Silencing The Redundant

I think I only follow one footballer on Twitter and he is an ex-Celtic player so this isn’t anything that is likely to affect me too much but I am always uneasy about headlines like this…

Premier League issues social networking guidance for players

The Premier League has drawn up guidelines for players about how to use social media. 

They offer advice on the endorsement of brands, goods and services and also warn players not to reveal confidential information about team matters.

I don’t like things like this because even though they say “guidelines” and not “rules” or “laws”, it still seems that people are being told what they can and cannot say. Transgressors of the guidelines are likely to be punished.

Although I personally might not want to follow too many players (though I do follow a lot of fan media) that is beside the point.  These guidelines are still a little whittling away of free speech at the margins, and the fact it is done so publicly normalises the little loss too.

I am sure there have been “guidelines” given to olympic athletes about what they can and cannot say as well.


[If the cartoon is yours please contact me and I will add link or delete as requested. I really don’t remember where I found it]

Judging by the fury of the political classes at the moment, the biggest threat to our freedom and security is not terrorism,  crime or even those pesky protestors. It certainly isn’t the degradation of the environment or the pollution of the air and water.

No, none of those things seem to be as important or worrisome as a group of people who have had the temerity to publish what the people who are supposedly our representatives are actually doing and saying when they think no one is looking.

In that light, I suggest you have a quick look at John Pilger’s latest article (click the link below). It is about Wikileaks.

The part about Christine Amanpour is very interesting. This is because she is one of the journalists that appeared in a number Iraq war documentaries saying that the media swallowed and reprinted the governments position instead of critically analysing it. John Pilger here more or less accuses her of doing it again.



This is the third part of an interesting and mostly serious interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park.

The interesting part is at about 5 minutes when they are talking about two different reactions they got to their work  from the group that decides film ratings [PG, 12, 15, 18 or whatever]

What kind of reaction you get seems to be dependent on whether you work independently or having the backing of a major company. What a surprise!

Nevertheless, it is an interesting listen…


This might seem pedantic but it is about a dangerous precedent. You should also try to decide who is being more pedantic, myself, or the BBC.

As well as their dreadful coverage of major news events I have noticed a couple of cuts that have been made in BBC DVD versions of older programmes.

The first of these that I noticed was in an episode of ‘Red Dwarf’.

In series 2, in the episode called ‘Kryten’ the crew of Red Dwarf encounter a wrecked spaceship in which they believe and hope there are a few surviving women.

Unfortunately for them it turns out that the women in question have been long dead but have been having their skeletons attended to by a deluded android who believes they are still alive. When it is pointed out to him that they are dead and have been for some time the phrase ‘They have less meat on them than a Chicken McNugget’ is used. In the new DVD version this has been edited down to say ‘Chicken Nugget’.

Just who has been twisting arms or had their arm twisted there?

The second was in an episode of ‘Rab C. Nesbitt’ where in an alcoholics anonymous meeting the main character is asked to leave because he is ‘upsetting group harmony’ (by saying he doesn’t want to stop drinking). At this point the character says that the only harmony he is interested in is ‘Harmony hairspray’ at which point he takes out a canister and sprays some of said product down his throat. This has been cut out of the DVD version.

Does anyone have any more examples of this sort of thing?

It might seem like two insignificant little cuts but the alteration of these programmes is a memory hole system of sorts and who knows what else they have been doing it to – and at whose request?