Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 16, 2012

British Humour?

The Guardian's frontpage layout today is a bit awkward.


source

Or is this the famous British humour?

 

Posted by b on January 16, 2012 at 11:17 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Looks like typical British Schadenfreude.

Posted by: DM | Jan 16 2012 11:39 utc | 1

This reminds me of a schoolyard tale which cropped up when I was a kid. A Brit newspaper was said to have led a story about Queen Victoria opening a bridge with the headline...
Queen first to piss over new bridge

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 16 2012 12:14 utc | 2

Aside from the humor

The wreaked ship is moving and may slip off the cliff it is laying on:

Giglio, Italy (CNN) -- The search for survivors and victims aboard the partially sunken cruise ship Costa Concordia was temporarily suspended Monday because the vessel began to move, said the mayor of the nearby island of Giglio, Sergio Ortelli.

There are two livecams available for watching the wreaked ship
1 and 2 (which is proxy for the overloaded original) the second one has a timeshift archive.

Posted by: b | Jan 16 2012 12:27 utc | 3

The webcam is interesting. Shouldn't they be attempting to pump some fuel out of the ship?

Posted by: mrm | Jan 16 2012 12:37 utc | 4

On another topic, Juan Cole waxes sanguine on Iran.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 16 2012 12:48 utc | 5

From London, some not-so-good news for the dollar?
London Wants to Tap Chinese Currency Market

LONDON — Britain plans to turn London into a major foreign exchange trading center for the Chinese renminbi to benefit from faster growth in Asia while strengthening the city’s position as a financial center in the wake of the banking crisis.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 16 2012 15:05 utc | 6

Well, we already knew that. The British government exists to provide for the .00001%--the Queen and her family.

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 16 2012 15:36 utc | 7

Jeezz, who the hell proof reads that papers layout? George Bush?

Posted by: ben | Jan 16 2012 15:38 utc | 8

b,

if you want dark humor - follow the levenson inquiry with courts full og monsters & grotesques worthy of daumier or goya - but it is not funny ha ha but funny, criminally insane

Posted by: remembeereringgiap | Jan 16 2012 16:01 utc | 9

mrm @ 4 -- Per NPR or BBC (not sure which), the cruise company has contracted a Dutch oil extraction company to remove the oil. So far, no oil has leaked, but the ship is in a protected undersea preservation area with many reefs and other divers' and diverse beautiful areas. Alas.

Just heard on NPR's top of the hour news summary that the captain had diverted from the prescribed route. Uh oh for him. On to top of his derelection of duty, desertion of the ship, etc., charges, he will probably be serving serious time.

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 16 2012 17:03 utc | 10

The Guardian has turned into the NYTs sister publication.Screw them,and Al Jazeera.
Mr. Assange(remember him?)said the reason(ethnic bias) for its(Guardian) retreat from truth.AJs reason is because it's controlled by Arab oligarchs and haters of freedom.

Posted by: dahoit | Jan 16 2012 17:35 utc | 11

An interesting story thats floating around at present.

In Thailand today police raided a warehouse outside Bangkok after a tip-off from the US Embassy. The warehouse was owned by a Lebanese man with suspected links to Hezbollah. Apparently they found alot of bomb making equipment including ammonium nitrate and 9,000 pounds of Fertilizer. The bombs were apparently not meant to be used in Thailand but were to be smuggled out of the country. The rest of the group that was renting the warehouse have all managed to escape Thailand.

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/282385/20120116/thai-police-find-bomb-making-materials-suspected.htm

So is this story a US setup, or are Hezbollah shoring up their foreign assets in anticipation of an US strike on Iran? Also how did the group renting out the warehouse from this Lebanese guy manage to flee the country so quickly after being exposed?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jan 16 2012 17:58 utc | 12

Ammonium nitrate? For a serious military group? I thought that was only used by schoolboys blowing up trees and CIA patsies.

Posted by: not important | Jan 16 2012 18:12 utc | 13

Sorry. Not schoolboys blowing up CIA patsies. Rather, (and) used by CIA patsies who knew no better.

Posted by: not important | Jan 16 2012 18:14 utc | 14

@Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jan 16, 2012 12:58:08 PM | 12

Well the Lebanese man turned to be a Swedish sounds all very fishy especially with the Zionist IDF and Thailand
See this

Posted by: hans | Jan 16 2012 19:35 utc | 15

@ not important

Well Ammonium Nitrate (5000 pounds) was used in the Oklahoma bombing and it nearly brought down the entire building. Was also used in the attack on the Jewish Center in Buenos Aires (600 pounds). But yeah it would be very difficult to transport and plant compared to plastic explosives or TNT.

@ hans

Very interesting wasn't aware that Israelis had such a presence in that area around Bangkok. Does seem weird that Thailand has one of the largest Israeli expat communities per capita. After thinking about the whole thing I'm probably leaning towards this being a setup of some kind. After all how much times has the US busted Hezbollah cells? Hezbollah seem way to secretive to be caught out by US intelligeance.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jan 16 2012 20:31 utc | 16

Ammonium nitrate bombs are very big, very messy, and very, very difficult to transport. The one that hit the Murrah building in Oklahoma had to be driven there in a moving truck.

