This Week in Idiot White Men … Don’t Put Your Life In the Hands of a Rock ‘N’ Roll Band

Noel Gallagher, song writer and complete idiot
Noel Gallagher, song writer and complete idiot

This is a series that should write itself really. There are so many of us white guys out there, and so many are just complete idiots.

This week it’s the turn of 90s Britpop star Noel Gallagher. Noel has made a good living out of two

This week he has made the news for declaring that he refuses to wear a facemask because, “It’s not a law. There’s too many f****** liberties being taken away from us now.” Going on to say, “I choose not to wear one and if I get the virus it’s on me, it’s not on anyone else.”

Where to start with these expressions of ignorance? First the simple one, in the UK, as in may countries these days, it is the law to wear a facemask in certain situations. He can check the UK law here,

Now let’s think about the liberties that are being taken away from Noel. Can he go out wherever he wants? Yes. Can he travel by car, public transport to other parts of the UK or the world? Can he meet his friends? Yes! Can he express his opinions openly and freely, no matter how dumb and ill-informed they are, without fear of arrest? Yes! Now, he may need a facemask while doing so, but this rather than preventing and restricting liberties, increases them!

Let’s move on, next he says, , “I choose not to wear one and if I get the virus it’s on me, it’s not on anyone else.” Thus showing why he’s a musician and not a doctor in one simple sentence.

I know it must be hard for him, but honestly, the reason to wear a facemask is not that complicated:

  1. There is a pandemic
  2. This particular virus is easily spread
  3. People are often unaware they have the disease, and thus spread the disease
  4. The virus is transmitted primarily through the air
  5. Wearing a mask means that in the event you are a carrier of the virus you reduce the chance of passing it on to someone else.

So, Noel, when you say ‘it’s on you’ if you get the disease, please be aware that’s it’s also on you if you spread it due your idiotic uncaring nature. Perhaps you don’t care, but your victims will.

In Noel’s defence I seed he is a rock ‘n’ roll star. If you’re taking your medical advice from him or any other unqualified person (including me!), please don’t. Direct your attention to experts such as the World Health Organisation,

Review: Sapphire (1959) & Victim (1961)

Film poster for film Victim

Two films that have more in common than single words in their title. Both are criminal dramas, both directed by Basil Dearden and both use the format to address social issues.

Sapphire starts as a simple mystery. A body of a female student has been found in a park in London and the police must find the killer. Her boyfriend appears to have an alibi, he was out of town and his father backs up the story. The investigation is going nowhere until the victim’s brother shows up. Thew twist is that he is black, which in turn makes the victim, Sapphire, black as well, even if she doesn’t look it (the father is black, the mother white). The racial element adds several twists to the plot. Is the boyfriend the killer, angered by the discovery of Sapphire’s race? Is it another member of the family? Is it one of Sapphire’s former friends from the international club that she has abandoned once she noticed she would be accepted as white?

There are many moments that clumsily work these plot points. Black people have natural rhythm, it is accepted that landladies will discriminate against non-whites (‘they have to make a living), and there’s the casual acceptance that a black girl would natural want to pass for white if she could.

Nonetheless, considering it was made in 1959, this seems a brave effort at using a genre to get the audience to take a look at itself and see the danger of its own racism.

Victim similarly deals with a major social issue. Homosexual men are being blackmailed with the threat of exposure. One is arrested for stealing cash from his employer, but hangs himself in custody rather than confess why he did it (he needed the money to pay off the blackmailer, but equally he is trying to protect a former lover). One of the victims, a high flying lawyer, decides he wants to do something, and tries to persuade other victims to fight back. However, either no-one is prepared to go public or they are intimated into silence. Ultimately he decides to effectively give up his career by going to the police himself.

This is a powerful film in many ways. The tension is kept up throughout as you try to work out who the blackmailer is. At the same time, and more importantly, it is an exposure of the ridiculousness of the anti-homosexual laws that were in force at the time, ‘a blackmailer’s charter,’ as one character describes it. Victim is a simple call for the right for adults to sleep with whom they want without fear of arrest and ridicule. The lead performance from Dirk Bogarde is perhaps given extra strength from being himself a closeted homosexual all his life.

Review: The Long Good Friday

The Long Good Friday is a British gangster film from the early 80s which combines some usual gangster film elements with some gritty British realism.

It must be more than thirty years since I first saw it, and the first thing that struck me was how there was so little that I remembered, only the famous meat warehouse scene seemed familiar.

At the core of the film is the character of Harold, played by Bob Hoskins, a sort of reformed gangster who has been keeping London quiet for the police while using his contacts within the police and local councils to ensure his business success. However, when he is in the USA trying to negotiate a deal with the mafia things go wrong at home and he is sucked into the world of IRA terrorism.

It’s an intriguing film for what it shows of London and the UK at the time. People are casually called ‘queer,’ ‘mick’ or other even more offensive words if you happen to be of another colour than white. Yet Harold’s best friend is known to be gay with no indication that this makes him a weak link. In another scene, Harold visits a rundown part of London to visit a Black police informant, initially lamenting that ‘it used to be a good neighbourhood,’ the classic complaint of the white racist, yet a few minutes later says, ‘these people deserve more.’ It’s only the Irish who seem to come off completely negatively, unless I remember wrongly all the Irish characters are terrorists or associates of terrorists.

Harold twice in the film proclaims his Europeanism, that Europe is Britain’s future, while simultaneously harking back to a ‘forgotten’ London of traditional pubs and when even gangsters looked after each other. But ultimately his European dream is a fantastical as his memories of old times, and he is thwarted by the power of the IRA, whose politics draws a fanaticism that seems hard to defeat. Make your own conclusions about what this tells us about today’s Brexit Britain!

Should you watch this film? Yes! Along with the glimpse into a Britain of the not so distant past, there’s a plot that has enough twists to keep you guessing to the end, excellent acting, and direction that isn’t flashy, but keeps the whole thing together. There’s also a lot less violence and blood than you’d expect from such a story, something I personally appreciated.

Read more about The Long Good Friday at