what in liberalism is a paradox in conservatism is a hypocrisy

For the last few days I have been thinking about a comment someone made to me. We had been arguing over msn about my lifestyle, and he said I should respect his intolerant point of view because ”it was his culture”. At one and the same time, this struck me as both pathetically stupid and philosophically interesting.

I am well aware of a paradox in liberalism. It is, basically, that liberalism means respecting all beliefs but the belief which says you shouldn’t respect other’s beliefs. I like to think I’m a pretty open minded sort of guy. Indeed, I have recently modified my attitude to faith after a comment by my father made me realise that, just as faith can inspire great ill, it can also inspire great kindness. This made me realise that maybe religion isn’t such a bad thing; maybe there’s something to it. As Tony Blair recently commented, religion can be used for both good and ill, and by and large I think it is a force for good. But I digress.

The point is, should I, then, respect intolerance? It may well be cultural, transmitted to parent to child like any other belief system. Yet it runs counter to liberality, to the foundations of culture. I also think that what in liberalism is a paradox in conservatism is a hypocrisy: he expects me to respect his views, yet refuses, by the very nature of those views, to respect mine. What in liberalism means respecting all beliefs but the belief which says you shouldn’t respect other’s beliefs, in conservatism means demanding people respect your beliefs while refusing to respect theirs. Frankly, a paradox is an interesting anomaly perhaps leading to the avoidance of certain subjects when talking to certain people, while a hypocrisy, in this case, is just plain dumb.

he insults my intelligence

I just caught a bit of bbc breakfast news in the wes. It would seem that CaMoron is on the warpath, making it seem like the current economic downturn is the fault of the current government, somehow claiming that it is the result of the ‘borrowing fuelled prosperity’ of the last eleven years that we are in this mess. The petaQ even has the audacity to claim that the government is spending too much on advertisements and it’s own image, and has grossly mismanaged this world crisis. I find this insulting to my intelligence: brown was the best chancellor for years; labour got us out of the fetid hole the Tories had dug by 97. but now the world economy has hit the rails, the Tories are making out they can do better. Total bullshit. When the fuck did the Tories give a damn about lower-income families? When the fuck was conservatism compassionate? The cloying hypocrisy, the dissembling, and the smarmy act of this guy really gets my goat, as does his attempt to rewrite history. If everything hadn’t been privatised, perhaps we would be in less of a mess. Assholes.

condemnation?

I must admit I have been reluctant to pass comment on this this before now. It is, of course, the story of the mother who drowned her four year old daughter in the bath, simply because she had c.p. I refused to pass comment because I did not know what to say. I could spit hysteric venom at the mother, accuse her of disabledism and breach godwin’s law; but I suspect this woman must have been mentally ill. No woman would kill her daughter were she of sound mind and judgement, disabled or not. I therefore think this woman needs help and psychiatric support, not to be demonised. Our hatred would get us nowhere.

the fair

Guess where I have just been. A fair! Excluding theme parks, which are completely different, I haven’t been to a fair in years. It turns out theres currently one in sandbach. The original plan was for me, Ricardio and Jo to go after a pub tea, but R wimped out, so I went with jo and her housemates. Although only two rides were open – it is Sunday evening, after all – I think we had fun. Jo’s friends turned out to be wimps, but I guess they were ok. In all, I think it was a nice end to a rather cool week – met new friends, got re-acquainted with an old one, and finally found something which I needed to find.

Of stables and cemiteries

Its been a long day and I’m very tired. I decided to go out this morning in search of the stables where Michelle rides. It’s not far from campus, and I found it easily enough. we got back in contact via facebook, and it turns out she rides near alsager.

She is doing well, considering. She seems cheerful enough, but I sensed a few pangs of melancholy in her. It was she, however, who brought the subject of rich up to begin with; its clear she misses him very much, and I think she is still mourning him. We chatted for well over an hour, about old times, friends, and life in general, during which time she told me rich was buried in Nantwich cemetery.

