A Case For Anonymity

I’m not anonymous.

GCHQ.

Friends.

Randoms I’ve met via the internet.

They know what I look like, know my given name.

Anyone who pays attention to what I tweet and write (not that this will add anything to your life so it isn’t worth the effort) could probably work out my approximate age.

My rough location in the world and my field(s) of employment over the years I’ve documented myself, I’m not exactly 100% private and anonymous but the fact that hopefully the great majority on twitter and reading this don’t know what I look like or my real name is enough to assuage any massive worries I have about my own general anonymity online.

I’m anonymous because I choose to be.  I’m not a troll, not in the worst sense anyway, then again term troll itself has been ascribed and redefined many times to now be a catch-all term for a great spectrum of behaviour.

My thoughts and views do not require knowledge of who I am; too often I’ve seen named twitter accounts avoid questions using the “you hide behind an avatar” line just because someone, even in the course of polite conversation, might field a view different to the person they were talking to.  This is a nonsensical and cowardly approach, it stifles debate and gives inaccurate credence to a view that only those with identities can have opinions and those opinions are worth more than the anonymous.

As I’ve gone on in my career, social media policies at various jobs have evolved and especially focussed on not saying or doing anything that would bring a company into disrepute.  An interpretation of these guidelines would be that anyone in employment shouldn’t really post anything personal (views or otherwise) online as you could lose your job.

I know that some of the views I hold don’t chime with even those close to me in real life let alone the status quo of twitter and seeing the reactions of some people online to certain views only highlights that, if only for the sake of continued employment/employability my veiled identity protects me from the vindictive and self-righteous, those that don’t know what a joke is, or satire or who feel they’ve been personally besmirched.

The way the world is going, everyone is just that little bit more crazy and unpredictable, I have the courage of my own convictions and being anonymous means that, should I wish to meet someone I’ve talked to online (and in the drinking world this happens at extremely regular intervals) it is always me that has to identify myself after I’ve worked myself up to a level of trust.

Give and take, I don’t trust anyone I don’t know, their aims and motives and likewise you shouldn’t trust me but not knowing each other or anything about anyone is no reason not to talk and debate about things, whether in agreement or disagreement, whether known or anonymous.

 

“There is no truth, only human opinion.”

 

Thanks for reading.

General Election 2017 – The Nihilism Of It All

Back on the 18th of April 2017, when Theresa May called for a General Election to be held in the UK on the 8th of June it made perfect sense in her dull, little brain.

Theresa May is absolutely fucking useless.  For me; being an ardent supporter of privacy and the rights to free speech, free thought and an unregulated internet, her time as Home Secretary we dark, dark days and her assent to Prime Minister just as alarming.  She is the ultimate Orwellian nightmare, a person who true to form will use the current terrorist atrocities of London, Manchester and London again to further curtail civil liberties.

This trait is not the sole preserve of May and the Tories though, they are merely continuing policy brought in and extended by that arch-cunt called Tony Blair, who as an aside, despite announcing a grand return to politics has been so terribly quiet recently; mainly because terrorism can partly be laid at his feet but mainly because of the seemingly Lazarus-like rise of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jezza has risen though, not the Labour party.  And this is in spite of every single media organisation in the UK from the “left-wing” BBC to the “right-wing” Daily Mail running nothing but negativity about the man.  Hmm, it’s almost as if the media has some kind of vested interest in maintaining some kind of normalcy in party politics.

The Labour party are a shambolic bunch; racist Abbott is front and centre next to elitist Thornberry.  The Blairites that remain in the party are now having to hold their tongue as the polls suggest the election might actually be close.

Ha, the chance would be a fine thing.

Blairites are spineless creatures, they are indeed Tory-lite but oh how Labour voters both old and new wished for a return for the “glory days” of 1997-onwards, which say this whole debasement of political debate begin.

We are the political class; we will talk at you, not to you. We know what it best, we are your nannies, you are sick and we command you to be well.  It is a terrible joke that some still think the Tories are “small state” for what they may withdraw from on a social

The only good things to come out of this entire campaign is that this will hopefully be one final nail in the (il)Liberal (un)Democrats ethically sourced coffin.  A party of a wets farts, who  wish us to forget they enabled Cameron to become PM while dwelling on this myth that they somehow controlled or watered down the worst excess of the Tories.

Greens & UKIP –  all the acknowledgement they are worth, much like that little tyrannical harridan north of the border.

There is something wonderful about watching this election unfold on Twitter.

You’d think that the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the US would temper hope.  Indeed I suppose a win for Macron in France and a loss for Wilders in the Netherlands gave this impression that “good and the decent” people still existed in the real world.

 

All the while talking heads on Twitter will sing with glee about the millions more people who have registered to vote, many of the them young.  They forget that; they might have already been registered, they’ve just re-registered, they won’t all vote against the Conservatives and more importantly because of the first past the post system in the UK, unless they are in key areas in will make fuck all difference.

The next line of attack is to get the young to convince “the old” to vote for Labour, for these youngster’s futures.  You know, because months of blaming old people for the Brexit vote and hoping that because they are old, they’ll die sooner and then a second referendum will mean we’ll stay in the EU.  But history isn’t cool, hypocrisy is where it’s at.

Theresa May could have kept this election about Brexit and she would have walked it, but she doesn’t care about that and has fucked it royally, just like she will with the negotiations with the decrepit and monolithic EU, even though it should be the easiest thing to do.

Truth is, people what something different, something that isn’t mainstream and this is why there is a Corbyn surge.

Trump won because he wasn’t Hillary and wasn’t a politician.  Brexit won because it wasn’t mainstream, it was a chance of something different.  Macron in France, to some extent, was at least offering an end to the status quo (despite being mainstream).

May becoming PM with an increased majority would be a disaster but there is just something about drinking the salty tears of those on twitter that is so appealing in seeing this happen

People want real change and this will not happen and there is something glorious in watching every, regular person (myself included) get fucked over by what will occur on June 8th.

Dance to the tension of a world on edge and then get some cans in to watch the end of the world.

 

Thanks for reading.

A Look Back In Anger. And Every Other Fucking Direction

The Terrorists will not change us…

Except when it comes to delaying our election process, delaying democracy.

Except when it comes to the state wanting even greater powers to actually hack into its citizens private communications.

Except when it comes to freedom of speech because apparently 80,000 people want The Sun banned in Manchester because they are brain-dead twats living in an irony-free zone.

Except I don’t full know how to express myself in words, so here are some emojis.

Except I want people to lose their jobs if they make a joke or say something possibly defamatory.

Except now I’ve got a tattoo – solidarity brothers and sisters.

Except when it comes to being able to actual discuss just what the fuck is going on in the world.

Standard Response

Following the events at the Manchester Arena on the 22nd of Many 2017 there followed the usual, typically predictable response to a terrorist attack.

The #PrayFor and #NotAll hashtags fly like winged monkeys, the avatars changed to accommodate the latest geographical victim, well one that is in the West at least, you’d never have a static avatar if you had to commemorate everyone blown to bits in the Middle East.

The UK press wait a day or so and then dwell upon the attacker(s) because for some reason it feels that the public need to know their name(s), their background, their history because that doesn’t detract from the victims at all.

We also have to preach the mantra that terrorists don’t represent Islam but merely a warped view of it and it has nothing to do with religion.

That last point is bollocks, always has been, always will be…

Give it a week and then the police will release a report about an increase in “hate crime” – quite what being blown up, run over, shot or stabbed is if it isn’t hate is beside the point in this most Orwellian-like crime, but if you’ve been called a nasty name that too is a crime apparently on a par with loss of life and needs as much media focus.*

Above all it is pushed by all and sundry that we should “carry on” and that was should not let “hate beat love.”

Hate

Hate is OK.  Hate is a valid human emotion.

