Wusses! Stoke Newington != Hackney

BBC says, MPs test out Hackney after dark
This shop counter looks remarkably familiar:

I can’t believe a bunch of posey politicians can go to the solidly middle class enclave that is Stoke Newington Church St and pretend they’ve braved the wilds of Hackney! The worst that could happen is that their latte accidentally has non-organic milk or they are hit in the ankles by a £1000 pram.
They should have some guts and walk down ‘Murder Mile’ on their own – nothing will happen, but at least they will have really proved the point.

Where now?

Marina Hyde picks up Naomi Wolf’s point with reference to recent ‘footballer party’ allegations and says, Porn is screwing up young men’s expectations of sex

And so to a vexing riddle of our times. Namely, if six footballers can have six girls each, why do they only want one between them? The answer is actually incredibly simple (and has nothing to do with repressed homosexuality). It might be partly that they enjoy team activities and it’s a kind of extended goal celebration, but it is primarily because that is what they see in porn. And porn is screwing up sex. Not sex in relationships, but the kind of casual sex in which it would be nice to think people could indulge in a mutually enjoyable, non-exploitative fashion. In this context, footballers are not qualitatively different from plenty of other young men, it’s just that being regarded as demigods makes it easier to act in this way.
Several years ago Naomi Wolf pointed out that the proliferation of porn, particularly on the internet, was the way most young men and women were now, in effect, taught about sex – “what sex is, how it looks, what its etiquette and expectations are”. It had a significant impact on the way they interacted. She wondered whether all the sexual imagery around represented the true liberation of sex, or whether “the relationship between the multibillion-dollar porn industry, compulsiveness, and sexual appetite has become like the relationship between agribusiness, processed foods, supersize portions, and obesity”.
No matter where you stand on it, porn has undoubtedly skewed many young men’s expectations of sex, and many young women’s sense of sexual obligation.

Good news for gay rights in Nepal, Uruguay, Hungary and maybe Peru

BBC: Nepal court rules on gay rights
“Nepal’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to scrap laws that discriminate against homosexuals.”
BBC: Uruguay approves gay civil unions”
“Uruguay’s congress has approved a bill which would allow civil unions for both gay and unmarried straight couples.
It is the first country in Roman Catholic-dominated Latin America to approve such a measure nationwide. ”
Yahoo: Hungary legalizes civil partnerships
“Same-sex couples in Hungary will be able to register their civil partnerships, giving them many of the legal rights of married couples.”
And maybe Peru, if you help: Peru urged to protect LGBT youth, more on how you can help at http://www.iglhrc.org/site/iglhrc/section.php?id=5&detail=817

I’m sure the honeymoon will end soon enough, but for now, I’m happy

BBC: Canberra signals immigration move

Australia’s new government has accepted seven Burmese asylum seekers being held in Nauru, signalling a wind-down of a controversial immigration policy.
Immigration Minister Chris Evans said admitting the group was a first step in dismantling the previous government’s so-called “Pacific Solution”.

Chief Executive of the Refugee Council of Australia Paul Power welcomed Labor’s move to change the policy.
“It (the ‘Pacific Solution’) was a failed policy that created great psychological damage to people who had committed no crime and undermined Australia’s international reputation on human rights,” he said in a statement.

Coolness in Paris

Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since.

Guardian, Undercover restorers fix Paris landmark’s clock