Last week in my home town there was the Sons and Daughters concert as part of the City of Culture programme of events. (www.cityofculture2013.com)
My Facebook and Twitter feeds were lit up with people sharing in the joy of this fantastic event. I however could not see the concert as we do not get the red button service here in Mexico and I…um…well, I don’t have a TV. This did not stop me being immensely proud of everyone involved in the concert, both those on stage and those who worked hard behind the scenes to make it happen. I hope right now the people of Derry are on cloud nine, proud of themselves and their city. It sure does provide a nice balance to the flag protests that are going on at the minute.
Before we were awarded the City of Culture I know there was a lot of discussion about the bid. Some people were peeved that it was UK City of Culture and didn’t think we should be involved. Some people were trying to make a cultural thing a political debate. In my own naive way I am very proud of the fact that we are the City of Culture this year. I really don’t care if it’s UK or Martian City of Culture, as long as it gets tourists dollars into our shops and feet on the streets to see how beautiful our wee town is. Some people were pissed off that Belfast wasn’t getting the focus of the tourism but I think that as a whole our country is too small to be haggling over details like that. If people come to visit Derry then can still fit in a visit to Belfast. It does the whole country good to have tourists here. Maybe we can even get them interested in some recreational rioting while they’re here?
I was just thinking about years from now when we need to do historical re-enactments, riots will be our big thing. We’ll be really glad that there are all those Facebook sites about flags and protesting. You know like in America they recreate the Battle of Gettysburg? A bet a twitter feed or two would have come in really handy when sorting out what really happened.
The internet is a hugely useful tool. Through following the Sons and Daughters twitter feed I was able to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in years and those blasts from the past have been lovely. I always like catching up with people I haven’t been in touch with for ages. There’s always the “oh what are you up to?” conversations and sometimes there’s a chance to really reconnect which is great.
The internet in my pad has been kinda dodgy which means sometimes it’s perfect and other times there’s not a hope of getting online. It has been incredibly frustrating. Not only in terms of keeping contact with loved ones, and the thought that I am missing out on epic shit that’s happening online, but also in terms of doing my job. I like to always research new ideas and resources for lessons, I want to find the best audio, video or text samples that I can to make sure I provide the most interesting lessons for my students. I could easily recycle the same old shit every day but I don’t really wanna do that.
I’m also working on new material for The Plus Ones new show and that means research. I started reading about the Steubenville Big Red football team rape story and to be honest it has been a pretty harrowing read. The way that these young students used the internet to post photos and videos of the attack and the victim has really disgusted me. There is a video on Youtube of the boys talking about the party and the ‘incident’. The young girl had passed out at a party and from what I can gather was passed around like a toy to some of the boys on the football team. There are a series of comments on the video from one boy about her being like a dead body; (“she’s deader than OJ’s wife” and ‘They raped her harder than the cop raped Marcellus Wallus in Pulp Fiction”) all accompanied by howls of laughter. There is one lone voice in the background saying that it is rape and not right, which is pretty much universally ignored: “What if it was your daughter?” “But it isn’t”
It is awful to think that these are young teenage boys who are growing up to think that the rape and degradation of another human being is acceptable. What sort of adults or parents are they going to turn out to be? I shudder to think. The attitude of members of the adult community in that town is shocking also. It seems that because the boys are members of the football team that they are given some form of special treatment. Those who have spoken out against the attack are said to be jealous of the team. There seems also to be a lot of victim blaming going on.
This case goes to trial on February 13th and it will be interesting to follow it to see how things pan out.
You can watch the video and follow some of the discussions about this case here – http://prinniefied.com/wp/collateral-damage/?COLLCC=2981004736
It’s been a funny old week really. I’ve thought a lot about home and an awful lot about the faces I miss. It was my dad’s birthday this week and I really wanted to be at home, just to say hey and give him a big hug.
I’m enjoying my adventure, of course, but I appreciate the amazing family and friends I have and sometimes I’d love to just pop home for a cuppa tea and a cuddle. I’d like a quick pint and a gossip about our blokes. I’d even love a wee quick shop in Primark.
And of course I can see some things on the Internet. I can Facetime my family and friends; I can see my wee nephew running about the living room and my niece having her bottle; I can plan holidays and trips. But hey it’s not quite the same is it?
Finish The Nigger Factory by Gil Scott-Heron
Start The Post Office by Charles Bukowski