Manning celebrates ‘slap on the wrist’ verdict

Bradley Manning, the world’s most dangerous human being ever, is tonight celebrating the fact that he’ll only be in prison for a paltry 136 years.

The terrifying cyber-villain, disguised as a meek, beaten-down manchild, has breathtakingly evaded a charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ which would have seen him spend the rest of his life in prison. As it stands, Manning will be out and roaming the streets, armed with his powerful truth nukes, by the time he is 161.

FEAR IT.

FEAR IT.

Manning is by far the worst thing to happen to the USA, and possibly the world. By revealing how brave American soldiers heroically, and at great risk to their own safety, gunned down hordes of menacing unarmed Iraqi civilians, Manning directly endangered the lives of every American ever, including the dead ones. And children. Did he ever stop to think of the children?

To think that this madman will be out on the streets by 2149 is an outright abomination. To think that he’ll be living it up in solitary confinement, likely being subject to only several hours of torture a day, while real American heroes are out risking their lives to defend the insanely-heavily-armed nation against oil-rich, weapon-poor peasants, is frankly sickening.

The small consolation in this whole sorry mess is that with Bradley Manning behind bars, the world is a less informed and safer place. Without dangerous information which can cause ordinary Americans to question the atrocities casually carried out by the military in wars based on thinly-veiled neo-colonialism, everyone can sleep more soundly at night.

Unless they’re brown people, obviously.

God bless America.

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Pope in danger of becoming relevant

Vatican officials are tonight scrambling to undo a string of Papal gaffes which have seen the Catholic church’s hard-earned reputation as a sinister bunch of elderly lunatics called into question.

Pope Francis, Frank to his mates, has in recent days stunned the world with statements which make him sound almost like a normal, thinking human.

“We’re pretty spooked”, admitted Vatican spokesman Jeff Hall. “First he declined the Papal mansion in favour of a regular-sized house. Then he went off visiting his mates in secret and talking to peasants.

“Then he dropped the egg car in for a normal car. We liked the egg car. Everyone looks like a maniac in an egg car.”

Even the new car might not be enough to satisfy the new Pontiff – if rumours are to be believed, his blessing of several thousand bikers last month has made Francis hanker after a dirty great Harley-Davidson so he can arrive at official engagements like a badass.

The new Popemobile delivered 4000 pounds of torque and 200 hail mary's of salvation.

The new Popemobile produces 4000 pounds of torque and 200 hail mary’s of salvation.

“We’re really in danger of getting caught out here”, continued the spokesman. “Th things he’s been saying are crazy. All this ‘gay people are ok’, ‘the Catholic church is a bit weird and outdated’, these are things you expect from rational people. You do not expect them from the bleeding Pope! Rationality is not what we’re about.”

The Pope then took a press conference on a plane, strolling back to the surprised journo corps mid-flight, and proceeded to answer any question thrown at him in a jocular, amiable manner. It is unclear whether he was smoking a smooth Gauloise and wearing a turtleneck at this point, laughing and drinking a large brandy. He probably was.

“We can’t be having this”, lamented Fr. Hall. “If he carries on people will start paying attention to us and we’ll have to do stuff instead of just hoarding our vast wealth and ordering ever more elaborate cassocks. That would be a disaster.

“Still, the new Pope has closed the door to female clergy and he did gather 3 million children on a beach the other day.

“So maybe there’s hope yet.”

‘No plans to impose hosepipe ban’ after 1 sodding week of sunshine

In an announcement that literally nobody asked for, it has been revealed that there are no plans for an imminent hosepipe ban.

Water UK, the imaginatively named overseer of water in the UK, have insisted that the 9 days of moderate heat has yet to deplete the resources built up by the two solid years of rain in the run up to July.

Ahh, the golden summer of 2012

Ahh, the golden summer of 2012

“We’ve got shitloads of water”, said a spokesman.

“Not only are reservoir levels at a satisfactory level, we’ve now got reservoirs where there weren’t reservoirs before. Cornwall is no longer a duchy but a duck pond, which is of course a real boon for us.

“However, given our track record at storing water effectively I wouldn’t be surprised if we had to impose a ban next week.”

“All of our reservoirs are made of sieves.”

He encouraged people to “carry on with their lives”, seemingly under the assumption that mass suicide is the only rational response to a hosepipe ban.

Given the current heatwave has lasted all of a week, and the last time Britain even saw the sun is alleged to be sometime in late 2009, this feels like a slightly unnecessary announcement.

For one thing, if we’re even remotely close to getting low on water stocks somebody in charge of looking after it ought to be shot.

Second, and more importantly, hosepipe bans are traditionally an awful way to get people to cut back on their water use.

“Hosepipe ban you say? I’d best water the geraniums.

“All night.”

 

An Englishman’s Guide: Mallorca Part 3

Another July, another trip to Mallorca. I’m nothing if not original. Here are part 1 and part 2 in case you missed these. Last year. Which unless you follow this blog very closely is highly likely.

Anyway, here are a few more bits and pieces to do and see if you find yourself in Mallorca and not in Magaluf.

Beaches and cliffs

The Spanish seem to take a very lax approach to private property, and as such you’ll have to jump over walls or fences to access at least two of the four. Nobody I spoke to seemed to think this was a problem.

Also you’ll need a car.

First up is Es Marmols, which looks a little like this:

It's pretty damn shiny.

It’s pretty damn shiny.

 

Marmols is a secret beach which, in general, only Mallorquins know about. Until now obviously. So keep it quiet. It’s an absolutely gorgeous little spot, but it takes some getting to unless you have a yacht.

