Banter – A Non-Malicious Two-Way Street

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You probably hear the word banter bandied around often and in so many cases that you lose count of, it doesn’t seem to be banter. Banter is a non-malicious two-way street. Often we see this isn’t incorporated into situations where one friend is in a particular minority group and the other friend is from a particular majority group. This blog post is not about people who have a non-pc, close to the bone sense of humour and banter. It’s about people who make jokes about a certain aspect of someone and that aspect of themselves they can’t take the piss out of. For example if a girl and a guy are mates it is banter and meant in a fun, non-malicious way when the guy says, ‘The woman’s place is in the home and with all life’s gentle stuff’ if they can equally joke about themself being a ‘guy who works because being a man I’m emotionally repressed.’ And if she is joking about herself as a woman and him as a man then it’s humour. It’s not humour if it’s a one-way street under any circumstances. Ever.

 

I have heard both sides of this debate and I fall more in the middle with my thoughts on it. Sometimes I have a bit of non-pc humour and then certain relationships you have kind of demand you to step it up in that regard because the other person would have that humour. But for the most part it isn’t really a huge part of my humour or my banter. I’d be more a mimic but I don’t mind mimicing myself either or others mimicing me. It’s all in fun. But on one side of this debate, you have people who say under no circumstances should certain things be joked about. I disagree with that because if it’s genuinely meant in humour, it’s not meant to hurt anybody. It also shows up the stupidness of the comments themselves. Kind of like good satire. And also when someone takes the piss out of you a lot, it’s generally because they like you and they feel comfortable with you. The other side of the debate is that people are too sensitive and don’t know how to take a joke. I also disagree with this. This is very often said by people in majority groups who don’t like jokes being made in that aspect about themselves. They may or may not mind people making jokes about them in other aspects but they think that aspect of themselves is protected from the humour mill. Like for example two mates going to a gay bar, one straight lad, one gay lad. The straight lad says, ‘I’ll have to watch my arse with all you gay lads here tonight.’ and the gay lad says, ‘All the lesbians will have to watch their arses with you around.’ and the straight lad replies with no hint of a smile, ‘I’m not a pervert.’ Now in a situation like that, one would have to wonder if the straight lad meant his own first sentence as a joke which was apparently a joke in the first place. If the straight lad takes the gay lad’s joke as a joke then it’s all mutual banter between the two of them.

 

I think that is the problem at the heart of all this. It’s not necessarily the things that are said but the intention behind them. But the intention becomes questionable when someone gets defensive about a joke being made the opposite way around.

 

Obviously there are exceptions to this with non-pc jokes or any jokes really. If someone has had a bad experience with certain words or situations such as being bullied in the past about who they were in whatever aspect it is, a good friend won’t open that wound in a person. After all, however hard they try they might not see the person saying it now but the person or people who said these things in the past and who said them from a very different perspective. Often it is people who are in minority groups who have had bad experiences like this but it can occasionally happen the other way as well. A good friend would respect this and would know a joke isn’t worth bringing up very hurtful memories to a person over. We all have scars and if someone isn’t comfortable with you scratching at those scars, it’s not really cool to do so.

 

 

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Woman Racially Abused On Ryanair Flight By Man

 

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I was utterly disgusted by the conduct of passenger David Mesher recently on a Ryanair flight when he racially abused fellow passenger Delsie Gayle just before a flight from Barcelona for Stansted Airport on October 19th.

 

In the vile rant, Mesher, who is white, called Gayle, who is a person of color, “an ugly black bastard” as he was disgruntled that she didn’t move fast enough for him to pass into his seat. He also rambled in his rant by saying,

“Don’t talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid cow. If you don’t go to another seat, I’ll put you in another seat.”

The ugly incident was filmed by fellow passenger David Lawrence. The footage shows Gayle’s daughter Carol Gayle defending her mother and showed another fellow passenger intervening and saying to Mesher that there was no need for his racial conduct.

In the aftermath of the incident, the police in Spain and England have investigated the incident and have spoken to Mesher. He has also said,

“I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up. I’m not a racist person by any means and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, I think. I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.”

But Gayle has refused his apology saying,

“It’s going to take a long time for me to accept his apology and everything, because I feel very low and degraded for him to call me those names. It’s going to take a long time for me to get over it. I didn’t look at it (the interview on This Morning) because I was crying.”

Her daughter said,

“I’m not going to say anything at the moment because we’ve only just seen ‘This Morning’ – it’s still a lot to take in.”

 

It is awful to see the abuse that Delsie Gayle has went through. I’m just very glad it was caught on camera because otherwise there would be no proof of the incident and nothing would probably be done. I think it’s a disgrace that he was left on the flight. He should have been removed. It is terrible that this discrimination and abuse is still going on and Mesher’s apology is pretty pathetic. When losing your temper, race doesn’t even come into it unless you are racist and he was extremely aggressive too. It is the easiest thing in the world to say you aren’t racist after displaying racist conduct. If you truly aren’t racist, or at the very least certain things in your make-up aren’t or currently aren’t from a racist place, you wouldn’t act in a racist way.

