Sunday, January 30, 2005

Yes, it's a Star Trek parody, but by the simple process of putting in lots of swearing and puerile jokes about bottom-burps it becomes fun! [via Tidyman's Carpets]

I'm not convinced of synchronicity and coincidence, well, obviously I know the words exist and what they mean, but I've had almost no experiences of them myself, I've never been thinking of someone only for them to phone me, or any of the other numerous examples that seem to litter other people's lives. I've had very few pokes from the universe, if it's true what Robert Anton Wilson says about how any belief system, even one based around the idea that Morph being the most important creature in the universe, will find proof to support it in the universe then maybe by being an atheist I have the reason for why I have had such little experience of coincidences falling in a meaningful way. Certainly, during the period of time I was considering some sort of 'Our Lady of the Flowers' based theology was the time that I experienced a mini-slew of synchronicities and odd realisations.

Anyway, the above makes no sense and can safely be ignored. So, in September 2003 I read Paul Morley's Words and Music, two-thirds pretentious drivel, one-third interesting, but he mentions Alvin Lucier, who I'd never heard of before. The following January my world is rocked by the mighty, mighty Raiding the 20th Century featuring, amongst others, Alvin Lucier and that piece that Morley refers to, I am Sitting in a Room. So it was perhaps only natural that when someone bunged Raiding creator DJ Food a copy of Words and Music he considered the sychronicity involved in both using Lucier's work and he decided it was time to put out The Words and Music Expansion, starring Paul Morley. It was epic before, now it's the greatest bootleg ever made!

Openly gay MP Chris Smith says "I'm HIV positive". Part of me can't help but wonder if he really would have said this if he wasn't already standing down at the next election but anyway. It still matters when anti-gay bullying forces thousands of pupils to leave school after GCSEs.

Homophobic bullying in British schools is forcing thousands of gay pupils to leave early, prompting calls for the introduction of sexual orientation lessons to the curriculum.

Oh God no! It was bad enough being told about what the little sperms and the little eggs do inside a lady's tummy, 'classes' where we 'discuss' sexual orientation, well that's just asking for trouble. However, something does need to be done, the Daily Hate Mail (sample headline: "It isn't rascist to say we should kick out all the non-white skinned foreigners who aren't fabulously wealthy out of the country") and the Express (sample headline: "We want to be the Daily Mail when we grow up") ran predicatably tired stories a few weeks ago about public money being spent on 'gay months' in schools, ie: LGBT History Month. Of course, these papers are enemies of diversity and understanding, as is their party, the Conservatives who are obviously in no hurry to shed their image as the 'nasty party' by attacking the month and insisting the Tories wouldn't support such an initiative if they were in power. Whether they would also bring back Clause 28 and automatically take into care children of queer parents, well, I'm fairly sure some candidates have said it.

If you actually go to the Schools Out website and look at the teaching resources then you see it's actually about combatting discrimination, referring to things like the Stephen Lawrence case and bullying in general. Are the papers really saying trying to prevent such things are bad? Does the Express really support beating up children in playgrounds?

Finally, a question. Why aren't Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin complaining about the Labour posters with their heads superimposed onto the bodies of pigs? I don't believe it's anti-Semitism, why would Labour want to alienate that section of the community when their support amongst British Muslims is so low, but on the other hand why would Howard and Letwin miss an opportunity to get an easy shot at the government? Is it because they don't want to really talk about their economic plan which seems to have been written by twelve drunk men ("An' I wan' a gold-plated Rolls Royce! For ev'ryone!")?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Two top LotR related jokes.

My Stupid Library User O' The Day Story: At 10:00 am a man comes to the issue desk to take out some books. But his card says he still has 14 books out. He says that he put them in the returns box outside. I asked him when he put them in the box outside, as it was emptied when we opened at 9:00 am. He said about ten or fifteen minutes ago. It seems he put the books in the returns box, then came in to the library to take out books. He said he thought it would be quicker than giving them to someone at the counter. It certainly was quicker, we were not able to issue the books to him because of the other books in the returns box. Exeunt user.

Top news today: The Sun uncover a plot to kidnap and torture Julian Clary. I wonder if it was like the 'plot' they uncovered to kidnap and torture Posh and Becks?

you are leela
You are Turanga Leela

What Futurama Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, January 28, 2005

Su-Su-Tsunami Benefit Show.

