Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Take a stand!

Hurrah! With consummate timing, seventeen-year old footballer Jake Daniels has become the first out-gay male professional player in the UK, in a traditionally less-than tolerant sport - right on time for the International Day Against Homophobia (and bi- and trans- these days)!

If only other sports would follow suit (although the Olympics seems to be increasingly seen as a safe environment in which to come out in public) - and, for that matter, the world's organised religions, regimes and political bodies!.

From a statement to mark this annual event by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today:

...Thanks to the arduous work of LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders, we have seen many positive changes around the world: decriminalization of consensual same-sex relations, the adoption of laws protecting LGBTIQ+ persons from discrimination, recognition of the gender identity of trans persons, marriage equality, and measures to combat hate crimes, harmful practices and advance social and economic inclusion.

LGBTIQ+ people are entitled to the equal respect for their dignity and equal respect, protection and fulfilment of their fundamental human rights, just like everyone else.

And yet, widespread violations continue: killings, torture, sexual violence, criminalization, arbitrary detention. Harmful practices such as “conversion” therapy, forced sterilization, surgery and treatment on trans and intersex people, degrading examinations. Widespread stigma, harassment, bullying and discrimination at work, at home, in education, health, housing, sports and access to public services. And the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have only exacerbated exclusion and inequality.

Despite advances, consensual same-sex relations are still criminalized in close to 70 countries. Only one out of three countries legally protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, only one out of ten protect people based on gender identity, and only a handful based on sex characteristics.

I am concerned by continued harassment against LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders, discriminatory restrictions on freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and new proposed discriminatory measures in a number of countries, including some that specifically target trans people.

I urge States to act swiftly to repeal discriminatory laws, prohibit harmful practices, including in medical settings, combat hate crime and violence, adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination laws and policies, legally recognise the gender identity of trans persons based on self-identification, recognise same-sex couples, and protect LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders.

Tackling these issues does not just require changes in laws and policies – it also requires greater acceptance, support and celebration of LGBTIQ+ persons by everyone in society, including within the family...

...The United Nations will continue to stand up for the human rights of everyone, including LGBTIQ+ people – today and every day.

For a full list of countries that hate us and discriminate against us, check Wikipedia.

And to each and every one of the bastards, here's our "Anthem for the Day"!

Look inside
Look inside your tiny mind
Now look a bit harder
'Cause we're so uninspired, so sick and tired of all the hatred you harbour

So you say
It's not okay to be gay
Well I think you're just evil
You're just some racist who can't tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate
And it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

Do you get
Do you get a little kick out of being slow-minded?
You want to be like your father
It's approval you're after
Well that's not how you find it

Do you
Do you really enjoy living a life that's so hateful?
'Cause there's a hole where your soul should be
You're losing control of it and it's really distasteful

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate and it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you,
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you,
Fuck you

You say, you think we need to go to war
Well you're already in one,
'Cause its people like you
That need to get slew
No one wants your opinion

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate and it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you


Speaking of "fucking"...


click to embiggen

...Happy Birthday, Baby Steve!

Monday, 16 May 2022

We want a balcón de la sol!

After the complete madness of Saturday's Eurovision party, I was hoping for a sunny Sunday to relax and potter in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, but no - the weather changed to showery, humid greyness, and it's the same today.

How appropriate. "Greyness" is generally my Monday mood, anyhow. At least I have only one more week of toil in work to go, as we jet off again to Spain on Saturday. Whoo-hoo!

On this Tacky Music Monday, what better way to start the countdown to a much-needed holiday than with a touch of vintage Spanish campery, courtesy of Señorita Lola Flores?!

¡Que tengas una buena semana, querida lectora!

Sunday, 15 May 2022

I'm up in space, man

Wow.

For the first time in years, we have no need for our usual retort ”We wuz robbed!” For, at last night's Eurovision Song Contest, we most certainly were not...

It was a fabulous feeling in any circumstance to be hosting our first traditional glittering Eurovision party for two years! "Our gang" - the Madam and I, Hils, Crog, Baby Steve, Houseboy Alex, John-John, Sal, Lou, Russ and Joe - all dutifully "dressed for the occasion" [I nominate countries to guests, based upon John-John's analysis - he watched the semi-finals so we don't have to - one country for costume/flag, one for food and one for booze]:

John-John in particular pulled out all the stops, representing Sweden with his inspired "Regretta Turdberg" [Greta Thunberg], complete with scowl, dummy, squeaky teddy-bear and child-like badge...

