HiSTORY/POLITiCS: Nye Nails Tory Duplicity, 1944

‘Nye’ Bevan, 1897-1960.

‘Honest politics and Tory politics are contradictions in terms. Lying is a necessary part of a Tory’s political equipment, for it is essential for him to conceal his political intentions from the people. This is partly the reason for his success in keeping power.’

The founder of the NHS, and a chief builder of the post WW11 Welfare State, Nye Bevan, in 1944.

All these years later, after a period in which over 75% of the time has seen Tories in government (add New Labour’s Tory-Lite era, and it’s been an era of near as dammit total right wing dominance!), his words seem more apt than ever.

POLiTRiCKS: The ‘Makes No Difference Who’s In Office’ Fallacy

I love Steve Bell!

These days I try and avoid the political. Or at least I kind of do. It’s just sooo depressing! Butt, for some reason I can never quite shake an interest in how and by whom we are ‘governed’.

One thing that I really hate to hear, is the über lazy cop out of ‘it makes no difference who’s in power/office’. I do appreciate that politicians of all types can be wearisome, and may at times seem to share many regrettable qualities. But I strongly disagree with the idea they’re all exactly the same.

Labour gave us the NHS, the Tories (or at least large powerful sections thereof, sections that are also usually in power at the time) have always wanted rid of it, and have acted – albeit slowly and surreptitiously (aware that is a much loved national institution) – to undermine it, as a prelude to dismemberment and privatisation.

One of the greatest ironies in all of this is how the Tories, and their sickening allies in the billionaire non-dom owned press, continue to stoke fears of Socialist Bogeymen taxing us all to oblivion.* When in fact the Tories are both taxing everyone more than ever (oh, except for the wealthiest pensioners), and borrowing on a totally unsustainable scale.


* Some of the insanely bizarre crap I’ve heard working class Tories say beggars (buggers is much more apt) belief. Such folk are so obviously parroting propaganda they’re fed, day in day out, by a press in cahoots with the country’s ruling Tory elite.

The greatest irony of all is that actually the Tories – supposedly (ie according to their own much trumpeted hype) good with money – are actually totally fiscally incompetent. Should that come as any surprise? They are the (a)morally if not fiscally bankrupt heirs to the traditions of Serfdom, and Royalty, ie they remain the ‘robber barons’.

They got rich, just as they continue to get rich, not because of skill or intelligence, but thanks, mostly, to inheriting wealth and power, and/or ‘insider trading’, corruption, bullying, and plain old-fashioned theft.

The Covid pandemic, during which our government ought to have been looking after the most vulnerable, was used as an excuse for an orgy of state-organised larceny. And the right wing capitalist ideologues ‘masterminding’ this short-term grab for the greedy even openly talked of the benefits of Covid ‘culling elderly dependents’. Nye Bevan, founder of the NHS, was absolutely correct: Tories are lower than vermin.

MEDiA: Royalist Propaganda Overload

I’d like to know who this brave lady is.

Teresa, having dined royally, so to speak, on Versailles, is now watching Marie Antoinette. As she does so it strikes me that in the last few decades we’ve seen not just a rising tide, but a veritable tsunami of royalist propaganda.

These two shows are about past French Royalty, admittedly. But the almost universal chorus of abjectly sycophantic bootlicking around the recent passing of Liz II really shocked and upset me. This toadying, far more than the passing of one elderly and obscenely overprivileged woman, is what I find deeply saddening.

We had a brief period, post WWII, in which, for a while, there was a semblance of some move towards real progressive and enlightened change in the UK. The creation of the NHS, a growth in the ambitions of the BBC. But all these things seems now to be under the very real threat of Tory vandalism and dissolution.

A great but rare sight. The ‘other’ view in public sight.*

And the orgy of misty-eyed revisionist veneration for royalty that we’re living through now is a stark reminder of the degree to which we are now an increasingly enslaved and backward looking nation.

