Archive for May, 2004


OK now last year I found out about the Marxism festival and I went for the weekend. It was great I was completely politicsed out by the end -I’ve never been politicsed out before but 3 seminars a day and lots of politics talk down the pub afterwards pretty much did it! I had only sex left to talk about for days!

It’s not a fringe thing it’s lots of Labour (old proper Labour that is) SWP, some of the Communists, big names like Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway come down to speak. I found it very energising to find that there were loads of like-minded lefties out there. The seminars were well attended and there were so many topics that it was difficult to figure out what to go to and what to miss.

Anyway that brings me to the reason for the post -you want to know where the Baron will be 9/10/11th of July -it’s Marxism 2004. check out the website. Not enveryone’s cuppa I’ll grant you but if you like politics and beer it’s an annual must -not just a male thing either I think the ratio is slightly more female to male. Anyway you might catch a glimpse of the Baron so surely that’s incentive enough!

In the meantime those of you who’ve got that ballot paper – ie those not living in the East Midlands ‘cos we ain’t got shit, look at it, see that Respect person -they’re all right they are you give them a cross from the Baron. If you’re anti-war then it’s your only choice, if you’re anything to the left of Attila the Hun they’re your only choice. Check out the political compass and if you start getting minuses then you’re a Respect kind of person.

-That was a Party Political Blog on behalf of Respect – The Unity Coalition.-

Original Comments:


haywood made this comment,
(drunk post)is it possible to go so far left that you end up on the right side, is the political zone a sphere?
Visit me @ http://cjh9999.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds -No it most certainly is not]
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-30 10:51:00’} GMT+01

David S made this comment,
I will not be voting respect because the elections are for the European Parliament which is an important institution and I have not heard any policies about Europe from Respect. This is not a referendum on the war, that is what general elections are for, surely.
Also I wouldn’t trust George Galloway as far as I could through him and I’m not as strong as I use to be.
This is despite getting minuses on the political compass
Visit me @ http://glasgowdave.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds -I respect your right to choose Dave but I’d disagree with you on a couple of points. Firstly Respect is NOT the George Galloway party -I have in my role as branch press officer spoken to central office to say that putting George on London posters may be fine but in East Mids. he isn’t a candidate. Respect is far more than just an anti-war party. It is built out of the anti-war movement sure but it is a culmination of people on the left who have finally, and I believe correctly, given up on the notion that the Labour party can be reclaimed and Muslims who are in danger of being completely disenfranchised. If you want to look at the Respect European Manifesto there it is. You are correct Dave, the European Parliament is an important institution and if you feel Europe and the EU is going the way that you want then that’s ok. I however see a big danger that we are being shepherded into a referendum on the EU constitution where you are either pro or anti- Europe. This is bollocks, I am pro-Europe but not in its current guise where the freedoms all lie with the corporations and the responsibilities with the people. None of the mainstream politicians have any intention of changing that direction. Furthermore you mention the war well, you might think the General Election is the time for it but one could say that if you strengthen the Euro. Parl. with genuine popular representatives perhaps it will not be such a toothless dog. Many European countries opposed the war, some vocally and some less so, perhaps if we have some sensible MEPs we can forge a proper Europe of people before profit and finally bury the one way partnership, sorry ‘Special relationship’.
And really Dave you being an intelligent and politically-minded person you could always have had a look at what Respect stood for. I’m quite happy that you vote the way you feel but I would hope that you would do so on the issues and not your dislike of a singular personality.]
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-30 12:43:32’} GMT+01

Rachel made this comment,
ever read “the gospel according to larry?” i feel you would enjoy.
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-31 00:19:39’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
i should admit (with some shame) that i accidentally burnt respect’s campaign leaflet on the fire yesterday.
sorry about that everyone.
Leah

[Redbaron responds – Don’t worry Leah dear, it’s only when the Revolution comes that you’ll have to be concerned! You dangerous reactionary you!]
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-31 00:34:58’} GMT+01

David S made this comment,
will you be against the Special relationship so much when Kerry wins the election?
My concerns over Galloway aren’t based on any accusations about his links with Iraq, but if you use him as your main public face then it is unlucky and unsuprising that it might affect their vote

[Redbaron responds -My view on the Special relationship will not change regardless of who is in power in the White House, why should it, Kerry is just as much an establishment figure as Bush or Clinton, his changes will be mild tinkerings with the same system rather than a system overhaul or heaven forbid, anything new. Why should George not be one of the public faces after all Labour have Blair and many labour voters hate him! I know you have reasons for your mistrust of George and that’s fair enough but I appreciate his role in the galvanisation of at least some of the left to finally draw a line in the sand and say the Labour party is lost time to start the workers movement again. If you guys within the Labour party feel you can effect a change back to the old values then I’ll be as happy as you, but if you fail to do so some of your old comrades in arms will welcome you to a new party that is seeking to do what the original Labour party was set up to do.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-06-01 15:40:47’} GMT+01

David S made this comment,
also do you really want troops out immediately? I doubt that would be the best thing for Iraq but I may be wrong

[Redbaron responds -Yes, let me make it quite clear, troops out Now, forthwith, immeadiately, without delay. The troops staying is certainly not the best thing for Iraq nor is the US continuing to meddle trying to have influence over any governing body. So get the troops out and let the Iraqis attempt to rebuild their country, if they want help then let them figure out what help they need and from whom. After all that’s the free and democratic way isn’t it?!]
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-06-01 15:43:46’} GMT+01

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L’Homme Du Train (The Man on the Train)

Jean Rochfort, Johnny Halliday

Date: 01 March, 2004   —   £8.97   —   DVD / VHS

product page

Rating:

Synopsis – A chance meeting in a Chemists leads to 2 men speculating what their lives would have been like had they been in each others shoes.

I thoroughly enjoyed L’Homme du Train and I think it was vital that it was subtitled rather than dubbed. The dialogue is excellent Rochfort is the epitomy of the retired literature teacher and Hallyday, known better in France as a pop star, had the right level of depth to be sinister but interesting. I liked the storyline it’s the sort of premise that I can see Hollywood doing a shit version of in 10 years! The ending is unexpected and quite twisty. All in all it has humour, suspense and sensitivity and the examination of men in later life is superbly portrayed.

If you see any French film this year I’d make sure it was this one. You won’t be disappointed.

One thing I would like to know if there are any French people out there, the English translation of the title sounds wrong to me -‘Du Train’ would surely mean of the train or from the train whereas on the train would be ‘sur le train’? Just a bit of linguistic pendantry I know but it interests me.

Writing is one of those things that has many facets. The blog-city world is but a microcosm of the world at large but it is a useful example to take for comparison. You have people who want to write who don’t get round to doing it that often, others who find they write all the time. There are those who are very good at writing who write seldom and there are those who write a lot but it’s hardly scintillating stuff. Blogging seems to be one of those activities which has thrown together a group of people all carrying out the same function for vastly different reasons. Just because you write does not mean you are any good. Likewise just because you have difficulty writing does not mean that what you do write isn’t of high quality. There are of course people who write a lot and it is usually of high quality, in my experience I find someone like Edstrongin that frame and that kind of prolific high-intensity writing inspires my admiration. OK it helps that his politics are somewhat similar to mine but I think his meticulous research speaks for itself. I always feel a littel victory when I see edstrong top of the blogs on the blog-city homepage above all the neo-lib/cons, it means the 2000 a day I hit his site go to good use!

