Sunday 11 January 2015

There seems to be a few things that I would definitely have written about in my once productive days of a daily blog. These days I masquerade as some kind of charlatan developing a human being – rather than a poorly written ideas misfire viewed by nine people.

I did, of course, stir myself yesterday to write something in defence of the selfie stick. Without question the one thing capturing the thoughts and feelings of the planet this week is the selfie stick.

If one thing sums up my own worldview, rather the one Facebook and Twitter fashions for me based on algorithms and advertising money than my idealogical headspace (though there can’t be long before that is created for me by Google rather than electrical impulses in my brain), its that Frank Lampard maybe having signed a contract with Manchester City for the full season is as important as the acts of terrorism perpetrated in Paris. And both are less important than Ched Evans short term career prospects.

Saying anything other than the advocation of total and utter annihilation of Evans seems to be seen as an indicator of opinion so misogynistic that it belongs in the…well people would have you believe it ‘belongs’ to a bygone era. Nothing about misogyny belongs anywhere.

I think some people asking legitimate questions about the focus on Evans have a point. It doesn’t mean you think Evans should be allowed to earn six million pounds a day and captain Real Madrid. Two writers in today’s Observer offer different perspectives on the question of why some people are viewed differently.

Worryingly football journalist Daniel Taylor told me (through me reading the paper) that Eric Hall had raised the issue of Mike Tyson in a media outing this week. I had been thinking about this the other day. Is it possible I am a horrible person? Or that someone can think of something who isn’t horrible and someone who is horrible can think of the same thing.

I wasn’t exactly thinking of Tyson’s boxing comeback when he came to mind the other day. I was more thinking that people didn’t seem to mind going to see/buy The Hangover films. Then again Tyson has been on an almost constant apology to the world for his former existence. Maybe it is a trite point with little thought behind it.

A far better point was made by Catherine Bennett in her Observer piece. Why aren’t Julian Assange and Roman Polanski blacklisted in England. Assange chooses to avoid trial and Polanski fled his sentence. The latter has been a longtime bugbear of mine. But, yes, I have still watched Rosemary’s Baby since learning of what he did to a 13-year-old girl.

And as far all the people accused but not tried, sometimes because of death – often because of having lots of money, do we overlook them because of their art? Is Ched Evans not artistic enough? Dare I ask is he not good enough at football? I can’t help but feel we would be being implored to give him a chance to rehabilitate if he was the key to England winning the World Cup. Of course that is a ridiculous idea…

However if he were a fighter for information rights or a film director there does seem to be a different set of criteria. The thing about expressing an opinion like this is it can be somehow be seen as sympathetic to someone, in this case Evans. Nothing can be further from the truth. I am not asking for him to be given a similarly easy path to returning to a well paid job. I am asking why we don’t boycott Polanski films, of course most people boycott them on different grounds to moral outrage these days.

Most people were rightly outraged by the horrible events that unfolded in Paris this week. I am honest enough to say I wondered who this Charlie guy was when the news was breaking. Some people, for some reason, chose to act as though they were very familiar with this satirical French magazine. Regardless, when the full story was computed there was little to feel other than numbness at what this species can do to its own kind in the name of ANYTHING.

The media struggled at times to define it. Everyone defines everything in terms of everything else now. So it quickly became France’s 9/11 for many. Despite not really being too similar.

Cartoonists didn’t struggle to define it, describe it, or represent it symbolically – mainly with pencils and guns interacting. It was spiritually uplifting to see the outpouring of togetherness from the community. Even if it meant I had to put my loathing of political cartoon satire [Oh look Tony Blair is Daedalus and Gordon Brown is Icarus etc] on hold for a day or two.

Immediately there were grabs for the narrative of what it meant, could mean even. Immediately talk was of a much greater need for governments to be able to read everyone’s emails and listen to phone calls. There was talk of what it meant to anti-Islam groups and how the misplaced outrage at the faith of millions who in no way supported the act, could be used as a stigma to prove that there was a divide.

I don’t think people need to read my emails, frankly people who I send emails don’t need to – and don’t – read my emails. I don’t think it should do anything for anyone’s political career. I don’t think anyone should live in fear. Can’t the fallout just be that everyone sees what a fucking horrible thing it is and choose to stop doing horrible things to each other? The answer to that is a loud, resounding, terribly depressing no.

With no disdain for the man or any of the clubs involved*, I really didn’t care about how long Frank Lampard had said he would play for Manchester City UK or Manchester City New York.

*well, yes, maybe – but not in this context.

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