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Logo by Julian Spanos

Antitheistic. Long. Perplexing. Offensive. Whatever.

Warning: This blog does not cater to your whims. If you are offended, then I am not obliged to care. It ain't personal until otherwise stated.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Stephen Lawrence Murder Case Review – Recent Revelations Cast a Troubling Light on the UK as a Police State

The Metropolitan Police is in the hot seat, yet again, over the Stephen Lawrence Murder. Already, the level of controversy, scandals and polarising debates that have emerged because of police response to this murder has surpassed what most could consider the point of damage control. Public reaction towards Scotland Yard falls miles short of anything remotely resembling a sympathetic nerve or sense of tolerance; we're becoming a lot like our American cousins when it comes to progressive cynicism and distrust of the state.

Poor system? Or, poor management?
In light of the force's spying tactics, the victim's brother is demanding a role in the investigation. Meanwhile, the mother of the victim, Baroness Lawrence, is impressing upon Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to offer his full and undivided attention, along with co-operation with the judicial inquiry as ordered by the Home Secretary. An order that has come down as a consequence of the aftermath ofwhat the media is describing as—a 'devastating'review of the matter carried out by Mark Ellison.

The 1993 racism-motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence in South London has sparked plenty of outrage and controversy over the years, but the recent revelations from Barrister Mark Ellison's review of the case has shed a whole new light on the matter, reigniting both public interest and the subsequent outrage. With the enquiry revealing all manner of troubling findings, from police force nepotism to self-furthering agendas, spy tactics, surveillance, all culminating in just two of the six assailants being brought to justice over a two-decade period. So to say that the Metropolitan Police have been put on a notice, in a manner of speaking, by its primarily employers--the public--would be an understatement. (Parry, 2014). Social media is presently rife with demands that the entire system, government included, be scrapped, but that might be taking things just a little too fucking far; perhaps the witless wannabe-anarchists should ease on on such rhetoric, because they might just end up getting what they wishes for, which'll turn out to be something fare more alarming and unexpected.

This event—along with other recent controversies regarding spying tactics and undercover plots by the police—has provoked some stern public questioning of the force's professional integrity. It is not that people have anything directly against spying or surveillance, but the lack of results or resolve to acquire results—such as in this case—brings the entire law enforcement profession in this country into question. So polarising is this subject that it is even attracting politically motivated criticism from a wider circle about Britain's form as a nanny state.


Spying: Have We Gone Too Far?

At the end of the day, spying is just an act supported by skill and a surveillance strategy that also comes with a rather hefty price tag in terms of equipment, labor and time. It does not—on its own—imply an inherent negative or positive context or connotation; that comes with the intentions of the individuals or parties engaged in such a surveillance strategy or tactic. Spying and discrete surveillance can be used for both malicious exploitation, or for the noble pursuit of security and foiling potential threats to public interest and safety. It's a lot like an investment, actual resources are pooled into supporting a surveillance state, and this naturally begs the question about what kind of returns the public receive for such an investment.

Therefore, whenever a group of individuals or a public service body are taken to task about engaging in such tactics, one must weigh out the intentions behind the tactic, the amount of resources invested in carrying out the tactic, and the eventual consequence of such a tactic. In the case of The Met and the controversy surrounding the Stephen Lawrence case—from the spying and arguably disingenuous undercover operation, to the sheer amount of years with little results—one is obliged to put the police force on the spot for such poor showing. Developments on this case also feed directly into the public opinion about the surveillance state, which is far from positive or outright glowing, but as stated earlier, this can't simply be because Britain is as paranoid about individual liberty being curtailed in favour of quality security, as say, the Americans. In the case of the British public, it is less about ideology and more about pragmatism; less about ideals of being surveillance free and more about the lack of results despite increasing surveillance.


Faulty Institutions or Clueless Public Servants?

At present, fewer and fewer people have faith in the legal institutions and law enforcement that carry out these tactics. With this drop in public confidence, there's almost an equally complimentary rise in people who believe that the increasingly larger scale of state surveillance in Britain is failing to produce a proportionate level of security, accountability and swift sense of justice when balanced out against the level of privacy violations the public must face in return. 

Ultimately, this is a matter of pragmatism driven by emotional outrage. When an exorbitant nanny state is spending all this money, time and resource—during economic austere times—towards increasing the reach of the surveillance state at the cost of private life, people will naturally expect swift and non-controversial results. As per the Stephen Lawrence case, this ideal outcome is not being reflected, and goes on to support the declining public confidence in the judicial and law enforcement system. Currently, a good number of the public—regardless of politics—see state sponsored spying and surveillance as simply a one-way street that violates their private rights while doing very little to keep them safe; thus, justifying their growing disdain for an excessive nanny state that they consider unaccountable and worthy of only the most absolute form of incredulity.

As for how the present regime of the Iron Lady's little Tin Men—a term of endearment that will apply, from here on forth, to the present Tory regime—goes, it's all about cuts. I am rather amused by the half-wit tactics of these so-called 'fiscal pragmatists' as they seem to conflate the concept of efficiency all too often with the sullied idiocy of austerity. Ah, what the hell; joke time...

Two Tories walk into a bar. 
They both order their usual, which is generally some exotic spirit, but in some exceptional cases, the most premium larger when they're up for experimenting with a faint whiff of the lowly, unworthy commoner's lifestyle. It takes Herculean levels of tolerance, so let's hear it for our Tory overlords! 
Anyway, the barkeep serves the two gentlemen—with silver spoons for spines—a revised version of the larger, which tastes a little different, likely a bit funny to the overly pampered palette of a bunch of upper class pricks. 
The Tories, perplexed by the taste, enquire, "By Jove, this blend is rather quaint... Oh, barkeep, what happened to our order? This tastes nothing like the regular and we demand satisfaction." 
The barkeep explains, "Sorry, mate... The producers of the brew had to cut some corners and this has had an effect on the quality, although not too shabby... You know how it goes, lads, austere times, heh," he closed off on a joke. 
With alarmingly robotic and mathematical hive mentality sync, the Tory duo spewed their incredulity, "Absolute nonsense! This can't be austere, for it doesn't give us the satisfaction of trampling righteously upon the unworthy beneath us! If this were an austere blend, then it would be an absolute efficient blend! The unworthy at the brewery are surely doing it wrong! We demand satisfaction! This is not satisfaction! This is not austerity!"

Personally, I have a slightly objective and practical view of austerity and efficiency as mere strategies rather than tools for clueless ideologues. You see, one involves just cutting indiscriminately when required, while the other involves saving intelligently and dealing with the details. As far as I am concerned, if an idiot servant has been elected into office with the goal of not just saving money, but also primarily dealing with the inefficiencies of that system, and they simply defer to unintelligible cuts. Well, they're not exactly doing their job if they're going about slicing all of my services by half, while their remaining halves continue to haemorrhage money in wasteful dollops. With this kind of nonsense, all I am getting in return is the same wasteful crap perpetuated, but with half the convenience due to it all being crippled further. I might be saving a bit more but with a disproportionate decline in quality, those savings are meaningless because the end result and product is far inferior. This clearly implies that the serving idiot needs to go back to school and learn about the basics of efficiency, pragmatism and modernisation, or alternatively, get a better group of competent folk to inform his policies. No, Premier Cameron, Ian DUMB-CUNT Smith doesn't count, and actually speaks to the initial issue of inefficiencies within your administration, but further compounded by caprice and classist bigotry that your party just cannot afford--eh, see, fiscal terminology.