Anyway why do I write, well, it started out properly when I was unemployed after University, actually in school I’d been quite good at creative writing and during my degree the ability to write an entire essay based around one plaguerised paragraph got me out of many a scrape! I did the old College newspaper bit and we were a fairly small band so there was plenty of work for us. After college I had some unemployed time on my hands to reset things as it were. I lived largely based on my own timetable and found after the initial couple of weeks that I was quite happy to regulate when I got out of bed provided it wasn’t before 10.30am. I’d do normal stuff during the day, you know breakfast, lunch, Neighbours at 1.30! At around 7 my then partner would come home and I’d have cooked dinner (I’m quite a good cook if I do say so myself, I just haven’t figured out how to make a basic meal in under 3 hours!) Partner would go to bed around 10.30 and then my creative day would start and I’d write until about 2-3am. It felt great, I would go to bed with a real sense of acheivement and quite often I’d be lying in bed and I’d have to get up again to write down what was going thru’ my head. I also got shortlisted for a couple of high profile interviews that I’d found in the Media Guardian, I was quite surprised about this because I felt ‘what can I offer as opposed to all the other people who are reading this nationally?’ The first interview turned me down because I didn’t have the professional writing experience but the guy told me that it was clear I could write and this was a source of great comfort to me because this was a person in the field and therefore his opinion meant a lot to me. The second interview I had was at Chemical Weekly and after having to write an article based n some rough info they’d given us I got as far as second interview stage when the MD actually came over from New York, so again I had to have something to offset the lack of professional experience. Those 2 interviews were the catalyst to me actually having some confidence in my writing and I really don’t know where I’d be now were it not for retaining this intrinsic belief that I at least had something that I could do even if it was just a very small amount of latent talent. I felt alive at that time and all the shite going on around me was just far less important. Unfortunately one thing that it didn’t do was pay the bills and I was forced after 3 months to get a job and back to the old capitalist rat race again and thus I had to regulate my day and staying up until 3 was no longer an option. I had real problems with routine and lethargy after that for a long time, so I’ve got quite a few bits and pieces on my computer some pages here some paragraphs there but in fact the blogging is the first thing that has got me back into the routine side of sitting down for a couple of hours late at night and writing. I certainly prefer to write at night, I have trouble during the day keeping my train of thought on track whereas at night especially 11-2 it seems to flow much better. Well it’s easier to write for me, whether it’s easier to read you’ll have to decide. I don’t believe I’m any literary talent, I don’t have the creativity nor the originality to ever be so. But I enjoy writing because of the need to communicate all the time, and I like to make people laugh, so that’s it really that’s why I do it. Sorry it’s mostly for self-gratification and not a more altruistic purpose but that’s where my politics comes in.

BTW Today is the first day I topped 200 hits for the day (258 in the end -chuffed Baron), this is due in no small part to whoever was up at 8am BST -I had 124 hits between 8 & 9 so either someone was up at Stupid o’clock or hadn’t gone to bed yet. Thank you anyway your insomnia is appreciated. I have also topped 3000 hits but no-one left a comment to say it was them altho’ I know Kate was 3002. Trust me Natalie you are not the only one who can’t keep their eyes off the stats every now and again!

I’m not sure whether to be proud or not that as soon as I stear clear of the politics my hits double! Perhaps people just see Kylie in the title! Hmm might be a strategy there!

Make sure you check out Political Compass
If you’re interested I am:
Economic Left/Right: -8.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.23
Which means I’m a Leftie loon, as if that’s a shocker! You can see Kate’s result here

Original Comments:


Katie made this comment,
hey babe got James waiting in my bedroom so only a quick one, my alternatve email address is the same but @warpmail.net rather than lycos.co.uk. Catch you soon. Kate xxx
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-29 02:37:36’} GMT+01

Jimmy Sunshine made this comment,
keep writing fella, but don’t give up the political rants just for hits. that’s what tony did, and look at the state of the nation now…
Visit me @ http://jimmysunshine.blog-city.com/

[Redbaron responds – Me…give up substance politics…..on my blog….with my reputation! Have no fear James my old son, this leftie is not for turning! I have a couple of normal political service resumption blogs lined up -I was just thinking of putting the word Kylie in the title, you know the old spoonful of sugar helps the medicin go down?! No you’re quite right it’s a slippery slope and before I know it I’ll have employed the blog-city version of Alistair Campbell, I take your point.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-29 12:14:46’} GMT+01

ryan made this comment,
hmmm, on that Political Compass I got:
Economic Left/Right: -1.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.97
That makes me a mild version of the pope, urgg, letme take that test again
Visit me @ http://themeaningoflifeishere.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-30 02:08:34’} GMT+01

Jimmy Sunshine made this comment,
Economic Left/Right: -8.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.64
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-31 00:05:29’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.26
that makes me gandhi and hte dalai lama rolled into one. the perfect peace sandwich, i’m sure you will agree. (if you don’t mind all the sand of course).

Leah

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-31 00:47:07’} GMT+01

OK the title gives it away, I thought I’d let you off the hook this entry, you’ve been very good and read a lot of high-brow serious political stuff not to mention some pretty hefty comments so it’s only fair you get a break. Hence here is Pulpblog! I decided to write having heard Kylie’s latest single ‘Chocolate’ and finding I actually quite liked it. Now Kylie and I go way back. I had pictures of Kylie on my bedroom wall when I was a teenager all the way back in 87-88 -most of you lot were probably about 4! Anyway it wasn’t cool to like Kylie then, people were not talking about her arse and even I had to hide in shame with regard to ‘I should be so lucky’! In her music career I found I like 3 songs in total but I always rather liked the ‘diminutive antipodean’ as my Dad used to call her. then it became cool to like Kylie and you know me well enough by now to know that conformity isn’t really my bag so I had to go underground! It feels strange that Kylie has been my kind of pin-up choice for over 15 years, normally the people you fancied when you were young are significantly older so as to make it far less likely that you would grow up still looking at them the same way.
So, I’ve confessed it, I feel better now. For a rocker there are certain songs that I don’t know entirely why I like them and they’re totally out of the genre I normally listen to. Sugababes – Hole in the Head for some reason that makes me quite hot! I’ve been a Kraftwerk fan for many years since hearing Trans Europe Express in the late 70s. I even like a bit of Handel or Dvorak on occasions! Yes, can’t you just see the Baron as a powdered poppinjay prancing around the 18th century. Ho ho, well I have the hair for it without needing a wig! No it would need colouring it’s not that grey! I don’t think the trousers would do me any favours either physically or aesthetically!

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
Nice light sweet nostalgia post– just my speed. But uh, don’t know Kylie or sugababes, or Hole in the Head or Kraftwerk . . . hmm, musically I am SO not in tune. Have you checked out http://www.3hive.com?
bluepoppy

[Redbaron responds- What do you mean you don’t know Kylie -everyone across the globe knows Kylie! Ok Sugababes, no problem there, Kraftwerk -well dig out all the Depeche Mode and 80s electronic music as well as The Orb and 90s Techno and Ambient -and you’ll find Kraftwerk at the root of all of them]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 05:18:40’} GMT+01

Lizard Breath made this comment,
so…I’m guessing when Kylie sang “do the locomotion” it took on a whole new meaning. muuahahahaha.
we’re gonna make it every day this month! good job ‘mate’.

lizard.

[Redbaron responds -It wasn’t so much the singing but the actions in the dance sequence – hoo-aah, that rang my bell!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 05:32:12′} GMT+01

ryan made this comment,
Bah, bloody auzzies
Metallica all the way
Also abit of Salmonella Dub, but their a New Zealand Band, so you all wouldnt know them
And Now about this … arrangement, yes im sure we can come to some agreement, want do you want?

