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PROPER Novels Concerning BIG THEMES.

Aug. 28th, 2014 | 12:04 pm

Hello livejournal! I am still here, although not very active. This was just too too wonderful not to post.

Early on my relationship with Liadnan we had roughly the following conversation:

Me: I have never really been able to get into Hemingway
Liadnan: Hemingway very overrated and was also a complete shit. I much prefer Dorothy Sayers. And Georgette Heyer.

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Good Friday

Apr. 6th, 2012 | 01:46 pm

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.
Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.
My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.
For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.
My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

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(no subject)

Mar. 8th, 2012 | 02:25 pm
mood: cheerfulcheerful

A friend's posting on Facebook reminded me of the wonderful Herbert McCabe's comment that:

So long as Christian morality is thought to be mainly about whether and when people should go to bed, no bishops are going to be crucified. And this, as I say, is a shame.

In other news, Radio 4 is right now broadcasting an e-pistolary romance in which the lovers are played by David Tennant and Emilia Clarke. That's right: The Tenth Doctor and Daenerys Targaryen.

ETA: Emilia Fox, not Emilia Clarke, dammit. Still the pictures in my head were fun.

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Religious Material Of Doubtful Merit in Schools.

Feb. 20th, 2012 | 08:03 pm
mood: amusedamused

No, not this.

More like a crossover between Outnumbered and RevCollapse )

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Make Your Own Roofies Part 2

Feb. 12th, 2012 | 04:07 pm
mood: calmcalm

The red mist has cleared. I think that The Hangman Guide To Get Laid merits another look, now that my mind is not blunted by homicidal rage. The thing about homicidal rage is that it doesn't really get you anywhere but a prison cell or a stroke clinic. Not useful.

The really creepy, scary thing about that article is not what it says: it's the things that are implicit in almost every line:
  • First of all, and what should be obvious but perhaps isn't to the Y-chromosome-bearing section of the population*, is that the writer assumes that all his readers are male. It's common but this is a particularly egregious example, because anyone with half a brain should realise that most female readers are going to react to that article with revulsion, anger or fear, or a combination thereof. This does not occur to the man who wrote this piece, because what women think and feel means absolutely nothing to him. It's not even on his radar; I get the impression that it's not so much that he doesn't care, it's that it doesn't occur to him at all because he does not think of women being people in the way that he considers men to be people.
  • Secondly: There is no indication anywhere in that article that the writer sees any distinction between sex and rape. Cooking up a Rohypnol is 'cheaper than the price of a hooker from those phone box flyers'. Rape is just sex, and if you think she's not going to give you what you're entitled to, then get all that inconvenient shit out of the way and just roofie her drink. 
  • Thirdly: The man who wrote this thinks that all men think like he does. The illustration to the article is a picture of a rohypnol molecule with the caption Don't Pretend You're Not On The Phone Right Now To A Chemist To Reverse Engineer This. Guys! Stop pretending to be all caring and preferring to have sex with someone who wants to have sex with you and all that girly crap and just admit that you want the roofies!  Contrary to an opinion popular in certain sections of society, feminists do not think that all men are rapists. The man who wrote this article does.
One further point: yes, the last sentence of the article calls anyone who would contemplate following through on this a waste of oxygen. These are the very last words of the last sentence and do absolutely nothing to mitigate the tone of the whole. It's there as arse-covering, and pretty diaphanous arse-covering at that. 

Having done a little research, I think that a case can be made that the writer of this article has committed an offence under section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007, and tomorrow I intend to report it as such. 

*There are lots of things which assume that the audience/readership is male. If you're a bloke you're not likely to notice it until someone  draws your attention to it. Things specifically addressed to women are framed as being addressed to a niche audience, because being a woman makes you part of a niche audience, but being a man is the default.

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Jan. 7th, 2012 | 01:19 pm
mood: amusedamused

Crossover between a Well-Known Radio Soap and an email promotion received by my spouse:

"As it happens I was already intending to buy two new ones but then I saw that they were on three for two and I realised that of course we could fit in a third Aga if we used it as a planter and besides, Brian, we can always use it as a hutch should we be required to house any more of your wandering member's spawn."

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There they are, the gays, wanting special treatment again.

Dec. 13th, 2011 | 02:36 pm
music: Adeste Fideles

Woman's Hour this morning had a debate on the proposed change to the law which would allow civil partnership ceremonies to be performed in places of worship. That is, should a particular denomination, sect, whatever wish to hold said partnership ceremonies, then they'll be allowed to. Regardless of the Daily Mail's persecution-complex-by-proxy, no-one is about try to force the Catholics, or the Jews, or the Muslims, or the Zoroastrians or the whoevers to conduct GAY WEDDINGS, for much the same reasons that agnostic you and your atheist boyfriend can't get married in the Catholic church round the corner. (Well, not unless at least one of you was baptised, communioned and confirmed as an RC and both of you have the stomach for in-depth Catholic marriage preparation. Also, I think the Church of England's position may be legally different in this, because of it being the state church.) Common opposition to this change is quite often framed in those terms (my mother, fr'ex, reads the Mail On Sunday and is quite convinced that They are about to force my old parish to hold weddings between mustachioed, leather-clad opera fans) but that argument doesn't actually stand up for more than a second in an actual public debate, what with it being completely untrue.

So the other argument that gets trotted out is the one raised this morning on the radio: marriage has a unique place in human history and culture and marriage must be protected.

