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How The Light Gets In

Maundy Thursday 21st April, weather same as it was twenty minutes ago, possibly even a little warmer.

How The Light Gets In, the Philosophy and Music Festival at Hay on Wye, last weekend in May first weekend in June, is open for business. What's it for? I'm not totally sure, but it slightly reminds me of those Cyberfuture happenings at Warwick U., way back in the early nineties, strange cyborg goings on, live body modification and rough-cut neurological experiments, partnering deep and knotty Edge of the Future debate. Here morphed with a tentshow Music Festival... Almost sounds like Rivermead, in Bold As Love; except without the squalor. Or the violence, I assume. Check it out, the line-up is amazing.

I'm going to be there, panel-talking beside the illustrious about the ordinary and the fabulous (I think), and about particle physics if you can believe it (well, I can be the silly one, and I do have a tenuous imaginary connection). Don't know if I'll be sleeping in a tent.

When did you last cry...?

Back in Brighton again. The sun is shining, it's incredibly warm. I should be making hay, but I think I'll stay in doors and work at my desk.

When did I last cry? This morning, when I read a report of the systematic abuse of doctors and nurses who are treating wounded protestors in Bahrain. I write letters for Amnesty International Urgent Action: to put it bluntly, that means not the most urgent or dreadful abuses of human rights, more those acute cases where the Urgent Action team senses the possibility of movement, if a rush of protests can be organised. Somebody just got snatched, or some evidence has turned up about the detention location of a long-lost disappeared person (or a body) etc. But nothing like this, this is powers beyond. This is the heart of darkness doing what the hell it likes, while the so-called West sc**ws around in hapless Libya, by arrangement.

Precious Bane. I wish it was gone, I really do. AND YET I still drive my car, occasionally.

At least Bradley Manning is out of his torture cell.

And Avaaz is gaining ground, global grassroots

If anyone in our so-called government has the gall to send me one of their Happiness Quizzes, I am definitely going to spoil my ballot.

Social Mobility

Wednesday 6th April, another "beautiful day". We're having a bit of a drought in the South of England & ironically getting congratulated on it every night. On the other hand, the day is really beautiful.

Social Mobility, social mobility, hmm... Of course, it's very, very important that some of the fabulously fat cats, cuisine entrepreneurs, media moguls and merchant bankers of the next generation started life in deprived estates, and I can see how that would make it easier for Nick Clegg to sleep at night. But it's not really what I was worried about. The poor we have always with us, the materially poor are not going to go away either. They can't all find room at the top. I was worried about making the bottom more comfortable, making sure there's a safety net of concern and care, day-centres, social clubs, homework clubs, breakfast clubs, health care, medical and domestic support, all of that. That's what a more equal society means to me. Not just fixing it so that a few can leap the gulf from unacceptable poverty to repulsive riches.

This years tadpoles are doing fine, by the way. I gave them their first lettuce this morning, and they got the idea at once. (Yes, that's last year's photo. Even I have to admit, there really isn't much difference between one bowl of tads and another).

Reading: Bright Earth by Philip Ball. Really gripping and satifying popular science (with plenty of chemistry) about the history of colour.
Devastated by: discovery that Buffy Season 7 is not being aired, after Season 6 finale on Monday night. How can Syfy do this to me! Buffy brings back such memories, it's been so great revisiting them all, even through the grim post-mortem reality-rash in 6.
We're going to have to borrow Dan's DVD, which sort of reduces the magic.

Asia Times reports Obama Saud pact (April Fool's Day links)

Saturday April 2nd, clear sunshine

I know I said I wasn't interested, but I couldn't help wondering. Obviously, the Libya rebels aren't dangerous to the status quo, not really, but the Sauds and the no-fly how does that work, so had to read this when it turned up:

And the cuts begin to bite. Last messages have reached me from the friends I made a few years ago in SET and other UK bodies. This is from the arts, just one of many casualties in retreat to the bunker of the virtual, art/comment magazine Mute.

Beautiful weather, but I'm home alone and intend to spend as much of the time as possible staying that way. I need some aloneness, away from the keyboard. Need to sort out a few knots, in the fertile calm induced by lying in bed, reading and partly reading, sustained by cups of tea.

Except I have to go on an expedition in search of a lost phone, not mine.