Sunday, May 30, 2004

UKIP - BNP in Blazers? Joan Collins joins them...

Joan Collins, it seems, is supporting Kilroy and the scary UK Independence Party, which I have already discussed in those entries linked there.

Kilroy talks of Joan Collins as a role model for women (oh yeah, make up and fashion are, like, soooo liberating...) and such. He admits she has never bothered to vote before and he said he understood her views when she said in a national newspaper that she had nothing to discuss with a citizen of Slovakia after talking about the weather. Nice!

So, the Dynasty star is supporting the UKIP... A Guardian article today talks of the UKIP in terms of basically being a more upper class version of the racist BNP, and from what I know, this seems to be true.

The cover of UKIP's manifesto depicts three nappy-clad babies, adding: 'This is their country - make sure it stays that way.'

The influx of immigrants 'adds considerably to our problems, increasing social tensions', it adds: 'We cannot sustain this increase, which compares with a city the size of Cambridge coming into Britain every six months.'


Under the headline 'Immigration soaring' , a cartoon depicts 'overcrowded Britain', a shanty-town jumble of houses: across the sea, streams of eastern European immigrants pour into an entrance labelled 'Channel Funnel'. Inside, the leaflet adds: 'At last! A non-racist party that takes a firm line on immigration.'

These all come from today's Guardian which thankfully speaks some sense, in pointing out the inherent racism and xenophobia within the UKIP's policies and campaigns.

Like the BNP, it is unpalatable racism under a thin veil of acceptability (note the continued criticism of enforced political correctness from them both at times, as a really awful thing that stops people being truthful).

But Robert and Joan, Kilroy and Collins, seem to be endorsing it wholeheartedly, and with comments like Joan Collins' I do feel that my country - I am English - is losing a lot of what I grew up with what can you expect?

You know Joan, change is ok... it's good, even. I like the changes brought to this country by multiculturalism and I will support it all the way.

And given that Robert Kilroy-Silk apparently has a house in Spain, and Joan Collins lives in France, you do have to wonder what the hell they're talking about...

Saturday, May 29, 2004

pay attention...




don't do patriotism...


Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

Patriotic?? I think not!

First job: teaching piano and flute
First screen name: fra95pjw
First funeral: Auntie Rene
First piercing/tattoo: ears when i was 16
First credit card: barclaycard when i was 18 or 19, at uni
First Kiss: hehehe
First one that mattered: hehehehehehe
First love: G.O. (wouldn't want her to google her name, as let's face it, we all do from time to time, and find herself here...!)
First enemy: the scary green woman on rod hull and emu
First big trip: rome age 7
First concert: lots of classical / orchestral ones always. otherwise, probably tansads in the mill at the pier age 16 or so
First musician you remember hearing in your house: jazz jazz jazz
Last car ride: erm...? taxi home from respite care?
Last kiss: last saturday
Last library book checked out: a book about endometriosis
Last movie watched: buena vista social club
Last beverage drank: pepsi max
Last food consumed: a co-op chocolate truffle
Last phone call: N, childhood friend :)
Last time showered: in respite care in the week. don't have a shower here.
Last CD played: beatles no 1s
Last annoyance: spam in my email
Last soda drank: pepsi max
Last ice cream eaten: it's been many years :( - ice cream makes me ill :((
Last time scolded: only by myself i think
Last website visited: becksydee's LJ where i got this from.

