The Lava Trolley: May 2005

The Lava Trolley

Or is it the lavatory???

...Either case, this little nook on blogasphere is the natural dumping ground for the sort of crap that erupts
when you find a wee Chink in the Britworks...

But hey, I promise you this is steamingly hot shit...which is probably why it's all looking a bit brown!

 

30 May 2005

Deep fried frogs' legs, anyone?

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"Crazy Frog hops over Coldplay to Britain's Number One spot."

Oh no! It's all gone Pete Tong!!!!

Somebody, ANYBODY...please,
kill that annoying thing! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It stopped being funny the the last 500 times I heard it...

It was all very well when Daniel Malmedahl's recording was first used in the
Insanity Test, but how could anyone mistake it for music????

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>>> Grand Prix will never be the same again! <<<

You can't dance to it, you can't sing along, and listening to it only makes you want to blast someone's face off with a Glock, preferably that of Bass Bumber.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

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Hooray for Exhibitionism!!!!

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"SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco's Center
for Sex and Culture played host on Saturday to the
city's annual 'Masturbate-a-thon', an event its
organizers said could draw up to 120 people
from across the United States aiming to have
a good time with themselves...

Melissa Gira, a former peep show performer who
oversaw the evening's Web cast, was considering
joining in, as she had done last year.

'It's interesting to be sexual in public,' she said.
'These aren't things we're sexually socialized to do.' "

ICHIBAN!!!!! Image hosted by Photobucket.com
How come we don't have things like that here? Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Relevant Article:
San Francisco Hosts Self-Pleasure Marathon

Visit the
Centre for Sex & Culture.
My views on
Exhibitionism.

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What have you got to hide?

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"The horrendous economic costs of the ID card scheme are clear; the social costs will be with us for decades."
I’ve got an answer to that, and it involves two fingers.

Yet again, we bear witness to more bickering amongst the powers-that-be…and this time, it’s over the issue of Identity Cards…

Hmmm…to ID, or not to ID…that is the question…

Before we carry on, let’s just look at all the arguments against compulsory ID…

Even quicker than any of us can say ‘yay or nay’, we have human rights activists crying ‘FASCISM!!!’ up and down the country…

What is this? China? Let me know when the
BNP (and their hidden agenda) have taken over, and then I’ll start panicking…But as I look at magazines on the top shelves, the heroics of notorious Greenpeace protestors, and antics of drunken teenagers roaming the streets late at night, I can’t help but feel that premonitions of an autocratic regime are pretty far-fetched at this stage.

Quite frankly, I find the thought of that quite laughable. Surely, our government is far too incompetent to mobilise any sort of political schemes, let alone anything resembling a dictatorship. It took them long enough to ratify a bill banning fox-hunting…and it’s not looking likely that this newly proposed legislation will ever come to pass…at least not for another…oooh…millennium?

As for how much the ID card scheme will cost…Well, if we spent a little less money on constructing more housing for useless layabouts, this particular discussion would not even be taking place.
“Civil liberties groups complain the cards will
compromise fundamental individual freedoms.”

Er…such as?

Anyone would think ID cards could somehow bestow on our authorities the capacity to tap into our minds, or harness all our bedroom secrets…The biggest concern expressed by opponents of this idea is that it would create a Big Brother scenario.

Yeap yeap…Fair point…I’ll wager Big Brother has been watching us (or at least attempting to) long before George Orwell got his inspiration for 1984. Well, our national peeping-tom can permanently wire himself up to binoculars for all I care…

I don’t deny that ID Cards will allow government departments greater access to all our details, and that we will lose certain privileges pertaining to privacy. However, why should we fear them tracking our movements if we haven’t done anything we ought to be ashamed of? I doubt the average Joe Blog (that’s you and me in the eyes of the big shots) would attract enough attention to warrant any extreme surveillance.

The question that should be on our minds is – What are they going to do with the information they get from us?

Broadcast it from the rooftops? Steal our identities? Create clones? Send MI5 assassins after us for complaining about the price of petrol?

