Wednesday, 30 June 2010

2 Months After the Vote: From Lib Dem to Labour


(This blog post was commissioned by Claude over at Hagley Road to Ladywood, where it is cross-posted)

This year’s General Election seems long ago now, I’ve filed it far away in the recesses of my mind, politics, in the UK at least, has lost it’s luster for me and I’ve now gone back to obsessing about American exceptionalism, female genital mutilation and South African crime rates.

What killed it for me was voting Liberal Democrat, as I did in 2005, as they represent (or so I thought) my views the closest and then had to watch the bastards power-grab a horrible little deal with the dreaded Conservatives.

But before I turned my back on UK politics in an extraordinarily tedious fit of pique, I did something quite dramatic: I joined the Labour Party.

I was raised in a very Tory household and as soon as I could I wanted to vote Labour, because it seemed to me the team in blue represented something cruel, mean-spirited and negative; features all shared by my Tory father. So from 1994 onwards I was a devout Labour boy and only when they broke my heart by getting us into an illegal and terrible war, as well as a catalogue of human rights infringements and a slow and horrible metamorphosis into a cruel, mean-spirited and negative political party (are we really turning into America with no choice at all between the Devil and the very deep, very blue and terrifying sea?), I turned to my ideological bed-fellows: the Lib Dems.

It seemed a perfect policy fit and with the election this year the golden bastards actually stood a chance of winning. Thanks to the archaic joys of our electoral system and also not as many people voting for them as expected (always a problem in an election) they were left as kingmakers and decided, even though 15.4 million Brits had voted for left of centre parties rather then the 10.7 million that had turned blue, to back David Cameron and his entourage.

Ouch. That hurt.

And I mean really hurt. And perhaps my hurt is irrational, flawed and riddled with an utter loathing of the Tories and everything they stand for and perhaps, in a stumbling through kind of way, the current Con-Dem alliance is doing alright (even though VAT increases kill us all, especially the poor and why some focused tax hikes on rich folk like me aren’t an option I’ll never know) but I voted for a party of the left, a liberal party because I was sick to death of Labour’s Tory transformation and my vote was betrayed. Where has the left gone?

And yes, I did just say betrayed, for this is a love affair and Nick Clegg has given me chlamydia.

So I decided to cheat on him with my old lover (this relationship and sexual transmitted disease metaphor is starting to run aground isn’t it?) and commit because I see no other options for those of us on the left to turn to, options that actually have power within their reach, rather than hopes and dreams. What use are they?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

DHG Showreel Redux

Eva-Jane, in all her beautiful wonder, has re-jigged my showreel to include snippets of Kirky and my role in My Last Five Girlfriends, as well as few other odds and sods.

There is more up and coming work I've done that will have to find a home in there but more on that later on.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Germany 4 England 1


Oh dear.

What a strange match that was, I haven't the heart for in depth analysis, thank goodness I am half German so one side of my family roots can match on, the English side is utterly de-moralised.

England were crushed.

We actually didn't play that badly as far as I was concerned, a bit leaden at times but not awful. What killed us was the goal that was disallowed, that would've given the game a different air. Perhaps we'd still have got destroyed but by a smaller margin, which would've been some consolation I suppose. Fundamentally, we were done by two simple counter attacking goals and we had a real goal ruled out, the match could've gone so differently.

Having said that, if we had got through, serious problems would've gone un-explored.

From the short tournament, veteran goalie James came out with honour, as did the awesome Ashley Cole. We always knew our centre-halves lacked pace but they don't lack heart. Johnson at right-back still needs work but he does look good when he presses on.

Barry is a keeper but I'd prefer Hargreaves, perhaps both as many top teams have, Lampard did nothing all World Cup, little surprise it was his goal that was ruled out. Gerrard was out of position and thus half the player he can be but Milner is a top player, he can do much wherever he plays.

I suppose the killer blow was just how bad Rooney was. He was shocking, if he had been any other player he would've been subbed and dropped but Capello and the rest of us, prayed, hoped that he would find that spark...that something.

