Saturday, 30 July 2011

How Very Interesting

Over on the right hand side of the screen (if you scroll down a bit) you should be able to see a graph entitled ''My Political Views". Now I know you, reader - I understand that you can read - but just for the sake of reference, allow me to just write here what the graph said about me:

'I am a centrist social moderate. Left: 0.8 Libertarian: 0.63'

When I was messing about on here the other day, I noticed the graph and realised it had been a wee while since I had actually done that test. A quick rummage around my archives (steady) confirmed that - it had been late August 2009, almost two years ago, when I had given my opinions on two pages worth of statements. So, I did it again. The results surprised me slightly:

My Political Views
I am a left social moderate
Left: 4.04, Libertarian: 0.95

Political Spectrum Quiz

So I've gone from being a Centrist to a Lefty. Naturally this appals me, so here's my comprehensive plan to sort myself out:

1) Stop being corrupted by The Vole
2) Devour all the Clarkson books I haven't got round to yet
3) Look at more pictures of Nicola Blackwood
4) Play more golf
5) Hope that time does its thing and I get more right-wing as I get older, as most people do

How difficult can all that be?! Not difficult at all, so I'm now off to find a friend called Tarquin. I'll be having affairs with Jodie Kidd before you know it!

Tally-ho what!

Monday, 25 July 2011

In Memoriam

It is Monday morning, and I am spending the day chillaxing (sorry) after a weekend away which contained little sleep, lots of fun and an excellent lunchtime meal. When I'm at home I love to stay informed and up to date with the news via my laptop/TV/phone/radio, but that wasn't really an option for me these past few days. In the car we only listened to the cricket, I didn't bring my laptop with me, we didn't turn on the hotel TV and it's not really good etiquette to check your phone all the time.

So when I checked Twitter just before bed on Saturday evening, I was desperately sad to see the news about Amy Winehouse. Desperately sad not because I was a huge fan of hers (I'll get to that a little bit later) but because it was all so depressingly predictable. Was anyone really surprised by the news? There was another thing that made me sad, though. Whilst perusing my Twitter timeline, a theme quickly began to develop which I found very odd - the inclination for people to automatically connect Amy's death with the atrocities in Oslo. Please let me take a moment to just briefly talk about both:

What happened in Oslo demonstrates quite clearly the abhorrent and despicable depths to which a human can sink to, and has made me despise the human race just a little bit more. Nobody - except the scumbag himself - can say what has been going through Anders Behring Breivik's mind in recent times, but it seems he is close with Neo-Nazi far-right organisations and has spent time co-ordinating and planning these attacks based on some sort of political protest. At the time of writing, over 90 people are dead, roughly the same are injured. The date of these atrocities - Friday 22nd July 2011.

Amy Winehouse was a musician, but also a very troubled young lady. I'm not into music, hugely, so it is not up to me to say whether Amy was wonderfully talented or not. To be honest, I could only name two of her records - one being a cover and the other being 'Rehab' which I never really liked. However, I've seen enough tributes from music journalists over the past two days to recognise that she was hugely talented, and is a desperate loss for the British music industry. The date of her passing - Saturday 23rd July 2011.

I have referenced the dates for one reason and one reason only - they are the only things even remotely plausible to cite when comparing these two events. In ten years time, perhaps we can look back and say "Yes, these two events in history happened on consecutive days" - but let us be very, very clear on this one. The comparisons end there. Why then, on Saturday night, was Twitter (and later Facebook) riddled with tweets/status updates bringing the two events together?

From a dickhead on Twitter - "Alright, Amy Winehouse made a good song once, but how is her self inflicted death more sad than the terror attack in Norway? 92 people died."

From a dickhead on Facebook - "5 days ago a true British hero was killed fighting for our country. Did you know this? Do you know his name? Did you care? A singer addicted to drink and drugs dies and its all over the news, Facebook and Twitter in minutes!!! RIP Corporal Mark Anthony Palin from 1st Battalion The Rifles!"

One more - "okay I know its sad about Amy Winehouse dying but what about all of the 92 people who have been shot and killed in Norway? Oh yeah that's right, they are not famous!"

People. Seriously, what is this? What on Earth is compelling people to write stuff like this, or think this? Am I completely alone in being able to feel sad for different people in different countries? Can we all not just think like this:

  • I'm very sad that many people have died at the hands of a madman in Norway.
  • I'm very sad that a talented young woman has died.
  • I'm very sad that a soldier has died doing a very difficult job in Afghanistan.
  • I fully understand that these events are in no way connected - other than perhaps time frame - and shouldn't really be talked about in the same sentence, never mind compared and contrasted.
Or is that seemingly too difficult? 

I'd like to finish this post on Amy. What some people don't know is that before the heavy drug use, before the silly hairstyle, before the horrible and odd tattoos, before the "out of it" stage appearances - she was actually a very beautiful young woman, and one who has gone far, far too soon. Don't do drugs, kids.