Friday, August 03, 2001
Well bugger me. I told my friend Daniel who’s currently in California that he could download the Brass Eye Special from Cook’d and Bomb’d to see what all the fuss is about, and it turns out that not only had he heard of the site already, but he used to host it on his computer in Cambridge! A quick search later and there he is in the credits at the bottom of this page. Bizarre.

Also in tonight’s email, liberal dilemmas: “I went and bought myself some trainers during my lunch break, cos I’m going to start going to the university gym (to work off all the Canadian cookies), and bought some nice Nike ones for $60 (=Ł30), so was pleased… then
remembered that Nike are evil and have sweatshops and shit like that. Bollocks.” Sorry May!

I won’t be at home for the next couple of months – going first to a 21st b’day party near Tewkesbury, followed by a family holiday in Brittany, and then a placement in Slovenia for six weeks (where I should be able to blog a bit). After all that I’m straight back to the land of milk, honey and permanent fast internet access otherwise known as Cambridge. Thanks for reading, see you in a bit
Thursday, August 02, 2001
Some excellent wire-frame simulations of various mechanical situations at which I must have a proper look at when I don’t need to sleep quite so much (via Blogdex, which has the potential to be quite interesting). Kevan points out some delicious irony at A clearly satirical open letter to C4 complaining about Brass Eye brings out several critical responses. Nicely makes the point that it’s not quite as simple as an intelligent, liberal elite who ‘get it’ and an underclass of Sun-reading Big-Brother-watching ‘plebs’ who don’t. As does this article from today’s Guardian, which expresses a few things I’ve been forced to think about recently. “The second impulse is social too and no more noble, for it is rooted in class snobbery. It regards those who cry obscenity or indecency as pawns of “tabloid hysteria” – code for any view held by the vulgar masses. If something outrages large numbers of regular people, then the elite rapidly condemns the “mob mentality” of these gross unsophisticates, usually via the handy device of attacking the newspapers they read.”

Before I collapse, this is very amusing for someone with an interest in both particle physics and the idiocy of Bush. Thanks for pointing it out May. Blog You! have reviewed me here and here. Mostly a load of meaningless guff, although I have been meaning to read some Thomas Pynchon for a while, but I think there is a good point hidden in there: “It must be noted that Griffiths’ entries aren’t written in a particularly enigmatic prose style that must be sifted through hundreds of times to grasp the complete meaning. In fact, when going through the entries, I only counted one remote form of illiteration (sic)”.

I can spell, I know my grammar and what a sentence looks like, and I have a reasonable vocabulary, but I still wouldn’t say I can write – not the way a lot of bloggers I read can anyway. Maybe it’s the lack of practice which comes from a wholly scientific education from 16 onwards, but it does irritate me sometimes
When I read a certain Alex Keisner quoted in the Guardian saying “I would like to know if anyone would go on the record and admit to being amused by [the Brass Eye special on paedophilia]” I hoped someone would provide a means of doing so. This being the internet, someone has. If you saw it and enjoyed it, go and sign and weigh your voice against the 1500 who complained to Channel 4 having obviously completely failed to understand the show. How anyone could think it was making light of paedophilia is beyond me, and surely the message to celebrities should not be to be wary of all charities but to use their fucking heads before opening their publicity-grabbing mouths.

Kevan and Paul have intelligent things to say about it too, although to be honest I’m a little fed up of people going on about Big Brother as if it’s the spawn of Satan. I’d like to think of myself as at least reasonably intelligent and I’ve watched it every day and enjoyed it a lot more than most of the shite that’s on the air at the moment. I don’t really know why, and I don’t think that’s important but some things I’ve read recently characterising the kind of people who watch it have made me feel very uncomfortable.