Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Wrath of Morrissey Versus the Wrap of Maccie D’s

Every time the newish McDonald’s advert comes on during the adverts between halves at Euro 2016, it is irksome to say the least to hear the strains of Pete Shelley (who grew up about half a mile from where I’m writing this) and his fellow Buzzcocks, and their song, What Do I Get?, whilst a faux-Punk food assistant person of the biological female genus prepares a wrap for a pubescent adolescent, who happens to be in the company of his papa, it seems, seated as they are in a Ford Cortina circa 1978 (which conveniently links, or links conveniently, depending on how you feel with split infinitives, to the era said song hails from) at the window of the McD’s drive-thru, and as the pubescent adolescent fairly drools over the food assistant person as much as you’d imagine him drooling over the wrap he’s just ordered, and as the faux-Punk food assistant person makes eyes back at the pubescent adolescent, which if you think about it really does make her a Punk of the most faux kind because if you had an ounce of Punk sensibility you’d be unlikely to want to work in McD’s in the first instance, and even if you did you certainly wouldn’t participate in your own self-objectification where you’re kind of putting yourself on the same level, metaphorically speaking, as a Big Flavour Wrap.

It is irksome because someone has chosen money over self-respect. Selling a Punk song that was written and performed by a band that had credibility and which was aware of its working class heritage is unforgivable – some things are worth more than money, or at least they should be. You can make a crappy McD’s advert with any piece of crappy music that is spewed out of the pop music machine – The Buzzcocks are not of that ilk, yet decades of resistance have been compromised with one foolish decision where money takes centre stage. And yes, I know that sounds naïve and a tad Romantic, but that’s how things should be. It is distressing to hear of this song, and even The Jam’s That’s Entertainment, being used in a way that is wholly incompatible with their angry-youth origins. And I’m not the only one to think so. Morrissey is also pissed. And so we should be. Not just because we’re both plant-eating liberal humanists (not actually sure if Morrissey is but I’d like to believe he’s that way inclined), but because money cannot be allowed to corrupt every single thing of worth – because if we allow that to happen, how do we place true and meaningful value on anything?

Click the links and tell me if you think these songs are worthy of such misappropriation. Go on – I dare you.


Petition @Stanford University #BrockTurner

Hello,

I just signed the petition, “Letter to Stanford University in Support of Survivor of Brock Turner case.”

I think this is important and things clearly need to change with respect to sexual assaults and rapes on and around campuses. Will you sign it too, please?
Here’s the link:
https://www.change.org/p/letter-to-stanford-university-in-support-of-survivor-of-brock-turner-case

And here’s just one of the problems:


Thank you 


Anecdotally, is the Insurrection Coming? #Brexit

This is an important question and, anecdotally, from opinions garnered from those within both Leave and Remain camps, public opinion seems to reflect unprecedented levels of dissatisfaction felt with politics in its current late-capitalist mode – hence my notion that #PoliticsIsDead (click the pictures if you want, and stuff)

 

So, is the Insurrection on its way? Is there, as the Tarnac community is alleged to have suggested, a Coming Insurrection? It seems wrong to sit by and watch as economies shuffle from one disaster to the next, as has been the case throughout much of the present capitalist model, arguably. But do the people have the will to mount an insurrection?

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I guess we’ll see…


What Would This World Look Like? #Trump #BoJo

Here’s a very short post, for a change. It may be nice to pause, amidst the political goings on of the moment, simply to ponder the following. In a world where it is possible, although not altogether plausible or desirable, for Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump and Boris Johnson @BorisJohnson to become head of state, respectively, what would such a world look like?

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Would it look like this? Might The Donald reach across the Atlantic and smack a big wet one on BoJo’s fleshy lips? Worse things could happen, don’t you think?

#VoteWhatever (it probably doesn’t matter anyway) #PoliticsIsDead

(ooh… Soul II Soul)


The Mystique/X-Men/VAW Conundrum

Contains major X-Men: Apocalypse spoilers…

There’s a really interesting thread running on Goodreads right now w/r/t the recent billboard advertisement showing X-Men Apocalypse‘s Mystique being held by the throat. Its title is: Is the Marvel “Apocalypse” movie poster VAW [Violence Against Women]?

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And although interesting, the thread soon turns into the usual kind of slanging match: “I’m right,” “No, I’m right, you’re wrong,” “No, you’re wrong, I’m right, and you’re a moron.” It goes on, ad infinitum

The crux of the matter turns on whether the image promotes Violence Against Women, or whether it is merely “fantasy violence.” Depending on which side you pull towards will probably reflect your sensibilities w/r/t notions of gender inequality and stuff like that.

However, what is missing from the thread (and I’m considering posting something on there, but am hesitant because of the backlash I envisage) is a discussion of Mystique (a.k.a. Raven Darkholme) and the fact that Mystique is a mutant and can therefore adopt any guise – male, female, or anything else of their choosing (using non-gendered pronouns reflect the fact that I view Mystique as more fluid w/r/t the concept of gender – here’s a really great video kind of on that subject, IYI).

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In X-Men 2, for example, Mystique kicks Wolverine’s ass good and proper, both in the guise of Wolverine and also in Mystique’s traditional blue get-up. Mystique kicks Wolverine in the balls, properly getting his mad up, and then leaves him panned out on the floor after kung-fu kicking him in the head. In this particular example do we view this as Violence Against Men, Violence Against Women, just plain Violence, or Fantasy Violence?

Basically, there are two points I’m trying to make.

  1. I’m not so sure that we can move to refer to Mystique as a woman, unproblematically. Mystique is a mutation, just like all the other X-Men. The fact that Mystique is blue kind of hints that Mystique’s not predominantly human – so how can Mystique definitively be called a woman (especially when Mystique spends time in many other guises)? Mystique’s appearance as a Jennifer Lawrence-type-woman is just another disguise.
  2. Mystique is ultra-violent. Mystique just doesn’t respond with violence if violence is shown. Mystique oozes violence, and will kick anyone’s ass at the drop of a hat. So, if you’re an advocate of violence, as Mystique most definitely is, aren’t you more likely to be subjected to further violence? And, having not seen the film but I’ll take a wild stab at this, doesn’t Mystique willingly take on the big monster thing that ends up grabbing Mystique by the neck? And, so I’ve heard, doesn’t Jean Grey (a human woman who also happens to be a bit mutanty) literally obliterate the monster in the end?

Just because film studios are archaic and can’t get past binary thinking, does that mean we have to sink to their level?


Dismalandic

It does make you wonder what was the inspiration behind the temporary art project, Dismaland…

It’s kind of hard to think…

Oh, yeah…


“…it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

…it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.

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In Banksy’s letter to the children of Bridge Farm Primary School, Bristol, the above words appear as a sentiment that expresses the need to sometimes just do things rather than wait around forever for permission before doing so. Now, obviously, there are limits that all decent people would expect to impose upon themselves before doing things that might just harm others, but looking past this to the kind of mentality that seeks its own liberation from restrictive practices seems to speak of the possibilities that are now opening up as a direct result of technological advances.

 

A recent example of this kind of thinking, witnessed only y/day, is that of design-led technology company Red Ninja Studios (@RedNinjaStudios), based in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Red Ninja held a hackathon with a non-profit organisation whose business is concerned with the care of older people in the community. The optimism shared by all at the event that technology could indeed improve the lives of many older people was boosted by the attitudes of those involved with Red Ninja Studios, where the company ethos appears to be, pretty much: “Make Things Happen.”

 

An anecdote shared y/day w/r/t “making things happen” in the NHS involved new pieces of technology that take so long to be approved for use that by the time they are, they are less relevant and potentially even obsolete. Similar anecdotes exist w/r/t other huge organisations. Perhaps a bit more Banksy/Red Ninja philosophy is required?

 


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