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Ian Himself

Fight back

I have a little sympathy with IanB, but I must emphasise, only a little. I understand his anger and his frustration, but much as I admire his understanding and insight I have always felt his comments to be far too pessimistic for my taste.

Fashions change, viewpoints alter, and a robust debate is still possible. However, I think the manner in which debate takes place must change.

For a long time I have given people this aphorism – Those on the right think their opponents are mistaken, the left thinks their opponents are evil.

Well, I was wrong.

Who thinks New Labour are a bunch of pleasant but misled people? Harriet Harman and her misandrous campaign to subvert the legal system? Barry O and his shafting of the Chrysler bond holders? Many of them retired Chrysler workers who thought they were investing for their old age until The One forced an Enron on them. Stop the War Coalition and their sucking up to the most vile opponents of free, secular and democratic societies. Jennifer Lynch and her determination to stamp out any opinion she disagrees with.

Sure, there are decent left. I disagree with much I read at Harry’s Place, but on the core issues I have no argument with them. They may disagree with much I say, but they don’t want to shut me up or criminalise my opinions.

The rest do.

We have allowed these people to set the terms of the debate. Remember the Tory conference in 2002? Theresa May, in her leopard skin shoes with kitten heels, telling the faithful that they were seen as the nasty party and that they had to change? I wanted to scream at her to shut up shut up shut up.

She was accepting her opponents terms of conflict and conceding the battlefield without further skirmish. Stupid cow. The Tory party was never the nasty party outside the fevered fantasies of the LSE and the BBC, and accepting this label condemned us to twelve years of the truly nasty New Labour.

Well, we know who the nasty party is now, and we need to tell them in no uncertain terms.

Socialism is unworkable crap, forced collectivism is offensive. Multiculturalism is poison to any society. This pernicious doctrine encourages ghettoisation and creates division where none need have existed.

You don’t believe in multiculturalism? You must be racist. You must be anti immigrant. Of course. What putrid garbage this claim is. I come from an immigrant society and I have been an immigrant. To claim I am anti immigrant is tripe, without recent population movements I wouldn’t even exist. So what do we say? Easy, remember the melting pot? The idea that races, cultures and people meld rather than remain separate?

To hell with being polite in discussion. You have seen Greenpeace stands, covered in slogans which all boil down to claims that humanity are a pestilence? When was the last time you pointed out to one of these ignorant do gooders just what a repulsive organisation they belonged to? Dishonesty, lies, smear of honest enterprises and incessant misanthropy.

Take Polly Toynbee. Please. Ok, sorry, the woman is either living in a fantasy, an Obamasque world of butterflies, governmental cornucopia and unicorns, or she truly approves of what New Labour have done to Britain, in which case she is not fit for civilised company.

George Monbiot actually wants to see us all poorer. He really and truly wants to see us all less capable of dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. This is not some poor misinformed and semi numerate product of New Labours schools, this is a literate, numerate and sophisticated thinker.

Truly, how misinformed is Gordon Brown, with his endogenous growth theory? He knew what he was doing for ten years at Treasury.

Schools? State education, a public good, free at the point of delivery and paid for through universal taxation? Or government mandated political indoctrination paid for by expropriation of the fruits of your labour?

These people are evil, and I have had a gutful. New Labour is a fascist organisation, and I don’t mean fascist as in the standard lefty smear of “I don’t like you therefore you are a fascist”. I mean fascist as in Mussolini would have appreciated the principles and policies this lot spew around.

For decades we have let them set the agenda and the terms of the debate, and they could do it because everyone knows socialists are just so much nicer than everyone else. Well stuff that.

These are repugnant people, misanthropic, arrogant, spiteful and disdainful of choice. Call them what they are, and take the fight to the streets.

Ian, I invited you to join CCinZ because, despite any disagreements I might have had with you, I regarded you, and still do regard you, as an articulate, principled and doughty fighter in the cause of freedom, choice and human dignity. I would rather have you watching my back than just about anyone else I know. If you want to give up that is up to you, but I want my country back.

The invitation to help us both achieve this stands, and will continue to do so. Once a Kitty Kounter, always a Kitty Kounter.

