Staying clear of the debates

Apparently there was an election debate on tv last night involving a block of ice standing in for Bojo; there’s another tv debate tonight. There seem to be quite a few this time around, as if the politicians think they are a good way to appeal to the electorate directly. Well, I didn’t watch last nights and have no intention of watching tonights. In fact I’ve been staying well clear of all the ‘debates’ this  election: I have no interest in getting wound up,  watching the tories spout so much self-justifying bullshit that it makes me want to rip their head off. Far better to chill out, watch something else, and hope it all sorts itself out in the end. Mind you, the ice cube was probably more trustworthy than Johnson or any member of the current tory party.

Back to the bus

Thinking a bit more about the incident on the bus a couple of days ago, I suppose apologising to that mother was  a bit like my habit of waving in gratitude  to drivers as I cross a road at a zebra crossing. Of course, by law they have to stop, so strictly speaking I have nothing to thank them for. Yet we nonetheless live in  a community, so I like to acknowledge that they stopped for me; would not doing so not seem arrogant? Of course, the bus wheelchair spot was hard won by the disabled community, and I had a right to it. But surely not to have recognised that  mum’s effort in making space for me would have seemed similarly arrogant, as if the mum, the bus,  and the entire world owed me something?

Bus guilt

I just took the bus back from woolwich. I’d gone to see about renewing my passport, before taking a short walk along the Thames. Soon after I got on the crowded bus, a lady got on with a small girl in a pram. Seeing me in the wheelchair space, she immediately started to get the girl out of the pram and fold it up. The problem was, she had great difficulty handling both the child and pram, especially on the crowded bus. In the end another passenger had to help her, as the child could have fallen. I couldn’t help feeling guilty, and, a few stops later as they got off, I told her I was sorry. She replied  sympathetically that I shouldn’t feel bad, and I had nothing to apologise for. She was right of course, yet it’s odd: whether you can help it or not, when you know you’re the cause of such stress for somebody who, like you, is just trying to get home, you can’t help feeling bad.

the Cyprus problem

When I was small, my Bappou (Greek for grandfather – mums dad) used to tell me stories about Cyprus. They were rather biased and one sided affairs: bappou had moved to London from Cyprus after the war,  and was rather staunchly Orthodox. Thus I grew up thinking that the situation in Cyprus was all the fault of the Turks, although I should probably point out that Bappou was prone to exaggeration and dramatisation, and probably didn’t intend to give such a one sided account.

Between this that and the other, I hadn’t thought about the Cyprus problem in a while, but a couple of days ago I came across this concise but very informative YouTube video on it. At last I see how complex the situation is on that small island. It is a largely forgotten conflict, which is why I thought the video was worth flagging up. It’s decades old and has been left to languish; and the more that happens the more attitudes become ingrained. The situation I first learned about from my grandfather is actually a sad, forgotten situation, as complex and bitter as the ones in Israel, Ireland or anywhere else. Surely it must not be forgotten.

Meeting C in Peckham

I suspected Charlotte would like the Peckham Levels. She and Alex were down in London yesterday, and the converted multi-storey carpark turned community hub was where we opted to meet. I went there a couple of weeks ago, and the place struck me as having a vibe which was completely Charlie.

I went with john; we got there a bit late, so when I found my group of friends (Poppy included) they had already  ordered lunch. It was, as ever, great to see them, and we spent the next hour or two catching up. C seems to be doing really well, although the school she teaches at now sounds a bit rough. We discussed how cool it was to  see our old university friend Owen  on Rupaul’s Drag Race, and how impressed Charlotte was by  John carrying me up those mountains in India. Then, all too soon, it was time to say goodbye: a brief catchup between old friends, then back to normal. City life, I suppose.

The Wall

Where but in an awesome international city like London can you go up to a world renowned arts venue such as the Barbican of an evening and watch a film like The Wall? This 2003 film explores Israel, and it’s foolish attempt to build a wall  to prevent  attacks from Palestinian terrorists. The screening was followed by an interview with the director. Even though some of the shots lingered a bit too long for my taste, it really was a powerful piece, made even more resonant now by the fact that other, arguably even more idiotic walls are being built elsewhere. It’s  the type of film which makes  you reflect on how lucky you are to live in an open, tolerant, diverse  city like London; indeed, a city where such powerful films are screened.

Time for a change of name?

I think I might change the name of my blog to The Ill-Informed Fact-Checking of a Cripple, or something like that. After all, claiming to be a fact checker seems to be in fashion. Anyone  can do it as an easy way of giving yourself an air of authority and impartiality. The  thing is, it would mean I’d have to double check everything I write on here is actually correct. After all, we can’t have anyone calling their website a fact checker simply to try to make people think the right wing Tory bullshit they spew is somehow objectively true, can we?

Back from Bjork

I may have been a bit too mean on Bjork in yesterday’s entry. After all, a night out up at the o2 is nothing to be sniffed at. I  admit to being too critical. The problem was, I could barely hear the lyrics to any of the songs, and what I heard didn’t  seem to make any sense: it all seemed to be random, rather high pitched words. Nonetheless, it was great to have a night out with the guys: the O2 is still one of my favourite places, and we all had a good time. I swear, though, I haven’t seen that many goths or emos since South Cheshire College.

Blogging at Bjork

I’m writing this from the o2. I’m at a Bjork concert with Lyn and a few other friends. John suggested going a few days ago. I’ve never really been into bjork, but since I want to maintain a good friendship with Lyn, I choose to come. To be honest, though, I can’t say that I’m very taken by it. Lots of jingling bells and banging of drums, but not much rhythm: postmodernity lapsing into pretentiousness. Oh well, perhaps I’m being too harsh and will write something more positive tomorrow, but I’m yet to hear a lyric which makes sense.