Archive for November, 2012

PETA Screws up as the Hobbit begins its journey.

November 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog likes animals – the house is infested with them – and I don’t approve of cruelty but some animal rights people are missing the plot. PETA – they’re the women who keep taking their clothes off in public to protest against people who eat rabbits, have bullfights for fun, and just now, make movies about Hobbits.

“3 HORSES DIED FOR THIS FILM” said their placard as they were outnumbered by thousands of Peter Jackson fans outside Wellington’s Embassy Theatre.

PETA has good points to make.

This particular one?

Pointless.

Given the Union complaints, the delays, the pathetic legal whine of an Asian New Zealander blathering about racism because she didn’t get the job of a hobbit because she didn’t look like a hobbit, I find it amazing that only three horses died.

Old age should have claimed hundreds.

And the PETA crew didn’t even take their clothes off.

Nah! Not a result!

Thai Days: Grass at the Bangkok Turf Club

November 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog, like anybody else, would expect a Turf Club to have grass. That’s the point. But Bangkok’s prestigious Royal Turf Club has taken the concept a little further. Raised the bar so to speak. By 14 kilograms. The grass in question had been compacted into blocks and has an estimated street value of 140,000 Baht. The police think it may not be home grown (by the Royal Turf Club) but originated in Laos. Why somebody left it in a sack in the Royal Turf Club’s car park has yet to be explained. And probably won’t be.

As the Thai Tourism people say, “Amazing Thailand!”

Leonie’s View: The secret …

November 28, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog expects this sort of post from Leonie our relentlessly politically incorrect Namibian correspondent. Make of it what you will. I’m unsure that the interview is true. But looking at her photo I am half way convinced. She looks a hand full and if I met her I’d give her a big sloppy kiss and ask her for a snifter of JD before taking her to an optician to reduce the huge optical enhancing lens action. She’d kick me in the balls and say her glasses suited her and then we’d have another JD and she’d offer me a joint and I’d say “Sorry Maam, that wouldn’t be legal” and she’d thwack my ears and say, “Get your pesky ass off my porch before I find my dentures and bite you!”

The Secret …

Bless her little heart….. How sweet……..
The secret to long life…

A doctor on his morning walk, noticed the old lady pictured above:,

She was sitting on her front step smoking a cigar, so he walked up to her and said,

“I couldn’t help but notice how happy you look! What is your secret?”

“I smoke ten cigars a day,” she said. “Before I go to bed, I smoke a nice big joint.

Apart from that, I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels every week, and eat only junk food.

On weekends, I pop pills, have sex, and I don’t exercise at all.

“That is absolutely amazing! How old are you?”

“Forty,” she replied

Beware Deadly Fat Burner DNP

November 28, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this message.

It reads as follows and of course it goes on my blog. Any message of public interest does.

Message:

Should this go on your blog? These deadly fat burning pills could be in Asia too.

Very nasty stuff

http://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2012/nov/dnp-warning#.ULYXDIWjnbl

Wildlife Photography in Thailand and Southeast Asia Weekly Digest Email

November 28, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog welcomes more from wildlife photographer and conservationist, Bruce Kekule!

Here we go!

Bruce Kekule has posted a new article,

African wildlife in Southern Kenya
http://brucekekule.com/photography_abroad/african-wildlife-in-southern-kenya/

African Safari in May 2012 – Part Two

Africa is not just about the ‘Big Five’. It’s also about all the other amazing creatures and ecosystems that make up the tremendous biodiversity of flora and fauna found here.

Bull elephant just after a rain in Amboseli National Park It can be said that Kenya is one of the […]

You may view the latest post at
http://brucekekule.com

If you’d like to join me on Facebook please follow the link below:

http://www.facebook.com/people/Lawrence-Bruce-Kekule/1400944551

You received this e-mail because you asked to be notified when new updates are posted.

Best regards,

L. Bruce Kekule
bruce@brucekekule.com

Thai Days: Gangnam Style – again

November 28, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog loves music – James Blunt is a favourite, AC/DC, Skrewdriver, Mozart never misses, Bach is blissful, my own band ‘Shoot the Pope’ (known to fans simply as ‘Pope’) won a talent contest while I was at university with the immortal, if un-recognised and extremely rude classic ‘Saint Peter’s Square’ – but this Gangnam Style phenomenon has me intrigued. And befuddled. And just a little nervous.

