Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Although the UK abolished the death penalty ages ago we said nothing when Saddam Hussein was hung because it was an internal matter of the country that we occupy and shoot the inhabitants of daily. Now we stop international attempts to encourage countries to abolish the death penalty for fear it will annoy the Hang 'em High President of the United States. Like I'm sure Bush would really be upset if Libya abolished the death penalty or worries about what the European Union's opinion on the matter is.

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People more awake than me also noticed The Sun's front cover yesterday and have provided more context. [via Bloggerheads]

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You might have thought it was over. But where Tony Blair says '21 months to prepare for change' Cardinal O'Connor says 'the two-year period that has been established in which to find a practical way forward', i.e: a two-year period in which to lobby the Government for a change to the laws to allow the Catholics to do their own thing. Any MP that wasn't planning on stepping down this Summer will be so pleased at the increase in work. Elsewhere Cardinal O'Connor accuses the Government of imposing a morality on the country. Isn't that what the Government is for?

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Have I said how much I've enjoyed this series here?

It's a comic about love, magic and Britpop. I'm not sure how this is selling any copies outside of the UK but maybe they just like the purrty pitchers or something. To someone like me who was as into Britpop as much as someone who never left their bedroom AND whose bedroom was in the wrong city (the only downside to Birmingham at the time was that the local Britpop band were cocking Ocean Colour Scene, talentless no-marks who were never shot through the lungs because no-one wanted to waste that many bullets) could be, this is equal parts bittersweet, a walk down memory lane and embarrassing.

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The World Turned Upside Down

It's not often that I find anything positive or admirable coming out of the intellectual slum of News International. A bunch of morally bankrupt toads determined to drag down intellectual discussion to the gutter and influence Government policy not to even the betterment of conservatism but to that of the Extremely Rich Conservative Right.

But today, taking a break from accusing the Home Secretary of letting paedophiles out of prison and pointing them towards the nearest school, The Sun decides to present an article about how racism is bad.

What do we all have in common?

THEY are some of the most offensive and ugly words in the English language. Words like nigger, spic and raghead. But today The Sun makes no apology for printing them — or the pictures showing children who are the innocent victims of such repugnant insults. The youngsters, whether Muslim, Jewish, Sikh or Christian, have two things in common. Like Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty, they have encountered racism in this country. But they are also all BRITISH.

To be fair The Sun is more openly xenophobic rather than racist, on an average day the paper will complain more about white Europeans than British Asians. But the paper takes almost pride in being the paper of the racist element of the working class and certainly since 2001 when non-white faces have appeared outside the sports pages they have overwhelmingly been in articles about terrorism. The Sun has demanded that terrorist subjects be sent back to their countries of ethnic origin, even when they are British citizens, and has run it's campaign against immigration on the grounds that terrorists could come into the country unmonitored, even though the only terrorists to attack this country in the last decade were born and bred British, and the only terrorist suspect to be killed by someone other than themselves was an innocent Brazilian killed by incompetent policing.

But it's still significant that The Sun have produced a positive story about multiculturalism. I suspect that the mention of Big Brother is key. Though The Sun were pretty quick to jump on the racist behaviour of Jade Goody and the other women in the House this sort of behaviour is not natural to them and they may judge that there's a surge in awareness of racism amongst their core constituency. Hopefully this is a strand they will continue as long as their campaign to have paedophiles addresses available to local mobs for tarring and feathering purposes.
Sun Cover

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

And so we veer bedwards once more, and yet again so many truly excellent blog posts that would have you nodding in agreement or weeping in recognition of vital truths stay lodged in the recalcitrant cranium for another twenty-four hours. Will tomorrow be the day I talk about my suddenly developing business suit fetish? How I was the stunt-double for Benji from Benji, Zax and the Alien Prince? Or where I point out that every time I've typed Benji today I typed 'Benki'? Who knows. Tomorrow is another day.

Links O'Lordy

The Japanese view of transgenderism.

The Guardian talk to Gilbert and George ahead of their Tate retrospective.

The Pursuit of Emptiness by John Perry Barlow. You'll be happy if you don't consider it your right to be happy. I would have thought it was obvious but then some people seem to think poking an ape with a stick is a good idea.

I am:
Olaf Stapledon
Standing outside the science fiction "field", he wrote fictional explorations of the futures of whole species and galaxies.

Which science fiction writer are you?