Blunkett - The Musical. Is it April 1st already?

So, in the morning Charles Clarke announces measures for indefinite house arrests for anyone the Government decides is a threat, then in the afternoon goes to the Auschwitz memorial ceremony. Is the inability to see that some decisions are in bad taste something that happens to all politicians when they become MPs, or is it just that the treatment is reinforced when you become the Home Secretary?

Another bloody article about Opus Dei. We need some stickers in our library saying 'If you've enjoyed The Da Vinci Code why not try The Illuminatis Trilogy?' Really I'd suggest people read the latter before the former, then they might realise that just because a society is secret, even if it says it's older than Jesus and more popular than the Beatles doesn't really mean a dicky bird. There's only one real conspiracy.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Postsecret. Funny, and sometimes disturbing.

We know about the Bush family's links to the Nazis and at the moment Shrubya is dedicated towards creating misery over as large a part of the world as possible, but now a researcher believes she has found a link between the Bush family and 'Strongbow', a warlord who lead a Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century that commenced eight hundred years of misery.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn't they? Iraqi forces abusing and torturing people in detention. But remember the Bush Doctrine: 'It's better to have your genitals electrocuted in a free society governed by elections than a society run by a dictatorial tyrant'.

That tasteful Volkswagen suicide bomber ad in full. The current excuse is it was an internal advertising thing that was not meant to be released.

Best bit: ['Lee'] said as far as he was concerned "the car comes out of it as a hero" because it stops the explosion.

The cover to the upcoming Stargate: Atlantis comic. Hurrah for adaptations where the characters look nothing like the actors on telly! Did the Babylon Five comic die for nothing?

Monday, January 24, 2005

American Christians in 'other cheek turn failure' shocker.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Caught, and to my great surprise enjoyed the first episode of Rescue Me, the Dennis Leary firefighters thing. I've avoided regular watching of these emergency services dramas since I watched the first episode of (I think) series six of ER and realised the show had become all about the misery. And I think this is actually an advantage that the shows that are more standalone (like Without a Trace) have, you can at least tell yourself that between the shows the characters are having a decent enough time that makes them believe that life is worth living.

Anyway, I'd be surprised if I make it to the end of the series. I don't hate any of the characters in Rescue Me, mainly because they aren't interesting enough. Middle-aged, swearing like troopers, with a collection of bad habits, so far, so standard. The only thing that got me through the pilot and made me want to keep watching for now is the fact that Dennis Leary's character, and let's not pretend that Leary has spent the time since Demolition Man learning to act so henceforth he will be referred to as Fireman Dennis Leary, is haunted by friends and family he lost at Ground Zero and by those he wasn't able to save in his job. This does lead to a nice scene where, at the end of the episode, he's on the beach watching the sun rise and then is followed back to his car by the ghosts. Yes, they are explained as his trouble psyche and, to ease the plot there's a psychologist at the station for a while so that, Sopranos-style, he can piece himself back together again and move on, but there isn't much to gain from following the realism line for long so let's just say they are ghosts as that's just more interesting.

US TV Shows from the late 70s and 80s always had one character who'd been in 'Nam. He tended to not have much by way of character (hello Stringfellow Hawke!) but had just 'been in 'Nam'. Short-lived sci-fi TV show Manimal had an English lead, yet even he'd been to 'Nam. I really hope that, in the next decade, we don't have loads of TV shows and movies that use September 11th 2001 and Ground Zero as the launching premise for their shows.

New Chris Morris TV series revealed here. Of course, with Morris you can never be sure but this has been talked about for years.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Have an unapologetic acid techno remix of a hoary old dutch rave classic. You'll only get the point if you're the kind of person who likes to both throw 'bows to crunk music in the back room and also to do the kickdrum spazz in a tent full of fucked people. Heh heh heh, 'kickdrum spazz'...

Well, this is encouraging: Someone in the Catholic Church willing to say condoms can work to prevent the spread of AIDS. This is less encouraging: Church backtracks on 'attack of lucidity'.

Saw this exhibition at the Victoria Miro Gallery mentioned on this week's Culture Show and feel inclined to take a look. I notice that there's no mention of a ticket price. Surely for a smaller gallery like this it's not free entrance is it?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Wonderful photos. (A few verge onto being NSFW)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Count Me Blue.
Hope Bracelet.
I Did Not Vote For Bush.

