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BBC Question Time Review 27/06/13

A late start last night after the football...

True story, I remember my Mother explaining to the 7 year old me that "one day you'll be pleased they're putting the football on" and deciding then and there that I'd always hate it. My point is not yet proved, only on my deathbed will I know I was right...
The BBC is backed by a Royal Charter so obviously it rarely carries critical pieces regarding our un-electable and un-democratic head of state. Obviously their reporter, Nicholas Witchell was incredibly apologetic in tone regarding the fact they were daring to report upon the fact their expenditure is set to rise significantly, in contrast to the UK's economy.

To explain for overseas readers, the British Monarchy's arrogance knows no bounds and they genuinely think they've been appointed by a God. This is a story which does nothing other than highlight the total irrelevance of the opinions of their "subjects" and the absurdity of our nation funding one of the richest families in the world. No matter what angle you search for or how much you lie about them being "famously frugal" even the most hardened of pro-Monarchy apologists have kept pretty quiet on this one. That's why a tiny twitch of dissent on the face of the BBC was such a shock:
The show begins and we're into a very dull question about the economy which seemed to consume a large amount of time:
There's an element of sarcasm here. Mark Steel from a political point of view is generally a very tedious and orthodox left winger. He's an incredibly good stand up comedian, I've seen him live in Manchester, but this platform is wasted on him really.

The original idea of "the left" was that they were anti-establishment and intent on reforming society. Nowadays most people like him seem to think politicians promoted by The New Labour Order will help fix things, quite astonishing really. I advocate neither left wing nor right wing thinking and totally despair at the way in which such thought patterns are allowed to control debate.
One of the politicians explained that he understood a woman's concerns.
The Lib Dems are in a difficult position. A number of my self-declared "left leaning" friends voted for them and were totally confused when their votes helped to prop up a Tory Government. No one voted Lib Dem and wanted the Tories, no one.
This was the big story, according to a number of people on the programme, the Government HAVE NOT ACTUALLY CUT SPENDING!!!
I'm genuinely surprised they ducked the two biggest and most important stories of the week.
Jill Kirby criticised the notion of not trusting your employer with this recent story about intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
It's fun how you hear memes from people that simply must have come from the net:
In the old era (pre-internet) people like Snowden would have found fewer friends and had less people able to explain why he's a hero. Also, people would have taken the excuses and nonsense provided by the pathetic fools we call leaders more seriously instead of collectively laughing at them...
When even The Guardian turns on your policy of booking comedians to appear on your politics show you know you're in trouble:

Censorship in the United Kingdom

Defending freedom of speech involves defending points of view with which you disagree. The British Government has for some time been banning people from coming here because it doesn't like their opinions. It's important clarify, we're not talking about people who advocate or organise violent acts. We are banning people from coming here because we do not allow freedom of speech.

Two prominent US bloggers have been banned from entering the UK, the Home Office has said.

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer co-founded anti-Muslim group Stop Islamization of America.

They were due to speak at an English Defence League march in Woolwich, where Drummer Lee Rigby was killed.

To my memory the trend started with radical Islamists being banned from entry to the UK and listeners to my old Hallam FM* show may remember I spoke out about it even then. There's something so chilling about a Government who openly advocates punishing people for speaking their minds. Back then the clerics I ended up "defending" were harder to make a case for because they often had criminal records and were occasionally suspected of being involved in asymmetric warfare or paramilitary groups**.

The people who will queue up to advocate banning a radical Islamist play into the hands of the establishment just as "left wing" talking heads have done here with Geller and Spencer. Back in the mists of time there are certain principles this nation agreed upon as being essential to a functioning society. The reason we have speaker's corner in London is thanks to our ancestors who collectively established freedom of speech as being crucial to our society.

The reason for this is that without free speech we can't ever hope to progress because new ideas will be suppressed and we'll never consider the possibility we're wrong. It's crucial in terms of our democracy, we need to have the chance to hear as many options as possible when it comes to choosing a way forward. It's also crucial in terms of scientific development. Killing someone because they dared say the world might not be the centre of the Universe is a classic example but good science often comes by investigating and challenging shared assumptions. It's vital to a good creative cultural landscape as well. Artists can't always be looking over their shoulders and worrying if their work is ideologically sound, that makes all art into propaganda.

The point I'm making here is that free speech is not just some fun thing we let people do for a giggle. It's an essential part of the reason why our nation used to lead the way. A nation without it tends to stagnate and go backwards.

