tv- going downhill?
I say no. I mean, theres a lot of shite. Lets not deny that, there are hideous amounts of reality tv shows, and just some of the most banal television you can imagine. But there are still a lot of good shows being made. A lot of them are American import dramas, but if you search the channels you can find some gems. The only problem is is that they're better hidden. With more channels, they can sneak the good shows into the oddest time slots on the oddest, weirdest channels, making them difficult to ferret out. But it is possible.
Nah, the problem is is that it could be much better. Over the past 4 decades there has been some amazing tv made. Brilliant dramas, sitcoms, documentaries. It would be enitrely possible for me to turn on the tv every day and see something new and brilliant from the last 40 years. But instead I see Are you being Served. Its just not good enough! I was promised anything I wanted to watch, any time, when the adverts for digital first came out. Instead I get endless repeats of Everyone Loves Raymond!
It shouldn't be so hard to show good tv. I can't believe more people want to watch everyone loves raymond than spaced, and if they do, they should probably be shot. That could be some kind of test about fitness to live, in my new perfect world. It would be a smaller world, granted, but a happy one. Just fans of good tv.... aw, it'd be glorious.
I think within every soft hearted liberal theres a psychotic dictator waiting to happen.
From the first chapter of the Princess Bride""I love you," Buttercup said. "I know this must come as something of a surprise, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter." Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. "I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now than when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love." And with that, she dared the bravest thing she'd ever done: she looked right into his eyes. "
I HAVE to get this book.... hmm, you can read the first chapter here
. I have seen the movie many times, in case you wonder. Its awesome: you should check it out.
2001: A Space Odessy
Yeah, I'm just watching Kubrick all day these days. God this film is long. I know this is considered a masterpiece, but lets just look at the facts.
For the first 20 minutes NOBODY speaks. A 15 minute portion of the film has apes learning that bones can be used as weapons.This lack of dialogue continues throughout the film, with too much emphasis on the prettiness of the special effects. OK, the bits with Hal, the artificial intelligence in, are pretty good, and theres a fair bit of tension built up, but they take up about an hour of a film that is 2 hours and 20 minutes long. I dunno, maybe I'm missing something, but this film just feels heavily dated. I'm sure its very influential, and its got some nice ideas about the future, but as a film, its simply far too overlong, and frankly quite silly in points.
I'm probably a phillistine for saying this, but I was not a fan.
I think its more fun to mock films. Thats why critics are usually over harsh. Its very easy to mock something. Its quite simple to find things to hate in even the best of films (or games, or books, or cds), so in the worst theres a LOT to pick up on. Its much harder to say why you like something without sounding like a pretentious twat, or being really undetailed. I suppose thats why proper critics get training, unlike me. So perhaps I should go see more films knowing that they are going to be rubbish. I might, if I know I get free entry to see them.... hmm, all I need is for some rich person to see this website and declare that I am the funniest fellow they have ever read, and to fund me. In all my life, I mean, give me a wage to just write. Heh, I'm sure that happens daily.
You know, if I ever achieve wealth beyond my wildest dreams I might just do that for someone. After all, ones life goal should be to live a life of leisure. And maybe do something good.
I recently sent an email to a company about summer work. On their website they only spoke of full time employment, but I only want to work for a handful of months, so I sent them an inquiry. Their response? They sent me basically the content of their bloody website. I'm hoping there might be a letter later on which actually responds to me properly- this being a sort of standard response. It seemed a tiny bit personal for that though.
Just listening to Cold Water Music by Aim. Its absolutely brilliant. Check it out.
So I watched the Shining for the very first time last night. Its one of those films thats been spoofed to death, specifically by the Simpsons and Spaced, so a lot of the raw fear I should feel from the film are lost with a bizzare sense of familiary. Having said that, theres a lot about that film that remains creepy. The music, right from the start is deeply unnerving, and it keeps you on edge as, initially, mostly innane things happen. Then, of course, the tension builds, and Kubrick manages to keep it genuinely disturbing. So yeah, it still works. Without that, I don't think the film would be that much cop though. The plot feels really crammed. Its taken from a Stephen King novel of course, which I haven't read. I dunno, but it feels like the film is crying for moe length to allow you to expand on some of the themes. Sometimes I know its better to leave things unspoken, but I dunno, I kind of wanted a bit more.