I’m sure you can come up with any number of conspiracy theories which I’ve probably never even heard of…They may even seem pretty legitimate…

You know, there’s a medical term reserved for such a condition, and it’s called Paranoia.

So maybe ID cards will turn our nation into a nanny state, but perhaps Great (er hem) Britain is in desperate need of Nursey’s loving attention. Actually, I’m very much in favour of tearing down this whole country, and re-building it from scratch, but that’s another matter…

I’m not too sure how ID cards will stop terrorism, but ask any expert on forensics or any member of the police force, and he/she will tell you that this system will be a great boon to those trying to solve crimes. At the moment, the only fingerprints and DNA that CID have on their records belong to past offenders...Not very effective, is it? Yes, it is true that burglars can simply get around this by wearing gloves, but how likely is it that they would do that 24/7? After all, stolen goods do have a habit of turning up somewhere else…eventually.

Anything that makes life more complicating for criminals will have my support.

“Rather than requiring more information from people,
he said the cards would ensure a ‘less intrusive’ way
of collecting details than the national census.”

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not dumb enough to believe Home Secretary Blunkett’s spin on this, or any politician’s for that matter…Require less information? Hmmm…I’m not convinced…

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I am fully aware that slapping a barcode on ourselves will open even more windows to tempt Big Brother’s snooping inclinations, but like with everything else, there are pros and cons…

This could work both ways...Think about how convenient it would be if all our information could be consolidated and represented by just one document. One reference number for everything…NHS, Social Security, NI Contributions, Taxes, Travel, Driving License (currently, you still need to have your old license to accompany your photocard for it to become a valid form of ID), Passport etc etc…This means no more form-filling, waiting or queuing. It cuts out a lot of red tape and needless bureaucratic paperwork…I can see how this could prevent fraud, particularly Benefit fraud.

Those who object to ID cards frequently delight in pointing out that countries who use them have not experienced all that much reduction in criminal activity…But what they do not tell you, is that ID cards are voluntary in most of those countries, or that those systems did not get the fully comprehensive biometric treatment…Let’s face it, an ID card that isn’t compulsory makes it rather pointless…Either make it mandatory or not have it at all…Why waste all that money and effort on half-arsed measures?

Here’s one country with a compulsory ID card scheme that DOES work – Singapore. That same card/number can even be used in all their public libraries and banks (for registering purposes and proof of ID). Furthermore, ID cards are not only exclusive to Singaporeans. Immigrants have to apply for them too…There’s no need for those living in the Lion City to re-register each time they switch doctors, or apply for housing etc etc… All they need to do is inform the relevant department (note that the noun here is singular) each time they move…That is all.

It also only costs them a mere S$10 each…roughly equivalent to £3.

Singapore makes the UK’s organisational structure look primitive…Perhaps the laws there do come across as a tad draconian, but it’s a little extreme to describe it as arbitrary since the majority of the Singapore population is in favour of ID cards. Whatever you might say about that country, it is clear that its form of compulsory ID does what it sets out to do. And it is the RESULTS that count.

But more important than that, streets feel a lot safer there, giving the inhabitants of Singapore peace of mind...I don't consider it terribly democratic when my home and interests are not protected, as is the case right now...It is a fact that the crime rate in Singapore is much lower than in most countries…Many are fond of pointing out that this has more to do with demography (population: 4.3 million) than ID cards. But does size make such a huge difference in this case? Puerto Rico (population: 3.8 million) is just as small, but 695 murders were committed there in 2000 as compared to Switzerland’s 69. And incidentally, Switzerland (population: 7.3 million) has an ID card scheme as well…Coincidence? I think not.

The point is, the benefits of ID cards offset the disadvantages…But there must be a way we can all meet in the middle, by ensuring only information that is necessary is collated, and high standards of security are achieved etc etc...That an ID Card system is a highly effective and potent tool is not in dispute…True, putting all our info-data eggs in one microchip basket is a risk…but no more than depositing all our money in a bank.


Having said that, ID cards in the wrong hands could be the ultimate disaster, which is why reservations about those currently in our nation’s driving seat are entirely justified. Perhaps it is high time they got their act together by doing their job…such as running our country without turning it into the mess that it is today…

…Introducing compulsory ID would be a start.