Bitter Digressions Aside – A Bit of serious and Critical Self Reflection is required

Indeed, digressions aside, the point remains that this country is starting to become increasingly sceptical of the police and authoritarian state. This isn't happening solely because of idealism, but because practical results aren't looking good—which feeds back into idealisms and revolt—and the present establishment's solution is to simply cut, while the remaining chunk continues bleeding out due to inefficiencies. A growing surveillance state with spy scandals, ineptitude, decades-long murder enquiries and undercover operations with pathetic results: these speak to the state of an inefficient process, with zero justification for the Thatcherism-prescription of downsizing said process, which when paired with pre-existing inefficiencies, escalates social chaos, paranoia, insecurity and a general disdain for the state. 


References

Parry, L. (2014, March 8). Stephen Lawrence's mother demands Met Police chief takes 'decisive action' | Mail Online. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2576268/Mother-murdered-Stephen-Lawrence-demands-Met-Police-chief-takes-decisive-action-wake-revelation-forces-spying-tactics.html

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The World Loses a True Creative and Rebellious Genius – The Passing of GWAR's Epic Frontman, David Brockie, Aka Oderus Urungus

I am especially saddened by this very unfortunate development. Over the last decade or so, I have mourned the passing of quite a few musicians who I've held in high regard. I can't even begin with a list, but these were absolute icons and legends in the most humble, yet genre-defining manner; they truly innovated when heavy music had the headroom for originality. From the likes of Jeff Hanneman of Slayer, for his chaotic yet hellishly melodic guitar work, to the alternative bass lines of Chi Cheng of Deftones, to the endless dexterity skill and blistering solo technique of the legendary—yet cultishly misunderstood—Dimebag Darrell Abbot. I feel like much of the core elements of my world, which revolves around heavy music, are starting to disintegrate rather unexpectedly.

Having that said, nothing pains me more than to gaze down the unknowns of life, with the absolute knowledge that David Brockie, an absolute comedic and rebellious frontman and apex creative genius, will no longer be gracing the artistic medium with his truly unique, crass and unapologetic sense of humour with a very serious, empowering and time-transcendent undertone. For this vessel of mine that people call a body, GWAR was a childhood catharsis; an excellent escapism into the imaginary Scumdog universe of anti-heroes fighting the good fight, which was simultaneously speaking, one of the most honest tongue-in-cheek appraisals of the reality that everyone must endure. This man epitomised true rebellion for the underdogs in its most unadulterated form; he never compromised and he kept going with relentless fervour; dare I say, he was the essence of GWAR and everything that gave classic punk rock its defining stand against the establishment. 

GWAR is like this grotesque, but heroic army that enlightens the smog-ridden, apocalyptic blackness of the world with their uncompromising fire and energy. These guys were fucking fantastic, and nothing made that energy stand out better than Oderus Urungus, Dave Brockie's eternal intergalactic alter ego, leading that burning charge against against all the insidious apologists, as well as the self-serving, Draconian and putrid fallout elements of the inbred status quo.

As a somewhat neglected kid with a lot of TV time, GWAR became a much-welcomed MTV staple of mine. Over the years—into an unwelcomed phase of my adolescence—I got a bit out of touch with their work, but was quickly reeled back in with Beavis and Butthead, and almost blew out a lung when I saw Saddam A Go Go in a fucking video game! That is such a mad yet honestly liberating track that has always been a part of my life and is now even a favourite of my tyrannical toddler of a son; it really resonates with the little fucker's own uncompromising approach towards life. Hell, I had very high hopes that sometime in the next decade—regardless of how shitty this cesspit of a world becomes—perhaps I could take him to one of GWAR's gigs, seeing as these guys have actually had a multigenerational impact on my family. So to say that I'm deeply saddened by this news is a gross understatement; I feel like I've lost a crucial point of reference in my life and in a sense, a spiritual guiding force that spoke to both the primal rebellion within myself and even my kids.

Saddam A Go Go by GWAR
This track always brightens up my day, and does the same for my kids. 
Try taking this away from my son and the little Scumdog will literally raise Hell from Earth!

What compounds my irrational sense of disbelief and denial is the fact that given GWAR's recent misfortunes of seeing death, I would never have expected the eternal Scumdog emperor himself, Oderus Urungus to also bid a permanent farewell to all that is life. Hell, it was just last month that GWAR were engaged in an epic tour of Australia and gave Australians--and most rebellion-minded folk around the world--the show of their lives with their special 'tribute' to Tony Abbott, and at the same time, wound-up the far-right and ultra-conservative element within Australia, which is really an epic double-win for everyone else. This guy was all about pissing off as many tyrants addicted to power and money, and he was relentless in his mission; one felt an almost supernatural sense of immortality emanating from Brockie's larger than life alter-ego and creative zest, and it is indeed a sad day that this ego will never grace the arts again. In honour of his recent ambitions, his devotion to all things creative and absolute rebellion, I would like to share the following interview from Soundwave 2014 that took place just last month during GWAR's controversial, but highly commendable tour of Australia; it is beyond impossible to believe that the entity in that video is no longer with us today. 

Speaking to the stagnant state of metal! Being larger than life as always!
All the while passionately rooting for--and standing in solidarity of--anti-tyrannical rebelliions!
What a fucking awesome beast!

Lastly, I would like to close on what I personally consider his most hilarious outburst; this guy is probably the only authentic Rockstar to blur the lines—disturbingly so—between his alter-ego and his personal values, and in a manner that warrants no apologies or explanations. A true champion of the underdog's cause as he gives Dave Mustaine a much-needed reality check.

Bwahaha! Emperor Oderus really put Mustaine in his place... 
and instantly made a bunch of Megadeth slave-drone-cunts cry like little bitches!

There were quite a few seminal tributes to Dave's memory. Most have heralded Randy Blythe's Instagram post as the most touching and moving. However, I found that nothing spoke more powerfully than the words of former GWAR bassist, Mike Bishop.
"Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I've known. 
"He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art. 
"His penchant for scatological humors belied a lucid wit. He was a criminally underrated lyricist and hard rock vocalist, one of the best, ever! A great front man, a great painter, writer, he was also a hell of a bass guitarist. I loved him. He was capable of great empathy and had a real sense of justice." (Style Weekly, 2014)
So in sticking with the tradition of eulogies that have been made in honour of Dave Brockie, I hope the best for his close and loved ones in this pivotal time of grief. Furthermore, I bid him an epic journey back to his home planet. The Scumdog Overlord, Oderus Urungus, continues to live on as an eternal memory; a character of chaos worthy of noble admiration, and a source of absolute inspiration. David Brockie was the real fucking deal and humanity was very fortunate to have experienced his gifted talents and utterly distinct creative prowess in the limelight. Going forward, I bow my head as a Scumdog in grief, but also empowered by the eternal flame that is cast forth as a paradoxical shadow of his grand legacy.

In Dedicated Memory of Dave Brockie AKA Oderus Urungus - One of a Fucking Kind! Horns up, Scumdogs!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fears of a Theocratic Britain: How Far has the UK Truly Gone down the Sharia Law Rabbit Hole

I wouldn't even know where to start with the level of controversy, and even greater confusion, that has emerged since the incremental introduction of Sharia Law into the British legal system. My colleagues across the pond have some serious misapprehensions about the subject, while the locals also have their own share of misapprehensions.

