Thursday, April 26, 2007

So 80% of blogs contain "offensive" content

As an editorial response, Mo Betta META points our readers to the following audio presentation: The Fucking Moon, by The Evolution Control Committee.

Or, if you prefer, here's a video via YouTube:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

New features at Mo Betta META

We're now using Haloscan for comments. It has some features that make it better than the old Blogger comment feature. We've also effectively frozen the ability to comment via Blogger, although anything that's already been posted will remain displayed for posterity (and there was much rejoicing!). For shits and giggles, we've also got a trackback link for each post just in case you feel like you can't live without us knowing what you're saying on your blogs.

Otherwise, it's your dime. Spill it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

kos v Feminism

kos's original post about Kathy Sierra

"progressive" blogosphere outrage ensues

kos's non-apology

"progressive" blogosphere response ensues

one bloggers sums the scenario up quite succinctly

kos apologists fall in line and defend their man


(Mysogynists not welcome. We've heard your crap 1000 times over. It's old, stale, pointless and comes from a place of fear. Go hang out with this guy instead or just do us all a favour and seek intensive therapy.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Alternative to What, Exactly ?

[This here's a post from an online feminist pal of long-standing: Nelsolidarida. She hails from England, is an Anarchist, a vegan, and also keeps an avenging army of magical ducks. So don't cross her. She also likes to knit garments and household goods featuring skulls and Deadly Nightshade. I am re-posting this with a few tiny edits and with her express permission, because I love it. A lot of it relates well to online discussion though her main focus in the piece is on IRL events and interactions. Her home page can be found at Solidarida, of course. Enjoy !-- ms_xeno ]

Ok, so i'm out of the 'no blogging while supposed to be working' phase and into a 'maybe this will give me some writing practice and wake my brain up' phase. Don't know how long it will last...

Anyway, 'alternative'. What does it mean? (feel free to contribute here) I don't know what my 'alternative' credentials are, or if i have any. I certainly don't look alternative most of the time. But i'm not convinced i fit the evil, capitalist, tory, tankist, stalinist pig-dog mould that seems to be, if you like, the alternative to alternative.

Know what? I don't hate activists. If you're reading this and i speak to you, bother to engage with you at any level, ever agree with you on anything, etc, then chances are i don't hate you. I don't hate most individual activists, or most of the movements/campaigns i have any common ground with. I don't even hate animal rights activists. I just happen to be around them more and have more scope to be annoyed. Plus, my feelings about particular people or groups don't have a lot of bearing on how I see the issues they represent. I don't stop being a feminist because I'm pissed off with the endless blog wars and general vindictive behaviour, neither are my views on porn changed because certain anti-porn bloggers have behaved obnoxiously at any point. (again, if you're bothering to read this, I probably don't mean you.)

Genuine political convictions, especially ones i agree with, I have no problem with. Unless we're talking BNP-type stuff, natch. [British National Party aka Far Right-Wingers -- ms_xeno] What I do have a huge problem with is the 'scene' that emerges around these, and the policing that goes with that. Yeah, not everyone can go on every demo. Live with it. Stick your guilt trip where the sun doesn't shine. (Seriously, it doesn't shine from there.) Sorry if that sounds bitter. Unless you're one of the people who does this, all. the. time. In which case I'm not remotely sorry.

Also, policing of this sort is unnecessary unless someone's job is totally contradictory to the campaign with which they're getting involved. Or unless it is at odds with having any kind of social conscience. For example, if someone makes electroshock batons, they deserve to be ostracized by everyone except the out-and-out Neo-Nazis who get turned on by such things. Otherwise, maybe excluding somebody from "the movement" because of the job that provides their food and shelter isn't a good thing.

Conversely, geting all single-issue, this is all that matters, everyone else is shit including other activists, is also not a way to get people around to your point of view. No, being a vegan and going to demos doesn't excuse the fact that your mate likes to beat the crap out of his girlfriend. And the person who misses demos because the guy who abused her is there? Maybe not the one you need to crap on.

