Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New shirt

Just thought I'd try a different look... as soon as I get HTML sussed, I'm going to knock through here, get some windows put in, convert the loft...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

'looking Islamism in the eye'

This neat phrase from Nick Cohen the Observer this sunday encapsulates a lot of recent comment in Britain. By 'neat' I imply well-chosen for purpose and also tidy, as in rug-sweeping occlusion. The connotation is that we, the rational scientifically-argued secular west/Observer readers [conflation], must confront 'Islamism', over its apparent unwillingness to accept responsibility for the actions of certain sections of the 'Islamic community'. This is not the time, runs the subtext of Cohen [overtly textual in The Sun, Daily Mail, etc,] to indulge in 'hand-wringing, sentimentalism, etc etc'. We live in a 'very real' climate of fear of people using 'modern technology' to fight a classically dirty terror war. [Has John Reid been reading John Gray?]

Cohen doesn't quite revisit the sentiment 'hang on, it's mostly young Muslims that are setting off all the bombs, isn't it? So don't look at us,' but it's implied. In his brief, loose and ill-considered diatribe he sets up the straw man of writer/former diplomat Craig Murray to further an implied argument that blanket dismisses and totally ignores dissenting positions, the idea that any collection of infomation which contradicts the centrally held line is a 'conspiracy theory', and the further idea that somehow there are no grounds on which Britain/the west can be seen to be at all culpable: it's 'the terrorists' and terrorists alone.

I join the dots in my own eye... Writing personally - and noting the position of relative freedom which allows it - I find it abhorrent that we [citizens of the UK] are dandering along in a society where it is acceptable to play a game of mirrors, endlessly shifting blame and responsibilities and denying that we may have done anything. As if people who engage or attempt to engage in 'terror' do not believe they have a justification for their actions as compelling as we might believe we do for ours. 'Well, we don't go blowing up innocent people.' Yes, yes we do, yes we fucking do. We also make and sell arms around the world and then complain it's a dangerous place. We belligerently and - laughably, crudely - attempt to engineer control of specific strategic energy resources, while cursing gridlock and pollution on a daily basis, and pretend it's about 'democracy'. And then we act surprised when a comparably bellicose response is enacted. This is not rational, this is stupid.

Humans can only take responsibility for their own actions. Anything else is oppression. This, by the by, is true of any religion or system of government, not just the ones that hang 16 year olds for 'crimes against chastity'. So when John Reid says 'people don't get it', that we're under threat, it's imperative to say, 'No, Dr Reid, thank you, I do in fact get it. 'Terrorism' is not the exclusive preserve of one religious or secular system. It stands on a simple and universal premise of brute subjugation of other people by people. Telling people what to think, using violence or the threat of violence. Chimp behaviour. Thank you.'

We're lucky people in the west. We've grown up largely not knowing what oppression really means, or what being hungry means. Well, I have, and I can only speak for me. My good fortune - thus far - is not a source of shame, neither does it absolve me of responsibility for actions taken in my [citizen of the UK] name. I can, however, let it be known that I am entirely unhappy about such actions, and intend not to stop carping until we start to be a little more linked in our thinking and acting. This may begin with the creation of media that informs us of the right to not feel afraid, of media that does not try to stifle debate outside certain rigidly defined parameters, and it may continue as we utilise whatever methods we can to display a little less self-loathing and get out among the universe and enjoy it. This is not a theory, it's a call to action.

GAH, it makes me cross!

This is from the film Waking Life:

'The truth is out there in front of you, but they lay out this buffet of lies. I’m sick of it, and I’m not going to take a bite out of it! Do you got me? Resistance is not futile. We’re gonna win this thing. Humankind is too good! We’re not a bunch of underachievers! We’re gonna stand up and we’re gonna be human beings! We’re gonna get fired up about the real things, the things that matter: creativity and the dynamic human spirit that refuses to submit! Well that’s it! That’s all I got to say! It’s in your court.'

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dalliance with dwarves

Fan-fucking-tastic and drily reported news story from the BBC [my favourite font of knowledge], about a Phillipine judge, Florentino Floro who was [defrocked? derobed? debenched? It matters not, he is clearly demented] given the gavel for consorting with imaginary little people.

The dwarves - who the judge names as Armand, Luis and Angel - are understood to be appealing. [Insert hilarious punchline to obvious play on 'appealing' which evades me momentarily.]

Heh! Dwarves...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

the war on sense continues

Britain has issued a stark warning that Europe faces a 'very real threat' from terrorism. This is a considerable escalation from the previous level of threat, which was 'moderately real', but still some way away from an 'absolutely real threat', which observers note would be pretty realistic.