It never came and England go home.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Kirky, the HD Hunter! Part 3: Later with Jools Holland

Something for the weekend sir?

How about the third and final installment, for now, of Kirky, the HD Hunter?

Don't say I never treat you...

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Kirky, the HD Hunter! Part 2: Being Human

This is what I made at the BBC part ruddy bloody two!

Things are going well for Kirky now, I am hoping that something will come of him, meetings are being set up and things are coming into place.

Here is a bit of background...
New Basford resident (and incapacity benefit claimant) Kirky has secured a job at the BBC, interviewing very important people who work behind the scenes at various top BBC shows, investigating the impact of High Definition upon their jobs. Kirky works in partnership with his housemate Dave, who operates the camera. Dave is on disability allowance, as he only has one arm after losing the other in the Falklands. Dave likes to collect shells. Both Kirky and Dave are big fans of television and also sound equipment, personal highlights are when the Free City of Danzig got television and the fact that the threshold of pain for sound in humans is 134db. Stun grenades operate at around 180db. 

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Slovenia 0 England 1


Oh good Christ, they do like to make us suffer, our brave England boys.

Fresh off the press, England have just beaten Slovenia 1-0, although we should have got even more, their keeper Handanovic is a legend and kept out plenty of our sterling efforts. England played so much better than the two previous games, great passing, dominant play, nerves towards the end took the shine off but we played very well indeed, especially in comparison to the two previous matches.

All that matters is that England are through to the second round, who we will face we do not know yet, hopefully we will avoid my bredren Germans but for now, we can rejoice that England have not been kicked out and that our World Cup dream goes on.

James was, once again, awesome in goal; never had much to do but so solid, great handling and dealt well with an awful pitch. I have confidence that he will serve us well for the rest of the competition.

Our defence was epic, as it has been for the entire tournament, it is hard to beat, the only goal conceded so far has been an error. Cole was once again outstanding in defence and attack and Johnno on the right looked secure. Terry was an English lion, at one point throwing himself head first at a shot and Upson, in for Carragher, pulled off some great tackles.

Lampard and Gerrard, our two finest midfielders in the last 20 years, were far better, Gerrard especially, threading passes left, right and centre and driving hard whilst Lampard, still off for me, contributed far more. Milner was a revelation on the right, great in the tackle, can beat a man and can pass beautifully, my man of the match. Barry was strong, a few loose passes but overall a solid performance.

Rooney was better but still under par, he is getting there so let's hope his ankle holds up. His partner in goals was Defoe, of whom I am not a fan but although he touched the ball about twice, one of those was a goal and the second should have been.

I'll leave the final word to Fabio Capello:

"This is what I wanted to see - the spirit, see them fight together. I am really, really happy. I rediscovered the team I knew from qualification."

Monday, 21 June 2010

Shed Your Tears And Walk Away


Yesterday Eva-Jane and I paid a visit to the ICA to watch an amazing documentary called "Shed Your Tears And Walk Away" and it is a phenomenal piece of film making, of sheer raw pain and a bleak reflection of the reality of life for large swathes of British people.

I urge you to see it or get on DVD when and if it comes out, it is an outstanding piece of filmmaking that documents a side of British life that is rarely seen. A life of drink, nihilism, drugs, friendship and a loss of a basic survival instinct; a sense of being trapped, of being utterly lost.

It is based in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire but in reality, it could be a documentary of absolutely anywhere in the UK where hope has been lost and there is nothing, seemingly, to lose. One fear is that the situation in Hebden Bridge is seen as unique from this documentary, when it is endemic in the UK.

It reminded me, quite painfully, of elements of my own life, to be clear though, I was always on the periphery of social circles like this but it was, at times, like watching my own friends from the long distant past as they self-destructed and, crippled by fear, kept destroying themselves.

One of the reasons I left Nottingham was to avoid bumping into people from the past, letting me know who else was now dead, mad, locked up, fucked up. Text messages asking if I'd heard that so and so had hung himself or held up another beer-off, old muck-a-bouts begging us for a fiver.

