29 July 2018

On London

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

Samuel Johnson

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25 July 2018

A Parisienne interlude

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The offspring and I visited Paris over the last weekend. It was both our first time visiting Paris, and we had a great time. We saw as many of the traditional touristy spots as possible in the short time we had available, and attended Lollapalooza Paris on Sunday.

16 July 2018

On protests and rich white dudes

Because, of course, the two are a little related Smile
I caught the end of the anti-Orange One protests in London on Friday. It was great to see so many people turn out to raise their voices against racism and other kinds of isms, but it was also clear to me that the protest was against more than the big Cheeto.
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It was against the entire system that allowed the Fart to raise to power in the first place. Against old rich white dudes in power.
The last protest I attended was the Zuma must fall march in South Africa, and remembering this, I was struck by some differences. But it is not what my racist fellow Saffers assume it to be.
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Protests in South Africa are a lot more violent, but it is because the people have been angry for a lot longer, and have more reason to be. As they have been affected by this system of old white rich men for a lot longer. So it is easy to make comments about the violent nature of the protests if you’ve not been affected by oppression or on the receiving end of racism.
Protestors in South Africa are also, legitimately, afraid of the police. They do not get to pose for selfies with the police, or ask them for directions. Police in SA come to protests with rubber bullets and tear gas.
It is important to understand the difference before passing judgement.
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But speaking of rich white dudes…
Rich white dudes have a few role-models that they can look up to, and strive to emulate. But I like to think that, mostly, they have a choice of becoming either Tony Stark or Lex Luthor.
Both come from rich families, both start off as spoilt brats, both are amazingly smart humans and have great technologies at their disposal. Tony Stark, however, does become a better person and tries to protect the world. Lex Luthor, on the other hand, remains a spoilt entitled brat and tries to destroy the world.
I can think of a few rich white dudes that have pursued the Tony Stark path, but it seems most of them end up on the Lex Luthor path, while thinking they’re Tony Stark. I know it is hard to be a rich white dude these days, because, you know, the world is against you and stuff, but damnit, E***, you should try harder. Be more Tony.

8 July 2018

On Summertime

Summer in England is truly a glorious time, but this year is especially summery. The northern hemisphere has been wrapped in a bit of a heatwave, if you haven’t noticed, which has meant long, hot, sunny days that remind me of my childhood, and of the descriptions of summer days from Good Omens.

The warmer weather has allowed us to do more activities away from home, cycle through the forest in the evening and attend events in London more happily. We’ve had lunch with good friends, attended London Pride and a Star Wars party (of which, sadly, I took no pictures)

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My favourite picture from the last two weeks that I am happy to share is this one:

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Hope you are having a fabulous summer.

24 June 2018

On Africa and old views

I’ve been missing in action for a few weeks. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, I’ve just struggled to get the words to line up right. I still don’t feel like I have full control over them yet, but I think I can convince them to string a sentence or two together.

I went to Africa! Actually, I had a lovely trip for work to Uganda, a country I’ve never visited before. I had some concerns about visiting, as the country’s legislation around LGBTQI rights is atrocious, but I had a great visit. I met up with a colleague one evening in the hotel for a glass of coke, and took this picture from the 10th floor of the hotel. This is Kampala at night.

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It is important to me to portray Africa in a different light. It is too easy to post pictures of poverty and rural Africa, but it’s not really accurate. While I hate the generalization, it is important to note that typically African cities are great hubs of activity with a lot of new developments happening. It is also important to remember that Africa is a continent made up for 54 countries, each with its own culture and traits that make it unique. The common theme in Africa is the lasting effects of colonialism.

I’ve recently found myself in the world of Mad Men. I somehow missed watching it when it aired, but as it is on Netflix, thought I would give it a try. What a ride it has been. I have found myself consistently angry while watching it, mostly at the blatant misogyny and racism of the time. I also realise that this is the time that the Orange One and his deplorables talk about when they talk about the golden days of the US, and the times they want to return to. It was a time that only worked for straight white men, so as someone who isn’t a straight white man, it is easy to see why we don’t want to return to those days.

I leave you with this glorious picture. This is Summer in England Smile

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