Sunday, June 28, 2009

The irony! It burns!

Why is it that religious conservatives (Liberals, Republicans, Fielding...) who continue to say that "the science is out on climate change"-defying the consensus of 2000+ scientists-never apply their skeptical and inquisitive nature to their own religious beliefs? As Field Marshal Editor so brilliantly put:
If only the AGW model was proposed in a collection of 2000-year-old texts of dubious authorship. That way there would be enough evidence.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A tribute to the King Of Pop.

Michael Joseph Jackson, the King Of Pop, is dead, age 50. For anybody interested, I am quite a fan. Asides from almost all of his albums (except for a few from his childhood), I have his DVDs and videos, many vinyls, several cassettes, a few biographies and various memorabilia from his Bad and HIStory tours (which I haven't seen, unfortunately). Hence, I would like to present a music video tribute to the artist. However, as some prat has refused the videos to be embedded, I can only give you the links.

From Off the Wall: Don't stop til you get enough

From Thriller: Billie Jean

From Bad: Man in the Mirror

From Dangerous: Heal the World

From HIStory: They don't care about us

From Invincible: You rock my world

In particular, I suggest you watch Mirror, World and T.D.C.A.U. in their chronological order, as they are all humanitarian songs. However the contrast between in the latter two is spectacular.

RIP, Michael.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The definitive top 10

GrodsOfficials Colonel Jester and Admiral Phoenix have both produced what they believe are the greatest ever songs. However, it is a well established fact that a lowly soldier whose blog is never commented on possesses the best taste in music. Hence, here are THE greatest songs ever produced (in no particular order). As a restriction, only songs written by the singers was allowed. Tough, but singers wailing about stuff they haven't written sounds somewhat hollow.

The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel.

This is by far my favourite S&G song. The end chorus is brilliant, featuring violins and horns producing a sound greater than the sum of its parts.

A Man needs a Maid - Neil Young.

Further proof that violins make already perfect music even more so.

Calm like a Bomb - Rage Against the Machine.

Rage are a wicked band, and Bomb is a treat. Raw lyrics and a brutal guitar that would make Hendrix shit himself.

Stan - Eminem

A shocking, haunting song that reads more like a thriller. A fan of Eminem (Stan) becomes increasingly obsessed with his hero until tragedy strikes, and Em intervenes. There really is no fault to this song.

Sing for the moment - Eminem

Not just lyrically fantastic, but a great tune to boot. You need to examine the lyrics line for line, as there's a shitload in there.

When I'm gone - Eminem

If it seems as if almost a third of the songs being Eminem's cheapens the list, than that's simply because these songs are all that great. This is no different. Mathers sings/raps about a life in which his alter-ego Slim Shady has corroded his ideals and love for his family, which ends in a vicious argument between him and his daughter. It's a psychological Frankenstein; Mathers creates Shady, which takes over and ruin's Marshall's life. Eventually, Mathers, horrified by what Shady has done, decides to his alter-ego's life.

Earth Song - Michael Jackson

OK, I'm a Greenie, so it was kinda inevitable that I would enjoy this one. But it is EPIC.

We've had enough - Michael Jackson

Another humitarian from Jackon, and I think even better, not just for either the lyrics or melody, but the actual structure of the song itself. Most songs go "Verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus." This one is "Verse-verse-bridge-EPIC CHORUS."

Another Brick in the Wall (part 2) Live - Roger Waters.

There is only one way to appreciate this.

Across the Stars - John Williams

If I had the time, energy, talent, skill and desire, I could create the greatest ballet dance to this.

And because there are others - The runners-up:

They don't care about us - Michael Jackson.

A humanitarian-inspired song, but truly chilling. It features a cold military beat and a violin or two backing throughout the song (have I yet mentioned how great violins are?). The depressing reason why it was left off is because various idiots interpreted the lyric "Jew me sue, everybody do me. Kick me, kyke me, doncha black 'n' white me" as anti-Semitic. It's an obvious allusion to how Jews have been so heavily scapegoated in the past. Michael, sadly, caved into the said idiots, and played a couple of electronic noises over the words 'Jew' and 'kyke.' It may sound nitpicky, but it really does take away from the song.

Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson.

Again, a fantastic humanitarian song with a spectacular finale. The only real reason why it couldn't be included in the top 10 is because Jackson didn't write it, hence it legally cannot make the top ten.

