Smash Big Tech’s Robber Baron Cartel Now!

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The thing that puts me off libertarianism is the “more libertarian than thou” game so many libertarians like to play.

“What? You mean you don’t believe that enterprising heroin dealers should be free to ply their wares in kindergartens so as to catch ’em while they’re young? You’re not a real libertarian. You’re a fascist control freak…”

All right, I exaggerate. But the latest libertarian test is very real – and is the subject of a big falling out between two National Review writers Victor Davis Hanson and Kevin Williamson.

See where you stand.

a) Facebook, Google, Twitter etc are the equivalent of 19th Century robber baron monopolies ripe for breaking up under Anti-Trust regulation because of their overmighty power and their iniquitous war on free speech and their outrageous bias against conservatives.

b) What are you saying, man? Don’t you see, this is, like, a violation of everything we libertarians believe in? You can’t – Pass me that joint, will you? You’re bogarting it. Yes you are – where was I? Oh yeah, look, it’s like this: if you’re gonna complain about Christian bakeries being prosecuted for refusing to bake gay cakes because of they violate their religious principles, you’re just being hypocritical complaining when YouTube puts restrictions on PragerU videos because they violate their liberal principles. Either you believe in free markets or you don’t.

If you’re a) you’re with Victor Davis Hanson who outlines his case here.

If you’re b) you’re with Kevin Williamson, who has now unfathomably accepted the King’s Shilling to take on the job of house libertarian at that famous bastion of free speech, liberty and alternative viewpoints The Atlantic.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Facebook Banned Me for Defending Milo

Facebook just put me on the naughty step for a piece I wrote defending the future Rector of Glasgow University. (aka Milo).

I’d love to repost it here so that you can see how harmless it was, how totally not in breach of a single one of Facebook’s “Community Standards”. But because Facebook deleted it before I could save it you’re just going to have to take my word that it did not contain “direct threats”, encourage “self-injury”, promote “dangerous organizations”, enable “bullying and harassment” or involve any “attacks on public figures”. Nor did it engage in “criminal activity”, “sexual violence and exploitation” or have anything to do with “regulated goods”.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Annoying Tosser of the Day

My annoying tosser of the day is ‘Professor’ David Phoenix, ‘Vice Chancellor’ of South Bank ‘University’.

I feel all those inverted commas are necessary because it’s only a jumped up polytechnic and I suspect his title – and his OBE: he’s got an OBE FFS! – owes more to services to time-serving, bureaucracy and rampant left-wingery than anything he has achieved in academe.

You can listen to him on Radio 4 Today which I’ll post below. The section is about 2.48 in.

He’s responding to a study from the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) which suggests that about 9 out of 10 university lecturers swing left rather than the right.

Well we hardly needed the ASI to tell us this. Anyone with even the remotest association with academe knows it to be the case. Universities are the Helm’s Deep of PC lunacy. Only a reality denying idiot would dispute this.

Step forward ‘Professor’ Dave – who did just that.

The sample, he said, was too small.

And there was no left-wing bias on campus – because at South Bank ‘University’ they really valued free speech.

That was it. That was his argument. “There is no left-wing or free speech problem on campus anywhere in Britain because I, ‘Professor’ Dave say so.”

Mind you, the whole segment was a farce. Why did Today have to book such a dogmatic, naysaying leftist who just killed the discussion stone dead? Why couldn’t it have been somebody with something germane and informed to say like Professor Frank Furedi? Or a woman? How about a woman? Radio 4 loves women and there are loads of really good ones it could have got to strike the right gender balance – Claire Fox, say?

And why did the author of the report, Ben Southwood, have to present it in such a meek, almost apologetic way that he damned near went along with interviewer Justin Webb’s suggestion that the report was meaningless?

Here was an opportunity for Britain’s premier daily current affairs programme to broach one of the major cultural issues of our times: our kids at universities are being brainwashed by a bunch of thick trots; they actually believe ‘safe spaces’ are an important thing; free speech is increasingly constrained.

And BBC Radio 4 Today programme – as per sodding usual – ducked it completely. Shame on you, Today programme. You are such a piece of shit. And the worst of it is, you don’t even know WHY you’re so shit. You think that non-debate you conducted there was emblematic of fairness and balance.

Listen for yourself. Keep a sick bag handy.

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I’ve Always Made a Noise at My Noisome TV

I’ve always made a noise at my noisome TV

For as long as I can remember, I have been shouting at my TV screen. Possibly the first occasion would have been circa 1971, in sheer irritation at the infuriating, self-defeatingly named kiddie programme Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?

Perhaps it was even earlier than that. Though I liked Teddy, I used to find Andy Pandy incredibly wet. Bill and Ben were incomprehensible. The Clangers whistled too much. ZsaZsa the Cat and Kiki the Frog were quite maddening in the way they ganged up on Hector the Dog. As for Florence in the Magic Roundabout, what a goodie-goodie!

So, yes, I must confess to a certain amount of sneaking sympathy with Martin Soloman, the pensioner who has just been banned by the courts from using his radio or his TV (on top of 14 months in jail) because of his noisy, foul-mouthed rants at programmes that irritated him. I’m sure it must have been awful for his neighbours and I wouldn’t want to condone it. But I can definitely see where he was coming from, especially where his absolute bête noir was concerned: Question Time.

For Question Time is indeed the most annoying programme in the history of broadcasting. Annoying for so many reasons that just thinking about it makes me want to put a sledgehammer through every TV in the house. (Which, presumably, is why my wife so rarely lets me watch it.)

David Dimbleby is annoying because he always interrupts the speakers you like with pointless questions, and always gives a free pass to the idiocies of the speakers you hate. The people in the audience are annoying because they are always too cocky, or too nervous, or too stupid, or too wrong. And the guests are annoying because the ones you agree with aren’t sufficiently sympathetic or forthright, and the ones you disagree with always say such thoroughly disagreeable things at such disagreeable length.

Still, if Question Time were the only culprit, life would be simple: all you’d have to do is never watch it. Unfortunately, though, it is merely the tip of an ever-expanding iceberg. To watch TV these days, you’d almost imagine that programme-makers consider it their primary duty to peeve, irk and irritate viewers into a state of foaming apoplexy.

Obvious examples include Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock Live (four Leftist comics banging on Leftishly for an audience of Guardian readers); Masterchef (once about amateur cookery; now transformed into one of those sadistic Japanese game shows Clive James used to find so droll); Shameless (in which we are invited to celebrate the kind of dole-scrounging asbo-collectors who are ruining our country); and, of course, Big Brother and The X Factor, whose unremitting, weapons-grade annoyingness needs no explanation.

Perhaps this is deliberate. In advertising, it has long been known that the commercials that are the most annoying (eg the one with the meerkat) are also the most effective. So maybe this is just TV’s way of competing for our attention in the age of such myriad distractions as Facebook, Twitter and Call of Duty.

Or perhaps it is simply a function of my age. Maybe there are millions and millions of younger people who don’t find the programmes I’ve named at all irritating, who don’t swear at their screens, as I did the other night when I realised, while watching the fourth episode of Channel 4’s The Promise, that not once – not once – had the female lead done anything other than look sulky and bored.

If the latter is the case, I can only offer my apologies to my next-door neighbours. And a warning as well: don’t judge me too harshly. It happens to us all in the end.

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6 thoughts on “I’ve always made a noise at my noisome TV”

  1. Thumbnail says:4th March 2011 at 2:11 amAustralia is on the brink of setting a price for carbon, which is turning out to be political poison for the Labor Government and Julia Gillard who has sidled up to the Greens to form a coalition government.This youtube is well worth a watch.

    Please watch it. It comes up when googling ‘carbon tax downfall’.

    Oh, we need all of the help we can get.

    Fyi and if you can use it, please do so.

  2. Thumbnail says:4th March 2011 at 2:11 amOh, and I yell at the TV too. I draw the line at yelling at laptop.
  3. David Heffron says:4th March 2011 at 10:36 amI agree with what James is saying about the guests on Question Time. Thing is, I suspect we are thinking about the exact opposite guests.I also mostly agree with the comments about the 10 O’clock Live. However from my experience of comedy there are very few right-leaning commedians out there. The best one is probably Dennis Miller in the US, but I can’t think of one in the UK right now. One that’s good anyway.
    That said, the 10 O’clock Live, or indeed any topical show is going to (mostly) have a go at the guys in charge. There’s not a lot of milage in material about environmentalists or CND supporters because they have relativly little power (there’s probably a lot of people who will disagree with that). If you want an example of this is urge you to youtube “The Half Hour News Hour”, an attempt by Fox news to come up with a right leaning version of the Daily Show – it was really, really, REALLY bad. I mean REALLY bad.
  4. JimmyGiro says:4th March 2011 at 4:18 pmNot many Jewish comedians in the Third Reich either, David.You pays your licence fee, and you take what’s LEFT.
  5. Martin Lack says:4th March 2011 at 4:35 pmJames,You may be surprised to know that I quite often find your writing genuinely funny (i.e. when you’re ignorance of science does not not make me genuinely angry). However, I think you are on very dangerous territory in criticising the likes of Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell, and Jimmy Carr. Personally, I think Jimmy Carr’s “news summary” on the “10 O’clock Live” show is one of the funniest things on the TV at the moment.

    So, all things considered, you might be best to eschew the humour in favour of the pseudo-science – it is much more your thing really, let’s be honest…

  6. JimmyGiro says:4th March 2011 at 7:11 pmLoud cheering, long applause, short laughs… 10 O’Clock Live, Stalin’s choice TV.

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