Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nurse to ward 6, please...

I know this is going to be a hard sell for some of you, but consider taking a moment out of your day to feel sorry for Melanie Phillips.

"Begging your pardon there Petie, but would you mean the Melanie Phillips we see on question time? The one who just recently talked about 'America’s neuralgic conscience over its historic racism [and] the monstrously unjust over-reaction to that racism.' Because we were leaning more towards the idea that anyone who thinks that Affirmative Action is an over-reaction to slavery and segregation should be lynched, then offered a place at university on favourable terms and told to have another think about it."

Well, you're all entitled to your own opinions. But I think you should really look at the thing in its proper context. That context is the much-covered arrest of Henry Louis Gates. For those who sensibly avoid most news about Americans that doesn't involve them either trying to conquer the world or crash its economy, this is the story of a black literature professor at Harvard who was arrested for assaulting a police officer after he lost his key and tried to break into his own house. Apparently he had a few choice and rather loud words with the officers who responded to the call, so they asked him to come outside, then arrested him for assault. Then they dropped the charges.

Now there's a range of different spins you can put on this, running the gamut from "it was all the fault of the viciously racist police force" to "it was all the fault of that black man with his hysterical liberal rhetoric." I wasn't there, and so have no idea which way it actually happened.[1] Mel, however, was and does. Or something.

Anyway, she read the officer's report, and after a quick update to clarify that yes, she does know what Gates was actually charged with, thankyou very much, she wants it to be understood that she's very upset with Barack Obama for going off half-cocked on the whole thing. You know, because he wasn't really there and so should shut the hell up about it. He has, apparently, revealed once again that he is "steeped in anti-white grievance politics of the most bitter and corrosive kind."

She was pretty sketchy about waht he'd actually said. He'd called the police "stupid" but that didn't seem to fit the "anti-white grievance politics" bill. All issues of race aside, they arrested a Harvard professor for yelling at them, right? I mean, let's say for a minute I completely buy Mel's take on the story here, that Gates had no reason to feel aggrieved for being treated like a criminal in his own home, that he shamelessly played the victim card and started yelling at the police, and they then arrested him for assault on a charge they subsequently dropped.

That would still make them "stupid", no? I mean, even in Mel's version of events, all they've done is give a very angry man a big political stick to hit them with.

So after a quick visit to youtube, I had a look at Obama's announcement to find out that, no, he did just say that they acted stupidly.

And The Phillips reckons that this is the thin end of the wedge for Barack's race war.

Which, brings me on to my main topic. I'm pretty sure the woman is about two headlines away from a collapse into speechless, paranoid psychosis. Mel's world used to be such a simple place, with authority figures we could love on one side, and the combined forces of Islamofascojihadisocialatheism - lefties, investigative journalists, terrorist networks and that sort of thing - on the other. This made for a pretty simple strategy of centralising as much authority as possible so that the authority figures will have all the resources they need to squash the MetromuslimPCviromentalists. Now that the lefties are the authority figures, it's all got terribly confusing and rather scary.

If you want to try and imagine what it must be like for her, think of being a Labour supporter just after Blair's invaded Iraq. In order to adjust for Mel's frankly shaky grip on reality, imagine that this time you're experiencing it with a head full of bad acid. The whole political project you thought you were working for has just turned into a werewolf, pinned you to the ground and fastened its jaws around your neck. Mel's world right now is like a horror film written by Hunter S. Thompson and directed by David Cronenberg: fun for the rest of us to watch, but deeply unsettling for her to live through.

[1] Although my knee-jerk reaction is summed up pretty well by this, from James Grimmelman.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Flying Rodent's all down on blogs again:

Some readers might point to intelligent, well-written blogs run by reasonable individuals, but frankly, pish and tush. British blogs run at roughly 5% sober budget analysis to 95% face-raping crackheads.

Never mind blogs as a primary news source, I'm struggling to think of a handful of bloggers who would merit even the fabled fifteen minutes of fame. That's particularly ironic, since the vast majority of them certainly deserve chemical castration, and that's being charitable.

Iain Dale's running his annual Blog Awards wankathon as we speak - I defy any reader to deny that the world would be a richer, more rewarding and more just place if each of the top ten writers on his final list had been ripped to pieces by enraged mako sharks three seconds after they logged in to their first Blogger accounts.

You can see his point. I immediately went over to Iain Dale's blog to see what the fuss was about, but before I could find anything on the blog awards I came across this, and so had to spend the next half hour picking little flecks of vomit out of my keyboard:

I don't mind admitting that I am a complete prude where drugs are concerned. I have never taken an illegal drug and will never do so. It's never wise for someone with a vaguely addictive personality to put themselves into that situation!

Well aren't you a bloody card? This is blogging as the outlet for all those cutesy "No, but I would have inhaled" answers that Iain would like to be giving if only anyone were interested.

Where FR slightly loses me is the idea that this is anything peculiar to the internet. He's worried about what happens when we stop reading newspapers and start reading blogs:

This is why stories along the lines of Newspapers in terminal decline tend to fill me with horror. The idea that blogs might become one of the world's primary news sources was popular when I started my own, and the prospect fills me with the same mind-numbing, gibbering dread now as it did then.

Make no mistake - the day that blogs become the primary news source for a plurality of the populace will be a cataclysm at the species level, like Spanish Flu or the Black Death.

I'm sorry, but if newspapers are our last and best defense against the forces of chaos, we're fucked already. Click through on that link, and the top story is that DMGT is losing ad revenue. How is that a bad thing? If the Mail and the Standard went tits-up tomorrow, it wouldn't really matter if their readers started buying the Telegraph, following Iain Dale or just muddled on as usual and formed a cult devoted to hastening the arrival of the Child of Littlejohn and Phillips who will purge the country of all but the chosen elect of white suburban, home-owners.

Blogs are not a forewarning of the apocalypse. 95% of blogs are shit for the simple reason that 95% of everything is shit.

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