But meh, still a masterfully directed film. Got a lot more where that came from- the whole Kubrick collection, as I have mentioned. So many films I haven't seen before. Can you believe I have never seen 2001 before? Shocking but true.
But yeah, off to a film quiz tonight... I think. I suspect I'll be rubbish. I've seen a lot of films but I never remember anything from them. Well, I remember the plot, but not actors or directors, unless its a really famous director. So yeah. I just suck at quizzes. Often when I go to quizzes theres always one person who knows all the answers I know and says them before me, meaning I look completely superflous, which, to be fair, I kind of am. Quizzes are arts students revenge on science students for us having better degrees anyway......
Heh, I kid, I think all degrees are worthwhile. Except perhaps David Beckham studies. And Klingon.
I was thinking today, that clearly men contribute the better genes to any child. No, honestly, think about it. Basically, each partner brings a half of the genes, ok? Now the female genes are in the egg. What does an egg do? It sits there for a bit, dies, and is replaced for a new one. Essentially all your average egg has to do is wait. And possibly try not to be too difficult to get into, I suppose.
Now consider the sperm. In every ejaculation there are millions of sperm, each with their own plucky individual combination of genes. And they charge forward, up the fallopian tubes, swimming up, against the powerful pull of gravity. They fight their way to the egg, and many die along the way. And they all compete for the chance to get to the egg, to break through and be the one to fertilise. And the one thats the strongest, the wiliest, the cunningest, the most agile, beats off those thousands of other competitors and gets into the egg. Thats one damn fine sperm. Thats a top quality, A-grade sperm thats managed to succeed. If they gave out prizes for that sort of thing, that sperm would win it.
So thats what we've got. The brave and agile sperm, and the frankly lucky egg. I may not be a biologist, but I reckon that sperm is pretty special, and the kids THAT sperm produces are going to be much better than the other crappy sperms.
I'm not sure what my point is with all this, probably something about guys being better than girls. But there you go. Why do things need a point anyhow?
heh, I'm a freak
Uh this is what happens when you give me a program like this
Celebrate that I have a digital camera!
Thank god for showers (or why showers are so much better than baths)
Heh, it has been so good to have showers now I am back home. I could of course have a shower in university, but it would be cold, and cold showers are evil things. Apparently they also ruin sexual appetite. I wouldn't know- i've never tried that particular combination.
But god showers are better.
1)Its easy to adjust the temperature in a shower. I know stand up comics make a big thing of the extreme changes caused by slight twists of the shower controls, but at least they change! Baths take about 5 minutes to change the temperature, and you always get it wrong anyway. Also, with our bath we normally run out of hot water so I can only make the bath colder.
2)Its cleaner having a shower. When you have a bath you are sitting in your own filth which has just come off, and, in my case, Paul's filth, cause there isn't really time to clean out the bath. And if you think about that, thats pretty foul. A shower is fresh water all the time... so much better.
3)Its quicker. You have to fill a bath, then you have to get in it, and then clean and urgh... a shower takes a few minutes to heat up and then you clean yourself. You can take longer if you want, but you don't have to, and when you've got a bus to catch, this is rather useful.
4)Its less wasteful. The amount of water you use when taking a bath is phenomenal- you use much smaller amounts when taking a shower. There is a limit to fresh water on this planet, and it does take energy to process it all
5)Its easier to wash your hair. It is practically impossible to rinse your hair when in a bath. It just isn't happening. And when you've got hair as big as mine, that's not good. Thats not good at all.
So in conclusion, showers with warm water should be provided by law.
There must be SO many posts with that title. So yeah I had ye mammoth pub crawl yesterday: ten pubs in total. It would have been 11 but we stalled- or rather myself and a handful of people stalled in the old english gentleman for quite a while. I am normally very bullish about pub crawls, making sure that they keep moving. But past a certain point alchohol has the odd effect of making me a little drunk.
So yeah, a very good day, and I pay for it now. I have the worst hangovers out of anyone I know. This is aided by the fact that close to none of my friends have hangovers. They might well throw up on the night, but the next morning they are fine. For someone who spends a day regretting ever having the thought of letting alchohol touch my lips, this is very depressing. Its got to the point that throwing up, which normally relieves me, does nothing but make me want to throw up again. I was able to eat food today, which was good as it is my birthday.
