Why Oh Why ?

When I was younger, “Why” was a crooked letter that couldn’t be straightened; connoting  it was a word that you shouldn’t really use too often. Now however, that very same word is the absolute basis of my future career. So, In recognition of that, I am going to answer a few why’s that surround this blog: 

Why are you doing this? 

I am doing this because this is a free practice run. I am testing my ability to write in different styles to suit different audiences, and test what topics are well received and which are ignored. 



Why are you writing on this platform?

I am using WordPress as a host for my blog as it is the one I was more familiar with at the time I started this blog. It is easy to use and it is efficient.



Why are you starting your blog now?

Well, it makes perfect sense. I am a 19 year old Journalism student who gets sucked into cliches just as much as you! 



Why didn’t you do it sooner?

I tried, but it failed miserably. I was too young, too inexperienced  and too pre-occupied to give a blog, the love it needs.   

 

Advertisements

Double Trouble.

Standards. We all have them right? Well , it seems we all like them so much we keep doubling them.

As I have made my way through my teenage years, matured a little and became more self-aware (thank you university), I have come to the realization that I have double standards. And this realization has never been more true or as clear as it was the other night;

I had just got home late , around 11pm. It was hot outside so I had the  window wide open. My bedroom is at the back of the house but slowly a womans voice wafted through the night air from the direction of the main road at the front of the house, creeping closer and beginning to get louder untill it became clear she was upset. “Go away” she shouted amongst a stream of obscenities before her voice faded away again. At this point my ears picked up and my head was out the window to listen some more. The tone in her voice had been angry and all sorts of scenarios flooded my mind, what if she was being chased? followed? Who was she so determined to get away from? All sorts of things can happen these days.

I was worried and ready to put on my shoes and see if all was ok, so I carried on listening to the now silent night air; if I heard her again I would be down on the street like a dog to a bone. I waited a few minuets and nothing more was heard. I rationalized it out in my head, she could have had an argument with a friend or something like that and all was fine really. 

So, I carried on with getting changed and sorting things out when another loud voice echoed through the night. This time it was a mans voice. He was being swore at by another guy before their voices also trailed off. But I was not worried.

Why was it that I was ready to go out onto the street and help the woman, but I wasnt too concerned about the man?  Why did I think that the man would be ok, but the women could not handle her situation? Was it  because the stereotypes of “damsel in distress” and “macho men”  have been programmed into my head ever since I was born? Or was it my own subconscious trail of thoughts that led me to the double standard decision I subconsciously made?

I can not answer that for sure but since that night however, I have noticed a number of the people around me also have double standards that are used frequently.  Isn’t it quite frightening to think that so many principles and rules can be changed and used accordingly?

More recently I found double standards in the most non obvious place, Disney. There has been speculation for years that the Disney princess are too unrealistic with their constant slim figures. There has been calls for a more curvy character to make a debut. Well, the new Disney film , Moana, has received backlash and criticism after portraying a Polynesian god as, you guessed it, obese.  

If you have any of your own double standard stories please feel free to leave them below in the comments section.  

 

A Beautiful Blesssing and an Ugly Curse

It is no secret that in today’s society something has been lost; commitment. Nobody seems to truly want to be committed to anything anymore, but I mean who can blame them?

Today, we live in a world full of choice. Everything has another option, which grocery store you shop at, what you wear and even how you wear it, these days we can not even commit to a mobile phone for longer then two years, we are looking for the what if’s in life. What if that shop has better deals? what if there is a better version of this elsewhere?. Everything has an upgrade and everything can be “better” which is great but  the fact that we have so much choice is, in my opinion,  A beautiful blessing and an ugly curse.

We are constantly looking for more and this ever-changing, fast paced way of life does not stop at the materialistic things in the world. I believe it is extending into the realms of relationships. I bet that while your reading this a name pops into your head of a person who can not stay in a committed relationship, a person who  has hopped from partner to partner like a game of musical chairs. I feel that most of my generation, and even in some of the older generations, we are looking for the “perfect”  in our lives and why not settle for less than perfect, right? If we can have our “perfect” homes and our “perfect” technologies , the next logical step is to have a “perfect” partner.  and why can we not have our “perfect” partner aswell? My answer is because you can’t build and program a person to be “perfect”.This is not saying you should lower your standards or just get with anyone, but people are not something you can buy from the apple shop, they have to be found in an emotional way and not just by a picture. 

 Tindr for example. It’s great fun swiping the hotties and sorting them from the notties, but the downfall comes when somebody matches you and you get talking. Instead of meeting that person for a simple friendly coffee in real life and allow yourself the commitment of getting to know a person before making any decisions, you will carry on swiping because “there might be sombody better”. That is what your thinking when you do it, you will find a fault with the person you match with via a picture and then try to find a better version, so you play the game again instead of taking the time to explore the aspects of person a face picture can’t portray, the aspects that could potentially be your closest version to your “perfect”.

I am not saying that choice is terrible and we should all only have one option, I am saying that choice is hindering our ability to commit to anything.  We are over-come with choice, so much that we don’t know what we want anymore and that is what makes life confusing. Maybe it’s time to stop looking and commit to what you really want. If you want to date that person;commit to it and go full on in and see what happens. If you want to go on holiday don’t wait to see if there is a cheaper alternative, commit to it and commit to work for it. That is how to be true and how to be sure, if it works it works, if not then you lost nothing but gained  knowledge that is sure, solid and sound..

Lets introduce commitment to a new generation. 

 

Should “Pokemon Go” Go?

So, by now we have all heard of the app that has brought the late  90’s back into modern-day Britain; Pokémon Go. If you haven’t then here is a very basic outline; you download an app on your phone, create a “trainer” avatar and then set about finding the pesky Pokemon in your local area. The idea is to get up, get moving and to get out the house, and it has gone down a treat throughout the world.

Initially being released in America  and Australia, the much-anticipated augmented reality game has landed in The United Kingdom. I have never, ever been interested in Pokemon whilst growing up but I did download the app just out of curiosity. unfortunately however, I could not create a profile due to the high number of people doing the same thing and I think that says it all, the world is loving the Pokemon again, but at what cost?

The game itself forces you out into the world and presents you with multiple opportunities to interact with other potential game players. Just the other day a fellow teen seen me on my phone and stopped to ask if I had seen a Pokemon  (I forgot the name) on my walk around town. Before this game, that situation would not have happened at all demonstrating that the game positivly engages people. But why has it taken an mobile app for a stranger to approached me and want to engage in conversation?  Did we not have something to talk about before? Something has definitely changed for the better, but what happens when this fad dies out? Will people still interact or will everyone revert back to how it was? 

To me it, it seems that the game is selling itself on the social aspect and the health benefits it can produce, but in reality it is causing a lot of negative aspects too with people becoming stupid and loosing all common sense just to catch a Pokémon,  running in the middle of a road and causing accidents for example.  This app may have us physicaly interacting, but we are still living our life through our phones, even more so now as the games plays in real time in our real life. 

Comment below your views on the app that is taking the wold on an apparent epic adventure. 

 

Sia Furler

For this article I have chosen to talk about an artist who is still in my mind and will continue to dwell there for a long time. You may have heard this pop phenomenon on the charts but I can assure you, you wont get to “sia” on there…(collecting my dignity off the floor)  

I discovered the fantastic Sia Furler who is known professionally as just “Sia” a few years back after having “one of those days”. I was snuggled up in bed exploring the depths of you tube when a video popped up of her. I pressed play and I have not looked back. The first song I came across was the beautiful “I am in here”. I was in one of those self-pity holes we all tend to put ourselves in from time to time and this song just spoke to me emotionally, it was like eating Ben and Jerry after a break up, she knew how to fix it. 

I then discovered her newest album at the time, “1000 forms of fear”, which introduced me to the phenomenal song, chandelier. I was officially in love with a women who chose not to show her face. But  that was also a factor that intrigued me. After discovering the album I searched for the album artwork and her face, she was on her older album covers  (those i am not too fond of) but was missing from the newest. I was very confused just like the rest of the world. 

So I begun to dig up some background on the Aussie singer and was touched by her story. As it turns out Sia had overcome many struggles throughout her rise to fame including depression, drug abuse and alcohol abuse. I read  that she was terrified of performing and it got so bad that she couldn’t perform unless she was half plastered. And that is why she went into hiding, so to speak, so she can recover and get better. 

After coming clean she chose to use her talent, without being in the limelight, by writing songs for other artists, such as “Dimonds” which was sung by  Rhianna. However after a period of time Sia felt that some songs were not going to get heard unless she sung them and so the full frontal  wigged star returned to take back her throne.  

The disguise is so she can still have privacy but still enjoy the performing. How amazing is she to come up with the idea and to make it work? Now two albums in, her hiding in plain sight method has been proven to work and there is no signs of stopping her, which I am glad about. Prehaps there will be a tour soon? I can not wait so see what this songstress delivers next! 

A review: The Guest (2014)

I watched this film a while back, and again recently, and it still amazes me. Here is my  review of a film that is stilll in my mind. 

“The Guest”- Review

From the director and writer of “You’re Next” comes a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of yout seat and send your brain into overdrive during this exhilarating 1 hr. 37 minute ride.

After its world premiere on 18th January 2014 during Sundance Film Festival, “The Guest” was released to UK cinemas on Friday 5th September 2014. However, this quirky film has met a mixed response from audiences with an abundance of both favourable and apathetic reviews despite charting at number 8 in the box office, making £313,000 within the first three days.

Set in the bleak suburbs of New Mexico, “The Guest” sends chills down the spine as Downtown Abbey’s Dan Stevens steps into the role of the charming, dark and twisted protagonist David. David, a soldier recently discharged from action in Afghanistan, has lost his way.  After witnessing the death of his comrade, Caleb Peterson, David vowed to visit the fallen hero’s family and comfort them with the last words from his lips, hence David’s unexpected arrival at Mrs Peterson’s front door. However, as with any film of this genre, all may not be as it appears.

