raven: white text on green and yellow background: "ten points from Gryffindor for destroying my soul" (sbp - destroying my soul)
Aaargh aaaargh aaargh aaargh argh AAARGH.

Okay, now I've got that out of the way. I am sick of being ill. I cannot be ill. I have 14,000 words to write in the next three weeks and two exams to sit in two weeks and did I mention I do not have time to be ill? I do not have time to be ill.

And yet. The cold has mostly gone. It has been replaced by place-of-low-resistance migraines.


Anyway. I have been re-reading a lot of Vorkosigan books lately and have taken the moral to heart: I am going to get on with my life through SHEER FORCE OF WILL. I am going to New York City tomorrow to watch the new Who with [personal profile] macadamanaity, and I am going to write a fair chunk of my 14,000 words on the way there, and when I return I am going to hit the revision schedule. Three weeks and counting, guys. I can do this.
raven: white text on green and yellow background: "ten points from Gryffindor for destroying my soul" (sbp - destroying my soul)
My mental state is probably best exemplified by the fact the next thing I have queued on Netflix is SG-1 5x21, "Meridian".

raven: Alyson Hannigan as vampire Willow with her fangs out, face shadowed  (buffy - vamp willow)
Here is the thing that is making me FURIOUS. raaaaaaaaaage )

Small thing that is making me feel slightly happier: I took [personal profile] gavagai's-and-all-of-your advice and watched some more of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I'm still not wildly fannish about it, but it's such an adorable little show. I am just about to finish watching the first season, and Katara is my very very favourite and Sokka is my very favourite. (I love him, I do; I love his determination to be the voice of reason at all times, and how no one ever listens to him. Do not be woeful, Sokka, I love you!)

Grrrr argh. Not enough coffee in the world.
raven: stylised blue sailing ship and text: "Admiral Fail of the Fail Armada" (misc - FAIL)
I am having an immensely frustrating morning. Immensely. Aaargh. Okay, this week's reading: Plessy v Ferguson, the infamous 1896 Supreme Court case that decrees that "separate" can be "equal", and there is nothing unconstitutional about making black people ride in separate railway carriages. The opinion contains such gems as:

this )


this )

Then comes Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954), possibly the most famous case in American jurisprudence, which decides that separate is not equal and thus segregation in schools is unconstitutional. I apologise for the Legal History 101 going on here. Anyway, the point of it for my purposes at the moment is that it made the use of social science evidence in courtrooms mainstream. The study in question, the Clark doll study, involved two groups of black children - about 200 of them from the segregated South, and another group from somewhere in Massachusetts, where schools were integrated. Each child was given two dolls - one white, with yellow hair, and one brown with dark hair. They were asked which doll they wanted to play with, which doll has a nice colour, and which doll was "bad", etc., and were told to hand the relevant doll to the experimenter.

Of course, a significant percentage of the children in both groups picked the white doll - the white doll is "nice", the white doll is the one I want to play with, etc.

Then came a cute study, done by some high school students. Here it is - it's quick and telling. Same idea, same methodology, same results, only now it is not 1954. Small children are socialised, at an early age, into believing white is good and anything else is bad. Hi, I could have told you that. I wasn't a playing-with-dolls kind of child, but I do remember the only brown doll I ever had. It was wearing a sari - do I, or the brown people I know, wear saris every day? - and was probably called Exoticism Barbie or some such thing.

But the class were very impressed. Oh, the things that you learn! Isn't it surprising, and interesting that small children should think that even now! I mean, it's not like anything in their culture might make them thing that being brown was bad, for heaven's sake! It's not like everyone on TV is white and everyone in authority is white and brown people are exotic, angry, foreign, strange and ugly, or anything like that, is it!

You know, it's amazing how often I find myself moved to quote from Angels in America, but, seriously, I am trapped in a world of white people.

What do you even do, though? If you jump up and down and shout, "hi, you are all WRONG, about EVERYTHING", you come across as the freakish foreign brown girl, again.