I got some good presents, for those of you interested in the minutae of my life. Amoungst them was a digital camera, which I have wanted for a long time, and finally have. Now I can take amusing photos and upload them for your amusement, and finally I can put a photo of myself up which isn't hopelessly outdated. Hopefully I'll be able to take one that will make me look pretty good, unlike the average photo of me with this long hair, which makes me look like a woman. Also got the Stanley Kubrick collection for my birthday, which is most pleasing. 8 whole films! I am determined to become a film lover extrodinaire, but theres a lot of films out there for me to watch. I might join this I love film thing, which sounds pretty good.
Watched the new Doctor Who tonight. It was pretty damn good actually. While its odd to watch a doctor who with good special effects, the scripting and humour is there. I can see myself really enjoying this show. Now next of all they need to bring back Knightmare, and my life will be complete.
Had to get something for Ella today. I always find shopping for people very........ 've mentioned this, so I'll stop.
but I did make her a mix cd (I'm giving it to her tonight and the odds are that she won't check this before then, but if she does... surprise!), which is always fun. Mix cds are tricky things to make- you have to be sure that the person you are giving the cd to will like that track: as much as you love that 20 minute existential track about God it may not be quite suitable for the cd.
Then of course there is the order. Bizzarely, I always find that commercial mix cds aren't very good at this. I mean, its not easy, but if you have time to listen an album through, surely you can tell how good the transitions are? But meh, whatever, I'm hardly an expert myself. My classic "songs for the dumped" cd ends two tracks too late, which is never good.
Hmm, I really have absolutely nothing much to do here. Its so damn good. I'm thinking I might go through my notes and get an understanding of my subject, but I'm also thinking that if I don't do that, I can watch a hell of a lot of films. Heh heh.
My great aunt Peggy is coming to stay for a week, which is going to be annoying. She is not an easy person to live with, and I doubt she will approve of my irregular hours. Or long hair for that matter. Also I shall have to stop myself swearing. I do it naturally now, without even thinking, but I don't think its a good plan at all to do it when an elderly relative is staying. Just gotta learn some self control.....
condolences to Ben
's dog had to be put down recently. Sorry Ben.
Borrn in the UK
Yeah, I'm back home now, which is good, it means I can get some well needed relaxing done. By coincidence and luck I have managed to not be set any coursework. I have just one problem sheet to do, and thats not even assessed, so theres no big pressures. Undoubtedly I'll come up with some intricate project to keep me occupied, but right now I'm busy watching my huge archive of ERs my parents have taped for me and catching up on all the commentaries on DVDs I have not listened to.
So yeah, I didn't post yesterday, because I was hideously busy. No honestly:I had to unpack, and then I had to play on MGS3 until dinner, and then I had to go to the pub! My hands were most thoroughly tied.
But yeah, nothing that much of sufficient craziness to report has occured- disappointing I know. I could invent something including a drugged up mongoose going crazy at a mall, but I'm not going to. Specially as malls are American. What do we call them in the UK? Shopping centres, I suppose. I dunno, thinking about it, whenever I have talked about going to one of those big centres I refer to them by name, like Bluewater or the other one. Or the Metro centre. Gotta love the metro centre. Its got laser quest! Although when we went there with Ben (who lives in Durham, very near to newcastle), they were all booked up, well at least thats what they said. The damn place was near empty when we were there, so unless there were secret parties of people who were hiding in place waiting for their go in laser quest, it seems like she lied to us. Evil woman that she was.
Anyways, yeah, its good to be home. Pub crawl this friday!
I am. As it was the last day of term, it was only fair to get really drunk. Really really drunk. It kicked off with the lethal genius of the Battle Royale drinking game. For those of you who don't know of the film, its about some kids who get told to kill each other off or be killed themselves. Theres 42 of them and it continues until theres only one. The game is you drink every time one of them dies. Believe me, thats a lot alchohol- my stomach is protesting just thinking about that.
Afterwards we went to some party somewhere and drank more, then we wondered round the park part of oldfield park, which I had never seen before. I remember having a fight with ice at one point while at Sally's (Malex's girlfriend) house when we were randomly poking at their fridge. That was fun.....
