Jump On, Happy Now

How do! / 你好 (nĭ hăo) / Namaste / Welcome!

I recall Mr Jones at Chapel Street Primary School making a simple poem. It was wordplay on my name John. Jump on, happy now. So simple. So memorable. Like other school events. When I was young, our class went to Mam Tor and the Blue John Cavern in Castleton, Derbyshire. I remember very little other than giggling at the name Blue John. The cavern is named after a semi-precious mineral Blue John. The 250 million years old was and is mined for the purposes of jewellery. The cavern sits beneath Mam Tor, a rather tall hill, a 517-metre (1696ft) peak of the world famous Peak District. I never picked up any fluorite (with bands of a purple-blue or yellowish colour) but I do recall the French name of bleu-jaune (blue-yellow). So, my name went from blue to yellow. In China blue movies are called yellow movies.

Our class had walked the 4.8km up (3 miles) from a car park, where our coach awaited. In misty wet conditions we returned, a little soggy. The views across the Edale Valley and Kinder Scout were wasted on us. It was completely shrouded by clouds. The Derwent Moors were less than visible. We even walked to another cave, Windy Knoll, but the entrance was covered by loose rubble. That was invisible to us too. Still we’d climbed up the peak that means ‘Mother Hill’. The brittle shale and so-called shivering mountain also left us shivering in the damp and cold too. As our teeth chattered a teaching assistant rambled on about Bronze Age and Iron Age forts. To kids in a field, drenched head to toe, he mustered zero enthusiasm. We all had ideas of using the caves (Speedwell Cavern, Peak Cavern A.K.A. ‘The Devil’s Arse’ and Treak Cliff Cavern) as a kind of natural umbrella.

So, that was my first time to see the name John in a strange place. Our primary school used to have three Johns. John O’Neill and John Doherty, with myself. Recently, I played football with John Burns and John Crompton. My surname is Acton. So, here in China, we had John A, B and C at Murray’s F.C. It isn’t an unusual name. John is Jewish, or was. It coms from a word meaning ‘Graced by Yahweh’ – a kind of Samarian God. Jack, Jackie, Johnny and Jonathan all come from the name John. Jackie Chan is a wannabe John. also comes from the name John but as a Manchester City striker, I can’t take responsibility for him, and nor should the name John. Johns can be equally good or bad. Everton, not the football team, but the name also comes from the name John. Being a very biblical name, John has been mutated and transpired into Celtic (Ianto), Germanic, Romance, European, Arabic (يُوحَنّا‎), Hungarian, Albanian (Xhoni), Slavic (Ján) and other forms. One of the most common names in English-speaking countries is sticking around hard and fast.

Yahweh is or was a storm-and-warrior deity which explains why I like the rain a fair bit. That and being Mancunian – it’s a kind of Stockholm syndrome. Here in China, as the Dongguan rain lashes down, I can write Yuēhàn (约翰) into my phone to produce a local version of my name that sounds more German than Chinese. My Korean student Kim could write my name as Yohan (요한) and my Japanese student Leon could write my name as Yohane (ヨハネ). Then there are countless feminine forms around the world such as Jone, Johanna, Ghjuvanna and Sinéad.

John is mentioned countless times throughout religion, with the Gospel of John, First through to Third Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation by a certain Saint John the Divine scribbling something down. There were no blog pages in his time. Apocalypses have remained popular in fiction and non-fiction ever since. Well, until the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Gospel of John was the third sequel to the Gospel of Matthew. Mark and Luke were the other members of the Gospel boyband. The Gospel of John has much prattling and something to do with the raising of Lazarus and contrasts Judaism. It’s probably where Christianity broke away, circa AD90-110. Three faith-raising sermon letters (epistles) of John followed much like the Fast & The Furious franchise.

“Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator. Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator. Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator. Wrote the book of the seven seals” – John the Revelator, Blind Willie Johnson

Many kings and queens have taken on the various forms of the name John through time, with prophet John the Baptist (died 30AD-ish), John the Apostle (one of a dozen). John the Evangelist (an author type), John of Patmos (the Revelator/the Divine), John the Presbyter (open to interpretation), another John (father of Saint Peter etc), John of Antioch (a chronicler which is a kind of news reporter of the time), umpteen Pope Johns (at least 21 of them), and several Saint Johns. There are Saint John churches and places as diverse as Cornwall (a parish village with the nearby St John’s Lake SSSI), Malacca in Malaysia, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador and even the Church of St John-at-Hackney. Wherever a boat could sail, and a missionary could set up a parish, that’s where the name has reached. If you don’t believe me, take a glance at the maps of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and Grenada. Oh, and there are ambulances displaying the saintly name: St. John Ambulance. Mighty Mouse was even a St. John Publications comic character.

Nicknames involving Johns area round us too. My Dad had a friend who was nicknamed ‘John the Ghost’ because of his pale look and I think had a few near misses with death in hid life. John the Hunchback isn’t as famous Quasimodo. Being a General and Politician in Roman times on the flanks of the Eastern Roman Empire wasn’t quite as romantic as being the protagonist of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. John “the Savage” features in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. John “OO” Fleming is a trance D.J. and his music could be heard on a portable speaker sat atop your very own Johnboat (an aluminium hunter-fishing boat). My mate John Petrie shares the name of Arbroath F.C.’s striker extraordinaire – he scored a record 13 goals in a 36-0 win. That’s something to mull over as you listen to former Meat Loaf and Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5. There are countless Johns to plug: I mentioned John Rabe and John Nichols before.

Whether in a campaign, a B-side on a Kylie Minogue with Robbie Williams song, a Giant Cave of Gilbratar, the John’s Langur (Semnopithecus johnii), a famous New York pizzeria, archaic phones, or a show about Tourette’s syndrome, the name John can be used for good or bad. Fritz John made an ultrahyperbolic partial differential equation that carries the name John’s equation. It was pretty bad for my eyes to see it and understand very little of it. Not all Johns make sense. I know that I don’t.

“Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.” – ― John Donne, The Poems of John Donne (Volume 1)

The name John is popular in many ways. Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 from the video game Halo wasn’t an ideal role model for me but he did accompany far too many adolescents through early development blasting the hell out of crazy religious Covenant alien radicals. Almost as great as sending a Dear John letter to tell your loved one that they are a former loved one and now you have a new loved one. Writer Philip Jerome Quinn Barry wasn’t a John but in 1927 the New Yorker published his play called, yes, you guessed right, John. That play was unsuccessful. Bad John. Lil’ Wayne (2011) and Desireless (1988) didn’t write their songs of the same name, based on P.J.Q. Barry’s failed play. They sold around 2 million and 313,000 respectively.

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” – John Milton, Paradise Lost.

Other odd uses of the name John can mean someone who uses a prostitute, slang for a toilet (cheers America!), tropical storms and hurricanes, and there are about 13,400,137 Johns in the U.S.A. at any one time. That’s about one in every 25 Americans. On the flipside, John the Ripper is a program used to test the strength of a password. In Morse code John looks like this: .——….-. (which may be useless in the digital age). John Lennon and John F. Kennedy didn’t get any Morse code message of their fate. John R. “Johnny” Cash is one of my favourite Johns, in terms of talented Johns. John Paul Henry Daniel Richard Grimes is not.

Bizarrely the names Eoin, Evan, Yohannes, Ifan, Ioane, Hermes, Siôn, Janes, and Núño have origins in the name John. Jhon is also a real name. I guess somebody couldn’t type or spell, and it stuck. John has grace the rich and famous with numerous kings, Elton John, the late huge-nosed Gottfried John, Dame Olivia Newton-John and (was it personal?) R&B singer William Edward “Little Willie” John having a certain name. That 24-bar blues song Leave My Kitten Alone is so underrated. The Beatles and Elvis Costello copied it at some state too.

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard, are sweeter” – John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn and Other Poems

The name John is classic. It is a natural and wholesome formal name, refined and well at home in history and equally strong for the present day. It can represent the boring aspects of name history and the simple yet serious mature look of a person. Whether the name represents an author or an actor in Downton Abbey, the name John could likewise be a Canadian prime minister or a character in DC comics. John can be legend or literature, musician or theologian. The name John was once consistently popular in one of its many forms. Now newer names and international culture are heavily influencing naming across the globe. The name John, however, will not fade away.

