Jun 28, 2008

YES! Hillary/Obama fanfiction!

Fuck you, I'm sick and this appeals to my sense of humour:

“Hillary,” she heard from behind her. It was Obama.

She stiffened with jealousy. Lucky him, able to wear a suit. Oh, how she envied him, for his popularity and the fact that he was a man.

“Yes, Mr. Obama?” She answered, stifling her anger.

“Hillary, you can call me Barack.”

She turned around and forced one of her fake smiles. “And why would I want to do that?”

He sighed and tossed his head. “Why are you always like this, Hillary? I was going to congratulate you on the debate, but you . . . you always pull this sarcastic attitude on me.”

She gave up on the fakeness, then. “I don’t know. Why are you always so sweet? When you’re out there, heck, when you’re in here, you always make it seem like we’re friends or something.”

“Aren’t we?”

“No, Barack, and I don’t see why you can’t understand that,” she said. She didn’t feel like this right now. She felt like kicking off her shoes and passing out. It was ridiculous.

He was silent. He stared at her. “If I get nominated, do you want to be my vice president?”

It was a nice thing for him to say, but she sighed instead of thanking him. “What, did you and Bill Richardson get in a fight or something?”


“Wasn’t he going to be your vice?”

“No. Why would I want that goofy New Mexican?” He smiled.

She smiled, too. The thing about Barack was that he was hard to hate for a long time. “I suppose so, if you’d really like that.”

“I would,” he said. “There’s something else I’ve been meaning to tell you, also, Hillary.”

“What’s that?” she headed for her dressing room, and gestured for him to follow.

He followed. “Well, um, I know that we don’t always get along, but, um . . . ” he stuttered ungracefully.

She narrowed her eyes. She knew that Barack could be a sneaky, sneaky guy, and it was hard to tell if he was acting. Why on earth would such a wonderful speaker like him feel the need to hesitate? “Yes?” she pried, opening the door to her dressing room.

“I...never mind.”

“No, I want to know now.”

He sat down on the couch in her dressing room. “I feel like it would hinder what little relationship we have.”

She sat in the chair across from him and started taking off her makeup. “I doubt something you would say would make that happen.”

He sighed. But then, instead of speaking, he stood, and in a swift movement, he was standing behind her. “Hillary, I don’t know how to tell you . . . ” his hands moved to her shoulders.

She stiffened at his touch. His hands were so strong yet gentle, just like his words. Could it be . . . ? “Tell me what, Barack?” she nearly whispered.

“We’ve . . . even though we’re opponents, I feel like I’ve never been closer to anyone in my life,” he said.

“Nor have I,” she agreed.

His hands gently squeezed her shoulders. It was enough to drive her mad.

She quickly turned around and stood up, knocking his hands away. “If you feel how I feel, Barack, just tell me, tell me!”

“I think I do,” he said. In moments, his hands were back, holding her arms like he’d never let go. “I’ve fallen for you quicker than the youth of America have fallen for my campaign.”

“Oh, Barack! Why?”

“I can’t say. Perhaps I have a thing for arrogant, white women.”

“Perhaps you do. Perhaps I have a thing for overly popular, half-black men.”

He grabbed her and kissed her like she’d never been kissed before.

ATTN retards from MysticWicks

Your temporal lord and master was too busy trying to get a fix to keep his shitty personal fiefdo-uh, forum, running perfectly. You wont find the answers to why it was down via Google either, and especially not via this place (which emphatically had nothing to do with the hilarity of MW going down for several days). How about you go pick up some books on how the internet works, and maybe some programming, and go away now?

Edit: I forgot to add...behold your beloved webmaster, in all his glory (when he's not flashing kids, off his face on drugs/alcohol or shaving his nephew's genetalia).

Edit 2: I am now currently being linked to in what appears to be a secret forum on MysticWicks. How amusing. I do like being the centre of attention. Secondly, if anyone really wants to know why I don't like MW and take pleasure in its problems, you can sign up here and read all about it. I'll even be kind enough to direct you to several threads on your arrival.

Jun 27, 2008

David Icke is running as an MP

True story.

Icke's own webpage says:

I want to make it clear one more time because a few people have still got the wrong impression. I have not put my name forward in the upcoming by-election because I want to win and nor do I have any chance of winning. I will get a few votes at most in the time we have. Personally I am not in the least bothered if I get zero.

