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The Rest

The Enculturation Of Abuse: The Lesson The Savile Story Should Be Teaching Us

by on Oct.23, 2012, under The Rest

As a thousand new stories appear each day regarding Jimmy Savile, and the papers increasingly try to find someone else to blame in light of Savile’s being dead, one specific, sad fact is being ignored: It’s usual for others to know about a paedophile’s actions.

It’s a horrific fact, but the reason many paedophiles are able to abuse is because family members, friends, and of course victims*, don’t report it to anyone. For all manner of reasons, whether through fear, having been abused themselves, or for perhaps the most insidious – to “keep it in the family” – these abusers go to their graves with many knowing what they did. Lots of people know that Uncle X shouldn’t be left alone with the kids, but would far prefer not to have the lives of their whole families exposed. So they opt for not reporting it, for dealing with it themselves. It’s tragic, and it’s horribly commonplace. And in finding out that so many knew that Savile shouldn’t be let near the young teenagers, we’re not exposing a cover-up by hospitals or the BBC – we’re exposing an enculturated cover-up by the whole of society that allows so very many paedophiles to abuse.

And people don’t want to think about that.

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Rum Doings Episode 116: DISASTER IN YOUR HOME

by on Sep.06, 2012, under Rum Doings, The Rest

Episode 116 of Rum Doings comes in a week following a week that had a Rum Doings in it! To celebrate our sweet one hundred and sixteen, we don’t discuss whether Apple has the right to unsharp corners. (It’s worth noting that this episode was recorded moments before Jeremy Hunt was announced as health sec, hence our not mentioning that.)

Highlights include thoughts on the Paralympics, booing at George Osborne, and the death of cats. Then we move on to one of Rum Doings’ finest topics – carpet cleaning. John has his hands on one of the finest leaflets we’ve ever seen. We express confusion at US political parties, and predict Jimmy Smits as next Republican president. And out David Hyde Pierce.

We’d really love it if you left a review on iTunes. Yes, iTunes is hideous, but reviews on there are what get podcasts more attention. After 100 free episodes, we’d love you to return the favour by writing a quick review.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

[audio: http://rumdoings.jellycast.com/files/audio/116_rumdoings.mp3]
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The Politics Of Fear: Getting The Majority To Feel Oppressed

by on Sep.01, 2012, under The Rest

There are some things that are pointless, no matter how strong the urge may be to do them. And trying to observe the discrepancy of discourse between the American right and left is right up there on the Shouting Down A Well chart. But the reaction to the Clint Eastwood appearance of two nights ago means I’m helpless but to just pointlessly post words.

From an objective perspective (or the closest I can get to one as an outside observer with politics that match neither of the competing parties), what was shown was a clearly uncomfortable Eastwood stumbling through a poorly rehearsed sketch in which he pretended to interview Obama, while talking to an empty chair. It was poorly delivered, frequently stumbling, and full of really quite concerning factual errors. There were a couple of well-delivered moments where he pretended Obama was interrupting him, but unfortunately after the very confused and hesitant start it was hard to recognise these from his genuine mistakes. I didn’t find it funny, and I certainly don’t think it had many jokes in it. It was, instead, designed to be scathing and derogatory, and to a baying crowd of Republicans who believe or pretend to believe that Obama is an anti-Christ this is exactly what they wanted to hear. And of course – of course attendees of the Republican Convention are going to be extreme enthusiasts, passionate in their support for their party, and accordingly passionate in their disgust for the other party.

But what makes me abandon an attempt at objectivity, and want to chew my face off from the inside out is the way in which Republicans – as is now always the case – immediately begin the campaign of non-information afterward. This relies on believing, or pretending to believe, a few things:

1) They are in the minority, and are being oppressed.
2) The media is against them, and they are at a significant disadvantage because of this.
3) Any who disagree with them are “politically correct”, “liberal”, and various forms of inverted bigots.

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Goodies And Baddies – Why Republicans Should Embrace The Dark Side

by on Sep.01, 2012, under The Rest

I’ve been joking on Twitter today about certain people being baddies, and how much easier life would be if we’d all accept this and commit to our roles. It’s obviously a massively over-simplified and silly idea, but it’s the parodic distillation of the thought I keep having every time the news reports that Russia and China have vetoed yet another UN attempt at intervention in Syria. That it’s been left up to the likes of William Hague to have to call out these governments, while the news outlets report it with their delusion of “balance”, is a pretty worrying sign. I really do think it would be a lot better if the media just acknowledged what we all know is true – that the Russian and Chinese governments are baddies, and the Syrian regime are baddies, so of course they’re going to stick together.

The obvious flaw with such a comment is that it implies that the other side therefore must be “goodies”. If only it were true, and it’s obviously not the case. But I think we can say quite unequivocally that, for instance, Putin’s regime are proper baddies, and we need to stop pretending otherwise. Surely we’d get a lot further a lot more quickly.

What’s perhaps more peculiar is the Republican party in the United States. The USA is a deeply, deeply weird nation, over 300,000,000 people somehow almost exactly split down the middle in terms of which of two sides they’re on. There are two parties who offer presidential candidates with a realistic chance of winning, and you have to pick one of them. There’s no nuance, there’s no middle ground. You either pick the man in the centre, or the man on the extreme right. (Even more so than in the UK, there’s no notion of a left wing option, with one side calling the other side “socialist” as an insult while the other side desperately protests that they’re not.) And with this bisecting of the country and its politics, it’s become deeply tribal. Not North/South as it once was, but Outside/Inside. When there’s one side or the other to pick, and nothing offering a position that sits between the two, both sides are inevitably going to become caricatures of themselves, and part of that has been to quite defiantly choose between being a Goodie or a Baddie.

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Rum Doings Episode 115: You May Be Married To The Famous Pant Fairy

by on Aug.28, 2012, under Rum Doings, The Rest

Episode 115 of Rum Doings is a very, very late episode, recorded while the Olympics were still on. Nick then took a week to send his files to John, then John took a week to put them online. We are both rubbish, and we apologise. But fortunately, it’s a top-notch episode, despite being recorded on Skype with the line dropping very near the end. No, really, it’s still good!

Highlights include the renaming of John’s wife, the discovery of the Kitchen Fairy, and Nick lying about visiting Bath. We watch sunsets on Mars, John has actually been running, and we express our surprise at just how good the Olympics were.

We’d really love it if you left a review on iTunes. Yes, iTunes is hideous, but reviews on there are what get podcasts more attention. After 100 free episodes, we’d love you to return the favour by writing a quick review.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

[audio: http://rumdoings.jellycast.com/files/audio/115_rumdoings.mp3]
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Polygon And The Documentary That Cured Cancer

by on Aug.23, 2012, under The Rest

If you don’t care about videogame websites, move along at this point. I don’t want to bore you. Really, this is mostly aimed at the Polygon team, in the hope that they’ll understand why their trailer for their documentary is not being well received. The entire team seems utterly bemused as to why not just readers but the wider games press is having such an adverse reaction to the two trailers that have been put out so far, and I want to explain it. Here are the two trailers:

[Wordpress broke everything]

Let me stress something from the start. I’ve met a few of the Polygon team, and they seemed lovely. I also happen to be a big fan of the McElroy brothers’ podcast, and as such have a lot of respect for how funny they are. I have nothing personal against any of them, and I want Polygon to be a site that produces fantastic content that I want to read, and becomes a huge success because of it. I’m writing this because I feel like reality has broken down a little, and I want to put the bricks back in place.

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Sporting Thoughting

by on Aug.05, 2012, under The Rest

I have always been very separate from nationalistic sporting support. Not because I’m some extremist leftie who thinks it’s some arch and oh-so-look-at-me thing to think, but because my brain just doesn’t get it. Arbitrary dotted lines on a round, round globe don’t logically differentiate humanity in ways that make me think I should want one of them to win at something more than another. The only rationale I could think of for picking an entire nation and wanting it to win would be based on some measure of national merit, and therefore I think there would be a few other countries that would come top of my list over the UK. Mere proximity to an athlete or team, no matter what cultural aspects I may happen to share, has never made sense for me as a means to care.

I’m also aware that sport is way more fun to watch if there’s one team you want to win more than the other. Baseball has long been the only sport that I’ve really engaged with, and I’ve relatively arbitrarily picked a National League and American League team to support. Investing in a team makes the process far more entertaining.

And so, with the Olympics happening in London, I find myself falling between these two fences.

I tend to describe myself as someone who doesn’t care about sport. But I think what I mean by that is that I don’t care about football, nor cricket, rugby or tennis. And since that’s all that’s ever shown on TV here, it pretty much rules out any active interest in the whole affair. I also thought I had no interest in the Olympics – I was very much hoping that Paris would win the bid, simply so we wouldn’t have the fuss, hassle, expense and noise it would inevitably bring. I was not looking forward to the inevitable massive expense, the endless, tedious media coverage of the build up to the event, nor the all-encompassing noise of it all throughout.

Then I watched the opening ceremony.

