|The new i-atollah pads on a stick gathered quite a following|
Happy Thanksgiving Lums,
I read an article about Thanksgiving the other day because I'm generally quite clueless about the whole thing. It was about the technology the early pilgrim fathers relied on to survive. The author said "Barrels were quite big back then" like they were a new thing. As if a reformist James Dyson came up with the rolling box idea when in fact they had been a big thing for 3000 years or something.
Anyway, back to me, another day at the foot of Mt Olympus, the radio alarm goes and I find my self punching the snooze button as if it dispenses Tromadol, not to cancel the day ahead, just to delay it a little until I'm ready to wade throat deep into it.
Delay it because my hypocrisy-ometer has been ringing like the bell on a bored budgies swing.
What has been getting my goat is the governments plans (dreams) to criminalise social networking during times of civil strife or, in the view from their comfortably feathered nests, revolution.
Its the usual jerky knee'd reaction that we should be used to by now from our elected populists . Remember when there was a spate of baby eating devil dogs apparently snacking their way through a whole generation of the UKs carelessly placed children. Shoot them, no, lets castrate them, what? No, we need to castrate them, then shoot them, then take all their teeth out and shoot them again.
In the end, I think we went for licensing them at the post office. A reasoned position probably, though if we did shoot all those ugly, firkin chested, in bred freak hounds, would we miss them. That will be a No, and why don't they have suitable legs, its like the conceptual design was presented with a potato that had cocktails sticks for walking on.
Anyway, the inevitable reaction to riots in London this summer? Ban the kids from messaging with their blackberries, no more flashtwitters and lootbook status updates.
I suppose its natural to immediately want to blame something, and the established position is to blame something new and synonymous with the young but hold on, social networking is perhaps one of the most valuable and inevitable products of the connected age. To suggest the state should control it, censor it or deny it to those that are not deemed responsible is a prospect that seems totally foreign not only to the free, but to digital natives anywhere. Once we are there, or the laws are passed that allow it, what next, authorised press, no congregating in groups, permission to speak?
Anyway, that's one thing, the hypocrisy that really pressed my begrumpled button is that a few months ago, we, including the government, were praising the brave souls in Tunisia and Egypt, lapping up their YouTube clips and live twitter feeds from Tahrir Sq, with claims that social networking is the new engine of democracy and social change.
Maybe its that thought dawning on our governors that has got them a little spooked. Its strange we don't hear the reports to the same degree coming from Syria or Iran. Either the press have been told not to report them, Arab spring fatigue maybe, or more likely, those regimes, that aren't afraid to machine gun demonstrators and drive tanks through villages and schools probably do a decent job of controlling access to social sharing platforms.
Its not only the government struggling to come to terms with what the connected and newly chatty world means. The Sun, that paragon of reporting virtue, with the comic timing of cancer, had to deny a rumour posted on Twitter this week, saying there was absolutely no truth in it, like that's important to them or something.
Continuing on the theme, apparently any two people on Facebook is only 4.74 connections away from any other. That means a Facebook friend of a friend of mine is likely to be a friend of a friend of anyone of the other 721 million users. I don't really know what the significance of that is, if any.
" Why sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford"
So said Samuel Johnson, though they say he had tourettes so he probably ended in a fuckity flourish. He certainly would if he had to pay beer prices in Canary Wharf today, all that life can afford only applies to the robber bankers if they've had a good day at the trough snorting up pensions, still, it gives me ample opportunity to air my favourite aphorism to the barmaid,
" Hey hen (I never claimed they would understand it) that pint (£4.80 by the way) I want tae drink it, no pit it on ma mantelpiece"
Lang may yer lum reek.