It's why we avoided the trap of fascism, where we think we're perfect and everyone else is wrong. The fascist has an ideal in their mind which they seek to embody and those who don't fit it are not welcome. The reason that ideology fails is because it misunderstands that a good society can and must adapt to new situations. Today is a shameful day for the UK.

*This story stretches back years. It was The New Labour Order who pushed it particularly hard at first. I still remember people telling me it would be different if the Tories got in. My point of view that they're all the same and voting is a waste of time has gained traction over the last decade, I wonder if the tide will turn as regards censorship?

**Free speech is so badly explained in schools these days that often people don't understand that no one suggests it should go as far as direct threats of violence. With the first few cases like this that line was somewhat blurred.

Homophobia is really gay

Criticism tells you more about the critic than the criticised. We are most likely to see our characteristics in others because traits we're familiar with are easier to recognise. I have yet to meet a homophobic person who, with only the slightest of questioning, didn't swiftly start to appear to have issues with their own sexuality:

"Adam and Eve mate, not Adam and Steve!" they'll declare as if you've never heard this line before. It happens to come from an episode of Alan Partridge, they're aping a character who is not at the top of most people's must-be-more-like-that list. The conversation usually plods on in a sort of Partridge-esqe manner with questions such as, "well, how do you know it's not natural? Have you ever tried it?"

"No mate, I ain't no gay me. No way. I'm not even a bit gay me."

"How do you know, have you ever considered it?"

"Yeah, I had ... err, no. No I haven't. Not catching me out like that."

The focus of the conversation should always be, why are they so concerned about it? What drives them to think about homosexuality when most people don't really consider it. Why are they sat up at night, sweaty and "furious" thinking about homosexual men?

With the above in mind there's no surprises regarding this month's news that Pakistan and Nigeria top the google trends searches lists when looking for hot man on man action: 
Nigeria and Pakistan are two of the planet's most anti-gay countries, [...]
Pakistan is, according to Google Trends, "by volume the world leader for Google searches of the terms 'shemale sex,' 'teen anal sex,' and 'man f-cking man.'"

Both Pakistan and Nigeria rank in the top five for Google searches of the term "gay sex pics" and "anal sex pics." Kenya, another vehemently anti-gay nation, ranked first for both searches.
SOURCE: HUFF POST "Gay Porn Strangely Popular In Pakistan, Nigeria: Report"

Nick Margerrison


God, gay?

Also, the title of this piece is influenced by a campaign launched by The Liberal Democrats after Public Service Broadcaster Chris Moyles's apparent homophobic leanings were accidentally revealed on BBC Radio 1. The most notable example was his use of the word "gay" on air to indicate something was, in colloquial terms, a piece of shit. The BBC actually defended him at first saying they thought the word meant "lame" or "rubbish" these days. Four years after this he then went on to do a "hilarious" piss take of, Will Young, the comedy mainly focused upon the fact the singer is gay. The broadcast regulator Ofcom was not impresed and criticised him in their report.

058 New interview with Tony Topping on UFOs The Secret Government and Mind Weapons

Tony gives us a rundown of some of his experiences in both the esoteric world and the slightly more predictable world of "the media". Tony has a number of incredible stories to tell and he's always engaging. He gathered quite a following after his appearances on both the old TV and radio shows.

His twitter is here:

My twitter is there:

The music I use on the podcast can be found here:

The new Facebook page that goes with this podcast is there:

Nick Margerrison

Check out this episode!

A rock solid argument against capital punishment.

There are numerous great arguments against capital punishment but few of them wrong foot an advocate as swiftly as the above. Those who shout about "punishment" and "an eye for an eye" are gifting evil criminals precisely what they want.

How can a "punishment" so easily dovetail into the will of those you seek to apply it to?

That it's cheap is no excuse to give these people what they so badly want.

That it brings them closer to a supernatural punishment such as hell is absurd. Even if you accept such a place exists most belief systems see you residing for there for a time proportionate to your sins, death makes that sentence no more harsh.

The ever present possibility of you getting the wrong person is not invalidated by modern technology. In a thousand years that argument will be absurd and our current major breakthroughs seen as hopelessly outdated.

Comments/corrections accepted below.


Do you hate speech? The "No hate speech movement".

Click on the above to read an interesting conversation with a group who I cordially invite to be interviewed on my podcast whenever they have a UK representative with a landline available... If you're not familliar with twitter you need to click on the 7:39 PM - 22 Jun 13 bit. That should reveal all the replies and give you a sense of the conversation.

Some of the key points include:
Questions from there were:

At points, as with any twitter conversation, we went round in circles a bit. Partly because I was seeking a very simple answer to the following very simple question, 'have you personally ever been incited to hate by the words of another?'.

If the problem these characters were dealing with were a tangible one, such as drug or alcohol addiction this would be a simple question with the likely answer being, yes. It's not though, they're dealing with something which is at its heart intangible and usually only ever seen in others with whom the establishment disagrees. I advocate freedom of speech and the right for people to choose for themselves who and what to regard. So called "hate speech" seems to me a very good way for people who HATE FREE SPEECH to attack without addressing an argument. This breeds ignorance, it's the reason racism continues to this day. A racist challenged on their core beliefs may change their mind, one who is attacked, fined and vilified will only become a martyr to their cause. Furthermore this idea that they're only racist because someone else told them to be is absurd, people need to take responsibility for their own actions.

If you check the time line I ask this question numerous times. They establish they are non-political in the timeline frequently although I am skeptical of this. Fortunately for me a volunteer jumps in and their first answer to my often asked question backs up my hunches:

Oh, so for this volunteer a curious new defninition of "non-political" is at work here.

This blog entry is partly written to try and force somone from this campaign, who have chosen to follow me on twitter, to account for themselves with a short 1 hour telephone interview with a representative in the UK. I await their response. I'm easily contacted on Twitter.

Nick Margerrison.

Should we be grateful for the NHS?

A disturbing fact of life in the UK is that the NHS is seen in a quasi-religious light. This protects it from valid criticism. These tweets, from a long term follower whose testimony I trust, struck a very personal chord with me. I've posted them here to give them a wider audience. Nick Margerrison.

REPOST: "WHISTLEBLOWER - feat. Edward Snowden [RAP NEWS 19]"

The rise of the subculture which is represented within the podcast I'm doing is evidenced by pieces like this one from Juice Media. There's a number of points of view which have been emerging from the internet since the late 90's. Mostly they're a collection of ideas that come from the US's counter culture, conspiracy theory, occultism and extreme politics. Some of them appear to be entirely new ideas. I lack the education to accurately distinguish them all.

I've said it previously but it's worth re-stating, the internet affords us the opportunity to find people who are literally on the same page. If you dig this video, spread it to others...

#BBCQT Review 20/06/13


- Drug prohibition

- Syria

- Melanie Philips starts on Syria

- Post match debate

Does your life run in cycles?

Thoughts on the apparently kaleidoscopic patterns of history
There is a theory that history moves in cycles. But, like a spiral staircase, when the course of human events comes full circle it does so on a new level. The ‘pendulum swing’ of cultural changes does not simply repeat the same events over and over again.
"Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos", Ian Stewart.
The 60's was consciously imitated by a lot of my generation during the 90's. The haircuts, the music, the fashions and the eventual dominance of left-wing lite political philosophy. Clinton and Blair were our 'trendy new rock and roll politicians, not unlike JFK and Harold Wilson.

Oasis are a good example of the mirroring I'm writing about here. Their hero worship of The Beatles was part of the act, it was a promotional tool which made them more popular because it tapped into a certain widely felt cultural mood.

As they allowed themselves to be used by Blair for political gain, with Noel Gallagher being invited to tea at 10 Downing Street, so too were The Beatles associated with Harold Wilson in the 1960's. In the latter's defence they were drawn into the belly of the beast with the bribe of an MBE.

What, precisely did Oasis have to gain?

This brings us to one possible reason why trends, particularly cultural ones, might appear to replicate a little over time. It's in the evolutionary interests of primates to imitate their adult role models, subconsciously copying your parent's generation makes sense in that context. If you and your generation, at the age of 25, imitated the popular subculture of your parents at the same age, it would follow that we'd see patterns moving to an approximate 25 year time scale.

In practical terms Gallagher, like the pop music anorak he is, knew and was deliberately copying the template set down by his heroes Lennon and McCartney. Many of the bands of his era said the same, they were deliberately imitating the 60's. Finding your Dad's awesome vinyl music collection was common for me and my peers. So much so that the 'alternative' subcultures of the 90's and 00's mockingly labelled acts like Oasis and their contemporaries as "dad rock".

