we all think that life is gonna take us till we’re 85 with a husband/wife and grandkids galore. but life holds no mercy. situations come without any warning. we can be 22, slammed by a rare form of cancer that has no survival rate. you never know. hold the ones you love extra tight, everyday. live like today is your last day because we really don’t have tomorrow promised.
Year ago, when I was a kid, a house round the corner from me burned down. My Mum told me what had happened: my friend’s adult sister had lived there with her boyfriend, and in the garden she had two big aviaries; she absolutely loved her birds, they felt like family to her.
Eventually, she broke up with her boyfriend. I don’t know if he’d been abusive before this, though I guess I’d be surprised if he hadn’t. She slept at a friend’s house after a party one night, and when she got home, her house was gone.
The police investigation concluded that the boyfriend had set fire to the aviaries, burnt his ex’s beautiful birds alive just to hurt her, and the fire had spread to the house. It was lucky that no-one was there, because the house was quite literally burnt to the ground. I wonder if he knew she was away, or if he just didn’t care either way?
She sold the land not long after the fire, but a good ten or twelve years later, nothing has been done with it: it’s just a big wooden fence, through which you can see glimpses of the charred ruins of the house, overrun with weeds and litter. I can imagine the next generation of kids peeking through the fence and making up horror stories about what happened here: I hope none of them manage to think of anything as terrible as the truth.
If you asked me, the one character I consider had the most fucked up past during SDC was Polnareff. Joseph too, of course, but please think about Polnareff. His sister was violated and murdered by a mysterious man and Polnareff devoted his youth and whole self to find the murderer and get revenge. That’s just too much for such a young man to burden. It was his sister! Sometimes, as we watch or read series, we tend to forget the impact of death and what it causes.
Cherry was no longer there. Polnareff would wake up to her empty room, her chair during dinner would remain still and devoid of her voice and smile. He would still sense the scent in her room and he wouldn’t want to clean her stuff for fear of losing what’s he had left of her. She became a ghost in his life, whenever he looked around he swore he could see her or hear her calling. But she’s not there. Polnareff suffered a lot, and on top of that, he saw her zombified version and not only that: Avdul joined to his mourning.
The two most important people in his life were taken away from him. I will never stop myself from wanting to hold Polnareff, he deserves protection and he deserves love.
“I pledge to stay silent for the entire school day of April 17th, 2015. I reserve the right to be silent, to support those who have lost their lives because of the inequality that was presented to them. I reserve the right to be silent, to remember all of those who were silenced against their will. I take this oath seriously, and will not abuse the right to be silent.”
as a trans POC, I feel that this day is 147% necessary. rip all of my trans brothers and sisters that took their own lives or were killed. rip all of my black brothers and sisters that have had their lives taken at the hands of the law. rip all people of color that have been innocently killed. today is for you.
Hey guys, this is my foster sister. She had been living at my house for about four months before she ran away. Leading up to March 9th, Sierra had been socially withdrawn. She never went to school and she never came out of her room. Sierra was homesick and she wanted to return to Yakima where her friends and family were. We believe that was the motive behind her running away. At about late March 8th/ very early March 9th, Sierra packed her bags and left. All of her social media accounts were deactivated, so we have no clue about her current location/what she’s doing. Me and my family are worried sick about her. It’s difficult for the police to find her, since she may be travelling across the country.
If you see Sierra, please contact the Romeoville Police Department. 1-815-886-7219
When I lived with my ex, his sister’s two kids had came to live with us. They used my lotions, body washes, laundry detergent, etc. I knew one of the kids was allergic to nuts, so I got an almond body wash and a coconut one.
20 Questions: Louise Brealey - ‘failure is not trying’
The Sherlock star on books, Doctor Who auditions and felt koalas
Louise Brealey, perhaps best known for her role as Molly Hooper in Sherlock opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, is soon to star in the Royal Court’s touring production of Nick Payne’s two-hander Constellations, touring the UK from 14 May
1. Where did you grow up? I grew up in rural Northamptonshire, the Rose of the Shires, the Boot and Shoe County. It’s about eighty miles up the M1 from London, where I’ve lived since university. Me and my brother and sister had the text-book country childhood; making dens, bombing each other with straw-stubble-with-the-soil-attached, avoiding bulls, manhandling newts, getting smashed on Snake Bite and Black, all that stuff. I have red Northants mud in my veins.
