British Conservative May’s Dolly Parton parody song


This 11 October 2018 music video from Britain says about itself:

Theresa May (aka Folly Partin’) pleads with DUP leader Arlene Foster not to collapse her premiership with this haunting take on “Jolene“.

LYRICS:

Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
I’m begging of you, don’t collapse my premiership
Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
Please don’t, because I’ll never hear the end of it

I bribed you guys a billion quid to prop up us Conservatives
Is this how you repay me, Arlene Foster?

Yes, I blew my majority and came to you, the DUP
Remember how you said, “Eh, it’ll cost ya”
Your aims are contradictory: no border in the Irish Sea
And none on land either, that doesn’t work!

You don’t believe in dinosaurs and rights of women to abort
Some unionist you are, you utter berk

Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
Don’t f**k this up, for absolute f**k’s sake
Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
I’ll give the money tree another shake

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Cartoon on European Union xenophobia wins prize


'Good migrant, bad migrant?' Cartoon by Tjeerd Royaards

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Inkspot prize for drawing about ‘balcony hero’ and European border fence

A cartoon of the [so-called] illegal person who saved a child from a balcony in Paris after a climb, has brought its maker Tjeerd Royaards the 2018 Inkspot prize. His winning cartoon Good migrant, bad migrant? appeared on the website Cartoon Movement in May this year and was widely distributed via social media.

The draftsman referred to 23-year-old Mamoudou Gassama from Mali, who became world news when, when he ‘illegally’ saved a child in Paris hanging on a balcony. Royaards compares the hero with a migrant who climbs against a border fence. …

The border fence has a European Union flag picture on it.

Marinus Potman of the art commission of Nieuwspoort political journalism centre, where the prize was awarded, had already pointed out threats to cartoon artists. “That’s why security guards also are here, just like in other places where art can be seen.”

Tony Blair, musical parody videos


This 14 September musical parody video from Britain is called BlairBushes & Blairs

It says about itself:

Tony Blair‘s Blur tribute band looks back at his dynamic partnership with George W. Bush.

LYRICS:

Calais’s a jungle, full of refugees
Following the swarm down to Greece
Hoping to stay
Back in the ‘90s, I became PM
Then I brazenly flaunted the UN
And went to war

Bushes and Blairs make the greatest of pairs
Sharing secret memos, ignoring your demos
Millions of you marched, and I had to laugh

Avoiding all proof, ‘cause none was available
Now every time I speak, I earn sums of one, two, three, four, five figures
I got bad intel, I heard they had weapons
Of mass destruction
, but they didn’t
All I can say is “oops”

Bushes and Blairs make the greatest of pairs
Sharing secret memos, ignoring your demos
Millions of you marched, and I had to laugh

This 15 September musical parody video from Britain is called Blair – Warcrime.

It says about itself:

Classic hit from Tony Blair‘s Blur tribute band.

LYRICS: Arrogance is a preference for the historical perpetrator of what is known as…war crime!
And one’s own legacy can be salvaged if you gloss right over what is known as…war crime!
Tony is pro-EU, he’s not intimidated by the calls for him to shut up, he’ll say his bit…war crime!
Who’s that EU president? You should get rid of Jean-Claude Juncker, mate, try me on for size!

All the people, so many people, and they all died exploding, exploding in my war crime
Know what I mean

I get up to what I want, except on Wednesdays when I have to collect a big sack of money from JP Morganwar crime!
I put my trousers on, have a stiff whisky and I think about moving to an even bigger housewar crime!
I do some charity work, I sometimes act as a peace envoy too, it gives me an enormous sense of wellbeing…war crime!
And then I’m happy for the rest of the day, safe in the knowledge that the Chilcot report will probably never see the light of day

All the people, so many people, and they all died exploding, exploding in my war crime
It’s got nothing to do with my corporate ties, you know, my support for the EU
And it’s not about you social justice warriors, who go round and round and round and round
All the people, so many people, and they all died exploding, exploding in my war crime

This 16 September musical parody video from Britain is called Blair – There is a Third Way.

It says about itself:

On the new single from Tony Blair‘s Blur tribute band, the former PM hits out at Jeremy Corbyn and defends his own approach.

LYRICS:

You’re taking the ‘New’ out of ‘New Labour
You’re like Obi-Wan without a lightsaber
Ideologically, how can we be neighbours?
Tony wants his party back

There is a Third Way, there is a Third Way
Neoliberalism saves the day!
There is a Third Way, there is a Third Way
Moderate centrism saves the day!

You’re taking Labour too far to the left
You probably believe that property is theft
Your economics would leave so bereft
You can’t ignore the private sector

There is a Third Way, there is a Third Way
Neoliberalism saves the day!
There is a Third Way, there is a Third Way
Centrist moderation saves the day!

Hurricane Florence threatens USA, Trump reacts


Hurricane Florence and Trump, cartoon

This cartoon, by Argus in Dutch daily Metro today, is about Hurricane Florence now threatening the USA, and President Donald Trump’s reaction to it.

