Newcastle United have long suffered unter Mike Ashley's ownership, and as a club with a very large and loyal fanbase, this has been quite tragic to behold. However, despite some drawbacks, the latest being quite recent, it looks like fans can be fairly optimistic about a potential massive Saudi takeover that would be bigger than that of Manchester City and possibly turn them into one of the world's richest and most successful sports clubs. But in my typical fashion, I'm going to go against the grain and look at the takeover itself from an angle that I think is quite tragic. Many people and media outlets have also done this by drawing attention to the nature of the takeover as sportswashing, whereby country's like Saudi Arabia invest in football to draw attention away from human rights abuses. That is a different debate, and not what I'm going to talk about, not just because I think most of the people I've seen taking this approach are not football fans, and there is an element of perspective that they can't quite understand. That's not to say there criticisms aren't valid. They are. But, as I say, it is a different debate.
There is obviously a lot of serious problems going on in the world right now that people feel very strongly about. And that’s something I understand. And I even have sympathy for the protesters who tore down the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol by force, in what is a powerful and indeed probably will become an historical image. Especially as the council had repeatedly ignored the strong calls for it to be removed or at the very least a plaque be placed to explain how terrible a man he really was. And he was. Colston made his fortune in the diabolical Atlantic slave trade, and the philanthropy he is also remembered for, when you read into it, was based entirely on political and religious motivations. Colston refused money to those who did not support his views. So, I think, whether you approve of the methods in which it was removed or not, it is not a terrible thing that his statue has gone.
This is something I've been wanting to write about for a long time and recently I've seen things that have made me decide to really make an effort and write it. One of these was an article in Vox that I read about a new TV show produced by Jordan Peele called 'Lovecraft Country.' I enjoyed Peele's 'Get Out' and although I don't think I've ever read anything by HP Lovecraft, I've heard of him and his work sounds interesting. So, I had a look. I was soon informed, via the article, that, among other things, Lovecraft was a huge racist with absolutely no argument, something that the show explores in what sounds like a creative and interesting manner. However, the article then started talking about 'complex literary legacies' in relation to racism, specifically referring to the fact that the central character in the show is named 'Atticus,' which the article claims 'saddles him with a complicated relationship to the flawed white saviour of 'To Kill a Mockingbird.''
Throughout history and culture, people have found ways to forgive things that they wouldn't usually forgive because the offender was family. This stretches from little mistakes to horrendous crimes. And, of course, the opposite has always taken place too. Parents throughout history have disowned children and vice versa. But this isn't easy, and I think it's fair to say that there is a pressure in society, both internally and externally, to find understanding when the conflict took place with a close relation. Now, I think an exception that proves the rule more often than not is divorcees. Many people who divorce do not want anything to do with their ex and feel no pressure to. In fact, the opposite is prevalent in many cases. But what is common is for people to make amends when children are involved. And that illustrates the difference. It doesn't need to be stated that most people care very deeply for their relationships with their children, because their children are their blood. That's why, say, a childless couple who bitterly divorce may often have no desire to make amends because their is nothing to lose. This societal and personal pressure is something you feel to those whom you are blood-related. Fiction has often shown this, too. Look at the plot of 'The Godfather' (SPOILER ALERT), where Michael Corleone changes from the nice guy to the ruthless mobster all because of his family and his father.
I can't really offer any fulfilling advice on what to do during a lockdown, as all I have been doing is sleeping, drinking and watching movies, so the best I can offer is yet another movie list. I've done a couple of these so if any one has already read one of my others apologies for some slight repetition. That said, however, I have omitted 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy and treated this list as one where three-films-as-one doesn't count, just because I have reviewed it in a recent list.
This is a hard one for me, not only because writing about movies makes me miss the cinema more, but because at the minute I can't watch Netflix as I gave it up for lent, not realising lent would coincide with this lockdown. Serves me right for thinking it was an easy option. I also haven't included films that are available on Netflix but are also on my other list, 'My Top Ten Films of the last decade,' should anyone wish to read that.