Take us home, mighty river

Take us home, mighty river.

East, into the reflected sunset

Her last rays glint off the buildings

Shining and guiding us homeward

As the city prepares to sleep once more.

Yet the river flows as it ever has done

Night and day. Constant and eternal Take us home

So….

As a rule I don’t lie to be picky over language. In fact I see myself as a linguistic liberal. I realise that language is constantly evolving and therefore has no absolute rules. Yet earlier, watching the news, I heard an american medic give a news conference where he began every sentence with the word ‘So’. Literally every sentence. The first few times I could forgive; then it started to get irritating; then I yelped with exasperation every time he began a sentence. Given this was a doctor, I began to fear for the English language.

Kermode on ‘Into Darkness’

I think I might as well just flag this Star Trek themed short piece by Dr. Mark Kermode up. In it he talks about the forthcoming Trek film, of course, but also interestingly touches upon star trek’s place in culture and it’s impact. He also makes reference to fan-fictions relation to that impact, particularly about how so much fanfic picks up upon the kirk and spock binary. While I don’t discuss that binary, much of what he says relates to my academic work: in a way it is part of the very discourse I discuss in my thesis. Very interesting stuff then, and worth a watch. I must say, too, that I still can’t wait to watch Star Trek into darkness!

I would simply have thrown her body into the river.

On days like today one is supposed to be respectful of the dead. Whatever one’s views, we are told, we are supposed to put aside our differences and mourn the deceased. Well, I for one refuse to be a hypocrite; I refuse to stifle my conscious and dance to the Tory tune. To hell with respect, to hell with thatcher! We just watched as thousands lined the streets in reverence to a woman who ruined lives and livelihoods; who destroyed industries and with them the towns which relied upon them; who said there was no such thing as society.

That means, by the way, exactly what the left took it to mean, despite Richard Chartres’ fatuous protestation that that wasn’t what she actually meant. Thatcher, like those on the right in general, perceive humanity as a collection of individuals: everyone should care only for themselves, greed and selfishness are good, and the poor and week are so through their own ineptitude, and therefore should be left to starve. Chartres’ crap about Thatcher actually valuing interdependence is no more than the rewriting of history; an attempt to make an essentially heartless woman seem more caring. If she really believed in society, why did she do so much damage to the welfare state? Why did she lower tax and nurture a greed-is-good culture in the banks, thereby sewing the seeds of our current crisis? Why is her name synonymous with greed, selfishness and everything bad about capitalist neoliberalism?

For it is, and thus to see this woman who did so much harm being lorded and praised, given a state funeral costing ten million quid at a time when those on benefit are starving, makes me feel sick. Frankly, I’m disappointed there weren’t more protests. This country is hurting right now due to the tories, so to see the arch tory get such a send off, as if she did no harm, sickens me. I would simply have thrown her body into the river.

I should have just emailed

While you might well be right to say it was a bit of a waste of time, given that I didn’t achieve what I set out to, I feel I just came in from a glorious walk. I’m currently looking for activities with which to occupy myself – Lyn has her music and the Paraorchestra, so I think I need to hav soe sort of occupation apart from reading and blogging too. With that in mind, today I had the idea of going up to London and investigating it’s famous film school: perhaps courses there would e more hands on and activity-oriented. I have recently felt the need to go out there and start making stuff, doing stuff, rather than just tapping away at my keyboard for hours on end.

thus this afternoon I set out. first I headed for the local bus stop, boarded a 53 bound for whitehall, and instantly realised it was going to be a long afternoon. There were two prams in the wheelchair space. The driver asked the west-indian guardians to move them, as per the signage, but they misheard him and thought he was asking them to get off the bus altogether. You should have heard he argument that ensued – I felt so embarrassed I almost got off and headed home. I felt like hiding, and fixed my eyes to my Ipad for most of the trip.

I was still wondering what ‘bloodclart’ means when we got up into the city. In Parliament Square, of course, they were busy preparing for tomorrow. Strangely, it felt like the build-up to the olympics all over again, for there was the same sense of activity and anticipation, albeit under ver different circumstances. Not wishing to dally, though, I rolled on, down the now-quite-familiar whitehall, across trafalgar square, towards here google maps said the London Film School should be. It took me some time to find, and when I found it I was rather disappointed. I had rather expected a quite grand building, but the entrance to the London film school, it turns out, is no more than a normal looking door in a normal looking building. A door which, even more disappointingly, was quite firmly locked for the Easter break. I had trundled all the way up there for nothing.

Nothing, that is, apart from a great walk in central London. She looked glorious today, in the spring sun. Before I came home, I had a look round Parliament square, at all the statues, journalists and armed police. Then, not wanting a repeat of my inward journey, I took the tube home, resolving to do the sensible but boring thing and email the film school instead.

steriophonics

To my great relief, today I got my chair back, so I went to school and then for a walk. I had missed my flaneur-like strolls, but I didn’t go far: I just trundled up to the o2, where I noticed a poster for a steriophonics gig in october. I didn’t know whether Lyn likes them, but I know how she loves all music, and knowing too how quickly tickets for such gigs sell, I went ahead and bought tickets. Of course, I told her when I got back, and was met with a huge grin! Happy day, and we now have a gig to look forward to. Man, how I love living in this city, where one can stroll along ad buy tickets for a supergroup as if hey were a band playing at a local pub.

