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
The number of refugees living in camps in Northern France has increased dramatically over the last five years, with the influx from the migrant crisis adding to the already high numbers of economic migrants from Europe and further afield. These camps have grown exponentially and with such growth comes suffering, appalling conditions, and the worst kind of human interaction – exploitation. I am, of course, talking of the traffickers and the exploiters many of whom are British or French using the desperation and fear that exists in these camps for their own ends. Continue reading Child Refugee
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!
Another school visit and this week. I met the pupils at Sundorne School. I was greeted by the librarian, Ella Reynolds, who made me very welcome, and met pupils in Year 7 and 9. They worked really well in the creative writing workshop and came up with some great ideas for story lines including time travel, zombie monkeys, crystals and robots, just for starters! Thank you to everyone at Sundorne. I enjoyed working with you and I hope you enjoy the books!
So a week has gone by and, following on from last week, it’s time to switch tack to the Republican Party and the madness that is going on with them.
I’m just going to talk about Trump this week and I may do the others at a later date, he is going to take up a fair bit of time! I will have a look at why he is attracting attention, a glance at his back story, and lastly, I will give my own opinion
From the off Mr Trump has blown the political scene apart, or has he? If you read anything that anyone is currently writing about him, that is usually how they start. But is that really true? I disagree. There have been plenty of other presidential or vice-presidential runners who have said extreme things – and try to talk ‘down with the folk!’ – it’s something we’ve seen before, so it’s not his style, as that isn’t unique, so what Continue reading The Week 31st January, 2016
Hello and welcome to the week, this week I am going to talk about the US presidential race, seeing as this will take the main stage for the next year, and our lack of proper winter here, and the heavy snow fall in New York, it’s definitely a time to look longingly across the pond!.
So from the off I think I think I will talk about the democrats this week, a nicer start as the republicans are such a bag of noisy cats, it’s going to take to time to figure out what they are actually on about. So will this be Hillary’s year? Continue reading The Week, 24th January, 2016
Hello welcome, new readers and old. My first for 2016 and I thought I would start off the year with a look at the entertainment media. Yesterday I went to watch the new Star Wars, viewing it rather late compared to most people, that was because I wasn’t in the slightest way bothered about seeing it. To be honest, I didn’t want them to make a new one as I didn’t see the point, with how the last of the original left the story, but I went and it was good, I did enjoy it. It was the same story as Jedi returns but it was pretty good. John Boyega as Fin being the only character I enjoyed and he was one of the main reasons I thought it was good, without his character I think it would have been a bit dull, although the special effects were excellent, as you would expect, so overall Star Wars was ok, not terrible – OK but yet it is the biggest film ever and has grossed 3billion already. I can understand why Star Wars is huge, the hype, the merchandise, the amount of Star Wars games and ships that I have played on or with throughout my child hood, like most other people, stands as testimony to it being part of our lives. But who is this new Star Wars aimed at and is this the final death-knell for the drive to get any new epic adventure ever being produced – or are we locked in the world of remakes?
My thinking on this is simple. Film-making, in particular, only bets on a sure thing, due to the huge cost in making a film. J. J. Abrams has made a career out of ‘sure’ things. I think the next epic may be over looked because publishers on all fronts have retreated behind this – banking only on a sure thing so few take risks as they used to. So what does that mean for the creative arts? Well, if you are like me and crave new and exciting things you might be a bit screwed, to put a finer point on it. As it looks like we are just going to have re-boot after re-boot thrown in our faces for some time ahead. This is a problem going forward, especially for my generation, as we will not be able to shape the next set era with our ideas and dreams because we are just re-using the same stuff that our parents and grandparents watched, thirty-odd years ago. I just wish the industry, on all levels, would be a bit more creative, and be willing to take risks. Luckily I wasn’t that fussed about Star Wars in the first place, so it wasn’t too upsetting driving home – it was OK, and I expected it to be just that. We have two more to swallow down. I do hope John Boyega’s Fin gets a hell of a lot more lines in the next one as it is good to see a new character emerging. Anyway, this is just a pre amble to my weekly thoughts. I am back in the swing of things now, took a little break as I have been working hard on a few projects after Christmas so that is why I have not been able to do this for a while. But back on track now so see you next week and, as always have a good week!
I hope you all had a good Halloween. Interesting survey by The Independent on top twenty scariest movies – not sure I would put them in this order – and there are a few missing in my book but a good discussion topic!
1. The Omen (1976)
2. The Exorcist (1971)
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Continue reading Hope you had a good Halloween.
Hello and welcome to ‘The Week’ – this week I thought I would talk a little about what’s been going on with me – the past three weeks have been manic with press coverage, which has been amazing as I have been featured in online articles from America to Italy and in my local newspapers of Shropshire Star, Oswestry Advertiser and the Leader, who knows maybe some of the nationals soon! So I have had a bit of attention, which has been nice and good for the site and book sales and it would be great if you follow me either via the website here or Facebook, twitter and/or instagram – just to keep up to date with what’s going on as there are lots more new things on the way. With that in mind I have some news if you are in Germany, France or USA as by Continue reading Hello to Oktoberfest 2015 – and new video launch – busy times