Remote control and ipad. But I’m not even worried about these crappy weapons, because my buddy is Carrie Matheson and that girl can get shit done in any situation.
My weapons are a notebook and a mug and my only surviving friend is TIM WONNACOTT FROM BARGAIN HUNT. Ah well…At least we’ll be superbly dressed as we’re ripped to shreds.
Never going to get a job if I carry on this way am I. Oh well.
Jim gave the application pack the once over. Feeling that this was “the job for him” he filled it all out dutifully and as to the letter as he could, until he reached the dreaded section entitled “Personal Statement”. Wincing, he read through it and felt the ghosts of personal statements past surrounding him oppressively. Then, a glimmer of something he’d tried once before - something that he’d attempted both in a moment of desperation, but also as a means to challenge himself to see whether he could actually go through with it, and whether it would bear any employment flavoured fruit. Was it a good idea to try this again?
He thought of the overwhelming success he’d had off the back of the last time he tried something like this – people were falling over themselves to employ this excellent person who hadn’t declared himself “a flexible and highly motivated team playing individual, with excellent time keeping and organisational skills.”…It was no good; he could only deceive himself up to a point before the crushing reality of what had really happened returned to his mind – a series of rejection letters, and at worst, a complete lack of any form of response. Jim mused on this for a moment, wondering whether it was even worth trying, but then recalled how he’d received precisely the same reaction from sending out a series of ‘by the book’ statements, so, what was there to lose. Looking back over the application pack, he once more thought to himself that perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea after all. If he tried something ridiculous and doomed to failure, he couldn’t possibly fulfil all the requirements that were being asked of him - addressing all thirty three points in the job description and person specification. He experienced a brief moment of doubt, before soldiering on regardless. Perhaps it was all just a test anyway, a trick question - figuring that if he spent on average fifty words answering each point, the one thousand six hundred and fifty word statement that resulted would far exceed the thousand word limit (though this did allow him to display, in part, his excellent numeracy skills.)
This time it would be different, he thought to himself, comforted in the knowledge that, of all the companies out there who’d understand what he was doing here, a company founded on nurturing creative writing were precisely the kind of people who’d absolutely get it, and would surely give him an interview immediately? Wouldn’t they? Whilst he may not have demonstrated all the required abilities, through his CV he’d shown his commitment to employment and his qualities as a trusted and dedicated employee. Sure, he probably wouldn’t have the most extensive experience out of everyone applying for the job, but he considered that which he did have to be a solid foundation, and one which would stand him in good stead to comfortably and quickly settle into the job.
Jim looked over what he’d done. Was he really going to do this? It turned out that yes, he was going to do this. Approaching the ‘file’ button with his cursor, shook off one tiny last minute moment of doubt, selected ‘print’, and never looked back.
Today I decided to write a letter to David Cameron. I don’t expect that it will be read by him, and nor do I expect anything more than a stock answer, but you don’t know until you try I guess. I also cc’ed in a few other people. Most of them should be obvious, and Tessa Jowell is there because she’s my local MP. I also figure that by posting it here it’s now become an open letter, which is fine by me. Here is what I wrote:
Dear Mr. Cameron,
It is with great concern that I write to you regarding the escalating injustice toward and severe mistreatment of LGBT people in Russia. I have never been compelled to write to a Prime Minister before about any issue, so I hope this conveys my depth of feeling on this subject.
As the Prime Minister of a government that has just passed equal marriage into law in this country, I trust that the situation in Russia is of growing concern to you and many other members of parliament. Vladimir Putin is slowly but surely eroding the human rights of lgbt people in Russia to the extent that they will soon have very few freedoms left and already live in fear of state criminalisation and mob violence. Extreme violence and mistreatment of lgbt people is rising rapidly, and has even resulted in the tragic death of a young man in the city of Volgograd in May of this year. It is not beyond the realms of imagination that there have also been many other deaths and serious injuries that have been hidden by the Russian authorities and gone unreported.
Mr. Putin has, ever since his ascent to power in Russian politics, been hell bent on creating an authoritarian state that erodes the rights of not only Russian lgbt people, but also those from other nations visiting the country. He has fashioned lgbt people into a scapegoat for many of Russia’s problems, and is turning the Russian population at large against them. We need look no further than Russian opinion polls to see this – a survey carried out this year found that 74% of Russians believed that homosexuality should not be accepted by society, an increase from 60% in 2002.
If your recent vote to legalise equal marriage had more substance than simply political point scoring, then I trust that the rights and freedoms of lgbt people are of significant personal importance to you, and thus it should be something about which you feel passionately enough to publicly condemn Mr. Putin.
