Breaking News! Broken News.

Well, it was a flop. A big wet fish-slap in the face, a Nickleback’s Rockstar or (the one without Arnie) Conan the Barbarian-style hilariously calamitous flop.

Since this blog wasn’t really going anywhere, and I’d lost all momentum like a fat guy driving to the gym passing a cake shop, I’ve decided I needed a new aim. Something a little more mature is what I hope it can be, as well as relevant and topical.

So I’ve canned this blog, and carried on my incessant, dreary and down-right pointless rambling (albeit disguised by a more “professional” approach) at http://brokennewscan.wordpress.com/ .

Click away, and be unenlightened.

You can, of course, read all the old delights from my old defunct blog below, but be warned, there are no guarantees of any resounding epiphanies as a result of reading the gripping original material.

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And I keep thinking last year has only just gone…

Thinking it Over

Thinking It Over

Well I never… Time has passed me by unknowingly once again. I swore to myself last time that I would make at least two blog posts a month. Being devoid of an interesting source of inspiration everyday, and without the will-power to actually write everyday, when my degree revolves around that very thing, seemed rather a tall order. I don’t know how some bloggers do it and still have time to find the inspiration, and keep it interesting!

But, the inevitable and merciless nature of time has meant it has been three months since my last post. As a result I don’t really think I can call myself much of a blogger, more of an ‘occasional-when-there’s-nothing-else-to-do-at-all’ sort. I really should move it up on my list of priorities  though, because I find it helpful in letting the little rants I have to myself out to the world.

For example this year I’ve thought about patriotism, philanthropy and misanthropy, self-worth and other rubbish like morals of terrorism and hypocrisy within policies against terrorism. These things matter to me, though I doubt to many of you they do quite so much that my brain sometimes can’t comprehend all the loose ends of arguments I have with myself in my head. It is truly a mind-boggling thing, this thing we call life. If I had actually materialised these thoughts into a tangible piece of writing, it probably would have made an – albeit very poor – attempt at a full-length dissertation.

Well anyway, this was intended to be just a quick post to let you faithful readers know I haven’t given up, or crawled away into a shrivelled ball and died, or anything else for that matter,

I’m just one lazy sh*t.

The main reason I write today is because even though I’m  not a massive fan of writing essays for my course, obviously (who is), I have just submitted them all for this term (best feeling in the world) and am somehow not satisfied by the 12,000 words of writing I’ve done this term anyway… I maybe have more of a writer in me than I think!

I can’t honestly believe it’s nearly the end of 2012 either… what… where… why?! I know I’m not the only one to still consider my year of birth (1991) to be only ten years ago… I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I’m not making any promises, I have a couple of ranty-type posts in the works which I need to finish, but if the world ends on the 21st I wont have anything to write anyway. So it goes.

Here’s to more will-power  in 2013 – that’s something we all need before those futile resolutions!

Edited 28/01/2013

Time is like… a mega ice cream sundae with loads of fudge and chocolate

Ice cream sundae

My (very poor) analogy for time.

Holy sh*t…

I’m really not doing myself any favours, trying to make real use of these long uni’ summers and all. Slightly disappointed that my last blog was right back in May! Summer hadn’t even started then… Well, exams are long gone and so are the blurry end-of-year celebrations. In fact, minus about four weeks I’ve had off at the time of writing (actually, a bit longer than I thought, but anyway), since about two weeks after the start of the summer I’ve been working. Working working working. Boring boring boring. I tell you, stuffing envelopes or putting bags of exam papers – which I thought I could not associate with ever again after the end of the horrendous A-levels – into cardboard boxes all day every day after a while does make one genuinely consider that placing a skewer through one’s eye and a power-drill through one’s belly button would be infinitely more entertaining. At least, the consequences would make the days a tiny bit more interesting, if regrettable. Yes, we all dream about what we’re going to do ‘this summer’, making plans for this that and everything, ambitions to go here there and everywhere. Trouble is, it never really works out. For me, this is almost entirely down to the ridiculous ways in which I earn and spend money such that no matter what I earn it appears to evaporate on contact with my bank account as if it’s some massive metaphorical industrial money incinerator. No idea why it goes, where and how. And it’s annoying.

