Category Archives: Uncategorized
Stills from the BBC documentary Queen: One’s Long Strange Trip
I couldn’t find a picture of J Hales, so BBC Director-General T Hall will have to do as representative of The Dark Side.
Since I can’t legally watch the queen this afternoon, as law abiding subjects have been doing for generations,
if I need a fix of Liz I’ll either catch her on The Crown, or splice something together in my head.
Lilibet, Leia, and Winnie in happy times
Alas the corgi bounded straight into a sarlacc, Winnie’s “silly game” with the chains was already turning deadly serious, and the young queen was advised to flee by her trusted advisor and Twi’lek Tommy, just out of shot, to avoid a diplomatic incident on Tatooine. Needless to say all quite noncanonical and not a little confusing, but it was a long time ago.…
OK, I’m going to lay my cards on the table. I voted Trump.
No, I didn’t. Let me repeat: I did not vote for Donald Jehoshaphat Trump to be President of the United States of America. That was just an experiment to see how you felt immediately after reading it. Pleasure at finding a kindred spirit? Pity? Disgust or even rage bordering on nausea?
Did you even get past the first sentence (let alone the headline) in order to read this plot twist, or are the saloon doors still rattling back and forth from the speed of your exit?
There’s a not-quote-apropos YouTube moment for everything
The truth is, I voted none of the above, which in the eyes of some Democrats makes me just as bad as the people who voted Nader in 2000. (I voted Nader in 2000.)
And a butterfly flapped its wings
Not long after abstaining from my civic duty, I then had the audacity to hope that it was too early to call Trumpageddon.
This is a view I still hold.
I can read* (*the question is what one should be reading) and observe exquisitely unpresidential press conferences. I see how it looks. Amateur hour with clowns at the head table.
And yet, I can’t help but feel that anyone this widely reviled by the forces arrayed against him, including a press corps which made him despite themselves and is itching to unmake him (with the tremendous help of unforced errors), and political opponents more concerned about their stalled career trajectories than the nation’s stability, can’t be all bad.
He also seems inclined to want to act on his campaign promises.*
Sure he’s got his bad points, like clumsily showing concern for America’s borders by wanting to build a wall instead of a fence, or having disturbing tendencies to occasionally speak ugly truths (e.g., “for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation…”, “You think our country’s so innocent?”) in between ugly tweets. His every syllable isn’t scripted like a Hillary Clinton’s, and a lot of people like a script.
Setting aside the pesky line of succession, I’m sure we can all think of a hundred other qualified applicants for head of state.
If you’re in the IMPEACH HIM NOW crowd
or the coup d’état crowd
or even the please-report-yourself-to-the-Secret-Service crowd
imagine the almighty turmoil the country would go through if there were a transfer of power in the current climate. Remember that 60 million of your fellow Americans voted for him. They had their reasons, just as you did yours for voting Clinton, or third party, or not at all.
Maybe you have imagined it
and still feel it’s worth it; maybe you’d be right. It’s something thoughtful people should be able to debate in a reasonable way.
Like a helping of irony with that?
I’ll check my diary
Look what just arrived. Could it be a belated valentine from the other Legal Occupier of this address? Because the 27th has significance in our lives. It’s our anniversary!
(Actually our anniversary is the 28th. I can never remember with exactitude despite piling up an impressive number of them. I figure having it nailed down to those two days deserves some credit.)
Seeing as she would never get the date wrong, chances are it’s not from her. I open it. What’s this?
Looks official, signature in contrasting ink and everything. That’s Hales, John Hales, licence to instill fear in the noncompliant.
Canterbury isn’t just around the corner, but it’s close enough that it shouldn’t take two years for an officer to hurry up and get here to check up on us already. That’s about how long we’ve been getting love letters from Capita, the company contracted out by the BBC to blanket the country with stern letters like this.
The assumption is that everybody is tuned in at some point. There are no discounts for not being camped out on the couch in front of the tube; it only takes once a year, so if you’re only turning it on to catch the Queen’s Christmas Message, savour every word.
The problem is, not everybody watches television or uses their computer as one. Many of us use services such as Netflix exclusively, which warrants no licence. And some outliers have no interest in moving pictures at all.
Just having a TV in the house doesn’t mean it has to have papers: you’ve actually got to turn it on. As it is inconceivable to Capita that you can own a set which primarily gets used as, say, a temporary storage facility the top of which is easier to access than drawers and a step up from the floor,
only occasionally being called into service for things called ‘videos’, you’re considered guilty until proven innocent — “Tell us you don’t need one.”
If only it were that easy. Yes, you can inform them that none of this applies to you, but you’ll still have to be prepared to admit an Enforcement Officer to check up on you. Or so they say.
Actually, Capita ‘Officers’ have no more right to enter your home than the pizza delivery guy.
You’re perfectly entitled to close the door in their face, or better yet, not open it in the first place.
Why would you be so rude? Perhaps because you have the quaint notion your home really is your castle, or as close to a castle as you can afford, and being asked to admit what are basically salesmen, or else, sticks in the craw.
As you can see, the tone of the letters is firm if not threatening. It works. There are even people who have admitted to caving in and getting a licence although they absolutely don’t need one, due to a combination of intimidation and ignorance of the law.
Mrs Legal Occupier and I made sure we knew our rights before taking the drastic step of laughing at the letters that come through the slot about once a month. And anyway we’re busy the 27th. I for one am going to be spending it apologising for wishing her happy anniversary right after waking up.