Googlism for: hippie

hippie is watching you
hippie is not a matter of dress
hippie is someone who does not own anything
hippie is a matter of accepting a universal belief system that transcends the social
hippie is more about caring for others
hippie is arrested again
hippie is going to post a picture of himself
hippie is a c++ implementation of the famous alice
hippie is the best html editor i have used
hippie is overwriting itself
hippie is in het park 2
hippie is some one that respects the earth and doesn't harm but gives love
hippie is not confined to any age group
hippie is someone who believes in peace
hippie is not affliated with house the homeless or capitol area homeless
hippie is in the church' from intruding when retrieving 'the hippie is in the park' subjects could suppress facts associated
hippie is in the park
hippie is a program that simulates a natural conversation
hippie is an authorized ammp dealer
hippie is an html editor that allows users to create sophisticated html pages for their personal and business web pages site
hippie is not just long hair and the looks or acid
hippie is not just a teenage thing
hippie is near
hippie is also an end user
hippie is not just the way you look or dress
hippie is anyone whos adventurous and curious spirit is exceeded by thier open mind
hippie is "higher" than it is wide
hippie is connected to the following things
hippie is connected to because
hippie is for the open discussion of all matters relating to the hippie counterculture from the 60s to the present
hippie is a prototype of a nomadic information system
hippie is spinning
hippie is defined as a member of a loosely knit
hippie is ready for experimentation
hippie is not out to make a profit or to line our pockets donations may be tax deductible
hippie is a grass roots not for profit entity
hippie is a proud member of the
hippie is defeated your peace is dead hippie is defeated your love is dead nasty
hippie is like that?
hippie is the "retro hippie"
hippie is a total & hopeless romantic
hippie is "dr
hippie is likewise thoughtful
hippie is said to have been a drop
hippie is detrimental to the work that earth first
hippie is the same size as four hippie buddies
hippie is a 60?s themed umbrella complete with bell
hippie is a column featuring information and opinion on social
hippie is in the parade for narcotics trafficking
hippie is a matter of accepting a belief system which transcends the social
hippie is a text based html editor with a built in internet explorer preview pane
hippie is in the park the hippie is in the church the priest is in the
hippie is played by brandon dewilde
hippie is a modern day shaman
hippie is holding his cup of coffee up and studying it
hippie is
hippie is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such web sites
hippie is nothing to be ashamed of
hippie is the next best thing and there are more drugs
hippie is a surprise star in bookstore sales
hippie is the only truly user
hippie is a fantastic html editor that shows you a real
hippie is/was
hippie is bad and they say that if you wear hippie clothes it means that you take drugs and that you smoke
hippie is just be
hippie is having no attachments
hippie is screaming
hippie is flying over the mountains when all of a sudden there is a
hippie is weggevlucht naar het strand
hippie is a phase of life

There, you know a bit more about me now :)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

ChainBlogging: Carnivores and Herbivores

I used to be vegetarian. I was for 11 years, followed by a 10 month stint as a vegan. And yes, I was one of those probably annoying militant varieties...

I was around 12 years old and creating a magazine as an English project at school, and many of my articles were around animal rights issues. The more information I found on these issues, the more horrified I was - around fur coats, animal testing for medical, household and cosmetic purposes, and the more I realised that I couldn't eat these things with a clear conscience any more.

Of course, organisations who focused around these issues were more than happy to provide me with emotive and horrifying photos of distressed and dead animals to prove their point ;)

But yeah, I stuck with it. Myself and a few friends remained veggie, others phased in and out of it, but apart from a brief-ish 6 month or so period of eating meat again after about 7 years, I stuck fiercely to not eating "anything that used to have a face" and defending myself in doing such.

I think I was worse as an early teen vegetarian, in terms of lecturing the people around me about the dead animals on their dinner plates, though undoubtedly some of this continued.

When I went to uni I found myself in the rare situation where I was surrounded by more vegetarians and vegans than I was meat-eaters, so it was certainly a norm to eat no meat, and I stopped even realising that it wasn't a majority sport.

Moving to France where the sheer amounts of blood which pour out of every burger reminds you of the fact that it used to be a living thing reaffirmed my original reasons for becoming veggie, and I returned to it with even increased gusto.

2 or 3 years later I read about the existence of something called a rape rack used on dairy farms, and my attention was also drawn to the facts that humans are the only mammal which drinks another species' milk, and indeed that cows' milk is designed for baby cows, not adult humans. Not to mention the hormones and antibiotics that non-organic cows' milk must be full of.

I just couldn't eat dairy products any more.

I did ten months as a vegan, and contrary to many people's experiences, I didn't find it difficult. I occasionally missed cheese, but really it was a non-issue. It was easy. The only problem was that my depression at the time meant that I wasn't planning my eating well, or varying my food intake enough.

