Dog Soldiers – Halloween Special

Trigger Warnings – Nothing really, except some strong language

Spoiler Alert – Whilst I will avoid ruining the film entirely, I will have to disclose some details about the film as this is a review

Happy Halloween folks! I decided that this year, for my first Halloween special ever, I’d do a review of my favourite horror film, Dog Soldiers. Dog Soldiers was released in 2002 and is the brainchild of English film director Neil Marshall, a man perhaps better known for The Descent and some of his work on Game of Thrones as a director for “The Watchers on the Wall”. The film is about a team of soldiers playing war games in the Scottish highlands, only to discover things are not as they seem when they find dead bodies all over the place and the only possible explanation seems to be the work of the supernatural when the only survivor they can find seems to have massive claw-shaped wounds on his gut. One thing leads to another and our crack squad of reluctant heroes find themselves under siege in an abandoned cottage, pumping lead into a legion of werewolves. The film is low-budget, chock-a-block with banter and references and a weird cross between a horror movie and a war film, as creating a weird hybrid genre

I love this film, it doesn’t scare me but it greatly amuses me all the same because it is so damn clever and yet so goddamn cheesy. The title alone is a clever play on words. Dog Soldiers could refer to the fact that there are both dogs and soldiers in the film, a mash of two genre titles or the fact that “Dog Soldiers” refers to military operatives given shitty tasks and nothing could be more shitty than being flung into a forest and being made to fight lycanthropic nightmare stuff. A clever combination of genres, this film ticks off as much as it can on the iconography of being a horror film and a war film. Isolation, a monster we don’t see but still fear, endless victims, blood and guts on the horror front but you have the comradery, class divides and heroic sacrifices of the war genre.

I can’t decide on my favourite character either – Cooper the protagonist played by Kevin Mckidd (Trivia, this role was offered to Statham who would have done it but had another film on at the time), Sergeant H.G Wells (Yes, yes that’s his name) played by Sean Pertwee or Captain Ryan played by the Onion Knight… Ok I’m starting to realise everyone who is remotely famous in Britain is destined to end up in Game of Thrones, give it long enough and we’ll see David Tenant cast as a freakin’ long last relative of the Starks. The film mostly revolves around banter for dialogue, with everyone being as typical English as possible talking about football, obscure English slang, cups of tea and kebabs but laced within it all is references to everything from Zulu to The Matrix. I know the film is low-budget and the werewolf costumes are hilariously low-par, heck one actor has his boots visible under the costume at one point, but it is so cleverly done when you look at it carefully and if I had the know-how on video editing, I’d do a scene by scene breakdown of this film for all it’s worth but I lack that know-how and copyright infringement issues and yadda yadda yadda so you’re stuck with a blog post, deal with it.

Every detail is done on purpose and I won’t spoil it but I’ll just cover some great bits I love:

– In the weapon-choosing scene, I love that Cooper picks the sword because he’s the protagonist and protagonists get swords

– I love the sacrifice scene, it’s beautifully tragic and you love the guy who goes so it’s actually sad because throughout the film he’s been the funniest fucker going

– Liam Cunningham is a great actor and I can’t reveal why, it’ll spoil the film but watch him closely and see if you can spot something about his character

– The film isn’t very long but it’s so full of content in its run time that you never have a moment to go “Well this is boring”, the moment you settle down, something happens to progress the plot or the action and the edge of your seat gets real used to the feel of the butt

– One of the characters genuinely fights a werewolf with a saucepan and another, knowing his death is imminent, fucking takes a seven-foot monster on with his bare hands and a chavvy attitude, taunting the grizzly bitch before it guts him like a fish

– The Matrix reference, watch it, spot it, laugh

Honestly, watch this film, I want to tell you so much more about it but I’ll spoil it so shall I give you a lot some time to try and see it for yourself so I can do a talk about it? Tempting, but it’d go on so so long, I can tell you endless fucking trivia and analysis of this film from start to finish, I studied it at great length in college and loved it, didn’t really scare me that much because I know the conventions of horror so I can guess every scare before it happens (A friend took me to see Woman in Black and they were annoyed I didn’t even budge at it, calling it ‘predictable’ because it is). If you’re a fan of horror movies, or indeed war films or anything to do with the supernatural then this is a must-see, a plucky British movie about army soldiers versus werewolves in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a few rifles, some pots and pans and a broadsword for an arsenal, all whilst cracking-wise, shitting bricks and talking like real Cockney gits. I just… I just really like this film. Go watch it. But it on your DVDs and slap it in your disc-playing-thingymabob with your popcorn and your coke and just enjoy it, just fucking… just watch


Grinding Gears

Trigger Warnings – None that I could notice

I’m pissed off, this article isn’t going to a beautifully constructed representation of a liberal opinion or perspective with an argument to support it, it’s another exercise in gnashing my teeth together in frustration with the world. I’ve managed to keep posting every day and I insist on continuing to do so, whatever the mood, but when I’m annoyed or tired then my ability to reason is impaired and my head clouds up, as well as boils over. I apologise if this seems self-indulgent, just ranting over the internet, I am currently without a therapist and though my friends help, they can’t do it all

I’ve said it before and will say so again, my immediate family in my household have no interest in my blog or in fact in me, outside of a cash machine and a chef. I bought myself Samurai Warriors 4 recently and my brother Jonah has spent triple the amount of time playing it as I have and that peeves me for some reason, to see someone doing better than me at my game so to speak. I mean, imagine buying yourself a chess set and letting your friend borrow it only to find you never seem to get to play chess because your friend just won’t stop playing it, why didn’t they just get their own chess set? Oh right of course, it cost £40. £40 of my hard-earned cash and I’ve played £4 worth of it. Stupid thing to rant about I know but yeah

So today I’m annoyed because I came home exhausted from a lot of work, my brothers have seen how hard I’ve been working and whilst I did try to get one of them to consider volunteering, he’s had his chances, he won’t bother and I know it so fuck it. I got excited at the thought of teaching him the ropes, having someone I know well and can communicate efficiently with but yeah, that’d place him in my realm as it were. Anyway, I get home, I think “It’ll be quiet, I can get an hour’s gaming in, make dinner, eat, blog, message my friends for a bit then bed”. Did that happen? Nope, I don’t own the console, it’s in my brothers’ shared room so when I walk in they’re there watching MLP. Yes, they’re both adults, yes they both MLP, yes you’re entitled to like whatever you like but I still hate MLP with a passion for being an obnoxious poison that gets involved with everything. Doctor Whooves, Ponified Supernatural, Sherlock Hooves, whatever – nothing is sacred to a brony except flippin’ Pinky Puff or Applecrack or whatever they’re called, I don’t know.

