Justice League Birmingham

You don’t need special powers or a fancy costume to be a hero. You just have to be a good person and help other folks out.

Of course, if you do have a cool costume, that’s a definite plus.

Take for instance the case of this dude up in Birmingham who goes around the city giving out food to homeless people. The guy buys the food himself before going out at night to hand it out, making sure that these homeless folks get something to eat, which makes a big difference to them and is, I think we’ll all agree, is a pretty cool thing to do.

The dude is already well on his way to everyday hero status, and I probably would have been warmed by the story but what gets this guy even more over with me is the fact that he does this dressed as Spider-man. The Birmingham Spider-man is out there helping folks and the costume makes it more noteworthy which will hopefully encourage others to do similar things. He’s stated that he doesn’t want donations and would rather folks just found their own way to help those less fortunate, which is pretty cool and means we may see costumed do-gooders taking to the streets of other cities.

Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man

Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man

If Birmingham Spider-man ever wants to do a titanic team up, as is customary for costumed heroes, he could team up with a fellow Brummie, 12 year old Josh Brown.

Like BS-m, Brown did something extremely nice recently and encouraged others to follow his lead. Brown was on train when he found an iPhone, which had been left behind by another passenger, Shaunnah Hickinbottom, 16.

When the mother of the phone’s owner called it Josh said he’d drop it off at the Selly Oak ticket office, and she asked him to leave his address so she could send him a reward. However, when she got there all that had been left was a note saying not to worry about the reward and to just do something nice for someone else.

 

Josh's note

Josh’s note

Shaunnah’s mother, Michelle, decided to go online to find the good Samaritan and when it went viral, Josh was tracked down. In true hero style, he was modest and humble about his good deed:

“My dad always says ‘What goes around comes around’ and if I lost my phone I would like to think someone would do the same to me.”

Josh and Shaunnah

Josh and Shaunnah

Of course, the “pay it forward” model of good turns isn’t anything new, it inspired an awful movie a few years back, but I think it’s a wonderful way to go through life. You have something nice done for you and then you do the same for someone else, meaning that someone else benefits and you get the satisfaction of doing the right thing. That’s an incredibly positive result for everyone and will continue a chain of good deeds to build.

So well done to Josh Brown and the Birmingham Spider-man, you guys are pretty awesome.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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Golden Oldie

So apparently the Alves thing I wrote about the other day may have been, to use a wrestling term, a work, which kinda puts a dampener on what I thought was a clever and ballsy move, but at least it’s got people talking about racism in football again, which is a good thing.

Whatever, on to the next post.

Today I saw this awesome story about an 80 year old granddad who got an equality symbol tattoo in support of his grandson.

The equality symbol is a marriage equality thing and basically an equals symbol shown to signify support for gay marriage and that all love is equal. I started seeing the symbol during the American marriage equality debates and it’s taken off as a tattoo, as evidenced by the fact that Miley Cyrus has one.

Miley's tattoo on her ring finger

Miley’s tattoo on her ring finger

The dude, Frank has apparently been nothing but respectful and supportive to his grandson Joe, who came out five years ago. I think this is a cool story, because while every grandparent and parent should support their family, that ain’t always the case and I think cases like Frank’s go a long way to showing that the stereotype of old folks as being homophobic isn’t always true (I’m sure there are plenty of homophobic fogies out there, but there’s a disappointing number of young ones too).

Frank headed out and got the symbol, matching the one Joe has had done, which is a great way of showing solidarity.

Joe and Frank's tats.

Joe and Frank’s tats.

It’s a pretty cool tattoo and I dig the message behind it. I gotta say, if I had the money I’d probably wander into the nearest tattoo parlor in Cardiff and get one done.

Anyway, here’s a video of the tattoo getting done, with Frank being really understated as he gets inked:

Good on ya, Frank.

Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to just be a clever Wurther’s Original campaign.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Heart of platinum

Whenever I see a homeless person I have the same thoughts- how did they end up living on the street? Is there someone somewhere wondering about what happened to them? What did they do before they lived on the streets? And how has being homeless changed them?