Except that the first is deeply problematic (Child brides! Forced marriage! Polygyny! Polyandry! Political marriage! Marriage to join estates! Being forced to marry your rapist! The fact that in almost every culture throughout history marriage is a legal contract to do with property!* Add your own thing that is-not-to-do-with-True-Love-Between-One-Man-And-One-Woman!) and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE SECOND PART MEANS. How does allowing civil partnerships to take place in an official place of worship threaten marriage? Are heterosexuals not going to be allowed to get married any more? Are people going to see two men holding hands and exchanging vows in which God is mentioned suddenly going to go "Fuck me, I had intended to marry the love of my life and stay with her/him forever, but now I think I'd rather keep my options open, particularly in regard to Leanne from Accounts Payable"? Answers on a postcard, please, because I really do not see the logical progression there.

Of course, this argument may actually stand for other things: It may stand for 'I think homosexuality is a sin.' Fine. You think homosexuality is a sin. That's up to you. I don't think it is. In fact, I'm sure it's not. Many Unitarians churches, many Quaker houses and many Liberal Synagogues agree with me. They should be allowed to follow their conscience and act accordingly. 

It may stand for a belief that deep love and commitment cannot exist between two men or between two women, and therefore gay couples should not be allowed to make their vows in a holy place, or to invoke God as they make them. In which case, and with the greatest of christian charity, fuck off. I'm quite old-fashioned when it comes to marriage: I do believe absolutely that you should only get married with a whole heart, and to do so without the absolute intention that this is til-death-do-us-part is completely and utterly wrong. Sinful, in fact, if you are taking vows before God. When I see that another-celeb has filed for divorce after six weeks or that whathisname is on his fifth marriage** it makes me quite depressed and a bit angry. So here's an idea: if what you want to do is to protect marriage then we should enforce a compulsory waiting period of a year between engagement and marriage and....make divorce illegal. Except of course, that would be insanely conceived, unworkable and would exact a terrible price of human suffering.

*And Couverture. Do not even get me started on the host of things people invoke when they say 'traditional marriage'.
**What is the point? Really? 

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Oh Lor

Oct. 24th, 2011 | 01:56 pm
mood: gleeful

Well, this is going to piss a lot of people off.  The Vatican (or rather Justitia et Pax - the  Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to the rest of us) has issued its Note On Financial Reform. Some excerpts:

"What has driven the world in such a problematic direction for its economy and also for peace?

 First and foremost, an economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls. Economic liberalism is a theoretical system of thought, a form       of “economic apriorism” that purports to derive laws for how markets function from theory, these being laws of capitalistic development, while exaggerating certain aspects of markets. An economic system of thought that sets down a priori the laws of market functioning and economic development, without measuring them against reality, runs the risk of becoming an instrument subordinated to the interests of the countries that effectively enjoy a position of economic and financial advantage. "

That be pinko talk, you bunch of sandal wearing hippies!

"In the same spirit of Pacem in Terris, Benedict XVI himself expressed the need to create a world political authority. This seems obvious if we consider the fact that the agenda of questions to be dealt with globally is becoming ever longer. Think, for example, of peace and security; disarmament and arms control; promotion and protection of fundamental human rights; management of the economy and development policies; management of the migratory flows and food security, and protection of the environment."

Kin 'ell. Global law? I didn't want to repost the entire section, but what is suggested is an authority growing from a global consensus in which  rich nations and regions have no more say than poor ones. I don't think it's got a chance anytime in the next hundred years, but maybe one day.

And then it recommends:

a) taxation measures on financial transactions through fair but modulated rates with charges proportionate to the complexity of the operations, especially those made on the “secondary” market. Such taxation would be very useful in promoting global development and sustainability according to the principles of social justice and solidarity. It could also contribute to the creation of a world reserve fund to support the economies of the countries hit by crisis as well as the recovery of their monetary and financial system;

Lord. These people are positively unAmerican. I suddenly feel cheerful.*

*NB: To the Vatican. Don't think that we've finished talking about all the other stuff. Also, I think you should have gone with "Lead us not into the time of trial." And whilst we're having this little discussion, where are we on finding Shine Jesus Shine** as Just Too Naff To Be One Of Ours? Thanks.

**I wish to issue a prophylactic apology to the members of my flist who find Shine Jesus Shine to be uplifting and inspiring. Inevitably, you are out there.

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Slightly Puzzled

Oct. 10th, 2011 | 10:21 pm
mood: amusedamused

A comment on the BBC Good Food website:

'Wasn't sure what was meant by 1 anchovy, so used a whole tin'

You weren't sure what was meant by one anchovy? It's....one anchovy. They are small fish. They are discrete units. Do you rock up to weddings and say 'Oh, I wasn't sure what was meant by plus one, so I have brought eighteen friends....and a banjo!' 

Also, I really hope I am never behind you at the Easyjet check-in desk. No, hang on, I have been behind you at the Easyjet check-in desk.

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The Liam Fox Thing

Oct. 10th, 2011 | 05:31 pm
mood: sleepysleepy

It occurred to me when all this got rolling late last week that:

Given the lamentable occurrences of the last few years, one would think that every backbench MP would have it beaten into them by the whips that they must avoid even the appearance of impropriety, never mind a senior cabinet minister engaging in behaviour that appears, at a cursory glance, to suggest abuse of office*.  Even if there has been no abuse of office, I think that Fox should go on the grounds of sheer bloody idiocy.

On the same note: When asked if Werritty had gained financially from the relationship, Fox said that he was  "not dependent on any transactional behaviour" at his MoD meetings "to maintain his income". Which is not quite the same thing, n'est-ce pas? I'm not dependent for my income on the results of the Grand National but I do usually have a pecuniary interest in it.

*At the time I didn't even know that Werritty had business interests in the arms industry.

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