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Do what you can

If you don’t have any alternatives, you can’t object.

I’m not fond of making such black and white statements but, driving to work this morning, I heard an item on the news that really annoyed me.

Apparently, immigration officials have been suggesting to gay immigrants who are being sent back to their home country, that they should keep quiet about their sexuality to avoid persecution. Not ideal, I agree, but then on came some spokesperson for some campaign group who stated it was wrong to give such advice as it wouldn’t stop the persecution.

She didn’t (or it was edited out) offer an alternative of course.

So, either the immigrants go back to their  home countries, say nothing about their sexuality and avoid being brutalised,  attacked, and murdered, or…. what? go back and announce how happy they are with their sexuality (which, of course, they SHOULD be able to do) and take whatever happens to them?

The latter option, I’m guessing, is somewhat easier to say than do.

Yes, it is wrong that people are still persecuted for their sexuality. It’s also wrong that wars are waged due to religion (I’m with Stevie Wonder on that one), it’s wrong that people starve to death, it’s wrong that people the rich get richer.

But that doesn’t stop the fact it happens. Yes we can, should, and do fight to improve these things the world over but most campaigners come armed with a different solution, or at the very least a reasonable compromise.

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Instructions and ethics

Two things are currently making me GRRRRRRRR quite a bit. One is a minor annoyance that crops up frequently, the other a fairly fundamental gripe with a certain profession.

In reverse order then, my main gripe is with the current batch of moaning politicians who are saying that it isn’t fair that they are having to pay back monies claimed because the rules have been changed and … well it’s just not fair. Cue stomping of feet and many huffing noises (no, not that kind of huffing), like the spoilt children they are.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is slightly unfair to change the rules NOW and apply them retrospectively. I get that. The thing is, regardless of any rules, if we are all honest we’ve all broken a few rules in our time and WE KNOW WE ARE DOING IT.

So whilst they may have been able to claim for redecorating their kitchen in this seasons fashion, or getting that custom bookcase built to store their precious historical parchments, deep down they must’ve known they were taking the piss.

If they didn’t then it’s worse still, they are completely immoral.

So, yes changing the rules isn’t fair, and whilst I might try and claim a few extra pounds for a taxi ride here and there (on my yearly trip outside of the office), I wouldn’t think “you know what, it’d be much quicker to hire a helicopter, so I’ll do that” and presume that that was ok.

My company, like most, will pay for your dinner if you are away on business. I COULD order caviar, lobster, the finest champagne and finish off with half a bottle of exclusive brandy. I don’t though because that’s just taking the piss. Yes there are other reasons, ones I would like to see reflected back on to the way politicians expense claims work, such as having the knowledge that ultimately I’m spending my own money (the company pays me after all), but ultimately I am presumed to be professional about these things.

Shame we can’t say the same for our politicians.

Ohh and that other thing? Well it’s about places listing ADDRESSES on their website but forgetting that I don’t know what the building is like, nor the fact it’s one door with unclear signage above it. A photo of the premises would help LOADS!

Phew. That feels better.

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RIP John Hughes

Being off ill, and spending most of my days dozing, means I’m slightly behind on some things. So I was very sad to hear that John Hughes had died.

I wouldn’t say I was a big fan, but given that I grew up with such movies as Pretty in Pink and Ferris Buellers Day Off, I guess I was a bigger fan than I thought.

To my shame I didn’t see The Breakfast Club until a few years ago, which is both a good and bad thing. Good in that it would probably have coloured my view of life for a while if I’d seen it as a teenager (very easily influenced), good that I probably appreciate it more as a 30-something and realise it is a very clever movie, and bad because I feel like I did actually miss out on something that was, by all accounts, quite a marker in the movie landscape.

Oh well.

Weird Science was the movie that stuck in my mind the most, although that is completely down to Kelly LeBrock, of course. Planes, Trains and Automobiles is still funny and then there is Home Alone. Without doubt one of the best comedy movies of the past 20 years, if you strip away all the schmaltz there is 30 minutes or so of, quite simply, the best slapstick humour I’ve ever seen (including THE best male scream ever).

A sad day indeed.

He seemed to have a gift for capturing the sadness we all feel from time to time, and allowing us to wallow there for a moment before reminding us that life is for living and, frankly, screw everything else. It’s a common theme in all his movies, those moments of introspection and melancholy, without which I don’t think audiences would’ve related as well as they did.

And for those who were fans I’ll point you to this blog post by another fan who ended up being pen pals with Mr.Hughes (via). It’s fascinating.

What a shame he ended up leaving Hollywood behind, perhaps the greatest lesson we should take is how he conducted himself during his life.

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