We can now view the arguments of ukip and other anti-EU parties as effectively dead. According to this Guardian article, the Lords recently produced a report which essentially found no evidence that the European Union interfered with, or had any bearing on, our lives. ”In a hugely damaging move for the government, the European Union Committee of the House of Lords, chaired by former Tory minister Lord Boswell, comes close to saying that ministers tried to cover up the findings, which do not support David Cameron’s claims that the EU is ‘becoming a state’ and has already accrued excessive powers.” Predictably, of course, the tories tried to bury this report as it essentially scuppers their arguments for ‘clawing powers back from the nasty EU’; that argument has been clearly shown to have no foundation in reality, and thus, as I’ve said all along, essentially boils down to a form of xenophobia.
I’m very glad I came across this article. I can see no evidence of the story on the bbc website, although perhaps it will be on the Daily Politics later. It needs to be spread widely, exposing as it does the lies of Farage and everyone who hates our European partners.
Today I began to work on my Masters thesis again. I know I submitted it a year ago, and it passed, but recently I began to go back to it and jazz it up. It is the longest thing I’ve ever written, and I’m very proud of it; but it recently occurred to me that there is no reason why I can’t now put it to further use. I can now start to play with it, inserting pictures and extra text. The original is about 40,000 words of plain prose; I now want to make it brighter with all sorts of funky things which illustrate the points I make. I can also make extra points, such as noting the pretty undeniable relatedness of the opening of The Spy who Loved – one of my cinephiliac moments which I look at in my thesis’ fourth chapter – to Happy and Glorious: the fact that Boyle chose to echo the union jack-emblazoned parachute first used in the 1977 Bond film at the 2012 olympic opening ceremony is something I find almost perpetual joy in.
At first this seemed just a fun, yet pretty pointless, idea; but thinking about it, it aligns pretty well with my current projects at the RIX Centre. That too concerns finding different ways of expressing academic concepts through multimedia. Thus I think I’ll continue to work on what I’m calling the ‘playdraft’ of my masters, just to see where it leads. Given such postmodern eclecticism seems to be where things are leading generally, I have a feeling this experiment could eventually become something quite fruitful.
While I know my last few entries have been rather shortish, and it’s high time I wrote something with a bit more body, today I’ll just flag this up. It’s a rather excellent Speech by Francesca Martinez – one of my favourite comedians and disability rights activists – about how we all need to escape the consumerist, dehumanising and fragmenting nature of contemporary society. She expresses herself well, and although I suspect some might dismiss what she says as whishy-washy lefty-liberal claptrap, much of what she says resonates with me. She is definitely right when she says we must all stop worrying about what society may or may not think of us, for such concerns simply hold one back.
Linking to a trailer seems like using my blog to do the work of the advertisers, but this has me very, very excited indeed. The trailer for Spectre came out last night; I was counting down the seconds to 11.45. When I saw it, I was immediately intrigued and left itching to watch the film -which is, of course, exactly what a teaser trailer is supposed to do. Mr. White, the villain from Casino Royale, is back, but what is his relationship with Spectre, and who are those guys in the shadows? I know, as a proper cinephile, that I’m not supposed to succumb to such hype; I’m supposed to be immune to and above this marketing. Yet I can’t help it – Bond is back…again, and I’m squealing with glee like a ten year old. What would Alan or Dave, my old film lecturers, say? Nevertheless, I can’t wait till december to see this film.
The journalist in me thinks I should be doing some sort of analysis of last night’s debate between CaMoron and Miliband, but I don’t know whether I can add anything. Both men said what we all knew they would say: miliband performed slightly better than I expected, but simply laid out what we already knew to be his philosophies, save with a little more passion. CaMoron trotted out the same old neoliberal, arrogant tripe, still bragging about lowering tax as if it was something honourable, and not the perpetuation of greed. In short, last night did not change my opinions one iota, and therefore I cannot say much about it. Perhaps I’ll have more to say on the coming debates. That remains to be seen, though, so for now I’ll leave it there.
It has been quite a cool afternoon. I was just in a really interesting meeting with some colleagues from rix, but didn’t have to leave my desk. Rather than physically going to meet each other, we decided to hold our meeting using Facebook’s chat facility. It suited everyone given we live all over the country, yet for me it had an additional bonus: for once, I was communicating like everyone else. Where others usually talk, I type as it were. But today we were all typing, so everyone was on the same level, constrained by the same rules. It felt great. On top of that, it was a really productive meeting, fruitful in terms of ideas and actions. I now have a few things to think about and look into. In all, then, a great afternoon.
I defy anyone to tell me that this is not awesome. A punk band made up of musicians with learning disabilities is to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. They are called PKN; I just gave a listen, and they sound very much like the type of old-school rock band I love. Give this a spin, for example. They might have autism and down syndrome, they might be middle-aged, but these guys can rock! I only came across them this afternoon, but I think I’m a fan. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on them. Surely this is yet another example of disability arts coming into the mainstream. I’d be interested to see whether they have any upcoming gigs in London, or whether we could get them together with the Paraorchestra.
Quite why cerebral palsy needs an ‘awareness day’ is still unclear to me, but the internet just reminded me that 25th march is cp awareness day. According to the website about it, ”World CP Day is a global innovation project to change the world for people living with cerebral palsy and their families. It is designed to gather ideas from people around the world and make the best of those ideas a reality.” Frankly, though, it just seems like a marketing tool for transnational charities; a gimmick designed to draw attention to their ‘good work’. People with cp don’t need a day: they need year-round support to live their lives as they wish. That requires government support via a solid welfare state, not the patronising and repressive interference of charity; and we certainly do not need any puerile gimmicks which benefit only charities. In short, world cp day is a tool charities use to draw attention and cudos for themselves by claiming to help people like me, but I for one do not want to be used.
The beeb announced this evening that the upgrades to the London underground have been delayed, and that updates to theDistrict, Circle, Metropolitan and
Hammersmith & City lines will not be in lace until 2021. While the tfl website does not state it specifically, I assume – I [i]hope[/i] – that such improvements include making all the trains and stations accessible. If that is so, then tonight’s news is very disappointing. I love London and it’s fascinating, labyrinthine public transport system, but it frustrates me that I can’t go everywhere I’d like to on it. There are still large parts of the city I have not yet seen; but I was being patient, telling myself that pretty soon all the lines and stations will be open to me, as they are to everyone else. To hear that that day has been delayed is gravely disappointing.
My dilemma over what to type here today has suddenly, vehemently been resolved. I just turned on the 6pm news. CaMoron has announced that he is not planning to stand for a third term, no doubt wanting to sound wise and magnanimous. How nausiating! If you ask me, the p’tahk shouldn’t even have had a first time, having not earned a majority. As it is, he should be answering for the suffering he and his party have caused. For him to assume he deserves a third term but would graciously decline it, being the benevolent, wise public servant he obviously thinks he is, boils my blood. Yet tonight, he was on TV, casually clothed and doing the ‘normal guy’ act, making assumptions and insinuations he has no right to make. When I think of what this man has done, what he stands for and the suffering he has caused, this act of sheer arrogance is too much to stomach.