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blamebrampton
17 May 2020 @ 01:04 pm
Hi Friends, LJ Users, Nigerian Scammers, Russian Bots and sundry others!
Thanks for taking a moment to read my sticky post on friending.

On the whole, there's no need to friend me if you just want to read my fics, since they are posted unlocked. In fact, most of my locked posts are me ranting about the state of the world (usually from a politics or media slant) or some such.

Generally, I am a ready friender. If you friend me and you have entries in your livejournal or have commented on some of my posts, you can usually expect to be friended back, unless:
* There are no entries in your LJ.
* I do not recall us ever having 'spoken' online (given how selective my memory is, you should probably assume this.)
* Your LJ is written wholly in a language I do not speak (pretty much anything that is not English, or French or Italian (both of which I speak poorly), or German, Spanish, Latin, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Welsh or Irish (all of which I have a smattering of and enough reference books to get the gist.) (Though if your journal is in actual Latin as opposed to Lorem Ipsum, I will probably immediately friend you on principle.)
* Your journal consists of several entries a day concerning My Little Pony, school and whether your hair looks better in plaits, pigtails, or with a fringe pouf. You are probably adorable, but should not be subjected to my occasional flocked rants.

SO, if you've friended me (thanks!) and I've not friended you back, just drop a brief line saying 'Excuse me, oh vague and neglectful one, could you friend me back please?'

I can't guarantee that I will ever have time to be a good lj friend, but I will try and provide you with amusing content and I always try to read my whole flist. Well, the stuff before the cut at any rate.
 
 
blamebrampton
01 January 2020 @ 04:42 pm
For me to keep track of!Collapse )
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blamebrampton
01 December 2016 @ 01:21 am
My mother rang me early this morning.

This is a thing she does occasionally, usually when I am working regular hours, or when she has turned up unexpectedly in the same city as me and thinks we should eat together. But sometimes, as today, because someone has died. This time it was her brother, my uncle. A difficult man, who neither of us was close to and who we both ended up on speaking terms with only after a lot of patience on our parts and effort on his.

So it is that strange sort of thing where you are sad that someone has died, and that they did not seem to be able to make happy choices much of the time, but know that you can't in fairness take a week out to be miserable about the whole thing, because you don't have a week's worth of decent memories to sustain it.

But I do recall a thing he said the last time we saw each other: that he wouldn't want to see Donald Trump as president of the USA. I feel that – not for the first time, though almost certainly for the last – he's taken a perfectly understandable position to an illogical extreme.
 
 
blamebrampton
20 November 2016 @ 06:24 pm
The lovely lokifan has a love meme going on and I am having so much fun saying nice things to people and trying to make it not sound like me! (Failed miserably at least once…)

Get on board here and spread some love!


In other news, my Tumblr friend Drarrytrash* and I have invented a webcomic in which Hillary Clinton uses her superpowers to roam the streets avenging sexually harassed women, providing healthcare and good education to all, delivering a decent minimum wage and explaining to to men why most examples of their oppression are bullshit and the remainder are the fault of the patriarchy. Now all we need is time to write it and art skills!



*I KNOW, RIGHT? I have a Tumblr friend! I am not 100% inept at the medium, just 95%!
 
 
blamebrampton
13 November 2016 @ 12:23 am
I want to talk about Leonard Cohen, whose Democracy has been my song of the week, but I just can't yet, so listen to him singing it instead.



But I do have a time-sensitive-ish favour to ask. Is there anyone free who can beta a story in the next two weeks? Its currently sitting on 4K and will probably end up 20-30K, most likely at the lower end of that. It will be PG and there will be appalling typos, because this is me. I can offer you a lovely ukulele-accompanied rendition of Hallelujah or Sisters of Mercy as thanks. Or, if you prefer, I can promise NOT to sing to my ukulele for you!

In a perfect world I'll have it wrapped up by next weekend, more likely the one after, but on Friday, so you'd have the whole weekend to play with things and tell me my typing is awful. It's a fair cop!

ETA Sorted for editorial help (bless you all!) but seriously, listen to the music. Or feel free to laugh at me writing things I swore were a terrible idea, that too.
 
 
blamebrampton
09 November 2016 @ 06:02 pm
1. Just when I think I have a handle on how much sexism outweighs every other rational consideration in some parts, I am shown to have underestimated the situation yet again.

2. The people who are massive twunts are already being massive twunts. The rest of us need to not become massive twunts in response, but to look out for each other and just keep believing that decency will one day be a political value again. It remains the one thing that will keep us all going.

