Louise Mensch has failed at Twitter

Louise Mensch is the former Tory MP that spends most of her time on Twitter. At this time I’m writing this she has over 144k Tweets since she joined Twitter in January 2009 so that’s an astonishing average of 1800 Tweets a month so you’d think someone that’s been on the site for so long would understand how it works?

Nah. She doesn’t Last night she Tweeted this in an attempt to smear supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

louisemensch3Mensch thought these were autocomplete suggestions Twitter was giving her but anyone that’s used the site for longer than five minutes (apart from Mensch) will look at those wee ‘x’ after each suggestion as spot right away that these are Mensch’s own searches that Twitter is throwing back at her.

To be fair I’ve just tried searching for Liz Kendall and found these suggestions.

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See, there’s no little crosses after each suggestion, and although there is the shocking suggestion that Kendall is in a left wing party and that she should visit Wales, the fact that Twitter suggest ‘Liz Kendall Zionists’ isn’t probably a shock as by now thousands of people has used that search term therefore that throws it to the top of the list. It doesn’t mean that the people doing that are antisemites, or indeed, supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. It just means people are using that search term. I understood this before being trained in digital marketing because I used the internet for more than a few hours a day like Mensch does.

But nah, she’s not admitting defeat and continues to insist that these are supporters of Corbyn doing the searching. Now there clearly are bigots and antisemites out for Kendall, but Mensch is clinging onto the fact that ‘Liz Kendall zionist’ coming up as a suggestion is proof of Corbyn’s supporters being a mass of brutal Jew hating bastards. Because there are some bigots Tweeting abuse at Kendall doesn’t mean they lead to Corbyn, but then again Mensch isn’t actually standing up for Kendall but trying to smear Corbyn, She didn’t actually condemn some of the vaguely antisemitic crap Ed Milliband got for eating a bacon sandwich (in all the general pisstaking there was a clear hint of antisemitism from some) but no, this is all about labeling Corbyn with the tag ”antisemite”.

Now one may ask why a Tory is pushing hard against Corbyn and defending Liz Kendall and I leave you to draw your own conclusions, but it’d be unfair for me to mention Louise Mensch without yet again ,mentioning her days as a groupie

The Uncanny Valley-Experiencing Glastonbury 2015 on television..

There’s a phrase created by Masahiro Mori in 1970 called ‘The Uncanny Valley’ to describe the revulsion or unease one feels when confronted by an almost human robot, or something that looks incredibly real but isn’t but the act of ourselves looking at it causes us severe revulsion and horror at one end of the scale or just being uncomfortable at the other. This year I’m experiencing Glastonbury Festival from the comfort of my couch for the first time ever having taken a year off (I’ll explain why in a second) for the first time since 1992. In doing so I now understand perfectly what The Uncanny Valley is and right now I’m both uncomfortable and horrified but let me go back to the beginning before explaining how this relates to Glastonbury.

I’ve been looking to take a year off for a while but the last few festivals have been so bloody amazing, great and enjoyable I binned that idea until only a few weeks after last year’s festival when (cutting a very long story short) it came out that I’d have to possibly move back to Glasgow from Bristol for a bit of a family emergency but up until September I was ready to carry on as normal and juggle things around as much as I could from Bristol. Then two things happened in September. One, the situation got worse and the second was the Scottish Independence referendum. September basically made it clear of a number of things and that for me to continue I’d have to go back to Glasgow, even though I’d miss things like a summer or the smell of someone who’ve been sick outside my flat after drinking too much cider. So I decided I needed to put off a decision about going to Glastonbury til the spring, but something then came up that confirmed that I couldn’t make it this year, so I accepted I’d experience everything of this this year’s festival through the media and of course, the BBC.

Of course this is all very strange looking at the festival as its happening through the filter of someone else, and that someone else is a BBC producer or if you look at the online coverage on the BBC site, whatever you want on the main music stages live. It’s extraordinary how much the BBC is offering for the viewer to watch yet at the same time the first thing that gets me is how incredibly narrow the BBC’s coverage is. There’s minimal about the rest of the festival including the 30 or so other stages (At least) that fall outside the basics of a few people on stage playing music. Still, it’s quite cool that you can see acts playing more or less live online from the comfort of your home while people experience it all first hand.

FRIDAY

I decide to start on the Friday afternoon and dive in to have a shufty at Mary J Blige. Not an act I especially care any way for but hey, it’s Glastonbury and one of the things about Glastonbury is diving into watching acts you don’t especially care any way for. After ten minutes I find out I don’t especially care about Blige’s stuff to carry on watching but seeing as I can’t stroll off to a beertent, have a pint of cold, but overpriced Carlsberg, or a pint of cider at the Cider Bus and engaging someone in a chat as I’m in my flat I decide to look at what’s on the Other Stage which this year looks fucking huge. In fact it looks like the same rig at the Reading Festival stage.Anyhow the Other Stage sounds shite so it’s off to West Holts to see a picture of a lot of very, very wet people standing in the pissing rain waiting for something to happen.

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This for me is part of the Glastonbury experience they need to give more prominence. After all I’ve lost hours over the decades standing around at Glastonbury in the rain waiting for something to start, so I fully expect this to have it’s own highlights programme.I spend ten minutes watching the skies darken and the crowd look more and more fed up before deciding to go for a wander again. This time to the Park stage.

The Park is at the same time a brilliant stage as it features some astonishing acts. It’s also at the same time overpopulated by the sort of braying arsehole that’ll be talking LOUDLY about how daddy has a job for them once they’ve come back from their gap year while at the same time filming whatever’s on stage so they can tell their equally vacuous friends what they did during Glastonbury.It’s essentially the London Hipster Student Trustifarian Stage, but it does have some great acts on and as I’m watching a band called Wolf Alice are doing some pretty decent Indie guitar music that’s a bit paint-by-numbers but they’re worth wasting a bit of time over if you can deal with the flag wankers.

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Of course it’s late Friday afternoon and it’s all about Motorhead who are finally playing now that Emily Eavis has finally convinced her dad Michael that heavy rock and heavy metal has a place at Worthy Farm. Motorhead are also the reason I’m slightly deaf in my left ear after standing too near a speaker when I saw them in Leicester in the early 90’s.As I see out Wolf Alice’s set I notice the rain is getting worse while I look out the window of my flat here in Bristol to see the skies breaking and a vague bit of sunshine poking through. Rather than watch people get totally soaked I decide to make myself a burger, charge myself a tenner for it and ensure they’re not properly cooked so I can shite myself at some point to get that full Pyramid Stage experience in the run-up to Motorhead.

After this I settle down for some metal but the weather still looks shite.

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This is the point at a festival where you either crawl back into your tent and hide, or you go ‘fuck it’, put some proper wet weather gear on and have some bloody alcohol/drug induced fun!! Standing around in the pissing rain isn’t fun though and as the sunshine filters into my flat I realise that in an hour or so that sun and clear skies should hit Pilton. I decide while I’m waiting to fill my toilet up with paper and let it overspill just to get the full experience as I wait for bloody Motorhead to get their arses on stage.

Then I see on my TV a trailer for BBC One’s magazine shitefest, The One Show and I wish only for an asteroid to kill Chris Evans. I go back to looking at people standing around in the rain as that’s more fun than Chris Evan’s hopeless face.. I go back to my burger hoping to contract something nasty as I notice someone finally cleans off the camera lens on the BBC feed, and the weather doesn’t look that bad. At this point I realise I’ve spent more time on the footage between bands than actually watching bands themselves. Again, this isn’t entirely something I’m not used to having been to probably around 100 festivals in my my life as the hanging around talking bollocks with mates bit is often more fun than the act itself.

It’s at this point I get pissed off, moody and a bit teary as thing is I could have done Glastonbury as it turns out and I’m actually missing it more than I think I would. I even miss the sore ankles, the burgers, the lack of sleep but I don’t miss the flag wankers. Nobody misses the flag wankers. Or the umbrella wankers. What sort of fucking inhuman arsehole uses a fucking umbrella in a field?? Honestly, they’re worse than Tories but this is all distraction from the fact that if I’d got my shite sorted out in April I’d be there and not writing this.

Anyhow.

Motorhead are still setting up but the BBC gives us a warning.

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I bloody hope it contains strong language but as Lemmy and company come on I notice the crowd is a bit thin but fuck people if they want to go an miss one of the best live bands you’ll ever see and tonight they’re on form but either the audience are dead or the BBC have cut the audience noise right out the mix. Then I realise that most of the audience are about 10 and are probably there only for Ace of Spades. I then spot that Lemmy has a little bottle of Glenfiddich attached to his mic stand.

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Motorhead smash it. Eventually the audience gets it as do Motorhead who end up getting mighty pissed and turning out a show as the sun comes out but as they finish I realise BBC 2 has started their coverage which will be shite. See, one thing many people do when coming back from Glastonbury is to catch up with BBC2’s coverage to relive the best bits, as long of course the best bits are some DJ with ridiculous hair and some trust fund bunch of kids from London who are this year’s Indie Band of the Moment, oh and Jo Wiley.

Wiley’s a divisive figure. Some people think she’s just a vacuous airhead that promotes some of the blandest, most dull guitar music known to humanity, and some think she’s just an airhead.Either way her breathless excitement over Coldplay while looking down her nose at anything that isn’t on the main stages has become tiresome, but as tiresome as she is she;s not as bad as Nick Grimshaw, the actual physical embodiment of people that call Glastonbury ‘Glasto’ in that annoying Home Counties accent that makes them sound like they’re trying too hard to turn everything into a question?

But the story of Friday evening is who is coming on before Florence and the Machine and filling her slot? Is it Bastille? The Stone Roses? Dusty’s Rusty Nuts? Ed Milliband replacing Kurt Cobain in Nirvana? I don’t know but I think I spot Tony Bennett, the head of Knockabout Comics in the audience but it’s sadly not which means paying attention to BBC2 seeing as there’s nothing interesting happening anywhere else at the minute. I decide to look at the crowds in front of the Pyramid instead as that’s more interesting that Jo Wiley’s cold dead eyes, especially after a piece entitled ‘Daughters of Kate’ featuring four girls expressing their individuality by dressing as much like Kate Moss as they can.

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So who played the second place spot? It was The Libertines, a band that at their peak were astonishing live. I saw them play an astonishing mid-afternoon slot at a Reading Festival in the early 2000’s, but when they reformed for the money a few years back, the spark had gone, shot up a load of smack, stolen their mate’s stuff, sold it for more smack and they were going through the motions. Not so much tonight as they seem to actually give a fuck probably because they’ll not be getting that much cash from the gig, and because it’s their first time at Glastonbury. Sure they’re a bit pudgier and greyer, not to mention the tattoos and swagger doesn’t convince at all anymore, but they do a good show, If I was there I’d probably watch it assuming I’d not ended up in the Avalon Field, one of the fields that never seems to get any coverage off the BBC.

Still, I flick around and look at a couple of songs from Caribou. They’re shite and appear to have neither enough spine or testicles to play anything exciting, so I decide to go back to the Libertines just to pass the time. They’re still shite. I decide to look to see who’s playing the Avalon Stage on Friday night, but I see that The Proclaimers, Wilko Johnson and Christy Moore are on at the Acoustic Tent, and that Lulu played the Avalon Stage, Fucking Lulu. Alabama 3 are on at the Glade. Mungos HiFi is on in the dance village. In short there’s plenty else to do, but the BBC are only showing the main stages and I feel sad so I go and turn my boiler from winter to summer mode because I’ve been meaning to do it for weeks. I’m still feeling sad and wondering why I didn’t just flog a box of comics, raise a grand or so and go fuck it as seeing the Proclaimers at Glastonbury after the last year would be immense, not to mention extraordinarily cathartic. Nope, I was sorting out my boiler while eating a plum.

Sigh…..

Back to Glastonbury and deciding to venture out a bit I check out Modestep playing the John Peel Stage, and fuck me, are they not fantastic or what? Yes they’re derivative as hell of about half a dozen bands from the off and I hope they’ve stuck the cheque in the post to The Prodigy, Rage Against the Machine and many more but they’ve got bollocks, energy and they’re LOUD.

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I finish my plums, grab a glass of milk (living the mad high life me!!) to settle down for the home straight and the headliners. I decide to give Florence and the Machine a go, not because I’m a fan. I don’t especially like or dislike her stuff but it’s always worth seeing if an act manages to step up to the headline slot. Sadly the Flag Wankers are out in force.

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Florence and the Machine do their job. They pull off a decent headline slot and manage not to be as boring as Coldplay or as crap as Gorillaz. It’s bland but serviceable though I’d not run across the room to turn it up because it sounds like the same song being played continuously, but it’s the sort of thing the Guardian adores so you get the audience for this.

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I spend a few hours watching the BBC2 programme after Florence and the Machines set but by this time I’m so fed up about not being there that I decide to go to bed, plus I’ve got a day out planned tomorrow to avoid spending the entire day watching and writing about something I dearly want to be at so off to bed I go.

SATURDAY

I get up and get ready to go out for the day but I can’t help a sneaky look at Twitter to see what people are talking about in relation to Glastonbury.The Guardian predictably slags off Motorhead, much of the media are predictably gushing about Florence and the Machine but the focus moves now to Kanye West, tonight’s headliner on the Pyramid Stage. Is he going to play a blinder or is he going to drown in a sea of piss? Before I find out I venture out on the piss myself because the Saturday of Glastonbury is all about getting nicely pissed and even though I’m not there, I fully intend living up to this tradition.

