The world cannot let this joke continue

There is a point at which the world has to stand up to America and say ”enough’s enough”. When the egocentric moron they currently call their president starts to retweet bullshit posted by far-right bitches, surely a line has been crossed. This has now gone far beyond funny, to a point which, only a few years ago, would have been unthinkable. Trump is a joke, and the longer the United States calls him president, the more ridiculous it looks; but when that joke starts putting racist, islamophobic propaganda created by the morons of Britain First on his twitter feed, then surely the world must call that joke a day. The man has no idea what he’s doing, or the consequences of his actions, yet somehow this egotistical little p’tahk has been put in charge of the most powerful nation on earth. Surely there’s something the rest of the world can do to remove him from power, so that america can elect someone more qualified. This joke cannot continue.

Breggsit or Brecksit?

As a person who usually doesn’t have a lot of choice in how he pronounces words – I just tap things into my speech app and have to live with what comes out – I find this quite amusing. There is a debate boiling up over the correct way to pronounce the word ”Brexit”. Is it Breggsit or Brecksit? While some may point out it is a silly thing to think about, I think it goes directly to the hub of the issue. An absurd question to ask of an increasingly absurd subject. After all, as the old song goes: ”You say tomayto, I say tomarto / let’s call the whole thing off!”

Employable Me

An interesting new show aired on the beeb last night. Employable Me looks at the employment prospects for people with disabilities, following several as they struggle to find work. It is a problem I know quite a lot about: like most disabled people, I’d love to have a job, but my physical impairments make that virtually impossible. The same goes for Lyn. It isn’t as though I’d be incapable of having one. After all, my first class degree and Master’s demonstrate I can do anything I put my mind to. It’s more a question of, what employer would ever hire me with all the specialist provision I need? Very similar problems were demonstrated by people on last night’s program: the chap with severe Tourette’s, for example, was obviously very capable at what he wanted to do, looking after animals, but his tics were so bad that most pet shop managers would have second thoughts about hiring him. At the same time, there’s a lot of accusatory nonsense going around, particularly in the right-wing press, that we’re all workshy slackers. This is a program I’ll be watching quite keenly, then, making sure it portrays the issues at hand fairly, and hoping it shows the country just how severe the employment problems ‘we’ face are.

Palin’s diaries part four

Late last night I listened to the fourth and final part of Michael Palin’s diaries. I had started listening to them a few days ago, and had been happily dipping in and out of the four hour-long recordings ever since. In the last part, Palin tells of the rise of Python, the writing of The Life of Brian and the reception it got once it was made. I found it rather fascinating, and it made me want to get my as-yet-unopened copy of the book off the bookshelf. You can argue that Python played quite an important role in British cultural history, clearing the way for so much that followed. Without Python, would we have had Blackadder, the fast show, or so many other things which were clearly influenced by messres Cleese, Chapman, Palin, Jones, Idle and Gilliam?

I also found Palin’s diary entries rather poignant; there is a sort of dramatic irony to them. Reading or listening to them these days is somewhat bittersweet, as we know now what was to follow. For instance, Palin regularly notes, especially towards the end, Graham Chapman’s failing health and slow drift into alcoholism, unaware of the tragedy which that heralded. On the other hand, he also speculates about what was ahead: he mentions travelling once or twice, which I found quite amusing. I also liked hearing him wonder about ‘the death of Python’, noting how he thought that it was time to put an end to that period of his life, not knowing that Python wouldn’t die (if indeed it has) until 20 July, 2014.

Thus one gets pleasure from knowing more than the writer, but that is surely the irony of reading any diary, journal, or indeed blog. You know the next part of the story, so you both pity their naivite and envy their innocence. Most of all, though, you find pleasure in being afforded a glimpse of another person’s life, and to glimpse a life as interesting as Palin’s is a treat indeed.

The massage

Yesterday was quite a wonderful day. Dominik had been talking about me having a massage for a while, and yesterday we finally got around to it. He took me in my manual chair up to Camden, where one of his friends works as a masseuse at a spa called Triyoga. I was a little apprehensive at first, but as soon as I lay down on the bed and the massage started, I knew this would be the first trip there of many. The feel of her hands somehow made me relax instantly, as well as giving me a strange new energy, like coffee only less sudden, agressive and more natural.

