I will never tire of it..
It was my birthday. And that merits a mini escape. I boarded a plane, landed somewhere In the North of Sweden and took a wifi ready bus to the capital. I had left England basking in uncharacteristic rays of UV light and was met by a soggy, but stylish, Stockholm. My friends took me to an ‘inexpensive’ restaurant in the south of the city. One glass of fermented grape juice cost me as much as a bottle would at home. We walked the old town cobbled streets and sought out home brewed beer in warm underground bars. And when our eyelids drew heavy we took the integrated (and amazingly efficient) train/bus back to my friends flat in Lidingö, our furry alcohol cloaks guarding us against the icy sea air.
The next day a jaunt around the city, seeking out sun lit corners, sipping coffee in caves and gazing at the gorgeous architecture. My friends boyfriend regalled us with tales of Scandinavian slaughters and wars waged as we sampled glögg from chocolate box shops. The evening gave us a house party, a walk along the railway tracks and a late night dance in the city. And a deep sleep.
Muscles stiff and brains fluffy we shook out the cobwebs on a long walk around the beautiful lake, Kottlasjön, on the island of Lindingö. Sweeping fields where once glaciers crept, a tranquil lake revealed by the freshly melted ice and deers grazing among the majestic trees. We came across a small wooden cafe and warmed ourselves on a coffee, since it was the end of the day the staff gave us all a cinnamon bun and my god, the buns were good!
I dont know about you lot, but this is definitely what happens when I eat an apple…
The internet is full of outraged responses to the latest Rolling Stone cover featuring the Boston Bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Complaining of glamourising violence, notoriety, infamy, blah blah blah. Am I the only one who thinks the real reason these people are outraged is because this fresh faced boy with a curly mop looks, dare I say it, kinda hot?!
‘Terrorists’ are meant to be monsters. They are depraved, evil and totally unlike the rest of us, right? Except the young man on this cover doesn’t look like that. He doesn’t represent the traditional face of terrorism the media spoonfeeds us. For a start, he is white. Something The Week magazine didn’t think was important when it changed the brothers appearance for its front page, and news stories ran with descriptions of ‘men of muslim appearance’.
The real reason people are upset is because this cover provokes an uncomfortable reaction by contradicting the usual narratives. Tsarnaev looks like any other young guitar strumming poster boy for teenagers to fangirl over, and that goes against everything we’ve been told about terrorism and terrorists.
Of course, its also a five gold stars piece of publicity.
This video looks like a VHS home movie crossed with a 70’s horror film. Which is funny (in a not really funny way) as thats kind of what it is. A short film shot on VHS to accompany not one, but two delicious new songs by French singer, director, actress and seeming wonder woman Soko.
I confess to sometimes skipping to the second song just to listen to her french accent over enunciating the words in that way that french people do…
Just when you thought Mos Def (aka Yassin Bey) couldn’t get much cooler, he goes and makes a video with the charity Reprieve to highlight the plight of detainees at Guantanamo Bay who are not only on hunger strike but also approaching Ramadan. They are force fed twice a day in a procedure that can take up to two hours, and to be honest, watching just a few minutes is pretty horrific stuff. It leaves Mos Def in tears. You can watch the video here on The Guardian website.
If that wasn’t enough check out this YouTube clip of him battering down the comments Bill Maher makes about religion and terrorism with humour and passion. The dude on the left with all the hair also makes some good points with a calm and intelligent take on the subject, in contrast to MD. Unfortunately nothing really wipes the smug look off Bill Mahers face, I guess a personal fortune of $23m give or take will do that for you. I have nothing really against Bill Maher, some of his views are very questionable but on the whole he’s certainly no Bill O’Reilly, here however, he gets rightly owned.
If I still haven’t convinced that Mos Def is an incredibly multi talented, intelligent, free thinking agent of cool then go into YouTube and check out his musical back catalogue, or any of his acting performances… Go on.. Now a few more..
See what I mean?