Monday, 28 July 2008

Reality, Media haven't met in years

If you read the newspapers, you might conclude that when walking the streets of England you'll be stabbed to death by drunken youths on every street corner.
Britain is in the grip of a "Knife Epidemic", apparently - although if you stop being stabbed for a minute and look at the figures, crime is dropping, including stabbing all over the country. Last year there was no epidemic, this year, with less stabbing, we have an epidemic.
What's behind this?
Today, the "superpoke" application on Facebook has come under fire for having a "shank" your friend option (to shank is to stab, I discover). Not actually shank your friend, but send a "virtual" shank. It's not particularly big or clever, but the response is most definitely neither.
"..the CEO or directors of Facebook should be arrested for inciting violence." Rages uncle of stab victim.
Incidentally, when you need a balanced reasonable point of view, as a journalist, the only responsible thing to do is ask someone wracked with grief and anger over the loss of a loved one. They will almost without exception (if you find said exception, find someone else) rage blindly about retribution and revenge. Being a relative of a victim makes you an expert on the causes of the crime to which your relative was a victim. No?
Er, no, but protocol is protocol, and the above uncle rages as he is expected to. I took that quote from the Daily Hate Black People, which also printed this picture:



I don't need to explain that do I?

Anyway, Facebook apparently 'are targeting the kids who are on street corners carrying knives.'
'Why the hell would a social networking site for teenagers put something like this forward?' froths Mr Knox, showing a remarkable lack of knowledge about social networking and how facebook works.
Why the hell indeed, and I don't know. Something else I don't know, is reading Mr Knox's comments, he obviously doesn't really know what he's on about, so how does he know about it at all?



Could it be shit stirring social panic arsonist journalists at The Bum? Could it? They write like monkeys, too, but it's potent material in the hands of their (VERY SORRY) idiot readers who can't reason. Just juxtapose "stupid internet game" with "KNIFE VICTIM!!" enough and the link will form, even if the two things are not causally linked.
Remember, knife crime has fallen, not risen.

I was reading about the Gin epidemic, which really was an epidemic, and found this quote, 'The campaign against gin presented a simple solution to the problem of poverty: gin by itself was responsible for the poor health and poor behavior of its users. People were poor and destitute because they drank gin and not the other way around.' Social moralisers often present links back to front or upside down, either through stupidity or malice. Why whipping up public concern over knife crime is necessary I don't know, but the reporters and editors involved must know they are creating a phantom menace, and also that the cure from social problems is never as simple as they make out.
So, banning facebook will have an effect on knife crime? Of course not.
The gin epidemic in Britain in the 18th century looks like the binge drinking "epidemic" in Britain today, too. Both occurred in a time where there were huge wealth gaps in society, combined with cheap alcohol; but none of the morally outraged of the past or today will champion the abolition of wealth gaps as a cure for society's ills, either because it's complicated, or the outraged person in question is rich.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

ooh look at me I live abroad and it's so weird

and I'm so much cooler than you, I'm going to make you jealous of my lifestyle, safe in the knowledge you won't actually check up on it.
Because I'm a journalist, and the first rule of journalisticalism is; if in doubt exaggerate, or just make it up.
Have been discussing this phenomenon with a friend of mine, using two articles as examples - the first, an oldie but baddie from The Daily Posh Mail (ie Telegraph) from '04, and one from today in The Guardian.
In the Telegraph, your heroic correspondent reports taunting Spanish youths who had been shouting abuse at him, "(adding) a new phrase to their English vocabulary and (going) on my way." This, my contact in La Linea assures me, would be a remarkably stupid, and probably hospital-visit-inducing thing to do. I think what actually happened was, he had abuse hurled at him, and he walked, or ran, away.
Now to the Guardian, where finding illegal nightspots is like a game of cat and mouse, and you have to "hope that the police have not got there first to shut them down." Sounds fucking awesome and dangerous, doesn't it? Sorry.
You don't have to worry about the police, because they VERY rarely do anthing about such places. And finding these bars is just like a game of cat and mouse - one where the mouse has been in the same place FOR YEARS and everyone knows it.
But that wouldn't make such a good story...
Now, I admit, the ones I've seen, some are pretty cute, or pretty cool, but what I did not find myself thinking while there was "what this place needs is a load more English people acting like total gits." I mean, what is the point of a clandestine bar, once some fucknut has printed its address in a fucking national newspaper?
Joder.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Neon

On Saturday I was at Summercase in Barcelona; Mogwai good, CSS good...
But I was most taken by Neon Neon, who've written a musical biography of John DeLorean, which, weirdly, is good.
It was a bit messy live, but ver engaging, and guest star "Har Mar Superstar" was fantastic, especially for people who like over-sexed pot bellied mullet haired Americans...
And today they've released a two-part video for "I told her on Alderaan/Trick for treat". Nice.

