At 2:26am GMT on Tuesday 25th November, a white man stood, calm-faced, at a lectern and delivered the news the whole country had been dreading. Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer, who in August this year, shot and killed … Continue reading
Click here to see the original post on my new blog, ‘The Daily Owl’! Leader of the opposition Ed Miliband has today drawn criticism for reportedly, ’roundly booing’ his nieces Year 3 production of ‘Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat’. The … Continue reading
I considered making this a long post, but have decided not to. I have decided to move from ‘Confessions of a Hollywood Nobody’ to another site, ‘The Daily Owl’.
It currently has a domain name provided by my hosting service, but that will change very soon (when I manage to think of an interesting name!). To ensure that this announcement doesn’t take up too much time, I will try and briefly explain why I have decided to do this.
- I have decided to Apply For University!
- I have decided (unsurprisingly) to apply for Film. In doing this, I want to create a blog which I could be wide ranging and interesting.
- I feel that Confessions is rather narrow in it’s scope, and I want to dive into something where I can write freely about politics, social issues, the internet, film reviews and everything else under the sun.
- I decided to make my WordPress account self hosted. This means that I now have a significantly greater ability to customise the blog and make it my own. In doing this, I decided to make a change.
- I actually first decided to try and do this in LA, but the site had just started to get popular, and I decided to keep on going. Yet, every time I wrote a piece about politics or another thing which had caught my attention, I felt that I was veering far away from the message that I had set for myself.
Many reading this may well say that giving up an established blog with over 1000 followers is a silly idea. Completely nonsensical, an unnecessary risk.
In many ways, I would agree with that statement, but taking risks has always been something I have been happy to do. I suppose only time will tell!
I will be posting all the posts on this site for the next month (with a link to my new blog at the bottom) and then will be phasing it out slowly after that.
I hope you join me on this exciting new adventure, and I want to stress that things will not be changing again (at least not for the time being :P )
Once again, here is the link to my new blog (hopefully by tomorrow it will be looking sleek new and… um… bloggy!).
Music is my lifeblood. I really don’t think I could live without it. Music, sound, melody or whatever you want to call it has simultaneously taken and given me life. But when I listen to music, I don’t hear notes … Continue reading
As if fighting for a seat isn’t enough. You go through the jostling and the stares and the frowns and the sighs. Then you actually have to watch it. That’s the bit that always gets me.
It’s the 06:51 from Basingstoke to London. The least happy place in the world. The train trundles along loudly, and the commuters sit there silently. If unfamiliar with the situation, you might ask, ‘who died?’. They did. Slowly, one day at a time, living the deluded fantasy that the size of your pay check dictates the quality of your life. This is the money train – it goes right to Central London, to the centre of everything.
This is the train I have been catching to work every morning. I have managed to get a job blogging and creating advertising content in a small property start-up company in Hammersmith. To those of you not from the UK, that is where the Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Race takes place. Its price suggests that it is nice.
And I’m happy. Which… must seem rather odd. I am. Understanding how shit life is for some people has genuinely made me appreciate everything I am fortunate enough to have.
Prior to my London work, I had a job renovating some rat-infested stables. I got to spend some time around horses, which was pretty wonderful.
I plan to be significantly more active in the near future. I recognise that ignoring my readers for the best part of 6 weeks is likely to put me in good stead, but I implore you, don’t go just yet. Stick it out. I promise I’ll come good in the end.
I hope everyone out there is well, and I would love to hear how everybody is getting on. It’s just starting to get cold here in England!
Over the past few days I have stumbled around from one side of the internet to the other in search of a way to make money on the internet.
Yes, okay, I understand that that first sentence alone shows my lack of understanding of all things computerised. The internet doesn’t have sides. It’s infinite. Or is it round? I… I just don’t know…
It turns out that in order to fully monetise my blog I have to put extra ads onto the site, and, I really don’t want to do that.
But as I scroll though pages and pages of ‘How to make money blogging’ posts, I start to despair slightly. I would love to be able to make a living blogging. I just want to be able to write all day – surely there is a way to do that!
Well yes, there is… or no… depending on… Well, put it this way – the blogs making the money are, ironically, the ones teaching you how to make money.
Damn. Got my hopes up there for a second.
But it did also get me thinking. There is money to be made from the internet. Most things are run through the internet. All my recent job applications have been through the internet. Most of the books I read come from the kindle store and and 90% of the news I read is online (since the times raised their paper price from £1 to £1.20, I refuse to buy it on moral grounds).
Even this blog is absolutely reliant on the internet!
I am currently writing this from my local library. The internet at my parents house (who I am currently staying with as part of the ‘family holiday’ that is the British Summer).
My parents have described it as one of the worse things in their life. Let’s just think about that for a second. Just fifteen years ago, my family owned one desktop – they barely used the internet. Now every member of my family has laptops and phones and God knows what else. The extent to which they are reliant on the internet it almost scary…
But don’t think that it is necessarily a bad thing. I do however, think that people, particularly the older generation who have grown up with the internet and social media dominating their lives, need to embrace it. The world has changed forever. Now it is time to change how we educate people in the world.
I think that there need to be classes in Social Media and computer navigation need to be taught in schools.
YES. Computer skills are often taught, but in relation to the tools typically considered useful in an office.
In 80 years, there will be nearly nobody who has not grown up in part of a social media world. Things have changed forever.
Let’s embrace it!
