The other day, I think it was a teacher, mentioned that they've 'read my blog'. My heart sank. That self-indulgent, aimless, embarrassing piece of shite? I don't know why I haven't deleted it off the face off the internet.
So what have I written about on this blog? Some strangely dark whingings about Christmas ending (looking back I sound nearly suicidal; I promise I wasn't planning to hang myself with some tinsel). A couple of half assed TV reviews, one of which, for 'Derek', I actually bothered sending to Gervais through Twitter. As if he'd actually have read it, and go 'Yes Elliott, I agree with all the points you made, both the positive and constructive, and plan to take them on board for the second series. By the way God doesn't exist and here's a photo of me in the bath.' What else? Moaning about my Cambridge essay not getting anywhere. Looking back on it, I'm not surprised. It wasn't that bad, albeit quite convoluted, poorly researched and referenced. I've written one since (ironically for a lower-ranked insitution, not that I'm too bothered about that sort of thing. I refuse to step foot inside an ex-poly, though) and it was much better; that is, it actually made sense.
What else? Some crappy poetry, some more moaning. The only thing I'm slightly proud of is that short film I did, which currently stands at 9 likes to 14 dislikes, and NEARLY 500 VIEWS. At first I was appalled at the fact that 14 people would actually go out of their way to express their dislike for me, but upon reflection, they say that great art splits opinion. And it's surprising really that that many people actually got it, or at least realised I wasn't actually like that. I highly doubt anyone grasped the true meaning of it, but then again, I don't think I did either. I'm willing to bet those 14 people also think Keith Lemon is a real person, or think that The Big Bang Theory* is funny.
So where the hell was I? Right, that really this little corner of the internet has gone to complete ruin, and was probably never good in the first place. So instead of hoping people forget about it, I've decided to redeem the blog, and consequently myself, if we're being dramatic about it. And by redeem I basically just mean post on it a bit more and try to make it slightly less shit. After all, as much as I love twitter, sometimes I do want to go on a tangent. And that's it really.
What's been happening with me? Got me results. AABB. Ignore what I prattled on about in my last post, I'm actually really proud of them. And why this sudden change of heart? Partly because since I've realised that your AS-levels don't exactly have to match your final A level grades (I could still even get A*A*A , so I can still apply with a decent chance at all my chosen universities. Secondly, I remember searching for 'AABB' on Twitter out of boredom on results day, only to discover a good few people moaning about the fact that they 'only' got AABB; I believe one twat said 'meh'. Meh? What the fuck is wrong with you? Those are great grades which will allow you to apply anywhere, with the possible exception of Oxbridge (my overall UMS average was actually higher than what those grades suggests, you see, so I'm still applying to Cambridge), and you're whinging that you didn't get four As? You're worse than me!
Hence, I made a conscious effort to be satisfied with my grades, just to distance myself from these people. And I haven't even covered the fact that grades have no bearing on your self-worth, nor do they really have much of your bearing on your actual intelligence. As much as I like doing fairly well academically, I think it's far more important to demonstrate your intelligence, which is impossible to objectify through marks or grades anyway, to express an opinion, or make someone laugh, or make someone consider different possibilities. I can't abide these arseholes who I see on The Student Room messageboards (a website I only frequent to check a few facts and ask the occasional question, I promise) who get four As at AS level and then ask incessantly whether they're good enough to get into Oxbridge because their UMS average is only 98%, wah wah wah. All these people need to do is check the website, see if they exceed the minimum entry requirements, apply and just hope for an interview; and if they get it, just give it their best, because that's the most anyone can ever ask of you. It's times like this where I think the rise of the phrase '110%' has really damaged our perceptions; it intrinsically implies that we must attain impossibly (and literally impossibly) high expectations for ourselves, exceeding the maximum we're capable of. Of course that maximum can change with experience and confidence, but to exceed your maximum is illogical; and with all illogical things, such as religion and celebrating armed force, it really isn't healthy for anyone.
So that's me done. What else? Obligatory references to the Miley Cyrus incident? Hur hur twerking hur hur. Idiots.
*Interestingly I have watched pretty much every episode of this. Why? A kind of morbid, self-turtuous fascination, in addition to familial obligation. It kind of annoys me when people say TV shows are shit when they haven't even watched one episode. Well, I've watched every episode, and I can safely say it is shit.
Yeah, me again. If you weren't already aware I haven't really been using this blog for quite a while now. Purely because Twitter has fulfilled my need to spout shite quite satisfactorily. In fact, you were probably directed to this blog from a tweet of mine. Instead of abandoning the blog entirely, I have concluded to use it as a platform for any ideas of mine that exceed 140 characters. Frankly, that isn't very often, so savour this.
In two days time the A-level, or in my case AS-level results are revealed. Not only will they decide whether I ever have to do any RS work ever again (it's quite catch-22; do too badly and I may have to retake, do better in it than another subject and I would be inclined to carry it on), but will also (less importantly) dictate which universities I can and can't apply to. As I've always said, I don't really see the point of going to university if it isn't a good one. I've already got a rough idea of the outcomes of each possible grade combination. AAAA; this. AAAB; not going to argue with that. AABB; no Cambridge for me, but who cares, they're all probably posh sods anyway. Interestingly I won't think that if I do get the required grades. ABBB or BBBB; off to Southampton for me then. Anything lower and I'll go and do BTEC Bricklaying; i.e, it's not going to happen. So essentially, it's all kind of a big deal.
Yet despite this, in the days leading up the big reveal, an odd calmness has descended upon me. Transcending the potential severity of the situation in its influence on my future fortunes, I've reached a point in my catastrophising where I can't physically comprehend the fact that the grades will actually appear on the paper. To put it in a way less mental, I don't see myself getting what I want, nor do I see myself getting a nasty shock. In the cerebral process the two cancel each other out. Put simply, I have no preconception of how it's going to go, nor is it apparent that a preconception need be necessary, useful or possible. To further simplify, I have no idea what to expect. Thus, in the preceding days I've begun not to worry (which has come about largely naturally, notably), instead becoming inclined to revel in this aforementioned vacuum of expectation. I'm considerably better prepared for if my results are what I expect (I haven't really looked at any Universities outside of the Russell Group, the twattish snob I am), but even if I do succeed, further challenges will arise in maintaining those grades over the next year and applying to these ruddy University things. Before I get my results I am free of obligation; I can't exactly do a lot in terms of research and preparation when it may soon transpire that a major rethink would be necessary.
