Thursday, 23 April 2009

Happy Birthday!

I don't normally celebrate Lenin's birthday (April 22), in fact, until I got a message from my Marxist Cultural Network emailing list (where I've lurked for years, in a corner, by myself, afraid), I didn't know it WAS Lenin's birthday. But given a 50% top-rate tax in yesterday's UK budget and, you know, the collapse of the late-capitalist mode of production, I thought this year I might raise a glass.

So, cheers!

(And, now that I look at it, who thinks that his hat and facial hair are viable solutions to my impending baldness? Am I looking at my future? Have a found The Answer?)

((Hey, if we can't adopt his economics and politics, perhaps we can at least take his sense of style into the twenty-first century. Not a bad consolation prize.))

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

No really, I'm sorry but fuck me...

I was visiting Sarah Ditum's blog again and reading another excellent post on the hypocrisy of the press, when I followed a link that somehow took me to The Daily Mail's homepage.

Now, I know none of this should have come to me as a surprise. I've certainly been warned. And though The Daily Hate is no longer posting as regularly as I'd like it to -- alas -- I have to admit that I really had no idea just how utterly and completely insane that paper is. (Note: that isn't just silly speculation but a professional opinion. I am a 'Lecturer in Mental Health', after all.) It's not the reader's comments I'm talking about-- those can be rationalised away with all sort of explanations (when even the BBC's Have Your Say can be inundated with so much gloriously scented bullshit). And not just one or two prominent, fashionable darling nutters. Every paper has those. I'm talking about what is apparently their entire raison d'ĂȘtre.

I have been a naive, ridiculous fool. I have seen the paper, lying in the newstand, even on the kitchen tables of some relatives (egad!). But I had no idea just how completely, unashamedly, absolutely fucked these people are. Collectively. I mean, I knew Peter Hitchens, Richard Littlejohn and Melanie Phillips, on the political spectrum, are only a shade pinker than Hitler and that such voices have been supported by a very long-standing, very public editorial policy against, well, all humanity. But I had no idea that they were this blazen, so audacious and positively vocal in their let-them-eat-shittyness. ('Small "c"' my ass.)

You're saying 'Duh! What did you think?!? How stupid, how naive are you?!?' I know I know. But so amazed am I, so in awe of the horrors into which I have just tonight for the first time had the courage to stare, that I took the trouble to clip this right-hand navigation bar from a page that dares, dares with a contempt for reason that would leave Stalin blushing, call itself 'Debate' and re-print it here.

I mean ferchristsake just look at it! I imagined, I suppose, that I would print that picture here and tell you what it wrong with each little bit, an extended analyses... but you know? I really don't think I have to. Or maybe I do, but I'd rather eat shit, which is apt, actually.

I'm sorry but I need to say it again. Fuck. Me. These people must be stopped.

Any ideas?

(What a useless rant that was. True, but useless. I should delete the entire post. Just ignore me today. I'm in a foul mood.)

Dora and Little Hans in the 21st century

This is very amusing and silly and The Guardian shouldn't be publishing such rubbish and really you shouldn't waste too much time reading it.

The birthday present

When her husband turned 40, Charla Muller couldn't decide what to give him, so she offered him guaranteed sex every night for a whole year. Could they manage it? And what would be the effect on their marriage?

though yes, you should forward it to your wife/husband/partner and have a fun, if ultimately futile discussion about sex, which will soon get tied up into teasing considerations of marriage and relationships in late capitalism and, then, finally, winding up with a penetrating exegesis of the Old Testament and full-frontal thoughts on post-feminism. I know I will be.

('Charla Muller was reading Galatians 5.22-23 in her Bible study group'? I might have to take back some of my earlier comments about the pointlessness of religion. Actually, no. Make that double.)

But what really disturbs me were these bits, which leapt out at me like a flasher, i.e. unwelcomed visions of genitalia at those rare times when you don't expect it. would they ensure that the kids (aged seven and five) didn't intrude... her book Muller recalls...
Oh, really? I mean, we ban corporal punishment, but we allow this? Do you think those kids will be dreaming of wolves in trees? In a book?

Happy reading, children. At least you can save time in therapy, cutting through the wild speculation and straight to Exhibit A.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Blogs I wish I had written...

this one:

If the owner of this site ever wants to make a go of it, I would be avid reader AND willing subject.

He was probably put off by the daunting task of endless updates...

The Eventually Revolution.

Two things have come into my cyber-view this week, both of which should, in five years, be regarded as Historic Moments, as the last victory spasms of the headless chickens that are the Old Media.

First, this terrific post about about newspapers' complaints against Google et al. as traditional print bemoans the ground it is losing to t'Internet. And, as Sarah foresees in her blog, today we have the decision to jail the Pirate Bay privateers. And here. Everywhere, no doubt. (Read the first link from the CBC and see some of the really terrifically stoopid comments. I wouldn't say that I would concur with the numpty that claims 'Murderers get less in Canada', but 1 year of hard time does seem... harsh? Maybe the judge misunderstood the whole case -- the poor old gadge -- and thought that it was real pirates he was trying, and thought that he had to thrown them under the incessantly marching feet of the Law, even if they didn't have patches over their eyes, parrots on their shoulders and speak to each other in ooo'arrg Cornish...)

So doubtless there are champagne glasses clinking at Corporate HQ of The Times and Warner Brothers and Sony this afternoon -- surely all of these companies are owned by the same people now, right? And so I thought that this would be a nice time to add my voice to the discussion, which is only really an echo of much more informed opinions. But it seems to me that a little of undiluted Marxism comes in handy here, that we don't even need to overly-complicate things.

It's quite simple, really: The print media, the recording industry, the film industry all argue from the assumption of their inalienable right to exist. They talk as though it was thus beginning, is now and ever shall be profits without end. But these industries are really quite new and fresh, and were only enabled by a very specific mode of production. And when that mode of prodiction changes, as it most certainly has done, their market disappears.

It's like monks filing an injunction against Gutenberg for lost earnings and expecting the printing presses to be smashed to pieces to protect their neat little monopoly on knowledge. Well, I'm sure the monks probably did try that on, but that doesn't mean that they should have been indulged.

That's it, right? Or am I missing something?

Perhaps, instead of trying to present themselves as the unassailable Megaliths that enjoy God-given rights to pick our pockets that transcend time, technology and reason, the print media, the film and recording industries should try to keep themselves alive by creating a sense of nostalgia for overpriced CDs, or play on our sympathies for the lost arts of A&R men. Like people who make candles with their hands. Or small-town newspapers, I guess.

(I'm doing a lot of this straight-up Marxism lately... remind me to see someone about that...)

Friday, 3 April 2009

Someone spray-painted on my favourite bathroom stall


Yes! Spray-painted. And not in some random, crap way, or even with some artistic, Banksy-esque flair, but with a stencil. In block letters. I mean, fuck, where do I start? Ok, the stencilling is perhaps to be expected, lest the missionaries and their spray cans accidentally write, I don't know, 'God Lives You', and need to be excommunicated for the heresy. But I'm pretty sure that there was something in the 10 Commandments about thou shalt not committ random acts of public defacement, wasn't here? A subsection of the 'Don't worship false idols' law?

(Or maybe it was number 12?)

I love that. I could watch that forever.

Anyway, not to worry! Redemption is at hand. Some intrepid, hell-bound little imp has scribbled in a fading blue ink 'Tube' at the end of this, thereby ensuring that the Parker's ballpoint truly is mightier than that unsheathed sword of God's most verile urban guerilla.