*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Saturday 21 February 2015

Catholic 'Public' schools

I work in an anachronism, a public Catholic school board in a suburb of Toronto.  There is no way these should still exist (nor should I have been dumb enough to have taken the job...) and the UN has commented, for what little that is worth.  The idiocy never ends as the, satirized but fundamentally accurate, email below explains.  I have also shortened it considerably, because I am not an ass that works in PR off the public teat.

From: Head of Public Relations for the suburban Catholic public school boardTo: all school board staffRe: throw the results of the Government's survey on public education, even though your front-line jobs would be assured in an amalgamation of public Catholic and regular public school boards, but mine may not...
The Ontario government has an online survey asking the public for opinions about improving education.  Heaven forbid they should get accurate results, or realize that our board is an asinine thing to have at all, a minority of the families in it take their children to mass (as is true for staff), and that the writing's on the wall as such boards have disappeared in other provinces.   
I am asking you to go on the survey as a 'private citizen' and skew the result any way that you can, as if that would alter the truth of the thing.  Look, every other province that has done this has retained all the positions below superintendent, where people do anything like education, but not a position like mine: a Golgafrincham.  I did my best to get out of the classroom to be a bureaucrat, fuck all of you and your children and protect me!

NB: I ask you to volunteer to do this, but on your own time and home computer, so that we can deny we threw the results, and pretend you did this as a private citizen.

Friday 13 February 2015

Toronto Challenge!

Complete a TTC trip without seeing something important malfunction or broken. Today's fails: Presto reader, subway doors. Haven't even got to the second station!

Look at any Toronto marketing without a baleful laugh.  Today, the TTC 'subway' map.  The 'Airport Express' is a fucking bus on a public road, not to mention that numbering the lines is sad when you have two, dated from the middle of last century; #3 is a stub run on obsolete technology that will be changed to a streetcar, and #4 is four stops to nowhere, but Ikea.

Drive, cross a road or cycle without murderous rage at the hybrid of selfishness, gross incompetence and inattention that is the Toronto driver.

Endure winter temperatures without annoyance at the fact that there's no good come from our winters: there are no hills, the snow is too inconsistent for Nordic skiing, as it is for outdoor skating, unless the rink surface is artificially cooled (and all parks ban skating on ponds, even during a long cold snap, because imagined liability). 

Locate any 'eye-candy' (any gender or ethnicity).  There isn't any of age, and little enough too young: obesity and sloth the norm.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

How many times can you jump a shark, Japan?

With focus on wartime past, Japan’s global PR message could misfire

Many of the funds will be used for soft-power initiatives to cultivate “pro-Japan” foreigners, such as supporting Japan studies at universities and setting up “Japan House” centers to promote the “Japan Brand”...
Conservatives have welcomed the bigger budget but want priority placed on correcting perceived errors about history...
 Aware of the danger of a backlash, diplomats seem to have mitigated pressure to make the Japan House centers — to be set up first in London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo in late 2016 — beachheads to market an official view of history. Instead, the facilities could provide what one bureaucrat called a “platform for balanced discussion” on controversial topics, for example, by sponsoring seminars...
Conservative politicians however want bolder steps...
“Dragging people into a long discussion about history . . . seems like they are going to brand Japan with that atrocity in terms of its image,” said Dartmouth College professor Jennifer Lind. “It’s a losing battle.”
Arististhenes deduces that '1984' wasn't on the curriculum at, or to enter, Toudai; only an idiot thinks the Ministry of Truth is for other than domestic consumption.
"Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth."

Robots and foreigners are the answer as Japan’s population ages, says investor Sawakami

Arisististhenes has addressed this already: too late, fuckwits.