Here’s a Half-Cut MSI Blog!

WP is being very, very slow uploading my photos and I have to go out (twice in one weekend, I know) so here is what’s worked so far. I will update the slideshow gallery thing when the rest have worked… stay tuned kids, Steve embarrassed me when I met him and only time will tell if that pizza was spiked….

Here are some pictures that deserve to be seen in full-size from the off:

This is Steve pretending to puke.

The band came out to the floor afterwards and did some signing, and I met Steve after listening him talk to a couple of guys who knew MSI from ages ago. As he was signing my ticket I told him that I made a t-shirt with his name on it for the last show but didn’t wear it because I figured I wouldn’t get to meet him. He looked at me and said “you’re a doody head.” Then he pointed down at me, looked at the other people milling around and said “She’s a doody head.” I laughed awkwardly and shuffled off.

It was like when a teacher laughs at you in class for asking a stupid question.

If you look really, really closely, you can see Lynz.
If you look really, really closely, you can see Lynz.

 

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Hollie’s dog Charlie really liked the merch the next day. (From her Tumblr.)

…  where you can read her brilliantly eloquent account of the show. Tatchiana’s thought (singular) is here.

There was a post-show hangover a bit on the tube home...
There was a post-show hangover a bit on the tube home…
... for Hollie anyway. Tatch and I were buzzing...
… for Hollie anyway. Tatch and I were buzzing…
Because here's evidence that I really did embarrass myself in front of Steve!
Because here’s evidence that I really did embarrass myself in front of Steve!

  Anyway enough about the actual show. Today I was telling my friends about meeting Steve and they said I should get “Steve, Righ? Called Mee a Doody Head” on a t-shirt for the next show and I said “I’m wearing that original shirt every show ever”. Then I looked up a jumper I didn’t get to buy at the show and searched “Mindless Self Indulgence merch 2013” and what should come up?

'Mindless Self Indulgence merch 2013'

Ah yes, the Internet is shitting on me now too.

The pizza wasn’t spiked by the way – it turns out random strangers being nice can sometimes be… random strangers being nice.

The Six O’Clock News: a Report on Reports on Kiddie Fidling

Since I’m seeing MSI play roughly at time of publication, I thought I’d do a post on paedophiles.

No. Wait. (Don’t sue, there’s a link if you keep reading!)

We Asked Lostprophets Fans How They Feel About Ian Watkins’ Confession

Vice asked some Lostprophets fans if they were still Lostprophets fans and the general consensus seems to be that the rest of the band doesn’t deserve to be dismissed, and maybe neither does the music, but separating Lostprophets from Ian Watkins is easier typed than done.

Peaches Geldof’s Ian Watkins tweet could be investigated

According to the BBC, Peaches Geldof did a Tweet naming the women who were involved with Watkinsgate (that’s a nicer term than the one in my head), and could now be prosecuted. You would think the context of the Tweet would suggest that there’s been more than enough Internet-based sharing, wouldn’t you?

Vigilante jailed for killing man he mistakenly thought was paedophile

  The Guardian has dedicated a nice long article to discussing the fact that some people got a man arrested on suspicion of being a paedophile, then one of them murdered him when he was released because, get this, he wasn’t a paedophile. There is now some talk going on about how the victim, who moved to the UK from Iran in hope of a better life (he was disabled), was trying to document antisocial behaviour on his estate when residents assumed that the photos he was taking were for reasons other than law enforcement. So if you think about it, one bloke tried to stop antisocial/illegal behaviour and another also tried to stop it, but because the first bloke was slightly different from the second, the first bloke got killed horribly.

What is wrong with people integrating and discussing and not making assumptions?!

Calling All Regular Readers, and Those of You Who Clicked This On a Whim!

This is just a quick post while I’m thinking about it (I’ll reply to comments tomorrow):

I was being reasonably serious about nominations for the Indifferent Ignorance awards. It’s Boxing Day in a month – I know – which means 2014 is creeping nearer, and 2013 deserves to go out with if not a bang then perhaps a gentle pat on the back. It’s been one of those years.

I will accept any and all suggestions for any and all categories, but reserve the right to ridicule them. I also can’t access links right this very second, so you guys can all navigate yourselves to last year’s (actually published in June) and to 2011’s (published in December 2011, roughly the last time I was organised), right?

Thanks.

The Ten O’Clock News: Enduring Legacies and Other Less Pretentious Ideas

I realised over the course of this evening that today is fifty years since JFK’s assassination, fifty years since the first Doctor Who episode and three years since Danger Days was released.

I was first going to do a post about JFK and how he’s become an icon, then about JFK and Doctor Who and how they’ve both become – very different – icons, and then I remembered Danger Days and how that’s already legendary, but probably is so because I was there when it happened.

I mean, the Kennedys are like America’s royal family, and everyone knows the old “what happened in Dallas on 22nd November 1963? Don’t know, wasn’t watching it then” joke/quiz show answer. People know where they were when it happened and everyone has a theory about Lee Harvey Oswald, etc. etc. Stephen King’s written a book about stopping it, G Way wrote a comic about ensuring it – President Kennedy seems to have become an idea more than a person in many ways.

Doctor Who has kind of defined science fiction, British television and eccentric dress sense over the past five decades, and since the Internet has attracted as many, ah, enthusiasts as JFK. Everyone has an opinion on the writing, the acting, the regenerations, the best Doctor (David Tennant, for the record), the scariest ever villain (gas mask children or weeping angels, for the record). It’s always been there and hopefully will keep being there, because it’s excellent. I have no idea what’s going on about seventy per cent of each episode, but it’s fun, and funny, and one of the few things I’m proud is British. Plus the TARDIS is up there with Hermione’s beaded bag on my list of fictional things I’d like to play with. It’s a thing, you know, as opposed to a TV show.

Danger Days might be my favourite MCR record. It’s bright and loud and dirty and colourful, and the concept is so, so clever. Danger Days is a world which started with Art is the Weapon and has continued through the videos and shows into the comics. Well it technically started with a comic and evolved into a record and went from there… my point is, it’s tangible. It’s believable too, because we aren’t all that far from nuclear war or semi-permanent medication (I got a badge at the Freud Museum in the summer that says “In the future, art will be taken as pills”). The storylines in the comics are relevant today – I don’t want to give away spoilers, but Red and Blue’s situation is real, and so is that really irritating Party Poison-imitating dude whose name escapes me. The corporate clean-up’s in our faces.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my gushing about Danger Days is similar to what people are gushing about Doctor Who and JFK on other sites, today and over the past fifty years. For some people, JFK in terms of history and legacy and political meaning is what they’re passionate about. For some it’s Doctor Who. For me it’s MCR shit. Everyone has a thing, you know, and sometimes it’s hard to explain it to other people. But I think it’s important that we have them, and reflect upon them when the time is right.

What’s yours?!

No Site For Weaklings

We’ve started the religious experience topic in RS, and today we looked at proof. Here is an extract of my notes:

  • If someone experiences an entity, then the entity exists. (I have conversations with characters, then the characters exist…)

It took me a few minutes to figure out why Thank You God was playing in my head.

Speaking of characters I want to talk to, one thing lead to another yesterday. No regrets (I had just finished an essay on William Blake, okay, and football was the only thing on TV. Plus there needs to be somewhere in my imagination where di Angelo doesn’t need a hug).

Question: should I have tagged this post not safe for work? Because thinking about it, I should probably tag every Tim Minchin video or even some MCR posts NSFW, for the language and whatnot. But then, is my language crossing the line? What is or isn’t “safe for work”? Surely that depends on your job?!

I mean, I don’t much like censorship, which is one of the reasons I run this thing by myself, and it’s not like I’m one of the people Google’s blocking… I don’t want to get younger readers into trouble for having adult words or links to questionable fan art – but that’s not my fight. I just write this and it’s up to you, reading this, whether or not you read it. If you don’t want to then click exit. If you don’t want your child to read it then click exit for them but please remember that if they like this sort of site (as in, not space bar games or celebrity forums) then they’re probably going to find another way to read.

