Well, it’s been a weird week, the whole world seems to be turning itself inside out and upside down. I am not sure if we’ll see next Fri-Yay playlist, as weird as the world is, anything is possible.
Here is this weeks playlist (on the right day) I hope you enjoy it. Remember, it’s not a themed list,, just some of the many songs I was listening too this past week, and ifthey seem to have a link to them, then it’s because I was intregued by a theme and went hunting for music to explore those feelings.
The breathtaking roller coaster ride that is The Beautiful Ones trilogy comes to a huge climax. It really is a ride as I had no idea what twists were coming next.
The Ugandan side of the mission is over and now DeAnn and Olivia are now relocated to the USA, and if anything this is the book of the trilogy that hit me the hardest. The stark realisation that the African portions were hard to stomach, I personally feel that what comes from the Almighty USA is by far harder to comprehend.
Morals and Ethics are really out of the window this time and, as in the previous two books, the possible reality of what I was reading struck home, the fact that this was SO close to homemade this more of ann out-right horror story. IN the same way that A Clockwork Orange was never meant to be Horror, the nature of the outcomes (or possible outcomes) make this scarier than any Stephen King book.
United rounds off and almost finishes the Beautiful Ones story (as mentioned before there is a prequel short story that answers a few more questions) in such a way that I was actively hoping that the next books were around the corner. After speaking with Ms Faure on Twitter last week, it seems we have a bit of a wait for the next batch of missions. I for one, can’t wait.
I am about as green fingered as The Blue Meanie from the Yellow Submarine. I only have to think about cutting the grass in the garden, for the said grass to get up and run away in fear of being butchered by me let loose with a lawn mower. House plants tremble when I approach with a jug of water.
I do, however, love taking pictures of pretty things, and I am lucky that the place where I work has a Garden that is lovingly tended and produces some amazing flowers. I take what ever chance I get to snap the flowers at various stages in thier growth.
This image was taken purely by chance. I had walked by this plant (grown on a Vine growing up a wall. Ordinarly, I hate Vines as they take over literally never stop growing until they are burnt with fire. This bloom caught my eye and I had to go back and look. Out came the phone and quickly I took this image.
I love that I can be surprised at any given time by something in (one of) my back gardens. Go take a look about and see what you find. Share what you find with someone, you never know what you’ll find in return.
The second book in the Cassandra Trilogy #1, Torn is exactly as the title describes. You become torn about ethics and morality. O.M Faure goes deeper than in Chosen to highlight the possibilities of what is to come.
In Torn, you start to get the flesh and bones of Olivia and DeAnn, your relationship with both characters change and you start to see that they really aren’t what you expected from the first book. DeAnn especially has a huge amount of growth throughout this book.
I read this pretty much straight after I finished Chosen. I bought both Torn and United (book 3) together and once I had finished Chosen at around 2 am, I had to start Torn as cliffhangers bug me and, well, it just made me start reading.
The middle part of the story is quite possibly the most hard-hitting and morally difficult to read. Faure gives us more home truths about a future that makes Nuclear War look like a picnic at the beach.
I am so glad I got the opportunity to jump into this world. Not only have I been entertained, but I have also genuinely started to think about the issues raised and have started to wonder how I can do my little part to make a change. I won’t say that this will happen for everyone who reads the Trilogy, but each one who does can only help the cause.
The fact that I got this book for free, will make no difference in the manner in which I gush over this book (and the two that followed).
Chosen introduces us to Olvia and DeAnn – one you will love and one you won’t… it is up to you to decide which is which.
For me Olivia was the sympathetic character that I rooted for from the start, she wasn’t meant to be in the situation she found herself, the Programme was destined to clash with Olivia, whether she liked it or not. DeAnn, on the other hand, thought she deserved to have a spot and demeaned everyone and everything to get there. For me, in this first book, DeAnn has very few (if any) redeeming features. O.M. Faure gives us everything we need to dislike her and it’s pretty easy.
Obviously, Chosen takes chances and gambles on making big leaps in the storyline – it is all set up rather quickly and then you get hit by facts; that if you are even slightly human, will start to make you think about the world we currently live in. The Trilogy is never preachy in its delivery, it just gives you the hard facts and allows your morality to decide whether the ‘story’ affects you or not.
This is the start of a journey that has so much going for it and will educate and entertain you in equal spadefuls.