3. If necessary, I have a spare room, and we could fit tents on both the back deck and the front lawn. Hot in summer, but at least the winter is mild!
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blamebrampton
20 October 2016 @ 02:49 pm
And here we all are again. For the purposes of completion, and in the same sense of 'How bad can this get?' that saw me sit through the first Sex and the City movie (on video, with friends who could mock it with me, but still ...), I have once again readied the iPad, prepared beverages and cleared my early afternoon schedule to take in the horror that is the US Presidential election.

While we wait, I want to mention how much I love Michelle Obama. She is so wonderful that I have actually had to stop talking to people who badmouth her as I cannot find a rational way of talking with them. It's not just that they are talking abject nonsense, it's that all I can think of to say is 'ARE YOU INSANE? THE WOMAN IS A GODDESS AND BRILLIANT AND KIND AND WHAT THE EVER-LOVING FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM???!' which is not conducive to good conversation.

I also love Kate McKinnon. She had me in tears of laughter in Ghostbusters, and her SNL Hillary almost makes me wish I watched more TV. But happily there are people on the internet who cut and post snippets. Bless you all.

OK. Another debate. I doubt the moderator will have the steely eyed FFS that Martha Raddatz and, to a lesser extent, Anderson Cooper brought. I will never call you Megan again, Martha. Now that I know you. I will probably grow to love you, too. Yes, I am bringing the Lady Love, I feel we both deserve and need it.

For my part, having spent the first debate mostly reporting and the second almost wholly reporting, I plan to mostly commentate here because in terms of policy, we have already had nearly three hours of Hillary outlining real and practical policy and Donald blathering about God knows what because would it kill you to get to the verb, man?? So there's clearly no point trying to compare them on that ground: one side has policies, one has ... I just don't know anymore. Are you drunk, America? I wouldn't blame you.

I have powered myself up with a banana and mulberry smoothie, there is fizzy water on the table and chocolate in the fridge. It can't go wrong!

BTW, Obama's half-brother, who is apparently there as a guest of Trump, has long said that he thinks the State of Israel should not exist. But hey, since The Donald's thinly veiled Anti-Semitic slurs have been de-veiling of late, maybe he's good with that.

The moderator looks like he is from 1956 and suggests the audience will remain silent. I laugh and laugh.
The short version is, he"s a maniacCollapse )

Seriously, America, if you do not vote for President Clinton, we are through. It's not even because she's a hugely competent, qualified woman, it's because she's not a blathering rage monster. You would not like to have a beer with Trump. He is not Bush. He is a man who would order the most expensive craft beer on the menu, grope you or your female friend, steal your phone and stiff you with the bill.

I know how this has happened. It's because things are a bit horrible and there's no Jimmy Stewart around to remind you what happens when you let bad times erode fundamental human decency and basic common sense. We've been here before, we know how it goes. But the answer is not Trump. The answer is to grab the first Frank Capra film you can find on Netflix, give it a good old watch, then see what you can do to make things a bit better. And maybe that's join a union and encourage them to be decent upholders of workers' rights. Or maybe it's join a really conservative church and introduce people there to your gay and Muslim friends, so they're a bit less weirded out by gays and Muslims. Maybe it's to donate $20 to Planned Parenthood the next time you have it spare, or maybe it's just to smile more at strangers and let people in from the side street on your commute. Whatever it is, it will be to address the difficulties of our times with hard work and generosity, and to say no to sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and that godawful lie that shouting loudly that you hate change will make the change stop.

As the recent Nobel Laureate tells us, the times are changing. They always will. And all we can do is make sure they change in ways that ultimately benefit all of us, not just the privileged few.

Good luck, America. I'm not going to pretend I will ever understand you, but I have faith that you have our back on this one. And on November 9, let's all be as kind as we can be to the shouty people, and offer them a path back to rationality and reality.
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blamebrampton
10 October 2016 @ 03:11 pm
Roll up, roll up, the circus is back in town!

Not enough time has passed from the frst debate for me to consider voluntarily watching it anything other than deliberate self-harm, but I'm going to give it a go. I have a banana and a bottle of soda water, I am READY.

I watched the VP debate, but couldn't stay awake long enough to blog it. Is Pence the guy who wants women to hold funerals for their miscarried foetuses? That's some perverse woman-hating crap right there.

In terms of this week, and indeed, today's developments, a few brief points. Firstly, those women in that press conference looked as though they were in a hostage situation and I want to rescue them. We need to know they are OK and that their families are OK and I am not kidding about this.

