October 21, 2008

Quote of the day

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7681914.stm

Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large

Stephen Green of Christian Voice


October 14, 2008

the Activist

Last Wednesday Lord Andrew McIntosh at the House of Lords invited a group of journalists from Belarus to give a talk about the deteriorating conditions of media freedom in Belarus. Half way through the conference, an old granny of about 80 walked into the chamber, wrapped up all in black with a Miss Marple – styled hat fashioned on top of her head and her face barely visible from behind her thick glasses. People exchanged glances and made an effort to ignore this odd appearance.

However, when the time came for questions, the granny was the first one to shoot her hand up in the air. She stood up propping herself on the desk, cleared her throat and gave an elaborate speech ending with a question ”...perhaps Belarus will cease to exist altogether?” She spoke of human rights abuses, of censorship, of tyranny and Lukashenko’s pride at being “the last remaining dictatorship in Europe”.

I felt like the whole chamber has just leapt a giant step into the future, where 80 year old people don’t sit at home knitting, but attend public talks and gatherings and fight for their causes; where agism is non-existent and the whole nation is so old that the young people no longer have the time to campaign and protest. But it was a good feeling, an out-of-this-world experience and a very curious sneak-peek into the future.

May 22, 2008

"You've already done enough

Dalai Lama is visiting this week and I have every intention of approaching him and bathing in the glory of his holy presence. But this year being China’s year, there’s no avoiding talks of Tibet and other controversial things China’s up to.

China Media Centre of University of Westminster held a media talk titled Reporting Tibet. The panel featured some distinguished journalists including Isabel Hilton, Jonathan Fenby (former editor of The Observer and The South China Post and author of the Penguin History of Modern China), BBC World news editor Jon Williams, Ma Guihua, London correspondent for the Xinhua News Agency and Wang Rujun, chief correspondent at the People’s Daily UK Bureau.

When the panel opened discussion to the audience, a man identifying himself as an Uyghur addressed Jon Williams with the question: why is there no coverage of the oppression of the Uyghur people in China. A lady sitting next to him got hold of the microphone and said with a particular urgency in her voice: I’ve been living here for 7 years and I have only once heard the media report the oppression in the Uyghur autonomous region. And today we came here specifically to say thank you to the one journalist who spoke up, and we even brought flowers.” Sadly, the named journalist from Channel 4 was sent to China to cover the earthquake.

I was so touched by this genuine gesture that I approached the couple immediately after the debate to ask for their contact details, hoping to interview them afterwards. The gentleman looked at me for a second and asked: where are you from? Stupidly, but quite naturally, I said ‘China’. “You’ve already done enough” was his answer.

For a second there I stood completely puzzled and bewildered. Quite frankly, this is the most racial discrimination I’ve ever been subjected to.

I’m not a communist; I like to think I’m not brainwashed; I’m not nearly old enough to have done anything to the Uyghur people, but for some reason their unquestionable sincerity in bringing the flowers, in dressing up in their traditional clothing, in speaking up in praise of that one journalist – all that has made me feel like I personally owe them something. As a journalist, I owe them a stage for them to speak up and voice their concerns. I’m too ignorant to judge if ‘my people’ have really wronged them and how. But I can’t even begin to image what kind of injustice a people would have suffered to be uttering phrases like “You’ve already done enough”.

He wasn’t saying it to be mean. But I knew that no matter what I said I couldn’t convince them to look at things differently. And even though I haven’t done anything to them and I had every desire to learn about their struggle and hear their story, they’ve lost that trust in Chinese people and in journalists who steal their words and their image to sell yet another agenda.

May 01, 2008

Still a very dark mind


December 23, 2007

To Fred


December 06, 2007

Big Issue everyone!!!

I’m starting a one-person’s campaign and waging a war against Christmas spending. This year, instead of presents, I will buy a copy of the Big Issue for every one of my friends. I can’t afford to donate a toilet to a village in India, or help bring up a child in Africa, but at least I can give a temporary shelter and hot meal to a homeless person around the corner.

Please feel free to join the campaign!

November 27, 2007

The bushy eyebrows and the silver hair

striking resemblance

November 24, 2007

Holocaust deniers club

Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial#Notable_Holocaust_deniers

- Hi, I’m Linda, Holocaust Denier.
- Hi, I’m Bobby, Nanking Massacre Denier.
- Hi, I’m Lucy, Armenian Genocide ? I’m not convinced!...
- Hi there, Tom. Rwanda never happened.

Hi and welcome to all of you. Are you feeling like everyone is talking about something you don’t believe ever existed? Are you told you are in denial? Then we are delighted to welcome you on board! This month our Victims of Denial Club has made it our common goal to help those who deny Holocaust and face legal prosecution for it. We ask:

  1. Should our choice be punishable? We were presented with evidence from both sides of the argument, but we found on the balance of probabilities that Holocaust may not have happened the way it’s been described. When we watch TV adverts, we are also presented with evidence of how wonderful Cilit Bang is, but we may still choose not to believe in its miraculous power.
  2. Should our beliefs be denied validity if enough people agree it offends them?
  3. If the law on Holocaust denial prohibits such views in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland, does it mean the rest of the world is free to deny Holocaust?
  4. Finally, we ask whether denying the Flying Spaghetti Monster should be deemed criminal, and
  5. Whether such issues should be regulated by law at all.

Today’s meeting will be adjourned until the phrase ‘Holocaust denier’ loses its negative implications and status of a criminal conviction. Thank you all.

November 18, 2007

Review: American Gangster

Movie image
American Gangster
4 out of 5 stars

The story begins with the death of a great man, whose life inspired a certain ‘nobody’ to become ‘somebody’. We enter the story at the time of the rise of Frank Lucas – an aspiring gangster (Denzel Washington), and the fall of Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) – a divorced police officer desperately clinging onto his dignity in the time of overwhelming corruption in the society. The two are both great at what they do, and it’s only a matter of time before they two meet and the audience learns a valuable lesson about guns, drugs and how to run a successful business.

For a film that has ‘gangster’ in its title, this one, though 18 rated in the UK, has little bloodshed, sex, drugs or even foul language. In fact, it portrays the daily life of a gangster mastermind as the running of a gentleman’s club: routine, peaceful and almost quiet. It oversees Lucas’s every step in his gradual fall from top to bottom of his game while Roberts’ persistent efforts lead him to the truth behind the drugs, the gangs and the cops.

General reaction: when is this story going to culminate already???

General feeling: it’s missing something

Sum up in one sentence: A great story that could have been told with much more passion, cohesion and intensity, and in slightly less time.

November 17, 2007

My third first video project: Abortion

It’s been 40 years since the Abortion Act 1967 has been adopted and a legal defence became available for doctors that perform abortions under certain circumstance. Since then, abortions have become safer and more accessible, but with an average of 200,000 abortions carried out every year in England alone, it has become clear that abortion is treated by many as a means of contraception. This video looks at some other issues of the current debate around abortion.

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