Archive | Serious Commentary

Ireland: Reproductive Agency is One Thing, Intrusive Meddling is Another!

Ireland: Reproductive Agency is One Thing, Intrusive Meddling is Another!

Some may feel yesterday’s piece on Amnesty International, abortion, and Ireland is flippant. I can certainly see why people might think that; but I am 100% unapologetic. However, I will now speak in a less polemical and satirical manner, and weaponize a more prosaic tone against Big Human Rights.

It might seem churlish to sneer at the ‘humanitarian interventionism’ Amnesty International is perpetrating against Irish people of all identities. ‘After all,’ some might say, ‘Isn’t your postcolonial angle a minor distraction from the most important thing, which is the rights of women, and the necessity to reform the laws in a direction that respects women’s bodily autonomy and right to reproductive agency?’

To this, I respond that while the equality of women is certainly a very important manner that deserves serious discussion  and action in any place and time, it is disingenuous to say that the postcolonial angle is a trivial sideshow. Continue Reading

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Dear England: You Can Support Abortion Availability Without Being An Imperialist

Dear England: You Can Support Abortion Availability Without Being An Imperialist

Amnesty International has tried to save more people from ourselves (this time, Irish people), with its campaigning on Ireland’s abortion laws.

Of course, the situation for women in Ireland, north or south, is not perfect. But there is no excuse whatsoever for taking up the white man’s burden against Ireland; no matter how just or unjust the laws may be in Ireland, whether North or South.

No one need deny that the question of how to ensure more freedom and equality for women is an important issue in any country.

But that’s pretty much the point. ‘In any country.’ We are perfectly capable of  enacting our own reforms without over-privileged pedants from ‘across the water’ or indeed from any country, taking the trouble to ‘educate’ us.

Hands off Ireland!

But here’s a thought! Could it be that Amnesty International have actually done postcolonial critique a ‘favour,’ however backhanded such a compliment should be? The fact that these stereotypically ‘straight-middle-class-white-guys’ from Amnesty are trying to save ‘the natives’ from ourselves raises an interesting point. Continue Reading

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Uncritical Pro AND Anti Immigration Stances? Sentiment, not Reality

Uncritical Pro AND Anti Immigration Stances? Sentiment, not Reality

Just have a look at my comment below, for an article on the site of the publisher Verso Books:

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2679-the-hegemonic-powers-of-the-eu-have-gone-one-step-too-far-on-governing-borders-and-the-right-to-move

Immigration is nothing to do with the question of deserving or not deserving this or that. Immigration is an entitlement, a legal provision; to confuse entitlements with desert is to confound a legal category with a morally charged ethical notion.

I further add: Continue Reading

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Posted in Serious Commentary, World News2 Comments

The Remain & Leave Campaigns Have Been Vile. Let’s Move Forward & Get Down to Business

The Remain & Leave Campaigns Have Been Vile. Let’s Move Forward & Get Down to Business

The referendum result has already been known for a while in the UK. The economy has taken a hit, for now.

Both sides have behaved appallingly. Continue Reading

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Posted in Serious Commentary, Top Stories, World News0 Comments

The UK Will Never Leave Europe: But Will We Have the Courage to Leave the EU?

The UK Will Never Leave Europe: But Will We Have the Courage to Leave the EU?

Behind the distortions and exaggerations of both sides, one fact remains unshakable:

Europe is not the EU.

A ‘stay’ vote in tomorrow’s referendum is not a vote to remain in Europe.

A ‘leave’ vote in tomorrow’s referendum is not a vote to leave Europe. Continue Reading

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Speaking Truth to Power: The Intercept is Defending Boehmermann’s Freedom with Full Consistency

Speaking Truth to Power: The Intercept is Defending Boehmermann’s Freedom with Full Consistency

In the past, I have been heavily critical of The Intercept, and of Glenn Greenwald’s stance on the Charlie Hebdo martyrs. However, I have noticed a pattern developing recently.

First of all, upon the renewal of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie (essentially a glorified hitman contract from God!), The Intercept did not blame Rushdie for ‘provoking’ his critics. Continue Reading

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Better to be a Coppersmith in Purgatory than to Reign in Hell

Better to be a Coppersmith in Purgatory than to Reign in Hell

Liberal secular parliamentary democracy is an absolute necessity for the UK and USA.

