Monthly Archives: August 2011
I was thinking about commenting on this yesterday, when I heard about it on the radio. But, as I was leaving the house at the time, I decided agin’ it; surely no-one’s seriously considering this, right?
No-one’s seriously considering putting off fixing the problems in the banking system while we see if those problems ruin us financially. That would be ludicrous. In fact, that would be beyond ludicrous.
It’s sad that there will be no actual response to this poll, and that afterwards the NHS will still have “trained homepaths” on its payroll. Despite the fact that even the doctors who work in the NHS call it “nonsense on stilts”.
I hope that the Guardian is just trying to be inclusionary, rather than actually promoting this crap.
Relatedly, they’re both smart, funny, ginger and hate homeopathy. Zach Weiner and Tim Minchin; I’m just sayin’.
Fox News are a bunch of idiotic, whiny losers. But furthermore, they’re just damned funny. This is them interviewing David Silverman, president of American Atheists, in response to Hurricane Irene, and their inability to imagine that it wasn’t sent their way by a loving, abrahamic god.*
The thing that gets me about this is not that he gives them a pasting. This much is should be obvious; they’re overpaid pandering cronies to the owner of a news company that makes its money keeping everyone just a little bit ill-informed.** Of course a well-informed critical thinker is going to be able argue them under the table.
Nor is it that they are the ones to move away from talking about the disaster, and start talking about why his ideology is wrong. Their second question, after “What do you do [in times of crisis]?”, is “Have you no life outside your own physical self?”. No. No-one does. Despite quick and simple answers, that question has nothing to do with preparations for Hurricane Irene. They even have the balls to claim that he is mocking them with the exact belief that they got him in the room to discuss; he is the president of American Atheists, yet they claim that he is mocking them by saying there is no God
No, what’s weirdest about this is that they’ve had him on before. Many many times. If you google “David Silverman Fox News” you can find plenty of examples of him on their shows, but this is my favourite: the “You KNOW It’s A Myth” billboards.
He’s been on their show a dozen times, and he’s still an atheist. This is such an odd pattern. Do they not learn from experience? Or do they think to themselves “Oh, this’ll be easy – we’ve got him this time!” when they bring him back in for another round. They invite him, attempt to ambush them with their logic, he kicks their ass, and then they reinvite him for more of the same.
It’s pathetic. And funny. Which makes it perfect material for the internet.
* Oh sorry, they don’t think it was sent by a loving, abrahamic god. Nor do they think he could stop the hurricane. Wait, have they redefined omnipotence again?
** Not ill-informed enough that they’d notice at a glance, for example.
I think my response worked well enough. I mean, the average level of inanity and pointless stupidity on this blog/the internet hasn’t increased.
This one scored a high level 4 though.
I’ve been pondering these for a while, and it’s taken me ’til now to realise that yes, this is happening somewhere near where I live. And to think I was warned of this by a yank!
The Secular Europe Campaign is a yearly march upon the streets of London, where a load of people will be pointing out that, actually, for a secular continent, and a world full of lovely rationality and science, people with gold hats and fatuous beliefs hold far to much power over our governments and paedophiles.
Here is Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association, telling you why we could be rocking EVEN harder.
The way to tell if you approve of the march: answer me, are you a fan of these noble aims?
- freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech
- women’s equality and reproductive rights
- equal rights for LGBT people in all the European Union
- a secular Europe – democratic, peaceful, open and just, immune to the clandestine influence of privileged religious (or other) organisations
- one law for all, no religious exemptions from the law
- state neutrality in matters of religion and belief
- the privileged status of the churches under Article 17 of the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union)
- the special status of the Vatican in the United Nations
- state-funded faith schools
- the economic privilege and political influence of the Vatican
If so, then support the march.*
Oh wait, we’re a generation of celebrity-obsessed nutters. Then try this: Richard Dawkins, Robin Ince, PZ Myers and PHILIP PULLMAN all say “Hell yeah!” to these shenanigans. What right do you have to complain now?
Turn up, if you live in Dick Whittington’s hometown, and make an effort even if you don’t. I know I’m going to.
The march is on the 17th of September. I’d better get to banner writing!
* If not, you’re on the wrong blog.
TV Tropes is a wonderful site. You may have noticed that I pot-hole there a lot. It is also annoying the hell out of me at the moment. Huge changes are afoot, and not for the better.
For a definition of what a trope is, here’s what the site itself describes them as:
Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.
That will have to do for a definition, as I can’t be bothered to go into any more depth. If you don’t understand from that what it is, then I suggest you google “TV Tropes” and whatever your favourite TV show is. That’ll give you a better idea than anything else I could say.
