The Week That Was – 14.6.16

Posted: June 13, 2016 in Midlife Crisis in Maryhole

Yeah Yeah, a bit late but in my defense , Your Honour, one day is pretty much the same as the next to moi

There were two significant events in USA in the last few days with one being a celebration of a life and the other involving tragic loss. There is a tenuous link and one is always wary with such sensitive matters to trivialise such things. This meme demonstrated one view and the central theme of “muslim” but more importantly highlights the major role that media plays these days in colouring our views. One only needs to watch this weeks Media Watch on ABC to start to comprehend the impact that Facebook for example is having on the news we see

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Lets start with the celebration. So much has been written about Ali’s passing and legacy that there is no need to say any more but rather one should look at two eulogies given at his memorial service to wrap this significant period up. I will only share Billy Crystal as thought it was perfect but one should also chase down Bill Clintons as well

By all accounts it was indeed a memorable service of all faiths thus fitting the way Ali transcended the world. Nothing happens these days of course without Trumpy Von Trumpster blowing in. If there is anything worthwhile about twitter it is once it is out there it cant go away so when Trump tweeted after Ali’s passing

Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!

it was only a matter of minutes before a previous tweet emerged showing Trump in his true colour – bright orange!

Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?

One of course is reminded of Ali’s perfectly measured response to Trumps initial Muslim rhetoric. In part

True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.

We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. ”

This is relevant of course because Ali initially was aligned with the more militant side of Islam before moderating later in life and adopting the true beliefs of the religion.

And so to the tragic events of Orlando. It is far too complex for any quick solution to the issue of gun violence and homeland terrorism but one does shake one’s head that they dont have the collective will to at least address one complicating factor. Gun control. If Sandy Hook didnt do it then in the land where Trump can be the Republican nominee the deaths of 50 people from LGBT community aint going to do it. Australia, and Little Johnny in particular, always come up in these discussions with our own response to Port Arthur and its “apparent success” . Once again this is a simplified review as the two countries are vastly different in gun culture amongst many other things but at least we did something. One can think of telling your young child not to run with scissors. On the first occasion the accident occurs you sweep them up in your arms and simply care for them. By the fifth or sixth time you still sweep them up because that will always be your reaction as a parent but part of you is tempted to give them a clip around the ear and try to knock some sense into them. So nothing will change again and in the meantime social media will be flooded with signs of solidarity when maybe some tuff love is needed. No one suggests there is a simple solution, especially to the lone wolf scenario, but there has to come a time when simply turning the Empire State building or Eiffel Tower into a rainbow is not enough. Does this show of solidarity give any comfort to the families of the victims? I dont know and I hope I never find out. Trump of course made it all about him as usual. John Oliver though was pitch perfect in his opening to his show yesterday and summed up the sadness of the situation but also the knowledge that life – and all its stupidity – must go on

So before moving totally away from Ali, this week saw start of OJ: Made in America from the always excellent 30 for 30 Series. This has “definitive telling of his story” written all over it. The first 90 minutes showed his amazing rise as an NFL star and then his movement into the media world mostly because he was not defined as “being black” and never wanted to be. One could be generous and say he didnt want to be defined by colour which seems fair at the time. Knowing his story better now it seems more likely he was just looking after Numero Uno and doing whatever was needed at the time. It is relevant to Ali because at the time – late 60s – his anti war stance was prominent as was Black Power at Olympics etc and most powerful black athletes including NFL star later turned actor Jim Brown were prominent in the black movement. OJ was not, he was too busy running through airports as the face of Hertz Rent a Car. Comparing Brown and OJ is a worthwile exercise given how the former walked away from NFL to star in The Dirty Dozen but never lost his true identity and “blackness” for want of a better term. The next 4 episodes has one simply licking one’s lips. This is not necessarily a good thing with this wind around mind you

In other TV news The Americans finished on the expected cliffhanger but was generally a low key finale to a superb season. As usual I have no idea about the original source material but Preacher is all kinds of batshit crazy and engaging. GOT fans are crying in their cornflakes as “expert fan theories” are blown out of the water each week. It is the usual slow build until the cataclysmic final episode no doubt but there was a memorable scene this week indeed

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Speaking of cataclysms we mostly dodged the ark building caper the other weekend here in Maryhole. The media of course were creaming their jeans at the prospect of a very wet Armageddon here with the pick of the headlines for me being “Tie down your Trampolines” . One can only assume that Maryhole must have the highest “trampoline per household” per capita rate in Australia? As with many weather events there can be sadness and real hardship involved as well as many good folk in NSW no doubt know. Its a strange time of year weather wise with warmish nights and coolish days. If nothing else this can lead to some stunning sunrises and sunsets as I discovered on a couple of early morning drives this past weekend

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