Saturday, January 07, 2012

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is Jim DeMint fiscally conservative when it comes to fighting neverending wars and bailing out his vampire bats buddies in Wall Street?

Or does he just hate it when the poorest and the unemployed to have food on the table while having sex and not being married?

The American version of "libertarianism" is an aberration, though—nobody really takes it seriously. I mean, everybody knows that a society that worked by American libertarian principles would self-destruct in three seconds. The only reason people pretend to take it seriously is because you can use it as a weapon. Like, when somebody comes out in favor of a tax, you can say: "No, I'm a libertarian, I'm against that tax"—but of course, I'm still in favor of the government building roads, and having schools, and killing Libyans, and all that sort of stuff.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Janet Woollacott (1982: 108-110) offers a useful critique of Policing the Crisis, a key work by Stuart Hall et al.(1978). The work reflects an analysis of the signifying practices of the mass media from the perspective of Marxist culturalist theory inflected through Gramsci's theory of hegemony, and 'an Althusserian conception of the media as an ideological state apparatus largely concerned with the reproduction of dominant ideologies', claiming relative autonomy for the mass media (Woollacott 1982: 110). For Hall et al. the mass media do tend to reproduce interpretations which serve the interests of the ruling class, but they are also 'a field of ideological struggle'. The media signification system is seen as relatively autonomous. 'The news' performs a crucial role in defining events, although this is seen as secondary to the primary definers: accredited sources in government and other institutions. The media also serve 'to reinforce a consensual viewpoint by using public idioms and by claiming to voice public opinion' (Woollacott 1982: 109).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If John Terry was Italian, far from stepping down as the national team captain, he'd be running for president of the country.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I would add the bookshops to Orwell's list (by implication he is already referring to the strange unaccountable court of judgement which decides if a book gets a good or bad review or - worst of all - no review at all). Even if it is well-reviewed, a book's success and influence depend greatly on how and where bookshops display it in the crucial weeks when it is in the public eye. The difference in the influence of the book that's piled in heaps on the table at the entrance, and the book which you have to ask for, or which is concealed on a back shelf in a basement, is colossal. Yet nobody ever classifies this often completely unfair treatment as censorship or bias. It is odd how so few people are conscious of being manipulated by bookshops, whereas I think most people are aware of the way in which supermarkets try to manipulate them. And so the huge responsibility of deciding whose book gets prominent display goes unexamined. Often it's a matter of money. But I think most bookshop staffs are left-wing, in that boring default way which afflicts most graduates, and they let their prejudices govern their display.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Since 9/11, the scale of the threat that we face has increased significantly – this means that there can be no guarantees. The figure of 2,000 terrorist targets that the Head of MI5 referred to publicly in his speech is not scaremongering. It is a frightening figure that some have suggested cannot be right. We would suggest that there are a great deal more people out there who pose a threat to the UK, beyond those known to MI5.

2,000 potential threats

Adult Muslim population of the UK is 1,2million.

1.2million/2000 = 600

So 1/600 Muslims in the UK is a terorist. (at the very least)

On a given Friday afternoon in White Chapel there are statistically at least 5potential terrorists roaming the streets.