Saturday, 29 November 2008
The position of a "Writer" does not grant me access to anything that any ordinary, boring human, could not access, except for beautiful women and pastures of leafy notes. It does not grant me any perspective either, except perhaps maybe sometimes the ability to perceive the ether. Its a strange skill, but I have mastered it. I cannot teach it. For this I am sorry.
This literary tangent that I graced the Internet was mainly the culmination of a desire, building in me, to make myself sound more intelligent than I am. Which is very, people. Very very.
But to swerve off the road of facts and into the by-road of journalistic integrity, I shall make some comment an analysis on some of the news that's been reported lately. So let's news:
Blueberries 'reverse memory loss'
There seems to be something inherently wrong in this sentence. something deeply and horribly wrong. We were all thinking it, Reverse Memory Loss?! How can that happen?! And the catalyst for this particular phenomena, Blueberries, are somewhat of a cheap commodity when compared to say, billion dollar scientific research to the solutions that have not yet succeeded with any particular regularity. As a student, I am familiar with money. Or rather, the lack of such. However, I can recall buying drinks more expensive than blueberries with the intention of causing exactly the opposite effect. However, the plus side to my scenario, is that I do not remember spending the money, so I don't feel sad about it the next day.
The foods, known as flavonoids, were historically believed to act as antioxidants in human bodies.
Hold on. Flavonoids? I've got it guys, Strawberries contain Deliciounoids. Is there any science to see here? Stop talking, there's science to do! Get the potato chunks and test tubes, because we're staying up tonight. I may be injecting a little too much vitriol. It's true that antioxidants are real, it's been proven. And plus, the Actimel ads. 'Nuff said.
Dr Jeremy Spencer, from the department of food biosciences at the university, said: "Scientists have known of the potential health benefits of diets rich in fresh fruits for a long time.
"Our research provides scientific evidence to show that blueberries are good for you and supports the idea that a diet-based approach could potentially be used to increase memory capacity.
So fruit is good for you? Jesus, no wonder I'm constantly ill, and almost dead. I live off of pretzels and coke.
"We will be taking these findings to the next level by investigating the effects of diets rich in flavonoids on individuals suffering from cognitive impairment and possibly Alzheimer's disease."
Well good for you I say, its not often that a scientist will stand up to the world and say "I have a theory! Also, I need money." I hardly think the solution to something as deep and drastic to Alzheimer's is a foodstuff that has been flowing though the digestion systems of humans for a good while now.
Science is always a slightly bitter subject, given my horrendously terrible "Science Years," In which I thought that I was good at a subject I was in fact appalling in. However, I do enjoy scientific facts. Measuring the density of potato mass when soaked in different concentrations of sucrose solution, in order to measure the absorption and diffusion rate between different sorts of potato, however? Not floating my boat.
This is why I am a writer. Because as a writer I can make up ridiculous scenarios, and call it entertainment, without the baggage of proving it.
Ooh, Ya burnt!
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
I feel as thought the problem may be inherent in the room I live in at the moment, a simple all-purpose room with a sink and a space for shoes, that sort of thing. It feels as though the Chi is being blocked somewhere, or the wai is being clogging im my third chuckra of whatever the particular religion maintains, but this room remains a symbol of my free time, where I may do whatever, a base of operations. This would be true however, if I didn't have a crippling fear of the library. For some reason, the silence in a library makes me very uneasy. I feel as though people are judging the way I breathe or hold a book, and every time I look at someone, I'm afraid that they think im a drunk that is about to go mental. It's a very specific fear, that last one, but I've been told I have that look about me.
So what do I do? I can't work in two areas that are technically specifically designed for working. In all senses, it seems as though I'm buggered. AHA, good sirs, for you see, there is a particular brand of establishment that offers sugary and caffine based goods, and so, it would appear the day is saved. Ah, But I guess it closes at 5. Ah. And the time now is 11. Ah. Well, I suppose I'd better get back to it.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
I guess it can probably be discerned from the URL that this is a Star Trek conversation. Between me and...me. My father and I had always watched The Next Generation every day, after my school and his work. It was one of the only bonding experiences we had, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The thing is, whilst I liked the show, it was more the positive memory of spending time with my father. I was never a "Trekker" or whatever, so I wasn't entirely annoyed when BBC2 stopped showing the show, or even when they replaced it with disgusting cooking/foraging shows. But it wasn't until I began to write when I started learning about the various things contained within the franchise. It was always something I liked in small doses afterwards, simply because I did not want to become known as a Trekkie.
