It has been months since I posted and I have missed the 15th anniversary of
my livejournal. I had almost, but not quite fully, forgotten about this
There is a sudden and doubtless brief resurgence of interest in LJ as we a
result of Livejournal Lives. A lot of old faces appear, and one or two of
them are now very old! The Livejournal I remember best is probably the
livejournal of the early 2000s, which is now a long time ago. Before
smartphones and the ease of posting photos. Back then you could of course
post photos, but it was hassle you had limits to how many you could upload
and often had to much around with html to actually put them on a webpage.
So the internet was far more text oriented. And more long form.
It feels strange to see so many faces that are not quite familiar, but
neither are they unknown. A huge crowd of people that I used to know some
aspect of their lives, often via other people's journals or comments. A lot
of them now seem to have their far share of wrinkles, grey hair and kids. A
bit like me I suppose.
I am not really sure if returning to LJ is not a bit like a old bloke going
back to the park he used to play at when he was 7. I cannot really be the
me I was back in 2003, and that is both a good and a bad thing.
Part of the reason I no longer really post is that I blocked from posting,
but in all honest that could be evaded if I choose to. Mostly I just don't
think I would get that much out of posting here every day or every week
anymore. I am not totally sure if this will even post.
Merry Christmas to all you Livejournallers!
I have to accept that I am now living in a suburban area.
There are a few Facebook groups I am in that are "geographic" and the posts largely constitute of false claims about the European Union or endless moaning about how long the council is letting the grass grow.
I think maybe there is something to the EU debate that both sides are missing and that is that it is more to do with identity. People in the area are not exactly poor as they have fairly trivial concerns - parking is another one. I suspect that many who want us to exit are probably happy with a freshly cut grass, the odd Indian or Chinese takeaway, paved front gardens so cars can be parked, etc. It was quite interesting as we drove through rural Hampshire yesterday there were a lot of houses with Leave signs, yet these areas actually benefit most from the huge agricultural subsidy and they don't really have any immigrants to speak of. I don't think they are adding up cost and benefits or evaluating risks. They just want their view of England to be maintained.
The rather odd leave TV advert had a sort of Sliding Doors split screen where some poor old dear had to hang around for hours in the EU version, and was seen straight away in the Exit scenario. EU net immigration was the highest ever at 200,000 last year. I have heard this being talked about as a city the size of X(which tends to vary). But in reality it is not so big against the base population of 65 million. Assuming the numbers remain high that is still going to be 2 million or 3% in ten year’s time. That is only really going to be one person ahead of you in the crowded doctor's surgery or one extra kid in class. It is not going to make a huge difference. Of course this all assumes that the immigrants just consume public services rather than coming her as teacher, doctor, nurses or people who cut the fucking grass.
Many areas seem to struggle with public service provision(this is part of the reason why the grass is allowed to grow). We have faced public sector cuts for five years now, and it is odd that this issue seems to be one people care about. I suspect it might be that long grass is more visible than crappy social services or longer hospital waiting lists that just impact a small subset of the population.
I used to like LJ_Book which archived your journal into a pdf. So I was a bit disappointed to discover that it is now something that I have to pay for. It is $25 for a year or $70 for two years. I am not sure who you are making the payment to, so it is not a great deal. I think it is just a bit annoying as it leaves me with only dreamwidth as a backup. Poor old LJ_archive broke on me years ago.
The internet seems to be aflame with the dead Gorillas story. The story seems to be a 3-4 year old boy somehow slipped away from his mother and climbed into the Gorilla cage in the zoo. The Gorilla got close to the animal and the zookeepers shot it dead.
A heady mixture of:-
1. we love animals
2. bad mother!
So for many people an innocent animal has been killed and the mother is responsible.
Neither of these points really stack up in my mind.
Firstly we don't love animals. We treat them like shit and it is accepted, totally accepted. In fact it is regarded as pretty weird if you do care much about animals - beyond the odd pet. Had her son slipped off and bought a beefburger no-one would have condemned her, although this would surely have contributed to the death of a cow. I suppose you might argue a gorilla is more intelligent than a cow, but I have no way of being sure. Maybe the gorilla is rarer, which makes some sense to me. But to value an animal on how rarity is different to how we value people. It is exactly how we value objects, and it might be akin to smashing a beautiful work of art - tragic but hardly a violation of the objects rights. And it seems odd that rights depend on how rare you are anyway. Human rights are generally regarded as indivisible, animals have to share them around(perhaps with bonus rights for being more like humans).
Secondly the bad mother argument is based on the one minute she took her eye off the child. Perhaps not the other four years in which she might possible have done a very good job. There is not enough information to tell. The baseline assumption has to be that someone is at least an average mother though, I don't think that losing sight of a child for a couple of minutes is that bad. I have certainly done it.
