Please note that I wrote this in September, 2022. Readers finding this post will no doubt be aware of Scott Adams’ more recent (February, 2023) comments. This article has nothing to do with those comments, as it predates them. However, Adams has effectively destroyed his career now, whatever point he was making – which, incidentally, is not the one the media is putting forward.
Dilbert is a comic strip by Scott Adams. It deals with office life, and it was a virtual transcript of the situations and people I had to deal with when I was in the rat race myself.
Dilbert was first published in 1989, and since then it has been syndicated across 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and 25 languages. In other words, it has been mega-successful, largely because nearly everyone who reads it can identify with it.
Dilbert moved with the times. In the late 80s it was just office life, but then it introduced the internet, followed by every other relevant development since then. It went to town on Teamworking, off-site development courses, and meetings. However, it has recently taken to lampooning ‘wokeness’.
And that appears to have now got it blocked by numerous American newspapers.
Ironically, ‘Dave’ – the black character – has only appeared in a handful of the daily strips since as far ago as July, but he has drawn complaints. And we all know that even one complaint on this topic is worth several thousand complaints about literally anything else in the known universe.
I said above that nearly everyone can identify with Dilbert. However, we are now in worryingly different times, and Dilbert is touching on issues about which it is close to being illegal to do anything with other than wholeheartedly embrace them and broadcast them from every rooftop and soapbox.
Scott Adams is worth about $50 million thanks to Dilbert, so I’m sure he will be deservedly secure as a result of his worthy contribution to society these last 30-odd years.
I had a test booked for next Monday, and when I found out that The Queen’s funeral was that day I wondered what would be happening – particularly as momentum has been building with planned closures by other businesses.
I just received this email:
DVSA services suspended on 19 September 2022 following sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Our thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal Family at this sad time. In line with National Mourning guidance our services will continue during the mourning period. We are suspending all but our most essential services on 19 September due to the Bank Holiday and State Funeral, allowing individuals, businesses and other organisations to pay their respects to Her Majesty.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this period of national mourning.
We will contact your pupils with a test booked on 19 September 2022 to let them know their test has been suspended. Tests will be automatically re-booked for the first available date. If you booked a test for your pupil on 19 September you need to let them know that their test will not go ahead.
All theory tests have been suspended on 19 September 2022. We will be contacting all of your pupils who are affected to let them know how to choose a new date for their theory test.
ADI part 2 and 3 tests and standards checks
All ADI part 2, 3 tests and standards checks have been suspended on 19 September. We will contact all affected ADIs and PDIs with the earliest possible new test date.
You can move your rescheduled test on GOV.UK for ADI part 2 and 3 tests or by emailing email@example.com for standards checks.
There is no obligation on you to suspend your business during the National Mourning period. However you may wish to consider closing, especially on the day of the State Funeral, however this is your choice.
Our online services will be available as usual on Monday 19 September.
Sad news today informing us that the Queen is unwell and her family is congregating at Balmoral.
I’m not a staunch Royalist by any means, but the Queen has been a completely benign constant the whole of my life, and it is always sad to lose something like that.
My thoughts are with her and her family.
I wrote the previous three paragraphs this afternoon. After finishing a lesson this evening, I turned on Planet Rock and they were playing sombre classical music – so I guessed immediately what had happened.
If I had an allergy, I’d be a lot more careful. Like that tragic case a few years back where someone who was mortally allergic to sesame bought a Pret-a-Manger baguette which had sesame in it. I mean, sesame is not an unusual ingredient – and ‘Peanut Butter cookie dough’ does seem rather self-explanatory to me, as does buying a bag of things that look like peanuts when you are allergic to them, but are labelled ‘erdnüsse’ instead.
And he speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Yesterday, Arnie released this video aimed at the Russian people, telling them the truth about what Putin has done, and about what is happening to their families in Ukraine (many have Ukrainian relatives), and about what is happening to Russian soldiers (most will have sons or brothers in the military).
