Fat boy has a gun

blond 2Kim Jong Un is a cartoon.Hands down he would easily land the role of fat comic bad guy in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

He’s become a joke and over the last few months also the target for anyone with a rudimentary understanding of how to photoshop a picture or edit a you tube video.

He has a youthful pudgy bland face which seems to ooze out of a bloated button-straining torso and his dress sense is so awful it makes Colonel Gaddafi seem like a fashion icon.

Add to this a face so devoid of expression it looks like he has botox for blood and you end up with a man begging to be taken viral. And for all the wrong reasons.

Right now as I write this I cant think of anyone more in need of a make over than Kim Jong Un.

Initially though the threats coming out of the Korean peninsula were much less funny. Initially that is, but as they went on and the threats got more and more insane I think we all, including most of the worlds leaders, realised it was just the yapping of a lunatic dog. The line from Reservoir Dogs ‘Are you going to bark all day little doggy or are you going to bite?’ seemed somewhat appropriate.

Once we realised the people living just over the border were more interested in the latest release from Psy than the immediate threat of nuclear annihilation everyone breathed out and then the jokes and photoshoping started.

Its now gone very quiet.

This is most likely because Mr Un has nothing left to threaten anyone with. He’s already used the ultimate threat; nuclear war. So what next? Threaten to turn his Death Star in the direction of Washington? Conjure up a biblical plague of locusts?

I’m guessing Kim’s ‘things to threaten people with’ cupboard is pretty bare at the moment.

Nuke Psy that would be my suggestion, should he ask.

Even Kim, and his smaller than he said it was arsenal, must have the capability to do that. It would have the double effect of seriously pissing off the South and also pleasing me immensely. A very, very small warhead, dropped directly on his head would do the trick. I would then never again find myself trying to ride an invisible horse badly on some crappy euro-pop dance floor.

I had a beer once with a man who claimed he went to university with Kim. This was long before the recent escalations. In a time when his father was still alive, him of the Don King hairdo. Over the course of the evening this man managed to convince me that once Kim Jon Il (weird hairdo dad) died and his university friend ascended to the throne all would be much better.

‘He’s a nice, normal, regular guy’ he told me.

Assuming this is true then something serious must have happened to Kim Jon junior (try saying that quickly) since his carefree and normal, regular guy, university days.

Which is not surprising really.

I have changed since my youth so why would he be any different? Granted I’m not creating bad CGI videos of the white house being bombed or threatening stuff I can’t do but still, I have changed.

A lot of things have changed and its not just the lines on my face or the tufts of hair sprouting from my ears, nose and every other orifice either.

Years ago I asked someone much older what’s it like to be old. He responded by telling me that its no different. He felt and thought no different to how he did when he was twenty (my age at the time). Things just hurt more he added.

I’ve subsequently discovered this to be a load of rubbish. Everything has changed.

I think the only things which remain from my youth is my name and a small colourful smudge of a tattoo. My whole outlook on life has shifted dramatically in the last twenty years or so.

I’ve matured.

Yes, I accept there are a lot of people who might disagree with me on this one but believe me, I have.

I read a speech Bill Gates is supposed to have given to a group of college students recently. It was posted on FB and carried with it a gazillion ‘likes’. Even with its questionable veracity the sheer popularity of the posting says something about my generation I think.

I am of the generation which was born in the 60s/70s, grew up in the 80s, partied in the 90s and matured in the naughties.

Generation X is the term used to describe us and I am using the term ‘us’ very loosely here.

In the UK we grew up during the miner and teachers strikes, Thatcher and the Falklands war.

We remember punk rock and our parents were born during WWII. A whole strata of the population were shaped by these events and resulting parental influences.

A good example is Margaret Thatcher. Probably the most polarising individual from the last fifty years or so.  Where she was concerned you either loved or hated her but you never, never ever, sat on the fence.

Generation X have opinions. Agree with them or otherwise but they willhave an opinion. This blog is a good example.

The generation following X is logically Y. They were born in the 80s and 90s and it was this cohort which Bill was addressing.

This is the generation, according to Bill and his army of opinionated likers, who do not have a clue about the real world. They don’t understand the concept that hard work is a prerequisite to get a reward. They think everyone wins a prize. They have an inbuilt sense of entitlement. They have the attention span of a gnat and it goes without saying that their music is rubbish.

Is this true? Maybe.

Is it bad? Dunno.