It is not about that. It is about taking an opportunity in a by-election called by the sitting MP on the subject of 'Big Brother' to make the point that this is far, far bigger than even he realises and unless we see the BIG picture of what is going on nothing effective can be done to stop it.

We can sit on our bums and moan, or we can do what we don't want to do (as with me in this case) to communicate what people need to know as effectively as we can.

best wishes,


I for one welcome our reptilian overlords.

Jun 22, 2008

LOLcats can be used for anything.

Even informing my few readers that I did fairly well in my exams, as it turns out.

Jun 15, 2008

Behold the true face of the modern Labour Party

Thanks to Luke Akehurst:

Maybe instead of Labour fielding a candidate in Haltemprice & Howden we should find a Martin Bell type candidate - preferably a recently retired senior police officer, or a survivor or relative of a victim of a terrorist attack, to run under the following 5 word candidate description: "Independent - for detaining terrorism suspects".

I'm fed up with us playing softball with the Tories while they posture and pontificate on this issue. If they want to play liberal they should pay the full political price for it and be eviscerated at the polls for being soft on national security. We should have their stance on this issue on every single poster and leaflet at the next General Election and then see how Davis and his mates feel about a referendum on this issue.

Yup, thats right. The party of Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Eric Blair is now aping the Republicans in their desire to show off to the electorate how tough and stern they can be on issues of "national security". Why he just doesn't go around beating his chest and laughing at sissy "liberals" is beyond me - it would be practically the same thing.

I often considered past critiques of the British Labour Party as having a NeoCon disposition as somewhat laughable. Even John Gray limited that description to Tony Blair in his Black Mass book. But since Brown has come to power, with this almost bizzare emphasis on Britishness, British Jobs for British People and pushing ever more stringent national security agendas, I'm starting to think it could be closer to the truth, in the security and foreign policy realms.

This repellent suggestion also reeks of the political manipulation of the 9/11 victims, much of which went towards justifying laws that just as equally as 42 days would have not stopped the event from happening, as well as a weapon to attack dissenters with. I'm glad Brown's government is on the way out if this is the sort of thing that can seriously be floated among the Labour party. I'd rather take a risk on the Tories being frothing nutcases than deal with the ones we currently have.

That said, this issue does seem to have revived some form of support for Labour. The voters seem to be broadly behind it, and while of course it is always a bad idea to guage support based on comment sections in tabloid newspapers (too easy for party political types to astroturf) the fact that a stream of vitriol can be directed at someone of the background of David Davis by Sun readers seems nothing short of extraordinary. I mean, he's anti-EU, anti-gay rights, pro-death penalty, an ex SAS soldier and often makes proclaiments about "moral degeneration." In other words, he's the sort of person the average Sun reader would normally cheer on.

There is no chance that I can see of Davis losing his seat, especially not to a wanker like Kelvin MacKenzie - no matter how much money Murdoch gives him, and how closely the press stick to the government line ("ooh, isn't Davis such an attention seeker? What an egotistical little twat..."). But I still worry about the wider implications of this 'refendum' - with good reason as it seems.

Off for a week

I'm off for 5 days of debauchery in the capital with my girlfriend from tomorrow, so don't expect much to be happening here.

Jun 13, 2008

Police applicant rejected for being too smart

I don't even have to try to make fun of this...more's the shame.

Via the NYT:

A Federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a man who was barred from the New London police force because he scored too high on an intelligence test.

In a ruling made public on Tuesday, Judge Peter C. Dorsey of the United States District Court in New Haven agreed that the plaintiff, Robert Jordan, was denied an opportunity to interview for a police job because of his high test scores. But he said that that did not mean Mr. Jordan was a victim of discrimination.

Judge Dorsey ruled that Mr. Jordan was not denied equal protection because the city of New London applied the same standard to everyone: anyone who scored too high was rejected.

Mr. Jordan, 48, who has a bachelor's degree in literature and is an officer with the State Department of Corrections, said he was considering an appeal. ''I was eliminated on the basis of my intellectual makeup,'' he said. ''It's the same as discrimination on the basis of gender or religion or race.''

Jun 12, 2008

Hey, remember The Family?

As I'm sure you recall, a while back I decided to do a post on Hilary Clinton's religious links with The Family, a rather scary and theocratic organization with what looks like a lot of clout in Washington DC.

Well today, Alternet has a very interesting post on their seeming fascination with Hitler:

Lindsay Beyerstein: In "The Family," a lot of subjects explicitly state their admiration for Hitler and other authoritarian political figures. How much of that is admiring their style, and how much is admiring their substance?

Jeff Sharlet: I'd argue that there isn't a hell of a lot of difference. I spent a lot of time living with these guys, and I remember at one point asking them, "What's the deal with all this Hitler talk?" And they'd say, "Oh, it's not the ends, it's the means." But to most of us, the means seem pretty bad, too. The means are authoritarianism.

Shartlet does go onto argue that they are not Fascist in a traditional sense, that they lack the belief in the redemptive power of violence, but that they do hover around the 80% mark going by Paxton or Umberto Eco's checklists:

Lindsay Beyerstein: So, they don't literally believe in physical conflict when they describe themselves as warriors for Christ?

Jeff Sharlet: Oh, no. (They think) that's fine, but they don't love violence the way that fascism did. Their leader, Doug Coe, says that the Bible is filled with mass murderers. And it is. The difference is that European fascism was based on this idea that you can only become truly human through violence. The Family will say, oh no, we're pursuing peace. Hitler wasn't pursuing peace. The goal was this constant redemptive violence.

The other thing is they differ in the strictness of their nationalism. The Family is an American ideology, and it has a lot of American ideology involved, but still it was founded by a Norwegian immigrant. It's more pluralist than European fascism that was about cleansing the blood. The Family is an imperial ideology, which is why I think it's ultimately worse than fascism. Since the Second World War, fascism hasn't been a very powerful ideology, but imperialism has.

Which is an interesting way of slicing it. I can't say I totally disagree...its likely such a group could attract proto-fascist elements, as David Neiwert describes them, but it lacks a certain racial component and explicitly thuggish bent/exultation of violence which seems to be a core attribute of fascism. Note he did say "(they think) thats fine" which suggests they could help cultivate such an atmosphere, but its not an end in and of itself. Plus there are a number of problems with the idea of an authoritarian Christian empire based around the world's most powerful nation, without getting into the possibility of fascist connotations.

Anyway, the interview goes on for 5 pages and is well worth reading. The book looks fascinating too, and if I wasn't so poor, I'd immediately consider ordering it from Amazon. Another day, perhaps...

Well I for one...

Am very glad the government wont be pandering to religious extremists with this new 42 day detention scheme. Furthermore, as I am sure you are aware, I am always glad to see Labour stamp its authority over the potential party rebels on this issue.

Oooh, snark. Its a new direction I'm thinking of taking. It has more satirical potential than justified outrage, for starters, and often makes the point just as well.

Anyway, I'm off to troll retards, authoritarians and Dail Mail readers on Have Your Say, home of such insightful views into the 42 Day Detention legislation such as:

The 42 day period is too short and should be indefinite

Because apparently we can't protect our freedoms without giving them up, which makes perfect sense.

Fortunately, most of the most recommended comments are ones bemoaning this authoritarian free-fall we seem to be in, though I did notice at least one comment generated by the spEak You're bRanes Twat-o-tron got 172 recommendations:

it's sad but true. in my opinion criminals ar islamifying britain because of thir so-called 'humanr ight'. soon we will vote bnp. lets do what the french do and all strike!!!

English_forever, England

Sadly, I think most of those votes are non-ironic, given the next comment says:

The destructive animals who perpetrate this heanous crime, should be allowed no privilages, no sympathy from mis-guided statesmen, and no mercy.

Any foreign creature involved in the plotted deaths of Westerners ought to be put out of their own misery, humanely, and not fawned over by stupid and naive politicians.

I'm sure you also noted the dehumanizing terms here. Of course, he also seems to have missed the point of a trial is to ascertain guilt, and is not some sort of bizzare favour to terrorists, and when someone is charged with such a serious crime, they are normally held until the trial ascertains this.

If they didn't let them into the country in the first place, then they wouldn't have to lock them up. A shame the Government won't deal with border control as a priority issue!

Yeah, because as you know, no Islamic terrorists are born in this country, because all the darkies are from Foreign Parts. And white people don't become Islamofascists.

