Blog News, Miscellaneous

The worst response to a marriage proposal?

It’s easy to think that the worst response to a marriage proposal, or asking to date, is “no” – although, of course, it’s the awkwardness discovered later that’s really the punishment, the rejection in itself only hurts for a few days.

Or you could imagine that occasionally someone might fall ill, or cry in an ambiguous way.

But to think that it’s the worst possible reaction would be to ignore a story which appeared in The Independent (among other publications) today. I think it can be safely said that unless this has happened to you, even if nobody has ever shown the slightest interest in dating you (hello friend) or you’ve accidentally dated a chimpanzee on eHarmony, you’re having a better time of all things romantic than this guy.

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The new series of Weekly Wipe begins on the 29th January at 10pm on BBC Two (England). :)


Arkangeluk1’s Blog | Fan theories for the CW hits ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’.

Just thought I’d give it a bit of a plug. Give it a follow if you like.


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I’m on a bus. They’re playing horrendous music. Please help.

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Someone help.

Life in General

The opening lines of this article in The Guardian are sublime…

You would be forgiven for thinking that centuries of human society would mean that we were now at a stage where we didn’t need help finding another human being whom we could bear to be around and who wanted to get naked with us. But you would be mistaken. It seems as time progresses we need more and more tactics for tricking someone into a relationship.

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Human progress?

Current Affairs, Life in General, Religion, Rights

To clarify: “Muslim” isn’t “Islamist”

Murdered policeman’s brother on Islam

There have been some truly admirable responses to the Charlie Hebdo attacks (as far as there can be) such as this, or the show of unity seen in Paris this afternoon.
Free speech will win out, and that’s reassuring.

Sadly, the occasion has served to exacerbate and highlight some less pleasant viewpoints. Rupert Murdoch, for instance, deems all Muslims responsible for the tiny number of Islamist extremists – in much the same way as I would expect him as a journalist to take full responsibility for the phone hacking scandal. Even if he hadn’t been in charge at the time, by his logic, he’d be guilty regardless.

Here’s the thing: there are groups like Britain First, and other hugely Islamophobic organisations growing across Europe. They purport to be “taking the country back” or whatever, but they are dangerous and brutal in threatening the liberal, democractic societies we are so lucky to live in.

From my point of view, religions in themselves – like any organisation, actually – don’t make the religion. People make the religion. That’s true of Islam, the CofE, any school, governmental department or place employment. What’s important in “making” it, whatever that is, is the people. Of course, the religion (etc.) influences it, and naturally it influences many people’s lives.
But whatever the influence – and I certainly don’t agree with what a lot of the more outdated parts of the Qu’ran or Bible or any other such text say – the thing is that the people are still the driving force. And the majority of Muslims are peace-loving; you might find it surprising if you read the sort of publication the likes of Murdoch own, but actually they’re overwhelmingly human. It’s an odd quirk of theirs.

A few “Muslims” are Islamists, and that may be their interpretation of the religion, whatever. It’s a shame if it is, because most people are able to find the love and generosity in it, and would say it drives them to be better people than they otherwise would be.
Let’s be very clear though: not all Muslims are Islamists, in fact, it’s far from it. They are certainly not all responsible for the tragedy at the Charlie Hebdo offices.
And in the interests of fairness, not all journalists hack the phones of dead children. Not even Murdoch. He just conveniently didn’t notice the people he employed doing it in his vast empire, which he has built by knowing and controlling things other people don’t. What could be more plausible than that?

Muslim doesn’t equal Islamist or terrorist. Remember that, and question carefully anyone who implies otherwise.

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Current Affairs, Education

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: misleading or what?

Fury as schools send out newsletter promoting The Range

Students at Wiltshire schools who possess any intellect are tonight feeling disgusted and angered by the blatantly misleading and biased material a newspaper which purports to be “local” thus community-supporting and impartial has published attacking some of the best schools in the area for an entirely innocent distribution of public-interest information.

The Wiltshire-based Gazette & Herald paper ran a story concerning the schools’ decisions to send parents evidence-based information about a current medium-scale development being planned by retail group The Range in the town. Despite being a “local” paper which should supposedly be trying to support its community, the paper chose to launch a badly-written assault on the schools, seemingly in an attempt to create division in the town over the proposed planning application, and with the further potential effect of damaging the important community relations between the schools and the wider town community.

The paper, which appears to have taken a line against the development of The Range, is suspected to often exaggerate and misrepresent stories, for instance in its recent claim that a dispute over a pub is not dissimilar to Cromwell‘s conquest, in an attempt to generate income. It has previously sold exaggerated and misleading stories about the schools to national UK publications.

Quoting an out-of-touch parent who lives in the area near to the proposed distribution centre thus has vested interests, the Gazette continued to mislead its readers with the suggestion that the schools had in some way promoted the proposals by linking to a site which contained more than 500 objections to the plan vs. merely 12 in favour.

The schools later responded to any complaints (which the G&H further twisted) by making available a further link to an opposition site, which contains a vast number of poorly-argued and unevidenced claims which amount to little more than supposition.

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