Politics Reviews Videogames

Disco Elysium Reviews

Here are some hilarious reviews of Disco Elysium. I found them in Disco Elysium Cunoposting and the general idea behind sharing them is that if you want to convince someone to play Disco Elysium, don’t show them the positive reviews, show them the negative ones.

Hyperbolic fit.
Thinking hurts my brain.
Nice touch, linking the Democrats and China. I wonder if this guy owns a MAGA hat.
Communism bad.

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Journalism Lists Pandemic Politics

Notes: things I don’t remember

So, this is basically a note I found on my phone, dated 20/04/2020, where I’d saved a bunch of memes, Tweets etc. alongside some records of conversations I actually had (with names changed to protect the [sort of] innocent). I think I intended to write something about the Pandemic, which I never started, & these notes were related to that. Obviously that date is the date of the last thing added, & some of the conversations recorded here definitely happened before the laughably light, & late, lockdown which came into effect in the UK on 23/03/2021.

Nothing I present here represents my own thoughts or feelings.

The title comes from the excellent song by Ugly Casanova, which I will include at the bottom of this post.

I don’t know if this is of interest to anyone, but I think that it offers a fascinating insight into the levels of horror, confusion & paranoia which I personally experienced, both in cyberspace & the meatspace. These notes represent a world in the grip of uncertainty, a far cry from the blasè acceptance of the pandemic & it’s deadly mismanagement of today, 18 months on.

You don’t expect this sort of thing in a country which voted overwhelmingly for dogmatic free market fundamentalists

[Gaslighting the population into confusion over the seriousness of this virus 🦠 a shambles with a serious agenda? ]

[the world became intoxicated with fame and glamour and lost the yardstick of true value. how can the guy who kicks a ball around a field be more valuable than the person who looks after your children? or the star of a movie franchise be worth more than the nurse who risks contagion to wash you and feed you when you are seriously ill and vulnerable? the person who performs the back breaking job of pulling the food from the ground that magically appears in your shopping trolley may be an itinerant EU worker but try living without him.. Time we all reassess what is important, and why???]

Roy: Dave, if I don’t come back from dinner it’s because some bastard has bought all the Irn Bru and I’ve topped myself.  

Roy: the state of the world now is that if McDonald’s closed some people wouldn’t eat at all. 

Me: that’s Darwinism in action.

Roy: yeah I agree, let them starve.

My aunties kids would starve cos that’s all she feeds them.

[Wife going into work at the bank people still not distancing, as I quote it’s my money and I’ll stand we’re I want.

They have not been given any ppe when money us unbelievable for carrying… and possibly bringing it home to there families]

[Ugh, I keep seeing parents of high school kids saying how “the government stole their babies year over some old people who’ll die anyway” and that they’ll put on a dance privately just to spite everyone.]

Roy: there’s this new virus in China

Comes from bats 

It’s so contagious that the doctors who were treating the sick guys even caught it through their hazmat suits

We’re all gonna get it anyway

Roy sweeping the lanes. Complaining about the large amounts of dust he’s inhaling.

me: hey silver lining, it’ll probably kill the coronavirus if you’ve got it

Roy: well, Turns out marijuana kills it. I’m probably immune.

Me to Bob: I wonder what Roy’s source is, that marijuana kills corona virus.

Bob: don’t know but I bet it’s website has got a cannabis leaf in its logo 

Above is based on a meme which shows a mock up live, breaking news broadcast. Made to appear like a BBC news broadcast. 

Alex: this is ridiculous 

Society is breaking down

I think it’s man made. My theory is that the economy is gonna collapse and that China will bail us out. They’ll buy us. 

J: it’s crazy. They’re closing things and banning things. I’ve got tickets to Disney land in three weeks.

Me: I’d get in touch with your travel insurance if I was you 

J: well we got it on credit card so we can get money back. It’s just daft though innit. There’s no need to close things. It’s probably not even real. 

Me: I think it’s actually a lot more serious than you think

J: yeah I guess. I’m just so confused. You don’t know what to believe do you. How do you know what’s real anyway? Is this real? I don’t know. 


J: what happens if we have to close down?

Generic Management Figure: name me one company that’s closed down

Jake: what?

Generic Management Figure: name me one. No company has had to close and none will.

Me: but it’s a possibility isn’t it. 

