09 April 2007

Blog Review #19: Contrary

It's been a pretty quiet Easter for me really... my assorted activities have included gardening in the back garden and gardening at the allotment. I was glad for some 'real' reality, including digging, weeds and all the rest of it, rather than spending my life at a computer screen. Which is why I haven't done any posts for a few days.

Somewhere along the line, I realised that I hadn't done a blog review for several weeks and after about 10 clicks on the 'next blog' tag uncovered nothing but sheer garbage, I got lucky - if you can call it that - with Contrary. It's a right-wing blog from a guy in Texas called Gary, who is "a product of fast women, slow horses, and warm beer." Sounds almost like the English aristocracy, in a funny way. The blog caught my eye because of the most recent post (as of 10 April) which links to a story from the Sunday Telegraph claiming that the BBC has cancelled a documentary on Private Johnson Beharry's Victoria Cross "because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq."

I just don't believe this, frankly. Why would people who are opposed to the war in Iraq complain about a documentary film focusing on a British soldier who was awarded the VC for rescuing injured comrades under heavy enemy fire? It's not Private Beharry's fault that Tony Blair took us to war in Iraq. So it must be that either the Sunday Telegraph is talking bollocks (very probable), or the BBC has seriously miscalculated (possible). Either way, it's unfortunate.

The rest of the blog contains a fair share of patent right-wing bollocks (for example, 'Blame Democrats for military shortages':

It’s puzzling to see the media ignore the disastrous cutbacks in our armed services that took place under Bill Clinton, and the extraordinary efforts of the Bush administration and Hunter’s committee to beef up our military.

The media shouldn't be ignoring it; they should be congratulating Bill Clinton for managing to balance the US federal budget, and excorating George Bush for plunging the budget into record deficits in a desperate attempt to keep the US economy moving. Of course Bush needs to boost military spending, and keep boosting it, to give the impression that the country (indeed the whole civilised world) is in a permanent state of total war; this, in turn, allows the president to destroy civil liberties and prepare the population for the extinction of whatever semblance of democracy still remains. Gary helpfully throws in an Abe Lincoln quote to show us where we're heading:

Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.

Substitute 'members of the public' for 'Congressmen' and you have the current US presidential mindset.

As well as the politics, there are some other topics highlighted on Contrary. One is the right's current handy tool, Islamophobia. For example, there's a truly bizarre post on Islamic toilets:

...Among the code of practice for using an Islamic toilet is the rule that an individual must relieve themselves as infrequently as possible... Talking to or greeting others is forbidden while on the toilet.

Rather than looking at the real reasons behind religious extremism - from whatever religion it might emerge - this kind of post just tries to make out that the Islam is some kind of freak show, made up of brainwashed lunatics who are either stupid, or fiendishly malevolent. Of course, one could make an equally strong claim about evangelical Christianity, or Roman Catholicism. If one was that way inclined. Which fortunately, giroscope isn't.

Finally, there are various attempts at comedy on the site. Most of these aren't at all funny to this observer, although I did find the suggestion that Hillary Clinton is an ACLU mole very amusing. The idea of the right getting worked up about such a centre-right, pro-war establishment figure as Mrs Clinton as some kind of radical threat to the status quo in the US had me in stitches. If nothing else it does suggest that if a real radical left movement does emerge in the States, the right will probably miss it completely. One can only hope...


lazy said...

Jean Carne – Was That All It Was...Extraordinary track – I remember getting the CD single of this when it cam out. As I remember it's a 40 minute version of the track with a lot of different sections. I might dig it out. The album 'Themes from Vapour Space' was also pretty good.Hi I came acrose this and you say you may have it could you would you post this to me please lazy,

Hal Berstram said...

Slightly confused on this one, lazy... is it the CD single of 'Gravitational Arch of 10' or the Vapour Space album you want? Let me know.

lazy said...

40 minute version of the track with a lot of different sections.Jean Carne – Was That All It Was...????& Sorry about that msg.You posted to dilate.choonz.com/thats where i found your comment.many thanks lazy