June 2005

Self30 Jun 2005 10:05 pm

Hello, my darlings. What a busy fox I am. Things are so hectic at Foxbase Alpha, I’ve been neglecting you terribly. No doubt the High Court will soon be issuing an emergency protection order and taking you into care. But while I still have custody of you, let me take this opportunity to ruffle your hair and wipe the chocolate off your face with my hanky.

I owe several very dear people email, and it will be forthcoming just as soon as I get to sit down here for more than 5 minutes.

Interim hugs to you all. Hope you’re thriving.

Soundtrack to this post: Satan Wants Me – Luke Haines

Anti-consumerism&Random life20 Jun 2005 09:06 pm

This, on the other hand, is a great idea.

Activism&Africa&British politics&Global politics&News media&Pop culture20 Jun 2005 07:52 pm

I’m a busy, tired, cynical fox today. This is not so much a post as an attempt to convey an eye-rolling “Hmph” in three needlessly wordy paragraphs.

Fact 1:
In 1985, Bob Geldof’s Live Aid raised £40m for famine relief in Africa, half of which was spent on long term development plans. By Geldof’s own admission, Africa has become even poorer over the intervening two decades. So here comes Live 8, jumping alongside the campaign to ‘Make Poverty History’.

Question: Do you think this self-congratulatory dadrock-fest will change world leaders’ minds about their policies towards Africa, or will they use it as an excuse to applaud themselves about a few paltry figleaf changes (e.g. doubling aid) while ignoring the actual reasons why Africa is impoverished (e.g. the IMF’s demands, the World Bank, the double standards of one-sided ‘free’ trade)?

Fact 2:
Tony Blair wears a white wristband (or, as the hilariously ultra-conservative Telegraph puts it, a “bangle”). He started wearing this – complete with subtly shortened jacket sleeve – in the run-up to the election. Naturally. All in all, he is making a sustained effort to draw attention to his part in this expertly choreographed campaign.

Question: Do you think Tony Blair has any incentive to argue (or intention of arguing) for 100% of African debt to be dropped?

Fact 3:
Bono, a man so ferociously egomaniacal he is prepared to incur the financial and environmental cost of flying a hat to Italy in first class, has also lent his name to the cause.

Question: Would Blair, Bush etc be so eager to trade positive publicity opportunities with this multi-millionaire businessman if his involvement was genuinely subversive and radical?

Soundtrack to this post: Pull Up The People – M.I.A.

British politics09 Jun 2005 10:50 pm

The government has finally made a formal announcement about their plan to replace the usual annual car tax with a pay-as-you-go road charging scheme. Alistair “Move Over” Darling, the Transport Secretary, says this new method of taxation will mean half of motorists will pay less.

By sheer coincidence, the satellite tracking system required to record the journeys of every driver on the road will also mean the data of every journey made by every car will be available to the government.

This means while you are in a private vehicle, the state will literally have the power to watch your every move. They will also be at liberty to use or extrapolate the collected data in any way they see fit.

According to a Mori survey released today, only 16% of people object to having a black box satellite tracker installed in their car.

So let’s see: biometric ID cards, Iraq, car travel surveillance, imprisonment without trial, the Terrorism Act, removal of the right to peaceful protest, ASBOs… I’d say Tony Blair’s wish “to be remembered by the history books” will be granted.

Soundtrack to this post: Mediocrity Rules – Le Tigre

Pop culture&Self&The art of blog06 Jun 2005 10:11 pm

I haven’t written much – or anything, really – about music on here. If you knew me in Real Life, you’d think that was a strange anomaly. As I’m getting slightly bored of the same old same old (sorry blog), perhaps it’s time for a mini-change.

So, inspired partly by Mr Swiss Toni’s seamless integration of music and narrative, I’ve decided to add a soundtrack to my posts from now on.

Don’t worry, it won’t be in the form of incidental music jangling away while you read. That’s terribly annoying when you’ve got music on already, as you may well have. Instead, I’m going to designate one single song to be the soundtrack to that post, and write that song title at the end of the post.

It might be chosen for obvious reasons, or it might not. It might be because the lyrics match the theme, or it might be because the sound evokes my mood at the time of writing. It might be for the purposes of lame punning or bathos. It might be because I’m listening to it while writing. Hell, it might be for no sensible reason at all.

Nonetheless, beloved reader, you shall have it with my compliments.

Soundtrack to this post: Joga – Björk

Activism&Audience participation&Burma&Human rights&South Asia03 Jun 2005 12:07 pm

If you have a spare birthday card – or notelet, or postcard, or can knock one up yourself – please consider sending it to Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma. For more information on Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burma campaign, please have a quick look here.

My card cost 68p to post and the card itself was 50p, so not a large investment. But it’s important that the world is seen to be watching Aung San Suu Kyi, and this might be a good way to do that. Little tactical actions like this are sometimes the most useful.

I’ll cut and paste the original campaign request, rather than paraphrase the whole thing. Here’s why I’m asking:


Action Request – please forward to friends and colleagues.

On Sunday 19th June is the 60th Birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma’s democracy movement. On that day she will have spent a total of 9 years and 238 days in detention. Armed soldiers behind a barricade of barbed wire turn away any visitors. The regime has also cut her phone line, so no-one can call to wish her happy birthday.

The brutal generals who rule Burma have already made one attempt on her life, attacking a convoy she was travelling in on May 30th 2003. Up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death in the attack. Aung San Suu Kyi’s car managed to speed away, but she was later arrested.

The regime are doing everything they can to isolate Aung San Suu Kyi.
They want the world to forget about her. They fear her popularity. She is the main threat to their continuing rule, and there are growing fears for her safety.

Please send a birthday card to Aung San Suu Kyi. Although the card is
likely to be intercepted by the regime, thousands of cards arriving will send a powerful message to the regime. If they know the world is watching, it will make it less likely that they will take action against Aung San Suu Kyi, as they will fear the international reaction. Your card will help keep her safe from further attacks.

Send your card to:

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
54 University Avenue
Bahan 11201
Myanmar (Burma)

Please forward this message to friends and colleagues.

This action is part of a global campaign to free Aung San Suu Kyi. For more information visit: http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/aungsansuukyi.php”>Burma Campaign.

To stay in touch with the campaign, join our email network. Send a blank email to burmacampaign-subscribe@topica.com.”

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