Sunday, September 29, 2013

Experiencing "The Citizen Kane of bad films" first hand

You are tearing me apart conventional movie expectations!
The Room, written, directed and starring Tommy Wiseau is a bit of an enigma. Is it an earnest attempt to make a decent movie ruined by serendipitously hilarious incompetence? Is it a winking self-conscious parody of the film making art? For that matter who or what is Tommy Wiseau and what planet is he from (a question asked in the film itself)? It’s a little hard to put one’s finger on.

Despite the contrived and repetitive plot, terrible acting and poorly realized characters; The Room has become a cult hit with bad-good movie fans spawning lively midnight screenings and even a fairly faithful flash tribute game. Screenings of the film have been compared to those of the Rocky Horror Picture Show - albeit with less tongue-in-cheek humour and dressing up – given the energy and anarchic experience that you get when you see The Room on the big screen. I was lucky enough to visit one such screening in London's Leicester Square and it was a cinema experience I won’t soon forget.

Literally everything that’s considered part of cinema etiquette is out the window. People throw plastic spoons (throwing metal ones will actually get you thrown out), people get up and wonder about, and shouting at the screen is encouraged as bad quote after bad quote plays out. It’s actually surprisingly liberating to just abandon all the rules we assume as law in the cinema but in a way that doesn’t involve acting like a thoughtless dick head. You really feel encouraged to join in with the fun and shout out of turn.

There are lots of favourite moments that get highlighted by the audience, in this the Citizen Kane of bad movies. There are screams of “who are you” every time a poorly established character is introduced; every time the door of the protagonist’s apartment is left inexplicably open there are shouts of “close the door”. There’s also a running count of how many times a football (American version not European) is thrown around by the characters, which is quite a lot and for no clear reason other than a vague male bonding metaphor. Spoons go flying every time a bizarre framed picture of a spoon appears in the background of some scenes (why this photo is part of the mise-en-scene has never been explained), accompanied by everyone screaming “SPOON!” for the duration of the shots.

Overall it’s a pretty unique experience and a damn funny one at that. There’s no doubt that the Room is either by intent or accident one of the most ham fisted attempts to make a movie of all time, but somehow a group of fans have managed to make something of the resulting mess.

Friday, September 06, 2013

4 unbelievably conservative books for America's youth

To me - a British person - the USA is a funny place, on one side very proud of its freedom and liberty and on the other frighteningly conservative whilst still aping the former. However in a society full of terrorists, pro-choice views and Barack Obama how does the concerned conservative of today make sure his/her future Ronald or Nancy Reagan is being fed the right messages?

Luckily the ever enterprising publishing sector in the Land of the Free has answered these prayers with children’s books that put the fun back into fundamental conservatism.

Each of these books are 100 per cent real, have been created without any hint of irony, and can be bought with your good ol’ freedom dollars (freedom isn’t free after all) today. Enjoy:

1. The Tea Party Colouring book

America’s favourite band of wacky, politically motivated historical enactors, are back with a book full of laughs, giggles and Tea Party doctrine.

In this children’s garden of colouring (notice it’s ‘colouring’ and not ‘coloring’) you can colour the American flag, the liberty bell, a bizarre scene where the founding fathers seem to be shouting buzzwords like “freedom of speech” and “liberty” whilst demanding quite forcefully that the scribe sign the document, and much more!

Hours of fun await as you and your whole family as you colour and learn the tea party way. Who knows? Sooner or later your little Paul Revere may soon be chucking all your tea into the river. Although woe betide the child that inevitably decides to apply creative licence and traitorously colours the American flag in with green and purple instead of blue and red.

Also look out for book two where you can colour in Glenn Beck!

2. We Shall Never Forget 9/11 - Vol. II The True Faces of Evil Global Terrorism

Unfortunately volume I was so jam-packed with terrorist colouring fun that there was not enough room to fit it all in one book. However never fear, the publishers knew that kids would be clamouring for more war on terror larks and made a second book. God bless America!

All your favourites are here for you to colour and denounce in the 2 minutes hate. There’s Muammar Gaddafi, Bashir Al Assad and the outgoing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (his exit is certainly a relief considering how much of ball-ache it is to spell his name). There are also trading cards you can cut-out and collect, featuring a who’s who of world terror including Osama Bin Laden, the Oklahoma City bomber and Julian Assange (Edward Snowden’s card is most likely coming soon).

