Archive for the The Wicker Man list Category

Cheap Joke of the Day

Posted in Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Irregular Features, Tenuous Link of the Day, The Wicker Man list with tags , , , , , , , on March 21, 2011 by awickerman

Warplanes over Libya! Revolution in Yemen! The continuing existence of the retarded fool Christian Wolmar!

I am concerned about none of these things, instead I am laughing at the name of an entirely innocent US warship that happens to be sailing to Libya; the mighty USS Ponce.

That I find this amusing to the extent of ignoring most of what it’s actually doing off Libya tells you a great deal about the human race. Or perhaps just about me, who knows?

Another Wickerman Volunteer

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, Rantings, The Wicker Man list with tags , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by awickerman

So a Labour MP manages to irritate me and neatly explain why I will never vote for the current version of the Labour Party and think less of anyone who does. Her particular words of wisdom;

An MP has backed calls for the DNA screening of all men in Bristol as part of the hunt for the murderer of Jo Yeates.

That MP being Kerry McCarthy who, quite aside from anything else, is in favour of ID cards, against a proper inquiry into Iraq and felt she was worth £175,000 in expense last year making her the joint 35th greediest MP which, given the intense competition among the money grabbing rat bastards in Westminster, is quite an achievement.

But back to the point, she now wants to DNA test 150,000 men (420,000 people in Bristol city, half are men, 30% of those are either very young or very old). As she herself says;

“Quite how the police would organise this I don’t know,” she added.

Which tells you all you need to know about the Labour way of thinking, it’s the announcement and the press statement that matter. ‘Sending a message’ and all that jazz not actually getting anything done, unless of course it’s raising taxes, pissing money against the wall or starting wars in foreign countries, in which case go for it.

I don’t really need to list out all the problems with this monumentally bad idea, but I will because what the hell?

  • Does the killer live in Bristol City or the outskirts? What if he’s just outside the catchment? What if he’s in Greater Bristol (pop 1million)? or Bath? Despite the best efforts of many governments, petrol is still affordable and despite Network Rail’s work to the contrary there are still trains in the South West.
  • How the hell do you actually arrange testing that many people in anything like a sensible time frame? Do you stop every single other DNA test in the country or accept the wait and take months. Also how do you pay for this, sure the testing will be relatively cheap (assuming you get a bulk discount) but the manpower of door to door swab testing 150,000 people is terrifying.
  • How do you handle those who refuse? I know I would on principle and there would be others. As far as I can tell the standard police line from past mass trawls is ‘We treat them all as suspects, investigate them and then arrest them’. That’s a hell of a lot of extra work and manhours and you’ve just spent the entire police budget on DNA testing. Plus it is just begging for an Independent Police Complaints investigation and alot of wrongful arrest suits. Hell they’re already facing one from the landlord, do they really want more?
  • Related point, what if the killer isn’t stupid enough to hand over their DNA? There will be others and surely you can’t treat all of them as suspects. Actually scratch that, she was one of the Labour MPs in favour of 90 days without trial so she probably would lock everyone up.
  • Finally (though I’m sure there are others) are you sure on the suspect? What if he is over 70 or under 16, it’s not unknown and you’ve just added a few thousand more targets, plus terrified half the tabloids with ‘Police DNA testing 13 year old boy!’ headlines, which will go down well. And you are sure the killer is a man aren’t you? After all the reports say there wasn’t a sexual element, so how are jumping to the conclusion the suspect is a man again?

Now to be fair the idea has worked in the past, the article mentions the murder of Louise Smith where the killer was indeed stupid enough to give his DNA despite moving to South Africa. But that was back in 1998 (1995 for the crime) so why such an old example? I know why the BBC mentioned it (Beeb supporting Labour idea non-shocker) but why such an old one, surely it must have been tried since?

And of course it has, it just hasn’t worked. Here’s one of the more recent goes from only last year, the case of Michelle Samaraweera who got a blaze of publicity and a big DNA sweep but to no effect. Hence why they relaunched the murder enquiry a few weeks back. There are of course others and as far as I can tell none successful, perhaps why the poor BBC article writer had to go back over a decade in order to find something positive to say about the idea.

For all my many, many, many doubts about the current mob in government it’s incidents like this that remind me to thankful that we don’t have to have idiots like Kerry McCarthy in power any more. Because truly the Wicker Man would be too good for them.

Windmills – Still Rubbish

Posted in Mining, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, Rantings, The Wicker Man list with tags , , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by awickerman

Durham University have sent one of their research students to look at offshore windmills, I’m not sure why, perhaps he had offended them in some way. In any event he has come back and worked out exactly how good/awful they are, using numbers rather than the vague insults and projections I’m usually forced to rely on. The summary is here with the bewitching title;

UK offshore wind farms: must do better”

Which, while accurate, is kind of like saying ‘Harold Shipman: must stop killing people’, it’s a nice idea, but it’s not going to happen.

So why must the windmills do better, well they were only actually available 80% of the time. That’s not generating electricity 80% of the time, that’s just potentially available to generate some electricity 80% of the time, the actual load factor (how much of the total theoretical production was actually produced) was far lower. As we saw last time on off-shore windfarms that ain’t good. The deep ff-shore windmills would hope to be available 90% of the time, if the ones in shallow waters can’t manage it what chance in the middle of the North Sea?

On the plus side the costs weren’t as bad as feared at a mere £70 per MWh (Not counting the fact taxpayers were been fleeced by the government to provide the subsidy to build the windmill, which then produces the expensive electricity your electricity provider is legally compelled to buy. Bastards).