But the really annoying thing is the people who get all suspicious because you don't 'look' alternative. Newsflash, folks - police informers generally try to blend in. Fake nose studs and all. They have been known to provide a nice little comedy turn at demos when they are really obvious. So maybe, if this is your real reason for looking askance at the person who comes in straight from work in clothes that they wear for a relatively straight job, you could be looking the wrong way. But maybe that isn't why? Guess what. I did look alternative for a long time. I did a long, long, stint of being bullied for it, as well as for having the ideas that went with it. I've had meat waved in my face and attempts made to cut my dreads off from behind. And guess what else? My basic principles haven't changed. The only caving-in was in my own perception of myself - from worth something to worth pretty much nothing. Happy? I hope so, because i've experienced nearly as much grief over being the odd one out in an activist community where i agree with most people on most points as i did in the same position in a group of rather shallow teenagers.

I'm not going to turn into one of those boring people who tells activists that they'll never get their message across if they don't smarten up. Long as i don't see you wearing fur, which is a whole other thing, i seriously don't have a problem. But, please, don't turn being alternative into yet another form of conformity. Closed communities don't change the world. -- Nelsolidarida, April 9th, 2007.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Weekend Open Thread-- Now With Song Break !!

Just a bit of self-imposed nostalgia. I penned this ages ago in net-time. Every once in awhile I feel an uncontrollable urge to post it again. (To the tune of "I Love Trash," as sung by Oscar the Grouch.) Enjoy !

Oh, I love trolls
Anyone sexist, rude and patronizing
Anyone spamming porn or advertising
Yes, I love trolls !!

I have here a troll with a rank song and dance
Its brains are located way down in its pants
I’ve read better prose in a Cartland romance
I love it ’cause it’s a troll !!

Oh, I love trolls
Anyone fighting the war from his armchair
Anyone clueless on choice or on childcare
Yes, I love trolls !

Now trolls are diverse
They have rich, varied lives
Be they gun-nuts or Rand freaks or “surrendered wives”
Any feminist thought makes ‘em drop dead from hives
I love ‘em because they’re trolls !

Oh, I love trolls
Any triathlete of hate, greed and misquotes
Any ass blaming the world’s ills on my votes
Yes, I love trolls !!

So it’s evil to feed ‘em and pointless to vent
Sure, it drags down our discourse 100%
Still, if you can’t shell out for both cable AND rent
You’ll love ‘em because they’re trolls !!

(last chorus same as the first)

Monday, April 02, 2007


The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
- Hubert Humphrey

The problem with communication ... is the illusion that it has been accomplished.
-George Bernard Shaw

The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.
- Edward R Murrow

Speak when you are angry - and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
- Dr Laurence J Peter

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
- Epictetus

Communication works for those who work at it.
- John Powell

Examine what is said, not who speaks.
-Arabian Proverb

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Nag Nag Nag"

A Cabaret Voltaire video from their 1979 single. Just to whet the appetite, here's a bit from Methodology: 74/78 Attic Tapes -
I remember the 70s as a time of austerity, a crackdown after the so-called liberal times of the 60s. Racism, repressive policing, hijackings, Baader Meinhof, The Angry Brigade, Operation Julie, cheap sulphate, boredom, industrial unrest, but a feeling that something was on the boil within an alienated and disaffected "youth culture."


I suppose we took our cue (and also our name) from the Dada movement and maybe in retrospect from the situationist movement. The bottom line is, it was never just about music, but about confrontation, challenging peoples conceptions on everything from sound and image to reality itself. Trying to be a thorn in the side of authority. From run of the mill war obsessed jobsworths, constables, in fact anybody who wore a badge, to politicians. All considered fair game for baiting and satirization. In some ways though it was just an innocent reflection of the times, not different from the Beach Boys singing about surfing and the good times in California. But there was no surf to ride in Sheffield, just postwar desolation, unemployment and ugly urban landscapes.
My emphasis added.