That was sarcasm, for any passing HYS commentators. I know you may be unfamiliar with the term.

However, by and large it seems that the comments are very critical of the government, which is somewhat heartening. I even saw the quote by Hume "better a murderer go free than a honest man be hanged" be mentioned.

Still, once again the fate of UK politics is now in the hands of an unelected chamber of foppish aristocrats, religious nutters and political loan sharks. Oh joy.

Jun 11, 2008

Loving this video

Song's not bad either.

Chasing Bush II: Operation Manticore

George W. Bush is coming to the UK... and we'll be waiting for him.

Clinton supporters update

You know how there was those Japanese soldiers who retreated into the rainforest in 1944-5, hiding for years, eating raw birds and hunting American troops, thinking WWII was still going on? Or those people who claim Hitler really won WWII, because he ran away to a giant Antarctic base, is now the Chosen One of the Dero who live inside the hollow earth and will soon emerge at the head of a Flying Saucer Army to establish a worldwide 4th Reich?

This is the current state of Hillary's online supporters, basically.

For example, let us consider the hilarious No Quarter USA blog. Here is a perfect example of the sort of thing outspoken and well known Hillary supporters (this man has advised Clinton on national security and defence policy) have been saying:

The recording that shows Michelle Obama saying disparaging things about white folks is for real. It is not part of some elaborate dirty trick. The people who have seen her comments describe it as “stunning” or “devastating.” I have not spoken directly with the people who have seen the tape, but I have spoken to two of my friends who are friends with those who watched the tape/dvd.


Why does this “tape” of Michelle Obama matter? The folks who have it are working to elect John McCain. They are using it now to raise money for a 527 effort that will attack Barack Obama. I am told that they fully intend to keep this “off-the-market” until after the Democratic Convention. The Republicans involved with this believe that Barack Obama is a more beatable candidate than Hillary Clinton and see the tape as reinforcing an image of racial division that will hurt Obama.

I support Hillary Clinton for President. I believe she will be a stronger candidate. And if I had the tape I would put it out in a heartbeat. Getting the tape out now does one of two things–either it persuades Super Delegates that Barack is not electable or it gives the Obama campaign time to repair the damage.

I now appreciate somewhat how Cofer Black, the head of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, must have felt as he tried to warn Condaleeza Rice and the Bush White House about a brewing terrorist attack in the days leading up to September 11th. And please, I am not equating the Michelle tape with the attacks of 9-11. Rather I am focused on the point of what happens when someone has incomplete information, which warns about a future event, and tries to raise the alert. Just because Cofer Black could not say in late July 2001 that the coming attack would be carried out by 19 hijackers on four commercial airliners did not mean his intelligence was wrong.

Those who want to vilify me for having the audacity to raise this warning can have at it. I ran up against similar attacks and skeptics in May of 2003 when I warned that the Bush Administration had cooked the intelligence on Iraq. It is only now that we get a Senate Intelligence Committee Report and a book from Scott McClellan confirming what I said five years ago.


The comments are even more amazing. Obama and his wife are apparently white-hating Bushies in waiting who use thug tactics, like having supporters make fun of the No Quarter people in lieu of serious debate. And he's an elitist, too!

Of course, I realize I'm going to look REALLY stupid if there is a video, but I somehow doubt it really exists. This conspiracy theory is the last thing the Clintonista have to hold onto, a perfect representation of their fantasy that Clinton is more electable. Clinton stepping down has just made her most ardent supporters go totally off the wire, engaging in the most destructive of dirty politics.

And the most amazing thing, the one that really surprises me, is that if you were to compare the treatment of Obama's wife to any other significant other of a politician in recent history, it would be....Hillary Clinton, who was constantly harassed and the target of near-libellous conspiracy theories and stories by the right and significant sectors of the media throughout the 90s. Amazing.

Thanks to Sadly, No! for the link.

Jun 9, 2008

Jun 8, 2008

9/11 conspiracy theorists in retreat (avec assorted musings)

An interesting article from The Skeptic about how the ranks of 9/11 Truthers are thinning out:

Today, the 9/11 conspiracy movement is a shell of what it once was. The website masquerading as an academic journal, Journal of 9/11 Studies, has dropped from a high of six or seven articles published per issue to one....The introduction to the main hub of 9/11 denier activity, 911truth.org, welcomes its visitors with a plea that announces, “we’ve cut to the bare bones, but are still far short of our basic budget needs.” Prominent “truthers” like Mark Dice, Dylan Avery, Jimmy Walter... and Kevin Ryan have dropped into obscurity.

