Saturday, 30 January 2016

Men of Yore: Charles Goodyear

This is another in a series of posts about men from history who have either achieved great things in one form or another by pushing boundaries: either in themselves or in society or science or exploration of some form. Boundary pushing and growth is what men do, it's their nature: to grow and push outwards. We, as men, are the frontiers men, the first to discover/uncover new territory, in a metaphysical sense (i.e. including both material and the immaterial) that is later colonised and 'civilised' by the rest of humanity.

Charles Goodyear (Source)

Charles Goodyear,  (born Dec. 29, 1800, New Haven, Conn., U.S.—died July 1, 1860, New York City), American inventor of the vulcanization process that made possible the commercial use of rubber. 
Goodyear began his career as a partner in his father’s hardware business, which went bankrupt in 1830. He then became interested in discovering a method of treating india rubber so that it would lose its adhesiveness and susceptibility to extremes of heat and cold. He developed a nitric acid treatment and in 1837 contracted for the manufacture by this process of mailbags for the U.S. government, but the rubber fabric proved useless at high temperatures. 
For the next few years he worked with Nathaniel M. Hayward (1808–65), a former employee of a rubber factory in Roxbury, Mass., who had discovered that rubber treated with sulfur was not sticky. Goodyear bought Hayward’s process. In 1839 he accidentally dropped some India rubber mixed with sulfur on a hot stove and so discovered vulcanization. He was granted his first patent in 1844 but had to fight numerous infringements in court; the decisive victory did not come until 1852. That year he went to England, where articles made under his patents had been displayed at the International Exhibition of 1851; while there he unsuccessfully attempted to establish factories. He also lost his patent rights there and in France because of technical and legal problems. In France a company that manufactured vulcanized rubber by his process failed, and in December 1855 Goodyear was imprisoned for debt in Paris. Meanwhile, in the United States, his patents continued to be infringed upon. Although his invention made millions for others, at his death he left debts of some $200,000. He wrote an account of his discovery entitled Gum-Elastic and Its Varieties (2 vol.; 1853–55). 

Men don't always get rich for contributing to the betterment of the world, but more often than not they enjoy the contributions that they've made.  For some men, like Gregor Mendel (the monk who discovered Mendelian inheritance), Josef Bazellgete (who designed Londons sewerage system), and Charles Godyear that's often enough, because the work that they do gives them more satisfaction than the wealth they earn from it.  And at the end of the day, isn't that all that really matters?  Getting contentment from doing.


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Old Men Are Worn Out and Useless? Are they Heck!

Old codgers, weird uncles, dirty old men.  Those are some of the stereotypes that the average Joe or Jane might think of if you say the phrase 'old man' to them.  Stereotypes that aren't exactly flattering.  Not exactly positive you would say.  But that's how it is in the 21st West.  Youth gets trumped and age gets tramped on.  Not nice.  All that age and life experience just negated, cast aside like a used tampon.  [Sigh] But what can you do aye?

Ooh, I know what we can do!  Let's..

..not agree with them!  Let's say "bollocks" to those negative stereotypes.  Let's 'plumb the depths' of our brains (that's a nautical term btW) and the inter-web and find a bunch of well known 'old timers' who can provide us with a positive stereotype.  A gaggle of geezers who can show us what mischief old men can up to given half the chance.

Brian Blessed
Folk from the UK will know Brian and his booming voice, the kind that makes people grin.  For the rest of you HERE is a clip of Brian's trademark enthusiasm.

And here's an example of what he's been up to.  The oldest man to climb Mount Everest without oxygen.

Ranulph Fiennes
This dude is like a friggin Duracell bunny.  He just doesn't stop!  Marathon after marathon he runs, when he should be sat in a comfy arm chair with a cup of tea, plate of digestives, watching marathon of Midsomer Murders!

There's a whole company of them ('racist' Afrikaans) saving black people in Nigeria from the Islamic terrorist group (why is it always an Islamic terrorist group, never a Christian one, or a Taoist one, or a Buddhist one?) Bokul Haram (not to be confused with Procul Harum the 1960s pop group).
Leon Lotz was once a member of Koevoet – “crowbar” in Afrikaans – a paramilitary police unit created by South Africa’s apartheid regime to root out guerrillas in what is now Namibia. Thirty years later, something persuaded him to take up arms again in a foreign country. He was killed in March, apparently by friendly fire from a tank in northern Nigeria. Among the most striking facts about Lotz was his age: 59. A wealth of media reports, witness accounts and photos on social media suggest that he was not the only white mercenary who helped turn the tide against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in recent weeks, ­allowing Nigeria to hold a relatively peaceful election last month. Whether as technical advisers or frontline combatants, some are said to have come from the former Soviet Union but about 300 are reportedly from South Africa and nearing retirement age. 