The walking dead. Our British underclass. Nothing to do but shed your tears and walk away.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

England 0 Algeria 0


Oh my good God, that was fucking awful.

You know, I chortled to myself, upon watching France getting thrashed by Mexico 2-0, that England, for all their flaws, will never play sans heart, soul and spirit like the French. We may be bad sometimes but we'll never stoop to that level.

And lo, it came to pass, against an awful Algerian team (something I am grateful for, if they had been any good we would've been crushed like dogs, their number 15 Ziani is perhaps the worst player I've ever seen at a World Cup) we drew nil-nil and played like the French.

And it wasn't even that Algeria were offering tight banks of four and defending well, we could and did break them down, when we managed to string a few basic passes together but that was a rare occurrence indeed.

Quite simply, England played with no heart, no passion and utterly crippled by fear, fear of what I've no idea and if they were apprehensive against Algeria, they will be frozen solid by anguish as they have to beat Slovenia. Wednesday promises to be a terrifying and possibly deeply distressing day. I can't wait...

It feels slightly pointless to investigate England player by player, James was at least impressive, although he had nothing to do but should at least give us a strong figure in goal as the Slovenians pepper us with attacks. In fact, the whole defence looked good, in a solid and untested way that is and we will miss Carragher, who had a good game. Johnson and Cole did well at full back but needed to push on more, occasionally Glenn Johnson looked a bit at sea backtracking but this was hidden by the sheer incompetence of the rest of the team.

Midfield was dire, aside from Barry, who was my man of the match, even though he was a leaky with his passing at times but he covered so well and gave us shape, this will be much needed against Slovenia. Lampard went missing again, taking three touches when he should be taking one, whilst pal Gerrard was also AWOL, leaving Barry to carry all the weight. Lennon was alright at running in straight lines at pace but Wright-Phillips, when he came on, gave us more energy and effort, I hope he starts on Wednesday.

But it was upfront that my heart got broke. Heskey was okay but perhaps now has to go the way of the dinosaur, although I don't think Defoe or Crouch really gives us much. It was Rooney that destroyed me, his touch was awful, he seemed empty of ideas and effort; utterly crap and if he wasn't Rooney he would've been subbed and that cannot be good. He is our best player and he was a million miles away from being any good at all.

I have no idea where we go from here, surely it can't get worse and that seems to be our only succour.

Worryingly, it looks as if the problem exists solely in the mind of the players, what has riddled them with such paralysing fear, I have no idea. How can you be scared of losing if you've not even tried to succeed?

Here's to Wednesday, when I hope England find themselves again and make us proud and fight and battle and do their very best for themselves and for us, so the boo-boys will be silenced and our best player won't feel the need to do this...

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Kirky, the HD Hunter! Part 1: Aardman Animations

This is what I made at the BBC.

This is the first part of my comedy creation Kirky and if you have BBC in HD, you should've already seen him in action, I know a few pals have. More episodes are on their way, I'll put them up when they're done and hopefully, this is only the beginning for Kirky from New Basford.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Anti-Anti Immigration


Hopefully, with the wonderful demise of the daft racists at the BNP and the unworkable ideas of the EDL floundering, anti-immigration rhetoric can die a much deserved death in the UK, aside from the pathetic whimpers in certain right-wing rags, when they need to whip up a healthy dose of fear, loathing and bigotry.

It seems that it is now America's turn to be blighted with ignorance and although I will be blogging on the demise of the right in the US later, as it is overcome by the awful Tea Party movement and the anti-immigration vote, I want to set out why anti-immigration discourse in the US is just so flawed and myopic.

Nativism is as old as time but it always seems so odd seeing it find a home in America, a nation which is built by and for those that come from somewhere else. And all of those vulgar cries by the current set of inhabitants to "shut the gates" always looks like a terrible fit of short-sighted pique; forgetting exactly where they came from.

Famously, Tasmania used to be part of Australia's mainland and was, of course, cut off by rising seas. It provides a fascinating insight into what the anti-immigration cretin's wet-dream would look like. Without immigration and exchanges of talent, trade, skills and people; Tasmania slipped far behind mainland Australia, full of seal-fat smeared bodies and wallaby pelts...

Much of America's utter brilliance is rooted in its vast open society, a home for immigrants for hundreds of years, a society where goods, ideas and people flow freely and thus, a great source of humanity's success is in this essential exchange.

These bigots it seems, just can't grasp that. Rather than seeing those that come in as bringing something that is akin to a life blood for any great country, they see them as taking away from what is already there.

Obama's immigration policy is not helping either, neither is the Republican's intransigence to any form of reform. The fact remains that the US is experiencing a talent crisis and requires some 26 million extra workers to maintain growth. And as other nation's grow as strong as the US in military and fiscal terms, America needs to embrace its openness as a key strength to keep it ahead of all other International rivals; this soft power can keep the US in power.

It's either that or Americans will soon be trotting about covered in seal fat and sporting wallaby pelts...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Who Ate All The Pies?


"Punter likes football, Punter likes Pies, on the last game of the season, Punter dies..."

Some may call this musical about football a shameless cash-in on the world's greatest sporting event which is, of course, happening right now. Others may say that football and theatre should never mix and any fool that puts them together is making theatrical hemlock. With regards to the former point, they may well be right (and quite frankly, who cares? Football has long been about cashing in, something this show touches on well) but on the latter they'd be a long way from the mark...indeed with regards to this play, it would be a Geoff Thomas-esque spoon towards the corner flag.

I'll put my cards on the table and make it clear that I fucking hate musicals but along I went to see this show and I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

It is a short play, which is a blessing and if you can't say it in 90 minutes it just ain't worth saying and "Who Ate All The Pies?" is a brisk hour and fifteen that flashes by at a fine pace. Just like Arron Lennon...

The plot, quite frankly, doesn't matter but in a nutshell; it is built around a dysfunctional father and daughter relationship and a fictional football club that is pretty shite. That's it. But you shouldn't really be here for the plot but rather the big laughs that the lyrics, dialogue and performances demand.

It being a musical and all, people break out into song quite often and for no apparent reason. Trouble is, the songs are so bloody catchy and nearly all uptempo enough to get the entire audience tapping their feet and humming the tune as they leave the theatre. The only real low-key number is actually quite moving and was beautifully sung.

This leads me onto the performers, who to a man/woman, were all excellent; great voices and good acting, as well as making the dance routines work in a very compact space. Man-of-the-Match for me though was Ben Redfern, closely followed by Ali James. Both had energy, conviction and the real presence that such a show demands.

Even for those who don't care about football or know nothing about it, the musical has plenty to offer and really is very, very funny.

All in all, football was the winner, so if you're around in London, go and check out "Who Ate All The Pies?"

Sunday, 13 June 2010

England 1 USA 1


And so England's World Cup has begun and, result aside, it was a refreshing surprise, in that England played very well indeed and deserved to win by some margin. Of course, we did not. Arse.

Perhaps that could be blamed on the USA, who played very well defensively and were very hard to beat, they made a number of essential clearances and competed very well.

Saying that, I'm not used to watching England play such fine football in a major tournament and it was a real shame that they were not rewarded for all their hard work. England would've shaded it if it wasn't for an EPIC ROB GREEN FAIL and of course, I feel utterly gutted for him and hope that faith is shown in his keeping abilities because he pulled off a grand save that stopped us being beat. We shall see whether Capello is so forgiving of the goalkeeper...

Man of the match for me was Emile Heskey of all people, the big galoot was awesome, winning everything in the air and dominating the American defence at every turn. His attacking partner Rooney had an average game but as always grafted hard and was the only player to show the flashes of genius required in world football to win matches like these.

