February 2020

Self Image

I’m not sure whether I resemble Morocco mole or Penfold more. I guess I should go for Penfold though; he’s got pants. I like pants.


I’m sharing this post by a friend, Veronia, because it says so much that is important in a few words. A compliment is not flattery but truth and because genuine compliments are spontaneous they come from the universe; the person delivering the compliment has been afforded a moment of recognition and, in return, speaks on behalf of the universe.

I was out on a birthday dinner with Jacob and one of the waitresses came up to me and complimented me about how much she loved my skin complexion.

I think this was probably the second time (the first time was at Nordland) in my entire life a stranger has ever complimented my dark skin. All my life I have been bombarded with ‘tips’ from relatives on how to make my skin lighter. Two teaspoons of turmeric, a tablespoon of yoghurt and two tablespoons of powdered chickpeas was the suggestion – a recipe apparently passed down for generations. The turmeric burnt my skin, the chickpeas dried my skin and putting yoghurt on my face was just gross.

While it came across like they were being helpful, it lowered my confidence because ultimately it was them telling me the skin colour I inherited, a big part of who I am, wasn’t good enough and that I wasn’t beautiful enough. Then there’s social media…with every celebrity out there having their pictures photoshopped to look slimmer and lighter and we’re just constantly bombarded with them. I can’t compare, I’m not even on the same league. Heck, I’ve even gone to ‘make up artists’ who’d try and make me look like a frikkin Cheeto when I asked for a foundation to match my existing skin tone.

I’ve spent years hating everything about me, especially my skin tone because that pink lip gloss that every teenage girl wore didn’t suit me and my skin tone.

It was only a few years ago that I discovered that deep red lipsticks look damn good on me. I could totally rock a black lipstick too. Since then, it was only a matter of time until I felt more comfortable in my skin and stopped caring about what people had to say about me. I don’t need compliments from strangers to make myself feel better, but it sure does feel good to hear it.
Like the waitress said, us girls got to stick together, it’s a tough world and the 20s are the worst.

I’m not going to post a selfie with this post because I was too busy enjoying birthday dinner with my husband and friends to take one. Instead I’ve added the picture I took of a mural I saw in Milan (Minnesota) a few weeks ago. I finally have something to say about it: not only is this mural beautiful, the girl in the painting is absolutely gorgeous.

Thank you to the waitress at The Oaks at Eagle Creek for taking the time to do what you did. It took you less than 15 seconds but I’m still thinking about it an hour later.

Poor Baba?

I don’t know the ins and outs of this case but my instinct is to prefer this ‘Waterman’ Rajendra Singh.

He says:

“Rivers cannot be saved by people who have hunger for power and posts. They can only be saved by connecting people with the mission.”

He may as well say (and this is what I believe):

“Our planet cannot be saved by people who have hunger for power and posts. It can only be saved by connecting people with the mission.”

The reaction of the ‘Baba’s’ followers to Singh’s accusations of fraud is interesting:

“shocked and dismayed that someone who had, at one time, set out to do good work should have been reduced to this sort of low personal attack on a most revered being”

I have a certain prejudice against ‘revered beings’ I suppose. I generally assume that those setting themselves above and apart from other humans are likely to be bad sorts.

This is of course a general observation. Nothing in the article give me anything factual to go on with regard to the rights and wrongs in this case. It just reports opposing assertions.

Revive Discourse

The pictures are from the first time I spoke with Dean Armond on his Revive FM local radio show. This was at the end of October and I was invited back to speak again this morning on the early morning 7 am to 9.00 am slot. I said some things that some might think are controversial but that are really exceedingly obvious. I am not Socrates but just the little boy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes when it seems that no one else is willing to do so.


Measure for Measure

A tweet from Alastair Stewart’s Twitter account, which appears to compare a black man to an ‘ape’, has resurfaced. Alastair, 67, announced he has quit as presenter of ITV News after more than 40 years as a newsreader. ITN confirmed it was due to ‘errors of judgement in Alastair’s use of social media’ and ‘breached’ their editorial guidelines. They did not specify what exactly prompted him to step down.

In light of the news, Twitter users are now circulating a tweet which Alastair reportedly sent on 13 January 2020. It quotes Shakespeare and was sent to a Twitter user, who happens to be black. ‘“But man, proud man, Dress’d in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d – His glassy essence – like an angry ape”,’ the tweet read.


For those who still don’t understand what I mean when I say that we face a crisis of antirationalism, please read the article and consider the following points:

A. Stewart does not compare this black guy to an ape. He quotes Shakespeare who compares man in general to an angry ape.

B. Even if Stewart had used the phrase ‘angry ape’ of a black person, in the context of criticising their behaviour, that is not by its very fact necessarily racist. Context is required. Nuance is required. If someone were to say to me, a black man, even without the Shakespeare quote, that I was behaving like an angry ape I would take no particular offence. If they were to call me an ugly ape I would consider that an offensive racist trope as I am neither ugly nor and ape and as insults to the person are different to insults with regard to behaviour. If a person, on the other hand, were to come up to me at a party with a banana and make monkey noises as a black woman has accused Boris Johnson of doing, I would punch them in the face.

C. To assert that a black man’s behaviour should never be even vaguely compared to that of an ape while a white man’s behaviour might, may itself be considered racist. It being, for example quite reasonable to say that the behaviour of the Brexit MEPs as they left the European Parliament was that of uncouth apes, it is not unreasonable to infer that those who consider the same thing offensive when said of black people in comparable situations are giving credence to a racist association of black people with apes.

D. The man who accused Stewart of this is a moral and intellectual pygmy erm dwarf erm person of restricted intellectual and moral development and so is every other person who believes that there is anything even remotely racist in what Stewart tweeted.

E. The only point over which I would remonstrate with Stewart is with regard his apology. He should never have apologised and should be ashamed of having done so.

F. Stewart’s feeling that he had to apologise and other people’s feeling that he had to apologise seems to be a perfect working out of the principle ennunciated by Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey:

“The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement.”

Rebecca Long Bailey 12 Jan 2020

G. ‘But man, proud man, Dress’d in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d— His glassy essence—like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens, Would all themselves laugh mortal.’

To misunderstand this .. To misunderstand this show how far from reason and culture and civility our discourse has fallen. I don’t know about angels but I read this nonsense and weep. I weep for us all especially those who still don’t know why I weep.

Interesting according to the Metro article:

Other tweets from Alastair’s now-deleted Twitter account, includes his opinion on Labour NEC’s Pete Willsman being suspended after allegedly branding antisemitism ‘total lies’.

Alastair tweeted: ‘At best it is anti-israeli and arguable anti-Zionist. Antisemitism is “hostility to, or prejudice against, jews. I’m not saying #PeteWillsman is or isn’t antisemitic, I am merely suggesting this doesn’t seem the strongest evidential case [sic].’<

Bt the measure that ye measure, by that measure shall ye be judged also.