Hey, speedy! You are a real criminal!

Apparently the punishment for being caught speeding is going to be stricter in the UK from next month (source). The announcement has been covered in a weird way by the press in a way that highlights an odd view of speeding we have here.

There are frequent articles in the tabloids where they whinge about speed cameras. The general feel is that this is a waste of police time and they should be going after “the real criminals”.

Here’s the thing, if you’re speeding YOU ARE A CRIMINAL. You’re breaking the law, and putting others at risk. Why this isn’t seen as a real crime boggles the mind, especially as the same papers are ready and willing to pile on when someone kills a kid while speeding.

If you regularly speed but haven’t had an accident yet, it doesn’t mean you’re a great driver. It means you’re lucky. Ayrton Senna was a great driver, and it didn’t work out for him.

The whole coverage is bizarre. They talk about speed cameras and anti-speeding measures like their some kind of cheap trick. That it’s grossly unfair.

People share where the vans are on Facebook like their getting one over on the cops and this is a good thing. But imagine any other crime handled the same way.

“Word to the wise, the police have got sniffer dogs at the airport! Don’t let the bastards catch you out!”

“Coppers caught me stealing a TV. I explained mine was broke and X Factor was about to start but they didn’t care. Heartless pricks.”

“The one time I assault someone I get arrested. Why aren’t the cops out there arresting real criminals instead of hassling people like me?”

It’s ludicrous. Take the Metro article and the headline:

“Here’s what you need to know” and yet the article isn’t just “Don’t Speed!” in big letters.

So, the punishment has got worse, you shouldn’t have been doing it anyway. 

It’s simple enough- there is a law for how fast you can go. It is a law designed to protect you and others. If you exceed it you are breaking the law and a criminal.

You can whine, you can make excuses, but the way to avoid the fines and hassle? Obey the speed limit.

Drive safe.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO. 


Gone to Pot: Legalising Cannabis

Disclaimer: My medical knowledge is shaky and I haven’t done tons of background reading, this is just my opinion. You’re free to reply and disagree, but keep it civil.
Recently three English police forces have announced that they won’t be going after people who grow cannabis for their own use. Predictably certain elements of the press were up in arms, angry that the cops would be allowing these marijuana friends to run free. And that it’s legislation by the back door.
It highlighted the problem with the drug debate because both sides are a little ridiculous. The pro-legalization lot are let down by dopey stoners who talk about weed in hyperbolic terms overplaying the benefits and its effects and putting off the “straights”, while the anti group seem OTT in their response, calling to mind Reefer Madness.
image

I would say I’m pro, but as my pot smoking days are behind me, don’t worry about me raving about the miracle weed. MWG, who’s never touched it (the square!) agrees that it should be legalised, arguing that it leads to unnecessary imprisonments which puts a strain on the system and that it has good medicinal qualities.
I think the police could dedicate their efforts towards more serious crimes and that if someone wants to get high they should be left alone, as its not really harming anyone else.
image

Letting folks grow their own is actually pretty smart, if the criminal element is making cash or using weed to aid their other more evil schemes, then surely this will help stop them. If you’re not going to get pinched you’re probably going to prefer a bit of gardening to having to go through a dealer.
Now, I know some will be saying ” But Chris, what about the connection between cannabis and mental health conditions?”
For me that connection is shaky. My view is that one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is that the stoners who develop issues later may very well have had or been prone to those psychological problems anyway. If you’re someone who suffers anxiety, or paranoia, a drug known to chill you out would be appealing, as a form of self medication (having worked in mental health I observed self medication with nicotine, caffeine and even alcohol), so it may be that rather than the cannabis.
The only way to definitively prove it either way would be to assess a group of people, looking for genetic markers for mental health issues or family history (or whatever), having folks smoke weed for a few years and then seeing how many developed issues. If its just the ones predisposed to mental health issues then it ain’t the weed.
Of course such a study would be difficult, because of ethics (if you find genetic markers for mental health issues, should you tell them? Or would that influence their experience with the drug?) As well as just being very complicated, not to mention that other factors might have played a part.
The thing is if that’s enough to keep it illegal then booze, which can cause dementia, physical illness and could be argued to be more dangerous, is on shaky ground.
image

Personally, I think legalise weed, issue licences for UK based farms, put a tax on it and leave it alone. It would stop criminals from profiting, free up the police and courts for more serious offences and allow the effects to be better understood.
Jobs, less police spending and easing prison overcrowding.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


The city never sleeps, but this dude does

Sometimes you get just tuckered out and need to sleep. I get that, but there are some places you’d think it was more awkward to nod off. For example at a live sporting event. Aside from a chess tournament, because I’m guessing that’s quite restful. Is competitive chess a sport? Or a game?

