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Obama avoids admission: George W Bush Library “will contain books”

26 Apr
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At what point in my life am I allowed to just sleep or catch up on Medal of Honor?

US sources have leaked covert film  confirming that President Obama has the ability to survive the worst social gathering in the history of Time and yet still smile and laugh when it is over.

The opening of the ‘George W. Bush Library’ required that he had to be present to make a speech. President Obama was not in a position to decline the invitation.

Despite the oxymoron, it was not possible for Obama to excuse himself from this date with destiny simply because he had to wait at home for the plumber or else be with a friend who was in hospital.

The library has been confirmed as “a building containing books”. How these books came into the possession of George W Bush is unknown. Bush is not famous for his love of non-fiction.

The ceremonial opening was attended yesterday by all the surviving presidents of the United States.

The library was surrounded by the most advanced security available so that its inauguration would meet without problem.

At this time, it is not clear whether the books within the library contain verifiable facts or simply random sentences of worthless information, designed to coerce ordinary citizens into becoming abusive nationalists, convinced that they are being threatened by foreign powers.

In the heavily edited video clip, President Obama is the one who looks like he wants to be somewhere else.

Ex-president Clinton is the one who looks like he wants to go with him.

George W Bush is the one who notices the camera.

Hilary Clinton is the one who just laughs and laughs…and laughs.

Boston bombing: Tomorrow’s terrorists are neither religious nor smart.

19 Apr

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1451: GMT, 19th April 2013

BBC Monitoring has just drawn attention to a comment that has been posted to a jihadist internet forum. The BBC says that the post argues against speculating on the identities of the suspects, but notes that the bombing reveals the ‘prominent weak point’ of Western countries. Below is an excerpt from it:

“…The purpose is what results from this operation and its repetition, such as instilling terror, costing America more financial burden, and economic repercussions which will weaken and eventually kill it…”

The BBC does not attribute these words to any person or group so we do not know who posted them or why. We all know that anyone can post anything on the internet and therefore we must be cautious without evidence.

But there are two points of great interest in the comment, particularly if you compare it to the terrorist movements of the last seventy years:

* If one replaces the word “America” with the name of any other world state, one sees how the sentence is actually a direct “copy-and-paste” from the manifesto of every terrorist group in world history.

* The prediction in the sentence that “instilling terror” can “eventually kill” a country is false. It has never happened.

Now, we see why that forum comment is so significant. 

It is the fast food Cheeseburger of political or religious ideology.

Like all fast food, it is just a triumph of packaging and promise that will let down the consumer immediately after the first bite. It is a weak shadow of what it sets out to be. It cannot sustain because it contains only ingredients designed to profit the person who sells it – not the person who swallows it.

The only real winner is the vendor, not the purchaser. Sure, the hungry mouth gets filled but that same hungry mouth will instead choose something more wholesome at the soonest chance.  The Boston terrorists had clearly been fed so many ideological cheeseburgers that one wonders if they had ever studied the tactics of a real, fully-crewed and organised terrorist group. 

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For example, let’s take the list of bombings that the IRA carried out in Britain. One can immediately see how ineffective terrorism is in bringing down a government or a State. Just scroll down that very long list of bombings and then recall that the IRA is now effectively defunct. Its political wing now sit at the same negotiating table as their political enemies.

They ultimately chose democratic debate over explosive devices. The ordinary members of the public who became the IRA’s bomb victims – killed, seriously injured or just plain inconvenienced – payed the price while a mechanism for political and intellectual debate was hammered out between two conflicting political groups.

Once the ruling political system allowed the IRA a path to legitimate political status, the violence stopped like a tap being turned off. Regardless of whether they were described as freedom fighters or terrorists, all the players in the card game realised that the concept of bombing yourself to the negotiating table is a fantasy.

The modern world no longer works that way, whether the terror is driven by the state or the individual. Tomorrow’s terrorists will be neither religious nor smart. The political and religious world we all now inhabit evolves through learning by its past mistakes. Even the spectacular horrors of events such as 9/11 now stand primarily as lessons that terrorism only delivers what it says on the tin and nothing more.

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Any power that terrorism momentarily hands to the terrorist group is more than wiped out by their path towards public acceptance now becoming steeper and rockier. The terrorism makes it harder  for the ideology behind it to be embraced.

