Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I pretend that I am doing this right and hope Blogger doesn't explode in my face

["Withiel", as you strange people* seem to insist on calling him, got me to join. I shall assume this is a good thing. Hi.]

*This is not a bad thing

As people may already have seen, Amnesty International's latest report described Guantánamo Bay as "the gulag of our times" and claimed, in short, that US human rights violations in the name of the "War on Terror" were fostering abuses across the world; all this further convinces me that I want to be Irene Khan if I grow up. Anyway, Dick Cheney responded today by saying that they Hurt His Feelings.

"Frankly, I was offended by it," Cheney said in the videotaped interview. "For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously."
Cheney said detainees at Guantanamo "have been well treated, treated humanely and decently."

"Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment," Cheney said. "But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated."

*deep breath* That sort of statement should only really require pointing-and-laughing, but in the spirit of spreading information: Hmm. And hmm. And again, hmm. But then, maybe Cheney's definition of "humanely" is not the same as our Earth definition.

Personally, I'm convinced the only reason nobody's tried to assassinate Bush yet is that they got halfway out of the door before realising it would make Cheney president.

On a completely different note, linkage for anyone needing further proof that the growing liberalisation of Western society since the 1960s can only be a good thing: scans from a book given to teenage girls in the early '50s on how to be the perfect woman. With, apparently, no brain. We've come a long way.

Monday, May 30, 2005

No Blood for Strips of Silicone!

Found this article in the Sunday Telegraph on 29 May.


It's like, I dunno, Coca Cola calling McDonald's unhealthy.

But anyhow. I mentioned this to certain individuals at college and I must say I did enjoy watching them backpedal furiously, saying that it's "justified" profiteering because they can now send 70% of the money from the wristbands to charity. Lesser of two evils and all that.

Only thing is, it isn't the lesser of two evils at all. It's the same evil that is among what the people beind MPH seek to stamp out but in a different place. Again, the end appears to be justifying the means. Again, we see double standards - slave labour is bad unless the fruits of said slave labour go to good causes. I can just see hundreds of the socialite munters who blindly back the campaign looking to boost their profiles making a big deal about whether they should cast aside their wristbands and boycott it as they do Tesco's and M&S for their tenuous links to Israel (which is unquestionably evil, apparently.) In fact, the white silicone indulgences could feasibly become a self-feeding cycle whereby the people in charge of the campaign pocket a few pence here, a few pence there, doing good, but never quite completely stamping out poverty. It could be quite profitable, couldn't it?

And another thought - Suppose that the yellow "Live Strong" anti-cancer wristbands are made in sweatshops as well. The "lesser of two evils" writ doesn't run here either. If it is unethical for people in developed countries to exploit those in developing countries for profit and consumer goods, then how is it any less unethical for people in developed countries to exploit those in developing countries to help cure or prevent cancer in developed countries? It's the same thing, is it not, enslaving one group of people for the benefit of another?

This whole affair only comfirms my suspicion that with self-publicising celebrity socialites in charge of the campaign, the left hand just doesn't know what the right is doing.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


For the sake of public safety, I feel that I should point out that I am, once again, posting drunk.

That is all.

And yet more...

Click for non-width-mutilated.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Click the image for decent-sized

Needed to get this one out of my head...

I make no claim to have taken the original photographs.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Why I Love the /Cedar City Daily News/

Today (Friday 20th May 2005) in "Letters to the Editor":

Homosexuality harms society

In view of the recent event that has transpired in England, I guess we should all follow suit and do as the British have done. Why not?

We should all accept homosexual marriage as the normal marriage(1). In fact, we should even go one step farther(2) and pass a law where it is illegal to have a heterosexual marriage(3). We should all have to become homosexual(4).

Just think of the problems it would solve(5). I wonder what the thoughts of the last remaining person on Earth would be.(6)

Homosexuals want society to protect them(7), but homosexuality is the very thing that would destroy society(8). If everyone was(9) a homosexual there would eventually be no society(10).

