thwarted and impotent liberals
More V for Vendetta coverage in the Times.
"Nor, apparently, does it downplay the political dimension to which 9/11 and 7/7 have given new relevance: V is an avenging anarchist out to liberate the people from right-wing rule by dressing as Guy Fawkes and blowing up government buildings. And this, you understand, is the hero. Arguably, if the Bill outlawing the glorification of terrorism ever did get through Parliamant, the film might find itself banned. “The film certainly can be seen as an attack on Bush,” agrees Lloyd. “There’s a strong message in there.”
Moore is less charitable. “Basically, it’s the work of two thwarted and impotent liberals who want to say how annoyed they are with their President, but want to do so in a safe way — by setting it in a fantasy Great Britain.”
The resulting film has its admirers but, according to Times critics who saw the world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, its main problem is the superabundance of explosions and Wachowski-issue trickery. It’s a far cry from the slow, thoughtful and morally ambiguous original."
Remind me never to piss off Alan Moore. I'm sure the old mage puts curses on these films.
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All Aboard for Mu-Mu Land
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:: Thursday, February 23, 2006 ::
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:: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 ::
Put The Book Back On The Shelf a Belle and Sebastian comic. By a lot of people you never heard of "with the band's blessing, although without their direct participation." I'd like to see some Bizarro world Belle and Sebastian stories, like they are all really nasty and push grannies over in the street, and Isobel Campbell has talent. All drawn by Rob Liefeld. And action figures. This'll break the internet in half. In your shops today fans.
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SINGLE CELL PRESS - Pulp Filth, Poor Literature, Gonzo Smear since 2002. Gonzo smear? Is that an obscene act involving a muppet?
No, this is a radical publishing outfit who are putting out books by new Scottish writers. They are also a music label and are bringing out a compo of UK hip-hop.
They also use one of my pics on their home page, so good taste too.
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:: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 ::
Drowning in Berlin?
So the V for Vendetta film has had its premiere in Berlin.
Early reviews are mixed...some bad, some not so bad. Four stars out of five in Empire, although I find Empire generally pretty soft.
There is an interesting interview with original V artist David Lloyd (how come Marvel have never revived Night Raven?) here. He puts minds at rest somewhat calling the film "a terrific piece of cinema from a good script". Particularly on one important point:
"AD: The home-grown British fascists of the comic have been replaced in the film by German Nazis having won World War II. But might this miss the point that fascism, totalitarianism, loss of freedom can happen anywhere - even here... ?
DL: Now that question is based on believing a rumor to be true. Because I know info gets around the web very quickly, I figured that once someone had read the script of V - which apparently many now have - all old rumors would be squashed. Obviously not. The point has been kept."
Good, this was one of the most important points about V. Firstly the story arose from the politics of the late 70's and early 80's where we had seen the rise of reaction, both in the form of organised fascists in the street and the right-wing Tory government of Thatcher. It is no coincidence that the ruling party in V is called Norse Fire (NF you see...).
As I have said before there are plenty of types in the ruling class in Britain who would not hesitate to impose a 'patriotic government to save Britain' if they thought it necessary.
One fringe example is now in a jail in Austria (favourite blog reaction from Warren Ellis 'Ha Ha Ha Fuck You'.)
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:: Monday, February 20, 2006 ::
The Earth and the Sea
Ian Hamilton Finlay's Roses at the Chamber Street Museum, Edinburgh. Or some of them. The names come from the names of fishing boats and you can see the boat numbers underneath.
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:: Thursday, February 16, 2006 ::
Some interesting English lefty blogs that I haven't seen before.
The Socialist Unity blog has good discussion from free-thinking members of the English left. Interesting discussion there on the spread of the smoking ban to England.
Liam Mac Uaid is a Socialist Resistance supporter who has some sharp writing on the challenges facing the English left, he correctly identifies the problems Respect faces in translating their support among the muslim community to the wider labour movement. I conducted an interview with Colin Fox for the next issue of Frontline which makes similar points. Will be out in time for the SSP conference.
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:: Monday, February 13, 2006 ::
Posting a lot today I know, but just to make up for the last few days. I'm sorry I didn't post much...I was snowed under, arf.
Awesome pic from the current New York blizzard by CarbonNYC at flickr.
More NYC blizzard pics!
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Starbucks To Ban Hijab?
Remember that little controversy when the French government, in the name of égalite, banned "ostentatious religious symbols" in schools? Well, I never thought that the same approach would be taken by global caffeine pushers Starbucks.
A worker at a Starbucks in the USA has been suspended for wearing a "religious symbol"...a small pentagram necklace. But the funny thing is, she wore it for three years without any problems until she joined a union and the management started taking a very detailed interest in her clothing.
Her union says:
"For the second time in as many months, Starbucks management has kicked SWU member Suley Ayala out of the workplace for wearing her modest Pentagram necklace. Ms. Ayala is a practicing Wiccan and as a religious observance never takes off the necklace. She wore the necklace at Starbucks without interruption for three years until the company started harassing her after she and a group of her co-workers went public as members of the Starbucks Workers Union on November 18, 2005. Since then various management officials have badgered her and sent her home for refusing to take off the necklace. Ms. Ayala is extremely distraught and understandably angry. Management can't even get its story straight, sometimes saying no religious symbols are allowed and other times saying the necklace is too distracting. All the while, baristas wearing crosses of the same modest size have never been disciplined. Our opinion is that Starbucks is exploiting Suley's non-traditional religion to retaliate against her for union activity."
This is a case that bloggers throughout the world could take up quite effectively I think.
So publicise this case and send a message to Starbucks union-busting management.
Read more, including details of who to protest to at Starbucks, at the IWW - Starbucks Workers Union website.
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One Party Rule Crumbling?
Dunfermline West is my home constituency. Indeed I was a member of the local constituency Labour Party at one time.
It has been a one-party state for much longer than I have been alive. That party, of course, being Labour. So the defeat of the Labour candidate was a bit of an Alan Partridge moment. I am referring to his football commenting days (on the Day Today) when he watches a particularly impressive goal go in and screams "Shit! Did you see that?".
Voters certainly were upset with Labour and wanted to punish them. But why? For the usual reasons, sure...moving right, the war blah blah. Some local issues too. But I think it was when the McConnell/Brown spat happened that people got upset. The one party state was sorting out policy internally via party feuds.
Voters sent a message that they had had enough of the one party state and shouldn't be taken for granted. They lent their support to the lib-dems (which did no favours for the SNP, Tories or SSP) as the 'party most likely' to beat Labour. Grave news for Labour in Scotland despite the likelihood of this seat returning to them at the next election. New generations of voters (those that bother to vote that is, 60% didn't) don't necessarily share the tribal loyalties of their parents.
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:: Thursday, February 09, 2006 ::
Honest Sonsie Face
Bit of a dance at the SSP Burns night ceilidh last weekend. Now in its 10th year and I have managed to get to them all so far. Interesting 'immortal memory' from Colin Fox who told the story of Burns and comrades singing the Marseilles in the theatre when it was time for 'god save the king', and causing a riot. Burns was a supporter of the French revolution.
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:: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 ::
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:: Monday, February 06, 2006 ::
From the Grauniad games blog Anti-corporate videogames dishing the dirt on the likes of McDonalds. Heh heh. This is a good idea.
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:: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 ::
From this evenings vigil in Edinburgh.
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Blair voted in the first round of his religious hatred bill, then didn't show up for the next vote five minutes later, and then lost by one vote! Ha ha! I doubt if it was because he was brooding over his 'leadership' leading to the 100th dead British soldier in Iraq, a young man from Edinburgh.
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