Archive for the ‘Humanity’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at 8 July 2018

Category: Donald Trump, Humanity, Teh Interwebs, Tolerance

Some readers may be here because they have been asked to read and share this important information and help drive it to the top search results for the name ‘Elin Krantz’. Hello and welcome, do use this link to help people find us | http://bit.ly/elinkrantz | and please excuse me while I attend to our other guests.

Hello, new guest. I am hoping that you are here because you have been exposed to information that has shocked you to the core, because if so, you are the most important person in my world right now.

You have probably seen the images. The horrible, haunting images of Elin’s corpse under a pile of heavy stones. I’ve been on the internet since way back in the day and I’ve seen my share of genuine crime scene photos both on and offline, but I can tell you that I was horrified in a way that I have never been before, and that’s why I’m here for you today, when you need me the most.

You’ve likely never seen anything like it, so you have probably arrived here in an elevated state of anger, confusion, and revulsion.

I am here to warn you that someone is deliberately seeking to trigger all of this in your mind so that they can direct your anger according to their needs. To be clear, they are exploiting the murder of an innocent woman and using it as propaganda in order to (a) fool you into sharing their lies, as you (b) unleash your anger in a direction that serves their political purposes, before you go on to (c) develop hate and prejudice against countries, people, populations, or even political policies that are nothing to do with any of this terrible crime of violent assault and murder.

These people even seek to make you angry at Elin – the very murder victim you seek to defend – on the grounds that she was a slut who went asking for it, but before we get to the lies we first need to cover the facts, as established by a successful prosecution in a court of law:

The following is a summary courtesy of Wikipedia and you can read the full entry here, but I have trimmed it below to include the primary facts that are relevant to this conversation:

Elin Krantz was a Swedish woman from Falköping who was murdered in the Länsmansgården district of Gothenburg in Sweden in September 2010. After an evening enjoying the nightlife of Gothenburg on 26th September 2010, she fell asleep on the tram. Security cameras showed that she was followed by 23-year old Ephrem Yohannes, who attempted to rape her and then beat her to death. On arrest, Krantz’ DNA was found on his clothing and Yohannes’ DNA was found on her body. Yohannes is an Ethiopian citizen with a residence permit. He was convicted for murder and attempted rape, and sentenced to 18 years in prison and subsequent deportation.

These are the facts. I draw your attention to the CCTV footage showing Krantz being unaware of Yohannes, and of the ultimate prosecution on a charge of attempted rape.

To be clear, even if Yohannes had succeeded in his attempt to rape Elin Krantz, that would not make her a bad person, but the facts lay out a very clear sequence of events: Krantz did not invite sex from Yohannes – or anyone else, for that matter – and evidently resisted his advances at the expense of her life.

So on that note, let’s get the first necessary unpleasantness out of the way:

1. Elin Krantz was not a slut

The propaganda version of this story describes Elin Krantz as a ‘pro multiculturalist’ who got what was coming to her because she wanted to have sex with black men. One of the most outlandish claims associated with this lie is the entirely false assertion that she appeared in a state-sponsored music video designed to encouraged inter-racial breeding in Sweden.

The video they describe is in fact an unrelated comedy video that isn’t a state-sponsored anything, and does not include Elin Krantz.

The model/actress in the video is not Elin Krantz, but Michaela Eklund, and they are evidently different people.

Elin Krantz is not Michaela Eklund

Here we take our first close look at the shape of the lie, because it is important, and what they invent tells you a lot about the inventors and what they want from you:

– The authors want you to think that a state-run conspiracy exists in Sweden and/or the EU where white women are encouraged to inter-breed with men of a different colour.

– The authors further want you to think that these men of a different colour are coming to your country specifically for ‘our women’, and they conflate this with false and misleading accounts of immigration and asylum in the EU and elsewhere.

– The authors would also have you believe that getting raped and murdered is what you deserve (and pretty much what you should expect) if you are a woman and you sleep with or even flirt with any black men at any point in your life. This narrative relies on a ‘jungle fever’ curse where killer rapists will unfailingly seek out the owners of vaginas that have known the pleasure of a black man’s penis. That seems a little far-fetched to me.

2. Sweden is not the rape capital of anywhere

Claims about ‘no go zones’ are nearly always energised by talk of ‘floods’ of brown and black people ‘invading’ a country and raping ‘our women’ (and sometimes children, a popular theme in the UK, where other genuine rapes have been exploited in a similar fashion to this one, but with child rape victims as the exploited parties). The people who spread these falsehoods also conflate their lies with talk of Sharia Law taking hold in urban ghettos where police fear to enter, under a version of Islam they imagine that allows rape and murder of ‘infidel’ women and children.

But no claim of any specified ‘no go zone’ has ever stood up to scrutiny, and the reason for the statistical anomaly on Sweden’s rape statistics is obvious if you know what you are talking about. It is at this point that we turn to Johanna Olseryd, project leader of the research department at Sweden’s National Council on Crime Prevention:

“In Sweden we count as many crimes as [the victim] can specify. So we’ve had cases with women who had a diary so they can say, ‘I’ve been raped within this marriage 400 times.’ That will result in 400 reported crimes. That also contributes to the difficulties in our statistics with comparing from month to month, or comparing one area to another, because a single case of that sort will turn the statistics upside down. That’s been a problem when some journalists from other countries go into our database. It could be one case with 50 reported crimes.”

Snopes.com – Is Sweden the ‘Rape Capital’ of Europe?

So now we know that the authors of this propaganda want to use the attempted rape and murder of one woman to make you more willing to accept false claims and misleading figures about rape generally… claims that are always tied to a political agenda that is somehow against immigration.

The authors also want you to know that rape and murder of ‘our women’ is the ultimate consequence of giving asylum to refugees. Some variations of this propaganda would go so far as to say that the rape and murder of ‘our women’ is the ultimate consequence of liberal or humane policies generally, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

3. Women are people

They are not ‘our women’, or ‘our’ anything; they are people and you should treat them with the same rights you would afford yourself.

The authors of these lies clearly regard women to be property of theirs somehow (often while simultaneously railing against their cartoonish view of ‘Sharia Law’), but it is my duty to inform you that the colour of your skin doesn’t give you a right to sexual congress with any woman; it doesn’t even get you ‘first dibs’. Sure, there are entire cultures struggling to evolve on this point even today, but that’s no excuse for your sorry behind.

Seriously, you’ll want to get this idea right out of your mind. It serves only to recruit you to a tribe that you do not want to belong to. Women are people and people have rights and no-one should have ‘dibs’ on you or have power over what you do with your body. That’s why Ephrem Yohannes is in prison.

I don’t need to cite any evidence here. Either you only have to think about it, or you don’t agree women are people, demonstrating that you have not thought about it hard enough.

Women are, of course, only one of a series of minorities being targeted here, but I doubt you even suspect how long that list is, so let’s crack on…

4. Someone is trying to use you as a weapon of hate

I’ve been showing you the shape of these lies for a reason: you need to understand the motives of the people who just tried to use you as a weapon in their cause… a weapon against innocent people who had nothing to do with the horrible crime against Elin Krantz.

They want you to go charging in like a white knight so you can unwittingly do their dirty work for them.

These are random screen captures of common variations of this same horror story. Look who’s to blame in this fiction they’ve created: there’s a long list of named and nameless minorities and even Hillary Clinton is to blame somehow.

Screen Captures

It’s important to remember that the people(s) selected here are portrayed as a threat so you might more readily accept them as targets or maybe even target them yourself.

It’s also worth noting that the people who are pushing this lie are so far ‘only’ after the Muslims, the Jews, the gays, the sexually promiscuous, the black, the brown, the left, their alleged enablers, the disabled, and anyone else not up to scratch in their eyes. So, nothing for you to worry about, I’m sure.

You need to learn how this works because the lies will not always be this obvious. The people seeking to use you in their culture war are not done with you by a long shot, and you weren’t merely misdirected in this instance; these bastards tried to herd you. You were being rushed into an action with your best instincts being used against you right up until the moment when you started to ask questions. I am so glad that you did.

It. Is. Very. Important. That. You. Continue. To. Ask. Questions.

This is only one example of many attempts to herd you into becoming part of an angry , ill-informed mob. It is no big secret that there are forces including entire nations that seek to fracture Western democracies by dividing our society and making us turn on each other, while weakening our shared values and institutions along the way. Further, there are parasites living inside our society who do this in pursuit of politics, and others who do it for profit. You need to be wary of all of these people, the new extremes they will go to, the new lows they will stoop to, and the worrying implications of all of this, because the same wave that brought the Nazis to power is back again, and the onus is on all of us to resist and protect our fellow humans from the dark impulses that destroy us.

And now, finally, on to the most important part: where friends don’t let friends slut-shame murder victims.

5. How you can fight Nazis and evil Russians and religious extremists all at the same time!

Step One: Don’t be a Nazi stooge (tick box)

Step Two: Warn your friends: “Don’t be a Nazi stooge!”

At present, one of the top search results for the name ‘Elin Krantz’ is a video on LiveLeak that incorporates all of the lies we discussed AND goes on further into a whole rant about ‘retards’.

