One ancient French business now under more pressure

France’s MPs have voted to reduce the country’s legal quota of French songs played on the radio amid complaints the rule forces DJs to repeatedly play ‘boring’ old French ballads.
Imposed in 1994 to protect France from what the government saw as the “Anglo-Saxon cultural invasion”, the 40 per cent quota is increasingly making life difficult for programmers because a high proportion of young French artists such as Daft Punk are now singing in English to attract a more international audience. The quota will now be lowered to 35 per cent.

That ancient business being to manufacture popette records to fill that quota. Find something vaguely popular in English. Re-record the backing track with session musos, translate the lyrics, get some unemployed teenager to sing it, collect the money. Most of which is in the radio play royalties for the lyrics because the actual track hardly ever sells a bean.

With careful control of costs and a reasonable ear for what will play a nice little earner.

Black footie bags go out of style

To keep pace with the changing times, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is giving itself the biggest makeover in its history — its unique khaki knickers will make way for trousers to help the organization achieve resonance with the youth.
Increasing its cadre base, understandably has emerged as the prime objective of the RSS at its three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS)—annual conclave of the RSS at Nagaur in Rajasthan, which began on 11 March.
Though the colour of trousers has not yet been finalized, it is expected to be either grey or blue. There has been churning going on within the Sangh for replacing its age-old traditional khaki knickers (flared knee-length shorts) with full length trousers.

Wodehouse was joking about the fascists using shorts as their uniform.

Nowt odd about this

For the guardians of French gastronomy, the prospect of being served something as unsophisticated as a slab of mincemeat with a bap and slice of cheese would long have been considered sacrilegious.
Today, however, the tables have turned. In a culinary revolution, three quarters of French restaurants now sell hamburgers and 80 per cent of these say it has become their top-selling dish, according to a new study.
“Le burger” – as the French dub the quintessentially American invention to the despair of linguistic purists of the Académie Française – has become a feature of even the most illustrious eateries.

Hache au pain avec fromage sounds rather more sophisticated though, doesn’t it?

Of course, as Rincewind always notes, it’s the having it with avec that makes is so posh.

Spark a renewed sense of pride in India’s manufacturing

Well, yes, sparked something at least.

makeinindia

Ahem:

All aspects including sabotage angle will be investigated while ascertaining the cause of the massive fire that gutted the stage during a cultural programme at the Make in India Week event in Mumbai on Sunday night attended by many VIPs, an official said on Monday.
Fire brigade authority has begun an inquiry into the blaze. “We will probe all aspects, including finding out if there was a sabotage angle involved,” a fire brigade official said. No casualties were reported as the venue at the Girgaum Chowpatty area was emptied within minutes.
As the audience scrambled to safety, Firstpost reporter Sanjay Sawant heard strains of soundbites like these: “Maharashtra ki barah baj gayi” which, loosely translated, means the State’s image has taken a good beating.

That Swedish paradise

The Swedish state has a dark history of persecuting the Sami, banning the Sami languages from schools, while Sweden’s National Institute for Race Biology from 1922 spearheaded a sterilisation programme which saw many Sami women rendered infertile.

Well, yes, Stalin faced much the same problem. How are you going to make happy little government campers of people who camp without government?

Those who would have an ordered society do tend to try to wipe out the nomads.

There’s a reason for this

Government spending is 97.8% of GDP.

By 2008 unemployment had risen to 94%

That being:

A white Zimbabwean farmer has been handcuffed and forcibly removed from his farm after police stormed the property to enforce a claim made by a British doctor.
Phillip Rankin was first ordered off his tobacco farm in September last year following a claim for land made by Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro, who was born in Zimbabwe but now has British citizenship.
….
Dr Nyatsuro, a 45-year-old GP who runs a slimming clinic in Nottingham, arrived at the tobacco farm, Kingston Deverill, in September with a letter from the government allocating the land to him.
Political sources in Harare suggested the doctor – whom Mr Rankin said was accompanied by his wife, Veronica and government officials, had family connections to Grace Mugabe, the president’s wife.

It’s not all that difficult. Take productive assets from those who use them productively and hand them over to those who have no fucking clue and your economy goes down the toilet.

This is true whatever we want to say about race, colonialism, socialism, or Uncle Tom Cobbleigh. It’s just fucking lunacy.