Dear Citizens, here's more crap to muddle your law...
Well, not entirely.
The concerns against, as well as arguments in defence of, these legal changes highlight two primary contentions, one of them in opposition and the other in favour. The first argument, made by the critics of this legal framework, carries the unsubstantiated assumption that Sharia Law is on its way to becoming a fundamental mode of legislation over both criminal and civil matters, which is simply not true. Their opponents, or proponents of these changes, argue that this broadening of the legal system is simply there as an elective matter to accommodate the specific needs of those who might want their finances managed under Islamic tenants, which are purely partial and very much civil law matters. Unfortunately, this is also a gross oversimplification and one that ignores some serious moral and ethical ramifications that arise from this kind of special privilege.


Sharia Law in the UK: The Realities

As a legal framework, it isn't the fundamental mode of legislation; not even close. In fact, Sharia in UK is entirely elective, optional, and strictly for civil, personal, financial and business matters for dispute resolution. In fact, the Jews have had similar legal provisions for a long while in order to help with the mediation process through a cultural and religious methods that can often help the cases, although the efficiency or absolute need for any of these provisions could still be questioned (Casciani, 2014).

Nevertheless, human beings are undergoing a constant cultural evolution and many of them are indeed still limited, or stunted by the doctrine that was imposed upon them from birth, it's a hard cage to break. Many individuals, well intentioned and well educated, continue to rationalise their cognitive biases and irrational attachment to superstition as a means to justify their roles as decent members of society. In the case of theological bias, many assume that the empty corrupt vessel needs the religion to shine at its best, and thinking beyond such parameters is a logical impossibility for many folk.

So, at the end of the day, if they turn to pure hogwash, nonsense, bullshit, poppycock, as a means to maintain or find positive direction, then that is truly their personal choice and our civil sense of liberty makes great concession for this fundamental right of choice. It still doesn't make an elective, joint-module to the legal system all that practical or entirely justified—given the technical issues of gender inequality and potential abuse—that arise from Sharia, even in its neutered, reduced, partial, modernised form. However, it does speak to the freedom of choice, and as far as the legalities are concerned, no one is being forced to observe Sharia law, and that includes everything from Sharia wills, legal documents and conflict mediation (Molloy, 2014). It does seem entirely optional for those sad, or otherwise mentally shackled dimwits who cannot make individually informed decisions and are much more comfortable with having their lives micromanages according to scripture.

Frankly, I find the idea of Halal and Kosher meat much more disturbing given the outdated and utterly tortuous execution policy that goes into the process of slaughter, but even that has little bearing on freedom at a social and individual level. 

As it stands, Sharia courts and legal documents—in this country—are nothing more than an optional module of the civil side of the legal system, simply for those who wish to utilise the option. The British Legal system and sense of freedom and democracy are going nowhere; in fact, a bit too true to their spirit, they're adopting this optional feature to widen legal choice and options. This fact has also been confirmed and further reaffirmed by the Ministry of Justice (Bingham, 2014).


But Was it Ever Necessary?

Absolutely not necessary, despite being debatable, as any level of dispassionate observation of the facts would support the criticism directed at the pointlessness of having Sharia in the British legal system. So the practical question that we should be pondering is what any of this implies for the consistency, future security and integrity of fundamental British institutions put in place to protect what we consider civilised, democratic values. This isn't just a purely secular or 'western' concern, as plenty of Moslems in favour of reform also stand against Sharia.

It would be hard to deny that all of this does raise some serious concerns about where we are headed as a society. From an collective-intelligence and pragmatism standpoint, this is indeed a step backwards. An intelligent society, where individualism and personal volition are to be encouraged, an individual can easily seek private guidance in matters of finances and life to confirm to scripture requirements, if required. This puts into question why our legal system must be inconvenienced with the task of accommodating something so trivial and ultimately, optional.

Frankly, Sharia has no practical place in this form under UK law—while its large scale legislative form in Islamic theocracies is utterly barbaric and unacceptable—since people are free to conduct their lives as they chose to conduct them anyway. Want a will to address dispersion of assets a certain way? Get a religious consultant and do it yourself! Want your mortgage or loan managed a certain way? We didn't need Sharia for that as we already have banks that offer the handling of money in accordance with the individual's religious wishes, including a specific Sharia option that is pretty much offered by every bank; the free market has already accommodated Islamic requirements and is rather inclusive. Therefore, it really makes little logistical or practical sense to further entrench something so pointless into our legal institutions when individuals have the option to avail it privately anyway.

Instead, this kind of pointless expansion of our legal system opens the gateway for serious criticism and also speaks to the potential vulnerabilities within our own legal hierarchy that might, dare I say, get abused. Really, who's to say that this won't become a matter of an ugly slippery slope? The moment you give Sharia—even in this utterly limited form—a place in the legal paradigm, how long will it be before some dogmatic maniac demands that his 'adulteress wife' by mere accusation/allegation and the utterly outdated 'male witness' protocol of Sharia, be put to death, and by stoning no less? Obviously, this is an impossibly far-fetched scenario as one would assume, with absolute confidence, that our legal system can't be so daftly contorted to allow something so fucking maniacal to transpire, or for that matter, to allow any manner of slippery slope religious escalation to contaminate the fundamental human rights and dignity of British citizenship.

Despite what concessions can be made, and despite a generous benefit of doubt, the question of necessity continues to be begged: How is a parallel legal system necessary in any shape other than to enable and support a sinister, theocratic takeover of UK's legal paradigm?


One Legal System to Rule them All – No Fucking Less and No Fucking More

There is plenty to be proud of in the enlightenment and humanity of the value system in much of the civilised world. The counter-culture brigade will surely point to many serious underlying issues in our economy, politics and foreign policies, but it is through the same value system that we are openly able to address these issues, something that cannot be said about any other system or meta-culture in the world.

With this system, comes the freedom of personal choice, self-determination and individual rights. This means that our legal frame work is essentially divorced of any cultural or religious bias other than the basic rights of the individual's integrity and freedom. The notion that such individuals rights should be protected, but by the same token, should not be disproportionate to the rights and quality of life of another individual; one's freedom and basic entitlements should not infringe upon the freedom and basic entitlements of others who partake in the same social contract.

To insist otherwise—to add more clutter and potential confusion—to a single, humane, objective, open-ended system that deals with real matters of genuine legal value and social importance, is in a sense, a perversion of justice. You heard that right, perversion of justice; because you're making a special exception for a special group, and with this, we're back to the special privilege enjoyed by religion in this country, so long as it can ride on the minority card, which the media loves for baiting purposes. A card that is also known for furthering the cultural divides, fears, stigmas and the resulting social anxiety that breeds culture wars. 


Racism? Bigotry? You're Comically Deluded!

Now if anyone's reading this and getting the urge to falsely cry foul over non-existant racism or bigotry, then I would not only tell them to fuck off for demonstrating intellectual dishonesty, but also remind them that I support a single set of secular laws for a noble reason and purpose. The purpose being that all individuals receive equal and quality representation, where their human rights, dignity and personal quality of life—no less, no more—are protected, regardless of their personal superstitions, allegiances... and idiocy. This would be the most anti-racist and anti-bigotry agenda that one can hold and I reaffirm my proud stance against bigotry and racism on this note.

Many idealisms present Justice as a blind and devoted guardian, and I am telling you right now that there is nothing blind, safeguarding, or just, about creating an unnecessary, prone-to-abuse, offshoot of an already existing, humane legal system that caters—quite blindly/indiscriminately—to everyone regardless of gender or ideology. One legal system is what we had, and defending the integrity and fundamental, humane essence of that system is what everyone needs to support, regardless of personal beliefs or petty differences.

