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.