Monday, April 12, 2010

Layer 281 . . . Demolishing Religion, The Big Questions, Social Class, UKIP, Greens, Will Hutton, Manifestos, Delusion and iPhones

"Jesus came to demolish religion."

The God slot on BBC1 yesterday - 'The Big Questions' - was pretty entertaining. It was broadcast from the Lord Carpets Academy in, er, Peckham, and had an interesting panel of 4 people commenting on the so-called big questions - "Does class matter?", "Should the Pope resign?", "Do bears shit in the woods?" and "Is the Pope a Catholic?"

On the one hand, I can't bear the ubiquitous mid-Atlantic uber-Catholic apologist Christine Odone, and on the other I'm developing a real liking for Mehdi Hasan, a genuine political progressive and senior editor at the New Statesman. [See Layers 261 & 262]

Also prominent on the programme was that well-known scion of enlightened thinking and proud Bermonsey resident Jackiey (?) Budden, who was clearly on it to provide political balance. It's important on these occasions when social class is discussed on flagship TV programmes to balance the presence of thoughtful and intelligent working class individuals with one or two who represent the stupidest and most ignorant individuals you're ever likely to come across in Peckham and Bermondsey, and indeed the planet. S'entertainin, innit?

Jackie, mother of deceased millionairess Jade Goody, said she's never been in a class. She said class is irrelevant, and in Britain today anyone can be successful. So there - case closed! We can all go home. Thanx Jax lol  :) x

And it's true, of course. All you have to do in today's Britain to get really really rich (which of course renders you classless and enables you to send your kids to a fee paying school) is agree to go on TV, flash your big boobs, and open your big mouth to allow a never ending stream of rubbish to flow out of it. Should the rubbish prove to be stupid enough and hilarious enough to make you a) a laughing stock and b) either hated or loved, then the tabloids will anoint you with a deluge of money and make you a star. Bingo!

In the event that you then become terminally ill and agree to sell the story of your death to the tabloids then you'll become unimaginably rich and even more famous and 'loved'. Or hated. As Oscar Wilde might have said, in Britain today there's only one thing worse than being universally loved or hated and that's not being universally loved or hated. 'Cos then you'll probably just be unknown and poor, especially if you're someone like . . . a Goody.

Examples of Jade's wit and wisdom:

Shilpa Poppadom … Shilpa Fuckawala. [Names she used to describe Indian movie star Shilpa Shetty on British reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother, January 2007.]

You're a fucking loser and a liar. Go back to the slums. [To the same Bollywood star, same programme.]

Your head's so far up your arse you can smell your own shit. [ibid]

I look at her and I wanna headbutt her. [ibid]

I look like a complete and utter nasty . . . I do not approve of the words that came out of my mouth. In all honesty I am disgusted with myself.

She was a victim of bullying and racism. [Admitting to racist bullying  - in News of the World interview.]

Do they speak Portuganese in Portugal? I thought Portugal was in Spain. [On British reality TV show Big Brother, 2002.]

Rio de Janeiro, ain't that a person?  [On Big Brother]

Where is East Angular [Anglia], is it abroad?

What's a sparagus? Do you grow it?

Who is Heinzstein [Einstein]?

Sherlock Holmes invented toilets.

They were trying to use me as an escape goat.

I don't want my kids to have the same miserable, drug-blighted, poverty-stricken childhood I did. [On selling photos of her February 2009 marriage to fiancee Jack Tweed in a countryside hotel outside London for $1 million. A frail and bald Goody was dying of cancer at the time.]

So there we have it. There's no such thing as a class system in Britain. Though it has to be said there's an equivalent amount of fuckwits, racists and bigots in the middle and upper classes - it's just manifested in a different way. [see below]

Jackie succinctly summed it all up by saying, "I don't think there's class whatsoever. You are what you are."

Or what you're not.


Rope a Pope

The discussion about the pope was also interesting. The concensus seemed to be that the abuse scandal and its attempted cover up has hurt ALL Christians. The pope should never have written about "protecting the Church" by covering up for priests who were known child abusers. The current pope has been part of the culture of secrecy for decades, in his role as head of what's still effectively the Inquisition. "The cult of self-preservation is the most obnoxious aspect," said someone. Compared with that, all the rest of the church's spreading of delusion, brainwashing, the maintenance of ignorance in gullible people, etc, is of limited importance, obviously.



And talking of delusion and ignorance, which we most certainly are today, the Sunday morning politics programme on BBC1 was also interesting for having on it UKIP's current leader, Lord Pearson of Rannoch. What a complete bozo.