One good thing about Ammonium Nitrate, though: people in the US and other English speaking countries are quite familiar with it as a famous ingredient used by proven terrorist bomb-makers....

Posted by: china_hand | Jan 17 2012 4:23 utc | 17

“Shame on You!” Costa Concordia’s Guest Services Manager Speaks Out, Defends Crew and Captain
http://gcaptain.com/shame-you-costa-concordias/?37697
(story not verified – gcaptian.com)

As an aside, I know b has an interest in large industrial cranes. Here gcaptain.com has descriptions, discussion of these amazing large ship engines.
“DU-Sulzer 12RT A96C” translated to “One large MFD”
http://gcaptain.com/emma-maersk-engine/?506

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jan 17 2012 5:04 utc | 18

@Rick - thanks - for my master degree I had to do an obligatory internship in metal works. I did mine at the Meyer Werft in Germany which is some 20 miles from my hometown. It's specialty is building cruise liners (and LPG tankers). One reason why I am interested in the Costa Concordia issue. I have helped installing such big machines (well, a bit smaller than on Emma Maersk :-). An amazingly precise placing job has to be done with those really big pieces of metal.

Posted by: b | Jan 17 2012 18:38 utc | 19

The boondoggle of the C. Concordia for now seems due to the incompetence and mad hubris of the captain. Ships are one place where top-down authority still counts. However, the events after the ‘crash’ were a total mess - I read that the order to evacuate was given 76 minutes after it. Several descriptions describe complete confusion and breakdown of communication, non-respect for emergency rules, etc. etc.

Thinking about the open thread - Fukushima - Now I don’t know how the nuke industry in Japan is actually run, but in Europe, the picture is bleak. Privatization and sub-contracting has created a group of itinerant workers, who go from one nuke plant to another over the year. (It’s the same in the US I have read. ?..) Some of these workers are underpaid, but on the whole the pay is good, or even very high, as only fit young ‘qualified’ men are hired, and they will not sign up without a very strong financial incentive. So what you get is a structure of cadres - bosses - on the ground, permanent, and some easy jobs - permanent - with the hands-on work being done in cycles by itinerants.

With such an arrangement, the list of things lost is extremely dangerous:

Pride in work, cohesion within the whole team (top to bottom), intimate knowledge of the site, transmission of that knowledge down in time, adherence to strictures, safety measures, rules; development and change, future planning, regular, thorough reports; and finally, simple understanding between the participants, the need for mutual protection, group decisions, etc. The Machine has swallowed the Man, who is but a cog that is temporarily fitted into it. This picture comes mostly from France - Germany might be a bit better. (Btw many US ex-soldiers are hired.)

On the Pleasure Boats - cruise ships - the situation is the same, for different reasons. The motive is profit, so ppl are hired from all over the world, and the compensation paid is as low as possible. The employees are from the Philippines, Thailand, and so on. Besides the language mess, they also sign up for a ‘stint’ to earn higher pay than at home, and cannot really be integrated into a structure that is capable of handling such a ship. (Not because of their individual capacities or even loyalty, though I guess that is low, but because of the system, which substitutes empty ‘drills’ and ‘tests’ - the machine - for real integration which would cost millions.)
This state of affairs (in the Nuke industry, on cruise ships, in finance, etc.) leads to the hiring of, reliance on, invested hope in, strong, hubristic, charismatic bosses, who will, it is hoped, be able to influence, command, coerce, and completely control their subordinates and their machines. The idiot captain of the Concordia was hired for a reason - financial backers and those who would profit in the end liked his hubris and strong man image. He fooled them because they wanted to be duped. For money. To avoid looking at all the rest. I imagine.

(second attempt at posting so sorry if double)

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 17 2012 20:31 utc | 20

Of COURSE it is British irony dudes. Btw the Guardian, while purporting to be leftist, has its heart in Tel Aviv.

Posted by: boniface goncourt | Jan 18 2012 3:51 utc | 21

(in 2 parts, due to post failure)

1/2:

The boondoggle of the C. Concordia at present appears to be due to the incompetence and mad hubris of the captain. Ships are one place where top-down authority still counts.

However, the events after the ‘crash’ were a gigantic mess - I read that the order to evacuate was given 76 minutes after it. Several descriptions describe complete confusion and breakdown of communication, non-respect for emergency rules, etc. etc.

Thinking about the last open thread - Fukushima - now I don’t know how the nuke industry in Japan is actually run, but in Europe, the picture is bleak.

Privatization and sub-contracting has created a group of itinerant workers, who go from one nuke plant to another over the year. (It’s the same in the US I have read. ?) Some of the workers are underpaid, but on the whole the pay is good, or even very high, as only fit young ‘qualified’ men are hired, and they will not sign up without a very strong financial incentive.

So what you get is a structure of cadres - bosses - on the ground, permanent, and some easy jobs - permanent - with the hands-on work being done in cycles by itinerants.

