Tuesday, 11 August 2009

We Also Train Rottweilers To Savage The SEN Kids

As a follow-on from Palin's total melt-down into unquestionable evil: the tragic horror story of UK healthcare.

All I can say is: fuck Stephen Hawking. If he ever decides to visit Britain, and I don't know if he ever has, I say we kill him and use the wheelchair for a British citizen. That'll save us enough money to give three hundred healthy Anglo-Ubermensch their hayfever tablets! Hooray!

h/t to Kevin Drum.

P.S. Like everyone else with a brain in their head, I would love to know why, even if these stories were ever true, the government denying you healthcare is "a price tag on human life" but an insurance company denying you healthcare is "the free market in action." I'm not holding my breath, though. After all, I could pass out, and a faceless Durham bureaucrat could judge my life unworthy of a few chest compressions.

Holy Atheist Pope, but I hate this crap.

31 comments:

Senior Spielbergo said...

I’m missing something here. Stephen Hawkings is British – he lectures at Cambridge, and lives in Cambridge. I’m assuming there is some kind of sarcasm I’m missing here...

BigHead said...

I am confused, Stephen Hawking is English.

BigHead said...

Bah! Too slow!

SpaceSquid said...

He is not British. The article I linked to is very clear. If he were British, the NHS would have let him die. I know this is true, because I have been told the NHS uses a point system to decide who will die, and thus I don't need to perform evern the most basic Wiki search to know WITHOUT DOUBT that Hawking can't possibly be British.

Hope that clears things up.

Senior Spielbergo said...

You see such things as irony and sarcasm are difficult to express in literary form

SpaceSquid said...

"Anglo-Ubermensch" wasn't a clue?

Senior Spielbergo said...

Clearly not a good enough one. I was sensing sarcasm was probably around because it didn’t make any sense, but was unable to pin point it (and the fact BigHead also had the same problem seems to support this).

Jamie said...

What's most annoying about that Editorial is that you can't leave comments to ask them what the hell they are talking about...

(I mean, seriously. Wtf??)

SpaceSquid said...

You were unable to sense sarcasm in a paragraph where I suggested killing a cripple and selling his wheelchair in exchange for tablets for a new breed of British supermen?

I was taking the entire linked article at face value, i.e. the British want to let the very ill die so we can save money to spend on lesser ailments. Pretending I didn't know Hawking was British was a part of that. I don't see how anyone could work out I don't really want to kill Hawking and sell his chair but assume I really didn't know he was British.

Unless you thought I did want to kill him, of course.

Senior Spielbergo said...

Difficult to say – It basically just didn’t make any sense at all, so I suspect it was a case of being unsure if you did want to kill him, or if you didn’t. Hence two conflicting possibilities and nothing to determine which one was the case. Therefore it didn’t make sense.

Remember you shouldn’t blame the reader. If what you’ve written is difficult for people to under stand – it is written in a way that is difficult to understand.

SpaceSquid said...

"Remember you shouldn’t blame the reader. If what you’ve written is difficult for people to under stand – it is written in a way that is difficult to understand."

It's written in a way difficult for some people to understand. I'm more than willing to accept not everyone is going to get what I'm driving at with any given post, and that some posts will be less clear than others. And I'm not shirking the responsibility I would share for that. But "you shouldn't blame the reader" is as a general principle exactly as ridiculous as "the customer is always right". I've misunderstood or misread pieces in the past, or not been able to wrap my head around them; and it would be ludicrous to suggest that it was always the writer of the piece that was at fault.

Tomsk said...

I'm with the Squid on this one. Short of putting a neon animated gif at the top of the post flashing "SARCASM ALERT!", I don't see what else he could do.

Anyway, sarcasm is even funnier when not everyone gets it :)

Senior Spielbergo said...

Thinking about it - where I think the problem arose was the fact that the linked to article also didn’t make any sense (in so far as it was using Stephen Hawking to illustrate how the British Medical system would clearly cause him to die). When the original article makes the sense and has you going, “errr what?” AND the critical article is ambiguous in meaning and utilising sarcasm, I think the end result is confusion. If the original article made sense I suspect your sarcasm would be easily realised, as it was your sarcasm just confused matters even more so.

A straightforward calling to them a bunch of tools and highlighting the fact that their own argument as to why the British Healthcare system will clearly kill people like Stephen Hawking off, actually illustrates the completely opposite point that they are trying to make because they don’t even know his nationality (presumably because his little computer thing works in an American Accent), would have been better in my view. As it is I’m more focused on the lack of comprehensibility of your post than the stupidity of these peoples views of health care systems.

And I would be quite happy with an animated sarcasm gif :¬)

SpaceSquid said...

