Let’s talk about sex… 

In this day and age many boundaries have been broken, taboos have become tadoos and yet there is one topic for discussion which is almost as infamous as Voldemort. Of course, I’m talking about sex.

Now I’m not talking about preferences and desires in the bedroom – that’s a private and intimate choice that the average person would not be comfortable conveying to the world. I’m talking about the general topic.

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Nostalgia is a hell of a drug

That constant yearn for something in your past that you may never accomplish visiting again hits us all. I myself can get extremely nostalgic, forever wanting to live in the ‘good old days’. The truth, quite simply is there probably weren’t good old days, just shut up Frank (see what I did there? I’m self aware!). Sure, you may have been richer, slimmer, somewhere more exotic or all of the above but the day to day struggle of being an actual human comes with plenty of issues.


Take for example being a child. Everyone has those moments where they wish they could revisit their youth; playing on the climbing frame, getting up at seven to watch some cartoons on a Saturday. Your worries were quite simply how long would it take for your parents to notice that it’s an hour past your bedtime or how many lollypops you need to take into class on your birthday.
“But we didn’t have to worry about bills or finding a job.” – True, but can you honestly say that the levels of stress you feel at times in your life weren’t exactly the same as something so trivial back then? In hindsight running around the house stark bollock naked shouting ‘NO CLOTHES ON!’ was indeed an easier time when you were a kid – not that I do that now or anything, but back then you were still worrying about aspects of your life that may even seem laughable now.

Continue reading “Nostalgia is a hell of a drug”

First half of 2016? (Spoilers: It’s messy)

Well we’re halfway through and it’s safe to say it’s been an eventful year! It seems only yesterday I was looking up at the fireworks in Queenstown foolishly excited for what would turn out to be the strangest six pages of a calendar so far (in my lifetime anyway!).


‘After all this time? Always’
For any hardcore Potter junkie that line would’ve choked them up since first reading it. 2016 has decided that it had lost it’s novelty and began furiously killing off many popular figures including one of my favourite actors, Alan Rickman. The distinguishable, dry voice of Mr Hans Gruber himself will sadly never be spoken again.
Speaking of voices we lost several legends of music in 2016’s early killing spree with David Bowie biting the dust and Prince also leaving this earth.
Other notable figures include the unforgettable Muhammad Ali, Ronnie Corbett, Harper Lee and Terry Wogan. It doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon either with Caroline Aherne recently losing her battle with cancer. It’s got to the point where if someone is trending on twitter I automatically assume they’ve been beaten by this year too.

Continue reading “First half of 2016? (Spoilers: It’s messy)”

Divided Kingdom (Brexit)

So it’s done, the people have been to the ballots, got their permanent marker pens out and shoved a big fat cross over the ‘Leave the European Union’ box. So now we’re drifting out of the EU like possible future PM Boris on a zip-wire (does that not leave a sour taste in anyone else’s mouth?). Whatever you voted, at least you did and that’s democracy in action.


There will be many articles and posts regarding the uncertainty of the United Kingdom so there’s no need for another one. This isn’t about what you voted for, what’s done is done and as a ‘remainer’ I know we have to get over it.
I’d much rather talk about one issue I’ve noticed over the past day.

For me personally, I’ve noticed a huge divide to the point of hatred from both sides of the fence. We are quite possibly seeing the end of the United Kingdom with a second Scottish Independence Referendum on the cards and a possible unification between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. Do we really need to be hating ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’ due to having an opinion as well?


The tension everywhere I went yesterday was silently deadly, as if everyone was trying to work out who secretly farted and getting them to own up by eyeballing them. Nobody wanted to talk about it, yet everybody wanted to talk about it simultaneously. Never in my life have I felt so awkward in public places, it was basically an episode of The Office in terms of unsettling cringe.

