Monday, September 14, 2015

I advocate free speech.... Now shut up!

The irony involved in the recent events with one Catriona Stewart and the editor at The Herald Scotland, is nigh on unbelievable.

I will start my latest rant with the news that in response to the ridiculous article written by Ms Stewart, and subsequently published by The Herald, being ridiculed by the public in mass, the editor made a statement saying, while he didn't agree with the article, he advocates free speech. This ironically was around the time that comments on the original article were deleted, and all future comments prevented. If that's not a good show of free speech, I don't know what it.

And by free speech I mean, free speech for the media, who feel they have the right to make outrageous comments about certain categories of society, incite acts of vandalism towards owners of expensive cars, and defend themselves with vague off point comments. And of course when it all gets a little too real world for them, they just block you from the conversation, be it on Twitter, or by turning off comments to an article.

In a twist of irony, it would seem a few months back Ms Stewart herself was the victim to her car being damaged in a supermarket car park. This of course was different, it was a car being driven at breakneck speeds, dangerously reversed in the car park. When the damage occurred, the driver of the other recklessly driven vehicle got out and said "its OK" or words to that effect. This alone would suggest the damage was minimal. Being that it was a car reversing would limit the speed somewhat too. But no, not according to the victim of the episode, Ms Stewart. No you had to be there to see it. It was dangerous driving, it was bad, it was wrong, she was a victim. Amazing how things change when the boot is on the other foot, eh!

A number of replies and tweets from the paper all indicate that there is little support for the piece within the upper echelons of the organisation. With most comments saying how it is not a shared opinion. One even commenting that as the editor he does not agree with the piece, but it wasn't on his watch, so its nothing to do with him. Sod responsibility and morals right, "ain't my fault" works every time.

Further questioning on the piece has lead to another gem, this time Ms Stewart passing the buck. You see the original seemed to have a gripe with Audi. In fact it was name dropped a few times in a couple of sentences. I can almost see her punching the four letters on the keyboard each time she typed it. Such focused hatred. Maybe you should speak to someone about that.

I often feel like keying swanky cars. I particularly feel like keying Audis.
One day someone will buy an Audi and decide to be the one person to change the reputation of Audi drivers. They'll drive their Audi and they'll be a decent guy.
That's right, get it off your chest now.
Now the problem was, Audi is quite a big company, and writing hateful things about a company the size of VAG is likely to quite quickly land you in trouble. So a copy reader was kind enough to look the article over, find the bit that would land them in deep do-do, and leave in the remainder of the nutty mindless rant. Of course, Ms Stewart is quick to point out that it wasn't her, it was the copy reader who made the changes from Audi to performance-car. I wonder how much more she would suggest was re-written, and how little is actually her doing. Hey I bet she doesn't even have an issue with people of better means than her own.

Following my first blog on this matter, which I would like to thank people for taking the time to read and share, I have actively been using Twitter to try and get some answers on her deluded approach to vandalism of cars. This, along with a little mocking of her car park accident, and re tweeting of other insightful tweets, landed me.... SILENCED ! That's right people, I have been not only muted but blocked from her Twitter now. As I believe have a whole host of other people who have also tried to engage with her about the matter.

All the while, as comments are disabled, twitter feed blocked, and comments on other mediums (like this one) ignored. The story remains front and centre. Editors disagree with the story, public figures in the motoring world have questioned the intentions of the piece, hell even Hackney Police have commented with a very simple "Wow, speechless" about the matter.
But we forget (OK some have pointed it out already on forums), this is the media we are talking about, and even more importantly the online media. For every person who clicks on the story, which I might add is close to going viral now, its a click through, a hit on their website, and looks amazing when they sell their next advertising spot.
So what was an outrageous story, written by an attention seeking, Hopkins wannabee nut job, has turned into something as simple as click bait now.

Anyone who works in the public eye knows they are only as good as their last piece or act. A massive history of great reporting can be destroyed by a single mindless piece with an agenda (like this one). I have no doubt Ms Stewart was employed based on fantastic qualifications and reporting abilities. None of which would appear to have been present when this last piece was written.
Attention is attention right, any press is good press, and all that. A name not to be forgotten. But its the title that goes next to the name that is important, not just having one. And when it is Catriona Steward - Imbecile Reporter, I would not consider it a great one.
There are plenty of examples in history to relate to.

In short, dear Herald, you have had your fun, five minutes of fame, now its time for the story to go. It's hate filled, its immoral, and its glorifying illegal activities.

I would of course love to see a full, official response to the article, hey maybe even reply on here. I promise not to turn off comments ;)

That's me for now. Only other thing to say is I really do hope the owner of the Aston who was the victim of a crime, and has been made out to be some arrogant, dangerous driving, idiot here, pursues a complaint against the writer and organisation for deformation of character, and somehow making out that he deserved the damage, just for owning a car.

One more thing Ms Stewart... Just an idea. If you feel so strongly  that his actions deserve a medal, and you really believe that keying expensive cars is the right way to go. When the man you admire so much, dear Gary, is next in court, why don't you offer yourself as a character witness, and tell a judge how you feel. I dare ya!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dear Catriona Stewart and Herald Scotland...

Firstly may I apologise for the poor penmanship and structure of this open letter. I left school before taking any exams, and am therefore illiterate, uneducated and a smear on society. (Lets get the generalisations out of the way early on, eh!)

Now, lets get to the point of this blog entry.
Mid August some stills, and then a video of a man vandalising a car in a supermarket car park went viral. 48 year old Gary Brissett, while out on a walk with his child in a buggy, had taken it upon himself to cause £7,000 of damage to a parked Aston Martin. The reason for this, still unknown as he has not disclosed it in his court appearance to date.

The reason SO many were taken aback by this action varies from social group to social group. There are car enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty of the car,  and craftsmanship which goes into every vehicle. There are people who are sick of mindless idiots causing damage to cars, and forcing their insurance premiums up. Then of course there is the majority. Law abiding citizens of the country, with morals and who know right from wrong.

On the flipside you have your eco-loving, mindless, jealous, judgemental fools who feel they can pigeonhole people, and build up a non-existent social structure. Drawing divides, makings judgements on people based on their choice of clothing, food, or transport. I would firmly put Ms Stewart into the latter. (You know what, you are right, it feels good to judge!)

So, somewhere in your deluded mind, while viewing the world through your eco-green coloured glasses, you decided that because a man decided to buy an expensive car, he deserved to fall victim to every narrow-minded vandal that passes by the car. How dare he work hard for a living and treat himself to a material item. How dare he be individual and stand out from the crowd. In fact, there lays the first issue. I assume you have done your research on this, and are sure this car is indeed an outright purchase, and not a company lease, private lease, a very expensive credit agreement?

You applaud and celebrate a criminal act, but then on Twitter claim you don't condone or encourage the action. All while saying "I often feel like keying swanky cars. I particularly feel like keying performance-cars". If nothing else, you glorify the act, and suggest it is rational to want to cause damage to someone else's property, based on your preconceived judgements of the person.

We are in agreement at one point, and that is that there are some people out there who drive like utter arseholes. However to suggest that either it is only performance car drivers, or that ALL performance car drivers fall into this pigeonhole of yours is ludicrous to the extreme. Some of the most horrific high speed accidents in the UK involve non performance cars. In fact I would go as far as to say that had some of the cars involved in some of these accidents had the equipment of a performance car, they may have been able to stop or turn, rather than crashing. When the arse biscuit behind the wheel decided he was a racing driver for the day.

Judging someone simply on a vehicle they drive, while being somewhat uneducated on the whole automotive world (which I will hazard a guess you are) is plain pathetic. To then play judge and jury on a high profile criminal matter, belittle the work done by the Metropolitan Police in finding Mr Brissett. Giving your character reference to the courts suggesting imprisoning poor nasty little Gary will be bad for his child, well that bit is just laughable. Are you familiar with the phrase "roll model"? Or do you think by putting up the hood on the buggy, Mr Brissett was shielding his child from the act, and would never encourage such behaviour from his children as they grow?

