure out which words apply to which of them.

posh - Gove, Cameron, Farage
toff - Johnson, Farage, Cameron
prat - Johnson, Gove
twit - Cameron, Gove
twat - all four
oik - Johnson


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:51 PM
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There is also Gove falls over, which is hypnotic.

(From a retweeter of that tweet, I learn that apparently Geoffrey Hill has died, which means there's a nonzero chance I will blow off all my obligations today and sit out in the yard reading his books cover to cover. I could also spontaneously jump on a plane to Boston, where I heard him read in 1998, and do it there. How is the weather in Boston this weekend?)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:52 PM
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I heard that Lucas cut the shaved Ewok scenes because he couldn't decide about nipples. No nipples would look weird but having nipples would be just too much convergent evolution.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:52 PM
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That is hypnotic! Also, nice green Jag-U-arrr in the foreground.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:55 PM
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Just wanted to express appreciation for 9.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 12:58 PM
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posh - Gove, Cameron, Johnson
toff - Johnson, Cameron
prat - Johnson, Gove, Farage
twit - Cameron, Gove, Farage
twat - Cameron, Gove, Farage
oik - Farage

Complete fucking devious cunts - all of the above


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 1:47 PM
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The British have 1,000 words for "asshole".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 1:48 PM
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Those all sound like they could be homophobic, but I couldn't for the life of me guess which ones.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 1:52 PM
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20

Gove is, I regret to say, not English.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 1:59 PM
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The British have 1,000 words for "asshole".

The definitive book about assholes is, of course, Joseph Campbell's The Asshole with a Thousand Faces.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 2:02 PM
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lip-twitching

Reminded me of the writer in a Clockwork Orange. Admittedly, slightly less creepy than the latter, which really relies on the accompanying eye twitch.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 2:09 PM
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Gove isn't posh at all. Complete fucking devious cunt, yes.

The reason McDonnell can't stand is that he had heart problems a few years back, which came as a total surprise to his comrades, because none of them thought he had such an organ. When he was healthy he had a Gove-class reputation for treachery and backstabbing of colleagues. Corbyn was part of the same little groupuscule of London 80's left MPs who operated entirely independently of the rest of the parliamentary party for thirty years and now act all surprised when they have no loyalty to call on.


Posted by: Comrade Seumas Milne | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 2:34 PM
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19 - what, posh, toff, prat, etc? None of them are homophobic.

Yeah, I couldn't decide about Gove being posh. From humble beginnings, but he's clearly always had fierce upwardly-mobile ambition, and would definitely now be considered posh in comparison to most of the country. Ugh, I hate him so much. What a shithead. Prick. Knob. Fuckwit. Arse. Wanker.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 3:01 PM
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Gove-related genius


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 3:51 PM
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13 is superb.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 4:13 PM
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Does it make sense that Johnson would quit just because Gove wouldn't support him? Is Gove that influential? Or is something else going on?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 5:08 PM
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I imagine that Gove's every motion conveys menace to someone like Boris. I would pay money (Euros) to see them fight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 5:38 PM
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I'd love to see a Scot v. Englander insult-off.

Here's my first cut at the rules: a person (involved in British politics to start, but other figures in the later rounds) is named by the Moderator, and Scottish and English commenters each then have 3 hours to present posts -- no more than two -- of no more than seven insults each.

I haven't figured out scoring.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 6:37 PM
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Obviously, Americans (and others) could participate, if only to enhance the experience of reading quality British insulting with a little personal humiliation.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 6:39 PM
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31

Oh it's good to be home, I thought. No more fatuous teabag politicians at every turn.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 6:39 PM
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10 - there's a great example of runaway ("Red Queen"?) preferences iwhen experimenters glue giant plastic tails to cichlids, which is so much more fun to think about than politics.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 6:50 PM
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Although the cichlid tail trick only works on species that have been experiencing predation, but are protected from that during research.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 6:53 PM
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31: I thought you were from New England or some such.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 7:40 PM
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35

Maybe he's talking about Paul Lepage.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 8:09 PM
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36

Gove not posh as solely those irredeemably not working class can be not posh.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 8:52 PM
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37

And if not duffers, won't drown, too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 9:02 PM
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38

Exactement, mon vieux.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 9:30 PM
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39

Kind of falling in love with asilon over here. Americans have become such contemptible fucking lameasses about swearing


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 9:52 PM
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40

I thought goff might have mild cp and/or Tourette's, but maybe it is just an English thing. Like weird clapping is the English equivalent of the best Indian head nod.


Posted by: zb | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 9:59 PM
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I can't get over that clip. Surely those aren't his real hands/flippers?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 10:21 PM
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42

Look at his face. It's like he's controlled by a team of novice puppeteers.


Posted by: Egggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 11:30 PM
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43

It's like he's controlled by a team of novice puppeteers.

The resemblance to a puppet has been noted before.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 2:12 AM
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44

3. Replies to both those in the other thread.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 2:13 AM
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45

Everyone who had dealings with him knew that Johnson was an inadequate shit bucket with trump levels of dishonesty and bush level incompetence. When Gove said as much it gave the party licence to admit that it knew this.