Update: And I apologise to all and sundry for failing to mention Sir Johnathon Porritt Bt, and his repugnant plans to ‘deal’ with the problem of excess people.

My Last Post

As of this moment in time, it’s my intention that this will be my last post or comment or rant or rave or whatnot on the libertarianoblogophere (or whatever it’s called). I should immediately add that I’m not doing a bit silly Old Holbornesque flouncing out or anything, and it’s certainly nothing to do with the guys here at Counting Cats, who are a fabulous bunch, well, except me, I’m a bit of a twat really, but Cats, Nick and Daphne are wonderful guys.

But I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of being angry. I’m always angry, angry from the moment I wake to the moment I managed to get back to sleep; angry at the world, angry at society, angry that the only meaningful description left of western society is “a society predicated on being an endless slippery slope”. I’m furious at the progressivist hegemony and its endless, foaming revolution, at peeping fearfully at the news each day wondering what latest horror they have decided to inflict upon us, and being powerless.

That anger in its various forms has led to me being a little bit known in the liberalishblogosphere as a serial commenter, and some people have even paid me some entirely undeserved compliments for that, but after several billions of words and all the letters worn off my keyboard and my fingerprints replaced by enormous calluses from the endless ferocious typing, I have to accept that not only have I achieved nothing, doing so has no hope of ever achieving anything and all it actually does is make me even more angry and then I go and type another one and so on and so on.

That’s not, I hasten to add, meant to imply that the libertysortofstuffofsphere isn’t achieving anything; quite the contrary, it is a fine example of modern pamphleteering. But I’ve also come to recognise, finally, that I’m an oddball, verging on a crank (perhaps beyond verging, in fact) even among liberally libertarianish liberty types. I am at heart a libertine, and the approved dogma of libertarianism, which is largely an economic creed, is something I see merely as a necessary precondition for social and personal liberty. I recognise and heartily support the requirement for a free market and economic liberty in order to have other liberty, but it’s the “other” that motivates me; for me a free society is one in which somebody can smoke a joint in their local boozer without a licence, then pop into their local shop for some gay hobbit porn and a tin of heroin. Anything short of that isn’t liberty, so far as I am concerned, and the latter- the drugs, booze and gay hobbit porn is, even to most libertarians (at least us British types) sort of tangential to the main issues of getting us back on the gold standard, banning fractional reserve banking and finding a pure platonic proof of the anarcho capitalist system. Or whatever.
Even the people on “my side” of things usually seem to see the gay hobbit porn and other social liberties as kind of “something you’d have to tolerate” rather than as something to actively desire to exist. It’s not uncommon to see a stuffy “there is a difference between liberty and licence” kind of argument, which frankly I think is bollocks, but that’s just me. Literally. I seem to be along way out on the leftfield of libertarianism; in fact somewhere outside the stadium in the car park, so far as I can tell.

So, rather than keep expending energy trying to swim against every tide, including the one I’m supposed to be swimming with, I am attempting, in a possibly vain attempt to maintain my sanity, to withdraw, and concentrate on tending my roses, kind of thing.

The other thing is, I feel I’m at the end of my personal journey. Some years ago, back when I still thought I was some kind of Leftie, I began to realise that something was (from my point of view, at least) going terribly terribly wrong. It seemed that the world was adopting, universally, ideas that were quite clearly (to me) mad, and I wanted to understand why. The pursuit of that understanding took me a lot of interesting places intellectually- not least of all towards libertarianism. I wandered down a lot of blind alleys, searching to understand what had got us to this point. Initially, as I began this quest, I imagined announcing some conclusion on a website, hehe, and at other times have even fantasised about writing a book (which is probably an indication of how delusional the whole thing has made me; the idea that people would want to read The Truth, By Ian B, nobody of no reknown, is ridiculous). But I think I now feel that I have my narrative. I know how we got here, at least to my own satisfaction. Unfortunately, that narrative just isn’t one that anybody is going to want. It doesn’t even fit with the traditional “libertarian narrative” and ultimately suggests that the anglosphere (particularly the USA and UK) is the source of the problem, which is the last thing a bunch of people who deify a narrative based on how We Taught The World About Liberty are going to be interested in. The probability of me somehow turning around the oil tankers of belief is a number which pretty precisely approximates zero, especially as marshalling sufficient evidence to prove this narrative (which I admittedly have patched together from insufficient evidence to convince anybody else) is something I just don’t have the time or resources for. One of the bottom lines is, in a kind of a nutshell, that it now seems evident to me that the Western World always had sown within it the seeds of its own destruction (ho ho!) and in all likelihood is going to have to destroy itself, and then there will be some awful thuggish sort of global fascism, and then at some point after I am long dead somebody else will have another crack at liberty and maybe get it right next time. We are nowhere near the end of history; some future society will lump us in with the Middle Ages as a superstitious, mad society they are glad they don’t have to suffer, and will look upon the tyranny of this age in much the same way as we look at the age of the Spanish Inquisition. We aren’t an advanced society yet. We never were. We’re living a lie.

But that’s just my opinion. I don’t believe I have any means at my disposal to change anybody else’s mind on this, and, since I’m pretty much in a minority of one, the chances are anyway that I am some kind of loony crank and everybody else is right. Or, at least, somebody else is right. The probability of it being me alone, an uneducated electrician turned “adult” cartoonist, who discovered The Truth, is infinitesimal. But whatever, in a sense I do feel strangely sated; I’ve reached the end of that personal journey and have the answers I was looking for and feel a little like somebody who has spent most of their life making a perfect model of Bristol out of matchsticks- finished, done, what’s to do with my spare time now? The discussion I engaged in with the massive amount of blog commenting was a means towards finding My Truth, and now I’ve got that. My truth may be no more objectively true than anybody else’s, but it’s what I was looking for. Job done.

So, I’ve had a couple of relapses and commented once or twice in the past couple of weeks, but I’m trying to do cold turkey, and maybe after that my addiction to the sound of my own voice (er, typing) boorishly lecturing everybody else in comment threads about how wrong they are, will subside. Maybe I can learn to use the internet just as God intended it to be used- for porn and LOLcats.

Actually, I was going to do some of this post about how ICANN have gained “independence” from the US government and have thus become a tranzi quango, and that I said this would happen in various comments somewhere or other over the past couple of years, and how this is another step on the road to ruin. How it will now be in the hands of “stakeholder” lobbies who will use their “governance” to scrub the internet of everything they don’t like. How they are itching for instance to shove everything “adult” onto an .xxx top level domain where it can be ghettoised and strangled, and any non kiddie-safe website will be forced to either declare themselves “porn” or censor themselves, and so on, and this is typical centralised corporatism and you know, I’m sick to fucking death of the puritans, but the reality is we live in a puritan society and they’ve won, so there’s fuck all use ranting on about it to a disinterested world. Sex, drugs, rock’n'roll and all the other hedonistic “license” is the barometer of freedom, and suppressing it is the crowbar the enemy use to control everything else. The multifarious narratives of various sexual abuses are the golden goose for the puritan progressives; in the name of protection they extend their control over all things, and are in particular doing so over this brief flowering of a free speech anarchy called the internet. And they will succeed; fifty or even twenty years from now kids won’t believe what was allowed (i.e. not prevented) in the 1990s and 2000s on the internet. These few years of the Wild West we have lived through will be remembered just as the Wild West is now by the majority; as dangerous, violent, unacceptable, rather than a time of pioneering freedom.

But oh, what’s the use? The future is predictable, and probably inevitable. I’ve no means to prevent it, and thus it is logical to instead bugger off and try somehow to live with it, and maybe not get quite so angry about it. That last part might be quite difficult, I suspect. It’s worth a try, though.

Cheerio then Cats, Nick and Daphne, and many thanks for your kindness in hosting my ramblings, even if I never typed as many posts as you perhaps expected. Also, I recognise that posting this self-obsessed last posting all about myself is something of a conceit, but please excuse this small degree of vanity, and anyway with Nick doing such a fine job of keeping the ship afloat virtually single handed I thought I should say something.

Er, that’s it.

The Progressive Commandments

One of the blogosphere’s finest bloggers Dick Puddlecote thought a comment I made over at Letters From A Tory worthy of repeating, so I thought I’d repeat it here too…

The Progressive Commandments

Thou shalt not imbibe of intoxicating liquor, nor of intoxicants of any kind, nor of any thing which maketh thee a bit giggly nor which relieveth the burden of thy mortal existence.

Thou shalt not smoke, for the stench offendeth the nostrils of the LORD.

Thous shalt not consume the flesh of any animal, for all animals are sacred to the LORD; thou shalt not consume the pig, or the cow, or the sheep, nor any creature which flyeth or creepeth upon the ground upon any number of legs, nor squirmeth upon its belly. All meat is an abomination sayeth the LORD.

Neither shalt thou consume of any thing which delighteth the taste. Thou shalt not eateth cakes nor buns, nor any sugary thing, nor any thing which containeth cream, for the LORD liketh not fats. Thou shalt not season thy food, nor sprinkle it with the salt of the earth, nor adulterate with MSG. For the LORD sayeth that thy food should be simple, and plain, and he is the holiest of all who consumeth unflavoured tofu with a rictus grin.

Thou shalt work hard; thou shalt work until thy back acheth and thy bones breaketh, but thou shalt not be made wealthy by thy labours, for wealth is an abomination sayeth the LORD. Thou shalt suffer by the sweat of thy brow, and that which thou maketh the LORD shall taketh away, and when ye are old thou shalt lose thy house, and dwell in the place the LORD telleth thee to dwell, which shall treat thee as a burden and shall smell of wee. And the LORD shall allow ye to end thy pitiful existence to saveth a bit of money for thy government.

Thus sayeth the LORD. Thy life shall be long, and hard, and by the sweat of thy brow shall ye toil until it endeth, and there shall be no pleasure within it, for it is easier for a man who smileth to pass through the eye of the needle than to enter into the kingdom of Progressive Righteousness. In shame at thy existence shall ye live, and in shame shall ye die, for thy very life is a poisonous thing upon the face of the Earth. Better that ye had not lived at all, but if ye live, ye shall not enjoy any moment of it, for this filleth the LORD with rage. Compost ye were, and compost ye shall become.

Nick Himself

I was working late last night and didn’t go to bed until after 5am, then slept exceedingly and unusually long and deep, and had a very vivid and strange dream in which Cats, Nick and myself were fighting a fierce war in desert terrain with lobster tails for ammunition, and then suddenly an army of women in burkas swept over the horizon and in the melee stripped off their concealing costume to reveal they were the Nolan Sisters, and we’d all started singing I’m In The Mood For Dancing while conga-ing across the landscape when mercifully I woke up. By which point it was 5pm. I really need to get my body clock sorted.

So anyway, I was delighted to see Nick posting again and that our little disagreement seems to be behind us, like a long line of Nolan Sisters. It wouldn’t have been the same without you Nick, as I’m sure most of our readers would agree. Excellent result! Thanks for staying, Nick :)

Kitty Kounters

We started out a little over a year ago with a single Aussie Cat Counter labouring away, stuck in the far colonies and condemned to a life of sun, sea and sand, surrounded by blond beauties wearing naught bar skimpy halters and bits of string. After enduring this I was relieved in my efforts when we gained NickM, a Brit, counting from the sunny climes of Northern England. After a year of further toil another Englander, IanB, joined us in our efforts at feline enumeration.

Today, I have an announcement:

Daphne, who makes her home at the Jaded Haven, has agreed to visit from Texas (down Allen, behave) and count the odd kitty kat.

Now, we do understand she has her own voracious blog to feed, and are grateful that she is willing to spend any time in this playground, regardless of how frequently or seldom she visits.

Our lineup now is:

IanB: polemicist, master artist and noted hobbit fancier.

NickM: natural philosopher and world class swear blogger (DK, eat your heart out).

Cats himself: amateur historian, ditto at all else he touches, and commenter on otherwise unconsidered trifles.

And finally,

Daphne: essayist and rough, tough Texican chick who uses words as sweetly as angels kiss.

If you want my opinion, and you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have at least a passing interest in the nuggets I drop, I think we now have a fine line-up of capable wordsmiths; the Anglosphere is well represented, our approaches are varied, and we plan on keeping you all well amused.