Generic Management Figure: yeah but it’s not very likely

Somewhere between Bladerunner and Soylent Green 

(Jason Manford, comedian: Sat watching the news with the kids when they announced “shoppers will only be able to buy 3 of any item”

My 7 yr old son “hang on, what about grapes?”

My hysterical daughters are now acting out the scenario of a shopkeeper giving 3 grapes to each shopper.

(Yes we’re going mad!))

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Journalism Links Literature Politics

Closing Tabs: Link Library #1

I needed to close some tabs on Safari on my iPad & I realise that I have read these various articles & poems but not closed tabs because I don’t want to lose them. Maybe I’d like to refer back to them or reread them later. I could bookmark them, I know, but I thought it would be nicer to share them with my readers. Hopefully you can find something interesting here. Knowing the way I “collect” open tabs like this, I’m sure this won’t be the only post like this. A couple of times a year (maybe more, maybe less), I’ll share what I’ve been reading.

Predicting a Pandemic: William Burroughs and COVID-19

Burroughs and Beats in Men’s Magazines: William Burroughs Appearances in Adult Men’s Magazines

Some Alternatives: Brands, Bands, Sell-Outs and Meltdowns Pt. I

Some Alternatives: Brands, Bands, Sell-Outs and Meltdowns Pt. II

Trump’s speech at CPAC was enough to haunt your most surreal fever dreams

Junk Media – Silver Jews: An Interview with David Berman

Lawrence Ferlinghetti – Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signalling you through the flames]

Clip-On Tie by David Berman (in The Baffler)


& for some now-forgotten reason (maybe related to Kentucky Route Zero?)

Robert Frost – The Death of the Hired Man

Metal Politics

System Of A Down – Genocidal Humanoidz (video)

Back in November I wrote about, Protect The Land & Genocidal Humanoidz, System Of A Down’s first new music in fifteen years. The focus was the excellent video for Protect The Land, with its heroic depictions of those who fight against genocide & the lengthy statement the band released alongside it.

Yesterday, the band released a new video for the second of those two songs, Genocidal Humanoidz, a powerful animation depicting a child’s fight for survival in a wartorn cityscape interspersed with footage of the band furiously performing the song. Classic System Of A Down.

Here’s the video for Protect The Land too, in case you missed it.

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Art Politics Punk Rock And Roll

Manic Street Preachers – 1991 gig poster, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

I found this poster on a Manic Street Preachers fan page on Facebook and I just liked it so much I felt the need to share it. Hope you like it as much as I do.

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Metal Politics

System Of A Down – Protect The Land/Genocidal Humanoidz

A bit of a surprise for me. I was getting my music ready for my cycle ride to work a couple of days ago; I wanted to listen to my favourite handful of System Of A Down tunes: Suite-Pea, Chop Suey, Toxicity, Know & Sugar; I’d be cycling into my work’s carpark as Sugar was ending so it’s a great cycle of songs for the ride. When I clicked onto their Spotify page I saw that they had release two new songs. It’s taken me a few days to get around to it but I finally listened to them today.

This is the exact kind of politically-charged agitprop you’d a) expect & b) the world could do with right now. This feels particularly weird in the context of public clashes between frontman Serj Tankian & drummer John Dolmayan over the latter’s support for populist, far-right American president Donald Trump. Nevertheless, these songs – the bands first in fifteen years – are a breath of fresh air in 2020. An enraged call for justice against war crimes in Armenia and indeed all over the developing world & the global south. A polemical roar against western Imperialism.

The songs are about, & in response to, complicated situations in & around the band’s ancestral homeland Armenia. I personally don’t feel knowledgable enough about these events to discuss them in detail but the band released the following statement on their Bandcamp page:

We as System Of A Down have just released new music for the first time in 15 years. The time to do this is now, as together, the four of us have something extremely important to say as a unified voice. These two songs, “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” both speak of dire and serious acts of aggression perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia. 

We’re proud to share these songs with you and hope you enjoy listening to them. Further, we encourage you to read on to learn more about their origins and once you do, we hope you are inspired to speak out about the horrific injustices and human rights violations occurring there now. Most importantly and urgently, we humbly implore you to donate, in sums small or large to help those adversely affected with what are ever growing accounts of crimes against humanity. 

In turn, you will receive downloads of these two new songs and the feeling that you’re truly making a difference. These funds will be used to provide crucial and desperately needed aid and basic supplies for those affected by these hideous acts. 

