Sunday, 2 May 2010

Diana Watch

I said it before, maybe not on here, but if you don't like MIA (A little more on her later) you are wrong. She is fantastic and her songs are brilliant. Her new video, however, is a little, I believe media types would say, edgy. It has been removed from YouTube because of it's nastiness and oh my, it is nasty.
 Judge for yourself,

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on">Vimeo.

 I think that I have become a little bogged down in trying to be serious and informative in the last few weeks and I’m not very good at it. I’m trying to be more light-hearted this week.

Those of you reading this the UK have to go out and vote on Thursday (if you can be arsed, which of course you can) but we haven't cover all the parties.
We all know that there are some fringe parties who have as silly policies such as the Cure (Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality) Party, The New Millennium Bean Party and Ukip.
These people are, however, new at this and, therefore, not so practised at the funny. For proper laugh out loud funny ideas I give you the Monster Raving William Hill Loony party (formerly the Monster Raving Loony Party, they are currently sponsored).
 Some of their policies include,
• All socks to be sold in packs of 3 as a precaution against losing one
• Make it illegal for superheroes to use their powers for evil
• Ban all terrorists from having beards as they look scary
• Change the English symbol of three lions to 3 badgers
• School dinners must be regularly checked for radioactivity
• Add the Loch Ness Monster to the endangered species list
• Dedicated pogo stick lanes on routes to centres of work
• And a 99p pence coin to cut down on change.

Oh come on, those are proper funny. That is years of practised writing right there.

Anyone remember Sarah Palin? She once said something sensible and well thought through. Oh no, my mistake, it was “Drill baby, Drill”.
 Like everything that dribbles out of this barely sentient, moose killing, rabble rousing, gleefully, unashamedly ignorant distorter of facts whose lack of understand of science is revealed every time she opens her mouth (some on Twitter said that I should call her a bigot but wasn't sure if if I'd be forced to go to her house and apologise. Alaska is an awfully long way away), it was designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator in Right Wing US politics, now we can see how wrong she was (although to be fair President Obama did say that they would allow some new off-shore drilling).
 Last week an oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico and now the oil that is leaking from the well has started to arrive on the shores of the US.
 The US Coastguard estimate that 5 times as much oil as first thought is escaping in to the sea. The oil slick currently has a circumference of about 600 miles (970km) and covers about 28,600 sq miles (74,100 sq km) and heading for the delicate eco-systems of the Gulf coast, home to brown pelican, many species of duck, turtles, and whales.
 Many options have been considered for trying to prevent the oil making land fall including booming, literally penning it in, dispersal, spraying chemicals on to it, and, my personal favourite, burning it off. “Mummy can we go and watch the sea burn again today?”
 This disaster has had one very slight upside, the Obama administration has banned any new drilling until a complete investigation in to the explosion, fire and spill. This, however, is seen by the dictionary definition of uber-twat Rush Limbaugh as proof that the Obama people blew up the rig themselves, killing 11 workers in the process by the way, so that they could reverse their decision to allow off shore drilling.

Is Tin Tin racist? Well yes it is. It's depictions of black Africans are fucking awful but should it be banned
  Bienvenu Mbutu, who is from the Congo, is trying to get Tin Tin removed from the shelves in it's home country of Belgium because he claims the Congolese are portrayed as "stupid and without qualities".
 No, of course it shouldn't, as no book or film or pretty much anything else should. Yes it is racist but it is of it's time. This is not cultural relativism (I have learned that this was a folly of my youth, well it's ok because it's their culture) but it does show the genuine attitudes of the that period of history and that's the point, it's a historically document. It shows us what people at that time thought. It may offend our delicate, liberal eyes but that was how it was.
 If you ban this you then have to ban many other proper books (I hate Tin Tin), Sherlock Holmes, Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, all of these have poor racial stereotypes in, as do many, many other books. And were will it end? Then anything that offends various religious groups could be banned (and sometimes is in Britain), then Americans are offended by unflattering portrayals and try and get these things banned. Then before you know it the MIA video at the beginning of today's piece is being taken down from Youtube and an anti-bullying charity is saying that it could promote discrimination against gingers! “Quick! We can be offended and get our names on the news despite the fact that we completely missed the point!”
 Do films about the Holocaust encourage bullying of Jews? Of course they don't, these people are just idiots.

Some Awards now, 
The Award for Slightly Obscure British Sporting Success,

We have a European Mens Gymnastic Champion! Now, this may not be the greatest sporting news you have ever heard, obviously that was Bournemouth getting promoted last Saturday, but Britain has never had one before so very well done to Daniel Keatings. He won Sunday's pommel horse final in Birmingham by edging team-mate Louis Smith into second place.

The Award for Things That Are Unlikely To Work,

Hugo Chavez is now on twitter. That is Hugo “Live TV show that goes on for hours” Chavez. This is never going to work. 140 Characters? Him? This is never going to work. Unless, of course, it maybe one continuous message, typed in by some poor IT assistant, that goes on for tweet after tweet. Like Ulysses broken up into tiny, tiny parts.

The Award for Making Me Fell Uncomfortable For Agreeing With Someone That I Usually Think Is A Bully,

 Damn you BBC! Frankie Boyle made a joke in 2008 on a Radio 4 program called “Political Animal”. The joke went like this “I've been studying Israeli army martial arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well … that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.”
 One person complained. One person. Not a huge amount of people, this was not Ross/Brand, this was not Jan Moir writing homophobic bile, this was one person and the BBC caved in. For the love of Twosh, what is wrong with these people? 
 The person who complained said that the joke was anti-Semitic, which it quite clearly isn't. Criticising Israel is not anti-Semitic; it is having a go at a Country that is illegally occupying the territory of another.
 Mr Boyle has written an open letter to the BBC on the website in which he describes the broadcaster as “now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well-drilled lobbying”. He's get a point there I think.

I want to leave you to your bank holiday weekend (only in the UK) with a song. Because I haven’t had to mention the Catholic Church this week, here is a song dedicated to them. It’s childish and it's rude and it is very, very sweary, Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Tim Minchin's Pope Song,

Have a good week.

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