Category: Media


So who hasn’t heard the news? Barack Obama had a live broadcast in Washington to the US public and announced the assassination of Osama Bin laden. The news created a storm, American’s partying all night in celebration at the man’s death and I guess you can understand their jubilation. I mean this is the man they blamed for 9/11 and the killing of over 3,000 innocent people. But on hearing the news of his “death” in a highly secret mission on Sunday, I did one thing; laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of the story.

Now first things first, let me make a few things clear. I understand a lot of Muslim’s think Bin Laden was a hero, a martyr and a sheikh. The man as far as I am concerned is just another guy, was no sheikh and didn’t have an overwhelming knowledge of the Islamic religion. Some of his actions were ridiculous, some were brave and heroic, but no one should take this man as a role model or someone who they want to be like. You can’t as a young Muslim want to be apart of Al Qaeda and worship this man like he’s a saint, because he is not. He is just another man who has been accused of atrocities and has encouraged terrorism on several fronts. Do I like him? Not really no. So why did I laugh at the ridiculousness of the story?

Lets get some facts out of the way. Osama Bin Laden is the son of an extremely wealthy Saudi Arabian native. He (Bin Laden) had a fortune of around $300 million, had three or four wives and was literally living it up back in the 70’s. Imagine that? Imagine you were in his shoes for just a minute. You’re mega rich, you live in a palace, you have four wives, lots of kids and are living happily. Would you throw that all away and leave? Bin Laden did. He went to Afghanistan in 1979 because they were at war with the Soviet Union. He felt so bad for them that he went out there, fought the Soviets who were illegally invading Afghanistan and led the natives to victory. I don’t think people realise how big an achievement this is. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, even the USA were too scared to go in and fight with the Soviet Union. They were petrified of each other. The Soviet’s were scared of the US, and vice versa. So it shows outstanding courage for a 22 year old Arab millionaire to throw aside his wealth and fight for what he believes in. Not only did he fight, he led the Afghani’s to an outstanding victory, it was the ass kicking of all ass kickings.

How did he do it? You know they say war is about who has a bigger army, larger numbers and technology. But that doesn’t do it. What does it is a fearless nature. Even today you pick up a newspaper in the USA and UK, a few pages in you read “British and American soldiers die in Afghanistan”. Why do British and American soldiers keep getting sent back to their country in body bags? They have better weapons, intelligence, training, everything?! It’s fear. They have something in the back of their mind, a family to go back to, a nice comfortable home and friends. What do the Afghani’s have? Nothing. They have nothing to lose, most of their wealth has been stolen, their families murdered and slaughtered, they have nothing. So they go into battle thinking “I will reach martyrdom, I have nothing to lose, kill me at your own peril” it’s much harder to kill someone who doesn’t fear death. So this is one of the reasons Bin Laden’s army was victorious. Another reason is because he was trained by the CIA and armed by the US. This is a fact. The same country who are enemies with Bin Laden, trained and armed him. Oh the irony.

Now after this battle, years passed and Bin Laden was still fantastic for the USA, until he rebelled and wanted them to stop assisting the Israeli’s butcher the Palestinians. Fair enough, who doesn’t want that? Every year for the last 50, the UN passes judgement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They have a ruling which is something along the lines of “Which countries object to peaceful negotiation and equal split of land between the Palestinians and Israelis” and of the 192 countries in the UN, only 4-5 object! Only two of them consistently have done for 50 years and that is the USA and Israel. They talk about “War on Terrorism” but in actual fact, they’re the two biggest terrorist nations out there.

Now because the USA did not comply and continued to help Israel, Bin Laden grew furious and began to launch attacks on the US forces. He also encouraged terrorist actions on the US, which lead to people doing outrageous things to bring them down, it gave Islam a negative vibe. He was stripped of his citizenship from Saudi Arabia as a result and lived in Afghanistan for good. I am completely against acts of terrorism, especially when harming innocent people, so Bin Laden encouraging it is something I strongly disagree with. This is the point my admiration of Bin Laden ends. Yes he did good things up until the early 90s, but he went astray here and anything he did from this point just ruined the good work he did for Afghanistan in the past. I hate the US government, I hate the Israeli government and what they have both done to the Palestinians breaks my heart, but killing innocent people as revenge is hypocrisy for me.

So then 9/11 happens. They say Bin Laden is the instigator, with no proof whatsoever. Bin Laden releases a tape and Fox News and Sky News translate it extremely questionably and say he took responsibility. No he did not. He did not say “I planned this attack” he never confirmed such a thing. If you ask someone from Saudi Arabia to translate what he said, it was more along the lines of “I don’t know if someone in my organisation attacked the USA, but if they did, well done to them, I applaud them”. The fact he applauds the act is disgusting, but we are talking about a proud Saudi Arabian man who defeated the Soviets and wants the world to know when he believes he has succeeded. Well if it was him, why the hell did he not take credit for it?! Fact is, from the mountains in Afghanistan and with all of your assets frozen, it is extremely difficult to plan something as tactically perfect as the 9/11 bombings. We’re talking about a place with no internet, no mobile phone coverage, no phone lines, fighting and death all around and hostility amongst common people. It does not make sense for Bin Laden to have masterminded 9/11, this was too professional, too slick and too calculated an operation for a man in Afghanistan to plan. Who did 9/11? I have my own theories on that which I will not discuss today.

So he goes into hiding for a decade and then suddenly his death is announced dramatically on Sunday. Wow! First question I ask Mr Obama and his predecessor Mr Bush is, “The World Trade Centre attacks killed 3,000 people, how many soldiers of USA  as well as civilians from Afghanistan and Pakistan died over the 10 years you tried to capture Bin Laden?” and you know what, you can bet your ass the number is way higher than 3,000. Statistics suggest, the lowest possible number of civilian fatalities in Afghanistan in the 10 years since trying to find Osama Bin Laden is 11,042. That’s almost four times as many people as those that died at the hands of the terrorists who planned 9/11 and that is an absolute minimum. I can guarantee the number is a lot higher than this. But even if it isn’t, are you telling me that the blood of a US civilian is four times more precious than that of an Afghani?

The second question I’d ask is “How much did it cost to bring this man to justice?”. How much do you guys think it cost? I’ll tell you. The USA has spent $400,862,264,789 on the war in Afghanistan since 2001. I don’t know about you guys, but I actually have no f***ing idea how to read that number!? Is that $400 billion?!!!?! Really!?!?! So you’ve killed at least four times as many people as the WTC attacks and spent over $400 billion trying to find Bin Laden? Oh my word! They could have used that money to educate and train every Muslim in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Palestine to secure their future, keep them away from terrorism and make the world a more peaceful place? But no. They used it to make a crater of Afghanistan. What insanity.

The third question I would ask, only to Obama is “You were suffering your worse ratings ever, you were behind in the polls, you had the lowest support in US history for a President in his first term, is it a coincidence that Osama dies at this very point in time?” of course he’d tell me it is, but I know bullsh** when I see it.

Now let me discuss this whole Bin Laden being killed thing. The attack was in Abbottabad, and it was very real. But what I am about to discuss dismisses the possibility of Bin Laden being associated with it completely. Now for people from a western background it is difficult to explain how things function in Pakistan. In towns like the one in Abbottabad, the communities are very tight knit. When I visit Kashmir, almost everyone in the village knows my name, who my dad is, who my mum is, who my grandparents are, who their grandparents were, the colour of my underwear, my blood type…. you get the picture. They know everything! They are a real gossip group, they love to know everything. My village itself, is very similar to this one in Abbottabad. Very tight knit community, shops, and a random big house on the edge. But everyone knows who the house belongs to. In poor countries like Pakistan, people thrive on knowing the rich, they give them hope and something to talk about. It is absolutely impossible that no one in Abbottabad knew who the house belonged to! On top of this, Pakistan is packed with beggars. Beggars work very differently in the Indian Sub-Continent, in common villages, no one has a lock on their front door. You can freely walk in and out of anyone’s house in Pakistan, unless you live in a major city. So the way beggars work is, they step into your premises, sit down and refuse to move until you pay them. When there is a locked up mansion with only 3 people living in their and no one has ever seen them, less fortunate people will take over and stay there. People must have tried it! On top of that, Pakistan reaches heats of 50 degrees sometimes, and has extremely unstable electricity. Baring this in mind, you can imagine how hot it gets inside. Whoever lived in this house would have stepped outside to get air, it would be torture not to and since almost every single Pakistani house has a balcony someone would see him! This whole Bin Laden living in a mansion in Pakistan is absolutely lies. And if you think the Pakistani’s protected him, you’re even more deluded! We’re talking about a country where the average wages are $3,000 per annum, would they really protect a man who has a $50million bounty on his head and who the majority of them blame for their country being at ransom to the USA. They would take that $50million at the drop of a hat, believe me.

