Music on the train

Lyric (from the Dears, Ballad of Humankindness) that struck a chord with me on the train today:

And I turn on the news
And there’s always some dude
Who’s relentlessly bringing me down,
Telling me how there are too many dark people out there who’ll never be found.

Facebook : MySpace :: Waitrose : Asda

Interesting article by Danah Boyd on Apophenia Blog (here), points out a growing social division between young MySpace and Facebook users.

The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other “good” kids are now going to Facebook. These kids tend to come from families who emphasize education and going to college. They are part of what we’d call hegemonic society. They are primarily white, but not exclusively. They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities.

MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, “burnouts,” “alternative kids,” “art fags,” punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm. These are kids whose parents didn’t go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. Teens who are really into music or in a band are on MySpace. MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracized at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers.

Some interesting discussion in the article and on the related blog post about what this means. Via MetaFilter.

The Daily Mail and the hollowing out of society

I don’t normally read the Daily Mail, or its website, but I had to go over and check out how it reported the research from Keele University (pdf) that showed an endemic disregard for the law among the soi-disant respectable middle class. The Daily Mail’s article is here, although I don’t know for how long, and the BBC report is here.

It’s hardly surprising that the Daily Mail doesn’t think to point the finger at itself – it’s a tabloid, after all, so it lives on spin – but I wonder whether any of the journalists recognised their habitual tone of spluttering outrage in this description:

The middle classes justify their [immoral] behaviour by treating it as a “revolt” against apparent injustice

And so the Daily Mail’s philippics against ‘rip-off Britain’, ‘corrupt’ politicians, high taxes and ‘scroungers’ have come round to destroy that very moral rectitude that they claim to be supporting.

Read the comments on the Mail piece to see some quality DM hypocrisy – the responses there at the moment can be paraphrased as either (a) “They aren’t really crimes, the real crimes are the ones committed by those evil people who aren’t us”, and, hilariously, (b) “it’s only because Blair is so evil that other people commit crimes”.

Pizza and Marlborough just don’t mix

Not sure what it is about the prosperous Wiltshire town, but Marlborough, where the kids and I have stopped off on our way to Ireland, is proving hard to buy pizza in. Ask (where we are now) has sat us down on the condition we eat up and get out within 55 minutes. Pizza Express didn’t even manage that – astonishingly they had run out of food.