Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Beginning of the End...

"Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions." 

- Blaise Pascal

And so whilst most of us in Britain waited anxiously in our annual homage for the appearance of the sun, it seems a burning of another kind was being hatched in the minds of some restless London youths.

With millions of adults sat at their desks at work and equal numbers of children doing same in schools across the country, a dastardly and unprecedented act of barbarity was being perpetrated right in the front of anyone who had the stomach to watch.

A young man, hacked and chopped until he gave up the ghost, all because he wore a t-shirt that denoted he was a soldier in the British Army. An attack so unreal and frenzied, several witnesses have confirmed that they thought they were witnessing a film, rather than a morbid decapitation.

Incredibly, one of the assailants who is clearly carrying brass testicles, went on to pose for various photographs at the scene, promising 'hell on earth' for anyone who supports the army's activities in Muslim countries. With bloodied hands and still bearing his instruments of death, he brazenly attempts to justify the broad daylight butchery of an innocent man.

So far gone is the homegrown terrorism in the Britain today that a person can slaughter another human being, throw the dead body in the middle of a busy road and then have the effrontery to wait for the police. As if this was not bad enough, they then attempt to charge the police officers on arrival, which as we all know now led to their being shot and incapacitated. Some say the officers should have shot to wouldn't find me mourning for them if that had happened!

On a personal note, I hear one of the assailants may actually be Nigerian...I cannot begin to tell you how much revulsion boils in the pits of my stomach when I hear this. My request is that the police tell us his current location, so we can go and 'visit' him. He definitely wouldn't be in any pain by the time a few Nigerians pop in. Waste of space!!!

It seems quite clear to me that there are watershed moments in history where people cross the line of decency and redefine who we all are...I think it has just happened. Terror has come home. SMH.

May the poor man's soul rest in peace and may his family have the strength to bear such a horrible loss.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

In Preparation for OscarMania....

Anyone who has any doubts on how much sway the media holds over our lives, should cast their mind back to the last time they discussed, remembered or mourned the tragic passing of Reeva Steenkamp. Been quite a while for most of us, right?

Well, that's all about to change fleetingly for the month of June 2013.

In the next few weeks or so, Oscar Pistorius will return to court to face charges on the killing of his then girlfriend and as with anything which is bound to attract intense media attention, it will automatically drill a space in our minds and hold us sufficiently captive from start to finish.

Old boils will itch to be lanced and uncomfortable truths(and untruths) will surface, to add to the already potent brew of uneasiness. Women groups are clearly in rehearsals waiting to unleash their disdain for their fallen hero, whilst supporters of the tainted Olympian are sharpening their defense tools to ensure the other side do not win the PR war (imperative in any media-saturated event).

The poor families involved will have to listen to excruciating details about their loved ones, but in the same vein, aspire to observing all manner of decorum. South Africa as an entity, will have to watch as it's dirty laundry is washed  for global dissection and knowing the SA people like I do, they will come out fighting on all formats of media attempting to preserve some national pride.

June and Barry Steenkamp, Reeva’s parents, at their home in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

For those who are not in the know as per the horrific murder statistics in that part of the world, I believe they are all about to be educated on the numbers and most importantly, the variant shades of how those figures affect different demographics in the country. For instance, I found out through reading a Vanity Fair article that "intimate femicide" is the country's leading cause of violent death among!

The more you hear about the situation in the Cape, the more you realise how similar it is to America in the 60's. The racial division, the sporadic use of firearms, the machismo, the rampant crime and the all-round sense of danger.

Could it all be real though or is it all being pumped up to paint a picture of an environment where fear for one's life, is a feeling hanging permanently in the air? I only ask because I know tons of people who seem to want to spend their summers in that part of the world. Of course it will be nice to hear from the horses' mouths and know how the locals perceive the state of their nation, although judging by Oscar's and his father, Henke's accounts, the situation (from their perspective anyway) is not too far from the picture I paint in the previous paragraph.

But in truth, all the above is a red herring. There is a murder charge to be faced because a vibrant young woman's life has been violently truncated. Furthermore, the person in the dock is probably only second to Mandela, as the best known South African of all time. The nature of the murder, the fame of the accused and the loss of the victim, are all events which have created insane forces of nature which are now bound to collide in a Johannesburg courtroom.

The cavalry is already rolling into town,as Hilton Botha, the initial investigating detective who was one of the first on the scene that fateful night, is bursting at the seams for his day in court. Evidently irritated by his demotion from the case, but buoyed on by the fact he will be subpoenaed to give evidence at the trial, he is letting anyone who cares to ask him what side of the fence he sits.

The resulting debris will be seen from faraway distance and the noise, unbelievably deafening. In the end, the dust will clear and the din will fade....what will be left behind though, will be tragic in matter what side of the fence you sit.

Everybody loses.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Fergie - A Beautiful Retirement

Life does indeed have a way of playing tricks on you...