Erhem, so yeah, I left, I just went and made dinner, it was lack lustre and now I’m in my bed, blogging and full of resentment. My time for me is being spent in a cell of a bedroom just brewing in my own bitter juices and staring at Facebook. I suffer that same condition that blights my generation, always returning and refreshing but never anything interesting is there? People barely respond to me, good friends of mine are always out of reach and my social life revolves around the same three faces, which isn’t a bad thing but I think of friends I have outside of those three and kinda feel grumpy that they never want anything to do with me outside of Facebook. I’ve tried my best to keep in touch with some people to the point of just clogging up their inboxes with months of backed up “Hey, what’s up?” style messages for them to continue ignoring.

I think my depression is taking hold again, yes I’m self-diagnosing but if you met my past three doctors, you’d know why. Three times I went to see about a diagnosis, I did a questionnaire and got 24/30 on the risk survey and their genius solution between all three of them? Worry less. Worry. Less. Two smegging words was all I got, tell a lie, they did recommend I go on holiday. Well fuck me, if I had the money to just galavant off to Gibraltar every time I got glum, I’d never work a day in my life. So yeah, I’m pretty sure my depression is settling in, I feel isolated more than anything, like I’m an outsider to the entire world because I just don’t connect with people, I just find myself tolerating them until the sun sets, at which point the mask cracks and they notice I’m actually seething with quiet rage. I do connect with a choice few and enjoy good chemistry with some but it doesn’t combat those feelings of loneliness and I can’t exactly come home to any of them and have them dispel all my anger with a stroke of my cheek

Maybe ultimately it comes down to that, loneliness. I want to feel wanted and want to want someone in turn, there has been someone on my mind but that’s dead in the dust and I’ll thank you not to pry. Short version is, reality laughed at me and told me to give up on that lost cause or else I’ll never be happy. I can and will in time but it’s left me cold I think, combined with a heavy workload, dull social life and a household of headaches, I’m just a mess right now and I don’t know what to do with myself

Sorry again, normal service will resume as soon as I can fix my mask

Ignorance and Inspiration

Trigger Warnings – Whilst outdated, this article contains opinions that may be deemed offensive to certain people, though they only serve as examples. Mentions of sexual assault and homophobic attitudes

Hello everyone. So, at the start of the week I did an article for Asexual Awareness week and I did a lot to teach people about the subject but I realise it is one of those topics that if it doesn’t directly affect you, you’re not likely to know about it and probably don’t even consider it, perhaps some of the ignorance in this world is simply a result of such. Ignorance, if not worked upon, is not exactly a brilliant trait for one to possess but you can’t shame someone for ignorance, only if they are not willing to learn more and so to help give you some perspective, I want to give you some insight as to the ignorant views I myself once held in my younger days

I think angsty is probably a great word to describe my younger self, maybe more towards raging asshole actually. A romantic would view me as the lone rogue, dressed all in black and standing apart from the crowd without a peer or indeed a care in my heart and I am not ashamed to admit I was a selfish and melodramatic young teen. However, for my academic smarts and brute strength in a fight, I was ignorant of people, I knew nothing of their struggles and pains, of their ways of life, I knew only the path I stared down and thought nothing of the world around me. I wasn’t always a man who promoted equality and justice, I thought justice meant revenge and here are some of the ignorant things I once thought

1. Being gay is okay (Just don’t be gay with me!)

A common one I hear from a lot of lads, saying “He can bum who he wants but if he tries touching me up, I’ll kick his head in”. This is a presumptuous statement, it assumes that by default you are attractive to gay men. Is every woman in the world attracted to you sir? No, they’re not, same applies to men. I don’t know why I thought this, it was before I had met anyone of the LGBT community (excluding not knowing my brother was in the closet, I suspected but never thought much of it at the time and I barely knew my eldest sister at the time who is a lesbian). I believe this is more a comment of fear and misunderstanding, some men view homosexuality as an infringement on their masculinity, as if they’ll be treated by gay men the same way they treat women. I would urge people of this philosophy to calm down, in all my life I can count the amount of gay men that have hit on me on one hand and it’s not a difficult situation to diffuse and heck, I feel flattered to be truthful, especially as not one of those men has ever presumed me to be gay, at most bisexual. You need only be courteous and decline politely, the way women tend to decline you lads (Well, nice women, let them down how you’d like to be let down)

2. Dressing provocatively is asking to be assaulted

Again, this is a common argument I hear, the line being “Well when you’re dressed like that, what do you expect?”. Newsflash, you don’t dress for other people, you dress for yourself and to be honest, if a man walks down a street with his chest on show then he isn’t checking every corner for an attacker, why should a woman have to? A woman should not have to dress with the views of society in mind, simply her own tastes – wear that skimpy top if you really want, you like it, you wear it and if, heaven forbid, you are a victim of assault then it was not your fault for your dress sense because men as a rule should have self-control to not lose themselves to a lustful frenzy just because they saw a bit too much cleavage for one day. I can manage it and I’m a man with a knack for womanising and a history of self-control issues but not once have I ever even considered attacking a woman for dressing provocatively, heck I’m too modest to even oggle

