changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

So long and thanks for all the fash.. January 19, 2015

Filed under: politics,thinks — eclectic chicken @ 12:09 pm
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I used to belong to a group on Facebook which I felt comfortable in. It’s about exposing the idiocy of a certain right wing group and it has a set of moderators who usually make good moderation calls. As a passionate and pig headed researcher I like to think over time I’ve added more to the group than I take if this offends anyone.

Today I belong to a group which does not believe in free speech because they use a filter to block specific words.

End of.

No ifs or buts… if you use a filter to block words I don’t care what words you choose, or on what basis – it simply means you have removed the right to free speech.

As it happens the ‘banned’ words aren’t old favourites for banning like cunt or tranny or poof or even paki (given the content of the group you’d think paki may have been the word to tip the balance).

The words in question are cretin, retard and mong (they seem to have forgotten spastic, spacca, joey, thicky, idiot, mentalist etc etc).
They’ve not even switched the filter on because someone with a learning difficulty or disabilty was directly insulted with one of these words. It was switched on because someone took offence on behalf of someone…or because they are the parent and/or carer…or ‘know’ someone who they think wears one of those hats.

Now…. I don’t much believe in words hurting like actual physical stuff like being punched in the face but I will readily admit that instances of my being verbally assaulted are thin and far between but I am a woman and I have been all my life and I don’t take the use of ‘cunt’ personally as I’ve seen some women do. (admittedly mostly on the internet where as any fule knos we are all a little bit madder than in real life and usually as an inverse weapon of ‘taking offence’).
The only conclusion I can come to is, and it’s fairly obvious, that the only people whose sensitivities the groups moderators care about are those individuals who have links to the mentally disabled community.

That, to use left wing parlance, ‘isn’t fair’ (or should I say ‘equal’)
What they need to do is start taking other peoples’ sensitivities into consideration, the physically disabled, people of different ethnicities, those who are non-heteronormative…. women (because for some reason we are still seen as a minority and treated like infants)…. but, personally, I don’t agree with this salami slicing of society by means of minority grouping.

Let’s add any word to the filter that ANYONE finds offensive. Obviously foreign words….the truth….facts….anyone who disagrees oh…hold on that’s what the right wing group we oppose do on their page.

It’s a rotten old slippery slope once you start ‘banning’ things.

I don’t see what the more popular ‘left’ do when they ban things as being any different than what the less popular ‘right’ do when they ban things.

The only difference is content and social majority.

The action is the same…removal of free speech…which, in my book, is on the road to fascism.

But what’s the alternative?… we can’t let people say whatever they like on the internet (well we can…but I know I’m in an even smaller minority in standing up for that).

The alternative is to let people say what they like and when someone near by becomes offended they can fuck off… oh..no hold on. If someone is offended they can say…”you just offended me”. The person unknowingly offering the offence will apologise (hopefully) and amend their behaviour in future (perhaps)… a wonderful exchange of human thoughts and emotions. Two strangers on the internet learning a little more about each other.

If person A, who gave offence yesterday, comes back today and re-offers the offence to person B it’s a sign that they are a bit of a twat and don’t take other peoples feelings into as much consideration as some people would like. At which point one would hope other human beings around will read that sign and perhaps join in saying ‘oy twatface…that really is a bit offensive’..etc

If this tooing and froing and learning process continues I would hope Admin would come along and either say “If you say that again you naughty person A I will have to ban you from my group because you seriously breached the rules of group acceptable behaviour…why don’t you fuck off and join a group where people aren’t so sensitive”….or they might say “Man up” to person B “we’re here to bash the fash…don’t let a few words you don’t like get you down…. if you’re that sensitive try sitting in a corner with your head wrapped in cotton wool”.

This is why freedom of speech is a tricky biscuit and why being human is so interesting.

And the point is: that although the internet is a free place once you are under someone’s moderation you play by their rules.

