Stunned & Amazed: angelwhispers & The Auracle discuss the Olympics and the Opening Ceremony
angelwhispers:I am still in amazement. London KILLED IT tonight
Me:Mate, we fucking smashed it. 100% smashed it. Absolutely stunning. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
AW:I've waited a long time for it. A decade ago, we had the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Years before that, we had ambitions of hosting the Olympics.
Me:I think it could still happen for Manchester. I really do.
AW:We were very proud of what we achieved with it and where we've come. There was a genuine buzz around the city too but I'm glad it's here, and I'm confident that the athletes will do well. It really isn't about the politics or business. They're just a part of it, and a reality. We're going to see the best athletes in the world. Here. I just wish the moaners could separate the two
Me:Thank you. Thank you very much, mate. This is what I've been saying from the very beginning.
AW:And we WILL compete. We were top 5 in 2008. US, China and Russia are bigger countries. So we're doing brilliantly for small shores. Damn good at cycling, sailing, rowing. We have some hopes in the pool too. As you said, we already are rolling with the best.
Me:It shouldn't be understated that the Opening Ceremony single handedly squashed all of the negative press.
AW:It did in the end. I had BBC News on and Brazil know they have a task. I still mean what I said about Aidan Burley, though. Had to laugh as he tried to weasel his way out of it.
Me:Aidan Burley's finished. I will make it a point to egg his office (if not him) in his constituency. [but] fuck him.
Me:If only for a couple of hours, this country, it's inhabitants, and the world was - for the most part - in harmony. Beautiful moment.
AW:Yes. The design and art direction was some of the best I've ever seen. I liked the literature references and how parts of it were seen through children's eyes.
Me:Quoth my girlfriend Della: I wish it could've continued on. I'm sure he could've covered everything.
AW:I don't know much about the closing. I have to say I'm looking forward to it.
Me:Aye sir. "once in a lifetime," as they say. Genuinely don't want this festival of sport to end. This will go down as my favourite Olympics ever. I can feel it.
AW:Same here. Again, more than the next footie season. I'm a little out of love with it at the moment that'll probably change when United's first goal goes in, but I am a bit disillusioned.
Me:I think the Olympics are the last bastion of true sporting greatness. It's the only place left where an 'amateur' can compete fairly against a professional.
AW:It's also where some of the best stories are written.
Me:Yes. Precisely. It's the one place where you genuinely feel every emotion at it's highest peak, charging through your body as the sporting events take place.
AW:I admire greatly the discipline of preparing for years, the sacrifice and resilience. I admire their bravery and sporting attitude in defeat. All in pursuit of a dream. For most, winning is a bonus, but performing is the main thing. It's not a ten-a-penny privilege.
Me:Exactly. Not once do these athletes complain about being paid. No, not one has thrown a strop about a contract. It's refreshing and we are truly blessed to see this every four years.
I do tire of the constant (and I daresay pointless) arguments between atheists and theists.
Here was my comment in response to the author of the reply piece to The Oatmeal:
*sighs* All right, I’ll bite.
On the topic of religion: I became a born-again Christian in my early teens. I went to church frequently, got baptised, the whole nine yards. As I got older and continued my journey of self-discovery, I would always get brought back to something that felt like an indisputable axiom: no one truly knows what happens after we die. Thus, I found myself taking solace in the believe that all beliefs and opinions - spiritual, religious, atheist, New Atheist, political, and moral ones - are constantly touted as fact and the only thing that validates anything that we believe at all [outside of the realm of rational thinking and supporting evidence] is our conviction. Our ‘gut instinct,’ if you will. To me, there is subjectivity in everything. Our human history will show that our societal beliefs have changed more than the celestial seasons do. Every time we establish something as ‘right,’ it eventually becomes ‘wrong.’ So do I believe it is ridiculous to believe in a master architect/creator of our existence when everything on this planet - natural and synthetic (or man-made, if you will) was created? No, not at all. I think we all believe everything has an origin so why are we killing each other over something no one has been able to establish conclusively?
