Pinters Win Prizes

Harold Pinter

As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.
(Source: The Guardian)

You’re 75. You’ve been diagnosed with throat cancer. You could just keep quiet, like the vast majority of your peers and other musicians, painters, writers, broadcasters, journalists and media hacks. After all, we all know 100,000 Iraqis have been murdered but no-one’s saying anything about it. Our US-dominated media hides this modern Holocaust.

Or you can choose to use your voice, to send it out into the world, alone and unarmed against the biggest empire in history and their legions of liars and tame media. Stalinists / Maoists stop freedom of speech by state control of the media, American capitalism simply buys the press it wants.

LONDON — The playwright Harold Pinter turned his Nobel Prize acceptance speech Wednesday into a furious protest of American foreign policy, saying that the U.S. not only lied to justify waging war against Iraq but also “supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship” in the past 50 years.

“The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them,” Pinter said. “You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”
(Source: Chicago Tribune)

No doubt there’ll be a flurry of anti-Pinter articles in the lackey media now, financed by dollars from the CIA. He’ll be villified by the right-wing media goons who serve the American Empire and whitewash its crimes.

But the world is waking up. Millions of us have been on the streets, we know what’s going on. We got rid of one evil superpower with the fall of the Soviet Union. Now we’ve just got two more to go…

Taxes For Old Rope

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for 11 websites, including what may be the least-visited on the web. UK World Heritage Sites (www.ukworldheritage.org.uk) managed just 77 unique visitors last year, Richard Caborn, the minister responsible, told parliament. The site’s top news item announces a seminar taking place in May this year. Another site, Agora (www.agora.culture.gov.uk), supposed to help the department and its sponsored bodies communicate, had 457 visits last year. Together, the department’s 11 sites cost £43.4m in the financial year 2004-05, Caborn said.
(Source: The Guardian)

Hmmm… 11 websites, £43.4 million pounds a year? Sounds like a great use of my tax money. I mean, could you maintain a website that attracts 77 visitors a year with a budget of only £3.9 million pounds? C’mon!

For the last couple of years, I’ve been getting around 8000 unique visitors per month reading Bzangy. That’s 96,000 a year. And I’ve managed this paying out a massive £100 a year to my webhost (hi, Keyvan!).

How about this: I’ll take over the running of all the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s websites, including commercial hosting with industrial bandwidth, unlimited email addresses and, as a little sweetener, some lovely animated gifs. And I’ll do all this for a tenth of what they’re paying now. That’s right, I’ll charge them only £4.34 million pounds a year. Bargain!

Does anyone in the government actually have even the vague inkling of a clue about contemporary technology? How the hell does nearly forty-four million quid of our money get spent on just one department’s websites?