Z is for Zoo!



The Pachyderm Filtering Club sources its drugs from South-East Asia, and thanks to Dublin Zoo veterinarian Anthony Bennis, converts raw cannabis into difficult to analyse but high-grade elephant effluence that the police don’t even want to look at.

A wrecked Indian elephant (Photo courtesy of Howe1634)

The Nelly Memory Loss Prevention Society, meanwhile, is a rival club dedicated to undermining certain activities of the former association.


WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Two more wrecked elephants. Photo © Susan Bein

Young yokel politician causes hassle for babysitter ATOZCHALLENGE


Y is for SATYRE:

YOUNG  POLITICS: GET INVOLVED!!!

A local sixteen-year-old representative of Irish political party Fianna Fáil's youth wing, Jeremy McMahon (16), of Bantry, County Cork, had little explanation for why he aided and abetted the hiding of seven- and nine-year-olds Lar (7) and Darragh (9) Willis from their babysitter for three hours, following a daring escape from their family home last weekend via their first floor bedroom window.

Babysitter Sally Pearce was frustrated by Jeremy's refusal to assist in the return of the two boys, whose parents had gone out for an evening meal at a local fish restaurant.  When Sally noticed the boys had escaped, she went out onto the street, asking Jeremy to help in locating them. It was immediately apparent that although he knew where they were, he wasn't going to assist in their return.

"You're like, such a sap!" she said, storming away

Image courtesy of @SarahSecord.


Secretary of the local branch of Ogra Fianna Fáil Jeremy said:
"I think Sally is all prim! She thinks she's Miss Perfect! With her snub nose and blonde hair! But she's like, an eejit! I just wanted to take the wind out of her sails!"

The two boys volunteered to return to their home before their parents' return later that evening.

Jeremy is currently seeking volunteers to help out in the upcoming local and European elections for the party.

X is for XOPlanets!!! AtoZ Challenge

Exoplanets are MANSPLAINED to women, children and the elderly!

Our intrepid reporter goes to great lengths to explain what an exoplanet is! Watch as he gets his facts mixed up! Gasp in awe at his elbows, for easy escape! Watch as he is nearly abducted by aliens!





W is for Writing. Writing tips what I've heard and stuff - AZ Blogging Challenge


Something of a continuation of this:
http://ragtaggiggagon.blogspot.ie/2013/02/very-inspiring-blogger-award.html

Research:

I might lose a piece of my own writing or some "research". The research could be an article, something on which I want to base a scene. It could be how someone reacts in an explosion's shockwave, an emotional reaction to being cheated on or dumped, how the poppy plant is harvested in Afghanistan, or whatever else. I mope for an hour. Then I think "Okay, I've read (or written) it once anyway." I'll write the scene, find my old writing or the article later, and I won't need to change a thing. I think we have a remarkable tendency to - even in conversation - file things away to be pulled out a week or a decade later, to be used in our lit.

Writing Contests

Writing contest adjudicators claim that they prefer that you send an entry in early rather than at the last minute. They claim that your entry will not be penalised for not being fresh in the noggin come deadline day. But check out the format of the contest to verify if this is the case. If the competition judge is sent a shortlist of entries after a larger group of examiners has read the stories and whittled them down, you're probably not being harmed with early entry.

However, I've found that certain contests or agents tend to rank stories that I've sent the week or the day of the deadline a lot higher, than if I sent them a month or two earlier. FACT! From my experience, an entry sent a day or two before the deadline is in with a better chance than one sent two months earlier. (With the exception of one midnight delivery, where the envelope was handed in to a security guard. I never heard from them again, although I had done well on two previous non-consecutive occasions in this contest. The story was probably rubbish. GROVER CLEVELAND ATE MY GERBIL!)

Also, avoid sending submissions anywhere over a weekend if at all possible. Snail mail is comparatively irrelevant, but a publisher or agent or contest judge comes in on Monday morning and there's a bunch of To Dos in the Inbox...I just think that it's better to send stuff during the week, when people might just be a little less busy, and they might have the time to devote to your email.

JETTISON YOUR BEST LINES
The mark of a true writer is his or her ability to make edits, and to cut the best lines from his or her work in order to tell the story.
DON'T do this. What are you, a moron? Whoever came up with this notion probably has better ideas than I have, and plenty to go round in a story or narrative. People can take it to mean: "That's my novel finished... now I just need to take out these dozens of lines that I love... and we're done! Masterpiece completed!"
This self-flagellating stuff has been given far too much credence in writerly circles. And it's usually espoused by people who don't write as well as you do. Okay? If you're going to cut lines, cut the bad ones. If the plot doesn't allow for the scene where you've cut your best lines, use them elsewhere. (I GET that this is the message. But the kill-your-darlings message has gone too far.)

USE THE INTERWEB
So I'm looking at airliner and air traffic control transcripts at the moment to see how they talk over the radio. It's not gonna be taken verbatim, but I need to give the conversation I am constructing a little bit of authenticity for a sci-fi story that has little or nothing to do with present day air traffic control.

If you have a scene set in a hotel lobby, go visit a fancy hotel website. One of the first images that will fade in and out in their fancy-pants header thingamejig.jpeg GIF png on the homepage is invariably going to be a beautiful reception desk and a big goldy feckin staircase, and pseudo-peripteral columns with acanthus leaves on the top, and stuff. Write down what you see. That's your hotel description right there.

Most importantly of all: Pssst! Go write!

V is for Very Evil Kids' TV Presenter ATOZCHALLENGE

A case of not knowing what I'm gonna say next for this post. I should've scripted it better. The cameraman told me what to say! Also, the video is too long. (You'll get the gist after the first verse and chorus.)

Kids ought to have nightmares with something like this. I have other ideas for this daft character, but it's a matter of time and shooting the footage.



UNRELIABLE NARRATORS IN BRANDON TOROPOV'S JIHADI ATOZ CHALLENGE




Yusuf's novel, JIHADI, has made the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. It features unreliable narration, and a brilliant central character, Theolonius Liddell, whose life experiences have resulted in both a need to excel and in mental illness. Another character suffers from inoperable brain cancer: The upshot is plenty of uncertainty and second guessing. Much of the beauty of the novel for the reader is trying to discern fact from fiction within the novel's narrative - although this great work operates on many levels, and the thrilling story can readily be taken at face value.

Download JIHADI at Amazon UK or at Amazon US, then read and review it now!

U is for Unreliable: UNRELIABLE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Short story contest A-Z Blogging Challenge

CONTEST RULES FOR THE UNRELIABLE SHORT STORY CONTESTS
:

Your short story must not contain any racism or violence of a sexual nature. However, your short story CAN feature characters who are racist, and no more than five (5) kicks to the testicular region of a male character's anatomy - provided these kicks do not take place in a bedroom.

Our adjudicator this year is the Grand Old Dame of Literature, Carla Bright. Carla (68) started writing last year when she retired from her golf club chairwomanship (Ladies' Committee). She doesn't ask for much, but she likes big font, and she'll be looking for stories that shine. (She says she's a sunny individual.)

US spelling only. We are not aware of any other forms of spelling, so do yourself a favour and learn to spell American.

If the story has been translated from another language, then Вы должны привести переводчика и оригинального автора.

For more contest rules, visit Yusuf Toropov's site here:

http://brandontoropov.blogspot.com/2014/04/unreliable-submission-guidelines.html



 



T is for ThursThreads and FridayPhrases

Two writerly things that are a lot of fun. 


Thursday Threads runs under the Twitter hashtag #ThursThreads.

Every Thursday in or around the early afternoon according to our Greenwich clock, there is a Flash Fiction competition run by Siobhan Muir on her wunnerful site. A line is taken as a prompt from the previous week's winning story. Limits are a minimum 100 to a maximum of 250 words.

