Disservice to Liberty

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!

This was once the cry of French revolutionaries from centuries gone as they tore down the archaic monarchy of old for the new in the creation of a republic. How times have changed since then. Of course what I’m talking about here is the debate around the burkini, which flared up recently as the Mayor of the French Riviera town of Cannes has banned the garb from their shores.

No doubt this will be seen by some as but another battle in the culture war for Europe, in which the fight is between the supposedly increasing islamification of Europe and their host European cultures. After all France is one of the few European counties who have banned the burqa, which many on the right believe it to be a symbol Islams oppression of women and it “simply doesn’t fit into an open society” [1].

Thus the burkini was banned in an attempt to keep the peace, as due to the recent terror attacks upon France herself the burkini was at risk of “disrupting public order”, accused of being a garb which affiliates itself with terrorist organisations[2]. Although this hasn’t stopped people from wearing it, despite facing fines and having to remove them on the spot.

Kudos to those who refuse to abide by this, unlike the banning of the burqa in which the face is covered (where the main issue arises), the burkini is basically a swimming suit with a headscarf attached to it. Whatever reasons people have for wanting to ban such apparel it really doesn’t stand up to reality, the freedom which exists in the West is something to be cherished, the burkini is a representation of this freedom and does no harm to anyone so why should it have been banned? Luckily a French court thought the same thing and saw the banning as a “violation of basic freedoms” [3].

No doubt this won’t be the end of this, but it has encouraged a healthy debate around such issues which is never a bad thing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/19/germanys-potential-burqa-ban-has-a-problem-where-are-the-burqas/ [1]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/11/burkinis-banned-on-cannes-riviera-beaches-by-french-mayor/ [2]

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/burkini-ban-cannes-latest-overturned-french-court-rules-violates-basic-freedoms-a7216901.html [3]

Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club, you never talk about Fight Club.

Well, guess rules were meant to be broken anyway. After hearing the fight club memes referring to the first rule and consistently seeing Fight Club appear on those top 10 video series on YouTube I thought I’d give it a watch. Safe to say it was a bit of a strange film given it consisted of clear psychotic disorders, complete and utter attention seeking and apparent acts of terrorism against credit card companies to free everyone from debt. I mean, there was nothing particularly mind blowing about the film, but none the less I enjoyed it.

There was a point where I thought it was trying to spread a message to the viewers, be yourself. When I mean be yourself, it wasn’t about just doing what you feel like, it was about removing the layers of identity and personality such as the clothes one wears, the job your have or the amount of money in your bank. It was all about taking it back to what really matters, whats inside. Bit of an unexpected anti-consumerist and individualist message in a film about a fight club, which then turned itself into a terrorist cell? Thats something.

Another thing I enjoyed wasn’t the twist near the end of the film where it turns out the main characters (who’s name I don’t think is ever mentioned) friend (Tyler) was actually just his imaginary friend, a mental manifestation of all the things he wanted to be but couldn’t. Presumably Tyler was created as a representation of all the failings that the main character thought of himself but couldn’t be because of the psychological barriers built up over the years, to fit in to a world where he must accept the social constructs put upon him by society under the guise of realism. Again strange, never expected this from the film at all.

Overall it is a reasonably enjoyably film, nothing special about it but nothing terrible either. Just good another good performance from Brad Pitt.

Wanting to be something

Do you ever get that feeling that you’ll never achieve anything in life? I don’t just mean the simple things like getting a job, a house or even a wife and family. I’m talking about achievements that will echo through the annals of history. This feeling, it comes and goes,  it takes hold with a quite severe emotional bombardment which can be likened to that of artillery fire on the Western Front, the explosions the ripples of thoughts and feelings we go through.

It always finds its way back whenever I watch films about important historical events, great leadership figures and political masterminds. Such as the Chinese film 1911 Revolution, which details the events of the uprising against the Qing Dynasty and the creation of the republic is what caused a return for such emotions. For seeing such achievements, whether it be fighting for a cause, fighting on the front lines in the revolution to secure a better life for their fellow countrymen, dying in the mud to help the dream become realized. Or taking charge of a political movement, leading the charge into the battle of wits and intellect, the battle for the heart and souls of the people. It is disheartening because in comparison I look in the mirror at myself and I see nothing.

Another is to die fighting in a final stand, like that of the sacrifice of the mythical Leonidas and his 300 Spartan brothers who fought against all odds to defend Greece from the Persian invaders at the Hot Gates. For in a final stand there is nothing that comes after, here is the manifestation of the ultimate sacrifice which is made, giving ones life knowing that there is no way out, to die a noble death for ideals which can never be forgotten.

For when I see their achievements right here before me, I always know that I’ll never be among them, that I’ll never be great enough or achieve anything to merit my transcendence to history. Whether it be tales of heroic sacrifices on the field of battle or their place as leaders in revolutions to change their country and its destiny. I’ll always envy them, wishing I could be in their positions to achieve something in life.

Maybe its my own fault for giving into such delusions of grandeur? that I should be more realistic about what it is possible for me to achieve with the hand life has given me. I mean, is it wrong to want to achieve something in life?  To be remembered?


Conspiracy: Harambe meets Godzilla?

This weekend saw the release of the new stand alone set in Magic: The Gathering called Conspiracy: Take the Crown. The sequel to 2014’s Conspiracy. The difference with these sets from normal releases is that they were designed to be played in a multiplayer draft format, with mechanics which would add many different ways to make the drafting part of the event more interesting and increase the fun (now fun depends on who you draft with).

Luckily for me at my Local Gaming Store (LGS) the fun is all around thanks to a guy who I knew from way back, both meme enthusiasts and with a similar sense of humour it was easy to achieve. One such even was the resurrection of the god king of memes Harambe. A new card in the set (where the art was literally a gorilla with tusks and wings) is drafted face up, and gives you the ability to remove a card from the draft, giving most keywords in magic to Harambe. So as I was next to the guy I would look at what was left in the pack and ensured he would receive another keyword for Harambe, letting out a snigger as I passed to which the reaction when he saw what I passed him was always a good laugh and announcement that Harambe was only growing stronger. In a great twists of fate the irony was that every time he was cast, something would happen within a few turns which would kill him and he would call us the worst zookeepers in history.

Even after the drafting stage was completed and decks were built, the fun was only just beginning. For next comes the politics of multiplayer games. Who do I attack? When do I attack? do I kill this monstrous creature now or do I wait for him to attack me with it and let it run rampant on my opponents? always the fun of multiplayer, unique and fulfilling. Oh and to add pop culture reference to the mix, casting Subterranean Tremors where X = 8 and proclaiming Godzilla has arrived (when you cast where X = 8 or more you get an 8/8 lizard token which looks a lot like Godzilla) while wrathing the board is quite fun.

Overall an incredibly enjoyable weekend.

Now, Shall We Begin?

This blogs primary focus will be a vessel for me to post my thoughts and experiences throughout the coming days, months and eventually years. Mainly focusing on political discussions which I engage in on a daily basis to my express thoughts upon the topics of the day, or perhaps an insight into the feelings of myself to which hopefully people will be able to empathize and find intrigue. Not only do I wish this to be a personal recollection of my reflections upon life, politics and history but also a snapshot in time of my development as an individual, to see where my humble beginnings start to the heights I will reach in time.