Google+ A Tangled Rope: 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Can Blue Men Sing The Whites?

John Harris on The Guardian’s CiF wants to bury one myth: that Elvis was a racist and his music was 'stolen' from black America.

My Comment:

More to the point is that people can define 'racism' almost any way they want, and saying it loudly enough about someone famous or something in the news gets them far more attention (with, however, the concomitant danger that they may be trampled in the stampede to mount the bandwagon by others equally eager to join in) than saying something reasonable, say, as in this case how the original blues and country artists lost out during the invention of rock 'n' roll.
And, yes, Big Mama Thornton's Hound Dog is better. But there is also an Elvis album where he do the blues (can't remember what it is called - Reconsider Baby(?)) where he shows he could do it and do it well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Doth Protest Too Much

Zoe Williams on The Guardian’s CiF shows some solidarity with the self-styled ‘eco-protestors’ currently grooving it up in a typically smug self-congratulatory manner in a field near some aeroplanes.

My comment:

Of course, irritating, inconveniencing, berating and annoying ordinary people trying to go about their normal lives up to and beyond the point where they refuse to listen to what you have to say out of sheer bloody-mindedness may - just - in the end be slightly counter-productive.

The best way would be to make your case through argument and debate and appealing to people's good sense in a positive and constructive way rather than berating them, however this later course can be deeply unsatisfying to those truly committed to their cause as it tends to lack he smug self-satisfied feeling of martyrdom.

Protesters should also be made aware that over-the-top zealotry tends to make people very suspicious of you as a person, rather than drawing attention to the cause you are espousing - as can be seen from some responses to this story here and elsewhere about 'work-shy layabouts' and so on.

In short, protesting may make you feel good, but in the words of your teachers when you were at school: 'it is your own time you are wasting.'

Kids These Days

I still don't have time to do 'proper' blogging. But I thought I'd go back to reprinting here the comments I have made on various MSM sites as a way of easing myself back into the groove – as it were.

Anyroadup. Guardian CIF has this from Cheshire police about the tragic death of Garry Newlove.

My comment:

There are two ways - or rather, two strand - that societies keep order: the formal - police, laws and so on, and the informal - the community, families etc.

In the UK, over the last few decades, it seems both of these strands have been eroded. The police and the law system have been slowly strangled by bureaucratic managerialism, including such things as targets, increasing emphasis on 'defensive' actions to avoid legal counter-claims, the need to document everything a police officer does and so on.

A similar thing has happened in the informal realm where adults feel they no longer have any authority over younger folks at all. I can remember when I was young even frail old pensioners would feel justified in telling me off for even wheeling my bike on the pavement, let alone daring to ride it on the pavement.

There was a recent thread here about the police restraining some drunk woman and I recall one commenter said something like 'the trouble is the police use too much force.'

Thinking about it later I came to the conclusion that it is in fact the opposite that is true - the police, adults too, no longer have the option of forcing youngsters to behave. Yes, the good old 'clip 'round the ear' (mainly as a vague unfulfilled threat, of course). But - like teachers too -losing the power of such instant summary justice means that problems are not nipped in the bud, children are not learning at a relatively young age that certain behaviours overstep the mark and - as a consequence - are slipping further and further out of control until it gets too late for them as well as for us.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

September Song

If there is anyone still bothering to read this, sorry for the lack of new stuff. But - at the moment - I don't really have anything I want to do here.
Maybe I will return in September when I have more time, if not I think I will give up on this completely.