Tory MP Nigel Evans spent his life savings defending himself in court, after voting to reduce legal aid spending by 40 per cent, and is now calling for a reversal of the decision. He said he would now vote against the cuts brought in by the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition, after false accusations of rape and sexual assault over a 10-year period forced him to spend £130,000 in legal fees.
“Superheroes are part of your brainless desire to replace true experience with simulation. You don’t talk, you watch talk shows. You don’t play games, you watch game shows. Travel, relationships, risk; every meaningful experience must be packaged and delivered to you to watch at a distance so that you can remain ever-sheltered, ever-passive, ever-ravenous consumers who can’t free themselves to rise from their couches, break a sweat, and participate in life.”
Screenslaver from Incredibles 2 or Marcuse… you decide…
CLOSE UP OF PLUMBOB WEARING OLD CLOTHES EVEN THOUGH HE IS RICHER THAN GOD:
PLUMBOB: I had a normal childhood, mansion, servants, you know, the usual. At university, I developed a real passion for photography… well, actually, it was for big boobs. I loved taking photos of big boobs. But I noticed, hey, no one is giving me props for this. I wanted to be up there with all the famous masters, I wanted to be acclaimed!
So, I whipped out my Amex Platinum card and booked myself a one-way ticket to some of the nicest hotels in the poorest countries of the world. It was gruelling for me, working sometimes two or three hours a day, having to mix with all kinds of weird, non-white, non-Western people. God, those fuckers are weird. But they make great subjects!
What I learned on that first trip is the great skill it takes to remove all humanity from a subject, to make them a stereotype of the “ethnic.” You have to do extreme close ups, make sure it’s really, really unflattering. Exclude anything Western, like, make sure you take their cellphone off them, that is essential. Your goal here is to make a photo that a British Army officer could have taken during 1900 – 1920. Make the subject as powerless and objectified as possible, remove any hint of agency.
You want to create photos that make the white viewer feel comfortably superior to the subject. You want to create that colonial glow in the viewer so try to get scenes that fit in with that narrative, like “tribal dances” (make sure they take off their Nikes first, lol!) or an old lady petting a yak or a baby with flies all over its face, looking near death. All that good stuff that will win you a photojournalism prize.
Needless to say, black and white only, on film and preferably on a Leica that costs more than the subject country makes in a year. If you do shoot digital, make sure it’s on some weird old camera no-one else can get and have one of your assistants transfer it all to medium format before making Polaroids which you then display on a Game Boy Advance screen and take photos of that.
Last week I was an upstanding citizen. I went to work, I paid my taxes, Church twice on Sunday.
But then, just a few days ago, I saw…
A FEMALE-PRESENTING NIPPLE
Now, I don’t know if the nipple was owned by a boy or a girl. I only know that it presented as female. What do I mean by this? Well, I’m not quite sure but, at the same time, I know exactly what I mean. Y’know… female-presenting.
An hour after seeing this female-presenting nipple, I went on a ram-raiding spree. I knocked over fifteen sub post offices, three ATMs and a doughnut hut.
Then I murdered, like, LOADS of people. Like…. LOADS.
Even worse, I went round the skips at the back of Tescos and mixed all the recycling together with the non-recycling.
YUP I DID IT
All of this, all this horror could have been prevented if only Tumblr had stepped up earlier and prevented me from seeing this fleshy derailer, this midget gem of malevolence, Satan’s radio tuner… THE FEMALE-PRESENTING NIPPLE!!!
By my standards, this was a pretty ordinary dream. The only thing that makes it stand out is the synthesis part. Well, and my co-inventers but they aren’t really real in the way that an idea can be real although it was dreamt.
Teri Garr is still alive so it’s possible she could have been in my dream through some kind of telepathic link but Robert Vaughn passed away in 2016. While I’ll maybe stretch to telepathy with living people, communicating with the spirit realm is a stretch for a good old fashioned dialectical materialist like me.
In the dream, Vaughn was Napoleon Solo-aged and Garr was pretty much as she appears in the Star Trek episode ‘Assignment Earth.’ But they weren’t their characters, they were just themselves, chatting as actors do about various acting gigs, the perils of local theatre and who was a Method bore.
I was entranced just to be in the same room with them. Thinking back, the room was very TOS-like; grey walls, weird polygonal desk for no reason, the mise-en-scene was very Trek.
On the table in front of us is a tray. It’s about one metre by seventy-five cm. The edge is lipped to contain what appears to be thousands of gems. When I pick one up, it’s about the shape and size of a Pez but with straight sides at the ends, a point instead of a curve. One face is shiny, silver, metallic. The other is a translucent gemstone. There are various colours of gem and, I now notice, various colours on the tray. Between the zones, there are no hard lines, rather gradations and sometimes subtle stripings of colour.
Garr urges me to move some of the VCO gems around. Then I realise that one of the green piles of gems was the same colour as its base which is labelled ‘VCO 1’. Being a East Coast synthesis sort, I grab a handful of gems and plonk them in an area marked ‘LFO 1.’ Then I touch a the lip of the tray which, somehow, I know is the equivalent of pressing a key on a normal synth.
