You don’t need to belong to the EU to be part of the world

I still keep fretting over weather the UK can still call itself an outward looking nation. Since we voted to leave the EU, part of me feels that we’ve turned our backs on the world, and shut ourselves off in favour of becoming an inward-looking little island. But we haven’t; we haven’t left the world. In June we voted to leave an organisation, one which has many flaws. Yesterday I flew into a rage when I heard a tory on the tv tell us ”we are still an outward-looking nation”, but I shouldn’t have: he was right. You don’t need to belong to the EU to be part of the world, and leaving it does not mean we are any more xenophobic, although I’m very worried about the recent rise in xenophobia. Thus I can still love my country; I can still feel proud of it’s culture and history, and what happened here in 2012. My error was to mentally collate internationalism – working together across borders – with belonging to this largely corrupt, flawed union. To quit an institution because it is flawed and to no longer participate in the world are two separate things. Being in the EU did not allow us to participate in the world. At least now we’re out of it we can start to work towards something better.

Bragadocious

It often astonishes me how quickly the people who know how can get such videos made, but this one is definitely worth linking to. It’s a remix of the recent

Clinton/trump debate. I didn’t see the debate save for highlights, but from what I hear, clinton won hands down. I think this video captures the absurdity of it well: the consumate, professional politician verses the absolute joke whom we can still barely believe is the actual republican candidate. I suppose videos like this are a natural reaction to such insane situations – what else can one do?

White privilege and the innate biasses of the world around us.

I’d just like to flag this article up. It’s by a black lady in america explaining to a white friend about ”white privilege”. She elaborates on how small, little racist incidents frequently occur but often go unrecorded and unnoticed. Barely conscious things many white people don’t realise happen, such as people not really believing that she went to Princeton – the actual Princeton – because she is black. She states that people are more prone to incredulity than when a white person answers in the same way. It’s a good point well made: white people don’t realise how extensive and deeply rooted white privilege is. To that I would add that it’s a similar story in the disability sphere. Able bodied people don’t seem to notice how privileged they are; a step is just a step to them, but to us it could be a massive hurdle. The world is geared towards able bodied people just as, as the writer of the article explains, it’s geared towards people with white skin (and for that matter males, straight people, gender conforming people etc etc). We should speak more about such biasses, and be more open about how the world is ‘built’ to accommodate certain types of people to the disadvantage of others. That is not to cast blame on certain people, but simply to expose and thus start to remedy the innate biasses of the world around us.

A great afternoon film making

Had I not just had so much coffee, I’d probably be feeling rather tired by now. It has been an awesome afternoon. We continued our group Londoners film, and I got to do some filming, a camera mounted on my wheelchair. I think I got some really cool shots, but, perhaps more importantly, I felt part of a team. We have a really good Londoners film in the making, and what makes me even more proud is that it all came about after I suggested the venue of the cafe in the park. This afternoon, I had one of those – surprisingly frequent – moments when I stood proverbially back and thought ”Wow, how did my life get this awesome?”

This all came about after L suggested I go get help to stop drinking so much, as I’m afraid to say it was getting a bit out of hand. I went to Lifeline in Woolwich, who put me on Chocolate films’ 1000 Londoners project. Incredibly, it was precisely what I wanted and needed: a chance to make films and the help to do so. It is staggering how such things happen sometimes. Everything just falls in place, as if by magic. Not only have I now stopped drinking completely, but I’m involved in the making of not one but two films – the very artform and industry which, after finishing my masters, I wanted so badly to get into. Both films are well on their way to completion, and I can’t wait to put links to them on here.

Live music at the local thai restaraunt

Last night was rather cool. Every month or so, the Thai Restaurant around the corner runs a sort of music night. We hadn’t been in ages, but the other day Lyn and I were out and about and spotted it advertised, so we decided to go check it out. I was only expecting a little affair, but last night we got there to find the small place packed with people. The music was already in full swing.

We settled down at the front to listen. After a while, though, someone recognised Lyn, remembering her from last time, and asked her to play some tracks.

Unfortunately they didn’t have the right jack for her Ipad, so they made do with a microphone. Lyn put two of her songs on, playing along to them with thumbjam.

It was a great evening; it feels like ages since I had one like it. It felt very social; as if everyone knew everyone else. At one point, I helped out a singer by calling up the lyrics to ‘Summertime’ on my ipad. There was a friendly, warm atmosphere in the room, and I’m now really looking forward to the next one.