Speaking of Mr Brissett and his buggy. Let us focus on that for a moment. Now, I am a little out of touch with fashion in both clothing and baby products, but am reliably informed that Gary was in no way dressed in rags, and the illusive buggy which was used to shield the child from his actions, is in fact close to £1,000 in value.
Now, taking the buggy for an example. Am I to assume by you fussy judgemental logic, that a person of lesser stature is well within their rights to put a slash down the side of the unoccupied buggy, based on someone daring to have such a materialistic item? Oh of course, that's right. On Twitter when asked about similar actions based on spending obnoxious amounts of money on an item, deserving it to be vandalised, you switched back to the "boy-racer" argument.

So which is it? Do people who drive like prize idiots on the public road deserve to have their car vandalised, or do people who work hard in life and reward themselves with a nice car deserve to have their cars wrecked?

The whole reason this case gained such public support isn't because it was the middle classes rising up against the social scum of urban society. If you are not familiar with London streets, inner and outer, there are plenty of cars which are priced £50k and up, sports car, luxury cars, they are all there. Not a rare nor eye catching sight.
No, the reason it got the support it did, was because a nasty spiteful little piece of work, was caught bang to rights, lining up the offence, preparing for it, and carrying it out. All in glorious HD thanks to modern tech and dash cams. For the majority of people, actually watching someone carry out such an act is almost sickening. It angers people to see someone  who believes they can judge someone, and in turn punish someone.

Suggesting the choice of car is in some way making up for a shortfall in his manhood. How very 1970's of you. Women drive Aston Martin's too you know. As well as Bentley's, Porsche's and other expensive cars. What do the cars say about these women? They have loose vagina's and a mono-brow? And by driving one it somehow makes us overlook this issues with them.
Not everyone is quite as judgemental as you think they are. Sure we all make brash judgements on some people who thrust themselves to our attention. Take you for example. I would guess that 90% of people who read your article think you are a lonely, bitter, electric car driving, cat loving, readymeal eating, Katie Hopkins wannabee,  eco-loony. Probably all wrong, but hey, it's fun to judge, right?

Now some facts. You say you can't spend more on a car than a house. Well again. This is London, if you can find houses for under £100,000 which are habitable, I suggest you snap them up now, as there has clearly been a mistake in its pricing.
Racing along suburban streets, again, a bit of a myth really. With speed humps and traffic calming increasing at a rapid rate, the idea of speeding around London is a thing of the past. Especially given the traffic. Sure it clears up and there is the odd occasional chance to squirt it, but that's hardly an everyday thing. Of course, it is easy to forget, which the UK's rich racing heritage, just how many race tracks and airfields there are to use these high-performance penis extensions on.

You don't get boy racers in a Fiat 500.. Nope, you are right, because they are girls cars! (Sorry I got all judgemental again there. Wow it really gets a hold of you doesn't it!)
The Fiat 500 Abarth, with 160bhp, 0-60 in the mid 7's, top speed of 130mph (almost double the UK limit) and coughing out 155g/km Hmmm no potential to be an arse biscuit in that now is there?

Your summary will draw my blog to a neat close I think. Suggesting that "ostentatious cars" are somehow a symbol of all that is wrong in the country. Forming an opinion on someone based on the car they drive, I would argue, is far worse.
It is in fact those who feel they can pre-judge someone, and understand everything there is to know about someone. Their wealth, morals, social position, purely based on what car they drive. THAT is where things go wrong. Not giving people a chance, taking no interest in a person, but merely the material objects which surround them. Deciding in a split second that you indeed stand on the moral high ground. My god, the irony is all too much.

Without knowing a single thing about someone, you have decided they because of the car they drive, they are beneath you, and idiots like Mr Brissett should take the law into their own hands, and serve a sentence on said person. To write such a piece, and for the media outlet to then publish it simply perpetuates everything that is wrong with this country. Not an economic divide with the wealthy brushing away the poor and working class. But narrow minded, big mouthed idiots with a little bit of an audience, inciting others in to acts of stupidity, while banging the social divide, tax the rich drum.

Take a moment longer to know someone, before judging them. A little consideration goes a long way.

Yours sincerely

Smart Car driving wanker.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

If bullets were reusable....