And if you don’t understand, and don’t want to, then you won’t want to know what’s being ruined and shouldn’t look beneath the fold.
Oh, it’s you. It’s been a long time. How have you been? I’ve been really busy being dead.
Sorry about that, some of my initialisation programming just kicked in. Apparently, some of my background processes were nicked from the Aperture Science Research and Testing Facility; who knew? Well, while I’m reinitialising, I promised you I’d listen to some Traffic this week, didn’t I?
I didn’t? Well, I’m going to anyway. Here is John Barleycorn Must Die, off the similarly-named 1970 album by Traffic.
Increasing marginalisation of students. Riots in the capital and beyond. Unemployment* rates through the roof.** We can all surely agree that we’re in a bit of a state here
Well, that’s not the entireity of the article. Maybe I’m simplifying it a bit too much. There’s very little beer, and very much talk about the loans required to make beer on a large-ish scale. Apparently, such loans for such fledgeling companies as The Fun Fair Brewery are incredibly hard to get at. Even brewers, which I don’t need to be told are stable sellers,*** are having trouble getting hold of the money to set up pubs and the like.
I can’t help but think that this is a bit of an overreaction to one of the causes of the recession. You see, in my feeble, unfinancial world, the recession happened because banks were loaning people too much, and couldn’t recoup their losses. And now we’re in a situation whereby the economy is incapable of recouping it’s own losses and digging itself out of this mess caused by these banks because the very businesses that would get us out of this don’t have the loans to get started. They just can’t seem to get the balance right.
Seriously, it’d be nice to one day read an article with the headline “Financier Saves Kitten From Tree” or “Banker Exposes Fraud And Incompetence”. Anyone hoping to go into banking or accountancy, please make that your aim. You know, while you’re employed, yet cannot find a decent pint.
* Including my own, but that’s either beside the point or a central part.
** And yet still grossly misread by the news and politicians alike.
*** Can you think of a time, recession or not, when people don’t need vast quantities of beer. Recession? Drown your sorrows. Business boom? Celebrations are in order. I’m sure that career-wise, brewers are about as stable as farmers and snipers.
Well, I’ve only been back a day, and already the internet has something wonderful for me, and by extension for you.
SMBC Theater had a kickstarter page. SMBC Theater had a target of $15,000. SMBC Theater broke that target over it’s knee by getting donations up to $75000! Now we get an awesome space opera comedy webseries written by Zach Weiner and James Ashby!
And, in their total and abject gratitude, they have released their DVD, “SMBC Theater goes to Hell” for free on youtube. And now I’m posting it here.
I can’t say how excited I am about what they have planned. I love SMBC, and have been totally thrown by how awesome SMBC Theater has been these last few years. And the concept of an actual show done by them is just more than I could hope. So, let’s see some fireworks!
Ah, sweet relief! I can now repost Invader Zim pictures on the internet. Oh, how I’ve missed the internet!
Indeed, I’ve had a wonderful time away, but I’ve missed a lot of things. Technology, mobile phones, the capacity to get to places without an hour long bus journey. But I’ve realised, now, though, that there are some things I haven’t missed. And chief among that list are adverts and TV.
I’m not going to name anything, but just sitting here whilst I can hear the TV is making my blood boil. So crass, so intellectually poor. If it’s not a moron telling other morons that they’ve got the W-element*, it’s massive corporations trying to make more money.
Also, it’s all so sublimated. Watch any advert break, and if you can work out what 30% of the ads are for before they’re over, then consider yourself lucky. (That is, unless it’s on the other end of the spectrum, and is just just yelling the brand name at you over and over.) I know a couple of smart kids who are still totally inured into this whole culture, to the extent that they actually play a game where they see who can work out the brand first. I find that a little soul-crushing.
The other problem is that, since pretty much no-one on reality TV – see “most TV” – has either been trained to be on TV or has any aspirations other than getting famous, the result is that none of them have a vocabulary more detailed than what you might need to go down the pub. You get people up on stage who are clinically incapable of using the right verb or tense, because they don’t care. And then everyone else “realises” that it’s ok to get on TV and be a moron, “cos then your tellin it like it is.”
This is why I don’t watch TV. The world is full of “celebrity” idiots with poor grammar teaching people to talk like them, good songs being abused to shill a product, and advertising companies convinced that selling insurance is an art form.
P.S. I know this all sounds really elitist, but is it too much to ask that there be fewer programs that are just formulated along the lines of “let’s get some ‘ordinary’ people in front of a camera and see what happens”. Surely that’s not too much to ask.
* Still not naming anything.