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Emergency on Planet Earth #38

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

I would like to wish the NHS a very happy 72nd birthday. I will not patronise the fine institution by making zero effort to applaud thin air, but my attitude towards this fine organisation is as warm as the next person.

A more useful thing for people to do this afternoon, is to sign petitions such as this one, calling for a pay-rise for all NHS staff.

It is so important that we all recognise the importance of the NHS, and do not allow the Tories to decimate it further. I recommend that everyone should read this article that appeared on the Skwawkbox blog this morning:

Former BMA deputy chair says ‘Happy birthday NHS – but when non-COVID tsunami hits, if you love it, step up to protect it from govt who will exploit crisis to wreck it’

I fail to understand why the Tories have such a problem with a service that provides free health care to its citizens. I am quite proud that I don’t understand their desire to privatise everything, even though it is obvious to everyone that it all boils down to filthy lucre.

 

 

***

This fantastic song came up on YouTube the other night, and I was very interested in the video. A quick search led me to discover that it is used in the film My Friend Dahmer – a must-watch for myself.

I don’t know why I am drawn to such questionable characters, or why I write to prisoners on Death Row? I guess it is something to do with sympathy for the misunderstood. Of course, the actions of certain individuals cannot ever be excused, but I have always taken the side of the underdog, and think it is important to find out why people become murderers. Is it nature or nurture?

From Wikipedia:

Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991.[8] The band was composed of David Byrne (lead vocalsguitar), Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar). Described by the critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine as “one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the ’80s,”[3] the group helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punkart rockfunk, and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image.[3]

Former art school students who became involved in the 1970s New York punk scene, Talking Heads released their 1977 debut album, Talking Heads: 77, to positive reviews.[9] They collaborated with producer Brian Eno on a trio of experimental and critically acclaimed releases: More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), Fear of Music (1979), and Remain in Light (1980).[3] After a hiatus, Talking Heads hit their commercial peak in 1983 with the U.S. Top 10 hit “Burning Down the House” from the album Speaking in Tongues and released the concert film Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme.[3] They released several more albums, including their best-selling LP Little Creatures (1985), before disbanding in 1991.[10]

In 2002, Talking Heads were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of their albums appear in Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and three of their songs (“Psycho Killer“, “Life During Wartime“, and “Once in a Lifetime“) were included among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.[11] Talking Heads were also number 64 on VH1‘s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.[12] In the 2011 update of Rolling Stones “100 Greatest Artists of All Time“, they were ranked number 100.[13]

Reinvigorating the Social Model of Disability

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Reinvigorating the social model of disability 6.30 to 8.30 Monday 6 July. Watch live on DPAC’s Facebook/YouTube.

In this meeting a range of deaf and disabled activists and explore the ideas put forward in the final chapter of Eileen Cliffords new book “The War on Disabled People”

Speakers: Marsha de Cordova MP shadow minister for women and equalities tbc; Ellen Clifford author of The War on Disabled People; Mark Duncan DPAC; Karena Marchant activist; Bob Williams-Findlay academic and activist; Denise McKenna mental health resistance network; Catherine Hale chronic illness inclusion project; Rick Burgess recovery in the bin; Kate Carter founding member of the unspoken project cic and aac user; Andrew Lee peoplefirst; Dorothy Gould Liberation and Paula Ntulila deaf campaigner.

Emergency on Planet Earth #37

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

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I am absolutely over the moon that I have just employed another personal assistant, to join my small team of staff. After losing three valued employees in March, I have endured a very stressful period where I have had to stretch the limited resources that I have, to ensure I receive the 24/7 support I need.

It is such a relief to have found someone that I can respect, and receive the same respect back. I had been messaging agencies, as it seemed that I would never find the right individual to work with. Of course, only time will tell if I have struck gold, but the early signs are very encouraging.

There are still hours available, but not nearly as many as there were. I also have another member of staff due to return from maternity leave soon, so all of a sudden everything is looking rosy as I try to establish the 2:1 support that I really need to meet my physical and mental wellbeing needs.

