The Daily Mail has published an editorial page in which I agree with every article. Well, maybe not the one about Prezza: if he were running the country, he’d merely not achieve anything, rather than achieving a Whole Load Of Badness. But they’ve come out against both police brutality and fucking over the poor, which is nice to know.
Fuck, even Ariel Sharon and the Mail are being less loathsome at the moment than Tony Blair and his minions. This worries me. The end times must be approaching… (via Hell Is Other People).
There is a strong and depressing tendency in our society not only for nannying cretins to fuck about with things that are absolutely none of their business, but also for The Powers That Be to pay attention to them.
As an example, I give you Ofcom’s TV adjudications. If you’re sufficiently excised about Bob Geldof saying ‘fuck’ during Live 8 to write a letter of complaint, you’re an idiot. What the hell justification might you have for doing such a thing? The same goes for whoever complained about Celebrity Love Island contestants saying ‘shit’, although perhaps complaining about Celebrity Love Island’s very existence might be justifiable.
However, the main example motivating this post is far less hilarious and more insidious: ladies and gentlemen, I give you Liz Longhurst. Now, Ms Longhurst’s daughter got raped, murdered and raped by a vile bastard who’s now rotting in jail where he eminently belongs. This undeniably sucked a lot, for both of the Ms Longhursts. However, any sympathies that a reasonable person might have had for the elder Ms Longhurst have been thorougly annihilated by her crazed one-woman crusade to ban the shadier types of porn.
She claims her crusade is because the bastard who killed her daughter was driven to do so by online rape and necrophiliac pornography (this isn’t actually true – he admitted to a friend back in the 1980s that he was planning to kill someone, long before Internet porn went beyond ASCII. It’s odd that someone could be so terribly misinformed about their own daughter’s murder, but there you go…).
As a result of this strange misconception, she’s attempting to make the UK ban necrophiliac and rape porn. Well, not just *ban* it – it’s already illegal to sell or host on a UK website under the Obscene Publications Act – but also apply the same rules that currently apply to child pornography, so that people who merely *download* the relevant pixels from foreign websites will be eligible for tracking, arrest, public humiliation, prosecution, losing their jobs and friends, having their house burned down by deranged mobs, suicide, etc.
Why? Well, there’s no actual *evidence* that criminalising people who view violent porn will reduce levels of sexual violence, any more than there’s evidence that criminalising people who view child pornography has reduced levels of child abuse. However, if you oppose such rules then you’re clearly A Rapist And A Necrophile And A Paedo Yourself, Otherwise Why Would You Stick Up For Them? (it’s also called the ‘if you stick up for the smelly kid with no mates then everyone will hate you as well’ argument, reflecting its sophistication and maturity).
Because our government has approximately the backbone of an unusually invertebrate (even by the standards of that species) jellyfish, Ms Longhurst’s crusade appears to have succeeded: the government has hinted that it plans to introduce laws against accessing violent pornography, despite the fact that this is a restriction on free speech with no demonstrable benefits whatsoever. Yay.
Can we deport Pat Robertson to Venezuela and try him for acts preparatory to terrorism? Probably not: Venezuela is a reasonably civilised democracy where they don’t torture people, so the US is unlikely to deport anyone there; and Pat Robertson is a member of that religion which is universally acknowledged to be peaceful…
A couple of years ago, cunning entrepreneurs discovered two legal loopholes in the UK. Because of concerns about rural bespoilment, it’s illegal to erect advertising hoardings in roadside or railside fields; and because of concerns about people enjoying themeselves, it’s illegal to sell hallucinogens.
Said cunning entrepreneurs noticed that respectively, it was legal to stick disused lorry trailers in roadside fields with adverts on the side, and that it was legal to sell magic mushrooms as long as they were fresh. Long car or train journeys rapidly began to feature a great deal of ugly lorry-based advertising; head shops and silly places such as Camden High Street rapidly began to feature a wide range of psychoactive fungi.
One of these developments was an entirely harmless development with no negative consequences and many fun ones. The other indisputably made the countryside look uglier, while its positive aspects were tenuous at best. Guess (well, probably you know already) which one the government passed new laws to prohibit, and which one it was happy to tolerate…
Still, at least we’re not as fucking mentalist as the Indonesians.
Blah serious questions about the religion blah can it coexist with civilised society blah serious questions to community leaders blah can we trust these people… oh, wait.
I’m busy. Flann O’Brien isn’t, and is funnier than me. The fact that he’s dead is but a minor detail:
"Consider the average day of the average man who is averagely educated… He is barely downstairs when he has thrown open (with what is surely the pathetic abandon of the person who knows he is lost) that grey tablet of lies, his newspaper. He assimilates his literary narcotic in silence, giving 5% of his attention to the business of eating. His wife has ruined her sight from trying for years to read the same paper from the other side of the table and he must therefore leave it behind him as he departs for his work.
"Our subject is nervous on his way, his movements are undecided; he is momentarily parted from his drug. Notice how advertisements he has been looking at for 20 years are frenziedly scrutinised, the books and papers of neighbours on the bus are carefully scanned, the bus ticket is perused with interest, a fearful attempt is made to read what is printed on the tab of a glove held in the hand of a clergyman two seats up. Clocks are read and resented.
"At last the office is reached. Hurrah! Thousands of documents – books, papers, letters, calendars, diaries, threats to sue, bailiffs’ writs. Writing, typescript, PRINT! An orgy of myopic indulgence! Consider the countless millions who sit all day in offices throughout the world endlessly reading each others’ writings. Ink-wells falling and falling in level as words are extracted from them by the hundred thousand! Tape-machines, typewriters, printing-presses wearing out their metal hearts to feed this notorious lust for unspoken words!"
Now go and read his books.
First Robin, now Mo. It’s almost as if God were finishing off all the likeable people who disagreed with his man Tony. Sadly, this leaves Michael Howard and Norman Tebbit alive indefinitely.
Speaking of Norman Tebbit, what the fuck was that disgusting old bigot doing being interviewed respectfully on the Today programme this morning? What, are they going to give soft-soap interviews to the reanimated corpses of Enoch Powell and John Tyndall next week?
Please can someone explain the difference between "I was proven right" and "my hunch… turned out to be vindicated"?
The Guardian has its flaws; however, I always like reading Polly Toynbee.
"In an average primary class of 30 children, only 14 will go on to take A-levels and only one will score three A grades – hardly inflationary. But if this little elite is determined to identify its pecking order even more precisely, let them have their A*s, their extra difficult additional papers or a precise breakdown of their marks, if they want. But frankly it doesn’t matter to the country or to anyone else. The science of correctly handicapping top racehorses or pricing footballers is probably of wider interest. This is a phoney controversy, of concern only in the offices of the Spectator, Times and Telegraph, where well-paid parents worry if the vast sums they spend on their children’s schooling will buy an Oxbridge place or not."
It would probably have been more honest had she added her own employer to the list of institutions above, but otherwise spot on.
We have a new favourite liar. See also here, here and here.