Another great writerly thing is the #FridayPhrases, #FP hashtag Friday Phrases tweet-sharing community.

Run under the @fridayphrases Twitter account mainly by Amy Good @amicgood and sometimes Willow Becker @willowbecker, you can tweet to the account and include the hashtag. If you're already known to the FP peeps, you can jettison the handle, and simply incorporate the #FP tag if your spacing is at a minimum. If the tweet gets overlooked by @FridayPhrases - which will favorite and retweet your tweets in general, you can tweet 'em to let 'em know. There is a theme every week.

(This has never happened to me. But the lovely organisers did tweet me at one point to ask if they had overlooked my tweets due to a rhyme-related misunderstanding.)

Flash fiction on a Thursday, and microfiction is the order of the day on Friday, in a bite-sized tweet.

Ehhh...character driven stuff. I am frequently amazed by how wonderful a poem can be formatted with carriage returns in a tweet, or how amazingly poignant or funny the tweets and stories can be.

Socks for Christmas


My sister bought me a lovely pair of socks one year for Christmas instead of a second set of earphones. The socks had a bald man's head on them with a caption that said "I'm not bald, I'm just taller than my hair!"





I always thought it strange that the socks (manufactured for one's feet) should carry this message pertaining to a hairless head, at the other end of the body. Needless to say, there are too many holes in the socks for me to comfortably wear them any more. But I hit upon a great idea - I brought them to a jewellery manufacturer the other day, and had the pair attached to hoop earrings that dangle from my lobes. 

Now my socks convey their wonderfully self-deprecating message much closer to my head, and I no longer have to expose my ankles and look like a complete idiot in order to get a laugh!

R is for Research: A-Z Blogging Challenge: Social Media Insight Alarming to Social Media Corporations

R is for Research! (Market and otherwise.)


In a research survey conducted via a stealth marketing operation over the last six months by Google, Facebook, China, Twitter, YouTube, Windows-Microsoft, and the National Security Agency, more than half of online shoppers in the European Union believe that corporations with a large social media presence are less trusted than those with a small or non-existent one. In the interests of disclosure, Google controls this site but not its content.

Millions of consumers' emails and messages were monitored to gauge public opinion. The above corporations, agencies and countries were a fraction of those used to obtain information.

"In a joint venture like this, any sites that we couldn't monitor through our own services, we can access anyway," claimed a Chinese official. "So, the dating site PlentyOfFish and the retailer Amazon didn't have to sign up to our survey. We took their data."

Shockingly, it transpired that consumers were more likely to trust
companies with a smaller online presence than those with a big presence.

Why?

"I don't know if I should write a negative review," wrote Raquela Massima of Southern Europe - currently living in Frigiliana, Spain - to a friend in the UK, in a WhatsApp message on December 16, 2013. "But I got a face cream on Amazon last week, and I broke out in a rash after using it."


R is for Raquela.


"Amazon is a watch word," replied her friend, Tabatha Gallagher, of Clanawley in Northern Ireland.

"Huh?" Raquela asked.

"Don't talk about it on here," Tabatha said. "Just shut up. WhatsApp=FB. I'll give you a bell. x"

"LOL," Raquela replied. "U're mad. x"

In the Viber conversation that followed an hour later, from a wifi hotspot in Swanlinbar, in the Republic of Ireland to the residence of Raquela - where a D-Link wireless router is connected to an Ethernet fiber optic socket - Tabatha explained to Raquela that Amazon might charge her a second time if they thought she was going to complain. She said that "That happened to a friend here. She wrote a bad review a few months ago and she was charged a second time. She complained about the second charge. They said it was a glitch on the system. She asked to be reimbursed, and then they just emptied her credit card. She's homeless now."

Raquela expressed her disbelief at this turn of events - and whether it was related to the bad review. She said that she would write a bad review of her moisturiser, and see what would result. Unfortunately, her faith in those companies with large social media presences can no longer be confirmed. A month ago, Raquela's own online activity and purchases were curtailed significantly since her home was seized by her mortgage provider due to failure in maintaining payments.