Said Home Secretary John Reid: 'We believe that issuing this emphasised reality check should shake some people from their complacency, particularly victims of state and non-state terror everywhere who just want to get on with their lives and wish that ideologues - who also, conveniently, possess all the weapons - would just mellow out a bit because it's not like anyone else never had an idea they liked a lot or anything, into acknowledging that when we say 'real', we don't just mean real or a bit real but hyperbolically real. ' [He didn't really say this.]

'Under previous governments the reality level of terror threat fluctuated between 'actually' and 'properly' real, but of course the methods of terrorists have changed in the 21st century. Mere acknowledgment of the reality of a threat is no longer enough. This kind of terror is so much more terrifying, differs so radically from all previous forms of terror - let us not conflate the actions of Al-Qaeda or its afffiliates with those of the IRA, PLO, Irgun or Baader-Meinhof or their affiliates in the last century, for example - that we have been led to the current unequivocacy with regard to the exact reality of the threat.' [Or this.]

'Neither let us pander to those who would question the reality of the threat. This threat is real.
Totally, utterly, really very real.' Reid responded that he refused to countenance 'weaselly quisling word twisting' arguments, such as the notion that threats themselves are abstractions.

He preferred, he said only to 'deal with very reality. The reality of Britain and America's foreign policy, including 12 years of continual bombardment of Iraq, while admittedly real, is not very real in comparison with bombings carried out for spurious reasons which are clearly not real. So it's totally not our fault, and anyone who suggests that we might all be to blame, and should just stop fighting for five minutes before the species wipes itself out in a mass intransigence incident, is playing into the hands of the terrorists.' [He didnt say this either, more's the fucking pity.]

I mean, really, though.

I don't think I can handle this

Thankfully, Beyoncé Knowles has been enjoying a creative surge.

Her ahead-of-schedule new album which is: 'appropriately entitled B-Day.'

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Is that B-Day as in Bidet or Buh-day?

I depend on B.

Friday, August 11, 2006

More from our volcano correspondent

Now this is what science should be used for. Lava guided melodies!

The researchers involved hope to use similar vulco-musical passages to predict eruptions in other volcanoes. BUT - what if one of the volcanoes is all Wagner orchestral drama and another is 'Rrrrright! Now... haahahahahaaa... Iiiii am an anti-CHRIST!' [et cetera]? Would Etna be a sell-out? 'It's done nothing since Pompeii...'

'I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died...
if i'd never loved I never would have cried...' [I am a rock...]

It might be possible to stretch this music/volcanoes conflation a bit too much, but what if - gah! - they all just sound a bit like Kasabian?

Brrrrrr - that'd be a conflagration you definitely don't want to hear.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mayon, East of Manila

From the 'ongoing awe at the natural world' folder:

Mount Mayon in the Phillipines could undergo a 'major eruption' in conjunction with the full moon today, scientists conjecture. Bad news if you're nearby, I thought... read on, read on...

'The volcano has been spewing lava and flaming rocks the size of cars in a quiet but steady eruption since last month.'

QUIET BUT STEADY! 'Flaming rocks the size of cars'!!! I am actually speechless. What on earth constitutes 'a major eruption' to a vulcanologist?

Probably this.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Orange sort of rhymes with outrage, but not much.

'I have just been so incensed by an advert that I ran all the way upstairs to get my laptop so I could splutter my absolute affront at the Orange Animal Tariffs Advert... via the internet.'

I yelp injury at my housemate. But really, though! The advert begins with aerial shots of people, lots of people, groovy beach kind of people, all human racing up and down in the sun, airborn voiceover swoops in smoothly, 'From a distance, people all look the same...' but it's not Bette Midler or Cliff Richard- thanks God! - it's the Orange Four Types of Animal Tariffs Advert Voiceover Man, a distant cousin of that annoying Magners Cider Voiceover Guy - you know, the pint of baileys & coffee bloke who is currently under contract with Magners Cider from Ireland to RUIN as many pop 60s beat classics [like The Zombies 'Time of the season'] as he can by TALKING OVER THEM in an ACTUALLY DEEPLY UNREASSURING Lovable Oirish Rogue brogue about how Magners are all about taking Time, Time Dedicated ToALRIGHTTHESONG'SFINISHEDNOW - who also thinks that adopting the bass baritone baby where you been gravel is the most compelling approach if you're trying to convince people that, hey, y'know, this isn't... it's not selling, it's lifestyle choice provision. Okay?

NO. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I wasn't even talking about Magners. The Orange Four Types of Balloon Animal Tariffs Advert continues. The Voice notes that 'When you get up close, everyone's different.' Following which socio-biological bombshell, the Orange Voice proclaims 'That's why we've brought out four new tariffs...' and then it all degenerates into meaningless babble, beach huts aglow with warm Orange firelight and the sickly green underlit chins of people texting their mates in the hut opposite, more balloon creatures randomly inflated and totemised, Tomcat, Budgie, Goldfish, Dog, I DON'T KNOW, IT'S RUBBISH.

Move back, back to the sudden deflation from 'everyone is different', which is somewhere around 6.5 billion, depending where you look, to 'four tariffs'. [!!! They might as well have called them black, white, brown and yellow.] Move beyond the somewhat tawdry fake Club Tropicana white trouserthon 'I'm A Celebrity Love Island, Get These Bastards Off Me' palm tree beach hut kind of imagery, weaving through the nonsensical Harry Potter/Boarding School 'you get assigned an animal, Badger, Rattie, Mole and Toad, and then you're in that House forever' whimsy, via a tedious torchlit parade of family of humanity virtual chat room bogus sense of community/revolution buzzmeme shite. What is left? The offer, the offer.

Four balloon animals. Is that it? We are clearly far beyond the potential problems of a lack of impact of, or essential respect for, a campaign predicated on the surely distressing idea that there are people who are coming to terms with their need for a fixed-term mobile phone contract and may conceivably require the help of some balloon animal types, to fetishise by way of a deflection from the mundane and financially inescapable mechanics of the actual network deal, one of a handful of uncomplicated, yet inextricable, schemata. This is an advert that shows Orange not only accepts these potential areas of objection but has moved on to the next stage, which is 'And these are the four balloon animals.' Thanks for that. But only four?

FOUR types for 6.5 BILLION people. Pah! You need at least 12 - ask any astrologer. I'm all for keeping it simple, but it would have been amuch better advert. Those two that are in the Orange cinema ones, 'Errrr, Badger, Catfish, Weasel, Mongoose, Otter, Badger,' 'You've had him,' 'Oh piss, er, Badger, Catfish, Weasel, Mongoose, Otter, Starling... Chimpanzee, Elephant... Tiger, Piranha, Woodworm and, er, er, Gerbil.' 'What do you get with Woodworm?' 'Um, tell-tale little round holes. And infinity texts.'

Which, you have to admit, is pretty daft. By the time I got to the Wind In The Willows bit I was all blown out anyway. I'm pay as you go with Orange. It's not like I'm oppressed or anything. [Housemate passes ice cream. Orange logo appears in corner of blog.]

Further activities:

Why not make up your own four Animal Fetish Tariffs?

Mine would be Penguin, Cat, Hound and Chicken.

Noanoa: Meerkat, Badger, Squirrel, Donkey

Tamara: Cat, Hedgehog, Wolf, Beaver

Or read about the Royal Family's network problems... Haw haw! 'Ermine, Swan, Hind, Unicorn.'

Sunday, August 06, 2006

on days like these...

Bit of an idle comics reading and snacking day. I have abandoned the self-imposition of 'doing some stuff for work' on a sunday for a small variety of religious, economical, psycho- and physiological well-being reasons.

So! What's been next to the brunch plate? Garth Ennis and Glenn Fabry's The Authority: Kev book as borrowed from Brixton Library - use it or lose it! As expected, funny as fuck and lightly didactic. In the flurry of new tabs that followed, ended up in the basement archives of TV Cream, funny as fuck and lightly didactic [theme], and reminiscing with an 'Ah! Oink...' as I scrolled through the Words and Pictures section. They are also right about Bananaman.

[Does despicable little self-satisfied dance to the coffee pot, humming. Dee de dee... yes, yes, the West is best...] Fortune favours the fortunate, obviously. Moral torpor aside, I dab a crumb of pie from my cheeks with a napkin and note that I love the way Ennis uses ideas as target practice for trigger happy impatients in his strips. Boom! Another idiocy bites the dust. Foollowing the library jaunt and a trip to the now defunct comic shop near Leicester Square, been reading Will Eisner, Life's a Bitch [Roberta Gregory collection], The Filth and Fritz the Cat, again. Frustrations and obsessions inked into a soggy pulp. Ace! [There could be a lengthy and preposterously pompous justificatory digression here on where and why this absolute admiration for comics, particularly, as a creative genre, possibly using the term V-effekt, however I will condense it for the sake of brevity to:] Comics rule.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

and so it dragged endlessly on and on

As the people of the middle east continue to hurl insults and munitions at each other, it's good to see the rest of the planet taking swift action to bring us to a point which is nearer a preliminary stage in the initial part of the process of beginning to create a draft framework for the structure by which negotiations around really starting to make a breakthrough in getting all the involved parties to agree to some first principles of what might constitute grounds on which we may develop some areas of accord with regard to considering a scenario whereby a ceasefire might take place.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Apocalypto 2: It Gets Worse

Mel Gibson has admitted to 'making anti-Semitic remarks' while being arrested.

Fucking brilliant! I await with eager anticipation the headline 'Gibson admits to fifteen counts of pederasty with diasabled Palestinian orphans'. Then we'd really see it all go Apocalypto.