(The sign next to the bicycle says 'Experiment with ETON, not with our FAMILIES & COMMUNITIES'.)
The image is the cover of the NEU magazine for July/August: link here.
A rogues' gallery of mountebanks, charlatans and scoundrels
“After arming themselves in this manner, our people must begin to identify collaborators and enemy agents and deal with them. The collaborators who are serving in the community councils must be dealt with. Informers, policemen, special branch police and army personnel living and working amongst our people must be eliminated." (April 1985: Radio Freedom)While it might have been possible to doublethink one's way around accepting attacks on armed forces engaged in carrying out the policies of of an oppressive regime, even the most credulous and fervent of Red Shift's clientele must have struggled to find justification for black South Africans 'eliminating' members of their own community*.
*The first 'necklace' killing caught on camera was that of a young woman, Maki Skosana, burned alive by a 500-strong mob of activists who suspected her of being a police informer. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission later found that Skosana was innocent of the charge and concluded that she had been made 'the scapegoat for growing rage'. I still find it hard not to think of that quote when I read of the 'anger' of some pressure group with large numbers and the potential for violent action.
'Now that all the seals and their wives were on the land, you could hear their clamour miles out to sea above the loudest gales. At the lowest counting there were over a million seals on the beach – old seals, mother seals, tiny babies and holluschickie, fighting, scuffling, bleating, crawling, and playing together – going down to the sea and coming up from it in gangs and regiments, lying over every foot of ground as far as the eye could reach...'
Rudyard Kipling: 'The White Seal' from 'The Jungle Book' (if you thought it was all singing bears and dancing monkeys, do take a look!)The media are, of course, doing their best to swell the numbers with a nifty bit of reverse psychology that seems to have stirred trippers from impossibly far afield (did that woman in Bournemouth really say she had come down from Macclesfield?) - 'if all those people are there, it must be worth the trip!' (Since such reasoning tends to be the province of the least discerning citizens, it's small wonder that residents of seaside towns are despairing in the face of inconsiderate parking and used nappies (or worse) being dumped in their gardens.)
In 1973, Larry Niven's novella 'Flash Crowd' featured rioting and looting as the unforeseen consequence of mass teleportation; in the near future, we may see it happening as a direct result of 24 hour rolling news.... and nine years since we saw it happen here, aided and abetted by Twitter and Blackberry messenger. In Niven's version - where, among other events, a crowd gathering on a Californian beach causes a 'major incident' - the authorities are finally advised to stop all travel into a 'flash crowd' area, which is probably not an option open to our thin blue line, even if their high-ups were prepared to give the order.
“The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.” (Jingo)and we can't put the social media genie back in the bottle (more's the pity!), I suspect we are likely to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the future.
The two people in the vessel were immediately recognised as the same ones the crew had been called to on three previous occasions in the last month.Although the boat was equipped with an outboard motor, the engine lacked sufficient power to counteract the forces of wind and tide. One can imagine that it was through gritted teeth that the pair were subsequently 'given some strong advice' about basic seamanship; with that level of incompetence and carelessness out there, it must be only a matter of time before there simply aren't enough lifeboats and helicopters to go round.
St. Joseph Public Safety Department Director Mark Clapp told the Kalamazoo Gazette 55-year-old Christina Bond was “having trouble adjusting her bra holster and could not get it to fit the way she wanted it to.”In an attempt to sort out the problem, she apparently bent forward to have a closer look, whereupon the gun went off; although 55 is probably rather too late in life to qualify for a Darwin Award, this untimely departure surely deserves some kind of honourable mention.
The couple’s identity is unknown. Their faces can’t be seen on the video but the woman is believed to have a bulldog tattoo on her back.
Thirty people have been rescued near Sully Island so far this year.Well I'd say that's a resounding 'no' - either that or there are even more potential Darwin Award winners out there than I thought. The RNLI and coastguard clearly have their work cut out - and they're not the only ones:
Gordon Hadfield, who owns the beach at Swanbridge and a cafe, said he and his staff had saved six people from the water in the past four years. Three weeks ago he led a family of eight to safety.So how do people manage to get themselves marooned or washed off the causeway with such depressing regularity? According to the coastguard service
"The sad fact is, a lot of people come down here and do not know the tide is going to come around them. They don't know it's an island, so there's a lot of education around that."Now, here I have to hold my hands up and say I have never been there but a quick look at Google clearly shows that, at low tide, the island's crown of vegetation is surrounded on all sides by sea-washed sand and rock; you don't have to be a geographical genius to work out the implications - unless, of course, you have no understanding of the concept of tides.
'We were called just after 8:15pm this evening, Sunday 27th August 2017 to attend reports of people in the water off Sully Island.
When we arrived on scene the people who had been in the water had made it ashore but a further 4 people (3 adults, one child) required lifeboat assistance to return to the mainland.'
A 69-year-old woman has been given a suspended sentence of three months with a fine of 3,000 euros for having unintentionally started a fire in Corsica.It seems that the woman concerned was out walking her dog when it ran off into the undergrowth and would not come back when called. In a somewhat unorthodox attempt to scare the disobedient animal out of hiding, she fired a distress flare ('un pétard de rappel') into the bushes, igniting a fire which destroyed twenty acres of shrubland.