Johnny Marr is from Manchester and spent some of his years in Ardwick. He probably wasn’t far from another famous John in Manchester. All of the above writing could easily have been a huge and tedious introduction to Manchester’s famous John Dalton. Born in Cumberland at a place called Eaglesfield (by Cockermouth), John Dalton headed for Manchester. He would go on to be a hugely influential chemist, physicist, and meteorologist. He made huge contributions to atomic theory research, the study of colour blindness and dissenting educationalists from church-backed establishments. He was radical.

Buried under Ardwick’s playing fields (former cemetery), Dalton’s legacies are far more than a statue-bust in Manchester’s town hall. The John Dalton Building of Manchester Metropolitan University houses the Faculty of Science and Engineering. There’s a statue of John Dalton outside. John Dalton Street connects Deansgate and Albert Square in central Manchester. There’s a bleu plaque at 36 George Street, his former residence. Dalton published many pieces including work on the Law of Multiple Proportions, Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures, Daltonism (also known as colour blindness). He earned his Royal Medal amongst many plaudits and lived to study and research. Nowadays his name lives on through such terms as Dalton (S.I. unit), Daltonism, and the Dalton Minimum. The latter was a period of low sunspot count, representing low solar activity, possibly much like the City of Manchester’s exposure to sun at the peak of winter, right?

“John Dalton’s records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war.” – Isaac Asimov, Writer & Biochemistry professor

Dedicated to the present dictator in democracy Donald-President-bleach-drinker-of-the-God-damn-U.S.-of-golf-course-loving-pussy-grabbing-make-America-great-again-Trump.

How do! / 你好 (nĭ hăo) / Namaste / Welcome!

Dedicated to the present dictator in democracy Donald-President-bleach-drinker-of-the-God-damn-U.S.-of-golf-course-loving-pussy-grabbing-make-America-great-again-Trump.

Sacha Noam Baron Cohen has character. Actually, he has a catalogue of characters. With that he has a catalogue of different responses and receptions too. He can go a bit far. He can, with his team, be a little crass and over the top. One creation is the crude Admiral General Aladeen. This spoof of a multitude of dictators is the lead part of the movie The Dictator. From the moment it begins the movie is in “loving memory” to the late Kim Jong-il of South Korea. Controversy follows at regular intervals. A satirical movies go, the antihero format softens at times but does go mercifully bobbing along smashing up tyrants. It isn’t a serious movie, but some of the responses and critics may have treated it that way. Banned in banned in Tajikistan,and censored globally, it will never show in North Korea. Seth Rogen’s The Interview is similar in theme, but Charlie Chaplin was the breakthrough actor of this genre, take that Hitler! Chaplin’s The Great Dictator stands out for all the right reasons. How much of The Dictator standing out for the wrong reasons can be up for debate.

“I is here standing outside the United Nations of Benetton. Which is where representatives from the three corners of the world come to end wars, international drug trafficking, and everything else that is a bit of a laugh.” – Ali G, Da Ali G Show, 28 February 2003

Sacha Baron Cohen, fluent in Hebrew, should be held in a higher frame. He’s broken the boundary of what’s seen as a stereotypical Jewish way of work. He challenges much, including his own faith. As his character Ali G, an ultra-wrong sucker, he is duped into much foolery but also manages to make the great and good of politics amongst many his fall guy. He mugs people off proper! In 2004, Harvard University’s Class Day allowed him the stage. He gave a speech which was both masterful and colourful. Whilst many are not privy to the joke, the university shown great courage in adding such a character to their proceedings. It is highly unlikely the al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan will be calling his character Borat Sagdiyev up soon. This mockumentary character dips into sexism, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and nationalist jingoism. This character is the ultimate self-uncomfortable truth generator for many people (and nations… and faiths… amongst other things).

“Thank you to every American who has not sued me so far.” – Sacha Baron Cohen, winner of the Best Actor Award (Comedy) speech at the Golden Globes in 2007.

Brüno Gehard is the main character of Brüno, and it is hard to believe anyone would take this overly flamboyant character serious, yet he manages to pull off a few too many Americans. And so-called Israeli anti-terrorism expert Erran Morad somehow manages to look so perfectly plastic yet fools the Republican state representative for Georgia (U.S.A.) how to up-skirt those who wear burqas. It is extreme but the more shocking thing is that former Member of the Georgia House of Representatives Jason Spencer played along willingly. Like a baby with a rattle. Eventually he resigned even though he stressed that he was exploited “for profit and notoriety.” He clearly didn’t see Conservative MP politician Neil Hamilton smoking cannabis after accepting it from Ali G in 2000.

