Bzangy suffered a bit of an outage recently because the bandwidth was exceeded. To translate this into non-geek for you, there’d been too many people looking at the site so my host (not Keyvan, the host above him) blocked access. When you pay for a webhost, you pay according to the amount of traffic/visitors you think you’ll be getting. Obviously, more visitors = more work for the computers hosting your site.
So, Keyvan’s upped Bzangy’s bandwidth from 8 gig per month to 10 gig.
Well, I’m hugely chuffed so many people are looking at Bzangy but also a bit perplexed. After all, a lot of stuff on Bzangy is of very minority interest so it’s surprising it’s so popular. Have a look at the stats for this year:
So, Bzangy transferred 3 gig of guff in January of this year but by March it’d had reached (and exceeded!) 8 gig. In September 2003, the figure was 303 megabytes. That’s some increase in readership.
Who the hell is looking at this site? People fascinated by my apoplectic anti-war rants? Pervs looking for humongous boobs (always top in the stats search strings)? Fans of pictures of Derby? Huh?
Looking through my server logs, I found one source of recent hits:
Charles Saatchi, the adman who was responsible for Margaret Thatcher raping Britain
Bzangy has no ads.
For about two days, I had a little link to my EMI album on iTunes. But it felt wrong. If people want to buy my music, I think they can find it easily enough without my shepherding.
Neither do I have affiliate links to Amazon for any records or books I review. If I did, how could you trust I wasn’t giving a favourable review to something just to get some money from Amazon’s sale? I could probably make a bit of money since this site is quite popular (last month I had 7461 unique visitors).
As you can see, I don’t like advertising.
I think advertising is one of the most pernicious, dementing forces in modern capitalist society. Whether it’s eating disorders or crippling credit card debts, you can usually trace the initial push to destruction back to a glossy ad image or slogan.
You can’t sell unless you make people think they need to buy the product. You have to make them feel too fat, too ugly, too un-stylish, too un-cool. You present them with the solution to their problems: your glistening product. You create the need for the product, it’s not simply informing consumers about a new choice they have.
If you’re reading the above and disagreeing violently, you’ve probably got a well-paid job in advertising / marketing and thus have already been lost to the Dark Side. Sorry, that was your one life, selling eco-destroying shit to people who didn’t need it and couldn’t afford it. Well done. Don’t worry about me, take consolation in your immaculately housed collection of fashionable conceptual art.
Advertising is reverse Buddhism: it insists you cannot be happy unless you invest more and more into the material world and possessions.
What sells smoking to children? Advertising.
What makes most women think they’re fat and need to buy something to be thinner? Advertising.
What elected Thatcher? What re-elected Bush? What’s trying to re-elect Butcher Blair? Advertising.
Somewhere, maybe, there’s an ethical advertising company. Maybe they refuse to work for tobacco, alcohol, Bush, Nestle, Esso, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Halliburton, BNFL…
But the nature of capitalism is that a business has to turn a profit to survive. I can’t see how such a company could stay afloat unless it had other sources of revenue.
The internet is becoming increasingly clogged with advertising. Flashing banner ads, popups, popunders, spam, spim, all of it destroying the greatest communication invention since the printing press. The most annoying ad-sourced offender? Flash. Inevitably, sites that have been “designed” by glossy, expensive agencies always use crappy Flash that takes ten minutes to load and is a bag of trendy wank when it appears.
You won’t ever see any of that shite on Bzangy. It will always be pure content, nothing else.
I make my money from music, writing and photography. I won’t ever make it from advertising on Bzangy.
It’s been pointed out to me by several sarky emailers that Bzangy itself is merely one long advert for me as a person. And that maybe promotes my music. And every single review I do on here, even though they’re all unpaid, is still advertising for the band/author/gadget company. And my music has been used on TV ads in the past.
So, apparently, I’m talking absolute shite.
All I know is this: if Coca Cola offered me a gzillion quid to use my music in an advert, I’d say no (not that they would but bear with me).
