A royal wedding…

Charity enraged after police impound rough sleepers’ bus ahead of royal wedding

There’s a wedding today. It’s a royal wedding. It is a bloated affair designed to project the idea of a vibrant, exciting modern British royal family adapting to the 21st century while uniting their happy empire. Well, the remnants of it which is the Unite Kingdom so when the couple get titles like the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel it’s a reminder that ultimately we are ruled and the people are not sovereign, well, apart from Scotland where the people are.

In Slough, more than a quarter of children (26.97 per cent) are defined as being in poverty, while for Windsor the figure is 15.03 per cent.

We’re in the tenth year of austerity; the eighth of Tory austerity. People have grown up knowing government enforced poverty. People who lose £30 a week from their benefits are plunged into a horror that won’t end unless they make it end in the only way left to them.

Pitched outside Barclays Bank, with a Rubik’s cube and a pile of books including ‘Mr Nice’, by Howard Marks, is British Indian Sunil, 40. “I can’t get a job because I have no stable address and no personal hygiene. I don’t get unemployment benefit because I don’t have an address. I earn £3 to £15 a day sitting here. If I make enough, I take a B&B,” he said. “I am happy for the couple, but I am not happy about living on the streets,” he said. “They should just house us. Asians look at me with disgust. It’s mostly white people that give me change.”

His parents moved to the UK from Phillaur in Punjab. A former market trader, he said he was turfed out of a rented flat in Slough after it did not meet council rules. He had nowhere to go and owing to disagreements with his family after his father died, 11 months ago he ended up on the streets. “The homeless charities can’t help you unless you meet certain criteria. How much are they spending on this wedding? Quite a few million? Would it not be better for them to house us?” he said.

I get the argument that this is ‘something happy for bad times’ but the act of inherited wealth & power being displayed is a way that belies the truth that this is all a sham to continue the line and to ensure the British state seems strong and powerful just at a time when it is probably at its weakest since the Union was born 300 years ago.

So be a flag-waving nationalist if you want, but the only good, honest thing that comes out of today is that it shows increasing amounts of people are done with this medieval institution.

Me? I’m turning my telly to Netflix and won’t come up for air til Monday.


It’s crap being disabled

So today on the way home I was in Queen Street station hobbling towards the lift to the platform to get my train home when instead of having someone hold the lift, they stood there watching the doors close. This meant I missed my next train and I got home 90 minutes after finishing work.

Now, once or twice in a while this hurts but you deal with it. Every other week and it becomes tedious and soul-destroying.to try to mask yet another small humiliation but instead of wallowing in misery by the time I got to my stop there was a nice girl who held the lift doors which has tempered my annoyance and reaffirmed some faith in humanity.

But it is draining. I’m tired and sore more than normal at the minute and just want people to be nice and not cunts. It shouldn’t be hard to ask?

Just what is Comicsgate anyhow?

”Comicsgate” is a thing that’s been around for a depressingly long time now. A close blood relation of Gamergate, or to translate, it’s a kerfuffle organised by the ‘alt-right’ or a horrible mix of MRA wankers, white nationalists and Neo-Nazis to you and me. The short version is these people have been protesting Marvel and DC Comics for some years now to make their comics ‘less diverse’, so less black, Hispanic or Asian  characters as well as less women. Well, they want women but of the unfeasibly breasted kind.

They’ve pushed the Big Two at a time when both companies have been making serious strides into diversifying their comics to make them more reflective of 21st century society; something the alt-right see as a battleground. At the heart of this is artist Ethan Van Sciver who has been vocal about his hard right views for some time but is seemingly happy in ensuring hordes of trolls and worse descend upon people (mainly young women) to fire out reams of abuse.

Buzzfeed has an excellent article on the history, not to mention ongoing situation as the hard/far right dig in in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency. It should be read, and before the comicsgate folk say ‘ah, women don’t buy comics’ then realise that’s a lie and they do. What the ”comicsgate” people seem scared of is change and whether they like it or not things are changing so they need to either keep up or be the rather sad, something pitiful figures raging into social media.

