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Update

Just a little update on the state of this poor, forgotten blog.

About this time last year, I gave myself an ultimatum: sort it out, or get rid of it.

In the year that followed, I only made one post. There’s no way I could justify paying the fees to host this dedicated blog with WordPress.org when WordPress.com would do it for free, especially when bits of the .org install were breaking.

At some point last year, I backed up the entirety of this blog to a free WordPress page.  And with the expiration of my hosting account tomorrow, rob-howard.com will redirect to that site, which is indeed this site, cousindirk.wordpress.com. I figured it would be a good idea to hold on to the URL if nothing else.

Maybe I’ll use this more in 2014. Maybe I won’t. But at least I won’t be wasting as much money on it.

In the meantime, head on over to CreativeSplurges.com, where I do actually publish posts.

News of the World falls on its sword

Ostensibly it would appear to be quite good news that the News of the World, something which can only really be called a newspaper in the loosest sense of the word, is closing down. Even before all of this phone hacking scandal broke it would’ve been nice to see it consigned to the chip shops of history (unlike the Daily Mail which, quite frankly, I don’t want coming anywhere near my chips, thank you very much).

Unfortunately, I don’t think the closing is quite as good as most people will make out.

This is because the expediency with which News International has acted to shut the paper – less than a week after the serious shit began to hit the fan regarding the hacking of the phones of murder victims and their families – makes me think that they are essentially making the News of the World take the fall to keep the heat off of the rest of News Corp and whatever the hell it may be up to with its numerous fingers in various pies.

The key basis for The Whimpering Pen – if I ever get it off the ground, that is – is the bias inherent in media outlets that are part of a larger organisation. The News of the World is part of one of the biggest multimedia conglomerates around, comprising of, amongst others, The Sun, The Times, BSkyB (currently a bit of it but if they have their way all of it), 20th Century Fox, and news and book publishers around the world.

Now, I don’t know how well the various elements of Rupert Murdoch’s empire liaise with each other. It would be foolish of me to make allegations to that effect. But it does very often seem that the behaviour of the various News Corp elements do seem to be to benefit the good of the mother company.

It makes me wonder what else Rupert Murdoch and his corporation are getting up to.

Dear nature: you'll get over it

Barely a month goes by where we don’t see a story in the media about how daffodils are blooming earlier or fruits are ripening sooner because of atypical weather. It happens every year. Sometimes it’s in spring, sometimes it’s in summer, sometimes it’s even in winter, but the gist is the same whenever the story is posted: climate change is confusing mother nature.

Take a story from today’s Metro, for instance:

Dry spring, hot summer, mild winters. We hear it all the time. What people seem to forget is this: it’s still here. The biodiversity of this planet has suffered through much over the last few billion years, but it always struggles on. Sure, there has been a massive turnover of species over the years, but life in general will usually carry on regardless.

I guess I generally don’t worry much when the media churn out the same old scare stories.

The Beginning

This is my first blog.

In many ways, that is a little surprising. Most people who know me in person know that I talk a hell of a lot. Some would say too much. The general consensus is that most of what I say could be categorised as “bullshit”. I also like to write, although – as is often the case – liking to do something and actually sitting down to do it are two very different concepts. I should therefore be prime fodder to have a blog. But no. I’ve been meaning to start one for ages, but never sat down to do it.

Until today, that is. Let’s see how this goes.