She worked on me for about fifty minutes, before we called Dom back in. We both then went into the sauna, from where Dominik had just come. Sitting there in the baking heat (although Dom insisted it was just mild) I could barely have been more content. As D had promised it would, this treatment was doing wonders for me. I was relaxing more by the moment. I didn’t want to stay there for too long, fearing that the heat might damage my Ipad, so a short while later I asked to come out.

Dom and I both had showers and we got dressed. It had been a wonderful afternoon. As Dom had promised, the massage had done wonders for me – I was so relaxed.As I wrote here, Camden is a part of London which I love. On the way home we took a walk through the market and along Regent’s canal, before taking the tube back. By then, it was getting late; it was quite dark. Yet it’s such an awesome part of the city, and now that I know yo can get such great treatment up there, I think we will be going back quite soon.

Trump is not Time Man of the Year

If anyone is looking for yet more evidence that Donald Trump is nothing but an egotistical little slimeball, just head here. The p’tahk is now claiming that he turned down being named Time Man of the Year, even though the famous magazine deny he was up for consideration. This is just what we have come to expect from Trump: he seems to think we should all regard him as a great man, and that he should be the centre of attention, on every magazine cover. And when he isn’t, he comes out with bullshit like this, insisting that he was offered the accolade but valiantly turned it down. How could any respectable nation persist on calling such an immature jackass it’s leader?

The world is definitely spherical

Just to make this absolutely clear, I have no doubt that the earth is a sphere. However, a couple of times recently I’ve come across the startling news that belief that the Earth is a flat disk is rising. That astonishes me – how can anyone believe something so absurd these days? I just found this video exploring the phenomenon. Like conspiracism, belief that the earth is flat stems largely from disenfranchisement with the status quo: people like to believe in a big, bad centralised power which they can blame for all their woes. This power hides the truth from them. Thus, everyone who says that the world is spherical is under their control, and anyone who tries to cast doubt on that is rebelling against this big bad authority. The thing is, like other conspiracy theorists, flat earthers often happen to be selling something – usually books or tickets for their shows. They give often disenfranchised, poorly educated people the promise of hidden knowledge which only they can bestow, offering a sense of power and advantage to the often powerless and disadvantaged. It’s a sickening scam which relies on peoples ignorance and naivete to sell them bullshit, and I think it’s reaching a point where it has to be stopped.

The Interview is broadcast

Lyn broadcast the interview I wroteabout here last night. She has a show on Revival Internet Radio at ten on Wednesdays, so I turned the TV down and went into her studio to listen. It was an awesome piece; Moat was an excellent interviewee, and L asked many interesting questions. She deserves a lot of good feedback for it. I wish I could link to it from here, but listening to such a great piece of music journalism by Lyn last night made me feel very proud indeed.

Filmic monosodium glutamate

I think I’ll justflag this review of Justice League by Mark Kermode up today. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t comment on it’s veracity; but I must say it echoes my own recent musings about film. I finally got around to watching one of the Marvel films last week. I bunged Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer into my DVD drive, intending to watch all four and then pen a lengthy review. The film was such godawful crap however, that that idea went out the window. It was just one CGI sequence after another, with very little plot in between. What narrative there was reminded me of the crappy American soaps I used to watch in the summer holidays in my early teens like California Dreams: nauseatingly cliche and sickeningly melodramatic. By the end I could barely wait for the credits to roll.

The cinema seems to be becoming saturated with these comic book films. If Kermode’s review is anything to go by, I think it’s fair to assume that they are all as dire as the one I saw – all just as derivative, assuming a gravitas but actually being childish pap churned out by a studio for easy money. When I recall how magnificent film can be as an art form, these comic book offerings seem to insult it. My fear is that this is what the cinematic art is increasingly becoming: rather than being used to say something about the human condition, like Star Wars films, comic book films ply the viewer with the visual equivalent of monosodium glutamate, hurling computer generated images at us justified with the minimum of plots and poorest of acting.

Happy to see the back of a brutal despot.

Just as an update to this entry, Robert Mugabe has resigned as President of Zimbabwe this evening. I must admit that I’m both surprised and relieved: I had visions of that stupid old man trying to cling on to power to the bitter end. He seemed to have the air of the despot too him, the kind that thinks a country is their property to rule, and any attempt remove them from power, or even criticise them in any way, is an attack on the state itself. (I get the same feeling from Trump, frankly). Now that he’s gone, hopefully Zimbabwe can begin a bright fresh chapter in it’s life. We should all be happy to see the back of such a brutal despot.