Admittedly, I have been to Reading Festival – which was definitely, if a dirty and mostly drunk experience – something I’d happily do again tomorrow – but give me an unbroken tent which I don’t have to put up at midnight, please. Florence from Florence and the Machine is definitely either slightly wacko or permanently wasted or high, or both. Foo Fighters were unreal too. Bit gutted I missed Green Day’s ‘secret’ set though… Damn. I’ve also seen quite a few new movies, more than usual this year. I particularly enjoyed watching Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises getting on and off, and riding a pretty bad-ass motorbike – I’m pretty sure there should have been a warning about mild pornography in some scenes, because some of them have been irreversibly carbonised into my memory. Being slightly academic for a brief moment, that film definitely proves the existence of the ‘male gaze’ in film making. Oh yes. I gazed.

It baffles me that already I’m barely weeks away from starting my final year at Uni’ and that in actual fact in what will seem like only an elongated hour, I’ll be finished, all done and dusted, hopefully graduated with a tidy 2:1. In English. Sigh. Then what? Who knows? I watched Anchorman for the second or maybe third time the other night and I quite fancy the Ron Burgundy lifestyle, but I somehow doubt the BBC or any British media institution has quite the Americanised ‘zing’ that can turn someone who sits and reads words off a screen into a famous person. But then, we are talking about a country where you can freely purchase a large calibre rifle in a department store, and where it is illegal to tie Giraffe’s to lamp-posts. That is a law the origins of which must be hilarious.

It just passes us all by, this immaterial thing civilisation has universally rationalised and explained as ‘time’. We make plans and look forward to relishing it and using it well, and then are surprised when it seems to just relentlessly evaporate into a vacuum, especially – and I emphasise, with irritation – when we are enjoying ourselves most. Like time-troll. It’s a rubbish analogy but it’s just like the ‘Godfather’ desserts one can purchase at some good restaurants. I really look forward to that and make plans to savour every last particle of fudge and chocolate and Malteser and toffee ice cream and vanilla ice cream and all that tasty high-calorie deliciousness. And then some b*stard nicks it the rest and before you know it it’s all over and done with. And you’ve put on two stone.

I end abruptly for I am now hungry. Stay tuned for a more interesting slightly more intellectual post in the near future.

Hypocrites and bigots dot com

The Pirate Bay logo

Copyrighted, but free for any purpose

Well, right now is the time I should be revising for my exams, what with about twelve days to go before my first one. But right now there is something else more testing on my mind…

Being all in for democracy, equality, fairness, free speech, free money, free choices and general liberty as a whole, there is a recent issue which I think needs to be raised as deeply serious. I know to many many people the issue of internet piracy is a taboo subject and is of course, rightly frowned upon – I myself am not going to give my own views and experience of it here because it is not the point of my post, although being a twenty year-old student, I would be lying to you if I said I’d never exploited the mass source of freely exchangeable information that exists within the internet. I’m sure some of you are aware I’m talking about the recent banning of The Pirate Bay on nearly all the major UK ISP’s. Well, for now, I’m not going to talk about this specific act or anything too much to do with the nature of The Pirate Bay itself, except for the fact that the attempt is quite simply not only futile but utterly pointless and to an extent potentially counter-intuitive in the long term. What I am going to talk about is the principles of the matter and the definite degree of bias and injustice in this frankly naive ruling…

I shall start with this, which I think sums up the real essence of my argument, spoken by the venerable legendary promoter of philanthropy, love and peace himself:

‘Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think
that people own it.’

John Lennon

Who can argue with that?

