Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Controversial British Survey

Controversial British Survey via Badger On Fire.

"This has been going around for a while, but the version I'm doing here has been edited by [info]misspotsitt for a British audience as most of the questions were fairly USA-centric.

Here goes...

1. Do you have the guts to answer these questions and re-post as The Controversial British Survey?
Yes, why not?

2. Would you do meth if it was legal?
No, it has a reputation for being highly addictive (and tweaker-dom sounds pretty non-glamorous. Not that glamour is the basis of how I live life, haha, but you know...) For similar reasons, I wouldn't touch heroin. Legality isn't really top of my list on why not to do drugs.

3. Is the current abortion cut off point valid in your mind?
Yes, I am pro-choice. I'm very much against any reduction in time-limit and would support a change where two doctors' agreement is no longer required. I would also like to make sure that Northern Irish women had the services which currently they are entitled to, but find extremely difficult to access.

4. Do you think we would face the same difficulties we did in the 80s if the Conservatives came back into power at the next general election?
I don't want to see the Tories back in power. I don't feel that they have changed one iota from what they were, they just think Cameron's smarm makes him the perfect Blair replacement. While I have been disappointed in Labour, I don't want a Tory government in their place.

5. What do you think the best solution to our overcrowded prisons is?
Less criminals!
I think the alternatives to imprisonment, such as community service, should be used more often and properly enforced for "petty criminals".

6. Are you in favour of the reclassification of some drugs in recent years?
There are good legal reasons for reclassification, so that sentencing reflects the threat-level of the drugs concerned. Otherwise the judicial system would be too much of a blunt instrument.
I'm not sure that the media does the public any favours by its coverage of such reclassifications. Perhaps it should be announced in numbers of years/months you'd expect to serve if caught dealing instead of A grades (that's the really good stuff) and C (well, that's average), haha.
On the whole, I lean towards legalisation with heavy controls and taxation.

7. Are you for or against premarital sex?
Free love, baby.
I see no reason why consenting adults can't do what the hell they want with their bodies. I'd recommend safe sex, of course.

8. Do you believe in God?

9. Do you think that same sex Civil Partnerships are a good thing?
Of course. I think a gay couple should have the same rights & protections as a straight one would do, so that they can make medical decisions for one another if necessary and be treated as next-of-kin automatically and so forth.
As far as I'm concerned it's marriage, and calling it a civil partnership is mere fudging. I see little difference between my own marriage at a registry office and a gay couple doing the same.

10. Do you think it's wrong that people from EU member states can move to the UK without barriers?
No, fine by me.

11. A twelve year old girl has a baby, should she keep it?
It's hardly an ideal situation, but I'd want to enable her to look after her child if that was what she wanted.

12. Has the introduction of 24 hour licencing regulations had a positive impact on our drink related crime levels?
I doubt it has changed an awful lot. I think we're way off the cosmopolitan sniftering that this was supposedly to promote.
The benefits are staggered closing times, so that everyone isn't out on the street at once, which means less argy-bargy over food, taxis and pavement space at least.
I think it'll take a lot to change the "must-be-slaughtered-to-have-fun" mentality which seems pervasive.
On the bright side, we did change our attitudes to drink-driving, so it can be done. And the Europeans aren't as savvy about alcohol as their stereotypes go - their rates of alcoholism are pretty fearful too.

13. Should we have got involved in the military activities in the Middle East?
I think that our primary motivation was oil, and when greed is a motivator, it's bound to be a bit whoa-nelly. I mean we aren't that eager to get to "policing the world" when there's no oil pipeline to build or whatever, are we?
I also wonder whether the US Christian right's longing for the second coming and strife having to come from that direction might not be an influence in activities over there.
Or I do when I'm in conspiracy mode, haha.

14. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?
It is illegal, agreed.
I think there is a case for euthanasia. Stories like that of Terry Schiavo, who eventually had to have her feeding tube removed, make me think it'd be far better to just overdose her and get it over with. I can't imagine the distress of her prolonged death caused her loved ones. While the fact that her body was kept going for so many years when her brain had largely liquefied - madness.
I think it should be a choice people can make legally, although obviously it would need controls. Perhaps a body to investigate for coercion etc beforehand.

15. The Scottish executive have made it illegal to spank children under the age of three, do you think that English and Welsh parliaments should follow suit?
Yes. Smacking a child under 3 teaches him or her nothing but hitting is ok. Distraction, or simply removing child from the source of the problem, or vice versa - or unexpected parental bellows work well.
I don't think smacking's an effective disciplinary measure after that age either, I think there are always better alternatives.
Of course, no parent is perfect and I understand it can seem the only thing to do, and I'll even hold my hands up and say I have smacked my child - but when I did, it said more about me being at the end of the tether than about what my child had done.
And spanking is never ok.*

16. Would you burn UK currency for a million dollars (OK, kinda weird...)?
As long as it wasn't a sum worth more than the million dollars would be, haha. And as long as it wasn't my money or that of someone or an organisation I approved of.

17. Who do you think would make a better Prime Minister, Brown or Cameron?
Brown. Cameron's an arse.

18. Do you think we should continue to pay a TV licence fee?
Yes, the Beeb does alright. I think it's the only way to keep regional news and programming alive. The local ITV branch is shutting down and all our "local" programming is going further and further away, presumably because there's not enough money in it. But the Beeb will continue to provide these services.

