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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Trident Defiant!

Trident Defiant!

Surprise surprise, it’s a thing I have an opinion on. Great Britain’s Nuclear deterrent programme Trident.

So over the next 30 years, the government is set to spend a staggering £100 billion on renewing our Trident nuclear defence system. Usually I try to paint the arguments of both sides in a fairly equal light but this time I’m set to fail horribly as I’m so strongly set on being anti Trident, but here we go anyway.

Supporters of Trident (including the mainstream political parties of this country) believe that a nuclear deterrent is still an important thing to have to contribute to the security of this country through the Cold War policy of MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction. Essentially, as long as both sides have nuclear arms, neither side will fire upon each other because nobody can possibly win. Thus, as long as we have our nuclear missiles, we are theoretically safe from nuclear war with another nuclear state. There are also around 7000 jobs supported by the ongoing usage of Trident.

Criticisms of Trident include pointing out that renewing it will cost us that crazy £100 billion. All the cuts since the crash in 2008 total approximately £80 billion if you wanted a bit of clarification of what a dent that is on our expenditure as a country. With that money, we could build state of the art medical centres in every city in Britain. We could support 2 million jobs. We could revolutionise our energy collection technology and massively fund renewable energy and the studies into and become independent of foreign oil. a We could go without cuts to any treasured public institution you can think of and make higher education free to whoever wanted it. We could also use the money to take steps to heighten our national security against far more prevalent threats like terrorism, which nuclear arms cannot possibly counter.

There is also the issues with the weapons themselves. They’re illegal for us to actually use, being that the missiles are actually American missiles and we need permission from the United Nations to fire them. And of course firing them is a totally abhorrent act where you are guaranteed to have a ludicrous amount of civilian casualties. 1 innocent civilian is too many. The only country on this Earth that would ever be insane enough to actually use nuclear arms would be North Korea, a country that doesn’t even come to close to having the capability to hitting us and would be wiped off the map by the United States who have a nuclear arsenal at least 10 times our own size. Which brings me to our next point, even those who believe whole heartedly in MAD which is the equivalent of the NRA policy to counter gun crime being to give everyone a gun so everybody is too afraid to shoot each other, our allies also have Nuclear Arms and if they want to spend all their money on war, not their people, that’s their choice.

Just look at countries like Sweden and Denmark. Neither have or want nuclear weapons to protect themselves, they spend their money on their people and thus have some of the best educated citizens, best medical systems and prosperous peoples on this Earth. Seriously, the Nordic countries have got it right.

But I digress, I am seriously opposed to Trident and appear to be in the minority camp here which I feel is a shame. Perhaps one person will read this and agree and that’ll make a difference. I believe the government that shall take power in 2015 will make the decision of whether or not to pursue funding Trident in 2016. Opposition comes from parties like the SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru, Respect and a handful of Labour MPs if that helps inform your vote this year. As always, feel free to debate me in the comments. Or just talk to me about this, I’d seriously love a little chat if you fancy it. Or not, that’s cool too.

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Political

 

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Page 3 Plea

Page 3 Plea

For the uninitiated, The Sun newspaper is the most circulated newspaper in Britain and is part of the second largest media conglomerate on the planet with the household name Rupert Murdoch as the owner. This is also the same guy who owns Fox News in America, so you can probably guess the political leanings of this paper from that alone, though this is not the arena for this debate, I was just clearing it all up for you dear reader. The Sun has a regular section on the third page of the paper that features an attractive lady with her tits out. The Sun recently announced the end of Page 3 (with the provision that it may come back) as most likely a media stunt as they brought the feature back less than a week later. As you can imagine, this is where the debate lies. Now I can see three options that can be taken here:

1: Stay as it is. This is a company that enjoys a certain degree of autonomy and as long as it is within the confines of the law, it is allowed to do this kind of thing and government intervention here would be censorship (though that didn’t stop this government with the ludicrous porn laws recently put into place). There is also the issue that this is regularly a spring board for the modelling careers of these women and a source of employment for many and the elimination of Page 3 would kill jobs. If The Sun keeps Page 3, it’s likely part of the reason they are the most circulated paper in Britain and removing it would hurt their profits which is an understandable concern.

2: Remove Page 3. Feminists fall into one of two camps here, with one of them viewing Page 3 as exploitative of women and that it encourages the view that women are available sex objects and this kind of thing encourages sex crimes. There is also a swathe of society which is not entirely built up of women which have an issue with this kind of nudity as in some scenarios people have no choice but to see this on packed tube trains and buses and the effect some believe this can also have on children which are also understandable concerns. It is also worth noting that the Irish Sun has long since stopped their Page 3 and many countries have no equivalent in their mainstream newspapers, with this case in parts of the UK being somewhat of an oddity.