Now the trailer of the new movie has been released, and my geekdom that I have spent years burying deep inside me, the geekdom I have tried to destroy with alcohol and mockery of those who revel in the particular brand of fiction, has flared up. I can't help but feel a slight pang of giddy excitement, as my nine year old self sits in front of the TV, knees huddled close to his chest.
However, I have a strong feeling that this coming movie will not just excite the fans. I have an inkling that the style of the movie verges more into a mainstream and casual movie. Whilst it will not fare as well with the common public as much as say, Lord of the Rings, it may prove itself in closing a tiny bit of the gap that separates Star Trek from the public.
Part of this new direction may be the director, J.J. Abrams, doing. Him not being a die hard fan, but a casual follower like myself and others like me might just be the saving grace the franchise needs. Who knows, perhaps, in the way that David Tennant introduced a new doctor that could be loved by the masses, the cast of this movie might earn the respect of those who looked down on the series.
I for one have made a deal with my father to see this movie together when it comes out, and he is happy to have the one experience he shared with his son revitalised and renewed. As I was saying my goodbyes over the phone, my father, referring to this ritual, uttered a single poignant phrase before hanging up.
"Luke, we started this together, Lets finish it together."
I couldn't have said it any better.
Monday, 17 November 2008
There were only 90 children permanently excluded from school for bullying last year in England, according to figures released by the Conservatives.
Shadow Children's Secretary Michael Gove questioned why "just a handful" of permanent exclusions had been imposed.
There were 6,800 children who received temporary exclusions for bullying.
"The victims of bullying shouldn't have to put up with seeing their tormentors stroll back into the classroom after a few days away from school," he said.
The permanent exclusions for bullying - 80 in secondary and 10 in primary school - were fewer in number than the 2,700 permanent exclusions for disruptive behaviour, 210 for theft, 400 for drug or alcohol use, 140 for sexual misconduct, 980 for assaulting an adult and 1,350 for assaulting a pupil.
The number of permanent exclusions for bullying has fallen in recent years - down from 150 in 2003-04 and 130 in 2004-05. The number of temporary exclusions for bullying for these years were 6,750 and 7,680. - Source: BBC News Website, Education...
Now that's a lot of data to chew through, and I have no option to chew it like a tough piece of gristly steak if I am to truly ascertain what exactly is the issue. Undoubtedly bullying is a huge problem. Many, many children are bullied each year, and yet it still continues, like malaria. Although you can protect yourself, there will never truly be a cure.
As a boy, aged 12 or so, I was supposedly "Bullied". However, I never felt as though the acts that had transpired would qualify as such, as I was unwilling to make any form of complaint. That, as I had deduced, would simply anger these cretins more, and in turn cause them to make my life increasingly miserable. I genuinely subscribed to the "If I leave a problem, It will eventually go away" train of thought. This turned out to be a mistake, as whilst the problem did not increase, it became a staple of my early secondary education. Much like visiting the dentist or taking a test. It happened, I let it happen, and so it continued. My self esteem was destroyed, and I simply thought it would never end, so I didn't react. The monotony of mockery and persecution of a person clearly became unbearable to my collection of angry and abusive people, and so they left me alone. Like a desert storm, it was gone as quick as it came.
So what could I do, but observe the next generation, with curiosity and new found vigour? I started to learn more about the bullies behavior, and their migratory habits. This moment was crucial, as the moment in history where, shock and awe, bullying became a major issue. I assume before it was tolerated in schools, because the adults were simply too old and tired to deal with the immediate problem. Before this initiative, the problem solving technique they so lovingly pushed upon us, was to put the victim (me) and my bully (lets call him Trog) in a room together, and have us "talk out our differences". Now I'm not sure if the name Trog, or the fact that Trog looked like he had lived most of his life on the underside of a city bus were any indication, but Trog wasn't the most verbal of people. The entire time was spent with Trog alternating between verbal abuse and small amounts of physical pain, the kind you get when you hit someone with a ruler. Say what you want about Trog, but he had time management skills.
The new method was more of a targeting aid than a preventative measure, with the famous blue pieces of plastic endorsed by celebrities being all the rage as a form of silent protest, as though one day all the victims would line up in a row, their fists raised, their eyes unblinking, as the bully could do nothing but utter "There, but for the grace of God" and flee into the hills. Remember these?
Yes Bono, I'm sure that you were bullied, in between banging groupies and making a fuck ton of money. Now crawl back to your cavern, you ignorant tool.
The bands were a part of a radical movement to stop the bullies. I myself thought about aligning myself with this charity, as a show of support for my brethren who had been attacked after me. But then I thought about it in the same way I would think about tying soap to my feet and trying to slide across a bed of nails, it just wasn't going to work, and it would end with pain.
