This is not a test. Unless it is, and no one told me so I haven't revised, which means I'm going to fail. Thanks for that.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Someone said something

I wanted to say this, but didn't know how:

Who will persuade us to act? However strong the opposition parties' policies appear to be, they cannot be sustained unless the voters move behind them. We won't be prompted by the media. The BBC drops Planet Relief for fear of breaching its impartiality guidelines: heaven forbid that it should come out against mass death. But it broadcasts a programme - Top Gear - that puts a match to its guidelines every week, and now looks about as pertinent as the Black and White Minstrel Show.

The schedules are crammed with shows urging us to travel further, drive faster, build bigger, buy more, yet none of them are deemed to offend the rules, which really means that they don't offend the interests of business or the pampered sensibilities of the Aga class. The media, driven by fear and advertising, are hopelessly biased towards the consumer economy and against the biosphere.


From the Guardian CIF

Silver Fox


This morning

Mr comes in through the door (he's been out 'running')
I am making my lunch

Me: I have 3 grey hairs, I am old
Mr: I like it

Ok, that's a really small vignette.
But wasn't he quick on the appropriate response?
I was expecting a bit of ribbing at least.

3 grey hairs. I'm 24.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Disability and the right to sex

There's an article on the BBC website today about a young wheelchair bound male who's first sexual experience was bought in a Spanish brothel.

The article is framed around the question of acceptability for disabled people to visit brothels. So it's not all good - this is pretty patronising. It implies disabled people need special treatment because they are so unattractive they cannot express their sexuality without help or intervention.

I was surprised to read that somewhere this is believed to be true - there is a scheme in the Netherlands where a voluntary group provides sexual services for disabled people. Apparently most clients pay for 'the sex' themselves but some local authorities subsidise the service. That's kind of like sex on the NHS, right?

My own thoughts on prostitution; I am struggling to come to any real conclusion. On the one hand I would be instantly put off someone if I knew they had visited a prostitute. However that is just a personal reaction. It doesn't necessarily mean I think prostitution should be illegal.

It is often suggested that the majority of sex workers get into the profession as a last resort, or a response to factors they cannot control. I would interpret this to mean they had little power over their position, eg. they need to be there to make a living. So I tend to support criminalisation those who buy sex - as they are in the position of power in the transaction. I think this concept can, and is, applied to other situations of imbalanced power in supply and demand exchanges as well (eg drug dealers vs buyers).

I do believe that our patriarchal and capitalist system perpetuates a society in which prostitution can happen, and if this was to be broken down, the attitudes that allow and create a 'need' for it would not exist.

Anyway, there are some great quotes in the piece, for example counselling psychologist Simon Parritt, "I think everybody has the right to a sexual identity," but "I don't think everybody has the right to sex with another person. That involves somebody elses rights."

Anna Bowden, of Eaves, a group that helps vulnerable women,"We reject the view that men have a right to sex." I guess by 'men' she means 'people'. After all, women buy sex too - or maybe they have a right!

Cari Mitchell, of the English Collective of Prostitutes, "Prostitution is consenting sex between adults." This could be the last word on the matter if it was the case each and every time. But in reality, it's not.

There are some really interesting comments on the feature too, from disabled, celibate by circumstances, as well as able bodied sexually active people.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Small victories

Today I logged onto the work intranet to find a notice promoting the Alpha course - dodgy propaganda filled Christan conversion course - depending on who's advice you heed.
Inappropriate for work - right?

So I emailed them to tell them so.
My small victory - they're removing the notice.

People power!

Also, I am thinking of going 'undercover' on this course for a Subtext article. Call the emergency services if I'm not back by 9 ;o)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pig-la-ta pics

Bert and Ernie (or Bertram and Ernest to use their Sunday names) have grown so big. I've had them nearly a year now and they are weird mixture of indoor pet that's conditioned to know the kitchen is where the food comes from and wild animal roaming and foraging around their habitat.

Here are some recent pics. The first one is taken from the kitchen. They're standing outside their house to get a better view of the food they're hoping is coming their way (you can just see the green fabric in the bottom right, that's in front of their hutch.)

The hutch.
Below is a pic taken just after we got them, see what I mean about them getting so big!

Seam stress

Today I am wearing this dress for work.
Please excuse the headless/footless photo.
My hand looks all boney and evil, doesn't it?

I made it from my own design!!
I was really simple, just 4 pieces of fabric.

It is already lunchtime and it hasn't fallen apart yet. I brought a back up dress in my bag just in case.

I have another dress design in my head, and some £1 fabric I bought from college with which to make it. (This new crafty me is due to a college course I enrolled on called 'fashion wear' that's all about how to make your own clothes).

I quite like the idea of making clothes out the the scraps of older stuff that you don't wear anymore. This is probably the reserve of the more accomplished seamstress (I have been to the sum total of 4 classes so far), but maybe I'll try it soon. I have loads of bits of old t shirt fabric to play with.

On a related note, has anyone heard of the brown dress project? The artist made and wore the same brown dress everyday for a year in a response to our culture of consumption. And then after the year was over she embarked on another year long project, only wearing clothes she had made herself from fabric she already owned (including other items of clothing). She had to give up on home made shoes though since hers fell apart.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday afternoons

Friday afternoons should be moved from the end of the working week to the first bit of the weekend. Imagine, finishing work at 1pm on a Friday (let's make it 1 so as not to dent productivity too badly).

This afternoon I would have had a sleep.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Whatta write about?

So, the contributions deadline for issue 5 is drawing close and I haven't begun to think about writing an article. Sure, I have begun editing and compiling articles from super efficient and excellent contributors, but not really given my own writing any thought.

Any ideas people?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Don't tell my arms, my achey breaky arms...

I am an achey breaky person today. All over.

'Tis due to a caving excursion over the weekend involving a day of SRT training (single rope technique - that's climbing and descending ropes with gadgets to the non caver) and another day of using practised skills in cave called 'Lost John's'.

There were 5 pitches to abseil down, one of which required you to swing in through a 'window' onto a ledge. And 3 pitches to ascend on the way out (because it was a through trip rather than going back the way you went in). The first pitch of ascent was over 70 ft and was thoroughly knackering.

I feel, and look, like I've been in a fight. Bruiser.

I should have taken my camera.