Paul Christensen
Washington City, Utah

What is wrong with this letter

(1) Homosexual marriage is not being presented as the "normal" marriage; homosexuals are what those of us who understand mathematics like to call a "minority".

(2) Farther: tangible - physical distance. Further: abstract - degree or time.

(3) Allowing gays to marry poses no threat to the long-established tradition of heterosexual matrimony, which is instinctively endorsed by heterosexual couples (the "majority" (this means there are more of them)).

(4) Gay marriage puts no pressure on heterosexuals to alter their fundamental psyche and "become homosexual"; it is merely a formalisation of a relationship which is already accepted. If this were a question of the legalisation of homosexuality, the argument might have some logical grounding.

(5) Homosexuality does not purport to solve any "problems". Is there a claim or policy in mind here, or is it just brain-dead, cut-and-paste rhetoric? (Having said that, I can think of at least one problem that homosexuality could help prevent, particularly with the spread of Catholicism and Mormonism: overpopulation.)

(6) Rhetorical questions with... no question marks?

(7) There is a difference between "protection" and the cessation of persecution.

(8) What an extremely clever paradox! Logical grounding please?

(9) Conditional, therefore "were" rather than "was".

(10) I assume this is the logic behind assertion (8); i.e. (though this is not made explicit) that gays can't make babies. Please note point (1) where I describe homosexuals as a "minority": approx. proportion of gay men in the USA is 6%, lesbians 5.5%, with figures being greater in the city and smaller in rural regions (source). So although the point is valid, it is unrealistic to imagine that gay marriage will lead to an end in sexual reproduction. Surely homosexuals were not reproducing sexually anyway? Just because gay marriage did not exist, does not mean that a) they did not have homosexual relationships or b) they chose to reporoduce with a member of the opposite sex.

It warms my heart to see that freedom of speech is being kept alive.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

URGENT: National Identity Register Bill Update

"Dear friends,

I'm writing to you now as the Government prepares to steamroller its "Identity Cards" Bill through Parliament. Each one of you can do something immediately that will help in the fight against this unnecessary, oppressive and invasive legislation.

Even the polls which the Government portray as indicating 'overwhelming support' for ID cards clearly indicate that there are 3 to 4 million people in Britain who are strongly opposed to ID cards. What I would like you to do now is quite simple. Get as many of these people (and others) as you can to sign NO2ID's petition before the Second Reading of the Bill in early June.

When we tried this last year, we were hundreds strong and thousands signed in two weeks - now we are ten thousands strong our impact should be that much greater.

Two ways to go about this are:

1) Promote the petition on your website, blog, lists or (best of all) by e-mail to people you know - please do not spam! A personal request to just five friends or colleagues will take just a few minutes. The online petition is at http://www.no2id-petition.net/.

2) Attached to this mail is a PDF copy of our petition, a downloadable version is available at http://www.no2id.net/downloads/forms/NO2ID%20Petition.pdf. Print it out and collect as many names and addresses as you can - some supporters have already sent in dozens gathered from their work, college, church or pub in just a few hours. The address to send completed sheets to is on the bottom of the page. Don't worry if you can't fill a sheet, send us what you have got.

Thank you for helping us. Please act now.

Phil Booth
National Coordinator, NO2ID

Those links again:
Online petition at
Printable petition form at

If you do nothing else to protect our fundamental rights of privacy and anonymity in the United Kingdom, at least act now, and sign this petition.


Conspicuously Compassionate Con-artists

Noticed these "MAKEpovertyHISTORY" armbands everyone seems to tote about just to show how caring and right-on they are?

I fucking hate them, and their cunting strips of white silicone!

I mean, the preachy tone that some of the MPH movement's exponents give off is worrisome. You could have just had a £50 hooker in the Bentley, had your way with her, snorted cocaine off her tits, and then beat her up and left her cunny-sore and bloodstained on the kerb, but as long as you have the little MPH armband you are officially a Nice Person.

