Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Did you think I had given up this form of activity? Shame on you.

Did you think I had given up this form of activity? Shame on you.

Well, actually, shame on me, for I did decide a little time ago to just
stop. Doing this.

But then I thought... well, hell, what's the big deal? It's just a blog.
I'll write it if I wanna. You can read it if you wanna. And if you don't,
and I don't, well, as I say, what's the big deal?

So, in 2014, I shall write here when I wanna, and you dear, beloved reader
can read when you wanna. I don't promise to write regularly, and I don't
promise to write anything other than what I feel like writing that day. I
have no agenda, and I don't expect you to come here with one. If you wish
a dialogue with me, you can have it in the Comments area. But if you are
rude, or mean, or boring, no dialogue will ensue. Deal?
it's a cake Can you believe it?

See, the thing is, what is a blog? What's it for? What does it do?

I'll tell you what it does for me. It lets me write. Not speak. Speaking is
just so over, you know? In my daily dealings, you see, I try to model
myself on a certain masculine archetype. A few examples:

Clint Eastwood (in A Fistful of Dollars)
Gregory Peck (in just about everything)
Takeshi Kitano (in Hana-Bi)
William Holden (in The Wild Bunch)
John Wayne (in The Searchers)

Get the picture? (Uh-huh - Yes, we see)

I actually can't stand men who blather. I often seem to find myself
surrounded by them - wittering girly men who seem to think that their
opinions are sought by those around them. I know that they are just trying
to 'make conversation', but dear God - you call that a conversation? Women,
who often get a bad press re blathering, are usually a great deal less
annoying in this regard in that if they blather, it is usually about some
ONE whom they know, or some THING which has affected them. Men, on the
other chromosome, tend to blather about...

(sigh) politics, or
(oh Jesus) their work, or
(oh sweet mother of god) what it says in the papers.

Please guys, just give it a rest. At least in mixed company. Why not just
stand there, looking as handsome as you can manage? Why not just walk
around moodily, striking masculine poses next to the photocopier and
drinking coffee in a brooding, Heathcliffian sort of way, rather than
inflicting your excruciatingly dull analysis of the world situation on us?

Why not just shut the F up?

Ahhhhhhh, what a relief... which brings me to:

What is a blog for? Well, I'll tell you what I use it for. I use it to say
all the things I want to say when I'm striking masculine poses next to the
photocopier and drinking coffee in a brooding, Heathcliffian sort of way.
It's a kind of safety valve. If I let it off here, I can at least hope that
my irritation won't leak out in an inappropriate manner. In other words, I
won't headbutt the next person who tells me that the Twin Towers were
brought down in a controlled explosion. (You wanna see a controlled
explosion - my head, your nose, buddy).

There's one other thing about blogging which makes it a really great thing
to do. Lots of really stupid people hate it. They hate the fact that blogs
exist, they hate the people who write them, and above all, they hate the
discussions that take place beneath the posts. These people are called
journalists, and frankly, anything I can do to annoy those fuckers (sorry,
but 'fucker' is my absolute favourite word) is time well-spent.

Hey hey hey - welcome to WOB07!


Don't get irony
Having mentioned that dumb Alanis Morisette song in my previous post, this comes along at just the right moment. Is that ironic? Er...

Check it out. It's quite, quite brilliant.

A load of cojones
I'm sure I won't be the only one to comment on the interesting synchronicity of this and this, but I can't let it pass without struggling to articulate some opinions about it. I really ought to know better, but still, here goes.

BNP leader Nick Griffin is cleared of incitement to racial hatred after calling Islam 'a wicked, vicious faith'.

Meanwhile, 'web-designer' Mizanur Rahman is found guilty of the very same offence after the Danish cartoons protest. For those who can't be bothered to chase the links, he was one of the guys holding up placards bearing the eminently-reasonable demand to 'behead those who insult Islam'.

As Alanis Morisette might say, it's a little bit ironic - don't you think?

But only a little bit.

Of course, there will be those who claim that this is a travesty - that it is the most straightforward evidence of British institutional racism. The Cambridge-educated leader of a party which is, despite its protestations to the contrary, quite unequivocally racist walks free, while an angry young Muslim sits staring at a cell wall. Doesn't look good, does it?

Unfortunately for such apologists, the reality is that British juries have once again demonstrated their talent for producing verdicts which accord with the facts presented in court. That is to say, looking carefully at the words of the accuseds in question, Mr Griffin was not, at least in the speeech recorded by the undercover BBC reporter, inciting racial hatred, whilst Mr Rahman plainly was.

It is tedious to have to repeat it, but Islam is not a race. It is a religion - a body of ideas, prescriptions and proscriptions - which may be accepted, in part or in whole, or rejected, in part or in whole, by anyone with ears to hear. As such, the prosecution of Mr Griffin was plainly a non-starter, and should never have been brought. If we lose the right to attack bodies of ideas, even in the most intemperate and inflammatory language, we have lost a most precious and vital freedom. Given this, it is disturbing, if unsurprising, to hear this from Gordon Brown:

Speaking to the BBC after the acquittal, Chancellor Gordon Brown said race laws may have to be tightened.

He said: "I think any preaching of religious or racial hatred will offend mainstream opinion in this country and I think we've got to do whatever we can to root it out from whatever quarter it comes.

"And if that means we've got to look at the laws again I think we will have to do so". 

Root it out, Gordie? Because mainstream opinion is offended? Oh dear. You'd better start with the mosques and the churches, then. And the 'faith schools'. Better ban Bonfire Night, too, while you're at it. And maybe nuke Northern Ireland, and Glasgow - you know, just to make sure no one gets 'offended'.

But he may have a point. It is surely made harder for those who wish to argue that Islam is not a wicked and vicious thing when its professed adherents say things like this: