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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

How Did We Ever Get To This Stage In Our Lives?

You really couldn't make this stuff up, if you tried!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you will know that in recent weeks, the Daily Mail has been running a campaign to make sure that no British adult has access to any kind of online pornography, nor any kind of access to anything the remotest bit risque. This is because, in the blinkered, backwards view of the DM, nudity is indecent, and ll men who view porn, are just perverts and paedophiles in waiting, you see! In their eyes, all sexual content should be made a hanging offence.

The thing is, that the Daily Mail, is a publication I am more than happy to expose as the hypocritical publication that it actually is. It's staff seem to be made up of people with no grounding in reality, and who don't actually know anything about the world in which we actually live in. They'll happily write a story saying one thing, and then ten seconds later, the same paper will have published an article by another DM hack, completely supporting the exact opposite view! Sometimes, in the same day's paper!

And so, we end-up with utter garbage like  this  in which  the DM thinks that it can post material online, that it itself has already demanded be banned.

Putting aside the actual issue of whether or not it matters that the BBC has censored THE WHITE QUEEN for its UK transmission, or simply felt that the extended, more explicit nudity was actually wholly unnecessary, the fact that the DM thinks that this is worthy of devoting time and energy into creating a "story" on its website for, is amazing. The fact that this isn't the first time the BBC has done this, is also not exactly shocking news to those of us who keep up-to-date with media stories! This also happens in the USA, as was recently demonstrated when the NBC TV series HANNIBAL had Episode 4, "Oeufs" dropped from mnay States, due to the graphic content and unsettling story about children committing murder. An episode, that we in the UK, saw totally uncut, I might add. So, this is hardly a trend-setter by any stretch of the imagaination. Not in the slightest!

So, not only do we get headline stories from the Daily Mail like  this  and  this  and even  this  but they then contradict themselves in one fell swoop, and post the link mentioned a couple of paragraphs up.

Of course, this being the DM, the posting of the nude and sexual imagery is merely to make a point: to inform and elucidate to its readers of the filth, that the BBC wouldn't let you see. (The DM loves to bash the BBC, so for them to publish this article, they're essentially killing two proverbial birds with one stone: attacking the BBC, and exposing readers to the filth the BBC wouldn't let you see in the first place!) It's absolutely, positively NOT to do with the fact that they are exposing their readers to 18-rated "filth" and "muck". No, the DM would never do that!

No, the nudity is merely to illustrate the "thrust" of the article. In other words, you have to see the actual imagery that was cut in order to explain that you (the DM readers) should never have been allowed to see it in the first place. Despite the fact that you wouldn't have known about the missing footage in the first place, were it not for the parasites at the Mail plastering their wrag with a tell-all expose on it!

It's the "have your cake and eat it" brand of journalism that the DM excels at in such spectacularly awful and spiteful fashion. Still, if Chris Hastings - the author of this article on alleged censorship of THE WHITE QUEEN - thinks this is what DM readers have to see, so that these same readers can then go around condemning the material, and making sure  no one else can ever see it, then that's all well and good, isn't it?

... Except it isn't! Not at all.

Either stick by your views or don't stick by them, but for the love of all that is holy, don't be a hypocrite, and please don't insult me by condemning something, and simultaneously showing me the very thing you think I should not be allowed to see, and telling me I then shouldn't be allowed to see it! Despite the fact that the Daily Mail still has its infamous Sidebar Of Shame - a sidebar on its website that depicts the very stuff that the DM says is prurient and degrading, and must be banned - (as discussed  here  ) - it still baffles me that since 1896, this is a paper that claims to be standing-up for the rights of the normal, average Middle Class Briton, and yet is anything but representative of that very group.

I know three million people read the Daily Mail each day, and that equates to a lot of wasted paper and ink, (which is damaging for the environment too), but if it didn't keep getting on its high-horse and actually took a worthwhile stance on issues that actually mattered, it might be worth something. Not just to the Middle Classes, but to all British people.

Taking a stance on issues like the destruction of the environment, the vast amounts of wasted food we in the West produce, or serious subjects such as why only 30% of the British Population now votes in elections, or why Britain and the USA seem hellbent on wanting to start a war in Syria (as if the previous and costly wars in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and the Falkland's weren't lessons enough). Those are issues worth campaigning for, not this self-manufactured bullshit that the Daily Mail insists on hawking its tired and saggy carcass with, each day!

