Top Five: Poems

In honour of National Poetry Day (which is swiftly drawing to a close), I decided to restart the blog with poetry. As you do. Seeing as how it’s nearly 11.00pm, you can tell exactly how long it took for me to whittle down my favourites to just five. These are in no particular order and totally subject to change. But, for now, here are my five of my favourite poems.

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The Blogger Also Rises

Like many young people, during my teenage years I had the unfortunate habit of trying to keep a diary. At the time of buying the notebook and selecting the pen, I always had such ambition: I would become a real diarist! A keeper of journals! I would have a meticulous emotional record of my youth, bound in neat writing and a lovely cover for biographers to pore over with intrigue in years to come.

Of course what actually happened were entries like:

“I TURNED 14 TODAY!!!!!!!!!!”

Truly, the mind boggles faced with such brilliance. Despite these illuminating entries every single one of those notebooks ended up abandoned within about three months – sporadically written in at best. Much like this blog. It has become something of a ghost town, tumbleweeds rolling gently across the front page as previous posts gather dust. I’ve never been good at sticking to promises I make to myself, especially not ones that involve writing. I tend towards forgetfulness or sheer laziness, unable to motivate myself to leave a record. This is not much of an excuse. So starting with this new(ish) academic year, I am not letting myself off the hook. I will put this place to use. I will have something relatively worthwhile to say. And instead of crying about television on Twitter, I will come here and use real paragraphs. Capital letters and everything.

All of this is to say: bear with.

normal service will resume shortly

On faith and the lack of it.

So, earlier this evening I reblogged something on my personal Tumblr and added some tags about my feelings regarding atheism and faith.

#this is why i dislike about 70% of other atheists#YOU MAKE ME LOOK LIKE AN ARSEHOLE #I’M NOT! #I JUST DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD #having faith in something greater than yourself that cannot be quantified is one of the bravest things you can do in my book #so tearing that shit down because it doesn’t work for you is just fucking bullshit #our lack of faith or belief in an omnipotent being does not make us more intellectual #it does not make us more compassionate #it makes us nothing other than people who do not believe in god #that’s fucking it #end of #wine me the strength #sorry i have a lot of angry atheist feelings #BECAUSE AS A GROUP THERE IS A TENDENCY TOWARDS ELITIST DICKHEAD BEHAVIOUR #AND I HAVE NO TIME FOR IT OKAY #NO #FUCKING #TIME #i haven’t believe in god since i was eight years old and sat in church and realised it didn’t make any sense to me #but that’s me #and my disbelief #my absence of faith #does not qualify me as a better person than someone of faith #it says nothing about me other than i do not believe #it’s not hard #people having religious and spiritual faith is not stupid or offensive #the things that surround it can be #but the faith? #the act of believing? #is brave

My greatest mistake was probably a) putting it in the atheism tag over on Tumblr but also b) capslock. I’ll admit, that was down to some vodka and tonic. But for the most part, I still think that’s pretty dead on. A couple of people reblogged it with tags and I’ve actually been talking to people about it and it’s fostered discussion that I love. As someone who has not had faith for a very, very long time but whose friends are 90% religious/of faith, I do talk about it a fair amount. Mainly because I am always anxious to prove that not every atheist is going to be militant or knee-jerk aggressive, but also because I find faith fascinating especially as someone who does not have it. Sadly however, some people just like to show me up.

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Sherlock – ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ or The Fall of Irene Adler

As a fan of the last series of Sherlock (although not that second Orientalist mess of an episode, never that) the news of the second series reaching us on New Year’s Day was obviously exciting news. However, as someone who no longer trusts Steven Moffat with a television script, I approached it with some trepidation. I’d heard before watching that this adaptation’s Irene Adler has been updated from an opera singer who had dalliances with sundry members of nobility to the society set’s favourite dominatrix. I’d also heard, through various interviews and reviews, that this Irene was queer. Reader, my heart positively jumped at the prospect. Having watched the episode some hours ago, I can wholeheartedly say I really ought to have stuck with my trepidation.

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Black Mirror – ’15 Million Merits’

Black Mirror is a trio of satirical dramas produced by the magnificently furious Charlie Brooker with the final part airing last Sunday (though I have yet to catch up). The first part, ‘The National Anthem’, was a brilliant whirlwind dealing with decisions leading up to (and consequences of) a peculiar ransom request asked of the Prime Minister. Whilst excellent and very well-acted I have to admit that it left me a little cold. I could understand the message and I loved the way it engaged with the internet in particular, the way it held up an ugly reflection of ourselves. But something about it left me disengaged. The second part however, was a whole other ballgame. Thus far it’s my favourite of the trio, which really surprised me. In the week of promotion before it aired, the focus was primarily on the X Factor satire side of the drama; as a non-X Factor viewer that sort of talent show spoof holds no real enjoyment for me. I should have known that Brooker and Kanak “Konnie” Huq (his co-writer) had something else up their sleeves. What was advertised as a satire on the worthless inane nature of televised talent shows and the ritual humiliation it involves proved to be an entirely different beast altogether.

’15 Million Merits’ is set in a future where everyone, at the age of 21, is sorted into certain virtual facilities. Here, almost every facet of their lives is virtualised – from their surroundings, to the purchasing of their food, their currency and what they are able to spend it on. The currency in question is merits, earned by amounts of time spent on a pedal bike in the gym. As a fan of sci-fi and dystopian fiction in general, I was already intrigued. The basic plot is that Bing (Daniel Kaluuya) hears Abi (Jessica Brown Findlay) singing and offers to spend his accumulated credits on her entrance to Hot Shot, the talent competition du jour. The competition is judged by three judges: Judge Wraith (Ashley Thomas), Judge Charity (Julia Davis) and Judge Hope (Rupert Everett).


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slatternly: n. a uk dweller, gin drinker and big fan of a lot of things. otherwise known as isobel.

Now that I’ve got that out the way, I imagine I’m supposed to tell you what I’m really doing here. In all honesty, this is pretty much a ride-or-die sort of adventure. I’ve toyed with the idea of spilling my thoughts out to the internet in yet another venue for about a year but always got stuck on what it is I should talk about.  Or even where to host it. To demonstrate:

“I should do a food blog! There is nothing I love more than food, except possibly talking about it — oh wait. Maybe I should do it on television instead. Or films. Or music. Or…”/end scene

After chasing my own conversational tail on the topic, I’ve finally just thought, sod it, give it a go. So here I am, with nothing but the aim of talking to you about all those things.

Let’s see how it goes, okay?