Of course, despite reading this, if you some people still feel the urge to be exceptional twits about the matter, with the urge to not only take offence, but expect special privilege for taking that offence and demanding that others be silenced as reparation, then that is also fine. Idiots, morons, and nimrods are free to make public exhibits of themselves; I'm all about free speech. I am also definitely about having more subjects—to mock—that speak to the state of evolution and diversity, because never before in history have the stupid or the arrogantly dishonest had more representation. Never have these imbeciles and charlatans been heard on such open platforms (Hey there, Anti-Vaccers... Nice measles!) than in today's setting, thanks to these often taken-for-granted democratic justice institutions that allow them the freedom and dignity... even if only to make complete fools of themselves by virtue of things like seeking special privilege in matters of free speech.


References

Bingham, J. (2014, March 23). Sharia law in UK: calls for Parliamentary inquiry - Telegraph. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10717575/Sharia-law-in-UK-calls-for-Parliamentary-inquiry.html

Casciani, D. (2008, July 4). BBC NEWS | UK | Q&A: Sharia law explained. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7234870.stm

Molloy, A. (2014, March 23). Islamic law to be enshrined in British law as solicitors get guidelines on 'Sharia compliant' wills - Home News - UK - The Independent. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/islamic-law-to-be-enshrined-in-british-law-as-solicitors-get-guidelines-on-sharia-compliant-wills-9210682.html

Sunday, March 23, 2014

About Bloody Time: UK's First Prosecutions against Female Genital Mutilation

Well, this was rather unexpected. Again, courtesy of BBC via the social media, we get to welcome news that, apparently, the United Kingdom has had its first prosecutions against female circumcision/genital mutilations announced (BBC, 2014).

Scene of the Crime: A doctor at Whittington Hospital in London, allegedly
carried out this heinous procedure. Now maybe we can start going after all
those crimes against male infants who undergo a Draconian genital mutilation
process that society isn't too keen to address at the moment.
The internet and the world at large—the civilised elements, at least—are in glee of this news and welcome this development as a seminal moment in social progress. Unfortunately, I am not all that impressed by any of this as I'm left questioning why it took this bloody long to address a matter of such fundamental importance where the physical body rights of individuals is outright violated, permanently so, by proxy of superstitious, delusional, utterly theological edicts of the parents who blindly follow such abusive dogma.

There is nothing groundbreaking about this legal move on a matter when the legal precedence, framework and tools for such essential manoeuvres have existed as far back as the end of the Second World War when we founded the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hell, even the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) addresses the matter of individual liberty, dignity and speech as a fundamental matter. Despite these provisions being placed to our benefit, we have extended special privilege to complete maniacs for their personal religious sensibilities, all in our fickle devotion to tolerance. What about the human rights of the speechless infant? Or the repressed and oppressed female child being subjected to something so profoundly abusive?

So in light of all these pre-existing institutions—that have been widely used and even abused by some of the most criminal elements of society—why isn't there a long litany of prosecutions against criminally ignorant parents who permanently maim their children's genitals in the superstitious name of their personal delusion and brainwashing? Yes, it speaks to both our ineptitude and shame that only now have we managed to initiate our first prosecutions for something as heinous as female circumcision when there is no humanitarian or legal grounds for allowing parents to mutilate the genitals of any child—regardless of gender—without their informed consent. 

This entire topic of circumcision highlights—to the exact proximity—the kind of religious privilege and exception enjoyed by certain brackets of society. The kind of hideous nonsense that needs to be openly berated, ridiculed and outlawed with criminal penalties, but Premier Cameron would rather focus on banning consensual rape porn (Wright, 2013); why are so many first-world leaders inclined towards coercive policies while turning a blind eye towards crimes of coercion and abuse? This is essentially an outright betrayal of our secular and progressive philosophy that emphasises our standing as civilised world powers. Furthermore, this is also an alarming pattern at play and it is not even mildly offset by this pathetic declaration of prosecutions—against female circumcision/genital mutilation—as it was at least thirty years overdue.

We, as a society, need to start getting our secular priorities straight rather than listen to more apologies and nonsense designed to protect some of the most alarmingly disturbing aspects of puritanical religious barbarianism.

Of course, anything is better than nothing, and I still welcome this as a shard of good news and hope. However, I will remain a firm critic of our laxness towards this unchecked privilege that is enjoyed by various factions of the religious collective cabal; a largely disingenuous union that has only served to continue societal divide and perpetuate tribalism, and with it, the baffling, unquestioned acceptance of some some of the most ghastly, grotesque rituals.

Enough with this protective racketeering around religious sensibilities; no infant, child, or person should have their body permanently maimed without their informed consent, simply because we as a culture chose to overly tolerate this dogmatic servility towards rituals that have no place or purpose in the modern world.


References

BBC (2014, March 21). BBC News - FGM: UK's first female genital mutilation prosecutions announced. Retrieved March 22, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26681364

Wright, O. (2013, July 22). David Cameron to announce crackdown on violent internet porn - UK Politics - UK - The Independent. Retrieved March 22, 2014, from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-to-announce-crackdown-on-violent-internet-porn-8725011.html

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Non Sequiturs & Charlatans: Why It Is Becoming Increasingly Difficult To Trust Most 'Religious Scholars'... Or Comedians

As always, I make the mistake of perusing social media, only to come across the following abomination of meme, shared by a close old contact, from established comedian, Papa CJ's Facebook page.

Read & Weep: If this armchair crap passes for scholarly wisdom,
then Islam seriously needs some better scholars.
So the winning question: Who committed the Armenian genocide? Oops. I guess anyone can look to history and pull out a straw man argument in favour of their cultural or cognitive bias.

I am reminded of the popular Biblical line, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." With this kind of logic, we're more or less doomed to go in circles without questioning anything. It would be a pointless acceptance of every vile act in history and every vile act to follow justified on grounds of the historical occurrence.

First off, we have to openly admit that pretty much all of the entire free world—thanks to its freedom, critical thinking, and separation of state and religion; something the Islamic theocratic cabal fails to comprehend—is able to fully admit to acts of genocide, terrorism, bigotry and moral misery. Meanwhile, certain Islamic 'scholars' often waste all debate time patting themselves on the back using the moral equivalence fallacy in hopes of simply obfuscating the issue when no one is arguing in favour of those hideous historical acts. You hear that, Mr Scholar? We don't need to be reminded of our blood stained history as we're doing a damn fine job flogging ourselves about it everyday. On the other hand, what have you done in recent times to civilise those few rogue and extremist elements of your own flock? Oh, that's right. You're too busy tossing red herrings our way to deal with the issues inside your own religious collective that often hurt that collective and its many peaceful observers. That right there is some twisted sense of priority.

I get it; the majority of Moslems aren't terrorists and that would be fine and dandy if that was the actual argument being made, which it isn't since the majority of the entire world more or less rejects this deranged stereotype that only appeals to the absolute low lives of Anglo-American society. Unfortunately for all of us involved in this cross-cultural dialogue, the straw man-inclined crooks who intentionally poison such debates with their meaningless red herrings just can't help themselves from playing the victim card in these discussions. Seriously, stop teaching us—who aren't interested in this religion—about its tenants regarding peace, acceptance, charity, fidelity, loyalty... foreskin, and whatever. Instead, reform those few errant members of your own creed who've taken it upon themselves to abuse certain interpretations of your scripture with the sole purpose of inflicting abuse on the rest of the world, including the peaceful members of their own religion who don't agree with such aggressive thinking. 