I’ve seen people argue furiously and it’s fantastic that people are so engaged in something as important as this as opposed to being completely disenfranchised like the minority. One thing I don’t agree with however, is people turning that passion into hate or spite. Everyone and their Nan is suddenly an economics expert who moonlights as a politician by night and you know what? That’s great, sure a lot will be wrong in what they say but they’re showing an interest which is what matters. Then there are people who are making Facebook statuses and tweets about if any of their friends oppose their view then their friendship is now over or threatening people on the streets.


Truth be told, a large majority of people will be talking about something else in a couple of days (I for one can’t wait for Game of Thrones as well!) and then the inevitable jokes will come about how people have ‘gotten over it pretty quickly’ or ‘clearly don’t care enough’. So don’t let them. If you agree with the decision or not to leave the EU do some research and humanely talk about possible alternatives that could hypothetically work well or don’t work at all. Debating is healthy, arguing is not.

We’ve made our bed now, it’s time to grab your PJ’s and lie in it. For example, I think a good solution here would be a similar situation to Norway with a trade deal like the European Free Trade Association, or perhaps focus more on building relationships with the Commonwealth which could even lead to Freedom of Movement within these countries.


Right now we’re not so much a United Kingdom as a bouncy castle ready to burst. We all need to focus on what we’ve got and how to approach it on a personal level. Whether that involves jumping ship and leaving or powering through and helping out where you can, it’s your decision. Just don’t keep arguing with Fred from down the road about the economy because you might as well be smacking your head against a wall.

It’s time to stop scratching your bum and become a lion tamer

Arguably strengths and skills are what can define a person when it comes to your work, your social life, your relationships and quite honestly most of your life. Without having our own skills we are essentially a blank canvas. Sure we can eat, reproduce, poop, phase out to the TV but that makes us no different to one another. Without skills in the eyes of the world we are useless, draining and quite frankly a waste of oxygen. Reading this might seem quite demeaning, you may be asking yourself what you have to offer the world. Maybe you can make people laugh? Perhaps you’re an absolute genius when talking about the Powerpuff Girls? Don’t worry if you haven’t figured it out yet, we all have something to give.


I often find myself thinking about tragic stories of people who passed away far too soon and were unable to impact the world as we know it (not including loved ones as I’m sure everyone that’s ever and will ever exist, be loved and admired by at least one other). I consider what it is that I bring to the world other than cynicism, sarcasm, fantastic looks and a moderate intelligence (one of these is not like the others). Will I have a legacy? Will people other than those closest to me even know of my existence a decade after I’ve died? I mean, Robin Williams even had Koko the gorilla mourning when he died.
The answer is probably not – not everyone goes down the route of Martin Luther King, Florence Nightingale or Alan Turing to be remembered indefinitely. All I can do is use the skills I’ve acquired to try and make a difference both in my own life and others wherever possible. Then I remember that I’ve given up on a lot of potential skills in my short life – acting, directing, playing the guitar, becoming a magician (my deepest regret). This is due to two things; one being a completely lethargic sloth-like mess at critical points in my life and mostly to a sense of entitlement that a lot of us suffer from – I’ve expected these things to happen overnight and for great things to fall into my lap.


So now I’m building different skills up that I’ve always wanted to accomplish.
One example is trying to learn to speak Spanish. I have been for several months now on and off and I’m at the point where I’m able to understand basic conversations but if thrown into a situation where I need to converse myself, I’d probably draw a blank and rudely raise my voice, attempting to act out what I was trying to convey in overt gestures like some sort of rogue mime artist who’s given up the mute act. I can have very brief chats (often by myself, rambling like a madman convincing myself that I’m fluent) which involve basics such as ‘I love drinking beer’ and ‘That boy is an elephant’ and such.
I’m also learning to cook, have been for a few years now and I’ve got to admit I’m not terrible. Sure I often opt to eat my beloved pizza so a lot of my friends wouldn’t consider cooking a strength of mine yet in the confines of my own home I love to cook all sorts of weirdness!
My third skill that I’m pushing for is to be able to write in a coherent, educated and entertaining manner (I’ll get there folks) – this is the big one. The skill that once acquired could eventually attract an audience and possibly make money out of, because isn’t the dream in life to be able to work for what you love doing? Y’know, along with a nice house, a family, lots of money, a monkey sanctuary in your garden, a fast pass to all amusement parks in the world, a plane, world domi-you get the gist.


