Welcome to another edition of ‘Digital World Wired’. As always each edition will bring you the latest news from the worlds of Entertainment, Science and Social Media outlets.
Since its launch on the Evening of the 8th December 2013, Magellan-Fifteen20 (http://magellanfifteen20.webs.com) has received much positive feedback for its aims and ambitions. As laid out in the proposal, 2014 will be spent promoting and building awareness of the Initiative and garnering support via donations from individuals and groups who share the vision proposed, as well as the passion we have for the project. It is still early days but we are in no doubt we have a mountain to climb in getting that much needed support but don’t feel like losers. There is strength in numbers and the more people who support us, the more we can do to get things moving. We can’t do it without you and it is you who ultimately count because it is only you who can help us. We look forward to your support.
One of the finest drama series ever to come out of America in recent years returned to British TV Screens this past week. I am talking about ‘Man Men’. Unless you are a subscriber to ‘Sky Atlantic’ you will probably be unaware ‘Mad Men’ is still being produced. I was surprised to know that Season Seven is now upon us, as I thought the show ended with Season Six. Like many people I watched the first four seasons via the BBC Four Channel, prior to the BBC being outbid by the then new, fledgling Sky Atlantic. This is probably why the Show was not greeted with much fanfare anywhere else. I would be surprised if the show gets the kind of audiences at Sky Atlantic that it got when it was screened on BBC Television. I have managed via online rental to keep up with the series up to Season Six. I may well not see Season Seven – The final series until some time in 2015, as I don’t have access to Sky Atlantic. By all accounts the premiere episode of the current season received very low viewing figures State-side. Are people tired of Don Draper and Company? It would be a shame to think so. If the Show was still being screened via the BBC I think the opposite would be true in the UK. As it stands, the BBC no longer screen it so it is now seen by a far smaller audience. Let’s hope Don and Company find what they all desire in the season finale.
London, like Paris, New York, Rome, and Milan is one of the world’s great Metropolises. Like other great cities, it is brimming and full of life. Anything that enhances that is to be welcomed. So why is it that I greet the launch of ‘London Live’ (http://www.londonlive.co.uk/) with mixed feelings? Simple. London is no longer the City for everyone it seems. Despite being the UK Capital, as well as England’s Capital, London is fast becoming a City where only the rich can reside. Many on welfare and low incomes have had a subsidy called ‘Housing Benefit’ cut due to recent Government rules cutting the amount of Housing Benefit paid to landlords of privately-owned property. Now these cuts are being implemented, those on Welfare and low incomes can no longer afford to pay the rent so are evicted and when this happens the local authorities move them out of London. This is Social Engineering of the worse kind. This is nothing new of course. Like most of areas of London, there was a thriving market culture where you could buy everything from clothing, fresh food and vegetables via market stalls but now many of those markets have either being forced out of business or pushed to the outskirts of London in the ‘gentrification process that is going on throughout London. Covent Garden was not only famous for its Opera House but its thriving Market but sadly the outdoor market has been moved to Vauxhall in South-West London, which leaves the indoor market catering to ageing yuppies and the new money that is now flooding into London and out-pricing everyone else out the market place – Quite literally. There is a diversity and strong history of liberalism in London that is the envy of everywhere else but there is a now a growing inequality and poverty on a level never seen since Victorian times and the early Twentieth Century. Luxury apartment and tower complexes are being built to cater for the super rich. There is a sense that people who live on low incomes and work in London with their wages are never going to be allowed to prosper as they will never be able to afford a One Million GBP home in London. But instead of building more affordable homes, The Mayor of London instead chooses to travel to places like China and encourage the super rich of China and everywhere elsewhere to come to London to buy these properties, ensuring that the indigenous population of London, stand very little chance of owning or renting property (unless they are Celebrities or Bankers). I love London for its diversity, its grand history and liberalism but the ever growing inequality and the Social Engineering that continues unabated at the expense of the less fortunate and working poor, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
Despite being described as ‘Celebrity’ via some websites, fortunately these websites are not in the mainstream. A family acquaintance a few years ago never said a truer word when she said: “If you’re a celebrity and male, then you are well and truly f#cked”. This said in light of the Jimmy Saville Affair, where in the aftermath of his death, allegations of sexual abuse on his part came pouring out via the Media, as if the floodgates holding back the tidal waves of accusations had broken open. Saville has never been charged by any authority for alleged crimes while alive and in death a trial by media has occurred instead. Unfortunately, ‘Trial by Media’ seems to be all the rage in the UK and if you are a well-known Media Celebrity, male, and have had a career spanning decades, then you are open to accusations of inappropriate behaviour in many cases going back decades. You have no anonymity unlike your accusers, and have to defend yourself legally and otherwise. Of those cases that go to court, they either collapse due to lack of evidence, or the accused is acquitted. But if you are a male celebrity who has been accused, even if the case never goes to court, you have to endure months, a year even, where your good name is besmirched, dragged through the mud, only to find there is no case to answer. So it surprises me little when I read that Film maker and Director Bryan Singer is going through a similar process of being accused of allegedly abusing someone back in 1999. We now read stories coming out of the political arena of Westminster of young men being sexually assaulted. And that is just the tip of a large iceberg, as it seems sexual assault and rape of young men is now so common place. As with such cases, one cannot comment too much but it does worry me that Britain seems to be good at exporting the worse of Human Nature, rather than those things that would enable us to be a more prosperous Nation as a whole. The Police and Prosecutors (i.e. The Crown Prosecution Service aka CPS,) seem quite happy with the ‘Trial by Media’ of male celebrities accused of allegedly committing crimes of a sexual nature, as it makes their job far easier. It is lazy, loses the public’s trust and confidence in both Police, the British Justice System and that cannot be good for justice in any way.
Ricky Gervais is someone who succeeds against the odds. One reason for his success is that he is always himself. Never pretentious, very creative, never afraid to offend or go out on a limb. More importantly, he loves what he does. So it comes as no surprise that given past successes such as ‘The Office’ (very true and very funny if you have ever spent a day working in an office environment,) ‘Extras’ (done that job as well,) ‘An Idiot Abroad’ (no comment,) and now ‘Derek’. Ricky Gervais has a knack of polarising and splitting public opinion. Even his twice-stint as presenter of ‘The Golden Globes’ Awards show was a must watch as what was one of those industry-backslapping events, was for once entertaining, just to see the guests, embarrassed or pissed off by Ricky Gervais and his jokes at their expense. And so his continued success continues to polarise those who love what he does and those who want him to fall flat on his face and fail. It is not happening and long may his success continue.
There is plenty more to see, read, and watch domestically and internationally throughout this edition of Digital World Wired.
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