Sunday, 23 December 2007
To me, the whole mess (now resolved, leaving an uncensored song), was totally pointless, but revealed an interesting truth about our society. In our enlightened search for "tolerance" for all the people in this world, in our desire to uphold the tenants of free speech, human rights and social acceptance for everybody, we are slowly stripping away said rights from a group that, while dwindling in size, still makes up a sizable proportion of people.
The problem with the "right" to free speech in this enlightened, 21st century society is that not everyone in the world will always agree on what can be deemed as "free speech". There are a large group of people in the world who are bigots. Nowadays the "pc brigade" (that is often made up of two groups; ultra vocal loudmouths from minorities, and middle class, married white people who feel they should be offended), that is so often mentioned and demonized by the media, espouse that everyone has the right to free speech or equal rights - particularly those who don't have them, such as poor Iraqis (so we invade and help destroy their country so they can have them).
Now, coming out of this push for free speech and equal rights for everyone, comes the logic that there are certain words you can no longer say; nigger being an oft cited example, faggot being another (for the most part it is words that are used to descirbe some kind of minority group that are the words that shall never be uttered). The popular line to toe nowadays is that "you have to be responsible with free speech" which, I suppose is okay, but kind of turns free speech into limited speech. Moreover, this does away with the rights of bigots.
I posted a transcript of a sketch George Carlin did a while ago that was based around the notions of language, which I would like to reassert here: "For instance, you take the word "nigger". There is absolutely nothing wrong with the word "nigger" in and of itself. It's the racist asshole that's using it that you ought to be concerned about. We don’t care when Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy say it. Why? Because we know they're not racist. They're niggers! Context! Context! We don't mind their context because we know they're black. Hey, I know I'm whitey the blue eyed dough boy, honkey, patty ass motherfucker myself. It don't bother my ass. They're only words.You can't be afraid of words that speak the truth, even if it's an unpleasent truth about the fact that there's a bigot and a racist in every living room, on every street corner of this country."
I think that this is the crux of the problem with free speech and equal rights. The more vocal the outspoken sections of a minority become, the more they emphasise how we MUST accept gays or blacks or asians or handicapped and how important it is to celebrate all our diversity, the more people who don't buy into that idea dislike these minorities. I am all for the removal of bigotry in the world, but it is very important that we all recognise that bigotry and bigots do exist. We cannot cocoon ourselves from the problem and hope that it will disappear. Just as much as minority groups have a right to jump up and down scream about how everyone is equal and wonderful, bigots have a similar right to jump up and down and scream about how everyone is not equal and not wonderful.
Bigotry reminds us minorities that not everyone thinks it's great to be gay or black or disabled. It reminds us that not everyone likes "us". And you know what? That's fine. If we want to espouse the values of equal rights and free speech, then it has to be applicable to everyone, not just those who didn't used to have them.
So say nigger, say faggot, say whatever you want. I will never agree with you if that is a view you have, but you have a right to have it. Just as I have a right to disagree with you. Invariably the people that are most vocal about how such words must never be used are the ones causing people to hate the above mentioned groups; the ones that think that you can ram your own special culture down everyones throat, while preventing them from ever disagreeing with you because that would be racist or homophobic or sexist. That causes as much hatred for minority groups as anything else. Emphasizing the differances between staights and gays, blacks or whites, Muslims and Christians only serves to widen the gap between the two co-existing peacefully.
In building this culture of free speech, eqaul rights and total acceptance of everyone, the architects have created a world where we are becoming more and more distant from one another than ever before. The closer we move towards actually getting along with one another, the more the "pc brigade" demands that many of the unfashionable lot that don't share the same views give up their rights to free speech, so that we will not be bothered by their views or opinions. Our world will never be without bigotry, it's a simple fact, so we have to learn to understand it in order to combat it. Sweeping it under the rug so that everyone feels better about themselves is unrealistic. If you think that the word nigger should be banned, or that homophobes should all be done away with, then the only bigot around here is you.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Am I the only way that is beginning to view the coverage of this growing threat as something very, very similar to the way that communism was portrayed in the west during the '50s and '60s? The threat to democracy, to freedom, to what is good and right in the world. How long will it be until we start seeing McCarthy-esque witch-hunts? Here in Britain we've already seen a woman convicted for the crime of writing poetry.
Think about that. Convicted for writing poetry.
Her work sympathised, some might say glorified, the actions of the insurgents/terrorists/freedom fighters/threat to democracy/whatever you want to call them over in Iraq. While I disagree with the woman’s desire to view the acts in such a positive light (doing so through those ever present faith based glasses that everyone attached to this conflict seems to be wearing nowadays), I am shocked that she has been convicted for writing them down. I mean, think about it, what this conviction means is that, essentially, your opinions are not safe anymore. You may not write poetry about something that doesn't agree with the official party line. Taking it a step further, it indicates that one may not produce a play sympathising with the enemy’s plight, or create a sculpture showing the true horror of the war that the politicians want to forget.
That to me seems to scream out as a precursor to the return to McCarthyism.
We have our Prime Minister telling us he wants to turn our city centres into concrete barracks, our lives to be monitored, observed and watched every day for our own security. Well, call me crazy, but I want to retain my individual freedom to choose how to live my life. I want to see glass windows in shops; just because a bomb might turn the material into dangerous flying shards does not mean that they have to be done away with. A boiler blowing up could demolish a building full of people, should we get rid of them as well? We cannot bubble wrap the entire world and make everyone live indoors just because of the "threat". If that was the case then no one would ever leave their house for the "threat" of being hit by lightning.
If we were able to survive thirty years of the IRA bombing us from an island less than half an hours plane flight away then I'm sure we can survive the "threat" of freedom endangering extremist Islam. Of course, we all know that the last thing that the governments of Britain and the United States want to keep their citizens from realising that. Keeping the populace afraid makes them easier to control. It makes their opinions easier to mould when the threat to their territory is always in the back of their mind. It keeps the wheels of Government constantly greased to surrender new powers to the leader of the day so that they may better help us fight terrorism.
That's how Hitler got started.
I do not mean to be alarmist, but after yesterdays bombing of the U.N in Algeria, I am sure we will once again see the scaremongering of our overlords put into full effect, telling us that no one is safe! Just remember that sometimes risk is necessary. Sometimes it's necessary to have principles and opinions that fly in the face of prescribed opinion. Mark Twain once said "Patriotism means supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." Well, the bumblers and botchers that are currently in power do not deserve it, let me tell you. They have the gall to try and impose on the spot street searches, fifty two days of detentions without charge, or arrest a young woman for her opinions, citing that they are doing nothing more than protecting us from the threat of terrorism when THEY STILL HAVEN'T CAUGHT OSAMA BIN LADEN.
The threat of communism was real, but the world kept turning. The threat of the IRA was real, but the world kept turning. Do not let the threat of extremist Islam be blown out proportion as an excuse to stop the world turning. In this technocentric age, all we have that is safe is what is inside our heads. And I would rather retain that and live under the threat of attack than surrender it completely and not ceasing to really be living at all.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Unlike the laws that protect against racial hatred, sexual or minority discrimination (otherwise known as the George Bush happy hour), religious people deserve absolutely nothing of the same sort. The simple reason is that they chose to believe in whatever supernatural spook is their cultures flavour du jour, and therefore have to deal with it when someone pokes fun at them, says they're idiots, bigots, intolerant, extremists, fascists and general nutjobs.
You see there's a common misconception that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and the rest are some kind of race of people, like someone might be oriental, black, middle eastern, white or aborigine. Or that they're some kind of nation people Chinese or Kenyan or French or Brazilian. Or that they're some kind of minority people like the handicapped, the transsexual or those that don't blindly support causes they don't understand just because the papers tell them to. There are no religious children. If you were born in Tehran, chances are you would be raised as a Muslim. If you were born in North America you'd be raised as a Christian. Why? Not because you were born that way, but because your parents chose to raise you that way. Irrespective of belief, you would still be brown if you were born in the mid-east, and Caucasian if you were born in North America. You can't change that.
