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Showing posts from November, 2019

The Recovery Guy's Mistress

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The brightest heart is a rebel heart For a little while I had a strange Facebook messenger relationship with a woman I met in Brighton who was having an affair with the recovery guy who helped fix our car. We'd driven to Brighton to attend an event called FILTH, as was our habit. A three hour flit across the country dressed in our finery. The tyre burst just as we rolled into Brighton, so we rolled on a little further and parked up. I was dressed as a schoolgirl and I looked fine. After a fun evening, including adventures with a dwarf and a genderqueer saxophonist from Belgium we returned to the car with the dwarf to fix the tyre. The dwarf is a very nice guy called Adrian who we're still in touch with by the way, he was a great help that evening. I called the recovery people but started changing the tyre anyway, at the very least I could use their airgun to tighten my nuts (and we thought the play had finished for the evening). Just as we finished replacing the tyre

The Balkan Wars and Trusting the Media

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I grew up in a pretty normal middle class house. A good upbringing and a happy childhood. Lots of good memories, which is a great privilege that I'm grateful for. I lost my belief that "the media" tells the truth around 1992, aged 18, during the Balkan wars. In 1992 I was 18 and doing A Levels at St George's comprehensive school in Harpenden. I followed the Balkan wars of 1992-1995 avidly, it was exciting, dangerous and not very far away. The further adventures of events sparked back into life by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the retreat of the Iron Curtain, yet having their roots in European history reaching back before the second world war and before the first world war. The Balkan war essentially pitted Bosnia and Herzegovina against Serbia and Croatia. NATO was particularly against the Serbs who were seen as war criminals in this war. It was an appalling war. It actually came as a shock to me the first time it happened. We had reports of NATO forces

White Male Privilege

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Durham University Back in the day Durham always resented being "second tier" to Oxbridge. An offer from Oxbridge meant that an application to Durham would be automatically rejected. They wouldn't be second to anyone.  So a Durham degree always came with a tiny serving of chip on the shoulder. Me? I'm a university dropout. No trace of a chip upon my shoulder at all... I'm genX, I hate everyone equally. Whatever university you did or didn't go to. Cambridge for academics, Oxford for industrialists. But still the best engineers came from Cambridge. Oxbridge. I went mad in the same fields as Syd Barrett. That was more than twenty years ago though. My grandfather lectured in classics at St Catherine's and my father went to Corpus Christi. He met my mother in Cambridge and proposed on Castle Hill, an Anglo Saxon hill fort.  I proposed to my wife on top of Castle Hill as well. I chose Corpus because it was a small college, had th

Intersectional Feminism

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That trans women are to be supported in their struggle for their identity as women is an obvious and automatic conclusion of intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism, as I understand it in quite a shallow way, is the contribution to Feminist thinking and philosophy largely by black women. Intersectional feminism is, I think, the recognition of how many axes of privilege and oppression intersect uniquely in every individual. It's clearly right. Race and poverty and gen der identity and the patriarchy and disability are all different axes of privilege and oppression. It is therefore concerned with different axes of identity and how they shape our experience of life, including by being a cause of suffering because of injustice in the world. So you can't be a feminist and concerned about the struggle of all women without also caring about poverty and race and gender identity, because of how much they also disproportionately affect women. Knowing your privilege i

Socialism

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The Kanji Ghost Character Lots of my friends post memes decrying Capitalism as a damaging thing. The way the world is currently ordered, so that some people have so much and so many people suffer such a lot is clearly wrong and immoral. The big issue I have is that the standard definition of Capitalism is something like "allowing private ownership and trade". The standard alternative is Communism defined as "property and trade controlled by the government". Or something like that. Maybe industry instead of property. That definition of communism is straight Marxism, which is that the means of production should be owned by the workers. And that's a failed ideology. Soaked in blood. Disaster capitalism with self-righteous clothing. Every Capitalist state in the world has some degree of state ownership and welfare system etc. So effectively every government is Socialist to some degree. The question is just how much, but Socialism operates within Capitalis

The Jesus Centre

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Wow, the Jesus Centre is fading. The Deco at The Old Savoy! Iconic Town Centre landmark to be rebranded Before the Northampton Jesus Centre opened in 2004 I was tasked with researching community needs in Northampton and laying out the vision for a centre to serve the people of Northampton. I visited a whole bunch of other community centres around the country and many projects serving the community in Northampton already, both for inspiration and to understand the needs in the area and different ways of meeting those needs. A drop in centre for the homeless was already planned, piloted in one of the commercial properties attached to the cinema. I helped two of our local members setup and start running a mums and babies group called Little Ark, initially running in a community hall. My report on the needs of Northampton outlined a vision of "holistic care", trying to meet as many of the needs of individuals we served. Alongside this was a vision of empowering our me