I truly, honestly believe that it is possible to live well on a healthy vegan diet, however I also believe that it takes a lot more planning, preparation and thought than most diets. At that period in my life I had no energy to plan, prepare or even think about my diet, and while I was quite happy living on marmite on toast, and I do believe that marmite is the only natural way a vegan can get vitamin B12 naturally.

However, after 10 or so months of this, my body decided otherwise. One day, I was walking past the sandwich shop and noticed their sign saying they had hot chicken and stuffing sandwiches...

Months, or even years, of protein deficiency took over, and I had to have chicken. There was no choice or decision involved in any of this - I needed chicken like you might need water in a desert, and for weeks it was all I ate. I couldn't stop!

That was, what, 3 years ago maybe, and I still eat meat. Yep, dead animals, things that used to have faces, I eat it. I like to think that my 11-12 years of abstaining from previously living things saved a certain number of animals, so the karma of this won't be too bad, but to be honest, nowadays I enjoy it.

I do believe that I will turn vegetarian again - maybe even vegan. I did consider becoming a meat-eating vegan for a while - still eating meat but still kinda horrified by the idea of milk - but it never happened.

For now, I eat meat, I like it, and if I am going to be veggie again it shouldn't have to be a battle. Life is hard enough without creating my own obstacles.

I managed vegetarianism for a long period of time because I wanted to do it. If I'm only half-hearted now it wouldn't work out, it would feel punishing, and I'd resent it.

Apparently it's National Vegetarian Week right now...

This is part of a chain of posts linked together by word association. The previous link in the chain was here. If you want to write another link here's what to do: Find a word, phrase or theme from this post to inspire your own and go and write it. It's that simple. Try not to write something that's similar to this post. That way the subject of the posts along the chain will vary. E.g. if I write about going to the doctor's, then don't talk about the last time you were ill, instead describe how you used to play Doctors and Nurses with the girl next door. Get the idea? Your post can be in any style you want. Copy this paragraph and tack it onto the end of your post, updating the link to point here, then leave a comment here that points to your new post.

Cartoons Posted by Hello
One of my favourite digital camera games... Posted by Hello

Me me me me me

I've been quiet for a few days. Partly general misery. Partly going into respite care. Partly having nothing to say about anything.

But I'm now out of respite care, still fairly miserable, but starting to have things to say again :)

Respite care is one of the few places I ever watch television. I can't get over how immensely more disturbing the news is with moving images. I lived for 25 or so years watching the news, then 18 months without has turned me into... well, I'm not sure what:

an oversensitive person? I don't think so... I mean, I am oversensitive, but I don't think it is inherently oversensitive to be upset at seeing films of dead bodies and bombs

a more easily shocked person? Maybe...

a less accepting of horrific things person? I like to think I was never accepting of horrific things, but maybe I'm now less accepting of witnessing them.


I did some more card making yesterday. I really enjoyed it! And am as pleased as I ever would be with the results... I'm not that creative, but if I do this stuff for fun, when I'm in the mood, I find it relaxing, and it means I have 4, yes FOUR cards ready for any approaching birthdays or card-requiring activities.

I like pretty things :D

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Who Gives a Shit?

London shortlisted for Olympic bid is what the radio news has been telling me all day.

Who gives a shit? This country seems to spend half its time trying to get shortlisted, an almost equal amount of time trying to get chosen, and a small (but essential) amount of time not ever being chosen, and then the whole rigmarole starts again.

I very much doubt we'll win the bid this time. We never do. We will waste £millions on pretty pictures and such and we won't be picked. And whether we do or not, I don't care. I don't think I know anyone who does.

And a man has been arrested for impersonating a police officer at Windsor Castle. Again, who gives a shit?

No members of the Royal Family were at the castle at the time and police say the pair, both in their 30s, did not breach security.

Ok, so not only do I not care, but it seems to be a non-story as well. There were no royals there (yawn), and this guy and a woman with him were in a public area... Why is this on the news?

And why are the royals so protected? What makes them any more important than me? Or you? Why?!

However, I do give a shit about the gay weddings stuff in Massachussetts. Here is a fabulous BBC photo report on the story, with a special appearance from the evil website people (note no link, don't want to encourage them).

A peace rally in Israel provokes some moving photographs too, and the Baghdad bomb attack photographs really show me more than I can deal with seeing.