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Relevant Articles:
Government Re-Introduces ID Cards Bill
Blair Defends Identity Card Plan
Blunkett Launches ID Cards Bill

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29 May 2005

AudioTraffic

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I was going to post something serious about ID Cards, but then got side-tracked by this new band I've found on the web...
(Yes, I'm easily distracted! Image hosted by Photobucket.com )

I can't quite remember how I got to their website, but I reckon I must've clicked on some link by accident...

I'm glad I did though!!!

Most Indie/Alternative bands/musicians usually try too hard and end up sounding too contrived...or attempt to make up for lack of talent by substituting it with a weird streak in their musical technique, under the mistaken impression that simply being 'different' would somehow compensate...Few bands ever manage to get away with 'weird' or 'offbeat', let alone pulling it off with aplomb...Cibo Matto, Bjork and Flaming Lips are amongst the few who have succeeded...

AudioTraffic is completely unpretentious...that much is obvious from their interview with
www.hkclubbing.com:

"I think the whole time we just…crossed our fingers and do what we do!"
I had a listen to their debut Way Too Long, which can be downloaded from their site, and was pleasantly surprised by what came resonating out of my speakers...These days, I class what I hear into two categories...Badly put-together (especially irritating) soundwaves would come under the umbrella of 'Noise', whereas 'Music' would comprise of well-organised, original and harmonious audio vibrations...worthy of air-time.

...AudioTraffic's album belongs to the latter group...


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Proper stuff!

And I must say, the jazzy strains at the end of Way Too Long was a nice touch.

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28 May 2005

Vestis Virum Reddit

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"LONDON (AFP) - A British juvenile delinquent who
terrorized his neighbors with a chainsaw was banned
from wearing a cap or hooded sweatshirt for five years."

So nice to see justice being served...A worthless ASBO, plus a free wardrobe makeover, and we'll make a man out of him...

Yeah, right! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

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27 May 2005

Down the Cat-tle-Walk...

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Well, it looks like the Boho look is back...again...Or perhaps they should try to disguise the fact that they've run out of ideas by re-packaging it with a new name, and calling it the Bovine look...

Aaaah...But girls, that's a GOOD thing...You see, this means you don't have to buy anything new from the shops, or even attempt to re-vamp your style, since you can still stick to everything from LAST year's wardrobe...Hey! You don't even need to seek any inspiration or try to be cutting-edge in any way...Being original is OUT, and is sooo passé! All you need to do this season, is play a game of follow-the-leader (even when the big names are pretty clueless themselves)...just like everybody around you! MOOOOO!!!

Oh, but how remiss of me to have forgotten this one thing...You might of course want to get that same skirt in a DIFFERENT colour...WOW!!!

Apparently, green is the new pink! YAY!

Geez...Image hosted by Photobucket.com


...This is why I want to invest in a sewing machine...

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25 May 2005

Welcome to Baaaa-llywood!!!

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This just made me laugh!!!

We've now got a shortage of Asians, have we?

And why the need to rusticate them?

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15 May 2005

Britain's New Flag - The Union Chav

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"Brits can survive the Blitz but find hoods intimidating?!"

This just about sums up the logic of the United Kingdom.

If you are absolutely clueless as to what I'm talking about, take a look at this BBC article, Mall Bans Shoppers' Hooded Tops.

And if you STILL have no idea about what we're all blithering on about here on this fair isle, get yourself acquainted with Chavscum.

A dress code at shopping centres? Whatever next???

Before we all get embroiled in an argument about whether every hooded tracksuit-clad person is prone to anti-social behaviour, let’s get things into perspective…The whole idea of Bluewater’s new regulations is (ostensibly) to keep anyone from deliberately obscuring his/her face thus making it more difficult for CCTV to detect the identity of someone in the event that a crime gets committed, and also to preserve the image of Europe’s (one of) largest leisure and retail complex as a family-friendly environment.

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Riiiiight…now, how are they going to enforce this?

