Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Campaign for Real Fear submission

As the Campaign for Real Fear narrows down to those lucky ten winners, writers who got rejected seem to be posting their entries up on their blogs. Here's my entry...


The rumour spread through the playground like wildfire, it spread like head-lice.

There was a vampire in the graveyard!

It had sharp teeth and glowing red eyes! It would suck your blood, drinking you up as if you were just a big chocolate milkshake!

The Elmfield Road 'three and a half' gang (the half because Charlie was only five years old and didn't really count,) knew what to do. Just like the day they'd solved The Case of the Interfering Priest, they met in Lucy's treehouse after school.

"How do you fight a vampire?" Billy asked them.

"With a steak!" said Lucy.

"With garlic on it?" asked Billy.

"I wanna ice-cream!!" said Charlie.

"Cut off its head!" announced Simon, delightedly. His brother had an impressive collection of horror movies, and Simon could therefore be trusted on matters such as these.

They arranged to meet outside the graveyard at midnight, because vampires, as Simon had informed them, only came out at night, much like those ladies who lived in the house up on Park End Street.

Lucy was already there when Simon arrived. “How did you get away?” he asked.

“I climbed down the drainpipe!” She grinned proudly.

When Billy arrived, holding Charlie’s arm and trailing his father’s firewood axe in his other hand, neither Simon nor Lucy asked how he had got away. It was common knowledge that Billy and Charlie’s parents didn’t much care what they did.

“It must be feeding,” said Simon. “It’ll be back before sun up.”

"Will the vampire be ‘sexy?’" asked Lucy, as they waited. She had seen an entirely different sort of vampire movie.

Billy huffed. “Don’t be such a girl.”

Dawn crept slowly into the sky. When the vampire arrived, it wasn’t ‘sexy.’ It had nasty red eyes and its hair was matted. The children were sure they could smell its rank breath from where they hid behind the wall.

Muttering darkly, it pushed open the heavy door of the crypt and went inside.

“We’ll never open that door.” said Simon. “We’ll have to lure it out.”

The plan was this: Lucy and Charlie banged on the crypt and shouted, while Simon and Billy waited to attack.

“Damn kids!” shouted the vampire, pushing open the door.

It tripped over Charlie. The vampire cried out in surprise as it fell.

Billy, seeing the vampire attack, lunged with the axe.

“Arghgl…!” gurgled the vampire.


The Chief Constable today blamed violent videogames for the recent surge in juvenile crime, and urged parents to take more responsibility for where their children go at night. He could not confirm whether a five year-old had been present at the attack, but said that all children involved were being dealt with by the relevant authorities. He said that this incident only confirmed the need for the new government’s latest censorship laws, which will...

The newspapers sucked the story dry.


Thursday, 15 April 2010

Who's read Transmetropolitan? I have.

So those three old white guys are on TV, competing for our attention again. David Cameron really reminds me of somone...

Okay, so I know the 'smiler' character's look was based on Blair, but everyone is comparing Blair and Cameron these days. It's just something behind the eyes. You know he's not got your best interests at heart...

I wish I had the time and mad photoshop skillz to change 'CALLAHAN' to read 'CAMERON'. Also that other guy could totally be Brown...


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Some things we have to do on our own...

So, when I announced on twitter today (@Jenni_Hill) that I was going to Saturday's Million Women Rise march in London, and asked who was coming with me, several men of my acquaintance complained that they wouldn't be going because men weren't allowed, and wasn't this awful?

Well, no. It's not awful. Not really.

To be fair on the men in question, they care very deeply about these issues and framed their arguments in the most respectful way, but the 'why are men excluded from this protest?' debate is one that comes up a lot on the forums and blogs I frequent, as both the Million Women Rise marches and the Reclaim the Night protests do exclude men.

From now on, when this debate comes up, I will be able to point people to this post. There are four things to understand:-

1. There are plenty of marches where men are allowed.

2. This is not one of them.

3. There are rape survivors/ex-prostitutes/victims of domestic abuse who do not feel comfortable at marches where men are allowed.

4. Those people deserve to be able to march on these issues. As do you. You need to look closely at point 1.

Lesser points:-

-Complaining that you're not invited to the party is not constructive. It doesn't make you an ally. If you care, get involved at the White Ribbon Campaign* or somewhere else, and don't attack the organisers who are trying to do something about these issues. You're derailing the important dialogues going on here by shouting "What about me?" when really, truly, and I say this in the kindest possible manner, it is not about you. If you are a privileged person, you are used to most things in life being about you. For a tongue-in-cheek discussion of what derailing is, go here: Derailing for Dummies, I really recommend it. For discussion from my mate Laurie Penny of why it's not about you, go here.

- How often do you see women come together in spaces which are mainly full of women and march on something, and get angry about something? You don't. The visual of many, many women walking down these public streets and protesting will be a strong one. Strong enough to make some men angry, shout abuse and spit at us, in some cases.

- Don't argue that the support of men will somehow add legitimacy to the issue, or that 'sexists will listen to men' because that's just wrong-headed and therein lies madness or, alternatively, this onion article (wherein 53-year-old management consultant Peter "Buck" McGowan uses the old boy's network to 'fix' feminism).

- We're not 'Reclaiming the Night' if you're with us. I may feel safer walking down Tooting Bec road at 3am if I've got my six-foot boyfriend with me, but that is Not How Things Should Be.

It's about NOT having to walk down the road arm in arm with a man - please try to understand that. Some things we want to do on our own. This is one of them.

- Jen

*The White Ribbon Campaign is one of those places that makes me want to stand up on a high place and shout "FUCK YEAH!" and maybe wave my fists in the air for a bit. Seriously. Go check it out. What are you still doing here?