воскресенье, 19 августа 2007 г.

What the F***

For the past hour at least I have been trying to change my profile photo, I think you techie types call it the atavar. My last photo came courtesy of flikr but this time I couldn't seem to upload the new one onto flikr at all. So I moved to photobucket but there were 'illegal' characters in the url whatever that means. I have now resorted to trying blogger help's suggestion of posting the photo here and then doing something I have already forgotten, but will look up again.

F***ing displacement activities: if I wasn't trying to avoid writing an essay on Walter Benjamin's concept of technology I'd be relaxing with a glass of wine and a novel.

Anyway, let's see if I can get this f***ing photo sorted. Ghad zooks

Update: NO! it didn't work, more illegal characters and I can't for the life of me see what crimes they might have committed, no wonder our prisons are full.

All this because I've had my hair cut and now it's 8.30 and I haven't done a stroke of work yet. F.......

четверг, 9 августа 2007 г.

From Gramsci to Boden

I'm currently trying to teach myself Marxist Critical Theory for an exam on the 22nd. Arrgh! I missed half the course last semester so was unable to sit the exam at the right time. Now I'm down for the re-sit and have an essay to do too. It's the last thing I need to complete in order to get my degree and it's hard. Trying to discern the subtle differences between hegemony and ideology; what is 'post' about certain post-Marxist theories; the difference between Marxist, post-Marxist and Marxian and how Marcuse's approach to technology differs from, and is similar to, Benjamin's. Imagine my glee then when, yesterday, the Boden autumn catalogue flipped through the letter box.

The Boden catalogue is full of healthy, cheery people wearing slightly off-trend clothes. Some people might call them classics. Some might call them preppy. I tend to think of them as allotment meets Sunday lunch with the in-laws. There are cheery coloured cardigans with big buttons, flippy skirts and useful jackets. Wide-legged trousers, stripy shirts and sensible boots. Oddly ageing print dresses, an awful lot of applique and things with velvet trim. But the best thing about the Boden catalogue is the questions they ask the models. Here is a selection of questions and answers:

Best place to be in autumn? Somewhere where it's summer; London; Stamford Bridge.

I'm always told off for: talking too much; biting my nails.

Last meal ever would be: Borsch; Roast lamb; Pasta al Forno; Lobster; Sunday roast.

Never have a quiet night in without: Popcorn; a Martini; a good stiff drink.

Best present ever recieved: tickets to Dolly Parton; white roses; my children; land.

Who would you be for a day? A monkey; Demi Moore; Daisy Duke; a rockstar; Bob Marley; Pablo Neruda.

Dreading: turning into my parents; giving birth.

I shouldn't like to but I do: gossip; rubbish t.v.; cheeseburgers; licking stamps.

My two favourite answers are 'a monkey' and 'licking stamps'. The first because of the stretch from who to what, it makes me wonder if there is a particular monkey that she would like to be, which could just about come under 'who', or is it any old monkey? This would really be a what. Here is a girl who thinks nothing of breaking the rules. I'm so glad there are still some people like that around.

The second throws up more questions than it answers: Why does she feel that licking stamps is something she shouldn't like to do? Is there some tacit proscription against such a seemingly innocent pleasure? Is the glue on stamps considered, somehow, dangerous? Or ghastly? Or is it the stamps themselves? Perhaps it has something to do with tongueing the Queen.

I can't think of anyone, or anything, I'd like to be for a day. Except, perhaps, for me on my death-bed. According to Martin Heidegger (early 20th century German existentialist philosopher) one can't become truly authentic until one knows one is going to die. That is until one becomes fully aware of one's own mortality. Which is more than just knowing in theory that we all die eventually. I'd quite like to reach that state of authenticity sooner rather than later, so being my dying self for a day now might help.

I won't bore you, dear readers, by giving my answers to all the questions but I would be jolly interested if you answered one or two of them. And I will tell you this: the thing I'm always being told off for is overcomplicating things. I don't know why this is though.

Well it's back to Marxist critical theory for me now, briefly, and then I'm off to get all my hair cut off.

среда, 25 июля 2007 г.


What an interesting couple of days I've had! We, of the Save Crichton Campus campaign group, have been trying to think of ways to keep the campaign going during the summer holidays. So Bob suggested setting up a group on Facebook, 'do it' I said, and he did. On Monday he patiently set up a group, using my profile, on facebook called Save Glasgow University at Crichton Campus and I set about inviting people to join. I got six members in a few hours and then one of them noticed we'd spelt Crichton wrong! So, as I couldn't edit the title, we had to scrap that group and set up a new one yesterday. Then Bob noticed that Gordon Brown, our new Prime Minister, had joined the facebook community so he invited him to be his friend. Gordon accepted. Bob then invited Mr. Brown to join our group. This morning when I got up Bob rather excitedly told me to check the group page, before I'd even had a cup of tea. I put the kettle on then went to my computer.

There in the members section of the group was, da-da-da, Gordon Brown!!!!! How cool is that? Of only two groups our P. M. has joined one of them is ours. What a scoop. It seems that he is a truly egalitarian Prime Minister interested in keeping education available to everyone. Lets hope the money men take note.

I'm afraid with all this activity I still haven't got round to writing up my hike diary for this blog yet but hope to get it done at some point soon. I know some of you want to know about the baby frog plague. Meanwhile here is a photograph of the four key walkers in our finest at the Graduation Ball.

We are (clockwise from bottom left) Wendy, hike co-ordinator; Robert; Bob and me.

You won't believe the problems I had with that dress but at least it was long enough to hide my hugely puffed up ankles and feet.