I’m not going to go on an all-out rant about oppression and censorship and loss of liberty and all that because frankly that blows it all out of proportion, and because, at the end of the day, where we live is still a relatively free, equal and tolerant society. And this is the point. If it was one of those intolerant, oppressive and close-minded cultures ruled by an undemocratic government then there would be little point nagging about the closure of one tiny website because it would just be part and parcel of it. No, the issue is that in this outwardly self-promoting fair, democratic and lawful society where everyone has the right to their say or to fight their corner, certain corruption and hypocrisy takes over and the views of the few ignorant powerful override the beliefs of the masses and injustice – whether knowingly or not – takes precedence.

Royal Bank of Scotland logo

The Pirate Bay vs. RBS: which is more respected by its users? Which is more concerned with actually promoting its own fundamental ideals rather than making money? I wonder…

What really irritates me in this case is that there was no trial, no investigation, no real justification for the closure of the website. Indeed, it does beg the question where will it stop?  It seems the people making the judgements had insufficient evidence or knowledge to make it a fair one. I think the people on top miss the point that The Pirate Bay is, in fact, a place not only for the sharing of ‘illegal’ files but also for the promotion of truly free material, especially for music artists who have neither the money or persuasion over big profit-hunting corporations to promote their talent more widely. Here, there is no emphasis on money making, selling, buying, or any restrictive and frankly irritating ‘copyright’ issues. The emphasis is simply on sharing entirely for free with like-minded people a talent and a passion where the only gain is further promotion of and expanding that talent and passion. All, bare in mind, at the expense of a company willing to provide such a service for free. Where is the illegality in that? Apart from the fact that attempting to block a website like The Pirate Bay is like shovelling snow whilst there’s a blizzard, the more one person tries to stop something, the more the masses will resist. Yes, everyone has a right to be rewarded for what they do, but similarly, I don’t think a small group of people have the right to decide how people go about spending their money, and on what, and through what medium, if only because, at the end of the day, as we all know, most big corporations only care about the money. Once they’ve got that, the rest is largely irrelevant.

Perhaps they might have realised that had they geared themselves towards providing what people actually want in the way they want and listening to the fair and humble voices of the many, then people would be more willing to give their money to them, but in fact the paranoia that results from people getting their services elsewhere means they are missing out on making more money, and that is it. Unfortunately this money issue is what governs much of the world, and what governs a lot of governments; we would be lost without it, of course, but it should not provide the backbone of our principles.

To avoid an utterly epic rant, I can conclude with my main point in just a few lines. If the people at the top are supposedly righteous, selfless and just and concerned with the welfare of others more than their own gain, whether that be financially or otherwise, then it is fair enough that they try to righteously, justly and fairly promote the ideology that others do the same. However, if those at the top are responsible for equally selfish acts concerned with their own gain, whether that be financially or otherwise, and without taking note of the judgement of others, then I do not believe they have the right to demand the exact opposite behaviour upon others.

After all how can a company that makes – relatively speaking – next to no money on the services it provides in the way it promises to do so continually and reliably; possibly compare to other companies or national corporations that make money off their own inadequately provided services, misleading promotions, stupid mistakes, immoral behaviour and exploitation of people, and who continue to be rewarded for the effects of these surely equally criminal acts?

The only comparison I can see is that they are blinded by their own clouding of their own moral judgement by other ‘more important’ matters – something, of course, they would outwardly deny. Something which places like The Pirate Bay, just by their very nature, cannot and do not deny.

Tolerance for the intolerant

Abu Qatada

Abu Qatada. Look at that smirk. Don’t you just want to punch him?

Well, it’s been over a month since I last posted. I am slightly ashamed by this fact, although I’m now averaging over a massive five visits to my blog a day. Excitement. Interestingly, that last blog about the lull in the trend that is blogging might have been my last blog for a very long time, except for one vital flaw – there is always something to write about. You just have to decide what you care enough about or what you want others to care about. This week, I have found that material which at the moment overrides everything else, and which makes me angry to the bones. And I mean punching-a-wall-repeatedly-until-you-bleed-profusely angry.

