Bleats

Today I Learned: Dwayne Johnson Was One Of The First People To Know About Osama Bin Laden's Death

Somehow.

One of the things that has made Dwayne Johnson as popular as he is is his stellar social media game. When he’s not tweeting about Jumanji or whatever movie he’s working on, he’s on Instagram sharing photos of himself doing random stuff.

But while people may know all about Dwayne Johnson’s behemoth cheat day meals and crazy workouts, his greatest – and most baffling – social media post revolves around Osama bin Laden’s death.

Speaking of weird celebrity happenings and conspiracies…

For those who need a refresher, Osama bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. undertook a super-secret mission to hunt him down in 2011, which was ultimately successful.

Details for an operation like this would be kept under lock-and-key, yet a mere nine-ish hours after the mission happened, Dwayne Johnson of all people took to Twitter to spill the beans on bin Laden.

In fact, not only was he the second person on Earth to publicly confirm bin Laden’s death, he did it two hours before Barack Obama’s official presidential address about the mission.

The obvious question here is how a guy like Dwayne Johnson is privy to highly-classified intel like the bin Laden operation and the answer is we don’t know and he won’t say.

Despite Stephen Colbert’s attempts at loosening him up with tequila, Johnson only revealed he has “friends in high and low places,” which brings up the question of how he made those friends in the first place.

Presumably it has something to do with that ridiculous U.S. presidential run idea he keeps tossing out. Maybe he just happens to know a bunch of knowledgeable Navy SEALS whom he met and trained with as preparation for Jumanji or whatever testosterone-filled action film he’s working on.

So is appears that the moral of this story is Dwayne Johnson knows more than we do and is a good source of information regarding super-secret U.S. missions as well as Jumanji-related press spam.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

'A Christmas Carol' Is Actually About Child Labour, Not The Holidays

TIL: Charles Dickens really didn't care too much about Christmas.

Christmas is a time for happiness, an excessive amount of red and green decorations, a generous amount of presents, gorging on way too much food, and most importantly, re-reading or re-watching movie adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Ever since the A Christmas Carol was published in 1843 and subsequently popularised a whole heap of Christmas traditions into the public consciousness, it’s become almost an unwritten law at this point to reacquaint ourselves with A Christmas Carol at the end of each year.

You’d think Charles Dickens wrote the novel as a way to celebrate the holidays while telling the story of a stingy old man learning about the value of kindness and generosity. But as it turns out, he wrote it as an allegory for child labour and the wage gap that was gripping Britain at the time.

Take all those Christmas thoughts and get outta here!

A Christmas Carol originally began as a pamphlet titled ‘An Appeal to the People of England on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child‘, and was intended to shed some light on the brutal child labour problem in the UK, which was experiencing an economic depression.

Having worked in a factory as a child due to his family’s financial difficulties, Dickens was sympathetic to the issue and interviewed many young kids about their horrible working conditions. He noted how people were seen as disposable resources rather than humans and children in particular were exploited for labour because they worked for the lowest wages.

Dickens gave a fundraising speech on October 5, 1843, where he urged workers and employers to work together towards educational reform. As passionate as his speech was, Dickens soon realised that the best way to reach the greatest number of people was to write something incredibly important that masqueraded as an emotional Christmas story.

And that’s how A Christmas Carol was born.

Period accurate recreation of Charles Dickens writing ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Dickens finished writing the novel in just a couple of months and it became an instant success that captured society’s imagination with both it’s heartfelt tale and simple allegory.

Ebenezer Scrooge is clearly a metaphor for self-interest and representative of the wealthy class in Britain at the time while Bob Cratchit and his family are symbols of the working class. The happy resolution at the end can also be read as Dickens’ idea of addressing the wage gap issue.

By having Scrooge give Bob a raise and treating everyone with kindness, Dickens is putting forth the idea that employers are responsible for their employees and should treat them as human beings rather than mere tools, as well as the importance of taking care of future generations.

It’s quite amazing that A Christmas Carol has continued to endure after all these years and it’s a testament to Charles Dickens’ talent that he somehow managed to Trojan horse a cautionary tale about the need for generosity and kindness into a heartfelt Christmas story about an old man who doesn’t want to part with a single cent.

