We're not happy at all that The Leeds has been outed as a hotbed of extremism, as evidenced by the recent raids of addresses there. We've always been fond of the place, and see it as one of the few bastions of enlightenment in the north (trust us, we're from Scunthorpe). Hugely deprived areas there are, and not just Chapeltown, the dark trench over which one must pass between the city centre and the Elysian Fields of Chapel Allerton. Much of the north of England has moved on from city versus country, a debate that was settled over a century ago and only resonates these days in London's commuter belt, to a more sinister set of racial tensions. The East End of London used to be the most fertile ground for a racist politican to get elected, but it is now the towns and villages of Yorkshire and Lancashire that offer more fruitful prospects. The top oldie mouldering ground portayed in Last of the Summer Wine is long gone.
And while we are on the subject of uninformed and poorly thought-out opinions, meet Ultragrrrl, a.k.a. Sarah Lewitinn, interviewed today in Gothamist (yes we know, we know, it's like crack for RSS-babies). Now, as you can imagine, we're not fans of unapologetic "Trends", particularly those that brought the world Louis XIV (god we're decadent, dahlings!).
We also disagree spectacularly with her claim that music journalists should be paid better. Most journallists should definitely be paid more, particularly in those industries where money is unlikely to screw up the source material. Music is one of those things that money screws up hopelessly - with the occasional, but not universal, exception of Spiritualized albums. It's a hobby, and Sarah's, um, career should be a good example of this. Do you detect the rantings of a failed music journalist here? Oh yes you do.
Anyway, the far more egregious remark came a little earllier. We'll reproduce it here:
"You know how people with Down syndrome are really nice and happy all the time because their brains aren't developed enough to have negative emotion? I'm sort of like that, except my brain is a little more formed. Only a little."
Very good work, Sarah. Now, we'll confess to not being a huge expert on Down's Syndrome, but we've certainly seen people with Down's Syndrome get upset. And yes, something about a smug scenester calling people with a disability cheerful space cadets did stick in our craw. So we went to the website of the National Down Syndrome Society and pulled up this FAQ:
Myth: People with Down syndrome are always happy.
Truth: People with Down syndrome have feelings just like everyone else in the population. They respond to positive expressions of friendship and they are hurt and upset by inconsiderate behavior.
Sarah, on the other hand never, ever, ever, gets upset by inconsiderate behaviour.
Coming up, the latest, and vilest free paper in the 'hood. It's a doozy.