Sunday, July 31, 2005

Data Retention and the European Union

The European ministers of Justice and the European Commission want to keep all telephone and internet traffic data of all 450 million Europeans.


Click here to learn more and sign the petition.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Comics News and your daily Music Shot

The World's First Conservative Comic. I've seen this sort of thing before, but never with so much publicity. Also, the writer was laughed out of the thread on the John Byrne forums in which he first aired the concept. (John Byrne is a formerly good comics artist/writer who has gradually slipped into far-right lunacy. Including echoing Ann Coulter's rantings about "killing all their priests and converting them to Christianity", he also thinks all blonde Hispanic women "look like hookers". I feel this tells you something about the quality and political leanings of Liberality for All). I would post some sort of debunking of the very idea of "liberal oppression", but I feel that the fact that it is AN OXYMORON is rather obvious to anyone who isn't thick enough to, er, attempt to write or sell Liberality for All. Because, of course, the whole point of liberalism as a method of governance is not to "tell, not ask people what to think".

Also, if you look at the cover -

- you will note that the letters "ALI" have been highlighted in the logo. Why is this, you ask? Well, in the comic, "Usama Bin Laden" is the exalted ambassador for Afghanistan, and the UN Government of America give him full honours as a visiting diplomat. Which would suggest that the "ALI" highlighting is there to show how "liberality" makes proud Aryan Americans slaves to those naughty Arab types. Do you see? Taking the "Ali" (i.e. stereotypical Arab/Muslim* name) out of "Liber[ali]ty" gives us back our "Liberty". Which, for the hard-of-thinking, is a horrible, racist statement that I really hope they don't intend. If this isn't the case, please, please give me some kind of alternative implication.

Also for the hard-of-thinking (again, the writers of Liberality for All), the word for the abstract concept expoused by "liberalism" is, er, "liberty". Unless they mean "liberality" as in "an inclination to favor progress and individual freedom" [Source this definition, please - Subed]. Which, er, doesn't sound too bad to me, actually.

I'm actually really, reallly tired of the whole "Liberal/Conservative" perceived divide. Not only do the words have entirely different meanings in Britain, they perpetrate the false association of authoritarianism with right-wing politics and liberalism with left-wing politics (invert this if you are one of the writers of Liberality for All). Governance can be economically or socially left- or right-wing (covering their philosophy, essentially), and either** authoritarian or libertarian in the way they put their philosophy into practice [If you define "libertarian" as anti-authoritarian or anarchic (a term which need not carry any pejorative connotations) - Subed]. So, Thatcher was economically right-wing and strongly authoritarian, wheras Hitler was actually further to the left economically (I think, anyway [Hitler was a smudge, but certainly incorporated a variety of left-wing economic devices - Subed]), but a little more to the authoritarian side than the Iron Lady***. Although both favoured concentration camps and censorship.
There's a test somewhere that shows your position on a chart compared to political figures, but I can't find it anywhere.


You probably feel dirtied after that, so here is "Sleep Deprivation Blues", which I have made for saney as a special present.

Also, here is a forum thread where I explan Why I Am Not A Liberal, which expands on what I've posted above.


* These are not the same thing. Daily Express, I'm looking at you. And I want a reply to my carefully-worded email, please.
**Yes, there is in fact a spectrum between the two. I am tired.
***This is hyperbole. Hyperbole is where you exaggerate facts to make a point. Although not much in this case.

[Sweet Mephistopheles, this article required a lot of editing and commenting - Subed]

Friday, July 29, 2005

This is a charming short film...

...about a cat with hands.

Fun for all the family.

(I didn't make it, but wish I had.)

Met's justification for shooting "Bomber" looking increasingy flimsy...

Oh dear.

I Hate You All

It is now twenty past six in the morning, meaning that I have spent roughly the last six hours and twenty minutes staring at the fucking ceiling, comprehensively failing to achieve sleep. As a result, I am incredibly annoyed.

