Blast It Home

Citizen Guides

 

Absurdity

America

Apologies

Beyond meaning

Care.Data

Church Betrayal

The City

Civilization

Driving

Duplicity

Land Ownership

Making Sense

Marxism

Modern Neurosis: Things

Olive Oil

Olympic Legacy

Osborne's Legacy

Slavery

The Internet

Television

Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UP

banner

book cover

 

Contents

 

Absurdity

Once Dennis the Menace was allowed to tie a cat's tail to a car bumper but the cultural landscape in Britain has been damned by political interference in the thought processes of its citizens. Once it was acceptable to call a spade a spade and to give someone a black look. You can no longer be queer if unwell or gay if you are happy. You can't celebrate St George's Day because you'll upset the ethnics. You can't take pictures of your own children in public places.

America

In 2011, following nationwide tests in history, the New York Times reported that students were, "less proficient in their nation's history than any other subject". Generally, knowledge was found to be partial, with answers grounded in the notion of exceptionalism. Well, if you are exceptional then everything you do must be right and the past can't teach you anything.

Apologies

State apologies, that is, sentiments of regret long after the moment's gone, when the public are a bit hazy about the reason for the apology and most of the affected are dead and no compensation is due. (Oct. 2010) (Feb 2012) (April 2013)

Beyond meaning

Bill Clinton told a global television audience 'I did not have sexual relations with that women', responding to allegations from White House intern, Monica Lewinsky in 1998. Even when he was forced to come clean, he still wouldn't acknowledge that he had sex with Lewinsky, instead he called it an "inappropriate relationship", he said "...it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible." (2012)

Care.Data

Do you want all your medical records held on a massive database that insurance companies, among other interested grubbers, can buy for a small fee. Of course, Mr Cameron has already given the drug companies the green light to help themselves to existing patient records but this new data mining exercise will be like manna from Davos for them. (March 2014)

Church Betrayal

In the 2001 census, 390,000 individuals, (0.7 per cent of total respondents) self-identified as followers of the Jedi faith. Jediism appears to make as much sense as any other piece of voodoo nonsense, so why not embrace the Force? The state, however, refuses to embrace Jediism and has no intention of replacing the Anglican church with it. (Oct 2013)

Civilization

Some preliminary thoughts on the possibility of a civilized world any time soon? (March 2014)

The City

The Times noted in 1881,

"The City Corporation is sacred although nothing else is."

The City of London is variously known as the City, the Square Mile and the Corporation of London, note, it should not be confused with London, the capital city of the UK. Rather the City should be viewed as an alien body, like a parasite feasting on the flesh of its host.

Driving

Cars are not toys - this may come as a blow to the three man-boys on the BBC's Top Gear - they are tools, they provide a means to an end, i.e., the journey from A to B. Cars should be considered as 'tools of conviviality', objects that enhance human existence not machines that will add a shine to dull wits. (July 2011)

Duplicity

Citizens' appear to be disenchanted with the political process and perhaps with politicians themselves. And when we view the behaviour of our politicians it is hard to argue that this disenchantment is not fully justified. Do you remember when Osborne and Cameron claimed to once have eaten a pasty and told us that tax avoiders were morally repugnant. Quizzical journalists asked if that applied to the tax dodging behaviour of their spiv buddy Sir Philip Green but all they wanted to talk about were distant memories of mythical pasties. (2017)

Up

The Internet

World Wide Web, provides virtually free access to a vast store of information and resources, a fast means of communication and self-publication. Big business uses it to ply its wares but it doesn't like its openness and freedom. Governments publicly applaud its openness and secretly draw up blueprints to use it as a controlling mechanism. (March 2012) This page also considers the issues set out below....

Cyberspace Independence

The creators of the World Wide Web envisaged something bigger and more important than a global system for sharing pictures of pets. The manifesto that helped launch the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the early 1990s championed a "civilisation of the Mind in cyberspace" – a kind of world wide metabrain. Seven years after Perry Barlow penned his 'internet manifesto' an editorial in The Economist (2003) described his ideas as absurd and unlikely to usher in a civilisation of the mind. But then, the writer of the piece likened the Internet to 'just another appliance like radio and television' and so was hardly likely to be receptive to the ideas put forward by Barlow. (12/01/13)

Cloud Computing...

Another initiative from the ConDems, find out about the G-Cloud project, it will affect your life. (June 2011)

Social Networking

Whatever the Web was supposed to be, it's not. The bit the marketing men and big business have not taken control of is now in the hands of the nutters; every fruitcake with a computer is out there blogging, making virtual friends, telling the world what they had for breakfast, living a 'second life', playing war games and generally losing themselves... is it all just the modern day equivalent of going to Butlins for a holiday, with the added attaction of spyware, adware, and domain hijackers. (July 2010) (April 2012)

The Modify App

This essay considers how technology changes us before we realise that we've been changed by it. (Oct. 2013)

Land Ownership

The Duke of Wellington: back in 1872, is registered as owning 15,800 acres. Today the Land Registry has no record of his holding. The BBC asked the current Duke how much land he owned. He declined to tell. The Duke is not alone, his chums are not keen to let on how much land they own either, just in case someone starts asking how they came by it. (Feb 2011)

 

Up

Making Sense of the World

Some guidelines for gaining some kind of conceptual grasp of what's going on and a review of some things that make the project difficult.

Marxism

"Within the capitalist system all methods for raising the social productiveness of labour are brought about at the cost of the individual labourer; all means for the development of production transform themselves into means of domination over, and exploitation of, the producers; they mutilate the labourer into a fragment of a man, degrade him to the level of an appendage of a machine....... (June 2011)

Modern Neurosis: Things

Today, the majority of the population do not have a rallying point, they do not identify with a struggle; for many, every waking hour is spent identifying themselves through the objects they consume or the objects that consume them. This is an insidious fact of contemporary life..... (April 2013)

Up

 

The Olive Oil Business

Olive oil famed for its health benefits may not be all its cracked up to be. You need to know more before you part with your cash. (March 2012)

Olympic Legacy

Basking in the glow of Team GB's Olympic success David Cameron came over all passionate about the need to encourage the young to participate in sport and become the next generation of Olympians. Many newspapers lighted on the closure of school playing fields as an apparent contradiction to Dave's future Olympic ambitions. After all, the media pointed out, 21 school playing fields had been sold off under the coalition government since 2010. (August 2012)

Osborne's Legacy

In the interests of scientific enquiry we need to ask if George was completely stupid when they packed him off to halls but managed to exit only stupid, having lost the 'completely' tag by the end of his classical studies into the economics of Ancient Greece. (July 2016)

Slavery

Wilberforce spent decades raising the barbaric practice of human slavery in Parliament. Today's politicians hardly ever utter the word slavery. Yet, slavery is a fact of life for millions of people in this 21st Century. Two hundred years on from the Parliamentary vote to end slavery the situation is worse today than it was when Wilberforce wept tears of joy. (June 2011,)

Up

Television

TV companies buy a slice of the broadcasting airwaves and feel the need to fill it. And fill it they do, with vacuous rubbish, 24 hours a day.

 

Water,

Water, everywhere, etc., makes a bloody mess of the carpets when the tank in the loft springs a leak, and gets on your nerves famously, when it wont stop falling from the sky. And contrary-wise how marvelous to soak in the bath or feel the revitalizing effects of a hot shower. Without it there would be no life - so why are we not looking after our water supplies - Capitalism, that's why. (April 2010) (Dec 2010)

 

 

 

 

Up