An interesting and thought-provoking video by an autistic woman on personhood and how those who differ from the norm are often viewed as non-people. [via BoingBoing]

Google take steps to stop Googlebombs from going off. Does that mean the charmless bigots are safe? (I also note that the charmless bigots have an opinion on the latest round in the never-ending saga of the death of a Sloaney some nine years ago. I'm surprised that the charmless bigots appear to have ignored completely the 'gay adoption' story.) [first link via Slashdot]

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Meanwhile, Ruth Kelly still fights on her own for the Catholic Church's right to bigotry. She seems to have backed away from an outright exemption to giving them a ridiculously unnecessary three year 'transition' period. Seeing as it was admitted on Newsnight last week that Catholic agencies will already place children with atheists, single people and, oh look, gay and lesbian couples you do wonder why she bothers.

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Troubling news from the fountain of all knowledge in the United Kingdom: The British Library is facing a shortfall in cash and so will have to close and cut down on the services it offers. There's nothing on the British Library website yet, so hopefully this is one of those scare stories famous institutions run to try and influence an ongoing discussion rather than a statement of what the actual truth on the ground is (remember when Number 10 came up with that ridiculous story about Saddam Hussein having WMD? Oh how we laughed afterwards...).

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Running From Camera. If he tried this in London the camera would probably be stolen on his first try. [via Bloggerheads]


Thursday, January 25, 2007

There's a very interesting article at the New Statesman website about the Religion of Despair.

The engine that drives the radical Christian right in the United States... is not religiosity, but despair.

Those in despair are the most easily manipulated by demagogues, who promise a fantastic utopia, whether it is a worker's paradise, liberté-égalité-fraternité, or the second coming of Jesus Christ. Those in despair search desperately for a solution, the warm embrace of a community to replace the one they lost, a sense of purpose and meaning in life, the assurance that they are protected, loved and worthwhile.

And the key quote: The danger of this theology of despair is that it says that nothing in the world is worth saving. It rejoices in cataclysmic destruction... The obsession with apocalyptic violence is an obsession with revenge. It is what the world, and we who still believe it is worth saving, deserve.

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We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to remove Ruth Kelly from the position of Minister for Women and Equality. Ruth Kelly is incompatible with this position as she holds views about homosexuality (and other issues) which are contrary to the equality agenda which it is her ministerial duty to promote. She has voted for motions to deny homosexuals rights to adoption, hurting chances of equality for homosexuality. The government would not find it acceptable to have a minister with a non-existent record of opposing racism in Kelly's position, and it should not be acceptable for Kelly to be in her position with a non-existent record of opposing discrimination against Homosexuality.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another busy day. The snow didn't last long, it was already melting by the time I left the house at around 9:15 am, when I emerged from the tube station at Holloway Road around an hour later it had all gone. There's more snow due tonight, though now the Met Office think it's going to miss London.

Later on I popped into the National Portrait Gallery for a look at the half a dozen or so Pet Shop Boys pictures they have on display. I think it would be quite possible to make a proper full-size showcase of the Pets and the various portraits taken of them over the year, but for now I'll have to restrain myself to the 'catalogue' to such an exhibition.

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Reformed homosexual?

Well yes, I suppose he hasn't been seen having sex with any men recently...

Hello Friends, I hope you take the time to read the quote by our good friend and compatriot, Oscar Wilde.

Hmmm, do you talk to Oscar a lot then?

The Safe Bands versus Gay Bands is hil-fucking -larious though. Especially Morrissey(?questionable?) and Elton John(really gay).

The video that's been taken down can be seen here.

There is the question of whether this is genuine or not. The way the song ends with "If you're a fag, God hates you too!" suggests a possibility that this is nothing more than a mickey-take...

[via Andrew Sullivan]

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Life on Mars Season Two Trailer

Advert for the new series of Life on Mars. I'm dubious about whether this is a real ad, but wouldn't it be great if it was? [via Tranniefesto]

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It's a depressing morning for news... The Anglicans join the Catholics in defending their right to prejudice over possible gay adoptions, it's nice to know that queers can enable the various wings of Christendom come together (though it's all that Cherie Blair's fault), it's supervillain team-up week in Tehran as North Korea is supposedly helping Iran develop nuclear weapons, there's a good article in the Guardian from Zoe Williams on the return of the idea of female chastity while the Daily Mail prefers to ask why can't we go back to the days when we blamed women for everything, as though we'd left them behind. And Shrubya tries to find things to feel good about in the United States. And then I look out the window...

Snowy Morning

(though of course, this means the tube trains will be messed up because with only over a century of operating experience they won't be prepared for what to do in cold weather...)

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh come on!

