The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue)

Resplendent in Newspeak and Doublethink.

Got this in the post today….

From Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Clacton (and trouble-making back bencher), I received this letter this morning in response to my email to him regarding my objections to the State visit of the Pope. It’s not much, and honestly I doubt he really did raise anything. At least he responded.

I voted Liberal Democrat.

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September 22, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Life | Leave a comment

‘Relief-O-Matic’, Bloomsbury Theatre

What a great show it was. The last night of the Proms for atheists. Three hours of excellent comedy and poignant speeches, and all for £15 (of which all proceeds were going to AIDS charities in Africa). Compered by Robin Ince and Nick Doody, it was stimulating mix of comedy relevant to the Pope’s upcoming visit to the UK, in juxtaposition with thoughtful, strong and incontrovertible evidence of the cataclysmic cover-up in the Catholic Church of child abuse cases, the indignant refusal to accept that the use of condoms prevents the spread of AIDS & HIV, the rampant homophobic and mysogonistic attitudes of the clergy, from Pope Benedict downwards and so on.

To be more specific, these are THE CHARGES:

  • Opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of AIDS
  • Promoting segregated education
  • Denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women
  • Opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people
  • Failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.
  • Rehabilitating the holocaust denier bishop Richard Williamson and the appeaser of Hitler, the war-time Pope, Pius XII.
  • As for the guests, we were in for a treat. Aside from Ince and Doody, the comedy came from Tim Minchin (the ‘surprise’ guest!), Ed Byrne, Natalie Haynes, Tony Hawkes, Horse & Louis, Richard Herring, Andy Zaltzman and the BHA Choir, who gave a rousing rendition of ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred’. Peppered between these acts were passionate, stirring and emotional speeches from Johan Hari, Ben Goldacre and Peter Tatchell, who is spearheading the ‘Protest The Pope‘ campaign and march on Saturday. Whilst it could be argued that last night was somewhat an attempt to preach to the choir, it was an opportunity for those of us against the Papal visit to get together and be in unison, even more so on Saturday where I believe there will be more people in London than those who have bought tickets to see the Ol’Ratzy the Nazi.

    Here are some important links:

    http://www.protest-the-pope.org.uk/

    http://www.humanism.org.uk/home


    September 14, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Life | Leave a comment

    “All Good Things….”

    I was planning to post a sort-of review for Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’, having (finally) caught a showing yesterday. Yet, whilst riding the #74 across St. Osyth Road, heading to Colchester, I discovered something that filled me with an overriding sadness that, even as I write this, still lingers.

    My local ‘video’ store has closed for good.

    I know it sound ridiculous, but I discovered so many of my favourite movies from renting there. Whilst recently it had been a Blockbusters (who I detest. They never stock anything of interest), it was originally a VideoPlus, from where my father got a membership for me so I could get to watch movies like the ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, for example (I clearly remember him renting the “classic” Christian Slater flick ‘Gleaming The Cube’ from there!). When I was old enough I then got my own card and spent hours, and some amount of cash, in there. This continued when, around the late 90’s it became a ‘Choices’. This would become my own little nirvana. For years, they carried such a variety of non-commercial, non-Hollywood, independent and international movies that I dread to think how much I’d have spent in there over the years that followed. I spent so much time in there that it would have been easier to move in and kip out the back than go home. Don’t think I’ll ever forget the weight of the bag of tapes (subsequently discs) I used to walk home with!

    Gillo Pontecorvo’s ‘The Battle Of Algiers’. Guiseppe Tornatore’s ‘Cinema Paradiso’. Matthieu Kassovitz’s ‘La Haine’. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s ‘Delicatessen’. James Mangold’s ‘Heavy. Doug Liman’s ‘Swingers’. Ricky Tognazzi’s ‘La Scorta’. Takeshi Kitano’s ‘Hana-Bi’ & ‘Brother’. John Woo’s ‘Hard-Boiled’ & ‘The Killer’. Curtis Hanson’s ‘LA Confidential’. George Armitage’s ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’. The list of classic movies I discovered in there is literally endless.

    Such a wondrous journey of discovery. Exciting. Inspiring. Endless. I can never replicate that thrill of the walk from my house, up Park Road, onto Upper Park Road and into St. Osyth Road, never knowing what latest treasures I would discover, what foreign or indie flick would become my little secret that no-one else I knew would have even had heard of.

    Yet, “All Good Things….”, as it’s said. About three years or so ago, Choices became the aforementioned Blockbusters and, for a time, I stopped going (my last trip consisted of my buying ‘The Mist’ and ‘The Fly 1&2’ on DVD). By now I had already experienced rental-by-post (did that for a couple of years but nowhere near as fruitful), and my supply of quality movies, suited to my tastes, had pretty much dried-up. I did cave somewhat and sign up to Blockbusters last year but hardly ever used it from then on.

    Now how come a Blockbusters has closed? Is it because of low-cost online stores like Play.com or Amazon? Or maybe because of downloading? Nope, none of these. Simply put, there was the other Blockbusters less that two hundred yards away (where I had work for two months part-time in the early part of the new millennia. It was a crummy job. I think I was hoping for something like ‘Clerks’ but it was nothing near as funny or hip). Once my store fell to the dark side, I guess I knew it was inevitable that it’s time was drawing to a close.

    And so it has. I’m filled with sadness and happy memories. For someone who, in truth, has always been somewhat of a loner at heart, it was my second sanctuary, after my study*. Strangely, it’s harder now, today, to keep up with the array of incredible movies out there than it was ten years ago, thanks to VideoPlus/Choices.

    Oh, as for ‘Inception’, this was my tweet yesterday. Sums it up perfectly:

    “Seen it. Buzzwords: Stunning. Incredible. Complicated. Brilliance. Brain hurts.”

    *My Study. Or ‘Batcave’. Or ‘Fortress Of Solitude’. Or playroom. I’ll post some pictures someday.

    August 1, 2010 Posted by | Film, General Musings | Leave a comment

    Facebook’s gone for a burton………

    I did it. I’m not exactly euphoric, but I am relieved. It was a ambitious leap, jumping from such a colossal bandwagon, but I landed safely.

    This sheep had departed the flock.

    I deactivated my Facebook account this evening.

    Phew.

    I dread to think just how many days, nay, weeks…..christ, months worth of time I’ve wasted reading pathetically irrelevant updates, egotistical opinions, ‘Like’-ing posts and ‘ignoring’ Farmville and CafeWorld requests.

    I guess it came down to a number of things including, but not exclusively, the recent privacy issues surrounding FB. Truthfully, I had over time, allowed a considerable set of wankers and egocentrics full access to my profile. The never-ending problem of adding people you hated at school etc etc.

    So now, it’s the fourteen day countdown. Can’t come quick enough.

    May 14, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    “I’d rather be Irish than anything else.”

    On the eve of that wondrous day known to all as Saint Paddy’s, like many I look forward to spending the forthcoming twenty-four hours rejoicing in my (part) Irish-ness. Having found this on Dara O’Briain’s Twitter feed, I love being from ‘oirish’ stock even more. Co-written by the modern-day Wilde, Neil Hannon, and Thomas Walsh (of  Dublin band, Pugwash),  I proudly present to you:

    (Here’s the link with AUDIO!) http://bit.ly/bXSyX5

    Ireland, Ireland!

    By ‘The Duckworth Lewis Method’

    Ireland, Ireland, damp sod of earth
    lost on the surf of the North Atlantic.
    Ireland, Ireland, mountains and mist,
    Vodka and chips, it’s so romantic.

    Joyce and Heaney, Beckett and Wilde,
    Bill O’Herlihy, Dunphy and Giles,
    Evans, Hewson, Mullen and Clayton,
    Westlife and Jedward the pride of our nation!

    Ireland, Ireland, once we were poor,
    Then we were wealthy; now we are poor again.
    Cows and horses, donkeys and sheep,
    Munster and Leinster, Connacht and ******.

    Chinese, Polish, Africans too,
    Doing the jobs we don’t want to do.
    An Irish stew, a nation of nations,
    Working for peanuts in petrol stations.

    Ireland, Ireland, you are the best
    Place to the west of Wales and Scotland.
    Sometimes it’s heaven, sometimes it’s hell,
    But I’d rather be Irish than anything else.”

    March 16, 2010 Posted by | General Musings | Leave a comment

    Where it all began……

    So, this is my first attempt at running a blog of my very own. I think it appropriate to acknowledge the mission statement:

    ” I hereby promise to post irreverent thoughts and opinions and to recount my journey through various fads and addictions related to my fascination of all that is nerdy and cool.”

    I think that sums it up. I am a fanboy. I make no apologies. Actually, I’m kinda proud of that fact.

    I guess this can be seen as the beta version of my blog. The jumping-off point, if you will. Hopefully, it’ll be more BSG (just kept getting better every season) than ‘Heroes’ (just keeps getting duller with every season). One thing I can guarantee, it won’t be the equivalent of ‘Lost’ (empty and irrelevant at every conceivable level).

    I’m hoping to use this as a means to announce my ponderings on the stuff that keeps me sane, be it movies, comics, music, sci-fi, TV, even sport (beware aggressive postulations on the week-in/week-out performances of Leeds United and London Irish, as well as F1. You have been warned.)

    Why a blog though? Honestly, with the limited Facebook/Twitter update space, I just don’t find them sufficient enough to air my thoughts (adequate space to postulate thoughts was the one benefit of MySpace). So, in a moment of cataclysmic revelation akin to the point Agent Kujan looks at the bulletin board at the end of ‘The Usual Suspects’ and realizes he’s let ‘Verbal’/’Soze’ walk (too soon?), I decided to set this up.

    Well, it’s a start.

    I do have one question.

    Uwe Boll. What’s up with that?

    March 13, 2010 Posted by | General Musings | Leave a comment