But you can change your beliefs. And the reason that belief deserves absolutely zero protection in the eyes of the law is because people CHOOSE to follow whatever religion it is they're into. Do lawyers get legal protection defending them from lawyer jokes? No, because they chose to be a lawyer, no one forced them. Should dustmen get protection from having to work with waste? No, because they chose to be dustmen (though they seem to be trying their damndest to change this). So Muslims or Christians shouldn't get any protection from someone calling them on their intolerant bullshit because THEY CHOSE TO FOLLOW THAT RELIGION. You can't argue otherwise, because if you had any proof for your belief, it would be fact and not belief.
So stop whining when someone shows an image of your prophet, or when someone slaughters one of your TB infected sacred cows, or when someone puts Jerry Springer The Opera on television and a judge laughs you out of court when you try to sue the producer on the grounds of blasphemy. You chose to follow that particular fiction that talks about talking bushes, men floating into the sky, six thousand year old earths and babies surviving attempts on their lives which end up shaping their destiny (the last one was actually from Harry Potter, but it's a similar load of absolute fantasy), so stop complaining when rational people disagree. Also, stop complaining when your employer tells you (or should if they had any spine) to shut the fuck up when you whine about having to handle alcohol, not wear your cross (and what is the point of wearing that by the way? If Jesus does come back the last thing he's going to want to see is a cross) when on company time or when logical people, the establishment or the mass media tell you to stop discriminating against women, gays, liberals, the poor, or other religions. Using the old "God says..." trick is a cheap way to disguise your hatred. You chose to believe in first century belief system in the twenty first century, so stop whining when the rest of the species decides to try and get along with one another for who we all are, and ignores you crying out that your crumbling papyrus pile of bullshit tells you that women should subservient to men. Or that gays should be executed. Or that rape victims are to blame for tempting their attackers.
You chose to live in a framework of myth, superstition and fear of change and the unknown. You'd learn that the modern world is a far more interesting place when you choose not to.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
1) The PS3 is still too highly priced for what it is. While the technology might be great, the average consumer (i.e. person who is not on the internet reading about videogames or writing about them like me) does not care about its Cell processor, 204 GFLOPS single precision float and 15 GFLOPS double precision, 256 MB of Rambus XDR DRAM, or RSX "Reality Synthesizer" when, essentially, the Xbox 360 graphics look the same and the console is much cheaper. This problem is further compounded by the rampant success of Nintendo's Wii, which is proving that you don't need insane levels of technology or graphical beauty to be a success.
2) The BluRay drive. Sony has made the very dangerous move of committing to as yet unproven successful. While they try to push it as a selling point, the fact is that it is null and void because the mass market isn't ready to decide whether it likes HD or BluRay more yet, meaning that consumers are hesitant about investing in a technology that may be obsolete within a few years. Like the VHSvs Betamax conflict, or all those people that invested in MiniDiscs (remember them?) consumers are wary of buying loads of BluRay DVDs only for the amount of new films being produced and put onto the format to dry up. Should HD win out, Sony has a massive problem on its hands, as it has a console with a built in DVD player, the technology of which is obsolete.
3) The ridiculous lack of marketing for the console or its games. I haven't seen advertisements in media stores, magazines or print for anything. When the 360 came out it was everywhere. When Halo 3 was released the hype was insane. People need to be reminded that your product is out there and that games are being released for it. The user base is so small that word of mouth alone won't do it. IT doesn't matter how many good games you have, they won't sell themselves.
4) Lack of good, exclusive games. Name me one big, exclusive game on the PS3. One. Bet you can't. This is the system's major problem, every game they have has been delayed or lost its exclusivity. Hell they didn't even launch with a killer app. "Resistance: Fall of Man"? Really? The good game was met with no marketing, and followed up with... Nothing. GTAIV, Devil May Cry 4, Killzone, Assassin's Creed. Every major game the console has had. Of the above three only one has been released, and that was a full year after the consoles US launch. GTA was delayed because the PS3 port was nowhere near finished. The only shining light the console has is MGS 4, and even that is in danger in terms of exclusivity, as Konami have said they're considering porting it to the 360, and Kojima doesn't mind.
The four add up to a monumental problem that I don't think the system will be able to overcome. The 360 has killed it in Europe and the US, and the Wii is dominating both. The Wii which has no built in DVD player, limited online functionality, no true HD and far underpowered hardware. And it's kicking the crap out of everything. It - in my opinion - suffered from a lack of decent games after the initial launch batch (aside from gimmicks that have zero replayability), which is why I sold mine, but it is still dominating everything. Who's have thought that Xmas 06 would have been the best chance you would have had to get a console for Xmas 07? A year of selling out everywhere, compared to not even selling out on launch day. To me, the PS3 looks like it is destined to be the Gamecube of this generation. And while the Gamecube had a definite marketing strategy and approach that failed, the PS3 was something that was expected to sell because of its past reputation. It didn't. And it's nobodies fault except Sony's.
Friday, 9 November 2007
Condemned Number One: Christopher Michael Benoit
May 21 1967 - June 24 2007
Over three days from June 22 to June 24 the professional wrestler Chris Benoit killed three people. He strangled his wife Nancy to death to a phone cord, killed his seven year old son Daniel with a choke hold and then took his own life by hanging himself using the cord from a weight machine in his home gym.
A tragic occurance.
Any rational, logical person would rightfully condemn Benoit for these horrific crimes. But in 2007, this is not so. For some strange reason, the blame seems to have been placed at the feet of Benoit's employer: World Wrestling Entertainment.
The link between professional wrestling and steroids/prescription drugs is much like Tom Cruise's sexuality; an open but dirty secret within the entertainment industry. Merely looking at the attached picture one can see that Benoit - a decidedly normal 5ft 10 inches tall - was built like a small truck. He was receiving shipments of steroids from his GP (Dr Phil Astin) on a monthly basis. While nothing may appear out of the ordinary (too much) for a professional wrestler to be receiving prescription steroids, it quickly came to light that Benoit was receiving enough steroids to last a normal user TEN MONTHS. That is nowhere near the realm of "normal usage". The history of steroid abuse in wrestling is a long and storied one, and not one which I will go into here, and is something that seems to have become the sole media focus of the entire tragedy.
Once the media had a nice, juicy story to get their teeth into with professional wrestling they were stunned to learn that in the last ten years over one hundred wrestlers and former wrestlers under the age of forty have died, almost half from drug related issues. The seedy underbelly of the carny world of professional was even more salacious than the media had thought.
Now Benoit becomes the figure head, a Christ like Messiah for the attackers of the faux "Sport of Kings". And with Benoit as Christ, there can be only one Satan: The owner of WWE, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Benoit - a prolific steroid abuser - committed these horrific acts under the watch of World Wrestling Entertainment, and it seems that they are the ones being held responsible for his crimes.
I ask three questions:
Who was taking the steroids prescribed to Chris Benoit?
Who killed Nancy and Daniel Benoit?
Who killed themselves to avoid answering for his crimes?
Condemned Number 2: Cho Seung-Hui
January 18 1984 - April 16 2007
Cho Seung-Hui marched into Virginia Tech University on April 16 2007 and murdered 35 people. He wounded 25 others. He was armed with a Glock 19 and Walther P22 semi-automatic pistols, which were loaded with hollow point bullets - bullets designed to expand on entering the human body, resulting in greater tissue damage. He shot himself in the head when police breached the doors of the building he was in.
He also made a video tape, chronicling himself preparing for the attack, and listing his alleged motivations. Of course, the media quickly pounced on this story, and must have been overjoyed to find images of Cho mimicking the poses of the actors Choi Min-sik and Kang Hye-jeong from the South Korean movie "Oldboy".
Media organizations, including Newsweek, the BBC, the Daily Mail, MSNBC, Reuters and the Associated Press all ran stories linking Cho to the influence of the movie. They described the more graphic scenes of the film, those which would fire the imagination of the reader and created maximum reaction, in an attempt to draw some kind of direct parallel between Cho and his actions and the movie.
Not only does no one get shot in Oldboy, Cho had not even seen the film.
I ask three questions:Who purchased the guns and ammo weeks before the shootings?
Who pulled the trigger?
Who killed themselves to avoid answering for his crimes?
Condemned Number 3: Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennet Klebold
April 9 1981 – April 20 1999 / September 11 1981 – April 20 1999
The Columbine shooters. I will not go into graphic detail, as pretty much everyone knows the sotry (Michael Moore even made his last good film about it). On April 20th 1999 Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold walked into Columbine High School armed with automatic and semi automatic weapons and murdered thirteen people and wounded twenty three others before committing suicide with single shots to the head.
The world was shocked by such a tragedy, and the search for rationale was on. The media looked high and low for what could have caused two seventeen year old boys to commit such a horrifying act. They seemed to gloss over the apparent answers that were evident in the lives of these two troubled, bullied and isolated boys, and the media machine seemed to settle on one target: Marilyn Manson.
It did not matter that neither Harris or Klebold were fans of Manson, it didn't matter that they only quoted his lyrics a few times in their recovered journals, while they mentioned the movies The Matrix and Natural Born Killers far more often. The media had fixed their target, and they ran Marilyn Manson into the ground.
Every rumour and myth the lanky goth rocker had courted to increase his noteriety earlier in his career came back to haunt him, especially the small matter of the Priesthood in the Church of Satan that his friend Anton Szander LeVay bestowed upon him in 1995. Manson was hounded and turned into a hate figure. An easy target for a relentless barrage of criticism, revulsion and finger pointing. It closely resembled the witch hunts of years gone by.
I have three questions:Who wrote about what they were going to do?Who pulled the triggers on their respective guns?Who killed themselves to avoid answering for their crimes?
No one ever bought up Charles Manson's LSD usage when discussing the murders that The Manson Family committed under his orders. No one ever rifled through Hitler's CD collection to check what he was listening to. No one ever checked out Geoffery Dalmer's all time favourite movie list.
So why then, in the (allegedly) more enlightened times that we live in, do we see blame being placed so recklessly at the feet of people that had nothing to do with the crimes?
My conclusion is two fold. One; the perpetrators of the crime are dead. They cannot be hounded, they cannot be interviewed, they cannot be photographed, recorded or reacted to. Without a live body that can react to their blame, the media believe they have no story. Charles Manson is alive, so all the blame for his actions can be placed on him. But Chris Benoit is dead, so it must be Vince McMahon's fault. The media turns tragedies into ratings wars, where they act as God like entities, positioning every party they choose to deem accountable on collision courses with one another in order to generate maximum ratings. Look at the McCartney/Mills divorce, the McCann drama or any daytime chatshow. And all the while, the media companies remain unaccountable for their actions, above the squabblings of the people whose lives they may ruin, quietly reaping the rewards.
The second part of my conclusion is something that is more telling about our society as a whole these days: No one wants to accept responsibility for their own actions. No one wants to place blame on Cho Seung-Hui, because the violent movie industry is a much bigger and easier target. No one wants to condemn Eric or Dylan, because the music industry is a much more accountable focal point. No one wants to admit they're overweight and weak willed when one can blame skinny models, McDonalds or advertising that emphasises beauty, good taste or luxury.
This is the overarching problem of the three cases highlighted, and the wider problem with our society today. People refuse to accept that maybe, just maybe, they have to be responsible for themselves. Feral, "hoody" gangs of teenage kids are influenced by violent culture. It has nothing to do with the fact that their parents drink as much as they do and are practically non existent entities in their lives. People with a weight problem are bullied into eating by advertising and fast food. It has nothing to do with the fact that they spend too much time on the couch in front of the TV, not exercising and feeding their face. "Ladettes" who get too drunk every weekend are influenced by cheap drinks and the actions of Charlotte Church or Paris Hilton. It has nothing to do with their lack of ability to know when they've had enough, or their questionable moral and sexual scruples.
Until society learns that sometimes you have to be answerable for your actions, cases of misplaced blame and trial by media will continue to happen. It's an unpleasant truth that Europe allowed Hitler to become the problem he was, but one we cannot hide from. It's time society started acknowledging the unpleasent truths in its midst and actually doing something about them before another tragic event cum media circus happens again.
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
I am fed up of being lectured on bloody climate change. I am sick to the back teeth on being lectured on “turning off your standby appliances”, “change to energy efficient lights”, “only charge your phone every other night”, “insulate your house”, “recycle all your rubbish”, “only throw trash out once every other week”, “don’t travel by aeroplane” etc. I am done with being told that there are Government incentives being planned that will reward people that recycle, and punish those that choose to drive big cars, throw out garbage or whatever. The powers that be need to stop trying to punish the individual and start looking at the bigger problem.
Stop turning a blind eye to countries that fell thousands of acres of rainforest every month. Start punishing businesses that are the most energy wasting monsters in the country. Start investing in DECENT public transport instead of just trying to price people off the roads with speed cameras, fines for driving big cars or congestion charges. How dare you lecture me on why I should not drive (or learn to drive) when you have the nerve to raise rail fare prices, citing that “the more people that travel ,the more CO2 is produced, and we need to offset that.” Anything to spin a cheap buck. Tell those dirty hippies to stop protesting outside airports. People need to travel internationally. We are a global economy, and air travel is important. Out of a few hundred thousand planes that travel each year, do you think a few hundred rich people travelling by private jet will do much more damage? Or what would you prefer? For the world to travel by boat? “Well, no, because boats produce emissions.” Car? “No cars produce emissions.” So how? Oh, maybe you’d like us not to bother travelling at all. Civilisation cannot stand still just to appease you goddamn hippies. Oh, and I don’t think that leaving a TV on standby is quite as bad a blowing the ever loving hell out of half of the middle east several times a day. You try to stop people having bonfires (“produces too many heavy, carbon based gases!”), yet have no problems firing off God damn cruise missiles and sending vast, pluming fireballs into the sky.
Oh, and start turning the lights off in Whitehall at night! Don’t feed me any bullshit about monuments not being able to be lit at night because it contributes to “carbon footprints”, when you won’t even turn off the lights in several hundred huge offices in Government buildings every night! How dare you use “security issues” to try justifying your own pig headed laziness. How dare you try and punish people who try to do their part but don’t meet the life changing expectations you expect to be put in place.
Climate change is real. This summer has been pretty obvious. And it is important that everyone tries to do what they can to help this planet. But stop trying to lecture and spin a quick buck off people that give a shit when you’re a bigger problem than the rest of the country combined. Stick the green agenda that you use to spin a story or photo op up your hypocritical, arrogant, self centred arses.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
Parts of the Bible have a pretty good message. True it is a message you could learn from countless other sources, but it's a good enough message anyway. However, there are parts of that book which are "absolutely fucking vile" (Keith Allen). Almost as vile as the people that preach them. See, there are parts in that book which are conveninetly glossed over time and again by the rulers of the facism of Christianity. Stuff like "Camel through the eye of a needle beofre a rich man gets into heaven." Yet there are plenty of people profitting off this ultra conservative hypocrisy. Or the serial adultary of many pastors and priests who just pray for forgiveness and are in. But everyone else has to pay to pray through them exclusively.