Secondly, there is a thing called psychological projection. In future years, the Republican candidate in this election will be used on the cover of books discussing the phenomenon. I look forward to his future failings as his irredeemably tarnished brand sees investors flee him.

And finally, no lawyer wants to defend a rapist, especially a child rapist. But the entirety of our legal system relies on every lawyer doing the very best job they can for every client, especially when they are court-appointed for random clients who could easily be failed by the system. I can fully see how that would not matter in the slightest to the victim, and have nothing but contempt for anyone who would exploit her like this.

OK, five minutes to kick-off. Time for a few stretches!

The woman introducing the moderators is dressed like a beatnik and I love her stylings. Anderson Coper and a woman whose name I don't catch are the hosts, they outline the town-hall procedures and ask people to abide by them. Shots of the families, who all look poised and well-groomed, despite probably planning death, death and more death. And now, with a bald eagle crest that looks as though it's doing yoga, we stare at the set for a minute or two.

In a perfect world, Trump has just gone Hillary off set and she's shanked him.

Still waiting. Its starting to look a bit awkward.

Who is the blonde host? My local newsreader fluffed her name and I've got a low US journo reognition for people I don't follow on Twitter. And then we cut to the sound feed JUST AFTER she introduces herself. Dammit! Martha someone. She looks clever and firm. I learn later it's Raddatz, but I've left as Martha below. She seems as though she is holding back a massive eye roll.

Here they are. Trump looks as though he would rather be anywhere else and as though his suit doesn't fit him properly. Clinton looks a little bit like a penguin.

The blow by blowCollapse )

And there we are. In summation, we have learned the following:

* If you do something awful, point out that it was less bad than ISIS. Unless you're Bill Clinton, in which case, you're the worst.

* When they go low, we go high, but then we pause and get a few subtle kicks in because god forbid we have more than two minutes straight of focussing on the issues.

* Iran is the biggest threat in the world, except when it's the only thing standing between us and ISIS, then thank goodness for Iran, Russia and Syria.

* Trump totally paid taxes. Except for the ones he didn't pay. Also, Hillary earns 8 times more than her tax returns say, honest.

* Clinton would dearly love a time machine to go back and change her email choices, despite her actions being the same as Powell and Rice and her server more secure than a government one to all appearances.

* The questioners at this debate are really sick of the bullshit.

* The audience at this debate have watched MUCH TOO MUCH Hunger Games!

* The moderators of this and every other debate (especially the VP one) deserve a lifetime of free cake and gin.

* One banana and a litre of soda water is not sufficient brunch when you have to type for two hours.

See you for more in a week.

ETA: I FORGOT! Trump repeatedly said that Clinton 'acid washed her emails'. I was bamboozled by this reference to bad 90s fashion until I read that the program the FBI said the Clinton team used to delete some emails was called BleachBit. Donald, they don't actually bleach the internet.
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blamebrampton
27 September 2016 @ 01:43 pm
Because I am not completely immune to self-harm, I thought this would be a good idea. I'm going to lay my cards on the table at the start: I'm With Her. Trump is so divorced from reality that he is a danger to the international economy and I will have to send cards of sympathy to every American diplomat. As for the other candidates, the Libertarian's a bit evil and the Green's a bit mad, so Im ignoring them.

Moderator Lester Holt, you have my sympathy. America, you have more than my sympathy. We had an election debate that lasted about three months in Australia this year and we were OUTRAGED at the tedium. How you manage this circus every four years is a mystery.

And here we go. Lester, you look like a lovely man. May God be merciful towards you. Bwahahaha! Two minutes to respond! Yeah, that's going to work.

Read more...Collapse )

I now understand why everyone says 'God Bless America', you have never needed divine help more. My thoughts are with you, and my prayers that you all have access to good gin!
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blamebrampton
25 September 2016 @ 11:37 pm
My theory about being here more often remains theoretical. But popping in from chaos land to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sassy_cissa! You are the loveliest!
 
 
blamebrampton
02 August 2016 @ 10:19 pm
I had just been congratulating myself on my bloom and evident good health since the return of a stress-free existence, when I succumbed to one of the many Sydney Winter Plagues that are being shared among my fellow citizens.

Suffice to say that if there was a way to weaponise snot, I would not only have the ADF covered, I could probably help out NATO.

The new normal, which involves actual communication, will return in a day or two when I climb out from under a mound of tissues and self pity.

On a topical sidenote, The Cursed Child is marvellous and I KNEW DRACO AND SCORPIUS WOULD BE LIKE THAT!!! (I mean, so did all my favourite writers, because der, but it was lovely.)

