Where Were You When…?

I feel like the fact it’s both Remembrance Sunday and 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down is monumental, but I don’t really feel qualified to write huge political essays on the foolishness of war and European politics since I didn’t exist 25 years ago, let alone during World War I.

Poppies August Bank Holiday 2014

Looks kind of half-arsed compared to the finished product, huh.

I’m reading Child 44 at the moment (I typed it as Child $$, which should be a band) and it’s one of those books that’s best described as cold. Not in terms of the writing – it’s very good – but its story thoroughly depressing. When and where is it set?

That would be 1950s Soviet Russia.

For god’s sake, humanity, get your shit together and quit killing people! You’re only going to regret it!

I’m torn between yelling at the sky in exasperation and breaking down in noisy tears.

Still, today is a big deal for Europe history wise, which got me thinking about where I was when XYZ happened. I seem to remember being told about 9/11 on the way home from school, and I saw that Margaret Thatcher had died when I flicked the news on during crap TV ads. I think my mum was in Germany when Elvis died, and I missed the actual moment William and Catherine got married because I was trying to ask my nan why she thought I shouldn’t marry a Greek (someone had mentioned the Duke of Edinburgh).

So does anyone have any interesting anecdotes about where they were when? Please note I will probably be telling everyone I know your stories.

Happy Sunday!

A Quick Question About Racism

This time in a week, my office won’t be my bedroom but will be my balcony, or a local restaurant, or… my bedroom (I’m staying in a studio flat and would put money on having exactly the same set-up as I do now, except with a closer bathroom). I was going to write a post just gloating about that, but then I went on Tumblr…

I’ve been treating the site gingerly since Uncle Rick posted about Blood of Olympus spoilers, so I glanced down the page as edgy as Hermione when she realised the Basilisk was in the pipes and saw this:

Racism on Tumblr

It might have been just me and a couple of inspirational billboard writers who thought this, but I was aware from a pretty young age that racism is learnt. One is not born as racist any more than one is born believing in God or born thinking Saturday night TV is occasionally contrived. When we first spill out into the world, we have no concept of anything. Then we are taught things that the people raising us think. We learn theism or racism or TV opinions as we grow, either by believing other people or thinking about things then coming to our own conclusions. Then we say what we think to our sprogs or students or blog readers.

That’s probably how most ideals have survived. You know, Mr Caveman Sr. realised that fire is useful but hurts if touched, and he taught Mr Caveman Jr., who taught Miss Cavewoman. Over the street, Mr and Mrs Cave were learning the same thing and told Baby Cave Kid as well.

Haha, baby cavepeople. (Alternatively, as Jacki pointed out, Ms or Mrs or even Miss Cavewoman may have discovered fire. I bet it was Village Idiot Caveperson who twigged that it hurt. Unfortunately – or luckily for this analogy – we may never know.)

My point is, lots of us are taught racism. I was. Most of us are taught sexism as well (hey, I wrote about this last week!). My parents were raised disliking Germans because their parents sat through the Blitz. Back when slavery and colonialism was a thing, most white people were raised to consider all non-white people to be inferior. Most non-white people were then raised to think that all white people were racists, and back then they were almost definitely right.

But it’s 2014, snowflakes. We’ve all been raised in part by racist, sexist, homophobic people – and we’ve also been taught by intelligent people that racism, sexism and homophobia (plus all the other -isms) is fucking stupid. Some of us have weighed up the evidence and concluded, independently, that racism, sexism and homophobia (plus all the other -isms) is fucking stupid.

So is the above Tumblr post actually just as racist, narrow-minded and indifferently ignorant towards white people as some white people are towards non-white people? Does anyone else get really upset by any mention of new book spoilers? Should I just stop using social media completely if it continues to find new ways to piss me off?

Well, I know the answer to one of those questions at least!

The Six O’Clock News: Quickfire Commentary

Audioblog time! I decided to commentate on each of these stories (don’t worry there are things to look at while you listen):

Taken 29th August 2014 at 4:45pm-ish
Taken 29th August 2014 at 4:45pm-ish

Too bad I talked about things in the wrong order and forgot how to talk and read simultaneously.

Story One, in which we should perhaps panic.

Story Two, in which I haven’t heard of an actor

Story Three, in which a judge tells a lawyer that he looks like something out of Harry Potter

Story Four, where an MP got egged by passionate (or stupid) pro-independence campaigners

Story Five (which I actually thought was six) about rich philanthropists who are going all vigilante since someone has to

From stunningpicture.tumblr
From stunningpicture.tumblr

Story Six (which I thought was five), in which people crash cars

Story Seven (totally lost now) when some people set the precedent for the London riots

Story Eight in which parents are well-meaning but misguided

Story Nine, where cats are even more popular when they’re dead

Story Ten, in which I am bitter about the Bake Off, although so are several other people

This may have taken longer than in-depth analysis.

The Six O’Clock News: Some Men Still Live in 1800-and-Something. Happily, Some Don’t

The Case Against Female Self-Esteem

So there’s a man named Matt who has a blog and on it he likes to be rude to people. In this particular post was recommended to me by Chloe (who did some guest blogging a few weeks ago). It’s hard to see through the bullshit and work out what he’s actually saying, but I think essentially he wants all women to a) pander to his every need, including matters of “banging” and b) pander to all men. Apparently there is not a single woman on the entire planet who secretly wants to be told what to do by men, because secretly all women know that men are superior in every way to women.

This dude is a serious contender for the Ignorant Fuck Award this year.

I think if I met him I’d be all “sorry, can’t talk to you because I’m not insecure enough to sleep with you or pretend that you’re not a fucking tosser.” Or I’d make him say to my face the things he’s written, and then I’d let all the ladies within a two-mile radius do their thing. He also censors the comments on his site. I feel really quite sorry for the women in his life.

Ah, the crosses we must bear to uphold freedom of speech.

Anyway, the day I read it I went on the BBC site and saw this:

100 Women: What chance does a young girl have?

Ah, the irony.

I’m a male feminist. No, seriously

There’s hope though. Yay!

Please

Question of the Week: Have You Ever Met a Militant Homosexual?

It’s heterosexual awareness month, and the question on everyone’s lips is:

“Have you ever met a militant homosexual? If so, leave a comment detailing your experience to help other victims of heterophobia come to terms with their traumatic experiences! If you feel that straight people have been discriminated against for too long, then put these posters up in and around your school or workplace!

Are you experiencing symptoms of homosexuality? Then just Google ‘homosexual cures’ and find yourself a nice 1990s-style website explaining how to rid yourself of these urges which you yourself have caused but can be cured if you part with quite a bit of cash!”

From HeteroAwarenessMonth.weebly.com
From HeteroAwarenessMonth.weebly.com
From TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com

Gay Marriage and Ice Cream, or Something.

So, the tomorrow House of Commons is going to have a vote on whether everyone should be able to get married. Or rather, whether people who are not already married should be able to get married (let’s not legalise polygamy. Sherlock Holmes has taught us what happens if you join that slippery slope… or is that if you join Mormonism?).

For the record I’d like to say, just in case I forgot to mention this during Homophobic Twat Rant #384747: if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married. No, gay marriage will not undermine straight marriage. The only thing that will undermine a straight marriage will be divorce papers, or perhaps an affair. In fact, it’s not ‘straight marriage’ or ‘gay marriage’, it’s just ‘marriage’. Yes, gay people may get divorced after six hours/a week/two years/twenty years, in the same way that a straight couple might. No, you can’t catch gay. No, God does not hate gay people (one reason for this may be that God does not exist. Or another may be that God created humans in his own image, therefore would be an idiot to hate LGBT etc. people as he is an LGBT etc. person). Yes, the only thing making a gay person different from a straight one is their sexuality. Just like the only thing separating someone who likes ice cream from someone who doesn’t is their taste buds. No, one does not choose to be gay and no, one cannot be cured of being gay. This is because being gay is not an illness, it is a characteristic, like whether or not one enjoys ice cream. Yes, you will be undermining ‘traditional’ marriage if the Act is passed – just like how divorce and non-religious ceremonies undermined marriage when they were introduced. Yes, gay people make good parents. Or they might do, in much the same way that straight people might make good parents.

Go here or search the archives for some funny pictures. Just don’t tell me who I can and can’t spend the rest of my life with.

Oh, and please don’t out any closet Tories who vote ‘no’ to spite their choice. Their vote is their choice, just like whether or not they want to eat ice cream or not discuss who they sleep with is their choice.

Oh, and this isn’t relevant but I’m posting it in case I forget in Racist Twat Rant #4746447:

Tory Pieces of Shit
From IndyMedia.org.uk/Google

But you get the gist.

Fuckin’ Idiots Setting the Tone.

I’ve been thinking these past few days, “what should I write for my first Indifferent Ignorance post of the year? Should I go straight into last year’s round-up or ignore it completely and just do videos? I shouldn’t just do videos, I miss talking.”

But the talking from me can wait.

I’ve decided this one’s funnier (but maybe needs headphones).

Back to school tomorrow. Have fun dealing with your own fuckin’ idiots and remembering how to apostrophise!

NB: I mentioned apostrophising because I couldn’t in a couple of words, spelt ‘apostrophise’ wrong, made ‘The Qur’an’ a category and deleted half the post before finishing it. 2013’s going to be great.