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THIS scares the shit out of me. If it didn't scare the shit out of you, I would be utterly banjaxed. Well, I would at least *look* at you funny.

The government may tell you that it is merely monitoring the internet for signs of terrorism or whatever the current Big Bad is -- Irish republicanism, communism, an unnatural love of cheesegraters -- there's always something. But the thing with information is that governments will *use* it.

Do you trust your government right now? The government that was so lax on regulation that it allowed fatcat bankers to develop the equivalent of mortgage DDT and spray it around the entire global financial system? The government that let top secret photographs be sold on a camera on eBay? The government that might possibly be able to find its arse with both hands, but only with an instructional video, a torch and a report from four focus groups on arse-hand relational strategy.

They will use the information against you. It will leak. It will be misattributed. It will be lost. It will be sold to whatever dodgy fuck just gave the party £100,000 and wants to target their sales force at you.

Do you want to apply for a job only to have the HR fellow ask you why you did that search for "giant cocks" on google when you were 15? Or 30? Or ask about that email where you admitted you went out and got twatted on something illegal all weekend? Hell, I've drunk-googled many, many embarrassing things. I've sober-googled many embarrassing things. The human brain's capacity for curiosity tag-teamed with lewdness is legendary.

And don't go telling me "if you don't do anything wrong you've got nothing to fear". I am so sick of that half-wit excuse for wilful blindness that I could scream. You've got nothing to fear only if you're the one in control of the definition of what "wrong" is. And here's the clue: you're *not*.

We already live our lives in public. Our movements can be tracked, our spending monitored, our health records scrutinised. If you have a blog, even more so. It's already a calculation, a dare, putting this much on public view, and guessing that you can front out whatever's coming. Do you want them to be able to access even more of your soul?

I have a package at the Post Office. I've been avoiding collecting it since Saturday because I am afraid I will discover I've been drunk ordering off Amazon again.

I have spent a ridiculous amount at Amazon in the past two months. I always do this when I feel like I am hurtling downhill on a bike with no brakes, which is what my life feels like at the moment. Work is uncertain, my house is a shed...

The one good thing about the credit crunch is that it makes me look prescient. I needed to take out an arse-squinchingly large loan to repair my house, and I did it 18 months ago instead of waiting until I knew for sure I'd found a builder. I was berated for this and then urged to put it in a high-interest savings account, like the one at Iceland's Landsbanki, which I failed to do. I left it in the only bank in the country which doesn't have bloody huge liquidity problems. And now the loan which I would never be able to obtain if I were to apply for it today is sitting in an account and covered by credit guarantees. Go me! Laziness can pay!

The financial meltdown is the most interesting story I can remember reading in, well, ever. There isn't a single say that goes by without one of my colleagues saying something along the lines of :::hushed tones::: "Oh god, NOW we're screwed", and then the next day it just gets worse. And worse in new and unpredictable ways.

Or as the sungod often says "FACK-in HELL"

I keep feeling the urge to rewrite newspaper headlines in l33t and lolcat just because it's the only way to deal with the endless deluge of bad news.

"Internashunal finans - ur doin it wrong"
"Ur penshun. I has it."
"Iceland pwned. Pls send hard licker"
"I can has no money"
"I'm in ur markets, losin ur wedge"
"All your base rates are belong to us"

Seriously. How can a *country* go bust? Iceland, I hope you enjoyed the party.

* * *
Today's song for rocktober is this:
Move On by Abba
This is one of the songs from Abba - The Album, which was the first album I was ever given. I think I have managed to cut off the truly excruciating spoken word intro, an intro which is only not the nadir of 20th century music thanks to All Saints' Never Ever. Move On asks some very pertinent questions and tells me useful things like life being like wind. I have often thought that life is much like a bout of wind. Particularly when listening to politicians.

It's like my anthem. Like a roller in the OH-SHUN life is MO-SHUN! Move ooooooonI love this in a very uncomplicated, unironic way. I just love it. And the mockers can fuck right off.

* * *
I went to the football with my dad on Sunday again, but it was a very different experience. The team won (though they played a bit shit, and Spurs should've won), but every once so often there was this weird sound coming from some of the people around me, and I was like "WTF are they doing?" I just found out this morning what they were doing and now I never want to go again. Either that or go again and take a cricket bat with me so I can pound the shit out of the people who were doing it. Those utter, utter, disgusting pricks.

I think this might violate several anti-hooligan policies though.

* * *
Whenever I buy an embarrassing book at Waterstone's or Borders or whatever, I still get the urge to show the person in the shop that I am not a terrible philistine/geek/sad old cow or whatever, by chucking it in a three for one deal with the most pretentious and/or hardcore fashionable book I possibly can. So I never buy a book by Marion Keays or Lisa Jewell without also buying some poncey literary fiction, or Georges Perec in the original French or summat -- in case the book store worker thinks I am stupid or shallow. If you can explain why I should give a toss what a perfectly pleasant stranger thinks, answers on a postcard please. I've already thought of "Because I am stupid that way."

In accordance with that principle, having offered you Move On by Abba, I offer the following slice of superb electronica, which is precision engineered to make you wave a glowstick in the air and shake your arse.

