Idiocracy

The quarterly waste of paper that is About Leeds, the council’s pathetic effort to convince us that they have a use, has just come through my letterbox.

I guess for many it serves it’s purpose of instilling a sense of civic pride, taming the bewildered herd, as Chomsky (very tongue in cheek, citing Walter Lippmann) puts it. It tells us all the wonderful ways that Leeds City Council are spending our rising council tax, over a million doing up Albion Place so we get more tourists and (the businesses) of Leeds benefit, for example. They even have a family, Dave and Sue (bit of a milf to be fair) Dawson who’s exploits quizzing their local councillors and accepting without question their rhetoric have been noted for the last 2 years.

Now, I have to say that if I was ignorant enough to parade my lack of knowledge about simple things like council tax (why doesn’t it go down ‘cos house prices are dropping) or landfill (I KNOW how to save money, only collect one bin), I guess I would believe everything some councillor said. Apparently her hours have been cut and she has three hungry mouths to feed obviously does indicate she lives a hard life and her fella’s a lazy lump. But hey, she’s a Yorkshire lass and she won’t give up.

But aside from these paragons of salt of the earth Leeds-ness, and the fact that Leeds, like much of the country is going down the pan, we have the best quote ever:

“…everyone can have a say in how the city is run…”

Yes, boys and girls, that bastion of civilisation… Democracy.

Da Da da Daahhh!

Lets return to Chomsky. Chomsky manages to paraphrase Lippmann in such a brilliant way that I am going to type it out verbatim:

…in a properly functioning democracy there are classes of citizens. There is first of all a class of citizens who have to take a role in running general affairs. That’s the specialized class. They are the people who analyze [sic, we will forgive the American spelling] , execute [no pun intended?], make decisions, and run things in the political economic and ideological sphere. That’s a small percentage of the population. Naturally anyone who puts these ideas forth is always a part of that small group and they’re talking about what to do with those others. Those others, who are out of the small group, the big majority of the population, they are what Lippmann called “the bewildered herd”. We have to protect ourselves from “the trampling and roar of a bewildered herd” Now there are two “functions” in a democracy: The specialised class, the responsible men, carry out the executive function which means they do the thinking and planning and understand the common interest. Then there is the bewildered herd, and they have a function in democracy as well. Their function in democracy, he said, is to be “spectators”, not participants in action. But they have more of a function than that, because it’s a democracy. Occasionally they are allowed to say “We want you to be our leader” or “We want you to be our leader.” That’s because it’s a democracy and not a totalitarianism. That’s called an election. But once they’ve lent their weight to one or another member of the specialized class they’re supposed to sink back and become spectators of action, but not participants. That’s in a properly functioning democracy.”

So who are those specialised classes in Leeds..? Lets look at a recent motion in council.

85.

White Paper Motion -Vote of No Confidence in the Administration

“This Council deplores the inefficiencies and ineptitude of the Conservative led coalition.”

B ATHA

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Atha seconded by Councillor Taggart

That this Council deplores the inefficiencies and ineptitude of the Conservative led coalition.

An amendment was moved by Councillor Finnigan seconded by Councillor Grayshon

DELETE all after “of the” and replace with “Labour led Government”.

The amendment was carried and upon being put as the substantive motion it was

RESOLVED – That this Council deplores the inefficiencies and ineptitude of the Labour led Government.

If you want to see the whole 50 pages of script and from what I can work out from the minutes the best part of two hours of conversation, have a look at the verbatim report, from about page 38. It’s hilarious. OK, no doubt the Tory Coalition and the Labour Administration both deserve little confidence, but what the fuck does that do for Leeds.

Jack. Shit.

I recently tried to call upon some of these specialised classes after an incident with certain builders. This was mainly because I was pissed off, had consumed 4 double bourbons to calm down and wanted to whine at someone. However if the specialised classes are really executing in Hyde Park they fucking deserve it. I left a message with the office, and on two of their personal numbers as advertised on leeds.gov.uk and so far have heard nothing.

Of course if I was living the other side of Royal Park Road it would be a different story, as Kabeer Hussein obviously cares and looks after his ward residents, even taxi drivers who commit assault. If one wonders if this is part of the great LS6 Asian network I will be called a racist, no doubt, (by the way if you choose to, go fuck off and look up the meaning of the word racism please), so lets go with Hussein’s story that Shafiq Aziz is his friend. So either he is plain stupid, and doesn’t know that his friend had criminal convictions for assault, or he is a bare face liar when he claims he did not. Does he also know that Aziz is reputedly a relative of one of the biggest lot of con artists in Leeds, the very people the council claim to be trying to deal with? It’s not in his declaration of interests.

If we must succumb to the need for this “specialised class in Leeds”, is it not reasonable to ask that they are slightly more than inadequate, ineffectual, blustering, posturing, lying, porn peddling, arrogant, useless idiots?

Obviously not.

—–

Cited:

Chomsky, N (2002) Media Control. New York: Seven Stories Press.