Urgh, anyway we stayed up til like 6 in the morning, and my head aches- its gone down a bit after the paracetemol but those have messed with my stomach: its always a balance of different pain.....
Goin' home tomorrow, which means I have to pack some point this afternoon, annoyingly.
Oddly on the day that I had my last lecture and Toby was ill, I developed an allergy to buses.
Huh, who'd have though it, I got a fictional allergy to prevent me going to my last lecture of the term? Crazy. I imagine today will have much rejoicing, in alchoholic fashion. If all goes to plan, later we will be playing the very simple Battle Royale drinking game: every time someone dies.... heh heh, we are gonna be wasted. Luckily I'm not going home 'til sunday as I don' relish the prospect of travelling home hungover again.
Paul and Fred very kindly got me MGS3 for my birthday, which rocks- I reserve judgement of it so far, but right now I can't grab anyone. And I really wanna throttle some helpless guards- thats the joy of MGS, isn't it?
My throat is completely messed up at the moment, its all dry and weird, not really sore, but annoying. Oh well, drinking copious amounts of alchohol is CERTAIN to cure that. I should have done a medical degree.
"Whats that, cancer? I proscribe whiskey! And plenty of it! I don't know how to spell prescribe! Oh, that might be it."
tomorrows kid, an unsightly coward
Just listening to the Eels....
Yeah, haven't posted for two days. There are some reasons for that. Yesterday I went out for an Indian then drink, and on tuesday I was revising.
The revising turned out to be a waste of time. I spent a fair bit of time preparing for the class test, not really knowing what would be on it. We turned up early for the exam, came in... and were told mathematicians had to go to another room. Fine. We went to the other room where the exam had already started! Fine. I sat and got to work. It wasn't too hard, the questions were pretty damn basic, apart from 4, which involved the solution to a paradox. I could sort of remember the answer to it, but not really. It was worth 4 marks out of 10, which was a bit of a blow. Never mind. I sat back and looked around absently, waiting for the exam to end. Hmm.....
Someone has their notes out! On the table! And they were just looking at them! It was an OPEN BOOK TEST! My god physicists get it easy! Well, I guess theres no worry about cheating as with the ability to access notes theres pratically no chance of dropping any marks! And this is an assessed test!Fer crying out loud. I know I shouldn't be complaining, but I feel like it cheapens the whole thing....
The meal on wednesday was great- there were 9 of us, all taking advantage of the "meal for 5 pounds" offer that the Times were doing and Ben had collected. We gave an appalling tip though. i had barely any change so ended up tipping about 50p, but our final tip came to about 1 pound, so I'm pretty sure several people underpaid.... but whatever.
I've been going to this fun little site www.okcupid.com
for a while, which I discovered when I wanted to do some trivia tests. To record my scores, I signed up to it. Now ok cupid is actually a dating service, and it works out who you match up to by looking at your answers to tests etc. Now one of my highest matches (at 79%) is bloodangel
. Now, if you look down, one of the things she's good at is "being anorexic". Although apparently "I'm anorexic but at the moment I'm having a bad period and have eaten"..... An anoerexic.... poser? Thanks OK cupid I'm glad you matched me up with someone who proudly proclaims to be anorexic. Isn't that a bad thing? Who says proudly they are addicted to heroin, or are incredibly obese? I'm not saying people who have these things are bad people, but being PROUD of it? That freaks me out. Big time.
one tooth wiser
I've got another wisdom tooth coming in. Fer crying out loud. I swear, this must be the fiftieth wisdom tooth I've had come in. I had thought that I'd be done with them by now, but apparently my body has different ideas.
I have no idea what purpose wisdom teeth have. Are they some evolutionary throwback, or is there some kind of advantage to having extra teeth at age 16? (or, in my case, 19) I dunno, one man reached adulthood he wanted to be able to eat REAL meat. The kind of stuff thats tough and nasty. Or maybe its something to do with sexy biting. Are the wisdom teeth the sexiest teeth? Are any teeth the sexiest teeth? Thats surely a bit of knowledge which is lacking in our scientific database. It would be invaluable to solving many mysteries, such as which teeth to spend all our time brushing on, because they are the important ones.
I'm guessing back teeth aren't that important, as you don't really see them, but I suppose exploration might discover them, and if they were found lacking, disgust would follow. I dunno really, this isn't something I have thought about until just now.
