Bumping into Poppy

I was going  up into Eltham yesterday just for some refreshments, when across the road out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a young woman  waving madly  at someone from McDonalds. I didn’t recognise her at first and assumed she was waving at someone else, so I carried on. Yet the waving continued, and I couldn’t see anyone waving back: was she waving at me? My curiosity aroused, I  crossed the road to investigate. Who was this person?

”Hi Matt” I heard her say in a voice I recognised. I then realised it was Poppy, sister of my old University friend Charlotte. Completely at random, in a city of eight million people, we had bumped into  one another. I really love how such things happen sometimes. We chatted for a  while,  and it turns out she now teaches at a primary school not far away. What are the chances of that? After the obligatory selfie was sent to C, we agreed to meet up for a coffee or something soon. Yet  it amazes me to think that if I hadn’t been passing McDonalds at that precise moment, I’d never have known she was even in the area.

What Star Trek has to say about gender

If you have ever wondered what star Trek  has to say on the issue of gender, I suggest you check out this video essay.  It is a thorough overview of how Trek has explored gender, language and dehumanisation over the years. As someone interested in such matters, especially how language can be used to dehumanise or other certain people, I found it quite fascinating to realise how much Trek has to say on the subject.  It also goes to  show how complex and articulate online discourse and vidding is becoming..

HBD Luke 2020

The time has come for me to wish my brother Luke happy birthday on here once again. I still don’t see enough of him. He’s a very busy man, and I suppose we lead quite separate lives. Yet he should  know that I often think about him,  and of course Yan. Whatever they’re up to, I hope they have a great day. I’d like to remind Luke too that he has yet to carry out his long-term threat to put me in a plastic bag and roll me down a hill.

Star Trek is far from finished

A couple of days ago Dom mentioned something  to me about seeing a poster for a new Star Trek  film or series  at a bus stop. At first I presumed that he was just talking about Picard, so I thought nothing of it. Shortly after, though, it cropped up again  on facebook, so I decided a Google was in order. And sure enough, two new series are now in the works, as well as  a new film. Although the latter seems like it will be set in the Abramsverse  (ie naff), the series will hopefully be more like the  Trek I  fell in love with as a child. When Enterprise got cancelled I feared we had seen  the last of star Trek; I now see how wrong  I was. Mind you, these more recent incarnations  have a long way to go before they return Trek to it’s TNG/DS9 heyday.

Cultural Influencers

Am I a cultural influencer? I watched something  on the bbc earlier about young millionaires from Wales, most of whom seem to have made their fortunes from fashion or gaming. One, known as Gonth, was a vlogger who seemed to talk inane hyperactive bollocks about  football on Youtube, yet had earned enough money from it that he could afford supercars and big houses. He was known  as a cultural influencer, which made me wonder, am I a social influencer? I have been blogging far longer than  he had been vlogging, and as far as I could tell, my blog entries are probably far more informative than anything he spouts. Does that mean I can call myself a social influencer? More to the point, why don’t I have a supercar (leaving the fact that I can’t drive aside).

A hilariously pathetic suggestion

The Tories, especially London Tories, really are desperate to return to the halcyon days of 2012, aren’t they? You know, when the country wasn’t tearing itself apart and the tories weren’t seen as the bunch of lying scumbags they are. I was just on Google looking for something totally unrelated when I came across this two day old Reuters story. Shaun Bailey, the Tory candidate for mayor of London, has suggested that London could host the 2020 Olympics if Tokyo can’t because of coronavirus. He pointed out that all the infrastructure from 2012 still exists; it would just need a bit of work and we would be ready to go again.

I just find that hilariously pathetic. It’s obvious that he’s desperate to take the country back to a time when it was united, happy and glorious, rather than the disunited laughing stock his party turned it into four years later. We all remember that epic summer; Bailey is so urgent to get that time back that he’ll go as far as to make a suggestion as absurd as this. In this insane proposal we can read a party desperate to return to a time when it was respected by a city which now despises it.

The Japanese are, of course, furious at the idea. Tokyo is more than capable of hosting the Olympic Games, having spent seven years preparing for them. If I was from Tokyo, I would be seething at the proposal that London would try to use the current medical emergency as an excuse to steal the games, simply in an attempt to take the edge off their own current political catastrophe. It just goes to show how utterly pathetic the tories are.

I can type properly again

After a week without my extended keyboard, it’s now back from being repaired. It feels so good to be able to type properly again. I was having to make do typing via my ipad or the on-screen keyboard using my rollerball, both of which were slow and rather difficult. I suppose one of the hazards of being a disabled guy who relies so heavily on technology is that it tends to go wrong, and when it does, you’re screwed. Yet the key is patience: one has to remember that other people have it far  worse than I do, but still have the fortitude to keep going. If they can do it, so can I. After all, what’s a week of having to type via my Ipad in the grand scheme of things? Mind you, that is unless the zarking Ipad starts playing up too…

There’s just No Time To Die

I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but after seeing this performance of Billie Eilish’s theme for No Time To Die, I now think it’s surely up there with the great Bond Themes. It is replete with the atmosphere, that sense of brooding power, that has come to define the themes for Bond films. And in the background we hear that four note pattern as synonymous with 007 as his vodka martinis. I love it.

Cultural Intrusion

Say that you’re a member of a minority. You’ve been part of that minority all your life, or at least since childhood. It’s one of the most marginalised groups in society, frequently oppressed by the mainstream. You’ve had to fight for your rights all your life, and even to be included in mainstream society.

Then, gradually over time, you find that more and more people are saying they are members of your group: how do you feel? It isn’t altogether clear whether they do or don’t, but they have never done so in the past. They call themselves activists and become the most vociferous members of the community, despite seeming to only have fairly tenuous links to it. What has always been an innate part of you, to them has been a choice; that is, they seem to choose to call theirselves members of your minority for political reasons, for instance by suddenly emphasising aspects of their personas previously left ignored. They belong to some of the most privileged groups in society but like the politics of fighting oppression without ever really having experienced it. Ashamed, perhaps, of their status as white, straight and able bodied, and attracted by the glamour of being a persecuted rebel fighting for social justice, they adopt the pretence of being a member of a minority, often going so far as to apparently fool even theirselves.

So what do you do? Do you just accept them, giving them the benefit of the doubt? Or do you see it as a form of cultural usurpation or intrusion? While you have, for the most part, escaped the worst of the persecution, there are people you know in your minority who have suffered horrifically. These newcomers know nothing of such experiences, yet still seemingly presume to speak as if they had, adopting the language of activism as though they pioneered it. Would you not feel indignant at this usurping of your life experience? And to add insult to injury, when you try to question them, they dismiss you as a bigot, as though you were one of those people you have resisted all your life. Would you not feel frustrated and angry at such apparent audacity? Or do you just accept it as an aspect of the very principle of inclusion for which you and others have struggled all your life?