Visit me @ http://themeaningoflifeishere.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds -I usedn’t to be averse to a bit of Metallica but then I found out they were at the forefront of personal litigation against US teenagers who were downloading music and that switched me off them a bit. I don’t know many NZ bands tho’ I think The Exponents were from your part of the world.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 12:03:18’} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
Sorry for keeping you up half the night, hope you’re not too tired this morning… Me thinks however that someone needs a musical education, kraftwerk honestly you need to ‘get down with the kids’ a bit more don’t you. Glad you took the stance against Metallica though, good man.
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 15:04:49’} GMT+01

john made this comment,
Surely it would be more fitting for The Red Baron to fancy that other Australian chanteuse…Dame Nellie Melba.
Visit me @ http://bigjohn.blog-city.com/

[Redbaron responds -I’m into many things John but necrophilia just ain’t my bag!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 16:49:08’} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
1)No I hadn’t been up long (your fault)
2)The pissing on the phone thing he actually discussed with me, saying he wouldn’t do it with most, but I am one of a (very) small group that had would ie people he’s shagged
3)I don’t like dance music so don’t much care about what influenced it.
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 16:49:51’} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
Archbishop eh? Kinky. No credit on phone I’m afraid so not not texting (double negative I know). Now do some bloody work- stop skiving
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 16:56:53’} GMT+01

ryan made this comment,
I would like to point out that they have this web site called Metallica Vault, which is a site where you can download Heaps of metallica song and stuff. Its at http://www.metallicavault.com/ and all you need to join is a CD code.
Zed is another NZ band you mite know about, but more in the USA
Visit me @ http://themeaningoflifeishere.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 22:37:24’} GMT+01

I know you’re out there, some of you may be reading this thinking I was about to launch into an abuseblog, I do not need to do this, you do a far better PR for the Left by leaving me your comments! I would like to say, I have no problem with you disagreeing with my view and no problem with you voicing the same on my blog. I welcome you popping by, Jen and friends, it gives me something fun to do in the dark of night! I do not censor my blog, I reserve the right to respond to comments as I see fit but I will not change any comments you have written. Nor have I reported any to blog-city as spam which I would be perfectly entitled to do for the ones with personal insults, I’d rather leave you festering in your own idiocy to be honest! I like a good discussion probably more than the next man and heated politics is what I like best so bring it on. I would just ask one thing tho’ – when I go blog-diving and leave comments on your site, I always leave my handle and url so that if you want to rebutt or express your opinion you may do so. It seems the polite thing to do. I would ask you therefore to do me the same courtesy. I do not leave obscenities on other people’s sites but I will sometimes enter into discussion -an example see valhalla.blog-city.com -if you don’t feel you can cope with criticism then I am happy for you to say so and I will not bother your site.

Furthermore I wouldn’t descend into personal insults unless I felt my arguement was spent, it’s up to you but let me make it clear if you post personal insults -every reader with even a moderate brain will laugh at you. If you have debating skills use them, if not well, they say “……..get out of the kitchen.” If you are going to use insults you should be aware that ‘commie’, ‘leftie’, ‘red’, ‘pinko’ etc. are not going to work -I like these titles and am more than happy to admit my political inclinations, we don’t currently live under complete MaCarthyism. Also I can then level the same type of insult back at you and call you ‘nazi’, ‘fascist’, ‘blackshirt’, ‘jackboot’ etc. etc I suspect you will end up being the one more offended. If you do leave personal insults and I know where your blog is be warned I may pass your details to the ‘heavy mob’ who are far less sensitive than me and may pay you a visit, rough you up a bit that sort of thing, nothing major just a friendly warning, know what I mean?!

Altho’ I gleaned some comments out of people for my Capitalism post and my anti BNP post, none of you right-wingers actually attempted to defend any discernable position which I find staggering. If I find that someone has written something about the Left that is incorrect I seek to tell them by proving it in arguement that’scalled the dissemination of information -come on that’s got to be corporate buzzword enough for you guys to understand.

Anyway, other news now -I went placarding today, putting some Respect election stuff around town to spread the word. For those of you in the UK there will be an election broadcast on the telly tomorrow –

  • ITV1 23.00
  • BBC1 at 23.20
  • BBC2 at 17.55
  • BBC1 Cymru Wales 23.05
  • BBC2 Cymru Wales 17.40
  • S4C  Midnight

Go on give it a watch then you can tell me what you think.

Blogging news, had over 200 comments now and 2870 hits, I was top of the Blog City commentors yesterday but udfko has toppled me again, I have no idea what s/he comments on, but the blog is all very techie. However I have now been on the top 5 list for over 2 weeks so I’m quite chuffed, my blog-diving has paid off.

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
when you’re throwing something big on the other side and you hit them on the proper ground they would usually send back some thrash perhaps due to the inadequacy of a proper argument…but that should not give you the same leeway to send back another trash because here comes the trashy talks. then everything goes personal. seen it so many times before.
Besides that, I think the reason why people are visiting your blog is because of your extreme views. Trash the tag, you don’t care how people referred to you. I think what’s important is that you don’t stoop down by throwing the same trash.

*I notice that people are enjoying being called “commie” without even realizing what the word really means. i think that’s more scary. no, i’m not referring to you per se…it’s more of an observation….bloghopping from left to right or vice versa.

rayts

[Redbaron responds -Rayts I respect your views as a reader and rational commentor. I hope you do not feel that I have reduced my blog to trash or am getting personal in any way. I can assure you that it is not my intention and I can usually resist the temptation to hurl personal abuse.
As regards my extreme views, are they really that extreme? I haven’t gone into serious policy depth here, I’ve generally concentrated on key points and the rebuttal of things I disagree with. OK I am perhaps fairly staunchly to the Left but extremism is a very serious concept. I would be concerned if I were called an extremist by anyone other than those who know me and my politics very well indeed!
“Commie” is a very weighted term, it depends on what is meant by it. By the same token as the circumstances you describe there are many people who would be accused of being ‘commies’ when this is incorrect, furthermore there are the accusers who use the term ‘commie’ to mean anyone who is at all left of centre or non-nationalist. Another thing you must remember is that many people take ‘commie’ to refer to a Soviet Union or China style of state and this is completely wrong. I feel the need to reclaim ‘commie’ from that ground, in that I have much sympathy with genuine communism and therefore see no problem with being called a ‘commie’.
I hope as a regular reader you will inform me if ever I descend to trash or get bogged down with personal insults, I hope it should never be necessary for you to do so.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-27 03:42:29’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
Funny that we should be thinking of eachothr one the same day-wait, this blog was from yesterday-oh well.
I want to thank you for teaching me an important lesson about public blogging. It gives other people the chance to trash you because of things you blog on-mine being mostly my personal life. After i read your comment about my blog, especially busting on me for my lack of good spelling. Really, did that make you feel better? No, don’t bother answering it because i won’t be “visiting” your blog again, or doing anymore of mine. After reading your last comment on my blog, i deleted it all-even tried to delete the account. it may make you happy to know I didn’t know where to find the code to do so. Therefore, I will just wait until they delete it themselves from me not blogging, because i never will again. Thank you! A friend asked me what happened to it, and after telling them, it made me think to email you and thank you for leaving your first comment (rather, your blog site) when my blog was not even a political blog, it was personnal, and nobody elses business, except that i did leave myself open to nasty comments like yours. There are some things that should be kept to ones self-period. This was my way of working out personal feelings with no-one other than one friend who knew about my blog-you know, a journal that cannot be found by most friends and family membersalso know that after I deleted my blogs, I did not come back to your site to read what you or others may have said about me-nor will I read any comments left after this comment. I would have given you my personnal email addy if everybody else in the world could email me as well. But it should make you happy that i have left my name-which i did the last time i blogged you since they was a big ruckus when I didn’t leave my name the first time, which infact i did leave it in the URL. i don’t know why it didn’t show up.
Anyway, you can respond to this however you want because i will not be back to read it, or any other blog for that matter. So whatever words you choose to say will only fall on others ears. By you naming me in your blog, that has obviously made your blog even more popular. So, you can keep my name alive if you choose, but i will never see it again to reply too.
Thanks again for turning me off to blogging. now i will just keep all thoughts to myself about my life-hope your really as happy as you make yourself out to be.
PLEASE pardon me if i spelled any words in this comment wrong!
Good Day!
From: Jen
Jen

