The Lilac Pilgrim – Yet Another Blog

Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

When you look at reviews for anything – movies, books, video games and the like – you expect them to be helpful. You want to make a decision whether or not to bother with the subject of the review, and hope to be guided by the reviewer into making a good decision either way. Many reviewers do this pretty well, giving the pros and cons and their reasons for liking or disliking the subject.

Other reviewers? Not exactly.

Unfortunately, a bad reviewing culture is rampant, even worse with the ever spreading reaches of the internet, though that’s not to say that people aren’t allowed to give their opinions. Still, when your review is less of a review and more of an actor-bashing, director-insulting storm of anger, there might be a problem.

Naturally, IMDb is brilliant for these. So today I’m going to showcase a selection of reviews and explain why they are unhelpful or just plain wrong. Yes; again I am reviewing reviews.

Movie: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
This movie about the love between a man-child and his bike and the road-trip he has to embark on to retrieve it after it gets stolen received heaps of mixed criticism. Some people felt it was a fun trip through the real word guided by a small child, others felt (secret word of the day, by the way) it was a terrible, poor excuse for a kids’ movie. Being directed by Tim Burton doesn’t save it even watching it after the director’s great success.

I felt it was a really good film, not exactly mindless as such but definitely fun. Naturally I’m going to disagree with negative reviews. However, I tend to disagree with positive reviews as well if they are not helpful in any way whatsoever, so forgive me if I look a bit biased here; many of the rubbish reviews came from those who hated this film.

IMDb user glistonosz did not like the film, and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt since they’re Polish and I don’t really follow the argument well, but I’m not sure there’s any excuse for this snippet:

“Firstly, I’m not gay, but I have a lot of friends who are. I frankly don’t care who is doin’ what in the bedroom, but the truth is some of my friends are annoying. When I saw first ten minutes of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure I knew that it’s going to be long movie to watch.”

I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what “gay” has to do with Pee-Wee here. Maybe the cultural divide is so great that “behaves like a small child” translates overseas to “gay as a sparkly rainbow-coloured maypole”. Pee-Wee is a little flamboyant on occasion but that’s not really any reason to be uncomfortable. And yes I’m aware that some people in his country of origin tend to equate Pee-Wee with gay culture but this commentary seems awfully insensitive. And I’d bet glistonosz’s gay friends wouldn’t be too happy to see it either.

Moving on to user Amadeusrye’s review. In its entirety:

“This movie is just plain dumb. Tim Burton is my favorite director and most of his other films are excellent. He really needed practice when he did this one, though. There are a handful of funny scenes, but eventually Pee-Wee becomes too irritating to laugh at. My advice would be to skip this one and watch “Beetlejuice”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Ed Wood”, or “Sleepy Hollow” instead.”

Let’s be honest; there’s nothing wrong with people saying “I didn’t like this movie”. Amadeusrye thought the movie was stupid, and that’s fine. Let’s hope we’re all mature enough to handle differing opinions. However, this review is just plain bad. Okay, the reviewer did not like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. They thought it was “dumb”. But why? There is no explanation offered, other than that they found the Pee-Wee character to be irritating. That alone wouldn’t make it a terrible movie, surely? Plenty of movies I adore have irritating characters in them; their presence doesn’t destroy everything else. It doesn’t give the reader an idea of what the movie is about, nor does it tell them why the character is irritating. If I hadn’t seen the movie yet, this review wouldn’t guide me towards a decision, because I don’t know why the movie is apparently so “dumb”.

User loufalce’s review is not only unhelpful, however, it’s needlessly offensive. Entitled “Defines ‘Retarded'”, it goes thusly:

“A movie that I would never have watched on my own. I’m taking a history class of contemporary America-the 1970s to the 1990s, and part of the class is a discussion of cultural and entertainment trends of that timeline. My professor recommended this, so I had to go out and rent it. I’ll forgive him for that since I’m such a nice guy, but, that being said, I found this movie-and the Pee Wee character not only to be intelligence insulting and completely brain dead,but absolutely pathetically painful to watch. In a nutshell, Herman is the man-child living in his own fantasy world. When his bike gets stolen, he embarks on a cross country journey to find it- with utterly predictable results. Duh! I really can’t understand why Burton is considered to be a great director. Personally I find his films to be too self-indulgent and I can’t for the life of me understand why they are considered to be “art”. Anyway, if you get your jollies watching a grown man with a rubbery face in a gray suit and a bow-tie uttering inanities that a 6 year old would find to be lame, this movie is for you. Totally retarded in every sense of the word, this movie has absolutely nothing to recommend itself, but, if you do want to get a look of what very bad American film-making from a good era looked like, by all means go for it.I read somewhere that Paul Rubens intends to revive the Pee Wee character. PS this movie was relased some years before the Florida porn theater-masturbation incident that finished Ruben’s career. Nice character, huh?”

