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By Akira The Don on Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 11.27.30From RINF.com

Werner de Gruijter, Arnout Krediet and Sven Jense 
RINF Alternative News

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who construct an image of toughness – tough on crime, on terrorism, on humanistic-inspired idealism etc. – are tapping into a sensitive spot that blocks critical thought among the public. Obama‘s brute and harsh reaction on Edward Snowden‘s revelations is just another example. Somehow it seems like ,,We, the people…” lost track of ourselves. Four main reasons why we abandon our once hard fought civil rights.

Many countries in the West, like Britain, France, Spain the US and the Netherlands have experienced in recent years an exponential increase in technological surveillance and a resolute decline in parliamentary and judicial control over state police and secret service. Issues like the ban on torture, the possibility of detention without charge, privacy and freedom of speech were in the public debate reframed in favour of state control. And everybody accepted it. To be fair, there was some opposition – but it lacked intensity. Why is this happening?

To give an example, under former British Prime Minister Tony Blair 45 criminal laws were approved creating 3000 new criminal offences. British writer John Kampfer argues that in the past ten years more criminal offences were made in his country than in a hundred years before. All this was legitimized by the idea that a ‘terroristic’ virus attacked Western civilization. Of course, there is some truth in it – but these risks were grossly exaggerated. Still, we fearfully went along with the proposed measures.

This cultural shift towards perhaps a more authoritarian future for the West is no coincidence of nature. It is manmade. If the opportunity is there, top down induced shifts happen only if politicians, corporations, media pundits and other cultural icons are able to find the right symbols and techniques to get a new message across.

But first, besides these techniques, famous American psychologist Abraham Maslow is probably aware that there is also something else which stimulates our apathy in this respect. He signified the importance of leisure time for our own personal well being as well as for the well being of the community as a whole – it creates so to speak the possibility to make well informed decisions. Currently our leisure time is under assault. Thirty years of income stagnation in the midst of rising prices – people have to struggle to earn a living – meant that for most of us there is less time for critical thought.

But it has even been made harder to reflect on important issues since politicians and opinions leaders use marketing tools in order to seduce. Remember that soon after the 2008 banking bailout the discussion was reframed in such a way that government spending instead of the unregulated financial sector itself, was the root cause of all ‘evil’ – this message was repeated like a commercial, over and over again. This technique of repetition effectively neutralizes critical thinking. Hence, Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebels, was on to something when he famously stated: ,,If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Long after Goebbels died, psychologists experimentally discovered that it is a natural tendency of human beings to react more receptive to whatever kind of message the more they are exposed to it. They call this ,,the law of mere exposure”. We should question ourselves if this habit is healthy for our general welfare.

Furthermore, psychologists discovered that our ability to think critically is severely limited when we act under stress. Frightened people tend to perceive reality through a prism of simple right and wrong answers, leaving the complexities aside. Scared, we are easily fooled. Politicians and corporations can’t resist the temptation to manipulate this animal instinct – like when we started a war without having been shown any serious proof of its legitimacy.

One could expect that the mainstream media in its role as guard dog was attacking those politicians that create black & white polemics. However, currently most (privately owned) media echo the voice of corporations, which these days doesn’t differ much in substance from that of the government. As a result alternative and more nuanced voices are underrepresented in cultural discourse which, again, makes it harder to produce well informed decisions.

And, when considering the information that is filtered thru to a broad audience – one also notes the slow, but steady disappearing of the separation line between news media and entertainment. American academic Daniel Hallin argues that the average time for sound bites politicians are given in media performances has shrunk from forty seconds in the 1960s to ten seconds in 1988. Hallin’s crucial point is that he believes that the biggest victim of this still on going process is the careful scrutinizing of social problems. This results in so called ‘horse race’ news – news about politics presented as a game of ,,who’s the most witty” in which politicians try to be popular instead of reasonable. The blur of catchy one-liners reaching the audience creates a further alienation from reality.

Taken together an assault on leisure, repetition of information, fear policies and the transformation of our media outlets from guard dogs to lap dogs create a situation wherein our spirit for the common good slowly dissolves into an ocean of noise, distraction and misinformation.