Yes, many horrible things happened over this millennia long thing that we call history, and even more atrocities continue to happen today... What is the fucking point here? Are we not allowed to discuss the present occurrences of such acts because they've already happened? We is the semantic police out on patrol for words like 'terrorism'? Can those folk circulating around these memes comprehend a world where one is not allowed to call out a moral wrong for what it is, simply because centuries ago, a similar moral wrong was allowed to prevail without criticism? If that is indeed the case, then logic and common decency have left the building.

It is thanks to our western history that half of these spoilt, self-loathing liberal folk can get to internalise their rebellion. Apparently, since we had the Spanish inquisitions--many fucking generations ago--that means we are absolutely forbidden from calling a religiously motivated act of terror, a religiously motivated act of terror. No, this isn't intellectual honesty or a serious examination of contemporary issues; this is a criminally ignorant justification of heinous actions at its crudest. 

Besides, let's examine one of these claims. The bombs dropped on Japan--a hideous part of our history--weren't done because 'God commanded' the act, it was literally the consequence of cold pragmatism for which we continue to self-flagellate to this very day. On the other hand, when a religiously motivated terrorist executes indiscriminate violence and murder on both fellow believers and non-believers, it is a necessary and painful act of pointless destruction mandated by interpretation of scripture. There is a difference, and pointing out that difference isn't racism or bigotry; it's a statement of fact. 

I would like to present you all with a hypothetical scenario, that is an all too familiar reminder of what happens in the world today, by today's standards—when we as a civilised society, regularly condemn concepts like bigotry, slavery, racism and religious stereotyping. In this modern world—that these scholars wilfully ignore—the fuck face with a bomb vest blowing up a mall, didn't comit the morally questionable act as a means to prevent further escalation of the World War II, they did it simply because doctrine and pundits told them that they had to commit said act. It was a mandate for them in order to escape a life of suffering while acquiring a divine dictator's approval for passage into a questionable afterlife of absolute, arbitrary self-indulgence. 

Furthermore, just because we have a history full of heinous acts, doesn't mean that we cannot question those actions in the future. I can't believe that people resort to this nonsense in this day and age; it speaks to the painful levels of intellectual bankruptcy that is taking place when we're taking our political queues from a bunch of self-serving 'comedians', literally. 

Please, internet. If you're going to throw nonsense on my plate, bring your A game. If you want to discuss numbers, then I am truly here for you because once we skim past all the hyperbole and look at the real state of societal progress in reverse, the equation looks much more dire. Try factoring in the suffering and oppression—on a state-level scale—along with the bigotry and penalties against freedom of conscience, choice and speech—these are real, present-day victims, Moslems and non-Moslems alike. Putting all this together, we're looking at an entire bibliography of genocides that have already taken place along with a whole slew of new ones that are progressing nicely while fraudulent scholars have the audacity to demand that we shut up because our own free information culture has the honesty to address other atrocities in from history. 

Sharing of such memes by any reasonable-minded person should be considered an absolute act of shame, as they have abrogated their moral, intellectual and human compasses for the chance to perpetuate this shameless display of self-aggrandisement and ideological apology at the expense of addressing serious global problems. This is quite possibly one of the most harmful, distractive tactics used to breed further confusion on the subject of global-scale suffering and plight from which no one group is free, regardless of their ideological allegiance. The world has become much too smart and self-aware to allow this kind of shoddy nonsense to penetrate the scholarly realm. 

It is high time that we boot these egotistical charlatans out of this fake discourse, and have a real discussion about how to move forward where real human rights are taken into consideration, predicated on non-coercion and abuse, with individual freedom and dignity taking central priority.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Legacy of a Predecessor Gives Birth to a Worthy Successor: My Thoughts on the Recent Changes for Arch Enemy

As a connoisseur of all things related to metal and heavy rock music, I am ashamed to admit something. You see, it's been a while since I looked into Swedish extreme metal veterans, Arch Enemy. I saw some of their live stuff last year and as always, have been impressed by their consistency and top-notch performance standard, something that is especially highlighted by vocalist, Angela Gossow, who is one of the iconic figures among vocalists of the extreme metal scene.

It came as a complete fucking surprise to me, literally an axe to the head, when I saw their latest music video, War Eternal. For a moment of sheer stupefaction, I thought Gossow had undergone some kind of perplexing makeover. Of course, this wasn't Angela Gossow, but rather, the all too familiar face of Alissa White-Gluz, known for formerly fronting The Agonist, but now holding the honour of leading Arch Enemy into their 2014 release, War Eternal, due for release this coming June.

Alissa White-Gluz is a very appropriate pick, and a reflection
on Angela Gossow's choice for a well-suited successor.
I have to say that I am personally impressed by the choice, despite what some of the fans are saying. Obviously many are also pleased with the choice and don't put it down, but this doesn't stop them from going on and on about how no one can replace Gossow. I agree, but the problem with that kind of rhetoric, straight off the first blistering riff paired with a hell-shattering growl, is the underlying assumption that Gossow is being replaced. Yes, technically, a void that she has left is being filled by other person, but Gossow's legacy with the band cannot be replaced. The new vocalist will forge her own place and influence within the band with time, if she sticks around, so let's give her another fourteen years--that Gossow had to her name as she became one of the most revered vocalists in the music scene--before jumping to hysterical conclusions.

There is no doubt in my mind that Angela Gossow could never be replaced, not with the kind of history and reputation she has established for herself. In fact, she's still very much Arch Enemy's manager, and more importantly, it was her choice to step down from vocal duties and pass the torch to Alissa White-Gluz. Unlike other situations where vocalists are fired and replaced, or situations where they quit with little notice, leaving the band to make an emergency pick from a small and often unsuited list of candidates. In the case of Arch Enemy, we're talking about a band leader, who continues to maintain her support for the band, and picks only the best and most apt successor to carry forth the vocal ventures with a project that she still continues to manage (Rosenberg, 2014). 

Some people say that Arch Enemy won't ever be the same without Gossow. I say that they're correct, but that it is ultimately irrelevant to the point that Arch Enemy has only begun a new chapter in their on-going history, and it is off to one fucking blistering start. I mean, check out the fucking video at the end of this post and then really question Angela's personal choice as to who would fulfil such a duty. One would be hard pressed against to deny that she's chosen the most worthy successors possible to carry on her work and in a manner that pays tribute to the distinct, tight energy and aggression that was Angela's trademark in the business.

Unlike other departures, this is a story of amicable growth, continues unity between a band that has actually grown as a result of a serious change brought on by the very member who is relinquishing her duties to someone who she considers worthy of the opportunity to take the band forward. It's truly a very extreme metal tale of a legendary predecessor and their personally chosen successor that is sure to become a lore of honour and pride for the metal scene someday.

Enjoy the stuff, folks. Because unlike other bands, Arch Enemy continues to deliver what they're good at delivering, even with a new face that was specifically chosen to make sure that their mission artistic mission remains intact going forward from a great legacy to greater times ahead.

Of course, I could be dead wrong--and given the fickle state of the scene--this presently promising arrangement could come to an unexpected or quick dissolution, so I couldn't give a damn about any purist shit heads who might get rubbed up the wrong way by the news and posts--such as this one--in support of such news. In fact, I hope that this entry does wind up the purists, because there are few things that amuse so deeply than a purist having a meltdown over trivial matters. In the meantime, I'm just content enjoying the same trademark Arch Enemy intensity that's earned them a sacred place and position of respect as both pioneers and front line artists of a niche scene and genre.

War Eternal by Arch Enemy


References

Rosenberg, A. (2014, March 17). Arch Enemy: Angela Gossow Out, The Agonist's Alissa White-Gluz In - Metal Sucks. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from http://www.metalsucks.net/2014/03/17/arch-enemy-angela-gossow-agonists-alissa-white-gluz/

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coding to Metal – The Kind of Video Game Development Meme that Can Only Appeal To the Lowest Intellectual Denominator [Part 1]

As a self-proclaimed techspert, which is the highest form of honour and authority that anyone can earn, I am never more amused by superstitious and ironically irrational nonsense, then at the juncture of a new generation of video game consoles. Why? Because this is that special time in the history of contemporary entertainment technology where some of the most ridiculous claims about hardware and potential reach their tipping point. 

You see, video game consoles are essentially downsized, simplified computers and their ardent fans—those who see things in them that simply defy reality—are a similarly downsized bunch when it comes to their critical thinking faculties, especially with the kind of nonsense they espouse. The naivety of a console proponent can be likened—only on those terms—to that of a religious fundamentalist, as both often passionately argue about the unknown or nonexistent factors when making their respective cases because they have no substantive evidence on their side of the argument. 

Console hardware nut jobs are of the belief that a console, built from outdated computer hardware, but with some arbitrary code name, will somehow make that hardware excel in a manner that is absolutely beyond belief or comprehension. The last generation of consoles had this fervour at an all-time high as a sizeable number of people truly thought that the Playstation 3's CELL CPU architecture was some kind of mystical entity that could outwit a super computer. Of course, in reality, it was nothing less and nothing more than a specialised CPU with some similarities to a GPU than traditional CPU architecture.

Without a doubt the Playstation 3's CELL CPU was a special and rather complex concept at play, but it was no more a miracle than any other highly proprietary concept on the market. The CELL, unlike other CPU systems, contained around 7 additional threads (SPUs) that had the specific design purpose of supporting the system's graphics processor, the Reality Synthesiser (RSX)—that happened to be a very outdated Nvidia 7800GTX with half the bandwidth—in performing those post-processing tasks that gave most of the recent games their fancy lighting and feature effects. It was an excellent concept, and in a sense, demonstrated how the Playstation 3 was in fact a dual GPU system where the RSX provided the front work in terms of output and resolution, while aspects of the CELL's SPUs handled all of those 'next-generation' effects and post-processing tricks. There was nothing magical at play as this was how such a system would technically be expected to work and within its specification and output levels; no unquantifiable potential was tapped or exploited. By PC standards, the CELL and RSX combination matched up roughly to an underclocked Nvidia 8800 GTX, which isn't really saying much.

Many Playstation 3 titles were, in fact, running at lower than 1280x720p resolution while barely managing a stable 30 frames-per-second, and in quite a few cases, losing out in performance and image quality to their Xbox 360 counterparts. The exclusive Playstation 3 titles, made by first party developers of the Sony family, took greater advantage of the hardware earlier on in the console's life cycle, producing some excellent and rather challenging results that created some air of arrogance and baseless speculation among the fan base around 2009. This was around the time when Killzone 2 was debuted on the system and had its fans making many exorbitant claims about how the console was doing things that just weren't possible on an equal-specification PC, thanks to the 'coding to metal' factor paired with the mysteries of the CELL and RSX architecture. This would be the argument that the special developers/chosen ones—dedicated to that console specifically—were able to harness a fundamental, hidden potential within the console hardware that was entirely impossible to harness from a technically advanced home computer. 

Much like any religious propaganda or claim, this sounds nice because it is unfounded, unsubstantiated and creates an air of mystery and enchantment with even special jargon thrown in for flavour. This would be the kind of lofty nonsense that gives the console's tribal-minded followers a sense of hope and more importantly, a sense of superiority over the 'unbelievers'. Of course, like all things subject to this concept called reality, the coding to metal claim is a gross exaggeration of something that barely yields a slight performance enhancement at best; it isn't magic and there is no incalculable potential at play.

Despite the mindless claims made, there was nothing supernatural about Killzone 2's development that outdid the PS3 hardware. It was a flashy result of very discrete but essential optimisation and engine technique compromises. But, but, but, the 128-bit HDR? No, you fucking idiot! This is the kind of 'retardism' that hurts consumers and perpetuates nonsense myths. Take the fucking red pill and STFU!
...N00B!
Killzone 2 (and its successor), were merely the product of an efficient design philosophy that involved a closed-corridor shooter game design paired with efficient graphics engine optimisations that allowed for the final product to be realised. The developers utilised deferred rendering for the lighting component of the game's engine, because it is an excellent and economical way to incorporate more lights onto a given scene with a much lower hardware budget, and this came at the sacrifice of High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting, which remains a common staple for most current generation titles. There was nothing miraculous about the lighting in that game, as deferred rendering has been used before on PC titles with similar, if not superior, results. In fact, Dead Space, another critically acclaimed multiplatform title also utilised deferred rendering with the same sharp lighting and lens flare effects. It was truly a demonstration of what post-processing and rendering techniques can do for a title when it comes to hiding discrete shortcomings and even flaws. Furthermore, a lot of Killzone 2's post-processing, including the light rendering, was actually done on the many SPEs of the CELL CPU. 

You heard that right, there was nothing 'magical' about Playstation 3's 'Reality Synthesiser' also known as the RSX, which was about as real as an Nvidia desktop 7800 GTX, but with a half-crippled bandwidth. It was a highly commendable development effort that exemplified efficiency and clever usage of technique using the PS3 GPU in conjunction with its specialised CPU threads to produce something stellar, because the ends result is what truly matters. Unfortunately, there was nothing here that the PC couldn't easily accomplish on a very similar budget. Better yet, you don't even have to take my word for it; have a look at Guerilla Game's presentation on the development of Killzone 2. The presentation, that's also a downloadable PDF, is quite an eye-opener and a learning experience for those interested in development themselves (Valient, 2009).

The problem with hardcore proponents of video game consoles, is their incessant, relentless tendency to grossly overstate the benefits of 'coding to metal' as a means to explain high graphical fidelity at lower hardware budgets. While coding to metal certainly helps reduce inefficiencies and potential issues with a software operating in a closed piece of hardware that will never be subject to part changes and the perils of fundamental, low-level hardware revisions, there is a realistic and practical limitation regarding the potential performance yields. Individuals need to realise what coding to metal is and what it isn't; what it can accomplish, but with equal consideration to the obvious hardware constraints towards what it just cannot accomplish.

I will be making at least one more post on this subject as I will likely discuss a recent title that has been redone for the next generation consoles. The features and improvements in this title by themselves speak to the point that was being made in this post about the relevance and limitation of coding to metal; what it actually means and represents, and what it doesn't when it comes to hype and empty conjecture from individuals simply hyperbolising their favourite hardware on baseless theories.


References

Valient, M. (2009, May 23). Deferred Rendering in Killzone 2. Retrieved March 20, 2014, from http://www.guerrilla-games.com/presentations/Develop07_Valient_DeferredRenderingInKillzone2.pdf

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Parody: St. Patrick's Gay Parade – Mayor de Blasio's Political Wet Dream

Disclaimer: The following is sheer spoof and parody so don't get your panties in a bunch; treat it as a purely rude-humoured, fictitious spin on reality.

Anyone hear about New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, finding himself between a rock and a hard place? It's hard to tell who is the rock and the hard place between the religious sensibilities of the St. Patrick's Day Parade crew and the ostracised, but throbbingly outspoken gay community, who are presently banned by an anti-gay policy at the parade. It would seem that one thing is clear for the progressive minded mayor; he's having an exceedingly tense time bringing all the sides together, in fact, he himself has kind of boycotted the parade, which means that he clearly has a greater hard-on for one side over the other. So the Mayor still has his work ahead of him if he wants to bring all parties to bed... or the table, either will do, apparently.

Reaching out to both sides, literally. Get a  grip,
man... Oh, sorry, you already got that covered.
Mayor de Balsio is presently looking for a means to resolve this matter to realise his ideal vision of New York as a progressive hub, or even a cultural melting pot of modernity. Some have suggested that he could host a Village People parade to counteract the St. Patrick's Day parade, but that would be too obvious, and then he would likely piss off the art community for lacking a taste for 'subtlety' and the city of sex and... uh, cities, can't have that now, can it? That last thing Mr. de Balsio would want for his political legacy would be the act of simultaneously, and single-handedly, alienating both the drama queens and queers of Big Apple.

Sources close to the Mayor do report that he's involved in some PR project planning that entails a list of proposals aimed at resolving this matter and bringing both sides together for a nice, warm—possibly moist—huddle. As it stands, rather firmly so, people openly expressing gay ideals or identities are not allowed at the parade. While a stern policy, this simply requires a work around. Now imagine for a moment, if they made catholic priests a regular feature of the parade? Perhaps even gave them a nice convent-style float.

A PR agency representative, who has had close dealings with Mayor de Balsio's office, informs us that this would be the ultimate trump card for the Mayor, as it would allow both the gay and paedophilic communities an instant access to the St. Patrick's Day parade while paying a rather meaningful, historical and culturally apt homage to the Catholic ethos. After all, nothing's a bolder hat tip—circumcised or otherwise—to the audacity of the Catholic theological identity crisis than the repressed homosexuality and its by-product of deviant child molestation that has become modus operandi for a sizeable number of the Catholic clergy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Australian Progress in Reverse, Also Known As, 'Why Tony Abbott's a Neanderthal Cunt'

Well, to be fair, this is a rather cruel attribution to the Neanderthals, who were otherwise known for having decent brain mass and adaptive skills. Hell, I carry a higher-than-average percentage of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA myself. So my apologies to any anthropologists or palaeontology nerds; Tony Abbot isn't a Neaderthal. On that same token, my apologies to all manner of cunts out there; this douchebag is no cunt. Tony Abbott is either a special kind of sub-human entity, or he just got dropped a few too many times on his head when his mother saw his mug.


I'm all for compassion towards nature's 'freaks', but it needs to be said that this is the face of someone who was definitely concussed a good few times as an infant.

This is actually a serious matter, because Australia's got its own eccentric right-wing revival in the form of the Liberal Party under the leadership of current Aussie prime minister, Tony Abbot, also known as Vladimir Putin's ugly—and mentally challenged—bastard, sired from his secret love affair with Tony Blair... never to be spoken of again.


Political Circus: The new wave of Neo Conservatism

Neo Conservatism has taken on a life of its own in the new millennium, but in a manner that's made it highly accessible to fringe lunatics looking to bring in a whole new vision of what can be best described as 'new right'. This is a rather myopic extreme right ideology thinly veiled by the pretention of political centrism, or devil forbid, moderateness. This makes the vetting process rather difficult because if the ideology wasn't already putrid enough, its representatives epitomise a whole new realm of nationalistic, elitist and overly-self indulgent madness.

Australia is presently undergoing the motions of electing the Liberal Party into power. Their version of the liberals is a whole other concept; Aussie 'libetards' are the equivalent of the presently misguided, self-serving American Republicunts, and Tony Abbott is quite possibly one of the most comical nut jobs to have graced political power in recent times. Armed with an absolute disdain for gays, immigrants, asylum seekers, women's rights, minority rights, basic human dignity and intelligence; this man is the all-in-one dream package for any deranged puritanical voter. In just under a year of acquiring power, he is overturning considerable levels of social and private life progress that was made in Australia; he could be the quintessential political retard to succeed at turning Australia into America in the shortest amount of time, not even David Cameron and his crone-brigade could match this man's elitism-charged lunacy, although they do come close at times.


Voting Lunacy: Piss Poor Apologies for an Even Poorer Choice

Why am I even writing about this? Come to think about it, I don't really know. It's not like any of this is news or enlightening material. Australian's—by the mob majority—voted in a relatively backward party, and with the progressive theme of the times, they placed the most extreme maniac among their ranks onto the throne. As a result, the oppressed political minority are repeatedly extolling the virtues of previous governments and leaders, with the exception of a select few who seem to think that due political process matters so much, that it doesn't matter if it produces scum bag leaders, so long as the process itself goes unchallenged. Ah, there's my motivation for having a go at the Australian political scene.

Some numb nuts, and many of them I consider friends and colleagues, are rather butt-hurt by Julia Gillard's antics regarding Kevin Rudd being thrown out of power. Of course, it was one—among many—shameful chapters to have graced party politics, and no one was really happy about the development when Gillard took the seat of power for herself. However, it is rather annoying to hear someone bitch about how she was never 'voted into power'.
"What the fuck are you smoking? Because I want some!" – My Demand


Party Politics: Why One's an Idiot If They Really Think They're Voting Solely For an Individual

You don't vote an individual onto the throne, you vote an entire political hierarchy—by way of a party—onto the throne and with that comes a chain of command and leadership, which can, indeed, change hands. We're not voting in individuals, we're voting in parties, even if our party vote is determined by the individual on the poster. It's fucking asinine, in any remotely democratic country, to act dumbfounded over the idea that a party in power can have multiple candidates who can step into the leadership position.

Of course Gilard wasn't voted into power, neither was Rudd or Abbott. The Labour Party was voted in before and now it's all in the hands of the Aussia Liberals, and with that, the entire circus of politicians and their associated hierarchy that comes with each party. Rudd's following are just suffering from haemorrhoids over the fact that party politics resulted in him getting dethroned in a rather shameless manner, but the stupid arguments about how this isn't 'democratic'; are we fucking kidding ourselves? The entire concept is predicated on a party system and this is what we call democracy from what is being sold on the market. Don't like it? Then push for a change, but until then, wise up, you voters,  because you're never voting for an individual, you're voting for a mob and a slew of policies and proposals that will most likely go over that individual's head as he or she signs them into affect anyway.


Voting Out of Spite – A Poor Reflection on Our Grasp of Democracy 

Having gone through all of the above, no matter how horrifically underhanded Gilard may have been, there has to be a standard of critical thinking when making apologies for the political train wreck that succeeded the Labour regime. If apologists of Abbott defer to the laughable idea that he was voted into power, as an individual, and that fact somehow makes all of his destructive policies relatively 'acceptable', then they have their work ahead of them by miles. 

Democracy is meant to be a tool, not a divine process to be served absolutely. If the tool or process is constantly setting up tyrannical leaderships or fascist governments, then guess what: it has fucking failed and it doesn't matter how many times one mindlessly yells the word 'democracy' while ignoring the lingering irony; the process has failed. In an ideal, liberal, democratic environment, when all groups are not receiving representation and protection, then the process has outright failed. If democracy votes in the next Hitler or Stalin, then again, it has fucking failed and a tyranny is set to unfold.

If democracy means that the Tony Abbott's of the world get to literally demolish the progressive integrity of a leading first-world nation by thwarting it back into a disgraceful Neo Con idealism re-enactment, then not only has democracy failed, but the voting public has grossly failed itself. Individuals arguing from this appeal to democratic tradition, to witlessly absolve Abbott, are the worst of the bunch and should really get their political aptitude checked before getting into politics or even voting. Half the problem with the world today is that voting has gone to hell between the cynics and the morons, because the cynics—smart as they are—have been driven away from the process thanks to the morons, primarily leaving the morons, from each fringe, to vote without a fucking clue. 


