Archive for the ‘The War on Stupid’ Category

1. Justin McKeating – Say ‘no’ to 42 days.: The House of Lords debates 42 days today and is expected to vote against it, but with the Prime Minister still insisting that he will push through the 42-day proposals, [Amnesty International] will keep on campaigning until it’s defeated once and for all.

Sign the petition. Pass it on.

2. AlertNet – 12 New Stomach-Turning Revelations About Sarah Palin: Palin has taken to smearing Obama. But it’s her own record that continues to yield alarming information, undermining her skills and credibility.

3. Web user makes his views known on the fine body work done by Import Image / iDesign in Walnut, CA. (Ta to Lawrence for the link.)

4. Telegraph – Alisher Usmanov to drop interest in Arsenal takeover: Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has been advised not to go ahead with a takeover of the club and is reportedly ready to sell his shares.

(Psst! We were chatting at the table the other night when Usmanov’s name came up. The youngest griglet asked who he was, and a certain 10-year-old was heard to reply; “He’s Dad’s Russian arch-nemesis.” I was impressed by the correct and necessary use of a modifier more than anything.)

5. Birmingham: It’s Not Shit – Ten things we found out at the Tory Party Conference: …it became obvious that Nadine [Dorries] didn’t really like blogging (apart from the way that it got her comments straight to the diarists of newspapers), and didn’t really do it anyway – she emails the “blogs” that are part of her “online diary” to a guy who does her website…








Posted by Tim Ireland at October 2, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

And there goes Ian Blair! Only a few years too late, but never mind.

Isn’t it nice to know that you can shoot the wrong people, raid the wrong houses, lie outright to save face and still remain in your job, so long as you have the support of Boris Johnson?

I’m set for life… so long as I stay on his good side.

[dramatic sting]








Posted by Tim Ireland at September 23, 2008

Category: Consume!, George W. Bush, The War on Stupid

Independent – Bush launches $700bn rescue plan and confesses he didn’t realise how severe problems were

Justin sees another parallel here.

Applaud* the artist here.

(*Save something for Tinkerbell.)

(Oh, and for Dog’s sake, stop playing with your pocket change.)

[Image not stolen. Used with permission. I don’t normally need to point that out, but a certain someone fresh from a rough afternoon should be on his umpteenth unit and *this* close to kicking the cat by now and I feel like rubbing his nose in it, just to set him off. Because I loathe cats. And because that’s what leading bloggers do. Apparently.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at September 8, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

I invite you to read this, watch the video and decided for yourself what’s going on.

Personally, I think those bastards at The Sun have got a bloody nerve making their readers afraid for no good reason while stirring up trouble and poking this man with a stick. But that’s just me.








Posted by Tim Ireland at August 27, 2008

Category: Old Media, Photoshopping, The War on Stupid

[UPDATE (03 Sep) – Exciting new link! –> The Daily Mail: let’s kick arse and take names! <-- Check it out for my reponse to the Daily Mail's response to this article. Cheers all.]

[UPDATE (06 Sep) – Exciting NEWER link! –> The Daily Mail (actually, genuinely) responds at last! <-- Even more thrilling than the last link.]

What have I got against Julie Moult?

Well, looking into some of the hateful and (ahem) inventive crap she’s produced for The Sun and The Daily Mail over the years, quite a lot… but really, I’m here today to deliver to Julie a well-earned lesson on the mysterious inner workings of Google:

Part One

Let’s begin with how ‘journalist’ Julie thinks Google works:

Julie Moult – Blears falls prey to ‘Google Bomb’ Attack Of The 50-inch Woman:

She would prefer to be known for her trailblazing policies on eco-friendly housing and community cohesion.

But if the billions of people using Google decide to look for Labour MP Hazel Blears by typing her name into the search engine, a more unlikely image appears.

The first site you reach features a mock-up 1950s movie poster of the politician in a skimpy outfit.

Last night, the prank raised the possibility that she was the victim of ‘Google Bombing’, when internet enthusiasts manipulate rankings on search engines….

Paul Richards, special adviser to Mrs Blears, shrugged off the stunt.

He said: ‘Hazel is supremely relaxed about this. This is just part of the fun of the internet.’

Google yesterday denied the politicians had been subjected to Google Bombing, saying the picture’s ranking was due to several factors including popularity.

Google Bombing, when cyber pranksters create dozens, or even hundreds, of ‘fake’ sites linked to the targeted webpage to make it seem more popular, is something politicians around the world are all too familiar with.

Hello, John1. Hazel Blears’ office isn’t bothered about the ‘stunt’ (which isn’t a stunt), but Julie must have her summer story, so she marches on regardless.

2. Google informs her that it’s not a Google bomb (I prefer ‘Googlebomb’ myself, but nevermind) but in Julie’s eyes this is merely a ‘denial’… and so she marches on again. Without pausing for breath.

