Showing posts from August, 2009

Try hard and fail anyway?

It’s that time of year again, that is: the publication of A-Level results, and the subsequent accusations that the exams are getting easier. I must admit I feel a lot of sympathy with the students having to weather this stressful time, which is of course made even more stressful by the the media; politicians and armchair-experts everywhere denigrating – what is for some – a well earned achievement.

I remember three years ago when I got my A-Levels and I was met with a situation a bit like many students are facing this year - in that I didn’t initially get the necessary results - and because of the competition for my degree choice I had to get a remark to be admitted; which of course is history now, as I got a remark, got onto, and have now graduated from said degree. Still this problem seems to be affecting more and more students, as A-Level passes have risen for the 27th year in a row, and this year: one in four A-levels taken this year was scored an A grade means that the problem I f…

Moon - A review

I was lucky enough last week, to be invited to London to see a new independent film called Moon, directed by Duncan Jones – the man formally known as Zowie Bowie – and starring Sam Rockwell.

The film centres on the life of Sam Bell, who is on a three year contract as the solitary operator/caretaker of the Sarang Moon mining base, and to compound his loneliness a malfunctioning satellite has limited his contact with earth to infrequent pre-recorded messages. His only companion is Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) an advanced computer, who assists Sam in his day to day activates; as well as keeping him from going mad with loneliness. However, one day Sam has an accident, and this begins the unravelling of the sinister truth behind the life of the isolated moon base operator.

I have to say I found the plot for this film absolutely fascinating, and it challenges it’s audience to really question what the hell is going on. Sometimes this is a bit jarring, and the film guards it’s secrets adequa…


The lurking prospect of a Swine Flu pandemic has been keeping newspapers and analysts busy for much of this year. Since the virus first touched down in the UK - in all its coughing; spluttering; cataclysmic glory - the press have been reporting it in varying tones; ranging from the doom bringing claim that “Swine flu posed a greater threat than terrorism” according to Home Secretary Alan Johnson, to the faintly ridiculous Sun Headline “Swine Flu could be good for you.” Indeed, it has meant that the usual summer lull for the news media has been less quiet than usual, and to be fair they have had their pick of the big stories what with Michael Jackson dying, the ongoing recession and such, to keep people reading the news.

Still, all this talk about the government implementing far-reaching strategies to contain the virus, such as face-masks and sending out advice leaflets to every home in the country, only makes us lose touch with the reality of the situation – namely that we’re just talk…

Not A-Muse-d

I feared this day would come. I have become the very thing that I have criticised before, when it comes to fans complaining when a band changes their direction. However, I wonder if the time has come for me to join the herd of disgruntled followers, after I heard Muse’s new single: Uprising (which you can listen to here).

I have been a fan of Muse for a good 7 years now, since their third album Absolution came out; I have seen them four times (the first of which was accounted on this very blog), and I have been fairly loyal to them in the face of criticism, such as: they are pretentious, or they’ve gone down a poor musical direction. However, even I am scratching my head after the first play of Uprising on BBC Radio 1. Predictably, a lot of the loyal Muse fans will fawn over the latest ‘success’ of Bellemy and Co – although many of these people, I’m sure some of my friend included, would praise Muse just as religiously if the band released an album, which just consisting of Chris Moyle…