But, sadly, I know I am out of step with the group that turned on the filter…. Because they switched on the filter? Nah…not just that… I think I’m in a minority on there anyway. I don’t want Britain First banned from Facebook like a lot of people on there seem to; but nor do I want to keep reading the opinions of people who don’t seem to realise that their ideology is just as offensive at times as those they are attacking… they just happen to be standing further up the hump of moral high ground. It’s the lack of awareness and realisation I find offensive… not them having the moral high ground.

I dislike stupidity and I loathe fascism because it tends to repress the sort of freedoms that sort out stupidity eventually.

I like fascists to be on Facebook and the wider internet saying whatever they like so we can see and hear who they are  – I want to find out why they feel and think so differently from the way I do. We can oppose their ideas with arguments based on facts and evidence because facts and evidence should always trump lies and nonsense for that moral high ground.

That’s why I’m writing this to try and explain that speech has to be free even if you don’t like what someone is saying.

Switching on that filter… is a step in the wrong direction for a group that believes in the truth and just as I don’t want to hang out with a load of people who use words like paki and mong as insults in everyday conversation neither do I want to hang out with people who want to control the words I use and see my use of them above as just as offensive as shouting them at someone in the street.

As some geezer once said “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.

 

social media made him do it January 14, 2015

Filed under: politics,Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 10:01 pm
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There’s been a lot of stuff about free speech in the news and I’ve ignored it…to be honest it’s big and complex and I’ve not felt qualified to do so.

However… this is different.

A couple of days ago a post appeared on my news feed saying that a Tesco on Oak Street in London was refusing to serve soldiers in uniform just in case it offended their Muslim customers. It smacked of fakery and within a couple of minutes I’d checked and there is no Tesco on Oak Street in London.

People believe what they want to believe and that post was speeding round the right wing groups (and therefore anti-right wing groups too), so much so that EDL News (a collective of social justice activists who investigate the far right in the UK) wrote about it and if you want more detail you can read about it here.

Fair enough…some bloke thought it was funny to stir a hornets nest by playing on popular trigger points….muslims…soldiers. Yawn. We see it on the Britain First page every day and I defend their right to write such tosh.

Unfortunately tonight there is another Tesco (a real one) not in London but in Mold. Where a man wielding a big knife chased an asian guy up a supermarket aisle. By standers say he was shouting about ‘white power’. If you want to read the story its here in the Mirror.

Maybe these two tales of Tesco are not linked… maybe it’s total coincidence.

Being incensed by the idea that Tescos no longer serve soldiers becuase of muslim sensibilities couldn’t possibly send some right wing idiot into a spin in his local supermarket…could it?

Posting something on the net can reach wide and the person who made the original post cannot really bear the blame of some tenuous second event that somehow bears some similarity to the first posting – we can’t all watch our every word and behaviour just in case, like a butterfly causing a hurricane a continent away, a post reaches someone unstable enough to chase a fellow shopper down the freezer section with a machete.

But if I were the twisted firestarter I’d be feeling a bit shit and a bit guilty right now about this Tesco based freak coincidence. Thats bearing responsibilty…feeling guilt. Actions DO have consequences…sometimes very slight…sometimes very big and if you are willing to let a cat out of the bag you have to bear the responsibilty of it shitting in your grandmother’s slippers.

I have a suspicion however that as the knife wielder was shouting about white power and the man with serious injuries has been described as ‘asian’ that the blame will never need to get close to a post that appeared on social media. Some racist hit out and did he really need an excuse?

Funny that… because if he’d been looking at violent porn and gone out and committed a violent attack the press would see it as a cut and dried ‘porn made him do it’.

Let’s see if anyone adds two and two and gets four.

If the man with his stick in the hornets nest of racial unrest gets some recognition.

And actually this isn’t so different..freedom of speech is always bigger and more complex than it seems.

 

top notch twat January 10, 2015

Filed under: politics,Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 4:43 pm
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I’ve been meaning to start blogging again for a while and what better to start with than Britain First (yup I’m easing back into my blog by knocking down some low hanging fruit).

