Saturday, 16 December 2017

Seven dirty words

In 1972, US-American comedian George Carlin (1937-2008) listed "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television". The words that were considered highly inappropriate for broadcast and bleep censored in case they were used were: sh*t, p*ss, f***, c**t, c***sucker, motherf***, and t*ts (via)... all of them for obvious reasons.

Recently, a list of seven forbidden words was given to the US-American health agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From now on, officials at the public health agency are prohibited from using the words "diversity, vulnerable, entitlement, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, science-based" in any official documents (via). An interesting selection.
"I use the terms taboo words or swear words interchangeably to describe the lexicon of offensive emotional language. A taboo is a "ban or inhibition resulting from social custom or aversion" (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000). Taboo words are sanctioned or restricted on both institutional and individual levels under the assumption that some harm will occur if a taboo word is spoken. (...) At the institutional level, taboos on certain forms of speech arise from authorities that have the power to restrict speech and can act as arbiters of harmful speech (...)".
Jay (2009)
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- Jay, T. (2009). The Utility and Ubiquity of Taboo Words. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(2), 153-161
- image via

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Presenting The Losers

Pretty good, aren't they? We admit it. And they're probably good enough to get a job practically anywhere they want.
But not as an Eastern Airline stewardess.
We pass up around 19 girls, before we get one that qualifies. If looks were everything, it wouldn't be so tough. Sure, we want her to be pretty...don't you? That's why we look at her face, her make-up, her complexion, her figure, her weight, her legs, her grooming, her nails and her hair.

But we don't stop there. We talk. And we listen. We listen to her voice, her speech. We judge her personality, her maturity, her intelligence, her intentions, her enthusiasm, her resiliency and her stamina.
We don't want a stewardess to be impatient with a question you may have, or careless in serving your dinner, or unconcerned about your needs.
So we try to eliminate these problems by taking a lot more time and passing up a lot more girls.
It may make our job a lot harder. But it makes your flying a lot easier.

"If this isn't the most sexist TV commercial ever, it's close."
Mike Mashon

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image (probably 1967) via

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

In a Heartbeat

"In a Heartbeat" is an animated short film that went viral in summer 2017. It had about 12 million views in just 72 hours and has more than 32 million now. The film was produced by Esteban Bravo and Beth David, two computer animation majors at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. It tells the story of a boy named Sherwin who has fallen in love with his classmate Jonathan and his risk of being outed by his own heart (via).

"From a business standpoint, it makes sense why studios are afraid to portray LGBT characters, just because there’s still part of the population that’s not accepting. But as leaders of children’s content, it’s really important for them to represent these people because not showing LGBT characters leads to a lot of internalized confusion as kids grow up."
Esteban David

"There was a part of us that was aware this could potentially be a baby-step towards normalizing LGBT romance and, hopefully, toward larger productions and studios doing something like this. I do think this kind of entertainment is wanted on a pretty broad scale."
Beth David

image via

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Sunday Music

"We had our group that we all moved with, so there was always some sense of safety. But there was always that thing, you know, of someone out there ready to bash your head in if you stepped out of line. Going back to where we were with Massive Attack and the Wild Bunch, it was always a mixed-race thing, so we were always going into circumstances where it could go either way. Either he could get beaten up for being in the wrong place because he’s in a Jamaican club with me, or I could get beaten up for being a black bloke in a punk club. So we were always treading water in that respect."
Grantley Evan Marshall, Massive Attack

Massive Attack's reaction to Brexit:
"As sons of immigrants, we are both very disappointed with the situation. 
We can't allow ourselves to fall victim to the populist bulls--- going on at the moment. 
We can't let the bigots and racists back into this situation. It's bulls---."
Robert Del Naja, Massive Attack

Sunday music link pack:

::: Unfinished Sympathy: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Ritual Spirit: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Protection: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Live With Me: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Karmacoma: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Splitting the Atom: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Risingson: LISTEN/WATCH
::: Atlas Air: LISTEN/WATCH