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a copy of a letter sent by Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks and friends that addresses concerns about the influence of the Muslim brotherhood’s planned “civilization jihad”. You know because kids like to colour petition letters from delusional xenophobes.

3. Everything Energy

One day your future freedom lover is going to need to know where all our gasoline, electricity and pollution come from. Well now he/she can learn from the Energy Corporations of the U.S. and the Everything Energy Dino gang. That’s right; big business and delightful anthropomorphic dinosaurs wearing no trousers are going to teach you why sludge and funny fire rocks made from their prehistoric corpses make everything go.

In addition to the colouring fun, you can also learn fantastic facts such as “American energy companies pay $100 million per day of tax revenue to the US Government” or “If hydraulic fracking causes earthquakes they are too small to be felt or be a safety concern”.

But what about all the reported fracking disasters, questions about oil spills and the amount of carbon in the air today? Best not talk about that or Tank Triceratops may have to fuck you up Late Cretaceous Period style.

4. One Nation Under God: A book for little patriots

You love America right? Well what if Junior doesn’t; or at least is only freedom-curious (due to the fact he/she is four and has no concept of nationality). Well never fear, he/she won’t be going to Guantanamo once you’ve read him One Nation Under God: A book for little patriots.

This delightful read - heavily recommended by Patriot Depot, the one stop shop for the upcoming conservative revolution - will teach you how to count using beloved symbols of freedom in a wonderful poetic verse. This is all done using examples such as how many amendments to the US constitution there have been, how many branches of the military there are or how many presidents have been assassinated etc.

The great thing about this book is it’s written by freedom loving American parents, who found that the other books on sale just weren’t patriotic enough for their little patriot and his friends. Being America where freedom of expression is encouraged, they showed some good ol’ can do spirit and published their book so that America’s youth would have something more wholesome and stars and stripesy to read.

After all, if want to learn to count by other means you can always learn to count in Russia you Commie!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Browsing the free dating apps for Android

Dating sites are no longer the preserve for the weird and dateless. Now everyone is giving them a try and getting their hands dirty in the world of online dating. There’s a lot of choice too now and of course dating sites and app producers have decided to get involved with the mobile market.

Unsurprisingly there’s a huge range of free to download apps you can find on the Google Play Store where you can find Mr or Miss right. Remember however in some cases a lot of the functionality can only be accessed with a premium subscription or a micro purchase, so it’s questionable just how “free” they actually are but here goes nothing!

Here is one man’s view of the Android dating app landscape and some of the choicest apps on offer.

Tinder is one of the hottest apps on the market right now allowing you to simply choose a partner based on a profile image. If you both like each other’s photo then you can chat. However, it doesn’t work for my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini despite several app updates and tinkering so…
0/10 (until they fix it and I can actually test it)

Almost a complete clone of Tinder, but with the features of Snapchat added into the mix. It is however buggy as sin with a fiddly interface with Facebook, which is the sole means for logging in and changing your photo. The preference filters are a bit limited however. You can only search by age and gender and they should perhaps filter things down so that you can choose whether or not you want to date someone with kids, as the amount of babies you come across when searching for a lady can be a bit off-putting if you want your relationships to remain childless for the time being. That being said it was one of the best dating apps I tried (not bad considering many of them didn’t work to begin with).

One of the biggest dating sites on the market and for good reason. There are a huge amount of people using it and it has some really targeted matching algorithms. The app isn’t without its bugs but is pretty solid overall. However, the downside is that there are many prompts to upgrade to the paid service, but this is common on the main website as well. It is however a good way to keep up with your dating profile on the go and its Locals feature is a nice touch, incorporating the features of Tinder or Swipe.

I have to admit I probably dedicated less time to Blendr than the others I tried as it is more of a friend making app than a dating app. That being said it was the one that didn’t leave me alone as I kept getting visitors, likes etc. Unfortunately they were all from other men, which was somewhat disheartening as a single straight male looking for straight single ladies or even just new female friends. I guess it’s a little frustrating when you’re on there to make lady friends exclusively but if they can fix the filtering then they have a pretty good app on their hands. For now it’s a somewhat laborious task to use Blendr as you have to trawl through the mess of both male and female profiles to find people you may be interested in dating. Then again as Eric Carman once quoted: “this is the way the world works! If you wanna find some quality friends, you've gotta wade through all the dicks first”.