The highlight of England's midfield was Frank Lampard's impassioned rendering of the national anthem before kick-off, from that he drifted in and out of the game, far too often stuck as anchor man, a role he is utterly unsuited for. Skipper Gerrard had a cracking match but it was more intense effort than substance, it would be nice to have seen him further up the pitch. Out wide we were disappointing, Lennon did his best wide-right and had flashes of brilliance but needs to believe more in his abilities, good to see him taking people on though. Milner had a mare, why Capello picked him I've no idea, he was off the pace and looked ill and in yet more bizarre management skills, he was replaced after half an hour by Wright-Phillips who, bless him, dribbles with the ball as if any moment he will fall over it. He tried hard but lacked final product and also meant that Ashley Cole at left-back was pinned back defensively.

Cole was of course great, he is a fine talent, Johnson was also brilliant, real flair and was not exposed defensively, we are lucky to have two grand full-backs. As for central defence, Terry was as solid as ever, King looked alright but is already injured, which along with the selection of Milner, makes Capello's decision making look a little off. I was glad to see Carragher on for the second half, he is a resolute defender and maybe lacking pace but makes up for it with positioning and defensive genius.

Plenty of elements bode well for the game against Algeria, which is however, now a must win game for us.

COME ON ENGLAND!

Friday, 11 June 2010

The World Cup in South Africa


It is time.

Yes it is.

Oh the excitement.

Game on.

Game bloody on!

Here we are, at last, the World Cup kicks off today and we are in for a real treat if the opening concert are anything to go by, which featured my favourite band the BLK JKS in full effect...



And a top notch performance from the human shaped legend that is Desmond Tutu...



My appetite is well and truly wetted and although work commitments are going to make consistent World Cup viewing very hard indeed, I have no doubt it will be a great tournament, with all my money, of course, on England.

COME ON ENGLAND!

There are of course some feelings of anxiety and not just about Ledley King's knees and John Terry's pace. I have already blogged on the crucial and unique role that football plays in South Africa and my serious concerns on how the Western media foolishly portrays and disfigures South Africa, through it's myopic, racist lens, best highlighted with the death of a fat racist.

I love South Africa a great deal and I hope, with all my heart, that this World Cup passes smoothly and successfully for this great nation and that a fine nation and continent are shown in the best possible light that they fully deserve.

Of course, many thought South Africa would never make it, many thought giving the World Cup for the first time to the Africa continent was foolish, they have all been proven wrong, their nay-saying voices have fallen silent.

So now, South Africa is in a prime position to challenge all of those awful Western assumptions about the continent it is representing. It is Africa's largest economy, the world's 24th biggest and sole African representative in the G20, as well as a UN Security Council member. It's robust economy has weathered the tough global conditions very well indeed. It is a sophisticated, open and democratic country; with one of the world's most progressive constitutions.

Africa's leading must now lead and I can't bloody wait.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Gold in Your Eye (an Excerpt From a Bukowski Poem)

this poem is for those who think that
a man can only be a creative
genius
at the very
edge
even though they never had the
guts to
try it.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Meme Cancer: Coming Out of Remission in 2010


The above picture documents a female blogger checking if she has Meme Cancer, as first defined by Daniel Hoffmann-Gill in June 2005.

It's been a while since I got tagged with a meme but what the hell, it came from Savannah, who is alright by me, so here is my response to the aforementioned meme...

1. Is there one book that you re-read with some sort of regularity? (every two years, once a decade sort of thing) and if so, why?

The Bible, so I can remind myself of how utterly awful it is; usually some Nietzsche so I can remember that humanity is all there is and a smattering of Rollins, whenever I lose the urge to pound the keys so hard my hands bleed.

2. Do you still watch cartoons? And if so, which ones and why those in particular?

Yes, Family Guy is my latest box-set love affair and it rocks like you wouldn't believe...you bastard.



3. What's the one thing you can't imagine living without on a daily basis?

My Eva-Jane.

4. Take out/take away or home cooking more than three times a week?

Home cooking all the way and I do it as I am an actor and thus a house husband and I am very good at it. Dishes include Bobotie, fried chicken salad and a fine stew & dumplings.

