thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from oed.com). This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I JUST DECIDED
I just decided that the one I just played was my last ever game of solitaire. Let's see how I do. If solitaire works, maybe I could work on the smoking.

I have been smoking since I was 16. I stopped for a year and a half when I was about 22. I did it the right way too. Finished the pack and said that that will be the last one. It wasn't, but I did well for a year and a half but still had the occasional one when drunk, but very occasional.

Then I started again.

I always said I would stop before I was 30. At this point (28), thats a maybe, but I will stop eventually, I have done it before.

Smoking kills I know, but what I am really trying to establish here is making excuses. And the particular subject of excuses I want to get onto here is obesity. I am not claiming that the negative health effects of obesity make smoking ok. That might seem a weird statement but some pro-smoking lobbies have pointed out that the negative health effects of obesity are worse than smoking. Despite whatever other lies tobacco companies have told, that statement looks like its true, but it doesn't change the point.

I have been in some of the poorer countries in the world and a few of the wealthier ones too. When you go to the poorer countries if you use your eyes you will see that obesity is a problem that DOES NOT EXIST. Look in the richer ones, and you will see that it does.

I am fairly certain (this isn't just conjecture) that this blows the glandular or genetic argument out the water.

Just like me with smoking some people get on the proper diet and fitness wagon and fall off again. I don't want to preach, I have never been to a gym in my life. If I want to get fit there are always beatiful places to walk, things to see, healthier things to eat and drink.

Obesity has become a problem (was going to say a HUGE problem but it is too obvious a pun - hey, my mum died of cancer and I tell cancer jokes, don't be so touchy).

A slightly pompous argument, is that overeating contributes (as do smoking and unnecessary car and air journeys) to the horrible cycle of pointless consumption that is going to end clean air, the ozone and safe living sometime in the course of this century.

I am not any better, I still smoke. I just don't see the point in the excuses. Nothing more than self-deception.

If parents force their children to smoke there would be a huge outcry. Protection services would be involved. I think parents who allow their children to become obese should be subject to punishments. I think that is one of the few statist things that I have said, I am not happy about it, I just can't think of another way out of it right now (this instant I mean, not in general).

Yes, marketing people are paid to deceive us. Yes, it is more convenient (though not actually cheaper) to eat pre-prepared food. Nevertheless, knowing what I do, which is that if I continually smoke there is a decentish chance I will die slowly and painfully of lung cancer and that if I continually play solitaire then I will have wasted time on something utterly pointless (time reduced by my smoking habit), whatever happens is MY FAULT.

Here are some Scottish lyrics about the very same thing...

Everybody's a Victim -The Proclaimers

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA

I demand recompense
For sitting on the fence
Throughout my adult life
You've got to put my parents in jail
For raising me in Fife
It doesn't matter what I do
You have to say it's alright
And I need you to send somebody around
To tuck me in at night
Because...

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA

Well it's not my fault
That I'm positive
I just stuck a needle in my arm
And nobody told me
That sixty a day
Would do me any harm
My liver's shrivelling like a leaf
But it's not the whisky that doo's it
Call me irresponsible
And I'm really going to lose it
Because...

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA

Wear a ribbon for this
Hug a stranger for that
Light a candle to the dead
And soon you'll forget
That you ever had
A brain inside our head
We value everythin the same
We turn it into farce
So we don't know a crisis
'Till it kicks us up the arse
Because...

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:00 pm   17 comments
Saturday, May 20, 2006
SUNDAYS ARE SUPERB 2
I must be getting soft in my old age or something. I said I would post things that I like on Sundays and whilst I am definitely a prose and not a poetry person, this always stuck with me. There is something about the idea of abusing the sun for spoiling your perfect night that I like...

THE SUN RISING.
by John Donne


BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thy beams so reverend, and strong
Why shouldst thou think ?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long.
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and to-morrow late tell me,
Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay."

She's all states, and all princes I ;
Nothing else is ;
Princes do but play us ; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus ;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just to contradict myself, here is a nice shot of Loch Lomond at dawn.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 4:19 pm   3 comments
Thursday, May 18, 2006
WILLFUL IGNORANCE

I don't look at right-wing blogs much. I figure that I get enough of it on fox, the bbc, cnn etc. The right wing blogs tend to parrot what those people are saying but sometimes in a more extreme form. I don't want to fall into simple left/right divisions here so I will say "people involved in dissent".

People involved in dissent...how many of you surf opposite view sites to see what they are saying? I have been abused on quite a few of them by people who have turned up here, argued and lost and then went to right-wing blogs and abused me thinking it wouldn’t come to my attention (usually one of my readers or commenters has provided the best response).

Another sneaky trick is looking through the archives and then trying to leave a final comment on an old post as if it was a clinching argument. The idea is that no one will notice so all the other comments and the article are usurped because someone got the last word in. Yes, it is childish, but there have been several attempts at this sort of thing on this blog and others I know of.

One person was doing this and then stopped. Someone else seems to be doing it now. Take this example from a Mr. 'Twinklebones', recently added to the end of the post with my first film. It was posted after it was off the front page of the site. This may mean he only came across it at that point but as this site is by no means one of the busiest sites on the web it might have taken a bit of determined searching. Anyway, I now repost the comment...

"I watched your video, 'praise the lord and pass the ammunition'. I loved it.

It was hilarious. I love that song and I have been waiting for an anti war advocate to use it for some kind of creative message. It was very well done.

The parts I liked were the American Battleships (tubthumpers comment..notice the capital letters here?) sailing to Europe to save them from a totalitarian expansionist threat that surely would have enslaved them or murdered them in cold blood.

I also enjoyed the ironic inclusion of the "duck and cover" footage as a satire of those leftists that are impeding efforts to defend against the current totalitarian expansionist tyrants in the middle east that are trying to kill us all.

I have watched it a few times. It really made my day. I'm sharing it with my friends.

(tubthumper comment - did you spot the threat?)


American kids learn to handle weapons at a young age, because we not only have to defend ourselves, we have to bail out the European left* every time they wave around a piece of paper and claim to have established "peace in our time". You can just say thank you as we fly over, if you are able to roll out of your cozy bed."

Where do I begin? For a start my bed isn't particularly cosy (that's a UK spelling). This comment also implies that anyone who disagrees with Bush and Blair is an apologist for Hitler. It misses out that many people believe Bush, Blair, Hitler, Ahmedinajad, Musharaff etc etc to be part of the same breed. Many people fight every day against all of those people.

I have a new post coming next week regarding the oft repeated idea that everyone in Europe should be groveling to the USA for their magnificent benevolence TM. Look out for it. That concept is just as absurd as the british people who still believe that the purpose of the british empire was to civilize the world.

On the whole, I would be more impressed if I thought that this was design on the part of this commenter. I think it is more like mistaking lethargy for strategy.

Also, notice what is going on with the term "totalitarian expansionist threat". You see it the first time...read again where it recurs...he/she mentions irony but clearly has no concept of it.

The general point here is that in the defence of what certain people perceive as freedom they have decided to join together and attack individuals who try to express themselves.

It is a strange mindset. I understand that people are propagandized from day one. I don't understand why seemingly rational people don't break out of it and instead spend all their energies defending the indefensible.

For people who are going to leave comments one month after this post is up in order to debunk it, here is a truncated list of some of the things I have NEVER defended on this site...

  1. Tony Blair
  2. George Bush
  3. Saddam Hussein
  4. Slobadan Milosevic
  5. 9/11
  6. Murder

*describing Neville chamberlain as the European left shows either willful or depressing ignorance

Please look at the previous post if you want a laugh.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 6:29 pm   5 comments
APOLOGIES
I have been very very busy if late and so haven't had much time for this. back with some serious posting by tomorrow (hopefully).

In the meantime, there is no better way to make up for absenteeism than by being funny when you come back (ok, well, posting someone else being funny.)

Thanks for the concern Rose.

I hadn't seen this for so long but on watching it again I nearly fell of my seat at this bit....
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 5:13 am   8 comments
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
SOME NEW THINGS


The results of the old poll are as follows...

patsy
12%
fascist
21%

stormtrooper 15%
fool
15%
hardworking man just trying to do the best for his community 6%
government assassin 18%
wave short of an ocean 15%

The new poll is about the BBC so everyone should be able to answer.

There is also a new warmonger of the week. Congratulations to our winner who is the first person ever to win it twice. Follow the link that is down there (on the right, after the links) to see why.

In the meantime here is one more of my favourite cartoons...

