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Tony Grist

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Prolonging The Fast [Oct. 20th, 2010|09:47 am]
Tony Grist
 When I'm on holiday I stay away from the Internet. We had wifi at the rental and Ailz and Ruth had taken laptops with them, but the most I did was look over their shoulders once or twice.  It was so pleasant to be away from the English newspapers that I've prolonged my fast and in more than a week now I haven't even glanced at any of their websites- except on those occasions when Ailz calls me to her computer to show me something particularly funny, gross or annoying in the Mail.

(She's doing it now. Apparently Bruce Willis has a daughter called Rumor who looks just like his current wife and Helen Mirren's first night frock got soaked from walking along a red carpet that had been out in the rain.)

I get my news from the TV. I hate how stupid it is- but the basic info is there- and I can do my own editorialising. I'm taking things steady- a day at a time- but I think I may have cured myself of my addiction to political trivia.

(Here's Ailz again: Kanye West has had his bottom teeth replaced with diamonds and Cybil Shepherd is 62).
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2010-10-20 09:02 am (UTC)
Kanye West has had his bottom teeth replaced with diamonds

Wow - I hope he doesn't bite his tongue!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 10:06 am (UTC)
Could be nasty!
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-10-20 09:08 am (UTC)
I get my news from the Radio 4 Today programme between 6am and about 7.30. I don't watch TV news, and I don't buy newspapers or read newspaper websites. Most of what I read I can pick holes in, especially if I know something about the subject, so I end up shouting at the TV etc. that they haven't covered the most important points properly.

I feel that I get better balance from reading "The Economist" which, while slightly right-wing in economic terms, isn't stupidly fascist like the Daily Mail and covers foreign affairs rather like the BBC's "From our own correspondent" programme.

I subscribe to the opinion that while being well-informed is a good thing, hearing the shock-horror issues of the day churned and analysed over and over again (by people who don't understand it and/or are trying to be controversial) does me no good and can actually be a cause of depression, because the media seems addicted to only bringing us bad news.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 10:14 am (UTC)
I've lived under thirteen prime ministers- give or take- and I'm sick of the little buggers. It's a waste of a grown-up person's time to be closely following their comings and goings, their initiatives and betrayals. It might be different if I was being paid to do it, but I'm not

Our latest bunch of leaders- with their fat, young, public school faces- and their fat, young, public school outlook on life: I can't take them seriously.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-10-20 10:21 am (UTC)
I guess it is not their fault that they went to public school. But it disappoints me that our political maters haven't lived in the real world where most of us make a living, either by living in a poor area in bad housing, or by doing a job in the health service, or industry, or wherever, that would help them understand and meet real people.

Too many of them read PPE at Oxford, wnet straight into politics as "researchers" and are card-carrying navel gazers of the Westminster village.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 10:37 am (UTC)
I went to public school. I like to think I have taken steps to cure myself of the attitudes.

Almost everyone at the top of the political tree- in all three parties- has lived inside a bubble of privilege, connections, inherited wealth and political geekery. When they say "we're all in this together" it's simply not true. In what possible way are the cuts going to impact on Cameron, Clegg, Osborne or Milliband?
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-10-20 10:59 am (UTC)
well, they will be losing their child benefit!
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[User Picture]From: aellia
2010-10-20 09:19 am (UTC)
Crikey,I just looked at the Mail's front page to see if Bruce's daughter was on there. It looks like a pron site!!
x
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 10:15 am (UTC)
The Daily Mail is truly disgusting.
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[User Picture]From: gmh
2010-10-20 09:42 am (UTC)
In truth, the red carpet in question was sodden; you could see the water oozing out from it every time you put your foot down.

Film was good, though.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 10:17 am (UTC)
Mirren's OK. She's had an honourable career.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-10-20 10:00 am (UTC)

!

I think I may have cured myself of my addiction to political trivia.
Good for you!

I stopped watching television altogether in November of '08. A few months ago, I realized that it did me little good, though, if I continued to soak up political and national news second-hand, through online commentary, so I gave up all of those, too.

I am much better for the change. I do not get depressed or angry so easily, these days, and find that when something political does intrude on my peace of mind, I am much more clear about it. Without knowing what the accepted narrative might be and how I, the media savvy reader should react to it, I seem to see politics for what it is: stupid, for the most part. This country may be going to Hell in a handbasket, but it won't be taking me with it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 10:20 am (UTC)

Re: !

We had a defence review yesterday. We'll be buying a couple of aircraft carriers- for the single reason that it would cost us more to weasel out of the contract than it would to proceed- only we won't we able to afford the aircraft to go with them.

You couldn't make this stuff up.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-10-20 12:13 pm (UTC)

Re: !

Yes, it will, after all, be the Tories who give us unilateral disarmament
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 12:26 pm (UTC)

Re: !

I think this is an historic moment- the moment when we finally own up to being a second or even third class military power.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-10-20 04:05 pm (UTC)

Re: !

And why not? I once had dinner with Her Majesty's former ambassador to Angola. She said that we had to "continue to punch above our weight". I said "why?". She couldn't answer.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-20 04:14 pm (UTC)

Re: !

I've been saying for as long as I can remember that it was time we stopped trying to be a great imperial power.

It's not as if "punching above our weight" does us any good- it just gets us embroiled in immoral and unwinnable wars.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-10-21 09:56 am (UTC)

Re: !

Small wonder Thatcher is still in hospital...
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-10-21 09:55 am (UTC)

Re: !

No, you couldn't make this stuff up.

At least the UK had a soft landing. The final days of US empire are already violent enough and, looking at the shameless denial of Republican Teabaggery, I suspect there are plenty of opportunities down the road for full-on self-immolation.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2010-10-21 10:56 pm (UTC)

Re: !

Amen to every word.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-22 08:01 am (UTC)

Re: !

The USA is a very uneasy union- held together by flag worship. It wouldn't surprise me if it didn't break down into its constituent parts. I wonder which State or group of States will be the first to declare independence
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-10-22 10:30 am (UTC)

Re: !

I wonder which State or group of States will be the first to declare independence.
South Carolina? There is certainly precedent for it and even in these latter days they still tend to be crazier than shit-house rats. One of their Congress Critters screamed out, "You lie!", during Obama's first state-of-the-Union address before the joint chambers.

There has been an Alaskan independence movement for years -- Todd and Sarah Palin were, and perhaps are, involved -- but it has gone nowhere. The Republic of California has been booted about, but since the state is ungovernable now, it is absurd to imagine that independence might change that.

The problem with any such scenario is that those regions in which an independence movement might gain the most support -- the Carolinas and the Deep South, where Republican racism and teabaggery are strongest -- are also the most dependent on Federal tax dollars for their continued survival.

So, within the territorial US, it is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. The big threat to us -- and the world -- are Republican teabaggers gaining unchecked control of the armed forces, again.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-23 04:30 pm (UTC)

Re: !

Again?
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-10-21 03:22 pm (UTC)

Re: !

I had no TV from 1994 until 2004, and I can't say that I missed it - even now, I don't rely on it for political or national "news", except by watching direct "cover" of Parliament and Assembly (and I'm only too aware that even that can be slanted)
I do rely quite a lot on comments from my on line acquaintances - and then pursuing the matter to written reports to make up my own mind
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-22 07:56 am (UTC)

Re: !

One needs to know what's going on (at least I suppose one does) but one doesn't need to wallow in it.

I went without TV for a while (in the late 80s) and I can't say I missed it. I used to go to a friend's house to watch Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2010-10-21 10:56 pm (UTC)
I much enjoyed Ailz's Facts. Diamond teeth!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-22 07:57 am (UTC)
It sounds uncomfortable doesn't it! I imagine they'll cause him all sorts of problems.
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