Toes Are Curling

Phew! Good news Nulabour peeps Mandy’s back, I bet for a minute there you thought they were just rearrangng deckchairs on the Titanic.

But like srsly, please meet this weeks nomination for oxygen thief of the week-

The trouble with America’s $700bn bail-out is the “B” word itself – bail-out, say advertising chiefs. Branding expert Jonathan Gabay considers how a little creative story-telling could have saved a whole lot of financial turmoil. It has, according to some of the sharpest advertising minds in. America, a “failure of branding”. Had President George Bush concentrated on the word “rescue” when selling the $700bn “bail-out” package, say ad chiefs, the plan might have sailed through Congress rather than first being rejected.

The comments on the page are uniformly aghast and condemnatory of this appalling corporate whore’s debasement of democratic deliberation (quite an achievement for BBC threads, which usually attract retarded bigots swapping BNP code words like flies on shit). I’ll concede he’s right insomuch that if you sell crap well a certain number of rubes will buy it, that’s the one thing our culture is successful at- producing gullible consumers bereft of critical thinking skills and individuality. However it is not any achievement or something to base your life on- shilling tat to morons. You can see them anywhere, wearing disposable fashion that one month ago was on a container ship from China (yes even the expensive designer labels snobbos, a gilt edged sheep’s still a fucking sheep) their tastes are what were decided in corporate design meetings 12 months ago, they keep buying the same items just in a different package, different colour palette and capitalism lumbers on. But this bullshit scam, the opposition is real from the street on up, no atsroturfing. Genuine outrage from people who know a shiny suited con when they see it. No branding would change that but thanks Mr. Gabay for taking such a principled & arrogant stance in support of disaster capitalism, I’m sure you think you’re not like Dick Cheney, however- FAIL. And now because clearly he has neglected to take Mr Hicks advice (and he really fucking should) here it is again-

By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing… kill yourself.

No, no, no it’s just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they’ll take root – I don’t know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself.

Seriously though, if you are, do.

Aaah, no really, there’s no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan’s little helpers. Okay – kill yourself – seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you’re going, “there’s going to be a joke coming,” there’s no fucking joke coming. You are Satan’s spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It’s the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.

Planting seeds. I know all the marketing people are going, “he’s doing a joke…” there’s no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend – I don’t care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking Read the rest of this entry »

HAL’s Feeling Old, Annoyances

Tedious Whine Warning!-
My 2001 vintage PowerMac was pretty state of the art then, now however, a tad slow. Which is to say some features on the web I cannot indulge in, some video players some websites, worse though is advertising that because of lush flash presentations or movie loops suck up all ones resources when all you want to do is read text. Ok so the ads support the site…but this is subtle digital divide, have an old machine and you are slowly being excluded from the full panoply of the web. The worst offenders are any promotional sites for bands or films (and myspace, shudder), not that I would visit them much anyway, but I avoid them now because of their hefty presentations. It’s also annoying how a lot of sites spread articles over 2 or more pages, not because they are long, but to get 2 page views and thus increase revenue and ok so the ads support the site and I’m not paying for it so can I really complain? I always look for view on single page or choose the printable option to avoid the multi page or ad nuisance. Yes I know there are plug ins to block ads but they take some resources and they are not perfect. I’m roughly on course to have enough to get a new mac within a year at which point I will laugh at all the losers with old slow machines now that I am in the shiny new fast machine elite, hahaha!!!

Except, the point remains, that advertising is a given but as it becomes more intricate it excludes users with older gear from accessing some sites, a slow evolution of a tiered, class stratified web. Not forgetting the vast majority of people don’t have any access at all, will they all suddenly get the very latest laptops then replace them each year? Websites are often designed with only the newest fastest machines in mind, so I suppose this is a design issue, should not one look to be inclusive as well as innovative? There is often a tension between the two in any technological medium, but for those of us who devour reams of text via the web we aren’t too bothered about shiny, flashy accoutrements and it would be a shame if those extravagances begin to rob people of access to worthwhile information presented in the the very boring yet somehow still relevant words-on-a-page format. Design wise I am continually reminded of the Simpsons episode where Homer builds his homepage and simply includes every annoying animation & sound from the web, as if current design theory is simply- and the kitchen sink, awesome! And to show what a huge hypocrite I am, here’s a youtube player that has Homer’s homepage!

Well youtube is ok, it isn’t too bad for slow loaderingly-ness or machine stutter syndrome (if I’m lucky). I suppose it is also because I am a very bad consumer (plus y’know I’m like poor-ish), I don’t buy shiny shit I see advertised (I also try to keep in mind- reduce, re-use, recycle). If I need something or can no longer quell the desire to have something I research then find the best ‘thing’ for the best price then wait, then try to resist, then give up and buy it. Gaudy intrusive ads if they do anything create resentment in me towards the thing/service advertised. I don’t like psychic trespassers or rampant sheeplike consumerism (I’ll resist adding the youtube clip of Bill Hicks giving sage advice to those working in marketing -so have a link instead- you know the one).

So in summation (& with counter argument helpfully included)- whiny old computer having loser complains he can’t keep up with the super duper interwebs. Boo-hoo-hoo, it’s called survival of the fittest/richest, deal with it!

Well whatever (God bless Thatcher’s/Reagan’s children!), but I really don’t think a swanky flash animation of trees makes a car anymore environmentally friendly or air travel any less of a privilege that is destroying the planet. However getting a new computer every so often is way cool and totally sound, ahem.

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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.

Best Of Both Worlds

GARLAND, Texas (AP) — An essay that won a 6-year-old girl four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert began with the powerful line: “My daddy died this year in Iraq.” While gripping, it wasn’t true — and now the girl may lose her tickets after her mom acknowledged to contest organizers it was all a lie. The sponsor of the contest was Club Libby Lu, a Chicago-based store that sells clothes, accessories and games intended for young girls.

