Temper problems

[u][/u]I think I have a problem with my temper. These days, whenever something even mildly upsets me, I fly into a screaming rage. It happens before I can control it; I flip out. I know I should be calm and rational, and put my arguments across like a sensible adult, but a rage inside me bubbles up and spills out. As soon as I realise, I feel ashamed of myself. It usually happens when I’m, say, watching the news, but I’ve done it with Lyn more than once now, so it has to stop.

David Icke

David Icke should have stuck to keeping goal. Someone, who I won’t name here, recently introduced me to him. I thought I’d be respectful and see if there is anything in what he says, but the more I watch and read, the more appalled I am with this two-cent conman. It is clear that he merely rehashes widespread knowledge about stuff like september 11, and uses it as a segway into his own brand of baseless bulshit. That 9/11 was an inside job is almost common knowledge as demonstrated by people like Michael Moore, but Icke presents it as if for the first time, linking it then to his garbled ideas about some kind of new world order, using the former as evidence for the latter. What worries me more, however, is the way he claims his ideas as some kind of awareness or ‘being awake’, as if not to agree with him is somehow to remain unaware or one of the ‘sheeple’. I find that frankly insulting: I am very much aware. At university – which Icke baselessly claims just churn out unthinking drones conditioned to just give the ‘right’ answers – I was taught to think critically, to base arguments on evidence and to question everything. In academia there is no such thing as a right answer, just arguments for and against; yet Icke presents academics as repressing critical thought, as they are part of his ‘global elite’. I am perfectly aware, and awake enough to see through his trick. Not to agree with Icke does not make one a sheep, but precisely the opposite.

Somewhat rhzomically, when one starts to analyse what Icke is saying, he is as right-wing as the fascist new world order he claims to be railing against. He says he is for free speech and new ideas, yet I get the impression that he brands anyone who does not agree with him as ‘unaware of the truth’. He links things like the war in Iraq to the rise of political correctness on the grounds that it allowed government too become more powerful, thus using an unpopular war to promote his own rather right wing ideas. Like the very neocons he professes to oppose, he hates anything to do with the state, free trade, global warming and so on. Thus he is performing quite a devious con, tricking ordinarily liberal people into agreeing with his brand of conservatism. They might believe that he is encouraging free thought, but he represses it; then they brand anyone who dares to question him as part of the unenlightened masses. In a way he is not unlike an evangelical preacher, using their own distorted form of religion as a vehicle for their own intolerant ideas, claiming to speak in the name of tolerance and love yet branding anyone who speaks against them blasphemous or unenlightened. And all the while throughout his lectures, Icke constantly refers to his own books, as if selling them – what more proof that he is just a cheap little con-man can there be? He sets himself up as some kind of messianic man of the people, standing up against some huge global conspiracy, when in fact he’s a self-promoting con man out to spread his own brand of right-wing bull and make huge amounts of money in the process. He has given a tool of the religious right a secular makeover in order to gain control over people; many seem to have fallen for him, and I find that very worrying indeed.

They have to go

Things cannot be allowed to continue as we are. We cannot be forced to endure five years of this. It has been a week when, despite calling back all their toffy-nosed friends to vote for them, tory economic plans were defeated in the lords. Even the peers couldn’t stomach the barbarity of what CaMoron and Osbourne were plotting: thousands would have been left struggling to feed themselves. Faced with such a defeat, the tories now plan revenge on the lords – rather than admit they were wrong, like a child having a tantrum they plan to hit back at the lords. At least for the time being the tax credit cuts have been halted, but it is becoming clearer and clearer that this group of privileged insults to humanity is unfit to rule. Something has to be done: there must be some mechanism whereby the people of this country can legally force an election. I know I keep saying this, but the tories have to go.

Becoming Bulletproof

According to this Guardian article, a new documentary film out soon in the States is about disabled people’s under representation in the film industry. A matter of long concern in disability culture, we still only get 1% of screentime. ”At a time when people with disabilities continue to be woefully underrepresented or employed in film and TV, either in front of or behind the camera, Becoming Bulletproof compels its audiences to think differently about disability. But it also indirectly challenges those involved in the entertainment industry to reassess the contributions disabled people can make.” It’s about time such a documentary was made: while things are improving, the new era we were promised at the paralympics, with a crip on every tv show, didn’t seem to materialise. While I know a lot of good people myself included, in my own small way – are working hard to redress this unbalance, hopefully Becoming Bulletproof will give the issue the extra exposure it needs.