I can't say I'm terribly upset by all this. The 9/11 Truthers were probably the most useless and pointless fringe group in the modern world, whose only real purpose seemed to be deflecting the very real criticisms of Bush's leadership and foreign policy, by retreating into a fantasy world of unprovable and outlandish accusations.

The areas of real interest - how badly was the intelligence managed by the executive and various security organizations before 9/11, has faded into obscurity as people have debated ludicrous theories involving missiles, gold, Reichstag Fire scenarios, entirely fictitious terrorist organizations and insurance scams.

I also found the organic growth of a sceptical counter-movement to oppose the Truther's very interesting:

Staking their fortunes almost solely on Internet-based content may have been the 9/11 deniers’ biggest mistake. What seems like a perfect place for pseudoscience — the Internet is un-edited, without fact-checkers or minimum publishing standards of any kind — also became a perfect place for a rapid-response system of blogs and forums to fight back. Drawing on the freely available technical information from the NIST, FEMA, and academic journals which most colleges let their students access for free, skeptical sites like ScrewLooseChange.blogspot.com and debunking911.com are able to defuse 9/11 denier claims as they arise.

Web 2.0 may be useful after all! Now we need to get this going on the media a little more...maybe even the government as well. Government 2.0 perhaps. Its not very catchy, but instant feedback could be interesting.

This also may help explain the failure of US Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, whose internet support was huge, and yet offline was not worth mentioning. Barack Obama, by contrast, has a powerful grass-roots campaign online, but has anchored himself fairly strongly offline too. In Ron Paul's case, the online communities filtered through his policies and discovered many of the key flaws in them....by contrast, the Obama-supporting web in many cases has been used to debunk several myths and nasty rumours about him. Ron Paul's online support didn't translate into offline success and collapsed....Obama by contrast carried his offline success online and it helped him. A parable here, maybe.

Anyway, back on topic. Recently, I read an interesting little document that goes by the name of "The Creators of Loose Change Speak" by Mark Roberts. Its an interesting 98 page long document which shows the general contempt the people behind Loose Change seem to have for...well, everyone really. It pretty much convinced me that one reason behind the attempted spread of 9/11 conspiracy theories, especially this case, was the financial incentive. Because I am a kind and forgiving blogger (and more importantly, I forgot where it was hosted) I have uploaded this PDF document to Rapidshare, should anyone want to read it. Just follow the link.

Anyway, I think that's all I have to say on the topic for now. Cheers to Blairwatch for the link.

Jun 5, 2008

Hillary Clinton to form "Surly Eris" party

Via the Huffington Post:

NEW YORK...Hillary and Bill Clinton announced today that they are forming a new political party to continue her fight for the presidency. Seeking to draw comparisons with Theodore Roosevelt's 'Bull Moose', the new party will be called 'Surly Eris' for the Greek Goddess of discord and strife. According to the press release, the party will "cater to the perceived slights and accumulated frustrations harbored by women of a certain age and Lanny Davis."

Speculation that Clinton would be placed on the Democratic ticket ended earlier in the day when representatives for Barack Obama refused her demand that he do all his campaigning in an open top limousine. Said a visibly indignant Harold Ickes, "Would we have liked Obama to be capable of enjoying pleasant weather? You bet your ass."

Meanwhile, longtime Clinton friend and bagman Terry McAuliffe stressed that the new party would be open to "anyone with resentments and a credit card" including "honest, hard working Americans who just happen not to like blacks."

When pressed by reporters on how Senator Clinton had managed to squander every institutional advantage in her descent from inevitability to runner-up, spokesman Howard Wolfson decried "this endless media fascination with the factual" adding "this isn't about who won what how, this is about something far more important, the future of the Clintons".

Black Swan 101

I unashamedly stole these from Nassim Nicholas Taleb's wonderful book Black Swan, as a sort of condensed version of his ideas. Have a read through, and you'll probably see why I like him.

What you don't know is far more relevant than what you do.

Being unexpected is what gives the Black Swan its impact.

'Experts' are no better at making predictions than anyone else – only at using technical jargon to maintain a plausible narrative.

