I’m starting (finally) to get worried about ID cards. The government’s going to be collecting too much unnecessary information, and is *definitely* going to be allowing the banks to verify people’s identities against it. The multinational banks with no remit as to the information’s security, the banks who’ve larger turnovers than most countries, the banks who could start asking for more and more information for you to verify your identity, which they could then extract from the government; criminal record, birthplace, blood relatives, any genetic diseases identified by your biometric tests, short-sighted, credit rating…?

The Big Space Fuck

I picked up Harlan Ellison’s Again, Dangerous Visions because it contained a Kurt Vonnegut story called “The Big Space Fuck.” Yes, I like swear words because they are both big and clever.

And goddamn, while we’re in the book barn, prideful I show my find to Jim, who says “yep. Kieron got a different collection because it had that story in.” Jim can break anyone in ten seconds.

We both managed to find this story in here:

How? Why? Are we that predictable? Perhaps there’s a lovable fairy that’s placing Vonnegut short stories beneath the hands of impressionable writers, perhaps every other book in that barn has that story in, and perhaps we’re just exceptionally attuned to vulgarities.

Iron Eyes

They say you shouldn’t look at the sun because it burns your eyes. I find myself staring at it today, and I realise that it doesn’t burn. Al, my neighbour, his eyes are long burnt (he’s a diabetic and every few months he sits down in front of a laser where they burn off yet more retinal cells, in some hermetic technique that’ll save the rest of his vision, or at least blind him enough so that he can’t swing punches when they present the bill…) but mine are clear, weirdly un-cauterised.
Because I’m not looking at the sun. And not in a pseudo-epistemological “Menard’s Quixote was superior to Cervantes’s” the sun is not a thing that can be looked at, cos even a pseudo-sun will still pop those fragile rods and cones on your pseudo-retina. No, I’m looking at the sun and it doesn’t burn. Perhaps, it’s the thousand fricative filters between me and the sun; auroras, gas pockets, floating cometary debris, the earth’s atmosphere in its innumerable layers, clouds, smog, the leaves of that tree, the window, my glasses, the filth on both of those, my eyelashes, capillaries… perhaps the query shouldn’t be ‘why doesn’t the sun burn?’ but rather ‘how the frick can I see anything at all with this intervening scum?’

Was reading a Ross Rocklyne SF piece (speculative fiction called ‘Ching Witch’ – and FYI speculative fiction was a 70s uppity name for Sci-Fi) inspired by visiting his sons on Haight in San Fran back in the day and experiencing this new ‘free love’, the early blossoming of Hippydom; I find myself contrasted. I see my father’s generation (who were those suns) riding motorcycles, talking about being at the first Woodstock and Glastonbury, being banged up for possession, loving this free love (I still remember the day, and am increasingly convinced of its unreality when my dad drunkenly told me that a friend of his put up with him, cos dad slept with his wife for him) and I feel more like that old man visiting his son than the son should. Role reversal and all that. I have lived my life in rebellion against my parent’s rebellion, being stolid, staid, solitary, and as sober as I could manage

My brother complained to me once about my telling him off for not working at uni; he said it was unfair on him, because he had the pressure to match me, and he didn’t feel he could. I responded by saying that he didn’t understand the pressure of having to be the good son. Well, he’s just finished uni, got his result (a third, which he says he deserved and I don’t disagree), so he can go and be as bad as he likes; he’s out of the family clutches now, unless he returns prodigal and humbled.

Oh, yes, family information; my black sheep cousin (the blackest of us five cousins) turned up in Manchester, pursuing my slowly fleeing uncle (who left him in Israel when he went off on a business trip fifteen years ago) as he has pursued him through England, Florida, Panama, and now England again. Their relationship is a murder in slow motion. The cousin, who incidentally trained in the Israeli marines (I’m reminded of the Grosse Pointe Blank quote “he has a certain… moral flexibility”), turned up and we were all terror-stricken – my grandma refuses to talk to his dad or him (after the incident when he was a kid when he was given a wodge of cash for his mother back in Israel and it never reached her, nor did she know about it until we rang to check it had been received.) Anyway, one of his international acquaintances got him a job selling stuff in the Trafford Centre, so we were relieved – perhaps, inshallah, god willing, he was going straight?

Nope.

That job disappeared pretty swiftish. So instead, he was employed as a security guard at a local girl’s private school, with food, accommodation, the works.
He got fired again.
Apparently, for sleeping with the six formers.
Oy. Gevalt.

Of course, this is all hearsay through the family, so could be lies. Rafi, if you’re reading this *don’t* come and murder me in my bed, just post a comment. In addition, I’d just like to say I *respect* your life-choice, I envy your clear-cut sociopathy.

The point of all this is, with my family history, I’m happy being prudish, stolid, and only safely strange. There’s altogether too many melanin-rich sheep genes floating about in the pool for my liking. My brother can risk his toes testing the waters and see if he comes up all Dolly.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | John Cleese writing Aardman film: “‘It will be great comedy adventure about a pre-historic culture clash between two tribes, one comparatively evolved tribe, and one un-evolved tribe,’ he said.

‘Some might consider one tribe might be the English, and some might consider that the other to be the French, the Gauls.

‘Let’s just say it’s the start of the Entente Cordial and it explains why the English Channel is there.'”

I’m not really a writer for long posts; my attention span is about as long as… anyway, I find it irritating to have to read. Bloglines hasn’t really helped with this, and there needs to be a winnowing of my links (apologies to any who disappear in this purge, but your families will be informed/liquidated) as I simply can’t keep up with everyone’s posts. The things I’m *really* interested in, like food, film and filosophy, take a big back burner, while I do my job and pore over the latest interminable games news (“EA promises no more original content, ever”)

We had our future summer party on Friday (and it bled into satruday) and,it being Future’s twentieth anniversary of ‘not going bankrupt yet’ we were all subsumed in the querulous delights of a mini-Glastonbury festival all to ourselves, complete with camping, bands, vaudeville (a fantastic old-fashioned act where a woman hammers a nail into her own head, has an audience member pull it out, then breathes fire, eats fire, and generally depilates her entire body with fire. She was *hot*.)

I spent a large part of the party (or so it seemed) commiserating with a friend who was in love, and unloved. ‘Unrequited’ is such a technical, refined term for this thing that reduced a friend to silent horror for hours on end; there was an unreasoning, lost distraught look that squatted immovable on her face; she’d turn this look to you when you tried talking, and just blast you with it emptily, and then turn back to looking nowhere. I cajoled, I threatened, I pleaded, I reasoned, but nothing would provoke a reaction from, not a word for hours and hours. If you left her alone for five minutes, she would wander off and look for this supposed belov’d, who was (simply put) sick of the attention and trying to hide. Bloody awful situation.