Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

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Re:

Postby Snardbafulator » Wed May 21, 2014 01:00

dogsetc. wrote:One of the Captain's finest, and in turn one of Croydon's finest. Always makes me blub, around 2:00 when the Dolly Mixtures pipe up.

FUCKUKIP. :)

Isn't Captain Sensible one of those punx who really liked avant prog, Egg in particular?

I couldn't quite catch all the lyrics but I understand the appeal. What's remarkable to me is that here it is, 1982, at the height of the punk / classic rock wars, and aside from that silly drum machine, those big English chords (and key changes) and the tuneful arrangement strongly evoke early 70s mainstream prog. Not Canterbury maybe, but perhaps Procol Harum? Anthony Phillips? Alan Parsons Project? My goodness, maybe even *gulp* Jethro Tull ...

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby Mr. Minnow » Wed May 21, 2014 01:23

The Daily Mail's warnings about what can cause cancer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF31qtVkVx8

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Re: Re:

Postby Mr. Minnow » Wed May 21, 2014 01:55

Snardbafulator wrote:There's a really great, really prescient book (written in '92) by American political scientist Benjamin Barber called Jihad vs. McWorld, basically about globalization and its discontents. By "jihad" he doesn't just mean the Muslim variety, but all reactions against globalization which assert some kind of traditional, non-corporate (and non-neoliberal) values, often associated with extreme nationalism. It's a very complicated picture and really hard to credence one side over the other in any kind of definitive principle (both can be awful), but he does question some more modern nationalist movements.


I think I'd want to separate those groups who hold non-corporate, non-neoliberal views and who are also associated with extreme nationalism from those who have non-neoliberal views but don't have the nationalist baggage. The former group is obviously going to be problematic, because nationalism in practice tends to mean chauvinism and hence distrust of others. For me, that would outweigh the non-neoliberal side of things, which is obviously a plus point. As you say, it's a very complicated picture and in many cases the arguments will be finely balanced. That's why I don't think there is a hard and fast rule which says getting rid of borders = good, and putting up borders = bad. The only reasonable approach is to examine things on a case by case basis.

That raises the question of what criteria should be used to make a judgement. We might be inclined to say that a border coming down means countries coming closer together, so as long as there's a clear majority in both countries who are in favour, then it's a good thing. But that won't do, as both examples which have cropped up so far show. There was genuine and widespread support among millions of ordinary Germans and Austrians for the Anschluss, just as there is similar support in both Crimea and Russia for the former becoming part of the latter. And yet, in neither case would we say that that popular support is enough to make either a positive force for progress. In the case of the Anschluss the negatives are many and obvious, in the case of Crimea we have the wider geopolitical ramifications (the destabilisation of Ukraine), the maltreatment of the Tartar minority under the new administration and the prospect of economic conflict between Russia and the West.

I would therefore suggest that for the abolition of a border to be considered a positive development, the popular consent of both parties is required, but not sufficient. In addition to that, both parties should have benign intentions, and there also needs to be an absence of the negative ramifications in the wider world that we're seeing with Russia.

Like, what do you make of the Basque struggle? From what I understand there are a number of micro-nationalist movements in Europe based on homogenous cultural enclaves (there's a Celtic-based one in Brittany iirc). Is this good?


I'll be honest, I don't know nearly enough about the Basque conflict to make an informed comment about it. As a general principle, I'd say that any judgement of the conduct of such groups inevitably depends on the context in each individual case. If, for example, you have an authoritarian government which is actively trying to stamp out the culture of a minority group, it's entirely reasonable for that group to try to protect its culture. Indeed, this would be an instance in which separation (and therefore the creation of a new border) could be viewed in a positive light, since without separation that culture might be eradicated. On the other hand, if there is no such repression, and the desire to promote a minority culture is based not just on a love of one's own culture, but also on a disparaging attitude to others, that's not so great, so a separation in that instance would be a regressive step.

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby Snardbafulator » Wed May 21, 2014 09:28

Mr. Minnow wrote:I would therefore suggest that for the abolition of a border to be considered a positive development, the popular consent of both parties is required, but not sufficient. In addition to that, both parties should have benign intentions, and there also needs to be an absence of the negative ramifications in the wider world that we're seeing with Russia.

Generally agreed, but I think we can fairly expand that to include old-school imperialism, where a much larger nation thwaps a pseudopod over a smaller country and absorbs it. Can't think of any examples when that's been okay in the modern world. Back in the glory days of imperialism (not too long ago, sadly), what the natives thought was quaintly irrelevant, but in the modern era these moves are often justified by pointing to the desires of the absorbed entity. In virtually all these cases, those appeals are trumped up if not grotesquely distorted.

