13 January 2011

13/01/11


Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
-William Pitt

229 comments:

  1. "This article suggests a tiny minority of sex offender profiles link motive to rape to sexual gratification. The other three types - sadistic, opportunistic (mostly about impulse control) and the controlling type are about power...."

    But, of the other three types: "sadistic"...is this really primarily power, so much as pleasure in inflicting pain and suffering? (agree a position of relative power is a prerequisite but not necessarily a primary motivation)

    "opportunistic (mostly about impulse control)" again power is a sort of precondition, but this one might equally well be explained in terms of a 'selfish gene/ evolutionary psychology scenario'...rape is surely the most 'low-maintenance' method of gene propagation?

    and "controlling type"..Ok..there must be a power motivation here, but then why sexual?..there are many many other ways of exerting control..unless you regard sexual control as the ultimate exercise of power over another...although surely a higher degree of control manifests itself when or if control can be exercised with no physical force?

    I'm pretty sure the power motivation is so regularly quoted because it fits with wider feminist thinking about societal relations...I certainly don't wholly reject it...and in many ways I think men, or rather rapists, come out looking a whole lot sadder and more pathetic without it.

    Leni said..

    "There seems little doubt that the crimes in Abu Graib and elsewhere were designed to weaken the detainees and break their sense of themselves as men with personal agency. The question arises - and I have seen nothing written on this - did the men and women involved in the sexual humiliation of prisoners get a sexual 'kick' from their behaviour?"

    I doubt they got any kick...but nor do I think it was about power, unless they regarded themselves as exercising it by proxy on behalf of a superpower against a broken and ravaged state...but surely the whole 'shock and awe' and guided missile thing was enough to have satisfied the greatest control freak? I think it was deliberate torture and humiliation in order to break them.

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  2. @Parallaxview:

    Not entirely sure what stats you really want. Blogger only started making them available to blog admins in July 2010. The graphs all begin at May, but there are no stats for May and June.

    Since the stats were made available, as of my writing this, there have been 340,989 total page views. In that time, December was the most active month, with 64,725 total pageviews. The busiest day was 9 July 10, with 3302 page views and 373 comments. We averaged 52,239 pageviews per month from July through December.

    The top 10 countries for traffic aren't terribly surprising. In descending order they are:

    United Kingdom
    United States
    Canada
    France
    Brazil
    Spain
    Netherlands
    Italy
    Germany
    Ireland

    The five most common search keywords that bring people to the Untrusted are:

    the untrusted
    cif untrusted
    untrusted
    l'anse aux meadows
    cifthreadrefugee

    Yeah. L'anse aux Meadows is a bit funky. I assume it's because I used a photo of it one day.

    The widget in the right sidebar that shows the people currently looking at the site is a 3rd party widget that doesn't always seem to jive with the stats Blogger will give me if I do a "now" look at their stats. It was put here before Blogger started making stats available to admins.

    I don't remember exactly what I said when I commented about the stats being made available to admins, but I'd imagine I used "interesting" or maybe even "fascinating" rather than "revealing". That, to my mind, implies something that one would perhaps prefer to keep unreavealed. At any rate -- the above is the sort of thing that it shows. Timeframes available are 'now', 'today', 'this week', 'this month' and 'all time'. I can't specify a particular date, for example.

    Hope this tells you what you wanted to know.

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  3. Oh, btw -- the two things that I tend to be fascinated by are the countries that will appear -- sometimes in contrast to what is shown on the counter widget -- and the search terms that sometimes lead people here.

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  4. Ok..there must be a power motivation here, but then why sexual?..there are many many other ways of exerting control..unless you regard sexual control as the ultimate exercise of power over another...although surely a higher degree of control manifests itself when or if control can be exercised with no physical force?

    I don't agree. What greater control could someone have over another than to decide what happens to that person's body in the most intimate way?

    I don't know if this will make sense or seem appropriate or germane to you, but -- my maternal grandmother suffered from rather severe rheumatoid arthritis from middle age. By the time she died at the age of 85, she was largely immobile. Psychologically, she had a harder time coming to grips with depending on someone for her most basic hygiene than she ever did with needing help with balancing her bank statement or remembering grandchildren's birthdays (or even names).

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  5. Montana

    Yes, search terms are often interesting to look at, if only to make you wonder how anyone can actually devise a search engine to accommodate the vagaries and obvious incompetencies of the person doing the searching, along with wondering whether 90 percent of people ever find something remotely close to what they are seeking.

    Congratulations, though, to have kept the site going and to have arrived at the stage where, if you do not keep up day by day, there is often too much to cover with anything other than a quick glance.

    Meanwhile, in other news, Hitler has been found running a transvestite car-parts business with attached discotheque on one of the moons of Saturn.

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  6. Something just occurred to me re. evolutionary psychology. I've changed my mind about rape..the optimal strategy for men, if EP is to be credited, would surely be a lifestyle involving signing on and making frequent visits to the sperm bank?

    There must be a significant number of men with a boredom threshold so high and lacking any recognisable 'status anxiety' who should, theoretically, be doing this. Are there?..I don't know any. It can't be hard these days to procure documentation 'proving' you're a superb athlete and Phd etc. Where are they all?

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  7. I think I am beginning to understand one of the mysteries of the universe - wealth creation.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12132543

    It seems to happen when a shop could ask a shopper to stump up an extra couple of quid or change the item to a cheaper version, but instead offloads that job onto a civil recovery scam or racket or wheeze or demanding money with menaces operation [The term you are looking for is probably something like "enterprise" or "commercial operation" - Ed] which then magically converts that £2 into an Alchemists-R-Apoplectic-with-Envy 140 nicker.

    Apparently, this is the new device being employed by those lovely big retailers who advertise on the telly and operate from massive tin sheds out in the industrial suburbs and wastelands.

    The only thing which prevents this from being the formula which will, as they say, "grow" the economy and send it spiralling into space with all of us clinging to the wind-whipped edges is that Mr Bloke is now £140 down and will probably never shop at B&Q again - all over some loose change.

    Having said which, the leeching-scam operators [Saviours of humanity - Ed] will pocket their fraction of a nice little earner and the retailer will receive much more than they could expect from profiteering.

    So, a lovely win-win situation and trebles all round for the saviours of the universe in corporate suits or aprons.

    And no food for a week for Mr Bloke and his family.

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  8. Bitey -

    "And it is your obsession with diminishing the appalling reality of rape for women"

    Ah, thats what I've been doing is it, my mistake....

    Come back when you have something worth saying, Bitey.


    Vizzo

    "I don’t think anyone says that we can end it or that it’s 100% political."

    I disagree - the language of "ending" violence and rape is very common in fem discourse and, by consequence, on CiF. If you belive these things to be purely manifestations of incorrect views on women then of course they can be ended: fix the faulty views, end the crime.

    I would concede its probably rhetorical if it didnt coincide with so many other aspects of the doctrine, which generally holds to the "blank slate" view of people that they are entirely products of their surroundings.

    Your other points I agree with, stiff sentences, policing reform etc make sense - what doesnt make sense is maintain this poverty of discourse where even dogmas as silly (to me) as saying rape has *nothing* to do with sex can be taken as given for decades (Meerkat - this view can be seen on every single CIF thread on the issue, and here at the UT, its exceptionally common even today). Furthermore, those who query this are then subjected to a number of suggestions of dark motives, "bugbears", "diminishing the victims experience", etc. This is pathetic.

    Pinkers section on the issue is fascinating and i'd urge people to read it, not because it would change their mind but because its probably the sharpest presented counter-argument of its sort. A serious point he makes concerns the use of chemical castration.

    This has been used in other countries with comparatively high success in reducing reoffending. I cant remember whether he's talking about the US or the UK, but it has been rejected over here partly because, you guessed it, "rape is not about sex, its about power". So hormone treatment is out.

    If we look at reoffending rates, assuming that data he offers to be true, is it not the case that there are people being raped because certain treatments are being rejected on ideological and plainly dogmatic grounds?

    To me, thats not helping rape victims or anyone else. It is doing nothing but allowing certain groups to maintain their dogmas.

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  9. MF - on EP,

    I dont know but would imagine the response would be that the procreation drive is a fairly primal one, hence why hormone treatment can virtually kill sex drive (as in other point), rather than a rational, conscious thought - "i must spread my seed" etc.

    For the same reason, there was that research not long ago showing women's *walk* changes at different times of the menstrual cycle or something - clearly this is not a conscious, rational thought process. And i would be astonished if anyone could fit that research into the standard social science model.

    You really should his blank slate book, MF, even if you disagreed with it i'm 99% certain you'd find it a fascinating read. Its not just about EP, mainly about "blank slate" thinking, "the noble savage" and the "ghost in the machine" - 3 ideas he challenges which are central to a lot of todays thinking.

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  10. On Monday in Parliament Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe queried Steve Webb, Minister of pensions on the Coalition's plan to cut housing benefit for those out of work over 12 months.

    The exchange went as follows:

    Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what evidence he used to determine that planned changes to housing benefit for those out of work for over 12 months will increase employment levels.

    Steve Webb: We did not make any specific assumptions about the impact on employment levels of this measure. Research shows that the reasons for long term unemployment are complex. However we believe reducing housing benefit after 12 months will provide an additional financial incentive for jobseekers to take up work.

    In other words, the Govt has no evidence that cutting benefits for those out of work more than 12 months has any impact on employment levels. They're banking on the threat of homelessness forcing people into any type of work.

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  11. United Kingdom
    United States
    Canada
    France
    Brazil
    Spain
    Netherlands
    Italy
    Germany
    Ireland

    How did Canada get in there and beat the french bras of UT?