With the Winter Olympics of 2014 on the horizon, and with the global focus that this will bring to Russia, it is time that Vladimir Putin is sent the message that his policies are completely unacceptable, and that we as a nation absolutely abhor what he is doing to Russian lgbt people. You are a highly educated man Mr. Cameron, and as such you are surely more than aware of the specifics of what is happening in Russia, and thus recognise the importance of this matter. I would like to know when you, or a member of your government, plan to speak publicly about this, and in the strongest possible terms condemn Mr. Putin for what he is doing. And if you have no plans to do so, I would like to know why not?
c.c Ben Summerskill, Peter Tatchell, Benjamin Cohen, Patrick Strudwick, Tessa Jowell
Here’s something I’m only just querying watching Breaking Bad a second time around.
In Season 3, something doesn’t seem to add up. The first deal Walt cuts with Gus is for $1.2million. Walt and Jesse produce the required amount in 4 days - $300000 per day. And yet, Gus’s next offer is $3million for 3 MONTHS work. Assuming each month is 30 days, that’s $3million / 90 = $33333.33 per day, which represents a near as dammit 10 fold reduction in pay. Why would this second offer even be considered without referring back to the original, much more generous offer? Is it just because $3million is such a large amount regardless of the time taken? Or is it because the second offer is based on a fairly different set of circumstances? Presumably a mix between the two.
Or maybe I just missed some key detail even on a second watch.
Ho hum. Still the best show.
It appears that this is the first blog post from us at BTM in a loooong time! So what better way to get back into the swing of things than with a review of the latest record from scene stalwarts Red Seas Fire. Enjoy!
Red Seas Fire - Exposition
1 - Fortress
2 - Turner & Hooch
My first review over at “British Tech Metal”. Check it out if you’re so inclined.
Aside from being my Mum’s birthday and my attending the first gig I’d been to in six months (Killswitch Engage. If you saw my twitter around that time, you’d have seen that I rather enjoyed it…) the 5th of May marked quite a significant anniversary for me.
It marked a whole year since I had an alcoholic drink.
Since I was about 21 I’ve not really been much of a drinker anyway, so abstaining from alcohol isn’t a particularly tough challenge for me. However, I don’t think I’ve gone a whole year without it before, not consciously at least. It was only after about 6 months of being “dry” that I sort of became conscious of the fact that I hadn’t drunk in so long, and decided to try and do it for a year. And well, there we go, I’ve done it.
Something that has become abundantly clear to me over my years of nor drinking that much, and over the last year of not drinking at all is that, In general, drinking is not only accepted, but is almost expected of us in the society we live in. And that’s something that troubles me. Being relatively (or as now, completely) alcohol free is not an alien concept for me, but to many people, either cutting down or going without alcohol seem like the most alien concepts imaginable.
I can’t quite remember the exact quote, but Simon Amstell pretty much nailed the entirety of what I’ve been talking about above in his show “Numb”. He said something along the lines of if you’re not a recovering alcoholic, other people seem troubled by the fact that you aren’t drinking and will be almost insistent that you should have a drink - as if there’s no other reason not to drink other than being a recovering alcoholic. And I’m absolutely with him on this one. It’s my choice not to drink at the moment, I have my reasons (health if you really want to know), and that should be enough for anyone, no insistence on my having a drink should be made.
Erm…anyway. I should make it clear at this juncture that I don’t particularly have anything against drinking - I may yet drink alcohol again in the future, but for the time being I choose not to drink it. Other people choose to drink it, and that’s fine, so long as that does no harm to anyone else - something that, alas, it very often does. (which is another discussion entirely, and not something I have the time or the inclination to discuss here.)
So that’s it. I have been a year (and counting) without alcohol. And if your opinion is that that makes me boring or dull or no fun or what have you, then that’s fine. But if you can’t open your mind to question societal norms and accept other people’s life choices, then that’s your problem, not mine. Let’s be un-friends.
A few months ago a certain weekly music magazine were looking for new writers. I was unsure about whether to send anything in but in the end I decided there was nothing to lose and went for it. They were asking for a gig review of 150 words. I reviewed a Converge gig that was back in November of last year sometime. Of course they never got back to me (This can be for one reason and one reason alone - it was only 149 words and they are sticklers for 100% word count accuracy. I mean, what else could it have been because obviously the writing is of exceptionally high quality and the review is flawlessly brilliant…er…) so instead of it just festering on my computer, I have decided to let it go free and release it onto the internet. Fly my pretty…
The problem for bands supporting Converge is just that – they’re supporting Converge, the best hardcore band on the planet. (This is an un-debatable fact by the way, if anyone was thinking of trying.) A Storm Of Light therefore seem pretty flaccid and boring given what’s to come. Touche Amore fortunately are rather better, with an impressively impassioned following down the front, and a fair few head nodders behind. However, it’s still just foreplay before Converge come out and well, totally slay. There’s no grand entrance, they just launch into opener Concubine, which well, totally slays. From then on it’s Converge at their face-melting best, tearing through tracks old and new - reminding everyone that they’ve been at this 20+ years yet continue to be at the top of their game. There’s no dull moments, no lulls, it’s wall-to-wall amazing and they well, totally slay. Did I mention that already?