Part of me wants to break down barriers, set people free and make the world a better place. A bigger part of me wants to sit on the sofa, drink tea and play through old Nintendo games.
- - - o O o - - -
Category : Thoughts and rants
- - - o O o - - -
06/11/08 : Following the U.S. elections
- - - - -
(That's almost up to the standard of the post I wrote following the last US elections!)
I think I was more worried not just that McCain would win, but that he would win and then pop his clogs, leaving the job to a woman who seems to embody all the worst things about America (and I still don't understand how "right-wing" and "Christian" go together as I'm pretty sure Mr. J. H. Christ was a socialist).
- - - o O o - - -
30/10/08 : Outrage! Fury!
From this BBC News article: "For a programme that prompted just two complaints when it was broadcast, Russell Brand's Radio 2 Show has caused a remarkable furore".
So . . . two broadcasters took a joke too far, a couple of people complained, the broadcasters apologised and the man involved accepted the apology and wants to move on (the grand-daughter can hardly complain, having made a wadge of cash by selling "her story" to The Sun).
And this is the most important thing that has happened in the world over the past few days?
I find Brand occasionally funny, mostly irritating. I find Ross generally entertaining - and he can do more serious stuff too. But why such outrage over a bad taste childish prank? I'd guess it's nothing more than the fact that they both work for the BBC; the organisation that YOU PAY FOR that is being run by commies hoping to promote their left-wing agenda. Well, that's what the Mail/Sun/Express seem to think, and they'll use any excuse to stir up some faux outrage to make their point.
The thing that bothers me the most though is the complainers. Two complaints following the broadcast, 30000 and rising now? Who are these people? Presumably most of them didn't actually hear the radio show, so I can only assume that they are sad, pathetic individuals with empty lives, believing what they read in lesser quality media sources and complaining because it makes them feel important.
UPDATE : This might be one reason The Sun don't like Brand. It's funny because it's true ... [video removed]
UPDATE 2 : I just read a transcript of the answerphone messages that caused the "public fury" - here. I'm sorry ... I couldn't help finding it funny ... I guess I'm just a warped individual ...
UPDATE 3 : I couldn't resist adding the best line I've heard so far on the subject, from Tygerland:
"The BBC, as always, has been forced to pull down its trousers and bend over, while the collective tabloid media buggers it silly with its enormous cock of hypocrisy".
- - - o O o - - -
22/07/2008 : Steal EVERYTHING!
This made me smile, although Mr. Rock is actually making a valid point about illegally downloading songs.
Stealing music is hardly new. When I was a kid I used to "tape" - i.e. record onto analogue tape cassettes - stuff from the radio, other people's tapes, CDs if I was lucky, even computer games before disc drives became less expensive. My parents never stopped me or pointed out that it was illegal (and immoral) - in fact I'm sure they did it themselves. As did pretty much everyone else. Yet if I had have walked into my local branch of HMV, picked up the latest hit album and walked out of the shop without paying, it would have somehow been a completely different thing.
In my ideal world however everything would be free. People would only need to work for the minimum amount of time it takes to get everything running (no need to over work to make a profit, no middlemen, pointless competition or corruption) and could just help themselves to whatever they needed. They'd have plenty of free time to make whatever music or art or whatever they wanted, free from the restraints of having to following trends to keep selling their material. There'd be no theft, greed would die out along with most of the other problems in society. Somehow I can't see my utopia becoming a reality.
- - - o O o - - -
18/07/2008 : Not been stabbed yet
It appears that Dorset has the lowest level of knife crime in the country [ BBC News article ] which means I can now sleep soundly in my bed at night. Unfortunately (and surprisingly) Hampshire fared rather less well in the report, and I live right on the Hampshire border. So, head too far along the good old A31 and I'm likely to be murdered to death by gangs of vicious knife wielding hoodies.
Ok, I'm sure that knife crime is a problem, particularly in some places, but the Daily Mail (who else) claiming that "no part of Britain is safe" is a bit over the top. All of the tabloids are full of scare stories, using figures for knife "incidents" but failing to point out that these figures include domestic accidents.
Still, don't forget to vote for [insert preferred political party here] because they're the people who will take "tough action". Let's just hope we don't all die from bird flu first.
- - - o O o - - -
25/10/07 : Bod. And stuff.
I used to like the Have your say section on the BBC website. Now it just irritates me. The vast majority of the people who leave comments fall into two categories: the ones that, no matter what the subject is about, manage to do nothing more than complain about the government, liberals, immigrants, single parents, the left-wing conspiracies of the BBC etc. etc. - and the ones that think all of the problems of society could be solved by bringing back hanging, national service . . . . . hold on a sec, these are the same people! [must .. fight .. urge .. to .. start .. rant .. against .. daily mail readers ...]
