[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction & Comment policy

Friday, May 21st, 2010 12:17 am
miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
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miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
"What do you expect from Tories? They're evil!"
"What do you expect from The Left? They're so self-righteous!"
Liberals are up themselves, greens couldn't run a whelk stall, kippers are racist... You know what this relentless tide of assertion of stereotype does? It makes the public hate all of us. Because quite a lot of the public believe all the negative assertions. We're all nasty and selfish and incompetent and have no empathy and, and...

Now I'm not saying I've never done this. I'm as prone to groupthink and tribalism as the next politician, although I try very hard to avoid it. All I'm saying is that most people, the vast majority of the general public, don't feel like they belong to any of our tribes and view all of us with suspicion. If we treat each other with contempt, how can we blame the public for doing the same to all of us?

I think we all need to be reminded sometimes that while our political opponents might have wildly different ideas to us, the vast majority of them came into politics for the same reasons we did and do: to change the world for the better. We might argue with their ideas of better, or how to achieve those ends even if what we can agree on what the ends might be, but I've met very very few politicians who weren't in it for the best of reasons*.

Shall we have a nice chorus of Wouldn't It Be Nice If Everyone Was Nice now? ;)

* no, seriously. The stereotype of the money-grubbing snout-in-trough politico is so wrong it's laughable - most politicians lose vast sums of money on it. But that's a rant for another day.
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cthulhu the Six!Fan)
For those of you who do not know about this, there is a list of topics upon which I will not venture an opinion, even though I hold one, because on those topics no matter what opinion you venture you are villified. It's called the Israel/Palestine list because that is a pertinent example of a topic upon which you cannot advance an opinion of any kind without otherwise sane and rational people frothing with hatred and loathing for you, despite agreeing with you on pretty much everything else.

I'm quite an opinionated person, and I like having a good debate, so the list is quite short. Today, however, it got a new item added to it:

Nuclear weapons.
miss_s_b: (Who: Six (Ego))
So, the two parter which began the new series of Doctor Who is over, and the critiques have started appearing. I've read several. Some of them were very good, and went into great depth about elements of the story and the craft of writing it. Some of them were more superficial, and full of squee. Almost all of them, though, had one thing in common: they all concentrated on the Doctor/Davros relationship.

Now I'm a big Davros fangirl. I think he's a fascinating character, and his relationship with the Doctor is a complex one. I am dead set certain that when the Doctor says to Baby Davros "I've come to save my friend" the friend he is referring to is Davros, not Clara; this two parter struck me as being all about the nature of the Doctor's friendships. But* it does strike me that there's a big bit missing here.

I am reasonably sure that in any previous Doctor Who story the other major character would not have been so comprehensively ignored by almost everybody, except for those who want to complain about that character even existing. When The Master was a man, his every appearance was greeted with gallons of digital and literal ink dissecting his every nuance. Now (s)he's Missy, (s)he doesn't seem to matter any more. Missy is a woman over the age of forty, and can therefore safely be ignored.**

This really, really pisses me off, and not just because I'm less than 3 years away from hitting the magic age of invisibility myself. Michelle Gomez has put in a stunning performance as Missy, yet everything I read is about Julian Bleach***. Missy is the fulcrum on whom the majority of this story rests - it is she who gets the Doctor's Last Will And Testament Disc Thingy; it is she who works out that the space station is a fake and they're actually on Skaro; it is she who goads Clara, with the help of UNIT, into finding the Doctor in the first place, and it is she who (magnificently) pokes Davros in his electronic eye. At every turn she is advancing the plot or the other characters or both... And yet nobody seems to have noticed, because the only important thing is the bromance. I can dig that people like a bit of Doctor/Davros - hell, someone once wrote me Six/Davros slash for a birthday present - but really, people, there were LOTS of other characters onscreen too.

I actually feel sorry for the Moff here. I mean, he's clearly made a conscious effort to address his subconscious sexism**** in writing lots of women. And there goes the audience, still concentrating on the men. Because we've all been conditioned to think that what men say and do is important, and what women say and do is frivolous and can be ignored.

C-, must do better, Who fandom.

  1. I have not read every critique on the internet of the first two episode of the new series of Doctor Who. I am sure you can find counterexamples to what I have said here. One or two counterexamples will not convince me you have found anything other than exceptions. No, this does not mean post a huge long list of links that I will have to click on that will turn out to not actually disprove anything I have said at all.

  2. I am reasonably sure that none of the people I have read are doing this consciously or on purpose. I have spent a long time cultivating my various reading lists so that the sort of person who does this sort of thing on purpose does not appear in them. IMHO the fact that I have spent so much time making sure my reading lists are full of non-sexist people and this kind of thing still goes on is, frankly, even more disturbing.

