Showing posts from January, 2012

Snark Soup for the Cynic's Soul

I really can't help myself. Though I'm wildly idealistic about half the time, I really can't stand glurge or so-called inspirational messages. I'm really just too cranky for that kind of thing, especially today for some reason.

I know some people like Sarah Kay's work. I personally, ignorant little thing that I am, hadn't heard of it until today, but "If I should have a daughter..." didn't really make a good impression on me. It's here if you want to take a squiz:

So yeah, it reminds me far too much of all these "words of wisdom" which may be words, but certainly aren't wise, or accurate, or really anything good in this world. And in the interests of snark, saving what's left of my sanity and unleashing my creative juices upon the universe, I came up with some annoying, patronising and hilariously bad "advice" - though given that this is my rather odd and quirky style, there are several twists.

Wear suncream unless …

In The Open Air

Discusses suicide. If you find this triggering or unpleasant or if you simply can't deal with it, I suggest you skip over this post.

Why talk about this? Why bare my soul to an internet that at best doesn't care and at worst would rip me to shreds for it? Why don't I sweep a horrible, shameful thing like suicide (sarcasm alert) under the carpet and pretend it never happened? Why don't I show some decorum and not seek attention?

Because I posted about attempting suicide and about the six-month anniversary of the suicide attempt that changed my life and because I'm trying to be open and honest about this sort of thing...well, I'll be honest, I've not really talked about it to the people I know in real life lest they judge me. This came as more than a bit of a shock to them and in large part I have been proved right about being judged. Nothing and no-one is immune to criticism, and this is no exception.

I was imperfectly aware of what I was doing when I decide…

Too Stupid to Rule

So I've been seeing people talking about why increasing the power of the people - from a genuinely democratic government all the way to anarchy, if that's what you're inclined to support - is a very very very bad thing indeed, for a couple of reasons. I'll only deal with one in this post, the one I feel most comfortable arguing against: the assumption that people are too stupid to rule for themselves.

This is pretty much any argument against referenda (I'm a Latin nerd, so I shall stick to using the correct Latin forms and you shall shut up and like it - plus Latin did the same thing when it came to using Greek words), direct democracy, you name a measure designed to get people to have a say and at some point someone will say:
"People are too stupid" "It's political suicide" "The electorate aren't informed enough" ...yeah, you get the picture. Basically, don't give people a say because they're too stupid to have one. Th…

What About The Kids?

I don't really like "children's interests" arguments - they go too close to an appeal to emotion for my liking - but this has been rolling round in my head for a while and I wanted to put it down on the internet, because I really am that much of an idiot.

So anyway...I've been thinking. This is the first sign that something somewhere has gone very very wrong, but I hope to perhaps put it right or at least give you lot a good laugh. Quite a few people I know have been saying "we deserve our shitty society for not having done enough to make it less shit". I have massive, massive problems with this attitude already, but even so...

...Let's say that yes, we did "deserve" our shitty society after all and we should eke out the rest of our days as failed wage-slaves or something. Let's say that this shitty society is not going to get any better, and finally, let's say that people are having kids.

Assuming no original sin/total depravity (…

Why I Support Occupy

It should not really come as very much of a surprise to long-time readers of this blog (hi, Mum) that I'm a lefty-liberal type of some description (exact details are vague and hard to come by). This does not imply that I am a crazy lefty-liberal type of some description; I can use logic just as well as you think you can, thank you very much for asking.
It should also not really come as a surprise, then, that I support the Occupy movement. (Could be that the next week is dedicated to this, could be that I do something completely different, it really depends on my mood.) I don't support it because I want to look cool or meet girls. I'm not evil - at least, I don't consider myself as evil and I try not to do evil things.
I support Occupy because the current system demonstrably isn't working. It is unsustainable: by relying on continuous growth, it presupposes infinite resources. We live on a planet with finite resources. There are quite obvious logical flaws here. Mor…


No, it's not the name of some demented kids' TV show, and if you're clueless about SOPA and PIPA I really want to ask where the fuck you've been. Why? Because I'm cranky and an arsehole, but that's another matter for another day. (Plus Twitter's been all over SOPA and PIPA.)

Those two bills - the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act - have been introduced in America, ostensibly to, you know, stop that dangerous activity that is online forcing search engines to remove links to sites that infringe copyright and stopping the domain name from resolving to the IP address, among other things. And all this is on the word of whoever says "This site infringes copyright".

Right. Three things to deal with here, in ascending order of importance: piracy, burden of proof and censorship.

My personal views on piracy are that I genuinely don't care, in fact, I'm all for people pirating things and disseminating information and media for…


I'm a science lover and a bit of a sceptic - I question everything and I am open to all, if I can find the facts and/or verify how much bollocks is being spouted. I resist the commodification of science, I resist the demonisation of science, and most of all I resist people trying to figure out my political beliefs from my support of science (right now it's not important, but as anyone who reads this blog or talks to me on Twitter will know, I'm a raging lefty). Supporting science doesn't make me a corporate shill, an evil megalomaniac, or an ineffective centrist. It doesn't make me anything, except possibly geeky - and I revel in that.

Anyway, what was I going to blog about?...Ah, yes, pseudoscience. Its practitioners put on vaguely scientific airs and graces while spewing nonsense, completely misunderstanding good scientific practice (and indeed good science itself) so that they can push products and misguided ideas. It's not really that fun arguing with them …

An incredibly long blog post on nothing in particular

This is one of the most honest and, to me at least, one of the most important things I've ever written. I really couldn't give a shit whether it makes you feel uncomfortable or not. It does contain honest discussions of suicide and the fallout from suicide attempts, so this is the closest thing you'll get to a trigger warning, as well as inane ramblings and tearful thank-yous.

It's Saturday, the 14th of January, and I'm quietly commemorating the six-month anniversary of fucking up my suicide attempt. Yes, you read that right. This blog post explains how I came to be suicidal in the first place, so if you're curious I suggest you read it.

Not being suicidal anymore felt like being washed clean of all the hate and pain and what was left was - well, it was hope, relief, dare I even say happiness. Waking up in the morning and actually wanting to live was the most beautiful emotion I've ever felt. It's an odd thing to say, but sometimes I'm happy I faile…

Just a Phase

"It's just a phase."

This is something a lot of people say to a lot of other people. Atheist? "It's just a phase." Activist? "It's just a phase." Doing something that doesn't fit in with the social norm? "It's just a phase."

I won't ask your permission to get angry. I won't ask your forgiveness for getting angry. I'll just get angry. And why? Because saying "it's just a phase" is a perfect way to invalidate someone's choices, choices that take a person out of the bounds of "normality", outside of somebody else's expectations, by implying that they have no rational basis for their decisions and that they'll soon be conforming to what society wants.

By saying "it's just a phase", you are effectively saying "I know what you want better than you do, and what you want falls in line with my desires". You are overriding a person's right and ability to make a…