Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tony Blair interviewed 2

Asked about the expansion of Heathrow, he is said to sighed and begun “It is tough because”

and I was – alarmingly – with him;

and then he went on “it is so important that Heathrow remains a crucial international airport — so I am on the pro-expansion side.”

Where is / was the toughness? Well, we can never got to that; and his interviewer didn't ask him.

Btw Heathrow / BAA is running a series of billboards encouraging people to start going there by car. That's the spirit. We need growth; and that means production; and greenhouse gases are probably the easiest to produce.

Tony Blair interviewed

There was an interview yesterday, in the London Evening Standard, with Blair. You know: Blair. Tony Blair. The unindicted class war criminal. That Blair. Who let out the bombs? Blair and Bush, Bush and Blair. That Blair. Anyway, he was interviewed by the paper's editor yesterday.

I'm confused. She seems to have risen to her position by not pursuing the truth. She says:

What concerns him is the rise of “aggressive secularism” in Britain. “There is an aggressive secularism here — the aggressive secularism actually has a common link with the aggressive view of religion. Both want to define religion in a way that a large part of the middle ground would find abhorrent. So that is why people of faith have to stand up and be counted and say this is not what we think religion is.”

What does he mean by “aggressive secularism”? She didn't ask him. But I recall reading a post on some discussion list or other where it was remarked that it is usually aggressive people who accuse others of being aggressive. That is, they think it is aggressive to disagree with them.

What does he mean by “an aggressive view of religion”? The first thing that occurs to me is that it should mean people who force religion on others; but I don't think that can be it.

Whatever he means by these two waffly phrases, he thinks there's a link between them, presumably more of a link than that he thinks there's a link between them. He doesn't say what the link is; and, of course, she doesn't ask him.

I think if I ever get dementia or brain damage that I'll become a newspaper editor.

The link's nature includes / shares, he implies, an abhorrent definition of religion. That sense of abhorrence is, he says, the middle ground; but he doesn't say where that leaves those whom he regards as aggressive. Or perhaps, by middle ground, he just means: "like me". She doesn't ask him.

And then he comes out with this stuff about people of faith – are they the ones who have religion? – standing up and being counted.

I am grateful to Mr Blair. Until now I thought they were shouting a lot of assertions because many people are beginning to lose faith, if they ever had it. I find them very aggressive. I find it aggressive that we cannot express our views on religion without being censored and censured in case we cause offence. Why shouldn't we speak? Why is it that people who believe they are going to live after they have died are taken seriously?

Kindness, by all means. Limited toleration. Counselling perhaps.

It is quite wrong to deliberately mock people; but what's going on now is a way of smuggling blasphemy back in.

They need to give us reasons for their faith. Their recent nonsense about doubt being part of faith by which they seek to co-opt lack of belief as a kind of belief is unscientific and vandalistic of thought. If they can't explain themselves then they should just keep quiet and get on with their hobbies the same as everyone else. That includes Blair.

News

Rupert Murdoch may break up.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Something for nothing

David Cameron wants benefit to be cut because it produces a something for nothing culture. He says.

I thought that was Capitalism. You get to be prime minister because you are good at advertising. You get to be chancellor of the exchequer because you are rich. You all waffle about wealth creation which you explain needs no explanation beyond it being what you do and not what the generality do.

The warm up to this bullshit speech has been the remark that people should be at work. Some of them, yes. Sensible, rewarded work is good for us if we can do it. Just now, however, there is no work because of the something for nothing attitude of Capitalism. \It's got pretty well all there and, for some reason, wants more before it will risk anything.

That's the trouble with emphasising individuals rather than community: it builds in a greed bias.

But none of the interviewers is asking "what work?"

Nor is anyone remarking: "It sounds as though you have a population policy. What is your population policy?"

Apparently it's ok to have lots of children as long as you can pay for them.

Not so.

Nor is anyone pointing out to these shameless lying shites that we all pay in for "benefits" and the benefits should not be up for discussion. If they want to change them in the future, then they need a decent argument, not one based on the prejudices of the chewing-the-cud electorate; and in the meantime they can pay the bill themselves out of their stolen money

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

How to walk (3) what's wrong syndrome

We can refer collectively to those stratagems I suggested last time as the what's wrong? syndrome.
Other writers on Egocentric Walking Theory refer to it in terms of "What did I do with it?" and so on; but I like a title which reflects what those walking behind are thinking.

