Abortion

Well, one mention of the word and reasoned argument seems to go straight out of the window, with taboos and buttons being pressed right, left and centre.

I have a few thoughts about it floating around:

  •  Reasons you might want an abortion: mother’s health, baby’s health, rape, unexpected pregnancy, money worries, you just don’t want a child.
  • Reasons not to- it’s a major operation with associated risks, including potential to affect future fertility; depression and guilt afterwards; ethical issues; religion- rules always open to interpretation.
  • Ultimately it’s a woman’s right what she does to her own body. As it is any human’s, with a few grey areas involving ‘of sound mind’.
  • There’s a lot of unwanted and neglected children around already- why bring more into the world? I often wonder why the militant anti-abortionists aren’t spending their time and money looking after these kids, instead of leaving them in childrens’ homes, on the streets or being passed between foster homes. It seems their ‘caring’ stops as soon as the baby is born. This seems weird to me. Surely a long life full of misery is worse than one stopped short before it’s even happened.
  • Why is it predominantly men who get so angry about this? Is it because they’re not really involved in pregnancy and childbirth, and so want to get in on the act? Or that women are their possessions? Or what?
  • The time limits seem to be arbitrary- about trying to take control more than anything. Until the baby is born, it’s a part of it’s mother’s body. That seems simple to me.
  • Killing people for ‘the right to life’. Come on, get a grip.
  • ‘Look at me I’m more ethical than you. I’m going to heaven and you’re not’. I can’t see Jesus behaving like that.
  • What about rapes, dangerous pregnancies etc? Do they really want to force women to have babies they actively don’t want, may actually hate, or could kill them? (unfortunately yes).
  • ‘Defective’ foetuses- I’m not even going there. But I’d rather leave decisions to the mother than anyone else.

There’s loads of articles about, I just wanted to get my thoughts in some sort of order. Basically I have no right to tell another woman what to do with her body. And neither have you.

Intersting article here about anti-choice women supporting Akin.

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FATshion

Seeing as I’ve just attended a fat blogger fashion event I shall attempt once in my life to write about fashion.

Erm….

Apparently my eyebrows are fashionable at the moment, as they are thick and dark, which was a surprise to me. I’ve never been good at personal grooming, especially if it hurts. I had an online spat with someone recently cos I was speculating where the line is between men who insist that women shave off every hair, and paedophiles. Spose I’m just showing my age.

ImageIt really is true that if you wait long enough you’ll be ‘on trend’ every now and then- socks n sandals were even in briefly a while ago- though only for men, and only brave ones at that. I regularly wear them for several sensible reasons and I couldn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks:

1. Sandals get sweaty and smelly, but not if you wear socks with them (and change them).

2. Leeds weather is often a bit warm, a bit cold: socks and sandals = perfect.

3. If you’ve got nice stripey socks you can show more of them off in sandals than shoes.

4. I’m contrary- the more you scoff the more I’ll wear ‘em.

I sat in City Square t’other day and literally couldn’t believe what women wear on their feet these days. Instruments of torture which will probably cause longterm back problems, shorten their leg tendons and make their feet look like blistered talons. Not to mention risking sprained ankles while they’re tottering around. Why do they do it? Really, WHY?

I do like clothes, especially if they’re bright and comfy. ImageBut I missed out on fashion as I spent my formative years being a hippy/crusty going to free festivals and having a great time. This was probably my best haircut ever.

Note the homemade stripey jumper. Wonder where that went.

Anyway, the Plus North event was lovely, lots of young gorgeous big birds strutting their stuff- if you are interested in fatshion, take a look at the fb page. There’s lots of links to proper fashion blogs, I don’t think I have the knack.

I shall return to writing about topics I vaguely know sommat about. Quantum physics anyone?

It’s never too late to learn…

I can’t remember if I read ‘the Dice Man’ or ‘Prometheus Rising’ first, but I know it was in my early 20s and they changed my life (cliché alert). The Dice Man feels very dated now, but I’ve been rereading Prometheus and other Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) books throughout the last 20 years. Basically, they’re about changing ourselves; we’re not stuck with our ‘personalities’. It takes work and an open mind, but surely we’re worth it?

I’ve got so taken with ‘Quantum Psychology’ this time that I’ve found a couple of people to do the exercises with, so I thought I’d try and explain what is so important to me about RAW’s ideas.

You can find loads of biographies about him in cyberspace. Briefly, he was an amazingly wellread, multi-disciplinary thinker. Being brought up catholic, and being treated for childhood polio by a method not recognised by the American Medical Association may have made him question religion, authority and dogma. Amongst other things he studied maths and engineering, co-edited Playboy and wrote 35 books which are very hard to classify: philosophy, heresy, self-help, conspiracy theory etc. etc. The most famous is the ‘Illuminatus Trilogy’, which I didn’t really like- seemed to be written for spotty teenagers to me.

But I’ve loved all the other books. Each to their own.

Another basic idea is that nothing is definitely true– however likely it may seem, remember it’s only a theory. He lost me when he got on to living forever, but that might be because I was brainwashed by ‘Dancers at the End of Time’ (Michael Moorcock) into thinking that it would all get pretty boring. It would certainly change society and politics if we knew that if we fuck up the planet we’ll have to live with the consequences. Forever. Mind you, humans are pretty stupid.

RAW loves to use different methods to get his point across, hence slightly different books aimed at teenagers, geeks, spods, conspiracy theorists etc. And he loves to have a laugh. But he’s also deadly serious- THINK! Don’t accept anything as ‘the truth’. And don’t just read his books, do the exercises. Experimentation is the best way to learn.

An example of an exercise:

Read a rightwing newspaper every day for a week. Try to believe everything you read. Then try it with a leftwing one, and then a (so-called) middling one. Think about how they all made you feel.

If you don’t actually do it, you’ll never really know will you? We all have beliefs, but it’s good to challenge them.

I suppose I should read Illuminatus again and make every effort to love it.

I can’t do him any justice, just read the books. I’d start with Prometheus Rising, or if you’re a bit more open minded: The Cosmic Trigger.

Go on, you might learn something.

Anarchy in the UK?

ImageYeh, obvious photo I know. But I’m very fond of him.

Since a recent police briefing asked the general public to report anarchists to their local police I have been musing on anarchy, I didn’t even know what it meant. (Scotland Yard released an apology saying the intent was to gather information on “criminal acts”. So they define anarchists as criminals. Hmm.)

I asked on fb for people’s thoughts and realised there’s many different definitions, not to mention rules people apply to ‘anarchy’! Humans seem to love laws and categories- I can’t imagine life without them. But they should be to make our lives better, not to keep us as good little consumer cogs in the big marketing wheel.

Wikipedia says most individuals that self-identify as anarchists think it implies a system of governance that tries to avoid the use of coercion, violence, force and authority, while still producing a productive and desirable society. Sounds sensible, but power does seem to corrupt, so we have to find ways around that. I’ve always liked the idea (stolen from Kurt Vonnegut) that government should be by lottery – maybe for a couple of years each. Hopefully not long enough for any group to bond then make rules which favour themselves. I think schools would need to teach citizenship and co-operation to prepare everyone to possibly be in government.

Other people think anarchy means absolutely no authority or rules whatsoever. Nice idea, but I don’t want to be around if that suddenly happens. The trouble is we’re basically bald chimps and if the whole system of authority disappeared tomorrow I worry that it would descend into fullscale looting, killing and general mayhem pretty damn quickly. Not least because water supplies in cities could dry up within hours. A burst water main last year really made me think….

Spacehijackers call themselves ‘anarchitects’- opposing the hierarchy put upon us by architects, planners and owners of space. They’re ‘dedicated to battling the constant oppressive encroachment onto public spaces of institutions, corporations and urban planners. We oppose the way that public space is being eroded and replaced by corporate profit making space. We oppose the way that users of space are being put under increasing scrutiny and control by those who own or run it. Be this via CCTV installed to monitor us, or architectural elements designed to control our moods.’ Big Brother is alive and well and watching us.

I don’t think humans are inherently unable to live together without authority, but many people are programmed these days to be selfish, aggressive and fearful- not a great combination. And it seems to me that most people in power are interested in keeping power and amassing resources for themselves whatever the cost to everyone else. Blimey, think I might be an anarchist (or the antichrist, who can say?), as long as there’s several years of education and conditioning first.

Here’s a handy quiz from spacehijackers to help you decide if you’re an anarchist and what kind.

3 strikes and you’re out

I like to think I’m a relatively caring human being, ready to listen to and support my friends when they need it, but there are times when I’ve decided to draw the line.

Once, I’ll give you all the help I can, twice I’ll wonder why it’s happened again. Thrice and that’s it, find some other mug.