Oh waaaaaaail. I want a muffin and a chocolate bar and for everyone to just GO AWAY.
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)

I am really, really angry. My first exam is tomorrow and there is no food on any university campus and I am REALLY, REALLY ANGRY. I thought you should all know.
raven: image of India on a globe (politics - india)
Shim just pointed this out to me, noting he got it from [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong: apparently he's DOING IT WRONG.

...wow. Wow. Seriously, wow.
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
Oh my god. Oh my god. It's three am. Next door are HAVING SEX. AGAIN. SO LOUDLY. I can. Hear. Everything. EVERYTHING. They're playing loud music in the mistaken assumption that that blocks it out. THEY'RE WRONG.

Oh god, oh god, there are two walls and a pair of industrial strength earplugs in the way already please kill me now.

eta: I cannot turn up like a zombie to crim lit and tell them it's because of a combination of nineties punk and orgasms they can hear in Peru, oh god. Crim lit is in six hours anyway. shit.
raven: image of India on a globe (politics - india)
At twenty past three, it's tending towards sunset: with snow on the ground, and a purplish tinge to the glass, it's grim but beautiful. Thank god for the East Coast Main Line, anyway. Free wifi for all the four hundred miles between Kings Cross and Edinburgh, this train doesn't stop till York, and I'm feeling relaxed for what seems the first time in weeks. I don't really know where to begin.

Maybe last night: when I stepped out of the Tube station, it was pitch black and and dark and late and miserable, and the man in front of me walked out into the clear air and said, sincerely, happily, for the whole world, "It's only fucking snowing!"

And it was. Not in a middle-of-city way, either; it came down in great extravagant whirls all night, gave me a terrible case of dandruff, and I couldn't sleep, so I watched it come down with a quiet sort of joy. It's beautiful. And the night and morning, with [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong feeding me and making soothing noises, were a lovely peaceful interlude in what really has been a very difficult week. For the first thing, my brain is fraying at the edges a bit and giving me unhappy sorts of symptoms; I'm nervy and on edge and a little afraid of everything, and tired in my bones all the time because I can't sleep.

But I got through the two mock exams, the usual grind of classes, and the feeling in my head that I wanted to go away somewhere and live in a box - a well-upholstered box, with sofas, but nevertheless, cardboard walls and no windows - and I bought Christmas presents, and all was well until this morning when I went to see the Indian High Commission about a routine consular matter.

(Basically, it goes like this. I am a British citizen with a standard adult ten-year passport. I am also an overseas Indian citizen, and I hold a (limited) Indian passport. The latter is only valid as an adjunct to the former, and as it happens, my Indian passport was issued before I got my current British passport. I haven't been to India in nearly three years, so it hasn't come up for a while, but now I need to make sure the British passport number referred to in the Indian passport is the number of my current British passport.

Does that follow? I hope it does. It was a very simple problem.)

So a while ago I called the Indian High Commission and tried to explain this problem to them. First they didn't answer their phone. Then they did answer their phone and they were rude. Then they transferred me to another department. Who were also rude. The phone tag involved in all of this took several days. Finally I got an answer out of them: if I brought both current passports and the expired one with me, they could fix it for me, same-day.

Okay, I said. Today, that's what I set out to do. I got there at nine in the morning, took a ticket, told the woman at the counter my problem, she gave me a form to fill out. I tried to get in, and they said, are you carrying a computer in your bag.

Yes, I said.

Take the battery out, they said. I took a deep breath and complied - my parents advised, before I came, just to do whatever arbitrary things they demand, it'll be easier - and stuffed the battery in my pocket. Went down to the big hall, queued up for half an hour, and got to the window. They said, this is the wrong form. You gave it to me, I said. It's the wrong form, they said. Fine, I said, give me the right one and I'll fill it in.

Oh, you can't do that, you have to print it off and bring it back to us. No, we can't do it for you. How, I said, you made me take the battery out of my computer and in any case it's not like I carry a printer on me. Not our problem, they said.

