05 May 2009

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Yes, today is the day that my neighbours to the south commemorate the victory of the Mexican Army over the forces of Napoleon III.  Feck all to do with anything, but these days it's a good excuse for Americans to drink Mexican beer (Dos Equis for those with taste buds).

It's also the birthday of Roddy 'Radiation' Byers, lead guitarist for The Specials and seemingly all-around nice guy.  ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Roderigo!

(Hey, I'm about ready to go to bed and there are 198 comments on the other thread.  Thought I might as well give you something to wake up to.)


  1. I posted comment 201! :-(

    So I've posted it again on here

    Wellcome BillP!

    Andy about people being sheep most of the time I think its because most people have to work so hard to make a decent life that thinking is just too much bother most of the time.

    There comes a pont though when enough people wake up - I suspect we are approaching one of those points. You need to get angry enough to do something!

  2. Any excuse for a drink eh...

    This modding thread has to be soon, surely? Thats going to be a massacre...

  3. Cinco de Mayo has been cancelled in Mexico. Business as usual begins on the 6th.

  4. The Threaded Board Poll was standing at 16 for and 14 against. So, I voted against, to try to even things up. Harmony is my middle name.

  5. I have a passionate dislike for those threaded boards, i dont know why, but obviously democracy must rule so if the majority want a move... i just really hope we dont move to that sort of board.

    But, what i think would be good, is to have two separate lists of threads, one simply for General Discussion - when it gets over 200, someone has to start a new one, though i think they should always be given a unique title and a little bit of intro blurb (about whatever), as that just makes it a bit easier to follow rather than New Thread 1, New Thread 2 etc. So that should be one bit.

    And then the other for actual sort of articles, where people wanna do a little bit on whatever they fancy, but actually on a specific subject. At the minute we have a mix, so i think we should separate.

    Where's Dot been lately?

  6. JayR is the only lucky one to be on temp ban (good for you JR); how come and how did JayR manage to change the Mods mind? come on JayR tell us please & expose the HYPOCRITE Mods.

    It sounds like all the noise, complaints and name calling to reinstate Jay has worked but why did it not work for others who were banned before & after JayR was banned? Everybody should be reinstated NOW.

    P.s. Ishouldapologise has also been banned; does that mean he is not going to write for cif anymore or has he just been banned as below the line poster?

  7. Ultima - "As for Cath "exonerating" Jay, she cannot do that . I saw those things with my own eyes."

    Can someone please just politely ask that loon to describe this alleged abuse of Cath - what did she see? What is it she is claiming i have said?

  8. "how come and how did JayR manage to change the Mods mind? come on JayR tell us please & expose the HYPOCRITE Mods."

    Well, pull up a chair young squire...

    its a combination of things really, big backlash on the board, threats of other cherished posters leaving (eg Kiz), support from Cs like AllyF (superb post), then there's the final straw element - it followed other high profile bannings, then there was my defence - i exchanged a few emails with various parties, suggested a lengthy ban as compromise and finally they agreed.

    One thing that really does need to be cleared up on the modding thread is the issue of premodding. What i mean is, i was put in premod but obviously i didnt find that out till i pressed post on my next comment - so my next comment included the naughty word too, and i think this is why i got banned, because to them i had been put on premod but had continued the abuse. But to me, as soon as I knew i was on premod i stopped - they dont realise that we find out we're on premod one post later - they really need to do something about that as im quite certain thats how i got banned, thats why premod became a permanent ban. So they need a way of making sure whenever someone is in premod, they know about it before they press "post" the next time.

  9. "I take the point by someone several pages back that those who disagree with them should stay and post, but the thing is that if you met them in the real world, at work, in the pub, in a lecture and they started to spout some of the stuff that gets spouted they would be treated either as one of those people who makes a joke out of being extreme i.e as a joke or as someone who had some sort of hang up, certainly not taken seriously."

    Now, im sorry to the fems here (as they are another world away from Wanchai and her ilk), but this is pure fantasy - in many a fem row the fem position gets absolutely obliterated.

    If anyone's a joke, Wanchai, it is the people talking about political lesbianism, flaming vaginas, all porn is rape and internalised misogyny. How does that go down in the average boozer, pray tell?

  10. Jay,

    I can't see how you'd have been banned for supposedly "pushing your luck" in premod. I was in premod for months and, during that time, as well as in previous shorter premod stints, I was relentless in making complaint posts to the mods (I knew they wouldn't publish them, although they had to read them all), so I used the premod as my own personal soapbox directed at what I realised was a captive mod audience.

    That they were reading all of them was evidenced by the fact that all my "acceptable" regular posts got through, while my "letters to the mods" didn't.

    There's no rhyme or reason to any of it. I began to notice that one mod would disallow a genuine but "unacceptable" post to a given thread, while another (or so I suspected) would allow it when reposted later. I also noticed that some posts would make it past premod, only to be later deleted by (as I suspected) a different mod on a later shift.

    I got the impression that there were at least two mods. One was strict, and one was human. The latter appeared to have a sense of humour, while the former obviously had control and personal bias issues.

    I really don't know how I survived so many premods in a row, or how I survived any of them, given the aforementioned use of them as letters to the ed soapboxes, and making it clear that I wasn't about to change my tone or style - ever.

    I also don't know what could have got me banned in the end. I suspect they decided to have a wholesale clearance, or Satan came in to work pissed off one day and started lashing out all over the place at his "enemies". If I was banned this week for cause, I should have been banned a hundred times, long before now.

    I never understood what the point of premod was anyway. Without accompanying electric shocks or rat masks, it's pretty pointless. You can't corrige the incorrigible with unannounced and unexplained cooling off periods.

  11. Billp, I posted as anon yesterday re MoveoverRover (and Mujokan).

    You mentioned yesterday that you put something on your profile which might have riled them. I think that might have played a part in your banning. When I was in premod last year I edited my profile and put something like "Currently in premod" in the 'about me' section. Within 1 hour I had an email in my inbox asking me to change it and talking about 'sorting things out'. I changed it and a couple of days later I had my premod shackles removed. Not that it matters now; CiF is more or less done for me now.

  12. shcerfig

    05 May 09, 10:41am (5 minutes ago)


  13. I put up a "the mods are holding me in a skinner box against my will..." message on my profile page back in February, if not before (I can't remember now).

    I'd initially thought I'd been banned because one of them strayed in there and found it (although, I'd been bombarding them with worse for a while before I took a break from Cif - it was getting pointless, what with the posting delays, wanton censorship of no-rule-violation posts, etc.) However, I'm now reconsidering that, thinking instead that that profile just disappeared automatically as my username was disabled. That is, perhaps they never saw it.

    As I say, my post-break contributions were defintely no worse than my pre-break ones. No cursing or personal attacks (I don't), or hard attacks on mod-favoured groups. And anyway, I was in premod and well-aware that nothing obviously against the rules could get through.

    So, by banning me, they have admitted that their premod thing is ill-conceived and pointless (as I pointed out to them long ago).

    I believe a sure sign of madness is attempting to discover reason in the doings of Cif mods.

  14. Mendoza - "I'm just wondering if anyone on here has experienced something that they consider a bit beyond the pale."

    Interesting question, might make a good thread...

  15. Well I don't give a rat's arse if they never accept me back on Cif. Maybe it's just my overdeveloped sense of paranoia but I was beginning to get really irritated by the quality of journalism in The Guardian- a seeming lack of curiosity, a tendency to toe the (NuLab?) party line. I used to read anything Peter Tatchell or Tariq Ali (for instance) wrote but you don't see them these days, probably because they were loose cannon.

    But what REALLY got me angry was an article by Ian Buruma a month or two back- he was talking about that holocaust denying bishop whose name escapes me- and he said that one of the bishop's "odious" opinions was that the twin towers were brought down by explosive.

    Now, it seems to me that a journalist should do his homework before writing, and if Buruma HAD done his homework he would see that at the very least there was a big question mark as to why the towers fell down but no, he kept his eyes and mind closed and went with the majority US opinion. Anything else is now considered unpatriotic. Then I discovered he lives and works in New York so no surprise there...

    Sorry to bang on about 911, you're probably all tired of hearing it (it was this obsession that got me banned from Cif) but before you call me a deluded prat, check out the facts.

    Also check out danpearcecomix.com for my serialised comic novel about depression...

  16. Also, speaking of missing posters, who was that absolute pig, rabid right wing pro life loon, a bloke, whose posts were so far fetched they were actualluy hilarious??? He was like a right wing spoof, really noxious little git, i cant think of any better way to describe him other than comically unpleasant and bigoted, someone please remember, anyone???