Well there we have it, a motley collection of 'old timers' who disprove the cultural meme that old men are 'has-beens', or sexual perverts, or pathetic, or worthless in some way or another.

God, doesn't it get tiring debunking these misandric memes?  Does it bollocks!  Screw the lot of them!  Viva la hombre!  Long live men!


Friday, 22 January 2016

Men of Yore: Christopher Sholes

This is another in a series of posts about men from history who have either achieved great things in one form or another by pushing boundaries: either in themselves or in society or science or exploration of some form. Boundary pushing and growth is what men do, it's their nature: to grow and push outwards. We, as men, are the frontiers men, the first to discover/uncover new territory, in a metaphysical sense (i.e. including both material and the immaterial) that is later colonised and 'civilised' by the rest of humanity.

Christopher Sholes

Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890) has been called the "Father of the Typewriter." Although he did not invent it, he did develop the first practical commercial machine. Sholes also developed the Qwerty keyboard that is still in use today.
Sholes was born on February 14, 1819, near Mooresburg Pennsylvania. On his mother's side, his ancestry could be traced back to John and Priscilla Alden, the famous Pilgrims. His paternal grandfather had commanded a gunboat during the Revolutionary War. Sholes' father, Orrin, served in the War of 1812 and was rewarded for his service with a gift of land in Pennsylvania. In 1823, when Sholes was four, Orrin moved his family to Danville, Pennsylvania, were he ultimately apprenticed all four of his sons to become printers.

At the age of eighteen, Sholes went to Green Bay, Wisconsin to work for his brothers Henry and Charles, publishers of the Wisconsin Democrat. Two years later, when Charles bought a share of the Wisconsin Enquirer, Christopher Sholes moved to Madison to assume the post of editor. The next year, at the age of 21 and at his brother's bidding, he moved to Southport, Wisconsin, and founded the Southport Telegraph, a weekly newspaper. Southport was a new town on the Lake Michigan shoreline south of Madison, (incorporated as the city of Kenosha in 1850.) Sholes soon became owner and publisher of the Telegraph.

Sholes the Newspaperman
Settling in Southport, Sholes married Mary Jane McKinney in 1840. He and his family lived there until 1857. Sholes published his paper and became involved in politics, both reflecting his drive for social reform. The Telegraph took stands against capital punishment and war, and supported the growing movement for women's rights. A fight between two members of the territorial government in Wisconsin resulted in one member being killed in the council chamber. Sholes was an eyewitness and reported the incident in his paper. His article was reprinted across the country and Charles Dickens related the tale in his American Notes as an example of law making in the United States.
Sholes was a firm believer in mass communication. He felt that people could not reach their full potential until they could be brought closer together in thought. Sholes approved of every new way of communicating that came along. The Telegraph would give free ad space to any itinerant teacher of handwriting-shorthand or longhand-that came to Kenosha.
Politically, Sholes was a good Democrat. He supported the platform of his party, which included the condemnation of the anti-slavery abolitionists. He was rewarded with an appointment to local postmaster. In 1848, Sholes was elected to the first senate of the newly admitted state of Wisconsin. He then served as city clerk in Kenosha, and returned to Madison as an assemblyman.
In January 1853, Sholes met James Densmore, an editor from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Where Sholes was mild-mannered and poetic, Densmore was aggressive and possessed a temper. He did not make a good first impression on Sholes. Yet the two men shared many political views and quickly formed a partnership.
The first collaboration of the two men was the Kenosha Daily Telegraph. By using the wire news services of the Associated Press, they would have enough content to fill a paper every day. In the first year of their publication, they had taken on new causes. Sholes had undergone a change of heart and now supported the work of the abolitionists and the congressional candidate of the newly formed Republican Party.
Sholes traveled to Kansas, where a struggle had broken out after the United States Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It was determined that the residents of new territories would decide the question of slavery. Sholes returned to Wisconsin and the newspaper business. This time, he worked at Republican papers, the Milwaukee Free Democrat and then the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel and News. He visited the Wisconsin soldiers in the Union Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. In this capacity, Sholes represented the governor of Wisconsin, but paid his own expenses. He supported the Republican Party and President Abraham Lincoln throughout the war. As a reward, Sholes was given a federal post, serving as collector of customs for the Port of Milwaukee in 1863.

