Sam Bacile is a loser

Watching the news today I learned for the first time that the movie causing violent protest and deaths throughout the Muslim world is available to view on youtube.  Always preferring to decide for myself what I think rather than let a slanted press try to tell me what I should be thinking; almost immediately I went to find it.  It took a couple of searches but there is an edited version of «highlights» that has 305K views but only 517 likes.

I have to admit, I started off thinking if christians had reacted similarly to the Life of Brian I would not be here today.  I like that I live in an open-minded society where my choices and opinions are respected.  People may dispute that but lets face it, in the western world ever since Lenny Bruce picked up a mic we can pretty much say what we want so long as we aren’t threatening national security or inciting a crime.  It does seem to me the pendulum has been swinging the wrong way since Europeans were forced to bail out a bunch of gambling addict bankers that don’t care they may have set societal evolution back a century; but basically if we have the guts we can express ourselves and this is a good thing.  It is a protected right because only through intelligent dialogue and exchange of ideas can a society advance. 

However, this movie is not in any way a satire or educated look at church or religion.  It is in fact a pointed, close minded and mean spirited effort to ridicule a religious figure.  If it were Christ I would not give a toss because I had roman catholicism forced down my throat growing up in private religious schools as well as via the Opus Dei.  Thus I feel perfectly within my right to satirise, ridicule or light heartedly pick at beliefs that come from within my culture as a member of that society.  Sam Bacile is wrong; in my opinion, to try and do that to a story that belongs to a different society and that he cannot in any way claim to be part of his own culture.  For him to make this film is akin to white people using the «N» word > you just can’t and if you don’t get why you can’t you aren’t intelligent enough to make a movie for global distribution unless you are limiting yourself to something within your intellectual reach (try a reality or game show). 

I just hope a twat who was probably only trying to make a name for himself is able to learn the difference between satire and humour on the one side, and simply insulting or offensive behaviour on the other.  Maybe he should give Russel Brand and Jonathan Ross a call to learn how not to make an apology before he shows his face in public again.

17th anniversary

17 years ago today, age 24, I landed in Barajas a size 10 with 18% body fat and in good enough shape to go up 20 flights of stairs without having to pause or alter my breathing.  I had to endure a long hard fight until I was able to stay in my home city permanently, but it was a fantastic feeling to finally be home.  I had wanted to make it before I turned 25 and I did.  Shame I didn’t know what would come next.

Looking forward to life in a place where the sun shone through the leaves of acacias onto cobblestone walks between fountains, where the food was brilliant even when it wasn’t very good, where people talked about all manner of things without embarrassment, where people were valued for who they were rather than what they owned and the belief in a right to a minimum wellbeing existed.  I saw things through a rosy veil that persisted through hunger, despite humiliation, derision, marginalisation and envy.

Since then I’ve had a long list of jobs I hated with passion, a couple that were fun but didn’t pay enough to get by, and periods of unemployment that forced me to leave my precious Madrid for 4,5 years to the day.  While exiled in the UK I worked so hard, so many hours, for so long, that today I don’t recognise myself and some days I can barely walk to the corner without nearly passing out from lack of breath.  I was genuinely very lucky to get a job that allowed me to come back home, but as they say you can never go home.

Our society has evolved: to the point now the haves pretend the have-nots don’t have any right to have, where arguments have become so polarised that we might as well have gone back in time a century as moved forward at all, where social support is being eroded in an overt attempt to protect the wealth of a removed group of individuals, and people live in tents in the parks waiting for the masses of drunks to meander home so they can manage to sleep.

Apparently the only thing that keeps our society together anymore is sport, given the vast majority of citizens feel wholly disenfranchised.  Of course, they don’t seem to take an interest in events until it’s too late and they certainly aren’t voting – so not sure how they don’t curl up in shame rather than complain…

Me, I’m lucky.  I strolled with the dog, had lunch by the lake, watched tv and did the laundry.  Who knows what may happen next but as anniversaries go this was certainly not the worst.