1. Burton/Taylor syndrome.

I can’t imagine why you’d keep going back to the partner who supposedly made your life a misery: maybe you like the drama, or you really believe that ‘this time it’s gonna be different’. Well it isn’t. Unless you’ve had serious therapy, or one of you has had a personality transplant, it’s going to be just the same. By all means keep going back, but don’t expect any more sympathy, the rest of the world is bored of you.

Have a look at baggagereclaim.com and see if you can sort yourself out.

2. ‘Giving up’ smoking/drinking/drugs or going on about losing weight.

Yes good on you for trying, but after a while the excuses wear thin. Just stop doing it or carry on and shut up. We’re BORED of hearing about it.

3. Standing me up.

I don’t know how many hours of my life I’ve spent waiting for friends who are late. Or being cancelled at the last minute. It’s bloody annoying and makes me feel like I’m not important to you. Of course unavoidable things happen sometimes, but if I make an arrangement I try to stick to it. If you’re hedging your bets then say ‘maybe’ and I can look for something better too.

To add insult to injury, I was once 5 minutes late to meet my habitual offender of a friend, who didn’t bother to wait for me. That’s when I realised I should stop putting up with it. I have better things to do.

4. Borrowing things.

I have been kind enough to lend you something. You found the time to pick it up and now strangely you’re too busy to bring it back. Please don’t make me ask you several times- it’s very rude and I’ll probably say no next time. Or worse still make me come and get it. I wouldn’t treat you like that, so why should I let you do it to me?

5. I could do one about suicide threats, but would probably get lynched. Seriously, go and get some help.

It’s so easy these days for people to say on facebook etc. how much they love each other, but I think actions speak louder than words. And treating people as you would like to be treated is a very good start.

Or mebbe how they would like to be treated.

Malthus in Action?

Our young people seem to be losing their road sense. It’s not just schoolkids walking in front of moving cars to look ‘sick’ or whatever they say now, but students are at it too. They step out in the road without looking or deliberately look away from your car as if not seeing you will stop them being run over. I think this might be Gaia in action- trying to remove a large section of idiots to give the rest of us a bit more room. Tis like what we think happened to the lemmings, though apparently they were chased over the edge by evil tv producers.

 If the red man is lit, put your foot down I say, you’re doing the planet a favour.

Or bring back Alvin Stardust and his green cross code.

Image

Modern witchhunts

Here’s sommat else I wrote last year.  Time for some new ones.

I’m glad I don’t smoke anymore, or I’d be guilty of 3 heinous crimes. As it is, I’m fat and I DON’T EVEN CARE (gasp) and I believe in homeopathy (get out the handcuffs). Guilty without trial m’lud.

I’m fat for many reasons, including loving food; a modicum of laziness; probably some genetic stuff; eating when and where I want; refusing to diet as I think it’s harmful and boring and I refuse to conform to someone else’s idea of what I should look like. That’ll do for now. I’m pretty healthy apart from a dodgy knee resulting from an aerobics class (ha- knew it was bad for you) and I think people vilify fat now because it’s just so easy- anyone can afford it. One of my least favourite human traits is trying to bolster their lack of self confidence by inventing ways of being better than others.

Fat is still a feminist issue in my book. Don’t get me started on hairy bits, warpaint and high heels. I thank my parents for my spectacular lack of programming in that department. I also think the wearing of corsets is a sneaky way of conforming to a ‘sexy’ stereotype, whilst dressing it up as something else. Nowt wrong with dressing up, but if you can’t breathe, eat or sit down, perhaps you should have a word with yourself.

I also think I’m relatively healthy because I see a good homeopath.

I’m not going to go on a huge rant about homeopathy- that doesn’t change anyone’s views that I can see. I’ll just say that I have found it to work and have seen it work on other people, including babies and animals, which somewhat disproves the placebo theory. There is lots of evidence of homeopathy working in ‘scientific trials’ but for some reason these rarely get reported.

I wonder why the antis get so upset, their attacks feel like a religious crusade. If I wanted to get rich and had no conscience, I’d make weapons or work for a pharmaceutical company. Time and again they’re caught suppressing evidence that their drugs don’t work, or even that they’re deadly. Whereas I am trying to help my patients get well and will be lucky to scrape a living at it. And I’m the evil one.

Ay well, that’s how the world works- money, power, greed; and the media has become a tool- I don’t think anyone can deny that the lack of coverage of Occupy Wall Street implies near blanket control at a very high level (I find that particularly scary). Never thought I’d say it, but Twitter may be revolutionary.

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Anyway I’m off to eat some cake and look for the next victim to forcefeed my diluted snake oil.