Linkblogging and apologies

I’ve posted practically nothing for the last week, for which I apologise. Unfortunately, my wife came down with the ‘flu a few days ago, and then just as she was getting over it she kindly gave it to me, so I first had to look after her then had to look after myself.

(Annoyingly, this one affected my stomach, so I couldn’t just get rid of it with massive amounts of vitamin C as I normally do.)

I’m going to try to get the Big Finish A Week up tonight if I can stay awake, and should have a review of Warren Ellis’ new ‘graphic novella’ up tomorrow. If you really want to read good stuff, though, Bot’swana Beast and pillock are hammering away like mad in the comments to the ‘Second Coming’ post. I’ll post my thoughts on *that* tomorrow, too, as a separate post rather than comments. Sorry for being a bit crap.

Anyway, linkage:

The Mindless Ones sum up Judge Dredd In One Panel .

Kevin Church on Grant Morrison and David Mamet.

Pillock on Iron Man, Ghostface Killa and Paul McCartney . (I agree totally about McCartney, BTW, and think his mid-70s, let’s-have-twenty-melodies-per-song-and-forget-the-lyrics-making-sense period is well overdue for serious reappraisal).

Jennie Rigg on statistics .

Mark Steel on how the current recession is all poor people’s fault. (Incidentally, Steel’s latest book and show is his best yet…)

And Jenn Dolari is requesting webcomic people take part in the transgender day of remembrance . Sadly, trans people are one group against whom it is not only socially acceptable to discriminate but actively encouraged. Stonewall have even nominated Julie Bindel as journalist of the year . This is a woman who seems obsessed to the point of monomania with the idea that transsexuals are some sort of weird fifth column wanting to become women so they can destroy feminism, yet she’s given regular space to spout her batty views in the pages of a ‘respectable’ ‘liberal’ newspaper.

I don’t pretend to understand transsexuality even slightly, but the social acceptability of attacks on transpeople horrifies me, for two reasons. The first reason is that intellectually, I simply think it’s nobody’s fucking business what anyone does to his, her or its body, or how anyone chooses to dress, or anything else that doesn’t directly impact on anyone else’s well-being. I’ve been the subject of enough low-level aggression for how I choose to look over the years – and I could prevent that by having a shave and a haircut and maybe losing a few pounds – that bullying people for being different annoys me on a very visceral level.

And secondly, I know enough transpeople (I can name, right now off the top of my head, at least five transpeople I count as friends or have counted as friends in the past, including a couple with whom I’ve been very close – and that’s assuming all my other friends were born the same gender they present as, as I don’t tend to ask people if they’re trans unless they bring the subject up… ) that I know that no-one would go through the shit they go through on a daily, or sometimes even hourly, basis – let alone the physical and financial trauma of the actual operation unless they had a very, very deep need to do so. I may not understand that need, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Writing that, BTW, brought to mind a great short story I read years ago, A Lonely Impulse by the great Roz Kaveney. She wrote it as part of the anthology, Temps, she co-edited with Neil Gaiman in the late 80s, a sort of Justice-League-meets-Yes-Minister thing about superpowered people working for a government bureaucracy, but in this case it’s very clearly a metaphor for the treatment of transwomen by ‘feminists’ of Bindel’s ilk, at least in part (Roz is trans herself). I just discovered it’s up on her website, and I think everyone should read it.

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