And it doesn't just apply to ticket gates. You can use it to great effect in a supermarket. Have a chat with the cashier; pack your purchases; and then behave as if it had never occurred to you before that you have to pay -- and then you can wonder where you put your cash or your card. Why not ask if you can pay partly in cash and partly by card? Only one per store, I am afraid; or they'll remember.

If they  have a loyalty card, almost tender your payment and then remember the card.

I was going to say: if you are registered. But there is scope for offering an unregistered card. It won't work, of course; but think of the delays!

And as you leave the ticket gate, use What's wrong? as much as you can -- stay within the gate exit so that others collide with you, stand in the main thoroughfare, checking your pockets etc.

Similarly, in the supermarket, stay in the narrow payment aisle while you adjust things in your trolley; leave the aisle a bit but not enough; put your trolley across the main aisle out of the supermarket.

For your homework, think of as many venues where you can apply What's wrong?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Poetry Parnassus


Some weeks ago, I had desired to talk about the forthcoming Poetry Parnassus, an Olympics spin off, at the South Bank.

My response from the start was to the name: Poetry Parnassus. It's the Parnassian misconception of muses and inspiration that woke me up.

At some point, Simon Armitage spoke of how varied poetry is; and yet he and everyone else there at the South Bank has pressed on getting representatives from every or almost every country. Why? How will that reflect variety? With one person from each place...

And then they're going to have a poetry summit! Who will those present be representing? The muses? The other poets? The hangers on?

If it's the biggest ever gathering of poets, as they claim (and seem to think that is a good in itself), you can be sure it will also be the biggest ever gathering of poetry hangers on.

If they really do want to “help locate poetry's place in the world and revolutionise how we work” as they claim, why not call it, say Poetry Resistance. And I am sure a better title than that could have been thought up. Instead, they have gone for a worn and empty tag.

There will be “the world's most exciting poets” Yes? In what way? Were they chosen for their excitement or is that marketing? If they were, what are the poetics underlying that?

One poet is, I noticed, described as “highly regarded”. I won't dispute it; but I just ask: by whom?

There are a lot of predictable names.

Jobs for the boys and girls. I may well miss a lot of interesting stuff too but I am inclined to avoid conversations about inspiration among the girls and boys when they're in the mood to take themselves seriously other than as makers of poetry.

Some years ago, I had been away, constructing multiple fictions, no doubt. And on returning unwittingly met up with numerous people, some of whom I was pleased to see. So, like them, I gave an account of what I had been doing since we met last.

Then, days after that, I was at yet another gathering, probably wishing I could get on with writing, and found myself talking to some who had seen me recently. In each case, the same account must be repeated; no one had listened to anyone the first time; yet it varied; and yet, mostly, I sought to speak the truth.

One, surprised to see me, said "I didn't know you existed outside of London", which I found odd, seeing myself more as someone who is hard put to exist in London. And there I was away from the place and still suffering the wine and canap├ęs thing.

I was given an advertisement for some forthcoming event. Did they really think to attract me by asking "What are the sparks that kindle the creative fires...?" or by describing poets as "presiding spirits" (£12 incl continental breakfast, and that was years ago) (I made a notes.). There was, I read, even going to be a US giant.

I saw a strong man in Greece once. He was called Irakles or something of that sort and had a van with a chain breaking painted on it. He strutted around, quite like Charles I perhaps, though his shirts weren't so good as the God's anointed, and puffed and groaned a good deal as he worked his wonders. But his tricks were so obvious that the locals laughed at him and wouldn't pay.

I remember smelling of Vicks Vapour Rub. My bed in that village was extremely soft and my back slipped so that I came downstairs one morning and went through my landlady's garden like an old man. She came out to give me my morning coffee. This wasn't in the deal but she liked me, and she and her visiting Greek-Aussie sister were trying to marry me off to a Greek woman, any available Greek woman. In fact I have a feeling the woman her sister had most in mind was in Melbourne; but, she said, Greek women make the best wives in the world; and no man is happy without a wife.

