Sarcast (episode two)

As you could almost certainly have predicted, the whole ‘doing a weekly video’ didn’t really happen.

But I’m still going to do this as and when I have something worth putting on video (sometimes with Val, sometimes alone – maybe sometimes just with Val if she makes a grab for power…)

Anyway, this one is continuing my one-man war against People Being Wrong On The Internet, in particular the sharing of racist memes, because racists pulling numbers out of their arse is annoying enough without people bastard well sharing it all over social media where I can see it.

For those who want to be two-for-one with their predictions: yes, I swear quite a lot in this one.

But I’m swearing at racists, so it’s okay – it’s not like they have feelings.

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Two Minutes Hate

Daily Express collageThere is a distressing trend in the right-wing media of late…

No. That’s not true.

This distressing trend has persisted as long as there has been a right-wing. They’re just getting a bit more overt about it.

News articles are devoid of news (or utterly fabricated). These stories don’t exist to inform, educate or even to entertain.

A significant proportion of the media is now quite simply devoted to reinforcing prejudices.

Think about it. Who are the right-wing media telling you to hate today?

Take a look at a right-wing tabloid (don’t buy one, obviously – that would be insane). Just look at the front page headline. Or watch an episode of This Morning.

Who is it demonising?

The poor? The Unemployed? The Disabled?

Immigrants?

Is there any actual news present? Is there a story worthy of the front page of a national newspaper (or a national televison programme)?

Or is it just telling you to hate a particular group?
From The Sun (DON'T BUY THE SUN)
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UKIP & by-elections

We had yet another by-election in which UKIP came second yesterday. They are once again trumpeting this as evidence that they are a serious political party.

I can understand why there are members of UKIP who genuinely believe this – after all, they’re regular panellists on BBC Question Time (and other political programming), despite not having a single elected Member of Parliament. That seems to imply legitimacy.

But that’s all it does. Imply it.

Looking at the actual results… UKIP are just leaching support from Tory and LibDem voters. Last night’s result:

results-wythenshawe

They repeatedly insist that they’re a party with support from ‘all across the political spectrum’.

But when you actually look at the results – results which exactly mirror those in South Shields and Eastleigh – this claim is risible.

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Homophobia vs. Gingerphobia

We have made a bit of a fuss recently about the fact that it’s now basically illegal to be gay in Russia.

Some Russians Are GayOfficially, Russia simply offers ‘no protection in law’ for gay couples, and has outlawed things like gay pride marches and ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’, while suggesting that homosexuality and paedophilia are basically the same thing.

(if that sounds suspiciously like Section 28… yeah, it does, doesn’t it?)

In reality, this has translated to a rise in homophobic assaults, Neo-Nazi hate campaigns against homosexuals and a general trend towards beating the shit out of people who either are gay or who look like they might be – tacitly approved of by the Russian state (or at least, proceeding with neither condemnation nor prosecution).

This has been rightfully condemned in the UK (and quite a few other nations) – with the rise in Russian homophobic hate groups becoming the subject of a recent Channel 4 documentary.

The Russian Embassy to the UK has dismissed this as anti-Russian ‘hate propaganda’, part of a “well-engineered campaign of slander”, adding:

“One could have easily whipped up such ‘documentary’ about a hunting season on redheads in the UK saying that ‘ginger’ people face unmotivated verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis”

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Economic ‘Recovery’

Last year I made this graphic, highlighting the disgraceful state of the UK economy in the face of Tory claims that austerity was driving ‘recovery’:

We are NOT in this together
Lots of Tories denied this, and on the 23rd Jan (this year!) David Cameron announced that “families are seeing their living standards rise as the economy emerges from the downturn

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(Worst) Game of the Year 2013

Most of the 18-rated content is the language you come out with whilst playing the fucker.Now that 2013 is over, I think I can definitively state what was the worst game released therein.

It was actually released way back in February, but it was famously shit so I didn’t actually play until I received it as a Christmas present (thanks Mark!).

It is, of course, Aliens: Colonial Marines.

A lot of work goes into a game, and for this I think the creators (Gearbox) deserve recognition. They appear to have looked at the list of what makes an enjoyable, high-quality gaming experience, and dedicated themselves to fucking up every single item on the list.

