Category: Opinion (Page 1 of 2)

Old School Hip Hopkins

Austin returns with more of his witty insights and off-key remarks, this time on the deportation of Katie Hopkins from Australia. Austin offers a potted history of Hopkins’ run-ins with just about ever faction of society and looks at what her future might hold.

By Austin

The Hopkins Headlines

Everyone’s favourite bigoted, racist, fat-shaming fool Katie Hopkins is to be deported from Australia for bragging about flouting hotel quarantine rules. That’s right, you heard me correctly; in the midst of a global pandemic, with millions dying each day, Hopkins shared an Instagram video of her in Sydney joking about putting frontline staff at risk.

Even by Hopkins’ standards, this is disgusting. However, given Hopkins’ track record, this will not come as a surprise to anyone.

Hopkins was in Sydney as a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother Australia. Since the footage she posted on Friday, her television contract was terminated after she breached visa conditions and brought the Seven Network into disrepute.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, was not helping any of the Australian stereotypes when he commented:

Hopkins deported - comments from Barnaby Joyce
Barnaby Joyce

“I’ve got no problem sending home someone who wants to flout our laws. You want to flout our laws, then you pack your bongo and get out of the country.”

BARNABY JOYCE, AUSTRALIA’S DEPUTY PM

It would seem the Katie Hopkins’ bongo is not helping her to drum up any positive support (ba-doom-tsss). Her actions have been met with widespread condemnation and caused a great deal of pain to a great many people.

Hopkins and the Australian Celebrity Visa

Katie Hopkins is just one of a string of celebrities who have touched down in Australia during the pandemic. Zac Efron was the first, then Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and George Clooney just to name a few. It would seem that amid the pandemic, Hollywood best and brightest are fleeing down under to what they see as a Covid-free idyll.

Celebrity sightings in Australia (“Aussiewood”) have skyrocketed

In a country that has largely eradicated the virus, celebrities arriving are free to enjoy beaches, bars and nightclubs at their whim, all thanks to their celebrity visas.

Most of the celebrities are allowed entry to the country for work, with a view to stimulating Australia’s economy. The Australian government have used generous tax breaks to tempt over major film productions, like the next Thor film.

However, to many Australians, this is a kick in the teeth. While yes, there has been a dramatic increasing in celebrity sightings in what has been dubbed “Aussiewood”, there are still 40,000 Australian nationals that have been stranded overseas since the country shut its borders a year ago.

With Australians camped outside Heathrow and other major airports around the globe, Katie Hopkins’ remarks have highlighted the sheer hypocrisy of the Australian celebrity visa system. She has cemented any previous accusations of different treatment for the rich and famous compared to ordinary people.

Is this a first from Hopkins?

The short answer is, no. This is the woman who called immigrants “cockroaches”; the woman who said dementia patients shouldn’t be allowed to “block” up hospital beds; the woman who was prevented from leaving South Africa in 2018 for spreading “racial hatred”. The Mirror had the ingenious idea of blaming her racial hate speech on her having taken ketamine (Hopkins sued).

With someone as consistently outrageous as Katie Hopkins, some of her biggest offences often get swept under the carpet. So, because I am such a lovely person, I thought I’d compile some of her worst outbursts. In no particular order:

Manchester Bombings

Following the Manchester Arena bombings in 2017, a whole host of celebrity and media figures gathered around the city to show support to victims and their families. Katie, however, had other ideas.

She jumped on the event as an opportunity to spread Islamophobic hate speech, declaring that the country needed a “final solution” to terrorism. After the comment had reached the Metropolitan Police, she claimed the comment was a typo, and that she meant to say a “true solution”.

Hopkins on Muslim families

It would seem Hopkins has a penchant for Islamophobia. In December 2017, Hopkins was forced to apologise to the Mahmood family for completely arbitrarily calling them extremists. Hopkins thought she knew better than the US Border Force and published a story in the Daily Mail claiming that the reason they were denied entry to the US to go to Disneyland was because they were terrorists.

To make such an accusation with no evidence shows Hopkins up for the nasty piece of work she really is. Whatsmore, the Daily Mail were forced to pay out £150,000 in libel charges, so they were fuming as well (poor Jonathan Harmsworth boo hoo!).

Gaining and then losing weight

As part of the career-long war she has been waging against the overweight, Hopkins produced a documentary in 2014 in which she gained and then lost weight. She claimed that fat people were nothing but lazy. She said that she could not ever employ a fat person because “they look lazy”. God only knows what sort of opinions she holds on meal deals.

In a sneering, exclusively derogatory tone, the documentary (if you can even call it that) saw her put on three stone before losing it again. If you can move past the abhorrent prejudices that plague the footage, there are some frankly hilarious scenes where Hopkins attempts to act.

Hopkins on baby names

Probably her most famous comment was on baby names on ITV’s This Morning. She told presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that “you can tell a great deal from a name”. She went on to say that she would not allow her children to play with lower class children with names like Tyler or Chardonnay.

“For me, a name is a shortcut of finding out what class a child comes from and makes me ask: “Do I want my children to play with them? When I hear screeched across the playground: “Tyler! Come back ‘ere.” It’s the Tylers, the Charmains the Chantelles, the Chardonnays.”

Katie Hopkins, ITV’s This Morning, 2013

After admitting that she judges children based on their names, she reeled of a long spiel about her deep-rooted hatred of children with geographical names. It was then pointed out that one of her own children was called India. Needless to say, Schofield and Willoughby had the last laugh. (The first person to tell this reference is in the decablogs instagram dms wins an extra special prize!)

Conclusion

Katie Hopkins has made a career out of spouting drivel, yak and blether. Her abhorrent remarks, which the BBC has rather politely called “right-wing commentary” have landed a great deal of attention of social media platforms. And, despite being banned from Twitter, she continues to haunt news headlines.

Her cockup in explaining her philosohpy on baby names, I believe, show us what here raison d’etre really is. Her half-baked beliefs are contradictory and massively offences – they deserve no place in 21st-century society. Yet, it is by angering people that she remains in the limelight. She was being ratioed before there was a word for it. A beacon of hate, she radiates her cancerous opinions with the sole aim of accruing wealth and infamy.

From her earliest days as a contestant on The Apprentice UK in 2007, she has been followed by a wake of allegations and court cases. This blog is exactly the anger her comments are designed to provoke. One of the joys of writing for a blog that only has three or so readers is that I can write like without furthering her career.

I’d like to finish with a fun fact about Katie Hopkins. As it stands, Katie is the only person to have won the Campaign to Unify The Nation (CUNT) lifetime achievement award.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this blog, check out some of our other posts, or get in touch via instagram.

P.S. Put your favourite Katie Hopkins quotes in the comments below.

Rain: Is It Good or Bad?

Is rain good or bad? Is God real? We obviously only tackle big questions such as the former at Decablogs, so obviously, Noah was the first to have a crack. Check out his answer. (P.S. It isn’t 42)

16th July 2021

By Noah

Today is Monday the 12th of July (Editor’s Note: Noah didn’t get this to us for a few days). I just got absolutely soaked. I’m talking T-shirt stuck to chest soaked. Hair stuck to face, socks stuck to feet. At this point you may be thinking, (in fact, you will definitely be thinking): ‘Why hasn’t he mentioned shorts stuck to bum?’ The simple answer to that is that I was on the Northern Line and it was very hot and, honestly, my shorts were stuck to my bum long before I got out into the rain.

But anyway, I digress. Having been drenched, I couldn’t help but think ‘rain sucks’. And yet I’ve been kept awake in the two hours since then (from 6 o’clock to 8 o’clock), wondering if it really does. This blog will conclude that it does, and yet also doesn’t. Enjoy 🙂

Rain

1. Hay-fever – Doesn’t suck!

Say goodbye to snotty noses, burning eyes, and phlegm-ed mouths (pronounced fleg-meed-ed). Rain washes away all the pollen and you can finally breathe for the first time since March. Undeniably a delight for us hay-fever sufferers. After all, breathing is kind of useful in the late economic climate. (Don’t believe me? Skip to 13:45 in The Big Short)

2. Outdoor sports – Sucks/Doesn’t suck

Rain is amazing when playing sport outside because it simply makes it that much more exhilarating. To quote: ‘the rain adds to the excitement with maybe a few slips and maybe a few spills’ – Martin Tyler/ Alan Smith, FIFA 16. But then, you have to get changed or stop playing and the general ‘wetness’ is no longer enjoyable. Where ‘slips’ and ‘spills’ increase excitement on the football pitch, they only increase the chances of cracking your head open in the changing room on a bench, bin, or toilet. 

3. Clothes – Suck

Last year I came up with a solution. A solution to the clothes sticking problem. I realised that what is so uncomfortable about rain is not the actual being wet itself, but it’s the feeling of your clothes sticking to your body. Think about it. When you’re in the shower are you uncomfortable? No. Because you’re naked. The theory states that the less clothing I wear when it’s raining, the more comfortable I am. However, as previously mentioned, my clothes did stick to me and that was because I was on public transport, where people tend to get iffy about you being naked. 

4. Rain in Africa – Doesn’t suck!

No explanation needed here. Also, check out Elliot’s blog on the Songs of the Week!

5. Shorts stuck to bum – Doesn’t suck!

Now, this is a clever one. When it rains like this, not only does everyone else complain about their underpants being soaking, but also, they don’t notice mine were already! In dry weather, I’m an outcast – a sweaty bum-ed leper. But – ah – in the rain, I am a normal man in society, finally accepted back into the world. 

Evaluation of rain:

Ignoring the ‘Sucks/Doesn’t suck’, it’s 3-1 to the decision that rain doesn’t suck. As there are significant arguments on both sides, it is clear that rain both sucks and doesn’t suck. Thanks… chik chika chika… Jazz.  

The Meal Deal: A New British Icon

The supermarket meal deal – a main, a drink and a snack. Conveniently packaged, and more to the point, competitively priced, the importance of the meal deal in today’s society cannot be overstated. N.B. Decablogs is not in receipt of monetary endorsement for this post. But, if Tesco would like to pay me to gobble down some pasta pots, I’m ready to talk.

26th June 2021

By Austin

When the urge strikes

It’s a Tuesday afternoon. And you’ve been sitting now for roughly forty minutes in your lounge, avidly tracing the motion of the wall-mounted clock with your eyes. As the second hand races towards the top, and the hour hand plants itself above the “1”, you are thinking of one thing and one thing alone – lunch. 

Your brain kicks into gear and as you pace into the kitchen, visions of mediterranean banquets flicker before your eyes. This imaginary mise-en-scene of Italian hams, tomato based sundries and delicious cheeses is shattered when you prise open the fridge to see some low fat margarine, a single spring onion and the cold blue light blinking back at you. There is only one course of action – meal deal.

Snatching your coat from the hook, scooping up your phone, keys and wallet in a perfectly rehearsed pirouette, you swing back the door and stroll down to your local supermarket.

The Meal Deal – a British Icon

What I have just detailed is a vignette of modern british life that rivals even Turgenev in the romance of its realism. The meal deal is a perennial icon. A symphony of thrift and choice that has come to embody a generation of Brits. As the sun reaches its highest point each day, millions of Brits pour out of houses, offices and brothels, with a burning desire for a delicious lunch that won’t break the bank. So, the appeal of the meal deal is undeniable. 

But, the reason for my post is to lay down a few ground rules. It’s fair to say, I have had quite a few meal deals in my time and so I like to think I have a pretty good grasp of what separates a banging meal deal from an out-and-out stinker. 

Where to get your Meal Deal:

The first decision you are faced with (bad news if you are an indecisive Libra) when on the hunt for a meal deal is where to cop it from. To my mind there is only one viable option – Tesco. No one does meal deals like Tesco. For the humble price of £3, you can pick up a quality meal deal from one of 13 million meal deal combinations

Historically, my second choice meal deal would have been Sainsbury’s. However, recently they have upped the price of their meal deal to £3.50. So it is no longer the case that the low price compensates for the lack of options. 

Many would argue that Co-op offers a good meal deal option. And to those people I would say, are you high? Co-op is overpriced, limited in choice and generally not a nice place to be. And, in many of the stores I have been in, meal deal items are not clearly signposted, leaving hungry shop-goers to traipse all over to track down a – let’s be honest – astonishingly mediocre lunch.

So, these are the big three on the meal deal scene. However, there is a list of shops from which I would actively discourage getting a meal deal.

  1. WHSmiths – Overpriced, wraps that taste like cardboard
  2. M&S – Great food but be prepared to remortgage your house to finance it 
  3. Morrison’s – I’m sure they’re great but my nearest Morrison’s is 32 miles away (no thank you!)
  4. Pret – not actually a meal deal, grow up!
  5. Boots – As far as meal deals go, they were the first and now they’re the worst

The Nitty Gritty of the Meal Deal

Right, so you’ve made the right call and demonstrated to the world that you have a fully-functioning brain by walking into a Tesco. From the entrance you are able to make out the clearly labelled section “Food To Go” and so you walk over and set about making your selection.

As far as I am concerned, there is only one correct choice with the Tesco Meal Deal. 

  1. Main – Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Wrap
  2. Side – Cadbury’s Boost Duo
  3. Drink – Naked Blue Machine Blueberry Smoothie

The undisputed king of meal deals. It marries taste, vegetarianism, flavour and value in a small form-factor meal that is easy to carry in one hand without a bag. While this is the only logical option, there are a few other approaches that can work.

Value Junkie

Many meal dealers opt for the most expensive items in the meals deal to maximise value, often at the expense of taste. The most expensive meal deal item is the smoothie, double sushi combo.

  1. Main – Vegetable Sushi – £2.75
  2. Snack – Vegetable Sushi – £1.00
  3. Drink – Naked Smoothie – £2.36

= £6.11 for the price of £3.00

While value junkies would be the first to admit that this isn’t the best tasting meal deal, they can justify such a purchase given the immense dopamine rush at seeing the £6.11 total on the self-checkout drop to £3.00.

Themed Meal Deals

Some like to unite their purchases with a common theme. These can include a focus on Indian cuisine (Main: Samosa, Snack: Samosa and Drink: Ginger and turmeric smoothie shot) or a pasta heavy meal deal (Main: Cheese and Tomato pasta pot, Snack: Cheese and Tomato pasta snack pot, Drink: Water – to cleanse the palate between the wildly different main and snack flavours). While I can respect the themed meal dealer, its not a way I can live my life.

There are, however, some lines over which one cannot cross. What follows is a list of cardinal sins, the sort of things that if I saw someone swiping throught the checkout would make me put my head in my hands and wail audibly.

Avoid at all costs

Mains:

  • The Spicy Bean Wrap – If you are consistently beaning, you must really hate yourself
  • Prawn Layered Salad – Stomach churning – who are you trying to be?

Snack:

  • Egg Protein Pot – If you’re choosing this, you are the worst type of person
  • Tortilla Chip Pot – These are always stale. Get doritos like a normal person
  • Tyrrells Vegetable Crisps – Just No.

Drink:

  • Coconut Water – This is what happens when you start choosing meal deals for instagram photos rather than taste

That’s a wrap! (I hate myself too). If you think I’ve missed out any sinful meal deal items, let me know via instagram: https://www.instagram.com/decablogs/ or via email decablogs10@gmail.com. Thanks for reading! If you liked this or want to have more of this style of blog, leave a comment, like and share – it costs you nothing and makes writing these blogs worthwhile 🙂

David and Goliath

8th May 2021

By Austin

In the biblical fashion of David and Goliath, Austin declares war on “Award Winning Social Media Blogger” Mike Allton. After some seriously aggressive tweets, the only thing that can save the Decablogs mothership is full-blown out-and-out cyber conflict. The thick, oozing beef is enough to make a vegetarian like Austin squirm.

Decablogs! The very word is an anagram of ‘sobcdealg’. The Headquarters of Blogging. The dozen or so pages of velvet prose nestling in the warm folds of the ‘.com’ universe. The blog (itself an anagram of ‘glob’) that is girlfriend, mistress, mother, casual boyfriend, sergeant major, nurse-maid, father-confessor and one-night stand all rolled into one. Decablogs means so much to so many.

However, between May 5th and May 7th 2021, a burning injustice was committed. Fellow Decablogger Gavriel set about some perfectly harmless, perfectly legal blog promotion on Twitter and was chewed up and spat out by a bigger boy, by the name of Mike Allton. I don’t want to call Mike a bully, a scoundrel, a good-for-nothing motionless fart because what would that achieve? But, what he said to Gavriel left the poor man in tears, trembling at the very thought of ever having to go on the internet ever again.

While deliberating over whether or not to write this post, I was in my shed. As I was sweating away with chisels and 6ft plywood planks, trying to recall the rudiments of year 7 woodworks, a friend called me and asked what the hell I thought I was doing. ‘I have a record player and nowhere to put it,’ I said, ‘and there comes a time when you need to make a stand.’ So a stand I intend to make.

