“Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?”
- Unknown

When I was fifteen, I read a science fantasy novel by Orson Scott Card, called "Songmaster". At the time the novel meant a lot to me, because it had dense plotting, devious political powerplay, and a detailed backdrop of galactic empire. But mostly because one of the main characters was a gay man who wasn't a pervert, monster, freak or simpering pseudowoman.

Though he did fall in love with a woman, have sex with an underage boy, and kill himself. But compared to most images of gay men around at the time, it was positively...positive. So, I clung to it.

Rereading the book this afternoon - well, it's been a long time since I've wanted to throw a book out of the window. The central character (the underage boy) is a textbook sociopath, the conspiracies don't make any sense, and the galactic emperor killed billions to create a peaceful empire...because he's a nice guy who wanted to save humanity from itself, and that was the only way.

Perhaps it's no surprise the author is a Mormon. One who has published an essay explaining that, though he doesn't hate gay people, they ought to stay closeted, because knowledge of their existence causes trauma to children.

Oh, and it destroys society by making folk question their rulers. Which is bad, apparently. Only being a cornerstone of democracy.

I know, I know. Shallow trash looks like deep gold when you're young. The moment you stop regarding your younger self as a fool is the moment you stop growing up. But it's still a little galling - maybe because I was such a serious and thoughtful fifteen year old.

Tony, the homeless alcoholic I'm been bumping into every few months for years - I saw him again yesterday, wedged into one of his familiar places, the frontage of an abandoned shop.

He looked healthier than the last time I saw him (eight months ago!) - he'd gained some healthy pounds, had shaved his head, and had lost the oily skin of the permanently ill. He wasn't drunk, wasn't shaking with alcohol detox symptoms, and for the first time ever there were no bottles or cigarette packets around him. That's the good news.

But he was muttering to himself and oblivious to all around him, staring fixedly into the middle distance. Maybe he's found a new drug - one that doesn't come in bottles. If so, that might mean he's got some slight financial support. I don't know.

No one's found me yet by googling items of female reproductive biology, but I have been found by:

gay ballshaving videos
restart jobcentre anti
the people can have anything they want
even smiling my face ache
backwards music

Ah, money. Cash payments into bank accounts are supposed to be instant, but can take three working days - which means five days if they straddle a weekend. Cheques are supposed to take three days but routinely take seven, and sometimes ten. Cheques from government departments take three days to be sent, then three to appear in your account. And as for getting funds into a PayPal account, huh!

Oh, and printed out statements from cashpoints (teller machines) are generally a week out of date. Mine registers credits but hasn't added them to the total. And it lies to me about my overdraft.

Sorry. I'm just a little nervous about money right now. Or rather, nervous about not having much and not being sure exactly how much I have.

Hurricanes have a typical diameter of 300km, the average tornado is 75m, and other types of cyclone range from 1 to 10km.

Yesterday, the southern half of England was hit by a series of rotating air columns ten metres across. Wikipedia tells me England has more tornadoes per unit area than any other country, so...a clutch of baby tornadoes? Is there a name for this kind of thing?

Very strange. File under "WTF" or "Warning", according to taste.

Right, next up, a short story. Sort of.

1 comment:

  1. What is with your banking system? Hours are processed on Mondays. Checks arrive to the office on Wednesdays or Thursday. Checks and direct deposit stubs are given on Fridays but I have access to the funds the day before. With every place I've worked, it's 12:01am the day I am supposed to be paid but if they are showing up day early, I'm not saying anything.

    And why does your checks have to be processed at all? Don't you do it electronically now? The stores around here, you write out a check, the cashiers scan the routing number and then hand you the check back. I was confused when the started doing that.

    "Um, don't you need to keep this?"

    "Oh no sugar, they take it out of your account automatically."

    "So I can tear this up?"

    "If ya want to."

    "Um... okay."