There’s so much wrong with it that I scarcely know where to begin. Fine, loufalce didn’t like it. He felt that Pee-Wee was “painful to watch”. Again, however, there’s very little explanation as to why he feels this way. Sure, there’s a word limit on IMDB, but more than enough space to actually talk about the damned movie. He makes an attack on the artistic integrity of Tim Burton without explaining that either. Then he arrogantly belittles the main character and any viewer who liked the movie in one line. He finishes the whole thing off with a startling insistence that Reubens is clearly Pee-Wee. Because when the actor is arrested, it means the character totally did the crime, too. This is the sort of review that is very difficult to take seriously unless you were already determined to hate the movie – and even then the end is far too loosely related to the character to justify hating the movie.

One can only hope that he didn’t include this in the discussion for his class. I’m not sure what “Reubens was arrested; that makes him evil” has to do with culture.

I think I’m done with this one for now; feel free to look around IMDb for the other bad reviews (or the good ones if you prefer). Next time I’ll post bad reviews about The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack. I’m sure my handful of occasional readers are so excited for that.

United States President Barack Obama got a cute, cuddly young doggy a while ago. If you’ve been tuned into the world lately, you probably already know that. You probably also know then that PeTA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, recently requested that Obama get Bo (a Portugese water dog) neutered, despite the fact that Bo was already neutered when the family received him.

Now, I have nothing against dogs being neutered. My shelter dog has been neutered. I do, however, have something against PeTA. They always criticise those who generally don’t talk back.

Remember Steve Irwin? Here’s what PeTA’s Dan Mathews had to say about his death:

“He made a career out of antagonising wild animals, which is a very dangerous message to send to kids. […] If you compare him with a responsible conservationist like Jacques Cousteau, he looks like a cheap reality TV star.”

No condolences, no well-wishes to a grieving family. Yes, I also think his death was most likely his own idiotic fault, but that doesn’t make it any less tragic.

And now they’re targeting Canada, widely stereotyped as a benign, peaceful place:

You can help end Canada’s annual war on seals by boycotting a product that is vital to the country’s economy: maple syrup. Canada produces approximately 85 percent of the world’s maple syrup, with the U.S. as its largest consumer, and by buying this Canadian product, you are supporting Canadian cruelty. By pledging to boycott Canadian maple syrup, you’ll be speaking up for baby seals in Canada, for whom life isn’t so sweet, and telling Canada that you won’t support its product until you can support its practices.

Um… You’ll be stopping their fur trade by not buying maple syrup? Something tells me that’s not going to work. It didn’t work the last time they pointed out the “ebilness” of the trade. I don’t like it either, but I’m still going to buy maple syrup.

But that’s not all. Ever noticed that they don’t criticise people like Vladimir Putin? Maybe it’s because he banned seal hunting in his own country, but I’m still amazed that when the Russian Prime Minister received a baby tiger for his birthday last year, they didn’t even bat an eyelid. Okay, he did say that he would have a good home found for her. As evil as many of us believe the guy is, it has to be said that he really loves his animals. But really, after Putin was reported to have shot a tiger (with a tranquiliser dart), possibly as a publicity stunt, I’m surprised they didn’t all grab their laptops and begin writing stupid threatening or demeaning letters to this guy. Not only that, but his country absolutely thrives in the fur trade. Look at all the cute silver foxes they make into adorable fur hats and coats.

And yet PeTA refuse to protest it. Maybe they understand how important the fur trade is to Russia and their bestest pal Putin. Or maybe they’re scared. You decide.

After a good long thought about this, I felt I had to continue to express my own feelings towards the whole Sexy Joker thing.

Someone once said to me in response that if Danny DeVito played the Joker, we wouldn’t be arguing about the sexiness of the Joker. No, no we wouldn’t. And do you know why? You wouldn’t fancy the purple pants off the psychotic killer clown.

You just wouldn’t. DeVito is incredibly talented, I agree. But he’s not really a “Joker” type, is he? Therefore, you’d probably be more disgusted than entranced. If you did happen to be entranced, I’d still be urging an answer as to why the hell you’d fancy someone who would much rather close the sofa bed with you still in it rather than make love to you on it. Why would you? My whole problem isn’t that you like Heath Ledger, because that I could understand, despite the fact that I didn’t find him attractive. My problem is that some really rabid fangirls continually make excuses for The Joker to show affection, therefore ruining his characterisation. The Joker did NOT show love towards Rachel – HE THREW HER OUT OF A BLOODY WINDOW! THEN he blew her up! He was going to cut her face up, just like he did to Gambol.

So tell me again where the love is? Because the only part of the film he seems to show any emotional dependence on anyone is when he tells Batman: “You complete me.”

I think I’ve done enough Harley Quinn promotion, too.

So there you go. If needs be, I’ll be back with another one of these. And now, The Joker gets his own category. I hope you’re satisfied.

As I expected, I got a LOT of backlash on that post. Surprisingly enough I got very little defence. My point, ladies, was that I don’t care if these girls have self-insert fiction (whether or not they admit that it is), really BAD fiction deserves to be kept secret. I’m sick of stories where “ZOMG! HE STOLEDED A SKOOLBUS DEN TIED MI 2 GASOLEEEEEN! LOLOL!”>_<

I’m going to take the comments I got and go through them, but first I want to make one thing clear: I have nothing against romance. Romance is fine. I’m aware that the Joker has a girl in canon – Harley Quinn (whom I love to bits). But she’s his only girl, and he has tried multiple times to kill her because he can’t handle such human feelings. He’s made her into a constellation, he tied her to a rocket, he was going to shoot her, he’s kicked her out of windows, he tortures her, pushes her around, hurts her, and this is all in the name of love. And very dangerous love, I might add.

On to the comments, now.

Brie said:
Hmm, I agree on the ‘not being able to change him’ part.
Nut that’s the point of fanfiction.
It’s fiction written by a fan.
If they want to make him mushy and vulnerable, that’s fine…it’s their choice because they’re writing it.

Fair points, I agree, but The Joker just isn’t vulnerable. As per my post “Hush: Chapter Seven: Just TOO Dark?” vulnerable!Joker is just a big NO. The Joker always puts up a fight and has fun with everything. When Rachel was ready to fight for her life, The Joker was ready to fight to take it from her. He’s not a vulnerable man. He’s manipulative, sneaky and vile; he is only ever mushy about Harley, and she’s not even safe from him.

In “The Killing Joke”, The Joker serves as an unreliable narrator in his flashbacks – he remembers a wife, Jeannie, with whom he was completely in love, and he lost her to a household accident. However he later confesses that he sometimes remembers what happened to him one way and sometimes another, and he’s comfortable with that. This means that possibly the Joker suffers from false memories – and so Jeannie may never have existed!

And sure, The Joker has gone through thousands of characterisations, but remind me; which one was vulnerable? Exclude Hush – we’ve been through that. It’s a little contradictory that you say “I agree on not being able to change him” and then defend the fangirls for doing exactly that.

I’m all for OCs, I’m even fine with self-inserts – but the majority are not well-written, especially within The Dark Knight fan-fiction. And that sours me towards the experience. Look at the following excerpt from an honest-to-goodness Joker/OC fan fiction, about a vampire who falls in love with, well… who else?:

“Shit she took some crack heads blood, that was high now she it too.”

“Huh crack where give me some!”

I started to jump up and down like an excited puppy.

“No you are going to bed now.”

He tossed me over his shoulder and carried me away to never never land. Hehe I would finally get to meet Peter Pan and the notorious Captain Hook and his weird beard. I felt myself be put into a bed. I was still giggling. I got quiet and went to sleep. I awoke to the sun coming in through the crack. It was very little but still. I sat up and realized that I was in my bed with Jokester. He was facing away from me. I went to climb over him to get out but he grabbed me and now I was lying on top of him.

I… I have no words here. What could make anyone think that this is okay? This story has good reviews, too. A lot of this story carries on in the same vein (no pun intended) as the above, with a lot of really odd (understatement) happenings and the Joker being incredibly OOC. It’s not fun or cute; it’s annoying, and the only reason stories like this get good reviews is because girls want to imagine that they are the Mary-Sue/self-insert.

Moving on:

Kat said:
“…I don’t entirely know what the appeal is, but I don’t see any harm in it. Beyond writing some fanfiction of questionable quality, it’s not hurting anyone. There’s a big difference between developing a crush on a fictional character who kills people and a man on death row who has killed people…”

I didn’t say it was harmful, but I’d like to be able to find a GOOD The Dark Knight fiction without being bombarded by “questionable” fan fiction about how much some crazy girl wants to boink The Joker.