3. Even if this were Google bombing (it isn’t), and even if high profile Google bombs still worked (they don’t), the most effective Google bombs involved genuine web users expressing genuine opinions on genuine websites; they would each stake a fraction of the reputation they had earned online on their opinion that George W. Bush is a miserable failure, Tony Blair is a liar, and/or John Prescott is a f**kwit. They would do this by linking to a target website with the required word(s), thereby as a group making it a top search result for a word or words that (usually) did not even appear on the target page.

4. Speaking of that f**kwit John Prescott, I’m a photoshopper and I created an image that is one of the top Google Image search results for his name. It became a top search result because it is an amusing and relevant* image with a relevant filename, hosted on a well-regarded and relevant website (backingblair.co.uk) and it has remained there through many image database updates because people think it is funny (and relevant) and keep linking to it.

5. Beau Bo d’Or, who created the image that Julie Moult is fussing about (and the Daily Mail is using without permission), is – I am not ashamed to say – a better and cleverer photoshopper than I am. He is highly regarded, and his work featured at the online art community site b3ta.com or his own website at bbdo.co.uk (+ heady.co.uk) is highly regarded and regularly linked to.

6. It is the combination of this reputation (based on general interest in past efforts plus specific interest in this single relevant* effort) and a simple, relevant filename that has Beau Bo d’Or in control of not one but two top Google Image search results for the query ‘hazel blears’.

It. Has. Nothing. To. Do. With. Google. Bombing.

What Julie Moult is describing is – for the most part – sock-puppeting and astroturfing, but that doesn’t have anything to do with Beau Bo d’Or’s image being the top search result for ‘hazel blears’, either.

She’s an idiot.

(*John Prescott is a very sexy man in much the same way that Hazel Blears is a very tall woman. Both images are relevant to their respective queries… and in a very similar way.)

Part Two

To help Julie understand how Google works, I have used her name in the title of my article, and in the article itself.

I confidently predict that – because of the relevance of the entry and the reputation that Bloggerheads has earned over the years, that my single article about her will become one of the top search results in Google UK for her name (if not *the* top search result) within a couple of hours.

Getting a result in Google Images will take a little longer (as in weeks longer) because the Images database isn’t updated quite as often as the main one, but I’m confident that I can get at least one image into the top row, simply by giving it a suitable name and including it here:

Julie Moult is an idiot

In fact, I think with a quiet word to my readers and a few other web users, I could easily have the entire front page for ‘julie moult’ in Google Images filled with images telling the world that Julie Moult is an idiot… and if she thinks really, really hard about it, she might just begin to understand that what enables/powers the eventual result isn’t magic or trickery, but instead Google detecting a genuine public response to my appeal and her own damn articles:

Part Three

It is my considered opinion that Julie Moult is an idiot.

She doesn’t know or care how Google works, even when the people from Google explain it to her, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Julie Moult was also behind a dangerous claim of “Muslim yobs” attacking soldiers returning from Afghanistan that turned out to be totally without foundation (see follow-ups here and here).

I could go on (and on and on), but I’m confident that the above and her article about “Nazi racoons” will be enough for most people.

You may wish to read more before forming an opinion of your own, and I totally respect that. Feel free to browse through Julie Moult’s many articles in The Sun and The Daily Mail for any redeeming acts/articles (such as her selfless service in search of little Maddie McCann).

Once you’re done and you have arrived at your opinion, I’d like you to take the following steps:

=========== THE JULIE MOULT IMAGE CHALLENGE ==============

Step One – Create an image featuring the words “Julie Moult is an idiot” (or “Julie Moult is not an idiot, but instead a much-misunderstood campaigner for truth and a very nice person once you get to know her”).

Step Two – Include the words ‘julie’ and ‘moult’ in the filename for your image.

Step Three – Publish it on your website or weblog in a post explaining what it is and why it’s there (including, if you like, these steps and a link back to this article).

Step Four (optional) – If you really mean business, put her name in your article title and maybe even drop in some ‘ALT’ or ‘Title’ goodness for your image.

:: Please keep in mind that Julie Moult might be willing and able to sue you if she can prove that she isn’t an idiot (though I’m quietly confident that this won’t be a problem).

:: You may also wish to include a picture/glimpse of yourself in your image, as I have (above), so Julie is certain that real people, not invisible Google pixies, lurk behind the eventual results.

Notable search results will be posted below as soon as they start appearing, and a prize will be awarded for the best relevant performance in Google Images (not including mine).

Good luck to you all. I hope to see you in the top row soon.

========================================================

[Note to participants: Stay tuned for an upcoming post about The Prize Shelf. It’s chock full of goodies for young and old.]