And now, to bed before 10.30. What am I, eight*?


*Yes, I was raised by delightfully irresponsible people.
 
 
blamebrampton
28 July 2016 @ 11:28 pm
So in a very brief recap, I was made redundant and sent off with enough money to not work for a while, so I've taken July off. I might take August off, too, I'm going to play it by ear. After working like a maniac and stressing myself into a pretzel for years, I am very much enjoying not working and have instead been gardening, making things, learning to play the mandolin and writing my own stories. And realising how stressed I had been. You'll not be surprised to learn I seem to no longer have a stomach ulcer. Also, totally failing to be a good communicator. Emma, I will get those things to you! Oceaxe, I'm crap and keep failing to get back to you. Pretty much everyone, sorry!

All cats are still alive, the garden is coming along nicely: tomorrow I plant late potatoes! I keep meaning to write about politics or world events, but the short version is 'Oh, for fuck's sake…', so let's just say instead that I went to the dog park with doggy friends on the weekend and a pug climbed into my lap, as did a basset hound/laborador cross and I met a tiny tiny French bulldog puppy. Good day.

Which brings me to a poll!

Should I try for hd_erised?

No. Think of those poor mods, you've not met a fandom deadline this decade.
0(0.0%)
No. Finish your own novels, woman! And then the garden.
7(21.9%)
No. People who want to do it desperately miss out, and you're not that engaged.
0(0.0%)
No. You've got what, five HP WiPs unfinished? At least update the Christmas one, you muppet.
2(6.2%)
No. Nobody needs another 70,000 words of auror politics. Just do a tumblr of HP gags.
1(3.1%)
Yeah, sure, why not, I mean, people vote for Trump, there is no reason anymore!
18(56.2%)
Who are you and why are you on my friends page?
0(0.0%)
Surely you should be in bed by signup time now sleeping is back in your life.
4(12.5%)
 
 
blamebrampton
01 July 2016 @ 10:20 pm
Remember, don't be distratcted by the fact Malcolm Turnbull could play an aged Draco Malfoy.

This election looks as though it will be tight. If he does win and it is less than resounding, he has nothing like the popularity within his party to make it to the next election.

And don't go glancing at Tony Abbott. It will be Scott Morrison.

The man who believes people like me asking him to STFU when he says our parents aren't real parents because they're gay is exactly the same as being subjected to decades of homophobic bigotry.

The man whose grip on maths makes me look like Stephen Hawking.

The man who seriously blinks in confusion when doctors and educators describe their need for genuinely fast broadband, especially in rural and regional areas.

The onion Tony Abbott ate would make a better Prime Minister than Scott Morrison.

I know the Labor party are about as interesting as a brick, but I really hope people will vote for them anyway. They have historically been better economic managers for this country (and anyone planning to contest that statement should simply look at the record over the last 35 years. Even counting Whitlam (their worst), they have still been better since Federation) and are actually useful at legislating. This government has been in place for over two years and is yet to pass a budget.

I really don't want us to spend the next three years with people like me getting tax cuts while others can't afford to take their kids to the doctor. Let's not talk about the ghastly plebiscite. My only consolation is that, unlike Brexit, we can always do better later if it all goes wrong.
 
 
blamebrampton
I know what it's like. I remember a couple of years back, spending weeks thinking 'Surely no-one could be stupid enough to vote for Tony Abbott?'

But the tragedy is that yes, they could, and the predictable disaster was even worse than we'd imagined.

What we learned from this is to never underestimate the lack of thought people can put into their vote, nor the stunning duplicity some political figures will practice in the service of their own self interest.

And while it is tempting to just look at the plummeting pound and adjust shopping and travelling plans, all the while cackling ruefully at the Leave voters who have been all over the news saying 'But I thought it was just a protest! I didn't think it would happen!' we should all learn from today.

I'm looking at you, Australia and the US. Ignore lies, ignore comedy, look to the social and economic futures of your countries and make your vote count rationally. And when it comes to economics, don't listen to anyone's smug words; look at the records, look at the numbers, look to the IMF and World Bank and your respective Treasuries, who are boring and more conservative than I would like, but who know the value of infrastructure and education.

I can't even be funny about any of this today. I have never seen such an appalling case of the older generations fucking the future of the young out of fear, self-interest and ignorance.
 
 
blamebrampton
16 May 2016 @ 12:23 am
We open with the contestants all walking through the stadium with models wearing paper costumes onto which national flags are projected. Some quality Vogueing there. And a genuinely decent dance mix.