All of this is designed to appeal to the same human weaknesses that the Nazis did, which is why I use the word as shorthand for who these people are. ‘Alt’-this or ‘neo’-that is just branding: at the end of the day, they are a bunch of fucking Nazis. They intend to bring you a world where you will have your rights taken away if you are the wrong religion, the wrong colour, the wrong orientation, the wrong inclination, or even if you just happen to be an ‘all-right person’ in the wrong place at the wrong time. They will come after you if you get in the way of what they want, which is everything.

Their lies are designed to make you fear specified minorities so you might turn against them, when they are no threat to you.

In truth, the people who are a threat to you are the ones who are lying to you in order to turn you against other human beings.

That is the epitome of evil.

I’m going to suggest – bold idea here, I know – that you NOT be evil today, and NOT help evil people do evil things.

I am going to further request that you be extra mindful not to be tricked into doing bad things in future, because this wasn’t a one-off, and you will be targeted with lies again. Don’t be an unwitting agent of evil by rushing around in an emotional state doing ‘good things based on facts’ that are in fact bad things based on lies.

And the one last thing I am going to ask of you is to revisit the urgency you felt to warn people of the terrible crime against Elin Krantz, because we’re still going to do that.

Together, we are going to warn everyone about the liars that exploit murder victims to get us to hate on each other, just so they can get what they want. The Nazi fuckers.

If you want to help fight the lies used by rape-shaming Nazi scum, all you have to do is tell your friends about this article using this link | http://bit.ly/elinkrantz | or any of the usual sharing features below.

Try to do so with the same effort you had in mind when you thought poor Elin was a slut who went asking to be murdered: surely, it’s the very least you can do.

Be well, keep asking questions, and try not to feel too bad about having your better nature used against you, because it can and does happen to all of us at the best of times.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 23 March 2016

Category: Humanity

“‎The greatest danger of a terrorist’s bomb is in the explosion of stupidity that it provokes.” – Octave Mirbeau

Prejudice: an unjustified or incorrect attitude (usually negative) towards an individual based solely on the individual’s membership of a social group. [source]

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 01

Matthew P Doyle tweeted the above comment in the wake of the recent bombings in Brussels. There was an immediate outbreak of mockery and criticism that all users of Twitter will be familiar with.

In the face of this, the tweet was deleted, and Matthew P Doyle proceeded to pass the comment off as a “wind up”, heavily implying through various tweets and retweets that he was satirising prejudice, not displaying/furthering it. Here is one such example:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 02

But despite backing off from his generalisation, Mr Doyle’s earlier comments clearly display the feelings of prejudice he is struggling with:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 03

Here is an excellent example. It would be more accurate to say that there is an extremism threat in this country. That would prevent any potential confusion between Mr Doyle’s feelings of concern and attempts by certain other parties to portray all Muslims as a threat to our safety and way of life:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 04

I would humbly suggest that it would be more constructive for us to back off with the pitchforks and allow Mr Doyle some room to accept and acknowledge that he struggled with prejudice in the wake of an extreme act. It is a response that extremists count on to further their aims, and if we are to counter their efforts with kindness and humanity, we could do worse than start with Mr Doyle.

(Over to you, Matthew. The most constructive thing you can do is recognise the problem, rather than deny it. I know the latter seems like the easier option in the face of the attention your are receiving, but it is precisely because of the attention you are receiving that you are so well-placed to set a better example. Good luck!)

UPDATE – *sigh*. This might be an uphill battle. Matthew tweeted the following while I was finalising and publishing this article:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 05

UPDATE – Yep. Definitely uphill.

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 06

I dare to hope that some or all of this is not heavily ingrained, but mainly in response to the support Mr Doyle is being shown by those certain parties I mentioned, who are more than happy to reinforce his prejudice. I further dare to hope that even this can in time be reversed with genuine, selfless kindness… but probably not while Mr Doyle continues to revel in the attention while hedging his bets and passing it all off as a humorous PR exercise.

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 07

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 08

If Mr Doyle is sincere in his faith, he will be wary of following crowds in pursuit of an injustice.

UPDATE (24 March) – *sigh*… Mr Doyle had a very busy day yesterday, and his attention-seeking behaviour included tweeting links to a Daily Mail article about him to various news outlets, and people like Donald Trump and Barack Obama:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 09

After this, his behaviour became increasingly eccentric, including claims that he would be doing the newspaper review on SKY that night and referring media enquiries to his favourite news reporter, Kimberley Leonard.

And then this happened…

Independent – Croydon man arrested after confronting Muslim woman and telling her to ‘explain Brussels’: A man from Croydon has been arrested after comments about confronting a Muslim woman in the street to explain the Brussels attacks were posted on Twitter… A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We have arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of inciting racial hatred on social media.”

Judging by that statement, it was probably not a real or imagined confrontation in the street that got Mr Doyle into trouble, but more likely the bravado that he showed in the face of criticism, and even some messages preceding his ‘confrontation’ claim. Taking a look back at earlier tweets, in the immediate wake of the Brussels event, he was tweeting all-caps messages like “WE ARE A CHRISTIAN CONTINENT” and “NO MORE MUSLIM MIGRATION” and blaming atrocities in whole or in part on Syrian refugees:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 10

So, to reiterate my initial comment on today’s update… *sigh*.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 3 November 2015

Category: Humanity, Teh Interwebs, The Political Weblog Movement

I have just learned that Tom Barry of @BorisWatch/BorisWatch.co.uk has died suddenly at the all-too-young age of 41.

I’ve no doubt that his immediate family are in shock and have some serious grieving ahead of them, but if they’re reading this at any stage I hope that it will comfort them to know about Tom’s other family.

This morning I have watched a wave of sentiment on Twitter from friends of Tom and fans of his work on @BorisWatch and associated projects. What Tom did on an entirely voluntary basis was face up to some of the most devious, disingenuous and downright unpleasant people in politics with relentless good humour and the sharpest of wits.

Tom not only sought to stem the tide of bile and bullshit with incredible tenacity, but he did so in a way that gave strength and comfort to people who might otherwise let it wash over them.

This contribution amounts to so much that I draw some strength from knowing all of the good that Tom did with the life that he had, and how much of his spirit is likely to live on in others.

We may have lost Tom to the void, but part of me dares hope that it is inexplicably a brighter place now, despite the odds. I know this world is.

ELSEWHERE:

Tim Fenton: So Farewell Then Tom Barry
Darryl Chamberlain: Some thoughts on the passing of Tom Barry (@BorisWatch)
John B: He Was Watching The Defectives
David Allen Green: Farewell to BorisWatch
Dave Hill: A small tribute to Tom Barry of BorisWatch
Alex Ingram: What I learnt from following BorisWatch

This from Alex is spot on:

(Tom) seemed to live not only to find things out but to share them as widely as possible.

Tom was an insightful and informed data evangelist. He was the kind of rare person that Jesus of Nazareth reportedly described as ‘the salt of the earth’ and the ‘the light of the world’.








Over the weekend, the Sun on Sunday columnist and former Tory MP Louise Mensch began beating the drum for war in Iraq. The intensity and bloodlust was striking, and stood in stark contrast to the thoughtful quote in her Twitter bio:

War is always a defeat for humanity.... KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!!!!!

It is also worth noting how ignorant and downright childish some of her tweets were. At one stage, Mensch began tweeting in Arabic, hurling abuse at alleged/perceived supporters of ISIS* that ranged from ‘your leader is fat’ jibes (seriously) to the kind of ‘cave dwelling’ and ‘goat fucker’ slurs that have strong, offensive and damaging racial and cultural overtones whether you direct them at a specific group or not.

(*NOTE – Some of these so-called ISIS operatives used words like ‘fag’ and ‘dude’, indicating to most reasonable people that they were more likely to be a teenage troll operating not out of a cave in Iraq, but their Mom’s basement in Iowa.)

Critics of this behaviour were characterised by Mensch as ‘terrorist sympathisers’, or ‘apologists and lefties’ who risked aiding and abetting the enemy.

I recorded not only the outburst, but the reaction to it (i.e. by logging mentions of her name/username in Twitter). Mensch was getting a lot of support from the kinds of people who will tell you that Barack (HUSSEIN!) Obama is a secret Muslim, but the majority of Tweets on Saturday morning especially involved people who were genuinely concerned that Mensch was (a) the victim of a Twitter hack, or (b) experiencing some kind of breakdown or drug/alcohol-fuelled episode. Any judgement on the latter aside, it is worth noting how many observers regarded her output to be so extreme that they could not believe that this dedicated controversialist had posted it herself… at least, not while sane and sober.

Keeping in mind that while there are outrages that ISIS (or IS) are responsible for, much of what Mensch was posting during this outburst was (at the time) unverified, wholly inaccurate, and/or in many cases entirely fabricated.

Zelo Street has some further detail here. This post exists mainly to call Louise Mensch out on one single fabrication in the hopes that she will finally retract it, not only to correct a shocking libel against the two people pictured, but to bring comfort to the tens of thousands of people who are needlessly concerned about the fate of one of the young girl involved.

Here are the two main tweets of concern. The first (bottom) is a retweet, the second (top) is where Louise Mensch repeats the monstrous lie in her own words:

A man who is not a paedophile comforts a girl who is not a rape victim

While the man pictured is (or perhaps was) an advocate of the Islamic State (IS) and may or may not be involved in the current armed conflict, in this picture he is not an invading soldier, but the host of a ‘family fun day’. At this 2013 “Ramadan event for children”, there was an cream-eating race, a tug-of-war… and a competition to accurately recite religious text, in which the young girl pictured was involved.

Now, if you share any concern about religious indoctrination of young children, we are totally on the same page. I personally own a bible that was given to me at age 8 in reward for accurately reciting the 10 Commandments, and I treasure it in much the same way that a soldier keeps the bullet that didn’t kill him. You can be as OK or as upset about the religious component as you wish to be, but it does not change the fact that the girl in the following video is upset only because of a mere error and/or stage fright.

The girl is NOT in tears because the host of the show wants to molest her. Perhaps Louise Mensch was thinking of someone else at the time.

A man who WAS a paedophile

Let’s be especially clear about two things: the man pictured has not just announced his intention to marry a young girl, and the event has not taken place in the recently-overrun city of Mosul. To claim otherwise is to engage in a lie with a dark and insidious purpose that also has strong, offensive and damaging racial and cultural overtones.

1. I am not getting into the whole ‘was Mohammed a paedophile?’ thing; it is sufficient to know that accusations of paedophilia carry a certain resonance in this context, and anyone claiming expertise in Islam and/or the West’s role in conflict in the Middle East should know it.

2. The idea that ISIS are invading cities and raping children is a lie that is clearly designed to provoke the kind of shock and fear that removes any question about the need for an armed response.

That there is reported to be “striking evidence” that ISIS have killed women and children and perhaps even buried some alive should not distract you from the latter concern. If anything, it should cause you to approach such reports with caution, especially if the source is calling for a response of total annihilation and accusing any moderate voices of being in league with the enemy.

Many observers of the outburst noted Mensch’s refusal to back down on what was an obvious lie specifically designed to draw people to join a call for bloodshed.

I would like to leave the last word to one such observer…

… but if you prefer we can leave the last word to Louise, her god, and her guns:








Posted by Tim Ireland at 13 September 2012

Category: Christ..., Humanity, Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories!

There is a major discussion pending about collusion between police/authorities and the tabloid element that brazenly exploits and corrupts them. I speak not just of Hillsborough but a variety of instances in recent times (example). However, today you will have to settle for some mere fact-checking from this little black duck.

Last night, hundreds of people were on Twitter discussing the merits (or otherwise) of Kelvin MacKenzie, and this graphic turned up of an editorial allegedly penned by MacKenzie in his capacity as editor of The Sun in 1988*:

scan of alleged Kelvin MacKenzie editorial

I used TinEye to locate this instance of the same graphic/editorial, and it cites a local source (Peter Crisp) who would be entirely likely to keep and distribute material like this.

One might simply ask Kelvin MacKenzie and/or someone at The Sun but I expect they’re all very busy hiding under the bed at the moment, so please drop me a line (email), tweet at me (@bloggerheads) or comment (below/reddit) if you think you can help me to determine the authenticity of this editorial.

(Also, drop me a line if you’ve any word on the alleged second coming of Jesus of Nazareth, especially if you know the venue, as I want to book early for a good seat. If I’m going to heckle, I want to do it from the front row.)

[*In October 1984 the IRA bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Tory conference with the intention of assassinating then-PM Margaret Thatcher and/or members of her cabinet. The Tory conference returned to Brighton in 1988.]

[Psst! If you’re not in a position to help today, you can still do something nifty on Twitter. Drop @kelvinmackenzie a friendly word; the poor chap’s been widely mistaken for a former editor of a certain barrel-scraping tabloid.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at 26 July 2012

Category: Anne Milton, Humanity, Tories! Tories! Tories!

I found this letter (embedded below) pinned to the wall of a bus stop shelter in Shalford (Surrey, UK). Further examples have been posted to local community messageboards that are unmarked, suggesting that the ‘pikey’ changes are by someone who agrees with the sentiment, but thinks ‘pikey’ to be a more apt term than ‘gypsy’.

(That said, the repeated/matching error in apostrophe deployment hints at the exciting possibility that this could be the nearest one might hope to get to a signature by the original artist, which would make my sample a collector’s item.)

The myths, distortions and prejudice apparent in this letter from an unknown member of the public remind me of certain campaigning materials local Conservatives have yet to explain (more), and I would dare to suggest the kind of unhealthy outburst apparent in this letter is encouraged by the kind of bigotry and dishonesty that Guildford Conservatives continue to pretend never happens/happened on their watch.

Indeed, some of the serving councillors this open letter targets will know the people/attitudes I speak of and how little they have done to discourage this kind of behaviour and worse from their fellow Conservatives, but I doubt any of them will admit it, even when dealing with the entirely predictable consequences of it.

scan of letter from local bigot

UPDATE – The incident has now been reported to Surrey Police, who kindly confirmed the appearance of similar notices in other villages, and advised me that Waverley Borough Council were aware.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 20 October 2011

Category: Humanity

Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong’:

Gervais grab: 'mong' means 'div' or 'gimp', nothing BAD!

Because it is not a slur against any handicapped group, or a reference to any handicapped person or condition, it merely means ‘div’ or ‘gimp’ (source), and…

Gimp is only a word, you know.

Hang on, let’s start again…

Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong’… while wanting to stay out of the relevant debate, obviously:

Gervais version of debate: putting it out there then running in the other direction.

Hang on, let’s start again…

Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong’:

You would think from his time on the 11 o’clock show that Ricky Gervais would have observed some reactions to Ali G and developed at least a vague awareness of the risks of satire being misread. Now, depending on the subject matter, the goal, the audience and the execution, sometimes these risks might be warranted, and sometimes they might be open to criticism*.

[*Does not equal a call for anyone to be banned. Is merely a component in what is often called a ‘debate’; something Mr Gervais wishes to engage in while running away and calling his critics names.]

For example, if you were going to attempt to reclaim the word ‘mong’ you would want to at least spend a few seconds thinking about the potential targets of a word that is still used in a hateful sense, and you would probably want to have a goal beyond wanting to use the word yourself to mock a dim-witted mate or even yourself as part of your PR for a telly show.

A few seconds thought about those human beings might make you more wary of some fans who might miss the point (see: ‘street’ kids who took to mimicking Ali G as part of their shtick without a lick of irony or awareness). It might also stop you from defending your stance with an accusation that critics are merely offended (see: the dictionary, where ‘harm’ and ‘hurt’ are some distance away from ‘offence’, and not just because of that alphabetical nonsense). It could also prevent you from insulting those you have injured by positioning yourself as the victim.

Speaking of victims, here’s a poor dear who Ricky Gervais kindly retweeted because she complained about the ‘pounding’ she got when her comment against one of Ricky’s critics was RTed by that critic…

Gervais RTs an ickle victim

… and here is an earlier conversation from her timeline that suggests a possible reason for some of the hostility she is facing:

Gosh. Imagine being such a mong or spag, and by that I mean 'foolish person', that you are unable to walk.

Now, perhaps these comments from one of Ricky’s fans aren’t malicious/ignorant and are instead so deeply steeped in irony that the post-modernism is impossible to detect, but isn’t there at least the teeniest tiniest risk that either way these comments might somehow reinforce or even encourage further thoughtless, careless, or even malicious use of a word that causes harm in a way the able-bodied and able-minded might have a little trouble comprehending?

Further, if your comprehension of this harm was lacking, would you think it your place to take this kind of risk on behalf of any vulnerable person or group… and wouldn’t a celebrity with nearly half a million followers on Twitter want to be at least a little bit cautious about ‘reclaiming’ a word in these circumstances? Is Ricky Gervais really that confident in the intelligence and literacy of his fans?

To close, for no reason other than balance (*cough*) here is a random selection of recent tweets from Ricky’s fans pointing out that he is a genius. This being the case, perhaps I just don’t understand what a tight grip he has on this situation:

Ricky Gervais is a genius!

UPDATE (7pm) – Francesca Martinez is comedian who has worked with Gervais. She also has cerebral palsy, which would provide her with vital insight into this issue even if she hadn’t been called a ‘mong’ in the pejorative sense recently (and she has). Martinez has tweeted in support of the vulnerable generally and fellow comedian Richard Herring specifically; Herring has been copping some horrendous abuse as a result of his early and well articulated stance.

Here is a sample of related tweets from Martinez, including three of her most recent:

Tweets by Francesca Martinez

And below, a response from a Gervais supporter this evening that rather supports my point. Observe how faithfully it follows the pattern of Gervais talking down the careers/achievements of his critics as if that’s relevant to the argument:

Did I mention that Ricky Gervais is a genius?

This is what you are encouraging, Gervais. This is how your fans are reacting to your poor conduct and your pisspoor defence of same. Take a bloody look in your wing mirrors once in a while and wake up to yourself.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 20 April 2011

Category: Consume!, Humanity, Search Engine Optimisation

In the coming weeks and months, I am going to be writing quite a lot about a goal-oriented philosophy I have dubbed scaling. Several projects will be based on this same philosophy.

For reasons that should become clear to you almost immediately, I wish to begin with the modest goal of explaining this philosophy and the dual meaning of the word ‘scaling’ when it’s used to describe it.

