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Agnostics/bisexuals are not just fence sitters

Agnostics/bisexuals are not just fence sitters

Wow, I never thought I’d be writing about religion on here. Mad times. But yes, this is in response to the popular sentiment I have heard aimed at agnostics and similarly bisexual people in parts of the homosexual community. Many accuse such people as being fence sitters. I’ve known people to share this sentiment close to me but this is not aimed at you, this is aimed at the people who have a legitimate problem with it.

Now let me clarify, I appreciate by the definition of the term ‘fence sitter’ you are someone who is between both sides. However the phrase comes with a negative connotation. An implied hostility. The idea that you sit precariously on the fence waiting to fall either side onto one of the the ‘real’ choices. The idea that you are apathetic, or lazy or lack the conviction to ‘pick a side’. This is an assertion I whole heartedly disagree with and challenge as it implies that being agnostic or bisexual is not a real choice and that people are inevitably due to fall on one side or the other.

Let’s start with the agnostic one. If religion were a court case, it’d be thrown out for being entirely based on eyewitness testimony and books written by people that may not have even existed at all. However you cannot possibly disprove the many many people who believe that they have had an encounter with the divine in some way shape or form. There is no comprehensive proof either way. Faith in a higher power, something held closely in the hearts of billions of people across the globe, how can I possibly prove that all of those people are holding onto some fairy tale? I can’t.

Being an agnostic to some would seem like a lazy illegitimate choice, but I assure you it isn’t, at least in my case. And I believe in a fair few cases on top of mine. You see I know for a fact that there are people who will grow up religious and spend their whole lives never questioning their beliefs or the legitimacy of a such a pivotal part of their mind that will play an important role in many of their decisions and opinions. Equally are brought up in an atheistic home and brought up to denounce religion and look no further than “I can’t see a God, so he’s definitely not real”. This is not an attack on those who are theists or atheists. This is an attack on ignorance and never scrutinising and analysing your own belief system or lack there of. Other people are on the other side of debate. Why not be open minded and see why that is? If you’re confident in your beliefs or lack there of, you should have no issue at looking at the other side.

Being open minded means you always acknowledge that you may be wrong. And so you seek out both sides of the argument to such an extent you feel you can make an informed decision that feels right to you.

Now for the bisexual one. This first came to my attention when my bisexual brother had gone to a gay bar of some description and told me about a minority of people there who were dismissive of the idea of bisexuality because they’re ‘just being greedy’ or ‘still in a phase’. There is also a misconception that someone who is bisexual is very promiscuous, which isn’t necessarily true, it depends on that individual person. Promiscuity is not a trait exclusive to one sexual orientation and you’re an idiot if you think there are no straight people who have lots of sex with lots of partners (not that I even think that’s a bad thing). My curiosity was piqued and I found that this is something that legitimately exists, at least from a loud minority.

Drawn from a point of sense of pomposity, many of these people believe that this is merely a transitional that happens to many ‘confused’ members of the gay community who later find themselves to be only interested in their own gender. This leads to an outright deprivation of recognition of the sexual orientation of bisexual from some and is a straight up shitty thing to do. Being members of the gay community, surely you would know better than most how it feels for people to tell you that you do not truly think what you think and that these other people purport to have a stronger jurisdiction over your mind than you do? Again, a bit of a harsh thing to do. And again, it’s drawn from a level of ignorance to someone else’s perspective.

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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Political, Religion

 

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Fallout 4 on the horizon?

Fallout 4 on the horizon?

The answer to that question? Maybe. Bethesda have just announced their first ever E3 showcase for June this year. For a dedicated Fallout fan like myself, this is obviously exciting, being that I will jump on even the slightest flash of news or rumour of a new game as a reason to be legitimately very hyped. I do try to reign in my hype, but it’s been 5 years since New Vegas and 7 years since the last in house made Fallout game.

Now I’m not blind to the latest dick moves of many big name game developers in recent times and there is a possibility, however small, that Bethesda may somehow trash this game. But looking at their track record, I think they can be ruled out of that particular group. Also considering that their development cycle may span up to 4 years now, being that the first rumours of work beginning on the next Fallout began as soon as Skyrim was released. It is also entirely possible my own personal hype (or equally yours dear reader) may actually exceed the quality of the product we may find ourselves looking at. This didn’t actually happen for Skyrim for me, to my personal shock. And I was seriously hyped for that game. It actually managed to be better than its hype, at least for me. So yes. Keep your hype in check all. They may not release use this press event to announce Fallout 4 at all.

That in mind, to any fellow Fallout fans, this is set to make bigger waves in the community than the Survivor ordeal a few years back which led to that internet petition. I was sceptical then. And I’m still marginally sceptical now. But at least this is actually a massive hint being dropped by Bethesda. Keeping in mind that they’re still intent on supporting Elder Scrolls Online, which they published and also have their hands on the Doom franchise which I’m told is long overdue a sequel. You never know. Keep an open mind. And if you’d like some proof of this and are too lazy to check out the Bethesda site … boom.

http://www.bethblog.com/

P.S: I may do another blog at a future point with my personal wishlist for the next game, I’m unsure as of yet, in case you’re interested

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Gaming

 

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More like Ninten-DOH!

More like Ninten-DOH!

Well following that sick burn I think it’s about time we launch into this issue as the world is clearly eagerly awaiting my input on the topic.

For the unaware, a fair few people create Youtube videos. They are known as Youtubers. They make money from this and make content creation their full-time job if their channel is big enough to support them, if not, it’s part time as a hobby or whatever. How do they make the money? You can choose to ‘monetise’ a video you have uploaded which puts adverts on said video, thus raising money through the fact that viewers see an advert before their viewing. Got it? Cool.

Now with an ordinary video, about 40% of the money goes to Google (owners of Youtube) for server maintenance, paying of employees, the facilitating of the opportunity to make this money and just general Google shenanigans. The remaining 60% goes to the content creator. The Youtuber you just watched. Nintendo have previously not allowed monetising of their games whatsoever on Youtube, which is their right, with the 60% we just mentioned all going to Nintendo should you even try. But recently, Nintendo have announced their “Partner Programme” meaning Nintendo would split that 60% with the content creator, taking approximately 18% for themselves and leaving 42% for the content creator. No other company takes a portion of the monetisation of Youtubers, Nintendo are the only ones.

Why? Financially they are not in the best situation, although they did just have an outstanding year with the release of several critically acclaimed games and their reputation among the gaming community soaring as one of the only big guys who make consistent quality games. Another motivation is an apparent lack of understanding of the Western market on Nintendo’s part. A massive Youtuber having a good time on a game is a proven way to raise game sales. Youtubers are free advertising for games. Youtube personalities will have the trust of many of their subscribers and their approval can go much further than an advertisement directly from whatever company it is. I myself have bought several games after seeing a few of my favourite personalities having a great time with them and thinking it is my sort of game. And I’ve always been thrilled with those purchases because I knew exactly what I was getting.

Who remembers Minecraft? Bloody everyone who wasn’t living under a rock. It’s now one of the most popular games to have ever been. Why? Did you ever see a minecraft billboard advert? A television commercial for it? I certainly didn’t. Back in early 2011 I saw Seananners play it, binge watched his series on it and got the game for myself the next week. If your game is good enough, a Youtube Let’s Play of it will sell it to an audience. Nintendo has nothing to fear, their games are widely received has good, a Youtube presence from the big names will boost their sales no end.

Of course, as long as you hold Youtubers back and give people a reason to be wary of Let’s Playing your games, they won’t do it. They’ll go elsewhere with all the great games that don’t bite into their revenue. It’s the same principle for raising Corporation Tax highly in the political world. If you do it, businesses will not operate in your country, jobs will be lost and you don’t make any tax revenue at all.

And this is all without bearing in mind that every Nintendo video you intend to monetise needs to be sent to Nintendo for ‘approval’ first. This essentially means that you can’t talk shit about Nintendo because they’ll just take all the money. Suppression of criticism like this is … needless to say a little creepy. I imagine few will take this deal. This reminds me of the controversy around Shadow of Mordor’s review copies that you weren’t allowed to saying anything bad about the game with but the game in itself was actually pretty good.

Nintendo have for whatever mad reason set themselves up as the bad guys for a puny amount of ad revenue to help catch some of the wind from the new media in their sails. Unfortunately this ships sails are made of lead and if anything are just going to slow the ship down.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Gaming, Youtube

 

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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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