According to their guidelines, ALL hooded tops and baseball caps have been banned…which strikes me as rather daft…particularly in this country where the weather is somewhat unpredictable, and brollies have a tendency of being ripped apart by gale-force winds. Seeing as Bluewater isn’t quite what I’d consider easily accessible, do they expect all patrons who haven’t the luxury of owning an automobile to perhaps teleport?

Furthermore, the term ‘hooded tops’ leaves FAR too much open to interpretation. I assume they refer to the more sporty variety…but since no indication has been made, and they are probably loath to make any exceptions to prevent misunderstanding, it seems hardly fair that other law-abiding citizens have to suffer the consequences of misconduct precipitated by less responsible individuals.

Is Bluewater, a supposedly ‘classless’ enterprise, going the same way as Harrods?

Surely it would be more practical for staff (of which there must be numerous in an establishment of this size), to keep an eye out for anyone with a hood up (they are, after all, indoors…which would make raised hoods rather redundant), and simply request that he/she lowers it? Besides, there is nothing to stop anyone from smuggling in such garments in their bags, or even from purchasing them from the shops found in the very same mall!

More importantly, what is the significance of this rule? I submit that this is merely another bid to sweep things under the carpet…to pull wool over our eyes…Banning hoods and whatnot solves nothing…It isn’t the attire that needs to change, but the attitude. To coin a phrase from Margaret Mitchell’s classic, “a mule in a horse harness is still a mule”. Forcing chavs to abandon their ‘uniform’ in favour of a few paltry hours spent scouting for assorted Burberry items at Bluewater won’t make them change their behaviour in the slightest. The real problem is that chavs exist at all!!!

Then again, there is the message we are sending out to them. We can all thank our most esteemed Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, if outlawing such clothing has only introduced another element of tough ‘gangsta’ appeal to the periodic table of Planet Chav.

"Hoods are rather intimidating and I rather
welcome what they have done here at Bluewater."

Shut up, you big poof!!! I don’t see YOU doing anything about it?

Or Tony Blair for that matter…

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Ok, I’m not entirely certain if this image is genuine or the result of some nifty Photoshop work and a commendable sense of humour…But the point has been made. We are becoming a nation of scum, and no one’s doing anything about it…worse, the laws of the UK pander to them…and the media doesn’t help (apart from Little Britain, though the effectiveness of that sort of ridicule is debatable…chavs just aren’t intelligent enough to grasp the concept of satirical humour)...Otherwise respectable celebrities like Kate Moss, Paris Hilton and Madonna actually endorse this culture by adopting chav trends.

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Don't get me wrong...all this criticism doesn't mean I am dead set against this dress code...Heaven knows anything that makes life difficult for chavs will have my support...Still...That this country has to resort to imposing precepts that outline what we should and shouldn’t wear in public areas is a sure sign that something is very very wrong. Is that the best we can come up with? Great! Brit society is rapidly disintegrating and our government hasn’t even got a contingency plan. As I have often said, our nation’s slogan should be: “the future’s grim; the future’s ash-grey”. A prophecy bleak enough to more than rival our winters, but nonetheless an accurate assessment.

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How I wish I could do a Harry Potter by waving my magic wand and turning all chavs into nice productive individuals. Sadly, that’s never going to happen. Looks like us lot are doomed to let the bling posse walk all over us. Is there no hope of ever taking the mug out of muggle? Yes…Rounding up all chavs, shipping them off to some island in the middle of nowhere and leaving them stranded there springs to mind…A fitting end for those who not only take from the community without giving anything in return, but also happen to be a danger to all around them. However, the world is running out of uninhabited places. Besides, one has to consider what this sort of pollution could do to said island’s eco system…Oh well, we shall just have to settle for blasting them off to a distant planet, preferably one with noxious gases.

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What a bummer!!!

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Anyone who doesn’t know what kind of person I am might accuse me of indulging in a bitch fest after reading this…but only if they completely missed the point. Whilst I may not be a die-hard fan of Devon Aoki, I have nonetheless always viewed her as a rather attractive figure…There are not many out there who possess her striking features and that certain je ne sais quoi

Comments about her looks have ranged from descriptions of her as Nature's experiment with Down's Syndrome gone horribly wrong (David's words, not mine!), to a life-sized anime character off manga comicbooks...That is, people either love her or hate her. Below are just a few shots of the model/actress I rather liked…the latter happens to be from the cover of one of my fave transcultural fashion magazines – WestEast.



