The power…

The Bin - 2 inches too far to the left as you can clearly see!!
Photo by philcampbell
Well, it’s official…in case you didn’t already realise.  Blogs have power, real..actual..honest to goodness power.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/somerset/8332616.stm

Apparently, a particularly aggressive blogger in a town in the UK forced pretty much all of the local council to resign, due to “Impossible Working Conditions”.

Sensitive much?

Now, I am under no illusions about my tales of drunken friends exploits with women, rants about Facebook and drunken ramblings throughout my life.  I don’t feel that they would impact anyone in a positive or negative way…except maybe my parents opinion of me.  I am pretty sure that nothing that I could write…even if I were to do so repeatedly…could cause somone to resign from their job.  Especially not 11 people….and certainly not if they are in government ffs.

Governments are more targetted than celebrities…more targetted than a certain Michael Owen returning to Liverpool for the first time, so you can’t seriously tell me that they had never received abuse before.  I suspect that it could be the “straw that broke the camels back” and all that, but still.

Reading through the blog, the guy is quite clearly blowing things out of all proportion…this is exactly the kind of guy that, before blogs, would have been (and probably still is) writing letters every day about how his dustbin is the wrong shade of green, the bus stop sign is twisted 2 degrees to the left… and that his calls for meals on wheels to deliver prostitutes and viagra are going unheeded.  Lots of accusations of secrecy, conspiracy theories, china like communism and calling the people there scum (a lot).  I don’t know about you, but I can imagine that this guy would have wrote at least 2 letters a day regarding what he sees as transgressions…which leaves even the most tolerant of people desensitised to his plight.

Think of the JFK assassination…the first time you saw that footage of the President slumping to one side, his wife frantically trying to see if he is ok, the Secret Service agent jumping on the back of the car to try and protect his charge…you have to admit, it’s terrible…horrible, unconscionable.  The three hundred and first time you see the footage you start to think…hey, Nice Convertible!!  Aww…don’t do that, you can never get blood out of that type of upholstry!

It happens, it’s human nature.  Honestly, what did he expect?

Now, I am not saying that he doesn’t have some real, genuine issues that need to be looked into and resolved…everyone in any hamlet/village/town/city and country does…and, to be fair, it’s not like he was picketing the offices and egging their houses…he wrote a blog.  A blog that, I suspect, most of Somerton had never heard of until these council workers decided to give him some validation and not to mention the ignomy of being plastered all over the interwebs as spineless yellow cowardy cowardy custards.

My advice to them..take back your resignations…grow a spine, do your jobs and start using the internet properly (ie searching for porn)…it’s not rocket science…ignore this idiot and he will go away (not a tactic that will work against me however, dear readers).

Damnit…writers block is a bitch….I am working a couple of night shifts this week, so maybe my sleep deprivation will deliver some old school TLW posts…

Fingers crossed.

Slow news day?

Turkey Fryer Injury UpdateNow, I am not about to jump on the Obama got elected bandwagon…not least of all as I am English, not American.

That said…. WTF! is this all about? Woof Journalism*

British Broadcasting Corporation, for shame.   I get that American politics has an important impact on the world, I get that…honestly I do.   I get that this makes it important enough for all of the worlds news to report on it, even the good old BBC.   But the first fucking dog!?!?!   Seriously, the first dog?

This cannot be a story that needs telling.   I mean, what’s next…the first hamster, first ant colony, first headlouse?   Will we be dedicating journalistic resource to investigating the first bathroom paint colour choice?   Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that there are as many people in America that feel the need for every little detail…there certainly would be in the UK for a new Prime Minister…but world news?

I don’t think so.   Fair enough if we were talking about his first major decision, policy or action….I could see that making world news.   I have to say though, the conspiracy theorists were out in force to say that he couldn’t possibly win and the vast majority of Americans decided that change was required.   I don’t pretend to know about his real policies or even if he will be a good president, but he definitely seems to be a different kind of leader to any previous one, and America took a chance.

At least he isn’t a Fundamentalist Christian, although it is only a matter of time until we discover he is a Scientologist or something….