Using backspace to go back in chrome

I’m suddenly quite cheerful. A few weeks ago, I noticed I could no longer press backspace to go to the previous webpage in google chrome. It was only a small change, but I had been using that little shortcut since Steve B showed it to me way back at Macc College, fifteen years ago. Like using arrow keys to scroll firefox, it was useful; it meant I didn’t have to bugger about with the mouse to go back. Their claim was that they had received complaints from people inadvertently going to previous web pages when writing text, but that whiffed of bullshit to me. I’d just reconciled myself to the fact of yet one more pointless change made by a huge company which makes my life just a tad harder, but, moaning to Lyn about it just now, she told me to look it up. I tapped it into google, and sure enough they had received so many complaints about it that they were forced to make a remedy. It is available here. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one fond of such little tricks.

Subtitled cinephilia presentation video

Just as a bit of an admin-type entry, yesterday I added captions to the video of my recent cinephilia talk. You couldn’t really hear what I was saying on my Ipad. It took me a while to add them, but you can check out the subtitled video here. I just think it’s a great thing for me to have online: not only can I use it to show people what I’m capable of, but also where I’m coming from in terms of film theory.

Corbyn remains Labour leader

Well, thank zark for that. I just learned from the bbc website that Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour leadership election. I never really warmed to owen Smith; somehow he seemed like an imposter or intruder. I suppose I’m a firm Corbynite, and see him as the only genuine politician around. Maybe leftists like me will finally get a bit of a break now – we finally have a slither of good news. To be honest british politics is currently quite gruelling, to the extent that I try to avoid it altogether. Between the referrendum and tory pieces of shit trying to turn the clock back to the nineteenth century, it’s becoming too depressing to bear. Yet I know that to try to bury my head in the sand is folly: I cannot ignore it, as fucked up as it is and as angry as it makes me. At least we still have Corbyn, a genuine, honest guy who really cares about the underprivileged, fighting our corner.

not the type of country I want to live in

I just watched last night’s program about brexit. I didn’t watch it last night because I knew it would make me angry, and perhaps it was a mistake for me to watch it this morning. I need to apologise to lyn for just making s much noise. I am still quite furious about what happened two months ago. I’d been trying to calm myself down over it, telling myself the EU was not perfect, and that perhaps this could lead to something better. But the voting public fell for the lies of the outists, and despite their fatuous pretences that the UK is still an open and outlooking nation, we have cut ourselves off from the world. To see p’tahks like Boris johnson claim to love europe and that we are still an outlooking nation really, really pisses me off.

The EU wasn’t perfect, but I believed in it. It wasn’t just a capitalist ploy about trade, nor an insidious plan to eventually bring about a monochromatic world state. I believed it was about working together; cherishing difference but cooperating for the good of all. To leave it was a step backwards; the reerection of borders devisions between humanity – which we had began to outgrow. As I wrote here, if it was about to embrace TTIP, as I have heard some otherwise left-leaning outists claim, why were neoliberals so eager to leave? The european union was about forging a set of common rules we could all live by; in leaving it, we have informed the world we no longer want to participate in the international community. And to cap it all, now we have wastes of oxygen like Farage beaming at us, eager to completely screw people who can’t defend themselves without hinderance from EU legislation.

The EU was something noble; it was about humanity seeing past the concept of state to cooperate. Regardless of the crap Boris et al spew, we have stepped back from that; stepped back from the world. That is not the type of country I want to live in, and the fact xenophobes like farage achieved it through lying to the nation makes me very angry indeed.

Why Some Russians Dislike Daniel Craig’s James Bond

I came across this yesterday, and it struck my interest. Russian people apparently dislike the Daniel Craig incarnation of James Bond, saying it is ”too serious”; they prefer a more jovial, comic 007. That to me is rather telling: Russia at the moment seems to be trying to reinstate itself as a world power. It still seems to think of itself as a superstate, on a par, culturally and politically, with the US. They see the Bond franchise as threatening: the world’s greatest spy is not Russian, but British. It does not fit their narrative – bond is not one of them. To have him go back to being more of a comic figure, as he perhaps was in the Moore era, would be more in keeping with their worldview: they are the powerful, serious ones; other states are just pissing about. Thus you can read quite a bit into a statement like that: they want Bond defused, portrayed again as a joke. They want to be the ones to have the world’s greatest spy on their side, and they want everyone to laugh at other countries.