The denial of evolution is another one. A common argument is that "It is written in the Bible, which is the word of God, that this is what happened."And then reasonable scientists say "But there are X amount of reports which have been tested and backed up with empirical evidence to prove otherwise." And what's the reply? "Don't believe everything you read and hear."
Don't believe everything you read! Where's your proof that evolution can't possibly be true? A book. Don't believe everything you read. Who was the book written by? Man. Who has translated the book? Man.
Another gloss over part is "For every one that cureses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death." And that's not all, borthers and sisters... Turn your Bible to Psalms; "Happy shall he be who taketh and dasheth the little one against the stones." Or killing anyone that works on a Sunday. Why are they now glossed over, when so many people get such sand in their fanny about "Though shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is abomination." If I can't stick a cock up another guys ass, then I want to start stoning disobedient children to death and butchering Tesaco employees.
I think cancer was a punishment sent by God to teach a lesson to Christians and their families and their friends.
Vile statement isn't it? But no worse than when a sodomite, paedohpile preacher says that AIDs is a punishment for gays.
If I told you I could commune with an omnipotant, eternal bearded gorilla that floated about on clouds and I could commune with it from inside my head just be getting on my knees, closing my eyes and moving my lips, you'd think I was crazy. If I claimed I was "hearing his voice and feeling his guidance" you'd think I was schizophrenic. If I stopped coming into work every July because it was the month of rest - so dictated by an omnipotent Gorilla - not only would I be jobless, I'd probably be sectioned. Especially if I said it was okay to masscare anyone that worked during that time.
Mine's a monkey. The one that Christians pray to is "arguably the most unpleasent character in all fiction: Jealous - and proud of it - a petty, unjust, unforgiving, control freak; a vindictive, bloothirsty, ehtnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, phillicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." (Richard Dawkins)
It's a book. Full of contradictions, lies, half truths and hypocirisies.
Don't believe everything you read.
Friday, 27 July 2007
Oh wait, there are none.
So, we have an interesting moment appearing here. 18 months ago, a cartoonist in DENMARK published some cartoons satirising Mohammed (not unlike the thousands of cartoons that have satirised Jesus, Bhudda, Vishnu etc) and there is anarchy on the streets of London from "extremists" and "religious fundamentalists".
So, if a cartoon in Denmark caused that, why, when a key part of the faith is removed from the temple, taken away and MURDERED, are there no massive protests, no flag burnings (here or in India) and no advocation of violence or murder against the Welsh people or their Assembly?
If the Islamic faith had a similar kind of deification of an animal, and it could potenially be a public health risk, do you think such an unfortunate situation would be resolved in such a calm way?
It's intersting that there hasn't been any massive media coverage of this either. No newspaper enduced hysteria. No screaming 10 o'clock bulletins. To be fair you can't blame them. I mean, in terms of a sensational story, cartoons will get far more attention than the slaughter of a sacred icon. Right?
Or is it that without media fanned flames and fewer psychopaths in their midst, people can look at things with a bit more of a mature, 21st century view instead of one that seemed to be popular around the time of the Inquisition.
Maybe, being the worlds oldest religion still practised today (predating Christianity by around two millenia (surely that gives them the rights to any and all theories on God and soul saving then)) they've learnt to live with the rest of the world, rather than try to convert it.
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Now all I see before me is sandy desert. A nothingness of wind and dust. It hurts to know what this once was. The trees in her courtyard are painted in blood because there is no other liquid to paint their steel shells with. I stand before the Red Throne. Guilty of buying into her future.
Then our star rushed in; feeling like a child, but looking like the woman. She was no longer a soul. She was the Red Queen’s pawn. Another pawn used over the centuries. She screamed and cried. The press cried out. She invited us to a beheading. We felt like butterflies by the flame. We dashed to the site. Eager. Hopeful. A celebrity had been forecast with an attempt to kill herself. The ending had not tested well.
But no one cared.
We watch. We wait. We hope the blade will fall. We long to hear the sound of shearing flesh. It slices through the skin and scales and bone. But as her head fell… We felt our horror mirrored in the sundown of her blank stare.
We had sold our souls to The Queen. We were now her. Nothing but morbid husks of flesh. We were all the stranded and the spectators of the great coup. We bought into the future without ever living the present that led into it. We were the slaves. We are the pawns. We bought into Her fame. Bought into the fame she granted to others. And sold our own to facilitate her infinity.
We sold our souls for the spectacle… And found the lonely sound.
Monday, 2 July 2007
The events of the weekend have been interesting, shocking and somewhat pleasing. Interesting to see that terrorist groups are now resorting to more desparate and amatuerish, Iraqi style car bombings to try to create... something. (Fear? Regime change? Foreign policy change? Have we had any demands?) It was shocking to see these people attempting to use such tactics, which - while far less grand in their scale and execution - are in theory much easier to pull off. It was pleasing to see that the first attempted attack was thwarted by the Metropolitan Police and that they bungled the second attempt with their own inability. And got caught, even while on fire.
To those that wish to seek war with the West and any free thinking nation or free thinking person: Let your mujahideen come and bring all the war mongering Allah you can muster. Because your barbarism, hatred and sense of inate oppression will break against the resolve of the free like water over rock.
Terrorism does not work. It fails in moreorless everything it attempts to do. The only thing it really succeeds in is creating fear, but even that is often washed aside as a more patriotic and steel willed resolve develops throughout the people who are under attack. There is not one instance in the history of human civilisation where terrorist activities alone have bought about a change in government policy (domestic or foreign), a change in the people or a change in the way a nation has been run. In every instance it has failed in its goal of trying to instigate change through the threat of violence. The times when it could be argued that it has succeeded have been times when the people of a nation have been disatisfied with their Government and its policies and have been actively seeking change.
The simple reason is that people do not like being attacked. When they are, especially when it is due to their way of life or their belief system, the only thing the attackers do is strengthen the determination of their targets in their belief that their way of life is just, their beliefs are true and their cause is noble. It does not even lead them to consider that they should change their way of life because of the threat. And thus, terrorism fails in its goal.
Apparently, we are in a war. East versus West. Islam versus Christendom. If these "warriros" want to war, then they should fight soldiers. They kill innocent people in their own land because they are an easier and more high peofile "shock" target than a soldier. Soldiers are paid to fight, civilians are not. Their get out clause to justify their actions is "You supported this war"/"You elected this regime". They conveniently ignore that many people did not support the Iraq war or the invasion of Afghanistan. They use weak rhetoric and logic to justify their cowardly acts.
But it does not matter. The United Kingdom has seen worse than this current threat. In fact, in the past thousand years, the Union has seen an invasion by the French Anglo Saxons, numerous attempted invasions from France, World War I, World War II and the IRA. The people of Great Britain have seen worse than the al-Qaeda and its cronies. They were not brow beaten by the threats of the IRA, and will not be brow beaten by the numerous foiled/bungled terror attacks by the current Middle Eastern problem.
I am no patriot. I am no nationalist. But I believe that people should be free and have the right to live however they choose, provided they harm no one else or impose their lifestyle choices on others. Britian allows this. Britain encourages this. And the people of this nation believe in this. That is why terrorism will fail.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Now. The other, far more important point; Ed Banger Records, the electro scene and its increasing influence on fahion, coupled with the decline of rock and indie. Look at through the pictures at:
Now look at:
You can see the obvious influence. The sunglasses styles, the colours, the cuts, the sense of anarchy and very discordant attitude in the mix of clothes, combined with a very light, very beachy/surfer/sun, sea sand.Ibiza ("ravers paradise") kind of feel. It seems rock and roll and the indy scene's grip on pop fashion is finally fading after the last four or five years, and that nu rave is seemes to be passing fad in the transfer; it's the way to bridge the gap between rock and electro style of fashion. Of course, these are Spring 2008 collections, so don't expect to see it really take off until the summer of the same year, but it seems that for many designers the straight indy style has had its day in the sun. Unless your Dolce & Gabana, in which case rockpunkS&M seems to be the way forward... http://men.style.com/fashion/collections/S2008MEN/complete/thumb/DGMEN
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Let me make one thing clear:You govern your country, and I'll govern mine. If you have a disagreement (and this is the part that so many of the Islamic states fail to grasp) TOUGH SHIT.
