Is the internet a crock of old poo-poo or what? And if so, is it because of those on it, or the basic idea of it?


So there I was, for the fourth time this week, trying to find a new way into the Chateau D’If French health service, via in the Google search box.

Google sent me 4,600,553 (I’m serious) links to Amelia Earhart, GHS Tiger Cubs paddle past Southmont Mounties, and 18 entries about Amelias – ranging from a movie to Amelia Shepherd….and just for luck, Natamelia Pilates. I’m going to use that name in a novel one day: it may be an exercise class to you, but it’s gold dust as a piece of instant characterisation for me.

Finally reaching the link that says CPAM in English, Google asked if I wanted the page translated into English. The answer would’ve been no even if it had been in French, because Google is the only translator engine I know that’s confused on the nature of meaning, words, sentences, verbs, spelling etc.

I click onto the site, punch in the number – and realise that the English speaking service is all in French……because they’ve got the wrong number in there. Three sites later, I do get an English speaking line: it tells me that my waiting time is approximately 53 minutes.

I moved on to The Telegraph (Android Evan-Elpus is a constant surprise) and saw a prominent piece there advising as follows:

ftsehighCheaper than what – Jack Benny? (One thrown in there for the old folks). Quite how – with the world in a slump – Mr Evans thinks that an all-time high FTSE is ‘cheap’ beggars belief. He may be right that it will go up some more….but it bears no relation whatever to what’s coming, real valuation, business done and so forth. Mr Evans – who has a holiday home on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius – notes as part of his ‘support’ argument that ‘the index is dominated by raw materials: between them, the oil & gas and mining sectors account for 22pc of the Footsie’. Just as we head into the worst depression since 1930.

I gave up at this point, but on the way to the exit I saw Mary Riddle-wrapped-in-a-fluffy-Enigma averring that “Time is running out for Ed Miliband” only 24 hours after new poll giving Labour a six-point lead over the Conservative Party. That’ll probably change after the Straw scandal, and then next week Boris Johnson will be caught in bed with a horse….and the Tories will be back to a 10-point lead.

And so back to Twitter – where I feel as if I’ve actually been for much of the last three weeks. I’ve got a thing these days about the lachrymose and generally gratuitous use of children in ‘news’ stories about atrocities being committed everywhere from Iraq via Syria and the Ukraine to Palestine. As most of us know by now, all atrocities everywhere in the middle east are committed entirely by Israel, whose sole purpose in life is to crush babies under bulldozers. So too, there are no fascists in Western Ukraine, and Putin is the mutinous monster who started all that nonsense in the first place. And finally, two years ago we felt bitter about Assad spraying chemical weapons about while bombing the Turks and ‘freedom fighters’….until the freedom-loving blokes being bombed turned out to be jihadist beheading swine, at which point Bashar Assad became an ally. Next year: let’s depose Erdogan. (I quite like that idea – but it’s none of my business).

Cut it any way you like, there is little doubt in my mind that all of them are lying all the time about everything…especially atrocities against children. Want to get fluffy liberal on your side? Snap a kid covered and blood and shoot her dog. It works every time. Take a look at this map of Gaza:

gazaptnetThe four places I’ve ringed for your attention in red there are the top four places from which missiles are launched against Israel. Four of the top five population centres represent over 70% of all missiles launched in that direction. All of them have schools and homes, and research shows that that’s where most kids tend to be most of the time.

The land available for Hamas et al to launch missiles with near-zero chance of kids being killed during retaliation – in the sparsely populated rural and desert areas – outnumbers people-dense urban areas by 9.3 to 1.  So while the Washington Post and Vox assert that ‘The Gaza Strip is 146 square miles, and has a population of about 1.6 million. That’s a lot of people in a very small area’, the truth is that it is a humungously densely populated country in 5 key centres. Much of the rest of it is farmland. Hamas doesn’t launch from there…but as the attacks increase on both sides, the situation is exacerbated because kids seek refuge in schools under UN supervision.

The key phrase above – from my perspective – is ‘the attacks increase on both sides’. If you trace back through this post and others, you will I hope spot that my agenda is not NATO, it is not Arab, it is not EU, it is not Israeli, it is not pro-Moscow and it is not pro-Ukraine: my sole agenda is anti propagandic truth-bending. And as they’re all – every last one of the bastards – at this game 24/7, I like to think I’m getting as near as possible to neutral.

We all get taken for a ride now and then – it’s unavoidable in this job – but I try to stick to Orwell’s principle: “Journalism is revealing facts those in power don’t want you to know….the rest is just PR”.

So when yet another crying kid with streaming blood appeared in a blatant bit of anti-Israel propaganda on Twitter this morning, I tried to put a pov that was reasonable:

gaza1This was what I got back:

gaza2This was my reply – which again, I hope you’ll agree – has enough humility in it to deserve a response in kind:

gaza3The person then replied as follows, and as The New York Times five years ago printed a piece about me that was 100% Guardian-generated bollocks – my reply was hardly surprising:

gaza4OK, maybe that was a tad aggressive on my part: but the veracity of the ‘atrocity’ claim must surely be in doubt after getting this back:

gaza5Wull squire, fair enough innit? She was a friend of a friend, and I need to piss off, roight? Stands to reason really…I mean c’mon, be fair – that seals it dunnit? So feeling some truth-seeking sarcasm coming on, I sent this back:

gaza6However, what I’d like you to do now is focus on the role of one @damomac in this mix. Because he joyfully retweeted all the stuff suggesting I was a nasty piece of work, but none of the questions I had every right to ask.

So I sent this to esteemed Irish Times journalist , the person behind the damomac ID:

gaza7And this was the link and fact-packed reply I got:

gaza8Aw, bless. Plenty of time to tweet, no time to debate, back up, or display any manners. Well, we’re all rushed off our feet, Damo. But the important will always override the urgent for me.


Anyway, let us return to the title of this post: ‘Is the internet a crock of old poo-poo or what? And if so, is it because of those on it, or the basic idea of it?’

The succinct and pretty obvious answer is, the basic idea of it is fine…if the idea is to be a gigantic library online; that is, if the objective is to inform and tell us something. But that idea has been perverted, as ever, by controlling human minds….and found wanting in the form of unintelligent software.

Today, the internet exists to sell us something, yell about something, lie about something, f**k up the delivery of something – and be economical about the Truth of everything; and if all else fails, to cut the telephone wire and retreat to the Silo of Total Belief….the better to go lalalalalalalalaI’mrightI’mrightI’mright.

I hope to explore this issue on other dimensions in the near future.

This week at The Slog: Some home truths about Ukraine