Channel Fake News

I did have a whole draft post dedicated to Channel 4 news.

Wondering how a programme that was seemingly so against the invasion of Iraq (2003 – onwards) could be so hawkish for attacking Syria (2011 – onwards), after it was also so drum bangingly for the attacks on Libya (also 2011 – onwards).  Maybe they are so left-wing they love that the UK supply arms to islamists the underdog rebels, or maybe its because everyone’s favourite, can-do-no-wrong US president, Barack Obama, was so adamant that waging war in these additional two fragile, fragmented and unstable countries was the best thing to do for world peace.

It also questioned how its strange bias has got worse over time and how all their presenters; but mainly Jon Snow, Cathy Newman and Krishnan Guru-Murthy (a man whose best days were on Newsround) and moved away from simple interviews to get to any truth and towards posturing, supposed moral superiority and repetitive, nonsensical talking points.

 

But fortunately Channel 4 have been very gracious to allow the release of the simple half hour interview to save me writing any further on the subject.

 

 

That this is from the same channel that brought us Brass Eye highlights how Channel 4 is drowning in its own self-important, puritanical, moralistic, irony-free drivel.

 

Thanks for reading.

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Chatting in Micro Pubs/Bars – A Guide

Inspired by this post from Richard Coldwell and the initial comment from “Dave”

First of all we need to define the difference between what is a Micro Pub and what is a Micro Bar

“All pubs have a bar but no bar has a pub”

Note: this guide assumes the location of said micro outlet is in a small-to-medium sized town, not a city or tourist trap/destination.

Micro Pub

The Drinks

The emphasis is on cask beer and generally session strength at that.  If there is any keg dispense it is usually a lager because the founder understood who his core clientèle would want to drink.  There will also be a red wine, a white wine, a Prosecco and some spirits (usually gin or whatever is on trend) all in order to increase footfall over the weekends.  Cider may also exist in known bottled varieties or boxed “real” ones.  Soft drinks will be dispensed from 2 litre plastic bottles blatantly purchased from the closest supermarket.

The Drinkers

What you’d find in most macro pubs, with slight variation depending on how close the nearest bookies is.

They are the kind of people who’ll walk into a micro bar and complain about the prices.

The Décor

All wood but that is because it was the cheapest material, a lick of paint here and there but pretty much like a macro pub, only it looks like your 50 year old twice-divorced uncle has simply converted his spare room.  Has one toilet.

The Landlord

Your 50 year old twice-divorced uncle who wanted to do something different.

The Wildlife

No cats. Cats are not found in micro pubs.  Dogs are allowed; they will be hulking beasts curled at the owners feet and fed occasional crisps or hog lumps.  Drool will be present.

 

Micro Bar

The Drinks

The emphasis is on keg beer and generally bastard strength at that.  If there is any cask dispense it is usually one pale and one bitter because the founder understood what his day trip visitors would want to drink.  There will also be a plethora of red wine, white wine, Prosecco and a massive choice of spirits, at least 25 gins. Soft drinks will be dispensed from 100mL glass bottles.  Lager may also exist but in bottle form, from some obscure German brewery, this is in order to increase footfall over the weekend and then hope they never return.  Probably also doubles as a bottle shop for retail purposes.

The Drinkers

Beer bloggers, overly-agitated graphic designers and those who’ve wandered in on the recommendation of some lifestyle journalist who wrote that piece by plagiarising what the aforementioned beer bloggers wrote about the place.

They are the kind of people who’ll walk into a micro pub and complain about the lack of choice.

The Décor

All wood but is was massively over priced because of the patina effect, a lick of paint here and there but pretty much like the railway arch the beer was brewed in.  Has one toilet.

The Landlord

Your 50 year old uncle who has always had that funky beard.

The Wildlife

No cats. Cats are not found in micro bars.  Dogs are allowed; they will be small, fluffy, lap-based things brought along by the owner in order to kick start an interaction.

How To Have A Conversation

Close proximity and bench seating demands conversation be had however this still depends on where you are.

