Back in Berlin, since Monday. Sorry about everybody in the UK I didn’t get to see — this is what comes of taking a holiday without properly clearing your workload first. Now, a bits-n-bobs post…

I’m less distraught than most by the new government. Yes, I hate the tories as much as the rest of you, but don’t think joining a coalition automatically means selling your soul. As always, I’m in favour of making the world marginally less shit, rather than keeping yourself pure and shouting ineffectively from the sidelines. So this is better than a Conservative minority government. Less good than a Lib-Lab coalition, but arguably not much worse than a lib-lab-nat coalition which can only just scrape a majority, and can’t do anything for fear of falling apart.

On which note, I feel I should relay back to Britain (or possibly just England) the Europe-wide bafflement at Westminster panic over a coalition, and grumbles about it taking all of five days to resolve. Much as I try to explain the effects of FPTP and history, there’s a universal reaction of “so what?”.

Meanwhile friend_of_tofu picks apart Cameron/Clegg slash. (also here


So, from a feminist perspective, I find it more than a little bothersome that negotiated agreements are (still) being presented, even slightly, as less puissant, less masculine than adversarial snarling – phallologocentrism* FTL. But can we blame anyone? My inner adolescent is loving every minute! The cognitive dissonance is driving me batty.

Despite having Waco permanently lodged somewhere in my imported-from-America cultural consciousness, before today I’d never heard of the 1985 MOVE bombing — just before my time, I guess. Democracy Now explains:

[Yesterday] marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of a massive police operation in Philadelphia that culminated in the helicopter bombing of the headquarters of a radical group known as MOVE. The fire from the attack killed six adults and five children and destroyed sixty-five homes. Despite two grand jury investigations and a commission finding that top officials were grossly negligent, no one from city government was criminally charged.

Pattern Passion, a romance about numbers. Was just recommending this to somebody, & realised I hadn’t plugged Remittance Girl on here for ages. Her Beautiful Losers is reliable a piece of comfort reading for me. [both mildly nsfw, I guess]

He was a three, I realized with a little shiver. A metal-legged spider scampered up the ladder of my spine and curled itself into a cold, tingling ball just beneath the back of my skull. A perfect, perfect three.

Mike, on journalists/aid workers/researchers trying to get distance from human suffering:

There’s no trite lesson at the end of this post. Except to glumly remark that our liberal Ummah doesn’t stretch anywhere near as far as we would like to think. That our (or my) habit of picking and choosing the acquaintances we maintain at a distance – between the friendly, well-educated, useful ones we want to keep up with on Facebook, and the ones who aren’t on Facebook at all – is repellent. And that there must be a way of doing better?

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