In Defence Of Disagreement Part Two

Intelligent debate not insults


Continued from previous post.

Continue reading “In Defence Of Disagreement Part Two”

In Defence Of Disagreement Part One

Intelligent debate not insults

I started this blog in January 2017 and have written over a hundred posts since then. In my first ever post I gave three reasons for adding yet another voice to the cacophony that is the internet…

1/ the general coarsening of debate in the second decade of the twenty-first century;

2/ the seeming triumph of emotion over fact;

3/ the return and apparently unstoppable advance of aggressive, authoritarian religion and the scarily right-wing religionists who demand RESPECT for their beliefs.

This post is my way of summarisng what I believe after nearly a year of writing this blog before I take a break over the Christmas and New Year period. I am sure my impending visit to the UK will give me lots of things to write about in 2018. The unfortunate truth is that the things I objected to in January are still the prevailing problems in politics in the Western world. Continue reading “In Defence Of Disagreement Part One”

We Cannot Afford The Super Rich

The economic system is broken

A couple of recent events have inspired this post. On another blog that I read and occasionally contribute to, a poster was writing about Rylan Clark-Neal, a person of whom I have scant knowledge. I recall seeing a cutout of Clark-Ryan when I was in a bookshop in the UK last year. When I asked the lady behind the counter who he was, she started talking about X-Factor and I stopped listening. Apparently, Clark-Ryan finished fifth in X-Factor and he has since appeared in such delights as Celebrity Big Brother, Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, This Morning, The Xtra Factor and Up Late with Rylan and Babushka. He played the part of an air steward in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and has also been on BBC Celebrity Masterchef. For all this he has amassed a fortune in the region of £4.5 million!

The second event happened when shopping in my local supermarket. On the past two or three occasions I have been shopping for groceries I have been accosted by a member of staff asking if I wanted to make a donation to cancer research. Whilst nonentities like Clark-Ryan can gain huge fortunes for doing zero work, vital medical research has to be funded by turning minimum wage supermarket employees into chuggers.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the economic system in 2017. Continue reading “We Cannot Afford The Super Rich”

Identity Politics And Solipcism

The narcissism of ever smaller difference

Australia has voted this week to legalise same sex marriage. Or rather, the results of a voluntary, non binding postal survey have been announced. In the survey, 62% of the 80% of people who voted chose to back the right of same sex couples to marry. This is a crushing victory by any standards. In comparison, on only four occasions in nearly two centuries of popular voting for the US presidency has a candidate gained more than 60% of the ballots cast. The Anglophobic racists of the Scottish Nazi Party swept the board in Scotland in the 2015 general election, winning 57 out of 59 parliamentary seats with 50% of the vote. Both Leave (52%) and Remain (48%) would have killed for 62% of the vote in the 2016 EU Referendum. As poorly-evolved primates who are about half a chromosome away from being chimpanzees, human beings have a natural tendency towards conflict, disagreement and in-group bias. It makes me laugh when I see statistics about how 99% of people in Saudi Arabia are Muslims or read the intemperate rantings of right-wing foamers in the Daily Mail about how the ‘silent majority’ supports them. The former is clearly indicative of an extremely repressive society and the only answer to the latter is ‘No, it doesn’t.’  I repeat, 62% of any vote is a crushing victory. But it is still not enough for some people. Continue reading “Identity Politics And Solipcism”

The New York Attack Update #2

The strange priorities of the media and the Establishment

The Halloween attack by jihadist Sayfullo Saipov has been quietly forgotten by the world’s media (see here for my first post and here for my first update). Meanwhile, the Hollywood and Westminster sex scandals continue apace, dragging ever more people into its ferocious maw of guilt by accusation. As I write this sentence, not one single person has been charged as a result of the accusations that have been all over the media for the past several weeks. The latest person to be accused of sexual harassment is comedian Louis CK, a man of whom I know very little. On the other hand, Sayfullo Saipov is facing federal terrorism charges. I thought that the warped priorities of the media and the Western Establishment could not surprise me anymore – but I reckoned without the Guardian. Continue reading “The New York Attack Update #2”

The New York Attack Update

The strange priorities of the media and the Establishment

I shall not gloat that I was right in just about every one of my predictions about Sayfullo Saipov’s attack on pedestrians in New York. I will admit to being surprised at just how quickly this latest attack by a jihadist maniac has dropped off the radar – quicker even than the failed bomb attack at Parsons Green underground station. The past week has revealed is the strange priorities of the media and those who rule us. Continue reading “The New York Attack Update”

Red Poppies, White Poppies, No Poppies

Another boring media row fuelled by ignorance of history

The traditional holidays in the United Kingdom are based on the agricultural calendar. Beginning with Plough Monday (the first Monday after Epiphany/Twelfth Night), the major celebrations were linked to the farming year – Easter in the Spring, Harvest Festival in the Autumn and Christmas/New Year in the depths of Winter. Most of these festivals have been given a thin Christian veneer but retain many elements of their pagan origin. The only celebration that god botherers don’t seem to have annexed is Halloween, which even in its current Disneyfied, Americanised incarnation seems to have very little to do with Christianity. I am convinced that the British media have a similar calendar and crank out the same stories every year. It’s now late October so it must be time for an argument about poppies. Continue reading “Red Poppies, White Poppies, No Poppies”