Arrg kxrrt!

Blog : Posts from August 2005

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And the winner is…

In which we fail, even though we could have won


We accidentally went to a pub quiz last night. None of us really were planning to go to one, but it just happened that the pub we were at decided to put one on.

The questions were a slightly odd mixture – celebrity gossip combined with very obscure trivia, so we weren’t really expecting to do very well. And, indeed, we didn’t, scoring only 16 out of 25. We stopped paying attention to the quiz, and didn’t even hear the announcer asking for the scored answer sheets back in.

So, it was slightly annoying, ten minutes later, when the winning team was announced. And their score. Sixteen, of course. Arse. Half of that £50 could have been ours!

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Drawing lines

In which we discuss pornography, consent, and legal proposals


Today’s Top News Story: the government is planning to ban extreme pornography.

Now, as this idea goes: where’s the downside? It’s going to be a vote-winner, and the Opposition are bound to take the “well, we would have done this years ago!” line. But it does open up a rather nasty can of worms which, being your stereotypical Woolly-Minded Liberal,* I have no idea what to do about. The question is: what is porn? More importantly, what is extreme?

There’s no doubt that an awful lot of the stuff out there on the internet is only going to be attractive to a tiny minority of people. If you think you’re the only person out there with your particular fetish, then you’re wrong: someone somewhere will probably already have created a website devoted to it. The problem with that, of course, is that some people’s fetishes really are not things that anyone else is going to approve of. Now, I personally have no problem with what anybody wants to do in private, but the keyword there is consensuality. Where fetishes involve doing things without the other person’s consent, it’s not acceptable to me.

The can of worms comes into it, though, when you consider that the proposed law would outlaw pornography that shows illegal acts. The problem is that in British law, the legality of a lot of S&M sex is a very grey area. Even if you want your partner to do certain things to you, it might not be legal.** The second can of worms is that, looking at downloaded graphics, it can be impossible to tell if consent was given at the time. Indeed, some writers and campaigners would claim that no porn is consensual at all, because of the cultural context surrounding it.

There’s a lot of stuff out there, and a lot of it makes me sick to the stomach. But, even so, I’m fully expecting that this law – and it will become law – will go too far, and that we will see people being prosecuted for downloading images that, to my mind, are entirely harmless.

* I’m even a Guardian reader.

** The most famous legal case in BDSM circles is the Spanner Trial, in which a group of gay men were convicted and imprisoned for actual bodily harm even though the “victims” had consented; it is not the only one, though.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same

In which things don’t change


Tomorrow night, I’m going out for the evening. This doesn’t happen too often, so surely this should be cause for much rejoicing? Shouldn’t it?

Well, no, it shouldn’t.

I’m going out to the pub, to meet up with a couple of friends who I knew at school. One of whom I was very close to, in fact, but who I haven’t seen now for at least five years. And I know what I’m going to listen to: how they are both getting on superbly with their lives, are settling down with wonderful partners and happy families, and so on and so forth. Which just reinforces the fact that I’m single now, I’ve been single for a long time, and I’m not likely to meet anybody who will change that for the forseeable future. As far as I can tell, the happy cosy partnered life just isn’t going to come along for me.

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Crash

In which I am driven into


It’s Friday lunchtime. I’ve popped into town just to get out of the office for an hour, and now it’s time to head back to work. Into the car, and I’m gently drifting through the car park towards the exit with a CD playing loudly,* when…

Something is moving too close to me, but before I can respond – BANG!

A big, dark car has driven right into the side of me. I jump out of the car in a great panic, forgetting to turn off the engine or even try to take the key out.

I had absolutely no idea what to do. I’ve been in crashes before, but only ever as a passenger. This was the first time that anything bad had happened to my own car. I was shaky, jittery, shocked and adrenalin-flooded. No idea what I should be doing, other than taking down the other driver’s name and address. Looking back, though, luck was on my side. I’m not hurt, and the shock went away after a few hours. The car still works. I can still drive it, even if it does have a big, nasty dent in the side. If I’d been hit a foot further forward, the door would probably be unusable; and I’d have possibly been hit too. If it was a foot further back, the back axle might well have been wrecked. As it is, though, I just have a big dent until the garage can manage to get hold of some replacement panelling.

* An Add N To (X) album, if you must know

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First post

In which things begin


This post is the first post. The first real post on SymbolicForest.com

If you’re reading this: well, there might be older posts in the archive. The archive will probably end up going back a few years. They’re all just imports, though. Things that I couldn’t bear to throw away.

This is the real start.

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