Since I got rid of my television nearly 18 months ago, I feel the impact of visual images of such things much more strongly. Now that I get the vast majority of my news on the radio and am not bombarded daily with images of disasters, I find these types of images much more powerful and disturbing than I ever have before.

Protest photos are important, I think, to remind us that there are many millions of us who despair at the state of the world, and who are willing to shout, dance, cry, write and be all-roundly creative to change things. Photos from the Wall Must Fall demo last Saturday are inspiring and beautiful.

Not for the first time in his life, it seems Peter Tatchell was causing controversy. I have to admit to some sympathy for him on this one. Pretending that the Palestinian authorities are perfect is inappropriate if it's not true, and it is totally ok to stand up for Palestinians against their occupiers, while at the same time pointing out discrimination which occurs within its own communities. The two are not mutually exclusive or contradictory.

It's like there is sometimes an unspoken feeling within the anti-war communities that there must be no horror from anything done by Iraqis or Palestinians, say, because they are fighting the occupations of their territories / countries, and thus are justified. However, while I understand the reasoning and hatred and fear and bitterness behind any such actions, I still maintain the right to feel horrified at a man being beheaded, for instance.

It's all complicated. I know where they are coming from, and I support the determination for freedom, but I am essentially a pacifist and I want the fighting, all the fighting, to stop.

It hurts my soul.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Alarmed?? Yes!

Yes I am alarmed to look at my funky new list of referers to this blog and find that incurable hippie's comes 5th in the google results for "keep britain for the british"... argh! That was thanks to this entry in which I ranted about Kilroy standing as a UK Independence Party candidate in the forthcoming European elections.

I was secretly pleased to also come up on the results list of google searches for Charnock Richard Cycles which is the place of the best radio jingle ever, from my youth listening to Rock FM which I reminisced about in April. Awww.

I love being able to see my referrers just down there on the right hand side of the page. I think it will become a very interesting pastime!!

This Church of Critical Thinking entry about Catholicism and transubstantiation will make any Recovering Catholic smile and is informative for anyone who wants to have the "yes it is Jesus's actual body and blood, not just representative of it" stuff clarified.

It then goes on to look at the influence of the Catholic church on Amerikan politics, which is very, very interesting and contained stuff certainly new to me.

Mother Doesn't Want a Dog is a cute poem from Snowball which is worth a read, especially if, like me, your mum wouldn't allow you pets as a child!

I hadn't heard of Margaret Keane until recently, but I find her work totally absorbing. Both beautiful and disturbing, and I'm glad I was pointed in her direction.

An email update I just received has informed me that the (scary) Christian Institute are opposing a bill to ban smacking children. That's right, you read it correctly. They think hitting children is good, it seems. They are also complaining about the proposed civil partnership laws, allowing same-sex couples to register their partnerships, on the basis that siblings, and disabled people and their carers could not register theirs... Seems a bit spurious to me.

They give helpful examples, like:

A 60-year-old homosexual man picks up a 22-year-old in a gay bar. Shortly afterwards the 22-year-old moves in to the older man’s London home which has been in his family for generations. Within a month the two have entered into a civil partnership. The older man dies three months later and the 22-year-old inherits the home. Because of the partnership, he pays no inheritance tax.

What can you say to that then? Stone them! Stone them all!

And I'm sure they didn't intend the gay men cake decoration to be cute, but it really is!!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

14/5 or 5/14 or just my birthday yesterday :)

Irene Stuber runs an incredible website at all about undeleting women from his/herstory.

The Women of Achievement section of her website tells me some significant events around women's herstory which have occurred on May 14th, my birthday. I especially like that on May 14th 1918, the right to vote and stand for political office for all women of the Canadian Province was validated.

Another site tells me that Thomas Gainsborough and Cate Blanchett share my birthday, and elsewhere I find that the month of May is...

  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

  • On May 7, 1990, President George Bush signed a proclamation declaring May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, recognizing the first Japanese immigrants arriving in the United States on May 7, 1843.