5. Which is your most favorite room in your home?

Our front room because I built it based on Eva-Jane's excellent design.

6. Are you currently following/regularly watching a TV series? Which one and why?

Don't really watch TV live so to speak, so I guess it would have to be Family Guy...you bastard.



7. Have you seen "The Player"?

Yes, it is a pretty good film but not outstanding.

8. Other than your blog, do you keep a personal journal?

No, my blog is my personal journal, although it may come and bite me hard on the ass one day, so be it.

9. Do you have a favorite movie quote that you routinely use?

Not routinely use but I do find myself occasionally saying: "I'd buy that for a dollar!" for no apparent reason (from the movie of my childhood: Robocop).



10. Will you tag six bloggers or will you leave this open ended and accept answers in comments?

No, as I fucking hate memes but I did this one as Savannah is cool. If people feel justly moved, they may empty their minds in the comments. Knock yourself out.

Monday, 7 June 2010

What's God got to do, got to so with it? Who needs a God when a God can be Broken?


My dear brother-in-law got me great book some time ago, that turned me on to the genius of Robert G. Ingersoll. A man truly ahead of his time with his musings upon the place of religion in American society and more crucially, government. With the awful rise of the Tea Party in America, this acute and powerful voice of atheism is as relevant now as he was during the 19th century.

Ingersoll made the crucial distinction that there is no God in the constitution, the founding fathers of America retired him from politics because human's can govern themselves without the assistance of a supernatural power. And if God is ever allowed into the constitution, humankind must abdicate as there is no room for both. Government is and should be of, by and for the people.

Ingersoll was rightly proud that the United States was the first secular government in the world, all men were created equal, not just Christians...

Ingersoll argued that if a government is united by religion, it is a pointless one, as any religion that has to be supported by law is without value, a fraud and a curse. A religious argument that is supported with a gun isn't one worth making and a prayer that must be supported with a cannon is best never uttered; forgiveness has no partnership with shot and shell.

One of his greatest points is the hypocrisy of a constitution with no God, paired with the need to swear on a Bible and to take oaths. The fact you have to swear on a bible re-inserts God into the equation and, if you're atheist, forces you to lie. Also, an evil man can take solace in the oath and has God as a partner and the jury have the brand of God to cover the man but anyone who refuses to swear, because he does not believe, is deemed to be something lesser.

I'll leave you with some grand quotes from the legend that is Robert G. Ingersoll:

"If humans actions can displease or please an omnipotent being, then the being is not at all omnipotent, he is a slave and victim of man."

"Why should a God get angry over a little piece of bacon?"

"The more a man knows the more willing he is to learn, the less a man knows, the more positive he is that he knows everything."

"No man of humour ever founded a religion, ever."

Friday, 4 June 2010

Blood on the Tracks


I've only just gotten round to uploading all of my Bob Dylan collection to my iPod, pretty much everything from his first album through to Desire, minus Self Portrait and plus all the Bootleg Tapes.

I was walking around London town today, in the sweet sunshine, head full of love, on my way to an audition and with the old iPod on shuffle, "You're Gonna' Make Me Lonesome When You Go" came on.

It took me right back.

Like anyone whose been in important relationships and has good music taste, "Blood on the Tracks" is the finest break-up album of all time and I remember, back in the Summer 2001, having broken up from my girlfriend of 8 years, it was always on my then DiscMan, spinning in my ears constantly.

I'd pace the streets of Wollaton late at night for hours at a time, rain or shine, weaving a path between cul-de-sacs, avenues and bungalows; the entire album on repeat, trying to absorb the wise words of Dylan, finding breakthroughs, finding solace, finding bits of me and bits of him. Or so I thought.

Head down. Hands deep in pockets. Occasionally, I'd look up, waiting for something to strike me from above but it never did. I'd watch plane trails and think about a piece of engine seeking me out. There was a lot of guilt and a lot of crying whilst pounding the streets of the suburbs and sometimes I'd look up and the sky would open and it would cloak what I was feeling. I wasn't really too sure what I was feeling.

