Holiday hangover

March 30, 2009

Quote of the Day:

The Pussycat Dolls do not represent feminism. It’s consumerism appropriating the rhetoric of feminism to sell sexism to young women.

Courtesy of thefword.org.uk

I’m not actually hungover – the title refers to my inability to concentrate on work after my week off. I’m on my fifth coffee and it doesn’t seem to be helping. I’m also worried about my cat who is having lung tests today.

The clocks changed so we have evenings again. Like any change I am desperately hoping it will stimulate productivity. One day I will accept that only I can change my activity levels but today is not that day.

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I’ve got my feminist hat on

March 17, 2009

First and foremost today, I am wearing my feminist hat. Now that I’ve said it twice I might have to get a real hat. Quote of the day: 

“Masculinity is what phallotarians do to keep women feminized. Femininity is what women do to keep from being pathologized, criminalized, ostracized, jailed, raped, and butchered”

 – curtesy of Twisty at http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com

This quote puts into words something I think I have long had an intuition about. Knowing that if I don’t display an appropriate level of culturally sanctioned feminity when out and about people could stare or make comments. If that sounds daft or extreme I agree, but that doesn’t stop it happening. And I’m lucky that that’s only one end of the scale that leads ultimately to violence.

Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to reaching an age where I will no longer be considered fuckable so that I will no longer be subject (object) of the public gaze?

In other news: I have been a total slacker with my writing. I wonder if I should start writing something else; another major project or something that exists only for me. The short stories I wrote last year were what I thought a short story should be. I want to be absurd, ridiculous, but when I sit down to do it I get blank page anxiety. I bought a book called “Gasoline” by Dame Darcy, a visually pleasing work with lots of illustrations. This is the kind of thing I love, so why am I not writing it? Because silliness is inappropriate? Because it won’t win any prizes?

I have not been wasting my time though. It has been gorgeously sunny ( I can scarcely believe winter is over, I’m sure it only snowed last week and christmas was the week before). I spent half the weekend reading in the garden amongst my swaying laundry and cats who like to poke their faces through the back of the bench.


Woe (times are changing)

March 10, 2009

I’m in a deep, dark, emo funk. It’s bad. It’s a blend of recession blues, personal dissatisfaction and general disgust for humanity.

The recession may see me joining the ranks of the boomerang generation I fought so hard to avoid (oh who am I kidding? I sat pretty and was glad of my lucky escape) and moving back to my parents house. This would only be tolerable if I could keep my job and work online.

I am personally dissatisfied with my person. The blues have been killing the delicate orchid of my motivation and every act is becoming a chore. If left to my own devices, with no watchers or responsibilities, I am certain I would be living in a pile of fetid blankets, reading book after book, eating from a can and refusing to shower so I didn’t have to go outside.

This is actually a pretty good mentality for me to start my novel redrafting. A little drop of self-loathing is good for my creative process; stops me getting too distracted.

General disgust for humanity is not something I like to feel but it’s almost always there. There always seems to be something: like the latest reports on the insanely high level of domestic violence, or overhearing people talk about the criteria they simply must have for their second car. Or their beach holiday (hmm, Mauritius or Dubai?).  And that thing about the Brazilian girl (age 9) who really shouldn’t have had an abortion (of twins) because now God won’t love her.

Anyway…

I went to see Watchmen at the weekend. My favourite part was the opening montage, soundtracked by “the Times, They are a-Changing” where they all started so young and happy and full of pride, optimism and self-belief and gradually got torn apart. Despite having read the comic and knowing all their fates I still had a tear in my eye when I saw Silhouette and her girlfriend murdered. That montage was a high-calorie viewing experience in itself.

Sometimes I look at people and think they’re hurting. It’s not true though; they’re just waiting for someone to talk to.


Politics scares me

September 8, 2008

And not because it’s complicated, or too much to understand. It scares me because of the way I look at certain politicians, see terrifying monsterbeasts, and then see loads of people loving and praising said monsterbeasts. It would be really easy to use Sarah Palin as an example here, Mrs “you can strip mine as many Alaskan national parks as you like as long as you birth that rape baby” but as I’m not American and have no voting rights in that country I’m going to leave that there.

