Just for a change fro my usual inane waffle, today I’d like to just direct you to this intriguing bit of trans philosophy. I don’t often write about the subject, partly because I don’t feel I know enough about it, partly because part of me says it’s not really my area to talk about it. Yet the writer articulates things that have been whizzing around my brain for some time – there are no hard and fast boundaries, no fixed notions of black ad white, and, I suppose, nobody has the right to tell anyone what s or isn’t their area. It’s a great, well-written article – go read.
We have had quite a weekend: I went to bed early last night and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, not waking ’till about half nine this morning. I was so tired because we had been to a barbeque on Saturday and only got home yesterday afternoon, not that we had been on any Indiana Jones-esque adventures as a result of the barbeque, just that we had stayed too late to get back. Fortunately, it was at Dominic’s house, so Lyn and I were in excellent hands.
Rather less fortunate was the fact that we had to miss Chopper’s birthday party to go to it, a bash which by the sound of it had ruled. I do not regret going to the barbeque in any way, as I met many cool people there, but I have a feeling that, like my friends Steve and Chris at university, Chopper is one of those people particularly adept at throwing parties.
I have been hearing the word morality bandied about a lot recently; people on facebook and other places questioning whether it was moral for the NATO powers to have got involved in the conflict in Libya. This got me thinking: what is morality anyway? It occurs to me that it is quite a silly notion when you think about it. I came up with two main arguments why the term should not be used o back up any argument.
For starters, it is totally subjective. You can argue that just about anything is moral or has a moral bass. I’m sure, for example, that the Nazis claimed they ad a moral basis for committing mass murder. It is an arbitrary notion, set usually by a majority yet ignores the fact no rules ever apply universally. For example, most people believe it is morally wrong to kill, but what if the killing was done in self defence? The same goes with stealing, and I’m sure you can think of a great many other examples. People, especially those on the political right, seem awfully fond of trying to back up their arguments by claiming something is moral, but they forget how intellectually problematic that term is.
My second reservation about the concept of morality is that it completely ignores postmodernity. We live in postmodern times where there are no certainties any more, no hard and fast rules. In fact, I think the concept of morality is the very opposite of postmodernism, as it clings to the old binaries such as right and wrong, true and false which postmodernism swept away. The old grand narratives line religion, politics, even gender have been reread; when placed under scrutiny such concepts disappear; nothing can be said to be absolutely certain any more.
To hang on to an idea like morality, though, is to ignore all this as it maintains that something can be objectively right or objectively wrong, and that there are a set of arbitrary rules everyone should adhere to, rules usually imposed on others by a dominant culture in order to repress and subjugate. To resort to such a notion in an argument means one has refuse to engage intellectually with the necessary concepts; frankly, I think it betrays a certain arrogance, if not stupidity. It betrays an ignorance of the intellectual complexities at hand, which is why I am baffled that some people continue to use it.
Late yesterday afternoon I decided to go for a walk. It had been raining all day, during which time I had got on with some work, so decided to go out for a spot of fresh air. I often go round the corner to Chopper’s on such occasions, but I decided to go for an explore instead. I set off to a place called cherry orchard: this is just past Charlton, and is an area of blocks of flats. I thought I knew it reasonably well, but somehow yesterday I managed to get rather lost. I just couldn’t find the place I was aiming for – a church at the center of the complex.
When eventually I did find myself, about an hour later and having been almost as far as Greenwich, I decided to head home. I was still rather cheerful, as I knew a bit more of the local area. It’s strange, though, how quickly such a small thing can change one’s mood, for, on the way home, I passed a group of boys. they were teenagers, and as I passed them they began to shout insults and snicker. I know I should ignore such things and usually I would just have driven on, but as I once wrote here, I am proud of myself. I’m proud of who I am, what I’ve achieved; I’m proud of being Lyn’s partner, and of becoming a member of the community here in London. Every time kids jeer, it is as if to say ”We don’t know you, but you use a wheelchair, so you’re inferior to us, you’re nothing”. Well, I’m not nothing. I don’t know why but it really pisses me off these days.