So I've basically just been getting up late, playing a bit of Pikmin 3 (great game), reading a bit of Madame Bovary (great book), listening to some classic Hip-Hop albums (great musical genre) and watching Coronation Street (excellent television programme). It's the most chilled I've ever been. I'm practically horizontal. I look in the mirror and think, 'who's that chilled out cat?'. Well, I don't really, but I felt the point deserved embellishing. So what is my point in all this? I don't know, I suppose I just felt the need to document this rather tranquil little point in my life. Usually I'm pretty anti-anything remotely relaxing, with a tendency to label such things boring or unproductive, and up until recently I've felt a bit frustrated by the lack of structure a summer holiday brings. But right now, a rare moment indeed, I feel perfectly at ease with the concept of wallowing in my own crapulence. I don't even care that this is a pretty averagely written blog that only a few would read, and even fewer care about. Thursday, in all truthfulness, seems years away.
A few months ago I mentioned how I entered an essay prize competition organised by the University of Cambridge. Sadly, but to no great surprise, I didn't get anywhere with it. Dissapointing though I found this, I completely understand that I'm probably not as good a writer as my ego ocassionally tricks me into believing. Suspiciously however, all of the winners (I shan't name them; there's already a big enough witch hunt occuring in this country at the moment) come from (I know this, I checked each one) highly selective, fee-paying, altogether priveleged 'schools', meaning I have no doubt that each and every one of the fuckers had specialist help*. Now I'm not bitter, clearly, but I'm quite adamant about the fact that I had no help whatsoever. I approached no teacher at my modestly funded, local comprehensive sixth form college, and as for my parents; well, they're morons, which rules that out. Am I a victim of inherent class prejudice? Or was my essay just not that good?
*I should probably point out I'm (probably) joking.
For you to come to your own conclusion, have a read;
one hears a young man with no talent say when asked what he intends to do, “I
want to write”. What he really means is, “I don’t want to work”.’ (W.H. Auden)
Discuss the ways in which two or more literary works have reflected on the
labour and/or playfulness of writing.
While the composition of literature has remained a revered artistic
institution, the nature of its creation is still a cause of dispute and mystery.
Though divides over many aspects of literature can be attributed to difference
of interpretation, that is regarding the connection between the text and
audience, establishing the connection between the author and text proves to be
a far more challenging task; one, it seems, that cannot be fully explained by purely
examining contextual evidence or autobiographical account. The two texts
explored for this essay, Oscar Wilde’s epistle De Profundis, and George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, are both surrounded
in infamy pertaining to the life of the author at the time of writing and are,
to varying extents, textually reflective of their own creation.
Conversely, to answer a question stemming from a perceived youthful
attitude, both examples were written towards the end of each author’s life, yet
their respective personal circumstances reflect great relevancy particularly in
the question of labour; De Profundis
was composed during Wilde’s imprisonment at Reading Gaol, where he suffered
from harsh conditions, an incompatibly regimental lifestyle and dwindling
health, while Nineteen Eighty-Four was
written by Orwell while he was experiencing grief for the death of his wife in
addition to the debilitating effects of tuberculosis, the disease which would
result in his death; effects so profound that the novel has been dubbed ‘the
masterpiece that killed George Orwell’ (McCrum, 2009). Both
examples succeed in challenging Auden’s sentiment, yet through them writing can
also, perhaps equally, be perceived as some form of release, pleasure or simply
question of artistry in De Profundis;
duty or pleasure?
his portraiture of Jesus Christ as an artist, while drawing comparisons to his
own artistic identity, Wilde perhaps inadvertently examines the creation of art
in itself, thus providing potential insight into the nature of writing. He
describes Christ as ‘one with the artist who knows that by the inevitable law
of self-perfection, the poet must sing, and the sculptor think in bronze…’
Through these analogies Wilde alludes to a sense of duty within an artist, and
by extension writer, to achieve ‘self-perfection’, which entails some extent of
dedication. Whether such dedication, or indeed vocation, is of toil or of
pleasure is further questioned by his view that ‘to the artist, expression is
the only mode under which he can conceive life at all’. Though this introduces
an element of necessity to this artistic duty, it is still unclear whether
writing merely satisfies this requirement, devoid of surplus attachments, or
carries with it additional pleasures; a pleasure reliant on knowing one has
conceived such life, perhaps.
confusion may be solved by assessing the description of art Wilde proposes in De Profundis; ‘the conversion of an idea
into an image’. The act of conversion denotes labour, or at the very least a
process that requires an external or indeed internal catalyst for it to occur.
Regardless of the nature of this catalyst, this remains a prominent allusion to
the notion that the creation and act of writing, or at least writing that can
be considered art, does not come without burden or the requirement of an effort
of some kind. The status of writing and art continues to be explored in De Profundis as Wilde, intentionally or
otherwise, initiates a reflection of the relationship between the two. ‘If I
ever write again, in the sense of producing artistic work…’ he begins, implying
a distinction between the creation of ‘artistic work’, previously defined by
Wilde as the conversion of ideas into images, and a form of writing that it is
not artistic; therefore, one that does not follow this process.
‘ideas’ and ‘images’ were to be taken in a broad sense, disregarding
qualitative merit, then this sentiment seems unfathomable. As this supposed
non-artistic alternative contradicts the very act of writing, extending to the
most rudimentary of text, it is safer to assume that Wilde has, quite contradictorily,
altered his aforementioned definition of art, elevating it to ambiguous heights
beyond the conversion. Otherwise, all writing would be art, conflicting with
the common perception that the production of art requires a degree of cerebral
labour; far surpassing, it should be stressed, the basic capacity to formulate
written communication. It could be said, then, that Wilde acknowledges the
fluidity of the nature of art and the artist in relation to writing;
maintaining that while art in its
purest definition is the formulation of images derived from ideas, to be an artist requires a demonstration of
endeavour to achieve self-perfection through art; clearly, a labourious task.