The Events:

On the 5th of May, Mike Allton (or Big Mike as he shall henceforth be referred to) set about a little bit of – your friend and mine – online promotion. Unfortunately for him, he made the woeful miscalculation of thinking anyone was actually interested in his “Blogging Bootcamp”. His tweet ran as follows:

By all accounts, this is an entirely innocent tweet. Little was Gavriel, of this parish, to know that the moniker “Blogging Brute” plastered at the bottom of his promotion revealed such a core element of Big Mike’s character. At this point, though, we just felt sorry for him. Although we cannot claim to be an “Award Winning Social Media Blogger” like he does in his Twitter bio, we are perfectly acquainted with how it feels not to get any replies to a tweet (yes I am trying to guilt-trip you into following us on Twitter and by Timothy I think it’s working). So out of the goodness of his heart, Gavriel deigned it to reply, thusly:

Gavriel‘s reply above was in perfectly good humour, simply alerting Big Mike that he was not alone in the wilderness of the ‘.com’ universe and that we were there for him. From his reply, it was clear the sort of character we were dealing with. The bullish “Oh Man” says it all. This man is a Blogging Brute. The troll under the bridge spinning riddles so that small bloggers cannot pass. Well, Big Mike, I’d like to take you on a few points (if I may).

Firstly, your query “What do you actually write about?” would be quite easily answered by a quick click on the link that Gavriel was so kind to furnish you with below. Secondly, for someone who rather embarrassingly claims to be “Fluent in Star Wars”, perhaps you should get to grips with English first. Has it occurred to you that “[driving]” and “traffic” are virtually incompatible with one another? I’m not going to sit here and point out all the problems with your Twitter presence without offering a solution. I think you would benefit from writing into Agony Aunt, which by the way will be making a comeback if we hit our Instagram milestone – so go follow us NOW!

Gavriel‘s response below was perfectly poised to help out a clearly disgruntled Big Mike. In a manner we have all come to expect from Gavriel, he replied to Big Mike’s sarky retort with an arm around the shoulder. Gavriel‘s suggestion to “write about current events” was a great one, which I’m sure would help Big Mike drive the traffic of his dreams. If you haven’t already, read the blog Gavriel tagged below about the 2021 London Mayoral Election here.

Big Mike’s last reply says it all really. Before anything else, let it be known that Big Mike Himself, an “Award Winning Social Media Blogger”, thinks that Decablogs will last “years from now”. (Also, FYI, award-winning should be hyphenated. Pretty embarrassing for someone who claims to be an author your Twitter bio). However, the thing that angered us most, that ground our gears, that chafed our crack was what he said next.

“Damn, I was so out of line”.

“I was so out of line”.

“I”.

Mike, Mike, Mike.

I think there has been some sort of misunderstanding. There is no “I” in Decablogs. This is not some egotistical, sycophantic vanity project. No. Decablogs is a collective. More than that, we are principled. We stand up for the little guy, championing the plight of the common man. We seek to right the injustices that poison this hallowed internet, which we all hold so dear. But above all, we do not let brutes go unchecked.

For you, it would seem, blogging is about driving traffic and converting sales. Chasing profit and using others to further your own personal gain. But we Decabloggers see so much more in blogging. A platform for expression, to get voices heard, we are Decablogs. No amount of glibly uttered “Dude”s or “Damn”s can change that.

Those final words of Big Mike’s reply – “Good Luck” – were severely tinged. Any semblance of well-meaning sentiment was disgraced by the smug grin of his profile picture. I have only one more thing to say to Big Mike.

Dude. Years from now you’re going to think back on this thread and realise, “Damn, I really should have looked at my border policy to stop all my hair migrating to my chin.”

Good Luck Big Mike

Decablogs

All the best,

Austin

Mwah.

If you enjoyed this blog, stick it to the man and join the Decablogs movement. Follow our socials and share this post with anyone who will read it. Heck, send it to your nan if you feel like it. Don’t let Big Mike win. Feel free to weigh in on the matter in the comment section below!

Fan Channels: A vector of support or money-hungry attention seekers?

“When is it gonna end, Robbie?”

“Maupay you’re a cheat and I hope Brighton get relegated.”

These are just a handful of iconic moments that have emerged as a result of the emergence of the fan channel era. Without a doubt, these off-the-cuff and reactionary post-match reviews have been the source of laughter amongst surrounding football fans. But is this new wave of fandom and punditry causing more harm than good?

In a recent debate hosted by Talksport, Arsenal legend Ray Parlour boldly claimed that Robbie Lyle (owner of AFTV YouTube channel) prefers when Arsenal lose as AFTV gets more views. The logic behind this statement is that rival fans enjoy watching an AFTV meltdown postgame following a loss. The statistics do not support this statement. In Arsenal’s recent FA cup victory, AFTV received a staggering 1.3 million, whereas in Arsenal’s iconic last-minute loss to Brighton, in which member Ty uttered those famous words into existence (“Maupay you’re a cheat and I hope Brighton get relegated”) received a mere 633,000 in comparison. These baseless claims from Ray Parlour have a hint of irony, as he is an employee of Talksport, a radio show that feeds off reactionary phone-in sessions in which supporters express their anguish and immediate frustration postgame.