We are all soldiers in a war, it's true, we are. While sitting on our phones and tablets, or behind our PC's, each time we share, like, or air an opinion in any matter, be it war, immigration, or other political causes, we all fire a shot.
A single shot in a propaganda war which is raging across social media.

Of course we are all entitled to have opinions, and of course social media is there, so why the hell not share it. I know I do. But just for a second, take a breath, and think about this.

Wars are fought on propaganda, they have been for decades, and will continue to be for decades to come. Its a big and sometimes complex word, and really not as simple as one government telling their people how well they are doing, and forcing the message onto the people of the opposition.
Instead, these days it is done through hatred, confusion, and lies. Most of it which finds its way into our minds through the media and social media.

Posts reporting one side of a complex story, or taking a single snapshot of something that has been happening for 2 years, and using its powerful image or story to impress on others how serious the situation is. Why it takes ONE thing to make the whole of society to burst into action, I don't know. And quite frankly it pisses me off. If we are that high and mighty, that interested in humanity and the good of our country... What exactly have YOU been doing for the past 20 years to support that ethos? For many, I will hazard a guess and say naff all! (me included)

Look at 9/11 for example. There we were, rolling into a new millennium, not a care in the world. Then an organisation who most had never heard of struck with horrific force, taking the western world by surprise. This followed on with 7/7 in London, and with that the scene was set. All brown people are Muslims, Muslims are evil, Muslims want to kill the West. Clearly no doubt about it, 2 acts, (with a few more after) and a whole load of hype by the media and extremists on both sides, and it was job done. A religion resigned to the history books as one who reigned terror on the West. (A little like the Christians of centuries before, but we won't talk about that as it was for the greater good and all eh!)

And now here we are again. Syria.
There are two parts here, which I will try and separate, but I apologise in advance for any cross overs.
Firstly there is the refugee situation. I say refugee and NOT immigration for a reason. Let me explain for those who don't get it. The media have done a number on you, so it's ok, you are forgiven.
Immigration is the act of someone who has decided to move from the country of their residence, to another country. Hoops are jumped through, papers are complete. Requirements are usually met, in order to be accepted and integrated into the country of their choice.
Refugee is a person who is fleeing violence or threat of harm or violence in their current country of residence. Not through choice, but through necessity and persecution. The move is sudden, undesired, and usually involves dropping everything and running.

Now, I am not for one second saying the issue is not clouded or taken advantage of. Lets be honest, its perfectly clear in most refugee situations, that some of it is fuelled by greed and the want of a better life. Countries endless decisions to make travel between countries easier, encourage freedom of movement, and welcome migrants into their countries with arms maybe a little too wide open clearly doesn't help. But I'm not going into detail about the whole EU freedom of movement thing, as that's a whole other bone to chew on. That is migration, carried out by immigrants, seeking economic migration to better themselves.

The part I will comment on however are those from outside the EU, who are not part of the freedom of movement agreement, but still want to seek a better life and settle within certain choice parts of the EU. Travelling from their country of origin, way across Europe, before presenting themselves to the officials of their country of choice and applying for asylum. Falsely claiming asylum, straining many systems from border control, to transport, right through to the actual immigration and asylum systems.  The problem is, we are so fed up of seeing people trying to get onto lorries to get across the Channel, that we have become intolerant to genuine asylum seekers.
Now again, I am not saying every person trying to get across the Channel is a fake, but there are plenty of questionables.

Fitting then don't you think, that the media, one of the group of instigators for hatred and anger towards whatever their target is for the current week or month, started showing huge interest in Calais, getting the UK wound up tightly about how it would affect everyone as more and more immigrants and asylum seekers bled into the country. Even taking the time to berate the government for using words such as a swarm. How despicable..... Or is it.
Well, there is an algorithm used when planning evacuations and people flow through buildings when they are at their design stage. It predicts movement behaviours in certain situations. The algorithm is called Distributed Swarm Evacuation Planning . How dare they indeed!

Anyway, getting back to Calais, or moving on from it at least, we have Syria. Clearly currently undergoing a devastating war, people terrorised, and genuinely fleeing violence. Again, most of them are anyway. I am sure there is a small percentage, like in any walk of life, taking advantage of it. Given the opportunity, most would. So now that the media have stirred the pot, built up intolerance and hatred towards anyone helping anyone else from another country, transferred that to social media, and built up a load of support for it. Now we have Syria, a genuine cause, which now no one has any time for and is blinkered by past events.