The saga began Friday with company officials surprising the girl at a Club Libby Lu at a mall in suburban Garland, about 20 miles northeast of Dallas. The girl won a makeover that included a blonde Hannah Montana wig, as well as the grand prize: airfare for four to Albany, N.Y., and four tickets to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert on Jan. 9. The mother had told company officials that the girl’s father died April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq, company spokeswoman Robyn Caulfield said.

“We did the essay and that’s what we did to win,” Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, said in an interview with Dallas TV station KDFW. “We did whatever we could do to win.”

There is no part of that story that does not tell you about a culture in deep trouble; celebrity obsession, sexualising children, a grasping acquisitiveness that uses war simply as a means to gain what you desire, herd instinct amplified by corporate- fashion, trends, pop culture. Texas eh?

This sets a better example, wonder when his series on the Disney channel will start-

In his letter, [“It was with sadness that I signed my name this grey morning to a letter resigning my commission in the U.S. Navy,” ] Williams [a former naval Lieutenant Commander and member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG)] likened the use of torture by the United States to techniques used by the Spanish Inquisition, Nazi Germany and the Khmer Rouge. He also wrote that he hopes “the truth about torture, illegal spying on Americans and secret renditions is coming out.” 

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At Home With The Polluters- Air Fresheners

I’m not really asthmatic but plug in air fresheners, odour eliminating/spray cans, in general- chemical cocktail air polluting things whether fragranced or supposedly to remove odours seem to give me symptoms of asthma. I mooched around the web quickly and found I am not completely alone and mad on this (although as this is a new area of research there are not a lot of studies, but certainly something is afoot). It looks like what goes into these things has yet to be fully assessed for their combined impact on the people who willingly buy the things then slowly gas themselves in their own home-

A 2006 study at the University of Colorado and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in which it was concluded that air-freshening chemicals may lead to the formation of cancerous cells by suppression of the enzymes that are essential for regulating normal cell death…Air fresheners and plug-ins don’t actually freshen the air or eliminate odors. Rather, they permeate the air with a powerful synthetically derived chemical fragrance to cover up odors. They also contain chemicals designed to numb our sense of smell by deadening our nerves.  

“The study assessed scented sprays, gels, and plug-in air fresheners. Independent lab testing confirmed the presence of phthalates, or hormone-disrupting chemicals that may pose a particular health risk to babies and young children, in 12 of the 14 products—including those marked ‘all natural.’ None of the products had these chemicals listed on their labels.” 

Scented sprays, gels and plug-in fresheners offer no public health benefits yet contain harmful chemicals linked to breathing difficulties, developmental problems in babies and cancer in laboratory animals, according to the petition sent to the two federal agencies. The environmental groups commissioned independent lab tests of some popular brands and also cited health studies that call into question the safety of some chemicals found in the air freshener.

A study recently published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found the regular use of sprays increased the risk of asthma by 30 to 50 percent. The study was done by the European Community Respiratory Health Survey, and followed 3,500 people in 10 European countries. 

Overall, 42 per cent of those surveyed used the sprays on at least one day a week. One in seven cases of asthma could be accounted for by exposure to cleaning products, according to the study’s lead author,Jan Paul Zock, of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology at Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona. 

Oust is made by S.C. Johnson & Son, In- For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers, consult your Dr. before using this product in your home. It is recommended that before you use Oust in several rooms of your home, you should test it in only one room and wait 24 hours to see if anybody will have a physical reaction to it.

Jeebus, I might as well have continued smoking, at least I’d look cool while I died (Don’t smoke kids, it does not make you look cool, ok it totally does, but it’s really bad. I know I stopped). Hmm, so they recommend you test ‘Oust’ to see if it affects people, what do they know they are not telling us? Of course it could be a genius scam, radical Malthusians and genocidalists get consumers to voluntarily gas themselves, paying corporations who make this stuff for the privilege (plus all the money from medications for the ill effects before they croak, damn they’re cunning). But seriously, they certainly fuck up my respiratory processes so beware. Look at this, public health advice and everything. *Wheeze*

It’s Worse Than I Ever Knew

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MET Police- Too Busy Shopping To Frame People

Britain’s existing 28-day limit on holding terror suspects without charge is already far longer than that for any comparable democracy…the four-week maximum in Britain outstrips limits in countries that have also suffered al-Qaida inspired terrorist attacks in recent years, including the United States, Spain and Turkey.

The human rights organisation acknowledged that comparisons with other common law systems such as in Canada, New Zealand and Australia were more straightforward than those with inquisitorial civil law systems such as France and Germany, but said it had asked legal experts in each country to identify the closest equivalent to pre-charge detention. “We found that the closest equivalent to a charge must happen within a matter of days, not months or years as Sir Ian Blair and others have suggested,” the Liberty study concludes.

But you see the thing is many coppers can’t do the questioning so quickly as they are all probably queuing for new iPhones-

The Metropolitan police last night confirmed that it has launched an investigation into reports that millions of pounds in police expenses have gone missing. Two detectives have been arrested…Yesterday it emerged that anti-corruption officers will check the records of hundreds of detectives, amid claims that the cash may have been spent on luxury watches, flatscreen televisions and holidays. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “The director of professional standards is currently conducting a review around the issue and usage of the Met’s American Express cards.”…£2m of unaccounted for spending was initially identified, and has now been largely accounted for. However, at least a further £2m is still unexplained.

So- murdering, corrupt, oppressive, why would Blair be sacked it’s a police state hatrick!

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