Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A shallow response to important stuff

I've just discovered that a friend of mine has an official blog to do with an exhibition he's curating. It's intelligent and interesting; go Matthew! The BL does excellent free exhibitions, and because it's just a few minutes' walk from King's Cross it's worth popping in and catching a slightly later train. This one is about Liberty and citizenship and such. It looks interesting but rather harder work than their usual pretty picture exhibitions. I'm not entirely sure about the big hoarding saying "In some countries you wouldn’t have the right to visit this exhibition about your rights". This person is angry about it because he thinks it panders to the government (which seems a little sensitive to me), but my problem with it is just stylistic, because I can really hear Chris Morris shouting it while pointing and glaring. My other immediate shallow response is that this black-and-white picture is a bit rubbish. But leaving aside stylistic quibbles, I think it's true that we do take various rights for granted, and I certainly ought to understand their importance and history better in order to know how to respond to possible threats. Look at Italy; it's another big European country, like Britain, yet they are fingerprinting all the Romany children* and no one there seems to be bothered. I was sat at dinner a year or more back talking to a hard-boiled and rather angry lawyer, who said something about how awful it was that the government thought it OK for such-and-such to happen, and I thought the suggestion shocking and said surely they'd never get it through, and he said that they'd done it two years ago. Now I can't even remember what that shocking thing was, although it was something to do with the relationship between the government and the judiciary. So I'm hoping this exhibition will decrease my ignorance; there's a lot there for it to work with.

* I just can't rid myself of this image of a little Romany bambino or bambina asking some adult, a teacher or parent, why he or she is being fingerprinted? "Well, small one, it's so that the government can punish you more easily when you grow up into a criminal like all your race." It's foul.


  1. Thanks RJR. Everything I learnt about blogging I learnt from you!

    Am sorely tempting to waste the morning photoshopping Chris M. in front of the giant Taking Liberties fist.

  2. Do it do it! There's lots of shouting in this bit of the IT Crowd where he declares war on stress:

  3. mmm. nice bike gear!