As you can probably guess, I'm pretty glad that the government lost it's appeal today: they shouldn't have been trying to push through brexit without consulting parliament in the first place. Yet, to a certain extent, it was also pointless: the referendum is over and the people have made their decision, however misguided or ill-informed I or those like me may think that decision is. Parliament will now have to scrutinise brexit: it must now go through all the legislation we got from the Eu, now so interwoven into our own, in a process that will take years. Yet the eventual outcome remains inevitable: the outists will get their way, and out we must come.
There is one ray of light I got from watching the tv coverage of this earlier, though. My biggest concern about leaving was we would abandon human rights legislation. Minorities and women get so much protection under EU law, which I feared would be in jeopardy once we leave. I thought the outists were seeking to create a capitalist utopia where the rich were free to walk all over the poor, and human rights were something only wealthy, able-bodied white men enjoyed. However, earlier I heard Ken clarke say that much of that human rights legislation will now be incorporated into our own law, and that is what will take so much time. That reassured me. I believe him: after all, most of those rules came from the uk anyway, and the vast majority of MPs are reasonable people who know the value of such rights. If we can keep the protections of our human rights we currently enjoy under the EU, then maybe things won't be so bad. Mind you, I still suspect that many of the right-wingers who clamoured so hard to leave did so because they thought such rules get in the way of their money-making, and will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to retain it. Brexit may be delayed and it may now be scrutinised, but these bastards are as determined as ever to see their nationalist, ultra capitalist hell realised.
Believe it or not, before last night I had never seen trainspotting. I realise that is an awful confession for a film buff like me to make, but nonetheless it's true. My parents thought it was too adult for me to watch when it came out, and I never got round to watching it after that: I suppose it just crept under my radar. However, last night I finally managed to see Boyle's classic, and thought it magnificent. I had prepared myself for a bit of a tough watch, so I was surprised how much humour there was in it. Don't get me wrong: Trainspotting is a very dark film which certainly pulls no punches; but there are hints of a dark, almost tragic humour in it. It is a gritty, raw expose of how people on the fringes of society live; but it is not done without pathos, and with a kind of knowing irony I found captivating. The central characters might be aimless vagabonds without hope, but they sort of know they are. There is a sort of cynicism in the way the characters know this isn't the way they should behave, but they behave as they do anyway. They refuse to buy into the sanitised, sugar-coated image we're all sold of how things are supposed to be. My hat goes off to Danny Boyle for making this film, for being so perceptive and astute. Now all I have to do is give it a second viewing, before watching the sequel as soon as possible.
[Edited Yesterday at 10:48:34 - added a bit]
I'm sure i'm not the only one to have noticed how Trump is attempting to vilify the media. This morning the nutcase was trying to make out that thousands more people came to his inauguration than attended the protests against him, and that the press were only trying to tell us otherwise because they have some kind of agenda against him. While this is clearly not the case - the photos of the respective crowds speak for themselves - it occurs to me that this type of allegation may be part of Trump's overall strategy. He's trying to turn people against the press. By getting people to think that the press are out to get him, Trump can characterize any and all criticisms of him as ad hominen and part of an agenda. Thus, whatever anyone says, no matter how badly the buffoon fucks up, he'll just claim that it's just the press out to get him. In doing so, he makes himself immune from any criticism: whatever happens, trump is always right and those who say otherwise just do so out of spite. He is trying to play us, manipulate us; it's as if he wants to be America's only source of information, and for everyone to disregard anything which runs counter to what he says. I only hope others see this too, and refuse to fall for such a cheap, puerile trick.
While some may well find it silly, I think this article is worth flagging up. It argues that the future predicted by Star Trek seems, roughly speaking, to be coming true. Trek canon states that, before the space-faring utopia it depicts comes about, humanity will go through a catastrophic third world war in which six hundred million people die. That is almost exactly what the world seems to be now gearing itself up for; as pessimistic as it sounds, with the inauguration of that deranged idiot yesterday, on top of brexit and the growth of hard-line nationalism, I cannot help thinking that humanity is now heading for a very bad place. At least we trekkies have Roddenberry's vision of the future to klingon to - the hope that humanity will come out the other end of armageddon united, tolerant and ready to explore the galaxy together.
America is ashamed of itself...
And so it bloody well should be. Electing trump (okay, it didn't, but you know what I mean) has turned it into a joke, and the only way it's dignity and standing in the world can be restored is if that halfwitted wretch is booted from office immediately.