Monthly Archives: December 2014

Stay alive

I’ve seen a lot of people sharing a suicide note today. Politely and respectfully I must disagree with that.

I’m sure people are sharing with the best of intentions. But it still goes against the sensible principles when someone kills themselves. We don’t know the full facts or the full reasons behind why someone decided to end a young life. We shouldn’t necessarily see a suicide note as fact, no matter how much we respect that person.

Suicide notes don’t always tell the truth. Suicide notes can lie, as people who have written them and survived will tell you. Suicide notes are not always a reliable way of understanding the person who wrote them, given that they’re often written at a time when those people are contemplating something extraordinary, desolate and irrational.

(I’ve written one. It was a pack of lies. It was wrong. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. As wrong as I could be. As wrong as anyone can ever be. Luckily I am here to tell you this. I wince to think of how I might have been seen – how those close to me might have been unfairly seen.)

Beyond that, I can’t agree with anyone who might lionise this person’s course of action, since that runs the risk of legitimising it as a way of getting someone’s message across, or – even if we really don’t mean to – glorifying the act itself. There is no glory. That isn’t to say there’s shame, either. But. This is not the way to get yourself heard. There are a million better ways to communicate.

None of this is to diminish the value of the person’s life. But there is no value in death, I think. No virtue in dying. Not early. Not to present that as someone’s only option, because it is not. And that really needs to be said every time there is talk of suicide. No stigma either. But never depicting it as somehow inevitable. It isn’t.

Sad that they died. Sadness for a life gone. Sad for what could have been. Not using the death, that terrible final step, for any purpose other than to stop others taking that same path.

I’ve read today about the “legacy” of this young life snuffed out. It might seem brutal, but there is no legacy in suicide. It is a poisonous legacy of pain. It is hurt passed on to others. It is no legacy to have.

To leave a legacy, live long. Live and live and keep living. Never give up. Never give up. Never, never never give up. Each breath brings more legacy into the world. Everything you do, even when you fail, is worth it.

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


Why the next Bond must be white

There’s been a lot of discussion about whether Idris Elba should be the next James Bond. Some say that opponents of him being the first black Bond are racist, but that’s surely wrong. It’s all about the integrity of the franchise.

After all, this has been a series of films that has seen real integrity to the character. Just as Bond has always been white, Bond has always been English (or Scottish, or Welsh, or Irish, or Australian). He’s always been dark haired (except when he was blond). He’s always been tall (except when he’s been short).

Quite frankly this is a franchise that mustn’t risk making itself look ludicrous. How could a black Bond have the necessary gravitas to defuse an atomic bomb dressed as a clown? Be asked by a villain if he could “press you to a cucumber sandwich”? Ride around in a motorised crocodile? Chase around venice in an inflatable gondola? Walk around in a baby blue terry towelling onesie? Kitesurf on a tsunami? Stop his own heart through willpower alone? Drive an invisible car? No, clearly this isn’t about racism – it’s all about the important integrity of the character.

It’s not racist to say the next Bond should be white. It’s not as if the original Bond books, for example Live And Let Die or You Only Live Twice, were anything other than modern in their racial attitudes. It’s all about the integrity.

We must think about the vital contribution that Bond has made to film. For example having a lesbian character converted by Bond after a quick tumble in a hay barn. Or having a gay character say “oooooooooooh!” before being killed. Progressive. Modern. Thought provoking. The attitudes shown towards women have always been intelligent, such as when Bond threatened to break a woman’s arm, or shot an unarmed woman in the face, or said the death of a woman was a waste of whisky. Again, it’s important that the character should remain at that level and not be cheapened by being black.

Great an actor though Idris Elba is, it’s clear that we must preserve the character of Bond and the quality of the film franchise. It’s not about the racism. Oh no.

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Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Uncategorized