Category Archives: Philiosophy

If you judge me on colour, take me out of your digital life

AS VIDEO footage goes, the image of a prone George Perry Floyd Jr gasping for life is one of the most challenging I have witnessed.

The 46-year-old had been accused of using a counterfeit $20 note in a Minneapolis store named Cup Foods. Four police officers promptly arrived on the scene and — despite protests from onlookers — used undue force on a man whose nominal defiance had hastily wilted.

Video can be edited to conform to narrative, but in this case the uncensored inaugural act of the infamous ordeal only further damned those on duty, leaving little scope for justification.

The unnecessary brutality culminated with a full eight minutes and 26 seconds of uncontested asphyxiation, as George Floyd was choked to death by the knee of officer Derek Chauvin as his peers stood, unmoved by audible pleas for them to check the prone suspect’s pulse.

“I can’t breathe”, George Floyd uttered 16 times to no avail. Within minutes of the video being released, the phrase reverberated across social media platforms, becoming the slogan for an expanding organisation at the forefront of ensuing protests.

Black Lives Matter Protesters on the Isle of Wight.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has received a mixed reception, with disconnect between those who advocate its ideology, and opposition who deem recent acts a blend of egregious vandalism and benevolent prejudice.

I myself took time to appreciate the movement. As a person of mixed race, I was firmly in the ‘all lives matter’ camp upon BLM’s formation in 2013. I now accept such dogmatic principles were, although well intentioned, the equivalent of picketing a breast cancer awareness campaign because it doesn’t focus on all forms of the disease.

The case of George Floyd is the latest act of blatant discrimination against black people in the USA in recent years. Notably the beating of Rodney King by armed police officers in 1991, the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012, and father-of-six Eric Garner being choked to death in 2014, despite not resisting arrest.

“I can’t breathe” became a mantra for millions of people after George Floyd’s death.

Regardless of its rough edges, the BLM movement has been pivotal in shedding light on institutional problems. Acts of mindless insurgence have been balanced by positive advancements such as taking a knee in unity with police officers to honour George Floyd.

In the UK, the statue of slave trader Edward Colston being hacked down and dumped into the Bristol docks was gratifying for many, myself included. Such edifices may soon be confined to museums, with London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, announcing an imminent commission to review monuments on public land.

Immortalised in bronze, the illustrious merchant was pivotal in the creation of infrastructure in the city he called home, but his wealth was acquired through human suffering and his ‘redeeming qualities’ are bi-products of torture he inflicted, primarily on people of colour.

The comment sections of various news outlets have made difficult reading during the 14 months subsequent to George Floyd’s death, with bigoted pinheads flooding comment sections with vitriolic ‘us versus them’ narrative.

These sentiments act as rocket fuel for a section of society arrogantly deeming itself among a majority white British populous across the UK refusing to embrace a cosmopolitan nation.

There is no room to judge people based on the shade of their skin or coding of their genetics. I would urge those who do this and are in any way affiliated with me to block yourself from any social media or other links we share.

Admittedly, as times change so do values. It’s problematic to evaluate the historical merits of Winston Churchill, Queen Victoria and Mahatma Gandhi using a contemporary barometer. All three figures having been — literally in some cases — tagged as racists in recent weeks.

Would their actions be reprehensible in 2020? Certainly. Can we dismiss their respective legacies based on attitudes they possessed at least 70 years earlier? Much like the content of someone’s character, the answer is not in black and white.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

10 ‘Conspiracy Theories’ that turned out to be true

Information known as conspiracy perpetually emerges and is usually debunked as myth rather rapidly. There are however occasions when far-fetched ultimately proves authentic, at least on some level – Dom Kureen recaps ten conspiracy theories that turned out to be true.

1. Heart Attack Guns Exist

Disclosed by the C..I.A in the mid-1970’s, these weapons fired a bullet made of ice and dipped in shellfish toxin, which immediately induced a heart attack when entering the flesh of its victim, barely leaving a trace of any wrongdoing in the process.

2. The US Government made up an incident to legitimise war on Vietnam

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was long considered by large sections of the public to be a phantom and conveniently sketchy recollection, it later emerged that the incident that the US Government used to spark the Vietnam War was indeed only partially true.

3. Dozens of people were paid to falsely testify regarding the 1991 Gulf War.

People such as Nayirah Al-Sabah were proven to have been paid off, and even given acting lessons before taking to the stand and recounting false evidence which painted Iraqi soldiers in a negative light. Her tearful testimony was later debunked, and her identity revealed as the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in the USA, but not before the public had been sold on the idea of war.

4. Asbestos is dangerous

There were several decades of suspicion that Asbestos carried serious health implications, and more damningly that Asbestos companies were covering up its dangers. They finally came clean in the 1990’s, revealing that the product, formerly a staple of building insulation, contained a myriad of properties harmful in the long-term.

5. ATM Machines Use Facial Recognition Technology

Although not officially on the market yet, security firm Diebold have recently produced a line of machines that will perform a facial scan on anybody who uses them under the guise of security for the user. The slightly cheesy advert above deliberately focuses on other, less intrusive aspects of the prototype.

6. Health vaccines have contained deliberate and accidental contamination

With growing scepticism surrounding health vaccines, it hardly helped when the CDC admitted recently that over 98 million American citizens received a contaminated Polio vaccine infected with Cancer inducing SV40.

7. Fluoride is actually BAD for your teeth

Recently the department of health and human services have proposed the removal of fluoride from all drinking water in America, citing cases of streaking on children’s teeth. In actual fact there are far more serious health issues linked to the compound; brain damage, depleted collagen, increased tumours, disrupted immune system, damaged sperm and dementia to name a few.

8. Scientists use millions of genetically modified animals in research

First notably suggested (to sneers) by Charles Darwin in the mid-19th Century, the first animal was genetically engineered in 1974, when Rudolf Jaenisch inserted a DNA virus into an early stage mouse embryo. In the intervening 41 years experiments have become common and increasingly advanced. In the UK alone last year more than two million genetically modified animals were experimented upon.

9. The governing bodies of several nations are conspiring against those opposing genetically modified foods

According to a report released by the largest, most revered news outlet in Germany, Süddeutsche Zeitung, several governments are waging cyber war against groups opposing genetically modified foods. A US government spokesman suggested that it was simply a misunderstanding.

10. Project MKUltra

In the 1950’s and 70’s the C.I.A attempted a series of mind control experiments named Project MKUltra, injecting psychedelic drugs into the bloodstreams of unsuspecting, poverty stricken US citizens, who were then psychologically re-programmed. This resulted in people becoming sick, slipping into comas and in many cases dying. Despite denials, the C.I.A finally came clean some fifty years after the inaugural experiments had taken place.

Did we miss anything off the list? What modern day conspiracy theories do you believe to have credibility? Leave a comment below and please like and share the Kureen Facebook page!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Finding Your Corner Piece

*This is a creative piece of writing from the vivid depths of my imagination, character traits are accentuated and anecdotes embellished in order to make it more palatable for the audience.

A few months ago a close, at times judgemental friend of mine labelled me ‘shallow’ for rejecting the advances of a female suitor who I wasn’t physically attracted to.

In some ways his objections served as a mirror to his own insecurities; he’d dated a girl for a while before one day deciding he wasn’t actually that into her and abruptly calling time on their short-lived romantic liaison.

He was persistent and unflinching in his opinion, but he was also naive, as are so many who are cradled by the Isle of Wight’s blinkered borders. There’s an important distinction in the gaps between ‘shallow’ and ‘logical’, just as there is in those sandwiched by black and white or acid and alkali.

I had initially been drawn to the back of her, gazing from afar as she stood by a dusty typewriter, trying to think of something witty to tap onto the paper for a piece of performance art, but as time lapsed and we accrued more hours in each others’ company at all manner of destinations, I came to realise that the attraction was heavily weighted on one side and that although I enjoyed hanging out in small doses, our union wasn’t destined for a portrayal on the big screen any time soon; more ‘Blind Panic’ than Titanic.

My friend enquired over the reasons for the parting of ways, I told him the truth – I wasn’t attracted to her as a person in a romantic sense, at which point he dropped the ‘S’ bomb on me, seemingly perturbed rather than jovial.

What he refused to muse upon for a moment was the chapters that had unfolded before the alleged jilting that concluded our courtship. That for every time she rocked up at my workplace unannounced, growing fonder, becoming more porous and allowing my essence to seep deeper into her pores (ok, that sounds more disgusting than I anticipated) my own interest was dwindling.

The first red flags appeared when we went for a walk on a humid, but by no means hot, afternoon, an activity I enjoy as an outdoorsy kinda chap. Within a few minutes she was puffing heavily and sweating profusely, her upper lip drenched in sticky, glistening secretion.

Roughly every ten minutes of walking were followed by an enforced rest for 15, each pause punctuated by her repetitious two word utterance that gradually sapped my vitality: “getting there.” I looked at her, aged 25 and out of shape. I caressed her soggy body and felt bad for her, for us, conceding that unless she was willing to work on this aspect of herself it would become relationship euthanasia via a slow drip.

