Gary Lineker verus the racists of Brexit

I’ve been a wee bit out the loop with current events the last few days, but it seems just when you thinkĀ  the UK has fell into a horrible moral decline thanks to the EU referendum result, there’s always further for us to decline. Tory MP and skin sack, David Davies, wants to give migrant children coming from the Calais refugee camp dental checks to make sure they’re the ‘right age’.

For one, Davies is such a clunking racist that he doesn’t seem to see how this looks, or if he does he doesn’t care as something like this is going to resonate in a continent where the horrors of the Nazis are still a scar. However don’t estimate the depths the more extreme Brexiters can sink to in their inhumanity so these kids are being vilified in the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun.Mainly because the editors of those papers are well, cunts.

Step into the debate one Gary Lineker, former footballer and BBC presenter who spoke out against the idea with this Tweet.


Lineker was then attacked in his feed, and in the media by the sort of racist skin-sacks of sewage who think inspecting the teeth of vulnerable children and dragging them through these things doesn’t make the UK a neo-fascist state.Lots of people with the cross of St. George and the Union Jack in their profiles piled onto him but fair play to him, he stood his ground.

Now another skin-sack of animal faeces by the name of Jon Gaunt wants him sacked by the BBC for ‘bias’. Except the thing is he’s a screaming hypocrite.


A look though Lineker’s social media reveals he’s spoken on a variety of subjects from football, to athletics, Donald Trump and Brexit. Yet this one Tweet sends racists off because by now we should realise there’s a core of Brexiters who want the hardest, most racist form of Brexit possible. These are the people who’d happily sew coloured stars onto people’s clothes so they could be identified as an immigrant, refugee or Muslim. The sort of person from the Male Online strip basically.


So here’s where we are four months from the vote to leave the EU. The UK economy is tanking, the pound is undergoing the biggest devaluation since Queen Victoria sat on the throne, companies are hedging their bets as are countries who invest heavily in the UK, science and research look set for a decline after 2020, and racism is rife with the sort of ethnic nationalism that I never thought would see the day in the UK.

The sort of racism we’re seeing with MP’s discussing examining the teeth of refugees based on pictures in tabloid rags of what were in some cases, Home Office interpreters, in others, children. See, when I was 16 I looked older, 18 or 19. Plus as has been pointed out, papers like the Daily Mail normally love children who look older than their years.


We’re in a dark place right now, so that’s why we should thank public figures like Gary Lineker for speaking out against the sort of racist neo-fascist filth that’s been unleashed thanks to Brexit. Good on you, Leicester will be proud of you!



What I thought of Love and Rockets Magazine #1


Love and Rockets has been one of the best comics of the last 35 years. There’s no arguing about that as the punk sensibilities of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez show no signs of ever fading as we start volume four of their comic that’s stood head and shoulders above most others for decades.

Unlike most mainstream comics the characters of the Hernandez Brothers age at a more or less normal rate, so Maggie, Hopey and the gang aren’t young punks but hitting middle age still doing things like going to punk gigs.


Having been in the situation of approaching middle age and still going to punk gigs to be surrounded by people young enough to be your grandchildren, there’s a lot to identify with in Jaime’s work in this first issue.

As for Gilbert his story of Fritz, the ageing actress continues. which itself grew out of his Heartbreak Soup stories.


If you’ve not followed this story (and it’s a story that tracks back decades) it isn’t hard to feel lost here, but Gilbert’s been telling what is essentially one massive story of the people of Palomar, a small village just over the American border in Mexico.


There is a recap of sorts, which fills in some of the background but this is just another chapter in a very long story, so may well not be as easily accessible as Jaime’s work.


That said, it should be easy enough to pick up the basics of what’s going on as long as you put the work into it, but it may well be an idea to go back from this issue to pick up collected editions. Anyhow, you’ll end up with some splendid comics.

Rounding out the issue is one of Jamie’s surreal science fiction stories.


All in all it is great to have Love and Rockets back telling the stories we’ve been following for so long but I’m unable to not praise a comic that for years I’ve fawningly thought is the best out there because it is. There’s nothing else to match this.

What I thought of Batman #9


DC’s Rebirth cranks onwards towards the depressing Batman versus Rorschach battle which is coming as this two year (!) event rides towards Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons book, Watchmen, becoming part of the mainstream DC superhero universe. We’re not going to have any resolution to the various plot threads til 2018 which even by DC or Marvel standards, is an astonishing crossover.

I’ve found the Rebirth even to be at the very, very best patchy. At worst insultingly cynical with comics of such poor standard that I wonder if there’s anyone at DC who knows how to edit or write, comics. As for imagination there’s a dearth of that as DC continues to look back and give you the past repackaged rather than present a new vision for the future. This brings me to Batman, currently written by Tom King who is by no means a bad writer. In fact, for mainstream superhero comics he’s quite good. This latest arc, I Am Suicide, is based round Batman recruiting his own Suicide Squad to break into Arkham Asylum where dark things are afoot involving Bane and the Psycho Pirate.