Ukraine has fought back much harder during the first week than Vladimir Putin expected, or very probably than his generals promised him, it would…
Ukraine has proved a hard nut to crack, and the reaction of Western countries, particularly Germany, has been far fiercer than he thought. Russia’s economy has already been savagely hit. Putin’s one big friend, China, now seems worried that this Western upsurge of anger might, one day, be turned against China itself – and that serious damage could be done to the Chinese economy. It has already distanced itself from the invasion…
Finland and Sweden could both end up joining the alliance for their own protection. Putin launched this war in part to stop Ukraine one day joining NATO, but he could find more NATO members on his north-western border.
It doesn’t mention that huge swathes of Russian people are also opposed to his pathetic and diminutive Soviet-era mind. He has screwed up big time. He has fu*ked himself, and he has fu*ked Russia. And he won’t stop fu*king anyone, because he is a complete w*nker.
He has already threatened the use of nuclear weapons. This is absolute proof he is not of sound mind and needs to be stopped before he can use them. Because if he is backed into a corner, like the pathetic midget he is (he wears elevators in his shoes, by all accounts), he would undoubtedly use them. There would be nowhere else for him to go.
I don’t want to spell it out completely, but the abstract phrase ‘an ass in a nation’ comes fairly close to what is really needed right now.
Everyone is completely sympathetic to Ukraine’s plight in the face of this madman. But the West cannot get directly involved because of the modern risk – some would say the ‘certainty’ – that Putin would push the nuclear button if he were anywhere near losing. The fact that he’s already threatened it is enough for that to be beyond debate.
Eighty years ago, the last complete madman we had to deal with put a bullet in his own head to avoid being pulled up on crimes against humanity.
This one would push the button to achieve the same thing – but with greater consequences to humanity than a loud bang in one of the back rooms of a bunker. In a way, that gives Putin the height he lacks in the physical sense: he is head and shoulders worse than Hitler.
Putin is the vilest of creatures. Even extinction would be too good for him – but better for the rest of the World. And all Russians.
It will undoubtedly come as a surprise to learn that ‘England’ consists of more than just ‘London’. Yes, I’m looking at you, Americans. It actually has quite a few other cities, towns, and villages – thousands, in fact.
However, although never originally intended to cater for primary school toilet humour, some places have strange names. For example, we have ‘The Wallops’, the ‘River Piddle’, ‘Sheepy Parva’ and ‘Sheepy Magna’, ‘Wetwang’, and so on. Then, for those whose minds have never left primary school, we have ‘Shitterton’, ‘Cocks’, ‘Bitchfield’, and many others.
All of these have completely logical etymologies – ‘Wallop’ for example (the three villages that comprise ‘The Wallops’ are ‘Upper Wallop’, ’Middle Wallop’, and ‘Nether Wallop’) is derived from the Anglo-Saxon or Old English words for stream (waella) and valley (hop), and is mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Wollop’. ‘Shitterton’ probably comes from the Old English word for sewer (scitere), meaning the place by the sewer. Even my own city of Nottingham was once called ‘Snottingham’ – or ‘’Snotengaham’ – and that began in the 6th Century when it was a settlement called ‘Snotta inga ham’ (‘Snotta’ was a person – a Saxon chieftain, whose people were the ‘Snotingas’ – ‘inga’ means ‘belonging to/the people of’, and ‘ham’ means ‘village/homestead’ in Anglo-Saxon). Nottingham appears in the Domesday Book as ‘Snotingeham’ and ‘Snotingham’. The ancients seemed happy to move vowels around and vary the consonants a bit without worrying about consistency, but you get the general idea. They were never intended as rude names, and they aren’t rude names.
As an aside, when I was seven, I began to support Arsenal Football Club. I freely admit that it was the ‘arse’ part which attracted me, but I grew up, and by the time I was learning German and French at school the desire to laugh at words which ‘sounded’ like rude things but weren’t had long since passed. Not so for many of my peers – a certain Mr Spence in my class found enormous humour in words like ‘fuchs’ (fox), and sought out every opportunity to say them loudly and with great emphasis.
