Lizzie's

The BNP (Bigoted, Nescient, Prats)

So, I’m meant to be doing my essay, but obviously instead I’m on Facebook, and when scrolling down my news feed I came across THIS, and got angry. Very angry

.BNP

I was going to say, that any of you who know of the BNP will also know how effing ridiculous they are, but apparently, it would seem that some of you don’t. Sigh.

Okay, so everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’m all for freedom-of-speech and democracy and shit, but that is seriously put to the test by some people’s stupidly ignorant, unchallenged opinions. Like children, their spongy brains absorb any old shit, they don’t bother filtering out the bullshit from the truth.

Now, besides the fact that this was written by the BNP, there are so many other things wrong with this declaration. And I am going to ridicule them all for you now (sorry, this is going to be a long one).

Number 1: “Homeless go without eating” – Yes. There are many homeless people in this country, starving and freezing to death on the streets, and it’s a real shame. They’re not all entirely blameless, but even if they are in that position through their own doing, everyone makes mistakes, and we shouldn’t condemn them for it. Which is precisely why charities such as Shelter, Centre Point and the Big Issue (to name but a fraction) all exist.

So, there are plenty of efforts to try and rebuild people’s lives, and sending money abroad to other countries, really doesn’t affect these efforts all that much. And besides, before you all get on your nationalist-high-horse, how many of you would actually buy a homeless guy his lunch? Or give him a cup of tea on a cold day? If you feel so strongly about their ill-treatment, why not actually put your money where your mouth is.

Number 2: “Elderly go without needed medicine” – That’s right. Play the elderly card, jump on the old ‘poor, defenceless and neglected old people’ bandwagon. I don’t mean to sound heartless, but BNP, do you really have to be so predictable? Of course, there are many elderly people out there who are not getting the recognition they deserve, after all, they are actually human beings. Often it seems that the elderly are pigeon-holed into a demographic category and largely ignored as a result. It’s almost like people think, well, they’re practically pushing daisies, let’s not bother with them, pretty soon they’ll be long gone.

But what strikes me most about this aspect of the BNP’s statement is the lack of specific details. What exactly is ‘needed medicine’? And why is it only the elderly who are in dire need of said medicine? Surely, if the elderly are going without, then so are many others on the NHS (which arguably is a problem – but those of you who whine about the NHS will be moaning a damn-sight more once it’s privatised, so make the most of it while it lasts, and be grateful for all that it does). Why do the elderly deserve it more than them? Until the BNP can provide actual statistics which prove that the elderly are disproportionately being deprived of their prescriptions, I refuse to accept validity of this argument.

And this argument of mine similarly applies to the ‘mentally-ill’ part of their statement. There’s a lot of stigma regarding this ‘category’ of people, and a lot of people fail to recognise and appreciate the seriousness of mental illness, but again, charities exist, and we’ve come a long way since the ‘guinea-pig’ experiments and disgusting abuse of the mentally-ill, characteristic of the 19th Century.

Number 3: “Troops go without proper equipment”

Well this argument is one I did not expect to hear from the BNP!

I’m not going to condemn the actions of the British Army. Some of you reading this may well think that I’m about to slate them for their ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘unnecessary slaughter’ of innocent people in the Middle East (which some people believe – and I’m not entirely disregarding of such a belief). Believe it or not, my back-up plan post-A-levels was to join the Armed Forces, as an Intelligence Officer in the Intelligence Corps (I even went to the recruitment centre).

But, nonetheless, just because I wanted to join the Armed Forces, does not mean that I’m going to uphold this point of view. Yes, the Conservatives recently cut MoD funding, and that meant the Armed Forces suffered logistically as a result. But you mean to tell me, that our Armed Forces are less equipped than the enemy we’re fighting? This isn’t flipping World War II and Bastogne. Troops are not starving, freezing to death in a snowy fox-hole, lacking in decent boots and socks and being shelled constantly day and night by German Artillery. As being in an army goes, they’ve got it pretty sweet. Of course, they’re being shot at. But it’s a war. People get shot at, people get blown up, people die. It’s tragic, and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one through war, but they chose this occupation. They knew they were putting their lives at risk. Yet to say that they are without proper equipment, and are utterly defenceless against their enemy, is a joke.

Number 4: “We donate billions to other countries, and to excessive immigration, before helping our own first”

I want you to humour me here, for I wish to draw on your imaginative side. So, close your eyes, relax, and switch that imagination on, please. Comfortable? Okay.

I need you to picture the scene: It’s been a long day. You’re tired from work, you just want to have a bath, don your jim jams and get an early night. You reach your front door. Now imagine yourself opening your front door, and stepping inside your home. Think of the smell, think of the familiar surroundings, think of the comforting feeling that your house brings. A warm welcome after the stresses of work, is it not?

Now, picture your family and friends. Imagine you’re all in a room together, laughing, joking, with not a care in the world – all enjoying one another’s company. Now there should be a smile on your face. A huge smile (unless your friends and family are ass-holes  in which case, sorry, maybe imagine your pets?).

Now think about your country, and all that you love about it. Be it our beer, our Fish ‘n’ Chips, our penchant for queueing, our traditions, our monarchy or our glorious countryside – whatever floats your boat and makes you proud to call Britain home.

Now, that was all very nice, wasn’t it? But now, I want you to imagine all of this in a slightly different way.

Imagine, you came home from work, longing for you bed, only to find it utterly destroyed, nothing more than just torn fabric and splinters. Your house has been reduced to rubble and dust. It’s been bombed. Bombed by a nation’s army/political group that you had no personal quarrel with.

Now imagine that your family/friends (/beloved pets?) were murdered by these same individuals. You’re now utterly alone in the world. Feels good, no?

Imagine, that your country is in ruins. It’s been invaded, by strangers who have no care for those traditions you’re so fond of, no care for the beauty of your countryside (but it does make perfectly good grounds for military bases). You can’t actually walk down the street without bumping into these strangers, being questioned and interrogated, constantly being subjected to suspicion, simply because you were born into a particular patch of land, which some humans have long decided to mark as their own, or into a particular race, which some humans have deemed inferior.

Now that is life in a war-torn country, or a under a corrupt leadership, a dictatorship. That freedom of speech you’re so proud of? Yeah, you don’t have that here. You’re desperate for change – you live off hope, hope of a better life, and that hope takes the form of the UN, of international powers, with all their military might and political dominance – you can see no other way out.

But, they couldn’t care less. No, they’re far too concerned with their own countries. In fact, the UN doesn’t even exist any more. It decided to disband because each of the United Nations mutually decided to be solely independent. It’s each man/nation for himself now.

So, there goes your hope! Diminished as soon as it was raised. Have fun living an utterly miserable, desolate life, safe in the knowledge that no one gives a shit about you, and that no one could be bothered to try and make your life worth living.

Apologies for such a LONG rant. But this argument is one which really riles me. It’s just the correlation between the BNP and support from the seemingly, poorer, poorly educated people is just too obvious (and before anyone calls me a ‘stuck up posh twat’ who was fed from a silver spoon – well bitch you can pipe the f*** down because you’re talking to a girl from a council estate). The BNP prey on those who feel cheated by society, cheated by our independent-school-background government, needing someone to blame… et voila! Foreigners! Yes, those scrounging buggers, be it in this country or abroad, all they do is beg for our money and fail to put it to good use! I mean shit, we buy them food, clean water and condoms and they don’t even make use of them, they actually like starving, contracting dysentery and getting AIDS!

People, if you insist on acting like you know what goes on abroad, of politics, of world affairs, then at least come at it from a better informed perspective. I’m no flipping expert on such matters, but I certainly would not rely on the BNP to provide me with insights. They’re a political party, and political party = PROPAGANDA, or deliberate manipulation of information to brainwash you all for their own gain. And if you can’t adopt a better informed perspective, then just stay out of it all. Why not channel all of your unnecessary hatred into something more positive (or actually, just the BNP?). Like do something for your community: help the homeless, volunteer at an old people’s home, or campaign for mental health charities! Seeing as that’s apparently what you give a shit about!

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Today in History, March 16th

Today is a pretty important date in terms of 20th Century history: Czar Nicholas II abdicated his throne in 1917, catalysing the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent end to the Romanov dynasty; Adolf Hitler publicly violated the Treaty of Versailles in 1935, and sanctioned an extensive rearmament program – to which the European powers did nothing, and Chamberlain’s policy of ‘appeasement’ began; 4 years later on this same day, Hitler occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia, and again, Europe failed to act; In 1968 US troops destroyed a Vietnamese village largely consisting of women and children, an event that became known as the My-Lai massacre; In 2003 Palestine Activist Rachel Corrie was run over by a bulldozer as she tried to stop Israeli troops from destroying a Palestinian’home.

