found it

For ten years I have hunted something: ever since I saw first contact, I have sought the quote from Moby dick cited by Picard. I tried reading the book online a couple of times, but always got distracted somehow. So, two weeks ago I bought a copy, at last, and today I found what I was after on page 185/6 of the Penguin classics edition, also to be found here.

[quote=”Moby dick”]He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.[/quote] the captain’s memory must have been fading

art

this is more proof that the torygraph is written by halfwits up their own arses. It’s an art review by a supposed critic decrying the fact that the art of mentally ill people have been placed alongside the works of the likes of bacon. Now, as a man currently going through the ‘great’ that is Moby-dick, I cannot deride classicism; I just think that all art is worth something, be in by Mellevile or myself. Just because its by someone outside the range of what is considered normal does not mean it is worthless.

The writer of this report should get off his high horse: everyone can contribute to the human experience, not just those considered to be great. I mean, is myy writing worthless because I have CP? No.

the grand mmu summer ball 2 (how time flies)

I am, I must admit, exhausted today. Yesterday was the night of the summer ball at university, and it was, as last year , spectacular. As promised, my friends switch,

Vikki and charlotte did a fire-poi display (I especially like Switch’s impression of the bunny of doom); there was a waltzer, which I rode with charlotte and Emma (yay!) and, in general, we had lots of fun.

The one down side was the footballers – they were particularly crass and stupid last night; some were dressed as Hitler, giving the Nazi salute and grinning as though they were being clever; some were picking on my friend Emma, of whom I have become particularly fond recently (well…I am fond of most of my friends: they are all dear to me). I was, in short, disgusted by the footballer’s behaviour.

I had intended to stay up, but somehow, in brandies, I was oozing off by the end. It was also quite cold in my costume. My friends kept wanting me to dance, but I was falling asleep on my feet. Where they get their energy I’ll never k0now.

Nevertheless, it was a great night, and I think we all had fun, especially Spiderman, aka Steve, who was happy as a schoolboy in his costume.

On another, more serious note, I apologise for my language in yesterday’s entry.

going off politics

I’m going off politics, I think. It gets me way too angry. The Tories are now ahead in the polls as more and more people are being fooled by Cameron. Do they not realise that his ‘nice guy’ image is just a show and deep down he’s a loathsome little cunt? This makes me so angry; as soon as his ‘party’ gets in we’re back to the bad old days of the eighties and early nineties, with big business allowed to pollute the environment and trample over people. Despite pretending to care about the environment, Cameron does not give a shit.

Every time I read of the Tories, my blood rises. They have vowed to return to segregated education, and therefore must be stopped. It is this one policy which allows me to forgive labour their many errors. I have seen what special schools are, and will not allow them to continue. the arguments posed by those who want to keep them do not wash: sure they offer a nice safe environment for kids to grow up in – where blind and deaf culture, for instance, can floorers – but what about the long term? Come age nineteen, the lethargy persists and hence the kid is screwed. Moreover, the ore disabled kids are segregated, the less we can integrate into society.

Hence Cameron must be fought. I will deride him at every turn. As for the Tory bent towards capitalism, it is free-market capitalism which is polluting the environment; in the long term, it is disastrous! Why can’t others see this?

I get so angry when it comes to politics. Labour is destroying itself, and the people who are calling for Blair to leave sooner rather than later seem suicidal. The best way to win the next election is for brown to take over just before it, coasting to victory before he has time to screw up. If he takes over too soon, this will not happen, Cameron will be elected, and I will not be happy.

Anyway, no more politics. Tonight is the summer ball. I think it’ll be a night to remember!

great balls of fire

I’m not sure where they got it from, but recently my friends have become hooked on something called poi. Poi, you may or may not know, is a Maori pastime which involves spinning balls about your head on string. This may sound stupid at first, but it looks brilliant. My friends are quite proficient at it, and can now do several tricks. They even let me try sometimes – I twirl the ball around, then tie myself up accidentally.

What is even cooler is when they set them alight! Switch and Vikki are going to do this at the summer ball on Friday. I first saw this the night of Steve’s party, and I loved it. I mean…fire! Balls of fire twilling around! How cool is that?

Talking of Vikki, we totally aced our presentation yesterday. Awesome.

As you can probably guess, I’m very happy this morning. My time at university has been the happiest in my life. Some days, just about everything seems cool.

more monitors!

Today should be fun. We get to show the video me and vikki have been working on for the last few weeks – my first proper short. It’s about crossing gender boundaries, and making it was a lot of fun. Indeed, I got to dress up!

What’s more, we got to work in the editing suite. The computers in there rule: they have not one but three screens – two pc monitors side by side and a tv screen for the video output. On this you can edit videos (not sure what the software is called, but it’s by adobe). Switch, who kindly helped me and Vikki, made it look very easy, so much so that I want a go. That reminds me – I owe switch a beer!

Suddenly, my one monitor looks very inadequate. Anyway, fingers crossed for a good reception later.