This past fortnight has all been about love, or people’s versions of what love is, not even Foreigner knew what it was and needed it showing to them but either way its was all about love.

One big, homogeneous, nondescript, identity-less Love.

The avatar changes, the bee tattoos, the candle-lit vigils do nothing but focus on the individual and their suffering, which is nothing, it is absolutely fuck-all to those that were actually killed, their next of kin and those who actually could have been victims.

What, so you didn’t “love Manchester” before you changed your avatar and you will stop loving it when you change it?

Your bee tattoo and graffiti, possibly a nice symbol of solidarity is really just look-at-me narcissism, less about love and more a constant reminder of carnage.

You only have love? You have no hate, because hate is all terrorists have and you are better than terrorists?

Not killing people makes you better than a terrorist, not having any other emotions makes you an unthinking drone.

And this is the problem.  I don’t hate you for changing your avatar or getting a tattoo or painting a picture, or singing a song or lighting a candle.   Grief, if that honestly what it is as opposed to relief, is something personal that we all deal with in our own way.

What I do hate, apart from delusional, murdering fucksticks is the rest of the response; that we carry on as normal and yet we still modify our behaviour, our language, our ability to ask questions or offer up answers and even opinions.

In the Kübler-Ross model there are five stages to dealing with grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

There seems to be a collective brain-fart at work that we avoided the 2nd stage and just focus on the 3rd and 5th.  The world of social media seems to turn into Rimmer after he has had his first meeting with the Polymorph in Red Dwarf.

You neither have to bargain with terrorists, because you can’t and you certainly don’t have to accept it, regardless of what Mayors of London say.

I have love and it doesn’t need mood slime to help flourish, but I certainly have hate too.  The hate won’t keep me any more safe that those apparently without it but it is my response to events, along with continuing to question and to use the same language.

Hate is OK.  Hate is a valid human emotion. It is all about how you channel it.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

*Hyperbole but it does seems as much gravitas is placed on “hate crime” statistics than any other crime.  Crime is hate, all crime is a hate crime.

Beer Flies and The Sopranos

If you’ve not seen The Sopranos this post may contain spoilers…

Beer Flies

I’ve worked in 3 main environments in my employed life; in bars, in breweries and mainly in laboratories and in all three flies were a problem.

You’d think in fairly modern lab environments that creepy crawlies wouldn’t be a factor but they always find a way in.  Through doors, through windows left open in the hotter summer months, through fume cupboards and extractor vents.  With all the nasties I’ve inhaled over the years you think that those chemicals would be a big enough deterrent for these critters but no, there they are, what was a pristine working surface when you left for the day is returned to in the morning to be met with a fly somehow doing backstroke in your mobile phase.

For me, most of the bars (or cellars) were relatively flying pest free, the biggest problem is always at the brewery.  A lack of storage space in most pubs will see used casks thrown outside, most of the time not sealed and lord what a grand job cleaning fly eggs out of cask is. Bar flies are not included in this piece, loveable rogues that they usually are.

I’m not a fan of chemical weapons; watching something slowly twitch its last as its mitochondrion cease respiring is never pleasant so the short, swift splat against whatever surface they are resting on is preferable, or the Mr Miyagi school of snatching it out of the air is also employed, usually without chopsticks.

Though I find that every time I do this I consider what the fly is thinking; one minute buzzing around, bumping into things, smelling the sweet wort of the final beer and looking for a way into the fermenter, the very next moment – nothing.  Obviously at point of death they aren’t thinking anything at all but in some ways this then gets me thinking about…

The Sopranos

I was bought the box set of The Sopranos many years ago and finally, over the course of the first few months of 2017, got round to binge watching it all.

When it comes to TV series it started with the original run of Oz, which despite being bumped around the late night schedules of Channel 4 (UK), I was still able to catch most of it.  I never watched 24, save the very last episode of Season 1.  I can chalk off Breaking Bad, Games of Thrones is still ongoing for now and The Wire still remains my personal favourite but a lack of The Sopranos always seemed to hang over my head, so I settled in to watch it.

The series was originally shown on Channel Four and when this happened I caught precisely, one opening credits sequence, one scene of Lorraine Bracco, a Rottweiler and a vending machine (which obviously made little sense at the time) and the last few minutes of the final episode, which everyone had banged on about but again made little sense in any context.

The scene is famous for a long and protracted diner scene in which Tony Soprano (the sadly deceased James Gandolfini) waits and meets the arrival of his wife, his son and maybe eventually his daughter, all to the sound of Don’t Stop Believing  by Journey.  As they discuss mundane family matters, the bell in the diner rings to announce the arrival of each new customer and each time Tony looks up to see if its his daughter, then over the course of some onion rings the bell rings, Tony looks up and then the screen cuts to black.  There is a wait of some 30 seconds before the credits roll.  The ending baffled most, mainly because of its ambiguity let alone the suddenness of it all.

Personally I never saw Tony as anything more than the gangster he was, on my scale he didn’t even measure up as an anti-hero but the ending still have a hard impact despite not being wholly loving of the main protagonist.

There are many videos out there discussing what the ending means and a very good one that picks out “clues” from the preceding few episodes to point to the fact that Tony died.

Swift, short, sudden and the victim was totally anonymous to their own death, in essence just like squishing beer flies.

Who wants a protracted death, body flooded with chemicals that are only palliative, far better just to have the lights turned off.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

One thing I can agree with Tony Soprano on is this…

 

Prequel: If Beer Was…

If Brewdog Was…

They Live

This past weekend, a reincarnated ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper took a trip up to Aberdeen, Scotland.

 

 

On the way there he was given some sunglasses which caused strange things to be seen when he tried them on…

 

 

 

He then found his way to a meeting of, well he didn’t know what to make of it…

 

 

 

He snapped at the gathering…

 

 

The more loyal members of the fan club became enraged and went on the attack…

 

And sadly Roddy and his morals were no more…

The moral of the story is, you never know what you are buying in to…

…or who you are drinking a beer with…

 

Thanks for reading…

 

 

 

 

?

Bière Clos

Subtitle: Blogger who says people take beer too seriously writes piece with reference to French existential philosophy.

Actually, I was going to write a few observational bits and pieces about beer based on the translations of the title of the play Huis Clos but I can’t be bothered, I’d only be repeating myself and every other beer blog so I’ll just let the titles speak for themselves (so much for research). You Figure It Out.

No Exit (No Entry)

In Camera

Vicious Circle

Behind Closed Doors

Dead End

 

Hell is other hobbyists.

 

Oh well, let’s continue…

 

Thanks for reading.

Applying for the Position of State Censor

twitter2319807

I have been a long-term admirer of your work, even before you changed what the “C” in your name meant.  It was very helpful of you and the DPP to publish a list of 72 films and the subsequent 39 that were prosecuted made then all the more necessary to get hold of and view.  It has also been wonderful watching your scope increase; from film editors to analysing video games and now you have been allowed into the online world.

We shall skip what the definitions, legal or otherwise about what is pornography and pornographic, they have become a terms stripped of all meaning recently and I’ll just get to the nub of the matter.

I find the challenges of “regulating online pornography” to be rather easy.

What is made and filmed by consenting adults is legal and obviously anything made without consenting adults is a matter for the police, so this covers my view on the making of such material.

So we now have to turn our heads to who views such things and when it comes to viewing such material then it follows that it is legal for consenting adults to watch this material also.

If we skip the confusing laws of the UK that make the act of having sex legal at 16 but then having to be a full 2 years older to actually watch it legally then we should take the maximum age of 18 and below as the people we should worry about when it comes to getting hold of such material online.

And in this case it falls squarely on the parents.

I therefore can’t really expand to fill the requested word count of 1500 so I’ll just reiterate my main point;

Regulating online pornography to those under the legal age is the job of the parents or the adults responsible of said minors.

I feel I’ve just written myself out of a job but please feel free to consider me for the role.

Thanks for reading.