Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Amendment IV

Above is Amendment IV to the US Constitution. It's the one about unreasonable searches and how they are a bad thing and good stuff it is, I'm sure all will agree. The US Transportation Security Administration's intrusive regime of body scans and pat-downs is said by various members of the awkward squad to contravene this amendment. The intrusive nature of the scans is made clear by the image below.

But some insolent fellows are fighting back. Below is a t-shirt with the 4th Amendment printed in metallic ink so that it shows up nice and clear on the scanner.

Similarly inscribed socks and underwear are available including the crisp and to the point 'READ THE 4TH AMENDMENT PERVERTS' underpants.

The rabbit approves of this sort of witty, down up dissent. Get the t-shirt! Hat Tip to Fred Langa via Charon QC and welcome back to Carol via assorted indignities of the above sort at Logan International Airport.

Monday, 29 November 2010


The rabbit has for some time made intermittent attempts to educate Americans in matters cricketing. So far not much luck. It will however been gathered by some that matches between England and Australia are known as 'The Ashes'.

Ashley Kerekes, from Massachusetts didn't know that. In her innocence, she has a twitter account - @theashes. She knows nothing about cricket and much to her surprise she started receiving tweets about the Ashes match just ended in Brisbane and her followers rose from 300 to 6,100 in the course of the match.

Her boyfriend gave her the nickname 'the ashes'. Neither he nor she know why. Initially she reacted grumpily and tweeted 'I am not a freaking cricket match'.

However, she appears to have cheered up considerably after the offer of a free flight to Australia from Quantas Airlines after a 'a #gettheashestotheashes' movement on Twitter and declared her new celebrity as 'amazing'. She is reading up on the rules and will attend one of the forthcoming Test matches.

She is also selling T-shirts with 'I am not a freaking cricket match' on them. I suppose there's a business opportunity in just about everything. 'I hope no one is offended by me making t-shirts. I probably (sic) make 2 cents a shirt. I'm not trying to get rich just have fun' announced our heroine (pic below)...

ps Didn't we do well!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

X-Factor, Widders and Barmy Army

At the risk of being accused of being a snob or cultural elitist (moi?) the rabbit has to confess that he has never seen the X-Factor on tv. This has not prevented a bloke called Wagner Carrilho (above) coming to the rabbit's attention. He is a contestant on the X-Factor. Apparently he is an awful one. He can't sing, can't dance and can't do anything well generally. Apart from that, he is a 54 year old double glazing salesman and that's about it. How has the great British puiblic reacted to this state of affairs? By voting for him over and over again to the horror of the judges who apparently can barely disguise their distaste and are anxious for him to go away as soon as possible.

But he won't and there's nothing the judges can do about it. Not so long as the public keep voting for him. What exactly is going on here? And why is something similar happening on Strictly Come Dancing?

For overseas readers and the terminally inattentive, the large purplish blob above is called Ann Widdecombe. The aforesaid Ann Widdecombe, a retired Conservative politician is a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Before this, she was simply known for (a) being a 63 year old virgin (b) converting from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism in fright at the idea of women priests (c) some unpleasantness when she was Prisons Minister involving pregnant prisoners being shackled to the delivery bed when giving birth (d) looking like a hippo. Oh and the counterintuitive bit is that she is against foxhunting. Now the rabbit has actually seen a little of this programme and can comment on Widders (as she has become affectionately known since she became national treasure and everybody's favourite batty aunt) dancing abilities.

Can she dance? Nope. She is crap.

Has this stopped the public voting for her in the face of noisy condemnation from the judges? Nope. Comparably talentless political journalist John Sergeant withdrew last year (or whenever it was) when it looked like there was a serious danger that he might win. Widders has no such scruples. She's in it to win it.

Now there is plainly a pattern here. Why is the public kicking over the traces? Well, firstly, the British love a loser. It's hardwired into our DNA. As is irony. There is plainly a pair of ironic statements going on. Mostly, though it seems to be about blowing a very loud raspberry to the professionals in general and Simon Cowell in particular. There is a 'Wagner to Win X Factor’ facebook page with 44,600 members (and no doubt rising) run by a 39 year old named Mark Mordue who lives with his mother in her Newcastle council house (bless!). ‘I can’t wait to see the look on Cowell’s face if Wagner wins. I hope it teaches him a lesson' announced Mark.

In the meantime, Cowell appears to have lost the plot, denouncing fellow judge and Wagner baiter Cheryl Cole as 'mad'. Cowell also compared (male) judge Louis Walsh to (very former) Coronation Street character Ena Sharples (below).

The rabbit can only declare his satisfaction that the lunacy factor keeps cranking up nicely and express the hope that the great British public keeps voting for the no-hopers to the continued rage of assorted self-important professionals.

Turning to matters cricketing, the rabbit has not commented so far on the First Ashes Test in Brisbane. This is not through lack of interest but because - one way or the other - he can barely look. 'It’s not the despair. I can cope with the despair. It’s the hope. That’s what’s killing me' – John Cleese, Clockwise. At the end of day 4 the scores stand at England 260 & 309/1, Australia 481. It will almost certainly be a draw. Yes, a sporting contest that lasts 5 days and does not produce a result may seem weird - but in the case of the present Test also utterly compulsive. This is as good as it gets. Above is a group of Barmy Army (travelling English supporters) making a lot of noise on day 1 - and obviously annoying lots of elderly Australians.

Oh and with Hat Tip to jailhouselawyer for introducing him to them, the rabbit has become a big fan of the Daily Telegraph animal pictures of the week . The link has this week's crop. Particular fun are images 7 (a bull being chased by a crane) and 11 (a pelican with a beer bottle).

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Phew! And other matters...

Phew! The rabbit thought that he had lost the entire content of his distinguished blog except for the first part of yesterdays posting. A very unhappy rabbit ensued. But it's back now by virtue of deleting yesterday's posting and pasting a copy, minus the Janis Joplin song - which I think was causing the trouble for some obscure reason. The comments went too but I'll copy and paste them and re-post!


After that drama, a few musings. Is it necessary to be nuts to be in charge of a major European country these days? Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi and his strange statue related behaviour has figured recently here. And the less said about Russian head honcho Vladimir Putin the better. Now the spotlight turns to French President Nicolas Sarkozy (above) whose behaviour gets increasingly erratic. Sarkozy, it should be explained, is a distinctly short person mostly noted for having a tall, attractive wife. He is also noted for having a filthy temper, which does not play well with the French who like their President - well - Presidential.

Sarkozy was in the poo back in 2008 for getting abusive with a grumpy farmer (is there any other sort?) and telling him 'casse-toi, alors pauvre con'. Now the rabbit knows some French and this is very rude indeed, particularly the last word. Various online commenters have attempted translations but the rabbit is saying nuffin. In fairness to Sarkozy, the farmer had refused the Presidential attempted handshake with a rude remark of his own to the effect that he didn't want to dirty his hand.

So Sarkozy has been on his best behaviour since, he having an unpopular austerity package to put through (in the face of the rather splendid French usual reaction to anything that annoys them - namely rioting) and an election to win in 2012 (an increasingly unlikely looking prospect). Now he is at it again. The latest cause of his ire is journalists. There is a scandal bubbling under which threatens to daraw in Sarkozy relating to arranged bribes and kickbacks for submarines for Pakistan. Questioned about this, Sarkozy latched on to one journalist, tipped his little head back and went for it...

'And you! I've no evidence against you. But it would seem you're a paedophile. Who told me? I have an absolute conviction. I've seen the intelligence reports but I won't tell you which ones; I've seen someone but I won't tell you who, and it was word of mouth. But I have an absolute conviction you're a paedophile ... Can you explain yourself?'

As may be imagined, this has not been well received. German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be boring but at least she isn't nuts. And her name sounds like merkin - which is a pubic wig. What is the point of a pubic wig anyway? Jus askin.

On a personal note, the rabbit has secured a flat in London. It's nothing special and isn't as nice as the flat in Birmingham but will do for now. The move is necessary as the move to Birmingham was necessary about eighteen months ago. The actual move is 2-3 weeks away. I've done a couple of blogs on Birmingham and will do another nearer the time. I walked through central Birmingham today at lunchtime on the same route as I described a while ago in the posting here. There was a Salvation Army band today at the Bullring playing Christmas carols but the Socialist Workers Party were in their usual space addressing the passing shoppers on the topic of government of the rich, by the rich for the rich (they are against this). There were also some native South American people who play rather lovely haunting music on pipes in the middle of the (pedestrianised) High Street and, further on and round the corner, a string quartet of middle-aged ladies wrapped up warm against the cold were playing - I think - Mozart. It is time to move on but I will always have a soft spot for Birmingham, a necessary refuge in the middle of last year and continuing (for the moment)... Below is a nice Birmingham related image - the Brindley canal (yes, Birmingham does have more canals than Venice)

The South American musicians made me think of El Condor Pasa - so here it is.

The above fellow is named Janis Nords and is the male half of the restaurant visiting, non bill-paying, cigarette break taking couple featured by the rabbit here and here and known pseudonymously as 'Lupin'. Why a man is really named Janis is a mystery to the rabbit. Perhaps his parents were huge fans of Janis Joplin. Our man has now been before the criminal courts and avoided a custodial sentence. It turns out that our man is a film director of sorts - winner of best debut film at the 2009 Latvian national film festival for amateurs - but broke. Our man, the court was told, was anxious to impress his companion, described as ‘high maintenance’ and of wealthy family named Zane Berzina. She was not prosecuted as it was concluded that there was insufficient evidence she knew of the dishonesty Nords was engaged in. Hmmm...

La Berzina is standing by her man, which is nice. 'We are still together, absolutely. But I don't want to talk about what has happened. I don't need any publicity' she announced. Hauled before the Westminster Magistrates Court and after a night in the cells to reflect on the error of his ways, Nords admitted three charges of not paying for goods and services and asked for another six offences to be taken into consideration. He was sentenced to a community order with curfew, tagging and a bar from six London postcodes (the ones where the posh restaurants are). The court heard that Berzina was herself penniless and was very rude to police officers. One can only tut at such bad manners. His lawyer advised the court 'I also suspect there was an element of fantasy in Mr Nords' thinking...'

There's only one song to post with this...

On a completely different topic, the rabbit has just discovered Chinese artist Liu Bolin. What he does is seriously off centre. He paints himself - with a little help from an assistant - to blend in with his surroundings. Like so..

The above is Venice of course. And so...

Here is our man - erm - hanging by the telephone. And below is my favourite. Yup. He's there. Gets a bit Where's Willy by this point...

And here is our man 'hiding' behind someone else. Think about it...

Meanwhile the poor old bishop of Willesden has been suspended following - erm - somewhat excitable remarks about the forthcoming royal wedding. The date has now been fixed for the nuptuals, namely the 29th April. The date has an unfortunate precedent as the anniversary of the wedding of a certain Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun - a wedding that ended in homicide and suicide less than 40 hours later.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all the rabbit's American readers...

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

The rabbit would like to take this opportunity to wish all his American readers a Happy Thanksgiving! He now actually knows when it is (we don't have it here - I suppose the nearest equivalent is Harvest Festival - a very low key event by comparison). It's always the fourth Thursday in November! Unless you are in Canada apparently. The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday (the rabbit has also learned) and is the busiest day of the year if you are a plumber. This is perhaps not a thought to dwell on.

And as to what was going on below, the rabbit draws a discreet veil...

Okay, one more turkey related image...

As a parting shot and on a totally different topic, Mahal draws the rabbit's attention to Miss Plastic 2010 - an event in Hungary for, er, surgically enhanced contestants. Below is a clip for the 2009 version of this auspicious event. 'Nuff said...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Shorpy colourised and deer

The rabbit's fondness for the old photos blog Shorpy (link to left) is well-known to regular readers. Shorpy has a section of colourised (or colorized as they would have it being Americans - I must come and have a talk to you people about spelling - too many 'z's and too few 'u's), Above is a colourised photo of Shorpy Hegginbotham, the Alabama boy miner who gave his name to the blog. The image dates from 1910 by the way.

And who should we find but a young version of our old friend Evelyn Nesbit?

This image dates from 1936 and is titled Bank That Failed - Kansas. It sort of has contemporary resonance but banks aren't allowed to fail any more. Something to do with being too big...

The rabbit was fascinated by old aeroplanes as a boy. This image dates from 1918 and there is plainly a story behind it. the woman is dressed in a leather coat suggesting that perhaps she was one of what must have been the first female pilots.

This image is a strange one. It is simply known as Girl with Dog and has no name or date but may be Spanish. Is the dog real or stuffed?

Above is from 1938 and Omaha, Nebraska and is titled 'liquor store signs'.

Southern chain gang 1905. Wouldn't want to have been them. But in tribute to all those brutalised lives here is Bruce from that amazing 1985 Paris concert and Working on the Highway.

Oh and the Daily Torygraph has an online animal pictures of the week feature. Take a look. There are 30 of them. I like the deer ones and the underlying story but they are all seriously good. Enjoy!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Sprinkle dance, Len Shelley and the Surveillance State...

Okay American readers - this is (sort of) about cricket but bear with me. Hostilities resume in the greatest sporting show on Earth - The Ashes - on Thursday and the rabbit cannot wait. England have not won in Australia since 1986/7 but start as slight favourites. All is well in the England camp as can be seen from the above video diary by Graeme Swann who - as well as being the best spin bowler in the world - is a natural comedian. At about 8 minutes into the clip, the team introduce an unsuspecting world to the sprinkle dance. Take a look! Amusingly and amazingly, the sprinkle dance has wound the Australian media up - they are complaining that the insolent Poms are practising their victory dance before - erm - winning. Nice to see the Australian media in such a febrile state of mind.

I must confess to never having heard of artist Len Shelley in life but only discovered him through obituaries following his recent death. A number of his best-known works were three dimensional 'art in a box' as above - the splendidly titled Father Built Me a House But Decided to Live in it Himself.

Not to mention the even more wonderfully titled I Saw Grandfather Hoarding Tripe.

Or Leather Things Flap Their Wings at my Window. Of course they do.

And finally - erm - Henry's Parents... I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself.

Finally, while on the same - ahem - subject and without further comment, Mahal has drawn the rabbit's attention to an
inevitable consequence of the surveillance state.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Berlusconi, knobs and orgasms...

Now this is strange. Italian Prime Minister and all round disgusting creep Silvio Berlusconi has a statue dating from about 175AD of Venus and Mars in his office. It will be noted that the figure of Mars on the right has - erm - certain advantages over the same figure on the left. This is because Berlusconi has had Mars's penis restored to him at a cost of 70,000 euros (£59,500).

Apparently the new penis is equipped with a magnet. No, I don't follow that bit either. It will also be noted that Venus has re-grown her right hand, all the better to...

Oh never mind. Berlusconi had been hit by a tidal wave of criticism (and this in a country where the Prime Minister owns or controls a large swathe of the media thus avoiding those pesky contrary opinions by and large) for grandiosity, messing with antiquities and by contrast to neglect of various other national treasures, for example the site of the Pompeii excavations, in urgent need of attention.

While on the subject of knobs, the above is Grant Shapps who is presently Minister of State for Housing and Planning. Until the last election, the rabbit was happily ignorant of the existence of Mr Shapps but suddenly he is all over the media like a rash. The rabbit finds him deeply annoying, and not just as another example of the tendency of politicians to look like Alfred E Neuman. It's his oleagenous smugness methinks.

Accordingly the rabbit awards Mr Shapps the first White Rabbit Knob of the Week award...

By Way of contrast, the inaugural Golden Rabbit is awarded to the Bishop of Willesden, Pete Broadbent, who has had a huge amount of odium heaped on his head for some disobliging remarks as regards the royal engagement. You go bishop

There goes my peerage! Hat Tip to Tony. I should add that this is a joke. The rabbit is opposed to capital punishment for the happy couple - or indeed anyone else.

Finally, above is a Catalan Socialist Party election broadcast (yes, it was official and not a piece of freelancing). You never knew voting could be such good fun, did you? Hat Tip to Laci the Dog.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Killer Bunny...

The rabbit has to hop down to London for a couple of days so here to fill in the space thus caused is Killer Bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And firm but fair the white furry creature is, I'm sure all will agree.

Continuing the rabbit theme, let it never be said that White Rabbit doesn't do cute. Here is a baby rabbit with mother. Hat Tip to rabbits online, though having led a sheltered life, the rabbit pronounces himself quite mystified by this. All very odd...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Of weddings and arrests...