Are you a failing celebrity (read: socialite munter) and need to boost your profile? No Problem! Just record a horrendous, heart-wrenchingly compassionate little number and announce that you'll (allegedly) donate the profits to charity, stick some starving kids in the video just for fun and profit (you evil exploitative little fuck, you!) cut, print, and build. You'll rake in the cash and your popularity will shoot up exponentially. Hopefully you'll get a hard core of fanboys (all of whom, of course, are equally conspicuously compassionate) who can administer the moral smackdown to anyone who accuses you of profile-mongering.

Oh, and you don't have to give all that money to good causes you know... Just claim it, and cover up the rest. Done right, you might make enough to buy yourself a brand-spanking-new Saleen S7 to go with the Bentley and the Mercedes Maybach and the Hummer H2 you keep in your cathedral-sized garage! Nobody will ever notice, and you cannot put a foot wrong in the tabloid press for a long, long time.

(Who in the blue fuck is Ms. Dynamite anyhow? Didn't she fade into obscurity back in 2001?)

And another thing - Ever noticed the initiatives about which everyone is so conspicuously compassionate? Stopping AIDS? Boycotting companies that have links, however sixth-hand and tenuous, to repressive regimes? What are people doing to bring clean water to the millions who can't have a glass of it? We don't see any pop singers recording things like "I Give a Shit About Dysentery" and wearing brown lapel ribbons, do we? Noooo! This further supports my belief that the whole conspicuously compassionate movement is a giant publicity stunt.

(Veins adds that this "end justifies the means" rhetoric is dangerous; I agree.)

I went to a fair trade protest in London the other week. It started off in Westminster Abbey, where we got to listen to the obligatory folky-type World Music and bad, over-sentimental poetry, and then some speeches. Now one of these speeches, by a leading South African bishop or church official, set out pretty logical arguments as to why paying one's workers in 3W countries made economic sense, but then buried it with a huge fucking guilt trip.

Credibilty = Credibility - 27.

I mentioned this to a person I was with, who said that "Maybe you should feel fucking guilty about it!!" and flounced off before I could point out that guilt doesn't cure AIDS or provide clean water or set up free and fair democratic elections.

I mentioned this to another person later on and they refused to listen to me, claiming "It's for a good cause so you cannot criticise it." I was then accused of being a "cynical right-winger" and all but told to fuck off to Auschwitz where I belonged.

Maybe if people quit getting all het up and emotional and thought for themselves then all these Noble and Charitable causes would have more credibility... People are more easily swayed by logic than by emotionality. Well, they should be at least. But they're not. Why? Because people are afraid of independent thought. The whole conspicuously compassionate movement has such a witch-hunt mentality at times, as I have seen, that people would rather shut up and be thought an idiot than open their mouths and remove all doubt from the minds of their fellow crusaders.

People feel guilty about AIDS/starvation/child soldiers/trade justice, so they give to charities and buy five-inch strips of silicone. But the effects of AIDS/starvations/3W debt make it so easy for victims to look suffering and sorrowful, don't they? Let's see any telethons show images of dehydrated corpses with diarrhoea stains down their thighs, eh? "People need to be told about it!" People would probably deride it as sick and exploitative, even though it's just "showing people the nature of the problem." And it's no more exploitative than snapping pictures of starving children, which is also "showing people the nature of the problem." Of course, the "massively-hearted" celebrities probably won't go near anything that icky except to pour scorn on it; look at what wanking a pig did to Rebecca Loos. So imagine what living for six months in a cholera-crippled African village digging a well would do to them!

Oh, and if anyone's going to sock me with an overwrought emotional outpouring and blistering accusations about how I "cannot possibly know what it's like," you can go rape a rope. I only listen to well-thought-through ideas.

Rant over.

The United States of Misinformation

The big news story in Utah at the moment:


No shitting here. Apparently this is dangerous because when it gets hot, all the hills are going to catch fire due to excess dry vegetation... which I suppose is newsworthy, but the headline still struck me as amusing.