    Anyway - on Jay's point above, and the meme "rape is not about sex, its about power", my view is that it's about both, or, if not 'power', then 'uncaringness' ('carelessness' sounds wrong) or egotism. From my own personal experience, he wanted sex, and didn't care how he got it. So while it was about power / uncaringness, it wasn't just about that. That, I would guess, is fairly common in cases of rape / sexual assault by an acquaintance, which is fairly common in comparison to all rapes / sexual assaults...

    How one 'ends' that, 'ends' the view that one person's wants render another person's irrelevant, I don't know.

    Not sure if that's psychopathy - believe that means that the attacker does not understand that the attackee has feelings - rather they just do not care (rather than serial attackers who may get off on it...)

    brrrrr. getting off this topic...

    anyway. who's in Ireland?

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  12. "n other words, the Govt has no evidence that cutting benefits for those out of work more than 12 months has any impact on employment levels."

    I doubt they care that much, tbh, lower benefits does allow for tax cuts, and it will help keep downward pressure on wages - the worse the prospect of unemployment is the more pliant labour becomes and the less it will work for. This is a dream come true - cut corporation taxes (wont be long before higher top tax is lowered from 50% to "encourage growth"), cut regulation, cut regulatory bodies, cut HMRC staff, chip away at employee rights for "growth" purposes.

    If you put the CBI in charge of the country, you wouldn't notice a lot of difference.

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  13. A large part of male scepticism to the power angle of rape is simple biomechanics. You have to be aroused to rape. Ergo it's primarily a sexual motivation.

    Now last time I checked I was male, but I still believe that the commonality to all rape is power (you might also add degradation and control). Why? Because you have to separate out sexual attraction and sexual stimulus. In other words, what prompts arousal.

    One of the groups targetted for rape by rebel groups in the Congo was pygmy tribes (no, I'm not making this up). I was reading the account of a pygmy chief who was raped along with the rest of his family. Did the militia find him sexually attractive? Doubtful. So what was the sexual stimulus? Probably control and power. The fetishization of power - which they'd exerted during the rape of over 200,000 Congolese women in the course of the conflict - has become stimulating in itself.

    Most rapists can find sex elsewhere - in a relationship or by transaction - but they choose to rape. As I said last night, it's not purely about power, but it is always about power. Power and control seem the common turn-on, from opportunist rape of someone they know to male rape in war.

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  14. Wybourne

    In other words, the Govt has no evidence that cutting benefits for those out of work more than 12 months has any impact on employment levels. They're banking on the threat of homelessness forcing people into any type of work.

    Yes, wasn't there something recently where, when questioned, the government was basically using some things which The Daily Mail had simply invented as the basis for formulating policy?

    People seem to imagine that governments are hard-nosed and steely-eyed and everything they do is based on rigorous analysis, incisive scrutiny and inquisitorial scrupulousness.

    They are more like kids hiding behind trees with eyes shut tight and counting to twenty - with seventeen mistakes along the way - and forcing images into their brains of cowboys and indians and rock-jawed Americans saving the world.

    As someone said on Dribbly recently, they concoct a plan and quickly spot that it is nothing like applicable or relevant to the real world.

    Then decide that they must force the real world to be squeezed and contorted into the immaculate loveliness of the plan, even if it cripples and deforms and kills stupid, ugly reality.

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  15. I can’t add much to the rape debate except to say that if it had ever happened to me, it’d be just one more thing to add to the long list of things I’m taking to the grave with me.

    “Talking” about stuff like that would in no way be of any help to me at all.

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  16. Atomboy,

    Yes, wasn't there something recently where, when questioned, the government was basically using some things which The Daily Mail had simply invented as the basis for formulating policy?

    I think you're referring to the post I wrote regarding the investigations into the £100,000 housing benefit figure banded about relentlessly by the Coalition and right wing media.

    Fullfact.org when phoning the relevant Govt dept was told to contact the Daily Mail or the Sun for the figures.

    Jay, I have no doubt that come next election the Tories will go into it offering tax cuts afforded by cutting, cutting and cutting Welfare over the next few years. The fact they have no evidence to show the effectiveness of this policy as highlighted by the housing benefit exchange above shows the cold, ruthless ideology at the heart of this coalition.

    Funny how they don't show the same ruthlessness with the bankers.

    I think you said in a post once, the Tories are not the party of the rich, they are the rich. Never a truer word said.

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  17. I suspect i'd react as Swifty describes above too. I'd never given it any thought but on being asked last night, the first thought that came into my head was sheer horror at the idea of endless "chats" and consoling from family and friends. Obviously the crime itself would be infinitely worse, but in terms of responding to it - that would put me off reporting it hugely, as well as the ordeal of dealing with police and trial.

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  18. Exactly Duke, government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. And not just rich, but they are mostly millionaires on the benches these days. Still astonishes me that in 2010 the people will still elect two Etonian, Bullingdonian born-to-rule filth to run the country.

    And Osborne, he's so grotesque he doesnt even attempt the charade of *pretending* he's in politics for the good of the nation or anyone else, he cant even manage that. He just sits smirking, slashing, destroying, and cant even be bothered to play the game of noble statesman, he's just a parasite openly working for his own self aggrandisement and enrichment.

    No wonder they hid the "high pitched" squealing little scumbag in the election campaign... And now he's the bloody chancellor.

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  19. For every crime there are both perpetrators and observers who will seek some justification and excuse, whether it's the killer who says "he deserved it" to the drunk driver who says "I've never had an accident". But it doesn't change the act into something different. Extenuation doesn't change rape or any other crime into something else.

    If we define human sex at a very minimum as being between two or more consenting people, then by definition we also exclude from that definition the act of rape which is by definition non-consensual. It is something else, an assault, often a violent assault and that is why rape isn't sex, it's about demanding and getting power over another individual. The rapist is saying "if you don't consent I will force you" and even, "I don't want your consent, I'm going to force you", and in either case it is a demonstration of power of one or more individuals over another.

    Those who try for whatever reason to define rape as sex, start to provide the rapist with an alibi.

    And as the Amnesty International Opinion Poll quite clearly demonstrated, the last thing that women who are the victims of rape need are people seeking excuses for rapists.

    ICM opinion poll commissioned by Amnesty International UK (2005)

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  20. @Jay:

    ”…sheer horror at the idea of endless "chats" and consoling from family and friends…”

    Well, there’s that… but basically, I’m just not one for “sharing”, “working through my issues” and all that touchy-feely bollocks. Fine if it works for other people (it’s a big wide world and some people swear homeopathy works, after all) but it’s not for me.

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  21. Swifty / Jay - think that would be a common reaction, while there remains stigma about officially reporting rape, there is perhaps less stigma for women in terms of talking about it with friends. it has, sadly, been 'normalised' - a common occurrence. for men, perhaps that is still a problem.

    'endless chats' might be deeply counter-productive, but just being able to tell someone can, for many people, be very helpful.

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  22. "I’m just not one for “sharing”, “working through my issues” and all that touchy-feely bollocks."

    Yeah thats what i mean, thats why the chats etc would be so painful. But you wouldnt get away from them - family and friends wouldnt just leave you to it in silence (which would be preferable), it'd be endless grief...

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  23. ...this might not sound very convincing, but I'm not actually that 'touchy-feely' either - so the reactions of male friends I told 'suited' me better. a gruff hug (after checking that was OK) and some dark mutterings about if i got my hands on the ... were a lot more my style than going over any details.

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  24. @ AB and the Duke (and everyone else: I'm sooo inclusive). Been a long-time podcast subscriber/listener to NPR's "This American Life", which though sometimes a bit irritating (twee,smug etc) never gets anywhere near Guardian levels of ignorant idiocy and self-satisfaction. Loads of real-life narratives, bit of investigation on all aspects of regular (and irregular) US people's lives.I'm sure Montana knows it.
    Anyhow, mentioning it because the latest one explores the whole concept of money, and how ultimately, it's just a fiction, a convenient fabrication. All you need do then is ask, convenient for whom?

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  25. "...this might not sound very convincing, but I'm not actually that 'touchy-feely' either - so the reactions of male friends I told 'suited' me better. a gruff hug (after checking that was OK) and some dark mutterings about if i got my hands on the ... were a lot more my style than going over any details."

    Made me laugh. And yeah i agree, i didnt mean to imply that talking about problems is "touchy feely", obviously its a wide spectrum, i just dont think i'd find any benefit from "talking things through", like you I'd probably find the "brief hug and mutter" routine preferable.

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  26. @Philippa:

    Well, as I say, if it works for some people… but frankly, I can’t think of anything worse than “sharing” an experience like that. Except perhaps having a spot of “counselling” about it afterwards.

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  27. jay - for me 'touchy-feely' is the impulse to talk about absolutely every detail of absolutely everything and frankly I can't think of anything worse in that situation. 'hug and mutter' infinitely preferable...

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  28. Blairs on CIF, he is the definition of "unspeakable" - always takes a long time to think of any words that do him justice (c*nt was the brief option).

    Good to see him taken apart in the comments again:

    "What a disgusting person Blair is. He's the kind of person who makes atheists wish there was a Hell."




    Blair: "Too often it erupts in violence and acts of shocking extremism."

    Tomper: Well, you'd know.

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  29. Sure I posted something earlier. Could someone check the spam box, ta?

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  30. Retrieved, Alisdair, there was another in there too - not sure whose it was but its out now.

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  31. oh, god, hadn't seen that before - stay back, jay, eeeeasy there...

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  32. "Those who try for whatever reason to define rape as sex, start to provide the rapist with an alibi."

    No, they dont. You can define it how you like, you can have whatever motivation you like, you can dress it up in whichever academic theory you like, the crime is the same - you have still done the same thing to the same person, and it will make no difference to them, whatsoever, what your motivation is.

    This is like arguing with Bracken about 9/11, yet few seem to have caught the irony of telling Bracken one week "explaining is not justifying", and then themselves using the exact same argument the next week about rape.

