Archive for November, 2004

Twitch those curtains

I can understand why Tony and David think that David's private life should be beyond the pale and not referred to – a practical matter – and I myself am not bothered one teeny bit about who he was shagging, given my opinion of his non-shagging activities – but I find myself unwilling to condemn media reports on the matter designed to feed

The prurient interest that many in this country take in the private lives of public figures

which is of course

one of our least attractive national characteristics.

(thus sayeth the Indie).

I'm not talking here about the allegations of him fast-tracking visa applications for nannies and lending railcards and all that guff, which is at least illegal, if trivial compared to what he's doing perfectly legally. I'm talking about pointing and going “ooo, the dirty bugger, cheating on his wife, ooo”. Curtain-twitching basically.

The reason for this is that the policies that he promotes are so appalling, yet seem to get so little interest apart from by the usual suspects. Lords and Liberty and so on can scream about how bad an idea ID cards are, cartoonists can ridicule him but is he thrown out? Is this damaging to his career? No. A bit of extra-marital sex is though, it appears.

This isn't a game. This man is promoting policies that are actively harmful to the populace. Admittedly, he's not the sole originator of these, and doubtless if he goes he'll be replaced by someone similar, and it would be better if the reasons why the policies were bad were better known so that the replacement couldn't just promote the same ones, but getting rid of the current Home Secretary for whatever reasons will at least make things harder. If petty moralising is what it takes then fair enough.

And I still hurt, though the hurt is gradually moving around to the front now, not that that really makes it much better.

Edit: I also added an online version of The Boiled Egg Game to the toys section of the site. This will make sense to at most four or five people in the world.

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Inexplicable Drinking Injury

I've not been on the computer all that much today because I somehow managed to do my back in while falling on my front. No, I have no idea how.

I was in the Wetherspoons opposite Angel tube, squeezed into a seat around a crowded table behind a divider thing, and decided that I would be able to clamber over it in order to go to the loo. There was a sense of inevitability when my foot got caught and I slammed onto the carpet. I even said “I knew that was going to happen” when I got up. No, I wasn't drunk. Not very drunk anyway. Probably drunk enough to think that it might have worked. Well, it might have. It managed not to scare away the women at the next table, which was a pity since it would have given us more room. After that it was back to discussing whether a chimp could beat up Big Bird (my answer: yes, it could climb up his neck and belt him about the head, and Big Bird only has short arms so wouldn't be able to reach it).

Anyway, I bounced my upper left chest and left knee on the floor. My knee is fine, my chest aches a little but for some reason my upper left back is absolutely killing me and has been all day, coughing, breathing too deeply, sitting still. The friend of mine I'm staying with knows a bit about sports medicine and so I'm reasonably sure I've just bruised something, somehow, but why my back?

It probably would have been better if I had been drunk; they say drunks fall off all sorts of things and are fine, because they're floppy. Unless they break something. Or fall on a spike. Coincidentally I've been in a nice padded high-backed chair for a lot of today watching Black Books on DVD, which always makes me want to drink and smoke. If I was that way inclined I'd definitely fancy Dylan Moran. There's a little insight into my character for you.

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Shock

It takes quite a bit to shock me about American political behaviour now. A bio of G Gordon Liddy, fucking insane Nazi freak now credible conservative shock jock, shocked me somewhat, and this…

our leader

this shocks me a bit too.

A billboard recently put up in Orlando bearing a smiling photograph of President Bush with the words

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guns yawn

I was going to post this earlier on a thread about guns, but I decided it was a bit too long, and it might be better on the blog.

Blimey, are we still on the guns?

Okay – my experience has been that guns are not nearly the issue in the US that some people in the UK think they are. Most people don't have guns or don't use them for any untoward purposes. I'm quite all right with the idea of sane and rational people owning guns; I'm enough of a klutz that I don't fancy owning one myself, but shooting sounds like a decent enough sport (and quite good for lazy bastards like me). I wouldn't mind having one in a gun club somewhere. One thing I regret is not getting around to visiting a club and engaging in a bit of safe, regulated shooting.

Widespread social availability of guns, though, is a different matter. What they do is remove much of the gap between aggression and death. We've evolved in a certain direction whereby people get angry and engage in physical violence at times, but it's not likely to lead to actual deaths or maimings – it's a display. Weapons make it more likely that aggression will result in death, and guns are highly efficient weapons, that's what they're designed for. But our instincts haven't adjusted to that. We have to adjust ourselves through our own thought processes and sometimes that just doesn't come into play.

There are all sorts of weapons that one can use, knives, clubs, whatever, but you can't outlaw knives or blunt instruments, they have too many other uses and are too easy to construct. You can, however, do something about guns, at least at this current level of technological development. Somebody else has to make a gun for you in most cases. Therefore, preventing the ownership of guns in a high-anxiety environment (like most cities) is feasible. Less so in the case of the US, but it is still possible to reduce the availability; according to the figures, most used in crime are legally obtained.

There's a degree to which I'm sympathetic to the self-defence argument, that you should be able to own a gun to protect yourself from other people who own guns, but the fact is that the person who wants to attack me with a gun is always going to have the upper hand. They will always have the initiative there. They have decided to go out and threaten people's lives to obtain possessions. I don't want to live my life on the basis that my life is in danger at any moment. I sacrifice my ability to defend myself if such a thing happens to reducing the general risk that such a thing will happen.