The world may now have heard of the terrorist but it loves their cause far less. When whole governments or religions terrorise innocent people, they learn this fact as well.

Though the last century saw many terrorist groups and governments learn this fact, the Boston bombings remind us that some people have still not understood. The political and religious world has moved on, carried by those who learn. The world’s greatest political and religious groups survive precisely because they are educated and enlightened and not because they kill. They grow by their strength of shared values, not terror.

They grow strong from good ingredients, not junk food.

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Is your new car watching over you?

14 Feb

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In the 1980’s, if Britain or the United States governments had declared that every citizen must report their personal whereabouts and also to whom they spoke, there would have been an understandable mass revolt and rioting in the streets.

Instead, we citizens were sold the mobile or ‘cell’ phone.

Lured by the promise of entertainment, technology and kudos, we rushed out and bought phones for ourselves and our children.

We bought the phones willingly. The needs of government were met.

It was all about information – being connected and being in communication. Being the first to know, the first to hear.

Twenty years later, we now understand how our cellphones pinpoint our position and our conversations and texts are widely and routinely intercepted and analysed ‘in the interests of National Security’.

Our billing information has been sold and resold a hundred times. British Police forces have sold personal details of car crash victims to ambulance-chasing insurance firms. Apparently, that is okay by us. Absolutely fine.

Since we are anxious to be seen as law-abiding citizens, we trade in our privacy in a way that was utterly unthinkable, even as recently as 1990. We ignore the outrageous  invasion of our privacy by Google, Microsoft and a million life insurance and healthcare agents who now own copies of all our private details.

Some of us actually help out by uploading our private life and photo album details to Facebook.

Next on the agenda of big business and world government: our car.

“…all citizens shall declare their car  journeys, itineraries, speeds attained and addresses visited…”

We are sold ‘infotainment’ and connectivity packages for our new car. We buy them, using our own money.

Intel put it perfectly in their press release:

“…Cars are gradually transitioning from an information isolated island to a mobile information processing platform…”

The statement is almost benign in its apparent casualness.

However, be not fooled. The parking camera package that you bought because you are too stupid to park your own car can now record the license plate of the car behind and in front.

One click of a switch at “Headquarters” and every driving citizen becomes an unmarked Police cruiser, fitted with Automated Number Plate Recognition.

Your three year old car already tells tales on you to its manufacturer. When you send it in to the dealer to have it serviced, you naively believe that the big red box it gets plugged into tells the mechanic what is wrong.

It doesn’t. It uploads data to the manufacturer, who then tells the mechanic what is wrong. The manufacturer now knows if you hit the rev limiter…while in sixth gear. How often the ABS has been activated today.

028rwtrafficYou naughty thing, you! Let us hope that the manufacturer doesn’t tell the Police, or you’d be in deep trouble. Or your insurance company. Or your leasing company. Or your boss, who is considering you for promotion.

Perhaps, having read this far into my post, you are inclined to believe that I am being a little paranoid? Well, it only takes one click and your car uploads its data. The only question that remains is: to whom? 

Your car is already programmed to transmit your speed. Your sat-nav already does so.

Governments around the world are waiting for your opinion. They like opinions. It saves them having to ask.

When will the switch be ‘clicked’?

Well, that really depends on how we citizens feel about it. This is the ‘Big One’. All our other information is already accessed by the State in most Western countries but our car is the last frontier. It has always given us the feeling of freedom.

If we citizens realise that our car is now no longer a source of freedom but instead just expensive transportation, we may decide to take a taxi instead. We may rebel and refuse to buy our next car.

So the trick is to make us want to buy our next car.

It won’t be hard. Governments have progressively increased taxation on older cars and manufacturers have raised the prices of key spares to the point where it becomes uneconomical to keep them working.

As consumers, we take the hint. We buy a new car. Besides, the new one comes with an ‘Infotainment Package’…

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The bank robber of the future will strip you, tie you up in the trunk of your car, drive to the bank and rob it in your name.

They will walk back to the car and plug in a second-hand ECU under the hood. They will dial a police crime line with your phone, drop it in the gutter and then drive you out to the woods.

