I have described what I call my ‘rages’ on here before: how, due to my cp, I tend to express anger very viscerally and physically. I tend to lose control, and start shouting, shaking and throwing things. Well, today watching PMQs, they were worse than ever. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more furious with anyone than how I now feel with Boris Johnson. That he had the sheer, barefaced arrogance to stand in the House of Commons and attempt to justify throwing a party while the rest of the nation was sheltering from a deadly virus, is beyond contemptible. How dare he? How dare he carry on as if the rules don’t apply to him, offering lame excuse after lame excuse; patronising us with the gut-wrenching ‘I know best’ tone of a man who thinks political power is his birthright, and that nobody else has the authority to take it from him? It was more than I could stomach, and by the end I was shaking with rage. Between that and the sight of his Tory sycophants trying to cover the arse of their dear leader, I had to go for a walk afterwards to try to calm down. Why should we put up with these charlatans? As far as I am concerned the Conservatives are not a political party but a group of selfish, arrogant power-hungry disgraces to humanity unfit for government. They don’t care who else suffers or how unfair things are as long as they are on top. The party should be forced from office and disbanded immediately.
Some days I struggle to find something to write about on here, but today it’s obvious. The only problem is, I don’t know what to say about it. Of course, I was as furious as anyone to hear that Boris Johnson and his cronies thought it was perfectly ok to have a garden party at Downing Street in May 2020, and even more pissed off that his Tory chums were trying to justify and excuse it this morning. What do you expect when your country is being governed by a bunch of spoiled, arrogant scumbags who think they are above the law? The thing is, what can I say about it which will contribute anything meaningful? Naturally, part of me wants to launch into one of my rage-filled tirades, full of insults and swear words, about how the Tories are utterly unfit to be in government. While the rest of us were feeling the effects of isolation, they were behaving like they were too superior to have to obey the rules. Yet apart from potentially damaging my keyboard, that wouldn’t achieve anything: I’d hope anyone reading it would agree with me, so I wouldn’t be changing anyone’s mind. The thing is, I’m tired of getting furious; I’m tired at being frustrated that the country is currently being run by a bunch of arrogant, entitled scumbags, but knowing that, at the end of the day, I can’t do anything about it. So please take my fury as read while I try to find something more constructive to write about.
I suspect this will be the most amusing thing I’ll be able to blog about today (it’s either this or a post about arrogant Serbian tennis players who think they don’t need to be vaccinated, just because they’re champions). The wankmuffin Gove was trapped in a lift at the BBC for half an hour. “Cabinet minister Michael Gove missed an interview slot on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier after getting stuck in a lift. The levelling up secretary missed his slot on Monday’s show, after an elevator in the BBC’s Broadcasting House stopped working.” Naturally I don’t believe in karma, but if I did, this would be the perfect demonstration. Gove has inflicted untold suffering of thousands of disabled people over the years, so perhaps he gets what he deserves. The arrogant, entitled tosser should have been using the stairs anyway. The only downside is, the p’tahk was eventually let out.
Not that I want to sound too much like an ad for the BBC, but probably the biggest thing I can blog about today is the fact that Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary series, The Green Planet, starts tonight at seven on BBC One. As I wrote here a few weeks ago, I still find the fact that Sir David is still making wonderful natural history programs after all these years staggering: when you remember that he started presenting these programs in 1952, before either of my parents were born, it really blows your mind. Not only that, but his programs are pretty much the best thing on TV, and have been for the last seventy years; beating any talent competition or reality show hands down.
Perhaps the phrase ‘National Treasure’ is all too easily these days, but when it comes to Sir David Attenborough, I can think of no one who has made a greater contribution to this country’s cultural wealth. The fact that he is still going so strongly, and is no doubt about to amaze and fascinate the nation yet again, is surely cause for celebration.
Yesterday I went all the way over to Charlton to buy a new bottle of vitamin pills. This might sound silly, but I have always bought the same brand of vitamins from the same pharmacy in Charlton village. The staff there know me and what I buy. When I moved to Eltham two years ago though, I tried to change brands and buy my vitamins from a pharmacy nearby. The things is, when I did so, all of a sudden I began to feel very, very ill: I remember feeling more rotten than ever before. I instantly decided to change my vitamin brand back again. Luckily it only lasted a few days, but nonetheless it was far more potent than a simple cold – bad enough to be memorable even now. That was March 2020 though, so looking back I now wonder whether my awful feeling had anything to do with the change in vitamin pills at all, or whether I had in fact caught COVID-19. After all, March 2020 was when the pandemic was just beginning to get nasty, so the timing would fit. If my suspicion is correct though, then I have already caught coronavirus and recovered without realising, all because of my preference in vitamin pills. Thinking about it, changing my vitamin pill brand couldn’t have had such a drastic effect, so it was probably just a coincidence that I swapped vitamin pill brands at the same time. Even so, I felt poorly enough not to risk changing brands ever since.
