Archive for September 2011

* Terms and conditions apply

On Wednesday night, the state of Georgia committed murder in front of millions of witnesses. As if that weren’t terrible enough in and of itself, it was made all the more shocking by the fact that there’s every possibility that the victim was entirely innocent. In its usual, myopic pursuit to dispense “justice”, the United States executed Troy Davis for the killing of police officer Mark McPhail, despite the failure to recover a murder weapon, the recanted testimonies of witnesses (some of which made allegations of police coercion), and no other real, tangible physical evidence linking Davis to the crime. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter whether Davis was guilty or not; he was still a victim of state-sanctioned execution in what we’re frequently told is a civilised country, and the decision to end his life, as well as a good deal of the support for doing so, came from people for whom “thou shalt not kill” is supposed to be immutable. Read more “* Terms and conditions apply”

Radio 4 Radicals

One of the bizarre things I’ve discovered about getting older, at least for me, is not that I find myself worrying about nature’s great, big, ticking, death-shaped clock of impending mortality cessation; nor is it that I’m concerned with checking off the list of things one is supposed to be in possession of at this point (wife, kids, mortgage, dog, massive sense of futile despair at one’s interminable existence etc.) – it’s more that I’ve come to feel like I’ve sort of always been this “age”, as if my personality were a suit that was at least 14 sizes too large and was just waiting for me to grow in to it. The suit might have had one or two minor alterations over the years, nothing drastic, but it otherwise remains pretty much exactly the same as when I first got it. As your tastes, opinions, and beliefs begin to coalesce in your twenties and thirties, you develop a far clearer understanding of who you are, what kind of suit you’re wearing, and what radio station you should be listening to. Read more “Radio 4 Radicals”

Keep calm, and carry on

It was something of a foregone conclusion as to what subject my post was going to be dealing with this week. In the run up to the tenth anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks on the USA, internet forums and social media sites are positively alive with the rising tensions, and flaring emotions, of lively, and often heated, discussion. Everyone has an opinion and, given the nature of these events, there was no way I could let this day pass without expressing mine. I wouldn’t, in my darkest, most troubling dreams, ever imagine telling America that it should “get over” the events of 9/11, as some heartless bastards out there have done – 3,000 people were murdered that day, and it would be grossly inappropriate to suggest that everyone should simply act like they’d been dumped by a girlfriend. That said, I do, however, believe firmly that America needs to get past 9/11. It needs, at least for its own sake, to significantly recalibrate its sense of proportion. Read more “Keep calm, and carry on”

Trans-mission

This blogging lark can be a bit frustrating sometimes. There you are thinking you’ve got the week’s topic sorted and the post itself well under way (alright, 1/6th under way) when, suddenly, almost out of nowhere, along comes something that throws a massive spanner in the works and everything changes. One minute your article was one thing, the next you find you have to begin the slow, difficult process of turning it into something else entirely. Since there are no wrongly imprisoned teens to write about, and most of my relatives are thankfully of good health, what could it be this time? Well, it was, in fact, Fox News psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow’s article on Chaz Bono, son of Cher (and Sonny), and his upcoming appearance on “Dancing With The Stars”. I won’t dignify the article with a link, so please take my word for it when I tell you, in no uncertain terms, that Dr. Keith Ablow is an ignorant, hate-mongering, transphobic shit-bag. Read more “Trans-mission”