Batman recruits his team from the criminals of Arkham, which includes old enemies like the Ventriloquist.


There’s also a massive hint for the return of the Legion of Super Heroes.


This Batman is a sociopath filling Arkham with the criminally insane while being utterly unaccountable to anyone for his actions. His moral compass is essentially, fucked, as in trying to protect the city of Gotham, he’s creating the conditions for such mentally ill criminals to exist and thrive.


There’s the odd allusion to The Killing Joke yet King doesn’t explore the connotations of what he’s putting on the page. This is a Batman willing to break the law, any law, to get what he wants and he’ll threaten anyone he likes, and use the criminals he wants to get it. Now King may well explore this in future but in the supposed bright new DC Rebirth Universe you’ve got a neo-fascist Batman who as a billionaire, can do what he likes. The democratic implications alone should mean that if the DC Universe is supposed to be like ours, then Batman should be locked away so he pays for what he’s done.

As said though, that moral exploration doesn’t happen. It’s just Batman walking through Arkham putting together a team of which we’ll find out more about next issue, but I do hope King realises just what he’s doing here and it doesn’t end up being a pallid rehash of what’s come before.

Still, bet we can’t wait for Batman vs Rorschach, assuming the concept doesn’t make you cry and despair of course?

What I thought of HyperNormalisation

HyperNormalisation is the new film by documentary film-maker Adam Curtis. It is the story of the last 40 years and how politics have failed to deal with the modern world, both real and cyber, and how the left have capitulated against the swarm that is capitalism and neo-liberalism. It also about how science fiction has shaped the 21st century as ideas from American and Soviet science fiction have been adopted by major world powers to ensure people are constantly confused and unable to present an attack against right wing politics or present a workable alternative.

It sounds extraordinarily dense. In places it is, but this is probably Curtis’s most straightforward work in some time as there’s a clear line of narrative from the death of politics as we think it still to be (big ideas, politicians with big, brave ideas changing things for the better even against public opinion) to where we are now with politicians acting as managers as banks and corporations actually run things in a system of free market economics. So Curtis plots a path from the broken New York of the the 1970’s, explaining how Donald Trump took advantage of the city’s bankruptcy, through to Patti Smith, Lybia and Syria, while skimming 911, the War on Terror, Tony Blair, the failure of the Occupy movement, Brexit and back to Trump running for president today.

But there’s two bits of SF that are crucial to this. One is the works of William Gibson, the writer of books like Neuromancer and creator of the term cyberspace.The other is a work of Soviet SF called Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky which was later filmed as Stalker. In both the book (which I’ve not read) and the film (which is excellent) there are ”Zones’, sites where reality is always shifting and where people known as ‘Stalkers’ can flit between our world and the Zones. The Stalker in the story was a once idealistic man who lost his faith in the system which has seen him move between the world we know and the world of the Zones where reality is fluid.

The ideas in Roadside Picnic/Stalker were adapted by the government of Vladimir Putin to be used in politics, so Curtis reveals how Putin would fund pro and anti government groups as well as things like anti-Nazi and neo-Nazi groups which meant nobody in Russia knows who is really who, or where the truth is as everything is fluid. Reality is always changing. The left wing/liberal radicals of the 1970’s and 80’s rather than take this on either walked away into Cyberspace or were the roots of the Occupy movement who singularly failed to achieve anything important as by now most people were living in echo chambers as their lives were controlled by algorithms on social media.

The entire thesis of HyperNormalisation is utterly terrifying. Politics has failed, so Prime Ministers and Presidents are now just managers, opposition parties are helping manage expectations and any real radical ideas are doomed to fail when they fall into echo chambers created by the very tools which helped them grow in the first place. Meanwhile the forces of neoliberalism are in control but that things like Brexit and Trump are supposed revolts against the system that’s grown up over the last 40 years but aren’t. Politicians can lie, so take say Boris Johnson. Nothing he says is real. We have no idea what his real position is on anything but he’s created enough confusion to help him achieve his goals yet what exactly are his goals? See also Trump or Farage or any number of politicians who simply cannot be trusted.

Truth is therefore not relevant anymore. We live in a Zone where reality is always shifting, always bending yet the radicals, the liberals and the left can’t fight it because they’re lost in the internet being exposed to only those views that agree with there own so any resistance is futile. We have essentially been assimilated by the Borg.

The world is a big complex thing. Big ideas are complex. Take leaving the EU, that is amazingly complex, but that was reduced to a lie on the side of a bus.


Yet algorithms can’t judge for the utterly unexpected as this clip from the film shows.

