Esther, possibly my closest friend, wrote this. It comes, in part, from a mutual love of james bond, and my overriding desire to assassinate the campus pet. That cat is evil, I tell thee! Nice one esther!
I saw with some considerable interest yesterday how the Tories have chosen to consult Geldof on their policies concerning debt relief. While I am totally behind geldof’s campaign, this made me very scared and angry. I should welcome this move, but something tells me not to be so optimistic.
For one thing, what tells us that the conservatives are really behind debt cancellation? They are a party of business, and it is in the capitalist’s best interest not to cancel this debt, but to keep Africa poor. Thus this is, I think a mere ploy by David Cameron: he wants his party to appear nice, friendly and delectable.
What scares me is he’s succeeding. His party is gaining fast in the opinion polls: he is approachable and jovial, and the British public is fed up with Blair. To recruit Geldof will surely make this effect even stronger. And this is dangerous.
I seem to have become politically idiotic these days. I have become focussed on a single issue, and seem to have become blinded to most others. I know this is foolish, but I care very strongly about inclusive education. To focus so strongly on a single issue is naive, and especially one so remote from the mainstream (forgive the pun). Yet the fact remains Cameron is on record saying, if elected, he proposes a moratorium on the closure of special schools, and intends tot build more. Sorry if I seem monochrome here, but this must not happen. Simply must not!
This is why I got so scared. Elect the Tories, and the thing I care most passionately for dies.
My relationship to clothes is rather odd. Usually I hanker after girl’s clothes, but recently I have been hinking about getting a suit. A good suit. Something cool and very male for contrast. Something one can order a martini in.
Well, today me, mum and Chris went shopping, ad that’s exactly what we got. A black suit, white shirt and bow tie. Mum is going to elasticise the trousers so I don’t have to bother with the fly, and the shirt has poppers. I had to try it on. It fits almost perfectly, so next I want a walther PPK.
Well, I’ll settle for a martini.
Possibly the best indicator of the quality of ones Christmas is the state of ones room on boxing day. If one has had a good Christmas, with a large haul of gifts, one’s bedroom should be a mess. This is because one dumps the pile into one’s room after the unwrapping has ceased, then goes back downstairs to rejoin the family. The presents wait till the new year to be allotted places, so for a while one’s route to bed is fraught with pitfalls and booby traps.
At the moment, this place looks like a bomb has hit it. Of course, this is not helped by the fact that Luke, my little brother, is staying on my top bunk, so there are clothes and wrapping paper strewn over my floor. I am not complaining, but for a person with mobility and balance problems, it can be a challenge, especially last thing at night with a beer or two in my belly.
In short, however, this Christmas is shaping up to be one of the coolest. Of course, I miss my older brother, but it is only fair that he went to Kat’s parents this year. The place is packed anyway, and one can barely move without bumping into a relative.
As predicted, the conversation has been rather academic at times. This morning, Christina was describing that she might find new species of fish in the Amazon; yesterday, Luke and Cyril were discussing the Turing test. We should probably get out more, but my family still amazes me.
Right now, most of them are out walking. The house is quiet, giving me a chance to write. I haven’t been all that involved really – I just watch and listen. It takes ages for me to say anything, and I hate slowing everything down. I know I shouldn’t. when everyone is waiting for me to say something, I just get tense, making it ten times harder. Oddly, this happens more with the in-laws than with a lecture theatre full of students. Odd, no?
Anyway, everybody will be back soon, and the place will once again be thronging. This afternoon, we have games planned, which, with my uncle Aki being the incessant cheat that he is, despite my cousin Chris’s attempts to keep him in line, will almost certainly be a good laugh. Watching my family is better than any Christmas TV show any day of the year.
Things, I suspect, are going to get interesting around here. In more ways than one too. Come this evening, we’ll have eleven or twelve people around the place – the most people at home I can recall – and mum has already started to cook. In fact poor mum seems already slightly perturbed, and even at this early hour I smell onions frying.
As the crip of the family, and having no household chores, I take the role of flaneur at such times. That is, ii merely observe things as they unfold, then write about them. The forthcoming few days should supply me with enough material for the next three terms of writing class (not that I plan to divulge any family secrets, of course).
I love it when we have family round – there is rarely a dull moment. I come from a family of scientists, so dinner table conversation sometimes gets odd. Already this morning over breakfast Luke and dad were discussing interesting graphs. Being a crip-ranch educated arts-student, most of the time I do not have the foggiest idea what they are talking about, but it astounds me to hear everyone talk. Either it’s about whether zero is a number, or stuff about programming, or stuff about medicine. Of course, they all have their specialisms – Dad, electronics; mum, medicine; Luke biology and computing; uncle aki, philosophy of mathematics, Aunty Dinah, philosophy; my cousin Cyril, biology and computing… and so on. The result is an eclectic mix of technical gibberish and banter.
The above would imply that I am the dunce of the lot, which is not true. There is no dunce. I suspect I will have to explain the concept of flaneurie to them when this is posted. Just as I am proud of them, they are proud of me, and that’s how it should be. Hence there is already a feeling of warmth throughout this old place, and there is nowhere else I would rather be – nowhere else on earth.
Thus, tomorrow, I’ll be looking over a table of twelve, chomping sprouts and turkey, listening to the conversation, and remarking how lucky I am. It’s what Christmas is for.
A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
The following just begged to be recorded for pposteritty.
Deck the hall with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to by jolly,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la. Then we get a civil partnership
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
2. a new word
Sudblx – that which matt speaks when talking of films. Psuedy bollocks without vowels 3.another new word
Smoergleburble – that language luke speaks when telling dad how to do stuff on the computer.
Well, they made me laugh.
in case anyones onterested, heres the outcome of the dover trial. itss a relief that logic and sense won the day. Must admit, I had no faith (forgive the pun) that the judge would rule in favour of science. there were quite a few kooky idea going around that courtroom. something tells me these religious fools won’t shut up though.
thanks for the link luke
I just read tom Shakespeare’s most recent article on ouch, and I would encourage you to do the same. It is a short essay on disability issues in the bible, and I was interested to note that Hebrews 12.13 says ‘Make a level path for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled’, one of the earliest descriptions of the social model.
The problem professor Shakespeare and most disabled people have with Christ is that he went about his business in the wrong way. There is a supposition in the bible that disabled people want to be ‘cured’; most of us do not, for without our disabilities we no longer can be us. My cp is part of me, part of what makes matt matt. I think I would be quite lost without it. When I was very little, I asked dad if I could have a brain transplant in order to move properly; my father wisely replied that, were I to have such an operation, I would not be Matthew anymore but someone else inside my body. Although literally true, this can also be seen as allegorical cure my disability, and you eradicate matt.
Thus, in a way, Jesus did these lepers and blind people a disservice, robbing them of their individuality (and, in one case, their livelihood). As Shakespeare argues, it would be far simpler to fit ramps everywhere, and make VOCAs easier to obtain, rather than curing a select few. Then everyone benefits, not just a handful of people fortunate enough to meet Christ.
I just found this blog entry on intelligent design / evolution by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. I must say it is fairly well balanced: in fact, it is one of the most wellrounded articles I have read on the subject, which I think can be very polarising. Also, Scott Adams is one of my dad’s favourite cartoonists, so it’s worth a peek just for the satire.
How on earth I got his name wrong I do not know. The guy to whom I referred to in last Fridays entry is Michael leach, not llang. I suppose I assumed that he would have the same name as his wife. Anyway, here is a link to his fascinating site, full of some of the most extraordinary wildlife photography I have seen.