Monday, 28 November 2011

Sometimes I am ashamed of being English

The following video is not recommended to those who are easily enraged.

There's simply no words for the bitter disappointment and outrage I feel towards this woman.  This is her British country?  Well fucking whoop-di-doo.  If she represents what a "true Brit" is, then I refuse to be called a British citizen.

I did find some glimmer of hope though.  There's a young man (I assuming he's Carribbean) sat behind this atrocious woman, who was obviously getting extremely upset with her racist tirade (to the point where he even stood up quite aggressively, ready to confront her).  Not long after, a young white woman goes over to him and comforts him, even giving him a hug to help him calm down.  I also commend the women at the end of the video who stood up and took on this woman in front of everyone on behalf of the British public who abhor and despise this level of bigotry amongst the population.

That is what Britain should be about - kindness, support, respect and courage.  Not this wench of a woman who does not deserve to raise the child on her lap. 

Friday, 25 November 2011

These are the real demons

Evil has penned another name for itself, in the name of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).  An undercover report by Sky News has found out that this so-called church has been telling HIV sufferers that go to them to throw away their medication and go start families because they have been cured by the power of God.


A sprinkling of water and a few words shouted over a person isn't going to drive any illness out of a person's body and yet these people have the audacity to claim a 100% success rate at curing HIV sufferers!  And as a result of people believing this, at least 6 known people have died.  People who didn't need to suffer and die when real medicine and real professionals can help keep them alive and living as comfortably and normally as possible!

One pastor, Rachel Holmes, told one of the undercover reporters (who is a real HIV sufferer) that if she continues to vomit or suffer from diarrhea, she should not take her medication - it's evidence that the disease is leaving her body.  Never mind that this is already a recognised condition associated with HIV!  It's easy to say perhaps they deserved to die for beliving this drivel, but these people would have been desperate and looking for a permanent cure.  So they become easy prey for these vultures who call themselves pastors and prophets. 

And to me, the cherry on this sundae of disaster is the fact SCOAN is registered in the UK as a charity.  It's almost ironic, but I seriously hope the Charity Commision revokes that.  Why should these people get rich off the backs of vulnerable people and the country by peddling death and stupidity?

What has the church got to say about this whole debacle?
"We are not the Healer - God is the Healer. Never a sickness God cannot heal. Never a disease God cannot cure. Never a burden God cannot bear. Never a problem God cannot solve.
"To His power, nothing is impossible. We have not done anything to bring about healing, deliverance or prosperity. If somebody is healed, it is God who heals.
"We must have a genuine desire if we come to God. We are not in position to question anybody's genuine desire. Only God knows if one comes with true desire. Only God can determine this.
"That is why, if anybody comes in the name of God, we pray for them. The outcome of the prayer will determine if they come genuinely or not."
  You hear that?  It's not their fault if you're still sick and on death's door.  It's all God's work, so if you don't go in believing in his all-powerful healing, then it's actually your fault you're not cured.  Way to pass the buck, guys.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need something sweet to wash the bitter taste of rage and horror from my mouth.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Awww, just kiss and make up already.

Advertising is designed to get certain emotions going to sell their products or ideology.  Quite a few adverts cause controversy.  United Colors of Benetton have released one such ad campaign which has sent people up in arms.

Benetton's Unhate campaign is trying to spread the message of tolerance and "unhate".  Quoted from their website...
What does UNHATE mean? UN-hate. Stop hating, if you were hating. Unhate is a message that invites us to consider that hate and love are not as far away from each other as we think. Actually, the two opposing sentiments are often in a delicate and unstable balance. Our campaign promotes a shift in the balance: don’t hate, Unhate
I think this is a WONDERFUL message to spread.  It's not everyday that a big firm would release a specific campaign urging people the world over to stop hating each other.  Unfortunately, this message is a little lost on some people.  First in line to argue this "controversial advertising" is the Vatican, on behalf of Pope Benedict.

Don't they make a lovely couple?
Locking lips with the Pope in that image is Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, a prominant imam and scholar of Sunni Islam from Cairo.  Other images in the campaign has Barack Obama kissing the leaders from China and Venezuela, Angela Merkel kissing Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of Palestine kissing the Prime Minister of Israel, and another personal favourite of mine, Kim Jong-il kissing the president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak.

