If you know me or you have visited this blog a few times you’ll know that I am a fairly upbeat sort of bloke – someone whose glass is always full never mind half full (although not for long I hear you say if a nice bottle of Chablis is involved). My cheerful spirit inspired my son to try and have “there’s a bit of blue sky over there” engraved on my lovely 60th birthday gift of a watch last year. The engraver said there wasn’t enough room but hey, I went to a museum in Spain with my sister once where they had the whole of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco (or something like that) reproduced on a grain of rice.
So what’s this video I’m talking about in today’s blog heading? No it is not some ghastly murder in the name of religion and patriotism – I had enough of that in the sixties when the world’s press published a photograph of a Vietnamese General summarily executing a Viet Cong Officer on the streets of Saigon. It shocked me then and haunts me still and I have no wish to see anything like it again – I wish that today’s press would not reproduce images from the current atrocity videos being circulated by IS terrorists today. The victims in each of these videos, be they American journalists or simple Syrian or Kurdish soldiers, were human beings with mothers, fathers, siblings, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and children. Their final moments should not be paraded in front of the world to fuel some sadistic fanatic’s idea of religion.
And it’s not a video of a famous female actress. However lovely such a video may be I would not dream of watching it unless it arrived from her personal email address with a private message to me and even then I would have to ask Marion her opinion before opening it.
No, the video I am talking about is this one (click here.It's embedded below too). It’s a group of Iranian kids (adults really but kids at heart) singing along to Pharrell Williams Happy. As the title suggests, it’s a really happy song and even an old codger like me could be stirred into dancing along to the catchy tune.
So what’s the fuss? You’ve probably already heard but some idiots in Iran have deemed this performance as criminal. I’ve watched it a few times and apart from some pretty dodgy beards on the men in the video I have failed to spot anything that could be deemed remotely criminal. The girls are fully clothed, they smile and they dance. They are not in the slightest bit suggestive, they depict exactly what it says in the song – HAPPINESS. And yet in 2014 some medieval, nay prehistoric, rulers have got the performers and directors in court this week. We thought that the Twitter joke trial was a bit of a joke but this trial really makes me want to weep. When there are countries in the world where happiness is outlawed my heart bleeds for the future of mankind.