If you don’t have a yacht, rag your hire car out towards Santanyi. Once you hit Santanyi, follow the road towards Es Llombards and Ses Salines. After a mile or so there’s a sharp left on a right hand bend which you should take. Head about half a mile down the road until you go past a big locked gate on the left, and park up on the right.

Now break into somebody’s land.

Jump the wall (easiest to do this by one of the trees), then jump the second wall by the crumbly bit (you’ll understand). Fuck your legs up scrambling though the brush to the left til you find a road, and follow that. At the fork/house go left then head right when the path diverges and follow the path down to the beach.

That sounds rough but it’s genuinely worth it – people just don’t know about this place. If in doubt about the route, follow a Spaniard. If they find this somewhat concerning, make sure you have this dog with you to put them at ease.

Solves all kinds of problems

Solves all kinds of problems

 

Oh also, it’s nominally a nudist beach, but don’t feel obliged to get your bits out. If you do, suncream. Lots of suncream.

For an evening of sunshine, you’ve got two good options both of which result in the kind of sunsets that make people go ‘aahhhhhh’. If you have a significant other look into each other’s eyes and consider how lucky you are to have each other. If, like me, you don’t, make snide comments instead to make yourself feel better.

The easy option is Sa Foradada – head up past Valldemossa and go right as you leave the village (towards Deia I think…), then veer wildly off the road after a couple of miles down to Sa Foradada, which I think is listed as a restaurant. Park up in the car park. There’s a nice bar at the lookout point, and if you’re looking for some daytime fun the walk down to the point and back is a good way to while a day away. The sunset you see will look something like this:

People actually clap when it goes down.

People actually clap when it goes down.

Option 2 is to go out to Cabo Blanco. Head towards Llucmajor and then follow signs for Cap Blanc. Park up by the gate and break in to more fenced off land. Head towards the lighthouse but be aware that you’re walking into Cicada Alley. Walking with your arms flailing is a strong tactic, and keep your mouth very, very closed unless you want a flying cockroach in your mouth. Sit out on the cliffs to the right of the lighthouse. It’s a lot quieter and more remote here, and you also get to watch the sun go down behind the mountains which is quite pretty.

This view comes with a 90% chance that is cicada is mating with your hair

This view comes with a 90% chance that is cicada is mating with your hair

 

I should also mention that Cala Varques, which I mention in one of the previous posts, has gotten really popular. It’s now pretty packed but still worth a go. Swim out and round the left hand cliffs round to the next bay to find some really cool caves to play in.

Eating and Drinking

Don’t try and get breakfast. Spaniards do not understand breakfast. Spain, much like the District Line, is closed on Sundays, struggles with mornings and doesn’t really work. You can sit in a cafe in the centre of Palma at 9.30 in the morning and you’ll not see a soul. You can do what we did and drive out to a mountain town (Bunyalbufar) and try in vain to find anywhere open at 10.30 in the morning.

Embrace the Spanish lifestyle. Don’t get up before 10.

The best Mallorquin eating and drinking happens in the evening – during the day you can stop off anywhere for a pastry and a beer, maybe a little bocadillo to tide you over. If you’re really hungry go for a Menu Del Dia, but don’t trust anywhere that charges over 10 Euro.

For evening munching, I’d recommend Cafe Antiquari or Bar Espana in the middle of Palma – you can get a few beers and some good, homemade food for very little cash, and the atmosphere is lovely in both. For a more serious meal, I like Don Caracol up by Plaza Espana – a proper Mallorquin restaurant that’s not over-priced and does good hearty food. You can also sit down at midnight, which is fun.

Outside Palma, head up to Alaro in the mountains (drive to Bunyola, then signs to Castell de Alaro). There is an amazing little lamb restaurant in the middle of nowhere which does gorgeous lumps of fire-cooked lamb and pork. You can also walk up from the restaurant to the Castle, which has specatular views over the Tramuntana. It also has nothing in the way of safety fences, so impress your friends by leaning out as far as possible over the 500ft drops. They’ll think you’re really cool.

All the rocks.

All the rocks.

 

Misc

Train to Soller! Train to Soller! At 19 Euro it’s a bit steep, but a nice day out. You take the old 1912-style trains through the mountains from Palma to Soller. You can stand outside like a real cowboy and take in the views, and also try and steal oranges or lemons from passing trees like the filthy tourist you are. Warning: may result in broken arms.

Then at Soller you can walk down the tram track to the Port de Soller which will take around an hour. There’s a path which takes you past a minor piece of cinematic history in the form of the hotel from The Inbetweeners Movie, which is actually an abandoned shithole full of graffiti and probably crackheads. It’s still a nice find, especially if you start shouting ‘cum on me bastard tits’ repeatedly to recreate the highbrow gags in the film.

"You shit on the floor, fifty Euros"

“You shit on the floor, fifty Euros”

At Port de Soller you can laugh at all the people who chose to go and stay there, as they’re basically trapped, and walk around the bay to some viewpoints up above the cliffs. Don’t bother getting the actual tram at any point, a taxi is 8 Euros compared to a crowded tram at 5 Euros each.

Useful Phrases

My Spanish hasn’t improved much past the inappropriate chat up lines, but here are a couple of extras:

“Si y no” – “Yes and no”. Typical Spanish answer to any question/observation. “The sea is over there.” “Si…y no.”

“Perros no” – “No dogs”. I like to throw this in to every conversation at least once.

“Esperamos por los huevos” – “We are still waiting for the eggs”. Useful in bars when they forget the eggs.

“Tengo sueno” – “I’m sleepy”. You will be. It’s well hot.

“Gorda/gordita” – “Fatty/little fatty”. Give your female friends a complex with this apparently endearing term.