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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 03:47:54 AM EST) Reading, Watching, Politics, MLP (all tags)
Watching: "Bridge of Spies". Reading: "Nod", "The Girl With All The Gifts". Politics. Links.


What I'm Watching
Bridge of Spies, movie starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer who after defending a Soviet spy is called on to arrange a prisoner swap for a pilot. It's got great reviews and a high rating, but I thought it was a bit predictable and underwhelming. Well acted, well filmed, didn't seem to have anything new.

Aside: seems amazing that kids in Fifties/Sixties America got any kind of education, since according to movies they just seem to have watched "Duck and Cover" with worried expressions on their innocent faces for all and every school day.

What I'm Reading
Nod by Adrian Barnes. Apocalyptic novel where all but a handful of people start experiencing total insomnia, leading to hallucinations, madness and eventual death.

Was a bit worried that as an insomnia sufferer it would be unbearable to read. But since the point of view was from one of the rare Sleepers it felt quite pleasantly vindictive. Certainly at 4AM it's quite nice to imagine the rest of the smug snoring world experiencing this hell for once, even if it means the collapse of civilisation.

Quite well done, with a few nods to the classic "On the Beach". However it's apparently the first volume of a planned series, so it ends with some things unresolved.

What I'm Reading 2
The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey. Another post-apocalyptic novel, this one starting some years after a zombie apocalypse. It's largely written from the point of view of a child who is a zombie capable of rational thought who has to travel through the wasteland north of London with a teacher and a handful of others.

Really liked this one. It actually manages to get a new-ish angle on things. Has believable characters, a thoroughly worked out system of zombiehood, a decent plot which comes to a great science fictional conclusion. Well worth reading.

Politics
Changed my mind at the last minute and went for "Remain" in the referendum. As I said a while back, it's a battle of neoliberal capitalism versus xenophobic nativism and I don't really like either side.

The actual outcome seems to have been a bit worse than I expected. I would have hoped we would have at least one functioning political party for instance. Instead the Leave Tories seem to be hiding under the bedclothes, the lame duck PM is unwilling to do any of "the hard shit". The Labour party was faced with a near-ideal situation: an opposition in disarray, a leader who shrewdly kept doors open to the other side, and a "you broke it" advantage where any turbulence could be attributed to the other side. So naturally the PLP picked this moment to implode completely.

But if the vote had gone the other way, I think things would have been bad too. A massive, alienated, largely working class group convinced they'd been stabbed in the back by elite metropolitans. The right of the conservative party empowered by that frustration. More neoliberal stuff stuff like TTIP across Europe, housing made ever more expensive in the UK.

The far right I think would have done much the same. Most of the banners and stickers we've seen in the hate campaign are from established far right groups: Britain First, Combat 18, even the old National Front: they must have been planning some post-referendum chaos in advance.

Overall: Just bring on the zombies.

Links
Socioeconomics. Tenure extension policies backfire against women (also illustrates how affirmative action may sometimes be better than "equal" action).

Pics. The 1960 Look. 1860s caricature map

Random. Headless bears. Hawaiian canoe travelling the world by a map of the stars. City objects.

Articles. Star Trek: Insurrection. Why Every Man Should Read Jane Austen. Early modern female philosophers. The Polyamorous Christian Socialist Utopia That Made Silverware for Proper Americans.

Politics. Labour coup planned in advance? "What the country wants right now is a political middle manager to soundbite the country out of this quagmire".

< Johnny coming to UK in July | We will not vanish without a fight >
Each day that came a little more hope was gone | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I'm not a sure Remain win by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 04:16:42 AM EST
Would have been better, economically yes but politically much worse in a way.

I honestly believe that we are better inside the EU having influence than semi-outside in a Norway type deal but I think Norway is the only politically feasible way forward.