  • Better Hearing and Speech Month

  • Better Sleep Month

  • Egg Month (National)

  • Mental Health Awareness Month

  • Huntington's Disease Awareness Month

  • Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month (World)

  • Older Americans Month

  • Physical Fitness & Sports Month (National, US)

  • Teacher Appreciation Month

  • Trauma Awareness Month (National)

though these, of course, are very US-centric.

And how can I not follow a link to Favo(u)rite resources for Catholic homeschoolers, which tells me that 14th May is the Feast of St. Matthias (d. 65) Apostle and Martyr, and birthday of Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686) German scientist.

I guess of all that I'm most inspired by Canadian women getting the vote, 59 years (I think!) before the date I was born.

I had a lovely day yesterday with friends and beer and the sun was shining :) I'm now 27...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Oly-hay Ible-bay

Oly-hay Ible-bay is the official title of The Bible in Pig Latin, which is worth a look or two.

And Britain's Favourite Flowers from the Guardian is a bit of eye candy which seems rarer and rarer in the days of more and more horror being recorded for posterity and shared. No links to that because I can't stand to see any more of it.

And if you want a proper giggle, try We Like tha Moon. Leaving it running through several times almost guarantees insanity.

Sorry it's not so inspired today. I am tired, stressed and miserable.

Adopt your own useless blob!

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Independence, Insults and Inherent Idiocy

I was, for some reason, stunned to read thatKilroy will become a UK Independence Party candidate in the forthcoming elections.

The BBC gives a fair summary of the whole Kilroy issue, but basically, he was an MP in the Labour Party, then became a TV talk-show host, apparently to provide a British equivalent of Oprah...

He was on at 9am on a weekday and was the mainstay of morning viewing for kids on half term, and uni students. Mainly, though, cos the better TV hadn't started yet... If you wanted an early morning row, usually over street muggings and such, you tuned into BBC 1, until you either got insanely irritated, or until Trisha started at - I think - half past.

Kilroy was characterised by beginning with a mini speech by the man himself, a fairly in-depth story from one or two audience members, then a discussion, leading to anarchy in the audience of often over-60s. Though the programme may have usually started with a seemingly sympathetic look at someone's situation, it soon descended into right-wing diatribes, almost always against people on the dole, single mums, or drug users.

Incredibly moralistic, his meagre attempts to show himself as an objective interviewer proved futile as his own moral agenda became clearly visible.

Anyway, earlier this year, many grinned when he well and truly dropped himself in it by launching into an anti-Arab racist rant entitled, "We owe Arabs nothing".

I'm not going to reproduce it here, because that kind of attitude already has too much webspace, but you can imagine, I'm sure. Anyway, he got bollocked and eventually the BBC suspended the show.

Soooooo that was January this year, and now he's standing for the UK Independence Party it seems. I don't know much about this party, but what I know and what I read on their site tells me that they are essentially very anti-Europe, and full of the whole "keep britain for the british" stuff that I hate.

He sounds like, umm, an ideal candidate :-/

Racist fucker.

Friday, May 07, 2004

The Terrifying Tale of the Missing Beeps

I have to admit to a certain scepticism when my source informed me of the mysterious disappearance of the middle two beeps before the ten o'clock news. I challenged her certainty that it had been the middle two beeps specifically which were absent, suggesting that it was equally likely to have been, for instance, 1 and 3, say, which were missing.

However i was quickly reminded of her inherent superiority, on an intellectual plane, to not only myself but the majority of the thinking world. She patiently explained that there had been 2 beeps, then a gap, then the final 2.

My Nancy Drew-like sleuthing powers kicked in and i surmised that we were almost certainly dealing with a kidnapping. The most obvious suspects were, of course, the notorious Tory Rebel terrorist cell.

This was certainly a typical, though more hard-hitting than we are accustomed to from them, attempt to throw those liberal lefty radio 4 listeners right off course. The missing beeps, in combination with the recently broken quarter chimes on big ben, was clearly a tactic intended to scare the wishy washy world into submission.

And it was working.

I witnessed a grown man squaring his jaw as he had his long liberal locks shorn, a social worker leaving work early to go to the British Legion, and a well-known lefty campaigner joining... the Labour Party.

