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Social Status And The Media

Some thoughts on social status, and the old media theorists' idea that everyone will get a share of fame in the future...


Given what someone of my economic status would have to do to warrant a news story, I'd rather the media didn't notice me.
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    Marilyn Manson , "The Dope Show"
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Okay, I'll admit, that was cool.

    I'm not usually a fan of advertising, but occasionally some group of film-nerds-turned-commercial-shills throws together something that I have to tip my hat to.  This is one such item.  References to old films score them some points, and I always get a chuckle out of stories in which some superstitious assumption of supernatural involvement turns out to have a perfectly reasonable (if unlikely) physical explanation. 





Dirt Devil-The Exorcist from MrPrice2U on Vimeo.


    Enjoy.
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    Alien Sex Fiend, "Now I'm Feeling Zombiefied"
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A Bird For The South


     It's come to my attention that Americans living in Tennessee have passed a law making it illegal to publish any image which will "frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress" (source). 

     Note to America:  Tennessee was one of those states that you occupied during the USA's 1846 invasion of Mexico and then never departed from.  Bad enough that you still lay claim to it, did you have to arrange for it to be settled with the least intelligent cast-offs from your society, too? 

     So broadly-worded that it could be applied to anything,  the law isn't likely to withstand a constitutional challenge.  With that in mind, I would like to present the following:
 

You should be seeing an obscene image here.


     Anyone who does not consider this to be sufficiently causing them sufficient fright, intimidation, or emotional distress can comment below, and I'll find something more suitable.  Really, thought, this ought to do it:  there's a C'thulhu and a Japanese person in the same frame, it shouldn't be able to get much more horrifying.

    

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You're still here?


.... 2011-05-22 06:00. I notice that they're still here. Yes, them.

     I was told that they'd be leaving, but they're incontestably still around, looking vacant and disappointed at the same time (which is normal for them... although I'm sure some of them are a little more slack-jawed than usual this morning).

     Thus, I'm forced to draw the conclusion that the rapture has actually happened, all of us of us rational people were passed over and are now, in fact, in hell. The Christians are, of course, demons sent to torment us as per their orders from Satan.

     Now, before you write me off as a delirious prat, Consider the case for that being the state of affairs:
  • there's an Evangelical Christian occupying the Office of Prime Minister of Canada, effectuating policies which marr our quality of life;
  • religious organisations are still picking all of our pockets as per their special "tax-exempt" status;
  • those repugnant street-corner preachers are still outside of the Toronto Eaton Centre, intruding on people's daily routines;
  • it's still illegal to pre-emptively pacify* the aformentioned preachers;
  • those bells at the church down the street from me are still going to be going off like a slow-motion alarm clock very shortly, blighting a perfectly good morning like mould growing on a strawberry.

     Yes, that must be it then: this is actually hell.

     After all, the only other possible conclusion is that they were wildly incorrect in all of their assumptions and calculations, and he was pretty adamant that he had his numbers correct... so that can't be it, now can it?

     I'm going to have fun making this case to anyone I run into who actually thought yesterday was it.

     Next time don't take the doomsayers seriously, suckers. People have been predicting the end since the beginning, and the predictions have always said more about the person making the prediction than they have about the world the predictions are being made about (except for predictions made during a brief period known as the Cold War).  The overwhelming majority of the doomsayers are crazy, and at least a few of them are violent as well.

Walter Joseph Kovacs

If this guy looks legit to you, you may want to re-evaluate your ability to judge a person's character.


     Mocking Christians with the "This is hell" routine will more than make up for the aggravation I feel when I remember that we're going to have to do this all again next year when the 2012ers start up.

     Now, where are my headphones?  I've gotta get some music playing before the church bells start.

     * = in this context, the same way animal-control officers would pacify a rabid wolf.
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Illumination



"There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." ~ Warren Buffett

   Having heard people claim that the Tea Party has established a foothold in Toronto since the election of Rob Frod, and having read that die-hard conservatives are trying to capitalise on the opportunity to start a conservative organisation in Canada along the lines of the American Teabaggers, I think it's important to call attention to what the Tea Party actually stands for.... and this video is quite illuminating (for about a minute or so before it devolves into a very American screaming match between the commentators).

---
"Tea Party founder Judson Phillips recently said that the right to vote should be limited to property owners."

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


---

   Progressives in Canada are going to have to stop being so complacent and get active to preserve what we've won over the years, because the political climate in Canada is about to get a whole lot uglier.
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Ricardo José Neis, attempted murderer...


This is one of those stories that could have turned out very badly...  but once you think about it, actually turned out for the best.

