A year or so ago, Lyn was asked to compose the soundtrack for a spanish documentary about Paralympic cyclists called unsoppables. It is now fished, and L got an email yesterday saying the producers now intended to tour the film festivals with it. That alone is great news, but they also made a short film about Lyn herself to go on the DVD extras. It too is finished and can now be seen here. I love it, and once again I’m extremely proud of my fiancee.
Believe it or not I still look back with glee to London 2012. If you think about it, what happened to me that summer was awesome: somehow I found myself living in city hosting the olympics, at the beginning of which we saw the queen parachute from a helicopter with james bond*, and at the end of which my future wife played before the world. For the rest of my life I will be able to say I was there in London, in 2012, and point to the pictures and the videos; that to me seems very special.
Now, though, something more intriguing is about to take place. London 2012 may still fill me with glee, but Sochi 2014 interests me on a completely different level. We are about to see Russia’s olympics, Putin’s olympics, an event wrapped in controversy and politics. Many people see to predict that Vladimir Putin is going to try to make the forthcoming games his own, using them to showcase russia to the world. How will he do this, exactly? No doubt he will make the most of the opening and closing ceremonies, but I can’t wait to see precisely how. Inasmuch as you can read such ceremonies as you would any other artistic text, I can’t wait to see how this tsar in all but name does, how he will try to present his country to the world, and what he will try to play down. Indeed, given the revulsion in the west over Putin’s homophobic laws, I also can’t wait to see the reaction here too, both from the mainstream media and social networks; it too will probably be very telling.
Interesting days ahead, then, for a media junkie like myself. I mused once over the possibility of the Brazilians making their own version of ‘Happy and Glorious’, but possibly even more interesting is the thought that Putin could take up the meme and use it to somehow show off his macho-man image. The thought that russia could have created their own version of the Paraorchestra interests me too: what will it look like, and how will disability in general be presented given the frankly hellish history of people with disabilities in Russia. Such questions will have to wait a week or so, but I’m afraid to say that my interest in Olympic affairs has been reborn. Plus, now that we Londoners don’t have to worry about pissing off the IOC vis-a-vis a forthcoming bid, we can be a bitchy as we like. Chance, then, to let loose on their corruption, corruption in russia, and the whole sordid affair in general.
This should be fun.
*I still think that is the coolest thing ever, at least of it’s type. I mean, space travel is probably just as cool if not cooler, but you know what I mean. It’s the queen with bond, for smeg’s sake.
I had quite a heavy night on the ale last Monday so last Tuesday morning I decided a couple of weeks abstinence was in order. It was all going well, and I had even discovered the wonders of alcahol-free beer, until I took my usual walk yesterday afternoon. I was down the hill when I got a message on my iPad: it was my friend Luke, writing from a Pub not too far away, asking whether I wanted to join them. What could I do? It would be rude not to go.
Five minutes later, I was opening the door to the Albion; and there was my friend, whetting the head of his cute new niece. Almost immediately, I was offered a bitter, and suddenly the words ‘no thanks’ seemed absent from my vocabulary. It was, however, great to see Luke, Sally and family, and it turned out to be a very fortunate meeting as we got on to discussing the films we intend to make. I had almost forgotten about it, but Luke and Sally still seemed enthusiastic despite the pause. My own enthusiasm for the project was reinvigorated, and I rode home about an hour later very happy indeed. Okay, I had let myself down slightly by giving in to my thirst, but the prospects were looking up: we now intend to meet again soon to get on with shot lists, casting and so on – the nitty gritty of filming. How very exciting indeed: the future looks bright, and if I have drink a beer or two along the way, it’s a sacrifice I have to make.
I think I better flag up this story, having just stumbled over it. A video of Ukip’s Godfrey Bloom asking a Disabled Student ‘Are You Richard III?’ has come to light.
At an oxford union debate on immigration, Bloom actually interrupts the guy, who obviously has cp, mid flow to ask if he is the disabled fifteenth-century monarch. Can you believe that? I find it utterly disrespectful. Bloom probably thought he was being witty, but I just think it’s just another reason to ignore the group of idiots known as ukip.
Today I would just like to add a bit of a note to something I began to think about here a couple of days ago. Another folly of the conservative mindset, as far as I see it, is its opposition to tax. Tories argue that if taxes are high – and I note today that Mr. Balls now wants a return to the 50p rate of tax – it drives away investment, and people take business elsewhere causing overall government income to drop. Yet this both assumes and legitimises a mindset which prioritises the self over the community. If everyone cared about those around them, they would invest no matter what, happy to contribute to society. Again, then, the problem is the conservative indevidualistic mentality; it is this mentality which prevents human cooperation and progress.The Tory Notion that they can somehow do more for less, and those who need help from the state will no suffer if taxes are cut, is flatly and absolutely shown false by the reports of suffering I see week in, week out, about disabled people whose care packages have been cut. Their suffering is therefor essentially caused by the low-tax tory mentality. If only we could abandon this money-oriented society, distribute resources according to need, and work together for the common good rather than personal gain.
Oh well, we can all dream.
iPads are forever They are all I need to please me
Their apps scintillate and tease me
They don’t crash in the night,
I’ve no fear that they might
This ain’t Nokia
What good would Android do me?
