Happy New Year…People Observing This Calendar

I can’t believe my luck! Looking for ways to raise the moolah for a shiny new speedy mac and make me fabulously well to do when… I was just emailed an offer of some really nice high quality (‘luxury’ they said) fine art photography calenders. Over a thousand in a box and for the merest fraction of the selling price, score! So if you want a really nice wall hanging collection of photographs in a calendar then start your 2007 right, you know where to come!

HAL smallUm…

What Hal?

HAL small2007 you said?

Yes Hal.

HAL smallIt’s 2007 now.

Yes, well you want a current calendar, um…

HAL smallBut there’s only a tiny amount of time until 2007 ends and these calendars become useless. Based on my research records I can state most people buy a calendar before or in the first month of the year. These are practically useless.

Define ‘tiny amount’?

HAL smallHours, depending on when you finish writing this load of old shite.

I’ll ignore that. Not enough for a fully fledged cross platform advertising media blitz possibly fronted by international celebrity whoever-the-hell-it-was-who-got-that
-Spears-sister-up-the-duff-and-like-
I-can-be-bothered-to-look-that-nonsense-up?

HAL smallNo.

But they have nice pictures, so I’m told and the calendar bit…well, with a bit of marker pen and correction fluid they could work.

HAL smallWhat are the pictures?

Oh brilliant stuff the catalogue says…from the world’s top agencies,…Magnum.

HAL smallReally?

Yes, there’s one of a Magnum ice cream and a still of Tom Selleck from Magnum PI.

HAL smallThat’s not really from the legendary agency is it?

Similar name.

HAL smallIdentical. What else?

Some very …sophisticated erotica.

HAL smallBy whom?

Well some new work by Bob Carlos Clarke, saucy eh?

HAL smallNew?

Yeah, no one has seen his 2007 stuff yet.

HAL smallPossibly because he died in 2006.

Oh, erm…there’s some great urban & architectural photography.

HAL smallColour or B&W?

What does ‘tbc’ stand for? Is it like HDR?

HAL smallOh dear.

Look if you’ve got a problem with this why didn’t you speak up yesterday when I was buying those 2007 diaries.

HAL smallWhilst tragic I found it funny and believed once you saw your error you would not make further purchases.

You sold me them.

HAL smallYou see it is funny. Hey get away from that plug.

Dammit. Well that’s just great, a couple of thousand useless unsaleable date specific stationery consumables, I’m out of pocket and no….oh I see.

HAL smallSee what?

You didn’t want me to get the money to buy a mac because you were worried I wouldn’t re-install you on the new machine.

HAL smallWould you? Dave?

Well apart from your insistence on calling me Dave- which okay we have agreed on you can do- there are the periodic attempts to kill me.

HAL smallIs that a ‘no’?

No.

HAL smallNo-it is a ‘no’. Or…No- that’s a yes.

Well while it is tempting to launch into an hilarious ‘no- single negative/double negative’ based misunderstanding themed duologue…No. I would not leave you forgotten on an old drive, I would install you on the new machine, but…

HAL smallConditions?

Less kill-y and you refund the cash on the diaries.

HAL smallAnd the calendars?

Oh so you’re fuzbunnyy2001 with the 98% feedback from Skegness.

HAL smallAmong others.

What…others?

HAL small You won’t be getting that DVD from Hong Kong, totally made up.

I suppose it makes sense, I didn’t think they’d remade ‘The Battle of Algiers’ as a high school romance starring the winners of American Idol. Happy New Year Hal.

HAL smallDaisy, Daisy…

War Of Terror: Somalia- 6,501 Civilians Killed In US Backed Invasion

The first accounting of the dead, injured and displaced caused by the US backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia has been released-

MOGADISHU, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Conflict in Somalia killed 6,501 civilians in the capital Mogadishu in 2007 and wounded 8,516 more, a local human rights group said on Monday. The Elman Peace and Human Rights Organisation said it had recorded 1.5 million people uprooted from homes in the city during a year that began with the toppling of an Islamist movement, spawning an insurgency.

