Category: Opinions and rants

Is Harry Styles the next David Bowie?

So asked The Guardian a few days ago, referencing an article from the NME.

(for the uninitiated, Harry Styles is a member of boy band One Direction, who were put together by Simon Cowell on TV talent show X Factor)

The very short answer is, quite obviously, no.

We don’t need another David Bowie. He was one of a kind, a visionary, with an eclectic history, back catalogue and chameleon like appearance. He started out at a time when making it in the music industry meant slogging your guts out, writing your own songs and being original.

Harry Styles was thrust into the public eye along with 4 other good looking boys in a manufactured, made for TV group, singing songs written by other people, not playing an instrument and with his career shoehorned into the public eye by the very powerful Simon Cowell. That isn’t music legend calibre.

Not to take anything away from Harry Styles. In fact I think his new song is absolutely amazing, and was truly shocked when the husband played it to me and told me who it was. I think it has the makings of becoming an epic song for a long time to come. But it isn’t 100% his song. He’s co-written it. I’m sure it’s been very carefully put together and orchestrated by Harry’s management company with a view to distancing people from his boy band past and turning him into a credible and respected artist. And maybe it will work. Maybe he’ll become a hugely respected solo star. Who knows?

But the media need to stop trying to recreate and replace music legends who have been and gone. Let singers be an artist in their own right.

David Bowie was an immense artist, with a career spanning decades. He’s an artist that I’m proud to wear across my chest (and did so today!)

David Bowie tshirt flared jeans and clogs

Will I ever wear a Harry Styles tshirt? Doubtful!

Read the for and against arguments of the Bowie likeness from two different columnists for the Guardian.

What do you think?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Feelgood Friday [2] – racism is taught

Continuing my new feelgood Friday series, here’s this week’s pick!

Little Sophia is 2 years old and obsessed with being a doctor when she grows up. Because she’s doing so well at potty training, her Mom took her to the shops to buy a treat to say well done.

Sophia chose a doll dressed as a doctor. The doll also happened to be black.

At the counter, the sales assistant suggested to Sophia (who is white) that she might want to choose a different doll because the one she’d picked didn’t look like her.

And Sophia said…

“Yes, she does. She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?”

L.O.V.E

Proof, as if it were needed, that children don’t see colour, or certainly don’t see it as a difference or a negative thing. Racism isn’t ingrained or inherited. It’s taught – by small minded, ignorant, bigoted parents. People who should be doing completely the right thing for the little people they have created, but instead are teaching them negative opinions and ways.

Look how happy Sophia is with her doctor doll!

Sophia and her doctor doll

Take that, racism!

Read the full story here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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That’s not journalism

It’s been a historic week here in the UK – Article 50 has been triggered and we’re the first EU member state to leave the union; Nicola Sturgeon has garnered support for a second independence referendum for Scotland; our future as a nation is currently in a state of flux as no-one really knows the implications of either of these actions.

But this is how the Daily Mail (an abominable racist mainstream UK newspaper pretending to have the best interests of the country at heart) reported on the meeting between these two political heavyweights.

Daily Mail Teresa May and Nicola Sturgeon

What. The Actual. Fuck.

Seriously? Seriously? The writer of this article (amazingly, a woman) and the editor of the rag honestly believed this was a good idea?

Would previous Prime Minister David Cameron have been subjected to similar treatment? Of course he bloody wouldn’t!

Words fail me.

Daily Mail, you’re a disgrace to journalism, a disgrace to publishing and a disgrace to reporting.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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What were you thinking part 2 (from an unexpected source!)

If you laughed / scratched your head in bewilderment at the sartorial faux pas by the Topshop designers, I raise your disbelief and give you Gucci.

Yes, Gucci. Renowned fashion house, stalwarts of style, designs desired all over the world.

Are these the ugliest shoes ever? (this is a semi rhetorical question, if you can find an uglier pair then please let me know).

Gucci have gone to the trouble of giving these horrors a pretty name (Ilse, in case you were wondering) but the fact that this is succeeded by the description of “sock sandal” makes Ilse the girl no-one wants to be associated with.

And whilst Topshop’s jeans could be described as throwaway fashion at £45 (not by me, I hasten to add), these sandals cost an eye watering $1200 (that’s approx. £1000 at current exchange rates).