I am going to have somebody's head for this.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Continuing the British Tabloid Kick

Daily Mail Headline Randomiser

I particularly liked "Could Gypsies Give The Memory Of Diana Cancer?"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Daily Express in "Minions of Evil" Shock Horror!


Hate. Mongering. Tossers.

And inaccurate ones at that. Only two of the suspects were on benefits anyway. Also, Islam is a religion, not a race.

I strongly encourage you to tell the mass-media fascist scums exactly what you think of them at expressletters@express.co.uk.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Debatable

This claims to be a Met press release covering guidelines on reporting about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station by police. Presented here without statement as to its possible authenticity.

Apparently it was originally a satirical post on urban75. Still, I think it neatly sums up the meeja's treatment of events.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Optimus Keyboard

Optimus keyboard.

Very, very cool.

You saw it here first.



(And if you think we're ignoring the new trend for police officers to jump on and shoot repeatedly in the head anyone who appears to be vaguely brown or nervy, then you're wrong. Ditto if you think that the tone of that last sentence was lighthearted.)

"Birthday Project"

bandwidth buggered. email rhexis.steathsuit@gmail to tell us

Nothing to do with anyone's actual birthday, but from a dream I had last night. I may Make Something Of It.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Subtlety is not Greenpeace's strong point.

They can't say that...right?

Still, top marks for vicious attack-virals. Spread it, my children.

NewArtwork: "Dancer"



Click for bigger.
Watercolour, gel-pen, biro and fluorescent highlighter on cartridge paper. The original's fluorescent areas "glow" in low light and are generally much more impressive.

Just an experiment in abusing watercolours to do my bidding, really, although it turned out well.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Transmetreality

"Stockwell passenger Mark Whitby told BBC News he had seen a man of Asian appearance shot five times by 'plain-clothes police officers'.

'One of them was carrying a black handgun - it looked like an automatic - they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him,' he said."


MAN SHOT DEAD BY POLICE ON TUBE

/Sable

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Batmannity goodness.


Click for bigger. (Curse you, template-fascists)

Hopefully will be seeing the film tomorrow...finally. Expect Reviews.

A Brief Correspondence...

...Between Myself and Our Good Friends at Focus on the Family


Dear Talyn,

Thank you for visiting Focus on the Family’s Web site and sharing your frank reaction to our article on the subject of homosexuality (e-mail, June 23, 2005). Thoughtful, honest feedback like yours is always welcome here at Focus headquarters. Your willingness to keep the flow of communication moving in both directions is much appreciated.

As you suspected, we very quickly came to the conclusion that your critique of our perspective was written from a non-Christian viewpoint. This is no small matter. As a non-Christian you do not share our biblical worldview; and as an individual who does not accept our scriptural outlook, you really have no way of fully grasping our understanding of human sexuality. That makes meaningful dialogue extremely difficult if not altogether impossible.

The fact of the matter, Talyn, is that our opinions about homosexual behavior are not based solely upon the statistical data provided in the article you found so appalling. We provide this information merely in hopes of supplementing, buttressing, and underscoring the scientific credibility of the teaching of the Bible, which is the ultimate source of our convictions. In this connection, we would refer you to the words of Jesus: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’” (Matthew 19:4-5; quoting from Genesis 1:27, 2:24) This is Scripture’s most complete and definitive statement on God’s design for human sexuality. As I’m sure you can see for yourself, it does not leave room for homosexual “preferences” - - this despite the claims of the gay community, the assertions of certain geneticists, and the “non-polarized” sexual behavior of some animals.

We hope this reply has clarified our position for you. Thanks again for caring enough to get in touch. God bless you.

Timothy Masters,
Focus on the Family


I must thankyou for the manner of your response as many of the Christians outside of my group of friends have often spoken in a manner that gives the impression of attempted conversion and I am delighted that you have replied in such a manner.

I would ask if you read the suggested article that I sent to you a little after the original email as I am interested as to your reaction to this.