Ah well

* Sorryseriously, I am quite ashamed of that one

I better be careful

CaughtAccording to BBC News bloggers are being arrested all over the place.   Sure, right now it is for what the authorities percieve as causing civil unrest.   How long before I get arrested before causing people to riot in the desperate search for something actually funny?

It’s an interesting twist though when you think about it.   Let’s face it, the Internet provides this supposed shield of anonymity, it’s supposed to be the last bastion of free speech and expression.   It comes to something when simply voicing your opinion on what you view to be a violation of human rights results in your arrest and possible jail time.

I am lucky, I am British, live in Germany, my webserver is with a Polish company and the server is based in Germany somewhere.   I have no issues really, beyond normal legality of course.   I am rarely controversial and will err on the side of humour when at all possible.   That said, I have the option to blog about pretty much what I want without fear of persecution for my beliefs….Every time I post I open myself up to ridicule and choose to do so, and that is pretty much the worst I have to worry about.

It beggars belief that some of these “Nations” feel that their very society could be at risk by the actions of a few people voicing an opinion.   That doesn’t smack to me of a group of people that are entirely confident that their actions would stand up to worldwide scrutiny.   Lets face it, human rights organisations are exposing violations of human rights at a far higher frequency than any single blogger can achieve.   Maybe they feel that, by censoring the people living amongst them, they can dismiss any outsiders opinion as simply misunderstood cultural differences.

It makes no sense if you apply even the smallest amount of logic.   Arresting someone for writing things like this will draw far more attention than simply letting them get on with it.   It is by no means the same thing, but back in the 80s a song was banned in the UK…Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood…it was probably destined for the top 10 and in fact had topped out at number 6.   Banning it instantly made it number 1 for 5 weeks.   It is no different with these blogs…leave them alone and only a few (percentage of the world wise anyway) people will read it.   Arrest and incarcerate the writer and you bring them infamy and half the planet now want to see what was so bad.

Ahh, I see what I did there…logical politics…an oxymoron if ever there was one.

I have absolutely no idea where I am going with this really, I started off with every intention of cracking a joke about my terrible writing style and pending arrest, but realised real quick that this topic pisses me off.   There certainly isn’t much I can do about it, if anything.   I would like to think that, if I could, I would though.

The biggest reported jail sentence give for this is 8 years…that is from one country prosecuting a blogger.   Seeing as I have “spoken out” now about more than one country (technically…although I don’t name them), I could be put away for longer than your average murderer.

Makes you think doesn’t it.

I am off to find somewhere suitable to hide.   Oh, and don’t worry, my next post won’t be anywhere near as serious….I don’t guarantee funny, but I can definately say it won’t be so serious.

Political Kids?

I have been off work ill today with the mother (and quite possibly the father) of all migraines.

 Unfortunately, I didn’t predict this headache from hell, which meant I was unable to stock up on the necessities that such a painful day would require….namely cigarettes.   Yes I know, smoking is bad etc etc, but as I can’t understand what the German government puts on the box as warnings, I figure what I don’t know can’t hurt :-p

 That left me a short while ago, staggering down the street in an eye watering, heavily medicated stupour to the local cigarette dealer.   On my way there, I noticed a sign – a handwritten sign no less, attached to the local Kindergarten gate.   This sign (roughly translated you understand) says :-

“Kindergarten XXXXX shows solidarity to the striking workforce”**

Well done, thinks I, supporting firefighters, nurses, police or whatever amazing organisation that is rarely rewarded for their unwavering commitment to putting themselves on the line for people like me, what a great thing to do.

As I was staggering back from that most dangerous of drug peddlars (cigarette sellers….keep up), it hits me.   The people on strike are the bus, train and tram drivers of this lovely city I currently call home.   Now, if they are getting a raw deal and bad treatment, then fair enough, striking is an option open to them.     But just what is it about their plight that would cause a kindergarten to feel so moved as to make a political statement on behalf of a group of children ranging from 6 months to 5 years old.

Not particularly funny, but pain medication will do that to a fella….

**At least I think that’s what it says, I can’t be sure – It could be talking about their favourite cats for all I know….