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Showing posts from August, 2017

Things what I learnt at university

Recently, my Twitter feed threw up a YouTube nugget that kinda made me want to throw up too. It was a paean to Wayne Grudem, performed – to the tune and choreography of Greased Lightnin' – by a merry band of UCCF volunteer workers at a summer training camp a few years back.

For those of you wondering what half the words in that sentence mean: Wayne Grudem is a well- and widely-respected American evangelical theologian who helped found an organisation working to maintain the subordination of women (and, perhaps not unrelatedly, openly endorsed Trump); UCCF stands for Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship and is a UK-based charity overseeing a large network of student Christian Unions; a 'paean' is, as I was pleased to hazard correctly before seeking the assistance of the Internet, "a creative work expressing enthusiastic praise"; and Greased Lightnin' is a song about a car that will help you to become more manly and to show the ladies who's boss …

White-angle lens

I was ten when O.J. Simpson's former wife Nicole and her friend Ron were found stabbed to death outside her LA home. It was the talk of the playground, handled with all the sensitivity and nuance that ten year olds typically bring to matters of mortality and justice. He definitely did it; he definitely didn't do it; he's best mates with my brother and he'll do it to you too if you don't give me your Kit Kat; say his name five times in a mirror and he'll come after you in your dreams in the guise of a chubby-cheeked children's toy carrying a machete... [1]

I knew nothing about sport. As far as I was concerned, O.J. was just some guy on a baseball card. And I knew still less about race. Racism was black kids and white kids not wanting to play together, just like sexism was girls and boys refusing to sit next to each other. So the case made little coherent impact on me at the time. And even though I hope I've started to get the hang of a few things in rec…