While the world (or most of it) was morning the loss of Neil Armstrong, an original space pioneer, and the futurist spirit of the late 1960s – other events suggested a leap backward to the dim and not-so-distant 1980s.
Exhibit A: A group of young women in Russia were given two-year jail sentences for singing an anti-Putin song in a cathedral. Two years in prison…for a song!! So much for glasnost and the ‘New Dawn’ of 1989–looks like ol’ Pooty-Poot wants to return to the days of czardom, or at the very least, Stalin. Now, whether or not you think the cathedral was an inappropriate place for a protest song, those sentences are pretty disproportionate to the “crime”. During the trial, the women were placed in a glass cage in the courtroom. Allegedly, there was a fire alarm one day – the courtroom was cleared, apart from the women, who were left in the cage. The Russian Orthodox Church helped to convict them as well, but then, after the sentences were handed down – pleaded for mercy for the women. Too little, too late, you hypocrites. Another sad day for free speech and another step toward police states. Kudos to the women, for standing their ground and not softening their stance in the face of authoritarians.
Exhibit B: Miners who were striking in South Africa were shot by police in a pay dispute protest, which also involved rival worker unions. Another deja vu, although things never got quite that bad in the UK, it seems unbelievable that this would happen. Then again, negligent owners are everywhere and still exploiting their work forces. Yes, there’s probably much more to the story than that – but heavy-handed tactics by the police never help. In a bizarre twist to the story – the miners have been charged with murder for the deaths of some of their colleagues (!!!). No mention of whether any police officers will be charged with murder or brutality. Their claim is that they were “defending themselves”…or course, of course.
Exhibit C: “Dallas” returns. You read that right…that show with those people…something about oil. A guy was shot, or something. You know, that soap opera show….with the ranch and it was in Texas. That one. Yes, they’ve made a new series.
Ah well, at least Madonna’s called it a day. She hasn’t!! Oh no. Next you’ll tell me that shoulder-pads are back….please don’t…
Right, I’m off to listen to Kajagoogoo and Huey Lewis & The News, while trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. It’s gonna be rad, man.