I always kind of assume that living on the streets might make you tougher, not just physically (having survived all weathers and rough conditions) but mentally, I can easily imagine that for many it can make them colder and less trusting. You’d need keen wits and to be pretty resourceful to get by, and it’s probably every man for himself.

But I’m constantly surprised that these adverse conditions don’t break everyone down to hard, selfish individuals, and you hear these lovely stories of compassion, kindness and bravery from people who couldn’t be blamed for having given up on their fellow man.

Take for example the recent story of an American beggar named Billy Ray Harris.

Billy Ray on the streets

Billy Ray on the streets

One day while begging in Kansas City a passer by, a woman named Sarah Darling, dug out some coins from her handbag and dropped them into Billy Ray’s cup. However, she’d accidentally dropped her engagement ring into the pot too. Seeing the jewelry and it’s diamond, Billy Ray headed for the nearest pawn shop.

You can’t blame the guy- he’s sleeping rough and the possibility for making a lot of much needed cash lands in his lap.

But at the pawn shop it was valued at $4000 (£2,600ish), at this point Billy Ray becomes a total hero and decides not to sell the ring and instead keep hold of it in case the woman returned.

Two days later, Darling returned, and was surprised to have the ring returned, saying later “It seemed like a miracle. I thought for sure there was no way I would get it back.”

billy ray 2

Harris with Darling

So impressed with Harris’ kindness, Darling and her husband decided to reward him and started an online campaign asking folks to donate cash so they could give Harris the 4k he’d turned down.

Harris and Darling share a hug.

Harris and Darling share a hug.

People heard the story and having been touched by it, reached into their pockets, and soon $185,000 (£117Kish) had been raised. This is a life changing amount and means the 55 year old Harris can get off the streets.

But as if that wasn’t heartwarming enough, Harris’ sister Robin, who he’s been estranged from for 16 years, heard of the story and realized that it was her brother. She and Billy Ray’s other two sisters have now reconnected. Billy Ray described the change in his life saying of his family: “This is a big payoff, got it all right here now”.

I f*****g love people. If this doesn’t warm your heart you’re damn robot.

I heard about this story thanks to a Tumblr page called The Smiling Anchor which is filled with these lovely, feel good stories. More info came courtesy of the Independent.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Madness? No, this is SPARTA!!!!!!!!

Marathons, triathlons, iron man triathlons, ultra-marathons- there are constantly new endurance tests being created.

Today I heard of a new one, and a new hero.

The endurance test is called a Spartan Race, after the famously badass Greek warriors, mythologized in 300.

butler

The race is fairly short, only four miles, but what makes it tough are the obstacles you have to pass- wading through water, jumping fire, climbing nets, crawling under barbed wire, ice pits- all sorts of tough stuff that a sane person would choose to avoid. There are 25 obstacles to overcome during the race.

I’m sure everyone who completed a recent Spartan Race in Yorkshire felt pretty good about themselves at the finish line, telling themselves that they were a BAMF.

And well they should, but then they probably saw one of their fellow competitors and realized that as badass as they were, there was a considerably badder AMF on scene.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Lance Bombardier James Simpson.

simpson 1

Simpson lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan back in ’09, but didn’t let this stop him and he completed the race with a time of just over four hours.

This is massively impressive as looking at some of the obstacles many able bodied people would struggle with.

simpson 2

The race director, Richard Lee said that Simpson “stands for everything we believe in such as overcoming adversity and determination”, yeah, he also stands for heroism and badassery, so James Simpson, I salute you, you mad bastard.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Prince Valiant

Today’s Everyday Hero isn’t that everyday, it’s third (soon to be fourth) in line for the British throne, Prince Harry.

I’ve got something of a man crush on the dude, and he’s far and away my favourite royal. Dude just seems kinda fun and relaxed, and by all accounts is a pretty charming guy.

Harry and Bolt

Harry and Bolt

But what gets him the hero award today is the story of him helping out a gay dude in his unit while on a training mission in Canada.

The dude, James Wharton, has written a book about his experiences as a gay man in the army, and it’s been serialized in one of the papers.

outinthearmy

In it he says that he was threatened and confronted by half a dozen squaddies over being gay and reported it to his commanding officer, the Prince.

Harry jumped out of the tank they were in and confronted the scumbags, telling them to back off and reporting the incident to a senior officer so that Wharton wouldn’t be hassled anymore.

Fair play, to Harry, it sounds like he handled the situation brilliantly and stood up for someone who was being bullied and discriminated against.

One hopes that the six douchebags got in some serious trouble over this, because that kind of prejudice is just unacceptable in any part of society.

Wharton made a tough decision to be open about his sexuality in the military and I’d like to think that events like this are rare, but it’d be interesting to read his book and see what life is like for a guy to be out in the military.

The story has made me like Harry even more. He doesn’t need anybody to buy him drinks, but I’d happily buy the dude a pint.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Delayed Everyday Hero Award: Rachid Nekkaz

Back in 2011 Belgium passed a law banning the Niqab, the veil warn by some Islamic women as part of their religious beliefs.

This followed France’s similar decision a year earlier, which was passed into law in September 2010. The law banned all face coverings in public places, but many felt it was unfair to punish Muslim women for their beliefs. It didn’t help that the Hijab, a Muslim head scarf had already been banned from French schools, adding to the impression that the law was targeting the Islamic faith.

Personally, I think the proof would have to be in whether or not the French police arrested a ton of people on Halloween a month after the law came into effect. Somehow I doubt it.

With hefty fines (around 150 euros, around £125) being attached to the wearing of these garments Muslim women who wore them faced a choice- abandon a religious belief or pay a fine. From my viewpoint, the law was wrong. It was a breach of human rights and stifled the rights of these women to practise their religion as they wished.

Step forward French businessman Rachid Nekkaz. Having made his money online and in real estate Nekkaz was a wealthy man, and set up an organization called Touche pas a ma constitution (Hands off my constitution), which was set up with a pledge to pay the fines of any woman convicted of wearing the burka in public, with Nekkaz giving 2 million euros to the pot.

I think this is brilliant. Nekkaz was standing up for the religious freedoms of others and putting his money where his mouth was. Here’s a picture of Nekkaz with one of the women who’s fines he covered in Belgium.

nekkaz

Bien fait, Mr Nekkaz.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


News Grab Bag: A Masterpiece, McDonalds’ and the Murderer’s Mum

I got your back, Ron!

Now, I’m not really a fan of McDonalds, in fact, when I’m sober you can’t get me under the Golden Arches (unless they bring back the Mars milkshakes, because those things were delicious) and I’m not a fan of how they operate, but in a recent news story I have to jump to the defence of Maccy D’s.

ssmm

Over in the US a mother has brought a $50,ooo suit against the company because of an incident that happened when her kids were playing at McDonalds.

While her 3 and 2 year old sons were playing they found a used condom. Which they then ate.

Yeah, pretty gross.

Now, here’s the thing- could McDonalds have had a cleaner play area? Of course, but we don’t know, that condom could have literally just been dumped there.

But here’s my main issue- toddlers put everything they find in their mouths, it’s a fact. Looking after toddlers is a full time job, you gotta keep and eye on them, or at the very least do a quick check of the surrounding environment to ensure there’s nothing they can scarf down. So, at the end of the day, the responsibility to look after kids lies with the parents. The rest of the world can and should help out, but bottom line, it’s on you, mums and dads.

The fact that this mother is suing them is, to me, another example of our lawsuit-happy culture and people’s inability to take responsibility for their lives and mistakes. Like I said, both the kids are apparently fine, and at 3 and 2 will have no memory of the event. The best course of action would’ve been to tell the staff at the McDonalds in question and then both sides could learn from the incident- McD’s would maybe check their play area more often and the mother would remember to keep a better eye on her kids.

Maybe they could’ve thrown her a few free chicken nuggets or something, but that’s as far as it goes.

50k is a ridiculous amount to ask for, I mean, that’s more than a lot of people make in a year of working, and what’s it going to pay for? I mean, the kids aren’t losing out on wages or anything, there’s no counselling, I think setting the amount that high is clearly the woman’s lawyers trying to angle for a big settlement, well for me, I’d like to see McDonalds’ fight the case, and ideally win. It would be a big reminder of personal responsibility and might even turn the tide a bit and discourage similar cases in the future.

Story here.

