tinyjo: (webdesigner - chez geek)
Well, the new walking is still a thing and, characteristically, I've bought equipment to go with it - a nice pair of walking shoes and an attempt at a pair of trousers. Years ago, I had an amazing pair of trousers with two zip off sections so you could wear them as trousers, cut-offs or shorts. They wore out many years ago, but now I'm looking to replace them, I'm faced with the fact that I've put on weight since then and fat girls are not expected to buy clothing for being outside in. I haven't found *anything* for girls above a size 18 and even stuff for guys is not available in my waist size. It's irritating; while I'd like to be fitter, I don't want to lose weight per se, and the suggestion that I have to in order to enjoy the activities of the outdoor fraternity basically puts me off. It doesn't help that the nurse who represcribed my birth control pills (on an emergency appt when I had mis-remembered how many packs I had left, don't get me wrong, she was doing me a favour) spent 15 mins telling me about how they can prescribe me weightwatchers classes if I like. I just said "Hmmm" a lot.

In other news, the combination of the elections and the sad puppies thing has got me thinking about community. What communities am I a part of and what does that even mean? I feel totally unrepresented by the parties on offer for voting for at the election, to the extent that I find it hard to justify to myself the idea of endorsing any of them. The things that matter to me, like privacy and democratic legitimacy don't seem to resonate anywhere with party platforms. This political cycle, I've ended up resigning my party membership and donating to FullFact and Org instead because they represent more of what I actually want to se in politics - information. I can't see myself in good concience voting for any of these fuckers.

Sad-puppies wise, I have been thinking about adjacent spaces. The sad puppies thing seems to represent an assault by people who I do not like on a space in which people with whom I am friends have previously felt safe and comfortable. But it's not my space and never has been - con fandom is just not how I've ever related to my reading or experience as an SF fan and I'm certainly not up to date enough as a reader to vote for any literary award in the field. The question for me is does the fact that this is not my space mean that it's not my fight? On the one hand, if I've nothing to defend, why get involved? On the other, there's a certain "and then the came for the X" about it - the fact that I don't need the space doesn't mean I should stand by and let assholes run over it, does it? In the end, I don't think I'm prepared to enter the space in order to protect it for others but is there any other viable support I can offer? Perhaps I should by Worldcon memberships for people who do care but can't afford to.

So what does it mean to belong to a community? If asked, I would say I was British but actually, I don't identify in practice with any elements of Britishness any more than I do con-going-fandom. For me, I guess living in a place and being a member of a community perhaps mean different things. I'm not even sure if that's a problem or not, but it is an interesting thought, at least.
tinyjo: (dilbert_unpleasant-realisation)
Have I just got on a list or something? Am I suddenly listed on some directory or past a certain technorati threshold? Free mobile phones for a month, yes, that we like but today I got an email from a website called Family Security Matters linking me to an article about how multiculturalism is destroying Britain saying my readers might be interested in it.

I only read the synopsis and the info I could find out from Google about these people but I think I can pretty safely say that the only interest my readers would have in this is to mock it. This is, apparently, a site which called on Bush to become president for life. Personally, I like multicultural Britain. I can get a wide variety of food, ingredients, music and opinion and so on partially due to it. I am mystified by the people who seem to feel that unless everyone is taking part in their traditions they are suddenly under threat somehow (c.f. nativity plays, etc). I'm just not buying it. Frankly, I suspect that the reason quite few schools give up on nativities is that teachers get bored with them after a while and want a change - thats certainly what my unscientific survey of teachers I know suggests.
tinyjo: (Default)
I just have to check this with my American friends, after I haven't seen it being as roundly mocked as it seems obvious it deserves. I see from the internet that Bush said the following:

You can't be the president and the head of the military at the same time


Now correct me if I'm wrong, but in that case can we campaign for Bush to resign one of his positions as well? I'm only going by the West Wing, but I suspect he may have missed something here!
tinyjo: (candid-opinion)
Woohoo! Finally, Sir Ming resigns! I've never forgiven him for knifing Charles Kennedy in the back and it was a serious consideration for me whether I could vote for the party with him in charge (despite the fact that I remained a member). Interestingly, the BBC are reporting Charles Kennedy is at 16/1 odds of being leader again, which would be awesome, but anyone will be an improvement on Ming. And of course, as a member, I'll get a vote, I think.
tinyjo: (candid-opinion)
Wow, could Warner Brothers be more dumb?! I am actually angry enough about that to make some effort to boycott if it's true.
tinyjo: (cat don't care)
I'm starting to feel left out. I feel I should disclose that I puffed on a bong oncr and had one or two hash cookies while at Oxford. To be honest, I didn't notice any result except for increased gigglyness. I'm not sure I'm convinced by all this 'I was wrong' stuff but at least they are being straightforward about it rather then all the beating around the bush that Cameron did.
tinyjo: (cat don't care)
Dear politicians all,

Tell me this. Why should I get married? What difference will it make to my relationship? How will society be enriched by me signing a piece of legal paperwork with my boyfriend?

We've been together for nearly 10 years, we're committed to each other and we're in love. We both know these things. What else is there to it?

Of course, to a certain extent my relationship is not related to the discussion you're having because I don't want to have children. Leaving aside the discussion of the fact that all the language I'm hearing on the news assumes that all couples, married or cohabiting, are also parents I would dispute the idea that getting the paperwork would make any difference to any putative children we were going to have either.

