Tony Blair and the Monsters from Hell

Tony Blair has yet again warned the bloodied mass of the Labour Party that a vote for Jeremy Corbyn is akin to a vote vote Hitler, or Mugabe, or a horrible gene splicing of both of them. Of course the fact Corbyn is suggesting that Labour finally take some responsibility for the bloody mess of Iraq and if need be, Blair has a few months in court is probably motivating him in a selfish act of self-preservation which only an unmitigated bastard like Blair is capable of.

He warns that Corbyn stood with monsters and that Labour should never stand with extremists. His acolytes like Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall all say Corbyn needs to be looked at because he knew bad people and that the Labour membership should back off potential leaders that mingle with extremists.

In the real world of course any Prime Minister has to mix with monsters. It’s the nature of the job that you will at some point have to speak to barbarians and savages and in fact, it’s how one actually deals with these people that define you as in say, Tony Blair trying to save Gadaffi.I can cope with his dealing with a monster, I disagree with his defence of that monster, just as I do his defence of people like George Bush, or his shilling for companies like Monsanto, or the suspicion he used his role a Middle East Peace Envoy (a sick joke in itself) to call for sweatshops in Palestine which would allow vulnerable people to be exploited.

Throw a stone at Blair’s history since 1997 and you’ll hit a monster, or something so bloody awful that the results of that will be felt for generations as the refugee crisis enveloping Europe may not have happened had the UK and US led an invasion of Iraq. Of course Blair in his time as PM did good, but too little of it before Labour resorted to neoliberalism and Labour’s very own brand of Thatcherism that the likes of Liz Kendall or Yvette Cooper want to continue today. He also decries Scotland’s civic nationalism but avoids his own cringing attempts at nationalism, which really was what Cool Britannia was all about.

So in the year 2015 there’s a former Labour leader and PM warning it’s members not to go to the left, and it has leadership candidates spouting the sort of rhetoric that’d not be out of place at a Tory Party conference. Truly Blair created monsters and well as standing with them, and the mark of a person is the company they keep which leads me to make a cheap, yet obvious point with this:

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Do you trust a  word Tony Blair says?

Jonathan Jones is a sneering priggish snob shocka!

Jonathan Jones is the Guardian’s art critic. Today he’s written an article about Terry Pratchett where he manages to sneer at his final book but he lays his position out at the start.

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At this point any respecting editor should tell Jones to fuck off, but this is the supa, soaraway all-clickbait Guardian and an article of Jones sneering at someone as amazingly popular as Pratchett is easy hits for the advertisers.

But this is one of those articles that wallows in it’s snobbishness but is so amazingly stupid it beggars belief. After all if you’re a critic, then you have to know what you’re actually talking about so you can dismiss it, even if you think it’s utterly fucking shite? For example, I know a Michael Bay film is going to be shite because I’ve endured a few of them. I know I’m going to hate Eastenders because I’ve seen enough of them. I know I don’t like Harry Potter because I forced myself to finish the first book, and I’m not a great fan of Pratchett’s work though I think it maybe more to do with my general contempt for fantasy than Pratchett’s work himself.

In all of this I gave it a chance. Then again this is Jonathan Jones, the man that ‘knew’ Rolf Harris was a pedophile by looking at his crap art and sneering at it.

Essentially all this article is doing is drawing clicks for advertisers to be happy. So here’s a wee tip. Go to the article using Firefox, but make sure you’ve downloaded an app called Lightbeam which will tell you what third party website the Guardian is mining your data for. I guarantee you’ll be shocked and you’ll also realise just  why people like Jones are allowed to have crap articles where he’s not read something he’s criticising is allowed to be published by a paper like the Guardian.

The Corbynite Maneuver

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There’s a brilliant episode of the original series of Star Trek where the crew are confronted by a vastly superior alien craft that could easily destroy them. Captain Kirk tells the aliens the Enterprise is made of Corbomite, a fictitious substance which would detonate and destroy utterly everything if it was fired upon. The aliens back off, every makes friends, Kirk, Spock and McCoy share a joke, and Kirk shags a green slave girl. The End!

Of course this is an analogy for the the Cold War and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) , as well as being a great bit of science fiction. Corbomite doesn’t exist. It’s a bluff designed to scare the other side because the other side doesn’t know if Kirk is lying or not so it plays it safe and backs off.

So it is with the ongoing Jeremy Corbyn story. In this case the Labour Party are using Corbyn as a thing that will cause everything to explode! Women only carriage (he didn’t actually say that), QE for the people is insane! (but for banks it’s perfectly fine), renationalising industries are mental! (Yet this is supported by a large majority of the public) and the public will never accept any form of left wing government because they rejected it in 1983! (forgetting the fact that only people over the age of 50 voted in 1983 and the SNP’s successes in Scotland since 2007).

