miss_s_b: (Mood: Vyvyan Twos Up)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Or: My Party is turning me into Granny Weatherwax When All I Want to Be is Nanny Ogg

(with apologies to those of you who do not read Pterry; some of this might be a bit opaque to you. This and this might help before you start)

You guys know me. I'm a good time girl. All I want to do* is have a few beers and sing lewd songs, and enable others to do the same if they want to. My personal investment in the character of Gytha Ogg is so great that she's front and centre in the banner at the top of my blog, with her cheeky grin and her mug of ale. But it seems that every time I settle down to have a good go at the hedgehog song of late, somebody in the party decides that's the exact moment to say something bloody stupid or pointless or ridiculous or illiberal, and I have to stand up and shout "I can't be having with THIS!"...

I mean, look at the list we've had of late. The tuition fees "personal pledge". The NHS debacle. The internet snooping. And it's not just the top brass making stupid policy decisions, either. Whether it's FCC thinking that they can subvert a perfectly clear conference vote or a party activist thinking that The West Wing is How Things Should Happen over here (rather than a fictionalised account of how things might happen in the US with no shoulds involved at all)**, there are large swathes of the party who seem determined to turn me into a curmudgeonly old bag.

Of course, when this happens there are invariably those who feel it's my reaction to the bloody stupid or pointless or ridiculous or illiberal thing that makes the party look bad, rather than the actual bloody stupid or pointless or ridiculous or illiberal thing itself. Because, you know, someone getting upset when the party does something bloody stupid or pointless or ridiculous or illiberal? That's EMBARRASSING. Much less embarrassing to let the bloody stupid or pointless or ridiculous or illiberal thing carry on and not kick up a fuss. After all, we're liberals, we're famous for standing by and taking it and not rocking the boat... Oh, hang on, that's not right at all, is it?

The thing about Granny Weatherwax, with her righteous anger and her admirable power, is... She's not actually a particularly nice or happy person. Sure, she's a useful person to have around, and she makes the world a better place with her shouty boat-rocking, but at enormous, and I mean ENORMOUS personal sacrifice. Whereas Nanny Ogg? She makes the world a better place too. Maybe not in as spectacular and showy ways as Granny, but she is no less revolutionary in her own way, her boat-rocking is of a much more - um - pleasurable nature, and she is both happy in herself and causes happiness in others. Most of the source of the happiness that she both contains and radiates is that sometimes others think she's an embarrassment, but she doesn't care. It's an art I've never quite fully mastered, but I'm pretty close.

So, I'm going to keep doing what I do, and you lot? You can like me or lump me.

nanny singing

Haters Gonna Hate.

* Well, not ALL I want to do, but, you know... ;)
** I'm going to extend the same courtesy to him as he does to me in his thinly veiled character assassination of me (now at two posts and all he has thought worthy to blog about for the past week) and not link to him at all and leave you guys to work out for yourselves who I am talking about.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] matthewfharris
Ah, but I said that my reference was to The West Wing. You made your references without explaining that they were to (I'm guessing) Terry Pratchett. I tried to read Terry Pratchett once, but couldn't get into him. Douglas Adams, very much yes, but Pratchett, for me, no, sadly. Hence my confusion, especially about the Hedgehog Song, which, to those of you who don't know what you are talking about, does sound faintly daft when referenced without explanation on your political blog.

I don't buy the idea that anything that I have said amounts to "character assassination". I do think that linking to a page that is itself a collection of blog postings (i.e. last week's Golden Dozen) amounts to linking to Jennie's blog, yes.

I have nothing further to add and will not be returning to this site.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (down)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
The links that you refuse to click on make it immediately clear that they are characters in Terry Pratchett's books, so if you weren't so happy in your ignorance, you'd be able to realize that Jennie quoted her sources as well as you did.

"your political blog" made me laugh, though. It's Jennie's political blog in the same way it's her horror movie blog or her work blog or her family blog or her feminist blog; it's her blog, and its wide range of topics is one of the many joys you'll be missing out on now that you won't visit it again now that you're done talking.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
"I have nothing further to add".