Anyway, one of the recent subjects was about the "golden age" of kid's TV. For the most part, when people talk about the golden age of anything, they are talking complete bullshit. This is no exception. Some of the old kids programmes are shown in the evening on Nick Jr and they are slow, badly animated and just plain dull.
There is however one exception, which shows that sometimes simplicity is genius. Semi-animated, crudely drawn characters on sparse or non existent backgrounds doing not very much (but doing the not much in that weird 70's spaced out way). The music is just perfect, with each character having their own leitmotif. Enjoy!
Back to the subject of HYS, added to the sidebar: spEak You're bRanes - a blog showing some of the worst of the have your say comments - the sort of things you don't know whether to laugh or cry at.
- - - o O o - - -
17/10/07 : Shrugging at life
Looking through my old blog I discovered a line that I thought would make a good tagline to this blog (see top). In many ways, it sums me up. Ok, it makes me sound lazy, which I can sometimes be, but there's more to it than that.
I have strong opinions. I have morals. I care about a lot of things - probably more so than most people - but still not enough to take any real action. But unlike most people, I don't pretend to do stuff just to make myself look good. There is of course very little one person can actually do anyway (with most things, I think that governments - who actually have some power - should be doing more, particularly in sorting out big businesses who get away with all kinds of stuff, rather than making individuals feel bad for not "doing their bit").
My main job is physically demanding and I work hard when I'm there, but I'm there for as little time as I can get away with. My boss is there most of the time. At the busiest times he's made himself ill with the stress. He's admitted that, to a degree at least, he missed seeing his kids grow up. He's probably got considerably more money than me, but doesn't have the time to enjoy it. Ok, so he owns a fairly successful company - but so what? It's just a company. It's not something that makes any difference to the world and it's not something that he's going to be remembered for when he's dead. And in order to sell his product, he's got to "care" about stuff which, at the end of the day, is completely trivial. Personally, I think that I'm in the better position.
As for not "doing something with my life" - well, I don't actually know anyone who has done something with their life. I don't know anyone who's done anything to make society a better place. I don't know anyone who's created great works of art for people to enjoy in future centuries. Arselicking your way to the top of some business just so that other people can do it to you isn't my idea of fulfillment.
Shit happens. People screw themselves up worrying about it. I just shrug and think "Oh well". Then have a cup of tea.
- - - o O o - - -
27/03/07 : Springtime and kids
After a false start a couple of weeks ago, spring seems to have arrived. I like the different seasons, but get fed up with winter once christmas is out of the way.
The warmer weather makes me feel sort of "free" - perhaps due to not having to keep windows shut or wear protective gear just to leave the house. So to celebrate this feeling of freedom I thought I'd climb a tree (this primate-based habit hasn't left me yet) and take some pictures of the kids!
I saw my dad for the first time in years recently and in our conversation he expressed concern about pictures of our kids being on the net, which wasn't something I had ever thought of as a problem. Then a few days ago there was a phone-in on Jeremy Vine's radio show about some woman who had tried to stop another parent taking photos at a school sports event in case pictures of her kids were on the photos and they "ended up on the internet".
I suppose the fear is that paedophiles are going to get hold of these photos and alter them for some perverted thrill. They're going to have their work cut out though - there are millions of people who have pictures of their kids on their blogs and things. And anyway, I'm sure that these warped people have better things to do (like find real kids to do stuff to, or at least proper kiddy porn sites to looks at). I think this is just a moral panic thing - where certain politicians and media groups play on fears that they themselves have created with the intention of promising to sort out exaggerated problems in the hope of getting support. The support in this case being to "police" the net.
Please people, don't let the internet die! There may be some dodgy content (I'm not just talking about child pornography here) but that's a small price to pay for the best media source ever invented (free speech and access to information on virtually anything from around the world). And anyway, surely it's better that this dodgy content is on display where people can at least keep an eye on it?
- - - o O o - - -
22/02/07 : Blair, cars, tax, money and stuff
I was thrilled today to receive a personal Email from Tony Blair. Well, I say personal - about 1.7 million people received the same message . . . yes, I was one of those people who signed the Road pricing petition. Not because I'm a petrol-head or anything - although I shamefully admit to finding Top Gear entertaining - in fact I'm quite green minded. I agree that there should be fewer cars on the road. I just don't think this sort of tax works. I'm also not overly fond of the idea that my car will be constantly tracked.
There are two problems making people pay to use certain roads at certain times.
1. If you happen to live (or work) in the wrong place, you're pretty much buggered.
2. The fact that poor people [Warning: anti capitalism rant ahead] will be affected while the rich can carry on and do whatever the hell they want (at the slight inconvenience of shelling out more cash).