And I wholeheartedly condemn, without qualification, the kind of arrogant and hubristic critique that strays from criticizing how the political systems of these countries operate in terms of their results, and ends up criticizing the legitimacy of liberal secular parliamentary democracy itself.

Hence my critique at the time of the London Riots: Continue Reading

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Posted in Politics, Serious Commentary0 Comments

9/12/2001 – The Days After Cheney Became President – Part 21

9/12/2001 – The Days After Cheney Became President – Part 21

9/12/2001
THE DAYS AFTER CHENEY BECAME PRESIDENT
The Rumsfeld Synopsis
Part
(A serial book excerpt)

Previous installments – After Flight 93 crashes into the White House on 9/11/2001 killing President Bush as was originally planned, Dick Cheney, the Vice President, is made the leader of the country. He begins immediately to make changes.

– – – – – – – – –

Rumsfeld took the news surprisingly well. His dismissal had been engineered so carefully that it came as no insult, although it was a bit embarrassing to the old man. But he knew that it was getting to be time to go out to pasture. He had worked hard enough in his life that he could now enjoy the fruits of his labor. He knew that with all the sudden changes in the world that a younger man was perhaps needed to take care of things. He guessed that Bolton had been chosen to push through any agenda Cheney wanted, something that Rumsfeld himself was getting too old to do. Continue Reading

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Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (V): The Gilded Birdcage of Spoilt Gods

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (V): The Gilded Birdcage of Spoilt Gods

Quite frankly, if someone believes that children must be deprived of blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses), or of all medical care (Christian Scientists), or that women are the property of men, or that gay people are sodomites who are all going to eternal hellfire, or that disabled people are suffering the results of our evil and atrocious deeds in the past…

Then that concerns me very deeply.

But on the other hand, if someone personally believes that Jesus literally turned the water into wine, that Muhammad made the moon split in two, or that Sri Krishna performed many wondrous miracles, then in all seriousness, that does not trouble me in the least. There are more important things in life to worry about.

But even so, concerning ‘limits’ to satire, I will affirm that I do reserve the inalienable right to treat religion as not pristine, as not above theoretical critique, or above satirizing, or above ‘blasphemy.’

And I have little to no respect for anyone who makes religion exceptional, in terms of the inalienable right and sovereign prerogative to criticize and satirize; an entitlement and a ‘privilege’ that can and must be shared be all like, without neither cavil nor complaint.

‘Shame on me,’ indeed! Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary2 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (IV): Are Critics of Religion ‘Hateful Extremists?’

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (IV): Are Critics of Religion ‘Hateful Extremists?’

But what, then, are my own limits for religious satire?
I will not provide an exhaustive discussion here.

I will, however, say that I do not believe that religion is either a ‘force for good’ or a ‘force for evil’ in some one-sided sense.

For, superstition and dogmatism are great evils, but I do not think that the history of religion is merely or even primarily a catalogue of backward, primitive errors, as so many of the ‘New Atheists’ seem to imply.

Of course, if it is not the intention of any New Atheists, to imply such, then perhaps there is something very faulty with their rhetorical and communicative strategies. This would not perhaps be so surprising, given that much New Atheist rhetoric is deeply problematic.

For example, I consider the late humanitarian interventionist and former Luxemburgist radical, Christopher Hitchens, to be an intellectual suicide bomber who destroyed himself and the consciences of anyone who stood by and approved of his disingenuous, militaristic sophistries. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary2 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (III): Moralists are Killing Satire

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (III): Moralists are Killing Satire

So let no-one think that by appeasing jihadists or by appeasing unaccountable figures in the countries that Orientalizing intellectuals opportunistically market as ‘the (sole and exclusively) Free World’ that they will avert their malice or their wrath.

For, none of the promises either of political Islamists and jihadists or of humanitarian interventionist intellectuals and counter-jihadists can be trusted or valued.

Indeed. Realpolitik is realpolitik, which is as much as to say that from ‘high-minded idealism,’ nothing better can be expected than high-minded idealism. And there is nothing that savors more of Realpolitik than high-minded idealism, as the terms are merely two superficially different names for the same thing. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary4 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (II): Freedom of Speech is Not Idealism

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (II): Freedom of Speech is Not Idealism

So who decides what is blasphemous or hateful?