This is what Blendr could be given the right tweaks. The app actually lets you customize who you want to meet rather than give you a ridiculous blend of all and sundry in the area. Skout is fun to use, makes great use of GPS functions to and seems to have a pretty sizable database to boot. It does however lose a few points for its point based user interface, which steers you quite forcibly towards its premium content.

Hot or Not
Pretty basic with a Tinder-style “I like or don’t like the look of this user” like or reject function. Like many on this list it has a real problem when it comes to filtering so don’t be surprised if you find yourself rating people of the same sex frequently, whether you’re interested in them or not. This is a bit strange as it almost comes across as more vapid then the other free apps of this nature (which are by no means ) as you are literally voting on “beautiful people” throughout. What’s more, it only goes to highlight the oversaturation of men on this service as I think a girl came up less than one in six times and also lacks the cool swipe function of Swipe or Tinder, which can make it seem a bit more cumbersome.

PlentyOfFish (POF)
Another of the big hitters of the dating market with many anecdotal success stories and a very large database of users. The app as you might expect is one of the better ones out there. Unlike the others that rely on your Facebook details for access it is very customisable and has lots of great ways to advertise yourself. That being said it does feel a bit over detailed for an app. This is also just an old fashioned straightforward dating website port and doesn’t seem to have many special features for the mobile app. Then again it is good for keeping your profile up to date on the go and it makes good use of the phone’s location functionality to browse profiles in the vicinity.

I would love to tell you that Swoon is great but the App seemed to be under the impression that I had no Facebook profile picture (I do) and wouldn’t let me log in. So I have no choice but to give it no points.

Do you have any interesting dating app stories or recommendations? If so post them below. No Spambots please.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Insurance or not?

A post by Robert Peston got me thinking yesterday. The subject was on the costs of private healthcare and how many Britons may be charged too much for their treatment. Now, the gradual privatisation of the NHS (don’t pretend it isn’t happening) is a matter that’s close to my heart, although Peston’s points have got me thinking about the wider insurance industry – which is to be fair something I don’t often dedicate much thought to - and the effect that it has on our lives.

Peston claims firstly that many of the privately run hospitals face little to no competition, granting them an automatic monopoly in certain areas. As a result patients are being charged top dollar just for being ill in an area which only has a private health centre immediately available.

The wider implication of this is that this system of overcharging is endemic in any private healthcare system, especially if it’s run like the American system. I’ve been lucky enough to speak with doctors both here and abroad who have confirmed the fact that going directly to a hospital and paying without the insurer results in a cheaper price. Because the insurers are large companies and insist on using specific facilities – which aren’t necessarily the cheapest – they usually pay out more than they should.

This seems to be a pretty standard insurance industry tactic as I’ve heard of it being used in the likes of car insurance, home insurance etc. Now if that strikes you as horribly inefficient then you’d be right and of course you know that if insurers pay out higher costs that those costs will inevitably be passed on to you. It’s the line we’re always given if premiums do rise.

Consider that influence on the cost of living in all situations where you have to rely on insurers. After all car insurance is a legal necessity if you drive and health insurance I would imagine will become obligatory as well. The cost of living due to these inefficient middle men is bound to be higher for this.

Of course let’s not even get started on the fact that many insurers can be tricky paying out to begin with or charge an impractical excess. These are just further insults to injury – literally in the case of health insurance.
Overall you do have to wonder whether life would be more secure with or without insurance. Would the extra money in our pocket allow us to better financially protect ourselves or are we better off sticking with the current system and throwing away money? Obviously a system where we aren’t being ripped off due to inefficiency and monopoly has to be a better way.

And this is why we can’t have nice things!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Staying out of Syria

Yesterday something strange happened, as for once I’m actually moderately pleased with my government. As many of you will have read the UK Parliament yesterday voted to abstain on military action in Syria and I actually support this for the most part. If anything I’m pleased that we had a debate about this and didn't heavy handedly force a war upon ourselves, I think we've actually seen real democracy in action.

I use the term moderately pleased for this as I can’t pretend that not taking action on Syria is an out and out good thing. The country is hurting, there are severe atrocities taking place and the nation is locked in a heartbreaking struggle for its future with no standout heroes and villains everywhere. That being said, I find some of the pro-intervention voices a little grating and I will explain why.