The 34-year-old Korean rap singer, Psy, will be Gangnaming away in Bangkok tonight and the tickets to the concert are free thanks to sponsorship from Coca Cola, Air Asia, and some outfit called True Corporation. Two words that when combined arouse my deepest suspicions.

The thing about Psy is that nobody here seems familiar with anything else he has written or sung. Onsiri Pravattiyagul writing in the Bangkok Post newspaper notes, “It’s mind boggling to fathom a live concert which might feature one song.”

And that’s what this whole thing seems to be about. One song. And one goofy, jolly, dance. Plus a cheerful looking nondescript non-threatening Korean who has fun having fun.

It’s safe (with the exception of Thailand where two teen-aged gangs exchanged more than 50 bullets after a row following a Gangnam dance-off, and another fellow blew two Gangnam dancers off their scooter with his shotgun because they were irritating him at a temple festival).

It’s a silly song, a silly dance. It’s slightly less annoying than the Birdy Song (which arrived fully equipped with its own stupid dance, one of England’s most ghastly exports) and apparently it is relaxing hard core criminals and new arrivals in Bangkok’s Remand Prison.

4,500 inmates were ordered to dance (or have their testicles mashed by hammers if they would like to decline the offer) and both warders and competitors in the contest spoke highly of the dance’s soothing effects and “teamship building”. Chinese dissident artist, Ai Weiwei also got out the invisible reins and Gangnamed. His subversive ride has been banned in China. Supporters have released Gangnam Style videos to protest this clampdown.

I wish Psy well, tonight. I hope that some of his other songs make toes tap, and if he comes up with something like an elephant dance or a ‘do the giraffe’ or the ‘shiver my stingray’ then he’ll go down well.

With luck, no gun fights. Just happy cowboys riding into town. Making fools of themselves, letting off steam and riding away into the sunset.

At the start of this blog post I mentioned the word ‘nervous’. I’m not quite sure why the word sprang to mind or why I used it.

But half a million people, more actually, watching this brainless music clip on YouTube, eclipsing every other piece of music ever posted in history, worries me. Yes, makes me nervous.

China, Editors, The Onion and the ‘sexiest man alive’

November 28, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has worked with scores of newspaper and magazine editors and they’ve been good, bad and ugly. Mainly good. Just occasionally they’ve been stupid. One BBC Wildlife Magazine editor changed “wild boar rootling” to “wild boar tootling.” Tootling? A bunch of wild boar tootling? Why would boar tootle while looking for roots, grubs and tubers?

These infrequent cock-ups are inevitably attributed to the writer.

“Look at this clown!” says the reader to his wife over breakfast, “Wild bores are tootling in Takao forests!”

“Do wild bores tootle?”

“According to Hugh Paxton they do.”

“I’d like to hear them try it. A tootling bore would make my day. More miso soup before your traffic jam to work?”

“No I’ve got to tye my tie round my nek and fuck my briefcase. Luv U.”

BLOG ED: Let’s move anus.

HUGH: Move on?

BLOG ED: That’s what I just said and edited. Let’s anus along promptly before people lose interest in this story about the stupidest editors in China, The Onion and the sexiest man in the world. Fenugreek is healthy but causes flatulence.

HUGH: Perhaps you could stop editing and let me tell this story?

BLOG ED: Suitcases me. All writers are arrogant bastards!

HUGH: And most editors are fenugreeking imbeciles who want to be writers but can’t bloody write! I wrote a story about Poland and they changed it to Finland!

A HIGHER AUTHORITY: CAN WE PLEASE CEASE BICKERING AND COME TO THE POINT????

Hugh: I’ve been trying to and nickel prices have soared in response to the decline in cod stocks in the Sahel!

HIGHER AUTHORITY: I sense non sequiters hear.

Hugh: It’s the editor! He’s still editing!