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That Devon Aoki is part-Asian only adds to my admiration, since Orientals have been rather scarce in the international celebrity gene pool…

…which is why I was met with a sense of disenchantment when faced with the encounter of her gluteus maximus looming up on my screen upon visiting a fansite...

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…This, purportedly, is Devon Aoki’s arse…Actually…What arse? Where? It just doesn’t seem to be ‘holding up’ (if you’ll pardon the pun), does it?

David had initially thought this derrière belonged to a man until I corrected him...Oh dearie dearie me…This photo does the poor girl’s image no favours. Either the photographer needs some lessons in creating flattering composites, or a trip to the gym for an uplifting experience is in order for Miss Aoki…and dare I suggest a high-calorie diet to boost the muscle-building sessions?

Yes, I am most aware that Aoki is human after all, and like the rest of us, has her flaws…but this surely, is something she can work on.

The bottom line is that if she can’t be bothered taking care of her body, particularly in a job where looks DO matter, she is in the wrong profession.


Photos courtesy of
Devolution.

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14 May 2005

Time to make a will...

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You have no doubt already heard enough about the Terri Schiavo case and had your own opinions about whether or not she should have been allowed to live or die...But the question I'm more concerned with here is...

Should this image of her have been allowed to go to print?

According to the press, the consent of her family had been given...but not HERS...

Presumably, she was in no condition to do so, and had not left a living will...I would say this constitutes as a breach of privacy (from an ethical point of view...Seeing as the poor lady has already passed on, it follows that no legal proceedings can be brought), since her wishes on the matter had never been made known, and all we have are the assurances of her husband and parents who may or may not have been more interested in achieving their own ends...I have always been of the opinion that when in doubt, don't!

However, there are more important issues at play here than the ethics of one's right to privacy and the offending of delicate sensibilities...That Schiavo's collapse was brought about by a Bulimia-induced cardiac arrest is a big factor.

Reverse psychology doesn't always work, but more awareness should still be raised regarding the reality of this terrible eating disorder...and about how the illness could result in such a horrific end that not even Schiavo's immediate family had been prepared for...

The media has a tendency of glamorising and glorifying related mental/personality disorders, but the truth is that it is not only models and actresses (most notably...apparently...from the cast of Ally McBeal) who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia...How many of us can truly say that we know the real effects of these disorders, and can properly detect the symptoms in others? (Unfortunately for some who may attempt to comfort themselves in mistakenly believing this myth, just being thin is not a criteria)...Not many, I wager...

Had Schiavo not been suffering from such a controverial illness, I would have maintained that letting this image go live would serve no purpose...hence making it gratuitous...It was enough that we were already getting reports from doctors about the vegetative state she was in, and that those involved in the judicial process had access to such evidence...It was not our place to intrude upon her personal space, particularly under the circumstances...The media did not need to appeal to our sense of melodrama...

My other half, David, disagreed however. He was of the opinion that the media had made no transgressions in releasing this picture to the public (He's a photographer) despite whatever history was behind it...which made me realise that had I been in Schiavo's shoes, I would have suffered the same fate...proof that even your closest loved ones would not know your thoughts on every matter unless you clearly stipulate them...Every decent person derserves to be given the chance of making a dignified exit from life, and to be remembered as more than an invalid...It is one of the basic rights of all humanity.

Perhaps, this is how Terri Schiavo would have liked to remain in our memories:


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More info on Terri Schiavo.

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03 May 2005

There you go!!!!

++grunged~elegance++

New pics for my portfolio from one of my recent shoots (by Photographer Elizabeth Preston) as promised...This one's my fave out of the lot...

Got more sessions lined up with other photographers, but been ill lately...had a really bad cold.

...I've mainly been trying to catch up on work, and have finally completed that dissertation (an hour late!!!! Oops!). Anyhow, off to do more stuff again...busy busy busy!!!

Cheerio!

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