There, you will be reunited with your clothes and shoes and given your keys back and told to drive off. As you gratefully sit behind the wheel, the robber will shoot you in the head, put the gun in your hand, close the door and then walk away.

According to the medical records that your doctor sold to your insurance company without your knowledge, you were taking anti-depressants.

According to the Police, always anxious to solve crime, there is an awful lot of even stronger evidence.

CCTV footage shows a person of your height and wearing your clothes and shoes, with a mask. Your phone and your car were tracked across town to the bank. Your phone is found, soaking wet – so no fingerprints there – but its call records are examined. Later that day, you are found behind the wheel of your car by a kid walking his dog.

Why you did it and where you hid the money will remain a mystery. Your life insurance company refuses to pay out to your family.

Isn’t technology wonderful?

Millions of new cars remain unsold. Join the dots…

8 Feb

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As more than 10 MILLION brand new cars join the ever increasing backlog of unsold stock across the World – four million cars in Europe alone – factory closures are now to become a reality.

Well-hidden and secure compounds across Europe, Asia and America are the usual first home for newly-born cars awaiting shipping to dealers. But these are now so full that dealers themselves are having to store cars in their already-packed yards.

The backlog of stored new cars in Europe now runs to four million. US sources point to a similar figure for America and things are so bad in China that Mercedes Benz are offering as much as 30% discount on some new models (S-Class, anyone?) as an attempt to shift stock.

No matter how politicians of all persuasions in all car-making countries try to dress it up, the fact is that production lines and whole factories now stand to be closed as a means of reducing output to match the drop in demand.

As Jorn Madslien’s BBC article here points out, the 7 – 10% annual drop in European demand since the Banking crisis of 2008 is set to continue through 2013 according to industry analysts.

There is no evidence to suggest that this trending reduction in demand will halt. Unemployment, static wages and financial insecurity continue to keep potential customers away from showrooms.021roadwax

What many ordinary people have overlooked in the last three years is the part that national politicians have played in this unfolding catastrophe.

Anxious to deflect criticism of themselves from voters already outraged at the corruption within the financial industry that has wrecked economic prospects, many political leaders have persuaded car giants to keep production at a steady level to avoid redundancies.

In the last three years, American car-making states have seen the quite shocking sight of trains loaded with brand new cars leaving the factories bound for the deserts – where the cars are simply off-loaded and parked up – as an alternative to laying off workers or reducing pay-packets.

Now, this temporary vote-buying strategy has resulted in such high levels of surplus vehicles that the need to close whole factories has replaced the idea of cutting the odd work shift. There is now no other option left.

Discounting of new car prices at dealership level is now rising into thousands of dollars. Some makes and models are almost dead in the water, effectively having so few interested potential buyers that they may as well not be offered.

Chrysler, for example, has more than six months worth of 2013 Dodge Darts parked up right now, as the Wall Street Journal’s article here reveals.

Six months worth of Dodge Darts. At what point does a ‘new’ car technically become an ‘old’ new car? Can a car that has sat out in the open for most of a year still be described as ‘new’? One can easily imagine the challenges that car manufacturers now face.

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But showroom price discounting – especially up to amounts like 30% – can wreak havoc with the residual value of that car’s marque. The prices of ‘nearly-new’ second-hand versions plummet at auction and fleet clients and Hire Purchase customers can become saddled with a kind of negative equity on their own vehicles. Fleet News made this point six months ago in their article here.

Some commercial vehicle manufacturers have been hit really hard as savvy fleet operators have held onto their trucks for an extra year or two to avoid this depreciation risk. One major truck maker sold zero units of its product in the UK in 2011 as regular clients simply sat tight.

General Motors has only now struggled back into profit in the US after years in the red with an unloved product range. Desperate for small cars it didn’t have, it hastily re-badged Asian Daewoo products, slapping a ‘Chevrolet’ badge on them and shipping them into America.

Now, it is watching as its twin European badges – Vauxhall and Opel – fight a desperate war to survive. It is abundantly clear that 7-10% over-capacity plus some ageing and inefficiently designed production facilities cannot be propped up at all cost.

roadwaxJeep 101

In this situation, the cost will be production line workers. There are no deserts in Europe to hide millions of unwanted cars.