A random title to a post, but to clarify, my life and the way my life is going, I feel like I am being beaten over the head by the very thick end of a very big wedge. I can’t seem to dodge the large things dropping on my head, even the really big meteor sized things. Basically, I am in round number 11, and my legs are gone and the champ is slugging away trying to finish me off.
I am just out of a pretty heavy depressive episode that lasted a month. This episode was the worst one I have had in over three years and it, quite frankly, almost finished me. Apologies for the frankness, but I have been dilly-dallying with the need to write this post to get it out of my head and the flowery prose ain’t doing it. I have to face this head-on and get it down on the screen. Just write until it’s done and then make it look pretty after the fact.
Things are going on in my life that I can’t write about at the moment out of respect for other parties, respect that is not alway proffered in the other direction. When the time is right, I’ll write more. If you happen to know what I am referring too with this, I ask that you respect my wishes and not bring it up in the comments of this post or on social media. When the time is right, I will address the situation.
During the interview for my job, I used the phrase that I never burned the candle at both ends, I took a flame thrower to the candle. This was about my previous life when I worked in Theatre. I quite literally burned my soul apart working in the theatre in the way I did for over ten years. I feel like I put in a lifetimes worth of work in ten short years and I came out very much the worse for it. At the time it was fun, I didn’t remember the times when I was so tired and hung-over that I could hardly stand up; I didn’t remember the times when I chose the Theatre over all else.
Looking back now over those days, I probably wouldn’t change what I did, I would, however, change how I did it. As it stands 20 years after I last worked in a theatre, I still don’t have any qualifications that could get me a decent job. I got the first job I applied for after my major breakdown. I was lucky, my job required me to have on the job training from before day one. I feel I have grown into my job, and that the way I deal with the day to day is much improved than it was 2 years ago. I am not fully qualified yet, and probably never will be, but each day is a learning process, and I revel in this.
However, the nature of the job requires me to be very flexible and be almost on call 24/7. This isn’t exactly in the job description, but when your job deals with vulnerable people, then you can’t let the house you work in be in a staff deficit. So you can imagine that my need to take his month-long break added to my stress.
* * * * *
The final thing that really made my decision to take the time off came one Wednesday night when things got so far on top of me that it was a toss-up between walking out of the place I work at and wait for the next lorry to pass on the main road or just go and start walking and not stop. It scared me enough to stay up for the rest of the night and challenge my brain to unlimited rounds of mental boxing to see who would stay alive through the night. I managed to stay alive and not under a Lorry. I went home and made that all-important first phone call to the GP. I got an appointment for the same day (a bloody miracle with my surgery).
I took my Mum to the appointment and got a sick note for two weeks with the offer of more if I wasn’t back to my jovial self.
Off I went to try and rebuild myself, it was a task, in my mind, that equalled rebuilding the Titanic with Mecano tools. Everything I had put in place over the past two years to keep this from happening since I started work, for some reason, hadn’t worked this time and I had crumbled.
I retreated to my corner in the Dining Room at home where my computer and Xbox lives, and I tried to block out the world with everything and anything that I thought would work. In the end, I started setting myself goals in a video game to complete the game and see what happened at the end.
Each day I took at least one more step towards the end game, somedays I managed two. I played this game relentlessly. From the time I got up to the time I went to bed, Destiny consumed my mind. I focused on completing the game and any side quests that popped up along the way.
After three weeks and 2 days, I finally finished the main game. It was at an end. Those 23 days had been laser-focused on getting that game finished. While my mind was still very fragile, I knew I was so much stronger at the end than when I began. Three Weeks and Three days I evaluated where my head was at. I came to a realisation that I should start the process of going back to work. I rang work that day and told them I was ready to come back… after a few hoops were jumped through I came back.
Here I sit in the middle of week three being back at work, and my mind seems to be getting better all the time, but other things are getting in the way of 100% Game completion.
This weeks playlist and videos are inspired by my little trip out last night to see a Pink Floyd Tribute band, Think Floyd. These guys are just awesome. So if you are in the UK, check out their Gigs page and if they come to a town near you check them out, you will not be disappointed. I’ll give more details in a post with pictures sometime next week.
Now, Cover Versions of songs. I have been fascinated by these little curios for years. There is always something interesting to me about when a band takes someone else’s song and makes it their own. Rock and Metal bands are a great source of these, as those styles of music always lend themselves to making a statement with a well-known song.
