There won't be any posts for the next few weeks as it's the summer.
Highlights coming up:
Completing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (which is probably preventing my posting to this site more than anything else, if I'm honest with myself). Expected to happen: 2 weeks to 1 month.
Matt and Joe visiting us to go down to the Benicassim International Festival (FIB) which takes place over the weekend of my birthday in a town about 3 hours south of here. We've already bought a super cool tent for it, and a headlamp similar to what miners used to wear.
My new bike. Which I haven't yet got, but will soon.
Being so comfortable in my Catalan summer, I haven't see much to blog about recently.
Probably lucky, if I'm to be a good Anglican (incidentally, I am not really a protestant). The Archbishop of Canterbury said the other day that the sheer mass of discussion and opinion on the internet is:
â€œclose to that of unpoliced conversationâ€
Unpoliced conversation. If I were starting a blog now, that'd be the title.
The failure on my part to do any blogging recently is a result of:
having a new job
temperatures reaching 35 degrees
knocking down a shed
the lack of things interesting enough to discuss, often brought on by Summer
For the record, I'm getting GTA:San Andreas next week. I am not interested in Live8. I think it's only right that they ban smoking in public places. I'm worried about the red meat. I think Neil Michael Hagerty is some sort of musical wonder. I was burnt by the sun yesterday. We're going to Benicassim this year. If I get the days off from my new boss. I like Saskia and Makosi in Big Brother, but only for their minds. I loathe media types talking about David and Victoria Beckham – the snide snobbery of some people is really too much to take.
The summer listening: Royal Trux – Cats and Dogs (always at the top of the list anyhow) The Howling Hex – All Night Fox The Rolling Stones Jefferson Airplane, the Worst Of Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock Love Forever Changes Supergrass, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, David Bowie. (ie all the usual stuff… I like the fact you can get away with guitar solos when it's really hot.)
I'm wearin' Fur pyjamas I ride a Hot Potata' It's tickling my fancy Speak up, I can't hear you
Here on this mountaintop Woahoho I got some wild, wild life I got some new to tell ya Woahoho About some wild, wild life Here comes the doctor in charge Woahoho She's got some wild, wild life Ain't that the way you like it? Ho, ha! Living wild, wild life.
I wrestle, with your conscience You wrestle, with your partner Sittin' on a window sill, but he Spends time behind closed doors
Check out Mr. Businessman Oh, ho ho He bought some wild, wild life On the way to the stock exchange Oh, ho ho He got some wild, wild life Break it up when he opens the door Whoahoho He's doin' wild, wild life I know that's the way you like it Wo ho Living wild, wild life
Peace of mind? Piece of cake! Thought control! You get on board anytime you like
Like sittin' on pins and needles Things fall apart, it's scientific
Sleeping on the interstate Woah ho ah Getting wild, wild life Checkin' in, a checkin' out! Uh, huh! I got a wild, wild life Spending all of my money and time Oh, ho ho Done too much wild, wild We wanna go, where we go, where we go Oh, ho ho! I doing wild, wild I know it, that's how we start Uh, huh Got some wild, wild life Take a picture, here in the daylight Oh, ho! And it's a wild, wild life You've grown so tall, you've grown so fast Oh, ho ho Wild, wild I know that's the way you like it Oh, ho! Living wild wild wild wild, life.
In today's Guardian, Polly Toynbee (the sort of columnist I don't much like, but agree with nearly all the time, as opposed to David Aaronovich who I really want to like, but always end up shouting at the screen when I read his columns) clearly agrees with the Tom doctrine (or do I agree with her?) when it comes to Labour's new law against religious discrimination.
As I said previously, religion and race are not the same thing, and so ought not to be treated like they are. One is born with race but one chooses religion. If the law is introduced to stop me criticising people for their beliefs then it'll be the conservatives next. Imagine that, right wing lunatics with a legal right not to have their ideas criticised because they claim religious significance. On the other hand, if the law isn't going to stop criticism, what's the point of it? It is, as Polly Toynbee points out, already illegal to harass anyone for any reason.
Is this a case of giving certain powerful lobbyists something they have been calling for for years (Muslims claim they deserve 'exactly' the same protection as Jews despite the fact that Jews are normally part of the Jewish race – and are hence protected by anti-racist legislation)? Is it an attempt by certain members of the Muslim community to attribute race-religion status to themselves, thereby eroding the special status that Jews have? Or is it (which I find far more likely) another case of government passing more laws, all the time, without proper consideration? This law is either dangerous or useless, depending which way it's enforced. It should be dropped by Labour. Fat chance.
Today's my last day at HP, as tomorrow I start a new job with a new firm, this time based in Cerdanyola. I've had a great time, made at least three friends, and had the opportunity to settle into a working life here in BCN. Also I've learnt a lot about the way colossal corporations work – and I've been in equal part shocked and impressed by the complexity of organisation here.
The new job is with a smaller but more exciting company and will call for more creativity than Order Management or Demand Planning have.
On a different slant, we visited Tarragona's Port Aventura on Saturday as part of a camping trip with a dozen friends. The new ride there, Hurakan Condor, is an 86 metre freefall. You're strapped into rollercoaster type seats, hauled up a 100m tower, left to hang for a few seconds and then let go.
[edited otra vez, 14 June 2005, something seems to have gone wrong with this post (I ended up with half of someone elses post about Iraq after the last edit). Anyhow, topic closed.]
After we got home last night we watched the McLibel documentary on BBC2. For the last year or so, I've sort of relaxed my anti-McDonald's stance because of a combination of laziness and greed on my part. Well, it sounds trite but after watching this documentary last night I don't see how I could bring myself to eat another McDonald's burger.
At the same time I feel a gradual radicalisation in my opinions, reversing the changes that have occurred since I left Swansea. The only way I can explain this pleasant change is that I have achieved stability and happiness, become used to them, and have turned back to the ideas I hold to be true. I now have a far clearer understanding of the world (though my view is by no means perfect), but I find that the central tenets of my political attitude have hardly changed since my university days.
For me, the most important duties must be to promote socialism and equality, fight against fascism and discrimination, and to campaign for fairer trade and market conditions which would allow us to repair the damage we have caused to poorer countries, especially in Africa.
Fascism, racism and other discriminatory attitudes on the right wing are growing more widespread all the time. It's true that some people bandy the term 'fascist' around far too much, but this doesn't mean that fascists don't pose a continual threat to our society. In Spain especially, numerous far right wing groups have recently emerged and are using labels such as 'victims of terrorism' as a cover for their explicitly neo-fascist agenda. Racism is endemic, despite the fact that it's now more illegal than ever. But racism is easy to confront because it is wholly irrational. No racism ever stands up to reason – it is therefore easy and rewarding to combat racism wherever it occurs. The same applies to all forms of arbitrary discrimination.
I see the McLibel film as an inspiration – not just to take control and stop eating hamburgers – but to reaffirm the values I hold to be true and right. Helen Steel and Dave Morris stood up for what they believed in and eventually won through, despite being denied a jury or legal aid. I feel invigorated by rediscovering their great story.