That all passed of course and I ended up stealing so many of the albums lyrics for my next girlfriend, because I couldn't muster them myself. She was too young to know but her parents knew. I never liked that. I used to like my lies concrete, deep and all consuming.

No more.

All those thoughts rushed into me on Margaret Street and were soon gone again.

After the audition I listened to the album in its entirety, twice. It is now something else to me, it is just one of the finest records ever made.

Simple as that.

And I'm glad.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Forced Into the Closet by Violence



I have blogged before on the awful state of Lesbian/Gay/Bi-Sexual/Transgender civil rights in many developing nations around the world. Whether it be brutal anti-lesbian violence in South Africa, which actually is the only African country to have the rights of LGBT people written into it's constitution (not that that stops disgusting acts of "corrective" rape, beatings and murder...what a vile idea), or the catalogue of murders and legal repression in the Muslim worlds and the Caribbean, of their LGBT communities.
Being a "developing country" it seems is a perfect excuse for being backwards, excusing cruel and unusual behaviour by claiming it is crucial a part of the indigenous culture and preserving the way things have always been, in the face of ever-advancing Western cultural mores.


It is Africa that has recently thrust itself into the hideous spotlight of homophobia and criminalising natural behaviours. Whether is be Malawi deeming homosexuality unnatural and indecent; Burundi criminalising gay sex; Zambia connecting homosexuality with Satanism, or Uganda offering up the death penalty for anyone homosexual. 
The list goes on, with most of them leaning on ancient, colonial anti-sodomy legislation (something that India has just repealed in a huge step forward) and being encouraged by an infestation of American conservative evangelical Christians, peddling their homophobic nonsense.

It is not just Africa of course that fines, lashes, whips and imprisons it's homosexuals. Iran and Afghanistan both put them to death but it is in Iran's legislation that an interesting facet starts to appear, one that is shared by many of these homophobic nations.

In Iran, lesbians are only put to death upon the fourth conviction for the "crime" of homosexuality, they are, in a sense, let off the hook for the first three indiscretions (aside from the 300 lashes they would have received) and in many of these backward nations, lesbianism is not even mentioned in the law books; as if love between women is of a lower threshold and value perhaps or, just whisper it, offering a titillation factor to this chauvinistic, moral weaklings.

It is a truism to suggest that how a country treats it's vulnerable is a good measure of how well it treats the rest of it's citizens and by the current state of LGBT rights in many developing nations, this does not bode at all well.


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Brechtian Experiments in Photo Rejeu

Although I have cut down on the amount of teaching I do, due to the success of my acting career, I still have a regular commitment that not only am I very fond of but also excites me and keeps my mind keen to the skills, techniques and nuances of acting.

Aside from that, it also blesses me with some great friends.

This class occurs at the Actors Centre every Saturday morning and this term we are focusing on the techniques and methods of Bertolt Brecht. We have already done some great work and as difficult as it is to re-set the minds of those that are used to a far different form of acting, with far different aims and outcomes, we have made some good discoveries together.

An exercise I always enjoy is where I provide the class with dynamic and powerful political images and they have to bring them back to life, to copy exactly but to also capture the spirit. This is the meaning of rejeu.

For once I have some evidence of our work together, first up we have the original:


And what follows is the rejeu, with the director of the image, Hayley, out of shot:


This week, we embark on the rejeu of walks and the definition we require, in Brechtian terms, of the body and its owner...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

BBQ!!!

So I bought Eva-Jane a garden and lo it was the sun came out and to celebrate Eva-Jane and our garden, we had a ruddy bloody BBQ and it was grand.

My kebabs went down a treat, as did the Amaretto and Coke, the sun was out, good people came and a good time was had by all, although typing is tough as I burnt my finger quite badly whilst being drunk and cooking some jerk chicken.

This is the life I want to lead on a regular basis, loved by a fine woman, surrounded by good people, eating quality food and enjoying some top notch beverages. Happy days!

Here are some pics for those that have enquired after the garden and also to document a damn good time.