But anyway, my point is is my mouth hurts, and it sucks.
For those of you who don't know much about it, Tibet was invaded by China way back in 1949, China claiming that Tibet was a prefecture. Things progressively worsened
until the Dalai Lama(the religious leader of the Tibetan people) and various other officials escaped to India, and have remained there ever since.
The Tibetan people have a strong cultural identity, and have been oppressed heavily by the
Chinese government to try and remove that. It has got to the point where it is now illegal to be found with a photo of the Dalai Lama. Clearly, this occupation cannot stand, and it is our duty to try and help end the occupation.
Basically, if China loses enough political capital from the occupation of Tibet, then they will withdraw- they do respond to pressure, and there are several sucesses we have managed already.
Yesterday was a march from the Embassy to Whitehall, an annual occasion, with 200 or so of us turning up to protest. Crazily, I led the march! I had been roped into dressing up as a Chinese soldier, and had to try and keep the pace at the correct pace, a near impossible task, which I failed at repeatedly, but meh. It was a lot of fun, but it was sodding freezing, and as I was keeping in character I couldn't shove my hands in my pockets.
But yeah, it was good stuff, and afterwards we got food, and a little cultural event too! Cool stuff.
The bus ride up there was fraught with danger: three hours without a toilet? How would I survive? Somehow I pulled through, which is impressive considering the weakness of my bladder. I was exhausted when I got back, with all the marching and getting up early (7:30, earlierst I've got up in months. Have I ever mentioned I love being a student?).
So yeah, get involved, we need your help!
Proving to Toby that I am right
I am THAT childish. Today I had an argument where I claimed most people like the taste of water. Toby, Paul and Falex disagreed.
"Favorite Drink to Quench Thirst:The majority of adults (59%) say water is their favorite thirst quencher. Other beverages mentioned are: soft drinks (16%), fruit juice (8%), iced tea (5%) and sports drinks (3%). Teens primarily choose water (38%) and soft drinks (23%) as well as fruit juice (19%), sports drinks (8%) and milk (8%).
Among adults, those 55 years and over who get some weekly exercise are more likely than other adults to say water is their favorite thirst quencher (66% versus 57%)"http://newmoms.bodytrends.com/newmoms/articles/survey.htm
By this I don't mean etiquette while kissing people, as this is one dilemma that does not particularly apply to me right now. Rather, what do you do when friends kiss? Uh, by that I mean a friend with partner who may also be a friend kissing. Not the tv show, now finally finished (and you thought it would never end....)
Honestly though, there are no rules for it. At no point in my life have I had training in the proper thing to do in this situation. Obviously watching them is not on, and plain rude, but also clearly staring away in disgust is also wrong. Should you just try and fixate on some object, or the tv if its playing... but then you make such a show of it you look foolish......
Hmm, its a problem that plagues us all.
I was this morning. Some bastard on the bus, with 5 minutes until the lecture, chose to count out his change in what looked like 5pence pieces. Took ages, 'cause first he had to count it, then the driver had to count it. Just about made it to the lecture in time, but I was pushing it.
Hmm, I had something to blog about earlier. What was it?
Umm... dunno. I have a bet with Toby currently. He always drops his pen during lectures, and this week he bet me a pound that he wouldn't do it once. Astonishingly, he's managed it so far, and there is only one lecture left tomorrow. I'm actually a little worried- could Toby have managed the impossible? A whole pound is a lot you know......
I'm marching to Free Tibet this saturday- the arrangements are pretty crazy, in that Ben, head of the students for a free tibet society only emailed the details of our journey a couple of hours back. Still, it should be fine. Gotta get myself a sleeping bag, but apprently Alex can provide me with one.
Yeah, what WAS I gonna write about? Knightmare? I guess I could. If you haven't checked out that movie yet, do so, its brilliant. Knightmare was this wonderful show where 5 kids would come on. One would put on the helm of justice (or truth or marshmellows or something), and take the eye shield (only in later series though....), which effectively blinded them, then went into a kind of cgi dungeon (except i wasn't cgi cause they didnt reallly have special effects), and the 4 kids would watch on a screen and guide them. Typically, the kids didn't seem to know their left from right, which led to many comical deaths. Almost every team ended up dying, with the few that won geting little from it other than a pat on the back, and bragging rights with the other kids. It was a truly scary show to watch back then, and is hilarious to view now. They are showing it on challenge tv right now. Check it out.