Spectre

I had to go – the temptation was just too great. I couldn’t wait. Last night after dinner I went to the cinema and saw it. I have seen SPECTRE! And the first thing I have to say is, Daniel Craig has to do more bonds – HAS TO. He was excellent last night, in a truly excellent film. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into detail, but Spectre mixes elements of Craig’s contemporary Bond, with it’s concern with contemporary issues, with elements classic Bond from the Connerry and Moore eras. It fuses them seamlessly, and the result is a joy to watch. There are evocations of From Russia With Love with it’s train sequence, and Goldfinger, with it’s whit cat; these are fused perfectly with the things we’ve come to expect from the craig-era Bond. I was over the moon last night as I left the cinema – Sam Mendes has done it again. Spectre is a true treat, especially for bond fans. The only problem is, I really want to watch it again, to get more out of it, as I think it’s the type of film which is even better on the second viewing. With the cinema only a bus ride away, I think I just might.

Furious at greer

I was just watching the Victoria Derbyshire program while waiting for my Monday morning shower, and heard something that made me furious. They just reported that germaine greer has followed up her recent comments with a string of abject, intolerant bile which makes your jaw drop. Crap like ”transwomen are just men who seek attention”. When I wrote about her joining ukip, I was kind of joking, but what I just heard goes way beyond the shit they spout into plain insult. Greer has made me furious, and I want the bitch stripped of any academic award she may have fooled people into giving her. To call her a professor mocks all real professors – she is just an egotistical bigot spouting shit to gain attention, and has nothing sensible to contribute to the discourse.

A profound and beautiful sign of the passing of time.

You realise time is passing when your old university friends post things like this on their blogs. It’s written by Nicky and is addressed to her infant son, containing warnings to him such as ” It is not exciting to pick random bits off the floor and eat them ‘just to see if you can’ and I don’t find it funny when you put an entire banana in your mouth and nearly choke on it.” I’m flagging it up because it made me go ‘aww’, and because it’ll probably strike a chord with both my mum, and my brother Mark and Kat – and for that matter any new parent reading this – who are probably having similar tribulations. To think: not long ago I was going to discos and parties with friends like Nicky, and now they’re writing things like this. What a profound and beautiful sign of the passing of time.

So, Germaine, when did you join UKIP?

As the partner of a transwoman, I must say I’m appalled to have just found this: ”Australian-born academic and writer Germaine Greer has said that in her opinion, transgender women are ‘not women’. She also claims that ‘a great many women’ who are not transgender think transgender women – who she refers to as ‘male to female transgender people’ – do not ‘look like, sound like or behave like women’.” I am staggered to hear such bigotry from this so-called academic. Hiding behind

”free speech” (hmm, where have we heard that defence before?) she says that, in her opinion, male-to-female transpeople cannot be considered true women. Well, Germaine, my fiancee is every bit a woman as any other. What Greer says amounts to bigotry; it clings to the very gender binaries which entrap so many – to distinctions of black and white and nothing in between. Her tone is identical to the shit UKIP spout, making me wonder whether she intends to join their moronic ranks. Frankly I expected better from someone so well educated; you expect to hear such reductive, intolerant tosh from idiots like Farage, but not someone who claims to be so familiar with oppression.

Who has the authority to write ‘our’ history

I just came across this interesting article from the disability news service. Disability activists fear a ‘whitewash’ after Leonard Cheshire Disability was awarded £300,000 to set up a project on the history of disabled people. Activists say that, given Leonard cheshire’s own rather checkered past, it does not have the authority to write such a history. The question I’d ask in response is, ”well, who does?”

There’s no denying Leonard Cheshire’s past. Like Scope they ran homes which virtually incarcerated disabled people like prisoners; one still hears stories of the horrors that went on in such places. This award is like paying a guard to write the history of his own prison – of course he’ll want to cast himself as a hero when in fact he is one of the villains.

On the other hand, I have to ask, who has the authority to write such a history? I daresay there are as many disability histories as there are people with disabilities. We are all unique, we all have different stories to tell; we are not a fixed, easily defined group of people. My fear is, certain ‘activists’ – you know, the pushy types – will endeavour to see to it that this ‘history’ is written how they see it, while other voices get pushed aside. While I hope anyone writing this history will research it thoroughly, there are certain voices within our movement whom I fear won’t be satisfied until it is told their way, reflecting their personal experience of disability. I see our movement already becoming dominated by such people.

Any history of disabled people will always be fraught with such concerns. I don’t know if anyone is in an ideal position to write it. What is certain, though, is that it is not a non user-led charity like Leonard Cheshire.

The invitation

For all my political bravado, for all my showing off, for all my anti-tory ranting on here, the moment I receive an invitation forwarded to me by my colleagues at GAD to attend a EHRC meeting up in Westminster on november the third, I get all shy. Precisely such an invitation came to my inbox last night: ”It gives me great pleasure to invite you to a participatory stakeholder meeting between the Equality & Human Rights Commissions’ Disability Committee and stakeholders working on Young People’s issues to be held at the EHRC London office”. This is big, serious, and I cannot dick about. I genuinely feel quite nervous.

Updates on this to come.