BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London

“Left-wing bias”.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

If you were in the centre of London today you might have noticed 50,000 people taking part in a massive march against the government’s austerity policies:

no more austerity photo from People’s Assembly

If you did notice, you’re doing better than most of the UK press who seem to have entirely missed it.

It seems the BBC are capable of tracking down a single Scot in Brazil who cheered a goal against England but fail to notice 50,000 demonstrating on their doorstep.

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Related articles by Tom Pride:

I still remember when firefighters were heroes. Now we just ignore them.

Ian Hislop comes out on BBC Question Time

Government ministers announce plan to deter immigrants to UK by making it shit

Scientists discover dim stars orbitting massive black hole at heart of BBC

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11/22/63

I finished reading Stephen King‘s 11/22/63 last night.

I’m a big fan of alternate history as a genre and I definitely like Stephen King’s œuvre, but the premise of this novel — that there’s a time portal to 1958 and the protagonist goes through to try to prevent the JFK assassination, assuming this would lead to a better world without the Vietnam War (escalated by LBJ) and the assassination of Martin Luther King — really intrigued me.

I’ll be spoiler-free as much as possible, but it’s nice to see that King doesn’t paint 1950s America as some halcyon utopia. Whilst many things are “better” than in the now, there’s all sorts of things that were unempirically worse — the US South was still segregated, social morals were much stricter and the Cold War was at its height, with the Cuban Missile Crisis being in the middle of the protagonist’s time in The Land of Ago. The protagonist needs to wait out five years before JFK’s visit to Dallas, so there is plenty of colour added to this time period.

There are several moments that are genuinely moving, but there’s not a huge amount more I can write without spoiling the plot for anyone who’s not read it yet.  If you’re interested in 1950s/1960s America, the JFK assassination or alternate history and an “obdurate past”, then I’d strongly recommend you pick up a copy.

Post edited 2013-06-20 to add the following copyright statement. Cover image copyright © Stephen King, taken from his website (via the English Wikipedia) and is used without permission, the purpose of criticism and review under section 30(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

How does one buy films these days?

We were watching a quiz show Jen likes, before going to bed last night, and there was a question about the nationality of Victor Frankenstein (born in Naples, described himself as Genevese and built his monster in 1790s Ingolstadt, in Bavaria, since you asked) and I realised that, shamefully, I don’t own a copy of Hammer’s The Curse of Frankenstein (1957).

We’ve been digitising our DVDs (so that we don’t have to devote quite so much shelf space to plastic boxes containing media that’s inconvenient to use), so it would be stupid to buy a film on DVD when I only really want a digital video file.

So I googled buy film "The Curse of Frankenstein". And I googled download film "The Curse of Frankenstein" "buy now". And I looked on Amazon.

Now I don’t know if this film is available digitally anywhere else or not. But the only place I could see to buy it online is iTunes. We can’t play it on iTunes on our TV (which is hooked up to an Ubuntu machine); there is no way of playing films bought from iTunes on Linux (though you can authorise up to five computers to access your iTunes media). If there is anywhere else to buy this film as a digital download, they need to spend a lot of time looking at their SEO; and, whilst Google didn’t mention it at all, Netflix does have the film (and we do pay for Netflix), but not in their UK catalogue. Lovefilm, of course, we can’t use on Linux, and they only carry it as optical media anyway.

I spent substantially longer than my patience would normally allow looking around for this; most users would type, click twice maybe, and give up. I have no way of legally purchasing a copy of this film.

And they wonder why people pirate.

Poster image served directly from Amazon UK, copyright © Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and is used without permission, ostensibly for the purpose of criticism and review under section 30(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.