Cancer or Sufferage?

May 2, 2008

Yesterday was local council elections day, and my oh my do I get a buzz from voting. It pleases me in a tingly, pleasuresome way. Despite standing in every ward the BNP failed to win any seats, and in my ward the Lib Dems retained their place which is good as they have made many investments in the local area already. Sadly many people seem to be migrating from Labour to Tory but that’s a rant for another day (or not at all, seeing as the parties are essentially the same apart from slimy little David Cameron having some media savvy).

The sad thing is that around 25% of people voted. More people in my ward will go on to develop cancer than voted in that election. Three quarters of the people who made the effort to register (so there may be even more non-voters) weren’t arsed to go down to their local polling station and draw a cross on a little slip of paper. It’s funny that in the west we benefit from so many human rights not afforded to those in other places, and yet when it comes down to it we are too complacent to make any use of them. People fought for centuries for this right. And I don’t just mean women: most men didn’t the vote either for a long time. Our democratic system, although riddled with thoughts, was hard won and cannot be appreciated enough.

In a Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf addresses a lecture hall of young women, stating that they’ve had the vote for ten years – what are they going to do next? Apparently the answer is ‘decend into a well of apathy, barely kept afloat by the desire to consume’


When am I?

April 29, 2008

Due to some kind of crazy internet timing system that somehow escapes my understanding my previous entry, made yesterday afternoon, has been marked with today’s date. I’m not going to stress over it as it’s close enough, and as long as the posts stay chronological it’s really no big deal.

To open up the question in a more philosophical vein: what does now really mean in context? I’m currently reading a collection of women’s letters that spans the last 800 years and it mentioned the tradition of women writing about women’s novels from previous eras. It occured to me that I have never really considered that although I have full access to all that has gone before I assume that history happened in isolated nuggets. Which is wrong. Ok I’m not a total dumbass: it actually occured to me just before christmas when I was wikipeding some of my favourite authors and influencers, only to discover that they in turn had been influenced by what had come before them. I started to wonder how far you would have to trace this back to discover the origins of certain ideas.

Letters, that strange and seemingly obsolete communication medium, have been making a prominent appearance in my mind of late. Before the above mentioned collection I was reading a book called Virginia Woolf’s Women which featured a large number of extracts from letters both to, from and about dear Ginia. Letters used to be much admired (probably before VW’s time) and passed around to show the skill of the writer. This has been lost now but our culture still has a keen thirst for gossip and voyeurism as quenched by our disturbing media who frequently seem to miss the point. I was even more upset than usual by the Daily Mail website today when they ‘paid tribute’ to actor Kris Marshall after he was injured in a car accident by publishing a picture of him being scraped off the road by paramedics. Sad and grim. I guess this type of thing has taken the place of the public execution.

But anyway, back to things about me. As I have no assignment at work this week (going to work for no reason being the bane of my existence) I have been trawling teh interwebs and my find of the week is the craft shop website. My new hobby of cross stitch (don’t laugh) that I started about a month ago is working out rather well, but as I am almost finished with my first project it struck me that after a while I’m going to have a massive pile of things I’ve made and only so much space left on the ceiling. So perhaps I might sell things. I’d have to make a good few more before I could make a shop, and I’m sure BFF will stiff me for one before I’m allowed any kind of profit. But yes, although profit may seem to be the enemy of creativity it does give me something to work towards and perhaps even a few pennies to go in the ‘one day I will own property’ fund.

The point at which my random ramblings intersects is this: what if I wrote a short story in the form of some letters and sold it as a work of art on etsy? I have always had a┬ástrong feeling that words and art were intertwined, hence my passion for William Blake and cross stitching phrases, and decorating words and writing on pictures seems to be the only way in my mind to show all the things I want to show. Seeing some of the things on etsy, particularly illustrated poems made up as booklets, and seeing that they sell well gives me a little hope that I could do something like that too. I probably wouldn’t be as successful as I am out of practice and outside the USA so my shipping costs would be higher but there is hope nontheless.

What would Virginia do?

April 28, 2008

A new day, a bright shiny rain-freshened monday, a new blog. Not since the heady heydays of LiveJournal around two years ago have I taken to writing for internet consumption. By migrating to Facebook I believe that we now get all the advantages of LJ with none of the drawbacks of actually having to write things that people may take offence to. That was actually why I stopped LJing – people starting rumours based on things they were inferring from my posts. But nevermind that. Now I am a new person.

The title and user name refers to Virginia Woolf, for whom I am a total fangirl. I expect if she were a twentysomething now she would be a sharp-witted and internationally reknowned blogster. What she would have written about in a modern context I have no idea.