In a micro pub, assuming most of the people aren’t doing all they can to avoid eye contact, let alone conversation because they most likely lie on the autism scale somewhere, you are in for a simple and quiet drink.  Talking may occur over the clarity of the pint in front of you.  You will only drink a pint (568mL), a half is acceptable if you’ve kept your coat on because you’re going to be racing to catch a bus/train/you are driving.

In a micro bar, you will get talked at, those doing the talking even know the brewer, they are on first name terms, or at least have over heard them talking to someone else, once.  You will drink a pint as your first session ale and loosener but then progress on to halves and then thirds inversely proportional to the ABV of the drink.

Talking in the micro pub may stray on to politics, you might get offended with the frankness of the views expressed and the terms used.

Talking in the micro bar may stray on to politics, the overly-agitated graphic designers will sulk off in tears or demand you leave their safe space.

Talking in micro pubs is a rare thing, generally kept between those who recognise each other.

Talking in micro bars because massive ABV’s plus immense egos results in verbal diarrhoea.

 

Use these pointers wisely; know your surroundings, know your adversaries and your conversations, or lack thereof, in micros up and down the UK will be blissfully symphonic or wonderfully, silently golden.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Tryanuary and Dry January – A Virtual Signal Coin

It’s January, it is officially the start of a whole new year of stupid and it always starts the same way, with News Year’s Resolutions.

Most are always about abstinence from some form of entertainment that has been deemed (or proved) to be harmful when taken to excess, yes excess, and then to replace the gaping hole that this lack of entertainment creates it is now worthy to do something else, to an equal excess.

Newton’s third law of motion holds true even in a human’s stunted mind.

Dry January is a registered trademark of Alcohol Concern – I do love that name, very soft-power paternalism, we aren’t worried, or apoplectic or in a rage about alcohol, we are merely concerned about it.

Alcohol consumption and by logical connection visiting to pubs, bars and clubs, falls in January.  In part due to the aforementioned resolutions and in part due to natural churn and a balance as more people visit the pub in the run up and over the Christmas period.

More people visiting the pub leads to a whole other level of beer signalling as “once-a-year” visitors get berated by those that see themselves as regulars.

Not actual regulars of course but those that love chatting about it, that think the whole beer world hangs on their every word and would fall over if they stopped going to the pub.

In the way that those who go on health kicks in January, try new diets, change their lives for some perceived better can come off as pious and smugly virtuous, mainly because they will take any opportunity to tell you about what they are doing, especially when not even prompted, so the Tryanuary (or Try January) movement bounces back in the opposite direction but equally trite reasoning.

It is much like Small Business Saturday or Record Store Day, if fact it much like everything that now has “a day” or “a week” – a narcissistic “raise awareness” industry, where everything can be reduced to a hashtag and a trend and people can jump on a bandwagon and feel they are special and are doing something before simply hopping back off the wagon (an inverse pun) and hailing a taxi (or probably an Uber) to the next hot topic to raise their profile.

Each of them have their own form of subtle compulsion and hardcore acolytes, they are two versions of the the same pint (568mL) only one insists yours should be empty and one wants it to always be full.

 

Thanks for reading.

Let Teachers Teach, Let Parents Parent…

Link 1

Link 2

This is in light of the apparent need to schools to prepare children, as they move from primary to secondary education, for the perils of social media.

This shit is not something schools should be concerning themselves with.  It is just another attempt for state interference at the behest of the lazy and the conceited of those in the parenting world.

Another pointless “social education” lesson that creates unnecessary workloads for teachers and wastes the time of all involved.

But I suppose if the end goal is another generation schooled in group think and unblinking, unquestioning minds then I suppose it is for the best.

For me social media is a new beast that people of all ages chose to use or not, adapt or not but for kids, the searching for likes and responses is no different than when every kid was growing up, wanting what the other kids had, be it the newest trainers, or a calculator watch, a hula hoop.

Only in this day and age kids can do it without Dennis being a menace anymore, I wonder what the Beano fan club badges will say on them now?

