August 4th, 2007



March 2001


This will go down as a vile month

With sappers burying long dead sheep

And Cumbria as dark with pyres

As Mordor. But that’s agribusiness.

Feed your beasts on funny stuff,

And kill the bugs and the meadow flowers.

And what do you expect? You wanna see

Nature at her bitching best?

You’ll have to come to town for that

And walk abandoned railway lines,

Or mooch about the derelict pits

And mills where no-one’s ever sprayed.

I step outside to fetch  the bin

And the grass behind the garages

Just ticks with life that won’t make money.

So Foot and Mouth  is back- this time on a farm in Surrey, or, at least, that's where it's been first detected- but the likelihood is they'll find it here, there and everywhere,  because it's so contagious.  The footage that was used to back the story on TV last night was presumably from the last outbreak- the dead cows being stacked like kindling, the smoking pyres. 

I see (from this poem I've dug up) I was quite angry in 2001. in 2007 I'm more inclined to shrug. Yeah, this is the kind of mess human beings get themselves into. So it goes. The difference is not just that I'm older, it's that Iraq has happened in the meantime. What are a few dead cows and sheep beside the humanitarian disaster we've caused over there? Maybe anger is the more appropriate response but I'm all angered out.  Anger just doesn't seem to get us anywhere, does it?


Fandom- I don't get it.

Why would you want to mess with someone else's characters when you can create your own?

Does J.K. Rowling take pleasure in badly written stories about her characters having sex?  I doubt it.  Why- If you admire and enjoy her work - would you want to disrespect her so? 

Isn't "fan" a bit of a misnomer?

But lets move from the general to the specific. An artist just got banned by LJ because of an image she posted of Harry and Snape.

Only the banning seems ineffective because she's bounced back and the image is viewable. (I'm not giving links. I don't want to give her any more publicity than she's getting already).

I clicked. I was expecting an image of them kissing. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The characters were clearly modelled on Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman. Isn't this defamation of character or libel of something?

Even more to the point:  British comedian Chris Langham is about to go to prison for downloading images which (I assume ) are comparable to this. 

So- forget morality- LJ needs to guard itself against prosecution.

But I don't want to forget morality. You take characters from a beloved children's book and you produce an image of them that any paedophile would be proud to own (you can quibble over whether Harry looks underage or not if you want to be legalistic and miss the point) and  I can't think of any grounds on which I'd be prepared  to defend you.

A lot of fans are up in arms and banging on about censorship.  I just watched a video of a girl give a little self-righteous speech then attempt to burn her LJ shirt with a blow torch .  Fine. Off you trot to some less scrupulous site and good luck to you!  As it happens, I'm perfectly happy to see you go.