Apr. 7th, 2013

beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Politics:
I am really fed up of politics.

Today it's Labour saying people in work should get priority for social housing.
The thing it would really help for them to notice is those of us who do not work, indeed cannot work, still have to live, somewhere.
If people with no work, no possibility of work, and no housing, are not a priority, then the major political parties are saying they don't care who sleeps rough or indeed dies on their doorstep.

Cameron's contention that it is crazy someone on benefits can get more money than someone in work I would have to agree with, but my conclusion is rather opposite to his.
Since benefits were calculated on the basis of need and are therefore meant to be precisely what you need to live on, it is crazy that you can have a job and still not have a living wage.
Further it is bloody annoying that he continues to ignore that most (non pension) benefits go to people IN work anyway.

They can continue to argue about fairness and the contributory principle all they like, but need remains.
You cannot eradicate need.
People need to eat, they need somewhere to sleep, they need the basics of life.

Yelling at people in need will not stop them from being in need.
Cutting off their benefits will not stop them from being in need.
Need remains.

Somehow the people in charge seem to have forgotten this.
Hell, by the results of multiple opinion polls, somehow an actual majority of people seem to have forgotten this.
I think it may be a side effect of being lied to continuously for years: when people are under the impression fraud is a major problem, rather than around 0.7% and lower for some benefits, either the general population pulled the idea from the ether or the whole thing where the government lies about fraud-and-error has had an adverse impact.

I really wish people could agree on the facts. It's bloody hard to have an argument when people maintain there are different facts. Especially if you can show them the one and only available set of numbers and they still make up different facts.

(Like there are no targets for booting people off benefits for error or not trying hard enough. Guardian and sources keep finding targets. Lots and lots of places with lots of targets. But no, there are no targets, lalala, comparative indicators are not targets even if someone gets adverse job consequences for being lower than average even though half of everything is below average because that's what average means FFS, treating the average like a target drives up the average, then people are trying to survive without their benefits because some jobsworth is trying to meet a target, and oh yes, many of those people are disabled people with learning disabilities because they're the least able to meet any bloody standard or fight back when told they've missed it. But there are no targets! That would be wrong!)

(Bastards.)

... I went off on one about how there's not enough jobs, there's never going to be enough jobs, technology changes everything and the way to a Star Trek future requires a social and economic paradigm shift, but until that happens everyone who doesn't have any work to do is going to get ground up in the gears. But this is not my area of expertise and I really have other things to be doing, so I deleted it.

World is a big mess. Finance fell down and banks got caught by the government so they wouldn't go splat. Yelling at poor people won't fix global capitalism.

People need certain very basic things to live. Deciding they don't need basic benefits is deciding they don't need to live.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
There's some people on facebook from high school talking about doing a reunion. They're leaving comments on a photo of the whole year group which facebook knows I'm in, so I keep getting emailed the comments, even though I can't get facebook to let me in or show me anything useful if I go to the actual site. It's weird seeing everyone trying to remember everyone's names, especially the thing where they're talking about me as if I'm not there, which I'm not, cause I'm reading it, but it's still weird.

They're talking about a high school reunion. Like, properly, with plural people saying it should happen and someone deciding to organise it.

... on the plus side, I would by then *xfingers* have my degree. At long last.
... on the minus side, that would be it. My lifetime achievements to date. One BA (Hons).

I try not to do comparing to other people's lives. But isn't that what high school reunions are for? A slightly masochistic pleasure in most cases. And, okay, some people would want to be being social, but if they were actual friends wouldn't they know what they were doing now via actual talking? Er, not that I do about anyone I was friends with in high school. Being friends requires skills I have not mastered so they all went away. I suppose I'd like to know how they're doing. If they're still alive, mostly. I get morbid at three in the morning and wonder, sometimes.

So I know I should be ignoring all this, not least because someone saying they'll organise it is a million miles from it actually existing, and since when am I likely to turn up? Or indeed be invited. But I keep getting these stupid emails, and they keep making me think, what would I say? These are people I haven't seen since we were 16ish. Some of them remember my name, which is possibly not a good sign, since most of the year were apparently unmemorable. But anything else they might remember about me is at best a flawed reflection of the here now. I'd have to introduce myself.

On the one hand, I'd kind of want all the new data to be a surprise. Like, the person they would expect me to be should naturally be all kinds of awesome. But, on the other hand, then they would be surprised at me, and how there are several kinds of awesome I have not been. And on the gripping hand there's the problem that I might say something and they'd not be surprised, because of course the kid they knew would turn out this way.