  17. I'm pro life. It's far better than the alternative.

  18. Billp - i didnt mean he's a loon for being pro life, rather that he is a loon who also rabbitted on about pro life stuff a lot. I understand the pro life position and have a limited amount of sympathy with it, but i just find the pro choice situation the lesser of two evils by a country mile. But thats another huge debate entirely...

  19. Eh? Do you mean nunovalente is the bloke im thinking of or is Nuno another banned poster?

    I really wanna remember this blokes name, he was really comically right wing, just said absurd things, he might have been a yank, i dont remember, he was posting mainly a few months back, start of the year i think, someone must remember, everyone was just laughing at him all the time.

  20. I meant that Nunovalente was qutie pro-life. DavidLindsay is another one who might fit the bill.

  21. Nah not davidlindsay, oh god this is going to bug me... i cant think of any better way to describe him than comically right wing and absurd, lots of his posts sounded like piss takes, some of them might even have been piss takes, oh this really is going to bug me... He didnt post that much, but had a burst for a few months, maybe it was last summer he was posting, probably the most humorous right wing nonsense i have ever seen on CIF.

  22. I think it was nunovalente, but was he the one who went on about differences in brain size (or something)between hets and homos?

    Re threaded boards: they are indeed pretty ugly, but what about linking to other blogs/a wiki in order to have more threads?

  23. So, what causes people to lose it in debate and start ranting. To get upset about another's opinion?

    I've argued this several times on Cif, in various types of threads. I just can't ever see any justification for getting upset about another person expressing an opinion.

    I suspect it has to do with the upsetee having control issues, and feeling that if the opinion isn't countered his/her world is going to cave in, and feeling that the polite expression of his/her own opinion won't provide sufficient counter power to prevent that from happening.

    On a scale of 1 to 100, my general opinion on anything hasn't been moved more than 1 point towards the opposing view, on any issue, as a direct result of reading an opposing opinion. I also seem to have a fixed opinion on a given issue BEFORE I'm even made acquainted with that issue. That is, I've never been surprised by the opinion I've formed on any new issue. I suspect most people are like me in that regard.

    Sanity is knowing that all opining is pissing in the wind, and doesn't affect the course of the grand scheme of things one iota. All the opinions a person will ever have are built-in from birth.

    I just enjoy opining.

    Especially for the ofjords.

  24. It wasnt nunovalente or davidlindsary, he had quite a short name i think, ah this really is bugging me... By the end people were actually encouraging him, goading him to post more for the comedy value, oh someone please remember him...

  25. Try to remember on whose threads he used to post, then go to Cif contributors and look up their articles from the period in quesion.

    So, who's articles did he used to respond to?

  26. Jay: "I have a passionate dislike for those threaded boards, i dont know why, but obviously democracy must rule..."

    Why? Why must democracy rule? Why can't the mob be ignored, in favour of good sense?

  27. Can somebody please do me a favour and just politely ask Ultima to clarify what this alleged abuse of Cath Elliott was?

    It would have to be a simple and polite request otherwise she'll start ranting about god knows what, but having been caught out the first time she has now decided to claim its some abuse she cant remember, cath missed it, it got deleted really fast so no one else remembers it, and this is just too weasely for words, and now the little creep BTH has joined in.

  28. Billp - i have a really, really shocking memory, i have been trying to think of what he contributed on, or even when he was around exactly, and its just getting me nowhere, i really cant remember, i think he was only around for maybe a month, he was prob banned, he had an actual name as part of, or all of, his moniker, might have had a Brian in it or something... Oh god he was so absurd, i think he was staunchly pro life, a Xtian, possiibly American, this really is bugging me... I cant remember a specific article he responded to at all. He had completely mental ideas, ultra right wing, by the end everyone just found him hilarious (maybe thats why he left), maybe Kiz will remember him, or AllyF, or Pikey, i think they might have been involved in some threads with him, or scherfig or Swifty... This is really, really bugging me now....

  29. "who's articles did he used to respond to?"

    Oh billp, you have spent too long on cif!

  30. Having a problem with the recommend button, which is not highlighted in blue alongside some posters posts ie: tomper2 at 11am, most recent ones by kiz & lord summerisle re: WML.
    Strange - I can't recommend posts I've not even read yet ...

  31. I see Seaton's blowing the Grauniad's horn about winning a Webby for Cif Belief in the Religion and Spirituality category. Wow. Who were the competition?

    Lets see...there was the Trappists, whose site was in Latin and gave of the aroma of stale candle-wax...screamingpope.net, a site showcasing the Il Papa's many georgeous robes...opusdei.org, a site devoted to listing enemies slated for destruction and hellfire...and endofdays.com, a site selling assault rifles and survival gear.