The emerging giant economy of China fueled the revival of hopes in 2009 for top marques like BMW, Cadillac and Rolls Royce. Dying on their feet as Europe and America struggled with a banking collapse, these big names spearheaded a rush to satisfy Chinese auto sales volume growth of 46% in that year.

But by 2010 that figure had dropped to 32% and in early 2011 it slumped to 2.5%.

We are not supposed to use the word ‘problem’. The fashionable and politically correct word today is ‘challenge’.

The ‘problem’ is over-production of depreciating consumer goods.

The ‘challenge’ for today’s politicians is to find unemployed workers jobs that can generate their family a surplus income. Enough to buy yet more depreciating consumer goods and certainly more than enough to live on.

If today’s politicians actually have a solution to this challenge, then they are keeping very quiet about it.

 

Dorset road deaths are 7 times UK average, 17 times US.

26 Jan
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picture courtesy of Schneebremse

As Dorset Police have reduced the number of traffic officers patrolling the roads, deaths have increased in the UK county.

The Police cuts – applied in 2012 – have coincided with the number of road deaths increasing, reversing the previous trend. The BBC have uploaded an interesting article covering the story here.

Closer examination of the available data on the subject reveals that Dorset may have a far more serious road safety issue than has been reported or realised.

Using a selection of UK and  US government statistics, it can be shown that the county of Dorset actually has a road death toll that is seven times higher per mile than the UK average and is a stunning seventeen times higher than the rate for the United States.

And all this from a mostly rural county that has zero miles of motorway within it.

Roadwax recorded the rate of road deaths per day in comparison to the total miles of road in the county of Dorset. Then, this figure was compared with similar statistics for the whole of the UK and the whole of the US, using the most recent and accurate statistics available for comparison.

The results are shown in the table below.

2012.Dorset road death statsdocx

One issue that is raised by this research is how statistics and data can be shown in different ways to highlight particular arguments.

In this case, the simplest figures have been used and the mathematics is also straightforward. By dividing the number of road deaths into the number of miles of road across the area of Dorset, we get a factor – 1: 2,548.

That is: one road death for each 2,548 miles of road, per day.

If we then divide the miles of road available across the UK and also the US by this figure of 2,548 – we obtain the answers shown in the graph. We then compare the daily deaths recorded in the UK and US with Dorset.

If the answers in the graph are to be believed, then the county of Dorset has a serious road safety issue that needs to be examined urgently.

There is currently a lively and valuable debate being conducted over how road safety campaigns should be translated into actual positive results. You can read a range of localised views here and here. The debate extends nationally and is discussed in recognised road safety forums, such as this one.

But what data is being used to form opinions? Which figures should be used to make up arguments? Twice the fatality rate per mile might be seen as a high figure but seven times the national comparison is alarming.

And to be seventeen times more likely to be killed on a Dorset road than on an American road may provide an interesting starting point for the examination of exactly which road safety data figures are being given the most attention within the media today.

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First UK motorist is taught to drive on snow and ice.

12 Jan
A typically devastating scene showing what can happen when snow falls on an English pub.

A typically devastating scene showing what can happen when snow falls on an English pub.

The BBC have released footage of a British driver secretly being taught how to drive on snow and ice. The footage lasts just a few seconds and is hidden within a normal news article.

This news has been greeted with horror by Britain’s biggest safety quango, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Although its own website proudly claims to advise drivers on how to drive on snow, it is actually designed to discourage drivers from venturing out by simply re-posting the same dubious information that was printed in 1955.

RoSPA’s approach to the topic is simple. Load the driver down with so much cautionary advice on planning and multiple check-lists that they simply give up and stay indoors.

Even under the specific section ‘Driving on snow and ice’ – it doesn’t reveal any actual advice on how to drive on snow and ice beyond what is stated in the Police Driver’s Handbook. There is not a single mention of winter tyres, traction control, accelerator technique or gearbox control over-ride.

It instead assumes that you are immediately going to get stuck. Their finest advice is reproduced below:

“…move your vehicle slowly backwards and forwards out of the rut using the highest gear you can. If this doesn’t work, you may have to ask a friendly passerby for a push or get your shovel out…”

and the all-time classic:

“…slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners…”

What can easily happen if you don't "reduce your speed in plenty of time" as RoSPA advise...