Yes, the sexualisation of children is an issue. So is the increasing consumption of pornography, but simply demanding it gets banned outright, and thinking that if it's "out of sight, out of mind", that that will solve everything, is woefully naive. Alas, that is what has happened. (See previous articles on my blog for further details!) But worse still, is demanding such things get banned without real justification, and then rubbing people's faces in it, by then posting pictures of the very stuff that you want banned, and shouting from the rooftops "Hey everyone, come look at this disgusting filth" and when people come to look, you then shout "You disgusting, filthy pervert! How dare you look at this degrading and offensive material" in the same breath. It makes you look like a bunch of... Well, a certain four-letter expletive that DM editor Paul Dacre frequently uses around the offices!

Maybe, just maybe once the so-called "Censored Internet" Filter comes into existence, that same Filter will restrict access to the Daily Mail site, and then Paul Dacre will see that campaigning for things you know little about, is actually a very, very bad thing, and can have extremely dire consequences.

Sadly, I suspect that I'm living in cloud cuckoo land, if I hope that that will ever happen... If only...!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Quick Update!

Hello Everyone,

This is just to let you all know that I am in the middle of changing jobs, and thus, I am not able to post much on my blog at this moment in time. However, I will be back soon. Thank You all for continuing to visit, for reading my articles, and for your comments - which are published at the end of the articles. I am truly grateful for all of you returning here to read my words.

See you shortly!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Tweeting Abuse! Why Knuckle-Dragging Morons Are Making Us Men Look Bad!

Greetings, Everyone!

It never ceases to astound me, at just how utterly, utterly phlegmatic some men can be. And I'm not talking about Mankind in general here. No, I mean male homo-sapiens, of which I am one of them.

What is it with some of you guys?! Why do you seem to want to turn everything into a them-and-us war between the sexes? I write this because of recent events that have occurred in the past 72 hours that make me ashamed to be a man. I am appalled at the lack of respect and courtesy that has been extended to our fellow sistren, because of a few knuckle-dragging neanderthals.

You see, these pieces of misogynistic effluent - because, that's pretty much all that they total up to be - have decided that it would be a charming display of macho bravado, to post misogynistic drivel on Twitter in the form of abuse against Caroline Criado-Perez: a woman who has done nothing more, than request that more women feature on British bank notes. At the time of writing, only the Five Pound Note features a woman - Elizabeth Fry. Thanks to an Internet campaign, the new head of the Bank of England, Canadian financier Mark Carney decided that one of his first acts in his position, would be to remove the current face of the Ten Pound Note - Charles Darwin - and replace him with Jane Austen instead, from 2015.

The Tweets were deeply offensive. However, so that you can see exactly what was said, here are some screen-grabs. Be warned, they are absolutely not safe to view at work, and the language is graphic and explicit.

Link One - Tweets on Stella Creasey's Twitter feed

Link Two - Tweets on Caroline Criado-Perez's Twitter feed

Other comments on Ms Criado-Perez's feed included the delightful:

Everybody jump on the rape train . . . Caroline is the conductor.
And the even more tasteful
Wouldn't mind tying this bitch to my stove. Hey sweetheart, give me a shout when you are ready to be put in your place.
 And this...
Rape threats? Don't flatter yourself. Call the cops, we will rape them too.

These parasites think that it's really sophisticated and mature, to post messages threatening to rape and murder Ms Criado-Perez and another lady, MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy.

Over a period of about 12 hours, several hundred Tweets were being posted on Ms Criado-Perez's Twitter feed, threatening actual harm and sexual violence towards her. Why? Well, it would seem that her campaign caused a bit of a storm amongst some of these pieces of effluent, and they didn't like it. Thus, they proceeded to berate her on Twitter, over the course of half-a-day and fill her social-media feed with degrading, vituperative bile that I would expect to see in scripts from no-budget British gangster films starring the likes of Danny Dyer. MP Creasy also experienced similar behaviour in the past few days, on her Twitter feed. Thankfully, yesterday, a man had been arrested on suspicion of a campaign of online harassment - see  here  for the details.

Now, I need to be careful here. An arrest and a suspicion, are not the same as convicted and guilty. Not by a long shot. However, if the 21-year-old Mancunian is the felonious little turd behind the offensive Tweets, then I sincerely hope that he serves a minimum of a year in prison for his crimes.

I know many people will think that if you don't want to run the risk of being abused or harassed online, then you shouldn't join sites like Twitter and Facebook. Likewise, there are plenty of people who think that sending abusive messages online should not be treated by the English Legal System in the same way, somebody in the street saying the same thing to your face might be treated. However, in my view, I think we need to nip this seemingly endlessly abhorrent behaviour in the bud now, today! The online world is something that is, to many people, a place that is not that far removed from the real-world. And online, we do many things, we would happily do in the real-world as well, e.g. shopping, paying bills, research, etc, etc.

The Internet is a tool. (I could make a cheap joke, and say that the people who post "I'm going to rape you" Tweets, are also utter tools, but I won't..! That would be far too easy a joke to make!) It is nothing more than a device that helps us communicate. It is really no different to the telephone call or the written letter. So why should the Law treat online abuse and harassment any differently, or any lesser a crime, than that which might take place in the city or village that you happen to live in? To excuse such behaviour purely because it takes place on an electronic screen, rather than in-person, in my mind, is just that - an excuse. (And a pretty petty and sophomoric excuse at that.) If you wouldn't accept somebody walking up to you, and shouting "I'm going to kill you tonight" to your face, why on earth should you accept the same behaviour from a moronic keyboard warrior, who thinks that laws shouldn't apply to them purely on the basis that they "didn't really mean it"?!

Are you freaking kidding me?! You "didn't really mean it"?!

So what you really meant to say was, "Sorry to bother you, but I vehemently disagree with you on this subject", right, but by some awful, technological disaster, that actually turned into "Wouldn't mind tying this bitch to my stove. Hey sweetheart, give me a shout when you are ready to be put in your place."?

Now, if anyone had said that to me, to my face, then providing I could identify them, I would be able to contact the police and have them arrested under numerous laws, such as the Criminal Justice Act 1967. Likewise, if someone had telephoned me, sent a text message to me, or written anything even remotely like that and posted it to me in a letter, or simply stuck the note through my letterbox, then the Law would be behind me 100%, offer me protection and would seek out the offending ejit.

So why are we treating electronic messaging differently?!

I accept the fact that in this country, with a population of about 66 million people, there are some who think that it is fair game, nigh acceptable, to say whatever you want to someone, no matter how offensive or distasteful that comment might actually be. After all, we live in a land of free speech, don't we?

Well, actually, no, we don't.

In the United Kingdom, you cannot say whatever the hell you want. There are very specific and explicit laws that exist, that state that "malicious communications" can be grounds for criminal or legal action. Such ground, include the obvious ones, such as discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality or disability. Other less obvious one include perceived discrimination - e.g. someone with mental health issues - where the discrimination may not be obvious to the outside world.

But even when those laws are used, for some reason, the Law is reluctant to use electronic malicious communication via social media sites, as being grounds for action to be taken. The Law and the Police think that if you receive such offensive material via Twitter or Facebook, you should just "block" that person.

The problem with that, is three-fold:
1) That doesn't change the fact that someone has sent you a malicious communication in the first place.
2) The sender of the communication may just re-send the offensive material to you again, in another manner, or by re-joining social media sites under a new name.
3) That the malicious communication is still a breach of the law, even though it may have been sent by an electronic system, rather than spoken, or written down.

The Law and Government needs to start tightening up the regulations and dealing with "trolls" and "troll-like" behaviour online. Despite what they and others may think, it is not a victimless crime. It is not something that people should just have to put up with. It is a crime. It does upset and cause distress to the victim on the receiving end, and it absolutely should be punishable by law.

Alas, until English Law and politicians decide to act, then such behaviour as has been meted out to Ms Criado-Perez and Ms Creasy will continue to go on, often without making headlines. Men need to stop treating women in this abhorrent manner. I really don't know why men think that threatening a woman - or anyone of any gender for that matter - is good, cool, clever, witty, or whatever other derivative you wish to use. Instead of being classy behaviour, it actually make you look about as fashionable as a freshly-laid pile of dog turd. Threatening to rape someone isn't funny. It's not remotely laughable. It's just low, and deeply, incredibly unimaginative... that you are, in fact, someone with about as much imagination as a septic tank on a caravan site.

How classy is that?