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Wednesday, May 3
by Poppa on Wed 03 May 2006 11:36 AM BST
Every year, on May Day Bank Holiday, we have the equivalent of a village fete in Little Venice. Boats come from far and wide and moor up in the pool, the large-ish triangle of water at the heart of Little Venice, where the Regents Canal and the Grand Union Canal meet. We have marquees and market stalls, a beer tent, a band, a boat-handling competition, an illuminated boat parade, and parties that go on till the wee hours.
Er. Well normally we do. To be fair, most of that was there, but a series of cock-ups meant there was no beer tent. And for some reason they let the Scientologists have a pitch! As they do on Tottenham Court Road, they were offering free "stress tests", and then trying to brainwash the simple and vulnerable to join their ridiculous cult. Every single boater I spoke to found this really offensive. Sure, we had the Christian Boaters Fellowship as usual, but they're not as culty and at least they're boaters!
But even more offensive?
[Note: since I wrote this, I've heard that I was far from being the only person to formally complain about the Scientologists. Apparently, they won't be back. AMM, 24th May 2006]
by Poppa on Wed 03 May 2006 11:20 AM BST
This isn't just about junk mail though. There's always the Big Brother question. I don't want umpteen companies sharing what they know about me. And nor do I want the government knowing everything I do. Not that I'm a criminal or a terrorist - far too chicken - just that I'm not a consumer or a suspect or a statistic; I'm a private citizen.
Here's a cautionary tale:
Q. What could a boarding pass tell an identity fraudster about you? A. Way too much
Chilling. It doesn't take a creepy and all-powerful government to do this, just a bit of mild incompetence and someone who knows how to use the information available. So I'm keeping my details to myself, as much as possible.
My lovely readers are always welcome to email me at email@example.com though - thank Invisible Superman for mail filters.
(Actually, I must find out who invented mail filters and thank them)
PS Oh and yes, I am against ID cards. I don't really mind having to prove who I am sometimes, using my passport or driving licence or something. Strictly in circumstances where it might matter, like when applying for a mortgage. But I don't see the need to spend several hundred pounds each (and rising) on a card that would be no defence against either 9/11 or 7/7-style attacks, and whose biometric technology is immature. Blunkett and Clarke can get stuffed.
by Poppa on Wed 03 May 2006 10:48 AM BST
Hi, I'm Poppa - aka Alan Moore. I'm 38 and I live in central London on a canal boat with my wonderful fiancée, Moore Flannery (yes, Moore Moore - we've heard it). I work for Telmar Communications near Baker Street, working on media research data and techniques, and providing technical assistance and advice to our broadcast clients. Moore is a civil servant at the Home Office.
We both love boating, red wine, smelly cheese, old-fashioned caffs and pubs, and good malt whisky. We've both lived in the Far East, and we're both struggling to give up smoking before the wedding. She likes David Bowie, I like chillout, and we both adore Hank Wangford and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.