When one thinks of pioneers of freedom and great statesman throughout the ages, a small selection of people spring to mind; Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Of these great people, few mean as much to the current generation as Nelson Mandela, who died this fortnight aged 95. The death of the man who freed South Africa from Apartheid, helping to relieve the shame of a planet that had got things so wrong, has been felt across the world. Oddly though, it has probably been felt most acutely by Morgan Freeman, whom many thought had actually died on December 5th, rather than Mandela. Poor guy. Rumour is also rife that Paris Hilton confused Nelson Mandela with Martin Luther King. Although the actress (is that what she is? What does the woman even do?!) furiously denies this, stating that the tweet was some kind of ignorant hoax. I don’t believe her.
Most importantly though, don’t get sucked in by David Cameron’s lies about his feelings towards the great man. Our ‘great leader’ spent a portion of his life in the 1980s with his jumped up Eton mates hard at work on a ‘Hang Mandela’ campaign. If Mandela’s last act as a great leader is to make us realise how sub-par our leaders are, well, that would be no bad thing.
It’s not all doom and gloom this week though. Independent women rejoice, Beyonce has unleashed her fifth full-length album on the world without warning. The self-titled effort appeared on iTunes Friday morning and has been well received to date. The digital album includes collaborations with Drake, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z and her daughter, Blue Ivy.
In other music news, the latest in a string of high profile music-based exhibitions, a photography exhibition celebrating fifty years of The Who, is to open in London in February next year. This follows on from The Rolling Stones’ fiftieth celebrations last year, and David Bowie this year.
Lastly, Peter Jackson’s second instalment of The Hobbit franchise has hit the big screen this week. Fans of the first film will undoubtedly enjoy it, and the film does pick up the pace slightly, but not enough to justify an audacious three films about one book. In fact, the film does little to suggest to me that profit is less important than storyline or credibility.