Yes, I’m back in England, how did you guess?
I’ll be less cold when I’m less exhausted, and hopefully then I’ll be less grumpy. And maybe I’ll have fewer things to be grumpy about.
Grump source #1 most of you will be familiar with by now as it has been all over our corner of the Twittersphere today. But for the benefit of those of you who shun such spaces here’s Cory with the tale of how author Peter Watts was beaten, arrested and charged with assault while driving home to Canada from the USA. Scalzi has the same story with some news about fund raising efforts, while Patrick muses on some of the issues raised by the incident and Emma Bull has a good rant. Peter’s version of the incident is here (though it may not stay there because if I was his lawyer I’d be advising him to say nothing at all).
I’ve never actually met Peter Watts, though I’m sure we have been at the same convention from time to time. However, I have a great deal of sympathy with his plight as that so easily could have been me. Fortunately I have learned to cringe well when being bullied by border guards. Even so this year I ended up spending over $2000 and a great deal of time and worry trying to get a visa I was told to apply for but which I didn’t need and never had any chance of getting. Peter’s case, if it does come to trial, will cost him a lot more than that. Please help him out if you can.
Grump reason #2 is an article in the local paper here about how a transvestite who got tired on the way home, parked his car and fell asleep was found by the police, arrested and sentenced to jail time for “a serious sexual offence”, i.e. wearing women’s clothes. Other material in the article suggested that the person in question had what we Brits call “previous”, some of which may have genuinely been of a more serious nature. However, the article clearly gave the impression that men dressed in women’s clothes were likely to harm others and deserved both jail time and being placed on a register of sex offenders.
Reason #3 has me so angry that I’m going to allow myself some cooling off time before writing about it. I was going to direct you to Roz but apparently she’s doing the same thing. More bad temper tomorrow, I’m afraid.