Saturday, August 14, 2004

Socialism As A Torrent - A Short Post

If anyone has been having a look at the comments section of the previous posts to this blog they will see that in amongst the comments about Celtic gubbing Newcastle United at the footie, there has been some mention of my hope to be able to post mp3s on the blog.
Unfortunately, this matter is still in the hands of my lawyers ( I can't believe the royalty cut Donny and Marie Osmond want before they will allow me to post their cowpunk version of Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid' onto the blog) but in the meantime I thought if I can't post mp3s of obscure music onto the blog, then the next best thing would be to post a link to mp3s of some obscure politics instead.
Those of you up with the 'Bit Torrent revolution will understand the following info - for the rest of you I apologise, I can't post an idiot's guide to what is a 'bit torrent', how to download a 'bit torrent' and how it all works, 'cos I'm a bonafide technoidiot myself and my name is already on the waiting list for an idiot's guide to all this myself. (Where's Magnus Pyke when you need him?)
Recordings of the following Socialist Party meetings have been uploaded to the 'bit torrent' sites, Suprnova and Loki Torrent:
'Why Socialism Is Still Relevant' - Centenary Meeting of the Socialist Party held on the 12th June this year in London, England.
'Martov and the Anti-Bolshevik Approach To Revolution' - A recording of an old meeting but which was part of an excellent series of meetings, 'Socialist Thinkers - People Who History Made', in which other figures from history under discussion included Karl Kautsky, William Morris, Bronterre O'Brien, Joseph Dietzgen and a couple of others.
Now *gulp* for the difficult bit. Contradicting my comments above, and for those people not yet up with all this 'Bit Torrent' shenanigans, an attempt at an idiot guide written by an idiot:
What is a 'Bit Torrent'? A bit torrent allows people and/or companies to upload a file (in everyday language, a film or album or ebook etc, etc)to the internet and rather than it being downloaded from a single web server, and thus increasing the bandwidth - and cost - for the person uploading the file, the download is shared between multiple file users, who are also downloading the same file at the same time.
Sorry if that sounds a bit garbled, we didn't do computer studies at school, we daydreamed through woodwork. For a nice diagram that gives you the gist of what I am wittering on about, click on the link.
The link above is a bit disingeneuous, cos it gives a PR speak impression of bit torrents being for the use of companies to best distribute their products on the internet. However, in reality, its just the bloke who conjured up the bit torrent covering his arse with a disclaimer; cos in reality most people use bit torrents to share and download films, music etc etc across the net without first having to first break a twenty pound note.
How Do I Get A 'Bit Torrent'? For those of you who have a desperate need to hear what sort of Public School accents abstract propagandists have, you will first have to download a bit torrent. These can get downloaded here.
OK, I've Got A 'Bit Torrent', What Next? As mentioned above the recordings of the meetings are available at Suprnova and Loki Torrent They are both listed in the miscellaneous sections of the websites. At Suprnova, after you go click on the miscellaneous section you have to go into the 'Other' section, where both talks are listed.
How Big Are These Files? 'Why Socialism Is Still Relevant' is 64mb in size, so with a good connection it should take forty minutes to download. The Martov meeting is 94mb in size and will take about an hour to download.
How Long Will These Files Be Uploaded For Download? I will try and keep them up as long as possible, but if and when Donny and Marie's lawyers see sense then obviously my priority will be to post to their classic reinterpretations. Therefore, those of you thinking: "Mmm, I will eventually download the socialist guff, but first I must download that Croat language version of Spiderman 2", then I must warn you that when you finally do complete that download (with a dial up connection, it should be finally downloaded around about the same time as the closing ceremony of the Olympics), then it may be the case that even Donny and Marie have exited stage left to be replaced by the 'Rab C. Nesbitt does Shakespeare' file.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

'I Tnhik The Begugr Is On To Stnehoimg'

From the Charlotte Street blog, the following interesting post.

The Leafletter Returns

About Sodding Time!
His unexplained absence was getting that extended I thought I might have to end up posting some political content on my blog myself.
But the good news is that fellow SPGB'er, Reason To Be Impossible, is back on the blogging trail. It is definitely him - the combination of high politics and low spelling are in all the right places - and it means that if I post a link to him from time to time I can keep up the politics quotient on the blog, whilst I can get back to the serious business of writing bad jokes, talking up good music and posting the random picture.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Kilgore on Wee Jinky

I know that Robert Duvall starred in a film about Scottish football a few years ago which, beyond a few clips on the telly, has never seen the light of day in Britain, but I still can't quite get my head round the fact that a Hollywood actor who starred in such great films as 'Apocalypse Now'; 'Godfather'; 'MASH'; and 'Network' amongst others is a drinking mate of Jimmy Johnstone, the greatest footballer to ever play for Celtic.*
It's a small world but I wouldn't want to leaflet it.
"You know wee Jimmy Johnstone, the Celtic player . . . He was the No. 1 character I've met in my life and I've met a lot. I named a dog after him. He sings like Neil Diamond. When he was drunk we had to put him in a cab but not before he'd hugged a few flight attendants. Isaid to the cab driver: 'This guy must be second only to Jesus Christ', and the cabbie says: 'No, he's before Jesus Christ.' " From Monday's London Metro newspaper
*He was voted the greatest Celtic player of all time in some poll conducted last year. 'Fraid I can't find the link, but he polled above other greats such as Jimmy McGrory, Kenny Dalgleish, Danny McGrain, Billy McNeill, Charlie Tully, Henrik Larsson, Bobby Murdoch, Bobby Evans, Bertie Peacock and Bobby Lennox amongst many others. (I double checked but I'm certain Wayne Biggins didn't make the list).

"The Horror. The Horror"

Christ, just had the misfortune to see the pilot episode of the American remake of 'The Office'. It is so bad that a few years down the line it will become a 'cult classic' - aye, that bad.

The pilot episode of the American version - I think I should delete the word "pilot" and insert "only"; surely they won't show the other remade episodes if they have made them - has a near identical set to the original version; a near identical script (though some of the 'near the knuckle' references from the original have been written out); and a cast of characters who in a bad light, with your contacts out and your cataracts in, almost look like the original actors but it just gets everything wrong. Steven Carell, who fills the shoes of Ricky Gervais, attempts to play the David Brent character (renamed as Michael Scot in the American version) as a wholesale rip from Gervais performance - tic for tic; sly glances to the fictional documentary camera; and even the attempt at the best fake laugh this side of an audience at a David Baddiel* Stand Up Show. However, it just doesn't come off. And the guy playing Gareth? For some reason, the makers of the American version thought that they would get an actor who looks like the lovechild of Garrison Keillor and Olive from 'On The Buses' fame to play the part. That is the most interesting part of his performance.

And what does Ricky Gervais himself make of the American version?

"I've watched the pilot. It's good. It's quite faithful to the original."But it's weird for me because I can't look at it objectively. I think anyone who's seen our version will find it weird. But it's not aimed at us Brits, it's aimed at 250 million Americans who've never heard of The Office."So I don't know what will happen really, but neither do I care. It's nothing to do with me. We handed over the rights and now it's up to them. I wish them luck."

David Brent couldn't have excused it away better himself.

*As Baddiel is a fake comedian, I thought I would link to a pic of a fake David Baddiel.