Sholes the Inventor
Despite his long career in journalism and politics, Sholes was an inventor at heart. Tired of addressing newspapers to subscribers with pen and ink, he invented a machine that would do the task using preset type and a treadle, variations of which were in use until the advent of computers. While living in Milwaukee, Sholes would often spend time at C.F. Kleinsteuber's machine shop, which was a meeting-place and workshop for amateur inventors. Working with another printer, he developed a machine that consecutively numbered railway tickets and bank notes. Sholes was trying to adapt it to automatically number the pages of books. Another amateur inventor in the workshop, lawyer Carlos Glidden, was working on a mechanical plow. Both Sholes and Glidden were interested in the work others were doing on typing machines. As an outgrowth of Sholes' page-numbering device, the two began work on a typing machine of their own.
The idea of a machine that would help people communicate with clarity must have appealed to Sholes. Many typing machines had come before. William Burt created the first typing machine in 1830. Fifty more people invented or re-invented machines before Sholes began his work in 1867. A plan for a machine in Scientific American inspired Sholes, but it seemed to be unnecessarily complex. The design called for a cast plate containing all the type. The plate would be adjusted to bring the desired letter into position and a hammer would force paper against the plate.
It took Sholes only a week to determine the basic premise of his typing machine. A single letter of type, carved onto a short metal bar could be made to strike upward against a glass plate. The first model came out with the help of Glidden and Samuel Soule, a draftsman and civil engineer. It only typed the letter "W", but its basic design would become the trio's first typing machine.

His First Typewriter
The three men set to work to make a complete machine. After much trial-and-error, a workable prototype was built by the fall of 1867. The design required that the paper be placed between the type and the inked ribbon, so only tissue paper could be used. After selling their first one, Sholes, Glidden, and Soule tried to raise enough capital to mass-produce the machine. Sholes typed a letter to his old partner James Densmore, who recognized the possibilities of their invention. He bought into the group and began promoting the machine. Densmore requested that the design be simplified so that it would be cheaper to produce.
Densmore spent a thousand dollars to manufacture a handful of machines before deciding that it was unworkable. The concept was good, but the execution, which had been largely in the hands of Soule, was faulty. He decided to try again, but with Sholes alone. Densmore requested that the machine be able to accommodate thicker, higher-quality paper. This led Sholes to develop a moving cylindrical carriage to hold the paper, and the inked belt, or ribbon, that would be located between the type and the paper.
Despite these changes, Sholes maintained his original concept of the type striking upward against the carriage. This differed from the front striking machines that would later become the standard. The great benefit of the front-striking typewriter was that the operator could see the type as is was being printed, with no delay.
Aside from his efforts to develop a machine that the public would accept, Sholes was also responsible for designing a typewriter keyboard. The earliest typing machines used many different styles of keyboards: circular or in rows with separate keys for upper-and lower-case letters. Almost all arranged the letters in alphabetical order, from a-to-z. As Sholes experimented with his new machine, he found that placing the keys in alphabetical order caused his machine to jam too often.

