How scary is what’s happening with The Brexit Party?

For all of Nigel Farage’s obvious faults it would be churlish to deny that The Brexit Party has become a real force in an amazingly short time. Of course the BBC and ITV have given the party zero percent scrutiny but Sky News produced a quite astonishing, not to mention, scary report on Farage and the Brexit Party which should be watched by people struggling to understand what’s happening right now, and give those thinking there isn’t anything worse coming some pause for thought.

There’s a new Tory leader coming who if it isn’t Boris Johnson will still be an ultra-right wing Brexiter who will not only take the UK crashing out the UK,  but to preserve the future of the Conservative Party, will reach to Farage who will become part of the Tories. It would also not shock me to see him given a cabinet position as the Tories need to do something to stop their party from literally dying off and tapping up Farage ensures it survives in some bastardised form. Of course old school right wing conservatism will be dead to be replaced with ultra populist ethnic nationalism but the party would prevail.

But this is a possible future. Right now with the European election results due to be counted tonight, Farage will swing to victory in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland will reject him. The UK’s politics continue to fracture.

So watch this Sky report as it’ll be one of the few times Farage is held to account because the fawning starts.

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Vote in the most important European elections in your life

Polls are open in this year’s European elections and if you’ve not been paying attention this is the one where if Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party sweep to victory then expect UK politics to shift so far towards extremism that’ll be difficult for the UK to ever turn back. With Boris Johnson’s ascension to Tory leader a formality we don’t have any other chance to make it clear at the ballot box that enough people stand against this.

In Scotland things are clear. A strong SNP/Green vote sends a message we’re pro EU and that we have no intention of falling behind Farage like England and Wales. England, sadly, looks like it’ll return a massive majority of Brexit Party MEP’s and that will not be good.

So get out today and vote. Try to make your voice heard before it becomes difficult to do so.

This milkshake fights fascists

Nigel Farage is the latest hard right neo-fascist to enjoy a cold milkshake as the people of Newcastle decided to protest him and what he represents. Other far right types have had the milkshake experience this summer so far, but by far it is Farage’s brittle reaction which shows no self-awareness that is telling. Remember, this is the man who dismissed the murderer of Jo Cox, has used the language of racism to whip up hate against minority groups and has said he’d take up arms himself.

Some are saying that this is wrong. That we should undo Farage by debate & this plays into his victim complex. The latter is partly true as Farage will use this to play the victim but those saying we should be tolerant of his views should heed the words of Karl Popper and his Paradox of Tolerance.

The increasingly tolerant society we’ve built up since the 1960’s is under threat because those who are intolerant don’t wish us to have such a society. They want  intolerance to grow and to do that means they have to be treated seriously and as equals. The minute that happens they dig in and in and in until we’re at where we’re at today.

So, let the milkshakes flow this summer…

Boris Johnson is probably the UK’s next PM

Theresa May has finally, and somewhat badly, announced how she’s eventually going to stand down but this is not a time to celebrate as next up is Boris Johnson. Sure, he might just be a candidate at the minute but realistically the Tories are so scared shitless of being made extinct by The Brexit Party and Nigel Farage, that they’ll elect someone many Tory MP’s hate and will lie his arse off to get what he clearly wants which is to be Prime Minister.

So Johnson will be the Ultra-Brexiter. He’ll pitch a hardline to the millions voting for Farage in the European Elections next week, and he’ll also I imagine throw a bone to Farage himself. Meaning he’s likely to throw him in as a candidate and the Brexiter takeover of the Tory Party will be complete.

For those of us in Scotland, we’d best get going before we’re drawn in any deeper to just exactly what is going to happen once a liar and and idiot, who also happens to be as populist and bigoted as Donald Trump. We’re heading for seriously dark days.

What the HBO Watchmen trailer tells us

American TV channel HBO are making a Watchmen series based on the comic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons which has been adapted by Damon Lindelof. It isn’t an exact adaptation as opposed to a ‘remix’ of the source material.

Take a look.

There’s an excited buzz around the trailer, and as far back as last year some in the media were proclaiming how this could be another triumph from HBO. However what’s the hidden message in the heart of not just the trailer, but the entire project?

 

I’ll give you time to think…

 

 

Scroll down if you don’t want to avoid spoilers.

 

 

 

 

The hidden message is that DC/Warners/HBO/Lindelof think Alan Moore is a cunt.

 

”BUT I WANT MY RORSCHACH CLONES BEATING PEOPLE UP” you may be screaming right now, but there’s no getting over the fact that Alan Moore does not want Watchmen used and abused like this. The comic made DC/Warners a lot of money and critical acclaim over the decades, and indeed, DC did for a time avoid exploiting it but the gloves are off now so they couldn’t give a fuck about Moore, creators rights or respecting the source material. There’s money to be made and who knows when the superhero bubble is going to burst, so cash those cheques now while the going is good.

Who cares if it sends a message to creators that they’re ultimately there to create intellectual property for their multinational bosses. This trailer is the horses head in the bed of every creator working for DC (and Marvel) thinking of getting uppity about creators rights. Fuck with them and they’ll give your babies to the man who wrote Star Trek: Into Darkness.

That’ll teach them!

X Men day!!

X Men day is here!! What? You’ve never heard of it? Well its a day to celebrate the end of a 20 run of X Men films as the last 20th Century Fox X film is due to be released ahead of Marvel taking back ownership of these characters, and we assume, a rest of a few years before new films are launched. There’s lots of talk of how these characters are great, how much money they’ve made for Fox, how excited Uberfans are for the forthcoming Marvel films and on and on but there’s one thing really missing.

That’s the fact the comic was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1963. It may not have been one of Kirby’s favourite creations, and certainly Lee made his mint off the characters over the last 20 years but for fucks sake can anyone writing about this horrendous marketing toll at least mention the two people who actually came up with the concept in the first place?

Why are comic shops closing in a time when comics have never been so popular?

The Guardian published an article recently about why are comic shops closing when superheroes are quite literally making all the money on the planet and have never been so popular? The article isn’t bad and gets most of the reasons why. For example…

So why are so many going out of business? Like other retailers on the high street, comic shops must factor in rents, business rates, staff wages, insurance – but the profit margins on comics are so narrow as to make this a very delicate balancing act.

They then go onto discuss how monthly comics is a guessing game. You as a retailer have to sit with a copy of Diamond Previews, and try to guess what will sell and in what numbers.

Previews is a massive book released by the largest, and only real distributor of mainstream comics in the world, Diamond Distributors. As a retailer you spend so much time scouring the monthly order form working out how much of say, Iron Man, is going to sell in three months time. So you order enough for your standing orders and maybe 5-10 copies for the shelves as people like Iron Man right? But all that money of yours is now sunk into comics that aren’t sale or return (SOR) plus your profit margin is pitiful, so do you run the risk of having unsold copies sitting there wasting your money or have nothing which means people coming in asking for Iron Man leave empty handed?

Whatever decision you make depends on lots of things but the one thing you can’t change is where you get your comics from as Diamond operate a monopoly. There is no competition, which means the direct market which was meant to bring control to retailers and create a better overall industry, is stale and bloated at a time when the Marvel films are making billions, and folk see comic related characters adapted to to film and TV everywhere.

There are other reasons, such as kids especially not being familiar with how comics are read because it isn’t just words with pictures. Comics are an entire art form and medium of its own, and although there’s a lot of titles out there which are written or drawn by people who don’t understand how comics work (hence why some books are glorified storyboards) a lot do get the basics at least. Also some shops are opened by people who may love comics but have no idea of business so once the comic collection they used to help launch the shop is gone, then they struggle to push on because they don’t know what to do next.

As for shops there’s still those out there where staff are uninformed, unhelpful and these tend to be places with ‘Geek’ in the name of the shop. These places are part throwbacks to the old style of shop and a pretence of a more modern shop but end up just being awful places to shop. To use one example I walked into one such shop and had some 17 year old follow me around the shop thinking I’m obviously some shoplifter even though I’m now a middle aged man who suffers from right sided numbness after a stokes three years ago, so move at the pace of a drunken slug.

But ultimately the main reason shops go under is the business is an unforgiving one controlled by a monolithic distributor so it forces the retailer to take on other revenue streams which may be more profitable (see the proliferation of Funko Pop toys and wargaming) but take you away from what you wanted which is a comic shop. There is no easy solution to this but for shops to make money they need to adapt, but they all need to start questioning, and actually challenging, the way the entire direct market has been set up. Maybe then things will swing back the retailers way.