Q is for Qapla'

Q is for Quick: This is the quickest post I've ever written. Attach picture...and...
WE'RE OUTTA HERE!!!

You wish, people! Q is for Qapla'! This is the Klingon word for Success. Here is a joke about Klingons. You can let me know if it is a success:

Q. How to you spot a Klingon in a turbolift?

A. He is the one with the GAGH* wriggling in his beard!

Could YOU spot a Klingon in YOUR turbolift?

*Gagh is Klingon worm food.

For more Trek related fun, check out the Star Trek Dating picture sketch!!!

O is for OVER THE TOP Misogyny AZ Blogging Challenge


For the serious infraction of Driving While Female, Saudi ladies have to sign a pledge saying they won't do it again before they're released. Then, the men-folk are called in to collect the women. The man has to sign a pledge to say that "his" woman will be kept away from the driving seat. I wouldn't wish that responsibility on any man. Would you?

Every year, hundreds of these poor men are forced to sign a promise that their out-of-control sisters, wives, mothers and daughters are going to stop driving. Can't we stop this madness? How can these men be prevented from breaking the law because of their loopy womenfolk?

It's getting tyred, people.




Saudi Arabia ought to either kill ALL women in the country RIGHT NOW, or allow women to drive. Seriously. And if these women need help parking, HELP THEM.

Every woman I know parks better than I can. And three cats I also know are better at parking than me, when they put their differences aside and start working together as a team. Shout out to Pepper, Marmalade, and Mr. Tibbles! Coz when it comes to the Internet, you can never have enough cats.

While we're here, a great cat-related site I recently found is below:

http://www.thedailymews.com/

It's run by the wonderful @Lazypaws.

And by the way, I AM a very good driver, except for the parking (and the driving).


At the time of writing, Amnesty US has a petition asking the Saudis to let the women drive. Sign it here.

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.8850833/k.3B78/I_Support_Saudi_Women_Drivers/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp

N is for Novel and aN Early Childhood AZ Blogging Challenge

An Early Childhood is an ongoing blog novel.


It's a parody of misery memoirs such as Angela's Ashes, by the great Frank McCourt. The hero is a champion bodhrán player, literary figurehead, freedom fighter, and Irish television presenter called Paddy Flanagan.

The first chapter is here. It's set in what could be described as a loose approximation of the very early 20th century.

There are a number of coming of age novels (such as those by Mark Twain) winked at in the story. For instance, a parody of The Kite Runner, alongside some elements of Angela's Ashes.

A Frank O'Connor short story parody (First Confession) starts here, after which Paddy ends up very unwell in hospital.

Another Frank O'Connor parody - Guests of the Nation - can be found here. Other references to follow for the ensuing tale - when Paddy travels to England to inform Dyll of the death of her lover, a British soldier called Eaglekins - which can be found here - include The Crying Game movie directed by Neil Jordan, and Roddy Doyle's A Star Called Henry.

A parody of The Apprentice can be found here.

The BBC time travel series Ashes to Ashes and the Back to the Future movie franchise - alongside Harry Potter, which is being blogged about in the A-Z by Michelle Greene here at In Medias Res - are cited when Paddy travels to the world of the fairies from Platform Seven and a Bit in Dublin's Pearse Street station, to take on a warlock who's been giving him more than a little hassle. Also winked at are Tom McCaughren's excellent Run with the Wind books, and The DaVinci Code.


A parody of the Irish language short story Leite Dhonncha Pheig by Padraig O Siochru is found here.

A parody of the Salmon of Knowledge story found in Fionn McCumhail of Irish Fianna mythology is here.

Lots of parodies! Parody on Wayne! All the best!

M is for MNirvana...AZ Blogging Challenge

If music be the food of love, play on. M is for MUSIC.



