State of the writer

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So, meanwhile, the lack of writing updates… That would be because I’m not doing a lot of that at the moment. I’m catching up on a lot of books I wasn’t reading while writing Harbinger, dabbling in a couple short stories that don’t really want to gel, and reading up stuff on the Internet.

The BF and I have been following Peter Watts’ tribulations with the US system in a state of growing perplexity and anger–as far as I know, we have a sort of “refusal to comply” in French law, but it’s merely the fact of not stopping your car when you’re told to, and it’s punishable at most by 3 months of jail. That hesitating for a handful of seconds or even minutes before complying could land you in jail for 2-3 years is so weird as to be inconceivable (most people in France would laugh at you for suggesting such an idea, and any policeman who beats up a suspect is in big trouble. We regularly have people suggesting custody is demeaning and violates fundamental rights).

In the same vein, we’re very much bewildered by the reasons Cheryl Morgan was turned down when trying to enter the US (byzantine matters that basically boil down to the fact that when the State Department tells you that you don’t need a visa to enter the US, it counts as a refusal instead of a mere “application invalid”). I thought France had a Kafka-esque civil service, but clearly there is worse…

Really hoping things turn out for the best in both cases, but not particularly sanguine this morning. On the plus side, the healthcare law went through (again, the vitriol of some people against a government healthcare system is very much puzzling when you come from a country that has had it for decades. The ones I don’t understand are the women who are against it: men can at least pretend that they’re fit as horses and will never need health insurance for anything, but surely women know they’ll have to get into hospital at some point in their lives–to give birth?)

It’s in moments like those that I realise that the US might be part of the Western world by economy, ancestry, and by history, but it’s still a way more alien country than the UK or Spain…

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