Friday, 26 April 2013

Facebook Debate


Okay so this is the conversation I promised. I've taken his name out and replaced it with “Other Guy” because it’s not nice to name and shame people. Apart from that all content is an exact copy.
If you disagree with me at any point please let me know! I make a lot of points, and they weren't always exceptionally well thought out, so I'm just proud I made them at all. As I said in the vlog, I like to be challenged, and that picture has made me think what exactly it is I believe in and stand for. Watch this space, I might even work it out one day.

Michael: Okay unfortunately I'm in an awkward mood and feel like being awkward with it. As a filthy, godless liberal, I wish to address each of these quotations. (Other Guy, I'm sorry, I know you just shared this and didn't actually make it, but still.)
Other Guy: I don't really relate this to Liberals even though it says it, because I saw it from one of my american friends who voted for Romney, so it's not the best of photos of course but the group of photos basically encompasses the 'student type' who protested over Thatchers funeral, moan about Cameron, moan about muslims and polish 'invading our country and taking our jobs' just because they can't get one themselves, then tells everyone else not to be racist. It's irritating.
MP: 1: We need to respect all culture and religion... Except Christianity. No we fekkin don't. We need to respect the rights of people to freedom of choice, whether that be religion, sexuality, gender identity, marriage or whatever. If a culture impedes these rights I am against it.
2: Believes in Freedom of Speech... Unless it Offends her. (okay so I'm a him). I can take offence. I want to hear your position, and I want to debunk it. Yes it annoys me, yes often it's just hilariously insulting, but you have a right to say it.
3: All corporations are evil.... religious devotion to Apple. I don't even know who makes my phone it's second hand xD Not a political thing there at all, I'm just poor 
4: Protests against the 1%... except (list). Okay so one of that list is, you know, American and I'm British, although it is a shame you need to be rich to run any kind of campaign. I don't mind people being rich, so long as they help the poor and pay their taxes.
5: Celebrate diversity except... conservative, straight, white (list). We celebrate straight whites a lot in English history class. "Diversity" is often "lets talk about someone ELSE for a bit". It's unfortunate that most white people we cover are warmongers or Imperialists and most "diverse" people we cover are idealists who died almost martyr's deaths, but that's an imbalance in the teaching system. Again, you have a right to your views, just accept I am going to argue them.
6. Hates capitalism... goes to a private.... Again, British/English. I go to a university and rack up debt. And I do a science.... granted it's a social science.
MP: RANT OVER. Kind of. If you don't believe the picture don't post it. The people who protested Thatcher's funeral had genuine grievances, not least because very few politicians ever get a state funeral and to give on to someone a lot of people hate? And I have never moaned about muslims and polish "invading our country" (just to say, that's what a lot of liberals blame conservatives for saying. Funny how that works!).

OG: I believe the picture, I just don't relate to the top quote which is about 1/8 of the entire photograph. And alot of people who protested against her funeral had no grievances at all, that's rubbish. I know people who 1. Don't pay tax 2. Weren't alive when she was around 3. Whose families were not affected by her, who still moaned and met up to protest simply because it gave them something to do. Just like the London Riots, did everyone protest 'against the government because of police tyranny for killing a man who was known already to be criminal scum but because he wasn't white everyone went up in flames about it'? No. People rioted for the sake of jumping on the band wagon.
MP: ALL our lives were affected by Thatcher. Often through inaction by later (and if you want to argue political history, earlier) Labour politicians, I grant you. And thought you may know some people who fit into your categories, does not mean EVERYONE fits. And just because you don't pay taxes does not prohibit you from protesting. Although I would contest it if they held up "I don't want my taxes paying for this" sign. If they did, you have a valid point. As an addendum, and at the risk of a personal attack, you were not alive when she was around, so why are you defending her? If you condemn people who were born after for attacking her, surely you should condemn people born after for defending her?

And yes, some people may have done it for something to do. But it was not violent, it was a a quiet protest to show that we do not all support Thatcher.
MP: As for the riots... that was one hell of a complicated event and we could throw whole book's worth of words at each other. I'm just going to refrain from responding. I would even argue it was not a political issue. "Liberals" didn't loot, looters did.
OG: Basically, I'll put it this way. People who protest and moan about the government, like students who protested over the £9000 uni fee. Why should the government pay your drinking tab? Most £9000 if you look at surveys they've done goes to 2-3 books but mostly for alcohol and condoms. And a vast majority of them drop out anyway or choose a completely different job than what they studied for. That is why I do not like these moaning student types. Yes, not everyone is like that, but you make it sound like no student is like that. Theres no point defending people who wouldn't give a poop about the real situation if they were given the chance to do something. If many people were given the chance for a 1 on 1 interview with Cameron, more than half wouldn't have the balls to say anything nor would they say they had much of a problem. We could argue about it all day but of course, your liberal, so your view was written in stone when the world was created. That's the trouble with political views, someone always has something to retaliate to something someone says, hence why so many dictatorships are becoming popular.
MP: The £9000 fee has nothing to do with drinking... It goes straight to the university, we don't see it. What you are thinking of is the Maintenance Loan, which admittedly does go to drinking, as well as food, accommodation, heating, water, electric (depending on how nice your landlord is. The student housing system is... odd, to say the least). The maintenance loan is dependent on your family income (the more your family earns, the less you get). If your family is very low income you can get a grant, or certain reliefs and bursaries, often university funded, and high achievers often receive scholarships. At the end we have to pay off the tuition fee AND the maintenance loan, with certain conditions in place. I personally view it more as a tax on education than a debt, as it does not follow the usual pattern for debts (for instance, its is income dependant and if you can't pay it no-one demands the money). This system was created BY the conservatives, and I actually think they did a pretty fair job of it. The problem was mostly in the education about it, as you so wonderfully showed, and I think this scared a lot of people away. Also the chances of paying off your debt are quite low, so in 30 years time we could have an issue. But that remains to be seen.

Also we get condoms free  As can you! Just go to Connexions, they give you free condoms. Not so sure about doctors, you'll have to ask. Don't be afraid to, they are often very friendly.
OG: As I said before, the problem with Liberals, 'Believes in Freedom of Speech, Unless it offends them'. As you've shown yourself, my opinions offended you so you've had a rant on a photo, you have inadvertently proven my point and the photographs point good sir.
MP: If I had a chance to talk to Cameron? Interesting, you've actually made me think what I'd say. For one, I'd congratulate him on being the politician to see through gay marriage. I'd probably open with that. Then I'd say "I'm NOT a Thatcherite" because, well, I'm not. And neither is he, really. After that? I'm not so sure. I mean I don't like Cameron that much, but I don't really hate him either. Get rid of Osbourne, that would be nice. Give Vince Cable a shot, it is a coalition after all. Beyond that? I'll have a look.

My views were not set in stone when the world was created, although nice dramatic statement there. I'm not going to argue that the world was not "created" because I'm pretty sure you meant that as a metaphor. My views constantly change, and have done for a while. I think it's because I am still young, and I'm still taking in all the information the world presents me with and trying desperately to sort it.

Just a little debating tip. I cannot follow your arguments very well, a lot of them do not follow logically. Just sit back, think through what you want to say, then write it. The last points about dictatorships particularly did not flow from the previous reasoning.

OG: Trololol, debating tips? This is Facebook my dear boy, if you want to debate, go join a debating club in your university, it's what your £9k went towards yes? You are a typical liberal as stated above, someone begins to prove your points wrong, you get offended and have to disagree with the points. It's a shame.

OG: And I await your long, drawn out case against my comment.

MP: My point is you said you did not agree with the photo. " I don't really relate this to Liberals even though it says it,". By all means post it, but try to post views or photos which accurately show your beliefs.

I was, in truth, offended by this picture. But I don't want you to take it down unless you want to. For one thing, I got to have a jolly good rant about it. I can take being offended, so long as I am allowed to talk back. But if you do not agree with something, you perhaps should not post it?

Facebook can actually be a medium for intelligent debate, believe it or not. And if I am offended by something, it is only natural that I will disagree and retaliate. Part of offence is disagreeing. I could hardly be offended if I agreed with the picture now could I?

Again, you misunderstand what the £9000 tuition fee goes towards. If anything, I just told you that the cost to the government is HIGHER than you initially assumed, and yet you do not take advantage of this new bit of information? I would have thought that's a pretty good argument for you to use, and in honesty I have little counter to it.

MP: (I'm glad you do, because I wrote it  )

MP: Anyway, I must apologise and leave, I'm tired, and seeing as I don't want to squander my £9000 drinking fund by starting the booze late tomorrow, I better get some sleep. Goodnight!*

OG: I can post what I wish, freedom of speech my dear sir, that is what all you liberal types moan about but don't like other people having as stated above 

I don't take down things that offend people and make them butthurt over. Deal with it  I agree with it now I have seen a liberal rant first hand, thank you

But I did not offer a debate so infact it is just you being angry over a hilarious photo. And yes you could have actually.

Again, you are wrong my dear boy. If I were you I wouldn't waste your time replying as your typing vast amounts of information for a point that I don't care about. Then again that is politics is it not?

(Good! Classic liberal personality shining through  )

MP: Unfortunately, I also have freedom of speech, and so I get to make a reply. Of course this being Facebook you could just delete my comment(s), but I'm sure you want to keep this as a reminder of how your views are infallible.

Equally unfortunately, for my tired mind and worn fingers last night, you did not even seem to read any of my comments. I suppose they were quite long. If you had, you would see how pretty much all of your final statements are invalid. Oh well.

OG: Oh Michael, your so butthurt it makes my laugh. The verybpoint and reason of this photo was to offed liberals and watch them try debate and draw out long, useless points about what they believe in when really, no one cares.

MP: My butt is not in anyway hurt. You miss the point where I like doing this, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.**

*This was incredibly immature, I know.

 **Yes this is actually how it ended.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Comments...

I was looking through the old posts, and realised I hadn't replied to some reader's comments! Considering the rarity of such comments, I sought to fix this.

And realised the reason I never comment is because the publish comment button doesn't seem to work. I'm sorry to anyone who writes comments, many of them very intelligent or inspiring, and never gets a reply. I'll work on the issue.

The Death, and Bells, of Margaret Thatcher


I’m not a big one on politics. I have my basic views but the knowledge, particularly historical, is pretty lacking. But it’d be pretty impressive not to hear of the death of Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

Ding dong the… wait, more about that in a minute.

Okay so here is what I do know about Margaret Thatcher. I know she was Prime Minister from’ 79 to ‘90. I know she shut down the mines. I know that my parents dislike her, and suffered under her. I know that some people love her, and that one paper even reported her as the most loved Prime Minister of all. I know the guy at the train station today had to take 5 jobs to keep his family going under whilst she was in power. I know that she was re-elected twice, and is the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th century. I know she has the lovely nickname of “milk-snatcher”.

So, bit of an interesting character. I’m not here to discuss whether she was a good or bad influence on Britain; that’s been done, and it changes nothing. Actually nothing I discuss in this blog changes anything, I understand that, but it’s nice to write.  Plus, as I’ve said, I don’t know much about her and my dislike of her is purely ideological, and ideology is not sufficient grounds to discuss someone who had more than ideological influences. No, the issue I’m going to discuss is current and still under discussion.

In short, a campaign has sprung up to get the song “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” to the number one position on the downloads chart this week, in “celebration” of her passing. In case you were wondering, this is what it sounds like, although if you never saw Wizard of Oz as a child I feel sorry for you. Sure it’s filled with plot holes, but it just kind of essential viewing. I’m getting off topic aren’t I?

People have branded it hateful, and eventually the BBC decided to only play a 5 second clip of it, as well as an explanation of why a song from 1939 is in the charts.

There’s two facets to this argument which, sadly, I arrived a little late to, as I always do. First: Is the campaign justified? And secondly: Should the BBC have decided to play it? I’ll tackle the first one first, because my originality and zaniness knows no bounds.

When I first heard about this campaign, I laughed in the face of my friend who opposed it and cheered it on. Whilst I never uttered the words “stick it to the man”, I believe my feelings were on par with the meaning of that sentence (Although she was a woman, damn androcentric wording). But then I sat back and thought about it (I had a long train journey), and I found I actually don’t like this campaign. For one, she’s not died in office. Her death didn’t stop her in her stride; she left office 23 years ago. And the campaign changes nothing. If this song reaches number 1, the coal mines won’t re-open, the milk won’t magically appear in the hands of grasping infants, and the course of the Falklands war won’t change. And although it’s easy to see political figures and leaders as singular entities, somehow removed from the trappings of families and relationships, she has a family. It’s bad enough to know that your mum is reviled by half a country (I’m guessing here), but to have people actively cheer her death? To know that people have mobilised their resources to mark her passing with “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”? That’s got to sting.

This is nothing short of a campaign of hate, and a fruitless one at that. I held back from buying the song off iTunes, no matter how enticingly cheap it would be to spit in the face of a woman who I hear nothing but scorn about (except for a few isolated individuals, but I am aware I’m probably isolated from contrary opinions because people tend to pick friends who have similar views. Psychology!) because actually, I don’t agree.

But should the BBC play it?

Here’s an interesting thing to think about next time you absolutely hate a politician, either current or historical; a lot of people had to like them to vote them in. Not a majority, because politics is often messed up, but if everyone hated them, if everyone saw how “obviously stupid” it would be to vote for them, they wouldn’t get in for you to rant about them.

And for this song to reach number 1, people would have had to have bought it. We can’t know why, of course, but they did. Much like an election, this song represents the views of people in a population. That view could be “yeah fuck Margaret Thatcher, because!” or “Personally I suffered under her so I wish to announce my satisfaction that such a baleful influence has been removed from this planet, even if the damage has been done,” or any other reason, but people made the choice to buy this song, made the choice to support the campaign and somebody, somewhere, chose to start it. If it’s number 1, that’s a lot of people. Should their views be silenced?

Bear in mind that, unlike “Killing in the Name” (a protest song I did support, if for no other reason it made Christmas a bit more exciting), “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” is not an offensive song except in this context. Or if you played it at a funeral, I guess. I watched the Wizard of Oz when… I can’t even remember the first time I watched it, said time was before my infant brain was up to scratch with formulating coherent memories. My point is it’s a children’s film and a children’s song. If the song chosen was nothing more than 4 minutes of “Fuck Margaret Thatcher” on repeat, then ban it by all means (if for nothing else, that song sounds terrible), but no-one swears in Oz, and no-one swears in “Ding Dong.”

And whilst the clip I linked was over 4 minutes, the song people are downloading is just 51 seconds. I could take 51 seconds of being horribly offended (yes, that is a challenge).

So I think yes, the BBC should play it, in its glorious, 51 second entirety. This the view of people, expressed in a song. I may not agree with the expression, and even questions with their motives, but the BBC cannot silence people’s views. 

You, dear radio listener, can. Turn Radio 1 off. Switch to Magic for a few days. If you get offended by the songs on Magic, there is no hope for you.