Huge NY Antiwar Protest

New York Antiwar Protest April 29th, 2006

NEW YORK – Tens of thousands of protesters marched Saturday through lower Manhattan to demand an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, just hours after this month’s death toll reached 70.

The demonstrators stretched for about 10 blocks as they headed down Broadway. Organizers said 300,000 people marched, though a police spokesman declined to give an estimate. There were no reports of arrests.

Organizers said the march was also meant to oppose any military action against Iran, which is facing international criticism over its nuclear program. The event was organized by the group United for Peace and Justice.

“We’ve been lied to, and they’re going to lie to us again to bring us a war in Iran,” said Marjori Ramos, 43, of New York. “I’m here because I had a lot of anger, and I had to do something.”

The death toll in Iraq for April was the highest for a single month in 2006. At least 2,399 U.S. military members have died since the war began. An Army soldier was the latest victim, killed Saturday in a roadside explosion in Baghdad.
(Source: Yahoo)

I didn’t find any reports about this demo until I checked the Stop The War site.

Nothing.

Again, the British mass media proves its bias. It believes that where John Prescott put his penis is more important than a demonstration of 300,000 people in New York.

There are more photos here. Take a look at them, look at those hundreds of thousands of Americans marching for peace, for freedom and against the tyranny of the Bush regime. They heard the lies about Iraq and the Iran spin won’t work with them. It’s an astounding sight, seeing all those ordinary people denying and refuting the propaganda of their glorious leaders.

It’s these leaders who have glibly sent 2,399 Americans to a needless, pointless death. How many of them would send their own sons and daughters to die in a crusade for oil and power? How many would risk their own pampered hides?

I’d love to shake the hand of every single person who marched on Saturday. But seeing as that would take rather a long time, I’ll just send you all a transatlantic hug instead. Keep on keeping on!

Jack ‘I LOVE THE TASTE OF MURDER’ White

Killer Coke

Coca-Cola is to show a promotional short film featuring the song White Stripes front man Jack White controversially wrote for the brand, once only in the UK on Channel 4’s Album Chart Show in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The 100-second ad, called What Goes Around, featuring White’s song Love is the Truth, will air at 1.55am on Channel 4 on Sunday morning.
(Source: The Guardian)

I have nothing to add to this that I haven’t already ranted on about here.

Fake Miniatures

Well, it had to happen. The fake miniature photoshopping craze is sweeping the nets. And I have succumbed!

The best tutorial is here. (Note that for my first effort, I’ve used my own pic of Charing Cross Station. It looks pretty much the same as a test pic in the tutorial, I’m guessing because they were both taken from the London Eye.)

And now my first fake miniature! Ta-da! :

Fake Miniature

Have a look at the full-size pic by clicking here.

Not bad for a first attempt but I don’t think my source pic is ideal. Still, it’s fun, have a go yourself! 😀

Bread And Circuses

London Antiwar
Not newsworthy

Just over a month ago, a massive demonstration took place in central London. More than 100,000 people travelled from all corners of Britain to protest our illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq.

Coverage on BBC TV – zero.

It wasn’t even mentioned on BBC broadcasts apart from giving New Labour’s Tebbit John Reid the opportunity to slag it off.

Bread And Circuses
Newsworthy

Today, 40,000 people are running round London. There has been non-stop coverage on BBC1 from 8.30am. The coverage won’t be interrupted till 1.50pm. That’s over five hours of national TV coverage.

So, the massed-marching of millions of Britons means fuck-all to the BBC but some bloke dressing up like a chicken and running around, that deserves an outside broadcast and personal interview.

This is all very, very old:

Bread and circuses is a derogatory phrase which can describe either government policies to pacify the citizenry, or the shallow, decadent desires of that same citizenry. In both cases, it refers to low-cost, low-quality, high-availability food and entertainment, and to the exclusion of things which the speaker considers more important, such as art, public works projects, democracy, or human rights.

It originated as the Latin phrase “panem et circenses” (literally “bread and circuses”), and is thought to have been coined by Juvenal, a Roman satiric poet of the 1st century AD, to describe the practice of Roman Emperors who gave unlimited free wheat to the poor and costly circus games as a means of pacifying the populace with food and entertainment.
(Source: Wikipedia)

When questioned about its lack of coverage, the BBC claimed that an annual anti-war demo is dull, it’s not newsworthy because it’s happening every year.

If that’s true, what makes a mere 40,000 running round London so fucking riveting?