I don't see British people burning effigies of Pervez Musharraf, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Abdullah bin Abdulaziz whenever they stomp all over the rights of women, homosexuals or non-Muslims. We disagree with it, yes, but it is not our country and (unlike George Bush) we believe in countries being allowed to rule themselves and make their own decisions. However horrifically ancient they may be.
You didn't see members of the Catholic and Anglican churches burning effigies of Dan Brown for writing The Da Vinci Code do you? Or Ron Howard for directing the film version? No. Did they disagree? Yes. Did they protest? Yes. And that's all. They didn't whip up entire nations into a frenzy of religious ferver just to try and change get things done their way.
It goes back to the problem of last year with the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons. Everyone had every right to complain about how The Prophet had been depicted as a simple terrorist with a bomb in his turban. They had no right, however, to try to tell the rest of the world that they may not produce images of Muhammed because it is against their faith. THEIR faith. Not mine. Not yours. THEIRS. You stick to the governing tenents of your belief system, and I'll stick to mine. But I can - and will - produce images of Muhammed because I find no problem in it and it does not affront my beliefs. Tough shit if it affronts yours.
Iran ran a competition to find the most anti-Semetic cartoon in the NATIONAL NEWSPAPER! Where were the masses of angry Jews burning effigies of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Did they all vehemently disagree? Yes. Was it disgusting and wrong? Yes. Did they try and change things? No. Why? Because it's not their country.
xThis is what the Islamic world seems to need to realise. There are things in this world that can, and will offend or upset their beliefs. Knighthoods will be given out to authors who write things they disagree with. And I'm afraid they are just going to have to live with that. The world does not have to make its decisions based on how the Middle Eastern nations will view it. And of all places, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a thousand year old monarchy, one of the oldest DEMOCACIES on earth and one of the nations responsible for the way of life that exists today, should not bow to the whinings and tantrums of religious nations a thousand miles away.
The motto of this country is "Dieu et mon droit", which translates from French into "God and my right". My right. My right to free speech. My right to freedom of expression. My right to live my life openly and freely and to make my own decisions about my life. And the right of me and my fellow countrymen, my Parliament and my monarchy to govern our own land. Not the right of Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, UAE, Saudi Arabia or anyone else.
I don't tell you how to rule your country and how you should hand out peerages. Don't you dare think that your religious zealotry gives you any RIGHT to tell me how to rule mine.
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
One thing you cannot take away from Bernard Manning was his ability - as a comedian - to delivery a joke. His timing was absolutely perfect. And for that he deserves credit.
Unfortunately it was the material that kept him off television and cast aside from the mainstream for the last twenty years of his life. His fans will blame the "PC Brigade", I believe they are creating excuses.
Manning's comedy was at its zeitgeist when Britain was still coming to terms with its rapidly changing cultural identity. After the Second World War and the collapse of the global empires of Western Europe there was a massive movement of human life across the globe. A lot of people came to Britain, helping to create the society we see around us today. Manning's comedy appealed to the national concern and interest at what was happening. I do not believe that his comedy is rendered any less incorrect based on the time frame, as I feel that laughing at someone based on their ethnicity is wrong. But the people of Britain were still a little less enlightened back then (for the most part) and Manning captured that feeling expertly.
Where he fell down was his refusal to move on. His refusal to change onto more relevant issues, and continue to make jokes about the differance between us (generally white, working class, Northern men) and them (everyone else).
People have been trying to defend Bernard by saying that he was one of the last advocates of free speech and resolutely fought the "PC Brigade". This is incorrect. "Political Correctness" has only really gone into its crazy overdrive in the last several years; Manning has been off television since the '80s. Because he was stuck in the humour of the '50s and the '60s; the lair of the Alf Garnetts and The Black and White Minstrel Show.
What has been more alarming to see, is how many fans of Manning's seem to be blaming politcal correctness for preventing them from spewing a kind of vitriolic hatred towards anything they don't consider "the norm". Political correctness had nothing to do with people being disgusted by Manning frequently calling Asians "Pakis" or "Gooks", or black people "Coonss", or gay people "Queers". Political correctness didn't reduce those words to the gutter, the general public did it because they are abhorrent terms. It is shocking to read how many people seem to be blaming their own closet racism on the "PC Brigade".
The other thing that his defenders have jumped up to point out is that "Bernard picked on everyone", which is another flase truth. Bernard picked on everyone except white, working class Northerners, who were apparently the salt of the earth and could do no wrong. Was it also a coincidence that the majority of these ignorant, uneducated people were the ones that kept his career afloat since he fell out of public interest? I think not.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am all for outrageous, offensive humour. I find it amusing. I find humour in painting images and using jokes that go so far beyond the realms of offensiveness that they become farcical. If it was said with seriousness and malice, the views and the jokes would be so morally offensive it would be untrue, but they are not. They are said with full knowledge that it goes so far past "the line" that it becomes humorous again. Bernard Manning's jokes were always just on the line. They were never outrageously offensive like a Jerry Sadowitz, they were just observations of how different other people were to him and his kind. And that - and only that - therefore made them the subject of his comedy. Manning and his audience in the vile little billiard hall; the "world famous" Embassy Club (a run down ex billiard hall somewhere in the middle of a parking lot in north), laughed at other people because they were different.
They were ignorant, intolerant and tremendously bigoted, whether they want to admit it or not. And trying to talk about Manning's "charity work" would be like trying to say that the KKK are alright because they give cash to animal shelters. It still doesn't change the message. It still doesn't change the fact that a fat, uncultured bigot, way past his heyday that appeals to a bunch of equally intolerant bigots were clinging to a decaying idea of what Britain once was (hint: WHITE). He were pointing and laughed at anyone different from him and his audience. At anyone that couldn't defend themself. At anyone that wanted to do more than drink beer and eat "pie and chips" and drone on about how wonderful Britain is.
Keep the north, keep Blackpool, keep you're "salt of the earth." I have a brain and an opinion and can change with the times and I'm proud of it.
Laugh at me all you want Bernard. I'll quite happily take what I've got over what and you're kind have you ended up as.
