Thought, experience and memory from a brain in a jar, one that sometimes has control over a thirty-two-year-old Londonite.

My Photo
Location: Herne Hill, London, United Kingdom

29 March, 2005

Elective Dictatorship

Blair has gone on record as saying that, if people are still angry about Iraq (or any other issue, really) their opportunity to register their grievance is at the next general election. He is seeking the outlawing of protest in the area surrounding the Houses of Parliament, continues to treat impeachment as a joke, and refuses to release the full legal advice concerning a war already fought for public scrutiny, despite the fact that it clearly carries no risk to civil security, and only serves to protect "his" government. The fact that neither he, nor his ministers, are to be held accountable for their mistakes and misdemeanours means Blair clearly believes in democracy only as far as an elective dictatorship - that he must whore himself to the electorate every four years, and in the meantime do pretty much whatever he wants to.

I sincerely hope that people will take him up on his offer, but when he's up against Howard (evil) and Kennedy (invisible) a vote against becomes more difficult. And ousting Blair from within the Labour party is going to be even more difficult than ousting Thatcher from the Conservative party.

I c0uld springboard into an attack on the undemocractic nature of party politics, but I think we can take it as read. I'm conceiving a letter to my MP regarding her voting behaviour, how she balances her local duties with her ministerial duties, and most of all her opinions on the whip system and whether she feels a reform is in order.


Anti-social Behaviour Orders seem to be in the news a lot at the moment.

Must be an election or something.

Some of the news coverage has been about the kind of B that's considered AS, such as the horrific crimes of hanging out your washing in your underwear. Whereas I can understand the need for protection against the kind of terrorist youngsters with which the press insists the world is filled, we enter dangerous waters when the legislation is used by councils to impose an expected behaviour on those with a different way of life from the mainstream. In a world that is led more and more by market forces, with lowest-common-denominator economics pushing on in its endless spiral of diminishing returns, we now find that the powers exist to propogate the same kind of cultural narrowing through legislation.

The point is, ASBO is an artefact of intolerance, which is itself a contradiction. To be antisocial is to be antisocietal. Society should be based on a level of mutual respect for disparate beliefs and different ways of living, that has to be a two-way street. The tolerance of others should not be something that we can merely do away with as soon as a petition to the council has been arranged.

20 March, 2005

Writing Shwriting!

Well I certainly haven't been writing, have I? But with the thirtieth birthday behind me, I can feel that "before I die" motivation kicking back in. I've done some doodling and typing on Chapter 2 of the current novel project. This is the one part of the book that is probably going to be most autobiographical - some bloke wandering away from his office job while on lunch, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch. I imagine him heading across the road to Hyde Park for some reason!

The central them of the book keeps wavering, but if I could boil it down into something static and succinct then it wouldn't be worth writing about would it? I've decided to set the book as a whole against a creeping loss of civil liberties. Will only work if I don't go on about it though, and it ties in with other themes in the book.

I'm rambling.

17 March, 2005


...this is thirty?

14 March, 2005

Silent So Long

My but I've been quiet. Between a promotion at work (longer hours, boo; more money, yay), Christmasness, being sucked ever deeper into my Go habit and suffering a home PC crash, I've had little time or inclination to blog. Hardly in the sprit, though, as all of the above could be grist for the mill. Anyhoo, news and updates follow:

I spent much of my annual leave attempting to improve my Go skills, and believe I may have succeeded a tiny bit. My kyu is up to 23 or so, but this may have been due to someone resigning rather than any intrinsic improvement in my own ability. Nevertheless, I'm getting a better sense of shape, am beginning to pick up on errors in the way I play, and feel like I have some direction in my learning now, rather than the fearful "where now" sense I had when I first started playing. I've a total of four computer opponents now, TanGo, GnuGo and my current horror inducer, Many Faces Of Go (v 10), to which I am currenty losing on a nine stone handicap at the lowest setting without komi. I tend to play too fast against computers though, so I'm probably not working at my best. Hem-hem. My library is slowly building, but I feel it difficult to find a balance between reading and playing. Often it seems that I have to read, play then reread, which seems to help. Next on the purchase list is The Second Book Of Go which apparently has a very good chapter on capturing races.

Politics is still making me angry, although I did enjoy the farce of the Terror Bill. Of course the Liberal Democrats plainly need to get their act together if they're going to abstain on a vote despite having the potentially deciding number of seats. It's quite strange to watch the Conservative party and the other Conservative party slogging it out to make themselves different enough. Having watched the topsy-turvy spectacle of the House Of Lords standing up for civil liberties against a bill instigated by the Labour party, we now have the confusion of a Roman Catholic prime minister who is softer on abortion than the Tory Party. The election is sure to be a major pissing contest. Oh well - whilst the two giants fight, the dwarf runs away with the ricebowl. Hopefully.

And Channel 4 are trying to wrestle the shock crown from Channel 5 following their (apparently) stiffy friendly documentary that aired before Christmas. Four are running another Banned season (mind wandering to Frank Skinner jokes about thwapping off to documetaries about mining disputes). Last night it was a documentary about celebrity sex tapes. Naturally they can't get away with showing Paris Hilton sucking someone off, so they show the footage with genital fogging. I've always found it curious that you can show a couple having sex, but you can't show the organs, as though watching someone on the job is more acceptable than actually seeing the old in-out-in-out itelf. Am I rambling? I guess what I mean is that surely it's witnessing the act that's the bit that's shocking or offensive, and the act is all about what is happening to the individual as a whole, not just the rude bits. It's almost as though you could happily watch the news read by Huw Edwards whilst he is being felated, as long as it's all happening below the desk.

Oh, and I'm reliably informed that Tessa Jowell is taking a lead from MAFF and will be awarding Channel 4 a subsidy if they agree not to commission a second series of Nathan Barley.