how is this not abuse?

Could someone explain to me how the condescension, patronisation and the way they make the girl perform for the camera on this video does not qualify as abuse? While there may well be good evidence to suggest that stem cells can help people with CP, the way in which these ‘therapists’ infantalise their so-called patient does her far more harm than the good that might come of injecting her with medications. Frankly, I wanted to see her punch the woman hauling her around in the frikkin’ face.

my initial reaction to Proud and Prejudiced

I just watched Proud and Prejudiced on channel four. Muslims against crusades and the edl strike me as two groups as confused as each other, both as crazy as each other. The one wants to impose a fucked up version of Islam on Britain, the other wants to protect Britain from what it sees as intolerance and so becomes intolerant. Part of me sympathises with the edl, as they seek to protect our society from religious extremism. Yet in so doing they become as extreme as they seek to fight. The irony is, both groups intolerance is born of the same thing: they both misunderstand islam. Muslims against crusades is as extreme as the edl which fears and so opposes all of islam; It does not want to see the imposition of shari’ah. But the muslims against crusades advocate the imposition of shari’ah as a reaction to what it sees as the western oppression of Islam: it perceives western tolerant values as being intolerant of Islam… both groups are formed in part as reactions to each other, and thus ironically become the embodiment of the very thing the opposing group is reacting against. I realise this is a mass oversimplification, and there are many more factors involved, but this is how the situation struck me as I was watching Proud and Prejudiced. It’s all fucked up, and in a way strikes me as darkly funny.

bemoaning the lack of a decent local cinema

I must admit to being slightly miffed today. As you probably know, last night was the Oscars. We were watching the press report of the ceremony, and I was getting excited as there were three films which I like the look of. I decided that I Need – and I mean NEED – to see The Artist, Hugo 3d and Midnight in Paris. I told Lyn this, who asked me why on earth I hadn’t, then. With that rhetorical kick up the backside, I went to google the local cinema listings. There is an Odeon within easy wheelchair-riding distance, but, to my great astonishment, none of the films I want to see are on. Hurrumph! That put a swift end to my excitement, but I’m still very eager to watch these three films, as all three seem to herald the return of an artistic facet that mainstream film has been missing recently. Mind you, when I put this to Alan, my old film lecturer, he wasn’t quite so sure.

two more things to note

There are two more things I need to do on here today:

firstly, I need to draw attention to the fact that it is my brother Luke’s 26th birthday today. I barely see luke these days, as we both live our own lives, but I often thin little bro. I hope Yan spoils him, and that Yaiya gives him lots of koftas! secondly, I’d like to send you here, to a new video by lyn, about how she uses her ipad to compose. It is pretty detailed and very interesting – go check it out.

nothing but the rancid ravings of the ignorant, arrogant and intolerant

this article in the Daily Mail had me enraged yesterday, and I am still very angry indeed about it. It concerns a child of five who lives as a girl yet was born male. I personally think it’s a case of a kid being disinhibited enough to explore her identity; recent research indicates that Gender Identity Disorder is manifesting itself at younger and younger ages. But according to the daily mail, the child is mixed up and a result of the growth of the gender identity ‘industry’. Never have I read anything born of more hatred and judgementalism: rather than exploring the subject fairly and evenly, the article’s author, Paul Bracci, makes accusations left, right and centre, virtually accusing the child’s parent’s and authorities of abusing her, and encouraging her to be some sort of freak.

I have had enough of this: I have had enough of feeling I should tolerate other people’s intolerance. This girl can no more help being transgender – if that is hat she is than I can help having cerebral palsy. It’s a part of you, nothing to be ashamed of, and something that nobody has a right to judge. What can be helped, however, is what others decide to think about it. That is a conscious decision, so of others decide to take a prejudiced stance, why should that be respected? Yesterday I think I resolved the paradox of liberalism, the contradiction of having to tolerate intolerance, by assuming that intolerance is conscious. People can decide what to think; they can decide to educate themselves about a subject, but instead they choose to cling to narrow-minded ideas of how the world should be and everything else is wrong. Thus it is they who are at fault, they who have a problem, and they, rather than this transkid or her parents, who warrant social stigma.