Whatever, as unlikely as it seems it happened to New Yorker Andrew Rector, who’d taken himself down to watch the Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox. Rector dozed off as the Yankees led 2-1, and like a pigeon on the court at Wimbledon or a busty fan at the World Cup, the camera picked him out.

Dozing: Rector

Dozing: Rector

The commentators on ESPN were amused and exchanged a bit of gently mocking banter about the snoozing supporter.

It was all fairly good natured as they joked about his awkward position and wondered why the man next to him hadn’t woken him up (see link below for the clip).

I’m sure it was rather embarrassing for Rector if he was recognized by a friend or family member. And with the internet, I bet it was spread around a bit, but while slightly awkward it’s nothing that wouldn’t have died off after a while.

But clearly, Rector is a more sensitive soul than I, as he’s contested that ESPN and their commentators have caused him “emotional distress” and is suing them to the tune of $10m.

And they say that you can’t put a price on happiness.

Seriously, $10m? That’s almost two Steve Austins.

I get that you’re embarrassed, but he must still be dreaming if he reckons he’s got a hope in hell of winning that much. He’s on screen for a matter of seconds and this pointless case isn’t exactly making it fade from memory. Hell, I never would have heard of it if he hadn’t filed.

ESPN won’t pay and I’m guessing have better lawyers, and can reasonably argue that the commentators were not mean or especially cutting, they were just having a little bit of a laugh.

There is a more serious issue here, and that’s the fact that this is another case of folks not understanding genuine suffering. Rector has cited “emotional distress” when what he’s probably had is “mild embarrassment with occasional mockery”. For him to ask for money to compensate him for emotional distress is to trivialize those who have actually suffered and deserve some form of repayment.

Come on dude, get a grip, shrug it off and get on with your life, and stop wasting everyone’s time and giving people a second reason to laugh at you.

Just realized that “field of dreams” would have been a shorter, better title for this post.

Story.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


A Mountie always gets his man…but not often as easily as this

I’ve spoken in the past about how I find real life criminals rather disappointing when compared to their more imaginative and flashy fictional counterparts. But sometimes I’d settle for them just not being complete idiots.

Today I read about a Canadian muppet who was having a bad day at work and thought some weed would take the edge off. I’m not going to get into a debate on where I stand on drugs, but let’s just say in this case had the dude just got stoned, I wouldn’t have a problem.

Sadly for the dude involved, one Kunith Baheerathan from Toronto, he had a lapse in common sense and instead of just ringing up his dealer, decided instead to take to Twitter and reach out for anybody who could hook him up and deliver to his workplace. His tweet stated:

Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff or two to help me last this open to close

Local police saw the tweet, and instead of just rocking up and giving the guy crap they instead tweeted to the fool, which was far funnier and :

Awesome! Can we come too? MT @Sunith_DB8R Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff.

This tweet became incredibly popular, racking up over 5000 retweets and making Baheerathan a bit of a twitter celebrity. Now, the guy had been caught out pretty stupidly and then compounded this by trying to play it off as a gag.

And then even more ill-advisedly attempted to take the moral high ground, criticizing the police for wasting time going after weed smokers, instead of “shooters & rapists”. Hmm, it might just be that the person hired to man their Twitter feed doesn’t get much opportunity to deal with them because they’re not stupid enough to post about their exploits on Twitter, numb nuts.

Joking or not (I don’t think he was joking) Baheerathan’s employees didn’t take too kindly to him inviting drug dealers to visit their place of business and he’s since been fired.

But fair play to the York Regional Police, who showed a sense of humour in dealing with this ass clown and didn’t go OTT about it. Sometimes, firing off a tweet is enough.

So, remember kids, even if you are making a joke:

 

thinktweet

More details.

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.


Emotional Rescue

“Hate crimes” is a new-ish phrase, as evidenced by Gene Hunt’s reaction to it in an episode of Life on Mars:

gene

It’s all about helping and stopping people being targeted because of their race, religion, disability and sexuality. Which is, I hope we all agree, a bad thing (the targeting, not the stopping it).

