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.

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How else would you have it?

Grumpy old man smoking cigarYeah yeah, I’m writing about Christmas, but, what else? My only plan for today is to lose my self awareness in a bout of celebratory drinking later this evening.

It’s that time of year again when we can all lay about carelessly eating and drinking to excess such that we soon resemble trembling grotesque greasy blobs of shameful animals. What really is the true ‘spirit’ of Christmas is just this snowballing chain reaction of complacency as most people are more content than usual, perhaps because of the anticipation of the excitement of an entire week off work, or not giving a toss about exams, essays or revision, or then there’s the thought of endless hours of cheesy but somehow feel-good Christmas movies starring such talent as Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler. Then of course, it goes without saying, the consumption of gallons of cheap Stella, Carlsberg, some deceivingly-claiming-to-be-up market champagne, or cheapo wine from bottomless cardboard cartons, and then of course there’s the stuffing one’s face full of molten-hot mince pies, sausage rolls swimming in their own Olympic sized pool of boiling fat, Christmas cakes and puddings crammed full with bullets for raisins. All this lovely little lot and so much more fills us with a sense of fulfilment when we can have indulgent fun and stick a finger up to the elements who try to make us miserable at this otherwise depressing time of year, when the wind whips the rain in our face or the ice repeatedly tries to make us face plant the pavement.

So what does irritate me, among the few things that do so at Christmas, is people who still insist on being moody pain in the arse complain-persistently-on-War and Peace-proportions Scrooges. Why can’t they be very slightly positive for just one month of the year; is that too much to ask?! What specifically ticks me off are those people who are angry at everything in society, and insist that

society is deeply flawed and that all  human beings are plainly shit. Sigh. O, person with a chip on your shoulder, why must you be that

Society memes

Nothing's perfect. It is what you make it.

way? What they fail to realise, as I have said before, is that we are only animals, and that animals can only do so much, and as goes the course of life, animals can never be perfect, so why should that entity that surrounds our individual existence and our habitat and all other human beings and what they do and don’t do, which we have come to call ‘society’ be perfect? The fact they question the ‘perfection’ of society and the actions of other humans goes entirely against their beliefs on the human race: if humans aren’t perfect, then why would society be too? Stop bitching, it doesn’t make any sense.

Then ask them what they would rather have… Communism, Socialism? Yeah, good one (claps sarcastically). I’d far rather have someone tell me what to do and shoot me in the head if I don’t do it than make my own choices and not be shot in the face, obviously. This country, as most other civilised (yes, we are – would you like to live in North Korea, or Zimbabwe… no, didn’t think so) countries are, is a Capitalist Democracy. Apart from the fact this is a cumulative result of centuries of cultural, political, economic and religious and scientific development – hence, part of the natural course of the progress of civilisation –  it is pretty much the fairest and most rational kind of society. Yes, there is corruption, manipulation and fixing throughout any Capitalist culture, but it is the system which is most analogous to the human conditions of evolution and survival. It rewards those who work, and doesn’t reward those who don’t. Simple. Democracy is there to help regulate the Capitalist system and help those out who do struggle. You can think of them as a bull and a lion pulling a sled together. Fundamentally it’s all about what we do with ourselves and how we do it, with Capitalism being the what and democracy the how. Anyways, enough with the laborious technicalities. Today, our country is within the 15.6% of all countries worldwide which are truly ‘Full Democracies.’ Quite astonishing. There are those who take an instant dislike to anyone who shows any inclination to desire acquiring money. This is ironic, since in reality we all want some amount of money. What we need is another matter, but we all need it. I cannot really think of better way of representing the value of the trade between labour and goods or services which shares equal value with everyone… Pine cones? Meatballs? Fig leaves? Grains of sand?

Ultimately, as far as I’m concerned, society is never ‘perfect,’ neither are animals and hence humans. So stop bitching about it and strive to make or extract from it what you believe is ‘perfect,’ or close to that definition. If everything was ‘perfect,’ then life would be really, really, really boring, and then you really would have a reason to nag your vocal chords to shreds, presumably about the ‘perfect’ society being flawed in its very existence. Do you see the sense?

Merry Christmas all.

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Stuff I used for facts:

http://www.spectacle.org/496/demo.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_index (yes, I did use Wikipedia. Some of my lecturers refer to it too, you know?)

What happened to opinions?

My free speech is not negotiable

First and foremost, it’s the first of December, so pinch punch and Merry Christmas in advance. Second and next foremost, if you say TLDR to this then so be it. It’s just another rant.

