The return of Alan Partridge

Although I  reference one of his scenes in my MA thesis, truth be told I never got  into Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge when it first aired in the late nineties. I found it too cringeworthy, or rather, didn’t realise  it was supposed to be  cringeworthy.  However,  I just came across this Guardian article. Coogan  is reviving Partridge for the brexit era. Can you think of anything more fitting? The  twat is perfect for this current age: he is constantly trying to keep up with the modern zeitgeist yet always betrays himself to be a socially conservative little englander. Sounds like the perfect cringeworthy character for a truly cringeworthy time.

Writers block

In all i’m pretty pleased with my University Days project. I may have mentioned a while ago, University Days is a book I composed from old blog entries last year about my days as an undergraduate. At 48 pages, I think it was a fairly substantial piece, and most of the people I talk into reading it say they like it. The thing is, that was last year, and now that spring is finally in the air, I think it’s high time I got working on something new. I was considering doing something similar – a book built up from old blog entries – based on the events of 2012, but I didn’t write enough at the time. I also still want to do something about mental health issues, but I can’t decide where to start. Writing a daily blog entry is all well and good, but as a writer I feel I should also have a longer piece on the go, and getting started with that is currently proving an issue.

Bexit threatens Home Help

Apologies  for this being another link-oriented entry about Brexit, but I just came across this rather chilling Evening Standard piece. The care of the elderly will be hit hard by brexit, as a large proportion of the support workers employed by county councils are migrants from the EU. These days,  of course, I employ my personal assistants directly with direct payments, but back at uni my morning support was done by Home Help. I know how vital those guys are to some people; in the worst cases, people won’t be able to get up. Yet another moronic consequence of that utterly moronic  referendum.

Why is so little being done  to clear this utter mess up?

While I don’t think I can comment on it much other than to say that it might be a tad too pessimistic, I really think this Guardian article by  George Monbiot is worth flagging up. Although he mentions stuff like climate change etc, his central point is, given that it is now overwhelmingly clear that the 2016 referendum was won based on lies, and  that the leave  campaign was funded by some very dubious sources, why is so little being done  to clear this utter mess up? ” [W]hy won’t the government act? Partly because, regardless of the corrosive impacts on public life, it wants to keep the system as it is…. But mostly, I think, it’s because, like other governments, it has become institutionally incapable of responding to our emergencies. It won’t rescue democracy because it can’t. The system in which it is embedded seems destined to escalate rather than dampen disasters. Ecologically, economically and politically, capitalism is failing as catastrophically as communism failed. Like state communism, it is beset by unacknowledged but fatal contradictions. It is inherently corrupt and corrupting…”

Online news regulation

I honestly can’t decide what to make  of this tech-related news. “A regulator should oversee tech giants like Google and Facebook to ensure their news content is trustworthy, a government-backed report has suggested.” Reading the article, it sounds fairly amiable, and we all know how much bullshit is being spewed these days. An online news regulator could, for instance, prevent people being convinced to vote  for things  totally against their best interests by online sources willing to spout any old  bollocks to achieve their goals. The danger comes, of course, when the regulator oversteps the mark and starts to try to police anything anyone says online. This is ostensibly about policing news websites, but who’s to say what constitutes news these days?

The beauty of the internet is that anyone can say whatever they want on there: you don’t  have to agree with it, and indeed much of what I find really  pisses me off, just as there will be many who don’t agree with some of what I write on my blog; but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t  be allowed to say whatever I like on the web. I realise that  this regulator will only attempt to patrol the web giants like Google and Facebook, but I fear that that will open the door for much stricter online rules governing what everyone can say on the internet,  including on sites like mine.

Nick McCarthy on Cbeebies

I had my weekly Skype chat with  Dad this morning. He and  my mum are fine, as are my brothers. My nephew and niece, Oliver and Elise, are apparently doing well. I think they might like this. I don’t usually watch Cbeebies of course, but I just found it flagged up on Nicolas McCarthy’s Facebook page. I know Nick from the Paraorchestra, and it is quite cool to see him on YolanDas Band Jam. It   might be for youngsters, but the music played on there is rather funky, and it is good to see disabled musicians not only getting airtime but having a chance  to  explain their  art to young people. Nice one Nick.