I wondered if anyone in the UK shared my feelings, and googled the theme using numerous selections of search terms. And what I found most of was the very same obsequious royalist garbage that so disturbs me. It took quite some digging to begin to uncover what one might call such things as republican or anti-royalist stuff.

Alas, if only ‘t’were so.

Here is one of the few things I found. And it’s very good. I think I might try and use this and future similar posts to try and gather together such thoughts/links, etc.

Interesting to note that I can not, so far, find the names of either the ‘not my king’ lady, nor the ‘f*ck imperialism’ protestor. The former was allowed to continue her protest, whilst the latter was removed and charged with a ‘breach of peace‘.

A truly scary sign of our times…

In a previous post that touches on this theme I was able to find the identity of another protestor. That individual was Paul Powlesland, above, a barrister who said around the time:

‘One of the many things that makes me proud to be British is our freedom of speech. It’s one of our most precious and sacred rights and it’s far more precious to me than the royal family is.’

Amen to that! But is the idea of free speech in the UK now no more than an illusion? It’s starting to look that way.

* The most recent Jubilee was, for the most part, a horrifying display of forelock tugging idiocy. I didn’t encounter any anti-Royal views in the media at the time. Even allusions to other viewpoints were rare. And, of course, the vast propaganda machine supporting royalty steamrolled over any neutered opposition. So Liz wasn’t the last of her ilk. Alas…

POLiTRiCKS: Toryism Out Of Control…

It’s really saddening to find ourselves in a state where Jonathan Pie and The Daily Mash are better and more reliable sources of news than any of the mainstream screen media.

I’m a staunch supporter of the BBC, as a ‘national good’, a publicly owned and run non-politically affiliated institution, there for the benefit of all in the UK, free from commercial exploitation.

Ever since its inception most Tories have disliked the BBC, and even as they continue to disassemble and co-opt it, from within, they still caricature it as a hotbed of leftist ne’erdowells. In actual fact it has been infiltrated and taken over by bean-counting place-serving yes-men/women, appointed by the Tories for so long now I’ve lost track.

It’s gotten to the point now that even so called news items are actually party political broadcasts for the Tory agenda. I heard a piece on the NHS ‘collaborating’ with private healthcare on BBC R4 the other day, and couldn’t believe how blatantly Tory it was.

Essentially it portrayed the private sector as coming to the rescue of the ailing NHS. No examination of why this has come to pass. Nor what it means for the future of the NHS, beyond the programmes’ blatantly biased message that public/private cooperation can only be good.

But coming to Pie’s latest rant; it’s a theme many on the left are slapping their faces at. When Starmer recently took Sunak to task over the economic meltdown the Tories have gotten us into, and in particular the role of Tory self-serving greed – in the latest form of Mone – in all of this, Rishi did exactly what Pie is talking about.

Rather than address the blatant theivery of the super rich, at a time when the nation was and still is supposedly ‘all in it together’, this City millionaire instead tries to steer the conversation towards blaming those sections of the ‘lower orders’ who are having the temerity to strike, in pursuit of such outrageous demands as living wages and job security.

And let’s not forget that Toryism has always campaigned for the erosion of workers’ rights. That’s why we’ve seen a thermonuclear mushrooming of ‘zero hours’ contracts. That’s what Brexit was always really about. Removing that pesky EU red tape, aka deregulation, has always been about taking away rights and powers from those lower down the food chain in order to benefit those further up it, making it easier for them to skim off the cream.

As Mick Lynch is constantly saying, to anyone who’ll listen, these rich greedy fuckers are getting wealthier by parasitically exploiting all of us. And yet, because they have vast wealth, they brazenly use it to manufacture a ‘divide and rule’ scenario, in which the middle and working classes blame each other, and especially those at the bottom of the pile – from those fleeing poverty, persecution, war, etc, to those who actually serve us day in day out (teachers, posties, rail workers, nurses) – it’s literally fucking insane!