  This is a film full of twists, turns and scenes that will divide your own opinion as you find yourself warming to the one character you know you shouldn’t.  Just like the Peterson family, you are helpless, falling under the spell cast from the blue-eyed, charismatic sociopath that prowls the screen in front of you.  David slowly slithers his way into the Peterson’s family life by befriending each member of the household one by one, helping simple problems vanish and putting a dramatic stop to the continuous bullying of the Peterson’s teenage son. The speed at which he operates means there is no let up for the audience. A true blink and you’ll miss it film. As the narrative swiftly progresses  it becomes increasingly sinister as David’s back story begins to unravel Continuing to shock and tear your mind apart, the film begins to slow down while some subtle but intricate details start to emerge. Not before too long the narrative gathers speed and sends viewers through a twisting, emotional roller-coaster one final time in the most beautifully filmed climax I have seen.

Supported by a cast of reasonably unknown actors such as Maika Monroe, who only made her acting debut in 2012 with the film “At Any Price”, and Brendan Mayer who is best known for his role in the children’s television show “Dinosapian”               

. Mixed with a multitude of technical pleasures such as the long forgotten retro-thriller soundtrack and the minimalistic use of special effects this film, in my opinion, has earned its self a respectable place in the box office charts. I feel that this film deserves more recognition then it is currently getting.  Although, the acting within this film is not the absolute best.  But on the other hand it is not the absolute worst either. It is realistic and believable enabling the audience to empathise with the characters. This also means that the audience has the chance to connect and relate to some of the more mundane aspects of the narrative such as falling in love and coping with teen drama.

Dan Stevens has done an excellent job in the portrayal of such a complex, emotionally torn character that deep down inside truly wants to help the grieving family but due to the cross he bears he is firmly halted in his attempts, despite his good intentions, forcing him to work with the devil inside of him. This type of role is a world away from where Stevens is commonly seen, strutting around the lavish sets of “Downton Abbey” and considering that, I think he has adapted well, proving himself to be a versatile actor.

This film was directed by and edited by Adam Wingard, the creator of horror movie “You’re Next” which was released last year. “You’re Next” was very popular at its time of release but again, it was met by several poor reviews.  It seems strange to me that both of Wingards’ latest films have been received in a way that divides the audience and I cannot decide whether or not this is a positive reflection of his directing skills or a negative one. It is clear however, that this film was created on a low budget.  This can be seen through the basic use of SFX and the lack of big name, Hollywood stars. Lance Reddick, who has starred in the successful American television shows “Lost” and “Fringe”, is the most recognisable actor.  Even though this film has been created on a low budget I believe that it has not hindered the film in any way but it has enhanced the film. “The Guest” does not rely on over the top, state of the art special effects or any A list celebrity to carry the film and draw an audience in. It is the intricate plot and the amalgamation of old school horror and 21st century ideologies that give this film its razor edge.

In my opinion, this is a great film and you can stream it on netflix now  

 

Changes.

Well. Here I sit, one year into my journey through university, and what a journey it is turning out to be. For those who do not know, I am studying Theatre at The University of Huddersfield, which is a great university in my eyes that has already churned out many memories for me to share at a later date. But for now… 

It was always the plan to head to university, that is a decision  I have never questioned. I knew exactly what I wanted to spend a sickening amount of money on also, or so I thought.

In the mind of my young naive self, I had it all planned out. I would complete my GCSE Drama, go onto study the subject that I so passionately liked at A level and then further my study at university. It would all go swimmingly because this was what I really, whole heartedly loved. Which is all true. My 16-year-old self did love it, so we followed our carefully crafted plan and we made it past GCSE and we got through our A level. We even managed to get to the university part which was all thrilling, until  life got in the way and my 19-year-old mind slowly and subtly began to change.

Now I have realised the fundamental flaw that my plan had, I did not want it.

I was enjoying it don’t get me wrong, I was having fun and I was good at it. In theory my plan was perfect But in reality I am not interested in theatre theorists, the history of theatre or Shakespeare to be honest. I have no desire to immerse my self in the subject, I wanted to just do it.

In my eyes however,  wanting to “just do it” isn’t enough to justify spending so much money on a degree, when you do not need a degree to do it.      

Many people tried to persuade me off my decision,  but I am not sure what exactly changed in my mind to make me realise that this isn’t for me, for myself. The experience of sitting in the lectures and having no interest but feeling guilty because I should have an interest? or was it the fact that all the way through high school I had not been on the stage during the school plays, but sat in the audience reporting and reviewing it?

 In the back of my mind I have always had a passion for writing. From the ages of 6 I was writing short stories, staying up late at night creating different worlds where my imaginative characters could dwell and then rushing to draw the front cover for my “book”. I thrived on bringing the adventure to life by  drawing the characters I had created.

In primary school I had a part in creating the schools first magazine, and then in High school I was apart of the schools  first newspaper, which in its second year went on to win an award. In year 12 I went to my local newspaper for two weeks for work experience and then before I had even started university, I had submitted my first piece of writing for T’hud magazine, my University’s student publication.

Maybe it was all of this that was occupying my mind while I should have been learning about the difference between theatre, drama and performance? and maybe that is why I am restarting my university adventure and changing my degree from Theatre to journalism. ;D 

I look forward to sharing my new experience here on this blog.