Archives for category: politics

I have been meaning to post these for a few days but I have been busy, and now I notice that Boing Boing have another post up about the new police posters turning up around Britain. Boing Boing’s previous posts are here and here . The reason I am posting about this is because the posters seem so poorly designed. The big words on the posters are the words you really don’t want to pay attention to. If you do, they come across as very authoritarian and scary. However, what you have to pay attention to is the small print. These posters are part of the police’s attempt to become more transparent in society. Take for example the poster below.

Police poster 01

The large text of this poster is scary, like everybody it is addressing is guilty of something. However, the small text is the bottom is the one to read. It says ” The Police now pledge to keep you informed on how they’re tackling neighbourhood crime. To find out more go to directgov.gov.uk/policingpledge or text PLEDGE to 66101″. Below this text is the title “The Policing Pledge”. Therefore, the poster is not meant to be part of the anti-terror posters that have crept in to the UK (here ,and here for fun remixes of the posters , noticed how all the links are to Boing Boing?)

The point I am trying to make is that this is the police is trying to make itself more personable and transparent yet they seem to be hiding the meaningful information behind intimidating wording and fonting. If you don’t spend the time reading the posters top to bottom, then you won’t get the message, which in advertising is a major problem i would think.

How about another poster to illustrate my point:

Police poster 02

Here the text underneath reads ” The police pledge to listen and respond to residents’ concerns about neighbourhood crime, To find out more go to directgov.gov.uk/policingpledge or text PLEDGE to 66101″. Again the big, bold type and words don’t help matters, and you have to spend time stopping and reading the small print.

Oh I should add that I am in Sheffield as are these posters.

“Last week I watched the most frightening horror movie I’ve ever seen.
It was about three hours long, and, incredibly, it all unfolded live.
I’m talking, of course, about the inauguration of Barack Obama.
Yes it was inspiring, yes it was uplifting … but it was also
genuinely terrifying on a very human level, because just like you I was
watching it with the terrible nagging suspicion that he might get shot
at any moment.”
Is how Charlie Brooker’s article detailing Obama’s inauguration begins. An articles which is ineresting and raises the point:

“Because, quite frankly, the vast majority of people on this planet
would be far happier if, for the remainder of his presidency, Obama
only makes public appearances encased within a gigantic
iron-and-concrete ball, addressing crowds via a Wi-Fi link to a nearby
tannoy.”

Which for me goes against the reason that Obama becoming president can appear to be so great. Yes, people may fear for his safety, but the current times allows for Obama to stand where he does and do the job he does, safely. It is the ability for Obama to appear in public, to interact with the country that elected him to the Presidential office, that makes the figure head of being President even more potent. If everybody, thought or knew, that Obama was hiding in a bunker, then it would appear to the world that Obama was not safe and that he was not what people wanted in the President.

Brooker’s original article is here

Sorry for the major gap in actual original content, with starting a new job and starting my research my free time is being eaten up.

The excerp below is from a New York Times column that was scripted by Aaron Sorkin (He of West Wing fame, and a few good men)

OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?

BARTLET Well … let me think. …We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know … I’m a little angry.

OBAMA What would you do?

BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

It may be a fictional meeting but that doesn’t stop the words being true. The rest is here

I realise this is my entry post into American Politics and the upcoming election. I guess you all know where I stand right in regards to it.

For an essay published in 1946 Aldous Huxley’s “Science, Liberty and Peace” took my breath away when I read it recently. It seemed to describe and analyse the world in which we live, or more specifically the world I inhabit, and even more so the world surrounding London, Britain.

You see recently I went home for the night and had to travel through central london and all I could notice was the ubiquitous cctv cameras there for my safety,and the stern police officers searching members of the public, all of which were asian (I take asia to be from Lebannon to the borders of china here), there were even sniffer dogs on my train.

In this stream of thoughts manifesting itself here I should also mention that as many people already talk of Orwells 1984, his ideas seem creepily real, yet when one wants an engaging ‘free roaming’ conversation on the subjects of society, technology and security one is met with hostility unless the other members of the discussion are already in agreement or wish to pursue the same avenue of discussion.

I am well aware this sounds like a rant and it is, and I am well aware that I am off he topic of Huxley’s essay. It is simply that all these thoughts and themes are interlinked.

Now back to Huxley.

Recently the Metropolitan police announced that cctv helped to stop 3% of crimes in London and their responce was to place more! recently there has also been a poster campaign to alert citizens to the danger of those with photographers. There are also more and more frequent reports of photographers being told it is illegal to take photos and in some cases detained by the authorities.

in my mind this is the minority leveraging the power of technology to pursue their own agenda’s, especially in terms of insular, defensive ‘nation states’ that are not at face value totalitarian, but instead leverage the power of media to inculcate a world of moral ethical rights and wrongs.

It seems that there are a lot of people who wish things to be different, but seemingly they are not heard or if they are not responded to or anything done about their concerns.

I may sound pissed off, and that’s because I am, I am feel like I have no place to air my views and even if when i tried to my local council they didn’t respond.

There is a point in Huxley’s essay where he says that in India pacifist tactics worked and those same tactics could and have functioned in the west. The problem is launching such a campaign and getting recognition and a change of behaviour by our ‘authorities’.

On a parting note did you know that digital computer encryption, like that used in online shopping used to be illegal in the USA until the mid 1990’s, it was termed as a weapon by their govnt.

p.s. I may come back to this and add links and try to clean it up, but for now you’ll have to search for the references to my thoughts yourselves.

“A huge, ancient, carnivorous dinosaur from the swamps at the heart of Republican country, not unlike Godzilla in appearance and wrinkled integument, McCain has seen better years. Nevertheless he can breathe fire and threaten to stomp flat the capital city of any country that Fox News disapproves of with the best of them.

The biggest danger in facing off against a McCain is that he might be under the mind control of the Svengali-like Cheney, Prince of Darkness. In this case, he is likely to be lethally aggressive and even more unpredictable than usual. “

The quote is from a link to John McCain, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama as D&D characters posted on the author Charles Stross’s Blog.

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