I remember back in 1990, the month of January to be specific, the joy that was abundant among us Liverpool fans, as it appeared Manchester United's experiment of bringing Alex Ferguson to our rivals across the Pennines, had failed woefully.They were already the laughing stock of the game as far as we were concerned, so another nail in their coffin would have conveniently pushed them over the precipice.

Three trophyless years and the appearance of 'Go Fergie' placards earlier in the season, had to our overjoyed minds meant the Mancs will have to go back to the drawing board. United had to go to Notts Forest in the third round of the FA Cup and judging by Brian Clough and his team's imperious form at the time, we had all got out our obituary pens and the compositions had begun in earnest.

So, you can imagine our intense irritation, when some young upstart by the name of Mark Robbins, went on to nick a 1-0 victory to save the hide of the 'Glasgow Chewing Gum Machine'! To further rub salt in the wound, they then went on to win a replay in that year's FA Cup and give Fergie his first English trophy.

Saviour: Mark Robins celebrates his famous
goal at Nottingham Forest

Over the summer, the Liverpool fans bantered with 'The Rags' and hoped their 'lucky' trophy would be the last for a while, but it slowly began to dawn on us as the season opened, that perhaps we had underestimated the man who used to be Number 9 at Glasgow Rangers.

His youth academy was obviously the project that had taken his eyes off the erstwhile available laurels and like the man who saved his money whilst others frittered theirs, Fergie began to slowly dominate the domestic scene, culminating in the 1992 Premiership title. It was not a beautiful picture for us, but the manner of the success was mersmerising and truth be told, there was a romantic slant which was not lost on the Liverpool demographic. After all, we were football fans....first and foremost.

For those football sucklings who may feel the Liverpool/ Man United rivalry is not real, I refer you to Fergie's post-match comments, after United won the European Cup for the third time. If you cannot be bothered to research the verbatim, let me give you a hint; it had something to do with Liverpool having won the cup five times and how he planned to overhaul that record.

For those of us who sat through the bizarre happenings in that Istanbul stadium back in 2005, the irony was not lost on us at all....any success we experienced was judged against only one club and it was refreshing to see Fergie, the general of 'that club' doing same.

So today, as the announcement came through the airwaves, that same demographic is secretly breathing a huge sigh of relief and hoping we can claim back our position as the club with the most domestic titles. Yes, there are some in that number, who will refuse to show any delight in this retirement, but trust me, the pubs in Liverpool will do a roaring trade this weekend (one half celebrating the departure and the other half downing their sorrows, as their manager is snatched by the big boys...Lol)

In summation, I leave the inimitable Jose Mourinho, who in 2011 after Fergie captured his 47th trophy, said the following:

"It's hard to see any manager following in his footsteps. to stay at one club for so long is incredible in itself. To win as much as he has won will never be make matters worse, I see no evidence he is even contemplating retiring at this stage. I think he lives for football. I am not sure what he will do without it."

Frankly Jose, I don't care what he does without football, I am just bloody glad he is gone!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Undying Stamina of Justice...

"Our sins, like our shadows when day is in its glory, scarce appear; toward evening, how great and monstrous they are!"

Sir John Suckling (10 February 1609 – 1 June 1642) English poet.

And so as another 'so-called' legend falls to the persistence of their victims and investigative forensics of the UK police force, it appears what we are currently witnessing is the proverbial tip of the sexual abuse iceberg.

Celebrated individuals, who unsatisfied with the lauding that greeted their every word and move, somehow decided to connive with the devil and his emissaries, to smear the innocent  landscape of youth with their tyranny of spiteful wickedness.

You often hear and take it for a cliche when people say; you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time. The truth is, a wiser and more profound statement has never been made. To see these perverts being plucked off the tree of eminence and patronage, to which they had long clung on to, is a thing of joy. Albeit, one would have wished the circumstances had not been so extremely unpleasant.

Listening to the lawyer of the now disgraced veteran BBC broadcaster, Stuart Hall, surmise his client's current situation, it dawned on me that the river of slew created by these guys, had indeed washed over all and sundry, innocent or not. The lawyer's words were bang on:

"He (Hall) is not a man easily moved to self-pity but he is only too aware that his disgrace is complete."

To think all of this; from Jimmy Savile to Hall, and many more to come out very soon, all trace back to acts committed whilst in the employment of the BBC and other positions of privilege, is nothing short of unbelievable. Yes, in case you are wondering (for those who might be reading this outside these shores), the same BBC which remains the flag bearer for everything good about being British.

The same BBC that trumpets the values of  this isle on every media format available to man. The same BBC which is now caught in an evil web of cover-ups and possible blindsiding of the very people who propped the corporation with their licence fee. That BBC...what an almighty fall from grace.

As their house of cards begin to fall, we the bystanders, have no choice but to watch open-mouth and disgusted to the pits of our stomachs. We know it will spread to other "trusted" bodies. Groups who are meant to protect and serve, but have conspired to turn predatory. Because we know this is just the beginning.....and we can't wait for the disgrace of this evil network of individuals to be truly complete.

Most importantly, for them and their ilk to remember, Justice, though slow sometimes....never tires....never forgets. One day, some heroes will break through the fear barrier and save us all.

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