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Pure hypocrisy on farage's part

I don't think I have a choice other than to direct you here. Ukip is attempting to block a group of comedians criticising them from touring. Despite Nigel Farage insisting politicians should ''let people tell their jokes,'' The Stop Ukip Comedy Tour has apparently been inundated with complaints from party supporters targeting venues. The hypocrisy is astounding: the week Ukip releases a singe so racist and offensive it has to be withdrawn, causing them to complain vehemently about pc-driven censorship, they try to prevent people trying to draw attention to the folly of their policies. It would seem they only support freedom of speech if it is ukip speaking.


[Edited Yesterday at 17:08:54 - Added a bit]

When is a troll not a troll?

A couple of days ago, it was reported in the news that the government is going to try to crack down on internet trolling. They decided that abusing people over the internet would now be made criminal somehow. I was quite shocked when I heard this, as I see it as a very dangerous, unwise move. While I know many of us have encountered trolls and know how offensive they can be, the danger lies in how you define trolling and abuse. Name-calling and insulting are quite straightforward, but what about other forms of criticism? My fear is that this new law will be used to stop people attacking the government, holding them to account.

I know I can be as guilty as anyone of insulting people online, especially tory politician, but I would argue that that rage is a reflection of my frustration with their policies, not them personally. They must be held to account. But what if I or bloggers like me were termed internet trolls and hauled in front of a judge? It would be a great way for the government to prevent themselves being criticised - they would just have to term what write abusive to shut me or anyone like me up. What is certainly true is that I will have to be very careful about what I say online from now on, and that worries me very much indeed,


[Edited Yesterday at 14:23:42 - fixed title]

My feet itch again

You may remember my entry describing how I tried to get tickets to see Michael Palin's talk about the latest volume of his diaries, and how I was turned away because they said there was equipment in the wheelchair spaces. I was furious at the time,but shortly after I posted that entry I got an email from the theatre, apologising, explaining that the matter had been resolved and inviting me to buy tickets. That is how, last night, Lyn, I and Dominik got to see one of my all-time favourite people talking eloquently and evocatively about his life on television. As soon as I entered the space, I was taken instantly back to those warm, happy Sunday evenings with my parents when we used to watch his tales of places so far away, yet so tantalising that it made my feet itch with wanderlust. Palin is a man whose work I love; as soon as I heard his voice last night, that warmth and joy flooded back.

Rather appropriately for a talk about travel, I got there a few minutes late having decided to take the bus rather than the tube (a mistake I will not make again!). Fortunately I only missed a little, and when I got there Mr. Palin was already in full swing. (Having taken the overground, Lyn and Dom were already there). He was regaling the enthralled audience with a sequence of short stories from his travels, each accompanied by a picture projected on to a screen at the back of the stage. Unfortunately, I could only see half of that due to where I was sat, but nevermind - it was the man I had come to see. Some of them I knew from his books and tv programmes, while others I was unfamiliar with. He sometimes veered off on tangents, telling, for instance, how it was through an act of theft that Britain overtook brazil in rubber production. Did you know, too that before they asked palin to go around the world in eighty days, they asked noel edmunds. I found it fascinating, like watching some great pioneer tell of his adventures.

The second half of the evening concentrated on palin's earlier life, and monty python. As a python fan, I loved this too, but, forgive me, I won't even try to retell any of his stories. The history of python is long, fascinating and complex, but now I know where 'ni' came from. I found it utterly engrossing. As when I watched Monty Python Live two months ago, I feel so privileged to have been there last night.

Indeed, when I think about it, it astounds me how lucky I am: last night saw one of my all-time favourite people talk, a man whose work I have loved and been inspired by since I was small. Before then, I watched probably the last ever performance of the greatest comedy troupe ever. Possibly most importantly, just three weeks ago, I met and talked to sir Patrick Stewart: thinking about it, given my work on him in my masters and what that scene in First Contact means to me personally, I now think that meeting was one of the most significant, important and special events of my life. I just feel so lucky to have done all this, thanks largely to Lyn; it astounds me when I think about it.

Yet, last night saw probably my last big event of the year: now that Python, Star Trek and Palin have happened, I don't have much more lined up. As Lyn reminded me last night, though, there will always be something more, something to find, something to look forward to.. she is right, of course. What that will be I don't know, but after last night inspired by that fascinating man and his stories of far off places, my wanderlust, my urge to go out into the world and explore, has returned. My feet itch again.


[Edited 21/10/2014 at 13:46:28 - added a link]
[Edited Yesterday at 14:22:24 - added a word]

my very own Jerry Goldsmith

I think I better flag this trailer fo 'Unstoppables' up. Having watched Lyn gradually compose the score for it all those months ago, it is truly brilliant to hear her work in the background. Plus, from what I can see, her music appears to capture the mood of the piece perfectly; my jaw dropped when I realised how well it fitted. I'm very, very proud of Lyn; it appears that I have my very own Jerry Goldsmith or Howard Shore. And, of course, it's great to see the film itself doing so well.

Lyn is now in her studio bashing out the tunes!

Lyn is just setting up to start doing her online radio show. You know, she really seems to be in her element when she does it. Just as I use my blog to express myself to the outside world, Lyn expresses herself through music: the tracks she selects and the order in which she plays them say so much about how she is feeling. More to the point, I rarely see her as happy as when she is in her studio bashing out the tunes; her relationship with music seems to be far, far more profound than I ever thought possible in a human being. This, then, should be a wonderful afternoon of music. At the risk of repeating myself, tune in here