[Redbaron responds – the first time I read this comment I felt quite hurt and sad that someone would no longer be blogging and that they blamed me for this. I am not of the opinion that stopping a right-wing person from blogging is a good thing their politics are still the same so they haven’t been swayed by any arguement they have just retreated into their shell. It is a shame Jen removed the comments I had made because then people would be able to judge for themselves whether they felt she was right to be so billious in her attack on me. I feel not and can only suggest people look at the comments that she made which remain on my blog. I came across Jen’s blog whilst blog diving -she had made an entry that just referred to her keeping the blog open to prevent shutdown. It was the only entry that month and I did not go back any further but posted a comment saying that I was leaving a comment to encourage her to come back more often. there was no politics involved at this point. Jen then posted on my blog here http://redbaron.blog-city.com/read/616848.htm and to be honest the comments she made I found quite disturbing. I told her as such and posted on my blog that I didn’t feel it would be appropriate to flame her as she clearly had her own problems. I do not recall the exact words of my comment on her blog that she refers to but has sadly deleted, I suspect at worst I was a little pompous and quite patronising but in response to what I had got I believe I was measured.
I am though rather worried that rayts prophecy is coming true and I do not wish this blog to degenerate into a slanging match between various right-wingers and me. I reiterate I am more than happy to discuss politics with you. I have suceeded in discussing politics with right-wingers many times before without it coming to blows, I find such discussions illuminating and I welcome exploring somebody else’s point of view.
I was considering a non-political blog next but I am not sure now I don’t wish it to look like I’ve chickened out. I shall have a think. I am not though going to apologise for my politics nor remove the importance of politics from my blog. If you look back over the months there are other topics covered but I have been in something of politico mode due to the forthcoming elections here.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-27 15:29:53’} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
Don’t lower yourself to the level of banter with Rick (aka Metao) his experience of what women think is somewhat limited and I enjoy messing with him. He’s a sweetie really. The festival thing, well actually the problam has solved itself, some has come forward as my knight in shining armour as it were. Don’t get me wrong it is the music that I want to go for, however it is unfortunately not safe in ‘this day and age’ for a young woman to do such things by herself. I was at Reading a couple of years ago and ther were nearly half a dozen reported sexual assults/rapes. I may be fiercely independent but a girls got to look out for herself.
Other than that, was it only me that laughed at the idea of Jen getting herself all worked up and writing that comment? Plus I don’t think that your views are that extreme, in fact I agree with a lot of them, however I am a realist rather than an idealist.
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-27 15:46:46’} GMT+01

Rachel made this comment,
although your welcoming attitude towards anyone who disagrees with your opinion is quite dignified, you never know just what someone may say. i don’t know what your reaction is to stuff like that, when someone says something to me that is the complete opposite of my political opinions, i usually spend a lot of time trying to get them to cross over to my side. and yet by the end of the conversation, with compromise no where in sight, i’m usually to the point where i say ” you know what, i don’t care what you think anymore” and there’s a half hour i won’t get back again.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 02:46:48’} GMT+01

ryan made this comment,
YA USED ME, RED BARON, YA USED ME! *brakes down and starts to cry*
Visit me @ http://themeaningoflifeishere.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 12:49:23’} GMT+01

OK this may be the only blog before the election where I actually focus fully on it but one of the main reasons I wish to do so is the BNP leaflet I received along with a number of other party election publications. I felt I had to say something about it as there may be some of you who don’t receive one.

‘Asylum is making Britain Explode’ declares the provocative headline and underneath a picture of some asians burning a Union Jack (it doesn’t look like the picture is actually from England tho’ I could be wrong)

They then have their bullet points

  • Terrorist Time Bomb -which starts with the word ‘asylum’. and includes ‘asylum-bombers’
  • Asylum Time Bomb -yes you guessed it asylum is in there too.
  • EU Time Bomb – This talks about borders in its 2 line preamble before talking about how 75 million potential migrants can now live in Britain at our expense. 97% of all asylum applications are bogus the BNP claims.
  • Financial Time Bomb – First word ‘asylum’ again and how apparently £4 billion of taxpayers money is being spent on asylum seekers rather than schools hospitals etc. etc.
  • Housing Time Bomb – Which you won’t be surprised to learn starts with the word ‘asylum’ again. Apparently the government is planning to build 5 giant cities the size of Birmingham to house 5 million new immigrants. [Redbaron comment -They don’t mention where the other 70 million potential immigrants are going to be housed!]

So that’s the first page of it, inside there is a tirade against Labour, Tory and Lib Dem then a page devoted to Nick Griffin under the banner SAFE -Stop Asylum For Ever.
Griffin claims that his party will make

  • Safe Borders
  • Safe Streets
  • Safe People
  • Safe homes
  • Safe country

Griffin ends with the words “The BNP says: Britain is our country. People can love it or leave it.”

On the back page it refers to the BNP being the newest and fastest growing political party. [Redbaron comment -interesting claim, Respect were founded in January so I think we might get the mantle of newest if nothing else.] The BNP claims that a poll in the Mail on Sunday stated that the BNP support was 16%. [Redbaron comment -I would be staggered and deeply concerned if this were to be true, I suspect it more likely that 16% of Mail on Sunday readers are pro-BNP and if I were them this would be disappointing!]
Then you have a picture of one of the BNP candidates with his family with the caption “My Dad isn’t a racist”. [RB-Leaving aside the fact that Mr Bruce Cowd looks as if he has been no stranger to ‘paki-bashing’ in his past and that the photo makes it look suspiciously like he is wearing a black shirt, his 2 children look like rabbits caught in the headlights, at an estimate the oldest looks no more than 6. I doubt he’d even be able to understand the word ‘racist’ let alone tell whether his Dad is or isn’t one.] The text says “The BNP is not racist. Our argument is not with other people [RB-!!!!!!!!!] but with the politicians who are destroying the country.”

It goes on but I tire of quoting it. Anyway that was obviously not especially conducive to breakfast. So the question was where to start picking it apart -no let’s be initially objective, I could be wrong all the points might be valid -this could be my damascene conversion to fascism!

So let’s look at page 1

  • Terrorist Time Bomb -Ah yes the well-known ostrich approach -as long as the terrorists aren’t actually in our country the problem will go away. It’s rather like the adage if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it does it make a noise. The BNP appear to apply the same principle to terrorism, if a bomb goes off but no British person is involved then we can’t hear it.
  • Asylum Time Bomb -oh the old chestnut about our public services being pushed to the limit because there are too many asylum seekers, wake up it’s because they’ve had no fecking money for the last God knows how many years. Bearing in mind European birth rates have fallen in fact the asylum seekers only go to make up the numbers had birth rates continued growing and the government should have laid contingency into their public service spending policy to account for shifts in birth rate, thus the asylum seekers are only testing out how good the last 20 years governmental policy has been. We see the result -woefully inadequate.
  • EU Time Bomb -So the BNP want out of Europe, well if the BNP were to get elected I think Europe would be more than happy to oblige them on that one. 75 Million potential migrants eh? Well that’s less than the potential migrants since 1973 and I don’t see us overrun with French, German or Italians so what’s the problem. Oh sorry yes these are poor people, I forgot we don’t want somebody else’s scum but we’ll welcome you from any country if you’re flush -after all who needs to be an EU citizen if you’re loaded? Ask Mohammed Al-Fayed.
  • Financial Time Bomb – £4 Billion spent on asylum seekers eh? Now on this point I quite agree this is ridiculous, if even half of that was spent giving unconditional aid to the countries haemorrhaging people to rebuild the infrastructure etc. there wouldn’t be an “asylum problem”
  • Housing Time Bomb – So 5 new cities eh? That’s a good one that, of course it interests me in the current setup that with houses so expensive that even the middle-classes are struggling to buy a home the BNP believe that asylum seekers are going to be populating their own cities. What a crock of shite. The likelihood is that some new “affordable housing” will be built which is affordable only to the people who already live in mansions. They will then lease out these properties charging exorbitant rents to students and asylum seekers and those too poor to buy a house alike. So in fact whilst I am opposed to all this as a committed anti-capitalist you would think this would be right up the BNPs street as it will not only generate lots of income for the rich but it will also rip off Johnny Foreigner. If they are so against this, are they campaigning for the homeless on the streets no of course they aren’t because if they were to get rid of all the asylum seekers the homeless and the disabled would be next. You don’t see anything about either group on BNP literature -funny that.