Nineteen Eighty-Four: self and circumstance
Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four does
not address the concept of art or its creation per se, the nature of writing is implicitly referenced through the
device of protagonist Winston’s secret diary. The creation of the diary is highly
forbidden under the heightened ideological suppression citizens of the
fictional continent Oceania are subjected to, as administered by the fearful
‘Thought Police’; which in itself predisposes Winston’s writing as dangerous,
thus unavoidably necessary and unlikely to hold the potential of playfulness. Winston’s
attempts are indeed tumultuous, yet on one occasion begin with startling
finesse and sensitivity as ‘his pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth
paper’, a distinctly romantic description with lavish, arguably sexual
connotations; both pen and paper are given archetypal feminine qualities of
voluptuousness and smoothness, indicative that the act of writing is of an
intimate and pleasurable nature.
this act of writing proves to be, initially at least, unaffectedly exuberant
even when its occurrence is surrounded by circumstantial hostility and is itself
ultimately futile; critically so as Winston realizes ‘whether he went on with
the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought
Police would get him just the same.’ Reality takes hold over Winston’s
emotions, and he experiences a ‘twinge of panic’, one that is ‘absurd, since
the writing… was not more dangerous than the initial act of opening the diary’,
which momentarily suggests a detachment between the act of writing and intent
behind it, whilst also affirming the gravity of the former’s potentiality; so
much so, that merely opening the diary is a cause for alarm. At this, Winston
‘began writing in a hurried untidy scrawl’, a description containing a semantic
field of agitation noticeably contrasting with the romanticism previously
drastic change reflects a notional strong influence of the author’s current
mood upon his writing; it is apparent Winston’s mood affects not only the quite
extraneous fact of the quality of his handwriting but the content and style of
his work. While calm, Winston ably prints the capitalized words ‘DOWN WITH BIG
BROTHER’, ‘over and over again, filling half a page’; the meaning behind his
words are clear and encompassing. Whilst ‘seized by a kind of hysteria’, he
writes ‘theyll shoot me i don’t care theyll shoot me in the back of the head i
don’t care down with big brother’ and so on. The punctuation suffers and he
fails to make necessary capitalizations, and the words used are considerably
more emotive, stark, and reflective of Winston’s paranoid mentality. If this
link between the author’s temperament and constitution of their writing is to
be accepted and believed to possess the strength exemplified here, then writing
appears an extension of the author; neither a chore nor a pleasure, but a necessary
manifestation of their disposition amalgamated from both the conscious and
subconscious recesses of their psyche, it would seem. Such a proposition is
encapsulated by the moment when Winston ‘discovered that while he sat
helplessly musing he had also been writing, as though by automatic action’.
not always obviously, both of these literary works evidently reflect on the
labour and playfulness of writing to an insightful degree. Wilde’s
contemplative epistle De Profundis
suggests the writer must oblige to a certain duty; a distinctly laborious duty of
dedication which, if followed, should grant the writer artistic capacity. Wilde
does not appear to prohibit enjoyment gained from writing; though according to
this deontic proposition it would seem that doing so, to jeopardize said duty
by compromising attempts of self-perfection in any way, may never result in
work that can be considered truly artistic. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell explores the relationship between writer
and text in a particularly intimate sense; not necessarily defining the purpose
of writing, but by dwelling on how writing reflects its author’s emotions,
circumstances or even existential state, and consequently whether this
manifestation can be regarded as labour or playfulness; it would seem, perhaps
both, or something else entirely.
the concepts of labour and playfulness are not assumed to be mutually
exclusive, then perhaps these texts support the view that writing may be simultaneously
both a pleasure and a chore. However, such a premise would raise the question of
which may outweigh the other; a question which can only be answered by close analysis
of a text itself coupled with a knowledge of the text’s creation, and clearly,
this does not agree upon a universal nature of writing. What can be concluded,
however, is that these examples have shown that writing is a truly unique human
experience, its complex nature resultant of numerous factors thus not easily
divisible into ‘labour’ or ‘play’. There is only so much that can be deduced
from the product of writing, this being the writing itself; the process behind
it, though indeed reflected copiously, is ultimately only ever experienced by
the author, thus understanding of it is unique to them and indeed differing for
each authorial individual. As for Wilde and Orwell, their long-deceased state
renders such a mystery all the more elusive.
Day number three,
unless you're one of those pricks who insists Sunday is the first day.
Regardless of how the ordering of days would transpire
it would remain dire
Wed with sadness
much like this rhyme, riddled with badness
neither an end nor a beginning
nor an adequate medium
betwixt our madness
it stands with tedium.
A short story I did for some competition or summit.
I stand beneath it; liberty. One hundred and fifty feet, one
inch, a height greater if you include the pedestal. Dauntingly it stands a
constant stare. I see smoke, but it comes not from the torch. There’s trouble
in the city. Noise is heard; chaos envelops the anesthetising authority
instilled by the figure. Its sullen countenance seems to disapprove. They won’t
let us leave the island. Together we are all paralysed, made to view yonder
horror. E pluribus unum.
The emergency and medical services get paid to do a job. Their work often involves saving lives, which in turn contributes to a healthy and functioning society.
The armed services get paid to do a job. Their work often involves the ending of lives, or ruining of them, all in the name of a foreign threat no-one is quite sure of the identity of. Iraq? Afghanistan? Taliban? Eastasia? Eurasia? God knows, let's just pull our trousers down and piss on their bloodied corpses.
Yet one seems to be, by most, more respected than the other.
Excellent news! I have finally finished that wretched Cambridge competition essay. Thus, my extracurricular writing vacancy can now be filled by this blog and the potential upcoming projects pertaining to it. I suppose the essay went quite well, thanks for asking. It's at least as good as the sort of stuff I churn out for coursework, but somehow even more ridiculously overanalytical. The conventional structure of an essay has gone out the window too. This maverick tendency has potentially ruined my chances, but I felt it best suited the point I was making. I care little for the fact that I've structured the main body into two, pretentiously subheaded sections, or that I've used barely any sources and it consists of little more than my probably misguided speculation. It's either genius or idiocy. I've either won or come last. That's how I roll.
Whatever happens, I'll post my entry up on this here blog. I wouldn't hold your breath. I literally never win anything. Honestly, never.
Apart from that I haven't much else to say. In addition to the swirling ambiguity of potential comedy-based projects, I've got a few blog topics in the pipeline. A recent development is that I've noticed there isn't much scholarly writing at all on hip-hop. Hip-hop culture and its music is referenced ocassionally on the sociological side of things, but people seem to neglect the fact that it's a very potent art form when done correctly and in many cases deserves the same lyrical analysis as the great works of poetry. Though the language used may be less articulate, from what classic riddims I've heard the meaning behind it can be equally if not more compelling partly thanks to the musical element. Take Tennyson and lay it on a nice beat and I think you'll find yourself more intrigued. Yes, I'm being serious, and yes, I have heard of rapgenius.com, but in an academic world where so little hasn't been covered I think it would be a bold and interesting move. Of course, for all I know it's been done extensively in some corner of the internet before, but I can't be arsed to google it. The important thing is don't worry, I'm not going to start spitting some bars myself. That would be horrendous.