So it’s literally impossible he lived in this house, and now what about the attack? First they say a helicopter landed on his house, then they say it landed on a field, then they say they found him in a room and he refused to surrender, then locals say the house was shelled and set on fire from outside, then one helicopter was shot down, but then it wasn’t? It get’s worse, they expect me and every human being on the planet to believe, that Osama Bin Laden, a man who has been in hiding for 10 years, who was a skilled fighter (he knew several martial arts and could murder you with his bare hands), trained by the CIA and a certified killer, expert of weapons (especially explosives and the AK47), 6’7 in height and has been at war his whole life, could not hear helicopters come to his house (when people 6km away heard them) and did not think to grab his gun and start shooting? And him and his henchmen who were equally as skilled as him, could not injure one American? Again, stop with the bullsh**. And even more, they say they respected Islamic traditions and buried him within 24 hours, at sea haha! Oh gosh, so they suddenly respect Islamic rulings and buried him ASAP because they didn’t want to offend the Muslim world?! I have relatives who’s bodies weren’t released until weeks after they died in the UK, because the NHS wanted to do tests and autopsy’s , but suddenly the USA gets a heart of gold and want to respect the Muslims? You wanna know how you can respect us? Get your backsides out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, out of Pakistan and stop supporting Israel in their continued massacre of Palestinians. We ask for nothing more.

So where do I think Bin Laden is? This might shock you but I do think he is dead. He must be, the facts point to his demise. But he can’t have died on Sunday, it’s not possible. Let me present the evidence to you, his allies said 6-7 years ago that he was extremely ill. More than that, they say he had failed kidneys, and this is when the US still thought he was in Afghanistan. It is near impossible to find a dialysis machine in all of Afghanistan, let alone in the mountains where he was! And even if he had a dialysis machine, where the hell would he plug it into? A rock? And even if he did find a magic power socket to plug it into, he’s in a country where the electricity cuts off for several hours a day. On a battlefield with USA and UK bombing all of Afghanistan this man survived with failed kidneys? Forget his kidneys for a second, even a healthy young man would find it near impossible to survive in these circumstances! Let alone a 60 year old man, who’s aged, old, ill and needs new kidneys. This was 6-7 years ago. But around 3 years ago Benazir Bhutto said on live TV “Osama Bin laden is dead”. This woman was Prime Minister of Pakistan for around 8 years and is known to have good intelligence sources in the Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani regions, if she says he is dead, chances are he is. And she wasn’t the only one, The President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai also made this statement and said he had died a long time ago. Furthermore, the heads of most Islamic terrorist organisations have stated several times, Osama isn’t part of operations any more. They never said he died because it breaks the hearts of young terrorist wannabes across the world. But believe me when I say he’s been dead for years. Evidence points to the fact this whole mission was a sham and evidence points to the fact that Osama was dead years ago. Why pull the stunt then? The USA knew he was dead as well, I can guarantee that. They did not confirm his death because if he is still alive, it gives them a reason to stay in Afghanistan and continue to butcher innocent people. Now there are several reasons why Obama could have announced this. (a) Because they have another country to attack in Libya and a whole lot of oil to gain there, plus Qaddafi is a maniac terrorist figure to last for the foreseeable future. (b) Because Obama is suffering in the elections. (c) Because they want a reason to bully another Muslim country in Pakistan into doing things they don’t want to. Or (d) Obama wants an exit strategy in Afghanistan. It could be one of these reasons, it could be all four, I will trust those reading this article to use their own brain, do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Don’t believe the hype. This story has been littered with so many lies that we need to seek the truth for ourselves. Arainmunda, signing out.

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Who remembers the early days of Napster? The controversial P2P software that allowed people to share media. What was so controversial about it? Well back then it’d cost around £12.99 ($15.99 for anyone state side) to buy an album produced by a popular musician. Napster eliminated the need to pay such a ludicrous sum and gave us music lovers the ability to share any songs we had for free. The process was dead simple as well. Open Napster, search for a song you want, double click to download, wait 15 minutes for it to arrive and then listen to it till your ears bleed! Though Napster was taken to court and at the wrong end of numerous lawsuits, the music industry was hit hard and has never been the same. Other companies like Kazaa, iMesh, Morpheus and Limewire came along and took it to a whole new level. Not only did these four encourage P2P networking with audio, they introduced it for images, ISO’s and video so now any kind of content produced could be illegally downloaded. It got worse, torrents came along and changed the way P2P worked, enabling you to download full albums and huge files. People could search for a host of films, download through the night and then by morning watch all their films guilty free.

Original Napster

The first version of Napster I used. Who remembers this?

I think almost everyone (myself included) has been guilty of media piracy at some point. I mean can any of you guys honestly put your hand on your heart and say you haven’t downloaded something for free that you should be paying for? They say it’s the same as going into a store and stealing a CD, but is it? I for one think the prices some of these artists, studios and producers charge for their music or films is daylight robbery in it self. £12.99 is far too much for an album, but downloading it for free isn’t fair either. So what to do?

Enter iTunes and Spotify. The former allowed one to enter their store, log in with their details and download songs for as little as 59p (69cents in the USA) and this did encourage a lot of people to stop illegally downloading songs. iTunes is doing extremely well and is the market leader in selling audio, especially full albums. Spotify was slightly different and had a fresh new approach to music. It allowed you to register, search their site for music and then just listen as much as you want. Both iTunes and Spotify are legal and they both bought normality to the music industry, yes you still had a huge number of people downloading for free, but the number was dropping and it seemed a balance was struck.

However the normality that we thought was coming, took a massive blow last week. Spotify are cutting back the amount we can use their service. They’ve halved monthly usage from 20 hours to a measly 10 hours and it doesn’t stop there. That new tune you heard that you wanna slap on repeat, well Spotify will put a limit on that so now you can listen to a track a maximum of five times! Five times? I don’t know about you guys, but when I quite like a track and want to listen to it non stop, it takes me at least 50 times to get tired and move on, not five! This at a time when Apple have hiked prices on iTunes up to around £1 ($1.29). So basically the guys at the top of music industry are laughing. But when all is said and done, this isn’t good for them because what does this do? It pushes people back to music piracy, the one thing the music industry has been trying to eliminate for the past 13 years.

A lot of people have been looking to blame Spotify for the cuts, but they are reportedly making losses of £16.6million a year! They are busting their gut to get free music out there for the world, and are suffering massively from it, they can’t be expected to do this and make such heavy losses. They must look out for their interests, make money and run a sustainable business, and we should support them in their bid to do so. What the music listening public and the record labels need to do is work together to bridge a gap between free music and paying for songs. But it’s such a difficult balance to strike, just how do we come to a conclusion in this?

I think the only way to resolve this is for a balance to be struck on the price songs are sold at and a kind of alternate to radio for the internet. Radio is cool, but with songs being chopped up and DJ’s finding the need to yap over the top of them, they’ll never be as popular as music based on the internet. Spotify offer a £9.99 a month service which allows you to listen to unlimited music completely ad free. I personally think this is a bargain and that people should take this offer, I mean you pay up to £70 a month for Sky TV and you can’t control the content on your HD box, but with Spotify and music you can, so why not? I personally think it’s ideal and a good way to put Spotify on the map for their efforts to lower the price of music. On the iTunes front, we need competition for them. We have Amazon who also sell songs and albums but competition in prices and encouraging the big companies to keep them low would be massive for the music industry and could potentially strike the balance we need to halt piracy. If they lower their prices to the original 59p or if they had three songs for the price of two, it’d be much more fair on the consumer. Music is a product, but it isn’t something we should pay large sums for.

Alternatively iTunes can continue to raise prices. The music industry can stay greedy and keep conning us. Their loss, piracy it is then. Arainmunda signing out.

Advertising dominates the world these days in more ways than we realise. There are so many different places it can be exploited that you’ll be hard pressed to name a day where you have not been exposed to it. Take Google, there isn’t a fee for using their search engine, so how do they pay their bills? One word, advertising. That has, is and always will be their main source of income. Heck they’ll even pay you to advertise for them. Think YouTube? All those annoying adverts before videos, they didn’t exist until Google bought them out. I’m not being critical or bashing Google here, anything that involves me not paying them and a blue chip company footing the bill is ay okay with me!

