Random Drivel from your Average Tosser

...with your host, Binty McShae - whether you like it or not!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy '06, whatever you are....

So enjoy...... and especially relish the extra second that 2006. Yes, that's right - extra second. In order to readjust for the fact that the Almighty God (TM) couldn't make things nice and neat we have to add a second to this year to ensure that the atomic clocks are right. A bit like the extra day in the leap year but not quite as long.......

Please excuse me, I'm already fucked. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . See you next year, y' cunts!

Happy New Years m'dears!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Farris Fooler's Day(s) Off

Check out how this guy spent Christmas....

Impressive, huh? Pissing off to Iraq to see what it's all about rather than just swallowing the shit peddled by Fux News and the like. Of course this could equally be viewed as stupidity of the highest degree - an American teen wandering around Iraq, drawing crowds by trying to order food using a tourist guidebook..... but looking as he does the guy almost managed to blend in.

I personally would love to see Iraq, just as it is now, simply to see the level of destruction our civilised nations have wreaked on it in the name of progress... I see Iraq now as more of a document of what and where the 'west' is at this moment in time than a reflection of the middle-east, and I think it is important for us all to understand what our own nations are capable of and where they are heading. But I'm not fucking stupid. Regardless of however the Bush Corporation want to describe the situation in Iraq it is still a warzone. People are dying, for fucks sake, and even though I do not think of myself as cowardly in any way I have no intention of even possibly being a casualty.

There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, but sometimes both can lead to enlightenment, which is what young Farris was seeking. So it was all worthwhile then? "There is a struggle in Iraq between good and evil", he states, "between those striving for freedom and liberty and those striving for death and destruction. Those terrorists are not human but pure evil."

Let me get this straight, young man. You travelled all that way risking life and limb and you still come home sounding like a Bush Soundbite? There's no fucking hope for some people....

Cheers m'dears!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Fa-la-lala-lah! A-Carolling we shall go!

Sing to the tune of 'God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen'

Get pissed, ye lairy mental men, let nothing bar your way -
Remember, drink the cupboard dry to cope with Christmas day.
Just quaff that booze and you can't lose, go merrily astray -
Good Reisling's my comfort and joy, comfort and joy!
Good wine, Southern Comfort - oh joy!
Vodka; whisky; creme de menthe; a nice fine Cotes du Rhone;

Quadruple Bailey's over ice; a case of Veuve Cliquot.
If Advocaat won't take you far let Absinthe set the tone;
Good Reisling's my comfort and joy, comfort and joy!

Good wine, Southern Comfort - oh joy!
Have a fucking merry one, ye bunch o' twats - Cheers m'dears!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

...and it's no sac-a-ri-fi-i-ice...

Belated congratulations to the happy couple, Sir Elton and David, who recently cemented their relationship marriage-stylee at the same venue as Charlie and Camilla earlier this year.

[Insert personal favourite 'Queen' joke here...]

And now back to my last minute Crimbo shopping......

Cheers m'dears!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cops and... erm, Copping-off-ers?

Police brutality has taken on a new dimension in Uttar Pradesh, India. Supposedly carrying out 'Operation Romeo' to combat sexual harassment in a local park officers instead began beating up young couples out on dates. Television images of victims being slapped, punched and having their hair yanked have resulted in an eruption of anti-police protests and two policewomen being suspended.

Local residents are seriously (and understandably) pissed off - Uttar Pradesh apparently has one of the worst crime rates in the country and many feel police time could be better spent. Despite admitting that young people fraternising in the parks is a worry for many parents and community elders (pre-marriage dating is frowned upon in conservative India) the attacks seem to have been fairly indiscriminate and without warning - one couple were taken by such surprise that they were unable to get the words out to tell their assailants that they were, in fact, married to each other! And bizarrely (considering the police action was supposedly to protect young women from abuse) another individual was assaulted despite sitting on a bench on her own.

You don't need me to add my tuppence to this, it speaks for itself. What a bunch of cunts!

On a completely unrelated note, however, I urge you to check out El Barbudo's take on The Terrible Truth About Father Christmas - if you're anything like me you'll laugh your fucking paper hat off!

Cheers m'dears!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Racist Aussies!

No, they are not a myth! Having downplayed recent riots John Howard (Aussie PM) has, for the first time, stated that racial tensions had been a factor in the violence. No fucking shit!

Having refused to use the 'R' word during the early days of fighting Howard finally admitted what many in the international community have long believed - there is an racist undercurrent in Australia. This is borne out by 79% of Australians polled believing that Howard has up until now misjudged the Australian national character.

The riots which began on Cronulla beach, Sydney, are said to have been sparked by alleged attacks on white lifeguard by young Lebanese men. These accusations are unproven, but even if they are true all that has resulted is the fine tradition of indiscriminate revenge on anyone who looks different. Regardless of the catalyst for the violence the riots were swiftly taken over and later actively organised by White Supremacists capitalising on an underlying racist mentality.

No country is without its bigots, but for Howard to have sat back for so long claiming that the troubles in Australia are not racially motivated is fucking stupidity of the highest order. The first stage in dealing with a problem is to admit there is a problem.

Cheers m'dears!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Na-Chavity

There's this bird called Mary, yeah? She's a virgin, right - wossat then? Means she ain't married or nuffink, but she's got this boyfriend, Joe, innit? He does joinery an' that. Mary lives with him in a crib dahn Nazaref. Thassa foreign place, right, like Magaluf.
Anyway, right, one day Mary meets this bloke Gabriel, all timotei hair an' that. She's like 'Oo ya lookin at?'. Gabriel just goes 'You got one up the duff, you have.' Mary's totally gobsmacked. She gives it to him large 'Stop dissin' me yeah! I ain't no Kappa-slapper. I never bin wiv no one! Piss off ya ponce!'.
Right, so Mary goes and sees her cousin Liz, who's six months gone herself. Liz is largin' it. She's filled with spirits. Thas prob'ly Barcardi Breezers an' that. She's like 'Orright, Mary, I can feel me bay-bee in me tummy and I reckon I'm well blessed. Think of all the extra benefits an' that we are gonna get.' Mary goes 'Yeah, s'pose you're right'.
Mary an' Joe ain't got no money so they have to nick a donkey, an' go dahn Beflehem on that. They get to this pub an' Mary wants to stop, yeah? To have her bay-bee an' that. But there ain't no room at the inn, innit? So Mary an' Joe break an' enter into this garridge, only it's filled wiv animals. Cahs an' sheep an' that.
Then these three geezers turn up, looking proper bling, wiv crowns on their heads. They're like 'Respect, bay-bee Jesus', an' say they're wise men from the East End. Joe goes: 'If you're so wise, wotchoo doin' wiv this Frankenstein an' myrrh? Why dincha just bring gold, Adidas and Burberry?'.
It's all about to kick off when Gabriel turns up again an' sez he's got another message from this Lord geezer. He's like 'The police is comin an' they're killin all the bay-bees. You better nash off to Egypt.' Joe goes 'You must be monged it you think I'm goin' dahn Egypt on a minging donkey' Gabriel sez 'Suit yerself, pal. But it's your look out if you stay.'
So they go dahn Egypt till they've stopped killin the first-born an' it's safe an' that. Then Joe and Mary and Jesus go back to Nazaref, an' Jesus turns water into Stella.
Cheers m'dears!

ps - I'd love to take complete credit for this but the basics were created by a friend. I just beefed it up a little.

Monday, December 19, 2005

This is how I feel today....

....so forgive me if I cannnot be arsed to write anything else. 'Nuff said.

Cheers m'dears!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bonny and blithe and good...