You got no wife, Larry? She left me.

No one else?

She's in London. Didn't want to come?

No one else? She should get a Greek woman. She wouldn't leave you.

I said I didn't blame her; that we were a mismatch. She was shocked. I said she, my partner, was mentally disturbed – I do think that's how I expressed it. She was relieved.

I preferred my landlady's company. The conversation with her was limited to such Greek as I could understand: singular nouns, present tense verbs, and few of both. I liked the garden and she brought me plates of fresh figs, which I ate under a shady fig tree by fig-leaf-dappled light before I escaped to the hills or, in the evening, a taverna.

Our only disagreement was my habit of calling out to any cat which passed. And there were plenty of them. The Greek countryside is not that cat loving and cats make their own entertainment.

Cat garden bad? I asked.

Yes, she said, and a whole lot more.

Then, sometimes she'd say shirt, and a whole lot more.

Shirt? I'd say.

Yes, she'd say, and a whole lot more.

You shirt take? I'd say.

Yes, she'd say, and a whole lot more.

It's clean, I'd say; and she'd laugh a bitter laugh that would have done credit to Medea.

Concern over my shirts was always bad news: they came back starched so heavily one couldn't move.

Fridays and Saturdays were dangerous because she wanted me ready for Sunday. Festival eves were dangerous. She deplored the weekdays when I came back with my clothes soaking wet from all day hill walking. She laughed at me and my hand washing. Only her hand washing would do; but she let me win when I was only going among the sheep and goats the next day; it took me a while to realise there was a pattern to my victories.

But the coffee was worth it. 2 of those and I could walk all day, would walk, I might as well have been wearing red shoes. Actually, they were brown.

On this day, she looked at me more evaluatively and asked after my health. I explained all was well and it was only a matter of time. I have a defective back.

No, she said, you are on holiday. She said: Vicks! and rushed indoors. Before I could finish scanning the beta section of my pocket dictionary, she came back with a familiar bottle; and then began a struggle I could not win. The bottle was not in Greek so there was nothing for her to read which might make clear to her the error. Peace was only available by retiring to my room and making sure I smelt of Vicks Vapour Rub.

It was a smell I remember and dislike, taking me back to unhealthy London winters in the 1950s as I strove to learn from teachers who did not know much more than I.

I tried to learn Greek by what I found around me. I had first managed arithmetic by using the telephone dial as a visual aid. I can't quite remember what I did; but to this day I have a visual image of the numbers 0 - 9 in an almost joining circle, after which higher numbers sheer off in a dimensionless direction, forming circles of their own. The line containing 11 and 12 wobbles a little as it breaks free of the first circle, after which the curve is more circular, but I find 20 hanging out in space in relation to 1, 2, 3..., like the end of a bent paperclip; but 20, 30, 40... are on a circle with the circles of 21, 22, 23... etc spinning below or perhaps above - I can't quite see them till I am upon them.

Similarly with hundreds, thousands, not that I like puddings, and onwards upwards.

Push button phones do little for me, though that's what I have.

I bit my nails and once my finger tip was too sore to dial...

For some reason I can remember my mother's tone when answering the phone more than my father. That mode of domestic gate-keeping was her domain.

It was a mark of acknowledged maturity of some kind when I was permitted to answer the phone on my own initiative; and I recall my father being called from exhausted sleep to answer only to come back and say "It's for him, isn't it?"

I've lost myself. You wouldn't be able to wander round Mount Parnasus like that nowadays.

Lots of gate-keeping at the bullshit event I was recalling. I have forgotten the details. I remember: how will you get in without a key? have you registered? & you're not wearing your badge. But I can't remember what it was about except that I was mentally – alternatively -- registering for something without registering formally. Ah youth! Well, early middle age tempered by poverty.

At some point, tired of fake words and repeated stories, I walked for some hours, steadily up, through beech woods, eventually to over a thousand feet, remains of a hill fort, the trees thinned out; and there was a kestrel almost in the centre of the sky. How hot it was, for England, and bright, the susurrating trees around. Gates were open to me. Only sheep ran. The deer remained, a little nervous, but they stood; and the squirrels knew the benefits of being able to walk vertically.