We knew from the outset that with the current model of 50-50 jury versus popular phone-in voting, it would be a foregone conclusion that Ukraine would win it (their song, in any other situation, would not have been strong enough to get close):

However, we studiously sat through every song, whooping and hollering (and grumbling and moaning in turn) as the typical mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly performed (allocating marks for each on our scorecards as we went)...

Our "scores on the doors"? Here's our Top 5, in ascending order:

5 - a class act with a "Bassey-esque" choon:

4 - a rather clever, and catchy, meld of North African-style folk with some techno beats:

3 - a very jolly bop that bears more than a passing resemblance to an old fave from Ukraine by Verka Serduchka:

2 - had Sam Ryder not been so good, this utterly insane and irresistibly catchy number [Dailymotion video link here in case the YouTube one is restricted] would definitely have scored top in our house votes:

1 - contrary to my original judgement of it, the UK's entry [DM video link here, as above] has been a significant "earworm" for several weeks now - it's the most accomplished song and performer we have had for years:

Also rather popular was the camp totty from Romania:

Honourable mentions also went to Ukraine (of course), and Spain:

...this incredible performance from the Australian entry:

...and this slice of madness from Serbia:

The hosts in Turin Alessandro Cattelan, Laura Pausini and house fave Mika did the usual job of holding things together, while irritating the audience at the same time - although it was fab to see and hear Mika perform a selection of his hits (while balanced precariously on a tiny podium high above the stage). They were often the butt of the UK's regular host Graham Norton's sarcastic jibes, which made it more entertaining than it would otherwise have been, of course.

However, it was the voting results were were waiting for and, well - you can imagine the screaming, shouting and cheering from the palatial ballroom here at Dolores Delargo Towers as juries from country after country awarded the UK high scores.

We even got douze points from Belgium, Georgia, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Azerbaijan - and Ukraine!

I imagine our neighbours thought there was a riot going on - especially when we ended up top of the leader-board!


[click any photo to embiggen]

Of course, this was followed by the long and deliberately-drawn-out roll-call of phone votes (where all the ex-pats usually swing the table from Western European performers to Eastern Europe) - nail-biting in the extreme - and, most amazing of all, "our boy" landed sufficient public support to come second to the Ukrainian avalanche...

Our best performance since 2007 (when Jade Ewen came in 5th place - a contest we actually missed because were were in Spain at the time) - and a "moral victory" in any circumstances!

Same time, same place next year? I think so!

Saturday, 14 May 2022

¡Azucar!

Having spent several hours getting Dolores Delargo Towers in a fit state to welcome visitors for our Eurovision party, it's time for a breather before I carry on sticking flags up, and then it's just the buffet to lay out... Phew!

All this on the sunniest and warmest day so far this year! Sigh.

Which reminds me - it's a double-header of excitement today, dear reader. Not only the Eurovision Song Contest final tonight - but it's exactly one week 'till we will be in our beloved Benalmadena again! What better way to celebrate than with one of my all-time favourite Eurovision moments, ever, as Spanish entrants Azucar Moreno (way back in 1990) strutted their stuff onto the stage (as the very first act), then just as quickly strutted off again as they could hear no sound through their headphones. That could have shaken-up an act good-and-proper - but my heavens! They showed no sign of any such nerves when they finally got to do their thing...

Brilliant! Or should I say ¡Magnifico!

Friday, 13 May 2022

That's what you got, that's what you got

Eek!

It may be the end of a working week, but I am keeping my fingers crossed all day, and will avoid ladders, black cats, and putting new shoes on a table...

It's Eurovision tomorrow, and we are indeed in a party mode, so, with a panoply of powder-blue Crimplene, a snap of our fingers and a synchronised twirl, let's Thank Disco It's Friday (the Thirteenth)!

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Pricking out, indeed

Relationship charity Relate has produced a condom range disguised in seed packets to promote safe sex to the over sixties.

The campaign follows research that shows an increase in STI’s in over 65’s, as most consider themselves to be ‘sexually adventurous’, however don’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing sex and rarely use condoms.

By placing the condoms in an environment that’s most likely frequented by its target audience, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue in a light-hearted way.


click to embiggen

The condoms, that are displayed in the seed section, feature cheeky suggestive illustrations of veg such as courgettes and aubergines, as well as plums, artichokes and onions.

Remarkably, this is not a Daily Mash satire, and April Fool's Day is long gone - it's genuine...

Made me hoot, anyhow!

[Thanks, John-John, for flagging this one!]

Wednesday, 11 May 2022