"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision."
Lynn Lavner
I occasionally get asked why I turned my back on the religion that I grew up with. I'm sure I am not alone in this since half the western world when asked about their faith will reply "Well, I 'grew up' as a [insert as applicable here]", but I get asked because it seems apparent to some that the indoctrination of my childhood is still a dominant force in parts of my life. My sense of 'morality' (in reality such a wishy-washy loose term) is steeped in Christianity, my ideas of right and wrong can still come across very black and white, good and evil. But then perhaps this is exactly why I discarded God.
When I look at homosexual friends I do not see the 'immoral fornicators' that we were told about in church... at least, no more than I do with my straight friends. Now that middle age has set in with my acquaintances our relationships have developed a more long-term aspect. For some that means marriage, for others simply moving in together, maybe starting a family. And (within their legal limits) this includes gay couples. Taken as a broad spectrum they are just as loving and as faithful as the heterosexual couples, yet the church still views these relationships as sinful and evil. Oh, the more 'we-wanna-seem-forward-thinking' will say it's okay to be queer, just not to act on those impulses, but surely that's just as insulting. It's almost an insinuation that homosexuality is a mental illness.
This is the crux of it for me. If God is, as he is often referred to, the 'God of Love' how can He condemn any form of love? Even that between same-sex couples? This is the one overwhelming piece of evidence for me, not that God does not exist - of that I am not decided - but that in the hands of man religion is little more than another form of propoganda and control. I don't regret what the Church taught me, but I am thankful that as I grew up I became able to think for myself and make decisions independently of dogma.
One last thought - for homosexuality to be deemed an 'alternative' lifestyle then surely heterosexuality must be an 'alternative' lifestyle as well? They are both, after all, just different alternatives...
Cheers m'dears!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Did you hear about the dyslexic devil worshipper...?

.... He sold his soul to Santa.

Okay, I know you've heard it before. But isn't there a bit of truth to that 'selling your soul' bit. I'm not the first blogger to write about this but Christmas is really doing my fucking swede in right now. It has depressed me so much that my mind is numbed to the idea of writing about anything else...

Sorry to go all Ebeneezer on you all but for fuck's sake, Christmas is ONE DAY of the year. Two if you count Christmas Eve. In the UK maybe even three if you include Boxing Day. I can even handle the idea of 12 days of Christmas, but I draw the line a two whole fucking months, which is what it has become.

I love eating turkey and Christmas pudding (not together though) but I don't want to be force fed them every time I go to a restraunt in December. How about some fucking choice, people? In short if Santa comes anywhere near me before the 24th he is liable to receive a sprig of holly up his rotund arse and and a swift kick in his sack - you won't catch me selling my soul to the fat cunt!

Bah fucking humbug.

Cheers m'dears!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Strange Folk Trying to Make a Point...

1) Definitely trying to make a point:-
The Not-So-Stupid Town Mayor

It appears that federal decrees in Brazil forbid the town of Biritiba Mirim from either building a new cemetery or expanding an existing one, for reasons of land and water preservation. However, because other Government environmental protection measures forbid cremation it has left this town of 28,000 people (which is only 70km away from Brazil's largest city Sao Paulo) wondering how to dispose of loved ones who have kicked the cubeta. To that end Mayor Roberto Pereira has come up with an unusual solution. He has presented the Town Council with a Bill to make dying illegal.

The contents of the Bill include a demand to residents to "take good care of your health in order not to die". Rumours that this could become a capital offence, however, are dismissed by the Mayor who has charitably not stipulated a penalty for anyone daring enough to break this law

Of course this is simply a very effective way of drawing media attention to their unusual situation and a Mayoral aide is quick to point out that his boss was never truly serious and that the Bill is too unconstitutional to ever be approved, "But can you think of a better marketing strategy to persuade the government to modify the legislation...?"

2) Probably trying to make a point but being very obscure:-
The Mad Irish Banshee

Recently Sinead O'Connor said this: "I think God is unemployed and lonely". What the fuck? Ignore the randomly crazy subject matter, how about the choice of her description? I'd have expected her to say something more like "I think God is uncaring and lazy". Except with a couple of "feck's" to really make the point. I don't have a bloody clue what she's blathering on about but it just stood out to me...

3) Utterly pointless - just a crap excuse to make a crap pun:-
The (insert your own description here - I'm too lazy) Actress

According to Joely Richardson "There's something tremendously erotic about someone who holds everything in". I don't know about you but now I have developed a middle aged spread I frequently try to hold everything in.... I don't think it's ever made me seem erotic though. (I did warn you that it was bad).

Cheers m'dears!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem..........

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at it again. The Iranian President, who publicly stated in October that Israel should be "wiped off the map" and suggested last Thursday that the Jewish state should be relocated to Germany or Austria has now gone as far as to strongly suggest that the Holocaust never happened. Okay, let's face it - claims like this are nothing new and we have our own 'academics' who say the same. The problem here, however, is not the sensationalism that we have come to expect from the man but the fact that he does utter a real truth that just gets masked....

"If the killing of Jews in Europe is true and the Zionists are being supported because of this excuse, why should the Palestinian nation pay the price?", he said yesterday. I personally take it as absolute fact that the atrocities of the Nazi regime happened. Too many non-Jews on both sides have testified to the Holocaust to allow it to be any kind of propoganda. So the question indeed arises, why should Palestinians pay the price?

We all know that it was the meddling of the West (we're so damn good at that...) that re-introduced the State of Israel to the Middle-East. The idea may have been honourable - to give a persecuted nation their own land - but all that has happened is we have created another persecuted nation struggling to keep it's own land. Don't mistake me, I realise that many Israelis have died at the hands of Palestinian terrorists, a situation I deplore and will never seek to justify, but it is a violence that happens both ways... and it is always, always innocents who get caught up in the violence. It has to end somewhere.

The fact is it is too late to reverse the creation of the Jewish state, and nor should we. There is now a whole generation who were born there, who have made that land their own. Removing them would be akin to sending the entire Asian community in the UK back to their respective countries or re-locating all white Americans back to Europe. But a solution has to be found, one that allows Israeli and Palestinian to co-exist peacefully. Even if lines are drawn up that leave communities on the 'wrong' side measures have to be put in place to allow those settlements to continue to exist without fear and with the freedom to practice their own religious and cultural ideals.

One thing that is a must - school textbooks and teachings need to be revised, preferably by a co-operative body of Islamic and Christo-Judean nations to preserve balance. These revisions should remove all negative teachings about each other and add positive teachings. Israelis would do well to learn of the persecution Palestinians faced over the years in the same way that Palestinians should have knowledge of the Holocaust. Maybe by instilling these similarities at a young age these two nations can learn that aside from a difference in religion there is no reason that they cannot be cordial to each other... maybe even eventual friends and allies.

I know, better people than I have tried to create peace in the Middle East and I am saying nothing new, but maybe the more of us that keep saying it the louder it will get and the more likely things could change. And that change can only begin if both sides stop the indoctrination...

Take a look at the picture at the top. Tell me, are those children Israeli or Palestinian? Are you able to tell the difference? Do you think those children themselves would know the difference if it wasn't instilled in them....

Cheers m'dears!

The children in the picture are both Palestinian and Israeli at a rare mixed school based in Palestinian Bethlehem. The religions represented at this school are currently Muslim and Christian and the operators are actively seeking Jewish students. The school used to organise regular exchanges with others on the other side of the border until Israel implemented a law preventing this. Refusing subsidies from either government to maintain it's independence the school relies on charity. Unfortunately the building of the Israeli Security Wall resulted in the demolition of the school cafeteria and all expansion work on other school buildings has been suspended in the uncertainty. Please click any part of this text to be linked to the school website.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Deathmatch 1,000

The current conflict in Iraq began with the invasion on March 20th 2003. Despite the fact that the war has been officially declared 'won' lives are still being lost. But you already know that.... so why do I bring it up? Because today is DAY 1,000 of the fighting. Just a number? Just a statistic? Well, here are a few more, from highest to lowest.........