Brexit wasn’t supposed to happen. It did. Now we’re seeing people who spent months arguing against it cross into the Zone to support it. We have Theresa May who is going for the hardest Brexit possible yet she was supposed to be in favour of staying. The post-truth world means for one to succeed they have to shed all principles and be open to be assimilated by the new reality. The rest of us arguing against these people struggle because we cling onto principles and ideas while inhabiting echo chambers in our safe spaces meaning we can never know how the other side thinks. All truth is lies. All lies are truth.

We are all trapped in management theory, which is essentially being trapped into a meaningless system we all know is false, meaningless and leads to nothing but we stick to it because it gives us money to do our real job which is to spend that money to keep the economy running, and therefore the entire system working. Supposed radicals rather than imagine a new system, or propose new ideas have become part of that system as much as say, Donald Trump. Yet the veneer of difference; the tattoos, beards, craft beers, Great British Bake Off, is creating a twee playground for people who in past generations would be radicals have retreated into a safe world of hashtags.

Curtis’s vision is grim. It is also massive. I’m only really touching on part of what’s discussed, but for me personally the idea that a Soviet piece of science fiction may well be the thing that shaped the modern world is amazing to think of. What however isn’t taken account of is what’s unleashed by those random events nobody can predict, so Brexit and the increasingly far right politics coming out of it, or Trump’s increasingly unhinged rhetoric in the US. The system is massive and finely tuned, yet it isn’t left wing radicals that’s broken it, it’s the right that’s destroyed it because make no mistake, the system for the UK is now broken and we’re not going to leave til 2019 at least.

HyperNormalisation is a challenging work that’s apart from being Curtis’s most linear work, is also his most accessible in some time. This is a film telling the story of the last 40 years up to a point where things are on the verge of either being sheered up for generations to come, or for the system to collapse in a way that is going to unleash hell for those of us at the eye of the storm. It’s available on iPlayer but I do wish this was on terrestrial TV as it deserves a mainstream audience which helps prove a point that society and culture is retreating into echo chambers and any challenging views are sidelined. It’s nearly three hours of your life. It isn’t a wasted three hours, and in fact probably deserves at least another viewing to take it all in as there’s going to be things I’ve missed, but this is the most important bit of television you’re likely to see this year.

A better tomorrow

Well there’s no point moping or wallowing in the seemingly relentless horror that is 2016. Yes, my dad did pass away before I could get back to Glasgow and I’ll have to deal with that but time for a new, fresh start. by leaving Bristol and getting to Glasgow so I can recuperate properly from my stroke, cancer and slipped disc.

It has been somewhat of an eventful year. It can’t get worse unless we have a nuclear war thanks to America electing Donald Trump so please, don’t do that.

Anyhow, focus shifts to the actual process of moving from Bristol to Glasgow, which when you look at it on a map is actually quite terrifyingly a large distance to do in a day.


It’s actually a nice easy-ish drive once you get past Manchester, but til then it’s a bastard of a drive which is why I’ll be on drugs most of the time. Drugs are cool, which brings me to this wonderful clip from the latest episode of Ash vs Evil Dead.

I imagine there’s people everywhere trying to make their own recipe now for a Pink Fuck.

Anyhow, this is somewhat rambling because moving on is the best thing for me now. Tomorrow is another day so I just need to move onwards and upwards, especially upwards where it’ll be cold, wet and even more wet, but it’s a chance to rebuild and regenerate.

Mine’s a Pink Fuck by the way.

One bad day

‘All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.

Those are the words Alan Moore put in the mouth of The Joker in The Killing Joke.


Today’s pushed me. A doctor’s appointment which took ages thanks to a receptionist cocking up, bus drivers being dicks. A women in the shop being a prick because I didn’t thank her for when she let me walk past her, the stroke means I walk slow, and if you think I had harsh words to say you’d be right but then someone closed a door in my face which was annoying. One of the things about being fairly new to the world of being disabled is that you learn people bloody hate you for being disabled and enjoy inflicting small humiliations upon you.

Then I finally got home after all to have an answerphone message from my dad’s nursing home in Glasgow and upon returning the call I was informed he passed away last night. I was planning to return to Glasgow from here in Bristol back in the spring but having a stroke and being diagnosed with cancer has put me back. I am though going back for good next month.Sadly not in time.

So today is one bad day. Tomorrow will be a better day.

HyperNormalisation: the new film from Adam Curtis

I adore the work of documentary film-maker Adam Curtis which is why I’m excited about his new film,HyperNormalisation, due to be launched on the BBC’s iPlayer tonight. This one is about Donald Trump, Brexit and the system we live in today which is entirely false which we all know is false, but none of us want to admit it.

At 2 hours 46 minutes it promises to be an epic but we need people like Curtis making films that question everything, and well done to the BBC for giving him the time, money and space to essentially do whatever he wants. I can’t imagine ITV or Sky doing that.

So here’s the trailer.

I never find Curtis’s work a chore; far from it, so once I’ve worked through it I’ll give my opinion after watching what promises to be an exceptional work.