What really concerns me, naturally, is my own country and the horrible certainty that we will see a Conservative government. I admit I see David Cameron as a monsterbeast. He’s all slippery and shiny on the outside, and uses a sneering tone of voice that implies that you’re the one saying something stupid. I have a fairly keen sense of when people are being insincere and Mr Cameron literally makes my skin crawl with how much of an act everything he does and says is. He’s just doing it for the media attention; why don’t people see that?

The man is a hypocrit. He claims to care about the environment then charters a plane to visit the arctic. He claims to be against the “social engineering” of the current government then talks of his plans to encourage more people to marry. He claims it’s the public’s own stupid fault for being overweight and yet how many in his cabinet have a BMI if under 25? I don’t understand how in the face of his obvious snobbish distaste for the British public he is still so well-liked. Or is this the type of person people feel should be in power? Is a hypocritical, snobbish media tart what people expect from a Prime Minister? If it is that is a damn depressing thought…


Die Pink Patch Die

August 14, 2008

I am so sick of seeing the PinkPatch adverts, on my email, Facebook and other websites. I don’t want to look at a skinny torso in cheap underwear. It irritates me. This is a part of my body I store under an array of delightful clothing, occasionally displayed to people who know me well enough to judge me on my personal qualities. I resent being encouraged to compare my torso and find it wanting. I resent the glaring implications. Is my abdomen this flat? Can I see my hip bones? Are the only curves on my body the ones that curve inward?

No. But I don’t hate my body. Fuck off PinkPatch for implying I should.

I know this is old news but godfuckingdamnit when will the damn thing fuck off.


Superiority complex

August 8, 2008

My personal privileges as a white middle class UK citizen were brought to light this week by two very different encounters. The first was when a large group of black teenage boys wanted to get on the bus, weren’t allowed, then one of them sabotaged the bus. Although sabotaging a bus is rarely the best cause of action I sympathise with the boys. They are one of the most despised groups in our society, and one that it seems socially acceptable to despise since all the press about gangs, knife and gun crime. They were probably correct when they claimed the bus driver was being racist. I can appreciate the driver was intimidated by the number of them and only wanted to admit some to reduce the chance of rowdiness, but the fact that they could see there was space for them all to fit antagonised them. Unfortunately they did get a little rowdy then, proving in the minds of the passengers what they had suspected all along.

It’s actually that part that happened after that I had most problem with. The boys were not a gang, they were a football team on their way to practice. Despite that the disruntled passengers complained the driver should have done something sooner, they shouldn’t have been allowed onto another bus, and one of them called the police. These were all middle class white people, all very annoyed that their bus had been messed with. The guy who called the police actually shouted at the rest of us for not standing up with him when he confronted one of them (he’s obviously been reading too many opinion pieces on the Independent website). No one spoke up for the kids, but I guess there could have been some secret sympathisers.

I understand why they feel safer in large groups now, with so many suspicious glances.

Not that I understand their entire lives, obviously, though I do think hating teenagers is one of the first signs of aging.

My second encounter was with my new friend Neighbour. Neighbour lives next door (duh) and gets the same bus as me in the morning, giving us the opportunity for a five minute chat before the bus arrives. He is about 60, a working class Brummie who builds staircases for shops. I, being middle class and highly educated, assumed that I was so very much more clever than Neighbour, until we had a chat about books. He is a sci-fi fanatic and loves to read at any given opportunity, though for unspecified reasons (probably since he started living in pokey bedsits) he hasn’t read a book for 3 years. I could not allow this so I lent him A Brave New World and Oryx and Crake the next day: the only sci-fi books I could find at short notice. He was most pleased, and promised to lend me a book of his when another friend returns it, about a half-human half-martian and featuring philosophical discussion on the value of marriage. That is a book I would like to read. Which surprised me. Because I do have huge prejudices in the way I see the world, and I judged Neighbour on his appearance and class and his current main hobby of drinking Carling.

I am glad Neighbour befriended me, he has helped me see flaws in myself that I can address.


BREAKING NEWS

August 7, 2008

If you were given the opportunity to ask David Cameron a question about the housing crisis what would it be?

This post sponsored by Panorama who emailed me this morning