Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Marquis de Barred

Originally posted by The Realist

So, any porn which doesn’t involve soft kissing, romance and gentle love-making is going to be banned. This is very dangerous. Let’s break this down and look at it in terms of media, precedent and content.

This is a newspaper editor’s wet dream. Stories about the internet make much better copy than stories about books. Fact. Fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar… Books are considered high(er) culture and the newspaper headlines frighten middle-England and the elderly into believing that the internet is only really being used by LCD-screen-addicted nonces.

Books don’t get banned (anymore) – The One Hundred Days Of Sodom by Marquis de Sade has been in print for more than two hundred years, but because it's “literature”, it is acceptable. His depictions are a work of fantasy, much like the material that is being discussed, so where is the distinction? Another example is music. People can say anything in musical form – no music is banned in the UK. You can still buy Anal Cunt’s seminal Kick The Pregnant EP if you so desire.

But won’t someone think of the children! Children can use computers ("you should see my Tarquin operating the video playing machine!"). They might access this material!!! Well then, the solution is to sort out security, password and certification systems for sites, as you have for films. Alternatively, pay more attention to what your own children are doing. Want some truly horrific, bloody, leather-strap based violence on the internet? Try this. Alternatively, you might want to try Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ: little more than a homo-erotic S&M fantasy with a twist of Jesus.

The precedent which springs to mind is the “Spanner Case”, about fifteen years ago, when a group of men got up to some pretty heavy S&M stuff with each other in their own homes, which they happened to record on video camera. They were arrested and prosecuted, but it was later overturned and the precedent was set that as long as death is not involved, any acts can take place amongst consenting adults, whether it is filmed or not.

I have no desire to see one man nail another man’s John Thomas to a plank of wood, but if they both want to do that, fine. If someone else wants to watch that, that’s fine too. Who, apart from John, is getting hurt?

Concerned about the sexualisation of women? Ban FHM and Zoo Magazine then. Oh, and Mills and Boon novels. Concerned about violence? Ban horror films. The ‘Son Of Sam’ serial killer was obsessed with them and similar ‘ban this filth’ motions were mooted then. Wrongly. Concerned about something non-consensual or involving kids? Good. Me too. That’s what police and government should be concentrating on.

Not since Stoicism has such a nonsensical argument been put forward. Diametrically opposed to this is the perfectly rational Epicurean notion that you can do anything as long as no-one else is being, ahem, hurt. By all means, crack down on abuse – any site showing footage of genuinely non-consensual acts should have its authors hunted down like dogs and shot. But what adults agree to do in their own attics, barns or dungeons and whom they wish to show that to is none of The Government’s business.

The fucknut who killed that woman was clearly insane and would have done something similar at some stage regardless.

Jack The Ripper didn’t have broadband.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"So here's to you, Mr Robertson. Jesus loves you more when you advocate assassination. . ."

Ageing Christian fundamentalist and (bizarrely) one-time serious presidential contender Pat Robertson has caused a bit of a stink by calling for the US to assassinate Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. I always get confused when Christians advocate murdering people. I won't claim to have read the Bible in its entirety, but I could have sworn that God spells out his feelings on this subject pretty clearly in the first half of the book during that chat with Moses on Mount Sinai.

According to Pat, Venezuela is "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Islamic extremism all over the country". Wooh, sounds scary doesn't it? Communists! Everywhere! Communist Muslims! Oh, nurse, fetch the sedatives!

Then again, Pat also believes that 9/11 was evidence of God lifting his protection of the United States because of its decadence (primarily, "homosexuals"); that liberal judges are a bigger threat to national security than Al Qaeda and (my favourite, this one) that feminism is an ideology that encourages women to "kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians".

All of this would just be funny if it weren't for the fact that this septuagenarian lunatic is an advisor to the Bush camp on many issues.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Oh Tonto, we're not in Kansas now

In case you're not aware, intellectually stunted slackjaws in Kansas are in the process of deciding whether or not to teach a form of creationism in their state schools. Yes, really. In this day and age. And not just in religious classes either (which would be fair enough, I suppose) - they're planning to teach it on the science syllabus. They don't call it creationism, of course, because people would just laugh. Instead, they prefer the slightly more credible-sounding "intelligent design" which posits that, while certain evolutionary characteristics might be discernible in the world, they are all the handiwork of a supreme being. In other words, creationism through the back door. Creationism sent to college.

I'm not going to go into the "merits" or otherwise of this particular strand of thought (truly, life is too short) but I am going to point you in the direction of this work of satirical genius: an open letter to the Kansas School Board. In short, it demands that an alternative theory of intelligent design be added to the school curriculum. Namely, that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster, and that when teaching this subject, tutors must be dressed in full pirate regalia lest they incur the wrath of the pasta-based deity. In addition, it points out that "global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of pirates since the 1800s". All backed up with statistics, of course, to give it a "scientific" basis, just like the advocates of intelligent design.

Funniest thing I've read in ages.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

We can but dream. . .

Apparently, Michael Howard (remember him?) thinks we should have a "British Dream".

