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

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Let’s play a game

August 1, 2008

Last night I had a more pleasant dream; quite literally about fluffy kittens. My cat’s kitten had a kitten of her own, more of a furball than an animal, tabby and adorable. I woke up thinking “aah” and then “weird that cat looks can skip a generation” and then “my cats have been fixed and I’m clearly developing catlady variant CJD” and then when I opened my eyes “omfg there is cat arse on my face”

Yesterday was a sad day. First because I had to go to the bank. Second because I hadn’t realised my standing order for rent had expired and despite fixing it and everything being ok now I don’t like to inconvenience my landlord. Not only because I like to pretend that my finances are in order but also because he’s a genuinely nice guy and not technically a landlord at all, just a person who happens to own a house. Third because of the whole British Gas thing(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7533389.stm) I’ve had to cancel half of my charity subscriptions so that I’ll be able to pay the bill next quarter. Fourth because I got rained on on the way back to the office.

Apparently the efficiency of my office stands at 52 per cent, a statistic our lady and mistress has been ordered not to repeat (I heard it as a dirty rumour and will assume from the glumness in that area of the room that it is true). This is not to say that we are all slackers, we work when we get assignments but we’re only given projects half the time. This probably stems from our content requestors being slow, apathetic or useless. Now though our low productivity is being secretly, gossiply blamed for the summer BBQ being cancelled and the lack of a pay review. Oh well. At least I have a job and time to spam the blogosphere.

I have invented a new game. It’s called Daily Fail Bingo. In each day’s publishings you must look out for the following:

  • A photo of a woman in a Bikini
  • A photo of a woman in a Bikini with no negative references to her weight/cellulite
  • A negative reference to abortion
  • An article about RealMenz/how womenz are destroying teh menz
  • An article about an aspect of womanhood that puts you in mind of the fifties
  • A lament by a femail journalist on how feminism has betrayed her
  • A positive view of motherhood and family values
  • A pseudo-science article about gender

I imagine you should be able to tick these off every day, the only real challenge being the second one – helpfully covered this week by Helen Mirren.

I suppose this is actually quite a bad idea as I shouldn’t be encouraging their web traffic, I just find is fascinating that there are so many sly attacks on women in virtually every article.


The writing’s on the, err, van

July 23, 2008

Sadly I do not have the power of technology or I would have snapped this and posted a pic. The van in question was a white one, the kind that often gets ‘grime graffiti’ written on its filthy backside to the tune of “I bumed yor mum” and other toilet wall style musings. This one said “cleaned by nhs” and it has made a huge impression on me. Politicised white van grime graffiti is not something I ever expected to see. Even just the use of irony is leagues beyond the average. Public comment on a contentious issue in a widely viewed space (outside the main train station). Ok so the cleverness of the irony is distracting me from how easy it is to tow the tabloid line about how filthy hospitals are but at least people are thinking, even if they are agreeing.

Personally I won’t slate the NHS because although I know they have problems without them I would most likely be dead.


So much pub food

July 21, 2008

but not much walking, so physical health levels down while mental health levels raised by not having to do anything strenuous. I think we covered all the holiday staples: we visited a seaside town, a local attraction, a wildlife, and a historical building. We also had many kinds of cakes to the point where my partner got sick of them and started refusing dessert. He and I also came across a slight problem with second-hand bookshops and I have now shored up my to-be-read avalanche-waiting-to-happen with even more fine quality reading materials. The best part was seeing the joy in the old shop-owner’s face when we made our purchases and feeling like we’d bought his lunch that day. The worst part was when I decided I was eighty but conveniently without arthritis and should take up quilting. Soon I shall be queen of all that is twee. We narrowly avoided going to the cat pottery as that may have tipped me over the edge.

Does anyone know the link between Hornby/Steam trains and gollywogs? No this isn’t an off-colour joke and I don’t actually know the answer. All I can say is that when we went for a ride on the tiny steam train all the stations stocked many sizes and styles of gollies. No one seemed bothered either. My mum even suggested I get a little one to clip on my handbag. It was at this point I realised that there are no black or ethnic minority people in the British countryside. That’s a lie, I saw a black man in a UV jacket the day after the steam train incident, but noticing these things made me feel weird and out of place and I’m white and British. I feel uncomfortable in areas where there are only white people because it feels like there is some kind of unspoken exclusion being practiced and it makes me suspicious of the local population. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always lived in cities that it feels a lot more normal to me to have a mix of people around.