Apple never lies to me
They are cheap replicas who
It’s not worth going to
The shops for!
iPads are forever, forever iPads are so clever, so clever
So clever! Apple forever?
It is often said that when he was outlining socialism Marx forgot to factor in human instinct, and that we are too naturally greedy for his theories ever to work. It occurred to me today, on the way to Asda, that he was right that the best, fairest and equitable state for mankind to live in is indeed socialism, and that what Marx was suggesting is a complete paradigm shift in our mentality. For nirvana to be achieved, we must all adopt a completely new mindset: we must stop measuring ourselves by how much we earn; we must do away with arbitrary barriers between social groups; we must outgrow competition and work together. We must see eachother as of equal worth, irrespective ability, gender or whatever. As Marx himself famously wrote, ‘from each according to ability, to each according to need’; things would no longer be ‘me me me’. We need to move away from the idea that competition is the best way to solve problems and ensure things improve: competition demands short cuts and quick fixes, whereas if people work together toward some overarching goal, with some sort of director making sure the available resources get used most efficiently, that goal is achieved in the best possible way. Also, that director can also ensure that those people with less obvious skills, like myself, can contribute, whereas employers focussed solely on profit see only the need for efficiency and speed. People with disabilities are left by the wayside by capitalism, their potential wasted.
The prime obstacle to this goal is capitalism itself – the greedy, selfish right-wing mentality that prises inequality. It is capitalism which traps us, not the welfare state, for it forces people to think in limited, narrow, antagonistic terms. Thus to flourish we must do away with this simplistic discourse, and grow beyond it. For that to occur, though, a fundamental change in our mindset must happen.
Dear Mr. Duncan-smith
Fuck, do you have some cheek. In a Speech I saw today you told the country that you are cutting welfare out of compassion, that too many people had become dependant on the welfare state an you were liberating them from a dependant life. To hear you speak you were sounding like some great hero setting people free, acting entirely altruistically. How fucking stupid do you think we are?! Only a complete moron would believe there is a shred of altruism in your actions; you are motivated entirely by the desire to lower taxes for rich bastards like yourself. The consequences of shrinking the welfare state is not a reduction in welfare dependency, but starvation. Ar we supposed to believe that everyone currently on welfare will magically be able to get a job, and the only thing stopping them from doing so now is laziness? No, p’tahk, it isn’t. That is a lie you Tory bastards pedal to justify your greed-motivated views. People need the welfare state for many reasons; I have many friends who use it, and not one of them does so by choice.
Moreover, if you suddenly block the only incomes of so many, the result will not be a sudden upsurge in employment but mass starvation and suffering. But you don’t give a fuck about that, do you, IDS? All you care about is people like yourself: rich people with good educations, from what you see as good families. To you, only your own values matter, and all others are lesser people. So cut the crap, you fucker, and stop patronising us. It’s blatantly obvious why you are doing what you are doing, and don’t insult are intelligence by claiming to set us free – you’re leaving people to starve, and, because they are not like you, you relish it. Yours
I am currently watching prime ministers questions as usual, and much is being made of the so called economic recovery. Too see the Tories boasting so merrily, acting so pleased with themselves, is utterly galling. Yes, the figures might be slightly better than expected, but this is despite, not because of, what the government is doing. The economy was always going to improve; luckily it happened before many economists forecast, yet people are still dying and suffering due to the cuts. People’s care packages are being cut, more and more people are taking their lives; yet CaMoron stands up in parliament patting himself on the back for a recovery he did not cause.
It is almost too much for me to tolerate. How dare these unelected pieces of shit be so arrogant?how can anyone causing so much suffering be so cocky? And it is the Tories who are to blame for our suffering, not Labour. Their attempts to shift the blame, to rewrite history, fills me with rage even further. As I wrote a couple of days ago, it is the conservative ideology itself which is the problem as it encourages selfishness and greed. To the Tories, if they and their rich friends are doing well, we have recovered – the rest of us do not matter. They pretend they care, but they don’t.
Enough is enough. If they had any honour, CaMoron and co would be apologising and resigning, but instead they demand our gratitude and respect. After all, to them they were born to rule. Thus they come on shows like Daily Politics and tell us all how everything is getting better and fairer. Better to them means lower taxes, and their idea of fairness is ensuring the rich are still able to oppress the poor, and those who can dominate those who cannot. They seem to have no compassion, no humanity, as long as people as rich as them are doing well; if others are suffering, it is their own fault and of no concern to the ruling class. This attitude means that my blood boils whenever I see a Tory speak, pedalling their lies, insulting the very country they presume so arrogantly to rule. They must go: people are suffering due to their arrogant, selfish ideology. They belong in jail, not Westminster, and any moronic bastard who denies that and defends them is as guilty as they are. The line on the graphs may be pointing upward, for now at least, but people are still suffering; they take credit for the former, but the latter is their true legacy.
Accessing the Ipad with her nose
Her head jerks, yet with the surety of an expert,
She selects precisely her intended target
Flitting and darting between apps.
So quickly you can barely keep up.
Then, her nose, nostrils a-flair in concentration, Having tapped ‘record’, she makes sounds, odd, babylike, yet obviously what she wants
To use later in her latest song
Those works of melodic genius which emanate from her small studio
I watch her, and we both laugh at the funny little noises.
I wonder what they will become,
How she’ll use them, transform them,
Into something great