Jackie Chan Is An Awful Person, Even If He Is The Greatest Action Hero Ever

There's a big difference between his onscreen and off-screen personas.

There are several strong cases to be made as to who the greatest action movie star of all time is, but there’s no denying that the frontrunner to that title is Jackie Chan.

Speaking of action movies, the GOAT team dive deep into the Marvel Cinematic Universe on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

There was just something about his fighting and action scenes that thrilled many moviegoers to no end while also somehow managing to elicit at least one genuine hearty chuckle mid-scuffle. Combine Jackie Chan’s unparalleled stuntwork with his everyman persona and a philanthropist streak that has helped millions of underprivileged children, what you get is a beloved movie action star who has endeared himself to me and millions around the world.

Which is why after many years of enjoying his work and seeing people fawn all over him for his recent 65th birthday, it pains me to throw a milkshake all over this martial arts duck: Jackie Chan may be the greatest movie action hero ever but he’s an awful human being off-screen.

For all the moral upstanding stances his movie characters hold, Jackie Chan’s real-life views and actions leave much to be desired and certainly won’t be written in any biography any time soon.

While he’s been married since 1982 and has a son, Jackie Chan has a reputation in Asia as being something of a tail-chasing movie star who is seen with more than a few young women over the years. Now all this might be nothing but rumours by Chinese tabloids, no amount of covering up can hide the extra-marital affair he had in 1999 with former Miss Asia Elaine Ng, which resulted in an illegitimate daughter, Etta.

Jackie ultimately confessed to the affair before defending himself by saying he “committed a fault that many men in the world commit.”

Not sure if that’s the best explanation to dish out if you’re someone who cheated on their wife, especially if you’ve (allegedly) done it on multiple occasions with many different women (one of whom gave birth to your daughter), regardless of if you’re Jackie Chan or not.

Speaking of celebrities with dark pasts, the GOAT team talk about Kobe Byrant and the problematic legacy he left behind on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

Okay, so the dude is pretty dodgy when it comes to keeping it in his pants, but surely that’s it right? Sorry to burst your bubble but it gets even worse there.

In a recent 2015 auto-biography, Jackie Chan admitted that he was a “nasty jerk” when he became a superstar and did things like acting high and mighty wherever he went. He even revealed that he drunk drove a heap of times and totaled his share of cars in the process. When photographers tried to take photos of his wreckages, he threatened to beat them all up if they did it. It all seems bit ironic when he was named China’s anti-drug ambassador in 2009 so make of that what you will.

But perhaps the most gutwrenching revelation about his personal life is how awful of a parent he is. Not only did Jackie Chan confess to hitting his son and being an all-around bad parent, he has not acknowledged the existence of his illegitimate daughter after all these years.

Yikes.

But look, what Jackie Chan does in his personal life is his own thing and who are we to judge, even if he is an awful father to his son and daughter. His public views on politics though? Hoo boy, it’s like opening Pandora’s Box.

He’s a big defender of the Chinese Communist Party and often acts as its propaganda mouthpiece in criticising anyone who is anti-China. Not only are his statements quite inflammatory (making him something of a joke in the Chinese media), the logic of his comments amount to nothing more than “I’m famous so f**k you”. When you think about it, all this cuts a little close to the wannabe Combover Caligula currently sitting in the White House.

Perhaps most disturbingly, Jackie is a big supporter on suppressing people’s freedom and democratic processes, saying very Orwellian things like, “Chinese people need to be controlled, otherwise they will do whatever they want.” In short, the guy isn’t a supporter of China and its people but rather the oppressive single-party regime that’s in power and doing all it can to crush any critics.

Like I said, Pandora’s Box.

Getting a milkshake thrown on the supposed squeaky clean image of everyone’s favourite action star isn’t a good feeling, but it is more necessary than ever given the increasing importance on holding people accountable for their actions and words, especially those with a public profile.

So next time you watch a Jackie Chan film or read a biography written about him, just know that while he may be able to take on six baddies with a step ladder, he is also an awful human being who has cheated on his wife, beat his son, ignored his (illegitimate) daughter, and is a Communist and fascist in all but name.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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