That’s the sort of dedication to total shit that really deserves an award. Or at least a lengthy blog post.

Graphics

Graphics are not the be-all and end-all of gaming. Trust me: I was raised on a ZX Spectrum, I’m happy if the colours don’t all bleed into one another.

But nowadays we do expect a certain amount of graphical… competence. I expect the graphics to make sense – so if the game features high-definition textures, then they should really be featured throughout the game and not just on the guns your character is holding.

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How to use social media if you are a credulous moron

It will not be news to many of you that this is how social media – and thus the internet in general – appears to operate:

Internet 101

This post is an obviously futile attempt to cure the internet of this pernicious disease, in just a few easy steps.

Simply complete the  following checklist before sharing, retweeting or clicking whatever other proprietary box you see that means “I am going to endorse this message for all of my friends“:

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RIP Rolihlahla

Nelson Mandela died  today – yesterday now – aged 95.

He’s already being lauded as a man of peace, but he wasn’t – not really.

He was a fighter who desired peace.

Nelson MandelaA terrorist, freedom fighter or guerilla depending on – as always – your perspective.

But whichever label you apply, he fought against a hugely oppressive regime (one which had begun using lethal force to enforce apartheid and prevent peaceful protest) with commendable restraint.

He was an advocate of guerilla warfare, and armed uprising against the state – and he was arrested and convicted after he planned and executed a sabotage campaign against 193 government & military installations – not civilian targets, not innocents, but what he considered viable targets of an illegitimate authority.

For which he spent 27 years in a maximum security prison.

He will be increasingly recreated as a man without flaws, but he should really be remembered as a man who actually fought for genuine human equality – first as a guerilla, and later as a politician.

There aren’t enough people in the world willing to do that. We’ve got one less now.

Rest In Peace, Troublemaker.

 

Fukushima Contamination

Okay, so you see this image here:

Fukushima looking all scary

 

I am utterly fucking sick of seeing it. So pay attention.

This is not an image showing radioactive contamination due to the Fukushima disaster.

This is an image that shows the wave height of the Pacific Ocean after the Tsunami that triggered the disaster.

Notice the little scale on the right there, in centimetres? Yeah. Nobody measures radioactivity in fucking centimetres.

Some more Fukushima radioactivity facts:

  • The Pacific is massive – a bit of radioactive material added to one end of it isn’t magically transported to the other. It gets diluted by the unimaginable vastness of the ocean.
  • The radioactive material released from Fukushima was Iodine-131, which has a half-life of eight days, and Caesium-134, which has  half-life of two years. 

These two facts combine to make it impossible for this particular release of radioactive material to contaminate huge swathes of the Pacific. The ocean is simply too big, and the material in question decays too quickly. 

  • There wasn’t much radiation released from Fukushima in the first place

Okay, so nobody instinctively understands radiation measurements - especially people who believe any old shit they see on the internet - so I’m going to give these figures in Banana-Equivalent-Doses*. 

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DHDI – Place a Bet

Click here for the ‘Dave Hasn’t Done It’ list (and a bit of an explanation)

There may be people reading this who live in countries where gambling is illegal, for whom not ever having placed a bet is far from unusual.

Some greyhounds, yesterdayI, however, live in England. The phrase “what, not even on the Grand National?” comes up whenever I mention that I’ve never visited a bookmaker.

No. Not even on the Grand National. Not even the National Lottery.

It’s not that they’re hard to find – there are two within 5 minutes from my house. I’ve just never seen the need.

And then there’s this whole ‘culture’ about it – lots of people who gamble are really serious about it (I imagine because they owe loads of money to angry men with cricket bats), and I don’t think they’d necessarily welcome me knobbing about in the betting shop, trying to figure out what the fuck I’m doing.

I don’t think gambling is inherently immoral or anything; I’ve just never had that much money to throw around – or in gambling parlance: “lose”

Also, I’ve studied statistics, and that always makes gambling rather less fun.

Anyway, with this in mind, I was invited to the dog track last night.

Again, for people living elsewhere, this might seem like an unusual place to go – a bit of a day out, perhaps. But I’ve lived around the corner from it for fifteen years, so it’s not exactly a bastion of the unknown. I’ve just never actually, y’know, been inside.

It was very exciting at first. There was a password to get in and everything.  Continue reading »

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