Agreed on the big difference part, but some of these girls really don’t seem to know the difference. I have known girls to say “I know >real-life murderer whose name escapes me< is evil, but he’s kind of cute in a weird way… is that wrong?” Yes, really.

“..Also, the dude clearly has ISSUES. Young girls love a broken man with emotional problems. They like the idea of being the one to give him a hug and ease the pain. Some women do too. Heck, some men are also all about crazy ladies who will bring them nothing but grief…”

It doesn’t matter whether they are real or fictional, chances are neither are going to be magically cured of their issues with a hug and some hot chocolate. I admit to being the kind of woman who is attracted to a man with issues. But I’m attracted to psychology. I don’t want to hug the guy better, I want to analyse him. I want to take care of him, sure, but getting to the root of the problem solves much more than a teddy bear can. As a fictional character, The Joker completely fascinates me. There’s so much there that is carried forward onto the next incarnation, so much psychology within a character who murders for laughs. But I’m not sexually attracted to him. I’m not physically attracted. His mind gets me; the madness behind the method. And it infuriates me to no end when that psychology is destroyed. He’s suddeny got purpose, and it’s a pathetic one. He’s suddenly a simpering mess, no longer the Harlequin Of Hate. It gets to me.

“I say let them have their wicked way with him in the fanfiction world.”

I say so too – just keep it the hell outta my way.

And finally:

gypsywitchbarbara said:
“alright, “and here we…go!” Now im a grown up, hardly a teenage, who now has the most inspiring ( im a graphic novel author artist) the most erotic and the most downright obsessive crush on ledger’s joker.”

No offence, because you seem lovely, but age does not a grown-up make.

“Amidst drooling over the characters poweful alpa male agressive ness i noticed a real reason for ladies to fuel the female sexy joker fantasy with this particlar character in this particular movie. the scean where joker taunts and circles rachel at bruce waynes fundraiser,joker tell the story of his wife and how he loved her so damned much he sllced his own face to prove his wifes horrable disfigurement did not change his feelings for her. So ledger’s joker would have sex with you and quite possably might marry you. why not he did it once before? And he didnt kill his wife. So in context with the dark knight movie itself and direct dialouge from Ledger’s jokers character now you have a concreat foundation for female infatuation with this character. “

Grammar and spelling aside, there’s a lot wrong with the above paragraph.

The Joker actually had little aggression in The Dark Knight. Alpha-male type aggression is top-dog, obvious, Schwarzenegger-type aggression. The Joker is, for the most part, passive-aggressive, which is very different. Yes he’s the top, but in a sneaky fashion. He gets into the minds of those he gets to assist him (the schizophrenic Arkham inmate Thomas Schiff, for example), he completely twists people into becoming his little guinea pigs/minions. I mean, he doesn’t go on an all-out kill spree; each killing is calculated (Misters Harvey and Dent are examples).

As per “but he loved his wife!!!!!”, well… I’ve made the point already but it’s worth going through again. The Joker recounted a different story as well; that his father cut his mother up and then sliced the young Joker’s mouth open. It’s possible that when he was to tell Batman the story, it would have been another false memory. Maybe the Joker’s a compulsive liar? We don’t know, we probably never will.

He told Rachel she was beautiful – then proceeded to throw her out of a window. Oh yeah, really loving character you got there. While it’s possible that the Joker has been in love in the Nolanverse – accept that this Joker is not the same Joker as in the comics or earlier movies or TV shows – it’s also completely possible that he’s never been in love. And if he has, he was in love before he went stark-raving bonkers. It might never happen for him again.

(Note: “female” infatuation? Gay guys might like the Joker too…)

Ledger’s Joker was wonderful. I loved every minute. But I did not fall in love with him. I fail to see the attraction, I completely cannot see it. His mind is only on chaos – he’s positively obsessed with trying to prove that everyone has their dark side. He is completely enamoured with anarchy and disorder, he wants to see Gotham fall into a fit of violence and desperation. He is extremely intelligent and very manipulative. But a lover he isn’t. He didn’t have a girlfriend in the film, the only woman he targeted was Rachel and he tried to kill her twice in one scene, he didn’t angst over the wife he may have made up in his mind, so where is this sensitive!Joker coming from?

At the end of the day, by all means write your fictions, draw your art but please make it bearable at least. Especially in your fiction, because if I have to read another sickening “I’M THE JOKER I’M INSANE MWAHAHA I KILL YOU NOW PRETTY GIRL ONOZ I LOVE YOU” story I swear to whatever is up there I’ll be another step closer to putting smiles on a lot of people’s faces.

