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And all my friends and all their jobs and all the bloody waste - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
And all my friends and all their jobs and all the bloody waste
Interview yesterday at CUP (for the position of Development Editor: Humanities and Social Sciences) went okay -- I don't have high hopes for it, but it wasn't as dreadful as some other interviews I've had. And the "short test" they'd threatened turned out to be quite fun; they said "Here's the proposal for a book [it was a Political Philosophy textbook], here's the first chapter and some notes from the author; write the blurb, 200 words max." This is the sort of thing that an English degree is for, goddamnit: blatant bullshitting and spurious soundbiting. (And also alliteration, and assonance.)

Skiving off work early for the interview meant that I got home earlier than usual, so I had a while to play with Patricia before it got dark (mostly just cleaning her windows, having decided it'd be nice to be able to see out of them). I was going to clean the spark plugs but they're so tightly wedged on that I couldn't budge them. :-( Will have to get somebody stronger to do them and then NOT TIGHTEN THEM SO MUCH.

(Checked the radiator and it seemed to be more full than it had been at the weekend. Surely this can't be possible? Or does this mean something else is leaking into it somewhere?)

...

Work today has been pretty depressing on the whole. I have got some work done, but only markup, which is tedious and unrewarding and, quite frankly, the sort of thing they could probably train chimps to do. On the other hand, we did get email telling us that we'll get a 2.5% bonus ... which is good, in that it might put my current account back into the black; but at the same time I can't help feeling that I've done nothing to deserve it, that it's just as meaningless as everything else.


I haven't been keeping up the diary of how much money I've spent at all. I'm going to start again as of today, because while I've failed so far that doesn't mean I have to carry on failing. I'll see if I can back-fill the days I didn't keep track (I've been keeping receipts, in the hope of catching up at some point), but going forward, keeping going from now rather than worrying about then, is more important.

I tried ages ago to move my cc balance to a new cc account, so that at least I wouldn't be paying interest; it's taken two months so far to persuade First Direct to do anything useful. I received an application form in the post yesterday but couldn't believe that filling in all my details on the web just resulted in them sending me another application form to fill in; so I phoned again today, to be told that all I have to do is sign that form, and send it back. "But presumably I'll have to fill in some of my details, so that you know who this signature is from?" I asked, puzzled. "Oh -- yeah," says the droid (who had the same birthdate as me). "Just put your name and date of birth, and ... hang on, here's your ID number; write on the form that you've already filled this information in on the web, and quote your ID number." For heaven's sake. You'd think they'd never done this before! However, hopefully soon I will have a new cc account, so I can pay it off without having to pay the interest as well.

Despite laziness on my part and uselessness on First Direct's, I have been sticking to the spirit of the money diet, namely trying not to spend too much money. I don't think I've bought any items of clothing since I decided to try to keep a money diary, I've definitely bought no CDs, and I've bought very few books (but then I haven't been reading any either). I have bought random gifts for people that I probably shouldn't be buying, but I tend to think that making people smile is more important than having lots of money in the bank. Maybe this is why I never have any money... now if only I was always smiling as well. :-/

It annoys me that I have to think about money at all. I don't like money, though obviously I like the things it can buy. But it feels like I have to keep concentrating on the money anyway, just to keep it coming in and not all going out again. I resent that. I don't dream of being rich. I dream of being able to afford to buy things for people when they need them and can't afford them, and when I can make them happy by buying them things. I dream of being able to pay my share in pubs and restaurants without worrying about the cost.

However, these aren't worthwhile dreams, according to a fellow LJ user. My dreams, apparently, should be all fire and air and other naff pseudo-pagan imagery, rather than concentrating on mundane things like being what I want to be, and doing what I want to do. Or rather, the things I want to be and do shouldn't be realistic. If I needed one more thing to make me really depressed today, it's being told that I should be trying to "change the world", when I have enough trouble just living in it from day to day. It's bad enough that my reality doesn't live up to my expectations; being told that my dreams don't live up to somebody's expectations is just ... beyond.