The ID Cards scheme continues to get sillier. A few weeks back it was announced that they wouldn't be making a big new database for the cards, probably something to do with the NHS one going so spectacularly badly even by Government IT project standards. Now reality is forcing them to slowly drop the biometric elements as well. At this rate, when the ID Cards are finally reached, they won't have any information about you at all and will not allow you to do anything. Everyone will wander around with t small white piece of plastic, looking confused.

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Paedophile church continues to protest over Government plans to allow non-paedophiles to adopt children. It also seems that the Catholic Church does not believe it has any moral duty to look after the welfare of children as it would rather shut down it's adoption agencies rather than face placing children with loving gay families.

Don't worry your Grace, Ruth Kelly is doing what she can to help you out. Honestly, only a Prime Minister that didn't plan on facing the masses again would appoint someone like Ruth Kelly as 'Equalities Minister'. I don't mind her sending her child to a special needs school, I don't mind her being part of some Catholic special club with it's own secret handshakes and special whistles and I don't care about what religion she chooses to believe in, but if she's going to be Equalities Minister she can't get fussy over who's rights she protects. If Catholic priests were allowed to adopt children themselves then the argument might be different, although then there's the question whether a member of the Church provides a good role model for impressionable children.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

If you are looking to extend your stay on this paltry little planet then new research suggests that people who win Nobel Prizes last a little longer than those who don't, so get those thinking caps on... [via Better Humans]


Two Irish Islands which are both 'small' and 'far away' argue over which of them have more right to be associated with Father Ted.

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Well that was a fun weekend.

On Friday I finished the working week hearing that I'd been succesful at my interview and was being offered a post as an Assistant Library Manager somewhere else. Now I'll be officially empowered to be nasty to other members of staff rather than doing it on a pro. tem. basis.

Saturday I went in to town, headed down to Tate Modern for the first time in ages. The queues for the slides were all too long and boring so I had a nose around the David Smith exhibition. I knew nothing about Smith, hadn't even heard of him before I saw the exhibition, but I did like his work.

After that I was off to The George on Borough High Street to meet C and S. We had to sit outside but the freezingness was mitigated by some tall freestanding storage heaters, though the table of drunk misogynist city-bores did try to steal them all to stand round their table. One of them started screaming into his mobile at his 'C*nt' of an ex-girlfriend and they melted away into the night.

We had something to eat at a Wagamama's and then saw S off on the train home, then C and I struggled to get up to Kentish Town. From Blackfriars it shouldn't be that difficult but the Sutton-Bedford trains were playing silly buggers and a fifteen minute train journey became a fifty minute journey with a thirty minute wait on the Kings Cross Thameslink platform for a train that wasn't going fast out of London.

While I don't know the specifics of where I will be working yet it will involve some level of commuting, so I will get to sample the pleasures of delays, cancellations and random BR and Tube related maliciousness.

We eventually made it to The Oxford, which I hadn't visited since it had changed it's name from the Jorene Celeste. I was commended on my new job and my tremendous hair and then I settled down to the prospect of trying to find some beer that I liked to drink. I had to give up on that very quickly and make do with Kronenberg and Carlsberg, donkey-piss brands both. We were assembling to cheer the brief visit of a friend of ours that had moved to Singapore several years ago. Beer was drunk, cigarette health warnings were ignored and it was declared that Fidel Castro was guilty of many crimes but surely the worst was to allow the Manic Street Preachers to play in Havana.

I headed home at midnight while most other people decided to buy more wine and drink at someone's flat nearby. I got a call around lunchtime from C who had woken up to find herself in Mr Singapore's hotel room with no memory of how she got there. We reconvened in Islington where we had delicious and cheap vegetarian Indian food (at the Indian Vegetarian Bhel Poori House IIRC) then we headed towards Kings Cross. I popped in to the British Library to have a look at their London: A Life in Maps exhibition. It was interesting to see both the development of the town (Tottenham Court Road was still bordered by fields in the 1700s) in to the city but also the increasing detail in the maps as it becomes more of a necessity for people to find their way around rather than the well-off to know which estate is which. However, whoever lays out this exhibitions really needs to be poked with spoons. I don't know if there are permanant walls down in that space that cause problems but starting the exhibition right slap bang at the bottom of the stairs into the room means that as soon as you have people coming in they are all crammed together trying to read the notices and see the first exhibits, roman maps of what would one day be 'Londinium'. Then, within the exhibition space there are several times when the path splits and the visitor is given no guidanec as to which way to go. These are little niggles though, the old maps are beautifully preserved (I remember some of them from what I think was a similar exhibition at the British Museum a few years back) and there's nothing more fun than scouring old maps looking for the road you live on or places you visit today.

