I was at a film festival meeting last night, the first of the year. We already have some great ideas for what to screen this year, but at the end one of my friends who I also know from the cafe told us what happened there. Apparently the bastards didn’t just rob the place – they totally wrecked it. They took the till, but then they smashed everything – the crockery, the fridge, the tables, everything. What sort of pathetic bastard would do such a thing, so needlessly. Fortunately the guy told us that the Gofundme page they set up had already passed three thousand quid, but even so the news was heartbreaking.
Hurrah! We are officially back online. The last 36 to 48 hours or so have actually been surprisingly painful: Late Monday afternoon, I was most of the way through watching a film online when our internet went down. At first we assumed it was the router so I whizzed down the hill and bought a cheap replacement. That didn’t work, and to cut a long story short it turns out L’s contract needed renewing. A few telephone calls set thing straight, but it took a day for them to put us back online, so all of yesterday I was left to twiddle my thumbs. While I could check my mail and do basic stuff on my Ipad, I couldn’t surf the web or watch random stuff on Youtube in the leisurely way I usually do, and it was amazing just how much I missed it.
I don’t know many details so I can’t write much about it, but the Cafe in the park was apparently burgled yesterday. When I was over there yesterday I saw it was shut but I didn’t hang around due to the hail. L told me when I got home, having heard about it online. I was just over there again, and the cafe was still not open although a Gofundme page has been set up to help get the place going again. Who would do such a thing? Who would steal from a nice homely place like that? One can joke and say it was the local stoners with the munchies after a midnight snack, but it really is despicable what people can stoop to.
The Tories are now saying they might need to ban social media firms if they do not censor images of suicide. Of course, suicide is a problem which ought to be addressed, but I must say that strikes me as a very convenient excuse to get rid of the public forums where the government comes under the most scrutiny.
The Ghostbusters franchise is a complete mess right now. Like most fans, I was not at all taken with the 2016 all female reboot and thought it did a disservice to the original two films. However, I just came across this Midnight’s edge video: there’s going to be a new third Ghostbusters film, this time with men. Apparently the 2016 did so appallingly and pissed off so many fans that the producers, Bill Murray included, decided to try again. However the video goes into all the politics behind that move and it truly is a car crash. Because it was given so much of a feminist, ‘girl power’ spin, anyone who disliked the 2016 film was apparently branded a ‘Basement-dwelling Trump supporter’. To my knowledge, I have never dwelt in a basement or supported Trump, but I thought that film sucked; let’s hope the second reboot is a bit better.
Part of me is a bit worried that I shouldn’t have posted yesterday’s entry, and that incidents like that are best kept private for fear of upsetting the people involved. After all, entries like that have landed me in quite a bit of trouble in the past. At the same time, I think I have every right to write about such incidents: disabled people have to put up with things like that quite regularly. Moreover, by writing about it on here, I find I can put across my viewpoint far more articulately than if I took the issue up with the person in question face to face; by writing what happened from my point of view up as a blog entry, I can explain precisely why it made me so upset. The disadvantage to that is, it makes public an incident someone else may not want publicised, and makes them seem like a bad person when of course they aren’t. They are a good person, but if anyone speaks to me like I’m five or adopts the stern, overly-authoritative tone she did towards me, I have a right to note it here. Should I blog about things like that? To be honest I could do with some advice.
I think I better write this out simply as a form of catharsis. A few days ago at the park cafe, I was sitting drinking coffee with the guys when one of their various dogs leapt up onto the table and started licking it. That struck me as very unhygienic – people have to eat off those tables, after all – so I started shouting at the mutt to get it off. Instead of getting the dog off the table, though, one of my cafe friends, who I’d rather not name, turned to me and sternly said ‘No!’ as if I was the one at fault for shouting at the dog. The tone of her voice was that of a teacher telling a young child off, and to be honest it really pissed me off.
In fact it made me quite furious, both at the fact that she didn’t care the dog was on the table, and at the fact she assumed she had the authority to speak to me that way. I’m a thirty-five year old man with a master’s degree, not a five year old; and I had a perfect right to object to the dog being allowed to behave like that. Perhaps she didn’t mean to speak to me that way, but it felt like I was being spoken to like a child, and it made my blood boil. I flew into one of my rages. It was just a short, simple ‘No.’ but it felt endowed with an unearned authority which I found infuriating: the past few months have been very hard ones for me for various reasons, and the last thing I need is to be awarded less respect than a fucking dog.
I just got in from a long, fairly chilly walk to Woolwich to find Dom had sent me a link to this video of a 2015 TED talk. By David Steindl, it’s fairly philosophical, but hit a chord with me. The key to being happy, he says, is gratitude; you must appreciate what you have. I know what he means: so far in life I’ve been incredibly lucky. I have good, supportive parents and more friends than I can shake a stick at. I know how much harder my life could have been. Moreover, when one is grateful, Steindl says, one is not jealous or envious. If one focusses on what one has rather than does not have, you are, almost automatically, much happier. While you can watch talks like this and cynically dismiss them as cliche or twee, or fret about slight religious undertones (the speaker never says whom we should we grateful to) I nonetheless feel this is a wise, timely message we can all take a lot from.
I certainly think this is worth popping on here. Believe me, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had this problem.
I just saw on the evening news that a funeral has taken place for six unknown Auschwitz victims. ”The remains of five adults and one child were anonymously donated to the Imperial War Museum in 1997.” At the ceremony, the conducting rabbi spoke of the need for vigilance against all forms of racism, antisemitism and intolerance. Those words seem very timely indeed: across the world, all forms of hatred and bigotry are on the rise. I fear we are once again mindlessly wandering down paths we promised to never tread again. As the bigots gain more and more power, the question is, how can we stop history repeating itself.