Ive been slightly out of the loop when it comes to the "Great Bullying Plague" but then again, Its been almost 5 years since I was bullied, and I have been quite occupied with growing a pair and learning how to make jokes to get myself out of sticky situations, so I haven't really cared that much. It happened to me and I forgot it.
The solution to bullying does lie in excluding the bastards. When someone leads what I can only refer to as a campaign against you, the last thing you want is a teacher, or some other adult, telling you its "because they're jealous" or that "they want to be friends and they don't know how." If they don't know how to distinguish a handshake from fast moving closed fist, then not having friends is the least of their problems, and no amount of teaching is going to sway them into the paths of academia, so the best thing for them is to be expelled.
The sort of people who bully are vindictive and wry. I say this in the sense that, they know how to work the system. They know that the road to a life without school is to be a complete jerk. They know how to get exactly what they want in life, which is easy street, and they know that they will get it. All I am suggesting is that they should get there as soon as possible, because perhaps then their innocent peers don't have to be abused in the process.
This got incredibly serious, so I think I'm going to end with a classic icebreaker joke.
"A man with a duck on his head walks into a doctors office. The doctor says, 'what can I do or you?', and the duck says 'Doc, can you get this guy off my ass?"
Classic comedy. Tell your friends.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
This week in Luke…that sounds strange, let’s try another one. This Sunday, I will discuss…That’s pretentious. Balls to it, I’m just going to jump right in.
I, like many other participants of the food basket of England, attended the holy sanctum of current auditory delights, the Western Woodstock, the Musical Mire; Reading Festival. This was my first attendance to a festival of any kind, unless you consider the Bristol Comic Convention a festival. Which I do not. On any account. And if you disagree, you are no doubt a fucking nerd.
Anyway, as it was the first time I had been graced with the pleasure of camping in a surrounding of filth, I naturally had to keep my un-judging eyes open, for any and all things I could grab, and pin down with tiny strings, in a sort of giant Gulliver of delights, to remember forever and ever. And thankfully, in this conglomeration of the great unwashed, I found many things that I enjoyed greatly, so thankfully my collection of tiny harpoons and rope did not go unused. A list of major things has often been used in English culture to display how fantastic and brilliant things are. Pro’s and Con’s are an American phenomena, and because I like American television better right now, I shall use the Yankee method of listing things. Here we go people, strap in tight.
- People. Many of the participants of this unholy union between man and sound seem friendly. They smile and wave, and occasionally, request if you would simply like a free hug. Although the last point was displeasing to me in its entirety, having never really felt the desire to wrap my arms around a filthy semi-naked man, I felt as though it was nice to have the option. In the same way that it is nice to have the option of squid offered to me at a restaurant, even though I will never eat it. Even the drug dealers are friendly. They chat with the patrons of the many bars, and even chat nicely with people terrified of their grizzled, unshaven complexion, such as myself. Even though it is hard to talk to a man who seems to be eight different shades of green, and has a distinct musk of vomit and alcohol on his mottled and stained hemp fleece, his voice is soothing and smooth, and allows me to overcome the intense desire to run away. When a person stamps on your head when you are knocked down, or spills his two star curry over your shirt, he or she will apologise with gusto, offering you rewards for not getting angry. This leads me nicely onto…
- Food. Never in my life have I tasted such food. It is strange to experience. Your body can tell the food is substandard. You can tell there are parasites embedded in the very material used to package the falafel wrap. And you can see that the man serving you is not clean, you wouldn’t expect him to be. He has been working in a filthy shack surrounded by mud and disease. But you simply have no other choice. And you wouldn’t want another choice, because the majority of the food, apart from the burger that is clearly a by-product of crude oil, is delicious. The only downside is the price. It is hard to explain in any other way than this: Investment. And money will not grow from it, but other things. For it is made from bio-culture.
