Archive for January, 2005


13_auschwitz-tracks.jpg
Please do not forget that people were murdered in a clinical fashion that had not been seen before. Yet this sort of systematic extermination has been seen since in countries across the world. We think that the holocaust is something distant, something perpetrated by the Germans over 60 years ago. To my mind one of the biggest crimes is that we still have not learnt from this stain on our history and we still allow it to happen.

I don’t think I’d be able to cope with visiting Auschwitz again. I went 15 years ago in the middle of an Interail roam around Europe that I was doing. I was 18, idealistic, optimistic and invincible. In those days I had a stronger constitution for such things and yet it knocked the stuffing out of me. The weather was wet and overcast, it set the scene. Auschwitz leaves its mark on everyone, fortunately nowadays it is only an emotional one. It should not be forgotten that when you have the freedom to walk out of Birkenau that you are doing something that hundreds of thousands were unable to do. The sheer enormity of death can’t compute immediately, your mind tries to protect you, to shield you from it. The trouble with a photographic memory is there is no place to hide.

I’m not going to talk about divisions now, I jsut want to urge that people use this as a unifier.

Look on the picture, those who have been won’t even need to, you never forget this image it stays with you for life. I can not even begin to comprehend what it must be like for those who were incarcerated there.

Never Forget.

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
I got chills just reading this entry. The Holocaust is something I never seem to be able to forget. The enormity of it makes me reel.
Kristie

comment added :: 27th January 2005, 18:35 GMT+01
MrDan made this comment,
The picture is quite powerful. I saved a copy. It’ll do me good just to notice it every once in a while.
MrDan

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

comment added :: 28th January 2005, 01:54 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
I think it’s important to remember it wasn’t all so clinical – particularly the massacres in the USSR such as Babi Yar.
Visit me @ http://diogenes.blog-city.com

comment added :: 28th January 2005, 01:57 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
If you stare at the photo long enough, you can almost hear the screams…..scary!
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 28th January 2005, 06:07 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
A new image will now stay with me. The sight of all those dignified old survivors in all that snow.
John

comment added :: 28th January 2005, 16:17 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I posted something on my site on this this morning. It is a lesson that somehow humanity has not learned as it keeps on occurring even to this day perhaps on a lesser scale but on a scale nonetheless. We must never forget.
Jannay

comment added :: 28th January 2005, 19:15 GMT+01


My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose (1794)

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!

A Man’s a Man For A’ That (1795)

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
The coward slave – we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an’ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that;
The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.

Rabbie Burns (1759-1796)

Song Of The Day – The Men They Couldn’t Hang – Hell Or England

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
I enjoy reading “My Luve Is Like A Red Red Rose”… thanks for reminding me about it 🙂
FallenAngel [fallenangelsj@hotmail.com]

[Redbaron responds – It is something of a classic, so emotive a verse really is the true mark of romance.]

comment added :: 25th January 2005, 15:50 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
aw, i remember ‘A Man’s a Man For A’ That’, wow, its been a long time since i read that!! 🙂
comment added :: 25th January 2005, 22:20 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
In a poetry mood, are we? ;^)
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 25th January 2005, 22:32 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
And what about that oft misquoted gem:
The best laid scemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley?
Visit me @ http://longrider.blog-city.com

comment added :: 26th January 2005, 09:29 GMT+01
Rina made this comment,
I’m left breathless by “My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose” and whoever you were thinking about as you chose that is a lucky lass.
Visit me @ http://sugarbowl.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – No-one implicitely in mind for this one but it is a breathtaking song and reminds one what it was like to be really in love.]

comment added :: 26th January 2005, 09:36 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
love both the poems, especially the first one.
sarah

comment added :: 26th January 2005, 13:49 GMT+01

It is easy to be self-righteous and say that as I disagree with discrimination of all kinds I feel the term positive discrimination is something of an oxymoron. There is debate in this country at the moment amongst political parties about closed lists whereby to perform a function of increasing the proportion of a particular group’s involvement within politics a list is created with only 1 genre of candidates be it all women or as the current debate all ethnic minorities.

It is certainly true to say that the political establishment does not reflect the population at large, after all 50% of politicians are not women and the ethnic minority percentage is derisory. (Although it is worth pointing out that the political establishment in this country has never been representative of the majority because by and large regardless of gender creed or colour the average politician differs greatly in terms of class. And don’t let anyone attempt to tell you that Britain is a classless society.) I can therefore fully understand the premise of creating a shortlist of one type of candidate to ensure better representation. The trouble is I do not feel this method does improve representation. Quite the contrary it fuels the right-wing who will protest that such lists can prevent the candidate who may be best suited to represent the area being denied because of political correctness. This argument will hold water under these circumstances because it is possible it does not even need to be proven to have been definitively the case or not.

Firstly I believe it is important to study the context of the problem. Why is it that women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in government? Is this simply endemic of a wider disengagement in politics by the population at large? I certainly feel that progressively less and less people are feeling that conventional organs of politics represent them in any way. Naturally this means that the likelihood will be that more and more political candidates will be coming from the current status quo -those who have played the system so to speak. Furthermore it is important to note who is doing the selection of any given candidate because local party membership is subject to the same constraining factors as candidacy. It is therefore no surprise then that the people doing the selection will select candidates from their comfort zone. If you radically alter the people selecting and make this more representative then you are automatically increasing the understanding of more groups to the proceedings and this is likely to bring about a seismic shift in the candidates selected organically.

What is not in dispute is the fact that there is a problem but I would contest that it is a far more widespread issue as the young for example are also far less inclined to get involved in mainstream politics and you cannot solve such a problem by randomly creating closed lists everywhere in an attempt to balance it out, is anyone suggesting that there should be lists where only those under 35 should be standing? The problem is such a measure is only really serving to gloss over the surface, it does not address the murk below and eventually the gloss will become tainted again and the murk simply carries on regardless. You need really to dredge the pond and remove all the clogging shite and then start afresh.

