On a recent article in Metro, John Barrowman has responded to some viewers’ negative criticism on the current gay sex scenes in Torchwood’s new series, Miracle Day.
Speaking of the received criticism, John said:
‘When you watch Torchwood there is a warning at the very beginning that some scenes may offend or disturb people. So if you allow your children to sit and watch it with you that’s your responsibility, not ours any more.’ – John Barrowman
For the first time, I find myself having difficulty expressing my thoughts so succinctly and concise, but poverty is not a topic that can be so easily summarised. Sure enough, many of us watching television daily see commercials of the poverty in Africa; of the malnourished children and the slums they call homes. Many of us will turn a blind eye to the disastrous areas of the third world, but what happens when you are forced to look upon such devastation?
You feel guilt.
That morning, I had set out for an adventure into the Dominican wilderness, to experience all things Caribbean; from the delightful cocoa, to the more-ish and wonderfully scented aromas of roasted coffee and the crunchy taste of the coconuts – I was certainly well catered for.
But what of the locals? The young girl that reached up into the jeep to give me a parting gift; an exotic red flower. What life does she lead, while I sit in blissful luxury in a five-star hotel just twenty minutes away? Looking into the deep contours and colours of the flower, I felt guilty, but incredibly grateful for what I had.
Almost a year ago I created a blog on ‘The Importance of Being Grateful’, and of the family that claimed thousands in benefits, cheating the real poverty of our own country. What right do they have? What right do they have to take money from the homeless, the penniless and the tragic?
I was faced with one question: what could I give back to the Dominican locals?
What could I give back to the school that had trembled in its footsteps towards the future? Those grey wooden desk chairs, the rotting chalkboard and the basketball hoop hanging by its steel chains in the playground – what can I do?
The children and adults alike are happy because they know no different. They have pride in themselves, and they seemed to say ‘do not pity us, for we are proud of the way we live’.
If you are visiting the Dominican Republic, please spare a thought to the children and their education. Please donate crayons, pencils, colouring books, children’s toys, anything that may help them.
They are a proud nation, and their children deserve to play with something other than the discarded bottles of tourists.
Rain sucks, to put it plainly. However, while the terrential downpour continued to hit the conservatory roof, I took the time to think what should I actually do with the day?
I started to sort through some videos (yes VHS, not DVD or Blue-Ray…) and happened to find a video entitled ‘Littlefoot’. That was what my Dad labelled it years ago, but it’s correct title is The Land Before Time. The film was released in 1988 and executively produced by legendaries, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Of course, I didn’t know this as my 6 year old self as I watched it all those years ago… but as an adult I did a little research.
I was surprised to find that it only lasted 53 minutes. I mean… WOW. A film that doesn’t last more than an hour?! What are the odds?
How is it then, that a film can have a beginning, a middle and an end, whilst building three-dimensional characters and producing a whirlwind of emotions? The only films I can remember that did that was in the ‘My Little Pony’ collection… you know the one with the massive spider blocking the way and the ponies get caught in its sticky web? No? Okay just me…
The animation in ‘Littlefoot’, is simply quite stunning. Okay so it’s not 3D, big deal! Who wants to wear them glasses anyway? They hurt my eyes and my nose, mainly because I have to put them on top of my own glasses. (N.B. Can someone invent 3D prescription glasses?)
I love a film that can give me a good cry, while eating ice-cream and chocolate, and trying to wipe my tears before falling into my food! And ‘Littlefoot’ was no exception; I didn’t cry as much as I would for The Lion King, but the film still trapped me in tangles of emotions, and to me that’s what makes a good film. It may be predictable, it may be childish and it may not be 3D, but it has a purpose, a moral and most of all it is a simple tale.
After watching the film, I decided to sort through masses of junk that is piled into a ‘walk-in-cupboard’ that you can’t walk-in. You know that Friends episode when Chandler finally gets into Monica’s cupboard and is mortified and surprised when it’s full of junk? Well imagine that. It’s bad.
Within three hours, the bottom floor was tidy and 8 plastic bags were thrown into the bin full of junk – of course I couldn’t do it without the help of Mum!
During this time I found many things that filled me with such nostalgia, that I ended up just reading or looking at things instead of throwing things away.
I came across letters from pen-pals when I was 11 (nine years ago), and letters from my best friends and cousins. I found myself thinking, technology can be rubbish.
E-Mail. Electronic Mail.
It’s just not the same as having letters written by hand with ink whether it be from a bic pen or gel pen. You can keep these for years, and you somehow feel closer to the person when you know they have taken the time to handwrite the letter instead of typing.
Yes, it’s more convenient to type and email and it gets sent to the recipient within seconds, but it’s not as personal.
I wish I could handwrite this blog for you all, but alas I’m the hypocrite, it’s just faster to get my thoughts out there by typing.
Write a letter. Watch a film from your childhood. In twenty years time, if our children are learning how to type than learning how to write – we have problems!