The 70's is often described as the crushing hangover which followed the more optimistic 'sixties summer of love'. Certainly as the planes thundered into the twin towers a very different note was struck... ... only to drop us into the current era where economic recession and "austerity" drives leave a bleak cultural backdrop, not unlike the one I remember as a child in the 80's.

"The magical view is that time is cyclic and that all processes recur. Even cycles which appear to begin or end are actually parts of larger cycles. Thus all endings are beginnings and the end of time is synonymous with the beginning of time in another universe. The magical view that everything is recycled is reflected in the doctrine of reincarnation".
- Libre Kaos, Peter J Carroll

These assertions are necessarily subjective and can of course be flatly disputed.
Events in time are all by their nature unique and I am not arguing we are seeing precise patter replication here, I'm suggesting the time periods are merely alike. To an extent this blog entry is an attempt to strike an intuitive chord within. If there's sense to these words maybe you can articulate your version of it further in the comment's section?

Without question there's more to be said, the blunt divisions provided by the use of a decimal system to measure the time periods in between cycles may be confusing the issue. For example, when precisely do the trends that define 'the 60's' as a cultural phenomena start? The Beatles, only get underway in 1963 in the UK, '64 in the US. This perhaps strengthens our observation on one hand as Oasis only get going in '94. On the other, it means we're dealing with a theory that paints in generalisations and very broad brush strokes. It won't be a theory suited to all and what I'm saying here needs refining.

I appeal to your subjective judgement, does the 90's really begin in terms of popular music on the date of January the 1st 1990? Or do you listen to the music recorded in that year and feel it is still overhang from the 80's? From my perspective badly produced, poorly recorded, drum effects and synthesisers still seem to dominate the top ten in that year, as they did most of the previous decade.

Despite the apparent revival of this style, accounted for by our theory, in my opinion both the 80's and our current era are relative wastelands in terms of the dominant mainstream pop music trends. To me, the actual music produced by 'The X-Factor' is alike to the awful Stock, Aitkin and Waterman nonsense we now look back on as being, at best, kitsch.

In our era the notion of a 'rebelious popstar' is frowned upon. Characters such as Lady Gaga can enjoy huge notoriety with relatively tame, superficial, acts of rebellion, as Madonna did in the 80's.  The more commonly profitable pop star archetype at the moment is the slick clean cut teen star. This iconography dominates now, as it did in the 80's and furthermore, (appropriately another thirty years prior) throughout the 1950's.

Cliff Richard, Buddy Holly and even Elvis Presley carry all the sheen of the safe clean cut 'good guys' you saw being churned out in the 80's and now in the current time. The likes of Gary Barlow and the acts he recruits with the help of Simon Cowell would not be unsuited to success thirty or even sixty years previously.

That the divisions and edges of these time periods are difficult to precisely locate does not mean they do not exist as distinct parts. Just as the precise length and size of these cycles is a red herring as regards the existence of the phenomena we describe and the cyclical, fractal nature of time and human history.

The current, directly observable, universe expresses itself in a fractal and kaleidoscopic shape. The orbit of our planet is more accurately described as a spiral as it does not precisely replicate its movements but instead, with each year, the circumference of its route gets slightly tighter. As a side note, this could suggest the cycles we're writing about also get smaller with each spin. It's the patterns we're watching. Just as planets are varied in size, from a distance, their shape is usually only fractionally distinct. Again, if you lived through the 60's and 70's it is unlikely to be difficult for you to point out differences when you compare them to the 90's and 00's. This would come with detail.

This brings us to the fact we may only be speaking of a phenomena related to human perception. These patterns might just be a result of how humans process information. As a kid I believed my life story was locked into a certain pattern of events that tended to repeat. I'd even decided it took approximately 7 years for me to get through a complete "cycle".
This happens in childhood partly because of the shift from primary to secondary school and then onto University. When you interact with a new set of people there will be an occasionally consistent pattern in their behaviour which is driven by your unique character traits. If you're an aggressive person it will be the case that over time people will react to that, usually there's only a limited number of ways that will manifest, hence similar situations repeat for you as you are introduced to new social groupings. This is why the maturation of these relationships often takes you through those stages over a similar time period.
The subjective nature of the observations in this piece means I'm keen for contributions from others to either back up the theory a little or knock it to the ground entirely.

Comments can be posted easily and I rarely reject them. Any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes you notice, pop a note in there and I'll correct them.