    We have two words for "justify" and "explain" for good reason - they mean two different things.

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  33. @Alisdair:

    Interesting subject, “money”. Sure, it’s symbolic and inherently worth very little in absolute terms (the cost of paper, ink and alloy, and its production and extraction), but it’s hard to think of a world where at least some form of symbolic commodity didn’t stand in for the goods or services it was symbolising.

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  34. Money was tied to real value though, the gold standard (or when coinage was actually bullion), and gold had intrinsic value, not only exchange value like our fiat money, constantly declining. Our current money system has on intrinsic worth, but many money systems do. Or, at least, they have "worth" in the sense that any material good has worth.

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  35. Hi Jay.

    This is only a brief excursion into the debate and I realise that I may have been a little 'dogmatic' on yesterday's thread .... i.e. men being the 'only' perpetrators of rape.

    Women of course can be involved in sexual violence, even if it is in the tiniest of minorities, it still exists and I would say that an act of penetration whether physically, or with a foreign object, is rape and thus can be perpetrated by a man or a woman.

    I was acquainted with a survivor of a very high-profile rape and attempted murder case (an extraordinary woman) and bizarrely, some years earlier, I had also worked with the brother of the man who was convicted - it is not my place to give details, however, the brother could not have been a kinder nor gentler man and I could not imagine how they belonged to the same family, for if there had been childhood trauma, he had clearly been able to deal with it in a way that did not lead to violence and particularly, sexual violence.

    My point still remains, as Montana pointed out, it is only really about violence and power, intimate assault, whatever the alleged pretext, is only sexually motivated because that is the singularly most conclusive and sure way of exerting absolute power over another human being.

    I think it was Paul or Habib or Gandolfo (sorry no time to go back and check) who said that we are 'collectively raped' by the system under which we live. The level of threat and violence which has to be exerted over all of us for centuries in order for the ruling elite to maintain control is endemic and the simplest way of controlling men, is to control the women. What kind of Society do we live in where one half of the population has to live in fear of violent attack, just for walking through a park - even in broad daylight?

    I would argue that there is no such thing as gender equality either, but then we do not have, as the vast majority of men and women, equality at all. We are 'subjects' subjected to the whim of our ruling masters and from the top down, this begins with the disenfranchisement of women..... primogeniture. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that altering the law which prevents women (and Catholics) inheriting the throne has been quietly dropped by the McConjobs....

    Anyway, I really have got to go. Hope to get back to this at a later stage.

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  36. Jay, I've just left a long comment for you and got the 404, I think it's in the spam folder.... ;0)

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  37. Swifty - doesn't British money (notes, at least) still say "I promise to pay the bearer on demand...", so the 'note' is in fact not the real currency? just a sort of voucher for it?

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  38. No problems, LaRit, the tiny number of female perpetrators are not something i'd bother raising as an issue, my main point was male-male rape, its prevalence, and its impact on the predominant theories around the subject as a crime of "misogyny" - it no doubt often is, but its not adequate to explain the crime in full.

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  39. Pip - not quite, coinage is no longer made of metals with inherent, stable value, so as your note deflates, so does the coin it can be exchanged for. On a fixed system, the note doesnt deflate because the metal it represents doesnt deflate (well it may fluctuate, but in a different way to sustained deflation).

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  40. @Jay:

    So if I used a cowrie shell as a medium of exchange like the ancient Chinese (commodity money, right?), how is the commodity for which it is exchanged in any sense tied to the intrinsic “value” of the commonplace shell? It's purely a symbol.

    Similarly, tally sticks.

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  41. If you define rape as sex, as you seem to be suggesting Jay (You can define it how you like), then you invite those on juries to respond to the victim, "well it's only sex, stop complaining"; or "it's only sex why ask for it by dressing like that"; or "it's only sex why complain if you were drunk"; or "it's only sex and you were flirting".

    Relativism in the extreme Jay.

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  42. Duke:

    Re: the 'Government' relying on madey-uppy statistics, from the bloody Heil of all places, does not surprise me one jot. What makes me mad as hell is the fact that this grotesque social experiment along with these damning realities of the ineptitude of this bunch of thugs in power is not being commonly discussed in the media.

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  43. Pip - the system works because the value of coin money is far lower than its exchange value, a £1 coin is worth about 5p as metal - ie its intrinsic value. So we dont use the inherent value of our coins, we use their exchange value as its much higher.

    If, in say 30 years time, the currency had deflated enough, you might find your £1 was worth £1 to sell for scrap. Then you would, in practice, be back on a "hard money" system.

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  44. Bitey, until you have something remotely intelligent to say i will have to ignore you. I havent got the energy to point out the continual stream of gibberish and fallacies in your posts.

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  45. @Jay

    Agree with all that. I suppose I'm arguing for some sort of balance, where cultural ideas about gender an power do have some relevance, but they're not seen as the primary motivation for rapists.

    And I know that a lot of people would argue they are, and that you could theoretically 'end' rape if only you shifted people's perceptions - a nonsensical view. But you could perhaps influence the judicial process by discussing the cultural aspects of it, that's all I meant.

    I guess in a roundabout way we have to credit Dworkin's assertion that all men are potential rapists, just that the vast majority of us have better control of our baser impulses. That's basically what we've arrived at here.

    The Blank Slate has been on my shelf for about 18 months, I'll get on that.

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  46. swifty - not sure if you were referencing this, but one thesis i studied at college built up the functioning of a monetary system using cowrie shells as a 'first stage' in that - beginning with barter and building up to a point where a 'voucher' was needed, thus shells, then different denominations of shells, etc.

    thought it was mckinnon, but not sure.

    bitey - to my mind, jay doesn't 'seem to be suggesting' anything of the sodding sort, and he certainly didn't interpolate an 'only' into any post that i've seen.

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  47. @I to the Vizzo:

    ”…we have to credit Dworkin's assertion that all men are potential rapists, just that the vast majority of us have better control of our baser impulses…”

    Dear oh dear.

    @Philippa:

    Barter’s a hugely inefficient system though, isn’t it? As such, it’s unlikely it ever really played much of a role in the development of human financial systems. Much more likely that some form of very localised gift economics was in effect, with goods and services being freely given without any formalised exchange value being put on them, in the expectation that similarly useful goods and services would be rendered to the donor in the future.

    And that’s where “commodity money” comes in handy – it defines the transaction, and acts as a reminder that there was a transaction, and that the donor is expecting something back, at some point, for the transaction.

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  48. Swift -

    "how is the commodity for which it is exchanged in any sense tied to the intrinsic “value” of the commonplace shell?"

    The symbol (shell, tally stick, BoE note) has no (or negligible) intrinsic value. But if what it represents has intrinsic value (gold/silver/diamonds), then the symbol itself has derived value in that sense, thats the tie. 1 tally stick = 1 ounce of gold = tangible worth, stable over time.

    We dont have that anymore - our symbols (notes) now represent something (coin) traded on derived value - by social agreement, we trade those coins (or their symbols) well above the rate they're actually worth (intrinsic value, £1 coin = 5p), because we know others will acept the agreement.

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  49. Wybourne

    Thanks for reminding me properly on that and the link. Good to see you and Alisdair (hope things are going well for you and your wife and child - you do get the chance for some sleep in a year or so) around again.

    Jay

    As SwiftyBoy says, the problem, even when we tie the notional value of money onto something which seems to have more credible and concrete value in the real world is that the situation can change and the reason for assigning notional value to the thing in question can be spurious anyway.

    Gold, presumably, had an initial concept of value because it could be used to make nice things for important and rich people to covet and display and it was not just lying around for anyone to pick up and fondle.

    The Easter Islanders used massive stones as tokens of worth and some got dropped into the sea as they were ferried from one island to another, but they maintained their value and use, as long as everyone agreed that Mr Egg owned the big stone at the bottom of the sea, about where I am now pointing.

    We could tie money to diamonds or the scrapings of trodden chewing-gum harvested from pavements or my nasal hair, as long as we all agree that these things are really, truly, deeply worth something.

    Now, I am off to tell the bank manager that I dropped 40 squillion squid from a little fishing boat yesterday (as confirmed by a legal document signed and sealed by the drunk and derelict skipper) and would he mind just crediting my account with the same amount in real, large-as-life pounds sterling.

    If that goes well, I am going to introduce a new world currency based on pebbles, since there must be billions of them on the beach down the road.

    I'm rich, I tells ya, rich beyond the dreams of avarice!

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  50. Vizzo,

    ”…we have to credit Dworkin's assertion that all men are potential rapists, just that the vast majority of us have better control of our baser impulses…”

    Of course I can only speak for myself, but that is a complete impossibilty on my part. Which therefore blows that assertion out of the water.

    Alisdair, thanks for the link.

    Atomboy, yeah long time no speak. Hope all is well at Atom Towers.

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  51. @Jay:

    Yeah I understand that, I misread your post, apologies. A large step in the history of the development of money was the notion that you could decouple the value of the thing itself (the metal(s) that made up the coin) from the value it was worth in exchange. An actual unit of weight was converted into a symbolic unit of value.

    @Atomboy:

    Gold works as a medium of exchange because it is fairly rare, very stable, and because you could (relatively easily) test its purity using a touchstone.

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  52. La Rit

    As a rule, if you get that error, just refresh the page where you thought your comment was going to be and it suddenly appears.

    It's just internet magic.

    Having said which, like Tommy Cooper's magic, it sometimes doesn't go according to plan, so it is better to save your post locally just in case.

    Then send it to Mr Google and ask him to sort it out. He's good like that.

    Meanwhile:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/2011/01/13/clegg-nose-day-join-our-campaign-to-shame-pinickio-nick-clegg-115875-22845966/

    Voters up and down the country have sent a clear message to Nick Clegg's Fib Dem Party, ahead of today's crunch by-election - by joining the Mirror's inaugural Clegg Nose Day.