53,470 - number of Iraqi insurgents killed. That's 2.23 per hour.

30,000 - number of Iraqi civilians killed. Or 1.25 per hour. (estimate only)

2,339 - number of allied troops killed. 2.34 per day.

251 - number of foreigners kidnapped. Roughly 1.76 per week.

66 - number of journalists killed (that's 3 more than were killed in Vietnam... so far). Approximately 1.98 per month.

So that's an estimated total of 85,875 deaths, averaging out at almost 86 per day.

Just numbers? Just statistics? Oh, wait - I missed one.....

0 - number of WMDs found.

No preaching. No 'in my opinion'. Just undeniable and factual figures on how much death has been wreaked in one country over the last 1,000 days.

For more, including money spent and Iraqi 'satisfaction' with the allies job, check here.

Cheers m'dears!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Captain Un-Credible

The European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has questioned Tony Blair's credibility as a European leader and has suggested that any failure to agree an EU budget would ostracize the UK, relegating it to the sidelines (more here). This perhaps comes as little surprise to the many of us who have watched el Presidente Blair repeatedly turn his back on Europe. Well, he's got to be facing the right way to suck Dubyas chipolata, hasn't he?

Despite the occasional demonstration of how a spinal cord should work Blair has consistently appeared as the Governer of the 51st state, all because of some apparently 'special' relationship between our two countries. But the bottom line is the the US is out of touch with the rest of the world and the more time we spend in bed with them the further we will be cast adrift. You want proof, look at Japan. Okay, their war record and subsequent refusal to make amends have played a large part in their isolation but for the last 60 years they have focused all their attention on building a relationship with the US and by doing so have recently struggled to truly be part of Asia.

We have all been well aware of Blairs arse-kissing - Pravda wrote this about it 3 and a half years ago; The Curmudgeon sends it up very aptly here; Christ, even the cutesy film Love Actually managed to poke fun at it. So how does it manage to prevail? Even Tony must have come to realise that our support of the US does not guarantee a return favour since no amount of lobbying has managed to turn Dubya around on anything from Iraq to Kyoto. I know that it's apparently better to give than receive, but really - what the fuck do we get out of it? I mean aside from derision and isolation from our nearest neighbours who, despite linguistic differences, actually have more in common with us than our distant US cousins.

We don't have to be anti-American but we could at least stop playing the bitch. And we don't have to bend over backwards for Europe, but adopting a US-style stance and refusing to compromise and find solutions to common problems will just turn us into outcasts.

Cheers m'dears!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Vote Pinter X

You may not have noticed but last Wednesday night the Nobel Prize Ceremonies were held in Oslo and Stockholm. Unlike the Oscars or the MTV awards the Nobels fail to attract a large television audience... presumably because outstanding scientists, doctors, writers and peace-makers don't look like Angelina Jolie or Justin Timberlake.

Anyhow, on the night the prize for literature was awarded to Harold Pinter, despite some anticipatory objections (see here). I for one would murmur a hooray regardless as I have always liked Pinter's work but it was not the prize that was talk of the night but his acceptance speech - in short, fucking-a! And rather than try to match his verbosity here I am instead going to publish an excerpt of the speech. If you want to read or watch the full thing - and I recommend you do - it's here. But for now I'll skip the drama references and go straight to a section highlighting Pinter's take on US policy over the last 50 years...

"...the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.
As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.

The truth is something entirely different. The truth is to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it."

...and later...

"The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution.

The Sandinistas weren't perfect. They possessed their fair share of arrogance and their political philosophy contained a number of contradictory elements. But they were intelligent, rational and civilised. They set out to establish a stable, decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. Hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken peasants were brought back from the dead. Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated.