So off I went again, rang [livejournal.com profile] shimgray, who by dint of being near a computer could tell me where the internet cafes were in the area. I walked a couple minutes to the nearest one, found their printer was broken. Walked twenty minutes to the next nearest one, paid £4.40 to print off three sheets of paper, walked back, took another token.

This time the queue was about an hour. Never mind, I thought, I'll read my book. I read my book. Time passed. I got to the window. They said, you need photocopies of your passports. I've got them here, I said, so the man went off to photocopy them. You need passport photos, he said. You didn't tell me that, I said. It's not on the form. Get passport photos, he said. I went out, paid £4 for them, and came back.

You need to pay the fee, he said, it's £18. I gave him a twenty-pound note. No, you need to pay exact change. Where am I going to get exact change for £18, I said. It's not like I can go to a cash machine for that much. He said, you should have been prepared, you stupid girl; you didn't even have the photocopies, everyone else here has them, you didn't even cut up the passport pictures for us, it's just you, you're stupid, you stupid, stupid girl.

Don't you dare abuse me, I said. Don't you dare take that tone with me.

He wasn't abusing you, said the woman behind me in the queue. It's all your fault.

Don't you start, I said, and the man slammed my papers down and said, I'm not doing it, you can get lost, I'm not doing your application, get out.

Give me my passport, I said after that. Give me my papers, give them to me now. And I took them, and I walked out, and I went down to the river, and sat on a bench and cried and cried.

So I may not be going to India in January. I don't know. The jury is out on whether you can travel with the expired passport to prove that the Indian passport was legitimately issued; maybe, maybe not, I suppose I will have to find out. In the papers I grabbed off the desk, I have the paper that acknowledges my application was submitted, so possibly this will be done anyway, but not before January 22nd (it wasn't a same-day job; they lied) so I don't know.

In retrospect, I think I know why I was so upset; it's that I don't have to do this. I don't have to hold Indian citizenship. I hold it because I'm supposed to be proud of being Indian; I'm supposed to think Indian citizenship is a valuable and worthy thing to have. But the British High Commission in New Delhi is in Chanakyapuri, near my grandparents' house, and if I went there for help they would treat me with respect, and why, after all, bother being proud of a nation that can't give you any common courtesy, that is, let's face it, grimy, bureaucratic, misogynistic and full of fucking Indians.

(And I know, I know, all Indians aren't like this, I'm not like this. But I feel disgusted and embarrassed anyway.)

...and so on. The train is tilting pleasantly underneath me; I should finish my [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, and pretty soon this week will be over.
raven: stylised blue sailing ship and text: "Admiral Fail of the Fail Armada" (misc - FAIL)
Sign #87928374 that you have spent too long doing business accounts: you can't find your rubber and the WORLD HAS ENDED.

omg, where is it.

Also what the fuck is a closing adjustment really. Who cares. (Seriously. Double-entry. Who gets off on that.) I hate everything.

(Okay, here is something I do not hate: the worked examples always feature the accounts of the Fry & Laurie Theatrical Supplies And Whatnot Shop. I have very little trouble and indeed substantial joy in picturing this. But nevertheless, where is my RUBBER.)

edited to add: okay maybe I don't hate this either.


Apr. 14th, 2009 04:43 pm
raven: (misc - pride)
So, my day was going pretty badly, and then there were death threats!

Remember the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women? The Pink Chaddi Campaign was a wonderful, wry, smart and pointed form of protest - because, let's face it, Hindutva activists are usually quite stupid, and witty humiliation as an argumentative technique is the best way to deal with them other than hitting them with iron bars and setting them on fire.

The Facebook group of the Consortium - I'm not linking to it, for reasons that will be clear in a moment - has been hacked and renamed "the only good bong is a dead one".

I hate everybody. And the Indian men of the world can go fuck themselves, with ginger.

edited to add: the Hindu discusses it.

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