Category Archives: General

Signs and Signals of 2018 from 1969

With a chaotic 2018 final, you look back to 1968-9 for warning signs, to wit: 
God, what a world it is! Strung up for saying a word out of turn! Slain for a sigh! Go on, attack anything you want! A bus, a train, a taxi-cab, a postal van, a victoria! A baby in a pram, if such is your fancy! A body in a coffin, if such is your fantasy! Nobody will stop you. Nobody will know. You can go barging through a hospital ward, lashing out at this man writhing in agony or firing point-blank at that man with chronic arthritis and no right arm. You can crucify as many phony Christs as you wish. And nobody will mind if you drown an alcoholic in alcohol, a pharmacist in formol, a motorcyclist in lubricating oil.
Boil infants in cauldrons, burn politicians to a crisp, throw solicitors to lions, spill Christian blood to its last drop, gas all shorthand typists, chop all pastrycooks into tiny bits, and circus clowns, call girls, choirboys, sailors, actors, aristocrats, farmhands, football hooligans and Boy Scouts.
You can loot shops or ravish shopgirls, maim or kill. Worst of all, nothing can stop you now from fabricating and propagating all sorts of vicious rumours. But stay on your guard, don’t trust anybody — and watch out for your back.
M Oulipo, aka. A Void
As in Paris, 1968, frustration is abundant, so hold on. Tightly.  XX OO

What I’m reading 15 Aug 2018

  • I read six sycophantic pro-Trump books — and then I read Omarosa – Humph

    > None of these books is especially memorable or useful on its own. As a genre, however, and a reflection of their subject, they are instructive. These books scarcely attempt to persuade; like Trump, they focus on the already converted. Pirro dismisses Trump’s critics with catchphrases rather than arguments. “Not on my watch,” she declares, as if that meant something. “Give me a break.” “Drives me nuts.” “I don’t think so.” And my favorite: “Don’t get me started on those wackadoos.” – (trump politics )

What I’m reading 8 Aug 2018

  • Top Euro court: No, you can’t steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact) – Fair use by education is being reconsidered in the EU. This also means that CC needs to make inroads.

    > It will also mean that every website – even school websites – will have to make sure that they only post images that they have permission to post. And pretty much everyone is going to have to reeducate themselves about what is and is not allowable online.

    > It going to be messy, yet the decision also represents a gradual clawing back of previous norms in the internet era. It never made sense that people should be able to take other people's hard work – whether that's music, or video, or articles, or photographs – and do whatever they want with it just because it was possible to do so quickly and easily. – (publishing copyright EU )

What I’m reading 23 Jul 2018

  • Donald Trump is taking US down the path to tyranny (opinion) – CNN – Closer and closer.

    > The Nazi henchman Hermann Göring explained in Nuremberg prison how easy it is to mobilize the public to war: "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." – (politics fascism trump )

What I’m reading 18 Jul 2018

  • America must deal with Donald Trump, the first rogue president | Simon Tisdall | Opinion | The Guardian – The view from outside is clearer.

    > The real Trump problem is not transatlantic. It is America’s to deal with. By now, Europeans have mostly rumbled him. But far too many Americans still don’t get it. Having long proclaimed the superiority of the US governance model, it transpires Congress is unable or unwilling to hold him in check. The unbalanced supreme court, soon to embrace another arch-conservative, is no defence against White House abuse of executive orders, and parti pris American media cannot be relied upon to tell truth to power. Rogue Trump is a crisis made in America. America is where it must be fixed. The world is watching, with diminishing sympathy. – (politics trump )

What I’m reading 29 Jun 2018