The BBC’s reason for lack of coverage is a bare-faced lie. They cover annual sporting events lavishly, splashing out money from our licence fees without a moment’s hesitation. Sport is always in favour.

Mass antiwar marches are not.

Clearly, the BBC values circuses, it prioritises fripperies and distractions from the meat of world events and immense global movements. I’m sure if the BBC had been in charge of US TV in the 1960s it would have avoided shots of the Watts Riots or civil rights marches and pushed out extended baseball coverage instead. Maybe it would have called Martin Luther King’s speeches ‘boring’ as well.

The millions of us who’ve been on British antiwar demos know the truth about the BBC now. We know that we can gather in our hundreds of thousands and shut London down with our marching and the BBC will deem this “not newsworthy.” But any sporting event, no matter how unpopular and marginal, will get coverage.

Perhaps next time we should all dress up as fucking chickens?

Lost Trek!

JJ Abrams

JJ Abrams, creator of TV show Lost and director of Mission Impossible III, is to produce and direct the 11th Star Trek film, it has been reported.

According to industry newspaper Daily Variety, the film – set for release in 2008 – will focus on the early days of Captain James T Kirk and Mr Spock.
(Source: BBC News)

As a lifelong Trekkie, I’m praying that the new film loses the layers of shite grafted onto Trek by Brannon and Braga. I’d love to see a return to the vision of the future that Roddenberry invented, an optimistic, fantastic future. And it wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries:

Several notable themes were tackled throughout the entire series. Arguably, the most important was the exploration of major issues of 1960s America, like sexism, racism, nationalism, and global war. Roddenberry utilized the allegory of a space vessel set many years in the future to explore these issues. Star Trek was the first television show to feature an interracial kiss, Roddenberry getting around the censorship of such displays by depicting it as being compelled by an alien of great mental ability.

Episodes such as “The Apple”, “Who Mourns for Adonais?”, and “The Return of the Archons” display subtle anti-religious themes. “Bread and Circuses” and “The Omega Glory” have themes that are more overtly pro-religion and patriotic. Network interference, up to and including wholesale censorship of scripts and film footage, was a regular occurrence in the 1960s and Star Trek suffered from its fair share of tampering. Many scripts had to be revised after vetting by the NBC censors and, according to one book about the series, the gaping mouth of the “salt vampire” monster in the episode “The Man Trap” was actually an in-joke which referred to the network censor’s persistent habit of cutting love scenes which featured open-mouthed kisses.
(Source: Wikipedia)

I hope that Abrams brings some of the slickness of ‘Lost’ to the new Trek film but also that he manages to recapture the spirit of the original series, that breathless idealism that got gradually watered down through the spin-offs.

Hmmm… Kirk and Spock, The Early Years. How about Sean Maher as a young Spock? He looks pretty Vulcan already, and he’s a decent actor. It doesn’t matter if the actor looks thirtysomething as that’s a kid in Vulcan terms. Or, for a young-looking Spock, how about Joseph Gordon-Levitt?

As for Kirk… You’d need someone fresh-faced and quite hyper. William Shatner’s Kirk was still a roustabout in space and that was after maturing. God knows what the kid would be like at Starfleet Academy. How about Chad Michael Murray? He’s handsome enough and I’m sure he could give it some welly.

And please can we have proper aliens, not yet more bipedal humanoids with peculiar nose-ridges. 😀

Stanford Students Bounce Bush

Stanford Students Protest Against Bush

Although President George W. Bush was scheduled to meet with fellows at the Hoover Institution on Friday, the presence of more than 1,000 protestors forced him to change his plans and meet with advisers and faculty members at the residence of former Secretary of State and Hoover Fellow George Shultz on the outskirts of the Stanford campus.

More than 100 armed law enforcement and Secret Service officers lined the streets outside of Encina Commons, as students, parents, faculty members and local residents protested Bush’s anticipated arrival on east campus. While the protest was peaceful, three Stanford students—seniors Claire Wagenseil, Diogo Pereira and Caroline Martin— were arrested as police pushed the crowd out of Serra Street.
(Source: Common Dreams)

This is the face of America that we never get to see in our British media – the face of protest against Bush, against his Iraq Crusade and against the whole of the anti-liberty establishment he fronts.

It may not be on our tellies but I know, from scouring lefty US websites, that the resistance to Bush’s regime in America is huge. From grand protests like the recent one in LA to comparatively small actions like this one, everyday Americans are fighting to get their country back from the PNAC cabal that is currently running it into the ground.

I love this bit:

Some students, like incoming freshman Alejandra Aponte, said they were surprised by the protest’s high turnout.

