Russell Brand explains to Guardian readers the circumstances under which he was ejected from the GQ fashion awards after giving a speech about sponsor Hugo Boss's connection to the Nazis. It's a pretty much perfect example of gonzo writing: over the top, acerbic, witty, and funny -- but with a serious point that's made all the better for the loony style.
Read the rest
Comedian and national treasure Stephen Fry has written an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the International Olympic Committee calling on them to move the upcoming Winter Olympics from Russia to another country, specifically, any country in which homosexuality is not criminalized and LGBT people are not violently scapegoated as they are in Russia. Vladimir Putin recently rammed through legislation that bans being gay, talking about being gay, or advocating for the rights of LGBT people, and violent gangs routinely and savagely attack LGBT people, with impunity. Vicious practices like "corrective rape" and murder are ignored by the police. Fry compares bringing the Olympics to Russia in 2014 to cowardice that led to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which legitimized Hitler and the Nazis on the global stage.
Read the rest
Niall de Buitlear sez,
A member of Athlone Town Council is trying to have a state-owned piece of art removed from a public art gallery.
The artwork by Shane Cullen features transcripts of messages smuggled in and out of the Long Kesh Prison by members of the IRA in the late 70s and early 80s. The work is part of the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and was made in the mid 90s.
Cllr Mark Cooney, of the main government party Fine Gael, tabled a motion calling for the removal of the work from the Luan Gallery, Athlone. Cllr Cooney, compared the work to a piece glorifying Hitler "extolling the merits of exterminating the Jewish population". Cllr Gabrielle McFadden also of Fine Gael supported Cllr Cooney saying that public galleries should not show politically contentious art.
Independent Cllr Sheila Buckley Byrne suggested the matter be referred to the board of Athlone Art and Heritage of which she and at least one other Councillor are members. The Councillors voted in favour of this proposal.
Attempt to Remove Artwork from Luan Gallery, Athlone
Afraid of the Knock on the Door sez, "An old age pensioner, living in a residential care home, received a visit from the Scottish police plain clothes division following his letter to a local newspaper in connection with the Olympics due to be held in London this summer.
He wrote about the connection of the torch relay with Germany in the 1930s.
Mr Coull said: ''It was invented by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, to please his boss Adolf. Hitler loved the idea of the relay, and the connection with pagan mythology in ancient Greece, emphasising the Aryan nature of the games.''
The pensioner, who completed a history degree at Dundee University in his late 50s, said in his letter that he would be ''there to protest this fascist display'' on the Angus leg of the relay.
A few days after the letter appeared, Mr Coull and wife Keri received the surprise CID visit...
''I asked if protest was now illegal. They said no, it isn't, but there will be lots of folk out to cheer the Olympic torch, and we wouldn't want you to get hurt by them, or vice versa. I think they were a bit nonplussed that both myself and Keri were laughing so much. I assured them that I had no intention of hurting anybody.''
'I started laughing, and kept on laughing' — Olympic torch protester gets a police visit