I don't particularly want to change the world; what is "the world" anyway? None of us experiences "the world" as a single entity; we experience our own world, our own subset of what's out there. The biggest way in which I could change my world would be by dying; because then my unique viewpoint would cease to exist. Maybe changing the world isn't always a good thing, hm?

No, I don't really want to radically change it; I just want to make the tiny bit of it that I inhabit benefit from my being there, or at least not be worse off for it. I want to be the best that I can be, not try to live up to somebody else's dreams. Perhaps if I had superpowers that allowed me to stop wars, and make trees grow, and bring fluffy bunny rabbits back to life, then I'd have dreams about changing the world. As it is, the dreams I have (of making the people around me happy, of making people's lives better) are quite unattainable enough for me as a vision that will never be reached but will keep on driving me forwards; I certainly don't see what sitting around dreaming about Big Ideas like World Peace is going to achieve.

I dream of doing things, rather than spending all my time dreaming. And (as one great dreamer said) "there's the rub". My imaginings of being able to do things are so vivid that they paralyse me; dreaming about doing things -- even just the tiny day-to-day things that I fail to do -- captivates my mind to the extent where I can't even get up from my chair and do anything.

I dream of not being hurt, not being affected by it when people tell me that my dreams are as worthless as my life.

Now playing: Levellers: Levelling the Land [but only in my head]

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Comments
From: kaet Date: March 12th, 2003 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
In the CUP bookshop today they had an advert saying <!-- www -->. There are lots of ads in the world which nick things from the internet stylee and call themselves @home</tt> or coffee.shop, only in CUP would you get not only syntactically correct SGML, but syntactially correct SGML which is also a pun on the word comment.

I fear CUP.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 13th, 2003 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
But do you ph34r them?

(I actually find it really reassuring that they know about correct SGML. I think I may be weird.)

Talking of nicking tricks from TEH INTERWEB, today's cartoon on my Dilbert desk-calendar made me laugh:

Wally: "My idea is to change our department name from Engineering to ... e-Engineering. ... I'm working on a similar idea for marketing but it's not done yet."
From: kaet Date: March 13th, 2003 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
But do you ph34r them? (I actually find it really reassuring that they know about correct SGML. I think I may be weird.)

:) I fear them in the if there was a war, I'd want them to be on my side kind of way, :).
nevecat From: nevecat Date: March 12th, 2003 10:30 am (UTC) (Link)

*hiss of indrawn breath*

Janet.

That wasn't what I meant. I haven't been coherant about this...

Please, don't take offence/hurt because *I* can't explain what I mean - I hope you know me well enough to realise I'd never try to destroy someone's self-worth in the way I apparently have :/
j4 From: j4 Date: March 13th, 2003 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hiss of indrawn breath*

Please, don't take offence/hurt because *I* can't explain what I mean

I can't help being hurt by something. I'm glad to hear that you didn't mean it to be hurtful, but it still does hurt.

And I don't think you're narrow-minded for wanting people to have dreams. But I also don't think dreams are something you can cattle-prod people into having by haranguing them on LiveJournal either for not having any, or for having the wrong sorts of dreams.

To be honest though I don't really want to discuss this any more, because I strongly suspect that we're talking at cross-purposes and it isn't going to help either of us.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: March 12th, 2003 10:42 am (UTC) (Link)
"Here's the proposal for a book [it was a Political Philosophy textbook], here's the first chapter and some notes from the author; write the blurb, 200 words max."

I would find having to do that profoundly hateful, but I'm glad it seemed to go well; luck with it. When do you expect to hear back from them ?

I tried ages ago to move my cc balance to a new cc account, so that at least I wouldn't be paying interest; it's taken two months so far to persuade First Direct to do anything useful.

*sigh*

My credit card is with the Bank of Ireland; to transfer it would make paying money into it inordinately easier - buying euro money orders in Canada and entrusting them to the Irish postal service is like Russian roulette - but in order for Visa to let me transfer it, there has to be evidence of activity on the account, ie, the bloody payments have to get there. Catch-22. The one large lump sum that got lost in the post in December - and took best part of a month to reclaim - has set that process back easily another six months.

It annoys me that I have to think about money at all. I don't like money, though obviously I like the things it can buy. But it feels like I have to keep concentrating on the money anyway, just to keep it coming in and not all going out again. I resent that.

Amen to that.

However, these aren't worthwhile dreams, according to a fellow LJ user. My dreams, apparently, should be all fire and air and other naff pseudo-pagan imagery, rather than concentrating on mundane things like being what I want to be, and doing what I want to do.

With all due respect to whoever this person may be, they're an idiot. Though I suspect you did not need to be told that.

If I needed one more thing to make me really depressed today, it's being told that I should be trying to "change the world", when I have enough trouble just living in it from day to day.

They're not distinct things.

I do not know how much difference what you do professionally makes to the world, me, I build tools that people can use to build tools to, oh, fight malaria or something like. That's one of the reasons I do what I do day-to-day. Personally, I try to be a net-positive person to know, to give more than I can take; discovered long ago that as changing the world for the better goes, I'm much better at doing it one person at a time. And, of course, somewhere there's the fond hope that stuff I write might some day have a positive impact on someone - if it could get to one lonely kid in the headspace I was in when I was twelve or so and show them that there are interesting and sane people in the world after all, I'd feel justified in existing.

It's very hard to find ways of talking about where I'm coming from on this point that do not sound like cliches. I just.. look for points of balance where I can play from my strengths and give the big things a meaningful push. I'm right with you in getting annoyed with people who think that there's a moral imperative to make a headlong attack on problem X rather than to think strategically about what you personally can best do to mitigate it.

I dream of doing things, rather than spending all my time dreaming.

Well, what I actually dream about as opposed to daydreaming is 90% fretfulness and anxiety and 10% insistent new story ideas, if that helps.

I dream of not being hurt, not being affected by it when people tell me that my dreams are as worthless as my life.

*hug* Better to be hurt than to be a desolate wasteland incapable of feeling. Been there, done that, climbed out, not going back.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 13th, 2003 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
My credit card is with the Bank of Ireland; to transfer it would make paying money into it inordinately easier - buying euro money orders in Canada and entrusting them to the Irish postal service is like Russian roulette - but in order for Visa to let me transfer it, there has to be evidence of activity on the account, ie, the bloody payments have to get there. Catch-22.

Is there anybody who could pay money into your account for you? And I can't believe they don't have any form of internet/phone banking... are they really that primitive?

Actually, check that; after another session with First Direct this morning, I think I could believe any crapness of cc companies. :-/

With all due respect to whoever this person may be, they're an idiot. Though I suspect you did not need to be told that.

<sigh> No, they're not an idiot; they're just ... well, I guess they're just too young, wide-eyed and idealistic for their ideas to strike much of a chord with me. Which is, of course, the point they were making: that all the people they know have Lost Their Happy Thoughts. Guess I'm just old, bitter, and twisted. Mind you, this seems like a better point from which to be able to empathise with all the other people who are in the same position, ne?

I do not know how much difference what you do professionally makes to the world

I don't think it makes any good difference to the world.

I shift small pieces of SGML around (once they've been keyed in by people on the poverty-line in the Philippines) so that libraries who can ill afford it can buy overpriced electronic texts for students who either don't give a shit or know that they could find the same stuff on Project Gutenberg.

Is it any wonder I feel useless?

Personally, I try to be a net-positive person to know, to give more than I can take; discovered long ago that as changing the world for the better goes, I'm much better at doing it one person at a time.

<nods> That sounds like the sort of thing I aspire to. I don't think I'm very good at it, but.

And, of course, somewhere there's the fond hope that stuff I write might some day have a positive impact on someone [...]

This is one of the reasons I wish I could write. On the other hand, I write tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of words a year on usenet (and latterly on livejournal) and maybe, just maybe, something I say will strike a chord with somebody, somewhere; or cheer up a friend when they need it; or make somebody laugh and forget the things that are stressing them out for a moment or two.

That is, if I can manage to ignore the people I really don't get on with on LJ and usenet. (I can already hear two people in particular laughing at all these aspirations...)

Well, what I actually dream about as opposed to daydreaming is 90% fretfulness and anxiety and 10% insistent new story ideas, if that helps.

Oh gods, what I dream about is usually a combination of standard anxiety-dream tropes, decontextualised trivia from real life, and random surrealism. (But if I had a quid for every time I'd dreamed that I was late for work, I'd be able to retire on the proceeds.)

Better to be hurt than to be a desolate wasteland incapable of feeling.

"And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries."

Thanks for the hugs. They do help.
addedentry From: addedentry Date: March 13th, 2003 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I write tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of words a year on usenet (and latterly on livejournal) and maybe, just maybe, something I say will strike a chord with somebody, somewhere; or cheer up a friend when they need it; or make somebody laugh and forget the things that are stressing them out for a moment or two.

Yes, it does. Keep up the good work.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: March 13th, 2003 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
My credit card is with the Bank of Ireland; to transfer it would make paying money into it inordinately easier - buying euro money orders in Canada and entrusting them to the Irish postal service is like Russian roulette - but in order for Visa to let me transfer it, there has to be evidence of activity on the account, ie, the bloody payments have to get there. Catch-22.

Is there anybody who could pay money into your account for you?


In Ireland, yes, but one then has to pst the money to them, which does not avoid the gigantic predatory amoeba in the GPO.

And I can't believe they don't have any form of internet/phone banking... are they really that primitive?

Sure they are. *sigh*

With all due respect to whoever this person may be, they're an idiot. Though I suspect you did not need to be told that.

No, they're not an idiot; they're just ... well, I guess they're just too young, wide-eyed and idealistic for their ideas to strike much of a chord with me. Which is, of course, the point they were making: that all the people they know have Lost Their Happy Thoughts. Guess I'm just old, bitter, and twisted.


I don't know. Losing young wide-eyed idealistic happiness doesn't preclude finding more mature hard-won happiness later on. Thinking of growing up as a process that stops strikes me as on the idiotic side.

I shift small pieces of SGML around (once they've been keyed in by people on the poverty-line in the Philippines) so that libraries who can ill afford it can buy overpriced electronic texts for students who either don't give a shit or know that they could find the same stuff on Project Gutenberg,

OK, maybe I won't try to find a bright side to look on..

Personally, I try to be a net-positive person to know, to give more than I can take; discovered long ago that as changing the world for the better goes, I'm much better at doing it one person at a time.

That sounds like the sort of thing I aspire to. I don't think I'm very good at it, but.


The admittedly limited amount of time I've spent around you has suggested otherwise, to me.

And, of course, somewhere there's the fond hope that stuff I write might some day have a positive impact on someone [...]

This is one of the reasons I wish I could write. On the other hand, I write tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of words a year on usenet (and latterly on livejournal) and maybe, just maybe, something I say will strike a chord with somebody, somewhere


It's a good feeling when that happens.

or cheer up a friend when they need it; or make somebody laugh and forget the things that are stressing them out for a moment or two.

You can include me in as a success on those last two just since I've found your journal, fwiw.

Better to be hurt than to be a desolate wasteland incapable of feeling.

"And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries."


Pain is finite. Joy isn't.

Thanks for the hugs. They do help.

*hug* Good. You are always welcome to them, so many as you might want, without strings attached.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 14th, 2003 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
> >Is there anybody who could pay money into your account for you?
>In Ireland, yes, but one then has to pst the money to them

Yah, but I was sort of thinking "Is there anybody who could pay some money into your bank account for you and be willing to wait to be paid back until you can get your credit cards etc. working properly again?" -- assuming that there'd be better ways for you to refund them than putting cash in the post when you had the bank accounts set up the way you wanted. Anyway. That's the limit of my practical suggestions, I'm afraid.

Losing young wide-eyed idealistic happiness doesn't preclude finding more mature hard-won happiness later on. Thinking of growing up as a process that stops strikes me as on the idiotic side.

Is "hard-won" happiness better? Do you have to suffer in order for your happiness to really "count"?

I think growing up is a process that probably (in the absence of empirical evidence to the contrary) stops when you die. My inner cynic says: "If you're lucky, it starts some time before then."

(... no, if I follow up line-by-line to the rest of it I'll just be nodding and saying "ah-huh" for lots of it, which is pointless.)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: March 14th, 2003 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Yah, but I was sort of thinking "Is there anybody who could pay some money into your bank account for you and be willing to wait to be paid back until you can get your credit cards etc. working properly again?"

Not in the necessary amounts over the necessary timespan - well, family might, but that would not be a value of indebted I could keep entirely financial and that would be Bad.

Losing young wide-eyed idealistic happiness doesn't preclude finding more mature hard-won happiness later on. Thinking of growing up as a process that stops strikes me as on the idiotic side.

Is "hard-won" happiness better? Do you have to suffer in order for your happiness to really "count"?


I'm sorry for that implication, that was not exactly what I meant but close enough for easy confusion.

I do think that happiness is something people value more
if they've experienced forms of serious unhappy [ooh, technical terminology ] and that I would rather be happy and aware of what a gift it is than drift around in blithe innocence/ignorance.

I think growing up is a process that probably (in the absence of empirical evidence to the contrary) stops when you die.

But there's no viewpoint left from whose POV it can be said to stop in that case. *sigh* I've known people decide to stop growing up and it saddens me or irks the hell out of me, depending.

(... no, if I follow up line-by-line to the rest of it I'll just be nodding and saying "ah-huh" for lots of it, which is pointless.)

"Thou art indeed wise, O Socrates" ?
simonb From: simonb Date: March 12th, 2003 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dream of being able to pay my share in pubs and restaurants without worrying about the cost. However, these aren't worthwhile dreams, according to a fellow LJ user

Personally I'd say that it was definately a worthwhile dream to be able to go out with friends and pay your own share. One of the reasons I was happy to put up with the crap from WorldCom is that the salary I had from them meant that I could easily take ottah out for dinner every now and again without worrying about it... whereas given the salary ottah is on it'd be a real problem for her.

Having the money to be social with friends without worrying about it is definately a good thing to aim for IMO.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: March 12th, 2003 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
People who want(ed) to change the world: Genghis Khan, Alexander, Atilla, Marx and Engels, Lenin, H****r, Stalin, Gandhi*, Martin Luther King*, Michael Jackson.

*Ok, so it's not always a bad thing.

I don't particularly want to change the world; what is "the world" anyway? None of us experiences "the world" as a single entity; we experience our own world, our own subset of what's out there.

It's Venn Diagrams - our worlds overlap, and providing we have the same basic ideas of what is nice and good and happy, IT IS GOOD. Changing your world changes ours [which is why your line: I could change my world...by dying is definitely not a good thing - which you noted, although you didn't add "because it would alter other people's worlds for the worse" but I have]. The best ways to change a world for the better are to do things that will make other people's worlds nicer or happier or cleaner or healthier or... whatever. Comic Relief on Friday reminds me that they split their work between Africa - where big gestures help immensely in the short-term, but small projects are life-saving on a long-term scale - and the UK, where small-scale work helps improve many people's lives in ways that we don't even think about because they don't make headline news [except when those people aren't helped and they wind up criminals/victims]. Erm. I had somewhere I was going with this... oh yes. Dreaming is good, and anything you do towards your dreams in real life however small scale helps. If the nice gesture I received today was you, then you helped my world improve rather (and if it wasn't, the offer of coming over also improved it, so don't feel bad that the other thing wasn't you!). My world improving improves DH's world and SC's world, and I'm sure the knock-on effects of that will make someone else's day brighter tomorrow, and...
j4 From: j4 Date: March 13th, 2003 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
People who want(ed) to change the world: Genghis Khan, Alexander, Atilla, Marx and Engels, Lenin, H****r, Stalin, Gandhi*, Martin Luther King*, Michael Jackson.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

I've always liked this quote, but I'm starting to wonder if "progress" is unequivocally a good thing. I mean, I think it's axiomatically a good thing in the context of that quote, but I am starting to wonder quite what "progress" is, and whether it's worth being "unreasonable" (whatever that means) for the sake of it.

