The Week in Headlines: Etta James, Joey Barton & Megaupload

In a new weekly feature on TQS, Jamie Fisher (Twitter: @j_fishman) will be picking three news items or pop culture events that caught his eye and give you his round up and analysis. 

Etta James dies

Music artists across the globe mourned the death of At Last singer Etta James, aged 73, on Friday. BBC News reports that the legendary Chess record label artist – who had been battling leukaemia – passed away in a hospital in Riverside, California with her husband, Artis Mills, and their two sons at her bedside.

I’ll admit: I am writing with a lump in my throat listening to James pouring her heart out to I’d Rather Go Blind. With countless celebrities taking to Twitter to pay their respects, I feel that Beyoncé- who portrayed James in the film Cadillac Records – has paid the greatest tribute to a woman whose voice knew heartache as much as it knew love:

“You could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”

As a TQS tribute to a legend, I would encourage you to listen to the pain, the passion and the perfection of the original At Last-queen and please God, let’s not mention X Factor’s Johnny Robinson.

Joey Barton and homophobia in the ‘beautiful’ game

A new BBC3 documentary –presented by the niece of tragic openly gay footballer Justin Fashanu– has reignited the homophobia in football debate due to claims made by QPR captain Joey Barton. Britains Gay Footballers, which airs at 9pm, 30 January, features an interview with the central midfielder in which he argues that football managers are intimidating gay players from being open about their sexuality.  The Sun and Pink News reported Barton’s claims:

“Certain managers will discriminate…These archaic figures think if they had a gay footballer there would be all kinds of shenanigans in the dressing room.”

At last, a footballer who makes an eloquent point. So I’m going to completely skip over Barton’s hot-headed Twitter rants and other misdemeanors. However, the football star seems to show a fairly accurate insight into one of the many stigmas which are stalling the anti-homophobia campaign in football. Still not convinced? Let’s consider the comments made by Luciano Moggi, the disgraced ex-manager of Juventus. In April 2008, Moggi was quoted during an interview for Italian political channel Klauscondicio, he said:

“A homosexual cannot do the job of a footballer. The football world is not designed for them, it’s a special atmosphere, one in which you stand naked under the showers.”

Considering the presenter of Britain’s Gay Footballers is the niece of a gay professional footballer who was driven to suicide, perhaps we can finally look forward to a documentary that stalwartly tackles homophobic attitudes, both on and off the pitch, in the far-from-beautiful game.

For more information on BBC3 documentary ‘Britain’s Gay Footballers’ and presenter Amal Fashanu visit : http://amalfashanu.co.uk/

Megaupload shut down

The founders of Megaupload and its sister site Megavideo were charged earlier this week with violating piracy laws. Both sites, which allowed users to upload and download copyrighted video files, have been shut down by the US government. What does this mean for us? If you are a student, it probably means you will have to find a new way to procrastinate during the 72 minute trial sessions that Megavideo allowed its non-paying users. In addition, the rumour mill is buzzing with whispers of new targets in the war against internet piracy. For those affected by the shutdown, my suggestions are simple: go do some work or set your bum and your penny jar down for an Amazon purchase sesh (Casablanca is only £3.91, Ghost is only £3.50- OUTRAGEOUS BARGAINS).

To close the week: we welcome a new documentary in the big football homophobia debate, we return to the days of browsing the HMV sales racks and we bid a very fond farewell to the legendary Etta James. Now, grab a cuppa and get listening to the master:

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