My dreams aside, the point I’m trying to articulate (albeit badly) is that even if you find yourself scratching your groin wondering what you can offer to the world the answer is quite simply who knows? Sitting there, as comfortable as it is with your hand down your pants staring at a wall isn’t going to impact anyone’s life for the better. Find out what skill could be beneficial to an aspect of your life, what you see potential and most importantly what you enjoy doing. Finding your strengths and using your skills are possibly the most important part of your life, work on it!


Comin’ over here making us read the Quran!


Immigrants. Muslims. Halal. Islam.
These are just a few key words that strike a nerve with a disturbing amount of the world these days. Look at most articles reporting anything slightly related to these words and you’ll notice they try as hard as they can to throw them into the headline to spark an endless debate. Soon enough they’ll start throwing these words in to get visitors attracted to their websites when they’re not even related to the article. ’10 films to watch this year to stop IMMIGRATION’ or ‘How to make the best pizza that’s not HALAL’. Who can blame the media? Their job is to report what’s in the public eye to gain as much interest as possible to their websites or to buy their papers, yet sadly the public’s focus is on hate and an over the top ‘us versus them’ mentality.
Hang on…that’s not true, the fear and xenophobic reactions are almost entirely DUE to the media.

It’s safe to say that everyone in the world has an agenda of some sort. Whether it’s as small as aiming to be healthy or as large as deciding to start a business – we all have agendas. The media have agendas too, take for example the race obsessed Daily Mail (soon enough they’ll probably report that reading other news sources cause some sort of Muslim cancer pedophilic disease) or loveable old Murdoch and his agenda to destroy the entire world with his monopoly on the media like Sky News, The Sun, Fox News, The New York Post, The Times, The Herald amongst many others all around the world.


Now without even going into Murdoch and how his brain works it’s safe to say that men like him with that amount of influence will be able to sway the masses into his way of thinking. A politician/celebrity pisses News Corporation off? They’ll dig up anything they possibly can and sometimes even lie about their findings just to destroy people.
To get page views, TV ratings and papers bought these conglomerates have to try to appeal to a large audience. Now remember – nobody’s going to buy a paper, click on a website or turn on the news for them to report that nothing of interest is currently happening. These guys are going to use the most ludicrous hyperbolic language possible along with a tag making sure you’re aware that it’s BREAKING NEWS. In short, they are very clever – many focus groups, research and money has led to one unstoppable human emotion for their selling point – fear.

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Which brings me back to those pesky job thieves! You walk into the office one day and there’s an arabic man sat wearing your clothes doing all your work, turns out you’re sacked because muslims! Those bloody migrants taking all our benefits at their local ‘Money 4 Muslims’ buildings that the government has enforced. Even those Muslims that were born here are destroying the UK! Soon enough we’ll all have monthly memberships to our local mosques that we politely keep paying because like a gym, you want to avoid the ‘cancellation discussion’ at all costs. The media know that there’s an issue with some extremists in the world and what better way to grab a few Facebook likes than to hype it up? Muslims have unfortunately won the award for villain of the decade at a ceremony hosted and funded entirely by those in power who want them to be. Runner ups include the Polish community, cannabis and Ainsley Harriott’s determination to touch everything he can.

First off, yes we all get it. There are those who are threatening our way of life with tragic events such as the attacks on Paris and Brussels, 9/11 and the under the radar bombings in Kabul, Baghdad and Zliten amongst many more all over the world. However, without condoning a single thing they’ve done many have turned to these extreme measures in retaliation to our demolition of their way of life. Furthermore, the real crux of this is that we forget that it’s a minority that are involved in these radical groups. Just like not every Catholic priest is touching your children, not every politician only care for themselves and not every McDonalds burger is made of shi-nevermind, forget that last one.