[Note to Julie Moult and the Daily Mail: Just so you’re aware that your notoriously self-serving comment moderation policy does have its hidden costs; normally you lot wouldn’t be worth the time and effort, but your ignoring/deleting my quite reasonable comment response to your article annoyed me just long enough for this idea to take shape. There, now aren’t you glad that you censored a polite comment pointing out an obvious flaw?]

UPDATE (1:33pm) – It’s less than an hour later, and I’m already 4th. Link posted to b3ta. Onwards and upwards!

UPDATE (2:10pm) – Just over an hour later, and I’m settled in at No. 1… no Googlebombing required:

Ta-dahh!

[UPDATE (03 Sep) – Exciting new link! –> The Daily Mail: let’s kick arse and take names! <-- Check it out for my reponse to the Daily Mail's response to this article. Cheers all.]

Related:
CurryNet – More on the Daily Mail and my comments about their ‘suicidal five year olds’ article
Online Journlaism Blog – Reasons not to ignore comments #2: The Daily Mail and Julie Moult
Writing Hurts – Don’t forget, comments work both ways
Stewart Kirkpatrick – The ‘Julie Moult is an idiot’ campaign: a modern journalistic fable
The Register – ‘Googlebomb’ blows up in Daily Mail hack’s face

[UPDATE (06 Sep) – Exciting NEWER link! –> The Daily Mail (actually, genuinely) responds at last! <-- Even more thrilling than the last link.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at August 4, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

Justin is quite busy at the moment doing marvellous work for Greenpeace, but I’m sure he’ll have time for a brief jump for joy over this:

Wired Blogs – ‘Get Your War On’ Gets Its Video On
Raw Story – ‘Get Your War On’ gets its cartoon on

++++ alert ++++ alert ++++ preparing for “‘get your war on‘ gets its ___ on” trifecta ++++

Comedy Central – Get Your War On: Watch List

*bzzt*

Damn.

Oh well. Enjoy the first episode anyway. It’s only better than you might dare to imagine:








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 25, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

SOCPA isn’t officially dead (yet), but – according to rikki, at least – it is effectively dead:

Indymedia – SOCPA Is Dead And Buried: towards the end of the proceedings, the judge closed the case without allowing barbara to sum up, and the case was adjourned for the judge to consider his verdict. what came out however, was a bombshell for socpa. barbara has been requesting the prosecution case summary for four months prior to this hearing, and only finally received it in court yesterday. hidden amongst pages and pages of print about the incident was the following remarkable statement: “OWING TO CHANGES IN SOCPA LEGISLATION THE UNAUTHORISED DEMONSTRATION OFFENCES CANNOT BE PROCEEDED WITH”

I may have to pop by Parliament and test this for myself…








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 8, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

AP – Londoners mark July 7 bombings anniversary: Londoners on Monday marked the third anniversary of the July 7 suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters during a rush-hour attack. Hundreds of commuters and survivors stood silently as Mayor Boris Johnson and others laid flowers outside King’s Cross train and subway station at 8:50 a.m. three years after the attacks in 2005.

But will there be a similar event or service (including the new Mayor of London) in memory of Jean Charles de Menezes?

Serious question.

(And no, this doesn’t count.)

[Psst! Here’s a quick ‘Meanwhile…’ for you. Prepare yourselves for the giddy thrill of hearing what Mr X said about Mr Y.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at June 27, 2008

Category: Gordon Brown, The Political Weblog Movement, The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories!

1. The reason there aren’t more results for the “Which right-wing ‘blogger’ are you?” quiz; the wannabes (who I’ll be kind enough not to list here) all copy the techniques used by Mummy blogger and Daddy blogger, so there’s very little difference between them. (Outsiders should take note that this quiz relates only to pseudo-bloggers from the right, not genuine bloggers from the right.)

2. The totally non-partisan and not at all right-wing magazine wad of junk mail Total Politics has a chart of the (alleged) “Greatest Speeches of All Time”. There were some red faces yesterday when it emerged that Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech was named one of the very greatest. Not *the* greatest, mind. Only third-greatest. The top two spots are taken by… Ronald Reagan.

(rolls eyes)

Iain’s problem (the same problem experienced with 18 Doughty Street) is going to be that he sees things like this… and doesn’t see a problem.