“To single out a particular group and say we can’t make a joke about them is almost a form of prejudice and it’s kind of patronizing.” – Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen’s prominence has been meteoric and recently he has turned down the role of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. This around the same time the Anti-Defamation League gave him an award. They didn’t find his presence as distracting as the surviving members of Queen. Still, even Grimsby allowed him in. King Julien XIII is a voice that kids will recognise as part of the Madagascar ensemble. As Eli Cohen in The Spy on Netflix we get to see Sacha Baron Cohen’s talents. We get to see him as a spy who came from Israel. On a serious note, his brother Simon is an acclaimed researcher in autism researcher at the lesser known University of Cambridge, wherever that is. There is seriousness throughout the world of Sacha Baron Cohen and then there is humour. Choose carefully but try not to be too serious with the sensitive themes and topics.

“If you pay them, the platform will run any ‘political’ ad you want, even if it’s a lie” – Sacha Baron Cohen’s scathing attack on Facebook, 23rd November 2019

Right here, right now

你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do / S’mae / Namaste

 

This week I have been mostly singing about Champions. I could bang on about Trump, hatred, warships in Iraq, Liverpool fans, the rising octs of football or climate change. But today, let’s look at the dystopian present. The bigger issues in life such as waving a Palestine flag in the Eurovision Song Contest finale mean nothing to some, but much to many. Well done Hatari, for adding something missing and Madonna, even if you are touching on archaic status. Nothing says ignorance and cultural genocide like a nation ignoring disputed territories and a region actively fighting for space and land, at another race of people’s expense. Instead of using the competition as a voice for conversation about the future, the The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), most of the obling contestants and huge groups in the audience chose something else. Ignorance. The same feeling that I reserve for this popular form of talent contest. The thought police have won.

Doublethink this newspeak will you? Tommy Robinson, AKA Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, AKA Andrew McMaster, AKA Paul Harris, AKA Wayne King is making the news at an unprecedented level. This unparalled exposure ranks up there with thinking Manchester City could complete a domestic treble, as thought two decades ago. Extraordinarily, the far right is on our shores. The Pegida organisation (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Wes) is right here, right now, dividing, standing and conquering. The next step up or down from Nick Griffin won’t fade away, despite the fact he has a list of convictions and allegations as long as two arms. This twat holds the post of Special Political Advisor for the Leader of the UK Independence Party, Gerard Batten. Batten himself came fifth in Maidenhead’s General Election. He was so bad that his 871 votes barely registered alongside Theresa May’s 37,718 votes. Tommy Robinson sounds like a man of the people. He steals pseudonyms to gain popularity and sound like he is just an everyday geezer from down the pub.

Eric Morecambe must have bene turning in his grave. Fired from an engineering job for assault, Tommy Robinson, served time in the old nick. He joined the British National Party. It was around then that he adopted a Luton Town football hooligan’s name. He doesn’t believe himself to be a racist – and even supports Israel etc, yet time and time again the news shows this to be a contradictive trait. The English Defence League was formed in 2009. They’re a dangerous bunch of ex-and-current-football hooligans. They’re radical against radicals, but also closer to Batman on the vigilante front. Are they racially motivated and full of hate? You decide. The European Defence League followed. It sounded like the UEFA Champions League for fullbacks, but in fact it is anti-Muslim.

Robinson has done some good stuff too. On November the 8th 2011, he was found protesting at FIFA’s headquarters in Zürich about the fact that FIFA wouldn’t allow England to use the Remembrance Poppy symbol wasn’t a bad move. The BBC series When Tommy Met Mo, followed the far right knobhead in his meetings with British Muslim political commentator, Mo Ansar. This apparently led to him exiting the EDL and going on to live happily ever after. Or not quite, he has been found supporting people under threat of conviction time and time again. Wherever there is an allegation that can be considered antisemitic and racist in nature, Robinson is one right arm with a Sieg Heil away. Or so it seems, according to the media and every Tommy Robinson tracking Twitter account. Using phrases like, “I’m not justifying it” or “violent and cursed book” alongside mosques and the Quran has been his calling card.

Historian Barry Mehler learned that the dread of some kind of threat to the ‘white race’ in the years that followed World War II. The scientific community responsible for Nazi collaboration and eugenicists previously at home finding ways to wipe out threats were talking and finding ways to launch a comeback career. Very much like Take That and Boyzone seem to do every two months. Diversity and multiculturalism came back to the U.K. in the good times of financial growth and job prosperity. And then jobs slipped away. A new so-called pure and white Poland is being pushed. Russia and China defend traditional values. Alternative für Deutschland is here. Trump’s campaigners and coworkers are guilty of hate on a daily basis. Angela Saini’s article about racism and modern science is alarming.

Big Brother may like to throw this unperson into Room 101. Robinson appears bigoted and loves to stir hatred. His language has propelled and fed hate. He has directly influenced Darren Osborne using his vehicle to ram an attack on worshippers by the Finsbury Park Mosque. In doing so, he has acted as an enemy of the people – and an enemy of the state: the U.K. and all its beautiful tapestry of multiculturalism. Am I being harsh? Maybe I have been brainwashed, just like Tommy Robinson does on social media. If there is a weakness and a refugee is in need of criminalising, then Tommy will find it. His network of facists sit on social media mixing shit, sharing shit and generally causing shit. These people have the balls to accuse Daesh (ISIS/ISIL etc) of preying on the weak. Facebook banned Tommy Robinson from its servces for something accounting that of ‘dehumanising language’, in particular ‘violence targeted at Muslims’. There aren’t enough sentences that can be etched to show the staggering numeric volume of shite posted.

The EDL slogan is Latin, In hoc signo vinces’ which means ‘in this sign you will conquer’. The beauty of language is used for the banner of hate. Their palingenetic ultranationalism seeks rebirth. A new slate. A clean sheet. They act with populism for their selfish interests and full of hate. They make genuine everyday people afraid of English nationalism. The days of celebrating St. George’s Day have long gone. Fear surrounds it. To fly the white flag with a red cross, may make you associated with that of those full of anti-Islamism, Islamophobia and other racial division. Alan Lake is their latest leader, and even he uses a pseudonym. Just like Bruce Wayne, there is darkness below the surface and we’re not talking Robert Pattinson dressed as Batman. Adolf Hitler and his ideals are closer to this former Pacific Capital Investment Management director. The 4 Freedoms website he has founded was pure hatred. His claws in the network of hate that features Tommy Robinson are worrying. U.S. billionaires, think tanks, foreign investment, misuse of charity donations and supporter actions of the EDL and Tommy Robinson have been bankrolling hate.

Education, debate and sensible measures to ensure extremism isn’t on our shores are important. The sad fact is that we live in increasingly uncertain times. Jobs, security, housing for all, and many social issues like homelessness dominate the British way of life. Those who have and those who don’t are scattered throughout the land. Working class distractions are increasingly becoming a middleclass luxury. The days of watching football, and live music are increasingly becoming credit card purchases over living within your means. Fewer and fewer people understand socialism or the left side of the political spectrum. The Labour Party went central for too long and the Liberal Democrats are reborn, but even they seem central. The U.K. is a blur of uncertainty, false truths, lies, and misunderstanding. Wasn’t the Weimar Republic like this once?

Their two minutes’ hate is not just found online. It has crept into society and swept across the nation. Now, the silent far right will voice more frequently. The hidden minority are undercutting worries and exploiting our weak political groups. Pseudonyms are popping up everywhere. Maybe it is to high from potential frausters and protect their own interests, or perhaps, just perhaps, hate is more acceptable under a username. Perhaps this writing will slip into a memory hole later today, and my username will be erased forever. A block of more than 299,500 words gone. Your telescreens won’t remember me, because 2+2=5. This week Tommy Robinson, following thousands of flyers being delivered throughout northwest England, stands for MEP in the European elections. His seat is hoped to be the north-west of England. I hope that the region votes others, in a clear “fuck off” to him. If not, welcome to InfoWars and 1984. We’re all fucked.

 

再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye / Hwyl Fawr / Dhanyabaad / Alavidā