Where is the limit though? Recently TV advertising standards dropped when the government changed rules on product placement and increased the minutes per hour that broadcasters are allowed to show commercials. It won’t be long before you’ll see close up shots of Simon Cowell drinking Coca-Cola on UK X-Factor. Product placement is something I’m not a huge fan of, but damn does it work. You often find yourself watching a film and suddenly you see a familiar logo…it just stays on your mind. I watched a film called Chocolate over the weekend and after it finished, all I could think about was “damn I need some new Converses“, advertising is such a powerful tool. However, even though product placement is getting to a ridiculous point, it’s not even this I have a major problem with. I mean we are in control of our actions and if a Thai girl wearing Converse trainers in a movie leads to me spending money on my own pair, that is my own decision.

What I have a problem with, and a lot of people will disagree with me, is the placement of women on billboards, posters, shopping bags and other items so that it’s there for all to see. I mean over the last couple of days I’ve been in quite a few designer stores and seen numerous forms of advertising. Everything printed with a woman’s face or body is extremely sexual. I was in Guess three or four times recently, and oh my you need to see their standard carrier bags. To you guys it might not be such a big deal, but below is what I was forced to walk around with for around 2 hours:

Guess shopping bag

Attractive lady, but is it necessary?

You tell me. Would you feel 100% comfortable walking around with this in any particular environment? If you do, fair enough, but I’d like you to explain why! The other side of the bag has the following:

Guess Shopping Bag

The other side of the bag complete with Anna Nicole Smith.

A question I ask you is, would you mind if a 5 year old was exposed to this sort of thing? Neither woman is overly revealing, this much I agree. Heck looking from my office window I see more skin than on this bag. Does that make this bag okay though? You have a double sided carrier bag with two different women in very sexual and revealing positions. Ladies reading this article, how often do you strike poses like that? A lot of arguments are that seeing skin is natural, and nothing is more beautiful than a human being in their birthday suit. I disagree completely and believe with a passion that there are limits that are being broken without any sense of sorrow. Is it natural for a youngster to see a woman dressed in a skimpy outfit? Not really no. Is it natural for a youngster to then see that same woman giving him suggestive looks, absolutely not. If you believe that to be true, then go flash the next youth you see and report back to me on what the outcome is.

Probably the worse of all advertisements I’ve seen so far though, is the Miss Sixty poster. Who has seen it? It’s plastered all over London Underground and I’ll be shocked if you use the tube and haven’t seen this ad in particular.

Belen Rodriguez - Miss Sixty

Not overly revealing, but is it acceptable?

This one poster I have seen more than my mother in the last week. I can actually tell you the absolute minimum I will see it on a day to day basis. At Walthamstow Central I walk past this poster once and it is displayed in every single station up to Oxford circus (10 times). Here I will walk past this poster twice, before boarding a train and seeing it another 12 times. I then get off at Waterloo station walk through a tunnel and see it twice more. 26 views of this poster on my way to work, and the same amount of times on my way back home. So I will see this poster an absolute minimum of 52 times a day until it is removed. I don’t know about you, but I think that is ludicrous. I may not be a youngster, but I don’t want to see it 52 times in my day! Heck once is enough to give me a bit of a fluster haha! Again, she isn’t revealing all that much, but does she need to? The position she’s standing in and the look on her face is SO suggestive. Her name is Belen Rodriguez and she is an Argentine model and show girl. She clearly doesn’t mind her figure and suggestive posing being plastered over London Underground and she’s probably getting paid millions for it. I must sound like an old fogey here, but where has everyone’s morals gone? There was a time when stuff like this wasn’t allowed to be shown in environments where kids could be around, those boundaries have broken. It’s not just disheartening to someone who has views and opinions like me, what about all the women in the world who are shown something like this daily reminding them that they’ll probably never look that good. To top it off, half of the picture is modified and airbrushed, just how will women feel when they’re sat on a train next to their husband/boyfriend and they jump off to see them staring with great pleasure at this Miss Sixty poster, eyes firmy fixed on Miss Rodriguez’s behind? A sense of insecurity and a feeling that “If I want to keep my boyfriend/husband, I need to look like that”. No ladies, no you don’t. Yes Belen Rodriguez is quite a looker, yes her posters might make us look up once or twice, but you have no business trying to compete with an airbrushed model with no morals. You are who you are and that’s why we love you. Don’t change for shit. Arainmunda signing out.