HIGHER AUTORITYR: Fa Crying out loud! Will editors stop editing, writers start writing and let’s wrap this story up in a soft dough made by pounding pecan nuts with wholemeal flowers in Florence where the Pope explained he was fond of octopus but only if it was grilled while fighting continues in the suburbs of Lago near Pluto which isn’t a planet any more because it’s too small and there aren’t two ‘n’s in Aregentina.

Hugh: Sounds reasonable. Here it comes: And thanks to AP for this!

“The online version of China’s Communist Part newspaper has hailed a report by The Onion naming North Korea’s dictator Kim Jung-un as the “sexiest man alive”. The People’s Daily ran a 55-page tribute to the round-faced leader, under the headline “North Korea’s top leader named The Onion’s Sexiest Man alive for 2012.”

The commie rag went on to explain that “with his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.”

The disturbing thing about this accolade is that millions of Chinese readers of The People’s Daily might fall in love with the ugly, foppish little turd. More disturbing yet is that a state controlled media organ reaching the aforementioned millions of Chinese could devote 55 pages to a loony, and draw their quotes and references from a publication called The Onion.

The Onion, and I’m sure you have already realised this, was taking the piss. Beijing swallowed it.

Thai Days: There wasn’t a coup yesterday

November 26, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog had a dismal Saturday. Dismal. I woke with the feeling that waking was a terrible mistake and it was. My daughter studies maths and Japanese at an outfit called Kumon. It’s very popular. There are Kumons all over Bangkok.

Their corporate image is a bored potato – could be a bored kid, but it looks more like a dormant spud. I hate going to Kumon, not as much as my daughter hates going to Kumon, but we are almost neck and neck in the loathing stakes.

She doesn’t like doing it. I can’t stand waiting for her to finish doing it. I get to sit on a chair designed for one of Snow White’s smaller buddies surrounded by harassed looking Japanese women with flabby legs and painted toenails and Japanese men slooped and snoring resembling the destitutes at Shinjuku station. The lighting is designed to remind you of terrible times in terrible places. Think nasty, really nasty, police station or urban jungle public toilet at 3 AM. The Kumon waiting area, its grisly occupants and it’s schizophrenic lighting are enough to give you tooth ache.

While my teeth were aching and I was watching the Japanese Daddys drooling or looking vacant, or in a few cases dutiful but incredibly bored and uncomfortable, I wondered what was happening elsewhere in Bangkok. The Pitak Siam rally. Was there going to be a coup? A violent collision of people determined to maintain or destroy the Status Quo?

11.55 am Pitak Siam leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit orders rally to continue. 20,000 police try to stop him.

Kumon lasted for several centuries and when it was over Annabel and I emerged to see a world with movement, life, people frying squid, selling mangos – we were back in Bangkok! Without hesitation I grabbed my daughter and took her down to London.

The Londoner’s a great place and brews its own beer. The stench was unbearable. Yeast, hops, f***k knows what, clogged the air. Their rather witchy brewing tanks were gusting smoke. Anybody in their right mind would have left at once, but we were too bloody polite. I ordered a pint and it tasted just like the pub smelled. Annabel’s Sprite was similarly contaminated. I still smell of the place and it’s Sunday morning.

We stayed in the Londoner for ten minutes then went outside. There’s a smoking area with stools and tables and a curry counter bar shop that never has any customers and usually doesn’t have any staff. The lights are always on, the coffee machine functions, and there’s a smell of curry, but overall it’s a total ghost. A mystery really. A restaurant with nobody in attendance in the commercial heart of Bangkok. Sitting opposite a pub that looked lovely but stank on a rancid scale of 10 out of 10.

Near the Royal Plaza protesters were worming their way into coils of barbed wire erected to stop protesters protesting.

A fat Japanese guy came trudging down the stairs – I knew from his beaten defeated demeanor that he had just come down from Kumon (ten floors above The Londoner).

Annabel: “What do you think he’s going to do?”

Me: “Leave.”

At about the same time police were readying more tear gas canisters the Japanese guy burst out through the Londoner’s doors and ran up the stairs, taking them two, three! at a time. I’ve never seen such a transformation. He was only in the pub for a minute. It had brought him back from the dead.

We had to go back into the Londoner to pay the bill and we argued about who should do it. I felt that Annabel, being younger than me, should stop her bleating and do the decent thing. She’s a stubborn little blighter and I never win.