Today the brave biffer patriots are out in Basildon Essex, all wearing their biffer fleeces except for Paul Golding. His is NOT a biffer fleece, it’s a biffer fleece with a piece of paper over the BF logo – on the paper it says ‘CENSORED’ – FACT. (sorry…I got a flash of cap lock fury there).

Some of you may know that last Monday Mr Golding was in court being done for wearing a political uniform under the 1936 Public Order Act…a little know and even less used bit of law.

Now here he is in Basildon whinging about having his rights taken away because every other political party is allowed to wear their party sweat shirts and merchandise and he’s not.

What Paulie doesn’t seem to grasp (amongst many other things) is that ‘other’ political parties don’t base their logo on military and royal regalia, which is why his is the only party being chased by the Home Office and his is the only face stuck to a dartboard in the Queens downstairs khazie. (okay, maybe not the ONLY one).

But it’s not just a bit of embroidery that makes the BF fleece into a political uniform… there must be something else.

What could it be that militarises peoples image of biffer merch and not say a bunch of young Liberals wearing orange sweatshirts?

Let me think….

Could it be that Britain First split the country up into regional divisions and each division has a battalion….hmmmm?

Could it be that each area has a RCO (Regional Commanding Officer)?

Maybe it’s their eagerness to give each other nice shiny medals at every opportunity.

Or the rousing (but copyright breaching) music they use on their videos.

Perhaps its the armoured land-drovers they have. complete with camo netting and (illegally used) windscreen meshes?

Oooooh…could it be that they go on patrol in their armoured vehicles and use them to intimidate the ‘civilians’.

If all they had was a slightly militaristic logo that hadn’t been ripped off and they all shambled just round shopping centres giving out leaflets wearing it I ‘think’ they could have got away with it.

But that’s Pauls problem (one of them anyway) that when he doesn’t get away with something. When he gets busted for harrassment or wearing a uniform or going off piste at a demo he doesn’t put his hands up and say fair cop… he whines that everyone is out to get him and that another boy over there is doing it and he doesn’t think thats what he’s actually doing anyway.

Meanwhile in Basildon today he says the rest of the activists are wearing their merch… but he’s not allowed to.

Strange that in their group photograph this afternoon there’s just one brave patriot in the middle showing off his biffer regalia, complete with Royal crest and crown. Good man… standing up for what he believes in…. or maybe he just doesn’t own another coat because he’s given all his money to Paulie to spend on erm…. whatever Paulie spends money on. (pies is my best guess)

B6_3pRrIQAAR4lG.jpg:large

 

revolution… when do we want it?… in a bit :when it looks attainable and theres nothing on the tv. April 12, 2013

Filed under: politics — eclectic chicken @ 12:37 pm
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Last time I fully engaged with the benefits system, living and loving on the dole in Nottingham in the late 1980’s, Thatcher was in power. Oh yeah, I’ve claimed things since, housing benefit, working families tax credit…. but that was the last time the state held me in its gentle arms and fully supported me.

Okay, it chivvied me too… with a pokey stick;  I danced the dance of understanding the benefits system and saying the right things and going on the right courses (setting up as self employed for an extra tenner a week I seem to remember was de rigeur). I wore workmans dungarees and tried not to listen to Chumbawumba if  I could help it.

I had a ball…. I lived minimally, partied well, festivalled in the summers, knew where the free things were to be found and ate curry for breakfast almost every day from the ‘Joint Indian and Pakistani Centre’ for a couple of quid which wasn’t a bad staple diet. I was there for the poll tax demonstration in Trafalgar Square… I even swore at a policeman (his retort ‘I bet your mother doesn’t know you swear like that’ mine: ‘I bet your mother doesn’t know you’re a policeman’)…

For a single young person with zero responsibilities it was a fine time to be alive: any time is a fine time to be alive at that age. It was a time of deep austerity- but I can’t say I ‘really’ noticed. Hating the Tories was what one ‘did’… railing against a government who had been in power a decade.