Actually, If I had my way, there would be no such thing as money. People would still work, but only for the minimum hours necessary (as there wouldn't be a capitalist system to support, with the ridiculous number of steps between producer and consumer where profits have to be made on every step of the way and too much stuff is made and everyone is in competition with each other etc. etc. etc.). Everything people needed would be provided so there would be no point in stealing anything. Concepts like "greed" and "poverty" would die out.
This subject has popped up in conversations before and people generally think life would be boring with no "challenge" if there was no cash to desperately try to grab. Surely there are better challenges than making money and trying to gain power? What about making the world a nicer place to live in? What about creating great works of art, having the freedom to do so without following trends and fashions?
[pointless rant over, night night]
UPDATE: Charlie Brooker seems to have the same opinion of money as me (although, as one commenter points out, he does at least have some).
- - - o O o - - -
02/02/07 : "January"
The month has been a bit shit really, ending with the entire family being ill. I spent two days in bed with a ten-tonne head, my uncontrollable shivering interrupted only by violent coughing fits in which my body tried to expel great green globules of crap from my throat. I then spent several days feeling pathetically weedy, where all I wanted to do was snuggle up under the duvet against warm flesh (I'm not talking about sex, it's just that a cuddle is so much nicer when it's against an actual person rather than a bundle of clothes. Similarly, sex isn't the same with barrier methods of contraception - it's more like two people using each others bodies for mutual masturbation. And as I appear to be digressing, I'd like to warn people that Complan contains milk powder, so make it with water not milk to avoid it being overly rich and making you feel worse. Note however that this does not apply to Alpen - which, despite containing milk powder, should under no circumstances be made with water).
Other than that, not much to report. So, to the news.
The most memorable story had to be the racism thing in Celebrity Big Brother. I am truly amazed how seriously this was taken. I mean, it's just a shitty T.V. programme in which has-been or not-quite celebrities desperately try to make themselves appeal to the public in the hope of starting or rekindling a career. I don't think there was any real racism anyway - at least not intentional racism, just someone unpleasant having a rant using some badly chosen words (and plenty of people are guilty of that).
Then there was the Catholics, insisting that they are not discriminating against gays, but wanting to be exempt from anti-discrimination laws . . . I wonder if they would consider the matter of a Neo-Nazi doctor refusing to save the life of a dying Jew because it was "against his beliefs" an entirely different thing?
Finally, the editor of the Daily Mail (if you've read stuff I've written elsewhere you'll know how much I hate the Mail and everything it stands for) having a go at the BBC and accusing it of having a left-wing bias. Right wingers are always accusing the Beeb of having a left wing bias. Such people seem to have a "if you're not with us, you're against us" attitude, as if not sharing their right wing views means that you're automatically a communist or something. He (the Daily Mail editor) said that, as the majority of people have relatively conservative views (probably true unfortunately) the Beeb, being publicly funded, should reflect this. What he's done though is completely miss the point. The BBC isn't supposed to reflect the majorities views, it's supposed to be impartial. That means reflecting different views. Showing things from all angles. Which it does better than anyone else. Look, I like the BBC. It's not perfect, but has the most honest news service around and, for the most part, makes the best programmes. And I also support the licence fee, which allows it to be impartial. As well as ensuring that what you're watching isn't interrupted by patronising adverts every 15 minutes. And the website is great too.
Ok, that's it for today - see you next month?
- - - o O o - - -
07/06/06 : Sodding world cup
World cup fever is about to hit the UK again.
Not liking football - or being patriotic (which I see as a socially acceptable form of xenophobia) - I find this deeply irritating. It's not just that the TV schedules are taken over by football - virtually everything media wise suddenly has a football theme - even advertisements for things that have nothing whatsoever to do with "the beautiful game".
The thing that pisses me off the most though? The complete turds who, in between the grunting chants of "in - ger - land", think it's a great idea to stick English flags everywhere. On their cars, on their clothing, hanging from their windows ... everywhere. Still, I suppose if I get amnesia I'll at least know what country I'm in.
This, from the ever brilliant Charlie Brooker:
Rejoice! Thanks to the national obsession with football, the cross of St George has finally been reclaimed from the racists. Nowadays, when you see an England flag on a car, sprawled across a T-shirt, or flapping from a novelty hat, you no longer assume the owner is a dot-brained xenophobe. Instead you assume he's just an idiot. And you're right. He is.
Read the whole thing here. The comments are fun too - I particularly liked this one:
I am assuming that Mr. Brooker also considers those that wear overt product labels on their clothes as being suitably idiotic.
I would guess that he does, yes.
See archive index for other posts