A good example of why I need 2:! support came the other day, when my electric wheelchair started playing up. I called the engineers, who said that they would make an emergency call, as long as I was able to get out of the chair while they made adaptations. This is a standard request, made with my safety in mind. Unfortunately, I was unable to vacate my chair as I only had one support worker present. Hoisting me out of the chair and on to a bed or shower chair, is a two-person job in order to comply with health and safety regulations. I was subsequently forced to arrange an appointment for tomorrow afternoon, while hoping my chair does not give up the ghost in the meantime.

I will achieve my ultimate goal of independent living, supported by the Social Services and Wellbeing Act, in the end. It just might take me a little longer than expected, after starting my crusade ten years ago…

***

Below, I have share a video that I found on YouTube, that quickly encapsulates Friedreich’s Ataxia. This is the progressive, genetic disease of the nervous system that I live with, so I thought you might be interested. It is only a short video, so I have also added a more complex video that explains all in a scientific manner. If you are interested then you may wish to watch this, but it even confused ME, so I don’t blame you if you don’t bother.

***

This was an interesting post that I read this morning, from the Debatedly Dateable blog about dating in the Covid era. I should be so lucky…

Stop and Scrap Universal Credit: What’s Next for the Campaign?

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I have been asked to share the following with all DPAC members and all interested activists:

#StopandScrapUniversalCredit
Where now for the campaign?

Zoom Meeting: Monday 22nd June 2020 6.30-8.30pm

You can join the discussion and watch the meeting from the Facebook link at 6.30pm here:

Or alternatively, from YouTube at 6.30pm and the link is here:

 

Anorak Needed

download

At the end of August, I will be transporting myself back in time to the 1983/84 football season. I am doing this for a number of reasons, that begin with fond memories of a Xmas gift from my much missed Gran, and end with the diabolical state of the modern game.

I am busy preparing myself to begin this journey, and I have invested in football programmes and Panini stickers from this time, in a bid to transport myself back to 1983. In addition, I will be indulging in music, food and fashion from this era. If I do something, I do it properly.

One issue that I need to sort out, is how I  discover the classified results every week. This is quite an issue, because obviously I need to find out the results to authenticate my experience.

YouTube have some videos that show the latest football results, but these are random clips that do not form a complete record of the season. The video below is from December 27th 1982, and shows how enjoyable and informative such a service was, before David Icke found God.

What I need is a fellow enthusiast, who would agree to send me the weekend and mid-week results through the post – there was no such thing as the internet back in the day.

The trouble is, that I do not know of anywhere where I can access the scores from a specific weekend. I could get a Rothmans Yearbook, but even then I would have to spend hours flicking back and to through the book to get a complete list of results. I could invest in old copies of Shoot magazine, or subscribe to a Sunday newspaper through the National Archive. I am trying to keep costs down.

The simplest solution would be to have a friend, who is prepared to help me out, in return for a similar favour. If anyone knows of a way around this problem, or would like to offer their assistance, please do get in touch.

In the meantime, why not listen to one of the biggest hits of 1983 [ I am quickly realising that 1983 was a absolutely shambolic year for music, but it is too late for me to change the season I am reliving].

From Wikipedia:

Spandau Ballet /ˈspænd ˈbæl./ were an English new wave band formed in Islington, London, in 1979. Inspired by the capital’s post-punk underground dance scene, they emerged at the start of the 1980s as the house band for the Blitz Kids, playing “White European Dance Music” as “The Applause” for this new club culture’s audience.[7][8][9] They became one of the most successful groups of the New Romantic era of British pop and were part of the Second British Invasion of the Billboard Top 40 in the 1980s, selling 25 million albums and having 23 hit singles worldwide.[10][11][12] The band have had eight UK top 10 albums, including three greatest hits compilations and an album of re-recorded material. Their musical influences ranged from punk rock and soul music to the American crooners Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.[13]

The band’s classic line-up featured Gary Kemp on guitar, synthesiser and backing vocals, his brother Martin Kemp on bass, vocalist Tony Hadley, saxophonist Steve Norman and drummer John Keeble. Gary Kemp was also the band’s songwriter. Their debut single, “To Cut a Long Story Short“, reached No.5 in the UK in 1980. It was the first of ten UK Top 10 singles. The band peaked in popularity in 1983 with the album True, with its title track reaching No.1 in the UK and the top five in the US. In 2011 it received a BMI award as one of the most played songs in US history with four million airplays.[14] In 1984 they received a Brit Award for technical excellence and were the first act to be approached by Bob Geldof to join the original Band Aid line-up.[15] In 1985 they performed at the Live Aid benefit concert at Wembley Stadium.

 

Emergency on Planet Earth #31

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

I had thought about ending this series of blogs, but l wouldn’t want to be knee -jerk in my reaction like Boris Johnson and company. I prefer the more cautious and pragmatic approach of first Minister Mark Drakeford.

***

I have copied the article below from the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) website. The original  piece can be viewed by clicking on this link. I am happy to promote this virtual festival that l hope becomes a regular feature of our calendar, to remind everyone about the importance of independent living to disabled people.

11 July WILD will launch with an online festival by & for disabled people – the likes of which you haven’t seen before! Celebrating who we are & coming together to redefine what it means to be a disabled person in the 21st century. Sign Up. Share & RT

Web: http://wwww.wildaboutculture.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WILDcrips

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/427804564769420/

Twitter @WILD_CripsaY8jFs41

Wild is a long-term initiative to re-imagine the transformation to an inclusive society with independent living being a central part in that transformation.

***

***

As a disabled person l can tell you a lot about loneliness. Thankfully, l am mentally strong and resilient. This is fortunate as l have many fights to win before l can reach that elusive state of happiness.

I realise that not everyone is as lucky as me and l would therefore encourage everyone to pick up the telephone or send a message to friends or family  that are alone and isolated at his time.

Having said all that, there is something about ITV’s campaign to Get Britain Talking that l find really nauseating. If people to pour their heart out then they will find the appropriate time to do so and do not need to be guided by pebble-brained celebrities during bubblegum TV.

I cannot think of anything more awkward than negotiating a manufactured silence and the only thing that Ant and Dec’s mini break would have achieved, was a mass electricity surge as the nation twiddled their thumbs and put the kettle on. It really was cringe worthy stuff.

While ITV’s message is a positive one that should be applauded, l do think there are better ways to encourage people to look after their mental health and well-being.

If they are watching Britain’s Got Talent , then it is probably too late…

Emergency on Planet Earth #29

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

I am not a fan of Zoom and all this new technology that is supposed to bring people together during these times of lockdown. As someone who is used to being alone, i do not feel the need to suddenly invite the world and his wife in my front room and have to make sure I have a clean top to wear. I also have issues with my hearing that makes applications such as Zoom less of a positive option than a simple email.

I am not alone in feeling this way as one of my Facebook friends posted the following comment yesterday:

I strongly advise all concerned NOT to use Zoom. It is malware. Several governments have banned its use over security concerns. This is not a joke or conspiracy, Google it. Stop being lemmings following the crowd and use your brains. There are other group chat apps. Try WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Signal – recommended by Edward Snowden.

Having said all that, I will definitely tuning in to Facebook and Twitter live on the 15th of June when my good friend and comrade, Ellen Clifford, will be launching The War on Disabled People. I hope to be able to review this volume in the near future and I look forward to listening to the speakers assembled for this event (listening to people I admire without having to worry about speaking or being on camera is a totally different experience than Zoom).

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***

I am constantly searching for members of staff to bulk up my excellent base of staff. This is a particularly difficult time to be looking to recruit as people are concerned about the Coronavirus situation. Nevertheless, the hunt for new recruits continues. In a month’s  time there will be an opportunity to work alongside me as a support worker. It is a hugely unpopular shift on a Saturday night. It starts at 17:30 and turns into a sleep-in from 23:00 until 09:00. There will be an opportunity to work on Sunday morning for as long as you would like. The rate of pay is £9.80 per hour and £83.00 for the sleep-in.

