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I've been collecting links for a couple of days again.

  • 10 Things Every Adult Should Know. With much swearing, and a load of truly depressing comments. Link gacked from miss_s_b.
  • Diana Wynne Jones fanfic! Not slash, though, that'd be WRONG. Unless it involved Howl.
  • This is Slash, though - Axl/Slash slash. This is why you should keep ex-boyfriends on Facebook, so that they can pop up and say things like "I wonder what Slash thinks of slash? And whether there is Slash slash?" And then tell you about Rule 34, which you should really have known about already.
  • This is fabulous. The head of Rationalist International challenges India's most powerful tantrik (black magician) to kill him live on TV. Write-up and video.
  • The Divine Comedy doing No-One Knows is available as a digital download.
  • From various people - I think coalescent was first: Batshit insane feminist talks about Firefly. And Joss. This is seriously wacked-out stuff, and worse, there are people agreeing with her. I can't even choose which bits to quote, although this (from the comments) gives a taster:
    I feel awful for Joss Whedon's wife. From what I've read about him and the interviews I've watched, I'm fairly certain that he rapes his wife and abuses her in various other ways. I honestly can't think of anything worse than living with a man like Joss who thinks of women like the way he portrays in his tv shows. How awful. The comment about the money was meant to be about how I personally could see no benefit from being with a man like Joss OTHER than money. Joss uses and abuses her. Probably rapes her and thinks of women as whores etc, etc. Obviously, Ms Whedon has her own reasons for staying. Fear, patriarchal concepts of love, etc. But I would argue that she gives everything and gets nothing. Money is the only concrete thing that she could possibly gain. But as I said money is worth nothing compared with self-integrity, self-esteem, love (sister/lesbian/gynaffectionate love) etc.

  • And from rhodri, An 11-year-old girl dies from diabetes "after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help".
    The girl's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to "apparently they didn't have enough faith," the police chief said.

    They believed the key to healing "was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray," he said.

    The mother believes the girl could still be resurrected, the police chief said.

    Gnaaaaargh. Utter rage and frustration. Also, the couple's three other kids are still with them, because there's "no evidence of abuse". W.T.F.
  • Possible voting reforming coming up, according to the Guardian - bringing in the Additional Voting System, where you get a second choice; opening polling stations at the weekend; and making voting compulsory. I agree with all of this - I've long been a supporter of compulsory voting, as long as there's a "none of the above" option so that you can register your dissatisfaction with the lot of them. I'd be interested in hearing other points of view, though.
  • This CIF open thread on "What makes you angry?" is by turns depressing, comforting and funny.

Edit: Oh! Also, I looked up next year's Eastercon, and not only is it the 60th anniversary, it's in Bradford. So I'm definitely going, and with any luck I'll be able to meet up with some of you Leeds/Bradford/Sheffield lot?


( 28 comments — Comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah - this lot don't seem to be affiliated to a particular sect, and they watched her getting steadily iller and iller for a month, and all they did was try and get more people to pray for her. Words fail me.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I've long been a supporter of compulsory voting

I haven't. Horrible, horrible idea to force compulsion at the ballot box; and if NuLab were to bring this in you can bet that ID cards and/or the National Identity Register will eventually come into play!
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
That is a very good point. I don't mind voting being compulsory on principle - paying taxes is compulsory, and I see voting as a similar obligation on people living in our society. But it would get tied in with all sorts of shit I do not like.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
What he said. More here:
which Tez probably can't read but doesn't actually need to.

The way to increase turnout is not to follow the much-resented Australian model but to instead ensure that the system encourages a diversity of politicians and that every vote counts. Most of the low turnout can be accounted for in safe seats, the safer the seat the lower the turnout. If every seat is truly contensted then parties campaign everywhere rather than in just the key marginals, etc.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Heh, you joining that group on Facebook was the first time I heard about this whole thing! I went to read it, but...I pretty much disagree with all of it, and I was a bit freaked out by the "free-born Englishmen" (etc) bit.

I absolutely agree that we need to make sure that every vote counts and that people should feel that. But the Libertarian, Moral and Slippery Slope arguments all seem weak to me on the grounds that there are plenty of other things we are compelled to do - like taxes - that nobody in their right mind wants to get rid of. (Apologies to any extreme Libertarians who want to get rid of taxes.) The Political argument seems to be countered easily enough with the use of the "none of the above" option.

And I think they're very naive about why people don't vote. Of the people who know about all the problems they name (who chooses the candidates, whips, votes being useless under FPTP), I would have thought 90% of them would vote anyway (or at least turn up and spoil their paper), because they know suffrage is important. For the vast majority of non-voters, I think it is apathy or lack of education that stops them voting, not concerns about the working of the political process.

(Of course, whether we want these badly educated, apathetic, politically ignorant people voting is a different question ;))
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
..That was a long comment. Maybe I should do an Actual Post about it.
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
Heh, I was digging out links as you commented, I wrote a few more articles awhileback:

You're right that the 4 reasons aren't as well thought out as they could be (Paulie's shared item on the group and his comment are apposite, if in doubt, on constitutional issues I agree with him unless otherwise stated, despite being Labour he's pretty good).

Ultimately, I believe in living in a free society, that must include the right to not turn up or not take part in the process. It's up to those that care to persuade voters to bother, the low turnout problem we currently have is due to disenfranchisement, and is concentrated in safer seats (bear in mind that I'm being nagged to go watch Thundercats with Shrub else I'd give you links, chapter and verse on that one).

