They Didn’t Use To Call Me Brainy Smurf For Nothing, You Know

Today’s links-as-substitute-for-actual-content post will delight many and bore just as many. It represents a surprising break from tradition in that it a) contains no musical content whatsoever b) contains some vaguely intellectual content and c) contains some vaguely intellectual content authored by me.

  • Going straight is a fascinating Guardian article about reparative therapy used to “cure” homosexuality and the ex-gay movement in America. It even manages to be fairly balanced, although this lapses somewhat in the last three paragraphs.
  • Random surfing of the UCL Law Faculty site recently yielded an online version of the UCL Jurisprudence Review 2002, in which my dissertation was published. It basically involves me analysing Jeremy Bentham’s treatise which denounces the French Declaration of the Rights of Man as a load of shite, and concluding that he rocks. I wouldn’t actually recommend it unless you’re also a jurisprudence nerd.
  • Achtung Baby! blog has an mp3 of Nabokov himself reading from Lolita. Excuse me while I scream like the total groupie I am.
  • I lied. This last link isn’t intellectual. It’s about boobs.

Unhappily Distracted

When you are one week away from dissertation deadline, and are so worried about being wastefully distracted from your finely-honed dissertation production routine that you have taken the dramatic step of packing up laptop, books, photocopied articles and a couple days’ worth clothing and hefting it all to Alec’s hopefully distraction-free flat, you don’t expect to find yourself having read two entire non-dissertation material books in two days at the end of it all.

Given that the last author you mentioned reading on this site was Salman Rushdie, it is even less expected that these two books will both have been written by Tony Hawks. Let me explain.

On Monday I wanted something to read over breakfast, and surveyed Alec’s bookcase. I should say, for the sake of fairness, that it does contain many fine volumes brimming with literary merit, but I don’t like that over breakfast when I am trying to write a dissertation, which is why I decided The Vision Of Dante (1894 edition, respect!), and Baudelaire, The Complete Verse would have to wait. Here were some of my other options:

  • Classic Irish Whisky, Jim Murray. Too basic. After all, I am an authority on Classic Irish Whisky Breath and have no need for such entry-level efforts.
  • The Catechism Of The Catholic Church. Perhaps some other time.
  • The Story Of Lucy Gault, William Trevor. I would have read this, but after Two Lives recently felt like struggling my way through a literary quicksand of depression and tragedy, I need a little time before my next foray into William Trevor world.
  • Playing The Moldovans At Tennis, Tony Hawks

Well, there you go then. It was riveting. I confessed my daytime exploits to Alec who found this highly amusing given my usual literary pretension.

On Tuesday I wanted something to read over breakfast, and surveyed the bookcase again. Here were further options:

  • Les Miserables (Volume Two). No volume one. Go figure.
  • On The Genealogy Of Morals, Nietzsche. A gift from me, I must confess. He read it politely. I owe me no such politeness.
  • The Ultimate Pipe Book, Richard Carleton Hacker. See entry for Classic Irish Whisky.
  • Round Ireland With A Fridge, Tony Hawks.

So Alec calls at lunch and asks solicitously how I’m doing with the dissertation. “Well,” I venture with quavering, self-hating voice, “Tony’s just left Ennistymon, they wanted to take the fridge scuba-diving but thought better of it in the end.”

Back To The Good Life

I hate it when I want to write on this site (by this I mean a fairly specific volition in terms of particular words, phrases, descriptions of events rather than a vague write-somethingness) but don’t have the time to. By the time I manage to get down to it, the entry feels crammed and stilted rather than evocative of anything I actually did want to record and remember.

We got back from Germany on Monday night (I really do mean to put my travel journals up here. Really. Summer project). Well-meaning Alec had cooked me a dinner of stew that prominently featured sausages (which I’d managed to avoid in Germany through careful effort), accompanied by some sparkling wine he introduced with “This is horrible, you’ll love it.” And that’s when I truly knew I was home. :)

The week from then to now has been a fairly satisfying mix of mostly practical mornings and mostly frivolous days. (Which will be written about in due course. I truly am resolute. Except that right now I need to go have a haircut…) However, in the midst of obscenely indulgent lunches and teas and inordinate amounts of time looking at flouncy girlie things, I was pleasantly reminded today that I was once an intellectual being well worth my black turtleneck sweater – the law faculty wants to publish my Bentham dissertation in the UCL Jurisprudence Review, which means that most of April was actually worth the pain.

When life has been this good to me lately, am I a pessimist for wondering where and when the fall is going to come?

In Which Zen Calm Eludes Me

Fucking dissertation due today. Fucking moot tomorrow in fucking Lincoln about the fucking law of fucking finding i.e. if Lord Fucker leases his land to Fucker 1 who employs Fucker 2 as a gamekeeper, and Fucker 2 finds an antique brooch one day while walking through the forest, who gets to keep it? DUDE, DO I LOOK LIKE I FUCKING CARE????????

[Hmmmm. An addendum, now that Microsoft Word has finally kindly consented to stop conducting chaos theory experiments with my footnotes. The dissertation is printed. Love dissertation. Love computer. Love printer. I am calm and full of love. Except for the fact that I now need to prepare the moot. Which I still FUCKING HATE.]