I watched CNN when I got into the country in the hopes of finding out the results of the UK General Election. To my surprise and delight, CNN actually covered the story! Their reporting detailed that:
1. Tony Blair's Labour Party had won an historic third term in government
2. Mr. Blair promised in a victory speech to prioritise domestic affairs this term
Er... is that all? What about the results of the other main parties? The reduced Labour majority? International implications of this victory? Even the implications to the US of this victory? But no, they were on to the next Big Story: It's Mother's Day in a Few Days. Are there not, perhaps, more important stories to be covering? Yes: their headline story, President Bush Tours Europe.

A brief rundown of CNN coverage that day:
1. Dubya tours Europe for 60th anniversary of VE (approx 60 secs of coverage)
2. Ambiguous suspicion of preparation for nuclear testing in North Korea (approx 30 secs)
3. UK General Election, including Dubya's failure to make a statement yet (approx 20 secs)
4. Mother's Day, including useless statistics on American expenditure for same (approx 2 mins)
5. Recruitment boom indicates regrowth of American economy (approx 30 secs)
Then it was all repeated, over and over. I watched it five times, hoping they would get past the headlines to some story development or in-depth analysis. Some hope.

If reporting is consistently sacrificed to ratings, and an entire news network dedicated to ADHD-style "news in brief" headline-loops, is it any wonder this country is so out of touch and backward regarding foreign, and many internal, policies?


(See also: http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=cnn_sucks)


[N.B. This post is copied almost verbatim from one I made in the forums, because I am an uninspired wanker.]

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More imageness.

Click for big due to size fascism of saney's design.
(Old ink drawing scanned, printed out, coloured and rescanned. Didn't work as well as I'd hoped, although the ink does turn out to be waterproof)

EDIT: Fixed - the original one's just killed my ripway bandwidth for the day, though.

Dear me, I am being generous today.

Cthulhu vs Superman Painting Finished!

After reading the Grant Morrison interview about All-Star Superman where he mentioned Cthulhu and Superman representing some sort of unsolvable equation of icons (because Superman always wins, but Cthulhu is ineluctable and inoxerable), I started thinking about this image as, well, an image. The two ideas are so opposite in nature and fictional environment that together they're almost a sort of Yin-Yang construction. Especially considering the fact that they're both aliens that have fallen to Earth at some unspecified time in the past.
Therefore, with out further ado...

Click the image for Squamous Immensity!

Monday, May 16, 2005


Government set to push through ID card legislation.

As opposed to ranting about this, as you've no doubt come to expect, I'm going to throw this one open - what do you reckon we can actually do about it? Personally, I say mass demonstration while burning the bloody things very obviously, but as they'll cost about £30 there are many who won't dare. Come on, comment away...we don't bite.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Your daily dose of Headsick and Hatred.

It's like Orwell's Two Minute Hate, only with a point.


And this should make you laugh, and this should make you cheer.

(Thanks to Laura for the links.)

Some real posts will be coming soon, just as soon as I've finished the Jenny Everywhere story I'm working on.

Furthermore, if you're in the Stokenchurch area tonight, get your arse down to Studley Green Community Centre to see myself, saney, Talyn and others perform as The And The Horse You Rode In Ons. Turn up around seven, tickets are four pounds on the door. Bring a bottle, or preferably many bottles.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Well, I'm a Hippy.

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for? v2

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

     Labour 1
Conservative -37     
     Liberal Democrat 97
UKIP -9     
     Green 107

You should vote: Green

The Green Party, which is of course strong on environmental issues, takes a strong position on welfare issues, but was firmly against the war in Iraq. Other key concerns are cannabis, where the party takes a liberal line, and foxhunting, which unsurprisingly the Greens are firmly against. The Greens are also anti-Europe.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

I am of course a Liberal, really. Interesting demonstration of how omission can affect outcome, though...

Now scroll down and read some real posts.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Work in Progress

I am writing a thirty-minute one-act play for one of my theatre companies' internal festivals back in Blighty. The format is a sonnet, with one quatrain presented prior to each of the three scenes. The content of the scene is drawn from the preceding stanza. The final couplet should sum up the entire piece.

