Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Let the overkill begin...

The London Olympics - which will plainly grind the city to a halt (probably literally) and suffer the hugest media overkill imaginable - is bound to bring out the contrarian in the rabbit. Hopping across London Bridge early yesterday morning, the rabbit was confronted by loads of professional photographers and their great big cameras on the east pavement. The object of their excitement? A float with the seven Olympic rings between London and Tower Bridges ...

Cue rolling of eyes. Compliments of the rabbit's homeboy Shiraz, here is a much clearer pic of the stupid thing ...

Today being the 29th February, by tradition women may propose marriage. The rabbit is open to all reasonable offers ...

And with Hat Tip to Charon QC ...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

And a happy valentine's day ...

to all that could use such greetings!

And again in French  complete with pretty people ...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Things from facebook ,,,

Belatedly, and slightly against his better judgement, the rabbit signed up to facebook a while ago and above - with apologies to anyone who has seen it on his facebook page - it was stolen from the rabbit's homeboy Shiraz's page - is informative stuff on how to be made gay. If it doesn't work complain to Jester Wools (in the unlikely event that they still exist) and not to the rabbit.

Also from facebook - via a blogger near you (she may not want naming all over the blogosphere) is some more informative stuff. Never let it said that it was not educational chez rabbit...

The rabbit mentioned top Spanish organisation the CNT in a comment on Daisy's blog - adding something to the effect that it was the only political organisation he would contemplate joining but that was there, that was then. In fact it still exists and has a membership of 10,000 - to be contrasted with a membership of 700,000 in 1919! Rather a pity that - nice banner though.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A stern ticking off ...

Foreign Secretary William Hague denounced the Syria regime as 'murderous' in the House of Commons yesterday. Above is a recent study of Hague giving Syrian tyrant Bashar Al-Assad a stern ticking off as regards the latter's state as instrument of murder. Hat Tip to Old Holborn. For the sake of completeness, and in the interest of political balance below is former prime minister Tony B. Liar showing the now deceased Libyan dictator how all right minded people held his similarly murderous kleptocracy in contempt.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Artist, Top Totty, The Walbrook and wholesome song

It seems that the entire population of the known universe is raving about just how good The Artist is and the rabbit, who went to see it last night, would like to join in the chorus of approbation. The first thing to say is what a daring project it is: in the era of 3D and the avatar, The Artist is a full length black and white silent movie - about a silent movie actor.
Could they possibly pull it off?

The answer is yes. As a fan of French film, I suspect that only the French would have the flair and imagination to try in the first place. But it works - for a number of reasons. The acting follows the convention of the silent movie, where the story is told mostly told by overstated gesture and expression - with the odd text for the more complex strands. The sets are outstandingly authentic looking - entirely convincing in fact. There are all the set pieces of early cinema - including the performing small dog. The narrative makes a good, affectionate job of conveying the cartoonishness and sentimentality of early cinema. Of necessity the story is driven by image.

And the story? Well let's just say it begins with a chance encounter, the rise of one person as another falls, apparent betrayal - and a happy ending. Otherwise go see. You won't be disappointed. Oh and hiuge credit goes to the two principal actors, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo who the rabbit was wholly unaware of before but may be slightly in love with.

Here is a really stupid story. Above is the handpump plate for a beer called - erm - Top Totty. It is brewed by Stafford based brewers Slater's and features a bikini clad young woman in its promotion and is described as 'a stunning blonde beer ... full bodied with a voluptuous hop aroma'.

Haw! Haw! Haw! (etc)

Apparently, it's not a very good beer and jokey names tend to give away the embarrassing fact of a naff product, the exception being Fat Bastard Wines, which are generally rather good but I digress. Now the House of Commons has a number of rather good bars. (Selected) members of the public are allowed in the Strangers' Bar (the rabbit has been a few times and rather fun it is too) - Top Totty was installed as a guest beer.

Oh dear ...

Enter Kate Green MP , Labour spokesperson on equality issues in full blown outrage mode. She pronounced herself 'disturbed', demanded a debate on 'dignity at work in Parliament' and further demanded the removal of the offending beer - which was done in 90m minutes flat.

I really have to say that I'm struggling to get worked up about the (former) presence of Top Totty. It hardly ranks up there with war crimes as a source of -erm - being disturbed. Perhaps Kate Green MP should get out more. The topic makes for strange bedfellows: I've just read the first comment from an UKIP member I've ever agreed with (Mike Nattrass MEP) 'This sort of knee jerk puritanism does more to damage the cause of equality than a thousand beer labels. It suggests that to be in favour of equality you must be a dour faced, insult searching misery'.

Not Kate Green's finest hour?

The rabbit has hitherto blogged without ever putting a pic of himself up- but I suppose it had to be done one fine day and the day is upon us. On Friday, he was invited to the Walbrook, a members' dining club in the City of London. so here he is (blue shirt on left) with colleague and friend It's well posh and has a number of oddities, Winston Churchill's hat in a glass case, two (not very good) original John Lennon cartoons and a completely surreal gents. Below is the toilet paper dispenser. Weird or what?

Finally, and as an apology for the appalling lapse of taste in posting Downtown with an - ahem - reference to solitary vice, a wholesome song is in order. What could fit the description better than the king of the slide guitar, Elmore James , with Dust My Broom.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Goodwin, solitary vice and Mrs Windsor

For overseas readers and the terminally inattentive, the above person is named Fred Goodwin. Until yesterday, he was Sir Fred Goodwin but had the 'Sir' bit removed - or 'cancelled and annulled' by some body no-one has ever heard of before - the 'Honours Forfeiture Committee'. Previous persons relieved of honours include Mussolini, Ceausescu and Mugabe.

The rabbit will expend few words on Goodwin, a particularly unattractive individual. In brief summation, he also as a banker with RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland) had the title of 'Fred the Shred' due to his aggressive asset stripping techniques. American readers: think Mitt Romney minus the effusive charm and social conscience. He over-reached, notably in the takeover of Dutch bank ABN-AMRO and in 2009 Goodwin presided over a loss of £24.1 billion - the biggest in British corporate history. Cue imminent collapse of RBS and with it the British banking system. 

Oh well done, Sir!

The net result was an inevitable Government bail out - the alternative being presumably an economic system based on barter with bright coloured beads - with the result that RBS is now 87% owned by the public. The result for Goodwin was a huge pension (despite huffing and puffing from Government circles about 'no reward for failure') involving him trousering £703,000 per annum (that's $1,113,046 a year to get by on, American readers). Oh and he had add on benefits. Naturally. Like for example a £2.7 million tax free lump sum). After a public outcry, Goodwin's pension was reduced to a mere £342,000 per annum).

Cue the next public outcry. The current head honcho of RBS, a person named Stephen Hester, was about to be paid a 2011 bonus falling just short of £1 million. For exactly what reason remains obscure and it will be called that the public have an 87% stake in RBS since riding to the rescue following Goodwin's depredations. Cue general outrage. The Labour Party in a rare example of it showing signs of having a spine, was prepared to take the topic of the bonus to the House of Commons and force a vote. 

The government wouldn't have liked that. 

Surprise, surprise. On Sunday last, Hester graciously announced he would waive the bonus. Not that he was leant on by a government horrified at the idea of being seen voting for bankers' bonuses or anything like that. Oh no...

So two days later, Goodwin is stripped of his knighthood (given for 'services to banking' as you ask). Now the rabbit views the honours system as nonsense on stilts but there is a distinct whiff of convenient scapegoating in the timing of this. It's always easier to go for gesture politics calculated to make the government look good as opposed to actually addressing the substantive issues isn't it 'Dave'?

It is a short step from bankers to - oh never mind, just change one consonant. The rabbit has long known that Pictures of Lily is about masturbation but was shocked to learn that Downtown is too. And that Petula Clark looked so demure...


Finally, the rabbit was amused to Learn of Leanne Wood, a member of the Welsh assembly. Ms Wood - she being like the rabbit of republican opinion - called a person often described as 'The Queen' as 'Mrs Windsor' in the Welsh Assembly. Some Labour sycophant complained and Ms Wood (a Plaid Cymru - that's Welsh nationalist for overseas readers - member)  was ordered to leave the chamber. As can be seen below.