19. Do you think that the word 'chav' should be driven out of usage as it may have its roots in Romani vocabulary and thus be a racial slur?
It's very hard to drive words out of usage. I wouldn't use it myself.

20. Do our think our current accepted vocabulary for dealing with racial minorities is adequate?
I'm not sure. I'd like it spelt out and set in stone.

21. What do you think of Chris Moyles?
He's quite irritating on the radio so I never listen to him. Other than that I don't know much about him.

22. Are you afraid others will judge you from reading some of your answers?
Judge me for what? I don't mind disagreement, questions, am even prepared to be asked to re-think or think through things better, but meh, not too bothered on being judged on the contents of this post.

I'd be interested in seeing your answers."

* Except in role-play where children are definitely not involved, but the making of them might be, if you know what I'm saying, mwhahaha.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cake-making consternation

It's a toss-up who was more surprised, I think. Me happily measuring out flour, or the spider who had fallen into the bowl of the weighing scales. Yikes.

'Course, while it was a temporary shock for me (whose flour started wriggling and then realising the cause to my disgust) - it was a rather more serious and, er, more permanent problem to the spider, which never got a chance to get over the initial "what-the-fuck?!"s.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You never hear anything good...

When my little boy started reception year, one of the teaching staff was nattering to another parent who works in childcare, saying: how lovely it had been in the first week, with only a few children and how they could concentrate on them all and they were coming on in leaps and bounds in only a week! And then it all went to pot when the next group of children were added on the following week (the school introduces the new children in staggered starts). And now (with our new ones coming in) it would be even worse...

Way to fill me with confidence.


Friday, September 19, 2008

The suspect of beauty

The M&S clothing adverts bother me. Why is that the only woman of colour featured is the one who is always in the underwear?

The other women get to keep their clothes on far more. On the bright side, at least M&S do actually sell clothes and have a range of undies, so it's not women in their undies for no apparent reason as it so often is in advertising.

Still... somehow feels suspect to me.

Oh, and another thing - you know that series "Britain's missing model"? While I appreciate the idea was to get people to think about disability not being incompatible with beauty (a big subject to tackle), it also troubled me that all the women featured were white. The trailers for the series showed pretty much identi-kit blonde white women, distinguished only by their disabilities.

This makes me wrinkle my nose up in probably a rather unattractive way.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Most pointless toy ever

What what what the blue-pencilled bleep is going on with this toy?

It is the empty frame with painted on exploded bits of Dr Who villain, Cassandra. Why oh why oh why? £5 for that? What a rip!

It'd be better if you could reattach a Cassandra, but no, destroyed Cassandra it truly is.

Good grief.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Life! Death! Prizes!

goes the sub-title of 'Chat' magazine. Marvellous. All the really important stuff then.

I only know this, I hasten to add, because I was waiting in a queue at our local supermarket beside the magazine racks and was bored.

You can really count on our local supermarket for poor to indifferent customer service. At the tillpoints they throw your goods at you faster than you could possibly pack and when they finish sit there picking their teeth, or poised panther-like with their hands on the next person's stuff while you struggle on.

You might have a child who has bashed itself on a metal chair, screaming and crying, and they sit there expecting you to pack your groceries away rather than comfort your child*. The thought of raising a finger to put something in a bag to help wouldn't even speculate about the merest possibility of crossing what passes for their minds. The thought of asking if you needed some assistance wouldn't even speculate about crossing their minds.

The cashiers chat away merrily to their friends-who-happen-to-be-customers or their colleagues behind them, somewhat like owls with an incredible twisting of the neck, but give you a thousand yard stare or avoid your eye and blank you rather than the common courtesy of a grunt** to acknowledge your existence.

They might attempt to put credit on your phone, fail, hand you your money back saying "That didn't go through" and start serving the next customer straightaway rather than ask you if you want them to try again or offer you the option of a phone voucher instead. Oh yes. Service with a snarl. You're just a nuisance, y'know. Customer schmustomer.

This and much more is why I very rarely go there - and why we call it Scummerfield.

* Not that I hold grudges. Ha.
** I don't ask for miracles like a smile or a hello, I have the bar set low.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sexism according to the UN

Star Wars: Clone Wars

Why is it that in a galaxy a long long time ago, when women are as likely to be Jedi apprentices as any man, that a robot would go for a cheap laugh about "Yes sir, I mean Ma'am, I mean sir?" to the female villain?

What a load of shit!

A robot is never going to make that mistake unless it's programmed by chauvinistic ijeets... Oh, wait, I see the flaw in my argument...


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The eyebrows have it

The TimesOnline amused me yesterday when I read that Alistair Darling had "raised eyebrows" when he warned "that the public were “p-ed off” with Labour * ".

Fortunate that it was other people's eyebrows he was raising and not his own; after all, what eyebrows they are! He must surely require a crane to raise them. And they are of such a dark and contrasting nature to the rest of his face.

Where do politicians get their eyebrows from?

They better watch out for the Belgian army **, that's all I can say.

* No shit, Sherlock.
** Much as I hate to link to the M@il as it is the proverbial shit on my shoe, all principles are defenestrated for a cheap laugh.