What I do have to point out is that this gal is a lady, so boys – playground or no playground, put your willies away, and no pissing in the sandpit. You want to take her on? I guarantee, you’ll suffer.

Being A Bit Of A Big Kid

I’ve just ordered one of these. It’s a simple little bit of kit, just a USB stereo in/stereo out audio interface. But I feel quite tickled and can’t wait for it to arrive kind of thing.

A couple of days ago I realised I hadn’t played my electric guitar since I moved into this flat (over a year ago). It’s pretty much all that remains of the gear from my younger days when, like so many, I had rather over-enthusiastic visions of being some kind of rock musician. The rest of it- some lovely synthesizers, effects units, stuff like that, all got stolen and it still hurts to think about it. But the Westone Thunder 1A I bought with my first student grant cheque (lawks, those were the days) remains. 25 years old, a little scratched here and there, but still plays great. Even if I don’t. And never have.

So I fired up Native Instruments guitar rig, plugged the Westone into the mixer (I’ve got this nice little Behringer that for a long time now has been used as nothing but a headphone amp from the PC) and then realised how crap the old Soundblaster Live! card in the computer is. Well, it’s fine for everyday stuff, but if you stick a signal from it into guitar rig’s various amplifier simulators which boost the gain, you just hear all the noise it’s picking up from inside the PC. So, I could still play, but accompanied by various very loud noises not dissimilar to a person with a severe bowel condition in an echoey public lav.

I woke up early this morning and had a generally low level gruntled feeling, and Charlotte Gore’s latest blog post didn’t help much. It echoes something I’ve felt a lot, this sense of the hopelessness of us lot banging our heads against the brick wall of statism. I should have spent the morning drawing porn (I am as always severely behind schedule) but couldn’t pull it together through the mental fug. So I started thinking about how it would be nice to buy something, but being generally skint couldn’t afford to buy anything very expensive. I’d thought about the soundcard thing, but to get anything good they’re all rather costly. But I started punting around websites, realising how hopelessly behind I am in what’s on the market, and found this little Behringer box that seemed to be just what I’m looking for- it’s USB, external, shouldn’t pick up the masses of noise the Soundblaster does, and it’s an absolute snip at just 29 quid. Being impecunious, even that seemed a significant cost, but then I thought of the seventy quid the council extorts out of me every month to pay for bin inspectors, and whipped out my debit card and bought the thing.

Now I’m just sitting here trying to figure out what I’ll have to plug into what and route through the mixer, and making my head spin, since it’s years since I really did anything musical. The last significant thing in fact was CD of music for mp3.com, back in the heyday of Internets 1.0 and JESUS CHRIST THAT WAS TEN YEARS AGO. Yes, I feel old. I had less bald then. It’s not the greatest music ever produced, but I feel it was something of an achievement with such limited gear- a guitar, a mic, a midi controller keyboard and the soundblaster doing all the synths and drums. I recorded it in Cubase, and typing that I’ve just realised that my only copy of Cubase 3.7x must be on a hard drive I took out of the PC and will now have to install again somehow, but I don’t think there’s a spare IDE port because I disabled them when I put the SATA RAID card in… oh bollocks. I’ve still got the original Cubase CD, but the bugfixes and updates were downloads I stored on that disk. Sigh.

Will I get the urge to record again? I’ve got a nasty feeling I’m just going to sit here playing along with a drum loop like a sad middle aged man trying to recapture a youth which has fled.

What the hey, that’s fine too.

_
*Update*

I’ve just dug out my CD of Cubase VST 3.65 (vintage 1998) and discovered it won’t run under XP anyway. At all. I suspect everything available these days will rather overhwelm the PC (vintage 2002).

I could do some kind of dual boot thing with Win98 but no, I’m too old for that shit, I can’t be arsed, it’s not worth the effort. Kind of annoying, because when this machine was running Win98, I have distinct memories that VST 3.x (which was at the limit of capabilities of my 300MHz PII in 1999 when I did all that recording) ran like grit through a goose.

My enthusiasm has waned, and my gruntlement returned.

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