Yeah, so, there's no permutation of that as wouldn't suck.

One of my abiding memories of high school is becoming so embarrassed I blushed so bright red my glasses steamed up and then the frames broke and the lenses popped out. I'm occasionally unsure this actually happened, because WTF, but, high school is a mess of memories of new and ever sinking ways to be embarrassed. Plus pain. The bullies that dumped me in a thorn bush weren't in our school year, but they weren't exactly unprecedented. Probably adults give up being bullies or they'd get arrested for it. ... though come to think the guy who punched me in the stomach as an MC Hammer joke was rumoured to have become a policeman.

argh, box of high school memories open, mess everywhere.

There's also the thing where I know what the mirror says but I can ignore it most of the day and most of the week. Seeing that everyone else is this age now would be harder to ignore. :eyeroll:

I try not to do comparisons, but the fact is most of that year grew up, finished education, got jobs, got married, had kids, did at least some proportion of the things they had planned. I'm still, now, as in right now I'm avoiding working on bits that actually quite need it, right this minute now finishing up doing the things we wrote the applications for back in sixth form. That's... a really small proportion of the plan.

And I try not to think about that most days, because I'm here, I'm alive, I'm bumbling onwards, why compare to a plan? Life doesn't have goalposts or a finish line unless you make them up. We just keep going until we stop. I'm still going. Win!

... not feeling the win, today.

So. High school reunion. I keep being emailed to think about it.
If I get invited I'll probably go, because it's not like my packed social schedule would get in the way.
If I don't get invited I'll probably obsess on the idea it secretly happened without me.


... thanks, high school. so helpful.
:eyeroll:
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have things I should be doing right now. All I have managed is reading fic.
Is frustrating, I keep only finding fic where the writer has not mastered paragraphs or where they probably don't own a copy of the films and everyone is weird caricatures or... like, reading fic today is like breaking your diet, and the fic I'm finding is the equivalent of thinking you're getting chocolate cake and then only getting weird waxy brown cake instead. Boo.

I'm trying to read this one story that just had Hawkeye and Coulson track (new to them, enemy) Black Widow down with only the information that she's meeting a buyer in London. From that they look at maps, ask teenagers, and get to the right warehouse. First try. In London.

London is big. Really and sincerely big. I mean, the method of tracking would have been unconvincing had they been in Dereham, which is really and sincerely not big. But London? If they had the information that Black Widow would be meeting her buyers at the Rose and Crown pub in London, they'd still be running all over the place trying to figure out which Rose and Crown. There is a lot of London. All I've done is try and get to a different transport connection, or two museum outings, one Doctor Who exhibition, and two conventions plus a bunch at Heathrow airport, and I have an impression of London as being bloody big. I don't know how SHIELD would track down one person in London, but it would be total needle in a haystack time. A haystack made of needles.

Actually, no, I do know how SHIELD would track: London is the most surveiled place on Earth. CCTV: London has it. The cameras per person is ridiculous. If SHIELD had anything for their facial recognition programs to latch on to then they'd want their target to go to London. They'd see them from multiple angles everywhere.

So if someone sets up a super secret meeting in London my first thought is they want to get caught.

Which almost works, but, unless they send an email with the date, time, place, and details of what they'll be wearing that isn't exactly like hundreds of other people who'll be just passing through right then, they'll still be a pain to find.

OTOH if it was team of Clint and Coulson tracking their partner Black Widow based on only the information she'd be in London, that'd be total broccoli test time. How much information do you need to find the needle in the haystack if you know the needle really, really, really well? But the three of them would be cautious enough about routines that if they spotted a predictable pattern in each other they'd... be left with a dilemma, to point it out so they can fix it or keep it for later for reasons of professional paranoia. How many places on Earth have they got prearranged meetings set up, or safe houses, or routines that let them drop a message no matter how new to a place they are? That'd be fun. Some set of actions obscure enough not to be obvious to outsiders, normal enough not to strike the natives as outsiders at work, and flexible enough to transfer to any new location. Tricky.

This is not what I need to be thinking about today. But I appear to have taken a weekend off. So I'll do proper thinking tomorrow.




Am not permitting self to watch Doctor who until I finish this tiny two thousand word rewrite and have a completed draft. Have only one week to do this in now. Should be easy.

aaaaany time now...

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
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