John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 96: And The Moon’s Pretty Bad As Well

by on Jan.13, 2012, under Rum Doings, The Rest

In episode 96 of Rum Doings, the second part of our Judge Coxcombe Trilogy, we don’t discuss whether Windows 8 will be Microsoft’s Window’s Vista, but we do contemplate whether Nick can love himself.

We celebrate the remarkable hero, BushMan, remember when people liked Adrian Chiles, then look forward to seeing Eurovision in a rat-infested shed. Then things fall apart as we disagree on the colours of the days of the week.

Would we teleport? How come Star Trek was so rubbish at computers? Was Ted Heath asexual? And who will be the next leaders of various UK parties? And American. And Russian. We confirm the end of the world, and then it gets really boring when Nick and Martin go on and on about programming languages.

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14 Comments for this entry

  • Xercies

    The thing is I quite like Ed Milliband, he is the only politition who seems like a nornal person and i cant help but go with him. And the funny thing is people hate him because of that when paradoxiy thats what people say they want.

  • mister k

    Ed Milliband has been a wet blanket of a leader thus far. He is unable to portray a personality publically, and thats killing him.

    I don’t think Obama will go down as easily as you suggest. He’s got the incumbent advantage, and the Republican candidates have made fools of themselves. Also, no-one really likes Mitt Romney…

  • Jambe

    wrt “the lack of democracy” being decried by Americans:

    It’s ironic, really, given that the Framers were very wary of “democracy” and its baggage — tyranny of the majority, the cacophony and distraction that arises from popular elections, the fact that most people don’t understand or care about history, international relations, economics, etc.

    A great many Americans, when asked what sort of government the USA has, will reply “well, it’s a democracy of course!” In reality we’re a republic, and originally the only directly-elected federal government positions were the House Representatives — the President was meant to be elected by a heavily-indirect “electoral college” and the Senators were elected by State Representatives.

    The 17th Amendment made the Senators directly elected, and the way the states eventually decided to appoint their Presidential Electors resulted in us more-or-less directly electing the President as well. If anything, too much direct democracy is one of the main problems with the federal side of American government (State government is a whole different bag of poop and varies greatly from state to state).

    On a related note, I like your British parliamentary system better than our presidential system because there’s much less attention paid to the head of the executive branch over thre. You Brits thus seem to care far more about your MPs (who craft the laws) than we care about our Reps/Senators (who do the same). Also, our President has far too much power already and yet various groups are always claiming that the President needs more power when they like him and less when they don’t (stupid dolts don’t even realize that they’re compromising the system).

    Anyway, another nice chat. Martin is a great addition. With three people things are less relaxed (perhaps a negative) but on the positive side there are more things discussed, so the 3-way chats end up seeming more provocative and interesting.

    Plus, it appears to me that Nick and John are more similar to each other than they are to Martin, so his different perspectives freshen things up.



  • sinister agent

    You Brits thus seem to care far more about your MPs (who craft the laws) than we care about our Reps/Senators (who do the same).

    Unfortunately this seems to be changing, as there’s a popular perception that we’re voting for a party or worse, a PM, rather than for a local MP. The big televised debates between the three leading party leaders in 2010 were a bit of a sign of the times there.

    What’s a bit illogical is the way that people and particularly the media see that people have voted for (say) Labour MPs, and interpret that as support for the party/cabinet, rather than it simply being those particular local MPs who are popular. My own MP is a great example – I would vote for him even if his party were acting like total idiots, because he’s bloody good, and would be the first to rebel anyway.

  • Xercies


    Thats been happening for a few years now, because of the party line and a lot of MPs are just following the leader blindly a lot of times you are voting for the party instead of the MP which I feel kind of breaks things.

  • mister k

    Jambe, you are aware that the prime minister wields relatively a great deal more power than the president? The UK is very much an electoral tyranny in ways the US isn’t, thanks to a combination of executive legislative and judiciary power all in one place.

    I wouldn’t say brits care more about MPs, and nor should they, as after all the vast majority of mps will vote blindly with the party whip every time, making them nothing but a tool of their party (oh, and useful for resolving the occasional local dispute).

  • Alex

    I enjoyed your side discussion on Star Trek’s transporter accident episodes and holodeck malfunction episodes.

    Deep Space Nine featured both of those silly plots in one episode. It also happened to be the best. In Our Man Bashir, most of the senior staff are involved in a transporter accident, and while the crew engages in emergency repairs, their physical characteristics have been dumped into the memory of the only compatible system on the station- the holosuites!!

    With the holosuite software in a precarious state (and the safety protocols offline, naturally) Alexander Siddig has to keep his Bond-esque fantasy program running, making sure that none of the characters (including the villains) come to any harm. The only man who can help him is Garak, the mysterious tailor/spy who might just value his own safety over the lives of the transporter victims…

  • Gassalasca

    I am astonished that you believe Obama will not be reelected.

    Too keep it short, Clinton and Bush got reelected, there’s a reelect mindframe these few decades. Also, crucially, no really strong GOP candidate. Obama basically only needs to admit that he hasn’t done enough, i.e. confess his sins, and he’s golden. Massive reelect.

  • trellism

    Oh, Alexander Siddig/Siddig El Fadil, I WOULD.

  • Jambe

    Your MP is the leader of the Commons and of his party, and he usually presides over a majority in the Commons, so he has more power to pass legislation than a President (who isn’t the leader of his party and who virtually always has to tangle with Congress, oftentimes even when it’s dominated by his own party).

    British legislation is thus more readily associated with a party sponsor than American legislation which is a nightmarish quagmire of he-said-she-said piffle. This clear(er) association seems to engender more attention being paid by constituents to the laws themselves (and subsequently to the ground-level lawmakers). I suppose this might not be true, though — I’ll have to take your word for it!

    Regardless, it’s worth pointing out that there are five times as many people over here represented by considerably fewer officials. We are more… separated from our government, I guess (our constituencies are bigger).

    I’d wager fewer than 1/40 Americans know their State Rep, and fewer than 1/20 know either Senator (1/40, again, probably know both). A far greater percentage of people know who the current President is. This despite the fact that he can’t do much of anything about legislation, especially in such contentious times. All the Presidential candidates blather incessantly about the change they can see done, despite the fact that the President is a Congress-shepherd as opposed to a Congress-leader (and Congress is intransigent, i.e. impossible to shepherd). John & Nick talked of what Obama has and hasn’t accomplished… as if he can accomplish much of anything at all.

    What we need is a new Congress, not a new President, and whatever President we do have needs to be less of a polarizing, spotlit figure. Either that or we need us some autocracy again to remind us why we went with republicanism in the first place.


    I think we’d agree that the party hegemony/tribalism issue you brought up is more pressing for both countries. Now Americans have a false choice between insolvent Democratic plans and insolvent Republican plans. Viable candidates who think our budget should be somewhat sensible and more divorced from corporate interests and who aren’t absolute crackpots wrt social/war issues are few and far between. Brits have a choice between the ever-more-centrist Labour Party or the decidedly-centrist Lib Dems who recently sold themselves out… or the Tories. Or one of the many seemingly-irrelevant parties.


    … Alexander Siddig is hot.

  • devlocke

    I liked it when Nick and Martin (too briefly) discussed programming languages.

    If it was my comment on your reaction to the Stroh you were talking about, I think you kind of exaggerated my comment re: your initial (slightly, possibly) exaggerated reaction. And I totally admitted in that comment that I drink lots n’ your reaction might be closer to the norm than mine. I think it smells kind of nice. :)

    Loved the episode.

    Re: the election in the U.S., I currently think Obama is more likely to get re-elected than ousted. We’ll see, once the election furor gets centered on ‘Republican v. Democrat’ rather than ‘Republican v. Republican’ but I feel like the possible candidates for the Republicans are all so basically unpleasant to a majority of Republicans that they might just end up being less motivated to vote on Election Day than traditionally-not-very-motivated Democrats, if nothing else. The only person every conservative-leaning-person I interact with has something nice to say about is Ron Paul, and mostly the something-nice is along the lines of ‘At least he’s consistent, too bad he’s unelectable/batshit-crazy.’

  • Jambe

    Yeah, my bet is Obama wins.

    Ron Paul is consistently crazy enough to avoid.

    I like his stances against the war on drugs, warmongering generally, the PATRIOT act, the Cuban embargo, etc. And I’m even on board with many of his “fed reduction” ideas because the federal government is far too beholden to corporations and far too insulated from the concerns of everyday American life for it to be trusted with many of its current capacities.

    That said, Ron Paul has too much bible-bashy social conservatism in him, he has a screwball regressive view of how the BoR should apply to the states, and he has too many isolationist-like policies. Perhaps most egregiously, he has this insane belief that we’ll magically become a fiscally-solvent, monetarily-responsible nation if we base our system of exchange on a substance which fluctuates wildly in value whenever somebody finds a deposit of it (gold).

    He’s also running for the GOP nomination, and I dislike that party’s modern baggage more than that of the Democratic party (I don’t like the Dems either, though, to be fair). I wish a third party were viable but there’s just no machinery in place for a third party candidate to be relevant on the national level.

  • trellism

    The Maya didn’t die out. They are a recognised ethnic group in Mexico.