3. The friend zone

Yes, I believed in the friend zone once upon a time, being the non-threatening guy pal to a lot of attractive women who knew I wouldn’t step over the boundaries when they were laid down. I resented it and I always grappled with this conflict in myself as to why these girls weren’t falling for me when all I ever did was do everything they wanted from a guy. Well, I feel this needs an article in itself and I’ll admit I only got over this view rather recently after some soul-searching but the truth is you shouldn’t validate your efforts as a friend by the end-goal of sex or a romantic relationship, the platonic love is no less significant. I know it sucks that she’ll never see you as her boyfriend and that you might never have what you wanted but if you love this person, love them enough to let them pursue what they truly dream of, don’t try to force your dreams upon them because it will destroy you inside as they resist those dreams until it makes you burn inside just to look at them

Those are just three for now, it was actually rather hard to think these up surprisingly but yeah, I haven’t always been uber-liberal love-and-acceptance, I used to be bitter and self-entitled to my personal dreams in life, as if what I wanted meant more and the issues of others fell upon their own shoulders, nothing more. I thought everyone was responsible for their own bad hands in life and maybe that’s why it cut me up for so long with everything that happened to me in life, I accepted the blame for every bad thing that happened in my life. The point of this article is to encourage people not to just despise those who are misinformed but educate them, nurture them and make them an ally as was done with me. I learnt about these things because they affected friends – I had relatives in the LGBT community and made friends there too, I had friends who dressed in rather alluring attire and felt sick to the gut at the thought of something happening to them, I did not want to ruin my friendships by resenting people for not reciprocating my desires. We all change as we learn about the world, a friend of mine recently admitted to me in confidence that they realised they were a misogynist and weren’t fully comfortable with that so rather than bite their head off, I tried to understand the roots of these views and I hope to help this friend of mine find a new outlook on the female gender over time

My friends upon the left-wing, we face a difficult battle with gender equality, gay marriage, the understanding and acceptance of the full sexual spectrum, better education on mental health and sexual education and even those of non-mainstream religions so let us not see every white hetero male as a villain, let us befriend them and teach them what we know and be taught in return. Ignorance is the enemy of humanity, we must unite as one and slay it

Good Company

Trigger Warnings – Nothing as far as I can tell

Nothing hot-button to discuss tonight folks, I’m rather tired and woke up feeling shoddy. Admittedly I recovered over the course of the day but I’ve had a nice day in all and I’m more just taking a night to let myself breathe, things have been hectic in the world of Wolfe lately. The Christmas season approaches, though I protest for it to wait until the end of November, and with my manager working harder in her duties, I’m working harder in mine and I’m ok with this but it can still become tiring. Ah well, I had today to myself, I made the most of it and I’ve only got two more days of work before enjoying two more days off. Admittedly this funny rota can mean the days of the week mean bugger all to me, I don’t have your conventional weekends any more so I can’t really keep track of what day it is any more but I manage perfectly alright so I shan’t make a fuss

I’m home by myself this evening for the last time in a while as my stepmother and her mother are coming soon so as soon as I knew this would be so, I went out of my way to enjoy it. I say that, I made myself a nice tomato and bacon pasta dish, bought myself some nibbles and am currently sat in front of Samurai Warriors 4. The game is article worthy in itself but I’ve found whenever I’m home alone I talk so much more and about so much, just out loud to myself, even using body language. I imagine to any voyeurs peering in at me I must look mad, waving my arms around in the kitchen as I tell myself the joys of cooking one’s own food. I recently discovered talking to yourself isn’t a sign of madness but in fact intelligence, for whatever reason, but a study showed that those who do talk to themselves are generally higher up the IQ scale. Yes, IQ is flawed as a measure of intellect but still

Creature comforts are fun, nothing is quite the same as a quiet evening with a warm jumper and good food. Yes, I overcooked the bacon a smidge and didn’t prepare quite enough sauce but as I sat there eating, I remembered this would be the last time I’d do this until I had the money to live independently and even then it’d only be for so long until I wanted someone in my life, if only to bounce ideas off. I’m a madman when left to my own devices, I never shut up, I giggle, I make bad jokes, I even dance and my ultimate ambition is to one day not be embarrassed to do such things in the presence of someone who brings out the best in me. I’m thankful for my closest friends, they bring me out of my shell but even so I think they’d begrudge me if I lounged across them all the time (though a particular friend does so enjoy making me into furniture)

As vane as it sounds, I like my own company, I like thinking aloud and I like being as unconventional as I am. Yes, I’m probably weird and would not make the best neighbour in the world but in my own company I am confident, I speak with perfect eloquence (Despite what my written style might lead you to think, in person I rarely say more than three words at a time, a sentence of four words or longer often includes some sort of stutter or is entirely nonsensical for all the grammatical mistakes. I don’t know why, just is). I can get bored and lonely sure, I do sometimes wish that the evenings to myself were instead nights in with a partner or a night out with a few good buds but I think everyone should enjoy their own company and be just that extra little bit weirder. I’d encourage you all to talk to yourself once in a while, be truly passionate about your hobbies without fear of judgment, strut around your flat naked without worrying about decency, reflect on the joys in your life whilst nobody is around to make you feel awkward. The world will provide you with enemies so work hard at being your own friend

Asexual Matter

Trigger Warnings – Sexual content and mature discussions

No the title isn’t a typo, I didn’t mean to call this article “A Sexual Matter”, it is indeed “Asexual Matter” because this week, as you may or may not know, it is Asexual Awareness week. I sound smart, I didn’t know either but Laci Green made a post about it so I figured what the hey? I know a few people of the asexual orientation and seeing as I’m stuck for ideas, I might as well use this hot topic seeing as it was sorta served into my lap. I will hope to clarify some of the myths and confusion surrounding asexuality, hopefully educating those who have no idea what I’m going on about, or those who think I have friends that are in fact plants

So asexuality is not asexual reproduction, it is not a case of these people humping themselves to get themselves pregnant and pop out clones, that’s just ludicrous and just as a heads up, if someone comes out as asexual, don’t ask “So you’re sexually attracted to yourself?”. Asexual, on its broadest terms, means someone who does not experience sexual attraction and doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t experience romantic attraction because love and lust are two different things and the pinnacle of love is not mashing your genitalia together like demented bunnies. An asexual person can still feel arousal and may even feel the urge to masturbate, but as a general rule they see a woman and see a woman, or see a guy and just see a guy, less of this “I’d tap that” attitude that is so common amongst those of us with sexual attraction

Asexuals are not asexual because of a choice or a bad relationship, much in the same way a lesbian isn’t a lesbian because she thinks there’s no man right for her, sexual orientation simply is, there’s no “cause” for it because otherwise you’d have to ask straight people what “made” them straight. Celibacy is a choice and don’t confuse asexuality for celibacy. An asexual person may just not feel attraction to men or women or any other gender identity much in the same way a gay man may not feel attraction to women or so forth

Ok, so far so good? Right, this might confuse you but stick with me ok? Now, I shall assume you all know sexuality is a spectrum, it’s not as simple as “He’s a gay man, he likes dick, done”. A gay man can, for example, find himself attracted to a woman for whatever reason and still consider himself gay, the labels of sexuality are just there to help people find their own identity and you’re free to take whichever label suits you, they merely exist for convenience, not categorisation. Ok, so on that same token an asexual person can feel sexual attraction, this may or may not be linked with a desire for sex, these people often take the name “Grey asexuals” as they’re in a grey area of the spectrum, not quite sexually driven but not completely chaste. Respect that, much in the same way you’d want someone to respect your attractions – you don’t pick and choose who you find attractive, you just do, you can’t decide “Ok, I want to find this woman attractive and I want to stop picturing this guy naked. Done. That’s my sex life sorted!”

Now I can understand that for those who love to have sex or sexual thoughts or are in sexual relationships, the idea of someone who doesn’t want sex is weird at first but it’s not that weird when you consider it. I think some people confuse sexual attraction and personal attraction at times, especially as we were taught relationships were the gateway to marriage then sex then kids then family then happiness and voila but a relationship is more than that. I’ve been single for a little while now and what I miss most about relationships isn’t having someone play with my junk, it’s having someone to hold in my arms and smile at, it’s having to pay for someone else’s dinner, it’s having someone I can lounge beside and not be so self-conscious when they’re around and when you hold back on the sexual element of a relationship, it can seem a much sweeter thing. Asexuality often means that these people don’t have the desire to make sex a part of their relationship but they can still desire a relationship, just more for the cuddling and pet-names than having someone to call on to do the horizontal shuffle.

Sexuality is a topic we need to destroy the taboo surrounding, our parents and grandparents put up this “Oh no no no! Bad topic! Bad topic!” shame/fear around the subject but it’s a part of all our lives, whether we want it to be or not, we live in a society of sex – popstars, celebrities, internet porn, strip clubs – sex is there, we all know what it is, let’s make it something we can have a mature discussion about. Asexuality is just as valid an orientation as hetero, homo, bi, pan or any other sexuality and if you have any further questions, ask. If you ask politely, people are often happy to teach you, they want people to know

I hope this article helped to bust some myths and teach some truths. For further reading, try to learn more about asexuality or comment down below any questions/queries you might have and I’ll respond to the best of my knowledge

Enter the Dominatrix

Trigger Warnings – Sexual content

Sorry for yesterday, I needed to vent and have a little bitch fit but with that done, here is the post I actually wanted to write yesterday. I decided to get my gamer shades on again and write about another new release that I wish I could get but alas, once again, my lack of a Wii U is biting me in the backside. The more astute Nintendo fans can put two and two together as they figure out which recent release on the Wii U is about a sexualised character – yup, I want Bayonetta 2. The game has been a long awaited release for fans of the original like myself and if you don’t know about this game, I urge you to find out about it. The lovechild of a forbidden romance between a sage and a witch sells her soul to darkness for the powers to kill the angels that destroyed her kind and is led on a wild goose chase across the city of Vigrid as she tries to remember her past, suss out who her true enemy is and generally try to have fun. Bayonetta evokes a marmite reaction as a game though because the protagonist is a woman with legs up to her eyes in a tight catsuit that takes off this catsuit to use it as a living weapon and her motions are generally erotic so whilst some love the game, some call it a shameless attempt to pander to the male gaze and a degrading interpretation of women in video games. I am here to argue on behalf of Bayonetta, seeing as she wouldn’t argue her case, she’d just whip til you apologise and then “How do the Americans put it? Pop a cap in yo ass”

Before I begin, obviously this is the view of a white male, a liberal-minded feminist white male but still ultimately male. I am not a woman, I do not represent women and this article is purely my opinion so don’t give me flak if this seems like a lopsided argument, it is purely what I think of the character and you are free to your own interpretations. Ok, I should also add that I do not like Bayonetta as a game solely on the basis that the lead character is a sexy witch with a posh accent, whilst that sounds attractive I actually like the game for the fluid combat system, interesting plot (which granted is not dissimilar to that of Devil May Cry 4 but the same producer so hey) and the pleasing aesthetics and controls of the game making it one of the most well constructed and replayable games of the genre so again, no flak, I’m not defending Bayonetta out of some sort of raging horniness over the protagonist

