News Grab Bag: Champs, Chumps and Chubbies

Chump of the Week: Richard Prosser

Richard Prosser is an MP in New Zealand. Call me naive, but the good work done by Peter Jackson and co. had me convinced that NZ was a lovely place populated by quiet, decent folks (aside from when they get on a rugby field of course) who were like a more laid back version of Aussies.

However, it seems that the Kiwis have their own share of bigoted douchebags, like Richard Prosser. Prosser writes for a paper down under and in a recent column whinged about the security protocols encountered before flying, which is something we’ve probably all been annoyed by if we’ve flown, what sets Prosser apart is that his column is a sickening, racist rant.

Richard Prosser, grade A tool.
Richard Prosser, grade A tool.

I haven’t read the whole article, but Prosser writes:

If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airlines.

Now, Prosser also uses the phrase “Wogistan” so he’s definitely fallen in the racist category, but his reasoning is beyond stupid even for a right wing nutbar. The whole reason Prosser seems so irked is because when he tried boarding a flight he had a pen knife confiscated. A bloody knife, on a plane? What the hell was he even thinking trying to take it on board anyway?

Also, the “look like a Muslim” line is utter wank, Islam is one of the most ethnically diverse religions in the world, so if anything, Prosser could be said to look like a Muslim, maybe we should ban him from flights too.

Of course, with his name the guy’s a gift for his opponents: “Prosser the Tosser” badges could sweep across the land.

Champ of the Week: The good people of Columbus, Ohio

At the other end of the human spectrum are the folks in Ohio. Joel Diaz, who works at an AIDS resource centre, was queuing up for some late night grub after a night out by a pizza truck called Mikey’s Late Night Slice. Due to the weather being a little nippy Diaz and his mate Ethan held hands and huddled together a bit, chatting away happily enough, until the guy in front turned around and told them to cut the “gay shit”.

Now, this is a pretty douchey move, but it did reveal some real human decency, because several others in the line sprang to Diaz’s defence and informed the loudmouth bigot that what he was saying was definitely not OK with them. The staff at Mikey’s saw what was going on and also jumped in, saying that they weren’t going to serve the guy because of what he’d said, and eventually he left the queue and Diaz, his buddy and all the good people in the queue got to enjoy a slice and go home happy.

Mikey's Late Night Slice- will check this out if I'm ever in Columbus
Mikey’s Late Night Slice- will check this out if I’m ever in Columbus

I really loved this story because it was just reassuring to hear people standing up and doing the right thing, and shouting down this guy’s bigotry. We’d all like to think that we’d do the right thing and stand up if we witnessed someone being a bigoted tool, but would we? Fear and discomfort might make us one of those people who just stands by and let’s it go on. I hope I never witness anything like this, but I hope if I do then I have the courage to stick to my principles.

Full story here.

Easy decision

Breakfast, the BBC’s early morning news show celebrated it’s 30th anniversary recently and as part of it they had a poll to find the viewer’s favourite presenter over the years. The convincing winner of the poll was the delightful Susanna Reid, one of my long term crushes and a very talented presenter. She got 52% of the vote from around 40 options, which kind of makes you feel bad for the others.

Yeah, it's a puff piece news story, but it means I can include a picture of Susanna Reid
Yeah, it’s a puff piece news story, but it means I can include a picture of Susanna Reid

I love Breakfast, which is the only real choice for early morning viewing, and I usually watch it when I’m on night shifts so I know if anything’s happened during the night and can sleep relatively easily once I get home. I’ve seen

Twist in the tale

Okay, this is a weird one.

Computer company Hewlett Packard are being sued by Chubby Checker, singer of the classic song “The Twist”.

Checker is suing because HP have an app named after the singer, which can be used by the curious to see how male acquaintances might, ahem, “measure up”. The app is based on the old urban legend that shoe size is indicative of how other parts may be sized, and is hardly proving to be a big seller, but Checker is still unhappy that his good name is being associated with something he views as unsavoury.

Checker busting a move
Checker busting a move

My main reaction to this story was “Chubby Checker’s still alive?!”, but I have to say I’m not entirely behind Chubby on this one, I mean, yeah he might not like it, but it seems like a daft little app and not actively obscene, so I can’t help feeling that the lawsuit may be an overreaction.

That being said if there was a “Chris Page” app that did the same I might be a bit annoyed myself.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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