    A glittering prize, indeed, Matt.

    I was prepared to give Seaton, a fellow cyclist, a chance when he first replaced Georgina, but he's turned out to be a shifty, condescending twerp.

    I gave up posting as @artpepper when they started 'disappearing' my posts from the only segment of GU that I still commented on. Not deleting--disappearing...for no discernible reason, moving even Carol Rumens, on whose Poem Of The Week blog it happened, to protest. That's when I walked and started my own blog.

    Great thing is, all the people who were the sole reason for my posting on the book blogs now comment on my blog...without being fucking moderated or caned for being 'off-topic' (a concept I don't recognize over at Politely Homicidal: we talk about life--nothing's 'off-topic', forchristsake.

    I still (rarely) comment as @arturopimiento (artpepper in Spanish), but I doubt I'll even bother with that any more. I gave up on GU and CiF and while ago and it's worked out just fine...

  32. Oh-oh...I now see that the Grauniad's won a Webby as Best Newspaper Site. I suspect you can forge any concessions from Seaton and co.

    "The Webby awards, often described as "the Oscars of the internet", are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-member body of leading web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities."

    ...and how many of these, erm...'visionaries and creative celebrities' contribute to CiF, do you think?

    Seaton and co. don't get it and I doubt they ever will...

  33. "I gave up on GU and CiF and while ago and it's worked out just fine..."

    Still clearly obsessed with it though. Sad.

  34. Dear Sir,

    5 de Mayo is a pocho festival, not worthy of a true Mexican.

  35. What does 'pocho' mean, Phil?

  36. @Billp

    Speaking entirely personally of course, but I have always found a change of Worldview to be a most invigorating experience indeed. It is both refreshing and deeply stimulating. Stimulating because it sets off a plethora of thinking about how the new stuff fits in with everything else (consistency being a laudable aim) and what new possibilities and consequences arise. But that is partly why I got into science, for that. It is a risk every time you open a new Journal issue. I can remember several papers that did that to me.

    Then there is that I used to be a YEC Fundie and was as pro-life as they come. But then that aforementioned science education began in earnest and lots of things began to give and soon I was freewheeling down a steep slope at a great rate of knots, the metaphysical wind fair howling through the corridors of my mind until I ended up just to the moderate side of Dawkins.

  37. Didn't BillP used to say he thought Barack Obama looked like a monkey?

  38. obsessed with it? Nah...it's like dropping into a pub you used to like, just to remind yourself why you no longer drink there...

  39. Anybody noticed the Harman/Johnson leadership poll? Last time I looked it was 75%/25% in favour of Johnson and now it's 75% in favour of Harman. Can this be right?

  40. Muscle guy I had a similar experience - and ended up a Marxist to boot!

    Jay i can'tremember the name but i do remember some nutjob telling me that he would make me change my mind and how he'd do it (LOL!) Called me 'sister' in an aggressive context!

    I just can't remember his moniker sorry!

  41. The sisters have been mobilised scherfig!

  42. Personally don't fancy either of them. Out of a bad bunch I prefer McDonnell.

  43. "Anybody noticed the Harman/Johnson leadership poll? Last time I looked it was 75%/25% in favour of Johnson and now it's 75% in favour of Harman. Can this be right?"

    Probably not, but isnt Harman quite chummy with some of the upper members of the Graun hierarchy? i struggle to believe most Graun readers would prefer Harman. Or maybe its an organised attack from certain websites who would love to see a sista in the hotseat...

    Annetna - that sounds like it could be him, it was quite a while ago he was posting but i think he had some sort of mental condition, completely off his rocker..

  44. Yeah, could be, Anne. Have you seen the (now closed) WDTWTTA thread? Ultima was sullying your good name again (and BB's) so I broke my own rule and stepped in. She really is unbelievable.

  45. Annetan - do you remember roughly when it was, or whose threads he was commenting on????

  46. It was over two years ago, Someone on the old open thread mentioned someone called Arrogant American but i don't think it was him.

    On Ultima's comment - she did say I wasn't a fully paid up woman. I did say that I was a 'fully paid up member of the human race for my sins' some where on the thread but that might have been a reply.

    Its typical isn't it? I actually think that she was her dad's little princess and really can't cope with opposition - from anybody and especially men. So she will always blame the object of her abuse.