Man accused of speeding into pack of cyclists jailed in southern Brazil

SAO PAULO — A motorist accused of running down dozens of bike-riding activists in southern Brazil has been detained.  A police statement says Ricardo José Neis was arrested in the city of Porto Alegre after a judge ordered his preventive detention....

Collapse )
     ~
From The Canadian Press


     The story on the Brazilian news site "Tera" includes the obligatory stunned-looking mug shot and coverage on Zero Hora contributes further details.  It turns out that Neis is a wealthy, high-ranking banker - a group that hasn't been particularly popular since that economic meltdown a couple of years ago.  Even better, the possibility of attempted-murder charges was prompted Neis' own testimony during his initial questioning by police, who found him to be remorseless and arrogant during the interview.

     I suppose the entire car-free crowd should be thanking him.  No one was killed, but now, every time someone makes the slightest attempt to cook up a coherent-sounding argument about bicycles being a bad idea... the phrase "Ricardo José Neis, attempted murderer" can be used to dismissively shut them up before they've finished a single sentence.  It's not every day that someone hands you a public-relations victory at their own expense. 
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    grateful grateful
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Sticky Notes.


     I've stumbled across an op-ed in the Eagle, a student newspaper at American University, entitled "Dealing with AU’s anti-sex brigade" and written by Alex Knepper.

     It's... well, it's one of those things that has to be read in order to believe that it made it on-line.

     If the author hadn't displayed such resentment toward the idea of date-rape... then maybe I could have taken him seriously.

     I've personally always thought that women should be aware that certain behaviour screams "fuck me" to most men, whether they're aware of it or not, and that women should take precautions against exhibiting such behaviour. However, it's worth noting that I think that way because it only takes one predator in a crowd to make the crowd dangerous.

     As an analogy: if a person leaves their doors unlocked and gets killed in their sleep by one person out of the thousand in their building, then while the departed can be faulted for not locking the door it won't get the killer out of his life sentence. (That's correct, Alex Knepper, I did just equate date-rape with murder. Suck on that).

     If he hadn't painted all feminists, everywhere, as holding the views of the lunatic-fringe extremists within that school of thought... then maybe I could have taken him seriously.

     He makes some good points about the views of those extremists, but it's worth noting few feminists actually hold those extreme views. None of the ones I've ever met have, and come to think of it, they've all been very pro-sex.

     As it is, I can't believe this column got published. If I were his editor I'd have sent this back to him with a sticky-note slapped on the front of it reading "not accurate and not the slightest bit funny either, submit a new column" and that'd have been the end of it.

     I'm not even going to touch the comments.  Some of them are even worse than the article. Never read the comments... 

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    Flesh Field , "Amoeba"
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Gibson Was Correct


   So, I was surfing the net on Friday and came across the website of Forbes magazine, and something jumped out at me.


Anonymous Claims Possession Of Insidious Stuxnet Virus



   Yeah, that.  Not just the story, but where it was on the page.

   The idea of a group of teenagers with a flair for the theatrical making front page news for having obtained a computer virus would have seemed ludicrous a decade ago. Editors would have deemed it worthy of a sidebar in the tech section at most. Today, however, things are different.

   Teenagers have grown up with technology that gives them global reach. Computer viruses capable of shutting down physical manufacturing facilities are being unleashed by military intelligence agencies. Home computers are powerful enough to bring defence contractors to their knees. Combine, shake stir.

   Now a story about teen code-crackers doesn't look the slightest bit out of place up on the front page, next to stories about the overthrow of governments and features on financial tips.

   Forget George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, kids. That Forbes front page looks like it fell out of a graphic-novel adaptation of one of the works of William Gibson.  With all of his stories about the world not ending or falling back on totalitarianism, but simply continuing along exactly the path it has been, he was the one who turned out the most truly frightening vision of the future.

   And as it turns out, he was the one who really had the far-sight thing going on. 
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    Squid Lid , "Seen The Beastie Again"
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The Canadian Reversal



     Some people in Canada have adopted the very American habit of bitching that government censors things, and whining about freedom of expression (I laugh at them because whining about freedom of expression is often the only thing that most of such people do to exercise their freedom of expression, but that's another story).

     So it's pretty funny that when news stories surfaced that claimed that Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" was banned in Canada... everyone was a little surprised to find out that the censor offending everyone's freedom of expression wasn't the government.

     The song was banned by an association of private radio and television stations called the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which has no affiliation with government; in fact, government-owned media aren't even allowed to join the Council.  Comically, this means that the government-owned broadcaster in Canada is free to play the song, while privately-owned stations around the country have joined together to not play it.

     Meanwhile, the CRTC - the big, faceless government agency that actually has the legal authority to censor media - is opposing the Council's decision.  They've asked the Council to please review its decision and are is setting up a panel to investigate why independent media outlets have voted not to exercise their freedom of expression in this case - sort of like someone calling a vet when they notice that their dog isn't moving.

     If you weren't completely disillusioned with freedom of expression before, you should be now.  In capitalist America, bank hobs you.  In capitalist Canada, independent media gags itself. 
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Democracy's a bitch, ain't she?



Shopping with guns
by THANE BURNETT, QMI Agency
April 24, 2010 2:00am

NEW BERLIN, Wis. - There's some bother near the broccoli, but the concern is not from customers, who seem oblivious to armed people moving through their supermarket.  The tension is from staff, who track the armed duo and the journalist who's in pursuit.  Neither holds a permit for their loaded guns, but no sirens wail.  Instead, a manager moves in. It's not the guns he's concerned about, but rather the journalist's camera.  Once reassured, the manager breathes a sigh of relief, before warning: "Please, just don't video any of the empty bread shelves. Looks bad."

Norman "Griffon" Lapierre, of Saint-Constant, QC, has four permits to carry a weapon in the U.S.  "The Americans trust me enough, but my own country doesn't," he says.  His group says only 13 concealed gun permits were allotted in Ontario in 2008.  "You can't tell me not more than 13 people in Ontario (fear) their life is in danger," Lapierre, a 54-year-old grandfather and vocational school teacher, argues.  He's hoping for a change to allow more Canadians to carry concealed weapons. 

Source.


     Silly Yanks. Carrying on about their "right" to bear arms, but never stopping to read about the Freikorps.  Permissive firearms laws make it very easy for private armies to form, and while Americans claim that that will keep the government honest, in recent history it has only caused the reverse to happen.  The most famous examples were the Freikorps armies in Germany, which acted on behalf of the Nazis.  Far from keeping a government honest, guns in the hands of civilians actively reinforced a corrupt one in that case, by backing up a far right-wing party.  Sort of like what's happening in the USA at the moment.



America, classy as always.


     The Canadian referenced in the article is far more sad.

     Normster, if you're reading this, I can correct some of your misconceptions:

     Not more than 13 people in Ontario have a legitimate fear that their lives are in danger.  I know of some other people who feel the need to carry a piece... but each one of them is either a current or former drug trafficker, or a local Mafioso.  I'm rather under the impression that "the son of that guy I whacked so as to get into our thing might come after me" isn't a legitimate reason.  Actually, I think that's the opposite of legit.

     Living in an area where such people are my neighbours, I really have reason to think that having a concealed side-arm would make one more of a target, rather than deter anyone from coming after you.  You see, thugs in my area have pre-emptively opened fire on uniformed police officers in the past. I can't imagine they'd hesitate to fire on openly-carrying civilians while they were at it - handguns fetch enough money on the black market to make a murder charge worthwhile, and really, once a ganger is wanted for taking pot shots at a cop, shooting civilians is a small matter.  It's like adding barbecue sauce to a Bacon Explosion:  it's a garnish.

     Concealed carry isn't going to do much good either, because with enough experience a ganger can recognise the bulge under the clothes for what it really is.  Those Texans wearing slightly baggy jackets should be told that they aren't fooling anyone.  Much like how urban kids wearing camouflage fatigues as street wear can be told "we can still see you!"

     The only benefit anyone would derive from concealed carry in Canada would be me:  Schadenfreude is one of my hobbies.  The good laugh I'd have when weapons owners started being targeted specifically because they were carrying would more or less offset the expense of the Kevlar I'd start wearing just in case of stray bullets.

*shakes head*

     Gun nuts can blame the Canadian government for "taking their freedom away" all they want, but it is Canadian citizens who have denied the privilege of open carry to people here, not government.  Canadian governments are democratically elected, and deny the freedom to carry firearms because they've been instructed by voters that that freedom is not to be allowed under Canadian law.

     Hell, of the two political parties that supported it in principle, one went bankrupt after it was reduced to two seats in our Parliament, and the other couldn't get a majority of the seats even with it's chief rival flailing about leaderless and with no plan.

     The latter managed to achieve a minority government simply for lack of other right-wing parties for conservatives to vote for, and couldn't even get restrictions on long-barrelled guns rescinded, let alone change the law to allow for handguns to be openly carried.  Sadly, Normster seems to have missed that little nugget of information, probably because he's spending too much time applying for permits in a foreign country.

     Take a hint, Norm:  it's not that your government doesn't trust you, it's that the Canadian people don't.
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    Nine Inch Nails , "Me, I'm Not"