I was going to write a ranty political post, but the moment has passed. Suffice to say I was whipped up into a predictable frenzy about the headlines surrounding Kamel Bourgass* yesterday, in particular, the ever-charming Daily Mail, with its gibbering claim that DC Oake was murdered because "We've Lost Control of our Borders OMGWTF!!!!1!one". I'm just worn out and frustrated by the election campaigning, the overwhelming rhetoric of fear and bigotry and hatefulness, fuelled by the right wing tabloids and pandered to by the major parties; and then I spent much of yesterday with a variety of local elected officials whose policies are totally led by the fearful white middle-classes, whose platforms are based short-termist, short-sighted policy changes that will impact on no one but the fearful white middle-classes, with no view to the sort of long-term changes that are required to end the profound social and economic inequality that is endemic in our cities and actually the root cause of all those things that the fearful white middle-classes are so afraid of. Sometimes I get so disillusioned with democracy, and I fantasise about this fantastic benevolent dictator taking power in a bloodless coup and being all "Shut the fuck up, I don't care about what you think you want, I'm going to redistribute wealth and legalise drugs and tax the hell out of you rich fuckers and then you won't have to worry about having your Beemers nicked because the people who'd nick it will have an education and jobs and won't be embroiled in the illegal economy and won't NEED to nick it any more."
(Yes, I know that this is ill-thought out and impractical and purely a result of passing frustration.)
Oh, and: I can't believe I didn't make this connection myself, but Mark mentioned last night that some comedy programme pointed out that the Tories say they're going to impose limits on immigration, and keep hospitals clean: well, have they ever actually been in an NHS hospital and had a look at who's cleaning it, not to mention keeping it running? Not shiny white British people, that's for sure.
*Note for Furriners: Kamel Bourgass is an alleged al Qaeda operative who was involved in a plot to make ricin, which all culminated in a police shoot-out in Manchester a couple of years ago resulting in the death of a police officer. He was also a failed asylum seeker and thereby in the UK illegally; the right wing media - and, indeed, the Tories - leapt on the immigration = OMGTERRORISTS!!!1 bandwagon. Now, I'm only 26, but even I remember the days when the only terrorists we worried about in the UK were our own citizens - we're perfectly capable of growing our own extremist loons, and battening down the hatches against immigration isn't going to magically protect anyone in this country from harm, no matter what deluded Daily Mail readers may think. No fucking way.
Notes on my last poll, for those people who clicked the 'WTF, mate?' options:
- I've always felt a strong distinction between singing-as-worship and singing-as-performance. While I am perfectly happy to sing religious-themed music in a performance, I would never join a church choir, because singing in services equates more in my mind to prayer than it does to musical performance, which is not something I am comfortable with. glitzfrau has made all sorts of good points about how church choirs bring great music to people who would not normally hear it - but I can't get past the idea of being part of a religious service, which, as an atheist with no religious background, I am not comfortable with at all.
- male altos are pretty rare, as it's a very high vocal range for a man. Normally, in modern choirs, the soprano and alto parts are female, and the tenor and bass parts are male; there are quite a few male alto soloists about, and as I understand it, a lot of renaissance and baroque music was written with male alto voice in mind. My main objection to male altos (aside from the fact that Annoying Tim drives me CRAZY) is that the timbre of their voices tends to be quite different from that of women, and hence a male alto voice doesn't blend well with female altos, because it tends to be louder and more piercing. They don't bother me as soloists, although it annoys me that they take work away from female altos, especially when you don't see many (any?) female tenors on the circuit.
- one of the people who filled in the poll said that she didn't understand the popularity of choirs. This struck me as odd - not that she didn't understand the appeal, but that she believed that choirs were popular. I am one of about five people in my choir under the age of 30 (there are about 70 - 80 people in all), most of whom are hugely geeky. I don't have any choir-geek friends whom I didn't meet either through choirs or through LJ; whenever I explain my choral singing habits to strangers, they always seem faintly baffled by it. In short, I would never claim that choral singing is at all popular (at least among the under 40s), and it is certainly a zillion miles away from cool. (This is not something I lose sleep over.)
- the ninja platypus would totally win. The rest of you have clearly been smoking crack.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Naturally, are you a:
Do you dye your hair?
If you could only listen to one musical artist for the rest of your life (and had to listen to them for at least one hour a day) which of the following would you choose:
What is your favourite food ingredient EVER?
What food do you absolutely REFUSE TO EAT? (Not for ethical reasons, just because you hate the taste/texture.)
You are staying with a family in Kyrgyzstan. One day, in your honour, they kill a sheep. Later, the (cooked) head is passed around the table, and as an honoured guest, you are expected to cut off some of the cheek and eat it. What do you do?
What is the most horrible eating experience you've ever had?
Anything else to add?