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Down with Moistened Bints

That is Republicanism in a “not monarchy” sense, not that strange party that the US electorate have to decide if they vote for them because they are less strange than the Democrat option.

It is always a funny old time over Christmas and New Year in relation to the Royal Family in the UK but then again it has been a strange time for the length of my lifetime.

Nation Anthem

I’ll get this out of the way now, it isn’t a national anthem, it is a royalist dirge. We’ve expunged the final verse down the memory hole; talking about crushing rebellious Scots (written prior to Salmon/Sturgeon) so we mainly sing only the first verse, but for me a song that bangs on about two entities I don’t either support or believe in, monarchy and God, is not something I will ever sing.

Punk – Silver Jubilee (1977)

Not that I was actually around at this specific moment in time but I was born into a post-Sex Pistols world, when the UK seemed very much loyal to Queen Elizabeth II, without focusing too much on “the troubles” going on in Ireland.  This was just some up-washed counter culture movement that didn’t have much impact on anything other than selling papers.

And that is the general key to all of this, the relationship between the media and the monarchy.  As I currently write this we are in the midst of a media fawning session.  How this quite translates into public views I don’t know but it has been fun to note that just because Prince Harry (Harry, because he’s normal like, he is anything but a Henry) has decided to shack up with some mixed race (bi-racial) woman in Meghan Markle that this is supposed to herald the brave, new dawn of a modern monarchy.

Quite how it does this in general I do not know, when media outlets such as the Guardian, Independent and Observer, once notoriously republican themselves, bang on about this modernising while at the same time questioning privilege in other strata of society you do begin to wonder when they will get punched by a big hypocrite fist.

Paris – Princess Diana (1997)

Quite possibly the only time I’ve had sympathy for the royal family and again it derives for the media and their love (hounding) of Diana Spencer.

I don’t really care for conspiracy theories or who she was dating, the simple facts are she was alive at the crash scene. 4 people were in that car, only 1 was wearing a seat belt and that 1 person survived.

If Prince Henry wishes to talk about things close to his heart, perhaps road safety would be a good place to start.

Honours List (2017)

Talk is that it will soon be Sir Nick Clegg.  Now granted a lot of these “honours” are put forward by the government of the time but for me it is just a way of keeping the serfs in line.  Our God chosen betters recognising work done by us plebs, while also honouring the privileged, regardless of just how big a failure they’ve actually been.

 

Our monarchy is not benign and as an institution it is a massive slap in the face to what could be a mature and fully fledged democracy, but that has long been the smug comeback by those who love a bit of the status quo, “what would you want, President Blair? President Branson?”

The other bit of propaganda trotted out as routine twice a year is how much the royal family “cost” verses how much the bring into the country via tourism, etc.  Can’t ever want to change anything because we may end up a bit poorer.

The most sensible argument for keeping the monarchy is just how many people are employed by them, of course when they aren’t using schemes (legal ones of course) to avoid paying tax in the a country they “rule.”

I have nothing personal against any individual in the royal family, put it to a vote and Elizabeth Windsor would probably be the box I ticked, Charles is a bit debatable, as is his progeny, but that is me liking a bit of tradition and seeing subsequent successions to the throne as a change, much like Australia may well vote on, to end this royal line and move on to something that sees the UK lose another few levels of authority making it’s people more independent, and yes, put another nail in the heart of actual privilege.

Anyway, lets just stick to the funny…

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Being Thankful UK Police are Unarmed

I once saw a t-shirt that said “I’m Liberal…And I Shoot Back”

If I lived in the USA I probably would own a gun, or even a few of them.  I remember on a tour across America that I wandered into a Walmart and was quite amazed at the guns on displayed (in a locked glass cabinet) right next to all the other out-door gear and the aisle over from the children’s toys, I think $99 was the cheapest, which is about the same price as craft beer is these days.