Meanwhile, the social environment which politicians, corporations and media gurus are constructing produces anxieties and illusions in order to make profits or political gains. Together these social forces act as a gravitational pull for government and corporate empowerment. That is to say, they pull away strength from the people to participate in the maintenance of a mentally healthy, meaningful democratic environment.

Thomas Jefferson once argued that a government should fear the power of the people. In that respect the apathy with which the audience in general responds to the revelations of Snowden is a cynical demonstration of our time frame. Although, however little, a message this confronting does still stir society a tiny bit. We are not completely brain-dead – and there is some hope in that.

Probably the best question contemporary Westerners can ask themselves is: will today’s power structure be able to obscure these clear violations of human civil rights or is this message too loud to ignore?

Or to say it more bluntly than that: will there be a transition to a meaningful democracy in the West or to an advanced form of authoritarianism? What’s your point of view…

Read the original article at RINF.com

 

 

— By Akira The Don on Sunday, January 5th, 2014

By Akira The Don on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

BRIXTON GLORY 2 IS IMMINENT!

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— By Akira The Don on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

By Akira The Don on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

“RONNIE BIGGS WAS DOIN’ TIME! TILL ‘E DONE A BUNK! NOW HE SAYS E’S SEEN THE LIGHT! AND HE’S SOLD HIS SOUL TO PUNK!”

Used to love this record when I was little, and, synchily enough, was singing it in the studio on Monday. Godspeed Mr Biggs, I knew nothing of you really but this record still fucking shreds.

BONUS:

FRIGGIN IN THE RIGGIN

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— By Akira The Don on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

By Akira The Don on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

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Greetings earthlings, from Hollywood Donovan, just back from a photoshoot in Joshua Tree, which is just as dictionary definition awesome as expected, if not more so. We’ve encountered many fine and amazing sights in California,  and while the godblood sunset of Joshua Tree must rank pretty highly, not to be sniggered at is the cotdurned TARDIS they’ve got in Meltdown Comics on Sunset right now, through which a man can wonder and encounter all manner of Dr Who related art and craziness, including a swarm of real-sized Daleks.

I had no idea Death’s Head‘s old pal Dr Who was so big over here, yet there he is, leering out of the cover of the TV guide in the supermarket, and adorning the shirts of children rampaging gaily along the boulevard. Fitting then, that this week we hand over to Jenny Wise, for a righteous wander through the museum of Whovian Tech.

BEHOLD: The Doctor’s Technology!

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So much has changed in the fifty years that Doctor Who has been on our televisions, and we’ve seen the show grow and change and redefine its own mythology. His core technology is one of the things that have stayed consistent throughout the series, but the cases become personal to each Doctor; inspired by the comparison of three TARDISes and three sonic screwdrivers of the 50th episode, we have a look at these two iconic and changeable devices.

The TARDIS

Standing for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space”, the TARDIS was the main vehicle used by the Time Lords for travel through time and space. They were most commonly used for observation but occasionally for war, and by the time all the TARDISes were thought to have been destroyed the Doctor’s Type-40 model was already out of date. The model that he stole from a repair yard on Gallifrey is prone to a number of technical faults, although the semi-conscious nature of the ship means that these may be deliberate decisions on her part.

The 50th Anniversary episode showed us a whole host of TARDIS interiors but only three from the outside lined up at the end of the episode. This was a great way to see these very personal devices: Matt Smith’s newest Box is a vibrant bright blue with a retro pattern inside made of pipework, a recent change leading up to these episodes. David Tennant’s was starting to look rough around the ages and had dulled in colour, while the inside was very organic-looking. But John Hurt’s TARDIS looked quite different – the inside was like a cross between Tennant’s organic machine and the classic sets with roundel walls, and the outside seemed more robust, darker and scratched up. One can’t help but wonder if this is what a War TARDIS looks like.