I think if I voiced that opinion to the Daily Fail (or half the papers around) I would be labelled the hapless victim of the evils of multiculturalism. But that can’t be right because most non-white people I see day to day are British, just as British as I am and part of the same culture as me. I saw a news report yesterday that there is a possibilty of creating a regulation that would prevent potential parents adopting children of a different race to themselves because the child might lose their culture, but if the child was born here chances are it would have been raised in British culture anyway. They will have plenty of time to research their biological heritage when they are older, besides which they are hardly likely to get any better cultural impressions from being stuck in a care home. This double standard is simply a way of ensuring that white children get a better chance of being adopted while leaving ethnic minority children without family support that could help them get a better education or ease the transition to adulthood.


What is wrong with right-wing people?

June 12, 2008

To my mind, and in my experience, those that loudly proclaim themselves to be on the right-wing of the political spectrum are not the nicest of people. As I understand it being right-wing is all about ‘looking out for number one’ and so earning lots of money for yourself and stepping on people’s heads to gain this fiscal happiness. In order to gain all you can you may abuse your societal privilege, for example if you were born a white man you may openly proclaim that chicks are no good in the board room but they sure do look nice when cooking me a steak – not those black chicks though, don’t wanna eat friend chicken every night. You don’t have to be as extremely foul and blatant as that but casual insult dropping to those regarded as ‘beneath’ you seems to be a typical trait of right-wingers. They may object and tell you they can’t possibly be racist because they have a #insert minority here# friend -right after challenging you to a game of ‘spot the white face’ which obviously can’t possibly be racist because white is the race you’re focusing on and blah blah blah.

Right-wingers also, in my observation, have a fearful loathing of the poor. I’m guessing this is either because poor people remind them how much money they are selfishly hoarding, or because they think the poor people are stealing all their taxes. I do think it funny the amount of rage right-wing media spews on people supposedly stealing taxes. Even if we didn’t have state-run welfare programmes there would still be tax to pay; that stuff is barely a drop in the ocean.

Some right-wingers have the most problem with middle-class liberals. They look at them, trying to think of a conceivable reason why this person who should, in their minds, be just like them but chooses not to be. I have seen this cause arguments and even fights. You have the capacity to gain things for yourself and yet you choose not to? What madness! What stupidity! they must think. Yet I think the opposite: you have the opportunity and financial ability to choose your actions, so why don’t you choose the actions that make the world a little bit better? Like walking to the shop. Or reusing a bag. Or not buying and buying and buying cheap things so that you can have a lot of things and still have a lot of cash. Or choosing to buy a small car instead of a large car. Or not being rude to waiters because you see them as poor servants to your greatness. Or not being rude to people you perceive as foreign because you assume they are here illegally and stealing your taxes when in fact you have no idea what their personal circumstances are. Or thinking about things for a change.

I can’t honestly say why right-wing people have more of a tendency to do at least some of the things I’ve listed above. It may seem harsh to judge but I think about things and I try not to make negative impacts on the lives of others so I don’t understand why some people think it is acceptable to do so.


What’s going on in my world today?

May 30, 2008

Link, and rant, link and rant and rant *the itchy and scratchy shoooow*

First the sad news:

http://video.news.sky.com/skynews/video/?&videoSourceID=1317480&flashURL=/feeds/skynews/latest/flash/falluja_p7464.flv

The American army’s use of phosphorous in the Iraq war has caused a sudden surge in the number of birth defects – nice one guys. I’m not going to go into whether or not the war was needed, justifiable, a failure or any of the rest of it because it’s too late, it’s done now and you can’t undo it. Sadly these people, random civilians presumably not involved in the conflict, are now suffering as the result of a poorly researched technology. Anyone going to take responsibility for this? I can believe it was a mistake as they probably checked to make sure short term exposure to adults (ie their soldiers) wouldn’t cause harm and that they probably wouldn’t have researched the affects on long term exposure and developing foetuses. But they still did it so they should make some form of apology.

