Showing posts from 2018

Remembrance and Respect

Preface:  I wanted to write about this subject as I felt particularly moved by the memory of of the Great War as we reach 100 years since its end. It’s not a subject I think about much. Maybe because it’s easier not to think about the horrors of this war. However, when I thought about it recently and considered how little we really remember of how bad it truly was I felt compelled to write something. I always remember feeling particularly humbled by the trenches and war graves in Flanders and from what I studied at school and wanted to try and put that into words.

The annual poppy pile-on
It’s poppy season, that strange time of year where people manufacture crises over people not wearing poppies disrespecting poppies or claiming Muslims want to ban poppies.

I’ve had a strange relationship with the remembrance poppies myself, as they’ve seemed hijacked by nationalists of late. This has always seemed an unfair reflection on these somewhat benign symbols of memory. Although much of my u…

5 Fictional Countries I Wish Existed

Countries. There are 195 out there including tiny independent states like Vatican City, Monaco and Lichtenstein. While the 195 we know are (for the most part) rooted in reality, it's sometimes fun to imagine the fantastical possibilities of countries found in fictional stories.

With utopian philosophies and systems of government or futurism as ideas to play around with when creating fictional lands, these are the five which I would love to see in the real world and (perhaps) as part of the UN.

Anvilania For those of you not in the know, Anvilania was a fictional country which featured in an episode of Animanics. It was a medieval style feudal Kingdom where the society and economy was built completely around anvils. The country itself was also appropriately anvil shaped. Whilst it has a famously droning national anthem, an anvil based country could be a laugh.

Wakanda If the movie Black Panther has proven anything, it's that an afro-futuristic country is an interesting concept …

A step into the past and a glimpse into the future?

During my holidays this year I paid a visit to Wroclaw, Poland's 4th largest city (and an underrated gem in terms of Polish city breaks). This was a personal as well as a touristic visit for me as I have some historical ties to the city. It was a trip that really got me thinking about some of the things happening in the world and how the history of this city could provide a little context, and perhaps also, an alarming warning about the direction that Europe and the USA is heading in.
A little about Wroclaw
Wroclaw today is a pleasant city with impressive historical architecture in its centre (especially impressively well maintained as we'll come to see later). It has a vibrant modern feel with a large student population and feels both old and new at the same time.
Wroclaw is a city with a complicated past however. Firstly, it hasn't always been called Wroclaw, despite being founded under this name. This is as the city has been the possession of numerous powers over the y…

5 Footballers Who Tried Singing And Failed

World Cup 2018 has officially kicked off. This of course means that many other news and events take a temporary back seat to the festivities of people waving England fans, shouting "Come on England!" in increasingly desperate tones and deluding themselves into thinking that England will win the World Cup if they move past the group stages. Part of the experience of the tournament is also the music.

Most of the time when novelty world cup songs or football songs in general are made, they are made by professional musicians and performed by well-known singers or celebrities. However, on occasions footballers have tried their hand at crooning too. Often with quite poor results. Today we're going to have a look at some of the more bizarre and terrible examples of this.

In no particular order we have:
Sergio Ramos (2016)
There's very little argument about Sergio Ramos' prowess on the pitch, however when it comes to singing there's no amount of pitch tuning possibl…

Just because you can doesn't mean you have to

In what seems to be a continuing theme on this blog of negative attitude philosophy I've begun to wonder how many things that people do, which whilst impressive or conversation worthy are utterly pointless.

I'm guilty of this too as much as anyone but with the constant stream of human interest click bait on social media about spectacular if somewhat useless achievements coupled with the fear of missing out (FOMO); seems to create an attitude that makes people guilty for not achieving something they never wanted to anyway.

I don't think this is necessarily a new phenomenon, people have been chiding themselves for not doing things they feel they should be doing for social appearances for generations. Many of us were forced to do such activities by our parents in a well meaning but ultimately misguided attempt to socialise us into society with a skill we either didn't want or need, before completely abandoning the practice once we get out of the family home or reach adul…

Cracking Open the Easter Egg Controversy

Almost as inevitable as wet bank holiday weekends and obligatory repeats of Ben Hur is the annual controversy about the PC attack on Easter, religion and the alleged lack of Easter on Easter Eggs. I've only really noticed that this has become part of the periphery of Easter-time in the last couple of years, with pundits, the public and even the Prime Minister Lady Vicarsdaughter weighing in with a view. Let's take a look into the situation in a little more detail and see the EGGStent (of course I'm going to use egg puns!) of the issue.
When did this moral panic about Easter Eggs begin? Honestly, it appears to be a very recent thing. Obviously following in the footsteps of other favourite festive conspiracies like the all too many EGGaggerated 'Christmas is cancelled' stories comes our more contemporary 'Easter is being removed from Easter Eggs' panic we're seeing today. From what I can tell it stems from a company called the Meaningful Chocolate company