Vonnegut, Piercy, and Resistance

This week I read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

 The plot is outlined in the first few pages of the book so I don’t think spoilers are an issue. However there will be some minor spoilers for Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time.

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An update re: updates

I’ve decided to write a short blog, every week, for a year.

I set up this blog in 2011. I made six posts (four of them good) and abandoned writing just under a year later. I am going to try again, this time with less ambition but more commitment.

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Bad Apples?

This blog was initially a twitter rant that, due to a positive response, has been compiled here. With thanks to @boutmycolumn for his “bad apple said the branch…” tweet.

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The Phantoms of the Job Centre?

I have been unemployed and looking for a job for the last five months. In this time I have applied for approximately fifty jobs, and have spent a considerable amount of time looking for many more. I have predominantly been looking for administrative work, and I’ve been struck by two ‘features’ of the job market. Features very different from when I was in a similar position five years ago. Continue reading

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The Anatomy of a Joke

This blog considers the use of ‘humour’ as an excuse for offensive and discriminatory statements. It looks at how jokes are constructed, how they are told, and what makes them funny. Throughout this the importance of subverting power dynamics is highlighted as a key factor in the use of humour around dark or emotive subjects, and the distinction between a joke and an offensive statement is defined. Continue reading

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The Police: the Case Against

There is a commonly held assumption that the police are a necessary presence in a civilised society, one that ensures the preservation of social order. And yet this assumption is deeply ideological, blurring the distinction between the act of policing with the existence of an institutional police force. This blog will query the supposed necessity of the police, asking how they gain their legitimacy and whether this is deserved. Continue reading

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Gender, Power, and Struggle: Part II

The first part of this blog considered the socialisation of gender roles and how this creates underlying norms that ensure the continuation of patriarchy. This led to a discussion of rape culture, arguing that binary gender roles underpin this culture; therefore rape culture cannot be abolished without the end of patriarchy. Part two will consider the role of the state in constructing these gender roles, leading on to a discussion of what this means for protest and political groups. Continue reading

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