You're entirely entitled to your opinion, of course, but I would suggest your problem with this post would extend to *any* attempt to ridicule idiocy by pretending to agree with it. By your argument the more ridiculous the initial article (and thus harder to follow), the harder it is to understand when someone is being sarcastic when suggesting it is correct, which seems strange.

But then the original article didn't confuse me at all; it was very obvious that the writer was being disingeneous in their description of British healthcare, and had attempted to illustrate that with an example they hadn't bothered fact-checking.

Senior Spielbergo said...

I think I would agree that attempts to ridicule idiocy by pretending to agree with it, at least when it comes to the written form, run the risk of being confusing as sarcasm is always a lot harder to identify in that form. I think I generally don’t like sarcasm in written form unless there is no / very little doubt as to the fact that it is sarcasm. In person you can seek clues as to if it is or isn’t sarcasm, in writing if it’s not abundantly clear your left questioning if it is or isn’t (even if your 90% sure it is sarcasm, that 10% of doubt is going to bite away at you).

SpaceSquid said...

Fair enough, then; I'm just using a style you don't like, which makes us both blameless.

Senior Spielbergo said...

True – But I can still grumble about it

*Grumble Grumble*

Tomsk said...

Solution: use the sarcasm mark.

This would solve everything⸮

Senior Spielbergo said...

Ah irony. The sarcasm mark fails to display properly :¬)

SpaceSquid said...

It won't let me use the sarcasm pseudo-HTML tage, either.

Tomsk said...

<misleading>sarcasm won't work: this is the official pseudo-HTML tag to use.</misleading>

<honest>The other available tag is this one, for when you're being completely sincere.
</honest>

Senior Spielbergo said...

Just adopt a Kryton like persona:

“Preparing to enter Sarcasm mode”
“Sarcasm mode engaged”
“Why certainly sir, I think that’s a splendid idea”

Senior Spielbergo said...

Dragging the comments section back on topic:

BBC strikes back:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8198084.stm

Yey!

Senior Spielbergo said...

Direct Linkable Link

Tomsk said...

Pah, this leftist obsession with "facts" and "reality" is typical of socialized broadcasting. If only we had a fair and balanced news service like Fox.

Senior Spielbergo said...

Careful – There are plenty of stupid people on both sides of the debate… It’s just most of the left wing ones aren’t allowed to run tv stations / news papers.

Tomsk said...

So what? I'm sure there are, but the existence of stupid left-wing people does not preclude making fun of the attitudes of stupid right-wing people.

To return to the de facto topic of conversation, I should add the following sarcasm disclaimers to my previous post:

* I'm not claiming that the left have a monopoly on truth.
* I'm not claiming that the BBC is leftist (it isn't).
* I'm not even claiming that the BBC is a sociali(z)ed broadcaster (although it is).
* I am claiming that the standard of news coverage in America is much lower than Britain, and Fox News is one of the worst culprits.

Senior Spielbergo said...

Here’s a question (one I don’t know the answer to, I’m genuinely asking). Is the standard of news coverage in America actually lower than Britain? I mean everyone can get behind making fun of Fox News, but I’ve certainly also made fun of ITV news, The Sun (the most commonly read newspaper in the UK by the way), The News of The World etc etc. The only bits of American media we tend to get are the bits where they make an utter hash of it, so I’m wondering if that’s not a fair representation. They clearly have lots of other stations and newspapers, so is the overall standard actually any better than ours?

We obviously read / watch the news sources we like, and ignore all the ones we don’t (in terms of British news), so I’m wondering if this biases our view when we look at American media.

Tomsk said...

The main difference is that British TV news broadcasters have an obligation to be impartial (mandated by the OFCOM broadcasting code). There's no equivalent regulation in America.

There are no such rules for newspapers, which is why our print media can be as biased as they like.

On the question of TV quality, you only have to watch CNN to see how bad American TV news is (from supposedly one of the higher-quality news networks). It's so superficial and sensationalist it hurts to watch it. Then watch Fox News and weep.

Senior Spielbergo said...

OK yes I can accept that, although I imagine that it is largely a fault of competition that their TV media is rubbish. What with so many news channels available in the US, they presumably have to keep themselves “interesting” in order to maintain viewers. I think also that is also partially a result of them all being 24 hour news channels. BBC 24 and Sky News suffers from similar problems (although not to the extent of Fox News). A better comparison I would guess would be whatever the American equivalents are to the 6 o’clock news, or similar. Whereby you have a prepared in advance program that has being properly edited together and not done on the hoof. I’ve never actually seen one of them, and I guess I should ask do such things even exist in America or does everyone just turn over to CNN when they want news?

Tomsk said...

Yes, I agree that 24-hour news is considerably worse than pre-prepared bulletins.

ABC, CBS and NBC all have proper evening news programs but I've never seen them so I can't comment on how good they are.