Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Che Lives

There was an all-pervading smell of hay as I walked into the caravan yesterday evening. Not altogether unpleasant, but I’d hate to be there if it started to rot.

One of my commentators yesterday suggested that the new airport scanning device will only encourage bombers to hide their bombs elsewhere. I have to agree; a suicide bomber who is about to top himself in the furtherance of his misguided aims will have no problem with inserting said bomb up his jacksie for a couple of hours and ignoring the discomfort and secreting the detonating wires between his cheeks.

There’s been a furore in the UK over a journalist’s opinion on the life and death of one Stephen Gateley – an ex member of a popular beat combo from several years ago. Her piece can be read here. Personally I can see no problem with the article – it’s an opinion piece after all - yet it has created an almost unprecedented backlash from the gay community. I somehow suspect that it’s yet another case of the offenserati massing, but this time it’s the professional gay offenserati who are seeing what is not actually there and then stirring up a mass campaign.

The journalist in question, Jan Muir, has said that she suspects the campaign has been orchestrated by a few. Offendees deny this, but there’s no denying that Stephen Fry was a key instigator and he’s the most followed Twitterer in the UK.

I’m currently reading a book about Sri Ramana, a highly revered Indian mystic whose life has many parallels with the life of Buddha. Unfortunately the book is written by a westerner who likes to pepper his writings with various Sanskrit and Hindu words which leaves the average western reader baffled. He used a few Indian words, provides a translation in parentheses, and then continues to use the Indian words throughout the rest of the book. He’s one of these hideous up-their-own-arse westerners who like to portray themselves as adepts and holders of secret knowledge and do their best to make what they write as esoteric as possible. Why can’t these buggers write in English when they are native English speakers and obviously writing for an English speaking audience? It strikes me as somewhat egotistical, which is rather ironic when you consider what Sri Ramana stood for.

Research suggests that almost half of working fathers do not take their right to two weeks' statutory paternity leave because they cannot afford to. Some 20% of men among the 4,500 parents polled feared asking for flexible working would harm their careers. Bollocks! They’re merely using that as an excuse; they’re simply doing what any sensible man would do – escaping from home to find refuge and peace at work.

Hay and I watched a DVD of Motorcycle Diaries last night; the story of Che Guevara’s journey across South America. It makes you realise what made him such a committed socialist and an icon an entire generation of young people who were dissatisfied with the old guard’s way of conducting politics. A much misunderstood man who fell foul of the Americans when they were busy propping up avaricious right-wing dictators all over the world.

God alone knows what the world would have made of him had he lived to a ripe old age and died in his bed, like Castro will. He would probably have been nowhere near as iconic.


  1. Hey. You wrote "God alone knows." See, Bill....subconsciously you're doin' ok :)

  2. Sorry I misunderstood. When you wrote "God alone knows" I thought it was a reference to Castro. The row over Stephen Gateley article is much more illustrative of the fight between the old media and the new media than the fight between PC and bigotry.

  3. On the Moir piece, opinionated comment is all well and good provided it is based on accurate facts, however it was based on recieved wisdom, prejudice and speculation.

    It was a disservice to the profession, but since the government distorts everything from their reasons for going to war to every statistic or figure they ever cite I guess we have grown accustomed to accepting the shit we are forced to consume in every clime of life.

    So I actually think the outrage was justified - it highlighted the heights of perversity that those in authority who we defer to have sunk to.

    So if we accept Moir's article then who are we to complain about this government?

    A little consistency, if you may, sir.

  4. Alan: You could be right.

    Oranjepan: "..received wisdom, prejudice and speculation." What else would you expect from the Daily Mail? That's why I don't read it. My point was that I would hazard an educated guess that most of the furore was created by people who would never even dream of reading the Daily Mail, and therefore specifically sought out the article at the behest of others in order to complain about it. I sought it out to see what all the fuss was about, and as far as I can see it's a storm in a teacup.

  5. Love the smell of hay, reminds me of my rabbits xxxx

  6. Your opening line confused me ( easily done ), as at first I though you were talking about Hay and I am sure she smells lovely and is very unlikely to rot.
    Am I the only one who see the potential for aiport staff to have hours of fun with the new x-ray machine.