The Qwerty Keyboard
Many legends surround Sholes' development of the keyboard. It is not laid out based on the frequency of use of certain letters, nor are the most used letters placed under the strongest fingers. The most frequently quoted story, that it is based on the arrangement of the letters in the printers' type-case-in the days when every printed page was set individual letter and symbol by hand-is false. Most likely Sholes changed the order of the keys as he created prototype after prototype of his machine, trying to eliminate the most frequently occurring jams, when two nearby keys would meet. The layout kept frequently combined letters separated mechanically, which limited the number of possible collisions between type bars. It probably also slowed the rate a good typist could reach, further eliminating possible jams.
Ultimately, Densmore sold the machine to Philo Remington, American manufacturer of arms, sewing machines and farm implements. Even after Sholes' hours of experimentation, the engineers and mechanics at Remington were able to improve on the machine. They solidified the layout of the keyboard into something very close to what is still used on all alpha-numeric keyboards in most English-speaking countries today.
This has come to be known as the Qwerty keyboard, after the first six letters at the upper left on the keyboard. A comparison of keyboards from around the world shows that most countries using the Roman alphabet (A, B, C, etc.) or some variation of it use basically the same layout of keys. Over time, typewriters advanced technologically. The mechanical aspects were supplemented first by electric assistance and finally by electronic devices. It was no longer necessary to use the key positions to keep the machines from jamming. Many people have developed more efficient keyboards, both easier to remember and better able to divide the work between the right and left hands. However, these have all been commercial failures. The public has refused to adopt them, preferring the Qwerty design instead.
Sholes finally agreed to sell his rights to Yost and Densmore in 1880. History does not record the price, but it was not very high. Sholes was tired of the machine, and was ready to invent something else. He took advantage whenever possible to turn his rights into ready cash, believing until almost the end of his life that the typewriter would never be a success.
When sales of the Remington typewriter increased, Sholes accused Densmore of cheating him. Densmore replied that Sholes had probably made more money than he did. Once Sholes totaled his receipts from the typewriter for the period of 1872 to 1882, it came to more than $25,000. Densmore had not realized that much in that period, although he was to make much more in the coming years.
Sholes was quite proud of one social consequence of the typewriter—it opened office careers to women. Previously, business schools only trained men as secretaries. Since men were reluctant to give up communicating and corresponding in elegant handwriting, it became common for typewriter manufacturers to train women as typists. They frequently offered both machine and operator as a package to prospective clients. Women, who had been locked out of the office, suddenly had their foot in the door.
Sholes spent the end of his life in ever-increasing obscurity. He continued to tinker with various inventions, but none saw the light of day. Even as he neared his death in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 17, 1890, his bed was often crowded with models of inventions.
Because he had not associated his name with either the machine or its producers, he was forgotten. Whenever articles were written about the history of the typewriter, Sholes was only mentioned in passing. Often his innovations were judged to be unoriginal or hindrances. Yet he must be credited with contributing to the design of the typewriter. Even now, as typewriters fall into disuse, his legacy lives on. Remember him the next time you wonder "Who designed this stupid keyboard?"

Well I bet you never knew that the first typewriters were manufactured by a gunsmith.  I bet that they must've been quick off the draw!  [tumbleweed blows by]  Yeah ok.. I'll get my coat.

The typewriter is yet another example of the American spirit of enterprise.  Europeans may be good at inventing things, but Americans definitely excel at advertising them and mass-producing them.  Millions knows about Samuel Colt's revolver because he was an excellent showman and self-publiciser, and millions know about the Linus Yale's locks, because they were good publicisers and showmen.  It's no good having a great invention if there's only a handful of them in existence.  And it's no good having a world-beating idea if you don't bellow it to the world and let them know about it.  If you have a good product then make it known to all 'and' make it available for all.  These are two of the keys to American success: mass-publicity and mass-production.


Monday, 18 January 2016

Carrie-Anne Moss says "It's a great time to be a woman". Three Word Rebuttal: 'Cologne, Sweden, Rotherham.'

Came across this corker of a headline, and had to post it:
‘Jessica Jones’ Co-star Carrie-Anne Moss: ‘It’s a Great Time To Be a Woman’
It's illustrative of the facile way in which some people perceive the world.  They focus upon the  frivolous side of life, while ignoring the serious of life (both positive and negative).

In Canada, Carrie-Anne Moss raves about 'How it's a great time to be a woman', because she get's to portray a lesbian affair between a comic book heroine and her co-worker!  Woohoo!  You go girlfriend!  Girl Power!  It's a great time to be alive because you can... snog a woman!  Let's ignore all the 'boring' concerns like neo-natal health care, and empathy.  I mean, the ability to snog a woman is so much better than those things.  Right?