An ocean of little blue and white thumbs up signs suggest a lot of people agree with his sentiments and the moral high ground he seems to be claiming as his own.

So what are the implication of such a generation existing, if they do in fact exist?

Probably none in the same way there has been no implications coming from generation X maturing. Well apart from the economic crisis, global warming and a couple of wars that is.

Generation Y are different but then generation X was also different to the baby boomers who came before them and so it will go on. I don’t think its bad. Its just different.

Generation Y grew up in a period of wealth, economic prosperity, technological advances, computer games and easy credit. Everything was easy and on tap so is it any wonder their approach to life, their outlook on the world or their attention spans for that matter are different?

According to research Generation Y don’t want to work to live, they want to live and understand they have to work to do so. They want a career which isn’t just about money. They want a career which gives them a sense of fulfilment. They are passionate about environmental issues and lets not forget this is the generation we are sending away to get their limbs blown off in far flung places around the world.

All in, I think its very easy to criticise. But before you do Bill, or whoever actually wrote it, think about what you have done to create this generation in the first place.

If someone has a sense of entitlement, this is because you put it there in the first place. It was you who pandered to their instant gratification requests, got them a PlayStation, tuned into x-factor/Britains got talent/the national lottery/every other instant fame, c-list celebrity, program on TV.

It also wasn’t them who screwed up the economy. Its just them who will ultimately have to pay for it. It wasn’t them who raped the environment but they will have to figure out what the hell to do about it and it wasn’t them who turned the world into a much more dangerous place than it was thirty years ago. But again we are expecting them to sort the whole mess out for us.

Every generation is criticised by the one before. This is normal.

Will we as a generation be able to say we have left the world a better place than when we arrived? I don’t think so.

Generation Y and the ones which follow them are inheriting a utter basket case of a world and it is us and our parents who are fully responsible for this.

Its just a suggestion, but perhaps we should temper the gleeful enthusiasm which we seem to have in abundance when it comes to finding fault or criticising the upcoming generation.

If we don’t how does the removal of the old age pension sound? What about a wrinkly tax or a statutory retirement age of 95?

The fat-joke-boy-king Kim has had his bluff called but I’m not so sure generation Y will be so easy to ignore when their time comes.

We could very well find that when the little doggy does grow up and stop barking it will be to turn around and bite us all hard on our respective hairy aging arses.


vhemtI did my recycling yesterday morning.

It’s one of my many Saturday chores, made necessary by living in a country which still clings to the quaint idea that Sunday should be a day of rest. In Switzerland nothing opens on a Sunday. Nothing at all and therefore anyone who actually works during the week has to make full use of the only day available to them.

The Swiss also like to recycle. Statistics show that Swiss recycle more than any other country in the world, some 52%. I am not sure what this statistic means. Is it of everything? Is it of stuff which can be recycled? Whatever it is it’s higher than all the other countries so it must be good.

My local recycling center (open Saturday 8am to midday) is a well-organized and surprisingly tidy looking affair. Specific containers for everything and anything. All well labeled and well presented. There is a crushing machine for cardboard, the usual colour coded bottle collecting bins, bins for metal, wood, plastic, fabric, cork and batteries. All of this you can find at any recycling center but the Swiss do go one step further with their bins for Alt Brot (old bread) and used Nespresso coffee pods.

The reality is, with the exception of human waste, the Swiss recycle pretty much everything. To maintain their status as the greenest of them all they have hiked up the price of the bin liners. At £2 per bag even the laziest of us are encouraged to go out of our way on a Saturday morning to save a polar bear or two.

The bags are ‘special’ bags, not your common or garden bin liner, they have a picture of a tree on them and tell you in no uncertain terms what can go inside. The word ‘STOP!’ is printed next to a picture of a battery and a bottle. I have not seen them myself but have heard if you decide to simply use a normal black bin liner and place your rubbish in the collection bins the Rubbish Police will swoop down. They will forensically examine the bag for any link to the perpetrator, a letter, a bill, a speck of DNA and once they have this the wrath of the Swiss police will be breaking down your door to shame you and then fine you.

The added benefit from all this regulation is that the Swiss walk a little taller. They know they are the greener than everyone else. I am sure they believe if Polar bears could travel, they would visit Switzerland, to eat cheese, to yodel, to ski a little and to say thank you.

