Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bah Humbug


Like all intelligent people, I greatly dislike Christmas. It revolts me to see a whole nation refrain from music for weeks together in order that every man may rifle his neighbour’s pockets under cover of a ghastly general pretence of festivity. It is really an atrocious institution, this Christmas. We must be gluttonous because it is Christmas. We must be drunken because it is Christmas. We must be insincerely generous; we must buy things that nobody wants, and give them to people we don’t like; we must go to absurd entertainments that make even our little children satirical; we must writhe under venal officiousness from legions of freebooters, all because it is Christmas – that is, because the mass of the population, including the all-powerful middle-class tradesman, depends on a week of license and brigandage, waste and intemperance, to clear off its outstanding liabilities at the end of the year.

- George Bernard Shaw


An interesting man, Shaw, and a nice example of how, if you're not careful, pursuing a lifelong belief in social justice and equality can end up with you supporting, and making excuses for, some right shits


Still, it's better than having the Tories back in power...


Shaw was also flat wrong about the 'all powerful middle-class tradesman', who have never been any more powerful than they have been permitted to be

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21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your comment system has broken Stef...the "recent comments" area has reverted to January 2008.

As for consumption, well I have no use for alcohol and silly "gifts", and hopefully I will have a healthy child on the way soon. ;-)

Anonymous said...

My favorite Shaw quote is "the earth is the Universes lunatic asylum"

Shaw was a clever intelligent man but was not "all wise"
AE George William Russell

He (for me at least) was a far more interesting character.

Not too much info on him however.

http://www.colinsmythe.co.uk/authors/ae.htm

Anonymous said...

yep all the comments are fucked up,,all mixed up.

Parabellum said...

Classic wrong believe - the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend.

And I guess what Stalin did was not only extremely anti-humanistic, it was extremely beneficial to capitalism. Still today you can use Stalin to defame anybody who wants something different than capitalism...

Anonymous said...

You mean monopoly capitalism, right Parabellum? The current system is NOT free market, its designed to shut out competition and stifle true advancement.

Stef said...

In a couple of his talks which are available online, Michael Parenti makes the distinction between the hard working small business/ mom & pop image of capitalism, which is frequently invoked by apologists of our existing system, and the reality of our system which is mostly about brute force, monopoly and theft - especially in the developing world (for now, anyway)

as it happens, I doubt if Parenti is a fan of mom & pop free enterprise either, personally I'm OK with it

call it what you want - corporatism, kleptocracy, neo-feudalism, the economic system we live under now is an abomination and needs putting down

what we replace it with can be the subject of a nice long chat, maybe over a packed lunch

Stef said...

hmmm, comments system...

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1092513/Has-child-CAFed--How-Government-plans-record-intimate-information-child-Britain.html

Stef, you need to post about this NOW.

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-479341/Now-police-told-use-Taser-guns-children.html

This too. Maybe you're right about leaving the UK..

Parabellum said...

Lawyers and judges were accused by MPs yesterday of using “Soviet-style” English libel laws to help the rich and powerful to hide their secrets.

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/MPs_accuse_courts_of_allowing_libel_tourism

There is more, but I don't have the time to wade through this...
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/MPs_in_uproar_after_attack_on_Wikileaks
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/MPs_demand_reform_of_libel_laws
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Kafka_comes_to_the_British_courts

Stef said...

re. the comment feed issue

Blogger is currently throwing a wobbler so it's out of my hands

As well as the comments themselves having a nice retro feel, this sort of thing reminds me of the good old days when Blogger used to throw some kind of fit more or less weekly

Stef said...

Stef, you need to post about this NOW.

I'm flattered, but the Mail is clearly already on the case

And so many cases to choose from - this one's top of my personal list because of the immediacy of its potential impact

Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors

Stef said...

The subject matter aside I do find that Mail article interesting for other reasons

I can't quite put my finger on it but there's something about its style, its cadence that I find a touch, um, Tavistocky. My intuition is telling me that there's something not quite right about it

Stef said...

One element of that article I am certain is flat out bollocks are these well-repeated lines of programming code...

"Why? One reason is simply to control people. Many of today’s New Labour MPs are ex-Marxists and radical feminists who still believe that the family poses the greatest potential opposition to the strong State."

This constant replacement of what would be accurate terminology such as 'totalitarian' / 'corporate' / 'authoritarian' with terms like 'communism' or 'marxism' is profoundly misleading

Finance Capital has fucked up the world, private companies are being given the right to beat people up in their own homes and its Lefties who are to blame?!!

Margaret Hodge is a radical commie?!!

Blaming Marxist/ Commies for all the shit that's going on is a canard

Let's be honest here. It's not that large swathes of Middle England have a problem with all these encroachment on civil liberties per se. They are always crying out for some 'no nonsense' policing. What pisses them off is the fact that it might be turned on them

Damien Green = everyone up in arms

Jean Charles de Menezes = no one gives a shit

Anonymous said...

Throwing themselves out the windows is old hat I guess.


HSBC banker found hanged in hotel
A top HSBC banker has been found hanged in the room of a five-star hotel, police said.


Scotland Yard said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Danish-born Christen Schnor, 49, who was found at around 2.40pm on Wednesday at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, west London.

The Mail on Sunday reported Mr Schnor, who leaves a wife and two children, was found hanging by a belt, naked in a closet in his room.

A spokesman for HSBC said: "Our thoughts are with his family and we will do all we can to help them at this difficult time."

Mr Schnor studied at Henley Management College and graduated in 1994.

He joined HSBC in June 2007 when he was appointed head of insurance with responsibilities for Europe and the Middle East

ziz said...

If you encourage Mom & Pop bizniz then no doubt you would support Aphrodite Wedding Services.

Charlton Peston said...

that would be this Aphrodite Wedding Service I presume

as I have already commented on Lord P's blog, it is now clear that we cannot leave one of the most pressing issues of our time, the war against domestic terrorism, in the hands of the corrupt, somewhat porky, buffoons at the Metropolitan Police

Do yet more innocent, blue-eyed children have to die before the politically correct fools in Westminster wake up and put some properly trained, properly managed paramilitary personnel on our streets?

Stef said...

Mom & Cop shurely?

Anonymous said...

Stef, yes I did notice that, however since the Mail must have a "right-wing" bent regardless of who writes the article, I chose to ignore those opinion segments and focus on facts. Eg the Islington paedophile scandal.

Stef said...

filter, filter, filter, that's all we can do

what the government is doing with the CAF is clearly outrageous but I can't shake the feeling that the likes of the Mail are tasked with sending people up the wrong tree whilst feigning righteous indignation

issues such as spying on kids, shooting innocent people in the face or locking people up without charge should not be left vs right party political issues - and fuck anyone who tries to make them so

Anonymous said...

Better than no indignation at all (, I mean hey, they did report on it) or calling it "bullshit". Those kind of denialist people really depress me...