Mainstream Media – for sale to highest bidder!

Ah, the news. It used to be so simple. There was just TV, radio and newspapers. It was all regulated by the government. And it had to be fair, unbiased, and truthful.

So, what happened?

Well, let’s roll back to those times-of-old, and see how things have changed…

Back in the days of newspapers, the newspaper companies would get their money from people buying their actual papers (duh, really?). So, to sell papers, they would have to make content that people wanted to buy. Now, there were laws in place so you couldn’t just make shi up and call it news.

Usually reporters would seek to reveal information that would affect or at least interest its readers. Often that would be revealing scandals or info about corruption at the highest levels of government, or large corporations etc. Oh and tits, page 3. You must have tits to soothe the anger from reading about all those bad people.

Fast forward to today. Now, people use the internet, and they don’t pay for visiting the ‘news’ sites. Ok.

But, wait a minute!… how can those news sites run on thin air? They must have customers or they can’t run. So who is the customer? Why, they get their money from advertising of course. Ah ok, makes sense. So everythings just the same as before then right? Well, not quite.

Let’s imagine for a minute there was a town, and in that town there was a town crier. Every day, the town crier would ring a bell and shout the news to everyone. Useful service. But then lets imagine the TC was very poor, so poor he didnt have enough money to eat. He was in danger of dying it was so bad.

Then someone came along. A very kind man. Lets call him Mr Bigcorp. Mr Bigcorp was kind, and he gave money to the town crier every day, the town crier was so grateful that he could eat again. Then one day, the town crier heard about some corruption that Mr Bigcorp was involved in that was affecting everyone in the town. Everyone was suffering because of this activity of Mr Bigcorp and his friends. Oh no! As the town crier arived for work the next day and lifted his bell, about to tell everyone the important news, he stopped. “Hmm, hang on”, he said to himself. If I tell everyone then Mr Bigcorp will be angry and will stop giving me money. Should I do this? What do you think he did.. lets have a look at the options…

Would he:
a. tell everyone the news, then go back to starving?
b. not mention it and continue collecting the money

Well, I think we all know the answer. It doesn’t mean the town crier is bad. Well he kind of is, as he’s pretending to be unbiased while being biased. What I mean is he’s not evil, it’s just self preservation on his part, albeit at the peoples expense. You see, they think they’re getting the news but they’re not.

And the moral of this story is that all mainstream media companies out there who rely on advertising revenue (which is basically all of them), are heavily biased to push the preferred narrative of their advertisers.

So, next time you are getting your “news” from mainstream media outlets, just consider who is pulling their strings. Oh and if you want to find out which of these so called ‘unbiased’ news outlets are dependent on advertising (hint: they all are!), just try installing an adblocker on your browser and visit those sites. See how far you get before a message comes up blocking you or at least complaining. Then think again if you are getting the real ‘news’!

But, but… “I get my news from Facebook” I hear you say. And they’re not biased. No, they’re not biased of course.

Ha ha, just kidding! what’s this… oh it’s a bunch of advertisers who got together to boycott Facebook in 2020. “Stop hate for profit” they said. To cut a long story short, those companies were sooo concerned about stories people (you) were posting on Facebook, that they told Facebook unless they censored stories they didn’t like, they would withdraw advertising! You see, those big companies have just got your best interests at heart. They stay awake at night in total angst, thinking how they can make the world a better place, didn’t you know that?

Ho ho, back to reality now. That boycott was basically a reminder to Zuckerberg of who pulls Facebooks’ strings, and a reminder that advertising money can and will be taken away unless he does as he’s told, and sells you out to Mr. Bigcorps wishes, by censoring what you can say. So that they can push THEIR preferred narrative, not yours. They’ve got more power than you, so they decide what you can and can’t say. That’s fair isn’t it? But rest assured, they have only got your best interests at heart!

