The Patch

May 30, 2007

Wednesday 30th May 2007 – Big Brother is back.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV — Claire @ 11:02 pm

So then, Big Brother is back. And though I’m quite aware that the mostly Celebrity orientation of The Patch recently is making us start to resemble Heat Magazine, I don’t care much, and therefore here is our rundown on Big Brother 8 so far.


May 29, 2007

Folks you should read.

Filed under: Miscellany — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 6:44 pm

Hi kids, it’s definitely been a while. But I’ve been busy doing that thing where they make you sit in a room for three hours and force you to remember everything you’ve learned in the past year or so. (But a rant about exams and their actual effects will come another day.)

To date, my political education, especially of the nuances and underlying problems of American politics, has been helped immeasurably by American blogs, some of which you definitely should read at any cost, because for reasoned commentary, awareness, and simple not-sucking, unlike the plethora of mainstream “wisdom” you tend to get in American op-ed pages, there are none better.

Glenn Greenwald – Starting his blog on October 2005 as a mere blogspot blog, which can still be found here, Glenn is an attorney who has consistently hammered the Bush administration on its’ attack upon basic civil liberties. The guy rose meteorically from humble beginnings in the blogosphere (dear God, I hate that word) – from that blogspot blog; he got credit from the Washington Post for breaking a story about the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping program,got quoted on the floor of the Senate by Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, wrote a bestselling bookabout Bush’s abuse of power, and is now a blog columnist for the online magazine Salon (which is pretty good in itself, despite carrying the profoundly stupid Camille Paglia. But again, another rant, another day). His latest post is a takedown of Tony Blair’s whinging, crybaby “Why do they hate us so much?” editorial in The Times. And it is goooooood. So good I feel rather redundant in sneering at it myself.

Digby – Digby and his/her co-blogger Tristero are awesome. Consistently, wonderfully awesome at digging into what makes the conservative movement in America a) exceptionally scary and b) exceptionally incompetent. Unfortunately, nobody outside the blogosphere (there’s that damn word again) has picked up on our dearest Digby, whilst completely poisonous morons like Ann Coulter still get major columnist and speaking gigs.

Ezra Klein – A self confessed “policy wonk”, Ezra also writesfor the American Prospect and occasionally op-eds for some of the more progressive papers in the US. Ezra’s big focus is health care in America – why it sucks, how it sucks, and what can be done to change it. His “Health of Nations” series (scroll down to the bottom), comparing and contrasting 5 countries with universal health care and America is more or less required reading if you want a basic induction into health care policy. Also he likes Captain Planet.

Daily Kos – The Big Dog of the Blogosphere (seriously, can we get a better name?), a mass-blog of epic proportions containing every single possible subject you could possibly think of from virtually any person from all walks of life. As such, it’s pretty variable, but kos himself, as well as the other “front-pagers” do a pretty good job, although kos is a bit more focused upon electoral politics than the others (not a bad thing per se; but it tends to focus on the more arcane regional issues, due to the regional way American politics works).

Crooked Timber – I know I said I was focusing upon American blogs, but I lied. Crooked Timber is mostly Anglo, but loosely connected to the large and bloated American “Left Blogistan”, and contains a range of opinion (left-leaning, of course) on matters economic and social from all over the place by some seriously intelligent folks mostly from around academia, as well as more fun matters such as why dsquared is intensely wrong about Budweiser.

Deltoid and Pharyngula – the two science blogs I frequent, Deltoid focuses on statistical matters, with a frequent focus upon the faulty methodology and reasoning of deniers of anthropocentric global warming (or in layman’s terms, the fact that it’s our fault the world’s getting so hot so quickly), and smart defenses of the controversial Lancet studies, who are only controversial because we don’t want to admit we might be responsible for the deaths of over half a million Iraqis, whilst the awesome PZ Meyers of Pharyngula focuses on evolutionary biology, specifically upon why it is fundamentally the right way to interpret the data we have about the world around us and why the people who try to pick holes in it are the worst kind of dribbling morons (my apologies to readers who do believe in Intelligent Design or even Young-Earth Creationism for the crude terms in which I describe you, but you are. Deal with it.)

Orcinus– Journalist Dave Neiwert’s main focus is the darker side of the right wing conservative movement. “What d’you mean, darker?” I hear you say. “It’s pretty damn dark as it is.” Well, true enough, but it gets worse. Dave’s been reporting on right-wing extremists, racists and neo-Nazis for a hell of a long time now, and he’s also continually noted the links between the extreme right, the conservative media machine and punditry, and the Republican party. He also looks at right-wing domestic terrorism, and how it gets ignored by the US government over the “Islamist threat”. It’s his argument that right-wing commentators like the aforementioned Coulter or Rush Limbaugh take basic tropes of the extreme right wing and “transmits” those tropes into the mainstream until they’re in the public view, and also notes extensively some of the more fascist impulses of that extreme right wing. Not for the faint-hearted.

