Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Asking for it"

A story has been made public after remarks by former Carlton President John Elliot stating that during his time with the club, several women were paid off by the club who had made allegations of being sexually assaulted by Cartlon players. Elliot also said he had concerns that one of the women might not have been just after the money.

Disturbing enough? I thought so. But it gets worse. The following comments on a board I frequent staggered me:

"Dredging up the past is ridiculous "

"women throw them selves at footballers and say that they have been sexually abused to get their 15 minutes of fame and get a story on a current affair."

"It never fails to frustrate me when females think they can pull the wool over the eyes of everyone and cry rape etc, when is was consensual, and now they've decided they want some quick cash or a turn in the spotlight, but where do we draw the line at who to believe?"

"I'm not saying rape isn't wrong, but if a woman is asking for it, I have no sympathy"

What really got me - to the point where I felt almost physically ill - was that these comments were all on a board that is a forum for women; a female footy fans forum (If that isn't enough alliteration to choke on) I won't name the forum, but these are by-and-large intelligent, seemingly caring women, and most of the attitudes range from "it doesn't matter, it was years ago" to "she was asking for it"

To which I replied:

Let's get one thing clear right now. NO-ONE ASKS FOR RAPE. Rape is a criminal offence, a violation and should never be tolerated or apologised for with remarks like "well, she asked for it" Wearing a short skirt is "not asking for it". Deciding you don't want to go through with something at any stage is not "asking for it". The only determining factor as to whether something is rape is whether the person consented - and changing your mind before or during removes consent. What they are wearing, how they act or whether someone considers that person a tart do not enter into the equation.

The response?

"aren't we being a bit sterotypical by saying that men are wrong for raping women- which they are but what about women who rape men, isn't that the same thing."

Riiiight. Because referring to specific allegations against AFL footballers - who, correct me if I'm wrong, are men - in the masculine pronoun negates your comment saying that women are "asking for it"?

I'd make some sensible points about women being our own worst enemies sometimes, the "she's only saying it because he's famous" defence and why we still have a long way to go on our attitudes to rape victims, but I'm too bloody furious right now.

**EDIT** Tweaked a sentence in one paragraph so it actually made sense, and changed the spelling of forum from "Fourum" I have no idea what a "Fourum" is, unless it's an obscure alcohol measurement.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Geek Heaven

So, I've been meaning to post for the last two or three days, but I've been distracted. Mainly by this:

HTC Magic running Android OS.

One of the things I love most about this phone is the features. Both whats included, and what you can download almost instantly from the Android Market for free. Like Google Sky. I open Google Sky, point my phone at a patch of the sky, and it tells me what constellation I'm looking at. I've got my Google Reader pointing at my phone, Twitroid set up for all my twittering needs, Gmail straight to my phone - in a format that isn't more difficult to use than a PC.

It's glorious. I'm in heaven. And it shits all over the iphone.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

2001: A Space Wankfest

Another in the series of movies I apparently "HAVE to see", which, on reflection, I could have lived without.

Here's pretty much a faithful run-down of how it went:

(Jeremy, voice-over guying): After all the space-type music, and the cover for this DVD, you might be expecting a space-ship. And what do you get? Guys in Ape-Suits!

Me: Monkeys?

J: It's the Dawn of Man

Me (Seventeen minutes of monkeys later): It's seventeen minutes of monkeys.

J: It'll all make sense later

Me: You mean there's a point to the monkeys?

J: To the Monolith.

Me: That couldn't possibly have been condensed from seventeen minutes of monkeys? And why, after the monkeys start bashing them with bones and eating them, do the Taipirs still hang around the monkeys?

J: They're stupid?

Me: You are.

(One hour and forty minutes in, the scenes with HAL)

Me: So what happens with the Doctor who made that call to his daughter?

J: Nothing.

Me: Nothing?

J: Yeah.

Me: Then what the hell was that all about? Why did they try and make us care about the character and then ditch him?

J: He was in that part of the movie

Me: Did someone lose the keys to the editing suite?

(Two hours and oh-my-God make it stop minutes in, the psychedelic light show):

Me: I get it. Colours.

J: He's going through a gateway.

Me: I get that, but how many times have we seen that same shot of his eye?

J: How freaked out would you be if you go through all that and you end up in a hotel room?

Me: I'd be pretty relieved.

J: And now they're fucking with his head

Me: What the hell is going on now?

J: He's ascending.

Me: He's a fetus.

J: It's called a Star Child.

Me: There is absolutely no way you could possibly know what's going on in this part of the movie without either someone telling you or reading the book. That's incredibly wanky.

And that, in a nutshell, is my problem with this part of the movie. The part with HAL and Dave disconnecting him (An excellent metaphor for a lobotomy) I liked. The parts that could have - and should have - been chopped to the minimum required to tell the story? Not so much. I understand that a lot of this technology would have been new at the time, so the tendency to play with it would have been high, but that doesn't make a five minute psychedelic light show meaningful. And I do like a film that makes you think. But a film where the ending doesn't make sense unless you either make something up or read the book that - co-incidentally - the film-makers wrote? That gives me the screaming shits.

When I compare this movie with Dr. Strangelove - also a Kubrick film - there's no question which movie I prefer. Dr. Strangelove every time. And that isn't just because of Peter Sellers. It's because Dr. Strangelove made you think about the futility of nuclear armament. And gave you an insight into the attitudes of the time the film was made.

2001 merely made me think that Kubrick was one of those film-makers who feels he has possession over his scenes, and refuses to let them go - even if that's to the detriment of the entire project.

And that's sad, because the what for me was a film that had merit in parts - the HAL parts - lost much of that to an impenetrable story line that went nowhere.

Three and a half stars for the Hal portion of the move. Minus five for all others.


I know I should blog something, and I do have a few things in the works, but last week I had a stomach bug all week (Fun, when your partner has a head cold), since Sunday I've had a head-cold/throat infection combination. My attention span is not that great.

I'll try and get something up soon, but at the moment, I just don't have the stamina.