So as things in Syria unravel, and their world falls apart, we in the Western world continue with the important stuff. Bigotry, propaganda, and our faithful belief in anything we read in the media or social media. Very rarely do people ever bother to find things out. Instead we read something, go through the "its on the internet, so must be true" verification process, and immediately share, with a strong worded opinion of our own. Shot fired!

The funny thing is, each time we fire a shot of ignorance onto the internet, two things happen. One group take our comments, and use it to show others how fed up of the situation we all are. Waving it in the face of the undecided, screaming how many people have liked their status, and its proof, all the proof we need that its all a scam.
The other group take our negativity, and hatred, and show it to the other side. Showing their supporters and again the undecided, how much hatred and anger is directed at them. Their race, religion, or beliefs, and justifying why they should make a stand against you. Its always so easy to see one side of a story, and once we have our beliefs, it is almost impossible to open your eyes wide enough again to take a second, better look.
Think of it this way, if bullets were reusable, would you think more carefully about how many shots you fired at the enemy, knowing they could fire them back at you?

Now, the latest twist in the story is a message from ISIS (apparently) A threat that 500,000 would flood across Europe, claiming asylum, but in fact they will ALL be terrorists, and will destroy us all. Holy shit! Is this for real?
No, its propaganda at its finest. Like I said, most wars are fought with propaganda. Take a section of the world which is not paying much attention to the other. Put in place an all out assault which will displace tens of thousands, maybe millions. In the meantime, tell the country which isn't paying any attention that you will send an army to destroy them. Now launch your attack, drive the people from their homes and seeking refuge, and crank up the propaganda, media hysteria, social media assault vehicle.

Let me explain it simply.
IF, and I mean IF, this is all part of the plan to "destroy" Europe, its working well, and we are all playing our part.
Just like someone splitting from their cheating ex, hitting someone where it hurts (the pocket) is always the way to go.
Without weapons, without firing a shot or detonating any bombs, ISIS can cause serious damage to the UK and most of Europe.
Firstly by displacing the people of its country, it places strain on a country and its economy, let alone its resources and manpower, as well as infrastructure to cope with the sudden influx. Then in turn the influx causes stress, anger, hatred, and instability in society. This alone is powerful, and as I said before, is fed back to the extremists to fuel their cause. But also while all this is going on, the economy of any country involved in the whole matter, be it armed forces, taking refugees, or just part of the situation, takes a battering. Shares drop in price, currencies devalue, stability turns to instability.
Like I say, the crazy part about this, is its warfare at its finest, but without any fighting (between the counties at least)

So right now, as I look in my social feeds, I see fear, distrust, anger, and a call to push back. Social instability. How long before there is a high profile, mass attended protest march. One planned as a peaceful one, but joined by the extremists on the West side (so they believe), and one which will turn into a violent, expensive, distraction, and cause even more instability.
The cycle is endless, and not about to lose momentum any time soon. I don't expect this post to make any difference whatsoever. I did however want to go on the record, put my thoughts out there, and get it off my chest.

If you have read this far, kudos to you, and thank you for reading. I would also hazard a guess that there is hope for you yet.

Whatever your belief, whichever side you support. I'm not saying stop posting, I'm not saying stop caring. I am simply asking that you put a pause between the seeing and sharing routine. A pause just to see if it's true, believable and not just hateful bullshit.

This what the Snopes website was built for, but on steroids.
Snopes made it's name from disproving stories posted on the internet. Gang initiations, celebrity stories, scams, police alerts etc. Think about this for a moment. Snopes made its name for one reason, and one reason alone. There are SO many gullible people on the internet who follow the belief that if you read it on the internet its true. It still to this day continues to make fools of people stupid enough to read any old bullshit they see on the internet, and then not content with being dumb enough to believe it themselves, they share that shit, and perpetuate it!

You got to admit, it's a fair point.!

Right, I'm done here for now, thanks again for reading.