Someone does that in Bergman's Wolf Hour

As I began this, a man on the radio said "scientific farming has created new fields in which people feel alienated". I recommend beech woods.

And I wonder if any of the people who will be at Poetry Parnassus have ever been to the mountain of that name.

It's interesting but it's fenced off, as I recall, for hotels and sports for people with money. And the rest of it is trashed, with great holes dug in it, to make money.

Now that is exactly the kind of place I'd go looking to make poetry; but I don't think that's what they have in mind on the South Bank.

I think we're back much where we were in 1964 when a teenage Lawrence Upton entered The Poetry Society and a woman asked me: Are you a bard?

New blind trap in London Borough of Sutton

I can't say that the new blind trap in Sutton High Street (see my bloog in May), innovative though it is, really works; but I do applaud the courage of London Borough of Sutton in setting aside all caution in order to at least try to inflict injury on the parasites who pretend to be blind or infirm.

The hole is now exposed on two sides while two temporary fences are lying sideways from it, creating a hazardous zone some twenty feet wide. & it was been like that for give weeks.

This is a tremendous effort. Here's to a borough of heroes

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Journey to Bristol

I went to Bristol yesterday. You'd think it'd be easy.

A week before, I tried to buy a ticket from the website from the local branch of Diarrhea Trains – Southern.

Their website is such a mess I gave up and tried Trainline, which I hate on cognition grounds.

I chose the tickets I wanted and went all the way through to the end of their process when a bank page cut in and said they wanted my extra password to give me added security. 3D Secure they call it. Or possibly VD

So I gave it to them and they said there was an error and I should try again later. I tried again later and got the same thing. I tried again later and got the same thing.

I rang the bank and they said it was nothing to do with them and I should contact Trainline. They said Trainline could authorise my transaction without going through the security if the difficulty remained. They implied there might a cognitive dysfunction with the train company. I was ready to believe that.

On the way home I noted that I could buy a ticket only a bit more expensive from the automatic machine at my station. It wouldn't let me travel until 9:30 but I considered it as an option to avoid dealing with airheads.

I tried Trainline again on last Saturday and got the same crap.

I went to the Trainline help website and sat through various crap where they guessed what the problem was and got it wrong; and then finally allowed me to describe the problem.

I received a message from an idiot who addressed me as “Dear Upton” and then proposed all the crap they had already proposed: I hadn't typed the card number correctly; I had the wrong address; it might be the wrong kind of card; the bank might not have authorised it; I was not the cardholder; the card might not be usable on the internet; I hadn't completed the details requested in the secure area of the system I mentioned; or I might not be enrolled.

Now as I had indicated I was beyond all so that this message was a variety of mental masturbation by a dunghead implying the problem might be that I am a dung head. The dunghead was sorry for the inconvenience caused, by the problem, not by them being a dunghead – I am sure they never entertained that idea.

Then it said “If none of the above reasons apply to you, please send us a screen shot of the error, so that we can investigate it further and give a quick resolution to you.

So I went through the whole bloody process again in order to generate a picture of what I had already told me. I didn't get a quick resolution. I didn't get a resolution at all.

They also said that I could phone them “and one of our associates will assist you in the most convenient manner.”

I was trying to avoid that

For any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

Sure

I heard back a few hours later. The operative did not understand the message any more than I did but said it had written to someone else and why didn't I phone someone else if I really wanted a train ticket.

Silence for days.

So I bought my tickets over the phone. It was agony. Everything had to be said three times. They told me how much they were enjoying the mission. They told me a bit about how trains worked.

I had to rest after the experience. Why can't they just do their jobs without talking shit?

They charged me a pound for the service.

Five days later I heard back

This chap was sorry to hear about my problems. He told me a bit about himself and said he had investigated my problem; and he had come to a conclusion.

Basically, he told me what I had told them 5 days before. He thought it was probably the Seedy Security System. He didn't know what the message meant either. And he denied it was anything to do with him.

He suggested I phone the bank. He said he could not bypass the security

He said this system “is now widely used on almost all online payment sites.” An interesting construction.

He suggested that if I didn't get any joy, I should contact him; I suppose that's so he can tell me that, as he told me, there is nothing he can do.

At my station, the ticket machine was mulfunctioning, as it's designed to, and it took me perhaps 15 minutes to get my tickets.

When I tried to enter the station, the gate rejected the tickets, but a human let me on. They know about their ticket machines.

Southern make all their machinery inhouse using excess bullshit, dried and shaped. It helps keep costs down.

But it's also why there aren't enough ticket machines. They shape ushabti managers out of the stuff; and they're not very good at strong bullshit; so the more the system spreads – or, as they say, is rolled out (like Jamie Oliver with a rolling pin) – the more it all breaks down for lack of material.

I had gone about an hour early because the previous day there had been delays of up to an hour due to a line problem no a track problem no we don't know what it is a line problem no a temporary delay; and I know from experience that none of the train companies can estimate how long anything takes. They assume their timetables are kept to and that one can transfer from platform to platform instantaneously. Apart from the innate stupidity and mental laziness of the staff, this is also because they are generally located tens of miles from the places they are supposedly administering. It is an extremely fashionable idiocy that this improves efficiency. Efficiency is deemed to be high when a majority of people have given up complaining.

My ticket worked perfectly well at Victoria and every where else. It only did not work at the station which issued it.

All went fairly well until I got to Victoria Underground Station where the gates were locked and a single nonce was explaining in a low voice why the gates were locked. The electorate stood obediently in a low herd in front of him so that newcomers could not  get near enough to hear him.

I crossed the road and went in the other entrance.

On the platform I found there were no circle line trains. After a while a nonce with a microphone said that Circle line trains were subject to delay. I thought: Tell us when we might expect one you skull full of stale giblets. But she did not. Nor did it occur to her, seemingly, that she was reading out useless messages. Not my job.

She said nothing about other ways of getting anywhere. Lots of confused foreigners who didn't seem to understand what she was saying. Unsurprisingly. She hardly opened her mouth.

I went to Earls Court on a Wimbledon train. We stopped a few times for the statutory Conjugal Break, which now has to be taken solo for security reasons. I understand that Friday's “Signalperson's Relationship Person” (Formerly “Signalmen's Wives”) was particularly stimulating and trains were stopping repeatedly all over the network.

At Earls Court the train I wanted was there but not flagged so I stood by the door until they displayed the destination and simultaneously broadcast “stand away” and closed the doors. They do have fun!

Incidentally, you had to know that to get to Paddington you have to get an Edgware Rd train; it doesn't occur to the company to explain that.

And so to Paddington.

I walked past my carriage because the person assembling the train doesn't know its alphabet. I walked back to Carriage D but found the door label was in the low seat numbers and my ticket was high. So I walked to the other end and boarded, where I found that the seat numbers ran in the other order and I was among the low numbers. So I walked back inside the carriage, climbing over my fellow Britons, few of whom understand that their bodies occupy space.

Free TV! so that you could for instance see a list of trains that were late but that you were not on. (You couldn't be on them because they were late... That may be a bit abstract for First Great Western)

I don't know what went wrong but the ticket checker was polite and friendly. He won't last long.

And so to Bristol where I was able to spend some hours with a sane person before going back.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Clinton and Syria

Now I want you to listen to me.

We never had military relations with that country, Syria

How to walk (2) Ask and answer

Be constructive when you go through a ticket gate at a train station. Don't just get through it as quickly as possible. Go through the ceremony.
Ask-and-answer! Ask yourself: What am I trying to do? Answer yourself: I am trying to impose my will or the memory of my presence upon everyone else. (Initially it may be best to stand still to ask and-answer; but soon you'll be able to do it almost without thinking.)
OK. So you go up to the gate and pause and fumble. Look as though you can't find your ticket; or the gate doesn't work. Use the wrong ticket. Drop the ticket. Anything you can think of really.
Only when you have caused the maximum plausible delay, should you go through.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Director blames Shakespeare for mediocrity


The Olympic Stadium will be transformed into the "British countryside" for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games on 27 July.

A cast of 10,000 volunteers will help recreate country scenes, against a backdrop featuring farmyard animals and landmarks like Glastonbury Tor.

The opening scene of the £27m ceremony will be called "Green and Pleasant", artistic director Danny Boyle revealed.

There have already been 157 cast rehearsals and Boyle added: "I've been astounded by the selfless dedication of the volunteers, they are the pure embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation."

The set will feature meadows, fields and rivers, with families taking picnics, people playing sports on the village green and farmers tilling the soil.

Real farmyard animals will be grazing in the "countryside", with a menagerie of 30 sheep, 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese and three sheepdogs. [That's actually almost the entire countryside]

One billion people worldwide are expected to watch the opening ceremony.

The 27 July event will feature:

    * Pre-show starting at 20:12 BST
    * 1,100 automated lamps
    * One million watt sound system with 500 speakers
    * 50 tonnes of sound gear
    * 15,000m sq metres of staging
    * 12,956 props
    * 24,570 costume buttons for one of opening sequences

[They've nicked this from a T S eliot poem]

The world's largest "harmonically-tuned" bell, weighing 23 tonnes and measuring 2m tall x 3m wide, will ring inside the Stadium to start the Shakespeare-inspired spectacle, featuring 900 children from the six Games host boroughs.

The bell, which was produced by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and is inscribed with a quote from The Tempest's Caliban: "Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises", was installed in the Stadium last week.

Boyle said it was appropriate

Among the other features will be two pits - one representing the Glastonbury festival and another the Last Night of the Proms - filled with members of the public.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sky wins award

Sky have just been awarded my coveted prize "Inept Handjobber Class 1"

I have been online in Cafe Nero for an hour and a quarter; suddenly, after weeks of quite peaceful service, it keeps redirecting me to a page telling me how good sky is and telling me my name and that I am logged in. I ignored it and got another page demanding "enter your street number"

So, rise up, Handjobbers Class 1

How to walk (1) Be mindful of your selfishness

Hi there, soon-to-be-successful person.
I say that because you have just embarked on a course of professional reading that is bound to enhance your career, if you follow it.
So, let's get started.
If I ask you "Why do we walk?" and you answer anything about getting places or taking exercise, then you have some learning to do if you want to be successful.
But, don't worry; I'm here to help.
Friend, the reason that we walk is the same reason that we do anything: to impose our will on other people's minds, so that we can be sure that we come out on top.
There's no disputing it. If, after thought, you disagree with me, then you're on the wrong course; and we should part now, with no hard feelings -- as long as you get out of my way when we meet.
Only kidding.
But let's hope that you do see at least something in what I say. That feeling will grow, I assure you.
Here's your homework. There are hundreds, no thousands, of my ex students right across these standardised countries of ours who have found that I have the answer to success. Success by walking.
Here is your first task; but it is not assessed.
Be aware (what the Buddhists call "mindful") of all the walking you do today; and consider how you could have made people more aware of your presence in the way that you did it if you were just to make a few innovations.
Then we can move on to Chapter 2.

The markets! The markets!

Oh good the markets are up.

Not surprising: there's 80 billion pounds to steal

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Memorising poetry

Memorising poetry is Michael Gove's latest dictat.

I haven't heard him saying why.

I wonder if it's because he knows of research which indicates that committing material to the memory, in some moderation, is good for cognitive development.

If it is, I wonder why he doesn't pay more attention to educational research.

And I wonder how the poems to be selected will be chosen.

What Spain did next

I keep hearing what Spain can or will or should do. Spain is not an entity; so what is being talked about?

The Spanish electorate will get a chance to vote in a while, not soon; and, whereas normally they would be told a lot of shit about which brand of bollocks satisfies the souls the most, this time they will be subjected to a variety of threats if they don't do this or they don't do that.