P.S: I would like to say sorry for the use of certain words in this entry; particularly, 'riddims', 'a nice beat', and 'spitting some bars'. I would like to make it abundantly clear that as a white lower-middle class nerd, I appreciate that the use of these terms from someone such as myself is a painful violation of public decency, and for that I gravely apologise.
Just an update to inform you all that in the relatively near future, I plan to make, or at least start to make a new creative project. I can't tell you what it is, because I don't know what it is. Which makes it exciting. I've been feeling creatively constipated for about a month, and I suppose I finally feel inclined enough to solve that. Whatever it turns out to be, you can find it all here.
Also, if some are wondering why I've vanished from their facebooks, it's because I've deactivated my account. So don't go thinking I've blocked any of you. If anything, I've blocked all of you. Why have I deactivated? In my crusade of trimming the fat off my life bacon (metaphor), deactivating my facebook seemed to be the last logical step. Consider me one lean piece of meat.
I watched Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway the other night. As a childhood favourite of mine, I assumed its return would if anything tarnish the memory of this truly excellent television programme of past years, surely one that defined my youth. After all, pretty much everything on the box these days is shite, and most of my favourite programmes have got progressively worse; The Simpsons being the prime example, and even Peep Show is on the slide. Except for Coronation Street, strangely, which seems to be going from strength to strength from already Shakespearian heights. But anyway, yes, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. I watched it (well, admittedly sort of half-watched it) and from what I could gather the whole affair seemed like a jolly old time, just like the old days. Precisely like the old days, in fact; the usual mix of Anthony and Declan's endlessly amusing cheekiness, paired with amusing celebrity-laden scenarios and all those tantalising prizes up for grabs still works very well as a format. Oh look, Little Ant and Dec aren't so little any more. Tee hee. Louis Walsh is a bit doddery. Hilarious. At one point, during the song and dance number with Robbie Williams, I literally felt like I had been transported back to 2002. Which is a very good thing. Apart from that 9/11 business, I'm strongly protective of the fact that the early noughties was probably the best time ever.
Seriously though, I did watch the programme, and in a weird way I genuinely did enjoy it. Aside from the inevitable nostalgic pull, the programme is nonetheless a bit of lighthearted fun that succeeds in being completely harmless, unlike the chronically unfunny Let's Dance for Comic Relief and neon cattle market Take Me Out, saturday night telly's other offerings.
Jiminy jillikers! I haven't posted for more than a week! There goes the New Year's resolution.
So, what pitiful excuse have I for not posting? After all, it is the half term. However, I would contest that; in my experience, half-terms are incredibly deceptive. It seems that somehow, with time off, I tend to have less free time. Don't ask me how this is, it simply happens to be the case.
The other factor is probably my discovery of the iOS game 'The Simpsons:Tapped Out'. Though I usually steer well clear of social games with a seemingly addictive disposition, I couldn't turn the prospect of creating my own Springfield down. It's a great game. I've just made Apu 'pray to Ganesh' for my own financial gain. Now I've made Ned 'condemn science' for 3 dollars and 1 XP point. This is amazing. Forget A-levels, I just want to play this all day.
Anyhoo, as you may tell, I don't really have anything to say. This is quite the stop-gap blog post. I've actually got a few topics lined up for the future, so look forward to those.
In accordance with the rather 'miscellaneous' nature of this post, I'll take the time to make a few amendments and updates. I would like to point out that my opinion of Ricky Gervais' new comedy 'Derek' has improved since the patchy first episode, and I would now wholeheartedly recommend it to all. Pilkington's character is just excellent. Also, I've written a few more articles on that 3DS website, but I can't be arsed to link you up. Also, I still haven't done any more substantial work on that Cambridge essay. And I still hate Sparknotes. Also, words cannot describe my contempt for Alan Titchmarsh. Also, I now have Twitter; follow @ElliottWright95 if you want to.
I'm feeling quite happy at this precise moment, in spite of the dread incited by the prospect of upcoming exams. I've reached that point where I really should be knuckling down with revision, but I'm not quite close enough to feel that real sense of urgency.
Furthermore, I feel increasingly pulled apart by two lifestyles, or possibilities; part of me is a hardworking student, striving for academic success, but another part of me just wants to sit in bed all day and play Animal Crossing. Balance, of course, is key, and at this moment things don't feel overly balanced; yet more balanced than they have been, with a distinct sense that equilibrium will soon be achieved if I just sort all this crap out.
'Streamlining' is a word somewhat ruined by business talk connotations, but it's a concept I feel has helped me as of late. Though I am far from organising an actual revision schedule, and doubtful I ever really will, I've made significant steps in reducing my time spent merely fannying about on the internet; firstly, by installing a facebook messenger application (so I can talk with friends without having to observe people's inane status updates), and also by deleting a lot of my news bookmarks. In retrospect, I don't know why I wasted so much time perousing the entertainment and showbiz website 'Digitalspy'. I don't even like it that much.
So, the moral of the story is, don't waste time doing useless activities. Which concludes this blog.
I have returned from Cambridge University. So what did I think of this fabled, supposedly elitist institution?
Well, it was alright really.
But perhaps this judgement is more indicative of my increasingly widespread apathy towards all things than the quality of the experience, or the place. Of course, I enjoyed the trip quite a lot, and appreciate its value in informing me of what the Oxbridge university experience is really like. Many people, particularly those from areas where admittance to top universities is low, hold strong preconceptions of the nature of these institutions partly fuelled by the media and good old-fashioned class rivalry. After experiencing the university for myself, not only do I now realise most of these preconceptions are inaccurate, but how astounding it is that these perceptions are made so readily with none or little evidence, or indeed experience.
I can't really condemn this ignorance too much, as it's largely resultant of people simply not having the opportunity of discovering the nature of Cambridge for themselves, and also because I fell under this category until not too long ago. It seems much of the venom comes from the common dislike of 'poshness'. I don't really like 'posh' people, but not much more than I dislike everyone else. Indeed, some of the people I met were quite 'posh'; but in that pleasant, BBC 4 way, not the spitting in the eyes of the poor way. Indeed, the experience has made me doubt the validity of this latter perception, albeit predominantly on a personal level only. There's still that creeping sense of injustice, that Cambridge is most accessible to those with private education; though I should say, this isn't necessarily the fault of Cambridge, as the existence of the scheme itself proves their willingness to extend participation. The evil here is the fact that we still have this two-tier educational system in sixth forms and the stages that precede that, where the privileged have access to a generally better education while those who are not have to settle for poorly funded, patronising shit; as manifested by the statistically lower results and lower top university applications. Not that I'm bitter about it or anything. And I realise saying this detracts from the intended frivolity of this all, but good teachers in all institutions should be commended for doing the best they can under increasingly hostile circumstances.