So I'm a little out of shape. Yes. Tis accurate. No body dysmorphia for Fatty Two Bellies here, oh no! In the middle of this, intensely aware of my "Shatner belly" under the spotlights, I did a self-conscious "Dance like Boris Yeltsin" and subsequently said "Gimme a minute" for a couple of bars, feigning exhaustion.

But playing Peter Pretend with the coronaries has its benefits. I was then blessed with the good fortune, honour and immense privilege of being joined in an assist to finish off the song by the incredible vocalist from Twisted Sisters. They is an 80s cover band and they is very good. Soft Cell, Human League et al.

That chap's Kiss (Prince) thing on the night was syooooo-poib!

(If the video doesn't play of me karaokein', lemme know!)




L is for Lemons AZ Blogging Challenge

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

When jewellery designer and farmer's housewife Fidelia Hawkins heard allegations concerning her husband's alleged string of affairs, she took the string and made a beautiful necklace out of it.
Some of the affairs Fidelma discovered on the farm (NOT ACTUAL DEPICTION)


The affairs themselves - which she found out about on the family farm - are now bound in Swarovski crystals! Newly single Fidelia (32) is happy to showcase her jewellery at the Chuntford Village Fair on Maundy Thursdee.


K is for Kangaroo

YT and RG 
Post Originated via fellow A-Z blogger and author supreme Yusuf Toropov (YT). (I am RG.) After more than twelve hours of prompts and suggestions over what to write about, Yusuf wrote to me with a wild and goading accusation. Our near verbatim email conversation is below.

YT: My friend RG attempted for months to work a kangaroo into the plot of my novel JIHADI: A LOVE STORY, but he was unsuccessful. Rich, two questions. First, why were you so fixated on this? And second, are you yourself, as so many have suggested, a kangaroo?
RG: This is a kangaroo court you have me in front of, Yusuf. I will not kowtow to your accusations. I simply implied that your novel - which deals with the frequently bellicose nature of US foreign policy, the poisonous attitudes of a minority of its servicemen, conversion to Islam, extremism in the Middle East, and a cat - could have also done with a kangaroo. I asked you on numerous occasions to turn your hate-filled imam into a kangaroo, and to counter this by turning your more sympathetic and beautifully rendered character Fatima into a kangaroo, for the purposes of balance. But these suggestions fell on deaf ears.
WTF YOU LOOKIN' AT?
YT: Are marsupials anywhere to be found in your forthcoming epic sci-fi hilarity THE QUANTUM WHISPERER, wherein time traveler Keir Tremayne attempts to escape a black hole, rewrite his own plotline, and keep the universe safe from nefarious Russians? And why didn't you directly address the issue of your own personal kangaroo-ness? Something to hide? Well? Don't stare at the colored lights. Say something.
RG: I might throw in an extraterrestrial koala. A Mars-Supial? If you check my blog, I have only once mentioned the word kangaroo. I have no marsupial bias either way, and I resent the implication.


YT: I'm changing this channel. But beware. I have photographs.


J is for Judge Judy A-Z Blogging Challenge

The case is surreal...the people unreal...Judge Judy!















AND SO THE CURTAIN CLOSES ON THIS WHOLE SHODDY POST!!! THE END!

H is for Health Queries answered AZ Blogging Challenge


Q.

If I mix a "good bacteria" rich yogurt drink with my morning Smoothie, it's absolutely delish! But I'm wondering if the citric acid in the Smoothie kills off the good bacteria in the yogurt drink? I'd take them as separate shots if that's the case - I just like the taste.


A.

The short answer to this question is Yes or No. But there is a reason this mix tastes so good, and it's Nature's Way of letting you know that you're on the right cocktail track - or as dieticians call it, the "cocktrail". It's not lewd or rude - this is just what it's called.

Yes, the good bacteria is destroyed by any bitter acid in the Smoothie as soon as contact is made between the two liquids. Citrus fruits contain "Critic Acid" - and it's not called Critic Acid for any old reason. Its very criticism destroys other things that are trying to grow.