Bayonetta, to me, represents a great character and a great female character. Bayonetta is strong, but not in the moody bitch with guns kinda way, by contrast she is actually quite cheerful, stern but she has fun doing what she does. Bayonetta is not the reluctant grump like most ‘strong’ female characters who just sorta get dragged into it and make snide comments whilst pointing guns at things half-heartedly, but she’s also not the other type of strong female character who is just sounds constantly horny but denies anyone a touch except that one guy. Sure, there’s Luka but Luka isn’t to Bayonetta what the Doctor is to River, they aren’t equals engaged in playful banter, Luka is Bayonetta’s little ball of fluff, something to amuse her, she evens calls him “Cheshire”, the name she gave her stuffed toy. To be honest, I think Bayonetta only tolerated Luka’s hatred and didn’t just snap his neck was because he’s funny when he’s being self-righteous and angry because Bayonetta knows it’s a load of shit and that if she stood there naked before him, he’d forget his grudge in an instant and beg for her touch. Bayonetta sees through the men of the game, shown as shallow and greedy incompetents, and she just strings them all along for her own amusement with no consequences on her part because she knows she’s what they want, she is a weapon in more ways than one

You see, I feel the problem most writers face, including myself, is that a strong female character in their mind is a woman who is just grumpy and packs a weapon of some description. Sexualised in appearance but not attitude and she resorts to either making smart-ass comments or showing no personality at all to assure the men around her that she will not be sleeping with them. I have yet to meet a woman like that because that’s not a woman, not really. Female characters are like male characters, they need to have strengths, weaknesses, hopes, dreams, fears and things to be proud of. A good female character has to incorporate something that is true of women-kind – perhaps your female character has insecurities about their appearance and shrugs it off by acting all arrogant (Lana Kane), perhaps your female character despises children because she is a fun loving young free spirit scared of commitment because of a history of loss and being surrounded by shallow self-serving idiots has her doubting the honesty of everyone around her (Bayonetta). You see where I’m going with this? By trying too hard to make her strong, you deny her female identity and then you’ve either got the fetishistic guns-and-tits combo character or the miserable companion character stuck following after your impulsive male lead. Good female characters have things that make us remember they have issues that matter to them and that remind us that these characters can add something to a formula that enhances it much more than the absence of that character. Doctor Who didn’t take a downward spiral after River Song left because she was the confusing sexy-counterpart to the Doctor but Amy Pond was more, she was a mother, she was stuck in a love triangle and she had dreams that were crushed and had to deal with that – that’s why more people miss Amy than miss River, from what I’ve seen at least

Leading back to Bayonetta, Bayonetta embraces her female identity and uses it as a weapon to distract her opponents, overwhelm their senses and all the while have a good giggle. Bayonetta is sexualised and erotic yes, but not for the sake of it, she is a dominatrix, so very clearly. The themes of BDSM in her choice of weapons, the ‘Climax’ attack, the tongue-in-cheek humour of sex that, never directly refers to the act or even the parts involved but she talks about “playing games” and “pillow talk”. Bayonetta is teasing her enemies and bringing the saints to sinners as a power play simply because she can and she enjoys it, note the constant smug grin on her lips. Bayonetta is very intelligent and manipulative, she doesn’t waste her talents on Rodin or Enzo because they’re on her side, she knows she has them under her thumb but the angels? Enemies, enemies that she taunts with her sexuality. A sexualised woman is not a bad thing, I think I covered that before, this is a woman who is proud of her body and flaunting it on the battlefield to bring her enemies to their knees so she can execute them with ease. Personally, I love it, I think she’s funny and witty and charming and it’s good to see a character who is sexualised for a reason. Women in games are generally sexy for no apparent reason, like Ivy in Soulcalibur, why does she don such a skimpy outfit that is very out of character for one so uptight? The answer there is male gaze but Bayonetta does it on purpose, she wants the world to stare, she wants people to gawp or call her names because she takes life with a spring in her step out of a sense of superiority

The game is universally well received and the sequel is already beloved but one review knocked it down for being too sexualised to enjoy. I’m sorry, what? Ok, firstly, I thought gaming guys, as a stereotype, loved this stuff but the fact that your lead character is someone who knows they’re hot stuff, embraces it and uses it as a weapon is a bad thing. Oh right, silly me, women shouldn’t be openly proud of being attractive, how disgusting. I forgot that confidence is a terrible personality trait. Would the game be enhanced for Bayonetta being your standard female character for this genre? Come on, what’ll it be – skimpy clothes and acting as if they’re normal attire or dirty hair and a tank top? Bayonetta is a statement, it wants to stand out, it pokes fun at needlessly sexy characters by making one who is sexy for a reason, she’s fabulously flaunting what her momma gave her because she wants to. I think it’s a bold move and a welcome refreshment from samey-characters and games, I dare you to find me five games quite like Bayonetta. Struggling? Ok, five games like… well let’s say Dead Space. Oh that was easy, there’s fucking tons. Space age shooter with cool outfits and tech? Halo, Alien:Isolation, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Doom. Sure, the camera is gratuitous with body shots but I can’t help feeling the camera acts as if the witch herself directed it – she’s hot, whatever the style, and she wants us all to know that

I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe you don’t, but I think Platinum Games created something fun and unique and made a character I’d personally enjoy the company of… if it weren’t for the fact she’d probably just chain me to a wall until she got bored of slapping me in the face

Nights Like These Are Why I Should Drink

Trigger Warnings – Nothing

Sorry for the late post, had one hell of a bad day. I had this glorious blog post planned but it can wait, for now I just want to scream. I finish work, get baffled by the paperwork so decide to leave it for tomorrow morning as its not due til Monday. I go home, no key under the mat and when I knock, nobody is in because the youngest is out with mates and my Dad and my brother Jonah went out, neglecting to leave me a key. I know they don’t read my blog, any of them, they never express interest in it so I feel okay to whine and entitled to. I thought I had a place to go, it fell through and Dad suggested I go stay with his friend but I hate to impose on people I barely know.  Anyway, stuck out on the streets for the night I go back to the shop, decide to shelter somewhere warm that I can freely access, planning on getting a cuppa and trying again at those papers. No milk. I lose it at that point and sulk in a corner with a puzzle (which I put together after half an hour). I get told Jonah’s performance ends at 9 so Dad and Jonah will pick me up at 9:30. 9:20, still nothing, 10:00 I hear they’ve only just left so I can expect them at 10:20 instead. I get dropped off at the local Chinese to go grab my dinner and order Kungpo Chicken with Large Egg Fried Rice. I get two boxes of something and go home, serve it up, rice is the wrong size but he charged me less so I won’t complain. I start eating and it tastes awful, disgusting shite, the chicken is wrong… except only after I’ve woken up a bit do I realise it’s awful because it’s prawns. I fucking hate prawns. A dinner I can’t eat, a house I couldn’t go home to and just generally going batty