Yes, children benefit from stable long-term relationships with adults who can give them love, stability and care. In most cases these are their parents and it's difficult to do on your own because it's such a commitment. I don't believe that our choosing to register our relationship with you would make us any more or less likely to provide that care to any children we had. Now that marriage is a purely voluntary institution, many more of those embarking on it will have the kind of relationship which enables them to provide this but the bedrock of that is the relationship itself, not the status. You won't create more genuine partnerships of people who can love and support each other by offering £20 per week to those who've been in and signed their names.

Marriage is not what makes some families special. Love is.

Yours disappointedly,
Jo
tinyjo: (candle trail)
Good lord. Twitter feeds for the three party leaders. Sadly, not (a) satire or (b) actual twittering from said politicians but (c) their official site RSS feeds converted into twitter posts.
tinyjo: (sunflower)
Rather nifty little graph on the BBC showing the composite effect of the NI and income tax changes. Personally, I fall neatly into the pretty much no change dip, boringly. Politically, I'm not happy with a tax change graph where the people who pay more are the poorest, while the rich get £200 per year more. Lame.
tinyjo: (candid-opinion)
Well, whether you think the government should scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy or not scrap it, you can now sign your name on the Downing Street website. I think it would be interesting to see how many people do sign the latter, if just to remind the media that the body of public opinion represented by the signers of the anti petition isn't the only one out there.
tinyjo: (candid-opinion)
Sign the Downing Street petition to allow fair use copying of legally owned CDs here.
tinyjo: (webdesigner - chez geek)
So, according to a survay done in Germany, which I found out about here, Germans are disillusioned with their democracy. As is I think everyone else I know. So, where do you stand?

[Poll #862947]
tinyjo: (candid-opinion)
On my way back to work at lunchtime (having dropped the bike off for puncture repair) I found myself listening to the lunchtime previews of the Tory party conference with what I can only describe as genuine interest, something so rare for me in conference season that I was genuinely surprised and started to wonder what was going on.

And here's the thing. I think the reason I'm listening interestedly is that I don't know who to vote for, which is something of a first for me. Although I support a lot of Labours social policy intentions I distrust their authoritarian attitude more and can't see myself voting for them. Up until now I've been a staunch Lib Dem but now I'm still angry with them about the kicking out of Charles Kennedy and really not sure about Ming and his plans. And the Tories? Well, the idea of conservatism with a social concience is appealing but I'd have to be sure that their "small government" instincts knew when to stop - I don't want a government too small to provide an NHS.

Then there are the smaller parties but none of them really seems to have enough of a practical overall programme to consider voting for (Citizen's income? I'm not convinced), quite apart from the question of wasted votes.

I think maybe I should make a quizilla quiz for candidates to take next election. It would have questions about all my key issues weighted by how much I care about them and then I could just see what the outcome was. But in the mean time, I'll be giving the Tories a fair hearing this week, which surprises me.
tinyjo: (vibro-cat)
BBC4 could have some interesting stuff on - anyone read the short story?

The channel's new line-up also includes a sitcom from Jack Dee and a season celebrating British science fiction.

One of the highlights of the season is an original drama, Random Quest, based on a John Wyndham short story.

There will also be a series of documentaries on the genre and a science fiction "acting masterclass" delivered by Nigel Planer's comedy character Nicholas Craig.


New dwarf-planet to be called Eris

The distant world whose discovery prompted leading astronomers to demote Pluto from the rank of "planet" has now been given its own official name.

Having caused so much consternation in the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the object has been called Eris, after the Greek goddess of discord.


Thames Water to make new reservoir which apparently I have to pay for. Frankly, I'd rather they just fixed the damn pipes. Also, it's apparently close to Steventon, so presumably a possible threat to Truck.

Britain's "leakiest" water supplier Thames Water has announced plans to build a £1bn reservoir to meet increased water demand.

Thames said the site near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, would be the biggest built in the UK in 25 years, holding 150 billion litres of water.

The plan - which could force some people to move home - would mean customers paying more for their water.


I also want to write about this but I've not quite got it clear in my head what I want to say.
tinyjo: (candid-opinion)
"There is more than one kind of freedom...Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it."
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

"It is up to each and all of us to ask the questions: what price our security? What price our freedoms? At what cost can we preserve our freedoms?"
John Reid (Quoted here)

I am also disturbed by the fact that John Reid reminds me more every day of Adam Sutler. Yes, the Tories were greedy, hypocritical and often uncaring while in office but on the other hand they didn't always make me think of fascist dystopian futures either...
tinyjo: (Default)
The recent discovery of the problems at Enron and other companies in the USA indicates that the free market/capitalism is, like communism, a good idea in theory but in practice falls into corruption and failure through peoples selfishness. Due to cultural differences between the Slavonic and Causican cultures however, the corruption in the capitalist system is better hidden/more efficient and hence has taken much longer to come to the attention of the world.

Discuss
tinyjo: (Default)
I've been meaning to write my essay on this for ages (there’s even a half finished version on my hard drive, honest!) but not got round to it :) Kuro5hin on political apathy
tinyjo: (Default)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1801000/1801773.stm

They're insane. If they win, I resign my citizenship of the world!

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tinyjo: (Default)
Emptied of expectation. Relax.

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