The law has recently been expanded to cover people who belong to alternative cultures, especially the members of the goth and emo subcultures.

I have to say I think it’s a good idea. A subculture’s members are expressing their personal outlook and choices, often through physical appearance and clothing, in much the same way as religious people do. To target them is discrimination in the same way, they are just a newer group to be singled out.

It’s only right that they should be afforded the same protections.

I’ve never really put myself into a youth culture group, I’ve just always been a slacker or a geek I guess. I mean, I suppose I used to wear Rage Against the Machine and Blink 182 shirts back in the day, so I guess I was a rock kid or something, but I’m amazed by how cliquey things have got in the UK.

My youngest sister is 5 years younger than me, and when she was at comprehensive school it was like she was talking about a different world. I’m not going to lie and say it was a utopia where we all walked around smiling and holding hands, and we hung out in different groups, but it wasn’t like we were totally closed down from each other. My friends and I were a little geeky and I guess “alternative” but we always got on with the sporty types or the nerdier kids. The only people we didn’t have anything to do with were the people we disliked on a personal level, it was never about what group you belonged to, just whether or not you were a twat.

It just never seemed like a thing.

At uni the groups were a bit clearer, because of sports teams and societies and so on, but again I never felt there were people I couldn’t talk to and I’d chat and hang out with people from different sections. Sure, I wasn’t fond of some of the societies or some fellow students, but I never thought “You know what, I really don’t get that live action role playing stuff? Let’s go attack them” and not just because they had swords and stuff.

The law might be new but sadly in Britain starting a fight over some trivial difference is part of our heritage (football hooliganism, anti-English feeling in Scotland and Wales, inner city “turf wars”, Mods vs Rockers, the Teddy Boys vs whoever, the list goes on).

It’s something I’ve never understood, I mean, I’ve booed rival sporting teams and been argued with people about musical preferences and stuff, but at no point have I ever been tempted to kick off over it.

It just seems daft, no-one is ever going to agree with you about everything and a different opinion or way of life is something I’ve always found more interesting than threatening.

It might be that I’m a pussy, but I just think there are very few things that are actually worth fighting for in this world.

So, I’m glad that they’ve created this new law, especially because in my limited experience of them, emos look like they’re not the toughest of groups (I’ve always kind of regarded them as junior Goths, kind of like the Beavers are to the Cubs).

The thing is, just because a kid dresses in black clothes, listens to angsty music and cuts their hair a certain way doesn’t make them less of a person. And it’s not like they’re actually hurting anybody by choosing to follow that particular teenage fashion. I mean, nine times out of ten in five years they’ll have moved onto something else or at least relaxed their dedication to their subculture.

And that’s the other thing, they usually tend to be kids or young adults, I mean, who the hell beats up a random kid?

Well, it appears that two guys in Manchester did that and have become the first arrests under the new system. The duo beat up a 16 year old emo boy. What makes the story more disgusting is that while one of the attackers was another teen aged 14, the second attacker was a 44 year old man.

Seriously, what the hell, man?!

The 14 year old is pretty bad and unpleasant, but at least he has the excuse of being young and stupid and will hopefully mature into a decent person, but if you’re 44 years old and you attack a 16 year old boy just because of the way he dresses you’ve got serious problems. Hell, if you’re 44 and you attack random people in the street you’re clearly a grade A wanker and suggests you’re something of a failure in this game of life.

I use public transport frequently, so I’m well aware that teenagers can be irritating, but exercise some control, I mean, you can’t just go around smacking anybody who annoys you or who’s fashion sense you object to.  Especially not some kid who’s just expressing themselves.

You shouldn’t hit any teenagers, unless they attack you, or it’s Joffrey from the Song of Ice and Fire books. Or you’re giving Harry a slap when he’s being a whiny, angsty douche in Order of the Phoenix.

So, yeah, I like this new law. Save the Goths. Protect the Emo.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


News Grab Bag: Immigrants, Deportation and Corruption. Even boobs become a contentious issue in this post

Warning! Bit of a long one today, so you might want to make sure you have a cup of tea at the ready so you can stay hydrated throughout.

…And then a step to the right

Recently the Prime Minister David Cameron came out with brand new, harder policies on immigration. The headline grabber was his pledge that immigrants must live in the UK for 5 years before they can be added to public housing lists.