The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion. In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. If Nicaragua was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was allowed to raise the standards of health care and education and achieve social unity and national self respect, neighbouring countries would ask the same questions and do the same things. There was of course at the time fierce resistance to the status quo in El Salvador."

The whole piece is quite long, but worth the read / listen. Do yourself a favour and check it out...
Cheers m'dears!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

An unpleasant ode-our?

So, with the US fresh from scandal at placing stories in the Iraqi press you have to wonder what to make of the revelation that an innocent looking poem found in school textbooks in Pakistan is actually a glorious homage to Dubya. No, seriously.

The annonymous poem is titled 'The Leader' and has been taught to 15 - 18 year olds as a rundown of the qualities needed to make a good leader - "Patient and steady"; "Never backs down"; "Tells it straight"; "Bracing for war, praying for peace"; blah-de-blah. Despite its degree of schoolbook-poetry wankiness it's surely innocuous enough, right? Ummmmm....

When you read down the first letter of the twenty lines the truth behind the poem rears it's chimp like head.... PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH. Whoops! The compilers of this textbook must be kicking themselves. That is, if the government aren't doing it for them. After all, this is a staunchly conservative Islamic country whose people are not overly fond of the US alpha male, especially when half the populace think that their own President Pervez Musharraf is in cahoots with him.

The offending poem has now been removed, but that still leaves the question of who wrote it and how did it get there? It was probably an attempt at humour rather than propoganda, as it's hard to imagine anyone believing that this kind of stunt would suddenly generate support for US foreign policy. But then again the situation for Bush seems to have become so desperate that anything could be worth a try.

Cheers m'dears!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

To cut a long Tory short...

Elected in June 2001 as the Conservative MP for Witney, does David Cameron have enough political experience to be the Prime Minister of the UK? Because that is, in effect, the job he is aiming for by taking over as leader of his party. Granted, the next election is a few years away, but what has he got that imbues such confidence from his peers?

He is young for a party leader (39), giving him the air of vitality that Blair used to have, and he apparently also has a level of charm and reasonable good looks to match his opposite. But is that all that the Tories are hanging their hopes on? Quite possibly. In this age of spin and presentation are we ever likely to get the right people for the job? Or are we content to be led by poster boys?

Getting off the political fence for a moment I should state that despite my thoughts on Blair and 'New' Labour I could never ever vote Conservative. Growing up with very little under Thatcher instilled that into me. Even though my status has since changed and I would technically have been better off financially if the last election had swung the other way I could never vote blue.

I'm not claiming affiliation to any specific party and my allegiances have changed at different times. Saying that, I won't reveal who I have voted for in the past, or who I will vote for in the future - it just won't be for Mr Cameron's party, whether he is in charge or not. Because regardless of the packaging a tory is still a tory is still a tory....

You just have to look at Blair to see that.

Cheers m'dears!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Truth and Lions

Big news everyone.... A newly discovered note by C.S. Lewis has revealed that - shock, horror - Narnia is a Christian allegory! In the letter written in 1961 to a child Lewis states that "The whole Narnian story is about Christ."

Well bugger me with a wardrobe. Never saw that one coming. I mean anyone would think that Aslan the Lion (one Jesus aka was Lion of Judah), who appears at one stage as a lamb (another aka - lamb of God) and at another point is executed yet rises from the dead (ho-hum... the similarity is becoming monotonous), was just, y'know, a cuddly old lion. A bit like Clarence, but without the cross-eyes.

Tolkien allowed his religion to influence him but whether people like it or not his friend Lewis built his entire world around Christian texts and mythology.... people who have been arguing otherwise for the last fuck knows how many years must be a few fur coats short of a secret doorway. And if it's too subtle in the early books The Last Battle (book 7 - aka Narnia's Book of Revelations) should make it painfully fucking apparent to anyone with a small bit of knowledge about Christianity.

