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Showing posts from 2008

Who has the X-Factor? Do I give a toss?

It’s the most anticipated event this year…. No not the Presidential election or even CERN switching on the Large Hadron collider. I am of course referring to the MASSIVE news that the X-factor winner will be decided tonight.

Naturally my previous comments are sarcastic and suggest how people’s news values can be rather, well, misplaced.

However, it’s been a revealing year for this year’s Stars in ther…. I mean X-Factor contestants. We’ve seen the whirlwind (and vomit-inducing) teenage romance of Diane Vickers (that’s right my voice doesn’t work tee hee) and grandmother’s favourite Eogogogogogoggooghan (or as I pronounce it: ughgjdnfdsjsnfsjndsf) Quinn.

A contract, which could be enforced “anywhere on earth or in the solar system,” was leaked pointing out that the contestants were legally obliged not to be unpleasant to Simon Cowell (something which TV’s Mr Nasty laughed off whilst he phoned his legal hawks to have those responsible annihilated).

Finally (and rather irrelevantly) I was…

Review of The Dark Knight

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I haven’t written a film review for a long time, quite possibly because I haven’t seen that many films of late. However, last week I decided to go and see the dark knight as - let’s be honest - the hype of it was impossible to ignore.

#CONTAINS SPOILERS#This film was always going to be big news firstly because of the sudden death of Heath Ledger and secondly that the Batman franchise always carries weight around Hollywood.

I must admit I was a little worried that all this hoopla surrounding the film would make it over hyped; however having now seen The Dark Knight the hoopla is certainly apt.
It takes about 10 minutes before Ledger’s stylish and somewhat hilarious entrance with the line, “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stranger” and from there the audience are in for a real treat; no matter how short this tenure as the joker is. Ledger’s joker is nothing short of genius both as a character and as a person as there is a certain invincibility and mystery surrounding the dark clown,…

Buy a pirate DVD and EVERYONE will hate you?

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I’ve recently focused my attention onto a campaign called Knockoff or not, which pours scorn onto people who choose to copy films and DVD’s as well as people who generally cheap out of things (although their focus is mainly on DVD’s).

This first came to my attention through their TV campaign which had a funny little bard with a guitar coming into a pub and interrupting a date; claiming that the man was a cheap bastard who couldn’t pay for flowers (he found them on the street apparently, which is oh so common with all those bouquets of flowers just lying around on the road) and buys knock off DVD’s. The end result is the man’s social humiliation as the pub all joins in with the Bard’s chorus of calling him a knock-off Nigel, and he gets dumped. The advert then ends with the subtitle “knock-off Nigel buys knock-off DVDs,” and all seems to suggest you better think twice about trying to save money on overpriced films or everyone will hate you. So pirates beware right?

Wrong I think, all tha…

News Abuse

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An interesting thing happened recently. For the first time ever I actually heard the results of a survey I took part in published in the news media. The survey in question was about domestic violence and was completed by students in Wales (which of course I am one of). This NUS and Amnesty International survey, which can be found here, seems to show that domestic violence is on the rise and an alarmingly high number of students know of someone who has been subject to abuse in a relationship or has pressured a partner into sex.

This of course seems a horrific thought, that so many young people have seen or know of this level of domestic violence. However there is a key flaw with this survey, which has surprised me the most. As of course I was subject to this survey I got to see what the questions were and with some luck I happened to be studying research methods in the media at the same time. I can say on the record that this survey was highly biased.
It seemed to lead the participant i…

Don't drink and drive or you WILL be branded with a hot iron!

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Apologies for the lack of witty title but I really couldn’t think of one at this point in time. I want to just make a few comments about some of the draconian government initiatives which sometimes are tantamount of fascism.

I’ll start with a particularly annoying advert for drinking and driving. First of all let me just say I do not in any way condone drinking and driving, I think it’s a stupid and dangerous thing to do and I think the law should be firm on it. However what I don’t agree with in this case is the way that government adverts try to imply you will be socially outcasted and ruined financially if you do it. What’s a stronger message than saying you will die? That’s the point they should probably put across to people rather than implying that you will get caught and be marked for life.

The content of this advert is as follows:
The TV ad focuses on Matt, a young man out for a couple of quick drinks with some friends, as he's deciding whether or not to have a second pint be…

One man's Dictator...

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It has not failed to capture my attention recently that another term of Robert Mugabe’s brutal rule in Zimbabwe is about to be ushered in. The seemingly eternal president has once again managed to bully his way to the premiership by threatening supporters of his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai, and of course Tsvangirai himself.

The sad thing about the whole affair is that we, the western world who have seemedly pledged to end all dictatorial injustice in the world (that’s the official line at least), are just sitting back and doing nothing, well except for strongly wagging our finger disapprovingly. Well that ought to stop him won’t it? It’s a pity that Zimbabwe isn’t oil rich otherwise we’d have been in there like a shot.
Instead we seem to spend our time on economically strategic action rather than morally or humanitarian strategic types of intervention. Let’s be fair here Saddam Hussain did have a bad human rights record like Mugabe. The only difference of course was that we delayed our …

Oil Be damned

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As many of my countrymen will have noticed of late, there have been angry rumblings about the prices of petrol. The prices quite frankly have begun to spiral out of control, as it doesn’t seem all that long ago that the idea of paying over one pound per litre of unleaded fuel was deemed madness. However, now my local petrol station it can be seen that the price is now £1.17 and rising. In fact only about 3 months ago when I set off on my long road trip to Cardiff (which I take every now and again) I found that it cost about £1.14 at the most expensive. To think that the price is still creeping up at this rate is somewhat worrying.But why are we paying so much is what people cry. I personally find that this is down to a number of factors such as the price of oil per barrel (See! the Iraq war was not a good idea for getting more oil was it!) and government taxes etc. I don’t propose one single reason for this happening although I am suspicious of the fact that all the major oil companie…

Five become more contemporary?

