america

51st State

I don’t know if you’ve heard about this but, apparently, there’s been a big election of some kind recently? I can’t remember where, it was only mentioned briefly on the news … I think it was Australia, but in any case I get the impression that a lot people thought it was a really big deal. I suppose that’s always going to be a problem, living on a tiny island like ours; we’re so cut off from the reality of what’s going on in the world, and in the lives of other people, that we exist in a near-permanent state of total ignorance. If we’re honest with ourselves, though, we’d have to admit that it’s ultimately our fault that we never seem to know what’s going on because, for the most part, we seldom venture outside our self-imposed bubble and, because we’ve built up such a formidable wall of self-delusion where our knowledge should be, whenever we do emerge from the anti-chrome shelters we built in the 1950s to keep all the colours out we end up exposing ourselves as a bunch of arrogant, self-serving, jizz-buckets who are doomed to perpetual, and miserable, failure for holding in the utmost contempt anyone and everyone who’s even slightly different from us. Oh, hang on a minute … sorry, I’ve gone and gotten myself confused again. When I said “us” and “we”, I actually meant “Republicans”. Fucking Republicans … Read more “51st State”

Nation’s Healthcare Sodomised

This week, one of America’s most deserving candidates for urgent attention from a mental health professional, Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum, decided to make a stale start to the new year by doing pretty much the exact same thing he’s been doing for all the previous ones; opening his mouth and squeezing out words that remind one of the now commonly accepted, and rather unpleasant, alternate meaning of his surname. As is so often the case with his fellow patients in the rubber room of American politics that is the Republican party, Rick sprayed the airwaves with a hail of dung bullets in a drive-by shitting that consisted of blaming the collapse of the British empire on the National Health Service (among other social programmes). Other than exposing his ignorance of history, and a blatant agenda of protecting the US healthcare industry by slamming “Obamacare”, it demonstrated, once again, that American politicians (who no doubt have private health coverage out the arse) really need to shut the fuck up about the NHS. Read more “Nation’s Healthcare Sodomised”

Keep calm, and carry on

It was something of a foregone conclusion as to what subject my post was going to be dealing with this week. In the run up to the tenth anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks on the USA, internet forums and social media sites are positively alive with the rising tensions, and flaring emotions, of lively, and often heated, discussion. Everyone has an opinion and, given the nature of these events, there was no way I could let this day pass without expressing mine. I wouldn’t, in my darkest, most troubling dreams, ever imagine telling America that it should “get over” the events of 9/11, as some heartless bastards out there have done – 3,000 people were murdered that day, and it would be grossly inappropriate to suggest that everyone should simply act like they’d been dumped by a girlfriend. That said, I do, however, believe firmly that America needs to get past 9/11. It needs, at least for its own sake, to significantly recalibrate its sense of proportion. Read more “Keep calm, and carry on”

Persecution, Christian-style

You’ve probably never heard of the West Memphis Three, but you should have. If, like me, you’ve often been made to feel like an outsider, or you grew up with the sense that you never quite fit in amongst those around you, then you need to hear their story. Perhaps you believe, as I do, that religion is an inherently divisive and destructive influence on the lives of ordinarily good and decent people; a virulent form of infection that has the capacity to poison everyone and everything it comes in to contact with (and has a proven track record for doing just that)? If so then you should learn all you can about the West Memphis Three because they, more than almost anyone else in the developed, supposedly civilised, world in recent memory can tell you exactly how it feels to be the victims of a religious witch-hunt. This is persecution, christian-style. Read more “Persecution, Christian-style”

When a plan comes together

So what have you been up to this weekend? A spot of gardening? Went clubbing? Visiting relatives, perhaps? If you’re anything like me you’ve probably tried to do as little as possible, maybe even going so far as to achieving absolutely nothing at all. Well, if that’s the case, and you happened to be in Houston, Texas yesterday, there was something that might well have appealed to you (assuming, of course, that you’re up for achieving fuck all in a really big and pointless way). Around 30,000 people gathered at Reliant Stadium for a massive prayer rally, the sole purpose of which seems to be to beg, en masse, their invisible sky-gnome to wave his cosmic beard and magic away the myriad problems that the state, and indeed the nation, are unable to solve by themselves. Or, to put it less euphemistically, the problems that they’re too lazy, cowardly, or just too plain fucking stupid, to do anything about. Read more “When a plan comes together”

Sarah Palin’s Vagina

Recently, the American right-wing (and by that I mostly mean Fox News) went and got its knickers in a massive twist over comments made by an aide to Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister. The comments related specifically to a request made by Sarah Palin for a meeting with Thatcher, whom Palin had previously cited as a role-model, during the former Alaskan governor’s forthcoming visit to the UK. The response itself, an emphatic “no”, was not the problem; it was more that the aide called Palin “bat-shit insane” that so enraged the Republitards (yes, I know, the aide actually said she was “nuts”, but he was just being polite). What baffles me most is not the reaction to any of this (it’s pretty par for the course, really), but the fact that no-one ever mentions how the only reason Sarah Palin is where she is today, the only reason any of us have ever even heard of her, is because of her vagina. Read more “Sarah Palin’s Vagina”