Whoever has the power to do so.

But of course, this does not mean that all opinions are equal.

For, it is perfectly true to say that women should treated in light of an intrinsic value identical to men, that gay people are not twisted deviants, and that eugenics and eugenicists are an abomination. These ideas are non-negotiable.

However, moral panics about ‘blasphemy’ and ‘hatred’ in the context of satire serve the interests of reactionaries of every stripe.

Hence, curiously enough, freedom of speech is not the ‘idealist’ or ‘fundamentalist’ position.

Rather, it is precisely because idealistic, abstract and fundamentalist models of reality are unworkable in practice, that freedom of speech is required in the first place! Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary2 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (I): Every Truth is Blasphemy

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (I): Every Truth is Blasphemy

Note: This is a serialization of the essay from the new, expanded edition of my satire ebook, I Shouldn’t Do God. Updates on www.wallacerunnymede.com

Dedicated to the unforgettable and shining martyrs of Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher.

I am still Charlie.

To start off a series of fake news satire anthologies with a volume on religion seems very appropriate, given the vicious massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and the other vicious murders which were committed on the same day at Hyper Cacher.

Some of these murders have already been conveniently ‘forgotten.’

But despite my allusion to these vile assassinations, I am not unaware of the mobilization of the massacre by cynical opportunists.

In the second edition of this essay, which you now see before you, I must also mention the November massacres in Paris. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary2 Comments

Announcing Charlie Tribute Hebdo Tribute Serialization

Announcing Charlie Tribute Hebdo Tribute Serialization

Prefatory note by Voltaire:

Eh bien! The following piece, it is all rather ornate-sounding. The artificial style and flamboyance of a pseudo-Parisian, or even a tinpot Hitchens knock-off.

Ah, Mesdames et Messieurs, please do not worry… the essay itself that the Monsieur Wallace is announcing, it will be much less artsy-fartsy. I believe he has drunk of the Anglo-Yuletide sherry, and so you should be so pleased as to not take the contrived style to heart! Next time, he will be more sober, but no less swiftly, eh bien, Swiftly truthful!

I am running my serialization of Why Shouldn’t I Do God from 3-7 January: on Glossy News

This essay appeared in the original edition of the first volume of Wallace Runnymede Satire Catastrophes. The second edition comes out at the end of January 2016. The latter ebook was entitled I Shouldn’t Do God…

Thanks Alistair! The latter Notable-Public-Publicist being ever a source of wanton inspiration and flamboyantly articulate delight, as some will no doubt already be aware…

Here and here.  ;)

More soberly, though (and no less seriously), the essay Why Should I Do God may be of considerable interest to those who are not at all too slick and bien-pensant (de droite et de gauche!) to utter the immortal words:

#JeSuisCharlie Continue Reading

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9/12/2001 – The  Days After Cheney Became President – Part 19

9/12/2001 – The Days After Cheney Became President – Part 19

9/12/2001
THE DAYS AFTER CHENEY BECAME PRESIDENT
The Green Zone
Part 19

(A serial book excerpt)

Previous installments – After Flight 93 crashes into the White House on 9/11/2001 killing President Bush as was originally planned, Dick Cheney, the Vice President, is made the leader of the country. He begins immediately to make changes.

– – – – – – – – –

The bunker was hardly the Ritz. Lavish though, especially for a bunker. No view. Being underground one doesn’t really need windows. That didn’t matter, Cheney preferred the security it offered over any view it might have of this forbidding land. “Why does God always put oil in the most difficult of places?” he thought to himself. Continue Reading

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Posted in Books, Newspapers & Misc, Serious Commentary0 Comments

Even Without All The Facts In Yet, It Is Easy To Figure Out The Shoot-out At Planned Parenthood.

Even Without All The Facts In Yet, It Is Easy To Figure Out The Shoot-out At Planned Parenthood.

It is actually easy to figure out why he did it.

You don’t even have to know the yet-to-be-revealed facts of the case or those tidbits of information still being sought by the police.

Robert Dear gunned down three people at the Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That alone tells you something. Continue Reading

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