H&M

Firstly, apologies for not blogging in a while (yeah I know you’ve all missed me). I’ve had a disgusting amount of work to do, and in fact, I should be doing it now. But whatever. I deserve a break.

As I was checking my emails this morning I came across this article:

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/swedish-mannequins-cause-a-controversy–192108535.html?fb_action_ids=10151573150936614%2C10151281381976741%2C10151436821733463%2C10152675041515607%2C10151302464540899&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151573150936614%22%3A269096569891868%2C%2210151281381976741%22%3A269096569891868%2C%2210151436821733463%22%3A269096569891868%2C%2210152675041515607%22%3A287718141341635%2C%2210151302464540899%22%3A287718141341635%2C%2210151569039056694%22%3A469119959821981%2C%2210151824771942575%22%3A554854047879156%2C%2210152655162200621%22%3A349109731865423%7D

Basically, H&M have caused controversy through their use of curvier, larger mannequins. But I say, BRA-FUCKING-VO!

curvy models

Now, I disagree with the statement that some have put forward, that these represent ‘real women’, as for me, ‘real women’ come in all different shapes and sizes, be it skinny or curvy. Just because a skinny girl is skinny doesn’t mean she starves herself, or is unnatural, in the same way that a curvy girl is not necessarily over-indulgent, or fat. As one person put it: “anybody saying these mannequins encourage obesity or look unhealthy, you have a seriously warped perception of what is healthy.” – I couldn’t agree more. Therefore, it is vitally important that the fashion industry demonstrates variety. It is their responsibility to protect women around the world from their insecurities and self-loathing. So, having mannequins that represent all kinds of women (slim, curvy, short, tall, ethnically diverse etc.) displayed together is a bloody fantastic idea. It conveys to women that yes, we are all different, but no less beautiful, and that being beautiful is, quite simply, just being yourself.

Now I’ll spare you from the prolonged feminist rant about the media/fashion industry installing an unhealthy desire to be skinny in women around the world (yes, we get it now), but I do think that what H&M have done is brilliant. It is yet another instance of the fashion industry actually listening to people’s concerns and beginning to embrace diversity (others include plus-size models on the catwalk, the CFDA’s 2007 health initiative, and Vogue banning the use of size-zero, young models last year who appear to have an eating disorder – just type “size zero” into Vogue and you’ll discover a whole host of anti-size-zero declarations).

So there. Good on you H&M. And ladies, yes, summer is approaching, and you’re probably feeling the pressure to look your best (including me – HELLO, SIX-WEEK MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY), so by all means, hit the gym, cut-down on the junk food but please, please don’t get too hung up on yourselves. If you’re craving that Galaxy Caramel, you damn well bloody give into it (and don’t even think about looking at the calories)! At the end of the day, a) the likelihood of you finding Prince Charming on holiday is actually, pretty unlikely, therefore striving to look like the Rosie H-Ws of this world seems a bit futile (and let’s be honest, near-on impossible – THOSE LIPS); b) if you are lucky enough to secure a ‘holiday romance’, good for you (and be sure to visit the clinic on your return), but you’re probably never going to see him again, so give a shit if he thinks you’re a tad ‘chubby’ (and contrary to the common ‘any hole’s a goal’ mantra, for most guys, it actually isn’t, they do have to find a woman attractive to, ahem, ‘raise the mast’); and finally c) well, there’s always M&S’ swimming costumes:

http://www.marksandspencer.com/Tummy-Control-Swimwear-Beachwear-Womens/b/736024031

Who, will love a little sparrow?

Good morning! I’ve woken up in an incredibly good mood today, and as such, I decided to listen to my baby boys Simon and Garfunkel just to keep it up, and to be inspired by their wisdom.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, they’re just a couple of old blokes from way back who are probably past their sell-by-date aren’t they? ABSOLUTELY NOT! They are great. And they were young once. And when they were young, all kinds of bad things were going on, like Vietnam and – well technically it’s a good thing derived out of a bad thing – the Civil Rights Movement (in fact, their friend and activist Andrew Goodman was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in 1964 – look him up). So, naturally, in the wave of peace and love characteristic of the late 60s/early 70s, they wrote about these bad things and preached to the masses about what is right and what is wrong. And here is an example.