And anyone who thinks that ownership of guns will help prevent state repression – really, dudes, have you not been paying attention recently? The state doesn't come in with stormtroopers, the state manipulates your information sources to make you agree with them. You are the stormtroopers.

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Preparing for Islamofascism

I made a post Friday I think about how the term “Islamofascism” irritates me beyond belief, but I deleted it because it was too short and too flip.

At the moment I'm working on a much longer post on the subject, which I shall be treating you to in the near future. It actually involves some research rather than being the usual ill-informed rant so it's taking a little more time.

However, I can say at this point the particular reasons why I'm ranting on this subject. I'm disturbed by the degree to which the British Left seem to be keen to attack “Islamists” and “Islamofascists” (and, by extension, Islam – though not good Muslims, of course, just those bad Muslims), regardless of the obvious fact that this supports the line taken by the UK and US governments and the corresponding right wing. The reason seems to be that the SWP are perceived as “pro-Islam” (in that they've been doing some outreach and dealing with some unpalatable Islamic types) and everyone hates the SWP.

I'm generally inclined to dismiss this as people stuck in their own little leftie politics box without any perspective on wider society, but it disturbs me to see the use of terms that Rush Limbaugh would be proud of and are on the same level as “feminazi”, so I'm going to write something on that basis.

The NaNoWriMo of course is withering. Next year. I'm not planning to emigrate in November next year, or get any sort of horrible sputum virus.

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Nothing clears blocked meridians faster

This is good stuff. (Found via the New Scientist website.)

The eCrystal technology creates a unique environment around the body containing a concentration of life supporting positive bio photon activating information. This is achieved by the gateway architecture the E Crystal provides, allowing access to and amplification of this natural energy information. The eCrystal itself holds no information programmed by man. There is therefore no corruption of the God given information around us. When any chaos or negative information enters this field, either from within or without, it is immediately ordered. This is similar to the principle of where there is light there can be no darkness.The message is still received by any living organism, but without the energy depleting consequence of chaos at the cellular or DNA level. This is confirmed by the increased levels of energy at the end of the day, or the vitality in the morning if the eCrystal is placed on the nightstand when going to bed at night.

Reference checklist:

  • Energies, lots of energies of all sorts
  • Immune system depressors
  • Chaos
  • Quantum physics – of course
  • Left and right spinning electrons
  • “Information” (in the sense of a vague something, rather than actual information)
  • poor old Tesla

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London things

Arseholes pushing onto tube carriages while other people are trying to get off. They look down and away while they're pushing, trying to deny that you exist. You want to grab them by the ears, turn their heads and scream into their faces “YES I AM HERE AND I AM TRYING TO GET OFF THE TRAIN, ACKNOWLEDGE MY EXISTENCE YOU LITTLE SHIT”.

Dawdlers. Dawdlers with kids, who wander left to right at unpredictable speeds. The most basic education you can give a child in London is how to conform to the general speed patterns that exist on tube platforms. I was taught this. Future generations should be too.

Stuck in the lift at Covent Garden, having neglected to take your travelcard out of your pocket, knowing that the barriers will be three metres away from the opening doors, yet being unable to take the travelcard out of your pocket without groping the arse of the person in front of you.

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I did not photoshop this

USB Mince Pie

USB Mince Pies (warning: MIDI alert)

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More of the life thing

fridgemagnet is not 30 yet It was my birthday yesterday and I took pictures of it with a mobile phone, or at least some of it. You get a ludicrous cocktail if you can identify where this was. It's not hard. It's not the trendiest place any more but the cocktails are good. I avoided the

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Playing with web art toys while people are shot

A work entitled Hak Hak Cof. It's like watching Hartbeat, except with no Morph and considerably worse pictures.

Oh yeah, I knew there was some sort of outrage that bloggers were commenting on and I hadn't.

still from Fallujah shooting video

I'm having one of those moments again – I think the last time was when Fallujah got assaulted the first time, or was it when they gunned down the demonstrators there? Anyway, it's one of those “for Christ's sake, what did you bloody expect was going to happen?” moments. This is what happens when you send kids with rifles into combat. This is what happens when you invade countries and “pacify” cities.

It's a measure of the disconnect between the propaganda people are quite willing to accept domestically, with all the milspeak euphemisms and nice tidy footage of IFVs rolling through empty streets, and the simple reality of what happens during wars that anyone giving a moment's thought would appreciate. But no, every time there's an attack, people seem to have an amazing ability to forget X thousand years of human history and think “well, it'll be different this time”. No it won't.

This isn't, of course, a “stop whining you liberal babies” post (© warbloggers 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and probably for the rest of time). The difference is quite straightforward.

Warblogger: “This happens in wars, stop whining you liberal babies.”
Me: “This happens in wars, along with lots of other horrible things; we should act to avoid such things; this is why we shouldn't have invaded the country.”

As usual though my anger and banging-head-with-bricks frustration is mostly concentrated on those who thought “yeah, this war thing could be a good idea, free the Iraqis and all that” and are now shocked and outraged – nobody told them that this sort of thing was going to happen. (This is a common position amongst spineless opportunistic politicians and worthless seaweed journalists.) At least warbloggers are consistent, even if they are consistently scum.

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