- Music. This is really a no-brainer, so let’s make it into a brainer. Music is a collection of “sounds”, formed into a distinctive and planned melody. Sound is a form of energy that moves through air, water, and other matter, in waves of pressure. Sound is the means of auditory communication, including frog calls, bird songs and spoken language. Although the ear is the vertebrate sense organ that recognizes sound, it is the brain and central nervous system that "hears". Sound waves are perceived by the brain through the firing of nerve cells in the auditory portion of the central nervous system. The ear changes sound pressure waves from the outside world into a signal of nerve impulses sent to the brain. But no one wants to hear about that. The music is good. I went to
; all excited about hearing one or two bands play. But my main reason for going there was to expand my musical culture. And I did, mission successful, but in a very different way to the plan I had. My plan was to see the mainstream, and figure out which ones I liked. However, my time was mainly spent inside the “Punk” tent. This area is usually filled with people who are begging to attack something, anything, to prove that they are more of a primal human being than the person next to them. I remained unperturbed. I focused my attention on the music, and now I have an increased musical knowledge. It was a good day for me and all of my unborn larvae. Reading
- Drugs and Alcohol (which is another type of drug). This is a sticky subject, and must be approached with caution. The fact that I was eighteen was certainly a blessing, because from what I could see, whilst many, many, many, drugs were readily available, with chants of “Drugs for sale” floating around the festival like migratory birds, alcohol was not so accessible. It seems ridiculous that at an event known for reckless, but thoroughly entertaining, hedonism, that one could have trouble finding even a snifter of the worst backwater-piss cider anywhere, but this was a very big problem with members of my friendship group. And being offered sips of a “bag of wine” from a person mildly resembling a fairy-tale troll, I could only wrinkle my nose in disgust and back away slowly. There are very few lines I will not cross, but I remain vigilant in my attempts not to cross them. This whole paragraph may seem like a Con, but the fact is, I have been complaining about the lack of alcohol. When you can find the noxious stuff, and drink it with gusto, it is incredible, and you are incredible for doing it.
- Filth. I need only tell one story regarding this subject, and I will have explained my point. Toilets are good. They stop us from shitting in the woods, or in small patches of high grass, like disgusting animals. However, this concept is only vague in the minds of the Reading Festival organisers, like a waif, flitting around in a haze of smoke. The product of these fevered minds is simply a skip. With around 10 to 15 cubicles thrown on the top. People would go into these shacks, wearing little more than underwear and “flip-flops”. And yet, the ironic thing is that the human beings cleaning the cess pool were wearing what I can only describe as Haz-Mat suits. It was incredible.
- Wasps. Fucking wasps. Think they can do whatever the fuck they want. Coat your tent with some insect repellent, or spray the little fuckers with it, and then they’ll see what’s what. Assholes.
- People. Now whilst this was a pro, there are also those who have this undeniable urge to destroy everything you once held dear, whilst terrifying you beyond your imagination. Being pelted with mud clots, I can take that, I went to comprehensive school, and I lived in
, it was practically a pastime. But imagine, towards the hours of the early morning, taking a stroll over the vast grounds that encompass the Reading Festival, and hearing the sound of drums. You look around, perhaps it is in your head, or perhaps it is something darker. Then imagine turning round the corner to see the shattered wreck of a toilet. Not only this, but a deep and roaring flame bursting forth from it, twisting and turning, in a way that could only be described as possessed. And atop this mighty throne of twisted metal and flame, many young men and women, with tattered clothes, shout, almost musically. They hit the remains of this toilet, with other pieces of the toilet, ripped with their bare hands, in such a way that can only be described as warlike. The noxious fumes rise, and the sky turns a sickening purple, as if God himself is rolling in pain and anguish at what he has wrought. Somerset
All things considered,
Friday, 14 November 2008
The top of my head has always been a problem to me. More specifically, the things growing on it. It sounds gross, but you all have it, and you're going to have to live with it. It's called hair, and it's changing the world.
My hair has always been a problem to me. Whether I am attempting to stay warm, or look cool (ahahaha, pun right guys? It's funny right? Right?!) its never really looked out for me. I have no idea why, and I never have, but for some reason its just not a good part of my body. Its like a mattress if its left to grow, and like a scrubber brush if cut, and there seems to be no middle ground. Also, the colour is a distasteful shade of brown, and it seems to be unnaturally thick, of which both traits have been inherited from my father's side of the family. Perhaps it is my destiny to go old and grey, sitting at a desk with my in and out tray feeling constant flow, but maybe one day, I will say "No more!" and get my hair cut a proper way. We can but see. And this is an incredibly short post, which, in all honesty, is frankly unacceptable. So I will continue with a passage from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel; The House of The Dead:
'Stop snivelling, you've spilt you're vodka!'
Wow! Powerful stuff right?! You can just see all the emotion and culture flooding out of every letter and description! The book practically oozes the typical Dostoyevsky charm. That is to say, charm involving prison people. Prison people who are all wacky and distinctly Russian. I am not complaining, this is a good thing, but one might read this immediately after reading Crime and Punishment and think 'Hold on a minute!'
That is really all, until they look up the beloved author on Wikipedia, and find out that a bunch of his stuff doesn't take place within the gritty pre-communism Russia legal system. Wacky, huh?!