Sadly, No! , Jesus’ General and Jon Swift – For those severely dispirited by the state of American politics mentioned above, some more light-hearted fare comes in these blogs. Sadly, No! takes the piss out of the more… insane members of the right-wing blogosphere (Gaaah!) and does it with aplomb, panache, and numerous dick jokes. Occasionally there is a rant by the peerlessly angry HTML Mencken, which are also hilarious, if only for the sad tale of American imperialism we all know and love. Jon Swift and Jesus’ General are simply the finest parodies of the right wing possible, and after reading bone-headed opinions for an hour, it’s good to see that satire truly isn’t dead.

Go, read. I’ll be trying to add these to our blogroll. And failing, natch.

Tuesday 29th May 2007.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,International News — Claire @ 3:50 pm

So, this week sees the return of Big Brother, and as acting Entertainment correspondant and a scarily huge fan of the show I will report on that tomorrow for you.

However, Big Brother isn’t the only reality TV show hitting headlines this week. No, some of you may have seen that a new Dutch show is causing a bit of a fuss, too.

May 26, 2007

Friday May 25th

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 1:05 am

Sorry for the lack of post. Life was hectic this week. In good and bad ways. At the moment, I have little motivation or will so if I was to write something it would be rubbish and humourless, so I’ve taken the option to not write anything. Apart from the weekly Record of the Week of course. And this week, it is the decade’s great lost song. Johnny Boy have finally got round to releasing their debut album this week, but it was 2004that saw the release of the most wonderful orchestral powered pop classic since Sparkle.

You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve is a very special song. Encompassing in 3 minutes and 20 seconds what most bands fail to do in an entire career – Johnny Boy make you laugh, cry, dance, reflect and just thank God that you can hear this sweetest of sounds. Yes, go forth and listen to this song for it is one of the greatest of all time.

May 23, 2007

Just an update

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ames @ 9:52 am

Apologies for my lack of post this weekend- two exams last week, an essay due in and just general stress/ tiredness meant that it wasn’t something that was particularly high on my list of priorities. Hopefully I’ll be back this weekend though… you’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, some of you may recall an article I wrote about the judicial system, or apparent lack of in Britain. For those of you who aren’t up for reading the whole article, basically it involved someone attacking my friend (he has quite a noticeable scar under his eye, and his hand was in a cast for a while as a result). This was infront of two police officers who have both testified that the offender was guilty, which has been corroborated by other eye witness reports. The offender originally pleaded guilty. He since changed this to not-guilty because apparently he was drunk at the time of giving a statement (despite the fact that police use breathalisers to check you’re in a fit state to testify… OK then).

For some reason that we don’t know at the moment, the charges have been dropped against him. He gets off absolutely scott free and is perfectly able to wonder the streets and do exactly the same to the next person who he happens to not like the look of after a few pints.

Well done British judicial system, well done…

May 22, 2007

Tuesday 22nd May 2007.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV — Claire @ 1:50 pm

Well hello Patchers. All has been quiet on the Patchly front this past week, so despite my immense need to finish an essay on the construction of arguments in Sonnets, I intend to inform you of some very, very shocking televisual news.

May 18, 2007

Friday 18th May – Rubbish Update

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 3:23 pm

Sorry for the rubbishness of this post, but I’m busy with exam revision and contemplating just how to react to recent events in life. For your reading pleasure though I give you some words:


May 15, 2007

Tuesday 15th May.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV — Claire @ 6:06 pm

It’s Tuesday again, meaning it’s Celebrity/TV time again. Yay, or something.

May 13, 2007

Sunday 13th May- The Bumper Eurovision Round Up

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,Miscellany,Music & Film — Ames @ 11:22 am

Get out the glittery lycra, bring on the vodka and find yourself a comfortable position infront of the television. Yes folks, it’s that time of year again, and like every other blog worth its bandwidth, The Patch has its very own lowdown to the 2007 Eurovision Song contest. Predictions for this year? Well the BBC says that the Ukraine should win, and common sense says that we’ll once again find ourselves towards the bottom of the league table. Infact, as good old Terry has pointed out, the contest is pretty much dominated by the Eastern bloc this year, which means anyone else is definitely going to be on the right hand side of that leaderboard tonight. We shall see, maybe the year has changed countries. I’ll be seriously disappointed if so, mind.

May 11, 2007

Friday 11th May – Spider Man 3

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 12:35 am

In my time, I’ve seen a fair few films at various cinemas across the land. And when I do, I usually go with some idea of what film I want to see, and usually this saves me from witnessing anything truly torrid (Blade Trinity aside, that big, awful, awful, tired disaster of a movie, though I was just there as other people wanted to see it mind). Never in my life did I want to see Spider Man 3. Ever. I liked the original. Even the second had its moments. But absolutely everything I’d read or seen of or about this third installment had made this the equivalent of buying a Razorlight album in my head. Just one huge ‘eurgh’. (more…)

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