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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

12 things that are priceless to me.

I was thinking about this the other day, and I thought, what's the point in having things hid in boxes, only taken out on special occasions? Things you enjoy are supposed to be shared, and obviously, I can't hand these objects around to all my followers to look at, and I certainly am not going to give them away, as they are my most treasured possessions, so I thought that I would post this blog. You don't have to read them all, but have a gander at anything that takes your eye. On we go...

1. My Bass

 My bass is one of my most recent admissions. Music is important to everyone, and no matter what anyone says about bassists, I love playing it, and I may not be the best, but I'm trying! It's a Warwick Rockbass Streamer 4, if you are interested; mainly for funk, but it rolls really nice, so doesn't sound off when I play Avenged Sevenfold or Fall Out Boy. Anyway, onto the next one...

2. My Guitar
 This, my friends, is my guitar. I bought it originally, because I couldn't afford a Gibson Explorer (which I most probably never will), and I really wanted an Explorer shaped guitar, based on the fact that my favourite guitarist/singer, Claudio Sanchez uses it (he is mentioned later in the article). Again, for those interested, it is an ESP EX-50, with modified ESP pick ups.

3. My DC Thompson collection
 This is my hefty collection of Beanos (primarily), Dandys, Dennis the Menace, Bash Street Kids and specials, all Annuals. It seems weird, but I started when i was a kid, and I have over 110 annuals, with every beano from 1967 to now, dandys ranging back to the 70s, and the others ranging throughout the last 50 years. It is easily worth over £1000 if they were to be sold as single articles, but overall, if they were to be as a collection, around £2000!

4. Signed Johnny Wilkinson Rugby Ball
 This isn't just special because it's a signed JW rugby ball; when I was in hospital for a bit in 2005, my Uncle went to a Newcastle Falcons match, bought a ball, and went and got it signed, personally, by JW. Not bad!

5. Tie
 I got this off my step Nan, after my Grandad died last year. Everywhere he went, and for every charity he saw, he bought a pun badge (with the exception of a couple on there) so i have kept it, to add to it, and to keep it safe.

6. Signed Paul McCartney Album
 Paul McCartney once visited Liverpool, and employed a local choir, of which one of the members was a friend of my mums, hence the Carol. This is in this list, because he is a hero, no matter anyones opinion, he changed the face of music, and for me to have something of his, it's amazing. As far as I understand, this is worth around £750.

As you can read. World Final 06 (In german on the medal) This was from when I played in the World Cup in 2006; a 5 a side competition. I have other pictures of me in my England kit that we played it etc. We played in the 80,000 seater Olympionstadion, Munich, which I must note, was not full. We beat Italy and lost to Hungary in the group stage, so went through second in the group to face Brazil, against whom we lost 3-0 (0-0 at half time, with me scoring my only goal of the tournament, an own goal. Technically, I scored for Brazil). We then went on to play Japan, and beat them on penalties. Overall, we came 7th in the world, and I have it all on DVD. Greatest days of my life.

8. The Beatles- Twist And Shout
 Thought I'd add this in. Nothing compared to previous item, but love it none the less. The Beatles 7" record, with 4 songs on.

9. Photo
 The only photo I have of my Dads Dad, of whom I never met. Here, he is with RAF Innsworth. I know which one he is, but I am not saying. Lets just say, I have the same smile.

9. Venetian Mask
 This one is not one that you can wear, as it is Porcelain, but is genuinely from Venice, and reminds me of that amazing city. Once I saw it, I just had to have it. The left reminds me of assassins, and dark, mysterious figures, the right reminds me of the Beatles later years.

10. Claudio Sanchez Signed Amory Wars
 I love Matt for getting me this. Signed Amory Wars comic, by Coheed And Cambria lead singer Claudio Sanchez. Hero.

11. Frank Turner signed poster
 This is the newest addition to my collections. It came with the Franks new album, England Keep My Bones (Deluxe Edition + signed), which I adore, ofcourse. This is here, because if I could make music half as good as he can, and If I could play the guitar half as good as he can, I would be extremely happy. Unfortunately, I am yet to meet him, but I have seen him live before, am seeing him twice this year, and he will forever be my Idol and my hero.

12. Camera
This is a Camera. I do not know the model, the year, the film, it does not have a bulb, and I have never attempted to get it working, but I think the beauty of it itself, means that it deserves to be here. I love it; it is retro, classic and beautiful, and I love it.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Feminism- Part One

I have always been behind feminism. I do believe that women should have a fairer, more equal place in society; but I only support some 'feminists' claims to an extent.

Primarily, I disagree with the idea that Parliament should be 50% Male and 50% Female. There are 646 MPs, which means that, if it was half men and half women, there should be 323 Men and 323 Woman, and this transformation would be done by parties putting female candidates up in safe seats, in places such as Liverpool (an example being the fact that the Labour candidate in the Liverpool Walton constituency received an overwhelming 72% of the vote.) This would increase equality in Parliament, but would it be right? Would it be of benefit to the country?

I have spoken to many women and many feminists on this matter, and they wholly agree with my opinion- although I have not spoken to 'hardcore' feminists, as they scare me a little, I do not believe that women should get their seats, purely because they are women. Surely that is defeating the whole principle of feminism; that women are equal to men. This makes it apparent that they are not, because it is highly likely that women are going to be told to take these seats by men. A token female, you could say. Surely it would be of benefit to everyone, if the places were taken meritocratically; the women get the seats if they are more skilled at the profession than the man contesting that seat- If the man is better at the job, the man gets the job, if the woman is better at the job, the woman gets the job. I believe, therefore, that it is all about opportunity, and that women do not get those opportunities presented to them like men do. So, as is the case in many problems in this country, it all stems back to education. I'll take my local area, as an example. The two main schools are single sex schools; an all boys and an all girls. The all boys school teaches Politics, and all girls school does not; preferring sociology as an option. The introduction of Politics into the curriculum as a core subject; ensuring that every pupil does the basics, could encourage more young women into politics, providing them with a platform to express their political opinion- something that could also solve the problem of political apathy. This could increase the chances of there becoming more women taking politics at A level and at University in order to become a member of parliament (a recent example is my attendance at a university open day; the politics lecturer asking of those present, who would like to become an MP, with 4 Male hands up, and 1 Female.). This could be a vital tool to increase the representation of women, and could have helped to oppose this harsh programme of cuts passed by this government which are to affect women twice as much as men.

Women have a place in politics just as much as men do, and anyone who thinks otherwise is mistaken, but in the process of women being handed seats because they are women, I believe that they are gaining advantages because of their gender; one of the main reasons feminism is strong is due to the fact this has happened to men time and time again. This would, in my opinion, provide an unwarranted mockery of feminism as a principle; the main reason as to why I am against this happening. To gain equal representation, I believe that universal education and opportunities should be enforced, giving those prospective talented women members of parliament the platform of which to begin their career, and the presence of an equal starting point for each gender, to shape future parliaments as to talent and interest, rather than as to what gender they are.

As writing this, the idea of gender not even being mentioned in any context would be ideal. It shouldnt matter in any situation as to whether someone is a man or woman, as it should not influence whether they get the job they go for, whether they have the opportunity to do something or not, or as to whether they are given extra treatment. Regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or class, opportunity and education should be equal, therefore leading to more equal representation in both Parliament and big businesses.

I am all behind Feminism, but I am behind the idea of Meritocracy also. Equality goes both ways. If the woman is better than the man, then she should get the job, if the man is better than the woman, he should get the job. What is there wrong with that?
I think that this quote, from Jane Galvin Lewis, describes it excellently;

"You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman."