Category Archives: articles

Lone Wolf Terrorism

With terror and war at the forefront of the global news, what do we need to do to tackle, limit, or even stop these attacks? In America, Australia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, and the Middle East, the two main concerns seem to centre around the availability of firearms and the issue of mental health.  Continue reading Lone Wolf Terrorism

Is Gap Racist? A picture paints a thousand words.

No doubt, by now, you have seen the new advert from Gap depicting three white, middle-America girls, and one black girl. In the picture, two of the younger, white girls are performing ballet, gymnastic moves whilst the third, larger, white girl is resting her arm on top of the head of a younger, smaller, and passive black girl.

The picture itself isn’t overtly, racist if you actually look at the picture itself, with your first glance it is simply four girls and it’s difficult to argue it is deliberately racist, as there is no divisive racist message. But there is a deeper message, which may be Gap, and the photographer in question didn’t realise – which is more indicative of American culture which is where the problem lies.

The fact that Gap, such a large organisation, probably didn’t realise how it would look through the eyes of at least 20% of the American population is unbelievable and hard to comprehend – but it’s clear to see that they didn’t. The question isn’t that the image itself is racist, the question lies in the underlying theme it is conveying, and the symptoms it reveals lurking in ‘accepted’ culture, which is a damaging message. The subordinate and passive role depicted by the stance of the young black girl is this is only half the subliminal message within this shot. The other equally worrying message is the gender issue – so Gap is saying girls can do anything yet uses stereotypical imagery of female performance, ballet and gymnastics; the strange text and odd imagery, feeds into American deep-seated problems of racism and sexism, all used for marketing neatly in a single image.

You might disagree, and I am sure Gap will, but in my view the image itself isn’t sexist or racist but why it evokes a response is that the image is indicative of deep-seated problems in American culture. It doesn’t take much of a leap of thought for Gap to have promoted an image that showed equal status, ethnicity, and some of the girls doing things less stereotypical!! Perhaps writing, composing, a science experiment – not just exercises!

The last of 2015

I hope you have had a great Christmas, although I know those affected by the flooding in the UK have had a tough time.  Hopefully the weather will settle and they can get some normality back quickly as we all move into 2016.

I have been very busy over the last few weeks working on my latest book, a new venture into the experiences of five people on the same day – D Day.  It is a fictional story but based on the real events of the day. I have just finished the story and am now onto the editing phase – so there will be the inevitable re-drafting of a few more versions before it is finished!

This is a departure from the world of the Riders of the North – I am continuing with that series – but I have always wanted to do a book on the Normandy landings, which my grandfather was part of, so his experiences form part of the story.  I have been immersed in this project, so have been rather off the radar in the run up to Christmas. I hope those of you who have enjoyed my work in the Riders of the North books will be interested in my new work on D Day.  I hope to have it available by Spring or early summer of 2016.  Here is a little flavour;

War is hell. There is nothing glorious or heroic about killing, or being killed, for the ideology of other men. No greatness in that, none at all.

That was my thinking after I came home and the memory of fighting had subsided. It was the reason I could never return to Normandy, although my daughter often asked me too. A part of me had always wanted to, but a bigger part of me had not wanted to see it again – the beaches and the blood. I had always found it difficult to understand the other veterans who marched so proudly passed the cenotaph each year, with their medals, so proudly – men and women who surely had seen what I had seen?  I didn’t want to remember the chaos, the smell, the blood. I did want to forget, not remember, or glorify it – but that was just my view, my way of coping. I was just a quiet, well-intentioned, and well- mannered young man from North Wales, working for the Russian oil company and looking after my widowed mother before Hitler forced me to travel across Europe-.

Enjoy what is left of the Christmas holiday and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

New start

 

The Week #32 29th November, 2015

Hello!  My recent school tour has caused me to reflect further on how youtubers affect school children.

Old media is asking why is Youtube so popular, what gives? Why do millions and millions like to watch someone else play games or talk about stuff?  To explore that I will start off by sharing with you my own likes and dislikes to do with YouTube and Continue reading The Week #32 29th November, 2015

Labour: END?

I left part two of my look at Corbyn with the question ‘Will Britain step further away from the US?’ Well, I think we should, even thought I love the US and want to live there – it is too volatile, and forgetful, to be a useful ally. I believe we need to return to Europe more, as a super block it is more powerful than the rest of the world combined. Let’s face it, that is where the money is and the technology. So, for now, I say strengthen our ties with France as German control of Europe is worrying and so far gone unchecked – that is where we should be putting our attention.

Continue reading Labour: END?

The Week – Do you need an agent? – Today I thought I would chat about the value, or not, of having an agent.

As someone who didn’t have one but has had some interest and even rejected a few agents I think I’m in a good position to speak on the subject, I think the best way to answer this is to put you in the seat of three different types of authors. Number one; someone who is just doing it as a bit of fun or as a legacy, so you written something silly or a bio on yourself but you don’t think it’s going to sell, you just feel that you have something out there, something to say you have been on this planet, to leave your mark. Does this person need an agent? Continue reading The Week – Do you need an agent? – Today I thought I would chat about the value, or not, of having an agent.