The play will be a study into three different relationships, one overtly sexual and two theoretically Platonic: the heterosexual lovers, the friends, and the mentor and students; it will attempt to examine the isolation, uncertainty, and loneliness inherent in each.

Here are the first eight lines of the source poem, which I am currently in the process of writing. Thoughts and comments will be appreciated/shot down without mercy.

Like beggars groping blindly in the twilight,
In search of riches lost they'd never gained,
So do we stumble, through a red room, lost, unknown, in fright,
Pursuing love's fruit just beyond the hand.

But then again, when we depend on friends
To spend and lend, and share where lovers smother,
And make it known our brain and bone be not alone,
We find ourself at loss to credit others.

Before the blood sport commences, please be aware that line three has too many syllables on purpose, and that I do mean "ourself" and not "ourselves".


Thursday, May 05, 2005

If you're not already knowing of the greatness that is Mike Mignola

Go and have a look at this, and try to ignore the crappy flash ruination of some wonderful art.

If you're reading this....

...you'd better have either just come back from voting, or are just about to go out to do so. If not, I'm going to come to your house and cut you.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Pre-Election Post

Because ~X~ has failed to do our election coverage, I'm knocking up a quick election guide. As you might have guessed, we've got a bit of a bias towards the old Lib Dems around these parts. However, we're dedicated to providing an unbiased service* to our lovely readers, we've cunningly gathered up** all the manifestoes for your reading pleasure.

*this is what's commonly known as "a lie".
**leeched from the bbc website.







Furthermore, actually voting is actually rather important this time: Mr. Blair has stated that he'll let the public decide whether or not he lied over Iraq or not, effectively converting any vote for Labour into a tacit approval for his policy of setting fire to small sandy countries for no appreciable reason. Furthermore, there's not much point voting for Mr. Howard, as he's managed to make himself look even more war-hungry than the Prime Minister by saying that he'd have gone to war even if he'd known that there were no WMDs there. And, I hasten to add, condemned the minimum wage as a "dangerous" measure before its introduction. UKIP co-founder Nigel Farage is on record as saying that "We never expected the nig-nogs to vote for us", and I can't actually be bothered to spend any more time on the loony nationalist shites, so I'll just give you this to read (Thanks to Laura for that one). It's probably not best to mention the BNP anywhere near me, unless you've got limbs you just don't need any more.
I'm voting Liberal Democrat, because I honestly believe them to be the "real alternative" - I'll not vote Labour because of Iraq and terror legislation and Order 4, although I do live in a Conservative stronghold, and hope for an Old Labour back-bench revolution. I still say we hold Blair down and make him read the back of his party membership card under the influence of Sodium Pentothal. Ideally, I'd want to see the Green Party in power, because they're easily the most radical leftist major party, but there's little chance of them getting in, and the two "main" parties seem so essentially dangerous that I can't risk letting either Scum ('Red')or Worse Than Scum (Blue) getting in.
Whatever you do, even if you vote for the Conservative Party Hate and Tax Cuts or spoil your ballot, vote for something: not because people died to allow you the right to vote, or because it's your duty, but because if you don't turn up, the fascists with metal plates in their heads will. It's not as if you can't protest by ballot-spoiling rather than be counted among the "apathetic", after all.
Warren Ellis just wrote on his BAD SIGNAL email journal: ...for God's sake, either vote or make bombs. If you're
incapable of either, then you don't get to have an
opinion on what happens after. Simple as that.

And I agree.

If you don't, tell me at rhexis.stealthsuit@gmail.com or in the forums.
I'm listening.

THIS JUST IN: "We've done our best to serve our country" ~ T.Blair - on the news just now: In which case, if this is the best you can do, you can sod right off to whatever focus group spawned your centre-right fuckwittery, and satisfy your bizarre urges by chucking fireworks into a sandbox or something.

