How Lockdown Saved “Question Time”
I’ve long been a fan of ‘Question Time,’ and often apply to be on it, but in recent years its flaws had really started to come to the forefront. The ‘Question Time’ audience lend themselves to parody, with their stereotypical and unoriginal opinions and comments, parodied very well by comedians and impressionists such as Harry Enfield. The panel’s increased need to have someone controversial or reactionary is also well parodied in British comedy, going back to Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge parody Lieutenant colonel Kojak Slaphead III.
The Greatest Show on Earth
Defining your "favourite thing" is a difficult question. It's something that might come up in an exam when you're 16, and you have to think on the spot and maybe end up writing 500 words about what you had for breakfast just because you can't think of anything quickly enough. But given enough time to think about it, I can say for sure that my favourite thing is Films. The movies. Cinema. Pictures. Whatever you want to call it. It's a standard answer when people ask you your hobbies, or something you might write on a dating profile. Everyone watches movies. Most people like movies. It's in our nature and our human love of narrative. But some of us REALLY love movies. And going to the cinema in particular. I'd like to think I'm one of those people. And, imagining I'm a 16 year-old in an exam hall with only 45 minutes left because I've only just now realised what my favourite thing is, and nothing to go on but my passion, I'm going to pour my heart into this subject as best I can.
Last week, here in the UK, I saw a social media post that sarcastically anticipated the onset of poppy-themed face coverings in the UK, as if such things were something to sneer at. And, even though I understand the various issues the writer has with poppies, I found it quite a condescending and deeply ignorant statement, if I'm honest, and an example of the yearly culture war that goes on every year, centred on the wearing of poppies/not wearing of poppies/colour of poppy warn/attitude to war etc.
The Boy with the Teacup Tattoo
I have seven tattoos, but the one people seem most eager to see is the teacup on my ankle. They seem to appreciate the lengths to which I have gone to declare my love of tea. I do love tea; in fact it is one of my favourite things. However, this is not why I have adorned myself with its famed receptacle. And, no, it isn't because Ed Sheeran or Louis Tomlinson has one either. But, as it's quite a long story, I often just don't correct people when they assume as much. However, it's nice to have an opportunity such as this to explain the full tale.
'Twitter is not real life'
Opinions on social media, I've always said, are exaggerations of reality. But the nature of social media only furthers this exaggeration, and, Twitter especially, becomes a hotbed of extreme views and intolerances. Libertarian commentator and comedian Dave Rubin used to have the title of this article as his Twitter bio, in an effort to combat the worry and panic one might experience at the thought of the world truly going down the pan as a result of thinking that social media does in fact reflect reality. Even he, however, is guilty of falling victim to this mentality, I would say. That's just the nature of the beast.
My last article was about what I think the meaning of life is. I'd recommend reading that before this one, because I see this as sort of a follow-up and an effort to clear up some seeming irregularities in my opinions. I basically said that the meaning of life is to enjoy it, do whatever you want to do, and don't overwork yourself mentally or physically because you feel like that is the right thing to do. However, when describing my lot and the things I enjoy, I said that I'm not a fan of YOLO culture, and that might be considered to be at odds with my entire point. But I intend to explain what I mean by this, and delve deeper into my thoughts about the meaning of life, in this follow-up.
A Meaning of Life
Okay, firstly some disclaimers. This article, which I feel is not one of my best anyway, borrows some ideas that I wrote in a blog for my dad's company years ago. He's a journalist and wrote a similar article for a British newspaper and I've since seen other people make similar points but I assure you the ideas that I write about are mine, in the incredibly rare case that anyone is delving that deeply into it.
The Tragedy of Steve Bruce
Newcastle United have long suffered unter Mike Ashley's ownership, and as a club with a very large and loyal fanbase, this has been quite tragic to behold. However, despite some drawbacks, the latest being quite recent, it looks like fans can be fairly optimistic about a potential massive Saudi takeover that would be bigger than that of Manchester City and possibly turn them into one of the world's richest and most successful sports clubs. But in my typical fashion, I'm going to go against the grain and look at the takeover itself from an angle that I think is quite tragic. Many people and media outlets have also done this by drawing attention to the nature of the takeover as sportswashing, whereby country's like Saudi Arabia invest in football to draw attention away from human rights abuses. That is a different debate, and not what I'm going to talk about, not just because I think most of the people I've seen taking this approach are not football fans, and there is an element of perspective that they can't quite understand. That's not to say there criticisms aren't valid. They are. But, as I say, it is a different debate.