Thursday 20 October 2011

Gaddafi My Land

This is neither the time nor the place for debate about the non-existent rights or considerable wrongs of blowing up passenger planes. But as yet another tyrant was brought to justice (killed without trial) one question needed to be answered: why could no-one spell his name? Yet CNN was calling hims Gadhafi and Fox News was preferring Qadaffi. And any national pride was soon quashed as I noticed that ‘Gadaffi’ was trending in the UK on Twitter and the correct spelling was not. That’s right: I am focussing on what’s important.

Code of Arms

*Holds hands in air in the international hand gesture of ‘I’m guilty of something’* I don’t know much about the whole farrago at Dale Farm. I don’t know if the police were within their rights to do anything, I don’t know what the travellers was and if it was proportionate. All in all I’ve let this one pass me by. That’s not going to stop me having a go at the shoddy journalism of the one article I did read today in The Metro, the last bastion of barely edited press releases and re-tooled stories from local newspapers.

The article I was read was headlined ‘Screaming police stormed in like it was Afghanistan’. [I haven’t got a direct link  to it but you can view it here on the e-edition (page 5).] You can guess it’s going to to be a well-balanced piece with integrity when you read a piece with that headline. The crux of the article is that the travellers are annoyed to heck by having been forcibly removed by the police from land that they own. I’m not having a go at their annoyance, just how it is framed within the story.

People who were forced to hurriedly pack their possessions into vans as officers smashed their way through told of ‘codewords’ and threats resounding across across the Dale Farm campsite.’

I’ve seen better constructed sentences. What got my goat (metaphor) was ‘codewords’.  Why are they in inverted commas? If they were codewords then they were codewords. And what is wrong with them using codewords to do work. Whether or not their force was justified or appropriate is another matter; I am just having a go at this article/journalist. Codewords? Afghanistan? Is someone trying to make this sound like a war between the police and the travellers? Some investigation and reporting on why things happened, should they have happened. That’s just me.

Turning Tricks

I remember when people went trick-or-treating. I never did of course: I didn’t want to ask for or owe anyone anything even at an early age. People just wanted money when they did it on my estate. I honestly have no idea what kids want they do it these days. Living in flats and the like for the best part of a decade means I have never had to oven ignore people were knocking at my door (which is what I would do). Do people go trick-or-treating? And if so are they happy with chocolate or candy (american for sweets) like they are in the American TV shows?

It seems to be enough of an issue for the police (yeah those bastards with their fucking codewords) to produce these posters (see below). Now I am A1 bang on the side of the people who have no interest in being involved in this. A1. But doesn’t the whole point of trick-or-treat that the, and let’s call them what they are, beggars DEMAND foodstuff from innocent hard-working people. The people (the innocent hard-working ones) hand over ‘treats’, probably with a shaking hand, to the marauding gangs of youths. It’s basically quite polite looting. So, if people are brave enough to stand up to the beggars they are ‘tricked’ or give tricks (the grammar of it all is very complicated). This seems to involve eggs being thrown at the house front of the treat-deniers. Yeah, it’s a terrible state of affairs but there seems to be some tacit agreement in society that this is fine.

Given that this agreement is in place (and it is) then this poster is just a cheat. The choice is ‘trick or treat’. A refusal to treat is an acceptance of punishment. Saying you want neither is just thinking you’re above everything. The choice is trick or treat. I’m afraid if you don’t want to fill the dirty hands of local urchins with sugar-based snacks then you are accepting some trick, be it an egging or something equivalent (strangling a child, the crucifixion of a pet  or throwing a flour bomb for example).


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