Monthly Archives: April 2010

Who writes the scripts?

In 1964 Harold Wilson challenged then Prime Minister Alec Douglas Home to a televised debate. Home’s response was surprisingly prophetic:

You’ll get a sort of Top of the Pops contest. You’ll then get the best actor as leader of the country and the actor will be prompted by a scriptwriter.

This is what they want

Tonight was a historic landmark in British Political Democracy (may it rest in peace).
The first televised debate between the three leaders (…hmm…why three? what about the Monster Raving Loonies?) went out tonight and was evidence that Britain has now achieved the same level of Democracy as the USA. Of course, Britain is far ahead of America in becoming a Fascist country. America is only proto-fascist, whist Britain has already sold the population to private companies.
I watched 5 minutes of tonight’s “Britain’s Got Dictators” before turning it off.
OK Britain, you have three choices:

  1. A smug, white, insincere, power-hungry, psychopath who’s had some dreadful training on how to be a “motivational speaker”. He was also Prime-minister without being elected and comes from a dodgy bunch of Presbyterians and probably sleeps on a bed of nails. He also gave the crooks who ruined the economy an amount of money that is so huge, we can’t picture it.
  2. A smug, white, insincere, power-hungry, psychopath who’s had some dreadful training on how to be a “motivational speaker”. He also came from an unfeasibly privileged background, has never actually enjoyed the company of anyone who ever cared about how much things cost, and almost certainly pleasures himself whilst thinking about raping slaves (gender unimportant).
  3. A smug, white, insincere, power-hungry, psychopath who’s had some dreadful training on how to be a “motivational speaker”. Who fucking cares at all? If anyone could watch his performance and afterwards think anything more than “does he think we’re that stupid?” then he may have a chance.

This is pure democracy.

Of course, at the end of the day, Simon Cowell is the only one who really decides.

RIP Pub bullshitters

Another thing the Internet has destroyed is the great tradition of “pub bullshit” and the traditional “pub bullshitters” who trade in it. Obviously we’re still in the early days of the Internet, but it’s now so easy to pull out a phone and check the facts that these people have shifted further into the darker corners; near the gents.
So many interesting facts have been passed on to me, and then passed on again by me to others [yes, I too was a pub bullshitter], that it’s quite upsetting to discover they were complete bullshit, even though they were only rendered credible because they seemed so unlikely. Pub soothsayers used to be able to bemuse the punters with assertions like:

“You know ducks quack, well have you ever heard a quack echo? No. You know why? Quacks are the only sound that doesn’t echo and no-one knows why”

“Do you know why sirloin steak is called sirloin? It’s because Henry VIII liked it so much that he knighted it. And that’s true that is.”

“You know that Marc Almond…etc”

“My brother’s just bought a swimming pool, and put that stuff in that goes purple when someone pisses in it”

As much as I loved this urban tradition as a historical artifact, it’s good to wave it goodbye. No longer will anyone accept an assertion as true if the only citation is “a bloke down the pub”.
That’s progress that is. A bloke down the pub told me about it.

Nick Doody’s brilliant rant on the DEB

It’s heartening to see that Lord Mandelmort’s evil plan to destroy the Earth (AKA The Digital Economy Bill) is getting some mainstream press attention in the UK. So far, my favourite analysis comes from Nick Doody on The Now Show. If you don’t have access to iPlayer, then here’s an excerpt.

For years I’ve tried to articulate how ridiculous the entertainment industry is in desperately trying to hang on to their shriveling market, using brute force and bullying. Nick Doody sums up the whole issue in one, brilliant, sentence:

“It’s just another example of people who make money from the way the world used to be, refusing to accept that their model doesn’t apply to the way the world is now; it’s like trying to protect blacksmiths and farriers by forcing motorists to put horseshoes on their cars.

State of the Union

Ploughing through A People’s History of the USA, henceforth to be known as “The Disturbing Book”, can be a very depressing experience. Just as you become utterly disillusioned about the generally accepted wisdoms concerning “The Founding Fathers”, some other evidence appears that makes the whole thing feel even worse. And I’m only a 1/5th of the way though.

Worse still, the depictions of America in the late 18th century become more and more descriptive of politics now. It’s easier to explain this with an example.

Back in the early days, after the genocide of the Indians and the enslavement of a vast number of poor people from across the globe, but before the “marvelous” revolution, the rich people who were running the show recognised that Racism was a powerful weapon to keep the poor in order. By simply encouraging hatred between the various races (who were all typically very, very poor) it would discourage them from uniting to overthrow the illegitimate rulers. The Bacon Rebellion clearly scared them by demonstrating that the poor, when united, were a formidable threat. The rich learned from this oversight. They also understood the power of the mob, and by simple manipulation managed to persuade the poor to recognise the real enemy as being their rulers: England.

Now, please don’t think I’m suggesting England was in the innocent victim here; the American revolution was a wonderful thing and the English need(ed) a good slap. But the genuine motives behind the rejection of English taxation are much easier to understand if you consider who had most to lose. The beggars, slaves, and even the skilled labourers (who were, and still are, considered “middle class” in America) had almost nothing to lose by higher taxes from England. The people who had the most to lose were those with a lot of money. It was directly in their interest to fight against the English. So they did everything they could to sow the seeds of rebellion amongst the poor and diverted frustration away from themselves and instead towards England.

200 years later, nothing has changed. The ultra-rich in America are running the show, and they have their obedient (and stunningly unquestioning) mob getting frothy-mouthed over things that can only benefit them directly. The tools of control have become more powerful in the intervening years, and the rich have become even richer. The teabaggers are the new mob, the new puppet-army of the ultra-rich, and seem to be happy to give their lives to the cause of bolstering the gap between rich and poor…despite being on the wrong side of the equation.

Expect Faux News to pump-up the race-hate in the near future.