I find it very heartbreaking hearing the pain this incident has caused to Delsie Gayle and it is important to remember that our words can hurt people. Is that the kind of people we are? Do we really want to go out of our way to hurt other people?

 

 

The Double Standards Of Political Correctness

 

 

I have a problem with the term Politically correct. Mainly because it’s always used when somebody shows ordinary decent respect for people from minority groups. But when someone shows the same ordinary decent respect for people from majority groups when does anyone ever say they are being Politically correct for doing so?

 

This kind of attitude shows to me a deeper problem with certain parts of society. Many seem to take it as a given that people should treat everyone in majority groups with complete respect. Yet see it as debatable whether that same complete respect should be given to people in minority groups. As humans, we’re all equal so the way I see it is that it has to be one way or the other. If I’m being Politically correct for example when I call a transgender woman she then surely I’m being Politically correct when I call a cisgender woman she. But is anyone going to say that I’m Politically correct in the second situation?

 

Taking myself as an example and various parts of who I am. Many wouldn’t say it was Politically correct for someone to be respectful towards me for being white and cisgender but they would say someone was being Politically correct for being respectful towards me for being female or pansexual. And that leaves you wondering, what does that mean exactly? That minority groups are so unlikable that to show ordinary decent respect would have to be Political correctness? That it couldn’t god forbid, be sincere?

 

I’m a very big believer in freedom of speech. But I think the way people talk about freedom of speech nowadays is very misleading. Everyone who seems to speak about it seems to parrot the same thing about how freedom of speech is being took away from people who want to have negative opinions about minority groups and I can’t take that argument seriously if they never say they believe in it for people to have negative opinions about majority groups. They say they want debates on whether minority groups live right. When do they ever say let’s have debates on whether majority groups live right? These people to me want freedom of speech and protection all in one go and they don’t seem to want people in minority groups to have either. So while I’m all for freedom of speech I think majority groups should be just as fair game to be spoken about negatively just like everybody else.

Please Help Gerber – A Sweet, Little Cat Who Needs Your Help Urgently

 

 

 

Gerber, a sweet little Persian cat, needs your help. The story of this adorable cat has completely captured my heart. Gerber is severely dehydrated  and in urgent need of ongoing fluids and medicine injections to keep him alive. His owner Wendi Bear rescued him from a shelter five months ago when Gerber’s previous owner passed away. The shelter told Bear that Gerber needed special urinary food to keep him healthy at the time but recently Gerber stopped eating regularly. In response to his lack of eating, Bear took him to a vet who said he should be put on a new brand of food. But this didn’t help Gerber. His owner then took him to another vet who said Gerber should already have being on fluids. The hospital stay was too expensive however.

Gerber might not make a full recovery but funds are urgently needed to keep him alive. His owner who affectionately calls him Gerby says that he is “a gentle soul who loves nothing more than lying in the morning sun and purring under the touch of a soft hand.” And he certainly looks like a little sweetheart in his photographs.

Earlier today I donated to the campaign on the Go Fund Me website and I urge and beg you all to do the same if you can. Anything you can spare I’m sure will be very much appreciated. If you are not in a financial position to donate at present please share Gerber’s story far and wide. Any of us who have had pets in our lives who we loved know how enriching they are to our lives and how special and loving our friends, because that’s what are pets are, are. Please do what you can. Let’s all band together and help little Gerber. Please don’t stand by and do nothing. He needs our help. Stand with Gerber whatever way you can today.

To donate or share Gerber’s campaign go to:

https://www.gofundme.com/gerby

 

Top Seven Highlights From Comic Relief 2015!

A brilliant night of comedy and most importantly charity fundraising. The annual Comic Relief extravaganza, which was started by comedian Lenny Henry and comedy writer Richard Curtis in 1985, had another wonderful night filled with music and sketches and lots of fun. Let’s take a look at seven highlights from this important, prestigious night:

Sam Smith & John Legend’s Performance and Music Video

The two of these artists have such incredible, powerful and emotive voices and they sound amazing on the official Comic Relief song for 2015 Lay Me Down, a duet of Sam’s song.

National Treasure Sketch

Staring Stephen Fry, Sheridan Smith and Miranda Hart as the judges of who should be added as a national treasure and starring stars such as David Walliams, David Gandy, Cheryl Cole, Russell Brand, Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher who eventually was the new national treasure as well as Ronnie Corbert this sketch was so funny. Really well-written and very imaginative. Loved it.

James Bond Sketch

Starring stars such as Ben Whishaw, Alan Carr, Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts, the Bond Sketch was full of humour.

David Walliams’ Kissathon & His & Davina McCaul’s Smooching Session With Orlando Bloom

David Walliams broke the kissathon World Record. Also David & Davina McCaul kissed Orlando Bloom who made a surprise appearance as well.

Little Britain Sketch

Stephen Hawking and Catherine Tate joined David Walliams for this year’s Little Britain sketch. The graphics, one word: Amazing! This sketch was very original and fab.

Cassidy & Natalie Win The People’s Strictly

Cassidy Little is so amazing and he and Natalie Lowe danced this Paso to perfection. Well-deserved win.

Victoria Wood Wins Comic Relief’s Bake-Off

Beating off competition from the other finalists Gok Wan, Jennifer Saunders and Michael Sheen, Victoria Wood took the honours in the Comic Relief’s Bake-Off.

Currently £78,082,988 has been raised in funds.

To Help go to:

https://secure.donate.comicrelief.com/

Graham Jones’ Davin Brings Suicide To The Fore For World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and a very important film called Davin was released in advance of today. Directed by Irish director Graham Jones, the film is about the death by suicide of an Irishman Davin and how his loved ones deal with his death by suicide.

Jones says:

“It’s a great idea to have a specific date every year when the issue of suicide is highlighted. However, sometimes it feels as if the day just comes and goes without enough attention from those of us outside the support services. This small indie movie is a humble attempt as filmmakers, actors and musicians to send a message to anyone who may be at risk of entering this emotional space. You are not alone.”

I am very proud that an Irish director has created a film with such depth and meaning. It is very important that suicide and depression are spoken about in a world where these parts of life are still seen as a stigma by many people leaving a lot of people feeling isolated and alone.

It is an incredibly thought-provoking script and each of the cast are wonderful in it. It is a realistic script and a very brave film to make and the dialogue is very moving. The way that the film is told from the characters’ perspectives drives the emotive and powerful force of the script and helps to hammer it’s vital message home. It adds a human face to suicide and depression which is very important.

You can view the film here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtElIIJ1YuI&feature=youtu.be

Towie’s Harry Derbidge Speaks Out About Anorexia!

Recently I read about The Only Way Is Essex star Harry Derbidge talk about his struggles in his battle with anorexia. It didn’t surprise me because I went through a mild version of anorexia myself and when you do you tend to see the possible signs even though you are only reading about a person in the press. I think he is incredibly brave to talk about it, especially been so young. It’s a major issue to put yourself out there and talk about after all.

Derbidge (20) told Now Magazine,

“I’ve suffered with an eating disorder from a very young age. I was probably anorexic and didn’t know it. That’s how bad it was. I was always OCD about my food. I was so fussy, I couldn’t stand how it looked or smelt. My poor mum had to separate the food at dinner time – she put chips on one plate and the peas on another. I remember gagging, like I was doing a bushtucker trial.”

He says that he realised at 14 that he “had a problem with food.” and says that his mother Karen sent him to a doctor because she was so worried. There the doctor weighed Harry. His weight was 7 and a half stone.

“An average boy should be around 10-12st and I’m 5ft 10in. My chest was just bone.”, Harry said.

He admitted that at this time he “used to cry himself to sleep, just cry and cry and cry. I was very ill. I’d have hunger pains but I used to work through them.”

Speaking about how long he has went without food Harry admitted,

“I once went two days without food.”

He also admitted,

“I’d eat my dinners but whatever I didn’t like the smell or taste of I’d hide behind my tongue. During the meal I’d say I wasn’t feeling well and needed the toilet. I’d throw it all down the toilet from behind my tongue, especially meat, like steak or lamb.”

The reality TV star admitted that he always hated how he looked saying,

“I’ve always hated my look – gaunt and skinny. I remember crying when I looked in the mirror.”

And admitted that it affected his self-esteem,

“I didn’t like myself at the time. Everyone was talking about my weight issues and people made jokes about me. It was so hurtful. I had people saying: ‘Ooh, you gay boy, you skinny twerp.’ But it made me stronger.”

Asked whether it affected his relationships he replied,

“I’m not desperate to have a relationship. At 18 or 19 I remember panicking about even walking into a club as I wasn’t sure of myself. It was so hard.”

He told how he went to a doctor a year and a half ago who weighed him and told him that he was near anorexia. The doctor told him that if he didn’t do something about it he would end up in a clinic.

“That was the moment I was lowest of the low, being told that I might have to be force-fed through a tube.”

Family and friends have been a huge source of support for Harry during this difficult time,

“Amy’s always been there for me. She’s so supportive. And my mum’s the best. I don’t think I would’ve recovered without support from my family. The only people who knew about it were my best friends Sam Faiers, Amy and my mum. I remember going to dinner and they’d help me through it and not try to push me. I’ve been lucky.”

Talking about why he decided to talk to Now about what he had and was going through Harry said,

“Because I feel better for it. If I can help one person, that means a lot. Also you don’t really hear of a male anorexic-it’s very rare. Boys generally love their food.”

Speaking about whether his ex boyfriend fellow The Only Way Is Essex star Bobby Cole Norris knew about what he was going through Harry said,

“He didn’t really know about it. He met me while I was recovering.”

The former couple broke up recently after Bobby found out that Harry had cheated on him with his ex but Harry says,

“I’m single at the moment. We’re not together but we both love each other. What will be will be.”

Harry says that he is now “much better but it’s a long process” and said that he hopes people with an eating disorder will “get help immediately-go to your doctor.”

For help and information go to to:

Eating Disorders Charity Beat:

b-eat.co.uk or call 0845 6341414