‘Scaling’ is a term I first applied to a specific method in search engine optimisation where you gain immediate if modest returns via search engines, and then gradually build on this over time in a way that brings ever-present and increasing rewards with each incremental improvement:

Scaling Relevance

OK, so now you know enough about Page Titles and their importance/role to understand this key example; what follows is a Page Title that is descriptive, contains a call to action, and also contains a combination of keywords that might be of importance to a site selling chocolate. A brand new site with no reputation to speak of has no chance of being the top search result for ‘chocolate’ immediately, but the site owner might hope to immediately/quickly be a high search result for a more unique (but still potentially lucrative) query such as ‘buy chocolate online uk’. If they work on the link popularity of their site over time, the likelihood of them performing for more lucrative queries increases, (important bit #1) they are enjoying increasingly lucrative rewards on their journey to this goal, and (important bit #2) they do not have to pay some joker money to come in and fiddle about with their keywords on a monthly basis because all of the relevant keywords are contained within a single, unchanging Page Title.

NomNom (UK) – Buy chocolate online

Contains:
– chocolate
– buy chocolate
– buy chocolate online
– chocolate uk
– buy chocolate uk
– buy chocolate online uk

Coordinating Relevance

Of course, the example above only takes into account a single page and Page Title, as it is designed mainly to help you appreciate the point (i.e. it is not a strategy in itself). What you need to do is scale your relevance on a site-wide basis, and it is here I hope you will understand how it is possible to generate a commanding search result for your entire product/service range without attempting to list every product/service on your front page, and how it is possible to have every Page Title on your site working towards your main keyword strategy without having the same damn Page Title on every single page. (I still see this on some sites. It makes me want to cry.) At the top are three Page Titles, one for the front page and one for each of the main categories, and under that is the keyword query pattern that should help you appreciate how scaling works on any scale:

NomNom (UK) – Buy chocolate online
NomNom (UK) – Buy dark chocolate online
NomNom (UK) – Buy milk chocolate online

chocolate
chocolate uk
buy chocolate
buy chocolate online
buy chocolate online uk
dark chocolate || milk chocolate
dark chocolate uk || milk chocolate uk
buy dark chocolate || buy milk chocolate
buy dark chocolate uk || buy milk chocolate uk
buy dark chocolate online || buy milk chocolate online
buy dark chocolate online uk || buy milk chocolate online uk

(read more)

This method is unpopular among SEO providers who seek monthly cheques from their clients, as it rules out any earnings from constant keyword shuffling and focuses investment on long term goals instead of short term gain through various shortcuts/sidesteps such as AdWords. However, for you to learn about the philosophy of scaling, you need to appreciate this choice of paths from the client’s point of view; if the client wishes to generate an immediate high search result for ‘chocolate’ or bypass the need for an organic result and instead place ads adjacent to the highest results, then a hefty investment will be required to either generate a sufficient number of inbound links to the site and/or pay for advertising bills.

This kind of journey involves a threshold that most of us could not hope to meet immediately, as it requires an enormous monetary investment of one form or another before any results/rewards come in:

Now compare this to the philosophy of building your site with a scaled generic keyword strategy (as outlined above) and making modest, ongoing investments designed to improve your site’s reputation:

When used to describe this philosophy, ‘scaling’ does not just apply to the increasing size of the goals and rewards at each step of the way (i.e. the measurement of amounts and dimensions); it also describes the journey you take on the path to your ultimate goal (i.e. your means of ascent via these same steps).

One thing that has put people off political blogging in recent years is the entirely false sense of scale pushed by ‘leading’ bloggers who have not only been cheating by lying about their traffic statistics for years, but responding to criticism by sniffily rejecting the author(s) as insignificant according to this scale, and asserting their authority over them using these same (fabricated) traffic numbers. It is in this way that they set themselves up as gatekeepers of information in a field where they themselves insist that information should be allowed to flow freely. (One of them even had a widely-understood policy of withholding link-love from anyone who dared to be critical of him. I’m sure I do not need to name names for people to understand the way this might be used to force an agenda on a false premise/mandate.)

Party politics involves a similar deceit that convinces not just candidates but voters that the only viable path lies through assimilation with established parties.

To give other examples outside of politics, until recently, the threshold one had to cross before you could hope to make a living from the music or video production industry was enormous; you were going nowhere fast unless you had a deal with one of the monster-sized organisations, who had a vested interest in maintaining that same threshold and associated illusions, seeking to justify it with the same flawed ‘quality’ argument I describe in relation to political blogging. A similar false threshold persists in the world of print.

I hope to awaken you to the possibility that in the 21st century, with the advent of the web especially, you do not need to scale impossibly steep inclines or beg for favours from the wazzocks manning the cliff-tops.

The rewards of this awakening are potentially immense; think about all the people who sold out their values and/or surrendered a great deal of personal power just so they might hope to secure a seat, gain a record deal, have a script produced, write for a newspaper, have a book produced, or get a product made and/or on the market. See Dragon’s Den especially on this last point, and the impossibly large amounts of expenditure retailers/supermarkets require before they will even stock your goods; this path leads only to stagnation, and dross, and the joy of eating out of a trough.