With such an arrangement, the list of things lost is extremely dangerous: pride in work, cohesion within the whole team (top to bottom), intimate knowledge of the site, transmission of that knowledge down in time, adherence to strictures, safety measures, rules; development and change, future planning, regular, thorough reports; and finally, simple understanding between the participants, the need for mutual protection, group decisions, etc.

The Machine has swallowed the Man, who is but a cog that is temporarily fitted into it. This picture comes mostly from France - Germany might be a bit better. (Btw many US ex-soldiers are hired.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 18 2012 17:11 utc | 22

2/2:

On the Pleasure Boats - cruise ships - the situation is the same, for other reasons. The motive is profit, so ppl are hired from all over the world, and the salaries paid are as low as possible. The employees are from the Philippines, Thailand, and so on.

Besides the language mess, they also sign up for a ‘stint’ to earn higher pay than at home, and cannot really be integrated into a structure that is capable of handling such a ship. (Not because of their individual capacities or even loyalty, though I guess that is low, but because of the system, which substitutes empty ‘drills’ and ‘tests’ - the machine - for real integration which would cost millions.)

This state of affairs (in the Nuke industry, on cruise ships, in finance, etc.) leads to the hiring of, reliance on, invested hope in, strong, hubristic, charismatic bosses, who will, it is hoped, be able to influence, command, coerce, and completely control their subordinates and their machines. The idiot captain of the Concordia was hired for a reason - financial backers and those who would profit in the end liked his hubris and strong man image. He fooled them because they wanted to be duped. For money. To avoid looking at all the rest. I imagine.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 18 2012 17:14 utc | 23

@ Noirette,

I always find your posts thought provoking and insightful. the last is no different though I do have trouble understanding your description of Capt Schettino as being strong and charismatic. I can think of no worse coward and scared little boy than he who left his vessel and stood on the shore watching passengers and crew trying to escape a sinking ship. Surrounded by his officers no less...they too deserve their own special ring in Dante's Inferno.

I suspect he is connected via family or some other special arrangement and got command because of it and not because he was the most qualified for the job. that is somewhat common in Italy in my experience and you find a lot of teste di cazzo in positions they are not qualified for. they are good at hiding their incompetence by being mean and petty and folks below them adapt and function well in spite of them....not because of their leadership. In fact it was probably the Romanian and Albanian help that stayed and helped the passengers get off and they did this because they are genuine people and not some privileged piece of crap.

a real man is the Coast Guard Commander who comes upon a terrible situation and makes it very clear what is needed and what has to happen. It was at that moment when Capt Schettino could have proven himself to be better than an invertebrate but sadly didn't and probably couldn't

I may have overly strong feeling about this but it is beyond my comprehension for any man, much less the captain of a ship to run away at a time like that and then complain that he couldn't go back on the ship because it was dark.

here is part of a phone call made from the Italian Coast Guard to Capt Schettino. you do not have to understand Italian to hear the anger and frustration in the Commander's voice as he finds the Captain on land with his fellow officers and reluctant to return to the vessel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx99MK37-ao&feature=player_embedded#!

Posted by: dan of steele | Jan 18 2012 19:55 utc | 24

Dan, you may be right about all that. And the news reports that damn him are one guesses, correct, too much evidence -phone calls etc.

I of course don't know...But he was hired, he was approved, and he had even at that point a dark past (bad landings, etc. One article I read, don't know the truth, is he was responsible for 4 deaths previous...)

He should have been banned as a cap and from ships for life before he was hired on the Concordia.

But he *was* hired, his past and personality were overlooked.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 19 2012 20:34 utc | 25

Apparently one good move was to head immediately after the crash to a port. It's a no-brainer but probably saved lives. People who jumped off the Costa Concordia were within about a mile or less from a safe harbour, at least that's what a photo seems to show.

Apart from that I am appalled that anyone in charge of a boat with other people on it would pull off some cheap maneuver to impress his friends on shore. You automatically take that into account. We are not adolescents out for our first drive in daddy's car.

Posted by: jonku | Jan 20 2012 5:28 utc | 26

Here is a good explanation (video 15 min) of the last few miles the ship sailed based on AIS data.

Reuters has a live cam next to the ship which can be accessed through the Swiss paper Blick or directly at rtmp://live17.simplex.tv/live/blick using a program like KMPlayer.

Posted by: b | Jan 20 2012 13:00 utc | 27

Its really a big loss but thanks to the coast guard who were rescue all of the peoples in safe situation!

Posted by: Provacyl | Jan 23 2012 7:09 utc | 28

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083147/Firefighters-race-pump-water-listing-Queens-Royal-Yacht-begins-sink.html

With regards the british humour, the queen's yacht started sinking January the 6th?

That IS funny, not as funny as accusations of fraud in Canada though.

http://www.localssupportinglocals.ca/news/desperate-queen-elizabeth-sends-royal-envoy-british-columbia-water-war-crimes

Posted by: david | Jan 23 2012 23:05 utc | 29

Reconstruction of the Costa Concordia Tragedy

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 27 2012 22:50 utc | 30

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