Wednesday, 23 July 2014

10 Commandments For Travelling In London

1) Thou shalt shower in the morning and use thine antiperspirant correctly.
Shower properly, with shower gel. Get all up inside your business and do that shit properly. Then generously apply antiperspirant to your under arms and a general spramp over the rest of you can’t hurt. If you think you've put on too much, you haven’t. The smell of B.O on public transport is so pungent at times that it gives me a headache and it needs to be eradicated.


2) Thou shalt not bring thine largest and most cumbersome of items during rush hour.
I've been commuting to London for the last 6 months and I've seen people try to get on the tube with framed paintings, arm chairs and shopping trolleys. Think to yourself “is this convenient” before taking things with you on public transport.

Nope!

3) Thou shalt not place thine bag on a seat.
You can spot people who don’t commute as they are invariably the ones who place their luggage on the seat next to them (not in the overhead storage, not in the designated luggage areas) and act like I'm the prick when I ask them to move it so I can sit down. If you want to have a seat for your bag why don’t you buy a fucking ticket for it. Maybe dress it up in clothes and give it a name while you’re at it. Cretin.



4) Thou shalt not walk and read.
I like to think of myself as pretty coordinated, I don’t trip over often or bump into people. Cat like reflexes some may say, although they may be referring to the frequency of me licking myself, so I find it irksome to play “dodge the iPad twat” when walking around London. Put the fucking book / iPad / phone down and look where you’re going or I may start clotheslining people.

POW! Right in the kisser.

5) Thou shalt not hesitate to get on or off an escalator.
It’s not hard. Escalators don’t move at a dangerous speed, so why are you stood at the top of the escalator like you’re about to take a leap of faith into the abyss? Likewise at the bottom if you’re dithering about and have neglected to remember that there is a constant, never ending stream of people about to be rammed into you then quite frankly you shouldn't be allowed out of the house. Escalatards.



6) Thou shalt have thine ticket or card of oyster ready at the barriers.
I think this one pisses off the most commuters. How can people be surprised that they have to produce a ticket at the end of a journey around London? Have it ready and breeze through, I don’t want to stand behind you while you check all of your 4 bags for it. Likewise people whose ticket has failed and try more than once to go through. Get the fuck out of the way and go find an adult to help you.


7) Thou shalt not force thine self onto a packed tube car.
I've found the tube to be pretty regular, so when I see people running and diving onto an already rammed carriage it pisses me off. Look buddy, it’s already crowded and hot, the last thing we need is you, your briefcase and your backpack trying to force the rest of us into space where there is none. Wait the 2 minutes until the next one.


8) Thou shalt close thine legs.
I've seen this mentioned a lot lately on social media and I'm inclined to agree. Your balls aren't that big, you’re not saving room for cats, you don’t need that much space. Close your god damned legs.

Adorable.

9) Thou shalt not organise a school trip to travel during peak times.
It's summer holidays now so the worst of it is over but a few times over the last few weeks I've been trapped near groups of children taking up space, breathing, laughing and all manner of abhorrent child like behaviour. Surely more can be done to contain them in their daytime detention centres? What's the fascination with Piccadilly sodding circus anyway?!



10) Thou shalt not walk along holding hands.
Most pavements in London aren't wide. They are not able to cope with the volume of humans that come through London. In fact most of London isn't fit for purpose any more and it should be razed to the ground. There isn't the space to walk along hand in hand in blissful ignorance of the rest of the populace trying to weave their way around your insipid happiness. Cut it out.



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Read The Velvet Rage

I've just finished reading what I can confidently say is one of the most influential books I have ever read.


What’s it about?
The Velvet Rage is about recognising the power of shame and how it controls a gay man and if left unchecked will dominate and destroy a gay man’s life.

Sounds deep, is it relevant to me?
Well we all  know a gay guy who can’t hold down a relationship flitting from one to the next, or a guy who’s every waking minute is spent on Grindr arranging fucks? I'm sure we all know a gay man who constantly has to show off their latest purchase, boyfriend or how perfect their life is? We all do and they are all seeking one thing that they feel they lack. Validation.

At first I felt a lot of it didn't apply to me, the initial chapters focus on the expectations placed on gay men in their youth by their parents and I'm thankful to say looking back I never felt any of the expectations to be straight, get married, have children.  My parents always said if any of my siblings and I were gay that was fine. But the more I read on I did recognise characteristics that are quintessentially me; Flying off the handle and cutting people out at the drop of a hat? Going into rages and taking things personally? Sound familiar?

The reason why gay guys do these things is to avoid shame. We've become so overloaded with shame we’ll do anything to avoid it and block it out. Alan Downs writes that a lot of gay men have casual hook ups because it’s easier to fuck and chuck without the fear of being rejected then it is to let someone in and get hurt, which makes sense but it’s not healthy or authentic. In the past I've used Grindr, sent a body picture and more often than not been blocked on site and it really upset me. After reading The Velvet Rage I realised that in part it’s my fault for looking for validation in a place that is demanding perfection to alleviate their own insecurities.

Is it long?
It’s less than 300 pages. I'm sure you can manage it. No pictures though sadly.

What did I learn?
My key take outs from The Velvet Rage are:

1) I will never, ever use Grindr ever again. I'm in a relationship now but if I ever become single again I will not be using Grindr. Guys on Grindr are not conducive to good mental health, reading The Velvet Rage you’ll understand why and you’ll probably agree with me. Everyone on there is either overwhelmed by shame or over compensating for it. People over compensating for shame who spend every waking moment in a gym or will only give you time of day if you’re an Abercrombie & Fitch model are only going to erode your self-esteem.

2) Be more accepting of others and myself. I'm not perfect, and neither is anyone else and while I may go off the handle if someone has wronged me, it’s very rare that they've set out to piss me off. Stop taking things so fucking personally.

There are more lessons in the book, for example like how to live a more authentic life which I'm going to try work towards doing from now on. But I urge anyone who has taken the time to read this blog regardless of sexuality to buy this book and gain a better understanding of what it’s like to grow up gay in a straight man's world.

You can buy the book here, and I urge you to do so!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

A Solution To The Daily Mail?

This week saw George Clooney post a rebuttal to an article publish by the Daily Mail that said his fiancĂ©e Amal Alamuddin's mother objected to their marriage on religious grounds and that traditions of the Druze religion would result in the death of the bride. Some pretty alarming stuff right? Aside from the fact that Alamuddin's mother isn't even Druze it's clear that the article was rooted in absolute fiction.

Fuck 'em up Cloontang!

It seems that the monkeys smearing fecal matter on their keyboards who are employed as journalists have carte blanche to write whatever poorly researched, ill informed, asinine drivel that they want without any fear of reprisal. They publish a literary turd and move on to the next set of lies without consequence.

I propose a solution.

My solution is simple, we make up news stories about the journalists of the Daily Mail. Assuming they are using their real names, which I'm going to guess are also fabrications we publish hurtful, damaging, sensationalist stories about these cretins. Hell we could even do something the Daily Mail "journalists" have never done and do a little research into their lives and blow the smallest most minute detail out of all proportion.

Some suggestions for nonsense stories could be that Steve Doughty spends his evenings wearing a makeshift Batman mask that he wears while midget sex workers defecate on his chest and paint the Bat symbol in human excrement. Or perhaps the long suffering family of wonky eyed writer Shona Sibary have had enough of being written about and photographed doing sad faces and have had a restraining order issued against her. Maybe sidebar of shame contributor Eleanor Gower, so obsessed with celebrity love handles has her excess fat sucked out of her arse and pumped into her brain?

The possibilities are only limited by our imaginations!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

17 Thoughts & Musings From My Trip To Las Vegas

More detailed reviews of the things I did and saw can be found on Trip Advisor, but here are some of my thoughts and musings of my first trip to Las Vegas!

1) So many hot shirtless muscled guys, but for some reason those chaps never seem to have heard of a leg day.



2) A lot of crap tattoos on people in Vegas, either badly done tattoos or bad designs. Just bad. Why are people still getting tribal done?

3) Flip flops and socks is not a good look. Stop it.

Just don't do it.


4) Smoking indoors is a thing here. Retro!

5) Whilst it’s nice to be asked how my day is by retail staff I found by the 6th time I was asked how I was doing in Abercrombie & Fitch it was getting a little much.

6) People working in the service industry there are amazing and were tipped accordingly.

7) People filming with iPads. This shouldn't be a thing, you look weird. Stop it.

8) Don’t bring children to Las Vegas. There is nothing for them to do. They get bored, scream and they ruin it for the rest of us. Find a babysitter or leave your spawn in kennels.

9) Arrive on time or fuck off. We had good seats and a row to ourselves to see Celine Dion, she came on at 19:30 and at 20:00 people were shuffling past us to get to their seats. Not acceptable. If you can’t arrive on time, fuck off.

10) Flying in a light aircraft sober to the Grand Canyon is not fun, it’s bumpy and the smell of other peoples puke nearly started a Mexican wave of vomit.

11) Flying in a light aircraft after a couple of diazepam’s looking out the window at the Grand Canyon with the Jurassic Park soundtrack playing is pretty amazing experience.



12) Nothing is “only over there”. The amount of times I said “we can walk that, it’s only over there” bordered on silly. Because everything is so large journeys can look deceptively short. They aren't and it’s longer than you think!

13) The queue at The Cheesecake Factory is a lie. Stick it out, it’s empty inside.

14) I developed a near sexual attraction to ice water.

15) Fremont Street is exactly how you imagine Las Vegas in your head if you’re never been.

16) Bum water is your friend. Some of the more entrepreneurial bums will sell sealed bottles of water for $1 a bottle. When you arrive you think you'll never touch it, after walking around all day in 40 degree plus heat you'll quickly change your tune.

17) The shopping centres can get very samey very fast. If you've been to one, you've been to them all. Same shops, same stock. If you’re coming from the UK don’t expect to see anything in H&M or Topman / Topshop that isn't in the UK. 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Oxygen Fan. Bearded.

I've touched on beards before back in March and whilst I'm trying not to go over old ground, and again I'm not hating on beards. Beards are fit on a lot of guys. it seems that this beard craze is getting a little out of hand with some people. The “about me” section on people social media profiles now feature things like “bearded guy from _______” or “fan of _______ and beard aficionado”. Like it’s some amazing badge of honour or great achievement to have grown a beard.

Kudos.

Growing hair is not an achievement. Climbing Everest, learning multiple languages, curing cancer, travelling through time are actual achievements. I don’t feel the need to update my descriptions of myself to reflect that I have knees, or breathe, or grew my own teeth. I just find it irksome.

If the only way you can find to describe yourself is defined by your facial hair then that’s a little bit sad isn't it? Surely there’s more to your personality than the fact that protein expels itself from follicles on your face?


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

Have you ever had two separate groups of friends that you've known for years but you’re worried what would happen if they met?

If like me the answer is no, the chances are you’ll have been positively clammy about X-Men: Days of Future Past. It truly is the X-Men film that was sorely needed to put the franchise back on track, and by gum it does that and more.

Post post credits scene saw a brutal curb stomping of Elmo.

With some fan perceived dips in quality in the franchise with the Wolverine spin offs and the almost universally reviled X-Men: The Last Stand (I actually liked it, but there you go), X-Men saw fresh breath with 2011’s ‘First Class’ which saw younger versions of the characters we have come to know and love over the past decade, DOFP features both casts and do so without it being overcrowded.

X-Men: DOFP is an incredibly ambitious film, and with great risk comes great reward and this film delivers that. The plot loosely based on the comic story arc of the same name sees Wolverine sent back in time into his younger self to prevent Mystique assassinating Sentinel creator Boliver Trask and avert a distopian future where mutants are wiped out to the brink of extinction.

Jennifer Lawrence delivers as always as Mystique and continues to add layers to this character that have previously been overlooked. Evan Peters who the internet had a collective hissy fit over gives a memorable and quirky performance as Peter ‘Quicksilver’ Maximoff and steals the show with a very memorable scene that takes ‘bullet time’ to a whole new level. The original cast play their parts well but without question the focus is on Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy who's portrayal as a broken, defeated Charles Xavier I feel is a little overlooked by most people when they are discussing this film.

If you see one film this summer, make sure it’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. If you see two films, see X-Men: Days of Future Past again.

Pros:

Cameos! Characters that shouldn't have been killed are back from the dead!

Jennifer Lawrence as always

Cons:

Would love it to have been longer but I'm just being greedy.

9.5/10

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Maleficent Review

Much in the vein of ‘Wicked’, Maleficent tells us the untold story of the evil witch from Disney's 1959 animated classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Going in with low expectations expecting a generic Wicked knock off with a steaming pile of CGI to boot, I was pleasantly surprised. Angelina Jolie delivers a stellar performance as Maleficent as well as the inspiration for this years must have Halloween costume for gays.

Learn to love it, you'll be wearing this come Halloween.

The story takes a few creative liberties with the source material that people are complaining about, but if you compare any of the original stories with any of their Disney counterparts you’ll notice glaring differences so I say keep quiet and enjoy the film. Without getting too spoilery there are a couple of logic holes that I found hard to overlook (where are the 3 aunts while Aurora is hanging out with her scary godmother?) but I suppose you could explain that away with the fact Maleficent uses her timelord powers to make people sleep and float.

Timelord trickery.


Whilst the curse being broken by true loves kiss element may be a little predictable and borrowed from ‘Frozen’ it doesn't detract from what I saw as a very moving moment which almost made me do a feel.

The underlying message about overcoming the bad things that have been inflicted upon you and rising above it to love, I felt was very well done; without causing me to lose a foot to diabetes.

Pros: 
It’s nice to see Angelina Jolie how she really looks without all the CGI

Angelina Jolie's daughter playing toddler Aurora. Too cute for words.

Cons:
Some of the CGI feels unnecessary

King Stefan character underdeveloped.

8/10