However, once this bitter, critic acid attacks the bacteria, the corpses of the good bacteria are then transported through the gullet, where they rot and fester along the intestinal walls, ultimately flowering into a fungal "Zombie Miracle Shield".



Read more about the marvellous benefits of good bacteria from delicious yogurt drinks here!

###
 

Q.

Unfortunately, I've developed a spotty rash on my hmmm hmmm. I went for tests and I discovered that I've been infected with a touch of How's-your-father?.

I only noticed - quite recently - a similar rash on my husband's dooh dah. He claimed that he hadn't played away, but I put two and two together, and I realised (after a bit of a sneaky snoop) that he's been conducting a number of affairs - some of them in our very marital bed! I went through his phone and I contacted as many of his conquests as I could to let them know that they ought to get tested for How's-your-father?. But how should I pursue the matter?

A.

You've painted quite a picture there! What you need to do is keep following the "cocktrail". It's not lewd or rude - it's just what the experts call it. Phone every other woman in his address book, and set up a strike team to beat your chap up! That way, he is unlikely to play away from home ever again.


###

Q.

I am four stone over my healthy weight. I want to wear an amazing tuxedo, which I inherited from my grandfather. I've a wedding to attend in six months time where I will be best man - have you got any weight loss tips so that I can fit into that tux?


A.
Certainly! What I suggest you do is maybe think about losing a stone of weight every six weeks or so. That way - when it gets to the date of the wedding - you will be perfect! Problem solved!

NO MORE HEALTH QUERIES ANSWERED TOMORROW!

G is for ? A to Z Blogging Challenge

 I'm stuck for a G in this Blogging A-Z. So it's a bit of a rush job, this one!

G IS FOR GrrrrrRANDOM!!!


FOR THE MEAT EATERS:

G IS FOR GOATS

Where is all the goat meat? And why aren't we eating this lean protein? What's with all the beef and the lamb and the pork and not much goat going round? Shut up and pass me some of that nanny! BARK! BARK!

FOR THE TECHNOLOGY

G IS FOR GAMMA RADIATION
I saw the bst minds of my genratn destryd by gamma radiatn.

And finally, for the PHILOLOGISTS:

G IS FOR GERUND:
Can any philologists tell me what a gerund is? And what's a philologist? Also, and did the Bible Code actually happen?

HTE END

F is for the Fake Full Irish Breakfast - AZ Blogging Challenge


Surprise your friends and neighbours with this wonderful Breakfast Enhancements and Accessories Fake Breakfast.

The only thing that's real in the Breakfast Enhancements and Accessories range is the wheatbread cracker and cheesY S.P.R.E.A.D.  - and these evergreen food items come with the kit. Everything else on the plate is made of polyurethane rubber.

Flip over that little sunny-side-up egg on the plate, and it'll tell you that it's Made in South Korea.

What a great way to fool your friends into thinking that you are eating a big breakfast. The omelettes are made from the very best quality stretch-rubber, and they wrap around towel racks or steering wheels for easy storage!

To continue the charade, fill a mug or two with tomato ketchup or garlic & herb sauces and add milk for the effect of the ubiquitous breakfast soup. And don't be afraid to fake up fruit juices with some diluted cooking oil or grease, scraped from the bottom of the oven. See your flatmates or neighbours off with a wave, bite into the cheese cracker, and get up ten minutes early and set the whole thing up the next morning, to keep them fooled!


With a range of three different breakfast choices - some with fried, some with scrambled or some with omeletted eggs - don't be afraid to mix and match. It'll shake up the whole phwackin' industry! Buy all three sets today!

E is for NRG AZ Blogging Challenge

RAPPIN' FANTASTIC


At a gig in an intimate club, two hip-hop artists were battling on the stage. One of them was rapping twice as fast as the other, still on beat; his rhymes more impressive at the rate he was delivering his poetry.

Photo courtesy of fifties50s.


Two music journalists at the event noted the speed of the rapper.

