Ignorance is its own reward but when it fuels hatred it has to stop however unaware the ignorant are. For some they really mean what they say, others say it without thinking but either way, the people responsible for racist abuse must be controlled by the people around them who know it’s wrong. The silence is destroying society, creating massive gulfs between people of different races, making people pick sides. They have to be re-educated but then again it seems difficult to change anybody’s opinion about anything. Has it always been this way? The answer is yes but now with social media, we all see it more clearly. All my life I’ve heard people say they hate the French or the Spanish or Americans but to hate a race or nationality you can’t possibly know anyone that’s Spanish or French or American well and therefore you are talking rubbish. In the case of the current racist abuse of the English lads in the football team, they’re just lads, how stupid must you be to hate them? How nasty must you be to attack them and how cowardly to do it anonymously or how evil to do it publicly. Why is it so out of control? Is there no shame, why can’t they see right from wrong? What a sad and shameful world we live in with these people running free to destroy it. You might as well hate me because I play the guitar, that’s how irrelevant and meaningless racial hatred actually is.
Although I enjoy the game of football, it’s annoying with the whistling or the booing when the opposition gets the ball. The rivalry that for some is hate disguised as competition when with most games, you see players shaking the hands of their rivals at the end, whoever won. When I see the multi-cultural, multi-racial teammates in club teams all celebrating together when they win, it gives me hope. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what you look like when you are scoring the winning goal but there’s an element in the crowd that won’t accept it. What do the racists do when someone who doesn’t look like them scores the winning goal for their team? I feel sick when I think about these people.
Today I swam 100 lengths freestyle non-stop in just over one and a quarter hours. The training, the practice, the dedication to anything you do allows you to get better at it. It’s the same for playing an instrument, it’s just practice and how far you go with that practice just depends on what you hope to achieve with the instrument. You may just want to know a few chords so you can write some songs or you may want to learn complex classical pieces. What generally happens is you get an idea of where you’re going with it by simply doing it. You might find it difficult or easy or uninteresting or exciting. You might think, ‘now I know I really want to play the trumpet’ or you’d rather put all the effort into tennis. Who knows, John McEnroe might have been the guitarist in your favourite band if the tennis bug had bitten him deeper. (What a thought!)
After the pool, I went to talk to the computer shop about purchasing RAM, then to the bakery for pães da avó (grandma’s bread) for lunch and then to the post office to pick up the psychedelic Elton John album Regimental Sgt. Zippo from 1968 (the debut album that never was). Back in time for a sesh with Matt in Brooklyn and then a meeting about our Space Summit – Listening Party which we will post details about as it gets a little nearer.
Music today has been the second album, Sea Son (1974), by amazing jazzy, fusion Danish band Secret Oyster featuring Claus Bøhling from Danish sixties legends Hurdy Gurdy on guitar. The band was put together by keyboard player Karsten Vogel who along with bassist Mats Vinding and drummer Bo Thrige Andersen had all played with Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe, last but not least, Kenneth Knudsen from Coronarias Dans on piano (which also included Claus Bøhling) – something of a Danish supergroup. Great music, if you like this kind of thing.