A Strange Tale Of Our Times

Why are these things still happening in 2018?

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Religion is odd. Some religious people are very odd indeed. Such is our familiarity with the myths of the Abrahamic faith(s) that we sometimes fail to see just how odd they are. There are people (some as highly-educated as Pope Emeritus Benedict) who believe that a being who has existed forever suddenly and for no discernible reason decided to create the universe; according to some of this being’s more cretinous followers this ‘creation’ happened 6,000 years ago, after the domestication of the dog! Not only did this being ‘create’ the universe, he takes a detailed interest in its denizens and will quite happily condemn them to an eternity of torture for breaking one of his myriad of petty rules,  rules that make little sense unless one has knowledge of the violent and brutally misogynistic societies of ancient Israel and early medieval Arabia.

As I say, odd.

Odder yet is that in 2018 we are still bowing down before the demands of this mythical being’s most demented followers. Continue reading “A Strange Tale Of Our Times”

Freedom Of Speech Is Democracy

The vital importance of language

Words matter. A lot. I think it is fair to suggest that without the ability to speak our species would not have gone from a few thousand poverty-stricken individuals scavenging the remains of lion kills in East Africa to seven billion people inhabiting just about every area of this planet. We can take a look at our closest relatives (chimpanzees, with whom we share about 98% of our DNA) to see what our lives would be like without language. Hyperbole? Almost certainly but a valid thinking point to begin with.

The greatest novel ever written – George Orwell’s 1984 – deals extensively with the importance of language. In the story, the leaders of the ruling party in Orwell’s dystopian future have invented an entirely new language called Newspeak that will make it impossible to oppose their power. Such is the corruption of the language that words start to mean exactly their opposite; the party’s slogan is…

“War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.”

The growth of social media and the power of the internet is creating the same problems Orwell wrote about in his novel. I would like to focus on two words/phrases – one favoured by the foaming right and the other by the pseudo-left. They are ‘political correctness’ and ‘racism.’ Continue reading “Freedom Of Speech Is Democracy”

It’s A Rich Man’s World

The Establishment only care about money

I’d like to start my first post of 2018 by quoting those well-known Swedish philosophers, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson…

“I work all night, I work all day
To pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be
A single penny left for me”

Full lyrics here and video here for those of you who want to relive the 1970s (that’s for you Jeremy if you are reading this).

It has long been my belief that the Establishment in the UK only care about money. Since at least 1976, neoliberalism has dominated the economic ‘debate’ in Britain. Governments of all types – Labour, Conservative and Coalition – have bowed down before the demands of the stock markets, selling public assets at a fraction of their value, allowing social housing to be transferred from council ownership to rapacious private landlords and bailing out banks with billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money when, in their arrogance and hubris, they (deliberately?) crashed the world economy. The fact that the entire Establishment – left, right and centre – is doing everything it can to stop the UK leaving the European Union suggests to me that a lot of very rich people stand to lose a lot of money when (and if) the UK leaves the EU. Continue reading “It’s A Rich Man’s World”

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”

Quote Of The Day #34 Update

Original post here

Credit where credit is due. I have a very low opinion of the so-called BBC and its fellow Establishment shills at the Guardian. I dislike the corrupt denizens of Jimmy Savile House and their ideological bedfellows at Guardian Towers for their arrogance, their hypocrisy and their unthinking Islamophilia. Above all, I dislike their embrace of the poisonous and racist ideology of identity politics. So I was astonished that the so-called BBC choose to run a story that made one of their favourite ‘victim’ groups look bad. Continue reading “Quote Of The Day #34 Update”