Has The World Suddenly Gone Mad?

One of my most special childhood memories was when I would fall asleep in the car after a long car journey and my dad would carry me into the house and put me to bed. 

This image was selected as a picture of the we...
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 6th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I would pretend to be asleep. I loved that feeling of happiness and safety created by his strong arms carrying me up the stairs, the familiar smell of his aftershave and the blanket of security such a simple act of parenting afforded me.

But for even us privileged people of the western world, who sit in our ivory towers moaning about our first world problems, today feels like no one and nowhere is safe anymore.

In spite of the numerous advancements in science and technology over the past few decades, it feels as though progress has sadly augmented our vulnerability in the face of terrorism.

Just me, or does it feel to you as though the world has suddenly gone mad?

From random high school shootings and racist attacks in the US, an increase in suicide rates worldwide, kidnappings, mass genocide and rape – where did the good news go?

Is it just because we have immediate access to the news and its daily atrocities that we feel more exposed, or did such heinous acts in the name of politics and religion always go on?

Sadly, you only have to look back to the battles in Europe before the World wars, Hitler and Germany, The American Civil War and the war between Palestine and Israel to know that they did. The fact that most of the world remained immune to the genocide of Europe’s Jewish population until close to the end of the war proves it.

Innocent bystanders have always been the pawns of political and religious idealism but you’d think that progress would have taught us that war and violence solve nothing and that communication is a better way. And when the innocent are enjoying a simple night out, to be savagely targeted by cowards, without any means of protection to defend themselves, it feels all the more shameful and inhumane.

That is the work of butchers.

What has caused this decrease in the value of human life, and increase in the entitlement of extremists to push their personal idealism on others via physical force, rather than through the modern channels of communication and democracy.

No-one is safe anymore.

I lived in France for three years in my twenties and I would never have considered any deep-seated threat lurking there, or felt afraid that religion and politics – social groups that are supposed to hold and bring people together and create communities – could kill.

Not that historically anything has really changed – the innocent have long been persecuted by power-hungry dictators or small factions of self-serving murderers. Worse still, we know that our instant access to world news most likely propels the perpetrators to kill in the most public of places, to attract news coverage. As seen during the siege in Sydney, when the media had to be reminded to stop filming their minute-by-minute account of the events to protect the people still in danger.

Which leaves us in a conundrum. We cannot live in fear. We cannot let the terrorists win. We need to bring about awareness of terrorism and it’s small-minded idealism without sensationalizing or propagating it so that innocent people – that include the majority of Muslims and refugees, feel safe again.

Our thoughts are with you, Paris.

Paris Fashion, Darlinks…

Paris Fashion, Darlinks...
This might turn the old man’s head.

It is with great excitement that I am able report that I finally discovered the magic of Uniqlo this weekend. A huge contender to Gap – which at one time was my all-time fave store in the UK for couch-surfing gear – Uniqlo offers great quality clothing at super-affordable pricing. So check it out!

This is me in my new dog-walking outfit of sexy sleeveless puffa jacket and camel-toe jeggings.

Paris Fashion, Darlinks...
Uniqlo Girl!

Fashions seems to be in a bit of a pickle at the moment with its latest offering of the barely-there dress, usually barely encasing middle-aged bodies.

WHY?

I’ve always taken a revolutionary stand on fashion and welcomed the more extreme style offered by Haute Couture, but I’m not so keen on the whole mutton-dressed-as-hooker look.

There are some truly unconventional designers who can create breath-taking fashion without the need to cut and paste the skimpiest morsels of fabric and crystals over women’s bits.

Which leads me conveniently to this little post, which I’ve sat on like an impatient hen since my trip to Europe, but have finally decided to share, even if you are bored off your faces by my recent lavish exploits a l’etranger.

Tant pis!

Imagine the scene, if you will – you’re walking down the Champs Elysees like the tourist-nobody that you are, looking like you’re minding your own business but secretly feeling completely blown away by the fact that you’re walking down the fucking Champs Elysees, when you stumble across a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition, right there, in front of you at the Grand Palais.,

And, well you know what a fashionista I pretend to be…

Having been one of those easily-influenced, slave-to-fashion, twenty-somethings saddos of the eighties and early nineties, I always had a bit of a penchant for the madness and enfant terrible image of Jean Paul Gaultier; in particular for his hyper-focus on certain longstanding elements of fashion that I am still partial to, like his mariner stripes, punk influenced fashion and fetish for animal print.

But even I had forgotten about some of the great man’s more radical and iconic designs, that continue to be recycled, decade after decade.

Paris Fashion, Darlinks...
I’m thinking ‘parents evening’…

The freakiest part of the exhibition – and you’ll have to imagine this from my poor description alone, (because although I snuck some photos, even I didn’t have the balls to get the whole video-thing going, especially when I still can’t work out how to do it properly on my Iphone without my kids around) – was that somehow the exhibition designers had streamed living faces onto the faces of the mannequins and so they talked to you as you passed in front of them – including the mannequin of the great man himself.

Paris Fashion, Darlinks...
The great man himself!

It was clever, but seriously disturbing.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that I still felt pretty culturally superior as I moved through the exhibition in my op shop $20 black raincoat, Supre jeggings and Witner boots, although many of my fellow fashionistas embraced Jean-Paul’s influence far more overtly than me.

These were the boots of the guy stood in front of me in the queue.

Paris Fashion, Darlinks...

It was interesting to watch the story behind Gaultier’s affiliation with Madonna and his creation of the cone bra, and to watch that video of her appearance on his catwalk with her boobs out in their full, dense glory.

(Not much has changed there, then.)

Whatever you think about her voice and the way she promotes herself so unashamedly these days, Madonna always did have great boobs.

Not sure I would choose a Gaultier wedding dress even if I had the money, but I reckon a bit of cone corsetry might even turn the old man’s head after all these years.