I don’t drink, tried it, didn’t take to it and don’t like the idea of taking any substance that dulls my intellect as it is my most prized trait above all else, except for my upright character. I know this is just a guy whining but fuck, I need to whine, I need to vent and maybe better people put up with worse shit but this is my struggle, this is hard for me and my own personal breaking point is being teased with to the point where I’m gonna flip to such an extent I’ll be an Olympic gymnast. I just wanna, I wanna… I dunno, something involving branding irons and faces. Gah!

Times like these are when I just need something comforting to crawl into. I was gonna curl up with Chinese food and stream some TV but the food is crap and the internet is iffy. Great. Applications will be considered for a comfort buddy, must be a non-irritating example of the human species


Things I H8

Trigger Warnings – Strong language throughout and mentions of sexual assault

I’m going to start by saying I’m a feminist, if you hadn’t guessed already – I didn’t always understand the cause of feminism growing up, saw stereotypes and took my impressions of the cause from them until I decided to dig deeper and then realised that feminism isn’t a bunch of angry housewives wanting to beat men to death (not at the core, there are a few bad eggs but hey you get Buddhist marauders so…) but in fact people of all walks of life standing for equal rights, to have a world where everyone, at the most base level of human rights, gets the same treatment. I couldn’t agree more with this cause, we should all be equal because until I see a definitive reason one human being is greater than the rest (i.e born with a fucking halo) then you know, we should just try to get along as equals, be we gay, bi, trans, man, woman or none of the above

FCKH8 recently resurfaced in the attention of the masses with their ‘feminist’ advert, yes advert, in which little girls dressed as princesses drop the effing f-bomb like there’s no fucking tomorrow. Watch it to understand this article it’s easily found on YouTube. Now, I’m not against swearing, I curse like a sailor with his dick in a vice when I want to, swear words are so interwoven with our society as a whole that children swearing comes as no shock to me personally but to a lot of people this advert was a slap in the face, an affront to their senses as pretty girls screamed that they weren’t damsels in distress. Ok, so on the feminist front, it’s great that one message of this advert is that girls are not obliged to conform to the princess trope, that women aren’t helpless prizes to be won for a man’s achievements but the real problem with this advert isn’t the foul language, it’s everything else about the advert and just a heads up, this gets dark

I have an issue with using children to push products and messages they don’t understand, these girls are helpless, not because they are girls but because they are children being manipulated into shameless advertising. Sure, a third of the proceeds from the shirt sales goes to charity but that is not saying much if, out of your donation to a charity, only 33% actually goes to the cause and 66% goes towards everything else. Speaking only for Oxfam, as someone who works for the charity, we keep less than 20% of the money for running our business and the rest goes straight to fighting the spread of Ebola, supporting people affected by the conflicts in Gaza and so on and so on. The message is insincere, these aren’t the little girls defying the trope, these are little actors reading a script. Why not just ask these girls “Do you really want to be a princess?” and then have some girls saying that they’d rather be doctors or police officers or something that is generally considered a ‘male’ profession. A bunch of eight years olds swearing and reading statistics off a prompt just sends the message that they’re being pushed, sure they seem fine with it but that’s the thing with being manipulated, you never actually complain about being manipulated. Why not use adults? Why must we face the ‘shock’ of exploitation? The message is for adults, children don’t have pay inequality issues (yet) so using kids to talk about it undermines the sincerity of the message as little more than a stunt

Actually, that rolls onto my next issue with the advert, the statistics. Setting aside the obnoxious cocky tones that just further the stereotype of the angry feminist, there are mentions of rape, with the statistic that one in five women are the subject of sexual assault and one girl then asks in an eerie tone “Which of us will it be?”. You’re fucking ten years old, you shouldn’t be worrying about that. I know children can be victims of such assault but we shouldn’t be making them consider that at such a young age, gathering them in groups of five and then asking them which one they think is gonna get it first. Sexual assault is a serious issue that needs to be tackled but this isn’t the way to do it and the fact this adverts gives these girls the impression they are unstoppable forces of nature that should demand respect means that heaven forbid they ever are the victims of such assault, they will blame themselves because if something stops the unstoppable, the unstoppable doubts itself. You shouldn’t build someone up like that because it won’t hold water and they’ll be the victim when it all crashes down. I thought I was the greatest, turns out I wasn’t, I loathed myself and even now still have doubts about myself.

The advert, which is what it is, is a shameless debauchery of the cause, cementing the idea in people’s minds that a feminist is a foul-mouthed pissy little girl criticising men for having dicks. Saying fuck in a dress is not feminism and this advert is not empowering for anyone. Would you have your kids watch the advert? No? So the kids learn nothing. Do you feel empowered watching children swear at you? No? So you learnt nothing, other than FCKH8 is a penny-pinching organisation confusing anger and rage for justice. I mean, take the name, clearly meaning to read as ‘Fuck Hate’. Fuck it? Yes, nothing resolves hatred like hatred and heck, this organisation has always had trouble with it’s messages – seeing bisexuality as a cross between gay/straight, having very little to say for trans* equality, insinuating that effeminate gay men are the ‘best’ representatives of their cause – but an attitude of petty acts and outlandish anger just sells the greater cause short. FCKH8 is to the LGBT movement is what Farage is to British Politics – the noisy idiot that makes everyone look bad and makes us turn away from the whole affair.