Hmm. Kind of implies that you've previously said something, which is being, at best, generous. Unless, of course, you're counting a couple of paragraphs of "Terry Pratchett? Who's he?" and a statement that you'd rather live in ignorance than actually try to engage with someone who you've previously criticised.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
To be fair, if Jennie had taken the same attitude to citing sources that you do, she would just have linked to this blog post on knitting (http://spillyjane.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/hedgehog-mittens-are-out.html), which in turn links to the wikipedia entry on Nanny Ogg, and then she'd have said she linked to the page on Nanny Ogg...

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Or alternatively, she could have just copied and pasted a large block of text from Pratchett and then claimed that it proved her point, while leaving it open as to what her original point was. Which is where we all came in, really.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
"Hence my confusion, especially about the Hedgehog Song, which, to those of you who don't know what you are talking about, does sound faintly daft when referenced without explanation on your political blog. ".

Wow. Watch those shifting pronouns go. To quote Harrison Ford to George Lucas, "That's not writing. That's typing."

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Oh, and as for "I have nothing further to add and will not be returning to this site."

I'm reminded of something someone (who appears to 'think' entirely in quotes from other people, so quoting him is only fair) posted earlier today:

""As for people threatening to leave the party, including one or two candidates, I always think that the best response to such people is: "Shut the door on your way out." "

I would also like to note, for the record, that I did reply to Mr Fharris' reply to my comment on his blog, but he showed his well-known liberal love of open debate by refusing to let it through.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I've tried to leave comments on Matthew's blog but, while it claims to accept OpenID's, it doesn't do so with Dreamwidth ones. I tried to email Matthew and discovered that the hotmail address left on his blog doesn't work. While you may consider that this continues to show his well-known love for liberal debate, I couldn't possibly comment.

And while we're at it, some more of my thoughts.


Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
To be totally fair to Mr "let's all be friends so long as I never have to say words like 'I was wrong' or 'I'm sorry' or 'I'll stop posting entirely in inane and vaguely patronising non-sequiturs now'", I have a similar OpenID problem with Millennium and Alex's blogs, and I can think of few people more actually Liberal than them.

In my case I posted using my Google ID instead. The first comment went through just fine...

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Fair enough, I'll not criticise for that. I mean, bit of an embarrassment of riches on that front.

So, you likely to put your second post here? Be a shame to see it go to waste...

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Didn't save it, and the only bit I remember now was (from memory):

"what is the relevance of my living in London, being male and having gone to Oxford?...I have never knowingly met Jennie Rigg. I have no idea where she lives (is it the North?), or where she went to school or university, nor is that of any relevance. "

Well, given that you seem to think the fact that you went to Oxford important enough that you make it part of the 75 words you use to describe yourself in the sidebar of your blog, I would say it's *you* who's making it relevant. Jennie, incidentally uses the same space to post the preamble to the party constitution...

"The whole point of liberalism is to judge people on the basis of their qualities as individuals, not on the basis of the groups that they happen to have been born into."

I will take no lessons in Liberalism from someone whose response when seeing someone publicly defending civil liberties is to tell her to shut up and do what the Home Secretary says.

There was also some stuff about him needing to get some basic reading comprehension skills...

Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gwenhwyfaer
I cheered that one a little too. :)

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
In further fairness, he let my reply through, a mere three and a half hours after I pointed out that he hadn't...

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] matthewfharris
What actually happened, Mr Hickey-Rilstone, is that your comment/reply had gone into spam, and that is why it had not appeared. I do not moderate comments on my blog. I do not "let through" or "not let through" comments. When I saw your post here about the non-appearance of your comment, I looked in my spam folder on Blogger, and there your comment was, at which point I marked it as Not Spam, and it appeared.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
The reason this absurd little man is calling me Hickey-Rilstone here is he thinks he's discovered my terrible secret identity. Over on his blog he's just posted:
"So, Andrew Hickey, are you Andrew Hickey, or are you Andrew Rilstone? When I click on "Andrew Hickey", it takes me through to the blog of someone called Andrew Rilstone, whose blog seems to be largely about American comic books. Perhaps one of the two names is your secret identity?"

this (http://www.blogger.com/profile/07412263807838661843) is the profile in question.

This confirms a hypothesis I've had for a while -- that Mr Harris is both illiterate and utterly ignorant when it comes to things like the internet. I've suspected it from the start since his gross misreading of Jennie's original post and his subsequent bizarre non-sequitur responses to everyone else, but this just confirms it. Clicking on the profile, you can see the following:

"Blogs I follow: The life and opinions of Andrew Rilstone".