Posted by: Nw | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 2:25 AM
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I think Gove being Scottish slightly lets him slide around the class system. He's nowhere near as posh as Cameron or Johnson, but that doesn't seem to have hurt him within the Tory party. That said, he went to private school (on a scholarship) and Oxford, so he's not exactly Dennis Skinner.*

Because the UK is a parliamentary system, being really fucking creepy/odd isn't necessarily an impediment to gaining relatively high office. You just need to convince the right committee to put you up for a safe seat, and bingo, you are an MP. Then if you are a smart but evil prick you can probably prosper.

Gove has, I'd have thought, shit all chance of doing well in a general election, though.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Skinner


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 5:19 AM
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I'd have thought he had shit all chance of winning the present contest, since people who favoured Johnson, fools though they may be would now presumaby rather vote for Corbyn than Gove.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 5:38 AM
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re: 47

Yeah, I'm sure that's also right. But I think even if he hadn't stabbed Johnson, I think he'd have shit all chance.

Ironically, Gove looks a lot like a friend of mine. The friend is a barrister, and also Scottish. He (the friend) is incredibly social and outgoing, though. True life-and-soul-of-the-party type. Also one of the smartest people I've ever met. But the resemblance is pretty noticeable.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 5:49 AM
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49

||
Self-driving cars continue to be bullshit.

I do take a certain dark amusement in the fact that the cause of the crash was literally that the car failed to distinguish between the sky and a semi-tractor-trailer truck.
|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 6:53 AM
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"Bullshit" in the sense of "30% less legally dangerous, mile for mile, than driving yourself"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 7:02 AM
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51

Lethally, obvs, not legally.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 7:03 AM
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52

The 'X miles driven per fatality' statistic is pretty worthless with N=1. I mean, it's a decent sign that they haven't racked up ten fatalities instead, but we won't have a reasonable sense of the relative safety (and there are lots of confounding factors anyway) until N is much larger.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 7:16 AM
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53

The "X miles driven per fatality" statistic also depends on being pretty goddamn credulous about how many miles Teslas have actually driven on autopilot.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 7:21 AM
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53: and, similarly, that Tesla hasn't simply concealed all 574 previous fatal crashes, burying the bodies in shallow graves somewhere in the Mojave.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 7:45 AM
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52: well, yes. How worthless is the statement "this one fatality proves that self driving cars are bullshit "?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 7:46 AM
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56

is there any reason to think the miles driven number isn't bullshit?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 8:02 AM
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There's a pretty damn good reason to think that people turning on the autopilot aren't doing it at random intervals covering all possible driving situations so, yeah, that's a bullshit argument as well.

Also when their defense of the safety of them is "yes but he broke the "act exactly like you are driving the car yourself anyway" rule for using this thing" they're basically giving the entire game away. If the supposed function of the things is something that, for safety purposes, you should not ever do then that's as obviously a sign that the things are bullshit as anything can be.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 8:06 AM
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To have a self-driven car, you need to program it to have grit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 8:07 AM
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Tens of thosands in the streets. Easy for me to say I know but should have had at least a million.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 8:25 AM
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and, similarly, that Tesla hasn't simply concealed all 574 previous fatal crashes, burying the bodies in shallow graves somewhere in the Mojave.

This is dumber than I'd have expected from you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 8:30 AM
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A company with a commitment to quality like Tesla will bury bodies at the proper six foot depth.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 8:32 AM
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he broke the "act exactly like you are driving the car yourself anyway" rule for using this thing" they're basically giving the entire game away.

I don't know about that. I have a friend who has to be concerned with his parents and what happens when they can't drive (e.g. a nursing home that will run up costs more than a Tesla before long) and what happens if they can't drive and don't agree they can't drive. A computer-assist, even one that won't let you let go of the wheel, sounds like a brilliant thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 8:52 AM
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That seems like a kind of "well, maybe they'll just injure someone badly instead of outright killing them" solution. But even if it is the best option he's got a collision detection sensor that beeps when you're way too close to something or moving towards something (that's probably but not necessarily there) isn't exactly "self-driving car" any more than cruise control is.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 9:03 AM
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One of the articles I read quoted the manufacturer of the Tesla collision detection system as saying it's not built to detect obstructions from oncoming/turning vehicles, just for preventing rear-end collisions. They plan to roll out broader collision detection in 2018. Probably the system is trained to look for bumpers, taillights, and license plates as indicators of something ahead.

Nothing I've seen suggests Tesla's autopilot is anything more than enhanced cruise control.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 9:45 AM
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Right, so self driving cars are bs in the sense that everything that doesn't yet exist is b.s.. That seems rather a broad definition.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 9:53 AM
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66

Maybe calling it "Autopilot" wasn't the brightest thing ever, then.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 9:54 AM
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Tens of thosands in the streets. Easy for me to say I know but should have had at least a million between the sheets.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 10:05 AM
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I think once you get to the point where it's changing lanes to get around things it's more than just a fancier version of keeping the speed steady without you having to hold your foot carefully on the pedal. Even braking suddenly when something zooms up towards you is way less ambitious than that (and also notably what this car very much did not do).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 10:35 AM
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(Also it's worth noting that claims about how it can't be used unless you're on straight highways and all it tries to do is stay roughly in one lane and prevent the car from driving straight into things make any argument in terms of driving-hours-per-crash not just bad but clearly in bad faith as well.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 10:38 AM
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I have read that the zillions of miles by Google self-driving cars are mostly in Palo Alto and immediate vicinity. Every grain of sand in Palo Alto is in Google's databases ten times over. Even so, if a paper bag blows into a road, their car is flummoxed by it.

That being said, we will have self-driving cars sooner rather than later. Just like flying cars and hoverboards, they will not be quite what we imagined here in ancient times, at least not initially.

Ultimately, of course, they will all be self-driving, by law or by punitive insurance requirements. They will also drive like your grandmother and the romance of the road will be dead. (Although, to poach on Moby's turf, the romance of the back seat will be alive and well.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 11:36 AM
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"Your car can't drive its way out of a paper bag!"
"Training conditions used plastic."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 11:43 AM
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72

My grandmother drove into a post office.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 11:58 AM
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72: You may want to administer the Voight-Kampff test.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 12:17 PM
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74

That would explain why whenever she saw a turtle on its back, she'd run it over.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 12:32 PM
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71: Not in California, buckaroo!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 12:54 PM
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If Elon Musk wants a plastic bag, Elon Musk can have a plastic bag.

(I told the story here, I think, of crossing paths with Steve Jobs at a Palo Alto CVS shortly before his death. I had the uncharitable thought that Steve Jobs could probably buy all the Sudafed -- the item I was waiting in line to purchase with ID -- that he wanted, no questions asked. I lived to regret this bit of envy.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 1:03 PM
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||

NMM to Michael Cimino

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 1:23 PM
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Elie Wiesel, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 1:40 PM
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76: pretty sure you can drive out of a plastic bag in CA, you just can't take the car home from the dealership in one.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 2-16 1:55 PM
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The thing about Michael Gove is that his constituency, Surrey Heath, is just ridiculously safe, beyond being a safe seat, closer to a one-party state. He got it because his previous employer was Rupert Murdoch (literally, he was an assistant editor of The Times and you can't tell me nobody helped the local Conservative Association make their mind up). It would be more accurate in some ways to see him as a member of the House of Lords.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 7:25 AM
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81

So, inbreeding has lead to neurological issues?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 7:44 AM
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82

Speaking of really English things, I've been reading lots of mysteries for a while now. I'm thinking of trying it myself. Freelance, unpaid detection, that is. All you'd need to do is wait for the next local murder and then solve it. I think it would have to be local because I don't have a travel budget.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:03 AM
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83

Who knows in his case- he's adopted (by a Labour voting family). Apparently his support is ebbing already and some woman I'd never heard of is now backed as the "Stop Theresa May" candidate.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:03 AM
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Local sounds wise, Moby. Everyone knows there's as much wickedness in St. Mary Mead as anywhere else in the world. That probably goes for Pittsburgh too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:05 AM
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83: You can start with the fatal accident at Murray/Darlington. Sounds like a setup.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:05 AM
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Moby Hick, Private Dick.

I wouldn't want to google that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:06 AM
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87

I didn't hear about that accident. How do you get a fatality on a corner like that?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:09 AM
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88: Exactly. Low speed, clear visibility. It's gotta be a hit.

I can only assume it's a combination of an idiotic driver and the pedestrian being elderly.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:12 AM
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You charge for travel, for heaven's sake. And for board and lodging while away from home. And for any overrun of your data plan. And anything else you can think of.

(84=>82, btw)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:13 AM
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87: nothing very remarkable results.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:13 AM
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"No cause or manner of death has been listed yet." Sounds suspicious and totally not just like bureaucracy moving slowly on a holiday weekend.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:14 AM
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Thorn, you've got to apply Occam's Razor. What is "bureaucracy" but a euphemism for "conspiracy"? The simplest explanation is MURDER.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:17 AM
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Hrmm, actually, given that her husband died two months ago, I wonder if it was, to some degree, suicide.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:22 AM
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God, dalriata, this is supposed to be MOBY's case. When you get run down while crossing the street, we'll know who was protecting his turf.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:25 AM
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Most unfortunate collision I've read about lately is this one. I'm going to be up in that area in about a week.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:27 AM
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90: You can't really charge fees unless they asked for your help. I was just going to shore up because why would anybody hire me until I've sent about a half dozen murderers to the pen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:31 AM
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95: I'm auditioning for the role of exasperated sidekick.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:34 AM
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96 -- You'll be coming up the East Side, I suppose?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:42 AM
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99: Coming through a bit to the east of you. The wife likes the drive up through Seeley and Swan lakes.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 8:59 AM
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97. I had a friend in college who got an entry level job as a private dick, and what he did was work for a divorce lawyer following people around to see if they were having assignations. I met once and we stood and talked for five minutes till he said, "Got to go, she's come out of that shop."

I think you work your way up from the suburban streets to the mean ones.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 9:27 AM
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Oh, neat.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 3-16 9:46 AM
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