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
1. Eat Me, Drink Me - Marilyn Manson - Eat Me Drink Me
2. Newman - Vitalic - OK Cowboy
3. Dundun-Dun (MSTRKRFT Remix) - Para One - Dundun-Dun (Remixes) - EP
4. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
5. Just A Car Crash Away - Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me
6. Head/Off - SebastiAN - Ross Ross Ross EP
7. Human After All (Superheroes Remix) - Daft Punk - Live @ Coachella
8. Atlantis To Interzone - Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
9. Golden Skans - Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
10. Putting Holes Into Happiness - Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me
11. Mutiliation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery - Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me
12. Greel - SebastiAN - Ed Rec Vol. 2
13. Walkman - SebastiAN - Ross Ross Ross EP
14. D.A.N.C.E - Justice - D.A.N.C.E
15. Rainbow Man - Busy P - Ed Rec VOL.2
16. New Killer Star (Live) - David Bowie - A Reality Tour
17. "Heroes" (Live) - David Bowie - A Reality Tour
18. I'm Alright (You Gotta Go There to Come Back) (Live) - Stereophonics - Live From Dakota
19. Cellphone's Dead - Beck - The Information
20. DJ - David Bowie - Lodger
21. NARC (Paul Banks Remix) - Interpol - Interpol Remix EP
22. Suzy - Kelly Jones - Only The Names Have Been Changed
23. Mighty Girl - Lindstrom And Prinz Thomas - Karl Lagerfeld - Les Musiques Que J'Aime
24. Vigo Bay - Minotaur Shock - Karl Lagerfeld - Les Musiques Que J'Aime
25. Red Sky - Acoustic Ladyland - Skinny Grin
26. Alive (Prime Time Of Your Life Remix) - Daft Punk - Live @ Coachella
27. Rosie - Kelly jones - Only The Names Have Been Changed
28. Spellbound - Siouxsie And The Banshees - Karl Lagerfeld - Les Musiques Que J'Aime
29. Miami - Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now
30. DVNO - Justice - †
Monday, 14 May 2007
Fell through the stars…
For a thousand years I waited…
Watching you come and go…
My world was unaffected…
As I watched you torture, maim and brutalise
I watched you pray for your sins…
Pray for the Heathens
Pray for Iraq
You believed in the strangest things….
You broke the sky in two….
You needed me…
I was the peace you never found…
The space you never cared to explore…
You thought of a different time.
A different space…
You put terror in another palm…
While I watched you come and go…
You all prayed your sins away….
You prayed the naked light would disappear
You prayed that you would split the heavens
You prayed you would win the rule
You prayed you would take it all
You believed in the strangest things
Until the brink of dawn…
Until the crash of light…
The end of night, the scream of day…
You didn’t realise you had always believed…
You needed me…
You loved the Alien…
Monday, 16 April 2007
In kind of a follow up to my "Not chav" rant a while ago, men seem to appear to think that if they have their diamond stud in one ear (its not a gold loop, so its not chav...), their K-Swiss trainers, their Bench/Duck & Cover jeans and their Religion/"Osaka 6" tshirts then they are COOL. The dictionary definition of stylish. Instead of going off on a rant, I will leave it at saying that they are not. They just look exactly the same as all their friends. No personality, no design, no desire.
Women, who have (for the most part) been essentially programmed from birth to follow fashion and be ultra aware of what's hot and what's not (though there are always a few casualties) are far less pretentious about the fact that they're wearing the latest Topshop outfit rather than their male counterparts, whose arrogance about wearing the exact same top as ten other people in the club just drips off them like the motor oil that slicks up their hair.
Every single one of my friends picks a style that works for them, and adapts it to what's "now". They are not pretentious about it, they don't look down on others because of it. But I often get the feeling that the clan of Not Chavs look down on them sometimes because they're not wearing whatever H&M, asos.com, Philip Green and the Topman Empire (outside of London, which is less pretentious because of the sheer amount of competition and superiors it has) and Calum Best or whatever nobody that is the current flavour of the month tells them to wear. Because rosary beads are still SOOOO in. (They wore out their welcome in early 2005).
So, to surmise:
Non-pretentiousness about what you wear = Good
Femeale followers of high street fashion in general = Good
A style that works for the individual, comprised of what their influences = Good
Not Chavs = Bad
Topman Townies = Bad
ALL Topshop/man Employess = Bad (They think they are the cutting edge of fashion because they work at that bloody place. One look at the mullets still rocking the local Topman stores will pretty much spell it out. They are not.)
Go back to sleep America, your Government is back in control.
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
The next thing I ever remember wanting to be - and this was about from aged 8 onwards - was Emperor of Earth. No bullshit. I wanted to rule the world as a supreme, godlike entity. I always said that if I ever had the money I would buy the Hawaian islands and nuke them. Not for any particular reason, just because I could. I remember wanting to be The Shredder when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Movie came out (the one in the cartoons was a comic relief moron). I wanted to be Lord Zedd when I saw him in Power Rangers. I wanted to be the most evil, supreme being in the universe. WRONG.
Early teens saw me dreaming of becoming a pro wrestler. One name; Bret Hart. I wanted to be a WWF Superstar because of Bret Hart, and later Steve Austin. I always thought; "That's what I'm gonna be." Ha. Nope. That dream never really died until I tried doing pro wrestling for real. I liked it, and was pretty good at it, but decided that I didn't want to put up with feeling like I'd been hit by a truck the morning after every training session or match. WRONG.
Then I wanted to be a golfer. "I am Tiger Woods." It was a while before I realised that I would never be good enough, or have enough patience for The Gentleman's Sport, but I remember that every important putt I had always played out in mind that it was for The Open Championship, or The Ryder Cup. Even then, I chose to escape into fantasy worlds to enhance my dreams. When I figured I'd never be good enough to be a professional golfer, I thought I'd go into sports management, and be around the game and still make a shitload of money. WRONG.
Then I discovered theatre.
I thought, for the longest time, that I wanted to be an actor. I loved being part of the fantasy world and pretending to be someone else. I loved the ideaa of making a living that way. Naiive. Idealistic. Reality gave me a cold hard slap again. I went down to London and sat in on the auditions for Michael Fry's "Japes". I didn't want what I saw. I didn't want to stake my pride and worth on the line every three months for a job, any job. I also was disatisfied with never having any control over the rest of the show. I wanted to be the puppet master, not the puppet.
Which brings me to where I am now. I want to write and direct. That's what I want to do. I want to create the fantasy worlds, I want to shape them. I need to get my foot in the door of the right job first, and that will be easier once my debts are clear, but I'm trying as we speak.
How dreams change eh?
Saturday, 7 April 2007
So why do so many theatrical media - a series of art forms that are becoming increasingly important and relevant in commenting on the world we see around us - choose not to focus on one of the most headline grabbing, media saturated events of the last several years? Is it because it is much harder to represent something so abstract on stage? Surely not. The theatre, at the risk of sounding cliched, is a virtual imagination factory that enables commentary on virtually any kind of subject matter or topic that one can imagine. Why steer clear of something so relevant as global warming? Why avoid such a vastly important subject? Surely the media furore surrounding every new discocery and event related to the super event that global warming has become is the perfect fodder for any kind of creative commentary. The pretty little polar bears stranded on an iceberg! The constant scientific debate on the subject and how such debates may affect our future! The massive impact it may have on the day to day living of the human raee! It's perfect fodder.
Is it because war is so much more glamorous and sensational? Is it because it is a subject that can dramatized in a much more evocative and awe insipiring manner? Is it because a directly human drama is easier to work with than a seemingly metaphorical one? One cannot be sure...
What's interesting is now. Without a doubt. There is no minute in a creative industry other than the now, as it effects everything we produce and everything in the world around us. Every single show that was being created around the time of the London bombings was drastically shaped by the event, whether subconsciously or otherwise. Why then does endless war and human tragedy receive so much theatrical coverage (at NSDF 07 at least) but an event with so much more coverage and potential relevance to our future lives receive so little? It is an interesting question, and surely one that deserves further analysis in a theatrical forum? So many other abstract creative media have commented on it, why not us?
Friday, 16 March 2007
'Has the world gone mad?' I hear you cry? Evidently, yes:
"It may be worth pointing out that unlike their mostly black and brown foes, the Spartans and their fellow Greeks are white."A. O. SCOTT, New York TimesMarch 9, 2007
Greek critic Dimitris Danikas suggested that the film showed Persians as "bloodthirsty, underdeveloped zombies," and went on to say, "They are stroking (sic) racist instincts in Europe and America.Critic Steven Rea argues that Along with references to slavery, mysticism and depictions of hyper-sexuality, the Persians become the vehicle for an anachronistic cross-section of Western stereotypes of Asian and African cultures.Furthermore, the "bad guys" are depicted as black people, Persians, brown people, handicapped or deformed people, gays and lesbians.