‘Sparrow’ is one of my favourite songs, just because it’s a moral reminder of the plight of the so-called ‘little man’, which is relevant to absolutely every society around the world. Everyone has a voice, but unfortunately that voice often goes unheard, and people suffer in silence as a result.

I’ll refrain from explaining the metaphor, as I’m sure you can figure it out for yourself, but my message today is: spare a thought for the ‘little man’. If you come across someone who’s lonely, who’s voice cannot be heard, who’s suffering is ignored by society, then please, speak to them, make them feel appreciated, let them know that they don’t have to be alone. That is all.

Who will love a little Sparrow?
Who’s traveled far and cries for rest?
“Not I,” said the Oak Tree,
“I won’t share my branches with
no sparrow’s nest,
And my blanket of leaves won’t warm
her cold breast.”

Who will love a little Sparrow
And who will speak a kindly word?
“Not I,” said the Swan,
“The entire idea is utterly absurd,
I’d be laughed at and scorned if the
other Swans heard.”

Who will take pity in his heart,
And who will feed a starving sparrow?
“Not I,” said the Golden Wheat,
“I would if I could but I cannot I know,
I need all my grain to prosper and grow.”

Who will love a little Sparrow?
Will no one write her eulogy?
“I will,” said the Earth,
“For all I’ve created returns unto me,
From dust were ye made and dust ye shall be.”

Titanic II

You may or may not know, but I’m a future Archaeologist. But an Archaeologist that prefers to rant about the use of the past rather than to dig up old shit. So, here comes a rant about just that.

I discovered yesterday that billionaire Clive Palmer has plans to launch his “Titanic II” in 2016, which will sail the same, intended route of the fateful Titanic I. Now, in the wise words of The Beautiful South: “You don’t back a horse called Striding Snail, you don’t name your boat Titanic II.” 

If I was a billionaire, I’d probably think of some random, otherwise impossible shit to do with my money too. But I’d take on the more “let’s try and rid the world of starvation and AIDS” approach, rather than this, in my opinion, hideous, monstrous abuse of the past.

We’ve all wept at Titanic (even me – being the cold-hearted creature that I am), and have all fallen for James Cameron’s tragic tale of love (or rather, Leo), which is, I’m afraid, not actually true. What James Cameron did, and what Clive Palmer is attempting to do, is romanticise the past. They’ve taken a historical tragedy and have embellished it with their bullshit, ultimately for the sake of making money. For now however, Cameron is safe. I’ll allow him his historical inaccuracies, as let’s be honest, without them, we would all be without that car scene, and of course my beloved Avatar (yeah you preach about indigenous populations Cameron). But Clive Palmer on the other hand, is a prat.

Firstly, Clive, we all know that fundamentally, you are just demonstrating your disgusting wealth. I don’t wish to sound like a raging Socialist, but please, this ostentatious display of yours, it’s vile (you should probably read Inspector Calls). Secondly, is this really going to commemorate the dead in a respectful manner? I doubt it. People are going to fork out a ridiculous amount of money to indulge in their ‘vintage’ fantasies (costume is encouraged), which is fine, but it doesn’t seem all that appropriate in this instance. Unless you plan on incorporating a memorial, a gallery remembering the individuals who lost their lives that day, which would make this a teeny, weeny bit more acceptable.

Nonetheless I generally uphold the ‘anti-reconstruction’ view. Of course, I don’t apply this to absolutely everything. What harm is there in reconstructing a piece of pottery, or an iron-age roundhouse, for example? It’s when reconstructions relate to a historical event that was a painful part of our past. I’m not convinced it’s entirely necessary to have to see something as it once was to fully comprehend its history. Why waste time and money on a project that’s sole purpose is to recreate something that everyone can be made aware of and to understand in other ways? In 100 years, will someone have to re-build The World Trade Centre for people to understand the tragic loss of life that occurred that day? No. That may seem utterly abhorrent, but if you went to 1912, would people not feel the same way about this particular project? Certainly, in terms of the scale and impact of both events, time bridges the gap.