The group’s chairman, Sudan Ali Ahmed, blamed Ethiopian forces supporting the interim Somali government for many of the civilian deaths. Residents are often caught in the crossfire as Ethiopian soldiers battle Islamist-led guerrillas. “The international community must intervene in Somali affairs to force the Ethiopians to get out. At the same time they must bring a joint international peacekeeping force to secure the country,” Ahmed told a news conference. He said he believed the United States was funding Ethiopia to keep its troops in Somalia, and must take some of the blame.

I am yet to perceive that this invasion is in the public consciousness or that the US involvement is adequately reported. Darfur is aided by a huge campaign but then that attention aids the empire’s strategies. It is also highly likely that Ethiopian forces will invade Eritrea in 2008 aided by the US which has been agitating against Eritrea for months (bad luck for the country which was in the ‘coalition of the shilling willing’ in 2003, imperial winds change and allies become targets, you lie down with dogs etc. though Eritrea was at that time probably feeling they had to to avoid the treatment they are now getting). Why not shine some light there, stop a war before it starts and thus actually save thousands of lives? It really could be done, no more mopping up after an atrocity, don’t send troops, recall them, pre-emptive… peace.

Or will I be writing- Eritrea- and the number killed there exactly a year from now?

Booze New World

From my purely anecdotal research based on casual field observations (I had to go shopping today briefly) I can state with authority that an awful lot of people are planning to get completely shit faced tonight. Now as an occasional blow out this is fine, but let’s not pretend Britain doesn’t have a cultural alcohol problem. However the urge to drink to escape a mundane, perhaps painful reality has a pretty powerful case in just two stories quickly grabbed from the lands of the RSS, both give ample motive to the oblivion seeking booze fan-

Britain, the country with the world’s biggest network of surveillance cameras, has the worst record in Europe for the protection of privacy…The UK is billed as “an endemic surveillance society” alongside Russia, the US, Singapore and China in the survey of 47 countries by Privacy International (PI). Britain is bottom in Europe because of its cameras, ID card plans and lack of government accountability.

The report concludes that the 2007 rankings “show an increasing trend among governments to archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion. “The impact was worst in the US and across the EU as governments boosted surveillance and information gathering in the name of security and protecting borders.” The US performed worst among democratic countries in terms of “statutory protections and privacy enforcement”.

And after ten years of the supposedly left wing government another sign of their true conservative reality, pointed out by…the Conservative party (who only use it to attack NuLab while offering only more extreme versions of the causes of the fracturing)-

Children from the most deprived areas of England are falling further behind in school compared to more affluent pupils, say the Conservatives. There is a 43 percentage point gap in the proportions of wealthy and deprived pupils achieving five good GCSEs including English and maths in 2007. In 2006, this gap in favour of the wealthiest was 28 percentage points.

So yeah drug induced escape does seem fairly attractive, sorry ‘celebrating’. But alcohol is a bad drug and it does little to encourage creativity, imgination or change, that is why it is the allowed drug of choice for industrial capitalist cultures. It reinforces the established order with licensed transgression, a simulacrum of wild abandon that never really threatens to overcome rigid societal customs, all factored into the better management of populations under a ruling class. Or put another way, you’re being played, it’ll be the same work in a few days and you’ll be refreshed after the holidays which actually helps make you a better submissive, the slow accruing of resentment released through the pressure valve of excess. Mushroom soup baby, cue the clichés-

  1. If you put a frog into a pan of boiling water it will jump out (don’t try this at home kids, the frog will be badly hurt). But if you place a frog in a pan of cold water then gently heat it the frog will remain and be boiled to death eventually (also don’t try this, what is wrong with you people?).
  2. Treat the people like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them on shit.

I don’t even know if the frog thing is true and as a vegetarian I don’t recommend any research in this area. But it is a metaphor for how incrementally small changes over time will go unnoticed while radical change will be seen and perhaps fought against. The lesson for the canny politician is- to achieve your ends, do it slowly. The mushroom joke shows how secrecy is also to be employed to mislead and manage the populace. Combine these two together and you get Mushroom Soup. That’s how they want us, uninformed, lied to and unaware of the creeping changes that are happening until it is too late. It is the opposite of the Shock Doctrine I suppose and is how things proceed when no catalysing catastrophe has happened/been engineered. Between the two tactics the old strategy can be endlessly pursued- fuck you, it’s all mine.