Not something I’d really thought about

The University of California has acknowledged that its negligence was a substantial factor in the death of former California football player Ted Agu.

The 21-year-old defensive lineman from Bakersfield died nearly two years ago after a strenuous team workout. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, arguing that Agu had sickle cell trait and should not have been put through an exercise in which players sprinted up and down a hill while holding a rope together.

Given the degree to which African American descent is from West Africa and the subsequent mixing of genes all over the place the US must be one of the few wealthy countries where sickle cell is a significant (as opposed to a distinctly minority, it’s always significant for those who have it) health danger in this manner.

Just never really thought about it before.

I mean we could write this story the other way around, parts of America are still driving unpaid young black men to their deaths through overwork. But that would be unkind.

And which language is this in?

No peeking now:

“That funny moment when your walking into the servo and a unidentifiable car shows up, they broke into oportos, while they were in there I stole the keys to the car. Waited for them to run out. The passenger jumped into the car so I punched the **** out of the junkie and they ran off. I chased them but because I’m fat they got away haha.”

Stubbies and singlets party? That sort of gives it away really.

Was one of the pigs called Babe?

<

a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/12114218/Flock-of-sheep-end-high-speed-New-Zealand-police-chase.html”>A flock of sheep brought an attempt to escape the police to a somewhat abrupt end in New Zealand.
Three men and a woman sped off, having been stopped for speeding and driving a car without number plates.
The pursuit was joined by several other police cars, but it was to no avail. Even metal road spikes did not bring the speeding Honda Integra to a halt, even though one of the tyres had been burst.
For 90 minutes the cars hurtled through Central Otago on South Island, police said.
However the fugitives had not bargained for a flock of sheep, which were being moved to a new grazing site by a farm worker.

How do you even start to explain this story?

Russia has detained an award-winning prison chief on suspicion of stealing a 30 mile-long public road,

What?

Someone stole a road?

I mean, but….I worked in Russia in the 90s, have seen just about every scam possible. Up to and including people stealing the gallium from the solar neutrino experiment, decanting it into 2 litre pepsi bottles and then smuggling it into Finland. But stealing a road?

No one ever accused the convicts of subtelty

But dear God they suffer from pantywaists.

A provocative advertisement encouraging Australians to eat lamb has been criticised for discriminating against vegans and portraying excessive violence.
The advertisement, which has gone viral on social media and been viewed more than 250,000 times on YouTube, depicts a military campaign to bring Australians home from overseas so that they can eat lamb on Australia Day.
In a controversial scene that has reportedly sparked more than 60 complaints to the advertising watchdog, a team of special agents break into an Australian man’s apartment in New York and ignite a blowtorch after he reveals he has become a vegan.

Sigh.

How delightful

The members of a pro-independence town council in Catalonia have been summoned before a judge after a complaint was lodged over the unusually small size of the obligatory photograph of the king hanging in their assembly hall.
While the norm is for a poster-size portrait of the Spanish monarch to preside over public spaces, the image of King Felipe VI in Torredembarra is no larger than a passport photograph.
A majority of councillors approved a motion last August to downsize the royal image and since October the mini portrait of the king has been positioned high over a door, pinned right next to an identically minute photograph of Catalonia’s president, Artur Mas.
A state prosecutor brought the snub to the attention of a judge in the provincial capital of Tarragona and now Torredembarra’s 17 councillors have been summoned to explain the decision.
“We are convinced that we have not broken any laws because the portrait of the king and the leader of the Catalan government are exactly the same size”, Lluís Suñé, a councillor for the Left-wing local party Alternativa Baix Gaià (ABG), told the EFE news agency.

The error here being that anyones’ so stupid as to actually have laws about this sort of thing.

But it is the continental way: if there’s something then there just be a law about it.

When did the convicts turn into pantywaist wimps?

A business in Australia has been barred from calling itself “Pommiebasher” after a tribunal found the term was potentially pejorative and could offend some members of the public.

Jeebus that’s gay.

“That is particularly so where the expression is used outside the context of cricket or another sporting event … Devoid of the cricketing or sporting context, I find that the expression Pommiebasher is likely to be offensive to members of a section of the public. It follows I find that its use as a registered business name is undesirable.”

Admittedly I’m descended from someone who both took the assisted passage in the 1850s and also left the place as soon as she could find a man who would get her out of it. So I wouldn’t say that I’m genetically pre-disposed to like the place: although I might cop to the robustness of my language having something to do with those couple of decades imprinted on the genes.