But anyway, enough of that. The class divide is too depressing to discuss, and just too well concealed to fully argue its existence if we're taking the paranoid teenager approach. What we should focus on is that the people I met at Cambridge did not really conform to stereotypes, instead simply being bright, hard-working relatively normal and pleasant people. I probably felt more accepted amongst them than I do amongst the general persons at college, I must admit, not to say they were perfect. They were just a bit too rational, balanced as individuals and, well, cheery for my liking. Where, I ask, is the fun in that?
Conclusion? Lovely place, and I shall definitely apply if I do sufficiently well in my AS year. But, for the first time, it doesn't feel like the absolute haven, the 'be-and-end-all' I always imagined it to be.
Good news, everyone! I've been accepted as a staff writer on the second most popular dedicated Nintendo 3DS news site (hold your applause), and have just published my first article. I'm officially a published journalist. Probably.
Not only do I now have a genuine reason to write about games, which is always a good thing, I now don't have to bore the sections of my blog readership who don't like games. So in other words, if you are interested in my thoughts on Nintendo and games in general, keep an eye on that site and look for the articles written by 'Elliott'.
This week is turning out to be rather splendid. In addition to this news, tomorrow I am embarking on a three-day residential trip to Cambridge University under the pretense of a shadowing scheme. Part of me is just happy I get to go on a holiday of sorts, but primarily this should be a very important event. If I love it there, it should give me extra motivation to put more efforts into my studies and ultimately obtain the chance of applying. If I hate it, it shall inform me I'm better off suited somewhere a bit more modest, and consequently I can realign my ambitions and steps to achieve those.
Ladies and gentlemen, my mother. Say what you like about the political incorrectness of the statement, but it was quite majestic in a sense how she was able to completely undermine the point of the programme in one fell comical swoop.
But perhaps that's a little harsh. If you remove the negative implications of the word 'retard', she had a valid point; Gervais portrayed the titular character excellently, in my opinion at least. Also, her comment was somewhat reflective of the public opinion, or at least the media's opinion of the show; that is, you are somewhat forced to dismiss any negative implications in order to gain guilt-free enjoyment from it, and vitally, to truly appreciate it. But the thing is, these 'negative implications' shouldn't really exist.
I shall clarify. Much of the supposed outrage at the show; no, all of the supposed outrage at the show has been squarely directed at the fact that, at a glance, it appears Gervais is mocking those with learning difficulties. Sadly, it seems that yet again people are confused by the subject of the joke and the target of the joke- something Gervais has had to put up with his whole career. Many fear the prospect of laughing at a programme featuring a man with some sort of mental health issue would result in getting their door kicked down by the thought police. Others think Gervais is just a bully, an opinion fuelled by that Susan Boyle business a few years ago. However, if you satisfy the following conditions of a) actually watching the programme and b) owning half a brain, you'll find this isn't really the case at all. Is Derek the butt of the joke? At times, yes, but this is literally a necessity of the sitcom genre. Regardless of the few directorial and scriptual misgivings (which I shall get onto later), it is crystal clear that Derek is intended to be a hero; a kind, simple man whom all of us should be more like. Gervais has said similar things about the character in various interviews, but it's something I've discovered for myself to be true. Derek is the sort of character who makes you want to reach into the screen and give them a hug; and if you don't, you hate all disabled people. Probably.
As you can see, trying to discuss the public 'controversy' and overall context of the show is a messy and circular affair. Then again, to ignore it would be similarly futile; aspects of Derek, both the programme and character, appear to be a response to some of the aforementioned criticism. But I don't think this is Ricky trying to tell everyone he was a good guy all along; I don't really think he cares. Yet to a degree the programme is undoubtedly a reaction to cynicism in general; both suggested and actual. To describe Derek in a sentence, it's a brave and engaging yet flawed comedy-drama that, on ocassion clumsily, treads the line between utter bleakness and life-affirming warmth.
So, now onto the actual programme. The first episode was a generally enjoyable experience; not quite living up to the quality of last year's pilot episode (which in my opinion got the comedy to drama ratio just right), but indicative that it's going to get progressively better throughout the 6-episode run. The laugh-ometer would probably give a reading of 'consistent chuckles and the ocassional laugh'- so perhaps not quite as much as I was expecting. But it is interesting to note that I was smiling throughout, in a way that meant I didn't really mind about the relative lack of laughter. The only major flaw would have to be the application of its drama and pathos; whereas The Office interweaved tragedy elegantly between all the dancing, knob gags and the quoting of Eric Hitchmo from the Coventry Conference ("I don't agree with that in the workplace!") like the sketchings of a fine pencil; Derek slaps on the woe by the paint can; think those massive abominations Neil Buchanan used to make on Art Attack. But is this such a bad thing? Apart from feeling a little patronised at times, especially when Karl Pilkington's otherwise fantastic character Dougie delivers a mawkish piece to camera, describing how everyone's such a 'big family' while that piano score plays incessently in the background. But these are not show-ruining gripes- my only suggestion for improvement would have been to direct more time and attention to the comedy so when the drama hits, it really hits. Not that my say has any effect on anything.
So what's my verdict? Well, I enjoyed it, and I'm sure, with an odd sense of certainity, that it just needs time to get going until it reaches its full potential, a gauntlet laid down in part by last year's fantastic pilot (specifically, the 'Joan' scenes) and also by the excellent 'making of' documentary which you can probably still catch on 4OD. After all, I watched the first episode of The Office with a relatively stony face; as the first episode of Derek made me laugh and smile, by that logic it's going to better it. Yet I'm highly doubtful it will, but not really through any fault of its own. Even if Derek isn't going to end up as good as either The Office or Extras, that should not spell disaster; I mean, it's already better than Life's Too Short, just by not being Life's Too Short. Besides, do I care if it's recognised as 'good' or not? Not too much. What is important is the connection one makes with it, which applies to any kind of art. Derek, in its slightly blundering way, made me feel a bit fuzzy inside. It also had Karl Pilkington in a silly wig.
In accordance with my one-blog-a-week pledge, I am due to write a post today, or else my New Year's resolution shall be broken and moral decay will surely ensue. Yet I really don't know what to write about.