Norway arrangement by anonimouse (4.00 / 3) #3 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 05:10:04 AM EST
Doesn't solve the matter of controlling immigration, which was a core issue in the referendum  

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Pay more money by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 05:56:32 AM EST
And a fudge around having to have a job contract to move here

[ Parent ]
From what the Leave politicians are saying... by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 06:24:26 AM EST
Voting "Leave" won't reduce immigration, either. Also doesn't free up more money for the NHS. In fact, other than trashing the Pound I'm not sure what it's done.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Just heard the French Deal by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 07:49:42 AM EST
EEA Norway Style Deal, more money, cap on migration levels, single market  but no passporting for financial services. Cruel choice for the Tories : working class versus the City

[ Parent ]
I get the impression by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 07:55:52 AM EST
.. we ought to form a competing Free Trade and Services area. 

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
We've tried that by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 07:57:37 AM EST
We're not popular enough with other countries

[ Parent ]
They don't call us by jump the ladder (4.00 / 2) #12 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 07:59:02 AM EST
Perfidious albion for nothing

[ Parent ]
I suspect by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 08:00:07 AM EST
We won't trigger a Brexit until a road map for financial services is agreed. 

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
That's why never by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 08:07:04 AM EST
WTO rules only cover goods not services for the most part. And where is our strength, services...

We're fucked

[ Parent ]
Interesting Times by priestess (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 04:58:12 AM EST
The Labour Party are absolutely hilarious, clearly there's really at least two parties there and looks like the PLP are determined for force that split.

Scotland and Ireland are either off out of the UK or else this exit has to be voted by them. Either of those outcomes will enflame the hard right, and they're already shooting MPs dead in the streets.

So.

I predict things continuing to kick off.

Surprised the Libs aren't making more headway from this mess really. They must really be entirely spent.

Pre........
---------
Chat to the virtual me...

Vetoed, not voted. by priestess (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 05:13:08 AM EST
American schooling in the 60s by ana (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 06:21:32 AM EST
I was in first grade in 1960/61 (turning six in the summer of '60). I do remember some duck and cover drills; I imagine we had two or three of them all year. I don't remember the Burt the Turtle duck and cover movie, but we may have been shown it in school. There was one drill where they sent everybody home from school early, which seems... kind of odd, having clueless terrified six-year-olds loose on the streets during a civil emergency. My parents built a new house in 1963, with a roughed-in fallout shelter in the basement (a room with 8" thick concrete walls and ceiling with vents through the roof). They used it to store canned goods and by then the cold war had thawed enough that it didn't seem necessary to fit it with a door that would seal, etc.

But in between all that we had time to learn to read and do arithmetic and get into the usual troubles of little kids.

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

Duck and cover by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 03:55:53 PM EST
As a child in California, we certainly had "hide under the desk" drills, but they were in response to a potential attack by the San Andreas Fault, not the Soviets.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I don't think article 50 to leave EU by jump the ladder (4.00 / 3) #8 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 06:25:13 AM EST
Is ever going to be triggered. Signs of the issue being kicked to the long grass, setting up committees to examine the issues,the referendum was merely advisory etc.

Loury and affirmative action by Scrymarch (4.00 / 2) #15 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 09:54:00 AM EST
There was a great blog post last year about G Loury's work on discrimation and affirmative action, especially the non-obvious scenarios where non-discrimatory policies exacerbate inequality. Not sure if I mentioned it here or not.

Iambic Web Certified

Thanks for the link to the Oneida story. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 02:48:17 PM EST
Fascinating backstory that I had no idea existed.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Bridge of Spies by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #18 Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 01:12:08 AM EST
Just watched it. In context I think it was excellent.

Mainly, this is a Spielberg film, and he tends to include some of the usual formulae. But he does it masterfully, and naturally like performing music in a genre he helped define.

I've been thinking about him off and on lately. He's entertained me since I was young, and he still manages to impress me today.


It's unusual to post in an old diary like this, but I think digging up the right one and posting to it signals something.

Chill out, snowflake.

Each day that came a little more hope was gone | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback