So it’s time to get back in the saddle, as the saying goes, and do some w r i t i n g again! As I mentioned in last week’s stupendous audioblog, I’ve done a some commissions already so now it’s time to expand and do stuff through PayPal (it’s legit, I checked). All the information you need should be here but if you have any questions please let me know ASAP so I can update everything!
To be totally honest, I wanted to do the News about the Commonwealth Games so I could include this:
I heard that the Queen isn’t ‘allowed’ to smile in official photos or at big occasions, which is definitely a tradition that needs to go because elderly ladies smiling is always brilliant, especially when they posses a) excellent hats, b) the keys to the kingdom or c) both.
I feel like we should also discuss dancing Tunnock’s Teacakes, which I spent my childhood getting caught in my hair. I had no idea they were Scottish… I also forgot that John Barrowman is Scottish and that he likes to kiss people, so thanks for the reminder, opening ceremony!
Speaking of kissing and all that, Huff Post did a nice piece condensing the whole Commonwealth-countries-being-homophobic issue complete with a Vine of said kiss. I don’t tend to follow people’s relationships online (with the exception of mine – hi Facebook!) but part of me really hopes that Tom Daley’s boyfriend will be hanging out at the diving. If he’s the guy I think he is, he’s made films about LGBT stuff – so it’ll be fun to see what the international broadcasters make of it all… Bet you regret re-outlawing homosexuality now, huh India?!
The funny thing is, we looked at the Commonwealth in Politics and its most contentious issue revolves around its foundation as a group of countries that the UK used to own… plus some others who thought it looked good. By its very nature, the Commonwealth represents loads of historical shit to do with the British Empire and colonialism.
Somebody on Twitter pointed out that it’s England when stealing but Britain when giving them back, which is kind of like how Andy Murray is British until he loses, in which case he’s Scottish – or how I’ll say I’m British most days, but when the EDL do something stupid I think “thank God I’m only half English”. (I should probably point out that I’m only totally sure of about two thirds of my ethnic heritage, if that’s what it’s called. I did some maths once and “half English” sounded way more interesting than “totally British until we get to great-grandparents and does that even count well yes because I’m dark enough that some people have been a bit racist but the joke’s on them because they got my race wrong HA HA HA”. I digress. I think my family’s entirely Commonwealth though.)
That Tweet pretty much sums up the Commonwealth actually – when things are good, the countries involved are very proud to be a part of it – like during cool sport stuff when we are united in admiring athletic prowess/athletic muscley people. When things are bad, we distance ourselves. I wouldn’t be surprised that, if the human rights lark gets heavily promoted at these games, some of the worst abusers will distance themselves a little from the organisation politically… I can’t see them all inviting John Barrowman over for teacakes anyway!
The same is true of Scotland and the referendum thing. When Team GB did well at the Olympics, there were probably people who thought “hey this UK thing is all right” but when Westminster’s fucked up again, they lean toward independence… I know the English do anyway. Could we do that? Could the UK get independence from the UK government?!
Right, I’m off to do some writing and my holiday ironing. I might get distracted by looking up Commonwealth Scotties… Never thought I’d go for a pedigree but they have beards.
Usually the news is an hour or five late because I have life stuff on – it’s rarely written early and it’s never been a week and a day early. What the hell am I supposed to write about? For all I know, Current Me is typing this in normal life but by 18th July 2014, normal life may be over due to a terror attack or accident or excellent event (why can I never think of examples of good stuff?) and Future Me might be living like a Killjoy (or not living at all which is a really fucking depressing thought). I usually make a point of ignoring The Outside World when I’m on holiday because I spend roughly 350 days per year attached to the Internet and my only other time off is Christmas.
So let’s look back.
In 0064 AD, according to DatesInHistory.com, Rome burnt while Emperor Nero played the violin. In 1536 the Pope was officially, ah, outed by the English so Henry VIII could get married. In 1830 Uruguay adopted its first constitution. In 1925 the first edition of Mein Kampf was published and in 1951 Uruguay “accepted its constitution”…
Let’s assume today has been just as lovely! Apparently the football World Cup will have been over by then… what’s the next thing? The Euro cup? The Olympics?