Another point which I feel requires clarification is the manner in which you take the Bible. It is my understanding that some Christians understand the Bible to be THE word of God, while others consider it to be based upon the word of God but written by mortals and therefore subject to errors. Your stance on this would be most appreciated as it would help enormously with understanding your particular stance on this situation.

The reason that I was so appalled was the tone of the passage and the way that homosexuality was simply condemned by the site. Would it not be better to take a more balanced view upon the subject? If you were to give a completely unbiased list of all of the problems, both percieved and real, of homosexuality, as well as the varying opinions of scripture and allow people to come to their own conclusions; it would no doubt be a more informative article. The inherent problem with articles of this nature is their bias. If I were to write an article upon this subject it would most likely be biased towards homosexuality. While not homosexual myself I am an incredibly liberal person and see no problem with it, and also I often find myself sticking up for the underdog. While in my eyes this view is not biased but a very fair one I understand why people see otherwise, even if I do not agree with them.

The same is obviously true of your take upon the situation. My point is that there are two clear sides to this argument. I would have thought it necessary to provide an exceptionally more balanced viewpoint upon such a subject. I would advise giving the facts that you have mentioned and then doing some more research to find other facts of similar nature but that 'prove' the opposite. Then give a detailed source of these facts so that individuals can make up their own minds.

Another point that has recently struck me is that your grasp of the nature of science appears to be flawed. Science is not intended to be fact. It is intended to give possible explanations to things that are otherwise unexplainable, much like reaction. A theory is simply a possible explanation that hasn't been proved but might be true. After all, can you actually prove anything? But now we are getting into philosophy. The point is that the aim of science is to attempt to explain things and come up with theories and then try to disprove or prove them. I would keep this in mind when talking about science.

I feel that one must ask oneself who exactly homosexuals are harming. I would venture that the only reason that homosexual rapes are higher in number than heterosexual rapes (if indeed this is true as I am slightly uncertain as to the validity of your 'facts' due to the inherant bias in the article) is because they are outcast by society. If society were more accepting homosexual rapes would no doubt decrease.

Why would an all-loving God be offended by homosexuals? They are not harming anyone, nor are they helping anyone, save possibly making themselves and their partner happy. Would a God not be more angry at someone who remained single their entire life, as they have neither reproduced nor brought love into someone else's life? Would you not also agree that the Bible may not be entirely suitable for modern day advice. Homosexuality was not considered an issue back at its writing. Homosexuality was seen by the Romans as an upper-class venture that wasn't looked down upon, even the Roman pantheon included homosexual deities. The issue simply wasn't around at the time so it is unlikely that scripture was written with it in mind. I would disagree, I would say that it does leave room for homosexual preferences, I would say that it may not give room for homosexual marriage but again that was never an issue at the time.

I look forward to your reply and to your opinion on these issues. I have found the discussion thus far to be a very interesting one.

Thankyou,
Talyn



Dear Talyn,

Thanks for your cordial response to my e-mail of June 30. We’re pleased to know that you found our information helpful, and we’re more than happy to assist you by answering the additional questions you’ve raised as a result of receiving our message. Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to engage in an ongoing dialogue with you on the subject of homosexuality. We receive several thousand pieces of mail every day here at Focus headquarters, many of them expressing urgent needs that require immediate attention. Much as we might enjoy it, we simply can’t afford the luxury of continuing correspondence with any given constituent. We hope you understand.

With regard to your inquiry concerning our understanding of the Bible: we do indeed consider Scripture to be “the inspired, only, infallible, authoritative Word of God” (from our official Statement of Faith). This, as far as we are concerned, is absolutely essential to everything we believe as Christians.

Concerning the specifics of the Bible’s attitude toward homosexual behavior: we are having trouble understanding how you can possibly make the claim that homosexuality “wasn’t around” or “wasn’t an issue” when the Old and New Testaments were written. As you yourself have conceded, homosexuality was commonly practiced among the pagan Greeks and Romans of the first century, and it is precisely for this reason that the apostle Paul felt led to identify it as an especially egregious example of the absurd, self-contradictory behaviors and thought patterns (“professing to be wise, they became fools”) that men and women are capable of embracing when they “exchange the truth of God for a lie.” For deeper insight into this issue we recommend that you take a closer look at Paul’s discussion of the subject in Romans 1:18-32.

As to your suggestion that our Web site articles might be more effective and “palatable” with the general public if we were to “balance” their content by including a consideration of opposing perspectives, we can only tell you that this sort of unbiased objectivity, as wonderful and as appropriate as it may be in certain contexts, has nothing to do with our mission as a Christian ministry. We are neither a newspaper, a journalistic agency, nor an encyclopedia of sociological data. Focus on the Family is at heart an evangelistic outreach, and as such we do not apologize for having a very definite point of view. We believe that the God of the Bible is real and alive, that human beings are sinners in need of His forgiveness and grace, and that Jesus Christ has come to redeem us from the ills we have brought upon ourselves by insisting upon going our own way. This is our message and we have no reason to dilute it or counteract its impact by taking time to examine the opinions of those who deny its validity.

More could be said, but perhaps this is sufficient to give you a better understanding of our perspective. Your continued interest in our work is much appreciated. Grace and peace to you.

Timothy Masters,
Focus on the Family


Firstly: excuse the lack of paragraphs in my response as apparently making something Italic automatically removes all the indents, yay. [Amended. LEARN BASIC HTML. - Subed.]

Secondly: a phrase to note - "As to your suggestion that our Web site articles might be more effective and “palatable” with the general public if we were to “balance” their content by including a consideration of opposing perspectives, we can only tell you that this sort of unbiased objectivity, as wonderful and as appropriate as it may be in certain contexts, has nothing to do with our mission as a Christian ministry."

Can anyone run up T-Shirts for me?

How To Kill Tenacious Firefox Popups:

"To block pop-ups from plugins, open your Firefox 1.0 or 1.0.1 browser, type about:config in the address field. Right-click in the resulting config page somewhere and select New -> Integer. Type privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins in the resulting dialog, hit OK, type 2 in the next dialog and you’re all set."

Pity ME.

I made this while sober and in full posession of my faculties.

Human Rights

Unlawful curfew enforcement condemned by judge.

"Of course I have no problem with being stopped by the police if I've done something wrong. But they shouldn't be allowed to treat me like a criminal just because I'm under 16."

A reassuring breath of civil liberty in a world of increasing paranoiaic oppression.

" 'teenagers hanging around' is a big cause of concern to the public as cited in the British Crime Survey"

/Sable

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

One Down...

BNP Founder Dies

Not enough rabid stoats or boiling oil involved for me, I'm afraid, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Burnham Trophy

My one-act play, Commeducation, the source sonnet for which was published in this journal, has won the theatre festival in which it was entered.

Written under my nom de plume, "J.R.S. Ivens", and directed by Mike Ivens, it will be entered into national public theatre festivals next year.

I smell success for both myself and The Rhexis, genitals and ladymen. Let's make the most of this.

/Veins

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Where The Great Old Ones Are


(Found on a google image trawl)

Image size fixed. And you were doing so well, Withiel.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Heads UP


Warren Ellis and JH WIlliams III are on the money with this one. -Desolation Jones #2 preview.

Imagine the Prisoner rewritten for the 21st century with pervert outfits and body-horror, and you might just have some inkling of how good this is. Also, Hitler Porn and lovely, lovely art. Out on Thursday. Go and buy it. Your brain will reward you.

And Talyn - give me back #1 or I will throw up in your dog again.

Logic, please.

1) A pair of exposed breasts

2) The colloquial word for faeces

3) A vicious beating or a murder.

