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SARAH STATHAM \

commit no nuisance I

’m not a person known for being brazen or brash but let me be blunt. I love people, their differences and similarities, varied pursuits, ways and means, degrees of confidence, awkwardness, elation, anxiety, securities, concerns and the capacity for us to help and be helped in turn. I’m interested in personal and collective growth through discussion, understanding of cause and effect, respect and that an acceptance of a duty to these things, with regard and responsibility to each other and ourselves is paramount to happiness. Not with a snaking sideways Jerry Springer smile but a genuine and sincere appreciation for our fellows and finding liberation and connection via. independent and collaborative thought rather than stigmatising difference as a consequence of fear. I’ve never studied sociology or anthropology and although the political and cultural theory aspects of my communications degree were what fascinated me most I would never claim to be the slightest bit an expert. I’m merely a socially awkward observer on the search for a sense of belonging, reaching out to reading in greasy spoons, pursuing meaning and understanding from a varied

pallet of opinion and talking with strangers when not playing music with Esper Scout and other noisy pals. “This world would be a whole lot better if we made an effort to be less horrible to one another” was Ellen Page’s direct and heartfelt plea for compassion and liberty during a recent Human Rights Campaign Foundation event. Aware this article sits on the pages of a liberal, free-thinking magazine it may well be a verse reaching only the like-minded but do hope it finds its way into other eyes, pairs which might be otherwise distracted, disinterested, disempowered, disillusioned or tired. Following College Football Star Michael Sam’s announcement that he’s gay Texas newsman Dale Hansen on 8 News boldly went on air to further ‘out’ the negative judgement and discriminatory treatment of homosexuals in sport: “I’m not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay; I don’t understand his world. But I do understand that he’s part of mine” and quoting Civil rights activist Audre Lorde, whose work was most prominent in the sixties and seventies: “It

is not our differences that divide us; it is our inability to recognise, accept and celebrate those differences.” This intolerance to differences leads to allergic reactions, as demonstrated by the whipping and drawing blood from Pussy Riot members as they set up a performance in the corner of a car park at Sochi Winter Olympics in February this year. How encouraging to live in a redefined, fertile and blossoming meritocracy based not exclusively on framed achievements, intelligence, opportunity, ownership and inheritance as it is now, but quantifying worth by behaviour, benevolence, compassion, respect, effort, intention and motivation as well. Where fluidity entombs rigidity and false absolutes are binned in favour of relativism, compromise and perspective with liberation between the exchange of ideas and interests. As one of film’s wisest minds, Garth Elgar, asks with a bemused smirk in Wayne’s World 2: ‘when did you turn into a nut bar?’ I’m aware of my potentially futile position as a dreamer, naïve philanthropist and far-from oracle for libertarian thinkers Marx, TheLeedsDebacle_3

THE LEEDS DEBACLE  

Issue 15 of The Leeds Debacle

THE LEEDS DEBACLE  

Issue 15 of The Leeds Debacle

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