In effect it’s the establishment playing their own massive bluff in the hope Corbyn and his supporters back down. They think that playing these lines will make people back off and things return to ‘normal’ because in the minds of the establishment Labour Party, anything that threatens the status quo is a threat and must be destroyed.

Now there are issues with Corbyn’s ideas and I’ve said his ideas on Scotland are hopelessly outdated and out of touch, but he’s trying to be easily dismissed by such intellectual titans like Yvette Cooper (the person that introduced ATOS) and Liz Kendall. I a couple of weeks we’ll find out who Labour have elected as leader but for those still to vote don’t believe the giant bluff that’s being played by the Labour Party and their cronies  the media.

Jack Kirby would have been 98 today

Jack Kirby would have been 98 today, and like previous year’s I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said, but here’s the man’s drawing desk.

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This was posted on social media by Jack Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian who has more than ably flown the flag for her grandfather for quite a few years now, and again, it’s worth reminding people that had Kirby not helped create the first issue  of the Fantastic Four with Stan Lee then there’s no Marvel Universe. No Marvel Comics. No Marvel Studios. No Marvel films. Nothing.

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DC Comics don’t escape a lack of Kirby. No Kirby means no Fourth World, which means no Darkseid and a company trying hard to shake off the old fogey image of the 50’s and 60’s longer than it actually took.

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As Kirby’s 100th birthday comes closer it cannot be driven home enough how major a figure in late 20th century culture Kirby is. Without him, whether to read comics or not, our lives look vastly different so happy birthday. Thanks for everything!

What I thought of They’re Not Like Us #7

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5 and #6.

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Three months ago the last issue of Image’s teen superhero comic came out and ended with Syd leading a split in the group, and this issue picks up a month after all that happened. Things seem much, much happier now Syd and her small group are free of The Voice and his violent, cynical ways, plus everyone gets their real names back thanks to Syd, or Tabitha as she’s really known.

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Sadly for Tabitha and her friends there’s trouble brewing as the police investigate strange happenings in the hospital.

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The Voice also proves a problem as although people are free of him, they can’t forget him so he’s there lurking as a background presence threatening to burst in and disrupt the harmony our little group have managed to build in a month.

Writer Eric Stephenson seems to be hitting his stride after the first arc which had an awful lot of exposition and not much else at times, while this issue makes previous issues look positively glacial in places as all the characters are now where they should be before the plot starts moving on to the next level. As always Simon Gane’s art is superb, but with this arc the story has to be going somewhere which thanks to some of the revelations in this issue it appears to be. I just hope at some point this series starts fulfilling it’s full potential.

What I thought of Godzilla in Hell #2

Thoughts about #1.

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This issue is written and drawn by Bob Eggleton who uses a lovely palate of colours to help portray Godzilla’s journey through hell, and of course his big fights with other Toho monsters who are also in hell for some reason. In this case the issue opens with a barney between Godzilla and Rodan with predictable results.

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Next up is a battle with Anguirus in a frozen part of hell..

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And there’s a couple of more monsters that turn up to face Godzilla to have more big fights which is essentially the entire point of anything to do with Godzilla. I don’t after all remember watching Godzilla films because of the characters or the plot, but because I want to see big monsters twatting the shite out of each other.Godzilla in Hell does everything it should and stylishly so too. If you want one comic featuring giant monsters twatting each other this month then this should be it.

Live Bed Show: A short tale of the Reading Festival 2002

In 2002 Pulp were in an odd place. The stratospheric success of 1994/5 had passed to the extent where their latest album at the time, We Love Life, barely made a ripple in sales or make that much on an impact at the time critically. Personally, I love the album because of it’s melancholic tone though it’s tempered with a curious optimism but creatively it seemed like an end, and it was. This was certainly the case as Britpop was truly dead even though Pulp were never like bands like Gene or Kula Shaker who leaped into the scene to cash in on a genre, but Pulp were dragged into the sucking whirlpool of the mid 1990’s British music scene and for a few exhilarating years so were people like me who went along for the ride.

By 2002 though music was moving on. American music from the likes of the White Stripes was starting to dominate, and Pulp were fading to the extent that at the Reading Festival that year they were bumped from a headlining slot from that year’s Hip Young Things, The Strokes. In retrospect it was just the usual cycle of music as one phase moves out, another comes in.

Pulp played their set and few guessed that this would be their last ever festival set (until the band reformed a decade later) as most of us were having a fantastic time but that Pulp set is something of beauty. Sadly little of it exists online but what does tells a story. Common People especially has something lugubrious about it, and although those of us in the audience were loving it, there’s a feeling that Jarvis and the band are going through the motions here. A few months later they released a Greatest Hits, and proceeded to vanish into the ether with all the band members doing their own things.

Enough wittering though, have a shufty of it for yourselves…