Above is a portrait of the last person called Katherine to be Queen of England - Katherine of Aragon here painted by Jean de Flandes as a mere Infanta. She looks pretty fed up doesn't she? As well she may have been as she was to be unceremoniously De-Queened or whatever the word is by Henry VIII with the connivance of Archbishop Cranmer, later to become an irritating blogger so that Henry could have his way with Anne Boleyn whose 'paps' (sic) he wanted to get his paws on. Well no doubt he wanted to get his paws on the rest of her too but the rabbit digresses. Anne Boleyn met with an even more disagreeable fate, namely having her head whacked off for adultery - probably on a bum rap but now the rabbit is digressing hugely.
To cut to the chase, a person calling himself 'Prince William' has got engaged to one Kate Middleton who we are now to call 'Katherine' who is thus in the frame for Queen in due course. Now the rabbit is not going to launch into a graceless anti-monarchist rant. They seem a pleasant enough young couple and at least the Prince William person cannot help the circumstances of his birth. The rabbit wishes them well. The rabbit also wishes (no doubt utterly in vain) that the most demented media overkill on the topic will go away. I am bored already and really not interested. Enough! What grates with so many people is that we are being told by the media in general and tabloid press in particular how to feel. And 'indifferent while wishing them no ill' is not an acceptable emotion. The rabbit was however pleased to see that the Daily Sport was already lowering the tone this morning with FURY OVER ROYAL KATE NAKED PHOTO, which shared the front page with the no doubt equally pertinent and informative MAN GETS CD STUCK UP BUM. The rabbit was pleased to learn that Kate - sorry Katherine - has an apparently embarrassing relative who is named Gary Goldsmith and lives in Ibiza in a house called La Maison de Bang Bang. The rabbit looks forward to hearing much from - and of - him.
Seriously, monarchy is infantile drivel. Grown-ups live in republics. So long as the head of state is elected and for a fixed term then the rabbit couldn't care less if the head of state is Lemmy from Motörhead. Actually that would be a seriousy bad idea. But at least it would be a democratic bad idea.

Meanwhile the male half of the couple featured in yesterday's posting has been arrested at L'Oranger restaurant after running out leaving behind a £1,000+ bill but was detained by waiters. The woman was arrested at a flat in Stoke Newington. It turns out that this was the fifth time the couple - who are from Latvia - have pulled this skank. In addition to the two already mentioned an £800 bill was left unpaid at the Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in Mayfair plus - erm - visits to the Glasshouse in Kew and Pearl restaurant at the Chancery Court Hotel in Holborn, each time slipping out for a cigarette break before vanishing.

It strikes the rabbit that like a lot of criminals their undoing was not knowing when to stop. Below is the scene of their demise.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Very expensive drinks bills...

The couple in the CCTV still above have just nicked out for a cigarette break between their second and third courses (this used to be known as a 'Princess Margaret' after the that person's habit of having cigarettes between courses) at top London restaurant L' Autre Pied - which for non-Francophones translates as 'the other foot. Don't ask me why the restaurant is called the other foot but it is. They have tucked into a bottle of pink Larmandier champagne at a modest £124. Plainly considering this refreshment too modest by half our couple also slurped their way through a bottle of 1997 Bollinger priced at a mere £285.

Then came the cigarette break. the staff sportingly helped them on with their coats. A plum tart and millfeuille was delivered to their table.

They never returned to eat the third course. They legged it leaving a bill for £572.74 unpaid (that's $908.96 American persons!). The restaurant's general manager is quoted as saying 'their bill was an average spend. Nothing was out of place or unusual'.

No comment...

The weird thing is that they booked the table in the name of Lupin, seemingly a reference to Arsène Lupin, a fictional French gentleman thief. Police are looking for the couple and the one detail they may have overlooked (see above) is that there is CCTV everywhere these days. That was the mistake Mary Bale the Coventry cat binner made as readers may recall.

While on the subject of very expensive rounds, Australian cricket sponsor Victoria Bitter has promised free beer for every Australian adult if Australia regain the Ashes. Somehow this very expensive promise suggests that they don't think it's going to happen...

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Michael Corridore and Quantitative Easing...

I confess that I had never heard of Sydney based photographer Michael Corridore until very recently. His photographic style has been described as minimalist, which creates a bond. The rabbit was once told by a literary agent that she didn't like the minimalist style. I didn't know I wrote minimalist. Corridore photographs minimalist. The above is called - erm - untitled, a sparse enough title one might think.

The above appears to be a Portaloo in the middle of sandflats. I don't know why or where but my curiosity is aroused which I suppose is the whole point.

A lot of his images appear to be of sandstorms or some such interruption to everyday life. What is going on?

Strangely (apart from Portaloo pic) the photographs were taken at a strange 'sporting' event - a spinoff from drag racing - in which the contestants lock their brakes and spin their real wheels until they explode. No, I don't know why people turn up to watch this either. Must be an Australian thing.

Not sure the boy is too keen on it, though...

Our man does other types of image too. I don't know where this one was taken. Maybe somewhere in the Australian outback.

This is my favourrite. Come on, fess up! You really want to know who spray painted this and what the answer was too!

Finally and to totally change the topic, as a rabbit service, here is quantitative easing helpfully explained. Let it never said that the rabbit is other than educational...