Friday, 29 November 2013

The death penalty, where i stand.

Odd, that in the run up to christmas i should post about such a topic. Yet, everywhere i go, people are in a hurry to get somewhere, pushing each other out of the way because over the 1 day that the shops are closed, you may run out of toilet roll, so quick, buy 50 of them before anyone else does.

That alone, warrent's me thinking about the death penalty.

It has been on my mind recently though. About a week ago, me and a friend we're up until the wee hour's watching the film "the mathew sheperd story". One of the main theme's that run's through the film is that they can have the death penalty, if they want it. As we see with mathews mother in the film, she doesn't want it. I don't think i would either?

But why? i hear you asking....

In my mind, the death of one person cannot be equaled by the death of another. I am not god, i do not have a right to say who is entitled to life and who isn't. I also have to bring into question as to how sure you have to be that you have the right person before you sentence them to death, because what if in 5 years after the death, new evidence is found and it turns out, you killed the wrong person.

To me, there's much worse that can be done to a person while they're still alive. Have a listen to this....

"A life in memory", to me, is a much tougher thing to deal with than death. It bring's around eventually a better sense of justice, because that person has to go through every day, thinking about what they did and why, with death, they don't.

Now, my friend and i, have never been in the position where we could have someone handed a death sentence luckily and touch wood, would never have to be in such a position. I can only imagine though that being in that position, would make a person think differently about thing's like this.

But what say you?

Are you for a death sentence as a way of justice?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

James Arthur, the beginning of the end.

So, i've been reading the news over the past few days, and actually... i couldn't be more happy.

See, last year, or, the year before... a guy won the british x-factor show called James Arthur. From his audition on the show, i never took to him. He looked awful, sounded awful and i could almost smell him through the tv and wanted to wash him. So anyway, he went on to win and blah blah blah.

His first single has come out and wasn't actually doing too bad in the charts. That was, until, he used the term "fucking queer" in a rap song. The news was picked upon by the newspapers and people online and of course... began what we have today.

What seems to have happend is James has made a track for a rap artist, and included some of his own lyrics on it, which include the term "fucking queer". Some might excuse this, but i, can't. There's no need for such terms in music these days, at all. It IS homophobic. If you don't think it is, let's swap the word queer for nigger, so in the song he calls someone a "fucking nigger", is that racist? Yes? But fucking queer isn't homophobic?

Morals people.

Anyway, the short version of it is, he's made a series of apologies on twitter and, well, not got the responce he wanted. He's since left twitter and his account is now handled by his management team, which let's face it, must be now working overtime, trying to recover him from what is basically, a PR disaster.

He's brought this on himself, nobody else to blame and he's lost alot of fans. His album sales are down and i'm waiting for news as we speak to hear about how his song is selling at the moment.

His career is on it's way out, he'll be forgotten about soon, but let's hope this lesson, isn't.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

It's called freedom to learn.

Here's a little thing to make you ponder slightly, as i am doing at the moment. I'm currently following an online newspaper called "Pink news" with the majority of their stories being based around the gay community. While sometime's i do have to question exactly how one of their news stories can be related to the lgbt community, i didn't have to wonder that today... much.

Today, one of their headlines was "Liverpool University was prepared to host cleric who says gays are ‘filthy’".

Correct me if i'm wrong here, but isn't the whole point of going to a university to learn? I fully accept that people will always have different point's of view on things, and i don't think we should silence those that think different from ourselves, if anything, we should explain our point's of view and talk about whatever topic it is. Yet, for this man, i kind of feel that he's being attacked over his point of view, just because he holds that point of view.

Here's the rest of the article.

The University of Liverpool has confirmed that it was prepared to allow an Islamic cleric with extreme anti-gay views to conduct a speech in front of students.
The Tayyibun Institute announced last Thursday that it had cancelled Mufti Ismail Menk’s tour of several universities – with the consent of the controversial cleric.
It had previously released a flyer promoting Menk’s tour and had stated that he would be visiting several British universities during November.
Despite being listed on the flyer, Glasgow and Oxford universities told PinkNews that they were unaware of any invitation having been extended to Menk.
However, the University of Liverpool has admitted it was prepared to host the cleric, after the university’s Islamic Society invited him.
The university confirmed to PinkNews that Menk would not be speaking today at the Guild of Students, but only because of last week’s decision by the cleric and the Tayyibun Institute to cancel his tour.
Menk has described gay people as “filthy” and worse than “dogs and pigs”; believes consenting gay sex is as bad as “rape”, and says it’s “foolish” for Muslims to accept homosexuality.
The University of Liverpool believes its students should be allowed to challenge his views in the presence of the cleric.
A spokesperson said: “We are committed to providing an inclusive environment where the views and beliefs of all our staff and students are respected.
“Universities provide platforms for discussion and debate – whether or not we agree with the views of those involved. It is not the role of the university to censor people’s views, but rather to provide a neutral, open environment for them to be debated and challenged.
“The Guild of Students and the university have clear policies on diversity and equality, which inform our decisions on events such as this.”

Now that, to  me, screams an attack on him just because he has a different point of view, doesn't it to you? Who's able to say here exactly what would have been said on his tour? When he reffers to gays as pigs and all that, so what? is he really the only one to think that? not at all.

