School, Grades and the Job Market

It is that time of the year again when our country’s children attain their GCSE results and have them paraded across social media and national news stations. The statistics show a dip in overall grade levels, predictable after Gove’s reforms increased test difficulties and altered grade boundaries. It is a time when many youths are likely distressed and upset by the results, only made more so by the news’ focus on those that achieved glowing A* results.

I want people to succeed and know all to well how devastating it is when you do not get what you worked to achieve. That being said though, I am left wondering if a different, more critical approach to grades isn’t the right answer. Continue reading

Why The Hobbit Movies Failed

As a long time fan of The Lord of the Rings movies and a reader of all things Tolkien, I was very excited about the announcement that The Hobbit was being adapted to the big screen. Then it was turned into a trilogy and I was skeptical but had faith in the brilliant cast and the vision of Peter Jackson. Over their release schedule I saw each of the movies several times with different groups of friends and family yet always came out of the cinema feeling slightly baffled.

The movies were unbelievably… meh. Not good, not bad, just kind of… boring. All of the elements were there: A great source material, talented actors, stunning visuals and a skilled director with experience making great movies from similar books, so why did The Hobbit trilogy fail to interest me? Continue reading

Gurren Lagann Discussion Corner: #1 What makes it special?

This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. Very little in my life has ever inspired me, yet some stupid, over-the-top cartoon has somehow become the foundation of much of my mental wellbeing. It’s crazy to think about really but I know that I am not alone in my passion for the show. As such I intend to write out a series of discussions, each one analysing a different element of what I feel sets Gurren Lagann above most other shows. I invite you to come along with me and to leave your thought, stories and comments.

So for this first post I want to talk in broad terms about why I believe this show is able to affect people so strongly. I will be discussing spoilers so if you haven’t seen it then I wholeheartedly recommend that you watch it. There are 27 episodes but I say give it until the end of episode 8 before you write it off if you are not convinced before then.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Counterpoint to the idea that Rey is a Mary-Sue.

(Contains Spoilers)

Since the announcement of Star Wars Episode VII some people have been decrying the movie as a piece of social justice propaganda. The two lead characters are a woman and a black man, Heaven forbid.

The movie came out to receive a generally positive reception but one argument that I continue to see is that the character of Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, is a Mary-Sue. Mary-Sue is a character trope that shows an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities, a woman who is good at everything and everyone important likes.

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Vote for me

Hey guys.

In my eternal quest to succeed in writing I have submitted The Sword Summoner: History Repeats into Inkitt’s fantasy story competition. The entire novel is on their site. If you have yet to read it, now is your chance to check it out in full for FREE.

The way the competition works is that readers vote on their favourite stories and the 10% with the highest votes gets through to be judged by Inkitt staff. The winner of that round is offered a publishing deal.

So if you wonderful people could go to http://www.inkitt.com/stories/39375 and click the little heart at the bottom of the screen then that would be a great help to me.

So head over to Inkitt, read The Sword Summoner if you want to and please give it your vote. Thank you all dearly.

Opinions on Gun Control

I am going to briefly write about my feelings on gun control in America. As a disclosure I will state here that I am an Englishman so my views will be both bias toward greater control and, quite frankly, be completely irrelevant. As such, I am not going to go on a tirade and try to convince people to change their world views on guns. Instead I would just like to highlight something that I hear a lot from pro-gun activists. Continue reading