26 January, 2011
23 November, 2010
"The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organisations of the Muhammedan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon to-day."
03 October, 2010
Richard Curtis' “mini-movie” No Pressure is a bloody disgrace. It takes a seriously wrongheaded approach to play so directly into climate change scepticism's paranoia. This was the joke:
In case you missed it, the joke is that moody people, uniformed children, dress-coded adults and relaxed celebrities alike, are the natural enemies of the passive-aggressive do-gooder, and will simply be put to death. Not because they disagree with the climate change science, or they don't think it's going to happen or affect them. Not for human reasons. Because they're moody and the 10:10 campaign doesn't understand why they're not complying. The same joke is repeated four times in four minutes, and as far as I can tell, no supplemental jokes are present to re-enforce the notion that it's meant to be funny. Humour is subjective, sure, but 10:10's defence of this “mini-movie” runs:
“Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn't and we sincerely apologise...”
Really? Some people found that “extremely funny?” That is some super-subtle irony they're into. I'm going to go ahead and assume that these people were the same people that were involved in planning, writing and filming the ad. That it was a huge in-joke. Sort of like Richard Curtis' career should have been from the off. On twitter it was quickly pointed out to me that Curtis thinks that weather is affected by kissing. His input to the AGW debate should clearly have been a blast. Instead we get one joke, repeated four times, in four minutes. And it involves killing kids. Defending this thing on the basis of comedy is really not an option.
The conspiracy theorist in me loves the idea that this advert was never meant to air in cinemas. It was meant to offend, be pulled, kick up a media storm and put the 10:10 campaign in the news. In short, looking like a misjudgement is a great way to 'go viral.' The internet can be really bad at differentiating between circumventing censorship, and succumbing to a Trojan Streisand effect.
Still, we have a climate in which scowling people fare little better than gingers in the MIA-verse. Even David Ginola and Scully have to wipe the disdain off their faces. You would actually struggle to get much further from what we needed in the climate change discussion: a drastically illiberal angle that emphasises individual efforts when we desperately need a more structured action that gets at our largest corporate and governmental offenders, and that challenges the heaviest sources of carbon emission that fall outside any individual citizen's personal responsibility.
10 June, 2010
24 April, 2010
"...Muslim women parading in Black Post Boxes(Burkha's) & Men in Dresses, Which can be seen on the Wilton Road in Salisbury now @ 2pm daily. The No Go area's which even the Police do not venture into in Oldham, & the Continuing Gang Raping of Young Indigenous Girls by Asian gangs. Your TV & Sun Newspaper will not tell you the truth because they are state controlled..."
"A lot of publicity for the no platform position. Unfortunately, almost everyone thinks it's an act of cowardice or an affront to democracy"
"I will not be attending Sunday’s Churches Together debate because I believe it would be morally wrong for me to debate with the BNP’s candidate. This is a position I have long held and made clear to Churches Together before invitations were sent out.The basis of democracy is that all citizens are equal and therefore equally entitled to participate in the democratic process. In a hustings debate this means that all potential voters are addressed equally by all parties regardless of race. This is the basis of a rational debate. So, although I disagree with John, Frances, Arthur, Nick and Nick about what policies are best for all the people of Salisbury and Britain as a whole, because they believe that their policies should be addressed to everyone as citizens, it is possible to have a rational debate with them. The BNP cannot do this because they do not view every British citizen as equal. There will be people in the room on Sunday who the BNP do not believe have a right to be there.”
22 April, 2010
The reason that the BNP are here is because they are a legitimate political party. 6... [angry crowd] I'm sorry... This is a democracy... They are a legitimate political party. They are a legitimate political party and 6 percent of voters who turned out at the European elections voted for them. You may not like their policies, it is your right to say so.
03 April, 2010
"...Now, by law I cannot ask anybody their sexual preference so therefore I had to assume that all the women that were auditioning for the film were heterosexual, so therefore I needed someone to inform these actresses and so, Tristan running the boot camp really immersed these actresses into the world of lesbianism, and had field trips and stuff like that so I was not even part of that. And one of the most important things that Tristan told me, early on was she says 'Spike, there's no way that you're going to be able to make a film that's going to appease all the lesbians in the world' and so that was a very, for me, a liberating thing for her to say, because right away I understood that [that] meant that lesbians, like african-americans or any other group, are not one monolithic group, so I was not going to be able to make a film that all lesbians were going to like, and I'm glad she said that.Before the film came out we had various screenings, advance screenings for lesbians in different areas and different centres around the USA, and it was really split down the line, 50-50. There were lesbians that loved the film, there were lesbians that hated it. But it was interesting that the lesbians of colour liked the film more than the caucasian lesbians. Tristan and I were trying to figure out why this was. I just think that, for a lot of the caucasian lesbians, they couldn't get around the element of penis. I guess that was a stumbling block... There's that school of people that think that any lesbian that's caught within 1000 feet of an erect penis is not a lesbian. And there's this other school that says "Look, y'know, you can't be as hard-line as that." So really it was divided along the penis. The penis was the dividing stick. Amongst the lesbians, that's where it was divided upon. On the almighty penis!"
03 January, 2010
I remember reading Steve Albini say once on an internet forum, while he was outspokenly criticising Burial in particular and electronic music in general, that he no longer had to listen to old punk records, that he had fully absorbed them, taken from them everything he could. It seemed this was emphatically distinct from not enjoying them. I think maybe he meant there would be nothing to gain, and even that enjoying the songs again, that doesn't count, the point is that they are already part of him and he can go forward with them, but without listening again. I searched for the quote but couldn't find it, I would really like to read that exchange again. Maybe this too is a way of sucking art dry to carry it with you. This is not what I meant to write about.
02 January, 2010
This morning the Today programme was guest edited by one-time SDP rebel and now Lib Dem life peer Shirley Williams. One issue she chose to bring attention to was the relative lack of coverage of women's team sports, when compared both to men's sports in general and women's achievement in individual sports. To this end, an interview with Lynne Truss was aired.