Firstly, we can’t pretend that we’re so self-important to think that the world’s weight is on our shoulders. Many people are wringing their hands saying that “we’re the world’s third superpower and we must intervene”. I think these people were the last individuals to get the memo that we’re no longer a superpower. The Empire ended around the late 1940s and any influence we've had since has been attained by standing in America’s shadow.  Quite frankly I’m pleased we’re out of the international chess game that goes on as we've only been kidding ourselves that we held any of the pieces.

Many people argue that Britain has a history of stepping in to humanitarian wars or wars of compassion but look back at history and the first time we probably did this was 1914 and even that was imperial dick measuring. Every war before that was a straightforward war of conquest. Few of our humanitarian efforts aside from maybe Kosovo and Bosnia could be called truly humanitarian as in all the other cases we’ve had something to gain be it influence, resources or money. If we truly wanted to take action against humanitarian disasters we should have intervened in Zimbabwe, Sudan and Somalia for starters.

Let us also not forget that we've just fought two so-called humanitarian wars, which were ruinous both for us and for the country on the receiving end and solved precisely nothing. Britain is resented for many reasons in the Middle East due to our involvement with the creation of Israel as well as our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Quite frankly we’re just not wanted in that region right now and I highly doubt we’d be welcomed as liberators in Syria. We'd be seen as an aggressive force, attempting to instill our cultural and political values among the populous and making the conflict and life worse due to our meddling. Would that be a far wrong assessment?

The problem with intervening in Syria is that it isn't clear who the enemy is and who we should be assisting. The rebels in Syria seem almost as bad as Assad’s forces, with their soldiers doing barbarous things like this. It's a shame there aren't more portrayals of our heroes that involve eating the organs of their enemies... We also have no long term plan for what would happen with Syria after the conflict and looking at the countries we've left in the lurch in the past Syria may even be better off without us. I’m glad we may have averted having a hand in making a messy situation even messier. In any case we don’t even know exactly who’s utilized the chemical weapons so who’s to say that we wouldn't have inadvertently assisted the perpetrators of this awful crime.

I think this moment marks a new chapter of our history, where my country has accepted its place in the world and understands that the days of throwing our weight around as a super power are done. We’re better off serving Syria as part of the international community’s efforts to gain peace and by offering positive help rather than bombs. We’re not the world’s police. We do need to stand up for what’s right and we have done so by condemning the actions in Syria but I really don’t see how bombing the already beleaguered people of Syria just to shore up our pompous belief that we defend the world’s moral high ground is of any use. Who wants that kind of help after all?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Twitstorm in a teacup: The last bitter stand of hegemonic misogyny in the UK?

Twitter has claws
 It’s been hard to avoid the repeated stories of trolls on twitter threatening to rape and murder several female public figures. It’s almost as if the Twitter sewage pump has burst and now the mess is leaking everywhere with all the misdirected anger of trolls spilling out into your ears nose and mouth. Perhaps they should rename the network ‘Shitter’ given the excrement that has been spewing from it.

Who are the perpetrators? Given Twitter’s anonymity I can only give an educated guess, but if my own internet experience is anything to go by it is probable that teenagers make up the larger proportion, with a smaller group of angry disenfranchised men making up the rest. Whilst the teenagers are just displaying their ignorance of acceptable norms (not excusable but slightly more understandable) it’s the angry masculinists that I find more insidious. Whilst Twitter has rightfully introduced an abuse button, which will do much to remedy the situation, what does this say about men in today’s world? I always find it tragically funny that today some men are still bandying around an idea of a feminist conspiracy or supremacy, probably with the underlying belief that as men they are afforded supremacy as a birthright. That birthright has rightfully been consigned to a different time for the most part but that doesn’t mean the last of the entitled misogynists are going quietly.

Equality is very far from being achieved given the lack of female directors, board members and the issues surrounding female bishops in the church. Not only that, but some of the abuse and sexual assault that everyday women and some of my close friends have been subject to is frightening. There have been a lot of loud incidents of late such as the lady who danced in the place where she was sexually assaulted on the tube (a worryingly common occurrence on public transport world-wide) and the perplexing proliferation of pro-masculine websites that claim men are an oppressed minority is a growing problem.

