I just got back from our weekly trip to Asda with Marta. We nearly always do our big weekly shop on a friday, but unusually Lyn stayed home today, having work to do. She had been asked by our friend Gemma to write something of her early life, and took the opportunity to get it written before the hectic weekend ahead of us. She just asked me to proof-read it before she sent it to Gemma. As soon as I started reading, a shiver went down my spine: I won't go into detail, but it was a hellish description of life in the old institutions. My bottom lip shot out, and I gave Lyn a hug.
Things have changed, thank smeg. The person they once forced to polish stones in silence, hour after hour, has become a truly remarkable woman. Lyn is one of the strongest, kindest, funniest people I'll ever know. The silence as broken forever by Lyn's music, glorious and resonant; proof of the folly of the old ways. May everyone hear it loud and clear! Now, if you'll excuse me, Lyn just put Radio Caroline on - Time to rock!
[Edited 07/03/2014 at 18:54:29 - minor correction]
We were talking earlier with some Polish friends of ours: they know a guy who, one day, had a cop knock at his door. The policeman looked at him quizzically: ''Are you stoned?'' he asked, not realising that, in Polish, ''stoned'' means ''from here''.
''No,'' replied the guy, 'I'm from Poland''. Oh, the complexities of life in modern London.
A glorious spring evening, here in the city's south
The street lights are lighting, but the skies are clear.
An early evening walk, to get outta the house
Thence a south London pub for a south London beer.
Who would have said my life would be this great?
Those nurses in the hospital my parents describe?
If only I could tell them about my present state
How glorious my life, how wonderful to be alive.
In an interesting development of my entry yesterday, I just came across this story in the huffington post. It reports how a Russia today anchor spoke out against what was going on, saying that she didn't agree with what was happening in the crimea. At face value, of course, that is to be applauded: it would seem that contrary views are permitted on the Russian media after al. As the article itself asks, did we see anything similar from the American media during the Iraq war? And yet, given the amount of criticism RT has been getting for it's pro-Putin bias, one must wonder whether this is just a bluff: Putin wants his press to seem free, so he stages this show of angst. If that is the case, though, Putin has allowed this woman to say things which contradict his own narrative, a very cunning, devious move. Would he go so far as to semi-admit the west's version of events in order to give his media mouthpiece the veneer of credibility? I think so, as in the long run Putin knows that RT is one of his most powerful weapons. That implies, however, that despite what he says in his own statements, the west's version of events it indeed valid, and he knows what he is saying is untrue. Would he be that deceitful? If that is the case, it is clear that we are dealing here with a master of subterfuge and puppetry.
I am currently glued to the tv, even more than usual. The situation in Crimea seems to be becoming more and more tense by the hour; the prospect that we could be waking up to news that a third world war has broken out does not seem all that fanciful. I just tweeted that we should all go shopping to stock up just in case, but perhaps I was being slightly melodramatic.
I usually watch bbc news, of course, but I just had a cool idea. I just flipped over to Russian news (RT, channel 512 on our system) wanting to see the other side of the story. While I know every news source will have a bias, including the beeb, there is a staggering amount of bull being spouted here. To hear them speak, they seem to want the world to believe that Russia is acting entirely justly, liberating the Russian-speaking people of crimea from an illegitimate neo-nazi Ukranian government. Indeed, to them, the west is being hypocritical, even agressive, in siding with Kiev, and John Kerry was entirely unfair ian his criticism.
I was angry at first, but it is rather fascinating. Their claims might be true, and the bbc, CNN et al might be the liars; given we have no objectiv source of information, we have no way of being sure. Yet russia has a need to present the situation as it sees it, and what is being said here is being said so forcefully and one sidedly that it must be propaganda. To see this happening before my eyes, to be able to see state propaganda functioning and to compre this with what is being said on the bbc and CNN, is intriguing. We must treat every report with caution, pering away the layers of bias, whatever the news channel, to get to the reality beneath.