Petra and Mans (soz, Mans, I've been misspelling your name in the semis, because, well, you're not Petra. But you're cute) are back to host, and they look fabulous. Ah Stockholm, you genuinely know how to party. I like to think that their opening monologue was a strong Bremain comment. And this year, Australia is voting! Not me, obviously, because I am watching this on record due to needing to sleep. But others! And holy moly, they are going to split the jury and phone votes and that IS GOING TO TAKE FOREVER!!!!!!

And with no further ado we are on to the songs, which I wll not be fully recapping if they came through the semis, because there's precious little more to say on most of these.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends!Collapse )
 
 
blamebrampton
15 May 2016 @ 12:06 am
And we're back! Brilliant opening with beautiful imagery (Sweden, you do this so well!) And a nice host banter intro complete with brief Petra pub chant. The hosts tell us that it's the first time China and the US have carried the telecast live, and all of us are left wondering just how people in small towns of both those countries are dealing with that, with the conclusion being that some will be stting there saying 'That Europe is a magical place of whimsy' and the rest saying, 'Kids, you are NEVER leaving home.'

And now it's time for a song from the hosts! Wherein they try to explain Eurovision 'We make music and friends with every nation, and bankrupt the hosting TV station!' It's classic Broadway, with more than a few stolen riffs (Mary Poppins, Sound of Music and Mame foremost) and a lot of comedy – 'And the interval act is their one big chance/ to fail to live up to Riverdance!' Well played, Sweden! Well remembered lyrics Petra and Mons!

Conchita is in the audience!

And on with the songsCollapse )
 
 
blamebrampton
14 May 2016 @ 12:38 am
It's that time of year again. Stockholm, we salute you and your willingness to take one for Europe (and Israel and Australia). Straight into things tonight.

Last year's winner starts the night off with a very nice acoustic version of the 2015 winning song. Very cute little kid there with him, and it's all going well, until – in the words of Mr Brammers, 'Oh no, a children's choir! That's a low blow.' A Children's Choir dressed as Oompaloompas, no less. Could be worse.

The emblem is the dandelion, which makes sense as those buggers will set seed everywhere. Lots of faffing about, which is a relief as I'm freshly home from work and trying to scoff a bit of dinner.

HOSTS! The magnificent Petra from three years ago, and Mons, last year's winner. Nice gag with 'Welcome Europe!' leading to the opening riff of 'The Final Countdown', then not too much filler until we are on with the singing. Sweden, you know how do run this gig! And let us ignore the fact I originally typed swinging rather than singing. No Swedish stereotypes! Also, almost all the Swedes I know are sober, mature and monogamous. And the ones who weren't went out with my father.
And on with the showCollapse )
 
 
blamebrampton
23 March 2016 @ 12:10 am
Especially those in Brussels. I know that this is low on your priorities, but when you have a minute, if you could just drop a line to say if you're OK, it would be much appreciated. I know that from around the world, we are all thinking of you and holding you close in our thoughts.
 
 
blamebrampton
29 February 2016 @ 11:29 pm
The most senior Australian Catholic is currently appearing before our Royal Commission on child sex abuse via video link from Rome. He has been declared too ill to travel from the Vatican to Melbourne by his private doctor, despite having flown out to Australia for a private function a few weeks before he was last due to appear.

So Tim Minchin, one of our better songwriters has penned the following little ditty about the situation. Miranda Devine, a 'journalist' in one of the Murdoch papers has complained that this song is intolerable. But she's been totally silent on the subject of Pell at the very least turning an inexcusable blind eye to child rape during his career. Odd sense of priorities.

Subsequently, I am mentioning this song every chance I get. It's a beauty.

 
 
blamebrampton
15 January 2016 @ 12:36 am
I am not best pleased with the decline in the number of golden-voiced British men this year.

The Independent tweeted this link in a bid to raise spirits: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/alan-rickman-admits-editing-terrible-script-with-friends-in-pizza-hut-behind-backs-of-writers-on-10185726.html I find the whole scene so incredibly easy to imagine. Though I was never lucky enough to see Rickman perform live, I saw him talk about his performances at several pressers and Q&As and he was unfailingly delightful: courteous but sparky and not afraid to gently tell people that they were perhaps missing several essential points, such as writers being interested in words, actors being interested in writing, and women being people.

And, a fave Rickman moment on film:


While his Snape was unforgettable, his every performance was astonishing (admittedly the eyes very open variety in Robin Hood and Die Hard, but brilliantly mad in both) and his decency shone.

I know that we are all mortal, but it is more than a bit crap to see horrible people live seemingly forever while the talented and lovely ones go too soon.