Sunday, 31 October 2010

What's Up with The Wanted?

I am, as I'm sure you're well aware, a caring and sympathetic person.

I have become concerned recently.

Popular boyband The Wanted made a plea for help recently which as far as I was aware wasn't answered. I went round to their flat to go through their bins to see if I could find any clues.

I found this:

If anyone knows of any progress please let me know....

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Shit I Used to Say

It would be fair to say that I was never really cut out to an academic.
Don't get me wrong I got good grades at school but that was because school was easy. When I came off to university I just assumed I could carry on writing the stuff in my noggin without really backing it up with anything - turns out that isn't how you get good grades at University.

I recently came across a pen drive in a drawer, one I hadn't seen for a couple of years. Being the curious man that I am I plugged it in to check it's contents.
In my mind I was imaging that it contained government secrets and that this would be the start of a great movie-like episode of my life where I am on the run from Mi5 and having sex with beautiful Russians in showers.

Unfortunately it contained pretty much all my old essays I had done for university and a couple of scripts I had written for when I had been in GUST. Now I have read that when serial killers are apprehended the Police will go round to their residence and examine their belongings and will commonly find notebooks full of ramblings and theories so bizarre and incomprehensible they often get an extra life-sentence thrown on-top as punishment. I'd imagine the theories posited in some of my university essays would be akin to such works. I'd like to share a few of my favourites with you now but please remember, I studied an arts degree and this is what happens when you realised what you are studying doesn't matter and that those who are lecturing you in it are about as relevant as those who ramble on in Speakers Corner of Hyde Park every Sunday.

Film & TV
The Film & TV department was what brought me to Glasgow University so I can't completely condemn the department, however some of the theories they put across to some of this countries greatest minds are mental.

The below example comes from an essay I had to write which ran something along the lines of explaining how The Wizard of Oz was a homosexual film. I wrote the following:

"To get home Dorothy has to tap the heels of her red shoes together three times. The fact that these shoes are ruby red is clear nod to menstruation and the fact that Dorothy has 'come-of' age' and no longer feels lost and is at home within her self and her body".

To say that this classic kids film is a manifesto for the pink mafia is bad enough but to suggest that Judy Garlands feet suggest that she is finally on the rag is just weird and sick. Ironically the Hollywood studio that owned Judy Garland had her so drugged up in an attempt to keep her young she probably never menstruated until she was 26....

In another essay about the male-gaze (basically the way men are portrayed in films), we watched The Terminator II and I subsequently wrote:

"As a fully naked Terminator walks into the bar he is something to be admired by both men and women. He is there as an object of lust for the women and has a body to be desired by the men. His raw power is something mere mortal man could only dream of and he is therefore seen as 'above-man' an iconic imagine that man will lust for himself to become...."

It scares (and sickens) me that I ever wrote this and I think the least I say about this the better.

Finally in the world of Film & Television I undertook a study on how ethnic minorities were represented in Hollywood films. For empirical evidence I obviously watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Looking at the role of the hero during one paragraph I posited:

"It is the western world's job to send a hero to defend these 'poor brown people' against a tyranny they obviously lack the intelligence and bravery to battle themselves."

Now even without reading the previous sentence you should have it in your head that this sentence here proceeds one in which I mocked the simplistic set-up of Hollywood films and their portrayal of foreigners as being defenseless and in need of saving by Americans. Well not my lecturer who marked this. I remember she wrote in the margin next to this paragraph:

"Chris this is racist and it worries me that you don't acknowledge this. This isn't what you really think is it?"

First of all; no this isn't what I think. Secondly; read the proceeding sentence you sanctimonious bitch. Thirdly; this is an essay on how ethnic minorities are portrayed in Hollywood films, you are obviously wanting these loaded answers.
I remember in a few tutorials with said lecturer after the marking of this essay I tried to make comments that hinted towards my obvious racist upbringing, I even considered shaving my head and getting some White-Pride tattoos as well.

I was asked to leave the Film & Television department after second year.