Another case in point; while lecturing Nelson Mandela on political/moral leadership, Iain has published an outright “Hang Mandela” comment in this discussion thread. Moderation is on (and has been on for months). This means that Iain has to read each comment before it’s cleared for publication. This comment – “Hang Nelson Mandela” – was seen and approved before publication, and not deleted, moderated or challenged by Iain Dale. I can’t wait to hear his excuse for this one. (via)

3. Onto a different but equally distorted world, I’d like to heartily endorse this item from Terence Blacker:

Terence Blacker: A teacher takes off his shirt. Cue panic: It is a simple of story of teacher-bullying, but with the unusual gloss that the child bullies were rewarded by the education authorities, who joined in the campaign of persecution. The victim became the villain. What has been more interesting has been the reaction of other teachers and from the media. While any sane adult or teenager could see that Mr Rouse had merely been a bit of chump, the response in the press has been to eroticise the incident. What the stripping teacher did, the implication has been, had some kind of murky, intimate motive…. A weird and not entirely healthy act of psychological transference seems to be taking place. By interpreting innocent acts, whether taking off a shirt or playing tennis, as erotic, the prudes and pervs of today are revealing their own sexual restiveness.

Well noted, and well said.

Ditto for the Heinz Deli Mayo ad nonsense. The only thing remotely offensive about it is that the (weak) joke relies on a common assumption that women make the sandwiches.

[For the record: (a) a woman makes most of the sandwiches in our house, (b) I have actually used this product, (c) on more than one sandwich that I made myself, and (d) the garlic variety is really quite tasty.]

Moving on…

4. The Times – Labour finish behind BNP in election humiliation: Labour came a humiliating fifth place behind the BNP and the Greens last night in the Henley by-election caused by Boris Johnson’s election as London Mayor. Gordon Brown’s first anniversary as Labour leader began with the party securing only 1,066 votes, losing its £500 deposit, and having its working majority in the House of Commons cut to 65, as John Howell, the Conservative candidate, succeeded Mr Johnson in the Oxfordshire seat.

Ouch. A terrible end to an awful first year for Gordon Brown (more).

(But don’t get me wrong… I’m still glad that this lying, torturing murdering bastard is gone.)

5. Meanwhile another disaster looms… but who will face eviction? That’s right folks, here comes the Big Brother by-election!

(Name/idea blatantly stolen from David Icke, but that’s OK… he still owes me for nicking my images.)

PA – Davis to face 25 rivals in election: David Davis will face 25 other candidates in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, the acting returning officer has confirmed. The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have already said they will not take part in the contest. But a range of individuals and smaller parties had officially thrown their hats into the ring by the time nominations closed. These include the well-known conspiracy theorist David Icke, Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidate Mad Cow-Girl and Miss Great Britain, Gemma Garrett. Among the other parties that will be on the ballot paper is the Church of Militant Elvis Party and a representative of Make Politicians History. Nominations for poll closed on Thursday afternoon and voting will be on July 10. (via)

26 housemates and one big eviction night, how can the punters possibly resiszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..snrk*.

Wha? Where? Oh, sorry, dropped off for a bit there.

6. To close, here are some links relating to the Blog Nation event:

Liberal Conspiracy – Pictures from Blog Nation <--- includes links to many more Charlie Beckett – The UK Left Blogosphere: staring defeat in the face
Dave Cole – Blog Nation part 2: qu’est-que c’est le blog?

Don’t expect much from me just yet. I’m a busy beaver for the next few days and I need a leisurely walk or two before I can really think things out.








Posted by Tim Ireland at June 25, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

Where's Wally SquadOK folks, it’s time to play an exciting new game called Where’s Wally Squad?

To play this game, all you need is a pair of sharp eyes, and the following information:

This Daily Mail article describes a person who is:

– Present at the anti-Bush demonstration in London on 15 June 2008

– In/near the front line(s) of protestors at the Whitehall barricade before the batons started swinging

– Tall, wearing a white t-shirt, carrying a black rucksack/backpack and “a professional-looking camera with a large telephoto lens”

– Screaming abuse at the police

It is alleged in the Daily Mail article that this person is also a policeman. And probably not an off-duty one.

Finding photos of this person or, ideally, video of him acting as described in this article is a tall order that probably won’t change more than a few minds, but with all those cameras around on the day I think it’s worth a shot.

I’ve browsed around Flickr and YouTube and Indymedia and the blogosphere. One possible match has come up and quickly been eliminated as a contender.

I think getting photographers to have a look through their unpublished photos and/or raw footage is the key here, not least because some of these people are quite likely to recognise other/regular demo photographers (i.e. those that are not undercover policemen sent in to mouth off and justify some good old-fashioned head-kicking).

So, if you’d like to play, go forth to places where such photos/videos are published and get browsing.

If you think you have a lead, or even if you hit a dead end, simply ask those who have captured promising images if they have any more and/or provide them with a link to this Daily Mail article and ask them if they saw the chap described.

Good luck!

I have a new possible match for you, and if anyone can provide any information either way, please speak up. (These are from some previously unpublished photos by Davide.)

UPDATE – Another one we can rule out by the looks of things, but now that Galloway is naming names (see Comments) the hunt should get a lot more interesting.

[Psst! Amusingly, because it was so crowded when our man was (reportedly) in action, the people most likely to have a clear frontal shot of him are… the police.]








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