Archive for February 8th, 2008

We, The People (Not You, Fatso)

Thomas Jones observed the following of Andrew Keen in the LRB recently:

As is so often the case with conservative polemic, Keen takes it for granted that he and his readers know who ‘we’ are.

This is correct, as far as it goes, but the abuse of the first person plural extends far beyond the confines of conservative polemic.

Here’s what Joschka Fischer said in the Guardian recently, in conclusion to a piece calling for greater transatlantic co-operation between the EU and the US.

A new transatlantic formula would mean that we had a greater say in decision making, in exchange for a greater share of responsibility.

He may have been translated, but even so. ‘We’ means, at minimum, you, me, and Joschka Fischer. So -I’m not that concerned with you- how would I have a greater say in decision making as a result of this new transatlantic formula? Imagine if Kim Jong-Il received a shipment of 10 Aran sweaters, and he proclaimed that thanks to a new shipment from Ireland, ‘we’ (meaning the citizens of North Korea) now had greater access to non-limestone based quality garments than ever before. Is there any significant difference between the function of ‘we’ in his statement and its function in Fischer’s statement?


Sharing a residence and a PC with a metaller can have its drawbacks. This morning I put my iPod on shuffle and was blasted with a live version of Take Me With You by Whitesnake. Not too bad – it had a sort of Bo Diddley-ish groove that I could get into sort of. Then, a little later, a jaw-dropping version of Surfin’ USA by Blind Guardian. Listen for yourself:

Later on in the morning, Aces High, by a band called Children of Bodom. Listening to speed metal and melodic death metal and whatever else have ye is a bit like watching Formula One. It is supposed to be seat of the pants stuff, but it lacks variability. If everything is played at ludicrous speed, then speed itself is meaningless. The same for lung-ripping vocals. If that’s the only voice you hear, it just gets boring after a while. It isn’t singing anymore, but a sport, and a pretty dull one at that.

One time I got dragged along to a Dream Theater concert. Most of the people there were enraptured at the technical accomplishment of the thing. I was enraptured by the fact that the singer looked like Dick Emery.

No, metal isn’t for me.

UPDATE: Rainbow??? FFS.

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February 2008