Sound and Fury

Signifying nothing

TVlicensing say I’m a criminal, and why I don’t give money to greenpeace

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I object to the accusatory letter the TV licensing authority people send me. My room is too small to comfortably house a television, and I really don’t need more distractions anyway. I’d be more than happy to pay a significantly reduced license for my use of BBC radio and the BBC website, but that isn’t on offer. And the fact that TVlicensing think I’m a criminal means I’m less inclined to even that reasonable idea… Today I got a “Things you need to know in case of prosecution” notice. It starts:

According to our database, your address remains unlicensed for you to use TV receiving equipment there, despite several requests for payment of your TV license fee.

Nowhere does it suggest that anyone has even considered the possibility I do not have a television. The only conditional statements are things like “if you are committing an offence…” or “if you are found to be breaking the law…” Nothing like “if you don’t have a TV, please disregard this notice, we apologise for the inconvenience and the insult caused by suggesting you are a criminal”

Actually, upon closer scrutiny there is some small print on the back that says if I don’t have a TV, I don’t need a TV license.

I wonder if Roger Scruton submits papers he reads to scrutony scrutiny. Heh. Oh dear… On an equally frivolous but philosophical note, this blog seems promising.

And another thing that annoys me more, the more I think about it. There are people trying to get me to give money to greenpeace. If I were going to give money to charity, greenpeace wouldn’t be the one I’d choose. First, green issues and ethical issues are in the news so much that it steals a lot of greenpeace’s thunder. Everyone is pretty much aware of the problem now. So I don’t feel obliged to give money to greenpeace so that they can “raise public awareness.” Second, I don’t want my money being spent on stupid things like sabotaging Japan’s whaling fleet. That’s not to say that I condone Japan’s actions, I simply don’t want to fund criminal activity, no matter how well meaning. Incidentally I think there are better ways to get Japan to stop whaling; encouraging Japan to fund more conservation efforts, encouraging less invasive “science” methods (let’s not forget Japan claims their whaling is for scientific purposes), publicising the extent of the whaling and its damage to the environment and so on. The Arctic Sunrise‘s actions are petty and unhelpful in this arena.

So I’d rather give money to charities distributing leprosy treatments in poor countries or even to some research charity like cancer research UK or something.

Oh, and happy Pi Day!

I cannot spell the word license. Every time I typed it I had to look to see whether I’d got it right. I’ve been spelling it “lisence” loads. I wonder why that is. I have trouble with “exercise” too. I blame French.

Oh and one final thing, Donald Knuth’s Surreal Numbers should have been mentioned when I was talking about dialogues.


Written by Seamus

March 14, 2008 at 8:16 pm

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