Archive for March 2010
I follow the BBC’s RSS news feed. The format is on of headline, followed by a single sentence summarising the story. This is quite useful, because most of the time I can read the summary and decide I don’t care enough to read the full report.
However, sometimes the single sentence is so context-dependent that it makes no sense.
For instance, one of today’s stories reads: “Duncan Bannatyne accuses fellow dragon and non-dom James Caan of having an “unfair” advantage in business.”
On deeper consideration, I realise that this means “Duncan Bannatyne accuses James Caan of having an unfair advantage in business. Both men (or just James Caan; it’s not clear) are registered as non-domiciled for tax purposes and appear on the television show Dragon’s Den as investors.”
It’s remarkably unclear. “Dragon” is a real word that has its own meaning. It might be used in one particular television program to mean “intimidating investors,” but if you don’t make it clear that that’s what you mean, I’m going to read “dragon” as “large fire-breathing reptile”. Similarly, “non-dom” is almost meaningless. The two rich men are, presumably, not doms. Not dominoes? Not called Dominic? Not members of a particular ethnicity? I’m guessing “non-domiciled for tax purposes” is what’s meant simply because there’s been a lot of talk about that particular legal status recently.
Come on, BBC. This is not doing your job properly.
When the war in Iraq started they told us there were weapons there. Big, scary weapons, with scary angry people holding the triggers. They were going to kill us! Kill us all! And then make us into slaves and change our language!
And it was all nonsense. Even those of us who opposed the war at the start didn’t know then as we do now: there were never any weapons. There was never really any belief that there were weapons. It was a lie.
And they keep telling that lie. The Government doesn’t say there are weapons any more, but it keeps pretending that we had a good reason to kill all those people, that we have a good reason to send our troops there still and kill more people. Why do we stand for this?
America went to war with Iraq to satisfy its need to be the biggest and scariest country in the world. Britain went to war with Iraq to satisfy its need to be the favoured ally of the biggest and scariest nation n the world. But that’s not a good enough reason and it’s an even worse reason to keep fighting.
Pull the troops out. Bring them home. Stop killing Iraqis in the cause of enforcing freedom. You cannot kill your way to a cohesive state. Remove all the foreign soldiers from Iraq and let the Iraqi people make their own choices. Yes, it will be hard and cruel and brutal for a while. But that will be an improvement, becase right now it’s hard and cruel and brutal and under foreign occupation.
Yes, ending the Iraq War would be political suicide. But, Mr Brown, and all your colleagues: your political success matters nothing compared to the millions of people who have died and will die for your war of lies.
You know your living situation is untenable when:
You do not feel safe using your kitchen
You do not feel safe using your living room
You cannot be certain that being in your room with the door shut will prevent someone from greeting you through the door when they realise you are home, or from repeating that greeting when you do not respond.
A single occurence of the above continues to elicit anger and fear two weeks later.
If you should happen to be curled up with a laptop in the living room and you hear the front door opening, you hurriedly put on your headphones and turn some music on, in case it’s THEM and in the slim hope that ‘listening to music’ will, for once, be read as ‘unavailable for small talk’.
You have given up trying to play video games because they can only be played in the living room and the living room is full of THEM.
The living room is always full of THEM, which makes it unavailable to you.
Even when THEY are not in fact in the living room, you cannot feel settled in the living room unless you are sure that they are in another city, because THEY might come back at any point and then the living room will be full of THEM.
You ccannot speak about sex, money, politics, poverty, health, food, RPGs, education or many other things without the conversation being derailed by irrelevancies or crying fits.
You do not dare confront your housemate about anything whatsoever for fear of her ever-present boyfriend.
THAT tone of voice said boyfriend always uses to greet you, along with the little wave both of them use, provokes a kill response.
Mention of your housemates makes you physically flinch.
You find yourself reading selfishness or attention-seeking into every single thing THEY do.
I’m not entirely well right now, so today’s post is a collection of interesting things, some good and others very bad.
First of all, the Quakers are awesome people. At their national meeting last summer, they agreed to treat same sex and opposite sex relationships in the same way, and to hold religious same-sex marriages in their meeting houses.
“…We are being led to treat same sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite sex marriages, reaffirming our central insight that marriage is the Lord’s work and we are but witnesses. The question of legal recognition by the state is secondary.
We therefore ask Meeting for Sufferings to take steps to put this leading into practice and to arrange for a draft revision of the relevant sections of Quaker faith and practice, so that same sex marriages can be prepared, celebrated, witnessed, recorded and reported to the state, as opposite sex marriages are.“
Further to that, it has now become legal to perform civil partnerships in religious settings. It’s not as good as proper marriage equality, but it’s a good thing.
A woman in the UK has been imprisoned for making a false accusation of rape. The BBC reports this without question:
“A woman from Gloucestershire who falsely claimed to have been raped has been sentenced to two years in prison,“
but since they go on to state:
“On one occasion, she was found naked from the waist down with gaffer tape over her mouth and her hands tied behind her,“
I have serious doubts about the way the police handled this case (remember when they killed someone last year?) and think I’ll avoid reporting any rape I suffer to the police.
Via The F-Word Blog.