United we stand: Divided we fall

Today is one of the most pivotal days in recent British history. I will be voting to stay in the European Union, but I won’t go on about the reasons why. There has been so much coverage and discussion about the pros and cons that my argument seems superfluous. What I will say is that it is vital to vote and have your say. Please vote and vote to remain.

We are United

As if the massacre in Orlando wasn’t enough, the brutal murder of Jo Cox is another blow against liberty and tolerance. In both cases, a mentally unwell individual committed a terrible crime, spurred on by hateful ideologies. Of course, there are unstable people the world over who do terrible things, in the name of spurious dogmas. However, there is a glut of racist and destructive ideas floating around the current political climate, which might inspire the vulnerable and disturbed to commit acts of murderous evil. It seems that we’re in a dark age, where fear is exploited for political gain. I must admit that I didn’t know very much about Jo Cox, but I’m very interested in the Syrian civil war, and I admired the way she referred to the resulting humanitarian crisis. She spoke about the people fleeing […]

Jo Cox

I was going to post something else this morning, but I feel I can’t ignore the murder of Jo Cox. A woman with such compassion and integrity being snatched away is an unbearable tragedy. My thoughts are with her family and friends. 

Remebering Orlando

The barbaric shooting in a gay club in Orlando a few days ago was tragic and egregious, but a sadly frequent occurrence in the US. To a British sensibility, American gun laws seem like an absurd paradox. The NRA and many members of Congress extol the second amendment with ferocious zeal, arguing that every American citizen has the right to defend him or herself. However, if there were fewer guns legally available, one might argue, there would be less need for self-defense. Of course, if Omar Mateen were hell bent on committing mass murder, he would have done so by any means available, gun or no gun. However, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the AR-15-type rifle was a very similar style weapon to the one used by James Holmes, who murdered […]

Hack Worries

Sheridan Smith has been in the news recently after her absence during the run of Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre. The press have had a field day with lines like ‘Concerns raised for fragile Sheridan’, ‘Smith’s worrying behaviour’ or ‘Vulnerable Sheridan pulls out due to poor health’. I have nothing significant to say about Sheridan Smith other than she’s a great actress and I hope she feels better soon. I take issue with articles claiming they are worried about her well being, whilst assassinating her character. It reminds me of magazine covers with images of celebrities, accompanied with captions screaming that Angelina/Kate/Miley/Alexa/Victoria (delete where applicable) are looking ‘worryingly thin’. The faux-concern of trashy magazines bothers me, as it’s a flimsy excuse to pick apart women in the public eye. This brand of hack-journalism is toxic and destructive because it implies that it’s not ok to fail. […]

How to cope with heartbreak

A dear friend of mine has recently gone through a break-up. We’ve talked about it extensively and analysed the situation from every angle. This helps her work through the feelings and gives her a little perspective. I could offer her the clichéd platitudes that are often associated with heartbreak: ‘It’s always darkest before the dawn’, ‘There are plenty more fish in the sea’  or  ‘Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together.’ These phrases make me dry-heave because they’re not only meaningless and saccharine, but unhelpful. Telling someone to cheer up in the midst of emotional turmoil just makes the brokenhearted feel even more demoralised. We live in a goal driven society, where our worth is measured by a publicly validated check-list. Career, romantic relationships and a pleasing physical appearance are all deemed necessary to earn love and appreciation. It’s always been this way […]

Bare Naked Ladies

Kim Kardashian has recently attempted to ‘break the internet’ once again, with a couple of nude selfies. I don’t have a problem with people sharing naked, or scantily clad shots of themselves; if an adult in full command of their mental and emotional capacity choses to do so, that is their choice. When you're like I have nothing to wear LOL A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Mar 7, 2016 at 12:07am PST I’ve noticed that the term ’empowerment’ has been bandied around a lot on social media recently, especially with regards to nude selfies. Alluding that getting one’s kit off is an act of empowering feminism makes it rather difficult to criticise, because it feels like a betrayal of the sisterhood. Justifying attention-seeking selfies under the umbrella term of empowerment is misleading and bogus. […]

The understated Evils of Passive Agression

I’ve heard it said that with age, people tend to mellow. I’ve found this to be true to some extent, however I’ve become more intolerant of certain behaviours. Spitting in the street, over using the words ‘basically’ and ‘obviously’ are a couple of things I find irritating. However, at the top of my list of intolerable behaviour is passive-aggression. When people say that they’re ok with something when they’re obviously not, snarky put downs said with a sarcastic smile or sullen silence makes me want to scream. Perhaps I’m too confrontational, but I find this kind of conduct infuriating because, usually, a frank conversation will clear the air and the issue is swiftly resolved. If unsaid resentment festers everything becomes exponentially worse and is blown out of proportion. The  work place is where I’ve experienced the most […]

Heroes

I was very sad to hear that David Bowie passed away. Celebrity deaths don’t usually effect me, but Bowie is different. There are precious few singers whose music becomes the soundtrack to one’s life, every stage is documented by their songs. It’s sometimes hard to accept that our heroes can ever die, on some level we assume they are immortal. Especially an otherworldly, original talent like David Bowie. It’s only after they’ve gone that we take stock of how their contribution effected us personally. When I was a few weeks old my parents and I moved to New York for nine months. While we were there they listened to the album ‘Let’s Dance’ on repeat, they particularly loved ‘China Girl’. The track must have permeated my subconscious because whenever I hear it, I get goose-bumps. David Bowie’s songs have mass appeal whilst being emotionally evocative and era […]

Imagine

I’ve been listening to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ over the past few days. Written during the Cold War, Lennon’s message is as pertinent now as it was 45 years ago. The senseless acts of terror in Paris last Friday night are tragic and horrifying, but not altogether new. The pattern of terrorism and retaliation has been repeating itself, over and over again since September 11th. But the cycle of murder and brutality has been spinning around for much longer. Just a few days before the attacks in Paris, we remembered those who died in the world wars. Although the situations are very different, there are some basic correlations linking modern horror and the dark days of the Europe during the 1940s. Our way of life is threatened by flawed ideologies, and there is vast immigration of people trying to escape persecution and […]