Welcome to another edition of Word on a Wire. It’s a collection of stuff that has caught our eye during our everyday internet or real world roaming. Basically, stuff that men of a certain age might find interesting. Some important, some happily frivolous.
The art selfie phenom
Are you all over the craze that swept the world a week or so ago? Google released an app, ‘Arts & Culture’ for smartphones, which normally wouldn’t register much of a blip on anybody’s radar. But Google included a function where you can take a selfie and it tries to match you with your doppelgänger in a famous piece of art. The New York Times found Ross Duffin (pictured) who was just too-good-to-be-true matched with a 17th century painting.
Have you tried it? Just go to your phone’s App Store and download Google Art & Culture. It’s free and it’s fun.
Of course we had a crack … it turns out Svetoslav Roerich was totes channeling GiantsAmongMen founder Nicko Place in the 1940s. It’s all in the brooding eyes.
Wingmen: A Beyond Blue initiative we really like
One of Australia’s leading mental health support networks, Beyond Blue, recently announced Wingmen, an initiative ‘for gay guys, by gay guys’, as they explained it.
‘Lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender and gender diverse people are much more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader population. They are also at a greater risk of suicide and self-harm,’ Beyond Blue’s website explains.
‘Among LGBTI populations, research clearly indicates that discrimination, abuse (both verbal and physical), exclusion and prejudice are key contributors to the increased rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm.’
The basic idea of Wingmen seems to be that gay guys should look out for one another, as a sounding board, shoulder, mate. But really, it should go beyond that, to everything GiantsAmongMen is about: being that guy, the one who steps up and offers support to mates who are struggling, to all the men around you, when you see the need.
Hopefully Wingmen starts conversations, to allow guys – gay or straight – to put their hand up when they’re not coping. We can all be there for each other.
2018’s celebrity half century club
USA Today recently pulled together a list of celebrities that you might not realise have or are set to clock the half century in 2018. We’re in good company, my friends. Owen Wilson, 30Rock‘s Tracy Morgan, Will Smith, Daniel Craig … Even Hugh Jackman, soooo good as the ageing Wolverine in the unexpectedly awesome superheroes-meet-Johnny-Cash film Logan, is closing in on 50.
Out of petrol in London
We all know Australia is way behind other parts of the world when it comes to internet speed and refugee human rights, but it turns out we’re lagging badly in environmental initiatives as well (I know, I know: Wave to what’s left of the Barrier Reef and file this under: ‘No shit, Sherlock’).
A couple of councils in London have announced plans to fine anybody caught driving a petrol or diesel car, or even ageing hybrid vehicles, in the main streets of their municipalities. Seriously.
In Australia, we’re still arguing about whether coal is bad for the planet, while Islington and Hackney councils have ruled that between the hours of 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm on weekdays – the peak commuting times – only electric cars, e-bikes, new super-clean hybrids. hydrogen vehicles, and bikes and walkers will be allowed. Anybody in, say, a 1976 Holden V8 guzzling leaded petrol like Boonie drank beer could face a heavy fine.
Dogs on the dole
Pooch-lovers everywhere can be outraged at what’s been going on in Saugatuck, West Michigan (read: near Detroit in the U.S. of A). After being unexpectedly qualified for $360 a week in unemployment benefits (which came as a surprise, his owner admitted), this dog has now been informed he’s going to have to fund his own dog food. I’m thinking of starting one of those crowd-rallying online political campaigns and fund-raisers for Ryder, the dog.
The long road down and up and down and up
And, finally, this is a long read from New Orleans, about a guy you’ve probably never heard of – a three time Super Bowl football star who ended up as a drug addict living under a bridge, then recovered, then fell, then recovered then fell, then (hey, no spoilers!).
Ultimately, it’s a strong reminder that addiction of any kind is a total bastard and we should have empathy for others, or ourselves, suffering this sickness.
* Continuing apologies to the late Leonard Cohen.