Some people may not like the 'indoctrination of kids', a fair and valid point. So choose away - watch it, boycott it, buy the DVD and play it backwards hunting for hidden satanic messages if you really must. But for Christ's sake (and Aslan's) don't be fucking naive about it.

Cheers m'dears!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

In the news this weekend.....

Spent the last two days in a state of stupour celebrating the birthday of a good pal, leaving me with a brace of the Daily Propoganda and an inbox full of news alerts to read... these are the titbits that caught my attention. No doubt you bastards are well ahead of me, but that's the way it goes sometimes.....


"For a first-world country to be imposing a third-world penalty by executing this young man, it diminishes the lives of all of us. The Singapore Government must understand that killing this young Australian will not kill the fight against the mandatory death penalty."
Rob Hulls, Victoria State Attorney General, Australia.
In principle I agree. But where the fuck were your heartfelt comments when the US Government offed Kenneth Lee Boyd - the 1000th execution since the reintroduction of the death penalty there in 1977? Get a grip on your moral ideology, Rob.
"Reading conventional books about China is tiring. So we decided on a comic book, which is easier to absorb."
Hokuto Hata, representative of Japanese publisher Asuka Shinsha.
Again, you have my agreement. Far from the snobby idea of 'dumbing down' graphic representations of history can really bring it alive. On example is an excellent representation of the holocaust where all the characters are presented as animals (I belive it is called Maus, but it has been a while and I could be mistaken). But here the problem is one of re-writing history. Titled An Introduction to China - A Study of Our Annoying Neighbours this book paints the Chinese as a race of cannibals and AIDS-infested prostitutes and suggests that they dug up ancient bones to fabricate the proof that the Japanes killed 300,000 civilians during their occupation. A similar comic book titled Hating the Korean Wave paints Japan's brutal annexation of Korea as a 'liberation' from Chinese influence.
How fucked up does this nation want to be? Despite good political relations with the US they must realise that from survival instinct alone they need to build friendships within Asia, particularly with China on the ascent. Interestingly the writer of this book is from Taiwan - a country that, despite it's odds with neighbour-cum-wannabe-parent China, had a harsh time itself under a 50-year Japanese occupation.
The World Health Organisation
"It is not illegal for an organisation to offer positions solely to non-smokers. An applicant would not be able to challenge an unsuccessful job application on that basis."
Michael Bradshaw, employment partner at Charles Russell Law Firm.
Okay, maybe we should applaud the fact that the WHO are going with their principles (I don't want to seem a hypocrite after my opening paragraphs). After all, it does look a bit bad for their employees to be effectively killing themselves. But smoking is not actually illegal in most countries, so how can it be legal to exclude someone who is not technically doing anything wrong. Let me come clean and admit I am a smoker. I intend to give up now middle age has set in and I no longer feel like I'm going to live forever, but I've been puffing for 20 years and it isn't that easy. Is shunning me going to make it easier for me to give up? I don't fucking think so. And what about the smokers that the WHO already employ? Is it a case of "quit the weed or quit the job"? I think Michael Bradford may find it a little harder to justify that kind of action.
Cheers m'dears!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The times they ain't a-changin'...

April 1974 - East Timor:- After 48 years of right-wing dictatorship via Portuguese colonial rule a bloodless revolution leads to a declaration of independence. Western governments, in their democratic "wisdom", refuse to recognise the country's sovereignty. A year later Indonesia invades, leading to 24 years of resistance to bloody tyranny and the loss of 200,000 Timorese (a third of the population) and 10,000 Indonesian troops. No 'free-Kuwait' style counter-invasion by the west. Not even diplomatic sanctions. After all there's no oil.... Better just to let the natives sort it out themselves, isn't it? It's of no interest to the Western World.... or is it?