As The Daily Mash have noted, we’re drifting dangerously close to outright fascism. A right wing one party state, run by a wealthy clique whose rapine self-interest is gradually being set in legal stone.

Two World Wars and the sacrifices of rivers of blood, mostly the blood of the cannon-fodder workers, saw the demise of the Victorian and Edwardian era of aristocracy, and – in response to those collective sacrifices – the setting up of many national and international forms of governance.

The NHS and the EU/NATO, etc, were all born out of those bouts of unprecedented blood-letting that occurred really quite recently. And we’re seeing it all carved up, flogged off and destroyed by greedy capitalists whose self-interest and short-termism are totally unsuited to a world in which we face so many human-made (and other) threats to our collective existence.

Nuclear proliferation and war, chemical and biological (never mind ordinary) weapons, pollution, climate change, mass extinctions for which we are the chief cause, all these require strong and morally directed governance. Not rapine neo-liberal capitalism.

It’s grim out there right now. And I’m not talking about the winter weather.

MiSC: Politics & Media

This post arises out of my despair at being mugged every month by Virgin Media.

My loathing for Toryism grows and grows. Cursed with the Thatcherite style ‘choice’ of a shower of money-grabbing swindlers, aka broadband service providers, and currently being fleeced by Virgin Media, I can only marvel at how Boris, with his execrable ‘bus of lies’, had the bare-butt-faced-cheeks – the goddamn effrontery – to swindle, nay, to rape our nation so effectively.

Un-fucking-believable! Bohnson, you neo-fascist shitbag.

According to Bozo, Corbyn’s pledge to give all in the UK free internet was a ‘crazed communist’ plot. Instead of publicly owned assets that serve us all, we have shitty privately owned corporations intent on robbing us blind, the ongoing nightmare of Brexit, recession and rampant inflation. And still the billionaire press barons prop up the rotten Tory establishment, merrily scapegoating the weak and poor at the bottom of the collective heap, whilst they and their fat cat ilk wallow in the cream at the top.

A neo-liberalist wet-dream. AKA a nightmare.

Evil? Unquestionably. Beyond fucking disgusting? Indubitably. And these evil fuckers are currently embarked on a process of gutting the UK of any rights to protest. The real reason for Brexit. At a time when many scientists are saying humanity is teetering on the brink of self-annihilation, it’s business as usual for the robber barons.

Smiles and suits belie pure evil; a cabal of self serving right-wing hooligans.*

* I know there’s been a changing of the guard since these cyphers were photo-collaged together. But you can take pretty much any set of Tories, and the putrid essence of evil remains unchanged.

For the meat and potatoes, try this, in which some of the reasons for my anger are elucidated. For many years I’ve allowed my own personal issues and petty problems to contribute to almost total political apathy. But these self-serving bastards and their rapine policies are driving me back towards activism.

Abysmal (unelected) architects of the UK’s self-destruction.

So now we have Rishi Sunak, a product of The City, whose tax-dodging wife epitomises exactly what’s so rotten about Toryism. Another unelected (by the people of the UK) neo-liberal capitalist stooge. So he’s going to fix the appalling mess years of Tory misrule have brought about!?

Rishi to the rescue…

Pull the other one. Oh, wait… there is no other leg to pull. All the limbs of the rotten cadaver of British politics have already been torn off. The corpse of British Democracy has been sent to the Tower, hung, drawn and quartered.

The UK needs to see Toryism killed off. Banished. Fired into a black hole. Exorcised. Otherwise we are, er… royally fucked.

If only this were the end of such backwards ways.

HEALTH & WELLBEiNG: Taxed For Being Ill.

I have chronic conditions – psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – that require ongoing medication. And to pay for this – in addition to the taxes we all pay* – I pay a monthly direct-debit towards a prescription pre-payment scheme.

*Or ought to, and by and large do. I my view it’s those wealthy enough to dodge such joint responsibilities that are our biggest problem.