I love his books. And I'm not saying that to look smart, because to be quite honest, wading through it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It tested my concentration and my ability to cope with long stretches of musings of old-lady murder. But I feel stronger from it.
Oh...Crap, I forgot Notes from the Underground.
My bad guys!
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Despite this glorious title, they have the tendency to cater to an audience that seems to appreciate...hm, the less intelligent things in life. That is to say that the Movie Movie franchise (those godawful parodies), and the regular bouts of gornography, are shown for months, due to the fact that the audience laps all of them up with eager tongues. That sounds a little weird. Anyway, all of the great films that are not at all intellectual, god forbid, but have a certain something that makes them better than the dirge that is churned out every month, and yet they do not remain on the screens for a very long time.
For example, the film 3:10 to Yuma, an overall great movie, with great writing, and engrossing actors, was in the cinema for a total of three fucking days. Now I'm not usually that surprised by mass stupidity, but that is goddamn ridiculous. The same thing happened a period of time later, with The Mist, a movie that was frankly brilliant, albeit slightly demeaning for all of those religious fanatics out there, was never out, despite the fact that they would have got phat moneys! It's this sort of ridiculousness that made me want to move away, so move away I did, to the undoubtedly greener pastures of Winchester, and in all its finery, but what do I find there, but the fact that they're still showing Mama Mia without Mama Mercy, in order to make Mama Money from all the Mama...students.
All this shows is that everyone in the cinema running business is officially batshit loco and that I am the only sane person in the whole city. Although this might be exaggerating things a bit.
Like any human being, you would think that I would have no idea what comes after death, but after much thought and musing, I can honestly say that to find the answer, you must first consider cereal. Before you become disgusted, revolted and start to erect an effigy of me, to burn in the name of your chose deity, consider the mystery that is cereal. Cereal is almost a completely new idea. It came out of nowhere. In the 19th century, some person, named after a make of cereal, decided that if he ground up some things and added some noxious chemicals, and then milk, he could make a delicious breakfast snack. Where did he get this idea? It could only have been divine intervention. Which in turn shows the existance of a God of some sorts, which in turn, means heaven. I may be jumping the gun on this one. I don't want to be a fanatic. I am not Ms. Carmody, I cannot stress that enough.
Anyhoo, I remain pretty uncertain as to what happens after life. I am also quite uncertain towards the existance of God. And not knowing both of those things makes me quite happy.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
As as student of journalism, I am somewhat clued up on current events. Although I almost always buy two papers a day. I cannot bring myself to read the second all the way through, as it is the Daily mail, and I feel that if I do I will be tainted. However, the papers remain bunched up in my corner, holed like moles in the ground, or by a vegetable patch, emitting a strange, ethereal smell, that cannot possibly originate solely in this world. Perhaps it derives its dark texts in another dimension. If anything is sure, it is that we will never know.
The credit crisis however, is something that still alludes me in the sense that I don't know what the hell most people are saying. I know that banks gave too much money out. And I know that for some reason, the government bailed those people out. Now presumably these people landing too much money are the best of the best in their field...money. And so they should know when it is a "little risky" to lend it out. So why do it. I feel all this could have been avoided. Then perhaps (and this is probably most likely) I have no idea, having had no economic training whatsoever. BUT. I still know that at this particular moment in time, it does not affect me. As far as I know. I'm afraid that it has. What if it has?! Am i losing money?! Am I right now losing money? Oh Christ. This is exactly the sort of thing I don't need! Although I'm fairly sure my father will refer to it as a life lesson. Like everything else bad that's happened to me...
But then again, the term analyst is described in the Pocket Oxford Dictionary, 2008 Edition as someone who;
"1. Analyses in detail"
"3. Harbours a deep seated hatred for all writers"
So, concluseively, the worlds sharpest minds are effectively out to get me. But then again, the term "Analyst" has the word "Anal" at its peak, which frankly, cannot be ignored.
A fourth reason, that I have just thought of, which could in fact be considered option 2b, due to it's undeniably cosmic nature, is that the on the eve of my most successful post, entitled "With a little help from my friends..." which gained over 1 reader(s), I immediatly became disenfranchised with the concept, that is, until tonight, the 11th of the 11th, out of which both numbers contain a 1. Coincidence?!
I have just thought of something again (an occurance that disturbs me greatly), option 2b, could also be considered option 3b, due to the aspect alluding to fame, and its various connotations.
I resolve, as an early resolution, to resolve to change my solution to my problem, which is in fact the solution the the revilement I hold myself entrapped in. I shall, write more often.