Monday, August 21, 2006

Obscure Visual Sign of the Week (36)

Yes things lately have been too horrible for us minks to think about obscure visual signs. And you know what, they still are! So this is why this week's obscure visual sign is

War in Progress
Freedom on the March
(pick your choice)
* * *

Besieged and beleagured, I have no choice but to evacuate, at least temporarily. I wanted to blog about my experiences life-modelling in a big financial company and my thoughts about watermelons, but these will have to wait for merrier occasions.

This blog is taking a short holiday. See you back in early September.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Terrorist Mink

I saw them entering the library with two sniffer dogs. I didn't realize that they had come to look for me.

* * *

British Transport Police

Stop/Search Record of Person/Vehicle

Hair: short Hair Brown

Upper: Red shirt
Lower: Dark Jeans
Footwear: Brown Shose (sic)

Build: slim

Self defined ethnic classification: W9 (White Other)

The authority for the stop and search was

Place first stopped (show a junction and approximate distance from):
British Library - 1st floor

The search took place on: 16/8/06 15:31

Object of Search: items connected with terrorism

Grounds for authority: SEC 44

Arrested? No

Officers stopping and searching 0098

* * *

'You match the description of someone against whom severe allegations have been made.' I've been through this before, in a random search for drugs outside Crofton Park Rail. A dog smelled weed my housemates smoked the previous night; the police officers were more apologetic at the time.

Being body-searched by police officers in uniform, in the middle of the library, in front of everyone passing by, is of course humiliating. I tried to see the amusing aspect about it (just when you're feeling the most down, what can cheer you up more than a copper feeling you up - didn't expect this when you went for a short watercooler break ha!). I also know well that this is just a taste of what some people here get all the time, if you look Muslim or middle eastern, I'm not even talking about Arabs/Arab looking Jews in Israel. For me, it's important to know how it feels.

It became less amusing when they said they would take me downstairs to 'chat' with the officer in charge, and that they would have to search my locker and clear my things from the reading room. I started thinking this could go all day, or even... well at least they didn't shoot me in the head 8 times on the spot.

I was happy when they decided to leave me alone.
From now on I'm staying inside Rare Books and Music.

Friday, August 11, 2006

British Library HiKus

Cycling down Malet street,
screaming thoughts of dinner:
Pita bread and Solitude.

* * *
Oh PhD, eternal cycle
of packed lunches, no release:
Dahl, pasta, Dahl.

* * *
Afternoon eye contact in Humanaties
adds much interest to a medieval
endowment inscription.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Peak Oil

Call me an escapist but in these days of meaningless slaughter I prefer to think of the looming apocalypise, which has nothing to do with soliders, borders, rockets or bombs.

"We all see the petroleum economy as the fundamental linchpin of our present democratic society. As cheap oil/energy/gas quietly fades into history, lives around the world will indeed change.

"This real and tangible crisis of supply and demand is now inevitable. Whether the coming crisis arrives in six months or in four years, whether the crisis arrives in a slow, secular fashion or as a cataclysmic "shock," our purpose is the same: we are here to raise awareness of the reality of the current problem and to attempt to address the real issues that are often hidden by political pandering."

It's from the Oil Drum, which looks like a good, informed site. They put Peak Oil at 2005+-4.5. That's bad news. Get your vegetables patch ready.

Unrelated, for those who missed the Guardian's excellent report about soy, read it here. Not for vegans only: as they make clear, whether you know it or not, you're probably eating soy in some sort every day. Bad for you, bad for your fellow humans, bad for the planet.

Towers of London

Drinking beer on the roof of the estate, following London's towers anti-clockwise: the Evil Towers, their shining pulse blinking you into submission; the Gherkin; the Elephant tower blocks; the Budhist tower of silence, the Big Ben, and Parliament; the tower of moving eyes; and finally, Mr. Man's tower, the nest of ruinists. In a city so horizontal, the towers stand like giant sentries. One day I will write more about them.

They were talking about cities in the Amazon: Belem and Manuas, former centres of unimaginable wealth, acquired through the rubber trade. European mansions and opera houses in the Amazon basin: it was quicker to get on the boat to England than to cross the mountains to Lima. A late Colonial folly, ending suddenly as it begun, when the British stole the trees and took the operation to Malasya. And now all that remains is lost splendour in the jungle. Herzog filmed Aguirre, the Wrath of God there; I have to see it yet.

Night had fallen. A fair-haired woman was teaching her child to call the star by name, in Finnish: Tahti, she pointed up, Tahti
Ta-ti said the girl.
Tah-ti, said the woman.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006