In which order would you place the above objects in relation to a child?
That is, which would you least like a child to encounter directly? The answer seems, fairly obviously, to be in reverse order; partial nudity is held to be the least harmless, whereas physical assault is the most dangerous and undesirable. Now consider the same child being exposed to these things on a television screen - the order is almost certainly inverted . It is far more likely (and seems to be considered more acceptable) for a child to vicariously experience violence via the media than for the same child to be exposed to the pernicious image of, er, female nipples. This is, to couch it in the most conservative terms, fucking insane and indicative of a sick, death-obsessed society. I do not want to have to live in a world where this is the case. Perhaps this can be conveniently be blamed on the Church - the all-pervading image of the crucifix providing a precedent for the glorification of violence and death- but whatever the cause, it remains that this is not the way a civilised society behaves. This is not a "think-of-the-children" rant proposing censorship of Tom and Jerry or any of that nonsense, however. I am fundamentally against censorship. I do agree that allowing vulnerable* people to choose whether or not they are exposed to violent or otherwise disturbing imagery is a good idea. However, I do not consider a large amount of what would be considered "sexual imagery" (by which I mean specifically nudity) to be disturbing. Furthermore, the methods employed by the BBFC and their foul spawn seem fundamentally hypocritical. Why is it that (for example) a man's bare chest can be shown, but a woman's can not? The only argument I can think of that isn't inherently sexist is that female chests are secondary sexual characteristics and therefore more "sexually charged" than their XY counterparts. Which is crap, because unless we start worrying about intersex examples on television to the exclusion of all else, it seems to follow that in the majority of cases, any bare chest is either male or female, and therefore, a man's lack of breasts is equally sexually significant as a woman's possession of the aforesaid attributes. For the record, I think both are good. If anyone can come up with a logical argument for the censorship of nudity (especially over and above violence) in the media, then I'd like to see it, please. Now.
Otherwise, I call for a sane and non-death-exalting way of structuring and advising about content, in order that future generations aren't quite so fucked in the head.

*This is not necessarily dictated by age, and could indeed be a matter of personal preference.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Script me up, my children


This chappie is The Scientist. He's a superhero of sorts, and I'd like YOU (yes, YOU) to write ME a a variety of 8-page scripts detailing his adventures. There are, however, a number of restrictions.

1) The Scientist has NO POWERS WHATSOEVER, and solves any problems that he faces by bluffing or with reason (although he does have limited martial arts skils).
2) The Scientist's identity must NEVER BE REVEALED in a story, although it can of course be hinted at.
3) All stories are to be in monochrome, or preferably black and white, and have a sense of humour.
4) Any script becomes joint property of the writer and artist if it is used.

Submit away - rhexis.stealthsuit@gmail.com

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I Return

Fear me.

-T

Friday, July 08, 2005

This changes nothing.

Yesterday, a large number of people were killed by a small group of repugnant fundamentalist murderers* in London. This was in every way a crime against humankind, and a shocking demonstration of the lengths some individuals (I hesitate to call them people) will go to further their own ends. At this time, President Bush thought it appropriate to make a speech contrasting his own work for the Good of Humankind to the Nasty things the Terrr'sts did in London. He was completely and utterly mistaken. Although he may not share an ideology with the perpetrators of these attacks, he too is responsible for using the bombing of civilians to get what he wants. Being a major state is no excuse. There is no justification for these actions. From anyone. Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush seem to want us to see this issue in black and white; there are Good People Like Us, and there are Nasty People Who Are Not Like You Who Want To Blow You Up. I feel that the issue is black and white, but not in the way they would like us to see it: There are civilised people, who progress through debate and communication, and there are murderous fuckwits who force their will on others through violence and fear. The bombers in London and President Bush in Gleneagles both fall in the latter group, and it is my fervent hope that if any good comes of these tragic events, it will take the form of a mass public rejection of these tactics of threats and murder. Just because one lot want to protect "us" does not mean that they are not equally morally repugnant. I want a future where these repulsive creatures are remembered only in history books, as the last throes of a long-extinct ideology. I never want this to happen again, in London, Iraq, New York or Afghanistan.
London will recover - it's more than used to the threat of terrorism, and people will come together, rebuild what has been destroyed, and help the people who have been hurt by this. And then, hopefully, they'll reject both sets of murderers who made this tragedy possible.