To be fair to Zuckerberg, he did try to resist, but the shareholders looking for profit saw to it that he had to buckle in the end. Go search for “facebook 2020 advertiser boycott”. The advertisers were brazen enough to put their names on the list, hilarious if you ask me. Not exactly master criminals are they, but there you go.

So no, Facebook is not unbiased, not in the least.

I guess what it comes down to is censorship. Do you think that :

a. sites should carry warnings about their content, and YOU decide to view it or not, or
b. content is just hidden away by a helpful grandma-like unseen being, who is for sale to the highest bidder.

I prefer option a, but thats just me!

Right, just off to check the news….

Buying a new chair…

Chairs. Yeah I know…not the most exciting subject, and the chances of finding a group of people talking excitedly about chairs probably rhymes with Nero. But, as most of you reading this will be sitting in a chair it is at least somewhat relevant.

I’ve had the same swivel chair for about 10 years now, and the arms are literally falling off, so I have to buy a new one, and soon. Time is ticking. If I sit in it for any length of time it gradually deflates and loses height, leaving me feeling like I’m sitting in one of those emergency Christmas chairs your mum brings out if theres a lot of people round to eat…

Not a good look for power meetings between myself and err, myself. The one I’ve got now has served me well. It was quite expensive when I bought it, compared to those standard ‘cheap’ swivel chairs. About 170 quid ( * ) I think. At the time you could get the cheap ones for more like 40 quid. But even back then, I had realised that buying the cheap ones was a false economy. One chair lasted 4 months, then the last one about 2 days before breaking. “You been had, mate”, I said to myself at the time.

So, this current chair has kind of worked out quite nicely: 170 quid over 10 years is not much at all, can’t be bothered to work it out right now, but it’s not much. Considering for my job I’m sitting in it for 8-12 hours every day. It’s a tough job aswell, I sure wouldn’t like to be under my fat arse for even a few minutes, let alone all day for 10 years.

So, I thought to myself, if that ‘mid range’ chair worked out so well, and I’m sitting in it all the time, why not go up to the more expensive ones, and reach the lofty heights of Chairvana, arse and wallet in perfect harmony?

Most of the real expensive ones come with 12 year guarantees aswell. Can’t argue with that. Unless you’re from the Monty Python department of arguments…

So, after narrowing down the list to these:

  • Herman Miller Aeron
  • Steelcase Think
  • Steelcase Gesture
  • Steelcase Leap

… I set about finding showrooms so I could test ’em out. First one to strike off the list was the Aeron. Back in the day, it was bought by every new silicon valley startup as soon as they got funding, and I was looking forward to trying it out. Dreams of me and the Aeron spending quality time together every day soon faded after I sat in one. God damn it was not good, cutting into my legs and back. This can’t be right I thought, but apparently it was. I was very disappointed, especially after travelling about 2 hours to the showroom. It was like sitting in a deck chair that you could recline and move around on wheels. With someone jamming nails into your back. Cheers then. “That will be a grand please”… err yeah I’ll get back to you on that.

Also tried their “Embody” chair, which looked the part but was just so-so, not even as good as my current chair and about 6 times more expensive.

So that just left the steelcase ones. I did sit in a steelcase leap about a year ago, and I vaguely remember it being pretty good…but it was about a grand, so I kind of balked at that. I heard on the grapevine recently (well ok, google) that you might be able to pick them up for 700 quid, which is still a ludicrous amount of money for a chair, but over 12 years its only…. 2 times 5, carry the 1, add the 10… yep 58 quid a year, or about a pound a week. Hmm, maybe…

Going to the showroom in the next few days (you know somethings expensive when it’s in a showroom) so will report back.

(to be continued…)

( * ) a slang UK term meaning a pound… oh come on, get with the program!


Bulgaria. Great place. In the land of Bulgaria, there is a town, and that town is called Sunny Beach. Not the most imaginative name, but it makes its point. As the astute among you will have no doubt guessed, it’s sunny, and it has a beach. Quite a nice beach actually, it’s won awards and that.