This idea pleases me muchly


Tomorrow we say goodbye to Sable "Indecent Exposure" X. Veins, Substance Abuser, Tramp Impersonator and co-inventor of Pocket Beer, who departs for six months to Utah, in order to sit around a replica Shakesperian town and play Madrigals on the lute. Of course, The Defendant claims that he'll continue to post on this website when he can, so it's not so much goodbye as it is "flangebaskets". Those of us currently retaining conciousness all wish him good luck. Good luck!

Sable "Specimen B." X. Veins. This is really what he looks like after a night on the piss. No joke.


P.S. I'll stop posting semi-sentimental claptrap and/or filler soon and write something real, I promise.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

New Forums

Some of the more observant readers may have noticed the new "Community" link on the sidebar on the right. I encourage everyone reading this to go and join these forums and tell us what you really think of us, post your own creative work, or just chat.

Go on, you might even like it.

Open Letter to South Bucks District Council

Dear Sir or Madam,


I have recently completed a contract of employment at a chemical R&D and Production facility in Marlow, and as part of my duties was required to dispose of various grades of hazardous and commercial waste.

It has come to my attention that my former employers, along with many other industrial establishments on the estate, throw out a large quantity of paper and cardboard; shredded documentation, superfluous papers, and spent packaging is all dropped into a single, generic "non-hazardous" skip. Invariably, over half the volume of this recepticle is occupied by recyclable paper waste.

There is a second "non-haz" skip on site, exclusively for the collection of scrap metal, collected by local scrap merchants when full, and for which limited but apparently worthwhile remuneration can be acquired. Since it is clear that industry lacks the general initiative to seperate recyclable wastes without financial incentive and/or saving of extra effort, I write to inquire as to whether there is a Council service or subsidy available to remedy the current, inadequate situation.

If such a scheme exists, how might local firms go about subscribing to it?

Furthermore, I would recommend the introduction of said scheme to all industrial and large commercial establishments within the Council's jurisdiction.



The Deluder -- Issue 0 -- 2004

Please enjoy this fragment of The Deluder, a pre-Rhexis satirical magazine that Withiel and I never quite got round to publishing. Hopefully Mr. Black will pull his finger out and get on with UHM, his latest attempt at physical journalism.


"Give me money" was the Hero's first comment unto the assembled slack-jawed faithful, a witty allusion to his early rejoinder of "Give me money" in response to being forcibly paraded under Archbishop Dim Tingle's monstrous ersatz penises outside the Queen's Hall.

Quoth the compensating capitane in reference to the gargantuan phallic totems placed under the Queen's Nose, "We built them to make my cock look bigger." It seems that what with Matt Dropout being a Hero of the People of England, the Headmastur's [sic] own penile inadequacy would otherwise be uncomfortably exposed; "I have a small dick," clarified Dim.

When later asked for an interview on his scholastic experiences at the now-artificially-well-endowed schola regia grammatica wycombiensis, Matt Dropout, Hero of the People of England, replied "Give me money" before galloping off, beating his alpha-dominant chest, and wagging his heroic tail, his fly-half's fly-swat, to join the RGS HW (Really Great Schoolmaster, Huge Willy) rugby troupe for their badly needed fix of ego-inflation.

The pride's last official ego-trip had been some weeks ago, when the Rugby World Beaker had visited the school. The Deluder interviewed Head Gameskeeper Inspector Hagrid Gould on the occasion.

"We had to work for hours beforehand, putting newspapers down on the floor of the Hall, setting up water troughs, polishing their coats. But then some joke got let in with a throwing stick and wreaked merry havoc amongst our careful preparations - rugby players flying everywhere, tearing their shirts off, desperately trying to catch the bloody stick - twelve innocent photogrpahers had to be taken to Wycombe Prison Hopsital to be innoculated against rabies..." (the interview broke of as the Inspector vanished into thin air with a parting comment of "Ooh, I shouldn't a tole you tha'..." and the Editor received a disturbing phone call)

There was, however, little sign of foul play beneath Tingle's tented manhoods (titled "Morning Wood" and "Trouser Tent", and now part of the [wall insulation of] the prestigious Saatchi collection) - the RGS Rugger Buggers seemed perfectly contented, lapping up water from a communal lavatory bowl, sniffing each other's jock-straps, and making witty small-talk along the lines of "Ug" and "Grr" with the adoring audience.

The entire squad was later found outside in a pool of vomit with their tongues cemented to a partially-digested ice-sculpture encapsulating a suspiciously-empty bottle of Schnapps.


£10,000 was the reported cost to Dinglevania's coffers (those mysterious vaults which apparently contain a teeny tiny black hole).

"We chose to board up the area under the foyer of the Queen's Hall for two reasons: firstly, to provide the foyer with a much-needed foyer, and secondly, because it made it look really, really fucking dreadful..."


Why Igor Stravinsky is Unspeakably Cool

*drops literary trow*

*shits on The Rhexis*

*narrates self*

1. His name is Igor (bar 0)

2. Harmonically ungrammatical resolution of over-suspended notes, such as Oboe II (bar 2) which should fall to an F#, but but obstinately remains on G.

3. Subtle of addition of 2nds as clash notes into otherwise-conventional chords, such as triple-stopped open strings adding an A to the Gmaj chord (bar 3).

4. Triple-stopping (bar 3).

5. Triple-stopping of open strings (bar 3).

6.Over-sustained clash note held by viola during Cycle of Fifths (bar 7-9)

Does anybody know what piece I was writing about, because I can't remember.

Also, can anybody tell me with absolute certainty which preposition "partake" takes? I have seen it as both "of" and "in", more usually of, but instinct suggests in...

The Red-Room, or, "Theres's a Ghost in my Vagina"

In an attempt to break the Black/Glands duopoly that seems to have been propagated throughout the journal in a manner similar to the virulent spread of the plague of Converse All-Stars, let's see what you make of this old chestnut.

Commentary: The Red-Room, Jane Eyre, prior to Jane's Hallucinations

This passage is emblematic of Jane's struggle with a misruled, oppressive patriarchy, and her search for self-definition in an antagonistic environment.

Jane's apprehensive curiosity in the opening of the passage, expressed in the unsettling statement "the red-room was a spare chamber, very seldom slept in… yet it was one of the largest and stateliest" creates a threatening sense of mystery, augmented by intensely Gothic descriptions. The room is "chilled… silent… solemn", and Mrs. Reed's jewel box is labelled a "casket", all evoking connotations of mortality. Postponement of the revelation that this is the very room in which Mr. Reed died highlights its significance: the death of the patriarch creating a power vacuum inadequately filled by the agents of his deceased authority, John and Mrs. Reed.

This inadequacy is described in Jane's petulant account of the relationship between these two figures. John Reed, who is depicted as a grotesque caricature of masculinity, is sadistically destructive: "he twisted the necks of the pigeons, killed the pea-chicks… stripped the buds off the choicest plants"; casually misogynistic, in that "he called his mother 'old girl'… reviled her for her dark skin"; and contemptuously hypocritical - "he reviled her for her dark skin, similar to his own". Yet "no one thwarted, much less punished" John. Since he is the lone male of the household, Mrs. Reed does not oppose him; on the contrary, she displays a masochistic adoration of her son:

"John… bluntly disregarded her wishes; not unfrequently tore
and spoiled her silk attire; and yet was still 'her own darling'."

Jane displays a similarly masochistic approach to male relationships later in the narrative, notably in her attachments to Rochester and St John, both of whom hold sway over her, in spite of the emotional damage and restriction of freedom she realises each could bring.

This desperate need for patriarchal nurture and authority, which is expressed in the plaintive "I doubted not - had never doubted - that if Mr. Reed had been alive he would have treated me kindly", is precisely what Mrs. Reed fails to provide. She lacks the inclination to nurture her ward, and shows great "aversion" to Jane, the "scape-goat of the nursery"; she lacks the power to control her environment, as she is but a female agent of the patriarchy, and her limited capabilities are undermined by John's flagrant misuse of his power over her. As a result of these experiences, it is little wonder that Jane is later uncomfortable with the idea of domination by a male authority, hence her abrupt desertion of both Rochester (albeit due to his intended bigamy) and St John in turn - lest they force her to abandon the independence of her identity.