Let us get one thing straight here, 300 is not racist. Are all the invading Persians black or brown? Yes. Are all the heroic Spartans white? Yes. Do white people kill black or brown people? Yes. Does that therefore make it racist? NO. Why? A simple answer:
2500 YEARS AGO EVERYONE IN ANCIENT PERSIA WAS BLACK OR BROWN AND EVERYONE IN ANCIENT GREECE WAS WHITE.That is history, not racism. That is the way things were. Was there any moaning about Michael Caine's "Zulu" becuase white people are killing black people? No. Why? Because that's the fucking way it was. (And it was a time when people actually used their own brains to think instead of being told what they think by newspapers, critics and columnists).
Why can't people get past colour nowadays? Should history be changed because it involved white people killing black people? Would it be changed if it involved black people killing white people? The armies of Xerxes I marched across ancient Greece slaughtering thousands. Was that racist? Was the Roman conquest of Carthage (now Tunisia in Northern Africa) racist? No. These nations and people were conquered for their land and what they could bring to the Empire (Greek, Persian or Roman), not because Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, Xerxes, Darius or Alexander the bloody Great wanted to kill blacks, whites, browns, yellows or whatever.
Get over yourselves.
As I type this right now there are scientists around the world working on creating real artificial intelligence; real, thinking machine brains that can respond to and interact with the world around them. At the moment of course it is limited to simply conversation and not physical interaction, but one day in the future the desire will come to combine the current robotics work that some companies are undertaking with an artificial intellignece.
While, in most cases, this doesn't raise any alarming problems (aside from the obvious doomsday theories o machines taking over - which we would be powerless to stop probably), it does raise an important theological one. If a machine were ever to become fully sentient, and was then able to use the word "I" and mean it, where then do we draw the line at what life is?
Let's say that "life" is anything that's living. If a machine is activated, has a period of functionality and is then deactivated, doesn't that make it alive? It upholds the laws we seem to have for life. So the definition of life is then that you're aware of being alive (sentient life). Firstly this rules out things like trees or cats or whatever, but also brings in the problem of machine sentience again. Should a machine ever be able to say "I" and mean it, humanity will have essentially have become Gods, as we will have created a sentient lifeform (I'm not sure you can argue the fact that it isn't organic matter will hold up).
As sentient machines continued to learn then, could they ever develop into something more? Could they dream? Could they create things that express what they feel? The more we learn in our young lives the more complex our emotions become. Indeed, as a baby we never really experience emotions, we only have basic needs. It i only once we hit toddlership and become aware of ourselves and our surroundings (about the same time that memory develops, age 1 1/2 - 2 years) that we first begin to develop emotions. Anger, jealousy, affection, passion. Like and dislikes. Wants or desires. We do this by learning in the world around us. Who is to say that a machine couldn't do this same thing if it's brain allowed it to? If it was completely sentient couldn't it then develop something like a spirit? and more importantly, if this happened, could human beings ever maintain any semblance of control over it? Deactivating such a thing would not be as simple as flipping an off switch, as this being (it could be imagined) would not want to die.
What then? Where then? What kind of world we we be living in? We would actually be sharing our planet with another conscious lifeform, because to simply switch it off would mean killing it. Wouldn't it? Destroying the thought, memories, feelings of a mind and terminating the life of the body. What defines the spirit or the soul? How would we know the difference between ours and its.
Could a machine ever dream or sing? It would be interesting to see or hear such an event. That would be, as the title of the film already stands, the Ghost in the Shell. The day that machines sing. Surely it will be the day when we must share our world.
Let me start off by stating this: I cannot stand gay culture. I loathe, detest, abhor, vilify and am sickened by it.
I was in London this weekend, having a great time shopping and catching up with the legendary Tim O'Shea. We were walking through Soho and my blood just began to boil. Soho's totally cool I might add, my favourite place on the planet. But it just pissed me off to see so many raving gay guys acting out the worst parts of the gay stereotype, socialising with only other campy guys and fag hags, and chatting about sex, dick sizes, ABBA, Kylie or drag queens. It annoys me so much.
Let me be clear, I'm not annoyed by someone being themselves. Far from it. My problem is that "these people" seem to have their entire lives revolve only around their sexuality. They are gay. So that means they only go to gay clubs, only have gay friends, only read gay magazines, only buy camp music, only check out gay websites, only go to gay gyms etc. It's like someone going "I can only go to straight clubs and read/watch straight media and hang out with straigh people and listen to straight music etc." because they're straight. Bollocks.
The sex thing pisses me off probably more than anything. For DECADES gay men have been associated with being rampantly promiscuis when it comes to their sex lives. No long term relationships, no meaningful partnerships, just sex, sex, sex, and then tak about it non stop. "But I'm gay so I can get away with it." Why? Because it's expected of you? If it was a straight girl she'd be labelled a slut. But gay men? Oh they're just gay.
This wouldn't bother me that much apart from the fact that I then get tarred with the same brush. I was flicking through "Boyz" magazine on the way back from London, and in the starsign section under Sagitarrius it read "You've been a good gay man recently and have been having lots of sex..." What? WHAT? The fact that you fuck around loads makes you a good gay?! Another article was talking about a new sauna that has opened. Of course, it's gay only. Meaning that the movies they show are only gay pornos, and there are plenty of dark rooms so you can have random sex with random people you don't know. The writer of the article concluded "We spent a couple of good hours in there getting to know several of the cuter patrons much better!" I don't understand how you can turn yourself into such a parody of everything negative about your sexuality.
Clubs are no better. Cliquey, self absorbed bollocks prevades through most, frowning and scorning on any straight man that enters through the doors and doesn't like having his ass pinched, or openly contempting anyone who's not part of the usual group that goes there. Plenty of clubs also have their own dark rooms for - you guessed it - more sex with strangers.
I just cannot understand how people can allow themselves to have the fact that they fancy men dominate their lives. How, because they are gay, they shun every other kind of culture and interest themselves only in the gay one. I don't understand it, I can't understand it. I have few gay friends for a reason: because I can't stand to be around most gay people. They're introverted, introspective, arrogant, rude, catty and hard work. The other reason I don't have many gay friends is because I avoid the gay scene like the plague. I've been there, done it and can't stand it. Every negative stereotype about gay people is portrayed and magnified. But not through parody. For real. Out of choice.
Make no mistake, I loathe narrow minded straight people who find the sight of two men kissing or holding hands something to be openly mocked or jeered at. I hate the stereotypes that they think apply to all gay people. I hate being thought of as a "different" kind of gay person because I'm not a flaming fag. I fuck men, that's it. It has no bearing on the rest of my life at all, and I hate that just because I am gay people expect it to. And it's primarily down the people I describe above who continue to bolster such stereotypes, but then get offended when anyone other than gay people use them. If you're going to live the stereotype, expect people to use it. Otherwise, do what most other minorites have done, and move on to living in the 21st century, not a 1960s Kenneth Williams flick. Ducky.
People are saying "What a shock. She was only 39. I don't know how to feel." Here's how to feel, you didn't know her, she was barely even a public figure, so who cares? You don't feel anything because there was nothing to feel. If you want to mourn someone you barely had any knowledge of, mourn dying soldiers, or the people that are reported murdered every day. Stop trying to feel moved by the death of someone who's had The 15 Minutes because you've been conditoned to and get on with your own life.
At least now we really will be able to find out if her skeleton will have two plastic bumps over the chest.
Drugs and their unjust portrayal in the media as murderers, home wreckers, rapists, pimps and embodiments of evil.
Let us make one thing clear; guns don't kill people, people do. If you're a an anti gun person who thinks all guns should be banned because people get killed with them, ask yourself this; if someone murdered someone with a stone, would you try and have the handling of stones outlawed? No. The stone is just that, a fucking stone. Sitting there, minding its own business, doing nothing. Just as a gun is a series of useless lumps of metal. Put in the wrong persons hands, a stone is just as deadly as a gun.
Similarly, drugs do not randomly go around killing people. When no one is taking them, they are just inanimate objects. But even when taken, they do not instantly inspire evil. Pour example,if a young girl takes heroin one time, she does not suddenly go and become a prostitute. If a man takes crack, he doesn't instantly go out and shoot someone. Just as if a person has a beer they don't instantly get behind the wheel of a car, swerve all over the road and kill someone.
We came to the acceptance quite some time ago that alcohol is only dangerous when consumed to excess. Why will people not accept the same fact about drugs? I'm not even a drug taker. I've taken drugs, yes, but prefer not to use them. I'm not addicted just because I've smoked weed/taken ecstacy/snorted cocaine/whatever once or twice. Human beings are the weak ones. It is the man that goes out, drinks 15 pints, comes home and kicks the shit out of his wife and two young children that is evil/wrong/at fault. Not the beer he drunk. (His alcoholism usually takes the blame however, and he gets a free pass. But that's another rant).
None of my friends get surly/aggressive/confrontational when they're drunk. Not one. I find it offensive that responsible people that I know who do take drugs have to put up with the stigma from others who choose not to take them and refuse to do so because they're evil or bad. If you don't want to take them, fine, but don't cast down this holier than thou attitude just because you haven't taken drugs. Same as people that don't drink.
Since the inception of human civilisation, societies have invented or discovered substances that can be smoked, drunk, snorted or injected in order to change ones perception of reality. Why do so many believe the ones that we use in this society to be so bad? It is not the drugs that are wrong and deserve to be destroyed, it is the weak minded fools that over-indulge, develop addiction and ruin lives because they are not strong enough to know when their limit is reached and the line is crossed.
Drugs aren't bad, the people that abuse them are. If you want to find a real ruiner of lives, look to alcohol. It kills more people a year than all "evil" drugs combined. "But we couldn't ban that, too many people drink it." Fine, so let those people have their indulgences, and let the people that choose to take drugs have theirs. Either everything's okay, or none of it is.
But no, Georgy Porgy hasn't gotten his way yet. He refuses to accept defeat. He refuses to accept that most of his own people (along with the rest of the world) want American troops out of Iraq.
Going into Iraq was the biggest mistake of this millenium. Giving "democracy" (aka a puppet Government controlled by the American military) was like giving a 6 year old a gun full of bullets and sending him off to play army. It's an area of the world that has never had democracy, has never wanted democracy and has never needed democracy. But because we're Western and "civilised" what works for us MUST work for them. Whether they like it or not.
Now, whether everyone else in the entire world (particularly the American people and military) agrees or disagrees, Georgy Porgy is going to continue this damn war until he gets his way. And the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will mindlessly back him up. You will support the pursuit of freedom for countries that don't have it. You will support the continuation of a war you never wanted. You will let thousands of young lives be sacrificed in vain. Whether you like it or not.
FACT: Paedophelic desires are not things that are chosen. If someone is attracted to young people (as many older men are), its' not frowned upon. I don't remember anyone complaining when the world was moistening its loins over freshly 16 year old Brittney Spears back in 1996. Why is it ok to do that but not be attracted to a 15 year old? Oh, because she's a year older. It's fine. Bollocks.
I have sympathy for paedophiles. These people do not choose to have the desires they have, just as someone doesn't choose to have a fetish about feet, horses, rubber, panty pissing, clothing, sex in open places or anything else. It's not chosen, it's something you just have. It's a fetish. I feel sympathy for people who are unfortunately struck with that particular desire. I have no sympathy however, for those who act upon these urges. It's wrong, wrong, wrong. I condone anything , unless one of the parties involved is unconsenting. In the case of a minor, many times they do not understand the implications (and that applies to 16 year olds) of what they're doing.
But I also hold no sympathy for the morons and bigots that jump up and down like a crazed mob baying for blood. Why is is okay for newspapers to release the image of a paedophile without their consent, but cannot do the same for an illegal immigrant? Why does no one frown on that? It is no ones business as to who they are apart from the people who live in the same area (ala the sex offenders register).
Desires can be surpressed, urges denied, but they can never be eradicated altogether. For that reason alone people living in the area with a sex offender deserve to be made aware. They do not however, have the right to then act on this information and take the law into their own hands, regardless of the crime. So what, a paedophile is living in an area with children around? There are fucking children everywhere! I agree that it was an idiotic mistake to house him near a playground, but that's life. It's wrong to just assume that because someone has been convicted of child molestation (or worse) that he'll be running after every little boy or girl he sees trying to get into their Barbie or Action Man printed underwear. One woman was quoted as saying "I spoke to him everyday about gardening, he seemed so nice and normal." And he doesn't now just because you've found out something from his past??? The man may have found a way to surpress his desires so they do not interfere and ruin his life and the lives of others. Do the Christian values that this country is built on (as we so endlessly hear at the moment) of forgiveness not apply here? Or is it ok to only forgive some crimes and not others?
This country is so hypocritical and blinded by media manipulation that it sickens me. People have no interest in building their own opinions based on knowledge, learning and thinking and would rather take on the mob mentality of the moment and make claim it as their own.
Either everythings okay, or it's not. Forgiveness for crimes that are repented or don't. The "Christian Morals" of a nation cannot pick and choose as they like.
How then can the mass of the population of the United States be such morons? Outside of the east and west coasts (and even then it's really only key cities), the majority of the country are beyond baqckwards in the way they think about the world. They still can't understand why coalition forces still haven't captured The Great Satan Osama. Nevermind the fact that they're looking for one guy in a country the size of Texas that's also riddled with a monstrous cave network. They still can't get their head round the idea that the United Kingodom is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island and each is a (semi) independent country. Three quarters of the population doesn't have a passport and has never left the country. Nearly a third of them still believe that the world is only 7000 years old and was created by God, that Heaven and Hell exists, that gayness is an abomination (they don't realise that any ugly couple is an abomination) and that evolution is a lie that basically says that you're a monkey. (They don't know the differance between apes and monkeys).
I just can't understand how a country so rich can be so blind. So foolish. Still clinging onto blind, mindless patriotism (the virtue of the viscous according to Oscar Wilde), and as naive about the way other countries work as a two year old is about the workings of a thermonuclear reactor. Where capitalism has boomed and paved way for a (generally) superb standard of living (unless you're an inner city black - ands that's not a joke it's true), how can it leave people so totally ignorant to the ways of 21st century living?
I don't understand it and suppose I never will. I'm not that dumb.
And guess what? When that hideous little ball of fat grows up and is an obese kid his moronic mother will blame The Colonel (the KFC Colonel for those wondering), for making her kid fat. Never mind that she has been feeding the chubby little porker fried chicken since before he could walk.
Take a good, hard, long look in the mirror. Don't "Blame Canada" as South Park sang, blame yourselves. You feed the children. You have the money and you choose what they eat. Stop feeding babies greasy fried food and start feeding them GODDAMN BABY FOOD! Or that little ball of baby fat will turn into a big fat ball of child fat. Ugly, greasy and unhealthy. Jamie Oliver can piss off and stick his carrot sticks up his ass. Children don't need sappy school dinners, if they want a chocolate pudding let them have it, but they don't have to have it everyday because people are too feeble and spineless to say no to a child.
I'm going to go and eat an entire Sarah Lee Chocolate Gateaux, and then raid Thorntons. And you know what? If I get fat, I'm not going to blame someone else, I'm not going to whine about it, I'm going to go down the gym and WORK IT OFF!