Other prominent UKIP members include  Lord Willoughby de Broke, the Earl of Dartmouth, Christopher Walter Monckton - 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley,  Richard Thomas Orlando Bridgeman - 7th Earl of Bradford,  and, er,  . . . Nigel Farage. Interestingly these people were previously esteemed members of the Conservative party, prior to realising they were UKIPs. And what an interesting government they'd make, should UKIP win a majority.

In 2006 Conservative Party leader David Cameron called UKIP members "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists". Since it was the Conservative party that had attracted them in the first place this presumably means that current conservative party members are slightly lesser fruitcakes, loonies and racists. Or did the Tory party admit the UKIP defectors regardless of the fact that they were, and are, fruitcakes, loonies and racists? A broad church, indeed.



Continuing with the celebrity bigmouth fruitcake theme I was going to say something about Ruby Wax, another of the guests on the Andrew Marr programme, but frankly, she ain't worth it. Just leave her. She's not a well person.

Caroline Lucas MEP, the current leader of the Green Party, on the other hand, was well worth listening to and is most certainly worth mentioning.


Will Hutton, as ever, was well worth reading in the Observer yesterday:

The country's renewal is being betrayed by cheap, paltry politics
The squabble over national insurance is a sideshow. We need to discuss how to overhaul Britain's financial heart
The electorate is not dumb. We know the wealth of the last two decades was fairy dust. We know bankers don't know how to help enterprise. We know the country has to make its living differently in future. We know that requires a mix of belt-tightening and huge investment. We do not see why the public services we rely on should be emasculated while the business and banking leaders who caused the crisis lead lives of unearned opulence. We would like to hear our political leaders talk in these terms. We want the next government to begin the work.
So far it's been a phoney electoral war. Let's hope it gets better fast.
We have, in short, lived through an epic economic mistake culminating in a first order financial crisis. There cannot be a return to business as usual. We need to understand what went wrong, put it right and build on the parts of the economy that have prospered despite the wider madness. This is the test that this week's party manifestos have to pass. We have had far too few original economic initiatives aimed at the right target. We need some fast or this election campaign will descend into farce.


Modern capitalism is at a moral dead end. And the bosses are to blame

Capitalism will be continue to be demonised while our CEOs refuse to put their own corrupt house in order


Manifesto Time

And talking of manifestos, the R4 Today presenter introduced an item on today's manifesto launches by saying they've been devised and put together by "the brightest and youngest minds in politics today". Really? He's talking about people like Douglas Alexander, Ed Balls, Ed & David Miliband, etc. Young, yes. But in what sense "bright"? Being intellectually able with Oxbridge First Class Honours degrees does not make someone "bright" in the sense of experienced, wise, original and creative.These people are "bright" but stupid. Economically ignorant, emotionally retarded, spiritually dead, philosophically barren and personally repugnant. Tripping over their own egos and their sense of their own self-importance, they are pathetic minnows compared with the political giants of the past, on whose shoulders they are trying to balance.

These are posh little boys, who have the cheek to laugh at Cameron and his Bullingdon crew for being posh - just because the Bullys went to Eton and they didn't.


Laurie Anderson has a new show called - Delusion. Should be worth seeing.

'Delusion' is the Buddhist artist’s Diamond Sutra: a shining, heartfelt meditation on the ephemeral pleasures and lasting pains of this existence.

It's smart, funny, emotionally engaging, and flat-out beautiful—in short, everything you’d expect from an artist of Anderson’s stature and reputation.



Why is the iPhone so bloody bourgeois? I hate the word "apps". I'm sick of seeing the iPhone and its bleeding "apps" plastered all over the back page of my newspaper.

What are these "apps"?

The Starbucks app lets you find the nearest Starbucks and 'create your perfect coffee drink'. No thanks.

The North Face lets you 'plan a trip to the slopes, check current snow conditions and even view local webcams'. Fuck off.

BMW TV lets you 'have the BMW experience at your fingertips'. Experience?

Lego Photo lets you 'transform a photo into Lego bricks before your eyes'. Fucking bonkers. They even suggest you send it to 'relatives and friends'.

'Nike' lets you 'customise your next pair'.

The Financial Times app let you receive current updates on the stock market.

The Sky Sports app brings you 'minute by minute text commentaries on all the top games'. Sad fucks.

The Next Collection - 'the high street comes to the iPhone'. It's welcome to it.

According to the ad, there are 150,000 'apps'. Truly terrifying. 

Repulsive, consumerist, middle class nonsense.

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