Now all I gotta do is wait for more people to contradict me :S It seems to happen a lot where Heath Ledger’s (and strangely only Heath Ledger’s) Joker is concerned.

I admit it; I am a Joker fan. The guy’s a genius! And brilliantly done in most every story (I was very impressed by The Dark Knight, but that’s a different review for another day).

However, I have to say, reading Hush, Chapter 7: The Joke, a few weeks back made me cringe.

Basically, Batman finds the spindly, chalkskinned clown hovering over the dead body of his friend Tommy Elliot. Now he’s ready to murder him with his bare hands, and most of this chapter is spent with Batman’s odd little thought-squares hovering over images of a bloodied and whimpering Joker, who by about the third or fourth panel has at least three teeth missing.

The Joker takes a nasty beating at the hands of the Caped Crusader

The Joker takes a nasty beating at the hands of the Caped Crusader

I can only imagine that whoever wrote the story (I believe it was actually Jeph Loeb) really has it in for the Joker. Where’s the fight? The Joker normally has a good few tricks up his sleeve or a fiesty punch in him but in this chapter, he falls to the ground like a wind-battered straw-house. The only resilience he shows is in the fact that he isn’t dead by the time the chapter concludes, and by all rights and means he should be.

In fact, Loeb hates the Joker so much that, as if being thrown to the ground in a wet alleyway to be choked to death after about a million hooks and uppercuts wasn’t pain and humiliation enough, Harley Quinn takes a swing at Batman with a massive mallet, misses, and presumably crushes her “puddin'”s wrist. I mean ow!

The end of the chapter pretty much sees the Clown Prince of Crime, terrified, curled into a foetal position pleading “I’m innocent!”. What happened to him? He acts like he’s never been kicked around by Batman before!

This is a horrible piece of fiction. I’m all for Batman giving the Joker a good kicking (the man IS a psychopath) but this whole chapter is uncalled for! At one point, The Joker does manage to get away, but ruins it by being unable to keep his trap shut, running through the alleyways screaming “HELP! MADMAN!” and one Godawful pun. Ugh. What happened to my favourite villain?

When Batman catches up to him, he pins him down again and Joker doesn’t even try to defend himself. Instead of being the psychopathic killer he’s supposed to be, he whimpers like a girl and allows the oversized bat to continue in his blood-lust fuelled rage. He’s terrified, he’s going to die, and worst of all, he really is innocent.

Thankfully Commissioner Gordon steps in and shoots at Batman, grazing him, but ultimately, Batman gets up and rethinks the situation while the Joker, who by now has lost more blood than the NHS gets donated to them in a year, lies in a pool of the aforementioned liquid, whispering his innocence in a frail voice. GAH!

The Clown Prince of Crime reduced to a bloody, shattered lump

The Clown Prince of Crime reduced to a bloody, shattered lump

I know the Joker has had several different characterisations before, but he should never be this vulnerable. Okay, I know, different writer, different characterisation but my God, at least he was interesting before.

He has spirit, he’s a capable fighter, he’s very intelligent and always has a trick or two up his sleeve, and yet can’t defend himself against the caped crusader on the rampage? Hell, he’s probably killed thousands and yet just lies there and allows Batman to nearly kill him?

Okay, I get that he’s OMG!evil, and I understand that Batman has just been pushed that bit too far, but the Joker is not this weak, he never has been. The entire story made me cringe, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m pretty appalled by the fact that the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, simply lies down, rolls over and takes every last punch. I don’t know, maybe he’s never been punched quite so hard, but the fact still remains that he can defend himself. I just can’t fathom why he didn’t.

Anyone else dislike this one as much as me? Or am I alone here?

Heath Ledger, deity of sorts rest his soul, has posthumously let loose a tornado of love-goggled fangirls and their fantasies, the type we really don’t need to hear, the type that are normally of the same ilk as the following:

“And the Joker held her tight, in a very out-of-character way, whispering sweet nothings, his mind for once not on killing everything…”

or

“I’m really really in love with the Joker, despite the fact that he’s a serial killer, but when I finally gt him, I’m not so dedicated anymore because things didn’t go the way they did in my head”

or

“The Joker is just a vulnerable sweetheart, really, I want to be the person he can turn to, the person who he can open up to.”

Girls, seriously, the last thing the Joker is likely to do is open up to you. Open you up perhaps.