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Hole in the Head…

Once again, I am astounded by the plain stupidity rife on the BBC website comments. One day I’ll stop reading it, but I guess I’ll lose a large amount of my entertainment. But honestly…

So what is it this time. Don’t you know, the world was due to end today? A black hole was about to swallow us all up when they switched on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

As I am still sat here writing this, I think it’s safe to say this hasn’t happened. Now if we are to believe the scaremongers that it was gonna blow the moment they switched it on, I guess this is probably easily explained by the fact that it was actually switched on quite a while ago. If you believe the ones who reckon it’s gonna create a mini black hole then the lack of oblivion might just be accounted for by the fact that they haven’t actually collided anything yet…

Don’t get me wrong, pushing the boundaries of physics is dangerous. I’m sure the City Fathers of Hiroshima would be able to tell you that if they weren’t ripped apart to their constituent atoms half a century ago. My personal fear is, like Einstein’s reputed despair about the Atom Bomb that knowing more about the fabric of the Universe will enable us to learn to commit atrocities of a Stellar scale if we ever survive to leave this ball of rock – have a read of Greg Bear’s Anvil of the Stars for a pretty scary moral explanation of what knowledge of the fabric of spacetime could enable us to do. But that’s down to how we use it. I can hope we might just manage to control our violence one day.

But not content with telling us that Islam is The Beast Incarnate, that paedophiles should all be forcibly castrated before their hanging and so on, the panic merchants are now telling us that physics is the end of the world. Most of them hail I’m sure from the Bible-belt of the Mid-West and of course have their ulterior motives. But it seems some people are daft enough to truly believe them.

“I cant believe they would put our lives at danger!
They could have had a world wide vote to see what everyone thought just like they did for england with terminal 5.They put billions of lives at risk more lives then how much money they spent one the experiment in the first place ? Why the world is gonna stop anyway so whats the point on spending the money when other people need that money to survive.What went through their heads i do not know but next time is there is one STOP & THINK AGAIN!” Holly Burton, benissa/spain

This experiment has a potential of duplicating Big-Bang. But,we know that the matter was created from”Nothingness”and it started expanding thereafter.Collision of Zero Particles might start another expansion process capable of colliding with “God Particles’. Important question is,do we know beyond doubt if this experiment will not violate nature in a”Big Way”starting a collision course of “God Particles” with Man-Particles expected to ultimate destruction?

Muhammad Saeed, Islamabad, Pakistan

Worse than that are those who show a complete inability to constructively manage their fears, and hide behind those of their children. This goes a little off my main point, but these are two gems from the BBC

“My 2 daughters aged 10 and 8 are absolutely terrified of this experiment…”
Marc, Lanarkshire”

Hmm… So what you are saying is that you do not have the ability to explain to a child of that age that sometimes people talk shite. Or is it that you are scared, and blaming your children.

And the classic…

“i think its stupied, my children are scared bye this and i am not happy about it”
stacey, nottingham

If one can get past the atrocious spelling and understand what the fuck you are on about, this is stupied [sic] because you believe evryfing that people tell u and so they shouldnt do it cuz you are an idiot who lets ur kids watch tv all day wile ur smoking rocks?

Ok, maybe I’m being a little cruel. I feel for another commenter on here who said he needed to sit all night with a “mentally handicapped” friend who was upset by this. But the idiot responses to this are akin to scaring the shit out of kids telling them they will go to hell if they are naughty (haven’t most of us realised that threatening children in the name of discipline is a bit last century..?) – this is the church breeding ignorance.

This I don’t get… Not that I consider that Vatican to be the paragon of Christian Virtue. But it’s certainly pretty vociferous. Last I heard, the Pope had abandoned the Inquisition and accepted that much of our theory of Physics was entirely compatible with creation, Big Bang included. Having turned my back on the majority of the Christian Church a long while ago for its abject hypocrisy, I don’t know how the rest of the Church sees this, but my feeling is that the majority of rational (i.e not American) Christians in this world agree that discovery and progress is a good thing. Most rational, thinking people do not think that X-rays, Semiconductors, MRI scans, The Internet and so on and so forth are a threat to all humanity.

Or am I wrong…

…. I believe God has sent us a message already. Have you seen four earthquakes in different parts of the world happened in one day? Ed Li, Vancouver, BC, Canada

For fucks sake…

OK, some people baulk at the cost, while happily accepting the latest military behemoth to protect us from the evil Arabs. OK I’m sure many millions of starving children could have been fed with the cost of this… But lets face it while we sit in our capitalist bubble (which looks to burst soon, guys) that’s not gonna happen.

But back to the point. The simple thing to learn from this is use your fucking heads. The simple fact that the eschaton brigade have chosen today to portent doom shows us clearly how daft it is. Why today? Why is it going to happen today, when all they are doing is sending the first test beam round the whole circuit? Not switching it on. Not colliding things for the first time. No-one making these claims has said it’s gonna be today, but everyone is prattling on about it.

Because today is publicity day. Today is the day when people can see something going on in the news that they don’t understand. And because they don’t understand it (which is fine, it’s complex, not many people do) instead of learning about it, reading the facts and making an informed assessment, they hide behind the first scare rumour they can find.

I’m sounding like the scientists now, sticking up for the idea, which was not my plan, but I can’t help it. I’m fascinated by all this, though it’s well outside my field. Like most people. Maybe it will all go horribly wrong, and in a few years time we’ll realise it did create a mini black hole and we are fucked. If you are a conspiricist you will doubtless believe there are many more potentially dangerous things going on. To be fair, I think I do. But we’ve more to gain from this than Trinity and Enewetak. Even if the risks are real, people in power risk the future of this planet on a daily basis, often for little more gain than their sense of pride.

You hide your heads in the sand. One day, if you’re lucky and we’re feeling altruistic, we’ll come and show you the secret of fire.