I think there's a middle ground between trying to make everything just the way you want it and letting people walk all over you. I think that middle ground is what I'm aiming for.

Comic Relief on Friday reminds me [...]

I'm afraid I tend to feel (not think, logically, but feel) that "charity begins at home" -- it's awful that people have to be shown pictures of starving brown children in order to be made to reach into their purses, just because if you show them pictures of the white children who are starving Right Outside Their Goddamn Front Doors, well, then, they're criminals, and/or they should just Get A Job and stop whining. </rant>

Must. Stop. Ranting.

[snip other sensible stuff]
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: March 13th, 2003 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Comic Relief on Friday reminds me [...]

I'm afraid I tend to feel (not think, logically, but feel) that "charity begins at home" -- it's awful that people have to be shown pictures of starving brown children in order to be made to reach into their purses, just because if you show them pictures of the white children who are starving Right Outside Their Goddamn Front Doors, well, then, they're criminals, and/or they should just Get A Job and stop whining.


That's my point entirely. I have far more time for Comic Relief/Children In Need and those of their ilk than I do for the charities that solely help "the far away" - not that those people don't need help but because damn it, there are people living within half a mile of most of us who need help just as badly, in different ways. They just don't make good TV. There are still kids starving to death in Britain - not because we have famine and drought but because their parents are neglectful, criminal, whatever. [I felt this before SC but of course now it's so much more personal when I read about child abuse and neglect.]

There's someone on a newsgroup I frequent who is refusing vaccinations for her children, who will not register them with a GP, who was abrupt with the Health Visitor when refusing assistance for a newborn - and then she gets indignant at the suggestion that Social Services may want to check up on her. I'm perfectly willing to believe she has made alternative arrangements for her children's healthcare - but how many neglectful and actively cruel people make the same choices every day? How many kids slip out of the system because no one bothered checking up when they disappeared from "official" view? The next time we hear about them they're on page 5 of a newspaper, and another headshot on the "failure of Social Services" story. I don't think we should be monitored every second of our lives, but it makes me mad that she can't see that for every wasted preliminary investigation of a competent mother, they might uncover a child* that is desperately in need of help.

* or adult. There are plenty of neglected/abused elderly and disabled people out there too. Sigh.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 13th, 2003 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
That's my point entirely. I have far more time for Comic Relief/Children In Need and those of their ilk than I do for the charities that solely help "the far away" - not that those people don't need help but because damn it, there are people living within half a mile of most of us who need help just as badly, in different ways. They just don't make good TV.

Yes, but Comic Relief has always focussed on "the far away" -- I've yet to see an advert for Comic Relief that says anything about helping people in the UK. Actually, this year I haven't seen anything about Comic Relief that has even mentioned the charity aspect -- it's all been about noses, and hair-dye, and trolley dashes, and jumble sales, and sponsored Pestering Your Neighbours, and so on.

There's someone on a newsgroup I frequent who is refusing vaccinations for her children, who will not register them with a GP

Good lord, why on earth is she doing that?

it makes me mad that she can't see that for every wasted preliminary investigation of a competent mother, they might uncover a child* that is desperately in need of help.

I'm not surprised. Yes, I agree that we shouldn't be monitored all the time, but doesn't she understand the (quite legitimate) concerns that people may have for her kids' health? How would she feel if other people refused to help her kids, when they did need it, on the grounds that it might be considered to be interfering?

The only thing is -- do they keep a record of whether or not people have been checked out by the Social Services? I mean, will she end up with a record of "No problems with children at all" or a record of "Has been INVESTIGATED by the Social Services SIX BILLION TIMES, and while they failed to find anything SO FAR... [ominous music]"? If it was likely to be anything approaching the latter then I'd understand her reluctance... on the other hand, "has resisted all attempts to let people see her kids" probably rings more alarm bells than "Has been investigated & nothing has been found".

