party started

I have spent the weekend at charlie’s. It’s her birthdayon the tenth, but I’d guess they wanted to celebrate before the new term started. Part of me is still getting used to c being a teacher – for one thing, aren’t teachers meant to be older than I am? Its still quite weird, but on the other hand I just know Charlie is a born teacher if ever there was one.

It was a great party. As well as Charlie and her family, it was great to see Jodie and hollie, two old friends from MMU. I was rather surprised there weren’t more people from university there, actually, but oh well. As I said, it was fancy dress, and I was pleased to see some people went to a lot of effort with there costumes. There was one person, for example, who had made a robot costume with working lights and personal sound system which plugged into an mp3 player. As for myself, I am still yet to figure out a way of keeping my bunny ears on my head.

The party itself was a great success. It started at the jonses, then at midnight we all decamped to a barn for a rave (sanctioned by the owner of said barn). The ravesite itself was upstairs, so I was relieved I had paced myself. In the end, I was out to about half three, listening to the live awesome music of ‘Laffin’, a band Hugh plays sax for. Then, it was high time I turned in,

I don’t think I would have missed this party for the world, and I was glad I went. For one thing, it was just what I needed – I do like a good party, ad it feels like months since my last one. Also, Charlie has been and is one hell of a good friend, and I’d have felt awful if I had missed it (well, that’s my excuse, anyway…)

how can we tell

Still no sign of that hat or the badge on it. It must be around here somewhere.

Not much has happened these last few days – they are notable only for their distinct lack of sunshine. Right now I’m just moping around the house, but at least tomorrow I have a party to go to. Fancy dress – the best sort.

Elsewhere in the world, however, things are more interesting. Barrack Obama last night delivered the speech of his life; the fact that it was delivered to coincide with the anniversary of Dr. King’s ‘I Have a dream’ speech was not lost on many. Question is, can that dream truly be coming to fruition? I still get the impression that many people in America will not vote for black people. interestingly, some people on the right are saying that to vote for obama would simply and shallowly salve national guilt for slavery. Yet, while this might indeed be partially true, it suggests that if any black person were to come to power, he or she would always face such criticism and the subsequent lack of credibility. This leads to a catch 22-type situation (without the B52s) where no black person can be elected without such criticism, yet if so then the words ”all men are created equal” are meaningless. On the other hand, if obama is elected, people will say ‘it’s just because he’s black, not because of his policies.’ After all, voting for someone because they are black is just as discriminatory as voting for someone because they are white. The guy can’t win.

America now stands at a cross roads. The question is not can it leave race out of politics, but how can we tell if it has?

matt for president

I hereby announce my candidacy for the oval offace. Yes, I am running for president. What america needs is a no-nonsense cripple at its helm. I pledge free bbeer and to ban larger. Don’t believe me, just click here

the hat and the badge

I cannot recall ever being so attached to something so small. I have lost my hat – when I got home from university, I put it down in the conservatory and itt promptly disappeared. That, in itself, wouldn’t matter, for I have plenty of hats, but the thing is I had fixed something to this particular hat. Just up from it’s brim, there’s a small, metallic badge. Ironically, I put it there so I wouldn’t loose it. Its pink, in the shape of mickey mouse, and is one of a pair me and charlotte got in eurodisney. She, of course, has the blue twin, and as a result this badge is very precious to me.

I’m sure it will turn up somewhere – nobody would throw away such a thing. It’s just irritating.

shame of the nation

Call me a spoil sport if you must, but as I was watching the Olympic closing ceremony yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel ashamed. I wasn’t ashamed of team GB’s performance, which many are calling the best for a century; nor was I ashamed of the fact that London will host the next Olympics. I was ashamed of the bumbling, shallying image of Boris Johnson walking up to take the Olympic flag.

That image disturbed me. Why should this country be represented by him? Why should our capital be represented by that joke of a man? That relic of the old boy’s network? That complete fool. His election was a joke – he was elected because the people of London thought it would be a laugh to elect that figure of fun.

Yes, they were fed up with Livingston. But it was Livingston and Blair who won them the Olympics in the first place. By rights it was Livingston who should have been waving that flag last night, not that overgrown turd. This gets my goat, but what gets me even more is the fact that CaMoron will probably be prime minister in 2012, and that little piece of shit will probably take credit. Britain is a booming, prosperous society, but next election – if the polls are anything to go by – we’re going to throw it all down the drain. The more wealthy people become, the more likely they are to vote Tory, thinking that the Tories are more likely to save their money but forgetting how narrow minded/, inept and selfish conservatism innately is.

I read a review of a book called ‘Cameron on Cameron’ in the Sunday times yesterday. Would you believe that toadying fuctard still has the audacity to pretend that brown is the one obsessed with spin. The book itself sounded like a repellent tract of ego-boosting: the reviewer dismisses it at one stage as cynical propaganda.. the book itself contains such absurdities as ”[to CaMoron] It looks like you are two breastplated sportsmen, battling it out…you look like you enjoy playing with him as though you were a cat and he [brown] was a mouse’. Here, the author pretends to describe PMQs, but obviously hasn’t watched one, or does not understand what’s going on. Brown OWNS CaMoron, and is the only intelligent choice next year, but the people of this country are apparently too stupid to see that.

That’s why that cretin Boris Johnson got to wave that flag; and that’s why I’m ashamed.

well, thats much better.

What a difference a week makes. The guy who I was having difficulty getting on with a week or so ago has turned out to be not that bad. In fact, I think it was mostly my fault that we weren’t getting on – I was taking most of what he was saying out of context, and he was getting royally pissed off. Yet we seem to have sorted most things out; we even agreed to meet up sometime for a pint or two. I think I’d like that very much, and it’s long overdue. If we can organise it – and I see no reason why we couldn’t – it would be like a crip meeting, as I have two or three other folk with cp in mind whom I’d like to invite.