Please forward this idea about a bit, further to that aim of encouraging the input of others...

Nick Margerrison

*Or perhaps I should say 20/06/83? Or '53?

057 Trying to articulate the global awakening, dishing out plans for world peace and talking about aliens as well

Make sure you read this article I wrote here:

It's this which I'm talking to comedian Lee Camp about. His website is here:

Make sure you check this blog post out here:

It's that which I reference in the last bit of the podcast.

Make sure you watch this video here:

It's how I start things off on today's episode.

The interview is with Michael Mott, he's a top ET researcher.

My twitter is here:

And ... the music I use on the podcasts is here:

Check out this episode!

Our military should only ever be used after a referendum.

"I ain't got no quarrel with the Vietcong... no Vietcong ever called me 'Nigger'"
- Muhammed Ali 
Ah... democracy!
Catholics and Protestants still continue to fight each other in Ireland, divisons sewn by religion are driven with a supernatural force which many cannot understand. Alike to this conflict is the dissagreement between the two major factions within Islam, Shia and Sunni. In Syria they are fighting each other and, for reasons even my old LBC collegue 'Conservative Blogger' Iain Dale is at a loss to fathom, it looks like our Prime Minister David Cameron wants to draw us into it. Plans to support the rebels fighting against the current administration would effectively place us on the side of Sunni Muslims fighting and killing Shia.

It looks like we're following Obama's lead. Earlier this week the US announced it was to get involved on the side of the rebels. From The Telegraph, "the White House announced on Thursday .. America would provide 'military support' for the Supreme Military Council (SMC) after tests confirmed that Bashar al-Assad's regime had killed up to 150 people with sarin, the lethal chemical weapon.".

Without question this situation is worse than Iraq or Afganistan because, as well as apparently taking sides in an argument which stretches back for the best part of 1,500 years, we're also lining up against Russia, who support the current Syrian President. Vladmir Putin is not mincing his words on the matter:
“One does not need to support people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? Is it them you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years."
From The Independent 16/06/13
Oh, yeah, and Iran is sending 4,000 troops to line up with the Shia in support of Assad and therefore against the US and, if we do get involved, the UK. In other words, this could well be the start of the long-anticipated war with Iran.

There is a theory that both the UK and the US's economy and Government have become dependent upon war. Building weapons and paying military staff is a workable solution to mass unemployment and to a certain extent can help the economy if damage to our territories and property is limited. The term Military Industrial Complex comes into play here. As far as I can see that really is the driving force behind our war mongering so-called leaders.

However, war is not popular and as we become more able to see its consequences online it's likely to become even less so. That's why I want to see the following idea become part of the political debate: our Governments should not be able to declare war without a referendum*. It's with that point in mind that I write this piece. I implore you to pass on this meme with every fiber of your being. It's totally logical and offers a spanner we can chuck right into the heart of the filthy war machine we're all trapped in by birth, blood and geography.

This stupid cycle of death and destruction has to stop. I can't be the only one who is sick of being represented by a Government which wants to spend our money on bullets and bombs addressed to the families of people who live in nations I've never heard of and can't even place on a map. I hate the fact they add tax to the cups of coffee I drink in a cafe with my Mum, nail another few bob off me to cover the petrol we used on the way there and then try to grasp even more cash from the paycheque I earn when I go in to work that day. It makes me sick to think that this system you and I allow to exist then goes on to load people who wanted to defend it into boats and planes bound for foreign lands only for them to come back with missing limbs and crippling mental health issues.

It's not good enough to just shrug your shoulders and say, "well, that's what they signed up for". They're supposed to be there to defend us, it's time for us to return the favour. If we advocated this one idea, that it needs a referendum and not the consent of lying thieving politicians to wage war, the whole rotten deal would have to change. The people of the UK are not cowards, we have a long history of fighting and bloodshed behind us. Such an idea would not mean we'd never defend outselves, it just means in instances like Iraq, Afganistan and now possibly Syria and perhaps Iran, they'd have to make the case to us first.

The internet is a global communications system. You have the power to spread this one idea, by hook or by crook. You can tweet it, copy this article and re-write it in your own words, Facebook it, send it out. Copy and paste these words, change them a bit, repost them, whatever you want. Just nail that message into every corner of the net. The US and UK military should require the consent of the people. It should require a referendum.

Nick Margerrison

NOTE: Comments VERY welcome.

Here's a couple of blogs which disagree with my current point of view:

"you wouldn’t walk by calmly if you saw a person being beaten to a pulp on a British street, nor should you turn away when people are being mowed into trenches by machine guns. The fact that the victims are foreigners should not come into it if you are an internationalist."
The most inane of the arguments is reprinted above. If anyone comes at you with this direct them to the World Health Organisation's list of causes of death by rate. If you really care about helping people crack on with dealing with any of the top ten causes. Violence is in at number 14. Total deaths caused by war is even further down the list.

Advocates of the above point of view are locked into the sort of militaristic paradigm you might get if the Military Industrial Complex theory is true. Food for thought eh?

Mr Cameron and Mr Blair should share a platform and make the case together for the liberation of Syria.
I kid you not, that is genuinely how this article ends. I read it while a little tired and for a while considered it might even be a parody.


*Annoyingly I can't source this idea. I was under the impression it came from "The Raelian Movement", a brilliantly eccentric French UFO religion. However on further inspection it appears that's not the case. Did I invent it? I'm not sure, I'm sure someone said it to me once and I stored it in my little brain... comments section, come to my aid!

Tony Blair: ‘I am not having sexual relations with that woman, Mrs Murdoch’

From, The Daily Mirror:
Tony Blair yesterday denied having an affair with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s wife.

The ex-Prime Minister was dragged into the mystery over the decision by billionaire Murdoch and third wife Wendi Deng to file for divorce after unfounded rumours swept the internet on both sides of the Atlantic.

The story has been kicking around in rumour form for a short while, the denials in mainstream publications have given it significantly more clout but there’s little evidence for it being anything more than internet whispers.

An article on the Guido Fawkes blog notices the present tense used in the denial. They’re not currently having an affair … but, did they ever?

The Hollywood Reporter, who got the initial denial, now carries an update on its story:
When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, the rep said: “If you are asking if they are having an affair, the answer is no.” UPDATE: It has since been made clear to THR by Blair’s rep that there has never been an affair.
In my personal opinion the entire thing smacks a little of a cover story. The denial has only fuelled speculation, the UK’s papers can legally now carry the rumour as long as they attach the statement and denial. Blair’s PR must surely have known this, if not they will likely now be in a lot of trouble.

Initially Blair was an incredibly popular Prime Minister. However, nowadays in the UK he encounters a lot of visceral hatred and for some his name is associated with spin and public-relations-style dishonesty.

His legacy was forever poisoned by the war in Iraq and although its never been clearly shown that he lied when advocating it many assume he did. The nickname Tony Bliar is often adorned on placards protesting his public engagements.

An alternative version of events is that he might have allowed himself to be seduced into doing the wrong thing by attractive, convincing, falsehoods. It’s an equally damaging claim for ‘leaders of men’ such as Blair. The idea he could be so easily led astray and tempted into doing the wrong thing, against his better judgement, is ironically his best defence though. Either way the decision has proven to be a grave mistake and effectively ended his career as an electable leader.

You must be joking?

I was first drawn to @3Amovement and @RevNormanPrice by Stephen Fry's tweets. At the time @3Amovement was claiming to be "The Reverend Norman Price" and his reason for dual accounts was @RevNormanPrice had been hacked by Anonymous. Hence Fry's above tweet. It's the one below that first brought them to my attention and he's right to take the absurd point of view with good humour.
Like Fry I had initially taken the tweets at face value but started to have doubts after reading a little more. His character seemed inconsistent, 70+ yet understood memes and, despite supposedly being from America, a lot of his references were distinctly British. He also managed to play the fool a little too well. For example, he followed Stephen Fry yet claimed to not really know who he was...

The giveaway tweet though is here:

The following tweets from helpful followers of mine who explain a little more:
Poe's law, in broader form, is:
Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.[2]
The key point is that both accounts push this blog here: Rise Up America Party

The link to Freezepage suggests that the Rise Up America Party has already blown cover in the past when this article was posted there last year:
Being a psychology student, I was always fascinated with the psychosis associated with Conservatism and religion. When you mix the two together, you get a lethal combination of pious pretentious and bigoted morons. Last year, I started a joke account called @MBachmann4Pres and named myself Keith Roberts of Minnesota. The account quickly attracted attention as Bachmann, at the time, had been catapulted into the worldwide spotlight and it was such a blatant reflection of the mindset of her followers even if it was exaggerated. Keith was homophobic, sexist, slightly racist and a total theocrat.

Things didn’t really take off though until Ricky Gervais sought out my account and RT’d a tweet celebrating Christopher Hitchens death. Here’s what you need to understand about that tweet and other tweets of its nature. Never at one stage did I EVER believe what I was typing. Not once. Everything was an extreme parody and/or exaggeration. I rationalized typing this ridiculous bile with not ever having actual intent behind it than to lampoon the regular old joe American Christian Conservative. I understand a lot of people took offense to the tweets, but I looked at Keith as just another Westboro Baptist Church-esque figure and if they could get away with their disgusting anti-gay tirades then I could get away with half of the stuff they did and all the while never meaning it.

I want you all to understand that the purpose of the account was NOT for attention, but more as a social experiment type of thing. I am enamored with the rationality behind the American Christian Conservative mindset and by creating the character of Keith I really did become one of them. I wrote like them and I even thought like them. It’s sort of like getting into character for a movie or tv show. No, you’re not actually that person that you portray but you can see things from their perspective no matter how wrong they are. I actually found myself hating “libtards” with a passion and I’d get off the computer and think “wow so that’s what’s it like”. Keith was a way for me to really delve into the world of American Christian Conservatives. Almost a case study without being a case study if you will.

For me, one of the funny and most interesting things about adopting the Keith persona was adopting the Christian Conservative language. Search twitter for “libtards”. You’ll see the people using this word are all supposedly Christians. Yet libtard is a hybrid of “retard” (mentally retarded) and liberal. How loving and tolerant of them right? Sort of raises that question WWJD? I also had fun injecting “radical” and “militant” into sentences. Christian Conservatives like to employ hyperbole to get their point across yet it makes them look ridiculous and almost parody-like. Which is why I think I fitted under the term “poe” so effortlessly. More of their rhetoric includes describing gay rights as the “evil homosexual agenda” and women’s rights as “murdering babies”. I always found these types of lines quite comical and I think if you look back at a lot of the things I said KNOWING the actual intent behind them you could probably appreciate the humor in them.

I know some of you probably think the Keith account was pointless but look at it this way. I created a whole community of atheists, liberals and gays around me and you all connected with each other and made a lot of new possibly life-long friends. That type of achievement is priceless in a way. My account was never intended to put Christian Conservatives in a bad light but see how far I could push the rhetoric and see which of them still supported me. You would be very surprised if you knew the true extent of Christian Conservatives on twitter who agreed with Keith’s views. In a way I think “Keith” really spread the Christian Conservative rhetoric beyond their little bubble and out into the wider twitter community and exposed them as the hateful bigots they really are.

Am I going to apologize? No I’m not. If people were stupid enough to take the account seriously and not take hints to the account being a “poe” then that is their own fault. I honestly couldn’t have given any more hints without actually coming out and exposing myself (and I even did that earlier in the year but played it off as being “hacked”). The only times I felt bad is when people would seemingly spend a large chunk of their lives trying to report me or expose me. I mean, you’d think there would be better things to do like targeting real bigots. People who actually do think this stuff. Anyway…

This is the final nail in the coffin that is the crazy crazy Roberts family. What a year! What a journey! May we remember them in good humor and circumstances. #4MoreYears
That the account is clearly a continuation of this story is not in my opinion a bad thing. In my early phone in career I advocated a few absurd points of view which I didn't entirely believe.

Also I think the constant push for people to reveal their actual identity online is not something we should all allow ourselves to be herded into. It's in the interests of governments and corporations because they want to use the internet to tell you what to do and how to behave, with absolute authority and certainty. Pandering to their need for a lack of online anonymity but removes some of the fun of the net for me. You cannot and should not be sure what you're reading online is real. You cannot be sure of anything anyone tells you ever. The moment we lose sight of that in the online world we'll be in danger of mistaking the map of reality it offers us for the territory it describes.

With due thanks to:

Twitter and Question Time = awesome

056 Man made global warming is a scam, suicide is rubbish, time perception is the key!

In reverse order on this week's episode of The Cult Of Nick we have:

Ian R Crane informs us with an alternative perspective on Man Made Global Warming. His website is here:

Eric Steel's first film the bridge is our next topic of conversation. It has an official website here:

We kick off though with Phil Zimbardo who speaks about the Stanford Prison Experiement. His web presence is here:

The brand spanking new Facebooks page is here:

My twitter is here:

The music you can here in the background is here:


Check out this episode!