Philosophy was much more fun. They encouraged my creative side and moronic ramblings. As a result I tried to develop a theme for when I was writing essays. I tried to draw comparison with any philosophical theory and or character with those in the TV series I was currently watching. Whilst I had never been particularly good at writing Film & TV essays this tact ironically worked very well in Philosophy. Probably not so much down to it's content but because markers would no doubt get bored of reading the same old shit over and over again.

One example of this is when I was deconstructing David Hume's theory of Causation I wrote:

"....take for example Tony Soprano (from HBO's critically acclaimed The Sopranos). He is used to people acting to his threats of violence in a certain way. Whenever he has employed such threats in the past people have always been scared and have done what he has demanded. This tactic has worked so many times he has no reason to doubt it wont work any time he employs it. So when it doesn't work in episode 5 of series 3 he doesn't understand and can't comprehend it's failure as he is conditioned himself to believe it to be a tactic that works undoubtedly".

Turns out professor Brownsey was a fan of the Sopranos. I got a B+ in that essay.

There are many more examples of my sheer bullshitness. Others include when, in an essay on the anthropology of dance, I stated it would be unlikely to find the Earl of Wessex dancing on the podium of the Hive on a Thursday nights or when, in my dissertation on online communities and their commercial influences, I suggested that Sandi Thom was the anti-christ (though I still maintain that theory).

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Pathetically Apathetic....

Yeah - I've kinda neglected this a cat in a wheely bin or puppies going swimming....actually that doesn't make sense it was merely an opportunity for me to post these links.

Anyway I've recently bought a flip video so plan to perhaps post some short comedy clips for you to ignore, I thought it only fair to give you at least a weeks notice so you can avoid this blog like the plague.

Anyway to keep you maybe slightly more amused than you have otherwise been I've got not just one but two (yes two!!!) new screen grabs from recent web-chats with random strangers. People are getting less easy to wind up on these things - turns out if you don't immediately tell them you are a horny 21 years old girl then they'll move on - reminds me of an old boss I had....

Anyway enjoy -

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Frantically seeking a Festival

I used to go to gigs a lot. And to festivals a lot, pretty much every summer for 4 - 5 years.

Since getting a bit older I haven't been to the "bigger" festivals such as Leeds (which I went to four years in a row) or T in the PArk (which I went to once but I hated it).

Last year I went to Wickerman which was nice and relaxing though maybe didn't have quite enough quality bands to keep my attention.

This year I had it sorted. One of my friends suggested Latitude. I checked out the line-up (Belle & Sebastian, Mumford and Sons to name a couple). It is big enough to attract big acts but small enough to not have the over-commercialism of Leeds nor would it attract Skins type kids getting drunk of cheap cider. A good group of mates from all over the country are going, it promises to be a great weekend.

It was perfect. I planned to buy a ticket on Tuesday when I got paid (I've not been paid for 5 weeks and I'm still waiting on a deposit cheque from my old scrotum of a ex-landlord), I arranged for time off work and my boss granted it, everything was falling into place nicely. Then, unexpectedly it sold out.....


So I now face a few options:

1/ Get a ticket off ebay. Not the best idea as tickets will always be at inflated prices and you rely a lot on the honesty of the seller. I could give someone £200+ but how do I know that they will actually send the ticket - if they even have one. Case in point- a couple of years ago my brother buys a ticket for T in the Park off ebay. However the ticket came through. Unfortunately when he got to the main gates of the site his ticket was scanned and he was informed the ticket he bought had been cancelled by the original buyer and the ticket had been replaced to that buyer with a new one. To rub salt into the wound the security guard could tell my brother the guy had used the reissued ticket just 10 minutes or so before my brother had tried to get in. Such stories are enough to make you wonder if the risk is worthwhile.

2/ Use a "fan to fan ticket exchange" service. These services, in my opinion, suck. They are basically glorified ticket touts. Yes they eliminate the risk involved with buying tickets off ebay but they do so at a hugely inflated price. For example: a ticket for Latitude cost £150ish. On Viagogo the cheapest ticket is £250, however they then add on VAT, P&P & Booking Fee which takes the ticket to £357. That's over double the cost of an original ticket- what the fuck is that about?!?! Similarly on seatwave tickets are going for £300 at least.

Now it is fair enough to say that I should've bought my ticket earlier but I genuinely couldn't afford it and never thought a festival the size of Latitude would sell out two months in advance. I think part of the problem is I started going to festivals at a time when it wasn't as popular. I remember the first year I went to T in the Park in 2002 I got my ticket the week before the festival started. Also we live in a time where places like ebay have made it easier for ticket touts to prevail. How many tickets do you see for sold out shows on ebay within minutes of the event selling out?

I have no problem with someone who genuinely can't go to an event selling their ticket on, even if they start selling it on ebay at face value which due to bids becomes higher than - fair enough, it's a seller's market. But when people buy tickets to events and festivals purely to sell them on at a profit then they should be outlawed. They are a scurge on the entertainment industry and often deny genuine fans the opportunity to go to events.

As it happens I have placed a bid on a ticket on ebay which currently resides at £216, my maximum bid is £250. If I am to win that I then need to ensure I do all I can to make sure I don't get ripped off (tickets wont be in hand yet so I'll need to get proof of purchase somehow).

It's all a bit of a headache but if the gods of summer fun are smiling on me then I will prevail.

And if I do finally get a ticket and find out nearer the time I can't go I now know of all potential avenues for resale!

Over n Oot.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

"I read your blog"

"I read your blog"
"I read your blog"
"I read your blog"

I get this a lot, well actually that's not true I don't get it that much at all.

When I was in London and the entries were quite bleak I used to get people saying it in a way which said "are you ok, don't kill yourself......" which was strange in a way as I didn't really think people would read it and any of those that did would ignore it as angst riddin garbage it was. That said it was also nice to know that people were reading it and cared, or in the very least, had an opinion on what I wrote.

As things have changed and I got out of London things have been a bit more positive (I think) on here. Posts have ranged from my take on politics to the opening of Waitrose on Byres Road (I'm not planning on part II - "The opening of Tesco on Byres Road" but all in all have been quite frivolous.

However I've had people on a few occasions recently say to me "I read your blog" in some words or other.

Most recently was last weekend when an old mate of mine said he thought it was quite a "brave" thing (might not have been those exact words but they were similar - we were both a bit pissed) to write this blog. I never saw it as brave more a way of documenting things in my mind etc. A way of getting opinions into the wider world. This in turn leads me to the time before when someone said "I read your blog" - this time I'm pretty sure it revolved around this particular post. Two girls both said "I read your blog" in a very telling way. A way which said "this is about me isn't it" the first girl who said it I swept it aside, the second time I laughed because, in truth, it was about neither.....

I'm not going to go into specific but it does show how we are all the stars in our own show sometimes - how we want to make things "about us" and will rightly or wrongly assume understanding - relevance. I'm as guilty about it than anyone - tell me you have never read a love-one's or even ex's status update on twitter or facebook and thought "that's about me".....

I have.

Ok, so I don't know where I'm going with this. I suppose it hurts when you think someone is thinking about you and they're not, or in the reverse it's surprising when someone thinks something you've said is about them and it's not.....meh is this a point? I don't know.

Anyway....I'm currently sitting in Offshore and last time I was in here writing a blog entry I had just got back to Scotland from London and was wondering what the next step was. Two good jobs later I am now unemployed again having finished my last show a couple of weeks ago - therefore I will no doubt start writing about feeling useless and unemployed again soon. But hopefully not as I've learnt it doesn't matter anymore - things work out regardless. What will be will be.

"I read your blog Chris"

....Well I read Watership Down in primary school and it scarred me for life.....

Monday, 1 February 2010

Boredom and the relieving of it....