We, as gay people, use our freedom of speech to express our point's of view, so why should we attack other's when they express their point's of view?

So... where do you stand on this now?

Click here to read the article on the pink news website.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Youtube... and why i won't comment on that.

... Because i can't.

Yes, for many of you reading this you'll have noticed that over the past week, popular website Youtube rolled out it's new system and gave us all these new wonderful features of.. erm.. well, i'm sure there's some.

Anyway, i thought's GREAT! A new look for youtube, people will like this, it's made playlists more user friendly, it's more easy to share the content on youtube now etc, what could possibly go wrong?

Then, i saw a post my my friend (and popular youtuber, who i won't name on here) post on his facebook about one of the orig designers of youtube and how he'd commented on his youtube wall to ask "why do we need a google plus account in order to be able to comment".

I thought, no, that can't be right can it? Unfortunatly, it is.

Let me explain to you my relationship between myself and google plus. When "plus" was first created, it was supposed to be a mixture of facebook, twitter, skype and even email. It was built to be this amazing thing that everyone should sign up to. The people that google allowed to use the service earlyer than the public all had these great things to say about it. (I don't actually know 1 person who tried plus before it's launch, who didn't work for google. Not that this matters, but, just saying).

Plus launched to the public and loads of people signed up and some... ran into problems.

See when you first signed up, google wanted people to use just their real names, nothing else. If you didn't want to remain secretive online, you were out of luck im afraid. I had a friend of mine HappyCabbie report on his youtube about people who were signing up, but didn't use their full real name and were deleted from google. That's right, not just deleted from plus, but gmail, youtube, adesense... all their google products were lost.

I avoided plus, never signed up, after hearing that, why would i risk all those hours ive spent filming stuff and uploading it to youtube, why would i risk it on a service i'd managed to live 20+ years without.

So i didn't sign up... and still refuse to, which is why Youtube's latest switch around is really bugging me.

See, not many people use google plus these days, site traffic is awful, when you take into consideration the amount of users the service is supposed to have... it's not great. So why is youtube now trying to push people into signing up for google plus?

I reported my issue to youtube and recieved a reply this morning from them, which reads....

Hi _____,

Thanks for contacting us.

I understand that you're having trouble when commenting on a video. I apologize for the inconvenience caused in this regard.

The new comment system has several features that are built on Google technology. These features rely on the Google identity system, based on Google+, so your channel needs to be connected to a Google+ profile or page in order to use the new system.

You can also find more information about the new commenting system in the help center and on the YouTube Blog.
You don't have to use your full name. You can keep your YouTube username, and your full name won't be displayed publicly anywhere. Not on YouTube, not on Google+. See your options here.
However, we appreciate your feedback as we're constantly trying to improve the YouTube experience. The best way to send us direct feedback with screenshots using the Send Feedback button at the bottom of any YouTube page.
I hope this information is useful. Thanks again for getting in touch with us!


(not revealing who)
The YouTube Team"
Now that to me, is a pretty standard reply, it basically says "you're not going to be able to comment unless you sign up for google plus" and offers no alternative.
It is a shame to see Youtube selling out it's members for google plus, it's actually a shame that youtube was bought by google, it should have remained independant, yet you think google is going to sell off youtube? No chance.
So, worried about a lack of comments on your youtube video? Well, now you know. I'm really not the only one who's being like this, i'll just refuse to comment on video's until this rubbish rule is gotten rid of, however long it takes for them to do so. If they carry on trying to merg youtube with google plus, then i'll bid a final farewel to youtube.

***UPDATE*** - 14/11/12... and i got a reply from youtube.

Basically, I replied to the email they sent me and said it was a shame they were selling out the youtube brand to google plus, just to make google look like it's more popular then ever before, where as in reality, we're supposed to just sign up for this service that we neither want, nor use.

Here's the reply i got...

Hi Beverly,
Thanks for writing back.
Thanks for sharing your feedback on Google+. Let me provide some context around why we’re asking you to connect and hopefully answer some questions you may have.
Over the past year, we’ve been encouraging YouTube users to connect their YouTube channel with a Google+ profile or page. We recommend connecting because we've released several new features that integrate YouTube and Google functionality, and are continuing to build more. In order to take advantage of these new features, your channel needs to update to our unified identity system, which works both on YouTube and also across the rest of Google. This identity system is powered by Google+.
Although your channel needs to connect to a Google+ profile or page to be compatible with new features, you don't need to use the Google+ service itself. You can even hide your profile or page from search results if you don't want anyone to find it.
Also, I want to make sure you know that you don't have to use your full name. You can keep your YouTube username, and your full name won't be displayed publicly anywhere. Not on YouTube, not on Google+. Learn more about your options here.
It is also worth noting that if you don’t want to actively use Google+, then your Google+ profile or page will not reveal anything more than what already appears on your YouTube channel. It can show as little as just your channel name—the same one that already shows publicly on YouTube.
To learn more about connecting to Google+ and your different options, check out this support article and visit this section of the Help Center.
I hope that this information is helpful and provides you with a better understanding of why you’re being prompted to connect to Google+. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions after connecting to Google+.

(Not telling you who)
The YouTube Team"