The Promised Land

I came across this earlier. I did some googling and Dave are airing a new Red Dwarf tv film on Friday at 8. It has been ages since I watched Red Dwarf, but it pricked my curiosity enough to create an account on the Dave website and start watching a few episodes. It is interesting to see how it changed as it transferred from the beeb onto Dave, and whether this feature length program on Friday is a return to form or a reboot. At the very least it’s something new to get obsessed about.

red dwarf

Chris Whittaker interviews Tanni Grey-Thompson

My hearty congratulations go today to my old friend Dr. Chris Whittaker for this fascinating interview with Dame Tammi Grey-Thompson. Published on Twitter last night, they have a thorough, very well informed discussion about what life is like for people with disabilities these days. It’s certainly well worth listening to. I’m not sure how it came about, but Chris appears to be making a name for himself on the disability journalism scene- long may that continue.

Rubber gloves are now normal

I have always felt uncomfortable and patronised when staff in shops put rubber gloves on to help me: it felt as if they were implying that I was dirty. These days, though, I’m perfectly fine with it, and in fact it comforts me. In fact, everyone uses rubber gloves so it’s perfectly normal. Just another weird consequence of this virus.

Starmer becomes Labour Leader

As a firm Labour voter, I probably better say something about the election of Kier Starmer as leader today. To be honest I don’t think there’s much to comment on: it was pretty obvious that the party was going to chose him. He seems well qualified, charismatic and electable. I’d certainly rather see him in Downing Street than the p’tahk currently there. What remains to be seen, though, is how he deals with the two big issues of the time: he might not be able to do much about the pandemic, but his approach to Brexit will certainly make or break him.

Using tigers as toys or tools for their own edification

I firmly believe that animals deserve our respect. There can be few things more beautiful than watching wildlife in it’s natural environment: think of, say, an elephant gracefully crossing the plains of east Africa, or a shoal of fish in the sea. All part of the majesty of nature and the network of life on earth. Yet inherent to that majesty is the connection between an animal and it’s environment: all animals evolve, after all, to suit their environment. Take an animal out of it’s environment and you create something artificial, fake. That’s why I object so strongly to so-called dog lovers treating their pets like human infants: a dog should be respected as a dog, not anthropomorphised in the pretence that it is something it’s not.

I just finished binge-watching Joe Exotic, Tiger King on Netflix. It is car crash tv of the worst kind, but it’s so addictive that I watched the entire series in two days. Centred around people who own small zoos in the American south, it is shockingly fucked up: the way these people treat one another, behaving like petulant children armed with guns, is disturbing. My chin was on the floor in bewilderment half the time, and I defy anyone to watch it and not wonder how a nation with such deranged psychopaths could become the most powerful country on earth.

Most sickening of all, perhaps, was the way these egotistical nutcases treated the animals they owned. They claimed to love them, but it’s very obvious they just used them as tourist attractions with which to make fortunes. I particularly disliked the way they encouraged visitors to take their photo with infant tigers, emphasising how apparently cute the animal looks. Yet animals aren’t supposed to be cute: in this case, tigers are supposed to be vicious predators from Africa and Asia. It made me sad to see so many animals taken out of their natural habitat and used to boost the egos of these fools; yet surely it’s just an aspect of a type of culture which uses and exploits animals as emotional crutches. Be it dogs, cats, tigers or chimps, people seem to project their emotions onto animals, using them as toys or tools for their own edification, rather than respecting them as the beautiful examples of evolution that they are.

Going back to 2012 this summer

Everything may be shut, the streets may be empty, but at last it seems we will get to watch the 2012 Opening Ceremony again this summer. Believe it or not, reading that earlier cheered  me up, if ever so slightly, although you know things are getting dire when the beeb resort to airing repeats of sports events from eight years ago.

The advantages of being a ‘vulnerable adult.’

Rolling up to my  local Tesco the other day, I noticed they had taped lines on the pavement outside, for people  to stand behind queuing to go in. A security guy was at the door, allowing customers  in one at a time. Naturally I headed to  the end of the queue, preparing to wait for my turn. Not me, though: to my surprise, the security guy beckoned to me (and Serkan), allowing us straight in. This  amused  me – it seems there are advantages to being a ‘vulnerable adult’, although part of me would rather have waited for my turn like any other member of the community.