Tag: Stevie Wonder

Do what you can

If you don’t have any alternatives, you can’t object.

I’m not fond of making such black and white statements but, driving to work this morning, I heard an item on the news that really annoyed me.

Apparently, immigration officials have been suggesting to gay immigrants who are being sent back to their home country, that they should keep quiet about their sexuality to avoid persecution. Not ideal, I agree, but then on came some spokesperson for some campaign group who stated it was wrong to give such advice as it wouldn’t stop the persecution.

She didn’t (or it was edited out) offer an alternative of course.

So, either the immigrants go back to their  home countries, say nothing about their sexuality and avoid being brutalised,  attacked, and murdered, or…. what? go back and announce how happy they are with their sexuality (which, of course, they SHOULD be able to do) and take whatever happens to them?

The latter option, I’m guessing, is somewhat easier to say than do.

Yes, it is wrong that people are still persecuted for their sexuality. It’s also wrong that wars are waged due to religion (I’m with Stevie Wonder on that one), it’s wrong that people starve to death, it’s wrong that people the rich get richer.

But that doesn’t stop the fact it happens. Yes we can, should, and do fight to improve these things the world over but most campaigners come armed with a different solution, or at the very least a reasonable compromise.

Too cool for school

Where does that quote come from? Anyone, anyone? (bueller, bueller).

I don’t want to go on about this in too much length but, and I think this may be true for others, the reason there is so much noise about the current crop of social web applications (yes yes, Twitter, Facebook yadda yadda yadda), is because a lot of people still aren’t 100% sure what to make of them. It’s easy enough to dream up uses but it’s whether you can streamline them into your ‘online workflow’ that seems to be the make or break point.

And despite my best efforts I haven’t managed to do that, my tweets are random at best, and I only visit Facebook when someone interacts with me (pokes, bites, points or ‘friends’).

That said, it is possible that the backlash has started. Sure, it may all be a coincidence but I’ve noticed a few disparaging posts about said “social web”, and have also spotted mention of people deleting their accounts. This is different from the usual backlash that kicks in when anything new is mentioned, instead this is from people who have been using and involved with these websites. This is different because they actually have an idea of what they are talking about.

I’m sensitive to these things as they may, or may not, aid me in my continuing battle to gain an ounce of street cred.

All of this ties, somewhat, neatly into a conversation I had this morning. We were discussing the pop culture of TV and I happily admitted that programmes like Star Trek, Buffy and so on, all failed to impress me. What I didn’t admit was that part of me was secretly pleased that I was in the minority. After all “nothing is any good if other people like it(yeah, it’s elitist, so what?).

So is now the time to say “I hate Twitter”?

Or, in a nice twist of irony, does the fact that other people are already saying it mean I now need to take a completely new and separate stance. Ultimately, am I too cool to hate Twitter? This is getting confusing.

And yes, I admit that the very idea of me being cool (or whatever word the kids are using these days) is somewhat laughable but it’s nice to THINK I could be at least ATTEMPT to be cool.

I can still remember the first instance, the start of this battle if you will. It was back in primary school, and, as was the trend in Primary 7 that year, a bunch of us were attending a record night (essentially, a party to which everyone took their records and singles, the clue is in the name). Someone had taken along a copy of the latest Stevie Wonder track “I just called to say I love you” and it was playing when someone asked me why I wasn’t dancing.

“Because I don’t like it, it’s rubbish”

The room didn’t fall silent but it did raise a few eyebrows as I’d just expressed my disdain for the current No.1 single. This was back when that actually meant something, so to speak out against a song that held the coveted No.1 slot was fairly radical. OK, I may be dressing this up a little…

However it was the first time I had the guts to go against the crowd, and it felt good.

It was only years later, as I slowly added some of the older Stevie Wonder albums to my CD collection that I realised that I hadn’t really been that outspoken. It was, and still is, one of the worst tracks he has ever released as a single.