Thursday, January 25, 2007

The row over gay adoption

I've got three things to ask the churches about this stupid row:
  1. How many gay priests are there?
  2. There are ten commandments and last time I looked none of them said "You shall not give children to gays to be adopted" or even: "You shall not be gay". Why don't we hear you making a fuss about other commandments, like the one about adultery, or "you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, ox, donkey, or anything that belongs to them", or: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour"? Why don't we hear you banging on about the Sermon on the Mount precepts, especially the one about "turning the other cheek", or "the meek shall inherit the earth"? Or even "love thy neighbour"?
  3. Which is better, a kid being in a loving home with gay parents, or languishing in an institution? Is it the latter because you can abuse them there?

  • Why don't you just go back to your medieval torture chambers where you belong?

[note on the book cited below - it mentions the torture chamber in the Tower, where the Protestant chief inquisitor invented the rack to torture Catholics as painfully and long as possible. Nice one, God lovers.]

I'm currently reading : Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage
By Stephen Budiansky.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Hybrids: Progress report

With less than four months to go now to publication of Hybrids, the proofreading has been completed, and happily my editor, Stella, has accepted 99% of my textual corrections and abrasions. I've submitted my acknowledgements and a dedication.

Although you've seen and commented on the draft cover - thanks again - there'll be a final one soon, which hopefully incorporates all the feedback on what main character Johnny's face looks like (not a monitor, but using the 'plastic flexible displays' (there's a video here). I had amended all descriptons in the book to reflect this, but that hadn't got through to the artist. I expect this technology will be common in the future. I'm now waiting to see what the designer comes up with and will post the results here as soon as I get them for your feedback.

I've told Stella and the PR people about my operation, and they are drawing up a publicity schedule.

I am due to present the concept of a Hybrids TV series to BBC commissioning editors on Feb 22 and yesterday took part in an excellent training workshop for mid-Wales media types provided free by the generous Welsh Assembly Government on presentation skills.

This is all fun, but a distraction from writing. Nevertheless I am now in the swing of Hybrids II, with 12,000 words under my belt.

Just remember - watch the machines, for you can be sure they are watching you!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Should Britain have war capability?

Take Blair and Iraq. The people told him not to go to war. He ignored them. The people of Iraq are now much worse off. Last week he said he still wants Britain to have full defence capablity and be able to make more wars. He also wants a new generation of Trident (WMD) too.

Let's imagine a child. This child wants to play with a dangerous toy. You say "Not a good idea," but he does so anyway, and burns the neighbour's house down. Then he says "Want to play more with it."

Would you say the boy was stupid? Would you take the toy away?

If the boy was a man, would you say that describing his behaviour as psychopathic was accurate?

What's the difference between this boy/man's behaviour and Blair's?

The best book about Taoism I've found

Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching By Michael LaFargue The best book on Taoism i've ever found, in my humble opinion, is now all online, courtesy of Google - a good thing as it's out of print.

Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching By Michael LaFargue

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Should I have this operation?

I have to decide whether to have an operation.

The purpose is to help me walk properly again and prevent possible future trauma, like whiplash, paralysing me.

A vertebrae in the neck is pressing on the spinal cord, interfering with the signal to the right leg, causing it not to work properly.

The operation involves removing this vertebrae and replacing it with a titanium mesh filled with bits of the crushed bone, and securing it with a titanium plate and screws to the vertebrae either side.

I would be off work for two months.

My book Hybrids is out in May. There will be interviews & signings and of course I don't want the operation to interfere with this.

The book is partly about (in my mind) disability and responses to it.

I was born with mild cerebral palsy which has led to this condition.

For the first ten years of my life
I tried very hard with my body,

For the next eight years I hated it, hated it.

For the next twenty years I was in denial, denial, denial.

But ever since then I can't avoid it, avoid it, avoid it.

My body bites back
It reminds me who I am
I'm fragile, so fragile
But I want to be strong

I am familiar with the surgeon's scalpel
With the physio machines
With the assistive aids

It's always been true
That if I tried that much harder
I'd make a difference.

But now things have changed, changed
I don't have that power, no power

I have to make friends with the men in masks
i have to place trust in their interventions, inventions, intentions.

What do I care if there's a risk?
I've always been impulsive, daredevil, crazy
If you cross the road it's usually less safe
Than an afternoon spent in theatre number two.

Perhaps after four years the chance to walk, walk, walk
Like you and you and you
Is worth more than a legful of stuck fear.

But the wall of pain
is not easy to approach.