* I like big buts and I cannot lie
** I don't actually know what Michelle Gomez's age is, but Missy/The Master is several thousand years old, and therefore well past forty.
*** my view? He's good, but he's no Terry Molloy. I realise there are those among you who think "he's no Terry Molloy" is the highest compliment one can pay an actor. You're wrong :P
**** Although not entirely successfully. For example, while all the speaking parts of the scene between UNIT HQ, Missy and Clara were women, women still made up less than 20% of the faces on screen. It's true, count 'em. All the snipers were men, for starters. This is Geena Davies's 17%-in-crowd-scenes thing right in front of our faces, and people on certain internet forums which I will not link to here STILL complained that the women were too prevalent, too noisy, etc.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
I've seen a thing on ThinkGeek that they only ship to USA and I can't find it anywhere else that ships to the UK :(
miss_s_b: (Politics: Goth Lib Dems)
This is borne out of a twitter chat with several people. Morgan suggested that the Green's "First Timer" badges might maybe be a good idea - I remain to be convinced on this, and would certainly not like them to be compulsory (which was not Morgan's suggestion, but I could see some people saying "why not just put it on the pass?" to which... no, not that). I reckon that people who are knowledgable about conference and it's working could wear an "ask me questions" badge, though, on a purely voluntary basis. I mean, I know we have the information desk, and the stewards are all party members mostly of long standing and know stuff, but what if you are a first timer and just assume that stewards are employed rather than party members, and approaching a big desk or a parliamentarian just seems too intimidating?

I don't think this needs to be on passes, but could just be a badge for people to wear.

It's only a small thing, but I think it could help newbies.

What do you lot reckon?

ETA: having looked into badge ribbons as suggested by [personal profile] po8crg I think they're an excellent idea, but can't find anyone producing them outside the US - so perhaps this is a case for Lib Dem Image?
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
This list is not exhaustive, but I:
  • was somewhat disappointed in the room at the Mariott*, especially given the eye-watering price we were paying, but the staff were lovely**. I'd particularly like to single out for praise the breakfast chef*** who cooked my eggs exactly how I liked them, and was chatty and gregarious.

  • Was amused at the fact that the Mariott kept running out of beer, even despite charging six quid a pint for it, and getting many deliveries.

  • enjoyed many debates and fringes, and the fact that our party does EVERYTHING democratically, even if it is complex and confusing to many.

  • LOVED how carefully the chair of each debate explained what was happening for newer members, and hope to see this continue at future conferences.

  • worried about the wisdom of moving from representative democracy to OMOV, but accepted that it was the will of conference that we do so.

  • was incredibly proud of how active my members are in shaping the agenda of conference. We had one full motion, several amendments, and something on the emergency motions ballot. On top of that we spoke in a lot of motions and debates we hadn't been part of the instigation of.

  • enjoyed the hospitality of The Goat and Tricycle and 60 Million Postcards, especially on the food front.

  • Was particularly proud of Sarah Noble, who despite having been the subject of some pretty nasty harassment of late, still had enough spoons to:
    1. cowrite and propose a full motion on trans healthcare
    2. Speak in several other motions
    3. make the second best pig joke of the conference in proposing an amendment
    4. Perform euthanasia on the constitutional amendment of an angry man from Sheffield

  • enjoyed the cascading moments of peak Lib Dem. Firstly, we had a constitutional amendment that was pretty geeky in and of itself. Then there was a request for a reference back. Then the reference back went to a counted vote. THEN someone said "hey, what happens if it's tied?" and we had to go and find the chair of FCC to ask him.

  • Got in the sea, several times. It was nice.

  • went to the best Glee ever. Well done to all involved in arranging it, especially one Mr G Epps, even if the hotel DID cut us off in our prime.

  • saw FAR too many lovely people to mention them all or I'd just be typing a huge long list forever, but particular highlights were Lynne Featherstone at the Lords fringe, Pauline Pearce all over the conference, but especially leading us in You Are My Sunshine at Glee, and Jeanette Sunderland with some sage advice on the final day.
All in all, despite the cost, it was worth it. And I've already booked my hotel for Brighton, never mind York... ;)

* the iron had a frayed flex, which could have electrocuted me, and they had only given us 4 coat hangers for a 5 day stay. I went to phone to report these things and discovered the phone was broken. For the price we were paying I expect the little things to be right.
** with one exception. The tall skinny blonde lad with the Irish accent and the stripey shirt was unfailingly rude and blanked us every time we spoke to him - all the other staff would happily volunteer a good morning, for example, so we got into the habit of saying good morning to the staff too. This guy completely ignored us every time. He was also very shouty at other members of staff, which it's really not good to do in front of guests, even if the member of staff in question deserves shouting at.
*** whose name was variously written Donny, Danny and Dany on the little noticeboard thing each morning.

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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