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The Evil Empire

No, not that Evil Empire – the other one!

Thanks to Nick M for providing the link; it was too good to leave languishing in this comments thread.

UPDATE: have I been had? I think it likely! Read comments for more details…

35 comments to The Evil Empire

  • James

    Ah, now sadly you’ve all dropped your intellectual guards and been taken for fools by a satirist. Which is what he wanted, I expect.

    The same happened to DK, if I remember correctly…

  • The Last Toryboy

    Thats genius!

    And I quote,

    The Industrial Revolution. Beginning in the 18th century, Britain began making our lives worse through the introduction of machines in the workplace. The health, safety, and wages of workers took a back seat to owners’ greed for ever-higher output and profits. The skies above the city—first London, then the world—were filled with black smoke. Waters were poisoned with noxious chemicals. Under the careless watch Britain’s elite, the Industrial Revolution got off to a horrible start, the consequences of which have continued to ring down through the centuries. The melting of the polar icecaps, the loss of countless plants and animal species, and the imperiled condition of the human race on a planet made poisonous by misapplied technology are all a consequence of British negligence and hunger to accumulate wealth at any cost.

    We’re being blamed for the Industrial Revolution apparently.

  • I see no need for reparations. I prefer punishing the Evil Empire in the traditional manner.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    James, I have come to the conclusion that there are so many totally fucking nutcases out there that it is not clear that these folk are not sincere.

    Reparations? To whom are they going to be paid, one wonders? Sounds like a classic excuse for a shakedown to me. Do these cretins believe in blood-guilt?

  • RAB

    Some friends dropped in rather late last night so I woke up this morning with a throbbing hangover.
    I checked into SD and clicked on Nick’s link , and the clouds of pain were dispelled by gales of hearty laughter.
    Nice one son! Where do you find this stuff?

    On the other hand though, having read the site until I got a stitch, I find that I, being a Welshman, am pretty much at the front of the queue for reparations from the evil empire.
    So the cheque is in the post is it?

  • James Waterton

    James is possibly correct, although Johnathan makes a sound point.

    Read the site’s Terms, Conditions and Privacy Statement link. If the site’s a hoax, you’d expect to find the clue(s) here, however there doesn’t appear to be any if my brief skim read is worth a jot. In fact, it looks like a professionally written disclaimer. I’m not convinced the site’s satire…though if it is, it’s very well done.

  • James

    No, I am definitely correct.

    The site is to hype up the book promoted on the site- The Evil Empire- 101 Ways That England Ruined The World.

    Click the ‘the book’ link and follow up the ‘the author’ link. Does that appear to be a set of serious biog images?

    Besides which, the book demonstrates the infamous American understanding of British geography and place names.

    The book is meant to be a (mildly) entertaining insight in to the Empire, with the site doing exactly what the marketing people intended it to do…

  • RAB

    No I agree James. The whole thing is horribly consistent and there is not a glimmer of satire or irony or indeed logical thought in there.
    I saw a documentary last year, done by a young black chap that covered exactly the same ground and came up with the same ballpark Trillions figure.
    He examined the role of Arab slave traders and the African kingdoms that were doing the enslaving in the first place, and descided, after about 40 seconds deliberation that they owed nothing. They were victims too apparently.
    Also it is only Britain that gets the flak. No Spain, Portugal, France Germany etc Nor the end users like the USA Brazil Jamaica etc.
    I remember the days when animal rights activists were considered barking mad.
    Look at them now!

  • James

    In case anybody fancies reading up on Steven Grasse, the author, there’re a few articles about him talking about ‘directional spinners’, which I presume is something his PR company specialises in, the book and something about the British reception to the book.

    Oh, and there’s something about his appearance on Richard & Judy on his site, too.

    I’m sure there’re points in his book that are meant seriously, but the theme seems to be to get people as uppity as possible.

