It’s my own fault really. Because I like to see different sides to an argument before making up my own mind (see Rule 9 below) then I am unfortunately exposed to comments from people whose opinions are badly argued, uninformed, prejudiced, immature and just plain stupid. And this does annoy me at times.
I like to think that the 55 rules below are ones that I at least try to stick to when commenting online. I wish other people would too, even though a few of my ‘rules’ are actually opinions. Some of the rules are not so much rules for debate, more rules you should live by if you want me to value your opinion. Put it this way, the more of my rules that you break, the less highly will I rate your opinion.
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"Around 50% 'hold authoritarian views'". Sounds shocking. What’s more shocking is the ignorance of the researchers (three politics professors no less, albeit from second rate universities) as to what constitutes “authoritarian”. Authoritarians would presumably favour powerful state control, right? You know, like Stalin or Hitler or Mao. Not according to these three clowns. Apparently “ideological sympathy for… rolling back the state” is an authoritarian point of view. Incredible.
Richard 'fuckwit' Murphy had to publically apologise to Lord Ashcroft and make a donation to his charity for being wrong. I wish the legal system could force him to make an apology every other time he’s been wrong.
Why are we so understanding towards the crimes of Communism? A suggestion I’ve seen elsewhere is that International Labour Day should be replaced with a day of remembrance for the victims of communism and socialism. Good idea.
Gerry Adams apologises for tweeting the word "nigger". I’m amazed at the fuss about this. Might it not have occurred to the twitter commentariat that heading a terrorist organisation responsible for the deaths of 1,800 people is ever so slightly worse than typing a naughty word into social media?
“It is now a news story that a not British firm, which did not operate in Britain and does not, which is not resident in the UK, domiciled in the UK, has no permanent establishment in the UK, did not and does not pay tax in the UK.”
The African king who works as a car mechanic in Germany. “He governs his people over Skype.”
What would you call a rich politician who wanted to ban trade with poor people, condemning them to poverty? Evil or just moronic? Or maybe both?
Interesting article for those of you, like me, who are late sleepers. (I agree that the world of work seems to discriminate against late sleepers, but everything else works in our favour. Entertainment takes place at night, not first thing in the morning, for example. In fact, when you think about it, must fun things do.)
* This is a fault common to many recent fantasy and science fiction novels and series.
The Eye of the World didn't really grab me at first. The first part of the book is very obviously written as a tribute to The Lord of the Rings. In fact, some events are almost copies of events in The Fellowship of the Ring. Once I got past that, I realised two things. The first is that actually, I really like The Lord of the Rings, so a tribute by a talented author is not a bad thing at all. Secondly, as you carry on into the first book, you start to get glimpses that actually this isn't quite the straightforward LotR copy that it starts out resembling. The world-building, while not up to Tolkien's standard, stands comparison with most fantasy epics. And Jordan's writing style is very readable.
When you get into the second book, rather more aspects of the world are revealed, with many more hints that there are all sorts of complex undercurrents. I'm trying very hard not to be spoilered for the rest of the series because I'm looking forward to seeing what is revealed and how all the factions fit together. That's two really quite long books read and I feel that I'm only scratching the surface.
So if you're thinking that I'm liking this series more the more I read of it, you'd be right. A lot of Tolkien fans don't seem to read many similar works at all, but if you like LotR and you're looking for something vaguely along the same lines, you may well like this. But try to avoid reaching a firm conclusion until you've read the first two books.
(amychaffinch tells me that "it keeps improving" from this point on and that "there are lots of things that you read now that will make lots of sense later". I hope so, on both counts.)
Not especially representative of Miss Nicks's solo work and also something that sounds nothing at all like a Fleetwood Mac song. If anything I think it sounds a bit like a Cynid Lauper song. Proper 80s fashions. And is it me or does one of the male dancers look a bit like Richard E. Grant?
Probably not that famous over here (the single peaked at 54 in the UK). On the other hand, if you think it's strangely familiar, it might be because you recognise it from one of the adverts for Grand Theft Auto V:
You might think, given the title, that this is not a serious history book at all, but some kind of children's book in which a plucky girl called Emma outwits and outfoxes nasty rough vikings. It is a serious history book, but actually, that description isn't far off. You probably haven't heard of Emma, unless you're already well read in early 11th century English history. You'll come away from this book thinking that she should be a really famous and important person in English history. She was after all, Queen to two different Kings of England (one of whom was also King of Denmark and of Norway), mother to two more Kings of England and stepmother to two more Kings of England (and great aunt to William the Conqueror). She was the richest woman in England and wielded considerable diplomatic influence across England, Normandy, Denmark and Norway. She seems to have been particularly influential in the transition from Viking rule of England to English rule.
The book itself is nicely written and despite its title it does a good job of explaining the various factions and the political and diplomatic situation. I was particularly intrigued by it because this isn't a period of history that seems to be covered much, either in popular culture, or by popular historians. For example, Simon Schama's 'History of Britain' makes no mention of Sweyn and Cnut's conquest of England. I knew a bit about Cnut, but I bet to most people he's the guy who couldn't stop the tide coming in. There seems to be a big gap between Alfred the Great and 1066 that nobody writes novels about and nobody makes films about and nobody writes history books about. That's surprising because a hell of a lot happens - and most of it is described in this book.
Very readable and I found it a very interesting period that I previously knew relatively little about. Highly recommended.