The Machines Are Already Rising Up

Or at least they’re confounding me. I have most of a post on Battle/Hastings written, but getting the photos is proving more difficult than I’d thought, since my phone doesn’t want to give them up, and my computer insists it has no storage available anyway, and my blog uploader won’t take more than one and none of the edited versions, and… I realize this is mostly an issue of user error and outdated technology, but it does feel a little like the machines are conspiring to keep me from getting what I want in this area. Sneaky machines.

Anyway, more posts to come soon, I hope!

 

Keith Moon Is Turning Over in His Grave

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The actual line in the song is “Hope I die before I get old,” for fuck’s sake. My feelings on this are complicated because of course Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have continued touring well beyond middle age, never mind while in the blush and fury of youth, and some of their later stuff is great, and I loved seeing them in concert in 2002, when they undoubtedly rocked.

But still. This shirt. It’s all the smugness and sellout commercialism of the Boomers in one t-shirt. Burn it to the ground.

Voting in the UK

I voted in the UK for the first time yesterday (my mom is British so I have citizenship, fortunate me). Everyone told me how easy it was, and that was not a lie.

First, I went online to register. I entered my National Insurance number (which is basically proof of ability to work based on my citizenship; the number is used on tax forms and things). If you don’t have such a number, they have other questions but you may still be able to vote. Then you enter your address so they can determine your constituency–and here’s the big difference from voting in the US.

Back in the US, a lot of states are making it more difficult to vote, by insisting on photo ID, stripping prisoners of the right to vote, insisting students only register in one district, not permitting temporary addresses, etc. In the UK, the registration site explains how to use the right address if you’re in a hospital or prison, if you’re a student, and even if you’re homeless. If you can’t provide an address at all, you can contact your election office and you may still be able to vote. This is great! This is removing barriers to voting rather than creating them. That’s what we should be doing.

For the actual voting, I went to my polling station, which was literally around the corner from my house, stood in line for 7 minutes, gave my name to an election officer who checked it off a list, took my paper to a booth, and put an X next to the candidate of my choice. Dead simple.

The election may not have gone as I’d hoped, but the process of registering and voting gave me hope for how we might help enfranchise people back in the States.

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