    From Newcastle to Brighton mums, dads, students and workers donned Pinickio noses to highlight their fury at broken Lib Dem election promises.
    Just nine months after setting up the toxic Coalition, Clegg, Cameron and their goons have let bankers pocket multibillion pound bonuses, tripled university fees, hiked VAT and cut vital cash for schools and hospitals.

    Today voters have their first chance to send a strong message to Clegg since the ConDem government was formed in May.


    Does anyone remember, going back, back, back into the swirling mists of time of about seven months ago, when the news media were suggesting that the LibDems might win an outright victory at the election?

    When the slogan was: "I agree with Nick"?

    When the name Clegg did not conjure up an opportunist little lickspittle of the calibre of Blair?

    When the LibDems had ratings in double figures and were not just thought of as The Yellow Streak?

    When voting LibDem did not make you feel dirty?

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  53. "even when we tie the notional value of money onto something which seems to have more credible and concrete value in the real world is that the situation can change and the reason for assigning notional value to the thing in question can be spurious anyway."

    Thats right, but however spurious, short of major cultural revolutions, it remains fairly stable in its inherent value - people liked gold jewellery thousands of years ago, they still do.

    When you use an agreed symbol well above its inherent worth (however spurious), basically trading on its derived, social value, you cut free your money to float around in the wind, which can end up in the Weimar situation.

    Back in the day of gold coin, when the state wanted to "turn on the printing presses", ie tax by deflating currency, they had to resize the coin - take it, shave it down, and reissue: it required physical change to the currency because it was traded on physical worth.

    These days your £1 sits in your pocket losing value, physically unchanged.

    Alternatively, on the gold standard, to deflate - gold was hauled in at $20 an ounce and made illegal to own (Reagan), then repriced at $35, then a dollar became worth only 2/3 of what it was previously.

    ReplyDelete
  54. One for all the red supporters here (and monkeyfish).

    The Liverpool FC Testament

    ReplyDelete
  55. SwiftyBoy

    Gold works as a medium of exchange because it is fairly rare, very stable, and because you could (relatively easily) test its purity using a touchstone.

    Oh, yes, quite so.

    Er, so the pebbles won't work, you mean?

    Yes, what you say is true and basically just cunningly disguised in what I said earlier, but the point is that anything could be used as long as we are all collectively and willingly conned and nothing happens to imperil or undermine that con.

    So, the discovery of a mountain, made entirely of pure gold, with ready-made channels for its extraction would undermine the value of gold by the simple plentifulness and ease of its acquisition.

    You are right that we tend to always need to use some medium of exchange, but it is still like children agreeing that they really are cowboys or hoodlums or drug-dealers or whatever it is they play now.

    It is just a collective fantasy.

    Actually, haven't they discovered diamonds littering the ground on some planet somewhere?

    It sounds like a dream for Indian Jones, but if he brought too many back, the price of diamonds would just plummet.

    In the end, perhaps we are just all worth it.

    [Insert wet-lipped grin and hair-flick here].

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  56. Jay

    Yes, I agree with you.

    Part of the cause of the global economic meltdown was the detachment of inherent worth from...er, anything.

    It was people wanting to make money from money, when the notion of money itself had become simply that: a notion.

    And only agreed by a few people who had been told when they had to tidy up their toys and get ready for bed, their parents were going to sneak into the shed where the servants slept and steal their money to make everything better a gain.

    Aw, bless! Kiss, kiss!

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  57. Thanks, habib, Perhaps another treble for us is due this year. And I believe that the Championship is a great, exciting, competitive place to play these days. So not all bad, eh? :o)

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  58. Ha ha ha.. take the bad times with the good, pal...

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  59. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm against violence, but I've just listened to a programme on Radio 4, extolling the virtues of the "fabulous" and "glamorous" Imelda Marcos.

    That on top of watching Palin's home-made press "conference" has made me feel quite ill.

    Reagan, Thatcher, Blair - they could disguise their bullshit with the sincerity of people who believe what they are saying is true. Watch the clip, Palin is so insincere it make you want to ram a fist up her nose.

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  60. Shiloh and Duke,

    I din't mean that all men want to rape, but if we're saying that some inherent drive to procreate is more important in explaining rape than cultural factors, then logically it follows that all men - since they share that drive - are 'potential' rapists.

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  61. Indeed, habib. I had to suffer back in the 70's with relegation to the old Second Division (only one season though) and then no league title for 26 years. Does that sound vaguely familiar?

    ReplyDelete
  62. "That on top of watching Palin's home-made press "conference" has made me feel quite ill."

    I know what you mean, Habib, i was a little lost for words when i saw it. There is something about her that isnt quite real - that performance belong in a film or tv programme. That she actually exists, supported by millions of Americans, is genuinely unsettling.

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  63. "Does that sound vaguely familiar?"
    Not yet, Scherfig, but you can still keep having your wet dreams. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  64. @scherf:

    "...Does that sound vaguely familiar?"

    Sure does - until very recently, that was the nightmarish reality for this long-suffering LUFC fan. "League One" is a very shit football division indeed.

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  65. Actually, wealth creation was always basically someone with a, ahem, bigger gun or stick depriving someone else of a natural resource.

    Obviously, it was better to exploit that resource using the backs and hands of someone else, so the guns were used to enslave people to do the heavy lifting and dirty work.

    Which makes you wonder how we all became so easily sold into bonded labour and debt servitude.

    It seems it was as simple as governments saying: "It has to happen. It's what you need. There is no alternative" and everyone responded with an "Okily-diddly-dokily. You know best."

    Then we all got beered and drugged up and sprawled in front of the telly.

    Aaaah.

    As for Palin, following so closely on the heels of Bush, it would seem that America has given up all plans or pretense of being seen as a credible nation.

    If this is God's own country, He's either got a fucking good sense of humour or He's completely and utterly fucking useless.

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  66. Jay/Habib,

    I read a comment somewhere on a blog that Palin has invented a new phenomemon. Instead of trolling a blog or a message board, she's trolling an entire nation.

    Vizzo,

    it depends how you define 'potential'. Does 'potential to rape' really just derive from Man's desire to procreate? Surely it's a number of complex personality/pyschological/situational factors in addition?

    Tarring half the planet as potential rapists on the singular basis of a desire to procreate really doesn't cut the mustard imo and grossly over-simplifies the issue.

    Scherfig,

    much as I love King Kenny, the Liverpool saga really is funny. Once Abramovich gets tired of his west london plaything, they are next.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "I read a comment somewhere on a blog that Palin has invented a new phenomemon. Instead of trolling a blog or a message board, she's trolling an entire nation."

    I like it, but its too kind - considering the US dominance of the world, she is actually trolling an entire planet. The world's first global troll. You betcha!

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  68. @Vizzo:

    ”…but if we're saying that some inherent drive [in men] to procreate is more important in explaining rape than cultural factors, then logically it follows that all men - since they share that drive - are 'potential' rapists.…

    Both sexes have an “inherent drive to procreate”. It’s not exclusive to men - how could it be? So by that logic, it follows that all women – since they share that drive – are ‘potential’ rapists.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Your Grace, that's already the word dahn the Fulham Road - that Abramovich lost interest a while ago and is getting heavily involved with the preparations (and probably the funding) for the Russian WC tourney.

    The writing was on the wall at the end of last season, when Ancelotti wanted Schweinsteiger and got Ramires. Effectively, Roman's saying balance the books and call me if you get to the Champions League final.

    As a Chelsea fan, I'd actually like us to use the rest of the season to give the youngsters some Premiership playing time. Give the likes of Terry and Lampard a rest and keep them fresher for the Champions League campaign.

    In the summer, there'll probably be one big signing - most likely Miralem Pjanic (ah, a headline writer's dream) from Lyon. McEachran, van Aanholt, Bruma and Kakuta all need to be used more this season.

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  70. @RapidEddie:

    I like the look of that Patrick van Aanholt. Very accomplished player. Big hit with the Toon Army when he was on loan up there covering for José Enrique.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Peter Gulliam on CiF and i cant even post, curse those little turds....

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  72. Hi LaRit

    I think it was Paul or Habib or Gandolfo (sorry no time to go back and check) who said that we are 'collectively raped' by the system under which we live

    Definitely not me but if i do ever express something like that in those terms you have my permission to shoot me!

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  73. @Paul:

    Likewise. I’m easy-going for the most part (they’re only words, right?), but I hate the figurative use of the word “rape”. Things like “we got raped at that price” are commonplace round here (sales house), it’s a vile expression.

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  74. Montana

    "What greater control could someone have over another than to decide what happens to that person's body in the most intimate way?"

    ...controlling what goes on in their mind?...which would evince even greater power since it requires an act of mental submission.

    I'm very conscious of the potential for insensitivity here...speculating about an act which has such horrific consequences for victims but I'm really not persuaded that the bald statement "rape is about power" is necessarily true all the time, or even in a majority of cases...and, in fact, I think it's become something of a convenient myth...funnily enough; especially for the rapist.

    I'm not disputing the 'presence' of a power imbalance as a condition...however, declaring rape is 'about power'..full stop.. seems to me like saying driving a car is really about breaking down hydrocarbons...it's certainly a fundamental requirement but not..or hardly ever a motivation for the individual driver.

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  75. Jay

    I thought you meant PeterGuillam was making some comments and you could not join in.

    PeterGuillam has an article on CiF about whether Ed Miliband can make something of - what is it called now? Newish Labour? Shopsoiled Labour? Broken Labour? Neo Nasty II? - the party he now, apparently, leads.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/13/ed-miliband-new-labour

    The past 30 years of British politics have seen a realignment of the centre ground around the neoliberal consensus, in the process alienating the core support of both main parties. If it is true that the British people are at heart pragmatists, then what the financial crisis will have made clear to them is that the neoliberal settlement has failed. Miliband needs to fashion a new centre ground by articulating a "conservative social democracy" which marries the traditional left and right to match the two great realignments in postwar politics of 1945 and 1979. Labour's future lies not in vacuous talk about "change" and the "new generation" nor by retreating to Old Labour, but by recognising that the 30-year assault on the "forces of conservatism" begun by Thatcher and articulated so eloquently by Blair was actually an assault upon the interests and wellbeing of the majority of the British

    The problem seems to be, like any product or brand, we want it to be just the same as the other one which is either more expensive or not stocked by the retail outlet in which we currently find ourselves.

    "Got any Coke, mate?"

    "Nah, we do that Schitt brand. It tastes the same."

    "Pepsi?"

    "Nah, just Schitt. It's better than Coke or Pepse. And cheaper."

    "Yeah, you're all right. Thanks anyway."

    [Enter boss, shop left, through plastic-rainbow-stripped doorway]

    "How's the Schitt going?"

    "Like a dream, man. Flying off the shelves. Good purchasing decision on your part."

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  76. Jay
    "Peter Gulliam on CiF and i cant even post, curse those little turds...."

    It would be my honour to post your stuff Jay, if you want to.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Cheers Habib, nothing much, a brief "good to see you ATL, and good article" would suffice, got to do *work* this afternoon, the sheer bloody inhumanity and audacity of it all...

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hi Montana - thanks for your reply re blog stats

    the question I asked yesterday was prompted by a visit to a mutual cif/ut/friend blogger's site who has an open link to the admin stats - great transparency - and if anyone takes the time to decipher the stats then, as I said on the other site:

    "...you're right the Stat company must collect mammoth amounts of (potentially) valuable data - and no doubt there's a market for this data collection once they have maneuvered around the privacy laws - but they offer this info to you as a marketing tool - which provides the capacity to sub-set this data. What I mean is: from your stats I recognise 1) my IP address. 2) my service provider. 3) my type of internet browser. 4) my operating system. 5)my geographic location. 6)which links sent me to your site. 7) which links I accessed when I left your site. 8) when and how often I visited your site. 9)which pages I accessed on your site and 10) how long I was logged into your site ...etc

    see what a powerful set of statistics this is?

    again, thanks so much for allowing this open portal into the dynamics of your site

    the question now is - why don't other sites broadcast this info - after all hidden knowledge is an accumulation of power..."

    but ... in retrospect, I guess it's just an aspect of my conspiracy nerdiness that finds this a) interesting b)potentially dodgy/valuable, and c)uncomfortable that it's hidden information

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  79. I read the article, Jay, thinking "oh god I hope I agree with it". I very much did. I took the liberty of calling you my friend, I hope you don't mind.

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  80. @leni

    thank you for your response re cicadas - amazing - insects with 17 year life spans! I wonder if they accumulate wisdom with age or if they're just cranky old insects?

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  81. Dont mind in the slightest, Habib, and cheers for posting ;)


    Where's that awful bastard Bitterweed gone?

    ReplyDelete
  82. @Jay:

    BW’s out killing swans with his pump-action shotgun mate, he finds it "relaxing" apparently. He asked me to join him and deano30 but I realised at the last minute that the terms of my licence mean I’m prohibited from carrying a live (or imitation) firearm.

    Hate it when that happens.

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  83. Since I genuinely hardly ever read anything on CiF now (and have only skipped down the replies), I may be wrong but is it broadly true to say that PeterGuillam's article has attracted a healthy number of comments for the couple of hours it has been up and these have broadly been thoughtful and based on exploring the ideas of the article?

    It isn't a slanging match or bitch-fest or a tumbling skim-yawn of one-liners and deletion-markers, is it?

    PeterGuillam has always been one of the best posters on CiF and he seems to have given us a reminder of how threads used to go. Dispute and disagreement and examination, without the grandstanding and little shrieky fits of pique.

    Wouldn't it be better for CiF to have more writers like this?

    They do know what they are doing, don't they?

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  84. @AB

    Quite right. The usual right-wing sloganeers are giving it a go, but are being dismantled by Peter himself and others with firm courtesy. Very refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Has anyone noticed that there are times when only women post on here and other times when us macho types post?

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  86. Thanks, PeterJ, for confirming what was little more than a guess on my part.

    CiF has not quite disappeared from my little Tetris-like grid of screen icons - which are supposed to be like boy-scouts assisting doddery old people to cross roads when they have become disorientated - but it is on the way to slipping off the edge.

    Whenever I do accidentally land there, it produces a reaction in which revulsion outweighs anything else.

    If CiF is so successful, why does Ms Handbag keep running those embarrassing little episodes where "the team" ask all the imaginary lurkers to have a stab at typing any old shite as long as it is something, only to be ignored for the most part, with the occasional "Fuck off!" thrown in?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hello All

    Habib- Sorry , I hadn't realised you were Mr. Machismo.

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  88. @Atomboy:

    ”…If CiF is so successful, why does Ms Handbag keep running those embarrassing little episodes where "the team" ask all the imaginary lurkers to have a stab…”

    Lord knows. I haven’t been over there since I jacked it in. I get all the “CiF news” I could ever want (and then some!) from hanging around here.

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  89. Yeh Paul!!!

    "I hadn't realised you were Mr. Machismo."
    I must have been doing it wrong, Leni.
    :-)

    Song for pissed off men and women.

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  90. Shiloh

    Yes, oddly enough I "found" another user name some weeks ago, which I had got bored with and only used a few times over there, which also happened to be linked with an IP address which they had not banned.

    I tested to see if it worked, which it did, and have not used it since. I have actually forgotten the user-name, email address and everything else for the simple reason that, other than testing it, I had no desire left to comment there.

    As for the CiF news hereabouts, I just assume that is connected with the name of the site and one of the reasons we all came here in the first place.

    As I have said, to each their own and everyone should do as they choose, but I now cannot imagine why I thought CiF was worth the time and effort.

    Especially when the post-count is so thin on the ground, now that ManhandledInEuston is not clogging up the internet with his sludgy, gulpingly oozy, yet incredibly unmemorable output.

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  91. PhilippaB

    bitey - to my mind, jay doesn't 'seem to be suggesting' anything of the sodding sort, and he certainly didn't interpolate an 'only' into any post that i've seen.

    He did say of rape, You can define it how you like. How do you interpret that?

    How about 'a bit of fun', or 'just a game', or 'girls like a bit of persuasion', or any other attempt to define rape as something other than the most serious of assaults?

    And how do you account for the Amnesty findings which have been confirmed by other surveys, that so many are prepared to treat one of the most heinous crimes in the book, so leniently and dismissively, and to seek all kinds of justification for doing so?

    If you define rape as sex, rather than violent assault, it's far easier to rationalise. Most people enjoy sex; very few enjoy violent assault, and would wish it on very few of their fellow humans.

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  92. Quality, Paul, made me feel good.

    I'm going to sneak this one in, last minute. I've been getting away with it all my life.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Bitey: He did say of rape, "You can define it how you like". How do you interpret that?


    You really are an unspeakable little parasite, Bitey. Lets see what the whole quote said shall we:

    "You can define it how you like, you can have whatever motivation you like, you can dress it up in whichever academic theory you like, the crime is the same - you have still done the same thing to the same person, and it will make no difference to them, whatsoever, what your motivation is."

    Are you so thick you dont think people will remember the actual quote? Or bother checking?

    Your trick of quoting a few words of what someone says is so risible its beyond words.

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  94. MF, I do wonder whether there are parallels between the Abu Graib incidents and things like the Zimbardo prison experiment. If you watch the videos of the Zimbardo experiment, you can't help but think that the guards there are, in fact, getting a bit of a thrill from their actions - there's certainly an element of pleasure in the activities they engage in. In Abu Graib, the overtones of S&M scenes in some of the photos are quite strong, and taking 'trophies' like photos also suggests some sexual frisson to the activities engaged in for the abusers.

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  95. "(Meerkat - this view can be seen on every single CIF thread on the issue, and here at the UT, its exceptionally common even today). "

    well, let's just say it's not a common view in feminist theory around sexual violence - I think feminist work on sexual violence has moved largely to the view that it's both things - that it's about the power/sex nexus. What people continue to say on CIF, I guess I can't speak to.

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  96. jayy got there first, good, don't have to bother responding to nipthefinger.

    now. more importantly.

    is james based near rio? he hasn't posted today...

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  97. Phil - believe James is in São Paulo.

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  98. Meerkat - i'd like to belive you're right but if CiF feminists and posters are any guide, i do get a different impression. Maybe you could offer an article on it - would be far more interesting than the usual reheated gibberish they churn out by Biddy and co.

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  99. sao paolo, says on his blog - news says "Heavy rains have sent mud sweeping through three towns north of Rio and brought flood waters to parts of Sao Paulo" only there's at least two sao paolos - 13 dead in the sao paolo they are talking about.

    [waves frantically]

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  100. Suffragette's Photo.

    There's something cool about the way this history is making its way into the public consciousness again, via the web.

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  101. I get the feeling that I wouldn't get very far with any article suggestions over at the guardian, Jay.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Philippa - São Paulo is both a state and a city - largest city in Brazil; so hopefully James is high and dry!

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  103. Meerkat - course you would, you're female, and a feminist. Other than an Oxbridge degree (?) you've got the full house ;)

    Fascinating thread on the PG article, the whole thing is interesting. Cant remember names but for those who have said "i only joined CIF a year ago" or whatever, thats what it used to be like, regularly - sharp posters having a sharp debate. Not the avalanche of 3 line shite that makes up most threads now.

    Interesting too that PG, a prole from BTL, has written something far superior to about 95% of what you usually see at the Graun by their closed shop Oxbridge brigade with nothing to say and getting paid too much to boot. Consequently, the BTL debate has been far better.

    Cont...

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  104. Jay

    Meerkat - course you would, you're female, and a feminist. Other than an Oxbridge degree (?) you've got the full house ;)

    That's not a full house, that's a pair and potential three of a kind!

    Royal flush: feminist, Oxbridge, related to Guardian employee, worried about the cuts' effects on the children's origami lessons, and once spent an hour talking to proles.

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  105. @Meerkatjie

    I can sympathise with your reaction to Crank 2.

    I had the same feelings of incomprehension, alienation and anger when I was subjected to Moulin Rouge.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Quality, Paul, made me feel good.

    You're welcome Habib. Sounds like you haven't been too well recently so hope you're on the mend.:-)

    ReplyDelete
  107. evening all...

    glad that there's a bit of womin's company after all that menz domination.......!!!

    i didn't do the collective rape comment so it must be.........HABIB!!

    thauma
    to get a "royal flush" don't you have to have a a live in help that you "treat like one of the family"? (i.e that member of the family you hate and never speak to and feed them alfalfa and give them the cupboard under the stairs to sleep in)

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  108. the high court have binned berlusconi's attempt to avoid trial again, but apparently only partially...typical italian back-covering just in caseism....... that means re the Mills case and *another* tax avoidance (fraud)case we could see silvio back in the dock.....but i ain't holding me breath......man's got more aces up his sleeve than paul daniels

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  109. glad that there's a bit of womin's company after all that menz domination.......!!!

    Me an'all, gandolfo.

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  110. mschin

    we could start talking about prostrate examinations that'd clear the decks.........

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  111. prostrate???????? whaaaaaaaaaat

    PROSTATE.......

    ReplyDelete
  112. Even Olchings back, and PatDavers. Key part of the debate, as addressed by Olching:

    "You are assuming here that social liberalism is somehow a problem and/or needs webs of support. But a lot of the social liberalism has been about 'de-problematising' (awful word, I know) issues, such as being gay or simply a woman. In some cases (disabilities), for sure, it's been about taking this out of the private into a public domain (hence the tut-tutting of middle England when some provision for the disabled bothers them)."

    I think this is a major issue and I've banged on about it many a time. There is an ideological mismatch within the current "liberal left" that demands *absolute* liberty in the social field, except for anything that breaches a liberal sacred cow, naturally. But for everything else, social liberty must be absolute. To even question this is some form of pathology. After all, there's no such thing as morality anyway...

    But at the same time, what is demanded economically is collective spirit, sacrifice for the greater good, high tax and big state. Within that is the rejection of economic liberalism.

    But the fault with economic liberalism applies equally to extreme *social* liberalism - what is good for the individual is not necessarily good for society, and is my main quibble with Mill's "free market" argument for social liberalism. To take extreme examples, an unemployed man fathering 20 children and never contributing, or a mother having 20 children and relying entirely on the state to pay for them.

    In a fully economically liberal society people can do what they like and live with the consequences, but we dont. So we now live in a setup which says live how you like, and your fellow citizen will pay for you. That causes tensions and conflicts and hasnt been resolved.

    If Olching was right, and it was simply "de-problematising" (gays, women - which is the most basic principles of equality) then that would be one thing. But its been far more wide-reaching than that; the message is you can live exactly how you like. The whole idea of public moralising is frequently attacked - people have "no right" to "judge" how other people live...

    ...but they do have to pay for it. Thats unsustainable.

    That is an enormous cultural shift in a fairly short space of time, backed by the corrosive effects of relativism and the (largely welcome) decline of religion as public morality, or a cornerstone of.

    This is my issue with the "liberalism will solve all ills" brigade, who seem pretty well dug in within positions of cultural power - media, universities, etc. It wont, for the same reasons economic liberalism wont. Self interest, economic or social, can frequently conflict with social interests.

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  113. "Royal flush: feminist, Oxbridge, related to Guardian employee, worried about the cuts' effects on the children's origami lessons, and once spent an hour talking to proles."

    Also preferred - having children with names like Zeitgeist and He-Man, aristocracy in the family, and, it goes without saying, privately educated.

    ReplyDelete
  114. PROSTRATE - I refuse to genuflect.

    Clunie is on fire on the domestic cleaner thread

    ReplyDelete
  115. Evening all, This is a link from Golems blog. If you should ever wish to know why the super-rice have a sense of entitlement then have a read. Some really good real-life comments BTL as well.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/8343/5/

    Enjoy! (or maybe not?)

    ReplyDelete
  116. what you usually see at the Graun by their closed shop Oxbridge brigade

    I hate to break it to you Jay, but Peter Guillam is a former professor at the University of Cambridge. How'd you think he got the gig? :o)

    Decent article, though.

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  117. Evening all

    I always find talking about my childbirth experiences does the trick when it comes to clearing a room of men... :p

    Seriously, though - very touchy subject that has become very socially and politically loaded no matter which side of the argument one is coming from.

    I am just going to put my feet up, drink a beer and relax for the evening. I dunno whether it is the grey weather or what it is, but I haven't felt so tired in ages. Got 9 hrs sleep last night and still couldn't get up this morning. Meh.

    ReplyDelete
  118. "I hate to break it to you Jay, but Peter Guillam is a former professor at the University of Cambridge. How'd you think he got the gig?"

    Fuck sake... I shoulda known...

    ReplyDelete
  119. I thought Peter G's article was a breath of fresh air. Clean, sensible analysis.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Spike "I had the same feelings of incomprehension, alienation and anger when I was subjected to Moulin Rouge."

    Just after it came out I was in a pub in Kendal and there were two couples on the next table. One guy said in a very loud voice (and you have to imagine a broad Cumbrian accent).

    "I worked out what that Moulin Rouge was all about..." Pause as the other three looked expectantly "...naughty knickers!"

    And on the subject of fetishism, I quite enjoyed my prostate exam actually, gandolfo.

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  121. Jay, Sherfig

    Just so you know - I got 'the gig' just by submitting the article to Jessica. At that point they knew nothing about my Cambridge connection. Then, after it was accepted, they insisted that I give some info about myself and, against my better judgment actually, that was the info I gave. I say against my better judgment because I knew that it would lead as it has to comments BTL saying professor of what, sneering about bullshit, commenting about assumed pension and so on.

    But, anyway, whatever else is the case I didn't getyt it published by virtue of the Oxbridge mafia .....

    Glad some of you liked it, though.

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  122. Was only teasing, Peter - was an excellent piece and good to see you finally ATL. Hopefully be the first of many.

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  123. Steady, Peter, only joking - I really liked the article.

    btw, it would help me enormously if you could just confirm the persistent rumour that you were sacked from King's College for 'gross moral turpitude'.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Jay

    Ta.

    BTW like others here I am struck by the way that debate on the thread has been fairly civilized. I was anticipating - and it may still happen - a load of vitriol but by and large it has been quite pleasant.

    PG

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  125. It has been a good debate, yeah, very "old CIF" - I think if you give people interesting idea's to respond to they'll put a bit of thought into it, rather than the "BROWN OUT NOW!" type patter.

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  126. sherfig, don't be daft, everyone knows he had to leave because of the demands on his time from the Circus became too much for him to keep up the Cambridge professor cover.

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  127. Sherfig

    If only. Moral turpitude consists of buggering the Bursar. Gross moral turpitude only occurs if he is fat, so that was my get out.

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  128. spencer

    ...whatever tickles ya prostate....

    but it was about medical examination rather than fetish and the lack of men that have check-ups because of the anal examination

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  129. Spencer

    Exactly. Hence instead of tapping impressionable undergraduates on the shoulder and suggesting that they talk to 'some interesting friends of mine in London', I am reduced to writing along the lines of 'ah the old certainties, left, right, what do they mean any more?'

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  130. Evening all...

    Philippa/Thaum

    I'm ok. Not particularly dry, but did spend most of the day higher than I wanted to be, clinging onto ladders, roofs and gutters with my stumpy little fingers.

    (Haven't quite figured out why I've been suddenly designated catastrophe builder/roofer yet, but maybe I'm more expendable (I am, afterall, the immigrant now), or there's some sort of collective "gringo"/Those native Americans who didn't suffer from vertigo and therefore make really good steeplejacks' type
    confusion??)

    Anyways, my bit of the city, so far (touchwood) is fairly ok, so it's just been a day of 'sealing', checking*, and preparing in these 'ere parts.

    Bless you for caring, tho. (My Mum isn't too concerned, apparently..)

    *Alot of which basically involved me nervously prodding walls, pavement etc with my eyes closed and fingers crossed!!

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  131. gandolfo, I was talking about the medical examination.

    I don't scare off that easily. Well, so long as no one mentions dentistry of course...

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  132. james

    i'll call ya mum if you like and ham it up a bit...

    glad you're ok and you've found a new job as steeple jack though.....


    peterg

    excellent article

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  133. Oh dear, Peter's carefully argued piece on Milliband has just been totally kicked into touch by the finest political analyst this side of the Urals.

    From what I've seen of Ed Miliband he just doesn't have the telegenic qualities necessary in the era of mass communication.
    ........
    Miliband is simply not revolutionary enough. Nor is he a great speaker. He could do with some voice coaching. Not to mention someone to help him get rid of that nerdy image.


    And you thought it was all about policies and ideology, PG. How dreadfully wrong you were!

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  134. Superb article, Mr G.

    And it took me a while to work out the "circus" reference, Spencer, but I suddenly had a "D'oh" moment! :o)

    Glad to hear you are alive and well and living up a tree, James. Keep some dry socks stuffed down the front of your shirt. Nothing worse than having wet feet all the time...

    Hugs x

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  135. Scherfig

    Yeah, just saw that scintillating contribution. I don't dare respond to it, it is far beyond my simple ken ....