*I'm not shouting "It was Osama! It was! I know it!" until I see more proof than some crackpot on a messageboard.

Furthermore. Those in other countries - we don't all support that whining poodle of a man Mr. Blair's policies. Remember:

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Serious incident on London Transport

This is going up live as we get the reports. Keep refreshing for more updates.

By the looks of it, all transport systems in London are down - advice is to not go in if you're not there, and to stay where you are and keep away from windows if you're in already. - OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT WARNING: "People in London do not attempt to move around city, stay where you are. All transport routes are closed, trying to minimise movements of people to avoid chaos. Do not call emergency services unless incident is life threatening."

BBCnews24 reports possible bomb incidents at the following stations:
Edgware Rd
Kings Cross
Liverpool St
Russell Sq
Aldgate East, but not all of these are necessarily explosions.

BBC
Reuters
U.TV
Press Association
skynews

Sky says three bus explosions as of now, Mobile networks are DOWN, in order to prevent more bombs being triggered, so advice is not to panic if trying to get through to anyone in London and use their landlines if possible.
Reports on fatalities not consistent yet, but at least one person is in "serious condition".

MORE: Guardian website is also down for the moment, but it is claimed to have quoted eyewitnesses who saw 'bodies, some missing arms and legs' at Tavistock Square, 'bodies everywhere' at Liverpool Street. This has not yet been substantiated as far as I can tell.

Pictures from Aldgate
One? of the buses.
BBC NewsONLINE is down, including the text only service.

BBCNEWS24 has confirmed evidence of a bomb at Tavistock Square.

Possibility of people being trapped under Euston Street Station. Another reported bus explosion at Houndsditch near Liverpool Street.

MORE: Anyone in London - further explosions will be heard as police set off controlled detonations of other devices.

Guardian website is now working again, but I don't know for how long: the link is here

BBC World Service webstream is NOT DOWN and can be accessed here

It looks like the rumours of a "power surge" were a cover story - the national grid claim that there's been "no problems with its system that could have contributed to the incidents".
No confirmed deaths, but eyewitnesses report bodies under sheets, and ITV have an "official government source" talking about 20 or 30 possibly dead.
SWINDON and BRIGHTON stations reported evecuated.
Televised statement from the Prime Minister at midday from London Gleneagles.
The army are on the streets at Covent Garden.
Very comprehensive constantly updating coverage at the Guardian newsblog
Sky's timeline of events
The Londonist has more coverage. "Arab sources" and the BBC claim that it's Al Quaeda that's responsible.
Windows Media Player Live BBC News feed

Blair has confirmed that these are terrorist attacks, will leave Gleneagles to gain reports, but the summit will continue: TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS

"It is the will of all the leaders of the G8 that the meetings should continue in my absence.. we should discuss and reach the conclusions we were going to reach. each of the countries around the table have experienced terrorism, so they understand what the UK is going through. It is particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day where peole are meeting to help the problems of poverty in Africa, climate change and the environment. It is clear that is a terrorist attack linked to the opening of the G8. We will talk later about this, it's important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in their desire to impose extremism on the world. It is our determination that it will not succeed, either in this country, or any other civilised country around the world."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

How Not to Get Beaten Up in Cedar City

Dress up in British combat boots and trousers, write "GOD SAVE THE KING" in large, clear letters on your t-shirt, don a Northerner's flat-cap, and parade around town singing the national anthem of the United Kingdom on the 4th of July.

Surprisingly.

I Think I've Died And Gone To Heaven

Do you remember Rainbow?

Best. Episode. Ever.

The scary part is that I vaguely remember this episode. I think I watched it when I was very small. Eep.