Terrorism. To many, it’s a subject which is now the source of a lot boredom and disregard for what it actually means to the everyday person. Understandable, since the wars in the Middle East which were supposedly supposed to sort out terrorism seem to have now stagnated and serve little purpose, in short. Well, to me, terrorists are worse than paedophiles, worse than murderers, worse than tyrants, worse than even war criminals. Why? Because at least each of them – except, of course, paedophiles and most murderers – stand by their own principles, no matter how deluded. Terrorists stand for nothing. They are the biggest, most terrible arrogant hypocrites around. The combination of those two attributes alone makes for a pretty dislikeable person in my opinion, but add to the mix that anyone they don’t like or think are undeserved of their own lives and who disagrees with them should be killed and in such a horrific way, you have a truly terrible human being. I’m a philanthropist, but I have absolutely no positive feelings towards terrorists, other than pity. Most terrorists being, in this particular context of course, extremist religious persons with an ambition to kill people whom they do not even know and have never met. Scum. Scum of the Earth. They all need at the very least a massive punch square in the middle of the face.

Twin Towers 9/11 plane collision

Exactly the kind of thing that Muhammad would have wanted, I’m sure.

What is so frustrating is that they supposedly are ‘advocates’ of their religion – whatever that may be – Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism; any of them, and yet everything they do completely contradicts the fundamentals of what religion is which is – allegedly – learning to live with your common man and also, erm, not doing things like killing. As far as I was aware, mass murder was not the first priority for Jesus or Muhammad.  Yes, of course, there are many many many other bad things that happen that don’t have anything to do with religion, or terrorism, or intolerance, or hypocrisy, and nor do I agree with the U.S. being the almighty ‘police’ of the world, but that’s another story. What I do disagree with is the merciless intolerance and disgustingly pretentious and deluded attitude of terrorist organisations. Being quite a left liberal kind of person politically, I have quite a far right view on terrorism, which is 0% tolerance. This might be because it completely goes against my attitudes on equality, liberty, peace, and people of all different backgrounds and cultures being able to live together and accept each other. This is precisely what terrorists don’t want. And it’s as if their opinion and life-style is the only one. They deliberately live to obstruct peace and progress.

What has brought on this raging rant is the recent discussions in the news on the Muslim alleged terrorist Abu Qatada and his lawyers, oh and the European Court of Human Rights. If there was ever a time to explain why political correctness and the enforcement of human rights has gone way too far, this is the best example ever. The fact that he has lived in our country – albeit under some form of ‘arrest’ – for over a decade, living off our taxes, using our services and taking advantage of everything this tolerant country provides, whilst also, taking advantage of our free speech, outwardly hating every British person, saying we should all be killed and have Sharia law installed (an example of his deluded mind, given the fact that out of over 60 million people in this country, only 2.7% are Muslim, and far fewer than that actually want Sharia law) makes me disgusted that this hasn’t been reason alone to deport him already.

Inciting hatred, racism, encouraging acts of terrorism, apart from which he has probably attempted to carry out a bombing in his own country, are all crimes which justify a trial to me, no matter where he is. Of course, other criminals like one-time Mars bar shop lifters and people who are doing 32 in a 30 are obviously in need of a trial and conviction sooner. And it also doesn’t take ten years for such ‘criminals’ to be sentenced. Qatada needs to go away, now. What really annoys me is despite all his completely unjustified hatred for our government and laws, he is actually taking advantage of them to their very best – not only by obviously using good lawyers (why they would want to represent him is another question) and exploiting ‘loopholes’ in the system, but making it work in his favour. And this is the hypocrisy of it all. Genuine RAGE.