Which is interesting, because for years I've been dreaming of the time when Michael Howard disappears up his own rectum. Surely that's something we can all collectively hope for, regardless of our race or religion? This is something that could really pull communities together.

For the record, I don't necessarily object to what Michael Howard is proposing. But I DO object to Michael Howard.

Friday, August 12, 2005

"Abu, Abu Qatada, I wanna reach out and grab ya"

So what are we to make of the deportation of these 10 individuals who, claim the government, pose a “threat to national security”? On the one hand, I find the ideology of these people utterly repugnant. On the other hand, it’s a sign of our status as a sophisticated democracy that we can tolerate and contain them, no matter what they think. Then again, why should a democracy that prides itself on its tolerance put up with those who would seek to destroy that? People that would advocate, support and even involve themselves with the murder of innocent people in the name of their “cause”?

Amongst the ten is “radical cleric” Abu Qatada, also described as “Al Qaeda’s spiritual ambassador”. He fled Jordan in 1993, accused of acts of terrorism, came to Britain claiming asylum and has lived here ever since (residing at Belmarsh prison from 2002 to March 2005). He is a known preacher of hate and has been linked with Al Qaeda operatives. Now he’s going to be extradited back to Jordan where he faces imprisonment. Human rights lawyers, meanwhile, are mounting a challenge in his defence claiming that his safety cannot be guaranteed in Jordan – not exactly the birthplace of citizen’s rights. This is probably going to drag on for years, at enormous expense to the taxpayer.

This is a real liberal dilemma. I don’t doubt at all that Abu and the rest of this mob are a threat to national security (or at least would be, given the chance) but at the same time, we have to uphold the rule of law - and they haven't actually been convicted of anything yet. I’m not comfortable with Britain compromising a single one of its democratic ideals, no matter how vile the person in question. I see that as capitulation: we would be cheapening our credentials as a civilised nation and moving towards that which we are resisting (just like Guantanamo Bay, which has tarnished America’s reputation in many quarters). Could it be the thin end of the wedge? Would there be another group targeted next? Should we just trust the government on this one? At the same time, the “ideals” of these people simply are not compatible with our own, and I’m certainly not personally concerned with their welfare, to be perfectly honest.

Oh, does anyone have any answers?!?

Left Out In The Cold

Introducing our first guest blogger: Devil’s Advocate. Devil’s Advocate is an acquaintance of The Realist and a regular reader of Liberal Elite, albeit one who often disagrees with us. True to the spirit of liberalism, we've offered him a guest spot to put forward a view point of his own. Over to you, Devil’s Advocate. . .


So the left are asking some ‘searching’ questions at the moment. . . or should be. Still in shock from the realisation that not everyone in the US agreed that Bush was a man-monkey hell bent on ‘Christianising’ the whole world when they re-elected him, they are now seeing their mish-mash of multi-culturalism, “human rights” and ‘isms’ blow up in their face (an unfortunate analogy).

July 7th was supposedly all about the invasion of Iraq, the absence of a free Palestine, etc, etc. No matter that the bombers (and their shit imitators two weeks later) were either British-born or living here - benefits and all. This is what the “philosophy” of multi-culturalism and human rights have left us with. Communities who feel they have a right to separate themselves from the rest of society, yet attack it because its government doesn’t meet with their view of the world. What a ‘free for all’ this country is turning into – is Britain becoming the slag of all countries?

After all those advocating integration were labelled as (insert your own ‘ist’ here), they have now been proved right. Even Trevor Phillips agrees . Nick Cohen, one of the few good writers on the left at the moment, brilliantly identified many of the problems. The left’s response? "He no longer blindly follows our failed train of thought. He’s obviously joined the right."

If the left wants to reclaim anything close to the mainstream, they need to look within for the solution. Where was their workable alternative to war in Iraq? There wasn’t one – just their usual fall-back of: "Comrades, it’s time for a protest. I’ll call Socialist Worker".

Accept the world has moved on. People will also no longer be labelled ‘racist’ because they believe in a basic set of shared rules and values, ‘selfish’ if they resent giving much of their wage blindly to the taxman and the rest of it. If the left doesn’t deal with this, then people like Bush and his “Christian Soldiers” will be only too happy to.

Devil's Advocate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

24 Hour Party People?

We have a funny attitude to alcohol in the UK. On the one hand, we have the most draconian licensing laws in Europe. On the other, we abuse the substance more than any country in the Western world. With the possible exception of Australia, who would enter a drinking team to the Olympics if they could.

So it's been interesting to read the backlash against the proposed licensing reform laws today. Apparently, warn senior judges and the police, extending pub opening hours will lead to an increase in violence, sexual assault and public disorder. In addition, wild tigers will roam school playgrounds, Gibraltar will fall to the Spanish and plagues of locusts will descend upon the Home Counties. Or something.