“I thought Stanford was really a bubble, but seeing all the people that are out here has shown me that people really are concerned,” she said. “I’m Latina; I’m from Guatemala. Right now President Bush is doing some very interesting things in Latin America. We have a phrase ‘For every pig, there will be a Saturday.’ Basically, his game is over.”
(Source: Common Dreams)

‘For every pig, there will be a Saturday.’ Genius! 😀

Reading the article gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. These students (and others) got together, planned a hell of a demo and then met and exceeded all their targets. That the president of the USA has to move his meeting to another venue because of this protest shows that there is still the spark of freedom and democracy alive in America, despite the smothering weight of the Patriot Act and every other Bush-instigated attack on freedom.

Which is leads me perfectly into this:

April 29 March For Peace

More details at April29.org, peaceniks! 🙂

Neil Young – “Let’s Impeach The President”

Neil Young  - Impeach The President

Earlier this year, Neil Young told Rolling Stone,”I’m always going from one extreme to another.” True to form, just months after the release of his studio album Prairie Wind, the legendary singer-songwriter is returning with the incredibly politically charged Living With War. On the album, whipped up in just two angry weeks earlier this month, Young takes aim at the war in Iraq and President Bush — through songs including the Bush-basher “Let’s Impeach the President.”
(Source: Rolling Stone)

Good to see Neil Young not selling-out where he came from. I love angry old hippies. Not that I’m one. Oh no.

Keyvan Minoukadeh

Spain by Keyvan Minoukadeh
All pics in this post by Keyvan

I love taking photos. I’ve even been lucky enough to get paid to take photos and had them published. But I know when someone has a better eye than me. It makes me jealous, sad and a bit crazy but you have to realise, as an artist, when someone is just better than you.

One of those many people is Keyvan Minoukadeh. I’ve known Keyvan for years and lately he’s been kind enough to be my webhost. Although he’s only taken up SLR photography recently, his pictures are some of the most magical I’ve ever seen from any photographer. And he’s a relative beginner, damn him! 😀

Angels by Keyvan Minoukadeh

Whether it’s people or architecture, cats or landscapes, his pictures have a quality that mine rarely have but that I strive for: they hit you. I see a pic by Keyvan and it’s BOOM! He’s simply got an amazing natural eye for images.

Cat by Keyvan Minoukadeh

So, if you’d like to feast your eyes on some absolutely gorgeous photography, please head over to Keyvan’s Gallery.

I’m going to go and have a look again in a bit. After I’ve stopped crying.

My Easter Sermon

THE ALMIGHTY GOD!
God, earlier today. Lovely feller, the almighty.

Catholic group Opus Dei has asked for a disclaimer to be placed on the film of The Da Vinci Code, released next month.

The organisation said it had written to Sony Pictures executives in Japan to ask the studio to emphasise that the film was a work of fantasy.

Based on Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code claims Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had children, which was covered up by the Catholic Church.

“Some media have written that Sony is examining the possibility of putting at the beginning of the film an announcement to clarify that it is a work of fantasy and that any similarity with reality is purely coincidental,” Opus Dei said in a statement.
(Source: BBC News)

Yes, this seems entirely justified to me. And while we’re at it, can we please add this foreword to the front of every Koran, Veda, Bible and all other religious texts:

THIS BOOK IS A WORK OF FANTASY. PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS BOOK AS A BASIS FOR YOUR MORALITY / LEGAL SYSYEM / MASS-MURDER OF PEOPLE WHO DO NOT AGREE WITH IT. IT IS A WORK OF FANTASY AND ANY SIMILARITY WITH REALITY IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.

What I find most hilarious about Opus Dei’s statement is that they’re perfectly willing to accept that there’s a giant ghost who created everything and then incarnated a bit of himself as a human in order to be brutally killed. But the idea that this human man got married and had kids, that’s fantasy! Walking on water – TRUTH! Kissing a lady – FANTASY!

Christians, Scientologists, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Moonies, Hindus, Buddhists, what can you do, eh? Can’t live with them, can’t get them to stop oppressing / slaughtering other humans in the name of their peaceful, all-loving gods….

According to Wikipedia, 16% of the world population isn’t religious. Perhaps it’s time us rational people started complaining every time we have to watch “factual” TV programs that talk about angels or other ghosties. Why should my licence fee go towards paying for ‘Songs Of Praise?’ Where’s my ‘Songs Of Blasphemy And Heresy?’

I tell you, the next time I see God, he’s gonna get such a kicking…