Comedy

Jacob Rees-Mogg: Veritas ex Intestinis

Dear Underlings,

It will not have escaped your attention that the Style Guide I introduced to the office has made it’s way into the national media. It is a statement of regrettable fact that I have received a great deal of mockery from so-called experts. Experts, soothsayers, astrologers are all in much the same category. Do you think that I consulted experts before moving my hedge fund to Dublin? Do you think that I consulted experts before ordering the renovations of my mother-in-law’s stately home? Of course not. As an Upper-class Englishman, I know that veritas ex intestinis. If you would believe the word of experts then you would believe that I have only the intelligence to achieve a second-class History degree, and that belief is simply intolerable. I shall expand gradus per gradus upon the reasons behind some of our new departmental rules.

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Film & Television Opinion

Daenerys’ Dark Side

Spoilers for S8E01 ahead.

I wasn’t as excited as some were going into the final series of Game of Thrones, because I wasn’t completely optimistic about the creators’ ability to end the show successfully. After seeing the season opener, I now am.

In seasons 6 and 7 the revenge against Walder Frey felt rushed, the Arya and Sansa v Littlefinger plot wasn’t well-handled (though it had a fantastic concluding scene) and even something as basic as the travel time between areas of Westeros shrinking made the previously large nation feel smaller. But my main objection is that over the years I’ve not been sure that the show realises that Daenerys is a villain. After S8E01, I’m confident that they do.

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Read my Poetry

In Pursuit of Glory

A heart beats beneath a trio of lions
Hope. Excitement. Belief. Disbelief.
The future lies unwritten. Glory is plausible.
Glory is within reach.

It is a dream, and most dreams fail.
Most dreams fade.
Most dreamers cannot force their dream onto reality.
Most dreamers lack the wit, the invention.
A dream is a glimpse of a purer world:
A world of larger than life heroes,
A world where heartwrenching effort yields reward.
A dream is a vision of a world without heartbreak.

But dreams do not all die – the best persist.
This moment will persist.
We will look back on the memory of  a dream.
When glory was within reach.

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Football, FootballOpinion, Uncategorized

Three Lions

I’m aware that England probably aren’t going to win the world cup. We’re probably going to fall short in some way. But today, we can dream.

As a Hartlepool and England fan, I don’t have much experience of winning things. But sometimes the experience of pursuing glory is its own reward.

In 2005 I felt frustration when Hartlepool lost a playoff final to Sheffield Wednesday, but also intense pride that my team had pushed a bigger, richer club so close.

In 1996 I was in tears as England lost to Germany. But looking back as an adult, I feel pride at the times when England were bold, and pushed the strongest, most well-drilled teams in world football so far.

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Analysis, Storytelling Geekery

7 Reasons that Black Panther is Great Middlebrow Science Fiction

Black Panther is both a commercial and critical success, currently sitting at the top of the US weekly movie charts, and set to become the most financially successful Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. I’d argue that Black Panther sits alongside Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and the Culture novels as a great example of middlebrow science fiction – accessible and fun but smart enough that it offers more than just spectacle. Here are the reasons why.

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Review

Jessica Jones season two review

Genre-wise Jessica Jones is a mashup between the superhero and noir genres. When time came to choose between the conventions and traditions of the two, the first season ended up leaning more towards its superhero influences. Despite the hero’s bad choices and the show’s moral complexity, season one had Kilgrave as a clearcut villain – the season’s final arc followed the traditional superhero structure of climbing towards an action set piece.

Season two goes the other way, with morality never being so clearly defined as the final episodes of season one. Some viewers may find this disappointing – while there are compelling villains in season two, none of them are as overtly and undeniably villainous as Kilgrave. Instead the second season has more of a focus on moral complexity.

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Comedy

Fans Demand Return of Lara Croft’s Pointy Breasts

Ahead of the release of the new Tomb Raider film, superfans are complaining because the new Lara Croft’s breasts aren’t triangular enough. Though originally a result of a design error, Lara’s breasts quickly became an iconic element of the franchise, just as much as drowning in the swimming pool on the training level while trying to work out how to resurface. Or maybe that was just me.

While it is of course in the nature of art to advance and cover new ground, there have been concerns that the new film may move too far from the core of what made the original games and films such a success. Boobs. It’d be impossible, for example, to repeat the iconic moment in the first film when Lara pulls a henchman’s head against her chest, blinding him with her pointy breasts. This in itself was based on one of Lara’s more iconic kill moves from the first set of Tomb Raider games. By the third game UbiSoft had created an achievement award for players who were able to complete the game using only Lara’s breasts as weapons, and an unlockable version of the character who would play the whole game topless.

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Linguistic Geekery

Ultracrepidarianism and Mansplaining

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Yesterday, during the weekly Prime Ministers’ Question Time, Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn of ‘mansplaining’ to her about International Womens’ Day.
I think it’s a good way to illustrate a bugbear of mine – the loose interpretation of the word ‘mansplaining’.

There isn’t, as far as I can see, anything in Jeremy Corbyn’s question that’s patronising, or that implied that May didn’t know that it was #IWD2018. Corbyn merely mentioned the fact in order to highlight a moral flaw in Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Mansplaining, in its clearest form, is a confident but unqualified man asserting his opinions to a more qualified woman.

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Storytelling Geekery

IWSG: Twenty Abandoned Drafts

This is an entry for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, a way for writers to discuss their writing anxieties. Writers who take part in IWSG write about our writing anxieties and check in on each others’ posts on the first Wednesday of each month.

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At the weekend’s Oscars Jordan Peele won the award for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out. A racially charged horror-comedy was a brave choice for the subject of only his second feature film script, and Peele admitted in his acceptance speech that he stopped writing it around twenty times. It’s interesting that even someone as experienced and successful as Jordan Peele could have this kind of loss of faith – for those who aren’t familiar with his work, Jordan Peele is half of the hit sketch duo Key and Peele, and had been writing sketch comedy for MADtv since 2003.

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