Sunday, 30 March 2014

Gay Marriage: Well it's About Time!

Gay marriage has officially become legal in England and Wales with Scotland to follow later this year. It's truly a great day for equality.
But with only 8 of the 28 EU Member States allowing same-sex marriage the spotlight intended to celebrate has led to the blatant question: why are so few countries moving with the times?
Whilst there has been a great victory for those in mainland Britain Northern Ireland is still dragging its heels with no future plans to change their laws. And what I ask as a Northern Ireland resident is why the heck not?!
Seriously, what can people possibly have against the joy of two individuals entering into a life-long commitment? And Northern Ireland I'm not just looking at you, the Republic has a lot of questions to answer as do the other 19 EU states.
In fact I'm shocked at Ireland, okay we're Catholic (or 'Catholic' as the trend seems to be) but what do we love more than Sunday mass? A party! So who would have thought we'd drag our heels at a chance to embrace diversity whilst having a pint or three hundred?
Here's a call out to the EU: wise up and get a move on with this. Living in the dark ages isn't okay. Even America has gay marriage in 17 of 50 states. Europe is meant to be the land of the liberal! How can we uphold human rights whilst discriminating against our own citizens on such a basic and natural thing as sexuality?!

Friday, 28 March 2014

TV Licences

It's a long-running joke that students never answer their door in case it's the tv licence man after our hard-borrowed £145.50 but what do we really get for our money?
Why the state-owned, British icon BBC of course! Except, and I think I speak for many of us here, the amount of times BBC produces programmes worth paying for is diminishing.
The success of shows like Downton Abbey and Great British Bake Off is undeniable but unfortunately these stars are few and far between. And how many shows are aimed at our demographic? Gavin and Stacey was a sure-fire hit with 'young adults', as was cult classic Little Britain but even these shows ended years ago.
And with the axing of BBC 3 the value for money is lessened further. I won't attempt to hold BBC 3 up as a pinnacle of entertainment, but at 11pm when you're bored it's always there for you with endless repeats of American shows. And the further into the night you go the trashier it gets. Sounds bad, right? Wrong. At 2am I want the least amount of intellectual stimulation possible and Snog Marry Avoid? fills that need.
Granted, BBC news is the best news; Sky News can suck it and ITV doesn't even enter the race. In fact it forms the integral part of my waking up process.
The true gripe here is that the fee remains the same with a decline in quality shows and channel choices. Why pay it when you can access on-demand services online free? Well, if you're like me, you just like having the telly and are too lazy to fire up the internet when you're trying to enjoy your Cornflakes.
Damn you tv licencers, you knew my one weakness: pure laziness.

Fun fact: the tv licence fee is exactly
15 bottles of Value Vodka

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Do What Feels Good

A wise man once told me,"if  it feels good do it". Admittedly, he was trying to get me to have anal sex at the time but I feel the sentiment still resonates.
We spend so much time conducting our behaviour to please others which, to an extent, is necessary for a functioning society. Afterall, if we just did what we wanted with no regard for anyone else no one would wear clothes or stop masterbating long enough to answer the phone.
But do you ever forget yourself? Have you ever been in a situation where it's impossible to please everyone at once and you're so wrapped up in this you forget what you want to do?
Or is that not a problem because you're a selfish phallus?
Maybe we should all take small steps to liberation and please ourselves. I'm not talking about throwing your wedding vows to the wind and hiring a gigolo but maybe giving less of a toss whether someone will be offended if you have that fifthteenth vodka. Maybe we should all start pulling those dance moves once reserved only for bedroom mirrors. Maybe instead of daintily nibbling a light lunch we should order greasy chips and eat them with our fingers. Because in the fingers v fork battle there is only one winner. 
Here's my message: go forth and enjoy yourselves by doing the things you want to do...lest those things encroach on another person's liberty, sanity, happiness or wellbeing. Unless all four of those infringements are simultaneously caused by something you bought in Ann Summers.

If a scuba suit is what floats your boat
then you should SUIT UP

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Are We Ruining Music?

Do you know what I get when I turn on my radio? Audible shite. Every chart show is pumping out diuretic slush which fills my car with its dirty mess. From One Direction to Miley Cyrus I struggle to find decent music to distract my attention from the road.
I'm not saying I don't enjoy current music, plenty of dancefloor fillers have become lodged in my head prompting shameful nightclub dancing, what I'm talking about is the absence of quality bands which make you want to devote your life to them. Bands whose album releases form the timeline of your life. Songs that encapsulate your youth and capture life moments in instrumental form. Bands which boarder on cult status.
As a massive, obsessive and perhaps a little manic Marilyn Manson fan even I will admit his music was at its best last century. So what's changed?
Maybe the problem isn't the artists but the consumers. Does our constant need for new music water down its quality? And, as much as we love it, are illegal downloads ruining music by encouraging musicians to pump out as much as possible as fast as possible, regardless of quality?
Attention spans are down and we truly are the throwaway generation. Maybe the value of music is being lessened because we place no monetary value on it. Music is just there for us to take and use as we will but what good is that? The excitement people felt, not even ten years ago, at a new album release would have been nothing short of childlike. There were no early online releases, no Youtube videos to watch on repeat, people had to listen to the radio and wait, wait for that song to come on. The pure joy at hearing the song you've had stuck in your head for the past week was intense.
Okay, grandma. 
I know, I'm pining for the past. And really what we have now is great as everyone has access to loads of music, old and new. But sometimes, when I play a CD (for younger readers a CD is like a tangible MP3 file) I sit back and listen to music struggling to remain clear at high volume and enjoy a little bit of history from when music was a gift not a freebie.