A segment from a despatch written the night before the invasion by then British Ambassador John Ford reads like this:- "...it is in Britain's interest that Indonesia should absorb [East Timor] as soon and unobtrusively as possible; ands that if it comes to the crunch and there is a row in the United Nations, we should keep our heads down and avoid siding against the Indonesian government." And that's just the start. (more here)

In short this illegal occupation was essentially endorsed by not just the UK but by the US and Australia as well. More worryingly, in an effort to allow Indonesia to act "unobtrusively" these three governments smothered reports of atrocities committed and the mounting death tally (in particular the circumastances surrounding the deaths of 3 Australian and 2 British journalists). It wasn't until 1999 that the UN organised a referendum in East Timor which overwhelmingly voted for independence and an Indonesian withdrawl.

December 2005 - Iraq:- US officials are promising to promote democratic principles (a few years too late for East Timor....) including political transparency and freedom of speech - which you would expect to involve a free press, wouldn't you? Not so.

The Pentagon currently has an interesting contract with Lincoln Group, a company "formed to pursue private sector opportunities in Iraq" (read - "make as much money out of rebuilding what we tore down as is fucking possible"). This contract allows 'articles' written by the US military 'Information Operations' troops to be translated into Arabic and placed into Iraqi newspapers. Iraqi staff and subcontractors of Lincoln Group pose as freelance reporters and pass off these 'stories', praising the work of the US, as their own. The articles are apparently factually 'based', yet they deliberately leave out information which could show the US and it's allies in a bad light. (more here)

In a word - propoganda. But what do we expect from a country where freedom of speech means so little that a high school newsletter is 'seized' because it talks about birth-control? (more here)

Just goes to show that in my lifetime very little has changed... our 'good and democratic' governments are still doing what the fuck they want with precious little regard for the fundamentals of the political system they preach - and even less for the little folk who get caught in it all.

Cheers m'dears!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Grip my election....

Reading the Daily Propoganda today I discovered that election fever is currently 'gripping' Taiwan (apparently). This turn of phrase has always interested me when used in regard to politics, gripping having the potentially negative connotations of 'seizing', 'grasping', and (further down the line) 'choking'. Because whilst I myself have never been 'gripped' by an election the results usually end up in the country in question being gripped in another fashion.

Let me ask you this one question. In your country (wherever you are) what does the outcome of an election actually mean? My experience of voting is restricted to the UK, a country where the dividing line between the two main political parties is so blurred they may as well be one and the same. The same shit dumped on us 10 years ago is still being dumped on us despite a regime change. I'm also inclined to wonder how Al Gore would have responded to the Twin Towers had he been in the hot seat that fateful day. To many outside the US the military response authorised by Dubya did not seem like a right-wing Republican reaction but a hell-bent-on-vengeance-because-we're-GOD's-nation American reaction. Sorry if that offends, but it is a large truth. How would Gore have responded to the public outcry to September 11th? And to the call for justice (read: revenge)? Because, let's face it, public opinion can swing decisions like that.

Okay, in some countries where the political situation is more volatile who you vote for can have a huge impact, but in the so-called 'civilised' nations it really doesn't seem to mean crap. 21st century politicians are more interested in papering over small cracks (which they have already blamed on the previous ruling party) than implementing any kind of fundamental social change. Why is this? Because small changes illicit small grumbles from a lot of people, whom they can placate with little incentives here and there. Giant change often means huge outcries from a smaller group of people who cannot be so easily placated. Any idealist who tries to make a change for the common good will find their hands tied by those who really control western civilisation - the businessmen, the corporate giants. Compromises are made and the core ideals are gradually chipped away until eventually any reforms lose their bite and their ability to matter.

I am saying nothing new, offering no solutions. I am tired of being gripped, but can one man really make a difference? No matter who I vote for in my constituency it's a safe seat anyway. And no matter which party rules the same 'important' people and organisations are pandered to. All this talk about bringing democracy to Afganistan and Iraq? We don't even really have it at home.

Cheers m'dears!

People shouldn't be afraid of their Governments - Governments should be afraid of their people.
Poster tagline for the forthcoming 'V For Vendetta'

Labels: , , ,