Thursday, January 15, 2004

When the lights go out in the rest of the world. What do our cousins say. They're playing in the sun and having fun, fun, fun. Till daddy takes the gun away.

I've just returned from a meeting in Newcastle's west end. While driving back I noticed the Nexus building which has at it's highest point a scrolling LED display.

This display tends to include the temperature, some travel stuff and a snippet of news. Today's news was "Bush plans missions to mars.". That was it. Just that little bit of information.

It's not Newcastle news, it's not even news that relates to the North East as a whole or even the UK. It's American news. So tell me - is this really the biggest, most important, most interesting news that we need to hear?

I'm sick of the amount of importance that seems to be linked to everything American. I'm sick of their news. I'm sick of their TV. I'm even sick or every moron who uses phrases like "whatever" or idiots who call their trousers "pants".

Remember the blackouts in New York? That was the lead item for two days. They had a leccy cut. Big deal we all do. Incidentally it was followed by a London blackout for a massive half hour which also got news editors everywhere jumping up and down. To put this in context - as the world celebrated the dawning of 2004, thousands of households in the North East lost their power for over a day. That includes many hundreds of pensioners without heat in January, the very coldest time of the year. However, because it was neither London nor New York it was deemed to be of very little news value. While we're at it, if you ever meet a news editor from the national media please please tell them from me - the rest of the UK (which is the majority of us) couldn't care less about fecking congestion charges.

Ok ok - I'll save my London rant for another time. This was supposed to be about the USA.

In particular I hate the coverage of activities that are transparently little more than electioneering. BBC correspondents actually admit as much to their audiences but still give them air time. Mars mission? Don't make me laugh. The whole things reminds me of a brilliant Gil Scott Heron track called Whiteys on the Moon..

First off apparently this is just one more thing from Dubya's Things My Father Failed To Do checklist. Afghanistan (check), Iraq (check), Mars (check).

Now this all has a timescale of apparently coming to fruition in 2020. In other words it will be somebody else's problem. More than likely it'll be dumped long before then. However, in the meantime it gives the USA something to focus on and something to feel good about while Iraq gets messier by the day. There must be a very large part of Dubya that's secretly hoping he doesn't win the next election. He's going to have one hell of a mess to deal with.

Then again, his corporate sponsors are banking on him. Then after him it'll be Jeb. I have read view points that state that with Bush senior having been the former head of the CIA, then president himself, the Bush family have been pulling the strings as far back as Nixon. It's a frightening thought.

I remember Billy Bragg saying that when Americans choose a president they should take great care because they're choosing a president for the whole world. I would love to disagree and highlight our own autonomy but Billy's right. The whole word is in the grip of the political and cultural US agenda. Then again we are asked to put our faith in an electorate who thinks having Arnie as governor is "pretty neat".

But can we even trust their democracy when Bush didn't even win the election which ended with him never-the-less in power? This Florida coup would have been denounced if it had happened in some small Central American nation.

Talking of Florida. That's a place I never ever want to go. I seem to increasingly meet dull people who go to Florida every year. When pushed on why exactly, the size of the steaks seem to be the first answer. Then there's Disney Land and all the rest of it. Oh and don't you hate it when people talk about shopping as a reason to go somewhere? At what point does it become okay to turn into that "I WANT, I WANT, I WANT" character? Did greed really become good after all?

Have you ever met someone who goes on about fake goods. You know: "It's so great - you can get fake Rolex's for a fraction of the price". Let's think about this. You can buy a watch with Rolex branding that doesn't actually have the apparent brand values you would associate with Rolex - ie reliability. So in other words all you wanted was that little logo. You don't care that it loses a minute every hour or that it will leave a green mark on your wrist and it'll be broken a year from now. Are you that insecure that you have to a logo to justify your importance?

Again this goes to back to my last post on consumerism. People are now taking consumer holidays. They can't fit enough shopping into their daily lives so they are having to spend their holiday time shopping too.

It's the ultimate capitalist life style that has been exported to the rest of the world by the USA.

However as exports go it's still the language that bugs me most. Particularly the whole trash-talking Oprah thing. "Talk to the hand", "go sister" etc etc. Then there is the everyday words like garbage. It's rubbish and while we're on the subject it goes in bins not trash cans. Oh and people saying "That's the way it is - period". It's a full stop. A period is very definitely something very different over here.

I just wanted to point out that I'm talking about non-Americans here. Please, you talk how you like. I am sure it bugs you too when Madonna puts on that awful fake English accent. For the record I like the vast majority of Americans I have met too. I tend to go on about all things USA but I'm largely referring to the power bases rather than the people.

Ironically I'm about to put this entire weblog entry through a spell check that will Americanize (note the Z) my spellings.

As usual - this is just a rant. You must be starting to get used to them. No answers from me.

Love, light and peace.


I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites. It's wrong to wish on space hardware. I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.