Such a process is not quick I agree and I am sensitive to the accusation that whilst you wait for the right solution to filter thru’ you prolong the life of the inequality. Perhaps in certain areas at certain times a short-term solution must be considered altho’ I would be disappointed if we could genuinely find no better solution than positive discrimination.

The mistake that one must not make is to assume that positive discrimination has anything more than a short-term impact, it does not reform the system because it does not change people’s perceptions it merely imposes a dictat upon them.

Song Of The Day – Sister Sledge – Lost In Music

Original Comments:


Mark Ellott made this comment,
The problem with positive discrimination is that it is still discrimination. I think you have a point – radically alter the demographics of the selection in the first place and you start to shift the balance. What matters is that the most suitable candidate irrespective of gender, sexuality, religious belief or ethnic origin is selected. Positive discrimination fails that test.
Visit me @ http://longrider.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Exactly Mark, the clue is in the term itself which seems to be forgotten, discrimination can never be a long term option that brings about unity because it by its very nature is devisive.]

comment added :: 21st January 2005, 17:47 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Of all countries, I think that Sweden has the highest ratio of women to men in office.
Bill Clinton had all manner of women and minorities in his cabinet, too. Those were the days…now we just have that nut Rice.

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

comment added :: 22nd January 2005, 04:38 GMT+01
Danny the Infidel made this comment,
A. Humans in generak are conservatives. You know what you have, but not whqat you get.
B. As a non active but still a member of a large political organication, I know that there are a surtian “lag” within even progressiv organisations.

C. Women are “educated” to not demand anny high ranking places within the establishment. It is a generation thing and it will adjust in time.

D. I have found that refuges from states with opression or a corupt political organitation shun all political life.

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

comment added :: 22nd January 2005, 22:51 GMT+01

Well, I stepped into the position of proffering the case for the defense of Jerry Springer – The Opera, (or was that the case for the prosecution against the mindless religious zealot lobby?) so I feel I ought to do so again for Dick and Dom who have come under fire in the House of Commons this week.

Conservative MP Peter Luff, MP for Mid-Worcestershire (a very rural and upmarket constituency) claimed in the house of commons that, acting on the basis of complaints by his constituents, ‘Dick and Dom in da Bungalow’ BBC1s Saturday morning show for children was not fit for public taste and decency. To hear Mr Luff stand up in Parliament and make his speech whilst the conservative backbenchers made that noise that only parliamentarians who drink port for breakfast and are just waiting for their peerage when the Tories get back into power just summed up to me why so many people feel totally detached from these inflated poppinjays.

It is true that ‘Dick & Dom in da Bungalow’ is not for me the most sophisticated brand of humour that I have come across but then the BBC have stated that the program is aimed at 9 year olds and in my experience 9 year olds do not have a staggering grasp of delicate satire and irony. Even my 5 and 3 year old children struggle with these humorous concepts and they are of course the most intelligent children in the world. Dick and Dom however make them laugh a lot.

It wasn’t any different in my day, in the 1980s we had Tiswas which had the same anarchic, simple sometimes infantile brand of humour. Whatever the social status, racial background, religion, language or age of the child there will always be an appeal in seeing people get drenched in water, gunge or assorted other fluids, the more viscose the better, and the custard pie in the face has been a timeless classic from the silent movie days through Laurel and Hardy and beyond. Jokes about pooh and overall bodily functions will forever have as much appeal for children as nob gags do to young men down the pub. And no matter what age you are flatulence will make men and children all over the world laugh, the more inappropriate or noxious the fart the funnier it becomes. Maybe this is because we retain something of the inner child? Likewise you might think that going into a public library and playing a game that requires a steady crescendo of shouting of the word ‘bogies’ may be puerile if we’re being stuffy but it is difficult not to laugh at the reactions on people’s faces and their incredulity.

When the conservative politicians say that such lavatorial humour say that sort of programming is not part of the BBC remit in this Royal Charter Renewal year. What they are saying is that their supporters the middle England Dr. and Mrs Ponsonby-Smythe do not feel that Dick and Dom are suitable fare for StJohn (pronounced sin-jin) and Portia who they feel should be studying Latin and quadratic equations by the age of 4.

I myself am a great deal more prudish than I used to be because I can see and truly understand the damage that extreme violence or explicit sex can have on children wo are too young to fully understand the difference between the contexts of reality and fiction. The argument that children will encounter these sorts of things in the real world in time anyway is a complete side-track because adults and even teenagers have more advanced tools to be able to differentiate and absorb information.

In this age when we are progressively shortening the period of time that children are genuinely children do we really want to send out the message to our 9 year olds that they are not allowed just to have fun? I would have thought there are other targets which might promote a great deal more philosophical debate such as the growing trend for schadenfreude programs where we are laughing at the misfortune of others, one could question the morality etc. of us finding clips of people being hurt or embarrassed funny but this does not address the fact that like it or not we do find them decidedly amusing.

This is not the first time Dick and Dom have been criticised, in September 2004 the BBC was reprimanded by Ofcom because presenter Dominic Wood wore a T-Shirt that said ‘Morning Wood’ on it. This was deemed to be a sexual innuendo and inappropriate. The presenter argued that as the show was on in the morning and his surname was Wood there was no sexual connotation. I believe myself that the innuendo was clear and Dom Wood knew it tho’ of course the innocent explanation will have the added appeal for him and undoubtedly attracted him to the shirt as well. I would dispute that the phrase ‘Morning Wood’ has sexual innuendo, any man who has had ‘Morning Glory’ as it is often referred to (and I don’t think there a many out there who haven’t) knows that this is the body’s mechanism to stop you pissing yourself in the morning. The fact that a man may be sleeping next to his partner and decides to make use of it for sexual purposes is neither here nor there!

Song Of The Day – Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil

Original Comments:


Pimme made this comment,
I’m sure that the “Morning Wood” was intended as innuendo, regardless of the man’s surname. There’s no way that he wouldn’t make the connection! ;^)
Whether or not it should be deemed offensive depends on how sensitive you are.

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

[Redbaron responds – I agree Pimme I know that the joke would not have been lost on any adults, but having said that I would have thought the innuendo were sophisticated enough to go over the heads of young children. It would seem something that only the most puritanical would get in a real lather about.]

comment added :: 20th January 2005, 16:52 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
What is wrong with these people? Programmes that have appealed on two levels have been around for years. In my day it was Captain Pugwash. Master Bates went straight over my head (being about five at the time) but adults thought it a scream…
It just goes to show, the Tories are as unelectable as ever. Pathetic. It’s about time they concentrated on some policies instead of moaning about television programmes. Oh, but that would mean concentrating on the job in hand, wouldn’t it?

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

comment added :: 20th January 2005, 20:27 GMT+01
Steve made this comment,
I’m 21 with no kids, making my opinion totally irrelevant, but I would think that most kids wouldn’t get the joke, and besides a lot of programs and movies have similar adult jokes.
I would think that it gives the parents more motivation to watch TV with their kids, and is therefore a good thing.

comment added :: 20th January 2005, 21:33 GMT+01
Jamie made this comment,
Ok I have no kids of my own (pretty sure there are human rights laws that forbid me, but thats beside the point) but my wee cousins watch Dick & Dom most weekends and find it hillarious. They are not anymore warped than any other kids in my home city.
Most kids TV will work at two levels for an extent, hell most Kids entertainment does (how many dads nick the kids PS2 now and again, and how many mums have read the Harry Potter books) afterall they are all written by adults in the first place. The adults are the ones who pay for it, why not let them get a bit of enjoyment out of it.
Visit me @ http://jeem.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Yes, good point, and to create a program that works for children and parents alike is quite an achievement after all the parents get subjected to some awful shite sometimes.]

comment added :: 20th January 2005, 23:59 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
obviously on itv at the same time they are throwing a dwarf around, and dangling him from wires, and making kids chase him, and thats totally fine, and the ‘german’ scientist who spends all his free time looking for his ‘lost’ dog on wimbeldon common is not at all sexual…
its just not only kids watching these things, and they need to keep everyone watching on some kind of level. i hate dick and dom, but my tiny god daughter loves it, and shes 3!!!
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – I have to say the faux German scientist does crack me up on the few occasions I have managed to switch to ‘the other side’ just for balance you understand nothing to do with Holly who is a sort!]

comment added :: 23rd January 2005, 22:26 GMT+01

So there it was, the first blogging year. Today is my blog’s 1st anniversary, please take a piece of cake from the table in the corner there. In this time I have written a lot and read a lot and stayed up past my bedtime more times than I can care to remember. You can see all the stats for yourselves it is nearly 50,000 hits and almost 1000 comments and that has all been most unexpected. I remember when I first started and I saw well-established blogs like Leah’s and thought how amazing it must be to have written for a whole year, how much you would have in years to come to show you how and what you were feeling. And now I am a member of the 365+ club and I realise that the fact that others have enjoyed my writing occasionally has been unexpected but no less welcome but additionally for me it has been the catalyst to slowly start to reform who I am into who I always should have been.

I have become somewhat schizophrenic in my blogging nowadays and I have a couple of blogs out there performing different functions. On one of them I am currently uploading some of the old writing I’d done in the past. Some of it is in soft format but a lot is hand-written in the days when I knew how to do that. I will link to that blog in time in case anyone finds it interesting to contrast how I was 8 years ago. The whole blogging thing has taught me much about writing, by which I mean the whole routine of writing. It has given me a forum to post my ideas whilst also applying a little pressure for me to keep doing so and this is clearly an environment I work well under. By which I mean the quantity of work that it has enabled me to produce. As regards the quality please do not think it is a half-arsed attempt at false modesty when I say that I am very aware that the quality has been somewhat variable. What it has shown me is that there are certain days when I will struggle to produce any volume of work, but little ideas or snippets may come out. Qualitatively I have seen that I am very much a form writer, my moods and the subjects I write on have a bearing on how I will write. It has been a cause for concern to me that I was able to write what I felt was fairly fluent prose on politics but that it lacked the humour I would normally like to inject. I think this is partly to do with a blog being often a very proactive thing whilst as I have always maintained I tend to shine best as a reactive writer. The last entry served to illustrate this as I was pleased with the way it had come out, I felt satisfied that the message I wanted to convey was contained within and the jokes on the whole seemed to do ok. I really enjoyed writing that post and I’m sorry to be so self-absorbed but it did make me chuckle a bit on reading it back. It was though very much reactive, the exposure of the flaws in other people’s arguments in tandem with a slab of sarcasm and a slice of cynicism. A cruel but effective brand of political bantering.

Sorry I’m going to tangent bust now and just say I’ve had a life-changing time these last 366 days, I have acquired a twin, some very special friends, some thought-provoking and intelligent comments and conversations and a great deal more confidence in my writing which hopefully one day may filter through to the substantively less confident real me. I’ll still be here in another 365 days time, all being well, so will you. Oh and I got more hits than Haywood – just picture me as the Fonz now “Aaaaaayyyyyyyy”!

If you are the 50,000th hitter or the 1000th comment personage then please make yourself known for an underwhelming prize!

Song Of The Day – Billy Idol – White Wedding

Original Comments:


Pimme made this comment,
Happy Birthday, and thanks for the cake! ;^)\
You’ve had a busy year, indeed! Glad to have “met” you!

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

comment added :: 18th January 2005, 22:55 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
Happy happy, mate! Geez, a whole year?! You’re one of us, now! Kick ASS song of the day. Loves it.
I notice that the premium jazz is all up and about. I must say I think I missed it. 🙂

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

comment added :: 18th January 2005, 23:11 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
What a milestone!
Visit me @ http://diogenes.blog-city.com

comment added :: 18th January 2005, 23:21 GMT+01
King made this comment,
congrats mate, welcome to the club. i don’t nearly have as many hits or comments as yourself (or haywood for that matter =D). that could be due in part by my lack of a “politcal mind” . yet i digress…
hopefully you will be around in another 365…i know i will.

enjoy!

