Archive for September, 2010
Tags: bollocks, burn koran, burn quaran, burn the american flag, burn the stars and stripes, burning quaran, Dove World Outreach Center, koran, Muslim, pastor brian houston, Pastor Terry Jones, Quaran, racism, shouting mobs, tony blair
Today both Tony Blair and Barak Obama were in the news condemning small town Florida pastor Terry Jones for threatening to burn copies of the Quaran. I don’t understand why Channel 4 thought that Mr. Blair was an appropriate person to interview and I don’t understand why Mr. Blair thought he should comment. I suspect that, like a junky who has been in rehab for a while, Mr. Blair’s first taste of fame in the form of his autobiography was so good that he is going straight back on the hard stuff.
On the topic of the book burning: I am against the destruction of all books and specifically religious books as the act is designed to cause offensive and will offend not only the religions nutters planting IEDs in Afghanistan but peaceful Muslims. The pastor should be condemned but America is mot a oppressive dictatorship and so I see no reason for him to be prosecuted. In the UK I imagine that if he were to do this publicly and in a manor designed to cause a “breach of the peace” then he could be stopped or arrested and this sounds about right to me.
Having said that, the news this evening carried pictures of more shouting mobs in Muslim countries burning American flags and this is also offensive and should be condemned.
This leads me to wonder how it is that a unknown American pastor who only threatens to do something can cause two important statesman to wade in to dissuade him while offending American citizens while flag burning goes uncriticised by Muslim statesman.
It seems to me that there is a form of racism going on here. When mobs of idiots burn American flags we are encouraged to think that these are merely ill educated people who have been unfairly provoked. When a daft pastor behaves in a similar fashion we are encouraged to condemn the man as an awful intolerant racist who should know better.
The fundamental racism here is that all white people are well informed, intelligent masters of their own destiny whereas all non-white people are ill educated and at the mercy of events.
This is, of course, BOLLOCKS!
It is instructive to go to google images and type “burning Quaran” and then type “burning American flag”. The obvious conclusion is that it is deemed acceptable to insult Americans but not Muslims.
The American pastor should be condemned of course but in the same breath we should condemn everyone shouting their mouths off in a street protest while burning an American flag. I was told by a Pakistani friend that the shouting mobs who burn American flags are often hired by richer more intelligent people so it would be useful to expose these people to give the lie to idea that the flag burning can be blamed on lack of education.
It would also help if prominent statesman in Muslim countries were as strenuous in condemning insults to Americans as Obama has been in defending Muslims.
I recall the words of an Australian comednien on television recently. He was talking about offense in comedy and he said that it was unreasonable to expect not to be offended. He said something like: “So what if your are offended. Be offended. It’s OK. Nothing’s going to happen. Just be offended.”
I am informed by The Economist that the Disney company are opening schools in China! As if that were not bizarre enough a photograph in the Guardian suggests that they are also running the Russian military. What this could possibly mean I have no idea.
Tags: car chases, Cillian Murphy Tom Berenger, Claire Geare, Dileep Rao, Ellen Page, explosions, Film, film review, guns, Hollywood, Inception, Joseph Gordon, Ken Watanabe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lukas Haas, machine guns, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, movie, movie review, Pete Postlethwaite, Phillip K. Dick, sleep, Tom Hardy
Isn’t it that I’ve seen the new movie Inception this evening?
The trouble with ‘olliwood these days is that they lack subtly. If this were demonstrated only by the way the plot plods along it would be bad enough but it is as if, once completed, the entire movie is then rechoreographed and explosions, car chases and machine guns inserted liberally to compensate for the lack of subtly in the script. I have come to theorise that most mature artistic media become reliant on technique and neglect inspiration and imagination.
OK, that is my pompous criticism out of the way. The story itself is about a bunch of people who can wrap little wrist straps on and become players in other people’s dreams. Hollywood has had this “what is real and what is not?” thread running for a while now inspired by the brilliant Phillip K. Dick. So this is really more recycling of the same ideas as Total Recall and other movies of that ilk.
Having said that the concepts were interesting. The idea of a “motif” as a small object carried and known only to the carrier which could be observed during a dream to determine whether one was dreaming or not was good. The sequence where one level of dream entered free fall and the only member of the team “awake” had to tie the sleepers together and drag them into a lift to be jolted back into life bordered on farce but was entertaining. In the film dream time is longer than reality so that a dream within a dream within a dream meant that an hour became many years, I liked that idea. The team’s planning seemed to leave a lot to be desired and partly consisted of a deliberate and considered plan to race around in a van with 5 sleeping team members in the back while being attacked by numerous protagonists sporting machine guns in cars and on motorbikes. All planned with split second timing of course.
Worth seeing but I’d prefer to see the same story tackled in a more thoughtful way. But then, what do I know.
Walking home Wednesday night about 10pm I noticed a bunch of people dancing in the band stand. Dancing! In the band stand! It sounded pretty much like Salsa or related South American music. Perhaps it was one of these dance classes. What an excellent venue
The latest non story is that William Hague shared a hotel room with an advisor. Sorry, did you phase out there? I’ll say it again: William Hague shared a hotel room with an advisor. Oh and there is a photo of them in the street together and they’re both in a jolly mood. Not sure why I’m telling you this? Well apparently to some people this is evidence of them being gay. Sorry, did you phase out again. Yes, apparently smiling and sharing hotel rooms is a sign of homosexuality……you were distracted….OK, I’ll say it again…of homosexuality.
You ask again why I am telling you this? Well apparently this means that one of them has to resign.
Yes in 21st Century Britain you can be a banker who screws the public for billions or a politician who fiddles his expenses or a chancellor who run the economy into the ground with no come back. But share a hotel room with someone else and you’re in hot water.
Lord Tebbit has said that Hague was “naive at best, foolish at worst”. Lord Tebbit is talking Bollocks!
So here we go………the Labour leadership race. Channel 4 News ran a mini debate between all candidates this evening and fed in some comments from the recently reanimated Tony Blair.
- Diane Abbott
- Ed Balls
- Andy Burnham
- David Miliband
- Ed Miliband
All candidates tried to distance themselves from the Brown / Blair debacle. It seems to me that we have David Miliband as the New Labour continuity candidate which I take to mean spending like an irresponsible old Labour government, supporting big business over the individual while increasing the power of the state to control the population using technologies such as centralised databases, CCTV and GPS monitoring of cars.
Then we have Ed Miliband who has mentioned a 50p tax rate and seems to me more an old Labour candidate. Old Labour is not something I relish with it’s economic incompetence but Socialism is an honourable ideal and at least he is relatively straight about his objectives.
Ed Balls is a mystery to me. That this blowhard babbler could even be considered as a candidate for an MP let alone party leadership shows just how much modern politics relies on spin over policies. I don’t trust the way his eyes open wide when he gets fervent and I suspect that he is lying while trying to look the interviewer in the eye and overcompensating.
I respect Dianne Abbot for independence and saying what she thinks and I agree with her on some policies mostly related to foreign policy. However, I expect that she is one of those Labour MPs who are excellent at fighting injustice but inexperienced and naïve when it comes to managing.
I don’t know too much about Andy Burnham but he seems equally distanced from Blair and Brown and relativity untarnished by the New Labour experiment. Perhaps he could be a good leader. Not that I’d vote Labour for a few terms yet. Labour really need to stop adjusting their policies in order to garner votes and figure out what they stand for.