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Sonic Screwdriver

Almost every version of the Doctor has had some form of a Sonic Screwdriver, a device which is being constantly modified and upgraded to contain more applications as the show-writers saw fit. Early versions of the device picked locks and projected sound, but since the Ninth Doctor it has been used for a huge range of scientific purposes such as computer hacking, geolocation and scanning for medical application. This advanced piece of Gallifreyan technology has been copied by other races with the “sonic pen”, “sonic blaster” and even Amy Pond’s home-made “sonic probe”. Occasionally it’s even used to drive a screw without touching it!

In the Anniversary show we saw two that we had already seen compared, and a brand new one. Matt Smith and David Tennant had a humorous exchange about the size of their tools and were criticised by the War Doctor for using it like a water pistol instead of the scientific instrument that it is; it’s telling that his Screwdriver was slim and silver with a small pink light on top, an elegant piece of design. The concept of the Screwdrivers all being the same one but in different casings played an important part of the Anniversary storyline.

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With any big franchise, the research and fan commitment to these seemingly small details are astounding and fans can already buy the War Doctor’s Screwdriver among all of the others, get apps on their mobile to recreate the noises or even just play a range of inspired doctor who games! (get more details of the Doctor Who Extravaganza at bgo here).

The evolution of the Doctor’s technology continues to fascinate fans, while the show’s creators keep them on their toes with each new piece of kit.

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— By Akira The Don on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

By Akira The Don on Monday, November 4th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 19.36.48DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.

Apparently this got buried by the Brand thing. Canny ole Beeb.

Red Ice collates:

More developments in the Jimmy Savile paedophilia case.

Former BBC employee and driver of paedophile Jimmy Savile, David Smith, 66, has been found dead in his home the day of his scheduled court appearance. His death is being reported as a suicide, but a postmortem still has yet to be carried out by officials.

Whatever David Smith knew, accused of being involved in child abuse with Savile, will now never be known.

It’s also recently been reported that there may have been a cover up of the Savile investigation transcripts due to the involvement of British Royals:

[Royal cover up: Police censor Jimmy Savile interview transcript ]

More on the unfolding case from PressTV…


BBC’s ex-driver charged with child sex abuse discovered dead
From: PressTV

A former BBC worker who was the driver of disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile has been found dead at his home on the same day that he was supposed to appear in court to face child abuse charges.

Scotland Yard said it has discovered the body of 66-year-old David Smith after he failed to appear at a London court on Monday, British media reported.

Smith — who was a prolific sex offender — was standing trial on a charge of abusing a 12-year-old boy in 1984.

Smith had faced two counts of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child, and one of buggery, all relating to a 12-year-old boy, between 1 June and 21 July 1984.

“Whilst officers believe they know the identity of the deceased, they await confirmation of formal identification,” the police said. “A postmortem will take place in due course.”

Smith’s counsel, Sandy Canavan, had told the court her solicitor had been attempting to contact Smith without success.

“He has been regularly in contact. I am concerned at the lack of contact. He is the sole carer for his very aged and very unwell mother; that may have affected why he’s not here today”, she said.

Smith became the first suspect to face charges under the Operation Yewtree investigation into Jimmy Savile and others, which shocked Britain.

[...]

Read the full article at: presstv.ir

— By Akira The Don on Monday, November 4th, 2013

By Akira The Don on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

“Don’t tell a muh tell a oh tee one yuh know’s true that I fucked your mum
on a dip in a bush man up the fanny cos I swear down blood there’s a bus and it’s a TRANNY!”

At least that’s what it sounded like he said. I think most of it is right, if anyone can work out the bits I’m missing please let me know.

Rah though. This kid’s ten and he’s basically saying the same shit I was when I was 19. He’s better than I was too. He’s evidently very clever, I hope his teachers are nurturing that blatant gift he has for creative linguistics (YEAH RITE). I see a bright future for him, unless THE SYSTEM takes him down first.

That big one’s super funny, I used to know a dude like him called Tom in Beaumaris back in the day, kinda mentally retarded older dude who hung out with kids half his age, the kind of company in which he felt like a king.

Anyway. Been saying this for ages, but NORTH GOT NEXT!

Via the mighty Grime Report.

SMITHY BOY

 

— By Akira The Don on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013