Perhaps her big downfall was not to show some kind of remorse, presumably because she was more worried about her son. Had she been able to afford a PR firm they might have advised her to combine gratitude with sorrow. As it was all the selfish, neglectful bitch could feel was happy her son was alive.
I am sorry that the Gorilla had to die, and that the zoo failed to adequately carry out what ought to have been in primary duty to protect the safety of its visitors and staff. Also sad that gorillas have to live in zoos to be safe, although it is quite hard to condemn people from eating bushmeat whilst eating a chicken and bacon sandwich.
I guess I feel a bad for the mother and worse for the people who are signing petitions and dedicating facebook groups calling for her to be punished. At worst she made a mistake, if you are sitting down and hating someone for their mistakes then it does not say much about your charity or compassion. I guess these are the types of people who burned witches or jews - hating because they are told to hate and the rest of the crowd is doing it.
The UK seemed to go for a long time without referendum. The rule seemed to be you elect some folk who you hope are wiser than you and they make decision for you. They were able to survey the facts, decisions were played out over a long period of time and discussed at great lengths. Education and access to information was much more limited so it was not totally absurd to assume they knew more about education, public health, or German-Danish relations than you. Very periodically you get decide whether to keep your representative or not, but only they can vote the whole lot of them out. It was hard to sack them because you simply disagreed with them on a single issue.
It seems that we are moving towards a system whereby we are going to have referendums. There was one on Europe before I was born, and one on Scottish independence. But we had a few on devolutions in the 1990s, alternative voting systems and more devolutions in the 2010s and the soon to happen EU Referendum.
I suppose the hope is that referendum support a sort of groundswell of learning and debate. In reality it seems that both sides have learned that voters are primarily motivated by fear of loss, and that most people are interested in one or two issues and scare stories are devised around these issues - neither side pays much attention to the truth. There probably are some moderate voices on both sides, but they do get drowned out by the nonsense and gobshites.
I think it is worst on social media, you see a lot of things posted that are obviously discredited or false - amounts transferred to europe or the precise relation of the European Court of Human Rights to the EU. The irony is the true numbers are facts are probably just as convincing. I am not sure that most people really draw a huge distinction between £380 million per week and £250 million per week.
The problem is that if one side decides to be balanced and try and present the truth they are going to get torn to pieces. So you see a lot of people asking for the facts, which is a bit difficult as no-one knows. A big focus on TV debates where someone has to have won are unlikely to really help matters too much. What you will see is clever turns of phrases or witty put-downs. It is simply not possible to have a debate on the basis of facts.
A lot was made of how the Scottish referendum campaign ignited interest in politics, and I wonder if the debate there was any better. I suspect not as no-one seems too keen to go in for a re-run.
The Conservative party especially are divided in Europe, in the 19th century they would probably have split in two, but modern political parties are too expensive and centralised to make that very likely. Instead there are two groups that don't seem to much like each other locked together, unable to finally decide on issue. Now the old system I mentionned at the top has been turned on its head, and they seem be hoping that the people that elected them are able to make the decision for them. The hope is to settle an issue for "a generation". The problem for our elites is whether they will really accept the argument has been won or lost.
I am clearly a long way behind the curve when it comes to adblockers. This may explain why I am still stuck on this website, which was basically aimed at slightly awkward and introverted 14-23 year old girls living in the early naughties.It seems that a lot of people are using them and so never see adverts. Whereas for me they are everywhere on the internet.
I am not sure that anyone admits to clicking on them, it seems everyone feels adverts do not influence them. But the global advertising industry is huge, so either the whole thing is just absolute bullshit. Or people are more influenced by adverts than they admit. Right now John Lewis is trying to sell me a couple Kenwood chef attachment - icecream maker and a grater - and three sofas that don't look hugely different to the ones I bought a couple of months ago. Frankly I have nowhere to store anymore vary similiar sofas and it just seems too soon to upgrade. I suspect it is about normalisation the idea of consumption of something. Do I really need an icecream maker? Or if they cost thousands would I lament the fact one could not be acquired for just £25? Probably not, but just knowing they are out there and not really all that expensive means I may acquire one. I don't feel confident in stating I would never buy one, and I suspect the more I see them the more I might think getting one is a good idea.
I guess I am probably doomed to see more of these things as everyone else is blocking them. It seems a little bit unfair that you should block adverts. I mean no-one wants to pay for any intellectual content on the web, so adverts are all there for creators. And yet people seem to find the adverts are too much of an imposition. Presumably the big players - who are basically Facebook and Google have ways around this.