The prospect of such a meeting excites me, not just because I like nights out. I relish the chance to go out and meet fellow crips – there are few disabled folk at university, so there’s naturally a chance my views in that area have stagnated. Plus the prospect of this night out feeds my optimism about friendship. It would be a chance to exchange ideas, to actually get to know people I have never physically met. There’s nothing like alcohol for cementing friendships..

hate crime article

I would like to draw your attention to this article, by tom Shakespeare, on hate crime. I have been reticent about calling crime involving disabled people ‘hate crime’, as, as the professor correctly point out, there are always going to be other factors involved. Its not as simple as blind hate.

too much negativity

I do not feel I have anything particular to complain about. Life, for me, is pretty good – I have two supportive parents, two great brothers, and more friends than I can count. The only thing I’m particularly worried about is my thesis, but that’s generally of another order to the subject of this entry.

I think I’m content with life, all in all. There is, however, a school of thought within the disabled community which says that disabled people are subjugated and oppressed, and that we are well within our rights to rail against this oppression. They cite, for instance, the carer/client relationship as innately coded within a power structure – that when one is bathed, dressed, washed and toileted by someone, the person being cared for is always going to be under the power of, and in effect subservient to, the carer. If we further generalise this principle, it follows that we crips are always going to be second class citizens.

I have a problem with this. it isn’t as if I don’t agree with it – they certainly have a point – but I see it as a part of life which one should allow to fade into the background. I have better things to worry about than whether the manner in which I need to live my life is encoded with oppression. If you need to be fed, why worry about it? And anyway, this power structure is not always the case: I have been fed, on many occasions, by people whom I consider my close friends; I have asked one or two to help me bathe a few times. No doubt they would be bemused at the notion that there was some kind of power involved. I would guess they, like me, think that it’s just something that needs to be done. Moreover, I was reading an article in the business supplement of the Sunday times about this guy who works as a trader in goldman-sach’s as a trader, who uses one of his fellow traders as a kind of work-time PA. again there is no evidence of this power-structure in their relationship its just something that needs to be done.

I guess it could go to the other extreme. Some people seem to think that the term ‘personal assistant’ means ‘slave’ and that they deserve to have someone at their beck and call 24/7. although I admit I may have, at university, been guilty of pestering people like jen, Charlie and ash a little more than I should have, I tried to respect their private time, and understood that if they said ‘no’, that meant ‘no’. Yet I get the impression some crips can be over-reliant on their staff, in effect demanding a slave. To me, that constitutes an abuse of one’s rights.

Back to my main point, though: there is an argument which says that it should be our right to complain; that

” Blacks and Latinos are encouraged to form communities and discuss the [insert minority group here] Experience. Abuse and incest survivors are rightly lauded for their bravery. People with eating disorders are told they can find support here.

Disabled folks? Not so much. While we’re appreciated as a quaint novelty, we’re in the steerage with the cutters and the kohl-snorting emo children when it comes to expressing angst or anger. And if we persist, well, it won’t be long before the cries of ”Being disabled, you’re doing it wrong!” ring out, along with accusations of whining, pity-whoring, and delusion.” source

We could detail the means by which we are repressed. Wee could detail the perceived humiliations and the indignities we ‘suffer’. But I fail to see the point, as all it would lead to is a particularly bleak, pessimistic outlook on life. I tried it once: I paid special attention to all the things which made me different, all the means by which we are allegedly oppressed. All it did was make me miserable, and annoy my parents. I suspect it even put people off me. In short, it got me nowhere but a depressed pessimistic stupor.

Such points of view are counterproductive and self fulfilling. It was also cyclical, and I didn’t really break that cycle until the berlin trip with south Cheshire college. It is far better to focus on how alike we all are than how different we are. I guess this is why I dislike the idea that disabled people have a community, for if we are a subset of people, then we are somehow different. This leads back into feelings of ostracisation and persecution. Yes, we are a community as expressed through the ways in which we articulate our lives, but as soon as that articulation becomes one of persecution and negativity, we risk losing the thing which unites us to wider humanity.

bach before breakfast

This is very pleasant. I’m just waiting for breakfast. Both my brothers are home, and Luke and Yan are cooking breakfast for us; Mark was just playing some Bach on the piano, which, although I’m in the mood for something more upbeat, was very nice indeed. What’s more I have much to look forward to, ranging from tonight’s turkey pie to charlottes party a week next Saturday. It may be rather grey outside, but at the moment it’s very hard to be miserable.

enemies

As a rule I dislike having enemies. I try to remain optimistic about humanity, and prefer to believe that everyone is a potential friend, and that all grievances can be settled. I try to get along with everyone I meet, and I suspect – or hope – most of my friends would confirm this. my friends mean a lot to me: I’ve mentioned a few of the closest here, but there are many more people of whom I am fond, and would hate to anger.

Yet there seems to be this one guy with whom I just cannot get on. I’ve never physically met him, but we talk on msn. He seems to misunderstand everything I say, make the most stupid of statements and resorts to insults when I try to correct him. I frankly find it impossible to debate with him on any adult level. I know what I’m talking about, but he talks down to me.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘just leave it matt, he isn’t worth it’. But this man’s arrogance gets to me. Ricardio once told me ‘everyone should have an enemy – it’s healthy’, yet I dislike the concept that no relationship is irredeemable. Unfortunately, it appears this particular relationship is (at the moment, at least).