Right, gotta do work now I guess.
Classic children's tv show. I bring it up because I have been linked to this
fine site via www.knightmare.com
. Check out Bad Dream. Its hilarious, whether you've seen the show or not, but probably much better with the show. The rest of the site has some lacklustre videos- the 3 second rule is vaguely amusin.
Right, sleep time.
Spot the difference
I have a spot underneath my lip. Not one of those subtle spots, that you have to be up close to se, a big, garish spot. This annoys me. I am now 19, very soon, I will be 20. Shouldn't the spots have stopped by now?
I mean, I get sunlight, I wash frequently, I offer the appropriate sacrifice to the Sun God, surely I should get some kind of reward? Hmm, maybe I'll have to buy more of that biactol stuff. That is DEFINITELY not how you spell biactol. Baictol?Bactol?Buyeracttoll?Clearisil, now that I can spel..... no wait thats wrong to. Damn you anti-spot products!
I dunno, its not like theres that many people I want to impress, but I would prefer to look a little more mature now I'm older, so I could do without the blemishes.
Urgh, I've got to get some work done now. So I shall. Actually, I probably won't, but I have to at least make an effort.
fame and fortune
I can't see the point in fame. At least, not major fame. I mean, it'd be nice to be recognised by certain circles, but generally not the tabloid kind of fame that so many clamour for. I dunno, I guess its one route to not having to do anything other than earn money by acting like a complete moron on some obscure digital channel, but I think I can do without that kind. At least, I don't crave a life of luxury enough to make a complete fool out of myself.
Added to the fact, of course, that you get intrustion from these utterly horrible magazines like Heat. Urgh, thats a sickening publication, it really is. I don't want to poke into peoples lives like that, and I really don't think its in the public interest to spy on Jade. Call me crazy.......
Fortune though, I get fortune. Getting a fairly large sum of money would be great, although I suspect I would be happy to stop. You have these very rich people who work very hard to get even richer. Why? Once you've earned your first billion, what could you possibly need? Ideally, I'd like enough to live a reasonable life of luxury for the rest of my life and any more I would give to charity.
I dunno, I guess I'm a lazy, laid back kind of guy, who can't understand driven people's urges, but hey.
Talking about the media (kinda), it annoys me about the way the media reports science. Scientific studies should not be taken on their own. Proper, peer reviewed studies rarely come to the sweeping conclusions they are reported in papers to come to, but then you never see those. The whole autism MMR thing is a classic example. The results came from a study of 12 people
. Thats pathetic. Drawing conclusions from such a small sample is never a good idea. One can say that there might be evidence to suggest carrying out a larger study, but thats it. But the media hypes it up, and scientists' reputation gets hurt in the furore. There should really be more regulation on the way these things are done, but meh. If only I ruled the world eh?
In the US, about a third of schools have a policy of abstinence. Uh, that doesn't mean that the schools don't have sex before marriage, because as far as I know a public building can't have sex (private buildings get some action though). No, as you probably know, and if you don't you should be shocked, its where they teach kids that the best way for them to be safe from STDs is to swear off sex before marriage. In these classes, they will not teach children about contraceptives, other than to repeat flawed statistics suggesting that other forms of contraceptive are useless.
Now, the principle reason given for this is the protection of children. The theory advanced is this will reduce teenage pregancies. I doubt this, of course. Several studies so far appear to show no difference before and after an abstinence policy. In a more controlled study, following some people (a large survey, I might add), they did have less partners, and on average had sex 18 months less than your average immoral kid, but it was discovered, 10 years or so down the line, that despite having much less partners, they had higher STD rates! The reason? Well they never got taught how to use contraception, see......
There is a compromise option, which encourages abstinence but teaches about contraception, but many people in the US appear to feel that it would send mixed messages. This is an opinion based on belief rather than attention to what studies show, of course, but what opinion isn't? Well, hopefully the one I'm about to give in a minute, but.... ok no it isn't going to be. But still, one has to be pragmatic about these things.
To be fair, it doesn't seem that sex education programs are very effective, certainly not in the UK. There are few studies that show sex education having a major effect either way, so we cannot really draw conclusions. I would say that we do teach it very badly in the UK at least. The method I was introduced to was essentially watching a couple of crap videos then seeing a condom being put on a cucumber, or some equally phallic object. A short discussion was made of the alternative forms, but the only reason I know so much about them is research and experience, all of which I did without the schools aid. I think that people are too embarrased to talk about it, and if the teachers were more frank: after all most HAVE had sex, and actually communicated to the students, rather than letting some video do that for them, then it might have an effect. One of the oddest parts of sex education is that there seems to be no mention of whats good about sex. I suppose its assumed to be known, but the implication of many of these awful videos is that theres nothing good about sex. Its one of the reasons I think drug education is terrible. People do drugs for a reason, and to write "peer pressure" and underline it means nothing. This is a far more reasoned explanation for the reasons to not smoke, and the reasons WHY people smoke, and I think i'd be more effective than campaigns obviously done by people who have never smoked.
Basically, I don't think fear is a very effective tactic. I think getting all those women who hated their first time and wished they'd waited to come and talk, then you might have some effect, if only to embarrass guys into actually trying to please their lady, would be far better. Is the principle notion of adolescence a feeling of invincibility? Macho cool, denying fear and laughing in its face?
The big thing I dislike about abstinence as opposed to our currently shite system, is the imposition of a belief. For me, the greatest thing about our schooling system right now, is that moral views are not imposed. I mean, other than discouraging racism, and obvious stuff like that, the big issues are usually left open. But abstinence is the promotion of an attitude about sex. Its not just about protecting our children (I dunno why I say "our"- I am 19 after all) from the dangers of teenage pregnancy and STD's, its about getting them to believe that somehow, waiting until marriage for sex is somehow "better." I don't think this is true. I personally would prefer to have sex within a committed relationship, if only because that is a more comfortable environment for me to make an utter fool out of myself sexually. But I do think some people can enjoy casual sex. I know people who do, and as long as both partners know whats happening, and are careful, whats the harm in that? Telling children that that is wrong is not something schools should be doing. They should point out that it can be dangerous, and harmful, but in the end a school is not a place to tell you waht to do (or it shouldn't be). Its a place to advise you.
Finally, of course, abstinence programs do not actually say only sex within a commited relationship. They actually call for no sex before marriage. Why? Whats so special about marriage? I don't get it. Do some pieces of paper prove that you are more comitted than the couple dating two years? You can marry within days of meeting each other after all. I don't get how marriage is a special point. After all, most marriages do not last forever- divorce statistics are always rising, and the break ups are not always clean. The only real way I can see it being supportable to tell kids that the only time they should have sex is during marriage is if you believe it religously. And that should not be in schools. I dunno, I thought seperation of state and church were enshrined in the American constitution, but hey, what do I know, I'm just some crazy brit with an institutional religon. Shouldn't WE be the fanatics?
Finally, I'd like to say I'm not condoning a way of life here. I mean, I think waiting for a commited relationship is a healthier way of going about things, and its entirely possible that one day I will end up married, although probably with a partner I have had sex with first. You are free to live your life the way you choose it, and I respect that. Just don't start telling kids to do it in school. Give them the facts, the reasons for the way of life, then let them choose. They might be smarter than you think.
So yeah, back to SW tomorrow, which should be fun. Theres nothing like a crazy go nuts train ride to get the blood stirring. Incidentally, I don't think I've ever linked to the brilliant www.homestarrunner.com
which I should have, because its awesome. Check out the Strong Bad Emails and Teen Girl Squad esepcially. Actually, check out all the cartoons 'cause they're all pretty damn funny.
OK, a request. I know I mentioned this a while back, but I had a slightly lower readership then, so I shall repeat. If any of you haven't, please head over to www.controlarms.org
. We need a million faces ideally (because someone has already named it the one million faces petition, and its only got like 300,000 at the moment), so every little one counts. You can just draw a picture of yourself if you don't want to submit a photo. Keep it serious though, this is getting presented to the UN in 2006. Please, if you do this, link it to all your friends, and get all your friends to link to them. Getting a global bill to control the movement of arms would be an incredibly positive movement for change, and it is shocking there is not one in place already. Conflicts can only keep going if people have the weapons to do so.