There are certain people who, no matter what, just make you feel good, make you laugh, and forget all the cantankerous deliberately obnoxious awkward twats who try their hardest to make you want to punch them right in the middle of the face. Then there are those pleasures in life that nothing else compares to. Except better pleasures. But those things that make you go ‘ahhhhh, this is the life’ when all that feel-good feeling bubbles up inside you and it’s akin to being wild and carefree when drunk, but you are in fact completely sober and still have all the mental stability that that brings… Unless of course, being drunk is your greatest pleasure, but I often find the humiliation during the aftermath – often comprised of an empty wallet and discovering terrifying images on Facebook – and the aftermath itself, makes this an expensive and less exciting pleasure pursuit.

Some of you might think it’s boring and dull and an ageing cliché but one of my greatest pleasures, ever since the dexterity in my hands allowed me to manipulate a Game Boy, is motoring (more-so since I was legally entitled to cause mayhem on the real-world roads). Yes, that metal rough-cuboid with four wheels at each corner and an internal combustion engine covered in oil and grease and lube and which can go like the clappers, pounding every track, and burn rubber like there’s no tomorrow is one of my greatest pleasures. (I did warn you I’d talk about cars). I have a Citroen Saxo, and no, I am not a chav, nor do I particularly enjoy most other things from France. It is a decent car – when not twatted about in or douched up so much it looks like a storm-troopers head – and when, at a time when a rare opportunity allows, I can slam my foot to the floor, even in a measly 1.1 with 60HP, I do get a little bit excited with myself.

Combine the two and you get Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. Literally the greatest show on Earth. It combines the fresh air of free-spirit and free speech with the freedom and thrill of driving and the engineering that makes it happen. That is why I like it. And this is what leads me neatly on to my subject of topical discussion. So, I don’t know if anyone knows or cares about the comments Clarkson made about the  public sector protests on The One Show, and incidentally I don’t know if anyone cares about the whole public sector strikes thing anyway, but it seems to me all those people who are getting over-excited are rather missing the point entirely. They have completely taken it out of context. In actual fact Clarkson was making a fair and entirely uncontroversial point about the BBC being impartial and not being biased, and exploring both sides of the story, which is exactly what they do do, and exactly what Clarkson did. Watch the video here and see for yourself: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15977813

See what I mean? If you couldn’t be arsed to watch it, he specifically said – actually undermining what he says next more than anything – “we have to balance it though don’t we? ’cause this is the BBC.” Hmm… well isn’t funny how those who want to find any way of attacking him, like the 9/11 “de-bunkers,” miss vital information? Like for example him justifying his reasons for saying exactly what he was about to say beforehand, in opposition to what he said prior to that. He said it with a jokey demeanour: it was in jest for Christ’s sake.  Not only that, but he actually said it to make a point, that doesn’t mean it was his point. For those who conveniently lost thier hearing for part of the interview, he said something along the lines of “it’s fantastic,” talking about the fact that roads and airports were far less busy. Of course, some might say that he was saying it in a satirical manner, indeed, he was… so apply the last part of the comment to the correct context, and it will be realised that everything he said had no direct meaning at all; there is no need to go all shocked and surprised and condemning and saying “I am holier than thou always saying exactly what I mean and never having a joke because I’m too serious-grumpy-face all the time.” Also, I’m sorry, but isn’t one of the main reasons these protests are going ahead – which directly speak against government policy – our right to free speech? This is of course something many take for granted, otherwise, they would also see that Clarkson – if it was his actual opinion– is also exercising this right. As for that woman in Unison comparing him with Gadaffi… what? I’m not even going to go

Gadaffi and Clarkson

Hmm... I guess there might be a vague similarity in their hair?

there. If Clarkson had the same political power to casually carry out the punchline of a joke then I have the same power to gather all life-endangering mobility scooters, have them flown out to a remote mountain, and exploded into orbit by a 50 Megaton nuclear device.  Get real. He might have even been making the very point to highlight there isn’t just one side of this argument. It just seems quite hypocritical to me; all these people want financial freedom and such in retirement after working most of their lives, like everyone else, but I’m sure they don’t want the “oppression” some of them might suggest the government imposes. If Clarkson is sacked, this will only contribute to any further reputation of this country being “oppressive,” whilst they will call it the “right” to justice.

Don’t get me wrong, assuming he might believe in what he said, I don’t necessarily agree with Clarkson (although I can appreciate both sides of the argument), but I’m not shocked that he said it either, firstly because it’s Clarkson making his usual fatuous remarks, and secondly because it’s blindingly obvious that something like this is going to create fields of opinion poles apart. If the government got as angry with that lot about speaking out as they are with Clarkson there would be no room whatsoever for peaceful protest. Also, I am intelligent and not hate-filled enough to take and utterly fubar the context in which he said his oh-so-horrific comment.

That, people, is just my opinion, it doesn’t make it fact. It has just the same value and legitimacy as the next person’s different opinion. Get over it.