politics


Listening to: Burn Black – Hole

Ooh, the Guardian‘s a bit more interesting than usual today (it’s my homepage and there’s been fuck all worth reading lately):

Ten rules for writing fiction. I particularly like Jonathan Franzen’s advice, even though I despise his fiction (Strong Motion? Oh, how I rue the day I picked that up), and Geoff Dyer’s:

If you use a computer, constantly refine and expand your autocorrect settings. The only reason I stay loyal to my piece-of-shit computer is that I have invested so much ingenuity into building one of the great auto­correct files in literary history. Perfectly formed and spelt words emerge from a few brief keystrokes: “Niet” becomes “Nietzsche”, “phoy” becomes ­”photography” and so on. ­Genius!

Maybe I should start writing fiction again. I saw my friend R. yesterday (we went to see this) and she asked me if I still did – god, I like the idea of it, anyway. (I can only seem to write when there’s something else I should be doing instead – assignments to write, books to shelve. I’ve never been more prolific than when I worked at the uni library – all those afternoons crouched down in the stacks, scribbling furiously in my notebook when I should have been paying closer attention to the 8-digit call numbers…)

Can you make society more ethical? I can barely bring myself to skim the answers – Comment is Free so rarely brings out the best in people – but what a great conversation to try to have! Oh, and okay, I don’t think anyone reading this actually lives in London, but who wants to come to the panel discussion at the British Museum?

I’m thinking about chartership (everyone seemed to be going for it when I was volunteering at the LL and my boss mentioned it as an option the other day). As someone who didn’t even bother to join ALIA, it’s a strange thing to be thinking about, but maybe it’s time to be more of a careerist – I definitely need to find a way to be more a part of the London or UK library community. Or maybe I should just get another hobby.

P.S. Knit the City – !!! How wonderful!

Listening to: Forget It, Sister – You Am I

When I left my last job, I was given a book voucher but I couldn’t decide how to spend it. Luckily, Patti Smith has been everywhere lately (there was even an interview with her in the Vogue I picked up off the floor of the library today) and I happened to have time to kill in Kensington this afternoon and there was a Waterstone’s… So after traipsing up and down the stairs for a bit, trying to get a straight answer from the salespeople (“I think we’ve sold out, but try upstairs in Music” – “Well, there might be a copy left in the Biography section, if you can find it”. Libraries are so much more sensible – imagine if I spoke to students like that!), I emerged with my very own copy of Just Kids, her book about life with Robert Mapplethorpe in New York from the late ’60s onwards. So far – and I’ve only read the first chapter, which is Patti’s childhood in Chicago and Pennsylvania, her discovery of the power of her own imagination and her introduction to books – it’s beautiful.

Less beautifully, Tony Abbott is a fuckwit, but at least people are writing about it. I particularly like this piece by Karen Brooks:

I wanted to give myself a context for understanding all the brouhaha that erupted last week when our budgy-smuggler-wearing Opposition Leader was quoted as having said ‘women should treat virginity as a gift.’ My knee-jerk response was, ‘You’re a gift, Abbott, with a silent ‘f’.

(Tony Abbott is married! Was this well-known? Gross.) I think I kind of miss Australian politicians. I’ve enrolled to vote here, but to be honest I don’t know what I’m doing. They don’t have Green MPs! I’m not sure how to work with that.

My lovely boss had a nasty accident on her bike last night (thanks to a taxi, which is completely horrifying) and although she’s going to be fine (superficial but frightening-to-behold injuries, apparently), I’m in charge for the next couple of weeks. The day-to-day librarian stuff I can handle, but there’s a massive gap in qualifications between us and the library assistants (who are lovely and competent but are also mostly gap year students and refer pretty much all enquiries to us) and finding a way to maintain a useful service to students from 8.30am until 7.00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays is going to be a bit of a nightmare. We just closed early today, but it wouldn’t be fair to do that again and we had a heap of reference queries as I was trying to get out the door this afternoon (I’d normally finish at 3.45 and do the late on Thursday). And I can let the others open on Thursday morning, but then my whole day will be spent on the Help Desk and I’ll miss out on any admin time. Argh!

Listening to: Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill

I have the best boss in the world! That anti-choice teen pregnancy book? Withdrawn! She came over to me yesterday, aghast, and said she hadn’t realised how bad it was when she ordered it and that there’s no way we can have that sort of rubbish on our shelves when our students have a genuine need for information.

This job is so, so great.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZxxhxjgnC0]

(Everyone loves a bit of Maoist ballet.)

Listening to: Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry

Nothing like sharehousing to clarify one’s politics. I need firm decisions and centrally administered services! Whose turn is it to buy the fucking toilet paper? I bought the last lot and the hand soap.

I am not an anarchist.

Listening to: Hot Topic – Le Tigre

It was a good weekend for movies! I also saw the excellent Itty Bitty Titty Committee:

[YouTube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=lj0qO6pTdhw]

Once you’ve all seen it, let’s open a dance club that plays Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney and pledge to write more political graffiti. (Has anyone noticed the dearth of graffiti in general lately? I used to have an on-going conversation with someone on the back of a toilet door about the legitimacy of using “slut” as an insult, but now everything seems to get painted over almost immediately. Plus, no one seems to have anything interesting to say, anyway – it’s all tags and A.B. + C.D. 4eva.)

Does anyone have any other recommendations for good feminist films?

Yea!

(Link goes to The Daily Show‘s coverage, which is all good [Stewart and Colbert together again!], although my favourite joke in the whole episode is John Oliver’s line about his cat, Miaowgret Thatcher.)

Listening to: Back to the Old House – The Smiths

Also, this Steve Bell cartoon from a couple of days ago amused me:

Steve Bell - David Cameron

(David Cameron.)

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