3: Put a bunch of guys on Page 4. One of the larger concerns being that women are sexually objectified by this paper, the logical conclusion to some may be to do the same thing with guys on the next page. Hypothetically this would double the amount of models employed by the paper. This would reduce the perceived inequality as men are in the exact same position as women in this paper. Also many feminists believe part of feminism is that women can achieve equality by doing whatever they want with their bodies and many models point out that they feel liberated by their choice to become models.  This also has a possibility of increasing female readership in the same way it increases male readership (I’m not forgetting that some men like men and some women like women). However this has the downsides that it does nothing to reduce the nudity in the paper which some take issue with and also has the possibility that having naked guys in the paper may simply alienate the men that already purchase the paper to see women.

Personally, I would fall under category 3 as you can probably tell from my involuntary bias that led to that being a much larger paragraph. To me as someone who doesn’t care much for censorship and actually saw many sexually provocative scenes in films as a child (I watched lots of James Bond among other things) and this didn’t make me into a rapist or guilty of any relationship abuse, I feel that the effect of nudity on children is probably minimal though I would be interested to see scientific data to back up or disprove this statement as my opinion here is entirely based on anecdotal evidence. But as this option is unlikely to ever be pursued, I’ll defer to category 2 reluctantly. Feel free to disagree with me and school me in the comments if you’re reading this and have an opinion on it.

P.S: The image features Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, who falls firmly under category 2

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2015 in Political

 

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Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It takes strength to be weak.

I’ve had CFS for a few years and I must say, it’s a bit shit. I have recovered a fair amount and gone from inability to walk and virtually living in my bed room for two years of my life to now being fairly active and quite happy. Other people will have had it worse than me and my heart goes out to them and others will have not had it as bad and my heart still goes out to them. Chronic Fatigue is a shitty thing to live with no matter the degree you suffer with it. But I’d like to focus on the positives I personally gained from the experience.

I was a bit of a self centred person before I was really struck down by CFS. I was racist and homophobic to some degree, cocky and all around a bit up myself. Spending weeks at a time with adolescents with terminal illness and conditions far worse than myself when I stayed at the hospital humbled me, because it was rare that I saw anyone bitter or aggressive in this hospital. They were all so much better than me. These two years had me re-examine my entire world outlook and helped me shape me into the person I am today, in many ways being the polar opposite of what I once was. I’d hated those years but I shall never forget them because of the formative effect they had on me.

My two years made me reliant on online communication to maintain friendships and I actually made a great deal of friendships through these means. I also had the opportunity to invest time into my interest in history which has since become a passion and I now hope to study it next year at university. And of course, my hobby in the form of gaming became my all consuming world which made my life bearable and is now a massive part of my life and lead me to an interest in gaming personalities on Youtube which lead to an interest in games ‘journalism’ and writing (that’s how you’re reading this) and the creation of the Youtube account I run with one of my closest friends. My respect for the NHS and passion for social justice and equality led me to an interest in politics and I’m now the local Labour Youth Officer and work closely with my constituency’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate and participate in the political process. Of course, because I’m no longer an intolerant bigot, I can also enjoy the amazing relationship I’m in with a mixed raced girl that would have never happened if my developing shitty beliefs had never been questioned and redeveloped. In short, everything I love in my life I have now because of CFS.

I imagine many other people with CFS have taken it as a chance to re-examine their lives and look at things with a new perspective. Being the kid in the wheelchair that catches people staring makes you think how awful it must be for every person you stared at. To anyone suffering with CFS, I know it’s shit but this is your chance to become someone who gets shit done and to fight back whatever level of fatigue you suffer with and take this as a formative experience. It’s hard to be different but this will shape your life and way of thinking in years to come. So make yourself proud. Because it takes strength to be weak.

P.S: I’m still a bit on the cocky side, hence my opinions being shoved in your face via this blog

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

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Did the Halo 5 Multiplayer Beta get it right?

Did the Halo 5 Multiplayer Beta get it right?

So the Halo 5 multiplayer beta has just ended and with it has gone my enthusiasm for gaming on the Xbox One again. I was well into that shit.

Now here’s the thing, I wasn’t at first. My first few games I actually felt really hostile toward it. Halo 5 seemed too fast paced, deaths seemed to quick and most importantly to my self centred gaming mentality, I wasn’t winning. But I went back to it again and again and really began to find myself straight up enjoying and even loving this Halo 5 experience (keeping in mind this was just a beta, 343 could still mess it up somehow). The pace became enjoyable and it all kinda became pretty rad. My only gripes being that the sword felt way underpowered and at least in comparison to the battle rifle, which I found myself using virtually constantly and also I appreciate there were some kind of Spartan suit attacks which I found difficult to find the right circumstance to actually use as melee combat takes a back seat here. I must say I had no issue with the inclusion of iron sights, I don’t think it’ll win or lose many points with anyone.

And also to point out, I played Halo 4 Spartan Ops on the Master Chief Collection after I’d started to enjoy Halo 5 and found myself really liking that this time around. I fell into the camp of people that felt Halo 4 was a bit of a flop previously since my Halo experience is usually defined by the campaign and Halo 4 fell down in more than a few ways, campaign included. I felt bothered by the apparent atmosphere of giving concessions to the FPS giant Call of Duty to appeal to it’s player base. It was also really lame with the weapon de-spawning thing too. But I digress. That’s a topic for another time no doubt.

The Halo 5 multiplayer beta raised my hopes for Halo 5 from being virtually non existent to actually present. I’d lost a lot of faith in the franchise from Halo 4 and appeal to any and all Halo fans reading this that felt disillusioned at the same time I did (all 1 of you), keep an eye on Halo 5 because it might turn out to be pretty swish and while most of you probably jumped ship to PS4 and PC which I do  not even slightly blame you for, just keep an eye on it and maybe choose to live vicariously through some Let’s Plays that come out when it gets released. Your choice, just keep an open mind. Open mindedness is top.

P.S: What’s going on with that whole ‘Blue Bros’ and ‘Red Bros’ deal where all the Spartans are like super masculine and all high fiving and stuff at the end of matches? Just a tad strange is all.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Gaming

 

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The ‘Gay One’

The ‘Gay One’

Spoons are just little bowls on sticks. Good. Now that I have your attention, homosexuality’s portrayal in the media! Hooray! That sounds fun doesn’t it kids?

A little while ago a friend of mine told me about a debate he had had with a close friend about having openly gay characters in films, games, tv etc. She felt that characters who were not openly gay were having their sexuality suppressed and marginalised while he felt that having characters who were gay but not defined by it was a sign of progress and that the medium had come to accept homosexuality as a norm in society.

Here are three such methods of portrayal gay characters have had in the media (Refer to the featured image for a visual aid if you so wish):

Larry Grayson (Bottom Left in image) was a bit of a big deal. In Britain in the 1970s homosexuality had just been made legal, however there was still a homophobic undercurrent in the popular culture. Enter Larry Grayson, an openly gay man who centred is performing personality around being a now stereotypically effeminate gay man. A mixed blessing, the man brought homosexuality into the mainstream and developed a large viewer-ship at his time but he did reinforce this persona as the norm for homosexual males which led to much of the popular culture labelling homosexual males as colourful, flamboyant, effeminate and people entirely defined by the sexuality.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (yes I did have to do the whole name) on the other hand is the complete opposite of Larry Grayson. He’s gay, but it’s never really alluded to apart from in the expanded universe. Some would view this as suppressing his homosexuality and openly opposing it as heterosexual relationships take the spotlight in this universe. Some of you may point out this is a strange example to pick out as he is very very old and unlikely to be still sexually active anyway, but whatever, he was the only character that came to mind.

Arcade Gannon and Veronica Santangelo (both featured in Fallout New Vegas, one of my favourite video games of all time) are gay characters that don’t let it define their personality but they also don’t really hide it. Arcade is defined by his intelligence, shyness and compassion while Veronica is defined by her rebellious nature, love of dresses and love of punching things. If you talk to either of them for an extended period of time, you’ll find they are interested in members of their own sex. That’s it. They’re normal people who are also gay.

In my experience, this is likely true of the majority of homosexual community and also I ask is that the media tries to be representative. I don’t have a problem with gay men or women who find themselves more comfortable being effeminate or masculine respectively. In fact as long as you’re not hurting anyone, you can do whatever you like as far as I’m concerned. I simply see something worrying when people demand more openly gay characters in the media because I feel it is far more harmful to the homosexual community to have ‘token’ gay people in every show who occasionally say how much they like shopping or building a shelf or whatever. This reminds me of the debate about the inclusion of that elf woman into the Hobbit film trilogy. Ah well, Save that for another day. Or possibly never.

In summary. I think Fallout mostly did it right, but there’s nothing wrong with what the other two did. Everyone who falls somewhere on this debate is right to some extent because these are all well meaning arguments that my bias may have not led me to do them justice. I’m trying to work on that. Feel free to debate me in the comments if you have a different opinion, if I manage to negotiate myself around this site that’s fairly new to me, I’ll respond. Patrolling the Mojave makes me wish for a nuclear winter.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Political

 

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