Mind you I know that for every person who says "That's crazy, she should accept that it's better for her to be checked unnecessarily than for kids to die because of lax checking procedures" there'll be another person saying "How dare you suggest that we should all be constrained by blah blah blah nanny-state moo? How are our kids going to grow up autonomous if neighhhhhh oink oink?" ... I guess in the end we just have to do what we think is best.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: March 13th, 2003 09:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but Comic Relief has always focussed on "the far away" -- I've yet to see an advert for Comic Relief that says anything about helping people in the UK.
VBG. You have no idea how old I feel now. :-D I have the original Comic Relief single (Cliff Richard and the Young Ones doing Livin' Doll, as seen on TOTP2 earlier this week - it was No.1 on my 14th birthday!) and on the back there's a bit about how the charity splits its focus between Africa and the UK. If you watch the CR shows there are always bits about the projects they do in the UK too, btw. They don't make documentaries about that bit, admittedly, possibly because it's a lot harder to get celebrities to put their time into UK-based stuff when it's not for the big main telethon. [Have you read Cause Celeb, btw, by Helen Fielding? Predates BJ but got rereleased on the back of that success. Worth reading.] Anyway, they have publicised the UK work in the past, and still do. http://www.comicrelief.org.uk/entry.shtml - work in the UK. (With a not-very-flattering picture of Sue Johnston...)

WRT the non-vaccinating mother who refuses "all state aid" (!), she's driving me nuts. She'd sooner risk encephalitis (a common side-effect of true measles) and is quite happy to allow her children to infect other people. She thinks that it's not her obligation to explain why she is opting out of the system, but refuses to see that that might be viewed as suspicious by anyone.

Records ARE kept, but if she tells them what alternative arrangements she's made, the record will say that and they'll probably leave her alone. It's not like the TV Licensing people who refuse to believe that one could ever live without broadcast TV... Refusing to give information though would set off warning bells and I can't see any justification for behaving like that. If you've nothing to hide, why hide it? I don't like the nanny-state idea, but I detest the "two-year-old starved to death" headlines even more.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 13th, 2003 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
If you watch the CR shows there are always bits about the projects they do in the UK too, btw.

I don't watch the shows, because I can't face watching hours and hours of third-rate celebrities tipping custard over each other, interspersed with heartfelt pleas from people with BIG EYES for me to phone and give money. If I'm going to give money, I will do so, regardless of how many BIG EYES and big-bellied children they show me. (Gah.)

it's a lot harder to get celebrities to put their time into UK-based stuff

And this annoys me. Not you, I mean, just the way things are. The way it's impossible to get people to do anything unless a celebrity is pasting their skinny body all over it. The way celebrities and the media are the judge of what causes are "worthy".

("Media. I think I have heard of her. Isn't she the one who killed her children?" "Different woman," said Mr Nancy. "Same deal.")

It's not like the TV Licensing people who refuse to believe that one could ever live without broadcast TV...

It's weird, I've always thought that the TV licensing people were like this, but when I did stop having a TV for a while (when I was expecting to move in with sion_a imminently, and he already had a TV licence which was a long way from expiring) they phoned me up. "Why haven't you renewed your TV licence?" They said. "Because I no longer have a television," I said. "Oh. Okay," they said, and hung up shortly afterwards.

If you've nothing to hide, why hide it?

Oh dear, oh dear, the crypto folk will be at your throat any minute now. "Why do you send your letters in envelopes?" etc. (My answer to this is usually "Because the stuff I want to say won't fit on a postcard", but they never seem to accept that that's my real reason...)

I do agree with you about this madwoman though. Hopefully her kids will grow up healthy and well-adjusted anyway, though.
ewx From: ewx Date: March 14th, 2003 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
IME also, TV licensing have been perfectly polite and at worst displayed mild bureaucratic incompetence (though less so than credit card companies, apparently...)
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