Sunday, 22 April 2012

Dictatorship and spectacle

"DIAMOND JUBILEE - 60 YEARS", says the quaintly painted bus stop in my small Yorkshire town. To a degree, I appreciate the colourful aesthetic of this mural, if only because of its resemblance to Soviet realism under Stalin. But its malevolent aesthetic was the sense of ubiquity in this dictated devotion. Granted, in Britain we won't be imprisoned or tortured for not being hysterically excited about this cult of personality, or the mass Olympic games, like North Koreans are. But there is an apparent and government-enforced obligation that at least imposes itself with propaganda and stigmatization for non-conformity. To most people aware, there is a clear absurdity in terms of the £25 billion cost of the Olympic security's air-to-surface missiles, martial law and thousands of armed riot police. This is clear: any "unpatriotic" attempts of protest will be a criminal offence receiving at least a fine, if not imprisonment. How is this anything but totalitarianism? The aesthetic is, at least.

Like during the royal wedding hysteria, there is a particular lack of awareness, or outside media information, of Britain's socioeconomic realities. Especially in the United States. David Cameron spent much time during his travel to push and promote awareness of the Olympic festivities. But any context on the right-wing austerity agenda imposed on society in Britain is stark in Orwellian proportions. Easily comparable to only independent sources informing us about the daily realities of authoritarianism in China, where riots are apparently a fairly frequent occurrence.

The Cameron and Obama-supported Bahraini regime has failed in its attempts to suppress awareness of its brutality with the spectacle on the F1. Perhaps a "domestic terrorist" such as myself is advocating a mass protest movement against the rule of corporate collusion and its vested imposition of social devastation, comparable on the Bahraini opposition's movement against BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin client, and John Yates advised, King Hamad's rule. Though likely, as in Bahrain, the baton rounds, water cannon, kettling and tear gas would come out in full force from the UK state.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Bob Dylan - Biograph

This is something of an anomaly in terms of the quality of compilation albums. It is probably a truism to say that a collection of all of Bob Dylan’s “good” to “great” songs would probably be four or five times longer than this. But there is always usually something transparent and uncreatively superficial about albums of artists’ “greatest” songs. The real timeless of this novel collection is the songs that have been selected with such creativity and nuance. It is an essentially impossible task to provide a compilation all of Bob Dylan’s stylistic achievement into something concise but unfleeting without deleting some obvious selections. This is a difficult duty, but one that Biograph succeeds in through its gathering of Dylan’s universally known to the obscure: from his derived folk, to his home recordings, to his narratives that will last in the cultural pantheon for at least a century, his self-affirming “Play it fucking loud” recordings, as well as the always continuing eminence of his latter days; it is a platter of Dylan that aesthetically serves to segue and appreciate into his whole catalogue of genreless and sprawling attainment, even when it came before the newly created or discovered.

James Delingpole on climate change

I recently had a small Twitter interaction with James Delingpole; right-wing journalist who is, in his own words, right about everything. Delingpole is predominantly known for denialism surrounding the scientific consensus on climate change (though mostly expressed with "leftie"-disliking hyperbole).

Delingpole tweeted a link to an article on a grand total of five scientists who affirmed his own position. (Though granted, I would perhaps find their expertise, even if mainly based upon space travel, more convincing than Delingpole's on the subject). Though this selection of five scientists doesn't much compare to the thousands of scientists who believe in anthropogenic climate change according to empirical evidence and constant scientific review, which Delingpole and his ilk don't appear to understand. He is also keen to refer to these empiricists as "warmists", even though their position observes variations of climate temperatures and their effects on wealth patterns and habitats overall. I inquired:

To be fair, my 90% statistic given on the number of scientists who believe in man-made climate change with empirical certainty was wrong. Someone else provided links to show it actually be around 87%. Delingpole is entitled to side with the 13%, but being so selective and partial with his information is a certain lapse of integrity.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Twitter's political censorship on the NHS

@blockthebill was the Twitter account campaigning against the 2011 Health and Social Care Bill: that introduced by David Cameron's government and his health secretary Andrew Lansley to implement the permission of private healthcare corporations to takeover hospitals in Britain for the purposes of profiteering, and eventual erosion of the UK's universal healthcare system, already deprived by frontline cuts and overwhelmed by corporate bureaucracy, into a marketised insurance-based one. For some reason, Twitter deemed it justifiable and necessary to suspend this account directly themselves. We can give Twitter the benefit of the doubt and assume that they hold a rationale that views the account as futile, seeing as the political establishment have managed to force the act into law, even with immense opposition from healthcare practitioners and a contempt for any transparent accountability on its consequential harm.  But to me at least, the administrative effort of Twitter in deleting an account just for promoting a specific political advocacy is something of an anomaly in its code of conduct. It may be a private company, but it is at least a profound mistake and contradiction on their part if conducting themselves as a public medium under the auspices of promoting open political debate and freedom of expression.

Nevertheless, the same campaigners opposed to the privatisation of the NHS are now standing to totally end its destruction by neoliberal forces as @AxeTheAct. I encourage all those concerned to follow them. For as long as their account exists, anyway. With the aim to give Twitter no supposed legitimacy to delete them.

UPDATE: Twitter have SUSPENDED the Axe The Act account opposed the UK government's NHS privatisation. 

This is absolutely outrageous and appalling political censorship. Perhaps corporate sponsors with vested interests in the healthcare market have some role in such draconianism. 

Update: I have received a great amount of attention for this post, which I appreciate. I acknowledge the possibility that these accounts may have been taken down due to Twitter's spam algorithms. But it is the frequency at which these accounts were taken down is what really invoked my suspicions, especially since Twitter's corporate sponsors include companies such as Virgin who are involved in the government's healthcare privatisation. I would say that the primary purpose of my objection and suspicion is to hold Twitter to account: regardless of whether my suspicions are wrong or not, we must seek and press for a transparent, reasonable direct reason if Twitter wishes to take down accounts in this manner. And we should make a clear deceleration that it will be held accountable by us if any kind of political censorship of accounts is exerted or attempted.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Spreading Santorum

I would basically argue that Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum is an inconceivably vile collection of ethically sick bigotries that somehow manages to metamorphose into a human being, comprising an absolute totality of anti-intellectual fascism and fundamentalist stupidity.

But this wouldn't be much of a blog post. 

That said, I would argue that his ideological positions essentially speak for themselves. Basically not a vestige within everything has ever stood has ever had any redeemable value. 

The only apparent ideological difference between Rick Santorum and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  is Christian fundamentalism and Islamism, respectively.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Austerity and nihilism

The Tsolakoglou government has literally wiped out my ability to survive, based on a decent pension which I paid for myself over 35 years with no help from the state.
If one Greek had taken a Kalashnikov into his hands, I might have followed him and done the same but because I am of an age that makes it impossible for me to take strong action on my own, I can find no other solution than to put an end to my life before I start sifting through garbage cans for my food.
I believe that young people with no future will one day take up and hang this country’s traitors in arms in Syntagma Square just as the Italians hanged Mussolini in 1945.

People are giving up, literally. Dimitris Christoulas gave up. The fruit of his lifelong labour was raided to preserve a socioeconomic hierarchy that forced him into nothing but undignified nothingness and despair. A dictatorial inhumanity that prioritizes the wealth and vested interests of multinational corporations rather than the basic essence of his life. The status of vulnerable people such as him in austerity states are degraded to the status of Untermensch. Like in Greece, Britain's austerity government is willing to revoke welfare from cancer patients and disabled children for the primary reason of hoarding capital. It is willing to kill dozens of vulnerable people, and force them into slave labour, indicating to them the basic status of their collective liability in the austerity state's bureaucratic management of human life. 

He was right to compare austerity's technocratic dictatorship to fascism. It at least inherently depends upon a nilihism and dehumanizing psychopathy of similar form. 

The people of Greece have two basic choices: submission to total inhumanity and nihilism, or to make his old man's dying wishes come true.

The Wisdom of Rick Rescorla

Cornish-born American Rick Rescorla is an unsung hero from modern history. A terribly unsung one, known primarily for his actions in the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2011. His experience in the American armed forces, and understanding of U.S. foreign policy, precipitated an attack on the towers on par with those that made him part of the thousands that it did take. As director of security for Morgan Stanley, he led out around 2,000 employees who would have otherwise died as the consequence of automated orders for them to stay. Therefore, the death toll of 9/11 would have been 5,000, if it was not for Rick Rescorla alone.

The Central Intelligence Agency itself has detailed documentation on the consequences of imperialistic foreign policy: that which it refers to as the kind of "blowback" seen on 9/11. Rick Rescorla voluntarily served in Vietnam, but later, as shown, disdained of an invasion that committed atrocities for essentially ideological reasons alone alone. He contextually refers to the U.S. government's invasion in Nicaragua in the 1910s which directed itself to suppress the Sandinista movement; noting the inherent failure of the notion of modern neo-colonialism to force "democracy" and "individual rights" upon civilian populations, and the perpetual utilization of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda, and their explicit tactic to force the U.S. into financial and geopolitical ruin with its military operations.