Now, I’m no fan of the Conservatives anyway, but this statement made me dislike them even more. What Cameron was essentially doing was attacking a small section of our society, who are already poorly treated and disliked and using it to score cheap political points.

What made it worse is the fact that it was a blatant ploy by the PM to try and appeal to the section of his party which is further to the right. It has nothing to do with what these immigrants do to the public housing situation, and more about Dave trying to ensure that Tories to the right of him don’t jump ship to UKIP (UK Independence Party) a bunch of xenophobic eejits formerly associated with talk show host and grade-A douche Robert Kilroy-Silk.

The whole thing strikes me as being irresponsible from the PM because he’s joining in on this disgusting bashing of immigrants. I suppose though, it’s an easy target- many aren’t registered voters and you can guarantee there’s any number of Daily M**l reading idiots out there who’ll swallow it whole and think “Yeah, Dave, show those Johnny Foreigners what for!”

Here’s the thing, as some Romanian group recently pointed out- the reason that a lot of these folks came across here is to work to send money home. They’re not looking for handouts. I’m sure some do live off benefits, but let’s face it, they probably represent a drop in the ocean of the people on benefits in this country (in fact immigrants made up less than 10% of social lettings in 2011-12).

To penalize against them because they’ve only just got off the boat seems unfair, especially as they’re arriving with nothing and, given the housing market, you’re making them essentially homeless or vulnerable to unscrupulous land lords. Also, it seems a tad unfair that Victor from Poland comes over and has to work for 5 years before he can apply when there’s any number of Brits who don’t contribute to society at all who can get one right away. If Dave wanted to make it completely fair, he’d state that to get on the housing list you have to have worked for five years.

I mean, think about it. You’ve got some family from Eastern Europe or wherever, who come over and where they instantly start working crummy jobs, and they have to sit around for five years despite having taken nothing out of the system, while at the same time, folks like me can get on the list after spending 16 years in full time education and a lifetime of free health care. Which one of us is a bigger drain on the tax payer?

The whole thing is disgusting, especially given the fact that last year Cameron was more than happy to use an immigrant to this country for photo opportunities.

So the rule seems to be- immigrants are okay, so long as they can run fast.

So the rule seems to be- immigrants are okay, so long as they can run fast.

Cameron’s motives were transparent enough, and even though he’s a Tory, you feel might not be his own, which makes them worse. As much as I loathe UKIP and co. at least they’re upfront and honest about it, here you get the feeling that Cameron is merely saying whatever he thinks will get him votes. I know that’s how politics work, but it’s still disheartening.

The next time there’s some anti-immigrant violence Cameron would have a lot of nerve coming out and condemning it given that this kind of outburst adds to the ill feeling and ignorance surrounding the whole situation.

V for Vendetta

Another Tory who should have thought before they spoke was Theresa May, the Home Secretary. A while back fundamentalist cleric Abu Qatada was threatened with deportation to Jordan, where he would face trial, however, due to the fact that he would be unlikely to receive a fair trial and may well be tortured, the deportation was blocked under Human Rights rulings.

At which point May waded in saying that this was just a set back and that Qatada would soon be on his way out. May’s appeal to have him deported failed this week, with the judges stating that he would be at risk of a “flagrant denial of justice”. Now, I may not agree at all with Qatada’s beliefs and find his brand of rhetoric sickening, but at the same time, I’m not entirely comfortable with sending people off to be tortured and imprisoned without trial.

So, let him stay. And treat the guy well. This is a chance for us to be the bigger people, and to combat his claims of the evil of Western culture by showing respect and compassion towards somebody who would do us harm.

And if he continues to bash us, well, everytime he does maybe someone should (politely) point out that he can’t have it both ways- he can’t very well slam Western culture and our country when he’s cowering under our protection like a little b***h. It’d like David Haye stopping me from getting a kick-in and then me standing behind him slagging him off.

Haye a metaphor for Britain

I mean, we could also throw in that if he was truly dedicated to his cause then he’d have no problem suffering and dying for it like a true martyr, by going back to Lebanon, maybe just imply that he might be all mouth. Highlight his hypocrisy and lack of commitment, undermine his standing and posturing. That’s how I’d play it anyway.