The logical brain inevitably took over as I became damp from her perspiration, the odour now tickling my gag reflex: “Is she working on that aspect of herself as a young woman who should be able to walk a little bit further?” I pondered. The answer was no, she had already openly stated that she had hated being skinny in the past and thus didn’t exercise in order to avoid losing weight.

She had purchased a push bike, but lost interest in that within the first few weeks. In addition, she had unfortunately suffered from chronic back pain since her teenage years and this was only likely to diminish her physical activity as she got older.

If she was slightly out of shape but mobile it wouldn’t have been an issue. I liked her eyes, they were kind and vulnerable, hidden behind thick lenses. I liked that she became more liberated as we hung out, I liked… I liked her, but this was a gaping chasm that couldn’t be filled with likes, it wasn’t a Facebook status or a video on YouTube, it was our lives.

I was disappointed, she seemed to understand initially, but quite soon decided not to speak to me any more or respond to greetings on social media. I don’t think she could accept my rationale, but it would have been like trying to cram a Jaffa cake into the corner of a jigsaw puzzle to compensate for a missing piece. In the short term I might have filled that gaping hole, but with inevitability maggots and mould were on the way.

Within 48 hours of me articulating to her the feelings that occupied the deepest marshes of my psyche, she announced a new relationship on her Facebook page, my overriding emotion was joy, for her, for him. I knew the guy and he was her corner piece.

To the friend who looked down at my shallowness, I explained that my decision was not “she’s unattractive, thus I will not date her”, I liked this girl, she wasn’t some sort of Barbie doll. She had a good heart and seemed damaged, I wanted to protect her, serve as a catalyst for her to blossom into a confident woman full of vitality.

My decision was based on her inability to do things with me that were pivotal to my existence on this rotating sphere we humans populate. By the same token, I didn’t exactly leap at the prospect of flopping in bed watching Star Wars marathons for 16 hours. Ergo: I was as poor a choice for her as she was for me, she just didn’t realise at the time. That’s the best I can explain it really.

This is all obvious when you think about it. Those who attempt to entirely tear up another person’s blueprint are destined for failure or misery, even if one half of the partnership is now content, the other is effectively a neutered drone.

There is room to enhance each other of course, be it guidance towards meditation, building confidence, or healthier lifestyle choices that are realistic, maybe even just making sure each other brush their teeth twice a day.

In our case we’d have had to compromise too much, and it would have ended up clawing at the fabric of whatever bond we’d built. Her new partner is the Sonny to her Cher, the Jim to her Pam, the Jordan to her… Peter Andre? Ok, maybe that last one isn’t such a great example… And didn’t Sonny used to beat Cher? Ok, so I suck at naming famous couples, but you get the gist.

The freely condemned concept of shallowness that people propagate doesn’t apply without allowing for a caveat or three; far more is visible beneath the waves than on the crest of them after all.

From my perspective it all stems from a deep longing for ‘someone’, not in the sense of a specific being, but rather a void fragment to solve the riddle.  Knowing on a painfully visceral level that the current person whom you spend time with and who desires you isn’t fulfilling that craving, being brave/foolhardy enough to walk away. The crossroads of acceptance and liberation.

It’s seeking love, it’s the deepest form of connection, not the shallowest, it’s pure and it’s aspirational… It may also prove lonely and futile, but those are the breaks toots.

To settle, or to seek out that purity of connection? Be with anybody just to have any body wrapped around yours when your head hits the pillow at night, or have faith that a kindred spirit is hacking through the same thicket as you in pursuit of the freedom your presence will bring one another.

I’m far from soulless after all, I’m just not as drunk as most of the other people at the party.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Fu*k! C*nt! Twa*! Why are some words so offensive?

Words are essentially sounds on a frequency, only given meaning through the concept of language – So why do people get so offended by the use of some of them? Dom Kureen investigates.




It would be almost impossible to explain to a non-English speaker why the word carried such weight and offends so many.

Referring to either female genitalia or a derogatory term for a person, where the ‘c’ word differs from a myriad of others is in its general offensiveness regardless of context.

To use ‘fuck’ as an example: “Fuck yeah!” can carry positive connotations as an expression of unadulterated joy, whereas “fuck you!” is more likely fighting talk.

Take a trip to the other side of the globe and ‘cunt’ is generally deemed far less objectionable, in fact “throw us a beer ya cunt” can even be assumed Aussie endearment at a stretch.

How will language evolve further? Where ‘shit’ was once the height of rudeness, it now packs the punch of a moribund goldfish.


Still, some parents appear keen to protect their young’uns from verbal vulgarity, often whilst dressing them in attire that wouldn’t look out of place in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, or fuelling their bodies with junk food and toxic preservatives.

Words have a more immediate impact though, and once they’ve spilled from lips can’t be undone.

Human beings have the power to create a proverbial hell on earth for other members of the species, sometimes with actions and often with vitriolic vernacular.

The reason ‘cunt’ and ‘twat’ offend so freely is for what they imply rather than their actual composition.

There are obviously words tainted with racial stigma that unsettle in a profound manner, yet even they appear to have a diminished status in modern times, with words such as ‘nigger’ or ‘nigga’ now commonplace in society.

That also raises the issue of different rules applying to different ethnicities; an African-American person referring to another as ‘nigger’ appears generally less offensive than a Caucasian using the term, probably due to the implications of slavery attached to the latter.

Other racially sensitive terms include ‘Paki’, ‘Yid’, ‘Yerd’ and ‘Uncle Tom’, all of which can periodically be identified as endearment when used in a non-defamatory context.

Most children are told not to use certain turns of phrase, inevitably curiosity leads to a liberal sprinkling of the perceived profanity further down the line, with adolescents rebelling against statutes that seemingly asphyxiate their youthful free will.

Political correctness is in vogue, people petrified to use the word ‘black’ or attempt to pronounce the nation of Niger in conversation, but will this fear of the abhorrent taint ever bare witness to a wiping clean of the slate?

Will ‘cunt’ become the new ‘crud’ and dwindle into the trifling bi-product of white noise that punctuates every day chit-chat?


It doesn’t really matter that much, certain people will always be offended by particular sounds and will transmit their jitters to their children – and so an unceasing cycle promotes the fruits of its labours.

Likewise, newer jargon will continue to evolve apace, and although the undertones of racist diatribe may never become fully accepted (and rightly so), the poisonous identity of the past is likely to subside further over time.

If you read this article and are offended the liberal use of what are often unspeakably offensive words then that’s understandable, but these are just words, taken out of malicious context they are effectively impotent.

Inevitably those final sentiments propose wishful thinking; so ingrained in our psyche are the values of specific units of speech that the mere notion of them is often enough to unnerve ladies and gentlemen of all races, ages, shapes and sizes – proof perhaps, if needed, that the English language retains potency…

But only if we allow it to.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Russell Brand: Messiah or Very Silly Boy?

His flowing locks and mesmerising oratorical musings have bewitched and bemused observers in equal measure, but is Russell Brand a vessel for peace or a hypocrite with a thinly veiled plan to extend his time in the public gaze? Dom Kureen gives his two pennies worth.

Russell Brand

Big Brother’s Big Mouth in the early 2000’s was the first time that Russell Brand entered my consciousness. Equal parts scruffy mane, over zealous mascara and ad-libbed colloquy, the erstwhile MTV presenter came across as superficially engaging, absurd and subversively humorous.

Admitting subsequently that he still regularly partook of a cocktail of illicit drugs, notably heroin, during that period, Brand was a bundle of impatient, childlike vitality and a suitable fit for the reality show spin-off.

A stint in rehab (he’s abstained from alcohol and recreational drugs since 2003) and procession of movie roles followed, Brand usually portraying characters closely resembling various stages of his own life.

Despite sporadically excelling on the big screen , such as during 2010 box office smash ‘Get Him To The Greek’, where he took the role of troubled rock star Aldous Snow, he has since admitted that he didn’t feel entirely fulfilled, niggled that there was likely a more poignant purpose for his existence.

This leads on to the current incarnation we see strewn all over television, tabloids and t’internet; a campaigner for justice and peace who has embraced Transcendental Meditation (TM) and ostensibly craves equality in lieu of needles, lines of powder or magic pills.

In his recently released tome, ‘Revolution’, Brand extols the virtues of peaceful disobedience, eschewing the current political system in favour of a fresh approach.

These proposals mainly revolve around notions of transparency from those making affective adjudications from the comfort of green leather bound sofas and analyses the practicality of a fairer distribution of wealth.

Brand’s detractors fixate frequently on what they perceive as hypocrisy from a bloke with allegedly more than £20m in the bank, who campaigns against capitalism from a mansion, adorned in outlandish clothing and replete with impeccably prim barnet, as if this vast affluence somehow prohibits him from representing those less fortunate.

He is also routinely subjected to attempts at discrediting his germinating legacy, with ‘The Sun’ newspaper and ‘Fox News’ particularly fervent about a lack of credibility therein; the former’s attempts growing progressively asinine, with front page headlines gleefully divulging that more than 60% of the tabloid’s readership don’t find Brand funny.

On a more personal level, the campaigning comedian’s cockney cadence became the object of ridicule for a large section of critics, with the term ‘Parklife’ regularly visible in comment sections below his videos, a reference to Phil Daniels’ estuary narration of Blur’s 1994 hit of the same name.

Brand was able to nip this in the bud with an amended rendition of the track appearing on his YouTube channel as a waggish slice of self-amusement from a figure now nonchalant about the inevitable derision widespread notoriety incurs.

An opportunity to edit the ‘New Statesman’ magazine was duly accepted and executed with relish in early 2014, the man who tweets under the tag of Rustyrockets receiving a slew of plaudits after appropriately electing to zero in on the topic of revolution.

More recently appearances among a variety of political heavyweights on ‘Question Time’ and ‘Newsnight’ have highlighted the fact that, while Brand has plenty of articulate and admirably intentioned objectives, there remains a tendency to drift into digressive rambling when he is placed under severe scrutiny on subjects where his grasp is cursory.

To identify these traits as contentions against recognising the transition of a highly intelligent, progressive soul from funny man to activist for revolution is to ignore the validity of his crusade.

Russell Brand never claimed to have all of the solutions, what he is sharing is a glimpse into knowledge and spiritualism gained over the course of a troubled childhood, drug addled youth and metaphysical transformation as he approaches his 40th birthday.

Russell Brand 3

The bulk, if not all, of his idealisms are borrowed from philosophers, gurus and science, something he regularly acknowledges. His goal is not to claim credit for the ideals he espouses, rather to use the power of celebrity to spread awareness and allow those who have been overly sheltered, by design or fear, a glimpse into another realm.

There seems little reason to doubt the authenticity of Brand, other than to mock for the satiation of ego;

The soothsayers will concentrate on his lack of acumen within the political minefield that he voluntarily ambles across clad in shiny Chelsea boots, his advocates will believe that his purpose is to act as catalyst to a long overdue global uprising.

What is certainly irrefutable is that Brand will remain entertainingly forthright for the foreseeable future, and if people are bold enough to look beyond the spectre of celebrity and prior misdemeanor, his message is indisputably a virtuous one.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Sam Pepper: sexual harassment or over reaction?

Sam Pepper hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons last week. The YouTube prankster’s latest upload featured him pinching a host of female buttocks whilst pretending to ask for directions.

Sam Pepper 2

Pepper, a former Big Brother UK contestant, was forced to remove his video and issue a grovelling, sycophantic online apology, replete with piped in sentimental violin strains. During this remorseful rhetoric the 25 year-old also attempted to justify his earlier prank by stating that it was part of a trilogy of videos to highlight the different reactions towards the sexual harassment of women and men, as well as suggesting that the duped females in the video were all actors.

Although there was predictably an array of outrage towards the first video in the series, it merely continued a trend of increasingly salacious high jinks executed in order to increase subscriptions, views and likes attributed to specific accounts.

Heading into ‘the hood’, a multitude of attention seekers actively revel in being attacked in response to contrived antagonism, thus gaining footage that warrants ‘gone wrong’ in parenthesis at the end of the video title (something also guaranteed to garner curiosity from bored surfers.)

It seems that nothing is off limits in order to get a reaction, be it fake kidnappings, racist diatribe in areas where colours can start knife fights, or pinching the posteriors of unsuspecting ladies. The ends justifies the means when the video goes viral.

What Sam Pepper did was misogynistic no doubt and the catalyst for an outpouring of YouTube disapproval. His actions resulted in a petition against the former graffiti artist and ensured that justice, albeit on a minor scale, was rapidly dished out.

Worse still for Pepper, a myriad of his past victims have now surfaced, with claims that he is a sexual deviant who has forced dozens of women into sexually compromising situations and refused to cease even when they made known their discomfort.

While it’s grand to see a hokey, vile twerp get his comeuppance, it only serves to paper over the cracks of what constitutes unacceptable among the YouTube community.

People making racist comments towards under privileged black people is surely worthy of as much of a mention, notwithstanding the fact that physical contact usually transcends anything verbal.

Consider the following video – why is this kind of blatant, barely veiled racism not receiving a throng of objections and vitriol, that in itself surely carries more than a pinch of hypocrisy in light of rump grope-gate.

So, what now for Sam Pepper? We shall see. He has vowed to mend his ways and learn from this experience, but the fact that these promises were delivered in such a condescending, seemingly spurious manner and taking into account his past indiscretions, it may be best for all if the guy takes a lengthy/indefinite sabbatical from the internet – by then many of his detractors will have found plenty of other things to gripe about and he can sell himself as a toned down version of what he’d previously become.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.