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photographs of Massive Attack in Lebanon where they dedicated a gig to the children of Gaza via and via

Saturday, 9 December 2017

The Indifference of the World

"In the name of all those who persecute you, who have persecuted you, and those who have hurt you, above all in the indifference of the world, I ask you for forgiveness. Forgiveness."
Pope Francis

"The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable – what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother's milk. And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her. (...)
The killing of people as they prayed, fished to feed their families or slept in their homes, the brutal beating of children as young as two and an elderly woman aged 80 – the perpetrators of these violations, and those who ordered them, must be held accountable."
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Numerous testimonies collected from people from different village tracts…confirmed that the army deliberately set fire to houses with families inside, and in other cases pushed Rohingyas into already burning houses.
Testimonies were collected of several cases where the army or Rakhine villagers locked an entire family, including elderly and disabled people, inside a house and set it on fire, killing them all."
Excerpts taken from a report issued by the United Nations in February 2017


::: "My World is Finished." Rohingya targeted in crimes against humanity in Myanmar. Amnesty International. DOWNLOAD
::: Interviews with Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016, United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. DOWNLOAD

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photograph via

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Boxing Grannies

In twice-weekly sessions held in Johannesburg, female boxers - many of whom are over 70 - train with coach Claude Maphosa. The sessions are so popular that he is planning to organise events in other areas in South Africa (via). According to the coach - a former bodybuilder and lifestyle coach who wanted to give back to his community by helping the elderly -, many no longer suffer from ailments they used to have before taking up boxing (via and via).

Photographs above: Gladys Ngwenya (77)

photographs via and via and via

Monday, 4 December 2017

Stellan Skarsgård as John River

"I did BBC One's River because I was jealous of actresses.
Male roles are always about hiding emotions - it's always what's going on underneath. While women in their roles always get the opportunity to show everything."
Stellan Skarsgård

On John River:

"What first attracted me to River was the poetry - the warmth and love of human beings that runs through the script. Even though there’s a lot of sadness, that humanity makes it bearable.
But on another level, what really interested me was the way the male characters are written. Male characters that are created by women can be badly written. And female characters are usually very badly written by men. Because when you write about the other sex, you usually go back to some sexual fantasy about them, not who they really are.
But Abi Morgan’s writing is about a human being, it doesn’t matter if they have a penis or not. Male characters are usually written with a sort of contained emotional life, while actresses always get the opportunity to tell all their feelings all the time. So for the first time in my career I got the opportunity to be as an actress is, and show everything. And I really enjoyed that."
Stellan Skarsgård

"I've worked with Lars von Trier on many films, and there's always a female character that's like an open wound - everything just pours out of this person. For the first time I saw a male role that had that opportunity."
Stellan Skarsgård

"I've been offered some of those police stories in Sweden, but we do so many - Wallander and Beck and whatever it is. Some of them are very good and you probably see the best ones [in the UK]."
Stellan Skarsgård

"But there's so much of it and I'm not interested in police stories. I'm not interested in 'who did it' - this being a much more internal story about a man, and his difficulties in surviving in a reality that doesn't accept people that are different, is more interesting to me."
Stellan Skarsgård

“He (Lars von Trier) doesn’t have to show me a script for me to say yes, but there’s one role in all his films and it’s a woman. She’s an open wound bleeding all over the screen, then there are some stupid men around. Actors are meant to be manly and hide everything, but River allowed me to be actor and actress.”
Stellan Skarsgård

On England, the U.S., and Scandinavia:

“If you look at the stories, they’re pretty banal. It’s the cultural difference that’s exciting. Lisbeth Salander is a fantastic character, with a child’s vulnerability but a hardness and coldness that makes her stronger than any man. Thanks to Scandinavia being the most emancipated part of the world, you have female characters that are very hard to invent in a more repressed, sexist society like Britain. I heard they lit Tower Bridge pink because they had an heir that didn’t have a penis.”
Stellan Skarsgård

