helenic: (Default)

I've just sent the following email to all my candidates except Labour, Tory and UKIP (because I am not considering voting for them) through this handy website.

This got long. )



Feel free to nick any/all of the above questions - the observant among you will have noticed that I've cobbled together most of them from the Liberty Central list, the Power 2010 leaderboard, and the Pirate Party UK manifesto.

I'll be surprised if any of them answer all of the questions, but Denny tells me he'd be delighted to receive an email like that, so here's hoping.

I'd previously thought that Neville Watson, as a high-profile Independent and POC, stood the best chance of ousting Lammy in Tottenham, but as time passes I'm less convinced. I got a leaflet from TUSC (the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) through the door which was surprisingly credible, so I'm considering going along to their election rally next Tuesday to see what they have to say. Their candidate Jenny Sutton is on twitter (the only one I've found so far apart from Lammy) and seems very sound. I've heard absolutely nothing from the Green or Lib Dem candidates so far - in fact I'm wondering if there are any Lib Dems in Tottenham - so the answers I get really will be a significant factor in who I decide to vote for.

helenic: (wall of water)

Gone are the days when if you're against the war you go and protest on the street. Protesting doesn't stop wars anymore. Going to your gay pride rally is nice -- it makes you feel good, but unfortunately we don't live in that era anymore. The only way you can create social change is to insert yourself into the machine.

That's Heather Cassils, the genderqueer body builder who kisses Lady Gaga in the Telephone video, talking about queer visibility and the mainstream. Also, if you weren't sold on Gaga yet, check this out:

The thing that was kind of interesting was that in between takes I was getting kind of annoyed because the camera guys were really kind of drooling and talking about "girl-on-girl action" and I said, "What about boy-on-girl action?" And she turned to me and said "Oh. Do you identify as male?" [Laughs] And I said, "Well, probably more than you do." And she said "I'll be sure to tell people that."

Have you seen the video for Telephone yet? Surely you have.



I am completely in love with it. The D/s interaction between Beyoncé and Gaga when she gets in the car would be enough, but they borrowed Tarantino's pussy wagon; there's an explicit riff on the rumour that Gaga has a penis - and the queer kiss with the drag king bodybuilder - and poisoning everyone in the restaurant and the candy-pink Poison TV popups, and the glitchy editing and oh god the OUTFITS. As [personal profile] starchy said, "I can't tell if I just watched a music video or the highest budget semiotics essay in history."

Be warned, though, the song is so freakily catchy it will stay in your head for a week.

helenic: (Default)
Stephen Fry's letter to himself: Dearest absurd child
"Yes, you will grow to be a very, very, very, very lucky man who is able to express his nature out loud without fear of hatred or reprisal from any except the most deluded, demented and sad. But that is a small battle won. A whole theatre of war remains. This theatre of war is bigger than the simple issue of being gay, just as the question of love swamps the question of mere sexuality. For alongside sexual politics the entire achievement of the enlightenment (which led inter alia to gay liberation) is under threat like never before. The cruel, hypocritical and loveless hand of religion and absolutism has fallen on the world once more."

Filament Magazine
"A new magazine for women. I felt the world was in desperate need of one with:
  • Intelligent, inspiring articles, and no fashion, celebrity gossip or diets

  • Erotic photography of men based on research about what women think is sexy.
It's hard copy, quarterly and the first issue will be posted out on 1 June.

(Reviewed by Erotica Cover Watch and featuring photography by the talented Ara Maye McBay)
helenic: (sitting and thinking; hat of foolishness)

A couple of weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] dennyd linked me to http://www.helpwinmybet.com. This site is now down, but consisted of a guy (Jim) who'd made a bet with his girlfriend (Allison):

"I said to my girlfriend that any stupid website could get tons of hits, simply because people are bored all the time. She said that I was an idiot and couldn’t make a website that could get tons of hits if I wanted to. After a long argument (mostly centered around the fact that she called me an idiot) we made a bet: If I could not make a website to get 2,000,000 hits, I would agree that I was an idiot; however, if I could make a website to get 2,000,000 hits, she would have a menage a trois (that's a threesome to you non french-speakers) with me and another girl."

So! Spread the link, up the hit count, help Jim get his threesome. There was a picture of blonde Allison at the top of the page. The hit counter was very nearly at 2 million, and looked set to reach it that evening. As the hitcount got higher Jim updated more frequently, boggling at having created a net phenomenon, and started joining dating sites to try and find their third partner. "Wanna be our third? Click on the link!" It was tacky, but he also posted about having had to update his bandwidth and needing to cover his costs, and was upfront that if you joined this dating site he'd get a bit of cash, and the teasing tone meant that it didn't actually grate.

"Reckon it's genuine?" I asked. "Probably", Denny said, "it doesn't look like it's making a profit." It was written with a kind of appealing ironic humour, and raised a smirk and a giggle when I first looked at it. Denny commented that the girlfriend probably had someone in mind and this was just an excuse, and I thought that you know, more people being open-minded about group sex is a good thing, even if they do go about it in stupid ways, so yeah, trendies making free with the bisexuality and sexual experimentation, that's kinda cool.

I forgot about it, and then yesterday my friendslist was spammed with links to http://www.helpwinthisbet.com. The hit count had been reset to zero, the more recent updates had been deleted; it was started again from scratch. The url was slightly different and the picture of the girl (and names of the characters) were changed, but the text was exactly the same. The other difference was that the contract link is broken - both sites linked to a scanned, handwritten contract, but "This Bet" didn't have the image, which suggested it was a copycat site rather than the newest incarnation of an ongoing hoax. I posted a few comments on the relevant entries pointing out it was a fake, and [livejournal.com profile] zotz directed me to an article about the original "My Bet" site on The Register, which not only provides evidence for the previous version's existence, but revealed that the site was for profit after all:

"If you look at the link properties for his links to metrodate.com and gamefly.com (well, the gamefly link is gone, but it did the same thing yesterday), the actual href link takes you through a redirection website! I looked up the owner of the sites that the links redirect through and came across a company named: ValueClick.com, an online advertising firm.

Now, this was before the statements listed for April 5 were posted. He has since stated that he is getting a financial bonus for signing people up for metrodate.com. However, with a click-through redirection system, he's actually making money from people simply clicking on the link to metrodate (not from having them sign up!)."

Why copycat it, then? Is the new "This Bet" site planning to use the same redirection scam? I did some research.

Which was interesting. )

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