The arrival of fan channels has most certainly given a more prominent voice for football fans. This has further been supported by the constant development of social media and other technological platforms. The United Stand, a YouTube channel owned by Mark Goldbridge, has recently surpassed the 1 million subscriber mark. In short, this is one hell of an achievement, especially considering that the channel is barely 6 years old. The influence of this channel on the views of Manchester United fans worldwide is visible from the recent protests against the Manchester United ownership. Fans forced their way into Old Trafford and caused chaos, and even managed to get their game Vs Liverpool postponed due to their effort in getting their message across. These views have been amplified by The United Stand, in which their displeasure is expressed, as they believe that the Glazer family (Manchester United owners) are not fully committed to the expansion of the club, and treat the club more as a profitable business than a football club.

However, it is not all sunny on the part of fan channels. Claims of abuse directed at the players of each respected club are not entirely false. This was perhaps most prominent in the case of Granit Xhaka. The majority of you reading this article must be aware of the instance in which Granit Xhaka received boos from fans in the Emirates during a game vs Crystal Palace. The Arsenal midfielder responded to this by taking off his Arsenal top in an act of rebellion. Arsenal fans did not take kindly to this gesture, and AFTV, in principle, slated Granit Xhaka. Following these insults led by AFTV, Granit Xhaka’s social media pages were flooded with abuse to the point where he revealed that he had received death threats from certain “fans”. Of course, this is not exclusively just AFTV causing this inhumane behaviour. Multiple footballers have received racial and social media abuse. In response to this growing wave of abuse, certain Premier League football clubs and footballers have decided to boycott social media from 30th April-4th May.

In summary, fan channels are an interesting addition to the world of football. Without a doubt, they are having an increasing influence on the decision making of clubs – you only need to look as far as the 48-hour abolishment of the European Super League. Fan involvement within the sphere of football is broadening, and this is being abetted by the increase in interaction through social media. Of course, fan channels are far from perfect, and the persistent abuse of players signals this, but I truly believe they demonstrate an improvement in the perception of our beautiful game.

Psycho

4th May 2021

By Devin

Over the years, I have heard some incredible things about Psycho. I had heard it had revolutionised the film industry and practically created the slasher genre. I had heard that it was hated by critics, but over time its genius was appreciated more and more. Like most people, I knew about the iconic shower scene but wished to see more. I wished to see Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece. So, I watched it. I watched it on a Saturday night with the lights turned down, curled up on the sofa, munching on some Oreos. 

The film opens up with an attractive young man and woman in a hotel room. They would like to be together, but his debts weigh him down. So, she decides to steal money from where she works. The film then follows her as she flees. She then has the misfortune of entering the Bates motel, where she meets Norman Bates, the proprietor of the motel. The rest is history. 

Over the years I have heard film critics complain about crappy jump scares which ruin modern horror films. Psycho is the perfect guideline for tensions and jump scares. The film offers an overall ominous vibe from the get-go. An incredible score complements the twists and turns of the story. That and the unnerving acting from Anthony Perkins. I left the film shaken up and enlightened as to what a masterpiece truly is.

However, I must say I did take baths for a while. And every shower, when I wash my hair with shampoo and I am forced to close my eyes, I am compelled to open them to see if a shadowy person is looming over me with a kitchen knife in their hand.

Editor’s note: it was also the first movie to include a flushing toilet!

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The Beers of Bavaria

Wow, this is an interesting topic. You might be thinking “ok, this is a bit of a niche topic” but boy are you so so wrong. Your naivety almost makes me laugh.

Beer is such an important part of German culture not only because of the ability to get drunk but actually, the history of beer in Germany dates back hundreds of years and the brewing in some parts of Germany is just a magnificent art of perfect ratios and impeccable facilities. The art has been perfected over the years and yes, it is most definitely an art.

Whilst we are talking about the extensive history of beer, I want to cast you back to 1040. You are in the origin place of the world’s oldest brewery. You are in Weihenstephan. Now a part of modern-day Bavaria. This brewery is home to Kloster Weihenstephan. Where I am going with this is that Bavaria is essentially the birthplace of beer and if you truly want to experience a real beer that is the region you should be buying from.