After that I rejoined C in the Pizza Express across the road where we sat across from Vanessa Feltz. After the glacially slow service we walked up to Euston and caught the train back to my den of iniquity where we whiled away the rest of the day watching MASH repeats and looking for Captain Jack vids on YouTube.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

You know the Bible 80%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Apologies for the lack of my precious insights into your pitiful worlds, but I had a job interview yesterday morning and am currently waiting to hear whether I got it or not.


So what's the HTML code to make a link open in a new tab, as opposed to a new window? And what effect does it have on a browser that doesn't support tabs?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Demotivators 2007 calender.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hmmm, I posted this from YouTube on Sunday...

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Simon Munnery has a blog. Yay!

You Park Like an Asshole. Being a pedestrian I must admit I'd prefer a website called 'You Drive Like a Twat' with an 'And You Cyclists Are Traffic Light Ignoring Bastards Too' subsection but I'll take what I can get.

Starship Sofa. Podcast discussing science-fiction authors. The Alfred Bester episode is the only one I've listened to thus far, but I did enjoy that. Sigh, maybe if I quit work I can watch all the TV shows, read all the books, see all the films and listen to all the podcasts I want to. Anyone want to support me in a life of leisure?

What Should I Read Next? Apparently, if you've read a Neil Gaiman book you should read all the Narnia books. How likely is it that people will have read Neil Gaiman and not read the Narnia books beforehand?
< disengage literary snobbery >

Jen Wang. Lovely art, I especially liked Touchfood.

Polly Borland's Alison Goldfrapp gallery.

Doomsday clock advanced closer to midnight next wednesday. I've got a job interview on wednesday morning, so that's some news that'll put me in the right frame of mind. "Why should we give you this job?" "Why should you give me this job? It's pointless really, we're all doomed..." [via Slashdot]

The next Star Trek film will be young Kirk and Spock. Did these jokers learn nothing from Enterprise ? Or is this some scientific endeavour to see how far turned in on themselves they can go? Take a leaf from Doctor Who guys, go boldly where you haven't gone boldly before, rather than those places where everyone before you hung around.

Steve Jobs heralds new wave of street crime. ‘We’re confident that this phone is so sexy that opportunistic criminals will be unable to prevent themselves from knocking owners to the ground before wrestling the device from their hands and running off down the road.’ External testicles proves ‘unintelligent design’. ‘Why would anyone intelligent put something as sensitive as testicles in a little sack on the outside? Surely this proves the concept of ‘Unintelligent Design’?'

Top 100 Fundies Say The Darndest Things Quotes. I am a bit troubled. I believe my son has a girlfriend, because she left a dirty magazine with men in it under his bed... "I can sum it all up in three words: Evolution is a lie"... "If your original Hebrew disagrees with my original King James --- your original Hebrew is wrong. If your original Hebrew agrees with my original King James, your original Hebrew is right." [via Link Machine Go]


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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Robert Anton Wilson has apparently died. I say apparently as he has been reported to have died before.

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It's those Japanese, raising the bar for weirdness again . NSFW, if W doesn't like you looking at boobage on their machines. [via Sexblogs]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Thousand Tiny Sexes.

To imagine that there are only two sexes - M & F - is an absurdity. There are at least 1000 sexes. The daily lived reality of transgender and intersexual people (and gay, lesbian, queer and all other people, for that matter) proves this over and over again, yet many people continue to operate as if 'M' and 'F' are the only sexes, the only options, the only expressions, the only goals, the only way ("the way it is")...

A Thousand Tiny Sexes is a book project to collect and publish 1000 proposals for TINY SEXES which are not Male or Female. We are setting out to collect a thousand more sexes - imaginary ones, as-yet-unrealized ones, or real ones- in the hopes that these one thousand might make for one thousand more after that. In so doing, we hope to contribute to a collective reimagining of sex as a legal, biological, political, economic, cultural, and political category.


Monday, January 08, 2007

God, Inc - Episode 1

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Chiho Aoshima Exhibition at Gloucester Road Tube Station

Chiho Aoshima Exhibition at Gloucester Road Tube Station
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

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It seems a bit odd to complain that Scientologists are in yr schoolz fiddlin' with yr kidz mindz! when the Christians have been in there for years.

Also it seems that the US has taken the decision to treat the rest of the world as guilty of something . Hopefully we'll now see the next logical step as the BosWash area changes it's name to Mega City One and everyone get's the justice they deserve. Grud!

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

An impressively intellectually incoherent article, even by the Guardian's sometimes lax standards: Secular fundamentalists are the new totalitarians. Yes, apparently it's those evil atheists that are causing all the problems in this country.

If you read the article you will notice that the only name the writer Tobias Jones can bring to mind is Richard Dawkins, despite the fact that only a few weeks ago he organised a conference of scientists against religion or is affiliated with The Brights, an unpleasant but thankfully small group of secular elitist atheists. When most of the rest of the article is taken up with Jones bravely exposing how countless and nameless atheists have encouraged multiculturism in this country in order to stop people like that woman from British Airways from telling customers that Jesus Christ had died to save them you can see that this is just another 'we poor, persecuted Christians' article, that the target isn't actually atheists but anyone who isn't a Christian.

In recent years the nastier side of this totalitarianism has become blatantly apparent. It emerged with the hijab issue in France. With the hijab ban in French schools, a state was banishing religion not only from its corridors, but also from its citizens.

Hasn't that been true of France since it became a Republic?

Since 2001, lazy intellectuals have been allowed to get away with repeating the nonsense that terrorism and war are the consequences of belief in God. Believers are ridiculed for being, in contrast to the stupendously brainy atheists, very dim.

Of course, one might also say 'Since 2001, in the United States, non-Christians of all stripes have been accused at various times of everything up to and including treason and can even, on achieving political office, have their loyalty to their country questioned. Non-believers are ridiculed for being, in contrast to the devout believers, unwilling to accept things which they have no proof for.'

There's also the fact that we live in a cultural milieu dominated by postmodernism. Broadly speaking, it attempts to deconstruct power and its narratives. It tries to rescue the marginalised. A noble intent, but because it doesn't believe in truth, anything goes. The tyranny of orthodoxy has been replaced by the tyranny of relativism. You're supposed to believe in nothing, and hence nihilists and atheists are suddenly rather chic.

Don't let the syllogistic fallacy hit you in the arse on the way out.

Postmodernism has taken tolerance to the extremes, where extremists thrive. It's a dangerous form of appeasement.

You'll notice that this 'appeasement' only allows non-Christians to thrive. Not Christians, because they're the victims here.

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Nazi royal pic sparks outrage.

The Sun has an article on how a Danish artist has drawn a portrait of Prince Harry as a Nazi. I'm not clear how this is 'outrageous' when, as The Sun admits itself, Harry has dressed up as a Nazi in the past. I suppose it's one of those 'how dare those foreigners insult OUR monarchy? That's our job!' kind of things.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Strip Jeffery Archer of his peerage.

In the light of the news that Nassem Hamed has been stripped of his MBE following his prison sentence, these powers should be used for all people convicted and senteced to a prison term, starting with Mr Archer.

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Religious loony Pat Robertson has decided to break with his popular tradition of waiting for terrible things to happen and then say that God caused it because he was pissed off with 'the gays' and predict disaster before it happens.

"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Remember, Robertson believes he's speaking on behalf of the God of Love.

Still, it's more stylish than the way we do it in the UK.


Apparently the United States haven't failed to capture Osama Bin Laden, they just haven't succeeded yet.

Meanwhile, The Iraqi Prime Minister wants out.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

A fun little toy that takes your picture then shows you what you'd look like at a different age (I was apparently some mad Vulcan/elf hybrid as a baby), race (Chinese me is quite attractive actually) or sex.

The Guardian reports that the English National Opera ballerina who has been revealed to be a member of the BNP is facing a barrage of complaints demanding she be sacked. Her public pronouncements over the weekend have hardly shown her to be one of the great undiscovered thinkers of our time, more that the hysteria whipped up by the British Government of the last twenty years has meant the population at large tends to be completely ignorant of what the real state of immigration is.

Should she be sacked? At the moment, it being silly season and only a short while since the Nick Griffin courtcase failed, that would probably help the BNP, allowing them to portray themselves again as 'the voice of the people' being censored by a 'distant Westminster regime that want to open our borders so your granny, yes YOUR granny, can be raped by illegal Bulgarian immigrants!!1!'.

Instead I think the Government should offer her a Home Office post with complete responsibility for immigration. It's an issue they have noticeably never taken seriously and which they regularly follow the rabid dictates of the right-wing press, so why not give a confirmed fascist the job rather than pussyfoot around it?

The Daily Mail in their report of the story show that they have readers who are unashamed of their support of the BNP. Certainly, my comment of yesterday questioning why they wrote 'The BNP is certainly repellent, with its knee-jerk hatred of foreigners and history of organised thuggery' when the Mail shares most of the BNPs beliefs appears to have not been allowed through. Shame that.

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First tune played on my iTunes of 2007: 'Buffalo Stance' by Neneh Cherry.


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