helent6
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    • helent6

      Errr, no. On Facebook I control exactly who sees what and I deliberately don’t have any family members or anyone connected with my work as FB friends, I only have people I actually know well - so I can say whatever I like and people don’t generally misunderstand me. On Twitter, I have to be mindful of my professional profile as anyone on the site can see what I tweet, via RTs or search, so I stay away from controversial subjects and personal information. And anyway, I never post selfies of myself drunk/wearing nothing because that would be boring and stupid. I have actual conversations with people, keep in touch with friends who live across the world and share stuff with people I know will be interested in it. Is that really so weird?

    • helent6

      What worries me is that since GRRM has had a discussion with D&D about how the saga ends, and presumably they are going to take the show more or less in that direction, albeit by a much more streamlined route - then the show is now starting to give us spoilers for the books that haven’t been published yet!  If whole character arcs and seemingly huge storylines can be cut from the show, then it tells us that those people’s aims don’t come off and those events don’t impact on the eventual outcome - which seriously undermines a lot of what makes the books so compelling :-(

    • helent6

      I have NEVER got into a club for free, or ahead of the queue. I have NEVER expected anyone to pay for me on a date, and can’t even remember the last time it happened. I absolutely do not agree that there is a huge range of beautiful flattering clothes just waiting for me in every shop - most things don’t come in my size, or are too expensive, or look hideous, or all three at the same time! My body type is definitely not considered the archetype of sexy, I can barely even find a bra that doesn’t try and attack me all day. I’m sure these nice men are being honest in what they think, but their idea of what being a woman is seems to be based on TV/films and stereotypes rather than real life.

    • helent6

      It amazes me that being ‘anti-vaccine’ is still a live issue in the US. Here in the UK and Europe, there was a media fuss about Dr Wakefield’s allegations (now completely debunked) that the MMR vaccine ‘caused’ autism, just after their publication in 1998. It lasted a couple of years, and nowadays everyone knows that it was an unfounded temporary panic whipped up by the media. In fact, since then we have introduced new vaccinations like the one for HPV which weren’t even available when I was a child, and they are routinely taken up by our citizens (for free, because we have a National Health Service).
      Are the US citizens reading and commenting on these sorts of articles aware that pretty much everyone else, in every other country, think it’s insane that you’re arguing over a non-issue? Do you realise that the celebrities that make anti-vaccine statements in your media sound ridiculous outside the bubble of the US media? Especially when proven scientific facts are discredited on the grounds that ‘hippies’ and ‘vegetarians’ believe them? Do you understand that the anti-vaccination crowd (along with the guns-don’t-kill-people crowd, and the creationist crowd, and social-security-is-a-communist-plot crowd) make the USA look dangerously deranged to the rest of the world?
      I wonder how many people would be quite shocked if they could just see how their society looks from the outside….

    • helent6

      But Morocco isn’t a conservative country, it’s actually a liberal one. Women own businesses and take part in public life, move about freely and are not required to be chaperoned or wear restrictive clothing. I actually found that the men tended to dress modestly and behave more respectfully towards me than in the UK. Gay people are usually accepted, quite openly so - and you’ll find cross-dressed dancers performing every evening in the Djemma Al-Fna. Moroccan Islamic traditions are much more moderate than many other countries - no one is persecuted for their religious practices, and many places serve alcohol to tourists even if most of the residents don’t partake themselves. You can even buy hashish openly on the streets of Marrakech if you want to. It’s not a perfect country - its occupation of Western Sahara is one thing I particularly object to - but it’s hardly Saudi Arabia. This arrest is out of the ordinary, and I don’t think Ray Cole can be blamed for failing to expect it.

    • helent6

      I’m shocked and upset for this poor man, but also pretty convinced that someone set him up. When I visited Marrakech with my male gay friend only a couple of years ago, he was fairly constantly propositioned by Moroccan nationals for gay sex encounters right in front of me, with no apparent fear of being found out. Marrakech has always been an extremely liberal city with a relaxed approach to homosexuality. Yves Saint Laurent lived there for years, openly co-habiting with his male partner in the 1960s, and their house and garden is now a municipal museum. The police do not even routinely arrest people for being gay, so going to the lengths of arresting a 70-year-old tourist and then searching his phone for evidence that he might have committed a crime, seems bizarre. I think there’s more to this story than meets the eye, but we ought to be supporting LGBT people in Morocco and campaigning for their human rights to be respected. Some of the racist comments on here about ‘backward’ Muslim or African counties are disgusting. I met many well-educated, politically sophisticated, courteous and open-minded people in Morocco who showed much better manners toward people from other cultures than they are being shown from some of the people on here.

    • helent6

      Surely the biggest changes were the switch from film to video, which changed the whole way it looked on screen and ditching that annoying ‘to camera’ commentary from Carrie?
      Also, although I loved the show when it was first shown, and always defended it against critics who thought it was too ‘girly’ - I rewatched the ‘bisexual’ episode last night and was really shocked at the level of prejudice coming from the characters, the stupid comments they made and the shitty way Carrie just abandons her boyfriend at a party, in front of all his friends that he’s introducing her to, because she can’t handle the fact that a girl kissed her in a spin-the-bottle game. If one of Carrie’s dates had done the same to her, it would have been the main storyline and all the girls would have ranted about what horrible behaviour that was.
      I can’t help but wonder, how much have we really changed?

    • helent6

      It may be true that 40% of the victims of domestic violence are men, but their abusers are most often also men - usually their partners or fathers. 92% of perpetrators of domestic violence are men. While male victims definitely do need more services to help them and the public does need to realise that men get abused too - it’s not accurate to suggest that women are abusive as often as men are. There are some women who abuse men, although most abusive women are violent to children rather than grown adults, and nothing excuses this abuse, it is just as wrong and just as awful. But when people put across the ‘opposite’ scenario as if to say that it happens just as often but we are unwilling to see it, that’s just not true and it undermines the sheer volume of male-on-female and male-on-male violence happening every day. Are we looking for reassurance that if women can be violent too, that it’s just an unfortunate part of normal life, instead of facing up to the huge issue that we accept and condone male violence on a horrifying scale?

    • helent6

      Always fun to read an article about finally feeling on the inside of a culture, only to find one’s entire gender excluded. All the books above are excellent, would add to the list: Stir Fry and Hood (both Emma Donohue), Stone Butch Blues (Leslie Feinberg), Rubyfruit Jungle (Rita Mae Brown), the entire Dykes To Watch Out For series (Alison Bechdel). I’m sure we could collectively put together the ultimate lesbian reading list! You can’t go far wrong with anything written by Stella Duffy, Sarah Waters Jeanette Winterson or Emma Donoghue.

    • helent6

      I feel for this guy, but as someone who’s been hosted over 140 guests through Airbnb, I feel his ‘house rules’ are ridiculously lax. I would never encourage guests to invite “up to 50” people over, even if I did not also live in the accommodation. The beauty of Airbnb is that you get to see quite a bit of information about guests before they book and you can have a conversation about each other’s expectations. Instead of just happening to drop by to collect a suitcase, I would also make absolutely sure to do a thorough check-in with them and let them know I was keeping a close eye on things - the 99.9% of lovely, honest, people who use the service actually appreciate knowing they can call me with questions at any time. No doubt these guests abused the property, but the host needs to be a lot less naive too!

    • helent6

      I use my local library regularly - to borrow paper books, and to use the reference resources (excellent business and market research data) and to attend events. It’s always busy with little kids learning to read, people of all ages using the computers (a lot of people can’t afford one at home) and all the other community information/advice stuff that goes on there. If you haven’t been to a library lately, drop in and be surprised. They are such amazing places and we shouldn’t take them for granted - use them or lose them. Oh, and my library also have a really useful smartphone app so that I can borrow digital books too :-)

    • helent6

      I don’t know why IT people think they’re so superior to everyone else. I have yet to meet one who could do the jobs I have had, without any training to do them. I am 44 and when I was at school PCs were a rarity, nobody had one at home and all through school and college I never once had any formal education in how to even use a computer, let alone how they work or how to fix a problem. I think I’ve done pretty well to learn enough by myself to be competent in a modern workplace, but when an IT person who has spent several years being taught about computing scoffs at me because I didn’t have that same tuition, it just makes me think they are arrogant and shouldn’t be working in customer service. I have plenty of skills that other people don’t have too, but I’m don’t act like a condescending dick about it.

    • helent6

      Cookies and biscuits are different types of sweet baked treats! It is indeed a vacuum cleaner, but American English also uses brand names to refer to generic products, so we’ll call that a draw. Not every word does have a ‘u’ in it - only the ones that need it. -ise and -ize are both acceptable uses, but we prefer -ise and since we’ve been using it longer than you’ve been a country, we’ll probably just carry on whether you like it or not :-)

    • helent6

      The nation that invented football should get to give the sport its name! Running around with a rugby ball under your arm while wearing body armour needs to get its own name. Americans who enjoy their new-fangled, overly complicated version of rounders, may call it whatever they wish - since nobody in any other country even cares. Spellcheck programmes that ‘correct’ my English drive me insane! Please form a orderly queue with your comments.