CNN HOST SLAMS TRUMP JR. ON FLOODING Anderson Cooper tore into Donald Trump Jr. after the president’s son claimed the CNN anchor was faking the depths of North Carolina floodwaters to make his father look bad. “I didn’t see him down in North Carolina in the last few days helping out, lending a hand, but I’m sure he was busy doing something important besides just tweeting lies,” Cooper said. [HuffPost]

Here’s how climate change is fueling Hurricane Florence: here.

Hurricane Florence kills five in North Carolina, leaves nearly one million without power: here.

15 DEAD FROM FLORENCE Volunteer rescuers are going door to door in search of residents who refused to flee the rapidly rising waters in Lumberton, North Carolina. The death toll rose to at least 15 from Florence, which crashed into the state as a hurricane Friday, bringing record rainfall. The heavy rains caused a slope to collapse at a coal-ash landfill at a closed power station near the coast. [HuffPost]

Thirty-one dead as Hurricane Florence continues to ravage the Carolinas: here.

FLORENCE IS THE TRAIN WRECK FORECASTER WARNED ABOUT Days after landfall, the remnant of Florence continues to pummel flood-scarred communities in North Carolina. This is the slow-motion train wreck forecasters warned about. [HuffPost]

Tropical Storm Florence inundates toxic manure ponds, coal ash dumps in the Carolinas: here.

TYPHOON BATTERS HONG KONG The world’s most powerful storm this year battered Hong Kong, collapsing bamboo scaffolding, tearing the corner off a building and slamming the waterfront with nearly 13-foot surges. Typhoon Mangkhut’s winds reached roughly 106 mph as the storm barreled westward into China’s Guangdong Province. [HuffPost]

Typhoon Mangkhut kills dozens in the Philippines, leaves trail of destruction in China and Hong Kong: here.

Islamisation of Birmingham, England, satiric poem


This 2007 video from England is about Irish poet Kevin Higgins poetry reading for Oxfam.

By Kevin Higgins in Britain:

Monday, September 10, 2018

Poetry on the Picketline

The Islamisation of Birmingham

Most reckon it was the day Ozzy Osbourne
walked out the gates of Winson Green Prison,
ready to commit acts of musical terrorism
in a desperate effort to undermine Christ,
that the City began turning instead
to Mecca. All agree

the situation grew
more serious each time Roy Wood sang
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
in the hope we wouldn’t notice
the big mad beard he got
at a training camp in Pakistan.

Spaghetti Junction was already
jammed with Muslim-only vehicles,
the night the Mulberry Bush
and Tavern in the Town
were blown up by Muslims
disguised as IRA men.
Since then every nil-all draw
between Aston Villa and Birmingham City
has been celebrated by stadiums half-full
of nothing but Muslims.

Truth is, it started way back,
the night Chamberlain signed
his secret treaty with Adolf, agreeing
in the event of war with Russia to hand
the birthplace of Enoch Powell
over to the Islamists.

These days the local economy is mostly
Jaguar Cars and Cadbury’s chocolate
being secretly manufactured by Muslims
for export to terrorist countries busy
thinking up new ways to kill us.

This is a satire on the remarks of [Rupert Murdoch-owned] Fox News commentator Steve Emerson, who said that “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go.”

Note: All people, pubs, companies and football teams mentioned in this poem are native to Birmingham, with the exception of the late Adolf Hitler, who was born in the small Austrian town of Braunau am Inn, though his people did visit Birmingham from 1940 to 1943.

Poetry on the Picket Line is a squad of like-minded poets putting themselves about to read their work on picket lines, in the spirit of solidarity. Invitations to rallies etc. welcome, contact facebook.com/pg/PicketLinePoets.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Who Is America?’ satire, review


This 24 July 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Who Is America | Dick Cheney | Waterboarding and War | Sacha Baron Cohen

By Carlos Delgado in the USA:

Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” on Showtime: Scattershot satire, with hits and misses

22 August 2018

Rarely has there been a period in history more ripe for—and more sorely in need of—genuine satire. Imperialist governments slaughter civilians in massive numbers in the name of defending “human rights”. Massive technology monopolies censor the internet while claiming that they are protecting “democracy” and excluding “fake news”. … Stupidity, hypocrisy, mendacity and reaction flourish in every section of the privileged elite.

At the same time, the media treats noxious and criminal political figures with reverence and obsequiousness. Even the would-be satirists of our day have remarkably little to say. The various media figures who specialize in “political comedy” largely belong to a complacent and privileged upper-middle-class layer that accepts uncritically the political line of the Democratic Party. With few exceptions, the comedy of Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, et al has been flat and empty-headed at best; at worst, they have actively supported the right-wing anti-Russia campaign that threatens the world with nuclear catastrophe.

Sacha Baron Cohen is a British comedian best known for his television series “Da Ali G Show” (2000-2004), and the films Borat (2006), and Brüno (2009). His latest show, “Who Is America?” premiered on Showtime in July, after having been announced only a few weeks earlier. In a style similar to “Da Ali G Show”, Cohen plays a number of bizarre and flamboyant characters, who he uses to lure subjects into mock interviews intended to ridicule and humiliate them.