On September 27, the combined forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey (along with Isis terrorists from Syria) attacked the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which we as Armenians call Artsakh. For the following 44 days, civilians young and old were awakened day and night by the frightful sights and sounds of rocket attacks, falling bombs, missiles, drones and terrorist attacks. They had to find sanctuary in makeshift shelters, trying to avoid the fallout of outlawed cluster bombs raining down on their streets and homes, hospitals and places of worship. Their attackers set their forests and endangered wildlife ablaze using white phosphorus, another banned weapon. 

And Why? 

Because over 30 years ago in 1988, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh (which at the time was an Autonomous Oblast within the USSR), were tired of being treated as second class citizens and decided to declare their rightful independence from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic whose borders engulfed their own. This ultimately led to a war of self-determination by Armenians in Karabakh against Azerbaijan that ended in a cease fire in 1994, with Armenians retaining control of their ancestral homelands and maintaining their independence to the present day. Our people have lived there for millennia, and for most families there, it’s the only home they and their forefathers and mothers have ever known. They just want to live in peace on their ancestral homeland as they have for centuries. 

The current corrupt regimes of Aliyev in Azerbaijan and Erdogan in Turkey have now claimed most of these lands as their own, and committed genocidal acts with impunity on humanity and wildlife to achieve their mission. They banked on the world being too distracted with COVID, elections and civil unrest to call out their atrocities, and their tactic worked. They have the bankroll, the resources and have recruited massive public relations firms to spin the truth and conceal their barbaric objectives. This is not the time to turn a blind eye. 

There is an immediate need for global citizens to urge their respective governments to not only condemn the actions of these crooked dictators, but to also insist world leaders act with urgency to impose sanctions punishing them for their war crimes. 

We realize that for many of you, there are more convenient ways you like listening to music, so please consider the opportunity to download these songs as an act of charity above all else. Think of the list price for the downloads as a minimum donation, and if you have the ability and can be more generous with your donation, every single member of System Of A Down will be even more grateful for your benevolence. Band royalties from this initiative will be donated to Armenia Fund, a US based charity organization instrumental in providing those in need in Artsakh and Armenia with supplies needed for their basic survival. 

The music and lyrics speak for themselves. We need you to speak for Artsakh. 


Daron, Shavo, John and Serj 

Protect The Land/Genocidal Humanoidz is available now on all good streaming services & digital distributors but to help the cause, why not purchase these songs from the band’s Bandcamp page.

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Politics Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): TV Smith – Expensive Being Poor

Day 10.

This song by Punk legend Tim “TV” Smith has been on my mind a lot this week. The general response from right-wingers to the UK government’s refusal to offer the poorest children free school meals, has been to bemoan & harass them for the crime of “owning an iPhone” or “smoking cigs”. Typical mean-spirited stuff from the Tories & their legion of trolls. This song, as well as the attached Another Angry Voice infographic, has formed my own personal resistance to this callous & brutal disregard for our fellow man.

And the car is of the road 
But I never had a car 
And I pay more for food 
‘cos the supermarkets too far

It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Knocking on a closing door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs 
I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

And the box is on the fritz
It’s a black and white, or was
I tried taking it to bits 
Now the picture’s just a grey fuss

It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Someone pick me off the floor
It’s expensive being poor
How can I live with what I did 
When the cinema is 6 quid’ 
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Let the good times roll 
Into a bottomless hole 
With job friends and future 
My ideal home furniture
Let the trumpets sound 
As my house falls down

And the dust begins to clear 
And I’m lying on the ground
And I’m standing on a path 
In an unknown part of town
And the path leads me away 
Over hills and out of sight
In the blazing sun by day 
And the hanging moon by night
And I wind up in a place 
Where I never have to count
And I never see the waves 
As I push my leaking boat out

It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything hurts more
Knocking on a bolted door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs

I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Check out the Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Politics Post-Rock

Poisoned political discourse, Gonzo journalism & Rock n Roll: The Strange Existence Of Richard Milhous Nixon

“He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.”

Hunter S Thompson, ‘He Was A Crook’

Earlier in the year, whilst furloughed from work in the midst of the pandemic, I read through Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Hunter S. Thompson. One of the most striking pieces in the book, for me, was the obituary he wrote for Rolling Stone following the death of disgraced Republican former president, & in many ways Thompson’s arch-enemy, Richard Milhous Nixon (Reprinted in The Atlantic here). The most striking thing about this article, here, in the year of our lord 2020, is that the poison that Nixon poured into the political discourse is what has, inexorably, lead to the batshit chaos of American politics today. The normalisation of lawbreaking by public figures, at least in the public eye, is probably the primary building block which lead to the incumbent Republican, criminal, president Donald J Trump. Unlike Nixon, however, Trump didn’t have the weasel cunning to jump ship, to resign, rather than face impeachment. As such the stain of being an impeached president will forever linger on his record.

