While you were asleep: Aretha Franklin passes, Scotland does well, World proves couple wrong

Friday. Woo. Overnight, we lost Aretha Franklin, Scotland gained a nonsense award we should heavily salt and one couple attempted to make a difference.



Aretha Franklin passes, but mourn her I suggest we do not.

Yes, the Queen of Soul has left us. And yes, while Aretha went the way many of us have and will, not leaving the hospital bed she was cast into, I say it’s not a reason to mourn. That would be doing her a disservice. As the first lady of Soul/procurer of respect (and how to spell it), she’s not really gone. Her body of work remains, and will so long after we’ve turned to dust.



The death of an artist, I believe, offers us an opportunity. Not to rally around a hashtag, or carve the most empathetic epitaph into our Facebook walls, but to get re-acquainted, or be introduced to their brilliance. It took Philip Roth’s death to get me to read his books, of which now I’m an unabashed fanboy of. That ‘where have you been all my life?’ moment always exists, even in death.

Vale, Aretha. To the bone, for deeps.



The world’s best Fish n’ Chips is apparently resides in Scotland. Sure, Jock.

The term ‘tourist trap’ is widely used in tourism handbooks, but I fear we’re whitewashing over the meaning. Ostensibly, it’s a place that seems enticing, but one you never really come back from. It’s like a spider-web, or marriage. There’s a small reward that grabs your eye, you grab it, and it grabs you. Bam! You’re suddenly suspended upside down from the roof waiting to be devoured.

Don’t believe me?

Check this out.



Grand culinary experiences in Scotland? Sure, Jock.



It’s an obvious trap. I mean, this is the same country that gave us the 1.4kg ‘Stonner’ kebab, which Wikipedia figures it as: “…a pork sausage wrapped in strips of doner meat, coated in two layers of batter, and then deep fried.”




Couple looked to prove to the world that evil doesn’t exist, world takes umbrage.

And because it’s Friday, and hope abounds and don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is going to be alright, we have the story of one couple who looked to march against the climate of hate and division, choosing to cycle near Islamic State threatened Tajikistan to prove that “…evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans.”

One half of the couple, Jay Austin put their mindset thusly:  “You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil…I don’t buy it, evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”

Clearly, their hearts were in the right place. Sadly, it’s in the past tense, as the couple were murdered by what CBS is calling “attackers pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

Now, I’ll spare you the grim details, but this is why we can’t have nice things, ISIS.

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