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Sep 17 2011

Taiwan: Like it or not

Comrades!

In the year of our lord 2009 I moved into the Island nation known as ‘Taiwan’ as a 24 year old budding anthropologist. Excited about the prospect of discovering a new culture, learning a new language, unlocking ancient mysteries and such. I will be leaving next year as a 28 year old grumpy asshole, who’s vision of the future lies at the bottom of a whisky bottle.

So far I thought it best to just express my opinions orally. Grumbling at new acquaintances about the expat community, and the rampant consumerist ideology the Taiwanese have decided to construct their national identity around.

I have received encouragement few months ago from a Taiwanese friend who praisingly introduced me to his peers as ‘a very opinionated foreigner’ (hen you xiangfa de waigouren). I have increasingly come to think that quietly holding my opinion to myself is not only pathetic but also disrespectful to the nation that has given me enormous opportunities . So before I go on an admittedly self-righteous tirade I want to clarify that my intention is to stimulate debate and contribute in my own way to the improvement of my environment.

It is impossible for any foreigner to not notice that they have come to acquire an undeserved status as cultural trend setters in Taiwan. This is manifest in the expat community’s awkward monopoly on all that is considered ‘cool’. A lot of the ‘in’ spots in Taiwan owe their status to a large extent to the expat infestation. It is a common strategy for most of these places to seduce foreigners first and then have local customers follow suit. It is to this end that they will offer free drinks , employ foreign PR representatives and advertise their events by showing pictures of foreigners acting ‘wild’ and making merry.

One such photographer whom I have decided to call ‘Fifi Millicent’ to avoid validating his vanity has this to say about himself on his web-based exposee.

Under the luminous and radiant spotlight cast by Fifi Millicent’s lens is where everyone who is anyone in Taiwan is trying desperately to be.

As if Fifi hasn’t displayed enough contempt for his subjects. He goes on to describe his bland event photography which constitutes shots of ladies bottoms from various angles as follows.

his event photography has redefined a fresh more contemporary and experimental style and resulted in his being branded as Taiwan’s most sought after event photographer.

Like a schoolboy who’s just doodled a pair of tits at the back of his semen crusted geography notebook, Mr Millicent does not hesitate to boast artistic credentials for having ‘redefined’ mediocrity.

It would however, be a gross misjudgement to conclude that all Taiwanese are duped by this charade, just as much as it would be a misjudgement to assume that every foreigner living in Taiwan are complicit in this opportunism.

Outside the cloned night clubs offering bland entertainment to crowds who are so drunk on distilled horse urine to notice their own embarrassment, there is a rapidly growing alternative scene on the island. It is to them that I wish to dedicate this piece.

Kind Regards,
Uncle Joe


Aug 26 2011

London Riots and Focus Group Politics

Comrades!

Much has been said about whether the recent riots in London and rest of the UK could or could not be considered as a form of political expression. Whereas more really has to be said about whether the tory response to it can be considered as legitimate politics or not. Ever since the tories have consulted their cheese nibbling focus groups, they took no time in taking radical policy measures. Like updating their favourite slogan “broken society” into “quite frankly, sick society” and hence demonstrated to the entire nation that they are perfectly aware of the problem’s magnitude. The irony is of course that this vital upgrade to tory sloganisation did not come when the less desirable elements of society (aka children of single mothers) were simply murdering each other.

What is meant by “not just broken, but quite frankly sick society”? Though of course, your guess is as good as mine. This quite literally means anyone who even has a fleeting thought that something interesting might come out of investigating/discussing possible reasons for the rioting beyond the insatiable greed of the ‘feral rats’ involved in it, is guilty of “left-wing cynicsm” to quote the Daily Fail.

So if you want to look into reasons beyond the abolishment of corporal punishment due to political correctness. Be prepared for a whole range of accusations ranging from ‘ivory tower lefty’ to ‘traitor’.

Another fascinating tory idea that drew attention after the riots is of course “big society”. The original inventors of the concept are so clueless as to what it means that earlier this year the coalition has attempted to reshape the Arts and Humanities Research Council to force academics into researching their made up concept, like some early 20th century single party government.

Essentially, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that ‘big society’ means nothing more than dismantling state services and flogging the responsibility of their provision to others. For instance security is going to be provided by such respectable ‘big society’ elements as the EDL (Enfield Defence League) who were so concerned with avoiding confrontation and violence in their neighbourhood, they never had the time to disassociate themselves from an organisation that incites racial hatred.

I don’t know about you comrades, but I sure sleep easy knowing that there is a government out there that can come up with hollow focus group generated slogans and declare the mildest deviations from it as “phoney concerns about human rights” at best, or a form of treason at worst. It feels good to know that mobilising more than 3 brain cells into determining WHY the riots have happened is considered as ‘justifying’ looting and violence!

If looked carefully, there is not a real difference between the kind of politics practised by the rioters and by the coalition. One rabidly raids local stores without clearly expressing any particular view on how they would like to change society. The other semi-conciously invents meaningless slogans for the sole purpose of holding on to power.

Kind Regards,
Uncle Joe


May 12 2011

The Church of Immaculate Consumption

Comrades,

We have previously discussed on this here blog the dangers associated with extreme forms of radical atheism. Today, I wish to elaborate on a more sinister danger lurking behind the assumption that atheism is a precondition for any claim to intelligence. Because comrades, the suggestion that we are now living in a perfectly reasonable society in which hilarious sounding notions like ” the great juju in the bottom of the sea” struggle to take hold against the human capacity to reason obscures the real danger. Namely, the rising threat of “The Church of Immaculate Consumption”.