    So onto the second page. Well, I’m not going to defend the Labour party nor the Tories or Lib-Dems but the BNP only attacks them for immigration policies. I would also like to attack their immigration policies, I think they are not integrated into financial aid and they are too stringently anti-poor, I don’t think that’s entirely the direction the BNP are coming from.

    The Chairman’s address page. Nick Griffin- “Tonight Matthew I’m going to be………. Oswald Mosely!” Forgive me but I see something of a contradiction thinking about fascists and ‘safe’ in the same breath. There is something about fascists that makes me feel very unsafe indeed. Phrases like “The British National Party will put our human rights first” and “our own people will have preference in schooling, jobs and housing.” hardly do much to put me at ease. What the BNP never seem to make clear is who we are. I have already gone into the issue of race see ‘What are we as a race?’ and I have my doubts as to the sincerity of the BNP description of British because I suspect it means WASP. Furthermore the BNPs policy of bringing in a ‘Tony Martin law’ in my view is cynically populist and extremely regressive. It once again re-establishes the legal precedent to protect property above the rights of a human being. I am no friend of burglars and have suffered it once very recently I would like to stop it but I am not prepared to shoot someone because they are in my house, no possession is worth that much.

    Finally on to the last page. The Patriotic Majority! I know I couldn’t resist having a go at the candidate Bruce “Thuggo” Cowd earlier so that’s covered that part. Other than that it talks about the Dutch election situation where the LPF dictated immigration policy to the larger parties as a result of their share, regardless of whether or not one wishes this country to go down the road of allowing one extremely rich person to dictate his personal policy to an already right-wing government, one has to look at what happened in Holland after that election. The LPF lost vast support and are no longer an electoral force.

    So the BNP in this election -a Euro election don’t forget stand purely for withdrawing the country from Europe at which point any Euro MPs they have would be rendered obsolete so their whole asylum program falls apart because they have control of the legislature neither at regional, national nor continental level. And looking at the lunacy of their election pamphlet one has to say damn good thing too.

    What worries me most of all is that now in this country the fascists feel that they don’t have to hide anymore they can come out with their foreigner-scapegoating policies because the mainstream political parties have allowed this form of discussion to be on the agenda. No-one seems to actually follow the arguement through and say OK what would actually happen if immigration stopped? What would happen if we repatriated people not born in this country? What would happen if we imposed cultural values on people? What is this British of which we speak? Think about these questions for a minute, think of the ramifications. The problem is that most people are not taught to criticise and analyse they don’t equate that Chicken Madras with ‘foreign’ they don’t look at the absolute permeation of cultural diversity down the centuries to such an extent that it is difficult to know what may have been here before it. The language, the people, the cuisine of this country are hybrid amalgamations of various different cultures some of which have had influence over this country and others this country has had influence over. This multiculturalism pre-dates the British Empire by over 1500 years. So what do you actually want to do fascists? Go back to living in mud huts in the only age before Britain had any outside influence? Well, be my guest, to be honest FUCK OFF we, the current occupants of Britain, the Irish, the Indians, the Afro-Carribeans, the Italians, the Chinese, the Pakistanis, the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the asylum seekers from wherever they come are all better off without you. I know who’s company I’d rather keep.

    Original Comments:


    Katie made this comment,
    Come on then, tell the story you can’t leave me hanging like that
    Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

    comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 02:39:23’} GMT+01

    haywood made this comment,
    yo von baron, can i get the log-in info for the LBA site?
    Haywood
    cjh9999@mailblocks.com

    comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 14:09:27’} GMT+01

    Jennie made this comment,
    Sarin Find Leaves U.S. Restless, But Cautious
    No Injuries Suffered As Round Explodes, But Discovery Raises Concern
    POSTED: 11:00 a.m. EDT May 17, 2004
    UPDATED: 6:34 p.m. EDT May 17, 2004

    BAGHDAD, Iraq — A roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent exploded near a U.S. military convoy, but there were no casualties, a senior U.S. military officer said Monday.

    EYE ON IRAQ
    Likelihood Of Request To Leave?
    Release More Abuse Images?
    Taguba On ‘Lack Of Leadership’
    Kimmitt On Court Martial
    Background: The Taguba Report
    Rumsfeld: Text Of Statement | Bio
    Slideshow: Comments On Abuses
    Timeline: Saddam’s Life
    Military Glossary
    Res. 1441 Text
    Interim Iraqi Constitution
    INTERACTIVES
    Iraq Maps
    Iraq History
    Discuss: Iraq
    BAGHDAD TIME
    4:41 p.m.

    Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq, said there was some minor exposure but no injuries. But, he said, soldiers who transported the round showed some symptoms consistent with low-level nerve agent exposure.

    Kimmitt said the device exploded before it could be destroyed and “a very small” amount of sarin escaped because the shell’s chemicals didn’t mix properly. He said the explosion occurred a couple of days ago, adding that the military believes the insurgents who set the bomb didn’t know it contained sarin.

    “The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found,” Kimmitt said in a Baghdad news conference. He said the round was rigged as an “IED,” or improvised explosive device.

    In a news conference Monday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was cautious about drawing conclusions. He said the first step is to conduct further testing on what was in the explosive.

    Rumsfeld said it is too early to draw conclusions froma “field test, which is not perfect.”

    A U.S. official said there’s worry that other sarin-filled shells from Saddam’s former regime may still exist.

    Officials believe the shell was an experimental munition that predates the 1991 Gulf War.

    Saddam’s former government had acknowledged testing of “binary type” sarin weapons. But there was never a declaration that any such weapons still remained.

    The round was discovered by a U.S. convoy, Kimmitt said.

    Saddam claimed to have destroyed his chemical and biological weapons. The United States based its case for war on the presence of banned weapons.

    A single drop of sarin can cause quick and agonizing death. But, Kimmitt said, very little of the nerve agent can be dispersed in a device such as a roadside bomb.

    Blix Weighs In
    Former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix is taking a wait-and-see approach on news that a roadside bomb containing sarin exploded in Iraq.

    Blix said it is too soon to determine if the shell was from the past or part of a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.

    Blix reported before the beginning of the war in Iraq that his teams were unable to locate proof of deadly weapons. But his inspectors did find 16 warheads that were tagged as being used for containing sarin. They were empty.

    Military: Mustard Gas Detected Earlier This Month
    Some trace residue of mustard agent was detected in an artillery shell found earlier this month in Baghdad, the U.S. military said Monday.

    The shell, found in a street, was believed to be from one of Saddam’s old stockpiles and was not regarded as evidence of recent weapons of mass destruction production.

    Related Story:
    Today: Head Of Iraq’s Governing Council Dies In Bombing
    Distributed by Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    BET YOU DIDN’T READ ABOUT THIS. NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION HUH????