Anthepic (We Have Taken Over) by The Japanese Popstars, from the album We Just Are.
Even if you don't like the whole thing, please take my advice, slide your iTunes to the 4m25s mark, when the record quiets to a mantra of We have taken over you, just like you asked us to, and then at 5m12s it kicks back in like donkey on PCP with a glorious fat 90s Belgian-style synth sound
(kids! do not give donkeys PCP! You'll get done by the RSPCA. Take it yourselves and listen to this instead)

* * *
I have a shiny new fandom. Well, it's an old fandom because I've always loved it but I'm still at the stage where you discover there's all this amazing fiction on the intarwebz for it, and kinkmemes and ficathons, and it's like diving into a warm pool on a sunny day and just sculling about in the wondrousness of it all. I do worry that it's a symptom of being fed up though because I've been here before. I can't call it depression because I don't want to cede that much ground to it. You know, it's nothing major, just three verses and a chorus of "why am I so rubbish?"

I just want to tell myself to go out and play in the sunshine. Maybe I'll go and buy something expensive that I can't afford tomorrow because that solves EVERYTHING. As Iceland could tell you.

* * *
And finally because I love you and want you to be happy -- though not if you try to hug me, because I don't want to DO hugging, not even with J, M and S, who I would bury bodies for. Seriously, why do people do that? As if I would like hugging if only I discovered the wonders of violating the personal space bubble (roughly the size of Basingstoke) with someone who is going to *airkiss* me? Get to fuck.

The Scots produce the best folk-pop music in the world. That is a FACT. FACT is what it is. King Creosote is a god among men and you should buy his records. They will make you happy. There are two on iTunes, KC Rules OK and Bombshell. He is not rich. He appears charming and compares playing in a band to conjuring a patronus.

Cowardly Custard
At the back of my mind I was always hoping that I might just get by

I think maybe the last one is my anthem, after all.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 8th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
I keep feeling the urge to rewrite newspaper headlines in l33t and lolcat just because it's the only way to deal with the endless deluge of bad news.

That is possibly the only sane response to the whole mess.
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
It has the advantage of allowing one to giggle while despairing, yes.
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
Air-kissing... I can't deal. When I was 18 and went to Spain the first time I kept trying to hide whenever we met someone they would try to triple-kiss me. Shaking hands. Personal bubble. Yes.
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I don't want to take too hard a line on it when it is actual friends (or family) but when it's people you just met. I am caught between wanting not to embarrass someone by refusing and *hating* the whole thing. As for triple kisses, how wrong (and time-consuming) is that.
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
I have a package at the Post Office. I've been avoiding collecting it since Saturday because I am afraid I will discover I've been drunk ordering off Amazon again.

My dad got this package the other day. It had a blouse he'd bought for his sister, and something else, and then, randomly, a doll stand. At first I thought it was one of those stands for bananas, but no, it was for a doll. My dad was like, what IS IT? and swore he ordered no such thing. But he was billed for it, natch. Sigh.
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
Was there anything he had ordered that could be mistaken for a doll stand? That's an awfully random thing to get
(no subject) - ropo - Oct. 9th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
::crosses hugging off the list::

I have spent a ridiculous amount at Amazon in the past two months. I always do this when I feel like I am hurtling downhill on a bike with no brakes, which is what my life feels like at the moment.

You are not alone. Friend of a friend works in the shoe department of one of our high-end retail stores, and last weekend was the best weekend she has ever had, by an enormous margin. In 6+ years.

We don't know what to do, so we buy something that makes us feel better. Books, or music, or shoes, or liquor, or food. Pick one, pick ten.
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Today the person who has been warning us that the credit crunch was coming for about a year was predicting that this was the beginning of the end of life as we know it. She was seriously apocalyptic, which made people go bug-eyed and be niggled by worry because she was right about this financial crisis. The boss concluded the conference by saying "so we're totally fucking fucked then"

Oct. 8th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
God dammit Britain, where am I supposed to flee to now?

Also, I am considering speaking only in lolcat from now on, because that seems like the only same way to respond.

When I had money, I totally bought things from Amazon to make me feel better. Also, I always buy embarrassing things from Amazon; that way I don't have to face the cashiers.
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Yes. I occasionally think in lolcat at people who are annoying me but I don't actually speak it because, well, that would be bonkers.

Don't come here. The economy is utterly screwed. It is a bad business.
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Surely that bill has no hope in passing, right?

No hugging, check. The odd thing about air-kissing is knowing when to do it and where to start. Right cheek? Left cheek? Two times? Three times? If you've no background in air-kissing whatsoever, the whole experience is sure to make you feel a bit off your game as this other person's head keeps bobbling toward you.

I have spent a ridiculous amount at Amazon in the past two months.
Our economy is in the crapper and I just went out out and bought scrapbooking chipboard trees and other stuff. Huh?? So you're not alone.

"Internashunal finans - ur doin it wrong"
"Ur penshun. I has it."

That's the way I'm going to read the headlines from now on. OMG, so funny.