They will not be helped to make a rational decision because no one is going to admit that the reason everyone is in trouble is that the crooked rich have recently stolen even more.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Memory Fictions by Lawrence Upton

Memory Fictions by Lawrence Upton
published by Argotist E-books
69 pages

free pdf download from:

http://www.argotistonline.co.uk/MEMORY%20FICTIONS.pdf

Memory Fictions continues Lawrence Upton’s restless investigation of renewing approaches to poetry. It is, in part, also a record of his recent formal exploration of notation (in this case of texts for two voices) to disambiguate typed text without being overly directive. The work is an affirmation by Upton of the importance of performance as the full realisation of a poem; poems written and presented to support performers inherently; and, in its structures and composition, it represents, though quietly, a new direction in his writing. (Lawrence Upton convenes Writers Forum)

Full Argotist Ebooks catalogue here:

http://www.argotistonline.co.uk/Ebooks%20index.htm

[Not, I hope, a fashionable idiocy]

Too many noise and shit machines


I read the other day that the father of Boris Johnson, the fool of London said that we need to reduce the population.
Well, I agree completely. That is, we are overpopulated and need to do something about it.
His solution, as it was reported, was to control immigration; but then, as he suggested that 15 million might be a sensible maximum for this country, I question his analysis.
Quite what he was talking about or why anyone should listen to him is not available to me.
But the idea of a low target population – presumably in some generations – is attractive.
It would make a lot of problems – like energy and food – much less problematic.
To cope with the large and enlarging population we have we are being told that we must accept factory farming and nuclear energy.
And we are told that modern versions of these are really quite ok
Apparently housing still covers the ground it stands on.
It seems to me that we could get energy by harnessing all the flying pigs around here and then eat them when they are worn out.
If we are not prepared to make use of the pigs that fly out of the bullshit, we might try birth control.
People who believe it is wrong to control birth would have to be put to silence; and not before time.
The idea that we are so much in God's image that he wants to see more and more of us irritates me intensely. I am tired by the vast numbers of noise-and-shit machines being wheeled round by the electorate. There's no bloody room, you morons

Monday, 4 June 2012

The PM speaks from his backside


The David Camwrong defence of the government's u – turns is interesting. Sort of
I quote from the BBC website: 'Mr Cameron said it took courage for an administration to admit it was "ploughing into the brick wall" and change course.'
I must say that I am a little suspicious of any person or organisation that calls itself courageous; and the idea that it is brave not to plough into a brick wall is novel.
I also question how courageous it is to admit you have to change course if you do not, in public, discuss how it was that you were able to go wrong. That's the important point.
That might be difficult in the case of this week's u-turns because, in lieu of his explanation, I rather think it was the strength of opposition which persuaded them to change rather than the force of argument.
The only mistake they seem to have acknowledged to themselves is that they misjudged the degree of public resistance.
What interests me most is that 'Mr Cameron also insisted the government had "resolve, strength and grit"'
This is a subset of the “we're taking difficult decisions” nonsense. It's partly a consequence of most organised religion and, more, a consequence of the sadistic / masochistic undercurrent of the public school system which shaped him and his cronies: if it hurts, it's good.
Resolve, strength and grit may be ok in some situations; but too often it expresses itself as one of Douglas Adams' yellow robots yelling “Resistance is useless”
There is no indication in what the buffoon said that he has any concept of why the decisions they've abandoned despite their resolve, strength and grit were wrong beyond their own self-interest.
It's just that, in this case, more people than expected expressed a belief that they are fools or villains or both; and said they'd fight.
For instance, while everyone is congratulating themselves on resisting VAT on Cornish pasties, it seems that the ConDems plan to impose a parliamentary constituency across the border between England and Cornwall will go ahead. It may not hit the pocket immediately but it is rather serious. It is, however, harder to rally opposition even though its purpose is clearly gerrymandering.



Saturday, 2 June 2012

I am rather pleased with the verdict on Mubarak -- in so far as I am able to judge.
Now perhaps we could see the net spread a little wider. Blair and Bush occur to me. Not the same as Mubarak; but maybe not all that different. And there are some rather disturbing things being said and done in Israel, which are surprisingly like things that were said and done about and to Jews in Europe in the 1930s; but then if you set up a state on racial principles then you are likely to get racism.
The worry with the Mubarak trial is that there may be a tendency to say "Well, we've dealt with that" when really there has just been a beginning.
His imprisonment, if they stick to it, is likely to be as comfortable as he can be given his health, if his health is really poor.
The people he killed will still be dead; and most of the people who did the killing will still be free.