As for the ECHR’s ‘argument’ for not sending him to trial. Well… As far as I’m concerned, if he thinks he has the right to sentence other human beings to death and pain and suffering for no obvious reason and to enforce his own backward and completely destructive opinions on other human beings against their will and without trial, then, I don’t care how illiberal it is, he forgoes his own rights which would otherwise be available for more ‘normal’ people. It disgusts me that the ECHR let any appeal ride in the light of the effects of terrorism. Ultimately I’m not really bothered what happens to him when he gets to Jordan, so long as he gets some kind of punishment for the things he’s done and the things he encourages I’m happy. It may be a slightly awkward concept, but I am tolerant and accepting of most people, except for most of those who are extremely intolerant.

For the need of avoiding an essay-length post, I will only mention the following bits briefly: that twat Al-Megrahi responsible for the Lockerbie Pan Am flight 103 bombing was allowed to leave his life imprisonment basically at his request. And then there is Christopher Tappin, extradited to the U.S. on grounds that he sold batteries to alleged terrorists, unknowingly, against his rights and the rights of his family, etc., since they had, and still have no idea why. Begs the question why Qatada has firstly not been extradited to Jordan and why the U.S. has not taken an interest and extradited him, where he’d have no room for appeal whatsoever, apparently, going on Christopher Tappin’s case? I can’t stand that kind of inequality and injustice. I think a massive kick up the arse with a huge boot that sends him flying in to Jordan by himself is what’s needed.

Personally, depending on my mood, I’d like to purchase a large calibre sniper rifle, get some basic training and some practice, then give him a clean shot between the eyes. If anything it’d get rid of that stupid untrimmed and untamed beard and that constant blo*dy irritating self-satisfied smirk from his face. After all, it would take him out of this world he hates so much. But where would be the justice and humanity and that?

Despite all he’s done and all the crap he deserves to be jailed for life for and suffer for, he needs to learn that actually there are people out there who are willing to tolerate – even, accept – and give supposed ‘scum’ a fair and equal chance.

Rant over.

________________________________________

Interesting links:

http://spiderplantland.co.uk/get-him-on-a-damn-plane-and-out-of-here/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17781831

Edited 4/5/2012

What the horizon brings…

hmmmSo they say blogging is dead. I don’t know why, but they do. This is not a particularly good fact to learn when one is just starting out in the endeavour of blogging. Of course, if every blogger is like me then this fact is perfectly understandable. After strangely waking up at 8am on a Sunday, which is a very unusual occurrence, the  day has passed me by without little activity. Except for my continuous mental reminders that “I should probably write some more of my blog, since I haven’t written on it for a while and I have no excuse not to, now I’ve finished essays and am just blobbing around,” and the occasional cup of tea, snack and various other miscellaneous activities, I have done not much else, as usual. Basking in the feeling of relief that completed essays bring, it is only now, in my opinion, writing this blog post, that I am doing an important task. After all, it’s out there to be judged by people like yourself.

Yes, this one’s more life and times reflective drivel, I’m afraid, since life seems to be happily flowing forward quickly and easily without obstruction or particular phases of excitement, at the moment. Once again, it is nearly the end of the term, essays are finished early, Easter break is on it’s way, and I’m still longing for the long warm summer, in which I can finally shake off the noose of this marvellous student financial deprivation. But for this to happen, I have to work. Which is the cruel crushing irony. Rather than taking a well earned break (of course) over Easter I will – most likely – be working to pay for the overdraft I’ve delved into this term and to pay for the car insurance renewal, which, happily, is not bound to be quite so astronomical this time, just maybe atmospheric. It never bl*ody ends. My dreams for genuine prolonged periods of doing bugger-all seem to still be beyond the horizon yet… Even far off are the realisation of my dreams of attending music festivals for a weekend or so and adventurous UK road trips…

Sunset horizon

A sweet horizon at sunset. The only interesting and relevant image I could find for my blog.

It’s not all boring and arbitrary though. Fortunately this week I’ve had some sort of guidance about which direction I should head in to that vast, mysterious and bright horizon. For a long time I’ve been interested in a few main ‘fields,’ if you like, including motoring, aviation, and as you’d expect, writing. After only half an hour of official ‘careers advice,’ I had officially come to the conclusion that writing was the way forward to somehow indulge in all my interests, precisely how that indulgence will manifest itself is another thing. So, that’s good, I suppose.

