Every morning I wake up on

The wrong side of capitalism

Boum! L’astre du jour fait boum

My hosting here at 34sp.com is about to run out, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to make myself a new website. Doubtless the content will remain broadly the same, but with a shiny new look; very much like capitalism’s incessant “innovations” in that respect.

As I say, huh.34sp.com will cease to exist in about ten days, so if you have links or bookmarks, please update them (and my @huh.34sp.com e-mail address will stop working - new e-mail address at the new blog). The undead remains of the Wrong Side of Capitalism will remain to haunt my new blog at a new address.


Dear 9/11 truth movement

Your theories are not, in fact, so shocking that our squaresville minds can’t handle them. Indeed, precisely the opposite is the case. The problem with your theories is that they are far too banal. Oooh, the US government killed civilians for political purposes; how unexpected. Why go to all the trouble of constructing a conspiracy theory to uncover a crime that would be almost insignificant compared to the ones the government doesn’t even bother to deny? Please get back to me when you’ve constructed a theory blaming 9/11 on a group of rogue templars out to hide the secret alien hatcheries under Manhattan.


In his homeboys’ whips like he got mad cars

Exciting new blogs:

  • Rachel (of this parish) has been bullied by goths into setting up a livejournal (of course goths).
  • Ignorant Schoolmaster at Look For Me in the Whirlwind is teaching English and learning Bolivarianism in Caracas.
  • Last and certainly least, I’ve set up a blog for my academic persona, predominantly to dislodge a page I wrote when I was 16 from the top of the google results for my name.

There should be some exciting blog news about this blog shortly, as my hosting here runs out. The urge for destruction is also a creative urge!


Noam Chomsky hates the working class

Proof: He refuses to go to Burning Man.

You don’t think this is some kind of subtle viral marketing campaign from Burning Man, do you?  “If you have never been to Burningman, this year is the year to attend. Seriously consider spending some time with true potential,” which was in the original Indymedia post, sounds an awful lot like a PR agency came up with it.


End times

There’s been a certain amount of amusement in liberal circles about the eagerness with which the Christian right have greeted the war in Lebanon as a sign of the apocaplypse. And fair enough, it is pretty funny. But just laughing, I think, misses the mark somewhat. Think about it: not just the Middle East, but the freakishly hot weather of the last month (which isn’t over yet, as we’ll see the effects on hurricanes in the Autumn), or the latest security alert madness (the fact that its now just obvious to assume a terrorist alert is more or less manufactured for political purposes is terrifying). Isn’t the really funny thing that maybe the Christians are right?

Well, not entirely right about the coming of the rapture. But isn’t Christian apocalypticism a particularly sharp example of Žižek’s claim that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism? Imperialism, global warming, the security state: these aren’t simply fated, and on one level of course we all know that. But I wonder if we know it well enough.


Thank-you, Officer Siddhartha Gautama

I guess you know you’re in Berkeley when even the police are hippies (and you know the revolutionary potential of hippiedom is truly exhausted when it’s possible for the police to be hippies).

So, we had some stuff stolen from our house yesterday; I got off pretty lightly, as they didn’t take my (fairly new) desktop computer, just my laptop, which is pretty old and knackered.  The police came round to take down our details (why, I wonder, do I have to give the cops the number of my state ID when I report a crime?), look at the house to see how the people got in, dust for fingerprints, harass the neighbours, and generally do the things they do when there’s a burglary.

I imagine all this activity on their part is more or less ineffective, but the police officer who came round was quite pleasant, sympathetic and polite (terrifying-looking nightstick notwithstanding). As she was about to go, she asked us, “what have you learnt from all this?” Expecting a bit of a lecture on home security, I grumbled, “well, I guess we should make sure to check all the windows are closed whenever we leave the house.” She looked like she hadn’t expected that answer, and took a moment to mull it over. Then said, “and, you know, you should probably try and be less emotionally invested in material posessions.”


Hi and Ken Loach

Hello, I, er, haven’t posted here for ages. I post so rarely now, that I feel I ought to re-introduce myself every time I do. Anyway, I’m still at Sussex , but I’m back in Cambridge at the moment, working.

I just saw the film, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.� I won’t attempt to write a review here (for more information see here), but I’d just like to make one point. I liked that the film puts even some of the extremely harsh actions of the Irish republicans in context. The film is not a straightforward glorification of the republicans. It shows, that the old IRA did some fairly unpleasant things (for instance, the killing of someone who really only informed on them out of fear). However, these things are not shown to be simple atrocities. We see why the characters think that these actions are necessary, in the context of a war against the British. The film starts with a young man being beaten to death by the Black and Tans for refusing to say his name in English. The characters feel that they must be brutal against an enemy like that. Although I am certainly not a pacifist, I dislike that kind of brutality (even if the killing of the rather frightened and repentant informer helped them tactically, it still would not be justified, in my view), but it was good to see it contextualised.

I do have more to say about this film, but I will need to do a bit more research first. I intend to post more frequently now that I’m not studying.


Russian teenagers in MySpace-crazed expropriation spree!

Well they’re not actually Russian, they’re from Florida, but they have Russian names, so near enough. And, more importantly:

Two Florida girls aged 13 and 14 have been charged with armed robbery after allegedly setting up a bogus profile of an attractive woman to snare lonely men. The pair are said to have invented the identity of an 18-year-old called Natalia, who they described as “just lookin’ for some fun”. They also posted provocative photographs to entice men into chatting online. One alleged victim told police he spent two weeks building up a relationship with “Natalia” before he was invited to meet her at an apartment in Jacksonville. But when he turned up, he claims, he was met by one of the girls, who said she was the woman’s friend then robbed him at gunpoint.

“This was not the girl whose picture was on MySpace,” said the man, who wanted to remain anonymous. “She took the gun and put it to my head and said, ‘Empty out your pockets’.”


Cornish Pie

150 g (6 oz) shortcrust pastry
1 lb (450 g) shoulder of mutton
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 lb (450 g) apples
1 lb (450 g) onions
1 teaspoon each of salt and sugar

  1. Cut the mutton into neat pieces, removing as much fat as possible. Stew for 45 minutes until tender.
  2. Slice the onions and scald them by dropping into a pan of boiling water. Drain and put aside.
  3. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  4. Place a layer of onion and apple in the bottom of a deep pie dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar.
  5. Add a layer of meat and season.
  6. Continue with alternating layers of apples, onion and mutton. Finish with a layer of apple.
  7. Roll out the pastry and cover the pie. Decorate and glaze.
  8. Bake at 200°C, 400°F, mark 6 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C, 350°F, mark 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Surly Cosmonauts: Vanguard of Revolution

I spent a lot of last week reading Deleuze, Lovecraft, and Alien conspiracy literature. This doesn’t justify, but may explain, why I was, erm, “inspired” by infinite thought’s post on space exploration to make: