One Night Only

25 August 2010

On Sunday night, after a family weekend, I returned from a family weekend to my latest arrival from Lovefilm. Dreamgrils, a movie from the musical of the same name is a fantastic musical portrait of an era in American social history defined by race, music and culture. “Dreamgirls is a roman à clef of the histories of the Motown record label and one of its acts, The Supremes“. A car salesman who signs a trio of 8-year-olds, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James “Thunder” Early, love triangles and internal politics.

But it’s the music, incredibly all original, that makes this film. One I should definitely own (even Eddie “party all the timeMurphy is a surprise!). My favourite track has to be One Night Only, performed in turn by the downtrodden Jennifer Hudson (whose awesome voice tugged my heartstrings) and in a more upbeat style by Beyoncé:

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Moralising at tangents

25 August 2010

I was pointed to an amazing moralising Christian article by a Facebook friend recently. I’m not going to make any judgment on the diary piece in the Newyorker magazine it refers to. But I will copy one incredibly written but fabulously tangental paragraph from it.

“Why do we allow ourselves to be raped repeatededly [SIC] by the homosexual media? Who are they to invade our lives? They lure our teens and 20-somethings off into darkness with nasty promises. They violate the conscience of millions of Californians with activitst judges. They taunt the vulnerable even on our tv sets, adding subversive messages to every child’s show, from Glee to True Blood. And they are not finished yet. Once they grab the young generation from the real world, they are not even close to being finished. Who could describe or truly know what our Malthusian future holds? For now, they destroy our values with each stomp of their damp, musky sneakers on after-hours disco floors, crushing our very souls as harsh lights illuminate their flourescent Charlie Brown t-shirts and cocaine-pale faces and even then they find new frenzies, rubbing harder and harder into each other, aspiring to the perfect veneral opprobrium to all the hopes and dreams that people like Sarah Palin represent”.

I have a number of problems with this. I won’t go in to them all but

  • since when has True Blood been a child’s show?
  • was the Judge in California really activist? Or just implementing the law?
  • what are these hopes and dreams Sarah Palin represents?

It’s a wonderful piece of prose but the implication that the homosexual media lures people is plain wrong. You can’t be told to be gay. And where I lose all respect for the writer is the implication that homosexuals are all disco dancing drug fueled sex-maniacs. By all means – from your point of view – criticise 28, male, Williamsburg, gay [who wrote the Newyorker diary] but sweeping generalisations and aggressive assertions do nothing to sell your point of view to an intelligent reader. More importantly, though – how far off of the original point of view is this? And why say that Williamsburg is “stone’s throw away” from Ground Zero when that stone would have to be thrown over three miles, if not only to exaggerate outrage? This is moralising at tangents.

There’s a lot wrong with the gay scene. Attitude’s issues issue, and the Observer report on it, prove that clearly. But surely it would be far more constructive to seek to change that, to provide alternatives, to help the disproportionately large proportion of gays who suffer problems of mental health.

The fact that “the result of living as a stigmatised minority is that you self-medicate” with drug and sex addictions proves how much damage articles like ChristWire’s do. If that’s your point of view surely it’s better to do something proactive than moralising and making sweeping judgments.


Lies, Damn Lies and Luxembourg

25 August 2010

I was reading about Luxembourg this morning.

That source of all knowledge Wikipedia had some amazing information on the country (Michael Scott, the David Brent of the American Office once said that because anybody can contribute to Wikipedia you know you’re getting the best possible information). It’s an unusual country, it is the world’s only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy, and it’s landlocked position provides a strange statistical quirk.

"Luxembourg consumes the most alcohol in Europe per capita. However, the large proportion of alcohol purchase by customers from neighboring countries contributes to the statistically high level of alcohol consumption per capita; this level of consumption is thus not representative of the actual alcohol consumption of the Luxembourg population."

Fascinating, eh?


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