Phillip Pullman on Britain

I read this at the Times Online today and I think Mr. Pullman is no the list of my heroes from now on. Below is a brief extract that I simply loved…

It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom would have allowed its government to pass such laws as the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), the Terrorism Act (2000), the Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001), the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Extension Act (2002), the Criminal Justice Act (2003), the Extradition Act (2003), the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003), the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004), the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005), the Inquiries Act (2005), the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005), not to mention a host of pending legislation such as the Identity Cards Bill, the Coroners and Justice Bill, and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Inconceivable.

And those laws say:
Sleep, you stinking cowards
Sweating as you dream of rights and freedoms
Freedom is too hard for you
We shall decide what freedom is
Sleep, you vermin
Sleep, you scum.

Read the article and cry, just fucking cry.

Linked via BoingBoing

What price trust?

Some people give it away cheaply, others it has to be earned. We all trust people, many of which we have never met. We trust our favourite authors enough to spend £15 on their books, but that trust was developed through good and bad experiences of reading many books over many years. We trust our favourite tv producers enough to forgive the odd episode, storyline, or even series, trusting that things will get better. Musicians, Actors, Reviewers, Directors, the list goes on.

We also learn who not to trust, my friends and I trust Ewe Bolle to make bad movies, not many people want to be in Gary Glitters gang anymore and we trust England footballers to disappoint at every opportunity. Why count on them when I have ten fingers and ten toes.

The amount we have invested in a given relationship is often an indicator of the level of trust and the risk that trust portrays. It’s easy to trust a comic book writer with our £2 and 15 minutes for one book, start to read the book regularly and the risk increases, usually meaning you either drop the book when it continually dissapoints or read it to the end. It’s a simplistic analogy but the same is true of relationships with people. Casual acquaintances acrue more trust as they penetrate our lives deeper, opening us up to a schroedingers box of joy or pain.

Which brings me to a proposition. I want your trust. I know that, generally speaking, anyone who say ‘trust me’ winds up being the villain of the piece, but I’m gonna use Stupor Collider to call people out on their bullshit, help you decide where your trust is misplaced and let you know what deserves closer attention. Ultimatley the trust is only yours to give.