020-022 The Cult Of Nick BONUS The Stanford Prison Experiement with Phil Zimbardo

The reality TV show Big Brother is clearly an off shoot of The Stanford Prison Experiment. I'm not sure I've heard anyone putting this point to its originator Phil Zimbardo before.

This is the final bonus upload and it means all "The C.O.N." is now available on this podcast stream.

The Cult now has an experimental Facebook page:

My twitter is here: - I prefer twitter, it's better.

The music in the background on this is here:


Check out this episode!

009 - 019 The Cult Of Nick BONUS

The next bonus episode, there's one more of these to come.

It contains The Dream Dudes, Pastor Deacon, Alf The Freegan and Frans De Waal. All of them became legends on the show. There's also a call in there about terrorism, it features my phone in style. Interesting because I'm not sure who I agree with, me or the caller.


Keep sharing these bonus episodes, they're a good introduction to the podcast. Downloads are nice and high at the moment so it's very rewarding putting these together.

My twitter:


Check out this episode!

Twitter: allowing normal folk to crawl up the nose of Ricky Gervais

I was not an instant convert to The Office, Ricky Gervais's undisputed masterpiece, when it came out in 2001. At the time I thought it a poor copy of Alan Partridge, the Brent character seemed to use very similar wordplay and techniques to get laughs. It was only during series two that he made his mark on me. I remember crying with laughter as Gareth tried to explain political correctness and what you can and can't call black people these days. Genius isn't usually hard to spot and by the time the series closed with the Christmas special there was no room for doubt.

Two things have confused Gervais's subsequent legacy a little though.

His first stumbling block is the mixed quality of his output. There really has not been a 'bullet proof' follow up to The Office. That's not to say he's done nothing of worth since, his stand up was good, as were the podcasts, some of his tweets are hilarious. In fact most of his output has had one or two moments of genius but none of it is as sustained as that initial sitcom.

Secondly, his warm reception from the US has made him into a genuine superstar. If that doesn't seem to be a  problem you should read this piece by comedian Stewart Lee here. Although not directly about Gervais it helps explain his dilemma. In short Lee believes comedians should not aim to become 'comfy light entertainment stars' but instead draw on the Jester/Clown archetype. In other words, comedy should be risky instead of perpetually comforting: "French clown theorist Jaques LeCoq says the comedian should be operating at a level where the next move would result in his death". As a fan of live stand up I could not agree more, the tension you get from a comedian who seems not to give a shit what everyone thinks can't be beaten by the feel good 'crowd pleasing' nonsense I've seen Peter Kay do*.
But the twenty-first century comedian arrives for his talk show appearance hot from Hollywood, is complemented on how well he looks and on the relative attractiveness of his wife or girlfriend, exchanges easy banter with the host, and summaries his kiss-and-tell memoir, £14.99, available now. He is of no value. FULL ARTICLE HERE
Gervais is from the same comedy circles as Lee, they've a number of friends in common and he helped his comeback with kind praise and a flattering quote regarding "the cleverest, funniest, most cliché-free comedian on the circuit". I believe Gervais is clearly influenced by and likely aspires to the style of comedy these ideas advocate. This partly explains his apparent courage when facing controversy, he's allowing himself to operate at the level Jaques TheCock speaks of. The dynamic is even more evident when he takes to twitter as aggressive threats and idiocy come back in response, particularly to Gervais's atheism. Here the LeCoc dynamic is thrown into literal truth where the next tweet really could result in his death.

It's unfortunate others read this courage as proof of arrogance. I believe it's a sign that he's still not to be written off, the perfect follow up to The Office may still await us in the future. The reason I have such confidence is that he engages with and reacts to critical tweets.

This blog entry was triggered by a tweet of his which has now been removed:

"Twitter: allowing stupid uneducated people everywhere to show the world just how stupid and uneducated they really"
Even if he didn't acknowledge my (and my follower's) responses he soon deleted the tweet and corrected the error. Like all of us, he's using the internet to learn and improve. I'd argue that was the opposite of arrogant.


*Saw him live, in Leeds I think. Me and my mate were huge fans and knew people who knew him personally. Perhaps we were just over excited but it was a disappointment. Kay is a brilliant comedian on occasion but his live show felt more like I was going to see a rock concert without the music. "Tell us a joke we know son".

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