Handicapped horror

Although I do not condone the use of the H-word, this short film is so cool. Its about a psychopath in a wheelchair with a knife. He chases this girl around school. Hehehe. Gives me an idea about a certain one eyed cat. One day, Brandy. One day!

I feel I should say something about the use of monochrome heightening the tension, or the juxtaposition of the music being ironic, saying something of the position of disabled people in society, but bugger that. It’s just cool.

the giant and the tractor

Sometime in the early eighties, before I was born, my parents were driving home from a day trip one weekend. Apparently, they passed a place on the way which sold cream teas, and they decided to stop. They must have been quite taken with the place, for they later took me and my brothers to Amerton farm.

It became a favourite venue for my family. I loved the place: it had a tractor! I loved being sat upon the seat of an old rusty broken-down tractor which sat in the field, dad holding me upright. I could have spent hours pretending to drive it. We went there around the time of my birthday during my formative years, stopping when I was about eight. The place also had a giant in the back of the restaurant which dad and I used to search for after we had eaten. We never found it, but it was definitely there.

In the en, we grew out of it. The tractor was taken away – it became too old and dangerous, and I guess the giant moved on. The place was becoming too commercial, too big, too popular. It was not the same place my parents found that afternoon, nor was it the place I once loved. We stopped going, and I forgot about it.

Yet, no memory ever truly disappears from the brain. This morning, I was coming back from breakfast, and I heard a radio playing a local commercial station. I caught a part of an advert for Amerton Family park. It was in roughly the same place as my childhood haunt. Memories came flooding back. It’s funny how, here and now at uni, the past can suddenly jump at you, and you remember your old self. I remembered, in that moment, the lace of my childhood fantasies.

Only time and tide await no man. That place is gone, and what remains is an enterprise large enough to advertise on local radio. It will be just another tourist attraction now; no wonder the giant drove off on the tractor.

the food of love

Last night there was a small concert in the dance studio. A couple of my friends were in it, and I thought I’d go along. To be honest, I expected something similar to last time, full of odd experimental music, but I was pleasantly surprised. There was an excellent gospel choir which, among other things, sang ‘come down to the river’, from oh brother where art thou; they played a piece of Mozart; there were a few quite excellent electric guitar pieces; and I especially liked the medley of songs from musicals they did at the end. In all, quite a good evening.

My friend charlotte was the main organiser of last night. She did a very good job of it. Her family came ad I seem to have impressed her younger sister and brother apparently I was the main event for them, as in, on the phone to their father, ‘hi dad, we met this cool guy called mat who had a cool wheelchair and uses a computer to speak’. Charlotte told me this in the pub afterwards, and can’t help but smile; I’m glad I can make such a good impression. We discussed my going to their place for a weekend in summer; this would be very cool indeed, although I wouldn’t want to put charlotte or her family to too much hassle.

All in all, last night was very cool indeed. I was quite wrong in my review of the previous event; I must have been in a bad mood.

disabledism

To a large extent academia is a very sheltered environment. It is, to be sure, ozone that values intelligence and mental normality, but for people with a physical disability, it is very welcoming;. At college,, my group of friends accept me for who I am; they help me whenever it’s needed, from helping me make tea to walking me home at night. The slight patronising tones of the kitchen staff aside, I do not feel I am discriminated against in any way at college.

But, as I say, academia is very sheltered. It is a bubble of usually intelligent people, where often my biggest concern ibis whether I’ll get an assignment done on time, or whether I’ve included too little theoretical stuff in my essay. Yet, outside of the bubble, away from the parties and the intellectual freedom, is a world of discrimination against disable people.

As far as I can make out, there are four people with physical disabilities on campus. That’s far too few, on my opinion. Four out of 5000 is a disproportionately small number. I do not think that the problem lies with selection – my lecturers seemed all too keen to take me in, but I think I impressed them when I mentioned two film theorists in the interview. Rather, discrimination against the disabled happens before that.

I think there is an expectation at school level that the disabled are unable to cope with higher education, or much education at all for that matter. This leads to many disabled kids going to second rate schools, and this will have a major effect. For this stifling will mean problems getting jobs etc, as well as problems fighting for our rights. How can we effectively fight for social justice when we are denied the foundation of democracy – education? For example, say someone asks for a ramp to be put in place on a public building, and the MP he’s negotiating with starts citing old writs which the disabled person cannot access due to his illiteracy? The disabled person has essentially been repressed because the playing field is not level.

Thus I will argue that segregated education is the root of all evil, at least when it comes to discrimination against disabled people. Whenever two sets of people are educated separately, moreover, they learn to fear each other. This applies to gender, religion or ability. Kids who go to catholic schools learn to fear protestants; girls who go to girls-only schools often fear boys, and so on. Comprehensive education came about for this reason, to prevent the class divide, the gender gap and the religious gap. Why does it still apply to disability?

Until education is fully inclusive, and all special schools abolished, disabledism will continue to exist. Why, today, should one group be segregated from the rest? I see no difference between this and apartheid, for all the barriers to inclusion can be easily overcome. It would just take some imagination, and the opening of minds.

see the diary of a goldfish