Chris Masters- Mediocre wrestler, world class son

When I got back into watching wrestling at uni I viewed it differently as when I was a kid. As a kid, I totally bought into the storylines and the characters, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man and Sting were the good guys, Jake the Snake, Ric Flair and Yokozuna were the baddies. But as an adult you kinda see it differently, you can see how it’s constructed and you know it’s all pre-planned.

My view of the wrestlers changed too, you could work out which ones were technically proficient and respect those who were skilled at playing the heels or bad guys. Which brings us to Chris Masters, who was styled as the Masterpiece.

ng masters

Masters looked the part of a WWE Superstar, but didn’t really click with me- technically he was pretty bad and he wasn’t charismatic enough to get over as a face or work as a heel (the best heels are the ones you love to hate, if you just dislike them it doesn’t work). It didn’t help that to cover his lack of skill in the ring they essentially had him run a gimmick of having an unbreakable hold, the Masterlock and he’d essentially challenge someone every week to see if they could break out, the idea being that his smug persona and torture of audience members (plants, of course) and lower level fan favourites would generate some heat with the fans.

It didn’t quite work and Masters never really got over properly with the fans, and I definitely wasn’t keen on the guy.

However, I’ve got new respect for the guy after reading a recent story about his out of the ring escapades. Masters, real name Chris Mordetzky, was called by his uncle to get to his mum’s house because a neighbour was kicking off. The neighbour, for reasons never explained, barricaded himself and Masters’ mother inside Mrs Mordetzky’s place and threatened to burn it down. When the cops showed up he set it alight.

It’s at this point that Masters really kicks into hero mode, and in a quite impressive display tore a tree out of the ground and smashed his way into the house to rescue his mum. Now, that, is pretty damn impressive and kudos to the guy for his heroism and guts, and here’s hoping his Mum and her house are both okay.

Read more here.

Some mothers do have ’em

In 2011, a right wing fanatic killed 77 people in Norway, the country’s worst massacre in the post-war era. It was a sickening attack and Anders Behring Breivik the man responsible was sentenced to 21 years for his crimes, seeming unrepentant at his trial.

Since his imprisonment Behring Breivik’s mother has passed away and he has asked if he be allowed to attend the funereal.

I’m not sure why this is news, as it seems a natural response from anyone, and also, in my opinion he should be allowed to go.

A few years back a serial killer here in the UK (I forget which one) was allowed to go to his father’s funeral and some of the press here kicked up a bit of a fuss, which I though was stupid.

Here’s the thing, I get why some might be against it. The families of the victims in particular might be opposed to letting him out even for just one day, and that’s understandable, but the legal system and society at large should have no problems with it. He will be taken under escort and returned to prison afterwards, and then go on with his sentence.

Allowing him to attend the funeral is the compassionate thing to do, and despite the awful things he has done, Behring Breivik is still a human being and should be shown compassion as he mourns the death of his mother. As Dostoyevsky stated:

“The real measure of civilization in any society can be found in the way it treats it’s most unfortunate citizens, its prisoners”

Treating prisoners with respect and decency is important, the more you abuse them the less chance there is of rehabilitation, and surely that’s the point of imprisonment. It’s not just about taking people out of circulation. If it is then it’s a massive waste of time and they’ll emerge from prison even more likely to commit crimes (because there’ll be less chance of finding employment and they’ll have spent years surrounded by other criminals who could teach them more stuff and allow them to make shady connections, I believe this is called the Arkham Principle).

If you just want to remove criminals from society then you may as well just execute anyone who commits a crime, Judge Dredd style.

I think part of why people don’t like stories like this is that it drives home that people like Behring Breivik are human underneath it all. It’s easier and more comfortable to turn them into monsters and dehumanize them, and having to remember that even a maniac like Behring Breivik is just a dude who loved his mum makes us have to see him as being another person.

But we shouldn’t dehumanize serial killers and the like because it’s the easy, cowardly way out of it. Society needs to face up that they are people because that’s the only way we can work towards figuring out why people do things like this and move towards a situation where we can minimize these incidents.