I don’t label atheism-related posts “GOD-HATING NEARBY, PIOUS PEOPLE BEWARE”, so should I label a link to a drawing of two dudes kissing “homophobes your eyes might fall out”, or “in the movies this would be a 15”? I mean, Perks wasn’t a 15 and Steve Chbosky got in about 85% of the book’s content.

Is it just enough that I say “headphones are a good idea for this song” or to clearly label links? Maybe I should do a little thing on the sidebar: “oh hey I’m a teenager and if you’ve met one of those you’ll know that they talk like sailors and launch very different types of ships”?

(You shouldn’t be reading Indifferent Ignorance at work anyway, although if you can please notify me of your occupation.)

The Six O’Clock News: Children In Need, Charities and Cynicism

I mentioned last week that people can donate to the Syrian refugee crisis appeal via the United Nations, and in light of the Philippines’ typhoon and Children In Need’s imminent broadcast I thought I’d talk about giving cash to worthy causes.

Medicins Sans Frontiers is currently fundraising to support their work in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Syria, the Philippines, Haiti, Mexico, Nepal, Greece and the USA. I picked those names out of a list; you can see the map of their locations here. The World Food Programme, an extension of the UN, is present in Iraq, Sierra Leone, Egypt, North Korea, Ecuador and the Republic of Congo. Their list is here. Comic Relief has projects going in Guatama, the UK, Mozambique, India, Columbia and Bangladesh. This is their list.

I’ve name-dropped twenty countries and, shocker, they aren’t all in Africa. Some aren’t even poor. Most need help because of corrupt governments, war, shitty geographical locations or a mix of the three. (By shitty I mean “in the way of bad weather”, for the record. If it weren’t for the resemblance to a war zone, the Philippines would look very nice for a bit of winter sun.)

So how does one choose a worthy cause? By going on an aid-giving website and picking a location randomly? By picking a cause (sex trafficking, slavery, refugees, queer rights, women’s education, famine, etc.) and donating to a specific charity? By donating to a ‘general’ cause like Children In Need and letting them do the allocation? What about causes closer to home – cancer research, Jeans for Genes, the poppy appeal, local homeless shelters…?

I saw Daniel Radcliffe on The One Show the other day (nice hair, Oprah) and he said that he had to choose the causes that meant the most to him personally. JK Rowling’s charity helps out children who live in institutions, which has a passing resemblance to a certain bad guy in a certain book series she wrote. If I had to choose three charities to support I’d probably go for APEC, which supports families and sufferers of pre-eclampsia, because it’s quite literally close to my heart (yes you can make a pun out of critical illness), something that provides education to children like Camfed and something that strives to improve human rights, like AllOut or Amnesty International. But what if there was a part of the charity that I didn’t like? I’m hesitant about giving to Greenpeace, however much I love the planet, because they’ve got a habit of working against, not with, some institutions. They’re anti-GM, for example, when there are regions full or starving people for whom GM crops would help quite a bit. Humans aren’t going to stop using stuff we’ve made, like nuclear power, so we’re going to have to use our science to make sure that we’re looking after nature without compromising human rights or lifestyles that people arguably should not have to give up.

I’m going off-topic. Children In Need is on tonight and I’ll almost definitely raid my spare-change pot, but if I’m out tomorrow and see a homeless person I probably won’t give them the change in my pocket, because I have no way of knowing whether or not they’re legitimate. Then I’ll feel guilty. Should I? Should I march on the government to get them to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place? Whose problem is poor people anyway?

I don’t even know any more. Pudsey awaits.

This Post Contains the Best Thing I’ve Ever Made.

Working on the Indifferent Ignorance Awards because 2014 is horribly close (I always hate the imminent year, like it’s bullying the current one or something) and I’m not sure what the ‘novelty’ categories should be. I mean, I’m thinking that I should get either the best friend ever award, or best card ever award, but I think in the spirit of democracy you guys should nominate me.

Via Chloe
The Outside
The Inside
The Inside

From Chloe’s Tumblr. This is probably a good time to mention that I also have a Tumblr. I’m mostly telling you because if anyone stumbles across it and is all “Francesca y u no tell”, you’ll know my answer – you use phrases like “y u no tell”. Plus it’s a good way of keeping track of artists I like and is a nice forum to test-drive possible future work (as well as being somewhere for me to vomit my love for various things, which I will continue to do here but with more emphasis on making sense). I’m not abandoning you, little blog. I just sometimes need somewhere to express my inner book-based feelings. Oh sod it.