The past week has been quite good, in terms of personal enjoyment. I can't help but feel that round about now, I'm undergoing some sort of formative interval; I distinctly feel my attitude towards things changing, in some ways for the better. I think I may be happier, and definitely more antisocial. Yet the word 'antisocial' has such negative connotations; in an effort to find a more appropriate word, I visited thesaurus.com to find a suitable synonym, yet nearly all those available were similarly negative. I don't think the term is deserving of malignment; at least in my case, the absense of social aspects in my life provides happiness and, quite frankly, convenience. I say this all with no hyperbole. Though I have a fondness for my current, small group of friends, I have no desire whatsoever to obtain any more; other than of the romantic variety, but that futile wish is perhaps deserving of its own blog. I completely detest the idea of parties, and recently facebook, for want of a better phrase, is getting right on my tits. Though I enjoy college, I would much prefer it if those awful gaps between lessons were eradicated and instead the timetable consisted of straight lessons, so I could just go home early and get my work done, not having to waste time standing in the corner of a cretin-filled cafeteria. This wasn't really a problem until a few months ago, as my college library came equipped with a 'silent zone'; a wondrous workplace- for what it lacked in size, it made up with the golden rule of complete silence. However, building work has closed it for the foreseeable future, and part of me really misses it.
Anyway, back on topic; elsewhere in these ambigious developments, I've finally started to properly enjoy videogames again (fuelled partly by the announcement of all sort of great software for the Wii U- sorry, I'll stop being geeky), and have obtained a newfound ambivalence to my studies. If I'm using the word correctly, this means that I've gained some degree of previously absent confidence about them, but on the other hand, am scared shitless at the prospect of exams coming up relatively soon. Though my practise assessments and such haven't indicated any real areas of concern, half the time I'm convinced I'm not going to reach my personal aim of getting As in everything. At the peak of this madness, I got a bit annoyed at getting a 7.5/10 for a practise exam question, which as we all know is 0.5 of a point off an A. I'M GOING TO FAIL. But on the other hand (this is back to the first hand- not some conceptual third hand. That would just be silly.), I'm starting to view the idea of revision as less of a hassle, and more of a vital component of my weekly life. Though I generally reject the idea of duty, I'm a strong believer of the idea that so-called 'shade' is needed in our lives to enable appreciation of the 'light'. As is often the case, I have yet to practise what I preach; in the first day of my 'big revision 3-day weekend', I have done precisely 0% revision, 0% homework and 100% piss arsing about with videogames.
So perhaps I should go and do some revision. Then there's the homework. And that Cambridge essay isn't going to write itself.
In an earlier blog, I briefly mentioned a bizarre story I wrote when I was younger. I've been taking advantage of the snow closure to clear out my cupboards today, and although I can't find the story in question, I've found some interesting and strange things nonetheless. I would thoroughly recommend looking at your old school work, if you still have it- it's hilarious.
First off is this diary, reading 'journal' oddity circa 2006; Elliott Wright age 11, if you will. It's a goldmine. Here are a few excerpts.
"In maths we found out where our food comes from."
"We had a french teacher who taught us french"
"The dance instructer came to teach us more of the ghost dance."
"(TEACHER NAME REMOVED) was very strict this morning- i don't blame her. Some kids didnt use capital letters and full stops!"
"I learned the most in I.C.T- about islam!"
I sound so proud.
"In maths we did a fudge investigation- and in the end we got fudge."
I'm starting to think I got maths confused with food technology.
"Bad news. Yesterday, we had a supply teacher, and nearly everyone was loud, naughty, and disrespectful. (TEACHER NAME REMOVED)s furious. She nearly exploded. I don't blame her. At least I didn't get in trouble. In numeracy we found out how to find out the area of a triangle. You first find the area of a rectangle, and divide it by 2. Easy. (TEACHER NAME) only gave us 10 minutes to do 8 questions. I was the only one who got the questions done. So I diddnt have to stay in at break. I didnt have to stay in anyway even if I didnt complete it, because I was good yesterday"
I'm starting to realise why I didn't have many friends at junior school.
"Good news! We are now allowed to write in pen."
"Yay! This week is anti-bullying week! We have an assembly today, and I get to act in it! I'm a bully who has to boss people around. But then, somebody stands up to me for the victim, and they play and I get angry."
I'm still waiting for that BAFTA.
"Today I have to go home early- I have to see a dermatologist for my skin condition"
Why I felt the urge to write that in a school exercise book I'll never know.
"I think its right as long as they are kept in an enclosure simalar to their natural habitat, and are given good and areas where they can have some privacy"
I really hope I wasn't talking about ethnic minorities here.
Next, a hand-written letter, approximate date Summer 2007, presumably as a means to introduce myself to the teacher I had for the last term of that year. A lanky Australian, if I remember rightly. If my memory serves me correctly he was a nice fellow, though his insistence of the weekly activity of playing 'Aussie rules football' conflicted distinctly with my sedantry preferences. It's pretty standard 11-year old fare, but contains a startling piece on gender equality; "I believe that boys and girls have equal rights, and a girl and boy can be friends.", and "I don't like bullies because I think they should be stopped". Also interesting to note are my career intentions at the time- "When I'm older I want to be a dog breeder or an actor." I still can't quite get my head around the former. I don't even like dogs that much.
Better (or worse) still, I have uncovered work circa 2000-2002, including my earliest recorded piece of writing, in suspiciously neat handwriting and correct spelling.
"Dear Father Christmas, please can I have an action man."
I still find that a bit odd, considering I was never a child who was into action figures, or action of any variety.
Also, my first recorded poem.
As Happy as a canairie
As loving as a pair of guinea pigs,
ash uge as a giant,
as wise as a group of owls,
as fun as two hamsters playing in a box,
as clever as a teacher,
as fast as a very fast ant
as gentle as a kind penguin
as kind as a very nice friend,
as helpful as a helpful hand,
as creative as a monkey,
as shiny as a bright star,
as special as a Christmas tree"
Clearly, this satirical masterpiece predates and serves as a premonition for my later atheism. The abundance of metaphor, frankly incredulous throughout, mocks the notional omniscience of a Christian God, but most of all, it contains the phrase 'as fast as a very fast ant', which probably deserves to be framed.
The religious motifs continue in my earlier work in a Christmas themed illustration (circa 29.11.02), depicting the virgin Mary glaring, quite frighteningly, over the newborn Christ, with the following caption; "Christians believe mary was happy but a little bit worried".
That's pretty much all of it worth mentioning, aside from some particularly demonic illustrations.