    [Redbaron responds -Ah Jen good to have you back -I did wonder bearing in mind your whole blog appeared to be wiped after our last little encounter! What ever gave you the idea that I didn’t think there were any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? I wasn’t sure there were any left in 2003 but I know why the US was so positive that Saddam had some because they had fucking sold them to him! The issue with the war was that Saddam and Iraq did not constitute a new threat as the US was attempting to portray. It even states in your report that the weapon predated 1991 which means it was for use in which war exactly….? Oh yes the Iran-Iraq war where Saddam was funded by the Americans. So in fact your military found one of its own weapons, well done you must be very proud!
    BTW Jen when copying and pasting an article in it is advisable not to paste the bit in that proves you have infringed the copyright. Just a thought! Thanks for stopping by even tho’ your comment had nothing to do with my post! Next please.]

    comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 15:51:53’} GMT+01

    Katie made this comment,
    Quote from todays guardian “why I love… TV listings”
    typical listings in Morning Star
    “19.30 Watchdog: Ineffectual consumer reportage with too little emphasis on comodity fetishism and too much emphasis on value in pension plans for the cake-fed classes. With Comrade Robinson
    20.00 Eastenders. Opiate for the masses
    20.30 Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austin’s classic vile propagandist tale of romance, family obligation and bourgeois scum”
    He he he
    Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

    comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 19:23:40’} GMT+01

    Jimmy Sunshine made this comment,
    anyway, back to the blog entry…
    i got the BNP leaflet this morning, and what was most noticable to me (apart from being delivered at 5am by mr big brave anonymous facist) was that it could’ve been a tory flyer, a uk independence party flyer, or shame of all shames, the labour party flyer. they all sound the same now. and that’s not the BNP becoming more centrist – the only reason they get heard at all is because tony has retuned the political frequency to ‘jerusalem fm’ – the green and pleasant lands rejoice to the sound of various shades of rightwing. if it hadn’t been for george galloway, i may have had to vote lib dem in the euro elections, who sound to me like the only mainstream voice of reason at the moment. and since as a conscientious anarchist abstainer (that’s easy for you to spell) what a tragedy to use my first ever vote on the liberals. thank the secular society for respect.

    Visit me @ http://jimmysunshine.blog-city.com/

    comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 15:19:11’} GMT+01

The Blog-a-Thon really has done exactly what I had hoped it would, it has got me back into routine writing and forced me to be a little more disciplined and contribute something every night, usually at the same time. I had actually written 7 days straight before May, April was a pretty good month on the whole so I was getting into the swing of it but this is exactly how it was 7 years ago when I left college. I got properly into the habit of writing at the same time every night and it became quite productive, it started to make me think and that made my arguements better and I researched them more and my language and vocab. slickened up, it was a noticeable difference and one that I could feel. This time around it is starting to happen, my lucidity is improving again, I don’t feel as disjointed and I have even come up with the occasional original thought, a sure sign my brain is firing on all cylinders.

Coincidently and rather comfortingly the blog-a-thon has coincided with a period of increased exposure for the Redbaron blog, I did for a period of 6 days on the trot get over 100 visitors and the comments added by people overtook my entries. I have also had over 2000 hits in May, though this is not the be all and end all of blogging for me. I like the attention I won’t deny it, sometimes when I am feeling sardonnic I like an audience and I respond well to both praise thereof and criticism. Other times I have wanted to get something out of my system before going to bed and messages of support help, it is nice to know there is someone out there who takes the time to make a constructive comment and I have tried to give back to people insimilar situations where I could. It does signify to me the big plus point of a blogging community that people can help each other as well as have arguements and take the piss and bounce ideas off. I have enjoyed that interaction immensely. But the fundamental point for me is that I have to write, it is my stab at immortality, I don’t mean to be a famous writer tho’ that would be nice in so far as it would mean I’d be able to make a living from what I enjoy most (other than talking), but the fact that I record what I think means perhaps one of my ancestors will come one day and read about it and they will get an insight into who I was and that pleases me, furthermore I just have to do it, I have to write it is the only thing really that I ever felt that feeling of purpose doing, you know where you think -‘yeah this is right, this is me’. It is something that has made me get out of bed at night to jot things down because of its importance to me.

Funnily enough I have found after the initial week or so that far from not having enough material to keep the blog-a-thon going I have in fact started to forge ahead and built up a queue of stuff which has meant I can be anything up to 4 days behind the material I have, I’ll leave you to decide whether you can discern any difference in the quality I don’t think it has suffered at all, that’s the discipline that comes from writing regularly, when I was blogging every now and again I’d occasionally come up with something I liked but quite often I was struggling for a while or I’d be able to do a good paragraph but then would dry up. Look back through the archives if you like, there was no way I’d have been able to come up with something every night unless at least 3/7 of it had been tosh. You might say that looking thru’ the archives it looks like 3/7 was tosh but then I’ll come round your ‘owse and give you a kicking. Remember Gripper Stebson? Oh yeah, that’ll be me that will!

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
writing is a stab to one’s immortality…i like how you said that.
you’re right. writing is a discipline and the way i’m seeing it, you have one great discipline going on right here. not a single entry missed. i’ve been to a point wherein loads of things are going on inside my head. i’ve been wanting to write. but not one appropriate word came out. one more of that, and that’ll be the end of me.

rayts

[Redbaron responds -Thanks for the vote of confidence rayts it is appreciated. The stage you describe is the one before things start to make sense. It would be a great deal more worrying if you didn’t have the stuff going on in your head. Keep trying and you will find that as you get going the expression becomes easier and easier. Try a Blog-a-Thon to force you to think regularly. I’ll do June with you if you like, I’m going to keep mine going as long as I can.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 03:33:35’} GMT+01

bluepoppy made this comment,
I’m glad to read you are making time for your own writing as well as blogging— I trust I get an autographed copy of your first book. And then we can go to the pub where I’ll let you squeeze my bicep and we can indulge in the great gender debate! *smile*
Visit me @ http://bluepoppy.omworks.com

[Redbaron responds -Everyone gets an autographed copy of my book after all I’m not likely to actually sell any!!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 15:23:28’} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
If it was you wouldn’t you rather have (potentially) a couple of months of fun rather than being shot down so early on? And it’s not like he’s not getting anything out of the arrangement, he always has a good time with me and gets to look good to other people…? What do you reckon?
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 18:53:39’} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
5 fingers? You really must be a freak of nature. How do you mean that the actions suggest he wants more? Am I just being delibrately blinkered. As you pointed out given age, gender etc you are probably my best source of wisdom on this point. If you were acting like this then what would you be thinking?
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 19:40:10’} GMT+01

moog made this comment,
hey baron, have you seen this? what is the world coming to? http://www.20six.co.uk/Cllr_Andrew_Brown
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 21:29:33’} GMT+01

moog made this comment,
actually, this is also a little weird… http://bill.verity-networks.com/ext/recess/recess.php
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 21:32:03’} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
I didn’t realise that you’re gay
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Fear not male bloggers the Baron is not gay you are quite safe and the women locked their doors ages ago!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 00:09:14’} GMT+01

haywood made this comment,
hey baron, email me the log-on info for the LBA site and I’ll work on it a bit
Haywood
cjh9999@mailblocks.com

Visit me @ http://cjh9999.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 01:12:56′} GMT+01

Katie made this comment,
Sadly it’s all good advice, but you’ve been single for a while it seems haven’t you considered settling for second best just to be getting on with.
Also women like that do exist (except they’re probably not 6’ with stubble)-I’m just looking for what we’re all looking for, someone who’s the same as us. Sigh… yet in the mean time end up dating people who drink celery juice. Also I haven’t exactly led him on, I didn’t return his calls for 2 days and am not actually very nice to him when we’re together, I take the piss most of the time. It’s certainly not me that suggests dates and meeting people.
Oh also another thing when I was in London on Saturday passed through Trafalger Square where I did hear some interesting stuff from the people on the Respect event thing.
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 02:01:38’} GMT+01

If you want my view on which media is or could be free it is this. I believe the largest democratisation will come from Digital media namely still cameras and digital video. Whilst this is at present still very much the perogative of the affluent West the potential is there because crucially you can be in control of both the production and the distribution process.

In the case of digital photography you can pick up a second hand 2 Megapixel camera now for under £50 (My advice get a Kodak 3400 if you’re starting out -dead easy, good pictures, I tested my old one with a mate’s Fuji 3MP and mine was streets ahead.) You can buy a decent photo printer for around £150 and then you need a computer well let’s say a 2nd hand G4 at £500, that’s £700 all in. Now that’s quite a bit of money with regard to initial outlay but then many people will already have a computer and a printer so it is just the digital camera extra. Furthermore you do not have to shell out £500 for a state of the art digicam to take very acceptable pictures that come out very well on a 7″x5″ image. Now you have to bear in mind here that your initial outlay will save you the cost of film and developing which realistically is going to set you back in total about £10 per 36 pics. The beauty of digital is that you can snap away to your heart’s content to try to get that one perfect picture and then you can ditch the 50 crap ones. Digital cameras have moved now into the market of being something that the majority in the west has access to and will pretty much become the norm very soon. This means from a news point of view that anyone can take a picture and upload it to the internet or print it out. The potential to stifle this sort of news dissemination is far lower than the currect method using agencies for written and pictorial information.