The thing that bothers me about this is that the BBC is not reporting it. I have searched their website and there is no sign of this. Would it be some form of politcal dissent? The more I look outside the BBC the more I see its limitations and biases. Also if you ever want to feel angry you can read their Have Your Say pages which are full of fascists complaining about too much liberalism (where?) ruining the world.

No wait – if you really want to feel angry you should read the Daily (hate) Mail. I don’t know why I go there so often, it surely must be bad for my health. I used to avidly read Liz Jones’ column about her life believing it was satire – that is how terrifying, exaggerated and pathetic the woman’s life is. All she has taught me is that if you think seperating your eyelashes with a pin will impress men then you don’t deserve respect.

What really angered me about the daily fail today was this article about ‘retrosexuals’ which forms part of their recent anti-feminist attack:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1022932/The-return-real-men-Ladies-ready-meet-Mr-Retrosexual.html

The article insists that men are better when they can’t dress, wash, cook, take care of their homes or property, pay for everything (with cash, like a drug dealer) but then leave at the first wiff of commitment (why not save the hassle and pay to use a trafficked hooker? At least she’s tied to the bed and can’t follow you to your decrepid hovel). There is also the assumption that all men like football and are homophobic. In my experience the more that a man tries to live up to these viciously restrictive ideals the more of a prick he is. So thanks Daily Male for reinforcing the negative behaviour of fucktards while claiming that feminists make RealMen(tm) into pussies.


Cynicism radar: 29.95 with free sarcasm alarm

May 29, 2008

Last night I watched the new magically recut magical magic new version of Blade Runner, and while it was fun to see Adama as a young and kinda freaky-looking man I could not see any obvious difference between this and the director’s cut. It raised a tweak on my cynicism radar, particularly when I remembered the email I got from amazon.co.uk with a note saying they had completely remade the film from the bits on the cutting room floor. Which they (of Blade Runner rights ownership) obviously haven’t so I can only conclude they are screwing me for cash.

Cynicism radar can also help you identify people as those who may be fine at acquaintence but are not to be relied on in crises. Like those who think wife beating is a private matter and nothing to bother the police with, and leaving a friend on the street is ok if you’re trying to patch things up with a partner. Ok those are fairly obvious things but they confirmed to me that people I’d already chosen not to trust deserved my lack of faith.

I have long had a problem with a clogged up thought process. So far I have tried whining about it, writing this blog and ritual magic to help the problem, and I’m now starting to see how things I do could have been better if I’d thought about it more at the time. Which sucks but is a start so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Want to hear a really sick cliche? I have to stop wanting to do things and start doing things. I hate all that self-help life-coaching positivity-mantra bull-shit. It’s sickening and twee and reeks of desperate weakness – probably why women are encouraged to do it. That pisses me off too: women be strong and do something for yourself by acting as pathetic as possible! I think the 12.99 that crappy book costs would be better spent on a big creamy coffee treat and an epic piece of cake. None of that skinny latte skinny muffin shit neither – I’m on to you starbucks, you with your fake fair trade ‘but we have to screw the africans or where will our profit come from?’ attitude.

Speaking of attitude, how badass is the angry stripping woman?:

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/cath_elliott/2008/05/so_angry_i_could_strip.html

Considering I’ve been stared at, honked at, shouted at, talked at, curbed crawled, asked inappropriate questions about my sexual history and had my arse groped at a bus stop at lunchtime I can appreciate this problem. I do not dress to be leched at and I ain’t even that pretty, though I’m young and well-endowed. What I find most insane about this article is the number of responders implying that the author is just jealous because she’s not much to look at and probably doesn’t get this sort of attention. Again, I call bullshit. I feel a deep well of pity for all women who enjoy the greasy stares of grotesque men. And before anyone says it even if George Clooney or Johnny Depp asked me to get my tits out all they would see is my angry face.

 Edit: I forgot to add that I love the Mary Wollstonecraft quote at the end of that article. If only my cage were so shiny #sigh#