As of my last (half-way point) update, I was barely a third of the way to my target. Which gave me two choices, really – either resign myself to failure (and baldness), or pull out all the stops.
I really, really don’t want to be bald.
First order of business was completing Dishonored. Which took fucking ages - and still didn’t net me the full 100% gamerscore (because you have to complete it at least twice to do that… once as a giant hippy, and once as a homicidal psychopath who butchers his way through the city. I’ll let you guess which one I chose)
I also skipped the incredibly faffy – and more importantly time consuming - DLC¹ challenges, which meant Dishonored was put to bed with a mere 840 gamerscore.
840 points that took me almost a week to claim. Bumholes.
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There is a pernicious kind of argument which continues to crop up online, and it is the suggestion that there no such thing as real poverty in the UK.
Often there’s a comparison with Africa – because poor and starving people in the UK don’t look like the images we see on NSPCC adverts, so therefore they don’t exist, right?
“Are you telling me people in this country are going hungry? Seriously? I really have great trouble believing that. I don’t think people in this country go hungry. Are these people buying lottery tickets? Are they maybe buying the odd cigarette? I’d like to have some of these starving people in Britain produced.
There are real people starving in the world, and they’re not in the United Kingdom”
- Edwina Currie October 2011
This is a wholly facile argument. The existence of poor people in African countries does not negate the existence of poor people in the UK.
Last week I complained to the BBC about – in particular – BBC Breakfast’s appallingly pro-UKIP coverage (this actually got a bit worse after I sent my complaint, as anyone was watching will testify).
I got a response this morning:
In ‘catching up with several years ago on the internet’ news, I’ve finally got around to implementing a social login button – so you can login and comment using your existing social media accounts (like Twitter, Google… even Steam)
You may notice that there is a glaring omission in the list of available accounts, especially considering the ‘Like’ button only a few pixels above it, but Facebook login will be implemented, just as soon as I have some credit on my phone (don’t ask).
Weird ‘needing to SMS facebook to get things done’ shit aside, it’s like living in the future! If you’re currently trapped in some sort of space-time bubble that means you’re still living in 2002, I mean.
Obviously for those of you living in 2013 this is rather like living in the past, but you can all fuck off.
(actually, don’t. That would rather defeat the object of my making it easier for you to comment…)
Update (May 11th): and you should all be able to login via Facebook now as well, huzzah!
I wouldn’t normally bother with a full results analysis, but as the BBC – especially on TV – seems solely dedicated to trumpeting the ‘massive game-changing victory’ of UKIP, and with BBC One very quickly becoming ‘All Farage, All The Time’ I think a more bare-bones summary is needed from someone.
We have a first-past-the-post system, so vote share doesn’t actually matter. But it does give a broad idea of who people were voting for, if not where:
Targets and Expectations
Conservatives expected to lose between 300 and 500 councillors. In a similar local election circumstances in 2009 Gordon Brown’s Labour government lost 291 council seats and lost control of 4 councils
Labour expected to win the majority of the 291 councillors lost in 2009
In 2009, Tories gained 244 councillors and control of 7 councils.
UKIP expected ’14% of the vote share, and over 100 new councillors’, and put 1,745 candidates up across 74% of available seats (a massive investment for a minority party – compare: Conservative 2,263; Labour 2,168; Lib Dem 1,763; Green 893; BNP 99)
Liberal Democrats expected to lose 130 councillors.
I was pissed off enough at what was either sheer incompetence or flagrant bias on BBC Breakfast this morning that I actually bothered to complain to the BBC about it.
I don’t really expect it to achieve anything, but here’s my complaint in full:
Throughout this morning’s BBC Breakfast attention has been paid to the previous evening’s by-election result in South Shields. This was repeatedly reported as a ‘success for UKIP’ in the teaser montages (without mention of the party that actually won the election).
However, my main complaint addresses the statement made at around 7:30:
“UKIP … massively reduced Labour’s majority in South Shields”
Which is factually inaccurate and inappropriately biased – Labour had a 52% majority in 2010, and a 50.6% majority in 2013.
While the actual number of voters did drop, this happened for all major parties – as the turnout was over 12,000 lower (probably because 2013 was a by-election, not a general election).
I feel this amounts to a gross distortion of events, as it clearly suggests that UKIP achieved the majority of its 2nd place vote share from disillusioned Labour voters (which, while it *could* be true, has absolutely no basis in the election results as they stand)
This seems to me to be clear violation of the BBC’s commitment to impartiality.
It’s International Workers’ Day today (aka Labour Day, aka May Day, aka my birthday), which is a good time to remember the right of the common man to stand together with his comrades and oppose that which is wrong.
On 16th August 1819, about 80,000 protesters gathered in Manchester to demand Parliamentary reform – the response from the government of the day was to order a cavalry charge, and what became known as the Peterloo Massacre.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, writing at the time, produced the seriously powerful poem The Masque of Anarchy in response to this atrocity.
I’ve selected a few rather resonant stanzas to commemorate the importance, and the power, of peaceful protest.
Something to remember, today, when we’re remembering the workers who have died arguing for our rights.
And in the coming days and months, as increasingly abhorrent legislation and cuts are imposed upon us, which we can & must oppose collectively.
Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free -
From the workhouse and the prison
Where pale as corpses newly risen,
Women, children, young and old
Groan for pain, and weep for cold -
Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.
And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew,
What they like, that let them do.
With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away
Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many — they are few.
So, my promising start – during which I gained almost 250 gamerscore in the first 24 hours – seems to have died back a bit.
I would like to blame this on the fickle nature of xbox achievements, or the fact that some games are just more time consuming than others – but let’s just take a look at some of the achievements I’ve unlocked over the past few days: