Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a very special book. On the face of it, it’s a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat and completely absorbing novel as you follow the journey of Wade, Aech, and Art3mis on their Easter Egg hunt. On a deeper level, this novel is a social critique about where we could be heading as a society and what is truly gut-grabbing, take-the-breath-out-of-you scary is that everything in Ready Player One could be true.
Yet again, we have another appalling piece of so-called journalism rearing its head in the name of clickbait and scandal today. The Northern Irish edition of the Sunday Times published an article by Kevin Myers entitled: ‘Sorry ladies — equal pay has to be earned’. It’s a disgustingly sexist and anti-Semitic article that should not have been published (in my editorial opinion). And by midday on Sunday, it seems the editor came round to that opinion too: he released a statement apologising for causing ‘considerable distress and upset’ and the article was taken down.
The uproar on social media was predictable, people were rightly outraged by the Holocaust-denying author’s outdated and discriminatory view on society. Yet, as repulsive and abhorrent this article was, I know it is only a mere matter of time before another equally revolting and hatred-inducing article will appear. And the outrage will pour out over social media. And nothing will be done. And time will pass. And another horrid article will be published. And on and on it goes. It makes me feel very sick.
It’s that time again. Time to lament that Glastonbury is once again over for another year. But it’s double sadness this year as my favourite festival will not return until 2019. Massively sad times.
I have watched two YouTube videos in the last couple of days and I can’t get them out of my head. The first is a TEDxTalk by Charlie McDonnell aka Charlieissocoollike, the second is a random vlog from last January by Casey Neistat. I will embed them both below, but first, let me explain.
I’m at a point of transition in my life right now. I’m changing jobs, I’m confused about the future both personally and professionally and, as always at the start of a new year, I’m just feeling a little lost. Trying to navigate my way through this confusing and stressful world is no easy feat. And when I say ‘my’ throughout this piece, I, of course, mean ‘our’. Our struggles, our stresses, because I’m not the only one feeling the pressures of being a ‘millennial’.
A German word that denotes the relationship of a human being toward a certain spatial social unit
It was whilst listening to a French conversation on an Austrian radio station when driving around the German-speaking region of Italy that I truly appreciated the wonderful diversity and homogeny of the European continent. South Tyrol is the northern-most region in Italy with a diverse culture and history, and visiting the region this autumn was an eye-opening experience to values of togetherness, collaboration, and the pure joy of different cultures merging. It’s something I cherish; no (wo)man is an island after all.
There are some TV shows which just affect you. Shows that stay with you long after they’re finished, like for me, Friends or Breaking Bad. The US Office is one of those shows.
I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring – David Bowie
Music has lost an icon. A legend that inspired generations, and whose music will live on forever.
And so there is another Glastonbury over. I’ve got a serious case of the post-Glastonbury blues so I thought I’d share my weekend and daydream away back to Worthy Farm.
After an, ahem, eventful start (Fran!), we piled into our cars and off we drove to Somerset. We arrived at 7am and by 10am our camp was set up in the wonderful Park Home Ground, overlooking the Other Stage.
As the only one in our group of 12 that had ever been to Glastonbury before, I decided to take the group up to the top of the hill by the Stone Circle for the first night to give them an idea of the site and we were treated to the most majestic sunset.
It’s a truly magical place and I felt even more in love with it this year.
I didn’t see a bad act all weekend, but here were my two highlights:
I love, love, LOVE Florence and have followed her career since she played in a tiny tent at Leeds Festival in 2008. Her set was full of energy, excitement, emotion. She showcased her fabulous new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, as well as the best of her back catalogue and a heartfelt version of Times Like These by the Foo Fighters. Every song was brilliant and her voice continues to give me goosebumps. What was lovely to see was how grateful and humble she was about the performance. It was incredibly moving, a real highlight of the weekend.
Oh! What a feeling!! When we’re dancing on the ceiling! Lionel’s set was un-be-lee-va-bl! Glastonberry! Hellooooooo, is it me you’re looking for?! It was just a brilliant, uplifting, hilarious set. I adored it! And so did 100,000 other people, fantastic!
After a wonderful weekend, we all watched The Who together before heading home the next morning. It was wonderful.
Until next year, Glastonbury
Every so often I like to keep you updated on what’s top of my current iPod playlist so here’s a few of my favourite tracks that have been circling my head for the last few weeks…
Jamie xx – Loud Places (ft Romy)
Oh Jamie, you wonderful, wonderful man. Everything you touches turns to beautiful, aural gold. I implore you to give this one a listen, just heavenly. This video is pretty sweet too.