THE GOOD FIGHT

Watching events unfold in Charlottesville was one thing, Trump’s press conference yesterday really was quite another.

In the midst of all this regressive madness, Twitter has become my safe space. I find it comforting to curl up and read through reams of hate and disgust in response to that so-called rally and the events that have unfolded since. #impeachtrump is trending over there and everything. It’s fab. You can pretend it was all a clip from an old movie and convince yourself that the rest of the world disagrees with them.

But amidst the sanity and safety of my social media feeds, there are also messages that cause me great concern hidden behind alt-right hashtags. Real life humans, living in 2017, in a supposedly progressive world where we are allowed to be whoever we want to be, echoing the sentiments of the bigot that is currently leading one of the most powerful countries in the world. Celebrating him for what? Being one of the worst leaders the modern world has ever seen? Heralding Klansmen as knights in shining armor and proclaiming to be making America great again. It is, of course, shocking that these thoughts exist, but it’s made even worse when you hear them coming from the mouths of babes.

Last year saw a couple of bad decisions being made both here and abroad. 2017 has continued in much the same vein, what with TM still being in charge over this side of the pond. A woman who felt compelled enough to comment on Big Ben falling silent for a few years, but has remained quiet in regards to he who shall not be named’s actions (or lack thereof) despite a woman being murdered and tens of others being injured on his watch, not to mention the blatant racism being aired, if not supported by him.

Although painful, I think it’s a good thing that Trump’s behavior seems to be getting even worse. Shocking that it could, really, but it very much is. His actions are causing people to feel anger, and many regret. With any luck, if he carries on, it might even kick change into gear. Force people to talk, shout even. Take action. Because sometimes the silence is worse than the prejudice for me. Being complicit is just as bad.

I’m still trying to figure out what I can do about these white supremacists living in our modern world.

There’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to say, yet here I am at midnight on a Wednesday in 2017.

I’m not sure what I can do to evoke change, but I have to try. Because if I, we, don’t, I’m not sure what’s going to happen to this beautiful gift of a planet. After all, if people haven’t learnt from the history that has already come before us, I’m not sure they ever will. Look at the state of it.

Don’t be silent. That’s the worst thing you could do.

As Heather Heyer wrote before she died, ‘If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention’.

Fight the good fight, starting right this second.

THE TOMORROW

I just wanted to say a little something about our impromptu election before it’s too late and you either vote badly or, worse still, not at all.

When it came to the 2015 election and last year’s referendum, I used this platform simply to urge people to vote. Yes, I might’ve insinuated who I would be voting for, but I never explicitly tried to persuade you to do the same. I was all about just getting people to the polling station. Women and young people, mainly. And although this hasn’t changed (with 8 million women likely to fail to show up to vote this time around), I have decided to just tell you what to do, like the good Aries I am, in an attempt to avoid waking up on Friday with the same dull ache I did this time last year, covered in glitter, in a tent in the middle of Somerset.

So, I’ll cut to the chase.

If you follow me on any form of social media, you already know who I will be voting for tomorrow.

I will be voting for the party who are most likely to take care of that disaffected child at the back of the class. I will be voting for the party who are likely to give those holding our beloved NHS together with white knuckles and little to no wages, the very best they deserve. I will be voting for a leader who believes that war, violence and retaliation is never the answer. I will be voting for a party who want to eradicate tuition fees and invest time and money into other options to ensure fair opportunity for all. And a party who have promised to actively help soothe our out of control housing crisis.

Basically, I will be voting for a party and a leader whose heart is in the right place. And to me, that’s what’s most important in the here and now.

I know you’re probably thinking I’m just another well spoken, middle class female with no idea how bad things can be for people, spouting their mouth off about socialism and left wing politics with a glass of Champers in tow. Well, think again. I was born from a working class family who had just enough, and sometimes less than that, growing up. I have no inheritance, no stash of cash and I have scrimped my own way through university. I might not have used a food bank myself, but I sure as hell know people who have. I have seen vulnerable people, old and very young, being neglected by the state. And I have felt the very real effects of the quite frankly unmanageable strains being placed on our national health service. I’m not saying I’m below the fucking breadline but I’m not talking to you from a place of privilege either. That being said, I know that with the foundations I’ve built for myself, I’ll be okay and probably always will be, with a lot of hard work. But there are others who won’t be without being removed from beneath Theresa May’s exploitative wing. So, even if you yourself are fine, vote to save those who aren’t.

The thing is, this blog post is pretty pointless as the majority of you who read this (thanks, Google Analytics) are open minded, loving and inclusive Londoners who already know who they are voting for. So, if you don’t need me to strike a chord with you, I urge you to share this post with those who haven’t uttered a word about who they’re backing (they tend to be the quiet Tory box tickers). Share it with older generations. Young, first time voters who aren’t sure what to do. Basically, share your thoughts – and even this post – with all and sundry ahead of tomorrow. Assure those across the country sitting comfortably that Corbyn won’t put them at a disadvantage, he will simply raise the rest of the country to meet them. At this stage, every undecided psyche you might be able to influence, counts.

If you’re a decent human being who genuinely cares for other human beings, I really don’t see any other option than to vote Corbyn for PM. I mean, he’s wearing a fucking baker boy in the image above. He couldn’t be more current.

If you are looking for a brighter tomorrow, then give him a chance.

Let’s face it, as it stands, we really don’t have much to lose.

Keeping everything crossed, Britain.

It’s time…

THE WESTMINSTER ATTACK

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“Our strength as a city is our ability to stand together.” – A/Dep Cmsr Mark Rowley

It was another one of those sobering moments today, wasn’t it?

Where we were reminded that we aren’t actually 100% safe when going about our daily lives.

Truth is, we like to ignore it, don’t we? As we sip on our morning coffee or worry about figures at work, we pretend war isn’t raging around the world and kid ourselves into thinking terror isn’t a permanent threat to our nation and, although I’m not sure what else we should do but plod on as usual, ignoring it all doesn’t sit quite right with me, either.

As I watch the news, glued to my TV screen for no doubt the rest of the evening, filled with a mixture of emotions, I will endeavour to react to the events of today with care, and encourage you to do the same. Although not always easy, I think it best to fight assaults such as these with love and peace as opposed to anger or violence.

I have decided to take away from today a sense of pride in the people of my city and their reaction to the events, an admiration for London’s emergency services, and a warmth from knowing these attackers are in the minority, and we, the good, are in the majority. My thoughts also turn to those in war-torn locations around the world who see the events of this afternoon on a daily basis. It’s a scary thought that this could be someone’s normality, but that’s a post for another day, I think.

For now, my thoughts are with London and the victims of today’s attack.

Stay safe, sweet city. With love, all the way from the west country.

THE HALLOWEEN

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Ah, it’s that time of year again where we Google what we’re going to be for weeks ahead of the 31st, searching for a costume that is the perfect combination of sexy/scary, before forgetting to buy one altogether and having to concoct a makeshift one from whatever’s left in Wilko, resulting in basically a non-costume. We will then creep off into the night before downing more alcohol than usual, behaving in ways we normally wouldn’t and encountering more dickheads than we thought humanly possible.

It’s painful, why then do I love it so?

I don’t know.

But what I do know is that Halloween costumes that are acceptable for 27-year-olds seem to be very few and far between and the desire to dress up is wearing thin. If you, like me, still don’t have a clue what to go as to that overpriced club night or likely-to-be-quite-messy house party on Saturday, then here are my suggestions to you:

Mexican Sugar Skull

Cultural appropriation arguments aside – for these are desperate times – a Mexican sugar skull costume provides late twenty-somethings with a hint of sophistication to stop you looking like a complete plonker with enough fright to pay homage to the holiday. Age-appropriate indeed.

Scrubs and Blood

Not at all sexy, but if you’re planning on heading out for a hefty supper before the celebrations commence, then you can certainly let it all hang out in these bad boys. Comfort combined with costume effort – basically what being 27 at Halloween is made of.

Cannibal Cavegirl

Done properly, this can actually look pretty great – but you’ve got to go the whole hog: think a full head of back-combed hair, a dress made of animal print fur, bones in your hair and blood around your mouth.

Wednesday Addams

Black dress (preferably with a white collar). Pigtails. Monday-before-coffee-face. Simple.

Slaughtered Beauty Queen

This is definitely one for a more glamorous occasion – although only worth the effort if you have actually been invited to a half-decent Halloween party, such as Jonathon Ross’. Invest in a second-hand cocktail gown, plastic tiara, coat yourself in blood and you’re good to go.

Finally, A Dead… Anything

Basically, if you’re struggling with what to wear, dress up as something… a chef, a baker, a painter and then just, sort of… make yourself look dead.

This Halloween, if you think you’re too old, the truth is, you probably are, but if you feel like pressing on regardless, please promise me this: that you won’t go dressed as a cat or a bunny – or basically anything with whiskers; that you won’t just wear a onesie and call it a costume and that you will refrain from going as a member of ISIS, an aborted baby or a bloody tampon. You’re not funny, you’re an idiot and belong in a rugby club at a university in Devon.

If in doubt this Halloween, just cover yourself in blood and drink too much – it’s worked for me in the past and is probably what we’ll all end up doing anyway.

Have a good one.

THE SNOBBERY

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I have written about this before but someone was talking about it on the telly the other day and I feel I need to address it again: snobbery surrounding likes and dislikes – where do you find the fucking time for it?

Really, I’d love to know.

There are so many people who get so uppity about people watching reality TV or this documentary or that show and it’s so boring. I get that there are lower pleasures and higher pleasures but surely to God you don’t want to go balls to the wall on politics or the works of Chaucer all the livelong day? Don’t you ever just want to kick back and let your brain dissolve into the television?

Because I am more than happy to admit that I do, particularly after a long day at work.

I don’t think there’s any shame in admitting that if I want to watch shit TV with a ready meal that’s bad for me on a particularly bleak Thursday, then I will, because equally, I enjoy cooking good grub and tucking into serious articles and forming all of the opinions, too. So why, when it comes to the habits of others, are people so goddamn judgmental?

The thing that cracks me up the most about these Judgmental Judys who eye roll when you discuss reality TV in depth, is that they are the same people who love to like shit stuff, too – just the sort of shit stuff (like mouse ear hair and badly cut jeans) that Urban Outfitters have told them it’s okay to like. Which is confusing, because let’s be honest, the 90s weren’t actually fun for anyone except twenty-somethings off their tits on the new drugs on the market. As for the rest of us, we were just sitting around wearing butterfly clips and being blinded by body glitter while watching Saved by the Bell – so why are people my age wearing bubble jackets and quoting Vanilla Ice lyrics like they’re reliving the good times? Again, because it’s something shit that they’ve been told is okay to like. So let me be clear: it’s not, your incessant desire to listen to 90s RnB and dress like a 9-year-old me is just as irritating as someone discussing how many reruns of Geordie Shore they watched over the weekend.

But that’s cool, if that’s your thing, of course.

Basically, I’m just saying stop the eye rolls. Stop judging everyone for indulging in the Kardashians or hours of endless YouTube videos or whatever their shit love is – because we all have (at least) one guilty pleasure. Some of us are just more honest about them and as long as you have other interests that don’t require a monthly rental fee or a day spent on the sofa, then you’re all good.

Reading thirty minutes of Jack Kerouac while still finding the headspace to be concerned with Binky and JP’s recent relationship development is fine.

It’s called balance.

Stop being a grump.