Writer, opinionista, essayist, perfumista, picker-up of unconsidered trifles, contributor to all sorts and conditions of publication from the Daily Mail to New Humanist, devoté of Pliny Maior, author of The Chronicles of Bargepole, Big Babies and Lost Worlds, currently working with the great Mike Stoller (of Leiber & Stoller) on a musical about Oscar Wilde. Teach the occasional spot of Tragedy to keep my eye in. Pilot, harpsichordist, cook, photographer, red-hot lover  and self-deluding old goat.

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    Women Against Rape Perplexed

    Excellent letter in The Guardian today from Katrin Axelsson of Women Against Rape. She writes that

    Many women in both Sweden and Britain will wonder at the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange is being pursued for rape allegations [ . . . ] Assange, who it seems has no criminal convictions, was refused bail in England despite sureties of more than £120,000. Yet bail following rape allegations is routine.

    She also reminds us of the

    long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman.

    Rape is about abusing the integrity of an individual by force and/or deception. The Assange business is about abusing the integrity of the law by force and/or deception.  Since the law (theoretically, at least) exists to protect the individual, the Swedish Courts would seem to be guilty of a far more serious abuse than the ones Assange has not even yet been charged with.



    The USA is to host World Press Freedom Day.

    That'll be Press as in "Let's see if we can find some law to prosecute the New York Times", I imagine; that'll be Freedom as in:


    From the press release:

    New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals' right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.

    Proudly sponsored by Amazon, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal er, some chap with a Foundation.

    So who said Americans had no sense of irony?


    Repeats, Repeats, Repeats

    From The Guardian rolling coverage of Assange, Sirolmighty writes:

    We will end 2010 this way:

    - Wikileaks founder in jail, facing possibly life sentence in the US.

    - Bin Laden eating cake, screwing sheeps, and watching VHS tapes of Yes Minister.

    No no, my dear fellow. We don't call it Yes Minister any more. We call it Yes Mister President SIR.


    Women in Sweden Discover Secret Of Parthenogenisis

    ... I hope. It's probably easier and certainly less traumatic and way cheaper on the legal front than... well, I can hardly bring myself to say the words, but: men. There. I said it. So the fuck extradite me.

    Meanwhile, from Assange in 2007:

    Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them."


    ... and if you must... sure to check with a policeman or an officer of the court how often you need to withdraw your johnson in order to check that the condom has not split, thereby exposing you to an Interpol warrant for suspicion of rape.

    Meanwhile, a handy phrase:

    Could you NØT bounce up and down like that, høney; there's only so much these things can take.

    Probably worth reminding yourself of Young's modulus while you're at it.

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