And the Nominees Are


You know how I’m always asking why people like Azam Kamguian and Maryam Namazie don’t get the kind of attention the MCB gets? How I’m always saying the BBC and the Guardian and, you know, the government, ought to talk to them as well as or in fact damn well instead of a lot of fundamentalists? You know? Well – well you already know what I’m going to say, probably, since I just put it in News. But I want to yell and squeal and dance and hop for a minute anyway. Bear with me. The day didn’t begin well – it began with the horrid shock of going online and finding dear old B&W turned into a mocking advert of some kind. You think you were shocked! (I know you do, and were, because you emailed to tell me so, and I’m glad you did, because you wouldn’t if you didn’t like B&W.) Imagine how I felt! Imagine (this is Homeric vein) a doting mama going to the baby’s crib and finding there a large and very dirty warthog. Imagine a dedicated poet going to the desk and finding there, where the soaring dazzling sonnet was supposed to be, a smelly pile of rotting cabbages. Imagine a moneybags opening a safe deposit box and finding there, instead of the usual piles of stock certificates and diamonds, a heap of used bandages. So that’s how the day began. So it’s good that it’s ending (well the day isn’t ending, but I have to get off the computer, so the computerday is ending) with something better.

I didn’t even know. There I was reading the article – and was surprised and pleased to read this part –

Eight people have been nominated for the inaugural “Secularist of the Year” award, which will be presented at a central London hotel. They include a leading theatre director who has fought religious censorship in the arts, an illusionist who has used his TV shows to debunk spiritualism and several campaigners against Islamic governments in the Middle East.

I thought ‘That’s good,’ and read on.

They also include Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has highlighted violence against Muslim women.

That’s even better, I thought. The NSS has the right idea. Well done NSS.

Among those nominated for Saturday’s prize are Nicholas Hytner, director of Britain’s National Theatre, who came under fire for staging the musical “Jerry Springer — The Opera”, which many Christians regard as blasphemous. Other nominees include Azam Kamguian and Maryam Namazie, Iranian women who have campaigned for women’s rights in the Middle East and against Tehran’s clerical rule.

I have to admit – I kind of shrieked when I read that. In fact no kind of about it: I let out a very loud and vehement exclamation. Yessss! Go Azam, go Maryam, go Ayaan! B&W is bursting with pride for you. Hurrah!

And maybe the Major Media damn well will start phoning them up when they want an opinion now. It’s about stinking time.

But hurrah.

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