Posts by Rich Lock

  • Speaker: What has Neoliberalism Done for…, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    Guys wake up, its been 30 years since the mid 1980s, but some seem to blame every change or undesirable feature on neo- liberalism

    Well, if it was so long ago that it's no longer an issue, perhaps you won't mind pointing to a period or periods between now and then where it hasn't been an embedded and on-going feature of almost every facet of daily life. Not 'slowed down', or 'mitigated in some small way', but 'actively reversed'.

    In the last 30 years, what companies have been taken back into public ownership? What large civic infrastructure programmes have been carried out - publicly funded and publicly worked, and publicly owned when completed? What legislation has been enacted to ensure that critical public services and infrastructure remain in public hands? What legislation has been enacted to protect the rights of workers and citizens, as groups rather than as individuals?

    The reason people still bang on about it, is because neo-liberal ascendancy may have started in the mid-'80's, but it hasn't stopped since. Left-ish governments may occasionally tap the brakes (with conservative ones smashing the accelerator pedal through the floor), but no-one's actually attempting to put the car in reverse.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Miche Campbell,

    "Quim" is an ancient and venerable word.

    Yes. I said 'creative', but I did already know it was an exisiting word and what it meant, and that they hadn't created it from thin air. I'm quite comfortable having the Norse Pantheon re-imagined as a bunch of quasi-Victorian English poshos. I don't think "Gamla vis hruga uskit'r, sugandi toti tik madr" would have had the same impact, no matter how it was delivered.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Ray Gilbert,

    Anyone else remember the TV censored version of Repo Man where they had great fun sanitising by replacing with ridiculous words in their place.

    Flip you melon farmer is still one of my favourite movie lines.

    Apparently, 'melon farmer' was the invention of Alex Cox (the director), who was responsible for the editing/cutting necessary to get this on TV.

    My recollection is that this was so popular, it was used in a number of other films that migrated onto TV around the same time (mid-late '80's). 'Midnight Run', and '48 Hours' spring to mind, but my memory is not entirely reliable. There's even a website (NSFW): www.melonfarmer.co.uk

    'Forget' was so common, it even got satirised in 'The Simpsons' at one point:

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Emma Hart,

    That's like the way they were allowed to say "wanker" on Buffy because it was America and nobody knew what it meant.

    That does appear to be changing. I've seen it used a lot in written US pop culture recently. Next step: get them saying 'arse' correctly.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language,

    Although it's sometimes better when people have to get creative to get one past the censors.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: It's good to…,

    Spike Milligan has a piece in one of his war memoir books about being on home defence in the early part of the war, and sitting in a pillbox with his mates and a record player listening to tunes, with one eye out for the German invasion and the other looking out for any approaching officers. He notes that despite loving the music, there are still certain records he can't listen to as they bring up too many memories, and too many ghosts.

    I found this Pulp tune very difficult to listen to for many years:

    ...and the line about "the child's toy horse ride that played such a ridiculously tragic tune" always made me think of the end credits to the film 'Withnail and I', which I still can't listen to (included here with the preceding Hamlet speech for added poignacy):

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Leviathan,

    "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." - attributed to Cardinal Richelieu.

    I'm not confident that The Musketeers are riding to our rescue this time.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to nzlemming,

    The New Yorker.

    The overall tone/narrative of The Atlantic piece is along the lines of 'The West thinks it's fighting Al-Quaeda 2.0. That is a wrong and dangerous assumption. Here's the real situation and why that assumption is dangerous'.

    The overall tone of the NY piece is: 'The Atlantic article drifts close to saying we are at war with Islam. This is wrong and aids our opponents on 'The Right', and therefore we shouldn't say it'.

    Well, firstly I don't think The Atlantic article did do that, and the author of the NY piece conspicuously fails to give any concrete examples.

    Secondly, I am assuming that most people reading it can parse the difference between opposition to fundamentalist strands of a religion and the religion itself. This is the kind of distinction I would like those in power to be able to make and act on, and to be briefed and informed accordingly (the Atlantic article points out that the response so far indicates that this is not the case - i.e. the US responding as if it's fighting Al-Quaeda 2.0).

    Thirdly, 'The Right' is going to do whatever it pleases in terms of narrative-setting whether or not intelligent articles with subtle shades of detail in them are published. If you're damnned if you do and damnned if you don't, then frankly you might as well do it anyway.

    Fourthly, and bearing in mind point 3, I take umbrage at effectively being told to watch my mouth in case an idiot, or block thereof, is unable to distinguish shades of gray. I would dearly like more in-depth and intelligent media analysis to be available, rather than most of the BS we currently get. Media dumbing-down is a perrenial complaint, not least on this site. And what happens when we do get something not dumbed-down? Along comes someone telling us to watch what is said in case of misinterpretation, and aid to our opponents. That's knind of insulting, as the assumption is that the readers can't carry out their own analysis and make up their own minds.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to David Hood,

    A response to the Atlantic article, criticizing the clash of civilizations narrative.

    Thanks for that. But a distinct whiff of Straw Men and what-iffery, imho.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    If I understand correctly, if somebody calls you an apostate then either they're right in which case they have to kill you, or they're wrong, in which case they are considered apostate and you have to kill them.

    Is also my understanding, based on The Atlantic article I linked to above.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2412 posts Report Reply

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