March 21st, 2006


(no subject)

Various folk have commented that one of the things that was changed in V for Vendetta was the system of massive universal surveillance that V subverts to his own ends. (And I will write a review, but when I have finished brooding and reread the original and possibly been to the movie a second time. Because I think it is important, whether or not it is good.)

And that was a smart choice by les Wachowskis, because the UK, as I write, is just that heavily surveilled by police cameras and security cameras and cameras in your local corner shop. And oddly, it neither prevents crime nor has produced a police state. Professional crims know how to avoid being recognizable, or attack people in blind spots - I saw a TV show where a murderer got through a very heavily surveilled building by dancing through calculated moments of blind spot - and the major change is that police have something to use in detection.

I don't like being watched all the time, but it impinges less than we imagined, most of the time. And you can't make a big dystopian theme out of something that is everyday experience without diverting all your attention to it...

So that, at least, was the right choice.

Another thing that I did sort of miss was Collapse )

And one thing which I almost certain of is that Collapse )


I am truely appalled that an Afghan sharia prosecutor is asking the death penalty for a man accused of covert conversion to Christianity from Islam. I will expect pleas for his life and freedom from moderate Muslims all over the world, because the (Koranic?) demand for death for apostasy is just not tolerable in any circumstances.

No Islamic court is going to listen to Christians, let alone humanists on this one, so it is the job of Muslims.

There is a concept in Christian thought which I commend to them, which is that of giving scandal. Certain things should not be done, because they end up being more trouble than otherwise.

Oh, and apparently he converted sixteen years ago, and has been dobbed in by his family, when one of them found a bible.


I am trying to make sense of the interview with Rowan Williams in today's Guardian.,,1735679,00.html
Alan Rusbridger interprets his remarks as meaning that, if the Anglican Communion splits over the gay clergy issue, Williams will try and stay with the African and US and UK evangelical homophobes rather than go with the US liberals.

I suspect he is right, but not because Williams believes what they believe, more because he wants to retain moderating influence, and knows that he can trust the US liberals not to do crazy things like declare crusades.

I also think that this is the wrong decision for Williams to take, but it is not an irresponsible one, because he knows, and says elsewhere in the interview, how dangerous the African bishops are becoming in their lack of charity and belligerence towards even moderate Islam.


'Polder', the Clutes festschrift is out, and yesterday night fjm gave me my contributor's copy and very pretty it is true. I will post my piece here after Eastercon and the book's official launch.

In the meantime, Farah and I and many others met up at the launch of Geoff Ryman's utterly splendid new book, which I reviewed in Time Out. When a friend's book is as good as this, I don't think it even slightly corrupt to praise it.
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