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this on here before, but when I was young I used to love watching my dad do woodwork. I used to like to follow him into our garage, probably getting in the way, and watch him hammer, saw or do whatever he had to do. I found it quite spellbinding: as with the Joy Of Painting, watching someone skilfully create something can be utterly captivating. In that spirit, today I’d just like to flag up this youtube channel. I just came across Woodboy quite randomly a few minutes ago, having been watching similar craftwork channels for a while, but I was instantly captivated by the things being made and the skill being put on display. Naturally, there are bound to be many more similar channels on Youtube, but if you just want to chill out watching someone skilfully create all kinds of things from wood, you can’t go wrong with this.
I don’t want to say too much about it for fear of causing offence, but I just came across this rather perplexing story. Dame Maureen Lipman has questioned the casting of Dame Hellen Mirren as Israeli PM Golda Meir in an upcoming film about her life. Lipman says that, while Mirren is an excellent actor, she thinks only Jewish actors should be cast to play jewish roles, and that not casting a jewish actor would be the equivalent of a white actor putting on blackface to play a black character.
This strikes me as a very thorny issue indeed. I feel compelled to say something about it, but I’m not sure what I ought to say. Of course, as the article points out, there is an argument that to retain a sense of authenticity in a role, characters representing minorities should be portrayed by actors from those minorities: thus trans people should be played by trans actors, gay people by gay actors and disabled people by disabled actors. This I have no problem with, and agree wholeheartedly. The thing is, in the case of physically disabled people especially, we have attributes which set us apart from ‘the norm’; we look different, so a nondisabled actor playing a disabled character simply wouldn’t look authentic. (that reminds me, I really must watch My Left Foot again…) There’s also an argument saying that only someone with the right life experiences can play a character with any degree of authenticity, so you can only play a persecuted person if you have yourself experienced a similar degree of persecution. The counterargument, of course, is that part of the very nature of acting is to portray people you are not, and that any actor should be able to take on any role they are deemed suitable for. (After all, Sir Ian Mckellen might not be a wizard, but he made a really good Gandalf.)
Thus, given that Jewish people don’t differ physically from other people, I would argue that a nonjewish actor would play a jewish role at least more convincingly than a nondisabled person could play a character with, say, cerebral palsy. There would not be as many physical barriers to overcome. Unlike a white actor playing a black character, there would be no need to alter their appearance, so the intrusion wouldn’t be as overt or gratuitous. The question is, then, why would people like Maureen Lipman object so strongly? Why should certain roles be kept for certain people? why is this so culturally sensitive, especially in cases such as this?
A couple of days ago on one of the news channels I heard a priest or vicar trying to argue that churches should be allowed to remain open and that, despite the pandemic and the omicron variant, services should be able to continue as normal. He was arguing that faith gave people so much comfort and strength, it would be wrong to suspend church services because of the pandemic. Of course, this rather got on my wick: how arrogant or self-important do you have to be to think that your ability to preach to people should take priority over people’s health? As I’ve said on here before, I hold religion to be nothing but a collection of myths and stories which people use to give themselves authority; they then tell others how to think and act, claiming to speak for an omnipresent deity. Of course, they dress it up as a force for good – love thy neighbour, feed the poor etc – but religion is nothing but a form of (often highly conservative) social control, and a scam.
Now, of course, the pandemic is hindering that authority: if people cannot go to church, the priests have nobody to preach to, and so they lose their influence and cultural position. They can’t allow that to happen: they can’t allow threats to people’s health threaten their centuries-old, totally undemocratic means of influencing society. The clergy will thus do whatever they can to argue that churches should remain open, irrespective of how many people might get ill, because the moment they close, the preachers have no way to influence society. Allowing churches to remain open perpetuates the fiction that religion is as fundamental an aspect of society as a state-run service, rather than a paternalistic, anachronistic form of social control which we could easily live without.
It really gets to me how other people don’t seem to see this: priests etc are treated with authority and reverence, when they ought to be treated as conmen or charlatans. When you think about it, they obviously just feed those who listen to them a bunch of myths and stories about an omnipresent creator being in order to award themselves the authority of that being, the better to control others. This is perhaps illustrated most dramatically by American televangelists, spouting all sorts of ludicrous bullshit while swindling millions of dollars from the people they dupe. Those who listen may feel comforted, but they don’t realise they are being controlled.
If the churches shut due to coronavirus, priests and vicars would have no-one to preach to, however, and that authority would evaporate. They thus have a vested interest in maintaining the fiction that normal rules should not apply to religion, and they should be able to preach no matter what, even if it means putting people’s lives at risk. If religion is seen as special, they are special and treated with reverence, when in fact these preachers are just normal people trying to control and dominate others by taking authority from a set of ancient myths.