Woah! Vibrato! But not much… hmmmm… I take some more VCO gems and plonk them in the LFO area. More depth! AHA! But how the hell do I change the frequency of the LFO or the waveform? I notice that both the LFO and VCO areas have waveforms inscribed in certain areas, sawtooth, square, squiggly. I move some of the LFO gems into the sawtooth area… ahhhh… the vibrato changes to a more squarey stridulation. I’m getting well into this – what else can I heap and where?
It’s at this point of the dream that I’m basically pushing gems all over the place, swirling them with my finger and delighting in what comes out. I’ve gone full West Coast now, NO RAGRETS.
And then… seriously… the synth makes the Emergency Phone noise from The Man From UNCLE. Yes, my brain did this to me.
So, I turn to Robert Vaughn and say, “Hey, it’s that sound from the Man From… oh my god… it’s you! You’re Napoleon Solo!” He looks a little embarrassed and Teri giggles.
It’s then that my stupid brain makes me realise I am, in fact, naked in a thin dressing gown and my knackers are on full view of these two fantastic actors. Soooo, inevitably, I wake out of my beautiful synthesis dream.
But what do you think of the interface, eh? It’s doable, isn’t it? We could do it now, virtually, in something like Microsoft’s Hololens. And I’m pretty sure we could do it in real life. If every gem contained an RFID and the table was continuously scanning for their position. I would even add in variables like height-from-table or heat? Anything to give more ways to control the variables. If you weighted them differently, you could sort them quite simply, too, just pour the tray into a sorter.
I was out in Mosh again last night, having a lovely emo time. I was with a couple of friends and another had gone to the bar.
He came back with Racist David in tow. Yes, Racist David who thinks this is the height of comedy ->
I was dumbfounded. When I’d flagged his bullshit up, he never once tried to apologise or even backpedal on his hate-peddling. If he had even once said, ‘Oh, sorry, I totally shouldn’t have posted that’ or ‘it was a stupid mistake, I don’t really find it funny’ then I would have been fine. We ALL make mistakes, we ALL say stupid shit that we instantly regret but we OWN IT like adults. And we apologise and try not to be such a dick in the future.
But not Racist David. He was totally okay with what he’d liked. It was funny! Consequently, I was cast as the “touchy Asian” who should really learn how to take a joke.
Obviously, 90% of the white people I knew from Mosh, people who I thought were okay, sided with the racist. Because, that’s what white people do with racism: they support it. Hey, how else do you think it keeps going? White people with racism are like men with patriarchy – they enable it, they benefit from it and they defend it. Sure, they may say they’re anti-racist but they don’t actually mean that, they’ll never actually do anything when, say, they have to disconnect from a racist friend.
So, here I am, face to face with David the dickhead. I tell him to fuck off. He doesn’t. So I repeat it, it’s a noisy club, after all. The third time, he does, indeed, fuck off.
I stood my ground. I didn’t let a racist make me move. I will not be moved. When it comes down to it, if he hadn’t moved, I would have made him move.
If you’re non-white and reading this, you’re probably just shrugging wearily internally cos, hey, you know what it’s like. We have to struggle every day just to exist, to live without insult and attack, we have to struggle against those who would dehumanise us. It’s a never-ending drip of micro and the occasional macro aggression.
If you’re white, I’d ask you: what are you doing to stop racism? Do you laugh along with the racist jokes you hear or do you call out the hater?
First, please watch this excellent video by Jamie Windsor:
So, that video inspired this comment from me:
This is a beautiful, thoughtful commentary and raised a lot of issues for me ~ there is a whole school of photography which is basically neo-colonial and seems to delight in reducing people from non-European cultures into curiosities, into sub-human spectacles. There is no respect for them as people at all. That’s a definite tendency “art” photography still has to address. I’m sure you know the famous photos I’m referring to.
I agree with your embedded perspective, being *from* the culture but maybe it’s more than that, maybe it’s a question of power relations? A cop taking a photo of me is not the same as me taking a photo of a cop. I know this from taking pics on demos. Similarly, a rich European taking a few days jaunt in an impoverished country, searching for grief porn to capture is definitely exploiting their relative power advantage.
And THANK YOU for the words about people hiding behind the letter of the law to justify immoral acts. Slavery was legal, rape in marriage was legal, does that mean it was okay to be a slaveowner or a rapist?
This happened to me when I was a kid. I was probably 7 or 8? The kids I invited wanted to come but their racist parents wouldn’t let them go.
A lot these people were the same people who lobbied the people we bought our house off not to sell to us.
In the whole neighbourhood, there was only one white family who be-friended us. And they were lovely, just the best people. I was too young to think of it at the time but now I wonder how much shit they got off their racist neighbours for being friends with us.
I try to remember the kindness of that family rather than the hatred of the white majority but some days it’s hard.