And here I am today. I’m 46, I’m back on benefits, we’re in the depths of austerity and Thatcher is dead.

I think I’m a little more aware of the politics this time round and I’m certainly not responsibility free any more.

Some of the posturing of the left in these post Thatcher days is the anti-establishment posturing of youth. Some of it the echoing actions of my peers who over the last week have probably dug out some Billy Bragg to listen to and tried to decide if an organic vegetable box is something they should give up in the name of austerity. Rushes of support for articles by the political figures of our youth like Ken Livingstone…. the last ditch political stand by Glenda Jackson in defiance of the spineless faux respect of the House. Where’s the Beast of Bolsover? comes the cry… we want to know what each and every hero of our political youths has to say on this matter.

In a way this retrospective anti Thatcherism is a happy thing, reminding us of our halycon days wielding scaffold poles like its 1981.

But does it move us forward?

Next week when the black bunting comes down and the stale sausage rolls are tucked in Gordon Browns pockets on his way back North…. will we all go back to our glamping, our chichi  nouveau austerity home crafts?

I hope not. (and I’ve never actually ‘been’ glamping).

The fire that moved us in our youth against the establishment needs to be stoked properly again, we’re all grown up now, with jobs and lives and kids but many things are as they were or worse. If we just let the youth take to the streets its just deja vu with different tunes and the same old SWP placards.

What can we achieve now we know the political ping pong of left to right and back is a pointless exercise?

Beyond the blind indignant anger of youth is a country who needs the seeds of a new way not another nu labour, third way but a real way, not just about economics but about people, about being ‘excellent to one another’… if someone can sow those seeds I suspect the grown ups would take to the streets to make it happen.

I guess thats the difference between youth and middle age…. I’ll be out on the streets fighting for a solution when someone shows me theres valid  and realistic potential.

Breaking things with scaffold poles costs the tax payer money in the long term dontcha know?

 

I don’t buy transphobia March 24, 2013

Filed under: politics,Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 4:46 pm
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Y’all who know me may have noticed I’ve been busy the last couple of days. I’ve been making a facebook group…a twitter account (though gosh its easy to get suspended on there) a new blog and most importantly, tying them all together, the ‘idea’ of a campaign.

I know its got ‘trans’ in it and I know its something I’ve gone on about over the last few years as its been a big part of my personal life. But this is slightly different, this is about helping change a wider culture… starting at the Mail (read the link to find out why) but hopefully a change of culture that will just make the world a slightly better place for us ALL to live in. An opportunity taken away from a young primary school teacher last week – Lucy Meadows. Following her death I say enough is enough and I don’t buy transphobia.

Join in with the campaign, write a letter, write an email, sound off on a social network… most of all ‘don’t buy transphobia’.

The ‘Don’t Buy Transphobia’ blog tells you all about the campaign and how you can join in… please read and share as widely as possible.

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No man is an island…. March 22, 2013

Filed under: politics,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 10:31 am
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I wonder how Richard Littlejohn feels.

I wouldn’t like – in fact I refuse to see him bloated and happy in a leather office chair, whisky in hand, chortling at the fact that another tranny just hit the dust.

I hate even to think he’d be hardened enough, by a life of journalism and the faux security of only ever spouting ‘opinion’ (which as any fule knos doesn’t count towards negative effect on people), to be lying in bed reading todays stories about Lucy Meadows’ death thinking ‘hey ho’ and moving on to the sports pages.

When our lives touch another persons even briefly it ties us to them… whatever your job and whoever you are but some careers have more effect on other people.

This is the case for teachers most definitely… every child who passes through a teachers class takes a piece of that teacher with them and a little piece of the child stays in that class. Even as an ex classroom assistant I’ve had children get back in touch after a decade or so to remind me of something we did, something they learnt, sometimes to say thankyou…. for a teacher over the years that feeling, year on year, must be amazing…. that you’ve sent children onwards into life better people for being in your class.

That feeling has been taken away from primary school teacher Lucy Meadows.

