I just came across this handy little video on BBC urdu's youtube page explaining who, exactly, is fighting whom in Syria. The situation over there is far from simple, and I must admit that I don't understand it. Who are all these groups, and why are some good and others bad? Aren't they all equally bad. If we're all fighting ISIS, why did Turkey down a Russian warplane this morning? Either that implies they think these ISIS have planes now, or they knew who they were firing upon. Putin seems to be playing at something - he knows what he's doing, but what is his game? It's a great big mess; although it's two thousand miles away, with Putin seemingly using it to reestablish Russia as a world power, it seems to be getting more complex and more dangerous by the day.
At a time when we're struggling to find the money to support people to live, why the fuck are we spending so much on weapons? All year, the tories have kept saying how little money there is, but when it comes to 'defence', suddenly we have billions to spend! And suddenly, it's imperative we go fight ISIS, a bunch of thugs we helped create. And, coincidence of coincidences, most of the current cabinet have links to the army or weapons manufacturers! It makes me sick, too, how clearly CaMoron loves styling himself as a great war leader; a great Churchillian statesman born to rule. I see red every time that embarrassment to humanity appears on tv: he deserves to have been forgotten by now as a short-lived leader of the opposition, and we deserve better than to have a lying little warmonger leading us. He can spend billions on a socking great aircraft carrier intended only to kill people, but can't find the money to support the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society. CaMoron and his mates sicken me.
I just saw a report on the bbc news saying the church of england is 'bewildered' that UK cinemas have refused to screen an advert featuring the lords prayer. They say it contravenes freedom of speech. Bullshit! I say: good on the cinema. The last thing we need right no is more religion; more indoctrination; more suppression of thought. Why should this group be allowed to use cinemas as a tool for spreading their worldview? Cinema-goes should not be told what to think - the cinema should be neutral. Thus for the church to claim it's being discriminated against by not being allowed to screen this ad galls me: film encourages thought - religion does the very opposite. The bible-bashing zelaots want to hijack cinema, western culture's foremost artform, and use it to indoctrinate people; I'm just glad the cinemas refused to be corrupted.
I just stumbled onto this story, and tears are welling up in my eyes. Since last friday, copies of Hemingway's A Movable Feast have been selling like hot-cakes. Papa's love-letter to the eternal city captures the spirit of paris; it sums up what it was like to live there in the twenties. In a way I feel something similar about London, but Paris has an extra beauty to it, an extra poetry that stays with you. As Hemingway wrote, wherever you go later in life, if you have the good fortune to have lived in Paris as a young person, it's spirit, it's essence, stays with you. It has an essence which not even the nazis could destroy even though they tried, and no bomb-wielding thug could ever dent.
Suddenly I feel the urge to move: 486 to north Greenwich; Jubilee to london bridge, northern line to saint pancrass. The eurostar. I can be in Monmartre by late afternoon. It's probably what hemingway would do, but I better not. Instead, I'll go out into my own movable feast, living my own life, relishing my own freedom as Hemingway did. That, after all, is what was attacked last Friday: liberty, diversity and life, things which these islamists are said to hate yet which cities like london and paris nourish and thrive upon, and which hemingway captured so well in his writing.
[Edited 21/11/2015 at 14:16:20 - added a bit]
[Edited 21/11/2015 at 14:19:28 - spelling]
Although it has a touch of 'pity porn' to it, not least in the choice of music, I think I'll flag this short video up. It is by a student with cerebral palsy in the states, and much of what she says strikes a chord with me. She points out the frustrations of having a body which acts ten times slower than one's mind, and of not being able to type as fast as one thinks. I can see some saying it's riddled with self pity, but you could say it's just honest. Although she says things like ''I see only the faintest light taunting me, glittering in the horizon, yet I am eager to ascend onto the bright pathway ahead despite the obstacles.'' [puke!] nevertheless we need more of this sort of honesty; we need more people with cp to tell others what it's like to have bodies like ours, as only then can they begin to understand.