For instance, I think it's fallacious to say that the majority of Austrians supported the Anschluss. The German-speaking enclaves of Austria may have had majority support for it, but hardly in polyglot Vienna (which Hitler resided in after WW1 and detested) and maybe even less so in the Slavic-speaking countryside. The purpose was hardly to "throw open borders," but rather to enclose a loyal, German-speaking hinterland and forcibly control (and eventually purge) the non-Germans from the rest of it. It was an exercise in imperial border closing. The only difference with the Sudetenland is that there was less of a long-term German presence.

I'm not up on the Crimean situation, but I'd tend to agree with you that what the majority of Crimeans want is less important than the mere act of pseudopoddery. I didn't support the first Iraq war because it was such a grotesque turkey shoot (and really more meant to exorcize the so-called Vietnam Syndrome in our military than anything else), but I certainly understood the international community's unified outrage at Saddam's unprovoked invasion of Kuwait. But again, that's hardly a matter of "opening borders," rather one of redrawing larger borders.
I'll be honest, I don't know nearly enough about the Basque conflict to make an informed comment about it.

I don't know a lot about it either, save that they've been fighting a low-grade, IRA-style "terrorist" war against Madrid at least since I was a kid, probably longer. Just a as a general comment, I don't think those are the right tactics, as Northern Ireland has demonstrated.
As a general principle, I'd say that any judgement of the conduct of such groups inevitably depends on the context in each individual case. If, for example, you have an authoritarian government which is actively trying to stamp out the culture of a minority group, it's entirely reasonable for that group to try to protect its culture. Indeed, this would be an instance in which separation (and therefore the creation of a new border) could be viewed in a positive light, since without separation that culture might be eradicated. On the other hand, if there is no such repression, and the desire to promote a minority culture is based not just on a love of one's own culture, but also on a disparaging attitude to others, that's not so great, so a separation in that instance would be a regressive step.

"Culture" is a highly charged concept. There's an ongoing political struggle in the Republic of Ireland among a small but very vocal group trying to preserve the specifically Irish culture, especially through language. It involves gripes over funding preservation societies and things like whether bilingual road signs are appropriate in places like Dublin, etc. But this sort of struggle obviously wasn't the main part of the impetus that bailed them from the UK.

It also seems the the impetus to create new borders for minority cultural groups usually isn't so positive. Bantustans and that infamous West Bank wall come to mind. We have reservations for Native Americans; if somebody suggested making the borders less porous, this wouldn't be met positively, least of all by the Native Americans themselves. I think most minority groups want less borders, not more. It's the powerful countries who in nearly all cases advocate wall-building and restrictive borders; witness the Tea Party and UKIP on immigration.

Yes, there are small radical separatist groups who fly the culture flag and I tend to be more troubled by this than see it as a positive sign. Ethnic Tatars should absolutely be protected against Russian abuses, but that strikes me as a Russian problem. It's very difficult to celebrate one's culture without raising it above everyone else's (Worms's comment about Scotland), and therein lies the big problem. Modernity is an acid bath for cultural differences and that's both a good and a bad thing to be sure, but on balance it's as hardwired into progress as science and technology, both which speak a universal language. Universal human rights ought to be, too.

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby Mr. Minnow » Wed May 21, 2014 12:48

Snardbafulator wrote:Generally agreed, but I think we can fairly expand that to include old-school imperialism, where a much larger nation thwaps a pseudopod over a smaller country and absorbs it. Can't think of any examples when that's been okay in the modern world.


No, neither can I. Imperialism clearly fails the benign intentions test.

For instance, I think it's fallacious to say that the majority of Austrians supported the Anschluss. The German-speaking enclaves of Austria may have had majority support for it, but hardly in polyglot Vienna (which Hitler resided in after WW1 and detested) and maybe even less so in the Slavic-speaking countryside. The purpose was hardly to "throw open borders," but rather to enclose a loyal, German-speaking hinterland and forcibly control (and eventually purge) the non-Germans from the rest of it. It was an exercise in imperial border closing. The only difference with the Sudetenland is that there was less of a long-term German presence.


A very quick scan online on the subject shows that the question of how much support the Anschluss had among ordinary Austrians is a still a matter that divides opinion. But that's beside the point really. The fact remains that even if it did have widespread (or even overwhelming) public support in Austria, that's hugely outweighed by the negatives.

I'm not up on the Crimean situation, but I'd tend to agree with you that what the majority of Crimeans want is less important than the mere act of pseudopoddery. I didn't support the first Iraq war because it was such a grotesque turkey shoot (and really more meant to exorcize the so-called Vietnam Syndrome in our military than anything else), but I certainly understood the international community's unified outrage at Saddam's unprovoked invasion of Kuwait. But again, that's hardly a matter of "opening borders," rather one of redrawing larger borders.


As you say, that war was the result of an unprovoked invasion of one state by another, and such an invasion obviously fails the benign intentions test pretty comprehensively.

I don't know a lot about it either, save that they've been fighting a low-grade, IRA-style "terrorist" war against Madrid at least since I was a kid, probably longer. Just a as a general comment, I don't think those are the right tactics, as Northern Ireland has demonstrated.


It's hard to think of anything that justifies tactics like that. In any case, it wouldn't be fair to assume that ETA speak for the Basques, any more than it would be to assume that Irish nationalists supported the IRA's terrorist campaign here. Nothing justifies blowing up innocent people, even though the republicans had legitimate grievances against the UK.

"Culture" is a highly charged concept. There's an ongoing political struggle in the Republic of Ireland among a small but very vocal group trying to preserve the specifically Irish culture, especially through language. It involves gripes over funding preservation societies and things like whether bilingual road signs are appropriate in places like Dublin, etc. But this sort of struggle obviously wasn't the main part of the impetus that bailed them from the UK.

It also seems the the impetus to create new borders for minority cultural groups usually isn't so positive. Bantustans and that infamous West Bank wall come to mind. We have reservations for Native Americans; if somebody suggested making the borders less porous, this wouldn't be met positively, least of all by the Native Americans themselves. I think most minority groups want less borders, not more. It's the powerful countries who in nearly all cases advocate wall-building and restrictive borders; witness the Tea Party and UKIP on immigration.

Yes, there are small radical separatist groups who fly the culture flag and I tend to be more troubled by this than see it as a positive sign. Ethnic Tatars should absolutely be protected against Russian abuses, but that strikes me as a Russian problem. It's very difficult to celebrate one's culture without raising it above everyone else's (Worms's comment about Scotland), and therein lies the big problem. Modernity is an acid bath for cultural differences and that's both a good and a bad thing to be sure, but on balance it's as hardwired into progress as science and technology, both which speak a universal language. Universal human rights ought to be, too.


Culture is bound to be a highly charged concept, but again, as far as I can see there's no hard and fast rule which will tell you in advance which side is in the right. I get what you're saying about the "acid bath of cultural differences of modernity" being a good thing on balance, and instinctively I agree as a matter of general principle. Unfortunately there are times when reality stubbornly refuses to match up with that principle.

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby Batesy » Fri May 23, 2014 16:52

Image

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby Snardbafulator » Fri May 23, 2014 17:11

Batesy wrote:Image

You've heard of the velvet-lined sap? This is the lead-filled bouquet.

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Re: Politics

Postby Made Of Worms » Fri May 23, 2014 17:26

:D Superb from its symbolism to its undergarments.


Here's something: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/dani ... blow_it_up


The UKIPs succeeded in looking like not a waste of a vote in future, eek, I blame current affairs people for giving them too much oxygen simply because it's more fun to write about them than the same old same old. But after a scary start, Labour basically won. (The Times front page has dark mutterings about Miliband being in trouble, for fvck's sake.)
Last edited by Made Of Worms on Fri May 23, 2014 17:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby montoid » Fri May 23, 2014 17:29

Cracking upskirt, gromit

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Re: Politics

Postby Made Of Worms » Fri May 23, 2014 17:32

I'd love to know the background dynamic between the two ladies.

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby Snardbafulator » Fri May 23, 2014 17:44

Mr. Minnow wrote:A very quick scan online on the subject shows that the question of how much support the Anschluss had among ordinary Austrians is a still a matter that divides opinion. But that's beside the point really. The fact remains that even if it did have widespread (or even overwhelming) public support in Austria, that's hugely outweighed by the negatives.

We don't disagree on the larger point, but I think Austria has been among the Western European countries which have drifted alarmingly to the right over the past few decades (remember that Haider character?), so I wouldn't be surprised that what you're reading online from the Anschluss supporters is naked revisionism. Nazi Germany hated the Slavs and hated anything like a reasonably functioning multi-ethnic society. Recall that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a crossroads of three major world regions. So sure, German Austrians probably thought the Anschluss was the greatest thing going, but my point is that when empires absorb or take over a country, the point is never to open borders. It's to enclose in their sphere.
It's hard to think of anything that justifies tactics like that. In any case, it wouldn't be fair to assume that ETA speak for the Basques, any more than it would be to assume that Irish nationalists supported the IRA's terrorist campaign here. Nothing justifies blowing up innocent people, even though the republicans had legitimate grievances against the UK.

Sure. Just as Osama bin Laden hardly spoke for anyone but the most miniscule fraction of Muslims regarding his violent tactics against the West, even though a number (though hardly all) of his grievances against the West's behavior are salient. Everybody has gripes and factions are formed to address them, and whether or not the majority of Basques want independence from Spain (let alone support the ETA), this kind of radical micro-nationalism is disturbing.