Personally, I'm not convinced we need 24 hour pubs either. That seems a bit excessive. But it is without question that we need to liberalise the current laws. How patronising to be ordered to stop drinking at 11pm. "The government has decided that you've had enough. Now go home. You have to be at the munitions factory at 7am." A ridiculous hangover (excuse the pun) from World War One that is totally at odds with lifestyles in the 21st century.

Truth be told, if pubs were open all day in this country, it would be carnage. It's bad enough in late bars now thanks to a sizeable chunk of arseholes, but why should the majority have to suffer because of them? Is it really so ridiculous to propose that, on a Friday or Saturday night we should, if we so choose, be allowed to stay in the pub until one or two in the morning? Oh, the horror of it all!

I seem to remember a similar resistance in the late 1980s when the law changed and allowed bars to stay open from 11am to 11pm without having to shut between three and seven. All hell would break loose, some claimed. People wouldn't go back to work. Children wouldn't be picked up from school. The very fabric of society would be torn apart. Didn't happen, did it? And it won't this time, either.

It's all a fuss about nothing anyway. Hardly any pubs will apply to open 24 hours a day: it wouldn't be economically feasible for them to do so. But if landlords want to stay open for a few hours more (even if it's only at the weekend) they should be allowed to do so and I, for one, will be cheering when this finally happens.

Mine's a pint. Oops, no, I can't. It's 11:01pm. It's against the law.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The mother of all fuckwits

Don't you just hate George Galloway? Wouldn't you love to smack him repeatedly round the head with a nine iron? I would. Abhorrent turd of a man. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if he was rubbing his hands with glee after the suicide bombs in London: all the more grist to his little mill. Here's "Gorgeous George" quoted today, on Syrian television:
Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners - Jerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters.
Well, actually, Baghdad is in the hands of an elected Iraqi government now, whether you like it or not. And let's face it, you don't like it, do you George? Because you no doubt miss your old genocidal chum Saddam Hussein. Bless his cotton socks.

Here's another gem:
It can be said, truly said, that the Iraqi resistance is not just defending Iraq. They are defending all the Arabs and they are defending all the people of the world against American hegemony.
No. The "resistance" is a distinct sect of jihadists who do not represent general opinion at all. Poll after poll after poll shows majority support for a democratic government in Iraq. There's also a sizeable democratic movement in Iran: are they part of America's hegemonic assualt too?

Meanwhile, going back to your reference to Jerusalem: are you saying that Israel has no claim to the city? That the Jews are "foreigners" in that land? I can only summise that this is exactly what you mean. So on top of being a supporter of tyrants, a sympathiser of Islamofascist murderers and an unprincipled, race-baiting thug in elections, you're also an anti-Semite?

Anyone fancy coming along to this so we can fling excrement at him?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Only a Fool Tests the Depth of the Water With Both Feet

Originally posted by The Realist

As a reply to my Leviticus post, my American friend wrote an idiotic response. His reply and my riposte are below.

Anonymous said...
Well, your freedom to shout your ignorrance from the mountain top is a culmination of all past suffering and evolution. Maybe your parants should condemn all your childhood efforts and use them to destroy you today. Funny, why did you pick Leviticus to torture your ignorrance. Why not the Koran. Hard asses here say the best and brighest of England died in the war. I do not agree even if your case supports that theory.

Will he actually post this? If so he has hope.
dw USA

Oh dw, I don't know where to start with this. Out of courtesy, I won’t list and deconstruct your abhorrent spelling faux pas as I know that this runs contrary to the spirit of blogging. However, as the Goebbels of the grammar-nazi world, I am entirely unable to overlook their existence.

Partly to avoid boring the other three people who actually read this blog and partly as I’m rushed for time, I’ll list and counter your inaccuracies.

1. My hard fought freedom to shout my ‘iggnoorannnccee’ from the rooftops has a number of roots: ‘All past suffering’ is not one of them. Evolution explains my ability to write, think and to type with my opposable thumbs, however it does not explain my freedom to do so.

2. As a right wing christian (I know you from http://www.rrwr.blogspot.com/) you should surely be aware that there is no such thing as evolution, that the world is 8,000 years old and that all other religions and belief structures should be exterminated in the name of the holy baby Jew child, Jesus Christ.

3. My parents should, indeed, condemn my childhood efforts. Particularly in the following areas: drawing, haircuts and defecation in underwear. The point being that I have moved on from my early ways. I don’t compel my barber to provide a ‘pudding bowl’ haircut when he’s suggesting something ‘a little bit more modern’. To draw a parallel, society has moved on and evolved, so why should we apply past, flawed theories (i.e. Leviticus) to modern day issues?

4. I would have chosen the Koran or any of the major world religions – I hate them all. Some holy-freak was on TV quoting Leviticus as a basis for disallowing gay marriages, so I decided to read it. I just couldn’t believe the shower of holy shit that it was and felt compelled to inform the world. Well, the three readers of this site.

5. Re your WWII comment, the vast majority of those who died were the poorly educated working class soldiers. The brightest (usually the richest/best educated) largely survived as they were given officer roles. Once again, your ignorance astounds me.

6. We never delete comments from the board. What would be the point when we can so easily decimate them?