miss_s_b: (Mood: Progtastic!)
I've been awful at all kinds of internetting the last couple of weeks (hello election) but I just had to post to say OMFG Ariana Grande, I have been completely unaware of your music till tonight but that was ASTOUNDING in both technical and emotional terms.
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miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
I am dangerously low on spoons, I have a bunch of things I'm committed to doing before the end of the month, electoral stuff is particularly pressing (I may be beginning to regret being on regional exec, and chair of Plus, and involved in national stuff too) and daughter is on half term holiday so I have less time to do everything.

I may be a bit absent for the next few days, is my point. And if I do turn up I may be irascible. Just so you all know.
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OK, so I didn't like the last couple of weeks very much, but that? That has actively made me angry. Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship? Do not watch this episode.

What kind of cut for spoilers and lots of swearing ). And that's without even getting into the fact that more spoilers ).

So yeah, I am angry. I am especially angry given how good the first few episodes this series were. If it had all been crap I could have just shrugged and carried on. But this is... ugh. It feels like such a waste. A waste of Bill, and a waste of Erica, who was an awesome new character.
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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cuddly Cthulhu)
... the Manchester thing hit me pretty hard, and then yesterday I had a migraine to the extent where I could just about manage twitter on night mode in a darkened room but not much else.

So if I missed anything important, I'm sorry xx
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Last night we went to Manderley again the theatre in Leeds to see The Play That Goes Wrong. It was funny to the extent that my stomach hurts from laughing so hard this morning. I very much recommend it if you are in need of an evening of jollity - and who isn't, these days?

I think my favourite character was the corpse (no, really), but it was a close run thing between him and the stage-hand-who-ends-up-getting-roped-into-the-play, or the corpse's brother, whose layers of performance were very impressive - acting a bad actor who plays up to a large audience excellently.

The recalcitrant set, of course, is a character in it's own right. Whoever designed it is a genius. Bits alternately fall off or unexpectedly don't fall off; doors swing open or fail to open, depending on what they are not supposed to do, etc. The timing of all these things is vital, and it was absolutely spot on every time, right down to the small spoiler ) at the end.

The po-faced actor/director-playing-the-inspector's small spoiler ) He reminded me of nothing so much as my English teacher at school, who used to sweat blood pushing recalcitrant children into the school play, and inevitably things went wrong as they do in these situations.

The one note of caution I would sound is that it doesn't pass Bechdel. There are two female characters, but they don't talk to each other at all (although at one point they talk over each other and small spoiler )). There's no real reason why the Butler, or the Sound Engineer, or even the Inspector couldn't be women, they just... aren't. This is a bit of a contrast from the Agatha Christie plays which this is clearly riffing off, which are always scrupulously gender balanced...

That was the only thing that really bothered me, though. Otherwise I had an excellent time, the performances were good, the stage set was excellent, and the comic timing was first rate. If you get the chance, go see this, particularly if you've already seen and are familiar with The Mousetrap, to which there are many many refernces. Also, you need to get in there ten minutes or so early. No spoilers, but it's worth it.
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miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
The police have confirmed it as a terrorist attack, although not the stripe of terrorism.
But we know what terrorists want, don't we?
The clue is in the name.

They want us to be afraid.
They want us to cower in our homes, afraid to go to gigs or theatres or sports events.
They want us to give in to fear and authoritarianism.

FUCK THEM.

There's already lots of people sharing practical ways you can help in Manchester today - three examples here - but what if you are nowhere near Manchester? And what about the future?

One way you can show your defiance today?
Buy a ticket. Buy a ticket to a gig, or a football match, or a play, or anything else where lots of people gather to enjoy themselves and be human. Let today be the biggest day for ticket sales to fun things the UK has ever seen.
miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
Manchester is less than an hour from my home. I have lots of friends there, and I visit there often. The station I most often arrive at is Manchester Victoria.
Less than a fortnight ago I took my little girl to an arena concert in a big city.
So yeah, this is hitting home hard.

BUT.

But.

The arsehole who blew himself up with an IED full of nuts and bolts at a concert full of little girls was one man.

The people who immediately took to the streets with bottles of water and cups of tea? The people who opened their homes to strangers for a sit down or a phone charger or a phone? The taxi drivers who offered free rides home when the trains were cancelled, the hotels who offered free rooms and respite and drinks to those affected, and the absolute heroes of the emergency services? Those people are legion. Those people are the ones who we need to talk about. Those people are the peak of humanity.

Love, not hate.
Helping, not hurting.

No party politics today, people. No Yorkshire/Lancashire joking. Today we stand together. Please?
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Weekend Recs

Saturday, May 20th, 2017 11:02 am
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
If you're not a Lib Dem (or political activist of another stripe) then I have heard that weekends are a time for relaxing. I vaguely recall this being the case from before I got into politics... Anyway, it seemed to me that the weekend might be a good time for a recs post.
  • Book: Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. If you grew up in the 80s, this book is such a powerful kick up the memories. If you didn't it's probably less so; similarly, if you're less of a music geek than me, you might bounce off it. With those caveats in place, though, this is one of my favourite books of the last few years.

  • Film: They Live (1988 - John Carpenter). Laugh at the 80s guitar 'n' synth rock soundtrack. Giggle at the crazy conceit of it. Try to stamp down the growing paranoia that we are actually living in that world right now...

  • DW account: [personal profile] hollymath, whose posts are always thoughtful, often thought-provoking, and full of love and humanity.

  • DW comm: [community profile] weekly_food_challenge. Yeah, I know, it's one of mine. However! I feel like we passed a benchmark this week: someone I don't know posted a recipe, and it was good! It feels like a proper (albeit small) comm now, and not just me and some of my mates recipe-swapping.

  • Other website/blog/twitter/tumblr/RSS feed: Postcards from the Frontiers of Science (on DW as [syndicated profile] lewis_and_quark_feed). Utterly hilarious yet strangely compelling blog about the travails of teaching neural nets various things.
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miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
(to read this post in a more usual colour scheme, click here)

Because we Lib Dems believe that LGBT+ rights are human rights, a lot of the LGBT+ content in the manifesto (.pdf link) is spread out in the policy topic areas the manifesto covers. I like this, it means that LGBT+ rights are integral to our policies, not tacked on as an afterthought. However, it can make things easy to miss. In lieu of an index, therefore, I am going to draw it all together in one handy blog post, starting at the beginning*:
  1. Our young people are bright, creative and want a world that is clean and green and that the rest of us haven’t wrecked. They want jobs, good health and the chance to choose who they love and how they live- Introduction by Tim Farron, p7, emphasis mine.

  2. Defending social rights and equalities: Many important protections such as the right to 52 weeks’ maternity leave and rights to annual leave are currently based on EU law, and many of these rights have been upheld at the European Court of Justice. Liberal Democrats will fight to ensure that these entitlements are not undermined. - Europe section, top of p12 - while this doesn't mention LGBT+ rights specifically, there are a lot of LGBT+ rights that spring from European law or case law.

  3. Ensure that LGBT+ inclusive mental health services receive funding and support - NHS section, p20

  4. Make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention available on the NHS. - NHS section, p22

  5. Introduce a curriculum entitlement – a slimmed down core national curriculum, which will be taught in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education: a ‘curriculum for life’ including financial literacy, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Sex and Relationship Education (SRE). - Education section, pp29-30

  6. Include in SRE teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content. - Education section, pp29-30

  7. Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects - Education section, p30

  8. Tackle bullying in schools, including bullying on the basis of gender, sexuality, gender identity or gender expression. - Education section, p31

  9. Extend the Equality Act to all large companies with more than 250 employees, requiring them to monitor and publish data on gender, BAME, and LGBT+ employment levels and pay gaps. - Justice and Equalities section, p71

  10. Campaign to reduce intolerance, including anti-Semitism, and hate crimes alongside organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card, the Anne Frank Trust UK, and Kick It Out - Justice and Equalities section, p71

  11. Ask the Advisory Committee on Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs periodically to review rules around men who have sex with men and other related groups donating blood to consider what restrictions remain necessary - Justice and Equalities section, pp71-72

  12. Introduce an ‘X’ option on passports, identity documents, and official forms for those who do not wish to identify as either male or female, and campaign for their introduction in the provision of other services, for example utilities. - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  13. Strengthen legal rights and obligations for couples by introducing mixed-sex civil partnerships and extending rights to cohabiting couples - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  14. Extend protection of gender reassignment in equality law to explicitly cover gender identity and expression, and streamline and simplify the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to allow individuals to change their legal gender without unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles, for example the intrusive medical tests currently required. - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  15. Remove the spousal veto, and abolish remaining marriage inequalities in areas such as pensions, hospital visitation rights and custody of children in the event of bereavement. - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  16. Ensure that trans prisoners are placed in prisons that reflect their gender identity, rather than their birth gender - Justice and Equalities section, p76

  17. Offer asylum to people fleeing countries where their sexual orientation orgender identification means that they risk imprisonment, torture or execution, and stop deporting people at risk to such countries. - Immigration and Asylum section, p79

  18. Develop a comprehensive strategy for promoting the decriminalisation of homosexuality around the world and advancing the cause of LGBT+ rights - International policy section, p87

  19. Introduce legislation to allow for all-BAME and all-LGBT+ parliamentary shortlists - Democracy and Devolution section, p91
I'm hoping that someone else can do this for other things - feminists are going to be happy about our commitment to scrap the rape clause for example, or ending period poverty, and there's lots of good stuff in there about other areas I care deeply about, like racism, disability, immigration, drugs, domestic violence, digital rights, and poverty. It's almost like a manifesto is a whole programme for government...

Any volunteers to do this for other topics?



* yes, this does mean I have read the entire manifesto. Mostly I have done this to get cross at the bits that don't go far enough for me - our Immigration policy is still a coalition era compromise and I hate that it is not shouting from the rooftops about the awesomeness of immigration, for example.
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About This Blog

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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