    Good comment from Ellis, though, I thought.

    Gandolfo

    Ta for that, much appreciated.

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  136. Ha ha, have you seen the deferred gratification article?

    Probably just put it there in case we started expecting more articles of the quality of Peter's!

    That's more like the Gaga that we have come to know and expect.

    ReplyDelete
  137. didn't think you would spencer.... ;)

    what if someone mentions something like this you mean? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  138. Buggerfuckdamnation, Blogger (or perhaps Chrome) has eaten yet another post. You will all just have to imagine my brilliantly witty responses, because I can't be arsed to re-create them. Must remember to copy before posting.

    James - I had a moment of concern when I heard about Rio, but then thought, oh, São Paulo's hundreds of miles away; he'll be fine! Didn't realise it had spread that far.

    Kudos to you for helping out.

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  139. scherfig

    Oh, has Miss Superficiality spilled her brainz over there?

    The prize of International Political Analyst of the Year would seem to have been clinched with that one.

    James

    Good to hear you are safe.

    PeterGuillam

    Good article and broadly good response - congratulations and best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Have just read Ellis's post. Yes.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Cheers BB & Gandolfo

    If I do disappear, you may have to call my mum. I still haven't got round to 'registering' at the consulate, which, I'm told, is quite important and shit...

    Probably should get on that!!

    And dry socks are always a bonus, although, after today, I'm just happy I managed to keep my pants dry....

    ;0)

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  142. Perhaps someone should have added that Ed should buff his toenails as well ... very noticeable on the telly, unbuffed toenails are.

    ReplyDelete
  143. james

    i doubt that i'll need to ring ya ma but if i have to how dya want me to play it......

    possible options

    tell her how heroic you were

    or

    cut to the chase and lay on the guilt and then tell her about your credit card bill......

    or both?

    ReplyDelete
  144. Cheers Thaum and Atoms

    (Rio's got it much, much worse, mainly because it's much more haphazardly built and hilly, so it's not been quite so catastrophic here, touchwood. It's also stopped raining right now, so hopefully an hours break or so will give some of the water time to fuck right off....)

    ReplyDelete
  145. Haha Gandolfo,

    Well, the most important thing, since you're asking, is that you absolutely, in no way, shape or form, give any room for the possibility that

    a) it was my fault, or

    b) that I may have, at any point, been seen by any paramedic, Doctor or Nurse with anything other than my very best underwear on!!

    ReplyDelete
  146. Hi guys,

    I thought I'd pop by.

    Hi Jay - what happened to your profile on CiF?
    $
    Anyway, leading on from PG's article:

    "If Olching was right, and it was simply "de-problematising" (gays, women - which is the most basic principles of equality) then that would be one thing. But its been far more wide-reaching than that; the message is you can live exactly how you like. The whole idea of public moralising is frequently attacked - people have "no right" to "judge" how other people live... "

    This was kind of my point that there are two aspects to social liberalism; one the 'deproblematising' bit (which is never complete and also always swept under the carpet) and secondly (as Pat mentions) the mixture of lifestyle and politics (let's call it social free market). I understand and support criticism of the latter, but think that it often spills over into a general rant against gays, woman, and blacks (of the Bruce the Brute Anderson type: women, wogs and woofters).

    I'm not saying you do this, Jay, but it needs to be played out far more cleverly than simply saying '68 wrecked it all. '68 is responsible for that amalgamation of lifestyle and political, but in the end there are also all those old barriers which did and do need addressing.

    ReplyDelete
  147. The dollar sign is arbitrary.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Bloody hell, James, look after yourself. What's it like?

    ReplyDelete
  149. Peter G,

    if you're reading, are you planning any more CiF articles or is this a one off?

    Your article and the discussion BTL have been a breath of fresh air. Great to see olching back as well.

    James,

    glad to see you're safe and well. There's been high handed interviews in the papers with Dutch flood protection experts sniffily casting their eyes over the Australian and Brazilian flood defences

    Apparently if they had been consulted Brazil and Australia wouldn't have flooded.

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  150. PeterG

    News of your piece dragged me back to cif - I much enjoyed it and as others have said it has raised the tone of the place several notches. I hope you get some more gigs over there, so do keep submitting...

    Is buggering fat bursars obligatory at Cambridge? It sounds quite stressful.

    james

    Glad you haven't been washed away. An old mate of my son has narrowly missed being swamped in Brisbane - although he seemed to be more concerned about the fate of his local pub than his house according to the boy.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Cross posted just as olching posted,

    olching. Good to see you!

    ReplyDelete
  152. -but in the end there are also all those old barriers which did and do need addressing.

    I agree, Olching.

    ReplyDelete
  153. PeterG

    Good to see you posting here again.Enjoyed your piece today on CIF.Regards!

    James

    Glad you're ok.Look after yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  154. so, have i got this right
    1. i tell her you weren't in anyway channelling god that day so it couldn't be your fault

    2.the big whites from M&S or the father christmas boxers...or the leopard skin print thong that you got from ya girlfriend?
    what's best?

    i am having problems about how i weave in your tomb stone epitaph* into the converation.....

    or does she know?

    *here lies james because tony blair's a cunt

    ReplyDelete
  155. "Great to see olching back as well."

    Ta, though I think it's more of a one off, m'Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Thanks, MsChin. And it's true. had we resolved many of those issues, then perhaps we'd even have to concede that, well, the market is colour-blind (as PG cleverly pointed out in one of his responses). But, as a friend of mine often says, these battles (for 'rights') are never resolved but need refreshing every so often - and this has little to do with lifestyle but more with life.

    Good to see you, too, Duke...hope all is well.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Just read the post from Ellis - brill! Also clicked the recommend of a recommend. See that BrusselsSixPack has only 2 clickys.

    Twoswords posted a long rambling monologue - twice! - and had 0 (nul) clickys.

    The link I posted is relevant to that debate as it shows the way the rice elite really have no country, no allegiance to any place on earth.

    The money they earn is stratospheric, way beyond what any 'normal' person could spend in a thousand lifetimes.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Hi olching

    Great to see you about the place again. Hope you'll stick aound

    ReplyDelete
  159. I do sometimes wish that TwoSwords would fall on one of his swords. Same old, same old, as PeterG says.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Hi to Olching and Deano - long time no see

    And hi to everyone else I have not said hi to. x

    TwoSwords is a corporate lawyer, MsChin. I first "crossed swords" with him in the comments on my last ATL piece where he told me I was shit at my job because all the best lawyers go to work in the City for megabucks and get to spout utter shite for the rest of their lives. Obviously. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  161. IanG - that post of ellis's was brilliant. I clipped it for future reference.

    ReplyDelete
  162. Cheers Duke, Sheff & Paul,

    Duke, Thaum

    The problem here is that there's so many issues that have contributed to it, that 'flood defence' is laughably secondary.
    Firstly, it's been raining like a motherfucker. It usually rains alot at this time of year, but only for an hour or so a day, but it's a constant wall of water right now, for hours a day. And the drains, rivers etc just can't cope.

    Add in the fact that most of the fevelas etc are built on hills, without foundations, and that trees are cleared to do this, and you basically just get entire neighbourhoods shifting down the hillside with the topsoil.

    Luckily Sao Paulo's not quite so bad, our flooding tends to be fairly localised, and it's usually more a 'waters rising' problem, so there's generally more time to prepare, or get away, etc!!

    ReplyDelete
  163. Another post (that I stupidly forgot to copy) lost in the bit bucket. I give up. Chrome fucks my posts, IE fucks my puter and Firefox is just vile.

    It did include a hello to Olching though.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Gandolfo,

    Just casually mention that it was the day after laundry day, and I reckon that'll be enough to calm any nagging doubts.

    I like the tombstone thing, although, if I do go first, I'd prefer:

    Here lies...Because Tony Blair's a cunt, and, on that note, there's plenty of extra room down here....

    ;0)

    ReplyDelete
  165. BB

    TwoSwords is a wanker. The corporate lawyer just adds to the wankness.

    thauma

    You give up? And you's supposed to be the geek round here!

    ReplyDelete
  166. James

    Add in the fact that most of the fevelas etc are built on hills, without foundations, and that trees are cleared to do this, and you basically just get entire neighbourhoods shifting down the hillside with the topsoil.

    That's capitalism at work for ya. Bastards.

    Shutting down now ... NN all!

    ReplyDelete
  167. Hi Olching, long time no see (all the golden oldies coming out the woodwork for Guillam eh...)

    My profile is "temporarily unavailable" - got another months ban, but nothing major.

    "This was kind of my point that there are two aspects to social liberalism; one the 'deproblematising' bit (which is never complete and also always swept under the carpet) and secondly (as Pat mentions) the mixture of lifestyle and politics (let's call it social free market). I understand and support criticism of the latter, but think that it often spills over into a general rant against gays, woman, and blacks (of the Bruce the Brute Anderson type: women, wogs and woofters)."


    I agree, though I think tied in with this is that the "spill over" has come from both directions - thats been a problem. Moving from the most basic equality for *people* (blacks, asian, women), it then necessarily had to begin to move into the "lifestyle" realm as it was the lifestyle that defined some of those basic inequalities, ie homosexuality.

    From here the circle has grown ever wider, spurred on by a number of factors. The end result, where the left seems today as represented in the mainstream, is now an almost total "lifestyle" liberty - Graunland. That is a fundamentally individualistic ethos and, in somewhere like the US, would cause far less problems, but we aren't the US.

    Here and now we are trying to marry that with economic collectivism under broadly social democratic structures. That jars. A significant public sphere, economically, can't sit alongside a public vacuum where morality and lifestyle are concerned; that is a major part of any social bond or collective identity - common values. And you need that bond if you want people to put their hand in their pocket for their neighbour.

    What seems to be asked for now is a blank cheque and keep your mouth shut. You read the boards, read other papers, and this is a major problem. And you need these people onside.

    The "problematised" elements are non-negotiable for a civilised society, so there's no room for accomodation there. But on the wider reaches of the "lifestyle" arena there is plenty of room to rebuild a healthy public discourse on morality and social obligation. And if the left continue to shy away from it I suspect it will be filled by some pretty unsavoury elements.

    ReplyDelete
  168. MsChin - strictly a 9 - 5 geek. Not up for wrestling with my antediluvian home system after fighting state-of-the-art (equally crap) systems all day.

    Giving it a reboot now.

    ReplyDelete
  169. God, I've been missing loads.... PeterG has an articule up, Scherfig is posting links to the LFC credo (fuchin' hilarious, I've just passed it onto my friend) Olching has swerved by (hello Olching), Irn Bru is going into meltdown and nobody's fighting (yet)....

    Can someone link or let me know where the article is on CiF? I'd like to read it... also, has anyone got a link to the magnificent Ellis's comment.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Cheers, and Night Duke!!

    I'm off to get some supplies and whatnot, just in case!!

    Have a good evening folks.

    ReplyDelete
  171. rest assured james he WILL go first...

    seriously take care

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  172. deano

    Glad to see you've surfaced.

    thauma

    Point taken - I have met your antediluvian home system!

    I'm off to my pit as completely knackered, plus someone is hovering over my shoulder waiting to nobble my own non-antediluvian PC. Worse still ,they actually know how to use it, whereas I am naffing useless.

    Been good to see a few old faces round here tonight. And equally good that some of the newer ones are sticking around.

    NN all.

    ReplyDelete
  173. Wotcha LaRit
    ellis's comment and the article here

    ReplyDelete
  174. Katie60

    "My point about open trade is that it encourages talent from whichever provenance to flourish - with implications for social mobility, attitudes and equality."

    Indeed, the implications for social mobility have been steep *declines* in both the US and the UK, who now sit near the bottom of the ranking on mobility for developed countries...

    ReplyDelete
  175. BB

    TwoSwords is a corporate lawyer, MsChin

    Is that right? He's a fucking thicko tool as well....how on earth did such a bloody numbskull manage to pass any law exams?

    ReplyDelete
  176. Just watching the programme on Ecstasy on BBC3 - making me smile ;0)

    ReplyDelete
  177. "how on earth did such a bloody numbskull manage to pass any law exams?"

    daddy's mates and £££££££££££££ ????

    Hi deano!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  178. Hello people - fleeting visit as am up to the eyeballs in coursework, due in next Wed, followed by visit from assessor on Feb 8th. Feel as though I'm sinking in wet concrete, frankly - especially as my laptop's buggered so I'm using daughter's old one, which was 3rd-hand when she got it, has a Google redirect virus which I can't get rid of, runs as fast as a narcoleptic sloth, and keeps shutting down for no good reason...

    ReplyDelete
  179. good luck with the coursework shaz......what are you studying?

    narcoleptic sloth......sounds like me!

    ReplyDelete
  180. Olching

    "This was kind of my point that there are two aspects to social liberalism; one the 'deproblematising' bit (which is never complete and also always swept under the carpet) and secondly (as Pat mentions) the mixture of lifestyle and politics (let's call it social free market). I understand and support criticism of the latter, but think that it often spills over into a general rant against gays, woman, and blacks (of the Bruce the Brute Anderson type: women, wogs and woofters)."

    But saying there are 'two aspects' is something of an understatement...and to be honest...the positive effects or outcomes of 'deproblematising' since 68 (if you like) have been..for want of a better word..organic. Due in large part to pragmatism in the case of racist attitudes; people who find themselves living side by side tend to recognise common grievances and humanity..and old xenophobic attitudes disappear naturally as people realise received stereotypes were exactly that. There's also the waning influence of religion and a collateral demise in traditional biases in sexuality...there's an economic (and wartime) dimension which has forced women into the workplace and manifested a recognition among hidebound chauvinists that their opinions of women's abilities and potentials were plain fuckin wrong. But above all, they're the result of dissent from those groups who'd been traditionally repressed or subjugated.

    It's these factors which account for, say, 99% of the effective 'deproblematising'. They singularly weren't the product of the output of academic feminists, the 'equality' industry/lobby or anything else. These latter were, rather, the tail which these days claims the credit and in some cases wag the dog. Looking back to say Greer or the Guardian's women's page and listening to a revisionist version, you'd think these provided the major impetus. What provided the major impetus were ordinary people thinking and saying "fuck this", doing something about it and, in some cases taking one for the team. Those who looked on and provided a 'narrative', a taxonomy, a new vocabulary etc. were grandstanding, bandwagon-jumping opportunists...and that was a large rump of the post 69 so called left.

    The point is that that particular left also decided that dissent was now a cultural, even literary endeavour...and so abandoned notions of class, economic equality etc to join in the great liberation jamboree...or rather appropriate other people's sacrifice to their own ends. As a result, the struggle for economic fairness lost any intellectual perspective or leadership. It became disreputable, the middle-classes and liberals looked on in horror as people who dropped their aitches and mangled their vowels challenged the establishment. (FWIW I fuckin love the 70s)

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  181. Not sure what you're studying Shaz but good luck with it all.

    ReplyDelete
  182. Jay,

    What did you get (another) temporary ban for?

    "it then necessarily had to begin to move into the "lifestyle" realm as it was the lifestyle that defined some of those basic inequalities, ie homosexuality."

    I'm not sure I follow you. You're either gay or not. Whether you then decide to live your life like this, that, or the other is immaterial to the question of gay rights.

    "The end result, where the left seems today as represented in the mainstream, is now an almost total "lifestyle" liberty - Graunland. That is a fundamentally individualistic ethos and, in somewhere like the US, would cause far less problems, but we aren't the US."

    I'm not sure the 'left' is there, but I take your point on this. Of course the demand to make individualism possible without responsibility is a hallmark of our late capitalist society.

    However, just to throw one, in fact two controversial issues back to you:

    First (and this is slightly painful), you probably heard of the love parade catastrophe in Duisburg, Germany, last summer. Leaving aside the obvious points of the police and the authorities fucking up on crowd safety as usual, wasn't this the ultimate expression of our late capitalist hedonism? I want to be able to take a fuck load of drugs, dance all night to loud rave, yet demand that 'the state' makes this possible. (Of course one could counter that at least public space is being used for some collective event.) It is no coincidence that this catastrophe has also marked the end of the love parade and with it perhaps the end of this hyper-hedonism since the late 1980s.

    The second point (well, these are not so much points, but simply tangents), is with regards to the marketing of prostitution and drugs. I am neither a puritan nor prude, so this is entirely about the mode of consumption, but one thing that always jars with me (and which is always picked up on by auld conservatives like PatDavers) is the fact that in any other realm the liberal left rails against capitalism, everywhere but prostitution and drugs. I think you subscribe to this view, too.

    Of course there are all the pertinent questions of protection, taking it out of the hands of criminals etc, but isn't there something very uncomfortable about calling for the marketisation of lifestyle as a solution? Isn't this far more in-your-face-lifestyle-capitalism than referring to rights of traditionally marginalised groups?

    Hi to Sheff, Thauma, BB and LaRit!

    ReplyDelete
  183. Thanks guys. It's a higher level teaching assistant qualification, and at the moment I think I've got about as much chance of passing as my narcoleptic sloth has of winning a marathon...

    ReplyDelete
  184. Monkeyfish,

    I think I largely agree and can't see much clashes with what I've said.

    I would say, however, that even these academic liberationists contributed something. But in essence you are right: It's the on the ground experience that challenged the barriers and continues to challenge the barriers. Though I would be less 'organic' about it. I don't believe in teleology, so I don't see these barriers disappearing organically, but rather as something that needs to be challenged again and again.

    On economic equality, I think it's going to be far more pertinent again, precisely because it is beginning to dawn on people that the market hasn't been colour-blind or anything else, but simply the market with all its reinforcements of economic divisions. We might mock the current student movements, but they are as close as we've come to some kind of 'mainstream' economic dissent (be it the protests or the UKuncut, 38 Degrees stuff) since the 60s. It's not about niche groups, but about the 'big picture'.

    ReplyDelete
  185. Hi Shaz

    Good luck! Fingers crossed for you xx

    ReplyDelete
  186. "I'm not sure I follow you. You're either gay or not."

    Yes, but it is the lifestyle aspect that was fought over - being able to "live" out a homosexual life without being imprisoned or attacked. In that sense, its slightly different to race or gender. As the Church will tell you, its not the sinner, its the sin. Blackness isnt an act, its a physical characteristic.

    "wasn't this the ultimate expression of our late capitalist hedonism? I want to be able to take a fuck load of drugs, dance all night to loud rave, yet demand that 'the state' makes this possible."

    Interesting point, and one that gets played out all over the place. It is the ultimate rights and no responsibilities which the Tories have now exploited with their big society nonsense; however spurious, they have provided a model whereby people give to society, not just take. Under Labour, and many liberals, the only giving you do is taxes (to then be truly "given" by the state).

    *disclaimer - "big society" is to me unmitigated gibberish from the Tories, but i think strategically they hit a key note, even though they hit it badly.

    On drugs and prostitution, the liberal view i take to both is pragmatic rather than ideological. I genuinely believe the liberalisation, regulation etc would reduce social harm and lower crime hugely (for drugs).

    I would probably disagree that this entails a marketisation of "lifestyles" though: if that is what they are, they are marketised already, it would then be a case of bringing those markets into the open where they can do least harm.

    Not sure if i'd class either as being at the extreme end of lifestyle-capitalism, both issues predate capitalism by a mile and seem to have been social constants since the dawn of time. But i can see how giving state backing to the markets of these things is problematic and, to a degree, counter-intuitive.

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