In summary, feminism is not anger and rage and swear-words, it is simply wanting equality for all and though the name starts with ‘fem’ it is not about angry women ruling the world and castrating us all from birth, it represents the interests of us all. FCKH8, you did not relay a positive message by exploiting your children into selling your crappy confrontational t-shirts, you just embarrassed people trying to make a difference

The Protagonist Takes The Stage

Trigger Warnings – Body image, challenging philosophies meaning this article is not for those unwilling to consider new ideas

The other day, I put up a status on my personal Facebook account about Cat from Red Dwarf and his reasoning as to why the world revolves around him. The Cat had the following in his defence

“Take food, until I bite it, it has no taste. Even when I know what I’m going to say, I don’t bore myself saying it and then here’s the clincher, everything interesting that ever happened to me happened when I was in the room”

Whilst this might seem like an amusing and possibly convincing argument, I’d like to discuss the philosophy of the Protagonist Effect, the idea that your life is about yourself and the world might not necessarily revolve around you but what matters most to you is your own personal world, your challenges, your achievements and such like. I suppose in an age of cinema and story-telling we naturally come to associate ourselves with a central role in the story of our lives, nobody thinks themselves the background character, but whilst you might think of your life, you can easily overlook the lives of others much in the same way you watched Iron Man to watch a film about Tony Stark and his metal suit, not the story of that one journalist who tried to interview him. You don’t know that journalist’s name, whether or not he has kids, siblings, hopes, dreams, regrets – he was just a part of the scenery, an accessory to the Stark story and this occurs in our own lives, passersby become background characters and not people until they do something to directly effect us or attract our attention (And even then they become “Crazy shouty man” or “Twat playing music too loud” instead of “Dave the man who recently got divorced” or “Jeff who is really happy to have passed his driving test”)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should devote yourself to greeting every single passerby on the street and hugging them and learning three fun facts about them, that’s just creepy and as an introvert and non-creepster, I do not advocate such eccentric social behaviour, all I’m saying is you’re not the star of the show, you’re just another human being and whilst you might be important to you, to the shop clerk you’re a customer, to the policeman you’re a speeding driver and to the postman you’re the bloke who lives at number 43. The Truman Show is just a movie, it’s not your life, you will certainly never discover it was a lie and you’re actually just a lab rat. So, now that I’ve stuck a knife in your ego, allow me to give you some insight

Firstly, being the main character is hard work, you can’t do everything. Sure, Bruce Willis saved an entire skyscraper full of people by himself but one action hero equates to one SWAT team in the real world, one superhero is one small army and so on and so on. In your own life, you won’t fix everything, you won’t wipe away every tear or mend every broken heart, you’ll make mistakes and you’ll have other priorities. You cannot see the problems of others solely as more work for you or you’ll work yourself to death, instead you are a part of the solution but not the only solution there is. I mean, imagine trying to do everything for everyone – here’s a hint, I tried, I still do sometimes, it makes you constantly tired and resentful of others for having these problems. If you are Superman, everyone is Lois Lane to you and that’s not always the case, you’re all a bunch of umm… other heroes. The key here is to go with the flow, accepting your limitations and just moving on with your life. Sure, help others, help them all you can but don’t beat yourself up if you have to say enough is enough and you’ll feel much better and help more people.

On that same token, you know what the inherent issue with being the ‘hero’ is? If you see yourself that way, you see yourself as infallible or the ceaseless survivor, things will just work out for you because they always do so you know, whatever. Reality hits home, however, when you realise things don’t just work out, there has to be some effort somewhere for anything to happen. After all, planes don’t just land and food doesn’t cook itself but hey you turn up at an airport and don’t go hungry so it’s cool right? No, everything around you is the effort of someone you may never meet, even the floor beneath the feet or the screen before your eyes. You have to realise everything takes hard work and nothing is ever truly infallible (For further reference, might I suggest you research the Titanic?). So, where does that leave you? On the same page as everyone else except you know you can be wrong so don’t worry about it, learn something from it, let people correct you once in a while and accept the fact you won’t win every argument or competition in life, just as long as you keep trying your best in all that you do, nobody can demand more out of you

The world is always going to disagree or complain or argue, I think we know that, true freedom for all is impossible because someone’s idea of freedom might be “I want to live in a world without wind farms ruining MY view out of the window” whereas you might counter “Well I want a world that relies on less harmful energy sources so wind energy it is!”. The government struggles with this all the time, conflicting interests and opinions and every single important decision ever in history has people saying it’s a stroke of genius and people calling it utter wank. The right for women to vote? Great for women, not good for misogynists. Adding a bus lane to a stretch of road? Great for those relying on public transport, not good for car users. Making a sequel to Alvin and the Chipmunks? Ok… that wasn’t great for anyone. Hopefully I make my point though, there will always be arguments and disagreements and you can’t be focused solely on your desires or your point of view, people won’t always agree and have their own opinions. I know I don’t always bear this point in mind myself but it’s not worth any less if I say it to you now, maybe it’ll stick with you

And finally, if you’re the protagonist, everything relates to you or everything about you is important. Ever decided against wearing something because you’re worried what people might think? Don’t, wear it, how much do you care about what other people wear – if the answer is you don’t really care, then people don’t really care what you’re wearing provided you’re not arriving to work in a latex fetish suit or attending a funeral in a bikini, you’re fine. You think everyone will judge you for your weight, your dress sense, your smell, your decisions but everyone is as insecure as you and if someone really is judging you, that’s them, not the world. Truth be told, whilst you’re panicking about having really obvious pit stains, the guy walking opposite you might be panicking that he can’t pay the rent or ask out Sarah even though she clearly likes him. Furthermore, you’re not special ok? Not in the grand scheme of things. You shouldn’t get any special rights to play your music louder or drive faster or take an extra piece of cake no matter what your excuse because you’d be pissed if people did those things to you. You don’t have to relate the entire world to you, it’s exhausting, selfish and narrow-minded because the world is vast and full of a billion stories, don’t spend all day reading your own

