So it looks like Tumblr is royally screwing the pooch (possibly bad choice of words) over this “blanket ban on adult content” thats going on over there right now, which seems to have left the site determined to drive a wedge between the service and it’s user base. While the circumstances are different, somewhat depressingly this has revealed its routes in a trend that is common across the modern social media orientated internet, and is simply a new reaction to an existing problem.
The fix is in, Hypothetical Audience, the ballots have closed and the votes have been counted, the 2015 UK General Election has come to an end. The results? For me, at least, down right disappointing. Despite opinion polls to the contrary, things went the Conservatives way, allowing them an actual majority this time around, meaning 5 more years of David Cameron in power, but this time, with him having actually won, no other party involved to get in the way of his schemes. As someone who’s been pretty much opposed to most of the coalition government’s goings on since 2010 this has not been the result I was anticipating. Not in the slightest.
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Dear Hypothetical Audience, if you live in the UK please go and vote today. This is one of the most important, most contested elections in years so go and make your boice heard!
The five years are up, Hypothetical Audience, the playgrounds have emptied, Westminster’s head mistress has sent the children home again and, as is traditional, our country has reverted to a state of anarchy until we all manage to sort this mess out amongst ourselves. Yes, that’s right, it’s General Election time again here in dear old Blighty, so roving gangs adorned with garish rosettes are harassing innocent bystanders again. Given how the previous one was a total bust and resulted in essentially an unelected head of government taking the reins, this one is kind of important. Unlike the last one, however, things have changed substantially on the UK’s political landscape over the last half-decade, and the traditional “Big 3” parties no longer have the kind of influence over people anymore, and the minor parties can actually make a difference now. For better or worse. If you hadn’t guessed over the previous postings here (and certainly if you ever read my twitter feed) I am a very political person, so have been watching developments very closely indeed.
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Dear Mr. Cameron,
Please allow me to congratulate you on your recent declaration of intent to destroy the menace to our modern society that is private encrypted communications. For too long, in my opinion, has our nation been blighted by privacy, banking, digital security and all the other terrors visited upon us by not allowing the government, and indeed anyone else, to access any and all information we possess and send digitally. A masterstroke, I say, and seeing such a high profile politician as our Dear Leader throw his weight behind the glorious Crusade against privacy and technology. And as if to add to the genius of it all, by making this announcement mere days after a terrible atrocity committed with the aim of stifling an alleged freedom (albeit in an entirely different, devious foreign country) it showed how utterly dedicated you are to the cause! Compared to those other johnny-come-lately alleged right-wing parties currently trying to challenge your dominance, you certainly are a shining example of what the conservative right is truly about! However, for all this outpouring of adoration for this new scheme, allow me to make one or two modest proposals on where to go from here.
This Friday just gone the forces of the great crass-consumerism monoculture struck yet another blow against common sense and caused chaos on the streets of Great Britain. I am, dear hypothetical audience, of course talking about the inexplicable export and subsequent rise in popularity of that peculiar American tradition of The-Friday-After-Thanksgiving-Sales-Chaos, or, as it’s known to its friends, Black Friday. And when I say chaos, I really do mean it, in stores up and down the country masses of people who’d for some reason bought into the whole crazy mess descended in their droves. Incidents involved police being called to various branches of Tescos, shoppers fighting over allegedly cheap televisions, people causing affray and so on. All in the name of great deals. By which I mean consuming.
A hundred years ago this July just gone perhaps the largest military disaster of recent times began. Over the course of 4 years around 17 million people, both military and civilian, were killed when the various empires of the world, to borrow a phrase, decided it was too hard not to fight anymore (which is a very basic version of events but works here for sake of brevity). I am, of course, referring to the First World War. And since it’s been a whole century it’s become the theme of the year to commemorate it. As you can predict this has become a bit of a media circus in the UK, and not one I personally feel is wholly appropriate given the circumstances.
Recently I’ve been spending some time planning various excursions around the country across the coming months, mostly to use up what holiday time I had left at work. Due to neither owning, being able to afford or wanting a car right now I am pretty much at the mercy of public transport, which around here means inevitably the railway when long distances are involved. While I’m not really averse to rail travel, the state of the railways in the mainland UK are, to be blunt, not brilliant these days. So in an effort to generate some catharsis on recent rail based experiences I’ve decided to put typeface to word processor and write about the whole thing and bring you, my loyal hypothetical audience, along for the ride. You Lucky, Lucky People.
Ever notice, dear hypothetical reader, that while you’re out and about on these here interwebs that there seems to be an awful lot of controversies going on that seem to have been instigated by gates. Once trusted guardians of area security seem to have their hands in a lot of dodgy dealings I can tell you, and I don’t think I’ll ever trust them again, or their shady consorts railings. Ok, in case you haven’t guessed yet I’m being facetious for comedic effect, but in all honesty, the phrase “-gate” tends to get added to pretty much every controversy big or small these days. Sometimes it’s by the media, other times it’s by normal folk, but always with a weary sense of inevitability.