2012 in Alternate History

2012
Image by drspam via Flickr

According to io9, it’s more than just the end of the world that we need to worry about for 2012.  Their predictions for this year include:

They missed out on a couple though:

  • Whitley Streiber (famous for being anally fingered by aliens) wrote about the boundaries between three parallel earths thinning in a parade of mental illness that would make David Icke blush;
  • Dan Brown’s apocalypse, which can only be preferable to reading any more of his dross;
  • Endless parkouring assassins jump around trying to give conspiracy theorists more to do than in any other year.

Still, it looks like the US isn’t going to get its first female president in time.

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And our spirits rushed together at the touching of the lips.

 

Compare and Contrast:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo credits: Alfred EisenstaedtRichard Lam.]

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What do you mean there are books other than Twilight?

Whether Better Book Titles took the idea from yourmonkeycalled or came up with it independently, it’s my favourite Tumblr of the moment.

A couple of weeks ago I overheard a WH Smith employee telling a customer that he’d looked up the author of a book and it was William Golding.  The customer was looking for Lord of the Flies. That’s right, he had to look up the title of Nobel Prize winning, thrice adapted, on the GCSE, Junior Cert 1954 classic allegory Lord of the Flies.

Needless to say, I posted this on Twitter and FaceBook and got accused of elitism and snobbery. I’m not saying that someone working in a bookshop needs to know the author of every book under the sun, but a basic grounding in the classics couldn’t hurt.

Good job the ConDem coalition is shutting down public libraries, eh?

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“This is the Big Society. You see it must be big, to contain so many volunteers.”

Precious Moments figurine of a boy in uniform ...
Image via Wikipedia

Leave the libraries alone. You don’t know the value of what you’re looking after. It is too precious to destroy.”

Philip Pullman

I remember the first day I was old enough to be brought to the public library. I was luckier than most of the other kids in my neighbourhood in that I had parents that encouraged reading, but it wasn’t until I entered that dusty bastion of oak-wood and furniture polish that I really discovered just how wonderful books were.

It was in the local library where I discovered Enid BlytonAsterix, the Moomins, Huckleberry Finn, and the Hobbit to the sound of a ticking grandfather clock and whispers of fellow readers.  That hardened paper ticket was the gateway to a lifetime of learning, of enjoyment, and countless worlds.

During Ireland’s last recession in the 80s the building, which had been a public library since 1884, needed some work to be made safe and so was condemned as libraries in poor areas were considered luxuries.  So we moved further afield and I found the many worlds of Clarke and Asimov, the joys of Adams, and had my noodle cooked by Ellison and Bradbury.

It was in a library that I met Roald Dahl. It was a library that started me programming. Libraries got me through school and into technical college and if it wasn’t for the groundwork laid there I’d never have made it through the Open University.

As Pullman points out, the fallacy of the market economy is going to drive out anything of worth in our society and it’ll be the less well off that will suffer.  It is nothing more than greed and selfishness couched in the language of ideology and stewardship.  A reduction to the lowest common denominator for those who can’t afford it, while the selfish classes get to keep more opportunities for themselves.

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Rare Exports in Carnaby Street

Feral Santa in Carnaby StreetTwo Laplanders  have arrived in the UK trying to sell a Feral Santa they’ve captured, storing the dangerous creature in a cage that is barely strong enough to keep it under control.

Oxford Street will be a bloodbath if it gets out.

The Health and Safety Executive declined to comment on the issue, stating that it was a problem for the Swedish Embassy.  The public is strongly advised to avoid the Oxford Circus area until the matter has been cleared up.

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It’s Christmas in Heaven

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It’s September and you’re displaying Advent calendars.

Really Morrison’s?

It’s September.

Advent. Calendars.

Really?

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…And I Feel Fine

CollapseImage by Damien Ryan via Flickr

While browsing Recommended Titles on Amazon UK, I came across this. Does Amazon’s recommendation engine know something we don’t?

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