On the topic of the webcomic: I don’t believe for one second that The Oatmeal’s webcomic was anything Like an attack on organised religion. I’m a fan of The Oatmeal and everything he does is done with extreme doses of wit, sarcasm, and gross exaggeration. His intent is not to maliciously offend anyone but rather to look at things objectively complete with an absurd sense of humour. I understand the author of this post took extreme exception and offence to The Oatmeal’s work but as I went about reading this reply, I couldn’t help but feel that the author was merely trying to form a negative opinion of someone based on a single webcomic. I’d invite Joe to read the rest of his work in order to gain an understanding of why The Oatmeal is popular. Every comedian has his/her style and the way ‘How to suck at your religion’ was done is very central to the way Matthew Inman writes. At the end of the day, he’s allowed to express his opinions however he sees fit. He chooses to take rather serious situations and make them funny. I found the author did the exact opposite with the piece I just read.
PS: “Should parents not pass their political, ethical or moral views on to their children as well?” Everyone’s ethics and morals differ. In the grand scheme of things, there seems to be only one constant that we all can agree on: do unto others as you would have one unto you. In other words: live peacefully, love profusely, harm no one, hide nothing. But should we impose our political and religious beliefs on our kids? I say: absolutely not. A parent’s job is to guide, not dictate. Imposing something as personal as our beliefs our political and religious beliefs on our children is - in my opinion - unethical and immoral, solely on the grounds that children have the unalienable right to believe whatever they want to believe. It’s not a parent’s job to dictate what a child should believe.
And before you ask: I’m a proud daddy to my three-year old daughter.
That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for listening.
Will anything change? Irrelevant question, really. My intent wasn’t to change anything. I merely assumed that it was open forum time and I just chucked my 2p piece into the urine-tinged fountain of yet another Internet-based debate.
…and yet… I do hope the author considers my point of view like I considered his. Sadly, I don’t think he’ll get to my comment as he seemed to have given up midway down the comment section. I suppose that’s what happens when The Oatmeal links the blog on his official Facebook page and he just happens to be ‘liked’ by over 660,000 people.
I don’t even know any more, Ace. I don’t even know any more.
The art of using contextual language via various forms of lampoonery is dying a rapid death.
There, I said it. And no, I don’t believe any one party is responsible for this. I believe it’s a culmination of efforts and having sat back and watched the outraged rage on and the object of said rage (normally a stand-up comic… like Daniel Tosh, for example) stands bewildered as he/she suddenly becomes pop culture’s new piñata overnight.
Such is life for a human being in the 21st century. No one takes the time to actually analyse the context in which something was actually said and as someone that considers themselves an eloquent person, it’s quite sad to see.
I’m 26 and I can vaguely remember a time where it’s not what you said but how you said something that either got you on the receiving end of a scolding or an ass-kicking (depending on who you offended). This lovely period of life probably occurred during my adolescence which was full of other things: recreational drugs, sex, exams, and a part-time job et al.
For most of my life, I’ve had to deal with racism and - if I’m likening it to the advent of this 'rape culture' we seem to be in the midst of now - it’s not something I’ve ever asked to be subjected to, much less be forced to have to deal with it and how it makes me feel. Nevertheless, context remains steadfast despite the ever-increasing neglect people seem to have in using it.
I’m 100% positive Daniel Tosh meant nothing malicious by his alleged rape joke. I’m sure the modern-day feminists and the good folks at Slutwalk are queuing up to remind me of my ‘male privilege’ and why my opinion on the matter is invalid somehow. To them, I say: ‘whatever, lady.’ I know what it’s like to be subject to institutional oppression (see point on my being subject to racism); my ancestors know a hell of a lot more about it than I do.
What’s my angle? It’s simple: how is using the word ‘rape’ or alluding to rape taking away from it’s severity of a rape crime? I’ve been called the word ‘nigger’ more times than I care to count or remember but if a record were kept, I’d be able to tell you who meant me harm in saying it and who didn’t. Again, this is called ‘context,’ and I don’t believe for one second that any joke which is clearly dripping in sarcasm and absurdity could ever take away from the malicious nature of rape, racism, anti-Semitism, or any other negative thing.