We’re all going to be replaced by machines

Secureteam is one of those UFO YouTube channels which should be horrible, but it’s well presented and often has a Fortean outlook, so sceptical which is good. Sometimes it hasn’t which can be awful, but sometimes fun.

This video however isn’t about aliens or the like but about how A.I and tech from the likes of Google are effectively going to do not just simple jobs for us like booking a haircut, but will be able to alter how we see reality itself. Now I can see the benefits for sections of society but the ability to alter live video feed in real time worries me that  governments will abuse this technology to do whatever they like.

We need to have a discussion about this beyond obscure YouTUube channels as this potentially, could be hugely important for generations to come that this sort of tech is used wisely.

Have a look…

The Predator trailer is a bit underwhelming

I love Predator, it is without doubt one of the most perfect films ever made. Predator 2 is a work of demented genius, and the less said about any film featuring the Predators after that. This autumn sees the release of The Predator, written and directed by Shane Black who helped write the script for the first film and the first trailer, is, well, alright I suppose.

Iron Man 3 is I feel one of Marvel’s best films, and Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang, is just fucking glorious.

But The Predator looks alright and I want it to be much,much more than just alright. Still, this is a first trailer and hopefully the film lives up to the potential of what Black can do.

The horror of the Glasgow Uni accent…

One of the things I wasn’t prepared for when I returned to Glasgow at the end of 2016 was encountering the bizarre, convoluted, inflection-driven tone of the Glasgow University accent which rings around the West End of Glasgow like the ringing of an exceptionally well-spoken hangover.

Glasgow Live (the website for your daily source of death, muggings, gang-related violence and food promotions) printed a piece about the accent the other day, and well, it’s an interesting one for this closing line…

And while Glasgow Uni remains standing in the west end of the city, so too will the dialect. And so too will the resentment to it from one half the city

I have no problem (well, within reason, we all have limits) with how people speak, and in fact as much as it can be annoying so can any accept. It’s the people attached to it that you judge so everyone gets a chance to prove themselves to be an adult til proven otherwise. Do I think there’s an issue with the gentrification of Glasgow? Utterly. Do I think we need to be a wee bit more nuanced than sneering at accents? Totally.

That said, this is still the funniest thing ever on the sort of, subject.

Is it okay to call Tories ‘scum’?

Ross Thompson is a Tory MP who has taken offence at a banner displayed during last weekend’s march in support for Scottish independence.

A swathe of Tories (and sadly, some in Labour leaping to back them up because this is Scotland) ranging from Ruth Davidson to lowly councillors and Tory supporters leaping in claiming the use of the word ‘scum’ in relation to the Tories was anything ranging from discrimination to a sign of how awful and appalling independence supporters are.

Now if we look at what the Tories do we can judge them; so anything from the ‘rape clause‘ , to the ‘racist van’, to welfare cuts that leave people considering suicide, to the demonisation of the disabled, to the failure of dealing with disasters like Grenfell, or the enforced deportations of people that came here to live from the Windrush generation onwards not to mention the eight years of austerity under the Tories which has seen poverty deepen and food banks become a norm. Then there’s the clusterfuck of Brexit.

So as much as I don’t support the ultra-nationalist group who made the banner, the idea of Tories getting offended by being called ‘scum’ when their policies are killing people or are themselves, so ultra-nationalist that they’ve adopted UKIP’s far right policies and ideas of ethnic nationalism. ‘Scum’ isn’t pretty but neither is the eight years of relentless misery the Tories have imposed upon people who in many cases can’t fight back because they’re too busy trying to survive under the conditions imposed by the Westminster government.

If you vote Tory you do so in full knowledge of what they are and what they do. If you’re offended by being called ‘scum’ then perhaps that twinge is the remnants of your conscience pointing out that these folk calling you that  have a point.