But if Greenpeace wanted to use my music in an ad, I’d be hugely flattered and let them have it for nowt.
Maybe I don’t actually hate all advertising, maybe I just hate the vast majority of what advertising promotes?
To be honest, I’m confused. Is it evil to use a basically evil process (advertising) to promote something good? Does the end justify the means?
If I review a record by a tiny indie band and tell you it’s the best thing since free porn, am I creating a false desire in you, making you think you’ll be happier if you have that record? Does it make any difference if I think that’s the truth and am not being paid to lie?
I haven’t got a fucking clue. I guess I’ll have to go with my gut feeling on ads rather than my befuddled head.
Damning evidence of American soldiers abusing detainees at another prison in Iraq was made public yesterday. It details how prisoners were “systematically and intentionally mistreated” at a military base in Mosul, culminating in the death of one. Nobody was court-martialled over the abuse
(Source: The Independent)
Where is the outrage about this? Where are the in-depth news features on TV?
We’ve got used to Americans torturing the Iraqis they’re “liberating.” It’s a mark of their great democratic crusade, torture. In order to liberate a people, it’s a well-known fact that you have to lock them up (without trial), beat them continuously and viciously, hopefully resulting in their death.
That’s American Democracy! Apple pie and genital torture!
That’s why we’re lucky to have Blair, a great leader who fully supports the US vision of democratic freedom. Hell, even our own troops have been enthusiastically trying to emulate our American cousins, torturing prisoners and helping out wherever they can.
Soldiers in the room when Mr Jassim’s jaw was broken all said they did not see the incident and the investigation was unable to determine which guards were at fault. None was punished.
(Source: The Independent)
Heh…that’s a good one! “We didn’t see it happen, Sir, he must have fallen or something. None of us did it, honest!” It’s good to see that the troops doing the torture are brave, forthcoming men, men that should make America proud! With men like this serving America, how can the great nation ever come to harm?
Thank god for Bush and Blair’s selfless crusade to bring democracy to the barbaric Islamist hordes! Thank god for our enlightened Western moral values! We must teach the savages the true meaning of civilisation.
Even if we have to torture those values into every last one of them…
Elizabeth Wilmshurst, deputy legal adviser to the Foreign Office, resigned in March 2003 because she did not believe the war with Iraq was legal. Her letter was released by the Foreign Office to the BBC News website under the Freedom of Information Act.
A minute dated 18 March 2003 from Elizabeth Wilmshurst (Deputy Legal Adviser) to Michael Wood (The Legal Adviser), copied to the Private Secretary, the Private Secretary to the Permanent Under-Secretary, Alan Charlton (Director Personnel) and Andrew Patrick (Press Office):
1. I regret that I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution to revive the authorisation given in SCR 678. I do not need to set out my reasoning; you are aware of it.
[The following italicised section was removed by the Foreign Office but later obtained by Channel 4 News]
My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this office before and after the adoption of UN security council resolution 1441 and with what the attorney general gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7 March. (The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.)
I cannot in conscience go along with advice – within the Office or to the public or Parliament – which asserts the legitimacy of military action without such a resolution, particularly since an unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression; nor can I agree with such action in circumstances which are so detrimental to the international order and the rule of law.
2. I therefore need to leave the Office: my views on the legitimacy of the action in Iraq would not make it possible for me to continue my role as a Deputy Legal Adviser or my work more generally.
For example in the context of the International Criminal Court, negotiations on the crime of aggression begin again this year.
I am therefore discussing with Alan Charlton whether I may take approved early retirement. In case that is not possible this letter should be taken as constituting notice of my resignation.
3. I joined the Office in 1974. It has been a privilege to work here. I leave with very great sadness.
Note those words:
“crime of aggression”.
If only Butcher Blair, the self-proclaimed pious Christian, had one-hundredth the decency and compassion of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, perhaps there wouldn’t be 100,000+ Iraqis dead now?
Blair misled Britain, lied to Parliament and thus involved us in an illegal invasion of a non-agressor country.
A gang of inluenza virions earlier today. Bastards.
Since Saturday, I’ve been laid low by lurgy, specifically ‘flu.
Like most men, I’m a terrible patient and Ele’s had to put up with a lot of whimpering, mewling and general ‘take care of me’ whimsy.
I suspect I caught it in the viral gang-bang that is central London, probably on the demo. I’m afraid I’ve been very dull and caught ‘flu at the end of the season:
The illness even has its own season – from November to April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March.
So far, I’ve had these symptoms:
loss of appetite
Thankfully I’ve not had any vomiting or diarrhea, though I did have a bit of delerium, which was horrible. And a lot of bone ache. I can feel the inside of my shoulder bones when I move my arms. It’s most disconcerting.
At the same time, I do find it fascinating that inside my body, there’s a bitter war going on. My body is now pumping out antibodies tailored to the specific virus that’s invaded it. Pretty marvellous, really.
But the virus itself is quite amazing. Such a tiny scrap, a few bunches of RNA, and it can cause such disruption (millions of deaths) just by carrying out the only form of reproduction it can: hijacking animals’ cells and getting them to make its babies.
For your listening pleasure, I’ve made a little recording of my current respiratory state:
This was a huge protest. Not big, not middling, not “okay” but huge. Having gone on all the demos, I think I’m quite good at estimating crowd numbers. Certainly better than the selectively myopic cave fish that the Met employ to dole out figures to the ever-gullible mass-media (hello, Reuters!)
45,000? My arse. Unless we were secretly walking round the block, there were at least 175,000 of us out on Saturday, maybe even 200,000.
Put that in perspective. When I got home, the top news story was, of course, the breaking news about the terrorist boming in Qatar. Fair enough: that’s huge news. So where did the demo come? After the sports stuff about Wales? Nope. After the ganja gibbering? Nope. After the puff-piece about Abbey Road? Nope.
The demo wasn’t on the news at all. I’ve been told it had been on earlier but why it got bumped from later editions, I’ve no idea.
I can only assume that TV news thinks that a mass demonstration against the most unpopular British PM in history shortly before a predicted election is non-news. Rugby is far more important than hundreds of thousands of people marching against a war criminal.
The day went brilliantly. Me and Ele actually managed to meet with Matt, Tara, Cactus, Sean, RobLab and Keyvan. Together, we formed a Derby/Norwich antiwar grouplet. 🙂
The mood on the march was tremendously positive, no violence anywhere that I saw. There was a teensy bit of copper-baiting as usual but the Mets are used to doing their stone-face act so there was no trouble.
We caught the last half of the speakers at Trafalgar Square. They all spoke well but I think my favourite was Craig Murray (former Ambassador to Uzbekistan). His insight into the mentality of Blair’s regime was very revealing and disturbing.
But it’s not enough. I won’t be happy till the foreign troops are out of Iraq and then maybe the Iraqi people can start the process of rebuilding their country from the consequences of all that “shock and awe.”
I thought I’d pop down and get some shots of the MASSIVE ANARCHIST PROTEST at Derby market place. I went prepared, made up a batch of Molotovs, put on my black ANARCHIST balaclava my Mum knitted me, cut-up all my credit cards, wiped my arse with a pic of the Queen, all the stuff in the Official Anarchist Handbook. You have to follow all the rules if you want to be a proper anarchist.
I got there and, bugger me! No-one. Some namby-pamby Greenies plus a smattering of oppressive Trot scum, who I shouted “KRONSTADT!” at very loudly. That showed ’em, Leninist pig-dogs.
Apparently “the man” spent two million quid on policing us dangerous anarchist types in Derby, drafting in coppers from the Met as well as Staffs. Well, it’s not like hospitals and schools need money, innit? And you never know, we might have rioted in Derby, if we hadn’t still been pissed-up on cider.