September 17th, 2004


An eye for an eye makes the world blind

It worries me that various people, discussing the brutality of the police towards the pro-hunt demonstrators in Parliament Square, have said, roughly 'Oh well, people like that will not have objected to police brutality against miners so it doesn't matter.'

This seems to me wanton and disgraceful - we object to all police brutality regardless of whether the demonstrators who get clubbed are people with whom we agree or not. The press coverage appears to have been somewhat biased also - the missiles thrown by a section of the crowd appear to have been eggs rather than anything heavier.

There is a good moral case for banning fox hunting; there is no good moral case for it. There is, however, a case that civil liberties should only be suppressed in real emergencies - as someone who was involved in the SM community at the time of the Spanner trial, I don't entirely feel that the moral outrage of a majority of people is enough. And again the fact that most, but by no means all, fox-hunters have not shown any great previous commitment to the rights of others is hardly relevant - rights and freedoms and liberties have to be considered inalienable and not the product of negotiation and reciprocity.

I have been conflicted about this issue from the beginning and in a lot of ways I wish I was not.

I also feel that part of what is going on is a new class of technocrats and international bureaucrats and managers, who are not our friends, taking the oppurtunity to demonstrate to the old gentry that the o.g. are no longer the masters, and that they now are. And who can readily sympathize with red-faced MFHs and their scrubbed progeny at being ousted from power? Not me, but I don't like their replacements much either.

At least Tory toffs don't in general claim to be our friends.
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    The Battle on the Ice - Prokofiev

Shininess, slashiness

Got to see 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow' and was pleasantly surprised that it had people in it as well as the most amazing 1930s techno-paradise ever seen on screen. The plot is splendid pulp nonsense of course, but any film which starts with an airship docking on a skyscraper and has giant robots, dinosaurs and lots of killer robots is doing pulp properly. It looks like Things to Come, and Metropolis and fascist art deco and a lot of sf magazine covers and the backstory on the ways they did it is fascinating, but not as fascinating as the blissful way it looks - this is another film where you come out singing the sets, even though, as we know, they don't actually exist anywhere except in cyberspace.

I've got to write about it, so no extended thoughts for a day or two.

What it also has is Collapse )