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Having now returned to the leafy suburbs of Bromley and a house with Sky TV, I noticed that the children’s classic book series The Famous Five has been remade as a contemporary cartoon series on the Disney Channel.As I read these books as a child I was naturally curious how it had been approached. As many people who grew up with these books will remember, the books involved a group of 4 upper middle class children (all privately educated at boarding school of course!) and one upper middle class dog (for some reason given the status of a person in spite of not being able to talk and having fleas) going on jovial mystery solving adventures in the 1940’s countryside on their own, eating slap up lunches of cakes, sweets and lashings of Ginger beer. Naturally the books seemed to describe a life style which seems archaic, rather lavish and really quite charming in its way. Ginger beer was the real head scratcher for me as I tried it once or twice and thought it tasted vile; certainly not re…

Boris Bashing

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Hello there, I am back after a long hiatus filled with the joys of revision, coursework and other unpleasant things that remind people that Uni is not a holiday camp (and also debunks the naysayers who dismiss all students as lazy, who can rightfully piss off).However let’s not talk about me, let’s talk about something I think.Today’s seminar is going to be on Facebook and the London Mayor. The latter of which I must say has saddened me, as we now have a clown for a mayor. Ok I admit he probably is a very intelligent man (as people keep constantly reassuring me) but couldn’t we have chosen a mayor who at least doesn’t make Dick and Dom look more able to maintain a credible public image. Boris comes across as one of those bumbling idiots who may one day turn around and say something like “cripes chaps I seem to have accidentally sold London for some magic beans,” and if that happens I will be screaming in a very patronising way “I told you so.” I am a realist of course and I doubt it w…

Crunch Time

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Well it’s nice to be out of London again for a bit and back in Cardiff. To be fair the weather here has been uncharacteristically good for April although today has proven to be the exception. Still can’t complain.I’m not enjoying the work so much, what with the fun of revision coursework and everyday course reading eating in to my freetime (which would otherwise be occupied with Mario Kart in all likelihood). Still it’s nice to be out of the suburbs and back in the student community.There are certain features you notice in suburbia, especially in a commuter town, with a lot of schools like mine. The chav population is higher for one thing. Well I say Chav, but I really mean small kids who dress in tracksuits and hold on to this hopeless belief that they live in a ghetto and subsequently form ‘crews’ and have fights to prove their worth. It’s all quite deluded and Neanderthal really. The other day proved this point when I encountered some Chavs on my way home from West Wickham (the tow…

Vantage Point Review

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To give a brief summary of the plot: The president is due to give a speech at an important peace summit. That is until his is shot and shortly after the event he was speaking at was bombed. What follows is basically the explanation of what really happened from the Vantage Point of various people caught up in the terrorist attack. Now I don’t know how to approach a film like this as I could see that it carries quite an overt political warning that basically legitimates the war on terror. The whole thing screams out to the American public that the terrorists are one step ahead of the US intelligence and also possess quite ridiculous levels of mobile technology. Now let’s remember one glaring flaw with this fact portrayed, and that is that terrorist’s budgets and technological know-how couldn’t possibly create a mobile phone (as there was in the film) that can blow up bombs remotely or control a remote gun. Then again it did to that end also come across a little like a Sony handheld devi…

It sucks to be a child these days.

I have now reached the age where childhood becomes something of a memory. However, it hasn’t failed to reach my attention that the childhood of my yesteryear is significantly different to the childhood of 2008.When I was growing up you could sense that we were riding on the last hurrah of a fairly carefree childhood. Both in school and in life generally, as it was an easier time and a little less pressurised. Things have changed massively since then, mainly through the amount of exams that kids are forced to do since then. I mean for heavens sake, children are now given homework from the age of 5. Homework didn’t become a thing for my age-group until at least when I was 10 and even then it wasn’t that much. Nowadays kids get somewhere between 1 hour to two hours of homework each night, and this is partially to do with the way that school has been bastardised and turned into key modules which no one gives a damn about. Things like the literacy hour and the numeracy hour immediately spr…

Lacking Inspiration

What Can I say except it is hard to focus on things when you have spent the whole day stuffing envelopes. Envelopes that are being sent to big names such as Ross Kemp or Sir Bob Geldof and will probably never be looked at twice before they end up in the bin. Still that's the price I pay for fairly flexible work whilst temping. It's just money at the end of the day.

As a quick moan. Don't you find it annoying when parents of murdered problem children claim their children wouldn't have hurt a fly. How the bloody hell do they normally find themselves in that kind of situation in the first place do you think? I mean there are notable exceptions to the rule like for instance the Rhys Thomas case last year.

Now don't get me wrong the death of a child is a horrible horrible thing, especially if they are killed as an innocent bystander. But in the many cases the child was a little hellion and then for the parents to try and paint a tawdry picture portraying their child as an…

Thought for the time being - Why is Heather Mills still here?

Good Afternoon,

Just as a little pre-amble, I have decided to revive my blog. Why? Well because, you know it’s something to do and it helps with my writing. It’s going to be more of the same really a few details about my life, with a little bit of social commentary on current affairs. Some of consequence and others of none, but not everything in life needs to be of consequence after all.Just to fill in what’s been happening with me (if anyone reads this to find out how I’m doing then thank you, we should go out for a pint sometime), I’m still at Uni and living with 4 out of the 8 people I lived with last year. My course has been good if a little bit difficult in certain moments. Although I get the impression some lecturers mark harshly on purpose in the second year to scare us, as everyone seems to be getting lower marks. Nothing much else has happened really, although I am becoming slightly spiritual in a Buddhist sense and I also am now a radio producer for a nice little show which I…