Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Alt-Fest: A Shambles

For those of you who haven't heard the latest Alt-Fest has finally released an official statement over this whole fiasco. So what has the 24-hour wait brought us? Another wait! We've been promised an "official statement and full information" on Monday- 11 days before it is meant to begin.
With people flying in from all over the globe 11 days notice is not good enough! For many of us the festival was over when Marilyn Manson cancelled his appearance. Personally all I want is my ticket money back. Like many others I only booked tickets because I wanted to see Manson at what would have been his only UK show. 
The biggest fear is the show will go on with a half-assed setlist, far short of the 180 bands across 7 stages  we were promised. I know I won't be attending that Pity-Fest. With thousands of pounds already spent on non-refundable hotels and flights the most welcome option for many of us would be to call the whole thing off and give us our ticket money back. It wouldn't be much, but it'd be better than nothing. 
Unfortunately there'll probably be lots of hotel rooms going to waste this August, but in case you didn't know a lot of airlines allow you to change the time and destination of your trip for a fee. I've already planned a break in Paris where I'll find it a bit easier to mellow out about this whole disaster. 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Hours ago the internet rumours started and now headliner Marilyn Manson has cancelled his appearance at the 3-day festival. He joins a handful of other bands in doing so.
No official announcement has been made by Alt-Fest as of yet. Their silence speaks loud and clear to ticket holders though. Expect disappointment. The 'for the people by the people' festival is NOT going ahead.
What's the worst part of this story? That there's only 16 days until it was meant to happen? That we're all being kept in the dark? Or that only last week they were e-mailing us to say tickets would be sent out soon?
I for one am extremely disappointed. Not only have my friends and I booked (non-refundable) hotels and flights but this was meant to be the highlight of my summer and my first ever festival. Not to mention the fourth time I'd be seeing my favourite band and idol Marilyn Manson.
To add insult to injury I now have the choice between wasting pre-booked flights and a hotel or taking a holiday to Northampton. I honestly don't know which would be sadder.

Revenge Porn

Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boys sends photos of his doolally to girl. It's an age old story, right? It's when girl posts these explicit photos online that the story takes an unfortunate turn.
What's been dubbed 'revenge porn' by the media has made its way into Parliament, and no I don't mean Mrs Cameron thought we should all see more of our great leader. It makes sense that new laws should be developed to meet the increasing impact that the internet has on our lives. Current laws do protect people, but in a more general manner, and unfortunately the vague nature of existing laws can make prosecution difficult.
So what would specific revenge porn laws bring? Well, instances of revenge porn may go down if people know it's a specific offence. Right now many young people don't know the legal stance of going around posting pictures of their ex's fah-abulous knockers. A specific law would create awareness that, in case you didn't already know, this is not okay.
 Most importantly it would bring protection to the victims. Imagine trusting someone with naked images of yourself and then having that trust violated. Sure, some may say that it's their own fault for sending those pictures, but I don't think that's fair. Revenge porn should join other sexual offences not only in legislation but in the removal of blame culture. In the same way a woman's attire isn't a factor in her rape a person trusting their partner with explicit photos isn't a blameworthy factor if they're posted online.
Revenge porn is a malicious act intended to bring humiliation to the victim. Its very nature is criminal. Parliament needs to get with the times and lay down the law in this area before any more people are affected.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Love Your Body (Because This Is As Good As It Gets)

Ever look in the mirror and think 'if I could only change this'? Que a grab at some spare flab. Well you're not alone. It's safe to say most of us have body hang-ups whether they're about excess weight, wide hips or small boobs. I'm not going to tell you to feel good about yourself because you're an amazing person and beautiful as you are. Being an amazing person doesn't affect your outer image. And being told you're 'beautiful as you are' always sounds false and hollow.
You should love your body because this is as good as it gets. Those horrific teenage years when your body didn't know what it was at are over and you've been left with whatever you're rocking right now. It's not going to get better. If you're carrying a little extra weight right now you're only set to get heavier, bone structures won't change and bra sizes (sadly) remain the same.
So accept your flaws (no need to love them) because if there's one thing the beauty industry teaches us it's that as you get older you'll have more flaws to worry about. Wrinkles, weight gain, stretch marks, grey hair, saggy boobs, age's all ahead of us!!! When you're forty and trying to squeeze yourself into spanx you'll look back on photos from your twenties and think you were absolutely mad to be worrying about your body.
Funnily enough, even with all these extra beauty niggles a lot of older people report they've learnt to accept their bodies. Why not kick-start that now? Look in the mirror and tell yourself you're fab (although not out loud incase people think you've cracked).