    She reminds me of Violet Elizabeth Bott in 'Just William'. You know - "I'll thcream and thcream 'till I'm thick"!

    She was an awful representative of girlhood mind, but then boys of William's age do go through a mysogenistic 'girls are soppy' phase. They mostly grow out of it though!

  47. Scherfig thanks for defending me! Was out having blood pressure taken at quacks! Was high but not too high - what with that Cif thread and a phone in on radio 4 in which some git thought top earners shouldn't be taxed at 50% but OAP's shouldn't get their fuel allowance its no wonder!

  48. Its impossible to get any sense out of her, she's a pathological liar and fantasist.

  49. Going to be good and have my afternoon nap! (very old ladyish but good for the ol'ticker!)

  50. Yeah, take it easy, anne. You don't need any aggro from nutters.

  51. billp's postbag...

    martillo, I think "Whose articles did he used to respond to?" is perfectly reasonable (aprat from the apostrophe). If we wanted to remember JayReilly (or ultimathule) for example, on whose articles might we begin looking?

    "Pocho" (pronounced with a ch sound like in chair) describes Mexican emigrants to the US who have lost a lot of their original Spanish, or their descendants who have never learned it properly, and who speak a mix of Spanish and English.

    Phil Hall refers to the fact that Cinco de Mayo is not as popular a celebration in Mexico as it is among Mexican communities in the US and other countries.

    Muscleguy, I don't believe you re the Worldview thing. All you are describing is your passge from "scientific" ignorance to "scientific" knowledge in various areas. that is, before you considered Pluto to be a planet, now you don't. You never had an opinion of your own on that score, you just blindly follow what "science" tells you. That is, it is possible that you have donated your opinion faculty to science. If that's not true, please name one major issue upon which you hold a different opinion to the mainstream scientific community at large?

    Learning new things is not the same as changing one's opinion about something already known.

    annetan42, are you still a Marxist? If not, why not? And if not, what possessed you to become one at the time?

    MM, I didn't "udes to say" that Obama looked like a monkey. I once remarked (in the context of a thread about the Obama chimp cartoon) that Obama does, to my mind, resemble a chimp. I noted that many people resemble different animals. And they do - frogs, sheep, lemurs, rats, etc. I was pointing out that the only animal/individual human physical comparison that is not "allowed" is monkey-ape/black man.

    Meanwhile, I asked... Why? Why must democracy rule? Why can't the mob be ignored, in favour of good sense? (I meant with regard to non-democratic government issues, like group decisions to, say, go this way instead of that way in order to remedy being geographically lost in a jungle). If leadership (dictatorship) is recognised as being more useful than "democracy" in such situations, why would anyone want a democratic government?

  52. "martillo, I think "Whose articles did he used to respond to?" is perfectly reasonable (aprat from the apostrophe). If we wanted to remember JayReilly (or ultimathule) for example, on whose articles might we begin looking?"

    Perfectly reasonable, billp, logically if not grammatically. Still, who cares about such things these days?

    "Why? Why must democracy rule? Why can't the mob be ignored, in favour of good sense? "

    An excellent question. I suppose because it is seen to be a good thing. I don't really like to be involved in decisions about things I know little about. Give me a competent leader every time. As for governments, it's a question of trust, surely.

  53. What is it supposed to be then, "Whose articles did he use to respond to"? "Whose articles was it his wont to comment upon"? "Upon whose articles were a preponderance of his opinions bestowed"?

    Anyway, how does making one, or many grammatical errors indicate a long tenure on Cif?

    Er...it was a typo?

    You're absolutely right about "democracy", or the consensus, being held to be a good thing, or to equate to good sense. I wonder why that is, though? If I vote Tory, and Labour win, should I consider myself a gibbering idiot? Wouldn't I maintain that the majority is an ass? Yet, I'd probably go on to hold the acceptance of that majority decision by all to be a "good thing".

    Oh, it's a paradox, is what it is.

    I don't get the "question of trust" point. I realise there is no alternative BUT to trust the elected government in a democracy, however, my question is why would we trust democracy to produce good decisions and, therefore, competent and trustworthy governments?

    Crowds are notoriously thick and easily led. Why should that change upon changing the name to "electorate".

    At the very least, people should have to pass a political and economic issues test, along with a critical thinking test, before being enfranchised. Just being able to breathe is no grounds for having input as to the selection of democratic representatives.

  54. Kindly post to the "Yeah, I know" or Daily Chat thread.