Friday, August 12, 2011
For a long time I have believed that if any politician could seize the power to control, censor, or even shut down the internet, we had probably lost the ballgame. Despite the content warnings, corporate bullshit, and all the other irritants, the social networks are the people’s media. They are the only free mass communication in a world of electronic manipulation. But now Cameron has seen his chance. I’d like to say that dog won’t hunt but I just fear it just might. The UK media are whipping a lynch mob frenzy modeled on US TV in the wake of 9/11, except the enemy is the children of the underclass, not terrorists on the jihad. The War On Youth? It is all so bloody absurd I shudder and look away. Dangerous Minds tells the story…
“In response to the English Riots, British Prime Minister, David Cameron announced a series initiatives to “do whatever it takes to restore law and order and to rebuild our communities. Amongst the suggested plans (including removal of face masks) was the rather disturbing news that Cameron plans to block access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberrys. In a speech to Parliament, Cameron said: “Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder…” Click here for more
If we lose the internet we won't be able to click here for this guy.
Or Click here for The Clash
The secret word is Dicey
Posted by Mick at 8/12/2011 01:44:00 PM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
They sure as shit aren’t going to let me write this for The Guardian. Which is a shame because I think this might well be a valid insight. Right now I have a very bad feeling that the rioting in the UK is much more than a destructive sociological hiccup in hard times. My fear is that we are actually witnessing a whole new youth movement – just like the mods, just like the hippies, just like the punks, just like the gangstas in the hoodies, and just as inexplicable to the older generation. In political terms it is a counterculture of frighteningly perfect nihilism, ideologically pure and pristine in so far as it has severed all ties with compassion, empathy, even most minimal agenda beyond instant gratification. It has rejected the basic social compacts that make simple civilization possible. Perhaps in instinctive rejection of a corrupted social system that offers no hope, it’s a lemming lunge of the feral into a twilight world of knives, dope, and guns. You can’t fool the children of the revolution. No, no. You also can’t deter them from a violent and suicidal path. They neither have nor require an attention span and exist wholly in the moment. This new teen and preteen nihilism has embraced the logic of The Hulk – “Me want. Me take. Me smash. Last one out, torch the gaff.” Can’t argue with that, granddad, because this neo-nihilism is artfully inarticulate. A tribe of Sids Vicious without a Joe Strummer among them. This is the way they want it, and we must share the responsibility; all of us. The ones who abandoned this inconvenient, post-industrial generation to street life, video violence, and dead end TV, and we on the other side who didn’t fight hard enough to prevent it. If a solution exists at all, it will require extremely focused thought of a kind that cannot be interrupted by rhetoric, sloganeering, or cravings for popularity. Unfortunately precious few in power are capable of such thought. Maybe none. That makes matters even more problematic. (Unless the Tories use the Nixon strategy of the Attica era of the early 1970s and flood poor neighbourhoods with cheap heroin.)
Click here for Moby Grape
The secret word is Flummoxed
Posted by Mick at 8/11/2011 08:52:00 AM
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I’ve never been sure why the US needed to drop a second bomb on Nagasaki. To prove they could? Greg Mitchell also wonders why.
“Few journalists bother to visit Nagasaki, even though it is one of only two cities in the world to “meet the atomic bomb,” as some of the survivors of that experience, sixty-six years ago today, put it. It remains the Second City, and “Fat Man” the forgotten bomb. No one in America ever wrote a bestselling book called Nagasaki, or made a film titled Nagasaki, Mon Amour. “We are an asterisk,” Shinji Takahashi, a sociologist in Nagasaki, once told me, with a bitter smile. “The inferior A-bomb city.” Yet in many ways, Nagasaki is the modern A-bomb city, the city with perhaps the most meaning for us today. For one thing, when the plutonium bomb exploded above Nagasaki it made the uranium-type bomb dropped on Hiroshima obsolete. And then there’s this. “The rights and wrongs of Hiroshima are debatable,” Telford Taylor, the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, once observed, “but I have never heard a plausible justification of Nagasaki”—which he labeled a war crime. Kurt Vonnegut Jr., who experienced the firebombing of Dresden at close hand, said much the same thing. “The most racist, nastiest act by this country, after human slavery, was the bombing of Nagasaki,” he once said. “Not of Hiroshima, which might have had some military significance. But Nagasaki was purely blowing away yellow men, women, and children. I’m glad I’m not a scientist because I’d feel so guilty now.” (Click here for more)
Click here for Bambi v Godzilla
Posted by Mick at 8/10/2011 10:18:00 AM
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of cynicism. The dogs of brutality have been loosed and the hopelessly feral are on the rampage. Like Bob once said, “the words leave my head and they fall to the floor.” Every police cell in London is full. I’ve seen it in LA, I’ve seen it in Brixton, I’ve seen it in Detroit, I’ve suffered the clubs and smelled the teargas in the morning, and here we go again. And it’s worse here than in LA in 1992 because in LA no one lived above the shop. The nonsense pouring for my TV is the same as it ever was. “Thugs”, “criminals”, “rats”, “scum”, “mindless” “consequences”, “punishment,” “justice will be done.” COBRA? Gimme a break. As I write, a BBC reporter tells me “this is what happens when fear of the police evaporates.” Why should citizens fear the police, goddamn it? Another reporter repeats the same line. It's part of the script. The idiot mayor of London waxes bellicose for cameras how this is nothing to do with social justice. The new euphemism for escalated police violence is “robust response.” Some fools think the street mayhem is all being directed via “social networks” and this red herring this will probably trigger a clamor for clampdown on the internet. Other fools can’t wait to see the army on the streets or the use of riot control weapons previously reserved for the Irish. The mega-rich have tanked the global economy with vast pyramid scheme, and them walked away unscathed. Did anyone think there would be no repercussions when the entire burden of loss was dumped on workers and the underclass? When public sector workers stage a mass one day strike they’re ignored. Charlie Gilmore acts up and is tossed in jail. Now the dialogue is with the wholly inarticulate, with fire and broken glass. What the fuck did anyone expect? Like I said I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of cynicism.
