No 12. Bin day
Pink bin bags? How very cosmopolitan!
No 12. Bin day
Pink bin bags? How very cosmopolitan!
Our planet’s economic and environmental future hangs on an unlikely thread: the clothesline.
British filmmaker Steven Lake criss-crosses the world to unravel the reasons and consequences for the banishing of the clotheslines in favour of tumble dryers.
Now I don’t know about you, but I was unaware of the controversy surrounding the humble clothes horse.
I have, however, heard one or two things about climate change and have a sneaky suspicion it may be something to keep an eye on and so I joined the Birmingham Skeptics In the Pub at The Victoria for the first Midlands screening of this film.
I’m a bit of a fence sitter in reviewer terms but i’ll go out on a limb with this one.
I liked it. I bloody liked it.
It was clever; the seeming absurdity of having a crusade to bring back washing lines underpinned by the gravity of the need to take steps to address energy consumption - why not start with the washing line - it’s in your back garden and oh god I just got it this really does begin in your own back garden.
It was also very funny; one second we’re laughing at the ridiculousness of a heavily accented German man comparing the Home Owner’s Associations of America to Adolf Hitler, the next we see an HOA member frowning at a non-regulation-trampoline (“what would happen if we could all do what we liked?” she shudders).
It was also non-preachy (unlike this next bit, sorry). All I want to say really is that it gave me some things to think about; the nature of communities, the freedom that household appliances bring (“now that’s an emancipation that any woman can understand!”), the cost of that freedom, and who is paying that cost.
I hadn’t really thought about how hard it is to justify using energy for so many luxuries when a shocking number of people in the world don’t have access to any energy, at all. I don’t really want to explain that I was using it up watching that same episode of QI where Alan Davis combs the hair off the fluffy ball for the seventh time or leaving the radio on whilst I’m out in case the room feels lonely or leaving the fridge door open because I like that nice fridge yellowy glow.
So y’know. Dry your clothes on a clothesline. You animals.
I don’t even like drying my clothes in a tumble dryer - it dries them to a unwanted degree of crispness, compacting and effectively burning the fibres so that clothes last less, and it makes clothes stink. There’s always a better option whether you have a garden, a balcony, or just a clothes horse in your bath!
The case could be made that the affordable automatic washing machine has done more for women’s emancipation than any other single in(ter)vention by taking away the time-consuming drudgery and complications of washday. But (despite one of the 1950s adverts in the film) drying has never taken as long - carrying it out, hanging it and bringing it back in takes less time than drinking a cuppa.
As I said during the the Q&A, I’m also concerned about the communal aspects of laundry drying - whether large sessions in India of just neighbours talking over the fence while hanging out their smalls in suburban Britain. Case in point, I never really have any reason to talk to my immediate neighbours but we always have some kind of moment of communion when hanging out outside - or indeed as happened yesterday, when one of their items blew off their line ovver my fence into my garden so he came into my house for the first time ever to retrieve it!
I am very much with one of the politicians in the film who said “there’s something very special about watching a bedsheet billowing in a breeze”!
BLOWJOBS IN THE DUNGEON
BLOWJOBS IN THE DUNGEON
THIS IS THE BEST HARRY POTTER THING I WILL EVER FUCKING REBLOG THERE ISN’T EVEN A CONTEST I SHIT YOU NOT
Students from the Sorbonne sit around a table in the Jardin du Luxembourg, c. 1950
As a nit-picking bastard it crosses my mind to wonder that if even the date of the photo isn’t established, how does anyone know the students are from the Sorbonne? I spent many hours in that area of the Luxembourg with my fellow students in the 1970s and 1980s and we weren’t at the Sorbonne (though we liked to imply that we were) :P Maybe I should share a photo or two…. ;)
(furthermore, judging by their attire - particularly their shoes - , I’d say this photo was taken much later than 1950 - I’d guess c.1965)
In the last couple of weeks I have become aware of five guys I know either online or in the real world who’ve been diagnosed with HIV, every one of them under 30 (and only one over 25).
This brings on several, perhaps contradictory, reflections.So here’s a bit of a stream of consciousness of the thoughts going through my mind.
It’s daft for anyone to contemplate unsafe sex. The original discovery of HIV/AIDS in the early 80s coincided with my own sexual awakening and I remember being shit scared every time I went close to a gay venue. Every single one of my age peers, gay, straight or otherwise, knows someone who died of HIV/AIDS, in the most ghastly circumstances.
DON’T DIE OF IGNORANCE intoned the doom-laden government campaign, and many of us took that to heart. But it seems that like in most areas of life, the younger generation has forgotten the lessons learned by their forebears, and whilst HIV is no longer an immediate death sentence, it remains seriously unpleasant and IS a sentence to take a cocktail of drugs every remaining day of the infected person’s life, and forces them to sacrifice many things.
To paraphrase a tweet from one of those guys, I knew the risks but I engaged in unsafe sex anyway. Hang on, you fucking moron, maybe YOU knew the risks, but was every one of the invariably VERY young and impressionable guys you fucked and allowed to fuck you without protection aware of the risks? I don’t expect you to give them a health lecture before jumping in the sack with them but behaving like a slag is NOT the behaviour of a responsible adult who is aware of the dangers of his actions tohimself and others.
At least he made his status public as soon as he found out. But one of the others didn’t admit to it for several weeks, all the while sleeping around and being very active on gay dating apps and websites. There is precedent for such behaviour to be considered criminal activity.
Nothwithstanding the above, these people have learned a hard lesson a very hard way and moral lecturing aside, they deserve our support. Shouting them down in public and avoiding them is not the right thing to do, and more often than not, they are victims of difficult circumstances. HIV positive people are not immediately contagious outside of intimate direct contact with their bodily fluids, and stupid as they may have been, they deserve our support as people. They need help and hugs and need to be allowed to continue their lives.
They certainly don’t deserve to be ostracised, unless perhaps they have been proven to be wantonly and deliberately spreading a barely-treatable but incurable disease, but even so, the rest of us also need to educate ourselves about the dangers and frankly, there’s no reason for us to behave any differently towards them.
I admit I find it difficult to be a true friend to someone I know has behaved recklessly and stupidly, but they are going to get plenty of shit from everyone else so the very least I can do is support them and educate myself and others.
I’m still coming to terms with what this news means to me and some of my personal relationships so I’d welcome any input from well meaning people to help me work out a position in which I can be true to my friends while also being true to my own conscience, and being able to condemn their stupidity while at the same time unstintingly supporting the in their time of most need of true friends,
does anyone else want to meet their favorite celebrity and like, not kiss them or have sex with them or anything like that, but just be their friend and hang out with them and go to the movies together and learn what songs are most played on their ipod and what they like to eat when theyre sick and what drawer they keep their socks in
because i would love to do that.
I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending a whole day and evening in the company of someone I’ve idolised since my teens (he’s not a “celebrity” but is famous for doing what he does very well - I’m being deliberately vague) in his house. A while later I was asked to assist in the the writing of his biography which was probably the proudest moment of my entire life (and got name-checked a couple of times in the finished book :D)
I’m quite glad that I don’t have a single photograph of what we did that day, I much prefer it in my memory than I possibly could in digital media!
As Anthony Pratt and his family huddled in their Kings Heath fall-out shelter while the Luftwaffe flew over Birmingham, it bothered him that there was nothing to do. He was concerned that, rather like Christmas, all you could do was sit in a confined space with your nearest and dearest and…