The Eleven O’Clock News: I Forgot to Title This But It’s Real Good for Learning Stuff.

I’m tapping this out on my iPad partially because I want to watch Sport Relief and partially because Sport Relief is basically what I always wanted PE to be as well as everything I’m studying in Politics at the moment… Minus the debates about the benefits of nuclear proliferation.

So far, anyway.

Everything on TV pertaining to non-UK issues has so far has some sort of relevance as a case study exemplifying the bullshit that is rich people wanting to get richer and exploiting everyone else. The UK-based issues are no less relevant since we face them everyday… which calls into question why they are still even issues that require fundraising. Ugh. I can’t even find an appropriate GIF to express the disgust everyone should feel when they remember the shit that happens. Trust me, I just saw things no non-fangirl should ever see when Googling Sherlock.

Since this is the news and not just me getting angry here is some evidence of the bullshit from broadcasters with a modicum of credibility. Mostly. Hopefully you will find it interesting and helpful for Geography/Politics/quizzes/sounding smarter than the tabloid-reading misogynist you’ve been seated next to at a dinner party:

  • CIA World Factbook. It’s a bit tricky to navigate at first but you can pick a country and read about it in a pleasantly organised fashion, or compare states’ places on a list of, say, literary rates.
  • BBC country profiles. They’re a bit more wordy than the Factbook, with straightforward explanations of states’ histories and things that are quite useful, like phone extensions and Internet domains.
  • Historically-Political blog. I only saw this today but it was recommended by a teacher which makes it legit. It has examples of Politics and History essay questions which are horrible good at giving you the lowdown on Important Subjects. There’s also informed discussion about politics-y stuff, like here but with better grades.
  • YouTube. Amongst the baby cats and Tim Minchin videos (someone buy me a CD so I get offline when I’m working) there are documentaries and clips originally from TV shows or films. Take with a bucketful of salt, especially if you’re bootlegging a Hollywood film where they decided to impose a hero figure onto a story with almost no fucking hope (hi Blood Diamond! S’okay Leo I forgive you have a wee Oscar) and do your own research. “Be a sponge not a filter, Charlie.” Blood Diamond is a good watch for the record… I have a pair of bling-y earrings that I really, really don’t want to check went through the Kimberly Process.

The iPad is doing my head in – I also missed the ten o’clock mark because I was laughing at Beckham in Peckham and eating chocolate, mentally calculating how many children I could save if I emptied my bank account for Sport Relief…

It’s not a lot, but I guess it doesn’t have to be?

The Ten O’Clock News: an Article About Some Articles About a Certain YouTube Video About… oh you get the picture my eyes have gone fuzzy.

I would have talked about Nelson Mandela if I hadn’t been planning this post all week – I might do one next week when the dust has settled a bit and I no longer want to cry when I watch the news.

Anyway.

You guys didn’t just think I’d let a prominent sportsperson come out on YouTube and not take the piss out of get angry at investigate the media’s response, did you?

Bit of back story: I first read the news on the BBC app on Monday morning and kept smiling stupidly whenever I thought of it, because the way the article worded it was all cute… then it hit social media and everyone else started chatting, then it was on the six o’clock news and I was simultaneously delighted and disgusted that someone getting a boyfriend is newsworthy, then I went online and found some good responses.

By ‘good’ I mean ‘contains lots of points for discussion’.

Tom Daley’s ‘brave’ announcement should not matter – but it does

Hole in one, BBC Sport. I knew that being queer in sport simply isn’t done, I guess because most sports are traditionally “masculine” and all that bullshit, but I had no idea that it was such a taboo. Apparently “3%” people are gay (my thinking is that a lot more are queer?), so 120 out of the 4,000 members of the Football Association are. Extrapolate the figures to something like the Olympics and that’s a shitload of people. The article reckons that there were “10 openly gay athletes out of 10,000 at the 2008 Games”, which says a lot about global views. Acceptance and rights have improved in recent years, especially on a local level, but there’s a lot of work to be done before it’s okay for people’s sexuality to be so irrelevant that the world stage – and the inter-state athletics associations – doesn’t care.

Diving puns: 1. I also read “humble tumbler” as some sort of Tumblr icon as a tumbleweed.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: automatic.