See that guy in the picture above? For those of you reading that don’t know who he is, he’s called John Terry. He plays football professionally for a football club called Chelsea F.C. in West London. His recent shenanigans in calling a black football player called Anton Ferdinand (who plays for Queens Park Rangers, also in West London) a ‘fucking black cunt’ has landed him in the dock, charged with a racially-aggravated public order. There is video footage of the incident on YouTube and most who have seen it would agree that he definitely not only said what he said but could detect the context in which it was said. It was malicious and out-of-order and - hopefully - John Terry will answer for his actions and will then formally apologise to Anton for what he said.
Contrast that to Daniel Tosh’s ‘rape joke’ for a second. Just a second. I promise it won’t kill you. Did Tosh say his joke in such a context where he would wish for his female heckler to be raped at some point in her life? Because if he did, that would be horrible and it wouldn’t be a joke any more. It’d be a threat and a rather heinous one at that. Nevertheless, he’s forced to apologise despite the fact that the context of what he said was not meant to be taken seriously.
Perception 1, Daniel Tosh 0.
Ultimately, I believe words are meaningless until a certain tone and - more importantly - a certain connotation are applied to what one says. Daniel Tosh is a stand-up comic and he’s not the first or last one to say something someone will consider offensive. He’s made blacks the butt of his jokes, as have the likes of Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin. Mr Carlin himself made a wonderful point about how context is key:
What I’m asking is for a bit of understanding, here. It goes without saying that rape and racism are horrible things but if we can’t find the humour in them, the world would be a truly fucking miserable place.
More importantly, I believe you can tell the difference between a stand-up comic with a cheesy grin and someone that intends to rape you… and no, that’s not an opinion formed from the ‘comfort of male-privilege.’ I’m a black male, first and foremost, so whatever ‘male privileges’ you think I’m entitled to, I can confirm I haven’t received them. Lest we all forget that men can and do get raped… and not just by other men, mind.
If you were offended by anything said here or by anyone that I’ve cited as reference… tough. That wasn’t the intention.
“The race to bag and tag Frank’s sexual orientation speaks to our nation’s binary understanding of sexuality, a straight-until-proven-gay ethos where anyone who enters into a same sex relationship is no longer heterosexual, and bisexuals are just gays-in-waiting. Nowhere in the letter does Frank identify with any of the labels that most writers have brashly applied to him, and that’s part of the beauty of it. Sexuality is more diffuse than “check yes or no.” It’s static for some and fluid for others, and the presumed norm of unerring heterosexuality is the stuff of 1950’s family sitcoms.”—
This weekend, a controversial issue which has been widely discussed on Twitter led me to write a blog about manic depression, which is an illness which has plagued me for many years now, and i wrote it because i felt some people’s opinions about the illness i suffer from along with many other…
Very insightful post there and spot-on analysis of Twitter.
I too find it quite asinine that the things people hate about Twitter and how any given person conducts themselves on Twitter is exactly what makes Twitter as great as it is.
The problem with hip-hop today is it has simply gone from its roots as an effective and powerful tool used to decry social and other forms of injustice to simply ‘dumbing-down’ it’s listeners, bragging about al of the material possessions any given demographic could never afford. On the instrumental side of things, it’s also become very mediocre (or downright horrible). But here’s the clincher: nearly every genre of music has gone down the path forged by those that turned artistic expression into a multi-billion dollar industry.
I think it takes a considerable amount of talent to be a wordsmith, constructing the type of flow and writing the kind of lyrics that remain just as timeless as any of the musicians of old. It also takes a considerable amount of talent to create the kind of beats that world-renown producers like DJ Premier, Madlib, Jay Dee (aka J Dilla) - to name a fair few - that [once again] leaves people with their toes tapping, at the very least.
So… you can call hip-hop artists untalented or whatever but I defy you to do what they can do. Moreover, I defy you to show me any genre of music that hasn’t seen its fair share of dilution and money-over-artistic-expression transition. Let me see you make something as timeless A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Electric Relaxation’ or Common’s ‘I Used To Love H.E.R.’
Maybe then I’ll take your lazy castigation of an entire genre of music seriously.