The same goes for digital video, an acceptable 2nd hand MiniDV camcorder comes in around £250 and other than that you need a computer for the editing, if you have a Mac you don’t need any additional SW so you’re talking £750, this is where I feel the Walther Benjamin quote of film being the real democratisation of the media comes more into play. With the kit I’ve just described you can film and edit your movie and then upload or burn it and distribute it how you want, there is no process where this information has to go through some official channel that may act as a filter. If you have your camera with you and you see something going on you can have it online that day yourself, again this makes it difficult for the establishment to do anything about it.

From a political perspective it means at the moment those of us in the west have the ability to portray what we see rather than having to be dependent so much on what others report they have seen. I say at the moment because there is of course an inevitable downside to this technology. the very technical simplicity of the whole thing means that it is as much open to abuse as to use. Digital manipulation of images and film have been commonplace in the professional media arena for some time but now they are quite common at grass roots level too and this means you have to question if what you are seeing is actually correct or not.

So get your cameras and start reporting, show the world what’s really going on.

Original Comments:


Katie made this comment,
You can get as blunt and personal as you like. Thanks for the advice on Saturaday by the way. God I hope the peaks and troughs don’t get too much more extreme, don’t think I could cope. As for the ball being in my court, well I haven’t got around to writing about it yet but lets just say there have been developments in the last couple of days.
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog-city.com
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 00:02:01’} GMT+01

Annette made this comment,
What’s weird is that I just went to a film festival where this sort of thing in film was under discussion. There’s a guy who got his cheap-ass made-on-a-Mac film into Sundance. Awesome. Mini-DVs are really revolutionizing filming. This creates a plethora of unorthodox, independent films.
By the way, “git” is the coolest word ever. I love Brits.
Visit me @ http://tankgirl.blog-city.com
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 02:15:55’} GMT+01

Sorry I don’t know if it just me but I happened upon an arguement at lunch yesterday that came into my head for the first time as I was talking, I haven’t come across it before but it made sense. It goes like this- if Capitalism is fundamentally an economic strategy then presumably economic efficiency is one of its prime objectives. Now within a capitalist structure the function of a company is to make money and thereby pay its investors a dividend on the profit which in turn entices more investment and allows the company to expand etc. etc. On the other hand free market capitialism dictates that it is all about the consumer having a wealth of choice because a competitive market forces high quality low cost goods to ensure a companies survival. OK so if you take these 2 strands to their extreme -the company is aiming for saturated coverage of its particular product this then means that they have full control over quality and cost because they have removed the competition thus overheads are cut and profits are higher. This scenario is terrible for the consumer -look at Microsoft, the consumer is practically held to ransom if they want the product there is no choice and therefore less guarantee of quality and value. For the consumer the best situation is to have a large no. of competing organisations because then the range and thereby quality and value must be assured, this tho’ is a disaster for the company who with the increased competition will only be able to make enough money to survive and will have to compete not only with their products but also vying for investment.

So you have a no win situation for both parties, this is not efficient, alternatively you have a compromise and this equally means that neither side can have the best fuctionality of the system in their favour, this is also not efficient. So how can a system that has 2 extremes which will favour 1 party by shafting the other or a middle ground that will offer peacemeal benefits to both be the approved economic model for the developed world? I just don’t see it -am I missing something vital here?

Anyway after the discussion at lunch he went away and thought about it and these were the questions he came up with:

Okay, so Communism works for what the people need, but what about what they want? Otherwise you have an entire state of people living mundane lives… what if i want to be instructed how to sail, or i want 2 laptops? or a bigger TV

But why do you implicitly assume that you should be able to have things that you may not need? Why in fact do you want things that you don’t need.
Sailing is a leisure pursuit and people need hobbies and leisure it is an important part of relaxation there is therefore no problem with learning how to sail.
2 laptops -why? If you can do what you need on one laptop why would you need another, it is only because you believe there is a certain status to do with quantitive acquisition that you feel 2 should be better than one. Can you use 2 at the same time, do you need to use 2 at the same time?
A bigger TV -why, are the programmes any better? Do you get more channels? If you need a TV with larger area for a reason such as eyesight or such like then sure that is a need but just big for big’s sake that’s absurd.
The problem is we have been brought up to believe that we should never be satisfied with what we have, we should always strive for more, the issue this creates is that it means we acquire like it is a duty and we rarely get to enjoy and appreciate what we have got because we always want more. This seems again a rather inefficient way of doing things it means you spend money on things you feel you ought to have and not on really what you want. So do you end up getting what you want or do you buy lots of meaningless purchases which prevent you ever having the money to buy what you want? How many people in all seriousness can look at all the stuff they have and say ‘no I was right to buy all that I needed it at least at the time’ there may be a couple of rather spartan spenders and good luck to them but I suspect the majority within which I place myself have a whole load of junk that seemed like a good idea at the time. Clothes that you look at now and think ‘what a shocker’. Electrical goods that were just gadget=ridden for the sake of it. Computer games that were never really played. etc. etc. I bought a Playstation PS1 a coupel of years ago -£75 it cost me and I got a couple of games and a decent gamepad so it was a bit over a ton. I was going to play games on it but the sort of games I was going to play I already had on my Mac and that was already set up and I didn’t need to hijack the TV to play so the PS1 sat in it’s box ever since. It could have been a DOA I should have at least tested it but I didn’t just one of those things.

Well I’ve come to the end of the train of thought but this is a work in progress so I may come back to it, in the meantime I’ll hang it out there for you to make comments.

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
(drunk post, bare with me) we fall back on the ideological battle between communism and capitolism, democracy is left at the door step rightfully so.
I think what makes it most clear to me why Capitolism is more a realistic governing force is the old american proverb, “…but in theory communism works.” basicly when communism is in place, history tells us that less checks and balances exist to hawk over the elite policy makers. Although this is all simply theoretical ramblings, I think communism is harldly plausable today.

Haywood

[Redbaron responds -well Haywood you have come up with the old chesnut so thanks for that -I may actually devote a whole blog to the answer because it is the thing always fired off that communism’s a great idea in theory but couldn’t work in practice. Not that it’s ever been tried of course so the historical analogy is a false one. So you ahve capitalism which is a shit idea in theory and a worse idea in practice or Communism which is a good idea in theory with questions about it’s implementation in practice, hmmm tough choice but I know which model I’d rather work on.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-23 09:01:48’} GMT+01

David S made this comment,
you’d rather work on Capitialism right?
only joking.
But seriously why have no Communist countries been successful and most importantly free societies. Russia collapsed, China doesn’t have a great record on human rights and North Korea is just doing brillantly.
So why don’t you say, Communism…I just don’t see how it works?
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-23 12:52:46′} GMT+01

David S made this comment,
Oh and make your gutter narrower this blog is shockingly hard to read and a right mess
Visit me @ http://glasgowdave.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds -Yes, Sir Glasgow Dave Sir, sorry Sir, right away Sir. I feel extremely chastised by Glasgow Dave!!! He’s right tho’ the gutter is too wide but what do you mean a right mess?!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-23 12:54:16’} GMT+01

Bob Red made this comment,
Unto the masses came the baron of red, and he did visit upon the summit of bob reds blog, and he was bestowed with the heavy burden of the traveller which had 40 score hits. And throughout the land of blog city a small voice could be heard shouting “fooking yes!!! i am the 800th visitor… GET IN!!!!”
Here endeth the sermon, go now unto your blogs and rant, rant like the wind. For tomorrow more misfortune cometh to piss us off again!

