MPs probe surveillance society

Errrr. An Inquiry now? After the Govt. has pretty much already decided we're going to have ID cards -whether we like them or not. After they're starting to do scary (and rather silly) things like this in Gloucester.

Bear in mind the UK has more surveillance cameras than any other European country. Welcome to Prison Island - where everyone's a suspected criminal/terrorist.

(I'm just seeing what googlevids can do...
already I disconcerted that they've converted my small quicktime movie into a over-sized ugly pixellated monster...)
The Trap.

Programme synopsises one, two.

Like Charlie Booker sez:
His programmes unfold like a series of revelations; watching one is like having all your slumbering suspicions about the world - suspicions so dormant you didn't even realise they were suspicions - confirmed and explained for the very first time.

Only in my case they've been far from slumbering suspicions. Last night's show confirmed for me what it was I so loathe about right-wing Tories, Thatcherism and it's bastard love-child New Labour. In a nutshell -what I hate about them is that they have a nasty brutish, black or white, primitive view of people and how they work and worse - much, much worse is that they (socially) engineer the very circumstances that only encourage those traits.

(Actually it's not just Right-wingers, extreme left-wingers and religious fundamentalists share a similar world view.)

Over the past couple of decades me and my friends have seen how society in Britain has changed - we saw the generation behind us and had a term for them: "Thatcher's Children". Under New Labour - it's only worsened - a few new ingredients have been added: spin, image control, presentation. Superficiality and Orwellian-style newspeak. That's where a lot of public money has disappeared into. Prettier open-plan offices, glossy brochures, suits etc. It's like 'American Psycho' has taken over the running of the country.

Of course the problem is - what can we do about it? Politicians (of whatever party) are now completely useless - nowadays they're complete puppets who just do what big corporations tell them to do - and in return make endless pointless speeches, publish glossy reports and set-out ever ridiculous targets in the service sector which no one can possibly fulfill-especially as they get starved of money. (just for now I'll ignore the stuff about the illegal occupation of foreign countries. Although that could be said to be done in the interests of Big (Oil) Business.) Big business itself is completely out of control. Trade Unions have become a irrelevance (thanks for that Thatcher). New Labour's biggest legacy seems set for setting us up for a surveillance-ridden Big Brother style police state. (There's that nasty brutish black and white view of how people work again).

How do we get out of this mess?
And this is why Yahoo wants everyone to have a Yahoo! ID.

Make no mistake about it - Yahoo sees all of it's users as eyeballs to sell to advertisers first and a customer of their half-baked, not-very-good services second. Bleh.



New Statesman - Religion of despair

New Statesman - Religion of despair

OneWorld U.S. Home / Today's News - UN Acts on Male Circumcision as Anti-HIV Weapon

OneWorld U.S. Home / Today's News - UN Acts on Male Circumcision as Anti-HIV Weapon

Errrr. Something about this whole thing doesn't strike me as being right. If being circumcised helps cut down the transmission of HIV - why then did AIDS spread like wildfire trough the American Gay community in the 80s. When most American men were er.... circumcised?

I mean call me a cynic if you like - but isn't it the case that performing circumcisions is a rather nice little earner for the US medical profession? And after all that isn't the best way of preventing the spread of HIV is by the use of condoms? Oh but buying condoms is expensive...


It might be the last day i see this screen.

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BBC NEWS | Magazine | 10 legit ways to get cheaper rail fares

BBC NEWS | Magazine | 10 legit ways to get cheaper rail fares

This makes me angry for so many reasons. It's bad enough that train fares in the UK are so obscenely expensive - but that you then have to work so hard to try and get any savings out of them... who can spend the time to check out all the different ways of getting various tickets with different rail operators to get to one destination?

Shall I mention about how miserable it is travelling on the train? Shall I mention the cancellations? The consistently late trains (and when you have a long trip where you have to make connections this is a nightmare)...

All together it's another case where privatisation only ended up making things a lot worse.

Apparently a lot of America is experimenting with having an earlier start to their Day Light Savings thingy this year. I'm hoping in our (rather pathetic) monkey-see monkey-do Government* will follow suit. This time round they can claim they're doing it for environmental concerns. Although I'd prefer it if they were to stop messing around with the clocks altogether - can't they just pick one and stick with it?

[*It doesn't really matter what flavour of Government the UK gets - they invariably blindly copy US ideas - no matter how inappropriate or wrong-headed or half-baked - and then usually five years behind while totally ignoring all the problems the US has found with their ideas in those intervening years.]

BuddyTV - LOST To Deliver the Goods in March

Lost spoilers

BuddyTV - LOST To Deliver the Goods in March

Looks like the pace might actually be hotting up a bit - although we've been lead up the garden path before.

I have to take issue with the reviewer's novel anthology - this is a TV show not a thick airport novel. Most novels don't take four to five years to read. When a novel gets made into a movie it lasts mostly around the two hour mark...

What Lost has fallen into is being a disguised TV movie of the week format. Bad move.

The thing about seeing 'Patchy' and that we'll soon get to see him is more in line with what the pacing should be - if this were a season one or two development - we wouldn't see him again until sometime in season 5.

Arc fatigue

I've been in the middle of writing a lengthy post about how I've gotten tired with TV shows that have these lengthy story arcs. There are just so many of them now (Lost, 4400, Battlestar G, etc.) and there's only so much concentration you can give these things during a week. Worse - there's no guarantee that any of these new shows will last long enough to come to any sort of conclusion. Think: Invasion and Threshold.

Concerning 'Lost' -after squandering so much time on pointless filler episodes and flashbacks for the most trivial things (did Rose and her hubby need a whole flashback episode to themselves? When a 2 minute conversation between Rose and Locke or Jack on the beach would have conveyed the same information. Did we really need a whole episode to explain why Jack has tattoos? Zzzzzzz. Did we need another episode where we find out Hurley thinks the numbers are cursed? - all which have only alienated viewers and had them turning off in droves) I'm getting scared now that the show is likely to be cancelled early with none of the outstanding mysteries ever being revealed. Worse they've dragged everything out to such a glacial speed that - that no one no longer cares anymore. Bad story telling or what? Suspense has turned into drudgery and tedium. Either that or the final mystery must be so lame that the creators are so reticent of revealing it for fear of being lynched.

It looks like the other networks have been taking 'Lost' lessons and are now making sure their audience aren't going to be turning off from the new Arc laden shows. With only 12 or so episodes left of this season of Lost it remains to be seen if the creative team have been listening to their own audience in their official forums. But you know, given the evidence so far, I rather doubt it.

Genre Producers Distance Themselves From 'Lost' - 'Jericho' and 'Heroes' writers promise actual answers - Zap2it.

Why are Moleskines perceived as pretentious?

Flickr: Moleskinerie discussion

Well I merely thought Moleskines were vastly over-priced, over-rated, over-marketed notebooks. I didn't think of them as being pretentious (the silly Chatwin/Picasso/Hemingway hype aside)it hadn't even occurred to me that were in some way pretentious - but after reading some of the responses in this thread... I now know what makes them perceivable as such.... some of the users.

Green and pleasant land? | Waste and pollution | Guardian Unlimited Environment

Plastic bags flapping in trees, chewing gum on every pavement, fast-food cartons strewn in gutters: Jeremy Paxman can't believe how squalid Britain has become. What does it say about us as a nation?