What I have learned? Not much more than I already knew. As a child I was very innocent, but also very strange.
As I said earlier, delving into your personal history is always a fascinating procedure, regardless of how painful it may be.
I write this locked in the thrall of that rare phenomenon which can only be described as feeling utterly pleased with myself. This abnormal, yet very quite welcome emotion has come as a result of me finally taking some considerably productive steps towards that previously mentioned task of my inevitably futile entry to the Cambridge University Peterhouse Essay Competion. This emotion does not derive from a belief that I have a cat in hell's chance of being commended for it, let alone winning (my delusion does not stretch that far), but rather that I just wrote a whole lot of nonsense that is probably the beginnings of, and I realise I use this phrase to ludicrous frequency, the best thing I've ever written.
Perhaps one joy of this perilous, youthful stage of my life is that my writing skills are in such an infancy that every new thing I write, self-indulgent blogs notwithstanding, is probably the best thing I've ever written. Nonetheless, I'm really quite excited about it all, which I feel is probably mostly thanks to experiencing the great talents of a certain Mr Oscar Wilde. As good as his satirical dramatic creations are, while Dorian Gray signals a slide into beautiful madness, it is his epistle De Profundis that is an utter masterpiece, albeit one that is only recognized as such once it has come under some analysis. In layman's terms, I've just spent the last couple of hours reading and taking sloppy notes on an overblown letter written by some dead bummer, and I feel fucking great about it. But why? I shan't spoil anything by describing the work, as I would recommend you read it yourselves. But it's just really good, and seems to transfer some of its greatness onto the spectator, as all great works of literature should.
Anyway, I shan't go on, as I don't really know what else to say other than the fact that I 'heart' literature, and also because a chance glance of the television as 'What happens in Kavos' is on has reaffirmed my disdain for humanity (it's one of those hideous documentary programmes that chronicle the idiocy of young british tourists getting drunk and being generally awful in European holiday resorts, of which my view has gradually altered from amusement to bemusement). So yes, I don't know, go and read a book or something. And I mean a good book; as snobbish as this sounds; something that is considered a classic. By that I mean Wilde, Orwell, Salinger, Burgess, Tolkien, Bronte, whoever; not Meyer. Take an extract, and try to assess it critically. You might just have a lot of fun doing it. But probably not, I appreciate.
it's perfectly adequate yet devoid of anything no longer is the tyranny in force replaced by an altogether senseless sensation one may have wished for this they have after aquaintance with it, it seems no nearer satisfaction just numb
"Your blog makes you sound like a manic depressive"
Such a criticism would be damning given by anyone, undoubtedly, but when it's your own mother you can't help but worry. I really should remove her from facebook.
Anyway, my new windows phone came. It's quite good; no, really quite good. I particularly like how personable it is; such is the enjoyment of seeing your photos flit across the menu screen, I happily spent about half an hour downloading pictures of Alan Partridge onto it. Safe to say, if anyone else were to get their hands on the phone, they would think I was a complete mentalist.
Not much else has happened since the last entry, largely on account of the fact I've been writing my English coursework (because nothing says 'Happy New Year' like comparative literature) for the entirety of this week. Having finished it, I can say it's either the best or most pretentious thing I've ever written. Definitely the latter. Actually, perhaps this dismissal is premature. For long I've regarded my 5000 word beast entitled "Should I be concerned by the increasing accuracy of
George Orwell’s dystopian prediction of modern life in his novel ‘Nineteen
Eighty-Four’?”, as the best thing I've ever written, but in retrospect it's more of a report than an essay, and in many ways a mere excuse to experience the joys of using Jeremy Clarkson as part of a highbrow analogy regarding Orwellian conceptualisations. Indeed, I appreciate that most my age enjoy activities such as seeing friends, loud music and inebriation, yet I'm quite content with my bathos, thank you very much. This observation is made sadder still by the fact that most my age don't know what 'bathos' means, either.
Disregarding my Orwell essay, the only other candidate for 'best thing I've ever written' can only really be my last piece of English coursework, given the fact it's the only thing I've really worked on hard on since. As much as it sounds like I do, ultimately I don't really care if this second piece is better or worse than the last, but if it gets anything less than an A I'll never fucking write again. My primary concern is finding time for, and allowing myself to, essay-writing-wise, 'breathe' before I start probably my most ambitious work yet; an entry to the Cambridge University, Peterhouse College Thomas Campion English Prize. There are many problems to face; I haven't done any of it yet and the deadline is the end of March, the questions are dauntingly lofty, even by my ludicrous standards, and if for whatever reason they find this blog, going on the unlikely premise I'll get anywhere with it, I'd probably be immediately disqualified on the grounds of crimes against literature. But anyway, my point is, I quite enjoy writing essays and like to think I'm progressively improving. However, none of this truly compares to one of the stories I wrote in Year 3. I shall have to dig it out soon; it is probably the most insane thing a child has ever written. Not in that delightfully 'zany', childish way, it's just sad. The teacher's sarcastic comment remains distinctly impressed in my memory, daubed in red ink; "Errr, very imaginative". It's quite telling how the very same riposte applies today.
Anyhoo, what else has happened? I watched the Celebrity Big Brother launch the other night, primarily with the view to write a whole blog entry about it. However, two things have prevented this from fruition. The first is the realisation that doing so would be shooting fish in a proverbial barrel; in other words, it is all too easy and uninspired to mock these washed-up cretins, especially when Claire from Steps looks like she's eaten the other members of the group. Secondly, because my notes gathered after viewing were quite pitiful. They are as follows; "crowd looks like a bunch of idiots. 'Lacy Banghard'- funny name. Rylan actually seems like a genuine bloke". By that last one, you could tell that by then my mind had just surrendered to the mush of it all. But lord help me, he does.
Now the New Year has actually happened, I'm feeling a bit better about it. In fact, my spirits as a whole have lifted considerably, probably due to the fact I'm getting a shiny new phone. Though I pride myself on not investing too much value into material objects, all too often it takes a new gadget to cheer me up. I don't know the full name of it but I believe it's a Windows Phone, which I assume are quite good. Good or not, it's a definite improvement on my old phone, which is on all accounts bloody awful. This will also mark the first time I've ever been in possession of a smart phone. Though in a sense this probably serves as an initiation into some abstract condition of subservience to commercial culture, in which 'needs' and 'wants' are so sickeningly and downright annoyingly confused (I freely admit I'm being hypocritical here, as this applies to me whenever the latest Super Mario game comes out), I feel a probably bigger worry of the fact that I'll probably never get off the thing. I shall give, as I rarely put probably should do, an example to support my point; seconds after the new year, instead of popping streamers and hugging each other or whatever the hell you're supposed to do, the people in my company instead turned their heads down to their smartphones and tapped away. Not only did the image resemble a funerary procession, a visually scathing indictment of these capricious times, but I felt like a right tit struggling with my absolute brick of a phone. After texting all my friends (I probably texted about 3 people; so yes, all my friends) and not receiving any replies or acknowledgement of receipt, I started to convince myself they had all 'gone off' me before it shortly emerged that my signal was down.
