Wednesday, May 31, 2006


The World is an amazing place and, on a clear net, you can see... just as far as your government's GoodThought firewall will let you.

It has become an increasing issue in the last year or so. Starting with China, the trend has now spread to Iran and Pakistan. More worryingly, the policies have been colluded with by western companies like Cisco, Yahoo!, and Google (Heh! How long will this blog stay up?)

Amnesty International, together with the Observer, has decided to do something about it.

The Irrepressible website is intended to highlight the problem, and to subvert it by displaying excerpts from ungood postings. The more who participate, the more those folk who just can't cope with alternate worldviews will be painted into a corner.

Pay it a visit.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Barbie Liberation Front

Little Missy is just coming from the heady heights of her fourth birthday. Had an enjoyable party, got lots of presents from various people. Some good, some... well, it's the thought that counts.

Of course, that's the protective parent talking. You know: the one who seeks to shelter their wee one from the dastardly and corrupting influences this sinful world has to offer.

Influences like... barbie dolls.

As contemptuous as I am of this synthetic queen WASP of kitsch, I had to quirk an eyebrow a while back when I heard a bizarre report that many children are deliberately mutilating their Barbies! What on earth? I wondered. Why would anyone waste time doing this? What deep psychological chilhood traumas are involved?

These thoughts resurfaced as LM was presented with a couple of examples of this ode to the consumer society, all enticingly packed, and packed, packed!!? As I unpacked, and unwired, and unpacked, and... it became clear to me what the underlying cause was.

Barbie is into bondage!

Oh, it's not so overt that you'll find accessories featuring whips and black leather. No! The clues lie in all that wiring lurking in the packaging.

LM's comment as we finally liberated the torso from its prison demonstrated concern and insight:
Poor thing!!
But Barbie was smiling all the time, just as I bet she does during those mutilation rituals described.

And the thought that goes through her empty plastic head? ('thought' in the singular form for, as is the case with her wannabe: Paris Hilton, there can only be one at a time, max) In keeping with the consumerism she represents, what else could it be but:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back in The Yoke

After about 4 weeks of the 'dole queue', I've been re-employed on a short term contract, writing python. There may be a couple of other possibilities after that. Who knows?

Four weeks is good! The last time I was in this position, the wait was more like four *months*, and that involved a stroke of luck.

Meantime, all those household maintenance chores are going to have to wait!