Apocalypse Now

This..creature, is now the UK’s Prime Minister at the start (if you think the last three years have been bad you ain’t seen nothing yet) of the worst peacetime crisis in UK history.

boris-kipper

Of course the Germans have him nailed.

dpbj

In short; we’re fucked. There is no way out. The Tory Party are closing ranks much to the pain of middle class liberals who thought Rory Stewart would lead a revolt, and Johnson will make any deal he can with Nigel Farage’s lot of dangerous arseholes (I fully expect Farage in government within the year) to keep Labour (who are more interested in some fucked up campaign of political purity anyhow) and other opposition parties out. An election will be held an barring some miracle, Boris Johnson will keep his job.

We’re fucked. Really fucked and we’re not even at rock bottom yet.

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The state of British politics

Watching the Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt debate on Sky it strikes me how utterly and totally fucked we are, and by ‘we’ I mean those of us who aren’t political zealots, careerists, white supremacists, disaster capitalist/socialists, antisemites, Islamophobes or just generally arseholes.

By the end of this month Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister. A man totally out of his depth and unable to do anything that isn’t for his benefit, or the benefit of those who he’s in the pocket of like Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. Meanwhile the Conservative Party will hope Johnson provides the aid they need against Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party who are soaking up support mainly from the Tories and anyhow, Johnson will do a deal with Farage to ensure the Tories remain in power and Farage gets that top job he’s been after for decades.

Good thing we’ve got an effective official opposition then! Oh wait, we don’t. Labour aren’tfit for purpose trapped in an antisemitism scandal that could have been stopped by chucking out some of the SWP types who’ve got back in the party years ago, but they’re now trapped. Anyhow, the leadership and a chunk of Corbyn followers are more interested in political purity than power or any actual concern for people who’ll be fucked over by Brexit.

Hey, there’s the Lib Dems! Well, no. The party has fine remain credentials but otherwise is a swamp of what Thatcher used to call ‘wets’, which basically means the likes of Jo Swinson (potential leader) is happy supporting things like the bedroom tax and imposing austerity upon people because she doesn’t give a fuck about the poor.

Here in Scotland there’s the SNP who have discovered the art of saying much and doing little to progress the fight for a second independence referendum beyond vague rhetoric. The suspicion is that many in the middle and higher reaches of the party are happy with the power and influence they have, and knowing fine well the only way we’re getting independence is via the SNP, are happy stringing things along. After all as soon as we’re independent the political landscape is literally up for grabs and people like their advisor jobs or seats in Holyrood or Westminster or having the ear of Nicola Sturgeon.

Then there’s the Greens, but they’re clogged in identity politics  (which to be fair, the SNP and Labour are too) while seeming happy to sit in the SNP’s slipstream.

With a no deal Brexit coming on Halloween, we seem to be stuck with a mess and nobody with the spine to make a break for sanity. Because we are leaving and it will be with no deal. Johnson’s career hinges on it and he won’t let his career fail even if it means a recession to make 2009’s seem like a blip, plus with the Labour leadership convinced their form of Brexit will be better (kind of like saying AIDS is better than cancer) we really are in a state.

But hey, the sun’s out for now.

Welcome to Nedageddon

Today is the second day of TRNSMT, so getting around in Glasgow currently feels like this.

horde

TRNSMT is now confirmed to be the replacement for T in the Park (TitP) in Scotland’s music calender after that festival was finally put to the sword.  TitP had mutated from the original idea to have a Glastonbury/Reading type festival in Scotland to one where loads of kids piled onto a site drinking as much as possible in as short a time. The problem though was the campsites which were problematic and eventually the festival ran out of goodwill from the powers that be.

This is a pity. TitP in the early years had it developed down the Glastonbury route would have been amazing, but instead it went down the V Festival route as it lapped up the juices from its corporate teat as it became just a drain on resources for police and the local community.

So two years ago TRNSMT was born which sticks a large festival in Glasgow Green in Scotland’s largest city which causes all the problems you can imagine. Sure, it’s a great chance to see some great acts but the prospect of thousands of Glaswegian lobster people affected by the unusually sunny, warm weather means thousands waking up on Monday like this.

stuey

So the sounds of music and the smell of cooking neds fill my wee flat as TRNSMT tries to desperately work out an identiy that isn’t just a big piss up in a park in the centre of Glasgow that sells overpriced piss.

How comics have predicted the next Tory leader

Imagine a populist Conservative MP pitching fear and hate by demonising minorities on a relentless single-minded march for power that risks throwing the UK into eternal chaos and carnage? No, not Boris Johnson but Jim Jaspers from the revamped Captain Britain strip of the early 80’s as created by Dave Thorpe and Alan Davis, and latterly written by Alan Moore.

Of course it isn’t superheroes in Johnson’s case, but Muslims, or indeed any minority, but mainly Muslims as they’re easy targets and it plays to the Tory base, not to mention the folk following Nigel Farage into whatever circle of hell they’re destined for.

And before you think that an irrational hate-filled madman would really turn the UK into a charnel house for the most vulnerable may I remind you of the bodycount piling up thanks to austerity, and with Johnson planning to leave the EU with no deal therefore enabling the sort of poverty we won’t recover from for generations, if at all, then look at this. 

In short, we’re fucked but at some point back at the dawn of Thatcherism a few people in British comics thought of just how bad things would be come the age of the populist who doesn’t care about facts or reality. They just want to bend reality to their own will and of course, their own benefit which is why folk like Trump and Farage win elections, and now Johnson looks to be following in their paths to leap to electoral glory thanks to the worst opposition in memory and an electorate which has truly fell through the looking glass.

Living with Airbnb

I live in the badlands between Glasgow city centre and its West End which is great as it isn’t too far to get into town and it only takes a stop on the subway to get to the West End. It’s a great location.but you do have to put up with issues of parking, noise and other such problems that come with the location in a city that’s growing.

Most of the time I can live with all of the negatives. There is however one cuckoo in the mix and that is the increasing number of Airbnb flats in the area with two in my close alone, and dozens, if not more in the wider area around me.

Now I don’t mind Airbnb. It provides a cheaper option to hotels and a more personal option to hostels which are really now used for weekend piss ups which I’ve done myself in say, weekends in Cardiff. These are money makers for pretty much every big city not just in the UK but across most of the world, but if Airbnb is better then what’s the issue?

Noise is the obvious one. I’ve been woken up this week twice by people piling back to their Airbnb pissed up or very late having just arrived from wherever they’ve come from. Now the lad who owns the flat is very nice, and does how best to ensure his guests respect the fact they’re living with people who are living their lives as normal while they party and there’s the next problem; mess. I’m tired of going to work having to step over mess created by people who couldn’t care less.

But there’s also a massive problem with the loss of community. IF you don’t know who your neighbours are from one day to another you’ll never grow a sense of community IF you think it sounds awful it is, but worse lies over in Edinburgh where Airbnb and overtourism have seen massive problems in the city. The same sort of problems that are springing up in cities across the world where Airbnb have been allowed to grow unchecked.which is going to lead to massive problems if not sorted out now. Imagine cities with areas full of transient people with no sense of community or even respect for the place they live? Because that’s where we’re heading if curbs aren’t made.

But til then I’ll be having to cope with sleepless nights and mess.

Today’s anti-Brexit cuck snowflake leftie propaganda

Today has been the 75th anniversary of D Day. So it’d only be a pinko leftie snowflake who’d use today to make a political point about Brexit!!

Eric Chardin was just 19 when he landed in Normandy. Now at the age of 94 he hopes the peace that followed WW2 will continue

“I can’t help feeling that it would be an awful shame if what we’ve gone to so much trouble to do, to collect the European big nations together, to break it all up now would be a crying shame,”

Oh.

You mean someone who actually experienced the blood and guts of actual war thinks Brexit is a bad idea? I mean, it isn’t as if he’s served weekends in the territorial army or something like that!

Oddly enough Brexiters are pretty quiet on Mr. Chardlin’s comments as if being confronted by the living embodiment of everything they aren’t scares the hell out of them as his comments are entirely true. It took decades to build a mostly peaceful, mostly united Europe that now hasn’t faced a continent wide war in 74 years and now a small group of wealthy hard/far right populists, disaster capitalists and extreme lefties are all united to destroy the work of generations built on the corpses of Mr.Chardlin’s comrades.

So remember the words of someone who fought in WW2 never time some red-faced wank guffs on about how ‘we beat the Germans’ to his equally moronic mates. These are the people shitting on the legacy of those who sacrificed everything to free Europe from the sort of fascism we’re seeing a return of.

Parasocial relationships in the 21st century

We all have a multitude of parasocial relationships but few of us actually understand what they are let alone the actual name for them. They actually aren’t bad things unless of course, your entire life is dominated by them which could explain a lot about abusive cultures on social media and multiple types of fandom from comics through to just about anything.

First of all, what is a parasocial relationship?

Parasocial relationships refer to one-sided relationships with celebrity, a prominent person in the community or a fictional character, when a fan knows everything about the subject of their adoration and feels very close to them, but there is no chance of reciprocity.

From here.

Every single one of us at some point in our lives has had a parasocial relationship. It could have been a pop star, or a footballer or a film actor but at some point we’ve all had a one-sided relationship that will never, ever be reciprocated. You see it now being used with politicians as diverse as Nicola Sturgeon, Jeremy Corbyn, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage so it doesn’t take a genius to work out how potentially harmful this potentially could be.

There’s three levels of relationship; entertain, intense and borderline pathological. There’s a load of academic videos out there but this set of videos from StrucciMovies is excellent and breaks it down for non-academics.

By now you should all be concerned about people who form their strongest relationships with people they’ll never meet who are pushing a hardline view at them, be that political, lifestyle or anything else that can draw someone in on an emotional level.Again, we’ve all at some point held a parasocial relationship but most of us have it as part of a series of real-world relationships that’s real, often physical and involves often dealing with flawed people who often don’t agree with everything you say which is fine. That’s how life should be as we’re supposed to encounter people, ideas and things we don’t 100% agree with or even like.

The danger comes when parasocial relationships are used not just to control people to buy shit, (I spoke about this the other day) but to shape their lives as well as removing the ability to critically think. As has been said by others, unless you’ve met someone and seen their flaws you don’t 100% know them. Just because some YouTuber with dead, dead eyes is telling you that you’re their friend doesn’t mean they are, or they even care about you beyond giving a like or hitting that bell.

Fandoms have always been slightly toxic. H. P Lovecraft for example was a troll but he was also a talent who created things but fandoms now are riddled with toxicity through so many people creating false personas in order to gain followers so there’s not this level of creativity. ”But what about <insert social media platform here>’ you may say and you’d be right. There’s tons of wonderful creative stuff out there, but there’s also mountains of shite created in the name of gaining followers and grifting money from them. I see it within the world of comics. There’s a lot of people who turn up at shows to sell their work who are awful, but because they’ve tapped into ”geek culture” which brings me again to mention late capitalism as what we’re seeing is human lives being repackaged to people to buy into and I mean, buy into.

I’ve met a number of my heroes. Some have been nothing like I imagined them. Some have been twats. Some have been wonderful people. I’ve spent lots of money over the decades on their work but I’ve moved on from the one-way relationship phase and the influence of these people but it doesn’t preclude me from having parasocial relationships at stage one. I know how to ensure it doesn’t become pathological but for many it does because they don’t have the tools to ensure it doesn’t so the young and vulnerable are especially weak at resisting what’s being sold to them be it product or lifestyle.

And here’s the point. We’re being sold to all the time. but newer generations don’t have the tools or experience to get through life so find their answers anywhere they can. Sometimes that works out but some times things don’t and that can lead down dangerous paths as people fall behind the more famous without any thought of what these people are really like or what damage is being done to people in the name of a relationship that will never be real.