I was just n our local co-op picking up a few supplies. I have been going there quite regularly since I moved to London five years ago, but today something happened which puzzled me. I am quite well known there, and the staff often help me go round and get what I need. They recently took on new staff, and today one of the more senior ladies was instructing a new lad on how to help me. That was fine by me, but one of the phrases she used struck a raw nerve: ”He understands most things.” She said to the boy, as if I couldn’t hear. The implication being, of course, that she thinks there are things I don’t understand. Of course, there are indeed gaps in my understanding: I struggle with certain aspects of Lacanian theory, for instance, and the maths behind special relativity baffles me. Yet I got the impression that that was not what she meant: could it be that, even after five years of going there, they still think I have some kind of learning difficulties? I was a bit troubled to hear that. The assumption that people with cp also have learning difficulties obviously runs deeply. I will have to try to out that right.
I certainly think this very clever piece of journalism is worth flagging up. It is a spoof report about riots by white men shown on CNBC. It highlights how american media is biassed towards reporting certain race-related stories in certain ways. To do this, it discusses riots by white men a though it was discussing riots by black men. They thus talk about ”white culture”, ”white parenting” and ”white history” in the same way that mainstream American media talk abut ”black culture” etc. The clever part is, none of what they say is untrue: there are indeed riots by white men around Saint Patrick’s day which could be attributed to precisely the reasons they state. It thus brilliantly reveals the double-standards in american (and probably British) news coverage by turning the paradigm on it’s head. My only criticism is, he rather spoils it at the end by overtly stating it was a spoof, as if the viewer was too dim to have clocked that.
Just o update everyone on something I touched upon in this entry, my postal vote was waiting for me when I came home from school. After having to whip to the shop to buy a black pen, it was duly filled in, sealed and popped into the post box down the road. Yay democracy!
I met someone incredible at school today. I still volunteer at the local special school, currently going every Wednesday to help at their radio club. Today, they had a special guest: the students were interviewing a woman, currently volunteering at school, who had recently piloted a boat from North africa, across the Mediterainian via Lampaduza, through the rivers and waterways of France, across the Channel to london. She did this, alone in a small boat, to draw attention to the plight of refugees from Libya.
I found her story incredible. I wanted desperately to ask her more, but sadly didn’t have chance. I don’t think the students grasps the magnitude or importance of what she was telling them, but as soon as I realised my jaw dropped. What a film her story would make I thought, as she described her voyage, her encounters with the French people and their small villages as she made her way north. Unfortunately, I didn’t have chance to talk to her much – I didn’t even hear her full name – but I rode home inspired. It just goes to show that, in this city, you never know what amazing thing you are going to encounter next.
Stephen Hawking keeps getting cooler and cooler. On top of being one of my all time heroes from childhood, he first stars in the 2012 paralympic opening ceremony; then he surprises me by cropping up in monty python. Now, rather awesomely, he has spoken out in support of Labour in the coming elections. He has famously been very critical of the tory privatisation of the NHS; he also supports Labour’s stance on science funding. CaMoron may have his fake letter, but Miliband has the backing of one of the most respected people in the country, and indeed the world.
Creating this yesterday just had to be done. It didn’t take long, but it got lots of attention on Facebook… [img description=”undefined image” align=”centre”]/images/fake letter 2.jpg[/img]
It would be remiss of me not to flag this Pinknews story from america up. It concerns a dance troupe comprised of transwomen, who decided to continue to march in parades, perform despite vehement homophobic opposition. As they put it, they just want to be themselves and do what they love, marching in spite of the narrowminded crowd. They make the very good point that what they are doing, in defying hatred and opposition, is not that different to the actions of rosa Parks or Martin Luthor-King. I must say that is an attitude I wholeheartedly support, and indeed try to echo in my own small way.
Just to update everyone on this entry, huge congratulations are due to Charlotte’s father. Mr Jones ran the London marathon yesterday in four hours thirty minutes.
That is quite a phenomenal achievement. I had intended at one point to go watch the event, given that the marathon route is so close, but in the end I just stayed home – crowds did not appeal to me yesterday. But it sounds as if the jones family, along with everyone else, had a great time. Congratulations everyone!
I almost never watch countryfile, but feel today’s episode needs flagging up. It has been a busy day: I had an idea for a film and was working much of the afternoon.
More on that soon. I just flipped the box on, to chill out before dinner, and came across quite a brilliant article on wheelchair access to places like the Peak District. When I lived up north, I always felt hard done by because I couldn’t always go where I wanted. According to the report I just saw, though, that area is now being made accessible to wheelchair users. More people with disabilities can go to that beautiful area of the world, following improved paths with adapted gates. I think that is great, and definitely worth mentioning. Check out the story on iplayer if you can, even if you don’t usually watch countryfle.
Just for he record, I still hate being patted on the head, although it does not happen much these days. I was just checking my archives. Mum and Dad came to visit earlier: we had a lovely time, and it made me feel slightly nostalgic. I can hardly believe it has been ten years since I wrote this entry, a rant written after one of the canteen staff at uni patted me on the head. I remember the event vividly, as well as how angry I felt. At the same time, so much has happened since that moment that it makes my draw drop: the lad from cheshire, so fond of the fields, became a firm urbanite; the resigned bachelor became happily coupled; the boy reliant on his parents now looks forward to their weekly Skype conversations and occasional visits. However, one thing remains certain: I still hate being patted on the head!