The pardoning of Nixon in light of his many criminal acts, is perhaps the single greatest mistake made in US history. Had Nixon been convicted & imprisoned for his lawbreaking, perhaps the crass opportunism of Trump wouldn’t have turned so many heads in the 2016 election. This is all by the by, however, Trump’s opportunism isn’t his worse crime. He is merely a toxic byproduct of Reaganism/Thatcherism, a poisoned outflow. His greatest crime is the enormous amount of fraud & tax evasion he has committed o=ver the years to hide his greatest flaw, his lack of ability in business. Ironically, he presents his business acuity as his greatest strength, despite the wreckage of his many bankrupt business ventures littering the highway behind him. Richard Milhous Nixon normalised this use of criminal acts by a public figure, & normalised the notion of the said public figure then being able to ascend to the lands highest office.

The main reason, however, for my thinking about Nixon today, is that I heard the excellent hit single The Love Of Richard Nixon by Manic Street Preachers on YouTube earlier & decided that I’d put together a blogpost of artwork, pics & links about the both the song & the Hunter S Thompson article. The video & artwork are excellent & the song is extremely different to much of the Manic’s catalogue up until that point. Driven by synth sounds & motorik rhythms, The Love Of Richard Nixon resembles artists like Depeche Mode more than the usual list of Manics influences. Over this New Wave/Post Punk sound, singer James Dean Bradfield treats the lyrics with a wonderful vocal performance. According to one YouTube commenter, “it is loaded with wit, pathos, irony and humour.”

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History Politics

Ernesto “Che” Guevara – 53rd anniversary of his martyrdom

I’m a little late with this due to working until 11PM. The actual anniversary was 9th October & technically it is the 10th as I publish this.

Rest In Power comrade.

When asked whether or not we are Marxists, our position is the same as that of a physicist, when asked if he is a “Newtonian” or of a biologist when asked if he is a “Pasteurian.”

There are truths so evident, so much a part of the peoples’ knowledge, that it is now useless to debate them. One should be a “Marxist” with the same naturalness with which one is a “Newtonian” in physics or a “Pasteurian.” If new facts bring about new concepts, the latter will never take away that portion of truth possessed by those that have come before.

Such is the case, for example, of “Einsteinian” relativity or of Planck’s quantum theory in relation to Newton’s discoveries. They take absolutely nothing away from the greatness of the learned Englishman. Thanks to Newton, physics was able to advance until it achieved new concepts of space. The learned Englishman was the necessary stepping-stone for that.

Obviously, one can point to certain mistakes of Marx, as a thinker and as an investigator of the social doctrines and of the capitalist system in which he lived. We Latin Americans, for example, cannot agree with his interpretation of Bolivar, or with his and Engels’ analysis of the Mexicans, which accepted as fact certain theories of race or nationality that are unacceptable today. But the great men who discover brilliant truths live on despite their small faults and these faults serve only to show us they were human. That is to say, they were human beings who could make mistakes, even given the high level of consciousness achieved by these giants of human thought.

This is why we recognize the essential truths of Marxism as part of humanity’s body of cultural and scientific knowledge. We accept it with the naturalness of something that requires no further argument.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara

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Politics Videogames Visual

Night In The Woods – Onward Revolution

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post like this, but I like sharing screenshots from video games I’m currently playing, especially if they have a clever, leftist vibe to them. A couple of days ago I began to play Night In The Woods after seeing it in a great video by YouTuber Jacob Geller, which I’ll include at the bottom of this post. Seriously, check out some of his video essays. They’re really well written, researched & contain a sense of wide-eyes wonder that I find makes them incredibly watchable.

In the screenshots I’m sharing, main character Mae & her friend Gregg are smashing up this abandoned car (a tree is growing through it) with a baseball bat; to acquire the cars battery; to power an old, disused animatronic cartoon character; to give as a gift to Greggs boyfriend, Angus. The game is filled with charming, innocent (yet youthfully rebellious) scenes like that & is a joy to play. I’m playing it o XBox One but it is also available on PC, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch & even Linux so don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be able to play it.

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