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13 August 2011 @ 12:56 am
Had the day off to rest and drink fluids and be told by the doctor: 'It's viral or bacterial.' There's a medical degree wasted. My brain is febrile and out in sympathy with my throat, so instead, I will link you to people who are thinking far more clearly than I.

* On the London Riots

Courtesy of #stephenfry, Peter Oborne's brilliant Telegraph Blog, entitled The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom. To quote: 

But there was also something very phony and hypocritical about all the shock and outrage expressed in parliament. MPs spoke about the week’s dreadful events as if they were nothing to do with them.

I cannot accept that this is the case. Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

I am old enough to remember when people like Peter Oborne were what one meant by 'Conservative' rather than today's venal attack dogs who reduce everything to fallacious notions of Left and Right. I very much miss those days.

melusinahp  linked to a really interesting article from The Guardian: On the Psychology of Looting. It takes a broad look at motivating forces for the people who were involved in the actual riots, rather than the original Duggan protest. A sample: 

The type of goods being looted seems peculiarly relevant: if they were going for bare necessities, I think one might incline towards sympathy. I could be wrong, but I don't get the impression that we're looking at people who are hungry. If they were going for more outlandish luxury, hitting Tiffany's and Gucci, they might seem more political, and thereby more respectable. Their achilles heel was in going for things they demonstrably want ...

Late on Monday night, news went round Twitter that Turkish shopkeepers on Stoke Newington Road in Dalston were fighting off the marauders with baseball bats, and someone tweeted: "Bloody immigrants. Coming over here, defending our boroughs & communities." And it struck me that it hadn't occurred to me to walk on to my high street and see what was going on, let alone defend anything. I was watching events on a live feed, switching between Sky and the BBC, thinking how interesting it was, even though it was audible from my front door and at one point, when I couldn't tell whether the helicopter noise was coming from the telly or from real life, it was because it was both.

Meanwhile, I am left wishing I could turn back time so there would be no need for Tariq Jahan to be the voice of moral authority that he has become. And I wish that our news services had given a name to his black woman neighbour, who was so visibly distraught at the murder of Haroon Jahan and his two friends. She was not the least bit concerned with questions of immigrants, Islamophobia or race, only that a really good boy had been pointlessly and vilely mowed down.

* Fandom things

raitala 's beautiful and moving Now the War is Over has Part 2 up. Stunning images and incisive text – which would totally make me hate her for being so unfairly talented if she wasn't so much fun to hang out with and so very good to read. (I'll forgive an awful lot of unfair talent for audience satisfaction.)
And if you're an Inception person, I had a great time beta-ing her Arthur/Eames story Learning to Lose (the sequel to Merely Players) though hardly anyone seems to have read it, which suggests to me that either people are silly, or that all the Inception lot have finally seen the error of their ways and come back to HP (you're all just waiting for Merlin S4, aren't you?)

Another of my favourite fanartists is leochi , who has the loveliest style, and yet I always find myself reccing her animals rather than her people. But seriously, go and take a look at these owls and see if you can resist their charms. Fabulous stuff!

* Other things
_inbetween_  is simply a wonderful human being.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY eeyore9990 , emmagrant01  and barlidoc ! I hope you are all having a fabbo day, with the present fairy working her bloody wings off. I realise that I am miles behind on HB notes, but this is as nothing compared to the housework ...

Right, more fluids, more rest, I think. Spot of ukulele. I wish I had a voice, I've finally got to a point where Little Lion Man is really coming together.
Pureblood Princessraitala on August 12th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
Oh you! *snuggles*

Off to bed with you and make sure you take care of yourself over the weekend. 'Viral or bacterial' indeed!
Leochileochi on August 12th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
We're living in the Culture of Greed. And the bad examples do come from everywhere. It's always easy to blame the black sheep when one is a wolf in a sheepskin. Thanks for the link to that article, I was nodding all the time and thinking that it's not only about the UK. It seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. The Robber Barons are on the prowl. (They probably never have left.) Today I was listening to a BBC reporter talking to people of that Birmingham community that had lost those 3 men. I was truly upset at his stupid and pushy questions about "problems between immigrants" - he was disgustingly insistent and even when people tried to tell him that they wanted to make the best of the situation and weren't interested in conjuring up new rivalries, he still kept badgering them with his prejudices.

Aww, thanks a lot for that flattering review. Lol, so you prefer my beasts to my people, ahahaha - I'll remember that. I suppose I should stop drawing HP characters and specialise in animal drawing. ;DDD

Hope you'll get better soon - you do seem to have a knack for colds. Take care, drink enough warm fluids, get somebody to cook you a nice chicken soup, and go to bed!

Benbenicek on August 15th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
Journalists fishing for non-existent stories with a race angle. After the Norway shooting the BBC interviewed the canon of Oslo cathedral. The interviewer remarked that he had seen numerous muslims visiting the cathedral that day and the canon just brushed it aside with "they do every day anyway"
Leochileochi on August 18th, 2011 07:51 am (UTC)
Exactly that! It's sad that "good stories" always need to vilify some group. :(
Shezanshezan on August 12th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
I am old enough to remember when people like Peter Oborne were what one meant by 'Conservative' rather than today's venal attack dogs who reduce everything to fallacious notions of Left and Right. I very much miss those days.

Yes, yes, YES. Say what you want about Thatcher, she had a moral core.
Shezanshezan on August 12th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
... interesting Guardian piece, but as it turns out, there were plenty of middle class people in employment, and even interesting employment, who did loot. So it is NOT about people left out of the consumer society - it's about people who want something for nothing and have no moral values.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on August 12th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, incl. some millionaire's kids, though to me the article incl. B's quote actually seemed to say that as well - only later I noticed the subtitle (byline?) about beaten-down lives, and heated comments argueing against that.
But then online debates always boil down to "many people, currently commenting , don't seem to believe that It is possible to both utterly condemn and to think about causation at the same time." - "now comes the game of blame"

Open questions:

was the photo of the completely naked older woman in all papers? Must hurt her more than the looters by that - papers getting it off the internet makes it no better - and why the hell didn't that cop at least give her a jacket. I cannot bear to click the Google results, the snippets about there having been many upset me enough.

I also can't figure out if this is an ironic/sarcastic move or meant seriously: "Iran calls on UN to intervene over 'violent suppression' of the opposition" and "conservative websites sympathetic to the Islamic regime called on the Iranian government to offer refuge in its embassy in London to "UK protesters in need of protection".

Devil Chickenmoonflower_rose on August 12th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
'It's viral or bacterial.'

Perhaps one of my top 10 most hated phrases of all time. Which is why I rarely ever have a medical certificate with my sick leave, because I'm too bloody sick to get out of bed, wait in a crowded room with forty other sick people for 2 hours in order to pay $50 a hear that statement and get a piece of paper stating same.

I will admit though, this has had unintended consequences of a vaguely viral or bacterial something evolving to rampant tonsilities, bronchitis and laryngitis about 50% of the time. I just wish I had a doctor in my immediate family or social circle I could exploit, then I'd be sorted.

Feel better soon. Lot's of fluids, lozenges and ibuprofen, right?
Shivshiv5468 on August 12th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)

Interesting take on the curren theories.

I liked Oborne's piece, though I don't think it's entirely true. There is a difference between fiddling your expenses and ooh kicking someone's head in. About five years.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on August 12th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
First I laughed at your punchline; then I wondered - you get five more years for fiddling expenses, right? IIRC crimes against finance are always punished harder than bodily harm?
Shivshiv5468 on August 12th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Erm, if you were English, I'd assume that was irony. And you don't appear to be, but then you do like Pterry so I shall assume you had your tongue in cheek there.

But give you a serious answer anyway.

The MPs got up to 21 months, in line with sentencing guidelines. If they'd hit someone, assault, would be about the same if it was premeditated depending on the harm caused.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on August 12th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
I did think you had meant it as a punchline, "Difference between f.e. + kicking heads. About 5 years" sounded very Jimmy Carr! Sorry if you hadn't meant to use it to that effect.
I did remember having read statistics that showed crimes against property were punished harder than bodily harm (IIRC about the UK, but not if it was the same in all countries). White collar crimes vs. "real" ones, government wrongs vs. thieves.
Sometimes irony and seriousness look alike, as I wondered (seriously) about Iran; "5 years" worked both ways; I had started out ironically to end up in seriousness.
Shivshiv5468 on August 12th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
Oh I was being funny!

Ah, you were being serious. I think that the most serious crimes, according to sentence lenght, are crimes against public order - riot, perjury, terrorism, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - things that undermine the state.

Otherwise it varies. Burglary is probably on a par with rape, for instance, but stealing from your employer gets stiffer sentences than getting into a fight in the street. And murder does get you life, always. You don't get life for theft.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα: jasonspants03_inbetween_ on August 12th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
*laughs* well, I'm glad you were; now we successfully squeezed the humour to bits. I'm crushed that my English is too bad to convey I had actually got it did I? :)

Well, was I? I think I was and thanks for the explanation. Like back in EMFoster's days, crimes against the state as worse than against individuals. I'm in two minds about that being the most serious crime.

I'm in one angry mind about rape being equal to burglary; that's what I'd read. Property and money. Before I start about masters and servants, I'll leave you and B*s blog in peace.
mrsquizzical: potter fawkesmrsquizzical on August 12th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
thanks for those links and quotes.

hope you are feeling well, soon!
pioniepionie on August 13th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
I adore the phrase "venal attack dogs" and will use it to describe politicans whenever possible. Get well soon!