Monday, 21 July 2008

expertise

Perhaps I shouldn't have been reading anything on SkyNews.com, but I was... reading about the upcoming facebook redesign. I wonder if it will cause as much upset as Last.fm?
Anyway, I made a discovery...

"Facebook expert Tony Beresford said that the site's revamp was a positive move."

Facebook expert? The ability of people to be full of shit impresses me. How far can one get in life making claims like "I am a facebook expert"? I don't have the nerve to make meaningless statements like that - ergo I am not on SkyNews.
Facebook expert is not quite "medical expert"; though I suppose there's not explicit qualification for either, I bet it's pretty easy to be a Facebook expert. I mean, I probably am. In fact, and I'm sticking my neck out here, I bet this Tony Beresford knows nothing more than your average person.

So we are all experts.

...Unless we write for SkyNews, in which case we are either gullible idiots or agents of the advertising industry. Another story on there relates a story about a "perfect woman robot" who cooks and cleans and will be on sale soon. Now, that idea is clearly nonsense, but they run with it anyway - a little, and I mean little - research shows this to be a crappy French advert for Nivea for Men, at "perfectwoman.com". Idiots for even considering this, and punch in the face for marketing people again for being facile.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Life is a game

....of Tomb Raider!

yourgamebaby by playing
Fandalism Free MP3 Hosting


"Until you have cleared level one, which I have incidentally never done, you cannot get on to level two. Level one is: are you a reasonable, decent, non-discriminating, sensible, practical person who understands the world as it is lived today, who wants to live in a modern world and who accepts what that means? If so, then you can move on to level two, where you can talk about some of the difficult issues about families and about responsibilities which can lead to trouble." (link)

So David Cameron, chubby cheese-faced leader of the government in waiting UK Conservative Party, describes modernising tory politics, through the wonderful metaphor of Lara Croft. In fact, they are similar, as they both remind me of arse.

Obviously he's confused, level one is: you are an underdressed woman who needs to learn a variety of acrobatic moves and to handle weaponry. Once learned, you can move on to level two, where you can roam caves and ruins, leaping from ledge to ledge, shooting blood sucking bats, and a variety of other supernatural animals. Just like in Buckinghamshire.

What pisses me off about this Etonian gitmunch is he seems to be presenting our problems as being solely our fault, but then blames someone else. Like, inequality is our fault? Well, no, it's the fault of black absent fathers (I am paraphrasing his arguement, obviously). So, once they take responsibility for da kidz innit, everthing will be wonderful.

This, presented as "responsible, mature" politics is working like a dream, as the mass of middle class voters feel good that they at last can address the "difficult" issue of why the poor are such a bunch of laybout irresponsible violent irks - while not having to address why their own BMW driving public schooling 4 holiday-a-year lifestyle and fuck everyone else 'especially next door who are a right load of you know whats' and the rest of the planet attitude is ruining everything.... (breath).

So thanks, David, for being such a dickbag.

Perhaps voting Tory will be like playing Resident Evil for the first time: You learn what to do, then get eaten to death by crazed zombies (is there any other kind?). We can only hope it will be thus.

!! Logic Update !!
Level one is "are you a reasonable, decent, non-discriminating, sensible, practical person who understands the world as it is lived today, who wants to live in a modern world and who accepts what that means?" You have to achieve this to proceed to level two, which, as Cameron says, "I have incidentally never done."
Ha!

Monday, 14 July 2008

monome

so, with minimalist research needed, this is the box thing Daedelus was playing at Sonar...


and here's an example of Daedelus using it...

Friday, 11 July 2008

how to upset nu-nerds

iphone launch not going to plan.
Aww diddums! The uber-trendy geeks are upset about waiting a few hours to get their ikkle wellyphones.
"Londonruss" cries "this should go down in corporate history as a lesson in how NOT to manage a product launch." Boohoohoo. The tech-geeks should communicate more - what about the launch of the Wii, the PS3, Windows Vista, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc? Yawn.

Still, on the bright side, Israel and Iran seem to be careering towards armageddon, and the US wants to help, so who knows, the availablility or not of iphones might be a moot point. Still, ooh I can't buy my iphone boohoohoo.


An igeek, earlier.

Oh, and also...


No.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

and I don't even like him

This year, at Primavera Sound I saw some of Rufus Wainwright's performance, and I was surprised not to find myself bored, as it's really not my sort of thing at all.
Today I read a review of another of his concerts, in the Guardian (!), and did it make me angry?
The review is largely positive, but climaxes saying, "...after a while you long for a tune you can hum."
Yeah, you might do, if you're a superficial mook who can't go ten minutes without a Britney song. God I hate people who say stuff like that "ooh there's no tune nyurr nyuurr nyurr". Mabe there's not supposed to be? If you need tunes you can hum, perhaps you're better off locked indoors listening to Radio 1 all day, not straying out to see artists who deviate from top-ten style garbage. Don't you think?
I might actually punch someone if they started humming next to me at a concert, so watch out. Not that I go to many concerts with tunes you can hum (unless you're VERY musical like me).

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

in hiding

The usually tea and cake, village fete world of the Anglican Church has been upset reently by the threat of "schism". A schism between the "reformist" liberal end of the spectrum and the "traditionalist" wanker end. Am I being a little harsh on the poor traditionalists? I rather think not, children.
I'm not being unfair, because traditionalists are lying to people about why they feel the way they do. They say that women and homosexual (let's leave homosexual women for now) Bishops go "against scripture" and so cannot be permissable within the Anglican Church.
Were that particularly true, they might have a bit of an arguement, albeit a crap one, but it's dimwitted of them to call on "scripture" as if it is written in stone (it's paper, even I can see that) - as it was written by men, translated, re-written, changed re-translated and so on and so forth over many centuries. In such cases, claiming something is "unchangeable" seems an arbitrary choice at best, and completely wrong otherwise.
But I digress, for a change. I said they were lying! And they are, as all this "scripture" stuff is nonsense - the traditionalists are hiding behind it. The truth is they are bigots. They are sexist and homophobic, and use anything they can find to hide this, as even traditionalists (I mean bigots!) are aware that saying,
"I oppose women Bishops becasue women are inferior and I hate gays too", is abhorrent.

It's what they think, though. So perhaps we shouldn't hide behind diplomatic language like traditionalists? Just call them prejudiced fuckers instead.

Just so I don't have to repeat my ass in the future, many nationalists use patriotism and culture to hide their racism. Watch 'em!

To change the mind of a bigot, you're asking them to eat a lot of humble pie, which is never easy, so bearing that in mind, here's an olive branch. I hate the NME and everything it stands for, according to me, and yet I discover they have championed the following band, so they can't be all that bad after all.
Here is "Dungen"



pantscript: I -finally- have James Pants' album "Welcome", and it lives up to my high expectations, so is fantastic. Pitchfork gave it a 5/10 review, but that's because they are an "indie" website, and "indie" is inherently conservative and snooty. A record that can't easily be put into a genre box makes indie-folk nervous; the lack of rules and boundaries result in pant-wetting. They fear free music!

Friday, 4 July 2008

syntax era

For a while now I've been getting email newsletters from an organisation called "Human Events", who claim to have been "leading the conservative movement since 1944". It's American, and if you don't know who contributors Ann "Bitch" Coulter and Bill O'Reilly are, I leave you to do your homework. After all, you're already on the internet!
Anyway, here are some quotes...

"The United States is only one liberal Supreme Court justice away from being judicially transformed into France."
Cheese eaters!

"Educators at every level have sought to keep students from being exposed to any mention of America’s gun heritage."
School is so DUMB!

“natural rights” of the sort protected in the Bill of Rights should to be referred to as “absolute rights.”....natural rights (are) given us by God, our Creator, and as such, (are) completely and utterly unassailable by manmade governments."
God wrote the constitution! HE wants Americans to carry guns! But not the French!

"McCain has ...embraced every crackpot liberal idea, including the left's latest plan to exterminate the human race, called "global warming."
It's a LIE we'll be FINE, just carry on as you WERE!

"You can't eat your way out of being hungry!" "You can't water your way out of drought!" "You can't sleep your way out of tiredness!" "You can't drink yourself out of dehydration!"
We are unbelievably stupid! (I admit to taking this one totally out of context)

But they ARE unbelievably, and yet cynically and willfully stupid. Conservatives are either stupid or purposefuly misleading, ie evil.
Stupid, Horrendous, Idiotic and Terribly Evil.

In other apocalyptic news, in response to recent stories about Billy Ray Cyrus's daughter, who is apparenty famous in America, and the fact her new video is in all the viral video charts, I subjected myself to this three minutes:



Now, the stress of that has given me more grey hairs, but through the pain it occurs to me the message of this song, aimed at impressionable young girls, is "Girls are rubbish, and need boys even if they are shit." As someone else wrote about something else; "This is why terrorists hate America."