The full job advertisement can be found here.

***

Reasons to leave the Labour Party keep on mounting:

Labour’s worrying record on anti-black racism under its new leadership

***

I think what is needed on a day like today is a little music…

From Wikipedia:

Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1992. Since 2001, the band has consisted of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Scott Shriner (bass, backing vocals).

After signing to Geffen Records in 1993, Weezer released its self-titled debut album, also known as the Blue Album, in 1994. Backed by music videos for the singles “Buddy Holly“, “Undone – The Sweater Song“, and “Say It Ain’t So“, the Blue Album became a multiplatinum success. Weezer’s second album, Pinkerton (1996), featuring a darker, more abrasive sound, was a commercial failure and initially received mixed reviews, but achieved cult status and critical acclaim years later. Both the Blue Album and Pinkerton are now frequently cited among the best albums of the 1990s. Following the tour for Pinkerton, bassist Matt Sharp left the band and Weezer went on hiatus.

In 2001, Weezer returned with the Green Album, with new bassist Mikey Welsh. With a more pop sound, and promoted by singles “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun“, the album was a commercial success and received mostly positive reviews. After the Green Album tour, Welsh left the band and was replaced by current bassist Scott Shriner. Weezer’s fourth album, Maladroit (2002), achieved mostly positive reviews, but weaker sales. Make Believe (2005) received mixed reviews, but its single “Beverly Hills” became Weezer’s first single to top the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and the first to reach the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2008, Weezer released the Red Album, featuring “TR-808s, synths, Southern rap, and baroque counterpoint”.[1] Its lead single, “Pork and Beans“, became the third Weezer song to top the Modern Rock Tracks chart, backed by a Grammy-winning YouTube music video. Raditude (2009) and Hurley (2010) featured more “modern pop production”[2] and songs co-written with other artists, achieved further mixed reviews and moderate sales. The band’s ninth and tenth albums, Everything Will Be Alright in the End (2014) and the White Album (2016), returned to a rock style and achieved more positive reviews. Their eleventh album, Pacific Daydream (2017), featured a more mainstream pop sound.[3] In 2019, Weezer released an album of covers, the Teal Album, followed by the Black Album.[4] Weezer has sold 10.2 million albums in the US and over 35 million worldwide.[5]

 

Emergency on Planet Earth #22

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 

***

I just wanted to make it clear to people, that – for some people – Zoom is not the answer to the worlds communication problems.

On the face of it, l should be welcoming the fact that l can speak to people on the other side of the planet straight from my front room. It is true that all the access issues and costs relating to travel are lifted through the wonders of modern technology. However, it not great if you are hard of hearing, and unable to access a Palantypist.

This week l have had to leave two meetings that l really should have been able to contribute to as one of the most influential disabled activists in Wales. It is so frustrating having to gaze glibly at a variety of faces without being able to understand or interject with a series of pertinent points that would challenge and inspire.  This is not an uncommon problem for me, as l always struggle to hear group discussions in a busy public environment – such as those we used to have in the days before Covid-19.

I suppose a solution would be to buy some headphones and see if that helps, but really l can’t be bothered as l do not have any desire to see the ugly mugs of friends and family who can’t  be arsed  to make a social visit. I know people aren’t supposed make theses visits at the moment,  but l am just worried that some people are accepting that this inaccessible world will become the new reality without trying to find a better ‘new normal’.

The whole Coronavirus crisis really hasn’t  made much difference to my reality as l am still receiving 24/7 support from my extended family of PA’s. Maybe l am blinkered to exactly what is going on in the real world, but l am sadly not surprised that the main tool  that is being used to prevent isolation and loneliness during this episode, is not accessible to everyone.

