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Links and so on:

  • Mark Speight has been found dead at Paddington station. Rumour is he hanged himself. A predictable end to a tragic story. I'm inclined to blame the media to an extent, and the judgemental anti-drugs brigade.

  • Why I let my 9-year-old son ride the [NY] subway alone. Nice article about letting kids have freedom. When I was nine I could go into town by myself or with friends; when I was 11 or 12 I could get the train to the bigger town 10 miles away; when I was 13 or 14 I could get the train up to Glasgow. These days people seem to think that's practically child abuse.

    I double-checked with my mum the other day, and she confirmed that I was walking to school with a bunch of friends but no adults from my second or third day of primary school. (I was four and a half.) Apparently I was mortified at the thought of having to be walked there by my parents. And obviously it wasn't just me, since I was walking there with half my class, unsupervised. There were no main roads but plenty of side roads, and we never came to any harm, oddly enough. Even when we walked home practically in the dark in winter, or over the golf course rather than round the road.

  • From Wired, via andrewducker, What parents are most worried about in video games:


  • And also on a similar theme, I really liked this anecdote about kids hanging out in bus shelters, from james_nicoll.

  • Bittorrent set-top box. Oooh. And it'll play ANY bt download, not just, er, legal ones.

  • From theyorkshergob, Anti-terrorism legislation used to spy on family to see if they were trying to cheat the school catchment system. No, there's no way this legislation could/would be misused, I seem to remember people arguing.

  • And finally, from mippy, a fabulous Jon Snow clip. (For non-Brits, he's a Serious Newsreader.) Seriously, watch this now. And boggle.


( 27 comments — Comment )
Apr. 13th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Hello! The judgemental anti-drugs brigade? Drugs killed her, he was wracked with guilt, by the sound of it, he killed himself. I don't really see what anyone else, in a lot of ways, had to do with it.
Apr. 13th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Hello! Obviously we're speculating, but lots of people are wracked by guilt for lots of reasons when their loved ones die. I'm sure he'd feel guilty if she'd drowned in the bath while he was in the house, too. But it would have been easier to get through it if certain sections of the media and the public weren't so disposed to blame him - and since he's a celebrity (ish) he'd have to deal with that for the rest of his life, in the newspapers, in the street, and his career was probably finished too...
Apr. 13th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, spose. But if one person fundamentally blames themselves for something and witnesses the love of their life dead, trauma and guilt will play more of a part than a few newspaper reports, I'd have thought. I think you're straw-manning, a little.
Apr. 13th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
I did say I blamed them to an extent, not fully. He might well have killed himself anyway, but I think it's made more likely when not only are you blaming yourself, but half the country is blaming you and will continue to blame you.
Apr. 13th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
OK then :)
It's all fucking horrible, let's agree on that.
Apr. 13th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
It is, yes. And there are arseholes saying, basically, that nobody should care because he was a junkie freak who killed his girlfriend.
(no subject) - dermfitz - Apr. 13th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
Allowed? By the school? That's...fucking ridiculous. Argh. (Unless you're miles away, I guess.) Is that a general rule for all pupils?
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
I'm going to have to turn into a right-winger and start ranting about the nanny state and bloody do-gooders...
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it. I was reading about the difference between left wing and liberal the other day, and getting slightly confused, I think because I'm both.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'm not getting this... they LIVE in NY? How could a 9-year-old need to 'figure out' how to get home? Even if he'd never done it alone, surely he'd DONE it?
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Good article though.
At least this one parent's eventually seen the light.
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
He may have travelled that route with parents, who knew where they were going and simply led him to the right platform/bus stop, and got off at the right places. He may not have actually needed to think that kind of thing through before, as his parents were navigating. Travelling alone, he didn't have anyone to follow, so would have to look at the map and read signs. That's what he was figuring out.
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah -- at 5 or 6 you blindly follow where your parents lead. But at 9?? surely by then you're noticing SOMETHING of your surroundings?
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, I'm still terrible at remembering a route I've been on tons of times, if someone else is driving. (Which they always are.) Walking, I'm better, but not perfect.
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Its like the poor woman who killed herself after the courts finally decided she hadnt killed her 2 babies, if theres enough pressure of publicity on you, can understand someone being pushed too far!
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the kind of thing I mean. David Kelly, the government scientist guy, as well, if he did actually kill himself.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
In person? o_O
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
That's what we need, more old-skool spy shenanigans, not this wussy modern stuff.

(You've actually reminded me I've always meant to read Stella Rimmington's book...)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
The poll on what parents find most disturbing in video games, seems to be of American origin. The results follow the same skewed thinking evident in their film rating system. Even small children can see the most violent movie (ones that would be rated 15 or 18 in the UK), so long as they're with an adult, but sex is another matter. A movie is far more likely to recieve the NC-17 rating (no children aged 17 or under) for sexual scenes than for violence.

In fact, the NC-17 rating was created for movies like Scandal and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, which would otherwise have been awarded an X certificate. Many US cinemas refused to show X rated movies, and magazines wouldn't advertize them. The NC-17 rating was meant to suggest that the films were art movies, and not porn, Sadly, attitudes haven't changed much and video stores have been pressured into refusing to stock NC-17 movies (the ones with sex), while the shelves are full of R cert (the ones with violence).
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know all that, thanks! So kids can see an R-rated movie if an adult takes them? I think the ratings are usually too tough, but I don't know if I like the thought of that.

It's got more to do with parental embarrassment than morality, sadly.
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
It's got a lot to do with the kind of Christianity that bombs abortion clinics and demands the right for every Tom, Dick and Harry to be allowed to own as many machine guns as they want.
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
That too. They seem to worship a God who, in their eyes, approves more of death than love, which I find terrifying.
Apr. 14th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
And one of them got elected as President - even more terrifying.

(I have that icon too)
( 27 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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