But seriously, when did the Wild Colonials allow the gits to take over?

If Salon could understand this then they wouldn’t be Salon, would they?

Armed white men seize a federal building. The government stands down carefully. But a 12-year-old with a toy gun?

Armed, armed there is doing a lot of work. And in fact they’re “well armed”.

Which is why Second Amendment, militias and all the rest. Being well armed means the government has to shut the fuck up and listen to you instead of just crushing you like a bug.

A fun little bit with olive picking

The point being quite how much intensive labour has to go into it.

In just one night in mid-November 26,000 kilograms were stripped from the trees, a haul worth €15,600 (£11,500) according to the €0.60 per-kilo price being paid out by the local San Isidro cooperative to its 300 members this season.

That’s a lot by the way, an orchard full…..or at least, the sort of orchard that a small farmer might have himself. It’s not, by any means, just a couple of trees. And that’s also the price per kilo for what you’ve beaten from the trees, onto nets, and then scooped up.

Once processed, olives for the best virgin oils are now fetching €4 a kilo,

Part of that is the quality difference. But you’ve got to pick up each olive individually, check it for worm infestation, score the skin, make sure there’s no stem etc. And you do that for each and every olive: say, 100 pieces per kilo?

It’s an absolutely obscenely difficult way to try to make money. Which is why around here there’s trees dotted around, free to anyone to harvest, which never do get harvested. One right outside my door for example. Local families will make a 50% attempt at getting the easy fruit but that’s more a cultural thing. Like going out scrumping for blackberries and the like. It’s not for the fruit, it’s to say that this is what our culture does more than anything. The kids help, everyone plays round outside for four or five hours, eats a sandwich, some litre or two of oil is made at the local co op and everyone agrees that they’re fully in touch with societal roots. And then thanks God that this is done for that litre or two, not a living.

Same with the carob that grows everywhere: €4.50 for a 14 kg bag last time I checked the price for that. The mad lady and her short bus son at the end of the road will collect 10 bags of that perhaps in season. More as something to do than anything…..

Peasant farming is a really shitty lifestyle.

If Paki is racist, is Pak?

Times of India
Pak singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan deported from Hyderabad
Times of India – ‎5 hours ago‎
Acclaimed Pakistani singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was in for a rude shock on Thursday morning when he touched down at the city’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA).

Oh aye?

Embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who lost control of Venezuela’s National Assembly in polls earlier this month, said on Tuesday that fraud had marred the vote, which was being investigated.
“I am not going to release preliminary results of the investigation … There were a lot of things going on. Buying people’s votes … control of members of polling station teams and entire polling station teams,” Maduro said on his weekly television show.
“Criminals were buying votes … There was a plan,” Maduro added on VTV state TV.
The president claimed the result of the December 6 legislative polls – in which the opposition alliance MUD won control of the National Assembly for the first time in 16 years – was “circumstantial.”
Maduro said he would soon reveal what he called the opposition’s “plan” to the nation, along with evidence. He did not immediately say when.

Because of course the people could not possibly have voted against incompetent fuckwits, could they?

Lala Lalalala Lala

Well, gotta admit, it’s catchy:

A song released by the Pegida anti-immigrant movement is racing up the charts in Germany despite being widely ridiculed.
The track, entitled Gemeinsam sind wir stark! or Together We Are Strong! is being marketed as an anthem for Pegida, and sold to raise funds for the anti-Muslim movement.
Released just before Christmas, it has quickly risen to number 10 in the music charts on Amazon’s German website.
But the song has been greeted with mockery and abuse for the fact it has no words, and instead features a chorus humming along to the tune.
“Wow, stunning, monumental. Especially the text: ‘Lala Lalalala Lala’, genuine poetry,” one reviewer calling himself Franky wrote on Amazon.
“Super, in time for Christmas, here are all Pegida’s arguments in musical form, collected in a single, glorious anthem that should silence the fiercest critics: ‘Mmmmm mmmmmmmhhh, mmmmmm mmmmmhhhhh!’” wrote Dorian Grey.

Also, perhaps a little less worrying than the songs of old.

Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!
SA marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt.
Kam’raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marschier’n im Geist in unser’n Reihen mit.
Kam’raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marschier’n im Geist in unser’n Reihen mit.