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Supersize or Superskinny? Neither, Thank You…

February 19, 2009

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Right, there’s something I really need to get off my chest.

Briefly, last year the pop band “The Gossip” were storming the charts with their hit “Standing in the Way of Control” which, while it is a banging tune and definitely still a favourite (loving Soulwax’s remix too by the by) the music was not the only focus for this band. In two words, Beth Ditto. Ditto is the lead singer and front woman of the band and was branded as a “trendsetter”, paving the way for generations of girl bands to come by the fact of not being as thin as a post. Yes, she wasn’t your average size zero bird to come into fashion, she was morbidly obese.

What’s getting to me now that even though the band itself has seen little follow-on success that Ditto is still in the spotlight and lauded for being a “real woman”. I really don’t see how celebrating the fact that someone has allowed themselves to get that obese is helping society. She’s designing a line for Evans, a British plus size clothing store, often thought of as “frumpy” or “old fashioned” and hoping to inject some trendy youth into the label while in the same breath criticising stores such as Topshop, River Island etc for on average only having sizes up to (British) size 16 in stock. Au contraire, I think these shops are doing a service by encouraging young girls to manage their weight at the average sizes of 12-16 rather than stock massive sizes and send out the message “it’s ok to be morbidly obese”. I know this isn’t a popular view but you can’t on the one hand criticise and condemn people who starve themselves while applauding people who have allowed themselves to become so fat that they are endangering their health.

There is always talk in government, in the media and in society in general of the dangers of childhood obesity, sedentary lifestyles taking over, how to eat healthily, how to have a healthy body…so why applaud someone who is obese just because she’s famous? At the moment Ditto is famous for being obese, not for anything else and declaring that she’s “proud” of her “figure”. Beth Ditto is no role model. She should be placed in the same box as the Lindsay Lohans, Mary Kate Olsens and Rachel Zoe’s of the world – as having an extreme and unhealthy body weight.

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Dock by Dusk

February 15, 2009

Grand Canal at Dusk

My parents got me a new tripod for my birthday (not til March 15th but still!) so I took some pictures of the dock beside where I live which i’ve always though its spectacular looking at night. Anyway here are a couple of my faves, more on my flickr if anyone is interested :)

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Slow Clap Time…

February 13, 2009

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After my previous rant, the bloggers at the Guardian have restored my faith

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Milky

January 29, 2009

seanpenn-harveymilk-flm1Ladies and Gentlemen, for your consideration…Gus Van Sant’s depiction of the life of Harvey Milk.

 

I saw this film a couple of days ago and thought it was brilliant. I left the cinema with my faith in humankind revitalised and with renewed admiration for the people who have gone before me and the struggles that have been fought before I was even conceived…

Not that any of this is something to write about, and so I didn’t but today i read an article in the Guardian that annoyed me. The article claims that Van Sant has tamed Harvey Milk’s homosexuality by not showing him off as the seducer of many young men that he was supposed to be in real life. Instead he claims that Milk is portrayed as trying to find “The One” and his flamboyancy is downplayed. He then goes on to claim that this is the same tactics used by activists in America to try and convince the general public that gay marriage is acceptable by portraying it as the same as a heterosexual coupling. (of course Im greatly paraphrasing but check out the article for the full opinion)

I was so annoyed by this that I felt I needed to write something myself. Firstly, as many commenters have pointed out, its a biopic about the political career of the first openly gay man in American politics, not a sordid film to show off his sexual preferences. Secondly, I don’t feel at all that he is portrayed as searching for “the One”. If anything I think it shows brilliantly how his political career came between his relationship with Jack and how dedicated he was. It also shows off his personality quite a lot, he doesn’t buckle down and become a regular joe by any means, he keeps his personality and flirty behavior even while in office. The author also seems to have a lot to say about gay marriage which in fact is nothing to do with the film Milk, or even the man, Harvey Milk’s career. His goal was equal rights, not marital unions so comparing the two causes is a completely moot point.

I think the biggest problem I had with the article is that the author is trying to suggest that real “gay culture” hasnt been portrayed in the film and to him this culture consists of loud, campy, promiscuous men instead of looking at the bigger picture and seeing that people, no matter what their orientation are different.
I think this film is appropriate, well made and brilliantly acted. Go see it.

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On Love

January 11, 2009

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One of my favourite films is Romeo and Juliet, the ’95 Baz Luhrmann version. The original story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is terribly flawed and the ‘love’ between the couple is very juvenile and spontaneous but thats what i love about it. They’re so in love they would do anything for each other. Even if they just met, even if its unrealistic, even if they’re too young I think it shows hope that love, real love can happen without the need for planning and being sensible. If you’re lucky enough to have felt this kind of love then you’ll know what I mean. More than anything I would love the chance to feel that way again. 

Read: “On Love” by Alain de Botton for a gorgeous description of the act of falling in love.

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What’s the Big Deal About….Twilight?

December 6, 2008

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I recently purchased the book “Twilight” after bowing down to the wordwide peer pressure and Harry Potter-esque hysteria and wanted to see, what the hell was the big deal?!
(Please note there are some small spoilers but i don’t really give a crap enough to write a censored opinion.)

The answer is now really obvious. This book is highly addictive. Its not that well written or original and some of the ideas are eye-rollingly ridiculous but Meyer is a genius at storytelling.

So the story for the un-initiated. Bella is a young girl of 17 who just moved her innocent self to a town called Forks where, unsurprisingly to the locals, a family of vampires live. Edward Cullen is one such vampire, the youngest (looking) of the bunch who finds himself attracted to Bella. And so ensues a passionate teenage-style angsty love affair in which Edward struggles between what he is and what he wants to be. Bella, on the other hand in typical teenage fashion is immediately in love with him because he is “beautiful” as mentioned numerous times.

Ok so its not the most original story. The idea of vampires attending the local school is already ridiculous, added to that you have the notion that the local people, who clearly all know each other as is the case in a small town, have absolutely no idea whats going on. As you may have gathered from my summary above, I loathed the character of Bella she was weak, whiney, had zero personality of her own and was far too young. I think the story would have had more punch if a) Bella was older and b) she at least resisted Edwards advances for a bit instead of declaring her undying love at the first oppertunity, but of course we have demographics to think of and lets face it, teenagers are of course the most influential of all age groups. Good work publishing company *thumbs up*

I think this let the story down because of the very reasons that I loved the book. Meyer has a brilliant ability to create suspense and her description of the growing tension between Bella and Edward as they grow closer is amazing and undoubtedly what draws you into the book. I would love to have read a more mature story line with real emotion written by her with this amazing suspenseful storyline. There is far too much time wasted on the Bellas arrival in the new town, on her noticing Edward but not making contact with him, her feelings etc etc. The final chapters of the book when Bella is threatened by a group of outside vampires and the story gets exciting are literally unputdownable so the story does redeem itself towards the end.

There are obviously good and bad points to the story. Its not technically the best writing. It’s written in the first person from Bellas point of view but there is a bit too much of “I went to my wardrobe and I picked out a top and I went downstairs” it gets a bit tedious. I think that the style of storytelling makes up for this and you do feel compelled to keep reading. Anyway apparantely the film’s shit so maybe get a copy while they’re still cheap

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Things that Annoy Me…

November 28, 2008

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People who claim that theyre not a “mobile phone person” or say things like “oh you know me and technology dont mix!” so they use this as an excuse not to text you back… no i don’t know, why the hell do you have a phone then??!

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