With such devastation around us within moments of the affront of the missing beeps, the Tory Rebel terrorist campaign was proving to be not only severe and heartless, but also effective. If we didn't find the beeps and restore them to their rightful slot before the 11 o'clock news all hell would, without a doubt, break loose.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Has to be seen - genius

Ok, I know I've only just posted and it's already all disjointed and now I'm adding something else under a separate entry and it's all very bad blogiquette, but I couldn't let you leave without readingthis amazing entry from The Church of Critical Thinking


The Infected Papercut led me to a list of 100 Mistakes for the President to Choose From, apparently in response to a press conference where dubya was asked to name a mistake he had made, and amazingly he couldn't.

There's nothing on there you won't have heard before, but it can be handy to have a whole lot of references on the one page.

I started looking for short free online courses, and decided to list some random ones here. I was quite surprised by the variety (i.e. they're not all beginners' Spanish). However, don't expect too much. Many of these places offer a free introductory lesson in an attempt to then sell you the rest of the course, others are courses written to promote a product, and yet others are so surrounded by adverts it's hard to keep track of what you're supposed to be there to do.

There are a few, however, which seem to be there for the good of humankind, which can only be a good thing. However, I guess the 7 million free Bible study online courses I found would argue that they were there for that purpose... I have not listed those here incidentally!

Anyway, click away if there's anything that catches your fancy, just bear in mind my warnings above.

Free online photography courses

Free Education on the Internet

Free Online Courses from the University of Washington

Web Building Tutorials

A Jazz Improvisation Primer

Free online self help courses

Bookbinding, a tutorial

BBC Learning - Online Courses

Free Stop Panic Attacks course

Judaism and Vegetarianism

Ukrainian Language for Beginners

Digital Camera and Digital Photography Courses

W3Schools - online web tutorials

Hmmm you always come across something you don't quite expect when you're doing an apparently straight-forward search...

And... did you ever want to download the internet?!

Mixed bag today it seems...

May barbarians invade your personal space!
Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!
"May barbarians invade your personal
You are highly confrontational and possibly in a
bad mood. You would have sworn in this quiz,
if I had made it an option.

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Gay Bear
Gay Bear

Which Dysfunctional Care Bear Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, May 03, 2004

Sheep and Shit-Stirrers

I have finally got round to finding a photo of theHermit sheep 'Shrek' shorn of 6-year-old woolly fleece. Well, ok, that makes me sound proactive when in fact someone sent me the link, but, you know, I clicked on it.

The sheep in question looked totally different to how I'd imagined him, and I can kinda see myself emerging looking something like that after 6 years of self-imposed solitude as a hermit as well. All enclosed and protected by a huge ball of fuzz. So, so tempting.

It seems the government has had another marvellous idea - to charge failed asylum seekers for healthcare. Not only is this totally outrageous and denying the necessary health care many people need, but also I can't imagine the money saved would be anything other than negligible. I could actually even imagine that it could end up more expensive if they have to treat people as emergencies, when conditions which could have been easily managed earlier on have now become more dangerous or severe.

It's just racist shit, pure and simple. The government is trying to appeal to and placate the fascists (and Tories by showing how tough they are being on these scary foreigners, but in fact, the only reason asylum seekers have become a big issue here is because the government and the tabloids have made them that. It's a self-perpetuating situation which has led to the evil BNP gaining seats and credibility, and people getting tougher and tougher.

The facts are that asylum seekers are here to escape extreme situations in which they would be killed or tortured. They have left their homes, often their families, friends, possessions, jobs and communities to do this. They arrive elsewhere and are forced to live in poor housing, in abject poverty, and as if that was not all horrific enough, but then they also have to face bigotry, racism and fascist attitudes coming from the media, the government, and certain people around them.

I cling onto the hope that it is a minority of people who truly hold negative opinions about asylum seekers. But one big problem is that for anyone who is undecided or not so knowledgeable on the issues, the papers and government's attitudes and propaganda can easily push someone into believing that asylum seekers are people to be feared, to be hated, and to be "sent home" at all costs.

No borders!!

And, for the hamster feature of the day, check out this cool site I found where you can upload photos of your own hamsters and gerbils and you can find Pierrot / Nepenthe, Heidi and Clara.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Christianity, Cutting and Corn Dogs

When I come across a link entitled Weblog: Is Christianity to Blame for Teen Self-Mutilation?, it is the kind of thing I cannot often resist reading. When I then realise that the blog is written by Christianity Today I certainly cannot resist!