2. What made you want to become an actor and subsequently a playwright? No one else in my family is an actor, but both my parents are very funny and my dad’s a salesman, which is basically the same thing. I always wanted to act when I was little but I wasn’t a very confident child so I never did all that putting on shows for my parents stuff; we didn’t have a dressing-up box. I actually think I first fell in love with acting because I was a bookish little thing and I’d always get completely lost in the story and imagine myself as the characters of everything I read. So I spent my childhood being Jo in Little Women, or Anne of Green Gables, or Jane Eyre, or Elizabeth Bennett. I found a tatty old book in a box in my parents’ loft called The Swish of the Curtain about friends who put on plays in a derelict Parish Hall, and read it over and over. As for writing, I’ve been a journalist all my working life and when I was asked by the National Youth Theatre to write a play about a ninth century woman pope, I thought, why not?
3. Was there anything else you wanted you to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a diplomat to see the world. Sadly my diplomacy skills are fair to middling. For about five years I wanted to be an astronaut. I’m playing a cosmologist in Constellations so it’s handy that I can spot Orion. My theoretical physics is not up to much, though.
4. First big break? My first job, for Max Stafford-Clark at the Royal Court in 2001. I played a 14-year-old kid who was madly in love with the local bad boy. I got it because the assistant director had worked with me in a fringe play in which I sang - badly - a Britney Spears number.
5. Career highlights to date? Sonya in Uncle Vanya for Peter Hall. I could play that part forever. Chekhov is brilliantly funny and sad, and Sonya has a heart the size of Russia.
6. Worst audition? Showing up to read for Rose Tyler in Doctor Who and Chris Eccleston saying “I remember you, you did that interview for Premiere” (into which my editor had crowbarred a couple of less-than-flattering comments).
7. What was the first thing you saw on stage that had a big impact on you? I fell in love with the girl playing the male lead in the school play, Roses of Eyam. I was dazzled by all the things she made me feel.
8. And the last? I saw Imelda Staunton in Good People and she blew my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about the play, which is about chance, for months and she was absolutely amazing. I’ve never seen a more perfect combination of technique and instinct.
9. Favourite book? I’m not a big re-reader, but the last book I read that smashed me to bits was This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. At the moment I’m reading In the Orchard, The Swallows by Peter Hobbs which is utterly beautiful. It sort of goes into your body and glows; a bit like a Barium meal, but less bad for you.
10. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? That failure is not trying.
11. Why did you want to get involved in Constellations? Because it is one of the most beautiful plays I’ve ever read. Because you are playing tens of different versions of the same woman so it’s an immense technical challenge. Because I’m playing opposite Joe Armstrong and he makes me a better actor. Because Mike Longhurst is directing it, and we’ve wanted to work together for a while.
12. How would you summarise the play in five words? Love. Choices. Universes. Binbags. Bees.
13. Did you see the original London run of Constellations? No. I went up for it and couldn’t bear to go and see it! I’m glad now, though, because there’s no shadow of Rafe and Sally on our stage. We never feel we have to do what they did.
14. How are you feeling now about the two-hander, having started rehearsals? We have had so many laughs, especially considering that, one way or another, there’s a lot of death in the play. It has been the best room to make mistakes in and be bold in. I can’t wait to share it with an audience.
15. You’ve said you’re planning to write a book whilst on tour - what will it be about? Can’t say yet, sorry. But it’s non-fiction. And if I get my arse in gear, it’ll be out next year.
17. Do you feel steps are being taken to redress the gender imbalance in theatre? In terms of roles, I think the conversation is finally happening. But we need the literary departments of theatres to confront the issue and actively work with making better roles for women, and more roles. We have a canon which is wildly imbalanced in terms of men-to-women, but there’s no excuse for new writing not to meet the challenge head on. Campaigns like Act For Change are a start, and people like Vicky Featherstone at the Court are very good news.
18. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received from a fan? Make-it-yourself felt koalas for the Christmas tree.
19. How do you unwind? I light a fire and stick on a Yoga demo thing, where the woman talks you through the moves. Or I walk in the woods around my house and pretend I’ve got a dog.
20. What’s next? The mysterious book. But in terms of appearances, I’m in George Gently on 19 May, and I’m really proud of it. I usually cringe at myself on camera but I did a bit of ADR on it and it looks really brilliant. And Ripper Street 3 comes onto the BBC shortly. I made a thriller last year called Containment with the ridiculously talented Lee Ross, so that’ll make an appearance at some point. And then there’s the Sherlock special.
Constellations opens at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre on 14 May and tours until 4 July.
I’m sure you’ve heard many variations of the same condolence over the past few days, but my heart feels the ache as if I knew her much better than I did. I’m so sorry for the loss you have experienced. The loss of a daughter, a sister, a friend, a gem. In the short exchange my sisters and I had with her, her lively kindness, warmth, and phenomenal talent left an unfading, everlasting impression on all of us. We’ll never be able to say we can empathize with you, but you have all of our love and support during this time. Thank you for sharing her with the world, and allowing her to be such a light for us all. And as a believer in the Divine, i know where Christina is, and i thank GOD for that truth, and i thank our Savior for making it possible. Christina, you are still shining bright, even in the afterlife. Though our hearts grieve with your loved ones, our spirits rejoice in where you now reside. We love you, and the impact you’ve had on us all will resound until we join you soon enough.
