Archives de Tag: snark

The One Tweet movie review: Prometheus

Short and pithy: both a summary and a critique, by Martin Sutherland (@sunpig) on Twitter:

Via Abi on Making Light. (With discussion, links and rants in the comment thread. Spoilers included, of course!)

Photo montage: Ridley Scott and the head of the Alien

Oh, and what is this « Chekov’s gun » he’s referring to, you say? Why, it’s a narrative technique so well known in the biz that not only is it rarely explained any more, but it’s spawned several tropes of its own…

UK police kettling vs the French art of protest march management

Dear UK police chiefs and government officials,

Here’s the thing: you did it all wrong with the student protest marches. Sorry to blow your bubble, but that’s true. You had young people demonstrating peacefully against unpopular measures, with a lot of support from the generation of their parents and grand-parents, and what did you do? Treat them like dangerous rabble, using kettling and other controversial tactics.

That’s not smart.

Now, the consequences are upon you: lots of arrests, lots of anger, and rumors of forbidding more marches in the future. Oops, how undemocratic!

Now, if only you had thought about taking an interest in what goes on here, among the traditional enemy of Merry England – I mean in France. I know, I know, you don’t think much of these froggies and their seemingly permanent state of unrest. Demonstrations every other day, the horror! Talk about hampering the commerce, Maggie.

But you know what? They have evolved sophisticated ways to organize even protest marches. That’s true. It’s all about negotiating the itinerary beforehand and also putting security personnel inside the crowd. Very sneaky, you might think (making the demonstrators cooperate to their own containment? yes, it’s possible), but effective.

And I do mean negotiate. To begin with, demonstrators must always file their proposed route with the local police authority. They, in turn, can suggest modifications (for instance, don’t go too near this or that sensitive landmark). When the proposed route is agreed upon, the marchers are responsible for sticking to it. Everybody knows that if they deviate, the police can and will respond with force. The result is that the organisers of the march put voluntary « security officers » among the marchers, especially at the front, back and flanks, and they have badges or some other easily recognisable sign to distinguish them.

The police also send some plain-clothes personnel among the marchers to watch things closely and report by radio to their uniformed colleagues. Then, if someone somewhere turns violent, there’s generally either a policeman or a voluntary security person nearby, or both, and the incident is quickly handled without disrupting the whole march.

Not a magic bullet, and it needs practice, but it shows that comparatively peaceful alternatives to kettling and charges do exist.

Just thought you might be interested.

Ref.: David Dufresne, author of Maintien de l’ordre, interviewed by Article 11 (in French).

Bill Clinton is not «vegan», sorry.

And not a «plant-eater», either. Not by any valid definition. He eats some fish, so he’s not even a simple vegetarian. And he takes a «protein powder» in his morning almond milk, how’s that for a «natural», «whole foods» diet? Sure, he switched to a diet low in animal products, starch and refined sugars after his quadruple bypass, because he needed to lose weight and keep his cholesterol down, but that’s what the doctors ask of all their bypass patients. The «whole food, beans and fruits» thing is his own personal (shall we say, ex-hippy?) slant.

Anti-animal foods and anti-modernity militants (yeah, I’m snarky – I did some basic biology, thank you) may feel cheated, but they should rather blame some bloggers’ lazy word usage

(By the way, if you feel confused about what is and is not healthy after reading the whole transcript of Bill Clinton’s CNN interview, or reading Boing Boing′s comments, here’s a useful link to Skeptoid′s Nutrition 101 episode. Milk vs. soy, animal vs. vegetable, organic vs. conventional (how come it’s the pro-organic folks who give the labels?), raw food, refined sugars, and on, and on… All the debates sound very complex, but the building blocks of food, by themselves, are not.)

En passant

When a shallow talk-show host invites Stephen Hawking, but manages to also bring on the panel a peddler of quantum flapdoodle and a Catholic priest to talk about the beginnings of the universe… How else to respond than with a … Lire la suite

En passant

Oh, noes! P.Z. Myers gives an apology to someone he misquoted! How am I to know my way around the «War About Nice», then? Apocalypse may be upon us. Next thing, you’ll tell me that Phil Plait can be rude … Lire la suite