It is written in response to a Guardian article which turns out to be about self harm generally in young people, about the worryingly younger ages of children who are self harming, and such. The section about which the Christianity Today blog is referring to is as follows:

"Images of self-harm are all around us, particularly in religious iconography. Christianity is founded on the notion that Christ suffered for the world's sins and there have been sects which practiced self-flagellation and mutilation throughout history. Pain and the spilling of our own blood are seen as ways of cleansing ourselves. Likewise, when teenagers cut themselves they often say it is a release, a way of punishing themselves or others."

Now, while I would never say that Christianity or Catholicism have caused my self harm, for life is never so simplistic, I will say that the doctrine of punishing your body, of mind-pleasure being superior to bodily-pleasure, of overriding your body's needs, and of overriding pain for the sake of spiritual development, have all contributed to a state of mind in myself where self harm seems not only acceptable, but even kinda the best thing to do, with regards to a Catholic lifestyle.

Not logically, of course, but in that place where your head can take you, especially if that head is a Roman Catholic one.

But unfortunately, the above weblog's intelligent response to the debate was "Whatever" so I'm not much wiser on the other side of the argument.

"What does the Bible say about body piercing?" was an equally intriguing link, with almost laughable prescriptive and out-of-context quotations from Leviticus et al, and references to the evil background of body piercings and tattoos in (oooh) witchcraft and false religions (sic)...

Helpful comments such as, "Some even have this done on unspeakable parts of their bodies. These are abnormal and unnatural." and "Because the youth of our day are despising and rebelling against their parents this is very displeasing to the Lord as one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible is to honor our parents" really do not contribute much to the debate of the rights and wrongs of body piercing / adornment / whatever.

And is anyone surprised by this tirade of contradiction and woman-hating...?

"It is a different matter when women wear pierced earrings as a custom, without the rebellion and pride attached to it. However, this could even be wrong if women are filled with vanity and pride over their appearance. Remember God looks at our heart attitudes. In fact, the Bible speaks of a generation of women that will be alive at the coming of the Lord that will be judged severely for their flirting and their haughtiness."

I think not...

Unfortunately it is what we have come to expect from Christianity. I don't care what people do or don't believe in, but really, if you are going to have the backing of something influential (for right or wrong) like Christianity, use it for *good*. Use it to feed starving people or to banish oppression. Analysing the differences between pierced earrings in respectable women, compared to pierced earrings in women who are doing it to rebel, and condemning anyone and everyone over minutiae, just makes most people raise an eyebrow and walk on.

And, in the spirit of totally lowering the tone of intellectual discussion, meet corndog.

adopt your own virtual pet!

Consider the bandwagon truly leapt upon ;)

Saturday, May 01, 2004

BBC - Ouch! - Columnists

As some of you know, I love BBC Ouch website - link at the side for instance, and I was just reading through the weekly newsletter and about to link to a fabulous article about Evil Mat wanting to take over Mat's interviews as an actor with journalists who ask stupid, offensive and just plain rude questions about his disability.

So yeah, I was about to do that and I was still working my way through the newsletter when I came across this bloglist on their site, listing blogs they found which look at disability issues, and bloody hell fire, there is little old me!!

Am I mad to be so totally excited?! Well, actually, we already know I'm mad, so I will just say...

I am so totally excited

He he he he he! And I really already had started this entry with the Evil Mat link before I'd got as far as the bloglist page!!!!!!

In any case, this is how they described my blog:

This UK blogger, who has a number of interesting entries on mental health topics (and has the good sense to link to Crippled Monkey), describes herself as a "mad, in debt, radical, angry, pacifist, warrior, flower-power chick ..."

Ok I will stop being so sycophantic and stuff now, just so totally excited!!

I also love radio 4 with an undoubtedly inappropriate passion. I love that the broken quarter bell of Big Ben is being treated, quite rightly, as the biggest crisis to hit Britain so far this century... What will the world be like now with a whole week of beeps instead of chimes at 6pm and midnight...?