Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Thoughts, July 26th

I think I'm turning into a cynic.

Yeah, I know. Roll your eyes, kiss your teeth. Whatevs. I don't actually want to be cynical about certain things but it's this part of my nature that keeps bursting out. Worse still, I look for a cure on Google by typing "Cure for...", and it tries to autofill the rest, like it knows me. First up, it thinks I'm looking for a cure for cancer. And then Aids. (Try typing in the results for either and you'll be in cynic heaven). So when I finally get cynicism down, the first results that come up are no help whatsoever. First, there's a site claiming an exceptional American Rabbi to be the ultimate cynic cure. But nothing about the practicalities, although I guess it would help if I were Jewish. And it would help if he were still alive (he died in 1994). And then there's the Cynic's Sanctuary, which lists 714 things to be cynical about, which can only exacerbate the problem. So before I get bored, I randomly select another page, which suggests Tokyo is the perfect cure to cynicism. But, apparently, I have to lose something there first and look for it the next day, or week, or whatever, because the Japanese - or, more specifically, the people of Tokyo - are very honest and like to return things. So, in 2005 (the article was written in 2006), 100,247 mobiles were reported missing and, of those, around 90,000 were handed in to the police.

Sorry, I don't mean to be cynical, but I'd hate to buy a ticket to Tokyo so I can lose my phone, just so I can end up being one of the 10,000 people who don't get theirs back...

The other thing on my mind that everyone's talking about is the News of the World/ Murdoch Empire story. For me, it's starting to wear thin. I know people who gladly read sensationalist stories and talk about celebrities as if they know them. I'm guilty too of flicking over to 24-hour news channels, as if there's a constant stream of stories out there (and I suppose there is, but most of the stories are deemed too uninteresting for public consumption). And I feel like I'm the only one who wasn't surprised there was a lot of illegal activity. How else do you feed public thirst for the latest scandals? Are people just going to volunteer to hand over their dirty laundry for public inspection? Methinks not.

So, whilst I'm glad to see such a hateful paper go, and some of the power behind it, I don't think it will end corruption, either in the media or the police. And I think there is greater political corruption to be uncovered. And, worse still, there are other papers out there making money out of it by playing the  "sanctimonious card" with really bad morals...

For instance, I was suprised when the Norwegian Massacre story broke out and no one knew any details about the killer. Yet, the following day, The Sun decided to run an article calling it "Norway's 9/11" and there were reports about how Al Qaieda has begun using "blue-eyed blond haired" allies to carry out its atrocities. I can't really state my point more eloquently than Will Sturgeon does on The Media Blog, but it really does seem that speculation has become the new news. So, whilst on the one hand, there are papers illegitimately sourcing information to fill their pages, there are others out there with nothing to go on, filling it with rubbish that may or may not be true.

To highlight the point, when Amy Winehouse was reported dead, I knew it would be a matter of minutes before all the stories came out about her going on a drug binge etc etc. But, according to actual reports so far, no cause of death has been stated. And no drugs were found at her house. So, for now, it should be left simply as that. She's had a colourful enough time of it in the past few years without the need to embellish her departure with more tales of drugs cocktails before bed time.

She was almost certainly Camden's most famous resident. And despite the celeb status, she was only a few months older than me, and lived only a few minutes walk from my flat, so there was something shocking for me about someone so close in age/location etc. So I was really sad to hear the news. And I still am. Although, this week has been the first I've heard of the "27 club". Once again - and, perhaps insensitively - it's a way of labelling and classifying people, this time troubled musicians who die aged 27.

Anyway, on Sunday, I walked by the Square roughly where I thought she lived, and of course, I came across the shrines. Bearing in mind I do live in Camden, I've never seen so many cigarettes and bottles on the streets, in such a small area!

Malibu, yeah great, but why the Caffe Nero cups??

I'll leave it here for now and get on with some work...

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