BAME Token

Channel 4 executives will find their bonus payments cut if they fail to meet radical new diversity targets which require women, black, asian or minority ethnic (BAME) people and the disabled to be given leading roles across all of its programmes. Channel 4’s drama and comedies are required to include at least one lead character from an ethnic minority, LGBT or disabled background and 50 per cent of the lead roles must be female, if no other minority groups feature. Entertainment shows must also have 25 per cent female on-screen representation as well as a minimum of 15 per cent guests or presenters who are LGBT, ethnic minority, disabled or “another underrepresented group”. The commitments extend to off-screen roles: 15 per cent of the production team in scripted shows should be from an ethnic minority or have a disability. “It is positive action, not positive discrimination”, Channel 4 said. The new targets would not prevent some good programmes from being commissioned, “We just have to look harder to find talented people from these groups”.

Apparently the Academy Awards didn’t get the message and nominated only talented people for their Oscars. The 2015 list of Oscar nominations has raised eyebrows because for just the second time since the turn of the Century, every nominee in the Academy’s four acting categories is white.

Time Marketing

Michel Houellebecq’s sixth novel, Soumission, was published today, January the 7th, in France. According to it, the leader of France’s Muslim party has beaten the far-right Front National in the Presidential election, women abandon Western dress and leave work, non-Muslim teachers are forced out of their jobs and polygamy is reinstated: this is France in 2022. When confronted with accusations of Islamophobia, Houellebecq claimed that he was not writing out of fear and that “things don’t go all that badly” in the book, except if you were a “feminist”.

Also todayJanuary the 7th, at least 12 people have been killed in a shooting incident at the Paris office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Video footage posted to social media showed armed gunmen running through the streets of Paris, shooting with automatic weapons and shouting “Allahu Akbar”. According to an eye-witness, one of the gunmen shouted: “The Prophet is avenged.”

“I accelerate history, but no, I can’t say that the book is a provocation; if that means saying things I consider fundamentally untrue just to get on people’s nerves,” Michel Houellebecq said. “I condense an evolution that is, in my opinion, realistic.”

Beautiful Chaos of Reality

Not even Tolkien’s vast philological scholarship, his deep knowledge of mythology, and his world-building skills could impress what Moorcock and company saw as a troublesome infantilism inherent in Tolkien’s work. In a 1971 essay in New Worlds, the writer M. John Harrison acknowledges Tolkien’s position as the first and last word in fantastic fiction, but begs readers to look more closely, where they will see not the “beautiful chaos of reality” but “stability and comfort and safe catharsis.”

Nova Bandeira de Portugal

O vermelho e o verde da bandeira portuguesa, apesar de propagandeados como representação do sangue daqueles que morreram defendendo a pátria e da esperança da nação respetivamente, são na verdade as cores do Partido Republicano Português, movimento responsável pela revolução republicana de 1910 e posterior adoção da nova bandeira em 1911. No entanto, essas cores representam uma mudança dramática na evolução da norma portuguesa uma vez que desde a fundação do país e das suas cerca de 20 bandeiras oficiais, a bandeira evoluiu da cruz azul sobre fundo branco de D. Afonso Henriques ao brasão de armas da monarquia liberal sobre um retângulo azul e branco. Mais, na bandeira atual apenas o escudo português no centro representa verdadeiramente a nação uma vez que o mesmo, excepto durante o reinado de D. Afonso Henriques, está presente em cada bandeira histórica de uma forma ou de outra.

Assim sendo, na minha opinião, esta deveria ser a nova bandeira de Portugal:

Bandeira de Portugal
Os cinco escudos azuis com seus cinco besantes brancos representam o escudo de armas centenário e original de Portugal. Presente em todas as bandeiras excepto na primeira, foi criado no reinado de D. Sancho I em 1185, sucessor de D. Afonso Henriques, e assumiu a sua forma atual em 1485, durante o reinado de D. João II. O fundo branco em conjugação com o azul dos escudos completa a dualidade azul e branco, cores de Portugal desde 1139, altura em que adotou a bandeira do seu fundador, D. Afonso Henriques: cruz azul sobre fundo branco.