I find it utterly mad that today in 2013 some bitter frustrated men can still argue that they are the victims despite the fact that women are still consigned in the main to smaller, quieter positions in social standing, on TV and in companies. It cannot be denied that men are still afforded the better social and professional positions as well as pay-packets in today’s society. Some argue it’s due to meritocracy, which in some cases may certainly be true. However, are women always given the same opportunities to begin with or are they cast aside because of their gender or because their workplace is very much a boys club (they still exist sadly)? For that matter are they even encouraged to excel given the disproportionate lack of role models compared to men?

Worse still is the media portrayal of women. Women’s magazines are cesspits of self-doubt and catty gossip; whilst it is common in fiction for women to be side characters and most of the time when they are allowed a greater role it is as the metaphorical prize or as a sex object. The Bechdel test, which asks whether a work of fiction features at least two female protagonists that get to talk to one another about something other than a man, still holds very true even in modern fiction sadly. Is it any wonder that women will often settle for their perceived role in society when they are granted such a subjugated voice in fiction (don’t even get me started on Stephanie Meyer and EL James literature).

Gender equality is by no means equal on either the male of the female side and will probably never be 100 per cent equal. However the un-ironic “women know your limits” attitude that has come across in this Twitstorm is telling and whilst the larger public reaction of both men and women has been one of shock and disgust the undercurrent of misogyny still flows sadly and it’s going to be a while before it reaches the metaphorical sewage works. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Is this the beginning of the end of console gaming?

There's been a lot of fuss in the gaming world these past few months as the new generation of video game consoles loomed upon us like a doom bringing wind. Naturally they've all promised much after what was probably a renaissance for the industry as Nintendo's innovative Wii, Sony's powerful but unimaginatively named PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's solid Xbox 360, hoovered up the market with few complaints from gamers - well, barring initial hardware teething problems at first.
Then bang, every major manufacturer in the gaming console, ummm.... game had a shiny new box of tricks and excessive processing capability for you to drool over prior to release. The only catch is that each new announcement has been more disappointing than the last, with the tablet-console hybrid gaming device no one asked for from Nintendo to the gigantic middle finger to games consumers in the shape of the Xbox One. Oh and Sony have pretty much more of the same but with a big new graphics card, a wanky share button and a number four affixed over the number three of the last console.
So what is it that's so disappointing about this generation of new consoles?
1. Unimaginative names
Remember when video games companies used to come up with interesting (ok scratch that. Nintendo used to come up with insipid names like Nintendo entertainment system or Super Nintendo Entertainment System and sadly they are the most imaginative when it comes to their console monikers these days) or at least different names for their new consoles. This lot are just named the same as before but with a different set of numbers, or letters in the case of Nintendo, lazily tacked on.
2. Obsession with sharing stuff
Why the hell do all these companies think that we all are obsessed with sharing. It's true we live in an age of social media that gives people license to update the world on their toilet regularity - please never let it come to that - or tweet about what they've just killed recently, but is it best to over indulge this? Not everyone is obsessed with shoving game achievements down your throat on Facebook. As anyone who's received an invite to Candy Crush Saga, or had their wall spammed with Farmville statuses will know that this isn't a welcome improvement. To make matters worse, especially in the case of the Xbox One, this stuff just comes across as invasive. Who doesn't want hardware that monitors you every second of every day, watching you as you undress, have sex or masturbate? Looks like Orwell was wrong, Big Brother isn't just watching you, Big Brother is playing with you or watching you play with yourself.
3. Open suspicion of their consumers
Like most media companies of the now games console makers are eyeing their consumers with suspicion. Piracy is certainly a problem for the industry but like an insane dictator in his final decline before he starts massacring everybody with glasses the companies see their enemies everywhere. Sadly this inability to see the wood from the trees has meant that "some" console makers - I'm looking at you Microsoft, with EA lurking craftily in the shadows pulling strings - have seen it fit that consoles need to connect to the internet regularly to remain in use. Bad lack if you lose connection for a protracted period of time, you're fucked basically. Worse, the makers have decided that sharing games is basically piracy so no lending to your friends and no trade ins, well not without them charging you an extra fee despite the fact that when you've bought a piece of media technically it's yours to do with as you please be it lend or sell off, especially when you've spent nearly £45 for the privilege. But then why would you complain, you're not a pirate are you?
4. The quest for the "omnibox"
Gaming companies seem to be obsessed with chocking their machinery full of every gimmick they can squeeze in. A tablet controller, a multimedia desktop, motion sensors, a tin opener etc. Unfortunately it's often still better to buy the individual components than it is to buy an all singing, all dancing clusterfuck. Also these guys seem to have lost sight of the fact they're meant to be building a gaming machine. Which leads me to final point...
5. Where the fuck are the actual games
For the launch of the three biggest new gaming consoles there's been little or no sign of the games that will be coming down, with only a trickle of new content actually being revealed. It's like the designers of cars presenting their new model complete with Bluetooth connectivity, back massagers and a robot butler, then someone reminding them the damn thing doesn't have any wheels. Gamers buy games consoles to play games so that they don't have to buy a monstrously expensive computer that needs upgrading every six months.
So it's a bit depressing looking into this bleak future of always watching, not often gaming, bandwidth killers that Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft are looking to unleash (ok Nintendo have already released theirs to an indifferently shrugging audience). So does gaming have a future on consoles or is it back to PC gaming? Let's be fair we're not going to see a quantum leap in graphic display like we did with the last lot of consoles so where is there to go with consoles exactly. It makes it easier to understand why all the new consoles are trying to lure you in with other silly gimmicks. Then again bigger and better graphics aren't everything, probably hence why a nostalgia for retro gaming has really caught on.
Personally I'm praying that Valve finally builds the fabled Steambox and that a gaming console actually fit for purpose arrives. Fuck it, even Apple making some kind of iBox may be a relief to this malaise.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A balanced opinion on Baroness Thatcher would be nice