Ok so when I've had a spare few moments at work I've been jumping onto this site omgele

It basically just puts you into a conversation with a random person.
Typically they are randy preverts looking for girls to have cyber 'encounters' with - it's all very bizarre and sleazy.

Anyway I've been abusing it for my own pleasure of a different kind, the results of which I present to you now:

* I'm the "You" in all conversations.

If you wanna give it a try but actually want to see the freaks you're chatting with try chat roulette, however again it is almost exclusively horny young men.....however maybe some of you like that sort of stuff.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

You cut her hair

So I went to get my haircut today.

Fair enough that in itself is not unusual, people are always getting their haircut every day, but whenever I get my haircut I tend to feel at my most vulnerable.

After forcing myself out of bed to get a shower before going (why do people do that? I was just about to get it washed anyway - it's like when my Mum used to clean the house top to bottom in preparation for the Cleaner coming round!) I then took the short walk to the Salon (not barbers - beauty isn't cheap) and got there supporting the after-shock of a massive hangover - dry-mouthed and very lethargic.

These white clean salons are very intimidating for a young man such as myself at the best of times let alone when not fully conscious.
For a start all the women are hot with big boobies, and as usual I got the stylist with the biggest boobies - not complaining too much but there is those moments when she leans in and you have no idea where to put your eyes or when she is side on and gets close and they brush your ear.....

Also the place I go to gives you a head massage before washing your hair. What is the etiquet here? If you close your eyes while some young girl runs her fingers through your hair does that mean you're a pervert? Same with the washing - I close my eyes when getting it washed coz I hate getting water in my eyes - I often wonder if the girl is thinking "what a little creep - getting his rocks off from this".

Then there is the "What are you after today?" Turns out replying "Haircut please" just leads to more questions. The poor girl just threw questions at me about my styling preferences - all of which I just answered yes to. And the small talk during the cut - I hate it....

In summary I left the salon with what I assume is a "trendy" haircut and £30 lighter.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.

This girl I knew a couple of years ago once said to me:

"Chris, there are thousands of ways for someone to be happy and very few ways for them to be unhappy"

At the time I dismissed it as some hippy-like talk she was prone to and it's only recently her musings have been brought to mind again.

And now that I think about it she is damn right.

Ages ago I wrote a post about being happy, where I suggested what provides someone with a good quality of life. I still subscribe to what I wrote here but recently I've come to the conclusion that there are several paths one can take to happiness. Added to this there are actually very ways one can be completely powerless to stop their lives going down a path which ultimately leads to an unhappy existence.

There are obvious factors which contribute to one's happiness, many of which I've suggested before; career, love, friends etc. However I think what I am trying to elaborate on here is the sheer scope of things that can be found within these fields.
I suppose this has come to mind for me given events of the last few months and the recent revelations and promises I've made myself for 2010. (by the way are we saying two-thousand-and-ten or twenty-ten)

Whilst I had this revelation moment it dawned on me that ultimately we are all looking to make ourselves happy through various methods and if there is something about you or your life which makes you unhappy then you should change it. Further to this there is no point what so ever in worrying about things you have no control over.

Sounds simple no? Well that's probably because it is.

Looking back at it the times I've been unhappy it's either been because I've not being doing a job I like (I'm thinking specifically of my o2 job) or because I've been worrying or dwelling over something I had no power over (I have subsequently learnt that you have to let people live their own lives and no-matter how hard you try you can't make someone love you - and even if you could it would be pointless as you need to be with someone who wants to be with you).

Therefore my new years resolutions are thus:

Not to worry or dwell on things I have no power over. Life has a way of sorting things out for itself, what will be will be and ultimately we are powerless to stop things. Also if I am doing something which is making me unhappy then I shall change it. This includes work, relationships, health.

Whilst both these things seem rather easy and straightforward I know it will be easier said than done. I mean it must be otherwise everyone in the world would be working in a job they loved and would be in loving relationships. This said though I know it's what will ultimately lead to a satisfying 2010 or 20-10 or however you want to say it.

In short - take control and be selfish. Wish me luck.

Over n Oot,
The End.