Sure that’s more pricey than coal, say £45 per MWh for the average European coal fired plant, but it could have been a lot worse. You could be buying electricity in Germany where they have to contend with lignite power station trying to generate electricity by burning muddy twigs and costing fortune while doing so. Then there are the proper coal burning German power stations which have to buy coal from DeutscheSteinKohle, a company who’s mines really should be closed, but aren’t because the German government really likes miners and wants to carry on paying £200,000 a year per miner to keep them mining over-priced coal no-one outside Germany wants. Then there is the German solar industry which continues to cost a fortune, and of course they subsidies their own windmills.  Basically it all costs a fortune, apart from Nuclear and Russian Gas, which is probably why the Germans use so much of both.

Today’s thought for the day; Chris Huhne is a twunt who will be one of the first into the Wicker Man come the revolution.

A Wicker Man Short

Posted in The Wicker Man list with tags on June 8, 2010 by awickerman

A Wicker Man candidate in brief. Today’s deserving victim is – Nick Palmer.

The former MP for Broxtowe (Nottingham) he’s got his ‘You were kicked out by the voters’ cash to reacclimatise him to having a real job. This amounted to the substantial sum of £54,000, which is annoying but not enough to get him a place in the Wicker Man.

Mr Palmer’s crime is that after receiving this big pile of cash (on top of damn near £160k in expenses last year including employing his wife) he decided he just hadn’t had enough of milking the tax payer and so signed on. Worse he has the cheek to claim it’s ‘to learn about the system’ as politicians ‘should have experience’ which is clearly bollocks. If he actually cared about the system he would have looked years ago, while on the second point he lost his seat after being rejected by the voters, therefore he is not actually a politician. He is in fact an ex-politician and therefore by his own logic doesn’t need to know.

It is in fact obvious that 13 years of being on 64 grand a year (plus  maxed out second home expenses), employing relatives and then a giant redundancy package weren’t enough. Nick just had to take even more tax payer money just to feed his addiction, from the look of it he was straight in Monday morning desperate for his fix of someone else’s money.

Nick Palmer you stand condemned for your greed and shameless avarice, that plus your horrific voting record mean there can be but one sentence;  death by flames in the Wicker Man when the time comes.

Further Candidates for the Wicker Man

Posted in The Wicker Man list on February 18, 2010 by awickerman

A somewhat unusual choice this time, it is not a person or group of people but instead the Great Crested Newt which must be condemned to the fiery pagan death of the Wicker Man. There may well be others more deserving but those damned newts have it coming at some point so why not as soon as possible? After all Wicker Men are a sustainable resource, no danger of the world hitting ‘Peak Wicker’.

What has the GCN, as I will henceforth abbreviate it to save my fingers, done to deserve this? get in the way mainly, I was reminded of it’s annoying habit only today by this story

Once the water level drops to approximately 1m above the dock bed, specialist contractors will go into the dock to safely remove and relocate any fish and aquatic life that might be present.

You may think specialist contractor is merely fancy words for ‘Bloke with bucket’ but oh no it’s a specialist field particularly as I happen to have been tipped off the problem on the site is, as so often, newts. Thus you are legally compelled to forsake your bucket and consult a Newt Translocator who, despite superficially resembling a man with a bucket, is completely different as he has a licence from the Environment Agency. And a bucket.

All of this may be acceptable if the GCN were a rare species, endangered the world over and just clinging onto a few rare habitats.  But they aren’t, that’s the problem. You can barely throw a brick without hitting one of the damn things  and it is a lucky engineer who hasn’t had to deal with severe newt related delays. Sure they are rare in continental Europe (they may well be a delicacy in France, almost everything else is), that’s why they made the EU habitats directive, but the more geographically aware will have noticed the UK is not the continent and thus isn’t in fact the same.

You could argue it is unfair to blame the newts for this, it is the politicians who passed the laws. And certainly I do, hence why the will be joining the GCN in the Wicker Man, but I feel the newt itself must shoulder a large part of the blame just for deliberately choosing building sites to live in. Or worse turn up during the survey then bugger off after all the money has been spent.

However until the Great Crested Newt can be encased in flaming wicker I recommend installing suitable fencing to keep them in or out as required. That or do what the perhaps less reputable contractors do and quietly dispose of the buggers and then tell no-one.

Candidates for the Wicker Man

Posted in The Wicker Man list on January 31, 2010 by awickerman

Given the title it is all but a requirement to assemble a list of those who most deserve to be placed there.

After careful consideration the first choice pretty much has to be; Nicholas Cage and everyone involved in the Wicker Man remake. Perhaps a little harsh and certainly a little late but that’s no excuse. If it were merely a bad film, and make no mistake it’s terrible in almost every way, it would be a matter of indifference to me, indeed I may well have reveled in it’s demented ridiculousness (If you didn’t laugh when Nicolas Cage in a bear suit punched random evil woman #74 then your soul is tragically lacking in joy).

However it decided to take and besmirch the name of a quite outstanding film, I’d call the original a horror film but it isn’t really and indeed the fact it’s so hard to categorise merely increases it’s magnificence. It does of course go without saying the remake is in on way shape or form a horror film, unless one counts the existential horror of seeing the original so violated.

Rather than outline exactly why it’s so terrible I offer you this comparison, the penultament scene of each film before Edward is being dragged of to the Wicker Man;

Original;

Sergeant Howie: I believe in the life eternal, as promised to us by our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Lord Summerisle: That is good, for believing what you do, we confer upon you a rare gift, these days – a martyr’s death.

In that brief exchange you can get a feel for the entire film, the characters and the conflict between them.

Remake;

Edward Malus: OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH! OH, THEY’RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAGGHHH!

I would say this sums up the film, but alas it lacks the rampant misogyny and doesn’t contain Cage beating up a woman so it’s doesn’t really do the remake justice. Not that the remake deserves justice of course.

So there you have it, a watertight case as to why Nicholas Cage has earned a place in the Wicker Man when the time comes.

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