"I was brought up an Anglophile. But you [the English] seem to be extremely happy with the social differences in this country…[and] it’s going to get worse. What has made the development of society possible is not greed, but compassion and empathy – otherwise we’d still be running around killing each other in the f***ing jungle."
Stellan Skarsgård

“Somebody from the studio suggested changing the name of Professor Lambeau [Skarsgard’s character in Good Will Hunting]. I said, I’ll change it to Svensson if all the American actors take American names like Sitting Bull …. What is an English name, anyway?”
Stellan Skarsgård

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images via and via

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Lino Ventura's Snowdrop

"J’ai pris le parti de le dire publiquement parce que j’espère de tout mon cœur que cela fera pencher la balance en notre faveur. Je suis père d’une enfant pas comme les autres."
Lino Ventura

Angiolino Giuseppe Pasquale "Lino" Ventura (1919-1987), the Italian actor who was voted 23rd in a poll for the 100 greatest Frenchmen, together with his wife Odette founded the charity Perce-Neige ("Snowdrop") in 1966, a few years after their daughter Linda was born with a mental disability (via). Having seen the lack of support for people with disabilities and the barriers they face, Lino and Odette were worried about what would happen with their daughter (born in 1958) once they were no longer there to take care of her. The charity first focused on providing financial support to create suitable facilities. Later, it created its own institutions (which are all referred to as "home"). It aims to provide support, care, and shelter for disabled people, to provide what both people with disabilities and their families need (via).

"As the father of a mentally disabled girl, he soon realized there was a lack of specialized institutions and made an appeal to the general public about the future of this section of the population. The French public’s generous response allowed him to open a pilot center, and thus the association was founded in 1966. Lino Ventura’s work didn’t stop when he passed away though. His grandson – Christophe Lasserre-Ventura – has been president of the association for more than 20 years. Just like disability itself, Perce-Neige is a family issue." (via)

Perce-Neige clips on YouTube (all in French):

::: Extraits de l'appel de Lino Ventura WATCH/LISTEN
::: J'ai le rôle! WATCH/LISTEN
::: On a tous un rôle à jouer WATCH/LISTEN

photographs of Lino Ventura via and via and via and via

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

"So we played with dolls." Michel Piccoli

"Yes, that's right (I played with dolls). At the time, playing with dolls seemed to be a strange thing to do for a boy. People thought I could become homosexual. The reason, however, was simple. I had a cousin whose family was very wealthy. I liked the girl very much. She had lots of dolls and I had practically no toys. So we played with dolls."
Michel Piccoli

"As surprising as it may sound, although the thing to do is to buy dolls for girls and cars for boys, the science suggests boys actually prefer dolls." Paola Escudero
There is no innate preference among boys for "macho" toys. According to a study carried out at the University of Western Sydney, 6-month-old boys in fact even prefer social toys such as dolls to nonsocial ones such as trucks (time of fixation on the different images was the indicator for preference) (via and via).

"Unfortunately, boys have been discouraged from playing with “girl” items for decades, treated with contempt and told dolls are for 'sissies'."
Rebecca Hains, 2015

"'A boy with a doll?' The gentleman chuckled and dramatically raised one eyebrow before delivering his half-serious, half-stirring warning about my bub’s bleak future as a ‘sissy’."
Jamila Rizvi, 2016

Nice to watch:
::: Dad approves of son's new doll: WATCH

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photographs of the great, the marvellous Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli via and via

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

"God is beyond human gender determination"

According to the head of the largest Swedish Christian church, God is beyond human gender determination which is the very reason why the Church of Sweden is urging its clergy to use gender-neutral language when referring to him or her. The Evangelical Lutheran church also asks its clergy to refrain from using terms like "Lord" (via). Not everybody appreciates these suggestions, a "mountain of criticism" followed since a move toward gender-neutral language would undermine the doctrine of the Trinity which refers to God as "the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" (via).

"Theoleogically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human."
Archbishop Antje Jackelén

Related posting:
- He, She, God, and the Church of England: LINK

photographs of nuns having fun via