What can easily happen if you don’t “reduce your speed in plenty of time” as RoSPA advise…

Roadwax sent special reporter Elena Handcart to ask RoSPA why they are fifty years out of touch with modern techniques for driving on snow and ice. Brian Loadsworth, head of Driver Thinking explained:

“The average British chappie is a little bit of a nuisance when it comes to driving a motor car on snow. We find it is far safer to try and keep him at home, checking his battery charge level and walking around trying to find a shop that will sell him a cavalry tweed car blanket.

The more ordinary people we can leave completely in the dark about snow driving techniques, the more space there is on the roads for bus drivers to pull over and cancel their journey. One really shouldn’t encourage this sort of foolhardy attitude among the workers”.

Thomas Schneebinder from the Stockholm Institute for Common Sense disagrees:

“When I was just six years old, my parents gave me my first Volvo. Like all other normal Swedish drivers, I learned to race old Saabs over packed ice by the time I was twelve. I am surprised that this knowledge is forbidden in Britain. Well done to the BBC for leaking it.”

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A post box completely cut off by more than four inches of snow – typical of what Britain may have to endure for up to several days

Teachers use words. Wayne LaPierre uses guns. Taft Union High School Loses.

11 Jan

As California comes to terms with yet another pointless schoolchild shooting, the NRA’s website is still hopelessly out of date.

Hours after the shooting of a teenager at Taft High School near Bakersfield, California, USA, the National Rifle Association’s website still leads with the news that it has a membership made up of four million “moms, dads, daughters and sons.

If they don’t adjust their figures, one might be excused for believing that the NRA are killing the rest of America who do not have membership.

Maybe, someone in the NRA should wake up Wayne LaPierre and get him to say something new on his website. After all, he is the voice of the NRA who sees nothing wrong around him.

It is a very American debate. The rest of the world can only watch while Americans decide who or what is going wrong with their constitution or their way of life.

The rest of the world may not become involved in this debate. This is an argument that is going on in a next-door neighbour’s house. It sounds bad, but it isn’t yet time to call the cops. Maybe, they can sort it out with words. Besides, the cops have guns.

The rest of the world can only form its own opinions, based on the facts, and judge.

Time after time, the rest of the world listens like doubtful neighbours while America trusts the intelligent argument of teachers to defend innocent children against incoherent gunmen.

Time after time, killers with shotguns kill innocent children as the words of Wayne ring in their ears as justification.

Wayne is really heavily involved in his gun club.

The rest of the world isn’t and it doesn’t care too much for Wayne’s bleating about freedom.

Freedom doesn’t carry a gun. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that it does.

New Year Message of hope from ‘Fiscal’ Cliff. *Exclusive* 7:22pm G.M.T.

31 Dec

'Fiscal' Cliff Spong

By Roadwax Special Reporter Elena Handcart

The  shadowy figure accused of being responsible for the latest economic crisis confronting the United States, Clifford ‘Fiscal’ Spong  – also known as Fiscal Cliff – has released a message of hope for Americans as the deadline for the financial crisis approaches.

In a chance meeting at Scratchwood Services on the M1 in England, our Senior Reporter Elena Handcart was granted permission to record a short interview that is reproduced in unedited form below.

Reporter:   One regular skinny Latte please, hot milk.

Catering Manager:   You want some cake with that, Madam?

Reporter:    Not at these f***ing prices, mate. You must be having a giraffe.

Fiscal Cliff:    Nicely said, little madame. (laughs) Here, go on, I’ll pay. Give her that one on the left.

Reporter:    Call me ‘little madame’ one more time and I’ll put my…oh…(indistinct)…you’re Fiscal Cliff, aren’t you?

Minder:    Don’t speak to Mr Spong unless you’re told to, there’s a good girl.

Reporter:    Wind your neck in, donkey bollocks, or I’ll take you out…(indistinct, sound of scuffle)...

Fiscal Cliff:   It’s all right, Dave. Let her have her cake and eat it. (laughs)

Minder:     She’s recording every word, boss, I think she might be a reporter.

