Ladies first but men before

There have always been some good feminist messages in The Titanic. An independent Rose defies her parents expectations, refusing to marry for wealth. She casts aside society’s class and gender restraints to dance in 3rd class. She doesn’t let Jack get too cling either. I’m not sure what to make of her dogging on the car deck, but the lady was nothing if not a free spirit.

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relationships according to silica chips

Social Network connection diagrams have always received a passing glance from me. Back in the days when facebook was more lax about security, I used to enjoy the ‘advanced search’ function, for example, “School: Methody, Religion: Atheist” or “Location: Belfast, Gender: Male, Interested in: Men” would always provide an interesting evening of facebook creeping.

This tool, providing mere pastime curiosity for me, was rightly scrapped after being used for brutal repression by others. Homophobic religious fundamentalists querying facebook for Saudi Arabian lesbians, such new technologies that had gone a small way to liberating these women, was turned and used to help their persecution.

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Chrismukkah

Long time no postings, apologies to my regular readers (yes I mean you, Bolivian scented candle selling spam bots) Maybe I’ll find time over Christmas to write something about what I’ve been doing instead, if I develop code names for all the people involved and write things very cryptically. I should extend my traditional secular and politically correct christmas greeting to you all. Have a happy non denominational winter season of festivities celebrating the common human spirit of generosity as sometimes seen in the act of giving and receiving gifts which may or may not posess theological connotations. Of course we’re still closer to Hanukkah so I should choose a Seth Cohen style greeting.

All this talk of Cameron’s bull dog attitude has reminded me how thin advocates for the European Project are on the ground. Not only is defending the current state of the EU painful, but advocating further integration seems inconceivable. Not being prone to patriotism myself, much of the Euro bashing rhetoric goes over my head. Patriotism? Those who argue agaisnt further integration or even for complete withdrawal don’t seem to suspect patriotism is involved, no, the term ‘national interest’ has been bandied about quite a lot. The coalition government has from its formation depended a lot upon the argument “yes university fees are wrong, but sometimes in the national interest…”, ‘national interest’ features heavily in any discussion of economic policy, it is used to justify policy more often employment or recovery, becoming suspiciously synonymous with ‘the market confidence’. In the latest Europe spat, the national interest seemed suspiciously similar to the interest of the City. The deciding factor in Blair’s persuading the country to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan was also the national interest. (Suggestions that women’s rights would be protected appeared only retrospectively.)

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SPQR 2, the narrative of profligacy

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A few weeks before setting off to Rome I’d read a few amusing news stories about ‘gladiator fights’ happening outside the Colosseum. Apparently the gladiator impersonators had formed gangs and were using violence and intimidation against other would-be gladiators, as well as against tourists to force them to pay up for photographs.

In response, the Italian police sent in agents, undercover in gladiator costumes and togas. Sure enough, a ‘sword fight’ did ensue, other undercover police then stepped in to make arrests as reported by The Guardian and the BBC.
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Senatus Populusque Romanus

I slip in the time to post here just in the gap I have between passing my Driving Theory Test and frantically starting to pack and prepare for leaving for university on the 2nd October. Perhaps before I launch into my ramble about my very Hepburn-esque Roman Holiday I will post some little fillers to videos, articles and other time fillers of the week.

What I’ve been listening to:

Tom Lehrer’s “The Vatican Rag” got me in the mood for visiting the real thing last week. 2-4-6-8 time to transubstantiate!

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