Friday, June 16, 2006

I'm back, sort of...















Ok so we've nearly sorted the house out now and we even have broad band so I should get back into posting a little more regularly after this. In the mean time you can feast your eyes on the fabulous post cards mind the gap have produced as part of our latest campaign.







































Monday, May 08, 2006

We've moved.

It's official, we've finally made the move. All my stuff is in random boxes in random parts of the house and I can't find anything. All is exactly as it should be! I've actually found this process a bit odd, most normal concerns seem to fall by the way side and I've become aware of quite how seductively I've looked at certain, sturdy looking card board boxes. I think k topped it the other day when we were at a friends house and he piped up, in the middle of a conversation, L, that is a rather nice looking box ou have there... we could make you dinner in the new house.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Elections, elections

No suprises, labour got an Arse-kicking and turn out was low. The thing that really got me, (although with hind sight I can give no logical, or even a good illogical reason why) is that Charles Clark got the sack. I mean, he must be pretty pissed off, he gets him self into a mess and offers his resignation, which Tony Blaire refuses, saying he thinks he is 'the best man for the job' and giving him his 'full support.' Then, when the going gets tough, Tony humilaites him by sacking him when what he should be doing is stepping down. What a snake. We'll chalk this one up for his legacy under the 'impressive ability to change his mind to save his bacon colmun'.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Housing update

Apart form just being damn lazy, I actually have an excuse for not blogging much at the moment. We are kind of in the middle of mooving, well painting, varnishing and packing things away, although no actuall full on move, just yet. W moove on Monday, which will be great as we can actually start settling all our stuff back down so that it can re-aquire that healthy layer of dust. Oh yes, I know how to look after my immune system! for the moment half of my life is in boxes, half of it isn't, and I'm not really sure which is which. And I've realised I really need to learn about safe places. You see, I am a classic "I know I put it somewhere safe, I just don't know where that place is kind of person" which is fine until you need to find important things like bank books to change your addresses and stuff like that.

The other thing I heard on the radio this morning, or yesterday morning was that the governement had to make some kind of consession because they were trying to push through a motion which would allow ministers to change the law which would allow ministers to change the law without consulting parliment. What the F**k. I think someone needs have a little talk with Tony to explain the difference between totalitarianism and democracy.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Confessions...

Last night I saw an image of my future self in the swimming pool. She was big and muscular, and very grumpy. She powered up and down the lane, literally ploughing people down in her path and growling at people blocking either end. she was thoroughly scary and I thoroughly understood her rage. My swiming rage is getting worse. It's kind of odd in a way, I was talking with winter recently and we both agreed that in general I do not have enough rage. I'm passive, or phelegmatic, laid back or whatever you want to call it most of the time. Part of the motivation for us to start kickboxing is that I may discover my inner angry bitch. But put me in a swimming pool in a lane with a couple of blokes who swim slower than me and I become rude and agressive. Humm.

I Recently bought some swimming paddels (basically plastic plates that you strap to your hands) to try to increase to power in my arms. I'm pretty pleased with them, they seem to be doing the trick. Unfortunately there is this guy who swims in my lane, who is rude and refuses to get out of the way for anyone who is fater than him. He doesn't stop at either end to let faster people pass. He quite often uses a kicking float and push in front of people resulting in him holding up the entire lane, seemingly irrelevant to the fact that he is doing a really good impression of a tractor on a small country lane. The problem is that, while I'm generally a polite swimmer in terms of letting people who are quicker than me pass easily at either end, when it comes to the guy it's like I loose all resaon and start pushing in front of him. Recenlty I've been tempted to slash him with one of these plastic swimming paddles, which would hurt. The other odd side effect of all this rage is that I actually swim better when I'm seething, and when I'm being really petty and showing how fast I can swim. which is really stupid, because I'm pretty sure nobody else even notices. The tractor guy is certainly oblivious.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Housing update.

We have the keys, and we've been round for a bit of a snoop. I say that because when we arrived the previous owners were still trying to moove all their things out, desperately running up and down the stairs with a hoover and a sweeping brush, which made it a little alkward. But they seem really nice and they left us a bottle of wine and a lovely card which I thought was a rather lovely gesture of the kind that not many people make any more.