Fiscal Cliff:   Who isn’t these days…?  Its all right. Its all right. Here…have a seat. Sit yourself down, girl.

Minder:   I don’t think you should do this, Mr Spong.

Fiscal Cliff:   I know. That’s why I employ you as a driver.

Reporter:  Mr Spong, what do you have to say to the American people about the outrageous uncertainty…

Minder:   I’m not a driver, I’m a Close Protection Specialist.

Fiscal Cliff:  Don’t interrupt, Dave. Go and get me some Spearmint from the shop, will you? Jesus…

Reporter: …about the taxation and spending crisis. Why did you do it, Mr Spong?

Fiscal Cliff:  Call me ‘Fiscal’.

Catering Manager: Skinny Latte and Chocolate Heart Attack. Enjoy.

Reporter:  Thank you. Can I have a tea spoon?

Catering Manager: I give you spoon already. There. By cup.

Reporter:No, another tea spoon for the cake.

Catering Manager: There. By the cup. I give you spoon already.

Fiscal Cliff:Oh, for f**k’s sake. Just go and get a spoon. Another spoon. Two spoons.

Catering Manager: More spoon?

Fiscal Cliff: Yes. More spoons. One more spoon.

Catering Manager:Two spoons or one? One spoon?

Fiscal Cliff: Dave usually does this stuff for me. No, one spoon. Another spoon. Just one.

Catering Manager: Just one spoon. Yes sir.

Reporter: Fiscal,  is there any hope for the American taxpayer that you will agree to negotiate…

Fiscal Cliff:  He’s getting a dessert spoon. I knew he would. Its bigger than the bloody cake.

Reporter:   Are you willing to negotiate to save the US economy from what appears to be…

Fiscal Cliff:  Of course I am. Of course. People misunderstand me.

Reporter:   How do you mean?

Fiscal Cliff: They’ve been told lies about me. They’ve made me out to be this big villain.

Reporter:  Who has?

Fiscal Cliff:  The politicians. I’m the big monster under the bed.

Reporter:  But at midnight tonight, automated spending cuts and tax hikes are gonna...

Fiscal Cliff:  You don’t really believe all that crap, do you?

Reporter:  But the failure to negotiate an alternative solution…

Fiscal Cliff:  Exactly…! Exactly…! The failure to negotiate…! It’s not me. It’s them lot.

Reporter:  Who?

Fiscal Cliff:  The politicians! Too scared of wrecking their careers to offer a sensible solution!

Reporter:   But the Democrat plan to keep the Estate Tax level of 45% might hurt many farming families.

Fiscal Cliff: Yes, but keeping the rate where it is knocks $119 billion off of tax revenue.

Reporter: Well, so Welfare expenditure would be cut, just like in other countries.

Fiscal Cliff:  Unaffordable. Welfare would tail-spin. Poverty would increase. 

Reporter:  But over-taxation could strangle growth and investment, kill off enterprise.

Fiscal Cliff:  Well, the figures are painful but it all depends where you want your pain.

Reporter:  Are you threatening me?

FiscalCliff:  I never threatened anyone. Calm down. You have to see the big picture.

Reporter:  Well, what solution can you suggest that is acceptable to everyone?

Fiscal Cliff:   That is the whole problem. All the solutions are unacceptable to one party or the other.

Reporter:  So, there is no solution?

Fiscal Cliff: There are plenty…but they all result in a loss of face to the politicians. Pride.

Reporter: Name a solution, then.

Fiscal Cliff: Easy. Cut back on Defense spending. You’d have the money in a moment.

Reporter:    But Defense spending is a Holy Grail to politicians! They’d lose face.

Fiscal Cliff:   Exactly, even though the U.S. would still be quite safe, they would lose pride.

Reporter:   So wherever you make cuts, some politician loses pride.

Fiscal Cliff: Exactly. It is all about the self-esteem of politicians, not voter’s well-being.

Reporter:  But voters rely on politicians to make the right choices on their behalf, don’t they? 

Fiscal Cliff:  Hang on  (phone bleeps) ...I’m just taking a call from my mate, Obama…

Reporter:  President Obama has your number…?

Fiscal Cliff: Bazza…Bazza…all right, my old son…? Yeah, fine…Scratchwood Services…I know, but nobody knows me in Scratchwood Services…yes…yes…right…right…okay…nice one. Love to the wife and kids…bye.

