Maybe it's something in the stars. Maybe the turn of the seasons, and the first signs of proper spring weather have made people friskier than usual. Maybe there's something in the water. Or maybe years of exposure to bad media have finally, irrevocably cracked the collective global brain. But if this week was marked out by any one thing, it was by masses, absolute steaming shitheaps, of FAIL. FAIL everywhere you look: here a FAIL, there a FAIL, everywhere a FAIL-FAIL. Want examples?
Well, for starters, there was the UK Government report which decided that it's apparently alright for teachers to be members of the fash. What a load of cock. The BNP are scum, usually with lists of criminal convictions as long as your arm, and they operate a policy of trying to intimidate people out of opposing them. I don't have kids; but if I did, I wouldn't want BNP members anywhere near them. Schools have a duty to help kids develop a sense of citizenship as members of a multicultural society, and the BNP are actively against that. As well as being actively against trans people, gay people, disabled people, and the existence of rape as a concept. If you hold views like that, you shouldn't be in schools. In fact, you shouldn't be in society. You should be in the woods, dangling from a tree with your own shit running down your legs while birds piss in your eyeballs. And that's what I think when I'm in a forgiving mood.
What else happened in the world of FAIL this week? Well, Lady Gaga finally put the kibosh on the rumours that she's (yawn) 'actually a man', and, ironically enough, did so in a manner which completely sucks up to THE man. It's okay, everyone! She doesn't have a dick after all! Lad-mag readers: you may now masturbate yourself safely into scrotal oblivion untroubled by complex thoughts about gender and sexuality! Rejoice! Let joy be unconfined! Whatever. I still like the tunes, but as far as the really cool kids are concerned, the Gaga moment is now over. She belongs to the people who drink in Wetherspoons now. She's dead to us.
(Oddly enough it was something of a week for the intersection between trans issues and annoying little pop-waifs. An entity that calls herself Kesha has been sharing her 'appreciation' of trans women with media outlets for...well, some reason or other. It's unfortunate that she seems to have confused trans women with drag queens in her description, but I suppose her heart is sort of in the right place and it's nice to see someone in the media saying something positive. Still, though. Category error is a form of FAIL.)
But the top FAIL of this week has to be the ludicrously disproportionate response of some big beasts of UK poetry to Todd Swift's complaints regarding the editorial selections for Roddy Lumsden's poetry anthology Identity Parade. I'm not entirely sure I agree with Swift regarding Lumsden's decisions, but I can respect the fact that, unlike some toilers in the poetic vineyard, he isn't afraid to put his career on the line by fronting up to the big boys. Said big boys did not exactly cover themselves in glory with their responses: Lumsden felt so confident in his selection that he called in a pal to deep-six Swift's impending review of the anthology, and Bloodaxe head honcho Neil Astley took to ripping the piss out of Swift on his Facebook page like a fourteen-year-old girl making an especially inept attempt at cyberbullying. Nice work, fellas. You've really countered the view of the UK poetry scene as cliquey, tribalist and backstabbing. FAIL.
And that was the week in FAIL. Now, here's Bill with the weather...