A few hours later I’m drunk. Not falling over drunk but still enough to realise Pharrell Williams is an arsehole but I manage to catch Mavis Staples on the Park Stage showing him a bit of soul but she’s over before I settle in too much so it’s back to Pharrell.  Williams manages to effect the sort of honest-dishonesty that good salespeople do but I get tired of listening to someone that’s provided the soundtrack of All Bar One’s all across the UK. Fortunately La Roux is on at the John Peel stage and I drunkenly settle in for the next hour.

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Sadly the sound mix is fucking dreadful so it sounds as if they’re performing in a bathtub under the sea.They’re a bit flat too as if they’re a bit pissed off about playing the John Peel Stage when they really should be on a larger stage, but at least it’s not Pharrell Williams pumping out the insincerity in big sticky globs but fuck me it’s dull and that’s a pity as La Roux are criminally underrated. That can never be said about George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic and the Family Stone who rip the spine out of the West Holts Stage and make a nice spangly flagpole out of it so they can teach you how to funk yourself to death.

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I’m still very drunk and I can’t face Kanye so I carry on funking but during a lull I decide to check in on Kanye West and the levels of shite are as expected. It’s a multi-millionaire performing unmemorable songs to a backing track under a massive lighting rig. This is music for people that think that going for a Nando’s is exotic.

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After deciding that looking at a man that can’t even stick together a backing band is shite, I decide to mosey back to the West Holts Stage for George Clinton. He doesn’t disappoint.

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He turns out a fantastic gig, but don’t expect to see much of Clinton as for some reason the BBC director is taken by his backing singers. Can’t understand why?

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After this finishes I manage a cup of tea, some Irn Bru, a bit of Suede and then bed because the bevvy has caught up now and I’m too old for people on TV and online trying to convince me that Kanye was anything but a bag of shite, plus tomorrow is potentially a big day.

SUNDAY

Much of the press is trying to give Kanye a good report, but even the most gushing seems to accept it was a load of shite. Judging by the reactions of mates actually in the Pyramid field last night the crowd were very firmly split with half utterly loving the vacuous nonsense on display and the other treating it as an episode of Jeremy Kyle so giving it the contempt it deserved.

But it’s Sunday, the last day and there’s an interesting line-up to say the least. Patti Smith, The Who, Belle and Sebastian, The Chemical Brothers, The Fall, Steel Pulse, errr Lionel Ritchie, but the little gem is Franz Ferdinand and Sparks playing as FFS. There’s also the Dali Lama who did a talk at the Stone Circle in the rain, and Stephen Hawking who at this rate will probably be twerking during the Chemical Brothers. In short if I were there I’d want to see all of that but in reality only maybe see three, maybe four acts at a push because there’s other things to do apart from see bands. One of which I would have seen is Patti Smith.

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There’s a fair crowd for her which is good to see as is the lack of rain and I end up people watching before remembering the crowd I normally go with will be at the top disabled platform so there’s no point looking for them but I do spot someone that looks like former ‘Scottish’ Labour leader Jim Murphy and feel pity for the poor sod. Smith though looks older than I expected, though she’s still got a great voice though it’s become a bit shaky at times, but unlike Kanye last night she doesn’t hide it with autotune.

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She gives the Pyramid a different sort of Sunday afternoon experience but its one that seems to go down well and it acts as a palate cleanser after last night. Especially as she gets the audience to sing Happy Birthday to the Dali Lama and present him with a cake because this is Somerset after all.

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It’s a more touching moment that it should be but I can’t help thinking the Dali Lama’s message of peace, hope and social justice is lost on people that just over a month ago voted for the Tories, UKIP or are ‘pragmatic’ Labour supporters. Still, the Dali Lama gives the afternoon a nice mellow vibe as does Smith who is much more chilled in her old age than the last time I saw her in the 80’s or 90’s when she was very, very angry as opposed to being just angry, but she is 68. However she closes with a storming version of The Who’s My Generation that overjoys fans and confuses the hordes of Flag Wankers turning up to ironically laugh at/enjoy Lionel Ritchie.

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Here’s the thing about Sunday afternoons at festivals: you’ve either totally acclimatised so that you’re used to the sun, rain. dust, mud, filth, fun, and so on, or you’re so desperate to go home to clean your balls that you trudge along on a Sunday generally forcing the last vestiges of joy out of you before you start thinking about the shite call centre job you have before you’ve even taken your tent down.So you go to the late Sunday afternoon Oldie Slot for one last bit of contrived joy before accepting your fate again.

Only Lionel Ritchie can make you feel some sort of joy…

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Ritchie does what the lat Sunday afternoon slot on the Pyramid should do: stick on a big show, get people singing and it’s all done in that American way of insincere sincerity that only the Americans can pull off. It’s a lesson in how to give what the audience want while putting on a show that even a hardened auld cynic like myself has to admit is fun.

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Like Dolly Parton last year the crowd is massive for what is essentially a massive bit of karaoke, but hey, fuck it there’s nothing on any of the other stages the BBC are live streaming so I dig in for the duration and manage to enjoy it as uncynically as possible but if I’d been there I’d probably be off on a wander by now but I’d have missed the dancing security and the unrelenting cheese! Sadly Alt-J and on next and they’re the sort of unrelentlessly middle class indie band that has helped neuter music so I flick feeds to see Steel Pulse.

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Steel Pulse are a reminder of the days when the West Holts Stage was the Jazz Stage, then the JazzWorld Stage before a couple of years ago it settled into the third main stage so it no longer had a focus on the unusual and had more mainstream performers but there’s still a bit of the old spirit there and it still does stand as something different from the mainly white indie guitar/pop bands on the Other Stage or the erratic Pyramid Stage. Steel Pulse play a set fit for a lazy late Sunday afternoon when one is nicely toasted.

At this point though on a Sunday of a festival you realise that time is running out. If you’ve been at Glastonbury since the car parks opened on Tuesday evening you’re either dying to go home, or (as I have the last four or five years) wanted to stay there for as long as bloody possible. See for all it’s faults. For all it’s flaws. For the fact the Pyramid Stage is often the domain of people that think Jeremy Kyle is the pinnacle of modern culture, or that the Other Stage is endlessly bland, or that there are too many tourists, celebrities (one mate has posted a selfie of her and Rio Ferdinand), TV presenters or journalists trying to grind out 1,000 words to fill a space and pay for the weekend, it’s by far the best festival in the UK. Cut away from Babylon, cross the railway track and it’s a different festival to that on TV. There’s circus fields, comedy, Green Fields, politics, more music, theatre and just people you meet doing things that are glorious which is why around 4pm to around 6pm I have one last walk round the site every year just to take it all in before settling down for whatever I want to see/do in the final hours. Normally that’s an evening in the comedy tent or checking out the last major band on one of the larger stages.

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Seeing though as I’m not at Glastonbury I end up just cooking something to eat and mope a wee bit before catching some glorious tweeness from Belle and Sebastian though I can’t take my eyes off the large spot or mark on Stuart Murdoch’s nose.

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For me the Sunday highlight is The Fall. Now last time I saw this band at a festival it was at a Reading around 15 years ago when Mark E. Smith and the drummer got in a fight and he played with a busted nose and lip. Now he looks like the old boy that drinks down the pub living out past glories in his head as he pisses himself every Friday night.

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Put simply, The Fall are not a festival band. The crowd at The Park Stage try to get into it but most stand there looking puzzled, confused and in some cases, quite scared.I decide that perhaps I’m not in the mood so catch a bit of Paul Weller on the Pyramid Stage.

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He is amazingly dull. I decide to take some fresh air and nip to the shop for Irn Bru. I come back and Paul Weller is still amazingly dull. I remember that every time I’ve seen him he’s been dull, and I’ve strolled off to leave him being dull so I go off and do something else more productive like drink Irn Bru for an hour or so or until the headliners come out to play.

A bit later I decide to watch The Who but they’re not letting the BBC do a live feed, only highlights on their programme later, which is bollocks & good as last time I saw them at Glastonbury they were dreadful. This does mean I can watch Franz Ferdinand & Sparks close the John Peel Stage to an audience of barely nobody.

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Then I realise that there’s half an hour before they come on so I nip over to The Other Stage feed for a bit of Chemical Brothers, a pretty safe bet for any festival for a good gig.The first thing that stands out is a girl with a lit flare in each hand that looks totally awesome but must be burning her arms to fuckity.

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Franz Ferdinand and Sparks are on though and they’re exactly as expected: demented and glorious.

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Somehow both bands manage to blend together perfectly and produce a sound faithful to both bands while not detracting from the other. It’s pretty smart stuff. After FFS finish I catch up with The Who on the BBC2 programme. Its pretty turgid stuff.

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There’s a point when songs of youthful rebellion and anger don’t cut it when sung by millionaires in their 60’s. Yeah, it’s OK, but at the dog-end of the festival it doesn’t look real. In effect it’s an Uncanny Valley writ large in music. In fact the entire weekend experiencing the festival hasn’t quite felt real as the laptop or TV screen provides an experience only programmed by BBC directors so it’s shaped only in the way they want you to experience Glastonbury and it’s false. It’s fake.Sure the six different live feeds online are great but you’re still detached. You don’t experience the smells, the sounds, the feel of the ground under your feet, or feeling the mist descend into the Valley of Avalon, or looking up and seeing stars you never will anymore in cities.

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Sure some of the images on your TV screen or monitor are spectacular but it’s a snapshot of a butterfly taken from the Moon. You can only get a glimpse at best, but the problem is creating that false image that it’s a bunch of fields  with bands playing in them and it’s not, even though that’s a part of the festival it’s only the commercial part to be sold to the tourists that are happy to accept the festival in part rather than a whole. There is another way to live life and without sounding like a sad old bastard, Glastonbury provides a template for it. With what’s going on in the world at the minute there needs to be something positive, something achievable and here it is. OK, there’s still crime, there’s still arseholes and I’ve written often about the changes in the festival over the last two and a bit decades I’ve been going.

But it’s easy to be cynical. It takes no effort, however it allows you to do nothing while letting the status quo persist, so as I’ve sat here all weekend watching Glastonbury on TV, and on the media the cynicism against the festival has been at times overwhelming. As said, this is only a glimpse you see on TV. It’s easy to dismiss it on TV, and sometimes it’s fun as in the case of Kanye West, but when all that’s presented of the festival is a replica, an almost real version of the real thing it’s no wonder some of us do feel revulsion because we know we’re watching a fake. Being on your couch is no replacement for the real thing.

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I look at the image on the BBC’s Glastonbury webcam late on Sunday night as the main stages have closed, but it’s clear there’s still so much that’s barely been represented at all in the media this weekend. In fact around 30 stages haven’t been mentioned so it’s no wonder people come to the festival expecting it to be a big gig in a field when it really isn’t, but you want to limit your experience of Glastonbury to just that, fine, knock yourself out but you’re missing not just the festival’s potential but your own and that dear readers is the end of this.

In the next six months I need to sort a lot of things out, If things work out then I’m coming to Glastonbury next year from Glasgow, but it’ll be worth it because if you use Glastonbury right, it allows you to inspire yourself and that’s not something that’s just a gig in a field can do. I never again want to miss that experience and I never again want to experience the Uncanny Valley of living Glastonbury through the BBC ever again.

 

A week in journalism……

Two stories this week are prime examples of how many modern journalists work. First up is the tragic death of Peaches Geldof. It was obviously sad to hear of a 25 year old mother of two die so young, however the moment she died she went from being a figure generally considered to be a subject of mockery thanks to her lack of any talent to something approaching a great national figure who’s death touched us all!

Brendan O’Neill at Spiked wrote a fantastic piece which cuts to the heart of this and it’s worth reading as it cuts through all the hysteria that’s been sweeping the media and social media over the last week since Geldof’s untimely death. As O’Neill points out, things are not rational.

And yet her death has been turned into a national event, with not only the celebocracy churning out trite tweets of brief grief for its fallen member, but even politicians, presidents and significant swathes of the public expressing sorrow for her passing. That even an It girl, mostly famous for being the daughter of Sir Bob and once having had a televisual run-in with foghorn-made-flesh Katie Hopkins, can be mourned like this, can become the object of ceaseless howls of 140 characters of sorrow, shows how ravenous the culture of public grieving has become. It doesn’t even need a Diana or pope anymore in order to get its death-watching rocks off; anyone will do.

 

The reaction to her death has become a horrible thing to watch because really, it’s a thing her family and friends should be involved with, not everyone on Twitter or Facebook, but it does provide an endless stream of material for journalists (and I’m using this word in a loose way here) to put out any old guff with this utterly risible article in The Guardian by Tanya Gold being an example. It’s an example of how journalists now work. Gone are the hours of research and fact-checking, now it’s scouring Twitter for ideas and commenting upon what they see on social media.Gold is trying essentially to have her cake and eat it as she’s trying to be clever by commenting upon people commenting but it’s all a bit, well, seedy to use this meta concept (yes, I’m aware I’m adding a lair to this but I’m not cashing in) as an excuse to cash in on the hysteria round the death of someone who was only a week ago someone who was a subject of derision.

Now it doesn’t take a genius to work out that not everyone is on social media, and that actually, Twitter isn’t anything but a slightly skewed reflection of reality, and this is backed up by the ridiculous demands of Twitter users to get Katie Hopkins to Tweet about Peaches Geldof because for some reason Hopkins (someone I consider to be genuinely evil) should because she’ll be an even worse person if she didn’t. Then at the end of this week, The Guardian printed this article by something called Bunny Kinney which is supposed to be a personal tribute to Geldof, but only mentions her three times and uses the word ‘I’ more than it mentions Geldof. It’s an extraordinary piece that highlights the world Geldof did inhabit, that privileged Trustafarian/trust fund world where children of wealthy people have parties and ultimately have no talent or do nothing which brings me to the first thing I thought of when Geldof died, after of course the basic human thing of feeling sorry for her family.

The first thing I thought of was this clip from an old Charlie Brooker Screenwipe. It’s still relevant.

The second story is about the Facebook page/blog Women who eat on the Tube. This weird creeper site has been around apparently since 2011 but was only picked up as a news story when a journalist made a complaint about her picture being on it. Now rather than let the site die, or continue to be mainly ignored by the world at large outside of it’s 16,000 members at the time, the media this week saw the story of Twitter and decided to give it endless amounts of publicity so that at last count the groups members had passed the 20k mark after article after article in the media based upon only the Twitter reaction. This has resulted in a protest against the group (which has been up and running for three years) happening with a mass picnic this weekend.

Again the reaction to this has been manufactured on social media. This doesn’t mean that Women who eat on the Tube is vile, as all creeper or stalker sites are but to suddenly become offended about a three year old site is creating a bigger controversy than is deserved. However a number of liberal left leaning journalists as well as right leaning conservatives journalists found the time to say pretty similar things about it as if this were an important issue of the day along with the death of Peaches Geldof.

Let’s take an example of a story that was on the whole, barely reported in anywhere near the detail of the two examples I’ve given. In Iraq women and children’s human rights are being endangered as childhood marriage is being legalised and marital rape is condoned. This by all rights should be a major story, especially among the alleged left leaning press, but short of a few mentions here and there it’s not hit the same coverage as the death of a minor celebrity or a website that’s wrong but few people knew about til last week. This story does however challenge some beliefs so if you’re a conservative then you may well look at this story and think that the war in Iraq was indeed the failure many of us said it was from the off. If you’re a left leaning or liberal journalist you may look at this story and it forces you to ignore it because it means dealing with the problems of extremists within Islam, so as a friend on Facebook pointed out, it ends up getting ignored or skimmed over because actual journalism isn’t something most journalists do anymore. They sit on Twitter looking at what other journalists Tweet, or just plainly steal other people’s work and recycle it so you don’t have journalists tackling tough subjects as a norm anymore. You don’t see hard investigative journalism but instead it’s article after article which gets the clicks, helps with the site’s SEO and helps keep the advertisers happy.

If this means that an untimely death of a 25 year old mother of two is turned from a family tragedy into a National Event, or that a reaction to a three year old stalker site is treated as important Earth-shattering bits of news it’s because it’s easy to write about and deals in nice black and white morality. It’s something that doesn’t involve a lot of work and you get an easy reaction from people whereas doing actual investigative journalism means putting in the hours, doing the work and often dealing with topics which provoke a very nuanced response from people. Problem is that nuance doesn’t make money for advertisers or media organisations.

So next time you see a story blowing up as we have this week, delve deeper into what stories are being missed that deserve greater coverage, or indeed, what stories aren’t being covered by the major news organisations at all, and of course this is all helped by people merrily jumping on the bandwagon to increase the profile of stories that aren’t really major stories.

In short, get a fucking grip and a sense of perspective.

 

EDITED TO ADD:

As if to prove a point, here’s Barbara Ellen’s article in The Observer which misses the point completely in yet another article which tries to have it’s cake and eat it. Geldof wasn’t famous for being anything but the daughter of some more famous parents and as said, was generally the subject of mockery for her lack of any discernible talent.This isn’t to mock her now she’s dead, but to put into perspective what’s happening because someone can’t instantly have this legacy rewritten because they died and people are generally suffering from this Diana-esque mass hysteria.

So when Ellen says:

For one thing, to say that Geldof “wasn’t really famous” is snide rubbish. She had extremely famous parents and was very much in the public eye in her own modish, scattergun way. To claim that she was culturally irrelevant is to misunderstand the nature of modern celebrity – where, far from slavish adoration of tedious A-listers, people keep up with people they are interested in (via magazines, Twitter, Instagram et al) in a laid-back way, sometimes for the silliest and slightest of reasons.

It’s shows the vacuous, empty and self-obsessed nature of this as Ellen, like other commentators, make Geldof’s death about Ellen and her family.

In my case, my daughter briefly resembled Peaches, and, for a while, it became a family in-joke that she should forget about university and seek her fortune as her professional lookalike. Hence Peaches made her bizarre foray into our family conversation, which lasted long after the resemblance faded. We retained a little soft spot for Peaches (gobby little madam) past the partying, through to the hilarious row with Katie Hopkins, and her obvious enchantment with young motherhood.

When she died, it was this latter point that snagged: to have that simple happiness snatched away seemed so cruel – just as cruel (no more, no less) as if it happened to someone non-famous.

 

See, Geldof’s death isn’t destroying people;s natural empathy. Far from it. It’s making people’s sense of empathy get bludgeoned under a barrage of comments from people treating Peaches Geldof as a personal friend who touched them while skimming over what she did, or didn’t do.

That’s the problem. Let the family have the space to grieve on their terms rather than this endless attempt for people to write themselves into this. That’s frankly, fucking repulsive.

 

When is International Men’s Day then?

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. This prompted hundreds, if not thousands of people to drag their knuckles up off the floor in horror and bang out the line ‘why isn’t there an International Men’s Day then? This is unequal!!!’ and infinite variations upon this. The comedian Richard Herring spent all day yesterday answering to every, single Tweet in a Herculean feat to point out to people they were being misogynist, stupid, ignorant, daft, prickish, wankerish and all of the above.

Here’s a few random examples:

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There’s lots, lots more to see at Herring’s timeline, but there’s an almost identical pattern of general fuckwittery throughout the day. Now, the smarter among you have probably realised many of these people will have logged on yesterday, looked at yesterday’s Google Doodle which celebrated International Women’s Day, and thought ‘GRRRRRR!!!ME AM ANGRY!!! MISANRDRY! GRRR WIMMEN!!!’  and decided to bang out Tweets which showed that people cannot use the internet to find out actual facts. Then again that would get in the way of their own stupidity and prejudices.

Thankfully Richard Herring put them right again and again and again. The man deserves a medal, or at least a new keyboard.

And oh, International Men’s Day is November the 19th.

2013-That Was the Year That Was

Boxing Day has passed and we’re into the odd twilight that is the time between Christmas and Hogmanay and seeing as everyone else spends this time in the pub avoiding the sales, or even madder, actually in the sales, I’m going to take this quiet time to do a little rundown of the year for my best and worst of the year…

So cracking on let’s leap into this…

Best Overdue Death-Margaret Thatcher.

Without her incredibly overdue death I’d not have written the first post in my blog, or even finally felt a sense of release though at the time I don’t think I would have predicted her becoming such a martyr figure to fucked up sociopathic Tory scum as she has become.

As you can see, there’s still a little bit of my heart blackened with hate for her and especially her spawn.

Best FlounceThe EDL’s Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson came into his own after the senseless murder of Lee Rigby which he used as a dragnet to get every snide wee fucked up racist in the country to quietly agree with the EDL’s obvious bigotry. During the summer he hosted an hilarious Q & A session on Twitter, which saw me being blocked by him.

However just as the EDL were at a peak, Robinson flounced off saying they were becoming ‘too extreme’ for him. This set people’s Spidey Sense tingling as frankly. the EDL had been ‘too extreme’ from the fucking off! Still, it’s now hilarious to see the EDL crack and fracture.

Most Annoying Americanism of 2013Calling TV programmes ”shows”.

There was a time when Telly programmes were called programmes. They would be called dramas, serials, kids telly, documentaries, anything. You’d have entertainment programmes that would be called shows. They’d normally be things like Seaside Special which normally featured a paedophile or a Tory (sometimes both) presenting the worst of British Light Entertainment in a tent in the pissing rain during the summer. It was clearly a term relating to certain types of programmes.

Now everything is a ‘show’. Breaking Bad, Football Focus, Doctor Who, Panorama, and I bet if someone did a 12 hour documentary about Auschwitz someone would give it the jolly title of ‘show’. Stop it! It’s lazy.

The Iain Duncan Smith ‘Cunt of the Year’ awardIain Duncan Smith.

In decades to come history will look back at this man and write a terrible history of what he’s done. Sadly too many people will have suffered by them

The Ed Millband Useless Bastard awardEd Milliband

You’re opposition leader against a coalition  people hate. You should be leaping ahead in the poll. No, you’re not because you’re as useful as a Vatican approved condom.

The Jack Whitehall Middle Class Comedian awardJack Whitehall/Everyone on BBC Three/Channel 4

Back in the day comedians came from all walks of life. You’d have a mix of people and this would mean something may have a broad appeal, which meant much of British comedy came from pointing out class divisions, the inequalities of it and we could laugh at it. Something like Dad’s Army is full of this. Politics was the lifeblood of British comedy along with satire, slapstick and

Now comedy in the UK is dominated by graduates talking about being at university without spotting the irony in doing so. Comedy is dominated by comedians speaking in the same accent, making crap gags about the same things and it’s boring.

The Michael Bay Award For Film of the YearMan of Steel.

Ever wondered how it would be possible to make a worse film than Superman  IV: The Quest for Peace? Man of Steel provided the answer to that question.We need an edgy murdering Superman because that’s what hope is about.

The Rupert Murdoch Award for Journalistic IntegrityThe Guardian’s treatment of Dev Hynes

I outlined recently what happened when The Guardian decided to print an article by one of the Vagenda’s editorial team about crowdsourcing in relation to the fire that destroyed musician Dev Hynes.

In a year when Julie Burchill still writes for newspapers, this managed the amazing task of the worst piece of vile attack hackery disguising itself as journalism I’ve seen. Well, today The Guardian decided to go ahead and print the interview without any mention of the previous article or Hynes saying on Twitter he wants nothing to do with the paper again.

There is however a suitably feeble excuse…

guardianhynes

The Heroes Reborn Award for Cocking Up SuperheroesDC Comics

Many years ago, Marvel Comics decided to turn their like into Image Comics with the disaster which was Heroes Reborn. This gave us this.

Liefeldcaptainamerica

DC Comics gave us the New 52 a while back. It gave us this.

catwoman_batman_sex

Nuff said.

The Jamie Theakston Award for Worst TV Festival CoverageBBC Three

I love festivals as anyone who’s read through my blogs will have worked out but TV coverage of festivals is always all over the place, but this year BBC Three’s coverage ploughed new depth as they managed to take what was a good year for festivals and concentrate on the same dreary tedious student Indie bands at every festival they covered.

Then there’s presenters so completely lacking in joy, charisma or talent telling us of these bands without joy, charisma or talent that they love.

The Jamie Redknapp Award for Pointless Footballing PunditryMichael Owen.

In the event of a nuclear war all that’s left is the roaches and Michael Owen endlessly talking in a dull monotone to any roach who’d listen about how they all need to do to win football matches is to put the ball in the net.

That’s the future of the human race: Michael Owen endless talking and talking and talking and talking and talking and talking and talking….

The Ray Winstone MassiveTool AwardAlex Ferguson

For decades we’ve had to put up with Ferguson telling us he never held grudges or vendettas. The minute he retires he releases a book outlining the grudges and vendettas he’s held for years.

Tool.

The Partick Thistle Award for The Film Which Should Have Done Better in 2013The World’s End

This was a year of actually some decent films. I saw the splendid Excision which is a lovely mix of Cronenberg and Lynch. Lord of Salem is a ridiculously fun horror film. Pacific Rim is the most fun I’ve had at the cinema in ages but they all have something in common in that they didn’t do as well as they really should have.

The film that should have been fucking enormous is Edgar Wright’s The World’s End.

It did ok, It ticked over but it never hit the heights of success Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead did. That’s a shame because it’s a better film than the other two, and those other two are very good films indeed but without getting too much into spoiler territory here The World’s End isn’t the big obvious fist punching end that many expected it to be.

It’s actually more than that. It’s also a more adult film than I was expecting with the alien plot being something that works well within the main plot of the story of five middle aged men. It’s also very British so that a lot of this will skim over an overseas audience; the wee smile that slips on Paddy Considine’s face when his character hears I’m Free by the Soup Dragons for the first time in decades is something only people who remember a certain time in British popular culture will get, while for everyone else they’ll lose the nuance in that scene which comes early in the film.

See, this is a film for people roughly aged between 40-50. The references in the first 20 minutes or so are things that were unique parts of our youth so that when the film gets to it’s ending it can read as a tragic ending, but I’ll leave plot discussion there. Search the film out or buy it. It’s a fantastic film. It might have helped if it wasn’t released in the middle of summer when we actually had a glorious summer. Ah well…

And finally...

2013 was pretty crap. Sure, some things were fun but it’s been a hard year for not only me, but many people I know and things don’t that much better in 2014. However I’m going to carry on blogging in 2014.

That means my 20 favourite comic book films. My top 20 pop songs. More stuff about politics. A football blog about Scotland’s World Cup send off in 1978. The history of Neptune Comic Distributors. The return of my personal history of Glastonbury Festival. More about the Glasgow comics and SF scene of the 1980’s, and of course porn!

Happy new year!

The Sexual Politics of the Comics Industry

Over the past few days the internet has erupted in various degrees of indignation, anger, astonishment and anything else you can possibly imagine over the accusations made by Tess Fowler in regards to Brian Wood. This article at Bleeding Cool outlines the ins and outs, the original Tweets, and the statements made by both parties.

The actual ins and outs of the situation are still unclear, though Wood has admitted trying to pull Fowler, and frankly his statement seems thin compared to the fact that there’s now others coming forward to say that they’ve also encountered similar behaviour from Wood in the past. Frankly this particular situation is the tip of a seriously huge iceberg, but it has at least ignited the debate that’s been bubbling for not just a few years, but decades in regards how the comics industry and fandom deal with women, sexism and sadly, these sort of harassment allegations.

Now I’ve blogged previously about how comics deal with women, and anyone picking through this blog will know my past and I have to say that Fowler’s accusations don’t surprise me one bit.

See, the thing is about comics is that it’s a very, very male orientated pastime, or career depending on what side you sit on. Walk into any comic shop and I’ll bet you’ll see it run by men, with a mainly male customer base. Go to a con and you’ll see a similar picture, same goes with the creators. This isn’t in itself a bad thing but when it’s a case that the scene is so patriarchal to the point that when someone like Fowler finds the voice to speak out that she’s demolished by fans. She’s ‘sensitive’. She’s ‘hysterical’. She’s ‘lying because who can remember that far back?’, and on and on.

Now Wood isn’t accused of anything illegal. Yes, he’s got some explaining to do to his wife and that’s between them, but it’s not illegal. It is however wanky, which isn’t to say that any bloke drunkenly trying to pull is a wanker. I’ve done it. I imagine a large chunk of men and women reading this have done it. That’s not a problem. It’s when the quid pro quo of ‘fuck me and I’ll get you a contact’ comes in that it crosses not only a professional line, but a clear moral one that does start to become abusive. It’s how abusers work though promises and threats because what a lot of people who see this as Fowler being ‘sensitive’ miss is that accusers are blacklisted, or worse

Part of the problem lies in the lack of any comics sites seriously investigating suck claims, and these claims have been flying around for decades. The stories about Julie Schwartz are decades old, but I know people knew about these stories back in the 80’s, but obviously libel laws meant they never got into the press. However had there been anyone who’d went out to gather up evidence then things might have been different. Although it’s good Bleeding Cool broke this, and that other sites aren’t just picking it up but deciding to use it to prise open a long overdue discussion, I can’t help wish that it could have happened sooner.

Still, the discussion is happening which is good. The stories and secrets are coming out. People are finding out that people in the industry use cons to conduct affairs behind their partners backs, or that this sort of propositioning happens more often than people think. Yes, there are groupies. There are ”starfuckers’. These are not the majority of women, but a small, small minority but even the fact that this is coming out is astonishing as this was one of comics dirty little secrets.

The fact is you’ve got an industry where people go from school, to college or uni, and then possibly do a variety of retail or other jobs to supplement what they want to do which is create comics. Some people might not pick up the social skills you get in a regular work environment and I can tell you, there’s many a creator who is an enormous arsehole when you meet them down to those who are just socially unaware. These aren’t necessarily a problem but it’s when it’s seen as the norm or acceptable to grab a girl’s arse, or invite them to your room on the clear assumption that if they fuck you then you’ll introduce them to someone higher up the food chain. That’s when it becomes problematic. I can give you examples going back to the 80’s of situations at cons, shops or with people involved with comics that fit into this conversation. I’m sure most people involved in comics in some shape or form over the years could.

So I’m glad some very dirty laundry is being aired. I’m glad some people are having their eyes opened, but it’s a long, long way to go before comics cleans it’s act up and drags itself kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Will the real John Lewis stand up?

It’s Christmas which means that all the big companies crank up their marketing for the next seven weeks or so with a series of television adverts which seem to get more and more extravagant every single year. This year John Lewis has an advert which is designed to make people spend money with them by making them all cheery and cosy, which is of course, the point of these annual campaigns.

This time round though there’s the added sight of journalists and people falling over themselves to proclaim the John Lewis ad a success, and it is indeed a well made perfectly done bit of sentimentality. One way people are doing this is Tweeting at @johnlewis, however this means that some poor bloke in the US is having his Twitter feed bombarded by well meaning people and incredibly dim hacks who haven’t done the five seconds of research needed to find out that the Twitter feed they should be posting on in @johnlewisretail

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It’s worth heading over the the @johnlewis feed just to see how this poor bloke is dealing with people. It’s a wonderful lesson in how to interact with people in the 21st century.

The Great Storm!

Tonight a huge storm is due to hit the UK which promises to be the worst since 1987. Now I’m not going to point fun at any of the damage, or even the sad possibility of lives lost, but what I am going to do is point and laugh at people on Twitter.

For example, here’s an Oxfam shop not at all trying to take the piss.

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Or this one where it appears that we’ll be eating babies raw if we don’t get our safety packs!

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Make sure you have 3G now!

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And there’s lots, lots more needless panic, pointless overreaction and blind unthinking panic there as well. There’s also people having a laugh at the media induced panic that’s turned people into thinking they’re living in the world of The Walking Dead.

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The point is to be prepared. That’s perfectly sensible and reasonable. What isn’t perfectly sensible and reasonable is panicking while losing all sense of perspective because there’s a chance you might not have a 3G signal for a night or so. Of course there’s also the matter that more northern parts of the UK spend large parts of the winter being hammered with storm conditions but they’re far away from the media based in London so it’s not a story.

Just in case it is the end of the world though, I’m going to watch Mad Max 2 again to see if I can pick up any tips.

Activism V Slacktivism

Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno is a forthcoming cannibal film which pays a massive homage to one of his, and one of my favourite films, Cannibal Holocaust. I’ve not seen The Green Inferno yet but I don’t have this low opinion of Roth that most people have as I liked the first Hostel and the second one may veer all over the place script wise, but it’s a very well directed film which looks lovely. Roth also did one of the fake trailers for Grindhouse which is still hilariously brilliant no matter how often one watches it, so here again is the Thanksgiving trailer.

One of the things I like about Roth is that he tries to insert politics into his work, ok, it’s often simplistic but I’m hard pushed to think of any other mainstream American director who makes the point that America, and Americans don’t know the world they live in, or do they especially care about seeing the world through anything but their own eyes. Like I said, Roth does it in a simplistic way, but it’s there, especially in the first Hostel film.

The plot of The Green Inferno as quoted from it’s IMDB page is….

A group of student activists travel from New York City to the Amazon to save a dying tribe but crash in the jungle and are taken hostage by the very natives they protected.

 

The idea is that a group of ‘slacktivists‘ actually try to do something but face the reality of the people they tried to protect. Having not seen it, I can’t comment on the film but Roth makes an interesting point in this interview with the Toronto Sun.

“People see something on Twitter, they look at the hashtag, and retweet it and think that’s enough. I really started to notice this around the Kony 2012 campaign.”

 

Roth makes a good point. There’s far too many people who think that retweeting a hashtag is actually going to save the world, or that a Twitter campaign, or even a boycott will change attitudes, or even change the world. Kony 2012 was the best example of a huge campaign which changed utterly nothing, and ended up with the organiser making a bit of a wanker of himself as Roth points out.

“Absolutely nothing got changed by Kony 2012,” Roth continues. “Everyone suddenly caring about this warlord that the government knew about for years because it was on Facebook. And then a few weeks later the leader of Invisible Children was on the street masturbating in broad daylight. That was one big masturbatory exercise that led to absolutely nothing.

“So I wanted to make a movie where kids like that get their asses handed to them … literally.”

 

In the case of Kony the organisers, Invisible Children, made $20 million from the campaign which has resulted in Joseph Kony still carrying on, with the situation being as bad as ever.

The argument could be that these sort of campaigns raise awareness, which is true, but often this is filtered through a very Western, very middle class viewpoint which strips complex situations into basic and simple good and bad, black and white rather than the complicated geopolitical socioeconomics that really drives events around the world. It’s easier to understand a hashtag and retweet it than actually take the time and effort to understand the background of something. The vision is that that people, not to mention the media try to create a narrative to fit their own view of the world. The brilliant documentary maker Adam Curtis made a short film about this, and called it Oh Dearism. It’s an essential bit of viewing.

As Curtis says, we watch news programmes and feel helpless and depressed, so we try to act so we can help, which means in 2013 Tweeting a hashtag or liking a post on Facebook,which makes people think they’re somehow caring enough to carry on without making any serious effort to help a particular situation.

This isn’t to say that spreading information or raising awareness isn’t a good thing, it is, but in the context of many of the campaigns it’s often a bad thing which can have depressing side effects, or as Roth says, it sometimes ends up being this huge masturbatory exercise, not to mention it can make the organisers an awful lot of money, not to mention there’s the other side effect that it makes the leaders of these campaigns celebrities which moves the focus from the campaign itself, to the celebrity.

Actually getting up and doing something to help is hard. Campaigning is hard. I’ve done it in the past for CND, and for the Anti Nazi League, and frankly it’s a chore. It’s often not rewarding, not to mention sometimes it’s painful.You won’t really change the world by sitting on your arse being more aware of things thanks to a Twitter campaign, though you might win small victories, the bigger picture isn’t going to change when you get enough likes from people who only know the most superficial picture in regards a cause, though the superficial ‘liberal hippy’ cliche is more than a myth but I’ll expand on this another time.

Social media is a great way to disseminate information so people can understand more about the world, but the effects has led people to becoming lazy which doesn’t deny the good work that say, the likes of UK Uncut do, but essentially it’s about ensuring that activism doesn’t slide into something which isn’t going to help the cause it’s supposed to help.

As for The Green Inferno, I look forward to it’s gut-ripping antics immensely and hope it lives up to the likes of Cannibal Holocaust. It does have to have a wonderfully exploitative poster too!

Who is Peter Capaldi?

Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who. He’s a bloody brilliant actor, not to mention he was one of those kids who like me escaped Possilpark for another life. I’ve been impressed with him as an actor since Local Hero, which is still one of my favourite ever films. As far as I’m concerned this is exactly the almighty kick up the arse the programme needed which isn’t to say Matt Smith was awful. he wasn’t but on the whole his scripts were and it’s a bloody shame he never got the quality of script his performance deserved.

This is a great choice by the BBC and it sends a signal that perhaps the programme is going to become smarter and not just going to fill episodes up with the Doctor running aimlessly around corridors in order to hide the fact the writer hasn’t a clue what he’s doing. The BBC have even released a small tease of Capaldi introducing himself as the new Doctor which may only be a few seconds long, but it’s wildly tantalising. Basically, I’m actually excited about what Capaldi can bring.

So this is where we move on and point and laugh at people on Twitter moaning for a variety of reasons…

drwho#1

Actually, yes it is. That’s not how the programme works. There’s also these things called ”DVD’s” if you want to watch Tennant again.

drwho#2

See above..

drwho#3

If only there was something at your fingertips which you could type him name into and you’d find out just who Peter Capaldi is? If only someone could invent this technology!!

drwho#4

drwho#5

drwho#8

drwho#11

Good thing you’re not watching it because you like the acting, scripts or anything daft like that. Oh…

drwho#7

And you’re just too stupid to even have the piss taken out of you.

drwho#9

Here’s the thing, the BBC were never going to cast a woman for the sake of casting a woman, even though they’ve now made it clear a woman can (and probably will) be cast, but they were going to cast the best actor they could get for the role. The fact they got Capaldi shouldn’t be damned with faint praise because you don’t know the name.

drwho#10

Nicolas Courtney played a role before becoming the Brigadier. Colin Baker played a role before becoming the Doctor, and even in the new series we’ve had several actors playing different roles. Welcome to the real world.

Though if this does indeed destroy history can it take out the last year as it’s mainly been crap?

drwho#12

Glad to see you’re giving him a chance without even seeing him. That’s a sane and rational choice.

drwho#13

Christ! He’s 55! He’s nearly dead! Better start filming now in case he dies next week!

drwho#14

It’s a Saturday night kids programme that is also a family programme that in the last few years has featured positive female, gay, black and ooo, a variety of positive portrayals of various minority groups. Let’s ignore that though to be a greeting faced cynic.

drwho#15

If you’re on a social network then you kind of only have yourself to blame, and also, this is how it’s been for the last 40 odd years when a new actor has been cast. Deal with it.

And sadly, I find myself in agreement with John Prescott who always has his finger on the important political issues of the day..

drwho#6

This isn’t just laughing and pointing at Americans who don’t like change in a programme that’s always been about change, or indeed, highlight people’s stupidity or ignorance though there’s a wee bit of that which is always a giggle.

No, this is to highlight the whole sense of entitlement thing regarding a section of fans which is something I’ve touched upon before, and will do again I’m sure. Right now though Twitter and most of the internet is split depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re on with the British side being seriously bloody impressed, and the American side scratching their arses going ‘who?’

Which is of course, a massively insulting generalisation but you get the picture…

Anyhow, good luck to the man. He’s a breath of fresh air the programme needed, now let’s get rid of Moffat…