Reporter:  What did he say?

Fiscal Cliff:He said you climb a mountain one step at a time.

Reporter: What does that mean?

Fiscal Cliff: They’re gonna cut the cost of delivering Defense and Medicare by milking their big suppliers.

Reporter:  Will the big suppliers let that happen?

Fiscal Cliff: They have to. They’re loaded. So, the first round of the fight is won by the people.

Reporter:Why?

Fiscal Cliff: Because that will stop the huge tax hike that was due to happen tomorrow.

Reporter: Won’t the Defense and Medicare fat cats fight back?

Fiscal Cliff: No, the CEOs will keep their tax loopholes in return for higher Corporation Tax.

Reporter: So, the rich get richer and the workers lose the pay rise they were promised for next year…?

Fiscal Cliff:   Yes…but no politicians were hurt during the making of this documentary.

Minder: Are you gonna eat that chocolate cake or can I have it…?

North Korean rocket scientist goes home and hugs kids.

12 Dec

All civilians are instructed to continue with their work program.

That is all.

Is somebody gonna come and wake me up when I’m supposed to salute…?

Ford (USA) reveal “Back to the Future” version of European Transit

6 Dec

In a bold marketing move by Ford USA, described as “bold” by a panel of analysts who search for boldness in our world, Ford USA have released the first publicity shots of the T-Series/Transit van that will replace the historic E-Series/Econoline on the American continent.

Now, before I begin to ridicule the man on the far left of the photograph, let me point out that Ford are really putting their best brains forward on this project. How do you replace a van as iconic as the E-Series wth something totally new yet retain your customer loyalty?

Answer: You put a 1970’s retro grille on the front and you cross your fingers.

And you make the rest of the van look as much like a Mercedes Sprinter as you can without the Mercedes lawyers calling you up and saying:

“Now, you have made a mistake. A ferry, ferry bed mistake. Ve feel you hef not the full understandink of the word respekt.”

Okay, no cultural stereotyping here on Roadwax but you gotta love the German accent. It rocks.

Right. Now back to the man on the hard left of the picture.

Basically, the story is this.

Ingemar, the director of the photo shoot, doesn’t know squat about how people in warehouses work. But he’s pretty sure that somewhere along the scheme of things, an authority figure with a red clipboard and a hard hat has to shout and order people around.

So he employs an extra called Dave to stand there next to the shutter and shout and wave his hands as though he is in charge. In real life, Dave would keep well clear of the walls because he knows that ‘Blind Danny’ is about to return to the warehouse and collect some pallets, so standing next to a wall right now is not a good move.

In the foreground, to reinforce the fact that this is a parcel van that is being portrayed, Ingemar gets hold of an extra who looks like a parcel delivery driver.

Meet Remy. To compensate for the fact that Remy actually works as a damn good ballet dancer and doesn’t even hold a driving license (he cycles), Ingemar tells him to look exhausted and ignore the bloke who is shouting and waving his arms over by the shutter.

Remy was a little upset that the wardrobe department have mistakenly given him ill-fitting workwear but Ingmar just smiled and nodded his head with a knowing wink. Ingemar ordered the workwear himself and he (like us) knows about these things.

Although Ingemar has got an embarrassingly limited understanding of how the parcel industry actually works, he is highly skilled as a director of films depicting the violent collapse of the human condition. Ingemar just knows instinctively that a third character must be introduced to the picture to destabilize it and imply a note of menace.

Ingemar used this technique to great effect in “Twenty Steps to Trondheim” and “Death Is Thursday” which both won him awards at the 2012 Cannes Festival of Stuff Going Straight to DVD.

Cue Colin, far right.

Colin is an English nanny who works for Ingemar’s partner now that his US work visa has expired. Colin is cheap and reliable and does what Ingemar tells him to do.

So, Ingemar says:

‘Colin, I am feeling that you should be standing with a sack barrow in front of you. I think this works.”

Does Colin point out to Ingemar that this looks utterly stupid and removes the last shred of authenticity in the shot? That the entire warehouse is filled with palletised goods, none of which could be moved with a sack barrow?

You decide…

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