The 23 Enigma – three stories

I’m a Discordian – which means nothing other than I think religion is a joke, so I claim membership of a joke religion. One of the articles of faith, in a religion that believes nothing, is that there’s something going on with the number 23. Or maybe there isn’t, or maybe there might be sometimes and might not be sometimes. Or something.

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A tale of two Harry Bolands

Many years ago, I was reading Emma Goldman’s autobiography sitting beside the pool while on holidays in Greece (not necessarily everyone’s idea of relaxing, but I’m not everyone). I sat bolt upright in my sun-bed when I got to page 567 and Goldman writes of lecturing in Philadelphia. There, she writes, she met “two persons whose friendship recompensed me for the otherwise dreary experience, Harry Boland and Horace Traubel.” Harry Boland! She goes on, “Harry was an old devotee and always generously helpful in every struggle I made.”

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Will work for – a reasonable sum based on my skills and experience

I thought this would be a little bit easier, to be honest. Having taken redundancy last year and returning to university to do a Masters, I didn’t think I’d still be sitting here, nearly August a year later, without work.

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My essays on Scribd

I finished my Masters course last month and am now working on my dissertation – “An anarchist analysis of power” based primarily on the work of Emma Goldman and Rudolf Rocker. More on that later in the year when I have the thing written!

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Naomi Wolf, rape and where society is now

I had no intention of writing about this issue – in fact, I’ve got a number of other things to write and had planned to do at least one of those tonight. However, I saw the debate between Naomi Wolf and Tory MP Louise Bagshawe on Newsnight. Then I started taking notice of the stuff on Twitter about it and found the link to Wolf’s Guardian piece and read some of the comments.

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A tiresome level of certainty

“Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.” – Robert Anton Wilson

The on-going debate between a number of atheist intellectuals and their religious equivalents fills me with a large amount of disinterest. I haven’t gone so far as to read any of the books, whether by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens or any of the long list of respondents [there’s a good list here, but the page is a mess]. Life’s too short.
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Remembering Bob

The great Robert Anton Wilson moved onto the next plane of existence on 11 January 2007 (Sweetmorn, Chaos 11, Year of Our Lady of Discord 3173). With the growing chaos in the world, it’s time to remember Bob (it’s always time to remember Bob, really, but just in case people have forgotten to remember Bob).

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Stuck in the past – Islington’s council’s out-dated online payments

I’m useless, I admit it. I rarely manage to remember to pay my council tax at the beginning of the month. I’ve resisted going for direct debit as long as possible because I don’t like handing control of my money over to other people, but I’m going to have to go for it now. Because… I “have lost the right to pay by instalments”.

Yes, I had to be reminded too many times with red-topped letters and now I either pay it all at once (not too bad as we approach the end of the council tax year) or sign up for direct debit. Of course, the council could actually have made it a bit easier to pay.

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Blogging with Pride

I’m in Riga at the moment, as part of the official Amnesty International delegation to join the Riga Pride march. Part of my work, as well as helping to steward the march and do some filming, is to write for the offical Amnesty International Pride blog. You can read my first post there now Homophobia isn’t just a gay issue (now only available from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine).