It's unfathomable that the monstrous Stephen Bear has won Celebrity Big Brother. But then the show's viewers - most of whom are women - hate women. The strength of character (in the context of Big Brother) displayed by Aubrey O'Day and Renee Graziano, in the face of un-Bear-able behaviour, means they were classed as "bitches", whilst Bear's behaviour, no matter how vile, was forgiven: he's "just a lad", after all, "just being himself". Women are condemned as bitches if they stand up to bullying men, and whores if they play by their rules. Big Brother's viewership enforce these rules with depressing predictability, making sure to evict every "bitch" or "whore" who steps out of line.
Post-Olympic blues? No need! There were IAAF meets in Lausanne and Paris this weekend. Olympians Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (better known to me as bae), Dimitri Bascou, and gold medalist Omar McLeod all competed in the Men's 110m Hurdles, together with KAOS favourite David Oliver (he of the insane deltoids, and obsessive Arsenal fan) who sadly wasn't present in Rio. Seriously, check out his Twitter - you'd never guess he was a hurdler, such is the volume of posts about Arsenal... Neither Oliver or Martinot-Lagarde did well, and sadly, I didn't see any of my new athletics crush Almaz Ayana, although Natasha Hastings was there (with Rio fever, I've actually started paying attention to the girls. Turns out they're just as good at it as the boys). Berlin hosts the next track and field event on 3rd September.
Over the last few weeks I've finally embraced streaming, and reluctantly accepted the death of DVD. Kind of. I've been watching The Office on Netflix, despite owning it on DVD. It's just easier than fiddling with discs, trying to remember which one you're on (Netflix does that for you) - although I suspect they've mucked about with the aspect ratio... But I won't throw away my physical boxset of The Office, because there's no guarantee it'll always be on Netflix. The trouble with streaming is you sacrifice control for convenience. I don't want a faceless corporation deciding what I can and can't watch.
Over the weekend I finally reached out to a close friend, one from whom I've increasingly become estranged. It had been a while. He can't bear confrontation, and I tend to charge at it. I didn't know what to say, and so for a while I said nothing. I still got it wrong; saying things I shouldn't have done, and regretting it afterwards. But the shadows of a false prophet, a hack poet, and a world of unresolved hurt and injustice still loom large. How do you move past that?
Finally, congratulations to my beloved bestie, vlogger Rogue "Marbie" Scott, who today is celebrating his 8th wedding anniversary. #MarriageEquality
Fractured lands: How the arab world came apart. "This is a story unlike any we have previously published. It is much longer than the typical New York Times Magazine feature story; in print, it occupies an entire issue. The product of some 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis."
How gay history came out of the closet. "Throughout history, it's been up to queer people to document their own history... Historical archives — libraries, both academic and public, and private institutions that make it their mission to hold and properly preserve historical artifacts — have traditionally refused to preserve the records of LGBTQ people. When they did, homosexuality appeared in card catalogs under derogatory subjects like deviance, criminality, and medical disorder."
Are we living through another 1930s? "As daunting events come thick and fast amid increasing public racism and xenophobia, the similarities with the buildup to the second world war are real, but we can take hope from a few key differences."
"I would also like to take this opportunity to squash the persistent rumours about mysterious 'disappearances' and emphasize that rural and urban areas are now enjoying a life of harmony and peace. I'm sure you're glad to hear this. And I'm happy you're glad."