However, I think it’s clear that Clive is not creating this with the intention of remembrance. I haven’t come across any mention of that. So, I conclude that it’s indulgence, pure and simple, an audacious attempt at re-writing history, which is undeniably insulting to the memory of the deceased. Indeed, I wonder how many people will actually spare a thought for the victims buried beneath them, as they sail over the wreck of Titanic I? Or whether they will be too busy praying they don’t fall victim to the same fate – which seems to be the general consensus on internet forums.

That “I’ve just entered my twenties” crisis

Last week, I turned 20. I didn’t think much of it, until someone said to me “welcome to your 20s,” and then I had a mini-breakdown. TWENTIES. I’m like, entering my third decade. Call me a drama queen, but I find this pretty scary, for a number of reasons. Firstly, I graduate next year, and have absolutely no idea what to do. It’s not that I find that fact particularly daunting in itself, it’s exciting, but it’s the sheer volume of options available to me that concerns me. Now, do I get a job, earn bare dollar, get a mortgage and go down the safe ‘you’re officially an adult’ route, or do I move to a foreign country, have an illustrious love affair with an exotic native and get all bohemian and shit? I JUST DON’T KNOW. I’m so young, and so conscious of being young that I feel I need to make the most of it. I want 40 year-old me to look back and say “young Liz was bloody brilliant.” I want my kids to be suitably embarrassed at my past. I want my grand-kids to hail me a legend. And that brings me to the second reason; the term that sends shivers down many-a-commitment-phobe’s spine: ‘settling down.’ My Mother, god bless her, is desperate for me to simply find and secure a man willing to put up with me, let alone have kids. She’s got what I like to call ‘Mrs. Austen syndrome,’ i.e., she’s finally marrying off one daughter and is now desperate to marry off the other. She’s genuinely concerned I’ll be a spinster. I know this, because she’s actually said to me “you’re going to end up like this if you’re not careful” whilst watching Bridget Jones. Thanks Mum. I guess then the emigrating to a foreign country option would be the most welcome in her eyes (hello cute continental babies). But whatever, I’ve now made a vow to be more outrageous and wild. From this day forward, I’m going to start doing things that only young people can get away with. I AM GOING TO FEEL LIBERATED! Feel free to join me on this mission, and in the mean time allow yourself to be inspired by The Troggs:

L

Dryathlon

My first inspiring words are this: DO SOME CHARITY FUNDRAISING! I’m one day away from completing my Dryathlon, a one-month, alcohol-free, wagon-ride of altruistic, healthy bliss, all in aid of Cancer Research. Yes, raising money for charity feels GREAT. Of course, going teetotal for one month seems pretty measly in comparison to the efforts of arguably much nicer human beings than myself, but still, every little helps and all that. And besides, the key to fundraising is in the term itself – funds – and so far, I’ve raised a total of £638, which according to the people of Cancer Research, can do lots of great shit in the fight against the bitch that is cancer. So I’m proper chuffed with myself, and with the generous people I call my friends come to think of it (you wonderful people you)! But seriously, aside from the obvious health benefits that come with having a break from alcohol, giving up something you thoroughly enjoy in the knowledge that you will be benefiting those less able to enjoy themselves feels bloody brilliant. I feel so good about myself, and it’s also helped me empathise with others. Each time I’ve been dragged to the pub, or those rammed-student nights at Proud, Camden, and have begrudgingly sipped on my Beck’s Blue whilst my friends are chucking back the vodka like nobody’s business  I’ve thought to myself, there are people undergoing chemotherapy right now, who have been told they have weeks to live, who are in serious pain, so get an effing grip Elizabeth and get over over yourself, your life is FANTASTIC. So there we have it, do something nice and altruistic and feel good about yourself. Raise money for charity, help an old bird carry her shopping, give a homeless guy a cup of tea on these cold winter nights, and no one will be able to wipe that smile off your face.

L

HIYA

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: welcome to my blog. I figured, I spend an awful lot of time banging on about any old shit that perhaps it would be constructive to create a blog? So, here it is. A medium through which I shall dispense my infinite wisdom to the world. Think Mary Schmich and ‘Wear Sunscreen’, that’s the vibe I’m going for.