JRM and the illusion of Symbolic dominance

Have you ever noticed how that irritating twit Jacob Rees-Mogg always tries to present himself as a master of language? Not only does he try to sound articulate, but he goes out of his way to correct people on the language they use. Yesterday, for example, when a news anchor asked him if a coup was in ,process, the pretentious little p’tahk replied that it was not technically a coup, giving some facetious bullshit reason. 

It was perfectly obvious that a coup was in progress: Rees-mogg and his chums were, and are, trying to force May from power.JRM was trying to get himself in to a position of power rhetorically. By correcting the reporter so overtly, he was trying to appear superior. He tries to make himself look like a philologist, and so take ownership of the Symbolic. That is the only way the outists life him can present their views as having any credibility, stripped as they are of any other form of logic. In other words, he’s basically saying people should listen more to him because he speaks more articulately, when in truth he is just as moronic as any other outist. By presenting himself as a master .of the symbolic order, he seeks to figuratively dominate what people say. It.’s a cheap trick easily seen though, but I thought it worth pointing out..

Trusting the words people say just became harder

Just to divert everyone’s attention away from Brexit a bit, how about this for an interesting new bit of tech. A company in america have found a way to manipulate video to make it look like people have said things they haven’t. I find it interesting to watch how they change the appearance of the muscles  around the mouth so that it matches the sound coming out of it. While you can easily see how  this sort of thing would be useful for dubbing films into other languages, you also have to worry the this would make fraud a lot easier. We can no longer trust video evidence when it comes to what people have or have not said.

Farage’s hypocrisy pointed out in European Parliament

I think this New European  story/video is well worth  drawing your attention to.Dutch MEP Esther de Lange was applauded in the European parliament  when she pointed out the hypocrisy of Nigel Farage. The piece of shit just sat there smirking and  shrugging as de Lange stated the obvious. “This is a man who led his party and country to the Brexit vote – only the next day to admit he lied and tricked and jumped his ship and leave his party.” The fact that the p’tahk has the gall to still attend the European Parliament as if he has the right to be there (presumably still picking up his wage) shows us what a despicable  little hypocrite  he is. The sooner he is rotting in jail where he belongs the better.

Purple pound day

Although, to my knowledge, none of the money in my wallet is purple or any other colour apart from the usual grey, green and brown, I think this is definitely worth flagging up. Today is apparently Purple Pound Day, which is intended to draw attention to consumers with disabilities. “Shopping can be frustrating at the best of times, but for many disabled people it comes with even more unnecessary challenges – narrow aisles, no step-free access, rushed shop assistants. But one businessman and wheelchair user has turned his frustrations into a national event – Purple Tuesday – in a bid to get hundreds of retailers to improve their customer experience and tap into the £249bn disabled customers spend each year.” A step in the right direction – albeit a modest one – if you ask me, although as the bbc article itself points out towards the end, it is not enough to just have one day to acknowledge consumers with disabilities. Surely ‘we’ should be included and accommodated all year round.

What is Professional Wrestling?

Something rather cool happened this morning.

My friend Lee Donnelly  was a big WWE fan. I hadn’t really thought about wrestling since I was about ten or eleven, but it was  mentioned at donno’s funeral and I’d been thinking about it since then. Wrestling is very strange,  when you look at it: it’s obviously theatrical, yet it claims to be real, and the pretence of reality  is taken far further than any  other form of theatre. To any other person, it looks  pantomimic, yet it takes itself so seriously. It seemed very odd to me.

When  I turned my computer on this morning, I found this article about Wrestling on the BBC website.  I read it, and came across the name of an academic I didn’t then recognise Dr. Ben Litherland. Deciding it was time to look a bit further into this  bizarre phenomenon,  I plugged the name into google expecting to find a musty old academic, but the strangest thing happened: it turned out that I already knew the guy, and he was a school friend of my brother Luke.  We had chatted before, six  years ago, having come across each other not through Luke but  a mutual friend, James C. I love  how the web works sometimes.

We got chatting (again) and I told ben of my newfound interest.  Apparently, there is a growing literature on the subject, but Litherland said he was against the idea of a  ‘wrestling studies’. That seemed curious to me: if wrestling is an art, shouldn’t it be studied  like  any other (narrative) art form in terms of it’s characters and storylines? But he seemed to be suggesting it was something else; not just a weird panto about men hitting eachother or a type of soap opera. It has a real world, political dimension, especially when you consider that Trump has  appeared on it, and Vince McMahon was one of the biggest backers of the Trump campaign. That which I once dismissed as childish and puerile now seems worth looking into deeply.

Something very, very strange is going on with professional wrestling. It’s obviously fake, but claims to be real. It is presented rather like a soap opera, but disbelief is suspended and the illusion of reality is kept to the extreme. Ben even introduced me to their word for it: Kayfabe.  Something which might appear childish does in  fact take itself deadly seriously, and to it’s fans is  as real as any other sport. These people cannot actually be hitting one another or they would be seriously injured;  and the way in which the camera captures events outside the ring suggests the action is somehow planned and choreographed; yet, as in sport, events are shown live and the audience seem  to think they are watching events which have not been rehearsed. Thus I am baffled – what is it? Theatre? Sport? artform, or something else? How  can something which appears so silly have so much cultural impact? When I read a book or watch a film, I know I’m dealing  with a created artefact – something designed or created by someone to tell me a story or convey a message to me. Wrestling is obviously a similar kind of creation, yet it refuses to admit it is anything other than real (undertones of Lacan there, maybe?) I must admit I’m intrigued.

Spot on, Mr. Macron

The world being as dangerous as it currently is, with nationalism dangerously  on the rise, I think I ought to flag  this article up.  ”French President Emmanuel Macron has urged world leaders marking the centenary of the World War One Armistice to reject nationalism. Addressing leaders in Paris – including US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin – he described it as a “betrayal of patriotism”.” A truer  word has never been spoken. To love one’s country is to love the things which makes it unique. By extension, that means one loves  how your country contrasts with others, which means engaging with other countries and cultures. To me, then, to just love your own country is folly; one must relish the whole of humanity in all it’s diversity,  working together across petty, arbitrary borders. We need to work as one, not compete. That is the only way we can avoid repeating the type of barbaric stupidity which ended a century ago today.

Problem solved

Just to update yesterday’s entry, late last night my good friend Debbie sent me  a link to an Ipad  troubleshooting forum. I just checked it out and  tried  one of the fixes I found there, and it worked. I suddenly have a  voice again. Hearing that  mechanised voice was such a  relief! I owe debbie a hug, and  a coffee! The trip all the way to the Apple shop in Stratford was pointless; it just goes to show how much  those so-called experts actually know, or rather, how  much they want to pressure you into buying new merchandise rather than giving you the solution to your problem.