Tom Daley is the most significant British sportsman to come out

… ah, but only because he’s so cute. No really, Daily Telegraph, what is up with these assumptions? The “dramatic pause before the big reveal” demonstrating “that Daley is a member of the X Factor generation” might be there because he’d like half a second to contemplate and deal with the huge fucking way his life will change after saying his next sentence. I also take issue with the sweeping statement that I am of a generation defined by a talent(less) ITV show.

The bit about John Amaechi is interesting – what’s up with team sports being homophobic? Is it because in sports like American football, there’s a certain amount of touching involved and some people can’t take it? Don’t flatter yourselves, people.

Diving puns: 0.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: automatic.

While we’re on the subject of The Telegraph, I read this and was going to go on a “oh hey here’s another journalist twisting the story to bemoan their own coming out, this guy doesn’t even know what it’s like being a professional athlete, how tabloid-dramatic,” when the penny dropped that the writer, Gareth Thomas, is a gay man who used to play rugby for Wales. He’s mentioned in the BBC Sport article. Let that be a lesson in context!

We shouldn’t rush to define Tom Daley’s sexuality

I don’t tend to read The Guardian much because it seems quite pretentious quite a lot, especially in some columns (actually most columnists do my head in, but that’s for another day). But this article sums up my feeling about the whole media circus perfectly. A lot of broadcasters have struggled to use the right definition, in part probably through ignorance of the sexuality spectrum, and in part because absolutely nowhere in the video are the words “I’m [insert sexuality definition here].” I interpret “I’m with a guy but I fancy girls” as ‘queer’ – being ‘not straight’ and way easier to understand and spell than a lot of those acronyms floating around, but it looks like there still needs to be a lot of work done in regards to educating people about definitions?

Diving puns: 0.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: nonononono (to be said like in The Vicar of Dibley.)

I know Tom Daley is an admirable chap but I can’t help feeling a little manipulated

Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like the Daily Mail? Well, I found this article and decided a paragraph just… wasn’t enough.

'Mail' Commentary 1

'Mail' Commentary 2

  Let me know if I should prepare for a court case!

 

Just a Thought, But…

  I don’t know what your school calls it, but at mine we occasionally have a lesson called Citizenship – universally known as ‘How to Treat Other People So ASBO Numbers Decrease, Making the Government Look Good at the Next Election’. For this event called Citizenship Week, my year have been divided up into groups, with a different group doing a different topical issue (my group is doing household waste. Don’t look at me like that, I wanted to do crimes against humanity).

 In the computer lesson today, a member of the group doing assisted suicide found a picture on Wikipedia of a woman with a brain tumour on her face. I know, ouch. They called down the row “It’s a woman with a brain tumour on her face!”

  This was when our teacher got pissy. Because we are discussing sensitive subjects and they can be hurtful to people and we should treat them with delicacy and she personally was offended by the comment…

  Oh, for God’s sake.

  We are supposed to be discussing current affairs. Assisted suicide is a topical issue – and if I had a brain tumour on my face, I might consider suicide the solitary way. Yes, some subjects are to be handled with care. Yes, people get offended when you accidentally make light of something dodgy that happened to them.

  But life is tough. Deal with it. In the real world, people say mean things and are probably perfectly aware of it. If you have put your foot in it, you apologise, wait for two seconds for the awkward silence to pass and change the subject. If a person is intentionally rude, you can either tell them and make them uncomfortable then walk away as they are losers, or just walk away.

  Pushing a topic under the carpet isn’t going to help anyone, is it? The more a matter is discussed openly, the more socially acceptable it becomes. Look at gay people. A few years ago they were talked of everywhere as people with diseases. Now there’s that Eastenders storyline and kids at school coming out for attention.

 If problems such as assisted suicide or brain tumours of the face are talked about, they will become common knowledge instead of taboo. Then maybe the issue can get solved.

  The point of Citizenship is to learn what it is to be a citizen. If an adult had yelled that comment, they would have been a jerk. Instead she was a teenage girl. If more people talked about painful themes without the fear of being politically incorrect, we might get a bit closer to preventing them.

  Happy Burns Night.