Non-News roundup

Buzzfeed recently did a gallery where they collected a series of underwhelming news stories. It’s rather fun and amusing and here are 3 of my favourites:

ng nonnews1

ng nonnews2

ng nonnews3

You can see the list in it’s entirety here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Restoring my faith in the faithful (well, for the most part)

Religious folks get a bad rap. I mean, like with lots of groups, it’s sad that the section that grabs the headlines are usually the scumbags- the child molesters, nutjobs, terrorists, bigots and general douchebags- but the fact of the matter is, there are billions of religious people out there who are just regular Joes and Josephines.

They’re not good or evil, their just people, like the non-religious, they’re a mixed bag and flawed, but I like to believe, not actively nasty. I might be biased, because I come from a family that is quite religious, and so I know and love religious people, even if I disagree with their beliefs.

Now religion can be used as a justification of terrible things (and please, I’m not talking about any major religion in particular, but all of them) but let’s not forget that religious beliefs can motivate people to do good. Christianity, the religion I know most about, promotes charity, compassion and generally being nice. I know a lot of Christians, and a great many of them are nicer than me, and I think it’s their belief system which guides them to do good.

Some might argue that this is out of fear or guilt of judgement/punishment by the Big Guy,  but does it matter? They’re still trying their best to be nice. If your intentions are good does it matter why you’re doing it?

Similarly, I know that most of the religions promote a moral lifestyle and good deeds. It’s just a shame that while countless anonymous figures follow these teachings quietly it’s the ones who use it for bad that make the most noise.

The worst aspect of this is the fighting between religions. This has always been a feature of human society, but it’s sad that we haven’t gotten to a point where we can adopt a “you go your way, I’ll go mine” attitude to other beliefs.

Image found on shalomlife.com

Image found on shalomlife.com

I mean, as long as those beliefs aren’t harming anyone, let ’em be. That’s kind of my attitude- if someone believes in Allah, Shiva, Jesus Christ or Buddha- it doesn’t effect my day-to-day, and if it helps them get through tough times and gives them purpose, then more power to them.

I might not agree, but let’s face it there’s probably not a person on this entire world that agrees with me on everything, and I quite like discussing differences of opinion and belief because it’s something that helps you keep reevaluating your viewpoints and helps you develop as a person.

So, it made me real happy to read a couple of nice stories of inter-faith relations, basic decency and mutual respect.

First off, I gotta applaud the actions of some Muslim groups up in Bradford. For cats who don’t know, Bradford is a city in the UK which has a high Asian population and has, in the past, been in the news for some of the racial tension in the area. In this case though, it’s a positive story with several Muslim groups helping to raise money to help save and preserve a local Synagogue.

Rudi Leavor, of the Synagogue, with Zulfi Karim of the Bradford Council of Mosques

Rudi Leavor, of the Synagogue, with Zulfi Karim of the Bradford Council of Mosques

It’s a really nice story about collaboration between two religious groups who you don’t usually envision as being mates, but it’s a really cool thing to witness, and fair play to them for reaching out to help out others. It’s a damn fine example of decency and a great example to the rest of the world. So well done to them, you can read the story here.

The second story that I’d like to draw attention to is the case of Reverend Isaac Poobalan, an Episcopal priest up in Aberdeen, who has opened the door to his church and hall to enable local Muslims to worship. Poobalan made the offer after witnessing the congregation (it’s the same word for all religions, right? If it’s not, apologies and let me know and I’ll switch it) of a local Mosque worshiping outside due to lack of space. Now, the weather in Scotland is no joke, so those cats must have been freezing.

The Reverend Poobalan with some of the Muslims he has extended this kind offer to

The Reverend Poobalan with some of the Muslims he has extended this kind offer to

Poobalan, in a display of genuine niceness and charity, arranged for them to have access to the church and it’s hall. This is a prime example of someone’s religion inspiring them to do good, with the Rev stating:

What governed my human response was the Christian teaching ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ and that was honestly my first thought, ‘I have to help them as a neighbour’.

Poobalan has my respect already, but it’s the following statement that gets him an “Everyday Hero” badge, because it shows a lot of decency, respect and agrees with my earlier point about religion being something capable of doing good;

It was simply a gut feeling to let them in after seeing someone in the cold praying and I believe that prayer is never wrong.

Now, sadly, this story only came to my attention because Reverend Poobalan has been getting quite a lot of flak from people on the church’s Facebook page, with a bunch of idiots coming out and attacking him for allowing “Satan” to use Christ’s table. Urgh.

See, this is what I was talking about, yet again, the quiet, good work of one religious person is undercut by the louder douchebaggery of others. These people have attacked Poobalan for all manner of things, such as forgetting or ignoring anti-Christian attacks in Muslim countries, well let me tell you something, brother! (Sorry, realized I was inadvertently quoting the Hulkster there)

That is damn stupid, I mean, number one, you’re blaming these Scottish Muslims for stuff that’s going elsewhere in the world? And you gotta ask yourself if  you really wanna go there as a Christian? You want to start blaming every member of a religion for the evil perpetrated by certain sections? When you’re a member of a religion where some members have done some pretty evil s**t over the years?

If you are Christian then you should be turning the other cheek, and you should also go back to your Bible and actually pay attention to what Jesus preaches about love and helping others, because clearly, some of them are missing some big parts of what they’re supposed to believe in!

I always find this kind of inter religious bashing unbelievably wrong headed. I mean, if you aren’t willing to show respect and kindness to other people’s beliefs, then you’ve got no right to complain that other people don’t respect yours! Respect is a two way street, and I’ll tell you something, it’s the accepting, decent people like the Muslims of Bradford and Rev Poobalan who have really earned the respect of others. Especially as Poobalan has said that he won’t be backing down because of the abuse he’s received.

Whew, little bit more serious than my normal stuff, but glad I got that out of my system.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO (whatever your or their beliefs are).


Happy, Texas

I love it when you see a video which blows away a negative stereotype you have in your head and restores your faith in mankind.

Like most Brits, I don’t know much about individual US states and so go with vague stereotypes gleaned from movies (I apologize if this offends any Americans from the states mentioned, but I suspect you probably regard us Brits in similarly reductive, stereotypical terms)-

  • California- sunny, filled with beautiful people or violent street gangs
  • New York- just one big city, filled with glamour, intellectuals and mobsters
  • Florida- Sunny, mix of swamps and beaches, party atmosphere, dodgy latino drug runners and cool coppers
  • The South (Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia etc)- peopled with rednecks and racist
  • Nevada- Vegas and a big desert
  • Illinois- Basically just Chicago, which is filled with gangsters and tough cops.

Which brings me to Texas, which I’d always imagined was a bit like the Southern stereotype- old fashioned values and a place it’s not good to be black/gay/non-Christian. Along with this there’s a heightened sense of toughness, swagger and loudness, the traditional Texan image is a loudmouthed, cowboy hat wearing braggart.

The only thing I’ve seen to undercut this is the fictional character Jesse Custer, from the phenomenal Preacher comic books, who’s got the tough, gritty feel and is slightly old fashioned, but is a bit of a rebel.

jesse

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across a video made in the Lone Star State.

The video is from a hidden camera show, where they send in a team of actors into a cafe, posing as a gay couple having lunch with their kids. Another actress, playing a waitress then proceeds to serve them and openly and loudly attack them for their sexuality and decision to raise kids.

The idea of the show is to see how people respond in different situations, and whether the real life patrons of the restaurant will defend the couple’s right to eat there and object to the waitress’ bigotry.

The video is striking because quite a few of the Texans object and step in to stand up for this couple, which I found extremely heartwarming. They show some real class, sensitivity and decency in the way they do it, and I found this really inspiring that so many people would refuse to sit idly by.

The only depressing part of the video is the one douche who gives the waitress a thumbs up (although his excuse is hilariously flimsy) and the rather disgusting revelation that in 29 states people are allowed to refuse service on the basis of sexuality, which is quite frankly disgusting

So, well done the people of Texas for standing up for the couples, and I promise to think of you in a much better light from now on.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


News Grab Bag: Scumbags, Charmers and Heroes

Chump of the Week- Colin Brewer

Brewer is a Councillor down in Cornwall, who’s recently written an apology letter for comments he’s made. So, you might think that the time has come to forgive and move on, but it’s hard to find the apology sincere when he’s pretty much been forced to write the letter and the man himself said “I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong”.

