Well, it’s Thursday evening and I have forty-five minutes to make a dent in this before Question Time. Clicking on ‘Information’, I note that it is in Motherwell this evening … Oh, boy! That’s next week’s post taken care of.
I’ve always considered myself quite an organized person. I enjoy an order (of sorts) around me and have a pretty neat filing system in my head, constantly aware of my ‘To Do’ list. In reality, however, I have learnt that I am more than adept at coping when it all goes pear shaped – which, inevitably, it does. I am not boxable. Is that a word? (Torn, here, between googling it and stretching a couple of feet to my left to that large book full of words and their meanings). I think I’ll wing it, as time is of the essence, and should it not qualify as a recognised word (doubt it) then … let me add it! Perfect for Scrabble next Christmas in St Wolfgang. If Becca is still struggling with my winning ‘Viz’, she is not going to appreciate the ‘x’ in ‘Boxable’!
Where was I? Ah, yes, my attempt at a simple life of order which is never going to happen. Always one to do my own thing, my home is one of organized clutter and full of stuff pertaining to me and my family. Perfect for Through The Keyhole! As I’ve said before, however, not so perfect for potential viewers who, apparently, lack the ability to see beyond the evidence of everyday life wishing, rather, to view a home which is not a home! You know what I mean. Mind you, I concede that it may be me who is out sync here … the fact that there is no grey in my house, no velour, no furry cushions, no chrome, no black ‘leather’ sofa and no number on my bins … oh, and lots of photographs and artwork on the walls. Who lives in a house like this? Does this person frequent Tiger Lily or own a villavan? Rhetorical. Also irrelevant but indulge me!
My point is that Manny is back from London for the foreseeable future. No longer a recluse (me, that is), he fought his way through the cobwebs and persuaded me to take off my wedding dress before embarking on the fridge and claiming the desktop for his own! As one of a giving nature, I was happy to juggle the order of my ‘To Do’ list thus leaving me with forty-five minutes of creativity. I have ten remaining. Inevitably, I shall pause for Question Time – and to refill my glass – but I fear that said programme may throw me off my train of thought, so succinct thus far!
Liam Neeson. (Hang on a minute, now Friday morning, I have just read over my ‘creativity’ and even I am completely lost. ‘And the winner of the prize for writing everything about nothing is … So honoured, it just comes naturally!). Back to Liam Neeson, a controversial subject to say the least. The main thread of news throughout the week, he has been completely vilified for the story he recounted of his own reaction to the rape of a friend several decades ago. Promoting his latest film, Cold Pursuit, whose theme is one of revenge, he was offering a personal slant on the all-encompassing emotion borne out of anger at the hurt of a loved one. Searingly honest in his recollection, he told how he asked, first, if his friend knew her attacker before going on to ask his colour. Driven by revenge, he spent the following week combing the area, armed with a cosh, hoping that some black person would pick a fight thus enabling him to retaliate with violence in retribution for the suffering of his friend. Liam Neeson’s story was not determined by race or colour; the rapist could just as well have been white. His question regarding colour was necessary in his bid to establish a description of said assailant – and is one of the first questions which would be asked by the police! A statement of fact. The actor, however, mentioned the colour black; five little letters with the power to ignite comparable to a match in a petrol station. All systems go! The anonymous vigilantes, embittered and seemingly devoid of any fulfilling life, leapt into action fuelled by another opportunity to condemn, en masse, someone using the wealth of the English language to exercise his freedom of speech. Liam Neeson is not a racist. Had he been, he would never have baited himself in recounting such a story. However, the unbelievable media reaction and that on social media serves only to highlight a much more sinister threat: the vigilante culture, afforded anonymity by the technology of today, which incites the bullying of anyone who dares to ignore the very real tyranny of tolerance of which I have written before.
Over the years, I have come to respect Piers Morgan. Never one to succumb to the sheep syndrome, he is unafraid to flout public opinion. Unswayed, he affords great loyalty to those who have earned it, personally, Donald Trump being one – embodying the true test! However, interested in his reaction to the Liam Neeson furore, I was let down to discover he referred to him as a ‘murderous racist’! A misjudgement of character. Me or Piers Morgan?
On the other hand, I was very impressed by John Barnes, former professional footballer, who was interviewed on This Morning (Wednesday, 6th) with regard to his take on the racial debate. Believing Liam Neeson should be applauded for his honesty, he represented the voice of calm taking time to put the actor’s words into context and crediting his Northern Irish upbringing as explanation for his stance on revenge. A primal instinct, growing up the enemy was not an individual but collective and, thus, that black man represented all black men – and the same would have been true had he been white!
Interestingly, he also took umbrage at Piers and Susanna one of whom seemingly made the comment, ‘If I was black, I know how I would feel.’ John Barnes said that he found such a remark both insulting and condescending, implying that this is how a black person should feel. How could either of them possibly know how he or she would feel or react were they black? More importantly, such a sweeping generalization served only to prove them guilty of exactly that of which they were accusing Liam Neeson: apportioning the guilt (substitute ‘feeling’) of one individual to all of the same race or colour regardless of what that might be! Racism manifests itself in many guises as does ignorance …
The subject of Liam Neeson was raised on Question Time by a member of the audience. On the panel was Eunice Olumide, a model and author who also happens to be black. Fiona Bruce handed over to her – and here commenceth the lesson! Seriously, on a programme renowned for its ruthless shutdowns, Eunice launched into an uninterrupted soliloquy on the history of the slave trade which seemed to go on forever while Fiona Bruce appeared to have lost the use of her vocal cords. Dare I suggest this was because Eunice is black? Somehow I do not believe David Dimbleby would have been subject to such obvious bias, undermining the recipient by its very nature.
‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom (1994).
One question: in this world so obviously gone mad, would Nelson Mandela, today, be condemned for using a gender specific possessive adjective?
This is Trish, signing off.