David Attenborough should have been in the olympic opening ceremony

I was thinking the other day that pretty much my only real criticism of the Olympic ceremonies is that none of them involved Sir David Attenborough. They still fascinate me, believe it or not; they matter as we won’t have another chance to show off to the world like that again for a very long time. They were an oportunity to show the entire world what we can do, and for the most part I think danny Boyle and his fellow directors did an excellent job. Yet if I had directed it, I would have included David Attenborough in there somewhere: watching this and this just now reminded me what a national treasure Attenborough is. He has a great intellect and is fascinating to listen to. I do think he should have been included in last year’s festivities. Mind you, that raises the question, what could he have done? He is above all a documentary-maker and storyteller, more suited to talking and discussing than performing in such spectaculars. Perhaps that’s why Boyle left him out, but I still think it was a shame this great man was not included. And I also think that if Thatcher is getting a state funeral, David Attenborough will deserve one too, when the time comes.

Ten years of ill-informed rambling!

Today marks ten years since I started blogging; a full decade since I wrote this entry. Blimey – that’s quite a achievement when you think about it. I know I’m not the best of bloggers: I’m not particularly astute, and I don’t always have anything interesting to write about, but I think I’ve written one or two reasonable entries over the years. I have made an effort to keep it up, which, considering most blogs are only active for a few months, is something to be proud of. Indeed, today also marks six months, give or take, since I missed a day: although I might soon return to posting an entry at least every two days, I reckon this is my longest ‘chain’ of consecutive entries. That’s also quite an achievement, I think.

In a way, this website is a record of my life over the last ten years it’s highs and lows, it’s achievements and follies. It has indeed been quite a decade: my first entries were written in my old bedroom at my parents house; then I blogged from my room at uni; now I blog from my little office in the house I share with the woman will one day marry (on that note, congratulations are due to my good friend from uni, Chris, who is getting married to day). I don’t know why, but something compels me to keep it up, to come in here and type out my innermost thoughts for the world to see. While that compulsion has got me into trouble once or twice, I can’t see it abating, so all being well I’ll probably be blogging for at least another decade.

Bedding Out

I wouldn’t be much of a disability blogger if I failed to flag this piece of protest ar up. ‘Bedding Out’ is an interesting piece of performance art by Roaring Girl, drawing attention to the realities of life for many people with disabilities. s Liz Crow says, ”It is the peddling of myths about disabled people and those in poverty that bear no relation to our lives as they really are. It is the notion of us, in and out of paid work, as feckless and shiftless, fraudster and scrounger, as workshy and morally bankrupt that ignores the many influences of a person’s capacity to work and sets us aside as ‘other’.”

Check it out while you can!

Why we should all stay home next wednesday

I was going to let my entry yesterday stand as the last entry I’d write about thatcher, at least until next week, but last night it occurred to me that the tories appear to have decided to try to use her death to their advantage. As I noted on Tuesday, she is a highly politicised figure: given that those on the left are using the occasion of thatcher’s death to show the damage she and the tories did, those on the right are trying to do the exact opposite. That is to say the tories are trying to turn her death to their advantage, using it to celebrate conservatism; they are trying to make Thatcher out to be some kind of great patriotic hero.

We can se this in the way CaMoron recalled parliament yesterday, at great expense to the taxpayer, and in the fact that she is getting a state funeral in all but name: the tories are trying to turn her death into some grand state occasion. Nothing would please CaMoron more than the image of thousands lining the streets next Wednesday for her send off, as it would allow him to claim he and his party has support, that they are heirs to a national hero, and so on. In other words, the tories stand to make enormous political capital from the pomp and ceremony of the state funeral of one of their heroes, as then they could suggest she was our hero too, and that opposition to her, and thus them, is smaller than it actually is.

What we need to do, then, is ignore the entire affair. Rather than going and protesting, nobody should go at all. Riotous protests can too easily be ignored, but imagine what a bold, infinitely more profound image it would send if her hearse has to pass through empty, deserted streets. Two years ago, I wrote rather foolishly that the disabled community should boycot the Paralympics i order to send a message to the government. Obviously that was never going to happen, but now we have an even better opportunity: I get the impression that the tories want this to be an occasion like the olympics, where everyone comes together as one nation, but in order to honour one of their heroes rather than to celebrate an international sporting event. They surely aim to foster a similar level of patriotic emotion, but one which is to their advantage. Of course, the mood will be entirely different, but they are seeking to generate the same kind of nationalistic fervour, the same kind of nationalistic imagery with crowds lining the streets, but with a pro-government, pro-tory accent. What if they were denied such images? what if the streets are simply deserted next Wednesday? can you imagine a starker message of opposition to thatcherism, toryism, and thatcher’s current manifestations?