The good, the bad & the ugly

It’s been a tough, bad week…

  • Landslide in south east Bangladesh after a cyclone, killing over 150 people!! (there are so many lives always at risk in Bangladesh because there is no money for water, storm and flood management infrastructure);
  • Republican congress staff shot at & wounded in Washington (hatred is encouraged nowadays with divisive rhetoric and when will something be done about gun laws? I don’t see how MORE people carrying concealed guns solves anything);
  • And an awful fire in the Grenfell Tower apartment building in west London (30 known dead but probably more to follow; could the reason for this deadly fire spreading so quickly be negligence by the owners?).Paper Fortune Teller

And then yesterday I met a young woman from Ivory Coast with an ugly story. She is only 19 years old, still a girl really, with not much known about her, she is very reticent. She somehow came to The Netherlands and was forced into prostitution (whether here or already back in Ivory Coast, I don’t know). She has now found refuge at a shelter and has a 2 week old baby… father unknown… She’s had little education, has only been to primary school and says she can read and write. She mentioned losing her mum some years ago and something about brothers with ‘hunger belly’ some time ago.  What awfulness has she seen in her 19 years? Why are many men’s actions so ruled by their di**s that they need to exploit and use (vulnerable) women? What future is there for this Ivory Coast girl? And for her absolutely beautiful 2 week old daughter who I got to hold for quite a while? When asked how she felt about becoming a mum she said, she was happy, “at least I am not alone anymore”. She has no idea what to do, where to go, whether she even can or will stay in The Netherlands… She is overwhelmed by life and she’s a new mum all on her own at that. The shelter she is living in is filled with young women who have stories like her’s. Needless to say, I have been preoccupied with this young woman and her tiny daughter for the past 24 hours…

With all this bad and ugliness I have put myself off writing about anything good, although I will try. There were some new Richard Armitage pics this past week that are good and that I really like (especially the one of the two bearded men, lovely smiles there!)…

… and a picture of Richard and Rhys Ifans in action during filming which is nice too. There is also a new selfie that Richard tweeted for Cybersmile’s stop cyberbullying day (an admirable goal)…

Everyone is gushing about this new selfie being so wonderful and I just keep on thinking, “what am I missing?” To me, Richard looks off in this… something about his mouth, his hint of a smile, feels very posed and not real… his face looks a little plastic too, reminds me a bit of one of those wax dolls at Madame Tussaud’s. I really love this man, but I’m just not one to gush over every image of him, I guess. Or maybe I’m just in too much of a bad and ugly nitpicking mood after this week to appreciate the good? I know we must keep on battling bad and ugly with good; I really do try that and I know Richard tries to do that with this Cybersmile thing (and no, me criticizing this image is not cyberbullying), but sometimes it all just feels so hopeless…

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20 thoughts on “The good, the bad & the ugly

  1. Such a sad story re. the Ivory Coast girl. Can you tell us how you got to know her, or is that indiscreet? Even though it was another sad story, I am grateful you shared it here. We need to be aware of these stories, of the misery and horror that women are still experiencing – often at the hands of men – in the 21st century. (I am probably in a bit of a feminist mood right now, just having come back from another women’s rights demo in Ireland. We have our own battles to fight here, as this little country – even though progressive in terms of a popular vote for marriage equality – still does not give women the right to decide over their own bodies.)
    I was discussing the Grenfell Tower disaster with my son today, and we both agreed that this sad, horrible incident may be a catalyst to mobilise people in Britain to do something about a government that clearly ignores the welfare and care for the poor.
    As for the selfie – I am a bad bad fan who rarely likes *any* selfies by the man. Of the 20-30 he has posted, there are about 3 that I find acceptable. I agree with you on the latest one – something’s off, and in my opinion it’s not the mouth as such. He’s kind of caught himself with his mouth open, for a change, that’s all. But imo he tends to use an unflattering angle when he is taking selfies of himself, and that often results in emphasising his cheekbones in a strange way, making them look fleshier than they are. But well, it’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? As long as he likes the look of the selfie, then that’s what matters…
    Happy weekend to you!

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    • I don’t want to say more about the Ivory Coast girl, indeed for reasons of discretion, except that meeting her was something related to my new job. I don’t think I’ll ever forget her…
      Good for you marching for women’s rights! I so hope it will help!
      As for the selfie – I’m with ya on the eye of the beholder thing and yes, he must have liked it enough to post it. Looks like his and my taste differs. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Makes perfect sense re. discretion! I understand.
        Our new taoiseach (PM) has promised us a referendum next year. The current situation in Ireland is that the Eighth Amendment of the Irish constitution equates the right to life of a pregnant woman with that of an embryo or foetus. Which effectively criminalises abortion in all cases except where to continue a pregnancy would result in death. The UN has already pointed out that that actually constitutes a human rights infringement. Yet despite protests we still have to travel abroad to have abortions…
        And my taste is more like yours and less like his, it appears 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was wondering whether I wasn’t already saying too much about the girl… so yeah…
          I seem to recall a Dutch ‘abortion boat’ in front of the Irish coast causing a lot of upheaval some years back. Just looked it up, this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_on_Waves
          It’s a crooked world where women’s bodies may be used and abused but women can’t determine what they want to do with their own bodies…

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  2. There’s a big golf tournament in Wisconsin this weekend and it was the second or third report on the news last night that the police know there is human trafficking going on in conjunction with it and area people (not us, really, it’s quite a ways south of here, but some people might go, I suppose) need to be on the lookout for women being trafficked. They gave some ways to look, but they left out one of the main indices IMO — the state is *very* white and golf is a *very* white sport so one index is if the person who looks like they’re in trouble is black or Latina … however, that raises all kinds of other problems. Deep sigh.

