BBC offline

New BBC DG Mark Thompson plans to close “some of the BBC’s online sites”, according to this speech (via Dr Vee).

Any ideas on which ones? It’d better not include H2G2… My vote would be for some of the dodgy local ones that nobody ever reads (ideally as a precusor to closing the dodgy local radio stations and TV outposts that nobody ever watches or listens to).

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Oh yeah, and…

I know that we (in the context of England football) play like oafs and not stylish groovy Continentals; I know that people who stone Portuguese restaurants are scum; and while they deserve it for a wide variety of other reasons, a hate campaign against the Swiss would be gratuitous.

Nonetheless, if anyone (of any nationality, persuasion or creed) believes the second England goal genuinely should have been disqualified, I’d like to invite them to make their case. And you’d better be convincing.

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Brief Glasto music review: Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band are ace, despite the absence of the good Captain; Snow Patrol suck donkey’s cock; Keane are annoyingly good; and the Aphex Twin is a lazy arse for not bothering to turn up.

Politically, the main thing that was interesting (if, perhaps, unsurprising) about Glastonbury was the amount of knee-jerk anti-globo propaganda going on. Not just in the sense of anti-GWB (this is merely sanity), but a very traditional late-1990s way. So no mention of Kick-AAS (I guess Michael Eavis is a farmer…), lots of mentions of the Great Evils of third-world privatisation, and none of the Far Worse Evils of third-world corruption and fucking incompetence.

Which is fine, and infinitely better than any right-wing slanted festival could possibly be. It’s just a bit of a shame to see something with its heart so clearly in the right place campaigning for the wrong things.

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I’m away from tomorrow morning until next week, enjoying the delights of hypothermia and food poisoning in some godforsaken field in Wiltshire. Have fun without me…

Note to would-be burglars: the frenzied pack of jackals I keep in my front room will kill and eat you in milliseconds.

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Microsoft has decided that the Xbox 2 will not support original Xbox games.

On the one hand, since nobody bought the original Xbox, the lack of support for the libraries of original Xbox games that nobody has won’t be an issue.

However, unless Microsoft ensures that a *really* enormous range of Xbox 2 games are ready at Xbox 2 launch, the lack of anything decent to play on the console will be an issue. And nobody would bother developing a library of games pre-launch for an unproven console (rather than committing the programming to something decent like the PS3) unless they were, well, Microsoft.

Perhaps shareholders in Electronic Arts, Konami, Acclaim, or Infogrames should expect some rewarding takeover action…

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Viva Cuba libre

“Wonder why the Cubans in Miami agree with the embargo? Maybe because they were driven out of their own country by a totalitarian regime”, is a popular rightwing claim. “Saddam helped plan 9/11” is another. Perhaps “monkeys fly out of my arse” could become a third.

The Saddam claim has been utterly, comprehensively destroyed, and anyone who still believes it can be rejected offhand as an idiot or a maniac. The Miami Cubans claim needs more refutation.

Cubans in Miami are mostly economic opportunists, like any migrant to America. This is all well and good. Unfortunately, an immigrant community’s political leanings tend to be shaped by the people in the community who care about that sort of thing, rather than about making cash for their families. In Miami, these people are almost all half-crazed rightwing ideologues.

Some of these left Cuba because they couldn’t bear to live in a country with universal healthcare and a good public education system; others left because Fidel Castro (in possibly the most amusingly cynical thing any leader has ever done) deliberately sent boatloads of Cuban criminals and mentally ill people to Miami to get them out of the way.

Mr Castro is a relatively nasty piece of work (although Cuba, unlike much of Central America, has been devoid of starvation, war and nun-raping death squads for the last 30 years). But talking bollocks about how evil and North Korea-y his country is serves no purpose whatsoever. I, and plenty of people I know have been there; there’s a lot of poverty, but everyone is well-fed, well-educated, and well-, erm, -healthcared – not just in Havana city, but in small villages throughout the country.

I’ll leave someone else to refute the “monkeys fly out of my arse” claim.

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Soaring through all the galaxies

Happy Bloomsday.

Chris Brooke says that Ulysses is the book that has given and will continue to give him the most reading pleasure.

This is probably true for me as well; however, I still haven’t managed to finish it (I reached page 500 a couple of years ago, but then I got a job). One of the mitigating factors for me in (any of: going to prison / a slow boat to China / a house with no Internet access) would be the ability to do so…

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