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

comment added :: 19th January 2005, 02:09 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
ooh, now i’m going to be on a mission to be the 50,000th hitter!!! that was pretty fast, by the way – i was the 10k twin quite recently, far as i can remember…the baron’s become very popular:)!!
anyway, happy anniversary, twin!

hugs and kisses.

sarah

[Redbaron responds – Since 999 here is the emergency no. I may have to give you a comedy emergency link for the 999th comment. Still about 1500 hits to go for the 50k.]

comment added :: 19th January 2005, 14:38 GMT+01
MD made this comment,
Congrats on your anniversary!
Visit me @ http://deardubya.blog-city.com/

[Redbaron responds – And thank you very much deardubya, Ladies and Gentlemen we have a winner of the 1000th comment award. Don’t worry tho’ there is still all to play for in the race for the 50000th hit.]

comment added :: 19th January 2005, 15:07 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Blimey ! It’s been a long year. Only kidding mate. Here’s to the next one !
John

comment added :: 19th January 2005, 17:47 GMT+01
Rina made this comment,
Lovely year, you happen to rock pretty hard, schizo or no!
Loves the song of the day, too, heh heh

comment added :: 20th January 2005, 00:49 GMT+01
haywood made this comment,
sorry I missed the party, Nice going on the one year, 48,000 hits for the year…very impressive.
You do know that they only come to see your wonderful header though?

cheers mate

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

[Redbaron responds – they do indeed mate, I have been complimented on your handiwork on that score. I like to think thaat the politics makes them come back tho’!]

comment added :: 21st January 2005, 22:05 GMT+01
haywood made this comment,
yea you might be right, every one loves a pinko commie, except McCarthy, but he’s dead!
Visit me @ http://cjh9999.blog-city.com

comment added :: 22nd January 2005, 16:56 GMT+01

Now correct me if I’m wrong but had a politician or a lawyer or a police officer or another public figure been at a party dressed in a Nazi uniform their resignation would have been called for, certainly an apology from a spokesman would not have been deemed sufficient. The fact that Prince Harry was at a party themed ‘colonial and natives’ is all the more ironic, he could have turned up as himself and said he was a member of the repressive English aristocracy – no costume required!

I find it baffling that in the year that commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz and many other concentration camps, where the TV and media is awash with stories and documentaries about 1945, that this over-pampered overpaid lout has the sensitivity of an avalanche. I’m afraid I take little comfort in the fact that his application to Sandhurst is not to suffer from this situation, the idea of him going into the army with his obvious tact and sagacity means that whilst he may fit in well with many of the others there he is not the sort of person that I think should be running a tap let alone a company of soldiers or, heaven help us all, the country.

There is little enough taught these days about the whole situation in Germany in 1939-45 with the context from 1918 and the ‘Dolchstosslegende’ and hyper inflation of the 20s and assassination of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg all playing their part leading to the election of Hitler in 1933. There is little taught about the control of the media by one source from Alfred Hugenburg to Joseph Goebbels and the effect of the agit-prop and the similarities with the control over today’s media market. There is little taught that as well as the Jews mercilessly slaughtered in the Death camps by the Nazis there were some 2 million Soviet prisoners slaughtered who were in fact the test cases for the mass extermination with gas. Not to mention the political prisoners from Germany and Poland the Communists, the Socialists, the Trade unionists who were imprisoned and killed. The Jewish lobby is right to commemorate those Jews who died in the Holocaust and we should never forget but I hear little from the jewish lobby seeking to remember their gentile comrades who died alongside them in the camps and to forget them is as wrong as it would be to forget the all the people in Dachau or Belsen whilst we remember Auschwitz.

I fail to see that in the 21st century you can create a society based on any egalitarian principles when there is this glass ceiling above which you can only rise by virtue of birthright.

When will people realise just because one family are paid for by all the rest of us does not give them the right to behave offensively and undiplomatically, but then after all look at his Grandfather. Time we got rid of this outdated inefficient institution like the former colonies did with the Empire.

I would like to tackle some of the points made by members of the public that I have seen listed on the BBC website, some of which beggar belief:

“Shouldn’t we be hearing an apology from whoever leaked these pictures to the newspapers? Wearing that outfit to a public function would have been unforgivable, but he wore it to a private party. If it wasn’t for the so-called friend who saw fit to invade his privacy like this, no more than about twenty people would know about his bad choice of costume, and hardly anyone would be offended.”

Well I’m sorry but that is tantamount to saying whatever you do in the privacy of your own home or parties is fine and dandy and I’m afraid that doesn’t wash. Realistically if you keep yourself to yourself and don’t seek attention sure you may get away with almost anything but is paedophilia ok provided no-one knows, of course not.

“He is a young man under a lot of pressure, but should still realise that the UK press is always waiting for him to make a slip-up. Seeing as it was a private party, the current apology should suffice. Why apologise in person when the press will use this as another opportunity to further drag him through the dirt?”

Pressure, fuck me I’d take his worries over mine any day of the week. I’m afraid since we are paying for his opulent lifestyle it seems perfectly justifiable to know what he gets up to, don’t forget the Royal Family are supposed to represent us in public you know! What fucking pressure does the imbecile have anyway, does he have to worry about his food/accommodation/education/job prospects/healthcare no none of the above. This argument about the royals having a tough time is absolute undiluted bullshit. I have no truc with the whole press intrusion issue. If you don’t like it then fuck off and get a real job. The press don’t hound me every day, neither do they hound many actors or politicians who do not court controversy whilst remaining in the public eye for their work. Those who choose to be public and ‘celebrities’ reap enormous financial benefits from it and if they feel the price is greater than the remuneration then there’s always bar work or construction sites.

“If the Board of Deputies of British Jews has accepted the apology already issued then that should be the end of it. However, I suspect many other groups will not be content with a mere apology and will want to blow the issue out of all proportion”

Why, are the British Jews the only ones who fought and died as a result of the Nazis? I am only 1/4 German but I do not accept his spokesperson’s apology on behalf of my 2 Great Uncles who were killed and my Grandfather who was tortured.