Of course, and back to the present, in the last few years all hell has broken loose. Even place names that even once related to someone who lived in colonial times are under scrutiny. Most of the time they shouldn’t be, but such is the mindset of people today. And that leads further in the direction this discussion is going.
On the south coast of England – and no, Americans, I don’t mean ‘London’ – there is a coastal city known as ‘Plymouth’. It’s in the county of ‘Devon’ (which is also not in ‘London’). There’s no real problem with that name, because there’s a Plymouth in the USA, too. However, the original one in the UK has a seafront on a limestone cliff that is called ‘Plymouth Hoe’. The word ‘hoe’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘hoh’, which means ‘a sloping ridge in the shape of a heel or foot’. The same Saxon word is in the root of another place name in the UK called ‘Sutton Hoo’ (the inconsistent spelling of the same word by the ancients, again). Plymouth Hoe is known as ‘the Hoe’ to people who live there. As you can see, there is nothing untoward in any of this, and nor has there been for centuries. The name simply related to the Anglo-Saxon word for the geographical feature it is built on.
Enter: Facebook. The refuge of those with primary school minds and intellects.
It seems that a group on there which is based in Devon had been having posts removed and users receiving warnings for breaching ‘community standards on harassment and bullying’. Some were even banned from posting. It seems that one user had been making hats, and had forgotten to mention where people could pick them up from. So she said ‘Plymouth Hoe’.
Although the actual mechanics of what happened after this are extremely unclear – was it a manual report by someone or an automated software action – this was what triggered the removals and bans.
Facebook has apologised and has said it is ‘looking into what happened’. My money would be on some prat trawling Facebook groups looking through a dictionary of words, which they then automatically complain about and have removed. Seriously, some people on Facebook (a hell of a lot of them, actually) only use it for this purpose these days anyway.
Some forums use automated checkers which are basic at best. You’d probably never get ‘Shitterton’ past the censor, for example. My own local newspaper will happily write an article about the discovery of a cannabis factory being shutdown by the police, but woe betide anyone who uses the word ‘cannabis’ in the comments section. It immediately goes to ‘awaiting moderation’, and it is 50:50 whether it will be approved once one of the trained monkeys (aka moderators) has looked at it.
I have had my parents vaccinated. They both received the Pfizer jab. The only concern I have is that their second jab is scheduled for March, in line with this government’s ‘expert’ appraisal of the situation.
Much was made of the approval process of the vaccine in the first place – all the stuff about examining the data properly and not cutting any corners. The data they have from Pfizer and BioNTech very specifically relate to having a jab on Day One, then receiving a booster jab on Day Twenty One. Nothing else, just that. There are no data which directly looked at giving the booster after three months instead of three weeks.
But our ‘experts’ have somehow decided that it is OK to have the second jab on Day Ninety (or thereabouts). This is primarily driven by vaccine availability, though we won’t admit to that and it is therefore officially explained away as ‘trying to get as many people as possible protected because the jab is almost completely effective after one dose anyway’. Then there’s a bit of standard government obfuscation thrown just in case it still made any sense even then.
You couldn’t make this up if you tried. The Pfizer/BioNTech jab requires shots 21 days apart. Nothing else. Three months has not been part of clinical trials, and is a theoretical mathematical computation – which is now being questioned – albeit non-peer reviewed – by real data from Israel. At the very least, it means ‘90% effective’ is probably wrong, and the real figure lies in some as yet unknown middle ground between 33% and 90%.
I was concerned at the decision to change it to three months when I heard about it, because I knew what the clinical trials had been based on. But I grudgingly accepted what our ‘experts’ said. But now I don’t – or at least, I’m not so sure.
It. Should. Be. Twenty. One. Days. And. Not. Three. Months. Between. Shots.
That’s what Pfizer’s clinical trials studied, and ONLY that.