Back-Fucking-Assward! – An Assclown Leader for an Assclown Public?

Tony Abbott's an old-world, puritanical dimwit hiding behind a right-wing Libertarian agenda. Unlike other hard-headed right-wing tyrants, such as Putin, he also lacks the political charisma and propaganda potential to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. In one sense, it is a shame that the voting public didn't see this coming, and speaks to their ignorance and apathy. In another sense, Abbott's less of a threat to the civilised world in general--given the obvious and somewhat tacky nature of his agenda--but still a colossal maniac and moron nonetheless. 

Again, the public need to wise up, and should start voting objectively rather than out of spite. Just because a given party has pissed off the voting public through slipshod tactics, doesn't mean that the voting public should proxy-default to the opposing party without even vetting them for the kind of hellacious potential they might present if allowed into power.

I would like to close this entry with the following; consider this my special note to all of humanity. 

Dear mentally impaired vermin, 
Voting is a serious matter. Democracy requires a delicate balance of objective thinking, pragmatism and deep commitment to principles and humane results; it requires an essential level of intelligence and discernment that many of you are failing to demonstrate. 
So prove me wrong and stop voting in these demagogic spastic parasites on what can be best described as a spiteful whim. I mean, just because Obama failed to bring 'change' and basically became a leaner, taller and tanned Bush, doesn't mean that disappointed voters should automatically seek salvation inside Romney's colon. Start exploring and creating real options rather than voting these circus acts into office just because the previous clown-college dropout wasn't nice enough.

Yours maliciously,
Kade Storm -- Your Eternal Overlord of Hellfire and Brimstone

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Super Powers: How the Cold War Never Ended, And Why the Anti-War Brigade Needs To Wise Up

Image Courtesy of The Cold Warrior
With the 'landslide' voting outcome in Russia under the ruse of a referendum backing the Almighty Demagogue Putin's plans for Crimea, the political sphere on the internet BBC, 2014). There is a lot that I find amusing about the selective biases and self-serving hypocrisies that have spawned from this latest, but utterly predictable, saga in the on-going cold war that never really ended.
has got its collective ball-sack in a vice grip (

The part that I find profoundly amusing, though, is how the anti-war brigade is shamelessly prostrating itself at the steps of Putin's personal temple. Because any excuse is good enough to bitch about the American war-military industrial complex, even witlessly buying into the propaganda of the war-military industrial complex of a far greater tyranny (DAWN – Democracy AgainstWar Now, 2014).


"Perhaps I should've titled this entry, 'Between Putin & Pundits – How Critical Thinking Has Become a Damaged Parody'." – My Thoughts


Obviously, there is considerable merit to the arguments regarding American and EU involvement in passive coercion of the democratic process in Ukraine. Even Howard Bloom did an excellent commentary on the matter very recently and I advise everyone to have a listen to this interview on the X Zone Radio show (The 'X' Zone Radio, 2014).

However, acknowledging this point doesn't really bring any kind of ground-breaking facts to the table. The manner in which post-World War II geopolitics have unfolded, much of the world's trajectory falls in the hands of a few nations. At this point, passive coercion is a default state of global management. Even the states that often bemoan America's power monopoly seek sanctuary in that monopoly when in times of trouble or serious need.

The Cold War is a painful inheritance of the Russian-American legacy, but Putin gets to snidely snipe away at America because the Iron Curtain collapsed, giving him and his crones the ideal righteous indignation card at hand. It's just such a shamelessly offensive appeal to emotion from a position of convenience while the man represents everything that was wrong with demagoguery during Soviet leadership and everything that is wrong with interventionism today. The terrible fallout and state of most eastern-European States and even Central Asia, is as much a Russian onus as it is Anglo-American. Alas, the yanks must carry the shame exclusively because they ended up with the world police mantle while certifiable power maniacs--in that very traditional, Hitler-esque/demagogic sense--can sneer away and commit any act of active aggression as they cry wolf over the big bad American Bully propaganda. 

I remember when my dad told me about this diplomatic function just a few weeks after 9/11. The Russian delegates were making tongue-in-cheek jokes about how we screwed up their goals in the region and now we're paying the price, but the one chief wise crack making the cracks also said that it is probably convenient that Russia could wash its hands off the matter when it played a much more insidious role in initially throwing back an entire country that epitomised social progress in the Islamic world up until the '70s, now there's an unexpected oxymoron by contemporary standards. It was so fortunate that America took over the mess just as the powder keg was pre-destined to explode, so now we can conveniently blame one side while suckling on the breasts of an absolute tyrant.

With a unanimously loathed America that is overstretched with the task of keeping all its intervention assets together, all this political campaigning and smearing becomes all too easy. This gives the opposing power and territory maniacs an excellent platform to both denigrate the world police while slowly expanding their own--far more insidious--mob reach.

Make no mistake. I've always spoken passionately against demagogues and theocrats. However, if forced to chose, I'd have to take the American hypocritical, arrogant tyranny over Putin's cabal of zealots. It's actually a rather straight forward choice.

What is centrally disconcerting about the public response to this whole fiasco is the state of what I call the true 'people's will'. Something that Hitchens declared dead last century. Now we simply get these overly idealistic anti-war groups that claim to be against all form of war, but without even a trace of shame or self awareness when they actually further another warmonger/power maniac's propaganda. Something has to be said about this acutely moronic lack of self or situational awareness; we owe it to ourselves, not to get caught up in these false dilemmas, let alone picking the worse of the two evils just so it can absolve us of our brat-like national guilt for being products of first-world power states where we have the fundamental right to mindlessly rebel against anything. 

Inward rebellion is very important and a symptom of strong, noble character. This tactic by the anti-war folk, that involves peddling every shred of nonsense regurgitated by Putin's PR squad, does a great disservice to the real merits of sincere, internalised rebellion. This is a squandering of merit and opportunity by those hypocrites claiming to want absolute freedom and change from a system that they consider fundamentally flawed, because they exercise their protests though the ignoble and illogical act of simply vindicating another criminal's agenda. By this point, we should have some fucking standards and honesty. If we're against tyrants and wars, the very last thing we should be doing is giving more air to all this 'Uncle Vlad Putin is right' hogwash that has severely tarnished our intellectual credibility in these matters.

Summarising all of the above into a pithy conclusion, the problem that I have with the anti-war folk is that any kind of solidarity shown towards Putin is the most fundamental form of hypocrisy at play and a frightening betrayal to the anti-war and fascism cause. This man's political legacy and passive aggressive expansion of influence is a unified and very much premeditated campaign that is headed towards realising global control for himself in a manner that even outwits the hubris of his 'communist' predecessors.

The world and its ever so vocal public need to wise up, make less white-noise and actually hold all parties to scrutiny rather than shamelessly service the agendas of one evil over another perceived evil. There's a time to be pragmatic and play the 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' card, but this is certainly not one of those times and Putin is no friend—under any circumstances—of a civilised world that claims to champion individual freedom, rights and dignity. Shame on you, Anti-War Brigade; you've poisoned your own principles and sold out your integrity for the cheap thrill of quick and convenient content that couldn't hold its own against critical scrutiny.


References

The 'X' Zone Radio (2014, March 14). Howard Bloom on The 'X' Zone Radio/TV Show with Rob McConnell [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGGrBgjAKAk

BBC (2014, March 16). Crimea exit poll: About 93% back Russia union. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26598832

DAWN - Democracy Against War Now (2014, March 10). Retrieved March 17, 2014, from https://www.facebook.com/dawnwarnomore