Not every Muslim endorses terrorism, and furiously typing a Facebook status about how you’re going to boycott the local takeaway is not going to solve anything other than probably spare you from gaining a few pounds (or losing, economically speaking). Changing your profile picture to a picture of  the union jack whilst declaring how proud you are to be British and that ‘the country is going to waste’ is also not going to do anything of value other than show a lot of ignorance, especially the English that have migrated to Spain and surrounding areas. I’m not trying to offend anyone who does this, chances are – you’ve fallen for the media’s narrative thus feeding their agenda but it’s not too late to stop sharing Britain First links and it’s definitely not too late to  stop  shaving your head and joining the EDL.
I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about anything when it comes to the Muslim faith and frankly I personally don’t agree with many aspects of religion itself. One thing I do know is that we’re all human beings – except Scientologists, I don’t even know what species their members are.
To actively hate another human being that you know nothing about other than their faith astounds me (I understand the hypocrisy regarding scientology here but wow, why do they exist?) and it’s becoming easier and easier to see these people as vermin depending on what nonsense you read.


If you haven’t switched off your brain by now first off thank you, secondly please spare a moment or two educating someone on the matter if they spark up something they’ve read about all muslims burning poppy’s, banning the word Christmas or petitioning to get Peppa pig off of the air in fear of ‘offending’ muslims. Life is far too short to focus all your energy on hating a community that just want to be accepted. We have a lot of space in the UK available for everyone to live the life they want and it’s easy to forget that many immigrants are here because they fear for their lives in their native countries.

Finally, immigration IS an issue and perhaps our government does need to bring in extra checks to ensure the public’s safety. The danger is real and there are people out there that want to take out their anger and hatred in the worst way possible. That gives you as a person no excuse to stoop to their level but to accept everyone for who they are and understand that this ‘us versus them’ mentality will only fuel the issue.


Sexualised yoghurt and the end of the world as we know it.

Back in the 1980s there were ideas and assumptions thrown around about what the future would look like. We would all have robot servants by the end of the century, self drying clothes, flying cars and hover-boards as seen in Back to the Future 2. Some assumptions were correct like being able to video call and automation (more on that shortly) and some were laughably wrong – the robot takeover during the Millennium bug anyone? So now we’ve reached ‘the future’, it’s probably time to get the guessing out of the way for the next generation. Here are three topics I see as inevitable:


1) The end of cable TV
Five years ago this would’ve seemed ridiculous. Cable TV was growing steadily with more ridiculous channels that you won’t watch thrown out weekly. The start of this downfall is partly due to the networks around the world not balancing their business correctly. They have to appease advertisers with commercial space to stay on air yet they are still forgetting to appease the other party involved – the audience. Nobody wants to sit through 20 minutes of adverts during their favourite programme. It can destroy the atmosphere created through a well written episode with an abrupt cut to Nicole Scherzinger enjoying  yoghurts far too much. You’re lactose intolerant, is she trying to wind you up? You find your blood pressure rising, you just want to scream at Nicole to just get off the screen, so she does. Then we get the tedious Just Eat songs which is around the time you start to consider how humanity got as far as it has. This carries on until all the feelings and thoughts running through your head about the show you were watching are gone. The immersion is over. Sure you can Tivo/Sky+ it but sometimes you just want to watch your favourite TV shows at the same time as your friends and family around the country.

With streaming alternatives like Netflix and Amazon Prime you get to watch what you want when you want. Granted, there are licensing issues right now restricting content that other countries (America mainly) may get but I see this as a short term problem that can be resolved when the transition from standard network TV to streaming services develops. Personally, I’m almost entirely done when it comes to live cable TV – I find myself streaming through Netflix more often than not, minus Game of Thrones of course.

Taking away the content restriction issue, the two giant problems streaming services face before world domination is live sports and news. If they find a way to make a deal with sports/news providers to come on board with the new way to watch then it’s game over for cable TV. They’ve had their chance to shine, they refused to move ahead with everyone else and now they’re paying for it.

web cinema seats

2) Cinema is dying – but it can be saved

This one I’m not too happy about at all but with the advance in technology like the streaming services mentioned above, the day trip to the cinema is seeing its final days. This is happening for multiple reasons besides the streaming alternatives. Whether it be the price, the availability to go out (some parents may find this difficult) or just the lack of anything interesting to see.