“Harry may have been silly but he is young and entitled to have fun in his young years. It would be good to see his brand of humanity, sense of humour and zest for life copied in others.”

Oh I see it was ‘just a bit of harmless fun’ ha ha ha ha ha FUCK OFF, yes his emulation of a Fascist showed a remarkable joie de vivre didn’t it, I certainly found the cares of the day just vanished into thin air, I know let’s invite the BNP to our social functions, come on everyone it’s cuddle a black shirt week.

“Prince Harry may have made an unfortunate misjudgement, but what were the tabloid press doing at what was presumably a private party? I’m certain they weren’t invited!”

They weren’t invited to the Wannsee Conference either but just think of the information we might have had in advance had they been so.

Leave the guy alone. These stories are promoted to sell newspapers, not for any critical news worthiness. He is young and should be allowed to do things without half of the UK looking over his shoulder every minute. Don’t the critics have anything more serious in their lives to worry about? Sad people!

Yes, of course he should, except since more than half the population have to pay his wages I think the fact that he is 20 shouldn’t come into it. I knew enough when I was 20 not to dress up as Goering despite having the figure for it and I didn’t have the education he did.

“It was short-sighted of Harry to wear such a costume. If it were anyone else, it would hardly have been reported. If anything, it has drawn publicity to what we should be contemplating – the Auschwitz commemorations.”

Oh I see it was a Nazi Awareness stunt was it, that explains everything, what a splendid idea where’s my Iron Cross? I’m going as Himmler.

“Will these people ever get some privacy? It’s a God-given right.”

Is it indeed and just where do you get that from?

“And Moses did declare that there was one additional commandment that God did not have enough room on his tablets for and it was this – Thou shalt not invade the privacy of the ruling class.” Leviticus 12 v 25

“And quoth Jesus It is imperative that the aristocracy be left alone by the riff-raff, it might be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God but the British Royal Family are exempt from any of that” Luke 5 v 13

My mistake.

“The costume was in bad taste, but remember that loads and loads of people have dressed up and still do dress up in Nazi uniforms for fancy dress parties. Even the TV/film industry have used the Nazi uniforms in comedy films and programmes. Unfortunately, Prince Harry will always be in the public eye and the press will always be there snapping away in his face. They should give him and other Royals more space. It does seem that the press have not learned their lesson. Should he make a public apology, NO.”

Of course, Harry was on his way to tryout for the chorus line of ‘Springtime for Hitler’ or was it Herr Flick in ‘Alo Alo’? The Press should give them more space, more space how much fucking space do they want have you seen the size of Buck House and Balmorel and Sandringham, Jesus they have more space than a Texan oil baron.

“A storm in a teacup. Yet again, our over censorious media feeds us an anti-royalist story to upset the credulous tabloid-reading ninnies. Yes, this is foolish from Prince Harry but it is in the context of a private party (do all members of the Royal Family forsake a private life nowadays?) but hardly a war-crime. Please brighten up Britain and do not take everything so seriously.”

The Sun anti-royalist hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, have you ever read The Sun?! And we’re back to the private party argument again. Yes it was a party, it was the Nazi Party! War crimes eh sorry who was it that invented concentration camps again…? We shouldn’t take things seriously it’s true, here’s an idea why don’t we go down to Buck House and shoot some royals and have a good laugh, tell you what if we go down on horseback we could claim it was a fox hunt stylee and we were only getting rid of vermin – tally ho chaps.

“I’m sure he’s not the first or the last to wear a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party. He didn’t decide to be a royal, it was forced upon him. I feel sorry for him. If everything I did was under public scrutiny I’m sure I’d offend some people.”

Yes the poor little mite, must have been tough for him to live in palaces and go to the most expensive schools. We really are bastards for insisting that he sponge off the public purse all his life, we should be ashamed of ourselves. As for the second point who says you’d have to be in the public eye to offend some people, you managed to offend me from the comfort of your living room.

“It was a costume party after all… I don’t think he intended to offend anyone. I thought that the war was history and yet it still evokes huge emotions.”

Yeah funny how people still get a bit hot under the collar over such trifling matters as mass genocide you think they might get over it after a nice cup of tea.

“Why not send Prince Harry to Auschwitz so that he can get an idea for himself what it was like to suffer under Nazis. His infantile behaviour is not only an insult to Jewish people but to the current German nation.”

Actually I can’t find any fault with this one! Can I volunteer for guard duty to pistol whip the little shit?! Oh you meant he should go just to visit, ah sorry my exuberance got the better of me!

Song Of The Day – Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
[Had to be really, didn’t it?!]

Original Comments:


moog made this comment,
i agree, make him go!!! little bastard!!!
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com/

comment added :: 13th January 2005, 21:53 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
That was probably the HARDEST that I have ever laughed at one of your blogs! Your comments were priceless! ;^D
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 13th January 2005, 21:59 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
The question it raises for me is: what was everyone else wearing? I mean, colonials and natives? Pith helmets and whips?
Visit me @ http://diogenes.blog-city.com

comment added :: 13th January 2005, 22:35 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
He doesn’t exactly appear to be the brightest bulb, does he? I must say though that on this story (which I’ll happily admit to not having researched properly) he was on a hiding to nothing. I mean a member of the royal family at a “colonials and natives” party is asking for trouble. Not sure that avoiding the British Empire and going Afrika Korps was the correct way to get around it though……
neil [mail@neilarmstrong.de]

comment added :: 13th January 2005, 22:53 GMT+01
Rina made this comment,
Ah, laughed long and hard at this one. Check-plus, Baron, not that you need it from me. I say send ‘im off for a round of the concentration camp game, have him say hello to the 70+ family members of my there, too. The more I think about it the angrier I get.
Goddamn poopyhead. (angry and tired = childish. Bear with me)

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

comment added :: 13th January 2005, 23:30 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
The sooner they all get P45s the better. As for not being the brightest bulb in the box – well look at the gene pool…
Visit me @ http://longrider.blog-city.com

comment added :: 14th January 2005, 13:37 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
Oh, yeah, couldn’t let this one pass though…
“Who was it invented concentration camps?”

Er, actually, it was the British, during the Boer war. Ummm….. 😉

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

[Redbaron responds – indeed so, hence the point. Good old Lord Kitchener eh!]

comment added :: 14th January 2005, 15:09 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Leave him alone Baron. He’s doing a splendid job for the REPUBLICAN cause. Let’s hope that one day soon they will all f**k off back to Saxe-Coberg-Gotha. Great post mate, keep ’em coming.
John

[Redbaron responds – I can’t fault you on that logic mate except not Niedersachsen please I still have family in Goettingen!]

comment added :: 14th January 2005, 16:03 GMT+01
King made this comment,
I am already a King…a Jeff King. haha
Visit me @ http://pageofnothingness.blog-city.com

comment added :: 14th January 2005, 21:04 GMT+01
haywood made this comment,
(haywood side steps MG-42 fire to comment)
What has become of mother england!

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

[Redbaron responds – Her tits dried up years ago mate she’s not been nurturing anyone for decades.]

comment added :: 15th January 2005, 08:52 GMT+01
the mad made this comment,
Oh I don’t know, last picture I saw of darling Harry he look very nurtured… rosy cheeked, bright eyed and bushy tailed… well, rosy cheeked at least, the eyes were kind of glazed and the bushy tail was attached to the corpse of some small animal… never mind.
At least it’s a change, if I read one more bloody “the spirit of Diana spoke to me through my aunts cat Herbert” article I’m going to pry out my eyeballs and use them to stone the newsstand.

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

[Redbaron responds – Ah now hold on a mo’ Herbert found that whole experience really distressing!]

comment added :: 16th January 2005, 16:33 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
brilliant post – he’s such an idiot and deserves all the slack he’s getting. and an apology in person is the least that he can do.
sarah

comment added :: 18th January 2005, 12:35 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
Wasn’t that great? He shows up like a nazi, and says “it was a poor choice of costume, oops.” Yech!
Good post.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 18th January 2005, 23:00 GMT+01

Slough
 
Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to smithereens
Those air-conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town —
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week for half-a-crown
For twenty years,

And get that man with double chin
Who’ll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women’s tears,

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It’s not their fault that they are mad,
They’ve tasted Hell.

It’s not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It’s not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sports and makes of cars
In various bogus Tudor bars
And daren’t look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

Sir John Betjeman

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
I hope that the first bomb lands on ‘The Office’.
John

[Redbaron responds – Babelfish logic I’m afraid John, that would be far too useful to be a random happening and would therefore prove the existence of God and thereby prove the non-existence of God!]

comment added :: 11th January 2005, 16:25 GMT+01
Lynne made this comment,
Ok, so what’s Slough done to you then?! 😉
Or is this just a random poetry entry?
Hmmm… random poetry entry… that give me an idea…
L

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

[Redbaron responds – s’a random entry really I do like a bit of Sir Johnny, altho’ I do hate Slough but not specifically more than Bracknell or Basingstoke or Stevenage! You’re not from Slough are you dear?!]

comment added :: 11th January 2005, 18:59 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
Hmmm, that sounds strangely familiar. Have you perhaps sent me that, or made me read it, or something?
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – No I haven’t but it is a well known poem by an even more well-known poet.]

comment added :: 11th January 2005, 22:00 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Those would make great lyrics for a death metal band. ;^)
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

[Redbarn responds – You worry me sometimes Pimme hon! The fusion of Betjeman and Rammstein or such like is quite disturbing!]

comment added :: 11th January 2005, 23:25 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
What bombs was he talking about/what time was it written, do you know? I read once that the IRA (correctly) believed Betjeman was a British agent but didn’t kill him because he was a great poet! Only the Irish, I guess…
Visit me @ http://diogenes.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Betjeman lived 1906-1984 and Slough was first published in 1937 so one could say he was ahead of his time. Suffice to say far from improving Slough has degenerated since then! It is true that Betjeman was to be assasinated by the IRA during his time in Dublin in 1941-43, he was there as a kind of PR man for Britain but filed many reports on the political climate in Ireland and the IRA actvities. It was the actual assassin sent to kill Betjeman who recognised his name and felt that so good a poet couldn’t be a spy.]

comment added :: 13th January 2005, 03:18 GMT+01
Lynne made this comment,
From Slough? Moi? :oS
No, not me, I’m just an ugly bird from ‘astings (according to Viz, we’s all ugly birds here!)
Visit me @ http://raingoddess.blog-city.com

comment added :: 13th January 2005, 20:00 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
I don’t know. You couldn’t write that these days, could you? And I think that the kind of nihilistic schadenfreude is a bit off – reminds me of Yeats’ ‘Lapis Lazuli’where poets are ‘gay’ even though the ‘bomb-balls’ threaten the town. Then again it seems to be an early attack on sexual harrassment. Is it known who the capitalist pig is?
comment added :: 13th January 2005, 22:46 GMT+01
Spike made this comment,
If you’ve ever been to slough you’ll so understand why this poem was written.
POI I studied this poem for my GCSEs

[Redbaron responds – I have indeed been to Slough and can confirm that these are precisely the emotions that the place illicits!]

comment added :: 28th January 2005, 11:35 GMT+01

I am unused to being in the position of finding it necessary to defend Jerry Springer and yet here I am poised on the verge of writing an entry to do just that.

To tell those not in this country, or perhaps some that are but are not like me inexorably tuned to Radio 4, Jerry Springer -The Opera is due to be shown soon on BBC1. This has galvanised the religious right and the PC lobby to complain in numbers that it is blasphemous and uses an objectionable level of expletive language. Apparently over 20,000 complaints have been lodged and this is deemed to show that the BBC are out of step with the public. Well, that summation is on shaky ground to start with since the public have not yet seen the show, this means these complaints have been logged by a series of polarised interested groups such as religious ones and reactionary self-appointed quangos like Mediawatch

One of the arguments, not without a degree of validity is that if the show had any blaspheming that caused offence to muslims then it would not be allowed, and to add to that context is the fact that a play in Birmingham which was deemed to cause offence to the Sikh community was recently closed. There are two facets to this point though.

Firstly Christianity is the incumbent religion and will always therefore take more stick than those seen to be part of a minority community, moreover this is a mainstream production and as such the creators are likely to know a great deal more about Christianity and therefore there will be a certain level of understanding, this will be the case for the audience as well, were there to be blasphemy against another religion it is highly unlikely that most of the audience would understand any such reference and so any capital sought from the reference would be lost.

The second thing to bear in mind is that the reason it is true that there is a great deal more hypersensitivity towards minority groups is as a result of crass political correctness. Political correctness does not actually practise understanding or tolerance it simply papers over the cracks in a krypto-Victorian “we don’t talk about that here” sort of way. Let me give an example if I use the word nigger in a sentence is it offensive? Many people would say yes it is and yet it is the inference and heritage of the word that is in fact often offensive. I do not consider myself a racist on any level and yet this would make no difference. However if somebody else referred to it as ‘the N word’ it is deemed a useable commodity of referral. That, to my mind is simply daft and serves only to perpetuate the harmful connotation of such a word. Many black youths refer to themselves as nigger and I would contend that this has taken the sting out of it as a term of racial abuse far more than any political correctness. Likewise the Pakistani community, certainly the ex-pat part of it that I have come into contact with here and abroad refer to themselves as ‘Paki’ and yet within the white community this is deemed an unacceptable term of abuse. Does the fact that the British National Party are not able to use such words for fear of indictment under the incitement to racial or religious hatred legislation make the organisation or its members any less racist?

I think it goes without saying that the freedom of expression argument may have limits but equally if as a society you restrict it, you will always be subject to the accusation that you have something to fear from the substance of such an argument. It is far better to attempt to rebut an argument with logic than to brush it under the carpet as being offensive and thereby not worth consideration. A good example of this is that in this country during the 1970s and 80s members of the Irish republic party Sínn Feín were allowed on the British television only with their voice spoken by an actor. The actors chosen were invariably of Northern Irish descent and the whole excercise seemed quite ludicrous. It made most of us who were young at the time think that if Jerry Adams the leader was that silver-tongued to have frightened the Thatcher government into masking his voice then maybe he was worth listening to, I am summising that this was not the effect the government were looking for!

In conclusion, Britain remains, albeit sometimes a fuzzy distinction, a secular society and allegedly a free one. The BBC is a public service broadcaster and is beholden to appeal to diverse multicultural groups. So forgive me if I as an aetheist am not somewhat compelled now to watch Jerry Springer – The Opera as being one of the rare programs designed for my group of heathens destined for eternal fire and damnation in the depths of hell! I might even go off afterwards and have a swear and blame it on the influence of the evil goggle box!

Song Of The Day – Super Furry Animals – Hello Sunshine

Original Comments:


Mark Ellott made this comment,
Great minds think alike, it seems I’ve just blogged on this issue, too.
Visit me @ http://longrider.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – It had to be said Mark, and you managed it a great deal more succinctly than I did!]

comment added :: 7th January 2005, 20:43 GMT+01
MrDan made this comment,
I’m far more likely to watch the program since the PC lobby have caused such a stink.
MrDan

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

comment added :: 8th January 2005, 02:18 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
I just can’t imagine an opera about that show!
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 8th January 2005, 02:42 GMT+01
Mandy made this comment,
(Here with Rachel. ‘palmys….’)
I’ve seen a few shows of Jerry Springer. Used to think it was amusing. When he brought members of the KKK out on last Martin Luther King Day, I refused to ever watch another episode.

-Rach and Mandy

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

comment added :: 8th January 2005, 03:12 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
hey twin, i agree – the more we avoid a word, the more volatile it becomes. and that paki thing is so true; i’ve seen a lot of (white) britishers get really shocked when i refer to myself as paki, because to them it’s something completely derogatory, whereas to me, it’s just a convenient, lazy, short form of pakistani and doesn’t have any connotations.
sarah [sarah.a@gmail.com]

comment added :: 9th January 2005, 14:06 GMT+01
The Skunx made this comment,
I view Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Harry Krishnas and Christians with near equal distain, however I do find that the Eastern religions are more crackers that good old Christianity.
I have seen the opera live on stage and I shall be watching on Saturday night even if it will mean I am cast down to eternal damnation.

Don’t like it?
Don’t watch it!

Simple as that.

#

Visit me @ http://1mansview.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Then again Skunx I guess our passage downwards for the afterlife is already booked and paid for!]

comment added :: 9th January 2005, 19:16 GMT+01
The Skunx made this comment,
I just realised that I wrote this in the past tense, of course I meant to say that I DID watch it on Saturday night.
#

Visit me @ http://1mansview.blog-city.com

comment added :: 9th January 2005, 19:20 GMT+01
Parrot made this comment,
It would be nice to be able to talk about any issue and be perfectly understood. That way if you don’t mean any offense, none would be taken.
But if that were the case I think Jerry Springer would be out of business.

What I find funny is that the people protesting don’t realize that they’re actually generating media coverage for the show and convincing people who wouldn’t have cared otherwise to go and see it.