Friday, 18 July 2014

How I Met Your Mother Finale

How I Met Your Mother has been around since 2005 (what was I even doing in 2005?) and in the last nine years it has provided some pretty decent telly viewing. At first it was dubbed a Friends copycat but HIMYM has evolved past this label and developed its own unique essence.
Over the years we've watched Lily, Marshall, Robin, Barney and, of course, Ted go through life and develop as characters on a relatable level. Who hasn't seen themselves in some of the awkward date moments or referred to an ex as Blah-Blah? The show has tackled so many of life's big issues such as dealing with the death of a parent, accepting you're getting older, having children and how they change your life...not to mention what to do if a goat gets into your bathroom.
Sure the show was a little outlandish and unbelievable at times. Perhaps if it had only been stretched out over eight seasons rather than nine some of the sillier filler episodes could have been avoided. However, overall HIMYM has been a roaring success and joins precious other shows in being incapable of getting old. Thanks to E4 there's never a day where you can't waste an hour or two watching repeats and God knows it eases a hangover day.

However, the finale was not up to scratch. Since day one we've been expecting a happy ending. Instead HIMYM turned round and spat in our faces. If the past nine years have taught us anything it's that Ted and Robin don't work, but Robin and Barney were a perfect fit. Why did they have to get divorced? Why not keep the mother alive and keep Barney and Robin together?
It's left Barney completely open ended as, sure, he's a good-looking new father right now but what about when he hits his 50s and 60s? Would he really want or be able to keep sleeping with countless women? Would having a baby not change his behaviour if not just by restricting his ability to sit in bars every night but also by changing the way he sees women as his daughter grows? He already appears to have taken on this new attitude in a flash-forward so what is he going to do, stay single and alone for the rest of his life? Having a child is nice but not a replacement for a partner.
Robin is problematic as whilst she seems to have feelings for Ted let's not forget she's constantly traveling with her job. This won't work for Ted as he's always wanted someone to spend his life with, not someone to he sees every other weekend.
Credit where credit is due though, Lily and Marshall's ending was perfect. Marshall's career progression combined with their strong relationship being as solid as ever has sewed up their characters in a perfect stitch.
And the mother? She's perfect. Completely worth the eight year build up. She's matched for Ted in every way and goes the extra mile where Robin just couldn't. There was no need to have her killed off and the execution of the death seemed rushed. We're offered nothing more than she was 'sick'.The least the writers could have done is go through her battle with a long illness to give the audience a 360 emotional view. Instead, practically as soon as we've been introduced to this perfect woman she's been taken away. The build up to how insanely perfect she is for Ted worsens the situation as Ted has spent his whole life waiting for this woman, all the near misses, all the signs and all the waiting for 'the one' and now we're meant to accept that Ted will be happy with Robin? No, the truth is if this is how it plays out he's settling for Robin. She's a consolation prize for losing his 'one'.

The ending hasn't done the show justice but I sure as hell enjoyed the ride. It's hard to imagine what will be next to match HIMYM's success but let's just hope and prey no one thinks a How I Met Your Father spin-off is worth producing.

I was going to quote the show here, but how could
I possibly chose just one line?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Using The World Cup To Score

No matter where you go these days you'll be able to find a television broadcasting the latest World Cup match. Surrounding this will be men of all ages bonding over the game. A lot of these time the men will be sporty (and therefore likely to be buff). So basically the World Cup is a magnet for well-toned men.
Ladies, I'd like to tell you it's simple to pick up these men but the truth is it's so ridiculously easy you'll be worrying whether you're pregnant by half-time. Use the power of the World Cup carefully.
All you have to do is find a screen showing a match. Then stand in front of it and try to work out who's playing. Cheer in the correct places and give a heartfelt 'ohhhh' when someone misses something.
A lot of the lingo and phrases are constantly repeated so keep your ears open. Sometimes men are so eager to believe you have an interest in football they'll hear what they want to hear. For example, I was recently in a bar pretending to watch the match and a man asked me who I was rooting for. I looked at the screen and had to take a wild guess at who was playing. "Croatia", I mumbled. "Costa Rica", he heard.
The other beautiful thing about using the World Cup to pull is the atmosphere is very relaxed. You can casually chat and mingle with everyone. One well-placed phrase about the match will make you a 'top bird'. Bada-bing-bada-boom, grab your coat you've pulled. Equally because the men are so relaxed they find it easier to strike up a conversation and therefore, even though you're the one on the pull, you don't have to do any work. Honestly I wish there was a World Cup every year.
The only snag? You'll probably have to wait until after the match to snog him so don't employ this pulling tactic until about 75 mins into the game.