Desparados Under the Eaves - Warren Zevon

A truly kick-ass song with a Man needs a Maid-style ending.

When Doves Cry - Prince

A personal Prince favourite. Losing the bass guitar was one of the best decisions he made, creating a stark and original piece.

Maneater - Hall & Oates

A thousand and one times better than the remake (but that's still saying something). It gave something other than a run-of-the-mill guitar solo, which was rare for the 1980s.

Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty

Because saxaphones rock.

Billie Jean - Who else?

I know Michael gets a lot of coverage in this post, but you can't deny that this is a wicked song. Especially the intro.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

There's a word for this, people.

(again, apologies for the lateness. I have other priorities)

From the Age:
A controversial provider of late-term abortions was shot dead yesterday as he walked into a service at his Kansas church, officials said.
And the White House's response:
US President Barack Obama has expressed outrage at the fatal shooting of a controversial Kansas doctor who performed late-term abortions, in a statement released by the White House.

"I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr George Tiller as he attended church services this morning," said Obama.

"However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence," the President said.


US Attorney General Eric Holder says federal authorities have offered protection to "appropriate people and facilities" across the country, after the shooting of a prominent abortion doctor in Kansas.


"The Department of Justice will work to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. As a precautionary measure, we will also take appropriate steps to help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring," Holder said.

He called Sunday's fatal shooting of abortion provider George Tiller "an abhorrent act of violence".
Once again, we see politicians refusing to call a spade a spade. Anti-abortion related violence has been called murder, arson and vandalism, yet it has never been called what it is-terrorism. George Tiller was killed so as to send a clear message to all doctors who perform abortions: that they are not safe. That these doctors can too be murdered.

People who commit hate crimes (and that's precisely what this is) are terrorists because they are deliberately installing fear into a particular group, just as Islamic terrorists do today. Terrorism is when the Ku Klux Klan lynched African-Americans to prevent other blacks from voting. Terrorism is what happened to Matthew Shepard. Terrorism is when Steven Rogers was killed here, in Melbourne.

Terrorism isn't just brown people who talk funny flying planes into buildings and blowing themselves up to grab six dozen virgins in jihad heaven. Although the definition is contested, I would say that terrorism is the use, or threatened use, of violence against civilians for a political or ideological purpose. That would cover all forms of terrorism-Islamic, Christian, extremist environmentalism, etc.

The sooner people accept the broader reality of terrorism, the better.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Lest we forget." We have forgotten.

(apologies for the lateness of this post. The Generals have hit us soldiers with exams, and studying is a higher priority)

From the Age:
A RIGHT-WING political wind has blown across Europe, sweeping the far-right British National Party into the European Parliament and delivering another humiliating blow to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party. As the results of the four-day poll rolled in, a record low turnout saw electoral gains for unaligned, far-right and anti-immigration parties in the Netherlands, where anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders won a seat, and in Austria, Belgium, Britain and Slovakia. In Hungary, the anti-Semitic and anti-Roma (Gypsy) extremist party, Jobbik, also won a seat.
Good fuck no. This is a serious problem. I don't mind if conservative/free-market parties gain power if it energises the lefties to do better next time. However, when a hardline party with a policy of hatred is gains a voice in parliament, I'm frightened for these countries.
However, the news that the rabidly anti-immigration, far-right British National Party had won two seats in the European Parliament has shocked both Labour and the Conservatives. "It's a sad moment for British politics," Health Secretary Andy Burnham said. BNP chairman Nick Griffin was elected in the north-west of England with 8 per cent of the vote. He denied his party was racist, but said: "We do say this country is full up. The key thing is to shut the door."
The BNP's beliefs?

Interracial relationships are "self-inflicted genocide".

Non-whites who are born in Britain aren't true Britains.

Foreign aid should be cancelled.

Criminals have no rights.

Muslims are plotting to take over Britain (so not much difference from the original anti-Jewish conspiracies, then).

The notion of such a party gaining more than zero votes is terrifying enough. But to actually gain seats, there is something rotten in Britain. OK, I can understand the Brits' dissatisfaction with the Labour and Conservative parties, given the blatent corruption within them. Hence, otherwise loyal Labor or Tory supporters would be seriously considering a 'protest vote' against the major parties to send a clear message. That, I understand and support.