On my last visit to the chemist, to pick up my regular prescription meds, after 5 or 6 years of never being asked for any proof, I was asked. I told them I had none, as I’d never been asked before. They told me I’d have to bring some proof next time.

I’m not sure what constitutes proof? There’s no physical document or card anymore. There used to be a card. But that’s been scrapped. Toryism shaving off another small fraction from the public purse, to give the fat cats further scope to skim off more cream. So I guess I’ll just have to print out an appropriate email, if I can find one.

The Tories have always disliked the NHS, and for decades they have been systematically butchering it. Tragically the Blair/Brown Labour govt. colluded in the expansion of rapine capitalism within the NHS, making an already dodgy situation even worse. In many ways New Labour was Tory Lite. Tragic!

There are so many layers and levels to all the ramifications of the Tory ‘only money matters’ attitude (I won’t dignify it with the term philosophy!). One of these is to make parking at NHS facilities another opportunity for parasites to drain money from NHS workers and patients.

So not only am I taxed ‘at source’, to fund all our public services, including the wonderful institution that is the NHS. But, as an ill person – something that at its rotten core (I can’t say heart, Toryism has no heart) the right equates with ‘sin’* – I have to pay two more times: once more for my prescriptions, and again, to park.

Healthcare Tory style.

* There’s a barely disguised eugenicist Spencerian thread at the base of such ideologies, itself heir to the far older superstitions of religions, and dark pre-scientific (mis)understanding, which equates illness (and even ‘ugliness’) with sin and evil; outward manifestations of inner un-Godliness. Conditions that – rather than being understood and treated with due sympathy and care – are to be denigrated and punished.

MiSC: Joe Hill

Joe Hill.*

Thanks to a FB pal’s post I learned of Joe Hill today. Not heard of him before.

An itinerant worker of Swedish ancestry, Hill was a ‘Wobblie’, or member of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), rising to prominence in that organisation as a songwriter and cartoonist, as well as for his vocal activism.

Hill was executed, aged just 36, in 1915. Allegedly for a robbery in which two men, father and son (the elder an ex-policemen), were killed. I know next to nothing about all this. So I’ll be looking into it. It’s pretty fascinating!

Tom Morello of RATM credits a whole lineage of protest music to Joe Hill’s leading example, which is interesting. As a musician and artist I’m immediately drawn to Hill, not just because I share his politics to some extent (to what extent I don’t know as yet!), but because art and music are my ‘bag’.

Rather strikingly, Hill’s will, reproduced below (along with a post-mortem photo showing his corpse, complete with the execution bullet holes!), is in verse. A poet to the last!

The popular perception on the left is that Hill is a martyr, a scapegoat, a ‘pesky agitator’ silenced by the boss class. Hill refused to exonerate himself entirely, claiming he was innocent. But unwilling to name a lady for love of whom he had, he said, been shot by a another man!

The gunshot wound, which he presented to a doctor on the same day as the fatal double shooting of which he was eventually accused, was, it seems, what got him the death penalty.

A tantalising tale! I must find out more.

One of Hill’s cartoon. I’m assuming the pianist is a self-portrait?

* Quite a striking/good looking dude! Could’ve been played by a young Willem Defoe, perhaps?

MiSC: Bank Holiday Monday, 2022

Labour MP Clive Lewis.

An interaction with family today has made me reflect on the incredible depths of penetration that politics really has. And how the establishment so totally owns and runs and controls the ‘status quo’.

The dominant narrative in the UK right now is that we’re all united in grief over the death of Queen Elizabeth II. And any dissent from this position is automatically negative and therefore despicable. This position silences debate, playing very powerfully into the interests of retrograde Conservatism.

And the ‘shut up and don’t complain’ card is very powerful. So I’m very happy to see and respectful of those few brave souls taking a principled stand against the ongoing propaganda and lies that swaddle our monarchy.