How far can one take your green card carrying credentials though? You could install solar panels or a smelly seeping septic tank. You could fund a wind turbine, drive a Prius or actually pay the carbon offset when you fly. For me though if you really want to be the best and look down your nose at everyone else including the Swiss you should become a member of VHEMT.

VHEMT is the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Basically their premise is that mankind is the problem, so eliminate the problem. Thankfully they aren’t proposing everyone lies down and takes poison en-mass. No, they are proposing that people abstain from reproduction to effect a gradual reduction of man from the earth.

Personally I like this. I like their logical approach to the problem as well as the almost unpalatable solution to it. It’s logical and unthinkable in equal measure and they use this shock tactic as a means to promote their ideology. They wouldn’t include the word ‘Extinction’ in their name if they didn’t want to shock. Think about it though, simple arithmetic shows that if we all decided to have one child per couple, in a generation the worlds population would half. Within 4 generations the worlds population which currently stands at 7 Billion would be reduced to 400 million.

It’s not a bad idea really, but then I have 3 children so it’s a little late for me to be signing up.

The movement was founded by the improbably named Les U Knight and with a name like that and an ideology based on voluntary extinction I would happily stand in line to listen to him speak.

You just know it’s going to be off the wall madness, probably in a Vegas convention center and I would be there, whooping and applauding at his every word. At the very least it would be the most fun anyone could have when discussing the death of 6.6 billion people.

But if wiping out mankind isn’t your bag where else could you turn?

Well there aren’t that many places really. There are of course the usual suspects: Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth but they are not very cool. I always found such groups extremely boring and, frankly, rather dull. I don’t quite know why this is but not ever having been a huge animal lover I find it quite hard to get worked up when I hear of some animals being used for testing drugs or some other life saving things. I understand make up and other non-essential things but drugs or surgical procedures I don’t really have an issue with.

I once spent an afternoon at a surgeon-training center in Hamburg. It was a brand new facility, state of the art, using virtual operations, computer generated 3D training and the like. Computers are good to a point but for a trainee surgeon to really appreciate how to carry out the procedure properly he or she needs to use a living thing, a real living thing. Cadaver’s work but saving the life of a cadaver is somewhat tricky and I would guess the success rate is on the low side. No, there is no substitute for the real thing or as close to the real thing as possible.

Now what would you prefer?

To be the first person thing this man has carried out this particular procedure on or to know that he or she has 100’s of hours under his belt practicing on the nearest thing to the human anatomy? The animal for whom nature has chosen to give an almost human anatomy is the pig and in this facility they would operate on live pigs.

They would sedate them, operate on them and then even if the operation was successful, put the animal to sleep. It was a little shocking but I can see why it was necessary. Also as a collateral benefit the bacon sandwiches in the canteen were the best I have ever had.

I like pigs, aside from Polar bears they are my favourite animal but I still find it hard to be enthused by a group of radicals screaming about their rights. I totally understand their point but what’s their solution?

Would they be happy for their son or daughter to be cut open by a man or woman who had never actually done it for real? I doubt it. As much as I disliked the pig murdering facility in Hamburg I understood the necessity of it.

No, I will opt out of the Animal Liberation Front, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Earth Liberation Front and the brilliantly named Animal Right Militia. Also I am probably not going to be accepted into the VHEMT which is a disappointment, as I genuinely like their ideology.

I have just re-read this and realized I am coming across as someone who cares about nothing except for the £2 per bag I am forced to pay if I don’t recycle. This is not the case.

I just know that at the macro level people will not change unless they are forced to. Individually we can recycle everything in our house and fertilize our plants with human faeces if we like but this really isn’t going to change anything at all. Halving the population every generation would work but I think persuading the rest of the worlds population would be a struggle.

No the only real solution lies in finding solutions to allow people maintain their current lifestyles without them changing anything. We have our cars, central heating, Internet and toasters and will do anything we can to keep them. That includes damaging the planet beyond repair for generations to come.

Humans really are that selfish. We will continue on our path of convenient self-destruction rather than considering a restrictive alternative because it’s too much like hard work.

The political ruling classes know this as well and I safely predict legislation will never be introduced which forces us to act very differently. We won’t vote for it because lets be honest why should we, what have the polar bears, white rhinos or cute bottle nosed dolphins ever done for us?

When President Chirac gave President Bush a souvenir statue of the Eiffel Tower…President Bush looked at it and said ‘This is great! A little oil rig!’

I rest my case, whatever the hell that might be.