The main problem though, is that most cover versions done, are usually either on some really obscure tribute album or as a filler track on a record; or they are played live, and the 99.9999999999% of the world’s population wasn’t at a gig and will probably never get to see the masterpieces that bands spend 15 minutes on at Soundcheck.
With that said, this week, there is no alternative video playlist from YouTube, so my Spotify Playlist is there, but I will add a few of my favourite Covers in a playlist, call it an added extra from me to you.
Over the past couple of weeks, parents up and down the UK have been losing their collective shit over a Meme that has begun appearing on the Internet. This Meme isn’t (for once) restricted to Social Media, and it’s not aimed at the older denizens of the Internet either. This one is aimed squarely at the younger inhabitants.
The Momo Meme has been floating around for a while, but seemingly it has now reached a critical mass where it has mixed with an alleged game stemming from the Far Eastern parts of Europe. The game goes something like:
Person A gives daily instructions for tasks to be completed by Person B
At the end of the month, the final task involves Suicide or serious Self Harm
That’s pretty much it.
Somehow, this image became linked to this idea and the original “game” was reduced down to scare tactics that if you didn’t complete (what would ordinarily be the final task) it the Momo would come and get you or a close family member. OK, on the face of it, this is the same shit I was dealing with when I was at junior school 40 years ago, except back then there was no internet and the sick twats back then said that someone had phoned the school office and told them my Mum had been run over. Yeah, it panicked me, and I felt like shit for a long time after.
The problem with the Momo meme is that it is a load of bullshit. It isn’t happening. It’s a game of Chinese Whispers that has spread through Social Media and the Playground. Kids have gotten the idea of this image and exploited it towards younger and weaker members of the playground. Of course, the kids are scared, and it gets dragged online, and people start to panic and the media get involved and the next thing you know there is an epidemic of sick twisted goobers out to get your kids on Fortnite and in Peppa Pig videos; None of which actually happened on a large scale (if at all).
Now, I know who is actually to blame for all this.
You aren’t going to like my answer.
You’re really not.
It’s the parents.
Yep good old Mum and Dad are allowing this type of thing to gain traction.
If parents took half the time to check what access to which channels their kids have that they do about crying foul after the fact, then I think you’d find that there wouldn’t be an issue to start with.
A couple of facts for you all
Both Facebook and YouTube state in their Terms of Service that you must be 13 years old to have an account on their services. Now, generally, if you must be 13 to have an account, that means you have to be 13 to USE that service.
When 5-Year-old Tommy comes running to Mummy and says he has seen something scary on YouTube, then excuse my French, but It’s all your fucking fault. It’s the Internet (more of that in a minute)
YouTube and Facebook don’t actively police the age limits on their platforms. Just because this is the case, doesn’t mean that they are the ones at fault. As of December 31st 2018, there were 2.32 Billion Monthly Active Users (). In numbers that looks like this – 2,320,000,000 – lots of zeros there. Every four months that number is generally going up. Facebook has reported that there are five new sign-ups to the service per second.
These figures are astounding. I don’t claim to be a Facebook champion, I think they should be doing a lot more to make the Internet safer for everyone, not just the small, tiny and vulnerable, but everyone. As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility, this applies to everyone who can help; but if you are raking in Billions of dollars/pounds in profit each year then your power and responsibility edges up a notch or ten.I mentioned the Internet (in general earlier), and I feel I need to clarify a point or two.
I mentioned the Internet (in general earlier), and I feel I need to clarify a point or two.
If anyone is under any illusions about the Internet being a place that ideas flow freely and you can make the world a better place, then please, wake up. That is what the Internet SHOULD be; however, as with all things, Humans got involved and screwed things up. Yep, it’s 2019, and the assholes have taken over Utopia. Twenty years ago, there were assholes online, but you pretty much had to go looking for them as there wasn’t a place where they could all congregate and up the assholedom to a level not seen since Hitler invaded Poland.
Nostalgia Aint What It Used To Be.
In 2019 people now have the mentality that the Internet is the place for life to exist; they think that it is an extension of reality. For me, it’s not an extension; it’s an addition, a tool to be used to spread ideas. Unfortunately, assholes have ideas (most of them were proved to be rather dickish almost 80 years ago, but hey, some people dig nostalgia.)