The second tragedy you’ve experienced within a week. There are no words. We are all angry, hurt, and upset for and with the city, and the LGBT community. Regardless of your belief system or lack thereof, senseless and hate-driven slaughter is unjustified. Period. I pray for the strength, recovery and healing of the city and of those who lost ones closest to them. To the friends and acquaintances we know personally who lost someone during this massacre, we love you. And we are deeply sorry. I’m heartbroken over the level of trauma we as a nation are experiencing at the moment, this being the most devastating onslaught from gun violence the U.S. has ever seen. All ideologies, opinions, and beliefs aside, there is no law (governmental or in GOD’s Law) that vindicates any level of discriminatory terrorism or destruction of human life. To the LGBT community, to the city of Orlando, to all those feeling the effects of the recent devastations that have occurred. We are hurting and praying with you, and will continue to choose to speak out, push and fight against injustice.
May GOD be with and Bless you all. - Sierra
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” -Matthew 5:4
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38
shadyyang asked: Hi. I have been hearing and seeing a lot of news involving the Michael Brown and Eric Garner tragedies! As a white male who follows Jesus, what is your take on how we should respond to the mourning and anger of black Americans?
Unka Glen answered: Oh, I think we’ve heard quite enough from white males on this subject, haven’t we? Just this last week I spoke to my African American sister in Christ, who had spent many decades living in the Ferguson area. After that conversation, I’m pretty sure that very few white people have any idea what really happens in these neighborhoods.
It’s just two different worlds.
I can tell you, after doing inner-city ministry for the past 25 decades, if you think police misconduct is rare, or isolated to the places you see on TV, then you simply haven’t been where I’ve been, and seen what I’ve seen. One can even read the reports that our local Chicago police force kept on themselves, and were required by law to make public. They paint their own grim picture.
Nearly every African American or Latino American that I’ve known has told me at least one story of police conduct that is so extreme, it’s hard to believe. The best preacher I’ve ever heard, a man of deep respect in his community, a PhD. for Gods sake, once told us about his experience of having police dogs turned on him.
I’ve experienced a teeny, tiny, tiny bit of the same thing from working in these neighborhoods, getting pulled over, showing not only my driver’s license, but the chaplains I.D. badge that allows me into the jailhouse where I’m headed, and officers are emptying boxes of Bibles out onto the ground, digging through everything and barking, “Where’s the drugs? Tell me where you’re hiding the drugs!”
Like I said, hard to believe.
Of course it’s also fair to point out that politicians, both left and right, work hard to prove that they’re “tough on crime”. They’ve discovered that fear is a great way to get votes, and once they’ve made you afraid, they compel the police force to be more and more brutal, because, after all, people are scared out there.
The real question is, what attitude does the Lord require of us in situations like this?
Stand with the oppressed. Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” That’s pretty clear to me. Christians are meant to be there for people who are wronged and aren’t in power.
Seek understanding. One can try to understand how a cop can be so overwhelmed and untrained, operating in an environment of (apparently) little or no accountability, that he commits an act of heinous misconduct. One can also try to understand how people who’ve been abused over time, can feel pushed to the brink, and suddenly it’s just one thing to many.
Seek accountability. Inner city neighborhoods need more professional oversight, more specialized training, and much more accountability. The last thing we need in all this tension is a cartoonish movie character “bending the rules to get things done”. We need more brains, and less brutality. You can support the police, but you can’t support police misconduct.
Build bridges. If you’re white, and you’re a Christian, find a way, as a church, to reach out to a predominantly African American or Latino church. Ask THEM for guidance on how to proceed with achieving some unity. (Hint: the economic disparity between you should be the first item on the agenda, as scripture directs you in 2 Cor. 8:14-15).
Find the truth. You’ve said that you’ve been “seeing a lot of news” on this killing, but there isn’t much news in the news is there? Lots of opinions, and lots of emotionally charged images that keep jacking up the fear that drives this whole thing, and very few facts. Use this event as an excuse to find more reliable news sources, and avoid the rest.
Seek peace. There’s a certain type of individual who likes to take the “brave yet unpopular” viewpoint, when it’s not brave at all, it’s just what a jerk would think. This is attention-seeking behavior, and if you respond to it, you feed it, and it never goes away. Find people who are looking for smart solutions to bring harmony and healing.