The same applies to journalists… every person whose life story you touch is linked to you. I doubt there is a paid journalist in the country who can say they ‘only’ ever write good positive things about people… good positive things tend not to be newsworthy…. merely ‘worthy’ – and papers avoid worthy as a rule.

I guess over the years, if you write negatively about people, you have to cut off from those you write about, cease to see them as people in the real world with feelings and emotions. You have to disassociate your words from reality in case you have to admit they have an effect.

Maybe thats why so many seasoned journos turn to drink… its not just the long paid lunches… but the need to forget.

Thats why I wonder today how Richard Littlejohn feels, has the death of Lucy Meadows punctured his veneer?

I know in our house her death has upset us… not only for the sheer waste of a life tragedy of it, not just becuase as she was a transwoman we have common experience and empathy for her story but also when the original monstering of her took place late last year Jane connected with the story and counteracted and corrected the damage of the mainstream press as best she could  and then wrote a thoughtful piece that moved the story on in the New Statesman.

But to wake up and know that the way you touched someones life was so negative that their life was made a misery, that they had to take time out from a job they loved, that they… well… the coronor report isn’t back yet… but chances are that Lucy took her own life.

It’s not just Littlejohn, though his voice and therefore impact are the largest. Its the badly written articles (even now surrounding Lucy’s death), misgendering, sniping, insulting, demeaning. Its the person who took the story of their childs teacher to the press… its every parent who reveled in their ignorance in the playground about a teachers ‘otherness’.

It’s everyone who turns and points and laughs in the street at someone for being different.

It’s everyone who reads the papers for ‘this’ sort of story.

So no it’s not just Littlejohn…. but this story… this one story… lets let him own it. Let him have the death certificate of Lucy Meadows in a frame on his office desk.

I’m sure, underneath the justification of ‘getting paid’ ‘only having opinions’ and needing to support his family he must feel awful… he MUST, he’d be inhuman not to, and he needs to hold on to that feeling with all his might.

 

Seacole my arse…. February 8, 2013

Filed under: politics,thinks — eclectic chicken @ 3:37 pm
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I read today that Mary Seacole gets to stay on the curriculum supposedly it’s some sort of victory.

I’m not going to launch into the rights and wrongs of Seacoles place on in the national Curriculum… there’s enough spouted on either side politically about it.

What did scare the bejeebbus out of me was reading in the linked article that this was a ‘high school’ thing. (I thought we had secondary schools but hey ho).

Now… I remember when I worked in KS1 as a TA (it was actually a FS. KS1 class just to keep us all on out cross curricular toes) that we did a unit on famous people. It was fun…. our class teacher wore my Victorian wedding dress (which helped the under 7’s have some concept of how awful it was that they were walking around in piss and shit up to their ankles) and as well as all the standard curriculum stuff about Florence Nightingale- I fed in snippets about her taking to her bed and keeping an owl in her pocket. I think we probably went above and beyond the call of cross curricular duty in also churning out some rather good ‘Florence Nightingale’ in the style of Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe artwork too.

http://bigotherbigother.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/marilyn-monroe2.jpg this is the original Warhol version (for those of you without a state approved education)

I remember at the time the teacher telling me that in some London schools they’d do Mary Seacole instead…. we looked at the curriculum planning together and I think as the unit we were doing was about ‘famous people in History’. Florence Nightingale was given as an ‘example’ of who to do.

Along with being an ‘example’ come suggested plans.

Its basically curriculum delivery… heres a load of stuff…a load of resources about THIS person to make life easy. OR you could choose someone different and have to start from scratch. Which one do you think most teachers choose?

Its the same accross the subjects (both my children can recognise a Monet but thanks to a little interest at home would rather avoid his work entirely)…. and yes Warhol is a state recommended artist.

The thing is – once plans are written and resources made they can be used time after time…. but how many teachers get enough none contact time to start from scratch in umpteen subjects.