I bought a small place there and lived in that land of sun and beach for a bit around 2007. Such a great place. Well during the summer that is.

In the winter it was cold as ffff. I mean, it went from swimming in the pool throwing beach balls at a never ending stream of holiday girls in the summer months, women swishing their hair and throwing their heads back laughing at my hilarious jokes ( * ), going out drinking cocktails at night, to… the same swimming pool being frozen over with solid ice, spooky silence, darkness, and me being the only person in the complex. Kind of like the Shining, but in Bulgarian.

Actually, in the winter it would be me and the security guard and the maintenance man. The security guard never said much, he just sat in a box near the entrance in case someone visited, which as far as I could tell was never. The maintenance man was a raging alcoholic who would happily sit and drink for hours. And drink we did, even George Best and Oliver Reed would be getting their coats and leaving in shame.

During the summer you would walk down the main street, full of bars, nightclubs, women in bikinis dancing on poles for no reason (although luckily no-one complained), mentally loud music, and so many people you would have about 2 inches of space around you as you walked along the street. You know when you’re in a crowded pub and making your way to the bar, squeezing past everyone saying sorry so you don’t get your head stoved in? Yeah like that, but everywhere along a 2km long street.

Back to the winter. It was actually pretty creepy walking around that town at night. Numer one it was like a deserted film set… all the props are there but you would walk for 20 minutes and not see another person. Plus eerily silent, you could hear the sound of your footsteps reverberating off the deserted buildings each side of the road.

I’ve got many stories to tell about the time in BG. But I’ll save them for other posts. In the end I left there as it was just too damn cold in the winters, and moved to another country which had cheap cost of living, nice weather all year, and beaches. I like beaches. See if you can guess where. To be continued…

( * ) well ok, maybe a slight exaggeration. I think a woman there DID laugh at something I said once though. Or maybe she was just laughing at me. Oh well.

Well that was that!

Well, that was 2021! Lights cigarette… How was it for you?

This is a list of the ups and downs for me:

THREE people I knew (and liked) died. One had no money and checked out with literally nothing, but was well liked by everyone and everyone was sad. Another had everything and threw it away and was not very kind to people. Less people were sad about that. Another was very kind to a lot of people and was well liked, and many people were sad when he went. It struck me that the value of a person is not how many shiny coins they hold, but how much they affect other peoples lives, and in most cases that boils down to how KIND they are. Maybe, instead of elbowing people out the way to get to the gold coins, we should stop and think how we can be kind to people.

I lost a load of money on stocks. Fear caused me to sell stuff at the bottom which ultimately rebounded later, so it was my actions to avoid losses that caused me to lose. Yeah great going. Hold on, theres someone on the phone… Oh, it’s Warren Buffet asking for investing advice! I think not. It’s the second time in 5 years I’ve done this. Gutted but in a way it’s caused me to be more grateful for what I’ve got…and just being alive is also handy!

But then on a more positive note – I got back in touch with some people I worked with before, and did a new project, which I enjoyed, and managed to replace about half the money I lost (lucky!). Whats weird is that I had the intention of getting back in touch with them (after about 8 years) to talk about working on one of my ideas. It was literally on my list for that month when THEY got in contact with me. That is weird as hell, who knows how the universe works!

I started making music again: people biting the dust has shifted my mindset from always maximising productivity to spending more time doing things just because they are fun (as long as they are actually fun and not just path of least resistance / avoidance-of-work activities). One of my goals for 2022 is to get a track released, which is a lofty goal indeed from where I am now! But anything is possible if you just keep at it. The key is to take constant action no matter how small. Consistent action always wins in the end… said the tortoise to the hare.

Well, here’s to a new year and all the sadness and joy it will no doubt bring. Whatever comes our way we’ll deal with it, no need to worry. Who knows, this might be my or your or someone you know’s last year, make it count bitches! As will I. Ok, Let’s start our engines!