"How does he do it?" one of them asked, in awe.
"I think he's taken a pill," the other said, shaking his head. "Still...very impressive."
"You think he's on drugs?" asked the first.
"Course he is! Ecstasy! You never heard the expression:
E = MC2?" 

The first music journalist pulled a raw, smoked haddock out of his jacket.
"What's that for?" asked the second.
The first journalist heaved the fish, slapping it across the second's face.
"That's for telling your stupid joke," said the first.

And they ALLLL lived HIP-HOP-HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

D is for DNS root zone! AZ BLOGGING CHALLENGE


Let's talk about the Domain Name Server Root Zone! That's something I don't understand - and it's overseen by the United States Commerce Department! [RAISE TRUMPET TO LIPS: Duh-duh-duh-dooooooo!]

Oversight is being passed on to the ICANN crowd in 2015. I CANN, you can't! The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

The US gurm'nt - under pressure from the international community for bugging German Chancellor Angle a-Mirkin's phone, puttin' the heavy on whistleblowers Edward "Facty" Snowden and Chelsea Manning, and bein' a 'streperous 'n' sneaky bitch in general - has decided that the best bet is to relinquish the DNS root zone to private hands.

Was anyone calling for this in the international community? Not once did I hear Putin mention it. In February, Merkel said that it was high time the EU developed its own independent data hub. Totes Obvs a dig at her phone being hacked by NASA. Or the NSA. Further, the European Union telecommunications capo said that technical control of the internet needed to pass beyond the United States government's bailiwick. The British support the move too. "Global stakeholder community".

Stakeholders, they're called, these people who'll do the bizz. The US doesn't want the UN gettin' their hands on it. Maybe they feel those damn blue hats ask the questions first and then wait to be shot. Blessed be the Peacekeepers. The US says no one single government or group of countries ought to have control. So these "stakeholders" are those with an interest in the interweb.

Here's a repeat picture of yesterday's cables:



Oh no wait! I got that one wrong. It'll do though.

But privatise stuff and you get self-regulation, right?

Here's what some people have said:


"Whatever you think our country has done wrong, the United States has been by far the country most committed to keeping the Internet free and open and uninterrupted." Former Preh'den BJ Clinton

I think he's right.


“The timing is right to start the transition process. We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan." Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence Stricklin.

But Principal Stricklin (Back to the Future pseudo-reference), privatisation usually goes pear-shaped. Light regulation in the financial sector? Increased expenses for the user in any sector? Feel free to make up your own reasons. At the time of writing, members of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are polishing their guns. (Not really. I just threw that in there.)

Who's paying for it? The US taxpayer, funding the whole planet as per usual? But what will be lost? Did any international security violations come from the Department of Commerce? Or is this data sweeping and mining being carried out by the NSA and associated espionage agencies (relatively exclusively)? I don't know that the Commerce Department was involved.


"While the Commerce Department rarely intervened publicly in ICANN's affairs, the implicit threat of its ability to do so will be gone. That could have an unforeseen impact in the future, particularly if cyber-weapons continue to play a larger role in military and counter-intelligence activities." Gautham Nagesh, Tech Policy reporter in the Wall Street Journal.

As well on top of that, also, as well, if there's one thing - among others, like being caught on official overseas visits not paying for prostitutes - the United States government is good at, it's imposing hefty fines on miscreants.

Whether it's an exposed Jackson nipple at the Superbowl, or the total burying of one of the Big One Point Five accountancy firms - Crosby, Ernst, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Arthur Andersen - United States gur'men fines are a headache for lots of corporations - all the time - who get slapped for being a bit dip-shitty. Pot, kettle, black, but the US shouldn't free things up to let China and Russia be even more spy-ey!

Anyway, I am discombobulated, uninformed, and just sayin'. I am JUST SAYIN'!

Sources if you don't believe me:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/10702274/US-government-to-relinquish-control-of-Internet-address-system.html
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-03/23/c_133207842.htm
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26228176