BBC Radio DJ Scott Mills went to Uganda to film a segment for the show The World's Worst Place to be Gay? and ended up running for his life with his crew after an interview with the infamous Ugandan MP David Bahati, author of the Anti-Gay legislation currently under consideration in Uganda. Mills is gay, and during the interview with Bahati, he told him he was gay, at which point Bahati ordered the cameras to stop and called afterwards to find out where they were staying and registration numbers of the cars they were using. The person they reached gave them erroneous information and the group were able to get out safely.
In the interview above, Mills makes the point, echoed by many of us, "...like a lot of Africa, their laws are pretty outdated."
It's a point that's not often made for fear of showing ex-colonial disdain, but it is pretty much true.
An intersting thing I heard about today - AMC Theaters shows an autism-friendly movie once a month. They don't turn the house lights down as much as normal and the sound is turned down a bit too. It's because the sensory contrasts are often too much for autistic kids to handle. It's only one movie once a month in select theaters, but it's a start. This month - Gnomeo and Juliet.
One of the continent's most volatile countries, Sudan, will be divided in July as southern Sudan voted a few days ago to secede from the North by a 99% vote. Within a couple of days, a government minister in southern Sudan is shot and killed. Who saw that coming? OK, all of us, really.
The interesting thing about Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan is that finally, "the people" are apparently waking up to the fact that they have the power to change the way their coutnries are governed. The internet says, "You're welcome."
The West, as usual, is up in arms about the bloodshed and the turmoil. However, the reality is that the bloodshed and turmoil are really pretty minimal by historic standards and, to a large extent, nothing is worth doing unless there's some sacrifice involved. It's also absolutely true that the West can't just charge in, bang some heads together and make the children play nice. Well, we could, but we shouldn't. Just like the Iraq invasion was stupidity on the part of the right, intervention to alleviate democratic growing pains advocated by the left are just as misguided.
Like civil wars and revolutions hve shown throughout history, the people have to do it for themselves.
Despite being the longest occupied continent, Africa is still pretty much in its infancy in terms of democratic development so it would be wise to let them learn their own lessons, while not rewarding stupid behavior.
Maybe this even means the end is near for the likes of Robert Mugabe? We can only hope...
Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) resigned from the House Wednesday evening effective immediately, an announcement that came just hours after a Web site reported that the married congressman had sent a shirtless image of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.
The woman, who Gawker described as a 34-year-old government employee from Maryland but did not name, told the gossip site she posted an ad last month on the "Women for Men" forum seeking "financially & emotionally secure" men who don't "look like toads." That same day, she got a response from a person who said his name was Christopher Lee, describing himself as 39-year-old lobbyist, "a very fit fun classy guy. Live in Cap Hill area. 6ft 190lbs blond/blue." In follow-up e-mails he attached photos -- one in a blue polo, the other shirtless.
Lee, who is married and has one child, was elected to the 26th district in 2008 and easily re-elected in 2010.
Craigslist? Really? Man, it must get lonely out there in DC. Now maybe he'll get to use Craigslist to find soem nice used furniture for his brand new 400 sq.ft. apartment.
One of the last remaining Christmas presents was a trip into Seattle to see Sarah McLachlan and Friends tonight. No, she wasn't performing with Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Monica, just with Butterfly Boucher (rhymes with voucher), along with wife and husband Melissa McLelland and Luke Doucet.
The format was brilliant - instead of the usual opening band schtick, the guests (the latter two of which have been backing band members before) were integrated into the evening, so at 8:03 pm we kicked of with Sarah herself. The guests got feature spots a few times during the evening and were mostly excellent, with the possible exception of BB's depressing song written in the North of England when she was particularly depressed. Even that was only meh, rather than outright bad.
The stage, sound and lighting were incredibly good. Sarah's voice continues to be amazing, and she can sing the vast majority of her repertoire live just as well as any studio recording. Her voice was crystal clear and beautiful on most songs. To be honest, I haven't been keeping close tabs on her career of late, so Laws of Illusion kind of passed me by last year. The songs from it were ok, never bad, but the high points for me were definitely the pre-2000 material. Hold On was simply brilliant. It's amazing to think a 20-something year old could come up with such an emotionally intense yet mature song about loss.
Sarah's first couple of albums were stellar, but often ignored live, so it was very nice to hear Path of Thorns - I think it suprised her how good it is in retrospect.
The highlight, though, was Possession, which ended the main part of the concert. Peter Stroud rocked the house on lead from one side, with Luke Doucet adding on from the other, while Butterfly Boucher kicked in with the amazing bass lines. Vince Jones keyboards were vital, of course. Maybe it's because Possession was the first Sarah McLachlan song I ever heard (the ultra hard rock version from the rare CD single) bit this was easily the high point of the evening (but not, apparently, for the potheads around us for whom the entire evening was the high point...)
The encore was lower key, with Angel (well received) and Ice Cream (ok singalong) which ended with Sarah improvising notes and ending with one terrible off key note - the only one of the night, really - that cracked her up nd precipitated the end to the song and the evening.
So, overall, an A+ for Sarah and a solid A for everyone else.
Oh, the eclipse? The guy in front of me was maybe 6' 4" with a giant planetoid of a head (I swear it had it's own ecosystem) so Isaw the entire concert with my head tilted to one side or the other trying to see the stage. I did think of complaining, but what can you say? "Shrink your head, buddy, it's eclipsing my view of the stage"? Oh well...