One major issue is piracy. Most of us who are computer savvy have probably pirated something at one point in their lives. There is a huge debate surrounding piracy. I think a huge aspect behind this is what type of film people are going to see. Does it warrant the cinema experience? Is it worth spending so much money on? Take for example the new Captain America film – it’s doing fantastically at the box office because it’s a fun, action packed, cinema-type of film. Individuals are going to make the effort to see this at the cinema. People trying to download Captain America at home aren’t going to get the full ‘cinema experience’ whereas if there’s a film like Neighbours 2 that isn’t going to take advantage of being on the big screen it might be better for a home audience. That is where a large part of the issue lies. Is it worth spending around £20+ for a film like Neighbours 2 (plus some snacks)? Almost definitely not, for a start it looks like an awful cash in from the first. This better suits as the type of film you might find yourself turning off your brain cells to watch at home on a Friday night with a friend/significant other on the couch.

This is where ‘Screening Room’ comes in. A man named Sean Parker (founder of Napster) is currently working on a device that will legally play films in the comfort of your own home on the same day of release as the cinema. Not all details of how this will work have been released however, with backers like Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg this may actually come into fruition and reinvigorate the idea of cinema. For each film rented it would cost you around £35 which, if there’s a big group of you may turn out cheaper than going to the cinema. This will also help families with small children who are unable to leave the house as often as they’d like to view a film. This would help cinema chains due to the price partly shared to them to make up for their losses in the actual multiplex. This could mean that filmmakers and production companies will focus more on quality for the cinema experience to be worthwhile to customers. I know that there are films I would prefer to see at the cinema than at home and vice versa.


3) Automation (or how most of us will lose our jobs)
Automation has been here for many years now however, we’re finally reaching the stage where we are beginning to see the effects. Robotics have advanced greatly, rendering most of our jobs useless – and it’s only increasing.

It’s pretty clear that the ‘self checkout’ counters at your local supermarket are testing the waters for a complete overhaul of the way we purchase our groceries which would put many families out of work. Right now, I prefer humans greeting me rather than arguing with a robot about whether or not the carrots are in the bagging area. Granted, staff will still be needed for now until we are able to pester robots about which aisle the gravy is on so until then, only half of a retail assistant’s job is secure.

Also consider driverless cars for example, fairly new right now but give it a few years and for those long haul deliveries this could be done entirely through driverless trucks. Adding to this – jobs for driverless taxis, buses, trains are all at risk of becoming redundant very quickly. Of course the governments are going to act on this too, they’d be silly not to in regards to the cost of maintenance on machinery to a salary for hundreds/thousands of workers.

Technology is becoming more intricate, even intelligent (check out the first AI lawyer, Ross who has just landed a job at Baker & Hostetler). I’m not saying this is going to end in a Terminator-style apocalypse for humanity but it’s starting to look like a large portion of the world are going to be living in a world without work. Sure, some professions can’t ever be touched by robotics like doctors, teachers, entertainers or sportsmen – even those in certain trades will still be around to fix any issues machinery may have. The whole concept of this idea is alien to the world – how would it be possible to live happily and not work?

One answer currently being thrown about as a Universal Basic Income. This would entitle everyone a certain amount of money per month and to an extent ‘live comfortably’. Compare it to the UK government now where some (not all) honest, dedicated, often desperate jobseekers have to go through hoops just to prove they’ve looked for work just so to receive the bare minimum from the government.
The Universal Basic Income is currently being considered to be tried and tested in Switzerland. The idea doesn’t sound too perfect, but we need to start thinking about a possible future where the idea of a job is rare. That’s not to say if this all comes into effect we as humanity just give up and sit and watch streaming services all day – now more than ever is the time you should invest time in what you really enjoy doing.