 ***

From Wikipedia:

Jonathan Pie is a fictional character created and portrayed by English comedian Tom Walker. A political correspondent, Pie appears in a series of online videos in which he rants about the state of both British and American politics,[1][2][3] with the videos being presented as though he were a real reporter speaking his personal opinions to the camera before or after filming a regular news segment.

Update: Coronavirus and the Rights of Disabled People in Wales

A positive email to start the week from Rhian Davies of Disability Wales. I am really thankful that I live in Wales and have Mark Drakeford as First Minister, especially as blundering Boris is reportedly planning to prematurely lift the lockdown as early as this week. This will undoubtedly lead to more Coronavirus related deaths, but that’s the Tories for you…

I feel much safer in Wales with Drakeford’s traffic light system to come out of lockdown. This is a much more sensible approach that seems to be people centred rather than doing what is best for the economy. You can read more about Drakeford’s traffic light approach by clicking here.

***

Dear Members

I hope that you are keeping safe and well. Following publication of the Wales Disability Reference Group’s statement on 8 April regarding Coronavirus and the Rights of Disabled People in Wales, more than 1400 individuals and organisations joined Disability Wales, Learning Disability Wales, Wales Council of the Blind and Wales Council for Deaf People in supporting our Statement:

https://www.ldw.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-and-the-rights-of-disabled-people-in-wales/

I am pleased to inform you that since publication, Welsh Government has implemented the following actions:

Many thanks for your vital support in ensuring that our voice is heard. We trust that members will find reassurance in this guidance given such worrying times. Please share widely with your friends, family and members. We will also upload these documents to our website for future reference.

I represent Disability Wales on the Covid 19 Moral and Ethical Advisory Group for Wales and welcome hearing about the experiences of members regarding these matters to help inform and influence the work of the Group.

Stay safe

Rhian

Rhian Davies
Chief Executive/Prif Weithredydd

 

Emergency on Planet Earth #9

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

Friday 10th April

Continuing my music listography with the 20 albums I would take on a spaceship that wasn’t returning to Earth.

  1. Never Mind The Bollocks
  2. Definitely Maybe
  3. Bring It On
  4. Emergency On Planet Earth
  5. Product
  6. Different Class
  7. Expecting To Fly
  8. Revolver
  9. I Should Coco
  10. Radiator
  11. Alternative Ulster
  12. The Bends
  13. OK Computer
  14. Kid A
  15. Who Killed… The Zutons
  16. Smart
  17. Abbey Road
  18. Be Here Now
  19. The Second Coming
  20. Atomic

After each entry to my listography, I will include a YouTube video(s) from a performer on my list. Please find below a collection of 12 videos, documenting the perfect slice of punk produced by the Sex Pistols.

From Wikipedia:

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols is the only studio album by English punk rock band the Sex Pistols, released on 28 October 1977 by Virgin Records. The album has influenced many bands and musicians, and the industry in general. In particular, the album’s raw energy, and Johnny Rotten‘s sneering delivery and “half-singing”, are often considered game-changing. It is frequently listed as the most influential punk album, and one of the most important albums of all time.

By the time of its release, the Sex Pistols were controversial, having sworn on live TV, been fired from two record labels, and been banned from playing live in some parts of Britain. The album title added to that controversy, with some people finding the word “bollocks” offensive. Many record stores refused to carry it and some record charts refused to list its title, showing just a blank space instead.

Due in part to its notoriety, and in spite of many sales bans at major retailers, the album debuted at number one on the UK Album Charts. It went gold only a few weeks later, on 17 November. It remained a best-seller for over a year, spending 60 weeks in the top 25.[1] It has seen several reissues, the latest in 2012.

***

It is also about time that we looked in on how our old friend Johnathan Pie is coping with the lockdown. It is good to see that not everyone is living in a state of creative paralysis, and that satire is still alive and kicking.

I struggle to understand why people are not working on Good Friday, during this lockdown. Of course, front-line workers are still carrying on as normal. We really would be fucked without the, and I sincerely hope that once this crisis has finally blown over, they are given the recognition, status and salaries they deserve.