Anti-Bush Bracelets Say, 'Count Me Blue'.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Just watched Jeremy Bowen on the Front Line where the former BBC war reporter talks about his trade while revisiting the places he reported from and talks about the experiences. Grisly and gripping, it's the story about how his enthusiasm to be doing the work (Martin Bell says that when he met Bowen in Sarajevo at the start of the nineties he thought he was insane) gradually disappeared as the mental strain of the devastation he saw built up, culminating in the accidental killing of his friend and driver by an Israeli tank in the Lebanon. It's of a similar tenor to the film by John Simpson last year on his reporting of the second Gulf War. To hear Bowen describe it, the drive to be in these deadly places seems akin to manic depression, the bad times get balanced by the nature of the great times, though he seems unable to clearly articulate this beyond being able to live 'without rules' and certainly I'm left wondering, after numerous times seeing Bowen duck sniper fire, what on earth could counterbalance that. It seems to be one of those great indescribables, as he talks to fellow war journalists, mostly 'former' ones, and they describe heroin addiction, drink abuse, mental disorders and death, as reasons to get out of the business. In the end the only thing you can think is: they must be nuts!

Farah Mendlesohn is investigating children and science-fiction. I've filled out the questionnaire (which made me think that I read more fantasy than sf and of that much more since I grew out of the target age-range or else I've forgot), and if you can spare the time she'd like you to too.

Next Monday is the worst day of the year. Not, as many people might expect, tomorrow.

This ambitious fella is trying to create a list of wifi spots in the entire world. Obviously he needs any information you can send along...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sometimes common sense gets to prevail. But I just don't understand the complaint. The man making it isn't saying the book title offends his faith, he's saying it'll lead young girls to go out with old men. Huh? Wha? [via Bookslut]

Saturday, January 15, 2005


No to updating on rules of royal succession. What's cute here is the idea that the only thing that outrages people about the royalty is that the men have more rights to succession than the women. Not that they are a ridiculous drain on the resources and money of the state and do fuck all.

Cosgrove withdraws bill.

Protesters Promise Big Anti-Bush Turnout at Inauguration.
Radical Anti-Bush Group Plans to Block Bush Inauguration. I love how to be considered radical in America someone only has to suggest that people don't buy shit they don't need for one day.
Tom Ridge Announces Inauguration Security Plans.

Largely Pointless Anti-Bush Blog Protests No. 1: Bush Blackout.

Alternatively: Black Thursday.
Turn Your Back on Bush.
Not One Damn Dime.
Jazz Funeral For Democracy (sadly not incorporating 'Tango Wake for the Loss of Civil Liberties').
Burn Bush Bumper Stickers (I especially liked: 'Kerry: He Sucks Less'). Or how about a t-shirt?

Shrubya invaded Iraq and made it safer... for terrorists.

The National Intelligence Council warning is the second repudiation within a week of the Bush administration's rationale for the war. Two days ago, the White House quietly signalled it had ended the search for Saddam's non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile another 'bad apple' was found guilty of torturing Iraqis. His lawyer probably didn't help much: In opening arguments at the reservist sergeant's trial in Fort Hood, Womack asked: "Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?" Meanwhile, the US Administration, you know, the one that supposedly doesn't believe in torturing it's enemies, blocked an attempt by the US Senate at the end of last year to ban torture.

On a lighter note, Llanddewi Brefi has no gays in the village but plenty of lesbians. Just so you know.

Friday, January 14, 2005

A victory for common sense: A federal judge Thursday ordered a suburban Atlanta school system to remove stickers in its high school biology textbooks that call evolution ``a theory, not a fact,'' saying the disclaimers were an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

Preparations seem to be going ahead nicely for LGBT month in February. It's sad but hardly surprising that there's only one B event (which is a regular feature anyway) and, thusfar, no T events at all.

Maybe Shrubya will invade Syria. Anything to avoid the unedifying schedule of left-wingers falling out amongst themselves. Expect the next Stop the War march to consist of a number of different groups including one man on his own that everyone shouts "Splitter!" at.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Prince Harry rules out Auschwitz visit. Why stop now when he's only just started digging?

It is wrong to assert, as Human Rights Watch does, that human rights violations by the United States means they have lost the the moral high ground and can no longer lead by example. They never had the moral high ground, and rather than leading by example they now simply follow the example of every other tyrant in history. HRW seem to believe in some mythical golden age where the US didn't shaft the world for it's own short term benefit.