As my sister stumbled into breakfast this morning with her head held low, my heart sank. I knew what it meant, she knew that I knew what it meant. We both avoided eye contact, sat down and finished our cereal in silence.
This morning in the UK, hundreds of thousands of eager/nervous/excited/self-assured 18 year-old’s received the results of their A-Level public examinations. One exam had gone terribly wrong for my sister. In fairness, everybody who knows her and her entire school population seems to believe a mistake has been made, so she may well be fine. But others won’t be.
The way that we are conditioned to believe in examinations, the importance of higher education, leads the opening of an email one morning… one second in time, to change your life forever. From a world full of hope and opportunity to nothing.
This is a huge shame.
Yet exams are important – this is the desperate thing. In billions of years of development, exams are the best way that human beings have found to measure themselves against one another.
This, again is a shame. The issue is not in the exams themselves, but in the huge bias that people seem to put on them.
It leaves many people in the situation of having an infinitely more difficult journey to finding success.
You can decide for yourselves the importance of a university degree, but I would ask that you do this: The next time you speak to somebody and find that they have not been to university, ask yourself, ‘I am judging this person?’. The answer is almost always, yes. Heck, even I do it, and I haven’t been to university myself.
To my sister and all those others out there. Don’t despair, there are many many ways to succeed, university is just one of them.
In order to truly find the best in society, we need to look beyond traditional education, beyond financial means beyond color, language, race. Success in a government standardised test isn’t the only measure of success and ability. Don’t trick yourself into thinking it is.
By the same token, those who have gained great results today, I applaud you. As I am currently finding, when it comes to the job market, it is going to make your life a hell of a lot easier!
Royal Correspondents are normal people. I put on my garters, my suspenders and press my velvet cravat each morning just like the next man. For years, I feel as if I have been pigeon-holed a one type of person.
I am not posh. I am not a toff. I am no better than any of you. Maybe the people need to go back to their council estates and claim their free benefits and live their life the decent people they so clearly are.
I’m sorry… I’ve had a bad week.
Before this week I hadn’t yet had the wonderful opportunity to speak to the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge – the beautiful Kate! Such poise and elegance – I have been bursting to meet her!
Unfortunately, not yet having infiltrated the inner circle of elite Royal correspondents – the rest of us call them, ‘trust fund babies’… we are too, of course, but theirs are bigger. Bigger, as my wife sadly keeps reminding me, apparently really does mean better. My opportunities for a meeting have been few and far between.
My chance came this week, as the Duchess attended a Christening for a dear friend’s child, with her son Prince George in a little church in Wiltshire.
As she walked the pathway to the church, she was inundated by members of the public. Not the British Public – they rarely have time for all these petty events, but Americans, Japanese, French – all those who surely dream of having a monarch.
As a friend held baby George, she stepped quietly away from the furore – now mostly focused on the child – and stepped right next to me!
I could barely contain my excitement! We shared a glance and a moment of awkward silence, before I eventually got up the courage to say, ‘Young George seems to be handling things rather well!’ followed by a kind smile.
She turned around and frowned at me. I didn’t understand. She quickly strode over to a push chair outside of the waiting tourists being looked after by two men in black suits. She picked up the bawling baby and started to comfort it.
The baby playing in the middle wasn’t George. I had got the wrong baby.
Was I embarrassed? Mightily. I console myself with the fact that all babies look the same, so this one really isn’t my fault.
Actually, I take that back. The last thing I want to be seen as is a baby racist.
I slunk off quietly to my car. I had half a bottle of Brandy in there. Which…. I of course didn’t drink until I was safely in my bath.
It’s been a tough week.
For more, ‘George Don’t Do That!’ Click here
Robin Williams, a highly acclaimed, popular, wealthy comedian and actor lost his life today causing widespread sorrow around the world. Notice, I said ‘lost’ his life, not ‘took’ his life. Mixed in among the various reports into his death, people … Continue reading
Since the Gulf War in 1990 and continuing through Operation Desert Storm in 1998 and the Iraq War in 2003, many people in the West have become desensitized to the extent of the suffering – the reality of the humanity – of the people of Iraq.
Frequently, we saw news stories showing the deaths of Western soldiers and gasped at the terrible infidel insurgents who had inflicted this terrible fate.
We passed over the fact that, in the mortar strikes and drone bombings which led up to the fatal attacks, hundreds of Iraqi civilians had been killed.
In fact, when the US and the rest of the NATO troops left Iraq in 2011 over 110,000 civilians had been killed in the crossfire of the war.
To us, with frequent media coverage of the terrors of the Iraqi insurgents and their constant alienation, many didn’t think twice about these deaths, many, dare I say, celebrated them as a Western victory over terror.
In recent weeks, Brandon Stanton, creator of the immensely popular blog, Humans of New York, has recently, on behalf of the United Nations, visited Iraq as part of a tour around the world.
He has continued his traditional photographing style – approach the person, smile and ask to take their picture, He then interviews them, and posts the photo, as long as a selected phrase from the interview on his blog.
The significance of him going to Iraq is in the lack of change he has made. He interviews people in the same way and talks to them the way he would a fellow American.
There are bad people in Iraq, bad people who have caused huge problems. There are bad people in the USA, bad people in England, bad people in China and Chile and Sweden.
There are also good people. Brandon Stanton and Humans of New York has given a rare Western insight into the people of Iraq, people who face the same problems as us. Normal people, good people.
Thank you, Brandon Stanton and Humans of New York.
For more ‘Not Quite The News’ head here!