Bavarian beer is usually slightly more alcoholic between 5% and 6% alcohol. One of the more popular ones is Augustiner (6%) which is one of the best of the bunch; it is basic yet so good, described as “pale, sweet, malty, buttery and of medium carbonation”. It’s also one of the only breweries still storing their beer in wooden barrels. Another top-notch Bavarian beer is Paulaner (6%) which is one of the newer breweries of the group being founded in 1624 (a bit of a latecomer). It’s a full beer with some fruity and dark toffee richness. 

I can’t list all the many great beers coming out of Bavaria, but I hope that even if you had no clue that Bavaria was such a prevalent beer-making region, that you have come out with some knowledge about what beers to try and why the Germans are so skilled at their art of brewing.

If you enjoyed this then I’d definitely consider heading over to my other blog post about Oktoberfest to learn about that side of the “beer culture” in Germany. 

Her

20th April 2021

By Devin

Her is a 2013 film written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze and stars recognisable actors such as Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johanssen, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt. It entails the story of a man who after a rough divorce with a childhood sweetheart, downloads an operating system and falls in love with it/her. Despite many great actors and an interesting concept, the film received widespread critical acclaim upon release and had grossed $48 million dollars on a budget of $23 million when I started watching the film. I thought I had made a huge mistake.

One thing that I wish I had known before watching the film with my parents were the very awkward and loud verbal sexual encounters or “phone sex” scenes that the film has. If anyone had been listening at our front door, they would have thought that our family collectively watches adult movies together. Another criticism of mine would be that when an actor was physically alone in a room and talking to an AI without a body and only a voice, I felt a certain awkwardness and discomfort due to my expected norm of seeing two actors physically together in the same room.  However, upon completion of the film, I realised that that was the point.

The movie forces the viewer to think about many philosophical questions related to AI while they are watching this film. To be honest, it is quite an unsettling but interesting film about a possible not so far off future that will probably be reached in my lifetime in which AI are intelligent and sophisticated enough to form meaningful relationships with humans. 

To conclude this is a great film that turns the concept of a love story on its head to ask philosophical questions about a future that is not too distant. However, I would recommend that when certain scenes come on, turn your volume down.

Elliot’s Songs of the Week: No. 2

18th April 2021

Trigger warning: the first image contains blood and sensitive imagery

By Elliot

Falling Out the Sky – Armand Hammer, The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt  

Renowned American producer The Alchemist has once again worked his magic on this track. Taken out of Billy Woods’ and E L U C I D’s recent collaborative project, Haram, Falling out the Sky really caught my eye or should I say ears. With a dreamy and intergalactic beat, Earl Sweatshirt, this song’s feature, grips the listener, as his emphatic lyrics and lazy flow, describing how he has felt since his father’s passing in 2018, paint his world in gruesome detail with his father’s ‘swollen body behind [his] eyes’. Earl’s stellar wordplay also shines throughout this feature as he explains how his ‘rhymes’ allow him to interpret the world that he lives in. Then comes Billy Woods who is, in my opinion, a wildly underappreciated underground rapper. His signature east side twang compliments the beat beautifully as he talks of a summer smoking with his friends. Last but definitely not least E L U C I D rounds out this track and with swing; he recalls many childhood memories to the listener. Evoking recollection at one point of his friends hazing those that ‘fell asleep first’ by basically just beating them up, depicting what he describes as a ‘vicious cycle, hurt people hurt people’. Overall, this track even though it is just verse, verse, verse, is an exceptional showcase and grouping together of four very talented individuals. I live for it.  

Cover art for Falling Out the Sky

Despair – Black Midi 

In anticipation of UK art/noise rock and post-punk outfit, Black Midi’s new album Cavalcade, due to release during late May this year, released one track early: Despair. One of two singles thus far. This one is by far my favourite. With a more laidback feel to it and clear folkish influences, Geordie Greep (lead singer), for me at least, really embodies his unique, croaky, almost Jim Morrison-esque vocal range. Subtle and sorrowful guitar passages guide you  

The song takes on a medieval feel as Greep talks of ‘man’ taking up a philosophical role. The minimalism of this track compared to a lot of Black Midi’s other endeavours which was a good hand to play for them. I cannot wait to hear the rest of this album and I hope that you join me in that impatience.   

Cover art for Despair

The Light Pt I & II – BROCKHAMPTON  

BROCKHAMPTON, after a decidedly and deservedly long hiatus from music, have come back with their most personal and remarkable album to date with ROADRUNNER. The Light and The Light Pt II really stood out to me amongst the tracklist of this project. Joba and Kevin Abstract shine on both of these songs as Joba describes the aftermath of his father’s suicide and Kevin discusses how it is still hard to talk to his own mother about his homosexuality. Joba’s descriptions of his father’s suicide and subsequently his views on death and what happens afterwards at times verges on hard to listen to. A line of Joba’s which is almost macabre to me – ‘a bloody backdrop, skull fragments in the ceiling // felt your presence in the room’ – not only is this so powerful but the horrendously honest imagery here and throughout these two tracks transports you into a man’s mind so obviously traumatised. The instrumentals across these tracks are gorgeous not to mention. Fuzzy guitar licks reflect both artists anguish as they navigate their way through their psyches. If you do not feel like listening to the entire album, then definitely give these two songs a listen.   

Cover art for The Light Pt I & II

The Whole World Is Watching

14th April 2021

By Gavriel

“The whole world is watching”. At least, that’s what the guy with the 14th Century plague mask said to me at the end of his bedtime story. I was wearing my Mickey Mouse pyjamas under my Superman covers so this did not scare me. Yet this, in part, is true. I do have a fairly large proportion of the world’s population reading my blog and I have no doubt my fanbase will only increase with this post. Feel free to comment below an apt name for my loyal fans (e.g. the Swifties for Taylor Swift, Firebreathers for Imagine Dragons).

Alas, I digress, the true reason for my title is not my enormous ego – for once – but the title of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 4. I have watched this episode multiple times so far. Why, I hear you ask? Because I have no life. And because of this, my hours spent watching a singular TV episode means that my lovely readers can digest all I have learnt in a matter of minutes; I know y’all have lives so this will help you carry on with them.

I had many takeaways, most ended up in my stomach, but the voice in my head demanded that I talk about the marvellous acting in the fourth episode. I did a one-week acting camp coming away with a distinction in drama many years back so I am hence qualified.

(For anyone who has not noted my excruciating sarcasm so far, get used to it)

For starters, Sebastian Stan is amazing in every single way. That’s it. That’s the blog. Nay, I shall carry on and mention Seb’s (we are on nickname terms) acting during the flashback to Wakanda. When Ayo speaks the activation code accompanied by the Winter Soldier theme, Bucky’s face goes from fear to anger to bewilderment to relief. When Ayo first says, “you are free”, Bucky looks up at her, tears in his eyes, to check if she really did just say that. Stan’s face in the picture below really epitomises his superhuman ability to express all these emotions at once.

Our introduction to Wyatt Russell’s John Walker comes with two people filming him in the background. Walker began the series clean-shaven but by episode 4 he has a bit of scruff. Personally, I think my brew of bum fluff and straggly ginger hairs amidst a swarm of poorly placed darker spikes looks better, but each to their own. Walker is clearly tilting over the edge (I mean who grows their beard like that?!) and Russell exemplifies this through various subtle tics throughout the episode. I too have subtle twitches and a better beard than Walker… the shield should really be mine. Subtle touches of his forehead throughout the episode indicate that he has a migraine or something else messing with his head. Additionally, when the girl whom Zemo bribed with Swedish Delight (which seems to be a common theme in popular culture yet is quite frankly disgusting) leads them to Karli, right before the cut to a different shot Walker’s head jerks down to the right. Even in the background, Russell displays excellent acting skills. Tom Holland, please take note.

By contrast, in the funeral scene, there are loads of child actors. Cue this child looking creepily into the camera lens:

Walker’s face after his defeat at the hands of the Dora Milaje really shows his distress, setting up his actions later in the episode. “They weren’t even super soldiers” was a perfectly delivered line to end the scene.

During his fight with the Flagsmashers Walker constantly twitches. After throwing his shield into the wall he involuntarily shrugs his shoulders. Walker watches over a dead Hoskins with a bit of blood trickling from his ear suggesting a concussion, another injury to the brain. And lastly, to finish the episode off, Walker’s now-iconic pose with the bloody shield in his hand has all the world watching. What is more discrete to the eye, however, is Walker’s twitching right hand. His inner demons are now in control.

If there is one thing to take away from this it is that I deserve a change.com petition to make me the new Captain America. I am a master blogger, a semi-athletic person with just below average facial hair. I also have the costume within arms reach of my bed already, right next to my hulk gloves (one has to be safe). I also have a lot of homework to do, but if I can find time to write a blog I’m sure I can find the time to travel in luxury and do battle of course. My Battle of Hastings re-enactment on the first Sunday of every month takes precedence though of course. Have a moderately good week and don’t talk to any people walking around with below-par facial hair. They might kill you with a shield.

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