I’ve shot a fair number of guns in my time too, all in controlled environments; clay pigeon shooting mainly in the UK but abroad, in those slightly more unregulated Eastern European countries, I’ve had the pleasure of shooting (at paper targets) pump action shotguns, AK47s, Magnums and general revolvers and other assorted hand guns, pistols and rifles.

Each time I held a gun it is always met with extremely nervous excitement and trepidation.  You know you are holding a deadly weapon, you know which is the most dangerous end, you know its in a safer environment (a gun range as opposed to under your bedside cabinet) but the fear is still there that something could possibly go horribly wrong.

Earlier this month the body-cam footage of the police shooting of Daniel Shaver was released after a trial found that officer (Phillip Brailsford) not guilty of his murder (2nd degree).

I won’t post the footage here, if you want to look for it, it is on most popular video hosting sites, it isn’t bloody or gory, it merely features an intoxicated, unarmed man crying and pleading for his life under penalty of death if he “makes a mistake.”

It is extremely harrowing and whereas Brailsford appears to be a man of questionable character and judgement it is the other officer, Charles Langley (a man who has since been able to retire and move to the Caribbean) shouting increasingly confusing and nonsensical instruction, while threatening death if a mistake is made who is also culpable.

But it seems the case every time, in any instance of questionable deaths of the public at the hands of the police (both here in the UK and in the USA) that many officers can just waltz off into retirement, re. Hillsborough.

I’m not here to dog on police officers of either country, nor am I against guns but I am very thankful that we have special branches of armed police rather than routine arming of “regular” officers.

Our armed police aren’t above making mistakes either; I’m minded of the shooting of Harry Stanley and most pertinently Jean Charles de Menezes, which was apparently a failure of “health and safety procedures” – but is also a fine example of how the truth, even before social media, can get muddied and blurred and down right lies by pushed by the state and a compliant media.

Sadly police (like all other humans) don’t even need guns to kill people in questionable circumstances, again I’m minded of the death of Eric Garner and of countless deaths in police custody due to “restraint techniques.”

As terrorist get more desperate to kill civilians and less technically savvy, a move towards vehicles and knife attacks would seem to be the more common modus operandi  in this day and age but when you see headlines like this

Oxford Street panic: Woman hurt after ‘shots fired’ false alarm

It is slightly reassuring that our UK police aren’t adding to the panic by being armed and rushing to a scene that isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as Chinese whispers would have people believe.

In the UK we have Peelian principles, otherwise known as policing by consent and no matter how treacherous those that try and do the general public harm sink to becoming, we as a population and therefore our police must not follow them down that path.

 

Thanks for reading.

Nothing quite like a happy Christmas season posting…

University vs State – Neither Bastions of Free Speech

Universities could face fines over ‘no-platforming’

Only in a mindset as muddled as those in the political, chattering class world could the threat of paternalistic fines be seen as some great way of resolving the need to have free speech on all UK university campuses.

That this only happens over the Christmas period, always a quiet time for “news” highlights the general contempt for this issue held by both the government of our time and universities themselves.

That UK universities (following similar moronic practices in the USA and Canada) have allowed this to fester (since 1974 but it’s hit full swing in the past 5 years) and allowed the National Union of Students to pander to the small but vocal whingers is no small surprise given the general direction of state education from pre-school and general misplaced anti-bullying drives that only ever seek to confuse young minds rather than just letting kids grow up and, more importantly, leaving the education of social issues to children’s parents and simply letting institutes of education focus on standard education areas.

Then again, as degrees become devalued because of a simple dilution of the talent pool, a drive to make “50% of kids enter university” and some absolute pointless, dog-shit degrees that, because most are now charged for graduate education seems to instil in minds that cost = value no matter what the subject, it is hardly surprising that the generation known as Millennials and the subsequent one are likely to need constant “protection” from the harsh realities of life.

This, as far as I am concerned, it attributable to the need to bubble children’s learning from the very beginning and make sure every facet of it is matched by an equivalent curriculum.

Still, so long as no tears are shed because of rude words, or different thoughts.

 

Thanks for reading.