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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    Don't Have Sex In Sweden, Even If You Wanted To

    ...or what happened to Julian Assange might happen to you:

    Assange is being prosecuted for having sex without a condom, with someone who didn’t mind the lack of condom at the time, but who subsequently was cross about the fact that he didn’t use a condom. Who was a 30something university lecturer (not that it would have made any difference had she been an 18-year-old student).  (Via Liberal Conspiracy)

    Or, as Assange's attorney James D. Catlin writes in Crikey:

    ...the Swedes are making it up as they go along.

    Let's hope they're doing it so that they can get Assange into court and then, under legal privilege, blow the whole gaff.  But we shouldn't, either, forget -- who was it who said this? -- that the traditional American response to a problem is to kill it.



    Bernard Matthews gobbled his last on Thanksgiving Day. Let's raise a glass of centrifuge-rendered hormone-rich turkey-fat (see picture below, top left) to his memory. As it were.



    Poor? Clever? Just Stay the Fuck Put

    Let's suppose you're clever. You get to a good university. You do brilliantly. You want to go to a conference because instead of going through the motions, you really, really want to know what's going on at the leading edge of your discipline. It's not just because of your committment to your subject, but because you want to become a professional academic, and conferences are where you meet people working in your field: people who can advise you, mentor you, bring you on, so that in your turn, you will be able t--


    Query: are you poor?

    Ah. Well, sorry. There used to be grants for promising students to go to academic conferences. Around £100, or roughly what government inefficiency wastes -- not spends, but wastes -- every half-a-second.

    Not any more.

    Because in the new world where the only single paradigm for any form of human activity is the for-profit business model, the only thing that counts is money.

    And if you're poor, you haven't got any.

    So you don't count.

    So; just stay the fuck put, would you? Okay? Bralliant. Yah.

    (Oh, and just to clarify: it's not because you're common. Now it's certainly true that if you're poor, you're more likely to be common than someone who's, say, inherited a wallpaper fortune. But it's not common that's the problem. It's poor.  Because in these times there's only so much moolah, yah?, to go round and we're like, y'know, apsley fucked if we're going to let poor people get their hands on it, okay? Is that clear? Bralliant. Cut along now.)


    Making a Fuss Will Get You Nowhere

    Thursday: Simon Hughes MP (LibDem, ed. Christ College Brecon (£12,210 - £13,890 p.a.) & Cambridge) tells student demonstrators:

    If anybody thinks that the way to persuade me or my colleagues to their point of view is to disrupt the work done by my staff or by me looking after my constituents then they are making a foolish mistake

    Saturday: Simon Hughes to meet protesters.

    Conclusion: Foolish mistakes are the way forward.


    Hypocrisy on a Crocodile

    Shelley, before he went droopy:

    'Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number -
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you -
    Ye are many - they are few.'

    From The Mask of Anarchy .

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