I hope I haven’t offended you all and I don’t want to infringe on your self-worth, just to wake you from the dream. Remember the little things, your mother, your brother, your milkman and your neighbour are all people with dreams and desires and every single person you bump into has thoughts in their head, it won’t necessarily be about your shirt. You’re just some guy or some girl or whatever, you don’t have to worry what people think of you, things don’t work like that. I mean if nothing else this blog post might convince you to wear that fandom crossover shirt because fuck it, your shirt, what the hey? Just don’t worry about the world means to you, worry about embracing the world and being a part of it, not the centre of it

A Real Man Likes

Trigger Warnings – Discussions of body image, eating disorders, fat and skinny shaming (Not me taking part in it I should add, as in the article covers these issues)

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that the media has been feeding us false standards of beauty and perfection for generations and as such the definition of attractive is subject to the definition of attractive on the red carpet. Once upon a time it was average builds, then skinny builds, with larger women being disregarded as ugly but now it seems being curvy is cool and being skinny is a sin. You hear the phrase “Men like curves, dogs go for bones” or “I like a girl with a bit of meat on her” and don’t get me wrong, big is beautiful, but there’s a heinous double-standard emerging as we begin to love the skin we’re in and it’s an aggressive policy that leaves us all for losers

You’re probably well aware where I’m coming from, the words Nicki Minaj and Meghan Trainor are actually going to appear on my blog and yeah, break down the lyrics to their songs and the jist of it is that big butts are in, flats are out. I understand the empowerment of larger women with these songs, they’ve endured a life of being called names so it is indeed satisfying to have something to throw back at the pretty girls by calling them twiggy bitches or skinny little tarts but the solution to bullying isn’t to find some way of bullying your bully, that’s not how it works. Sure, you could hack that big jerk’s Facebook account and put up a status about his sexual conduct but then he finds you, pounds you into mince meat and you’re no better off, until you step it up and hack something else and there you go in a cycle of hatred. Larger ladies, you are gorgeous yes, I’m sure, but if you were bullied by a skinny girl for your looks then she was probably just buying into the standards of beauty drilled into her head by magazines and television and ensured her own security by tearing yours apart, don’t resort to doing the same thing

Our society had always placed skinny on a pedestal above not-so-skinny, making slim the standard to aspire for and heck, as petty as it sounds, I’m conscious about my weight because my gut is noticeably pudgier than it was in my school days. In the modern age, it’s become more about the full-figure than the fine and whilst individually people might get called harsh terms, on the whole, skinny shaming is now a thing and larger women celebrate confidence. Terrific, great, but songs like “Anaconda” and “All About That Bass” make one crucial mistake that makes them less about celebration and more about turning the tables on the bullies and making them feel small – skinny-shaming lyrics

The songs run along the basic premise of men preferring a bigger girl because she’s got more to hold onto than a skinny girl so skinny girls should just give up and accept the fact they’re not in fashion anymore. Firstly, a woman’s body shape should never be about pleasing others, if you’re a happy pear shape or happy hourglass shape, great, that’s that. Secondly, a man likes whatever a man likes and if your best feature to present to this man is which bits of you stand out on your silhouette line, rethink your priorities. Heck, your body isn’t for the pleasure of men, especially if you’re not interested in men, why give a flying fig what they want? Spoiler alert, men find what they want fine as it is, I represent my gender when I say we don’t need telling what we want – real man like curves, not bones? Fuck that, curves or bones, it’s all good, don’t tell me it’s one or the other! Personally, not to sound like some sort of douche but body shape is one of the last things I give a flip about when considering a woman’s attractiveness. Your body shape is not a measure of your worth and your worth should not be based upon tearing someone else down – why do you have to call someone fat/thin to feel good about being fat/thin yourself? You can feel proud of something without destroying the pride of others but these songs like to ridicule girls who are skinny, something that isn’t necessarily a choice they consciously made (Eating disorder/Can’t gain weight/Chronic illness are but three reasons that come to mind), as twiggy bitches (Much like Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. Score for pride yes, but calling them bitches doesn’t make you better than them Amy)

So if I’m gonna call out these two full-figured idols for their slander, what do I propose instead? Am I here saying give the pretty girls a break? Yes and no, I’m saying we should all give each other a break really, fat or thin, short or tall, you need only like who you are and that’s all it should be, your body does not exist to please others. If you feel unhappy, think carefully why you do and what you can do to make yourself feel better but do it because you want it for yourself, not because you think it will make you prettier, do what will make you comfortable. Pop industry, you get points for highlighting the fact that not every girl has the figure of Victoria Beckham and that’s ok, well done, took you a while to cotton on but here’s the next step – every body shape is perfectly fine as long as the person in that body feels happy and is healthy. You don’t need songs or films or shows all about making a certain body type seem negative, not every skinny girl is a bitch and not every larger girl is the moody cow in a tracksuit, we don’t need an entire verse of “Fuck them skinny bitches”, we just need more songs that say all body shapes and sizes are fine, be you a boy/girl/trans/genderless/gender fluid or whatever you want to be – be you, be happy, don’t cost other people their happiness to feel good about yourself, it’s not worth it. We need more positive music that inspires people to be happy with who they are. Stick thin, full figured, somewhere in between, we don’t hear enough music that chooses not to focus on our insecurities and instead on our positives

Budding songwriters, there’s your next hit single waiting for you, a song that tells people they’re awesome whatever they might be, be they black, fat or gay, it’s all good. I hope nobody comes away from this article feeling offended, that was not my intention, I merely mean to open our eyes to the truth in that we shouldn’t make ourselves feel good by treating those different to us as our enemies or lessers. Your beauty is your own, it is not enhanced by calling everything else around you ugly, because then all you are is a hurtful person responding to pain with more pain and that’s not what we want. Thank you and goodnight