Tuesday, 27 December 2016
I've almost never had any romantic or sexual interest in celebrities, couldn't understand people who do. But sitting in that London cinema, and seeing the emotions playing across Princess Leia's face, I suddenly realised that everything had changed for me. Life was going to get a good deal more complex from now on - especially if I ever met anyone who had that effect on me (only one or two women I've known ever have)
The way Carrie Fisher's face broke into a smile was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Her voice was almost as lovely. I now look back and realise that (till today) I lived on the same earth as this absolutely radiant human being, and - had I been in the right place at the right time - might have met her.
Now I never can.
Sunday, 6 November 2016
How do they strike you? Do they look pleased? Relaxed? Do they look as though they want to leave you alone, to let you live your life as you decide?
Now in fact you've probably seen photos like this a thousand times. You probably well know that for me to criticize certain groups of people is virtually a thought-crime in this day and age. I can say whatever nasty rubbish I like about white straight men (see the first section here) but I might even go to jail if I were to opine that the men in the above photo look like murderous psychopaths on a mission.
So I won't do that, I will simply observe that they look very... motivated. And I can't help but recall some of George Carlin's words on motivation, with which I will leave you today, and do please forgive the coarseness:
"Motivation is bullshit, if you ask me this country could use a little less motivation. The people who are motivated are the ones who are causing all the trouble! Stock swindlers, serial killers, child molesters, Christian conservatives? These people are highly motivated, highly motivated. I think motivation is overrated, you show me some lazy prick whose lying around all day watching game shows and stroking his penis and I'll show you someone who's not causing any fucking trouble ok?"
Friday, 26 August 2016
Something I think is becoming rather clearer to many of us is that so-called "progressives" have moved to an immoderate, intolerant extreme in politics.
Here's where it gets interesting... They also appear to believe they occupy the centre ground, that those (many) who disagree are all "far-right" racist loons
It must alter your view of the world somewhat to imagine that half the UK population is seething with resentment and hostility. Yet readers of the Guardian regularly expressed this view in the comments section before and especially after the EU referendum.
I've written rather repetitively on the meaninglessness of the word "hatred". One wonders what our moral saviours believe we're all thinking - and on what evidence they're basing this. Often the argument runs as follows: 52% voted leave, therefore many want to limit immigration. It therefore follows that these folk must harbour unpleasant, bottled-up hostility towards foreigners.
And there are, of course, numerous alternative scenarios. Irrational fear of "the other" could actually be quite reasonable fear of too-rapid change, of the loss of the culture we grew up with..
There's another feature of the 52%, and it's a situation being played out rather differently in the US. It is this: many of us are sick to death of being lectured by smug fanatics, certain of their cause, who - rather than argue their case - unfailingly accuse their opponents of character flaws, to silence dissent.
It could be that some of us quite like our way of life, and don't want it trashed for ever by zealots who can't and don't want to understand or care.
The new intolerance
For zealots they are. Progressives have forgotten about actual crime, about murder, burglary etc and think the only sin is a ThoughtCrime, the crime of racism.. or xenophobia.. or generalized "hatred". It's increasingly clear that they are simply another religious cult, who want to think themselves the chosen ones.
Progressives have, to their own satisfaction at least, extended the definition of "racism" to include nearly everything under the sun; by sophistry they pretend that white English-speakers can somehow never be victims of racism (they long ago decided we are all guilty of it)...
...and the rest of us have worked out it's a big con, by the sort of folk who kept the Stasi, or the Witchfinder General informed in the past. Because the witch-hunts have already begun again.
Always remember your George Carlin:
"Political correctness is America's newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people's language with strict codes and rigid rules"
Sunday, 10 July 2016
I sense a serious divide between the so-called progressive so-called liberal left and the poor working class or unemployed in Britain - which helps explain the recent referendum result here.
It's well-nigh impossible to explain this to the former group, because I think they are, at bottom, fanatics. They are so sure that they're the tolerant, rational people. The only problem arises when there's a small error in their logic, and they've got the whole damn thing wrong.
Anyone with half an education is getting a message about what to think (which they dutifully follow) from the internet and from mainstream news sources. The message seems to be boiling down to an obsession with racism (not an easy concept to define). That and xenophobia. These are the 2 main evils in the world, not greed or envy, not pride, not casual violence.
And the only virtue is a negative one, not being racist. Forget kindness, hard work, keeping a family together, stoicism.. Comfortable middle class folk in Oxfordshire have nice parties together and indicate to each other that they're not racist, not like those other people.
And who are "those other people"? Well our "liberal" friends need someone to despise, and in this case it's anyone who expresses any concern about immigration. To even suggest (quite rightly) that we might control immigration is to be accused of xenophobia or the r word, and to stand accused of wanting to stop immigration altogether, and to send anyone home.
Poor British people want there to be jobs available, and they don't want to compete with a million new people every 3 years for those jobs. This isn't racism, but I've watched privileged Oxford students sneer at the plebs who they think need educating. These are students with the best possible start in life brainlessly patronising poor folk with no A-levels, it's quite sickening to watch.
Monday, 4 July 2016
The EU referendum in the UK has once again focused out minds in the issue of immigration.
In a nutshell, you have on the one hand working class British people, worried about uncontrolled immigration, worried about jobs, about services, and - yes - worried about their whole culture being changed as they get older.
On the other you have relatively comfortable middle class folk accusing the first group of wanting no immigration at all - and damning them all as racists and xenophobes.
Do I need to make that simpler?
As a nation, we seem obsessed with denouncing each other as racist, to the point of extending the definition of the word, so they can use it to label more and more people.
However, it is not racist or xenophobe or even isolationist to want to at least have our own controls over immigration, or wanting to limit it. We have every right to ask for this, it seems like common sense.
Those voting Remain never addressed this issue, preferring to misrepresent (and show contempt for) those who disagreed with them. Which is part of the reason they lost themselves a referendum...
Sunday, 24 April 2016
The thought police who influence such things always make very sure that there are a preponderance of female characters in "action" roles. Women and ethnic minority characters tend to be honourable, decent people. White make characters, on the other hand are free to be as nasty as possible, and are frequently pathetic, lacking in confidence.
This piece documents just a few examples of the depiction of white men. Here's another.
Diane Ravitch tells this story from her days working on the National Assessment Governing Board
"I reviewed one- and two-page passages that had been prepared by the testing consortium ... Most of these passages had been previously published in children's magazines or in recent anthologies. After I had read about a dozen such passages ... I realized that the readings themselves had a cumulative subtext: the hero was never a white boy. Instead, the leading character -- the one who was most competent, successful, and sympathetic -- was invariably either a girl (of any race) or a nonwhite boy. Almost without exception, white boys were portrayed as weak and dependent. In one story, a white boy in a difficult situation weeps and says plaintively, 'If only my big sister were here, I would know what to do.'"
The obvious hypocrisy
Now never mind what it does to creative effort, to have these political rules shackling the outcome. There's a very obvious, very logical corollary here. If the content of drama and literature is policed so much that there are no "negative" stereotypes of women or non-whites, then you have 2 choices left:
- either your story has no characters with negative traits at all, or
- surprise! White men have to fill all the negative roles
If people were serious about avoiding negative stereotyping of groups, television drama would be impossible. There would be no characters, no interest. If you choose to protect all groups except one from negative roles, then you are ensuring that this one group will get all the negative roles. You can't escape logic.
Thus the whole exercise of fighting stereotypes is worse than flawed, it does exactly what it claims to be fighting against