Sigh. I realise how I’ve literally just typed out my memory recollection and endless thought streams, hammering my laptop keyboard mercilessly. How boring. But life goes on.

Well, since it is now pretty much official that I should take up writing in some form or another at some point in my life, I will say I haven’t forgotten about that short story I intended to finish five weeks ago. If I manage to bring myself to not do ‘nothing’ this week, I will have a modest crack at finishing it, at some point. Rest assured, you will know if I do, most likely.

So, my first lesson about writing learnt today: find some genuinely interesting material to write about.  Let’s hope I do for next time, hey? So much for keeping blogging alive.

Nevertheless, now to indulge in my passion for motoring. Bring on Top Gear, the only interesting event on my student Sunday nights.

Laters all.

Excitement and apathy

Crikey, it’s been a while since I last wrote, a whole month in fact. Apologies to those who faithfully follow my blog (haha), I’m sure you’ve been eagerly pining for my return.

Well, this is only a quick one, I’m afraid. I won’t do you the injustice of not explaining my absence though. My reasons are fairly pathetic, ironic, or valid, depending on who you are. Basically it is that time of the term again where essays need to be written. Those arseholes of essays. The use of the not-so-harsh-as-one-that-might-have-been word ‘arseholes’ there might have been because I was seeking a word better tuned to my new found love-hate relationship with the relentlessly merciless intellectual enlightenment form. Yes, I did just imply I don’t actually have too great a problem with essay writing. Why? It isn’t just because the only thrills in my life at the moment are looking forward to the time when the central heating comes on, or when I discover a half-drunk stale Fosters buried in the fridge. Although I am currently writing two four-thousand word essays at a time, which might initially sound like an extraordinary act of insanity, I promise I haven’t resorted to jumping from a fifth storey window or drunkenly crashing my car into a lake yet. This is because I have worked out an ingenious and highly efficient system to in fact minimise the impact essay writing has on my life. Because after all, I’m so busy all the time, being a student and all.

I am going to bore you with the details, since I am ironically procrastinating writing essays today. Ha. According to my somewhat limited mathematical skills, I have calculated that if I start writing a month before the deadline I only need to write 133 words per essay per day. This means I can ramble and bullsh*t for all of about half an hour (it does take that long to write that many words thanks to having to sift through piles of text to try and find some random quote from some radical intellectual which instantly makes personal arguments completely valid, no matter how much other bullsh*t they contain) and then continue on with my life. As it happens, I normally average more than this per day, meaning I have nearly finished both essays, some twenty days before the deadline. Yesss.

Despite this, this time around I have picked questions which I actually find more stimulating than watching anti-climb paint dry. For one module, I am writing about people who write about writing itself, which, after five minutes or so, makes my head explode. For the other, I am writing about the butch-ness of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in the Alien films. At least with regards to her nearly being semi-naked and waltzing around shooting phallic sadistic aliens with massive guns in the first two films, nearly makes something else explode. Say no more.

I can see this is quickly becoming a not-quick post, but I’m not going to go back and edit it or delete bits, because, quite frankly, you should be interested in every aspect of my massively exciting life. With regards to the short story, I will admit it has rather taken a place on the back burner, writing 266 academic words of an essay a day takes a phenomenal toll on one. It will, inevitably be released, and it will, inevitably, no matter how much time I end up spending on it, be utter rubbish.

Anyways, there’s not much more to say… of course, having about -£500 in the bank, I don’t have much else going on, although last Friday night, of which I mostly cannot remember, must have been a particularly exciting night, because on Saturday  I awoke in an incredibly awkward contorted position and aching in places I never even knew could ache.

Perhaps I should go back to watching anti-climb paint dry after all.

When something next happens in my hectic and chaotic life, you’ll be the first to know.

Peace.