Planning does not work, however allowing people to tinker and experiment and get rewarded for fortunate accidents does.

We learn specifically from a Black Swan event. They do not help us generate metarules.

Recursive events (events that cause other events, feedback loops) are key to creating Black Swans and maintaining complexity.

There are few rewards or recognition for acts of prevention.

Platonicity: what happens when we mistake the map for the territory, the abstract for the real, the neat concepts for the messy reality. Potentially useful, but limited and have random and unforeseen side effects when they do fail (Anerstic Delusion).

Sterile scepticism: talk is cheap, talk about language problems, philosophy and pseudo-scepticism that plays around with word definitions to eliminate the problems of randomness are even cheaper.

Stories replace stories. You need a better narrative to replace a bad or ineffective one.

The triplet of opacity: everyone thinks they know more than they do, they assess history retroactively (hindsight is 20/20) and the over evaluation of factual information and “authoritative” persons.

History jumps, it does not crawl or steadily progress.

People will cluster around the same framework of analyses, no matter how non-factual or temporary these frameworks are. This is a result of pathological categorization – wanting to put people in boxes to explain their behaviour.

Events fall into one of two domains: Extremistan or Mediocristan. Events in Mediocristan are scalable and basically predictable. Randomness is mild, it usually falls within the ranges of a Bell Curve. In Extremistan, events are non-scalable and much more extreme. Usually, Mediocristan events are those related to biology (for example, height) whereas those related to Extremistan are socially based (income, or book sales).

Inductive logic is for suckers: working from particulars to general rules is a recipe for disaster. Past indicators are not a guarantee of future performance.

The Black Swan is a problem relative to expectation and lack of knowledge. Those most certain of the future are the most likely to get tripped up and fall flat on their face.

Most people, given the choice, will choose to believe they live in Mediocristan, even when the evidence shows they do not.

Knowledge is domain specific: we have problems translating abstract classroom knowledge into real world applications. Equally, we can easily navigate a social situation which, when presented as a logical problem, totally confounds us.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. No evidence of disease is not the same as there being no disease, and just because we do not know the function of something does not mean it has no function.

Corroborative facts cannot tell us what is true, only what is false. Negative empiricism is superior to naïve empiricism, where one can 'prove' anything with facts. A negative hypothesis is needed, falsification is needed.

Confirmation bias – we only look for evidence that supports our beliefs.

The narrative fallacy – we like to invent causes for events, even where none exist. We put explanations and an element of causality into a sequence of facts. Post hoc rationalization of events without meaning are common.

Narratives allow us to ignore the unusual.

Dopamine will lower your critical thinking abilities: you'll become susceptible to all sorts of fads, such as New Age mysticism, tarot cards or economic forecasts from a lack of it.

Information is costly to obtain – the more random the information the harder it is to store. Hence stories allow us to store more information, but with the downside of a loss of appreciation of the true randomness present.

Both art and science are symptomatic of our need to reduce complexity and inflict basic order on human existence.

People can and will hold incompatible and disparate beliefs based on the same factual evidence.

In the absence of other information, we will rely on stereotypes or even complete nonsense to explain events.

There are two types of Black Swan, the narrated and the truly unexpected. The narrated Black Swan is an overrated and hyped rare event, the true Black Swan is not talked about.

We are biologically constructed to seek small, yet repeatable and sustainable rewards.

The Black Swan is an asymmetry of consequences – either positive or negative.

You can either be a sucker, and run blindly into the danger you didn't know was there – or you can slowly bleed in the face of dangers you knew existed while hoping that it will lead to a pay-off that is worth it.

Silent evidence: often we are mislead by the sample in any experiment, because we do not take into account those who failed to be counted (the dead supplicants fallacy).

The survivor bias: we work from the fact someone survived to find the secret of their success, but in reality the fact that they survived is the secret of their success. People do not write about or promote knowledge of their failures.

The Ludic fallacy: life is not like a game. The sources of uncertainty are not well defined, the “rules of the game” are not totally apparent. If you treat life like a game, where you know all the rules, the unknown and unexpected will hit you like a truck.

Jun 4, 2008

Mormon anger at the Discordian Society!

Remember this?

The Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal, as Ordained Representatives of the Erisian Movement has announced plans for the immediate canonization of Gordon B. Hinckley and the inclusion of him in the pantheon of Discordian Saints as St. Magusundies

St. Magusundies, in life, met all the criteria necessary to prove that he was a special emissary from the heart of the Void and a Child of Eris. We need only point to his temple building, his proselytizing and the fact that before he became President of the LDS, he had dedicated 23 temples to verify his sacred position as a key element, tasked with maintaining the Wobble of the Sacred Chao and its Hodge-Podge balancing act.

Turns out some Mormons are pretty upset over this...

Well, not many really, but at least we got this for the future anti-Discordian propaganda campaign:

So, by canonizing President Hinkley, are they saying he added to discord and chaos? What an insult when he was all about bringing people together and creating harmony where ever he went. Or am I the only one that perceives this?

Hearts and Minds

Welcome to the modern day war zone. Right now, as I speak, a thousand battles are being waged for your submission and allegiance. Commanders and politicians have decided that the enemy is us and that we are to be bought to heel, as soon as possible.

No doubt some of you think I'm using hyperbole, or metaphor to illustrate an example of our socially fractured society and the commodification of identity. And while those certainly are problems, anyone thinking about those in relation to my rant today are wrong. Right now, you and I are quite literally at war with at least one government, namely that of the USA.

Oh to be sure there won't be running battles with light infantry. No air-strikes are going to be called in on your house, and I'm reasonably certain you wont get carted away to Guantanomo Bay, or any other black site that exists. But just because guns aren't being loaded and blood isn't been spilt doesn't mean this isn't a conflict.

You see, war isn't about the clash of armies on the battlefield anymore. Hell, its barely even about killing, except as an advertising hook or a final solution for people who refuse to stop being a pain in the ass. No, warfare has moved through the gentlemanly period of pitched battles and low casualties, blown apart by Napoleon and perfected in the slaughterhouse of WWI. Its not even the dirty political warfare that characterized the Cold War, marked by futile superpower conflict and strategies designed to bleed a superpower by third world proxies, and on the other end of the scale by terrorism.

No, warfare today is about fighting on the psychological and narrative level. Its about capturing the mind, and shackling it to the agenda of the day, regardless of what that agenda may be.

The thing is, you see, as warfare has become less and less about artful strategy and less bound by codes of conduct – be they religious, cultural or legal – the real issue has not been arms, logistics, intelligence and skill, but about the sheer will to fight. Whoever goes on fighting the longest, whoever is willing to do what it takes to persuade the other side to accept their interests, whoever is able to effectively frame the agenda in a certain manner, is the winner in the modern world. You can even suffer strategic setbacks if your message and will is powerful enough.

And of course, if you accept this as essentially true, broadly speaking, then logically you come to the problem being people who wont get the fuck on with the message. The enemy ceases to be those who threaten certain strategic alliances, deposits of raw materials and the lives of the citizenry. No, the enemy becomes anyone who undermines that message and so weakens that will to resolve the conflict – and that person can be anyone, even your own citizenry.

Back in the day, they used to call this PsyOps. It used to only be a wartime enterprise. Dropping leaflets over enemy cities and troop formations. Doing pirate broadcasts using exiles and friendlies from the nation you are at war with to convince them of widespread resentment towards the government. Smear and ridicule important political and military leaders in any way possible.

Like I said, it used to be only a wartime enterprise. But now, thanks to the Cold War terrorism, carried to its conclusion by the likes of Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, the difference between peace and war only exists in a legal sense. The potentially endless war on terror means actually endless psychological operations – carried out against not just the enemy, but the civilian population at home as well. The media has to hang the enemy with words and discourses and justifications before the military can do it in fact.

Nowadays, PsyOps is only one part of a much broader school, known as Information Operations. Do you operate a blog, report on the failing and lies and crimes of your country? Then you are are, according to this world-view, engaging in warfare against the state. But its not just about information per se. You have to think about this much more broadly. For example, protests. A protest is not just a protest. It never can be. Its an expression of low intensity conflict relying on moral discourses and popular expression of dissidence, aimed at bringing about a political-military confrontation.

And just where do you think something like Operation MindFuck fits into this system of ideas? Since many of us tend to think of O:MF as a way of mentally shaking people up, getting them to question their assumptions, physically deconstructing the popular discourses of the day, stripping away the bare truth hidden beneath self-serving platitudes...well, in that case, it is nothing more than a direct challenge to state power.

