Friday, 29 November 2013

Reality TV is the Modern Day Colosseum

Recently a couple of my friends appeared on Snow, Sex and Suspicious Parents. They were girls from my uni rugby team, who were approached and asked to be part of a new BBC Three program. They got an all expenses paid skiing holiday to Tinges, on the basis that their time there was filmed. They had a great time and did just what I used to do; drink too much and misbehave. Nothing on that program was out of the ordinary; it looked like great fun.

The episode was aired on Tuesday at 9pm, and hundreds of people tweeted about the programme in the hours after it went out. It was crazy to see my friends being talked about and judged by the whole of twitter.

They recieved some great tweets, people wanting to be friends with them, be on holiday with them. It even inspired some to join a rugby team...

That was lovely. The fact that their holiday was promoting the small sport of Women's rugby was a great thing. However, many of the tweets weren't as nice...

It was hurtful to see such horrible tweets said about people that are close to me. I think people forget that there is a real person behind the remarks they make. Luckily, I don't think my friends are too bothered, but some people could be.

Reality TV targets vulnerable people, and can often draw attention to many of their insecurities. I stopped watching the likes of Big Brother, The X Factor, I'm a Celeb many years ago for the same reason. Too many young people and mentally ill people are being paraded around for the world to see for the purpose of 'entertainment'. 

I believe that this sort of car crash TV is designed to keep the public from caring about each other, from supporting each other against this sort of manipulation and corruption that comes from the government and the media. This is the sort of stuff that prevents revolution, and prevents ordinary people from uniting against those in power. As a result, I don't believe we have have enough trust and compassion for each other to put a stop to it.

This sort of thing is a very clever tactic, but how long can it last?

Does this post get a thumbs up, or a thumbs down? Let me know by commenting below.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Bring Back The Bus Conductor


I recently received an email from TfL proposing to stop all cash payments on all London buses. I think this is a stupid idea because the cash option should always be available if need be. Oyster Cards have meant that a great deal of waiting time has been cut down now people do not have to pay to board, and only on very rare occasions do I see people paying (usually when they have insufficient funds on their card). This means that journeys are very rarely delayed because of somebody needing to pay, and if they are, it is only by a few minutes.

As a young woman, who uses the bus to get home late at night (usually a little worse for wear) sometimes I find cash payments useful in case I have forgotten to top up. At this time of night, it is hard to find a shop or station that is open late where I can top up, and wondering about looking for one can be dangerous. Having the option to pay as I board has saved my skin on a few occasions, and I'm sure it will in the future.

If TfL really are worried about the increase in journey times through cash payments, surely they should bring back the bus conductors. The driver will then be able to concentrate on driving and the conductor on the well being of the bus and its passengers. Not only will they be able to take payments, but also would act as a deterrent of anti social behaviour. A few years ago I was randomly attacked by a few teenage girls on the top deck of a bus, and I'm sure if there had been a conductor on board, this would not have happened.

It would also create a huge amount of much-needed jobs across the capital, that really could help improve the lives of many Londoners.

 Is the return of bus conductors a great idea or not? Comment below and let me know what you think!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Russell Brand Has Aired What We Were All Thinking

In 2010 I voted for the first time. I saw that the two main parties had nothing to offer me. Everything the Tory party offered was worrying, even scary, and Labour seemed to have no clue what they were doing, with poor old Gordon. I think, for an 18 year old, this was a pretty fair evaluation. So I voted for the Lib Dems. I wanted to make my vote count, but I wasn't happy with the two main parties. One of their main policies was something that appealed to me, being as I was about to start uni; the scrapping of tuition fees. Plus, Nick Clegg seemed to be a pretty good leader.

When the results came in, I couldn't believe the party I had voted for actually had a huge say in who won the election. I was sure they would go with Labour. That was what their voters would have picked, if they had the choice, surely? Yet they went with the Conservatives, that was greatly under-representative of their voters. And as the coalition Government has progressed, not a single policy that I voted for has been represented. It seems that at the first whiff of power, Nick Clegg has sold himself out.

What is the point in my vote, if the party doesn't even stay true to their word?

In Russell Brand's recent interview with Paxman, he has raised a very important issue. What is the point in plowing through with a system that doesn't work? We need change. If we don't make this change, things are going to get worse. Something radical, like really massively radical, needs to be done. A boycott of the vote could be a start, but could also lead to something quite dangerous too, if not enough people participate.

What we need to do is act, in numbers. Huge numbers that represent us, huge numbers that they cannot ignore. We need to look past the uneducated political propaganda that we are being served. The constant lies about 'scroungers' and 'layabouts' are turning us against ourselves, to prevent us from sticking together. We can't keep being blinded by these small gestures of 'good will' to keep us all happy, such as equity loans for first time buyers. It isn't good enough. There needs to be a complete overhaul in the way things are done, and none of the three main political parties can offer us that.

People turn out in force to vote for the winner of the X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and I'm a Celeb. We can use that power to do something good, that will benefit the lives of our future generations. It won't be easy, but we have to starting fighting, for ourselves and each other.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Egg On My Face

Unlike everybody else, when I was younger my parents did not celebrate Halloween with us. Their reasons for this is because it means nothing to them and only exists for large companies to make money. Which is fine. If they don't want to celebrate it, they shouldn't have to.

However, the notion of Halloween forces itself upon those who don't want to be a part of it. Like Christmas, the shops fill themselves with Halloween related crap that will be binned on November 1st. That I can understand, businesses are using the opportunity to make money. That I can forgive. But what annoys me most is that an essential part of Halloween is the Trick or Treating. 

People come to your house, knock on the door and expect an answer and some chocolates/sweets. If not you're a spoil-sport and your house gets egged. When I was younger I did go trick or treating with friends once, and there was an element of dislike to people who refused to open the door or give you sweets.

'A bag of sweets only cost a pound!' Trick or Treat-ers say. 'Don't be so boring.'

This pressure makes people feel awkward about not having anything to offer, or for not opening the door. However, I believe people should not have to feel like that in their own home. They should not have to worry about their participation in a holiday that means nothing to them. 

If you want to celebrate Halloween then that's fine; but do so in your home and with others you know want to get involved. But forcing a celebration upon others that don't want to by approaching their property is just not fair.