Me: "Just think: in thirty years I'm going to be Shutty."This little snippet of conversation I had recently with a LibDem activist from a neighbouring local party has been preying on my mind today, along with the maxim "all it takes to go from Liberal to Conservative is thirty years without changing a single opinion".
Him: "Nahhhhh... in thirty years you'll be Mick Taylor. Ten years after THAT you'll be Shutty*."
Both of the names mentioned above are people I would class as proper, dyed-in-the-wool Liberals. I also think it's fair to say that both of them have never stopped engaging with the world around them, with both younger and older people, and people from cultures not their own. They don't fit with the maxim because neither Mick not Shutty has ever stopped learning, growing, and changing. Neither of them has ever stopped paying attention. I'm not saying I agree with either of them on All Things, part of the point of this is that I don't**, but I know that any opinion either of them advances has been reached by deliberation, not a jerking knee.
There are people in the party, though, who aren't like that***. They only ever listen to people from their own cohort, and when they talk to people of different cohorts they talk at them not to them, and they start to become like the person in the maxim. They sit in their own little echo chamber, and if any person who doesn't agree with them in any way happens to come to their attention, they get very confused, scared and angry.
- They start telling people that they aren't proper Liberals because they aren't doing as they are told****
- They tell people who don't agree with their outdated views on x or y thing that they aren't proper Liberals.
- Their war cry is "shut up and go deliver some leaflets"***** because people not of their cohort shouldn't contribute ideas, they should just be cannon fodder.
So I hope that in thirty years I do turn into Mick, and then possibly after that Shutty, because the alternative is too awful and depressing to contemplate. But given my hatred of false binaries I'm hoping there's a middle way: when I grow up I think I'd like to be Pauline Nash. Or maybe Jeanette Sunderland.
* Shutty being Lord Shutt of Greetland, who has the most encyclopaedic knowledge of what has happened in Calderdale and it's predecessor areas in the Lib Dems and Liberals for the last fifty years. Mick Taylor being slightly younger and slightly more firebrandy.
** I've had political disagreements with both Mick and Shutty. Mostly, it was fun having a discussion with a person who genuinely wanted to actually discuss things and get to the truth of a matter, rather than shout down an opponent. Sometimes one of us will persuade the other, sometimes we'll agree to disagree. We always listen to each other, though.
*** thankfully not in Calderdale
**** which half a second's rational thought would tell them is a contradiction in terms
***** delivering leaflets, not canvassing, because we wouldn't want the people not of the echo chamber to actually talk to voters.
The picture above is an excerpt from DCM's standard terms and conditions for accepting advertising. They have been this way for a year or so, when they were changed to remove "party" from before "political" after so many people in Scotland complained about the Yes and No referendum campaign adverts. You will note that the small change I mention happened before the CofE even thought about filming their advert.
I am sure you are all aware of the maxim that one doesn't talk about religion or politics in public because someone is bound to get upset? DCM have this policy for that reason: whatever religion (or lack thereof, you'll note) is mentioned, someone is bound to get upset, demand their money back from the cinema, start protests, whine on social media, etc, and it's just not worth it. From a commercial point of view, if the money you make from accepting an advert doesn't cover the cost of the trouble the advert will cause, why would you even bother? As Ian Dunt points out here, it's not like the British Humanist Association, among others, haven't fallen foul of the same policy*. How anyone can claim with a straight face that this is discrimination is beyond me.
- the CofE are not being discriminated against: this policy applies to groups of all religions and none. As LegionsEagle put it earlier, it's a category-based exclusion, not a content-based one.
- this is not a new policy, nor should it have been a surprise to the CofE, nor was it suddenly brought in for some nebulous reason to do with muslims (try not to let your naked islamophobia show there)
- The church of England is not some persecuted minority. They have a reasonable percentage of the legislature of the country all to themselves
I've spent half the day telling all and sundry from BBC Radio Leeds to everyone on twitter that this is a big fuss about nothing, is being massively misrepresented by the church for whatever ends, and it annoys me that the media are falling for it like they did for the sodding Winterval Myth; and so now I have typed it all out in a blog post I can just C&P the link.
*it's a shame Ian doesn't make the intellectual leap to apply the same logic to the other frozen peaches he's been trying to stop from thawing recently, but I think Ian and I just fall on different sides of the fuzzy-like-peach-skin generational divide line so eloquently described by Andrew here
Most of the changes with this push are cleanup and small backend fixes, but we also have a new journal style called "Pattern" with 24 themes for you to choose from, and most excitingly, QuickReply has now been enabled for journal, day, and network views.
We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!
I dunno about your part of the world, but over here in Tokyo it’s getting chilly and with my dutch ovens back in the kitchen, I’ve been busy warming the house with soups, stews, and braises. Last week I found these glorious veal shanks at my local butcher and I knew the instant I saw […]
Feminist Science Fiction Fans is the more serious of the two, and they do a book-of-the-month thing which I've got into the habit of just buying. They are great for exploration of feminist ideas.
Girls, Guns and Grimoires is, as their name suggests, more on the funloving side. They're not explicitly feminist, but by Cthulhu they rec some awesome feminist books. They also have a book of the month thing, and you can vote on which book it should be.
I would genuinely recommend both these groups to a lot of you on my f-list, cos I know a lot of you have similar reading proclivities to me. Obviously this isn't going to feed all your reading urges, but it's nice to get pointers sometimes, and I have discovered some great new (to me) authors via these two groups.
Today is transgender day of remembrance. I'm a cis person, so (like Jemima) I feel like mostly my job today is signal-boosting actual trans people; a group of people who are routinely talked over and legislated against in every territory on earth, including the UK. If you don't know why a transgender day of remembrance is important, here is a good primer. I would love to have more stuff in here from trans men and genderqueer folks, and from transpeople of colour, especially because I know that some trans people of colour are unhappy about how TDoR is very white despite a lot of the people being remembered being folks of colour. Please feel free to leave links to stuff by those groups in the comments. These are the things I have found that I want to signal boost:
- Colorlines has some suggestions of how to participate. You can find official TDoR events listed here.
- There are some beautiful, moving posters made by trans artists here. I also very much liked this Free CeCe McDonald poster by Micah Bazant.
- Autostraddle has an interesting article about 10 transwomen pioneers they didn't tell you about in history class.
- The awesome Paris Lees has an excellent article in The Grauniad.
- Megan Key visits her old (all boys) school.
- Caitlyn Jenner also has a video message for TDoR.
I mourn that trans people suffer so monumentally:
- Trans folks are 9 times more likely to attempt suicide than cis folks.
- Every 36 hours, on average, a trans person is reported murdered. This, obviously, does not take into account people who are misgendered and erased even in death.
- Trans people of colour are particularly at risk of violence, especially trans women of colour, due to the intersections of misogyny, transmisogyny and racism.
- Trans people have their marriages buggered about with pretty much at the whim of the government of the day in the UK.
- Trans offenders are routinely placed in prison according to the gender they were assigned at birth, not their actual gender. Sometimes a vocal campaign can get this sorted out. Often, it doesn't.
In this day and age when you can pick up a package of dry pasta almost anywhere, you might be wondering what kind of lunatic would try and make their own at home. Well … I’m one of those crazies that make their own pasta, and it’s not just because fresh pasta tastes better, I […]