I turned around to try to confront the kids . I got nothing but more laughter, so I decided to turn and come home. There was a time when I would have ignored it and kept going, and perhaps I should have done so yesterday, but I’ve had enough of being thought of as inferior by some snot-nosed kids who thin they’re so high and mighty because they can walk properly and kick a ball, but will probably amount to jack and have nothing better to do than hang around on street corners. It’s hard to explain why this gets me so angry; I suppose you have to experience such discrimination to know what I’m trying to say.
As a crip I should probably say something about Jody McIntyre. you may recall that he was the disabled man dragged from his chair during last yeas’ student protests. I just heard that the IPCC has partially upheld his complaint that the police acted unlawfully. Now, I know next to nothing about the specifics of the case; frankly, though, I find it very unlikely tat McIntyre was just sitting there minding his own business – he must have been doing something to agitate the police. After all, I was there earlier in the day and the cops didn’t harm me. Plus, from what I have seen of him, McIntyre does seem to have one of those provocative attitudes found in some crips. But none of this in any way excuses his treatment by the police; they manhandled him out of his chair, stripping him of his mobility. That is like breaking someone’s legs! This may sound like an exaggeration to some, but that metaphor should be taken in all seriousness. The police denied him of his right to mobility, and, no matter what the guy may have been doing, nobody ever deserves that. The fact that, although the complaint was upheld, the cop responsible for this callous act has not been punished apart from slap o the wrist, demonstrates how little the police, the ipcc and society in general think of disability rights.
I suppose I like comedy as much as anybody, and I can’t really come on here spouting bull about what a big comedy fan I am. I have no special interest in it, or knowledge of it – my background is in film and literature, after all. But I still have quite a big soft spot for things like Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, as I might have noted on here once or twice before, so tonight I feel I ought to send you here. Truth is I hadn’t really heard of John Howard Davies before tonight, but I know that tv and film arre art forms where one easily forgets about the people behind the camera, so I just thought I’d use my blog entry tonight to mark thee passing of a man partly responsible for making so many people laugh.
I had intended to go to bed early last night, as I didn’t sleep too well the night before, but after the news, Legends Of The Fall started playing. I’d only seen a bit of it before, so I thought I’d give it a viewing, and I’m happy to report that I was impressed. Granted, it may be nothing special in terms of the philosophy of film, buut in terms of watching a great story well told, with fascinating characters portrayed by outstanding actors, I doubt it can easily be beaten. The film is essentially about the american myth of the old west, populated by independent men with a deep resentment for the state; it’s also about brotherhood and family, so you can see how hese two things play to a specific american notion of itself. I went to bed pondering these myths, and how they may have a bearing on America’s attitude towards guns. Above all, I felt satisfied at having just watched a great film, and slept well, though it was punctuated by several gruesome dreams.
I’m just blogging to tell you all that I have now switched computer: I’m currently using Lyn’s old Mac, which we recovered from the thieves. It’s still much faster than my old pc though, which I think now needs a good old reformatting. I already quite like my new computer, although I must say Im having to squint at this blog entry as I type it, as I don’t yet know how to make stuff appear bigger. Anyway, I have much to explore; for one thing, I’m looking forward to using yootube without it going jerky. I’ll let you know how I get on in this brave new world of apple, but for now I am off to investigate.
This may be somewhat lazy blogging again, but tonight I want to draw your attention to this interview with Daniel Craig. The first clip on the page interests me the most, as in it, Craig discusses the difficulty of making a new bond film which does not quite take itself seriously – as bond films shouldn’t – yet is not a parody of the franchise. The problem, Craig points out, is the Austin powers films, which prevent any new bonds from moving in that direction; yet without the comic, at times camp element, Bond wouldn’t be completely Bond. For a cinephile like myself, it throws up a few rather interesting questions about a film’s relationship to others which are well worth pondering.
This afternoon I decided that it has been far too long since I did any creative writing, so I jotted down the following poem. No prizes for guessing who it’s about.
She rolls her rollerball, an inch a time
Patiently placing notes on the score, Gradually composing. Generating sounds.
New, exotic, and yet rhythmic.
Meticulously making music, building up beats
Unruly hands fidgeting with effort and concentration.
It’s an Herculean effort of creativity;
Yet, every day she rolls back(wards) into her studio, and hours later there comes out a sublime beauty, the type of which I have never before heard or seen.