    I wasn’t as excited as I would normally be about the pictures this week, but I think it’s because the news was SO awful. The reports you mention plus the UK government, the outcomes in the Cosby and Philando Castile trials, and the Sessions testimony are all on my mind. Dad on the other hand was fishing up north all week and came back in a really cheery mood. Conclusion obvious: I should stop watching news, probably.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Women being trafficked through a golf tournament in Wisconsin? Oh man, it really does happen everywhere… 😦
      Yeah, I’ve been trying to keep away from news for a bit but have been sucked right back in… The news is so depressing… I really need to remind myself there are many good things in the world as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess it follows the money. I think a lot of people around here are shocked, though. There’s always been prostitution here, as in many small communities, but it tended not to be strongly correlated to organized crime.

        I’m not sure what to do about the news. Being well informed is really a constitutive part of my identity but I don’t know how I’m going to last four years. On the other hand, just saying I could look away is a blatant proclamation of my own privilege.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Esther, Thank you for sharing the young mother’s story. The United Nations and NGO’s have advocated for the very real need for help for women and children around the world–their health, housing, education, financial security, safety, etc., on a much larger scale than is happening now. I will keep she and her daughter in my prayers. I hope that she finds a new start for her and her child’s life. Hugs!

    And my prayers for the victims of other tragedies around the world. May communities rally together to prevent harm where they can, and give aide when it is needed. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing……News of late has been disturbing, so when the selfie surfaced this week? Well, I was a tad disappointed as well..It looks “strained”, “staged”, “photo shopped” and yes plastic…Ya know Richard, your a great looking guy, lovely smile, great expressive eyes, sincere, honest…So take a selfie of that, they way you are not the way someone may be telling you to be….amen

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    • The pic where he is smiling with the bearded guy beside him – that one I do like, feels more genuine.
      I guess he liked the selfie fine himself when he posted it. Such is human nature: there’s just no pleasing everyone (i.e. me)… 😉

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  5. Wenn Du mit Deiner Arbeit für die Flüchtlinge weiter machst wirst Du noch viele stories und Geschichten hören die dir an die Nieren gehen. Alle haben einen Grund zur Flucht und viele haben auf der Reise unglaubliche Dinge erlebt – manche erzählen davon und manche wollen nie wieder darüber sprechen. Ich weiss nicht was besser ist, verdrängen oder verarbeiten. Meine Hausärztin schätzt dass wir hier 200.000 Flüchtlinge haben die akut psychologische Betreuung benötigen. Termine gibt es schon für Deutsche kaum…… vieles wird unbehandelt bleiben. Die Sozialpädagogen können bestimmt einiges leisten aber auch sie sind viel zu wenige 😦
    Ich finde es super, dass du weiter machst und “zuhörst”!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Danke!
      Dieses Mädchen traf ich während meiner ‘normalen’ Arbeit, und nicht für das ehrenamtliche was ich mache. Du hast recht mit dem zuhören: überall kann mann jemanden begegnen mit so einer Geschichte, mann muss immer ‘zuhören’ und niemals urteilen über Menschen, deren Geschicht mann nicht kennt…
      200.000, die psychologische Hilfe brauchen… das ist doch schrecklich traurig… 😦

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  6. Armitage a quelque chose d’exceptionnel dans le langage par le regard. Ce dernier avait une capacité à faire passer des choses très ténues derrière une apparente neutralité. J’en suis désormais convaincue : si le comédien a quelque chose en tête au moment de jouer, de se présenter pour une photographie cela se verrait à l’écran. Ici c’est le vide sidéral, son regard ne reflète rien. Les selfies sont une image des trous noirs de l’univers. Il n’y a aucune volonté de communication dans ce type de selfies. Ils ne sont que des corvées auxquelles il se sent obligé de se soumettre.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The world out there feels really crazy… too many bag things happening and the new can be overwhelming. I’ve taken myself off more than 1 news bulletin because it just becomes too much.
    But i think it is necessary to remember and be reminded of the lives of people in other parts of the world or even here, maybe through people who come to a different place because of their hardships. Sometimes we live in a bubble and that’s not the real world. Finding the balance however is hard…

    I found some solace recently in a few science related programs; i just found it somewhat soothing to see that in spite of the madness there are people out there doing something positive for the long term future…
    The fire in London was also a stark reminder that London is not the UK and that we see all too little of the lives of people around the country and even around us. The richest borough in London allowed this to happen because the lives of the less well off didn’t matter enough, It’s beyond shameful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We really do need to find the hopeful / positive things happening in the midst of all this mess in the news…

      Liked by 1 person

    • squirrel.0072

      Doing something positive for the long term future…or trying to explore the past because there are the beginnings how can it explains future or how can it explains how the world is changing with time how it was created how it has been working through time. Science and phylosoply are my studies now too.:) I understand how you feel.

      Liked by 1 person

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