I also want to give anothe heads up to the excellent people over at www.spinwatch.org who have added a new smaller sitte to go with the bigger one. www.nuclearspin.org is showing and telling about some of the people involved in the phoney nuclear debate in the UK and elsewhere.
I understand that they have already upset some of the right people.

www.nuclearspin.org
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:32 am   5 comments
Sunday, May 07, 2006
SUNDAYS ARE SUPERB
It has been brought to my attention that occasionally I am quite negative. I usually respond to such a scurrilous accusation by suggesting that the more you know about what is really going on in the world the more you realise you aren't negative enough.

However, in order to take the sting out of these accusations (again) I have decided to have a 'Sundays are superb' thing at thumping the tub. That said, every time I have tried to come up with a running theme on a particular day I always forget 2 weeks later so we will see how it works out.

Superb Sunday will be things I like rather than things I hate, which is what most of this site tends to be, and first up are old people who keep their anger at what is going on right up to the end. Number one on the list is Kurt Vonnegut.

I really don't know that much about him other than reading 'Slaughterhouse 5' but that is a good enough start point for anyone to be getting on with.

I post below his daily show interview. If you are not convinced yet about reasons for watching it I hereby provide a teaser...

"I do feel that evolution is being controlled by some sort of divine engineer. I can't help thinking that..., and eh..., this engineer knows exactly what he or she is doing and why... or where evolution is headed... and thats why we have got Giraffe and Hippopotami and the clap"



p.s. Vonnegut sprung back to my mind a while ago because of a post at a dream puppet who has one of the best blogs out there but doesn't get enough comments. I post a link straight to the blog rather than the specific article because it is all good stuff. If you want the Vonnegut one it is April 15th in the archives.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 4:48 pm   10 comments
Thursday, May 04, 2006
DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD
She isn't really dead - unless something happens to her while this post is up. If that happens I will be in all the papers as some sort of sicko as if it was me that is/was a murdering old sow. All the sycophants will be out in force that day and I will be reaching for the sick bag. We will hear all sorts of nonsense about 'the Iron Lady' and her derring-do and fortitude. We will hear less about her slashing welfare, ruining employment rights, wrecking the railways, being a war criminal (look up some stuff about the sinking of the Belgrano) and being a great friend of such lovely people as General Pinochet. They probably won't mention that she was opposed to sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa either.

The reason I want to post all of this is for my American readers to let them know that while the concept of a female leader is a good thing, the reality may not be any better than what is currently around.

A lot of women I know in the UK have the attitude that it was great having a woman PM finally but why the f*ck did it have to be her?

Also, hundreds of people I know talk about going out for a celebratory beer when she finally does die. MILLIONS of people I don't know talk about the same thing. It is quite a common conversation in the UK.

That might seem callous but it is not anywhere near as callous as she was.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 7:17 am   14 comments
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
THROWING THIS ONE OPEN

I can never make my mind up. Is google earth just another thing trying to acclimatise us to the surveillance society or is it a fantastic tool to play around with? Or both?

Download it and play around if you don't know what I am talking about.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 6:53 am   8 comments
U.S. MONETARY Cost of the War in Iraq - other people are spending too, and the human cost is much higher
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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping
    Links

  • spinwatch
  • adbusters
  • internet archive
  • art not oil
  • blairwatch
  • bushflash
  • camcorder guerillas
  • corporate watch
  • campaign for press freedom
  • noam chomsky
  • common dreams
  • counterpunch
  • cost of war
  • david rovics
  • democracy now
  • dissident voice
  • the dossier
  • downing street says
  • etims
  • robert fisk
  • food not bombs
  • global research
  • gmwatch
  • impeach blair
  • indybay video
  • killing hope
  • lobbywatch
  • mediachannel
  • medialens
  • mickey z
  • mixed up records
  • george monbiot
  • mark thomas
  • john pilger
  • radio 4 all
  • schnews
  • snow shoe films
  • sourcewatch
  • tom englehardt
  • ukwatch
  • video activist network
  • howard zinn
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    NODOBY KNOWS ME
    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • TCOAW
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

    Who links to me?

    For a DotSCOT Domain!

    Fight Spam! Click Here! Blunt Cogs Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Politics Blog Top Sites BlogRankers.com Scottish Blogs Blogdust Find Blogs in the Blog Directory Top 100 Scottish Websites
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