Well done my son you are Mr 800!
Father Red ( a bit like father ted, just not as funny!)

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-23 17:52:20’} GMT+01

Rachel made this comment,
well. look at the underlining basis in the cases where mothers drowned their children. and although everyone feels that no one could REALLY do that unless they were suffering from an obvious psychological malfunction, i can’t be sure if all were convicted or committed. the point has been made. as far as sex offenders are concerned, i honestly can’t come up with any answer better than there’s something wrong wiith them, or they went through something traumatic when they were children. but that doesn’t make it any better or easier to accept.
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-24 02:18:22’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
you just don’t get it? maybe because you are MYOPIC, STUPID, and you are a “LEFTIE”.
Oyo

[Redbaron responds – Mmm yeah that must be it. Actually to be precise I’m long-sighted rather than short-sighted, as for stupid well I’ll leave others to make up their mind on that one, I don’t consider myself an Albert Einstein but neither do I consider myself a George Bush! As for being a leftie well, my friend guilty as charged, and proud to be so. I do notice that you neither leave a link for any rebuttal nor do you actually make an arguement -what is it about the right that they seem so incapable of cogent thought -sorry silly of me it’s precisely because they’re incapable of coherent arguement that means they think they understand politics and drift to the right. I’m up for a ruck now, I think I’m going to have to go and give Valhalla a pasting!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 10:08:02’} GMT+01

David S made this comment,
I was just meaning that the blog is a bit, well busy, small writting lots of similar colours, photo background isn’t in line. I’ve always given up on photo backgrounds because you always have parts that make the writting hard to read.
It justs seems a bit to cramped but its your blog, I was just trying to help.
Oh and you didn’t resppond to my first comment
Visit me @ http://glasgowdave.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-25 15:43:54′} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
Your PC.
Your ISP.
Your freaking clothes- if you do wear one. I can imagine you still living in a cave and swinging on trees.
And you still cannot get what capitalism is about? You smell it e everyday. Eat it everyday. Wear it. Enjoy it. And you still can’t get it?

Man, how stupid can anyone get?

Naidi

[Redbaron responds -and lo, no forwarding address how very surprising. I really wish the right-wingers who land here would at least make an attempt to defend their position rather than just hurl some abuse and piss off again. Naidi you’re point is rather badly made, just because I live in a society does not mean that society works – I have already cited the fact that regardless of what comparative comfort I live in it’s efficiency and authenticity is undermined by the fact that so many others do not and that it is based on accident of birth.
So to tackle your points chronologically.

My PC -sorry I don’t and never will use a PC, a trifling detail I agree but I thought I’d point it out.
My ISP -bearing in mind my ISP is shite I’m not sure you want to use them as a validation of capitalism.
My freaking clothes – if you wear one. Well my dear fellow let me first correct your grammar clothes being a plural noun one does not wear one clothe. Secondly surprising as it may seem being left-wing does not proclude the notion of clothing, sorry to disappoint you on that. However I try not to wear clothes that have been made using child/slave/exploited labour. This is called ethics, you wouldn’t have come across it before.
As regards smelling it every day -you’re quite right, it is a hell of a stench.
Enjoying it -you presumptuous bastard why do you think I’m a leftie?!
Stupid? Hmm do you guys all have the same Right-Wing special Thesaurus on your PCs? Try a new word, I could refer to you as imbecilic, moronic, idiotic, foolish, half-witted, imprudent, and that’s just for starters. Try to perfect your own personal insults it’ll make you feel better. Sorry I forgot fascism is all about conformity and uniformity isn’t it? Oh and Naidi can be found at http://crimsonarrows.blog-city.com/ tho’ I’m afraid it’s something of an asinine read!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-26 04:24:40’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
Redbaron, first of all, i love it when i get commies and leftist to respond like you did. anyway, its disgusting to read and see people whine about something they E N J O Y and employ everyday.
“I have already cited the fact that regardless of what comparative comfort I live in it’s efficiency and authenticity is undermined by the fact that so many others do not and that it is based on accident of birth.”

So what do you plan to do about it? Bask in the comfort and bitch about it at the same time?

NAIDI

[Redbaron responds -I’m glad you like to illicit a response, I am more than happy to discuss any points with you but I note you still do not actually address many points of the arguement. Firstly what is it that I am supposed to be whining about and enjoying at the same time?
Secondly basking in the comfort and bitching about it you’re quite right to infer this would be a bad thing and most hypocritical. Please be assured that I do not do so, this blog is but one of my outlets, I have others that I am not going to go into. Suffice to say there is plenty of bitching, no basking and a little bit of action thrown in as well]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-27 03:33:12’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
Your closed-mindedness reflected in your rather “passionate” response. See, when I said “clothes” – and said “if you do wear one, you took tha “one” as a literal one. Do you have yo be formally informed that I was speaking in general terms, meaning if you do wear clothes!? I cannot imagine an ego like you walk around naked.
Naidi

[Redbaron responds -Sorry this comment doesn’t make sense to me, if you could elucidate I’ll try to tackle it, I’m not sure if it’s just semantically gibberish or arguementatively so.]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-27 05:00:26’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
if you wish for the “semantically gibberish” to be clearer, I’d be glad make it so for ya:
Taking “clothes” as a collective noun (since you have been the one saying there is no such thing as “clothe”, which is of course, debatable because you can actually refer to a single item of it and call it a clothing, depending on how I as the writer would want it to be ) in my case, i took it as a unit–therefore the “one”.

Naidi

[Redbaron responds – “a clothing” hmm never heard that one -let’s call it artistic licence shall we?]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 02:15:56’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
by the way, for one who has raised grammar and symantics issues on people, you might wanna reconsider changing your words “illicit a response” with “elicit a response”.
You want to elicit a response, not “illicit” one.

Naidi

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-28 02:45:51’} GMT+01

WMD 404

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
no pic showing up – ya cyber-geek wannabe! seriously, there’s a little red “x” there — unless that’s the joke and now I’m REALLY lost….gah…I’m leaving now. really need a drink.
lizard.

Lizard Breath

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-22 20:17:25’} GMT+01

Red Baron made this comment,
Hmm -checked the link and seems ok -always displays ok for me. What browser you got Lizard?
BTW what dyu mean cyber-geek wannabe!!

Visit me @ http://redbaron.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-23 00:26:51’} GMT+01

Rachel made this comment,
as far as i’m concerned, god bless you. i have been working for years, and i also have no problem paying, as long as i can be convinced that my money is going to a worthy cause, rather than straight into someone’s pocket. however, unfortunately, there’s no way to be guaranteed, and so we simply continue to loathe the idea of taxes.
as far as welfare is concerned, the only reason that’s such an issue is because it’s an ending cycle. although you can always rise above the bar and be welcomed into anything better than what you feel is below average, how can you be expected to if everyone else’s expectations are also as low?
i think it’s despicable how charities hire celebrities to stand there in filth and tell ME that eighty cents a week is really nothing. most of the people they hire could feed a third world country with their pocket change!
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-23 00:50:07’} GMT+01

Lizard Breath made this comment,
MS IE 6.0
still can’t see anything but the red-x.

I would explain what I mean…but it would probably make your head hurt. mmmuaahahahahahaha

lizard.

[Redbaron responds -well Internet Exploder that explains it, I always use a proper browser like Safari or Camino. Firefox is supposed to be good and that’s cross-platform -looks a bit too PC-like for me!]

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-23 06:54:43’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
RB– I can’t see the pic either– it is a red x like it is for Lizard Breath.
bluepoppy

[Redbaron responds – No you’re quite right, I tried a different browser and it was all a bit funny the pic didn’t display and various bits of my gutter were the wrong colour. It always seems fine with Safari which is what I use for admin stuff. I’ll try some tweaking and see what I can come up with. html isn’t really my thing but I guess it’s time to learn]