As a Bildungsroman, the development of Jane's identity is a prevalent theme throughout the novel; the red-room in particular elucidates Jane's struggle with her id, that facet of personality comprising primeval urges, atavistic desires, and hostile rebellion.

Furthermore, the Gothic furnishing, with its connotations of insanity and the occult, provides an effective precursor to Jane's paroxysms of rage. The bed is a "tabernacle", implying a preternatural spirituality, its "massive pillars" phallic emblems representing the patriarchy, as later when Brockelhurst and St John are similarly described as pillars. The coloration is strongly uterine, primarily reds and flesh tones, with "crimson cloth", and a "blush of pink", alluding to the belief that hysteria was caused by the clitoris, and that female insanity sprang from this region of the body.

The psychological instability of the passage is clearly established when Jane fails to recognise her own reflection, which she terms "the strange little figure there gazing at me", evoking a sense of division of the self, as though Jane were examining her own subconscious. The mesmerised tone of Jane's commentary continues when she describes the reflection as "half-fairy, half-imp", thus defining this image of herself as sinister, amoral, almost inhuman - a representation of the perfidious id. Her disturbed thoughts are depicted as "a dark deposit in a turbid well", an ominous emblem for the wild hysteria that soon rises to the surface of Jane's consciousness as her agitation increases.

Jane is frustrated by her constant abuse at the hands of those whom she strives to be accepted by:

"I dared commit no fault: I strove to fulfil every duty; and I was termed naughty and tiresome, sullen and sneaking, from morning to noon, and from noon to night."

Reflection on the injustice of her experiences quickly erupts into a furious mental torrent: "Why was I always suffering, always brow-beaten, always accused, forever condemned…" The blind rage that Jane exhibits is further evoked by the sentence structure of this section: divided into brief, thrusting, repetitive phrases, providing an explosive potency to the passage, and indicating her mental turmoil.

Furthermore, the broken, stumbling tension foregrounded by the fractured punctuation implies that the narrative focalisation of this anger is Jane the child. This demonstrates the immediate, overwrought pain of the juvenile bursting through the calmer control of the ironic, self-controlled adult narrator, as she is forced to relive her childhood traumas. The pyrotechnic display of Jane's innate rebelliousness, the first stage in the evolution of her personality, draws parallels with Bertha - the novel's epitome of feminine insanity, governed entirely by her id. However, she regains some semblance of emotional control, and the cooler logic of the mature Jane ("now, at the distance of - I will not say how many years, I see it clearly") interprets the inchoate rage of childhood into a meaningful comprehension:

"I was a discord at Gateshead Hall."

This bitter epiphany perfectly encapsulates Jane's position in society. Her existence in the class hinterland - orphaned daughter of a clergyman - means she does not quite belong to either the upper or the lower classes. In addition, it defines her inherent difference from the rest of her 'family'. Her cousins are presented as spoilt and decadent, in particular Georgiana, whose beauty (Jane declares, with evident bile) "seemed to purchase indemnity for every fault". This demonstrates the cosmetic superficiality of the status quo, in that it fails to recognise Jane's greater intellectual and startlingly individualistic worth. She strives to prove this through her strong moral standpoint and independence when, for example, she leaves Mr. Brocklehurst following his sacrilegious second offer of marriage.

Yet this quest for independence comes at a price, and it is here that Brontë first vividly depicts the nature of Jane's internal and external conflicts.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Every sperm is sacred?

Anyone know what this one's view on contraception is? I think I can guess. Is it possible to level a corporate murder suit at the RC church?

Furthermore, are wet-dreams sinful? Masturbation? How about if your balls get too warm, and the zygotes expire? What about working with X-rays? Surely just being alive is a sin, because the bloody tadpoles only live for a few days anyway? Of course, being alive is a sin anyway, after all the business with the "don't eat that" and the "IQ=bad, so I'm cursing all your children."

Logical long-jump, anyone?