Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pillars Rock Respect


It must be hard to rip your heart out in front of a huge crowd on a cheery English summers day, especially at our  festival  Exeter Respect, with its laid back vibes and mix of music metal is not what most people associate with Exeter's best free weekend of the year. Pillars made a heroic attempt to bring melodic hardcore to the famous festival.

After hype and a few technical problems Pillars front man tried to bring the irresistible drama of a metal show to Respect. This was the lads’ biggest audience to date and they were out to impress the tough crowd, they were also thrilled simply to be on stage in front of thousands. The front man typical, tattooed and angry he did what he put huge effort into every scream and put in an athletic performance. The rest of the crew put on a great show too with lots of interaction and smiles between them, they obviously have a great bond this helps the tunes stay tight and the performance dynamic.

The guitar is simpler and cleaner than lots of modern hardcore acts and they stick to three guitars, drums and screamer, the drummer sings some melody, this old school line up helps the vocals shine.

At a metal show the audience usually rip out a little of their heart in return, they mosh, sing along and worship their modern Shaman who delve the depths of anger and expresses emotion that can't come out in modern life but this was not a metal crowd.  The boys still managed to move and impress puzzled punters.

Maybe Respect and he are compatible, after all mega rockers Muse played at the festival before they became the monster stadium fillers they are today, and bands clamoured to get a set at Respect. We need to remember the ethos of Exeter's favourite weekend is about bringing the whole community together, all different, all equal so we need to see more rock at Respect, bringing the metal heads to the festival has to be a good thing.

Monday, 26 May 2014

How to die....

"So how would you rather be killed, have your throat slit or be electrocuted in a bath?"

1 Now that sounds like a really stupid question , the sort of question a couple of  bored schoolboys would ask on a long journey to a school trip, these days they would probably post this ghoulish  question on "Facebook" just to share the idiocy further. This nasty, ridiculous  quandary about how to die  is one  meat eaters should be asking themselves now they've found out the animals they eat may not be killed "nicely", as if animals being killed on an industrial scale cheaply would ever consider the animals feelings, does that sound likely?

23  So all of a sudden the words "religious ritual" and Muslims" is mentioned people care about how our bloodless, faceless shrink warped meat comes from. There is no word about the Jewish way of killing animals that's similar to the Halal way of killing. Both are sensible as they involve getting rid of blood, the part of the meat that carries disease.

Any common sense reason for Halal meat was lost in the lurid headlines with no mention of the Jewish way of killing or the reasons behind Halal meat, the Sun also failed to mention the British way of killing involves electrocution and then killing the animal, and workers paid by how many animals they can kill in a day, nor did they ask readers to go veggie and avoid killing animals altogether.

4 The Sun also did not mention the Muslim view of their way of life and the fact that the Quran talks about making the knife as sharp as possible so the animal dies quickly, in fact the Quran has quite a lot to say about animal rights, the Quran talks about killing the animal as quickly as possible and respect for animals, not making sure they kill enough chickens in a day to get a holiday in Spain.

So why the fuss about Halal meat? You have to wonder at the hypocrisy and small mindedness of Halal haters, Russel Brand brilliantly pointed out that this story makes us think about how animals end up on our plate and maybe it's easier to blame another often demonized  religion than think about the fact we're eating dead animals. If this is true we need to look really carefully at what and how we eat and how we look at Muslims who are also our neighbors, co workers and friends and have a conversation, when the media want to divide us this is a rebelious and compassionate thing to do and the only thing to do.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Lana del Ray, playing the deviant.

I wanted to write about feminism in a fun, youthful way. Female pop stars are using their sexuality very interesting new ways but many reactions to this are very old fashioned. I looked up the simplest explanation of feminism and it simply talked about men being equal women, if this is true sexy women in pop should be left to express themselves in any way they please. Liberal feminists would agree with the view these women didn't need to be criticised.

1 I found an absurd article about Lana del Ray, the article made a few good points about taking drugs and health and safety but I felt the whole article was slut shaming a woman for giving one view of womanhood that was a fantasy.

2 3 Other feminists criticized Lana del Ray for all sorts of things, being unhappy, being a victim and making us feel uncomfortable, the tone was thanks to Lana women would be dragged backwards into a grubby, male dominated Hell. This assumes women are impressionable and Lana is so powerful and women are so they would follow in her unhappiness.

 Lana's songs could more intelligently taken as a warning not  a guide to life, Lana looks stunning but sounds utterly depressed and confused, she states by subtitles that all that glitters is not gold. The idea that female pop stars just seems silly and restricting.

I chose to write about video Ride as a study because it has a confusing message that many people seemed to miss.

The girl in the video is free, daring, dependent and utterly free at the same time, this doesn't make it anti-feminist it makes the video fascinating. Many women just didn't get the duel messages in the video and this seems very strange.

4 5 The other aspect is the video is Lana del Ray does not run around the desert drunk and shag bikers in real life, she is a recovered alcoholic has not had a drink for seven years and has worked with homeless people in New York. Lana is very successful. This woman is a role model in real life, she has got herself out of so how is a woman making a movie a bad role model?

6 7 Is every actress who plays a weak female character a bad role model? This would make movies and pop videos boring, they would be full of perfect cheerleaders taking over the world, marrying perfect men and taking over the world, seeing powerful women in the media would be great but how boring and dishonest would this be if it we had to be perfect? Very, we've all fallen in love, trusted the wrong man, been to a dodgy party and learnt not to drink too much the hard way. Could feminism turn into us doing impressions of a poster girl that can't possibly exist in real life, this in itself not feminist and could become as restricting as the "Happy housewife" poster girl of the 1950s.

8 The idea of a dark, dangerous, female character is nothing new. The text points of that some see this role for women as empowering, they are certainly adventurous, interesting and powerful. They are feminine but rebel against socially accepted behaviour, this make them women who are not trying to do an impression on men but who are

Lana is also a complete deviant in the video, she is simply running around the desert with bikers living off her wits or many would say being a prostitute. I felt there was a Marxist way to look at this. In many ways feminism has made more of a workforce to be exploited. I remembered something Germaine Greer said about women wanting to be like men is a very conservative aim, I felt this was relevant as Lana shows very traditionally feminine attributes, she certainly looks all woman.

Lana  is a femme fatale in the movie, she attracts drama, waves around guns and arguably uses men, she is free, dangerous and not being a good money maker or consumer.

The more I study feminism the more confused I become by it. This article was an interesting way of exploring all types of feminism as well as writing about a aims of feminism sound like common sense at first but as you study feminism it becomes complex. If men repress us why do we want to be like them? I find myself agreeing with Germaine Greer on many points, we shouldn't be playing men at their own game, and if Lana wants to the Yang to male rock stars but changing the game. Blimely I might be a radical feminist.

The article was posted on my young adult blog hometown. The idea of Hometown is to challenge young people’s ideas and be rebellious. I would love the blog to introduce the 16-25 age group to new political ideas. The article caused a small debate online with feminists. I felt the reaction showed the article had the reaction I wanted so I was pleased with the result. 41 people have read the blog which is a low number but it has had a reaction so that is great. I enjoy upsetting a few people with my writing, if somebody has been upset they have been challenged.


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Hometown Be part of somthing new.


A local magazine with a young, creative original view on life. Hometown is aimed at local 16-25 year olds and extend to university students and young adults.

The magazine will aim to appeal to 60% women and 40% men.

This will be an intelligent magazine and attract educated teens and young adults in the ABC category.

Hometown will appeal to current teens and young adults. This generation are hardworking, interested in social issues and not particularly rebellious, they care about social issues but are still creative and music mad. Young people are self-seekers and try new lifestyles using the internet, they do not all want to be the same, they love individualism.

Hometown is a guide to being young in the South West, where to shop, local bands and life advice as well as social issues. Hometown will be brave questioning the world. As well as local themes it will look at role models in the media, it will take a sideways look at celebrity and feminism. It will give very down to earth advice about difficult subjects like sex, drugs and health. This magazine will always treat the reader with intelligence and help entertain curious, intelligent minds explore new points of view. 

1 For the individualistic teen there will be fashion, it will be different, affordable local fashion with tips on how to get your own look and pictures of local teens who rock a look, Hometown in is a great position to have clothes for girls and boys in one place and not divide the looks up, true equality is what Hometown is about, we understand not everyone fits in a stereotypes.

A big part of hometown will be listings, reviews and interviews with local bands and acts. This will be a section called “Dark Circus”

3 The young do not like to pay for their media, this is thanks to the free entertainment on the internet, and this will have to be a free magazine run on advertising. This magazine is perfect for advertising, teenagers do not have much money but there are lots of shops that are aimed at them and need to

This magazine is perfect advertising space for any shop appealing to young adults. There is lots of scope for advertising features so you can show off your product in an edgy, young magazine. As well as paying for the magazine this will give your shop an image as up to date and daring as Hometown.

Further reading

Monday, 3 March 2014

Feminism and Lana

Why is lana such a bad girl?

Lana del Ray made a movie about a sexy, doll like anti-heroine. The mini movie on the one hand looks stunning and on a rainy English night it’s a slice of a naughty endless summer. Like Lana tells us

“I am fucking crazy but I am free.”

1 2 On the other hand our doll shows a frightening vulnerability and puts herself in real danger, she also smokes, drinks but still manages to look stunning. The most shocking thing about the movie is she has lots of sex with older “ugly” men, it’s not safe sex either. The video was only ever presented as a movie, or another Lana del Ray ultra-feminine, feverish daydream.  Online feminists went crazy at the eccentric singer’s fictional behaviour. She calls Lana’s behaviour “misguided” and fulfilling every bad female stereotype. Another tells us she is no longer in the popular feminist role model gang.  

Lana never said she was the next Naomi Wolf or Germaine Greer, she’s never admitted to being a feminist and is not telling people how to live. The video asks more questions than it answers, is this girl crazy or free? Why is she behaving like a crazy woman?  What is the attraction of ugly bikers?

3 Now Lana daring to be a sexy child girl may not the only thing that makes people feel she’s “gone too far”. Teens have always been “folk devils” while being “Mods and Rockers” trashing seaside towns and each other or the last big scary teen  tribe were ravers who took drugs and danced till dawn at huge, illegal outdoor parties. There were fears about safety and morality and a feeling they could cause the end of civilisation. A few people fall victim of bad behaviour most settle down, get married and bore their kids with tales of being a better rebel than them.  All Lana does is make a movie and other feminists are shocked, is this about feminism or something else?

5 Lana is living outside the modern American dream, that dream involves money, family, self-indulgence or spending a fortune on your beautiful children would or anti-heroine be any happier is she got a career and shopping habit or lived a Betty Friedan nightmare looking after ungrateful toddlers way before she was ready to spend her days cleaning and babbling to babies. If she lived out either dream she would be living somebody else’s dream, the capitalist one.  We might be shocked at the portrayal of self-destruction but it’s her life to destroy and feminists should believe women have the right to get out of the doll’s house and live how we like. Of course many feminists believe a career is our salvation but maybe this character doesn't fancy it, not when there’s a bike to get on and a party to go to. Lana ticks every outlaw box she can, her love looks like it comes for free, just like the 60s Hippie commune, she dances till dawn like the ravers and she’s a deviant woman like the ladettes.

7 A career would really still probably involve being underpaid by a man and thanks to capitalism she wouldn’t be paid very well for her time. Germaine Greer points out the dream of women in the workplace and feminism in general is a very conservative one, another half of the population can work till they drop. Look at Britain’s greatest career girl, Margret Thatcher, she made it by behaving like a man.