When the Joker was Jack Nicholson you didn’t see quite as much of this pseudo-psychological romantic drivel. I agree there probably were some, but not as much as now.

I haven’t yet seen The Dark Knight, though I’m planning on it. But from what I’ve seen, liking the Joker is justifiable. He’s obviously well-acted, and chillingly terrific, so yeah, I can see why you’d like the villain; after all, we like to be thrilled by their screen presence.

However, how can you fall in love with a man whose idea of a first date is torture? A man who’d rather kill you in the most insane ways than kiss you?

There is so much bad fiction waiting to be spewed on the internet like so much undigested green eggs and ham, but please, I beg you, if your OC is a girl (or guy, even) much like yourself who ends up in a romantic tryst with The Joker, reconsider. And reconsider the character of The Joker! The Joker is not likely to let you go, even if he’s playing mind games with you. He likes killing people, it’s something he does, he’s not likely to make an exception for a 15/16/17 year old girl, matured beyond her years or not.

You WON’T be the one to change him. Not even if you insist to him that love is a healing force, not even if you randomly snog his face off while he’s trying to slash your face to bits, not even if you’re Miss World Psychology 2008.

Lets be realistic, girls, being in love with The Joker is kind of like being in love with Charles Manson. It’s a little like saying “Ted Bundy did some pretty screwed-up crap, but boy was he hot!”.

Okay, so the Joker isn’t real, but if he were, he’s not going to want the love of a teenaged fangirl. Most likely he’d find it irritating and easily fly into a murderous rage.

I guess my point here is, sure, it’s still okay to adore Heath Ledger. I had a bit of a thing for DeForest Kelley at one point, and he’s been dead for some time. But my God, The Joker is a maniacal psychopath, it’s not about bondage and leather, it’s about switchblades and rockets and deadly weaponry. I mean really; you cannot change a person if they don’t want to change. After seeing anything Batman related, do you really think he wants to?

Related posts:

Re: Comments on Twisted Romance…
Re: The Joker’s Virtual Harem [Rhonda Leigh Jones]
“If The Joker Were Played By Danny DeVito, We Wouldn’t Be Having This Discussion!”

Since no man can possibly write about news AFTER his death (although, there was the rather dubious posthumous Alexander Litvinenko post in the papers not long after HIS death), I can only assume that Mr Nekrasov’s latest post on www.robertamsterdam.com means that the director is indeed alive and well.

In his post, Mr Nekrasov writes about Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case (which opened May 23rd in London… sadly I’m a Scottish student and was unable to attend) and of his beloved Russia.

I like reading Mr Nekrasov’s writing; it is obviously the writing of someone who dies a little inside as his country, his motherland, grows that bit more corrupt. Bear with me as I write this; it sounds like I’m being cruel.

But passionate people are those who make the world that little bit more bearable. Passionate people are those I can relate to and hold close to my heart. I am not passionate about my own country – I am proud of my heritage, of course. The reason I am not passionate about my own country or the United Kingdom in which it is situated is this; we are all corrupt. We have allowed ourselves to become increasingly American, not to mention greedy and ignorant. Religious holidays lose their meaning (of course, who doesn’t like a Christmas dinner where the meaning is “togetherness”?) and kids are more determined to destroy museums rather than appreciate them.

I am embarrassed to live in a country whose football fans cannot control themselves after a loss (you know who I’m talking about), even more so to live in a place in which the intelligent and passionate, the creative minds, are thought of as less than the sportsmen or the idiot with a gun.

I admit I look up to Mr Nekrasov. He deserves recognition for his outspokenness, a bravery which, ultimately, could spell his demise.

All of us who are outspoken could be killed for believing what we believe. From the extreme such as Alexander Litvinenko to the ordinary tragedy such as Sophie Lancaster, the Goth girl who was murdered for simply dressing differently.

The world we live in sucks, but people who stand up for what they believe in nonetheless make it better. (Of course, it tends to depends on what they believe in/are passionate about!)

Read Mr Nekrasov’s latest writing here: http://www.robertamsterdam.com/2008/05/andrei_nekrasov_a_letter_from.htm



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  • HoistTheColours: Dear author, I full-heartedly and absolutely agree with your above statements. I just thought I would let you know, since I don't quite understand w
  • richclark: I covered this in my blog too. Found your post on one of Wordpress' random (associated posts). Has Ask really made the impact it needed to from
  • The Lilac Pilgrim: I couldn't go anywhere without someone mentioning it. It was incredibly obvious and yet people were still arguing about it. Absolutely ridiculous.