Umm, yeah. I am on campus yet again- I have a tight schedule to meet, as after my 12:15 lecture I have to rush home and pack for the 2:42 train. I have made the mistake of getting trains with specific times again, which is always guarenteed to stress me out, but thats the life I've chosen. The tube website chose to scare me by putting up an article talking about delays on the circle and hammersmith and city lines, the only two lines going straight to liverpool street (the other routes are rather circutuous. And I can't spell circutuous), which I have an hour to reach. However, closer inspection showed that there wasn't, in fact, any delay. Which is odd really, but there you go- maybe it was an old article, I didn't check the date, I just read "today" on it.
Two guys to my right are currently doing a maths sheet I have already done, and I'm pretty sure they are getting horribly incorrect answers. I could of course tell them this, but hey, I could be wrong, and if they do badly, I look better in comparison. This thing isn't assessed anyway.... alright I'm a bastard. So sue me.
Missed a day
Of blogging. Shocking I know, but I'm just softening you up for this weekend when... well actually I will have access to the internet this weekend, and little else to do, so I guess I'll be blogging more than ever. So I wasn't really softening you up, I was just lazy.
To be fair, I was quite busy yesterday. Work work work filled my time schedule for at least several hours, and then I had to play on Baldur's Gate 2 AND watch Godfather part 3. Which I think is unfairly mocked. I mean, its not as good, certainly- the subtleties of the last films are replaced with flashbacks and characters basically explaining whats going on. At one point, a character narrates what is about to happen, when it is patently obvious. However, its still a solidly told tale, and well directed to, that manages to grip, for all the loss of subtlety of the former films.
Uh, but yeah, it was enjoyable, and it let me eat my last bag of popcorn, a sad yet joyous occasion.
I got dissed on sonic 2. Yanni completed Sonic 2 (which I have done many a time) but also got all the emeralds, which I never did. To be fair, she did it using a cheat code so she could do one emerald stage after the other, but I feel bad. I will have to do it, but I intend to wait until I attain the Sonic Mega Collection, cause it might unlock special stuff. Or so I hope.
God I love sonic. In Game the other day, some kid was pointing at it and saying "aww, thats just old sucky sonic games!" I almost snapped the little brats neck. How dare he speak ill of one of the best games ever? Gamers today don't know quality, and wouldn't know it if it slapped them in the face repeatedly and beat them. I don't play that many games, but I still consider myself a gamer- I was there, I played the classics, I was scared by Doom, I was awed by Populous.... Damn those young uns. Same kind of scum who think the Star Wars prequels are better than the originals.
Got my exams results today, which turned out to be much better than I could possibly have anticipated, so I am very pleased.
The link on the other post apparently doesn't work, so try this
one. If that doesn't, I'll curse BBC to the very depths of hell itself. Bwa ha ha ha ha. Hmm, too many ha's, I suspect.
As to my life right now??? Hmm, I'm going home next weekend for my grandmothers birthday, and this week I will undoubtedly be doing some activist type things, but nothing that exciting has been happening. I might well be stuck in a rut, but its a damn comfortable one (although I cry cry cry on those lonely nights. Heh, I think I'm going to create a book called "the Wisdom of Britney")
"Inevitably the far-right are bleating their traditional the innocent have nothing to fear mantra. They should ask the Guildford 4, the Birmingham 6, or the MacGuire family what they think about that. If there was any truth at all in such nonsense then why bother with any system of justice at all?
Why not just lock up anybody, at anytime, for anything; based solely upon whim, hearsay and rumour, rather than by due process of law involving awkward things such as evidence and proof, with guilt or innocence being established beyond reasonable doubt? "
From the bbc website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/4286873.stm/
. Exactly. There ares some bizzare people who claim that when someone becomes a terrorist, then they lose their rights. Perhaps, but you generally have to PROVE they have done so before you can take those rights away. Detaining innocent people is something every government should do their utmost to avoid, not encourage. These are bad bad times.
The most surprising thing is that we are meant to trust the government on intelligence. thats right, intelligence they cannot show us shows that such and such a person is a huge threat. Surely, after the WMD fiasco, no-one can take this seriously? Intelligence is not good, unless it can prove something in a court of law. Why are people happy to trust the government on something they cannot easily be held to account to? Have they learnt nothing? These laws protect us all, and we should not forget that.