In our review of Borat, we noted, “Cohen’s specialty … is to inhabit a supposedly transgressive personality obsessively—in some ways quite brilliantly—then place himself in the path of ordinary people or ‘celebrities’, come out with the most outrageous statements or questions, and see what emerges. In short stretches, in the presence of the pompous, self-promoting or politically reactionary, the results can be entertaining and even enlightening. At other times, Cohen is simply crude and embarrassing.”

“Who Is America?” contains entertaining and embarrassing elements in roughly equal measure. The satire here is limited, yet within these limitations Cohen is at times able to land satirical punches at those who sorely deserve it.

At its best, the show mocks some of the most repugnant and reactionary figures in the political landscape. In perhaps the series’ most infamous segment thus far, Cohen plays Erran Morad, an imbecilic, fascistic Israeli “commando” type promoting a program called “Kinder Guardians” that would put live firearms into the hands of children as young as three years old, supposedly in order to stop school shootings. Cohen-Morad is able to get a number of right-wing politicians to agree to support the program, including former Senate minority whip Trent Lott as well as various current and former congressmen and “gun rights” lobbyists.

In one of the most incisive segments of the series, Cohen-Morad interviews former United States Vice President Dick Cheney, a war criminal directly responsible for the sociocidal destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. In character, Cohen-Morad states his approval for the mass slaughter and torture of Iraqi civilians, which clearly does not perturb Cheney in the slightest. Cohen-Morad goads Cheney into naming his “favorite” war that he has started (Cheney insists it was the 1991 Persian Gulf War) and insists that Cheney must have “enjoyed” the wars and found them “fun,” which Cheney more or less agrees with.

At one point Cohen-Morad even gets Cheney to sign his “waterboarding kit”, which Cheney does with amusement. The segment is revealing in a number of ways. Cheney, a monstrous criminal who in any genuine democratic society would be in prison for war crimes, gloats of his atrocities without the slightest hesitation, even stating openly at one point that the Iraq War was launched because of that country’s “important strategic interest.” Cheney is clearly not on guard for any sort of criticism, and why would he be? The spineless talk show hosts and media propagandists who have interviewed him in the past have only ever treated him with bootlicking reverence.

Former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on 'Who is America?'

In two other segments, law-and-order fanatics former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke are interviewed by Cohen as childish YouTube personality OMGWhizzBoyOMG! who conducts the interviews while unboxing tiny plastic toys.

Arpaio and Clarke are made to speak fascistic diatribes to the toys, while Cohen-OMG draws parallels between their views and those of the Nazis. Clarke explains he would have arrested anti-fascists in Germany in the 1930s (“You have to act aggressively. You use force to disperse the crowd, you have to be willing to arrest people, take them to jail”). One gets a sense of how truly pathetic these two are, despite the media’s attempts to treat them as serious figures.

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke on 'Who is America?'

A number of the interview subjects have expressed outrage at having been “duped” by Cohen into making ridiculous statements on camera. At least one politician, Georgia state representative Jason Spencer, was forced to resign after he was filmed shouting racial epithets and performing a shockingly racist impression of an Asian tourist.

One does not feel an ounce of sympathy for the various right-wing politicians involved, who were merely encouraged to express their reactionary views more openly. However, some of Cohen’s targets are less deserving than others. In one segment, Cohen plays ex-convict-turned-artist Rick Sherman who presents his “art”—consisting of paintings made with various bodily fluids and excretions—to an obviously uncomfortable yet accommodating fine art consultant. The segment ends with Cohen-Sherman attempting to sexually humiliate the woman in a particularly crude and mean-spirited way.

In another segment, a group of working class residents of Kingman, Arizona are told that their town has been selected to be the site of a massive new mosque. The attendees, who were obviously selected for this very purpose, react with bigotry and racial animus, the implication being that such views are the norm in “red state” America. (In fact, according to reports, some members of the crowd opposed these views and attempted to get others to stop playing into the “set-up.” Such exchanges were not a part of the segment.)

There are some missed opportunities and segments that go nowhere. The first episode of the series opens with an exchange between Cohen, as right-wing conspiracy theorist Billy Wayne Ruddick, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. … The segment proceeds into a pointless and unfunny debate over whether it would be possible to “bring the 99 percent into the 1 percent.”

Far too often Cohen goes for the comedic low-hanging fruit. Scatological humor involving various bodily functions becomes a convenient fallback and quickly becomes tedious.

One of Cohen’s characters, Democratic Party activist Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, is an amusing satire of upper-middle-class complacency and self-righteousness. He is introduced by saying, “I’m a cisgender, white, heterosexual male, for which I apologize.” He asserts that, “the world’s most dangerous chemical weapon is testosterone”, and claims that he forces his daughter to urinate standing up in order to “challenge gender stereotypes.” …

To be sure, much of the political and media establishment has reacted to the show with either silence or hostility, which is to Cohen’s credit. An upcoming segment featuring former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has already provoked her strong rebuke, indicating that it may be one of the more interesting segments. Elements of “Who Is America?” are amusing, even incisive. They are worth watching, if one can stomach the sophomoric and crude strands interwoven with them.