Delegate Cosgrove in Virginia wants to make it a crime for women to have miscarriages. There are not words for how appalling this is. Surely even the most fucked-up, abortion-clinic-bombing, abortion-doctor-killing fundie shithead can't support this, though I expect if I looked I could be disappointed very quickly...

Read This.
Do this: ignorant bigots.

Prince Harry does his bit to keep alive old family traditions by going to a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi. His great-uncle would have been so proud.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oh-kay, explain why MTV2 are bothering to show Goldie Lookin' Chain doing 'Your Mother's Got a Penis' on telly if they are going to censor every use of the word 'penis', 'ball-bag' and so on? It's like censoring Leila K doing Again and Again or whatever it was where she mentions how she doesn't do drugs. Surely it's better to keep rug references in when the artist disapproves of them?

Or, with regards to the 'Liberal BNP' in the last post, it's all given away when you get to 'policies': We do not condemn homosexuality and find it irrelevant in nationalist politics. Gays are as welcome in the Liberal BNP.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

BNP supremo Nick Griffin to stand for election in Keighley. But their objective is less to have an MP in Parliament than to have enough candidates to justify that party political broadcast.

Meanwhile, contradiction of the day? It's the 'Liberal' BNP.

Monday, January 10, 2005

It ain't over yet, Christian Voice organise campaign of intimidation against BBC employees and their families over Jerry Springer. But, as Jesus said: ""You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Unless it's someone who doesn't share your faith, in which case kick his arse!"

And Before the broadcast the BBC had received a record number of complaints, mainly protesting that the show was blasphemous and obscene... It has emerged that a large number of those complaints were by email and used a similar form of words. Hah!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Jerry Springer: The Fallout

More than 1.7 million viewers... The BBC said on Sunday that it had received 317 calls since the broadcast, more than half of which had been supportive...

But: Meanwhile, Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, a UK-wide prayer group, confirmed on Sunday that his organisation would mount a private prosecution against the BBC. He said: "We will probably bring a private prosecution against them for the common law offence of blasphemy. Having seen the thing, if this is not blasphemy, nothing is. There will be nothing sacred if we cannot successfully prosecute the BBC."

Here's hoping for an end to sacred cows. Checking Christian Voice's website they seem to be one of those small but vocal groups that troll around looking for stuff to be offended by. They also seem to be strangely moved by men in uniform but then, who amongst us can say they aren't?

If you have children that you want to amuse with fart jokes, go to this thread at GYBO for a link to a reworking of the Eric Pryde 'Call on Me' vid. If you're a sensible adult like myself you'll remain here with me, smoking a pipe and reading this sensible adult newspaper.

I am Challenger Deep!
Which Extremity of the World Are You?
From the towering colossi at Rum and Monkey.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Peter Sissons: There's a lot of disagreement over the number of bad words in it, you're saying something like 8000, the BBC something like 300, someone must be right. It's not 8000 it's, someone's multiplied the 300 by the number of people who say them. Because they're often said all at once.

Miranda Suit, Mediawatch-UK: That's what I understand, because they're a chorus.

Peter Sissons: Well that's not very honest is it?

Miranda Suit: Well, whatever the case...

News 24, just now.

She then goes on to suggest the BBC shouldn't show this, not because parents won't stop their kids from watching the show, but because they will mix with other children in playgrounds on Monday morning who did see it. Of course, if these concerned parents take their kids to Church tomorrow morning, I'm sure they can get their vicar to tell them a story about how God killed a lot of people for looking at Him funny. And that's entertainment!

Jim Henson has been in HELL for 14 years, 7 months and 23 days ! God Hates Rags.

It's Harry Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Weasley, Weasley!

[via Memepool]

Friday, January 07, 2005

At some point, every child wants to make their own version of the Doctor Who theme tune. It's genetic. And now you can!

So far so good: BBC still showing Jerry Springer: The Opera tomorrow night. They haven't rolled over for the self-appointed censors of the Mary Whitehouse Corpse-Fucker Brigade or The Scum. On the subject of the necrophiliacs (who seem to use the Daily Hate-Mail as their primary source of reportage), should we consider it important that the only media organisation they mention on their first page is the BBC? Not even Channel 4, with sex and violence in Big Brother, gets such high billing?

Anyway, Bloggerheads has some good articles worth reading, about how much of the public fuss has been drummed up by a few busybodies at Mediawatch and The Scum, and why, with the Government allowing Murdoch to buy Channel Five it's more important than ever for News International to do what it can to bring the BBC down. No alarms, no surprises there.

Dartford vicar shocked and appalled by opera. What's great is that the ad bar on the right was offering tickets for the proper show when I looked.

ID Cards for kids. Kent school calls in the piss police. Remember, your rights are taken away to ensure you are free. Legal impotence is power.

Just spent a couple of days in the fever wards, all right, in my bed under a big duvet, after some food poisoning. Now that I've got my various emissions under control you can expect a return to the normal levels of crap.

I can't find anything on-line yet about independent radio news reports that the BBC Television Centre is going to be blockaded by an unspecified number of Christians protesting the showing on BBC tomorrow night of Jerry Springer: The Opera, although the usual suspects have been making the usual kind of complaints and stunts (The Sun deserve some sort of special award for managing to use the misery of the disaster of the Asian Tsunami to slam the BBC for showing Jerry Springer, nice moral equivalence guys). I must admit I was a bit surprised that the Beeb decided to put this on BBC Two rather than Three or Four, but especially after the whole thing with the Sikh play in Brum last month (and the whole 'incitement to religious hatred bill' thing which I initially thought was a good idea but now I'm dubious about, surely Jerry Springer would have to shut down to avoid prosecution?) I hope we'll stop caving to the people who seem to believe their imaginations should define legal policy. For those of us whose imaginations tell them to live and let live with regards to other people's religious beliefs we should support the BBC wanting to show this, regardless of whether afterwards we decide it is rubbish.

The most ridiculous thing was some hapless vicar who in the radio report said something priceless along the lines of "well, you have to go the a theatre if you want to see Jerry Springer, the difference here is that you just go into the living room and it's there." Your God gave you fingers and an off-button for a reason dimwit.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The United States hunkers down for decades long denials of human rights. Yep, the current administration, who will all be gone in four years anyway, is planning to imprison everyone still at Camp X-Ray for the rest of their lives, with no trial or legal oversight. If they were made to work on cotton fields then we could point out that the States once turned it's back on slavery, but if only those Southern gentlemen had been able to claim that abolishing slavery would have meant the United States was losing the war against terrorism then it would have been completely different.

New plans for regeneration of Brighton's West Pier. Argh! Why won't it die? Does Brighton really need two piers, especially within a mile of one another? If it was moved further towards Hove that might make some sense. Does Hove have a pier?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

There doesn't appear to be much hope for free elections in Iraq, what with many parties abstaining from the process and election officials being intimidated into resigning. Still, all they need is for one guy to hang on until the end of the month and then Shrubya can claim free and fair elections were held. This is at the same time as the administration quietly admits that it did torture Iraqis but promises, scouts honour, not to do it again. Although I suspect that what this means is that memos are going around saying "For Christ's sake don't take holiday pictures of yourselves by the bodies of people you've just been electrocuting the genitals of! Follow the example of your colleagues at Guantanamo! They've been happily torturing inmates but there aren't any pictures! See you in Iran! (or is it Syria? Please check) Love Donnie Rumsfeld. P.S. No, I will not sing 'Crazy Horses'."

Hasn't the Asian Tsunami caused enough misery and death already? Singers including Cliff Richard, Boy George, Robin and Barry Gibb, Jamie Cullum, Chris Rea, Olivia Newton-John and Ronan Keating are uniting to produce a single, written by Mike Read, to raise money for the relief fund.

[Mike Read] said the song was a slow ballad and would work with around 10 singers, rather than a "singalong" like the Band Aid 20 single raising money for famine relief in Africa.

I don't suppose there's any chance of a fight between Read and Bob Geldof over who has produced the most mawkish and annoying charity record this Christmas?

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Following on from this, here's Philip Pullman's side of the story.

Thirty years ago the then Labour Government decided not to bring in ID Cards to fight terrorism, in the shape of Irish terrorists. And the reasons they decided against it, cost, the real ineffectiveness of it actually stopping people, are still true now.

UN confirms 125,930 people dead in Asia, fears total count could be between 150,000 and 200,000. The challenge for religion is to explain why this happens. For one man it's obvious: It's all down to Swedish poofs (pdf). Oh that wacky Fred Phelps, what will he say next?

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