But, most importantly, let him stay. The war on terror, was a classic example of a situation where we’d be best to remember the words of Friedrich Nietzsche:

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster

And while that ship may have sailed, we should still retain some morality and respect for human rights, whatever they say or do. If we deport Qatada to face human rights abuses we are responsible for those abuses.

The worst thing about the story is May’s behaviour. She may very well be doing her job, but her obsession with getting shot of Quatada is starting to look more and more like some kind of personal vendetta.

I'm not sure whether May-Qatada reminds me more of a wrestling feud or when two characters claim to hate each other but eventually wind up together in a soap

I’m not sure whether May-Qatada reminds me more of a wrestling feud or when two characters claim to hate each other but eventually wind up together in a soap

It’s probably because of her statements about not letting the courts stop her, and the fact that the longer he stays the worse she looks, but it’s all looking rather pathetic. And in fact, her repeated attempts make it worse, with several papers reporting about her failure to win the appeal, laying the blame at her feet. She shouldn’t have made such a song and dance about it, because it’s all making her look very bad.

Hope you have a pleasant stay!

After all the corruption and connections between the press and the police were revealed last year, there’s been an effort to clean up the whole thing and an investigation has recently resulted in a few imprisonments. Some of the most high profile are a copper who sold details about the family of English footballer John Terry and a prison officer who sold information regarding Jon Venables, one of the killers in the James Bulger case.

Now, first of all, I’m glad they’re going away for it. It’s a massive ethical breach and they deserve to be punished. Secondly, what a pair of idiots. The prison officer got £3,500 for his info, and you’ve got to wonder if that amount was worth it, because if I’ve learnt anything watching prison movies and crime shows (and I think I have), it’s that ex-cops and former screws don’t exactly have an easy time of it inside.

One imagines that MacKay would've had a hard time if he'd been Fletcher's new cellmate

One imagines that MacKay would’ve had a hard time if he’d been Fletcher’s new cellmate

You’d have thought being familiar with what life in prison is like, you’d be extra-careful to avoid winding up in there. It’d be like having a daily reminder of what you have to lose if you break the law. I hope they’re both alright during their time behind bars, and can reflect on what they’ve done wrong and rebuild some kind of life at the other end.

An argument for the continuation of Page 3?

Page 3, where the daily newspaper The Sun posts pictures of topless young ladies is the centre of a bit of debate at the moment, with many sections of society calling for it to be banned. But, I think The Sun could now make a case for it being preserved to ensure that tax payers get value for money and paid back for their expenses.

This is down to the case of Josie Cunningham, a 22 year old who received a breast enlargement on the NHS. Cunningham, or Josie, 22 from Leeds as Page 3 would introduce her, has plans to become a glamour model thanks to her brand new 36DD assets. The operation is said to have cost the tax payer £4,800.

This has caused quite a lot of complaining and angry comments about what a waste of money it all is. I agree, the money could have been put to use elsewhere, but Cunningham’s previous bra size of 32A, appears to have been effecting her quality of life, with her stating in an interview that she felt that they were ruining her life and she felt insecure about herself.

Cunningham before the op

Cunningham before the op

Now, I can sympathize and think the NHS should help out on issues like this, but maybe on a payback basis, where for example non-essential operations and procedures like breast enhancements, gastric bands and IVF are funded by the government, but the patient’s wages are then garnished until the cost is covered. The NHS could improve the quality of life and happiness of people like Miss Cunningham, and the money would work it’s way back into the hospitals, maybe with interest added.

Or, they could have called me up and figured out some way of taking my mannaries and donating them to Cunningham, thus aiding both of us in feeling better about ourselves.

At the same time, I appreciate that the news would infuriate many, although it’s ironic that The Sun has laid into her as she’s probably just the type of person they’d use on Page 3.

The thing is, Cunningham was previously on £9k a year and I’d imagine that if she plays her cards right as a glamour model she can earn way more than that, so she may end up paying more tax into the pot as a result of the op. She needs to strike while the iron is hot and cash in on her notoriety as the girl with the tax payer’s tits.

So, at the end of the day I think the NHS did the right thing- they helped a girl feel better about herself, they’ve probably enabled her to earn more money and thus pay more taxes.

 

And let’s face it our taxes have been spent on a lot worse in the past.

Oh, and in related news I found out today that the association that governs aesthetic cosmetic surgery here in the UK is called the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons or to give it’s acronym- BAAPS which is kinda funny.

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:

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

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.