Let's look at what the world would be like for a woman like Carrie-Anne should she not live in the modern day West with it's advances in health care technology (the name Ignaz Semmelweiss spring to mind), and human compasion (as exhibited by men like William Wilberforce).  Let's read what life might be for Carrie-Anne:
The mutilation of young girls’ vaginas is also practiced by the Aboriginal [Australians], “in which old men roll emu feathers with a loop of hair. This device is put into the vagina and then removed, pulling away a large part of the womb. The rest of the womb is then cut horizontally and vertically with a stone knife. When this wound is healed, the girl is then circumcised and made to have intercourse with many young men. The mix of blood and semen is collected and given to frail tribesmen as a fortifying elixir.”103 Again, the fusion with the Killer Mother’s blood is imagined to increase the strength of the male who is uncertain of his masculinity. Males marry many wives and even rape their own daughters104 in order to fortify their masculinity, and fathers often have “boy-wives” to absorb some of their maleness.105 It is not surprising that with both boys and girls “almost their only, and certainly their supreme, game was coitus,” particularly “licking the vagina of girls” to increase their strength.106 Gang raping is constant among Aboriginals, as it is in all tribal cultures.107 Roheim calls the constant rape of Aboriginal children “far more ‘normal’ than the sexuality of the European male” since “their repression of sexuality need not be as deep as it is among Europeans.”108 
(Source: 'The Origins of War in Child Abuse' by Lloyd deMause; Child Abuse, Homicide and Raids in Tribes)
That's one paragraph from an essay on the subject of child abuse throughout history.  It doesn't make for easy reading, but the serious side of life often doesn't.  The side of life that Carrie-Anne and others like her, for whatever reason, choose to ignore.

If a man were to make a comment along the lines of "It's a great time to be a man, because I can wear a sarong." people would laugh.  Rightly so.  It's so silly it's ridiculous.  It's a comment that betrays the shallow-mindedness of the person making the comment.  Either that, or someone who's wholly oblivious to the world around them.  The fact that he 'is' alive to wear the sarong in the first place is more remarkable than the fact that he can wear it.  At any other point in history there's a good chance that he would have died from disease (smallpox, cholera, diarrhea etc), been killed in a random bar-brawl/street-fight (modern society is the most passive/non-violent society known in history; modern-day gun/violent crime is nothing compared to hunter-gatherer violence), or would've died in war (wars are pretty much non-existent now).  Those are the aspects of life that we should be paying attention to (improved technology and empathy/compassion), not the ability to snog another woman while being payed handsomely for it.

What else is happening in the world, while Ms Moss is snogging her on-screen bosom buddy, what makes it patently clear that it is not a great time to be a woman? 

Cologne anyone?
His admission came as police in Cologne said the number of complaints of violence filed over the New Year festivities has reached 516 – with 40 per cent relating to sexual assault. 
'Those in focus of criminal police investigations are mostly people from North African countries,' police said in a statement. 'The majority of them are asylum seekers and people who are in Germany illegally.' 
Rotherham (that Feminists are complicit in)?
The reports are almost unbelievable – and certainly not for the squeamish. They describe a ring of vicious [Pakistani] sex traffickers who preyed on adolescent girls and operated with impunity for years, as authorities deliberately ignored and even covered up the evidence.

Swedish music festival per chance? 
Swedish police face allegations of a cover-up for failing to inform the public of widespread sexual assaults against teenage girls at a music festival last summer. (..)Mr Gyllander could not confirm the ethnicity of the alleged attackers in Stockholm but said "this involves young men who are not from Sweden".

These crimes are never dealt with by shallow minded people mentioned because they are serious and require serious thought [1], and more often than not require the individual to dispose of their erroneous beliefs and acquire new ones (i.e. to grow up), which they are loathe to do.  (Just witness the infantile protests of English feminists who boldly claim that the sexual abuses that have been committed in Cologne have not been committed by immigrants, despite all the evidence to the contrary).

Yes, it's certainly a great time to be a woman...  What a div she is.  She focuses on the most facile activity she can engage in (snogging) and ignores both the serious positives (amazing health care) and negatives (gang raping Pakis) for women in the modern world.  Some people really are oblivious to the world that they live in.  Such a shame.

Footnote 1: 
Unlike Carrie-Anne feminists are serious minded, and they have a reason for not reporting the atrocities committed by Muslims against white women: It's because they are crimes that are being committed by fellow criminals in the gang.  (It is a criminal gang: a group of disparate elements, who have no love for each other, are working together to carve up a target.  Once the target is taken down, they'll turn on one another.)

Feminists made it patently clear that they are allied with groups who are opposed to cultural norms in White Western Civilization (monarchy, capitalism, Christianity especially Catholicism, patriarchy, nuclear family, parliamentary democracy etc).  Groups like communists, single-mothers, licentious homosexuals, and.. Muslims.  You know, Muslims like Abu Raghead and his chums who are molesting there way through the cities of Germany, Sweden, England, and the rest of Europe.  With friends like those who needs enemies.


Monday, 11 January 2016

Charles Bronson (no not THAT Charles Bronson, THIS Charles Bronson), proves that fitness begins when you want it

Folks from the UK have probably heard of Charles Bronson, for the majority who haven't Bronson is an infamous problem-prisoner who has served more than a life sentence even though he was only convicted for stealing £28 in the 1970s.  As well as being well known for being a problem prisoner, he is also well known for being a fitness fanatic.
"I'm the king of the press-ups and the sit-ups. I've already said I once did 25 press-ups with two men on my back, and I've squatted with three men on my shoulders! I've been making prison fitness records for as long as I can remember. Show me another man – a man half my age – who can pick up a full-size snooker table. I can. Show me another guy who can rip out 1,727 press-ups in an hour. I can ... I once went eight years without using weights, then I went into a gym and bench pressed 300lb ten times. I'm 5ft 11in, I weigh 220lb and I feel as strong as did when I was 21 ... There's something deep inside me that pushes me on. I'm a solitary fitness survivor."
— Writing in 2000, aged 48, Bronson describes the outcome of years of training in the confined spaces in prison.  
His Solitary Fitness book can be found on pdf HERE.  And it's a great read.  It reads exactly like Charles Bronson looks! 

Charles Bronson (source)

Be warned though it is ~110mb big, and you can't use word search on it because it's image based rather than text.

This is not to push you towards the 'bodyweight workout' or the 'weight free workout', rather it's to show you what you can do with.. nothing!  It's to show you what you can do with nothing but your wits and effort and enthusiasm!

[Rubs chin and furrows brow] "Hmm.  What can I do today?  [Looks around] "Ah!  A handstand push up!" [Attempts a handstand push-up]  "Crikey o' reilly.." [Strains]  "I'm glad I'm not in the circus.  I wouldn't last the morning!"

That's what it's about.  Seeing what you 'can' do with your own endeavours.  Your own efforts, your own solutions to problems and such like.  The opposite of following the plan of someone else in a mindless fashion like a robot:

[Terminator accent] "I vill perform forty nine press-ups in vun hundred unt ninety zex zekonds.  Vun, too, sree...  I have kompleted forty nyn push-ups.  I vill now make love to my fraulein unt be kontent."
Life just doesn't work like that.  Denying your own creative effort and joy by mindlessly following the plan of someone else is not good for you.  Men are men after all.  They are not followers, they are pioneers.  Pioneers in their own life.

Following your own creative drive also means that you end up valuing what comes out of yourself rather than valuing something outside of yourself.  In the context of exercise that could be valuing technology (expensive ab-crunching equipment, or air-cushioned trainers), or valuing jargon ('micro-rips' in muscles, nutritional jargon), or valuing plain old money ("This is expensive so it 'must' be good, and effective.") etc.  Enjoy what you do.  As Bronson stresses, repeatedly!

P.S. There is a TV documentary about Bronson available on youtube HERE, there's also a semi-biographical film of his life starring Tom Hardy called Bronson (alas there's no version on Youtube).  It's directed by the same guy that directed Drive, you know, the film that reaked of GTA (cruising around in cars and committing acts of violence) and had a really groovy soundtrack that you can find HERE if you're into electro-synth music.

(Credit to 'Slovenian Guest' for the Solitary Fitness pdf, and documentary video links.)


Monday, 4 January 2016

Alternative Lyrics to Well Known Songs 43 - Just Give Me Mince Pies

(Based on Alex Party 'Don't Give Me Your Lies')

This song is the lament of a working class pie lover; a pie lover who shops at a bakery that turned it's back on the traditions of it's home country, and (shock horror) started baking foreign foodstuffs!  [grumbling of disapproval]  "Boo!  Give us back our pies!  We love our pies!  Pies, chips, mushy peas, cold tea!  We want pies!  #Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land... #"

Alas elevating foreign things over indigenous things is something that frequently happens in England amongst the snobby element of the middle-classes who think themselves a cut above the working man.  Oh yes, in 21st century England snobbery is alive and well, it didn't die out with the Victorians, it just.. evolved..

It's evident in the most fundamental of foodstuffs: the daily bread.  In the Medieval period bread was divided into two types: brown and white.  Brown, unrefined bread was for the peasants, and white refined bread for the middle and upper classes.  During the industrial era the price of bread went down and working class people could afford to buy white bread, formerly the privilege of the middle class.  So what did the Middle-class do in response?  They started eating brown and wholemeal bread!  They started proclaiming the virtues of bran, and fibre, and roughage where formerly they loved the purity of the white loaf.  Why?  Because of snobbery!  The poor working class man had stepped in onto their home turf.  They'd interluded onto the holiest of hollies, they'd despoiled the sacred flower of.. um.. flour!  And as a result of middle-class snobbery they felt compelled to relocate to pastures new, or in this case breads a-new.  Brown loafs became their daily bread.  And it's why there is such a profusion of brown breads: artisan bread, seeded breads, bread with sun dried tomatoes, wholemeal bread with omega-3 fantastico-enriched olive oil from le pretencioso valley in Southern Italy, in supermarkets instead of bog-standard 'bread'.  The multitude of brown breads that we see in our supermarkets is there because of snobbery.

Bread is not the only working class food that's looked down on by the middle-classes.  The entire diet of Northern Europe is given the "Urgh!  How revolting!" treatment.  In the UK it's vogue to trump the Mediterranean diet because it is supposedly exceedingly nutritious, more so than any Northern European diet.  But this is twaddle.  A load of baloney you could say!  One only need to compare the Mediterranean diet with Northern European foods to see that they are pretty much identical, and have been for the past millenia.  The Hanseatic League trading community was based on the trade of oily fish (herring) from Scania, Beer from Northern Germany, and grain from Eastern Europe, all foods that are in the lauded 'Mediterranean diet'.

Mediterranean diet    Northern European Diet
Oily fish                       Oily fish (herring was a favourite in Netherlands and East Anglia)
Pasta                           Bread (bread and pasta are both made from wheat)
Wine                            Beer (both are alcoholic)
Fresh vegetables        Fresh vegetables (greens are greens wherever they are grown)
Olive oil                       Butter (recent studies have shown butter & lard to be very healthy)

So one is then forced to ask "Why do the middle-classes choose a foreign diet over their indigenous one if they are practically identical?"  To which the only proper answer is: "Snobbery my dear fellow."
Real men however are not affected by such vanities as snobbery, because they can respect difference, be it horizontal difference (like in the caste system), or vertical difference (like in natural hierarchies).  Men they respect difference.  They don't engage in disdain of others, or ostentatious advertisement of self.  If there's a hierarchy then it's not a hierarchy that looks down.  It's a hierarchy that simply is.  Stephen Hawking's smarter than me.  I'm never gonna win a Nobel prize, (not even for sarcasm!) and that's fine.  Some people are better than others at certain things.  That's just the way it is.
To start looking down one's nose at others is snobbery, in simple words: it's just not the done thing.  So we'll leave the snobbery to the foolish element of the middle classes who want to elevate/distance themselves from the working class.  The working classes who live beside them, who breathe their same air, who grow their food, who build their houses, who share their same haplogroup.  Instead of being snobs we'll enjoy what we do, eating pies, mushy peas, white bread or whatever that may be.  Condescension, as they say, is beneath us.
Now that's over, we'll move onto this weeks 'Alternative Lyrics..' song.  It is a light-hearted and seasonal (but late) song about a pie lover who shops at a bakery that turned it's back on the traditions of it's home country, and started baking foreign foods.
I'll probably re-post this later in the year, BEFORE Christmas.  You know, IN SEASON.  Like any SENSIBLE person would.  (Sotto Voce: God.. I'm such a numpty some times...)

Play the music video above and sing along using the alternative lyrics given below.

# Just Give me Mince Pies #
You make me so mad, oh what can I say?
You used to-bake for England, but then you turned away.
I tried so hard to carry on, but I just need some, need some short-crust love.
Now you're trying to say "come eat my brulee."
But don't you know, I just need, I just need mince pies.

Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.

Pies don't mean nothing to you.
(Nothing to you.)
Filo puff pastry, is all you think to do.
I tried so hard to carry on, but I just need some, need some short-crust love.
Now you're trying to say "come eat my brulee."
But don't you know, I just need, I just need mince pies.

Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.

Just give me, just give me, just give me.
Just give me, just give me mince pies.
Just give me, just give me, just give me.
Just give me, just give me mince pies, oh yeah.

I tried so hard to carry on, but I just need some, need some short-crust love.
Now you're trying to say "come eat my brulee."
But don't you know, I just need, I just need mince pies.

Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.
Just give me mince pies, mince pies, give me mince pies.

[End of lyrics.]