But supporting the 21st century Klan is not the way to do it. There are other, marginally less insane parties that one could vote for-the Greens or the Liberal Democrats, for example.

Mr Griffin told Sky News: "This is a Christian country and Islam is not welcome, because Islam and Christianity, Islam and democracy, Islam and womens' rights do not mix."

Wrong, wrong and wrong, you cross burning, white sheet wearing, stiff-arm saluting, "Dey tuk er jerbs!" spouting, racist lunatic. Go back to ranting against the Jews-it's more up your alley.

We must remember that this was how the Nazis first began in the early '20s. They never stated that Jews should be exterminated; they said that Jews should be removed from Germany because Germany was ethnically Aryan. It was only after the Nazis took power in government that their true extremism was revealed. Support for nationalist parties is an indication that people have forgotten how hate groups are. The current level of support for the BNP is a sign that people are no taking what hate groups are capable of. It only takes a few anti-white or anti-immgrant attacks to create a snowball effect and create an actual (if localised) race war. We should know, because there are certain parallels here in Melbourne.
The chairman of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, Sam Afra, said it would be unacceptable for the Indian community to take the law into its own hands. "There is a danger this will become like a chain reaction with the victim becoming the perpetrator. We don't want to get to that," he said.
[my emphasis]

Economic uncertainty breeds anti-immigrant anger, which is what is happening at the moment in Britain. All Europeans should be extremely wary of parties like the BNP. The above situation in such an economic climate is what would transform them into a genuine political force.

Cross-posted here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On hypocrisy.

Ronald Reagan once said "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born." That's quite true (although, technically, we support abortion rights). However, I've noticed that:
  • Everybody who opposes stem cell research is neither neurologically diseased nor paralysed.
  • Everybody who supports war as a first resort has no family members in the army.
  • Everybody who opposes equal rights has no idea what it is like to be hated for who you are.
  • Everybody who supports free-market principles is already well-off.
  • Everybody who doesn't think global warming exists won't be around to see its effects.
You get the idea.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My thoughts on THAT skit

In response to a sketch involving terminally ill children being forced to lower their standards of what they can wish for, the nation has unleashed its collective rage upon the Chaser. My response to the incident is "why is it that a somewhat tasteless sketch draws near-universal outrage, yet spectacular human rights abuses draw near-universal support? WHERE THE FUCK OUR PRIORITIES?? GET A COLLECTIVE LIFE, YOU CIRCLE-JERKING CUNTBAGS."* However, a much better response was in today's Age:

IN THE midst of near-universal condemnation of The Chaser team's skit, it might be worth considering a few things.

A friend who worked for years at the Children's Hospital once told me there were times when it was difficult to get work done — the Good Friday television appeal and the period immediately before an election were particularly worrying. Corridors, waiting areas and bedsides would be crammed with politicians, AFL footballers and media celebrities, along with the inevitable TV cameras, sound equipment and the rest.

Shortly after the Black Saturday fires, members of the Australian cricket team visited the affected areas and mingled with residents, relief workers and others. It was a lump-in-the-throat moment until it was later revealed that the cricketers had been instructed to wear the official team tracksuit, emblazoned with the names of sponsors. In other words, an occasion to bring comfort to victims was also an opportunity to fly the sponsors' flag.

Maybe the Chasers were attempting, in a ham-fisted way, to send up this cynical tendency to take advantage of people in traumatic situations.

An excellent point indeed.

*Hat tips to Sarah for her human rights archives and Club Wah for insult-inspiration.

UPDATE: How is the Make a Realistic Wish Foundation any worse than this? I could equally argue that the skit is a tasteless 'satire' of 21st century slavery; appalling working conditions in third world factories in which employees are often killed because of the lack of safety conditions whilst being paid pennies for their work. The only difference is that one sketch features cute, innocent-looking children.

UPDATE 2: Why is it that if lefties think something is crude and damnable, it's the self-righteous PC police intruding in on our lives, telling us what we can and cannot do, and they should all get a sense of humour-but if it's righties** thinking something is crude and damnable, that's perfectly OK?

**Yes, both lefties and righties have been outraged by the sketch. However, it does appear that more righties are outraged.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

T to the A to the P: the Bron edition.

Aware of how much a stalker fangirl admirer General Bron is of Barack 'Hope' Obama, I scrummed around the internets to find some photos that would delight her. Happy Birthday, General.

UPDATE 5/06/09: Following Admiral Phoenix's suggestion in the comments, introducing President Barok Spobama.

Update 11/7/09: Another one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Lord McCulloch." "Yes, master." "RISE."

It might be different from the original context, but it seems McCulloch is well-versed in the Dark Side, having joined Pauline 'Sidious' Hanson's first political party, One Nation.

She was anointed by some in the media as the next Pauline Hanson, after her fierce resistance to Muslims moving into her neighbourhood in Sydney's Camden.

Now Kate McCulloch has taken a further step in that direction, announcing today that she will stand as One Nation's candidate for the seat of Macarthur at the next federal election.

One Nation announced the appointment with a media release titled: "Kate McCulloch - campaigner against Camden Islamic School joins One Nation.

Because Islam is pure evil and has never contributed anything to Western civilisation.
"They take our welfare and they don't want to accept our way of life," she said after the council vote. "Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation. I'm sorry, I just don't want them in Australia."
Ignoring the ridiculous notion that Muslims are welfare parasites and are against "our way of life"*, if all Muslims are terrorists, then does that make me a neo-Nazi for being white?
"So many people felt so strongly about the issue in Camden but they were too terrified to speak out, and that's sad," she said.
I actually with Kate there. I can imagine that there are many Muslims living in Sydney would who would like to discuss the school proposal issue politely, but have become increasingly terrified due to the Cronulla riots and pigs' heads at the school site.

But Mrs McCulloch said she was prepared for an onslaught from the media.

"I have a feeling how the media are going to portray me as xenophobic and racist," she said.

You don't need the media to help with that, sweetheart.

"They will sensationalise. You have to cop it sweet.

"It doesn't worry me what they call me. I've got six kids. I know I stand for good values."

Your "good values" would make the BNP proud.
There was too much time and money being spent on helping poorer countries overseas and helping asylum seekers, while Australian citizens such as farmers needed help, she said.
So we should give less help to poorer brothers? Funny-I thought you said you were a Christian. Besides, what do you care about cost? Howard's Pacific Solution, which you love so very, very much, cost over 7 times as much to process refugees off shore, as compared to processing them in Australia.
"We need to keep the Australian culture, the Australian way of life," she said.
If the Australian culture/way of life* needs racism and hatred to defend itself, than it doesn't deserve to exist. And I'd to see you try to explain why you can't defend your ways and customs simply by sticking to them yourself, and letting everybody live in peace.
"I really feel the two major political parties are not doing anything to help the everyday person. They are too busy being politically correct. No one speaks honestly."
OK Kate, I'll be honest. You are a twisted, malicious excuse for humanity whose values and paranoia of 'them' would fit perfectly into McCarthyist America. Your exist for the sole purpose of causing others great pain, and if anything, you enjoy it. You have based your political career on demonising and ostracising a minority group, and you show no empathy towards them. You base your views on people you see in the street on whether they wear a hijab or not. Not only will you ultimately fail in your goals of dividing Australia along your perceived 'us vs. them' boundaries, but you will be forever remembered as a vile and pathetic creature whose vision of a utopian Australia is sewage. I'd feel sorry for you, however you take such great joy in your ignorance and and resentment, I can't bring myself to feel it.

How's that for honesty?

*Could somebody-anybody-explain what the 'Australian way of life' actually is? As of now it's just a rallying call for rednecks, racists and general nationalistic cranks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

☮ is my religion turns 1 !!1!!!1!!

(I know it's a week late. I forgot, so just pretend this was published on 26th May)

How the time flies...One year ago today, I published my first post. Since then, I've published 127 posts (it would have been nice to self-congratulate on my 100th post. Ah, well). My favourites posts are the ones which required some pretty intense thinking, but the most fun to write were definitely those relating to my favourite blogging subject, fundies. Also, you may have noticed that the main url for the 'first post' link is different. After a month of blogging, I realised that having one single email address for everything was a rather poor idea, so I produced a second email and copied the original blog format onto the new one. In order to keep the url of pacifism for the new blog, I had to the change url of the old one. Hence, 'deceased.'

But enough of that. Time for a self-congratulatory wankfest.