We should be adopting the Internet to bend to our will, to use the most powerful tool since the printing press for good. There should be one common goal for the Internet, and that is to make sure Star Trek isn’t just sci-fi, but a reality. Star Trek you ask? You just turned your head slightly to the right and wondered if I had lost my mind. In start Trek, there is no war on Earth; everyone has everything they need, no need for money or possessions unless you want them. Everyone has everything they need. If we as humanity could accept that that is a noble goal to work towards, I believe that in 20 years we’ll be travelling in the stars and who knows what comes next.
For today though, adults need to take a strong lead and lead children into the safe areas of the internet; in other words, keep the little darlings off of it until they can prove they would use this huge massive tool for good and not troll each-others YouTube accounts. The internet is no place for a child. Parents are getting their crotchless knickers in a bunch over kids being exposed to MoMo. Here is an idea; parents, if there is something online that you don’t want the kids to see, then don’t use a mostly unregulated Internet to entertain your kids. Take them out and play in the garden; if that doesn’t float your boat, put them in front of Netflix or CBBC. Yeah, I understand that that is not going to be popular with anyone (except me that is).
It doesn’t matter how many initiatives are put in place to stop kids from seeing the stuff they shouldn’t, they will find a way if they want to. It is just a plain and simple fact that kids can, and will, run circles around adults when it comes to technology. When these kids go to school, they are taught from a young age how to use a computer, and then they talk to each other about how to exploit this new knowledge to get what they want. So the information spreads and before you know it, they all know how to access the shit you tried to block and make their world that much safer. Do I have an answer to this catch 22 situation? If I did, I wouldn’t be sat here typing this; I would be incredibly rich and sitting somewhere rather more plush than my old battered office chair.
This situation needs to be answered by minds greater than mine, and it needs to be talked about in real terms. We expect our kids to have the tools to get on in this 21st Century world. ICT literacy is almost number 1 on any list of requisite skills needed to progress in life, but by giving the skills to kids so young, they have far too much time to develop these skills to activities that they don’t need at a young age.
Questions Questions Questions
I wish I knew how to solve a problem that society has created for itself. I don’t blame the kids; they are doing what every generation of kids has done… rebelling against the rules and set their own standards. It is just one more notch on the door frame of life showing that kids are growing and developing into their own.
So, that is my take on this Momo shit and why it took hold so hard and fast. At the time of publishing this post (over a week after it all blew up) Momo has, by and large, disappeared as a threat to society and is now just a meme that is getting old very quick.
What is your take? Do you think kids are introduced to the Internet to soon or should we be teaching the kids how to use it more responsibly from a younger age? Let me know what you think in the comments? Thanks for reading.
Today marks the first in what I plan on being a weekly post. It’s the start of the weekend and what better way to say bye-bye to the week and hello to the weekend that with some tunes to get you started.
Usually these posts will have a theme that will mostly be adhered to. but there will always be a couple of surprises in there. No time limits, one week it could be full of 2- minute Punk tracks then the next week it could be full of 20-minute prog tracks.
Each week, I listen to lord knows how much music and I usually end up trawling through Spotify and YouTube to find other music linked to the one track that sparked the original interest. This week it happened to be the track Def Con One by the UK band Pop Will Eat Itself
Memories came flooding back (not all were great) but still it made me think of a time before paying bills and clocking in and out of work every day. The majority of this list came out while I was at school towards the end of my 5th Year at High School and into my 6th form years. The thing is; this music was pretty much alien to me at the time. I was a rocker and all this indie sample stuff was classed the lowest common denominator to me and my friends. We wanted two guitars, a bass player and a drummer, with someone with an Air Raid Siren voice who could scream the house down; literally.
The term Greebo was banded around a lot while I was at school. If I remember rightly a lot earlier than this era of music actually began. I know that I was called a Greebo for the music I listened to and the way that I dressed. It all seems so long ago and very insignificant now. However, the music on today’s playlist all evoke “something” in me today and I am certainly not as closed minded when it comes to the music I listen too. Having said that, Greebo For Life!!!
I have created the Playlist in Spotify for those who have it and for those who don’t (or fancy something more visual) I have created the Playlist using YouTube as well. PLEASE be aware that the L7 video for Pretend We’re Dead does contain Nudity at the end of the video, but quite frankly it was the best version available.