If Richard Dawkins’ teenage fanboys are really so concerned about living in a society that’s governed by ‘reason’ they really should be more concerned about Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health getting loaded on the money he made from flogging Mcdonald’s, Mars bars and Pizza Hut. Same tosser is also after privatizing the NHS, and handing over the labour initiated anti-obesity campaign to the secure hands of business. Naturally, any fanboy of Richard reading this in between composing new and original slurs to insult religion and it’s believers through the highly distinguished medium of discussion forums, masturbating, and spending their pocket money on acne products will realise the errors of their ways and direct their attention on the more insidious threat of the almighty Church of Consumption.

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Apr 21 2011

Take your Art and Shove it…

Comrades!!

Amidst the advertisements for Yves Saint Lauren handbags, flippant articles about how irony has become utterly passé and a great variety of declarations on the increasing profitability of collecting art in unexpected countries. The September 2010 issue of the Art Review magazine features an article about the emerging art market in ‘New China’. The article deserves to be read in full with an irreverent smirk by all self respecting Hoxton residents, who are looking to be inspired by ‘real’ life and ‘real’ suffering, as experienced by people living in poor countries and consequently are forced to eat smelly cuisine.

Here is the first few paragraphs of the article. Which are incidentally adjacent to a sepia picture of Ai Wei Wei riding a fixie bike… Emphasis my own:

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Mar 29 2011

Rock Out With your Cock Out: ROFLCOPTER like you never heard it before!

Comrades!!

It is time to announce this modest contribution to the weirdification of contemporary musical landscape! After over a year of blood, sweat and semen stains (because men don’t cry!) Roflcopter has finally hatched three horrendous spawns, that’s guaranteed to insult good taste and decency.
Here’s what’s been said so far:

“If four pairs of sweaty bollox could play instruments and sing, this is probably what they would sound like”
-New York Times

“Roflcopter is to dysfunctional angry men what ‘Sex and the City’ is to sex depraved women”
-The Observer

“There is no way we would even consider signing up something so revolting”
- The International Record Company Executives Conspiracy

*silence*
- The handful of Roflcopter fans


Mar 24 2011

The Problem With Rabid Atheism

Comrades!

It is my intention today to reveal to the faithful students of THE UNIVERSITY OF SOTONGRAD the urgent question of nutty atheists.

First of all I would like to make it clear that the primary reason why your caring Uncle Joe has not relocated the likes of Daniel Dennet and Richard Dawkins to our newly refurbished manual labour camp in Kamchatka; is that their nerdy sociopathic behavior is a major source of amusement both to myself and the general public.

Although both of these gentlemen could have benefited greatly from a lifetime supply of fresh air and intensive work, we nevertheless need them to stand over their ivory towers and serve as fountains of sexual excitement to the nerdy youths they so bravely command.

Let us, together, find the source of the stench of bollox that seems to emanate so strongly from the works of these two gentlemen.

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Mar 18 2011

We Live as we Dream: Alone

Comrades,

Today I wish to lecture my faithful subjects about the importance of courage in the arts.

On this occasion you may be forgiven for reacting to the above statement as follows: “ROFL Uncle JOe! Laik WTF does art has to do with curadge FFS?!! Isn’t art just some laik d00d in a berret smearing shitZ on a canwas LOL!”

I am of course talking about the courage of artists -for lack of a better word- to defy the rules of common convention and prevalent culture. No I don’t mean like promoting your otherwise average skills as a writer/cartoonist by insulting Islam. And no do I not mean having a public rant about how political correctness has gone mad. And NO I certainly don’t mean stenciling two coppers making out on a wall… “But UNCLE JOOOEEE!! You don’t get the joke yeaa! That one is like well funny, coz like cops aren’t supposed to be faggots lol! It’s like cops yea! And they are making out yea? Like they are gay! Except cops are never gay ye? Coz like only faggots are gay innit?!”

It's funny coz they're gay ye?

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Mar 18 2011

A Revolution Without Dancing

If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!
If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution!
If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.
A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.
If there won’t be dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming.

Emma Goldman


Feb 26 2011

Qualities I look for in a woman

Must take great joy in redacting theses and assorted texts of an academic nature. Absolutely imperative that she has a love of meticulously organising paper work (visa applications and possibly welfare documents in the near future). No inclination for cooking or cleaning is necessary. As far as looks are concerned, she could have a swinging arm in the middle of her chest for all I care. White supremacists need not apply.

Yours Truly
Uncle Joe


Jan 13 2011

Engineering Boredom: The Lucrative Trend Toward Mediocrity in Video Game Industry

The only prospect for excitement when discussing the cumulative progress of technology and it’s effects on society, is excavating synonyms for ‘boring’ from the Oxford English dictionary and seeing how many of them could fit in a sentence. However, scarcely a day goes by in the life of a contemporary urban dweller without exposure to some wearisome announcement about what the future may have in store for us.

What is notable about these dreary accounts of unstoppable progress, is that they increasingly rely on technology to announce their uninspiring visions of the future. We can watch a Marxist professor delivering a monotonous speech about the loss of cultural value on youtube. Read a variety of uneventful blog entries authored by half literate teenage girls paying homage to their new telephones, inevitably accompanied by pictures of themselves taken with the phone in question.

A significant portion of humanity seems to be caught either in a frenzy of self congratulation or of doomsday prophecy. The conversation on the subject has become so monochromatic that any fresh idea, no matter how outlandish it may seem would be an improvement to the current trend of exhausting repetition.

The outlandish claim I wish to make is that contemporary developments in video games industry have in fact not favoured forms of innovation to make video games more fun. Contrary to expectations the biggest companies in video games industry seem to be more concerned about keeping games as boring as possible.

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