From Labour MP Clive Lewis to barrister Paul Powlesland, and the guy caught on film pointing out to Charles the costs to ordinary people of the monarchy, it’s refreshing to find that some people are not being hypnotised by all the pageantry.

Paul Powlesland.

Powlesland said “One of the many things that makes me proud to be British is our freedom of speech. It’s one of our most precious and sacred rights and it’s far more precious to me than the royal family is.” Amen to that! And, as he experienced, when making a very mild protest in London, these freedoms are being systematically attacked by our current Tory (mis)government.

And in the UK today amongst some of the most powerful groups serving and enabling Tory repression are those very large swathes of people who are doing alright. The ‘I’m alright Jack, don’t rock the boat, with your carping negativity’ crowd are helping silence dissent, or alternative views/possibilities.

And, lest we forget, we wouldn’t have things like weekends, holidays, sick pay, the eight hour day or 40 hour week, etc, if it wasn’t for the dissenting voices. Or even the NHS, which is really and fundamentally a response to the massive blood sacrifices made by the working masses in two world wars. If we’re required to make such sacrifices for the state/nation, shouldn’t that state/nation look after us? Damn right it should!

I like history, including the colourful Napoleonic wars, with the ridiculous peacock finery of uniforms that were often destined to be torn into bloody pieces, along with the ‘soft machines’ wearing them, by shot and shell. I love cathedrals, but I loathe religion. I can see the appeal of the pageantry. But I also see the oppressive institutionalisation of inequality such mummery represents.

Tory propaganda nowadays looks different, but is essentially the same.*

It’d all be fine if nothing meant anything – a position that appears to have escaped the genie’s bottle of left-wing ‘postmodern’ academia and infected the entire organism of modern culture with a very pernicious form of relativism – but alas, stuff does mean something. And in this case it means ‘shut up, know your place, and march in step with us, backwards towards a fantasy feudal past’.

No thanks!

I’m inevitably going to see some of today’s tomfoolery. Teresa likes that sort of thing. I can hear she’s watching it now. So I’ll get sucked in as well. Hey ho!

Gillray’s prodigious talent was very effectively deployed by the Tories.

As I’m typing this the soporific harmonies of High Anglican service waft up the stairs. It seems as if, thinking back to the ECW – what Royalist history calls ‘The Interregnum’ – with the Stuart Restoration, and then later the Glorious Revolution, England, or what became the UK, awoke momentarily from the stupefied slumber of monarchy, only to lapse back into a deep sleep. A sad state of affairs that continues to this day. Wake up!

* Gillray was a brilliant satirical political cartoonist. But his fabulous talents were deployed by the oppressor, to maintain a conservative status quo. Nowadays Gillray’s job is accomplished via the predominantly right wing media, be it print, TV, or online. At least Gillray left us something we can still admire and enjoy! The tawdry disposable ephemera of our own times barely exists beyond the few minutes or hours it’s required to do it’s job.


Ever since hearing the news of the Queen’s passing, I’ve been thinking, who else died that day? How many took their own lives, amidst poverty and despair? How many of those who died, anonymous unlamented (relative to the Queen that is), might have lived longer and better lives – richer lives, even if not in the fiscal sense – if our society was less wealth and power crazed, venal and uncaring?

BOOK REViEW: The Price Of Paradise, Iain Overton, 2018

An excellent book, that is by turns fascinating and horribly depressing.

Starting with the assassination of a Russian Tsar, and moving forwards in time, via such phenomenon as the Kamikaze pilots of Japan in WWII, Iain Overton traces a history of suicide bombing.

One thing that may initially surprise readers – it certainly surprised me (though on reflection, less so) – is how recent a development the suicide bomber is. One could potentially quibble as to a slightly deeper origin (did any of the killers-self destruct during the ‘infernal device’ attempt on Napoleon’s life? Or were the casualties of that either unwitting proxies and/or unfortunate bystanders?).

Although it’s grim reading, Overton’s skill in laying out this macabre evolution is impressive. Indeed, at times his deft authorial touch was almost a bit too slick. And at those times it felt, to me, like there was a danger that the subject was becoming a form of extreme adventure tourism reportage.

One has to wonder, in an age and about a subject matter in which such reportage can attract the very worst kind of medieval responses from the enraged faithful, what makes anyone stick their head above the parapet at all. As Alan Partidge jokes when Sidekick Simon irreverently conflates Judaism with Islam, you can poke fun at Christians, by all means, and maybe Jews ‘a little bit’. But Islam is off limits! And for reasons made all too obvious in this book.

Of course Overton isn’t making fun of Islam. Nor, as he is at pains to point out, are suicide bombers only ever Arab Muslims. But even the mere attempt by an ‘outsider’ to discuss some of the subjects covered here might seem to many a red rag to a deranged homicidal bull. And yet he proceeds, over the course of 16 or so well constructed chapters to attempt to forensically study the rise of the suicide bomber.

That this mostly revolves around Islamic practitioners of this grisly but incredibly potent weapon will surprise no one. But the route there may. Taking in not just the aforementioned Russian anarchists and Japanese pilots, but also Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers. And Overton does a great job of mapping the grim and bloody road.

For most of the book the author successfully occludes his own judgements, in that time honoured modern western liberal mode of at least attempting to be balanced and dispassionate. Only occasionally letting slip through, or sometimes outrightly acknowledging, his own biases.

In examining why folk – be they men, women, or even children – might allow themselves to kill and be killed this way, or even embrace (sometimes individually, but more often in a collective context), such a ‘martyrdom’, and what the fallout is for the victims, their loved ones and the physically and mentally traumatised survivors, Overton eventually climbs down off the fence.

And so it is that quite near the end of this sizeable book, most clearly when talking about the victims, he talks bluntly of the ‘ugly ideology’ and ‘religious delusions’ of the perpetrators, and how wrong it is that those they murder be remembered solely via such an abrupt and violent end to their lives. Lives which had, until that cataclysmically fateful intersection, nothing to do with such toxic pre-medieval nonsense, enabled as it so frequently is, ironically, by so diabolically modern means.

It’s hard not to look at the events covered here, and how things have continued to develop since the book was published (2018) and despair. The self-appointed Davids of these persistent backwards folklores may not have slain the ‘Great Satan’ Goliaths, but they still seem to be winning, inasmuch as their impact is so incredibly pervasive. And that so few can adversely affect so many.

And with tragic irony all who aspire to a better world ultimately seem to lose. Only the thugs cloaked as religious fanatics, or the corporate suits – be they in Western or Arab garb – both disguising themselves, however thinly, cynically or otherwise, as ‘respectable’ types, literally profit.

Everyone else – and that’s beyond those killed and injured – suffers doubly. Firstly with the ever growing all-pervasive fears of death and destruction, and second with the zero-sum scenario, in which vast overspending on paranoic ‘defense’ measures, and the none too subtle erosion of hard won human rights, find the already far from perfect conditions of life in so-called liberal western societies (and elsewhere) being fundamentally eroded and undermined.

On the one hand I’m quite keen to read Overton’s previous book, Gun, Baby, Gun. But on the other I’m chary of doing so. Like the violence of the world generally, there’s a macabre fascination with the ‘dark side’. But one also needs to be wary of over-saturation, or even contamination, with all this ‘dark matter’.

Still, all in all, a very good and much needed book. He even offers, as one might hope and expect, some ideas about how we might move towards a better place. Hardly a light or easy read, but definitely recommended.

As a little footnote: in this interesting little article for the Grauniad, Overton illustrates how easily and suddenly, in our times/culture, one can awaken to discover you’ve been ensnared by the death merchants’ bloody ‘testicles of doom’: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/nov/22/i-woke-up-to-find-my-mortgage-owned-by-the-worlds-top-gun-investor (thanks to Count Arthur for the malapropism).

