Diary… Star brought to earth with a bump

Newspaper says sorry for offensive crocodile cartoon



>> In the Morning Star is a big confession.

It continues: “The Morning Star apologises unreservedly for the publication last Tuesday of a cartoon which was offensive to trans people.”

I tracked down a screenshot of the cartoon on Mumsnet and it depicts a predatory crocodile (or possibly alligator) reassuring a “safe space” pool of small fish and tadpoles, “Don’t worry your pretty little heads! I’m transitioning as a newt”.

I honestly can’t tell whether this is offensive or not. What I do know is that the Morning Star is not a place I go to for laughs. I am a subscriber because at heart I like to think of myself as a democratic socialist.

And one thing I’ve come to believe about “The People’s Daily” is that jokes are not one of its strengths, which is a pity, because my experience of “The People” is that they are full of them.

And you only have to sample the work of comedian Mark Steel (@mrmarksteel) to know that democratic socialists are, too.

>> The weather is so bad today that we abandoned plans to visit an exhibition at Two Temple Place, which only opens its grand doors to the public once a year. We will watch rugby on TV instead.

>> I’m still testing wax monoprints for a couple of upcoming workshops. One is based on the current exhibition, ‘Masculinities’ at the Barbican Art Gallery.

Included in the exhibition is a photograph of a Spanish bullfighter fresh from a conquest.

It caught my attention, so I gave it the monoprint test.

Photograph (left)…

>> Trawling through my email inbox I found a message I’d missed. It was the notification of a new posting from ‘A London Inheritance’, one of my favourite blogs.

The author opens by explaining that the blog has now been running for six years. He continues: “The original aim… was to track down the locations of my father’s photos and to provide an incentive to get out and explore London.”

It is fascinating to see his work in action, the transformation of the locations pictured in the time-span of one generation, from father to son, each photograph re-framed and re-shot as near to exact as possible.

>> My wife spotted me making this image and pointed out that the big fight actually took place on 22 February.

I tried to argue that 23 February was when the image was created and also when the story was big news here in the UK, but I’m not even sure even I convinced myself.

Big fight in Vegas…

>> A question popped up on my Quora feed: 

“My husband Jim is trice my age. If I am 22 years old, how old is Jim?”

It sounds like a numbers puzzle, but the top answer renders it a joke.

“Trice is not a numerical determination. However, if you misspelled ‘twice’ it would be 44 and if you misspelled ‘thrice’ it would be 66. 

“If you actually did mean ‘trice’ then the answer is 22. Because trice means ‘very quickly’ it means that he is ‘very quickly’ my age. Which could just mean he drinks a lot of caffeine, or he’s on speed. 

“He should get that checked out by a doctor.”

That’s why I love Quora.

◾Read yesterday’s diary.