Scaling is about your right to realise your own potential, and making it happen through realistic and manageable means.

The philosophy not only allows for success in line with your potential, it allows you to halt, change direction*, or even fail part-way while still enjoying rewards… and without crashing disastrously to the ground.

Most importantly, it destroys the illusion that stops some people from moving toward their goals at all until it is far too late.

(*Sometimes a journey is required to help us learn more about our potential, and/or to offer us the insight that drives our goals. It is much easier to change direction gracefully when you are not falling off the side of a cliff.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 8 December 2010

Category: Humanity, Old Media

Please join me as I mark the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death by observing the tabloid scum of the day feeding off his corpse:

The

The Sun – Thursday, December 11, 1980

Front Page: Red-hot bride-of-the-monster action.

Inside: A super Sun exclusive about the superstar, by Don Short “the man who knew his secrets” because he “travelled with John Lennon and the rest of the Beatles” in the 60s. It is not specifically mentioned that he did so as a Daily Mirror journalist, but a clearer picture of Short’s true relationship with Lennon does reveal itself in the caption of this awkward image that is posed if not composed, plus Short’s tale of an attempt to be nearer to his ‘friend’ by climbing the back wall of the Beatles’ castle accommodation and “into an upper suite with lattice windows”:

John

For those in any doubt, here are some revealing mentions of Short by the Beatles themselves, as they clearly describe their attempts/intentions to keep their secrets away from this person:

We still didn’t know anything about doing it [LSD] in a nice place and cool it and all that, we just took it. And all of a sudden we saw the reporter and we’re thinking, ‘How do we act normal?’ Because we imagined we were acting extraordinary, which we weren’t. We thought, ‘Surely somebody can see.’ We were terrified waiting for him to go, and he wondered why he couldn’t come over, and Neil [Aspinall], who had never had it either, had taken it, and he still had to play road manager. We said, ‘Go and get rid of Don Short’… – John Lennon (source)

I felt this bad vibe and I turned around and it was Don Short from the Daily Mirror. He’d been hounding us all through the tour, pretending in his phoney-baloney way to be friendly but, really, trying to nail us. – George Harrison (source)

These accounts make it very clear that Short was allowed to play the friend, but was never trusted as one.

Sunday

Sunday Mirror – Sunday, December 14, 1980

Front Page: Grieving May Pang finds comfort with her pet cat and a front page exclusive interview about her 18 month affair with Lennon (from 1973 to 1975).

Inside: I’ll spare you the details. (Summary: there aren’t many.)

The

The Sun – Monday, December 15, 1980

Front Page: A celebration of a moment of silent dignity in memory of John Lennon, interrupted only by OMG, THE FACE OF HIS KILLER! EXCLUSIVE!

Inside: Don Short tells the story of John Lennon’s divorce from wife Cynthia and his great love affair with Yoko Ono, but runs out of what he can pass off as first-hand material (statements made/passed to himself or press generally) about halfway through. Perhaps as an attempt to make up for this, he also offers us sidebar news of a ‘secret sex pact’ between the Beatles (which amounts to an alleged agreement not to sleep with each other’s partners).

That scraping sound reminds me that we’ve been at the bottom of the barrel for longer than is healthy, so (for now) I bid you farewell and good tidings:

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

A Merry Winterval to all!








Posted by Tim Ireland at 17 June 2010

Category: Humanity

Inspired by Will, I’m going to hand over a little blog real estate to Amnesty International for this important message;

In Burma’s harsh media environment a number of courageous individuals work hard to break through the wall of censorship. Although millions tune into these broadcasts daily, not everybody in Burma has access to the crucial information they provide. With your help we can break the silence for millions more.

Our plan is to get 4,000 radios into the country by the middle of July. With such a tight deadline, we need your help to raise £50,000 by the end of this month. As well as radios people on the ground need other communication tools such as walkie talkies and satellite phones.

Each radio costs £12.50 and that includes batteries and getting the radios inside Burma. Beat the junta – buy a radio

Break the silence, buy radios for Burma from Amnesty International on Vimeo.

They say that knowledge is power, and in the lead up to Burma’s first elections in 20 years the humble radio can play a vital role in empowering the voting public. One radio could help a family or community learn about their rights and show them the international solidarity that Burma’s military regime works so hard to silence.

According to Amnesty International, about 12 people will use each radio, so they hope to offer some 50,000 people inside Burma access to independent news broadcasts. That may not sound like much, but your average bag of seeds ain’t much to look at either.

[Psst! Knowing that someone from AI will be reading this, I’ll take the opportunity to repeat/back requests that they add PayPal as a payment option.]








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