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Rum Doings Episode 114: Special Surprise Episode

by on Jul.30, 2012, under Rum Doings, The Rest

In a surprise early episode 114 of Rum Doings, Nick and John record an episode while the events of the weekend are fresh in their minds. Nick attended the Olympic opening ceremony, and has quite a bit to say on the Britain it portrayed. While John wrote a blog post (below) that rather a lot of people looked at. We discuss them both, entirely forgetting to have a topic not to talk about.

We’d really love it if you left a review on iTunes. Yes, iTunes is hideous, but reviews on there are what get podcasts more attention. After 100 free episodes, we’d love you to return the favour by writing a quick review.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

[audio: http://rumdoings.jellycast.com/files/audio/114_rumdoings.mp3]
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The Daily Mail, And How An NHS Death Means… Racism Is Fine?

by on Jul.28, 2012, under The Rest

UPDATE UPDATE: The Mail has pulled the article entirely now. The link to it now just reaches an error page. But you can read the article in full via the links a few lines below, and via FreezePage here.

UPDATE: That was quick. About five minutes after I posted, the Mail’s story was ninja edited, without acknowledgement, to remove the most outrageously racist lines. Where once it read:

“This was supposed to be a representation of modern life in England but it is likely to be a challenge for the organisers to find an educated white middle-aged mother and black father living together with a happy family in such a set-up.

Almost, if not every, shot in the next sequence included an ethnic minority performer. The BBC presenter Hazel Irvine gushed about the importance of grime music (a form of awful electronic music popular among black youths) to east London. This multicultural equality agenda was so staged it was painful to watch.”

It now reads:

“This was supposed to be a representation of modern life in England but such set-ups are simply not the ‘norm’ in any part of the country. So why was it portrayed like this and given such prominence? If it was intended to be something that we can celebrate, that two people with different colour skin and different cultural heritages can live harmoniously together, then it deserves praise.

But what will be disturbing to many people is top-down political manipulation – whether consciously or unthinkingly – at a major sporting event.”

It’s the most extraordinary change to the text, completely reversing the meaning the author originally intended, and completely incongruous to the paragraphs either side of it, which still endorse Aidan Burley’s “leftie multicultural crap” tweet.

You can see scans of the original article, before these changes were made, here: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Original: I am very aware that getting cross with Daily Mail articles is like shouting about how the sun can be hot. However, my motivation is not to cry, “How dare they!”, but instead to say, “Please understand that they do.” I still meet many people who do not understand how the Daily Mail is not just another tabloid, not just as bad as the rest of them, but instead something far more despicable and dangerous. It’s one of the most popular papers in Britain, and when we say, “Just ignore it – they’re just trying to get hits,” I shudder. We do not ignore evil – we challenge it and get angry about it. We make more people aware. Some people reading won’t have realised. And others can maybe point someone this way when they ask what they’re getting so worked up about.

The particular piece that’s riled me this evening is elegantly titled, “The NHS did not deserve to be so disgracefully glorified in this bonanza of left-wing propaganda“. That the Mail would write a piece arguing that the NHS is a bad thing, and should have had no part in the Olympic opening ceremony, is not a surprise. They’re a vicious and spiteful paper, and their agenda against the poor and needy is over a hundred years old. The NHS is the antithesis of everything they stand for, a socialist blight on our nation they’d rather do without. And while there are a thousand reasons to get cross about that, it’s not the issue with this piece. The issue is what’s smuggled in there.

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Rum Doings Episode 113: You Don’t Care About The Nazis

by on Jul.27, 2012, under Rum Doings, The Rest

Fresh as the morning dew, episode 113 of Rum Doings was recorded only moments ago. John with a cold, Nick with a smoke up his nose, we don’t discuss whether extended Twitter downtime will affect the Olympics. But we do discuss the potential for the opening ceremony, to which Nicholas shall attend. We question whether there should be a paralympics at all, and then move onto the strangeness of Mitt Romney.

Is gaming moving to Linux? We don’t actually discuss that, but Nick does explain just what a disaster Windows 8 is going to be. We wonder how Sorkin’s The Newsroom could be better, and then decide to get rid of wee-wees and poo-poos. Would you jump into a volcano? Would you watch White Collar? Would you be a Scottish Catholic?

We’d really love it if you left a review on iTunes. Yes, iTunes is hideous, but reviews on there are what get podcasts more attention. After 100 free episodes, we’d love you to return the favour by writing a quick review.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

[audio: http://rumdoings.jellycast.com/files/audio/113_rumdoings.mp3]
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