That may dishearten some of you. But the simple truth is, thinking for yourself, and then communicating those thoughts to others, will always be seen that way, so long as this world-view dominates. You may as well get used to it, because unless you decide to never share your views, or have a frontal lobotomy, you will almost certainly do something that could be considered an act of war. And if you get really good at it, you may even end up in a real domestic war – as the crazy elements of the thuggish far right, security services and corporate sponsored smear teams conspire to make your life hell through intimidation, surveillance and character assassination.

And to be honest, once you realize that you are in the war, a certain clarity accompanies that knowledge. You can now diagnose this uneasy feeling all of the above has been creating. You know what it is now, the nature of the Beast is discerned and laid bare. Once you know what the problem is, you can set about dealing with it. Few things are insurmountable, once you understand their purpose and context.

Unfortunately, you have little choice about this. The line has already been drawn in the sand, and you're on the wrong side. What happens next is a matter of policy, insanity, personal whim and plain old bad luck. Because you're not quite the perpetual pain in the ass that, say, Al-Qaeda is, you won't be facing the guns. You can be drowned out by voices of far-right harpies, military “experts” who 'just happen' to be taking pay cheques from the Pentagon and spineless journalists more content with attacking those who search for the truth than politicians who hide it.

There is a spectrum of responses, if you will. If you do this, the response will be that. And if you do something else, the response will differ in proportion. But like all Platonic constructs of reality, there are gaps in the conceptual definitions put forward. And it is in such gaps that the game must be played most effectively. Operation MindFuck works best in areas where they are no response. So go beyond blogging, or political protest, or pranks, or sabotage and mild acts of ontological guerilla warfare. Mix and match, be innovative, experiment and push the boundaries. And remember, even though this is a war, unconventional forces always have the advantage over hierarchies.

Its Obama versus McCain

Well, this should make things interesting. More interesting than the shooting-yourself-in-the-foot strategy that was being deployed by the Democrats, anyway. Perhaps, if I can be bothered, I will trawl the interwebs to find the funniest lamentations coming from the Clinton camp. Maybe.

At least I can now report on McCain and Obama tearing into each other. Praise Eris, this race was getting dull.

Edit: as promised, we have the hilarious Hillary is 44 asking "when will Obama concede?" Obviously not too up on this 'counting' thing...and over at No Quarter, apparently Obama is limping and wounded, and his thugs will do anything to make sure he wins.

Obviously just some slightly sore losers there, then...

Jun 3, 2008

Having moved back home...

Now my degree is more or less over and done with (roll on Graduation Day) my blogging has slowed considerably. Not least since my connection is much slower, but also because I am doing much more reading and catching up on other projects for the moment.

Still, nonetheless, I am around and still noting the events of the world. For example, hearing yesterday morning that Gordon Brown intends to go ahead with the 42 Day Detention scheme, claiming he has come to an agreement with certain Labour dissenters by putting more legislative safeguards into the proposal.

I think he is bluffing however. There is deep scepticism to this plan across the political spectrum, and absolutely no proven pressing need at all. I'm sure some Labour MPs have been assured by this, but I very much doubt many of the rebels have. Which makes the situation rather more uncertain. I suspect Brown is pushing ahead because he knows if he loses....well, it can hardly get much worse than it already is for him, and in the unlikely event his proposals do win over enough votes to pass the legislation, he can try and use this to put the government back on the intitative and claim to be "tough on terrorism" (but of course not tough on the causes of terrorism).

Apart from that, I haven't much to say. Oh, except for when driving though Bradford upon Avon last week, I stopped to put up several signs saying "NOT the birthplace of William Shakespeare" and "please stop asking us about Shakespeare, that's Stratford upon Avon." Needless to say, I have never heard of anyone ever confusing the two, not least because they are on totally different rivers in seperate parts of the country. Still, someone likely will now, which is all part of the fun.

I'm currently reading Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer as well. If you want some background information on the Fundamentalist Mormon Church and their very strange ways, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

Jun 1, 2008


Rev Cekemp has started an English language version of the Brazilian Discordian blog, Orkutcido.


Please check it out, little things would be cooler than building links with the apparently numerous Brazilian Discordians that are out there.