MiSC/MEDiA: Why I Loathe TV Advertising With Such Abiding Passion

The restaurant scene from Brazil superbly captures the gulf between products as advertised and as actually delivered.

This isn’t my first post on this topic. I doubt it’ll be my last. Why return to such a theme? This time it was prompted by a silly FB post by a friend about which David Bowie number, of four he specified, ‘would you rather’… etc.

Pointless silliness, perhaps? Well, yes. I.e. totally suited to and at home on FB. As, indeed, is the constant harassment of advertising. But it so happened that the most popular choice was Heroes. Admittedly an excellent song. But, for me at least, tarnished by its heavy usage in adverts.

I also recall the pride with which several drummers on a FB drummer’s forum related that they had been in that recent ad’ for a gambling sports sponsor that features hordes of drummers. I’m glad to say I can’t recall exactly which such parasitic body it was.

I’d love the exposure that might bring (well, perhaps for a few of the more ‘featured’ of the many hundreds of otherwise anonymous players). And I’m sure the nuts and bolts of actually filming it might also be fun. Did all these drummers get get paid, I wonder?

But what about taking a principled stand against the cancerous blight on our society that is gambling? Or even advertising as a whole? Or, better still, advertising as a hole… specifically, an arsehole’!

Talkin’ ass: the allure of the ad’ (Renault Megane).
The anti-climax super-unsexy reality!

That’s r-r-r-r-right f-f-f-f-folks, I’m talkin’ ass! Now I felt this way long before I saw Bill Hicks do his anti-advertising schtick. Indeed, a loathing for advertising – and a contempt for gambling – was something I learned at home, mostly (I believe?) from my father.

But in order to keep things relatively short and ‘sweet’ here and now, let’s wrap this up with a short consideration of ‘the asshole in contemporary culture’ (sounds like a topic on a college degree syllabus!).

It turns out that some of the ugliest ideas of the worst types of racists and those dearest to many a ruling elite converge, for differing reasons, around a certain nexus of ideas. As mentioned above, I don’t intend to go into great detail on the subject(s) here. Perhaps another time?

What I will say is that there’s a culture of brashly aggressive ugliness, massively on the increase, from the politics of Trump, to the shouted egotism in rap, or the gurgling screams of extreme metal. It’s also manifest in the strident upbeat chirpiness, and even – I contend – the zombie-smiling lockstep of Nuremberg-rally style formation dancing.

The massive and very visible rise of the latter, especially obvious in advertising, had me baffled for a little while? Why the sudden effusion of such stuff? And then it struck me; we now have loads of educational institutions, pumping out hordes of glassy eyed dreamers, who have become production line product, trained in dance and/or drama.

And what’s the glorious acme of their profession most might earn a buck or two from? Depressingly, it’s advertising. I suppose some might get Butlin’s style gigs. Some might go on to teach more aspiring dreamers. But, as with Fine Arts and Music, most will have to eke out a living by other means.

Dammit! I’m still skirting around my chief focus… the omnipresent asshole! So, let’s get to it, let’s really get stuck into the fundament/als! Thar’ she blows…

Basically it boils down to this; would you be happy inviting the kind of hectoring, patronising, wheedling, insinuating assholes that one hears in advertising in off the street to harangue you in your home? ‘Cause that’s what we’re all doing, when we tolerate advertising.

Again, rather depressingly, that’s what a great deal of what I’m increasingly thinking of as contemporary serf-culture trains us to do. If you like a lot of modern pop music, which includes supposedly ‘underground’ or counterculture (but in reality totally commercially co-opted) genres like rap or metal, you’re already being inoculated in the required ‘herd immunity’ to such internalised or even self-inflicted bullying.

Anyway, enough ranting, or sounding off, or whatever it may be. For now! my thoughts on all this are fairly clear, if not, perhaps, terribly well formed. But they may change, with time, and further consideration or information. For the time being, however, I remain resolute in my disavowal of the pollution that is most TV advertising.