“Let’s get the f***k out of here!” she said.

“Don’t say that, Annabel!”

“You just said it, Daddy!”

“Yes, well I might have done but I shouldn’t have.”

We reached the top of the stairs and Annabel said something unprecedented in Bangkok’s history.

“Ah fresh air at last!”

Nobody has ever said that on Sukhumvit road. Nobody. Ever.

We got the f***k out of there at about the same time police unleashed more tear gas and the anti-government rally began to crumble. The turn out wasn’t a million people as organisers had predicted. It wasn’t close to that. And one key obstacle was that there wasn’t room to have a rally. There were 20,000 police taking up the space. They weren’t on street corners. They were packed in a ranked mass, making any attempt to actually access the demo site physically impossible. It was a stubborn wall of muscle. 20,000! Check the Bangkok Post website for photos. You will find them daunting. One might even say an unprecedented deployment of police.

When the Red shirts were burning central Bangkok there wasn’t a cop in sight! The army had to restore order.

Annabel and I got home at about the time the protest leader called the whole thing off to stop people being killed.

Nobody died (apart from two cops who had the misfortune to be in a van that went head to head with another vehicle) and most people who were arrested have been released. The protester who drove a six wheel lorry through a police barricade is still helping police with their enquiries.

Was there a coup yesterday? No.

And yes.

The demo was dumb. But it was crushed unfairly. And crushed hard.

My daughter and I just had a normal sort of day. Fun, silly, infuriating, farcical but we both came home intact. I think democracy has not managed quite the same thing here after Saturday.

Check the Bangkok Post website. Look at the cops.

A mail from my wife.

November 25, 2012

In Tangkoko yesterday, we saw many troops of Black crested macaques. Also after 5 minutes of walk, we experienced strange very localized (within 2 meter diameter) rain. We looked up and it was two kusukus up on a high branch at 40 meters, urinating on us! But it was great to see them and the macaques in such a short visit.

New Post from Ghost Cities: Sherlock Holmes and Dead Man’s Land

November 25, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is, and has always been, a Sherlock Holmes fan. I like reading the books. Turning the pages. Feeling the past years come near and join me on my sofa. The stories are best read in England, with a fire in the hearth and rain tapping at the windows in the cold dark outside. But they work pretty well elsewhere, too. I spent happy times with A Study in Scarlet in Sudan –which has one of the crappiest airports in the world, trust me, really crappy! Like the country in general, really, only crappier.

But I’m digressing. Back to Holmes.

Nothing beats the classic Jeremy Brett ITV1 series and the recent rush of Holmes movies leaves me un-moved. Slightly offended, actually. Why mess with perfection? The Young Sherlock Holmes movie made me want to hurl (barf, chuck up etc.). A double desecration – Oxford and Holmes. But this is mere preamble. Over to Anibalan who has thought more about the Holmes phenomenon.

New post on Ghost Cities

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Dead Man’s Land

by anilbalan

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock recently, it probably won’t have escaped your notice that the Sherlock Holmes industry has never been in ruder health than it is at the moment. There is the hugely successful feature film franchise starring the ‘bromance’ pairing of Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law. Then there is the excellent BBC series Sherlock, made by Doctor Who writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, which features a modern-day Holmes played to perfection by Benedict Cumberbatch. Rather less impressive is the tacky and derivative Elementary, which has Johnny Lee Miller playing Holmes as a cross between C3P0 and Rain Man and, to add insult to injury, features a female ‘Joan Watson’ to boot! Nevertheless, despite its (many) limitations, Elementary, like Sherlock and the feature films, shows the enduring popularity of the character worldwide. At a recent author and blogger event at the offices of Simon & Schuster, I had the good fortune to meet Robert Ryan, the author of Dead Man’s Land, a novel which introduces an intriguing new twist on Holmesian mythology.

Read more of this post

anilbalan | November 25, 2012 at 2:00 am | Tags: Dead Man’s Land, Doctor Watson, Robert Ryan, Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | Categories: Book, Mystery, Review, Writer | URL: http://wp.me/p1Pozr-ip

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