Not that you can make a hard-and-fast rule about it, of course, but it seems to make the least sense as a general trend in Western Europe, where minority rights are already protected.
Culture is bound to be a highly charged concept, but again, as far as I can see there's no hard and fast rule which will tell you in advance which side is in the right. I get what you're saying about the "acid bath of cultural differences of modernity" being a good thing on balance, and instinctively I agree as a matter of general principle. Unfortunately there are times when reality stubbornly refuses to match up with that principle.

I wasn't precisely saying that this "acid bath" is on balance a good thing, only that it appears to be inextricably bound up with modernity. But hey, so is global warming and long-term nuclear waste. There's also a pretty big downside to dissolving cultural differences and replacing them with McWorld, reducing fundamental identity to a set of neoliberal consumer metrics.

And that only creates the turf for the radical nationalists and our-culture-is-the-best types.

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby montoid » Fri May 23, 2014 18:05

yeah, fair point, but can I just say, . . Minge!

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Postby Made Of Worms » Fri May 23, 2014 19:25

Almost rhymes with orange.

Now rhyme month.*

UKIP still have fewer council seats than the BNP did in 2009.



*Edit: I guess if you had a cleft palate and said "you're both cunts".

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Re: Links to Fleetingly Amusing Stuff

Postby Mr. Minnow » Fri May 23, 2014 20:06

Snardbafulator wrote:
Mr. Minnow wrote:A very quick scan online on the subject shows that the question of how much support the Anschluss had among ordinary Austrians is a still a matter that divides opinion. But that's beside the point really. The fact remains that even if it did have widespread (or even overwhelming) public support in Austria, that's hugely outweighed by the negatives.

We don't disagree on the larger point, but I think Austria has been among the Western European countries which have drifted alarmingly to the right over the past few decades (remember that Haider character?), so I wouldn't be surprised that what you're reading online from the Anschluss supporters is naked revisionism. Nazi Germany hated the Slavs and hated anything like a reasonably functioning multi-ethnic society. Recall that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a crossroads of three major world regions. So sure, German Austrians probably thought the Anschluss was the greatest thing going, but my point is that when empires absorb or take over a country, the point is never to open borders. It's to enclose in their sphere.
It's hard to think of anything that justifies tactics like that. In any case, it wouldn't be fair to assume that ETA speak for the Basques, any more than it would be to assume that Irish nationalists supported the IRA's terrorist campaign here. Nothing justifies blowing up innocent people, even though the republicans had legitimate grievances against the UK.

Sure. Just as Osama bin Laden hardly spoke for anyone but the most miniscule fraction of Muslims regarding his violent tactics against the West, even though a number (though hardly all) of his grievances against the West's behavior are salient. Everybody has gripes and factions are formed to address them, and whether or not the majority of Basques want independence from Spain (let alone support the ETA), this kind of radical micro-nationalism is disturbing.

Not that you can make a hard-and-fast rule about it, of course, but it seems to make the least sense as a general trend in Western Europe, where minority rights are already protected.
Culture is bound to be a highly charged concept, but again, as far as I can see there's no hard and fast rule which will tell you in advance which side is in the right. I get what you're saying about the "acid bath of cultural differences of modernity" being a good thing on balance, and instinctively I agree as a matter of general principle. Unfortunately there are times when reality stubbornly refuses to match up with that principle.

I wasn't precisely saying that this "acid bath" is on balance a good thing, only that it appears to be inextricably bound up with modernity. But hey, so is global warming and long-term nuclear waste. There's also a pretty big downside to dissolving cultural differences and replacing them with McWorld, reducing fundamental identity to a set of neoliberal consumer metrics.

And that only creates the turf for the radical nationalists and our-culture-is-the-best types.

Bob


I think we're more or less in agreement, other than splitting hairs to a degree which would bring to mind the proverbial angels dancing on the head of a pin, but I ought to make one thing clear: the stuff I read about the degree of popular support for the Anschluss didn't seem to be pushing a particular line one way or another. It was just stating that there's differences of opinion about it even among mainstream historians, that's all.

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Re: Politics

Postby Mr. Minnow » Fri May 23, 2014 20:19

Made Of Worms wrote:The UKIPs succeeded in looking like not a waste of a vote in future, eek, I blame current affairs people for giving them too much oxygen simply because it's more fun to write about them than the same old same old. But after a scary start, Labour basically won. (The Times front page has dark mutterings about Miliband being in trouble, for fvck's sake.)


It's not just that UKIP gives them something new to write about, it's also because UKIP hits all the most unpleasant ideological G-spots of the right-wing press, and since the right dominates the print media in this country, it's no surprise that UKIP has been given the publicity and support that it has. On top of that you can throw in the fact that the party is lead by a hectoring gobshite - pardon me, a charismatic man of the people. And we know that he's a man of the people, because he's been seen on the news drinking beer in a pub. That proves it. Or something.