Hmmmm… maybe this whole thing was orchestrated by Jerry Springer in the first place! 😉

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

[Redbaron responds – There is sometimes a certain curiousness about people’s semantic differences and I think whilst we are all brought up with different surroundings and experiences there will always be things that affect our lives individually and shape the way we talk and the vocab we use to do so. What is important is to try to understand other people’s ways of communicating as equally valid. It is not just foreign tongues where there is a chasm between us, after all as George Bernard Shaw said “England and America are 2 countries separated by a common language”]

comment added :: 11th January 2005, 00:58 GMT+01
Cancergiggles made this comment,
Guess what – I didn’t watch it because I didn’t think I would enjoy it. That was bloody easy wasn’t it?
Please forward to all botherers of God.
Best
Cass
[Redbaron responds – Oh Cass you’re far too logical for the Talbots of Jesus but I will pass the message on nonetheless! I didn’t think I’d enjoy it but because of all the hoo-ha I decided I ought to dip in to check and I found it surprisingly entertaining and quite satirical, hence the complainants rather shot themselves in the foot illustrating Parrot’s point perfectly (now doesn’t that sound Mary Poppinsesque?!)]

comment added :: 11th January 2005, 11:57 GMT+01

Personally the start was really shabby, we were still suffering from the aftermath of the burglary in Dec 2003, my ex didn’t want to be left alone in the house and I was still working at my old job who were being less than understanding and kept trying to get me to drive to Birmingham for the day. I really didn’t care by that stage I told them to shove it. 10 days later I got the call that was to change things regarding my new job.

It is amazing how changing something fundamental like your job has such knock on effects all over the rest of your life. I got lucky with my job I knew that, it’s not that I didn’t work hard to get there because I did but it’s a myth that if you work hard everything lands in your lap. This time I got a break. I am thankful for it. I also know that I wouldn’t have been in the position to take it had I not got out in 2002. It took me some time to rebuild myself and it is just as well that the job opportunity didn’t come up until the end of last year because I it was only in the summer that I had started to get some confidence and started to dictate things in interviews. I learnt a lot over last year in the job sense I learnt to stop tolerating mediocrity and that strategy bore fruit this year.

I gave up smoking once and for all in May and have been clean ever since.

Midway thru’ the year it became clear that I was going to have to do something to stop the financial slide and the main option was that of moving closer to work. This is a quandry was has been festering since then.

The end of the year was a fair bit like the start with the ex’s car being stolen. [2005 has continued in irritating genre with the TV busting and the socket blowing up whilst the dyson hoover was plugged into it.]

I have been blogging for 51 weeks and in total have amassed really quite a lot of words. I really want to count them some day. I know of 33 entries I had 20,000 words so I’m estimating it’s over 100k, that’s a fecking book that is! I have had contact with many people all over the world. Some have come and gone and others fortunately have stayed and become regular fixtures. I will always look back on this year as being the year that blogging revitalised my writing as well as giving me a crutch in a time when the real world was less than fulfilling.

In world affairs which have taken the bulk of my attention here I feel that the West if not a great part of the rest of the world is splitting into distinctive factions. Who would have thought that the imbecile Bush would have turned prophet when he said that you were either with them or against them. What he of course failed to realise was that there was a significant group of us who were perfectly happy saying we were against them. This did not make us ‘with’ the terrorists because there were no terrorists. This year we have the chance to illustrate this with Britain being the holder of G8 and EU presidencies. I am not only talking about the group of us on the far left in this tho’ the whole Make Poverty History campaign is really starting to galvanise many of the liberals, in my view it will take a long time but they must eventually make the connection that it is precisely our system that makes the inequality. You can chose to address the problems if you wish and be reactive or take the bull by the horns and be proactive. Then again this isn’t rocket science and they’ve failed to grasp it for many years previously.

I am also struck by the irony of the West waging war in the Middle East and the ensuing death and destruction and then Mother Nature showing just how insignificant humans really are and how arbitrary disaster and destruction really can be. You might think that the resulting thoughts of logical beings would be to sit and reflect on this a while, and so it would but whilst our gift is sentience our curse by the same token is often a lack of logical reasoning.

Politics is such a huge part of my life in terms of what makes me who I am and the last few years have been difficult for me to see what appears to have been a combination of apathy and disolutionment with politics. I hope and to a certain extent I have reason to believe that this may be changing. People are being forced to be politicised as the system here in the West polarises them more and more and squeezes so many out of enfranchisement.

2005 strikes me as being a year of more work, but I am confident that like this year there will be a degree of payback for it. I hope all of those reading have a fulfilling year.

Song Of The Day – Iron Maiden – Phantom Of The Opera

Original Comments:


Pimme made this comment,
Out of all the blogs that I read, yours are the longest! There should be some sort of award for that.
Bush and his followers are so stupid that it actually bores me to talk about them anymore, so I’m going to go light on the political posts until otherwise noted.

I started a fund drive in my church for the victims of the tsunami. I’m glad that I get to choose where the money goes.

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

[Redbaron Responds – And bearing in mind the number of blogs you get thru’ I am pretty chuffed to get the rambling git award!]

comment added :: 5th January 2005, 03:34 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Please don’t remind me that 100K words is a book. It only makes me feel that much more ridiculous that mine languishes…welcome back, Baron. I miss your e-mails.
Kristie

[Redbaron Responds – That wouldn’t possibly be a thinly-veiled hint would it perchance?!]

comment added :: 5th January 2005, 05:05 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
bush’s re-election and tsunami disaster made this pretty eventful year seem kind of crap, but personally, it’s been good and i’m so glad i randomly came across you on neil’s blog and found my long lost irish twin!!
many good things have happened this past year, and i’m sure 2005 is going to be absolutely fantastic for the paki/irish twins:)!!

sarah [sarah.a@gmail.com]

[Redbaron responds – Yes, it will be interesting to see after a few years what we actually look back on, I think the Tsunami is a given. I am naturally delighted to have been reunited with my twin and since I trust her implicitly I have no reason to doubt that her optimism is well-founded!]

comment added :: 5th January 2005, 12:43 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
may 2005 be a better year 🙂
Pip [pip@errantmind.co.uk]

[Redbaron responds – For you too Hon, glad you’re still about, thought we’d lost you back there.]

comment added :: 6th January 2005, 14:39 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
The “ramblin’s” a bit much, mate. No worries. At lesat you don’t bore.
Was glad to hear you quit smoking, still am. 🙂

Hope you have a great new year, my friend. You deserve it.

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

comment added :: 6th January 2005, 20:03 GMT+01