The mail can similarly decide what to print; it chooses to spew all this bullshit. It prints tosh about how it’s views are backed up by evidence and born of ‘common sense’, when in fact most of the evidence on the subject supports a more tolerant stance, and to invoke ‘common sense’ seems the height of arrogance. How then does this sickening, unthinking hatred qualify as journalism? Such articles serve only to stir intolerance and sanction ignorance; why should this be part of our press? A lot will be made about the launch of the Sun On Sunday, about how it is gutter journalism. The Sun may be a lad’s mag in the form a newspaper, but it is nowhere near as harmful and deserving of scorn than the Daily mail. The sun does not pretend to be highbrow; the mail thinks it is highbrow journalism when it is nothing but the rancid ravings of the ignorant, arrogant and intolerant. Give me Page three over that classless, puerile crap any day. Mail readers seem to sneer at Sun readers, but at least sun readers don’t think they’re reading anything other than a rag.

just a normal day

It has been a long old day, although today wasn’t as silly as last friday. Today has been the type of day where you get to grips with adult life, yet nothing particularly noteworthy happens. I guess it is days like these which define adult life, but which, growing up, you don’t realise life will ever be this way. A day or reflecting upon the sheer normality of day to day life. Most of all, though, it has been a day where all I could think of is the prospect off curling up to Lyn later, a thought which made everything seem right, even though it was hours away.

The Cinefiles on kubrick, or, which one is bazin?

To be honest I was feeling rather low today. One or two things, which I won’t bore you with, have been worrying me. However, this afternoon I decided to watch a thing about Stanley Kubrick from The Cinefiles, a YouTube channel where three guys sit round a table and talk about film. Little did I realize, I was in for a treat:

these men, Edwin Samuelson, Michael Foltz and Eric Cohen, clearly have the mixture of absolute passion and near encyclopedic knowledge that is a primary feature of cinephilia. It was like watching, say, Bazin, Barthes and Durgnat sitting round a table talking about film. They certainly have the desire to put films in some sort of canonical order that is another prime feature of the cinephiliac discourse, as well as it’s infectious enthusiasm. On the other hand, the barely touch on the philosophy behind films, discussions of which pervade cinephiliac journals like cahiers du cinema. To my mind, their discussions have an aspect of fandom to them. For example, while a cinephile will discuss film in terms of directorial intent, a film’s meaning and its relationships with other arts etc, a fan will discuss film in terms of the internal fiction, the behavior of the dramatis personae, and so on. Both discourses are equally intense, but have slightly different focuses. Anyway, before I get too anal, I best direct you to what I find to be a fascinating discussion, part one of which can be found here, part two here and part three here.

never has a caption been more correct

I was sitting here in my office earlier when, all of a sudden, I heard Lyn start to chuckle in her office. After a minute or so she hadn’t stopped, so I decided to go and see what she found so funny. I immediately saw the source of her mirth. I don’t like posting pictures on here too often, especially those I’ve just come across, but this one is worth it:

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born of hope

I have seen quite a few fan-films in my time. Most of them, to put it bluntly, are crap, consisting of footage from original films some idiotic teenager has recut in his bedroom and added new sound effects to. From time to time, however, you stumble onto a jewel. this film, called Born of Hope, is one such marvel. Based on The lord of the Rings, it tells the story of Aragorn’s father, Arathorn, and how Aragorn was born. It is essentially a love story, but it has a few impressive fight sequences.

This is not, however, your average made-on-a-wet-weekend fan-film: it had a budget of £25000 and a cast of 400. All the shots are original, with an original script (based, apparently, on an account found in the Lord of the Rings appendices). The acting is of a fairly professional standard; the shooting style bears the mark of someone who knows how to direct. The director, Kate Madison, does not try to emulate peter Jackson stylistically but uses her own technique, including one or two awesome sudden changes of filter. It is also clear that this film was not made by those who came to LOTR through the films, but by those with a deep respect for Tolkien and his languages.

All of this has me very excited indeed: I never realized fan-films could be this good. This film apparently won the London independent film festival award for best micro-budget feature. It just makes me want to get back to film-making myself. I’ve recently made a couple of shorts which I showed to you guys, and I’ve written a script for a third, but what I really need is a new camera so I don’t need to use the camera on my computer. I really love fiddling about with shots and capturing interesting images and image-sequences. But I digress – it’s just that amateur film-making like this really does excite me.

Give her a medal

I was thinking at least semi-seriously about going up into London today to try to tell those attending the meeting on the nhs what I thought. Ly had to go see the doctor, though, so I thought I better stay home. Nevertheless, I do feel quite strongly that the Tories’ proposed reforms to the health service: despite the dissembling and the bull, any fool can see that what they are proposing is privatisation. However, I now wish I went, as then maybe I could have seen this for myself. It seems I’m not the only person who feels strongly enough to go up to downing street today; part of me wishes that this woman had gone further and punched the sonofabitch, although I suppose we better leave that sort of thuggery to boxers. If you ask me she deserves a medal for telling Lansley what the rest of us think.!