The closer the contest, the higher the turnout—if people beleive it's a done thing, they don't bother, look at '92 and '97, highest turnouts for ages, since then much lower, and the maths and analysis is sound.

Labour wants compulsory voting for partizan advantage, I don't want it (but used to be in favour) because I'm a democrat, and democrats don't force idiots (in the literal meaning) to do things they don't want to. They persuade.

Anyway, gotta go.
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
I want _less_ people to vote.

If you aren't informed, educated and passionate then stay the hell out of it.
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm with pickwick on this one. I wasn't, until I moved to Belgium where we actually have compulsory voting and the country appears, despite all the odds, to have survived.
Mar. 26th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Different polity, different demos. The problem in the UK is partially the electoral system (you know turnout is higher in NI under STV elections for example) and partially contempt for the process and the politicians.

The answer to low turnout isn't force people to vote, it's give them something worth voting for. They thought they had that with Blair in '97 and turned out.

I guess it's partially my rational choice training kicking in, when you think of the vote as currency and politicians as the product, forcing people to buy something when they'd rather not because the product isn't up to scratch isn't going to solve the actual problem, merely paper over some cracks.

This old Staggers leader and Chris's post on qwghlm from the same time both cover those bases fairly well. I'll try to write up a more coherent post for somewhere when I've the time.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm in favour of compulsory voting, providing there's a 'fuck off you're all twats' option, and you're allowed to spoil your ballot paper or vote blank.

And parents who pray to heal their kids? They're just demonstrating natural selection. Let's just smile and watch, shall we?
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Yep - as long as the compulsion is just to turn up at the polling station, basically. So that apathy isn't an excuse any more.

I wouldn't mind if they killed THEMSELVES - Darwin Awards nominees for sure - but the kids? Urgh :S
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
It's sad, but it's their genes.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
I suppose it could still qualify for the Darwin Awards, in a sick and twisted way...
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
I'd probably be ok with compulsory voting as long as there was a "none of the above" option, or similar. It is probably a slippery slope though.

I'm wondering if that extreme feminist LJ is really a troll. Reads rather like Mille Tant from Viz...

I've been looking for that Indian video on youtube, not found it yet.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
Mmm. And I don't really trust the government to implement it properly. Maybe we could get the Inland Revenue to do it!

People seemed fairly sure she wasn't a troll, but I dunno why, I never really looked.

I thought there were videos on that page, but they were just screencaps :D Let me know if you find it!
Mar. 26th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
There's too much material on her LJ and Wordpress blog for her to be just a troll. It's just generally dispiriting to watch people agonising about this nut making feminism look bad and people declaring that some random nut with an LJ is proof of everything they feared about all forms of feminism.

The stupid thing is that there are genuine discussions to be had about Whedon's version of feminism and whether he lives up to his professed ideals, but they always seem to get polarised between people who think he's the Second Coming and people who think that his failure to conform with their definition of feminism in every particular makes him morally equivalent to John Norman.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
The "10 Things Every Adult Should Know..." list made me lol. Especially the thing about anal. HOW ARE GUYS THIS CLUELESS? I MEAN. IT'S. IT'S COMMON SENSE, GUYS. D:

The "11 year old dead because her parents were retarded" thing is...retarded. (No offence to retarded people, I just find the word oddly appropriate in this rage.) WHY HAVE THEIR OTHER KIDS NOT BEEN TAKEN AWAY? WHYYYYY? No signs of abuse my ass. THEY LET THEIR KID DIE BECAUSE THE THOUGHT THE MAGIC GUY UPSTAIRS LISTENS TO PLIGHTS LIKE THOSE. Fuck, by that logic, nobody who prays should die of disease ever. AND GUESS WHAT, ASSHATS, THEY DO.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
But I LOVED LOVED LOVED all the people in the comments going "Dude, if you like something up your ass, you're totally a homo..." when the writer was female. Way to prove how clueless they are.

I know. RAGE. RAGE.
Mar. 26th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
INORITE. I mean, anal sex is something I'm 99% sure I'll never try (or indeed want to try, because...nononono in my head = wrong), but if one of my male friends came along and said "oh hai I had anal last night with my girlfriend", I wouldn't then go, "LOL THAT'S GAAAAY!" because. Man + Woman + anal sex =|= homosexual. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

Mar. 26th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
It's one of those things that makes so little sense I don't even understand how it's possible to believe it :S

Your mum for teh win. (Especially if she really said the thing about the cluebat.)
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
She didn't have the right word for it, so I kinda steered her in that direction. ;)
Mar. 26th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
What makes even less sense is the people who think a man who does cunnilingus is gay. IT'S THE ONE SEXUAL ACT NO MAN CAN EVER EVER DO TO ANOTHER MAN, for fuck's sake.
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Man, thats some stupid feminism right there.

They need to find a way to exclude those people from labelling themselves feminists, they make the sane parts of feminism look stupid.
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, re Eastercon, SB and I are already looking at options, given it's a short bus journey away we'll be there for some of it minimum, no idea how much total though, might even help out in some way.

And that was being discussed before I found out Grimwood was a guest of honour...

Edited at 2008-03-26 09:49 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Now I'm not one for science fiction conventions as you well know, but the fact that next year's Eastercon is being held within 3 miles of my house AND that there'll be a HYOOGE turnout of folk from my friendslist means that I may well put my head around the door for this.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 27th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Hoping so!
Mar. 26th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Eastercon: oooh. JC-G is ace.
( 28 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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