The previous paragraph, I appreciate, emanates mixed messages; I righteously yet rather misinformedly condemn materialist desire, but on the other hand appear intrigued by gadgets, technology and 'the latest Super Mario game', the childish prick. I can't see why both traits can't be held simultaneously, however contradictory they appear. I think this all boils down to the fact that ultimately, I don't really like to see other people having fun. I have now opened a whole can of contradictory worms for those of you who may be aware of my comedic aspirations; why would such a misanthrope want to make people laugh for a living? Well, for me comedy is much more than 'making people laugh for a living'; chiefly, it's an art form, but no matter what efforts I make to dress it up I think ultimately it's a bizarre career choice borne out of my enduring requirement for external validation. I'm no expert in psychology, so let's just blame my parents for everything and be done with it.
Sorry, yes, gadgets and games. I quite selfishly desire these on occassion, but settle for a rule of quality over quantity to ensure I do not completely demolish the contents of my allowance-funded wallet. As all my money is technically my parents' (at some point in the blog I shall probably discuss at length how I can't get a job despite my numerous efforts, and whinge about how unfair this is), I feel a considerable duty to make sure that whatever I buy is a) good value for money, and b) I would get sufficient use out of it to justify the purchase. Mr Rolfe would be proud, not that any of you know who that is. This duty isn't imposed upon by my parents, not at all; it's completely self-imposed, and I think it ties in with the idea that while I don't assign much value in money, as so many of my contemparies do, but that I appreciate the stuff doesn't grow on trees and shouldn't be wasted. Again, this is something not necessarily taught to me, but something I have felt obliged to make my maxim after sheer experience. I come from a working class family, a statement I attribute to the fact that we didn't get a shower until last year, but I've never really felt denied of anything, a fact that in reflective hindsight is something I've hugely taken for granted. I might go and hug my mum in a bit. That said, as far as I remember my desires haven't been extraneous; instead of demanding, I don't know, ponies, my childhood gifts usually constituted of books (vast quantities), Lego, and, as I will now discuss, videogames.
Now, it would be wrong to assign videogames to my formative years, as I still take an active interest in them, but it would be fair to say that my dependence on them has waned significantly in the past year or two; not necessarily because I believe that they are no longer worthy of my attention, but I've realised that there are things that are, sadly, more worthy of my attention, such as writing big blog posts for an audience of no-one. To wheel out the well-worn excuse, I don't really have time for them any more. This said, I recently (I apologise in advance for the nerdiness) purchased a Nintendo Wii U. In spite of the seemingly apathetic wave of indifference the console seems to be experiencing from commercial and critical audiences, I can honestly say it's bloody brilliant, in that uniquely mad Nintendo way. If we're using a cinematic metaphor, think of Nintendo as the Pixar of the videogames industry; wrongly daubed by morons as some sort of toddler-feed, but actually usually create entertainment that is excellently crafted, apart from Cars 1 and 2. I really fucking hate Cars.
To get back on the subject, to use the term loosely, in spite of increasing disinterest (let's face it, the 3DS and Wii U are shaping up to be highly derivative of their predecessors, and consequently no-where near as revolutionary) Nintendo (apologies for the abundance of parenthesis, but I should point out that I'm using 'Nintendo' as a substitute word for 'videogames', as the games on other platforms have always seemed to bore me) has remained loyal in providing me with considerable entertainment. I speak as if the beloved Japanese game company has been a part of my life from the start, but this wasn't really the case at all until around 2006. This was the year the Nintendo DS really took off, and also the year my older brother received an original blue, I suspect second-hand original Nintendo DS, which now resides in a draw somewhere covered in stickers and collecting dust. It's odd to think how this ugly, tatty bit of blue plastic would shape the next five or so years for me, especially when, as I'll say again, I'm not supposed to attach so much value to physical, material objects. Perhaps it's the modesty of the thing that allows it to slip under this almost buddhist rule, but undeniably it all lies in the games; most notably Animal Crossing: Wild World, the bizarre animal life sim which consumed my life for about 2 years; see also, Mario Kart and the Pokemon games. These names stir within me an emotion that can best be described as heaving nostalgia. Though really this was not too long ago, they nonetheless constitute a shimmering conclusion to a recently bygone era in which genuine amazement was still achievable, which must have ended around the time I learned how to masturbate. In retrospect the contrast between the tiny size of the game cartridges themselves and the tremendous game-playing experience resultant of them is quite poetic, and perhaps goes some way in explaining my tendency to veer towards the humble and unextravagant, as manifested by my reluctance to enjoy spending lots of money. In other words, and I say this with no phallic connotation, in my experience size certainly does not matter.
This is all very well and good, you may be thinking, but what the fuck does it have to do with New Year? Not much, really. All that reminiscing was quite irrelevant, though a new Animal Crossing game is coming out this year, which is good. I do, however, feel an urge to make some sort of New Year's resolution. Surely to decide what needs to be resolved depends on knowing what you need to change about yourself, and if this post is anything to go by, apart from my tendency to over-analyse I seem to have no major flaws. I don't have an alcohol, smoking or drugs problem (although I do endulge in the ocassional calpol), I'm not that fat any more (come to think of it I was happier when I was fat...), there's no problem with my academic record and, as discussed, I don't really need a job for now with all this gadgetery to muck about with. Perhaps I should take myself and other things less seriously; of course, in blog form I maintain an entertaining if cynical outlook, but in 'irl' I often awake to an apocalyptic feeling of dread and I'm not entirely sure why. I probably feel most emotionally contented when I'm writing these big-ass blogs, so perhaps to do more writing and less thinking is key. If I'm going to combat this miserablness I need to take productive steps, and whinging about it in a little-read blog appears oddly therapuetic, if incredibly futile. Hereby, I declare to write an entry at the very least once per week, and also resolve to write some reviews or stories now and then. Most vitally, perhaps I ought to try and have fun again, in the best way I know how; sitting on my own playing with a videogames console.