{nb… I ended up drafting the plans for the KS1 unit on ‘portraits’ in collaboration with our county art advisor… it took a morning and was way above my payscale 🙂 The final piece at the end of term worked on as a group was to have been based on Marcus Harveys ‘Myra’…. learning about photocopy art and photogravure along the way}

Whats scarier (than so few famous people being state approved) is that come later school years as the Indie picks up and the unit is not just ‘famous people’ but  ‘famous Victorians’ it’s quite likely a generation of children get to ‘do’ Florence Nightingale twice . Okay…different Key Stage, learning outcomes and stuff…. but still… with the whole of history to go at it its a shame to concentrate on the same person twice.

And even more of a shame is that so little is taught by so many to far too many (to bastardise another state approved famous chaps words).

What happens when a whole generation only know about famous Victorians… or Tudors… and specific Victorians or tudors at that?

Maybe as my friend Barry suggests “They’ll end up like school students from France and the US, I should think. Insular and nationalistic, through no fault of their own.”

There is wriggle room for dinner parties I suppose… you can alternate those who studied Victorian Britain with those whose teachers took the post 1930 Britain option in KS2.

After all learning is a lifelong experience.

Thank fuck!

 

QUILTBAG January 31, 2013

Filed under: politics,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 8:32 pm
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Acronyms – love ’em or loathe ’em you have to admit it helps if they are memorable and even better make something pronouncable.

I just came accoss QUILTBAG which I love (I’ve no idea how common its usage is… but it sure as hell beats the LGBTQII malarky… which just builds on the LGBT still much used in the more on the ball mainstream).

It stands (in case you can’t be arsed to click through) for “Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer” which I think covers most bases.

Its sayable and memorable…especially becuase of the rainbowness…..rainbowality… whatever…. quiltbag a treasure trove of ranbow fabrics that put together can make something incredibley awesome and beautiful.

 

Porn trial July 30, 2012

Filed under: politics — eclectic chicken @ 9:21 pm
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Sometimes something is so wrong it’s difficult to know where to start.

A few years ago I was  involved in a political campaign against section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008..it was possible that section plus some more… but that was the focus.

Also known as the ‘extreme porn law’ or ‘dangerous pictures act’.

I wrote a newsletter for CAAN (Consenting Adult Action Network) and we made national press demonstrating outside parliament along with Ben Westwood (Viv’s son) and some scantily clad models in chains.

At the time my partner was probably the only person writing about the law in any depth at a national level.

It’s a law that I still believe is a serious assault on civil liberties, freedom of expression and of consenting adults to do what the heck they like in the privacy of their own homes.

Once the law went live I spent the first year helping to compile a database of cases that made it into court… very few of them made national press and almost all of them were in combination with other offences… mostly child porn, but also drug offences, burglery… all sorts. The police were using it as an ‘also ran’ offence for anyone who had their computer or mobile phone taken away from them and checked.

It’s hard to oppose a law that is so closely associated with child abuse pictures.

But the actual difference between the two laws is huge…. one word… but its a biggy…

consent.

There have been cases of note, perhaps most reported North Wales police trying to prosecute someone for having a cgi tiger having sex with someone on their mobile phone… not just a cgi tiger… a talking cgi tiger. The sort of joke clip that thousands of young men have on their phones…. but for one young man with a vindictive ex partner it wasn’t a joke.

He lost his home, job and access to his kids…all before it came to court.

In fact he’d decided to plead guilty…but with support from CAAN got his story into the press found a specialist lawyer (Myles Jackman) and was persuaded to change his plea.

But time moves on…. the research I do for Jane has moved on to follow her writing and I sort of lost track of the ‘extreme porn law’ …life has been rather full on the personal front these last couple of years.

But today I was immersed again following a case on twitter which is being tweeted live from court by Myles Jackman aka the Obscenity Lawyer (the live tweeting from court is fairly groundbreaking too).

The main thrust of this case seems to be images of fisting (an act so mainstream its mentioned I believe in ’50 shades of grey’) [not that i’ve read it….on literary principle].

The accused is himself a barrister, in fact an ex-aide of Boris Johnson… in the original news story of his charges he gets smeared with ‘child porn’… in actuality one of the ‘extreme’  images he viewed involved a young man the police couldn’t say for ‘definite’ was over 18.

Not quite the buggery of a six year old we tend to imagine when we see the words ‘child porn’ huh?

And when I say viewed on his computer…. these weren’t images he had trawled the web for… his computers were clean.

These were attachments to emails he had been sent.

I’d say thats pretty scary.

As I said before the main thrust of the case are pictures involving (anal) fisting… a popular past time amongst the slacker members of the gay community… and Mr Walsh is openly gay.

Its an act that is perfectly legal if not to all our tastes.

But he made the mistake of receiving  an email attachment and may or may not even have looked at a picture of that act.

Oh…and he made one other mistake…. some of his work in the past has been in exposing corrupt police.

I hope the case goes well for Mr Walsh…its anticipated to last all week at Kingston Upon Thames Crown Court and is beeing tweeted about using #porntrial.

 

grumpy old git does student politics March 9, 2012

Filed under: politics — eclectic chicken @ 5:01 pm
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I’m going to have a bit of a grumpy old git rant…. becuase i can.

when i were young… student politics was much as it is today…impassioned yet interminably dull. Oh okay..when you’re pissed in the union bar its great. When holding forth at debating soc…less so… i’m sure it forms the basis of much grass roots political action. Its good stuff…. some of them even grow up and go on to ‘proper’ politics.

but let’s be honest…. the sort of radical, edgey, left wing politics that ruined many a cup of frothy coffee is what ‘youth’ do… we tend to mellow as we get older. i don’t think our politics drasically shift over the years… but it certainly moderates…and evolves. This is why when we have a Conservativey sort of government in power the kids take to the street…opposition suits them and gives them something to kick hard against.

But anyway…I digress (I have many grumpy old git rants in my digressionary repertoire).

One of THE most tedious student political types was the political lesbian… they just bored me silly…. it was all about erm…politics and not much about sex… it was intensity, badges, poetry and bloody feminism  …. and after college most of them gave up the political lesbianism and settled down to taking off their dungarees, and had jobs and kids…yanno… the sort of thing lesbians do anyway but without the straight relationship.

Its interesting now looking at student politics… the cutting edge is gender politics. Being openly gay is so last decade…or the one before that even. But gender politics is very now.

You just need to grow your hair and wear girls clothes…. or vice versa… insist on being called something different from what you were given at birth by your parents and off you go. All the reasons you like to rail against the world like generations of angry young people have done before.

I’m not saying there aren’t any real queer students out there…. but lets be honest… for many of them its a phase.

For many its not.

But it does make me smile to see yet another generation of angry young people getting intellectually cross and thinking they are the first ones to be so… (god… did i really just say that – i remember my parents saying the same… my hobby horse was nuclear war…. I blamed my parents generation often enough that i actually managed to give my mum a guilt complex).

I never politicised my gender or sexuality… I  just got on and did what I did.. I slept with who I fancied and mosty wore old mens pyjamas and cardigans through college…. it was okay..it was an art college i could do that without having to be political and intellectual.

I think what brought this blog on (apart from i’ve been on my first spring bike ride and this is a good excuse to sit down and rest my weary bones) is what i’m noticing in gender politics are an awful lot of people who are on the autistic spectrum…or studying computer related subjects (same thing i guess)… someone else mentioned this to me the other day too…so i googled and theres actually a growing amount of research out there about the corrolation between ASD and gender dysphoria. Now I find that fascinating.

I don’t think it explains away dysphoria… but i do think dysphorics come in various flavours… and one of them is certainly the sort of low social ability geek (now known more kindly as ‘on the autistic spectrum’) who wouldn’t have been part of that spirited political debate back in the 80s.

But now! with the internet… they’re out there…well…. not exactly OUT there but certainly sat at a keyboard being a  gender activist.

 

 
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