Our anti-heroine is also depressed, then happy, then depressed. Lana del Ray is daring to be weak. Lana dares to be foolish, she does dangerous things and takes risks and these bloggers don't like it.  She falls in love and messes up, and is weak. Sounds like a human being making their life up as they go along. Now feminists are not allowed to get depressed, feel trapped or be naughty. Is that freedom, do we have to live our lives perfectly? Lana is not telling anyone how to live, she lives many lives through her videos, she rarely tells the media anything about herself and she has never written a feminist book she simply expresses herself in a postmodern mash up of femininity. We watch another Lana drama because she uses intelligence and beauty in all her but this is not life.

So what is going on? Marxist theory tells us the money makers want us all to work hard and have the same morals, we need to be good and virtuous little money makers, this may not serve us but it will serve the machine. Are feminists also falling for this myth of the “good person” and the “good role model”? Maybe we aren't slut shaming her but we're too frightened to take the chance on a risky life too far outside the dream society thinks up for us, maybe it’s time feminist asked themselves are they living out other people’s dreams and maybe they should live their own.



Monday, 27 January 2014

The trouble with Miley

On holiday at Butlands , in the days before Mileys crop, twerking habit or interest in building sites there was a pretty, tuneful young woman doing a passable impression of Hanna Montana and Miley Cyrus. The little girls in the crowd were thrilled to see a photocopy of their idol, dads were thrilled the singer wasn't wearing a bra, how things have changed, David Cameron has complained, the American right went into melt down and she's supposed to bee the downfall of tweenage girls everywhere.

 Meily and alter ego Hanna Montana could be relied on to be  bland, virginal role models with banal lines like "believe in yourself", that's nice.

Miley was never normal, she describes herself as being born into showbiz bootcamp, while kids are waiting to be old enough to get their first Saturday job and begging for more pocket money she was making a fortune, now she's worth $150 million, now that must take discipline and hard work, maybe expressing more the naughty side of her character is the most normal thing this machine has ever done.

Fast forward, Miley appeared in a video being reborn as a sexy winged star in her video "Can't be Tamed" going as wild as you can go in an army style dance routine. The video gives Miley away, she plays a trapped creature who gets out of her cage then sexily writhes around with near naked dancers, of course the media called for her to be tamed by daddy, when was feminism? Feminism means she should have the same rights as men, and to do as she pleases.

But Meily is a role model. really? The idea of making such a young woman a role model is cruel, the media put her on a pedestal with no room to move before she was 20. No wonder this made for parents fantasy super girl and jumped off her pedestal  before she was pushed. Like the men watching the bad photocopy, she's a girls on stage, if you play virginal the media will still look down your top maybe it's better to be in control and get your boobs out on your own terms.

Then there's the haircut, dear lord young woman cuts off her mummy and Disney pleasing mane, is  this news? Well not compared to all the wars and revolutions going on. It could be called a feminist statement Germaine Greer got sick of her mop in her youth too, she said this about feminine, long hair " I’m sick of weighting my head with a dead mane, unable to move my neck freely" This clip shows a short haircut did good things for Miley too, maybe it made her feel free of the good girl Hanna Montana, Germaine's classic describes women as being repressed and sexless, sounds a bit like being stuck in Hanna Montanas body past the age of 16.

The star  has called herself a feminist, in her way way she is, she's doing what she wants to do. Miley doesn't play the victim card like Katie Price selling  her latest broken heart to the lowest magazine with the biggest cheque, she makes a hit song about it then shocks everyone with the video. Now turn a broken heart into art and make a ton of cash, that's a smart move.

I expect the Miley copy had a good summer, I expect she was every bit as naughty as the real one, the one with short hair, being crazy and making mistakes. Celebs are stories and symbols, who knows what's under that? Both women may become a mothers, a role model, better at advising her daughter for being a woman with a past and one that made mistakes, no not mistakes, decisions then seeing what the experiment called life brings. Now even pop stars have the right to do that, as much right as fame hungry girls pretending to be someone they're not.