Presuming that I don’t have my electronics/right to fly removed, when you read this I will be either asleep or eating, which isn’t a huge difference to normal, although it will be a) eight o’clock where I am, and b) I won’t have a clue if it goes wrong because my one holiday rule is that I ignore the Internet. But I’m not ignoring you, right? I’ve rigged up some magic so you can read this!
I usually just post these things in Twitter and/or Tumblr posts but they’ve all cropped up in the last couple of days so I thought I may as well do a proper post… Ahem.
I got an email earlier that most of my Etsy shop’s listings are expiring really soon, so if you’ve ever fancied any of what’s there head on over ASAP. Plus I am going on holiday for ten days on Friday so any physical orders after the 11th July won’t be shipped until the 23rd at the earliest, by which time most of those items will have gone. So get on it!
Society6 is having one of its free-shipping-on-most-items days if you follow this link and this link only. It’s weird and they don’t tell you how long the offer lasts, presumably to whip you up into a frenzy. It’s until the 13th according to that very link.
I’m currently taking story commissions on DeviantART (all the info is on the right hand side below the advert). Once again, when I’m away I will technically be on holiday so if you request anything then you won’t get a response for a few days.
I hate doing what are effectively sales pitch blogs but at least this way it’s one lone social media post, as opposed to eighty over the course of a day… plus this trails on nicely to what I really want to talk about, which is HOLIDAY READING.
You know the drill. I take more books than I can carry, I read most of them, set up blogs talking about them and always include one novel that is totally depressing and/or gross. The first year I did it I took Trainspotting, which I haven’t read since; last year was We Need to Talk About Kevin which I then chose to study for my A Level and never want to read again… the further I explored it, the more effed up it became. I think this year will be Goodnight Mister Tom, which I have never previously read because I saw the TV adaptation about ten years ago, got so distressed I cried and have refused to open the book ever since.
But I’ll probably take this fortnight’s Private Eye and The Son of Neptune so it’s okay! There will be laughs all round! I will also take a book of codewords because since I stopped going to school my vocabulary has been on the downturn, which is bad for everybody. If I’m not careful I’ll only be able to speak in dog chatter… “Don Don, why are you barking? No one cares. Shhh. Hello Fred. You look very handsome. Go away that was my flapjack. Snuggles time.”
The government’s gone and bought itself a massive effing boat, the unveiling of which is a massive effing attempt to convince the Scottish people to vote Union. Personally, I would then vote ‘no’ because will the Scottish government have a warship capable of carrying “40 jets and helicopters”? No. Because the Scottish government will not be able to afford a paper bag after independence, having spent everything on large tariffs and taxes it currently avoids as a member of the UK and EU. Or pro-independence celebrations. Or new flags. Or new currency. Or a new national broadcasting service.
This old-ish Guardian article explains the referendum pretty well and suggests that Scotland would, in fact keep the pound and the monarchy. But since when has a newly independent country kept the nice bits about its old state and just gained power? The last countries to join the UN as sovereign states were South Sudan in 2011 (result of civil war in Sudan. Now there is just inter-state war), Montenegro in 2006 (ex-Yugoslavia, ’nuff said) and Timor-Leste in 2002 (ex-Indonesia, massive guerilla war for ages). It’s pretty rare for peaceful states to suddenly declare independence, because usually a region wants sovereignty due to ethnic or religious differences with their neighbours. So, does Scotland have significant ethnic or religious differences from the rest of the UK?
Not really, no.
The UK is traditionally Christian, though secularism is increasing pretty much everywhere; most British people have family from elsewhere in the UK because we’re a small group of islands (most people aren’t hugely British going back a few generations but that’s a rant for another time). As far as I can tell, the biggest “national differences” are accent, traditional choice of alcohol and “national treasures”. Even then it’s dubious because let’s face it everyone loves Shakespeare and Robbie Burns and Lily Allen and Alexander Graham Bell. Okay I’m being facetious and I’ve done absolutely no statistical research for this whole paragraph… but it sounds like the SNP seriously expect to gain independence, keep all the things it likes about Britain, remove all those it doesn’t and magically fix all its problems.