Click here for Frank Zappa
The secret word is Betrayal
Posted by Mick at 8/09/2011 08:04:00 AM
Please, click here. This is rousing stuff.
Posted by Mick at 8/09/2011 07:54:00 AM
Monday, August 08, 2011
“Hey kids, remember peace and prosperity?”
Our pal Marjorie sent this item from The Jewish Chronicle. But will Bill remember what happened to John Lennon when was more popular than God?
“God is more popular than Barack Obama at the moment but less popular than Bill Clinton before he was reelected president in 1996. In a survey of 928 American voters by Public Policy Polling, 52 per cent of respondents said that if there was a God, they approved of his performance. In contrast, only 12 per cent had a favourable view of Rupert Murdoch. A majority of respondents said they supported the way in which God handled the creation of the universe, however only half approved of how He handled natural disasters. A third of those questioned said they were unsure of their opinion of God's treatment of animals. Gods popularity at the recent survey – only nine per cent of people said they disapproved of his performance – would probably be envied by many politicians. Approval ratings – figures used to measure the performance of public figures – have been used to rate American presidents since they were introduced by George Gallup in the 1930s. Ratings tend to fluctuate a great deal during a presidency, but President Obama's popularity is currently some six per cent lower than God. In contrast, while President Clinton only had the confidence of 37 per cent of voters when his popularity was at its lowest, in November 1996, two thirds of voters said they approved of him. Still, while God is more popular with the general population than the current occupant of the White House, a poll this week showed the president enjoyed an approval rating of 60 per cent among Jewish voters.”
Click here for the afforementioned Lennon
The secret word is Knowledge
Posted by Mick at 8/08/2011 01:47:00 AM
If nothing else, this would seem to the further comfirmation that academics are clueless and full of shit.
"Not sure you want to do those five years in prison? How about 10 lashes, instead? That's the tradeoff a U.S. academic suggests in his subtly titled new book,In Defense of Flogging, Peter Moskos, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, argues that our prison system is not only overcrowded and violent, but that it is completely ineffective. "I can't think of another institution that has failed as mightily as the prison has," he writes. As an alternative, he says, the least dangerous convicts should be given a choice — jail time, or two lashes for every year of their sentence. Moskos predicts the prison population would see a massive decline, freeing up billions of dollars for more useful purposes. Others suggest government-sanctioned violence would do nothing to reduce crime, and might even increase criminals' violent tendencies. Is flogging really our best option?" Click here for more (Please Mistress.)
Posted by Mick at 8/08/2011 01:25:00 AM
William Burroughs is reported to have highly valued his feline companions. “My relationships with my cats has saved me from a deadly, pervasive ignorance.”
Posted by Mick at 8/08/2011 01:14:00 AM
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Back in the days of yore, after Sunday breakfast, she would smoke and I would drink vodka and grapefruit juice and ponder philosophy. Then we might go back to bed for the balance of the day. Will those days ever come again? Who knows? Maybe they will. (The following pondering was supplied by our pal Elf Hellion but the identity of its original author is unclear.)
FAMOUS WORLD IDEOLOGIES AS EXPLAINED BY COWS
* Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
* Pure Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you all the milk you need.
* Bureaucratic Socialism: Your cows are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you should need.
* Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.
* Pure Communism: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.
* Real World Communism: You share two cows with your neighbors. You and your neighbors bicker about who has the most “ability” and who has the most “need”. Meanwhile, no one works, no one gets any milk, and the cows drop dead of starvation.
* Russian Communism: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the black market.
* Perestroika: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the Mafia takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the “free” market.
* Cambodian Communism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
* Militarianism: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
* Totalitarianism: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.
* Pure Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
* Representative Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
* British Democracy: You have two cows. You feed them sheeps’ brains and they go mad. The government doesn’t do anything.
* Bureaucracy: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
* Pure Anarchy: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.
* Pure Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
* Capitalism: You don’t have any cows. The bank will not lend you money to buy cows, because you don’t have any cows to put up as collateral.
* Enviromentalism: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.
* Political Correctness: You are associated with (the concept of “ownership” is a symbol of the phallo-centric, war mongering, intolerant past) two differently – aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.
* Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
Click here for a satiric or maybe ironic shout-out to Tottenham. (I add ironic and satiric so I’m not dragged off for incitement.)
The secret word is Repeat
Posted by Mick at 8/07/2011 07:36:00 AM
I vividly recall how the Los Angeles urban insurgency of 1992 was basically a case of the police needing to prove they were the most powerful gang in town. And already I hear Tory politicians on TV talking about “eradicating the thug element.” Do they really think people will go quietly into poverty and destitution?
Click here for freeform media.
Posted by Mick at 8/07/2011 07:24:00 AM