Now, in order to cater to the masses shouldn’t the inner foot come in lots of different colours, in the same way as foundation shades? Say, for example, you were wearing them under jeans and you were dark skinned, would people think you’d had your own feet amputated and were wearing prosthetics? I have a feeling I’m over thinking this, but enquiring minds need to know.

On the plus side (and there has to be one, right?) the sock part can be removed, leaving just the shiny red sandals. Phew.

Gucci Ilse red sandal

Is this a designer look that will filter down to the high street? Expect to see sock sandals in a Primark near you soon!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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One person does not represent an entire religion

In light of what happened in London yesterday, the above is something that we all need to remember. I was dreading reading the inevitable comments from racist bigots, Britain’s First supporters, UKIP voters and some Brexiters saying this would never have happened if we were stricter with our borders.

London

Luckily I’ve seen very little of this ilk. And, based on today’s news that the attacker was British born, it would be nonsense anyway (not that haters are ever stopped by facts).

I don’t think anyone can be surprised at the attack. Surprised at the location and method, yes. But surely we’ve all been expecting something, if we’re truthful. My only surprise is that it has taken so long after the Paris and Brussels attacks. And that’s testament to our police and intelligence service, and their commitment to keeping the general public safe.

It seems very much that this attacker was a lone wolf. It wasn’t a carefully orchestrated attack. A guy driving a car at people and then stabbing with knives isn’t on the same scale as the armed terrorists who killed so many revellers in the Bataclan, or the timed multiple bomb attacks in Belgium. That’s not to say it’s any less serious – of course it isn’t – but it does seem to suggest that there’s nothing that could have been done to stop it, which again leads back to the great job being done to foil bigger, more complex terror plots.

It’s heartening to see and hear people pulling together, reiterating that terrorists won’t win, and standing proud in protection of our nation and the values we hold dear. And while we must pay our respects to those who’ve been injured or tragically killed, we also need to be mindful of other people who weren’t involved but will be affected – Muslim students turned against by fellow pupils, Muslim parents and their children being racially abused in the streets, Muslim shopkeepers in fear of their livelihoods being retaliated against. These people are innocent victims too; tarred with the same brush purely because of their religious beliefs or colour of their skin.

In the wake of any mindless tragedy, strength comes from deep within, from the power of community and humanity. Don’t let terrorists take that strength away from us by inciting divisions.

RIP to PC Keith Palmer and the other innocent victims.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Oh Topshop, what were you thinking?

Have you ever put on a pair of jeans and wished there was a window to your knees?

No? Then you’re not the target market for Topshop’s latest denim design.

I can’t think who they think the target market is, but somebody somewhere thought there was a gap in the market for a pair of jeans with see through plastic knee patches.

So many questions. The main one being “why?” Followed by “why, why, WHY?” Followed by “wouldn’t they make your knees sweat?”, “wouldn’t they steam up?” and “WHY?” quite a few more times.

I could write at length about how fecking ridiculous these things are, but what would be the point? I think everyone reading this knows how ridiculous they are, without me helping you along in the thought process!

(Do take a moment to read the product reviews though, if you fancy even more of a giggle)

Not quite as bad, but still downright ridiculous are these party skirt jeans, which are also available on their website.

Topshop skirt overlay jeans

Topshop – Twit of the Day!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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The Lent Diaries – What Ellen Wrote

This feels like a bit of a cheat post to me, because I generally write original content (whether its any good or not is a different matter!) But I just have to implore you to read my friend Ellen’s blog, which at the moment is focussing on her experience of giving up sugar and alcohol for Lent.

Lent

This is not for religious reasons; more Ellen being a stubborn so and so, and proving to herself that she can do it. Which I applaud massively. I’d much rather support other people giving things up than do it myself. Things like Stop-tober and Dry-January are bad enough at 30 days, but Lent is a whole 40 days which, if you can’t do the maths, is a whole 9 days – or 1.5 weeks (almost longer).

Anyway, back to Ellen’s diaries. They’re insightful, funny and more funny. I think you’ll enjoy them. Even if you don’t, you’ll be grateful that you didn’t make such a nuts decision! (sorry, Ellen)

Let me know what you think! Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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M&S – you’re crackers! (Twit of the Day!)

Last Sunday one of our friends came round for lunch (I do cook a mean roast, even if I say so myself).

Instead of dessert, he brought round a cheeseboard. Genius decision – I frickin’ love cheese.

Now, I know M&S is a stalwart of all things amazeballs to eat, and their TV adverts can turn me into a dribbling mess of food desire, but I have to call them out on their cracker “serving suggestion”.

A stack of 7 crackers with a wedge of cheese on it? Who has a mouth that big? Or that moist?

2017-02-25-19-35-05

M&S…you usually smash it, but instead you’re my Twit of the Day!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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It’s nice to be nice!

Because a big part of my job is looking after social media, I get to see all sorts of things I wouldn’t usually come across. How else would I know that last Friday was Random Acts of Kindness Day?

Well, actually, I was aware-ish because Fiona over at Fiona Likes to Blog posted about it, with a whole list of lovely things you can do to make someone smile. Have a read of her suggestions.

My absolute favourite one on there is “pay someone a compliment”. People love to get compliments (as long as they’re genuine!) In fact, certainly in my case, we’re so used to people being mean to each other these days, and reading/hearing critical insulting opinions on Twitter, Facebook, the news and in magazines and newspapers, that a genuine compliment holds more weight than ever. It’s like it’s a surprise that people still have the ability to say nice things!

its-nice-to-be-nice

A few years ago the husband pointed out that I was staring at a woman and that it was rude. I told him that I was only looking because she looked fabulous. And it got me to thinking how cross (and paranoid) I get when I think someone’s staring at me, but maybe they’re looking for nice reasons too. So now, if someone catches me looking at them, I try to let them know the reason why (unless it’s a bad reason, obvs!) If I walk past someone wearing great shoes, I’ll tell them. See a girl with funky hair – I say it looks ace. And don’t just reserve it for appearance related stuff. If someone does something kind, point it out. If a sales assistant is particularly helpful, let them know.

You don’t need to do it all the time, that would be overkill, but a well placed acknowledgement can also do wonders for your own wellbeing. Try it, and see how good you feel knowing you’ve made someone else feel good too.

Spread the love!

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Love is love – whatever your gender

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been buoyed to read about two organisations who are appealing to same sex couples as well as the more “traditional” heterosexual man and woman relationship in the celebration of love.love-is-love

The first is Lush, who’s Stateside advertising campaigns have included two men and two women. It’s a shame that the first thing many people notice is that the people in the adverts are the same gender, rather than that the people in the adverts are quite clearly in love, but I guess this is part of what Lush is trying to do – make same sex relationships more “normal” by representing them in the public eye. It’s only unusual because it’s unusual, if that makes sense? Were we surrounded by images of same sex couples in the same way as hetero couples – out furniture shopping, eating out, buying a car – then there wouldn’t be such a big deal because the general public would be used to it.

Secondly is Sainsbury’s who are selling same sex Valentine’s cards. Brilliant! It’s good for people – any people – to see themselves represented in society as it’s a kind of validation that we’re ok, we’re acceptable. This is why soap operas try to include minority characters. And while it’s probably not the most difficult thing to buy a neutral Valentine’s card if you’re in a sae sex relationship, it’s a big step for Sainsbury’s as a high street retailer who could potentially face a backlash from the small minded bigoted people who still have an issue with consenting adults who love each other but have the same parts below the waist.

On that note I think that too many people are caught up in what happens between the sheets in a same sex relationship. Just like with hetero couples, sex isn’t the be all and end all. Why are people so obsessed? Why does it matter? Isn’t it more important that people are happy, content, loved, looked after, caring, nurturing and nice to each other? Isn’t that what any relationship is about? Is it anyone’s business who puts what (if anything) in what hole?

A friend of mine got married to his long term partner of 16 years at the weekend. And that’s joyous. Not only that they have found each other, but that society has now progressed to a point where their union can be recognised in law and in love. That they can openly celebrate and enjoy the same benefits as other married couples – taxes and inheritance and entitlements. That they can hold hands and kiss and profess their love to each other in front of family and friends.

Because, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Love.

And anyone who is against love must be bonkers.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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