Oct. 8th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
It's good to know that I am not alone in either my confusion at airkissing or the impulse to buy ridiculous nonsense!
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
In response to all the financial and privacy craziness, I will just say this:

Ooh, and ABBA song I've never heard! Thanks!
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
My pleasure. Hope its cheesy goodness pleases you
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, has Iceland gone under?
Gashlycrumb tinies-related but I don't know the story.

Yes, Iceland is seriously screwed, as are the local authorities in this country who have invested millions -- in one case £40m -- in their high interest savings funds. They've gone bust.

I have no idea what the hell is going on in the world. Sometimes I wish I felt no desire to find out.
Oct. 8th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
No hugging at all? Sigh. Okay, then.

But I do want to know what the hooligans were doing, because I'm curious that way.

Also, it looks like Virginia is off the table (yay). Africa might be on, still trying to get confirmation.

Thank you for the songs.

LOLCAT headlines: might be the only thing that saves us, I swear.
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
The football thing:

I didn't hear any racist chanting. However, I did hear a hissing sound as mentioned in the last paragraph of the.

It sounds a lot like the shhhh sound, which is usually followed by a chorus of 'just like a library...' On Sunday I couldn't work out why it sounded so weird and why they didn't sing the second bit.

Now I know. *Fuckers*. Sunday's game felt nastier and more threatening and maybe this was why.

I don't think people should have to stop swearing at games or singing songs which are rude and even foul. But when they do this they've got to be chucked out of the ground.
(no subject) - cofax7 - Oct. 9th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Oct. 9th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 8th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
Go me! Laziness can pay!

This is exactly how I felt a couple years ago, when I lost my passport only to have it turn up at [location redacted] six months later. I'd have totally told you where it was found, except that the government (somebody's government, somewhere, I'm sure) is watching.

We may have to resort to communicating via semaphore.

Anyway, go laziness you!
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
God, I know. I am learning morse as we speak. Or stringing together tin cans
Oct. 8th, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
THIS scares the shit out of me

Uh, well, we kind of already have that here in the States, and it's called AT&T, aka, my phone/intertubes provider. (Techinically, a private telcom, but apparently in complete, amoral sway to our Svengaliesque president. He's just that charasmatic. And he'll pardon them, anyway.) And yes, it creeps me out no end, but when it does I go read fanfic porn. So.
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Clearly that is the answer. Read scads of fanfic porn and if anyone brings it up, just raise an eyebrow and say "your point is...?"
Oct. 8th, 2008 09:07 am (UTC)
That bill is completely scary.

I think U R rite about the LOLcatspk.

Perhaps we should use it at all times to confuse the telecom snoopers?

As for Iceland going bust - it would only take couple of Irish banks to go belly-side up to do the same to them - the sparkly guarantee of all their savings means that they have pledged more than their gross national income. They would have to put taxes up to 100% and then hand it all over to the savers for a period of more than a year. (I think I have that right - my husband, who works for a bank, God Bless him, explained it to me, but I was only half listening...)
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
The numbers are so huge and frightening that it is impossible to take them in. Maybe I need to mainline back issues of the Economist for about six days so I can be prepared for the seven lean years to come

That Irish dodge was just a giant confidence trick. You've got to admire their bottle
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:54 am (UTC)
I just want to tell myself to go out and play in the sunshine. Maybe I'll go and buy something expensive that I can't afford tomorrow because that solves EVERYTHING.

Well, it solves the problem of the banks making your money evaporate. Spend it all before they mislay it! Or, failing that, put it under the mattress, because that's beginning to sound like a sensible savings option again.

I'm also thinking about unplugging my computer from the internet, but I also think I'm too addicted, so I shall probably just have to live with the government storing and then losing all my data. I will begrudge the massive overspend on the project (which I'll have to pay taxes on) in advance though. On the upside: it won't work right for years, because massive IT projects never do.
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
It's nice to know that we can always be saved from the eagle eye of big brother by the fact that his IT folk will be under-resourced and overwhelmed and their managers will be incompetent, as this is the way of public IT projects
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
It's like every time the columnists come out and say things like "government in disarray, worst possible circumstances" the next day things actually get worse.

One of my co-workers who was startlingly prescient about the whole credit crunch thing months ago has started talking about the end of days, and global warming and food security and is generally scaring the crap out of everyone because she got the credit crunch stuff right before anyone else was talking about it.

I think I will go read Doctor Who fanfic and listen to music now. I can only take so much reading the Economist and worrying.
Oct. 8th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
I like the LOLbanks.

I too, through no fault of my own, find I have been banking with one of the pure untouched old-school banks. Quite a shock to find how safe my money seems to be, this week at least.

I keep reading items on the BBC site blaming Robert Peston for talking down the economy. It would be quite nice to be able to blame just one single person.
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
Of course it's all Peston's fault, what with him telling the truth about the giant confidence trick the banks were trying to pull. "What bad debt? Where? Oh, you want to see my *other* hand?" If only he had kept schtum we would never have realised that they had completely fucked themselves sideways through idiotic greed < / bludgeoning sarcasm >

I think my watchword for the next couple of months is probably going to be escapism.
(no subject) - parthenia14 - Oct. 9th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
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