Identification, or, Five Reasons I’m An Arsehole

6a00d83451fdc069e20168ea203a60970cWARNING: This post is offensive. If you are of a politically correct, strongly feminist or otherwise Tumblr-friendly sensibility, please use your browser’s ‘Back’ or ‘Close’ button now. If you’re not, take a free drink, sit down and enjoy the show. Now; let’s take a closer look at what makes me a bastard this week.

A long time ago in a job interview, I was asked what my three best and worst qualities were. “My three best qualities are initiative, intelligence, and thinking for myself,” I said.

“And your three worst ones?”

“Initiative, intelligence, and thinking for myself.”

The interviewer thought this was very deep. Personally, I thought it was bleeding obvious. In the light of that it’s not really so surprising, looking back, that the corporate world and I later parted ways. This week, however, I am annoyed about something else. I’m not going to waste time describing the situation, I’m just going to rant – and as I said in the first paragraph, you have been warned. So here are my five.

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The value of rage: RIP Sir Terry Pratchett.

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Publicity shot from ‘The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents”.

Morbid? Yes, it is. Bandwagon-jumping? Absolutely. The sort of thing PTerry himself would probably despise? I doubt it not. However there are people looking at this blog apparently in the expectation that I’ll have said something about such a momentous event in fantasy as the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, and far be it from me to disappoint my future readers.

I’ve got a when-I-met-Pterry anecdote I’ll come to later, but the best article I’ve ever read about the man is this one, written by Neil Gaiman: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.”  It talks about Terry having a deep sense of justice, and anyone who’s read Pratchett can appreciate the near-perfect balance he struck between acute social awareness, blackest irony, and an infallible sense of petty, stupid humanity and all its attendant farce. Continue reading

The day I grew a tail

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Anonymous creator, found here on Flickr

Some time ago I posted about furries, and my first rather nervous foray into their world. Looking back at it I can see similarities with the motivations behind the steampunk culture I explored in my most popular post. I can also see similarities with brony culture, which I’ll go into in a little more detail below.

Since that post I’ve been spending more time around my local furries, and gradually I think I’m starting to understand some of the subtleties a bit more. I’m beginning to get why quite so many furries are gay or bisexual men and what the draw of “fursuiting” is, and it ties in to some themes I’ve noticed in steampunk and other subcultures as well. Continue reading

Impermanence

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There’s a saying that goes “This too shall pass”.

There’s another saying, a Buddhist one, that likens a person to a flame; always in motion, always consuming the wood on which it burns, composed at every moment of totally different atoms – and yet the same flame.

The picture to the left is from a comunity art project called Mitcham’s Models, which installed reworked mannequins around an unlovely junction in town to coincide with the city’s annual Open Studios event. Open Studios is a month in which Cambridge’s surprisingly many artists throw open their studio doors to the middle-class average Joe; the eerie figure in this picture was found on my way home from a gig at one of Cambridge’s few remaining live music pubs.

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