Daily archives: August 21, 2003

Work harder not smarter

Some articles just sound stupid from the moment they start. In the Times Irwin Stelzer argues that America is vastly superior to Europe because the Europeans, fools that we are, have a healthy work/life balance whilst those clever Americans let themselves be exploited into long hours and minimal holidays for corporations that will export their jobs abroad just as soon as possible.

It’s hard to think where to start on the arrogance of his argument so, randomly; bigger is not better, bigger is just bigger. He’s only talking about the middle class, because, of course, the middle class are the only people who count when you talk about wage earners aren’t they? Is a whole country of people who are dedicated to the grind and instant gratification but incapable of thinking long term or of the effects of their actions really such a good thing?

The radio's on, but I don't hear a song

I never got dance music, at least as far as the clubbing scene went. Right at the start of the Nineties there was a raver meme that they were destroying the cult of personality that had formed behind rock singers and now it was all about the music. To prove this they went off and created a cult of personality around star DJs and mixers. Some artists and some songs are excellent, but I could never bring myself to pretend that I’d enjoy a narrativeless night of BPMs and beats. So I’m quite happy to see that the whole scene is collapsing in on itself.

The Wonderstuff, Who Wants To Be The Disco King?

(Note on the lyrics thing- It’s no longer mandated that all titles must be from songs, but I am going to pimp referrals whenever possible.)

Heavensent- Chapter 10, Part 7

The presence of Jayn had given them just enough time to make their case and for Bobb to process enough of the dialect to become almost fluent. They had been trapped on the ocean, he explained, picked up by the huge ice ship and held prisoner- but treated fairly. They had escaped, repaying their debt by rescuing a downed flier. Now they were ashore, and willing to offer their assistance if it would buy them passage to the North of the fjord city.

“Why do I need your assistance? I have my assistance.” The rifleman, Yoll, gestured out to sea, where the troop ships were offloading.

This was Sheel’s cue. She stepped up and pointed at a tree down the beach. Her upper body shook slightly, as if someone had pushed hard at the outstretched arm, and there were three close pops. The trunk of the tree shattered and spat white splinters in all directions. It toppled and landed in an explosion of white sand.

“Can you all do that?” Yoll asked after a moment.


“A shame. I have my army, what use do I have for even someone with…. Whatever power it is you possess?”

“I will take responsibility for them.” Jayn volunteered.


“They pulled me out of the water. I believe with some tribes that means I must travel with them until I can repay the debt.”

“Very well. You would do well to select a weapon.”

Gimm offered Jayn her own gun back. It had been stashed at the bottom of a sack that no-one had bothered to search. “Thank you for your help.”

“Consider it a debt repaid. Besides, I’m the curious type, and after that little display I want to know more.”

The ships out tosea had spawned hundreds of smaller craft. Half were heading for the beach, the rest angled toward the islands and the fishing port for what might be a contested landing.