Now, while I could go on a rant about our apology culture and how it’s rendered apologies meaningless, especially when the person’s been forced into it, but let’s keep this focused more on the scumbag in question.

Colin Brewer- Chump might be too mild a word

Colin Brewer- Chump might be too mild a word

Brewer was made to apologize because of comments he made regarding the disabled, with Brewer saying (I’m not going to say “allegedly” because an apology is an admission of guilt, so forced or not, he’s owned these statements publicly)-

“disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down”

Which is a reprehensible thing to say in any circumstances. Now, Brewer has tried to say that he was trying to “provoke a response and debate” the issue of funding. Hmm, he may be down in Cornwall, but I can smell the bullshit from here.

He’s refused to stand down, and being an Independent Councillor there’s nobody to put pressure to force him out, but I can only hope that the people in his constituency remember this incident and turf the guy from office. Story here.

Champ of the Week- Michael Garcia

Okay, let’s all rinse the nasty after taste from Brewer with this rather inspiring story from across the pond.

Michael Garcia is a waiter in a Houston restaurant called Laurenzo’s Prime Rib. A family came in with their 5 year old son, Milo, who has Down’s Syndrome. Milo was eating with his family, and chatting away happily, making a bit of noise. A family at the table next to them asked if they could be moved further away and the father of the second family commented: “special needs kids need to be special somewhere else”.

Garcia refused to serve them.

Michael Garcia- hero

Michael Garcia- hero

Dude’s just a waiter, and could have ignored the comment, or just gobbed in their food or something, but he took a stand and actually told them he wouldn’t serve them.

The story went viral and Garcia has become something of a hero, receiving cards, gifts and around a grand in cash. To further cement his standing as a thoroughly nice dude, Garcia is donating the cash to Milo’s school. What a legend, well done that man for standing up for what’s right and not letting someone get away with that kind of bigotry. Michael Garcia, I salute you.

A cover up which is actually a good thing

Usually the words “cover up” in a news story means you’re about to witness some extreme douchebaggery and some skullduggery in trying to keep it quiet, but in this instance it’s a good story.

This dude wanted a tattoo of his late wife, which is rather sweet (even if it breaks one of my tattoo rules) and went to get it done, however, the shop he went to turned out to make a right cock-up of it. After realizing it wasn’t one of those “it looks a mess now, but it’ll be great when it’s finished” things he went to another tattoo parlour, where a kindly tattooist decided to fix it for him, free of charge (a cynic would point out that said tattooist is the one who put the story online and has probably done well off the good publicity, but let’s try and give him the benefit of the doubt). So the cover up saved the day and the final result was pretty damn good:

ngbtat

Royal News Corner

Prince Harry considers his charm offensive in Africa, where he’s even liked by nuns:

Harry- hugging all over the world.

Harry- hugging all over the world.

Meanwhile, the sneaky Johnny Foreigner press snapped pics of our Kate on a beach in a bikini. The regal bump quickly became front page news around the world, apart from here, where the fine gentlemen of the British press agreed not to publish the pictures, and so the British public were protected from the sight of our future ruler growing inside another human being.

Unless you had access to the internet or watched This Morning, which after years of mediocrity is going through a purple patch of courting controversy what with Eamon Holmes accidentally showing a picture of HRBumpness and Phillip Schofield’s “paedo list”.

Personally, I wasn’t that fussed and haven’t been bothered to search them out. I’m not sure why the Royals are so unwilling for pictures to get out, but if they don’t want pictures then they shouldn’t be being snapped from distance.

It just seems a bit pervy to me, and there’s nothing newsworthy in a pregnant woman looking pregnant, I mean, if it came out that Kate was doing a whole Countess Dracula thing and killing and bathing in the blood of virgins, then fair enough, get pictures and expose that, but this isn’t a news story.

Ingrid Pitt in Countess Dracula, a pretty fun Hammer horror movie

Ingrid Pitt in Countess Dracula, a pretty fun Hammer horror movie

I just think they could kind of save themselves the hassle if they’d just done a photoshoot themselves, and cut out the need for any paparazzo to try and sneak a peek.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.