JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just An Observation
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As spring hovers into view and the days, along with early evenings, start stretching everything becomes a little lighter and clearer. This results in situations more usually shrouded in dark murkiness becoming more apparent and in both Paris and Hollywood this week this extends to blatant racism which in this day and age is a frightening and quite horrific thought.
Like many others who saw the news report a few days ago, wherein a young black man trying to board a train on the Paris subway had his entry onto a carriage blocked by a group of Chelsea fans amid chants of ‘We are racist and proud!’ simply because of the colour of his skin, I was quite horrified and visibly shaken. That this behaviour still exists in our world today is beyond shocking and whilst not every fan of the London football club is wholly responsible, nor the club itself for that matter, it is still an issue that both these factions need to first address, then redress.
This story emerged in the days following a channel 4 fictional docu-drama ‘100 Days of UKIP’ –not that a large section of our population watched preferring to tune into the most unlikely court case ever to take place on British TV, discounting anything on Hollyoaks or any other soap for that matter, in ‘Broadchurch’. Co-incidentally one of the ringleaders of this shocking Parisian debacle was named and shamed in a photograph placing him directly beside the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, whose party still deny that they are in any way racist.
The Channel 4 show however inflammatory and sensationalist did however raise some interesting points including the knock on effect of moving out of the European Union , one of the part’s major policies, and how they might tackle immigration. Certainly it was fictional and the likelihood of Farage being elected as Prime Minister is beyond improbable but it did go someway to revealing where the current way of thinking could go if support for UKIP continues in the way it has over the last year or so. Farage has gone from ridiculous comedy figure to very serious threat in a very short time and this fills me and many around me with horror, dread and fear; for the first time in my adult life I am actually scared of the way politics in this country are heading and May’s General Election is one of the most important in recent history.
Over in Hollywood things don’t seem to be much better with the list of twenty actors nominated for an Oscar are all white or European. With not one Black, Asian or Latino amongst the nominees, despite many outstanding performances from actors of all these origins, it would appear that things have really not moved on much at all since Marlon Brando made his own form of protest in the early seventies about the depiction of Native Americans in cinema by electing one to receive his award for him. In many ways we have taken a step back as we are now all apparently supposed to be so much more aware and ethnically integrated than society was then. So why does this not appear to be the case?
There has been much fuss this week about a storyline on Eastenders- I am not sure what as I stopped watching years ago when I realised that I didn’t want any of the show’s characters in my living room as they resembled the stragglers at an after party who hadn’t originally been invited but were the last to leave- but my interest was piqued by the first episode on BBC iPlayer. What I discovered was quite shocking in its out and out racism- disparaging and insulting remarks about Turks and Asian shopkeepers seemed to be the norm- and something I hoped we had stepped away from but I fear I was wrong in this assumption. Never having had these views or opinions and always being surrounded by others who felt the same as I did this episode from thirty years ago seemed to sum up the way this country is heading. That is if it genuinely ever left these bigoted ideals behind.
A milder though still unacceptable form of racism also occurred on last night’s ‘Question Time’ when Nicola Sturgeon appeared to be constantly under attack from all corners. This was despite her being the only panellist to show a bit of humanity or to speak out about the underprivileged and minority groups. The fact she is Scottish- fellow Scot Duncan Bannatyne also appeared but he seemed equally contemptuous of her- and champions Independence obviously got under the skin of the other panellists but their contempt seemed to fall on Scotland as a nation and the thought that Scots may have a say in how the UK is run after the next election appeared abhorrent to them all.
Now that the hysteria about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has died down- I haven’t seen it and in fact would prefer a trip to B&Q to purchase the necessaries to enact its predictably soft porn leanings-this years real kinky film ‘The Duke of Burgundy’ is out at the cinema today. I plan on seeing it later this weekend and a review will be posted soon after. Also on this weekend is the return of moody funksters A Certain Ratio at The Voodoo Rooms with a supporting DJ set by the wonderful Fini Tribe which should be a good night out. Next week sees the annual return of Cramps tribute night ‘Lux Lives’ with a cornucopia of delightful local bands at Henry’s Cellar Bar but more about that nearer the time!

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