This song is beautiful and perfect.

This song is if Rick Riordan gave certain people a glimpse of happiness.

This lady’s art will one day kill me. Look at it. Look.

 

The Six O’Clock News: Dogs Are As Smart As Humans (but that’s not saying much)

Wag the dog

It’s been scientifically proven that dogs are smarter than they look. Again. According to The Economist, Italian scientists have discovered that not only do dogs “wag their tails to the right when they see something pleasant…and to the left when they see something unpleasant” but that a video or silhouette of dog with “a left-wagging tail… induced… an anxiety response” in subject dogs, while the right-wagging one didn’t. Basically, they can both tell humans how they feel and impact how other dogs feel – with their tails.

I want to take a video camera out with me when we go for a walk, and record everything, especially when Fred and Don meet their dog friends. We could analyse who likes whom and whatnot. (Video camera necessary for playback because those tails go fast, man).

Clerics rule besieged Damascus residents may eat dogs

The end of Eid is traditionally cause for c e l e b r a t i o n in Muslim cultures, but there are Syrians starving to death because humanitarian aid can’t reach their areas – so clerics have issues a fatwa, a ruling, that people are allowed to eat dogs, cats and donkeys. The BBC says that “similar religious edicts were announced in Homs and Aleppo when the fighting in those cities was at its fiercest”.

I’m not sure how I feel about military action in Syria (Iraq versus Rwanda, Iraq verses Rwanda) but for God’s sake, UN, find a way to get food and water to these people. Better still, get them out. Okay so the Mediterranean-refugee issue is suggesting that people who are leaving aren’t finding help, per se, but if you can’t end the war please try to make the whole fiasco as painless as possible for civilians. Ahh. Go here to give money if you’d like.

How do you safely match stray dogs to new owners?

It was simultaneously heartbreaking and anger-inducing hearing about Lexi Branson’s death this week. Her family’s bulldog Mulan mauled her to death and in a bid to help her daughter, Lexi’s mother stabbed the dog to death with a kitchen knife. They had owned Mulan for two months. It’s opened up another debate about whether we should be adding to the Dangerous Dogs List (don’t think it’s actually called that) or whether or not people should rehome strays.

My thinking is that instead of blaming the dogs when they bite a human, we should be blaming the humans. Not the little girl, of course, nor her family – but the thing is that Mulan had been a stray for an unknown time before being rescued. Very little was known about her history or the treatment she had in her previous home(s). You could blame the rehoming centre for giving a potentially dangerous animal to a family with a small child – but every single dog is a potentially dangerous animal.

They all have teeth, yes, and claws, and really strong jaws. Even Chihuahuas can do some damage if they really want to. I love Adonis with all my heart but I will never, ever, take his food away from him while he’s eating it because he would take my hand off. He’s lived on the streets and has had to fight for survival – manners don’t matter when you’re hungry, and despite the whole wagging-tail thing, dogs are far less able to think critically than humans. They see a person getting in their space, they growl. The person keeps provoking them and they’ll bite. If they’ve been mistreated, they could lose their temper and attack. Even your cutsey Labrador that you bought from a breeder off the Internet who’s real good with kiddies because all Labs are good with kiddies will bite your kiddies if they poke him in the eye, or hit him with a toy, or torment him by taking away his food. The breed of dog is almost irrelevant – yes, Mastiffs or pit bulls are “dangerous”. They are physically big and strong so are naturally able to do more damage than, say, a Boarder Collie. But that’s what they were bred for. Dobermanns were “invented” by a tax collector named Mr Dobermann who wanted a dog that was intimidating enough that people wouldn’t give him shit while he did his job. Go figure.

Humans are the ones in charge of the dogs, not the other way round. It’s up to us to make sure that our dogs are raised in a safe and stable environment so that they in turn are part of a safe and stable environment. The BBC is nicer about saying this than I am.

Do you have a dog? Have you had one? Let’s share pictures. (I will upload some of Fred and Don when I can get Fred to sit still.)