  • RAB

    That’s James Waterton I meant above.
    To just plain James. That is an incredibly convoluted way to sell a book that is unlikely to be bought by your immediate family even!

  • James Waterton

    Okay, James, you’ve convinced me. I’ve been had!

  • Nick M

    OK, I found it months ago and I can’t remember how. I think I was trawling for insanity and clicked over from a neo-primitivist site. I read the whole goddamn thing and I think it’s absolutely sincere. Obviously, it’s also to big-up the book but… why then have a petition?

    And why not? There are neo-primitavist sites out there that suggest we all revert to hunter-gathering. There’s even one which suggests that it all went wrong when we developed language (and I don’t mean written language). There are Deep-Ecologists advocating the extinction of H sapiens as the only salvation for Gaia. There are Islamist sites out there which argue the toss at length over whether wine vinegar is halal and then there is the insane hate-fest of Fred Phelps at GodHatesFags.com. When I found that one a coupla years back I emailed a newspaper in Topeka to inquire if the bugger was for real. The editor emailed back and I was stunned, “very real” was the reply.

    So why not? One of the greatest cultural changes the ‘net has wrought is that it is possible to find out that an awful lot of people believe very strange things or have very strange interests. There are sexual fetishes out there which I would never have imagined existing and there are conspiracy theories and general weirdness which makes the Flat-Earth Society look rational.

  • James Waterton

    That is, the guy may well have a major beef with the Brits if the book’s to be taken at face value. Although I don’t think he’s seriously agitating to extract 31 trillion pounds from the sceptred isle. I think James is right, it’s a publicity stunt. See Reason number 99 on the Flash graphic found at the book’s URL – “they made Elton John a knight”…

  • RAB

    Well I suppose we have all followed the links back to Gyro Worldwide by now.
    What they appear to be to me, is an advertising agency that has the same ethos as Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters did in the 60s.
    They love their high tech tools and lateral approach, but I am still not convinced that it is an elaborate prank.
    Kesey and friends were often very funny, but their message was deadly serious.

  • DocBrown

    Well I have to disagree completely.

    It’s not the Briton’s fault, really, I mean is it, when you fink about it for a bit.

    Here we were, innocently wandering about, in nice peaceful-like tribal societies, blowing off steam by occasionally paintin’ ourselves blue and havin’ a bit of a go at each other.

    Then the Romans come along and start building cities and government and sowing the ideas of empire and all that.

    A bit later, don’t those Normans show up from France and enslave the entire Brittish people as serfs and peasants and the like. Don’t even have time to get that sorted out and those Danes take over half the country, bringin’ their warlike Viking ways.

    So you know really, ultimately, any reparations should be paid by the Italians, French and Danes, y’know, when you fink about it for a bit.

    The innocent British people are just pawns in their cruel games, the ultimate victims, really.

  • RAB

    Thank you James for the links. I should have followed them up a bit quicker.
    The link to the band Crass is instructive.
    These were/are anarcho hippies who have a track record for stuff like this.
    Back in the 80s there was a perported recording of Maggie talking to Ronnie about the Falklands running around the MSM and being taken seriously.
    This was faked up in their recording studio down the bottom of the garden.
    The thrust of the spoof was not just to have a laugh, but to genuinely paint Britain and all it’s works in a bad light. That is what they believe.
    I know all this because I have sat at their communal table and eaten stuffed mushrooms with them. Not the hallucinogenic type unfortunately!
    Their kids all went to private school too. Some anarcho/socialists eh?
    So, spoof or not, the underlying sentiment is that the world’s problems are mainly Britains fault.

  • Winger

    That’s some of that “irony” Yanks aren’t supposed to recognize, isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?

  • Nick M

    Nice one Sam!

    It looks like I may’ve been taken in. Sort of.

    Oh, well. I hope I caused some amusement at least.

    And it certainly fits the “How Very Odd!” category.

  • nicholas gray

    P.S. RAB, even if the petition were genuine, you couldn’t claim, as your name is not Jones, so you can’t be Welsh.