On my travels in Latin America I've been viewing the reaction to Baroness Thatcher's death with some interest.

As was to be expected opinions and thoughts about her passing have been anything but reasoned and rational; sadly this is true of both left and right sides of the debate. The dichotomy between left and right opinions in the country certainly is as gaping and narrow minded as ever. The left have seized the opportunity to see her time as Prime Minister as wholly negative without considering the possibility that anything positive happened - and attack right leaning people in general - whilst the right have jumped on their moral high horse to simultaneously attack the left and bely a slightly hipocritical reaction to this vilification.

The left and right is so obsessive in it's love or hate of her Tory government between 1979 and 1990, that it's almost impossible to work out what good or bad she actually did. On the good side she certainly got the economy moving again (although her economic policy of privatisation and greater emphasis on financial services may have left us off worse in the long term) and on the bad she single-handedly destroyed industry in the west and north of the country (although would things have got worse if the unions had remained as they were). As you can see, even I can't make a straightforward decision about whether her good was good and whether her bad is bad. She is just that complex a figure to evaluate and it pains me to see people try to apply simplistic left or right propaganda for the sake of point scoring.

A look at the Daily Mail and it's comments shows one side, which focuses on people holding "death parties" in celebration of her passing whilst making the silly sweeping association between celebrants and nerdowell marajuana smoking underclass. On the other side of things there's a vitriolic obiturary written by George Galloway, who seems incapable of holding anything close to a moderate opinion on anything. I can half imagine him calling his cornflakes grubby facists if he happened to disagree with their favour. Two very extreme examples for sure, but symptomatic of how two sides so engrained by their convictions can spew nothing but salacious drivel attacking the other side at any cost.  

I assume this goes to show that as usual there's "nought as queer as folk," but it's always a shame when people affix their political bias blinkers at times like this as it completely blurs any clear understanding of what she actually did or didn't do. History is full of these cases and due to the narrow interpretation of the world some people seem to live through where light is light and dark is dark without deviation.

I suppose whether you liked her or not she was our first female Prime Minister as well as the longest continuous one we've ever had, and whether you consider her morally dubious or not that's quite a feat. For certain she should be given some kind of public (state funeral may be a bit much) funeral and be remembered accordingly. That being said her legacy may be more checkered. Whilst she might have been correct in saying when she resigned in 1990 that "the country was in a better state than when they found it" was that a case of internal policy alone or that working hand in hand with external factors and how long did that last for?

It's probably true to say we don't know everything about her time as Prime Minister and in some cases never will. Like other historical revisions of dead public figures such as Jimmy Saville or Robert Maxwell what she really may not become clear until later, although we may never know it due to the propagandist Punch and Judy show of the single mindedly left and right sides. Like her maybe we should let things lie for a while (bad taste I agree).

If you enjoyed this be sure to have a look at my other blog project here. It's all about travel...... Punch and pie.