After we had parted, I popped back to campus to check my mail then headed back out. My initial plan was to get the Crewe bus, then see which bus went to Nantwich. However, I looked at the timetable which said there was a direct service, which I assumed would be faster. I was wrong – it did go directly to Nantwich, but via about 10 other places first. A 30 minute journey tool over an hour.

Anyway, I got to Nantwich okay, if slightly off schedule. I don’t know the town at all, so I asked about for the cemetery. It took quite some time to find, as it turns out there are two of them – one old, one new. I assumed I needed the newer one, and eventually got someone to tell me where it was.

I found it. It was full of shiny new grave stones. Oh, man, I hate cemeteries. At length, tucked away in a remote corner, I found Richard’s grave. I’d asked a passer by to help, and he kindly obliged. I said: ”I went to school with him. I’d known him since we were 5”

The guy asked if I was ok, and I said I was. I was upset. There is a small firari logo on the grave – rich was really into his cars; for some reason that hit me the most.

I don’t know why I went, I just had to. I’m glad I found it but suddenly it seems colder outside.

great week

Its been a good week: progress on my thesis is once again picking up, my room now looks the same as it always did, only with an updated year planner, and last night went well. I’m still highly bemused that Ricardio wants me to co-direct his play, but given that I want eventually to be a director of films, this is an offer I can’t refuse. I remember all those evenings in my third year watching him craft 100 years of solitude from nothing but the original text; I remember it being a highly communal affair, where all the cast became like a family; I remember my admiration for Ricardio growing by the week.

This is why I love campus: although it has little to do with my thesis, I love to be involved in such activities; to meet new friends and find new interests. Much of the cast is drawn from the first year, so last night I got to meet new people who will probably become friends. While I love my own work, writing my thesis is a solitary affair, so I relish this opportunity. I must admit I can’t wait till rehearsals proper begin Sunday afternoon.

videphilia?

this represents an unusual manifestation of cinephilia, but I’m sure that it is nevertheless a type of cinephilia which this man exhibits. He loves – or claims to, at least old vhs videos, and despises DVDs. The rarer and crappier, it seems, the better. Its kind of like a collector of old books or vintage wines: they may not be very good, but you just have to have them. Sure: some may describe this as pretentious, but I think it represents an interesting approach to film which has certainly given me more to think about.

co-director? Moi?

Ricardio is crazy. It’s the only explanation.

I went to the pub last night with Ricardio and rich – possibly the only two people who have been here longer than I have. We always go on a Tuesday night to do the quiz and scoff cheese garlic bread. I’d already eaten, but I couldn’t refuse the garlic bread as it’s so good. Plus it was free – Ricardio bought me some as I’d only steal some of his anyway. True enough.

Anyway, we got to talking. We discussed what we did over summer, and so forth. It was then that Ricardio offered me the job as co-director of his next play. I was stunned and flattered. I’ve never done anything like co-directing, but Ricardio seems sure I’m the right man for the job. It would mean giving up two or three nights a week, reading some books etc, and to be honest I’m relishing the idea. I think I need something to do in the evenings other than going to the bar, and it’ll make a change from research.

Our first rehearsal is tomorrow at 6 in ps1. I just hope I don’t let Ricardio down.

I’m Spazticus

A few of you may be interested in this. it’s the first part of the pilot episode of ‘I’m Spazticus’; I personally find it highly amusing, and I’m pleased to hear it has just got commissioned. Mind you, I bet I could do a better impression of professor hawking!

that nagging feeling

So here I am, back on campus. I must admit it is an odd feeling; everyone seems very pleased to see me, yet at the back of my mind there’s this feeling that I no longer belong here, that I should have left by now. I suppose, though, given the amount of work I have to do, that’s wher5e it must stay – at the back of my mind.

On the other hand, I am still fond of campus. It feels now like a second home, and I’m sure once I get back into the swing of things, that feeling will disappear.

Well, I better get on with sorting things out.