  • Midwesterner

    Sam or Nick, tell me you tried the url in that cartoon?

  • On ‘The Book’ part of the site, one of the evils the ‘English Empire’ is supposed to have done is to make Elton John a knight. If this were serious then I’d say almost the entire population of this country were deserving of a payout.

    So. British flags all over the site, and yet it only ever refers to England. I seem to recall that the Welsh and Scottish contributed greatly to the Empire (amongst others, natch) so why should they get away without a stern telling off? Tsk. These satirists, not what they used to be…

  • James Waterton

    RAB: I wonder if they’re LaRouchites?

    You know, Buckingham Palace is the centre of international organised crime, the Queen is the number one drug dealer on the planet etc.

  • RAB

    No James if Mr Grasse is a friend of Penny Rimbaud we are talking well educated, articulate but far left field folk indeed! It all seems such a lot of effort for not much gain to me.
    How do you know my name is not Jones then Nicholas?

  • a.sommer

    Bad Inventions. Machine guns, slums, prisons, child labor, bad hygiene

    These people think the British invented bad hygiene?

    What absolute rubbish- as everyone knows, bad hygiene was invented by the French.


  • Nick M

    The fourier transform of love?

    I’ve never seen nuttin’ like it. I think I find I like it.

    A bloke at my alma mater was flogging T-shirts printed with “And God said… [Maxwell’s Equations in spherical co-ordinates] … and there was light!”

    I must knock-up the Legendre polynomial of hate.

  • Midwesterner

    Actually, I was referring to “WetRiffs.Com“. Whenever I see fictitious URLs, I like to chase them and see where they go. I wondered if you guys were waterproofing your guitars and soliciting models. (Please Nick, don’t volunteer yourself. The world is not yet ready to see your knees. It sounds like poor Alisa was severely and permanently traumatized. 🙂

  • I am much better now, thank you…

  • Nick M

    I do recall something about playing guitars in the shower but not (in any obvious way at least) on this thread. I’m confused. But then I’m tired.

    A Mystery

    Knees – Mid you remind me of something that happened today. I was walking down the street and there were two girls in front of me wearing cut-off jeans. One had rather nice legs and I couldn’t help but notice she was wearing a hold-up stocking that stopped just below the knee – you know the sort of thing – normally only worn with a long skirt. And yes, that “a” in there is not a typo. She was wearing a single stocking on the right leg and her friend was doing exactly the same with an exact same stocking – they must’ve split the pair. Now, what I want to know is if these two were just a little eccentric or if anybody else has seen something similar. They were about 16 and black and this was in South Manchester if that is of any help.

    It’s itching me.

  • I’d like to think that they were a little eccentric. For some reason it reminds me how my friend and I were decorating our room in high school (it was a boarding school). We did not have money to buy cool posters, so we made do with whatever we got our hands on, one of which was The Crying Boy. There was no way in hell that we would hang this abomination as it is, so what we did is hang it upside down. You would not believe how much of a conversation piece it became.

  • Nick M

    Yeah, probably they were just being daft teenagers (in a cutsey way). I did vaguely wonder if it showed a gang-affilitiation or something.

    That picture is so bad it deserves to be in MOBA.

  • Midwesterner

    Alisa, glad to hear that you didn’t kneed therapy.

    Nick M, check out the comment posted by Sam Duncan at August 21, 2007 10:36 PM. It has a link in it.

    re the (girl in stocking)x2, when I was that age my friends and I used to do strange things just to mess with people’s heads. Being guys, we usually did it to our cars.

    I would never do anything to mess with people’s heads anymore, though. Unless

  • You mean you have not seen itbefore?

  • That was for Nick, and I kneed some sleep…

  • RAB

    I’m sorry but I am stopping this sketch!
    It’s getting silly (Titter..)
    And I kinda feel guilty for … well you guys know.
    Getting on well since the pics then!