The house, now our house, is really, really gruby so guess what I'll be doing for the next few weeks? Cleaning and painting by the looks of it. For the last two days K and I have been walking from shop to shop, being avid little consumers. we've bought the essentials now. I think. we have some paint, we have beds on the way, a washing machine and a fridge. We have taken the required trip to ikea. We have pain in practically every joint in our body. And that's before we start doing any of the hard work. K has manfully taken down the tastefull mirrored built in wardrobes in the bedroom and the builder should be there on tuesday.

For anyone interested, I'll keep you updated.

Now for the really important stuff, has anyone been watching the new series of Doctor Who? what do people think about the new doctor?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A few words on censorship.

As you may or may not know, Mind the Gap was linked to Tim Worstall’s blog as being ‘perilously close to advocating censorship’. I have a problem with this statement on two grounds. a) Tim Worstall doesn’t actually go into any kind of analysis on why he thinks this particular post is ‘perilously close to advocating censorship’, and b) the post wasn’t about censorship, it was about the placement of ‘lads mags’ on newsagents’ shelves and the rhetoric that is being used to achieve that aim, and a discussion about whether this action would produce any change in the situation. The move to place ‘lads mags’ out of the reach of children will not limit the supply to the intended consumers of these publications, it will just mean that many other types of consumers will not be confronted with them. Actually, I’d really like to know, from an interested point of view, why Tim Worstall felt that coming quite so near to the application of such an evocative label as censorship was appropriate. I may email him to find out why.

As an aside from that, I have a few words to say about censorship. As I said above, censorship is an evocative label, it's a very loaded term. It brings forth imagery of Nazi Germany and McCarthyism. Censorship has become synonymous with totalitarianism, ignorance and thought-control. I recently read of a religious school in this country justify a policy of controlling the books that their students read as avoiding ‘philosophical pollution’. Ultimately, many of us find the idea of censorship abhorrent, and in direct violation of our civil liberties, the stuff of Orwellian nightmares. In light of this view of censorship, it is interesting that the UK has a surprisingly vibrant culture of censorship and other practices that approach the control of information. Our government employs spin-doctors to groom information to give it a positive spin, or just goes all out to prevent its publication (DORA, a wartime measure, still allows for such action). The British Board of Film Censors rates every single film that hits our cinemas and video shops, and gives it a rating, limiting who, according to age (although not necessarily maturity), is able to see what film. And they are also charged with the responsibility for ordering the removal of 'obscene' scenes that are deemed not in keeping within our culture of ‘moral decency’. The press and media regularly make decisions concerning, alongside what should be included, those issues that should not be given air time. And yet while we do have a culture of censorship, it seems this type of censorship is often ignored, or left out of debates. Does this mean that some types of censorship are acceptable, just part of the paintwork that we just don’t want to talk about? Or should we be railing against these restrictive forces and claim our rights to view very nastiest of violent or pornographic materials?

The simplistic heuristic view of Censorship = Bad, Complete freedom = Good is that it silences a debate that we really need to have. To make a debate worth having you have to join in, not just simplify it down to one sentence. There is evidence from my own research, and many others in the field of attitudes and persuasion, that we respond to a lot of the information available to us in ways that we do not perceive. My preliminary research for my PhD suggests that even reading simple, fictional stories can change or shift a person’s attitude to become more congruent with the view expressed within it, even when people know that the events occurring are not true, are false. The literature that deals with persuasion through rhetorical means is vast and cites effects for most types of persuasive material. In light of evidence that a lot of what we see and hear influences the way we think, we actually need to consider, especially within the media, whether all materials should be available to all people. There are lots of things I would rather not see on the TV (that chap from Christian Voice is one of them; K adds Noel Edmunds). However, I would never advocate wholesale censorship of anything because to me it amounts to an attempt to control what people think. On the other hand, I like a bit of erotica and a tour around my front room would reveal a few items of good European smutt, but I wouldn’t consider sitting down and watching that with either of K’s God children. What I’m trying to get at is we do have to consider whether some materials are genuinely harmful to people. Some types of imagery are clearly offensive, and shouldn’t just be lying around in the supermarket or newsagent for anyone to pick up. Otherwise why don’t we just put hardcore porn next to ‘Bob the Builder’ and be done with it.