It's been a pretty bloody grim week all round, I'am afraid.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (who has the approval and indulgence of Vladimir Putin) has denied the possibility of mistreatment of gay men in the province he runs because there ARE apparently NO gay men in the province. This, in conjunction with plausible reports of his having established what amounts to concentration camps for gay men where they are murdered with impunity, is a deeply worrying state of affairs.
The world political situation is... I'm trying to think of a better term than "Up shit creek" but am sort of drawing a blank there. I don't even know where to start so I won't.
Pepsi looked like a sure fire winner of the "Worst PR Campaign of the Week" award with their astoundingly inappropriate advert with it's implied message of "Pepsi can stop police brutality" (Coke just wanted to teach the world to sing), but props to United Airlines for snatching that prize at the last minute with a breathtakingly ghastly treatment of a passenger on an overbooked plane (involving actual violence), when they had UA staff they wanted to be given the seats instead. You can find that one on your newsfeeds if you wish because I'm not going to link to it.
STOP PRESS: Clearly feeling ignored in these PR disasters, good ol reliable Sean Spicer has contributed his own special kind of flustercuck to pour a little crude oil on troubled waters, managing to screw up a comparison between Bashar al-Assad and Hitler in such a way as to make himself look even more like an idiot. I'd be impressed if it weren't so scary.
Scrabbling to find something positive, we DO have new Doctor Who to look forward to on Saturday, and in this messed up world, it's worth nothing Peter Capaldi's recent summation of the show when asked his opinion of cyber bullying. (Prompted by a question from a young fan who has experience with it)
"The essence of Doctor Who is kindness, that is what really is underneath all of this.
This is a person who moves through time and space and history, and all kinds of situations, and reacts to them, ultimately – despite the way the different versions of him may appear – he reacts with kindness.
And that is how everyone involved with Doctor Who should be and how everyone who is a fan of it should be.
If they’re not kind, they’re not receiving the show in the proper way and they’re not really a fan of it."
The show has been REALLY lucky with the actors it casts in the role, and Mr Capaldi is no exception.
Slightly on topic, but Jay Edidin of the ever entertaining X-Plain the X-Men podcast, gave a talk recently about mutant metaphor and representation which you may find interesting (I know I did). It's a Facebook video, which I know some people are a little iffy about, so I won't embed it
Oh, and since this weekend is Easter, and Passover is underway, best wishes to those who celebrate either of these and, if you don't, enjoy the weekend anyway. Me? I can finally eat chocolate again as Lent will be over. The fact I have a dental checkup booked for the end of next week is just one of those ironic coincidences, but it will encourage me not to binge TOO much.Oh, and in an effort not to be too dismal, let me end with a story which might seem depressing, but isn't. A rally of the English Defence League (as thuggish a bunch of far-right arseholes as you might hope to avoid in the street) was held in Birmingham this weekend and went about as badly for them as you might hope.
The photo that was captured is absolutely perfect. One of the EDL's nasty little lot being confronted by a smiling young woman of colour, a passing local (as opposed to the EDL who arrived by bus from who knows where), who stepped in to protect a woman in hijab that the EDL had surrounded and were menacing. It's a near perfect dichotomy of an image, it highlights, as nothing else, everything that is wrong with the EDL worldview and everything that is optimistic for the future.
The lady's name is Saffiyah Khan and my admiration for her is boundless. The man has a name too, but I'm not going to mention it here.
Oh, and Birmginham's Central Mosque's reaction to the rally? They organised an open-to-all "Best of British" tea-party with Union Jack bunting, tea and cakes,