This means that I *follow* that blog. That blog, however, is not 'largely about American comic books' but is about a whole variety of subjects (Rilstone does write about comics, but also just on his front page are a discussion of the theological implications of same-sex marriage, a review of a performance by Tony Benn and a folk musician, and several reviews of folk gigs).

You may also notice on that profile a link that says "my web site". If you follow *that*, you get taken to... my web site. Which is the web site of Andrew Hickey, who is me. It has many similarities to that of Mr Rilstone -- both sites are written by people called Andrew who wear glasses and are a bit on the plumpish side, and who like talking about Doctor Who, comics, Douglas Adams, music and the connections between them, and who self-publish books of their essays. But, crucially, there's a difference, in that the page linked to as 'my web site' is by me, whereas the page linked to as 'blogs I follow' is a blog that I follow, and is by someone else, who is not me, otherwise it would say it was my website.

I appreciate that my mere say-so isn't enough evidence for a keen deductive mind like yours, and the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. After all, we're never seen in the same place together ("Rilstone" usually being seen around Bristol while "Hickey" is more often seen in Manchester), and surface differences like the beard in the photo on "Hickey's" website that isn't in the photo on "Rilstone's" one are easy to fake. And since "Hickey" has two Twitter accounts, why not create a third and have it in Rilstone's name? And it is suspicious that some of the same people comment on both blogs. In fact one person who comments on both blogs is Andrew Ducker, another Andrew. Maybe I'm him, too?!

Maybe I'm just living a double life, without knowing it, and am secretly a 40-something librarian in Bristol with a love of Star Wars and the works of CS Lewis, and not the 30-something computer programmer living in Manchester I thought I was. My whole life has been a lie!

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] matthewfharris - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [personal profile] magister - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] davegodfrey.livejournal.com - Date: Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 12:45 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Also, didn't you say about a dozen of your comments ago that you had nothing further to add and weren't going to come to this site any more?

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] gwenhwyfaer - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 06:56 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] matthewfharris
I have no idea why Blogger does not accept OpenIDs from Dreamwidth. That hotmail address on my blog is my main email address and I get loads of emails on that address every day, so I do not understand what you mean when you say that it does not work - have you actually sent an email to that address?

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
That's pretty much what I meant, yes. OTOH, I just sent another one and it's now been accepted. Did exactly the same thing each time - copied and pasted your address into the address bar of the email - so I guess we put that one down to inexplicable foibles of the internet.

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] matthewfharris
Yes, but earlier you suggested that I'd deliberately put up an inoperative email address so as to censor debate, and it saddens me that you would imagine that I would do such a thing. You chaps on this site are very into accusing me of making personal attacks (when, if you carefully read what I wrote, you will see that I actually did no such thing), but some of you are awfully free with such attacks yourselves. If you really think that I am someone who would ever do something like deliberately put up a duff email address (?!), then I invite you to read my blog, and then you'll discover that I'm really not one of those people...

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Far as I'm concerned, I've done nothing more than to react to what you've been writing.

Ah well, perhaps you're just unlucky in your choice of phraseology.

Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Given that the first any of us ever saw of your blog was an attempt to tell someone to shut up unless they're willing to say exactly what central government want them to say, then thinking you're the kind of person who would want to censor debate is not exactly a huge jump, is it?

And when literally everyone commenting either here or on your blog thinks you're wrong, and reads your posts as attacking Jennie, perhaps you might -- just might -- want to consider that rather than it being us who are reading your posts wrong, it is you who is *writing* them wrong? You don't strike me as being very clever at all, and that's not your fault, but when someone who is, shall we say, less than bright tries to write, the words they type are often not the words they think they're typing.

Certainly, had I inadvertantly caused someone to think I had insulted them, and had I not intended to insult them, I would at some point in the succeeding 12+ hour-long conversation have used the words "I'm sorry". I might *then* have gone on to explain that offence wasn't intended, but I wouldn't have implied that the person who took offence and all her friends were unable to read.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] magister - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [personal profile] magister - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:27 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [personal profile] magister - Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

About This Blog

picture of Jennie Rigg

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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