Don’t Look Back In Anger

It’s been a crap week. My weekend has changed due to the horrors of Manchester meaning security checks at airports means there’s little or no chance of people flying on time or even flying. On top of that Glasgow City Council are being the biggest pricks on the planet and there’s ginger people walking the streets of Glasgow in 30 degree heat frying like a sausage.

But this wee video of the memorial for the dead of the Manchester bombing should empower anyone watching it, unless you’re a cynical far right arsehole doing exactly what the likes of ISIS want us to do which is to hate each other. Still, well done to Manchester. You’re setting a glorious example to us all.

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A few brief words about the Manchester bombing

On Monday evening something horrendous happened to dozens of innocent people. The killer has been named and frankly, I’m not going to give him the air of publicity and will hope he rots in whatever hell his faith has for him. In this respect Charlie Brooker’s advice on spree shooters plays out the same here.

Neither am I going to give much time to the hate-filled supporters of ”final solutions” on either side as frankly, the only thing that separates a Hopkins from the people who radicalised the Manchester bomber is that one has a column in a national newspaper to radicalise people and the other uses other means. I’m also not going to say anything about the arseholes talking of ”false flags” or conspiracies where none exist in order to try to bend this to their own politics.

I will however say the reaction from the UK government is disturbing. Raising risk levels is fine, but placing troops on the streets to protect the people who failed to protect us in the first place. I’m scared of politicians and the wrong people, be they Islamic terrorists or Daily Mail columnists taking advantage of this to entrench themselves and draw to them followers who will perpetuate this. Raising the threat level seems fair, but Operation Temperer (the name for what’s going on as we speak) isn’t without precedent but we’ve seen how Labour under Tony Blair whittled away civil liberties and frankly, Theresa May has a poor record in that respect. One way to let terrorism win is let our governments use their attacks to take away, restrict or curtail our freedoms.

We should remember these people died not for terrorists and governments to use as they want. We should remember them for what was lost and the stories coming out of Monday’s atrocity are relentlessly tragic but that isn’t an excuse to militarise policing as frankly all this does is give terrorists an incentive to make the next atrocity bigger to garner a bigger, more disproportionate reaction and we end up repeating the cycle over and over while nothing actually gets solved.

So we’re in a bad time. People aren’t even in the grieving stage yet, and there’s people making political capital from this, but we need to step back, think, help who we can and make things better rather than dig in and make things worse.

The full story of the picture of New Year in Manchester

The likes of The Guardian are getting excited about the picture taken on New Year’s Eve in Manchester, and indeed, it’s not just a telling document of our times, but it’s a fantastically composed picture the photographer, Joel Goodman, has taken. To get to that image there’s a few you need to see to get the full picture and to realise just how great an image the one everyone’s talking about is.

The full selection of pictures taken by Goodman is in this gallery posted on the Manchester Evening News’s website. There are some more really good pictures Goodman’s taken (he seems to have an extraordinary eye for a great picture in a load of chaos) but the story starts with this picture.

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The situation starts here as the lad in the middle is either squaring up to, or standing up to the two lads in front of him. So far not too exceptional of a typical Friday or Saturday night.

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Between the previous picture and the above on it’s all kicked off. The bloke in the greenish jumper has been jumped on the the police because I presume he was actually the person kicking off and this leads into the picture the internet is talking about…

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Everything in this picture tells a story. The eye is instantly drawn to the older chap drunk in the street reaching for his bottle of beer, but the thing to note is the lighting as it’s supposed to be night and indeed some commentators have mentioned this as some sort of ‘proof’ that this may be doctored/staged. Fact is you go out in a city centre it is light like this, and Manchester is a city like any other that has this sort of light at night so that’s more to do with people commenting that don’t go out at night.

But it’s a great story being told from the bloke in the street, to the girl bollocking the police/person they’re nicking to the girls in the background eating kebabs looking at what’s going on.

Things don’t stop there…

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This speaks for itself really…..

As does this one….

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The protagonist of these picture is taken away by the police having taken a smack at some point and this little story of the 21st century is over. It probably took up no more than five minutes but to get one astonishing image out of that carnage is a fantastic thing.

There’s one more image in there I like that sums up the sheer misery of a crap New Year’s Eve and it’s this one.

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This also speaks for itself. Having half a dozen¬†Jaegerbombs seemed a good idea at the time but at 3am in the kebab shop it’ll catch up with you.