Unfortunately, the Pope's poster hasn't been up for more than an hour before they were forced to pull it from their website due to complaints from Vatican City. 
"This shows a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offence to the feelings of believers, a clear demonstration of how publicity can violate the basic rules of respect for people," said Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's spokesman.
The posters were unveiled in a "series of guerilla actions" according to the company, with the posters of Benedict/Ahemd, Merkel/Sarkozy and Obama/Hu Jintao being revealed in Rome, Paris and Milan respectively.  As of yet, the Pope is the only one considering taking legal action against the company for his particular poster, although I would be very interested in hearing the reactions of the other posters from the other featured leaders.  Alessandro Benetton, the deputy head of the company, knew what he was doing in this provocative campaign but wanted to share the ideal notion of love through these posters.  Good on him, I say; I love this campaign.
"The central theme is the kiss, the most universal symbol of love, between world political and religious leaders," Alessandro Benetton said in a statement.
 I suggest heading over to their website and check out the other posters.  It's like looking at movie posters for an upcoming rom-com next summer.  

(News source: Daily Telegraph)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Poppies and Poundland.

So it's getting to that time of year when a particular paper flower is being adorned on almost every lapel in the British Isles.  Everyone from politicians and news readers to the proprietor of your local corner shop is likely to be sporting one like the annual fashion accessory it's become.  I will be wearing one as well - have done for years and its meaning to me hasn't changed; not just as a symbol of rememberence for the wars our nation has fought in the past but also as a symbol of solidarity for our troops today. 

As a whole, society agrees to this interpretation.  Sometimes though, a little too fanatically - an employee in Poundland in Lisburn was asked to remove their poppy because the store's dress policy doesn't allow for it.  Like any grown-up in a workplace, she walked out and the media was alerted.  As expected, Poundland didn't intend for any offence.
"On 28 October a situation in Northern Ireland was brought to the company's attention where a store colleague was politely asked to remove a poppy by our store manager in order to comply with company policy."
"The store colleague decided to walk out and stated that she would return on Monday next wearing her poppy."
Most work places allow the wearing of a poppy, but if somewhere doesn't approve of "accessorising" the uniform, as it were, then as an employee you are contractually obliged to comply.  If you don't agree with it, then bring it up in a mature manner, perhaps through a union or with a few of your colleagues who agree with you.  Walking out and proclaiming you haven't learnt anything isn't going to win you much favour in the workplace and will most likely label you as a troublemaker.  If anything else, just don't wear the poppy at work - there's nothing stopping you from pinning one on your coat after you leave.

I read another blogger's take on this (The Guyliner on Huffington Post UK) and he makes a good point. For some reason, people look down on you when you don't wear a poppy, or when you walk past the collection tins without putting something in.  When I was more naive, I used to think the same way about people who didn't wear poppies for Rememberence Day, and every year I would buy a poppy in part to show my support and in part because I didn't want people to think I DIDN'T support the soldiers.

Until recently, I had a fabric rose pinned to my coat for the local hospice when they were collecting outside my local supermarket.  I say until recently, because like anything pin to my coat, I eventually lose it from general moving around.  I lamented the loss slightly (it was a nice rose) but you know what?  Only I'd notice the missing flower.  And it didn't mean I lost my support for the organisation either.  The same applies here.  Just because there isn't a poppy on your lapel doesn't mean you don't support the troops or the charity - really, I think you can do no worse than the extremists last year who burned poppies as a deliberate act of incitement and display of non-support.

Breast Cancer Awareness has a pink ribbon, the Marie Curie Foundation has a yellow daffodil.  Heck, Help the Heroes has a little medal.  And yet, no one will look at you strangely if you don't wear any of these.  Just because this time of year, it becomes almost high fashion for this red poppy to be worn everywhere (and yes, high enough fashion that there are designer poppies for sale as well).  I think this story is a little blown out of proportion - a bit like when nurses and air stewardesses are asked to remove their crucifixes at work, though the reasoning behind this example is only slightly different. 

All in all, I guess what I was trying to say is that there's no need to blow up because your employer told you not to wear a flower to work - I can't wear my favourite ring to work and I don't whinge about it.  There's more important things to worry about and if you're worried about being able to wear a poppy to work, maybe you should be worrying more about why you're wearing that poppy in the first place.  In fact, maybe you should be thinking more about the troops who are represented by that flower than the flower itself.