June 2nd, 2003

breaking bad

worst books

The independent is putting together a list of 100 'worst reads', and kicked off by asking 50 famous people to nominate the worst book they had ever read.

Most ignorant and ridiculous comment, of course, from Anne Widdecombe

The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson

I had to read this whilst judging the Whitbread prize. It is a children's book about a drunken mother and her two children by different fathers. I thought these themes should not be promoted for children, and I disliked it intensely on those grounds.

Does she seriously think that the book 'promotes' these themes (what themes, drunkenness and copulation?) Meanwhile I recommend this book for young readers as a way of dealing with the painful realisation that parents can be flawed, eccentric and sometimes plain bonkers.

The Lord of the Rngs gained the most votes BTW, followed by Brief History of Time ("Crap", Brian Sewell).

I'm not sure whether I have ever read a book right through that I absolutely hated. Oh, I've thought of one: 'The Story of O'. I kept expecting the girl to turn round and kill them all and she never did. Very disappointing.
breaking bad


Apparently there are a whole bunch of people who think they aren't really human. They are called 'Otherkin'.

The Otherkin are those people who believe themselves to be spiritually and/or physically other than human. While mythological species (elves, satyrs, fairies, dragons, and so on) are widely accepted as being included under the term "Otherkin", many people in the community prefer to include aliens, vampires, furries, extraterrestrial humans, and other nonhuman races. ... there are types of otherkin that have not shown up in known legends or fiction (star-dragons, Elenari, etc.).

My objection to this idea is not that it is false. After all, what do I know? Perhaps the Buddha never existed. Who knows if there is life in outer space or not?

Here's what I think is wrong about this stuff

- If the definitiion of what is 'human' stifles you - then extend the definition.

- Virtues only exist if they are manifest. For example, if you think are noble, then act honourably. If you think you are sensitive then act considerately. I have the same issues with people who talk about their ancestory, gender, creativity, psychic ability etc as if these attributes confer any special meaning on their life. Only what is manifest does that.

- Your sense of superiority is probably what makes people annoyed with you.

Hey - I am certain these three criticisms apply heartily to myself. And to a bunch of other people too. Does that mean the Otherkin really are human after all?

I find this kind of unusual social psychology very fascinating.