The Gender rights minefield… its confusing now to find a consensus of who to defend

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Are traditional feminists now right wing in saying transgender women are not real women? Or can transgender women’s insistence on their right to compete be another symptom of male domination/ bullying?

Sportswomen like Martina Navratilova, Paula Radcliffe and Sharron Davies have recently voiced their doubts about biological males who have made the transition to womanhood now being able to compete equally with biological females.

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Lauded languages

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I was recently demonstrating some electric guitar when I was giving a workshop on Latin music, and as I put a Santana backing track on and turned on the distortion, straight away people were almost open mouthed, like ” Wow, is that really coming out of that guitar, it’s like magic…” Ok my playing is skilful enough but it’s just a language like anything we learn over years… just like subtleties we learn when we speak over a period of years, all the sounds we hear, the phrases, the responses, the emotional reaction, so many things link in together – and we take it for granted – but this language and communication we all learn is as intense and amazing as anyone playing guitar.

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Closed-mindedness of Anglophone culture

Obituaries like these, useful as they are, show how Anglo-American centric we are here in the UK… considering we’re in the continent of Europe (regardless of EU membership or exit) you would think that from this obituary, no famous French, Italian, German or Spanish person died apart from the odd chef who might have been known simply because they cooked here.
This is down to the complacency of anglophone culture… i.e. what’s the point of learning about people who speak other languages. And I stress, this is not a Brexit issue, there are plenty of ignorant closed minded people on both sides…

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New pedestrian / pelican crossings… evolution?

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In the past few years there’s been an ingenious new pedestrian crossing system implemented in many parts of the UK. Each new installation must cost tens of 1000s of pounds. In previous decades we could use these pelican crossings by pressing a button and looking across the road, waiting until we see the green man. Now with this new system, we look across the road and see… nothing! As I said, the system is ingenious!

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The temptation (or necessity) to share oneself

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No I don’t mean literally share yourself, I mean share links to do with yourself.
We really as artists can’t help sharing info, links, videos and reviews about ourselves… because really, in this net saturated world, who else is going to share the info? And even if big magazines have written the article, the irony is we still have to share the link to the article because otherwise, the fans will have probably missed it!

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Jamal Khashoggi

The terrible fate of Jamal Khashoggi (1958-2018) has been widely discussed in the past month. He was obviously a journalist who challenged the Saudi establishment. Reading about his close family members though, it’s a bit unclear exactly how he was related to certain people.

One fact widely reported is that he is first cousin of Dodi Fayed (1955-1997) and nephew of billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi (1935-2017). There are other reports that Jamal was a cousin of Adnan.

What seems clear is that his parents were Ahmad Khashoggi (owner of a fabric shop, as reported by The Guardian on 19th Oct) and Esaaf Daftar.

It’s reported that his grandfather was prominent doctor Muhammad Khashoggi, but the confusing thing is that when you look at the list of Muhammad’s children, they are Adnan Khashoggi, Samira Khashoggi (1935-1986, briefly married to Mohamed Al-Fayed), Essam Khashoggi, Adil Khashoggi, Assia Khashoggi, and Soheir Khashoggi. This list does not contain Jamal’s father Ahmad, so it’s unclear how his close family fits into Muhammad’s family.

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