Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Getting to grips with this blog lark

How often should one post? I suspect writing a blog is something like a sexual relationship. You fuck each other raw and gasping at the beginning, taking every single opportunity, then as the novelty wears off, it becomes less of a compulsion, more of a pleasant pastime, until suddenly it's become an obligation, like cutting your toenails.

Clearly - what is this, the seventh post in about 15 hours? - I'm still at the hormones-a-gogo stage, pushing the blog facedown in the pillow and giving it a regular old digital seeing-to. But it won't last, and I'll become more absorbed by the www version of toenails (say, checking my bank balance). The blog will remain, smiling inanely and wondering where it all went wrong.

Anyway, enough of this solipsism. Blimey, that Tony Blair, eh? Looks like he's got a fight on his hands. Personally, I find the whole debate (how long can you detain a terror suspect and still be able to look yourself in the mirror without flinching?) like knitting with candyfloss. The antis argue that banging someone up for 90 days is a denial of human rights. Well of course it is - but so is banging them up for 42 days or 28 days or 7 days or 10 minutes. The question isn't whether we should deprive people of those rights - it's how much we can deprive them without looking like total bastards.

At the same time, Blair's argument that 90 days is necessary is just another number pulled out of a hat. Who's to say 90 days is enough. Maybe someone will need 91. There are people at Guantanamo who've been there so long they'll probably be eligible for US citizenship before long. Or is it Cuban?

On a marginally more cheerful note, I'm listening to Aretha and Ray Charles shaking their respective thangs on 'Spirit In The Dark' (Aretha Live At Filmore West). That bit where Ray sings "When you hear Aretha sing, y'all, can you feel the spirit?" and all the hippies say yeah like a Baptist congregation... it's quite good, actually.

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