August 2013 · Government and Politics · Indifferent Ignorance · Lists · Magazines · Newspapers · The Six O'Clock News · THE WORLD *head in hands*

The Six O’Clock News: Greece & Eastern Europe

Since I got back from Greece this week, I thought I’d talk about some news stories about the Grecian part of Europe – or mostly, anyway.

Armenian Culture in Turkey: From the Ashes

The Armenian genocide comes up a few times in We Need to Talk About Kevin, which I read while I was away, and this story from The Economist was interesting. Why don’t genocides like this get taught in schools alongside the Holocaust? There’s Rwanda, the DRC conflict, all the shit Saddam Hussein did. Surely they’re just as relevant as the shit Hitler did?

Illegal Workers Arrested at Woking Restaurant

This BBC piece is a teeny tiny story that will help out UKIP, but since I recently found out that some Albanian friends of mine were smuggled out of their country and were illegal immigrants, this made me think. There’s always two sides to a story and all that…

Jamie Oliver Slams ‘Wet Behind the Ears’ British Youth Who Don’t Work as Hard as Europeans

… Especially since British people don’t seem to want to work in restaurants anyway (via The Independent). For the record, the hardest-working people I can think of are Albanian.

Sisa: Cocaine of the Poor – Full Length

I’ve only just discovered Vice, and I’ve not finished watching the video, but this article about Athens’ latest drug problem highlights that fact that while Angela Merkel and her friends are discussing bailouts, and while people are talking about how Greece “should just leave the euro” or whatever, the economic problems over there aren’t just economic – they’re social, and the longer the economic issues last, the harder it will be to fix the social issues. Just a thought for the IMF.

August 2013 · Books · Holidays · Lists · Newspapers

Holiday Post 2013 #1: Literature Appreciation Post #3

Last year I did a list of books I was going to read on holiday, and I thought I’d do another. Incidentally, I published the To Kill a Mockingbird fan fiction just last week (this has been a great year for getting stuff done, huh). So, this year I’m reading:

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

It’s my ‘heavy and disturbing’ holiday read – last year’s was Trainspotting – and I’m excited/nervous to read it. Nervous because I’ve seen the film, which is, to use technical language, fucking creepy. I also loved Ezra as Patrick in Wallflower, and although he’s a good enough actor that when I was watching him as Kevin I wasn’t thinking of him as Patrick, I’m not sure what my imagination will do. But I’m kind of excited because on the last day of term, my English teacher was talking to us about books we could read over the summer for our American literature coursework, and she actually suggested this. I’d already been planning on reading and maybe studying it, because I got the impression from the film that it’s more about the American Dream and/or family life than it is about grisly murder. I’ll let you know what the nightmares are like.

  • The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over the World by Tom Feiling

I started this about four years ago, and it was pretty intense because it’s a factual account of the cocaine industry. I now know where Columbia is, though, so I’ll give it a bash…

  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

I actually have to read this for English. It might not be Gatsby but as long as it’s not a textbook, I’m good with it.

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Jay and I agreed to read one another’s book recommendations – I told him to give Wallflower another go – and I started this. Again.

I will finish it.

  • The last couple of issues of Private Eye

Because of this:


I’m not actually taking anything else because I want to do some writing over the holiday. Some meditative consideration of the universe and whatnot. Plus, someone’ll have shitty magazines to read and I want to buy the Financial Times at the airport.

August 2013 · Complaints · Holidays · Internet · Zakynthos

So Apparently ‘Kit Kat’ Isn’t One Word

I’m not sure if the stomach ache I have has been induced by the Kit Kat that was put in my milkshake earlier (who even puts a Kit Kat in a milkshake? You put in chocolate when someone orders a chocolate shake, and a Kit Kat if they order a Kit Kat shake) or if it’s because my recent email neglect has left me with forty-two messages to read, reply to and/or discard before I go on holiday this Friday.

I’m going to type really fast in case it’s the Kit Kat, because if it is then I need to cosy up to my bathroom, and if it’s the email thing then I also need to type really fast because my laptop is so overloaded with stuff that it can only stay on for a maximum of an hour and a half before something stops working. Over the past few weeks and months this has become an increasing problem so I’m going to ask for an external hard-drive for my birthday and stick everything on that. I’ve already used up two or three USBs siphoning off pictures and files that aren’t completely necessary to my computering existence, and I might delete Spotify because let’s face it, I can’t afford to stream its music any more than I can afford to buy the CDs I’m streaming – and God knows if I could then I wouldn’t be using a streaming service with a name that sounds like a ladies’ toiletry product.

Shh, little laptop. I know you have three userspaces and USBs full of extra gadgets because I have to type on a proper keyboard, and I know I’ve lost your left shift button but we’ve been through a lot together and damnit, I’m not upgrading you yet.

Anyway, I’m going on holiday on Friday, to the land of democracy and theatre, the Olympics and civilisation, kebabs and lesbians… Okay so I nicked the last bit out of an Have I Got News for You‘d piece on a Sun piece on “what the Greeks have done for us”, first published circa the recession. But I’m off to remember what it is to relax. Except my AS Level results come out while we’re there so I’ll be alternating sunbathing with nightmares about how I won’t ever finish my Politics or RS courses. (English is a done deal, as far as failure’s concerned, but even I couldn’t wrangle a career in writing with Language and Lit GCSEs, so if I can stick with it, I probably should. Then it’ll be just one more year until freedom monetary responsibility, the word’s shakiest career choice bar rock musicianship and the very real possibility of working in retail for the rest of my days.)

My stomach hurts again.

August 2013 · Complaints · DISCUSS. · Fuckin' Idiots · Government and Politics · Internet · Newspapers · School *choke* · THE WORLD *head in hands*

A Moment of Holden Caulfield-Inspired Newspaper-Founded Moaning

This article is an interesting read, whether you’re a Government and Politics student or not.

Okay, it’s mostly interesting if you’re a Politics student. Especially if, like me, you’ve had a teacher who taught the political parties topic with enough scepticism and class discussion that the students made up their own mind about which party is better.

Or rather, which party was better, since these days they’re all kind of centre-ish and led by middle-aged white men.

Anyway, no offence to the journalist’s peers, but if they let an exam board influence their political views, they are not good politics students people. I’ve not noticed that Edexcel is biased against Tories (and trust me, my class was about 97% Conservative last September, and if anyone’s going to pounce on exam boards’ biases, it’s going to be my Politics class). I’ll keep an eye out if I get back on the course next year though. Maybe write a nice letter to the people at Edexcel, and mention everything else idiotic they’ve done while I’m at it.

I’m getting off-track and angry about the wrong thing for a change. Incidentally, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t indulged in a bit of break time Gove-bashing, Labour-member or not. Ah ha, concentrate on bashing journalists, Francesca.

Which brings me to this. It’s a Daily effing Mail piece about how Jane Austen doesn’t deserve to be on banknotes because she died a virgin and was obsessed with money or something. Apparently Austen was “boring, nasty and superficial”… sounds like a certain tabloid-based brand of toilet paper.

You know what, if I was going to write fiction for a living, I’d go into journalism. I really would.